Monday, April 23, 2012


Let me just start off by saying I just had a fabulous time in NYC last weekend!  It was a very packed schedule for my sister's Bachelorette weekend and IMATS was one stop on our excursion and it did not disappoint!  We arrived at 9:30, apparently skipping the huge line when the doors opened and we waltzed right in with no wait.

We took a bit to walk around and size up Pier 94.  It didn't seem too packed with shoppers at that hour, but as we were leaving at 12:30, IMATS was in full swing and the line for Stila and NYX were super long and there was no way to get through to OCC and INGLOT.

Here are some pics of the student competitions.

A Stila boy!  I saw a couple of them walking around.  Nice abs!  :)

This was the makeup artist at the Make Up Forever Booth.  Which I never saw any products being sold there.  Just the artist.  But in my overwhelmed stupor, we might have missed an entire section at Pier 94.  lol

I was just as overwhelmed with IMATS as I thought I would be.  No surprise there!   I thought I did a good job of organizing myself and making a list of all the things that I wanted in the week previous.  My main objective was foundation and some eyeshadow as I will be doing some of the Bridesmaids' makeup for my sister's wedding.

The list:

Naked Cosmetics:  Eyeshadow stack
Kett Cosmetics: Foundation
INGLOT:  Rainbow Freedom Palette
Ardell: Lashes
Stila:  Eyeshadow palette
Jessie's Girl:  Free gift, say hi to JulieG
OCC: Lip tars

Well I only crossed two things off my list, lashes at Ardell and free gift at Jessie's Girl.  lol

JulieG had posted a vid that the first 100 visitors to the Jessie's Girl booth would receive a free gift.

The gift included Creme Eyeshadow Collection #1, Eye Dust and My Private Palace nail polish.  I should have waited in line to see meet Julie at that point because when I came back later, the line was twice as long.  She looked absolutely radiant.  She has a very warming presence.

Next we walked around and landed at Eve Pearl with my sister getting her makeup done by the one and only Eve Pearl!  So exciting!  If you aren't in the know...  Eve Pearl is a 5-time Emmy Award winning makeup artist and a part of the NBC Today show team.  We were approached by the Eve Pearl team and as soon as I told them we were looking for a bridal look, they quickly ushered my sister to a chair and Ms. Pearl stepped in.

Here was the Bride-to-be "before" shot!

There she is on the big screen!  :)

And after!

Ms. Pearl was debuting her all-in-one Ultimate Face Palette in Bombshell.  Details from the website:

The Ultimate Face Palette: Ideal shades for face, eyes and cheeks. The long-lasting, double pigmented colors provide a silky, blendable texture that take you from day time natural to night time glamour. Use wet or dry.
       Essential “On The Go” multifunctional palette includes: 2 Pressed Powders, 3 Eye Shadows, 2     
       Custom blend: day to night
       Double pigmented pressed powder
       Universal spectrum of color
       Infused with Vitamin E
       Ideal for all skin tones
       Travel friendly with full-sized mirror
       Fragrance Free
       Ideal for sensitive skin

Ms. Pearl also filled in my sister's brows using a combination of the browns in the palette.  Talk about an all-in-one.  It's the perfect travel size, everything you need and has a huge mirror.  I almost left with it but I ended up getting powder puffs of all things for $1 a piece.  :)  But I'm very happy with them!

I expected to make a huge purchase at the INGLOT booth, but the ordering procedure was confusing, the sales associates were overwhelmed, getting to swatching the colors was very difficult, there were no order forms, pens, etc...  I tried 3 times.  I kept leaving because I knew I only had a couple of hours and didn't want to spend all my time waiting!  On the 3rd attempt, it was a success, I found a pen, but then another 20 minutes went by and I couldn't get an order form or get the attention of a sales person.  I did swatch out everything on my hands and arms though.  It was sort of a nightmare but one that I had no problem walking away from.  All in all, I wasted probably 1 hour at INGLOT.  Well maybe not wasted, it confirmed my desire for the brand for sure.  Next 30% off sale they have on-line, I won't hesitate to order.

Cailyn was a company that I had never heard of before and we all stopped by the booth a couple of times.  The woman there, Donna, was so helpful and nice.  I even remembered her name!  It was one of the first booths we visited and she tried their Line-Fix gel eyeliner on me and I wore it around testing it out.  Of course I was skeptical with my oily lids and sure enough, it did not budge until 6pm.  If you have dry lids, this will last you until you take it off for sure.

I finally purchased it in blue.  I wish they had the shade chocolate mouse at the show or I would have bought it.  Oh and I probably should have bought black.  Oops!  The gel liners were $15 at IMATS, regularly $21.  They had beautiful loose pigments and I picked out a few colors as they were 3 for $20 but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I had similar colors back at home.  So again... sigh, I passed.  I do wish I bought the eye primer.  It beautifully mattified their pigments.  Next year!

You can rub as hard as you want, this liner is not moving as soon as it sets.  Which it does quickly so it is hard to smudge it.  It sets in under a minute, maybe 45 seconds.

Next was Ardell and I bought a 6 sets of lashes and received a free glue and if you bought six they would put pair on you.  I believe they were 6 for $15 which was a great price.  I haven't tried Ardell before and they were quite comfortable.  The pair I chose to have put on me (116) were a bit crazy for the makeup I wore that day but it was fun walking around with them on.  I bought two 110's, 116, Sweeties, Beauties and Demi Pixies.  Great price and free lash glue!

These are the 116s, cut a bit too short and without a coat of mascara to make the fake and my natural lashes mesh but you can see they are very dramatic!  Usually when I wear false lashes you can't even tell I am wearing them.  Oh also you can see the Cailyn Gel eyeliner on my waterline in this picture.  It never smudged or ran.  I was super impressed!

We split up shortly after Ardell I believe and I headed back over to INLGOT to leave yet again and a sale associate from Nurturing Force caught my attention.  Maybe he noticed my shine but he brought me over to the booth and a woman talked to me about the company and their products.  I noticed right away the no fuss packaging and the simplicity of the line.  She handed me an oil blotting sheet and I was surprised how oily that I was already at 11am in the morning!

Intrigued by all the claims, no shine, oil control, instant matte, anti-shine, paraben free, HD primer, I picked up the Blot Out Offensive shine + oil control cream.  I have yet to try it out.  Silly I know, but I have some other products I want to use before the summer humidity hits and I'm sure this moisture cream will be all that I will use starting in a few weeks and I will have a full review!  It has a very familiar, clean scent, almost like a cold cream.

After the Nurturing Force detour, I headed straight to the Kett Booth, which was completely empty I might add.  I had a few questions and wanted to try out the Hydro foundation and get a color match.  I figured I was between R3 and R1.  The sales associate quickly blew me off after finding out I didn't have an airbrush system.  I was actually planning on purchasing one at IMATS!  She literally turned away from me and continued re-stocking, in fact the entire time I spoke with her she was arranging boxes.  I was the only one there at the booth and there were 3 associates.

I didn't have time to worry about it, so I walked away only to return later to speak with another nice gal who actually took the time to color match me with their Fix Creme foundations.  She also has oily skin and mentioned that she used Nurturing Force but never actually admitted to using Kett but a variety and mix of products.  I'm sure the Fix Creme Foundation is amazing as the reviews I have seen on it but the foundation just didn't wow me looking at it on my jaw line.  Again, I was the only one at the booth.  I still wanted to try out the Hydro Foundation.  But she said that the Rose Sampler was $65 but I remembered on the website it was $50 and I didn't have time to figure out what the actual products came in the sampler she was talking about.

So a little disappointed with the sales team at Kett. They missed out on a big sale that's for sure.

Stila, Naked, and NYX...  I looked at a couple of things but nothing really seemed to interest me.  I was just really hesitant to purchase anything because I was ready to splurge on INGLOT and Kett.   After 4 months of re-evaluating my beauty spending habits and learning to re-use items and creating color combinations with my products, I really couldn't justify buying anything that I saw.  So sad right?  lol  Actually it saved me a lot of $$!  I even passed up lip tars at OCC!!!  Gasp!  They were super busy as well and we had to jet out of there to our next adventure.

I will have another post about our crazy weekend!

Some tips...

1.  Make a list of the things you want before arriving.  Do your research.  It didn't really help me but it is good to get yourself organized because you can quickly become distracted.  Like moi!

2.  Eat breakfast before you go!  No one likes to shop on an empty stomach.

3.  Be assertive, try things, ask questions.  The prices are worth shopping there, but for example INGLOT was 30% off.  They have had a 30% off sale before on-line.  I can wait for the next sale on-line.  But I've never been in a store before and I got to swatch out their product there for the first time.  Amazing stuff.

4.  Be prepared for long lines.  Most popular booths had shopping baskets.  You put your items in the basket and then got into the check out line.

5.  Bring cash, it's faster.  INLGOT in particular was having trouble running credit cards.  It was on a wireless system.

6.  Stay all day.  There are so many things to see and try and people to talk to.  It's not a good idea to go to IMATS and be in a hurry or on a time limit!

7.  Sit in on some classes.  The ticket to get in is $40-45.  Make the most of your experience and learn some things from the experts!

8.  Head in about 9-9:30 to skip the morning rush!  I have read there was a huge long line to get in right at 8:30.  

9.  Don't be afraid to learn about new brands.  Cailyn and Nurturing Force were new to me and I was glad to have "discovered" them.  And the sales teams were super nice!

10.  Buddy up!  It nice to bounce some ideas off of each other.

All in all it was a blast and I cannot wait until next year's IMATS NYC.

Did you go to IMATS?  Discover any new to you brands?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just a day without shoes...

Today April 10th, 2012 is "One Day Without Shoes."  To kick it off, TOMS and Essie teamed up to develop a Limited Edition nail polish called barefoot in blue.    

15,000 bottles were given away between March 7th and March 21st via facebook and I was lucky enough to receive one!   It's a gorgeous periwinkle blue jelly.  I love it!

But the real issue here is not about polish, but to "raise awareness of the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life by taking off our own."  

So I encourage you to take off those shoes, sandals, flip flops, for one day and see what it is like for a child growing up in poverty faces every day of their lives.  When we live in a world of excess, it is hard to imagine what life is like without such necessities.  Just never lose sight of how fortunate you really are.  Be thankful and grateful for each day.  :)

I will spare you of pictures of my feet.  This polish looks much nicer on my fingernails.   

Essie "barefoot in blue"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Nails!

I've been wanting to try Essie's a cut above since I received if in my Birchbox Teen Vogue box and I was looking for the perfect color to layer it over with.  I didn't want white or pink.  I thought silver but then I suddenly reached for OPI Glitzerland and it was a mach made in Easter Heaven!

So dramatical for polish, I know...

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Influenster Love VoxBox!

I was fortunate enough to receive the latest box from Influenster, the Love VoxBox and I was very happy with the products that I was able to try out!

If you are unfamiliar with Influenster you need to first follow me on twitter,  @SavvyBeauty1  and  to get up to speed!  lol   

From facebook, "Influenster is an exclusive community of trendsetters using their influential power to qualify for complimentary product shipments, rewards and deals fit for their lifestyles."

If you want to be an Influenster trendsetter head over to their website and create a profile.  From there you can unlock badges by completing surveys and reviews of products.  If you fit the profile that they are looking for during a VoxBox launch, you could be selected to receive one.

Also you can be selected to receive other products in addition to the VoxBoxes to test out and review.  I received an email and completed a survey about a new dishwashing liquid that needs to be tested.  I was selected to participate in this special product testing campaign.

Gillette Venus & Olay Razor

The product that I was most excited to try was the Gillette Venus & Olay Razor.  I have emphasized in the past my disdain for shaving and the dreaded razor bumps that I receive.  In the past the only razor that I have had a successful shaving experience is one borrowed from my husband but for the life of me I can't remember it right now.  It's not the Gillette ProGlide that he uses currently, but the one before that one.  :)  Anyway, it's was "men's" razor!  I want a "woman's" razor.

So I finally found my razor!  Yay!  Gilette Venus & Olay.  It has 5 blades and 2 moisturizing strips.  The handle is comfortable to hold.  I tend to drop heavy straight ones frequently in the shower, I have had no issues with the dropsies with this one!

If you don't have any shaving gel, save your $$!  you will not need a thing with this razor.  With all razors, I like to wet them under warm/hot running water for a few seconds and you are ready to start shaving!

I've seen the replacement cartridges on sale anywhere between $15 and $19 depending on where you shop.  Grab your coupons and your drugstore reward card to save you a few $$ and you will have soft and smooth legs in no time!

Ghiradelli Gourmet Milk Creamy Devotion

The next product that was an instant love was the Ghiradelli Gourmet Milk Creamy Devotion.  I don't usually crave sweets but if they are around, I do grab for them.  Since I've been working out like a madwoman, well that's a bit of a stretch, but I have been avoiding sugar in general as much as I can.  However, I do know the perils of eliminating sugar completely... the cravings!

So this Ghiradelli bar was a wonderful treat at night before bed with some hot tea.  I would break off a square and it was my nighttime indulgence that I earned for being good all day and working out!  Ghiradelli chocolate is a product that I routinely buy for baking and cookies so it was no surprise that I would like this one!

Stash Tea Herbal Sampler

Stash tea is a pantry staple for me as I drink tea on the regular.  I have a cup of joe in the morning and mostly green tea for the rest of the day when I need a little pick me up.   Having the Stash Tea Herbal Sampler introduced me to other flavors and my daughter got into picking out her favorite varieties and having a cup with me at night.  She has always wanted to have green tea with me but since I do not buy the decaffeinated I would never let her have any.

The Stash Tea Sampler has 2 packets each of 9 caffeine free flavors.  Her favorite was peppermint and mango passionfruit.  I would have to water down the mango for her as it was a bit strong for her.  I liked them all except for licorice spice.  There isn't really a "tea" flavor to it, just straight up licorice.  


Next in the VoxBox that I tried was Truvia.  I was very curious about this one as it is touted as a "natural" sweetener and I have been hesitant because Splenda started out as natural and quite frankly, ad campaigns are really confusing and you have to do your own research to find out if they are telling the honest truth about things.

Truvia is a non-nutritive sugar substitute derived from the Stevia plant.  The use of sweetener from the Stevia  plant is relatively new in the US but it has been used as a sweetener in Japan for decades apparently.  Stevia has now been approved for use in EU as of December 2011 and has been used in the US since the early 1990's.  In high concentrations it can taste bitter or a licorice-like aftertaste.  Which I taste in Truvia just like I remember Equal and Sweet-n-Low tasting like.

I do not like Truvia in my coffee.  However, I am very particular about my coffee.  I need to have honey or if none is available, just a tiny spoonful of sugar.  I have been putting Truvia in my oatmeal, which I can still slightly taste as "foreign", but I can tolerate it and I'm cutting down on my sugar intake.

The only sugar substitute I ever really liked was Splenda before that I preferred Equal over Sweet-n-Low.   I went no carb/low carb a few years ago and I would use Splenda in my coffee and I couldn't really tell the difference.  However, their ad campaign was very deceitful as they said it was "made from sugar."  I didn't read up on it or do research at the time so I really thought it was natural.  Needless to say, I was a little irritated by this and stopped using it completely.

So as far as a natural alternative to sugar goes, Truvia is the one.  It is derived from the leaf of the Stevia plant and it has negligible effect on blood sugar.

Did you receive the Love VoxBox?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Collections from OPI!

Hot off the presses!!!  

OPI is announcing two exciting summer promotions inspired by Minnie Mouse and Spider-Man! 

The Spider-Man Collection will be released in May, followed by Minnie Mouse in June. 

OPI Announces New Limited Edition Minnie Mouse-Inspired, Nail Lacquers

OPI is so excited to collaborate with Disney and draw inspiration from one of the world’s most popular characters,” explains Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “This collection brings together the expertise of OPI and the iconic style of Minnie Mouse to inspire the distinct palette of vibrant, feminine shades for summer Nails will pop against summer skin in these classic, saturated hues – holding their own alongside the bold prints of the season.”

The line features a pink crème lacquer, one frosted red shade, a shimmery fuchsia, and a heart glitter confetti:

Nothin’ Mousie ‘bout It
Don’t squeak it – SHOUT IT! This confetti light pink is tops! 

I’m All Ears
Tell me how much you love this magenta shimmer. 

If You Moust You Moust
You gotta pink what you gotta pink.

The Color of Minnie
You had this little mouse at “red.”

OPI Celebrates Sony Pictures’ “The Amazing Spider-Man” with Limited Edition Nail Lacquers

OPI announces the launch of six limited edition nail lacquers and a new Shatter, inspired by Sony Pictures’ The Amazing Spider-Man.  With an all-star cast including Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, this highly-anticipated series reboot opens in theaters nationwide in 3D on July 3, 2012. 

 “OPI is so excited to work with Sony Pictures in welcoming Spider-Man back on the big screen,” explains Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “This film explores a new chapter in the Spider-Man legacy that’s going to be both dark and sexy. The colors created for this promotion capture the movie’s exciting atmosphere, with standout shades like the deep shimmering blue Into the Night and the metallic golden green Just Spotted the Lizard.”

The film villain’s reptilian look can be replicated with a high-fashion twist by using the new deep green shimmer Shatter coat.  Shatter the Scales is inspired by graffiti art and works when painted over any dry OPI hue. Adding top coat takes Shatter the Scales from matte to glossy in seconds.
The line features six nail lacquers in addition to Shatter the Scales, ranging from white, coral and pink to mood-setting hues of blue, nickel and yellow-green:

Shatter the Scales

Your Web or Mine?
The perfect pink for sticky situations. 

Into the Night
This perfect midnight blue was made for prowling.  

Call Me Gwen-ever
Girlfriend, be sure to pick up when this urgent coral calls.

Just Spotted the Lizard
Be seen in this reptilian yellow-green.

My Boyfriend Scales Walls
Climb new heights with this cityscape white.

Number One Nemesis
Show your metal in this sparkling nickel.

The Spider Man LE collection will be available beginning May and the Minnie Mouse LE collection will be available in June at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for  $8.50 ($9.95 CAN) suggested retail for each Nail Lacquer.  Also as with all OPI nail lacquers, both collections do not contain DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and features OPI’s exclusive ProWide Brush for the ultimate in application.

I'm sure you all know which ones that I am excited about.  Umm, matte green shatter?  Yes please.  I really only got into the silver shatter and I definitely will like the green.  :)  Into the Night and Just Spotted the Lizard are 2 others.  I'm so predictable!

Which one(s) are you excited about?

It's not an illusion, or is it?

AVON Illusion is from the new spring collection.  This is such a cool polish!  It is also very difficult to photograph.  It's looks like a murky pale green/grey in most photos.  But while it is a murky pale green which in itself is cool, but it also has a fuchsia shift, making it super cool to look at on the nails and in the bottle.

However, capturing that elusive fuchsia is proving quite difficult indeed.  It is more prominent in real life but it is also interesting that the camera pics up a periwinkle blue which you don't readily see on the nail.

AVON Illusion

This is a very cool polish!   I really like interesting combinations, duochromes, multichromes, what have you. AVON is very affordable, I picked this up on sale of course, $1.99 or so.  Great formula, dries moderately fast.  I've had it on since yesterday about this time and no chips or dings.  Which seems funny, 24 hours, but most polish is chipping on me by now.  I'm very hard on my nails to say the least!

2 coats, 1 coat of Seche.