Saturday, April 12, 2014

{Favorite} Butterbeer Candle!

Okay, so it's not really butterbeer, but it's pretty darn close!


Being as big of a fan as I am of anything remotely Harry Potter related, naturally I had to pick this up when Bath & Body Works were having their 2 for $22 deal.  I would describe Hot Buttered Rum as a caramel and vanilla scent, with  rich and indulgent notes of buttered rum. It truly is quite the winter holiday candle, as it reminds me of everything warm in the wintertime. Though, I do think if you are a fan of HP, like me, then you would enjoy this year round.

The other candle I purchased was Champagne Toast, which has a lovely fresh and citrus scent. I think this is a scent more suited for late spring and summer.

What is your favorite candle at the moment?

XOXO,
Carolyn 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Vox Box | Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

Sally Hansen is in no way a new brand to me, it's actually quite familiar. I think when I first painted my nails I had used a color by them, something in the family of navy blue. I was always attracted to the darker colors, even though it looked quite ghastly and ghoulish against my intense pallor. Regardless of my prior experience I hadn't really looked into Sally Hansen colors in recent years, expect for my dismal review here.

Given that, I was a little apprehensive to give these colors and formulas a chance. My first experience with "Pat on the Black" wasn't the best...  Though to give an objective review I wanted to try out all the colors with ample time for wear.

I am not exactly sure if the formula that is currently being used for these polishes is new or radically different from when I last tried Sally Hansen nail polishes, but I'd have to say the application of the polish to my nails had improved since I last tried them. The polish didn't have any overwhelming scent, applied smoothly, and dried to a glossy finish.


The polish boasts to have 7 benefits, as seen pictured, but I'm not convinced that these polishes meet all the claims. For one thing, the color "Jaded" chipped the first day I wore it as did the color "Red my Lips." I haven't seen a significant growth of my nails since wearing these, nor have I noticed any resilient strengthening.


The bottle color for "Red my Lips" is true to color and only required a single coat to achieve. However, to get the same color pay off for "Jaded" and "Pat on the Black" 2 -3 coats were required, which significantly increased the time required to dry. 


These aren't a terrible formulated polish, but they do require some patience, which I think true for many polishes. For a good application I would recommend preparing the nails with a base coat and following with a top coat after the color.

-Carolyn

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pamper Party!

Who doesn't love a proper pamper session?

Recently I was invited to attend a pamper and tea party (two of my favorite things so obviously I was going...). The party was to showcase some of the most coveted and loved items by the brand Mary-Kay. If you remember, I was given some products by Mary-Kay last year to sample and review, so my experience with the company isn't new, though I during that sampling I only tried their makeup line not the skincare line.

The night started off by treating our hands to a scrub from the Satin Hands set. As we are currently experiencing cold and harsh windy weather, exfoliation is crucial to keep skin looking healthy. We then topped off with a hand cream to seal in moisture and protect the skin, this time using the Extra Emollient Night Cream. Did you know that the skin on your hands ages just as quickly if not quicker than the rest of your skin - so pay attention to that as well, and use sunscreen!  


Following our hand treatment we grabbed ourselves a warm cup of tea (I had a berry blend - yum!) and took seat  to prepare for the facial session. Having just come from school I was in need of removing my makeup before being able to fully experience the facial session. I removed most of my eye makeup with Mary Kay® Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (though I kind of cheated, I left some on, cause I didn't want to feel completely naked in front of others....) then my face makeup with a cleaning towelette. I can say that both of these left my skin feeling ready to be cleansed without that sticky feeling or leaving any residue.

Yep, I see you cheater.

To clean my face I used the TimeWise Miracle Set for normal to dry skin, Mary Kay also offers a set for oily and combination skin types. I liked that the cleanser was a creamy one and didn't make my face feel so stripped and tight, which is common in cleansers that aren't cream based. Since this party was hosted in the evening so I only needed to cleanse with the 3-in-1 cleanser and apply the night serum. I found the night serum, to be the most interesting out of all the things I was able to try that night. A little information from the Mary Kay website about the Night Solution serum:
"Vitamin-rich Nutribeads® microcapsules burst as the serum is released to deliver highly effective antioxidants essential for the renewal process. Also contains age-fighting peptides to help reduce the appearance of expression lines and visibly firm and smooth skin."
Being a science/biochemistry geek, I found it pretty cool that Mary Kay has developed a technology such as this to keep the vitamins suspended in microcapsules to preserve them until they touch your skin. Though I think some vitamins might be light sensitive and they could consider a change from a clear bottle to a darker one to keep the efficiency high upon delivery. The concept is similar to some effects that other leading skincare brands have with certain face washes containing "bursting beads." However, my foray and experience with serums hasn't lead me to a serum or lotion with this technology.

After going to this party, I would be even more  likely to purchase Mary Kay products than I was a few years ago, particularly the night solution. I find that the products Mary Kay sells and offers are of quality. I think the hesitation that some people have with the brand is that it's not so accessible to them as products found in the drugstore or at the mall in stores like Ulta or Sephora, at least that's how my view used to be.

If you would like to try out these products or aren't sure if it's accessible to you, use the search on the Mary Kay website to locate an Independent Beauty Consultant. If you are in the greater Atlanta area and would like to try out these products you can start here.

 ** I have not been compensated or paid 
in any form to promote the Mary Kay 
company or it's products for the 
purposes of this post. These are
solely my own opinions. **

Saturday, January 11, 2014

{DIY} - Wedding Invitations

I've decided to share with you all some of the details of my upcoming wedding. For privacy reasons I won't being sharing too much or go too in depth, but there are still many things I wish to discuss!


Looking around different websites and retailers, I figured I would cut some cost by making my own wedding invitations. Thankfully, after miserably attempting to rig up a template in Photoshop, a graphic designer friend of mine enlisted her help to make me some gorgeous invites (okay, so I asked her...). All I had to do was tweak the design and print it out onto card stock.


Materials for Wedding Invites:
  • Pack of card stock (8.5 in x 11 in) - ivory
  • Matching colored envelopes (5.5 in x 7.5 in) - ivory
  • Photo corners  - silver
  • Accent colored card stock 12 in x 12 in - shimmering dark silver
Extras:
  • Stamp
  • Ink
Steps:
  1. After you've settled on a template for your invites, scale the image to 4 in x 6 in frame.
  2. Print 2 per page.
  3. Then cut out each invite with a paper cutter.
  4. Cut accent colored card stock slightly larger than the invites as to allow for border.
  5. Attach invite to accent paper using photo corners.
>>><<<

Alternatively, if you don't add the accent colored card stock you can print the invites at a 5 in x 7 in frame and cut to size, these will fit perfectly into the 5.5 in x 7.5 in envelopes and you don't need to use the photo corners.

Also, adding a stamp onto the back of the envelope furthers the personalization you are creating, but an optional step I opted to do.

>>><<

Traditionally,  RSVP are mailed back to report attendance. However, we are choosing to have our guest respond back on our wedding website or calling us to cut down on the cost of postage and wasting paper! This was a brilliant recommendation from one of my bridesmaids, Caitlin!


RSVP Cards & Registry Cards
  1. Print out 4 per page at 3 in x 5 in 
  2. Cut off the excess paper with paper cutter. 
I created these in a similar format and text to match the invites. Again, I opted to accent the RSVP cards with the alternate colored card stock and photo corners to tie the set together.
 

The United States Post Office has a limited range of wedding stamps, but at least what is offered is cute! We used the 66 cent stamps for 2 oz, but I think all in all this weighed in under 1 oz so we could have saved a bit using the cheaper stamps if we weighed before buying the stamps!


I hope you found this informative and inspirational!

XOXO,
Carolyn

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

{Favorite} Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap // Brush Cleanser

Since the beginning of last year I have been using Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps 18-in-1 Hemp Almond Pure-Castile Soap as my sole brush cleanser. Prior to using this I had been relying on a combination of shampoos + conditioners and homemade concoctions to take care of my makeup brushes.

I've found that the Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps is quite effective and gentle on my brushes.

Almond scents and foods are my favorite, I love my almond milk boba, raw almonds for snack, roasted on kale, almond scrubs... (you get the picture). This soap has a faint almond scent that leaves your brushes clean, moisturized, and with a lovely scent. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap comes in various other scents, but this is by far my favorite.

To make this a bit easier to handle I pour out a bit into a smaller bottle, as you only need the smallest amount to get a good cleanse. The larger bottle this comes in can become a bit slipper and cumbersome upon many consecutive uses during a cleansing session. Furthermore, I like to take an unused/used-up container and a mesh plastic piece as a brush cleaning container for my harder to clean brushes.

Have you tried this cleanser?

XOXO,
Carolyn