Archive for the ‘Product reviews’ Category

Product review: Urban Decay’s Naked 3 Palette/ Benefit’s Gimme Brow

December 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Urban Decay's Naked 3 Palette

Naked3A(click pics for higher resolution/detail)

The original Naked (bronze) and Naked 2 (taupe) palettes are beautiful, but I hesitated buying them because I already have eyeshadows in those shades. Naked 3 follows a similar pattern in neutrality (for want of a better term), but the shades are rosier.

The colors are very well pigmented and I haven’t seen signs of flaking. There’s some glittery lighter shades (very pretty) but the matte darker colors are in attendance also, and they work well together and separately. So far I’ve tried Dust over the entire lid, with Buzz over the eye and Mugshot in the crease. So many more combinations to try!

I will admit, this palette is pretty pricy as far as those go. But if you figure that you’re basically getting 12 full sized eyeshadows in one palette that are well pigmented and last for-ev-uh on the lid and just in general, it’s not such a bad deal in the end.

A note: I visited two Sephora shops who were completely sold out in all the Naked palettes. But, Ulta had a few left so I lucked out a few days after Christmas. True I could buy it online, but it’s so much more fun to swatch the colors in person.

Benefit’s Gimme Brow

BenefitGimmeBrowThis stuff works wonders. The gel isn’t overly thick, which is a plus. Not only does the product keep the eyebrow hairs in place, but if you’ve got thin brows and want some volume and color, Gimme Brow will do just that. And, the color stays in place with no worries.

If you have any questions about either product, feel free to leave a comment 🙂

Product recommendation: Body Band Pull Up Band

November 25, 2013 Leave a comment

If you have a pull up or chin up bar in your local house of Swole (for me it’s my home gym) and can’t seem to pull yourself all the way up yet, these bands are a great assistance. They’re pretty sturdy, even for tricep dips. I think you can use them for other types of exercises too, but for me this is the extent of it.

I have read that in the next P90X series there will be more focus on this type of bodyweight exercise, so if you’re looking to do that type of thing, these Body Bands will come in very handy.

Cosmetics recommendation: Benefit’s Sugarlicious kit

July 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Benefit has partnered with Sephora to release kits containing some of their most popular items like Benetint. For a little under 30 dollars, I present Sugarlicious:

Benefit’s Sugarlicious kit

This package contains a mini Sugarbomb cheek powder, High Beam, Benetint, and a Sugarbomb lip gloss. I’m the type of person that doesn’t really like to go too deep into the bronzer territory, so this combination provides a nice pinkish color to your cheeks. I also like High Beam for its highlighter ability. Plus, it’s all very easy to apply 🙂

This is a great way to experience several products from their line without breaking the bank too badly. There are instructions that are included in the kit to show you how to apply them, which is always helpful. I know there’s a video specifically for this package out there, so if I find it I’ll add it to this post.

The Furminator: I’m definitely a believer

June 24, 2013 4 comments

The Furminator: (I’m definitely a believer)

We have three critters. Powa is a long-haired Tortie mix (maybe part Maine Coon), Bear is a Pekingese, and Big Kitty is a regular short haired domestic mutt. Of the three, the one with the shortest hair (Big Kitty) sheds the most. However, if I don’t keep Bear’s coat down to a puppy cut length, it gets matted easily and I have to forever be brushing him out.

As for Powa, very little hair of hers would ever come out during the brushing. Guess she doesn’t shed, right?

How wrong I was.

The experience of the Furminator on all three critters:

  1. Enough hair came off of Powa’s coat to make a whole new cat, it was unreal. And, it was all undercoat, which is where dander really concentrates. The skin on her back is very sensitive to wire brushes and combs, and she totally tolerated the Furminator.
  2. Pekingese dogs have a really rough outer coat and a coarse inner one, so if the outer coat gets long, it mats easily, which is the case with Bear. This thing went right through the mats without hurting him, and he also had enough hair from the session to make a second Peke.
  3. Big Kitty was in heaven when I started with him because he loves being brushed in general. Course, this is also the cat that likes to be paddled once in a while, so he already has a high threshold for manhandling. Sure enough, I took quite a bit of fur off of him.

So all in all, this is a product that works well for felines and canines.

Categories: Critters, Product reviews Tags:

Makeup product recommendations (aka my Sephora haul from the weekend)

May 6, 2013 4 comments

Over the weekend I decided to buy a few products to add to the arsenal of cosmetics I’ve acquired over the years.  And yes, these products tend to get pricey. However, this is how I rationalize it in my head:

  • The products last forever. For-Ev-Errr. My last Bare Escentuals haul from the previous year (BE Mineral Veil, some loose eyeshadows and a few brushes) is in no danger of running out even with daily use. An initial investment bites, but it could be a year or so before you have to buy more. Not too shabby.
  • The pigments (especially with shadow) are more dense with BE products, which means it doesn’t break up or smudge during the day. I’ve had that issue with Almay, Neutrogena, and Cover Girl shadows. They’re also great in that some are more matte, and some can be on the glittery side, so you can mix and match to create your look.

But I digress… my review of the first product: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer potion.

I’ve used several types of eyelid primer potion before, with mixed results. The UD primer feels much thicker, yet blends well on the eyelid. When I apply shadow, I can see more color sticking to the lid. And, so far, no creasing or smudging. It’s a pretty good buy at $20 and very little goes a long long way.

Benefit Boi-ing concealer

Again, I’ve tested several products for concealers, from Almay to Neutrogena and a few others. I didn’t like the consistency of the concealers, and the product packaging had a lot to be desired. For example, the Almay Wakeup Makeup Concealer comes in a squeeze tube with a brush at the end. If you tried to squeeze with a light touch no product comes out. Then you put more pressure, and suddenly you got concealer on your sink, on your fingers, and it’s a mess.

Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer (shown above) is packaged like a little compact. No messes here. And, you can either apply it with your fingers or with a brush. It’s not overly cakey, and blends well into the skin. It also comes in many shades, so you can find the one that matches your skin tone the best. My tip: When you’re at the store checking them out, put a little of the tester product on your inside wrist and blend a little. The shades that almost appears invisible on your skin is the perfect shade for you 🙂 It also comes out to about $20.

And last, but not least.. BE’s The Truth eyeshadow quad:

“The Truth” palette. So gorgeous, and versatile.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the BE Ready line of eyeshadows. I’ve been using the loose BE shadows for a number of years now, and got so used to them I didn’t think an actual solid palette would ever wow me again. Totally wrong. The BE Ready quads are very rich in color/pigment, and blend well with each other to create your daytime and nighttime look. I tend to go for more neutral shadows anyway, but even though The Truth quad is pretty neutral, the colors are amazingly vibrant.

I kind of balked at the price ($30), but if you consider the fact that you’re getting four full sized shadows in that one package, and each loose BE shadow usually runs around $13 bucks, it’s actually a good deal. Almost like buy 2, get 2 free. Not bad. And, they help smooth and de-puff the eyelids with regular use. No need to swipe back and forth for color either… just tap your brush into the color, and you can see the color right away on the brush with just a few taps. Less product going to waste is a good thing.

BE also sells Duos for about $20, so if you don’t want to go for the quads just yet, a Duo is a great option. Still cheaper than the loose shadows after all.

One of the great things about Sephora is when it’s your birthday, you get a coupon for a free gift. I had one recently, and received a trial size of Benefit’s Watt’s Up highlighter. This stuff is awesome. Put a little on the cheekbones, down the nose, and a little on the brow bones, and it really sets off your look. I plan on getting the full sized version when I run out of the mini.

A great highlighter/luminizer

So that’s my review. Hope you enjoyed 🙂

What to do about Jamba Juice withdrawal

March 17, 2012 Leave a comment

The nearest Jamba Juice is probably outside of a 200 mile radius at least to my city. Now, that’s not to say that perhaps at some time we may get one (hell, Freebirds made it down), but what to do in the meantime when I’m fiending for one? Yes, I said it… fiending.

Check your grocer’s freezer. You may find something very interesting *cough*HEB*cough*:

Razzmatazz... very tasty

All you do is add a cup of apple juice and perhaps some ice cubes, and it’s on! At about three dollars for one bag, it’s definitely very economical as a nutritious tasty drink. Warriors would definitely drink this 🙂

Categories: Product reviews Tags: ,

Product recommendation: Avalon Organics Shampoo and Conditioner, plus a Shakeology update

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Avalon Organics Hair Care Line

I’m sure many out there have seen it and tried and are already in the know. For those who haven’t, this stuff is great. It’s also widely available at your favorite drugstores, supermarket chains, and big box retailers.

In my quest for essential oil goodness, I came across this product line. My favorite so far is Strengthening Peppermint. It’s invigorating to the senses, and the ingredient list has very natural items included. The best part? No sulfates or parabens. Way cheaper than the salon stuff, and 70% organic. My husband loved the shampoo also. He says it makes his scalp tingle and his hair feels soft.

Check it out for yourself 🙂

On the Shakeology front, a new flavor is about to makes its presence known this fall:

Introducing... Shakeology Tropical


I’m not a Greenberry fan per se, but I like the idea of a more fruity flavor that I can drink alternately with the Chocolate flavor. Chocolate Shakeology is my first love, but mixing it up is a great idea as well. I’m definitely up for a bag of Tropical sometime soon.

And with that, my Shakeology Chocolate favorite recipe:

  • 1/2 banana (the other half goes to Bear because he loves bananas)
  • 1 TB PB2
  • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop Shakeology chocolate
  • ice
  • 1/4 cup water (to thin it out a bit)

Directions: Blend until smooth and enjoy. If you want a review of Shakeology, I have one that has more ingredient information if you’re interested.

One thing that annoyed me a bit is that I found the Shakeology shaker cup was a little too small to hold this particular recipe. I think it holds either 12 or 16 oz. So, this weekend I went to Wal-Mart and found a shaker cup that holds 20+ oz… for 6 bucks! 🙂 Great buy, most definitely. If I tried to buy a shaker cup at one of these vitamin stores, I’d probably pay 10 bucks or more. No thank you. And, it’s BPA-free. Nice one.

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