NARS Orgasm Blush. Worth the hype? I say yes.

NARS Orgasm Blush

Product Review: NARS Orgasm Blush – $30

Pros: Can build up the color, sparkles, almost universal color

Cons: If you don’t want shimmer in your blush, that would be the only thing

[Bear in mind with my picture that particular blush shown has seen a lot of use]

I can honestly say with full confidence, that NARS blush in the orgasm shade would be hard to top in my book. It’s one of those “cult classics” in cosmetics that has built up enough reputation to where almost everyone knows it has to be awesome.

In case you don’t though, it really is. It is a powder blush that will come onto your blush brush with ease. Even some of my cheap low quality brushes have worked with this. It does have some easily seen shimmer that you will pick up as well. I personally love this, and I’m not someone who likes glitter but this is so fine that it is subtle on your skin. It just gives a nice shine to your cheeks along with the color.

NARS Orgasm on arm(Note: If you are someone who loves shimmer, you might opt for the Super Orgasm shade. The glitter in it is super sized! If you don’t like any glitter than try the Deep Throat shade. I have heard it is a great alternative. Those names are quite memorable, aren’t they?)

The orgasm color by the way, is amazing on many different skin tones. It’s a peach-like pink that can be applied as lightly or as heavy as you wish. It’s made with transparent pigment, which is nice because you can actually build it up to whatever suits you. As far as daytime everyday wear, it’s my go-to, but it can also be layered up enough for a date night.

The compact itself is a decent size and has a mirror on the inside. NARS has a great reputation with their products and their Orgasm blush is no exception. If you’ve been debating whether or not to try it go ahead and give it a shot. This is has been a staple of my makeup collection for a long time now and I’d recommend it to any makeup beginner or expert.

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My Favorite Fragrance – Clean Warm Cotton

Clean Warm CottonProduct Review: Clean Warm Cotton – $72 for 2.14 oz.

Pros: You can smell fresh and clean anytime, even when you’re really not!

Cons: May not be the right scent for everybody.


I like things to be “as advertised”. You get what you expect. If you buy a perfume with the name of a flower, it should smell floral, and not like a household cleaner. I’ve experience those. By the same token, one named Clean should in fact smell clean. I was introduced to the Clean line when I received a sample in Sephora’s annual Perfume Sample Box. (The one that you can go claim a full size product after buying. Guess which one I went with?)

The first time I tried Clean Warm Cotton, I thought I had lost my mind. I was embarrassed to admit I wanted to roll the scent all over me and smell like laundry sheets fresh out of the dryer. I thought, “I love this, but I’m just weird. There’s no way this will go over well with anyone else.”

Thank goodness I was wrong. Clean now has several different womens’ fragrances under their belt, as well as a selection for mens’ fragrances. I have also tried Rain, Fresh Laundry, Cashmere and Shower Fresh and have not found one yet that I dislike.

The product description for Warm Cotton says “Cozy up to CLEAN Warm Cotton Eau de Parfum, a fragrance that captures the comforting scent of just-out-of-the-dryer freshness. Blending the crispness of freshly laundered linens into an understated fragrance that is soft and subtly sexy, CLEAN Warm Cotton is perfect for the modern woman who is confident enough to let herself—not her fragrance—command attention.”

The scent couldn’t be any more spot on in my opinion. As long as you don’t spray it on too heavy it is very soft and subtle. I have never had anyone tell me that they like my perfume while wearing this. But I have had some tell me I smelled good that day. I’m pretty sure they think I just smell clean, which I am okay with. The bottle has a matte finish on it and the aqua color and simple typefaces on the bottle tickle the fancy of someone like me, who works as a graphic designer.

I have the full size bottle that is a bit high at a cost of $72. But I can say it lasts forever! I don’t wear it daily but it is my typical go-to perfume and it has lasted me over a year now.

WARNING: The Clean smell is not for everyone. I strongly recommend going to a store like Sephora or Ulta to sample it first, and make sure it is something you might like.

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Sending My Love, Dear Readers

Stila Sending My Love

Product Review: Stila Sending My Love Set

Pros: Good colors in face and eye palettes, lip glaze good for fair skinned

Cons: My eye liner broke. 🙁 – $45

So while I wait very impatiently on the Too Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly Palette I’ve been pining over for a while, I thought I’d keep myself busy trying out a set with some similar browns, golds and purple colors. Sending My Love is a great set by Stila. I was really surprised by the amount of stuff in it.

Included is a palette of 5 pretty colors called Bark, Cinnamon, Sandstone, Sangria, and Pale Pink. Also there is a face palette with bronzer, pink rose blush, and highlighter. Then there’s also a Smudge Stick waterproof eyeliner in Stingray, and a Lip Glaze in guava.

So first off the face. The bronzer is not too dark, so I really love it for lightly brushing up on my pale face. The blush is a really pretty color. It also can be used lightly or as intensely as you’d like. The highlighter has a lot of shine to it. It compliments the bronzer and blush very nicely.

The colors of the eye shadow are very pigmented. The pale pink is hard to see on my arm but it makes a good all over base.

There’s some mattes and some shimmer colors. I’m a sucker for a good purple. I wore purple eye shadow on my first date with my now husband. It is close to my heart. This Sangria color is no exception. It’s very much living up to its namesake with a red wine color.

Bark is another of the good dark shades in this. It is matte, and it doesn’t take much to get a good amount of pigment.

The Sandstone is light and shimmery. I used it near the top of my eye, close to the brow bone.

Cinnamon is probably my second favorite shade. It’s a rich gold color, with plenty of metallic shine. I used a hint of it to color in my eye brows, then also above the Sangria on my lid.

And can I just say, the box this set comes in is so nice, I ended up keeping it to hold things. Right now it is storing my bookmarkers.

Stila Sending My Love lookNow let me just say, I had a hard time with my Smudge Stick eyeliner. It is very black, and glides on smoothly. All those things I love about it, but unfortunately, it was not meant to last. It must have broke off inside, clogged or something. No matter which direction I tried to twist the product, it wouldn’t come out. I didn’t have much to work with for this review other than the squared off bit at the end, so I tried my best to make that work. I ended up getting it on a little heavier than I would have liked because of this. I can’t say I’m too thrilled about it not twisting up anymore. This was only my third time using it. Other reviews online reveal I’m not the only one to have had this problem.

Last but not least, the guava colored lip glaze. This is actually my first experience with a lip glaze that is dispensed the way this does. You twist the bottom in order to push the liquid glaze up through the bristles of the brush at the other end. I thought that this might cause the brush to harden up after a few uses but it hasn’t yet. The color is a light pink. It might not be the best for those with darker skin tones, but it looks pretty on point for my fair skin. At first it is kind of like slathering honey on your lips. It’s sticky and doesn’t sit well on your lips. But you just have to keep brushing it on, and then rub it in together on your lips. I love the look and am going to use this one often!



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EOS Lip Balm vs. Softlips Cube Lip Balm

EOS Sphere vs. Softlips Cube Lip Balm

Just who has the better balm?

Let us put to the test two drug store lip balm favorites. Both EOS and Softlips have their own version of a lip balm that is convenient to carry on the go, with a rounded product that makes it easy to apply to the entire pout of your lips. The distinctive difference is that EOS is egg shaped in its container, and Softlips has opted for a cube shape.

Both offer a huge variety of flavors and are around $3.50 to buy in many retail stores like Walmart, Target, etc.


The EOS experience

EOS stands for “evolution of smooth”. The company launched in 2009. I personally had not tried any of their products until a few years later, when the sphere lip balms became all the rage to have. EOS says their lip balm sphere products are 95% organic, 100% natural, and paraben and petrolatum free. They are also gluten free, and feature smoothing shea butter and a good dose of vitamin E.

The twist off top is handy for quickly getting to some much needed relief for chapped lips. The shape is fun, especially for kids to pack with them during the harsh winter.

EOS now also offers hand lotions, body lotions and shave creams in their product lineup.

For those who don’t know, I feel I have to mention that EOS has come under fire recently. A class-action lawsuit was filed against the company early this year. Many people began having what seemed like allergic reactions to the EOS balms, some having blisters and rashes coming up around their mouth. A lot of people questioned whether EOS had changed its ingredients. EOS stood by their product the entire way posting responses on their facebook page.

“Some of you may have seen reports of a lawsuit filed against our company. We wanted to be sure that you, our valued customers and fans, know that the health and well-being of our customers is our top priority. Our products are safe to use, are made with the highest quality ingredients and they all meet or exceed all safety and quality standards set out by our industry. An independent laboratory puts each of our products through a battery of rigorous testing to ensure this is the case. For these reasons, we firmly believe this lawsuit is without merit, and we will continue to create new and exciting products that delight our customers. Thank you. EOS”

Now the lawsuit is resolved, with testing done that did find their products still hypo-allergenic. You can read more about that here.


I personally have not had an adverse reaction to EOS but my advice to anyone that tries it is, if you use it and your lips start to feel more chapped or you have any other bad reaction, discontinue use right then. That goes for any beauty product. Almost all of us will be sensitive to something, so always be aware of how your skin reacts.


The Softlips experience

The Softlips cube doesn’t make the claim to be organic or natural. It contains petrolatum, which its EOS counterpart doesn’t include on its ingredient list. It is still gluten free, and Softlips cubes also have shea butter infused in them and vitamin E. As an added bonus, you get vitamin A and C in it too. Also, one thing some may really like about this balm, is it has SPF 15 sunscreen in it. Perfect for those summer months when you need a little added protection.

Softlips has teamed up with Hello Kitty too, and offers a few exclusive flavors with Hello Kitty on the side of the cube. This is extra fun for the little ones and young at heart adults to enjoy.

Softlips only offers products for your lips, but they have been doing it for quite a while now.

“In 1992, Softlips launched its first lip balm targeting women with its unique slim stick packaging and flavorful formulas,” says Katherine Tocheff, director of marketing Lip Care, The Mentholatum Company. “Softlips® Cube is a natural evolution, a stylish multi-functional lip balm for women who are always on the lookout for new exciting lip care products.”


My personal experience

I’m the proud owner of both kinds of lip balm. I started with a blueberry flavor in EOS. I used it for a couple years. It was helpful, and felt like it did a good job of helping with the winter blues from chapped lips. I can tell you that I found the balm would harden and dry out after about 6 months and I would have to get another.

It’s because of that I tried the Softlips cube. I personally love it much more. The fact it always seems to stay moist has been a huge help in keeping my lips moist for a longer period of time. I think the flavor comes through more than the EOS too. I personally vouch for the Hello Kitty Strawberry Banana flavor. It is amazing.

In the end it is all a matter of preference. Take your pick, or try both!

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Big Fat Yummy Doughnuts. No wait, hand cream!

Perfectly Posh Just Like Heaven Hand Cream

Product Review: Perfectly Posh Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme “Just Like Heaven” ($9 for 3 oz)


Pros: Effective and long-lasting

Just Like HeavenCons: Strong Smell, feels a little greasy when applying


I was lucky enough to receive some samples of Perfectly Posh products recently. I’m very impressed with this company from what I have seen thus far. Their products are made here in the U.S. and they use natural ingredients, without using parabens, sulfates, and other fillers. They are all supposed to be gluten-free as well, which is helpful to know for those like my mom, who have gluten intolerance. Many vegan options are available with Perfectly Posh also.

If you are going to pamper yourself, you might as well feel good about it, right?

During the wintertime I struggle with eczema on my hands. They dry out daily to the point of cracking and bleeding. I constantly slather lotion on them.

Since I run through lotions so fast I was happy to try the Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme “Just Like Heaven”. Upon opening I was pleasantly surprised to see it came out with the same texture as my L’Occitane en Provence Hand Cream. Not as expensive as L’Occitane, but a similar feel. I love a thick hand cream. It didn’t take much and my hands soaked it up. It felt slightly greasy on me until I got it rubbed in all the way. The smell is listed as “Muguet Blossom and Musky Bergamot”. I definitely got the musky part. I liked the smell personally, but some may find it too strong.

I put the hand cream on at night before bed, and my hands still felt soft the next morning. It finally wore off around noon. That’s a pretty long lifespan for hand cream on my hands during the winter.

Just Like Heaven’s key ingredients are listed on Perfectly Posh’s website as Allantoin, Aloe Vera, Apricot Kernel Oil, Citric Acid, Coconut Oil, Glycerin, and Vitamin E.

If you haven’t heard of the brand, try it out. I’m impressed, and can’t wait to share with you my opinions on some of the other samples I received.

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The Super Cute ULTA Bag of Deluxe Samples

ULTA Bag of Samples

Product Review: ULTA 14 pc. Bag of Samples

FREE 14 Pc gift plus $5 off future purchase w/any select $19.50 Ulta Beauty collection purchase

– If you want one of these bags for yourself, this deal is good until 03-12-16.

I’m a sucker for value sets and for sample bags. There’s nothing better than getting several new beauty products in one great set. The one I’m talking about today is a sample bag complete with great deluxe samples of ULTA products. Can I just say super cute bag, first off! Many of the samples inside are actually what I would call a full size product. But let’s look at each, one by one.

ULTA Primer

ULTA Professional Flawless Primer: I should use primer more than I actually do. So I was excited to get this. I wish you could have seen my reaction when I squirted some on my finger. I said out loud “It’s green!” Not just green, but guacamole green. Not wanting to count it out yet, I rubbed it onto my face. Amazingly, it blended into my skin clear. I’m still not sure how it did that. It felt nice on, and the same texture as the POREfessional Pro Balm I like a lot. This felt like a better primer to me then a Smashbox primer I had tried in the past. My Revlon Colorstay concealer and powder foundation went over top it “flawlessly”.

ULTA blush

ULTA Apricot Blush/Yellow Diamond Highlighter and ULTA Blush Brush: The Blush Brush that came with this set is super soft and feels very nice on the skin. The Apricot Blush and Yellow Diamond Highlighter that came with it is very hard-pressed. Because of this, I had a very hard time getting any of the blush and highlighter to come up on the soft blush brush. Swiping across both sides of the palette makes it a bit easier, but it still took way longer to get the right amount of blush on my face than I would have liked.

ULTA Brow Pencil and Liner

ULTA Brow Pencil Warm Brown: I have blond hair/eyebrows so I was a bit worried that this would be a bit too dark on me. I went light with it. It still was a touch too dark. I really need to sculpt my brows a little better sometime. If it was in a lighter color, I think this would be a good brow pencil for me. And I like that it has a brow brush on the other end of it.

ULTA Dual Ended Liner Black/Brown and Halo: Not a fan of this. It was super hard and actually hurt a little to try and line my eyes. It felt like I was using a #2 pencil on them. The color didn’t want to adhere to my eyelids.

ULTA eyeshadow

ULTA brushes

ULTA Eye Shadow Pallet and Large and Small Eye Shadow Brushes: It has pretty metallic colors in silvers and golds with shades of brown. It could be useful for normal daytime wear. The eye shadow brushes worked about the same as the blush brush, hard to pick up color on them and had to layer several times to get enough on my skin. Try a foam applicator instead.

ULTA mascara

ULTA Voluptuous Volume: It clumped a little, but used lightly I think it would make great everyday mascara. It didn’t give me as much volume as I expected from the name.

ULTA Matte Lip Cream

ULTA Matte Lip Cream: This is very dark, so I was worried it would look bad with my pale skin. Luckily I was able to put a very thin layer over the lipstick and blend it in with my fingers.

ULTA lipstick

ULTA Mauve Me Lipstick: I love this color so much! My problem? The tube! Mine won’t open and close easily and I’m actually afraid I’m going to end up breaking it trying to pull the cap off.

ULTA make up remover

ULTA Eye Makeup Remover Pads: Works well enough. I like using makeup remover pads, but find that using a good cleanser and a wash cloth is a more frugal approach. If you like the pads, give these a try.

ULTA nail polish

ULTA Lilac-ing You Nail Polish: It’s a very light pastel purple color. It would be good to wear for this Easter I think. It has a lot of shine to it.


Favorites: Overall, I’m impressed. My favorites from the bag are the Mauve Me Lipstick (Even though I have to be careful with its packaging), Voluptuous Volume Mascara, Eye Makeup Remover Pads, and the winner of the bag? That guacamole green primer! The ULTA Professional Flawless Primer helped hold on my makeup all day long.

Stuff to skip: I had my issues with the Apricot Blush/Yellow Diamond Highlighter and Eyeshadows. They just didn’t want to come up, especially on the included brushes. Though soft, they did not apply the makeup well. But the Dual Ended Liner was by far my least favorite. It was too hard of a point. I kept trying and trying to apply it and it just wouldn’t draw on.

Note: If you liked anything at all in this bag when you get it, there is a $5 coupon on a future purchase inside that you can use to buy your favorites!


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How to: The Red Matte Lip using NARS lip pencil

NARS Red Matte Lip Tutorial

Products used: Estee Lauder Double Wear Lip Pencil in “Coral” and NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Cruella”


“And I got that red lip classic thing that you like” – Taylor Swift

Whether you love her or hate her, you have to admit, Taylor Swift knows how to rock a red lip look. She is fair skinned like me, so every now and then, I try out the red lip myself. Matte lips are hot right now, though I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan. I prefer a more glossed lip. Regardless, I’m going to tell you today how I got the look.

I wish this could have been achieved with one product. But the fact is, the NARS lip pencil is a chubby soft crayon that is not the best for getting tight lines around your lips. Try it and you’ll probably get smudges around the edges. So to start with, find any red fine point lip pencil. My example used is a shade of Estee Lauder lip pencil. This creates a hard fine point line, perfect for tracing the edges of your lips.

NARS Matte Lip X

  1. Start with top middle of your lip. This part can be tricky for some. One tip is to draw an X over your lip. It will help get a good V shape for the edge. Don’t worry about the bottom part of the X. That will be easily covered up by the NARS Lip Pencil.
    NARS Red Matte Lip Top Liner
  2. Next follow the edge of your lip from the top along to the left side. Repeat for the right side. Get as close to the corners of your mouth as you can. This helps to get the defined lines when you smile.
    NARS Red Matte Lips Liner
  3. Be aware of the curves in your lip as you trace along the bottom edge. It can be easy as you get to the middle to dip down too far with your pencil. I like to work my way from the left to the middle, then from the right to the middle and make them meet.
    NARS Red Matte Lip Fill In
  4. Next grab the NARS lip pencil. Starting with the top lip, carefully smooth the pencil just over your original lines. You want to barely touch these lines so that you don’t cross over them. But enough to hide them if your colors don’t match perfectly like mine.
    NARS Red Matte Lip Fill In Full
  5. Fill in the rest of the lip, making sure to cover the inside of the lip as much as possible. With this red lip you don’t want to have any of your natural coming through at the end.
    NARS Red Matte Lips Complete
  6. Repeat in the same manner for the bottom lip.


Additional tips: If you are pulling off a bold color for your lips, go light on your eye shadow and eye liner. Vice versa is also the case. If you have bold lips and bold eyes it can look a bit overdone.

If your lips crack or flake a lot, invest in a lip scrub to exfoliate your lips first. You can also make one pretty easily with coconut oil and sugar.

If you just don’t like the matte, feel free to cover it with a matching lipstick or lip gloss.

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Bumble and Bumble Shampoo and Conditioner. Beauty Basic or Blunder?

Bumble and BumbleBumble & Bumble Hair

Product Review: Bumble and Bumble Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Creme Rinse Conditioner

(8.5 oz $25 for Shampoo and $27 for Conditioner) – Find the Shampoo on Sephora – Find the Conditioner on Sephora

Pros: Lots of volume, soft hair, some waves without needing Surf Spray

Cons: Pricey


First, a little background. My hair has been described by my hairdressers as thick, long, and super healthy due to the fact I never flat iron or curl my hair.

The drawback is it tangles very easy. In the past I used Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray and the resulting tangles from that, let’s just say it didn’t go well.

So I was skeptic and nervous when I received a large set of the Bumble and Bumble Foam Wash Shampoo and Creme Rinse Conditioner as a Christmas gift.

However, my strong desire to not waste anything forced me to give it a try. I am glad I did. I had to use a lot of the shampoo for my thick hair. Also please note: Do not take the lazy way out like I always do and try to lather this directly into your hair. It doesn’t work. I had to pour it out into my hand and really lather it in my hands first. That’s the only way I could get the foam effect of this “foam wash”.

I’m not super impressed with the smell. Some say it smells like the beach. I think it just smells clean. Not a bad thing, but also not what I think of as beach smell.

The conditioner came out in a creamy state, as advertised. It worked fine smoothing directly into my hair.

I was especially curious as to if it would truly give me any beach waves or not, especially without using the Surf Spray after as Bumble and Bumble recommends.

I finger crimped my hair while blow-drying it, in an attempt to help it get some waves. After drying and brushing I was happy with the result. I had some really soft hair with lots of volume. It felt really light and bouncy. At first, I didn’t think it had a beach wave look to it. But oddly enough after about ten minutes I started seeing more texture and waves to it.

The price tag on this makes me say I probably would not have bought it if I hadn’t received it as a gift. It does however, appear to be a pretty high quality shampoo and conditioner, if you’re in the market to try one out.

Note: The husband has a habit of using my shampoo instead of his. He complained when he ended up with short, beachy curled hair. He’s not going to be using my shampoo anymore.

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I love fresh roses. And I love Fresh Soy Cleanser and Fresh Rose Face Mask.

Fresh B-Day Gift Review

Product Review: Fresh Soy Cleanser and Fresh Rose Face Mask

(1.7 oz $15 for Cleanser and 3.3 oz $62 for Face Mask OR Free Sample Sizes as Beauty Insider Sephora Birthday Gift)  – Find the cleanser on Sephora.  – Find the face mask on Sephora.

Pros: Smells Amazing, feels good on

Cons: Pricey, some may not like the rose petals on skin

Have I ever mentioned how much I love having a January birthday? It allows me first dibs at getting my Sephora birthday gift for the year. One of this year’s birthday gift options for Beauty Insider members (It’s free to join by the way. Check out Sephora’s website!) is a Marc Jacobs lipstick and an eyeliner. Sounds great, but I already had a Marc Jacobs lipstick in a similar shade so I opted for the Fresh set. It comes with a 0.6 oz in the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and 0.5 ozin the Fresh Rose Face Mask.

These things are known as some of the “cult classics” in beauty so I had to give them a try.

So let’s talk about the cleanser first. I used it to take off my makeup today. It worked well. It removed all the foundation and eye shadow easily. Eyeliner and mascara was a little tougher but it came off with a few passes. This is not as strong as my regular eye-makeup remover, so some may prefer to use that when it comes to the eyes. The cleanser was very gentle and I would say it is good for someone with sensitive skin. It smells nice, kind of like cucumbers.

Now for the face mask. Let me say this first. If you are not okay with looking like you have small brown things on your face, you may not like this face mask. It is infused with real rose petals and they end up on your face in random places. The rest of the gel in the mask is virtually clear. My husband came up to me while I had it on, gave me a strange look and said, “What is all over your face?”

But the smell. It is heavenly. I personally love the strong smell of roses in it. It takes me back in time. I feel like I’m inside the pages of the novel “Pride and Prejudice”.

This is not the kind of mask I’m used to. It doesn’t burn my skin at all like some others have, and when left on for the recommended 10-15 minutes, it leaves my skin feeling super soft. Also, a little bit goes a long way so even the small 0.5 oz container I predict will last me a long time.

All in all, I’m pleased. As always, Sephora’s birthday gift has actually given me a reason to be excited for the next birthday.

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It all started with a backpack and an obsession…

The Backpack

My makeup bag was already bursting at the seams. The worst part? It was my extra makeup bag. I already had another full one lying beside it. I just recently threw out some old cosmetics. Let me tell you, eye shadow from high school is not worth keeping. There is a time period on how long different kinds of makeup should be saved for. (I’ll talk about that another day) However, when you are a cosmetic hoarder those rules don’t seem to apply.

Even after getting rid of the old, I had no room for the new. I could do one of two things. I could throw out some more and keep trying to make do on my two decent sized cosmetic bags (or worse, whittle it down to one!) or I could embrace the fact that I have a problem. I have a problem, and my only logical solution was to have no shame and buy a backpack to store all my stuff.

I found a yellow backpack on sale for $6.99 at a local outlet store. It was probably on sale because the neon yellow is not everyone’s first choice in backpacks but for my purpose, perfectly fine.

Once I decided I have an obsession/passion for all things that beautify, I realized I really need an outlet to share it with others. They say it is helpful to talk about one’s addiction.

On this blog, you’ll find me talking about whatever I can get my hands on whether it be cosmetics, skincare, or other beauty related products. I plan to do product reviews, how-to’s, and general talk about beauty.

After all, I do have a backpack to fill.

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