I Found It! My Favorite Quick-Change Makeup Brush Cleanser

Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser

While I was down and out, recovering from my surgery — I had plenty of time to research a new brush cleanser — which I needed (and wanted) desperately. The problem with most instant brush cleansers is that they’re loaded with a ton of alcohol, or contain other chemicals that reek of something like gasoline. Also, so many of them leave your brushes damp, when all you wanted was a quick change. I don’t like trying to go from a darker shade to a lighter shade, only to find my brush is now wet. Blah.

I set out to find the perfect instant/quick change cleanser out there, and behold:

MUFE brush cleanser

I know the Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser is a little pricey at $22 for 4.9 oz., but it works! So many people love it — but here’s why I do.  [Read more…]

Holiday Gifting 2014: Indie Brands

indie brand holiday gifts

I’m sure your holiday shopping is in full swing by now, and if not—it will be very soon! Are you stumped on gift ideas for someone special because you don’t want to give something that’s unoriginal, or something that can be found at every retailer in town? I’ve got some great gift ideas for you, and they’re all from indie brands—almost guaranteeing that you won’t be gifting them a dupe they’ll want to return!

I’ve searched for some unique items, and these are a few I fell absolutely in love with. Check out my picks from these indie specialty brands!

gnarly whale hair products

Hair Products from The Gnarly Whale

All of the products from The Gnarly Whale are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and they smell delicious! This husband and wife team creates unique haircare and bath products with minimal ingredients for low-impact on the earth, yet still yield full efficacy. 10% of their sales each month are donated to earth and marine-friendly charities, like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

My fave pick is this awesome haircare gift trio with their signature shampoo, detangler, and beach wave spray in their Thai Coconut fragrance. Just $20 will score you this substantial gift, and you can select your product fragrance from a list of 13, or opt for the unscented versions. Once you see the list of available scents though, I have a feeling you’ll go for a fragrance! Coconut Lime VerbenaCoconut Milk & Peaches, or Bubblegum anyone? $20, thegnarlywhale.com

strawn soaps

Olive Oil Bath Soaps from An Ancient Art Handmade Soap Company

My amazing hairstylist turned me on to the soap bars from this tiny artisanal shop out of Strawn, Texas. She gifted me a bar of their handmade Red Wine soap, and I immediately ordered more! I love supporting this small business, they have over 30 scents available in their handmade olive oil soap formula that I’m obsessed with! You’ve got to look at the list of soap fragrance varieties they offer. I’m also a fan of their Vitality Cuticle Cream, and their lip balms. I’ve got the banana lip balm on my desk (which I use very often), and due to its high shea butter and olive oil content, my lips feel like buttah! Soaps—$6.50 each ($6 each for 3 or more—mix & match), strawnsoap.com   [Read more…]

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

mac rihanna loves mac holiday collection

We’ve come to the end of the road with the MAC RiRi Hearts MAC collection, with the holiday launches being the final installment of the special collaboration. There have been some hits (and some misses) along the way, most notably with the lipstick formulations being pretty stellar.

The holiday collection boasts new lipstick shades to love, along with several other products that sold out extremely fast on the MAC website. Didn’t have a chance to grab any? Don’t worry! What you see here will be in North America MAC locations, and Nordstrom (some on nordstrom.com) on 12/12. Here’s a closer look!

mac rirhanna riri hearts mac holiday collection packaging

I love the components for the RiRi Hearts MAC holiday collection. I’m glad to see that rose gold is so prominent this year, silver and gold can get a little boring, and rose gold is a nice change of pace. The cosmetic items are in white and rose gold packaging with RiRi’s signature on the pieces. (With the lipsticks, her signature is also on the bullet like her previous lipstick releases.) [Read more…]

Holiday Gifting: Affordable Luxury

holiday gifting affordable luxury

Spending a lot of money and the holidays kind of go together like chocolate and peanut butter—it may sound deliciously indulgent, but it’s not necessarily good for you (or your wallet, in this case). Check out these luxe (yet still pretty affordable) gifting ideas that seem like they could cost more than they really do.

ponds iluminage skin rejuvenatingpillowcase with copper oxide

Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase

Sleep on a well-known essential mineral that’s known to play an important role in skin cell regeneration, every night! This breakthrough innovation releases copper ions to the skin’s surface when in contact with the copper oxide fibers woven into the Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase. Clinically proven (in an independent double-blind placebo controlled study) to help reduce fine lines in as little as four weeks, enjoy getting your beauty sleep on this luxuriously smooth, eco-friendly copper fiber thread that’s soft and silky to the touch. It sort of feels like sleeping on silk, which is great at saving a hairstyle for a second day of wear, and reducing hair breakage! This intelligent textile that took over 10 years of research to develop is worth a look. bergdorfgoodman.com, neimanmarcus.com—$60 [Read more…]

Holiday Must Have: jouer Sparkle & Shine Holiday Party Favor

jouer sparkle shine holiday party favor

Ever see something so cute that it makes your heart go SQUEE? I get all excited whenever I receive a jouer Sparkle & Shine party favor, because I know there’s going to be pretty little jouer treasures inside. You already know jouer is one of my favorite brands, because you’ve read the reviews!

sparkle shine bow

jouer Sparkle & Shine

Perfect for giving that little “something” to the girls, there are several different tiny treasures inside each Sparkle & Shine box. I recommend these as stocking stuffers, inexpensive gifts for the girls in the office, to put at place settings on your holiday table, or for New Year’s Eve party favors. [Read more…]

Currently Loving: SOHO Wild Child Hanging Organizer & Clean Up Your Act Organizing Cups + Bonus Giveaway

soho 1

As someone with a somewhat excessive makeup collection, I’m always looking for new ways to store it. I know this is something that you can probably relate to! One brand is making organizing beauty junkies’ stashes a cinch—SOHO Beauty. They offer an extensive line of storage solutions, makeup bags, and brushes. Even better, they’re super cute! SOHO is home to a fantastic collection of prints and colors to reflect your own personal style.

soho 4

adorable neon chevron print

I’m now the proud owner of a great new bag—the Wild Child Hanging Organizer with neon chevron print, and Clean Up Your Act Organizing Cups to match. Let’s check them out a little closer…  [Read more…]

Jouer Cosmetics Summer Escapes Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

jouer cosmetics summer 2013 Collection

Summer Escapes Collection 2013

My love affair with Jouer didn’t take long to develop. From the very first time I was introduced to the line, my immediate thoughts were—elegant, timeless, and affordable. I haven’t been let down since! Each collection that has launched since my first impressions have incredibly remained all of the above. I kind of think of Jouer Cosmetics as an unsung hero, too. You may not hear about them as much as other prestige brands, often Jouer remains in a league of its own.

jouer components

Many of Jouer’s products connect for easy portability.

The founder and creator, Christina Zilber is totally hands-on with Jouer. After meeting her in-person, I can see her chic and classic touches all over this line! Aside from being a feminine and undeniably pretty collection, it’s also very practical. You don’t need to have pro makeup artist skills to blend her products’ pigments to perfection. Plus—most of the components connect so you can take your favorite Jouer pieces with you, and you don’t have to dig in your bag for them one by one. Can you tell I’m a Jouer Girl by now? Let’s check out the new collection!  [Read more…]

What’s New: RocksBox Membership-Based Jewelry Styling Service Review

If you’ve ever gotten dressed and found yourself lacking the perfect accessories to complete your look (and we’ve all been there), you’re not going to want to miss this! I am totally hooked on a brand new concept called RocksBox; a membership-based jewelry styling service out of San Francisco.

I know some of these monthly subscription services can get a little expensive, and difficult to understand, so I wanted to share my experience with you on this unique concept that just rolled out a few months ago.

Unlike most other jewelry subscription-based services, you receive not just one piece per box, but THREE to enjoy wearing for up to 60 days! Your selections are highly curated by a team of stylists, and your selections are based upon your online style survey (super easy to take), which you can go in and update at any time. Rent these pieces for up to 60 days at a time, and you can even buy the pieces you end up loving at a reduced membership-only price (20% off retail). [Read more…]

Review & Swatches: Pieces From the bareMinerals Wanderlust Tropics Color Collection

Another summer, and no real ‘fun-in-the-sun’ vacation for Mr. Beauty Junkies and me in sight! So what I’m going to do instead, is continue to bring you some bright and sunny collections—even if I have some gorgeous new fall ones screaming my name for attention over here. I’ll try to mix it up a bit though, how does that sound?

This collection from bareMinerals gives me a little bit of a vacation-feel, the Wanderlust Tropics Collection. While this is a 6-piece color collection, I am missing two of the pieces. It’s because this is an editorial sample, so no worries! Yours from Sephora should be A-OKAY!

What’s included with a colorful paisley-printed travel bag:

  • Prime Time Primer Shadow in Coral Reef (gilded soft apricot-coral)
  • Wild Orchid Eyecolor (sparkling violet)
  • Round The Clock Waterproof Eyeliner in 6 PM (jeweled violet) NOT PICTURED
  • Faux Tan Matte All-Over Face Color (sun-kissed matte) NOT PICTURED
  • Tropical Radiance All-Over Face Color (soft luminous coral)
  • Double-Ended Natural Lipgloss in Papaya Smoothie (peach shimmer) & Pink Guava (sheer fuchsia)

Wanderlust Tropics Collection, Sephora Exclusive, Limited Edition, $49

See more photos, swatches, and details…

[Read more…]