Beauty Brunch: Mail Call

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Having spent 2 summers working at a camp, I am very familiar with mail call. Were I at camp this week, I would’ve had to sing once a day every day, if not twice a day for all my packages. I do love getting mail, but you don’t want to hear my singing voice, trust me.

From makeup to nail polish, to hair removal products, I got a lot of new stuff to try in the mail. I don’t really know where to begin, so let’s start with Sigma Standout Eyes collection of 6 gel eyeliners.

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Just in case you didn’t know, Sigma is a local company that first became known for their makeup brushes (at least to me, via YouTube). Now that they have added lines of well-pigmented and high-quality makeup, I like them even more. Last week I received this amazing set of gel liners in the mail. And let me tell you, the cat eye challenge is on! The set included liners in: Wicked (blackest black), Liberally Toasted (toasty warm brown), Stunningly Ladylike (dark brown-black), Standout Peacock (deep indigo blue), Royally Striking (true purple), and Unexpected (neutral stony grey). The colors are long-wearing, opaque, and saturated. All gel liners are versatile, yet unique and unexpected with intense pigmentation and a smooth, fluid-like finish. It also included two brushes: E06 Winged Liner Brush, which creates the perfect winged liner, and E68 Line Perfector Brush, for controlled liner application with powder products. I can’t wait to show you the makeup looks I’ll be creating with these liners and my other Sigma products. Use the hashtag – #standouteyes on social media for inspiration.

Next let’s talk about Luuux Makeup Brushes. I got 3 sets of those (yes, THREE!) and will be giving 2 of those away! One in today’s post, one on Instagram. So if you need makeup brushes, make sure to enter and get your hands on a pretty cool set, which includes: L150 Large Powder Brush, L187 Stippling Brush, L116 Blush Brush, L190 Foundation Brush, L224 Eyeshadow Blending Brush, L195 Concealer Brush, L239 Blending Brush, L242 Eyeshadow Brush, L219 The Pencil Brush, L217 Eyeshadow and blending brush, L208 angled brush, L316 Lip Brush.

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Since I will be quitting my job in the next month or so, I knew I wanted to order hand made all natural soaps from one of the teachers. She’s given me a couple before to try, and I loved them. When she brought me a box of 10 different scents on Wednesday, I knew I wanted them all. Connie started making soaps several years ago as a necessity, not a hobby. She had several health issues caused by chemicals found in every day beauty products. And that’s how her soaps came to be. To learn more about Connie’s soaps email her at conniejwelch@hotmail.com

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I am also excited to try these Completely Bare products that I got through Klout. I am always looking for alternative hair removal ways, as I seem to cut myself every time I shave with a razor. I am especially interested in the Body Moisturizer & Hair Inhibitor, it’s Lemon Grass and Green Tea scented, and promises to help reduce hair density by as much as 50%, reduce hair length by as much as 30%, reduce hair growth by as much as 55% in 28 days. I remember using a product like this before (about 5-6 years ago), and I really liked it. I’ll definitely keep you posted on this one.

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And, finally, I received some products from Gerard’s to try out, and I will write a separate post on those. But how cool does Caviar cream sound? So stay tuned!

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Lazy Sunday

Have you ever wondered what a style/beauty blogger does on her days off? What does she eat? What does she wear? What does she read?

This weekend, even though it’s been a fantastic, Thanksgiving, cookie baking with friends, 4 day weekend, I …

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– helped Sam rake, bag and mulch the leaves for the winter!

– wrote and scheduled blog posts for the upcoming week,

– finished “Revenge Wears Prada”, sequel to “The Devil Wears Prada”, not as exciting of a read, but a good story nonetheless,

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– started getting the house ready for Christmas,

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Thrifted tree stand and hand made tree skirt!

– Played with new makeup (reviews, swatches and makeup tutorials to come),

– Made my first meatloaf ever!

– Had a great time lounging around in my sweats watching Sam play video games!

Such is life my dear friends, and that’s exactly what weekends are for!

What have you been up to?

Zhenya

I normally don’t do such type of posts, especially on a Sunday, but I wanted to share a little part of my personal life with you! I know that a lot of you are here for the outfits and the reviews, and I appreciate it. But maybe, just maybe today you are here for me 😉 

Victoria Jackson Foundation Duo Review


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I have recently received a Victoria Jackson foundation duo, and today I am excited to share my opinion with you.

I’ve never heard of Victoria Jackson brand before, and to be honest I was more interested in the product than the brand. I’ve always wanted to try a foundation duo, especially the kind that you had to apply with a sponge.

If you know me and my makeup habits, you have probably figured out by now that I absolutely love BB creams, CC creams, tinted moisturizers and such. But when I worked at Clinique, I was always curious about the City Base foundation. This Victoria Jackson product reminded me of it.

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I ordered the medium shade (there are 4 available – light, medium, tan and dark). The website description of this foundation is:

Two skin-perfecting shades can be used alone or blended together to exactly match your complexion. Victoria’s foundation is ideal because it gives you all the coverage you need without added layers. Also ideal for concealing problem areas such as under-eye circles. 

Sounds pretty great, right? And it delivers. I enjoyed the smoothness of application, the way the shades blend together, adding a perfect touch of highlight and glow. The concealer part of it was definitely something that sold me on it! Especially under eyes. Wake up at 5.45 am every morning anyone?

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The foundation definitely covered up the redness, minor blemishes, evened out my skin tone.

But then I find myself wondering about how many germs are breeding on that sponge when not in use? And how it’s almost impossible to wash the sponge out… And unfortunately the foundation is not long lasting at all. I have combination oily skin and I feel like it just get’s absorbed into my pores and in 2 hours needs to be reapplied again. I also can’t help but wonder whether I should’ve gone with the lighter shade, because the medium seems to be too yellow for me. The price was also something that didn’t settle with me, it’s $29.95, and even though there are multiple discounts available, there are other tried and true foundations that are in the same price range, and last a lot longer. Would I buy this foundation again? No, I wouldn’t, but I am glad I tried it.

Have you ever tried Victoria Jackson products? What is your opinion?

Zhenya

PS. To receive a 20% discount on any Victoria Jackson purchase, use code BLOG2013 at checkout.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, and was brought to you by Brand Becker. I received a free product for review in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Hana Elite Flat Iron Review

Hi,

Happy Wednesday! Here is some coffee:

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Today we are going to talk about hair (and that cute little ivory lamp right above 🙂 )

I love talking about hair on my blog, because I love my hair, and I try to always take good care of it. A few weeks ago I received a new Hair Straightener in the mail – Hana Elite from Misikko. I have had a flat iron before, but it was big, chunky and I didn’t use it that much, so when this opportunity came around, I gladly agreed to review the straightener.

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Hana Elite Straightener features:

– Adjustable Heat 140-450 F

– 100% Ceramic Mirror Smooth Plates, Best Heat Distribution/Retention

– Safe for Damp Styling

– Highest Grade Tourmaline

– 2 year warranty

– Effective for All Hair Lengths & Textures 

– 8 ft Salon Swivel cord

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Always make sure to use a heat protectant!

It was very important for me to have a safe flat iron, because I just got full head highlights (if you follow me on Twitter, you know about my major fail at the Aveda School. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I am going to tell you one thing – I will never go back there and let a student do my hair – it’s a waste of time and money!)

Plus an iron that I could use to curl my hair!

Add a swivel cord to that and you basically have my perfect product.

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See the difference?

Even though my hair is fine and color treated, I use the 302 F setting instead of recommended 140 or 230, I just feel like it straightens my hair better.

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Which side do you like better?

And the final result

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I will be honest, I tried curling my hair with it and failed miserably, even though all the YouTube tutorials I watched were very helpful! I am going to keep trying and maybe just maybe show off my curls to you on Instagram soon!

This is the first professional styling tool I’ve ever had. I did like it, unfortunately it’s pricey and if I was looking into buying one myself, I think I would’ve gone for the cheaper brand. That is my only issue with it! Otherwise my hair looks and feels great.

Xo,

Z

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PS. I have been trying a lot of different home made hair masks lately, would you be interested in seeing a post on that? Let me know!

Perlier Imperial Honey Body Butter Review

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  • Formulated with the honey of black bees and royal jelly
  • Nourishes skin with moisture
  • Leaves skin pleasantly scented with the sensual notes of honey and oriental woods
  • Perfect for year-round use

6.7 oz of goodness.

6.7 oz of inedible goodness.

That’s the Perlier Imperial Body Butter for you!

But it smells just like the Greek Honey Yogurt from Kowalski’s!

I still can’t get over it, the smell!

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The product is beautifully and wonderfully done, the gold packaging speaks to my heart. The creamy thick texture speaks to my skin, going through a rough time (quiet literally). The moisturizing effect is amazing.

But the smell, I just want to get my spoon out and eat it! I really do!

You know I never rush to review a product, even if it was received for free, or in this case through iFabbo (who you should totally check out if you are a fashion/beauty blogger!) I want to make sure I try it out first, and not just once. I will admit that by the end of week 1 of using this I want to eat it less. But the urge is especially strong right when I open the jar.

I love the moisturizing effects, especially on my hands and feet and will definitely use this product. But it is not something that I would buy at a store. First of all the price is a little much for me $40 for the 6.7 oz, second the smell! It stops me! It really does and maybe by the time I reach the bottom of the jar I’ll be okay with it, this will always be the body butter that smelled like Greek Yogurt (which of course I now have a craving for)

So I am going grocery shopping at 10.30 pm, but I would love to hear your opinions, comments, etc.

Are you a member of any networks that send out free products? What do you think of the product I described above? And what body lotion would you recommend for the winter months?

Find Perlier on social media using these tags: @PerlierUSA #PerlierOnHSN

And as a courtesy to my readers iFabbo and Perlier offer a special discount on the HSN purchases, just enter iFabbo5 at the checkout to get $5 off.

Happy Hump Day! See you again tomorrow for Thrift Style Thursday!

Xx,

Z

Disclosure: Even though this is a PR post, the opinions and ramblings are 100% unique and my own. 

Shampoo of the Month: Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine

There is a story behind this shampoo. I won it in an on-line magazine giveaway. Right around Christmas. I honestly would’ve never bought it for myself. I’ve been kind of an organic shampoo freak for the past few years. But I didn’t want the product to go to waste, so I started using it. And I loved it! I’ve only been using it for a few weeks now, but it works better than some of the organic ones that I’ve tried. Here is what the packaging looks like:

And the back

I do have frizzy hair, and it is dry on the ends, so this shampoo/conditioner combo works well for my fine hair. It adds shine to it. Doesn’t make it look greasy. The only thing is – Why do all Fructis products smell the same? – I mean I can get over it, it’s their signature smell and all, but still…

So here is what my hair looks like today, after morning shower, and then running around all day :

I usually put some Organix morocan argan oil in my hair as well, and all of these products seem to be working super well together! I still use my Aveda treatment, the gloss by Fekkai, and whatever is left over from that 3 minute miracle by Aussie.

I also want to encourage you to participate in giveaways and sign up for samples, because it’s good to try out new things!

What hair care products are you currently using?

Cheers,

Z

PS. Oh and I hate the little dark green tops, the one on the conditioner is hard to open, and it always gets stuck under my nail 🙁 OUCH

Treating cystic acne ASAP!

Today’s post is a review on a product that I bought last week, because I started to break out! And the breakouts I got weren’t the regular black heads here and there, I got the really painful bumps that take forever to disappear, and are so deep under your skin, they are impossible to get out. And worst of all, it seems like those things grow roots, because you can feel them from the inside of your cheek with your tongue! Grossed out yet? Well I was! I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror, let alone apply any sort of foundation over them, let alone sell make up looking like I just escaped from some freak show circus. Anyways, cysts suck and we all know it. In my attempt to control them I used everything from vitamins and herbs, to “Badiaga” (a well-known Russian remedy, sort of like a natural peel) and nothing helped! I wanted them to be gone, and I didn’t want to wait!

And then I had an idea, I went on line! Isn’t this how we get better ideas these days anyways? And I saw pictures of the clay that I’ve heard of about a year ago, but since last year at this time I was in Russia, that product wasn’t really available! Anyways I am talking about this:

It’s a 1 lb jar of my salvation! Seriously! The best clay I’ve ever tried, kicks all those Russian clays butts big time. It’s a powder that you mix with either water or apple cider vinegar, to make a paste and then apply it to your face. Below is a picture of what the instructions look like, so if you are extremely curious that one is for you 😛

Also, here is a Spanish and French version of everything mentioned above!

Now I decided that apple cider vinegar was going to be so much better for my skin than just water, that’s why I mixed an equal amount of both in a little plastic container. It’s preferable that you don’t use anything metal when preparing this treatment. It was kind of fun watching the whole thing bubble up, but the  smell  stink was just UGH! I also used a cheap Heinz brand Apple Cider Vinegar, maybe after this bottle is all out I’ll splurge and buy an all natural one!

What you see in the picture are left overs from that first batch! I made too much for one facial, so I refrigerated the rest and have used it again once as a full facial treatment, and once as a spot treatment.

So here is how you do it! Start with a clean face (and apparently a dirty mirror 🙂 )

Apply all over your face, avoiding the eye area (as I also mentioned above, you can use it as a spot treatment)

Let it do it’s magic for 15-20 min if your skin is normal/oily, or 5-10 if dry!

You are going to feel your face pulsing, which was pretty cool, but I think a lot of clay based masks have the same pulsing effect. Your face is also going to start looking like a desert surface. And please make sure to watch time when doing this facial. The manufacturer also mentions that redness may occur for about 30 minutes after you wash it off, so it’s absolutely normal, don’t panic. My redness went away real fast btw!

You can see that my skin isn’t perfect and I am by no means saying that this treatment is going to solve all of your problems, it’s just the best I’ve seen so far! And it worked in just one application. The swelling went away, the cysts dried up, there was some dry and flaky skin, but everything can be fixed with a little 7 day scrub from Clinique, right?

So where do you buy this? I had to go to The Vitamine Shoppe, because that was the only place in Minneapolis that I found that sold this, and the price was $7.99 if I am not mistaken. Another thing is – the label says that you will get 10-15 facials out of the jar. So far I’ve gotten 3 – from 1 tablespoon 🙂

Good luck on your skin care venture, I hope I was able to help!

Doodles,

Z