Anya's Christmas Mani


It's been a long time since I've posted a mani, mostly because I've barely had time to polish my nails, let alone do something fancy with them. But Sunday we sat down for some television watching, and I decided to get into the season with a Christmas Mani.

This uses:
  • Essie: "no place like chrome"
  • Nailtini: "Bloody Mary"
  • Image plate: BM-306

BzzAgent: Kroger Skillet Meals


I was invited to the BzzAgent campaign for Kroger Skillet meals. The deal included a coupon for a frozen skillet meal, a fresh salad kid, and garlic bread. Unfortunately my Kroger was all out of bread when I went, so I didn't get that. But I did get a package of shrimp lo mein and an Asian chopped salad.

The shrimp lo mein was quick and easy. It tasted fairly good. But it burnt the heck out of my skillet because there were little bits of lo mein noodles in with the vegetables. I had to soak the pan for a few hours with a good amount of Dawn soap and then scrape it clean. This was great for free!

Unfortunately given the clean-up troubles, the portion size, and the cost, I would have been better off ordering lo mein from my favorite take out restaurant for $5 and getting fried rice with it than paying full price for this meal.

Here is the entire bag in a bowl:

The salad was pretty tasty. I'd even left it sitting for a good week before I ate it (I'd forgotten about it), and it was still fresh.

After this experience, I learned I'd buy the salad again but not the skillet meal.

GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate

I received a 0.5 oz sample of GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate in one of my past Ipsy bags and just got around to trying it. This sample size can be purchased at Sephora for $19, and could easily be used about 3+ times if you don't apply it heavily.

The texture is a watery mud consistency with little flecks of Green Tea Leaf mixed in. Within a minute of applying, I could start to feel firming from the mask, and my skin was tingling. By the end of the 10 minutes (recommended length of time) the entire mask was firm and I could not smile.

The darker bits were still in the process of turning white when I snapped this picture.

After washing the mask off, my skin was silky smooth and looked slightly brighter. My pores looked smaller and it didn't irritate my sensitive skin. All in all, the price is a bit steep, but I think it's worth it for an every few weeks type of face mask.

I Love Nail Polish - Pre-ordered polishes


I pre-ordered three polishes from I Love Nail Polish last month and got a fourth polish free (Absolute Zero).

The colors I got are:
  • Purgatory "is an eerily deep and dark teal polish loaded with the perfect combination of sparkle and multichrome effect pigments."
  • Mutagen (H) "is a holographic version of the original Mutagen Ultra Chrome polish!"
  • Absolute Zero "is a fantastic dark slate blue nail polish with an near metallic appearing finish." This was the free one, and isn't actually for sale.
  • Admire Me "is an insanely cute teal polish loaded with holographic and sparkly goodness." 
Here they are in the bottles:

Here are swatches:

Admire Me

Mutagen (H)

Absolute Zero


You can't tell in these pictures, but this one is almost black unless its in direct light. When it's in light, it looks teal like this.

Though these are some fairly neat colors, I was a little disappointed. I'd expected more of a holographic effect on them. That said, if ILNP has another sale like this in the future, I could be persuaded to buy more!

Ulta Totes For Beauty


I got this Ulta "Totes for Beauty" for $16.99 on Black Friday.

So far all I've tried is the lip gloss/lip stick "Cappuccino". It was actually awesome!

I love that this is a bag that I can put other make-up in and it comes with loads of colors. This is going to be my emergency at work stash for when I get called to a meeting but haven't had time to put anything on my face ;)

Anya's November Ipsy Bag


This month's Ipsy bag was huge! Everything was either full-sized or neat full-sized. Plus there's an extra item.

  • be a bombshell lip crayon "shameless"
  • nailtini lacquer "Caviar Cocktail"
  • pixi Beauty Bronzer "Subtly Suntouched"
  • Cailyn mineral eyeshadow "Champagne"
  • .em - pillow plush cushiony lip balm "lollipop"
  • Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil "Topaz"
I haven't had a chance to try any of it. November was a busy month.

Mel's November 2013 Loot Crate

I was super excited yesterday when I checked the mail and saw my Loot Crate box! This month's theme is CELEBRATE.

1) Comedy Central & Beatz Buddiez - South Park Rechargeable Mobile Speaker - Kenny
I think my boyfriend will enjoy this and will probably use it for his iPad or iPhone.

2) DC Comics & Dynomighty - Batman Tyvek Mighty Wallet
Loving this wallet!!! I'm a fan of Batman, so this is going to be used immediately.

3) Bicycle - Premium Playing Cards
Ehhh, these are okay, I can't remember the last time I played a game with cards.

4) General Mills - BFAST Breakfast Shake - Berry
Boyfriend took this from me the second I opened the box, which is why it isn't pictured.

5) Loot Crate Labs - First Person Shooter Glass
I think this is quite clever. Shot... Glass. :)

6) Loot Crate Labs - Doctor Balloon
While I am a huge fan of Dr. Who, I'm not so into the little stickers or balloons that I won't be using.

7) Loot Crate Labs - Police Box Wall Graphic
Also not pictured, but I'm not a fan of the stickers and such.

Review: Sephora Formula X Nail Polish


On my recent Ohio trip I bought these two polishes from Sephora.

The holographic effect on this one is subtler than the other holo polishes I've tried. It has to be in direct sunlight for there to be any noticeable effect.

Here is "Surreal"

And OH! Zone:

OH! Zone had a more noticeable effect than Surreal and can be used as a top coat because it's basically clear. But it's an actual glitter polish, which means it's harder to remove than cream polishes. That also means I won't use it often because it shreds my cotton polish remover pads.

At $10.50 a bottle, I'm not sure I'll be buying more of this brand unless there's a decent sale or they come up with something unique.

RoseVoxBox: Dr. Scholl's Cozy Cushions


Dr. Scholl's Cozy Cushions is another Rose Vox Box/ Influenster product.

I tried sticking these babies into my Doc Martins. Unfortunately, they're a bit tall and smooshed my toes up against the top of my boot. So I put them in my Skechers Oxfords where I have more wiggle room.

These are indeed cozy. But their height means you need a roomy shoe to use these with. And since they keep your feet warm, very warm, these are only good for weather below forty degrees or so. The comfort a roomy pretty nice.

So if you like wearing wool socks in your big boots but don't like the itchy part of it, try these!

Huge beauty sample (and some full-size) giveaway! (US only)


w00 h00! It's almost the holiday season and we've just hit TWO HUNDRED POSTS! *dances*

I've got loads of samples I'll never use. So, in honor of the holiday season and our milestone, you can win them!

Check out what's up for grabs:

Here's what's available:

  • Full size - Bath & Body Works Twilight Woods body lotion
  • Full size - Station nail lacquer "Love at first byte" (pinkish)
  • Full size - Sparkling Cream Palette "Volta"
  • Full size - Hollywood Fashion Tape
  • Full size - Kiss Gradation Polishes (used once)
  • Ojon thickening spray (1.8oz)
  • Oscar Blandi Texture & Volume Spray (1oz)
  • Illume scented 1oz mini candle "Desert Tulip"
  • yaby concealer "buff" (no size listed)
  • juice beauty hydrating mist (1oz)
  • Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream (0.1oz)
  • Mica Beauty Shimmer Powder "Earth" (2g)
  • Sample pouches Dial 7-day moisturizing lotion (Skin Therapy and Extra Dry Skin)
  • 1 Kate Somerville Tanning Towelette

The entirety of Ipsy's July bag:

  • Full size - nailtini lacquer in "Mai Tai" (it more of a pink/peachy than the photo above)
  • Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray
  • Coola organic mineral sunscreen face 20 SPF
  • bh Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample
  • Pop Beauty pouty pop crayon "Coral Crush"

Enter here through Dec 6th (US Residents Only):

December 2013 Ipsy Sneak Peek / Spoiler

It's only halfway through November, but we already have an Ipsy spoiler. One of the companies posted about it on their Facebook. Please note that Ipsy has not posted a spoiler for this item just yet, so it might or might not be in the bag.

Starrily - Nail Polish - Bzzz Bzzz
We will be in the December Ipsy box! Bzzz Bzzz is the nail polish that will be featured! To celebrate, we are giving away a FREE full size bottle of Bzzz Bzzz to anyone who buys 3 regular priced full bottles! Message us with code "buzz" to get it!

1) Be a Bombshell Cosmetics - The One Stick
 DECEMBER SNEAK PEEK #1: Multiple uses and multiple parties await this holiday!

2. Pop Beauty - Eye Shadow Trio
 DECEMBER SNEAK PEEK #2 We're looking forward to partying with one of these colorful trios!

3. One of these will be in your bag this month!

DECEMBER SNEAK PEEK #3: Kick up the color and kick up your heels with one of many lovely lip shades!

J. Cat Beauty - The Big Lip Pencil
NYX - Extra Creamy Round Lipstick

4. Two of the items below will be in your bag.

DECEMBER SNEAK PEEK #4: We're counting down to December's Glam Bag with two of these celebration-worthy products!

Andrea Lashes - Strip Lashes
Salon Perfect Beauty - False Lashes
Ardell Lashes - Natural Lashes
Jesse's Girl Cosmetics - Nail Polish - Sugar Plum Fairy
Starrily - Nail Polish - Bzzz Bzzz
English Laundry (?) - Perfume Sample
Demeter Roll On - Snow
Mirabella (?) - Eye Blender Brush (?)
Nicka K - Nail Polish

5. The bag
DECEMBER SNEAK PEEK #5: Pop the bubbly and cue the confetti! You're invited to a month-long celebration with us and the December "Celebrate!" Glam Bag! 

Check back soon for more spoilers!

Review: Ulta House of Hues pallete


Did I mention Ulta opened a store in my city? No? Well, they did! And omg, it's a beautiful thing!

Guess who went to their grand opening two days in a row? That's right! This girl! Day one I scored a $5 gift card and used it to buy barrettes. Day two I dragged MG with me so we could get two gift cards, we ended up with $10 and $25 *makes a triumphant fist*

So I bought this little "House of Hues" palette I'd been eyeing the day before. It cost me $2.14 using the $10 gift card.

Here's the back. It says there are 9 lip colors, 18 eye shadows, 3 blush shades, 2 bronzers, 1 highlighting powder, 1 eye liner pencil and an applicator.

Loads of sweet colors to try, right? And the palette isn't too big to carry in a purse.

Here they are without the cover:

I tested this out today using shadows: Sage, Rags to Riches, and Glamazon, as well as Glow and Sunkissed (bronzer/blush), and Pink Chocolate/Vintage wine, plus the eye liner.

The shadows and blushes are nicely pigmented. The lip colors weren't but I may have picked colors a little close to my lip's skin tone.

Here's the result (with Urban Decay eye primer):

I'm pretty pleased with this set. It's a good deal for $12. Even better that I paid $2 ;)

Review: nails inc. Leather Effect


This is another Sephora find from when I headed over to Ohio. I tested this nails inc. leather effect polish in the store and fell in love with the effect. I bought it. But when I use it at home, it ends up clumping. I haven't gotten the hang of it.

I tried it again Sunday with a different basecoat and it came out really nicely. Here's the end result:

RoseVoxBox: Rimmel London Scandaleyes retro glam mascara


I got into the beauty box subscription habit because I'd wanted mascara. Now I have oodles of mascara tubes and not enough eyelashes to use them on. But free is always good. This tube of Rimmel's "scandaleyes retro glam mascara" was free from the Rose Vox Box/ Influenster.

Influenster lists retail as $5.99 and it hits shelves this month.

The brush is pretty huge (admittedly I've been using the small Benefit "They're Real" tube for like a year so everything feels huge in comparison) and it has a nifty shape that makes covering the lashes a breeze. And though I didn't try multiple coats, it didn't clump like several mascaras I've tried. Afterward my lashes were nice and black, fairly thick, and the product lasted several hours before I took it off using makeup remover. I didn't try crying (haha) and I didn't get caught in the rain, so I can't speak on how it stands up to a bad day and the elements.

HOWEVER, day two I hadn't showered prior to putting make-up on. The mascara went on my right eye with little trouble however the left eye clumped into five massive spidery legs. I wiped it off and tried again. Same problem. So I wiped it off, found my little lash comb and combed it out. The application after combing wasn't as bad but it wasn't nearly as good as yesterday. What changed? Only the lack of steam on my lashes.

I'm no longer sure what to say about this product.

Yesterday I thought $5.99 was a great deal for a full-sized mascara that could run with the big boys. But after today, I no longer think this can run with the big boys. I won't be using this again, even if my little tube of Benefit "They're Real" runs out. I'd rather pay the $10 for the good stuff than risk spider legs.
Here's a bad-quality picture of it on my eyes from day 1: