Monday, December 28, 2015

TOMOSON TIMES: Valentia True Glow Eye Cream

Valentia Skin Care was generous enough to send me their True Glow Eye Cream as well as their Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask (a review will be up soon) for free through Tomoson to review!

Valentia describes their True Glow Eye Cream as a corrective eye treatment that is formulated with Vitamin C, Astaxanthin and Organic oil. The product is meant to correct dark circles as well as reduce puffiness.
Here's a rundown of the some of the ingredients and their benefits (found on the side of the box):
Astanxanthin: an antioxidant that increases moisture levels, smooths fine lines and wrinkles as well as restores elasticity to your skin.
Resistem: Natural plant stem cells that repair and protect your skin from stress related aging.
Vitamin C: Meant to leave your skin visibly brighter and smoother
Organic Rosehip oil: provides intense hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Arnica: An anti-inflammatory agent that is key to the restorative process  
This product is also cruelty free, alcohol free and paraben free. It is also 98% organic.

As you can see in the photo above, the cream is ever so slightly peach toned. It has a very slight scent to it...almost like citrus. It's neither offensive or irritating. The cream seeps in very quickly and is not sticky at all. One pump is all you need for application to both eyes. It is gentle and does not burn if I accidentally apply too close to the rims of my eyes. I really enjoy using this product every night. The skin around my eyes always feels dry because I tend to rub them too often. This really soothes that and adds a bit of a cooling effect for me. While I cannot yet comment on how effective this product is when it comes to my dark circles, I have noticed that I have less puffiness when I wake up in the morning. Overall, this product is a win for me, and I highly recommend it giving it a try if you have not found your holy grail eye cream yet!

*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. I am not being paid for this review nor will I receive any monetary compensation if anyone should purchase the product through the link used in this review.*

Monday, December 7, 2015


I love shoes. I love all kinds of them. Sporty, elegant, preppy and comfy. All our welcome in my household! Why am I blabbing about my love for footwear? Well because there's an EXCITING GIVEAWAY going on right now!!
Alterre is giving away a Black Heel Starter Kit just in time for the holiday season! This starter kit normally retails for $180.00. The unique concept about Alterre shoes is that each base pair of shoes comes with two different kinds of straps to change the look of the shoes.
These are the Black suede mules they are giving away, with the two different straps in action! (The kit also comes with a handy travel bag.)
Using the black suede Jackie look, 
Using the evening sky Marilyn look
Do you see how the first image is a more casual yet classy day shoe with those black straps, and how the second image looks more like an elegant night shoe?! Isn't that a cool concept?
Here's a handy infographic that demonstrates how these shoes work!

The giveaway will run until December 16th 2015. There will be one winner. You can enter using the widget below! Good Luck!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

TOMOSON TIMES: The Torment of Rachel Ames Review

Through the site Tomoson, I was able to receive an advanced reader copy of The Torment of Rachel Ames for free from its author, Jeff Gunhus.
Here's the official summary from its Goodreads page:
"Suffering from writer’s block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can’t shake the sense that something terrible has followed her to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen. Determined to make the cabin work, she tries to settle in and give her new life a chance. But when strange things begin to happen around her, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. As the darkness that’s followed her manifests itself in inexplicable ways, her concept of reality is stretched thin and she realizes nothing at the lake is what it seems. As she fights to survive with her sanity intact, she understands too late that the location she’s chosen for herself is far from perfect."

This novella definitely packs a bit of a punch by its end. The twist is something you don't really see coming. In fact, the end is what makes me want to go back and comb through the story for hints that I missed or disregarded. Halfway through reading this book, I was just so bewildered by all the strange events that were happening. Was Rachel Ames in a perpetual state of drunken delusion? Was she going crazy? Or were these insane things actually happening to her?! As Rachel's unease increased over the course of the story, I began to feel just as anxious. Gunhus definitely has a knack for the creepy, especially because there is real emotional depth layered along side the madness.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you're looking for something short and creepy. Best of all, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow this book for free!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

BRANDBACKER ADVENTURES: Oz Naturals SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer

Oz Naturals through Brandbacker provided me with a nice end of summer type product to review. (Actually, you should always wear sunscreen no matter the season!!) I was sent their SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer in the shade medium. Oz Naturals claims that this product is safe for all skin types and can be worn alone as a foundation type product or under your makeup. I have combination oily acne prone skin so I was a bit nervous testing this out. I'm pleased to report I had no issues and did not break out any more than usual.
When I first squeezed the tube of sunscreen, I was worried because of how dark the lotion seemed. I'm pretty fair in skin tone, and I really didn't want to look all streaky and "oompa loompa-ish." But to my surprise, this product blended out very nicely and easily. It gave me more of a healthier looking glow and it evened out my complexion, and had a very light but decent coverage over any redness on my face.

This product smells to me a bit like baby wipes upon initial application, which I personally didn't mind, but it might be off-putting to some people more sensitive to scents. What I really loved most about this tinted sunscreen was how light it felt on my face. It didn't feel tacky or heavy, and dried down very quickly. I actually forgot I had it on at one point! Oz Naturals, like most sunscreens, recommends that this product be reapplied every two hours. This product retails for $21.99, which is pretty pricey in my opinion. However, it is a very good facial sunscreen that will mesh well with most skin types. I think if you haven't yet found your "holy grail" facial sunscreen, the Oz Naturals Sunscreen Moisturizer is worth trying out!

*This is not a paid post. I was sent the product for free to test and review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

NYX Butter Gloss Swatches

Let's talk about NYX Cosmetics Butter Glosses!
To start off, I'm not a huge fan of lip glosses. I hate how sticky they can be and I can't stand when my hair gets stuck to my lips because of it. What I do like about lip glosses is how easy and convenient they are to apply. NYX Butter Glosses are not as sticky as other glosses I've tried, but they have decent staying power. Of course, they will not survive a round of meals and drinks, but they aren't a high maintenance product where you would need to meticulously and carefully reapply. These butter glosses smell faintly of vanilla and are nice and light on the lips. While not all of them are super pigmented, most of the lighter colored glosses still have a very decent tint to them. This is one product where I'm not too worried about possible marks on my teeth. However, I do recommend a lipliner with some of the darker shades like Red Velvet and Devil's Food Cake, because there can be a bit of traveling outside of the lip-line!
My favorites of the glosses tend to fluctuate with my mood! I'm a big fan of Tiramisu and Merengue though!
From Left to Right: Creme Brulee, Tiramisu, Angel Food Cake, Eclair, Vanilla Cream Pie, Merengue, Sugar Cookie

From Left to Right: Raspberry Tart, Maple Blondie, Peaches and Cream, Cherry Cheesecake, Peach Cobbler, Red Velvet and Devil's Food Cake

Parker's not a model, the camera just turned on.
These glosses typically retail for 4.99 and can be found in store at Ricky's and some CVS pharmacies. They can also be purchased online through the NYX website or on Ulta. I recommend purchasing these glosses (as well as all other NYX products) on Ulta, because they tend to throw buy one get one half off on NYX Cosmetics or sometimes even 40% off! You can also receive cashback through Ebates which let's face it, is pretty much a godsend!

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Favorites and a Teensy Flop!

Let's give this favorites thing a try once more, shall we?

So I did some serious damage at the Bath and Body Works semi-annual sale last month. The two standouts of the haul were hands-down the scents Tahitian Island Dream and Cucumber Melon. Tahitian Island dream definitely just smells like what the essence of summer should be! My only issue is that I do feel that this body spray fades quite a bit quickly, which is why I like to layer it with the Cucumber Melon lotion. This lotion, particularly after a nice shower, just makes me feel so clean and refreshed.

I had three NYX favorites in July. (FYI: August is going to be NYX month on our blog! Expect some swatches of NYX butter glosses, matte lip creams, and intense butter glosses!) Vanilla Cream Pie, Peaches and Cream and Istanbul are such perfect summery pinks. They just tie a look together so's summer, it's hot...and I don't feel like messing with a lip color that's super high maintenance!
 Look at this nail color! How is that not stunning?! This little beauty is Jessie G's Gelato in Venice. It's that trendy mint green with a beautiful formula. Honestly one of my new favorite colors in my nail polish stash.
On the flipside, here's a polish that I have a hate/tolerate relationship with. I purchased this along with Gelato in Venice at Rite Aid. I was with Asa at the time, and we were busy squealing about how this polish (which is called Bikini) would be a perfect summer toe nail color. I thought it would warm up my skin tone just enough to make it look as though I had gotten some nice color. This was a really, really bad idea. For starters, this polish is NEON. Like, I swear my toes were glowing in the dark. I didn't even need a light to guide my way out of a dark room, that's how bright this polish was on me. The polish's formula is also pretty terrible! It dries down matte (as most neons tend to do), and was so streaky to apply. It took around three to four coats to get it to stop looking patchy. But the sad result was that it took a lot of effort to apply, but I really could not get on board with how the color looked on my skin tone. This polish is probably better left for accent nails and nail art.

I was going to do a separate post on this particular favorite, but I feel like it's a bit of a moot point considering my family and I devoured most of this box within one week! This is Universal Yum's Japan box, and boy, was this a hit! In case you didn't know, Universal Yums is a subscription service that focuses on bringing you snacks from a different country every month. I've received snacks from Germany, Israel, Italy and Brazil. I believe August's box will be focused on snacks from India. Anyway, this Japan box was amazing. and probably my favorite box I've received yet. I really hope that Universal Yums will eventually expand to selling individual snacks. (If they did, this sucker would be the first thing I would buy!!)

I have two television show favorites for July. (Okay, technically I binge-watched all of Sense8 when it premiered on Netflix in June, but it's a GREAT show.) Sense8 is about eight individuals from all over the world who find themselves mentally and emotionally connected. I cannot even begin to properly summarize this show. It is amazing, and you should definitely check it out! I started watching Humans  in late July, and I was immediately HOOKED. The show is based on the premise that android robots have become a mass market production, and that it is both trendy and useful to have one in the home as your maid, caretaker etc. The show is honestly very sociological. It forces us to question human rights and our own conception of morality. Do these robots (that completely look like humans) have any rights? Is it okay to utilize them as service workers (including prostitution), just because they do not have any form of sentience? (SPOILER ALERT: Some of them are sentient...and they are NOT happy!) 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is my book favorite of the month. It is also a book that features a character that BETRAYED me. (I should have seen it coming...but, I didn't want to!!) I'm probably going to put up a review on my other blog if you're curious about the betrayal and how deeply invested in this book I was. If you enjoy fantasy and books where the elite prey and take advantage of the "inferior" and are just asking to get their "just desserts,"(AKA real life...) then this is definitely the book for you!  
This just about wraps up my first favorites post! It was a long time coming! I'll be back soon with another post!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Healthy Directions through Brandbacker provided me with an interesting product to test out and review. This is their OxyRub Pain Relief Cream, which is supposed to provide fast-acting relief for muscle and joint pain. I was actually really excited to test this, because in my family, we tend to have a lot of complaints about backaches and muscle pains! 
The OxyRub cream is actually very light and easy to spread out. It loses its sticky feeling rather quickly, and I feel safe putting it under my clothes, while with Bengay, I can definitely feel the tackiness and greasiness of the product for quite a while. What I'm actually most pleased (and surprised) about is that the cream does not have that super strong menthol smell that Bengay has. With Bengay, if I apply it before leaving my house, you can definitely smell that I have it on. It's not a secret. This cream actually smells slightly like a Ricola cough drop mixed with orange to me. It's definitely a pro in my book, because the scent of Bengay can sometimes be way too overpowering and gives me a headache. 
I had two other people besides myself test this product. My dad has severe shoulder pains, my uncle has reoccurring back pains, and I have slight carpal tunnel that tends to act up right before going to bed. It takes about two to three minutes for the cream to begin that pleasant "burning" feeling, that Bengay and other products like this have. The burn is not as strong as some of the more extra strength products, which is fine for me. My carpal tunnel ache was significantly relieved within thirty minutes. Similarly, my uncle found that his back pain had also dissipated enough to allow him to sleep. My dad didn't find the cream to be too effective for him. His shoulder pains are more severe than aches that stem from sore muscles or arthritis, so keep the type of pains you have in mind if you are considering purchasing this product.   
OxyRub Pain Relief Cream can be purchased for $19 on Amazon. Even though I really enjoyed this product and it worked for me, I'm not quite sure if I would pay that much, when I can purchase a similar cream for five dollars at the drug store. Maybe if I had an extra twenty dollars to spare, I wouldn't have to think twice. I think the consistency and smell of the product must be taken into account. If you absolutely HATE (like full-on, no going back loathing!) the way Bengay feels on your skin, and the way that the menthol scent completely overpowers everything, then this product is worth looking into. OxyRub dried and felt like a regular lotion at around thirty minutes. It's not greasy, sticky and there's a lesser chance that it would cling and stain your clothes.
Healthy Directions has provided our readers with a 20% discount code for first time purchases of OxyRub Cream.* This code is valid until 12/31/15. You can use the code SAVEOXY2 on Amazon which lowers the price to around $16. However, if you're on a tight budget (like me) and can deal with Bengay, then maybe stick with what you know!   

*This is not a paid post. I was sent the product for free to test and review. All opinions are my own. I also do not receive any compensation for any purchases of this product with the use of the promotional code! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Lip Bar Lipsticks Review (Purple Rain and Kiss Me)

Okay. Teensy story time. In my May Boxycharm I received a Lip Bar Lipstick in Purple Rain, and was absolutely fascinated (and a little bit scared) of the color. When I tried on the lipstick, I noticed it was very wobbly in the tube, and I alerted Boxycharm customer service about it. (Side Note: The Boxycharm customer service has been absolutely amazing to me multiple times.) They offered to replace it, but couldn't guarantee the same color, which I was totally fine with. I ended up receiving a replacement lipstick in the shade Kiss Me, and boy, is it bright!
The shade Kiss Me is much more a cross between an hot pink and coral!
The Lip Bar lipsticks are natural, vegan lipsticks that are dedicated to delivering a bold lip color while still being good for your lips. They are made up of shea butter, avocado oil, coconut oil and vitamin E, which help keep the moisture in your lips even after hours of wear. I noticed that these lipsticks remained very comfortable throughout the day. The formula is creamy, but they do not transfer to my teeth or travel drastically outside of my lip line. The lipsticks are super bright and pigmented. Both of these colors leave a pink stain as the color begins to fade (5 hours+) or when they are wiped off. 

These lipsticks retail for $20 each, which is pretty "average" in the realm of vegan makeup. I am not a vegan, so I'm not too concerned with the ingredients in each and every lip product I use (unless of course, it is something harmful to my health!). These lipsticks are super pigmented and moisturizing, the packaging is adorable and the founder of this company is a woman of color which YAY!! If you are a vegan, prefer makeup with natural ingredients or are someone in search of a super bold lip, I would say The Lip Bar lipsticks are worth trying out.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Today, we're going to talk about a wonderful bath product that was sent to me for review by Adovia through Brandbacker.
When I opened this product, I was immediately entranced by the scent. If anyone is familiar with the Maja by Myrurgia powder, this body scrub smells just like it to me. (I personally love the scent because it brings back nostalgic memories of my grandma!) Anyway, the product is very interesting to look at. My picture can't even capture it properly!
It's fun to shake around!
It is essentially loose dead sea salt suspended in mixture of Aloe Vera, Avocado, Jojoba and Almond oil. As you exfoliate, the oils help replenish moisture and keep the scrub from being too abrasive, which is really nice. I love to use this as a foot scrub, since we are in sandal season! (Warning: If you are as clumsy as I am, please, please be careful when using this product in the tub. It WILL make your tub slippery.) This is a very unique scrub. I've been using the Ulta Coconut Cream Sugar Scrub, which is much thicker and not as separated. The application process for the Adovia scrub can be a bit tricky. The instructions suggest you use 1-2 teaspoons. Since the product is basically a two in one with both dead sea salt and moisturizing oils, you kind of need to get a good ratio of both elements of the product. However, this scrub definitely does its job. It helps smooth rough skin patches without actually harshly scraping the skin. The oils help balance out the nice grit of the salt. I'm really enjoying this product much more than I thought I would!
This body scrub can be purchased for around $16 on Amazon or on the Adovia website for $15.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Boxycharm May 2015: Bold & Beautiful!

This month's Boxycharm theme was "Bold & Beautiful: Be bold. Be bright. Be beautiful. Charmers, the May, go beyond your comfort zone and boldly dare to be your own kind of beautiful!" It certainly didn't disappoint!
The first product was the one I was most excited for. I received a Lip Bar lipstick in Purple Rain. While it's not the most wearable color, (this can make your teeth look a bit dingy...) it's just so unique and out there. I'm happy to have it! Unfortunately, my lipstick did arrive a bit wobbly in the tube. However, Boxycharm's customer support has been stellar to me in the past, and they generously offered to send another tube in my June Box. 

The Lip Bar Lipstick in Purple Rain ($19)
UPDATE: Guys. This color is growing on me. 

The second item was this beautiful nail polish from Lauren B. Beauty. It's a gorgeous pinky-peach color that is just perfect for summer!
Lauren B. Beauty in Sunset Tower ($18)
  UPDATE: Here's a picture of this nail polish in action! (For a cheaper dupe of this color, check out Sinful Colors in Skylark!)

Two of the products in our Boxycharm this month came as a duo. I passed this Bodyography Essential Brow Trio and Brow Brush onto my mom. I have very thick brows, so I'm not well-practiced in the art of brow products!
Bodyography Essential Brow Trio ($19) and Brow Brush ($19)

The last product in my May Boxycharm was a Model Co Shimmer Bronzer! I've never owned a bronzer before, and I'm a bit wary about using this product. I'm quite pale, and this bronzer seems to swatch a little bit orangey on me. I'm eager to test it out this summer though!
Model Co Shimmer Bronzer ($22)
Boxycharm is a subscription service that sends 4-5 luxury full sized items for $21 a month. I've been subscribed since September 2014, and I've really been pleased with it. It has helped me grow my make-up collection and try so many interesting high quality products. I highly recommend it if you are looking to treat yourself to a subscription service that will actually be worth the price.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I don't know about you, but the changing seasons tends to wreak havoc on my cuticles. They often end up dry and peel off at the edges, which stings especially fierce when using nail polish remover. Luckily, I was sent a sample of Radha Beauty's Argan Oil for free through Brandbacker.

This Argan Oil is a 100% organic and chemical-free oil that is supposed to moisturize your skin. It can be used on hair, skin, feet and nails. You can even put some of this stuff in your bathwater and have a nice luxurious soak!
Now, I'm very wary about putting things in my hair, because mine is very oily and it's just not pleasant to have that sensation tripled. However, if I put just a drop or two of this in my palms and distribute it evenly through my ends, I don't end up with lanky oily hair. It gives my ends some needed shine and a nice reprieve from frizz.
I love this oil for my cuticles. With the sudden weather change from freezing to sweltering, my skin is just confused and abused, and the damage is especially noticeable on my hands. This oil helps minimize the peeling on my fingers and also adds moisture to my nail beds. I'ved use this every night before bed, and after I've removed nail polish to revitalize my nails, and have noticed a huge difference. My cuticles are softer and my actual nails are less brittle and don't peel as often as before. I am really enjoying this product. I'm quite a newbie when it comes to oils and serums, but this really impressed me!

Monday, May 4, 2015

SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes

Smiley360 described SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes as a new licorice rope with a flavor fusion of both sweet and tart.  SweeTARTS Soft & Chewy Ropes is perfect for when you’re reaching for something sweet & tangy!
This is certainly a fun candy to play around with. I must admit I had more fun stretching it into shapes than eating it. Personally I did not enjoy this candy! The texture was very odd and I just couldn't get past how chewy it was. My sister really loved it, and thought the two flavors complimented each other well.
*I received a sample of this product for free courtesy of Smiley360.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Faves!

Hey y'all this is Asa. I'm here with a new post just before the month ends and it is going to be a faves post.  
SO how this is going to work is that CJ and I are going to make monthly faves post but we are going to be alternating it. This month is mine and next month, March, will be CJ's faves post.

The larger tube is a Victoria's Secret Ultra Moisturizing Hand and Body Cream in the scent Midnight Dare which smells like raspberries and sandalwood.

I also have an EOS lip balm from the Rachel Roy Collection in Aloha Hawaii and it is supposed to smell like strawberries and kiwi.

I recently purchased the Essence Gel Eye Pencil in the shade Black Blaze 01

The pink tube is NYX's Soft Matte Lip Cream in Ibiza

And Rimmel London's Rockin' Curves ScandalEyes mascara I got in a previous VoxBox from Influenster 

Ulta Haul

Ulta haul! Reviews and swatches to follow.
I got a lot of stuff, but it was a cumulative haul <33
I got some acne lotion I read good reviews of, got a backup CeraVe as it was on sale, and a face cleanser from Yes To Cucumbers.
Face masks from Freeman Beauty and Formula 10.0.06, face spray/toner, makeup remover, the pink bag is full of free samples from Ulta.
Last pic are my NYX Butter Glosses, Soft Matte Lip Cream, and NYX Vampy Lip Cream