Wednesday, July 30, 2014

50% off ELF Bestsellers! (ends 8/4)

Take 50% off our B-Day Bestsellers collection! This offer is valid through 8/4 on orders of $25 or more with code BDAY50. Shop now!

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The Beauty Buffs: Nautical/Beachy

This week's Beauty Buffs theme is all things nautical and beachy! <3 This is the vibe of my life, I love all shades of blues and whites with pops of metallic. Coastal flair is behind every home decor choice I make; our towels are light grey and muted slate blue, our sheets are medium blue with a crisp white cloudy comforter, I even have bird printed table mats and throw pillows - I just need more seashells and driftwood in my decor!

I had a million ideas for this theme, I wanted to do sponged beach nails or nautical sailor striped nails, but after I saw The Nailasaurus' Streaky Watercolor nail art and tutorial, I instantly envisioned a blue and mint combo, messy and streaky with a dusting of iridescent glitters. I'm not even sure if this counts as beachy or nautical, but it totally reminds me of crackle painted patio furniture, weathered from the coastal breeze, blue throw blankets to snuggle up in and watch some amazing crashing waves. I sooo which I lived on the coast ;)

I started with my base color, OCC Feathered, then followed The Nailasaurus' tutorial with ELF Skinny Jeans and Blue Mist on two of my fingers. I added a coat of ELF Twinkle to every nail and on my two white nails I added a coat of ELF Enchanted just because I like white glitter on a white base... kinda like bubbles.

Additional products used:
Barielle Nail Rebuilding Protein
Cult Nails Wicked Fast Top Coat
ELF Essential Nourishing Cuticle Pen

The Beauty Buffs are a group of beauty and fashion bloggers sharing their interpretation on bi-weekly trends, check out the linkup below to read the rest of our articles posted today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment (sample)

I've had this single use sample of the popular Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment for a good few months now, and I am admitting that I have been scared to use it. I have very sensitive skin that will easily freak out with redness, itching and inflammation if I put the wrong products on it. But after reading countless reviews on blogs and watching demo videos on Youtube, I finally felt that the mask might not be as aggressive as I originally thought. So, this weekend, I finally picked up this sample and braced myself to put it on.

First Impression
- smells herbal, like dry tea bags
- looks super strange, grey muddy feel with a bit of grittiness and black flakes - bits of tea leaf
- easy to spread on to the skin, a thin layer is sufficient
- instantly feeling the tingle, but not in a "OMG my skin is burning" kind of way, more like a refreshing light menthol sensation - it doesn't last very long, maybe 5 mins
- dries pretty quickly, turns from a dark grey when wet to an ash grey when dry - it gets super stiff! I am actually trying to smile in the below photos, it felt so funny to not have expressions on my face haha!
- by the ten minute mark the mask is completely dry and the tingle is long gone
- very easy to rinse off with warm water and massaging the skin in small and gentle circular motions, the mask's grit performs a light exfoliation on the skin
- my skin didn't look any different than it did before, including my pores - they were clean and clear prior and looked clean and clear after the mask
- my skin felt smoother from the exfoliation during rinsing, it felt pretty tight though, like I felt my skin beginning to dry out and I knew flaking was soon to come - I quickly applied my facial lotion to soothe the tight dryness that was creeping up
- it wasn't until 30 mins after removing the mask that my skin started to feel hydrated and not as tight and dry as it did when I first rinsed off the mask, I was beginning to regret the mask for fear it dried out my skin too much.

Final Thoughts
It's a nice mask but I'm a little torn on if I will buy it. While I didn't like the tight and dry effect, it wasn't permanent, and my skin doesn't even show a sign of that tight and dry feel. I for sure don't like the price, a jar with .5 oz of product is $19, and a jar with 1.7 oz of product is $69. I read over the ingredients and am happy to see volcanic minerals and rock (which I LOVE in my face masks), tea, herbal, and floral extracts - all the good stuff you want to see in skincare, especially in a product that you leave on your skin for an extended amount of time. I think the price and the tight dry after effect are holding me back from wanting to use this more in my life.

If I ever get the opportunity, I would like to sample the Glam Glow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment, I think that one would suit my skin type much more - have you tried it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the GlamGlow masks!!

Click to enlarge

Monday, July 28, 2014

Color Me Monthly - July - Panther

If you aren't yet subscribed to Color Me Monthly ($7/mon, one shade per month), you gotta jump on the bandwagon because you're missing out on these gorgeous polishes they have been creating this year.
This month the polish is named Panther, the perfect hot pink creme nail polish! It dries to a demi-matte finish, which I love, but it also looks amazing with a shiny top coat. For this month's CMM mani, I did an accent nail with a coat of Monday (May 2013 shade, and available in their Vault for purchase), and two coats of Leprechaun's Loot (March 2014 shade, and available in their Vault for purchase as well) - I also did a curvy stripe with this on my middle nail. I love how bright, glitzy and fun this manicure turned out!

Friday, July 25, 2014

ELF Essential Lengthening & Defining Mascara

Today I have a review on the ELF Essential Lengthening & Defining Mascara ($1 each), in both Black and Brown*. This mascara is perfect for enhancing your natural lashes, it is lightweight in formula, minimal effect in lengthening and volumizing, but very effective in defining your lashes. While the wand has wide spaced bristles, it does a good job at keeping the lashes separated - although I always recommend running a lash comb through your lashes at the end of application to get the best results from your mascara.

In my experience, the Black was clump free and easy to build up with two coats, but the Brown was clump-crazy and a second coat made them look even worse - I'm definitely recommending the Black version! What's best, this mascara doesn't smudge or flake throughout the day. Overall, I've very pleased with this mascara, it's easy to wear on no-makeup days, minimal makeup days, and before applying false lashes. I think this is a good mascara for just $1!

*While testing these mascaras, I applied the ELF Studio Waterproof Mascara Top Coat as a primer because my natural lashes won't hold a curl with non-waterproof mascara formulas. Using this mascara as a primer only effected my curl longevity, I do not believe it compromised my review of the product.