Gillette Venus Swirl Razor Review, Photos


gillette venus swirl razor

I know a razor is a very personal thing, but it’s one of those non-negotiable things for me in my beauty arsenal. If I’m going to be forced to rake a sharp razor across my skin, it better be a GOOD one. And ever since I started using the Gillette Venus family razors several years ago when they first launched, I haven’t gone back to subpar shavers, I just won’t. I don’t mind paying more for quality in this case. This is an essential for me!

I recently upgraded to the new Gillette Venus Swirl, and I’m so glad I did. The Venus Swirl is a little bit different than the last Venus razor incarnation I was using—the Venus & Olay razor (which is also pretty darn good in its own right.) One of the key differences with the new Venus Swirl, is the fancy new addition of their proprietary FLEXIBALL technology. Let’s take a closer look!

venus 2

I feel like I have to describe what makes the razor cartridge itself special to me. It has five very thin blades that are contoured in such a way that it takes much less force and pressure than a typical razor. This results in an extremely effective and precise shave, that I never have to pass over a section twice.  [Read more…]

Salon Perfect Perfect Brow Pomade Review, Photos, Swatches


Salon Perfect Brow Pomade

Sometimes, I can be a bit of a skeptic when it comes to bargain beauty products. So when I found out that these new brow pomades from Salon Perfect were just $4.88 each, I immediately thought there was no way that they could be any good. Fast forward to a few weeks later when I had them in my hot little hands, and my attitude changed as if you had flipped on a light switch. To put it simply: I think these things are AWESOME.

The Salon Perfect Perfect Brow Pomades are available in three shades: blonde, light brown, and dark brown. One of the biggest problems I face with brow products is that they’re often too red for me, and the browns often don’t even look close to the shade I need. I didn’t have that problem with these at all. I actually thought I would need the dark brown, but I wore the light brown and really liked it! (I can get away with either, just depending how bold I want to go.) It doesn’t pull red on me like about 90% of the other products I’ve purchased in the past.

salon perfect brow pomades

I know there is an expensive and popular brand of brow pomade out there right now—and I’ve already received many questions about how the Perfect Brow Pomades compare to it. Okay, I’ll just say it—it’s Anastasia Dipbrow. Truth be told, I don’t own Dipbrow! I have too many brow products right now to invest in it personally. So I can’t give you a comparison from personal experience, and I’m sorry about that! But having looked over the ingredients for both, there are several duplicate ingredients. The composition is not exactly the same, but seems pretty close to serve a similar purpose. Dipbrow may also have more shades, but I think the three shades of Perfect Brow Pomade can be pretty universal for most of the population.  [Read more…]

L’Occitane Shea Butter Comforting Skincare Collection Review, Photos


loccitane shea butter skincare collection

Please join me in welcoming back Dilara! She’ll be here periodically reviewing her favorite products. She’s a mom of two from the Midwest, and she’s very, very cool! You’ll enjoy getting to know her. — Amber

It seems like every year I talk about how cold and dry the Ohio climate is and how much my skin is suffering. I hope you haven’t grown tired of those posts because guess what? It’s cold, dry and my skin is suffering yet again. When Amber handed me the new L’Occitane Shea Butter Comforting Skincare Collection, the timing couldn’t have been better.

I feel like I’ve seen shea butter products popping up recently as natural way to moisturize and protect your skin. Shea butter is a natural substance that contains plenty of Vitamin E and acts as an anti-inflammatory, which makes it perfect for multiple skin types. My skin is dry-to-normal pretty much year round. In the winter, it gets especially parched. Cold weather, hot furnaces and wicked winds beat me down to a dry, cracked, flaking mess. Shea butter has been called “the superfood for your face” and well, it’s time to put it to the test.

loccitane shea butter cleansing oil

Shea Butter Cleansing Oil

Sounds a little risky, slathering your skin with oil isn’t exactly the top beauty approach on most peoples’ list. But for me, I had nothing to lose. First of all, it is luxurious. The Shea Butter Cleansing Oil has a deep, silky texture that removed all of my makeup. I preferred to rub it all over my face first, and then I added a little water to create a milk on my skin. After massaging that all over my face, my eye makeup was completely removed, as was my foundation, powder and mostly everything else. I normally wear a very long-wearing lipstick which is difficult to remove. This product removed it effortlessly. It rinses off clean with no residue, and left my skin feeling supple and smooth.  [Read more…]

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab “DIRTY” Perfume Oil Review (BPAL)


BPAL oils

One of my goals here on the blog for 2015, was to introduce myself (and you!) to brands that are new—or in this case—new to me. Keeping with that promise, I’m bringing you an amazing perfume oil from an indie brand with an impressive cult following: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab—which will be called BPAL here on the blog going forward.

BPAL has always been kind of an enigma to me. It has often enticed me, puzzled me, and seduced me at the same time. For a newbie like me, BPAL can seem a little intimidating—as it currently stands, there are hundreds of oils on their website, and from what I’ve researched, each one has its own complexities and characteristics that make it special and unique to the individual wearer. These are highly artisanal blends, carefully handcrafted in their “lab”. They’re not your run-of-the-mill perfume place, BPAL has perfected their art for over 15 years! There is even a BPAL Forum where devotees discuss reviews, and offer advice. Talk about being a cult fave indie brand!

So, without further ado—meet my very first BPAL perfume oil—DIRTY

BPAL Dirty fragrance oil

With this being my first, I didn’t know where to begin. It’s a good thing that Stef from we heart this is a good friend of mine, because she was my tour guide—having been a loyal BPAL devotee for years. First, visit the BPAL product & site directory, and on the left, you’ll see their categories. On the right, you’ll see perfumes by scents/notes, effects, or themes. BPAL often has a group of perfume oils with “themes”—kind of like how nail polish brands come out with themes for seasonal collections, but trust me—BPAL’s oils are even better when it comes to a theme! (DIRTY is part of the “Sin and Salvation” category.)  [Read more…]

Give Your Skin the Celebrity Treatment at Kate Somerville


Kate Somerville lobby

Think that getting the red carpet treatment for your skincare needs is out of the question? I’ve got great news for you, it’s not! If you can make the trek to Kate Somerville’s incredible skincare clinic, it’s tucked away in an adorable, old-time Hollywood building with a lot of industry history behind it—just off of Melrose Place.

Can’t make it in to Kate Somerville? No worries! I’ve got some great Kate skincare recommendations for you, and they’ve made my skin a very happy camper since my visit over a week ago.

Kate Somerville treatment room

Kate Somerville Treatment Room

At first glance, the location is incredibly inviting and beautiful. I sincerely wish I could afford to hire their interior decorator! Everything is top-notch, no details were missed, and the textured wallpaper is to die for! Every wall has a texture that makes it seem like it belongs in the most lavish of celeb homes, as if it cost a fortune. (Except, you’re at Kate Somerville, and you’re about to get your skin pampered!)

I met with my skin therapist, Laura, and she told me that in her expert opinion, I was best a candidate for their DermaLucent™ Red Facial. With this being my first light therapy facial, I wasn’t sure what to expect—but please know I’m glad I went with her expertise, because I left extremely satisfied. I’m in my late 30’s, with some congested pores, lines that need firming, and could stand to have my collagen production levels shaken wide-awake.  [Read more…]

KBShimmer Men are from Mars-ala Nail Polish Review, Photos, Swatches


KB Shimmer Mena are from MarsalaLast month, we found out that Marsala was Pantone’s pick for Color of the Year for 2015. I was able to pick out a few shades of lipstick that match the Marsala theme, but I haven’t picked out any nail polishes yet. Well, KBShimmer is saving me the trouble—because they just released a very special shiny holographic polish, that takes on all of those rosy brown characteristics that Marsala fans are loving right now!

Meet: Men are from Mars-ala…kbshimmer marsala nail polish

image: KBShimmer.com

How perfect is this?!? This is my very first item from KBShimmer (I know, right?), and I’m already hooked. I know so many nail polish fanatics have told me in the past that KBShimmer is where it’s at for originality, performance, pretty holos, and shimmers, so I’m happy that I’m finally onboard.  [Read more…]

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara Review, Before/After Photos


loreal paris voluminous butterfly intenza mascara

L’Oréal has so much newness out right now, and I always look forward to seeing their new displays at my CVS, a new one just hit! Have you seen all the new Infallible Pro products yet? I hope to check them out for you soon, but right now let’s take a look at the new L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

Back in 2013, I reviewed (and loved) the original Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. It passed with flying colors due to how it fanned out each lash and added some volume and length, but remained very clean and defined. Butterfly Intenza is a little bit different in concept.

loreal paris voluminous butterfly intenza

Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

Intenza takes on some of the original Voluminous Butterfly qualities; an innovative brush with fluctuating arches, with fine flexible spikes to comb through lashes, and a fiber formula. However, Intenza is quite different on my lashes than the original. It adds much more volume and length, deposits a nice, rich matte black pigment, and it seems like the fibers are more prevalent than before.   [Read more…]

MAC Viva Glam x Miley Cyrus Lipstick & Lipglass Review, Photos, Swatches


MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus lipstick lipglass

Even if you’re not a Miley Cyrus fan, please hang in there and read this!

I know she’s not exactly my cup of tea either—and I received some not-so-nice comments about her new MAC Viva Glam collaboration when I posted the news of this upcoming release on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram last year. But I have to admit you guys, this color is HOT STUFF, and Viva Glam does SO much good for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

I try not to think of the spokesperson when these collections come out every year, I see so much more than their imagery promoting the product. Here’s why…

As always, every cent from every Viva Glam lip color goes directly to the MAC AIDS Fund. The organization helps women, men and children living with, and affected by HIV/AIDS. I’m forever a Viva Glam fan!

Just one Viva Glam Lipstick can equal…

  • 1 rapid oral HIV test
  • 8 nutritious, home-cooked meals
  • 1 school stationery starter pack for a child orphaned by AIDS
  • 1 vegetable garden starter pack for a community garden
  • 2 safer sex kits
  • 1 month of personal transportation to and from doctors visits
  • 2 hours of childcare for a woman during a medical appointment
  • 14 blood glucose monitoring strips
  • 1 pair of shoes for a child orphaned by AIDS
  • …and more!

See why I wanted you to stay with me? There’s a bigger picture here! With that, meet Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick and Lipglass, which will be released here in the States at all MAC locations on January 22nd, and online at maccosmetics.com on January 20th. (The press info I received says that this will be released internationally on February 12th.) Let’s take a closer look!

MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick

Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick ($16) is a super hot pink lippie with an Amplified formula. I’ve always associated the Amplified formula with excellent opaque coverage, creamy texture, and a generous amount of wear-time. It was love at first sight, from the moment I popped off the cap! I’m partial to hot pink shades like this already, but the comfortable, non-drying texture, and 4½ hours of wear I got from the lipstick just sealed the deal. I did have a little bit of a pink stain left behind, but it wasn’t substantial.  [Read more…]

Nails Inc. for Victoria Beckham Collection / Judo Red and Bamboo White Review, Photos, Swatches


NailsInc

New for spring from Nails Inc., they’ve collaborated with Victoria Beckham for two limited edition shades of polish with Japanese elements, inspired by the SS/15 Victoria, Victoria Beckham Collection. Two shades is all it takes when they’re this perfect! Let me show you what I mean…

nails inc for vvb victoria beckham nail polish collection

There’s Bamboo White (STUNNING!), and Judo Red (GORGEOUS!). Both polishes are enclosed in generously thick and weighty Venetian glass bottles. On the side of each bottle, you can see the corresponding shade through a glass window. I love the matte finish of the bottles, it gives the exterior a hint of the sophistication of what’s to come. Bamboo White (bone white cream with a hint of pink) is housed in the matte black bottle, while Judo Red (vibrant tomato red) is housed in the matte white bottle.  [Read more…]