April 24, 2012

Product Review: Benefit Stay Don't Stray, B+

Another day, another product to review! Today I'm talkin' about avoiding eyeshadow creasing. This is extra important for the steamy summer months coming at us. Creasing is most certainly not in for summer, when it comes to eye makeup, that is.

During a recent Sephora jaunt, I picked up Benefit's Stay Don't Stray, $26 for .33 ounces. This may seem a tad steep, but this product offers much more product compared to other similarly priced eyeshadow primers. i.e. Smashbox's Photo Finish primer is $20 for .08 ounces.

Thus, if we were comparing the two, side by side per ounce, Benefit would cost $78 per ounce while Smashbox would cost $250. See, math really does come in handy every once in a while.

About Benefit's Stay Don't Stray from Sephora:
What it is:
A 360 degree primer for concealers and eye shadows.

What it does:
Tell your eye makeup to stay, don't stray! This dual-action primer works 360 degrees around the eyes to make concealers and eye shadows REALLY stay put. Concealers never crease and eye shadows stay vibrant and true—you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

What else you need to know:
Stay Don't Stray preps, protects, AND perfects!

Preps: The lightweight formula blends seamlessly into skin, brightens eye area to minimize the appearance of fine lines, and comes in a universally flattering nude shade.

Protects: Hydrates with sodium hyaluronate to lock in moisture, fights signs of aging with vitamins C & E, and does not contain parabens.

Perfects: It's long-wearing to keep makeup looking fresh, locks on ALL concealers & eye shadows and prevents creasing of eye makeup.

My Review:
The Good: The product definitely does as it purports - my eyeshadow stayed *almost* all day. No creasing, no sliding and color payoff was certainly present with my eyeshadows used.

The Bad: The pump produces too much product. You only need a few tiny dots to use on your eyelids, and the pump produces way more than that with just a light touch. I hate wasting product, so I need to finagle the pump a bit further to make it work for me.

The Verdict: B+. The value is here, the product is solid and as soon as the pump becomes a but less sensitive to a super light touch, I see this completely working for me.

April 20, 2012

Currently Craving: Coobies

Whenever I hear about those do-it-all products, I become instantly skeptical. Even though I'm enthralled with infomercials, I've never really acted on them. Beyond the Magic Bullet...that teeny blender and chopper is pretty sweet. But I digress.

Anywho, a while back I picked up a Coobie at a local Charlotte boutique. It rhymes with boobies, so that makes me giggle. I have to think that the brilliant people behind this product named it so on purpose. Or at least I hope they did. Here's what scoopneck Coobie looks like:

She looks so serious, doesn't she? But she does indeed look comfortable.

Via Coobie's website:

What's a Coobie Seamless Bra?
It's simply the most amazing bra you'll ever buy. Ultra comfortable, supportive, and inexpensive - it's the perfect combination. The Coobie Bra provides shape and support and can be worn in place of a camisole or tank top. The Coobie Bra fits almost every body!

My take: 
Is it the most amazing bra I've ever purchased? No. That distinction is saved for my Chantelle variety. But hey, here's the cool thing...it really does fit just about any set of girls. It's uber comfortable and comes in a variety of fun shades. Can I substitute said bra as a sports bra or daily bra? Hell to the no. But, if I'm just kickin' around the house, it is perfect and incredibly comfortable.

There are a variety of shades, patterns and types. Some with lace, some to fit ladies with even more upstairs. I have a crush on my Coobie and it's $20 well spent.

They're also running a pretty sweet BOGO offer online...which I will soon be using. The promo code is PMBOGO.

Happy weekend, everyone!

April 17, 2012

Product Review: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, B+

Years ago I thought that highlighters and luminizers were a waste of money. How silly of me. Ever since I tried out Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector, I've been fairly obsessed. This dreamy product makes my cheekbones pop more than a JLo dance move.

It's not a cheap treat; expect to fork out $40ish for 1.7 ounce pump tube. However, the results are fabulous and you really only need to use a teeny tiny bit otherwise you're going to look like a gilded oompa loompa.  The product comes in Opal and Topaz...opal being the shade I'm a fan of for my skin tone.

About Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector:
  • Provides hydration, SPF 20+ broad-spectrum sun protection and a light shimmer 
  • Illuminates the skin to diminish dark spots, and promote a healthy, youthful glow 
  • Firms and softens the skin while nourishing with vitamins A, B, D and E 
  • Results in plump, comfortable and radiant skin 
  • Opal is a very light shade with subtle shimmer 
My Review:
The Good: Damn, this makes my cheekbones look good. So good that I get compliments on them. You know how often that happened before I started using this product? About never. It also looks fabu on the tops of your shoulders, clavicle, etc. It's not glittery or gritty, it's creamy and full of sheen.

The Bad: Big surprise here, it's not cheap. Or easy to come by. You can score it on Amazon or find a local retailer.

The Verdict: B+. I feel pretty oh so pretty and if pretty costs just a bit more, so be it. You really don't have to use a lot of product to garner a sheen, so go for it...or glow for it.

April 13, 2012

Fabulous Freakin' Friday: Avengers Premiere

Heard of The Avengers? You know, the sure to be summer Blockbuster stacked with oodles of stars from all of the other summer hero blockbusters?

Yeah. That one. And the fashion from said preview is just as exciting. Thus, the topic for today's fabulous freakin' Friday!

First up, a lovely lass named Cobie Smulders. Who smolders in this Donna Karan...I'm sure she's never heard that pun before... I dig it. Although I wouldn't mind a more interesting 'do.

Photo via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Wireimage
Next, is Japanese actress Ryoko Yonekura in an amazeballs Armani. How cute is she? That dress is pure magic. I imagine that a shoe with less chunk would sit better with the overall aesthetic of the gown, though.

Photo via Danny Moloshok/Reuters
And let us not forget one of the actual stars in the movie, Scarlett Johansson, who rocked a fairly simple, yet chic Versace LBD. It's nothing crazy, but I'm in love with her textured updo, pretty makeup and killer shoes.

Photo via Red Carpet Fashion Awards
That's it for today's FFF! Have a freakin' fabulous weekend!

April 9, 2012

Currently Craving: Neon

As soon as I hear the word "neon," my mind instantly flashes to the low key, yet irritating song of the same name by John Mayer. Neon, neon....neon, neooooooooon. Never heard it? You may want to avoid it if you appreciate your sanity.

Anywho, I've been crushing on little bits of neon. I'm especially a fan of it in small bites - accessories, mostly. Handbags, jewelry, scarves and more. No one needs a neon poncho with neon booties, a neon handbag AND a neon messenger bag. That would probably be too much.

Thus, here are a few items I envision pairing with some neutral tones...

Do you do neon?

April 6, 2012

Product Review: Davines Wizards No.14 Sea Salt Primer, A

About nine months ago, when I went for the big hair chop, I began experimenting with tons o' products. I became a product whore. I'm admitting it. Whatever. There are worse things.

A few weeks back when I was checking out Orange Olive, an adorable salon in Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood, the sweet stylists recommended Davines Sea Salt Primer. My ears perked up and my nose went wild for this deliciously scented, wave-inducing spray. I was about two or three glasses of wine into the evening, so I forked over the $24 or so and went on my merry way. And I'm so glad I did.

About Davines Wizards No.14 Sea Salt Primer:
Davines Sea Salt Primer for Wizards No.14 is a salt-infused styling spray for fullness, hold and a cool mat finish. It adds texture and lots of volume with a light hold and dry finish. It gives hair a wind swept style and a "just off the beach" texture. Sea salt primer gives body while minimizing fly-aways.

HOW TO USE: Apply in sections on wet hair or after blow drying and use your fingertips to form natural waves and texture on hair.

RESULT: Hair will look full of body and volume with a mat finish and dry look. Ideal for short, medium, and long hair to give structure and create dynamic looks.

My Review:
The Good: Damn, this is a great wave spray. As mentioned, it smells delightful and definitely creates soft but tousled waves. And those waves stay all day, yo. If you have stick straight hair, this is a great product to mist over the your ends if you're going in hot with a curling iron. I prefer to spray the product in my hands and distribute evenly as I find spraying randomly can waste product and get too much into my roots.

The Bad: It's pretty pricy. Expect to pay $20-$30 for a 250 ml bottled (approx. 8.4 ounces).

The Verdict: A all the way. While it's expensive, this is now my go-to, holy grail sea salt spray. I rarely need to stack products on top of this if I use it correctly. And I don't need to use more than a few focused spritzes, so the bang for your buck is fairly present.

April 4, 2012

Learning From My Closet

Once per season I end up going to through my wardrobe, accessories and shoes. And every season I have to push myself to clear out anything I haven't worn in 2+ years.

Then I bag. And I partition my schtuff off to friends and relatives. And I donate. And still, every season I come up with more items that my closet just doesn't want?! Why oh why, closet? You'd think I'd learn. 

So, instead of wondering what the hell I'm buying every year/season that just doesn't make it through, I decided to post about it. Without further adieu...this is what I've learned.

What My Closet Hates:
  • Cheapie, trendy buys (here's lookin' at you, Forever21)
  • Ill fitting items, usually purchased online from a sample sale
    • Shakes fist at Gilt, Ruelala, My Habit, Hautelook...
  • Work/business casual gear
    • I work from home, so I really don't need any button downs, suits, etc. 
  • Skimpy tops or skirts
What My Closet Loves:
  • Quality fabrics: Wool blends, silk blends, great denim, tailored items
  • Boutique buys
  • Boots...in all forms. 
  • Neutral jackets
  • Comfortable and colorful tops and tanks
What My Closet Taught Me:
  • Don't buy stuff *just because* it's on sale. 
  • Don't buy something you *hope* to fit into one day
  • Quality over quantity for the most part
  • Buying online is risky, even if you're good about getting things tailored
  • Flip your hangers to remind yourself to wear those items you're not reaching for
  • Washable items are best...dry clean only is fine, but only in small doses 
Do tell, what does your closet teach you?