I’m no nail polish expert, but this time of year is a great time to make use of my reddest reds and stickeriest stickers. I had some time to do my nails, and I tried out these three designs for the month of December.
I have a few suggestions for gifts for y’all! If you read my blog, you’re probably a GREAT gift-giver, but I thought it might be fun to make some suggestions anyways.
These are amazing gifts for people who you don’t know what to get for them. Kiva gifts are actually loanable funds that enable the user to make loans to entrepreneurs in other countries. It’s a really thoughtful and special gift because the user gets to choose to whom they loan the funds and they get to follow their story. Not only that, they also get to re-loan the funds once the loan is repaid. Kiva’s repayment rate is currently over 98%. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a step forward from “a charitable donation has been made in your honor,” and allows the user to interact and experience the effects of the loan. It’s my current favorite charity.
I love these! I think they’re ADORABLE, and very affordable. I have loved this Canadian company for years. It was acquired by Victoria’s Secret, and plans were made to open stores in the US, but they were never carried out. I think it’s because the quality of the products are very similar (in my opinion, exactly the same), yet La Senza is about 30% cheaper, on average. I think they would have had difficulty with product differentiation. IE: It would be hard for Victoria’s Secret to continue selling their products at the same price and La Senza would likely cannibalize, rather than enhance Victoria’s Secret’s business. So, the bad news is- no stores in the US, the good news is: They ship to the US!
Don’t like slipper booties? Why not try these more traditionally designed slippers? I recently received these as a gift and I absolutely LOVE them. I have basically been living in them the past 5 days. They’re good quality, comfortable and warm. They’re super cozy. This is an option for a guy too, since they come in more masculine colors than… you know, snowflakes, like the La Senza ones above.
One of the men’s options I like are these:
They have a TPR sole, so they can go outside (to get the paper or mail), and will be more durable in general. I think I like slippers. I hope you do too!
I am a HUGE fan of Coastal Scents. As far as affordability and quality go, this company does a lot of things right. I think I might do a full review of some of their products in the future, and I have to admit that some of their products are not amazing (cough*88 Original Palette*cough), but a lot of their stuff is on point and especially the Revealed Palettes. I got the first one a year ago and I bought the second one as soon as it came out. If you’re buying it as a gift, it’s totally worth the $20. It’s very pretty in person and the colors are highly pigmented. I think that both of these are really high quality. If you’re buying it for yourself, 3 or 4 times a year Coastal Scents does have a half-off sale making them only $10! The original was meant to be a dupe for Naked’s palette, and the newest one is supposed to mimic Naked 3. I can’t comment on the Naked 1, since I don’t own it- but I DO own Naked 3, and I do not find that there are enough dupes (I counted only 3 very accurate color matches) to call this a “Dupe for the Naked 3.” But it is really awesome on its own merits. The colors are long-lasting and gorgeous. I really love these and often find myself reaching for them.
Lululemon Fluff Off Pullover
This would not be complete without something from Lululemon. I am sometimes loathe to put in links to Lululemon items, as oftentimes, the best stuff, the stuff I would recommend, is sold out in a flash and my readers are greeted with a “sorry, this item is sold out!” page. However, I will include a link to Lulu’s “What’s New” page, where the item may be found.
This highly sought after item last year, has made a comeback! Here’s my post about it from last year! These things are gorgeous! I STILL wear mine all the time and my most recent photos prove it! I attended a gender reveal party, and I was wearing it at school when the visiting (Chinese) professor asked for an impromptu group photo. They have 800 down fill, have a feminine fit and are totally worth it. Quality-wise, these are one of Lulu’s best items. I’m sure you’ll agree.
This charm is so festive and cute, but there are also a bunch of other affordable pieces of luxury in the Pandora collection. And they have so many festive holiday pieces! I have a couple of Pandora bracelets on the go right now, and I wear them on date nights and during the day. They can be casual and chic! I highly recommend them to someone who wants something that’s luxurious and versatile. I also recommend them as affordable (yet not cheap) gifts for friends. From time to time, Pandora will run a “free bracelet” promotion, where you get a free bracelet with a $100 (or so) purchase, but I don’t think they do it during the holiday season- just a head’s up for when you get addicted too! LOL!
I have to give a special shout out to The Body Shop. If you read my blog you’ll know that they do send me something to try out about once a month and this year my favorite products they’ve sent me were the first ones. The Argan Oil products smell amazing. I love the Body Scrub that’s in my shower and I completely used up the Body Butter they sent me. Right now on their site they have this adorable gift set and I think it would make a great gift. The Body Shop also has some really decent men’s products, so you can cross more people off your list. The Tea Tree products are some that I personally use and love (although, I wouldn’t necessarily call them men’s, more like “coed” :) ). I find the Blemish Fade Night Lotion to be particularly effective at combating excess oil, but I’ve tried nearly every product in that line and enjoyed all of them except the face scrubs,- they aren’t bad, there are just better things on the market.
What are some gifts you’ll be getting for friends and family this year? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello everyone! I am so excited to be reviewing some of my favorite products that The Body Shop makes today. It’s no secret that I love The Body Shop’s Body Butters. I have been buying them for years. My first one was Satsuma, and it’s still one of my favorite scents. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that about once a month The Body Shop sends me some products to review. I think this will be the last product they’ll send me this year- so I’ll post links to all my previous reviews.
As you can see, the first review I did was of the Argan Oil Body Butter. I was so ecstatic about it. I absolutely love the scent. On top of that I already thought The Body Shop’s Body Butters are amazing. So that one was an easy 5 stars. As for this one, it’s much the same. All the things I typically love about Body Butters are present in this one. It’s very long-lasting, soft, creamy, actually pretty to look at too! It smells like sweetened cranberry. There’s a certain tartness to it, but it’s not overwhelming. I really like the scent, but it’s not my favorite. The body butters really are just amazing on their own. Receiving this as a gift, whether from The Body Shop or someone else, would make me very happy. And I am. :)
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I received the UPS package and felt how heavy it was. I thought to myself “Gosh that’s heavy! I wonder what they put in there!” So, I’m so happy to tell you that not only did they send me a full-size Body Butter, they also sent me a full size Shower Gel in the same scent! I tried it today. It has the exact same scent, so if you buy one, you won’t be surprised if you choose to get the other as well. It lathers great, works well, and is comparable to their other shower gels, performance wise. I think that the shower gels and the Body Butters are just some of the best products that The Body Shop makes. Pair them with the Tea Tree Oil products for skin care and you basically have my favorite products in your collection.
If you’re interested, the Shower Gel retails for $8, and the Body Butter retails for $20, but there’s a sale going on right now, plus the Frosted Cranberry line is limited edition, so pick these up while you can! I’m very interested in trying the Frosted Cranberry Body Scrub, what would you like to try? What do you think about the Body Butters? Love ‘em or hate ‘em I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!
Haven’t done this in a while, but I thought that while exam season is in full swing I could do a quick OOTD post!
I am still enjoying my Race Your Pace 1/2 Zip in Black Grape, and I absolutely love the Pleat To Street skirts. This one is in Blossom Stripe. The leg warmers are American Apparel and the shoes are Toms.
I must first admit that I’m a little spoiled when it comes to brushes. I love makeup brushes and have quite a few sets of them. I think that makeup is art, and in order to improve and perfect the practice of makeup application you must have the proper tools at your disposal, so I have invested in some core pieces and have tried numerous brands to that regard. My favorite brushes are my Mac brushes. They range in price from around $20 to about $40. They’re worth every penny and on top of doing a fantastic job, they also make me feel like a pro! Ok, I know that’s not super tangible, but I kind of love it.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that since around July, The Body Shop has been sending me pretty new products to review and this month they sent me a set of makeup brushes. If you are interested, you can find them here.
The Body Shop’s brushes come in an adorable travel bag that would definitely fit some extra goodies of you were so inclined. I would definitely take these on vacation with me, using the extra space in the bag for cosmetics. I love the bag. It has adorable little phrases on it. And it has a pocket and slots that the brushes fit into.
I used the brushes today to do my makeup, and I wanted to give my honest take on them. I like the design. They’ve got this conical shape to them that is quite nice and they have a decent weight to them as well. The concealer/ lip brush, face brush and shadow brush all have very soft synthetic fiber bristles, and feel very nice on the skin.
I used the face brush to do face powder and I felt like I had a hard time grabbing enough for full coverage. I think this brush would work great for highlighting, bronzer or anything else that you want to build.
I used the lip/ concealer brush for concealer and it worked well for application, and I blended it out with a different brush. It worked well, but it wasn’t amazing to me. Maybe it would work better as a lip brush. I have a retractable one that I really like, so I think I’ll keep this one for concealer.
I used the eye shadow brush for my crease and am most impressed with this one. This one actually will be replacing the brush I normally do my crease with: it picked up product with ease, was easy to use, and was effective at packing the shadow. I enjoyed this one the most.
The brow brush worked well, but the lash brush has plastic bristles, and like I said: I’m spoiled. I have this fabulous Tweezerman one that has a metal brush and it kind of works amazing. This one worked OK, but it didn’t impress me.
Over all, I would actually say that for sure this set is worth the money and right now The Body Shop is having a holiday sale where you can pay $25 with your $30 order for the set- so that makes it even more tempting, but apart from the shadow brush, I wasn’t ‘wowed’ by any of these. I give them a 3/5 overall as I think they’ll be great for travel, and the price is really competitive. I hope you’ve found this review helpful. Thanks for reading!!
I was so excited to see that my local store got in the new Define jackets! I’m happy to report that the new Define jackets fit the same as the ones I currently own. The color offerings, however, did not excite me into purchasing one. The colours being offered are Bordeaux Drama, Tri Geo Inkwell, and an almost white “Blush” color. I can not wear white. Invariably, I will spill some tea or cola on it, ruining it- and my whole day- all at the same time. I already have a Plum Dance Studio Jacket and I find that Bordeaux Drama and Plum are very similar, so, although I was tempted by the Bordeaux Drama Define Jacket, I do not need more Bordeaux Drama in my life. I really loved the fabric of the Bordeaux Drama Define jacket, and it is worth noting that the fabric in the Bordeaux Drama Define was considerably different than the Tri Geo Print one.
This Bordeaux Drama Define label says “87% Supplex,” while the Tri Geo Print one said “82% Polyester” for the “Self” (main) portion. I could tell before I even looked at the tags, however, that the fabric content was different. The Bordeaux Drama one felt much softer, like the Luon to which I’m accustomed. Supplex (87% Nylon, 13% Spandex) is a fabric that is commonly used in athletic wear for its cottony feel, but high durability.
This year they’re priced at between $108 (Bordeaux and Blush) and $118 (Tri-Geo), which is upwards of a $20 price increase from the $98 they were two years ago when they were phased out. I LOVE all my define jackets (I have 4), and think that they’re totally worth it, but I could understand if some people were upset by this. Honestly, I find that Lululemon does this rather frequently, so as to surreptitiously increase the price, they’ll phase something out- only to have it re-appear later at a higher price point, or they change the design slightly, call it “Insert Product Name Here 2” so that people feel as though they’re getting a better value. (Example: “Wunder Under Crop”, “Wunder Under Crop II”) I understand the concepts behind consumer pricing models, and feel as though they’re maximizing their utility with the methods they employ, so I am not about to complain. The company itself is able to sell 95% of its merchandise at full-price, unlike other companies, so it’s clear to me that their pricing methodology is working.
I really hope that this helps you when you’re choosing what to get this evening when the new Define Jackets upload! Let me know what you think about the price increase, and the fit if you’ve had a chance to try them on.
PS: If you want to know more about the differences between the Define Jacket and the Forme jacket click here!
Thanks for reading!
I have been a loyal Ipsy subscriber since July 2013, well over a year. I just received my November Glam Bag and I have since cancelled my subscription. There are a few reasons why I cancelled, and I’m going to try to go over them one by one.
1. Exhaustive Repetition of Brands
I get these bags because I enjoy trying new brands, and I want to see if I like products so I can buy and enjoy the full sized versions. Unfortunately, Ipsy has sent me too many brands repeatedly for me to be excited about trying the products anymore.
I compiled the contents of my Ipsy Bags over the last 16 months and got the same brands over and over. For example, I received “Pop Beauty” 3 times, “Sexy Hair” 3 times, “NYX” 3 times, “Elizabeth Mott” 4 times and “Be a Bombshell” 5 times. There were several other brands I received twice or three times, and sometimes I even received duplicates of products I had previously received (as with Sexy Hair’s Hair Spray).
2. The Quality of the Brands
I think that either Ipsy is having a hard time finding different brands to work with them, or they court the cheaper brands because they think their customers would rather have a large sample from a “national brand” than a small one from a “luxury brand.” I would take the tiny sample from the luxury brand every single time. But Ipsy rarely features even modestly high-end brands or products. I’ve received a Benefit product a couple of times and Bare Minerals a few times, I also liked the Urban Decay liner I received and I got a Dr. Brandt skin product once… However, upon reading over my list of received products, it looks like each month I received on average either one or none of these products. For example, I do love NYX’s Butter Glosses, they’re pretty great. They’re inexpensive ($6-ish), come in cute packaging, and the formula is pretty much perfect. However, if I want one, I’ll just go to Ulta and buy one. There’s nothing special about getting one- even a full-sized one- in my Glam Bag. But that’s the type of thing that happens every month in my Ipsy bag. I would much rather get the mini “They’re Real” Mascara sample by Benefit, like I got in my July 2014 Glam bag, than the full-sized NYC Mascara that I received in my October 2014 bag.
3. Too Many Glam Bags
This is probably trivial, but I actually don’t love that they send a new cosmetics bag with every month’s Ipsy sampling. I have too many of them, and part of me is curious as to whether more money could be invested in sending out better products versus sending out bags that aren’t getting used all that often (or at all, by me, at least). I think that they’re cute, and of overall decent quality, but I’d rather they spend that two dollars on better, or at least different, brands. Considering the selections I’ve received- it seems as though they could use it.
4. Colour Selection
Having reviewed my Ipsy bags over the past little while (you know, 16 months), I noticed the “uniqueness” of many of the colours of eyeliner and shadow I received. I don’t mind trying something different now and then, but honestly, I don’t wear burnt orange eye shadow, orange nail polish or purple eyeliner regularly, Halloween, maybe… I’m also not super into brown lipsticks. Some of these products seemed like things that were not selling well for the companies, so they just gave them away.
5. Customer Service Quality
Back in July 2014, I received an Ipsy bag where one of my samples had exploded all over all my other samples and the “glam bag.” I was able to clean it all up, and salvage everything except the exploded sample. However, it turned the experience of receiving a Glam bag from fun, to a chore featuring wasted time and paper towels. The sample’s cap had not come loose, the packaging had actually come apart at the seams and was broken. I threw away the sample and contacted Ipsy’s customer service. They apologized and apparently sent me a new sample, which I never received. However, honestly, after the ordeal of having to clean their mess, I did expect more. I thought that perhaps, given the opportunity to make it up to me, that they would have sent me an entirely new box- so as to recreate the fun and excitement that is supposed to go along with the experience of receiving an Ipsy Glam Bag. (And after reading this tweet today, I guess I’m not the only one who thinks that’s the appropriate response) That experience is what ruined the brand for me- Ipsy used to be fun, now they were a brand that required me to clean up messes and didn’t send me the product that they said they would. (Or maybe they did and I didn’t receive it? Either way, I was still not a happy customer.) I did want to avoid comparing Ipsy to their competition, but given a situation in which I ended up using BirchBox’s customer service they just sent me a whole new box. They were extremely courteous about the whole thing too. In fact, I was able to chat with them on the phone, while Ipsy’s customer service is available via email only. I’m sorry, but they really set the bar for me, and when the bar is set high, you’ve either got to step your game up or quit playing.
I hope that Ipsy improves their customer service. Mine is actually a very mild example. I just didn’t receive a sample, I’ve heard stories about people not receiving their entire monthly order- or of it being delayed for weeks.
Note for people who do want to cancel: After you click “cancel” on their website (and they’ll ask you to confirm three times), don’t forget to click the confirmation email too. I made that mistake and remained subscribed for an extra month by accident.
What do you think about Ipsy? Are you a subscriber? Do you prefer the national brands or the higher-end ones- but smaller samples? Why are you subscribed and for how long? I would love to hear some opinions, maybe this is just me? :)
Thanks for reading!
I decided to include photos of my IPSY bags so that you could see all the brand repetition and products I received if you were interested.
In case you missed it: Somerlea announced the triumphant return of a classic, yet indispensable design: The Define Jacket.
It’s hard for me to truly articulate how very much I have missed this design. Here are Britt’s Picks for next Tuesday, showcasing that the Define Jacket will be home for the holidays!
Some of you may remember my post about a year ago about the Define Jacket versus the Forme Jacket. If you’re used to the Forme Jacket, and you want to see what the differences are, you might want to check that out. I also wrote about the Define Jacket when I lamented how, although I was excited that the Savasana Wrap was coming back, I was also disappointed that the Define Jacket only received a small portion of the vote during the “Hey Lululemon” contest.
I can’t wait to see what colors come out & if the fit and feel are exactly how they used to be. I’ll make sure to post about this as soon as I see them in-store. Thanks for reading!
Hello Everyone! My FAVORITE YouTube videos are called “Empties” videos. Usually some Beauty Guru will go through a month’s worth of empty products that she’s used up and tell you all about why she did or did not like them plus whether or not she intends to repurchase. Because this is a blog I will try to eventually organize certain products by brand or category, but for now, I’m just going to go through some of my “empties,” and put them in this post. The titles will be links to where you can purchase :)
Here’s a picture of my empties box:
Let’s try to get through these one at a time, shall we?
I got this on sale half-price at my local Walgreens. I loved it after using it a couple of times so I already have a back up. It makes my hair very manageable and completely removes tangles. I usually put it on in the shower and keep it on for 5 minutes while I do other things. After rinsing, my hair is soft and silky. Love this product!
5 STARS! *****
I got this as a gift from my mother-in-law. I really don’t like it. I am pretty allergic to it and every time I use it I can’t help but to sneeze. I used it all, but I am glad I’m done with it. Yes, she reads this blog. Yes, I told her I wasn’t a fan. It’s fine, as soap, and it lathers well and everything, but the smell gets to me. There are too many good hand soaps out there to settle for this one. Also: I just learned, it has been discontinued. Fantastic :) But hey, if you really want it- you can get it on eBay. You can always get whatever you want on eBay.
2 Stars **
I couldn’t find a good link to these exact wipes anywhere. I have a feeling Pond’s has changed the packaging, but hey, you can buy them at Future Shop! LOL! I also think they’re available at Pharmaprix and Shopper’s Drug Mart. I really liked these wipes. I really didn’t know how good I had it with these until I got some bad ones- we’ll get to those in a minute! These smell very pretty. They have a clean/ moisturizer scent. I found them to be moisturizing and the soap on them was not harsh on my skin. They were adequately moist when I opened the package and didn’t dry out too much. Also: they work! They remove makeup very effectively. I would use them on my face, and (in order to avoid getting soap in my eyes) I would switch to an eye makeup remover and cotton pads for the rest. I really enjoyed these and if they were still available, I would repurchase. Unfortunately, I can’t, but I will be very open to trying other Pond’s makeup removing products in the future.
4 Stars ****
UPDATE!!! While rifling through my beauty supplies I found TWO MORE packs of these! So happy! They must have been on sale so I bought three. Yea! Now to find a replacement for when I run out of these…
First off let me say that I am happy that I did not have to pay for these. I got them in an Ipsy bag. These were absolutely horrific. And I don’t believe I’m exaggerating. First: They were relatively dry when I opened the package. That was fine, I thought, so I just moistened them before use. The “use” part really got to me though. They were rough- I think they are made from unprocessed bark, or maybe sandpaper. I don’t have sensitive skin, but these were just way too rough. They didn’t remove my makeup either. They just don’t work. Anyways, I can say one good thing: they smelled pleasant. I’ve read other reviews, however, that said that they found the scent too strong. I thought it was bearable. I used them to remove makeup on my hand after swatching things and playing with my makeup, but they were useless otherwise.
1 Star *
Let me just say that this is not a true solid deodorant, and the “smooth” part of it makes it almost a thick lotion consistency. I tried this because it was on sale and I needed deodorant. One good thing about it is that it smells nice, but I won’t be buying more for two reasons. The first being that I now believe that the ‘moisturizer’ in this is gimmicky, and secondly, I feel like I use way more because the moisturizer causes it to be thinner in application overall. So, personally, I suppose I just prefer the solid, and after I go through this last one, I’ll be sticking to the plain boring “baby powder” scent original secret, unless y’all have any suggestions. Yes, I just asked the internet for deodorant suggestions.
3 Stars ***
That’s it for this round. I think I’ll try to do one of these posts with 5 items per week, eventually I’ll organize these by product category and it’ll be a little review showdown post for each category.