Monday, December 31, 2012

Real Techniques Brushes - Core Collection and Starter Set

I had wanted to try these brushes for quite some time and told myself, the next time these are on a special sale, get them!  Ulta had them for buy 1 get 1 50% off around Black Friday/Cyber Monday so I grabbed 2 sets to try out.  These are really nice looking cruelty-free brushes and I am slowly transitioning my whole brush collection to be cruelty-free. I find these to not only feel better, knowing I am helping be kind to animals, but also find that synthetic brushes are often gentler on the skin. These sets retail for $18 each, not bad for a whole set of brushes, especially if you get a deal like I did.

I picked up the Core Collection  and the Starter Set. When I mentioned that I picked these up, I had a lot of comments and interest so I hope you enjoy this review.  The most common question was asking how these compare to Eco Tools.  I will try to address that here.

The Core Collection includes: 
  • Detailer Brush - for concealing or lips
  • Pointed Foundation Brush - for liquid foundation
  • Buffing Brush - for foundation
  • Contour Brush - for highlighting or contour
  • Panoramic Brush Case
I was really impressed with the look and feel of these brushes.  I love how the handles feel.  They are nice and light but easy to grip.  The case is really cool too as you can use it as a case or a stand.  I have not tried the pointed foundation brush yet since I don't wear liquid foundation but I tried all the others.

The detailer brush is small but works well for concealing and lips.  I am surprised as how well smaller brushes work for concealing. If you have a larger area to conceal or get heavy coverage, this one isn't for you but if you are like me and mostly just need to conceal a little blemish or the redness around your eyes and nose, this works great.  

The buffing brush works well with mineral foundation.  I was able to get decent coverage but overall, I think I am still a kabuki girl when it comes to foundation.

The contour brush was also nice and worked well with an all over face color or bronzer.  I also liked it for highlighting my cheekbones. 

Overall, these brushes work well and are pretty affordable too.  The handles feel great, the bristles are soft but work well. I like these brushes as accent brushes more than my core brushes.  I am more likely to use these for extras like applying some detailed concealer or lipcolor, highlighting or contouring or applying an all over face color or finishing powder.  I am still using mostly Eco Tools brushes and an Alima Pure Kabuki as my face staples.

The Starter Set includes: 
  • Base Shadow Brush
  • Deluxe Crease Brush
  • Accent Brush
  • Pixel Point Eyeliner Brush
  • Brow Brush
  • Panoramic Brush Case
I had my doubts about this set but once I tested the brushes I was won over.  These are amazing!!! When I first picked up each brush, I am sure my face was expressing some sort of, sarcastic expression but as soon as I used one I was like, WOW, how about the next one, WOW, and so on.

I am addicted to eye shadow brushes.  I don't know if it comes from my painting background or what but I tend to want as many eye brushes as I can get my hands on.  The only non-synthetic brushes I currently use are for eyes, just because some of the brushes do not seem to have a synthetic counterpart yet.

These brushes worked so well that I was sad when I had used them because they had to be cleaned before I could use them again LOL I think I might need to buy more of these! These might beat out Eco Tools eye brushes but only by a tiny bit.  I love all my brushes but these definitely had WOW factor for me.

This one also comes in the cool multi-use case.  It can be a brush carrier or stand. 

Pics:
 Core Collection

Starter Set






I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Cookie Baking Breakdown 2012

Since baking is my favorite part of the holidays, I wanted to share my cookie recipes for this year.  All my recipes were from online recipes this time around.  I found them either on Allrecipes or Pinterest.  I decided to avoid eggs since they are one of the big foods that bother me (discovered on my elimination diet).  I baked 6 kinds of cookies that are traditional recipes and just happen to be egg free.  They do have milk in them, mostly butter which is low lactose so I will take lactaid so I can enjoy treats but feel well for the festivities.  I did make some frosted sugar cookie bars for the boyfriend and those have eggs.

Here are pics of how they turned out and links to the recipes:

Reeses Peanut Butter Bars: http://mybakerlady.com/2012/01/16/reeses-peanut-butter-bars/
Found these on Pinterest and made them for the work party. I saved some for home.  They didn't last long.
No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-bake-chocolate-oat-bars/detail.aspx
This one is from Allrecipes
 Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-chip-shortbread-cookies-i/detail.aspx
My annual tradition. I make these every year.
Cinnamon Roll Cookies: http://aspicyperspective.com/2011/11/cinnamon-roll-cookies.html
I found these on Pinterest. This was my first time baking them and OMG they are scrumdiddlyumptious!
Meltaway Cookies: http://www.landeeseelandeedo.com/2011/12/meltaway-cookies.html
Another one from Pinterest.  I have made a different kind of meltaway cookie before but these frosted one smell like buttery goodness and the frosting is so sweet and yummy.
Colorful Swirl Cookies: http://ouritaliankitchen.blogspot.com/2010/12/colorful-swirl-cookies.html
Another one from Pinterest.  So yummy and easier than my last attempt at this kind of cookie.  I used cake flour like the blogger says the recipe originally called for.
Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars: http://www.makeaheadmealsforbusymoms.com/sugar-cookie-squares/
Another one from Pinterest.  My back wasn't up for the full effort and detail work of making cutout sugar cookies so these were a nice compromise.







I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

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Fresh New Haircut and a Casual Christmas Eve Look

Got a haircut on Saturday and promised to share some pics so here you go!

I am wearing:
  • 100% Pure Luminous primer on face & eyelids
  • BE original foundation in Golden Fair
  • BE Bisque as concealer
  • BE Warmth as all over face color
  • BE Illuminated Mineral Veil
  • BE Promise Blush
  • BE Captivate from lash to just below brow
  • BE The Gift on lids
  • The She Space Three Evil Cheeks in V
  • BE Opera wetlined
  • 100% Pure Mascara in Black Berry
  • Bite Beauty lipstick in Pepper
Natural Light:

Flash:



I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

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Blooming Dream Natural Fragrances from Suzinn Weiss

I tried a fragrance by the owner of Blooming Dream and reviewed it: JASZ.  Her name is Suzinn Weiss and you can find her and her fragrances at http://www.suzinnweiss.com . I then lucked out because she sent me some samples from her Blooming Dream line. I have been testing these out.  I love it when I can wear a scent that doesn't bother me.  No coughing, no itching, no asthma.  I just keep sniffing my wrists LOL

She sent me samples of the following:
  • Green No 9: is fresh and smooth with a clean green citrus top going deeper into the forest in the drydown.
  • Celeste: propels your senses into the heavens with neroli & ylang ylang leading the way…
  • Illuminated Touch: is woody with notes of sandalwood & cedar sweetened with bergamot and lavender. Warm & Sexy…
  • Quattro: contains earthy notes of juniper, black pepper and sage plus a sensual base note of sandalwood. A warm and subtle scent anyone can wear with ease.
After various tests, I already have some favorites. At first, I applied these and they seemed strong but you have to let it breathe a bit.  Then let it warm to your body chemistry and smell again.  Wow!

My top 2 favorites are Illuminated Touch and Quattro. I never would have guessed it from reading it but on, they smell so good with my chemistry.  I also love Green No 9 and Celeste.   It really depends on your mood.  None of these smell bad. You know how some scents just turn you off, I like all of these, though I do have to admit, I was able to tell her my preferences scent-wise and picked a few that I thought I would like.  I would be interested in seeing how the ones I normally wouldn't pick would smell on me.

She does these fragrances as well as custom perfumes upon request.  You can contact her for more information.  http://www.suzinnweiss.com/Welcome.html


I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Beauty Au Natural New Year Giveaway Extravaganza!

Happy Holidays to my friends and readers. Here, as promised, is my big giveaway of some of my fave items from my personal stash. There are multiple prizes listed so make sure you scroll through the whole list to enter for each one you want to try to win.  The giveaway runs through to December 30, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.  This way, I can get these prizes out to their winners for the New Year!


Happy 2013, happy giveaway entering! Please note the rules listed below.



Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter app below.  Entries will ONLY be accepted via Rafflecopter and cannot be accepted elsewhere.  


**This giveaway will end on December 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm** ESTe. Winners will be drawn randomly via Rafflecopter.

The winners will be announced here on my blog, on my facebook page and on my twitter page. I email winners directly so check your email and SPAM folder after the giveaway ends.


Once the winners are drawn, they will be contacted and have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.


Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.  and Canada only who are 18 years of age or older.  


Winner's full name, mailing address and email address will be provided to Beauty Au Natural for shipping purposes.


An individual person can only win 1 of my 2012 holiday giveaways.  If you win one, you cannot win one of the other holiday giveaways in December 2012. 

Prizes are as listed & pictured below: 

1 Zoya Bundle -includes 1 mini armor top coat, 1 mini anchor base coat, 1 mini hurry up drying drops, 1 Qtica Solid Gold cuticle oil gel and 8 sets of different ZOYA color spoons

a Rafflecopter giveaway



1 Bag & Brush Bundle - includes one pink customizable lip case from Bare Escentuals and a brand new Eco Tools Bamboo Bronzer Brush (one of my fave brushes in the world)
a Rafflecopter giveaway




1 Eye Look Bundle - includes 1 Vapour Organic beauty Mesmerize Eyeliner with smoky eye tool in black velvet, 1 100% Pure powdered shadow in vanilla sugar, 1 100% Pure powdered shadow in cocoa plum, and 1 Eco Tools by Alicia Silverstone Spoolie brush for lashes & brows
a Rafflecopter giveaway




1 Blow Pop Bundle - includes 1 Blow Pop Wristlet, 1 Yes to Carrots Lip Butter in Mint and 1 Yes to Carrots Lip Butter in Berry
a Rafflecopter giveaway




1 Bare Escentuals Groupie Bundle - includes 1 Bare Escentuals Bare Beauty Look Book,  1 Matte Foundation Sample with teeny buki brush in Fairly Light, 2 eyeshadow sample cards, 1 Bare Escentuals feather headband, and 1 mini 100% Natural Lip Gloss in Cupcake
a Rafflecopter giveaway







I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

***Please do not use the content or images from this blog without crediting the source and linking back to this blog. Doing so without permission and crediting the source is copyright infringement.Thank you.*** Pin It StumbleUpon

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Unboxing: Goodebox

One of the after Thanksgiving deals I got was a Goodebox single delivery for only $14 including shipping.  I look forward to trying out the items that came in this delivery.

Info from the Goodebox Website:

Goodebox is a members only service providing expertly curated, trial sized healthy, eco-sensitive & effective beauty and personal care products, along with occasional samples of natural & organic health and wellness products.

Receive 6-7 trial sized products, expertly curated and delivered to your door for $16 per month.  Plus, receive exclusive special offers on full size products, earn rewards and be eligible to enter to win free products.

Pics of what arrived in my Goodebox:



I am not affiliated with this company. I purchased these products myself for personal use unless otherwise noted. My opinion is completely honest no matter how I received any items mentioned on this blog.

***Please do not use the content or images from this blog without crediting the source and linking back to this blog. Doing so without permission and crediting the source is copyright infringement.Thank you.*** Pin It StumbleUpon