Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Famed NARS 'ITA' Brush

Contouring is the hottest thing in the make-up industry. Professionals and illusionary MUAs have been doing this trick for quite some time, and now us norms and newbies are trying to perfect the technique as well. It has been an internet and YouTube sensation. Just search for it in the Google search bar and a plethora of links and tutorials will appear.

The NARS Ita brush is famed for sculpting and contouring effortlessly. 

NARS describes it as: "The striking silhouette of the Kabuki Ita is designed for targeted contouring and creating strong, sculpted cheeks."

Now, you can only imagine that with such hype this brush has receieved... it has been out of stock for quite some time. All department stores as well as the NARS website is out-of-stock! I called my local Nordstrom counter and had to be put on a wait list! And they aren't expected to arrive until May or June!

My advice? If you really want the brush, keep checking these websites:

If I'm able to get my kitty claws onto a brush prior to the month of May or June, I will be writing a review as soon as possible. I can only hope that it will live up to it's popularity! Though, I must say - I have yet to be disappointed with any NARS product. (My fellow Narsissists can agree!) 

Do you own the NARS Ita brush? What are your thoughts? Any other brushes worth checking out for contouring? 

Until next time beauties,
xx Angela

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mini Sephora Haul!

There's nothing that makes me happier than leaving Sephora with new goodies that I've been anticipating to try! These three have been on my Sephora "loves" or "wishlist" which you can see here: Sephora Loves ♥ 

Extreme Lip Plumping Collagen Lip Shine ($22)

I've always loved the feeling of lip plumpers. Some are a hit or miss, but some of my favorites have been Too Faced Cosmetic's Lip Injection Extreme as well as Fusion Lip Plumper XL. This has a chocolate scent to it (coincidence that it has that in common with the palette below.) It is clear in color and as soon as I applied, I can feel my lips tingling after about fifteen seconds. It did make my lips a little red, but it also noticeably made them fuller! It may be bothersome to you if you've never tried lip plumping glosses. Most have properties like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and peppermint which draw your blood circulation to your lips, hence causing a swollen pout. Sephora is the exclusive beauty retailer for this product: Sexy Mother Pucker XL

♥ ♥ ♥ 

Chocolate Bar Palette ($49)

with flash and shade names

with flash

without flash
Inspired by the popularity of their Chocolate Soleil and Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzers, Too Faced cosmetics created the Chocolate Bar eye shadow palette which is comprised of sixteen matte and shimmer shades. I have always been a huge fan of Too Faced cosmetics, so I knew this couldn't possibly disappoint. All of their shadows are so incredibly pigmented and last all day long with use of their Shadow Insurance primer (which happens to be my favorite e/s primer.) Anyone that knows me knows that I am obsessed with a brown smokey eye. Anything in the chocolate, bronze, copper, gold, neutral family - I will love it! The best part about this palette? It smells like milk chocolate! ♥

Photo Finish Primer "Color Correcting Adjust" ($10 - $38)

I was in line waiting to purchase my items when I came across the various Smashbox primer minis and picked this one up. I have the original which I love. This seems to have a different consistency (more liquid than velvety) and it's supposed to decrease redness in your complexion. After checking Sephora's website, I probably would have been better selecting the peach or purple shades in this, but this was all I saw. Looking forward to giving this a try today! 

♥ ♥ ♥

What are some of your recent beauty purchases? Share in a comment below! 

Until next time beauties,
xx Angela

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fresh Hair Cut

Nothing like having a fresh hair cut and a blow-out!
♥ ♥ ♥

I typically wear my hair parted down the middle, but I also like having a side-part at times. 

Here is what I ask for when I get a cut:
- Trim an inch or two off the ends as necessary.
- Keep the length long 
- Face framing layers
- Bangs with length that begin at the middle of my chin (I like the feathered out bangs.) 
- Blunt cut on the ends (I don't like my ends thinned out or tapered.) 

This way, my hair is still long but my layers are trimmed so that my hair does not feel so heavy. I have coarse, wavy hair and I often give it a blow-out or use a curling iron to style it.

For those who are interested, I have my hair cut at Diva Studio in Las Vegas by Stephanie.  

Until next time beauties,
xx Angela

Saturday, February 22, 2014

BobbyGlam: Wrap Around Ponytail


"BobbyGlam Hair Extensions have quickly gained a cult following; they're being used by celebs such as Whitney Port, Geri Halliwell, Fearne Cotton & Solange Knowles. Also, BobbyGlam Hair Extensions have appeared in ad campaigns for luxury fashion brands such as Moschino & Herm├ęs, they've graced the covers of Vogue and have made catwalk appearances at London Fashion Week!" 

This hair extension brand is based out of the United Kingdom, and I must say... it DELIVERS.

♥ ♥ ♥  

I have thick, coarse hair and it's also layered which can make it hard for extensions to blend in well. When I put this ponytail on, it blended seamlessly. You cannot tell that I had an extension on at all. 

Now what I love about this ponytail is the length! They all come in the same long length, but I measured mine at about 20". You have the option of cutting it as well if it's too long for you. However, I'd recommend taking it to your stylist if you have layers otherwise you can try trimming it yourself, little by little. 

So long! This is the piece unstyled. When I straightened it with my iron, it didn't look as thin on the ends. 

Look at how lush and thick!

The thickness of this clip-in ponytail is wonderful! For those of you with thin to medium-thick hair, this will look beautiful and completely natural! On my bad hair days when I have absolutely nothing else I can do with my hair (which is typically my third day of unwashed hair) is when I love to put my hair into a ponytail. 
*Tip: Don't wash your hair every day, ladies! If you have very oily hair where your hair gets oily overnight, then use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo. 

Application is so simple. In the photo above, you see that there is the ponytail and then a side piece that is curly (this is the piece you will wrap  around the base!) 

What you need: 
~Smoothing brush 
~ Gel/Pomade to tame frizz or baby hairs
~Hairspray to hold into place

How to apply: 
1. Brush your hair smooth and put it into a ponytail as you normally would (you can decide whether you want to wear it high or low.) 
2. Use a bit of gel or pomade to tame any frizz or fly-aways.
3. Secure your ponytail with an elastic hair tie. (I like to use goody brand in black.)
4. Take the wrap-around ponytail and attach the clip into your own hair, and at the base of the ponytail. (Right next to the hair tie.) Make sure it is secure and add a bobby pin just in case. (optional.)
5. Take the curly section (wrap-around section) and wrap it around the base smoothly and evenly. Make sure it is sleek and smooth. 
6. Secure with bobby pins around the base, and you're done! Incredibly fast and simple if you're a girl on-the-go, like I typically am!

♥ ♥ ♥

You can opt for sleek and straight like my Persian Barbie doll, Lilly Ghalichi

Loose, tousled curls like Kim Kardashian. 

You can also braid it or use it to create a flowing, half-up, half-down style.

I honestly can't say anything negative about the brand. Their products are of amazingly high quality and the hair itself is the thickest and fullest of all the brands I've tried (ie Euronext extensions, Luxy extensions, and various other brands I've purchased from my local hair supply warehouses.) The clips are also very sturdy, I've never had any issues with my clip-ins nor have I ever used bobby pins on my quad weft. It stays put in my hair no matter how long it's left in.

♥ ♥ ♥

I highly recommend the brand. Why? Because I've had nothing but wonderful experiences with them. Their customer service is so prompt in returning e-mails and highly knowledgeable. They will help to make you recommendations based on your hair color/ hair texture. Everyone that I have dealt with have been extremely kind and oh so sweet! I would give them all hugs if I could! ((hugs)) They also shipped promptly and my package arrived within two weeks to the States.

♥ ♥ ♥

I want to add that HeadKandy hair extensions and BobbyGlam are very similar based on what I've seen.
I own the HeadKandy Quad Weft (which I ADORE!) and the hair seems to be the exact same. No complaints about that, as I love them both. But, I believe that they are made by the same manufacturer. The difference is that HeadKandy and BobbyGlam have different full-sets of extensions, but please be sure to look into that if you're interested!
My HeadKandy quad weft measured at 22", but I had to cut about 3" off to blend in with my layers. I use this piece to add volume to my hair.

Where can you find BobbyGlam products?
They have their own website, or you can also find them at their sister site (which also includes products from their sister hair extension brand, HeadKandy) at Dirty Looks

 I can truthfully say that I love and recommend this ponytail for my other glamour girls who love them just as much as I do. I am actually going to be purchasing the Bobby Glam triple weft full-head set of hair extensions next, and I will be sure to post about that upon receipt! 

Sending big kisses over to the lovely staff at Bobby Glam (Abigail! ♥) for collaborating and sending me this wrap-around ponytail. I am very grateful and I can't wait to try more from Bobby Glam in the near future.

Disclaimer: I would be nothing but absolutely honest with my viewers and readers and would never recommend a product based upon the fact that it was sent to me for a review. Whether I disliked, liked or happened to love a product, you will be hearing my honest opinion. It is the objective of my blog to share my tips, thoughts and reviews on products that I both liked and disliked in an effort to help other women like myself who also research before purchasing any product. 

Which is your favorite hair extension brand and why? Have you tried Bobby Glam products? Please leave a comment below! 

Until next time beauties,
xx Angela

Monday, February 3, 2014

MUA Spotlight: Troy Jensen

 Who is Troy Jensen? 
If you haven't heard of him by now, please do yourself a favor and look him up.

Troy is a celebrity make-up artist and professional photographer, most notably recognized for his work with his former muse, Kim Kardashian.

He was one of the first celebrity make-up artists to share his work and beauty tips with the public, via his blog. He no longer has a blog, but you may see his work on his website: Troy Jensen

You can find other social media outlets to connect with Troy such as: instagram, facebook and youtube. Please check his website for external links.

His work is truly amazing and incredibly inspiring. 

Who are some of your favorite make-up artists? 

Until next time beauties,
xx Angela

Friday, January 31, 2014

How to Achieve Flawless, Bronzed Skin!

Lilly Ghalichi bronzed & beautiful
I achieve a deep, bronze tan or glowing skin the safe and sunless way

Being Middle Eastern, I have skin that tans very easily. However, I do not condone tanning outdoors nor using tanning beds. They can cause so much damage to your skin such as sun spots, wrinkles, and of course skin cancer. All you need is twenty minutes of the sun to get your recommended amount of Vitamin D. 

I also happen to live in the desert, so during our scorching hot Summers, I am always sure to use an SPF sunscreen or lotion. I can't stress it enough, ladies... Practice safe sun! I wear it even in the Winter.

1.) Choose the right shade & Patch Test. The first product I will list, Fake Bake Flawless is a universal self-tan liquid, meaning whether you're naturally olive/tan complected like I am, or very fair or pale - it will work fabulously to give you the depth that you are looking for. Some products will list whether it is for "fair/light" or "medium/tan" skin. I recommend choosing the darkest shade, even for women who are fair complected. Reason being, you'll be able to see the shade really well when you're applying, and you'll be less likely to have any streaks or blotching. It will also give you the satisfaction of deciding how light or dark you want your tan to be. Like any new product you try, always do a patch test on your skin before applying the formula all over your face and body. Many self tanners have chemical fragrances which can be irritating. To patch test on a discreet area, apply a small amount to the inside of your thigh or arm. 

2.) Shower & Exfoliate. Make sure you start with a fresh, smooth canvas. This will be the first step in priming your skin for the self-tanner. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or exfoliating mitts while you are in the shower to slough away your dead skin cells. 

3.) Moisturize. This is the second step in priming your skin. Moisturizing prior to application is crucial, as it will provide a smooth, even application for your self-tan and also help it absorb and deepen faster. Concentrate on your hands, elbows, knees and feet. These areas are susceptible to soaking in the self-tanning liquid, creating darker patches there. Be sure to lightly apply in these areas and blend in well. 

Fake Bake Flawless ($25): This self tanner makes it incredibly easy to achieve a very rich bronze color without much of the mess. It comes in a spray bottle (as pictured), two plastic gloves, and an applicating mitten. It is deep brown in color and it smells like the tropics. No strong chemical scents here. It is also paraben free. No artifical preservatives have been added, and it's suitable for all skin types. This is my go-to because it allows me to apply within minutes and it dries quickly.

St. Tropez Self-Tan Mousse ($42-$44): St. Tropez has been a leader in the self-tanning industry and won numerous Beauty Awards for good reason. 

What is it? This super-lightweight, easy-to-apply, velvety mousse delivers that ultra-even all-over tan you’ve always wanted. Simply sweep on with an Applicator Mitt for a beautiful even tan. 

Who is it for? Our best-selling product is perfect for anyone looking to get a natural-looking, streak-free golden tan that dries in an instant. Whether you’re a first-time tanner or a total pro, our tinted formula will ensure you know where to apply your tan for a perfect application, everytime. 

Why is it different? Infused with conditioning aloe vera and long-lasting color, our innovative Aromaguard™ fragrance technology eliminates the tell-tale self tan aroma by a minimum of 70% and instead gives a beautiful subtle, yet refreshing fragrance. Never orange, St Tropez Tan always gives a beautiful, golden color.

It really is never orange. Though it is a bit pricier than my first, this is also an amazing product and the tan lasts me well into the week and doesn't rinse off immediately. It leaves me with a bronze tan reminiscent of that achieved by the sun itself.

Original Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
Dark Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

Victoria's Secret Bronze line is perfect for those who want to achieve very glowy, dewy skin. They have an array of self-tan products with are honestly amazing. They give a golden-bronze color that is really beautiful. It smells amazing and I actually love to apply this every day directly out of my shower. These are great to use after your darker self-tan has been applied and the color you want has been achieved. 
VS Instant Bronzing Tinted Shimmer Lotion and Instant Bronzing Dry-Oil
I typically use the tinted shimmer lotion and the dry oil (above) after my bath. 

VS Instant Bronzing Tinted Body Spray, Self-Tanning Liquid Lotion and Bronzing Brush

To give extra dimension to my tan, I also like to use the bronzing powder brush. I don't like to apply directly from the brush itself. I prefer to dust the brush onto a large fan brush or puffy brush and then apply it to my skin, that way there are no patches and it is applied evenly.

Another celebrity who is famous for self-tanning and spray-tan, Kim Kardashian.

5.) Moisturize and Maintain: Once I've finished applying my self-tanner and it has dried and set, I love to use my favorite body lotion to lock in moisture and prolong the depth of my tan. While there are self-tanning lotions available that are specifically for use after your self-tan, I use this regular lotion because it's my personal favorite and it keeps my skin looking healthy and supple. And, it does the trick! You can find this at any drugstore.

Total Moisture Cocoa Radiant lotion leaves your skin feeling healthy & glowing. Our rich feel formula combines pure cocoa butter and Stratys-3 multi-layer moisture penetrating deeply, infusing moisture at the top, core and deep down layers, igniting skin’s natural glow at the source. 

I hope that some of you will find this informative and give self-tanners a try. Please do some research and educate yourselves on the danger of tanning bed usage and laying out in the sun. Believe me: I used to be that girl who would rub baby oil on herself and lay out for hours. After trying self-tanning, I am now a convert!

What are some of your favorite self-tanners? Have you tried any that I've listed here? Please share!

Until next time beauties,
xx Angela

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Drugstore Haul: L'oreal, Revlon, Freeman & Milani

 Mini Drugstore Haul!

What I Purchased:

1.) L'oreal Voluminous mascara in Carbon Black: This is a favorite amongst celebrity make-up artists, youtube gurus, and beauty bloggers for good reason. It works incredibly well at volumizing, lengthening, and separating my lashes. Everything from the brush, formula, and color of this mascara are incredible. It is the richest, blackest mascara on the market. I've veered off to try other mascaras, but I always come back to this one. Tried and true! A must-have in my cosmetic bag.

click photo to enlarge

2.) Revlon Photoready eyeshadow quartet in 'Muse' and 'Bohemian' :
What it is: "A primer, shadow, and sparkle" eyeshadow compact that is designed to be high quality, and photoready. I have yet to try the shade 'Bohemian' but I have used 'Muse' the other day and the colors were very pigmented, and it lasted all day long with use of my Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer.

click photo to enlarge

3.) Freeman Feeling Beautiful Facial Masks: Acai clay mask & Cucumber Peel mask.  (full review coming on these two shortly.)

click photo to enlarge

4.) Milani baked mineral bronzer in 'Golden' and baked mineral blush in 'Dolce Pink':
'Golden' is a deep bronze shade with marbled gold that gives a gorgeous glow to the skin. This can be worn alone or right beneath your blush for a contour. It does have shimmer (which I usually would not place as a contour shade) but it's more of an iridescence as opposed to a full-on glitter effect.

'Dolce Pink' is a beautiful, very "bridal" pink that gives a natural, glowing flush.

Verdict: I personally love Milani Baked Mineral bronzers and powders. They are such a great value and the quality of the product is really of high standards. They compare to MAC Mineralize blushes, but are half of their value. I have yet to be disappointed by any Milani product!

click photo to enlarge

What are some of your latest drugstore hauls? Anything you'd recommend? 

Until next time beauties!
xx Angela