Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Desert Essence Island Mango Hand & Body Lotion Review

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desert essence island mango hand and body lotion review

Desert Essence Island Mango Hand & Body Lotion

I've seen Desert Essence products while grocery shopping (Whole Foods), but never grabbed anything. When given the opportunity to try their Island Mango Hand and Body lotion recently I jumped at the chance! I 100% prefer products I absorb into my body such as lotions are void of certain ingredients and Island Essence is very careful when it comes to the ingredients they use.


desert essence island mango hand and body lotion review
Click to view the ingredients list



Dessert Essence Island Mango Hand & Body Lotion Review

Product Type - hand & body lotion
Scent - mango (very real, not chemical)
On the Body - absorbs nicely; very hydrating; smells amazing
Price - $8.99 (retail) currently on sale as of the time of this post for $6.74 on Desert Essence's site
Where to Buy - desertessence.com and other retailers listed on the site
My Thoughts - I'm super, super picky about my skin care and give the facts I have dry skin, live in New England and have hard water my moisturizers have to be up for the challenge. This is amazing! It smells good enough to eat, hydrates my skin super well and doesn't contain a lot of ingredients I avoid in my personal skincare products. I often find lotions describe thinner products, but this is a nice, thick cream that absorbs beautifully and doesn't leave a super greasy film behind. This is absolutely a must in my book. And the price point is fantastic to boot! I completely recommend everyone give this a try because it is so phenomenal. Our entire family has been using it the last couple weeks and everyone has had an amazing experience--even the little guys!



Desert Essence offers a wide variety of products and scents so while I can't recommend any other than this one in particular as I haven't tried others yet, I do suggest checking out what else is available!

Would you give this body and hand lotion a try? 


Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Unknown Pleasures Review & Swatches - Partial Collection

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occ unknown pleasures lip tar review

OCC Uknown Pleasures Fall/Winter 2014

OCC, one of my long-time favorite cosmetic companies, have recently released their Fall/Winter 2014 collection, which includes 6 lip tars, 2 cosmetic colour pencils and 6 nail polishes. I have 4 of the lip tars and both cosmetic colour pencils to share with you!


OCC Unknown Pleasures Fall/Winter 2014 Swatches - Partial Collection

I've changed the lighting and camera settings to best capture the color of each shade, which tends to result in odd discoloration in my skin in the shots, but the lips are at least more color accurate. I prefer not to edit color much after taking shots as I find that's never as accurate for me. 

occ covet lip tar swatch
OCC Covet Lip Tar

occ lament lip tar swatch
OCC Lament Lip Tar

occ manhunter lip tar swatch
OCC Manhunter Lip Tar

occ vain lip tar swatch
OCC Vain Lip Tar

occ lydica and sebastian cosmetic colour pencil swatches
L to R - OCC Lydia Cosmetic Colour Pencil, OCC Sebastian Cosmetic Colour Pencil


OCC Unknown Pleasures Review - Partial Collection


OCC Covet Lip Tar Review

Product Type - liquid lipstick
Scent - light peppermint
Shade - "camel" beige brown
Finish - matte
On the Lips - amazing pigmentation; smooth application
Price - $18 retail
Where to Buy - OCCMakeup.com  Sephora.com
My Thoughts - I'm a huge fan of OCC, but I was incredibly impressed by the pigmentation and coverage of this particular shade given it's lighter tone. The shade itself is a really lovely "camel" light brown. I look forward to mixing it with some pinks to create lovely nudes! Great shade.


OCC Lament Lip Tar Review

Product Type - liquid lipstick
Scent - light peppermint
Shade - light-medium slightly pink peach 
Finish - matte
On the Lips - great pigmentation; vibrant color; smooth finish on lips
Price - $18 retail
Where to Buy - OCCMakeup.com  Sephora.com
My Thoughts - This is a color I've seen a few versions of this summer, but I have to say, this is one of the loveliest! I think this shade works very well for a variety of complexions, especially medium girls. As it's a lip tar, it's easy enough to adjust if you prefer it a tad pinker or a tad more peach. Just a fabulous shade all around!


OCC Vain Lip Tar Review

Product Type - liquid lipstick
Scent - light peppermint
Shade - deep blue with slight green tone
Finish - matte
On the Lips - amazing pigmentation; smooth application
Price - $18 retail
Where to Buy - OCCMakeup.com  Sephora.com
My Thoughts - This is a very unique shade. It's definitely a fairly deep blue, but there's something slightly green about it from different angles. While it isn't a shade I'd wear on an average day, the pigmentation is absolutely fantastic and it applies like a dream, so it could certainly be worn on its own or mixed with other lip tars. This shade does stain, so keep that in mind.


OCC Manhunter Lip Tar Review

Product Type - liquid lipstick
Scent - light peppermint
Shade - brilliant nearly primary red with gold flecks
Finish - metallic
On the Lips - amazing shade with great application and coverage; stunning in person; flecks are subtle but add dimension; metallic finish is soft and not overwhelming
Price - $18 retail
Where to Buy - OCCMakeup.com  Sephora.com
My Thoughts - Where to begin? This shade is so absolutely stunning, my jaw literally dropped after applying it! If Dorothy's ruby slippers had a baby with OCC this lip tar would pop out--amazing. The base itself is almost a primary red (slightly orange-toned from some angles) with gorgeous, subtle gold flecks that provide dimension, but aren't overwhelming. The finish is actually extremely smooth and the metallic quality is super lovely and soft. OCC has done other metallic finish reds in the past and I always enjoy them, but there's something so special about this one! Fantastic. If you can only buy 1 thing from this collection it needs to be this. 


OCC Lydia Cosmetic Colour Pencil Review

Product Type - cosmetic pencil (not meant for eye area)
Shade - mauve plum
Finish - matte
On the Lips - great pigmentation; smooth texture
Price - $16 retail
Where to Buy - OCCMakeup.com  Sephora.com
My Thoughts - I really like OCC's cosmetic colour pencils and own almost all of them. This color is one I look forward to getting a lot of use out of this fall! I was originally going to swatch it on my lips, but being a total bum I didn't realize how much Vain would stain my lips (I never swatch lippies with anything underneath them so they're as true to color as possible) and wasn't able to swatch the pencils at the time. I've since used it and it is really great on lips. This is not recommended for use near the eyes.


OCC Sebastian Cosmetic Colour Pencil Review

Product Type - cosmetic pencil (multipurpose)
Shade - slightly taupe medium brown
Finish - matte
On the Lips - great pigmentation; smooth texture
Price - $16 retail
Where to Buy - OCCMakeup.com  Sephora.com
My Thoughts - I love this shade! It screams fall smoky eyes to me and I tend to prefer cool and neutral browns over warm browns in most cases. I think this is a great eye shade and one those who prefer to avoid black or who simply want some nice smoky brown eyes may turn to this fall. 


What do you think of OCC's Fall/Winter 2014 shades? Which are your favorites?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions stated above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Old Spice Successful Combination with the Mandroid!



I have found that combos make everything better!

Peanutbutter and Jelly, Steak and Cheese--combos!

Lately I've been interviewing a lot, which got me thinking. My favorite combo when headed into an interview would have to be a fresh hair cut combined with a well-pressed, sharp outfit. The only way to make this better would be to add a second combo--Old Spice 2+1 shampoo and conditioner along with Old Spice body wash. Top it off with Old Spice Antiperspirant and Deodorant and you'd be good to go!




With a combo like that you are sure to stand out in the crowd for all the right reasons.

Obviously I am not the only one that feels this way. Old Spice did a survey of men between the ages of 18-35 and this is what they learned:

  • 49% of men over the age of 21 that were surveyed said pizza was there favorite combo with beer
  • 35% of men surveyed said they would have bacon and eggs combo if stuck on an island
  • 40% of men surveyed said the hammer and nails combo would be what they used to fix almost anything


Ready to get your combo on? Click here for a coupon to save some cash on Old Spice products. This coupon expires September 30th, so make sure you jump on it!

Check out my favorite Old Spice commercial--hilarious stuff!

 


Want to learn more about guys and combos? Check out what Old Spice learned!


This post was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Old Spice. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kit Revamp Part 2 - RCMA Highlight & Contour Palette

PURCHASED BY ME

rcma highlight and contour palette review

Kit Revamp Part 2 - RCMA Highlight & Contour Palette

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm currently revamping my kit with new products I've been researching for some time. If you'd like to see my last post, please feel free to read my thoughts on MAQPRO Lip & Rouge Palette PP18

I have a handful of contouring and highlighting favorites (cream and powder), many of which I've shared with you over the years. But I've been looking for new cream highlighter and contour shades with slightly different texture than what I currently have. After doing a lot of research, I landed on RCMA's Highlight & Contour palette. I love that RCMA is such a veteran pro cosmetic company, that their products include a minimum of 50% pigment and that they're so basic yet so effective. Sometimes "less" is definitely more. I grabbed this palette in my last order from CameraReadyCosmetics.com, which I previously mentioned is one of my 2 favorite pro makeup retailers at the moment. Great customer service and a good selection of brands and products.

The RCMA Highlight & Contour palette was designed by professional makeup artists and the shades are fantastic--no orange toned contour shades! Have you ever seen an orange shadow? Me either. 


RCMA Highlight & Contour Palette


rcma highlight and contour palette review

rcma highlight and contour palette review

rcma highlight and contour palette review

rcma highlight and contour palette swatches
RCMA Swatches L to R - YH-1, CS-1, CS-2, S-1, S-5
YH-1 - light creamy yellow
CS-1 - light pinky flesh tone
CS-2 - light-medium peachy flesh tone
S-1 - light-medium gray brown
S-5 - deep gray brown

rcma highlight and contour palette swatches
RCMA Swatches L to R - YH-1, CS-1, CS-2
*I reduced the exposure level in this pic slightly as my lighting was a bit bright and made it slightly difficult to see them.

RCMA Swatches L to R - S-1, S-5


RCMA Highlight & Contour Palette Review


RCMA Highlight & Contour Palette

Product Type - palette of 3 cream highlight and 2 cream contour shades
Fragrance - none
On the Face - super pigmented; great wear; super blendable; great contour shades
Price - $30 retail 
Where to Buy - CameraReadyCosmetics.com 
My Thoughts - These are extremely pigmented. I found the lighter colors were slightly firmer than the deeper colors, which is something I've come across with other high-pigment creams, but all were super workable once warmed on the skin. None were chalky or dry by any means, just slightly firm when scooping product out with a spatula. These blended beautifully and remained workable long after they were first applied. I actually quickly blended one of the edges of each shade out after taking all my initial shots to show you below. These didn't pull at or grab at the skin when applied to the face, even after sitting untouched for a bit. I find this characteristic makes for such a better blended finish in my opinion. 

rcma highlight and contour palette swatches and review
Quickly blended one edge out long after they'd been applied

rcma highlight and contour palette swatches and review
So blendable! Now imagine these shades in the hollows of your client's cheeks or your cheeks - perfection!

For reference, I think the shades in this palette are somewhat comparable to the shades you get if you put both of Senna's Face Sculpting Kits together. If you like Senna's Face Sculpting Kits, but would prefer a straight cream vs cream-to-powder formula, you may find you like this as much if not more. I felt these were slightly more blendable personally, but a lot of it may just come down to personal preference and what other products you're using at the time. I tend to really like creams when it comes to face products.

I definitely think the highlighter shades are fantastic, but I'm always a tad more impressed by fabulous contour shades as I've found some companies just don't create shades I'd personally use for contouring--not a fan of bronzer as contour or orange-browns. I love how compact this palette is--same size as Graftobian's 5-shade HD Glamour Foundation palettes. Given how pigmented these are, I'd assume this palette will last a long time in my kit before having to be replaced. RCMA sells individuals of almost all of their products, but I didn't see these shades specifically listed so I'll have to look into whether or not this can be refilled by purchasing individual shades as they run out. Either way, I think this is a fantastic highlight and contour palette and well worth the investment. 

Have you tried RCMA's Highlight & Contour Palette? What do you look for in highlight and contour products when purchasing for your kit and/or for yourself?

Note: Product was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Saturday Beauty Deals, Sales, Promo Codes

Affiliate Links

I've had some of you ask about any special sales I'm aware of, so I thought it might be helpful to put together a list of some that I'm currently aware of going on this weekend! If you have any to share please comment below.

Happy shopping!

Sigma free shipping in August on $50+ in US

10% off Sugarpill for the month of August with promo code PILLKITTY

35% off Gap.com with promo THANKS as well as in-store. I believe it's 40% for cardholders. Ends 8/11 

Skindinavia 20% off plus free shipping plus free travel primer with code 20FREE 8/9-8/10

Tons of goodies in Sephora's sale section plus Beauty Insiders get extra points. Ends 8/10

Lorac Pro 2 Palette ships free at Beauty.com with free shipping on orders over $35+

Gilt.com has Laura Mercier on sale for up to 65% off

Gilt.com has blow out on Rebecca Minkoff and other high-end designs bags

Free samples or option of coupon from Kotex. Ends 8/29




Friday, August 8, 2014

SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Shampoo & Hair Masque Review

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shea moisture superfruit complex 10-in-1 renewal system shampoo and hair masque review

SheaMoisture Profile

SheaMoisture is a family-owned brand with roots that stretch 4 generations back all the way to Sierra Leone. The brand is dedicated to remaining both eco-friendly and organic while infusing all of their products with the benefits of Shea Butter and other natural ingredients. 

I was recently given the opportunity to try a selection of their hair and skin products and these are the first I'll be sharing with you. As most of you know, I have textured, thick hair that is incredibly needy and difficult at times, so finding good hair products for my hair has always been a challenge.


SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Shampoo & Hair Masque Review


SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Shampoo Review

Product Type - sulfate-free shampoo meant to revitalize and protect both the scalp and hair
Scent - sweet musky fragrance (not super heavy in the hair)
In the Hair - lathers well; rinses well; cleanse hair without leaving it dry
Price - $10.99 retail (13 oz bottle)
Where to Buy - SheaMoisture.com, Ulta.com, as well as a number of drugstores and some big-box retailers
My Thoughts - I always tend to prefer sulfate-free shampoos as I find that if they're high-quality, my hair responds to them well. This is a great sulfate-free shampoo. Despite being sulfate-free, it lathers pretty well and cleanses hair very well. I didn't find this dried my hair out at all. While the fragrace of this shampoo is moderately strong while washing your hair, it is very light once rinsed. I found my hair was soft and shiny over the course of the last 2 weeks I used this shampoo in combination with the hair masque below. Overall, great in my opinion, especially for the price!


SheaMoisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Hair Masque Review

Product Type - anti-oxidant filled super moisturizer with oils meant to smooth course hair
Scent - sweet musky fragrance (light in hair)
In the Hair - extremely moisturizing; rinses easily; leaves hair soft an shiny
Price - $12.99 retail (12 oz tub)
Where to Buy - Ulta.com exclusive
My Thoughts - I absolutely love hair masques! I find they're often extra thick, extra luxe and super hydrating--exactly what my hair needs. While I generally find you have to allow hair masques to sit in your hair a couple minutes longer than regular conditioner, I think it's worth the time. This is a great hair masque, especially given its price. It left my hair soft and shiny and more manageable than usual. Love it!

Have you tried any of SheaMoisture's hair or skin products? Would you try these?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kit Revamp Part 1 - MAQPRO Lip and Rouge Palette PP18

PURCHASED BY ME

maqpro lip and rouge palette pp18 review

Kit Revamp Part 1 - MAQPRO Lip and Rouge Palette PP18

I discussed earlier this summer how I planned to revamp my kit for freelancing. In the last few years I've taken far less gigs because of all the things going on with my little guys, but now I'm gearing up to go full-swing this fall. I went through all the products in my kit and felt it was time for a change, so I've begun purchasing some of the new products I've researched and intend to add or replace other products in my kit with. I thought it might be fun for you guys if I shared some of these products. Whether you're a makeup artist or beauty enthusiast, hopefully you'll find some of these posts helpful or at least interesting. The products I'll be featuring in this series will be meant for pro use, but that doesn't mean a beauty enthusiast can't enjoy them!


MAQPRO Lip and Rouge Palette PP18 Review

maqpro lip and rouge palette pp18 review

maqpro lip and rouge palette pp18 review


The first product I'm going to feature is one I purchased recently from Camera Ready Cosmetics. It's one of Le Maquillage Professional or MAQPRO's popular fard creme palettes in PP18, which is filled with shimmerless, sparkless cheek and lip colors--though obviously they can be used for anything. This is one of the MAQPRO palettes I chose because, as you know, I love cream cheek products and prefer to have a wide variety of lip colors on me as well. While I have palettes and palettes of lipsticks, I really want to condense this part of my kit as much as possible, so I thought this palette might help get me started.

As I mentioned above, these shades have no shimmer or sparkle, making them more versatile and appropriate as dual cheek and lip colors. You can always adjust the finish if you need a shimmer product. These are not super matte, more of a semi-matte, which I prefer on cheeks and lips! 

This petite palette includes 10 wells stuffed full of pigmented creams totaling 30 grams of product. This palette measures 2.5" x 2.25", so it's small but holds a lot.


MAQPRO PP18 Palette Swatches

Just a heads up, for some reason my camera did not pick up some of the colors accurately in the 5-shade shots no matter what I did, so please note my descriptions below.

maqpro lip and rouge palette pp18 swatches
MAQPRO PP18 row 1 shades L to R - 145, 146, 148, 151, 152
145 - slightly coral pink
146 - coral med pink
148 - rusty red-brown (showing a tad more brown here than in person)
151 - dusty mauve rose (pulls brown here, but more accurate below)
152 - rosy pink

maqpro lip and rouge palette pp18 swatches
L to R - 145, 146, 148

maqpro lip and rouge palette pp18 swatches
L to R - 151, 152
maqpro pp18 rouge and lip swatches
MAQPRO PP18 Row 2 L to R - 153, 154, 155, 157, 159
153 - slightly orange pink-red (pulls a little more red above than in person)
154 - close to primary red (pulls slightly more orange in the pic)
155 - raspberry fuchsia
157 - slightly coral med deep pink
159 - med salmon (in the group shot above it pulled really deep orange, see swatch below for more accurate shot)
*153 and 154 appear closer in this pic than they are in person.

maqpro pp18 rouge and lip swatches
L to R - 153, 154, 155

maqpro pp18 rouge and lip swatches
L to R - 157, 159


MAQPRO Lip and Rouge Palette PP18 Overview

Product Type - pro colored creams 
Finish - semi-matte
On the Skin - well-pigmented, long-wearing (some staining on bare skin); blends nicely once warmed slightly on the skin
Price - $52.61 retail (at CameraReadyCosmetics.com which offers free shipping over $60+)
Where to Buy - I purchased mine directly from CameraReadyCosmetics.com. You may also be able to find this palette at other pro makeup retailers. 
My Thoughts - I absolutely love this palette. The variety of pink and red shades is exactly what I was looking for in this specific color range and the formula itself is great. I also like how well these apply and wear on both cheeks and lips--they can be blended with other products to sheer them down or alter the finish if you feel the need. I plan to buy a few more palettes with other lip shades and finishes as MAQPRO offers such a wide variety. I'll be sure to share those down the line as well. I think if you like Kevyn Aucoin's Creamy Glow cheek/lip creams (also in my kit), you'll like these. These are more pigmented and less sheer, but almost similar to a degree in texture. Overall, very happy with this palette and excited to continue to work with it.

On a side note, I'd just like to mention that my experiences with Camera Ready Cosmetics have been phenomenal! I have several pro makeup retailers I purchase from, but 2 stand out to me--CRC being one of them. They're extremely professional and quick to answer any questions--they even offer chat through their website while you shop. Their prices are great to boot and their pro program is nice. I highly, highly recommend them if you enjoy good customer service while shopping for your pro products. 

Are you familiar with MAQPRO? Have you tried any of the petite palettes?

Note: This product was purchased by me and all opinions above are my own based on my personal experience.