Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LUSH Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask

Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing well. I have some exciting newness for you all today - the latest and greatest from LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics! Recently they sent me a sample of their new Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask. I got to review it and here I am to talk to you about it today!




Cup O' Coffee Face and Body Mask (lushusa.com, $10.95, above/$19.95) is a handmade face and body mask designed to wake up tired complexions. It's made with ground coffee, cocoa extract, kaolin clay, and agave syrup to cleanse and exfoliate skin and leave it feeling invigorated and glowing.



The mask is a wonderfully thick muddy texture with ground coffee bits in it, and it smells like delicious coffee and chocolate. I absolutely love the fragrance of this mask and have found myself opening it up quite a bit over the past few days and sniffing it! It smells a lot like the LUSH Copperhead shampoo bar. The scent is so warm and comforting and so very decidedly LUSH.



I applied the mask to my face for 10 minutes as directed and made sure to take lots of silly photos while I waited. 


After 10 minutes, I rinsed my face with warm water, being sure to give my face a nice gentle scrub with the coffee grounds while I rinsed. When I dried my face off, I was surprised at how glowy and smooth my skin was! The scent was absolutely invigorating and I found myself ready for the day! I'm a LUSH mask fan and you can usually find Mask of Magnaminty in my stash (it's a staple). This one will quickly replace my beloved Mask of Mag! It was so gentle yet invigorating, and left me with such a beautiful glow!

I was sure to test it out on my boyfriend, too - he absolutely loved it as well! Total A+ product for us.
Have you been able to try LUSH's newest creation yet? Have you been meaning to? Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

HARE polish : Dreams Under a Microscope

 Hi everyone, hope you are all well. I've been crazy busy lately as usual, and it's all for good - I received another promotion at work! I hold the honors of having a position created just for me, and I'm the only one in the entire enterprise who has it. Really cool feeling, and it's a great feeling when your hard work pays off.

I have a beautiful polish to show you guys today from my very favorite nail polish brand. HARE polish has been cranking out some amazing creations since 2011ish, and I've been a rabid fan ever since. To give you an idea of my devotion, I have pretty much every single HARE polish that's ever come out. Ever. I am missing a couple of them, but they're early ones that haven't been remade (I'm looking at you, Heffalumps).

HARE's founder, Nikole, is such a sweet, warm human being and she's always there to answer my questions and deal with my constant drooling over her product. Nikole was kind enough to share this polish with me at a promotional price so I could show my readers. Thank you Nikole!


Dreams Under a Microscope

This latest Jackalope release is called Dreams Under a Microscope. Nicole feels it encompasses her idea of what dreams would look like if you slid them under a high-powered microscope. 

Dreams Under A Microscope

Dreams Under A Microscope ($10.00) is described as a dusty sea blue/green jelly with tiny white and lavender squares, ultra chrome flakes (predominantly purple, as well as copper, charcoal and icy white), and holographic shimmer. Part of the reason I love HARE polish so much is that Nikole truly has an eye for color and shimmer combinations. Her glitter combinations are among some of the most unique out there, and I feel like nobody really comes close to her quality/smoothness even when the polish is packed with glitter.

This is two coats, and like I alluded, the formula is like butter. This is two thin coats that applied effortlessly and dried glossy. I love that the jelly is just translucent enough to have a ton of depth along with the glitters adding depth. Also, not sure if it's because I might have a different skin tone or lighting, but this is all blue on me. Dusty almost cornflower blue. So gorgeous.


See all that shimmer in the above shot? Yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Another perfect polish from HARE polish! I hope to be featuring more of my collection (of 100+) soon...this really is my favorite brand!

HARE polish is available in Nikole's Etsy shop as well as internationally at Llarowe, Rainbow Connection, and Femme Fatale Cosmetics



Thursday, July 9, 2015

LUSH Is Keeping Sharks in the Picture: Shark Fin Soap


Hi everyone! I was sent a press release from LUSH this week regarding their latest product - Shark Fin Soap. This year, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics has partnered with Discovery Channel's SHARK WEEK, television's longest-running and most anticipated summer event, to help shed light on the important role that sharks play in maintaining a healthy ocean and planet. 

LUSH partnered with Discovery on this last year and the campaign was incredibly successful - so much so that LUSH's Shark Fin Soap is coming back to stores across North America as well as online at www.lushusa.com from July 5 to July 19. The soap will be $5.95 and features the Sea Vegetable fragrance. Sea Vegetable is a beautiful seaweed, lime, lavender & sea salt soap from LUSH. A paper fin at the top of the soap is a fun reminder of the very important topic of shark finning and how everyone can help change the tide for sharks.

With every purchase of Shark Fin Soap, LUSH will donate 100% of the sale price to United Conservationists to support their FinFree campaign - a global movement addressing the mass slaughter of sharks to supply the consumer demand for shark fins. 

With this campaign, LUSH is continuing the conversation that they began over 4 years ago to promote shark conservation, ocean health, and the protection of species. Sharks are so important and vital to the food chain! They are essential to our oceans and planet and have been for over 450 million years. Sadly, the demand for shark fin soup and other shark products has led to a decline in shark populations by over 90% in just a few decades. Today, close to 100 million sharks are killed each year. This threatens the stability of marine ecosystems around the world. 

"Although the number of governments who have banned shark finning has jumped from 16 to over 120, there is still work to do," says Rob Stewart, United Conservationists Co-founder and director of Sharkwater and Revolution. "LUSHs continued support has greatly impacted our work in educating and empowering the public to fight for a beautiful, healthy world." 

Swim out to LUSH and grab the soap. Help make a difference. Sign petitions in shops and online, and make your voice heard!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Zoya Paradise Sun Collection for Summer 2015: Review & Photos

(provided for review)

Hello! I'm back with the second half of Zoya's summer collection - Paradise Sun. These are all glass fleck/shimmer polishes, while the Island Fun half was all cremes. These still embody the beautiful jewel tones of the first batch while adding a ton of sparkle. On to the swatches...



I was a little apprehensive about Zoya Genesis at first, because I had heard of some bloggers having issues with the formula being a little streaky. I had no issues with the formula, and I found that it covered well in three thin coats. This is a beautiful, squishy white polish with a rainbow of glass fleck particles mixed in. You can see icy blue/purple in the first photo. A polish like this usually comes off as understated and classy - either way, still pretty! 




Now, you know I'm excited if the polish I'm watching has more pictures included of it than the other pictures do. :) This is Zoya Aphrodite, which is a vibrant poppy red jelly with orange undertones. It also includes this fiery spark of red/gold/orange glass fleck shimmer. Combined with the jelly base, this has depth and shine that the other ones don't come close to. This is hands down my favorite of both collections - it's so gorgeous! This is two coats, no topcoat. 



Zoya Mae is up next, and this one also surprised me with how complex it was. I thought in the bottle that it would be some sort of streaky metallic, but it wasn't. This is a more warm-toned pink with a beautiful glass fleck shimmer throughout. The glass flecks are larger - almost reminiscent of a flakie polish, but not quite. Vibrant and gorgeous - and covered well in two coats. 



Please forgive any skin color weirdness here - I wanted to show the polish's best color because it's a little bit of a chameleon for my camera! This is Zoya Isa, a deep blue-based purple shimmer with a bunch of blue/red/purple shimmer. This was an absolute stunner, and I gasped a little bit when I started painting my nails with it. It covered completely in 2 coats, and while it isn't a jelly like Aphrodite, it still had an amazing depth to it. 



Next up is Zoya Selene. Selene is a teal with a metallic pearl finish. This one could get a little brushstroke-y, so be careful when applying. Otherwise, this was an absolutely beautiful shade and another surprise stunner for me. See in the first picture, along the bottom edge of the bottle where there are sort of rainbow colors going on? I saw that playing just the tiniest bit on my nails. Not over the top, very very subtle, but still there. This one was so shimmery. Two perfect coats. 



Finally, we round out this year's summer collection with Zoya Oceane. A fitting name for such a lovely blue polish! If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for blues - and this is no exception. My camera deceives you a bit here - Oceane has the slightest hint of green in it to make it more of a turquoise ocean-waters kind of feel. This had the same kind of shimmer as Selene, so be careful when applying that you don't get brush strokes. Two lovely coats!

All in all, I feel the Zoya Summer 2015 collections were really solid! They were jewel-toned colors that really embodied the heat of summer for me - and I loved that all of them were in the Zoya formulas that I've come to know and love. If I were to choose just three of them, I'd definitely pick Aphrodite, Mae, and Isa. Which ones will you be picking up?

Awesomely enough, there is a promotion going on at Zoya right now! They're doing 3 colors for FREE with $15 shipping. 3 Zoyas for $15 is a great deal, so head on over there now and use code KICK when checking out to get the deal! This promotion ends 6/14 at 11:59 PM ET. Let me know what you're picking up! 

Zoya Island Fun Collection for Summer 2015: Review & Photos

(provided for review)


Hi everyone! Today I have the Zoya Island Fun collection for Summer 2015. Zoya encompassed summer heat in this collection of 6 dreamy cremes! All swatches are two coats with NO topcoat. I always look at cremes and feel bored about them until I get them on my nails - this collection was no exception. These are really fun colors for summer and they make me think about hot weather for sure. On to the swatches! 




Zoya Demetria was a surprise favorite for me right from the beginning! Demetria is a beautiful poppy creme. Almost a bright, tomato-ish red. this was so flattering on my forever-pale skintone and I thought it was a really classic color. This doesn't beat out my beloved Zoya Sooki for all-time favorite red, but it's certainly up there. 



Zoya Nana is a "deep summer fuchsia." This was certainly a sort of raspberry on my skin tone, but I definitely see that it could be described as a deep fuchsia. This one had a wonderful smooth formula, but I feel like this color is easily duplicated. Very pretty nonetheless. 



Now I apologize that this looks like two different polishes, but Zoya Serenity was definitely hard to photograph! I find that blue-based purples like this one tend to photograph strangely like this. Serenity is very close to the first photo, with the blue undertones of the second photo, if that makes any sense. This reminds me of Zoya Mira, but they could possibly be cousins, not twins. This is a beautiful vibrant purple! 



Next up is Zoya Jace, which was surprising for me - I loved it way more than I thought I would! Jace is a "modern tropical green" when described by the Zoya site, but in my eyes it's a beautiful, grassy green with just the slightest hint of yellow in the undertones. This was beautiful and springy and looks like it would be a great base for nail art, if not a marbling/stamping polish! This one had a formula that was a tiny bit thinner than the others, but it still covered in two smooth, shiny coats. 



Next up is Zoya Cecilia, which is just a beautiful classic green-leaning teal. I can't get enough of these types of shades and I have lots of them collected throughout my tenure as a nail polish enthusiast. This is such a gorgeous jewel-toned shade. Try to double up on the base coat for this polish - it was so pigmented that I had some slight staining when I removed it. 



Last but not least, there is Zoya Talia. Zoya describes this as a true turquoise, and I'd say this is pretty spot on. A beautiful, deep turquoise that just leaves you kind of staring at how shiny and beautiful it is! This one also stained - worse than Cecilia did - and I had it on for a shorter amount of time. Extra base coat is necessary with this one, loves! 

Overall I was really impressed with this part of Zoya's summer collection. I was so excited about some of the shimmers in the next part of the collection (Paradise Sun - you'll be seeing swatches of those in the next post!) that I overlooked how much I really love cremes. If I were to pick three favorites, the would have to be Demetria, Jace, and Cecilia.

The Island Fun collection can be found on the Zoya website and wherever else Zoya is sold for $9 a bottle. 



Monday, June 8, 2015

faces lately.

Hi all. I'm alive and well and hope you are too. This has been a busy season for me with work, and things are finally falling into a place where I can take some time to show you what I've been up to lately. And I've got lots of great things to share with you this week, including some great new Zoya collections! First I want to share kind of a photodump of FOTDs that I've had lately. It's Makeup Monday, after all!


I've really been feeling neutral eye + bold lip lately and you'll see that showing up in quite a few of these. My eyes here are from the Tarte Be Your Own Tarteist palette that came out in the QVC TSV set from February, I believe. I used the 3 colors on the right-hand side of the palette. I also used NYX Tame & Frame brow pomade, Benefit Roller Lash mascara, and Colour Pop lippie stix in Fancy. Wore this for a date night out with the boyfriend + some of our friends.


Another neutral eye + bold lip. Same Tarte palette used here, just a lighter hand, and this is Colour Pop Rocket lippie stix. I was feeling the porcelain look I had going here!


Then I decided to go a bit avant-garde and actually wear a look like this out of the house! This was the same Tarte palette (man, I've been loving that one lately, hmm?) but I used the more intense shadows on the left side of the palette. I used a hydrating primer under my foundation so my skin would look pretty dewy. The lipstick is a brave new world for me: Lime Crime's Velvetine lipstick in the color Cashmere! This is a greyed neutral, and I was really worried about leaving the house with it on. But I got a LOT of compliments on this dramatic neutral look - even my boss commented and he is the least attentive of all the menfolk. I really liked this look. 


Finally we have an FOTD from late last week - we had some special guests coming into the office and I decided to make my face look more awake than it normally would. The eyeshadows here are from a Wet 'N' Wild six-pan neutral palette. The eyeliner and brows are elf products. Foundation is Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth, and the blush is a Tarte bronzer blush from last year's QVC shipments. The lips were my new favorite - OCC lip tar in Memento. I received a tiny tube of this, and I think I'm going to have to buy a full-size tube. It wore well and felt really comfortable. Plus: MINTY.

What do you think of my looks lately? What have you been wearing?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Raising the Bar: New LUSH Solid Shampoos!


Hello everyone and happy Saturday! I wanted to show you all the new shampoo bars from LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. I've had these for awhile - over a month - and I wanted to take my time with this post because I wanted to try every single one of these shampoos for at least a week to give you the best possible review I can. 

LUSH Shampoo Bars are very interesting inventions. I'd never seen a solid shampoo before until I stepped into LUSH and wondered aloud what the colorful hockey pucks might do. Solid shampoos are great because they're unpreserved, fresh, and free of packaging. They are very concentrated, so each bar lasts about 80-100 washes for me (even with my long hair), and I'm told they are the equivalent of about three bottles of LUSH shampoo. 

Braziliant (orange shampoo bar, $9.95, found here) is reportedly great for curly hair with nourishing and conditioning andiroba oil. The oil is balancing and doesn't leave the hair with a greasy or oily feeling. In addition, Braziliant is made with whole oranges, which cleanses the hair and makes it shiny. I found that this one gave a nice amount of shine to my fine, wavy long hair. I absolutely love the way this one smells - like fresh orange juice! I did find that the andiroba oil wasn't too heavy on my fine locks, as well. 

Montalbano (yellow shampoo bar, $9.95, found here) is great for giving hair shine and great strength. It has green olives to improve hair's tensile strength and rosemary to cleanse and balance. All of the lemon in it makes the hair unbelievably shiny by smoothing the hair's cuticle. This one has an interesting name and I did a little bit of extra research on it. The shampoo is named after Inspector Montalbano from a series of famous Italian detective novels. I really loved this one, and it was one of my favorites. It's got a bright juicy scent reminiscent of LUSH's The Sicilian bath bomb - heavy on the lemon with a little bit of a green undertone. This made my hair SO shiny and manageable. Highly recommend.

Honey I Washed My Hair (white shampoo bar, $9.95, found here) was one that I was looking forward to when I first heard rumors of this release. I absolutely love the LUSH Honey I Washed The Kids scent. The honey and toffee is so comforting and familiar for me and I always buy all of their products that have the scent, like the soap, the It's Raining Men shower gel, etc. So you can bet I was excited about this one! This one has honey in it to soften the hair - honey is a great humectant and keeps the hair and skin from drying out. It smells JUST like the Honey I Washed the Kids soap. I was a little hesitant to try it because super-moisturizing shampoos can weigh my hair down, but this left it feeling soft and balanced. The honey and toffee scent stayed with me all day. Yesssssss.

Lullaby (pink shampoo bar, $9.95, found here) has a beautiful, herbal lavender scent that is meant to calm and soothe sore scalps. This one is also reportedly good for younger scalps. This has a heavy amount of ground almonds in it, so when it gets wet it makes sort of an almond milk lather. This also has lavender to soothe and jojoba to balance. It's definitely different from any other shampoo bar - it's nowhere near as sudsy. I really loved the fragrance, but found that my hair didn't really care about this one, one way or the other. I did find that it was a really balancing sort of shampoo and I didn't feel too oily or dry after using it. 

Copperhead (brown shampoo bar, $11.95, found here) is another one that I was really excited for because it has the Dear John fragrance, which is an old LUSH scent I've always loved - coffee and chocolate with a little bit of zest. Kind of smoky and masculine and so multifaceted. This has ground coffee in it to invigorate, as well as some henna to condition the hair. Don't worry, this henna won't dye your locks but this is great for darker and red tones. The henna and cocoa butter also give flyaways some weight and shine. This also has lemon for shine. I absolutely love this one, but be warned: the coffee grounds will collect in the bottom of your shower and your shower may appear "dirty" after using this shampoo. This gives me great shine and body, and it's been a daily shampoo for me! 

I really love the formula of these new shampoo bars, and the fragrances are great. Bonuses for them being packaging-free, cruelty-free, and sustainably sourced. My clear favorites are Copperhead, Honey I Washed My Hair, and Montalbano. There's also a 6th shampoo bar called Jason and the Argan Oil (found here), which was released a little late. It has the Rose Jam scent. I haven't been in my local LUSH to try it yet, but I will provide you with a full report when I do!

What did you think of the new shampoo bars? Are any standing out that you'd like to try?

Note: The products in this post were sent by the company for review consideration. All opinions are my own.