Monday, July 27, 2009

Vera Bradley Hipster - $18 - TODAY ONLY!

Vera Bradley's Mini-Hipster is available for $18.00 - today only! This normally sells for $45.00, so get it while it's hot!

*Four interior slots keep credit cards at hand (and a zip-top closure keeps them secure)
*In back, one curved slip pocket for quick access
*The full flap has a zippered front pocket and handy ID window underneath

6" x 8" x ½" — 59¼" strap

Colors on sale: Daisy Daisy, Mediterranean White, Frankly Scarlet, Night Owl, Pinwheel Pink, and Mod Blue.

Lia Sophia - Maggie Necklace

This girl LOVES her jewelry... the bigger, the brighter, the shiner... THE BETTER! But if there is one necklace that gets a compliment (or two, or three, or four) every time I wear it, it's the Maggie by Lia Sophia.

When I first saw it in their catalog, I thought, "Yeah, it's okay." But then, then my friends, I saw it in person. LOVE IT! I can honestly say it's the one piece I own that goes with just about everything. And, it is the one piece I own that gets lent out to friends the most! :-) It can be worn long, or doubled up for a shorter necklace, so it works with almost any neckline.

Made of genuine Abalone, Jade, Jasper, Mother-of-Pearl & Tiger's Eye with Glass & Resin Beads. 38-41"

Now, before you fall out of your chair after reading the price ($120.00), let me tell you how you can get it for $60.00 or even $20.00!!!

Lia Sophia offers specials each month. For example, right now, if you buy any item at regular price, you can get up to two items at 50% off... the best part? The half-off items are your MOST EXPENSIVE items! That's right, that means your full price item is the most expensive.

Now, if you want to save even MORE money, host a Lia Sophia show. With your credits from orders, you can get the Maggie for only $20.00! The hostess benefits offered by Lia Sophia are some of the best around (LOTS of free jewelry).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Maybelline - Colossal Volum' Express Mascara

I got to try Maybelline's Colossal Mascara for free (thanks to my friend Kelly). I am actually a pretty big fan of Maybelline's mascaras - I think they have some of the best products!

According to their website, the Colossal Volum' Express Mascara "Creates 9X the volume, instantly. Patented MegaBrush + Collagen Formula plump lashes one by one.
Dramatic Volume with no clumps. Washable."

Pros: Goes on very smoothly and wears well. Washes off easily.

Cons: Larger brush is a little hard to work with. Mascara got a little flaky as the mascara aged.

The Verdict: If you can get used to working with the larger brush, it might be worth a try!

Maybelline - Lash Stiletto Ultimate Lengths Mascara

I will admit it - the advertisements for this mascara intrigued me, so I gave it a shot. According to the Maybelline website, "The only mascara that does for lashes what stilettos do for legs. The Grip & Extend brush grasps each lash and coats from every angle. Elastic formula stretches lashes for provocative length. Pro-Vitamin B-5 formula conditions and smooths for black-patent shine. Contact lens safe and Ophthalmologist tested."

Pros: Goes on smoothly and washes off easily. Brush is a nice size and easy to hold. Lengthens lashes nicely.

Cons: Needed to use a few more coats to get lashes good and dark. Lashes were a bit "shiny" for my taste. Didn't volumize lashes.

The Verdict: A decent lengthening mascara, but a little to shiny for me.

Maybelline - Volum' Express Turbo Boost Mascara

This is my tried and true mascara. When all else fails, I come back to this. I find that it lengthens, volumizes, separates and coats really well! It claims to boost your lashes to 7x's their size... I'd say it's pretty close! I love the fact that it stays put throughout the day, but comes off very easily. And, no flaking! You can build upon it based on if you like a lot of coverage or a little.

Of course this doesn't mean that I will give up on my quest for the world's perfect mascara, but from what I have tried (and believe me I'VE TRIED), this comes about as close as it gets... and you gotta love the Maybelline price!

Beauty Deals for the week of July 26

If you are in the market for some new make-up, check out the following stores for some great deals!

Maybelline - Buy one, get one free
Neutrogena - Buy one, get one free (Sunday - Tuesday only)

Almay - Buy one, get one 50% off
Rimmel - Buy one, get one free
L'oreal - Buy one, get one 50% off

Neutrogena - Buy one, get one 50% off
Wet 'N Wild - Buy one, get one free

L'Oreal Double Extend Mascara

I should always be weary when I see a commercial for a mascara that has the model wearing fake eyelashes... but you know me... it's a mascara, so it must be tried.

L'Oreal's Double Extend Beauty Tubes claims to give a "a revolutionary lash extension effect" with up to 80% longer-looking, nourished lashes.

It's a two step process. First, you coat your lashes with the white tube - this nourishes your lashes and prepares them for the "beauty tubes". Second, you apply the red tube which is the color/mascara.

Pros: I really can't think of any.

Cons: Two-step process is time consuming. The mascara itself did not give the lengthening effect as promised. Very difficult to remove - you have to GENTLY pull the tubes off of the lashes - and it took a long time to remove. The tubes actually come off in a long tube... very messy. Expensive - runs about $11.99.

The Verdict: Does not deliver the promised results. Not worth the investment.

Bare Escentuals Tutorials - Lesson 1: Smoky Eye

I love the "smoky eye" look! It's a great look for day or night (just adjust the amount used) and the right shades of dark charcoal can look great on anyone.

So when I saw the Bare Escentuals Smoky Eye kit ($33.00), I was very intrigued. It's part of their "tutorial" line, which provides step-by-step instructions, as well as all necessary tools, to get the look. Here's what Bare Escentuals has to say,
"Tutorials - Lesson 1: Smoky Eye ($54 Value)
What it is:
Tutorials provides instructions in simple steps on how to achieve the makeup styles you've always admired but were never able to get quite right.

What else you need to know:
Smoky Eyes is perfect for a night on the town, cocktails with the girls or a candlelit date, provided you've done your homework. Just follow our simple instructions on the detachable tip card and in no time at all you'll be wearing this smoldering-hot, smoky look. With Tutorials, you'll learn how to create this look in no time flat."

The set includes:
- 0.02 oz Eyeshadow in Skyline (gray lilac)
- 0.02 oz Glimmer in Celestine (shimmering pewter)
- Plus a Double-Ended Smoky Eye Brush

Pros: Kit contains all tools needed to get the look. Dual ended brush is perfect for controling the placement of the shadow. Shimmery shadows reflect light which brighten your face.

Cons: The lilac-charcoal shadow was more dark brown, and the ivory was definitely more of a copper/taupe - not as described at all. The brush was very stiff and felt scratchy on the eyelid.

The Verdict: The tutorial is nice for beginners. Love the fact that is comes with all tools needed to get the look, but the colors were not flattering (or smoky for that matter). At $33.00, I will be returning it.

Different Lipstick - Clinique

That's actually the name of the lipstick - Different Lipstick by Clinique. If you are like me, you will find a lipstick color that is just perfect. I mean, it's the perfect shade to go with the perfect outfit... it will match anything! Anything that is, until you actually put it on... then somehow, it just looks wrong - really, really wrong!

Well, I may have the answer for you. Several years ago, my Clinique bonus time gift came with a sample of this lipstick in a shade called "surprise". I almost threw it away based on the color it looked in the tube (which is sort of burgundy/copper looking in color). Much to my "surprise" (pun completely intended), this shade is in fact THE PERFECT COLOR! I have worn it with pink, red, orange, brown, black... it always looks great! And the real kicker, I have seen this shade on others that have different skin tones than me, and it looks great!

Honestly, give this one a try. A little goes a long way (it goes on very smooth), so at $14.00 a tube, it will last you a long time. But in case you buy it and don't fall in love with it, Clinique does have a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Mary Kay Eyeliner

If you are an eyeliner wearer, you probably have a type that you prefer (pencil, liquid, retractable, etc.).

Mary Kay's Eyeliner is a retractable liner that really delivers! The liner is small, so it's easy to grasp and glides on so smoothly - no tugging! And the coverage and staying power can't be beat! There are many colors available (don't be afraid to try them!) to compliment any eye color.

I've tried just about every color available, but my true love is good old Black. At $10.00 a pop, you won't be disappointed as it lasts a long time!

Mary Kay Sheer Mineral Pressed Powder

I have found with Mary Kay, people either love it or hate it. Well, I am somewhere in the middle. There are some products that Mary Kay produces that don't live up to my expectations... BUT, there are some products that are a staple in my cosmetic case.

Mary Kay's Sheer Mineral Pressed Powder is one of them. This is the one product I just couldn't live without. It glides on so smoothly giving you a flawless, not cakey look. And, the best part... it lasts! Through the heat and humidity that is an Illinois summer, this does not streak or get clumpy should you perspire. On the flip side, it also does not dry out your skin in the winter. Honestly, I don't know what their secret is, but this is a fantastic product!!!

Price: $16.00 (priceless in my opinion)

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara

This is probably my second favorite mascara out there. Last week at Target, I found it for $3.99! Here's what Maybelline claims about the Voluminous Mascara,"L'Oreal presents Voluminous Volume Building Mascara. Uniquely formulated to resist clumping, soften lashes and build lashes to 4X their natural thickness."

*Unique maximizing formula quickly thickens and builds lashes in a single application for a full and dramatic lash look.

*Patented Volume Maximizing Brush thickens lashes evenly and smoothly leaving them soft with virtually no flakes, smudges or clumps.

*Voluminous, formulated with Panthenol and Ceramide-R, protects and conditions lashes leaving them supple and soft to the touch, resisting clumping and flaking.

*Ophthalmologist and allergy tested. Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.



Pros: Goes on very smoothly and does not require many coats. Separates, volumizes, but lengthens nicely as well. Stay put power, so there is no "raccoon" effect at the end of the day. Very reasonably priced.

Cons: Does get flaky as it gets older, but that is a good sign it's time to replace!

The Verdict: Worth it's weight in gold!

Johnsons and Johnsons Baby Shampoo

Not just for babies anymore! This tip actually came to me by my opthomolgist when I was in middle school. My eyelids were very dry and were starting to flake into my contacts. He recommended that I wash my eyes with baby shampoo... when I got a little older, I realized that it was taking off my eye make-up SUPER fast in the shower (little to no rubbing on the eyes, which we all know neve tug on the eyes!)

Not only does it remove make-up, the tear free formula doesn't burn if you happen to get it in your eyes. The best part - the price.

Revlon Double Twist Mascara

I'm always intrigued when there is a product that can save me time. Let's face it, who wouldn't love to have the perfect look in as little time as possible. When I saw Revlon's new Double Twist mascara, I had to give it a try... the brush has an eyelash comb intertwined with a regular mascara brush!

According to the Revlon website, the new mascara, "MASSIVE Volume. REMARKABLE Definition. Revolutionary 2-in-1 brush. Thickening Brush + Separating Combs = The Ultimate Lash Look. Available in 4 shades, including a new signature Revlon® shade, Blackened Ruby. Also available in waterproof formula." Sounds good, right???

From the moment I saw the package, I was not impressed. I don't judge a mascara by it's packaging (you just never know), but it just looked cheap. And it didn't get much better from there...

Pros: Found a package that had two in it for the price of one (Target), didn't seem to come off much during the day, easy to take off at night.

Cons: The brush was very stiff - didn't give much on the lashes, so it kind of felt like it was scraping. Had to use a lot to get the level of color I get from one or two coats with other mascaras. The comb didn't seem to do a darn thing, and the mascara became very clumpy within the two brushes thus making it "globby" going on.

The Verdict: DEFINITELY not worth the money... the quest continues.

L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara

As always, I'm on the never ending quest for the perfect mascara. So when I see a new one come out, of course I have to try it! My latest test was L'Oreal's Extra Volume Collagen Mascara. According to its description, "This Extra Volume Mascara by L'Oreal which contains Hydra Collagen creates up to 12x more volume with no clumps, extra volume brush is twice as thick as traditional brushes."

Pros: VERY smooth going on, big brush for less work, a beautiful black, comes off very easily.

Cons: Stay power is lacking (a girlfriend of mine had to wipe the black from my face twice while out one evening), the large size of the brush made it a little hard to work with, very flaky by the end of the day.

The Verdict: Overall, not worth the investment. But if you would like to give it a try, go to the L'Oreal website and you can get a coupon!

Shiseido The Makeup Eyelash Curler

My favorite eyelash curler ever! Recommended to me by my friend Jackie, I've been in love with this since I first started using it seven years ago.

Pros: Perfect fit to you eye, easy to change the flexible rubber lining is very gentle to your lashes, durable.

Cons: On the more expensive side of make-up tools (but worth it!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Butler Bag

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to my friends Beth and Denise for turning me on to Butler Bags (check out the icon on the side for your 10% off code)! This is a fantastic purse/bag for those of you who just can't seem to find anything in your purse.

The concept came to Jenn Groover, the designer, when she couldn't find anything in her purse! She took her dishwasher utensil tray and put it in her purse, marched to a designer, and viola! The Butler Bag. The colors are fantastic, the leather is top of the line, and there is a money back guarantee (15 days) - you can't go wrong!

But, if it's a little more than you wanted to spend, check out the "sample sale" on their website (I like to call it the "scratch and dent" sale without the scratches and dents!) There are bags and totes available at a discounted price, usually around 40% off - but sales for these items are final.

And if you want to save more money, if you buy two items, shipping is free!!! I own the Classic in Espresso and the Hybrid in Black, so let me know if you have any questions!

Pros: I can find everything in my purse very easily. Holds more than you would think! Looks sleek and sexy! Comes with a dust bag to keep it looking great.

Cons: The top quality leather is a little stiff, but does get softer with use.


Do you have a beauty product that you would like to try, but just haven't quite committed yet? Let me know and I'll review it for you! Just leave a comment and I'll see what I can do!

CVS Secret

Let's face it... we've all bought a beauty product or two in our time only to find that it is just NOT for us! Well, let me let you in on a little secret... CVS! Yep, the good 'ole drug store in your neighborhood has a wonderful policy on returns for beauty products. Here's how it works straight from their website:

Q. Do any products have a money-back guarantee?

A. All CVS/pharmacy Brand products and all beauty products are 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. If you are dissatisfied for any reason, you can return the CVS/pharmacy Brand or beauty product (opened or unopened) along with your receipt or invoice and we will refund the full purchase price - no questions asked.

And this is a true statement... I've taken advantage of this policy. I mean, who wants to pay $12.00 for mascara "beauty tubes" that, well, doesn't work! This is a great chance for you to try that new lipstick without fear if the perfect pink is really more rowdy red!