Musee de Prado church. Madrid, Spain.

Musee de Prado church. Madrid, Spain.

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Beautiful architecture at Musee de Prado, Madrid.

Beautiful architecture at Musee de Prado, Madrid.

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2012 Black Friday Shopping

I took full advantage of the holiday sales this Thanksgiving to stock up on some essentials.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal but I am not the one to be standing in the cold, in line at 7pm the night before Black Friday.  I like to shop online in the comfort of my couch, without the crowds, the lines, or the crazy traffic. This year, I budgeted my shopping by:

1. stocking up on essential items that are a staple in my beauty routine

2. utlizing websites that offer free shipping

Thanks to all the great twitter feeds, I got a heads up on the sale at sasa.com.  Sasa had items up to 70% off and free shipping on orders over $19 USD.  So I stocked up on my holy grail mascara Fairy Drops, which retails for $24 at Sephora but only $15.70 on Sasa.com. I think the sale is still ongoing, so check it out if you are interested.  

FAIRY DROPS  Platinum Mascara Film Type 1piece

I also snagged another staple in my beauty routine: face brushes from coastalscents.com at 50% of their retail price. Everything on coastalscents.com is 50% off right now, and this sale is also ongoing.  I picked up the Classic Angled Kabuki Brush, Large Classic Buffer brush, Classic Tapered Kabuki, and Bionic Flat Top Buffer brush. 

Classic Angled Kabuki Stick SyntheticClassic Buffer Large Synthetic

Classic Tapered Kabuki Stick SyntheticBionic Flat Top Buffer

And lastly, my non-beauty essential - washer (Model # MVWX700XL) and dryer (Model # MEDX700XL) from Maytag Bravo X series.  This purchase took me days of research.  Who knew that washers and dryers are so sophisticated now-a-days.  But I couldn’t be happier with this set.  

This wraps up my goodies for this holiday.  I hope everyone had a great turkey day and/or a great weekend.  Let me know what you guys purchased over the holidays.  

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Beauty Highlight - Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils 

Let’s just say that I have found a go-to product for easy, everyday eye looks.  I love these Urban Decay 24/7 eye shadow pencils because they honestly add simplicity to my life.  The fact that I can apply the shadows without any brushes, and have these shadows remain creaseless on my oily lids is enough to make me jump for joy.

These are great stand-alone products that glide easily over the lids, and the pencil-form allows you to control the placement of the shadows without the use of brushes.  This is also the very first eye product that does not require me to use an eye primer –and may I say, that is a mini miracle; everything slides off my oily lids without a primer.  They last ~8 hours on my lids without fading or creasing.  The intensity is buildable, so you can apply and blend with your fingers until you’ve reached the intensity that you like.  Having said that - I foresee this being a product that I would use up quickly but it’s a small price I’m willing to pay.  

I picked up the limited edition pencil set which included 5 mini shadow pencils from Ulta.  Although this set is limited edition, the individual full size pencils (with the exception of Juju) are permanent and available at both Ulta and Sephora.  The set includes 3 neutral shades (Sin, Rehab, and Juju), and 2 colored shades (Delinquent and Clash) all of which have a sheen and/or shimmery finish.  The neutral shades are of course my favorite.  Sin is a light pink, champagne color that is great as inner corner highlight or all over shade. Rehab is a golden, brown and Juju is a taupe-ish brown.  Clash is a bright turquoise that adds a pop of color to any eye look.  And Delinquent is a beautiful purple but loses intensity after blending leaving behind large pink glitters-not a fan of this color at all.       

Overall, these are definitely going to be a staple in my makeup collection.  I just sweep the shadow on my lids in the morning, add a little eye liner and mascara, and my eye look is complete for the day.  This is also a great product to travel with because it eliminates the need for eye brushes, shadows, and primer altogether – which for me is a much lighter load to carry.  It’s a great no-fuss, low maintenance type of product that I would recommend to anyone looking to simplify their morning routine and/or travel light.  I hope you guys check them out, and let me know how you like them.  Happy Tuesday!

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L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm – Rose Elixir

I was browsing through my local Bed Bath and Beyond when I came across a display of newly released L’Oreal Colour Riche Balms with SPF15 positioned right next to the highly coveted Revlon Lip Butters.  I have to say that I was instantly drawn in by the packaging- square, mirrored based supporting a retractable cylindrical balm with a sleek transparent cap that takes on the shade of the balm and securely snaps shut.  It is quite luxurious compared to the bulleted tubed balms.  

Packaging aside, the name clearly describes the product – it is a tinted lip balm.  No confusion here as opposed to the highly debated definition of a “lip butter.”  I picked up the shade Rose Elixir, which brings out the natural pigmentation of my lips with a glossy, shiny finish.  So it gives me a you’re-lips-but-glossier look.  I would have like a stronger pigmentation, but my lips are rather pigmented on its own, so this shade may appear more intense on nude lips or layered on top of another lip product.  Although, I haven’t tried the other shades, I have a feeling that all shades from this line would just perform like a sheer gloss.  

As far as the moisturizing factor- this product is moisturizing upon initial application.  However, as wear-time increases, I feel my lips becoming drier and start to peel.  This may very well be due to the SPF in the balm because my lips are extremely sensitive to SPF for reasons unknown.  So if you have the same sensitivity, this product may not be for you.  

In summary, I am quite impressed with the packaging.  However, the poor pigmentation and hydration provided to my lips renders this product mediocre for my personal use.  If you have highly pigmented lips and a sensitivity to SPF, I would pass on this product but at $5.79 it is not a terrible loss.  Please let me know how this product works out for you, and if you have tried any of the newly released drugstore items.  

Happy Saturday~~~

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Today I’m presenting you my beloved OPI Bubble Bath topped with Sephora by OPI Only Gold For Me.  This is the first time that I’ve used the two in combination, and I have to say that I really liked the results.  OPI Bubble Bath is a French-manicure-type pink that is opaque in three coats.  It gives you a simple yet elegant polished look that is great year-round for all occasions.  

Only Gold For Me was one of those love-at-first-sight items that instantly attracted me.  At the time, it was one of the very first glitter nail polishes with the large hexagon glitters that adds incredible dimension to your nails.  I do want to stress that this is a top coat, so the glitter deposit onto the nail is not as dense as glitter nail polishes. I have worn this top coat on its own, but I find that it makes more of a statement on top of a light, pale pink base such as Bubble Bath.  The two really compliments each other, and it’s a great look for the festive Christmas and New Year’s parties.  

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Butter London’s Queen Vic is a pretty berry shade to accommodate the Thanksgiving Holidays.  The formula is opaque and applies effortlessly with minimal streaking. Although Queen Vic is a beautiful deep, creamy, rich berry shade, I can definitely find substitutes from other great quality brands such as OPI, Essie, and Zoya at a much lower price.  If you place heavy emphasis on non-toxic nailpolishes, then Butter London -free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP- is something to try. Otherwise, I would turn to the above mentioned brands for a greater color selection with unique shades.     

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