Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 Beauty Favorites

Beauty Favorite's of January 2013

I can't believe the first month of 2013 has already come and gone... 
For me this month in the world of makeup has been leaning towards more natural, neutral colors.  So here the the products I reached for the most in January:

 I have combo/oily skin, so for me a makeup primer is a MUST.  (Something I ran out of but would be in here if I hadn't thrown the bottle away is Urban Decay's make-up setting spray).  This primer I had actually won in a Birchbox giveaway a few months ago and ran out of it this month. (So, I am on the hunt for a new primer).  This MANNA beauty simplified Camera Ready primer was used on a daily basis and did what it was supposed to do (keep my makeup from melting off my face). The reason why I will not be buying this is because it is $42 for a 20ml bottle.  Kinda expensive for me when I can probably find one just as good for a fraction of this price.

I love, love, love Revlon Colorstay for Combo/Oily skin.  I would say it is medium coverage, and is easily build-able if you need more coverage in areas.  My color is 240 Medium Beige.  This foundation feels great on my skin and doesn't make me break out.  When I ever run out of this, this is a definite repurchase for me.

Eye primer is another must have for me (damn, oily eyelids...).  Now I have tried several eye primers and my favorite this month is definitely Urban Decay Primer Potion.  Keeps my eyeshadows from creasing, clumping, and fading throughout the day.  Is light on the eyes and doesn't cause any eye irritation when I wear my contacts

My go-to eyeshadows this month were definitely from theBalm's NUDE'tude palette.  There are four matte shades: Sultry (matte medium cool brown), Sexy (matte dark redish-purple), Sleek (dark matte brown), and Serious (matte black).  The rest are a mix between frosted and shimmery shades.  With this range of shades you are able to create simple day time looks and dramatic, sexy night out looks.  These shadows aren't chalky and are easily blendable.  Love this palette.

Now mascara is the one makeup product I could NEVER live without.  Even when I don't wear a lick of makeup I ALWAYS put mascara on.  It opens up the eyes and makes you look more alert and like you put some effort into your appearance.  I have a ton and use them all.  But this month I reached towards this Victoria's Secret Triple Drama Mascara.  It lengthens and gives my lashes volume without being clumpy.  Also, it doesn't end up giving me raccoon eyes by the end of the day.  This is definitely a "wetter" formula, which is my personal preference.  Again, I LOVE mascara and I am picky about them.  

My second Victoria's Secret product this month is their oil-free concealer, which I can longer find in stores or on their website. =[  And I am almost out... This concealer works great on my skin.  It doesn't cause breakouts and covers the spots that I do have.  It is creamy and easy to blend into my skin/foundation.  

Now, being that it is winter and even though I live in FL, I still don't really hit up the beach all that much and I don't go to tanning beds anymore.  I prefer matte bronzers because they can look more natural than shimmery bronzers for contouring and all-over natural color.  NYX is a brand that can be found at ULTA and is around $8.99 and this has lasted me forever. They have a few different shades.  The shade I have is 'Deep Tan" but you can use it lightly.  Great matte bronzer.

My favorite blush this month is Tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in "flush". I got this blush for my birthday in the end of November and I have used it quite frequently ever since (it still looks like I haven't even touched it).  This blush is the most pigmented blush I've ever owned.  You BARELY have to tap your brush in it to get amazing color payoff on your cheeks.  Flush is a berry toned blush and I love it! 

My most reached for lip product this month was Revlon Lipbutter in Berry Smoothie.  I love Revlon Lipbutters.  They are silky and moisturizing on the lips.  It is a shimmery "berry" color on the lips.  Now, these don't last all day because of the soft, creamy texture tends to wear off.  But for me, that is fine because I find long wearing lipsticks are drying and peel off leaving the lipstick patchy on the lips (not a good look for me).   The trend this month for me has been berry toned products.

Now, away from makeup products and on to the "others" favorites this month. First is this St. Ives Apricot Scrub.  This is the best exfoliate I've used in a long time.  It exfoliates your skin without hurting.  The "beads" are a good size to get the dead skin cells off.  I only use this product 2-3 times a week and I can definitely see a difference in blackheads and blemishes on my face.

The next two products are haircare products.  One is a masque and the next is a styling cream.  Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque is AMAZING.  I got it for Christmas from my mom.  You use it once a week and leave it in your hair for 5 - 7 minutes.  I usually put it in after shampoo and then go about the other shower activities (shaving, washing, etc.) then rinse it out.  My natural hair texture is curly, fizzy, dry.  I have color treated, LONG (mid-back) hair and this stuff is amazing.  My hair comes out feeling silky and smooth and also cuts down on the frizz that my hair naturally has/does. 

 My last January favorite is the Paul Mitchell Crunch-Free Curl Definer.  OMG! This has become a holy grail hair product for me.  I've used it almost daily.  Most gels and mousse's leave my hair crunchy and can have a "wet" look to the hair.  But this Paul Mitchell product does none of the things other gels and mousse's have done.  This stuff is AMAZING!! I even use it with curls that I use heated tools to get and on second day curls to liven them back up.

Well, those were my most reached for products of January 2013.  Hope your first month of 2013 was a good one.

Follow and comment with your favorite products so far in this new year! =]

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Organizing like crazy...

So, this past week I have been on an organization kick.  Spring cleaning has come early to the Novak house. =]  

So far the tasked completed have been my bathroom drawers, but not under the sicks yet because I need to figure out how I want the shelves under them and how to organize all my nail polishes... (any tips would be GREAT!!)

I've also organized my pj drawer.  I have two sleepy shirt drawers and I figured that that was a bit much so I was trying to condense the amount of shirts along with better folding skills.  I saw this POST on pinterest and liked how this looked. =] Unfortunantly for me, my drawer isn't high enough to lay the shirts out like the post showed; however, I was able to condense them down to one (YAY ME!), so now the hubby has access to another drawer for all his gym shorts. ;-P 

I am also one of those anal people that organizes my closest by color.  I can honestly say it helps me find what I am looking for.  But I kinda went a step further by organizing my closet, not only by color, but NOW also by the type of shirt it is (tank, short sleeve, 3/4 long sleeve, long sleeve, button down, sweaters).  Say what you want, but it is SOOO easy to find what I am looking for! 

Next I think I'm tackling my nail polishes and makeup. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Monday, January 21, 2013

January's Birchbox reviewed

I have had this month's Birchbox for about a week or so now, so I have had time to use all the products and really get a feel for how I like them or not.  If you didn't read my blog post about the items I received in my January Birchbox, you can read it HERE. =]

Here are the reviews for all of the products:

Clark's Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream
This moisturizer would definitely be a night cream for me.  I have combo to oily skin so I don't need a thick, creamy moisturizer for the day (I use a "gel" moisturizer for my day-to-day).  The description of this cream says that "the gentle tingle means it's working".  I'm not one for tingling stuff on my face (maybe it's just me), but there is nothing that is bad about this product, it just isn't for me (plus the full size is $115)

100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream
This is definitely a body cream.  It is thick, thick, thick.  It does smell like a vanilla bean.  For me, this took awhile to soak into the skin, so I wouldn't recommend getting dressed right after putting this on.  I tried this a couple of nights and it got all over the sheets.  Kinda a bummer.  If you like thick body creams, then this is for you! 

amika's  Color pHerfection Shampoo
My initial thought for this sample was right, I only had enough for one use.  My hair is so long and I have so much of it that I BARELY had enough to use once.  While I was disappointed with the size of the sample, I still wanted to give this shampoo a chance since it is targeted towards colored treated hair (which mine is).  After using this shampoo and rinsing it out, my hair felt like straw! Other reviews I had read were saying how soft their hair felt after using this shampoo, but that wasn't the case for me.  I ended up having to use one of my hair masks to get my hair to feel normal again.  So, this sample was a definite fail for me.

Harvey Prince Skinny Chic

Initially I thought the smell of Harvey Price's Skinny Chic was nice, light and slightly fruity.  However, after about 30 minutes, there was no smell left.  It was so light it disappeared.  I also don't understand how a perfume can raise your energy levels OR cut into food cravings.  Maybe someone can explain it to me...

theBalm cosmetics Put a Lid on it Eyelid Primer
This sample was the stand out for me this month.  I tend to have oily eyelids and ALWAYS use an eyelid primer so my make-up lasts more than an hour or so.  The true test to a good eye primer is to accidently fall asleep with my makeup on and wake up the next morning and it still look like I just did it. =] LOVE this primer.  I have several of theBalm products and I have yet to be disappointed.  Highly recommend Put a Lid on it by theBalm.

Monday, January 14, 2013

January's Birchbox is HERE!

So January's Birchbox has arrived.  If you don't know what Birchbox is, it is a $10 monthly subscription service that send you 4-5 beauty samples that allow you to test different products and brands without having to spend a lot of money.   Birchbox also allows you to review each product on their website here.  For each review you do, you earn 10 Birchbox "points".  For every 100 points you earn, you ALSO earn $10 to spend on Birchbox's website.  (I have accumulated $30 to spend on Birchbox's website, exciting stuff).  Each month Birchbox has a different "theme" in which they revolve their box around.  The first box of the 2013 year is "Best Year Ever".

Let's get into this month's box. Now, not everyone gets the same beauty items each month.  There is a little survey you fill out when you join the site (i.e. what skin type do you have, hair color, age, and so on).

In addition to the 4-5 beauty related items you get in each box, Birchbox also sends you a card describing each item in the box (which has come in handy) and the price of the full sized item.

The BOX!

Items arranged in this months Birchbox

Clark's Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream 
 The first sample I grabbed out of the box was Clark's Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream.  This is a good sized sample that will allow me to use it a few times.  Nothing is worse than a sample that gives you one use if you are lucky.  How are you supposed to know if the product is good, bad, or ugly when you only use it once?!

Anyways, Birchbox describes this product as:
"Dull skin no more,  thanks to the glycolic acid in this exfoliating moisturizer.  The gentle tingle means it's working.  Full sized $115"

To be completely honest, I wouldn't spend $115 on ANY beauty product unless I was a millionaire (which I am no where near, but that is besides the point).  So this product will just be another sample that gets used and never purchased by me.

100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream
 Next, I grabbed these two little packets.  Each packet looks to be single use, so again I am glad Birchbox sent more than one in this months box.

Here is the Birchbox description: 
"This skin-friendly moisturizer is made exclusively from 100 percent vegan, organic ingredients.  Not that you needed an excuse to slather it on.  Full sized $15"

amika's  Color pHerfection Shampoo
 This was the last "loose" item floating around this month's Birchbox.  Now, I have A LOT of hair.  It is long (mid-back) and thick with curl (and color-treated).  This sample size is 20mL, which usually I would think is a good sized sample, but since I have so much hair, this will probably only one use (Not Birchbox's fault, I'm just saying).

Here is the Birchbox description:
"This gentle shampoo contains fortifying omega acids and healing sea buckthorn berry oil to keep your hair color bright and shiny. Full size, $22"

Harvey Prince Skinny Chic
 Inside the white box thingy within the Birchbox held two different products.  This one and the product listed below.  Harvey Prince's Skinny Chic is a perfume.  This sample fragrances comes in a mini spray bottle.  I prefer this type of fragrance sample than the kind that have that stick type that you have to dip and then rub on your wrist, neck, etc.

Here is the Birchbox description:
"Keep your energy levels high (and fight cravings to boot) with this zesty blend of apple, mint, and lotus blossom. Full sized, $21 - 55"

I did just spray my arm wondering what the description meant by "fight cravings to boot" and the smell is very light.  To me, the apple is the smell that I smell the most.  Also, to me there is NO real alcohol smell that can sometimes be strong in a perfume.  I will probably wear this a couple of times and for longer than five minutes to get a good read on how well I like this fragrance.

theBalm cosmetics Put a Lid on it Eyelid Primer
 This is the second product that was inside the little white box thingy.  I am pretty excited to try out this eyelid primer.  I have oily eyelids and use Urban Decay's Primer Potion on a daily basis and I LOVE IT!  So trying something that is a little cheaper is exciting.  

Here is the Birchbox description:
"Keep that pretty eye shadow crease-free with this stay-put primer, which also prevents smudges and smears. Full size, $18.



The last thing in the bottom of this month's Birchbox was towards the theme of this month "Best Year Ever".  This fold out gives you 25 "tips" towards making 2013 your Best Year.

If you are interested in going Birchbox here is a link to go to:
Click Here to Join Birchbox


Monday, January 7, 2013

Nailed it...

Well, today started like any other Monday... I woke up with my throat on fire and feeling like crap! YAY... not really.  And being that I wasn't feeling up to pair I decided to rest and relax today hoping that tomorrow I feel better.  In my relaxation mode, I was browsing my fav website Pinterest.  I came across a picture of a nail polish design, and figured I could give it a go.  Let's just say it didn't quite work out like I thought it would. 

  here is the inspiration I found on Pinterest.

These are all the supplies that I used to try to re-create the look
Colors in order of layers:
OPI's What's with the Cattitude?
Revlon Colorstay in Bold Sangria
OPI's Skip the Gift Wrap
OPI's Ogre-the-Top Blue
 I started with OPI's What's with the Cattitude as the base.  I ended up doing two coats to make sure that it was a solid color to build on.  Afterward, I took the colors (in order of "darkness") to add.  I poured a couple of drops onto the aluminum foil so that the polish wouldn't dry to quickly.

Here how it looked with just the Bold Sangria swiped across:

Base: What's with the Cattitude?
Swiped with Bold Sangria

 I gave a little time in between each color to allow the previous color time to dry.  Then preceded to do the same thing with the two following colors.

This is the end result.  Yes, I know it is messy looking, but for me it is easiest to get the nail polish off the skin once it is dry.  Peels right off.
This is the top coat I used.  THIS IS THE BEST TOP COAT I HAVE EVER USED!!! In love with it. Wouldn't buy any other kind.
  The end result was nothing like the picture I found on Pinterest.  Maybe I did it wrong, but I was kinda disappointed with how it turned out.  Oh, well maybe next time or with less colors.

<3  Good Luck! I would love to see pictures if you try this!   

Thursday, January 3, 2013


HAPPY 2013!!

It's amazing that the older I get, the faster the years seem to go by!  2012 was a CRAZY hectic year for the hubby and I! We moved all over the state of FL for work but we are now finally settled in one place (and I hope it stays that way for a little bit longer!) 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season and was able to spend it with the ones you love!    Chris and I were able to go back home for a few days and spend Christmas with my family! I think this was the least amount of drama I've ever experienced, so that was a MAJOR plus! =]

I got AMAZING gifts.  My favorite being my new camera!!

This is the Nikon J1 with the 10-30mm lens

I am completely in love with this camera!! It takes AMAZING pictures in low light.  Example, the hubby and I went to the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day to watch FSU play! We didn't start tailgating until about 5ish.  Here in FL, especially during Daylight savings, it begins to get dark around that time.  I didn't have to start using the flash with this camera until about 6:45!  The hubby and I are planning on getting new lens for this camera as time goes on. =]  I loved all the gifts I got this year, but this one just happened to be the one I was the most excited about! =]

It is also the time when everyone tries to make some New Years resolutions.  Now, I'm the type to ALWAYS make a resolution that I NEVER end up doing, so this year my first resolution is to STICK to my New Years resolution.  I always try to make them reasonable.  

Here they are:

1. At least once a week, cook something we haven't tried yet.  I don't think we will be able to have a set day for the new recipe night, but just as long as it is once a week!
2.  Try to have a one night a week with no computer and cell phone.  I feel our lives (especially ours since Chris works in electronic's) always revolve around cell phone's and computers.  So, I would LOVE it if just for one night we can ignore our phones and computers and focus on spending time with each other! 
3. Drink more water!! 
4. Find exercises that don't bore me!  I seem to get really bored when I work out if I do the same thing over and over, whether it be a video or me just doing some stuff.  So, I need to find something that works, yet doesn't bore me. 
5. And lastly, get more organized.  I have been looking on Pinterest for some organization tips and tricks for the Novak household.  I can share what works for us as I start setting some things in motion! =]

Hope everyone had a safe and Happy New Years!! 
Also, I would love to hear your resolutions! So I hope you share!