Saturday, July 21, 2012

DIY Plumping Lip Gloss

 Just saw this awesome DIY tutorial on Delighted Momma for making your own plumping lip gloss and thought I would share. It's super easy, just add some cinnamon oil (or peppermint or wintergreen) to a lip gloss, mix, and you're ready to plump! To make it all-natural, just start with a natural or organic lip gloss. Lindsay of Delighted Momma recommends using an unscented gloss, I assume because the oil may have its own fragrance, but I think it would be cool to mix and match with a fragranced gloss to get cool flavors like cherry-peppermint or cinnamon-orange!

Can't wait to try this...if any of you do and have good results feel free to let me know!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Newbies 2

Some more newbies for you! The results of me trying to reward myself through cheap beauty products.

Johnson's Natural Baby Lotion Minis, $1.50 each
I found these in an endcap display at Walmart. The lotion is 99% natural and has a thin texture which spreads easily but dries with a slightly sticky finish. The scent to me is strange, I can't really place it anywhere. If I had to call it something, I'd say it's like a fruity baby powder scent. I probably wouldn't purchase a full-size of these, but I'm glad to try the minis! The Johnson's Natural Line is also available at Target and

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Face Towelettes (10 ct), $2.99
I found these in the Target travel size aisle and figured they would be a good way to wash up on my flights to and around Scandinavia. The towels were slightly drier in the middle than at the edges, which seems to be a problems for towelettes in this type of packaging. They did a fair job at cleaning though, if not as good as regular old cleanser, water and a washcloth. I'm not sure that I would purchase a full-size of these towelettes but again, I'm glad to try them in mini size!

geoGirl Lip Shine in Pomegranate, ~$4
A current favorite and a re-purchase :) Review and swatches here and here.

Yes to Carrots Super Rich Body Butter Mini, $1.99
Another Target travel aisle find. I've tried the Yes to Cucumbers body butter and really liked it, so I thought I would give this a go. The Yes to Carrots body butter seems to have the same texture with the baby powder scent typical to the Yes to Carrots line. I much prefer the jasmine scent of the Yes to Cucumbers line but still like the Yes to Carrots body butter just fine.

There are the remaining newbies...hopefully I will have some more empty posts for you soon so I can feeling better about all the stuff I'm bringing home!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I picked up a few new things in my absence from the blogosphere which I'm here to share now!

Yes to Cucumbers Color Care Conditioner, $8.99
I've been using this conditioner for a few weeks and am liking it a lot so far. It has good slip which I love in a conditioner because it makes it super easy to work into my hair. It also has the jasmine scent typical of the Yes to Cucumbers line. This conditioner is meant for color-treated hair, which I do not have, so I can't comment on how well it protects hair color. I have fine hair which breaks easily, and I find it does a good job at smoothing and moisturizing my hair without weighing it down.

ecotools Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set, $11
I frequently use an angle brush to apply powder as eyeliner and unfortunately lost mine on a trip to Santa Barbara. So, I decided to buy some new brushes to replace my lost one and a few others which were starting to lose bristles. The set includes an eyeshadow brush, lash and brow brush, lip brush, blush brush, concealer brush, and of course my trusty angle brush. The lash and brow brush seems to be missing here, ignore that haha! The set came with a hemp case which is great for holding the brushes but a bit flimsy - one of my brushes has already busted through its little pocket. Oh well, nothing some needle and thread can't fix.

All of the brushes are made of eco-friendly bamboo, recycled aluminum, and cruelty-free taklin bristles. I find the brushes to be very soft, though the concealer brush is hard in the middle. I haven't figured out if there's a piece of material in there to reinforce the brush head or if some of the bristles are glued together or something, but time will tell!

Skinnygirl Tinted Lip Balm in Bright Red, $1.50 (on sale at Walmart!)
I absolutely love Bethenney Frankel and was excited to try something from her new face & body collection on the cheap. Skinnygirl markets this lip balm as being natural, and to some degree it is. Top ingredients include shea butter and castor seed oil, but I also remember seeing some undesirables in the list (like dimethicone maybe? don't have the packaging anymore).

Anyway, it's moisturizing, has a bright but sheer red tint and smells fruity. A great buy at $1.50 but (sorry, Bethenney!) I wouldn't purchase again at $5 unless some of the synthetic ingredients were removed.

Tube packaging similar to a Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer

In the tube...sorry I didn't think to swatch it!

I love my geoGirl Pomegranate lipshine (review and swatches here) so much that I re-purchased it and decided to try a new shade. This is Strawberry, which is a purple-pink shimmer. I find Strawberry to be a touch too frosty for me, but I'm keeping it in hopes I can mellow out the shimmer by layering it with some other lip products. I'll let you know if any of my experiments work!

In the tube, I'm a fan of the lipstick style packaging!


I have some other new products to share but this post is getting long so I will leave things here! More to come!

Monday, July 9, 2012

As an avid beauty junkie I made a point of exploring every drug store, pharmacy, and beauty store I stumbled across in Scandinavia. One of my first finds was Kicks, a Finnish beauty shop carrying makeup, fragrance, and body care products. Still kind of puzzled about the name Kicks, I thought it was originally a shoe store. Maybe the store's named for the kicks you get out of buying makeup? Cue Frank Sinatra..."I get a kick out of you...."

Anyway, at Kicks I found my beloved Kings & Queens line, on the sale table no less! For about 6 euros (~$7.50USD) each I got three showergels in Lemon Flower, Cinnamon Orange, and Mango. The store also had the Sugar and Aztec Vanilla Pear scents.


Originally I had only intended to get Lemon Flower and Cinnamon Orange, but in my excitement I accidentally grabbed a bottle of Mango instead of Cinnamon Orange. I figured this out once I got home and unpacked my bag, and very distraughtly asked my boyfriend if we could go back and fix the mistake! He was kind enough to agree so the next day I brought home the bottle of Cinnamon Orange showergel that rightly belonged to me. I had become kind of attached to the Mango showergel so of course I had to keep that too :P

I've been a big fan of Kings & Queens since I bought a set of mini showergels at Marshall's, and I've been trying to track them down ever since! They are a Korres brand and are mainly available in Europe, though some of the scents are dupes for Korres scents. My absolute favorite scent is Nefertiti Honey, which Kicks did not have, but I've recently seen a set of Nefertiti Honey minis floating around the internet (shopping results here). I am sorely tempted to indulge!

So these showergels were probably my most existing European beauty find, but I have a few others to share. Stay tuned!


I am a big fan of empties posts so I am doing another to continue my blogging enthusiasm. It's such a satisfying feeling to finish something, even if it's just a bottle of cleanser! I present you with my latest empties...

Tarte Provocateur Face Powder with SPF 8
This must the third or fourth compact of this powder I've finished. I absolutely love the stuff - it's really finely filled and has a matte finish which is great for me since I tend to develop shiny spots throughout the day. The powder is also somewhat buildable so if I forget to apply concealer I just layer on some more powder where needed.

Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30
This is another product I've used for ages. It is cheap, has a high SPF and applies thinly and evenly with no white residue. The downside is that is has a lot of synthetic chemical ingredients including chemical sunscreens. I've been trying to switch to a natural or organic face lotion but alas, all the options I've found are too expensive at the moment! This face lotion has recently been re-packaged, you can see the new packaging at the link above.

Korres Travel Size Guava Showergel
I absolutely love Korres and Guava is one of my favorite scents in their collection. Guava is fruity and warm and it instantly reminds me of vacation since I usually sneak some Guava travel sizes in my vacay bag.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Face Cleanser
This is my second or third bottle of the stuff and I still like it really well. I re-purchased to replace this empty bottle. You can read my review on this cleanser here.

That's it for my empties! My next goal is to finish a bunch of my half-used lip balms, with a 100% Pure lip glaze as a personal reward. Whowee!

Monday, July 2, 2012

 Norway (between Oslo and Bergen) as seen through a train window!

Yet again, it's been way too long since I last posted. I haven't really felt like blogging lately, but I'm hoping that by bringing myself to Blogspot from time to time I will feel more motivated to get some words down. I do have some exciting news - I just got back from a two week vacation in Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, Norway, & Denmark). Being the beauty junkie I am I did some research on the local beauty offerings and trends before I left. Based on this awesome article (and my personal observations) most Scandinavians have a "less is more" attitude toward makeup. Many Scandinavian women, including a few friends of mine, rarely wear makeup. If they do it's maybe a smudge of eyeliner or a swipe of mascara. I didn't wear a ton of makeup while I was traveling - I did a brown smokey eye one night and wore cat eyeliner a few other evenings - but even that felt like a lot! It was nice to experience a low-key makeup routine and in some way it made me feel more authentically "me".

I do have a queue of posts I want to put up here, and I have some other news to share (somebody found their beloved Kings & Queens abroad), so hopefully I can come back soon and blog more! In the meantime I hope everyone is happy and well!