February Favorites

febfaves February FavoritesThis time when I say the month flew by, nobody can judge me because it’s February so it’s a short month – it really DOES fly by. ;) Also, nobody can judge me because that shit’s just mean. :(

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Cosmoprof North America 2012

cosmoproflogo Cosmoprof North America 2012

This year was my first COSMOPROF! I’ve attended lots of beauty-related tradeshows, but this was the first year I was able to attend Cosmoprof North America, which is held in Las Vegas.

What is Cosmoprof?

Cosmoprof is a business-to-business beauty trade show that covers hair, nails, skin care, private labeling, spa/wellness, packaging…you name it! It’s all at Cosmoprof. It’s not like IMATS or The Makeup Show as it’s more geared toward retail buyers, packaging decision-makers, etc. In fact, they aren’t allowed to do cash & carry sales! Talk about a difference! But it’s a great place to see what innovative fabulousness has just been released or will be released in the future!

Another thing that is great from Cosmoprof, but also a little frustrating as a beauty junkie, is seeing loads of awesome brands from other countries. These brands come to Cosmoprof hoping to find buyers to have their products sold in the US – but many of them aren’t yet available for “normals” for me to go out and buy! *pouts* But at least I was able to exchange information with them so when they DO come to America, I’ll be able to tell you all about it.

Highlights

Cosmoprof is huge. It’s pretty much the entire Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which is enormous. There are literally hundreds of booths. It makes IMATS look tiny. I was not able to see every single booth. Because it’s so huge, most of us press people made appointments to meet with the brands and see what they have going on. Since I was (and still consider myself to be) a Cosmoprof noob, I made very few appointments and just kind of wandered. Yikes! Going to plan it way better next time. But these things are a learning experience. :) There were a lot of awesome things that happened.

I went over to Jesse’s Girl and met with the fabulous Julie G. I don’t get starstruck over meeting gals from Youtube, but I gotta say meeting Julie was awesome. She’s a really nice person and took time to hang out and chit chat with me & Mr. Boyfriend as well as show us her line, talk about new things to come, and just generally what it’s like going from a girl with a hobby to having her own nail polish line sold in mass. I really enjoyed meeting her, and if you ever get the chance I suggest you do! She’s so sweet.

I also had a really fun time with the gals of AII Beauty. AII is the parent company for China Glaze, Seche, Ardell, and a ton of other brands. I saw all the current and upcoming collections – unfortunately some of which I’m not allowed to tell you about just yet. I saw Halloween ’12, Holiday ’12, and some spring & summer ’13 goodies. I wish I could tell you more! But they promised as soon as I can, they will give me all the details to pass on to you! The lovelies of Ardell also put some big ole’ false lashes on me! I don’t wear lashes usually so it was definitely an experience I had to get used to!

lashes e1343498322179 Cosmoprof North America 2012

When experimenting with lashes in the future I probably won’t go with such big ones, but I figured hey – it’s Vegas! Go dramatic! After a while I got used to them and almost forgot they were there. I even fell asleep in them (not on purpose – I don’t recommend sleeping in lashes!!) but my eyes weren’t at all bothered. Taking them off was a simple and pain-free process too. Don’t be scared of lashes! I’m not anymore. And in fact, Ardell has some new lashes that are self-adhesive, which I’m very excited to try.

Another highlight was meeting a brand new to me, Hola Lola! Hola Lola hails from Colombia. They have bath products, and underwear! But everything is beautifully packaged, stunningly presented, and smells amazing. Okay, so I don’t know how the undies smell. But that’d be weird. I’m going to assume it’s just fine. The bath products and perfumes smelled fantabulous. The first thing they did was tie a ribbon around my wrist that was fragranced. I’m. Obsessed. With. It. It lives in my purse now, scenting it. The fragrance is Lychee Rose, but to me it smells strikingly similar to Bath & Body Works Winter Candy Apple, which is my favorite (but discontinued) B&BW scent. The products don’t seem to be sold stateside just yet but mark my words I will get my paws on the Lychee Rose body splash so that I can bathe in it every day. I need that fragrance in my life. Seriously. And they were SO nice – they even gave me a gift! It’s a zebra print shower cap. I’m excited, because honestly does anyone look good in a shower cap? No. But now that the shower cap is zebra print? YES!

IMG 49021 e1343534278593 Cosmoprof North America 2012How flipping cute is this???

This blog entry is getting soooooooo long. SO! I’m ending it now, but there were over 800 booths…so there is much, much more to talk about. :) Stay tuned!

Candle Haulin’

candles Candle Haulin

I love scented candles. I don’t know…my explanation to people is usually “chicks dig stuff that smells like stuff”. It’s true though isn’t it? Also the soft light of a candle is very soothing and comforting, even in a brightly lit room. ANYWAY, Bath & Body Works had a sale over Memorial Day Weekend for their lovely candles, so I dragged Mr. Boyfriend in after brunch and we picked up some new scents. [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

mothersdaygifts Mothers Day Gift Ideas

I know a lot of you are probably  like “Mother’s Day? ALREADY?!” but it’s on my mind because my mom has been on my mind a lot lately. About a week ago we had to say goodbye to one of our dearly beloved family pets, Silver the cat. He lived a very long happy life to the ripe old age of 16, but he was quite ill and we had to make a painful decision. Mom has taken it very hard as she and Silver had a special bond and spent a lot of time together. Sooo it’s gotten me thinking a lot about my mom and then logically, Mother’s Day. [Read more...]

Perfume Collection & Storage

perfumestorage1 Perfume Collection & Storage
Just like the title says… this post is my perfume collection & storage. The storage is new! I just set this up a few minutes before writing the post. I do have a couple other perfumes but they’re ones I’m either “rehoming” or don’t use as much – although L’Occitane Cherry Princess is missing from this box because it was in the other room. See why I needed new perfume storage? 
I used to kinda keep them all just messily arranged on the dresser, which drove my boyfriend nuts. I used to also keep body sprays here, but in the interest of keeping the peace I’ve decided to move them elsewhere. ;) The new storage box itself is from Bed Bath & Beyond. The brand is called “Kangaroom”. I don’t see it on their website but it was in the section w/ the hangers & other organizational things. 
perfumestorage2 Perfume Collection & Storage
Alright, the collection! Sorry to say a lot of these aren’t made anymore, but you can possibly find them at fragrance outlets online. On the left hand side in the big open compartment I have:
Valentino Rock ‘n Rose — I LOVE this perfume. My boyfriend got it for me so it always has a special place in my heart, and he loves it when I wear it. I’m not a big rose fragrance person but this is a really nice one. 
Squished next to RnR is Bath & Body Works Dark Kiss. I don’t wear this too often because it’s a “heavier” fragrance than I usually wear, but for cooler weather or night time, it’s a sweet and sexy fragrance that I enjoy. 
Then I have Marc Jacobs Daisy & Daisy Eau So Fresh. Daisy is probably my favorite perfume to wear, and Daisy Eau So Fresh is also really really nice– it’s like Daisy but fruitier and sweeter. If you like Daisy you should check out Daisy Eau So Fresh for sure! (You can also see my full review of  Daisy Eau So Fresh for more info.)
In front of the MJ perfumes is Dior J’Adore, which my amazing friend Melissa got me for xmas one year after I raved about it. It was one of my first “fancy” perfumes, haha. 
On the right in the back are:
One of my favorites for just every day is Caudalie Fleur de Vigne. It’s a very light, very fresh scent with notes of grapes. 
In front of the Caudalie I have Escada Ocean Lounge, which I love but I hate the packaging because it’s a top-heavy bottle! Keeping it wedged in front of Caudalie is more for its safety than anything. This fragrance was limited edition I think (Sephora no longer has it) but I’m sure you can get it online as most discontinued Escada fragrances are easy to track down. Escada fragrances are typically the kind of perfume you either love or really hate. They’re very fruity and there usually is nothing subtle about them at all. ;) I actually have Escada’s Island Kiss (in rollerball form) in my purse right now. That one’s still available!
If you’re into perfumes at all you probably recognize the two bottles next, as they’re Aquolina Pink Sugar & Chocolovers. I’ve had both of those for so long. They’re so so yummy. Pink Sugar is definitely the sweetest most sugary perfume I’ve ever smelled in my life. Chocolovers is so chocolaty that I actually was giving a friend cravings once. I wear these for me definitely because Mr. Boyfriend hates them lol. 
And next in the very tall skinny bottle is mark. White Tea Vanilla fragrance mist which is discontinued. It’s a very light, every day, unoffensive fragrance. Kind of a shame it’s discontinued. 
Then there’s Daisy Fuentes Dianoche Love, which is from Kohl’s. It was gifted to me a long time ago when I went to my very first press event as a blogger. It’s a really neat concept; the bottom of the bottle is a daytime fragrance, and the top part is a night time scent. I love things that are unique like that, and they smell really nice. Though shh don’t tell I usually wear the daytime fragrance even at night. Sorry, I don’t think this one is available anymore either!
In the front of the right side I have my other Bath & Body Works fragrances, Velvet Tuberose and Enchanted Orchid. LOVE those, but Velvet Tuberose is a very in-your-face floral so I don’t wear it too often. Naturally since I love these, B&BW has discontinued both scents. Sigh.
Also in the front compartment are my Stila perfumes. Jade Blossom is one of my favorite scents (I actually have a back-up of it in storage and a rollerball on my vanity). On an aside, Bumble & Bumble’s Does It All Hairspray smells a little like Jade Blossom! I also have Mandarin Mist, which I love but don’t wear very much because it’s not very long lasting. :( Mandarin Mist is also one of my mom’s favorites though, so I will probably give my bottle to her at some point. 
There’s a couple of little teeny perfumes in that front compartment too! Remember the Urban Decay Revolver perfume oil? That little guy lives there, and so does my Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy rollerball.
And that’s it! I have a few samples of fragrances I like that I may purchase someday (like YSL Parisienne and Versace Bright Crystal), but only if I can make room in my perfume box! I have reviewed a few of these already but if you want a full review on any of the others please feel free to ask! :) 
If you’re looking for discontinued perfumes, try FragranceNet or Perfume Center. Both of them have big selections of discontinued fragrances at a discount. :)

Lush The Ex Factor Bath Bomb

Ex+Factor Lush The Ex Factor Bath Bomb
As some of you already know, I was in a minor car accident on Friday morning. I’m relatively okay, car will need repairs, and you know what a joy that is! But what I really needed was a nice relaxing bath. And oh, what do you know, I happened to have one of these little guys hanging around waiting for a chance to make me feel good.
The Ex-Factor is limited edition for Valentine’s Day, or rather for Singles Awareness Day ;) this little guy is intended to be a bit of therapeutic voodoo for anyone who maybe isn’t the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. After all, you can break off his limbs and dissolve them! Who hasn’t known a guy they wanted to do that to? I may or may not have pretended it was the guy who ran into me. 
The scent is described as a musky vanilla, which kinda scared me at first but the smell is divine. It’s vanilla, but not buttery sweet sugar vanilla (like B&BW Warm Vanilla Sugar). It’s a grown-up, sophisticated vanilla. And extremely relaxing. The scent is not overpowering and didn’t really linger much on my skin after the bath, but a dusting with Vanilla Puff body powder can help layer and extend the fragrance if you choose. 
The happiest part of this experience for me?
bluewater1 Lush The Ex Factor Bath Bomb
He turns the water BRIGHT BLUE! It’s such a beautiful color and it made me so happy to lounge around in blue water. I don’t know why, but the color just really cheered me up and made me feel good. And also made me wish I had a bigger bathtub. I was kinda cramped. :P 
Ex Factor is $4.95, 3.5 oz, and you can easily break him up into pieces for multiple baths. Personally, I broke him in half for my bath. I definitely plan on shufflin’ over to the newly opened Fashion Island LUSH location in Newport Beach to pick up more of these little guys, and I suggest you do too! Even if you don’t have any need for voodoo, blue water + vanilla = a good time in the tub for anyone.
Sample provided for editorial purposes.

L’Occitane Cherry Princess Perfume

L%E2%80%99Occitane Cherry Princess 3 LOccitane Cherry Princess Perfume
Since the beginning of the year I’ve been getting pitches for Valentine’s Day. Yes, seriously. But finally, I have come out of denial. Yes, Valentine’s Day is almost here. Now I don’t claim to be any sort of love guru, but if there’s one thing I know about men it’s they like chicks who smell good. Or at least that’s what I will tell anyone who tells me I have too many perfumes. And as a chick, I like to be good smelling. So when I heard about L’Occitane releasing a new fragrance called Cherry Princess right in time for Valentine’s Day, I was definitely interested. I love the smell of cherries, and cherry blossoms. Delicious! Who wouldn’t want to smell delicious? 
Cherry Princess arrived, and she is indeed a princess. Look at the girly bottle! Pink! And flowery! I like that it’s not some crazy sculpture to be debated about (like Rihanna’s first perfume…what is that bottle supposed to be?!), but it’s still pretty and pleasant to look at. L’Occitane describes her as “fruity floral”, and that is very accurate. When I first spritz Cherry Princess on, I smell citrus. The florals are there, but they are mostly overpowered by sweet, sweet citrus. Like sugary lemons. If Fresh Lemon Sugar and Aquolina Pink Sugar ran off, got drunk, and had a baby, this would be that baby. Except now she is a teenager going to debutante balls. 
Do you have that friend who has to squeal and carry on when she sees you like it’s been six years? She’s all “HIIIIII OMG OMGOMGHIIIII!!!” which is a bit overwhelming, but she’s a sweet girl and you like having her around once she settles down. This perfume is that friend. After the perfume gets a chance to dry down and “meld” with my body chemistry, it’s still very sweet, but in a more subdued, subtle way. 
Unmistakably and unabashedly feminine, Cherry Princess is one of those scents that I think a guy could get mushy over. In other words, smelling traces of it on an arm that you were snuggled up to and getting sentimental. Cute image huh? Yeah I’m pretty adorable.
L’Occitane Cherry Princess will be available at http://usa.loccitane.com and L’Occitane boutiques starting in February. The edt is a very reasonable $35, but wait there’s more! Cherry Princess powers activate! In the form of…
…Hand Cream ($10)!
…Solid Perfume ($10)!
…Silky Body Gel ($24)!
…Pearlescent Shower Gel ($20)!

Also for a bit of trivia, I love this cute video they made about how to pronounce L’Occitane.
Product sample provided for editorial purposes.

Bath & Body Works Supercharged Body Scrub

bbwclbsbs Bath & Body Works Supercharged Body Scrub
I was getting closer to a problem. The sugar body scrub from Bath & Body Works in my shower was getting very close to empty, and the formula had been discontinued, and I wasn’t able to find something I liked as much.
Until now.
I wandered into my local Bath & Body Works last weekend, coupon in hand. The coupon was for a free mini bottle of lotion in their newest scent, Pink Chiffon. And at the front table was a new scent that grabbed my attention: Coconut Lime Breeze. Oh hell yes. I love anything lime-based. B&BW describes Coconut Lime Breeze as coconut water, lime blossom, and bergamot. There are base notes of musk and vanilla, too. Truthfully, it’s not super lime-y. But it smells fantastic. It’s a fresh, citrus outdoorsy beach smell. Do I wish it were a touch more lime-y smelling? Yes. But I really enjoy this fragrance anyway. I grabbed a body mist, and then noticed something new to me: supercharged body scrub.
Say what now? Body scrub = good. Supercharged? Uhh.
I’m still not really sure why this body scrub is considered “supercharged”. It does have “visible foaming action” (which by the way just means you can see it foaming up as you scrub with it). There’s aloe and jojoba oil and all that good stuff too. The consistency is pretty much a squeeze tube version of my beloved old sugar scrub in the jar (except slightly less oily) – basically that of toothpaste, but with scrubby granules.
Reviews on the B&BW site are mixed, but I’m on team “yes” rather than team “no”. I like that this scrub isn’t super oily and messy, but still moisturizing and definitely very scrubby. The scrubby granules do dissolve, and the scrub rinses cleanly and quickly. My skin feels moisturized but there is no residue, which is always a plus. 
The foaming/dissolving action is effective. I read one complaint that it happens too quickly, but I didn’t have any issues with that. I’m picky about a body scrub. I expect it to really SCRUB and I get annoyed if a body scrub doesn’t have enough ‘tooth’ to it. This fits the bill to a T. It’s on the pricey side at $14 a tube (which contains 9.5 oz), but with Ebates and all of the sales B&BW has so often, you usually won’t end up paying full price anyway.

Madonna Launches First Fragrance

Partnering with Coty, Madonna will be launching her first fragrance! With so many celeb fragrances out there, I kind of wonder what took her so long. The fragrance, called Truth or Dare by Madonna, will launch in April 2012 at Macy’s, and then everywhere else in May. Truth or Dare is described as floral, balanced with woods and vanilla. It was aimed that the fragrance represent the duality of the name by balancing dark and light, or something. I just want to know if it smells good, and comes in a pretty bottle. Well, I can answer one of those questions for you now:

madonnafragrance Madonna Launches First Fragrance
Not bad. Not the most beautiful bottle I’ve ever seen, but at least it doesn’t look like an 80′s alcoholic beverage (ahem– Rihanna). I think it represents the name of the fragrance well. Apparently this is only the first we’ll see of the new Truth or Dare lifestyle brand. When you know what a “lifestyle brand” is, let me know.

Justin Bieber Someday Sniff Test

bieberfrag1 Justin Bieber Someday Sniff Test
While I was in Ulta picking up the prizes for my OPI Silver Shatter giveaway, I decided to give the Justin Bieber fragrance debut “Someday” a whirl. Upon first sniff (just sniffing the tester bottle) it didn’t send me recoiling in horror, but actually seemed pleasant. I decided to spritz some on my wrist and give it a go. I do like that what I got from sniffing the bottle is basically the same as it smells on me – it doesn’t change. The fragrance stays very true on me for hours. And hours. It has now lasted about 12 hours on my wrist. It’s quite faint now compared to when I applied it, but I think that’s impressive. 
It’s very. Sweet. Just as you would expect. It was described as a fruity gourmand, and to me it smells like someone took a bouquet of flowers, rolled it in powdered sugar, drizzled fruit compote on it, and then sprayed it with something by Escada. Repeatedly. This perfume is like the clamoring groupie of the fragrance shelf. It comes on very strong. And this is coming from someone who likes Juicy. 

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, the fragrance itself isn’t too bad. Especially after a few hours. It just doesn’t smell like anything magical. Nothing remarkable. I was hoping that like the Britney Spears and Paris Hilton perfumes, this would be one that I could enjoy even though I’m not a fan of Justin’s. If you love Aquolina Pink Sugar and scents like it, and like really really strong perfumes, this might be your new favorite, but I’m going to pass for now.