Tuesday, May 31, 2011

what, you wanna be sexy now?

Documentary : Sexy Girls Have It Easy from Bright Hand Pictures on Vimeo.

I came across this video where a woman did a social experiment to test wheter or not sexy girls can get more free stuff than a plain Jane "based on looks alone." While it was entertaining I thought it wasn't fair how she acted differently in her different clothes too. In her sexy version she was confident and cheeky, but in her plain Jane she was dowdy, demanding, and not charismatic. I would like to see her do the experiment again but act exactly the same, regardless of her clothes. So I don't think it's purely that she looked sexier, she was just more confident and acted like she deserved the free stuff. Also, did plain her have to be wearing a fanny pack?

Ex: Her plain self directly asked the bus driver for a free ride. denied. Her sexy self smiled at the bus driver and walked past him. accepted. I'm still curious what would happen if Sexy her asked the bus driver.

I am by no means sexy on most (any) days, but I HAVE gotten things & drinks for free. Mind you these were only coffees or sodas, but it happened to plain ole me! It's just timing and circumstance. And no I was not demanding or cheeky- just innocent? I seriously have no idea why it happened... So PLAIN girls can get free stuff too okay?

There was this one time I went to pick up my sister from work and later she told me the guys asked if I was her mom.... WHAT? I was so enraged! How dare they assume that? So the next time I went in I made it a point to put on the makeup, big lashes, and high heels to see if I would get the same comment. To my delight they asked if I was her friend. phew! Otherwise some heads would roll. The interesting thing is I felt more confident and sexy wearing false lashes and high heels. I think it would be amazing if I could figure out how to feel that way in just my everyday getup.

Left: my plain look (old pic)
Right: my dolled up look (on that day!)

Please tell me your thoughts on the video and your thoughts on looking plain vs sexy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dior Pink Boa Swatch

Dior Pink Boa 349 or Rose Fanfreluche.
A jelly baby pink.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Revlons Free after coupon at CVS

A swipe here, a swipe there, and now I have two-toned nails. I think these two are fun together! I've warmed up to the thought of yellow nails. Possibly a dupe for Chanel Mimosa?

Tonight I picked up two Revlon Top Speed polishes at CVS because they are on sale (FREE) this week. Pictured are Electric and Hazy. Both swatch opaque on the first swipe. That's what I love about the Top Speeds!

I'll explain how the sale works.

Each polish is priced at $4.99.
You receive a store credit called an EXTRA BUCK for $4 on each polish you buy. If you buy two you get $8 and you can buy up to 6 total with your CVS card.
When combined with a $1 off coupon the polish is essentially free!

for example, your 1st transaction:
Polish $4.99
Coupon -1.00
TOTAL $3.99 + tax
EARN $4.00 EB (extra bucks)

Now you have $4 EB to use that expires in one month. If you had previous ones you could've used that in your first transaction. It's called ROLLING. Now that you have a $4EB we'll roll it to the next polish

2nd transaction:
Polish $4.99
Coupon -1.00
EB -4.00 (from the first transaction)
TOTAL -0.01
BUT you can't have a negative balance so either your cashier will ADJUST your EB to 3.99 and you'll walk out free OR you'll need a filler item like their .33 cent caramels.

2nd transaction alternative:
Polish $4.99
filler $0.33
Coupon -1.00
EB -4.00
TOTAL 0.32 + tax
EARN $4.00 EB

You may repeat this process until you have reached the limit 6 polishes! Woo hoo!

So if you had no EB to start with you will have $4EB, 6 polishes, and you only spent $4 + tax!

You will have already needed to get several Revlon coupons before this sale to maximize your savings. If you don't have any coupons then $1/polish is still a good deal.

Where to find coupons? Try ebay or coupon cutting services. like [here]
This particular coupon came from the Smart Source 4/10 edition.

Now the best thing about this deal is the beauty club. (ask your cashier how to join) For every $50 you spend on cosmetics you will get $5 EB back. So after you bought all 6 polishes you can add $29.94 to your tally, and not the few cents you paid. woo hoo!

But wait there's more! If you go back once a day this week and scan your "green bag tag" you will earn $1EB after every 4th scan! $$$

I hope this helped and got you running out to CVS! I've posted swatches of a few Revlon polishes previously. Try clicking the Nails tag.

Glad to answer any questions!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hidden Treasures in the Sky

Revlon Top Speed Cloud Polish with Sally Hansen Hidden Treasures on the first finger. Hidden Treasures really makes everything pretty, but especially with this blue. I love how subtle it is.

From looking at the bottle I didn't see the potential, but I'm glad my sister made me buy this one. It's quite opaque in one stroke too, and I love that!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Birchbox, is it worth it?

So what is BIRCHBOX?
From them:
Every month Birchbox members will receive a curated box of luxe beauty samples. Each box will span beauty categories and deliver exciting products... you'll receive a selection of 4-5 samples...

The membership is $10/month and so far I got what they claimed. I did get beauty samples, but curated? Yes they chose them but they are not handpicked for each of their 20,000 subscribers.You will get 4-5 samples but not all of them will be "luxe." My advice, don't expect 4-5 deluxe samples. 3-4 more like!

First of all, I love the outer packaging. The bright pink and graphic design are eye catching (and it makes me happy). It's one of the reasons why I wanted to get this!

Inside is a sturdy kraft colored giftbox style box.

Under the first layer of tissue, a welcome card outlining the products.

Most of my samples wrapped up in matching pink tissue paper.

Four "deluxe" samples for May:
1. Archipalago Pomegranate Soap triple milled - gross
2. Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir sample - musky
3. Ahava Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream - nice but not special
4. Stila eye shadow in Terracotta (full size) - awesome, but not my usual color

So how well did Birchbox work?
1. Pretty much I wouldn't want to buy anything in my box, but I saw that other people got a Jouer lip gloss sample, and that peaked my interest. In fact, I bought one! A haul for another post. (I love it btw!)

2. Also, it got me to look into Bvlgari fragrances, and I'm so glad I did. I sniffed the other ones at Nordstroms and I love them much more! Especially BLV Eau D'ete! (new fav)

3. I'm REALLY curious about Pangea Lip Balm that I saw in other people's boxes.

So in a sense it DID work to get me to buy products!

Also included was a pretty card from tinyprints. I really like the quality of paper, and I'm a bit of a paper snob so I want you to know this is really nice paper! The print is a fun graphic that reminds me of my julu logo. ;)

Receive a 20% off coupon for one week only after your first box.
Fairly good rewards system
4-5 Samples to try (duh)
Free shipping on products and no tax either!

you may hate all the samples
subscription service- you must email them to cancel

With all of the money that goes into putting it all together, $10 seems like a fair price. I think even "my pretty pink box" cost more than $10 when it first started. I wonder if alone shipping and packaging costs Birchbox $5 already. To me it's kinda of an exciting start-up company. Bravo to the women entrepreneurs! Seems more profitable than starting up a magazine...

Gotta admit it's kinda fun and next month is my birthday month so I'll just do it one last time. I bet the box will be "summer" themed so I'm curious- I can't help it! I'll put my money on sunscreen and tanning products! BUT it's not worth it unless you like tossing your $10 up in the air and seeing what comes down. I'm crazy and I do! It's the THRILL! It's not like I need more samples to try... I get enough on my own, and I"ll be doing another post on this.

Plus if I get 50 more points I'll have enough for a $10 credit. I'm a sucker for rewards programs. damn.

You get 10 pts for each box, and 10 pts for each product feedback you give so I have 50 pts right now. I did 4 feedback surveys because I received 4 samples this month (40 pts). You also get 50 pts for each friend you refer via e-mail. At 100 points you can redeem a $10 credit! One more box would put me at 100, yay! [more info]

Is it worth it?
Yes BUT only for 1-2 months at a time. I don't need a steady stream of samples each month b/c it is so easy to get samples for free. Plus with all of the blog reading and YouTube watching, my list of things to try never ends!

Let me know if you think Birchbox is worth it! If you do decide to sign up, please do so through this link. It would really help me out! :) Thanks!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2 year blogging anniversary

Today marks my 2-year anniversary of beauty blogging! (blogiversary?) It's been a blast, and I've met lots of sweet friends and even made several close ones I hope to meet someday. I've learned a ton I never thought I would and read quite interesting gossip too. Of course it's more than that!

Blogging is something I want to continue to do because it is just FUN to put it simply. I think stopping would just be going backwards. Everyone blogs now. Moms, grandmas, dogs, babies, fake boyfriends..

Is my blog where I wanted it to be? Yes and no. I like it because it is what it is, but I regret that I didn't post more over the years. I still have drafts from two years ago! Why did I originally start blogging? Back when I only had about 3 blogs to read I got bored with them not updating every second so I started one to get my own two cents out there. The name- beauty and gardens. I'm not the type to make up a name like QueenStephieCutieLovesStuff so I tried to combine two things that I liked at the time. Also no one had put a beauty and garden blog together before. To look back I don't think it was a great idea because I barely post garden related things now. I would love to change the name to Chasing Beauty or something else I scribbled somewhere.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who are still reading this from the beginning and hello to those who have just discovered me.

P.S. In celebration, I will be having a giveaway! :) stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Revlon Top Speed in Guava

Revlon Top Speed in Guava
This is a really pretty color! I applied 1-2 coats to my sister's nails. It became a little streaky on the fourth finger. I found the formula better on other shades. I don't know if it was me or this particular polish color. The pretty color makes up for it though. It's a strong pretty pink but not too bright. It does indeed dry fast and I like it!

These new Top Speeds are awesome! I think "meh" when it comes to the normal Revlon's but these I like! $3.99 at your drugstore.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger Event at LOFT

So how exciting is having a private shopping event at LOFT? TONS! especially when everything is 40% off! To be honest I think that sale was offered to everyone all day.

Anyhow, let me show you some fabulous photos of us ladies trying on clothes, shopping, and sipping pomegranate juice. OH WAIT, I can't because corporate specifically said we can't take photos in the store. Kinda defeats the purpose of opening the store early for fashion bloggers don't you think? What exactly do they think blogging is without photos? Anyhow, we managed to do just fine outside of the store with our group photo.

Group photo of the DFW bloggers.

oh wow, it's the outside of the LOFT store! yay! This LOFT is in West Village. It's part of Dallas Uptown. I remember visiting this place with my old school buddies the summer after highschool and college summers. We thought we were so cool driving to the pretty part of Dallas and sipping on Starbucks and Pacuigo, and watching indie movies. lol at the old times. It's changed a lot. I remember the best part was exploring the underground DART system. It's quite amazing how much there is underground and how huge it is. Mind you this was new for us suburban kids. Funny thing is I still don't think many people know about the Dallas underground! I digress...

Tina getting outfit of the day shots. Elissa did a great job of setting everything up!

Fabulous ladies to my left and right! Tina & Nekiah. I was feeling very vintage matchy-matchy that day.

New earring design I've been working on. Thought it went well with my outfit. I'll be posting these in my store soon? or maybe not so soon? no set time frame yet.

My first Eggs Benedict at the Lemon Bar in West Village! SO good! There was even a farmer's market outside which was cute and unexpected.

Even though earlier I ragged on LOFT for the photo issue, the sales associates in-store were very nice and helpful. Everything was really pretty. I've only been in LOFT a couple of times because there are no stores close to me. The selection on-line is tragic compared to the in-store finds. Then there are things they don't have in-store like heels. argh.

Here are some things I loved!

I think this is out of season? Loved the geometric print in person. Looks blah here. It's too bad I didn't get this while it was in the store! It has been replaced by the Dalmation Dot Skinny Scarf.

Swaying Floral Print Scarf, $34.50
Very pretty but I'm not sure how I would style it.

Stripe Infinity Loop Scarf, $34.50
Everyone was gushing over this scarf! (uh except me)

Dot Combo Dress, $89.50
I was happy to learn this dress actually fit me! I might get this if it goes back to 40% off again.

Weekend Blue Wash Modern Straight Leg Jeans in Petite, $59.50
Another surprise! Their jeans fit me and the length in petite wasn't too long. It is in flats, but with heels I'll be fine! Now this is what I DID buy. My first straight leg jeans. I've been a chronic boot leg jean buyer ever since I can remember. My first impression was that they were a little cheap and stretchy feeling compared to others I've tried. I still liked them enough though!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Shiseido Tsubaki Shampoo Review

Many people claim this as the holy grail shampoo so how could I resist trying it?

At first I was like WOW my hair feels so soft and silky but then later in the day I noticed my roots were getting quite oily. Somehow though I think it makes my roots more oily. That's the sad thing. Also, some people say it adds some texture or something to the hair and I'm thinking it does on mine too. That's what gives it the silky feeling. My hair was already silky (or it doesn't take much to make it so) and the added silkiness was not a good feeling.  One good thing is I can feel my hair getting less prone to tangling of the ends. That was my main problem with my hair anyhow.

I would not buy this again if I'm only using it for my roots. I think a good conditioner could do that. I just don't use conditioner! mwahaha.

Another thing is the scent. It's okay, but I didn't even remember/notice it at first. People always rave about the scent but seriously it is not that great!

I bought this from veryasia.com here but their site annoys me. I had issues with them but everything worked out later. $15.95 for 18.6 fl oz. Shipping is $4.99.

Or you can buy it from various sellers on Amazon here.

good lather up
lightly scented
cleans hair

can make hair too silky
made my roots oil up faster

Bottom line: If you have good hair already you won't need this. It's better for people with dry or coarse hair.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A look at Lancome Sarong

I stopped by the Lancome counter recently and swatched their newest polish on my nails. Lancome Sarong. It was so bright I couldn't resist. This is only one coat! Also I did a sloppy job because I was in a rush feeling guilty swatching it on four nails. It's the perfect bright summer polish. I'm not into the whole orange and yellow trend going on now.

Sometimes I thought it looked red-orange, or hot pink red, but overall it is a vibrant red berry color. I'd say if you were disappointed in Dior's Aloha orangeness you'll love this red! It has nice pink and red micro shimmers in it from what I can see. While strangely I don't sport red polishes this is just lookin fabulous on my nails. I'd say it's worth it if you love this type of polish, but I just have so many right now I can't justify it since it's not my usual color choice.

Lancome Le Vernis in Sarong, $19
I must say this stock photo looks very similar to what it is in real-life. That's rare right?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

April Favorites

I can't believe it's May already! Time for April favorites!

1. B-List lipstick by Lancome, $7 -$15
Swatch of B List
This was a free lipstick (and now discontinued) that I received this month from a gift with purchase. It's a pretty peachy-beige with the right hint of pink that is seriously underrated! It's not orange and won't make you look dead. I think that it is gaining popularity though because the ebay price for this is almost double for what a common gifted lipstick would go for. About $15? But wait, I found a new listing for them at $7 + $2.50 shipping here. Read the glowing makeupAlley review here.

2. Essie Neo Whimsical Polish, $3.20

Thin and runny, but I love this pinky-lilac color for spring. It's a pain to apply so I try to make thick coats and then the seche vite on top smooths it out.

3. Diorskin Nude Foundation, $46
I love this foundation right there with the MUFE foundation. The match is perfect (shade 021), and it blends so well onto the skin. It leaves a nice matte but still luminous finish. The coverage is light-medium. You can build it up without looking cakey. The luxury glass packaging is a plus as well. It also claims to make your skin better? Dunno about that yet.. The only thing people may not like is that it dries really fast so you must work quickly. I prefer this over foundations that never dry at all. Oh and it oxidizes a little on some so I went for a slightly lighter shade that still matches after oxidizing.

4. HydraFresh toner L'oreal, $6
I stole this out of my mom's cabinet because she had not used it for a year or more. Creepy? Maybe, but the stuff still works great! Points for longevity! This stuff is freakin awesome because it lives up to it's claims. No need to buy any $20 toner by golly. It does "gently sweep away dull, tired skin to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion." It also "leaves skin soft and supple." The toner I used before didn't leave my skin feeling any softer, and it was 8x more expensive.

5. O'slee SPECIAL CARE Anti-Acne Essence, $8.40
This stuff is a miracle to me. It lives up to it's claims and minimizes the pimple overnight. I couldn't believe it! It's great on those red ones and the cystic acne! I think the key is rubbing it in until full absorbed. The drawback is the small glass bottle is so fragile that it broke on the counter when it slipped through my fingers. I was literally scrapping it off the counter to save it!

Have you tried any of these products?
I'd love to hear about your favorites last month!