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…


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…]

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…]

Rest in Peace, Dr. Brandt

dr brandt

image: drbrandtskincare.com

I’ve been mulling over this for a few days — because like many other people, I’m trying to process yet another suicide. When I found out that Dr. Brandt had passed earlier this week, I was speechless at first. Then, I felt extremely sad. Now that it’s been a few days and numerous articles have been posted online regarding his tragic passing, I’ve witnessed one of the cruelest forms of human behavior: online bullying.

Dr. Brandt was an incredibly famous and successful dermatologist who was an innovator and true pioneer in the anti-aging field. He’s been dubbed the ‘Baron of Botox’, but he was so much more than someone who focused solely on the superficial. While he may have had a patient roster full of Hollywood starlets with regular appointments for injectables, he was known for finding ways to use those same injectables and techniques to treat people who may medically benefit from them under less elective circumstances. Often, he tried those techniques on himself first, and was extensively involved in research trials that will undoubtedly leave behind an indelible mark on the medical field for decades to come.

dr b

While I never had the privilege to speak with him personally, many of my friends and colleagues in the beauty industry have worked with him in a professional capacity, or they’ve been lucky enough to be seen by him in his office as a patient. No one I know has ever had an unkind word to say about him. They’ve described him as “brilliant”, “devoted”, “a good man”, “light-hearted”, “lovely”, “genius”, and so many other flattering things.

Yet, online I’m running into things like this:

  • Dear Internet, stop showing pictures of Dr. Brandt. He’s f*cking terrifying.
  • Dr. Brandt committed suicide because he looked like hell! And couldn’t stand getting old.
  • He has no chin and a really small jaw.
  • He already looks embalmed.

You guys — these are some of the more mild things I’ve read. We have to stop this online behavior! It’s a cowardly, immature way to act that is extremely hurtful to people. There is absolutely no justification for this kind of hatefulness and cruelty. The graphic truth is that he hung himself — and THIS is what people want to leave as a digital footprint after this tragedy? And it’s not just Dr. Brandt this has happened to. Sadly, this happens every single day, all around the world, to people in every walk of life. You don’t even have to look far for it. The comments section on just about any post on Facebook is proof enough. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

It’s widely reported that Dr. Brandt had become distraught recently, because a fictionalized character on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was said to spoof him in an unflattering way. He was suffering from severe depression — severe enough that he would end his own life last weekend. Whether it was because of the show, people poking fun of his facial features, and/or other personal issues — only Dr. Brandt will ever truly know what finally made him think he couldn’t handle one more second here.

But here’s what I do know:

Depression does not discriminate. It happens to those young and old, rich and poor, and to the most successful and famous.

Depression afflicts everyday people like you and me. The happiest person in the room, may also be suffering more than we would ever know. We all owe it to each other as human beings to practice more compassion, and even give more of it to ourselves.

If you or someone you know is depressed or feeling like they may harm themselves, please don’t be afraid to talk to someone or ask for help. 


If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Someone is there for you 24 hours a day. It’s confidential, and toll-free. No one will judge you, and there are people who care. Please don’t be afraid to reach out. 

Thanks for reading this post. I hope I’ve said something that will help at least one person out there in this great big world, in some way.

Urban Decay The Ultraviolet Edge Enigma Eyeshadow Primer Potion Review: 100% Goes to Charity!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Enigma

No joke, I receive a few emails a month from brands who have products that promise to donate pennies on the dollar to a worthy cause for each purchase. In no way do I negate that any donation is helpful to a worthy organization, but I think it’s time for brands to start putting their money where their mouths are — donating substantial amounts of money — like 100% of the purchase price of that product to a worthy cause. Sadly, all of the brands I know that do this with a specific product, I can count on one hand.

One of my favorite brands, Urban Decay, is doing just that. 100% of the purchase price of their brand new Eyeshadow Primer Potion in limited-edition shade Enigma is part of The Ultraviolet Edge Initiative, which will empower women in Uganda in ways that will make them self-sufficient, and substantially change their lives for the better  — giving them chances they wouldn’t have otherwise. Before I go more into the initiative and the benefits, I want to show you the primer. Because it’s AWESOME!

Urban Decay The Ultraviolet Edge Enigma Eyeshadow Primer Potion

UD recently upgraded the packaging for the primers, and they are seriously better than ever. I love the tube with the wand combo, it just makes sense! Enigma is a 24-hour wear shade that’s matte, and a neutral beige-nude. It does have some pigment to it for me, and I’ve actually worn it alone as a cream shadow to neutralize the redness on my eyelids. It’s got that same creamy texture we’re all used to when it comes to their Primer Potion. I’m not disappointed at all in the product. The only thing I am disappointed in — is that it’s limited-edition! So stock up, like yesterday!  [Read more…]

It’s Time for the Space NK Spring 2015 Beauty Edit Gift Bag, So You Know I’m Happy About It

space NK spring beauty edit 2015

You guys know I go nuts right before every season when Space NK does their incredible beauty edit gift with purchase. It’s always packed with deluxe sizes of products from 28 brands that I normally wouldn’t be able to afford to try otherwise, and it also lets me know exactly which luxe beauty products I should be saving my pennies for! This season’s Spring Beauty Edit bag even has one full size product in it, so you know I’m all over it.

The one caveat—you have to act fast! This special Space NK gift with purchase will be available only on February 18th, and while supplies last. It’s valued at over $400, and the products are DIVINE.

The deets from Space NK:

On Wednesday, February 18th, Space NK will host the “Spring Beauty Edit” event across all of our 23 US locations. During this special, one-day-only shopping event, customers will be perfectly prepped for the new season as we present the latest in spring beauty and looks from our “New Bohemian” SS15 campaign. Guests can meet with experts from some of our finest brands for makeovers, advice and tips.

Event times, featured experts and services vary by location. Exclusively for the event, and while supplies last, shoppers who spend $250 or more will receive a gift with a selection of must-haves from 28 of our featured brands (deluxe, travel and full-size items). As this is our most popular event of the year, shoppers are encouraged to reserve their space in advance to avoid disappointment.

This gift with purchase will sell out in stores early, but will also be available to online shoppers at spacenk.com on February 18th.  [Read more…]

GIVEAWAY: Get Better Beauty Sleep on a Casper, Win an Amazing New Mattress!

win a casper mattress

I remember the last time we went mattress shopping. It was about three years ago. We spent about an hour in a mattress superstore, lying on beds within our price range, taking turns saying “Honey? How does this feel to you?”

“It’s too stiff.”

“Well, it’s actually too soft for me. But what about this one?”

“I can feel and hear the springs. So this would be a NO.”

We were striking out, HARD. Feeling pressured by the salesman, and being desperate for something to sleep on that night—we compromised on what we thought was a nice pillow-top mattress within our budget. You really just want to get out of those places as soon as possible, because I’m finding more and more, that buying a mattress is about as high pressure as being stuck at a car dealership. Mattress shopping shouldn’t be that hard!

After a few weeks, we could feel and hear the springs every time we tossed and turned (which we were doing a lot of, since we were so uncomfortable). One morning at breakfast, I looked up from my coffee mug with a sore neck, and exclaimed that I HATED our new mattress, and that we would never buy one with springs again. The only thing was—memory foam mattresses aren’t exactly in our budget, especially after we had just shelled out for that terrible pillow-top thing they called a “mattress”.

casper mattress

Along comes Casper, and all of these problems were instantly SOLVED.

I was prepared to give our new Casper at least two weeks before making a decision on it. I didn’t want to rush it, and neither did Mr. Beauty Junkies. Especially since Casper offers a 100-night risk-free trial. (He’s actually the most hard to please out of the two of us!) Well, we ended up texting each other the next morning (nearly simultaneous), to already proclaim our love for the Casper we had slept on for the first time the night before. I’m not making this up!

So, what makes a Casper, a Casper? 

[Read more…]

Visit the “Hair Food Truck” in the Los Angeles-area on 10/30 for FREE Hair Food!

clairol hair food

I know, Hair Food? It sounds kinda funny! But it’s a new hair product collection that I’ve spied at Target in the past month, and I’ve had pretty strong willpower not to purchase it yet—because heaven only knows I have enough shampoo for a small country. (I do often share with shelters in need—and with my friends—I swear!)

I finally got my hands on a few of the products last night, and I’m not quite ready to offer you a review just yet since I’ve only used a few of them once. (They do all smell extra delicious, by the way!) The good news is, there’s a special event this Thursday (10/30) in Hollywood for all my Los Angelenos and SoCal friends. Go visit the Hair Food Truck at Hollywood Blvd. & North Highland Ave., and you’ll score a FREE full-size Hair Food product, a tote bag, and a coupon! The Hair Food Truck will be there from 11:00AM to 5:00PM.

Local tip, because I absolutely LOATHE driving and parking in Hollywood:

There is a Hollywood/Highland stop on the Metro Red Line train that is SUPER easy to access, and takes you right there! When I go to Hollywood, it’s the only way I’ll go, because it’s SO easy.

[Read more…]

Keep Calm: Better Days are Ahead!


Hi lovelies!

Sorry for the radio silence on my end for so long. The site is undergoing some tech issues that are driving us CRAZY. Long story short, it’s not 100% functional on my end, and I’m very unhappy with its performance. There have been many posts and images over the past few weeks that have disappeared, or have just not looked right at all. We’re working on a resolution behind the scenes, but it could take a little more time than I’d like.

Thank you so much for your understanding, and for not deserting Beauty Junkies Unite. I appreciate every single one of you, and I wouldn’t be here 5 ½ years later if it were not for YOU. Fingers crossed it won’t be much longer. Giveaways, new product release posts, and general prettiness are on the way soon.

You can still find me on social media! Let’s stay social!

Instagram: beautyjunkies
Twitter: @beautyjunkies
Facebook: facebook.com/beautyjunkiesunite
Pinterest: pinterest.com/beautyjunkies


Snag This Mega Score During the Space NK Spring Beauty Edit

spake nk

On Wednesday, February 19th, Space NK will host the “Spring Beauty Edit” event across all of their 23 US locations. During this special, one-day-only shopping event, customers will be perfectly prepped for the new season as they present the latest in spring beauty.

Guests can meet with experts from some of their finest brands for personalized classes, makeovers, advice and tips. Event times, featured experts and services will vary by location. Exclusively for the event, and while supplies last, shoppers who spend $250 or more will receive a gift featuring a selection of must-haves from 26 of their featured brands (deluxe, travel and full-size items). As this is their most popular event of the year, shoppers are encouraged to reserve their space (and gift!) in advance to avoid disappointment. This gift will sell out in stores early, but will also be available to online shoppers at spacenk.com on February 19th (US only).

I’ve been going through my bag this week, and I’m AMAZED by the loot that’s inside it! It’s like a treasure-trove of mini luxury products I wouldn’t normally have :)

  • Space NK Cosmetics Bag (exclusive for the Spring Beauty Edit event)
  • African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil (17 ml)
  • Antica Farmacista Prosecco Room Fragrance (25 ml)
  • Bakel THIO-C Revitalizing Glowing Serum (3 ml)
  • Bumble & bumble Thickening Hairspray (1 oz)
  • Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum (10 ml)
  • Darphin Hydraskin Light (15 ml)
  • Diptyque Volutes Eau de Toilette (12 ml)
  • Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes (5 ml)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (5 ml)
  • Kevyn Aucoin Essential Mascara (.13 fl oz)
  • Life NK Daily Fix Body Lotion (50 ml)
  • Mio Skincare The Activist (30 ml)
  • Natura Bissé The Cure Sheer Eye (2 ml)
  • NIA24 Gentle Cleansing Cream (1 oz)
  • Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color (1.7 oz)
  • Philip B African Shea Butter Shampoo or Peppermint Shampoo (2 fl oz)
  • Radical Skincare Youth Infusion Serum (8 ml)
  • Rahua Conditioner (2 oz)
  • Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask (15 ml)
  • Rococo Nail Apparel Nail Polish Remover Tissues (full size)
  • Rodial Super Food Day Cream (5 ml)
  • Sai-Sei Mineral Loofah Body Polish Soap (full size)
  • Sunday Riley Artemis Hydro-Active Face Oil (3 ml)
  • Wei Dragon Blood Eye Lifting Pad (single use)
  • Zelens Transformer Instant Renewal Mask (5 ml)

February 19th is the day for the Spring Beauty Edit! Get on it while you can today at Space NK locations, or on spacenk.com. Happy shopping!