Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stains!

MegaSlicks Balm Stains
This time of year is my favorite when it comes to new drug store beauty products. The limited edition holiday collections are tucked away in my stash or being used daily & drugstore brands are busting out new products left & right. If you don't want to be tempted by the newest beauty trends, I suggest avoiding the drugstore cosmetic aisles for a while. 
In the beginning of January I picked up 5 of the Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stains & I have been testing them out ever since.

There are so many chubby crayon style lip products on the market & I instantly compared these to every other one I own. These are not as long lasting or pigmented as the Urban Decay Super Saturated-High Gloss Lip Colors & they do not have the minty-lip plumping effect that is found with Tarte's LipSurgence or Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains or their new matte/laquer balms. My favorite drugstore balm-stain style products (so far!) are Cover Girl's jumbo gloss balms & elf's matte lip colors. 
The Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stains are much more sheer & thin in coverage than any of the products mentioned above. There are also only 6 shades in the range & brands like Cover Girl & Revlon offer a lot more color options. Each of these chubby little friends have .10oz of product & are in a twist up style packaging. Hooray for products you never have to sharpen! 
Now onto the fun part...

There is a balm-stain missing from this picture & my collection. I lost the Nudist Colony Shade sometime last week & I haven't been able to find it. :( There are 6 total shades in the collection & they retail for $2.99 (prices depend on store), I purchased mine at the Wasilla Fred Meyer. At the time I bought mine they each had a coupon for $1.00 off attached to them & all Wet N Wild products were Buy One Get One 50% off. 

127 A Stiff Pink 
This is going to be a go-to shade for Spring/Summer 2014. Right now I'm still loving darker shades & wearing nude tones. I just had to purchase it when I saw it because usually new products sell out quickly & then they never seem to be in stock again.

A Stiff Pink  is a bright Barbie Pink Shade, while it's not completely matte it isn't super glossy looking. I'm looking forward to wearing this shade around Easter when spring is in full swing! 

126 Rico Mauve 
This has been my most worn shade out of the bunch(tied with Nudist Colony until it disappeared), it is a beautiful soft-cranberry-nude color & it has been just perfect for the ending of winter/sneak peek of spring.

Rico Mauve is a total winner for me! I will probably be wearing this shade year round. I was afraid it was going to be too brown toned from how it appeared in the packaging, it has a hint of brown to it but it is more of a berry-nude which suits my skin tone quite well.

124 Lady & The Vamp 
This is the best named shade ever! Deep purple shades are totally vampy & this one by Wet N Wild is spot on. If you are looking to try out a darker lip shade balm stains are ideal, you can use one layer as a sheer wash of color or you can build them up to create a darker more pigmented dramatic look.

This shade is the most suited for winter as it is a perfect plumy-deep shade. I was actually loving wearing this with Nudist Colony in the middle of my lips as a highlight to make my lips look fuller. Seriously, I'm going to have to replace that damn shade. 

 128 Pink Promise
This is the least flattering shade on me. It's a ballet slipper pink & it has a pearl like finish. I have worn it underneath other nude lip products & it pulls through, giving a basic nude more of a pink-undertone. When worn that way I like it, but it won't be making it's way into my must haves anytime soon.

Here it looks like it is a bit of a peachy color, but that's just the lighting. It is a true baby-pink! 

From top to bottom...A Stiff Pink, Pinky Promise, Lady & the Vamp, & Rico Mauve. 

The MegaSlicks Balm Stains are all decently pigmented & have the seem to have the same formula. They do bleed outside of the lines a bit if I tried to build them up beyond 2 or 3 coats, they totally stayed put of I used a lip liner, but that kind of defeats the simplicity of a balm stain. I would recommend exfoliating your lips before wearing any of these balms as they do highlight dry patches. I exfoliate my lips almost daily no matter what type of lip product I will be wearing. When wearing these Wet N Wild Megaslicks I skip any lip moisturizer as these are pretty hydrating on their own. They apply easily & each of them have a silky texture which is probably why they can tend to bleed off the lips a bit. 

For their price range I would say these are a good purchase if you are wanting to try out some new shades & prefer a more sheer wash of color. If you are looking for something more matte & pigmented check out the Revlon Matte Balms & if you want a pigmented but not too glossy balm, Cover Girls Jumbo Gloss Balms. I will be re-purchasing the Nudist Colony shade & I could of gone without the Pinky Promise color. There is 1 shade in the collection that I did not try-Red-Dy or Not. I won't be purchasing it as it appears to be more of a orange-toned red & those shades of red do not suit me at all. 

If you can find these Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stains on sale or with the $1.00 off coupon attached to them I would recommend Lady & the Vamp, Rico Mauve, A Stiff Pink & Nudist Colony! :)

as always, love from alaska

Popsugar Monthly Must-Have January 2014

Popsugar January 2014
As much as I love Popsugar, their shipping is really starting to get to me. On average my box arrives over a week after it is scheduled, not only is it frustrating but by the time it gets to me most subscribers have had theirs for weeks! I really wish they would just ship USPS-Priority instead of USPS Parcel Post... 
Shipping woes aside, the January box arrived with everything intact. While it wasn't the most WOW-tastic box (yes I made up a word there) it is a very functional, practical box,  perfect for the start of a New Year.

Jack + Lucy Tech Gloves 
What did all of us smart-phone addicts do when the weather turned cold before the creation of tech gloves? I know I was constantly texting, walking & attempting to pull a glove off with my teeth. All while getting to class on time & replying with many grammatical & spelling errors due to my fingers freezing. Thankfully tech gloves came along & these Jack & Lucy ones are made from 100% Terylene Fabric. They are knit, grey & quite cute. However, their fit is kind of off, when it comes to tech gloves they need to fit your hands just perfectly or they do not allow you to utilize your touchscreen while wearing them too well. I have a different set of tech gloves from Bula that fit me much better due to numerous size options (I have the S/M), they also keep my hands much warmer than these Jack + Lucy Gloves do. I know a lot of Popsugar subscribers loved these gloves but they are pretty basic & not really something I will use for their intended purpose due to them not fitting me 100% perfectly.

Malin + Gotez has been appearing in multiple subscription boxes over the last few months. This is the first full size product from the line that I have received & it couldn't of come at a better time. I'm currently chronicling my skincare routine so that I can improve my skins overall appearance & I've noticed so far that I really need a detoxing face mask. I will save the rambling for another post & after I have given this Malin + Gotez mask a few spins I will let all of you know what I think. Apparently, this product was Allure's 2008 Best of Beauty Winner in the Best Deep Cleaning Mask Category. I had no idea Malin + Gotez had been around for that long! 

Between 2012-2013 I dabbled in juicing. While I initially enjoyed large glasses of fresh green juice every morning, over time I became bored & eventually just stopped making fresh juice altogether. Then 2014 rolled in & I found myself staring at my juicer like a long lost friend...I knew if I was going to venture into the world of fresh juiced everything, I would have to educate myself, plan & prepare much more than I had done in the past. Apparently, the team over at Popsugar must have heard my thoughts because they included this book in the January box. It is informative, the photographs are bright & colorful, & it will make a great coffee table book once I'm finished reading it. 

 Just a peek of what you can expect inside of the book...I'm pretty certain you can get a better preview if you check it out on amazon. For those of you who aren't into actual books it is available as an e-book too. :)

All I want to say about this little box of 6 mini nail files is...seriously, popsugar, seriously? I was excited when I first heard about the Marchesa collection for Revlon but the last thing I would of ever considered purchasing were these files. They are really pretty for files & I know I will use them, I just wish Popsugar had sent the compact mirror or some of the nail appliques from the collection instead. Now, I just have an excuse to go to Target....

You know how some people are chip people? Well, I'm a popcorn people. Since my childhood I have enjoyed big bowls of freshly popped corn with butter, salt & brewers yeast. It is one of my favorite snacks/dinner choices & now the kids are as addicted as I am. So, anytime there is a popcorn included in a subscription box it is devoured pretty much instantly. Which is exactly what happened to the bag of White Truffle Pipcorn that Popsugar included in this months box. Thanks to Pipsnacks for the screenshot of the picture above because ours did not even last 24 hours after I opened the package! The little Pipcorn is great for snacking because there are no sharp-evil kernel shells to get stuck in your teeth & the white truffle flavor is subtle & savory. 

Rifle Paper Co products are not new to Popsugar, in September subscribers received this set of Botanical Coasters. I had wanted a flip style calendar for my desk for 2014, I just wish Popsugar had sent this in December as I already purchased 4 different calendars from Target. Still, I will make use of this one & I love Rifle Paper Co. I'm still loving this little recipe card box, & now I feel like it is a must-have because it matches the colors I used in the kitchen/dining room. 

That's everything that was in my Popsugar Monthly Must-Have for January 2014! Like I mentioned at the start of this post is was a box filled with very practical, functional items. I will utilize everything that was in the box & I'm really looking forward to being wow-ed & amazed with the February box. 

I got an estimated $97.92 value for everything in the January 2014 box, I gave the Jack + Lucy gloves a value of $20 as I couldn't find the price anywhere online. I also used the sale price on the Rifle Paper Co. calendar & the online-Amazon price for the Juice Generation book. 

Popsugar Monthly Subscriptions are $39.95 monthly & right now if you use the code VDAY10 you will get $10 off of your first order! The code is only eligible for 1st time subscribers & will expire on February 4th. You can subscribe HERE!

as always, love from alaska

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Valentine's Day Gift Picks for Her!

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Her
Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I can't believe how quickly January has zoomed by & how rapidly the spring season is approaching. With the romantic love-filled holiday on it's way I wanted to share some gift guides to help you find the perfect gift for the one you love. Check back soon for Valentine's Day Gift Guides for Him as well as some ideas for gifts you can lovingly give to your kids & other loved ones in your life. 

Now, onto the 2014 picks for the woman in your life...

I saw bella j. candles in a recent edition of People Style Watch & I have wanted to try one out ever since. I love candles & little charm necklaces combine those two things to the excitement of burning a candle to receive a surprise charm worth $10-$450. According to bella j. there is also a chance at finding a jewel worth an estimated $10,000. What a Valentine's Day gift that would be! The Lotsa Love candle is scented with freesia, jasmine, sandalwood, & warm amber (my perfect scent combination.) making it a beautifully romantic scent that is just right for the love-filled holiday. 

I've been loving May Designs ever since I received a weekly planner in a PopSugar Monthly Must Have Box. For Valentine's Day May Designs has created a Sweetheart Collection & this pretty Cupid print in fuchsia & ice made me swoon. It is such a girlie collection & with multiple insert options available (Meal Planner, Budget Planner, Lined Notebook Style, & even Bumpbooks & more!) you could create a custom notebook that any girl on your Valentine's gifting list would love. I added a custom monogram to the front of my book & selected the name plate shape in pink for little more adorable personalization. The Flirty Fox print in Pink is also one of my favorites & would make a pretty personalized gift. :) If you purchase the 2014 Calendar you could fill in the important dates for you & your love, anniversaries, birthdays as well as write some short & sweet love notes randomly throughout the pages as a future surprise. 

The Body Shop's Body Butters are so moisturizing & while I usually pick the Satsuma scent this Atlas Mountain Rose is wonderful for Valentine's Day. The packaging is feminine & sweet, just perfect for the holiday. The body butter itself has a light rose scent & you could pair it with a few other bath/body products for a fantastic Valentine's Day present.

If you are looking for a truly romantic gift this book is a must-have. I purchased this book years ago when Justin & I were in a long-distance relationship & I would read a letter or two each night to him before we said our goodbyes over the phone. We have so many memories tied to other peoples love letters that are in this book, which I guess you could consider creepy, but at the time it helped us to know there was so much love in the world. People literally poured their hearts out to one another in these books, there are also letters to laugh with & ones that will make you cry. You could write your loved one a letter or two & hide them away in this book so that when they reach that page your letter is discovered. It's a perfect book to give for a holiday about all things love, by adding your own letters or little notes it becomes a book filled with memories & love for the special one you're gifting it to. 

Pretty in pink is a year round theme in my life, but for some Valentine's Day provides a perfect moment to love the beautiful hue & these headphones are a great matte-blush shade. If you have a music loving lady on your list these will make her just adore you, especially if you pair them with a mixed CD loaded with songs to remind her of you or songs that remind you of her. Adding a personal touch to a simple gift makes it something romantic as well as memorable. :) 

It's no secret that I LOVE Lush, no matter what the occasion. Luckily for all of us who love LUSH they have created a few limited edition items for Valentine's Day. This Lots of Love Gift Set features 2 of the limited Valentine's products-the Close to You Vanilla scented massage bar & Prince Charming a fresh pomegranate scented shower gel.  LUSH added 4 of their year round favorites, Sex Bath Bomb, Rose Jam Bubbleroon, Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, Neon Love Soap (new & limited edition!),  & Chou Chou...I Love You Toothy Tab. This is the perfect gift if you are looking to treat someone to a truly pampering gift. I'd hurry & purchase one ASAP as LUSH's limited edition collections tend to sell out quit quickly & if you are lucky enough to live near a LUSH store...stop reading this post & get there NOW! ;)

Chocolate is a traditional gift for Valentine's Day & this decadent collection by Moonstruck Chocolates is one of the most amazing selections of chocolate you could possibly give. It has 10 different kinds of chocolate from heart shaped Pink Champagne Truffles to a Baileys Irish Cream truffle, this is a heart shaped box filled with delicious truffles that are meant to be enjoyed by 2. Make an evening of it & create a romantic night in, make dinner together, add some wine/beer/fancy mixed cocktail (whatever suits you & your love), a romantic movie, these chocolates....all part of the traditionally perfect Valentine's Day equation. Moonstruck has many more boxes of chocolates in their Valentine's Day Collection, & I especially love the lace detail on the packaging of their wrapped truffle boxes. You can see the entire collection here. 

There are so many monthly subscription boxes on the market now & picking just one to subscribe to is quite the challenge! If you have a DIY-goddess or crafty lady as your Valentine this year a WhimseyBox would make a fantastic gift. Sign up now for February's box, subscriptions start at $15. WhimseyBox is on my must-try boxes for 2014 so maybe I will sign up myself for a Valentine's Day gift! 

These stunning red chandelier earrings are so glamourous & sophisticated with an air of bohemian elegance. They are convertible into 3 different styles making them a unique set & a beautiful Valentine's Day jewelry gift. 

Those are all of my picks for Valentine's Day 2014! I also think a bottle of your loved one's favorite perfume would be perfect, just make sure the scent you are picking out is one your lady likes. 
If you are looking to give a gift that is less material & more about being together & making memories keep an eye out on Groupon & Living Social for local deals on cooking lessons, pottery painting, adventures & other awesome couple dates. Justin & I are planning on trying to take a mini-vacation together this spring to The Hotel-Alyeska (one of our favorite Alaskan Hotels). I would totally recommend booking a weekend getaway for Valentine's Day, even if the dates do not align exactly with the holiday you can plan to escape later in the spring. :) 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mally Celebrate Your Beauty Color Collection

Celebrate Your Beauty Color Collection Review

For Christmas my mom sent me this 12 piece Mally Cosmetics-Celebrate Your Beauty Color Collection from QVC. I was so excited when she sent me a text to let me know what was on its way! I'll show you everything that was included in the set & far I have been really liking this everything but I will for sure note my favorites. 

This is just the outside of the case that the set comes in. I knew I was going to love it as soon as I saw the metallic pink-purpley hued snakeskin print & the stud details. The case is quite a bit lighter than what you see here...

Inside that beautiful case is a stash of even more beautiful packaging & products! There are 2 mascaras missing as one is in my daily makeup collection already & I gave one to my sister in law as a part of her birthday present last month. The black eyeliner was also in my make-up bag. :) Not pictured (as I totally forgot to take ANY pictures of them) are the 3 cardboard giftable pillow boxes. 
Here is the break down of what is included in the set.


3 Eye Shadow Palettes with a nude eyeshadow base & 3 individual shadows. 
3 Volumizing Mascaras in Black
3 Evercolor Eyeliners
3 High Shine Liquid Lipsticks
3 Giftable Pillow Boxes & 3 Instructional Look Cards

Eyeshadow Palettes

 Royal Plum
The packaging on the eye shadow palettes carry the same stud detail of the larger case & this Royal Plum palette is of course a light purple shade. 

 The shades in this palette from left to right. Shadow Base. Angel Wings. Lavender Glow. Vivacious Violet.

Each shade is shown here over the top of the shadow base. The natural lighting was really bright here so the shades look a bit washed out. The darkest shade, Vivacious Violet is much more purple than it appears here. Angel- Champagne nude. Lavender Glow-This is the least pigmented shade out of all 3 palettes, it looks like a pretty deep lavender shade & then when swatched it just sort of becomes a very light pale purple. It took quite a bit of the shadow to build it up to the color shown here & a base would be needed to give any pigmentation on the eye. 

 Romantic Brown
This is the palette that had me swooning over this collection. While I really like the the Royal Plum shadows, I'm just more drawn to nude shades & this palette has 3 great ones. 

From left to right. Shadow Base. Whipped Cream. Macchiato. Espresso. Not only do I love the individual shades, the names are just perfect! If you know a nude-shadow loving, coffee obsessed person this would be a great gift. 

The shadows are swatched with the eyeshadow base beneath them. Whipped Cream- A silky true cream color-perfect for under the brow bone & highlighting the inner corner of your eye. Macchiato-A bronzy sable brown. Espresso-Matte deep brown.  

 Radiant Taupe
This is my favorite palette of the 3! I'm a bit too obsessed with taupe shades & these shadows totally won me over. Each of them are smooth, silky & have almost no fall out when applied to the eyes. When wore with the shadow base they last all day & blend beautifully while staying true to their own shades.

Left to right. Shadow Base. Sandy Nude. Shimmering Taupe. Haze.

The natural lighting is washing these shades out a bit. While they are more pigmented than shown here they are lighter shades, making this palette perfect for a make-up beginner or someone who prefers a more natural look. Sandy Nude-A subtle golden taupe. Shimmering Taupe-Smokey taupe shade. Haze-Dark, deep taupe. 

Eyeliners, Liquid Lipsticks & Mascara!
While all 3 of the eyeshadow palettes are fantastic on their own, Mally paired each of them with an Evercolor Liner, Liquid Lipstick & a black mascara. The EverColor Liners & Liquid Lipsticks that are paired with each palette are shades that compliment the shadows themselves & would allow for an almost complete look to be achieved. You could take one of the pillow boxes, an eyeshadow palette, EverColor Liner, Liquid Lipstick & Mascara & you would have the perfect gift! Just remove the Instructional Look Card that matches the set you are gifting & your recipient will have everything they need to feel beautiful & fall in love with Mally Cosmetics.
Now, let's check out the liners, lipsticks & mascaras, OH MY! 

 Petal to the Metal
The product that totally surprised and shocked me were the liquid lipsticks. I'm in love with all 3 shades from their pigmentation to their scent. They are long lasting & not too stick or tacky like some liquid long wear lip products. Each shade compliments the eye shadow palette & liner they are matched with extremely well. 

Petal to the Metal-a beautiful vibrant nudey-pink. Matched with the Royal Plum Palette, EverColor Liner in Shimmering Black.

 Mally Melon
I knew instantly that this liquid lipstick & I would become friends. It is a perfect spring/summer shade & I know I will be reaching for it a ton during the 2014 warm seasons. Wear it with the Romantic Brown Palette & EverColor liner in Espresso.

Mally Melon-Gorgeous coral!!

This shade was paired with the Radiant Taupe Palette & the Evercolor Liner in Royal Plum. I think it is a beautiful deep mauve-almost plum shade that is perfect for fall/winter. I will probably wear it year round as I'm always a fan of a darker lip.

Mauvelous-A Deep-Purpley Mauve.

Evercolor Liner-Shimmering Black

These liners are soft & glide onto the lid easily. You can blend them to create a more smokey look, but do it quickly after application because once they set they are going to stay put for the entire day.

 Evercolor Liner in Espresso.

The formula between all of the Evercolor Liners in this collection is very consistent. Each of them are creamy & glide on very nicely without pulling or creasing.

Evercolor Liner in Royal Plum.

This Royal Plum shade is my favorite out of the 3 as I have been looking for a perfect plum liner. I was trying to find one that wasn't super bright but still appeared purple. I do have a couple of drugstore liners that are purple that I love, but they appear closer to black than they do purple once applied. This Mally Evercolor stays true to its plum shade whether it's worn on its own or over shadow.

Volumizing Mascara in Black
Mally's mascara is a favorite in the beauty blogger world & Mally herself created this mascara because her original volumizing make-up routine that she used on clients took an hour to get it perfect! As far as high-end mascara goes this tube is pretty awesome, but it hasn't completely wow-ed me enough to beat out my current fave(I will feature my all time fave mascara in this weeks Shop My Stash, Spotlight Product.), but the packaging is super gorgeous & I love the sleek black paired with the subtle silver sparkle detail. 

Remember how I said I didn't snap a picture of the pillow boxes? I decided while writing this post that I just had to share them. Excuse the horrible photo quality I used my iPhone because my big girl camera has a dead battery...

As you can see each of the 3 pillow boxes matches with the set of products that Mally put together within the collection. The Informational Cards all have perforated edges making them easy to remove from the booklet that is included & it allows you to gift the mini-sets along with some how-to help to make-up beginners or to someone who is looking to add to their make-up collection. I used the Royal Plum pillow box as a part of my sister in-laws birthday gift & filled it with other make-up/beauty goodies. 

All in all I really like this set, it is a great purchase if you are looking to add to your own collection or if you have multiple people to buy gifts for & you want to stay within a reasonable price range. The products are fantastic & Mally has eliminated the guess work of trying to figure out which eyeshadows, liners & lipstick pair together. With the pillow boxes & informational cards being included you have everything you need to put together a great gift! 

This set is still available through QVC for $72.50 plus S&H, if you break down the price by 3, without including shipping its about $25.00 for 3 different sets that you could gift to friends, your mom, sister, cousins, aunts the possibilities are endless & I think this set would be great to gift for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day!  

If you are interested in the complete set I would purchase it soon. I remember watching one of the Mally segments on QVC over the holidays & they were talking about a similar set coming out in the spring, but I assume the shades/packaging will be totally different. 
In case you didn't know, QVC is a great source for beauty/makeup/skincare products. If you do not have the QVC channel available just check out their site every once in a while as they are always featuring new brands & products. Usually the deals during the featured products segment are better than you will find online but there are great deals online as well. I'm addicted to watching the beauty/skincare/makeup segments QVC & it drives Justin nuts! haha They are usually so informative & inspire me to try new/different things with my products, I just can't resist watching. 

You can find the Mally Celebrate Your Beauty Color Collection-Holiday on right....HERE! :)

Did any of you receive this set as a gift over the holidays??? Comment below! 

as always, love from alaska