Haul ~ MAC & Ulta

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Today I bring to you a small-ish haul – and my first experience at MAC!! I have a few items from MAC, but they were either purchased online (more years ago than I care to admit), or at a beauty outlet store (which, by the way, is awesome). I was actually kind of nervous to go to their counter in Macy’s; I’ve heard other people say that the sales people can be rude and intimidating. Luckily, that wasn’t my experience! I also went there with a plan – I researched what I wanted beforehand so I didn’t “window shop” and end up getting more than I needed. I also popped into Ulta for a couple small items that I needed.

Let’s start with MAC.

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The first item I picked up was, of course, the Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15. Obviously, it is way to light for me, which is why I intended to use it as a highlight. However, I probably should have gone up to NW20. Also, after purchasing it, I read another blogger’s post which said that NW stands for “not warm”, whereas I assumed it meant “warm”. Whoops! I am definitely warm in undertone, but I have been mixing this with my NYX concealer in yellow and it has helped balance it out a bit.

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Being my first major MAC shopping trip, I wanted to keep by purchases to items that I knew would be great – we have all heard our favorite beauty gurus talk about the Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle, and since my highlighter collection is slightly lacking, I thought this a purchase worth making. It does have some fall out, but the sheen it gives is AMAZEBALLS. I have been wearing it every day since buying it. It is champagne toned and doesn’t have chucks of glitter, which I love. Super happy I picked this up!

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The last item I got was this Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork. As you can see from the swatch, it is a light, almost ash-y, brown. My original intent was to pick up a waterproof brow gel that I had seen on the website, however, they were out of stock when I got there. Boo. The woman at the counter suggested a paint pot instead and I decided on this one. It is super creamy & long wearing, but when applied to the brow it takes a little work to get the color built up to the correct color-intensity.

On to Ulta!

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OooooOOOooo, mini nail files, how exciting. Not, but I have been in desperate need of some travel emry boards to keep in my purse. There is nothing I hate more than breaking a nail while out and then having to deal with the snags and rough edges. It’s a pet peeve. So I got these. The end.

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And last, but not least, ABH’s Clear Brow Gel. I ran out of my last one, so needed to pick up a replacement. For a moment I toyed with the idea that I didn’t really need it or could shop around for something cheaper, but then I came to my senses. This stuff is the bomb – it keeps your brows in place all day – they literally will look the same at 6PM as they did when you applied them at 8AM. No joke. Every girl should own this!

What other items are a must have from MAC, I am feeling a brand addiction coming on!

Love, Natalia

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award !

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I have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award – whaaaaa??? I was not only surprised by this, but beyond grateful. This new blogging-adventure I have been on has been a whirlwind, but incredible and fun! I was nominated by the beautiful and talented Lisa Sherin of Yellow Elephant Beauty. Go check her stuff out. Like, now.

The rules of this award are as follows:

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate fifteen other amazing blogs and remember to comment on their blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them and provide a link to your post.
  • (Optional) You can proudly display the award logo anywhere on your blog e.g. on your sidebar and also follow the blogger that nominated you.

Seven Random Facts About Moi

1. Every kitten I encounter (I’ve never had one myself) I call “Chicken Little”. Don’t ask me why.

2. My parents rarely let us watch TV when we were younger, and now when I do I have been described as having a zombie-like face while doing it.

3. I have 5 tattoos, though none are readily visible.

4. I am really good at the game Apples to Apples. Seriously. I’ll challenge you.

5. When I was in elementary school, my best friend and I used to buy those candy cigarettes and sit on the curb to freak out drivers into thinking 9 year olds were smoking.

6. I ate a penny once so that my little sister wouldn’t take it.

7. I snort when I laugh. And I sneeze like a fairy.

My Nominees Are:

  1. Katie of Plus+Beauty
  2. My Paleo Pantry
  3. Emily of Cheap & Lazy Beauty
  4. Louanna of Louanna’s Beauty
  5. Chelsey of Makeup By Chelsey
  6. Cristina of Run Sweat Eat Repeat 
  7. Zoe Marie of Zoe Marie Beauty
  8. From Pasta to Paleo
  9. Stephanie of Blogging about Beauty! 
  10. Lizzie Lee
  11. Jen of Gracious Luck
  12. The Makeup Affair
  13. Lo of Laaura Borealis
  14. Sheer Beauty by Courtnee
  15. Beauty Bank

Check these ladies out!

Love, Natalia

Mani Monday ~ Essie’s Sleek Stick Nail appliques in Sneek-E

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This week’s manicure is another lazy-day style. I received these appliques in a huge Essie haul from Top Hatter – if you don’t know what Top Hatter is, they sell items on auction. I have gotten some pretty cool stuff for cheaper than in-store, but I am also pretty sure that a couple of the beauty products I received were knock-offs. Not cool. However, in this particular situation, I got 20 Essie polishes for $50, plus they threw in this applique set. Win!

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This set comes with 18 appliques, 2 in each size. 18 seems like a lot, but getting the perfect fit wasn’t that easy. They seemed to be either a tiny bit too big, or too small. If you have these, go for the smaller size, as applying the larger will make your nails look like they are “fanning” out at the sides. Also, there isn’t an easy way to get rid of the excess if it isn’t located at the tip of the nail.

To apply, simply clean your nails, push back your cuticles, and select the best size for each nail. Pull off the sticker, position on the nail, and press firmly all the way around. Then, use the provided mini nail file and file off the excess in a downwards motion.

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The tips of the my nails feel slightly rough, but this fact is nearly invisible to the eye.  Because this particular pattern has gaps in the color, a bright base coat might have been a cool touch. Oh well, next time! I applied a top coat just to seal everything down, especially the tips, but I will let you know how they wear when I have a better idea!

Happy Monday !!!

Love, Natalia

Mani Monday + a Review!

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Happy Monday!! Mani Monday is going to be a little different this week – I kept the polish simple as we are doing a review of last week’s Mani, as well. I stopped by Walgreen’s last night to pick up some makeup remover, and, of course, had to pick up some makeup products, too. This creamy coral color was in Essie’s new display and I was immediately drawn to it. I also grabbed this gold by Sally Hansen since my only other gold polish is about 5 years old. I suppose it was time.

I kept it fairly basic with just a gold accent nail. My first idea was to do a mix & match with a couple nail art pens that I also picked up last night, buuuuut they suck. Seriously, suck. So I had to start over and didn’t feel like doing anything too labor intensive.

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Now, the main objective of this post is to review my manicure from last week, which came courtesy of Influenster and Kiss Everlasting Press-on nails. *I received this set free from Influenster, but all my opinions are my own & 100% honest*

This set comes with 28 nails in 14 different sizes so that you can get the perfect fit for your nail size.  The nails are helpfully numbered with break off tabs that additionally make application simpler.

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The kit includes not only the nails in 14 different sizes (2 per size), but the nail glue, a petite emry board & one of those wooden stick things – I cannot think of the name, but you know what I’m talking about, right?

Application is fairly simple and the directions come labeled on the back. Just apply glue to natural nail, as well fake nail, press on and voila! You’re done! Repeat, obviously.

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Appearance

This look like your standard acrylic nail; not necessarily real, but not witch-like, either. The length on these is called “Real Short”, which I like – I have never been a fan of longer nails.

They have a shiney finish, but the directions state that you can apply a clear top coat to intensify this shine.

These remained shiney, if clean, but because of the sheen they also looked dirtier quicker than my natural nails.

Longevity 

The box claims that these nails will hold for 7 days, which I think is, surprisingly, a conservative estimate. You can tell quite easily whether you have sealed the nails correctly – once dry, there will be a lighter colored space if the nail isn’t secured on that spot.

My index finger nail came off twice, but I simply saved the nail and re-glued it when I got home. They did not feel flimsy and the hold that the provided glue gave was strong enough that I could do whatever I normally do without having to adjust my movements.

I had originally assumed that these wouldn’t hold up due to my job – taking collars on & off, walking giant dogs, and even climbing during my aerial silk classes was no problem. My nails were slightly sore the first day, but felt completely normal after this.

Removal

The directions state you should file off the top layer of protective coat, then soak the nail in an acetone-based polish remover until the nail becomes soft. I did this, and then were easily able to pry them off gently.

They do leave a slight – chunkiness – due to the glue. Also, they did leave my nails slightly uneven and rough underneath – as if they had taken a 1/2 layer of my natural nail off with the fake nail. However, they didn’t feel weak and I just applied a nail strengthening base coat to help them heal.

Bottom Line

These are super easy to apply, last longer than stated (even if you work a lot with your hands!) and are simple to remove. They do weaken the nails slightly, but not half as bad as if you had acrylic nails applied at a salon. I also really enjoyed the length – I saw in store that you can get longer lengths – which I thought was a great option depending on your personal preferences. I like short nails, but they offer longer ones for those of you that prefer length.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ out of 5

These retail for $6.99-7.99, which I think is a great price point. I could technically get 2 applications out of these, since the sizes increase so gradually that going up or down one size doesn’t make that much of a difference.

They have a variety of other styles and lengths to suit your personal preferences. I would definitely purchase these, which is saying something as I have never had an interest in press-on nails. Great job Kiss!

IPSY June 2014 ~ UnBoxing

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I am pretty excited about this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag – last month was slightly “meh”. I mean, I have found uses for everything, and especially liked the BooBoo CoverUp Concealer, but that was about it.

There are generally an item or two that I am not interested in each month, but I always make an attempt to try everything because you never know what could be a hidden gem!

Product #1: Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Styling Cream

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 Claims: “This protective blow dry cream repairs as it freezes your sleek style into place as you blow-dry and flat iron so you can have unmatched control and hair that’s healthier than before.”

First Impression: I have never tried anything from this brand, and I do love a frizz-free hairstyle, so am excited to try it!

Product #2: Nicka K Shimmer Eyeliner in Blue

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Claims: “Water, smudge, and fade-resistant liquid shimmer liners.”

First Impression: SUPER STOKED!! I have been wanting some colorful liners for summer, and after loving my liquid liner from Jane Cosmetics, this is a welcome addition to my (small) collection.

Product #3: Ofra Eyebrow Pencil in Universal

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Claims: “Water resistant pencil suitable for the most sensitive eye area. It is the perfect solution for your eyebrows and is called Universal Eyebrow Pencil for a reason as it is one color to suit all skin tones. It is soft enough and will make it easy for you to create a perfect shape.”

First Impression: The pigmentation is good during swatching, though I don’t know that I would say that it is “universal” for EVERY skin tone. For me, in particular, I think it will do. I have been obsessed with brow products lately, so am excited to try this out!

Product #4: Real Tree Eau de Parfum for Her

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Claims: None – couldn’t find any info on the container or online!

First Impression: This is a perfume, of course, and the first words that comes to describe it is “standard” or “masculine”. Nothing special or out of the ordinary, though I tend to be EXTREMELY picky about fragrances as everything seems to smell the same to me. It isn’t unpleasant, but reminds me of a cologne I bought for the boy recently. Not overly impressed.

Product #4: NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair

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Claims: “Buttery soft and silky smooth, our scrumptious new Butter Lip Gloss tastes as sweet as a sugar cookie—and makes your lips look downright luscious. Swipe it on alone or over your favorite lipstick for creamy sheer to medium coverage that melts onto your lips and is never sticky.”

First Impression: These are already a love for me, and already own this color. However, I am not bummed about getting something I already own, since I love it soooo much. Plus, they taste like HEAVEN (don’t eat them, though!).

Bag: Designed by Rebecca Minkoff

First Impression: I have been lusting over Rebecca Minkoff’s oxford purses, but refuse to drop the money on them. This pattern is, however, not to my tastes AT ALL. Honestly, the “Hawai’ian” print reminds me of something my dad might wear. Now, I love Hawai’i (I went to UHM), but this is just…well…tourist-y.

Overall I love all the products in this Glam Bag. The perfume is not a favorite, but, 3 out of 4 is a good ratio in my book.

My 1oo Follower Giveaway ends THIS FRIDAY @ 11:59 PM!!! Click here to see all the info on how to enter. So far, I haven’t had many entries, so your chances are REALLY GOOD!

Mani Monday ~ Kiss Everlasting French Press-on Nails

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Happy Mani Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend. The boy and I spent a couple days at his parents’ house, which is on the Russian River. It was hot. I mean, REALLY hot. So of course we lounged and drank too many beers. Well, I drank more than my 3 drink/week limit, but not THAT much.

Tonight’s post is going to be relatively short as I didn’t actually paint my nails at all. I actually had my first ever experience with press-on nails! I have never really been interested in press-ons, but was sent this Kiss set free in my Influenster SpringFling Voxbox. My first one of these, too!

They were incredibly easy to apply and have so far stayed intact through washing dishes, cooking dinner, and  removing my contacts (carefully!). I also made an attempt to paint the tips glittery, failed horribly, and had to remove it. Still, they are going strong!

My original idea for this post was to do a 2-in-1 Mani Monday + review, but have decided to give it a week (the box claims that the nails will last this long) so that I can get a really good idea on how they hold up and wear. So far, so good though!

Just a reminder – my 100 Follower Giveaway ends on Friday, 6/13, @ 11:59PM PST!!! Check out the link to enter here and see the sneak peak here. There will be a couple surprise EXTRAS included in the giveaway for the lucky winner, so be sure to get your entry in quickly!

Good night all!!!

Love, Natalia

Giveaway SNEAKPEAK!

 

 

 

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HERE IT IS!! The first peak at what will be included in my 100 Follower Giveaway! These are items that I absolutely LOVE and couldn’t live without – so I wanted to pass on these things to one lucky person.

I may be picking up couple more items, but the winner will have to see what those are when they receive it! Enter below – the rules are as follows:

  1. Follow @beautynbowwows on Instagram
  2. Follow this blog, of course!
  3. On instagram, make a comment on any of @beautynbowwows photos & mention this giveaway.
  4. Fill out info asked by Rafflecopter, below.
  5. Click here!

  6. You’re done!

*Giveaway is only open for residents of the US*

Thank you again for all your support!!!

Life + Giveaway Update!

I have been such a slacker marshmallow this last 2 weeks – I am sorry I haven’t been posting! Work has been busy, though no more than usual, however, my extracurricular activities have changed quite a bit. This has resulted in my coming home, shoving whatever I can scrounge from the fridge in my mouth, than passing out.

Sometimes with my makeup still on. That’s how crazy it’s been.

Excuses, excuses, I know. BUT I don’t want you, all my lovely followers, to feel like I am a flake, so here’s the story.

Now in to the giveaway stuff!! It was supposed to end tonight, but since I haven’t been able to promote it the way I’d like, I have extended it to end next Friday, 6/13, instead!!

100 Follower Giveaway

Rules:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Follow @beautynbowwows on Instagram
  3. Comment on any of BeautyNBowWows pictures on instagram and mention this giveaway.
  4. Click on the link above and fill out any info they ask for.
  5. Done!!!
  6. This giveaway is only open for residents of the US.

Follow me @beautynbowwows on Instagram for a sneak peak at what will be included – it’ll my personal favorites – both high end and drugstore!

Talk to you soon, I promise!!