Friday, August 31, 2012

Kate Spade Cluster Studs

A few weeks ago Kate Spade was having one of their amazing flash sales online where you could save up to 70% off of some of their items from past seasons.  I absolutely love the Kate Spade flash sales because you can get such great items for such a bargain.

So while I was browsing their flash sale I came across these cluster studs that I just immediately fell in love with.  At first I held myself back and just told myself I didn't need anymore earrings.  However, when I looked in my armoire I noticed that I did not have more than two pairs of studs.  So of course I made that my reason for purchasing not one, but two pairs of the Kate Spade Cluster Studs.

These are clustered, faceted glass and gold plated metal earrings that are crafted so beautifully.  When I look at them I think of art pieces (such as mosaics) and I thought that both the darker and clear  faceted glass were just so sophisticated.

They are a great size and honestly can be worn with any outfit, for any occasion.  Ever since I received them in the mail I have been wearing them with just plain tees and a pair of jeans, which really spruced up a casual look.  And because I picked up both the clear and darker faceted glass I can wear them during any season.

If you want to be alerted for Kate Spade's next flash sale, sign up for their email subscription and like them on Facebook at the following link:



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kerastase Nectar Thermique

I always try to avoid using product in my hair (other than shampoo and conditioner), but because I am letting my hair grow out more I have to start using a heat protectant whenever I plan on blow drying it.  I was always a fan of the quick spray heat protectants, specifically the Tresemme, but after doing a little more research I decided to branch out and give the Kerastase Nectar Thermique a try.

The Kerastase Nectar Thermique  has received so many great reviews online that it was definitely a stand out product to try. Kerastase Nectar Thermique is a leave in nourishing heat protectant that works to protect hair from heat styling tools.  It is formulated with Royal Jelly Extract which provides the carbohydrates, lipids, and protein that hair needs to stay healthy.  It also contains a lot of heat protecting factors, such as xylose and UV Filters.  Even if you don't have dry ends, continued use of heat tools such as dryers and irons really stresses our your ends.  So the Kerastase Nectar Thermique brings back life and softness to your ends without weighing your hair down.

After showering I would towel dry my hair really well, and apply a pea sized amount of the Kerastase Nectar Thermique from my ear down to my ends and really massage it into the hair (avoiding the scalp area).  After a quick blow dry I get a great, soft, and healthy look.

I can definitely see a difference after using the Kerastase Nectar Thermique as a leave in conditioner for my ends and heat protectant.  My ends stay healthier and the texture and finish is definitely salon style.  I believe it it more beneficial to use a leave in heat protectant like the Kerastase Nectar Thermique, compared to other heat protectant sprays, because it really absorbs into the hair and nourishes the strands other than providing just a top layer of protection.

Although the product is a bit pricier than the average drugstore heat protectant, a pea sized amount is all you need for great results.  So with daily use, this bottle can last 6-8 months.  The Kerastase Nectar Thermique has definitely found a permanent place into my hair care routine.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Studio Gear Complete Color Professional Lipstick in Smile

I have never considered purchasing anything from the Studio Gear make up line because you don't really hear much about the brand.  I have seen their products in Ulta, however considering their price range, I can purchase other products for the same price (or less).

However, I was definitely glad to receive this full size lipstick from Studio Gear to try out in one of my monthly subscription boxes.  It's nice to be able to try out brands you would not go out and buy on your own.

I received the Studio Gear Complete Color Professional Lipstick in the shade Smile, which is a rosy berry color that would be perfect for the fall.  When I swatched the shade on my wrist I honestly was not attracted to the color at all.  However, when I applied it to my lips I thought it really looked nice against my skin tone.  When applied with a lighter layer it can be worn every day, and will definitely work for fall and winter.

As for the formula, it's an incredibly slick formula, so don't expect much long wear from it (although all lipsticks eventually need to be reapplied after eating/drinking).  Because the formula has some slick, it gives the lips a nice glossy finish, so you don't really need a gloss on top.

Compared to other lipstick brands I don't really think Studio Gear lipsticks are worth their $15 price point.  You can honestly get the same quality from Revlon lipsticks for a more affordable price.



Sunday, August 26, 2012


My BETSEY JOHNSON giveaway has just ended, and I am excited to share these with their new owner!  Summer is coming to a close, but you can definitely rock sunglasses all year round.

Congratulations to ......

Madison D!

You can check out her blog here:

The winner has been contacted and she has 48 hours to claim her prize (or else I will randomly choose another winner).

Thank you so much to everyone that entered.



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Essie Haul

When I was on the hunt for the OPI Germany collection, I couldn't help but also look at a few of the Essie nail polishes on display.  Of course I couldn;t control myself and picked up a few of their polishes, including some of the new polishes from the Essie Metallics collection.

I picked up the following polishes (from left to right):

- Nothing Else Metals
- Barbados Blue
- Blue Rhapsody
- No Place Like Chrome
- Penny Talk

- Smokin' Hot
- Miss Fancy Pants
- Coat Azure
- Fear or Desire

I honestly am in love with all of the Essie polishes, they really know how to come up with beautiful colors.  And I am excited to try out the metallic polishes, they would be great for the Fall and Holiday seasons.



Friday, August 24, 2012

OPI Germany Collection

Following the OPI Holland collection, OPI recently released their Germany collection for the Fall season at the beginning of August.  It's crazy to think that fashion and beauty trends are already leading us into the Fall season, but I am really loving the colors schemes for Fall 2012.

The OPI Germany Collection includes 12 beautiful nail polishes (from left to right):

- Don't Pretzel My Buttons
- My Very First Knockwurts
- Berlin There Done That
- Schnapps Out Of It!
- Don't Talk Bach To Me
- Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine!

- Dante-Shiny Red
- Deutsch You Want Me Baby?
- German-Icure By OPI
- Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs
- Every Month is Oktoberfest
- Unfor-Greta-Bly Blue

Leave it to OPI to comes up with the most creative (and longest) names for their polishes.  Nonetheless, I think they definitely knocked this collection out of the park with the color selection because there is a lot of variety.

I think I am definitely looking forward to trying Unfor-Greta-Bly Blue and Berlin There Done That, although all of the colors look beautiful.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Tzarine

I have always been a fan of NARS products, especially when it comes to their primers and lipsticks.  They are infamous for their wide selection of beautiful blushes and eyeshadows.  I can say I am also a fan of the formula of their blushes, but I believe this is going to be my first ever NARS Eyeshadow purchase.

I have always heard great things about their eyeshadows and have always eyed their duos every time I pass the NARS counters.  However, because some of their shadows can be very shimmery, I have put off buying them for a while until I found a set I really liked.

After hearing so many great reviews on the NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo and swatching the shades multiple times at the counter, I decided to finally pick the duo up and add it to my collection.

Tzarine is described as a platinum gold shadow with tiny gold and silver reflects and a beautiful steel grey.  The NARS shadows really live up to their reputation as being richly pigmented and having a smooth and beautiful application.  I was initially drawn to Tzarine because I honestly don't own many (or any) shadows like the steel grey in my shadow collection, and the two shades just compliment each other on the lid and crease very nicely.

With a light had you can apply the steel grey along the lash line for that clean and polished look for the day, and really build up the color for a smokey look for the evening.  This is definitely going to be one of my favorite shadow combinations for a while.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August Birchbox

I was suppose to have my August Birchbox post up already (seeing that I received it early last week), but because I was busy catching up with good friends and just enjoying the last bit of summer it had slipped my mind.

This month's box is themed "Beauty School" since school is about to go back in session for a lot of you girls out there.  The package included:

SchickHydro Silk Razor

Beauty Fixation Lipstick Touch Up Wands

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy la Fleur sample

Shu Uemura Art Of Hair samples

Talika Lipocils Expert Lash Serum

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

I don't know how I feel about this month's box because I don't know how the products relate to the back to school theme.  Nonetheless I am looking forward to trying out the Yu-Be moisturizer (because I have heard a few reviews on the brand) and the Beauty Fixation lipstick touch up wands (great to have a around for bold lip color).

My FAVORITE item in the box has to be the Schick Hydro Silk Razor, which definitely makes the box worth the $10/month price tag.  I have always been a loyal Venus girl, however after trying out the new Schick Hydro Razor I might be changing teams.

If it weren't for the Schick Hydro Silk Razor, this would definitely not the best or most exciting month for Birchbox.



Monday, August 20, 2012

New Beauty - The Beauty Authority

I am not one to really subscribe to pick up random monthly magazines for a light read, or to flip through the pages for the pretty pictures.  However, New Beauty magazine is definitely on of the stand out magazines that focuses on really informing their readers on the latest beauty trends.  And with the help with the numerous beauty professionals (from celebrity make up artists to doctors), a person can learn a lot about the numerous products on the market or the different procedures in a doctor's office.

I have to say that the cover photo also drew my attention to their magazine.  Who doesn't love Sarah Jessica Parker???

Instead of focusing on telling their readers what is beautiful or the things they need to do, the editors and writers really break down the specifics on the different options there are in the beauty world.

This is my first time picking up New Beauty, and I am already impressed with all of the information provided.  Instead of a monthly magazine, I believe New Beauty is a quarterly magazine that releases a new magazine every season.  Although I don't know if I can wait for the next release, I do appreciate the editors taking the few months time to really do their research on trending topics.

The Summer-Fall 2012 issue focuses on a lot of great topics:

- Age Defying Secrets: Featuring a break down of breakthrough treatments and products, highlighting specific ingredients that reveals the science in beauty.

- Beauty Truths: Unveiling all of the myths and facts in the beauty world.

- Makeup and Makeovers: Featuring age appropriate looks and high performance products that should not be missed.

- Trends of the Season: Feedback on trends of the season and exploring what's on the market; really discovering what's right for you and what should be skipped (i.e. The Perfect Fake Tan, BB Creams).

The magazine really hits trending topics for all age groups, and with their in depth articles and interviews, you get a great look of the beauty world without being too overwhelmed.  So whether you have specific trends that you want to look into, or if you just want to explore what's ont he minds of beauty professionals, this is definitely a great reference magazine to have on hand.

After reading through New Beauty a few times, there will be a few new products that I will probably end up testing before the end of the year.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer

I have been so in love with my NARS Pro Prime foundation primer that I had forgotten that I had received a generous size of the Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer at the start of the year.  When I find something that works, I tend to put off testing other products for a while.  But, seeing how my NARS primer has been loved a little too much (I am on my last few uses), I decided to give the Laura Mercier primer a test drive.

The Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer is a lightweight primer that is water based.  Like many other primers, the Laura Mercier primer works to create a smooth base on the skin before applying any foundation.  The water based formula works great for any dry patches, really hydrating the skin.  And the oil free formula works well for sensitive skin types.

The primer lives up the claims of being lightweight, and it does create a great canvas for foundation.  Although the water based formula does feel very hydrating, I cannot say that the formula works best in very hot weather.  When compared to my NARS Pro Prime, the Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer does hold my makeup well in normal to warm weather.  But in temperatures reaching 90+ degrees and sunny skies, I find that it does not work as well as the NARS Pro Prime.  The formula is not as mattifying as the NARS Pro Primer and does take a bit to really seep into the skin.

I do believe that the Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer will be great to use during the colder seasons, but I will probably stick to my NARS Pro Primer for the summer time.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August MyGlam Bag

I am surprised about how well I am keeping up with all of my posts lately, even though I know I am going to be slowing down a bit at the end of the month.  I wanted to get this post about the August MyGlam bag, which I received in the mail yesterday, before it slipped my mind.

I am not sure if they had a specific theme for this month's bag (like most of their other bags), but all except one of the products in the bag are products and brands that I have never tried before.

This month's bag included the following:

MyGlam Glam Gloss 

Clean Skin Roll on Perfume Oil

Salty Cosmetics Mineral Eye Shadow

Eclos Moisture Therapy Cream and Cellular Activator Facial Serum

Circus by Andrea's Choice Nail Color

Other than the Circus polish and the Glam Gloss, I am not too excited about any of the other products.  I will give them all a try, except for the skincare just because I've got my products that I am trying out already so I might just have my mom or aunts to give a try.  Every month can't be too spectacular, but I am so happy that they included another one of Andrea's polishes to try.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Henri Bendel Jetsetter Medium Tote

A few months ago I had received a generous gift card towards Henri Bendel from one of my best friends (she was aware of my Henri Bendel obsession) and I have not had the chance to really use it, until now.  I think I waited so long because other than gifts from my family and boyfriend, I was a bit overwhelmed about how generous she was.

One of the items I picked up with the gift card was this Jetsetter Medium Tote in black, which I have hanging right on my door because I can't stop looking at it.  Their Jetsetter line is what the name entails, for every traveler looking to travel in style.  It is a nylon tote with a beautiful leather trim with a snap closure.

I love the little Henri Bendel bow and hardware detailing ont he outside because it gives it that cute, feminine.  And the lining is the signature Henri Bendel brown and white stripe, classic.  I think the size is perfect to travel for a short day trip, or a long weekend getaway.  It's big enough to fit a tablet, e-reader, magazines, or 15" laptop.

I think I will love using this as one of my carry on items for plane rides or just short day trips around the city.



Dr. Brandt Laser A-Peel System

I had posted a while ago that I had purchased the Dr. Brandt Eye Set for my mom to try out for a great price on, and seeing how you can never really find Dr. Brandt products on sale (unless you have a coupon code) I decided to pick up the Dr. Brandt Laser A-Peel System to try out for a discounted price.

I have always been a fan of the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peels and will always love them, but I did want to compare the Dr. Brandt Laser A-Peel System to the Dr. Dennis Gross Peels and share my thoughts on the two products.

The Dr. Brandt Laser A-Peel System, like the Dr. Dennis Gross Peels, is a two step product that works as an exfoliator and revitalizer for the skin.  The peeling solution is the first step, where you would apply a thin layer all over the skin and wait five minutes before washing off.  The second step is the soothing gel, which really hydrates the skin.  The Dr. Brandt Laser A-Peel System really improves the texture and elasticity of the skin, and is definitely a treat for those days where your just looking tired and dull.

I have to say I was impressed with the Dr. Brandt Laser A-Peel System and find myself wanting to use it 2-3 times per week for that extra boost of radiance to my skin.  I have sensitive skin, and am quite hesitant to try laser systems fearing of bad reactions, but my skin took to the product quite well.  As for it's comparison to the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels, I feel like they are both amazing systems to consider adding to any skin care regiment.  Although, if you are looking for convenient, the Dr. Dennis Gross Peels are more convenient to use and travel with seeing how you don't need to wash anything off and they come in small travel packs that you can easily slip in any makeup bag or purse.

Although both the Dr. Brandt and Dr. Dennis Gross systems are quite a splurge, I definitely would recommend either for just that added boost to your skin.  It's nice to have a treatment like this on hand because it really does leave your skin feeling fresh, smooth, and soft.



Julep Maven Conditioning Nail Polish Remover

So it's been a while since I've done a review on an actual beauty product.  I haven't purchased any makeup in a while (which is for the better) and I needed time to really test some of the skincare/haircare products that I am trying out before sharing my thoughts.  However, for the month of August, I received a Julep Maven box, which was their Anniversary box, and one of the items included was the new Julep Maven Conditioning Nail Polish Remover.

I was quite interesting in testing this nail polish remover because it's very reminiscent of the Zoya Remove Plus nail polish remover (packaging and all).  And because I had just run out of my favorite Zoya Remove Plus polish remover, this was the perfect time to try something new.

The Julep Maven Conditioning Nail Polish Remover is advertised as being an acetone free polish remover packaged in a pump bottle (like the Zoya Remove Plus) for that convenient use.  It's suppose to be conditioning for the nails and remove polish with ease.

So what's my verdict? I absolutely HATE using it! I have no idea what is in the formula but it is not conditioning at all.  When I tried to pump it out on to a cotton pad (which did not work properly because the polish remover just pumped out everywhere and got messy), the cotton pad dried out within seconds.  I had to soak the entire cotton pad (bout 8-10 pumps) to have it stay saturated and remove the polish.  As for removing the polish, I literally had to scrub at my nails, and the remover just felt very chalky and dry, leaving my skin and nails very chalky and dry.  It also did not do so well with keeping my nails and skin stain free while removing the polish (so I do not recommend using this remover with dark polishes).

I have only used it once, and I honestly do not want to even try to use it all or ever again.  Definitely not worth the $14 price tag to it, seeing how you can buy the Zoya Remove Plus (which is 100 times better) with the convenient pump at Ulta for $10.  I can't say I can recommend this to anyone and am sticking to my beloved Zoya Remove Plus (which I need to pick up pronto).

I usually don't write such negative reviews on products, but because there was a lot of excitement out there for the Julep Maven Conditioning Nail Polish Remover when it was released last week, I just had to share my thoughts.



Friday, August 10, 2012


Is it Fall yet? Although I am really enjoying this long and beautiful summer we are having in the city, I am excited to be able to throw on those layers for next season.  Fall is my absolutely favorite season when it comes to fashion because I love being able to wear layers (and I can't forget about boots either!).

My mind is already on Fall trends, and I have already been inspired by magazines and designer releases in stores.  So while I was out shopping with my Mom and her sisters a little over two weeks ago, we stopped by Lord & Taylor (which is notorious for having such great promotions and sales) and looked around the BCBGMAXAZRIA section for great finds.

I was obsessed with these two BCBGMAXAZRIA Risa striped sweaters, which were on sale for around 70% off.  But for some reason I could not get myself to purchase them right then and there without thinking about it for a while.  A sale is great and all, but you definitely have to make sure you will put the worth into it, otherwise it's just another piece in your closet.  So I decided to walk away from them and get some lunch instead.  BUT to my surprise, my Aunt decided that she knew me better and knew I would come back for them.  So she decided to pick them up for me instead.  Isn't she just great!? Turns out I could not get my mind off of them, so when she showed up to lunch with the sweaters in hand, I was like a kid on Christmas morning.

They are the perfect weekend, effortless, and cool sweaters that can be worn on any casual day.  I love the round neck and the extended sleeves because it gives that cozy Fall look.  The striped pattern was what first drew my attention to the sweaters, and because of that I had to have both the Navy and Poppy colored.

I can imagine myself in these with just a simple tank underneath and either a pair of jeans or shorts for that casual touch.  This definitely was a great shopping adventure.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Michael Antonio Timber Platform Heels

I'm always in for a great deal, so when I saw this steal last weekend I could not resist, especially when it comes to shoes.  These Michael Antonio platform heels a classic, look that add drama to any look.  They are an open toe sandal with a vampy criss cross strap, which add a bit of stability and comfort to your feel.  The ankle strap and buckle closure on the heels give the shoes an added edge.

The heels are tall, 5" with the platform, so they are definitely not for any novice heel wearer.  However, any shoe with a platform is a bit more comfortable than a regular stiletto.  I absolutely would love to pair these with a pair of darker skinny jeans and casual top for that casual look out.

These Michael Antonio heels retail around $80, but I found them on my local Marshalls for $15 (definitely a steal for me).  I had forgotten how much fun it is looking for treasures at stores such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

Definitely will be my go to shoes for the Fall season.



Monday, August 6, 2012

Circus by Andrea's Choice in Reverso

For me, one of the most essential colors to have in a nail polish collection is a nice, creamy white polish.  It's difficult to find a very creamy and opaque white polish for all of those french manicures, because consistency is everything.  I was sent this Circus polish by Andrea's Choice (one of YouTube's many makeup gurus) in the shade Reverso last month, and I was definitely excited to give it a try.

I absolutely love the cute packaging of the polish.  It definitely represents Andrea's quirky personality well.  Also, the brush size of the polish is perfect for polish application.

From the tube, it honestly looks like the creamiest white I have ever seen.  On first application, you can definitely tell that's it's going to be a very nice, opaque white.  Reverso applies almost completely opaque in one coat, but because it's so creamy and has a thicker consistency, two coats is needed to make an even application (without streaks).

I am definitely enjoying this shade of white, which is probably the most white polish I own, on my tanned skin.  As for the wear of the polish, I have to say I am a bit disappointed because the polish did chip on my figures after 3 days of wear.  I do have the polish on my toes also and they have not chipped on my toes yet, so it might be that the polish does not last with all of the things I do with my hands all day.

Even though I am a bit disappointed about the wear of the polish, I am too in love with the white to never wear it again.  So instead, I will keep it for my toes.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Revlon Top Speed in Jaded

I have tried Revlon polishes in the past, and found them really nice for being a drugstore brand.  However, for some reason I have never tried the Revlon Top Speed polishes, which advertises to dry within a few minutes after application.  I usually enjoy the process of applying nail polish because I will just pop myself infront of a TV with a good show and just relax and pamper myself with a home manicure/pedicure.

But, there are times where I want to change my polish, but absolutely have no time for the drying process.  So when when one of my amazing friends sent me this Revlon Top Speed polish to try out I was excited to see if it was a quick dry polish.

The color is in Jaded, which is a beautiful light mint color.  The color is creamy and opaque, which is great because it applies well in just two coats without being streaky.  I wish the color was a little more minty, but it is still pretty as is.

As for the drying time, kudos to Revlon because I think after 3-4 minutes after applying the top coat to the polish, I was able to type around on my laptop without any worry and do things around the house.  The quality of the polish is just as good as any other higher end polishes (i.e. Essie, OPI), lasting just about a week on my fingers before chipping.  Definitely am going to check out the other colors int he Revlon Top Speed line for those rushed manicure days I'll have in the future.



August Julep Maven Box

I have been skipping my Julep Maven subscriptions for the past half year because I wasn't really drawn to any of the colors (and because of my already large nail polish collection).  But it had slipped my mind to skip the month of August, so I received the box in the mail today.  I am actually glad I did not skip this month because it was their anniversary month.

Julep Maven has been going on for one year, and they decided to make this box a themed box of Metallics & Chromes.  The box included the following:

- Julep Maven Canvas Bag
- Felicity Polish (gold)
- Alfre Polish (purple)
- Julep Conditioning Nail Polish Remover

I am actually really impressed with all of the products included for the month, and am especially excited to try the Julep Conditioning Nail Polish Remover.  The concept seems exactly like the Zoya nail polish remover because the packaging is also a convenient pump.  I just ran out of my favorite Zoya polish remover, so this is the perfect time to test this out and maybe do a comparison review between the Julep and Zoya polish removers.



Betsey Johnson Giveaway!!! (CLOSED)

It's August and although summer is going to come to a close at the end of the month for most people, it doesn't mean we can't still enjoy the beautiful weather.  It's been extremely hot and sunny here in the midwest, so one of my must haves for the summer are a pair of sunglasses.  So what better way to celebrate a great summer by giving away a pair!

These are the Betsey Johnson aviators that I picked up (along with a cute pink case) last month as a thank you for all of my readers.  I honestly can't express how much I appreciate all of the support!

With that being said, here are the rules to enter.


1. Must be a follower of mine here on Blogspot (you can follow me by clicking on the follow button on the top left hand side).

2. Must be a follower and friend of mine on (My Luuux Page)

3. Must leave ONE comment on THIS POST.  You can comment/ask anything you'd like.

4. Must re-post this on either your blog, luuux, tumblr, etc. (LEAVE THE LINK TO YOUR RE-POST IN THE COMMENTS ALONG WITH YOUR COMMENT).

5. Must be 18 or older (or have your parents permission to provide me your mailing address).

This giveaway is open to BOTH International and U.S./Canada residents and will last until the end of the month (ENDING ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 25th). 

Good Luck!!!

FTC: This is not a sponsored giveaway.  I am not getting paid or receiving anything for hosting this giveaway, and everything was purchased with my own money.