Spring Favorites

With the summer season close to officially starting (my calendar tells me June 21), I wanted to dedicate a little post to the products I’ve been loving all spring.

The first item is a fragrance, and it’s a new addition to my perfume collection.

Simple bottle design, although I took off the plastic pearl attachment that came with it

Simple bottle design, although I took off the plastic pearl attachment that came with it

Note the psychedelic, 60s vibe design...can you dig it?

Note the psychedelic, ’60s vibe design…can you dig it?

Taylor by Taylor Swift is a sweet, floral fragrance with a woodsy base. It opens with fruity notes of lychee and tangerine accompanied by magnolia petals, peony and a hint of vanilla. It has my favorite notes at the base, with sandalwood, apricot nectar and cashmere musk becoming noticeable as it dries down on the skin.

To me, this is such a fun, flirty floral perfume that just screams spring. What’s more is that I immediately went out and bought this after I received a sample of it in an Ulta order I made in March.

So, after three months of wearing this perfume, it is indeed a new favorite of mine. And while the packaging might seem a bit boring, I think it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a chic new spring/summer fragrance.

Next up I’ve got a skincare miracle worker.

korres-wild-rose-vitamin-c-advanced-brightening-sleeping-facial

A holy grail contender...

A holy grail contender…

This is the Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial by Korres.

I’ve not tried much else from this brand before, but I’m a big fan of skin brightening products and I’m glad I took a chance with this overnight facial-in-a-jar. And who doesn’t want glowing, hydrated skin all year ‘round anyway?

While I haven’t had extreme acne problems in my life, I did have some slight discoloration from a couple of acne marks leftover from my teenage years (thanks puberty!). The reason why I say this is a miracle product is because I actually saw my skin brighten, leaving no trace of said acne marks or discoloration. I used this for an entire two weeks straight, as recommended, and followed my basic skincare routine without any deviation.

The Wild Rose Oil is certainly noticeable in this cream, and I absolutely loved how the soothing scent of roses complemented the cool, soothing feel of this on my skin.

I also found it to be very lightweight and moisturizing. Alongside the rose oil and vitamin C, the ingredient list includes rose water, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, rosemary leaf extract, aloe leaf and jojoba seed oil. The only issue I found with this cream is that you get 1.35 oz of product for a nearly $50 price tag. Besides that, I’m 100% in love with this cream and it makes me curious to try more Korres products in the future.

Sticking with the brightening theme, I’ve been loving the Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer by L’Oreal.

The warmer months in Florida generally equate to unreasonable humidity spikes and makeup-melting sunrays. So I’ve been mixing this primer in with the Dream Fresh BB cream from Maybelline for a lightweight, foundation alternative.

The primer comes out stark white color, and has a creamy blendable texture...

The primer comes out stark white color, and has a creamy blendable texture…

Once blended, the primer leaves an illuminating, dewy glow to the skin

Once blended, the primer leaves an illuminating, dewy glow to the skin

I found that it helps to brighten my skin without creating any unnatural white sheen, and it doesn’t leave my skin flaky or dry as some other primers I’ve tried. It also blends in seamlessly, leaving my skin looking natural and healthy. I’d recommend this if you’re looking for a moisturizing primer that leaves a natural, dewy finish on the skin.

Lastly, I’ve been gravitating toward soft, peachy lip colors this spring, especially those with a subtle shimmer that reflects in the sunlight. This lipstick is from the Devine Goddess line by Napoleon Perdis, and has quickly become an everyday staple.

Devine Goddess lipstick in the color Hess

Devine Goddess lipstick in the color Hess

The color swatched at the bottom of the tube is also a pretty accurate representation

The color swatched at the bottom of the tube is also a pretty accurate representation

I found that this lipstick isn’t as creamy as most M.A.C. lipsticks (for reference), but it does have a pretty smooth texture once applied on the lips. I guess you could say it emulsifies once applied on the lips in two or three swipes. It also has a slight, sweet fragrance similar to strawberry shortcake. I was found this shade at my local Target, and it’s one of those pretty, peachy pink colors that I can’t ever resist. I also don’t own any other Napoleon Perdis products, so this is actually a nice first impression of the brand.

Up close swatch with flash photography...do you like?

Up close swatch with flash photography…do you like?

There are golden shimmers running through this lip color, but it’s very subtle and practically unnoticeable when actually applied on the lips. I especially love adding a creamy gloss, like the NYX butter gloss in Crème Brûlée, for a perfect pinky nude lip combo. I also think this is more long-lasting than lipsticks with creamier consistencies, and it does’t feather or bleed at all.

 

That’s all for now…I hope you enjoyed =)

& Comment down below if you have any favorite spring and summer essentials of your own!

 

~TVLYBeauty

 

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N.O.T.D: Metallics in Spring

To say that I’ve been M.I.A. would be an understatement…to say the least.

With the spring season officially starting, I’ve prompted myself to continue my beauty blogging!  It’s literally the least I could do considering I’m still a full-time student…until August…fingers crossed!

A recent purchase inspired me to get back on the blogging bandwagon, and lo and behold it is a nail polish.

Nothing Else Metals

Nothing Else Metals

This is Essie’s Nothing Else Metals nail polish from the 2012 Mirror Metallics collection. And yes, I do realize I’m beyond late with this collection, but in my defense I did make a New Year’s resolution to limit my nail polish purchases. I could undoubtedly start my own salon with the number of polishes I’ve stocked up on.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist this shade…it was just one of those moments:

That moment...

That moment…

It is such a pretty lilac shade that could easily be worn to brighten up a monochromatic outfit or to complement a white summer dress for a sunny beach daytrip.

I'd describe this as a lilac metallic shade with pewter undertones

I’d describe this as a lilac metallic shade with pewter undertones

Here I’ve only applied one coat, and I must say this polish was far more opaque than I expected. It also dried quite quickly, which is perfect for my demanding “#collegelife.” The formula isn’t too thick or thin, which makes for a smooth  application, but I do recommend a second coat as well as a clear topcoat for a more professional, long-lasting manicure look.

On another note, this shade is pretty refreshing when it seems like everyone else is walking around with a hot pink, tropical coral or seaside, baby-blue polish on their nails.

I definitely plan on stalking my local drugstores for other shades from this collection while they’re still available. Especially because the benefit of a “last season” item is that it’s often sold at half the regular retail price.

So, there it is; three months into the New Year I have already broken a resolution.

On the bright side, stay tuned for my next impulse beauty buy…and my beauty blog revival!

Question time: What’s on your nails today?

Until next time,

TVLYBeauty

A Radiant Complexion: Origins Never a Dull Moment Cleanser

I have been a fan of Origins skincare products for quite some time now, and I thought that one product in particular deserves some attention.

This is the Origins Never a Dull Moment skin-brightening face cleanser, which is made with the extracts of crushed papaya and mango, as well as Limonene (lemon oil), Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Bulgarian Rose Flower Oil and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice. With that being said, this is primarily an oil-based cleanser, making it very gentle and nourishing for sensitive skin.

As a cautionary measure, I would advise anyone interested in trying out a product like this to carefully check the list of ingredients, as certain oils or fruit extracts may cause an allergic reaction or irritation. A full list of ingredients can be found here.

What I love about this cleanser is that it is truly moisturizing, gives my skin a natural, radiant glow and is a great complementary product to use after any kind of exfoliation. I also like to use this cleanser after a microdermabrasion treatment or when rinsing off a mask, as it is effective in cleansing off any dead skin cells or removing residue from a mask, while still being gentle enough as to not leave my skin dry or irritated.

After about six months of use, I was so pleased with this cleanser that I purchased a back up as soon as I was close to running out on my first bottle. I also feel that I will continue to repurchase this product, due to its year-round effectiveness and the overall improvement I’ve seen in my skin.

Officially ready to start using my back up

Officially ready to start using my back up

The Never a Dull Moment cleanser is best suited for those with combination or oily skin types, and is Dermatologist and Ophthalmologist tested with the retail price of $20 for 5 fl. oz. I found that one bottle lasted me for about a year of periodic use, and I only needed a pea-size amount of the cleanser each time I used it.

Have you tried out any Origins products? And if so, are there any you would recommend?

Until next time,

TVLYBeauty

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids: Vivid Rose

The new line of Maybelline lipsticks has definitely sparked up hype within the beauty community.  With 10 new super-saturated shades, these lipsticks are reported be have a new honey nectar formulation, which nourishes lips while providing a long lasting, opaque finish.

I’ve always liked the consistency and finish of Maybelline lipsticks and so I was excited to try these vibrant new shades. I chose to try the stunning, hot pink shade called Vivid Rose.

This new formula is certainly creamy and feels comfortable on the lips. I found that one application in the beginning of the day lasted for nearly 5 hours, eventually fading to a softer, lighter shade of pink. As for similar lipsticks, or dupes, I would have to say this color is almost identical to Girl About Town by Mac and Hip Rose by Milani.

I definitely recommend these lipsticks and I think many, if not all, of the bold shades can suit all types of skin color. The colors of these lipsticks are also perfect for transitioning your makeup for the summer time. Priced at $7.49 in local drugstores, Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks have .15oz of product, which makes them a great value for the impressive quality.

What are your thoughts? Are you on board for bright bold lips this summer?

Until next time,

TVLYBeauty

N.O.T.D: Rare & Radiant

This week, my nails are sporting Rare & Radiant by China Glaze. This color originally came out with the China Glaze 2012 Bohemian Luster Chrome collection.

China Glaze nail polish in Rare & Radiant

China Glaze nail polish in Rare & Radiant

Rare & Radiant close up

Rare & Radiant close up

I initially felt compelled to get this duo-chrome polish since it reminded me of mesmerizing green color of scarab beetles. I’ve also always wanted a color like this since MAC came out with the Venomous Villains collection in 2010, featuring beautiful duo-chrome, glitter nail polishes.

Only after I had purchased this nail polish, I found out that it is also evidently a dupe for the Chanel Peridot. From the many online swatch comparisons I found, this is definitely a popular color and looks beautiful in the sunlight.

And while this color isn’t truly a dupe for any of the MAC nail polishes I originally wanted, it certainly is eye catching and just as gorgeous. As with most China Glaze polishes, this polish goes on smooth and dries quickly while still giving an opaque finish with just one coat. A second coat provides a deeper color with more dimension, and I also found this nail polish to be completely chip-resistant throughout the entire week.

I certainly recommend this beautiful duo-chrome polish to anyone seeking an eye catching and unique color to add to their collection. Although this collection came out last year, they are still available at Ulta stores and Ulta.com. They are also currently being sold for $4.99, so you can skip the usual $8 price tag.

Until next time,

TVLYBeauty

March 2013 Glossybox: Spring Fling

Among the countless beauty and fashion subscription services available, I recently chose to sign up for a Glossybox subscription. For anyone unfamiliar with Glossybox, it is a popular monthly beauty subscription service, which delivers 5 beauty samples from a variety of brands wrapped in a beautiful box straight to your door.

What sparked my interest was the appeal of sampling a wide variety of different kinds of products, both skincare and beauty, as per my beauty junkie nature. I also think that it’s a unique way of discovering products from both high- and low-end brands via a monthly theme that specifies the kinds of products featured in the box.There are different subscription plans tailored to better suit your needs; I chose the $21 monthly plan.

I initially signed up in February and decided to hold off reviewing Glossybox at least until I received my second or third box. While I did enjoy some of the products from the February Glossybox, featuring an International Style theme, I found that not all of the products matched my personal style. Another thing I wanted to point out was the fact that Glossybox shipping times are somewhat deceiving. I received the February box on the 28th of February, which resulted in me testing out the products through the first half of March, and I received the March Glossybox on the 30th of March. Notwithstanding the odd delivery times, I feel that my overall experience with Glossybox has been positive so far and I will continue my subscription.

Without further ado, here is my first impression review of the March Spring Fling Glossybox!

IMG_0717

Elite Models Matt Liner in Matt Brown

Elite Models Matt Liner in Matt Brown
The felt tip point provides glide on application

The felt tip point provides glide on application

Here is the liner swatched with both a thin and thick application

Here is the liner swatched with both a thin and thick application

I was absolutely impressed with the longevity and easy application of the Matt Brown liner, as well as its deep espresso color. The sharp felt-tip applicator also allowed for great precision and no streaky lines when I used the liner to create my standard cat-eye look.

Model Co. CHEEK + LIP Tint in the shade Rosy Red

Model Co. CHEEK + LIP Tint in the shade Rosy Red

Here is Rosy Red swatched  before and after blending it into the skin

Here is Rosy Red swatched before and after blending it into the skin

While this Cheek + Lip tint was somewhat drying on the lips, it is to be expected with any lip stain and I recommend exfoliating and moisturizing your lips before applying such a product. Rosy Red is a very beautiful deep rose color that can look very natural and youthful with a light application on the cheeks or lips. It does look a bit scary straight out of the tube, but it is very wearable once blended out.

PRESTICHE Essential Oil Bar Soap in the scent Lathernder

PRESTICHE Essential Oil Bar Soap in the scent Lathernder

PRESTICHE $40 Gift Certificate

PRESTICHE $40 Gift Certificate

The “Lathernder” soap smells very floral, fresh and clean and I am excited to use the gift certificate to further explore other scents and products from Prestiche. I found out that Prestiche uses all natural ingredients in the wide variety of body and skin care products available on its website, which is great for anyone trying to steer clear of artificial preservatives and chemicals.

Pixi Lid Last Shadow Pen in the shade Graphite Glint

Pixi Lid Last Shadow Pen in the shade Graphite Glint

Graphite Glint is a beautiful slate grey with silver iridescent shimmers

Graphite Glint is a beautiful slate grey with silver iridescent shimmers

This Pixi Shadow Pencil provides a very rich, slate grey color that  contains lovely silver shimmer particles throughout applying the shadow all over the lid. I found that on my eyes, the cream shadow lasted for 5 to 6 hours and did not crease. Although I’ve only applied this shadow pencil with an eye primer underneath, I feel like it can still be used as a beautiful stand-alone shadow as well as a unique color to apply as a base for powder eye shadows.

Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce Ultra-firm finishing hairspray

Sebastian Professional Shaper Fierce Ultra-firm finishing hairspray

I always appreciate travel size hairsprays, as they are perfect for vacations and even fit inside my purse for daily on-the-go use. This hairspray does not have an overpowering smell and really helps to keep fly-a-ways under control without giving you a case of “medusa hair” like most extra-hold hair products.

Overall, I was very pleased with the March Glossybox. And every box does not contain the same exact products, since each box is tailored to a personalized beauty profile questionnaire for each subscriber. Also, I am happy with these products since they all seem very travel-friendly and travel-oriented. This month’s Glossybox certainly delivered hair, eyes, lips, face and body essentials.

Has anyone tried Glossybox or other beauty sample subscription services? If so, please let me know your experience in the comments below!

Until next time,

TVLYBeauty

N.O.T.D: In the Nude

Although the popular manicure trend of “nude/manikin nails” was prevalent during last fall/winter season, I decided to finally try a polish I had bought in December just as the trend was at its peak. This is the perfect color to complement my fair skin, as many of the other nude polishes out there have always seemed to look too beige and even dingy-looking with my skin tone. Here’s my pick for a perfect nude polish:

Revlon nail polish in 705 Gray Suede

Revlon nail polish in 705 Gray Suede

 

As with most Revlon nail polishes, Gray Suede applied smoothly and dried quickly, giving my nails a clean, opaque finish with just one coat. With a second coat, the color does become slightly darker and deeper. Up-close, this polish contains tiny sparkles of gold that are barely noticeable from far away, and also appears as a slightly mauve-based polish under certain lighting. That being said, I’m happy to have found a neutral nail polish like this, as I have nothing like it in my collection and it is a pretty unique color.

What do you think: is the nude nails trend a hit or a miss?

TVLYBeauty~

Recent Acquisitions

The New Year brought about newfound curiosities toward a couple of makeup brands I’ve never really noticed before. By the end of January and the short month of February that flew by, I’ve complied a little collective haul of some new products I decided to try.

1) Make Up Forever Complexion Starter Kit

Includes …

  •  HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 110 Pink Porcelain
  •  HD Microfinish Powder
  •  HD Microperfecting Primer
  •  Kabuki Brush

Since MUFE Foundation has received quite a bit of hype from the beauty world for a fairly long time, I thought this kit would be the perfect way to fully experience the HD claims of the brand. While I am testing out another foundation and primer at the moment, I can vouch for the quality of the Kabuki brush. The Microfinish Powder is equally impressive, and quite similar to the Mac Prep & Prime loose powder, as it blends into the skin to create a soft glow. I’ve only delved into MUFE lipsticks, which I love, so I am optimistic about the rest of these products.

2) Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer + No.28 Primer Serum Duo

Many Sephora salespeople have recommended Hourglass products to me in the past, so I decided to finally try their bestselling primers since they are not only paraben-free (something I always look for) but are oil-based and meant to be more hydrating than other primers. This duo also seems to be a much better value than purchasing either of the two primers, which are both pricier at their full size (1oz) as well as their travel size (0.33oz).

3) Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I’ve heard a lot of buzz around Caudalie recently and this product is the perfect introduction to the brand. This is supposed to be a very refreshing mist, part-toner and part-serum, which is what caught my interest. I tested the Beauty Elixir out as soon as I got it and I really do love the effect it provides, as it instantly refreshes my skin and creates a smooth, perfected finish. I’ve only applied this before my moisturizer so I’m not sure of the effects if used on top of makeup. Either way, in the future I would most likely purchase the full size, which is 3.4 fl oz, since I foresee my 1 oz bottle being used up quite quickly.

4) Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil

This is an interesting product, as it is a light cream when first applied on the skin, and then immediately melts in as an oil, just as the product description indicates. However, while it did make my dry hands feel a bit softer upon first use, I thought this creamy oil felt generally greasy and I needed to apply a different hand cream in order to soothe the dryness completely. Overall this feels like a luxury product, but for me it didn’t truly deliver its promises. I can see it possibly working for skin that isn’t overly dry, especially since I purchased it during the winter time to soothe my dry hands.

5) BECCA Perfect Skin Mineral Powder Foundation

I was interested to try out this powder ever since RAEview raved about it on her Youtube channel, since she’s tested out many higher end products and this one stood out to her, I figured it was a safe bet to try it.  While I am still using the MAC Studio Fix powder foundation for touch ups on the go, I’m excited to try this powder as soon as I hit pan on the Studio Fix.

6) Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder

This is a beautiful highlighter with a subtle golden shimmer, with the standard feminine, fairytale-like packaging Too Faced is known for. I do like this highlighter for the fact that the powder itself isn’t too glittery or grainy, and it really does provide a healthy glow to the skin without making it obvious that you’ve used a highlighter. I can, however, also compare it to some of my favorite MAC highlighters, which somewhat lowers its ranking as a HG product. Often times, I look to products like these for dupes of discontinued MAC products, and so I do feel like this is a good buy for anyone looking for a standard subtle highlighter to keep in their makeup collection (kind of like a daily-use item). Personally I try to only use my favorite, but sadly discontinued, products on special occasions and stick to some basic products for daily use.

7) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Exposed

I really think this blush lived up to its longtime hype; this offers the perfect combination of a wearable blush and a subtle, soft contouring powder. I typically love multi-use products, and this blush applies smoothly on the skin and gives a healthy glow without necessitating any other products. Normally, I skip blush or bronzer (simply since it takes longer to apply a full face of makeup in the mornings), but the natural mauve color of this blush has somewhat persuaded me to change up routine and use it in place of other cheek products. For fair skin, this can easily work as a bronzer as well as a contouring powder, as I’ve used it to that effect with a light hand and a small contour brush like the MAC 109.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my show & tell!

Has anyone used any of these products, and if so, what were your thoughts?

Until next time,

TVLYBeauty