Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Five: Beauty Edition

This week's Friday Five is my five go to beauty products.  I'm a total beauty junkie and I've literally tried thousands and thousands of cosmetics and beauty products.  Sometimes they work out, and other times they're a complete disaster.  These five rank among my top beauty products of all time and they're the only ones that I keep going back for time after time!  I wish I was doing Saturday Six this week because one of my most favorite beauty products had to be left off this list. :( But at some point in the future I'll do a top five make-up and it will be in there for sure!!  On to the products!!

This mask is the greatest mask I've ever used. Normally I hate masks and I often break out after using them.  They leave my face too oily or too dry.  They smell awful. Or worse they FEEL awful.  This mask does none of the above.  I got it orginally as a sample with a Sephora order and I was so hooked after using it once that I bought a bottle immediately after.  Besides being 100% natural and organic this mask smells great, feels great, takes only 15 mintues, AND leaves your skin moisturized, soft, and oil free.  It literally perfects your skin in 15 minutes.  It didn't overdry the oily parts of my face or grease up the dry parts.  It balanced my skin and left it looking and feeling radiant.  I use it about once a week or when my skin is feeling particularly annoying.  It retails for $40 which is a bit pricey. But it's totally worth the price tag.

Another Pangea product, another win!!  What I love most about this toner is that it sprays onto your skin rather than having to be applied with a cotton ball or pad.  It's refreshing, stimulating and it smells great.  No stinging, no irritation and it still does the trick!  This little bottle is $12 but it lasts me about a month.  Previously I'd been using Clinique toner so the cost to me is roughly the same.  But again, totally organic and natural and works so much better than the Clinique.

As much as I love makeup, I might love perfume even more.  I love to experiment with perfume (I have TONS!) but I also like to have a signiture scent.  It's really difficult to find that one scent that's not too sweet or too musky.  Not too old or too young.  I LOVE the smell of roses but I find that most rose based perfume smells like old ladies or funeral homes.  Not this one.  It's subtle and sexy but also delicate and sophisticated.  It's the only scent I've ever bought more than once in my life.  I like the rollerballs since they're easy to take with you.  A four pack is about $42 at Sephora.

This stuff is the bomb.  Every single other moisturizer I've ever used has left my face too dry or WAY over greased.  This oil can be purchased as a spray which allows you to just lightly spritz your face for the perfect amount of moisture.  It's not heavy and its not at all greasy.  Plus it smells great and can be used on your body or hair for quick fixes!!  A 100mL bottle costs about $44  but it lasts ages!! I keep this little bottle in my purse for emergencies!

I have tried so many primers.  And I've had no luck with any of them.  Even the raved about Smashbox Photo Finish did NOTHING to help my skin.  This one is different.  It's a balm not a cream or gel so you can control how much or how little goes on.  Plus it has vitamin C which makes your skin feel smooth and velvety and keeps it healthy looking all day.  It's great for traveling (especially via plane since it's not a liquid!!)  and it smells amazing!  Plus the cute little tin can be reused over and over again! You can pick it up at Macy's or Sephora for $29. 

So there you have it. My five must have beauty products.  What are some of yours? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My love affair with Butter London...

L to R: Cheeky Chops, Teddy Girl, Toff, Queen Vic

There are few products that I love so much I feel like everyone should own them. It's rather difficult to impress me because I know what I like and most of the time, products just don't deliver. Butter London is one of those products.

Fairly recently I've gotten very into nail polish again.
I used to be crazy into painting my nails (back when I was 13 or 14 or so) so much so that my parents bought me a nail stamping machine for Christmas one year. I LOVED that stamping machine. In a time when nail art wasn't mainstream, it gave me an edge that most people didn't have. Then came the Cover Girl crackle polishes which I of course, HAD to have. And then one day, just like that, I sort of grew out of it. It was by happenstance that I stumbled upon a blog about a year ago, called The Daily Nail. The premise of the blog was simple: 365 days of nail art. No repeats. Of course by the time I came across the blog it was more than a year old. But still, the nail art continued. And as I perused the blogs past articles filled with shiny flashy nails and bright colors, I found something else. Stamping was in. In a HUGE way. In fact there are now many companies selling these stamp kits. Nostalgia kicked in and I realized that something I had once been so into, was suddenly cool. Score. I started pumping up my polish collection fairly quickly, and of course, I ordered some stamps!! I learned all kinds of new terms: matte, satin, suede, flakies, glitter, jellies...the world of nail polish had changed dramatically from the simple creme or glitter days of my youth. And I started experimenting with different brands as well. And by chance, I found a brand that I'd been craving for months at my local Ulta one day. The brand? Butter London. A now Seattle based polish company which, as luck would have it, was 3Free, vegan, AND came in amazing colors with fun names like Snog and Teddy Girl. So I picked up a few. And just like that...I fell in love. 
Today was buy one get one free day on Butter London's at my Ulta. Although someone might have told the salesgirl that because when I asked to be double sure (I had misplaced my flier) she told me she thought it was buy two get one free. Oh is free. I intended to pick up Toff (part of the new fall collection) and Artful Dodger (part of the Spring collection) but found out quite quickly that Artful Dodger is no longer carried at Ulta's (I see a trip to Nordstrom in my future!). So I had to reassess. I had Toff and Queen Vic in my hand and was pondering Cheeky Chops when another salesgirl offered me a very helpful piece of advice. There is a limit of four polishes. Score. All I had to do was find ONE more color and I'd just get four for the price of two. So I picked up Teddy Girl (I need some new pinks for Wednesdays!) and headed for the check lanes.

Now, there are many reasons I love butter London. Some are silly (it has London in the title, comes in a square bottle, and has super cute names) and some are legitimate (it goes on smooth as butter, dries to an impossibly shiny finish, gets on with my Seche Vite, and lasts for AGES) but there's one reason I love it that I'd forgotten about until I began checking out today. What's that?

As I'm talking to the cashier she tells me how she's trying to decide which butter London colors to grab before she leaves for the day and she flashes me two polished fingers. POLISHED with Butter London polish FROM THE SHELF. Ew. I'm quite aware that buying used nail polish is unlike buying other used things (lipstick, eyeliner, underwear >_<) but still it skeeves me out. I almost always reach for polishes at the back of the counters when I shop. I don't want to polish my nails with something which: A) has been on your who-knows-where-they've-been fingers. And B) has polish missing from it. Albeit a negligible amount in most cases. And that's the thing I love most about my butter London polishes. The little seal on the side that tells me that no one's grimy fingers have been in my polish before me!! :)

Bee x

(Side note: sale is on til the end of the day 9/20 so head to your nearest Ulta and pick up a few of these! I swear they're worth it!)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Things I'm obsessed with this week...

This week has been epically long. And for some reason, SUPER busy.  I have had NO time to get much of anything done and I've been ridiculously tired.  Still, I managed to squeeze in some time for the things that I'm loving most this week. I intended for this to be a Friday Five blog...but it's coming on a Saturday. And since I'm too lazy to do a Saturday're getting a Friday Five a little late (hey, we all know how I like to procrastinate!).  Here goes...

Eliza Doolittle is a British singer/songwriter from London.  I stumbled across her single, Rollerblades, awhile back on iTunes and I finally decided to buy her album this week.  I seriously can't stop listening to it.  It's one part quirky pop and one part British soul.  Think Lily Allen with a twist.  :)  You can check her out by clicking here (or hitting me up for some sample tracks!!)  Best tunes on the album? Skinny Genes, Go Home, and Moneybox.

Umeboshi.  I'm back on the bento train in a HUGE way and since I discovered umeboshi a few weeks back I'm LOVING it.  Plus there's nothing more satisfying than a fat, sweet onigiri with a salty umeboshi in the center. :)

Barry M nail varnish. I got my very first Barry M's from a wonderful friend in London through the post months ago.  And now I'm completely hooked.  Not only are they pretty cheap (most are only £2.99) but the coverage is great and they last forever on my nails.  A feat for someone like me who is always doing something with their hands!

Toothy tabs from LUSH.  Not only are these good for the environment (and your mouth!), vegan, and fairtrade but they also make my mouth feel cleaner than any toothpaste EVER has.  And that's saying something!

And finally...

Coffee!! Let's face it it's no secret that I LOVE coffee.  But this week it's been fairly cold outside and that coupled with lack of sleep has made coffee my new best friend.  I think I've finally talked the husband into buying a fancy new Keurig coffee machine so when that comes, my coffee habit is sure to increase dramatically! :)

Hope everyone is having a good week. What kinds of things are YOU obessed with right now?

Bee x