Korres Lip Butter Glazes

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Famous among beauty gurus for their shower gels and lip butters, Greece-based Korres are well-regarded as a brand and company for being environmentally aware, and for utilizing over 400 all natural and certified organic ingredients within their product range.  If you've seen any one of my youtube videos, then there's a pretty fair chance you'll have heard me talk about one of their lip butter glazes, and learning that their packaging is largely bio-degradable and recyclable makes me feel even less guilty for owning three of them!

I first purchased the shade Laurel on a whim back in October after learning that I was the proud owner of a new job.  I was milling about the Korres stand in Sephora, and was planning on buying a Lip Butter as I'd heard so much about them on youtube and blogs, but when I saw a squeeze tube version I did a double take.  Never being one to like sticking my fingers into pots of goopy balms, I couldn't understand why I hadn't heard one word about the glazes.  I thought that there must have been something the matter with them to hear absolutely no buzz about them at all, but I had a hunch and took the $14 gamble, and guess what?  It. Paid. Off.  Easily my favorite lip product of last year (and this year, if I don't find anything else to take the crown), the Korres lip butter glazes are non-tacky, easy to apply, and are extremely hand due to their compact size.  As if that weren't enough, they are fairly hydrating, and stay on for hours at a time.  Offering a slightly sheer wash of vanilla-milkshake scented glaze (I mean), these lip butters to-go are simply the best I've ever tried.  Not that I come across many products labelled, "lip butter glaze", but I'm sure you get my drift.  And at $14 a tube (for 0.34oz), I had little problem rewarding myself on my newest job acquisition with two more colors from the line.  My budding collection now includes Wild Rose, a deep, sheer red, Crocus, described by Sephora as a sheer lavender, which is surprisingly my new favorite, along with the old standard, Laurel, a peachy pink.

Now, I have the sneaking suspicion that the lip glaze hype missed Korres out because the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfecter won beauty bloggers' hearts last year.  And while I have yet to try the Clarins glazes and thus have no basis for comparison, if you can get your hands on both, I strongly recommend testing out the two brands before deciding which ones to buy, as Korres not only offers a better deal dollar/ounce-wise, but there are also seven shades to choose from, as compared with Clarins' three (although soon to be six in May).  To put it plainly, Clarins is going to have to have something pretty darn special inside those tubes of theirs to win me over!

Korres Lip Butter Glazes in Laurel, Crocus, and Wild Rose, $14 each.  Available at Sephora.

Inspired by Beauty...Bloggers | Aromatherapy Associates

Friday, February 22, 2013

We all do it.  You're watching the monthly slew of favorites videos (or reading the blog posts!), and before you know it your wish list has grown by twenty items, your makeup collection gets a bit cozier, and your wallet is feeling noticeably lighter. This is a pretty common occurrence for me now, and I thought what better way to justify these completely unnecessary and impulse purchases than by dedicating a series to them here on my blog? Plus, you'll get to see who my biggest enablers are!

Now I'm sure you're all familiar with my love for Anna and her blog (which I read every morning over breakfast) at this point, so it should come as no surprise that I made a recent purchase completely influenced by her supremely convincing words on the subject.  You may remember her waxing lyrical about her Aromatherapy Associates (here on referred to as AA) bath and shower oils in the past?  Needless to say, I whacked them straight onto my wish list and waited for the perfect opportunity to snatch them up.  That opportunity finally came months later when I found myself the lucky owner of a sizable Amazon gift card (thank you, Amazon buy-back!). To make a long story short, this gorgeous collection of mini bath oils arrived on my doorstep early last week, and I've been taking an inordinate amount of baths ever since...

The box features small, 3mL gold-capped bottles containing all nine of the company's signature bath oils.  I've just about tried them all, and I have to say that "De-Stress Mind" is gooooorgeous and is my absolute favorite (as if you couldn't tell).  The different blends all have varying and extremely fragrant scent profiles, and as an added benefit, bathing in oil means softer skin!  Ladies and gentlemen, I believe a rave is in order.  Here's a quick run-down of all of the nine oils and their main fragrance notes:

My Favorite Accessories

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Turquoise ring, gift.  Similar here.
Gold Indian cuff bracelet, gift.  Similar here.
Faux crystal pendant, gift.  Similar here.
Skull and spike bracelets, $2, ebay.  Here and here.
Beaded turquoise bracelet, handmade by me.
White rose earrings, $4 (set of six pairs), Forever 21.
Mother of pearl Anthropologie necklace, gift.
Cowboy boot earrings, $2, flea market.  Similar here.
Pyramid necklace, gift.  Urban Outfitters.

I was feeling something a little different today, so I dredged up some of my favorite pieces from the catastrophic drawer that they call home, threw them on, and snapped some photos.  If there's anything I've learned from making this post, it's that I don't buy a whole lot of jewelry for myself (and that taking pictures of your ears is a lot harder than it sounds...)!  I'd love to know what you guys think, and also what some of your favorite pieces from your own collection are.

Starting Small with Essie

Sunday, February 17, 2013

If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you'll know that this whole nail obsession (and yes, I think it's safe to say we're in obsessive, borderline addiction territory now) is a very recent development.  I never used to be one for painting my nails, and had been known to go three or four month stretches at a time with nothing more touching my nails than soap and water.  However, spurred on by the likes of Anna and Estée, I've grown rather attached to my little nail care routine.  I don't have a particularly large collection of polishes by any means, but Anna's video all about her bottles of Essie has sent my shop-happy brain into a frenzy of wish lists, cuticle gels, and nail tools, and consequently my online shopping cart is just about full to brimming.

After a quick survey of my meager little collection, I realized I had but two Essie polishes (which is more than I had originally thought), and seeking to amend the situation, I made a trip to trusty ol' Target to see what they had in the stocks.  Turns out Target has the cheapest Essie bottles around, retailing at less than $8 each, and I had a full scope of the selection before heading home with three new shades.  Two of which came in this cute miniature packaging (with a miniature glass nail file!!), which is great because I mean, how fast can you really get through a nail polish anyway?  Never having actually finished a bottle of polish myself, I jumped straight in with the minis.  The two colors featured are both equally famous Essie shades; the innocent and classic Ballet Slippers, and the more daring and deep Wicked.  Both were instant hits in my book, and even as I'm clacking away right now on the keys, I can't stop staring at my Wicked fingertips (Ballet Slippers is currently on the toes).

I personally love the formula of Essie polishes, although I know that plenty of people find that they chip quite easily.  I didn't get any chipping with either of these polishes until day three of wear, but then I never really wear the same color on my nails for more than four days anyway.  Two to three coats, and my nails were as opaque as the bottles themselves.  Beautiful, simple, and classic; I couldn't ask for two better colors to serve as the foundation for my budding Essie collection (wow, two whole semicolons in a post, what's that all about, eh?).  What are your favorite, or must-have Essie polishes?  I could use all the suggestions I can get!

Essie Christmas Gift Set,  $9.99

(Sidenote: I took the photos days after writing this post, and had to rush out quickly afterwards, one hand sporting Wicked, the other, well...not.  I'm sure I didn't look that odd, but trust me, I felt it.)

All Made Up | Sick Day Makeup

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Welp, it's that time of year again.  The day where couples the world over go out for dinner because they kinda sorta have to, and the singles do whatever the hell they want, because that's what being single is all about!  That's about as far as I'll go with Valentine's Day content, as I couldn't really be bothered to dedicate a post to the holiday (read: my imagination is shit and I couldn't come up with anything halfway decent), and instead I bring you another post featuring me, all made up.

Yesterday was my first day at a new job, and even though I was still quite audibly sick and every cell in my body was telling me absolutely not to come near my face with any sort of makeup whatsoever, I decided to take pity on the general public and covered up some trouble areas so that I looked at least somewhat socially acceptable.  I couldn't quite bring myself to apply a foundation, so I tried out my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand (mixed with Nude, and applied with fingers) over the top of some Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (a very Laura day, I'll admit), to good results; nice coverage, but no cake face, and my skin still had room to breathe. Some of my MAC Studio Sculpt concealer in NW25 (discontinued) over some leftover visible redness, a teensy dusting of Clinique's Stay Matte Sheer pressed powder over the end of my nose and forehead, and I could move on to the cheeks.

I was feeling rather low maintenance, so I dotted some of my Benefit Posie Tint on both cheeks, and blended out with fingers.  On top of my cheekbones went some of my Benefit High Beam highlighter to simulate a healthy glow, and underneath both cheekbones, a blended stripe of my MAC MSF Natural in Medium Deep, for a touch of definition.  Easy peasy.

For the eyes, I got a little complicated, but only because I felt the need to make a good first impression.  I don't start any eye makeup without a blob of my Urban Decay Primer Potion, and on top of that went three colors from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette that I use far too much; Suspect on lid, Snakebite in crease, and Busted in outer V and on lower lash line.  A quick flick of my Eyeko Skinny liquid liner, which in my opinion is good but not great, one coat of Maybelline The Falsies mascara in Black Drama, and my eyes were done.  All that was left was to swipe some Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach under both eyes for that "I'm totally not sick"look, and it was on to the lips.

Feeling a bit tired after all the fuss with my eyes, I kept it simple in the lip department.  A dab of MAC's Kinda Sexy, and a gloss-over with my Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Laurel (my fall-back lip combo), and I was almost out the door.  The finishing touch?  A box of cough drops to add to the makeup bag, of course!  So with makeup on, hair sort of done, and a pack of cough drops and tissues at the ready, I finally dashed out for work, and realized how much I had missed the smell of fresh air.

So Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  I've penciled in some time tonight for a nice, long, aromatic bath followed by a Bridget Jones DVD, but that's just me, eh ;)  What are you beautiful people up to?

Staying Trendy with Revlon

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

If you've been keeping up with Meg's blog, you will have seen her recent post which included some information on the Pantone color predictions for 2013.  If you've not heard of them, Pantone are essentially the color experts, and can predict the colors for basically anything from journals to jumpers.  They've already posted their predictions for Autumn of this year, but the supposed stand out color of 2013 is Emerald green, which makes a May-born Taurus like myself very happy!

I was inspired by Meg's Monaco-blue nails in this post to bring my nail polish collection up to speed with 2013, so I made a visit to the drug store.  Obviously someone at Revlon keeps up with the Pantone color reports as well, because one of their newest offerings "Trendy", a perfectly opaque emerald green, is right in line with the color of the year.  It took me all of about five seconds to decide on this polish, and it has adorned my nails ever since.  For me, Revlon polishes are tried and true, and I haven't seen a chip yet (I'm on day four of wear).  I never wear a top-coat, but this is more out of laziness than anything else.  I'm thinking about investing in the OPI one, simply because Seche Vite's warning label kind of scares me a little.  This Revlon polish retails for around $5.50 and can be found in most drugstores (I got mine at CVS).  

So, is there anything that you've bought recently to keep up with the changing tides, or are you more of a "stick-to-the-classics" type of gal?

Multi-Purpose Heroes!

I was watching a video of Jessica's a few weeks back that reminded me of a couple of multi-tasking products I've got in my own home.  Vitamin E and Tea Tree oils; nothing fancy, and both readily accesible, yet both seem underutilized and definitely not talked about enough.  With a list of different uses about as long as my arm, they're both great oils to keep on hand for quick beauty fixes and other household patch-ups.

Vitamin E Oil: This oil is quite the multi-tasker, and is so concentrated that a little goes a very long way.  I use a few drops of it as a substitute for body lotion on extra dry skin, through the ends of my hair to keep my strands nourished, and as a bath additive for silky smooth skin, post soak.  It also works well to extend the life of homemade body scrubs (I added a few drops to one I made in September that's still going strong)!

Tea Tree Oil: Nature's antiseptic!  Tea tree oil can be used for many things, including the treatment of breakouts (it's definitely saved me several times in this department!), as part of a dilution to treat a sunburn, and can even be used in a water solution to disinfect household objects.  Possibly my favorite use for this pungent little oil is to sprinkle a few drops onto the floor of the shower or into a hot, steamy bath to promote easier breathing and to clear out the sinuses when sick.

I hope that was at least somewhat helpful, and if you know any other uses for these guys please let me know!  I'd also love to hear about any of your favorite multi-purpose products, because I just love a good multi-tasker!

Beauty in a Pinch | Lipstick as Cream Blusher?!?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

While I admit this is not much of a revolutionary technique in the beauty world, I think it's one that is often overlooked, and one that deserves much more use than it gets in my own makeup routine.  Known to me as "Grandma's blush", this trick is resourceful and saves you a penny or two in the long run.  

The way my mom tells it, my grandmother was always put together and never left the house without her makeup done, but raising six children in 1950s New York meant that she didn't always have the money for fancy cosmetics, and blush wasn't high up on the list of priorities.  So she did what a lot of women did back then, and rubbed lipstick into her cheeks.  I mean if you think about it, lipstick and cream blusher are essentially the same thing, they just come in different shapes.  I find that this technique works much better than I'd imagined, and the color lasts quite well.  I tend to stick to matte shades, or formulas with minimal glitter, and have found my favorite so far to be MAC's Creme in Your Coffee.  For hygiene reasons, I tend to either rub some of the lipstick onto the back of my hand, or just take some on my finger and dot it onto my cheeks, then blend in with my Real Techniques Expert Face brush.  You may find you need to apply a bit more, depending on the sheerness of the lipstick.  And you're done!  Simples.

Once you start looking at your lipsticks as potential rouge, you might find that you've got a whole new wardrobe of blushers to work with!  Do you use this trick at home?  If so, what are some of your favorite lipsticks to use?

At Home Chai Tea Latte

Saturday, February 9, 2013

There's nothing to lift your spirits when sick quite like a hot cup of tea.  After getting well and truly snowed in today, and realizing that we were completely out of our stocks of chai tea bags, I scoured the internet, desperately trying to find an adequate at-home recipe for a nice hot chai.  Turns out it's much simpler than it sounds and takes about as much time to make as a kettle does to boil.  So roll up your sleeves and whip out your Earl Grey, because this is something that even the noobiest of noobs in the kitchen can't get wrong.

Taking most of my inspiration from this article here, I mainly stayed true to it, but improvised a bit on the measurements.  All you'll need for this are a few bags of black tea (Earl Grey will do just fine), some ground cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and a sprinkle of nutmeg if you fancy it.  Throw it all into a coffee filter, toss some water into your drip coffee maker, switch it on and you're nearly there.

The final part is so unnecessary, but if you're feeling extra fancy I say go for it.  Put a saucepan on the stove on medium-high heat, pour in your milk, vanilla and a bit of sugar if you like, and whisk it slowly until the sugar dissolves.  This should take all of two minutes, if that.  Pour the milk mixture into mugs, combine with your fresh tea, and you're set.  Sit, sip and savor the flavor!

2 bags black tea
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
dash of nutmeg
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp brown sugar (I used turbinado)

Serves 2-4 depending on mug size!

Sephora VIB 500 Point Gift | Laura Mercier Flawless Best-Sellers

Friday, February 8, 2013

Before I was so gracefully struck down with strep throat and hadn't forgotten what fresh air smelled like, I did a wee bit of shopping.  As for the reason, well...I got a job!  I've no idea how secure it is now that I've been out sick since Tuesday, and I haven't actually put in any hours yet, but all that aside, I was very excited on Monday! Right after hearing the news, I bounded into Sephora and scooped up a tiny pile of loot that I have since deemed, my "Victory Haul!"  

Now, this next part is embarrassing, but I'll just grit my teeth and barrel through.  So I got up to the register, and the cashier informed me that I had 700 or so points and would I like to use any and all I could do was think "How in the name of all that is holy did I wind up with 700 or so points??"  Needless to say, I traded them in at once when I saw a 500pt Laura Mercier gift staring so joyfully up at me.  Items were scanned, points were swapped, and my Victory Haul arrived home in one piece.

A quick look inside the box and you'll find a hefty sized sample of Laura's primer and her raved-about tinted moisturizer (in the color Nude).  There's also quite a generous size of something called the "Eye Basic" in Wheat which is supposedly an eye primer that covers your imperfections, and the most exciting thing (for me, anyway), the Shimmer Bloc in Golden Mosaic.  I believe it's meant to be used as a highlighter, but I could see it lending some nice color to the eyes as well.  All in all it's a beautiful gift; my only complaint is that I don't know how customizable it is.  It would be a shame if the only color they offered in the tinted moisturizer was Nude.

Phewf!  Well, after catching up on Luther, Copper, and literally all of Top Chef, I have just about had it with being sick.  I missed my blog, and I missed you guys even more!  Hope you're all well, and if you're in the Northeast, hunker down for the storm, it's gonna be a big'un!

Video | January Beauty Faves

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hiya luvs, long time no talk!  You may have noticed a lack of updates around here recently, and without going into too much detail, I'll just say I've been stuck in bed for three days with a horrible terrible no good very bad sore throat.  I'm planning on taking a few pictures soon, so once that happens updates will be more regular.  I uploaded a youtube video a few days back and totally forgot to post it here, so select to watch on youtube for all the extra links and schtufff.  And beauty babble is go in 3..2..1!

Newly Released | Aveda Nourishmint Lip Color in Cana

Monday, February 4, 2013

The beauty world has always been enchanted by MAC, and I'm the first to say that I've fallen under their spell (I've still got a wish list about as long as both arms).  With oodles of youtube videos about favorite MAC lipsticks and collections, a never-ending color selection, and a semi-affordable price tag to boot, it's no wonder people get stuck in a rut (me included!) and stick to the lippies with the big name behind them.  But ever since my latest lipstick discovery, I've set aside my tubes of Russian Red and Cockney in favor of something a bit more dramatic.  Enter Aveda's newest lip offering, a nourishing and minty lipstick in "Cana"*.

Aveda is well-known for its salon services and the naturally-derived hair products that accompany them, however they also sell tea, fragrances, skin care and now cosmetics.  To keep up with the changing trends, a new makeup collection is released every few months, and this Spring's collection might make you rethink your next lipstick purchase.  New to the Nourishmint line is Cana, an intensely bright yellowy-red that keeps the lips moisturized during wear with a refreshing yet subtle mint scent.  It feels almost like a liquid lipstick when worn, and stays on for absolutely ages!  I've worn it for four hours straight at work, only to rush to the mirror in fear and find my lips just the way I left them.  The color is intense, the payoff opaque, and here comes the best bit: no liner required!  The rest of the collection contains another lipstick in a corally pink shade, two eye liners in green and blue, a very daring blush/highlighter, along with a few other bits.  To make the deal even sweeter, Aveda very recently re-formulated all of their products so that they no longer contain parabens (along with environmentally friendly packaging), so you can wear this lipstick with confidence and worry less about what's going in to your body, and more about, well...nothing really!  Available soon in Aveda retail stores, the nourishmint line (which also helps to reduce fine lines over time) goes for 16 bucks a pop.

Now that Spring is coming, we've got to make room for our peachy pinks and natural nudes, but we've still got February to get through, and what better way to celebrate the month of luuurve than with a bright red lip?  I'd love to know your current Spring lippie predictions, and your favorites to wear as the weather warms!

*Pre-release sample.

Beautiful on the Inside | Graze Snack Boxes

Friday, February 1, 2013

So I may have to let the cat out of the bag with this one.  I do have other interests besides the goings on in the beauty industry (I know, shocker!).  In fact, I think my blog has only ever seen me talk about one other interest of mine, so in an attempt to dismantle some of the smoke screens, I wanted to talk about another great passion of mine: nutrition.

Enter Graze, a UK-based health food company focused solely around snacks.  That's my kind of company!  Specializing in healthier snacking, Graze delivers said healthy options in a format very reminiscent of the beauty boxes of yore. Delivery happens once a week in 100% recyclable packaging, and you get the choice of two box options; the nibblebox, if you want the ability to try everything that Graze offers, or the lightbox if you favor a more streamlined version of snacking with all options under 150 calories.  My first box was a lightbox, but you can change your box preference each week if you so choose.

To me, the beauty of Graze is that they leave the snack selection completely up to you!  Allergic to nuts?  Simply "trash" the entire ingredient.  Love coconut?  "Like" or "love" every coconut recipe!  Not sure if you'll like something, but it looks interesting?  Stick with the "try" option, and it may just show up in one of your boxes.  You can even customize the snacks to suit a vegan-friendly lifestyle!  The best part is, you continue to give your feedback as you receive your boxes, so if it turns out you actually didn't like the Smokey Gazpacho Dip, you won't ever have to eat it again.  With over 100 waistline-friendly snacks to choose from, including dried fruits, nuts, "chips" and dip, and even chocolate, there's a little something for every taste bud.  Not to mention, the huge detailed photographs that accompany each option guarantee that you know what you're getting when you select it.

My first box contained four of the lighter options, my favorites of which were the Mango Chutney with spicy black pepper dippers, and the Festival Fruits (dried pear, apple, plum and black currants).  I also received the Bounty Hunter with coconut flakes, dried cranberries and chocolate chips, plus Nacho Libre which consisted of almonds, puffed corn, and rice cakes covered in powdered cheese.  In all, I really love the concept of these boxes, and I think that at $5 a box, they're a good choice for anyone looking to fold healthier snacks into a cleaner eating lifestyle.  Not only would they make a great choice for parents looking to pack healthier snacks into school lunches, or for college kids who need better brain-fuel for all night study sessions, but it would also make a fun subscription to go halfsies on with a co-worker (seeing as Graze deliver to businesses, and all).

At the moment, the service is by invitation only as they are very new in the US, but hopefully once the company expands, more invites will be extended.  I have three invites of my own that I can extend, so I'd be happy to offer my code to the first three US residents who email me about the service at: thenonbrit@gmail.com, plus you'll receive your first box free!  It's companies like this that make my inner-nutritionist jump around and dance, so I'm very happy to share the love and spread the message, but until membership expands to all interested parties, you can peruse the website here.

I'd love to know how you like these non-beauty posts?  I'm thinking of doing a twice-monthly sort of healthy eating piece, would that be of any interest at all?  Well, until next time, happy snacking!
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