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.