Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Affordable Shoes: Payless Dexflex Claire Flats

After seeing Mary from Swatch and Learn's,  Smorgasbord Sundays: I Love Dexflex Claire Scrunch Flats , I had to see for myself if these flats would be comfortable for me.  She has an awesome collection that include a fun cheetah pair!  Rawr!  Payless?  I am surprised at the quality of some of their shoes and the stylings.  Definitely a step up from the Pro-wings we used to rock back in the day.  I have shoes from Target and would say that the quality is fairly similar.

Its summer and I usually pick a pair of flat sandals or Havaianas on the daily.  Sometimes I need a more dressier option, whether it be for work or for a more formal occasion, having a nice pair of flats to wear or change into that are comfortable can be a challenge.  I'm a size 6.5, but since my feet are a little bit on the wider side, I size up to a 7.  I tried on both the 7 M and 7 W and found that the 7 M fit well.  No cheetah at the location I went to, so chose basic black and nude.

What the website says:
Dexflex Comfort Women's Claire Scrunch Flat

-All-Day Comfort
-Online Exclusive Available
-Wide Width Available

Get total comfort with this dexflex by Dexter flat! It features a durable upper, stretchy topline, fabric lining and a flexible outsole for ease of movement. The soft footbed boasts a two layer insole. Memory foam, like pillows provided in five-star hotels, absorbs shock, shapes and holds perfectly to cradle the foot for lasting comfort. Latex foam has a premier bouncing nature which provides cushion and a feeling of protection with every step.

I wore the black pair all-day at work last week and these really are comfy!  I did notice there was a bit of pressure on the back of my heel at the end of the day and am hoping that with wear, these will fit better.  I tried to use a low cut sock liner, but they showed above the shoe.  Wearing shoes with no socks can make them icky, but I spray my feet with deodorant/antiperspirant to keep them dry and stink free.

Pros:  -Lightweight
          -Comfortable fit
          -Good selection of colors

Cons:  -Elastic heel is pretty snug (hoping it will conform to my foot better with use)
           -Shape is cut low and cannot wear with sock liners
           -Not much support in the arch

Cost: On sale for $19.99, regularly $29.99

Would I recommend this to a friend?  I would say give them a try and wear them around the house to see if they will work for you.  I did wear the black pair around the house the day before I actually wore them out to work which made me decide to keep them.  From their website, they have a good return policy in case you aren't happy with your purchase, but hopefully you end up liking these as I have!

Monday, July 28, 2014

NYX Butter Gloss Additions!

I have been loving the NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu as featured in this entry and picked up a couple new colors at Ulta.  There is limited availability at the Issaquah Highlands location and most of the colors had already been swatched.  Ick.  I wish people would use the testers if you want to see what the color is, not the ones for sale.  :(  I got Maple Blondie and Peaches And Cream, still on the hunt for Angel Food Cake.

Peaches And Cream and Maple Blondie

Maple Blondie is a creamy pink.  I love how the color pops with the flash.  The swatches without the flash are pale in comparison.

Peaches And Cream is actually a bit more pink than Maple Blondie.  Again, the true color really pops with the flash.

Both are great colors that are neutral shades and can be used year round.  I would like to use this with a smokey eye for night time look.  Lately have been using these with my everyday neutrals and that has been a great match.  Ulta had a buy 1, get 1 50% sale when I bought these, so this was a great deal. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 Targets later...

I finally found the Sonia Kashuk 15th Anniversary Limited Edition 15 piece professional brush set. It was the last one at the Factoria Target. I literally ran to it when I saw it on the shelf. Haha! Can't wait to try these brushes out!

You can tell I'm happy by the smiley eyes. :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

A new MLBB? NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu

Have seen other bloggers rave about NYX Butter Gloss and definitely have been lemming to get one in a natural shade.  I have been using Korres Mango Butter Lipstick in Natural Purple (shade not for sale anymore on the website :( ) for my go-to My Lips But Better (MLBB), but wanted to find something else that might work well.  Out of the colors left at my nearby Target, I chose Tiramisu.  There wasn't much of a selection left and most of the other glosses had been opened and tried.  Ick.  I wish there were better options for testers sometimes.  NYX's website describes this shade as 'Brown.'  Hmmm, I didn't think it was a brown, but maybe against my skin tone, its different than someone who is more fair.  Not quite an MLBB, but a definite nice pink, nude shade on me.

With flash on bare lips

Without flash on bare lips

Looks more pink-peach than brown against my skin
What the website says:

Buttery soft and silky smooth, our scrumptious new Butter Lip Gloss tastes as sweet as a sugar cookie - and makes your lips look downright luscious.  Swipe it on alone or over your favorite lipstick for creamy sheer to medium coverage that melts onto your lips and is never sticky.

Pros:  -Deals!  You can find this at Target, Ulta (coupons!) and other drugstores
          -Variety of shades
          -Smell and taste is yummy

Cons:  -Like all creamy lip colors, you have to make sure your lips are exfoliated well and moisturized.  My lips flaked after a few hours wearing and I had to remove the gloss and flakes and re-apply.

Cost: Under $5 at Target.

Would I recommend this to a friend?  YES, YES, YES!  I wish I had tried these sooner!  I saw that June's Ipsy bags had Butter Gloss and saw some great reviews.  I may end up picking up some other colors like Maple Blondie and Angel Food Cake.  I saw a review on NYX's website that I thought was cute and funny.

"But my reason for coming on here is to rave about the new shades they have; specifically nude shades for dark skin tones (think Gabriel Union and darker. YES, FINALLY! To be more specific, i'm talking about the shades Praline and Gingersnap. Thank you so much NYX for finally coming out with nude shades that actually are nude for darker girls like me. No more ashy, milky, "i just ate a powdered donut and put on lipgloss before cleaning my mouth" look. Please DO NOT DISCONTINUE! I repeat, DO NOT DISCONTINUE the shades Praline and Gingersnap :)"

Yay to beauty products that brown girls can wear and rave about and that are also affordable.  *clap!*clap!*clap!* Great job NYX!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Brought some goodie @maccosmetics palettes out to play.  I need to organize my collection at my home. I have other items in storage that I will probably fall in love with again. 

FOTD: Ulta Summer Glam Beauty Essentials

Used 3 products from Ulta's Summer Glam Beauty Essentials for this look: Laura Geller Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Goddess, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Matte Bronzer & Stila Lip Glaze in Strawberry Lemonade. The cream eyeshadow is a beautiful rose gold with a gleaming shimmer. I started with UDPP in Sin all over my eyelid, then patted Rose Gold Goddess on to my lid with my finger, applied Julep's Dusk in the crease and lower lashline and followed up with MAC's Maple on the browbone. Lined the upper lashline with Julep's Kajal liner in Brown Shimmer, then 2 coats of Benefit's They're Real mascara on the top and bottom lashes and filled in my brows with MAC Soft Charcoal.

For my face I primed with Julep's Blank Canvas, then buffed in Maybelline's Fit Me! in Golden Beige. The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Matte Bronzer smelled so yummy while applying. All I needed was a light hand and 1 sweep of color to get definition in the hollows. I finished off with MAC's Fleur Power on the apples of my cheeks.

Lastly I glossed my lips with Stila's Lip Glaze. I have some deep grooves in my lips, so applying using dabbing motions gets the glaze in those spaces and gives a more smooth finish.

Julep Blank Canvas
Maybelline Fit Me! in 240 Golden Beige
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Matte Bronzer
MAC Fleur Power Blush

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin
Laura Geller Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Goddess
Julep Sweep Eyeshadow Palette: Neutrals; Dusk
MAC Browshader Maple/Soft Charcoal
Julep Kajal Eye Glider in Brown Shimmer
Benefit They're Real Mascara

Stila Lip Glaze in Strawberry Lemonade

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Julep: August Maven Window Now Open!

The Wanderlust polish collection is beautiful with bold, jeweltoned, shimmer shades. Also for Mavens, Julep is introducing Gel Eye Gliders that are supposed to last 10+ hours. Are you a Maven & what did you choose? :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Too Faced - Beauty Blogger Darlings

The sets got me again!  This time, Too Faced Beauty Blogger Darlings caught my eye with the Chocolate Soleil Bronzer.  It really smells like Cocoa Puffs!

Primed & Poreless, Eyeshadow Insurance and Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
I tried the Eyeshadow Insurance awhile ago and wasn't too thrilled, so I'll just have to wait and see how this compares to my HG and fave UDPP in Sin.

From the website:

What it is:
A superstar kit featuring Too Faced's four products most beloved by some of the brand's favorite beauty bloggers and vloggers.

What it does:
Tried, tested, proved, and adored-these are the four products bloggers and vloggers simply can't resist.  Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer is infused with antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and signature bronzing pigments to create a unique matte bronzer that neutralizes red and evens skintone. Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer is a one-of-a-kind primer scientifically formulated to glide on sheer, keeping powders, foundations and bronzers looking fresh and in place all-day while minimizing the appearance of pores and imperfetions.  In one easy coat, Better Than Sex Mascara's carbon black, collagen-fueled formula creates full, defined lashes that are stretched to unbelievable lengths.

This set contains:
-0.14 oz Bronzer in Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
-0.17 oz Primed & Poreless Face Primer
-0.17 oz Better Than Sex Mascara
-0.17 oz Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer

What it is formulated WITHOUT:

What else you need to know:
This product does not contain synthetic fragrance or triclosan.

Pros:  -Nice starter set to try some blogger/vlogger faves.
          -Good sizing for travel
          -No added preservatives that may be bad for you

Cons:  -Cost is a bit pricey if it breaks down per item which would be around $5.48.

Cost: $20 from Sephora

Would I recommend this to a friend? Maybe.  The reason I wanted this was for the Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and I did get one in the Ulta Summer Glam Beauty Essentials set.  Again, the cost would put each item at over $5 which is a bit much for deluxe sample items.  I do like the concept of putting together the cult faves, but maybe adding some other smaller samples or reducing the price of the set.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ulta Sets - Get Ready for the Party and Summer Glam Beauty Essentials

Kits are a great way to try product in sample or deluxe sample size before you commit to paying full price for a full sized item.  I have always been a fan of sets that include different brands, like Sephora's Lashstash Mascara Deluxe Sampler review here.  

On my hunt for Ulta's Summer Glam Beauty Essentials, I came across this Get Ready for the Part color collection.  The gal helping me out said that this set was from Holiday 2013 and they happened to have a few of these still.  What convinced me was the great price of $19 for a regularly priced $30 kit and the Napolean Perdis Loose Eye Dust in Pink Champagne.  So pretty!

Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Primer, Butter London nail Lacquer in Rosie Lee, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara, Laura Geller Beauty City Lights Lip Gloss, Napolean Perdis loose Eye Dust in Pink Champagne, Pur Minerals Mineral Glow Bronzer

Swatches of the primer, bronzer, eye dust and lip gloss. Flash and no flash.  The primer needs to be more blended in when used.  The other products are pretty sheer, but have a nice shimmer or sparkle to it. 

I still yet have to use these items in a FOTD and will post something as soon as I do.  Did anyone else pick this up during the holiday?  Looking forward to seeing what sets will be available for holiday 2014 for getting and giving!  Use of the mascaras will come when I happen to choose this to use.  I don't like to open the mascaras before actually using since I toss them out after 3 months from opening.  

Pros:  -Great brands
          -Variety of products - lips, tips, cheeks and lashes
          -Incredible value for $19 for 6 deluxe sized products

Cons: None!

Cost: $19 - if you can still find this in your area Ulta store.  I found mine at the Issaquah Highlands Ulta during my lunch break.

Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes!  These sets are great to try new products and/or have smaller items for your purse/travel.

Swatches with flash and without flash of the Porefessional, Cream Eyeshadow.  

I will swatch the bronzer in another post from another kit, but will say that it smells so good like Cocoa Puffs.  Haha!  It will be interesting to see how the two Tarte mascaras I received in these sets will perform since one is the regular formula and the other is waterproof.  The Butter Nail Lacquers might actually be nice together!  Snog as a base with Rosie Lee on top for some sparkle.  

What the website says:

ULTA Summer Glam Beauty Essentials includes 7 must have beauty essentials for a glamorous summer.

An $89 value!

Includes deluxe sizes of:
Anastasia Lash Genius (0.11 oz.)
Benefit The Porefessional (0.1 fl. oz.)
Butter London Nail Lacquer in Snog (0.2 oz.)
Laura Geller Beauty Cool Lids Cream Eye Shadow in Rose Gold Goddess (0.26 fl. oz)
Stila Lip Glaze in Strawberry Lemonade (0.05 fl. oz.)
Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara (0.16 fl. oz.)
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer (0.14 oz.)

Pros:  -Great brands
          -Variety of products - lips, tips, cheeks and lashes
          -Incredible value for 7 deluxe sized products
          -Waterproof items - Lash Genius (waterproof top coat) and Lights, Camera, Splashes mascara

Cons:  -None!

Cost: $28 On sale now for $19 online!  I paid the retail price of $28 and it was the last one at the Bear Creek Ulta in Redmond, WA.

Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes! Another great set to try new products and/or have smaller items for your purse/travel.  

I went to 2 Ulta's in one day during my lunch break to pick these up.  Smh.  The things you do when you need a break away from the office and are on the hunt for something.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Unboxing: July Ipsy Glam Bag - Sensationally Sunkissed

It was really hard to NOT peek at the contents of my Glam Bag in my Glam Room, but I held off!  I saw all the comments on the thread and was excited to see what folks have received and also see the whole product list of what was offered this month.  I'm always buying small cosmetic bags.  I'm a bag lady and put smaller bags in my larger purses to keep organized, so the hot pink scalloped bag will definitely be put to use.  Overall, I'm very pleased with what was received and am looking forward to my monthly Glam Bags!

Here's what I got:
  • Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray 1.7 fl. oz
Has a beachy scent, like sunscreen.  I am a fan of beach sprays to texturize and create waves in my hair.  I like how this was shipped in its own zip sealed bag in case there may have been leakage during transit.

  • Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil Natural Sunscreen SPF 8 Protection 1 fl. oz.
I like tanning outdoors and napping in the sun.  My sun habits have gotten better throughout the years, but still not a great habit.  I take precaution and layer sunscreen with oils/bronzers.  What's good about this oil is there is an SPF 8, not enough to use on its own to provide protection, so I will be layering this along with another sunscreen.  I haven't seen this brand in-store in WA.  If I do like this product, I'll look on Amazon for purchase.  What is also good, is the description shows what this is without: oxybenzone, parabens, retinyl palmitate, synthetic fragrances and is non-nano.

  • bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB advanced performance cream eyeshadow in Divine Wine 0.03 fl. oz.
I was hoping for a lighter color, but although Divine Wine is a darker shade, this is still pretty and would look good in the crease or blended in the outer-v for depth.  Unlike most eyeshadow, this has a mineral based SPF15 to protect your lids.  There are 10 neutral shades of this product and I'm curious how the lighter shades could perform like an eyeshadow primer and keep shadows from creasing.  The benefits of this formula are: long-wear, prime, brighten, smooth and protect.

  • Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Pretty Pink 0.06 oz.
Perfect pocket size lippy in a sweet carnation pink.  The color is really sheer and has a nice shine.  This would be great on its own or even layered with a more opaque lipstick and/or liner.  I like pencil products that are twist up instead of sharpen the type you have to sharpen.  While you lose the pointed end to the product with use, I feel you get the most use of it rather than sharpening and losing product in the shavings.

  • Pop Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer in Secret Sunshine 0.25 oz. Full size!
My skin tone is pretty tan right now and the swatch did not show up as well on my hand, so I swatched on my finger.  This would be great on me when I'm a bit more fair like in the fall and winter months.  But this might also do well for lighter contouring right now.  Bronzer can be year-round, as long as the shade compliments your skin.  I will probably blend this with a matte bronzer to add a bit of glow.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Searching for a new scent: Jo Malone

I used to wear a different scent each season, sometimes more than one.  Over the years I've toned down on the use of fragrances due to sensitivities in some community spaces.  I will definitely respect that always.  Other days, I want to wear something that makes me feel good.  Scent has always been big for me in creating memories and rousing up nostalgia.  I have heard great things about Jo Malone and have seen other blogger's Jo Malone choices and wanted to try some out myself.  Online shopping doesn't always allow you to try products first hand, but shopping at Nordstrom always guarantees that you can return items if you don't like it.  I picked up the Jo Malone Cologne Collection during the Anniversary Presale to give this brand a try.

What the website says:

The Jo Malone Cologne Collection features five beautiful fragrances all bottled up in a one-of-a-kind set. Mix them up or wear each alone to create your very own signature scent.

Collection includes:

-Nectarine Blossom and Honey: a mouthwatering blend of nectarine and peach with hints of plum, blackcurrant, vetiver and acacia honey.

-Orange Blossom: a sparkling mix of clementine, orange blossom and water lily.

-Blackberry and Bay: a juicy combination of tart blackberry juice, bay and brambly woods.

-Pomegranate Noir: a sweet, fruity blend of raspberry, plum, pink pepper, pomegranate, patchouli, frankincense and spicy woods.

-Grapefruit: an uplifting citrusy mix of grapefruit, tangerine, vetiver and rosemary.

  • 0.3 oz. each.
  • By Jo Malone London; made in the USA
  • In celebration of Jo Malone's passon for the elegant art of gift giving, the collection comes presented in a signature box, tied with a ribbon.
So far I have used Orange Blossom on its own and love it!  A very sweet scent that smells like summer.  I'm looking forward to trying the other scents and mixing them as well.  

Pros:  -Great set to try 5 different scents
          -Can be mixed and match for a unique experience
          -Small sizes can fit easily in makeup bag or packed for travel.

Cons:  -Cost is steep

Cost: $88 during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, $110 after the sale.

Would I recommend this to a friend:  YES!  I would actually suggest going to the perfume counter at Nordstrom and smelling these individually before purchase.  You may end up finding another scent that you like, but this is a nice set to either try the brand or add to your collection.