Saturday, March 30, 2013

Born Pretty Leopard Nail Art Stickers: Review & Swatches

One of my very favorite nail art products has got to be the nail stickers from Born Pretty Store. They're so easy to use and you can create some adorable looks with them! You may remember I reviewed an ultra cute Hello Kitty-themed set of these stickers. I loved them so much that I jumped at the chance to try some stickers in other designs. I've always wanted to do a leopard print mani, but I know I'd just shame myself with whatever freehand attempt I came up with, so nail stickers to the rescue!

This set (which you can check out on the Born Pretty website HERE) contains one sheet of leopard print stickers. The spots themselves are black and white with a sprinkling of iridescent green glitter on top. There's  a variety of shapes and sizes to pick from too. Here's how they look over Essie Absolutely Shore!

I put three to four stickers on each nail and there were still a ton left over afterwards, so you could easily get two to three manis out of this set, depending on how crazy you go with the leopard spots. This kit retails for about five bucks, so that's a nice deal when you're getting several manis with this set. I'm already envisioning a hot pink mani with these!

The stickers themselves are extremely easy to use: just peel them off, place as desired, seal in with some topcoat and BAM! Instant nail art! :) These stickers are just as durable and high quality as the Hello Kitty ones I used previously. They don't chip or peel at all, yet require no special removal. They come right off with regular polish remover.

I really, really love these stickers and can't recommend them highly enough! They're cute, affordable, easy to use and still look freshly applied after days of weartime. Born Pretty sells hundreds of different designs, so there's sure to be something to fit anyone's taste.

If you would like to place an order for anything at Born Pretty, they've passed along a special code for my readers for 10% off below:


Disclosure: This product was sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DKNY Lip and Nail Set: Review & Swatches

Do you like your lips to match your tips? Well then you're in luck, because DKNY has a new lipstick and lacquer set to help coordinate your make-up bag for spring! The set includes three matching nail and lip duos: Urban Fashionista (red), Whimsical Romantic (pink) and Boho Chic (peachy nude). It's available at DKNY's website for $45.

I received the Urban Fashionista duo to share with you, which consists of Empire Red Nail Lacquer and Runway Red Lipstick.

Let's start with Empire Red first! Empire Red is a bright red creme. The bottle holds 0.3 oz, so it's a little over half the size of your average polish. Empire Red is not a unique color by any stretch, but the formula on this was impressive. It's a one-coater!

Then there's the lipstick, Runway Red. Runway Red is a beautiful bright red and the perfect match for Empire Red. The color match is definitely spot-on.

It's a nice neutral red--not too blue-based--and I think it would work beautifully on any skintone. It has a very silky, lightweight texture to it that glides effortlessly across the lips and is very comfortable to wear. It can stand up to some minor eating and drinking and leaves a light stain behind once it fades. My only complaint would be that the tube that houses the lipstick feels a little lightweight. I like my lipstick tubes to feel more sturdy and substantial, but obviously that doesn't affect the quality of the lipstick itself. My boyfriend is a fan of red lipstick on me and this one got his seal of approval. ;)

Having never used any DKNY make-up products before, I didn't know what to expect with these. But the quality is good and if the other two lip and nail pairs are on par with Urban Fashionista, this would make a nice little gift set as a winter blahs pick-me-up (Seriously, is it spring yet?!) or for anyone looking to build up their make-up stash with some classic colors.

Disclosure: These products were sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

OPI Couture de Minnie Preview

Along with the upcoming Bond Girls Liquid Sand Collection, this summer will also see the return of another popular OPI collaborator: Minnie Mouse! Last year's Vintage Minnie Mouse Collection featured classic Minnie reds and pinks and this year's Couture de Minnie Collection puts a modern twist on Minnie's iconic look.

OPI Couture Minnie

The collection is set to be released this June. I've got my eye on that liquid sand polish, Magazine Cover Mouse! What about you?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: OPI Get Your Number

This week's Twinsie Tuesday theme was an easy one: a mani in your favorite color! My favorite color in "real life" is pink, but when it comes to polish, I like blue (and green) best!

Luckily, I just tried an amazing blue that I am dying to share with you: OPI Get Your Number! Get Your Number is the blue Liquid Sand polish from the Mariah Carey Collection. I gotta say, I was skeptical about whether or not I'd like the Liquid Sand finish, but I finally gave it a shot and now I am a total convert! I love how the glitter pieces in this polish glint and sparkle in the light. They really stand out against the mattified base.

I was worried that the texture would get on my nerves, but Get Your Number doesn't feel gritty or jagged at all. There's a graininess to the finish, of course, but it's much finer and less harsh than I'd imagined. It honestly didn't bother me one bit! The formula is excellent too and it wears like iron. I used three coats here. I thought the "sand" particles would make this polish hard to spread, but it goes on like buttah. Well done, OPI!

Now that I've fallen in love with this finish, I am even more excited for the upcoming Bond Girls Liquid Sand Collection. I am practically frothing at the mouth to try more of these. In the meantime, if you're a blue lover like me or if you're still skeptical about Liquid Sand, I highly recommend checking out Get Your Number! It's amazing and a great entry point into the world of textured manis.

Have you tried any of the Liquid Sand polishes yet? If so, what'd you think? And don't forget to see what my fellow Twinsies' favorite colors are too!

Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite!
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

Monday, March 25, 2013

Color Club Wild Cactus

I've got another polish from Color Club's new Fiesta Collection to share with you today! I recently received two polishes from this collection for review. I showed you the hot pink Flamingo last week and now we'll be checking out Wild Cactus, a rich emerald creme.There's quite a bit of blue in the base, which gives it a little something special, if you ask me. It really pops on the nail. This is the perfect color for 2013, considering that emerald is Pantone's color of the year, after all!

I really love this polish. I think the color is very flattering and really, it's just plain gorgeous. The formula is excellent as well. I used two coats here. If you get just one color from the Fiesta Collection, I'd make it Wild Cactus!

Disclosure: This polish was sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pure Ice Spring Collection Preview

Is it spring yet?! I've had it with all this snow and gloominess! Michigan weather is a very fickle creature but I'm hoping we'll see lots of sunshine soon. I can't wait to wear all of my favorite dresses again and wear lots of soft spring shades on my nails.

Speaking of spring, drugstore favorite Pure Ice has four new polishes hitting the shelves in time to help usher in the season. Take a look!

I think the pastels in particular look lovely. Are we really surprised that I like the blue and the green best? ;)

Pure Ice is available at Walmart, Walgreens and online at the brand's official website. No word on an exact release date for these, but they should be popping up very shortly!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ShopNBC Giveaway Winner

Thank you everyone who entered my ShopNBC Giveaway! Using Rafflecopter, I've randomly selected a winner. I'm happy to announce that the winner is...

Marsha R!

Congrats, Marsha! If you're reading this, I've already sent you a message at the e-mail address listed on your Rafflecopter entry. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your prize! :)

Update: I've heard back from Marsha, so this giveaway is now officially closed!

Re-Swatch: Essie Ballet Slippers

Truth time: My original swatches of Essie Ballet Slippers (which I shall not link to here as a courtesy to you, dear reader) were not the best. My cuticles were looking rough and pretty much the only thing I was happy with about the original post was that I got the opportunity to share one of my favorite pieces of nail trivia: This is apparently the only polish Queen Elizabeth wears--since 1989, in fact! Cute, right?

So since I was rocking Ballet Slippers as the base for my OPI The Lights of Emerald City mani last week, I figured I'd snap a few quick pics for a re-swatch and give the ol' gal the royal treatment she so justly deserves. :)

I can see why this polish has become such a classic. I am not a big fan of sheers, but Ballet Slippers is one I really love, especially since you can build it up to opacity without an insane number of coats. What you see above is three coats.

Ballet Slippers looks almost nude on me (blame the fact that I am pale and Irish as the day is long), but it's more of a milky pink on those whose skin has seen sunlight. It makes a great base for layering or can totally be worn alone for when you want something elegant and lady-like. Clearly Her Majesty has excellent taste! ;)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Zoya Stunning and Irresistible Collection Previews

As usual, Zoya will have not one but two new collections headed our way this summer! There's Stunning, a set of six cremes, and Irresistible, a set of six metallic foils. Take a look!

• Darcy (ZP663) - Sunny Yellow Cream - Full Coverage.
• Thandie (ZP664) - Citrus Orange Cream - Full Coverage.
• Micky (ZP665) - Amazing Coral Cream - Full Coverage.
• Yana (ZP669) - Rubine Red Cream - Full Coverage.
• Josie (ZP667) - Grassy Green Cream - Full Coverage.
• Rocky (ZP668) - Serene Blue Cream - Full Coverage.

• Kerry (ZP684) - Yellow Gold Foil Metallic - Full Coverage.
• Amy (ZP670) - Red Orange Foil Metallic - Full Coverage.
• Tinsley (ZP671) - Rose Gold Foil Metallic - Full Coverage.
• Bobbi (ZP672) - Hot Magenta Pink Foil Metallic - Full Coverage.
• Hazel (ZP673) - Blue Green Foil Metallic - Full Coverage.
• Rikki (ZP674) - Fern Green Foil Metallic - Full Coverage.

Still no Chelsea polish. *hangs head* But I think Kerry, Amy and Josie look fun! Both collections are currently available for pre-order at Zoya's website and will launch on April 15th. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Giveaway Reminder

UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed! Thank you everyone for entering! A winner will be announced soon. :)

Hey ladies! Just a quick heads-up that my ShopNBC giveaway is closing in two days! There is some seriously awesome stuff up for grabs, so if you haven't entered yet, check it out by clicking HERE or on that big ol' pink kiss you see on the right-hand column!

OPI Bond Girls Liquid Sand Preview

OPI and everyone's favorite secret agent, James Bond, are at it again with a new set of six Liquid Sand polishes, to be released this May! The Skyfall Collection was reportedly a big hit for OPI, so I'm not surprised we're seeing more from this collaboration. Personally, I'm thrilled! The Skyfall Collection was by far my favorite holiday set last year so I'm glad OPI is giving us another chance to get in touch with our inner Bond girl. 

I love me some James Bond, so I have a feeling more than a few of these will be making there way home with me. I'm most excited for Tiffany Case, Jinx and of course my weird sense of humor dictates that I have to have a polish called Pussy Galore! Check out what's in store below!



This diamond-sparkling white is totally engaging.

Tiffany Case

A classic light blue worth investigating.

Pussy Galore

This light feminine pink has the purrrfect amount of shimmer.


A mysterious and intriguing deep purple.

Honey Ryder

Take a ryde on the wild side in this shimmery gold.


This mesmerizing matte coral has lucky sparkle. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

OPI La Boheme

There are some polishes that you put on your wishlist, knowing full well that you'll probably never own them. That's what I thought about OPI La Boheme. This legendary color-shifting deep red was originally released as part of the Holiday on Broadway Collection, which saw the debut of some of OPI's most sought-after polishes, like Movin' Out and SRO (Standing Room Only).

But I recently acquired the mythical La Boheme in a swap (Thanks Adelina!) and good gracious...they just don't make 'em like this anymore! Needless to say, she was totally worth the wait. :)

The beauty of La Boheme is complex and difficult to capture on camera, but trust me when I see this is one of, if not the prettiest red in my whole stash. Look at that rich base color and how alive the shimmer is! The base shifts from a deep burgundy to an orange-red. Sometimes there's a little hint of brown and green in there too. While the color shift is positively gorgeous, I think my favorite thing about this polish is how intense the shimmer is. It doesn't just sparkle, it absolutely glows!

I used two coats here. This is an old school OPI so the formula has some drag to it, but honestly, I couldn't care less when the end result is this mind-blowingly beautiful! Love, love, love this polish! If you ever get the chance to swap for it or buy it at a non-scalper price, don't hesitate!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Polish Roulette

Hello everyone! I hope your week is off to a good start. Today is Tuesday, so for me that can only mean one thing...Twinsie Tuesday, of course! This week's theme is "polish roulette," where we randomly choose two polishes from our stash and try to make them work together.

For my first polish, I closed my eyes and reached into one of the drawers where I store all my polish. This particular drawer holds mostly China Glaze and I wound up pulling out Ulta-mate Holiday, a gold holo glitterbomb. Ulta-Mate Holiday was an Ulta-exclusive holiday polish (if you couldn't guess from the name) that came out in 2011.

Since I pulled a glitter, I figured a layering would make the most sense. I figured I'd go with a creme, so I closed my eyes again and reached into my Essie drawer (lots of cremes in there) and picked Mojito Madness, a green creme. I swear I did not plan this as a gold and green St. Patrick's mani for this past weekend! My family background is majorly Irish, so I'm choosing to believe this coincidence is my ancestors chastising me for wearing a pink polish (Color Club Flamingo, to be precise) on St. Paddy's.

I'd forgotten how opaque Ulta-Mate Holiday is! I had to kind of dabble it on so that Mojito Madness could still show through enough. I'm pretty "meh" about this combo, but given the random nature of this challenge, I know I could have wound up with something much, much worse!

Be sure to check out what my fellow Twinsies came up with for their polish roulette manis too!

Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite!
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

Monday, March 18, 2013

Color Club Flamingo

I hope you all had a fun and safe St. Patrick's Day yesterday! Mine consisted of lots of sleeping and reading Deadpool comics. I know, I know, I'm just too cool for school.

Of course, part of the day was also spent playing with nail polish! Color Club recently sent me some of their newest creations to try, including two polishes from their spring set, the Fiesta Collection. I'll be sharing one of them, Flamingo, with you today!

Flamino is a hot pink creme. It's perfect for beach weather (finally!) and really captures the bright plumage it was inspired by. Unfortunately, I can't remember the last polish that gave me such a hard time with getting the color to photograph accurately. I tried different lighting settings, different cameras, everything--and Flamingo still would not photograph true-to-life. Pink isn't normally a color that gives me any trouble, but go figure. The pics below were the closest I could get, but please keep in mind that Flamingo is actually much brighter!

The formula is a bit on the streaky side but I was still able to reach full coverage in three coats. It dries to a bit of a satin-y finish, although not as much as other neons I've tried. I like this polish a lot on my fingers, but I love it on my toes! Something about a neon pedicure gets me really excited for summer. :)

Disclosure: This polish was sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wet N Wild Coverall Cream Foundation & Pressed Powder: Review & Swatches

I'll admit, I am a total foundation snob. But after reading several raves for the new Wet N Wild Coverall foundation line, I decided to give it a shot in hopes of finding a most cost-effective alternative to some of the mid-range foundations, like MAC or Kat Von D, that I normally use. I picked up both the Coverall Cream Foundation and Pressed Powder in the shade Fair/Light. I'm NW20 and that seemed to be a good color match for me.

I'm a big Wet N Wild fan in general, so I had high hopes these two products would live up the brand's reputation of delivering quality cosmetics at affordable prices. So how did they fare? Well, let's start with the cream foundation!

Cream Foundation
The cream foundation is packaged in a tube that holds one ounce of product, so you're getting a nice amount of foundation for the price. I paid about three dollars. The hole in the tube is a bit larger than the norm, so I do have to be careful not to squeeze out too much, but otherwise, I can't complain about the packaging. I like that it comes in a tube so everything is hygienic and it's easy to travel with too.

WnW describes this foundation as full coverage, but I'd say it's more medium-buildable. You can easily layer it as desired. It feels a bit thick coming out of the tube, but it doesn't apply that way. I usually apply two coats, using my fingers, but I've found a brush works well with this foundation too. It covers redness, scarring and blemishes beautifully, without looking or feeling heavy. You can layer to your heart's content without worrying about caking. Blemishes may need a little dabble of concealer, but after that (and some powder, of course), I'm good to go.

I'd describe the finish as semi-matte. It doesn't have any luminosity to it, but it also doesn't have the flat, porcelain finish a true matte foundation would. It just looks nice and natural.

The oil control is pretty good. With just the Coverall powder on top of the cream, I can go about four hours before I start to feel greasy and need to blot. By the eight-hour mark, I need to re-apply the Coverall powder to keep my face from looking super shiny and the cream from sliding off. But I'd still say that's fairly impressive. With an additional mattifying powder on top (like Urban Decay De-Slick or any other translucent oil control powder), I stay shine-free a few hours longer and I never get to that "melt-y" stage where imperfections like blemishes start to come through.

Overall, I'm completely blown away by this product. It has completely changed my mind about drugstore foundations. It's not quite as good as some of the mid-range foundations I've tried, but at this price, the difference seems pretty darn negligible to me. For once, I like something as much as my wallet does! If you want a quality foundation at an awesome price, definitely check out the Coverall Cream Foundation. It's the best drugstore liquid foundation I've ever tried! Way to go, Wet N Wild!

Pressed Powder
Now, unfortunately, I'm not as impressed with the powder as I am with the cream. It's not a terrible product, but it isn't the game-changer that the cream foundation was for me. It makes a nice companion for the cream though, which is mainly what I wanted it for. Plus I got this as part of a BOGO 1/2 off sale with the cream foundation, so it only cost about a buck.

The powder comes with a sponge, but no mirror. I understand that ditching the mirror probably helped keep the price point down, but it would have been nice to have a little one inside for touch-ups.

To me, anything that has "Coverall" in the title should provide full or at least buildable coverage, but I found this to be more sheer than the cream. I'd classify it as sheer to medium coverage. On top of the cream though, it makes a nice setting powder and provides a little extra coverage to even things out.

A swipe of the powder applied with the included sponge. It matches my arm really well, so it was hard to pick up on camera.

The texture is on the dry side--not chalky, per say, but it could stand to be a bit creamier. I think any skin type could enjoy the cream foundation, but the powder may not be the best choice for dry-skinned girls. It can accentuate any flaky areas if you're not careful. If you're oily-skinned like me though, I think you'll find it makes for an adequate setting powder. It has a natural finish--no shimmer or sparkle.

Overall, it's an okay powder. It's not amazing, but it's not bad either. Like the cream, it has a very accessible price point, but unlike the cream, I don't think I'll be repurchasing the powder. For the price, it's a nice add-on for the cream, but nothing I'd say you need to go out and buy right this second.

Friday, March 15, 2013

OPI The Lights of Emerald City

The Lights of Emerald City is the reason I have been waiting and waiting for OPI's Oz The Great And Powerful Collection. I really can't think of anything else in OPI's catalog like it. It almost has more of an indie glitter vibe going on. Needless to say, I was very excited to get my hands on this one and thankfully it did not disappoint!

The Lights of Emerald City has a clear base filled with matte white and iridescent squares. This is two coats over Essie Ballet Slippers.

The formula is great--no fishing or placing required, which are always my two biggest concerns with glitters like this one. There seems to be a good ratio of matte to iridescent squares. One element never overpowers the other and the two finishes create a fun contrast. I love the soft, delicate look Lights of Emerald City gives off over a pale base like Ballet Slippers but really, I think it'd look good over just about anything! The iridescent pieces would work beautifully over a darker base, while the white squares would really pop over a fun summer neon.

I'm thrilled OPI put out a polish like this! Matte and square glitter in a mainstream polish? Yes please! There's nothing else in OPI's catalog even remotely like Lights of Emerald City, but I hope it's a sign of lots of fun, unconventional sparklies to come!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ShopNBC Beauty Box: Giveaway & Review

I recently received an amazing beauty box from television shopping network ShopNBC in honor of their "Beautiful You" Beauty weekend, a 48-hour event coming up on March 23rd and 24th. Opening up this box was like beauty Christmas! There are so many different goodies to play with, covering a huge variety of areas from skincare to color to haircare to mascara to nail polish! Here's what was inside!

And in list format: Silk'n SensEpil, iampur Pain Relieving Rub, Suzanne Somers Organics Travel Kit, Angel Lift Dermastrips Kit, VB Beauty Miracle Eye & Wrinkle Spot Treatment Set, Lola Cosmetics Universal Colorless Powder, LaRocca Cellular Gold Hydrating Body Balm, Angel Lift Dermasome Moisturizing Relaxant, Lola Cosmetics Pin-Up Pout Plumping Lipstick in Marilyn, Magnifibres Brush-on False Lashes, Epione Signature Eye Cream, Pur Minerals Double Ego Mascara, Pur-lisse Pur-Moist, Pur-lisse Pur-Youth Preserve, MAXIessentials Liftoff Root Lift and Volumizing Spray, FairyDrops Mascara, Absolute Magnetic Nail Enamel in Bleu, Aminogenesis Age Control Dual Treatment Anti Glycation Serum, Pur Minerals Big Blink Mascara, Borghese Brightening Mud, Skinn Cosmetics Amethyst Collection (contains eye color stick, lipgloss, eyeshadow palette and nail polish).

Phew, I think that's everything! ;) And guess what?! ShopNBC sent along another box for me to give away to one lucky reader too! I'm so excited to give one of you guys a chance to add some great new treats to your beauty stash! Details about the giveaway can be found at the end of this post!

To give you a little sneak peek at some of the brands and products that will be a part of the Beautiful You event, I'll be sharing a few of my beauty box picks with you today! If you have any questions about any of the products not featured in this post, please let me know in the comments and I'd be more than happy to share some additional impressions with you! :)

Pur Minerals Big Blink Mascara

Meet one of my new favorite mascaras: Pur Minerals Big Blink! Big Blink promises extreme length and volume, plus the conditioning benefits with ingredients like Argan Oil and Vitamin E--and it delivers, bigtime! Big Blink has a plastic wand with smaller bristles on the end to help grab those hard-to-reach inner lashes. It reminds me a lot of the wand for Benefit They're Real!, which is a big plus in my book.

As for the mascara itself, it's honestly one of the best I've tried! It delivers volume without sacrificing length and the plastic wand separates lashes beautifully. It's water-resistant and doesn't flake, smudge or smear but is easy to remove in the shower (no scrubbing or raccoon eyes) once you're ready to take it off.

 Bare lashes

One coat of Big Blink Mascara

Love, love, love this! If you're in the market for a new mascara, give Big Blink a look!

LaRocca Cellular Gold Hydrating Body Balm

At first I wondered what practical reason there could be to include 24K gold in a skincare product, but the included brochure explains that this balm is made with an exclusive component that LaRocca calls their Cellular Gold Complex. The complex is made with 24K gold and is supposed to "promote electron transfer with the metal ions naturally found in the skin, stimulating cell turnover."

I'm always skeptical of really fanciful claims like that (I can't confirm or deny if the gold in this balm delivers the effects promised), but what I can tell you for sure is that this is an incredibly rich body balm--one of the nicest I've ever used, in fact. In addition to gold, it also contains shea butter, olive oil and Cupuacu butter, so it feels very moisturizing. It gave my skin a pretty, healthy glow after applying.

The texture feels super luxurious and a little goes a long way. I also have to add that the 90s child in me absolutely loves how this smells exactly like a grape Push-Up ice cream bar! Remember those?! I used to have Push-Up bars all the time when I went over to my grandma's house as a kid. :)

Nestle Push Up

iampur Pain Relieving Rub

I love this stuff! It's a cream you can message into those pesky aches and pains you get throughout the day. Although originally designed for people with arthritis, I think anyone with sore muscles would love the way this feels! I got a neck rub with this (in the name of science, of course) and it was heaven! This rub gives a cooling sensation that's very relieving and relaxing. There is a mentholated smell to it, but nothing overwhelming or too "medicated." I have to be on my feet a lot at work, plus I've got back problems and a bum knee (I'm 22 going on 82), so I will definitely be keeping this in my purse for when my muscles start to ache!

FairyDrops Mascara

I have been wanting to try a FairyDrops mascara forever, so I was thrilled to find this little tube inside the beauty box! FairyDrops is a Japanese brand with a loyal cult following here in the states. The brush design is very unique and probably the most stand-out feature of this mascara.

The curved shape of the brush really does a great job of grabbing and coating all of your lashes. It also gives them a nice curl and separates flawlessly--no clumps or spidery lashes here! This mascara delivers sky-high results. I do wish it was a bit more volumizing (my lashes are sparse and stubby naturally, so I love to amp 'em up any way I can) but if you want crazy length that still looks natural and clump-free, I think you'll like Fairy Drops!

One coat of Fairy Drops Mascara

Silk'n SensEpil

Silk'n SensEpil is an at-home hair removal system that promises permanent, virtually painless hair removal using pulsed light technology. You can use it on your legs, arms, underarms and bikini line. Since using this product requires a series of treatments over the course of several weeks, I'm going to give this product its own in-depth review after I've had more time to use it and study my results. I was super excited to try this puppy out, so since I've administered one treatment on my legs and underarms already, I'll share some initial impressions with you.

The device itself is very easy to use. If you can press a button, you can operate the SensEpil! All you do is turn it on, press the device against your skin and administer a pulse. There is a flash of light, similar to the flash you'd see when someone takes your picture, then you move the device over a few inches and repeat the process. Doing both my legs took around 30 minutes total.

 The head of the device

Obviously everyone's pain threshold and level of sensitivity is different, but for me, using SensEpil was painless. After administering a pulse, I only felt a gentle warming and tingling sensation. In areas where my skin is a bit thinner, like around my underarms. I would occasionally experience a very slight sting that only lasted a second or so. My skin didn't show any signs of irritation afterwards. This is way better than waxing!

I am really excited to continue using the SensEpil! It's FDA-approved and I've read some great reviews for it, so I'm hoping to see some awesome results myself. So far, I really like how easy and painless it is to use. It retails for $499, which may cause some sticker shock at first, but if it really does deliver permanent hair removal, the price of the SensEpil will be way lower than a lifetime of razors or waxing treatments and certainly cheaper than in-office treatments like laser hair removal, which can cost thousands of dollars. Stay tuned for an update after a few weeks!

Lola Pin-Up Pout Plumping Lipstick in Marilyn

Lola Pin-Up Pout Plumping Lipstick in Marilyn is a classic retro red. All of the lipsticks in this line are named for some of old Hollywood's most famous beauties and this one, of course, is named for Ms. Marilyn Monroe.

This lipstick has a vanilla scent, very similar to MAC lipsticks, and there is a tingling sensation (from the plumping agent) when you first put it on that lasts for a few minutes. My lips did look a bit fuller as the tingle started up, but I can never tell if it is just my imagination with all of these plumping lip products!

The formula and wear are both absolutely fabulous though. Marilyn has a balmy texture to it that glides across the lips. It's fairly hydrating and holds up through eating and drinking. Also, I adore the little pop-out mirror that is tucked away on the side of the tube! There's a small jewel clip that keeps it pressed down so that it doesn't add any bulkiness to the tube itself. As soon as you open the lipstick, the mirror springs right out--perfect for on-the-go touch-ups! Why don't more lipsticks have this?


As I mentioned at the top of this post, ShopNBC sent along a second set of beauty treats for me to award to one lucky reader! The winner will receive a beauty box containing:

Lola Cosmetics Pin-Up Pout Plumping Lipstick in Marilyn, Lola Cosmetics Universal Colorless Powder, Absolute Magnetic Nail Enamel in Bleu, Suzanne Somers Organics Travel Kit, Angel Lift Dermastrips Kit, Angel Lift Dermasome Moisturizing Relaxant, Aminogenesis Age Control Dual Treatment Anti Glycation Serum, iampur Pain Relieving Rub, Skinn Cosmetics Amethyst Collection, MAXIessentials Liftoff Root Lift and Volumizing Spray, LaRocca Cellular Gold Hydrating Body Balm, FairyDrops Mascara, Magnifibres Brush-on False Lashes, Pur-lisse Pur-Moist, Pur-lisse Pur-Youth Preserve, Epione Signature Eye Cream, Borghese Brightening Mud

You can see all of these items in the picture at the top of this post, although please note the beauty box you receive will have slightly different contents (ie. missing a few items) than the one pictured. To enter and read all of the contest rules, just use the Rafflecopter widget below! Good luck, ladies and thanks for reading!! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway