Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Eyebrow Tinting at Home

Eyebrows are such an important feature because they help to frame the face.  As mine are blonde and sparse, I can be a little prone to eyebrow envy!  I fill in my brows every day, but they are so light, that it can be a little challenging.  To help me fill in my brows, I have been tinting them for years.  I used to get them tinted at a salon, but I got tired of paying someone else to do what I thought I could do at home.  So, I did a little research and found Roux Lash & Brow Tint.  Roux Lash & Brow Tint is available at Sally Beauty Supply and on Amazon.  It's a little less expensive on Amazon.


The process of tinting your brows with Roux Lash & Brow Tint is very simple.  It's a two step process, using the products in the same order that the bottles are labeled (No. 1 and No. 2).

The kit comes with small wooden applicators (about the size of a match) and you are supposed to wrap a small amount of cotton around the tip, but I just use a cotton swab.  Apply the first solution with a clean cotton swab and let it dry completely for a couple of minutes.  Then, carefully apply the second solution.  It's important not to mix the solutions together in the bottles, as they will activate each other.  To help prevent cross-contamination, don't dip your applicator into the bottle after it has been used.  The longer the solution is on, the deeper the color.  I usually try to leave the solution on for 10-15 minutes.  

I'm not going to lie, it looks a little scary while the solution is on the brows.  When the time comes to remove it, use a wet cotton ball to start removing the excess.  The third bottle in the kit is a stain remover, and it is a very important part of achieving a natural look.  Dip a cotton swab into the stain remover and gently rub the skin beneath the brow to remove the stain.  This step may take a little time, and if you have sensitive skin like I do, there may be a little temporary redness.

And now, things are about to get real.  Here are some photos I took throughout the process.  I didn't have the best lighting, and in the first three, I'm not wearing any makeup!  Here is the proof that eyebrow pencil and mascara are necessities in my life.

When I did this application, I didn't have a lot of time, so I did a second application the next day, and here is the result.  My brows are not filled in with eyebrow pencil in this photo.


Final Thoughts


The kit is intended for use on both eyebrows and lashes.  As you can see from my photos, I could benefit from lash tinting as well.  I tried tinting my lashes once, and I found that process is a little more complicated than the brows.  I wasn't able to get my lashes as dark as I wanted.  I think that mascara does a much better job, because it thickens, lengthens and separates my lashes, in addition to darkening them.  Mascara is also a lot easier to apply. 

I try to tint my brows every six to eight weeks.  Roux recommends tinting every six weeks as the color fades away in that time.  Tinting my brows isn't my favorite activity, but the results are worth it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag: October 2014

I must be really behind on talking about my Ipsy Glam Bag from October, as I received November's bag a few days ago.  At any rate, I thought I would share the contents of this bag. 

The bag itself is a quilted turquoise, and it's a little bigger than some of the bags I have received, so I may end up keeping this one. 

City Color Be Matte Lipstick in Cappuccino


This lipstick seems like a nice nude color.  I wasn't super excited about this item, mostly because I just purchased a matte lipstick from Bite Beauty in a very similar shade.  I may end up keeping the plastic on the package and give this lipstick to a friend. 

Figs & Rouge Nourishing & Soothing Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin


I think I've mentioned in another post that I'm generally not that excited about receiving samples of hand creams.  However, I have had a hand cream from Figs & Rouge in the past and really liked it.  This one smells wonderful with it's Mango Mandarin scent.  I like that the tube is so small because it fits well in my purse.  I also love the packaging; it's so vibrant and colorful!

Doll 10 H2Glo Highlighter/Illuminate in Champagne

I don't use highlighters very often, but this highlighter is a really pretty color.  When I do use a highlighter, I usually use Incandescent Light from my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette.  I may give this one a try over the holiday season.  If it's not too sparkly, it might be a winner!

skyn ICELAND Glacial Cleansing Cloths


I was pretty excited to see a package of face wipes this month.  I use face wipes almost every night to take off my makeup.  They are just so convenient.  I have been trying different brands over the past few months, searching for the best wipes for my skin.  I'm looking forward to trying these wipes from skyn ICELAND.  I've never heard of this brand before, so I have no idea what they specialize in or how effective their products are.  Hopefully these face wipes will give me a little insight into the brand as a whole.

Model Co. Volumeyes Extreme Black Mascara


Mascara is a necessity for me, as my lashes are blonde.  I am always excited to try out mascaras that are new to me, so I am pretty happy about receiving this sample from Model Co.  I don't really have any experience with this brand, but if their mascara performs well, that is a good sign! 

Overall, this Ipsy Glam Bag was so so for me.  My favorite products were the facial wipes and the mascara.  I will post about my November bag soon, but, spoiler alert, I think I am going to cancel my Ipsy subscription.  Overall my experience with Ipsy has been really hit or miss, and I would rather use the $10 to just buy something that I actually want.  How do you feel about monthly beauty subscriptions?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sephora VIB Sale - I did some damage!

At the end of last year, I attained VIB status at Sephora for the first time.  Ever since then, I have been waiting for the annual VIB sale in November.  To prepare for this sale, I have been saving up Sephora gift cards that I've earned using Swagbucks.  I made a list of products that I wanted to look at, and I leafed through Holiday catalog that I received last week, and dog-eared some pages!  So, after work on Thursday, I headed to the mall to take advantage of the sale.  I returned with a friend on Saturday.  And again on Monday.  So, without further ado, I present my VIB purchases!

Skin Care

1.  Ole Henrisken 3 Little Wonders Bonus Collection - I received a deluxe sample of the Truth Serum Collagen Booster a couple of years ago in a GLOSSYBOX, and I loved it.  I have thought about purchasing this serum and finally decided that this was a good time to pull the trigger.  This set includes the Truth Serum Collagen Booster, Invigorating Night Treatment, Sheer Transformation moisturizer, and African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser.

2.  First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream - I have been wanting to try this cream for months.  My skin is a little dry and it's sensitive, so I am hoping that this cream will be soothing when my skin is irritated.  I think it will be great to use during the winter when my skin is a little on the drier side.

3.  Clarisonic Replacement Brush Head Twin-Pack for Delicate Skin - I know that I just bought replacement brush heads in September, but I couldn't pass up saving money on something that I need to buy anyway.  I usually use the sensitive skin brush heads, but I decided to try the ones for delicate skin this time.

4.  Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths:  Brightening - This was definitely a splurge item for me.  I love using face wipes to remove my makeup in the evening.  I have actually been trying different brands for the past few months, seeking out the best match for my skin.  I will add these into the mix, and post about the results.

Eye Shadow

5.  Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection - This palette wasn't on my original wish list.  I have been thinking about the Too Faced Natural Eyes palette for a few months, but when I compared them side by side, I ended up liking this one better.  The colors are beautiful and their names are fun.  This set also comes with a How-To Glamour Guide for creating three different looks.  This is a small palette, so I think it will be really great for traveling.

6.  Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes & Cheeks - This palette is the one thing on my wish list that I wanted the most.  I mentioned in this post how much I love the Artist's Palette that I bought last year.  I was hoping that Laura Mercier would release a new palette this year and I wasn't disappointed.  This palette has warmer tones than last year's.  I like the variety of colors and feel like this will be really versatile.  The blush, Rosegold Shimmer, is really pretty.  My only (minor) complaint is that the two highlight colors (Vanilla Nuts & Morning Dew) are the same as in last year's palette; it might have been nice to have some new shades.

7.  Laura Mercier Luster Eye Colour in African Violet - I decided to buy an individual African Violet shadow as it is my favorite color in the Artist 2 Palette I bought last year.  As I mentioned previously, I have already hit pan on this shadow, so I thought that this would be a good time to buy a backup.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to capture the true color of this shadow when I photographed it.  It really isn't pink, like it is showing up in this picture.

8.  Urban Decay Naked - The first Urban Decay that I bought was the Naked2 palette.  Then I proceeded to buy Naked3.  So, after lusting after the original Naked palette for almost three years, I finally bought it!  I am really excited about creating a multitude of eye looks with this classic.

Lips & Lashes

9.  Bite Beauty Mix N' Mingle Lip Minis Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Fig/Date - This lipstick prompted my second trip to the VIB sale.  I bought a Bite lipstick duo in Violet/Palomino a few months ago and I really like it.  The formula is super creamy and moisturizing.  Bite uses food-grade ingredients in their lip products, so I feel good about wearing them.  I'm excited to try out these lighter, more neutral colors. 

10.  Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara & Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - I've already talked about the Tarte mascara here and here, so I won't go on about it again!  I also picked one up for my mom, so I hope that she likes it, too!  On a whim, I decided to give the Better Than Sex mascara a try.  I've heard good things about this mascara, and even though the name is a little silly, I am hoping that it will beautify my lashes.

I think it's safe to say that I'm glad this sale only comes once a year!  I wasn't really planning to buy so many things.  However, the 20% savings coupled with saved up gift cards helped me to get a lot for my money.  I know I went a little crazy with eye shadows.  I don't think that I will be longing to buy any more palettes for quite a long time, and I'm looking forward to experimenting with different color combinations.  I will give reviews for most of these products in future posts.  And now, it's time to start saving my Swagbucks for Sephora gift cards as a part of my long-term preparations for the 2015 VIB sale!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


I always get excited when it's that GLOSSYBOX time of the month, and I received my October box a couple of weeks ago.

This month's included skin care, hair care, makeup, nails and fragrance!

Proganix Anti-Fade Weightless Argan Oil + UV Protection Spray

This anti-fade spray from Proganix is pretty in pink.  The cherry blossom scent is nice and light.  I think that Proganix is made by the same company that makes Organix products, which I have used.  I'm looking forward to trying this spray on my hair.  I'm hoping that in addition to the color protection it will add a little shine. 

Tarte Cosmetics Power Pigment in Awakening

This lip tint from Tarte is great.  The neutral rosy color looks natural and pretty on the lips.  The formula is really creamy and soothing, as it is part color and part treatment.  I like that this product is so easy to put on that it can be done without a mirror for a quick touch up.

Nails Inc. Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat

Honestly, this one is not so exciting for me.  I guess that I'm just more of a traditionalist and I like a nice shiny top coat on my nails.  I will keep it around for awhile and maybe experiment with using a matte top coat some time.

Vince Camuto Amore Eau de Parfum

First, can we just talk about the box that this fragrance sample was packaged in?  I love the pink box with the flower.  Once I opened the box, I was met with this pretty little bottle with an intricately designed lid.  The scent is decidedly floral and isn't too heavy.  According to the GLOSSYBOX insert, the notes of this fragrance include flowers, fruits, cashmere, amber and sandalwood.  While I like the scent, I don't love it.  I'm glad to have this sample to try out, so I will see if I change my mind from my initial opinion.

Sesha Botanical Hydro Mask

I'm always game to try a new mask.  This sheet mask from Sesha is designed to purify and nourish the skin.  I always feel a little silly when I have a sheet mask on, but one thing I like about them is that they are so easy to remove and don't create a big mess.

Overall, I think that this GLOSSYBOX was a pretty good one.  We'll just have to wait to see what November brings.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Five Faves - October

It's hard to believe that November is upon us!  I thought I would share some of my favorite things from October.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Rich Cream


I received a sample of this cream in a Glossy Box at the beginning of this year.  I loved it so much, that this is my second full-sized jar.  My skin tends to be a little dry, and this cream from Vichy provides incredible moisture.  It feels so soothing to put it on, like my skin is drinking it in.  When I wake up in the morning, my skin still feels really soft and moisturized.  This cream works really well for me, but it might be a bit heavy for people that have oily skin.


Covergirl + Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation

I bought this on a whim when it was on sale on Amazon a couple of months ago.  I don't have any other foundations from Covergirl, so I made the best guess I could to select a color.  Fortunately, the color works really nicely with my skin.  I really like the coverage that this foundation gives me.  It does a pretty decent job of evening out my skin tone, though it is more of a medium coverage.  I've found that this product has pretty decent lasting power as well.  Although it is formulated with Olay, I find this foundation to be a little drying and leaves more of a matte than dewy finish.  This isn't as much of a concern for me when I've used my Vichy cream in advance.

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy

This is a great eye cream from First Aid Beauty.  It has a light consistency that is easy to blend into the skin.  I don't really have an issue with puffiness, but I love the cooling sensation from using the metal tip to massage the cream in.  The cream is a salmon color to help counteract dark circles.

Sephora Collection Pro Allover Powder Brush #61

Lately I've started replacing some of my cheaper brushes with better quality brushes.  The Sephora Pro Collection brushes are amazing, especially this Allover Powder one.  It is really soft and dense.  This brush is also very large.  I love how it feels on my face and it distributes powder evenly.  It cleans up really well, although it takes a long time to dry!

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara

I know that I've already talked about this mascara in another post, but I just love it so much!  This mascara helps to lengthen my lashes and add fullness.  I like that it has a more traditional bristle brush, rather than a plastic or rubber brush.  I find that this type of brush works so much better for me to separate my lashes.  I am sad to report that after about two months it is starting to dry out.  I was hoping to get three to four months out of this mascara.

What things have you been loving lately?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jamberry Nails

This week I decided that I would try something new on my nails.

I've had these nail wraps from Jamberry Nails for a few years, and I thought they might look nice around Halloween.

The design is called Black Floral, and it's part of the Garden Party line.  I've never used nail wraps before, although I have accumulated a few sets over the past couple of years.

These wraps from Jamberry Nails are essentially stickers.  They need to be warmed for a few seconds with a hair drier before being applied to the nail.  Then they are cut and filed to match your nail shape.  I found this process to be quite cumbersome and lengthy.  I wasn't able to get a smooth edge on most of my nails, even with continued filing.  They looked pretty enough, but I did find that some of them started lifting the next morning.

I was actually surprised that they lasted pretty well for three days.  They probably would have been okay for a few more days, but they were bugging me, so I took them off.  I'm happy to report that removal was easy and they did not damage my nails at all.  I still have enough to try this again in the future.   But for now, I'm going to stick with nail polish. 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In Search of the Perfect Brow - Maybelline Brow Drama

My eyebrows can use all the help that they can get, so I am constantly on the lookout for great brow products.  Unlike my hair, my brows are such a light blonde that they are almost impossible to see.  In addition, they are very sparse.  It's a brow double whammie, and not in a good way!

Part of my brow routine includes tinting them every 4-6 weeks.  This helps me to fill them in on a daily basis, because they are a little easier to see.  I'm currently using a brow pencil by Ofra, but I happened across a new product from Maybelline the last time I was at Ulta, so I had to check it out.

Maybelline Eyestudio Brow Drama in Soft Brown

According to Maybelline, their Brow Drama is a tinted gel mousse that will create a fuller, sculpted, natural finish.  The applicator is like a mascara wand with a ball on the end.

I tried the Brow Drama and found that it is a little messy to apply.  Although I tried to only apply the gel to my eyebrow hairs, I got some on the surrounding skin that I needed to clean up with a cotton swab.  I wouldn't mind this so much if it gave me really good coverage, but unfortunately, it left me wanting more.  I've tried applying it after I've filled my brows in with my pencil, and I like that it seems to define my brows a little more than with the pencil alone. 

I have yet to give in and try more expensive brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, or Gimme Brow by Benefit.  I may just have to bite the bullet, though, to see how they perform. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Falling for Plum

Fall is a time when I really like to bring out some plum colors.  Winter, too.  Well, actually, I like them all year, but I especially like them in the Fall!  Here are a few of my favorite plums and purples.


Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sugar Plum

I love the Lip Butters from Revlon, and this one is no exception.  Sugar Plum is a lighter plum shade that has pinky undertones to it.

It's really easy to wear and it is great for day time.  I frequently choose this one for work, as it adds a little color and it moisturizes my lips.


MAC Lipstick in Plumful

Plumful is one of MAC's Lustre lipsticks.  The lighting in this photo makes it appear to be more of a pink than it is in real life, but it is actually a very pretty mid-tone plum color.

This color is also really good for day time, but it works equally well for evening.  Plumful has a richer and deeper hue to it than Sugar Plum.  It's really beautiful on the lips.

MAC Lipstick in Rebel

Rebel is one of MAC's Satin finishes.  This is a deep, saturated color.

When Rebel is on the lips, it looks a little more purple than it does in the tube.  But it is a really beautiful color.  I like to wear this one in the evening because it has such a dramatic impact.


MAC Powder Blush in Breath of Plum

This blush is such a pretty color.  I would happily wear this every day of the year if I didn't want to change things up a bit with some brighter colors in the spring and summer.

This blush is a pinky plum and it looks lovely on my cheeks.  The color is easy to build up for a more intense look, although, I usually keep it pretty light and natural flush.


Laura Mercier Artist 2 Palette


This palette was a limited edition available at Sephora in Fall 2013.  However, each of the three colors I'm highlighting here are available as single shadow colors. I had never tried eye shadow from Laura Mercier before I got this palette, but I would highly recommend them.  This is my favorite eye shadow palette that I own, slightly edging out Urban Decay.  The colors are beautiful and really pigmented.  They are buttery soft and blend with ease.  If you haven't tried eye shadow from Laura Mercier, it might be a nice little splurge!  My pick would be African Violet.

Laura Mercier Luster Eye Colour in African Violet

I mean it when I say that this is my favorite color in the entire palette!  It has clearly gotten a lot of use, as I hit pan on it months ago.  I was really happy to find out that this color is available as a single and wasn't limited edition.  African Violet adds a light shimmer of plum.  My favorite way to wear it is in the center of the lid, as it is light enough to use as a highlight to make my eyes appear bigger. 


Laura Mercier Matte Eye Colour in Plum Smoke

This is another color that has gotten a lot of love.  It is a matte color, so it looks great all over the lid as a base to build on.  The name does it justice, as it does have a smokey quality to it, although it is not too dark. 


Laura Mercier Sateen Eye Colour in Kir Royal

Don't be fooled by the lighting in this picture.  Kir Royal is a deep, dark plum.  A little goes a long way with this, as it is so soft and blendable.  It looks beautiful on the outer corners to create a smokey eye look.  This color does have a little fall out, so be on the lookout for that.

Overall, these three colors look amazing together to create a pretty, plummy eye look.

So, now you can see why I'm Falling for Plum!  What colors are you loving this Fall?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beauty Steals

Ulta recently had one of their "21 Days of Beauty" events, and I was able to pick up a few of the items that were on my wishlist.

Clarisonic Replacement Brush Heads - Sensitive

I will admit that buying brush heads is not my favorite way to spend my money.  But, I do like using my Clarisonic Mia to ensure that my skin is really clean.  So...I bought two of the brush heads for sensitive skin, as they were buy one get one free.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara


I think that this is my favorite of all of the beauty steals that I was able to get my hands on.  I have used Tarte's Lights, Camera, Flashes mascara before, and I liked it, but I wasn't crazy about the brush, as I am not a big fan of the plastic or silicon mascara brushes.  So, when I got the chance to try the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara for half price, I was really excited!  This mascara has a traditional bristle brush that really helps to separate my lashes.  The formula is lengthening as well as thickening and I love how it makes my lashes look.  If you get a chance to try this mascara, do it; you won't be sorry!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance


I've never tried anything from Too Faced before, but I have heard good things about this eye shadow primer.  The price was really good, so I purchased it, knowing that I won't be using it until I am done with my current primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion). 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm - Medium

I have a couple of eyeshadow palettes from Urban Decay's Naked line, and I love them.  So, when I had a chance to purchase the Naked Skin Beauty Balm at half price, I was intrigued.  I actually had to call four Ulta stores to find one that had the medium shade in stock, so I was pretty excited to try this.  Sadly, I am rather disappointed with this BB cream.  I know that it isn't going to give the same type of coverage as foundation, but when I put this on, I feel like it is putting on any other non-tinted face lotion.  I like that it has a slightly minty scent, and that it has SPF 20, so I will continue to use this BB cream as my daily face cream, and put foundation over it for some coverage.

Overall, I am happy with the products I was able to get my hands on during this event.  I wanted to try the Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel, but by the time I was able to get to the store after work, they were sold out of the color that I wanted.  I will be on the lookout for more deals the next time Ulta has one of these events.