Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Influenster Frosty VoxBox - What I Received & Initial Impressions!

**all items received free from Influenster for review/testing purposes

I've got an Influenster VoxBox to share today!  I haven't had one for a while so I was super excited to see this show up Monday - of course while I was out with the puppy for training.  Yesterday I got sent to bed early since I just can't seem to get enough rest, which means that today is the day that I'm sharing what was included in the Frosty VoxBox.  This box was a nicely sized box with a variety of beauty and food products.  Let's get started with seeing what all I got!
 First up, the beauty products:

  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in 001 Black - super excited to try this since most of my black pencil liners are dried out. It would be nice to not have to resort to a gel liner that needs a brush to apply all the time.
  • NYC Expert Last Lip Color in 418 Sugar Plum - this looks like it could be a MYBB (my lips but better) shade; it'll be interesting to see how this wears on my super dried out lips.
  • Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover - it'll be interesting to see how this remover, which claims to remover waterproof mascara, works out...any scent issues, how well it removes, if it leaves a film on the eyes, etc.

  • Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum sachet - I've never tried anything from the Boots line.  It claims results in 2 weeks, but this is a small sample.  Hopefully my skin doesn't have any issues with it since it's been temperamental lately. Coupon included.
  • EcoTools Sleek + Shine Finisher Hair Brush - it's always fun to try out a new hair brush; this one claims to help your hair dry faster and has a "frizz and static-fighting design." Since the furnace has been running for nearly 2 months already (with several more to go), I've definitely got frizz and static in spots.

And now for the food items:
  • McCormick Gourmet Thyme - this is pretty good timing as I think I'm almost out of my current bottle of thyme. This is a perfect spice for the holiday season.  I wonder what all I'll add this to.
  • Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea (2 tea bags) - peppermint tea is one of my favorite flavors of tea, especially when I'm feeling congested - cough, right now, cough.  Coupon included.
  • Fruit Vines Bites Soft Chewy Fruity Candy, cherry flavor - admittedly not my favorite flavor, but I'll give them a try. The bag contains 3.5 servings.  I've never heard of the brand; it says it's available at Walmart in the West, Kroger, Walgreens, Target, Safeway & Rite Aid.

I'm excited to try nearly everything in the box.  If I'd received the strawberry flavor of the candy I'd have been happier, but oh well.  The flavor might surprise me.  I do wish that the Boots product had been a larger size to be able to do a more thorough testing.  Time to get testing!

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
**my opinions are my own

Monday, December 15, 2014

Black Friday Haul!


Time is just flying by, isn't it?!  It seems like everything falls all at the same time of the year, and for me (us) that time is now.  Puppy training is going...alright... Kozmo's currently going through a "chicken" phase of being scared of getting in the car so I've been trying to get time back in the car easily since he is way too big to pick up now.  Any tips?

Today's post is all about what I got on Black Friday (and Thanksgiving night).  I didn't do any online sales for Cyber Monday; all of my shopping was done in person.  So let's get started!

My only stop on Thanksgiving night, beauty-related, was at Ulta.  As I mentioned in my Black Friday Shopping Plans post, I wanted to get my hands on the 2 Lorac door-buster palettes but by the time I got there, they were both gone.  Instead, I decided to try some new stuff by way of a couple of kits.  I picked up the Tarte Petite Treats Sweet Dreams Advent Calendar set.  I didn't open it all at once - I plan on opening it one day at a time and posting on Instagram (I just need to get started on that).
My other purchase from that night was the Dermalogica Double Cleanse set with the precleanse and special cleansing gel.  I figured getting to try 2 products for $10 was a pretty good deal.
I ended up going back to Ulta on Friday and stumbled across this Too Faced Melted Kisses kit of minis for $25.  This product was something that I had been wanting to try, but knew I would never go through a full-sized tube.  I thought this was an excellent deal.
While I had my parking spot behind Ulta, I ran over to DSW to see if I could pick up another pair of Sketchers Go-Walk tennis shoes on clearance.  This type of shoe is actually what I've replaced my slippers with since I was having some pain in my heel.
Of course, I was at the mall on Friday.  I went to Express hoping to find the Mister a new winter coat for a good deal (epic fail), but I did end up picking him up a couple of new dress shirts as well as a couple pairs of earrings for me.  The earrings were, I believe, 50% off.
I did something different and ended up going in to Hallmark (I had read a comment on another's blog that there was a nail polish ornament) and found a couple of cute Minnie ornaments/decorations as well as the polish ornament.  I'll be leaving the Minnie Spa La La! and the polish ornaments out all year.
Then I went to the local supply store and picked up a few polishes. 2 of them were ones I knew I wanted, 1 was one that I liked but wasn't positive, and 2 others are limited edition that I didn't think I'd be able to get a hold of since I thought they were only available via email ordering.  The bottom picture is how the 2 Northern Lights look after laying on their sides for a day or 2.

Out the Door Silver and Gold - limited edition holiday versions with red & green glitters
Essie Summit of Style, China Glaze Chillin With My Snow-mies (I'll probably use a sponge for application due to potential formula issues I've read about), Zoya Willa

Finally I popped into TJ Maxx for a little bit and stumbled across this Laura Geller duo for about $15.
 Blush/Highlighter and Moisturizing Lip Crayon

By this point of the day - actually, morning - I had gone everywhere I wanted and was ready to go home.  Plus it was time for a puppy break.  While I was in the mall earlier in the day, I went in to several other stores but didn't end up purchasing anything.  I had mentioned in my Shopping Plans post that I wanted to go to Macy's for a pot that I've been wanting - which I got after much hunting and waiting forever in line Thanksgiving night.  I also went into Walmart that night to see what there was and found the deal on the metal mixing bowl set with lids, which I also got.  I definitely didn't get as much as previous years, which is perfectly fine.

I'm planning on posting my birthday haul from the weekend (probably 2 posts since once is an online order) in the next few days, as well as getting caught up on product finishes.

Did you get anything good for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness "weekend"?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, December 4, 2014

OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 - My Picks, Swatches + Review


I can't believe how quickly another week has come and gone!  My last post was about my Black Friday plans - I'll have a haul up hopefully soon.  I've been busy taking Kozmo to puppy training, which is going fairly well so far.  I'm not sure how well the leash training section will go since I get instant headaches as soon as I walk outside into the cold.  Maybe I can work with him all around the house...  December is shaping up to be a rather busy month already so I'll try to post as often as I can but no guarantees on how often that'll be.  Plus there's this pesky cold-type-thing that I can't seem to shake which has really been wiping my energy out.

Now that it's "officially" holiday season, I thought it'd be a good idea to share my little "haul" of my picks from the OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 collection.  I actually purchased these before Halloween and have worn a couple of them as manis already...I just didn't get around to photographing those looks.  So let's get started!  Out of the huge 18 piece collection (19 counting the expensive shade), I only raided this particular display that housed all the glitters:
Who's surprised that I reached for only the glitters?
 I'll Tinsel You In, Snow Globetrotters, Comet In the Sky, So Elegant
(same order below)
Wheel swatches; approximately one coat of each plus a little dabbing for evenness:
I'll Tinsel You In, Snow Globetrotter, Comet In the Sky, So Elegant

 Nail swatches:
Snow Globetrotters, I'll Tinsel You In, So Elegant, Comet In the Sky
~1 coat each, plus a little dabbing, over Wet 'n Wild So Berry On Trend~
~top picture is in the light box; bottom picture taken with indirect natural light~

In my opinion, these are all unique - I don't follow indie polish brands so I can't say whether there's similar polishes in that world.  For having some rather large and chunky glitters, I didn't really struggle with the formula of any to get the large hex glitters out.  I did put the bottles upside down for a minute or 2 then roll/shook them around and stirred the brush before removing it before applying to each nail.  These all have a clear base that, to me, was just the right viscosity.  Dry time was good - a quick dry would make it better, but I would suggest adding a thick top coat (Gelous) as one time when I wore I'll Tinsel You In at least one of the squares popped off after a day or so.

Snow Globetrotters:  large, small, tiny matte white hex glitters with large, small and micro iridescent hex glitters.
I'll Tinsel You In: matte white square, short bar, tiny and micro hex glitters, matte black tiny and micro glitters.
So Elegant: shiny gunmetal large and medium hex glitters, matte black tiny and micro glitters.
Comet In the Sky: matte black large, small, tiny and micro hex glitters, iridescent large, small, tiny and micro hex glitters.

I've worn Snow Globetrotters over a royal purple as well as an emerald green base polish.  Love!!  I actually did the purple version 2 manis in a row!  I've also put I'll Tinsel You In over the emerald green, as well as the berry pictured above.  Other than the above swatches, I haven't worn the other 2 polishes yet.  The white elements kept drawing my eye more than the darker glitters...could have been the snow on the ground around the times I wore them.

I've seen some swatches of the green from the collection and I'm contemplating getting it, but I won't be rushing out to find it.  I've been working on organizing/cataloging my stash this week again and I have a lot of polish so I really need to refrain from buying polishes for a while (hahahaha).

Have you purchased any of the Gwen Stefani Holiday shades?  If you haven't yet, are you going to?  Which one(s)?  Do you feel like you need to slow down in purchasing polishes from time to time?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated