April 29, 2013

josie maran 5 pc nourishing care package review

After trying out Josie Maran's 100% Pure Argan Oil from my January Ipsy Bag, I just had to buy a full size of it! I use it as my skin moisturizer and it helped with my dry skin, and leaves my skin soft and glowing, and not greasy feeling at all!
Unfortunately, the discount Ipsy gave us for the brand expired at the end of the month so I searched and looked online how else can I get this product at a discount since paying $48 is a little hefty from my pocket! Excitingly QVC sells her brand and she was scheduled to go on TV that coming weekend!

By the way, QVC has been added to my go-to sites now to buy beauty products at a good discount. After watching the show which she featured the package I bought and a few more, now I understand why QVC is a great shopping site! 
*sidenote: I recently bought more beauty products from QVC when they had "Beauty with Benefits" program going on last Thursday, April 25th. The products purchased at the show will donate part of its profits to the Cancer and Careers program. For short, it's beauty for a cause! They have great discounts once in a while, so check QVC out and see if they have the beauty brands you like, besides looking at kitchen tools, tech gadgets, some jewelry and handbags.

Okay, so here's what I purchased from her program. Unfortunately this package is not available anymore at the website. I'm not sure how QVC works but maybe she will feature it again sometime..soon(?)
This is her 5 piece Nourishing Care Package which was priced at $76.96 + tax and s&h = $92.20. During the show she offered 2-easy payments on it. Basically I paid $46.10 + s&h that day then the next month they charged my account the rest of it. I know it sounds pretty hefty for the price, but just that bottle alone if I buy it at Sephora would have cost me half the price of this box! Later I will give you a price for each product if bought individually. So this box includes a 1.7fl oz 100% Pure Argan Oil, 8fl oz Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Lavender Citrus, 4.6oz Argan Balm and two 021 oz Argan Color Stick in Rosey and Ternderheart.

Nourishing Argan Care Package

here's how it was packaged inside which was nice and tight!
Let me include the quote at the back of the box from Josie Maran, which I think is just sweet and thoughtful:

"I love getting care package full of thoughtful treats from friends and family. So I created an Argan Oil care package for you, with everything you need to nourish your skin from head to toe, plus some color for your cheeks and lips. When I say 'care,' I mean it: these Argan goodies are made with care for you and your body."   with love, Josie

Since I raved this 100% Pure Argan Oil so much on my other reviews, all I'm going to say here is how magical this oil is to my skin! I have not seen my skin look so healthy, though not acne free when I get my monthly hormonal breakouts my skin still feels so hydrated and glowing! 
Try it out and see if your skin agrees with me!
So this large bottle retails for $48 at Josie Maran's website, QVC and Sephora. Like I said earlier, that's already the price I paid for half of the box. Now let's see what else came in this box shall we?!

Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Lavender Citrus
This retails for $35 on her website, here
"This precious, rare oil is spun into a unique creamy butter to easily revitalize skin and restore softness while improving skin's texture." as how Josie Maran's site describes this body butter.
This body butter smells so, so, so good like a freshly baked lemon cake! It's not overly sweet but just enough scent to it that I couldn't just stop applying this all over my body! This melts like oil as you apply it on and it does not feel greasy at all. My skin feels great after using this for a while now, as in no dry elbows or no dry skin at all after doing the "scratch test", as I call it (scratch part of your arm or legs, and if a white line comes out then you got dry skin).
I also use this on my husband's feet since he have the driest heels I have seen and it will probably just gets worst when sandal season comes! And now after two months of foot rubs, he has better looking feet than I do! They're softer and healthier looking than before. Ready for Summer sandal season!

Argan Balm
This retails for $42!
According to their site, "Argan Balm creates a protective barrier to seal in hydration and leaves the skin softer and more supple."

I use this balm mostly on my lips and around my eyes. I used to put it on my cuticles before bed and I didn't see any improvements but I find the best way to treat my stubborn dry hands were with lotion every time after washing my hands! I also apply this on my eyelashes and they look longer, thicker and fuller! My lips have never been better either! I apply this at night and before wearing any lipstick or lip stain and I actually have not used my lip scrub for a while now! This has really kept my lips pretty hydrated and protected. This huge tin will last me forever! I will not have to buy a lip balm for a long time! 

Argan Color Stick in Rosey and Tenderheart
This retails for $22 each
*Rosey seems to be still available on her website, but I don't see Tenderheart anymore

Left: Rosey, Tenderheart on the Right

Left: Rosey (dark mauve color), Tenderheart (peach-y tint)
These sheer color tints for lips and cheeks goes on pretty smooth and sheer. It's pretty sheer on my skin tone and the swatch above is a few swipes of the tube. Just like any other color stick, it will feel greasy at first but this one is made of Argan oil so no worries here! I have stayed away from creamy blushes because of the oil breaks me out. This one is pretty good on my cheeks! It does give me that natural blush on my cheeks which is awesome for a natural look! I have not used this on my lips since I have tons of other lip products I want to wear, and knowing it's sheer it's probably not going to be visible on my dark pigmented lips. 

*Sorry for having no selfie pictures...I am not good at taking selfie pictures and just uncomfortable doing it, but I promise I will give you guys pictures soon!!!

So if you total all these products, it comes out to $169 + tax + s&h!!!

Now it looks like such a bargain isn't it?!? Just be aware QVC can be addicting so try to look away and just say "NO!" to yourself when you know you really don't NEED that eyeliner or blush or eye shadow! When you just "WANT" it, look away! QVC will get you in trouble!

Anyways,I am addicted with Josie Maran's products! It's pretty worth the price for the results you get after using her products! Even my husband who hates lotion on his skin don't mind putting this on his arms and legs either! What else can you ask for to a company that's paraben-, cruelty-free, organic argan oil, natural ingredients, toxin free, recyclable, organic ingredients and no synthetic fragrance!!! I will definitely keep this brand on my must-haves and will keep trying her other products!

April 27, 2013

TheBalm small haul

In the beginning of April, theBalm announced they will be launching a new website by having a 50%off on all their products. April 1st came and their website unexpectedly crashed with all the traffic coming in to the site. They had to fix it and postpone their sale. We all didn't expect this was going to take a whole week but I waited patiently since this is the best sale yet I have seen from theBalm. Once in a while Hautelook will have theBalm on their site and that's where I bought my very first theBalm product which was the Nude 'tude palette. The only downside with Hautelook is it took them almost a month for my order to come! Hautelook do have the greatest deals on Tarte, NYX and theBalm, but if it's going to take a month to get here I'll pass on that.
And so there I was in front of the computer, Monday morning of April 8th (after a whole week of waiting!) refreshing theBalm website, checking their Facebook page for any announcements besides my other tabs of emails and blog sites opened. And finally the site was up and running! I waited an hour to see if this was just another run and might go down again but it's actually up and running with no more errors, yaaay!!!
I didn't go buckwild and bought everything like I want to, that one week of waiting made me realize to be not a hoarder just because it's on sale I should get it. I really debated, narrowed down my list and see what is it that I really want and what my collection is missing. My makeup collection is growing pretty fast, thanks to all the Ipsy samples that I have been getting the past 7 months I have been a member, and all the newly found parben- and cruelty-free products I've bought. So I really didn't need to buy more makeup but this was such a good deal that I really shouldn't pass this opportunity because I don't know when this will happen again.
Okay enough blabbing and let me show you what I got and a quick first impression review on them.

First off is the Meet Matt(e) Nude. I have been really debating on this and was going to wait until my birthday (in May) to buy this for myself. I'll just think of it as an early birthday present since this is a great discount! Most of my eye shadows have shimmer or has that satin sheen to it and after trying out the small theBalm matte eye shadow I got on one of my Ipsy bag, I definitely need to have this! It is such a great plus this company is paraben and cruelty free!
Meet Matt(e) Nude front and back packaging

theBalm eye shadows are very pigmented and creamy and just divine applying to my eyes! Not a lot of effort is needed to apply and blend and get that nice smokey look or natural eye look. As you will see in the swatch below, a little bit goes a long way. Comparing to the size of the eye shadows of this palette with my Nude 'tude these are twice the size and will last me a pretty long time. 

the eye shadow is not dime size , its a quarter size big!

As I swatch a few of the shadows with and without primer (as the pictures below), these shadows goes on creamy and not powdery at all. With a primer the color is more vibrant and I'm sure will last longer too.

 swatches WITHOUT a PRIMER, from Left: Matt Abdul, Matt Wood and Matt Maloy

WITH a PRIMER, from left: Matt Abdul, Matt Wood, Matt Maloy (top)  and Matt Maloy Singh (below)

*I did these swatches under natural light so please excuse the bad lighting. I feel like the natural light shows my (tan) medium skin tone best. I don't have any pictures of these on my face...well not yet until I have played with these products more.

Next! The Mary-Lou Manizer (highlighting, shadow and shimmer). This has been the most talked about product on Youtube and some blogs as their holy grail for highlighting and I have to agree with all of those ladies! This is great with any skin tone and gives you that natural glow on your face.
Let me talk about the packaging on this one first. It's just too adorable! It looks like it's a compact powder but it's all highlighting powder! The size of this thing will last me, yet again a long time which I am not complaining at all. This will definitely be put to use all year round since I just love highlighting my cheekbones and below my eyebrows when I don't want to put any heavy makeup for the day. 

This is a very creamy shadow and a little bit is only needed!
I used my e.l.f fan brush to put this on my cheeks and a little bit of this gives you that natural glow! Add some more, and that will give you that J.Lo glow - that look will be awesome in the Summer!
*highlight your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, your cupids bow (center of your top lip) and a little bit on the center of your forehead for a nice healthy looking glow!

with just two swipes on the shadow, I get this much from it!

For blush, I settled with one. I wanted all three, Frat Boy, Down Boy and Cabana Boy, but after getting a blush from my April Ipsy bag (click here to see what's in my April Ipsy bag!) I know I will not be needing all three realistically. So I chose Cabana Boy since I don't have a nice dusty-rose cheek color in my blush collection. This I feel will look natural especially in the Summer when my skin gets a little bit darker and that gold sheen will add a great glow to a tanned skin plus a little bit Mary-Lou Manizer ohh yeaah! So excited to wear this!

see that gold sheen it has? This is not a matte blush at all!

does my wrist looks like it's naturally blushing? Lol I know lame joke but that's the best place I find to swatch this blush on

All in all, I am very happy with my small theBalm purchase and with half the price I am not complaining at all! I can't wait to see what looks I can come up with, with these products *I will post my looks here as soon as I get selfie pictures taken one of these days. Knowing this is a paraben and cruelty-free products, I am not scared at all to be putting this on my face everyday and leave it on all day either.
So what have you girls bought recently? I know these aren't new to the beauty world but I am just too excited not to share with you guys what I think of them and how they do match with my skin tone.

April 23, 2013

**FiveTwo Certified Blog Site Update**

I guess I should have explained to you guys earlier how to navigate around my blog but I felt like it was self-explanatory. All the Ipsy Glam bag reviews will be under "Ipsy Glambag", the Influenster voxboxes will be under "Influenster Voxbox" and all beauty related topics will be under "Beauty", and so forth. But as time passes, I felt there is something lacking here in my site. How is this blog about me? How does this blog stand out from the other beauty blogs? How is the name "Five Two Certified" related to blogging on beauty? I've kept thinking and thinking, and apologies that it took me this long to be able to see how I want to envision my blog.

Let me start by explaining the tabs on top on which I have added the letters "ftc" to beauty, faves, events and DIY. To give it a more personal touch to it since this is not just a beauty blog but MY personal opinions and reviews on products, and so I added "ftc" (five two certified)!!! I could have just signed every blog post with "- Certified by a Five Two =)" and that's actually cute too but I feel like starting to add "ftc" to my titles will make you remember my blog more! And to go further and discuss each tab:

        ftc Faves: This page will have not just have my monthly favorites. From now on, I will add posts about products that I truly love and have a more in-depth reviews on it, and maybe it will make it to my monthly fave round-up or not! This could be products that I have been trying out and have fallen in love with or products I have been using for a long time that I feel are truly amazing and have not shared with you guys! 
       ftc Beauty: This will have posts on all other beauty products that did not make it to my favorite list but of course I still want to share it with you and let you know how my experience with it went. Instead of documenting what I have read on parabens and formaldehyde and all that chemicals, I will just focus on the products I have recently bought and found and tested. I really don't want to bore you with all that info which can be found on a lot of more informational websites anyways. We are all here to read on beauty products right? So I will stick to that and tell you my opinion on it!
       ftc DIY: self-explanatory but the DIY's I post here are inspired a lot by Pinterest and since I am not good in following instructions, as-in a lot of making it up as I go through it, and yet comes out pretty awesome =) hence it's "five two certified DIY's"!
      ftc Events: These are events or fashion updates that I went to or participated in and want to share with you guys with my additional tips and advises for the next time it happens or for an event similar to it.

**and for my beauty box subscriptions, they get their own tabs so it's easy to find and for organizational purposes too! Don't you have your lipsticks separated from your eye shadows? Exact logic here.

As I keep updating the design of my page, I have you, my readers, in mind on how to make this site easier for you guys to navigate around; to find old and new posts easier. I still am learning how Blogger works since I am no tech-savvy genius and I don't spend enough time to study it since I just want to write and share my experiences ASAP with you all!
So please, please stick around and subscribe if you haven't, to see this evolving blog of mine into a. . . butterfly or a disaster. Hope you do enjoy my posts and please feel free to comment on anything! On how else can I improve this site and what else would you like to see here. 
Thanks to all who have stuck around, my few subscribers. I do hope our community gets bigger as time passes.

something random after reading all that =) sending our love to all my readers!

April 19, 2013

The Liebster Award

UPDATE: Erica D of http://diaryofatrendaholic.blogspot.ae/ have recently given me the Liebster Award as well and I am gladly to answer her 11 Questions! Thank you so much Erica! Just scroll down where it says "UPDATE" for my answers!!!

The awesome and funny The Charming Cheshire has given me the Liebster Award!
I am so truly honored and thankful and surprised to have gotten this award, and on that note let's start!

A Liebster Award is an honor given to up and coming fun blogs that have less than 200 followers as a way to get their name out there and share some awesome blogs that you may have stumbled upon. Here's what it entails:

- Each blogger posts 11 random facts about themselves
- Each blogger answers the questions the tagger has set for you
- then you pick 11 new winners of the Liebster Award and link them to your post
- pick 11 new questions to ask the new chosen winners
- go to the new blog winner's page and tell them about their award
- No tag-backs!


1- I have 4 tattoos that have all personal meaning to me.
2- I'm a coffee addict geek. Espresso is not a kind of coffee, it's the process of making the coffee - that kind of geek!
3- I learned to crochet from YouTube videos, and still have to finish my very first blanket which I started last year. I've made a lot of winter beanies and slouchy hats and small bags in 2012!
4- I burp like a man, only at home though. TMI? Well that's pretty random isn't it?!?
5- I have a hair accessory shop on Etsy called, Quelimade BUT it's on hold right now until I'm happy with my finish products.
6- I had braces for 6yrs, and that's why I'll never skip a dental appointment! Don't really want to mess up all that dental work!
7- When I crave for sweets, I get a cupcake!
8- I hate reality shows but I can't have enough of Real Housewives. OC and Beverly Hills are my faves!
9- My hubby and I met through our friends who met online, 7 years ago. We were their wing men, and we ended up together while both our friends are dating other people now.
10- I have 3 babies. Our 7yr old cat, 5yr old Shiba Inu and 3yr old German Shepherd. And yes the cat gets along well with the two dogs. He actually dominates them and we made sure of that!
11- I love to shop at small boutiques (support small businesses!) but I'd also like to own a Gucci bag someday. One nice classic piece that's all =)

now here are my ANSWERS TO The lovely Charming Cheshire's QUESTIONS:

1- Are you a polish lover or a makeup lover? Polish Lover! *check my Instagram --> _j4ckie_ to check out all my simple nail arts!
2- What is the one beauty product you cannot live without? Lip balms, tinted and clear ones.
3- Name your signature drink. Lattes *like I said above, I'm a coffee addict geek.
4- What beauty trend (in the past year) do you think was totally ridiculous? The Pajama outfit! *Not really sure if that was last year but I just remember fashion was trying to make the pajama look happen. Not me and never!
5- What would you say your beauty style is closest to? Classic, trendy, edgy, boho? I keep my style classic BUT with a twist! If I keep my clothes simple, I amp it up with having bold jewelries on or a nice edgy bag, and vice versa: a bold outfit with simple accessories!
6- Best moment in your life? (other than receiving the Liebster Award obviously!) There are tons of moments I have said that has been the best moment of my life but ok I'll pick one...Cheesy but true, meeting my husband. He has given most of those best moments of my life.
7- Most surprisingly awesome beauty product you've ever tried? Drugstore: Lip stains; High-end: Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel
8- What song would you say is the theme song of your life? Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. I'm just very blessed to be living in one of the best cities in the world. Wish it wasn't that expensive here and crowded.
9- What movie would you love to just step into and why? Every movie where I'm Ryan Gosling's love interest!
10- If you had $500 to spend on beauty products, what would you get? I haven't really made a wish list but I'll start with buying me some Inglot eyeshadows, EvePearl concealer and out of curiosity a Chanel Foundation - see if it will really give me that flawless, airbrush look!
11- What awesome beauty product do you wish you could invent? A hair serum that will make my hair grow 5 inches longer overnight!

UPDATE below are my ANSWERS to Erica of Diary of a Trendaholic's Questions:

1- What is the nicest place you have ever been to or What is your dream vacation spot? Nicest place was in Halekulani hotel in Honolulu, HI for our honeymoon. My dream vacation spot though would be Paris, France! Most romantic place in the world - for me that is!
2- What is your dream occupation? Twenty years ago was to be a doctor. Ten years ago was to have my own Psychology practice in NYC. Five years ago was to open up my own Etsy shop, which is on hold right now. NOW I'd love to be a well known beauty blogger and be able to attend beauty events to learn more on this exciting beauty adventure I am in! *My dreams keep changing hehehe.
3- What is your favorite perfume? I bought this years ago and still am in love with it! My "L" by LAMB. It has light sweet tones of citrus in it. Just refreshing whenever I put it on.
4- What month were you born on? This month! MAY baby!!! My birthday is actually coming up, 25th!
5- What is one food you absolutely hate? I don't eat lobster, since I can't do all those work. Too much work, and when you're hungry it does not help!
6- What is your biggest pet peeve (something that annoys you)? People on the train that talks so loud either on their phone or to their friends, even with my headphones on!
7- What are your hobbies? I crochet; iPhoneography (taking artistic photos with my iPhone hehehe); learn to make different coffee drinks like Cappuccinos, Lattes, French Press, Cortado, Espressos...
8- What is your favorite movie?  The Notebook and Full Metal Jacket - two different extremes I know!
9- What has been your favorite purchase for this year thus far? OMG this is a hard one since this year has been a year I bought a lot of new beauty products! The best one so far is my SuperSolano XtraLite3300 since it benefits my hair and our German Shepherd and my arms!
10- What is your favorite season? Spring! It's my birthday season. And the temperature is just perfect for a nice spring dress and a light jacket if needed.
11- What is your favorite novel? The Wizard of OZ! I bought it for my niece recently and that was my first time reading the book. I have to say I like the book better than the movie!

*thank you! thank you Erica D for picking me and I really had fun answering these questions!!!

*I know this calls for 11 winners but the other blogs that I follow have already more than 200 followers or have closed their blog sites! Sorry again for the short list of my winners. To the winners though, Congrats! 

- Julia Kingsley
- Life of a Makeup Junkie
- Little Lady Lohrey
- Drugstore Gal
- Paint that Green
- Dynamite Does Nails (sorry for not checking your previous posts that you were already a winner since I'm a new subscriber to your awesome blog! anyways still feel free to answer the questions if you like!)


1- Pants, Skirts or Dresses?
2- One food or drink your fridge is always stocked with?
3- Would you ever do the makeup tattoo (permanent eyebrows, lipstick color...)? If yes, which one would you get?
4- Favorite drugstore and high end beauty brand.
5- What is the best beauty advice you've read or heard?
6- What are 3 things that you love about yourself?
7- Best 3 compliments a stranger have told you?
8- If you can only wear one makeup product, what would it be? lipstick, an eye shadow, foundation...?
9- What is your favorite beauty product that is on your dresser right now?
10- What is the oldest product do you have in your makeup collection right now?
11- Favorite beauty website or Youtube channel or magazine. I know picking one is hard so give us your top 3!

Congratulations again to the winners! Thanks again to The Charming Cheshire for picking me, I really had fun answering this and hope the new winners do to! I'm looking forward to reading your answers!!!

April 9, 2013

April 2013 Ipsy/ MyGlam Bag: First Impression

update: By the way ladies, Ipsy has started charging taxes in the state of NY, California and North California, and to quote from the email I received:
" Because we now have operations in the state of New York (in addition to California and North Carolina), subscribers in this state will be impacted going forward. "
I checked my account and they have charged me $10.89. It's still cheaper than the other beauty box subscriptions out there so I really don't know what others are fussing about with this .89 cents increase.

And another month has passed and a new Ipsy bag has come!
The April month's theme is "Pretty In Pink" and from what I see in my bag, most of the makeup  products in it are in the Pink family shade. Of course, except for the haircare product I got, but everything else in it are all Pink!
I have no complains since now I have more awesome makeup to add to my collection!
Ok no more delays, here's what I got:

April 2013 Ipsy Bag
The products that are in the box packaging are full size!

Let's talk about this cute bag first. So the outside is made of white fabric with a bright pink trim and zipper. Open it and the lining is pretty adorable with pink and white stripes with the "Ipsy beauty by you" printed all around too. Apologies for the picture, I was using natural sun light and this came out pretty bright and does not do justice to how cute the pink-awesomeness of this bag. I am not hating the pink overload here since this really brightens up my very dull black colored everyday bag. Great way to start Spring isn't it?

1- Be A Bombshell "Beach Please" Blush ($16): This is a full size blush pan, that just paid for the bag! This looks so bright on the pan. It goes on pretty bright too if you are not light with your application so start with a little bit and build it up. 
About it's packaging, I love that logo on the case. It has that sexy retro-badass look to it! Unfortunately the case feels like its cheaply made. It's all made of plastic, feels very light and if dropped, it will probably break that nice pink blush. I had a hard time opening it at first, but I'll just take that as a good sign of tight sealed packaging. Hopefully it loosens up as it gets opened more often. Another con to this brand is that this has methyl- and propyl-paraben in it used as a preservative for longer shelf life, but it has also known to be linked with cancer (still not proven 100% though), and hormone disruptions, which is a no-no in my makeup list. I might just have to use this once a week or somethingso not to waste that nice pink color it will give my cheeks, as long as I don't start breaking out. 

2- Big Sexy Hair Powder Play:  This is a volumizing and texturizing powder sample size. Check out that cute star cut-out. Wonder if the full size bottle has a cute cut-out too?!? I have only owned the Healthy Sexy Hair with Soy Shampoo and Conditioner (which I like but not my favorite), and have received a sample of the Big Sexy Hair hairspray from a previous Ipsy glambag (still sitting on my dresser unused). I have read and seen on Youtube rave reviews on this brand. Very excited to try this out since my hair do go flat at the end of the day with all the pollution and heat. This size is just perfect for me to carry around and do touch-ups in the middle of the day or something. Updates in a few weeks!

how cute is that cut-out!?!

3- Miss Professional Nail (Sation Nail Lacquer in "Of Corset I'll Call You") [$5]:

This nail lacquer is DBP, Toluene or Formaldehyde Free which is so awesome! These chemicals can damage your health and irritate your skin!*for more info please click here: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Plus! No yellow stained nails for me and safe for my pets when they smell it while I do my mani/pedi at home. Once I get this on my nails, I will post it on my Instagram here: _j4ckie_ (follow at your own risk! hehehe)

*4/15/2013: This polish reminds me of that Barbie Pink shade. I love the brush on this since with just one swipe it covers my whole nail! I had to do three coats though to reach the opacity in the picture below. This goes on very smoothly, I didn't see any streaks with this one at all! I used a base and top coat with this and they still look pretty awesome after a few days now!
I'm definitely gonna be checking out the site for more polish from this brand. Plus you can't go wrong with $5/polish + Ipsy's discount code! (20% off with purchase!)

"Of Corset I'll Call You!" by Miss Professional Nail
I couldn't help but do some nail art with this cute pink polish!

4- Two Cosmetics Duo Eye Shadow in Heartache ($6.99):  This eye shadow comes with one side being shimmery and the other side being matte which looks very pretty to wear during Spring/Summer season. I still gotta play with it. I literally just got this yesterday so just wait for updates!
I have only swatched this product (picture below) and I had to use a primer to get the color stick to my hand. I usually put an eye primer anyways before putting my eye make-up but if you're not, you might need to when using this eye shadow. 

from LEFT: Be a Bombshell Blush, MIDDLE (shimmery) and RIGHT (matte) eye shadow

Overall first impression for April's bag is. . .pretty impressive! I am liking all the products featured here. There's more make-up products with this month's bag than last month's, which isn't that bad at all but yes I would rather get a lot of make-up products to try from brands that I have not heard of. And I am really glad to see Ipsy venturing out to the brands that are promoting more natural ingredients and paraben-, cruelty-,  free products! 

*Don't forget to click on the product names above to link you to the Ipsy page with the discount codes! 

March 2013 Beauty Army Box

I chose to sign up for Beauty Army out of all the other monthly subscription beauty boxes out there because of the products they feature. Most of them I have never heard of but the ingredients on most of these products are paraben; phthalate and/or sulfate free, cruelty free, vegan friendly and all that good news. Just what I have been looking for to change up to more safer ingredient beauty products! 

This is a $12/month box with 6 products in. As any other boxes, you fill out a survey at first, and another thing I like about this is I get to choose my 6 products every month. Yes it takes away the thrill of what will be in the box every time it comes to your door but in this way I get to try out the products that I truly am interested in. They give you 9 products to choose from every month, this can vary from full size to deluxe sample sizes. 
To read more about Beauty Box and see what brands they feature and see if you are interested, click here: Beauty Army

Now on to my box!

here's how my box came packaged
1- Jonathan Product Dirt Texturizing Paste: This paste will give your hair that beach wave piece-y look to your hair. I love this product! I would just put this on my hair just for the scent to it! It has that nice sweet scent to it. Like what it said on the site: 
"This non-greasy, non-sticky water based texturizing paste infused with Lemongrass Essential Water adds manageability. Sweet almond protein helps repair all types of hair. White tea, almond, horsetail and nettle extracts nourish, stimulate and condition. Apply to the roots for a volumized look, or add depth and drama by applying throughout your tresses. "

At the end of the day, my hair actually don't feel sticky or stiff like what other pastes would be and you just can't wait to wash all that gunk out of your head. This paste actually makes my hair feels softer than before. Frizz free and tangle free. This is definitely something I would use a lot this spring/summer to get that beach hair look.

4/11/2013: I rub this between my fingers then rub it at the end of my hair to give that piece-y, bed hair look. I'm in love with the smell of this and how this makes my hair so soft afterwards and not gunky and heavy. Very highly recommended so don't skip this if you see it in your Selection Samples! And after using this for weeks now, I still have a lot in my sample size jar.

2- New York Streets Dry Shampoo: This paraben-, sulfate-free dry shampoo has a nice refreshing scent to it, like you just got out of the shower and washed your hair with a nice citrus scent shampoo! This doesn't give my hair much volume but it does soak up the oil and will last me a few hours in the day. I am still new to the dry shampoo products so I am still getting used to it on how to use this. I've tried this with second day hair and it works great, I try to stretch it out with my third day hair but my hair just looks greasier and very flat - a hat or a shower would be the better option. By the way, I received a full size of this product which is $17.99! This just paid my box! *you can actually see when you choose your products which ones are full size so read everything before clicking what to have in your box!

4/11/2013: I spray this around the crown area of my head where it gets so oily, then I tease a little bit and this helps give me that little volume. At the end of the day, we are back to flat, greasy hair. So this is good for those days you'll be out for a bit, I guess. Or try using hairspray after to keep the hold longer. 

3- Nelson J Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Non-Foaming Shampoo: This is also paraben and sulfate free hair product. I received a 1oz sample of this and have used it a few times already since I got the box in late March, and still have at least one more use to it left. It's weird at first washing my hair with this non-foaming product and not having to use a conditioner afterwards either (I like using a separate conditioner and leaving it on my hair for 3-5mins). After air drying, my hair do feels soft. I like my Organix Macadamia Shampoo and Conditioner over this though.

4/11/2013: Packaging wise this sample bottle was hard to get the product out. It's like that ketchup bottle you have to tap hard to get it out. The consistency of this shampoo though is lighter than a ketchup and has a nice refreshing scent it leaves on your hair. I brush with a wide tooth comb after massaging it in my scalp. I am still weirded out with the non-foaming action, but I can feel my hair is clean afterwards from the dry shampoo and hair paste I had on my hair all day. 

4- Skinn Cosmetics- Color Touch Eye, Cheek & Lip Glow (teen tone): This is another full size product that costs $17 in the Beauty Army shop. Another paraben free product that was just creamy to the touch, and went on pretty smooth on my lips. I haven't really tried using it as a blush or an eye base. This was unfortunately too light for my dark pigmented lips so I'd probably use this as a base to even out the color of my lips before putting on a nice red or any bright colored lipstick. Light pink tints don't really go well with my tanned skin but I will make it work, that's part of the challenge of these beauty boxes isn't it?!?

4/11/2013: I still have to use this product more. I am scared to use this on my cheeks since it feels greasy and might clog my pores. I have only used it on my lips. It's an ok product.

above: swatch of skinn cosmetics; below: eyeshadow
5- Yes To Daily Pore Scrub: I've heard great things about this drugstore brand and so I did not hesitate to add this to my box. Unfortunately this was a sample pouch, which is basically a one-time use sample. According to the information in BeautyArmy's site:

"This acne-fighting scrub is powerful enough to combat blackheads and breakouts, but gentle enough for daily use. Ground mango seeds and bamboo exfoliate skin and help skin turnover a clean, clear surface. The Salicylic Acid combats acne and blemishes, Tomatoes help unclog pores, and a blend of Ginger Root and Bisabolol helps skin avoid redness."

I like my scrub to have a finer feel to it, like rubbing fine sand! After using this once tho, my face did feel very smooth and soft, and it did last the whole weekend! I am not sure if I will use this on a regular basis since scrubbing my face everyday will probably result to major break-out and dry skin. I'll stick with my Fresh Soy Scrub (which has granules like sand to it!) for now. And what I wrote before, my skin does not agree with any product with Salicylic Acid since I break out more after using them. For short, this will not on my skin routine at all. I will try the other Yes To lines and see how that works for me though!

4/11/2013: I will skip on this product in the drugstore, but I will try the other lines of Yes To products.

6- Whip Hand Cosmetics Medal Of Honor loose pigment eyeshadow: This has a nice orange-gold color which would be great for the Spring/Summer. I still am in the learning process of how-to use loose pigmented eyeshadows but for now the best way I find that works for me is with my finger. I'm still playing with it so I don't have any pictures right now of it but check out the swatch on the above picture and below here is a size comparison of this tiny sample that will actually last me a while probably!

4/11/2013: I did not expect to have a hard time putting this on my lids, but doesn't all loose pigmented eye shadows do?!? Anyways, I have only worn this once out by itself since I still am playing on how I can wear this as a neutral smokey makeup day look, unless you girls have a tutorial for me to check out! please let me know!

size comparison

in different light angles this eyeshadow shimmers nicely!

All in all, this box that I have chosen my products with aren't that bad. I'll stick with this box and see what it brings for the next few months for me and if I end up skipping a lot of times then that's my cue to move on and find me another box =)

April 5, 2013

optic white realness!

i received the Colgate Optic White Regimen compliments of Influenster as part of there Sugar and Spice Voxbox. If you don't know what Influenster is, please click here, and also check out their website: www.Influenster.com

I was really excited to receive this since i have been looking at different whitening products out there that will not harm my sensitive teeth. I have been using Sensodyne toothpaste for years now since this is what my dentist recommended me. On my last dental visit, I got the O.K to use whitening products, now my teeth are better and not as sensitive as it was before.

According to my dental hygienist, my teeth aren't that yellow that I need to get them whiten professionally but I can try out the drugstore ones if I'd like to. My teeth aren't as white as porcelain either, it's what my dentist calls the true (yellow) color of your teeth. I don't know much about teeth but when my dentist tells me, my teeth looks great, they don't need to do any filling or root canals or pull anything today or until the next visit I will take that and grab me a cupcake after to celebrate. *Yes a cupcake celebration is needed after a great visit from the dentist. Don't you?!?

I recently became conscious with my teeth getting stained big time because I have been drinking a lot of coffee lately besides my usual...water. Not a good thing to be addicted to but once in a while my body craves for some good, strong caffeine.

Anyways, enough about mwa and on to the kit!

I'll start with the toothbrush which has a nifty design to it. The Colgate 360 Optic White Toothbrush (soft) has bristles for polishing and whitening cups to hold the toothpaste while you brush. This also has a tongue cleaner in the back, which I actually use to exfoliate my lips instead. The soft bristles was soft and wide enough to brush my gums too. I like this brush a lot. It's easy to wash and there's no toothpaste left in between the bristles like other brushes I have used.

Optic White Toothpaste (sparkling mint): It's a toothpaste that whitens! it's not overly foamy and it's very refreshing! In regards to it's packaging, I'll say it's sexy! That metallic red tube on my bathroom counter looks so seducing like I just want to brush my teeth with it every time I go in there! I definitely have not missed a day and night of brushing with this toothpaste!

Lastly this mouthwash, Optic White Mouthwash: If you have used a prescriptive mouthwash for your sensitive gums like I had then, be aware this has the same taste to it. I'm not sure if it's the hydrogen peroxide in it that gives that weird, awkward taste it leaves on your mouth or another whitening agent in it, but I am not liking that not-so refreshing taste afterwards. I used the whole bottle though after a week and a half of using it twice a day so I can give you a good in-depth review of mine on it! I am not going to be purchasing this again since I like my mouthwash to leave a sweet, refreshing minty taste in my mouth after I gargle with it. This may have helped with the quick whitening result I got after using this whole regimen for a week but don't take my word on that and try this regimen out yourself! I think the price for each is around $2.99.

Here's an insert of my teeth before and after a week later of using this regimen, twice a day:

See the difference a week later? Pretty amazing isn't it!?! The stain is still there (if you look at the bottom teeth) but it lightened up and I really don't expect that to be totally gone after a week of use. I'm pretty happy to see results after a week but unfortunately, I will not be repurchasing the mouthwash since it is just not my type. I will keep using the toothbrush and toothpaste as long as my teeth don't go back to being overly sensitive then maybe I will alternate this with my Sensodyne toothpaste.

To read more about Colgate Optic White Regimen, please click here.

Thanks to Influenster and Colgate for letting me test this out. If you are interested to be an Influenster, please leave your email below so I can send you an invite (I got 4 left)!