My weekly post for the Moody Sisters!
It is no secret that I love the local Brooklyn Make-Up Studio. It is a gem in the midst of commercialized beauty- the people that work in the store are not only make-up artists; they know every single product they sell. Every. Single. Product. Stacey Catapano, lead make-up artist, makes sure that her fellow MUAs are comfortable and patient with customers, while providing professional services.
At the end of April. Brooklyn Make-Up Studio hosted a fabulous event for Mother’s Day. I took a few quick snapshots of the event:
There were plenty of goods on hand. Among the Smashbox, Stila, and Too Faced, there were Sweet Treats by Christina, who not only makes beautiful desserts but also makes up beautiful faces.
Someone also brought in these…
A dizzying array of colors greet you in every corner…
The studio bustled all day. Makeovers were doled out, along with friendly advice and gifts with purchase.
I didn’t have time to get made over but I did get a mini-facial with Caudalie products. I left looking refreshed and glowing. I also left with two Smashbox Be Legendary Lipsticks and Caudalie skincare. More on those another day…
If you are ever in the neighborhood, you should pop on by! From lips to tips, the make-up artists are so welcoming and knowledgeable. You won’t be disappointed!
For Sweet Treats by Christina, check her out here.
Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO
Disclaimer: I receive a discount from the Brooklyn Make-Up Studio. The discount has no influence on my review.
Okay, okay. I am a bit late on my ipsy review. I find blogging has been a bit difficult as of late. I have been running around like crazy and am rarely home. I try to fit in a bit here or there but you know the deal: life gets in the way. I like living so I try to cram in as much as possible. This weekend is no exception. The hubs and I had two parties yesterday, one today, and we were invited to another. I never thought I would be this popular. Anyway, I received my ipsy bag last week and my GlossyBox yesterday. I am meshing the two together.
My ipsy delivery was better this month than in the recent past. The bag is adorably cute with its chevron design and summery colors.
I scored two Pacifica products : the Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter and Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On . I enjoy using the Pacifica body butters and Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter ($7 US/ 2 oz, $24 US/ 8 oz) will make me glow and shimmer. This is NOT a gradual tanner so it will wash off. The Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On ($12 US) could be considered a gourmand scent but it isn’t super sweet or strong. In fact, it is more of a floral than an uber sticky, gooey vanilla. It is totally summer appropriate but isn’t very long lasting.
A few bags back, subscribers received a magnetized palette with two magnetic eye shadows by Yaby. This month, there is a Yaby magnetized concealer in Honey. It is tiny and I am not sure how much use I will get out of it. (Refill pan $4.85 US)
A big draw this month was the full size bottle of Zoya polish ($8 US). I got Blu from the recent Spring collection in my bag and it isn’t a shade I am particularly fond of. It looks chalky and I find that Zoya’s creams aren’t very good. I would have preferred a metallic.
I do love the Mirabella Colour Sheer Lipstick ($22 US). Daydream looks very light but it enhances my lips. The color is very sheer– do not expect serious pigmentation. It also needs to be reapplied quite a bit.
GlossyBox just celebrated its one year anniversary stateside. Needless to say, I thought the anniversary box would rock. I am curious to see what you think…
The packages always come wrapped in ribbon.
The first thing you see when opening the box is the GlossyBox Mag. To tell you the truth, I always think the small articles are superficial and poorly written. I have found typos, too. (We all make mistake but this is going out to thousands of people that pay for the subscription service.) I kind of wish they would save trees and not include the magazine. It takes me all of five minutes to read and I almost feel like I do out of obligation, considering I still read cereal boxes.
There is an etre belle Collagen & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask. The single use packet hydrates and improves elasticity. I gave away the last single use mask and might try this one. I’m not exactly looking for more hydration and I’m not terribly concerned about elasticity yet. ($39.50 US/ 10 masks)
The European Wax Center sent over a complimentary waxing service. I need to get my brows done so I am hoping there is one nearby. There are two tiny samples of The Exfoliate and Slow It Body Wash. I might get one use out of each.
I also finally got a hair product I can use. Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray Volume Building Spray Gel will make my hair ginormous and soft. I love big hair, especially when I go out on the town. My curls will enjoy this. ($19.95 US/ 5.07 FL OZ)
Being greasy, I was excited to see My Prime Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer. I currently use the men’s one from Kiehl’s and I love it but this claims to provied intense hydration and anti-aging benefits while creating a matte, flawless finish. It also works as a primer. I’ll give it a go. ($68 US/ 60 ML)
There is also a really cute compact of AMOREPACIFIC Color Control Cushion Compact. The small compact multitasks with SPF, deep hydration, and complete coverage. The only problem- the color is too deep for my complexion. I’m not even sure if I can use it during the summer. ($60 US/ 15 G & 15 G Refill)
The ONLY full size product this month is a Nicka K New York Absolute! Perfume Stick in Parc de 59. The tube packaging is really pretty and the product tries to evoke the sophistication of NYC. It smells similar to Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea Parfum. Here is the rub- GlossyBox tells that retail is $14.99 US. I beg to differ. I have purchased Nicka K cosmetics in a beauty supply store for $1.99. I have also purchased some items in the dollar store. Don’t get me wrong- the products are not bad but I can’t see this perfume stick being worth $14.99. Call me a skeptic.
The ipsy bag was a decent value this month with three full size products but I expected way more from GlossyBox, especially for an anniversary box. It is no wonder why GlossyBox is giving incentives to join. A six month subscription was recently only $90 US. If these subscription services aren’t careful, they may fail. I see a downgrade in products since my initial shipments.
If you are interested in signing up for a subscription (GlossyBox, ipsy, or BirchBox), please drop me a line at email@example.com and I will send you a referral code. I am beginning to wonder if beauty subscriptions are worth it but if you want to try them, go on ahead.
Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO
My weekly guest post! Enjoy!
Post #125 already? I can’t believe that I have managed to write 125 posts, 99% about cosmetics. I guess I need to get a hobby… Anyhow, I’ve been getting a lot of make-up mail lately- a free deluxe sample of Bobbi Brown mascara, three Catrice eyeshadows from the lovely Sonia at Sweet MakeUp Tempations, an ipsy bag, and two deliveries from BirchBox. Today, I received the Revlon Edition from totalbeauty collection. It was $15.00 US and in it are four full size Revlon products from the Pacific Coast Collection by Gucci Westman. Considering most Revlon products run anywhere from $7.49 US- $14.00 US, this seemed to be a good deal. My sister, that lucky girl, is getting one, too.
I’ll keep the post brief, as I am half watching “Hannibal” and half pretending to be an FBI agent typing some top secret documents. (I’m fortunate to have a fabulous imagination. Who needs Calgon?)
I love Emma Stone and am happy that she is the spokeswoman. Something about her just seems, I don’t know, familiar? She is attractive but I really don’t feel she follows the Hollywood standard of beauty. She could be my friend.
The pamphlet has instructions for four looks. I photographed two. I rarely ever use these but I think I should try one. We’ll see how inspired I feel this week.
The Revlon Colorstay palette in #585 Sea Mist has four shades: a light shimmery peach, dark amethyst, a blue shimmer shadow that errs on gray, and the green, a sparkling emerald.
The polish is Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in #320 Trade Winds. I happen to like this polish, as it does last. I just threw out the base coat, too, because it was old. Le sigh.
I also received two Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters in #047 Pink Lemonade, a light pink and #053 in Sorbet, a bright pink. People love the Lip Butters, as do I, and the colors are sheer yet can be layered for more pigmented glossy goodness.
That’s all I got for now. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for my ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY as the PRODUCT HOOCHIE.
Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO
Two deliveries from BirchBox, you ask? You know it! I I received my usual box and then was happily surprised (well, not that surprised) by the extra delivery of the box of Nuance by Salma Hayek beauty products. Now, I have two boxes to contend with. I really have a only-like-a-little/hate relationship with BirchBox but this month was a bit better… and that’s only because I got the Nuance by Salma Hayek Bonus Box!
The May box was better than usual but that is still not saying much.
COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face: A sunscreen with a pleasant scent, this ec0-friendly formula protects and works on age-reversal. I am a little afraid. My eyes are sensitive and I only use Shiseido because it is the only one that doesn’t set my eyes on fire.
Sumita Beauty Suman Contrast Eye Pencil in Black: An eye pencil that is super soft and waxy with “sensational blending abilities,” the Sumita is all that and a bag of chips. Maybe not but I will find out soon enough. I wish I got one of the cooler colors. I have too many black pencils that I don’t use.
Whish Shave Cream: A bottle is $20 US. I won’t buy this but it will fit nicely in a travel bag.
DevaCurl 3-Step System: Known for the “No Poo” Shampoo, DevaCurl is a ringlet’s best friend. The system includes the No Poo, Ultra-Creamy Conditioner, and Hardworking Gel. I have wanted to try DevaCurl so this is a nice little intro and the packets are pretty generous so I will get a few uses.
My BirchBox find is a Pilot Acroball PureWhite Pen that has turquoise ink. It’s pretty!
I know that BirchBox wants to get into my good graces again. A few weeks ago, I received an email asking if I would be interested in getting another box, totally free that would not replace my usual monthly box. An extra box?! For free?! I signed up but there was no guarantee I would actually receive the box. Just yesterday I was wondering if I had been selected and figured that I am on a blacklist in the BB offices. I got home from work today and was pleasantly surprised to see a red BirchBox! I was a chosen one. Woohoo!
The box contains several products from Nuance by Salma Hayek. The line is exclusively sold in CVS and is based on beauty secrets of Hayek’s grandmother. The box is actually generous, as there are two full size products and some travel size.
First, look in and there is a creamy box with pretty red blossoms.
First product I noticed in the box was a small jar of Nuance Anti-Aging Super Cream. I am not one for cream but the container is so adorable and the product is based in Mayan skin treatments. I will give it a try because I never know if something could work on me.
The two travel sized bottles of Nuance Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner will come in handy for my travels this summer. Not that I have anything planned, but you never know. I am also loving the full size tube of Nuance My Secret Super Moisturizing Body Cream. I am currently using a gradual tan lotion and will switch to this once I am done.
The last piece in the box is actually for my eyes. Nuance makes cool 3 in 1 products- I have a lipstick/liner/gloss combo- and I received a Lights, Camera, Action Eye Trio. The color is neutral and I love that it is all- in-one. Again, good for any journeys that I might have to make. (I’m so hoping- you have no idea.)
Until I bring you some ipsy…
Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO
I’m cheating a little! Wrote this for the Moody Sisters today!
A few weeks ago Taneja’s Bride did a post on possible Mother’s Day gifts. She mentioned the HauteLook Spring Beauty Bag. I have been a member of HauteLook for a long time and noticed the bag before, too, but it was always sold out before I could get my hands on it. Of course, after seeing it on Taneja’s Bride, it was sold out. Luckily, a few days later, I got another HauteLook email that there were more up for grabs. Mrs. Taneja was kind enough to email but I was already on it! I received the bag on Thursday and am absolutely thrilled with the contents!
The bag is a shiny vinyl. The interior has a great lining and the entire pouch looks easy to clean. I love the navy and white stripes. I almost feel like I could take this with my for a weekend away in the Hamptons.
First up is a full size jar of Suki Skincare Exfoliate Cleanser. Made with lemongrass and natural sugar, this cleanser rejuvanates the face with alpha hydroxy acid and helps to de-gunk pores and obliterate dead skin cells. I can’t wait to try this out! $32.95 US/ 4 oz
Keeping with the clean, the bag also has a variety of five LA Fresh wipes, three types of face wipes, a make-up remover wipe, and a body smoother wipe. These are going right into my travel bag! There are also three samples of Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer in pink, rose gold, and bronze shimmer. I’m not one for an unnatural glow but they might be fun to try.
The mini Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten in Berry is a multi-shade blush with a touch of shimmer. I can’t wait t try it.
I am happy to report that the next products are full size and by LORAC! The first is LORAC Eyeshadow in Celebutante ($19 US), a very shimmery teal. Eyes with a pop of color are big this season. I think mine is broken and is now a “loose” pigment- I am calling HauteLook today. I will try to use this to line my eyes in its loose state. There is also LORAC 3D Lashes Mascara ($22 US) , which claims to deliver up to 3X the volume. I L-O-V-E voluminous lashes.
To apply the lovely eyeshadow, I will use the Crown Brush Pro Blending Fluff. I use Crown Brushes and the quality is amazing. (On sale now at Crown Brush for $4.12 US!)
Another sample in the bag is Jessica Simpson’s Vintage Bloom. I wore a Jessica Simpson perfume for a bit but gave it away. I will give this a whirl- I think I have smelled it in a store and I was a little impressed. The travel sized Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Demolition will keep me in line with the cat eye trend and NYX full size lipstick in Shiva will help me mouth off in hot pink. I am a fan of both products and can’t wait to try out the shade.
The value of the bag is worth way more than the $25 US I paid and I think it was curated well. I contacted HauteLook about my eyeshadow and… they gave me back $5 US. I am happy with that and their customer service is always fabulous! Well done, HauteLook. I will be buying this again next spring!
AND I ALMOST FORGOT… Some coupon codes!
Smile Sciences $50 US towards Rx Strength Teeth Whitening Pen (Code: hautelook)
15% off at Laura Geller (Code: HLBBAPR13)
20% off NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick Shades (Code: LIPCRUSH)
10% off your purchase at LORAC Cosmetics (Code: LOVELORAC)
Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO
I do a weekly guest post for the Moody Sisters, an awesome organic skincare brand! They cater to every skin need- check them out!
Once I hit the ripe
old age of 31, I realized that I would have to do something about my gray hair. I actually never really noticed the gray, until I had to start getting ready for a wedding. We were in California and I decided I would straighten my hair for the occasion. I lifted some of my hair to smooth it with the hair iron and I screamed. My husband (fiance at the time) came running into the bathroom in a semi-panic. He saw the horrified look on my face and said, “What’s wrong?” “L-l-l-look…” I trembled. He looked at the strangling gray hairs and said, “Honey, I think it is time you started to dye your hair.”
I’m lucky though. My grays tend to be a bit more silvery and since my hair is curly, it is fairly concealed. I notice it more than anyone else. I am also fortunate to have a person very close to me that is a hair stylist. She takes care of my business. In fact, I got a text message Sunday morning from her, asking if I needed to refresh my ‘do. I have not had a cut since January and I have dyed it myself because I live in a tornado. I decided it would be a good day to get my hair done.
I arrived at the hair salon at about 11:30 AM. I prepared myself for a long day- since I receive my hair service gratis, I don’t mind. Much to my benefit, I enjoy people watching and use this time to hone my observation skills.
My friend decided a full on dye job was unnecessary and had a colorist come over to take a look. She said to balayage my hair. Balayage, also known as hair painting, is a highlighting technique that sweeps color onto hair using a paddle. It isn’t as precise as foiling and allows the colorist to choose where he/she wants to add highlights. I eventually hope to add more highlights this summer and balayage gives me the “I got a little sun” look.
The colorist was kind enough to do the process, which took all of 30 minutes, with the highlights developing. I went to get washed and there was only one shampoo person. I waited patiently and this is what I heard:
“I think I should use semi-permanent,” whined one customer. “I don’t think you will get the coverage you want and I suggest permanent,” replied another colorist. The customer was of a “certain age” and I could see her roots but whatever floats your boat. I think the colorist was trying to save her money since permanent dye tends to last a bit longer. Another woman getting her hair washed then started to smack talk about that same colorist, “Oh! Mary is the best colorist… ever.” This customer was VERY loud and as she continued her tirade, she also started to pick on the shampoo person, as she needed her hair washed three times with a particular shampoo and shampoo person was taking too long. In the meantime, I have bleach on my head. The shampoo person came over to me- we are friendly- and started to lather my head. The woman thrice shampooed wanted to know why her hair glaze wasn’t ready. I had the pleasure to only hear half of her complaints because of the suds, whish!, and gurgle! of the shampoo process. I love getting my hair washed. I find it to be such a chore during the week. “How much longer am I going to have to wait?” asked the impatient semi-permanent. I could see the shampoo person’s frustration, her trying to be swift, and my silence a welcome respite. She took her time. I told her I would wait for the glaze, as the natives were restless. It was now 2 PM.
My glaze was applied by 3 PM. At 3:05, I was ready to be rinsed. My colorist had a customer that complained the water would get in her ears and asked for cotton. She plugged herself up and then complained that her back bothered her when she rested her head on the lip of the sink. When the shampoo person asked her if she would be more comfortable with a booster seat, she shook her head disapprovingly. Luckily, the colorist decided to shampoo the customer, seeing that the shampoo person had a never-ending line. I finally got my hair cut at 4:30 PM.
There are four things I learned about this experience:
One: Everyone’s time is valuable, from the customer to the stylist to the shampoo person. Yes, it stinks to wait BUT in this case there was only one person shampooing. Don’t complain to him/her- complain to management. Someone making the work schedule really did not review the appointment book to see how many customers would be getting services that day.
Two: I don’t care who you are- a salon is supposed to be a relaxing environment. Do your best to keep the peace and stop whining.
Three: To add to number two- if you are loud and obnoxious, remember that you never know who may be listening. You may end up being written about on a blog or Facebook or Twitter.
Four: Respect the people rendering services. They have to be nice to you no matter what you do. Be kind.
Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO