Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Smorgs Swap!

So, this post is going up ridiculously late and I'm so sorry! Between work, the holidays, and a bout of Strep Throat, I just haven't had time to get this blog up.

Morgan (Smorgs87 on YouTube) is one of my favorite people to watch. Her videos are super informative and she's really down-to-earth and relatable. I initially found her videos after searching for Little Black Bag reviews, and stumbled upon this video. Then, I won her LBB giveaway, and we've been friends since. We talked about swapping a few months ago and finally made it happen.

I received my box first. Everything was wrapped beautifully in black and silver tissue paper, along with a really cute note explaining the products.

The first thing that stuck out to me first was this beautiful scarf! Initially, I thought it was black, but in the light it's actually a navy. I wore this the day after I got it and LOVED it. It's warm but not TOO warm for LA falls and winters.

Next, my eye went straight to this beauty:

I asked Morgan to pick me up Cranberry Splash because I couldn't find it at my local Sally's. This color is everything I wanted it to be- a rich, blue-based, glowing-from-within red frost. It kind of reminds me of the red stripes on a candy cane.

(Left to Right: Revlon Lip Butters in Pink Truffle, Berry Smoothie and Sugar Plum; Revlon Colorburst Lip Gloss in Pink Ice; Nivea A Kiss of Milk and Honey)

Holy Lip Butters! I asked Morgan for deeper nudes/berries, and boy did she deliver! She also included a beautiful shimmery pink gloss, perfect for the holidays. And I LOVE Nivea Kiss of Honey. I have one in my purse, and I'm going to keep this one at my office.

(Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in 001 Blackest Black; Clinique High Impact Mascara in 01 Black)

I can't wait to try this stuff out! I have a few other eyeliners and mascaras to finish up before I break these guys open, and I'm itching to do so. Morgan swears by both, and I cannot wait to play with them.

(e.l.f blushes in Tickled Pink and Candid Coral)
If these products look used, it's because they are (by me of course!). I love these super soft e.l.f blushes. They are essentially in the same shade family (natural pink), but Tickled Pink is cool-toned and Candid Coral is warm-toned. I've been getting a ton of use out of these.

(Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in Fair)

Lastly is this very much talked about concealer that I can't wait to try (I will once I'm off my antibiotics and don't have to worry about contaminating it). 

Overall, this was SUCH a fun swap and I'm so happy that we got to do it! If you want to see what I got Morgan, check out her video here. Thank you SO much Morgan, I love everything and I hope you love your goodies just as much!!

Disclaimer: All of the products I received from a swap and were not purchased by me, nor am I receiving any type of compensation for this post. This post contains no affiliate links. All opinions are my own.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Swap Time!

After being a longtime viewer of Cha Cha Cakes, aka Teresa on YouTube, I decided to contact her on her Facebook page and see if she would be interested in doing a swap...and she was! Teresa is a fellow couponer and nail polish addict like myself, so I knew I'd be in for a great swap...however, I really did not expect her to spoil me the way she did!

Now I didn't get a chance to take photos of the goodies she sent me right away because I was waiting to get ahold of my boyfriend's DSLR. I simply could not wait an entire week to try some of the stuff out, hence some of the products no longer have their safety seal (Teresa did not send them that way!)

(Left to right: pumice sponge, The Balm Overshadow in "Work is Overrated," Rimmel Stay Matte in "Sandstorm," and CoverGirl LashBlast Volume in Black"

Teresa included some of her favorite products- a pumice sponge (can never have enough of those!), The Balm Overshadow, Rimmel Stay Matte and CoverGirl LashBlast. I've already tried the Stay Matte powder which I've only heard great things about...and I am in LOVE with it! I love using it alone or setting my foundation with it. "Sandstorm" is a perfect match for my skintone, too. I've tried LashBlast a few years ago and remember liking it, so I'm happy to have another tube.

The Balm loose shadow is BEAUTIFUL. Perfect neutral lid shade or inner corner highlight.

(Left to right: Jordana Easyshine in "Fresh Melon," Maybelline Shine Seduction Lip Gloss in #620 "Nude Glow,"  The Balm Plump Your Pucker Tinted Glass in "Cocoa my Coconut," Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in "Smitten," and NYC Lip Sliders Tinted Lip Balm in "Sugar Kiss"

Next was the "Lippie Love Bag." I told Teresa that I am mostly a nude gloss-wearer but was looking to expand into deeper berry colors as well. And yeah, she delivered! The Maybelline gloss just may be my HG nude gloss. I am so impressed by the texture, feel, and the fact that it doesn't give me corpse face. I've also tried the Revlon Kissable Balm Stain and I have to say that it is the perfect way to ease me into deeper lip colors. Just gorgeous! I can't wait to try the other products!

(Left to right: EOS Hand Lotion in "Berry Blossom," Parissa Wax Strips, EOS Shave Cream in "Pomegranate Raspberry," EOS Lip Balm in "Sweet Mint")
Oh my gosh, I LOVE EOS! I've tried the hand lotion before in the minty green package, and I'm stoked to try this scent. I've also tried the EOS shave cream and, of course, the balms, but not either of these scents! And after seeing Teresa's review of the Parisa wax strips, I've been itching to try them.
(Left to right: Mini manicure set, Sally Hansen Salon Effects in #580 "Tattoo Much," Maybelline Express Care Cuticle Moisturizer)
Next up was nail care. I NEEDED one of those cute little pocket manicure sets for times I have a hang nail or mani emergency. The nail strips are adorable, and I can't wait to try the cuticle moisturizer.

(Left to right: Icing Nail Polish in "Rave Royalty," Jordana Glitters in "Fairy Dust," "Funky Gold Town," "Gemstones," Jordana Nail Polish in "Holiday Red," Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in "Dorien Grey," "Navy Baby," OPI in "From A to Z-urich," "Suzi Says Feng Shui"
Now, the best of all! Teresa got a grip of polishes, and I love them all. I've already tried Funky Gold Town, Dorien Grey and From A to Z-urich. They all wore impeccably and I am beyond excited to try the rest.

Teresa also threw in an adorable lipstick pen (by the way, I'm wearing From A to Z-urich here :) ).

Oh, and me being the amateur blogger I am, I forgot to include the awesome Yes to Cucumbers makeup removing towelettes (they were on my vanity when I was taking the regular pictures!). 

And because DSLR cameras are too much fun not to take pictures of your pets, here's a pic of my pup, Wrigley.

Thank you so much, Teresa, for these fabulous goodies. You really spoiled me and I seriously LOVE everything I got!

Disclaimer: All of the products I received from a swap and were not purchased by me, nor am I receiving any type of compensation for this post. This post contains no affiliate links. All opinions are my own.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

CVS Beauty Clearance Haul

Thanks to the amazing G at Nouveau Cheap, I was able to use her Master Beauty List and do some serious damage at CVS:

Physicians Formula Hydrating Eye Cream, orig. $19.99, reduced to $4.99, less $1.00 coupon: $3.99

Physicians Formula Hydrating and Balancing Moisturizer orig. $19.99, reduced to $4.99, less $1.00 coupon: $3.99

Ardell Fashion Lashes #136 orig. $5.79, reduced to $2.89

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara in 001 Black orig. $8.49, reduced to $2.12, less $1.00 coupon: $1.12

Crest Pro-Health Anticavity Fluoride Rinse, orig. $6.49, reduced to $5.99, less $5.00 CVS Beauty Club ECB Reward: $0.99

Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definition Nail Color in DVD, orig. $6.99, reduced to $1.75

Ardell Fashion Lashes in Demure Black, $4.99 (not on sale :( )

Revlon Luxurious Color Satin Eye Shadow in Polished Bronze, orig. $5.49, reduced to $1.37

Essence of Beauty Smoky Eye Shadow Brush, orig. $6.99, reduced to $1.75

The Magic Coupon Machine printed out a $4 off a $12 Beauty purchase, and also a $5 ECB for having previously reached $50 in beauty products (details here). I used that ECB to pay for the Crest mouth wash in the first transaction, which then produced another $5 ECB reward to use on the main beauty purchase.

Ready for the grand totals? Including tax, for both transactions I spent $16.10, and SAVED $72.27! Now that's what I call a great deal!

So, thank you again, G, for compiling this great list and helping us all save so much money!

Disclaimer: No products were provided for consideration, nor am I receiving any type of compensation for this post. This post contains no affiliate links. All opinions are my own.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LBB #2!

I am so excited to be posting my second Little Black Bag review! I actually won Morgan's (smorgs87) 100 subscriber give-away! Please check out Morgan's channel here! And guys, I seriously NEVER win anything. This was such a pleasant surprise and I'm even more excited about making my first YouTube/blog friend. Morgan is awesome, go subscribe. And as I type this, she's almost at 200, so clearly other people think she's cool, too :)

On to the bag! I was definitely more pleased with LBB's gallery selection this time around. I decided almost immediately, however, that this Melie Bianco purse was what my choice would be. And behold, it is even MORE gorgeous than the pictures online give it credit for:

(Like my impromptu backdrop/beach towel? Yeah, pretty high-tech over here).

I had a little trepidation over getting this bag for two reasons- it's a lot smaller than my regular bags, and it's not real leather, and normally I'm a huge stickler about real leather bags. But I checked it out on Melie Blanco's website, and it was featured on Heart of Dixie! I have never seen that show, but still, it was on tv and stuff!

Here's the bag compared to my Mac palette-- as you can see, it is quite small:

However, the small size of the bag forces me to stay organized- my purses have tendencies to turn into black holes of gum wrappers, receipts, a million different lip balms, and just general disorganization. There is literally no room for that nonsense in this bag. The fake leather doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It isn't a pleathery, shiny hot mess like some fake leather bags tend to be. I love that this is a structured, classic bag- very different from the slouchy, hobo-esque totes I tend to lug around. 

I also love the fun little details. It has FEET! I've always wanted a purse with the little nubs at the bottom- so classic looking. Also, the lock actually unlocks with the key, so I'm constantly playing with it.

Love the interior! My iPhone fits perfectly in the larger open pocket.

Overall, I'm really enjoying this bag. I've already gotten a ton of compliments on it which is fun. It's a great size for going out at night, too.

Next up- these AWESOME Lydell earrings:

I first heard about these from Michele1218's video, and again in Morgan's! They are just as beautiful as I was hoping.

(Backs of the earrings)

And here they are on. I see myself wearing these a ton!

Lastly, a Michael Marcus nail polish in "Nude":

To be honest, I'd never heard of this brand before, but I am SO impressed with this polish! It's a jelly nude that reminds me of a peachier version of OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy. It stayed on my nails a full three days which is nearly impossible for me. I'd definitely be interested in seeing what else this brand has to offer.

 (4 coats, gross cuticles)

I continue to be impressed by the quality and service of Little Black Bag. I can't wait to try it again.

Thank you, Morgan, for this awesome give-away! I love ALL my pieces!

Disclaimer: I received a Little Black Bag credit as part of a YouTube giveaway. I am not receiving any compensation for this post. This post contains no affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Julep's Cinco De Mayo Mystery Box!

About a week and a half ago, I placed my first order with Julep and decided to, instead of going with a monthly Maven subscription, try out one of their Mystery Boxes. They're pretty well-regarded in the beauty blogosphere/YouTube world, and I felt more comfortable trying out a one-time purchase instead of a monthly service. Here's what was in my box:

Christina- an orangey red with a strong gold/orange shimmer.

Parker- a tangerine creme.

Hayden- a cantaloupe creme.

Alyson- a beigey nude creme.

Vanessa- an icy blue-green-yellow shimmer in a cloudy base

Finally, some nail appliques in "Peacock." I'm not a fan of the Sally Hansen variety of nail polish strips, so we'll see how these do.

I also got a rapid dry top coat- just used this to touch up my manicure, and it indeed dries fast!- and some cuticle oil.

We'll see how these polishes perform! Definitely looking forward to trying 'em out. If you got a Mystery Box, what did you get?

Disclaimer: No products were provided for consideration, nor am I receiving any type of compensation for this post. This post contains no affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's in My Little Black Bag?

So some of you may already know, due-in-part to various beauty/style bloggers/vloggers, of a monthly (or one-time, if you choose) subscription service called Little Black Bag. I highly suggest checking out Michele1218's video on it here where she gives a comprehensive description of the program. Basically, you pay either $49.95 (if you elect for the automatic monthly-service) or $59.95 (for one-time customers). You also need to pay an additional $4.95 for shipping. I decided to do the one-time order, because I wasn't sure how I would like it. You pick an item from their gallery which includes several designer brands (Steve Madden, Kenneth Jay Lane, Big Buddha, and Betsey Johnson were among the brands that I recognized), and they surprise you with two items. You then get to trade with other members on the site for a week until you are satisfied with your bag, and then they ship it to you.

So, here's what I picked out:

Big Buddha - Large Frame Sunglasses

I had been looking for a pair of sunglasses in tortoise shell, and these fit the bill. I appreciate this cool detailing on the side:

I was really hoping that these would provide full UV protection (otherwise, what's the point?), and I'm happy to say that these do!

I think that this is a really crucial quality of the sunglasses that should be mentioned on the LBB website. I noticed that the descriptions of the items are pretty bare-bones, and I assume that this is because there is such a rapid turnover with their inventory (there are usually only 5-10 items of a kind at once), so maybe they don't have time to constantly be updating their information. Still, this would be something very important for the consumer to know.

I also REALLY wish it had come with a case instead of a little pouch. For a pair of sunglasses that retails for $38, I expect a hard case that will protect them. I can't just throw these in my purse without fear that they'll get crushed, so I'm sure I'll be buying a case for them at some point.

Here's a shot of me wearing the sunglasses (with a scary, not-smiling face, so you can see where the sunglasses naturally rest on my face). I took a risk ordering sunglasses online, but luckily I'm happy with the appearance (perfectly bug-eyed! ;) )

Next are the items that I did not originally choose. I actually traded for them both- I originally got an iPhone 4 case (I already have a case for my phone that I like) and a necklace that wasn't really my style, so I traded with other members for several days before I was fully satisfied with my bag. First up, these Robert Rose Tri Colored Stone Open Earrings (retail: $14):

(Quarter added for scale). I was VERY pleasantly surprised by these- they are much heavier (but not too heavy) and more substantial than I expected. The craftsmanship on the embedding of the stones appears to be very sturdy and well-done. I'm really excited about these!

Lastly, this beautiful Arrow Head Necklace by Steve Madden (retail: $50):

This is another very well-made, nice piece of jewelry. It's metal is tri-colored (silver, gold, and bronze), so I can mix and match it with other jewelry. I also feel that it lends itself to casual OR more formal wear, so it's great to have a versatile piece like this.

I love this bronze linking at the top of the necklace:

Here's a pic of the necklace on...even pretty with just a plain white t-shirt!

So let's get down to the nitty-gritty of likes and dislikes of Little Black Bag:

What I liked:

  • It's an INGENIOUS idea. The trading is really fun and very addicting. I tried explaining the concept to my guy friend, and he likened it to the girl version of Fantasy Football, which I found amusing and pretty accurate.
  • Overall, the retail cost of these products would have totaled $102 + tax, which here in California would have added up to $110.93. I paid $63.62 altogether (including shipping and tax, and that includes a 10% off code that I used from one of the YouTube beauty vloggers), saving me $47.31. Pretty awesome!
  • The pieces I received were awesome quality. I think this would be great way to get gifts for family/friends for birthdays, holidays, etc, at a discounted price.
 What I didn't like:
  • I REALLY wish that there were more details on the products, models wearing them, etc. that would help the consumer make a better choice instead of just shooting in the dark (I feel like we're already taking a risk of not getting to really pick our other two items). The more information, the better.
  • It would also be cool if you could "block" trade offers on items you weren't interested in trading (like the one you picked out), or block trade offers on certain items (if I don't want that laptop case from Person A, I'm not going to want the same laptop case for the same item from Person B).
  • Again, I REALLY wish that my sunglasses came with a case. I realize that this isn't entirely LBB's fault, and rather the manufacturer's, but again, to know this information in the product description before committing to buying it would be awesome.
All-in-all, I had a lot of fun with this service. I would most certainly be interested in doing it again, though maybe not monthly ($49.95 + tax and shipping is a LOT to spend per month!).  I'll be interested to see how this company evolves in the months to come :)

Disclaimer: No products were provided for consideration, nor am I receiving any type of compensation for this post. This post contains no affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Greetings Blogosphere!

I figured I should probably introduce myself here before delving into any future posts. If you're at all like me, then you may be curious about the person writing the posts, their background, etc. If you're not at all like me in this regard, feel free to disregard this ramble-y post :)

My name is Meg. I'm a 23 year old recent (well, I guess it's been almost two years, woops) college grad born and raised in Los Angeles. I work a (what I like to think) big-girl job (read: entry-level) and am trying to find my place in this crazy world (just like everyone else, probably!).  I have been a lurker, commenter, and admirer of the internet beauty community for almost four years now (I stumbled upon the Youtube beauty community in Fall of 2008, and quickly discovered blogs after that). I have followed tons of other blogs (Nouveau CheapScrangie, and of course, the mother of all beauty blogs, Temptalia, and many more). Since then, I have hemmed and hawed over the prospect of creating my own blog. I'm sure this blog will be beauty-focused, but it may include, from time-time, tidbits about other things. But who doesn't love tidbits?! ;)

I finally decided to jump into it during a recent Hautelook shopping spree. Bodyography was being featured and had some neat looking polishes. I began clicking through and Google-Imaging the ones that looked interesting, but had no luck finding any pictures. I finally decided to purchase a polish solely on the name (sadly, I've been guilty of that a few times..)- Prague. I'm part (distantly) Czech, so I was drawn to it, and the fact that it was an interesting, murky purple didn't hurt.

I was very pleasantly surprised when this little guy knocked my socks off. 

I paid $4 on Hautelook, but I believe that it retails for $8.50 on the Bodyography website.

This went on my nails like BUTTER. Although my pictures are after two coats, one coat could easily deliver desired opacity.



It's a very difficult color to describe...almost grape/wine-y, mauve/taupey even. It retains that level of murkiness that keeps it from looking too "Grandma-y" and pretty on-trend. I went through my stash and couldn't find an exact dupe, though I have some that come close. If anyone is interested, I'd gladly show a comparison.

Then there's the brush. I am normally a fan of the wider, flatter brushes, but this brush gave me no trouble. Here it is compared to China Glaze's (second from the top) and OPI's (last from the top):


The 3-free element of polishes is really important to me. Bodyography's appear to be 3-free, which is awesome.

(Ingredients: Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimeltic Anhydride, Copolymor, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Propyl Acetate, Butyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Benzophenone-1, Citric Acid, Dimethicone)

Wear on this polish appears to be about average- 2-3 days before noticeable chipping.

I definitely would be interested in seeing what else this line has to offer, as I'm quite impressed with this polish.

Prague and other shades by Bodyography are available here.

Disclaimer: No products were provided for consideration, nor am I receiving any type of compensation for this post. This post contains no affiliate links. All opinions are my own.