T3 Twirl 360 Motion-Sensing, Auto-Rotating 1.25” Curling Iron Review, Photos


t3 micro Twirl 360 curling iron

I’m one of those gals that has several curling irons and sets of hot rollers. Why? Because I swear I have some of the most difficult hair in the world to hold a style, let alone a head full of Victoria’s Secret model-like curls. I keep buying irons and hot roller sets  — because each new one I see has the branding and packaging to make me think, OH! THIS will finally be the one!

Womp womp womp.

That’s why my bathroom cabinet is full of tangled cords in a curling iron graveyard. I only have one that works to my liking to be honest, and it snags the heck out of my hair. So when I was offered the opportunity to try the new T3 Twirl 360 Motion-Sensing Auto-Rotating Iron — I figured that nothing bad could happen — and it may be the answer to my problems. I had nothing to lose!

power button

This is a new, one-of-a-kind curling iron, because it has gyroscopic-technology. To explain it a little better — do you know how your smartphone automatically changes the screen layout from portrait to landscape when you hold your phone at different angles? This is kind of the same idea behind the technology of the T3 Twirl 360.

[Read more…]

Welcome Back! Let’s Have a Heart to Heart.


If you’ve been a regular reader, you may have noticed I’ve been mostly missing in action for many weeks. It’s a long story — but I’ll attempt to explain without TMI. In April, I experienced a series of minor medical issues that we thought were no big deal, and that I would be fine with some treatment. When May rolled around, the situation had changed exponentially, and required emergency medical intervention — eventually leading to a major surgery. This required a somewhat lengthy recovery for me. Not only to heal physically, but during all of those weeks, I had a few mental epiphanies as well. Life has a way of telling you what you need. It WILL slow you down whether you’re ready or not — especially when you need it, but you try to fight it. The great news: I am okay now, because I stopped trying to fight it.

headshot 300This little blog here turns seven years old later this month — I can’t believe it! First, thank YOU for making it possible for me to have this place on the internet to speak with you all. You are such a great support system. I love interacting with you, hearing your stories, making friends with you, and I enjoy our online banter! So to those of you who may not really be familiar with me yet, I wanted to quickly introduce myself!

My name is Amber, and I’ve been in the beauty industry in some capacity since 2001. I am a licensed cosmetologist, although not practicing behind the chair any longer. I have stayed current on my licensure in the industry, and try to stay in the loop. Like you, I’m also a consumer and avid connoisseur of beauty products. I do this from the heart, it’s what I was meant to do in life, and I don’t blog solely for free products or press samples. These are merely tools so that I can show you what’s out there. I do buy a lot of products I review, but to be honest — there’s no way I could purchase all of the products you see here. Please know, that just because a brand sends me an item — it doesn’t mean I guarantee a review, or even a 100% flattering one at that.

Truth be told, many of the items that come across my desk don’t make the cut at all to even be featured on the blog. “Why?” you may ask…

promote

image: thedailyquotes.com

To be honest with you, I don’t have the time to write “rant” reviews, which is why you won’t see them here. Not only that, they make me feel sad and negative. Who needs that in their life? Now, that does not mean that every product I feature is 100% peachy keen and perfect. I will review and share products that I like for the most part, but offer constructive criticism otherwise if something could use some improvement in an area. I’m not in “cahoots” with any brand — and I carefully choose what sponsored opportunities to participate in. (Sponsored opportunities help me pay for hosting, programmers, and designers. Maintaining my site is not a cheap date, and I’m not over here getting rich by beauty blogging!) Another thing: with my recent health crisis, I’ve learned that life is too short. I’m going to spend my time promoting what I love instead of bashing what I hate. I hope that resonates with you and that you can understand my decision.  [Read more…]

Win It: Urban Decay Cosmetics Summer Eyeshadow Collection Giveaway — 8 Shades!


urban decay win all 8 shades

Woo hoo! The weather is heating up, which means it’s time for Urban Decay’s summer collection! (One of my most fave times of the year.) I have to take a bloggy-break for a few weeks, so I wanted to leave you with an amazing giveaway while I’m gone. One lucky winner is going to scoop up all eight of the new eyeshadows from Urban Decay that have completely stolen my heart.

I’ve put these babies to the test for weeks, and they all pass my requirements: super smooth application, velvety texture, excellent pigmentation, all-day wear (but still don’t forget your Eyeshadow Primer Potion!), and gorgeous shades that will have people complimenting your eyes when you least expect it. Fireball is my personal favorite, but I’ve been finding easy ways to wear all of them by pairing up a bold shade or two with the neutrals in my NAKED2 Basics palette. Works like a charm!

A closer look…

Urban Decay Summer Nights eyeshadows 1

left to right: Fireball, Dive Bar, Beware, Lounge

Urban Decay Summer Nights Eyeshadows 2

left to right: Tonic, Sideline, Backfire, Riff

Urban Decay backfire eyeshadow

Backfire — burgundy with purple shift

Urban Decay beware eyeshadow

Beware — warm brown matte

Urban Decay Dive Bar Eyeshadow

Dive Bar — medium blue with pink-purple shift

Urban Decay Fireball eyeshadow

Fireball — peach with pink shift

Urban Decay Lounge Eyeshadow

Lounge — brick red with green shift

Urban Decay Riff eyeshadow

Riff — brown-nude matte with floating micro-sparkle

Urban Decay Sideline eyeshadow

Sideline — gold with green shift

Urban Decay Tonic Eyeshadow

Tonic — lilac with blue shift

Swatches…

urban decay beware backfire riff sideline eyeshadow swatch swatches

left to right: Beware, Backfire, Riff, Sideline

Urban Decay fireball lounge dive bar lounge eyeshadow swatch swatches

left to right: Fireball, Tonic, Dive Bar, Lounge

You’ll find these shades available now on urbandecay.com, and you can enter to win them here! See all the details and how to enter below.  [Read more…]

The Lipstick League: Week of 5/3/15


everglaze nails

Oh! I can’t believe I almost forgot to tell you! The gals and I are doing another #LipstickLeague Instagram photo challenge for the month of May, so if you are on IG, please join us. You don’t have to commit to EVERY post, but we all love engaging with you! You’ll find me on Instagram as @beautyjunkies, and if you search #LipstickLeague, you’ll find this month’s calendar so you can play along!

Question of the Week: Name a color cosmetic that you love to wear year-round, regardless of the season.

Answer: Nail polish! I’m always changing it up. I actually just switched to the fun combo you see above; I’m wearing Ever Glaze by China Glaze in Don’t Grape About It. I had my nail tech at Bellacures add neon yellow glitter gel accent nails for something bright and different. What’s your fave color cosmetic year round?

Here’s what was up with the League this week…

we heart this: You know balms, glosses and sticks; but have you tried Lip Oil? Clarins has two new ones, Honey and Raspberry, that are as amazing as you’d imagine.

Beautygeeks: For some of us, covering a blemish is still one of our biggest makeup-technique challenges. Could be we’ve all been waiting for this simple video tutorial with Estee Lauder pro Carly Wolk on how to hide a pimple perfectly… with a kiss and a hug.

Beauty Junkies Unite: Beauty Junkies is giving away a haircare prize pack by Marula Pure Beauty Oil that’s worth $148. Go enter while you can!

EauMG reviews a new vintage-inspired perfume from Phoenix Botanicals that smells exactly like fresh hyacinths.

Gouldylox Reviews: I haven’t felt like writing about makeup as my city has been protesting and rioting. That said, the only way to get past all of my feelings about my city and its pain, is to do what I normally do. In this case, it’s write about a great new mascara I found at CVS.

Love for Lacquer: Don’t have time for brows in the morning? From the company who brought you LASHFOOD, you must check out their new BROWFOOD! Quick, perfect brows in minutes!

My Beauty Bunny: Looking for some fun, affordable cruelty-free lippies? Look no further. We’ve got a look at the Tom’s of Maine Lip Balms, Lip Shimmers, and Lip Glosses!

My Newest Addiction: Bite Beauty Butter Cream lipsticks are kind of a big deal and Laura shows us her two favorites!

Nouveau Cheap: A $4.99 magnetic palette that you can find at your local craft store? Yep, it’s true!

Phyrra: The new Silk Naturals Spring 2015 Collection is gorgeous! Check it out!

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

Win It! Marula Pure Beauty Oil Intensive Repair Shampoo & Conditioner / Light & Intensive Hair Treatment Styling Oil Giveaway


Win Marula Haircare

For the past few days, I’ve been using a fantastic shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatment oil — it’s from Marula Pure Beauty Oil, and I want to share it with you!

So, what’s Marula Pure Beauty Oil anyway?

Marula Pure Beauty Oil contains a high level of antioxidants (60% more than the leading Argan Oil), which helps protect hair from free-radicals and over exposure environmental factors that end up damaging the hair. The high levels of Oleic acid found in Marula Pure Beauty Oil™ enables it to penetrate the follicle and treat hair from deep within the hair shaft. This powerful ingredient provides extreme hydration and locks in moisture leaving hair feeling healthier, stronger and shinier without a greasy residue. It also controls frizz and tames fly-aways.

The products…

Marula Shampoo Conditioner

Marula Pure Beauty Oil Intensive Repair Shampoo

A mild foaming intensive repair shampoo infused with Pure Marula Oil that rebuilds and revives dry and damaged hair weakened by chemical processes, heat styling and environmental exposure by gently repairing each hair strand, restoring moisture and shine. Completely color-safe, free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.  [Read more…]

ColourPop In Bloom Collection by Jamie Greenberg Review, Photos, Swatches


colour pop in bloom collection jamie Greenberg

In the past few months, I’ve seen the popularity of ColourPop explode. If you’ve heard of the line before, the chances are you already own several pieces and are loving them dearly. If this is your first experience — I wouldn’t be surprised if you wind up with several of their goodies in your makeup collection ASAP.

Currently, you’ll find the brand online only, and at this time they specialize in lip colors, cheek colors, and eyeshadows. The prices are insanely low — just $5-$8 for each item! The colors and pigmentation are incredible, and I’ve yet to hear a single complaint about their products. I finally had my first experience with a few items from the line, as they’re doing some awesome collaborations with some of the best movers and shakers in the beauty world.

colour pop in bloom jamie greenberg collection

This is the new In Bloom Collection, created with one of my favorite makeup artists, Jamie Greenberg. Not only is she behind some of the hottest red carpet looks of many of today’s most photographed starlets — but she is ridiculously funny, incredibly sweet, and super talented. I just love everything about her! (Her YouTube channel is a riot.) Let’s check out her collection that will get you through spring and summer (and likely get you hooked on Colour Pop).  [Read more…]

The Lipstick League: Week of 4/19/15


multitasker

Question of the Week: What are your favorite multi-purpose makeup products?

Answer: Multi-purpose products are my faves! I picked up Embryolisse Lait-Créme Concentré, because so many makeup artists swear by it. It’s not only a hydrating, non-greasy moisturizer for all skin types (great for my combo skin!), it can work as a makeup primer, and as a creamy makeup remover. I picked up Waxelene at the Natural Products Expo awhile back, and I use it on my lips, cuticles, and dry elbows.

I also love the new Jouer Luminizing Liquid Highlighter pen (I use No. 2 Golden Light), because I can apply it directly on my skin as a highlighter on the high points of my face for a luminizer, but I’ve also been able to mix a few drops of it into full coverage liquid foundations to make my skin glow instead of looking flat like some full coverage foundations can do. And then finally, the Murad Invisible Perfecting Shield SPF 30 is a new beauty editor fave, so I had to give it a shot. It has a great, lightweight texture that acts to blur enlarged pores, protect your skin from UV rays, and works as an amazing makeup primer if you decide not to wear it alone.

Prime Beauty loves it when she can find one retailer to fulfill several of her beauty needs. LATHER carries olive oil soaps, bath & body, hair care, skincare, hair care and aromatherapy!

Phyrra: Is your mascara just not cutting it for you? I’ve got 6 of the best mascaras plus application tips on how to get great lashes!

Vampy Varnish: There has been much talk of the new NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation since it came out, see if I liked it or not!

we heart this: Check out which mascara we just crowned our Product of the Week!

Beauty Junkies Unite: Amber switched to Paula’s Choice skincare products for 3 weeks, here’s what happened!

Clumps of Mascara is head over heels in love with Paula’s Choice products. Look at all of these glorious skincare products!

Gouldylox Reviews: Looking for the next great mascara? Makeup Wars asked their elite team of warriors what mascaras are the best and I’ve got the answers!

My Beauty Bunny : Your favorite spring 2015 lip product is here! Stop the world and click here to get your First Look at the Too Faced Melted Metal Lipsticks.

My Newest Addiction: Clarins has three new routines: 5, 10, 15 minute makeup. Laura shares the details on the products and don’t forget to enter the Clarins Instant Beauty giveaway!

Nouveau Cheap: Maybelline turns 100 this year and, to commemorate the occasion, they’ve released a special limited edition collection with new Baby Lips, Colorsensational Lipsticks and more.

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Prime Beauty: Style expert Deborah from Fabulous After 40 is a woman who has embraced her age and is ultra chic. Her motto? “I believe dressing should be fun. Life is too short to be frumpy!” She has written several books and her site is packed full of tips for fashionistas of any age.

I’m Saving Up to 25 Gallons of Water, Just By Skipping the Sink While Washing My Face For 5 Days! Here’s How…


Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

As a resident of California, it’s impossible to turn on the news in the past year without seeing a story about our dire drought situation, and it’s only getting worse. Our local and state government agencies are putting conservation policies in effect to try to turn it around — but guys, it’s really bad. They can put these policies into effect all they want, but if we’re not doing our part, it’s completely pointless. And some people are taking it more seriously than others.

I never realized how much water I was using until I made the effort to cut back. We take measurably shorter showers, we turn faucets off when they are not absolutely necessary, and we let our cars get pretty dang dirty before they visit the car wash. We could definitely be doing more, but it’s a step in the right direction — every little bit helps.  [Read more…]

I Switched to Paula’s Choice Skincare for 3 Weeks. Here’s What Happened.


paulas choice skincare

Like you, I believe that it’s better to invest in great skincare, than to spend a ton of money on cosmetics to cover things up. Over the years though, I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money to have great skin. A few great basics, paired with some active treatment products will do the job, so I turned my skin over to Paula’s Choice for a few weeks and journaled about the changes that took place — here’s what happened!

I’ve known Paula Begoun to be a heralded industry expert for ages, but recently I realized she was the brains behind so many great products some of my friends are raving about. Paula is a cosmetics ingredient expert to the nth degree, and she’s a strong advocate for consumers burned by products in the past (often marketed with outrageous promises of extreme, seemingly overnight results). I’m sure you’ve seen her book, Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. She takes this stuff very seriously, meticulously breaking down products by the efficacy of their ingredients like no one else I’ve ever known. It’s serious business to Paula, so I had to try her products to see what would best treat one of my biggest skincare concerns.

Paulas choice earth sourced perfectly natural hydralight shine free daily mineral complex

A few days before my product test drive began, I had a brief telephone consultation with one of Paula’s skin experts to help find out which products would be best for me. (I highly recommend doing this! There’s no additional fee, and you can even ask product questions on via live chat on the Paula’s Choice website.) Since I wanted to see quick results for this trial, I narrowed it down to just one specific targeted skincare concern. I told her that my pores easily become congested, and I’d like to whip those blackheads into shape — STAT! I also told her that my skin doesn’t love Vitamin C, and tends to become irritated by it. Taking this into consideration, she came back to me with a regimen that was 100% ready to fight that battle!

Let’s start off with the daily basics…

Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel — I used this both am/pm for gentle cleansing. It’s a gel cleanser, that lathers nicely without stripping my skin. Since I went pretty gentle on the cleanser, I was able to really amp up the active ingredients my treatment products without experiencing irritation. (You’ll see those in the second part below!)  [Read more…]