Thursday, February 27, 2014

African Black Soap | Coastal Scents

 After purchasing some items from Coastal Scents recently, I received this Coastal Scents African Black Soap as a sample. I've never heard of black soap before, so I was intrigued to find out more about it. The sample size sells for $0.79, and the full size which is 16 ounces sells for $12.95. The website says that the sample size is good enough for 3-5 uses, although I have been using it for two weeks and still have majority of the bar left.

On the website it says:
"For centuries Ghanaians have used African Black Soap, as it has been known to help to relieve acne, oily skin, clear blemishes, and various other skin issues. It is also known to help soothe skin irritations and conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. African Black Soap is excellent for removing makeup, dirt, and oil while leaving the skin clean with a fresh, healthy glow. Hand-pressed by the village women of Ghana, Africa, this 100% all natural soap contains no scents, preservatives, or chemicals."

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii (Raw Shea Butter), Cocoa Pod Ash, Aqua (Water), Elaeis Guineensis (Palm Kernel Oil)

The African Soap has a natural scent, almost like charcoal, but also not like it at the same time. The soap works up a nice lather and is smooth when I put it on my face. It removes the makeup I have and my skin feels cleansed. The only downside is that after rinsing with water, my skin feels dry and I need to moisturize ASAP. My advice for dry-skinned beauties, is to use it very sparingly. The soap is also able to be used on the skin, but I find it so drying that I don't want to lather up my entire body with it. 

Since it has a high natural glycerin content, it should not be exposed to water for long as it will get very soft. 

I've been using it on my face for the past few weeks and to be honest, I haven't really seen much of a better change in my face. In fact, I have been having more break outs on my forehead then usual. Not sure if it is from using the soap or if maybe I'm just having a bad month. I will continue to use it just to be sure, but I will update with any further news.

Have you ever tried African Black Soap? What are your thoughts on it?
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Beauty Blog Swap!

Hey everyone! About a month ago, Becki over at Beekle contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in doing a beauty swap with her. I said yes as I have always wanted to do one! 

Becki lives in England, and I know England has many great makeup products (i.e. Bourjois, Sleek, MUA, etc), and since I'm in the United States, we thought it would be a great way to try out new products. 

We set a limit of £40/$60 full of drugstore products. We knew shipping would be a bit pricy, but everything worked out perfectly.

At first, I had a little difficulty figuring out what to get Becki as she has many of the drugstore brands we have here in the States. But I finally managed and figured some stuff out!

To see what I got Becki, check it out here.

Well, I finally got my box earlier this week and I was so excited! I couldn't wait to open it up and see all the goodies I received.

It feels like Christmas all over again opening up and finding new items I have never used before.

Inside I received:
- Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing powder
- MakeUp Academy (MUA) Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter (came cracked, but sometimes when you ship it, that becomes inevitable).
- Barry M Gelly Nail Paint
- Bourjois Liner Feutre
- MUA Undress Me Too eyeshadow palette 
- Sleek Makeup Face Form Contouring and Brush Palette
- Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick
- Sleek Makeup i-Divine Oh So Special eyeshadow palette
- Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

I even received a little note inside filling me in on all the new lovely products.

I also got some English candy! My brother and I have been sharing these yummy sweets!

Below I am wearing the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, used the Sleek Face Contour palette, Bourjois Liner Feutre, MUA Undress Me Too palette, and finally, the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker.

Thanks again Becki! Not only did I get to do an amazing swap with her, I also found a friend in England! We have been emailing frequently and I enjoy chatting with her.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beware! Fake Lorac Unzipped Palette

Hello beautiful! Hope you are doing well. If you remember reading my Lorac Unzipped palette review (see it here), you will know that I went through a little bit of a dilemma with purchasing the Lorac Unzipped palette.

For those of you who are looking for a post to show you authentic vs fake, then welcome! I hope this is informative for you. I only wished I had seen this type of post before I purchased the first time.

To start off, the Lorac Unzipped palette is a beautiful rose gold palette that retails for $40. It comes with a deluxe size of the Lorac Behind the Scenes primer. Since I like to save money, I figured I could look up coupons to lower the cost of the palette. However, I found none. So I resorted to look on eBay for a possible bid or lower priced option. Many of the bids and Buy It Nows were above $40, but I found two buy it nows that were $35 + free shipping. To me, that was a deal! One of the two was a beauty supplier, whereas the other one was an individual "normal" seller. (I consider myself a normal seller). Anyways, I went with the latter as I figured that one would be a safer option.

Before I bought the item, I did a search on Google for fake Lorac Unzipped palettes just to see if it was possible. I've seen plenty of blog posts and YouTube videos for fake Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2  palettes, but none for the Lorac Unzipped. I put that thought to rest in my mind, thinking there were no fakes. I then placed the order and waited for my long awaited beauty to come to my house.

However, once I finally had it in my hand and opened it, I felt that something was different; it didn't feel right; it wasn't as heavy as the tester one at Ulta. It also smelled like the cheap makeup you would receive as a child. On top of that, the pans were crooked and the eyeshadows didn't look as "plush"/full as the original palette. This is when my suspicions arose and I went to Ulta the next day to purchase a real one. 

I did a side-by-side comparison of the authentic vs fake palette and here is what I discovered. (Beware, picture heavy!)

(For our general purposes, the real palette is either on the top or the left, and the fake is on the bottom or the right of the picture)

First thing I noticed about the two, is that the real packaging has an outline of the "stars/lights" where as the fake one is more blunt.

Next, you can see in this photo that the real one is more vibrant and is shiny, where as the fake is matte and looks faded.

The actual palette looks very similar except for the slider of the zipper; the real one is gold, whereas the fake one is white with a gold outline.

Here is a better look at it.

Next up is the edge of the palette. On the real one, a piece of plastic covers the mirror and the edge of the palette is smooth. On the fake one, there isn't a piece of plastic and the top edge is messy looking.

It seems as if no one takes pictures of the back of a palette, but this is a very important factor in determining if it is authentic or not.
On the top left, you see that the real one has jagged looking print, like if a typewriter had printed it. Where as the fake one, it looks like a computer did it. 
At the top right, you see that the font of the real palette is bold and close together, whereas the font on the fake one is not bolded and the letters are further apart.

When closed, the real one shuts completely, but the fake one is raised up a bit since it was made unevenly.

Now onto the inside!

Some of the nicks you see on the right palette are from when I was removing the plastic covering, so it got messed up.

On the left, you can see that the real eyeshadow pans are full and look "cushiony", almost like a pillow.  However, on the right, you can see that the pans are missing product so to speak, and some were crooked.

The primer is another interesting topic of interest. Not only is the font different on both, but the fake one is a smidgen longer than the real one.


Some of the shades looked very similar, but others were not. Take a look for yourself.
The lightest shade was less noticeable on me for the real eyeshadow, but was more pigmented in the fake one. The darkest shade on the right was more brown in the real palette, and was redder in the fake palette.

On the other half of the palette, both the real and fake shadows looked pretty similar to me.

As for the consistency, the fake palette was creamier then the original, which shocked me. Pigmentation was great for both, but there were the few key things that alerted me.

Run Down: Noticeable Difference
- The fake palette felt lighter than the real palette
- The fake "zipper" slider is white, whereas the real one is gold
- The fake one smelled like cheap makeup, whereas the real one had no scent
- The packaging of the fake one didn't close properly as it was uneven
- The font on the backs of the palettes are different. The fake is separated and not bolded, whereas the real one is bolded and more together
- The pans of the fake one are crooked and don't look as cushiony as the real one

After I saw the difference for myself, I kept searching on the internet for "cheap Lorac Unzipped palettes" and found a website that is a "wholesale" for makeup products that sells the palette for $15. On the FAQs for that question, it says if it is authentic, real, replica, fake, and the answer was "Has the name brand, but is a replica". If you find the original to be pricey, this is a nice alternative if you don't mind having the authentic palette. However, all those imperfections put me aside, and the fact that I paid close to the original price for a fake, annoyed the crap out of me! 

So I returned the palette to the seller, notified him that it was fake, and he was very sincere and told me he was sorry and that he didn't know, he just sold it as what he thought it was. 

Whether he knew it was fake or not, I don't blame him. I blame myself for not thoroughly informing myself about these details. There is nothing wrong with ordering on eBay, just be sure you know it is real.
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Roaring 20s Makeup

Happy Monday! Over the weekend I attended a Great Gatsby party and I had a blast! I have always wanted to go to a themed party, and finally got too! I did research about 20s makeup and had seen several trends of heavy eye liner and red lips. 

To create the look, I used my Coastal Scents Revealed palette and mostly used the grey, light browns, and black eyeshadow. I applied a raspberry pink blush, Nars Amour to my cheeks, and the Kate Moss by Rimmel in 01 for my lipstick. I used Kiss false eyelashes in Iconic to make my lashes appear longer and fuller.

To watch my tutorial, watch the video below!

Here are some more shots of the look:

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

LORAC Unzipped Palette

Ah, beautiful Lorac Unzipped palette, you are finally mine. FINALLY! I have been eye balling this little beauty for the past several months. I searched for it high and low, (more like at Sephora and Ulta lol). Recently, Sephora has been discontinuing Lorac from its shelves. That caused a crazy uproar because ever since then, both the Lorac Pro and Unzipped palettes were sold out every where. I would often venture to Ulta to see if it was there,  but they were always out of stock. I ended up buying one from eBay, which was fake, and returned it. I will tell you that story sometime soon.

The other day, I called my local Ulta and asked if they had any Unzipped palettes in store. The sales associate said they had only one left! (The makeup genie granted my wish!) I told her to please save it for me and that I would be on my way to pick it up. And you know the rest of the story!

Lorac Unzipped retails for $40, and comes with 10 beautiful rosy/neutral eye shadows and a mini Lorac Behind the Scenes eye primer. I wouldn't say that this palette is more warm toned or cool toned, but it is in the rose gold family. I find that it is a happy blend of both, which makes it ideal for me to use on a daily basis.

The packaging comes in a creme colored, simple cardboard palette with a magnetic closing. Some people find the packaging to be on the cheap side, but I actually like the simplicity and sleekness of it.

The palette features both shimmery and matte shadows. Many of the reviews I have seen of this palette on other blogs makes it seem like the shadows are more neutral toned then rosy neutral. Swatched on me and looking at the palette myself, I definitely see rosy tones. That is another reason why I wanted this palette. The Naked 3 came out, and even though it has lovely shades, I didn't seem to fancy it for myself. I'd rather have the Lorac Unzipped then the Naked 3.

The shadows are very smooth and highly pigmented. I can't get over how beautiful these shades are! I think this will become one of my favorite palettes!


Swatches without primer 
Left to Right: Undercover, Unbelievable, Unattainable, Unconditional, Unbridled
Undiscovered, Unreal, Uncensored, Unspoken, Untamed

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Create a Little Love Campaign | Brilliant Earth

This is not a sponsored post.

Jaimie, the Community Outreach Coordinator at Brilliant Earth, emailed me asking if I would be interested in being part of the Create a Little Love Campaign and explain what love means to me. They also wanted us to represent the word "love" in something we were interested in. For me, that "interest", of course, was makeup!

Even though I do like and enjoy makeup, I wouldn't say I LOVE it. Makeup isn't something to be idolized, rather it should be something to help enhance an already beautiful individual.

Love is...
- Kind
- Does not envy
- Does not boast
- Is not proud
- Is not rude
- Is not self-seeking
- Is not easily angered
- Keeps no record of wrongs
- Does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
- Always protects
- Always trusts
- Always hopes
- Always perseveres
- Love Never Fails
*1 Corinthians 13:4-8*

Brilliant Diamonds is an online jewelry store that specializes in engagement rings. Take a look at their website to see lovely jewelry and gorgeous engagement rings!

What does love mean to you?

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Mani Mondays | Valentine's Day

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you have had a good start to your day. As many of you know, Valentine's Day is this Friday. You will be seeing tons of posts from different bloggers about how they will be dressing up, fixing up their hair, applying makeup, and doing their nails. It is definitely a fun time to see everyone's creativity and how they express Valentine's day.

This week I am sporting red nails and on my ring finger I have a creme colored nail polish with a red heart outlined in gold. Below I have a closer picture.

To create the heart, I cut out the shape with tape, then placed it on my creme-painted nail and used red nail polish on top of it. I removed the tape and outlined the red heart with gold nail polish.

Check out my different Valentine's Day posts:
- Nails from last year here if you want a simpler look.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Eyebrow Routine | Anastasia Beverly Hills

Whether you want to admit it or not, eyebrows do frame a person's face. There are so many times that I will observe people's eyebrows and think, "Those are beautiful eyebrows for her!" and other times, "what happened to her eyebrows? If only she did...". Having the best eyebrow shape for you does make you feel like you can conquer the world!

Well, there was a point in time that I did not do my eyebrows. Looking back now, I don't know what I was thinking. Now a days, I can not go outside the house without having my eyebrows done.

I have not experienced much with different eyebrow products, but I mostly stick to powder. I use to use an eyeshadow by CoverGirl, but when I ombred my hair, I needed something lighter. That is when I used an eyebrow pencil from Jane that I received in an Ipsy bag. It was perfect for the time because the pencil was lighter in color and matched me perfectly. Then, my mini Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel ran out. Since I love this product so much, I wanted to buy the full size but did not want to pay the $22; so instead, I went to Ulta and found the Anastasia Bold Brow kit that included the Brow Powder Duo, the Clear brow gel, and a Mini Duo Brush (spoolie and angled brush). This set was only $36 and had two full sized items, each valued at approximately $20 each, and the brush that could easily be pretty pricey. The shade I got was Medium Brown.

I use to use the brush that came with the set, but I forgot how much I loved my EcoTools angled brush. The bristles are much more dense and pack on color onto my eyebrows better. 

L-R: Before and After

Above, you can see the difference between my eyebrows before and my eyebrows after. The powder fills in all the empty patches I may have, and warms up the color of my hairs. I can also create more of a shape for my eyebrows.

L-R: Left half, Right half, Combined

Interestingly, the Medium Brown powder does look "cool-toned" swatched, but on me, it appears warmer. Not sure how that works, but it ends up fine. 

After I apply the brow powder, I set my eyebrows with the Anastasia Clear brow gel. Even though it does harden the eyebrows slightly, it does not feel crunchy like many gels do. I preveiously used the Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara, but it did not hold my eyebrows in place. The hairs would still stray. However, the Anastasia Clear brow gel keeps the hairs in place all day long.

Here is my eyebrow routine:

1. Start off with clean eyebrows.
2. After dipping brush in powder, draw a line following the shape of the bottom of your eyebrow.
3. Dip brush again, and this time, line above the eyebrow. (Be careful here, you do not want to draw to high above the line, because then, you may accidentally make extra thick eyebrows.)
4. After filling in the rest of the eyebrow, set with the clear brow gel.
5. You are done and ready to conquer the world!

I love my powder, but would love to try Anastasia's new Dipbrow Pomade. I've heard amazing things about it. Have you tried any of Anastasia's products? Comment about them below!
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