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Cruelty Free October Favorites…& A Miss!

Ah, October! I feel like it’s been a weird month and, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a bit MIA on the blog. I’ve been trying to plug away at posting regularly, but I just haven’t been able to keep it up. I’m not sure what the problem is. I could just be so wrapped up in the US election coverage (which I totally am ?) that I can’t pull myself away to write. It could be my general lack of motivation lately. Whatever it is, I’m feeling a bit uninspired, distracted and just have had a lot of trouble completing tasks. So here we are. Another favorites post and I really honestly have very little to discuss. I want to keep the tradition going – partly because I usually love these kinds of posts and partly just to prove that I still can write a post. I have very rarely applied any makeup this month and when I have, it’s been nothing new or noteworthy so I don’t have makeup favorites. However, I do have a couple of additions to my “beauty” routine that are worth mentioning, a few lifestyle favorites, and I even have a complete disappointment! I hope you’ll stay tuned, and I hope you will continue bearing with me through this weird rough blogging patch. ?

A Mascara That Does as it Claims? Testing Soap & Glory’s Thick & Fast Flash Extensions Effect Mascara

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Let’s face it. Makeup never looks complete without mascara. Am I right? You can be as minimal or dramatic with the rest of your face as you please, but until the mascara is on, things just don’t quite look finished. So I think it’s fair to say that the quest for the perfect mascara is an on-going mission for most of us. I can’t say that I have that exact holy grail level mascara to discuss today, but it’s definitely one that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying and would have to be up there with my top tier of lash boosters. So what is this wondrous new beauty? Get ready because it’s a mouthful! It’s the Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Flash Extensions Effect Mascara!

It’s April Favorites Time! :)

 

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Wow did April fly by! Cliché but true. I truly don’t know where this month went! I do know that I’ve tried a lot of new beauty products though. Some have been daily staples, but for others I’m still forming my opinions. Given all of that info, it should come as no surprise that today I’m going over all of my April Favorites! 😉 I’ve got a fair amount to go through and we all know that I am incapable of being brief, so hopefully you’re comfortable because we’re jumping into the favorites! 😀

Declaring My Love for Soap & Glory’s Endless Glove 2-in-1 Moisture Mask & Hand Cream

Mind Blown. Seriously. There is a brand new hand cream from UK cult phenom Soap & Glorycleverly known as the Endless Glove 2-in-1 Moisture Mask & Hand Cream. A few years ago, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding the original Hand Food hand cream (I raved myself back in my early blogging days), but these days Hand Food is looking like the ugly old stepsister. The baby soft newbie on the block is called Endless Glove and it actually does what it claims! This stuff is truly amazing and I will gladly pronounce my endless love for this wonder cream.

Ok. Cheesy puns aside, let’s get down to what the hell makes this hand cream different. It is called a moisture mask and hand cream, and I would have to agree that it works as both – with or without annoying moisture gloves. I mean, how many people really have the patience to sleep with white cotton gloves every night? Not me. Fortunately there’s Endless Glove to save my dried up, shriveled old mitts. I can’t really tell you how or why it works, but I will definitely put on record that, if you apply this hand cream before bed, you will wake up with smooth, soft hands that look and feel years younger. The difference is quite amazing and you will notice the difference right away. Not just in the “I just put on hand cream and there’s some residue making my hands feel better” kinda way, but they legit feel improved. The cream claims to provide a moisture barrier that lasts up to 12 hours, and I’m here to say that it totally does! This is not a cream that washes off as soon as water touches your hands, nor does the moisturized feeling fade after an hour or so. It’s the most impressive hand treatment I have ever tried!

My hands look ancient! 🙂
Let’s get into the nitty gritty for a second. According to Sephora’s website, Endless Glove is formulated with Eight-Oil Aqua Wrap™ (whatever the heck that is), Vitafade-BC™ (say what?), Macadamia Oil and Grapeseed oils, and Pomegranate and Shea butters. It is fragranced with their Fruitigo™ scent of frozen yuzu, orange oil, and green fig (which is ah-mazing!) – the same scent as the Pulp Friction Body Scrub, the Foam Yourself Body Wash, and the Butter Yourself Body Cream. It’s kind of a tangy, fruity, fresh scent that’s rather delicious to my nose. It is paraben, phthalate, and sulfate free as well, however it can’t be all good for you because it carries a warning to “Keep this stuff out of your eyes.” Not sure what exactly is bad for the eyes, but I haven’t experienced any issues with irritation or adverse reactions on my skin. Just don’t rub your eyes right after applying it, and I’m guessing you’ll be just fine. Now, let’s get back to the raving shall we? (Glow sticks optional…I’m feeling weird today. Can you tell? J)
I seriously love the new Soap & Glory Endless Glove 2-in-1 Moisture Mask & Hand Cream. It’s not terribly thick, but it’s not thin either, and a small amount covers your entire hands. It can feel a bit tacky after it’s applied, but it really is the kind of hand cream you can apply before bed and be good pretty much until the next evening, so the tiny bit of stickiness (it’s not at all greasy) is totally bearable and not at all disruptive. I’ve never tried anything quite like it! To sweeten the pot a bit, Soap & Glory has made this cream available in two sizes – the 1.69oz travel size, or the 4.2oz full size. I ordered the travel size because I didn’t expect much, plus I have enough hand creams to choke an army, but I would totally recommend getting the full size. It’s not really the kind of hand cream I would carry around to use throughout the day. You certainly could, but I find I don’t need to use anything during daylight hours if I’ve used Endless Glove the night before. This hand mask/cream has totally won my heart! Endless Glove indeed!
The perfect consistency!

Soap & Glory’s Endless Glove 2-in-1 Moisture Mask & Hand Cream retails a Sephora for $10 in the 1.69oz size, and $22 for the 4.2oz size. Totally worth every penny!

February Favorites 2013

Well, February has come and gone and that means it’s time for another Favorites post! I have to admit that I really have worn very little makeup this month, and my skin and hair care hasn’t changed much, if at all. Therefore, I do not really have much in the way of favorites…at least not new favorites. I don’t want to repeat myself too often, so I will skip over the repeats. So what remains? Keep reading to see my favorite products from February!


Something that I have definitely used virtually every day, well every time I painted my nails, is Julep’snew Freedom Polymer Top Coat. I absolutely love it! I must say that I have not tried a large variety of top coats before so I can’t compare it to thousands of others, but I feel like I don’t need to ever try a different top coat! It makes my polish dry to the touch quickly and has a nice shine to it. You can smudge your polish if you decide to, I dunno, sand furniture or something while it’s drying, but you can wash your hands, fall asleep, run to the store, etc within a few minutes of applying it. I really have nothing I can compare this to because, as I said, I haven’t tried that many top coats. I’ve actually never tried a quick-dry top coat before – crazy, I know! J I can say that the shine from the Freedom Polymer Top Coat is better than any others I have tried and it does prevent chipping better than any others I have used. Julep’s new top coat has not left my sight since it arrived earlier this month! J

For my lips, I ordered the new Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Fuchsia-Ristic earlier this month and I really like it! It’s very comfortable, easy to apply, stays put and lasts for quite some time. The color is semi-sheer, but still provides a nice pink flush (seems to be my shade of choice!) and a touch of glossiness. It’s really pretty and I’ve been loving it this month. Definitely worth checking out! J

If you’ve seen my review of the Tangle Teezer, you know that I am completely obsessed with it! I won’t go into detail about it here since I just reviewed it, but it is absolutely the best brush I have ever used on damp hair – no products need to glide through hair like butter! It’s also great for dry hair as well and I absolutely love it! J

The next item I’m not sure I would call a favorite, but I have been using it pretty much every day. It’s the NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder. It’s a nice powder, I’m just not convinced it is anything special. It feels silky smooth and a bit velvety. It is a really super fine powder and I do like it, but I’m not sure I prefer it over my Too Faced Primed and Poreless Loose Powder. I’m not convinced that it really reflects the light in any way to help disguise imperfections, but I’m also not convinced that it does not reflect the light either! So I keep trying it day after day. I think I see a difference in pictures and bright sunlight, but when I apply it in my bathroom mirror, I don’t notice muck of a difference other than a reduction in shine. I should add that, though there are shimmery particles in the powder, you do not see them on your face at all. I’m not sure how that works, but it actually iscompletely invisible on the skin. And though it is a stark white powder, it does not seem to alter my skin tone at all. I am fair, but this is supposed to work for all skin tones, and I suspect it probably could. So, though this is a frequently used item, I’m still on the fence as to whether or not it is a favorite. J As far as just a loose powder, it is really nice. I’m just not convinced about its light diffusing properties yet, and without that, I’m not that interested by it.

My final favorite for the month is a new makeup bag! I have to admit that I haven’t really used it because I haven’t gone anywhere and needed to carry much with me, so I haven’t reallytested it very well. But, it is the coolest makeup bag I have seen in a while. It is from the Sephora Holographic Bag Collection and is called Pastille. It is the 10.5” W x 7.75” H x 3.5” D bag which is a great size for traveling. The holographic effect is really, really cool and it actually is slightly see-through so you can see what’s inside. There are no pockets or compartments or anything, so it is just a structured open bag with a zipper, but I love it! It has rose gold detailing and it’s just really pretty and very practical, which is an unusual combination! J

That’s pretty much it for my favorites in the month of February! I have others like my Carmex lip balm and my Mineral Fusion Base Coat, but I’ve mentioned them recently so I’m not going to be too redundant by singling them out again! J

What have been your must-have products for February? Let me know in the comments because I’d love to know! J

Holiday Gift Guide 2012 – Body, Hair, Nail & Makeup Brush Sets

For those who are not that interested in makeup but are still interested in other types of beauty products, this post is for you! Nail polish? Check! Makeup Brushes? Check! Body care? Check! Hair care? Mini check! If you need a gift for someone who may not be that into makeup, or perhaps someone you do not know terribly well, like a co-worker, a secret Santa or maybe a hostess gift, these might be worth considering. Here are some of favorite non-makeup beauty gifts – all approved by Mini Mrs. Claus (yes, the cat’s name is Mini and no, she did not approve of being dressed up for Christmas – I hate to admit that it was hilariously fun!).


Josie Maran Moroccan Bazaar Argan Skin & Hair Bestsellers is a great way to sample the wonders of Argan oil. It’s great for the skin care lover in your life and will get your face, hair and body in shape! The set includes a mini Argan Cleansing Oil, a mini 100% Pure Argan Oil, a mini Argan Oil Hair Serum, a mini Argan Daily Moisturizer, a mini Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Vanilla Apricot and a mini Argan Balm. The set costs $39.00 and is available exclusively from Sephora.

For the avid bather in your life, there’s the Soap & Glory Shower Trip Set for $36.00. Tucked inside a travel toiletry bag are flight-friendly editions of some of the best of Soap & Glory. Included is a mini Clean on Me Shower Gel, a mini Righteous Butter Body Butter, a mini The Scrub of Your Life Body Buffer, a mini Hand Food Hand Cream, a Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Lip Gloss in the exclusive shade “Punch Bowl” and a pretty pink Shower Puff. All are scented with Soap & Glory’s delicious signature “Pink” scent.
An amazing deal for the nail polish lover in your life is the Butter London Fall Collection Best Sellers Trio with Matte Finish from QVC. At only $28.00 it is a steal since just 1 polish retails for $14.00! In this set you receive 3 full size nail lacquers in the shades “All Hail the Queen”, “Wallis” and “Rosie Lee”, plus a full size Matte Finish Top Coat! Any aspiring manicurist would be thrilled with this set!
For a more traditional colored nail set, check out the Deborah Lippmann Colleen 4 Piece Nail Lacquer Kit on HSN. For $33.50 you receive 4 mini Deborah Lippmann polishes in shades of red, pink, nude and neutral. The shades included are: “Daytripper” (one of my favorites), “Honey Bee”, “Someone Like You” and “Stop and Stare”. A great way to sample a variety of very wearable shades from Deborah Lippmann who’s polishes retail for $16 and up normally!

A great nail gift is from Zoya. It is the new Dream Box. You receive a lovely gift box filled with 3 full-sized Zoya Nail Polishes. You can choose from a number of pre-selected shade trios or you can actually create your own trio from any of Zoya’s over 400 shades! Both versions of the Dream Box retail for $24.00 and they all ship for free! Zoya polishes are amazing and the Dream Boxes are packaged so beautifully that anyone would be thrilled to receive one!

If you are seeking some great Chanuka colors, try “Ibiza” – a blackened indigo-blue with metallic blue shimmer, “Trixie” – a light silver metallic foil, and “Gaia” – white with a subtle golden shimmer. Beautiful shades that would be lovely this Holiday season.

Some great colors for Christmas would include “Ziv” – a yellow-toned metallic gold, “Holly” – a holly green with a metallic finish, and “Blaze” – a mulberry red with very fine holographic glitter. All very pretty and perfect for the festivities!

Another great Deborah Lippmann set for the bolder manicurist is the Deborah Lippmann Mini Nail Lacquer Duo in “Ray of Light” & “Sweet Dreams”. The duo retails for $19.00 on HSN and includes two mini limited edition shades filled with holographic flaky glitter! “Ray of Light” is a bold bluish-purple, while “Sweet Dreams” is a bright pink. A really nice set for the young and the young at heart!

For someone seeking a great set of nail essentials, or for the person for whom it is impossible to pick a color, take a peek at the Deborah Lippmann Fast Track Manicure Essentials Set for $32.50 on HSN – the best price I’ve seen for this set and it also includes the “Smooth Operator” nail buffer which many other versions leave out. This kit contains 5 mini essentials for the perfect manicure! It includes Cuticle Oil, Cuticle Remover, 2-Second Nail Primer, Fast Girls Quick-Dry Base Coat, Addicted to Speed Top Coat and the Smooth Operator nail buffer. A great way to sample Deborah Lippmann’s products for a great price!

If all these sets are a bit too steep for your budget, for only $10.00, you can still get a great gift for the manicurist in your life! It’s the e.l.f. Nail Polish Cube and comes loaded with 14 different nail polishes! The shades range from neutral to classic to bold and also include a few fun glitters. Perfect for any polish lover!

Of course no girl’s makeup collection is complete without great brushes. The Mrs. Bunny Travel Kitfrom Sigma Beauty is not only a great vegan brush set, but it’s adorable too! For $65.00 you receive a travel container filled with 7 Sigmax HD brushes for face and eyes. This is the only way to buy a number of these brushes with the Sigmax fibers! The brushes included are: Foundation (F60), Large Angled Contour (F40), Large Powder (F30), Small Angle (E65), Eye Shading (E55), Tapered Blending (E40) and Pencil (E30). These brushes are incredibly soft and are a joy to use!
If you want to really splash out, there is also the Mrs. Bunny Essential Kit for $120.00. It includes the travel case and brushes above plus: Concealer (F70), Duo Fibre (F50), Medium Angled Shading (E70), Large Shader (E60), and Eye Liner (E05). Everything a girl needs for a full face of makeup!
Another really great brush maker with a great full face set is the Bdellium Tools Professional Makeup Green Bambu Complete 15 Piece Brush Set with Roll-up Pouch. These brushes are made from 100% Synthetic vegan fibers and are eco-friendly! The handles are made of sustainable bamboo and the 20-pocket roll-up pouch is crafted from linen and also includes 4 side pockets for small or loose items. The brushes included in this set are: #980 Powder, #964 AP Blusher, #955 Duet Fiber Finishing, #949 Pointed Foundation, #947 Small Foundation, #936 Concealer, #785 Tapered Blending, #780 Pencil, #775 Duet Fiber Shader, #772 Small Shader, #740 Sponge Applicator, #733 Lash, #762 Small Angle, #710 Eye Liner and #542 Bold Lip. The set retails for $89.10 and would be an amazing gift for any makeup lover because the brushes are amazing!
Also from Bdellium Tools is the Bdellium Tools Professional Makeup Brush Green Bambu Series Smoky Eyes 5pc. Brush Set. At $26.12, this is an affordable way to buy great quality brushes that do everything for eyes! The set includes the following brushes: #781B Crease, #777B Shadow, #769B Angled Contour, #760B Liner/Brow and #716B Smoky Eye Liner. These brushes are also from the cruelty-free, eco-friendly Green Bambu line.

Of course single brushes from either Sigma or Bdellium Tools would also make great stocking stuffers, or you could break up a set and wrap up each brush individually. If you are considering individual brushes from Sigma and vegan bristles are important to you or the recipient, not all brushes outside of the Mrs. Bunny sets are vegan. The following link will direct you to all the vegan Sigma brushes. From Bdellium Tools, the Green Bambu and the Yellow Bambu use entirely vegan bristles.

Something else I should mention that’s not a gift, but more of a rewards program is Ebates. Simply sign up for free on their website and head to your favorite sites like Sephora, J Crew, Bath & Body Works, Nordstrom, Amazon, and on and on and on through the Ebates links and, in return, you will earn a percentage of your total purchase price back as either a check, or a deposit into your PayPal account. Refer friends for even more cash back. A perfect site this time of year because you actually do receive cash back for spending money!!! So a gift for someone else really does translate into a gift for you!

I guess that wraps up my non-makeup beauty gifts. I hope this was helpful and definitely look for discounts on sites like RetailMeNot for codes that can save you some money both online and with printable in-store coupons.

For some of my favorite Makeup Palettes & Sets OVER $15, check out my post here.
For some of my favorite Beauty Gifts UNDER $15, check out my post here.
For Everything Else, check out my ideas here.
For a variety of Websites for great gifts, check out my picks here.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post, nor have I been compensated in any way. This post does contain some referral links.