Saturday, July 19, 2014

Luckey Lacquer!

Hey everybody,
I was recently sent three polishes to review from Sam, the owner of Luckey Lacquer. She is one of the sweetest people I have had the pleasure of working with, AND she lives in North Carolina (like I do) so that was just an added bonus. She is an indie polish maker who is just starting out, and makes some fantastic, three-free polishes! So enough of that, let's get on to the swatches, shall we?

This first beauty is part of a collection called Neon Leg Warmers. It comes in a clear glitter topper, green, yellow, orange, blue, pink and purple jellies.
Obviously this is the pink version, it's hot pink and gorgeous! It has some very fine glitter in it that makes it quite sparkly in the sun. Three coats over a base coat with Seche Vite top coat.

Next up is the glitter topper version of Neon Leg Warmers. I decided to try out my very first jelly sandwich with this guy, so I applied one thin coat of Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI and followed it with a dabbled coat of glitter and one more thin coat of the OPI. Topped off with Seche Vite top coat

The last polish I have is called Saving the World Before Bedtime (cute, right?) and it's a lovely white crelly (for those of who don't speak polish-it's a jelly/cream mix) with multicolored glitters. It also comes in a clear glitter topper. This is three coats with S.V top coat.

I hope you all will go check her out on Instagram- LuckeyLacquer
Visit her shop at, her polishes are only $3.99! I mean come on you literally CANNOT beat that. 

Au revoir for now,
Follow me on Instagram: Beautybyalaina

Friday, July 4, 2014

Influenster Vow VoxBox

Man do I love free things. It never gets old, and never have I opened my mail box and said "damn I got free samples again." Influenster has once again sent me things to review, this time simply because I am going to be in my best friend's wedding in the next six months! Generous, right? So I say once again, if you have not signed up for this site, what are you waiting for?! Read more about it here.

So let's dive right in, shall we?
First we have Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream. This lovely little cream is supposed to be used morning and night to fade the look of dark spots and reveal brighter skin that glows. Olay suggests using this for 8 weeks to see results, and since I have only used it a handful of times I cannot really report on any visible changes yet. I can say that this stuff smells good, and it's slightly orange. So if you like your products to be all natural, free of dyes and perfume or if your skin is extremely sensitive this is definitely not for you. This cream is on the heavy side so I might also stay away if you have super oily skin. That being said I think this will be wonderful during those cold months when I can't seem to get rid of the dry patches on my face that inevitably pop up when the temperature drops and the wind starts whipping around.

Another facial product I received is the EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge. I can safely say I love this strange little thing. I have never used a sponge on my face before so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. The sponge comes shrink wrapped and hard. It's super light and kind of rough when dry but as soon as it soaks up the water the texture completely changes. It's made of vegetable root so it's unlike anything I've felt before but I really like it. I did a test the other night, I washed my face like normal with my Bare Face oil from Julep and after I rinsed that off I used the sponge on my face just to see if all the makeup had come off. To my surprise there was still quite a bit of makeup on my sponge! I will definitely start using this in conjunction with my cleansers since I feel it helps to remove every trace of makeup and gives a light exfoliation.

Tide to Go is perfect for all of you clumsy eaters out there like myself. I literally cannot eat or drink a single thing without spilling at least a little of it on myself. I am already a fan of this little pen so I was happy to receive another one. Throw this in your purse, car, briefcase, desk, anywhere to remove those stains before they set in, and in order to avoid embarrassment (I know I'm not the only one that has spilled something on my shirt directly on my nipple).

Riley and Grey is a wedding website company that gave us a code for 50% off a website. Lovely for soon-to-be tied couples, unfortunately I am not one of those so I had no use for it.

Next up is the Pure Silk shave cream, not a whole lot to elaborate on here, you use it to shave! This lathers nicely and does help to give a cleaner shave and smoother legs. I tried to use this on other areas of my body and it didn't work as well so I would say stick to the legs for best results.

Last but not least, Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure nail polish in the shade Barracuda, because we have to have something blue! This is a truly beautiful pastel shade, which I'm really digging for this summer. I've been going to opposite ends of the color spectrum with my polish lately, either rocking pastels or bright ass neons. Anyway, I just tried this shade last night and I was slightly disappointed. I have three other shades from the complete salon manicure collection and they're pretty nice. This one however I found more difficult to apply and it took three coats to completely cover. The brush is unlike any I have used before, it's more rounded at the tip which makes it harder to create a straight line at the base. The first coat applies too streaky for my taste and it's hard to get a good, even coat.

Thanks for reading, hopefully I will be able to do more posts like these in the future!

Follow me on Instagram: Beautybyalaina

Products sent to me for testing purposes.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mary Kay VoxBox

     So I have some cool stuff to share today, a blog post that probably should have been written like a month ago but my cat ran away and it just wasn't on my list of priorities. But anyway...I joined this awesome site called Influenster and you create a profile where you can earn badges based off of your interests and review products. You connect all your social media sites to it and increase your "influenster" score. Then you can eventually qualify for something great called a VoxBox. It's a box sent to your house full of free goodies, which you in turn post about on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blog, etc. They give you different tasks to complete to share what you received. The more tasks you do, the better chance you have of getting another VoxBox. I joined in January and got my first box in the beginning of May, which just so happened to be from Mary Kay! I have never been a fan of Mary Kay, I have only tried their products once before and I was about 15 sitting at a Mary Kay party. I thought it was an old lady brand and never really thought about it again. So when I got my box I was looking forward to giving it a try. I figured I would be sent a few items to review and that would be it. Boy was I shocked! Inside this cute little box was nine full sized products worth over $120! I was thrilled and couldn't wait to try everything, especially with what was printed on a card inside the box: "Influenster and Mary Kay have teamed up to bring you the products you need to brighten you spring look and get ready for the summer! Inspire your audience with this season's on-trend shades including warm and sun-kissed tones, soft peachy pinks and bold corals."
So on to the good stuff!
Don't you just love when things come in cute boxes?
Mineral Cheek Color Shy Blush- $12.00
Translucent Loose Powder- $16.00
and Bronzing Powder- $18.00
I really liked all of these, I've never been a huge fan of translucent powder because most that I have tried just make me look chalky but this one is nice. It's light and has the slightest shimmer to it so it doesn't dull the look of your skin. As for the blush and bronzer, both are great. They are a little more powdery than I prefer but the colors are lovely! The blush is peach with gold shimmer (my favorite kind to wear) and the bronzer also has some gold shimmer in it. Overall I think they both work very well together.
Big fluffy powder brush- $16.00
Cream Color/Concealer Brush- $10.00
How cool is it that they included two brushes to use with their products?! I like both of these brushes, I have had multiple powder brushes and this one is my favorite. In fact I tossed the others because these bristles actually stay in place and don't fall out all over. The cream brush is perfect for the cream color eye shadow they included, and I use it for all my other cream eyeshadows now as well. It makes them so much easier to apply, since using your finger is not always the most precise method.
Cream Eye Color in Apricot Twist- $14.00
Gel Eyeliner with Expandable Brush Applicator in Jet Black- $18.00
I am in love with both of these products! I am obsessed with this apricot color, it's so perfect and light for Summer! My only complaint is that I wish it were more pigmented. It's deceiving when swatched on the hand because it looks fine, but when applied to the eyes I have to use quite a few layers. Still pretty, but it's definitely more of a subtle look as opposed to a really dramatic color. It's very similar to Maybelline's Color Tattoos but it's easier to blend, and since it's twice the price for a product that isn't nearly as pigmented, I probably would not purchase this. Next up is the gel eyeliner that came with a tiny little expandable brush-super handy! This is a wonderful eyeliner, super creamy and easy to apply with long lasting color. It is easy to use too much product because it's so soft but that also means you're able to get a really dark application. I go back and forth between this and my favorite Maybelline Lasting Drama gel liner in Blackest Black. I think they're very similar in terms of how long they last and ease of use.
Lash Love Mascara in I <3 Black- $15.00
NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss in Mango Tango- $14.00
It would be quite hard to choose a favorite product from this box but this pair here comes close. This is a great mascara, the description for the item states, "Mascara that defines, defends and delivers four times the volume" and I truly believe just that. As for the lip gloss, well I am a coral and peach freak right now so this was just up my alley. For those of you that don't like thick, gooey glosses this is not for you. I personally prefer them because I think they last longer and the stick factor has never been a problem for me. I prefer to use this gloss in combination with a lipstick because by itself it can be hard to get a completely even coat all over the lips and it tends to amplify any cracks or scabbed areas you have (which is me all the time because my lips are perpetually dry). But overall the color is beautiful and pigmented and lasts a pretty long time with very little bleeding into lip lines. Below is a picture with only the gloss on, and as you can see the lines in my lips are definitely more noticeable.
From top to bottom: Bronzer, Blush, Apricot Twist cream eye color, Mango Tango lip gloss and gel eyeliner.
I can't thank Mary Kay and Influenster enough, this was such an amazing surprise with perfect timing. I really needed a pick me up after my cat ran away and this came at just the right time to offer some distraction. This was a great first VoxBox and I really enjoyed the fact that they gave us enough products to create a complete look. I love using all of these products together for the perfect easy warm weather look. Don't forget to sign up to get your own boxes, everything from makeup and beauty products to snacks and health foods! Thanks for reading, I love comments! Please follow my blog and check out my other social media sites available under my contact tab.
*I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mac Alluring Aquatic Collection

Warning: The following post is a feast for the eyes. You may experience the following side effects- shortness of breath, racing heart, and a sudden desire to send all of your money to Mac. You have been warned.

If you have ever had a desire to be a mermaid, water nymph or maybe you just like water (okay maybe you like makeup too), then Mac's Alluring Aquatic collection is right up your alley. Summer is right around the corner which means some of us will be spending a lot of time in our bathing suits, or at least some smaller clothing than during the Winter months. That being said I think this collection is perfect for warm weather because of all the bronzers and shimmery finishes. I don't know what it is about Summer that makes me want to glow and break out those reflective, eye-catching shadows. Maybe it's the sun-when that sucker is out I seriously think something crazy happens and everybody suddenly becomes a lot more attractive, the rays bouncing off of our shimmery cheek bones and blinding the eyes of the men playing volleyball on the beach with their shirts off and their tan, chiseled abs...ahem. Um where was I again? Something about makeup...ah yes so without further ado I bring you Alluring Aquatic! Take note of the gorgeous packaging, reflective teal with raised "water droplets". When I first saw the promo photos I actually thought the items had been spritzed with water as part of the marketing, but the ingenious designers at Mac created the packaging to give the illusion of being wet, super cool!
First we have the Extra Dimension blushes $27.50:
-Sea Me, Hear Me- Beige pink
-Seduced at Sea- midtone neutral plum, but looks more like peach
Extra Dimension Bronzers $33.00
-Aphrodite's Shell- Golden bronze with a touch of fine shimmer
-Dephic- Soft brick tan with a touch of fine shimmer
Bronzing Powder $27.50
-Golden- Muted golden tan-beige with shimmer
-Refined Golden- Finely spun golden with soft pearl
Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner $17.50
-Black line- Black with gold pearl
-Black Swan- Black with pearl
Extra Dimension Eye Shadow (mini) $19.50
-Lorelei- Golden beige
-Sea Worship- Tarnished Olive
-Silver Sun- Midtone dirty seafoam green
-Soul Serenade- Deep plum brown
-Fathoms Deep- Deep blue
-Legendary Lure- Deep cerulean
Clockwise from top left: Silver Sun, Soul Serenade, Lorelei, Fathoms Deep, Legendary Lure, Sea Worship
Lip Pencil $16.50
-What Comes Naturally- Light nude
-Half-red- Soft burgundy
Tinted Lipglass $16.50
-Cleat Water- Sheer nude with multidimensional pearl
-Peachstock- Creamy true nude
-Water Deities- Light bronzey pink
-Seducing Sound- Midtone plummy bronze
-Modern Lure- Deep violet with pink pearl
Lipstick $17.50
-Siren Song (lustre)- Sheer pale beige
-Pet Me, Please (frost)- Light shimmering mauve
-Enchanted One (matte)- Midtone neutral pink
-Mystical (cremesheen)- Midtone creamy rose
-Goddess of the Sea (cremesheen)- Dark vibrant violet
Nail Lacquer $17.50
-Shimmerfish (pearl)- Sparkling platinum
-Neptune (frost)- Tarnished gold
-Submerged (frost)- Dark teal chrome
L to R: Submerged, Neptune, Shimmerfish.

-233 Split fibre eye shadow brush $25.00
-127 Split fibre face brush $35.00
-Makeup bag $35.00

Pretty impressive collection, right? These babies have almost sold out online but hit Mac store shelves May 22nd! Everything will go fast so if you see something you want-grab it fast! I would love to hear what you plan on getting your hands on, I myself will definitely be picking up the Enchanted One lipstick and Silver Sun eyeshadow. I might decide on something else when I actually see it in person-we all know how that goes!
If you'd like to see reviews and swatches, click any of the following links:
Allura Beauty-lipsticks
Allura Beauty-eyeshadows

Thanks for reading guys! Make sure to follow my blog and check me out on my other social media sites:
Instagram: Beautybyalaina



Saturday, May 17, 2014

May Ipsy Bag

Hey guys I know I've been absent for a really long time- my beautiful MacBook Pro crapped out (cat's fault) and I looked at computers and camcorders for months. I tried to create blog posts on my phone and iPad but I couldn't upload pictures, and what is a blog post without any dang pictures??

Well I was pretty disappointed in this month's Ipsy bag, as seems to be the general consensus among others Ipsters. I understand what Ipsy was trying to do, have a focus on skin care now that the sun is out and about but I think they failed. If I were to do a bag with a skin care theme I would focus entirely on the skin, and not trying to throw a few cheap makeup picks in there. They included a Pacifica eye shadow duo in every bag and most reviews stated their eye shadow arrived broken. I didn't even open mine because I know I will not use it and will try and trade, but those that did said it has very little pigmentation. Some lucky subscribers received a Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer (umm jealous!) so naturally the rest of us that did not get that felt rather left out. 

Here is what I got:

-Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask

-Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow duo in Natural Beauty

-Avene Thermal Spring Water

-Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria roller ball

-Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan Anti-aging sunscreen

These are the other items we could have received:

-Hang Ten Classic sport SPF 50

-Revlon Colorburst matte balm in Elusive

-Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer

-Balanced Guru No Frizz organic sesame and lemongrass balancing oil

-Bare Foot Spa Professional exfoliating polish

-Boo Boo Cover-up

-Coastal Scents Classic blender brush

-Derma E microdermabrasion scrub

-Eva NYC mane tamer leave in cream or Rock-a-wave curl cream

-Hey Honey take it off! Exfoliating honey peel off mask

-La Fresh travel lite face cleansing wipes

-Lulu Blossom dreamsicle body balm

-Mee Beauty bee nourished night cream

-Nailtini straight up color nail lacquer in Frappe, Champagne, Bloody Mary, Caviar Cocktail or Adios

-Olive Natural Beauty the olive lip balm

-Pur~lisse pur~moist hydra balancing moisturizer

-Crown Brush chisel shader or pro blending fluff brush

-SWISSCO electroplated eyelash curler (where does this fit in?)

So now that you have the whole list do you see why this month's theme is slightly confusing? This is Spring, people! Do a fricken SPRING themed bag! Beautiful, light nail polish colors, bronzer, coral blush, maybe a tinted lip balm, moisturizer with sunscreen. If you're doing a skin care bag: good-for-your-skin sunscreen, moisturizer, self tanner for those that choose to stay out of the sun but still want a tan, fresh scented body lotion, lip balm with sunscreen, maybe some facial oil, a cleanser for each person's skin type. Bottom line is, I wish they had chosen one or the other. Don't just half-ass both (pardon my French if you're easily offended).

Whew. Got a little carried away there. Anywho I would love to hear what the rest of you got along with your thoughts about the products. Check back for more blog posts to come-I swear I'm back now!

I love comments!