Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GlobeIn Artisan Subscription Box Review

There is no doubting that Team TME loves receiving new subscription boxes, and actually, we can’t really say that the GlobeIn Subscription Box is new as the brand was founded in 2011. But GlobeIn is new to us and we are beyond thrilled that this company exists! As with other subscription box services GlobeIn is a monthly subscription box, however that is about all that’s the same as other subscription boxes. The GlobeIn Artisan Box ($30/month) is filled with the most beautifully crafted items from artisans around the globe, all items are fair trade and each item helps to build a revenue stream within the artisan's community. 

Our GlobeIn box arrived in a Palm Leaf Basket ($12 - boxes pictured above), which was handcrafted in Oaxaca, Mexico by Doña Selerina. Doña is part of a small cooperative that is sustained by GlobeIn’s Marketplace. Enclosed was a card describing each item, a bit about each artisan and a price for those who wish to purchase more of that specific item. Yes, you’ll want to gift the Palm Leaf Basket to someone, as the occasions for giving and using the basket are endless.

Inside the box we found –

Women for Peace Olive Oil Dead Sea Mud Soap ($18.50) that was handmade in the Galilee Region, Northern Israel by Sindyanna. Sindyanna is dedicated to improving the status of Arab women in their society. By partnering with Israeli olive farmers and creating meaningful work for Palestinian women, the female-led cooperative builds bridges in a turbulent region.

Natural Hemp Washcloth ($17.50) handcrafted in Bagdha, Bangladesh. The community cleans and spins raw hemp into yarn, which they use to knit purses, bath mats and washcloths. Along the lines of “First World Problems” the washcloth is so lovely that we actually don’t want to use it!

Guayaki Yerba Mate Tea ($6.95/25-ct. box) is hand harvested in the South American Atlantic Rainforest. This brand works to reforest the rain forest. Guayaki is using market-driven incentives to reforest 200,000 acres (Which We All Benefit From) and create 1,000 jobs by 2020 --- yes, in just another five short years.

Alaffia Shea Shampoo ($13/ 8 oz. Bottle) handmade in Togo, West Africa in several varieties. We received citrus blossom, which smelled absolutely divine. As for the girls of Togo, they are removed from school at a very young age and it’s common for Togolese women to be illiterate --- therefore unemployable. Alaffia supports inclusive education initiatives while employing Togolese women and helping them to earn a fair wage for their traditional shea butter production skills. We fell in love with Alaffia Shea Shampoo, as it left our hair amazingly soft and even if you’re not down with the “artisan” deal you’ll want to grab a bottle for end-of-summer hair repair.

Rounding out this beautiful (on many levels) GlobeIn Box was a hand-painted candle from Napier, South Africa. The artisans of the Nobunto cooperative, whose designs are inspired by local beauty, crafted the candle. Nobunto which means “for the people”. Nobunto is a cooperative where members of this community work together to create each candle and a set of three is $29.

For $30 we received well beyond that amount in goods and helping our fellow global citizens … well … that’s priceless. Check out GlobeIn online for your subscription, or to shop, and follow GlobeIn on Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Yuzen Summer 2015 Subscription Box and Gift Box Review

There’s a reason why TME chose Yuzen as the “Best Subscription Box of 2014” and receiving the brand’s latest offerings confirms that status. At this point, Team TME has lost count of the amount of boxes that we’ve received from Yuzen, but what we haven’t lost is our memory for the wonderfulness of each one.

Yuzen is a quarterly subscription box ($33/quarter), that also offers anytime gifting. Each box includes luxury eco-conscious beauty, snack, and lifestyle items that are carefully curated directly by the owners - Jen and Ted. Along the lines of eco-conscious, Yuzen has recently changed up its packaging for the Summer 2015 Yuzen Box.

All Yuzen boxes contain a beautiful organza bag, which houses the products, and for previous boxes Yuzen would place the organza bag inside a small box and then that box inside a shipping box. The brand has 86’d the smaller box in order to help reduce its carbon footprint! No quality lost here … just a better way to operate! As usual, the Yuzen Summer 2015 Subscription Box was beautifully packaged and contained items that we couldn’t wait to try.

Yuzen Summer 2015 Subscription Box:

  • Description Card With “Why We Chose It” and Discount Codes
  • Aromaflage Botanical Fragrance & Insect Repellant
  • Aromafloria Muscle Soak Ocean Mineral Bath Salts
  • Hugo Naturals Vanilla and Sweet Orange Shower Gel
  • Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Firming and Tightening Serum
  • Lasting Smiles Organic Peppermint Creme Lip Balm
  • Shea Moisture Zanzibar Marine Complex Replenish & Rejuvenate Hand Cream
  • Spa Ritual Nail Lacquer
  • Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen
  • Torie & Howard Meyer Lemon & Raspberry Organic Hard Candy

Yuzen Gifting Box:

Yuzen’s quarterly box can be just for you – you deserves it, but if you’re looking for something lovely and unique as a gift you’ll need not look any further then Yuzen’s Gift Box ($36). The quality is just as outstanding as Yuzen’s Subscription Box and just a lovely with an organza bag and Japanese Yuzen paper.

Yuzen Gifting Box 2015 Includes:
  • Description Card With “Why We Chose It”
  • Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub
  • Cowgirl Extreme C Serum
  • Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Cream
  • Salus Shower Bomb
  • Shecha Naturals Pink Dragonfruit Mints
  • Sparitual Cuti-Cocktail Pen & Pusher
  • Sranrom Urban Wellness Calm Down Hand Cream
  • Zents Mandarin Soap

For more information about Yuzen gifting or subscription options, please visit the brand’s website.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Handmade Beauty Box Review

The Handmade Beauty Box is definitely a new concept in beauty subscription boxes! When we were approached to review the newest beauty subscription box, we were rather skeptical. Honestly, we like our beauty boxes filled with pre-made goodies. But, never ones to shy away from a challenge we met the new concept head on.

We received the Handmade Beauty Box March 2015: Cuticle Balms and Lip Balms box, which happened to be perfect timing as we were in need of some serious cuticle rescue.

In The Box:
  • Shea Butter
  • White Beeswax
  • Avocado Oil
  • Passion Fruit Rose Fragrance & Flavor Oil
  • 15 Mini Tins
  • 2 Droppers
  • 1 Cuticle Pusher and Mini Nail File
  • Finished Labels
  • Instructions

Everything that we needed to make cuticle cream and lip balm was included! All we needed to do was grab a saucepan and measuring cup in the kitchen. Creating the balm was very simple. We mixed the shea butter, beeswax, and avocado oil together in the saucepan over a low heat (the directions instruct to use the microwave – but we like to color outside the lines!) until the ingredients were melted. We then added Passion Fruit Rose Fragrance & Flavor Oil and mixed. We carefully filled the provided tins and after allowing the balm to cool for a few hours, viola … cuticle and lip balm! We applied the provided labels after, and we actually should have done so before adding the balm to the tins, but live and learn. The finished product was good and this was a fun DIY project.

Handmade Beauty Box is $29.99 a month (shipping included), and you can order just one month or sign up for 1-, 3- or 12 months. The Handmade Beauty Box was conceived by Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry Soap Supplies and all recipes are tested before they go out to customers. Overall, the Handmade Beauty Box is an interesting experience and easily worth the price. Plus, there is an entire “Handmade” community that shares their tips. Not bad for the DIY crew. To learn more visit Handmade Beauty Box and visit them on Facebook.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Moroccanoil Body Collection Review

While many are familiar with the Moroccanoil brand for its superior hair care products, some may not be as familiar with the Moroccanoil Body Collection. The brand was at the forefront of introducing consumers to argan oil for our hair and recently launched a line of body care products based on the same infusions. Checking a sampling from the line, TME is sharing our experience with key products from the Moroccanoil Body Collection.

Behold Moroccanoil Body Buff ($42), which is made with naturally exfoliating orange peel; this is an energizing, daily-use scrub that gently polishes away dead skin cells. Body Buff is paraben-free and offers the added benefits of argan oil blended with Vitamin E and nourishing avocado, grape seed, safflower, sesame and sweet almond oils rejuvenate skin with intense moisture.

Moroccanoil Body Butter ($52) is a luxurious, concentrated body cream that absorbs quickly upon application without leaving behind a greasy residue. This too is paraben-free and offers antioxidant-rich argan oil, shea, cocoa and mango butters melt together to deliver nourishment, while avocado, olive, squalane and pomegranate oils instantly soften and nurture skin.

Moroccanoil offers Moroccanoil Pure Argan Oil ($50), which can be used on the skin, nails and hair. The price point of this premium grade argan oil was quite pleasing and makes this luxe product easily affordable to all. The non-greasy oil provides multiple conditioning benefits for the face, body and hair making the multi-use product an intelligent investment. It glides on like silk and absorbs quickly for a head-to-toe moisturizing and pampering experience. And although Moroccanoil’s signature scent is delicious, Moroccanoil Pure Argan Oil is fragrance-free for which works exceptionally well when dealing with sensitive skin.

New to Moroccanoil, and rather essential for the mind, is the Moroccanoil Candle with Glass Vase. Moroccanoil Candle ($52) is crafted in France using premium European wax to softly illuminate and fill the space with the fragrance beloved by so many, creating a warm and soothing ambiance. Many of us won’t be able to jet over to the Mediterranean at whim, but oh how this candle captures the pure essence of the sand, ocean and sky! The Moroccanoil Candle is well crafted, offers a cotton wick that burns for 50 hours and the beautiful double wall glass vase is perfect for storing small personal items once the candle has burned through.

The Moroccanoil Body Collection is available online at Moroccanoil and Spa Nordstrom, as well as luxury salons and spas nationwide.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Review

Launched in March of this year, Arm & Hammer introduced the Truly Radiant line of oral care products that are designed to help consumers achieve maximum whitening, cleaning and strengthening for a radiant smile. The Truly Radiant Collection includes Arm & Hammer Toothpaste, Extra White and Deep Clean Spinbrush battery-powered toothbrushes and replacement brush heads.

Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Toothpaste is designed to whiten, cleanse and strengthen teeth for a radiant smile in just five days. We saw results after just one usage, which is definite happiness. The only “issue” to note is that Truly Radiant Toothpaste ($3.50) does have a bit of a baking soda taste, which didn’t bother us but may be a bit of a surprise for some users.

We used Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant toothpaste is conjunction with Spinbrush Truly Radiant Extra White Toothbrush ($9.99) and found that this spinbrush was of fairly decent quality, with easy navigation to those super hard to reach place and left our teeth truly clean.

We were pleased with our Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant experience and the price point is perfect. Less then $14 for a brighter smile works for us! Actress Alison Sweeney was tapped as the face of Truly Radiant and Alison offers up a few amazing tips for bringing out your overall radiance, which you can check out at Live Radiantly.

Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant is available at retailers nationwide and as an awesome “Back To School” you can find coupons for Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Toothpaste HERE and Truly Radiant Spinbrush Toothbrushes HERE!

Monday, August 4, 2014

reVive Light Therapy by Kathy Ireland Skincare Review

Kathy Ireland Worldwide (kiWW) launched the reVive Light Therapy systems in June of this year. Pricing in at $69 to $350, the reVive Light Therapy systems seem to offer an affordable alternative to at-home skincare devices. Having had the opportunity to review other skincare systems, we’re familiar with how the products are supposed to work and what results one should experience.

First and foremost for any at-home skincare system is safety, for which the FDA says a resonating “yes” for the reVive Light Therapy systems. The next issue for devices of this type is ease of use and effectiveness. Focusing upon four key skin issues -- anti-aging, uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation, acne and skin healing and additionally pain relief, we weren’t exactly convinced that one system could target an array of skin care problems plus reduce pain. But, we are fearless when it comes to testing out products for readers and forged ahead.

reVive Light Therapy offers four different systems, each utilizing various forms of light therapy to address a specific skincare and pain concerns:  reVive Light Therapy Essential ($69), reVive Light Therapy Clinical C 60 ($169), reVive Light Therapy Professional “Cordless Handheld” ($249), and reVive Professional “Full Face” DPL Panel System ($349).

The system that we received is the reVive Light Therapy Professional “Cordless Handheld,” which comes with three interchangeable LED heads, individual instruction booklets, goggles and a travel case. Beginning with the Blue Acne Treatment head (Because we happened to catch a zit) we attached the head to the handheld device and proceeded to treat the affected area for a one-day treatment cycle. The daily treatment cycle consists of 3-minutes in the morning and 3-minutes before bed. Bye-bye zit! Understanding that our acne issue was one spot, we wouldn’t expect quick results for more severe acne issues.

Moving on to the Purple Anti-aging light treatment head, which requires 20-minute treatment cycles, we used the system for one week and noticed a marked difference in the fine lines around our eyes. The Purple Anti-aging light treatment head was also highly effective in reducing a sunspot on our cheek and increasing even skin tone! The approximate price of reVive Anti-aging Light Therapy Handheld System is $169 versus the latest anti-aging laser gadget that costs approximately $565. The laser is heavy, costly, inconvenient, and we don’t trust the long-term effects of lasers versus innocuous LED light.

The last treatment to tackle was the pain relief. Utilizing the Red Pain Relief light treatment head, we did a 14-minute treatment cycle on our wrist. The first use brought marked relief and the second treatment offered complete alleviation of pain. As for reVive Light Therapy systems there are so many reasons why it’s a win. Varying price points, total effectiveness, convenience and mobility. As we stated, we’ve used other at-home skincare treatment devices and they’re heavy, not practical for travel and the prices are insane. So there you have it dear beautynistas and suavenistas, -- TME’s experience, and gold seal approval, with reVive Light Therapy systems.

reVive Light Therapy systems are available online at reVive and select retail outlets.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream Review

ECRU New York introduced a line of hair care products, late in 2013, infused with Acacia Protein Collagen and Silk Proteins, one product being ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream. BB Cream for hair? Being ever the skeptic, I simply rolled my eyes at yet another catch-phrase product. After all, what was this “Acacia Collagen” and what was so awe-inspiring about using it on my hair?

Putting my investigator’s cap, I read up on Acacia Collagen. I found out that Acacia Collagen is an extract from the Acacia Seyal tree, which is native to Africa. Apparently this botanical ingredient is used in high-grade anti-aging skincare products due to its moisture retentive properties.

ECRU is utilizing this extract, versus animal proteins, in the brand’s patented Acacia Protein Collagen Hair Care line as to offer the same moisture retention and damage prevention as high-end skincare products. As I’ve previously written, ECRU New York is an eco-friendly brand, which does not test on animals and is committed to sustainability. So, catch phrase aside I tested out ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream.

What did ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream ($30) do for my hair? Well, first off this is a multi-purpose product (LOVE) that serves as a leave-in conditioner, heat protectent and styling product! A dime-sized amount of product was plenty for my long hair (More LOVE).

Acacia Protein BB Cream didn’t weigh my hair down, allowed for quick styling when taking my naturally curly hair to straight, and left my hair in amazing condition. For those that have damaged hair, Acacia Protein BB Cream is must-have styling product and for those that don’t it’s a great preventative.

ECRU New York Acacia Protein Collection includes:
Acacia Protein Shampoo ($25)
Acacia Protein Conditioner ($25)
Acacia BB Cream ($30)
Acacia Protein Masque ($25)
Acacia Protein Oil ($30)

ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream and the entire Acacia Protein Collection can be found online at ECRU and select retail locations globally!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Purple Prairie Botanicals Review

Going with the theory that everything happens for a reason, The Makeup Examiner offers up the story, and review, of Purple PrairieBotanicals. As with almost every interesting health or beauty product that TME has come across, necessity (frustration) has been the mother of invention. This is where we find a young mother of three who became frustrated with skin care products that were not up to par. Happening upon an article in an organic gardening magazine, she decided to cook up a batch of soap and in 2000 Purple Prairie Botanicals was born.

Based in Minnesota, Purple Prairie Botanicals is a homegrown company committed to using the finest organic ingredients, sustainability, fair trade practices and, of course, no animal testing. Purple Prairie are proud signers of the Skin Deep Cosmetics Act, Leaping Bunny, PETA and qualify for the National Green Pages directory. Are you in love yet?

Purple Prairie products are free of:
  • Petroleum
  • Parabens
  • Synthetic Dyes
  • Artificial Preservatives
  • Animal Ingredients
  • Detergents
  • Sulfates
  • GMOs
  • Gluten

Getting to the products, TME begins with Gardener's Carrot Salve ($5.99), which smells delicious and is made with calendula and chamomile, which protect before and after gardening. But, Gardener's Carrot Salve is not limited to just gardening. It’s an excellent product to sooth and heal dry feet.

Next up is Deet Free Bug Spray ($7.99), which is full of skin-loving natural ingredients, has a lovely scent (unlike many other bug sprays) and is effective! It’s also fabulous for soothing bug bites should you forget to apply prior to taking to the great outdoors. The special blend of essential oils and plant extracts in a clean witch hazel and water base that’s safe for all ages.

Rounding out the review for Purple Prairie is a look at the brand’s SunStick Solid Balm SPF 30 ($9.99).  Containing 20% micronized zinc oxide that scatters the suns harmful UVA and UVB rays, this sun balm is also filled will skin-loving products like organic cocoa and shea butters. Aside from being an effective sun protectent, it’s unscented, 100% natural, biodegradable and environmentally safe.

Along with the above, Purple Prairie sent over several of their amazing 100% Natural Soaps ($3.99). With amazingnous like Lemongrass Oatmeal Soap, Gardener's Carrot Soap, Peppermint & Oatmeal Soap Bar and Eucalyptus Lemon Soap Bar … you need to try at least one. Purple Prairie Botanicals are available online at Purple Prairie and select retail locations.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Merlot Skin Care Review

Happy Summer lovelies! Okay, granted it may not exactly be a “happy” considering that summer is in full swing and we’d all probably rather be sitting beach or poolside. But, The Makeup Examiner has found a new skincare line --Merlot Skin Care-- that might just bring a smile (and glowing skin) to your face.

Although TME left the business world far behind her, business has never left her. And she points this out to emphasize the importance of good business practices, which is what she found with Merlot Skin Care. The brand produces all products in the USA, all products are made from procyanadolic oligimers’ (natural grape seed antioxidants), Merlot Skin Care does not test on animals, the company is family owned and operated, and lastly -- Merlot Skin Care offers top-notch customer service.

Ah, but you didn’t stop by to read about the business side of Merlot Skin Care did you? So, I’ll move onto the products. I was sent quite a few products from this skin care line for a Bridal Editorial that I’m working on, but I felt that Merlot deserved a review of its own.

Readers know that I love any true multi-purpose product, so I’m starting with Merlot Skin Care 100% Pure Grape Seed Oil ($8). Yesterday, I committed one of the biggest (and dumbest) beauty sins imaginable … I fell asleep in the sun and yes, it lead to sunburn. I applied 100% Pure Grape Seed Oil to my skin and experienced instant relief. To the best of my knowledge grape seed oil doesn’t offer any analgesic properties, but the oil soothed my skin nonetheless. Aside from adding hydration to my skin, Merlot’s Grape Seed Oil can be used to nourish cuticles, repair split ends, heal scars, replenish moisture after shaving, hydrate dry and cracked heals, and makes for a great massage oil.

Next up is Merlot Grape Seed Cleanser ($11), which contains no soap making this cleanser super gentle and perfect for sensitive skin. It effectively removed my makeup and left my skin feeling refreshed and hydrated. Moving onto what should be your next step in any solid skin care regimen … toner! Merlot Skin Care Hydrating Toner ($11) is lightly scented and left my skin feeling prepped for the next step in my skin care regimen. While Hydrating Toner an excellent toner and perfect for sensitive skin, I’m unlikely to give up my Pixi Glow Tonic anytime soon.

Moving onto the next product, Merlot Skin Care Grape Seed Moisturizer ($17). Although there isn’t any fragrance added to this amazing product, Grape Seed Moisturizer has this light and lovely natural scent. The moisturizer absorbs quickly and left my skin feeling soft, smooth and incredibly hydrated without any greasy feel. Merlot Skin Care Grape Seed Moisturizer works fabulously as a moisturizer and as a makeup primer!

Rounding out this review is Merlot Skin Care’s Purifying Peel Off Mask ($15). For as biased as I am against peel off masks, okay truth be told I haven’t touched a peel off mask in years, I was actually impressed with this one. Purifying Peel Off Mask is surprisingly gentle and left my skin with a healthy glow.

It’s a little cliché to state that Merlot Skin Care is like wine for the skin, but it’s true! Merlot Skin Care offers far more products then I’ve reviewed and you can find them online at Merlot.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Atelier Cologne Grand Néroli Review

Atelier Cologne Grand Néroli, launched in 2010, is a stunning scent. Backtracking for a moment, it’s important to call attention to Atelier Cologne itself. The perfumery conceived the idea of creating cologne absolues, which are fragrances based on traditional and classic citrus, but blended with a kick.

The specific scent of Grand Néroli ($170 – 200ml) is unisex and quite frankly, sexy. Atelier Cologne creates a written vision for each of its scent with Grand Néroli reading: “The windows were thrown open to let in the afternoon sun, along with a breeze of orange blossoms. She secured fresh flowers into her hair and her eyes sparkled with excitement and anticipation. She had been a whirl of precise motion in her final preparation and took pause to dream about the moment to come.” I love the vision and it is a perfect description of the whimsical essence of Grand Néroli.

Grand Néroli Fragrance Notes~
  • Top Notes: Moroccan Neroli, Chilled Lemon, Sicilian Bergamot, Petitgrain
  • Mid Notes: Galbanum, Oakmoss, Birch leaf
  • Base Notes: Musk, Cedarwood, Vanilla

Upon application is an immediate opening of citrus that gently transitions to sexy mid notes with dry down leaving a lasting essence of masterfully blended floral, wood and musk. Reading the notes, one would expect to raise an eyebrow and run -- but Grand Néroli captures the essences of whimsy, strength and romance. I can’t describe the theme of this fragrance other than to state that Grand Néroli is Mediterranean and have seen it referenced as a summer scent. As for being just a scent for summer, while perfect for the season, this is one that should be worn year round.

Created by: Cecile Krakower
Sillage: 2-Soft
Longevity: 3 - Moderate; 6 hours or less

Grand Néroli is available online at Atelier Cologne and select retail locations.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LORAC Cosmetics Summer 2014 | Review

The Makeup Examiner just found serious summer happiness with LORAC Cosmetics’ Summer 2014 offerings. LORAC “The Red Carpet Authority” has so much to offer this season that there’s bound to be at least one (or more) items that beautynistas will have to try!

Starting will Alter Ego Cream Lip Stick ($16 – 20 Shades) that can instantly transform your look, these sexy, playful and highly-pigmented cream lipsticks coat your lips in luscious color with a satin fi­nish that lasts. Its ultra-rich, velvety-smooth formula is loaded with anti-aging antioxidants such as Acai Berry, Pomegranate, Grape Seed Extract, and Vitamins C and E to help hydrate, nourish and condition your lips. Whether you wish to be a Free Spirit, a Supermodel or a Sex Kitten (even if just for a night), Alter Ego Lipstick comes in a gorgeous range of colors from soft nudes to vivid hues to create any look you covet.

Next up, 3D Lustre/Liner ($19 – 5 shades) Line and shine with LORAC’s 3D Lustre/Liner, inspired by our top-selling 3D Liquid Lustre Eye Shimmer. One end contains a gorgeous, smudge-proof, shimmering lustre liner, while the other end contains a perfectly paired, color-infused black liquid liner for luminous, prismatic, 3-dimensional sparkle and shine. This double-ended duo easily creates long-lasting, eye-catching looks that are perfect for flirty, playful days and dramatic, party nights.

Last for review Is the Back To Bronze Collection ($36 - $88 Value) the invites a welcome warmth after the long polar-vortex winter. With this perfect beach-ready bag, line and de­fine your eyes with LORAC’s 3D Lustre/Liner in Copper/Black Cherry designed to be worn individually or paired together, then amplify your lashes with LORAC volumizing, lengthening, and curling Cobra Mascara. Dust the travel-size TANtalizer Baked Bronzer all over your forehead, cheeks, and chin for a beautiful bronzed glow, and apply Alter Ego Lipstick in Girl Next Door, infused with antioxidants for a healthy, luscious pout. Complete your gorgeous look with Lip Lustre Gloss in Peach Lustre and get back to bronze with LORAC!
LORAC Cosmetics is a cruelty-free brand. LORAC Cosmetics are available online at LORAC and select retail locations

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ECRU Travel Hair Dryer | Review

When a company or brand commits to responsible practices, this is the first thing that The Makeup Examiner likes to highlight. ECRU NewYork’s products are eco-friendly, they are not tested on animals and all of its packaging is recyclable. Of course, in this review we’re covering ECRU’s Travel Hair Dryer for which one is unlikely to throw in the recycle bin. That aside, the ECRU Travel Hair Dryer is packaged in recyclable cardboard and includes a bonus of full-sized Silk Nectar Serum that you can toss in the recycling bin after you’ve used every last drop.

So, what sets the ECRU Travel Hair Dryer apart from other travel dryers? Admittedly I’m a reformed over-packer. Yep, I was once known to travel with … uh … a few pieces of luggage, but impromptu business trips or weekend getaways don’t necessarily allow for a lot of time to pack. The ECRU Travel Hair Dryer is a compact, hitting the objective of a packable dryer for travel, yet powerful so that you don’t have to comprise performance. The dryer utilizes patented Japanese Ion Technology for fast, frizz-free drying. And if the Farmer’s Almanac is correct, we’re in for a hair-hating-humid summer.

The ECRU Travel Hair Dryer ($108) is a rather interesting technologically advanced hair dryer that dries hair from the inside out, sealing in moisture for a smooth and shiny style. You’ll probably find that you’ll use the Ecru at home because it’s that good of a dryer. My belief is that there are absolutely items that you can “skimp” on … stylers are not one of them, most especially if you intend to look good while traveling!

ECRU Travel Hair Dryer Specs:

  • Patented Japanese Ion Technology - Dries hair from the inside out to infuse it with moisture, restoring luster and reducing frizz and flyaways
  • Far Infrared Technology - Dries hair faster
  • Special Ion Infused Nozzle - Releases heat vacuum to prevent damage to hair
  • Dual Voltage - Adjust drying power to meet European and American requirements
  • Free full-size Silk Nectar Serum ($32.50) - For weightless silky, smooth style

TME found the ECRU Travel Hair Dryer to offer everything that one needs in a travel styler and the high quality places this item on The Makeup Examiner’s Seasonal Beauty Must-Haves list. The ECRU Travel Hair Dryer and ECRU New York products can be purchased online at ECRU and select retail locations globally!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fat Hair Care | Review

Hello lovelies! Although volume is not necessarily at the top of The Makeup Examiner’s list of styling issues, having long and naturally curling hair presents its own set of problems. A while back, TME was sent products from the Fat Hair Care collection. With the help of a housemate we reviewed the pros and cons of each one.

Starting with Fat Hair “0” Calories Thickening Shampoo ($6.99), which actually worked really well for me to, as it helped control my crazy curls. Thickening Shampoo features a sulfate-free formula that is the first step toward thicker, stronger, fuller hair.  Designed with a blend of natural extracts and proteins, this lightweight shampoo nourishes each hair strand, stronger, luxurious, and healthier looking hair. TME would definitely recommend this shampoo to anyone, including those without hair density issues.

Fat Hair “0” Calories Thickening Conditioner ($7.99) is a lightweight formula that transforms fine limp hair into thicker, stronger, fuller hair as it nourishes and fortifies. While my housemate, who has hair density issues, was happy with the results of the Thickening Conditioner, TME felt that it did not offer enough moisture replenishment for her hair.

Fat Hair “0” Calories Thickening Crème ($6.99) features an ultra-lightweight formula that helps you achieve incredible fullness, volume and body, while adding texture and shine to your style. TME’s housemate loved the Thickening Crème and stated that it left her hair with volume and without a “funky” residue. But, she preferred Fat Hair “0” Calories Thickening Spray ($7.99), as she was able to achieve the same results with the convenience of a directional spray.

Favorite product from the collection is Fat Hair “0” Calories Amplifying Hair Spray ($11.99), which is a mega-versatile design tool that adds extra volume, fullness and shine to any style. This unique formula keeps your style all day and brushes through for easy re-styling. Features of Fat Hair “0” Calories Amplifying Hair Spray are an exclusive amplifying complex that adds strength, body and texture; no build up, residue, stickiness, or flaking; and it leaves hair soft and touchable.

Fat Hair “0” Calories Hair Care products are available at select drugstores across the US and Puerto Rico. To find a retail location near you, visit Fat Hair

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Parissa Express Wax Strips | Review

Parissa is a brand that offers all-natural hair removal products and is dedicated to the highest standards for the planet and us. With non-toxic ingredients, no animal testing and social responsible ingredient sourcing, Parissa had me at “Hello”. Parissa wax hair removal is available in a variety of formulas, giving options for the daunting task of removing hair from unwanted places and offers products for men too. 

“Gently remove hair from your bendy bits, your curvy bits, your tender bits, and yes, even your naughty bits.” ~ Parissa -- love it!

Each Parissa product is full of good stuff like Beeswax, Canola Oil, and Chamomilla Recutita Extract -- but free from GMOs, parabens and nasty preservatives. Admittedly I can be a bit of a chicken and I really hate hot wax, so I opted to test out cold wax Parissa Wax Strips Legs & Body ($13).

The Parissa Wax Strips Legs & Body includes:
  • 16 (8 x 2 sided) strips
  • 8 ml Azulene Oil
  • Easy to follow photo instructions 
The wax strips are made from glyceryl rosinate (pine resin), ricinus communis (castor) oil, and cera alba (beeswax) and the azulene oil contains isopropyl myristate (vegetable source), tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), azulene and menthol crystals. This product from the Parissa line is recommended for beginners, is perfect for touch ups and amazing for travel.

Okay I may be a chicken, as in I’m not down with hot waxing myself, but I’m a stiletto combat boot wearing mama when it comes to testing out product. So, there wasn’t gonna be any “I’ll try a small spot on my legs” for this beautynista. I went for the bikini area. I can happily report that the strips were stupid simple to use and left no ugly, painful bumps. Plus, the Azulene Oil is incredibly soothing. Parissa has made it to The Makeup Examiner’s Season Beauty Must-Haves!

Parissa Wax Strips Legs & Body and other products are available online at Parissa and retailers across the globe.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bond No. 9 Shelter Island Summer 2014 | Review

Launched on May 26, Shelter Island by Bond No. 9 completes the olfaction of the East End. With some 87 scents in its fragrance base, all inspired by the city of New York, Bond No. 9 is a rather interesting perfumery. To love a city so deeply, as to pay homage by immortalizing its iconic landmarks and geography through scent, is truly inspired.

Shelter Island is Bond No. 9’s offering for Summer 2014 and has a “beach-centric” theme. The bottle, as with all Bond No. 9 bottles, is aesthetically pleasing and modern with one side displaying deep blue and white strips, and the other a crisp white. 

Backtracking for a moment, Bond No. 9 released The Hamptons (2005), Montauk (2010) and Sag Harbor (2012) under creative director Laurice Rahmé and again the entire concept is inspired. You don’t have to be familiar with the geography of these areas to appreciate the intent of feeling for which Rahmé wishes to evoke in the perfume wearer. As for Shelter Island, it’s all about summer … the carefree days spent beachside.

Top Notes: Citrus Zest, Black Pepper
Mid Notes: White Lilies, Algae Extract
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber Myrrh, Musk, Oud

Upon application is an immediate snap of citrus and pepper that gives way to calmer mid notes of white lily with dry down leaving a lasting essence of oud. Shelter Island masterfully weaves these beautiful notes taking the wearer on an olfaction journey. There is a very unique scent of balmy, beachside summer days and Shelter Island ($260-100ml, $195-50ml) exquisitely captures this fragrance. Sillage: 3-Moderate Longevity: 4 - Long-Lasting; 8 hours or less. Bond No. 9 Shelter Island is available online at Bond No.9 and select retail locations.