Sunday, 1 June 2014

Hola, Bella! #MKGLAM by Mary Kay

I'm all glammed up! I received another brilliant voxbox from the lovely people at and am beyond thrilled with the contents. Care to take a peek?

Well hello to you, too!
I took pics on my kitchen table so I could hurry up and try them on :)

My complementary box of products floated to my doorstep just in time for summer! Mary Kay, the independent beauty supplier, spared no cost in sending a huge array of goodies. I definitely received a full set and was excited to try each piece. I haven't had much experience with Mary Kay (beyond my Aunt's makeup parties as I sat in the bedroom watching cartoons) so my mind was raring to try out this well known brand.

Here's the breakdown:

Bronzing Powder in light-medium shade started my regiment off on a beautiful note. I had never used bronzer before but found tips from Mary Kay's magazine to create a sun-kissed glow. The giant powder brush included in the package made application easy. Transitioning from winter to spring left my skin in need of a little life and colour. The bronzing powder left behind a hint of pizzazz without streaking me in an orange glow. After multiple uses, I definitely give this a thumbs up.

Next came "shy blush" cheek colour. I don't know how influenster did it but they matched my skin shade perfectly! The light pink/peach gives a delicate colour without drawing gaudy attention to my cheek bones. I tend towards the conservative side of blush usage so this shade fit nicely into my regular beauty routine.

On a side note, the packaging isn't very attractive because the pieces are meant to be placed in a seperately-purchased compact. I'm not particularly impressed with this method but the products themselves have proved to be great thus far.

Friends, this eyeliner is the bomb! MK's gel eyeliner blew me away. Seriously, buy this right now. It retails for $18USD...but see that little divot in that gel? That's a month's worth of use. This little 4.5g glass container will last me endless months. I'll admit that the applicator isn't my fav but a cheap slanted brush would do the trick. A teeny dunk into the tub places enough colour for a whole eye lining. The colour feels so smooth on the eyes while application is non-irritating. Traditional pencil liners seem to tug uncomfortably at the edge of the eye but the gel glides right on giving a beautiful outline. Thick or thin lines are simple to create and mistakes are easy to correct. I could go on and on...sorta like this eyeliner.

Now for the bummer news. I really disliked the "lash love" mascara included in my VoxBox. The colour provides a true black but stays wet much too long causing me to smudge many a time. Additionally, the flexible brush bends much too much for my liking. The Mary Kay website boasts a clump-resistant and volumizing formula but I found neither to be true. The packaging gives no indication of being water resistant so I fought to remove the mascara with my regular cleansing routine. I will give it props for being low scent and a friendly shape to hold in the hand. 

I'm a fan of eye colour but had not yet adventured into the world of creme shadows. MK gave me just the push I needed. I am currently in love with my apricot creme shadow. Again, the application on my lid feels incredibly smooth with an unreasonably long wear time. I put this baby through the test and 18hrs later the colour sat evenly on my lids, daring me to say that it didn't look good. Impressive. Apricot was an unexpected choice in pastel but looks great with any combination colour or clothing choice. Creme, you have my vote.

Face finishing loose powder brushed on my skin to set the other powders adorning my face. Translucent and light, the powder provides shine-free looks while feeling weightless. I feel like the powder has a touch of a sparkle, which I love. I'm all for added brightness on dull skin. Since I don't wear foundation or regularly use powders, I can't compare to other types or brands. However, I did enjoy the confidence I had knowing I wouldn't reflect light off my skin into someone car mirror. I'm glad vehicular accidents can be off my conscience.

Finally, the look completes with a brilliant shade of lip gloss. Mango Tango Nourishine Plus lip gloss has renewed my faith in lip gloss. I have recently strayed from glosses into lipsticks but MK reminded me of the fun and vibrance a little shimmer and shine can add to a summertime look. Apparently it's loaded with anti-oxidants and moisturizers, always a bonus. The real question: Is it sticky? Nope. It's one of the smoothest and richest coloured glosses I've used. I'll be emptying the tube this summer.

My #MKGLAM VoxBox improved my beauty stash immensely and will be well loved.

I love my new looks and have decided to love Mary Kay, too. I'll admit I was skeptical of the brand. I've been convinced. Thanks, influenster and Mary Kay, for the brilliant box of goodies to try and love.

If you're interested in purchasing MK products, my friend, Cheryl, is a senior independent consultant and is offering free shipping for online orders! Check out the great products available.

Mary Kay Bronzing Power ($18.00)
Mary Kay Mineral Cheek Color "Shy Blush" ($12.00)
Mary Kay Gel Eyeliner with Expandable Brush Applicator, Jet Black ($18.00)
Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara (I <3 Black; $15.00)
Mary Kay Cream Eye Color "Apricot Twist" ($14.00)
Mary Kay Translucent Loose Powder ($16.00)

Monday, 19 May 2014

Smart Sunday

Sundays are great exploring days. Have you noticed? Sunday masquerades as a quiet, gentle day but pounces to land a doozie of a day at the most unsuspecting of times.

One April Sunday decided to revolt from Winter to bless Pittsburgh with a summer preview. Out came my new summer dress. On went the wedges. Off we went into Downtown.

My dress and I found ourselves before a massive building with staircases and intricate stonework. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, started by Mr. Andrew Carnegie in 1895, opens its doors to explorers of all ages and interests. We made our way to the museum after seeing an advertisement for an exhibit on human race and diversity but found ourselves swept away by the birds and polar bears.

We, unsuspecting visitors that we are, took our photos just in time...a grumpy native loomed, ready to attack!

Thankfully, he was busy being dead at the moment.  He was definitely ferocious up close. I found his companions to be much more welcoming.


Even dinosaurs have a sense of humour.

All this exploration made my tummy rumble so we made our way out-of-doors. To our delight, we stumbled upon a park which led us to the most interesting little restaurant.

Conflict kitchen mixes food and politics creating food for thought outside of university campus walls. It's a little takeout place creating wonderful dishes from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Afghanistan, in honour of their recent elections, was the country of choice. The line for food stretched out along the pathway, giving me time for a few photos.

The food. Oh, the food. Aushak (according to the menu) consists of leek dumplings with ground beef, sauce, and yoghurt. I think it consisted of love and harmony.  

We enjoyed the first spring sun with the enthusiasm of a toad on a lily pad. All of this enthusiasm made us hungry again so our cravings took us to Fuel and Fuddle, a local beer and food shop. My handy app Foursquare told me that F&F has a unique pizza that I must try. 
Those reviewers know a thing or two about food because the smashed potato pizza was excellent. A beautiful pastry-like crust (the best I've ever had) created a scene of mashed potatoes mingling with rosemary chicken, cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, homemade ranch sauce, and fresh greens. This pizza alone will draw me back to the Oakland side of town.

Pittsburgh, the springtime looks good on you.
I can't wait to get to know you better.

Monday, 17 March 2014

#JadoreVoxBox from Influenster

I've started a new job. Well, I've had it for a while but I'm now just telling you. :) It's third shift so it has really turned my life upside down. Third shift isn't new to me but it is hard to focus your entire existence around sleep, of all lame things. I'm working in a microbiology lab so the bulk of patient work has to be done overnight. Being a productive member of society feels good and the steady income is definitely a welcome sight to the sore eyes of my bank account.

Of course I haven't been getting normal sleep so I've kept procrastinating on telling you about the AMAZING surprise I received in the mail!

I received an Influenster VoxBox!!

Okay, the details: is a fantastic website that I've been a member of since September. Basically it's a product review site where users come together to rate various goods and services. People write reviews about everything from American Airlines to Twizzlers Candy to Burt's Bee's lotion. As you write reviews you are building up credibility with other users and increasing your personal "influence" (provided your reviews are helpful!). As you increase your influenster score, your reviews carry more weight and your reviews matter more. Make sense? 

Anyway, I reviewed so many products that I built up my score enough to receive a VoxBox. It's a special program Influenster develops to test and advertise products. They trust the high scoring Influensters (like me!) to use our social media presence to let everyone know what we think about the products... so they send a box full of goodies. I was not paid for any of my opinions or time but was provided the products free of charge. Pretty awesome, right?
Enough of the chatter, let me show you what I got!

My first item is KISS eyelashes. They look beautiful but I haven't found quite the right place to wear them. I've never really fancied fake lashes but these ones may change my mind. They retail for $3.99 so they're definitely a steal for that night on the town. I'll definitely be sharing the details when I do use them.

And then I received a FAMILY size bag of Hershey's Kisses in honour of Valentine's Day. Do I need to say anything? I don't know anyone on the fringes about a Kiss. Really now, they're a nice size and wonderful for baking. I've been savouring them for a few weeks now but am saving some of the package for peanut butter blossom cookies. (I'm dying to try this recipe. She makes cookies look so trendy.)

I've been a fan of John Frieda products and was therefore delighted to receive a bottle of his Flat Iron spray haircare product. Frizz Ease really does help with those nasty flyaways and uncooperative curls so you can believe that it did wonders as a flat iron spray. A quick warm blowdry and an even quicker run through with my straightener landed me straight glossy hair without retracting my volume. This product claims to retain hair straightness for three days (without washing) and found it was true to its word after two days. 

John Frieda Frizz Ease straightening spray after two days

The J'adoreVoxBox didn't forget about the man I adore and included several questions about him in the pre-box survey I completed. They sent a fantastic bottle of Vaseline's new spray lotion for men. Ladies, you need to get this for your guy. Justin has never used lotion in his life but found this so easy to use because it sprays. Go figure. Vaseline did a great job with the scent and absorption speed. Justin is still using this even after my imposed mandatory use time frame expired. It's that good.

As soon as I opened my VoxBox, my eyes lit upon this face mask by Boots Botanics (and I immediately slathered it all over my face). Coincidentally, the day before the package arrived I purchased Boots Botanics facial toner to try out so I was quire excited to use the sister product as well. I'd never seen this brand before but have been loving it so far. This mask is cooling and leaves my skin soft and bright. It does dry the skin so I smooth some marajuaca oil on after my mini spa treatment.

My face as I'm writing this post

Finally, my favourite item of the entire VoxBox... TEA! Pittsburgh has accelerated my casual enjoyment of warm drinks into a vital necessity. A cup of tea is a priority placed somewhere into my schedule every day. The arrival of two new flavours of Red Rose tea excited me greatly and did not disappoint. Créme Caramel and Lemon Chiffon provided a wonderful touch of elegance to my tea time. The Lemon Chiffon is definitely my favourite. The lemon flavour balanced nicely with a gentle sweetness to eliminate any bitterness from the lemon. A touch of cream and sugar really made this tea feel indulgent! I will be buying a box as it is a great springtime taste.

Thanks, Influenster, for the fantastic experience of my first VoxBox!

Have you tried any of these products?
Which of these would you want the most?

Find out more about these products:
Hershey's Kisses
Frizz Ease
Boots Botanics
Red Rose Tea