Grande Lash Review

G’day little rasburries!

A major change has taken place in my life as of late. And a significant one at that. But before I tell you about it, allow me to provide a bit of backstory.

When I got pregnant, I worried about lots of things. If you’ve been around for a bit, you know this.

One thing I was particularly horrified of were the pictures taken of me AFTER giving birth. I knew they were inevitable. And even something as strong as my vanity could not stop them from happening. These photos are like mammograms. Hugely important, necessary even. But like, nobody LOOKS FORWARD to it. That’s how I felt about photos taken of me after the baby was born. I knew I would want them but was sort of cringing at how they’d turn out.

And really, I feel that society is to blame for this. I mean look at the examples set…

Aunt Becky’s slicked back hair and Catherine Heigl lookin’ buckled.

But I’m not stupid. The best defense is a good offense, as they say. Some women have babies in full glam,  with perfectly tousled beach waves, full-coverage makeup and custom-made hospital gowns to compliment their complexion. NOT REALISTIC. At least for me.

One thing I also noticed so many women are doing nowadays (especially before child birth) is  getting eyelash extensions. I have seen these look absolutely stunning on some people and atrocious on others. I feel the more natural they look, the better. The thicker and curlier the extension, the more cartoony they look, providing a perfect example for the word “full-on Monet”.  Hence, they photograph beautifully but in real life they can be kindof a big mess. They are also quite costly to install and maintain.  But man, did I want some big ol’ doe eyes in my post-baby hospital pics.

So then I decided on an eyelash serum.

That’s right, I decided to grow my own goddamn extensions. But where to start?

I’ve used Rapid Lash in the past and actually gotten decent results. It provided crazy length, but not much in the way of volume. I have also used castor oil on my lashes for years but that was really the extent of my efforts. I decided to throw a little more money in this time (Rapid Lash runs about $35). I have seen and heard about great results from Lash Boost, by Rodan and Fields but it also retails for $155. No way man. Grande Lash MD lands somewhere in the middle at $65 so I decided to give it a shot when it hit Haute Look for $50.

Here are the results!

*Disclaimer – To be fair, my eyelashes weren’t terrible to begin with. And I also did not take proper “before” shots.

Before

During 

After

sorry about the nostrils

 

I think the results are pretty amazing. And even though I did not look super cute in my after-baby pics (click here to see those) I am pretty satisfied with the results.

Have YOU ever used a lash serum? What are your thoughts?

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Hello Beautiful Review

Well HELLO beautiful!

So fitting for today.

Why you ask?

Because the lovely folks at Musely sent me two boxes of Hello Beautiful Collagen & Multivitamin Powder to try out. And try, I did!

First let me preface this with some fun disclaimers:

  1. I am not a nutritionist.
  2. I am not even an especially healthy person.
  3. I am a girl who loves my island looking nice, not dying too young and feeling good.

And I’m no fool. I know that a powder you can mix right into yer Swiss Miss cocoa isn’t going to, poof – make me look like a Hadid. But I also know that a good vitamin regime can be a game changer, especially if you remember to actually take them.

Enter: Musely’s Hello Beautiful Collagen & Multivitamin Powders in Unsweetened and Wild Berry

Each box contains 20 packets of powder and retails for $26.

I immediately opened up both boxes and have been switching between the mixed berry and unsweetened versions for the past 3-4 weeks now.

The Pow

Each packet contains .21 oz of powder which for me is a hefty dose. I had a bit of difficulty mixing them into a cold beverage by hand, especially with ice or in anything fizzy. I did blend one into a smoothie however and that was wonderful (I felt so darn healthy!). It dissolves much easier into a hot beverage and the unsweetened version was totally undetectable in my coffee.

The taste

The unsweetened powder does not have a taste so much as a mouth-feel. If mixed into straight up water, you can tell something has been added but it does not have a taste. If mixed into lemonade or a different kind of beverage, the taste is undetectable.

The wild berry flavor is faint. It is not overwhelming or overly sweet. It actually reminded me of the taste of those Propel drinks (flavored water), as opposed to Crystal Light. *I keep my drinks klassy*

Results

I am pleased to report a noticeable change in the health an thickness of my nails. I can also speak to the growth, as right after I started having the powders I got my nails done (shellac).

Not even two weeks later, and my nails had grown out SO much that I had a good 1/8 of an inch of grow out! I had to use some soak-off remover the other night to remove this (so apologies for the state of my nails) but check out this growth!

As for my hair and skin –  I have not noticed any changes as significant as my nails. My skin does feel more hydrated and it seems to be taking better to The Ordinary products I have been using (read more about that here).

The other benefit I have noticed is my energy level. I have felt really great lately. I am not getting tired in the middle of the day as I usually do and I find that I have been sleeping better. Many factors could be contributing to this however the added vitamins probably are not hurting either.

Overall

I am very pleased with this stuff! I find it easy to mix in with lots of different kinds of beverages both hot and cold. The website also includes several recipes using the powders including a breakfast cookie (scroll to the bottom of the page)! I am happy with the results I have seen and experienced. From longer, thicker and more healthy nails to a boost in energy – this stuff actually provides results you can see and feel!

This post is not sponsored. I was sent these products complimentary but all opinions are my own.

Ulta, T.J Maxx and Walgreens Haul

Oh hullo BBs.

Apparently I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree as of late. As I was scrolling through the pictures on my trusty iPhone 7 I realized I went on a kindof a tear. But like, whatevs because you know I’m only dropping dollas on some dealzz!

And apologies for the lingo. Sometimes the rapper in me just needs to let loose.

Here’s what is on the docket:

No 7 Lift and Luminate Foundation

As soon as I saw Kathleen Lights use this stuff, I knew I wanted to try it. So you can imagine my the bittersweet feeling when I saw it at Walgreens on closeout. It was marked 50% off at $7.99 and while I was elated at the price point, my heart sank that the line was ditching this as I had heard great things.

I ended up getting the shades Cool Vanilla, which matches when I am a little bit tan and Warm Ivory, which matches me  normally (pale).

The consistency is thick yet light, almost a mousy texture. The coverage is definitely medium and it applies SO smoothly. I think it is really great for mature skin and does a great job of not settling into fine lines or getting patchy. It does fade a bit throughout the day so it isn’t the most long-wearing formula but I do not mind the way it fades. It doesn’t break-down in a bad way. I highly recommend this if you can get your hands on some!

Anastasia Brow Whiz

I purchased this during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty event for only $10. The color really is perfect for me and I prefer to use this color over blonde. I apply taupe at the inner parts of my eyebrows and then use soft brown on the out parts. I find this looks super natural, soft, and beautiful.

Covergirl So Lashy! Mascara

Picked this up at T.J Maxx for only $3 in a pinch. I like to keep a mascara at work for emergencies. This mascara is not terrible but definitely pails in comparison to my beloved Covergirl SuperSizer. But for $3, it’ll do ‘er.

Morphe M506 Tapered Mini Blender Brush

Ulta carries Morphe now! Fiddle dee dee! I have been looking for a pointed blending brush for when I want to smoke out a more intense color. This one fit the bill and was only $6.

Velour Lashes in Trust Me Try It

I purchased these on Nordstrom Rack for $12 as I have always wanted to try Velour. These are from their silk line (not mink) and are STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS. Well worth the 12 bucks. Fluffy as hell, thick but not too thick, a thin, flexible band. Come on, what more could you want!?

On me:

Mac Fix + in Rose

I was delighted to find that they had all three smells (coconut, rose and lavender) at Mac when I went in to purchase this. I was back and forth between rose and coconut but ultimately liked rose better. If you’ve never tried this stuff….GO GET YOU SOME. It is worth every penny.

Skintimate 2 in 1 Shave Cream in Coconut Silk

Saw this at Walgreens the other day and bought on impulse due to the coconut. I am a sucker for coconut shower products. I can confirm this stuff is rully nice. Thick, moisturizing and smells VERY much like tropical coconut.

Ole Hendriksen Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths

I got these for fi-dollas. So pumped. T.J Maxx son!

Sorry the rapper came back again.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by!

 

Lime Crime Diamond Crushers Review

Hello little glitter fairies!

The other day I FINALLY got around to really playing with this awesome little set sister Meg gifted me for Valentines Day. Hailing from Lime Crime, the diamond crushers are a product I have OBVIOUSLY been highly intrigued by ever since I saw my homegirl Kelly Eden do a review on them.

I mean really, do you expect anything less from me? Give me a sparkly, color-shifting lip topper ANY DAY.

Let’s get to the majesty shall we?

This would be the Lime Crime Glinda Diamond Crusher Set. Even the box looks like a piece of candy which is 10 out of 10 my aesthetic.

Here we have the colors Choke, Pink Pearl and Acid Fairy.

Here are some fresh swatches. While I thought the white iridescent color did swatch a bit patchy and splotchy I KNEW it would be gorgeous centered on the lower lip.

 

And I was right! Also, CHOKE. Such a great name. I started with a base down, as I thought a more realistic application would be to place over the top of a color. I chose Mac’s Creme Cup for this job.

Here is the lipstick on it’s own (control group).

And here is Choke.

Next up, Pink Pearl.

And lastly, Acid Fairy.

I really love this product. All three colors are really gorgeous in their own way. They add a fun, glitzy touch to the lips and would be gorgeous over a variety of different lip colors. On their own they might come off a bit patchy but not anything terrible. I will get tons of wear outta these!

If I had to pick a favorite though, I would choose Acid Fairy. I mean, look how pretty it is..

Oh! And here are the swatches after about 20 minutes or so. Still SO pretty and glittery.

What are YOUR thoughts on these little lip toppers?

The Ordinary Skincare Review

Hello lemon-heads!

Today is an exciting day. A VERY exciting day.

Today marks the official first day of my adventures in a new skin care line! (not spons’d. i wish)

Never in MY LIFE have I been a one-brand girl. In fact, those of you out there who always buy the same exact soap, cereal, laundry detergent, etc., I ask you – WHY!? There is just too much variety out there for me to want to stick to THE SAME stupid brand each time. I prefer to mix it up and get a little crazy. Except when it comes to dry shampoo because YOU KNOW the best brand for that, obvs.

But when I caught wind that there was a skincare brand boasting powerful concentrations of quality ingredients with price points as low as $6, I was SHOOKETH.

Give me a bargain  or give me death, I always say. And while you’re at it, make it work.

After I wrote about how I wrecked my skin just shy of a year ago, I had all kinds of folks giving me all kinds of advice. “Don’t try lasers!” they said. “Try this $200 set!”, they said. And I was intrigued. I DO want the spots to fade, the lines to disappear. But at what cost? In my book, $200 for a 90-day supply of product just isn’t worth it. I’d rather go to Paris, or buy us a nice dinner out or maybe the 6-foot Pusheen plush at Fuego. Doing a laser treatment is also not off my radar but I am pretty much going to need a 100% guarantee that it will work.

So in the meantime, I decided to give The Ordinary a shot. This brand is now available on Sephora.com but I placed my order on deciem.com.

Here are the products I purchased and the reasons I purchased them:

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene.

  • Should help fade my sun spots
  • Also helps fine lines and signs of ageing

I went with the Retinoid versus Retinol because I read that they are stronger. I decided on the highest percentage because my sun spots are pretty intense.

The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalene

  • Helps with hydration
  • Also great for my damaged hair

I decided on this product after reading multiple articles about how great it is. Plus, I like the word squalene :).

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%

  • Amazing for hydration
  • Helps “plump” the skin

OF COURSE I got a hyaluronic acid. This ingredient is produced naturally but the production slows down over time. I have seen first-hand the amazing effects of hyaluronic acid and how glowy and plump it makes the skin appear.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2%

  • Also helps with hyperpigmentation and spots

I purchased this one because of the high concentration of the active ingredients at 2%. The standard is 1% and Mama needs all the help she can get.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

  • Intense Hydrating  lotion

I wanted to try at least one product that was not an oil-based serum from the line and this lotion is regarded very highly. Also, you get 100 mls for less than $8!

Over the past few days of using these pups I can attest to their keen absorption into the skin, the wonderful absence of scent and the ease of the packaging.

And since I am so very excited to see how the results pan out, I am doing before and afters! So here is my BEFORE in all her eye goop and age spots, morning glory.

Let me know if YOU have tried any products from The Ordinary! I hear they make a nice foundation too :).

Bath & Body Works Haul

Hello little dingo babies!

I don’t know about you, but I feel there are few greater things than a good sale. You see, I was raised in a household where we never even looked at regular priced items. The front of any store was basically off limits except for Goodwill. In adulthood I have realized that some things must be purchased at the regular price, but most things are attainable for less. Enter: BBW. One of my all-time favorites. Candles, triple-moisture body cream, wallflowers? I love them all. And a few times a year, they mark down all their sh*t. It is a lovely time of year known as the semi-annual sale.

The semi-annnual sale or SAS to any BBW aficionado is a great time indeed. We all race in, dig through giant bins of $3 hand soap, lotion and shower gel! Everything is coated in a thin layer of something that leaked at the bottom of the barrel but WE DON’T CARE. Give us that last, pumpkin cupcake room spray or GIVE US DEATH.

I digress.

Last year, my lovely betrothed gave me a $25 gift card to BBW for Christmas thinking I’d probably come home with a couple of candles, maybe a new fragrance set. HA. Little did he know just how far I can stretch a dollar at the SAS. FEAST YER EYES on this smorgesbord you guys. ALL purchased for just 30 bucks.

Proof:

I attribute a haul of this size and magnitude to sticking almost soley to items 75% off.

This made the wallflowers I bought just about $1.60 each. Aw yiss. In addition to the lovely spring scents below, I also got Marshmallow Fireside which is currently plugged in!

They also had wallflower plugs on sale for 75% off!

These came out to about $3 each and the bronzy one is also a nightlight!

Next – hand soaps. And BBW’s are the best. They smell good, they clean your hands and I also use them to clean my beauty sponges. I got a couple for the end of the year and a couple to enjoy now.

The fall/winter scents were 75% off, coming out to only $1.60 per bottle and the other two were $3 apiece.

I also found this cute honey handsoap which I’ll probably save for winter as well. It was in the $2 range :).

Next they had a wall of random small, one-wick candles for 75% off as well. They ended up coming out to being just a couple of dollars. Some of them were a little bit mucked up but I found three that smell amazing! Beach Cabana is one of my all-time favorite scents from BBW, I would have bought all them if they had more.

I also grabbed one of their wax melts to try in my Yankee warmer. This cost just cents.

I did walk out with a couple body care items for 75% off as well. I knew I was getting the marshmallow body wash because HELLO and when I saw this ROSE scented mousse-to-oil I was like aw yiss.

Using my $25 gift card meant that I left BBW only paying $5 out of pocket. Not bad for a lunchbreak’s work.

And check out the  length of this receipt!

 

 

Nivea Skin Firming & Toning Serum and Lotion

Good day spring tulips!

As of late, I have been hyper aware of certain areas of m’bod. You know the ones…

zee gobbler…zee batwings. I’m not saying they’re huge problem areas for me, but like duh – they will be someday. And I decided it was time to ARMOR UP. After watching a few vids on the subject and doing a tiny bit of research, I decided on  the Nivea Skin Firming and Smoothing Serum. It contains a couple of ingredients meant to help tighten, tone and smooth and the box boasts results in just a couple of weeks. Maybe tonight I’ll take some BEFORE pics. Omg you guys. Am I really a before/after person?

I decided to also get the gel-cream, as I figured I could apply that to larger areas (ahem, BUTTOCKS) to see if I noticed a difference. The cellulite  struggle is real, girls. I found the serum at Rite Aid and the gel-cream at Targs, btw.

Leave me a comment below if you’d like a follow-up post in two weeks to see if the claims are legit because I am totally down.