Beauty. Fashion. Food. Lifestyle.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tarte Maracuja-Based Cosmetics

 The following is a sponsored post written by Tarte
and designed by A Very Sweet Blog.

When it comes to elaborate stories and flowery language regarding makeup ingredients, it's reasonable for the consumer to be skeptical. The discerning consumer should take stories about herbal elixirs prepared by the virgin descendants of Aphrodite herself, or other hyperbolic claims, with a grain of salt. 

It's reasonable to expect reassurance that what you're putting on your skin is safe, closer to something harvested from a plant than mixed in a mad scientist's lab, and most importantly that it will leave your skin looking and feeling better for having used it. 

If you have sensitive skin to start with, you've probably tossed plenty of expensive cosmetics for causing havoc with your skin. If you're going to put it on your face, it should make you look good and feel good. And it certainly shouldn't cause breakouts days later.

Keeping an eye out for products that will meet these criteria, you might come across Tarte's "high performance, natural" maracuja oil. Maracuja oil is harvested from a South American member of the passion fruit family, and its seedy pulp is cold pressed to make the pure Maracuja extract, which is rich in fatty acids and vitamin C. 

For those of you who have previously tried Argan oil for overnight skin hydration, you know it can sometimes make your skin angry (it's oil, right, that seems logical). However, you can expect pure maracuja to be gentler and more effective (and you shouldn't end up with an oil-slicky feeling on your face or pillow). Maracuja should help you wake up with softer, fresher-feeling skin, without any irritation, breakouts, or other examples of rebellious skin from using it. You can expect a positive experience with Maracuja oil, itself.

Tarte has begun making a variety of maracuja-based cosmetics which are worth exploring, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. With maracuja's exceptional hydrating properties, and it's gentle, non-irritating effect on your skin, you can expect a good experience from Maracuja. Give it a chance, it will win you over.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013


 The following is a sponsored post written by Reef and designed by A Very Sweet Blog.

Summer is coming to a close, but in most of the U.S., there are still several weeks remaining of pleasant temperatures, dewy mornings, trips to the lake, sunbathing by the pool, and puttering around the garden. Citronella-scented evening BBQ's. Raucous concerts on the lawn. Cool walks after a summer thunderstorm. The powdered-sugar delights of a street fair. There might even be a few late-summer weddings, maybe on a sandy beach at sunrise.

What do all these disparate experiences of summer have in common? Flip-flops!

Flip-flops are the ultimate summer footwear. There is nothing more satisfying as that first day in spring warm enough to wear flip-flops for that trip to the grocery store or post office. There's nothing quite so freeing as walking across a well-trimmed lawn, wet from the sprinkler, in your trusty flip-flops. Nothing is as satisfying as slipping on your flip-flops for that walk to the lounge chair, wearing a sun hat and carrying a dubious novel. No better way to show off those carefully pedicured toes. Sundresses and shorts are merely half as comfortable if you're not wearing flip-flops. Feet hot? Dunk em' in the pool and slip your flip-flops back on for that walk across the hot concrete. Flip-flops combine the pleasure of going barefoot with the freedom to walk wherever you like.

Flip-flops are essential for experiencing summer, and it doesn't matter if you are young, slightly less young (heh), man, woman, boy or girl, you can find a pair that will look fabulous and feel great on you. Whatever you do, don't skimp on your flip-flops. There are few things more painful than the way drugstore flip-flops will cut into your foot, and they'll break at the least convenient moment anyway. Flip-flops are a footwear of which anyone can afford the best. Reef carries an enormous variety of high-quality, high-style flip-flops and sandals for anyone, priced scarcely more than the gas-station toe-cutters. Suitable for the most adventurous kid at camp, the sweetest beachside wedding, a trip to the pool, a walk in the garden, and everywhere in between. Casual, comfortable, chic flip-flops are summer.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

School Supplies

Take a moment. Step back in time. Visualize the supplies you used in school. Remember them? OK, now look at these! Did your notebooks, folders, lunchboxes, journals, water bottles (ahem thermos) and such look as fabulous as these (if so, kudos to your mom! HaHaHa)!?! I was working on another blog post, when I came across these sweet items. The ice cream and popsicles made my eyes light up. I never had anything this cool when I was in school The only thing that came close was Strawberry Shortcake (I had Strawberry Shortcake everything, but that's another story). HaHaHa Kids are so lucky these days! I found out the lady that makes these beautiful items is Timree Gold. She lives in Newport Beach, California and has an impressive Etsy Shop and Website. She creates the prettiest things and even offers painting classes. I'm trying to feature more Etsy shops and women entrepreneurs on my blog. It's important to support Small Business owners. Now back to the school topic! Tell me! What cartoon character was on your lunch box? Snoopy, Jem, Barbie, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, Beauty & The Beast, Nothing? Inquiring minds (well just me) want to know! :) Have A Great Day! Class Is Dismissed!

Top Row L-R: Personalized Timree's Ice Cream Folder, Timree's Ice Cream Stationery Set Of 8 Cards, 
Timree's Ice Cream Spiral Bound Notebook, Personalized Timree's Ice Cream Lunchbox
Bottom Row L-R: Timree's Personalized Nautical Spiral Bound Notebook, Personalized Timree's Nautical Folder, Personalized Timree's Nautical Journal, Personalized Timree's Nautical Lunchbox

Top Row L-R: Personalized Breakfast at Timree's Folder, Personalized Breakfast at Timree's Spiral Bound Notebook, Personalized Breakfast at Timree's Journal, Personalized Breakfast at Timree's Lunchbox
Bottom Row L-R: Personalized Timree's Poodles & Polkadots Spiral Bound Notebook, Timree's Poodles & Polkadot iPhone 5 Case, Timree's Poodles & Polkadots Waterbottle, Personalized Timree's Poodles & Polkadot Lunchbox

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tips For Selling On eBay

This is NOT a sponsored post! These are personal tips I wrote this weekend (for my readers) for selling on eBay.

I throw clothes away, give clothes away and sell clothes on eBay. I never considered eBay an option until I started blogging 3 yrs ago. I came across a blogger who sold her clothes EVERY season. She stated it kept her closet manageable, up-to-date with new styles and gave her extra money to buy new things. Well, I'm not flipping everything in my closet every season, but as I get new things I like to get rid of old things. Why not make some extra cash for the nice items in your closet? I wrote some tips below for selling on eBay.

Open a PayPal Account:
Many buyers on eBay purchase items via PayPal. PayPal offers both you (the seller) and the buyer protection on all purchases. Not offering this payment option, limits the number of potential buyers for your items.

Write Descriptive Titles For The Items You Are Selling:
Buyers on eBay must search for what they are looking for! It's important to describe in detail what you're selling. Below is an example:

Brand / Color / Print / Fabric Style / Women or Men / Size
JCrew / Blue / Striped / Linen Buttoned Down Shirt / Women's / Size L

Take LOTS Of Pictures:
Great pictures will get you more views and offers! Take pictures of the front, back, neckline, embellishments, buttons, cuffs/sleeve and a closeup of the material. Take pictures of any defects. Leave nothing to guess. It protects you and the buyer knows exactly what they are getting.

Give Detailed Measurements:
Listing a top as L (Large) sometimes is not good enough. A buyer may ask for the bust, inseam (pants) and length measurements. If you purchased the item from JCrew etc. refer to their online measurement/size guide to get these answers. It's also important to STRESS if an item is misses, petite or plus size.

Material Matters:
What type of material is the garment made of? This can be found on the tag! Buyers want to know specifics. Is the garment 100% Cotton, Cashmere, a Cotton Blend, Dry Clean Only, etc.? Be sure to nclude this in your description.

Weight, Packaging & Shipping Costs:

WEIGHT: There is a BIG difference when selling a coat or tshirt online. A coat is heavy, has to be placed in a large box and costs MORE to ship. So consider the weight of what you're selling and factor in costs.

PACKAGING: Boxes, tubes, envelopes! What are you shipping the order in? I save boxes when I shop online and reuse them when I sell something. Go to CLEAN places like Best Buy etc. and ask if they have empty boxes you can take. The Post Office has boxes, but I find it's cheaper to ship when you use your own box. If you sell shoes, wrap the box the shoes came in. Putting a box inside a box adds more weight and adds to your shipping costs.

SHIPPING COSTS: Be honest with yourself! Factor in TRUE shipping costs. I live on the East Coast! When I ship to the West Coast it costs more. You never know who your buyer will be, so take that into account. I ship everything through the Post Office (it's cheaper, it's insured up to $50, and tracking is NOW included in the price)! If you're selling a really expensive item, I suggest using FedEx or UPS for safe & secure delivery. You must factor in all of these things, when coming up with a price for your item. If not, you will lose out and pretty much sell your item for FREE. That's a horrible feeling.

Group CHEAP items into LOTS: Last year (that's not my picture), I grouped my Old Navy & Target items into LOTS and sold them that way. I sold a LOT of Old Navy dresses. I sold a LOT of Target skirts. It's too hard making money off these things individually (buyers KNOW they don't cost much). Group and sell them together! You clear your closet, you sell to one person (saves on shipping), and you make a little extra cash.

Consider Selling Internationally: How many times have you said, "we can't get that here!" I mainly sell within the US, but I've received emails from people in Canada and Asian countries, asking if I would consider shipping there. Shipping internationally can be costly (but it's not as outrageous as you may think). 1. Be VERY clear to the buyer how much it will cost them to ship there. 2. Usually no tracking is offered for international countries (Postal Service). That may be different with UPS and FedEx (please check).

Designer Handbags can be SOLD on eBay: Here's how to get the BEST price! Keep the original packaging (box, receipts, pamphlets, dust bag). You'll get MORE money for the item, if you have the original box & dust bag and show it in your pictures. Luxury bags have authenticity numbers! When selling, take a picture of it close up and within the bag. Type the word "Authentic" in your title description. Don't sell to anyone with a low feedback score (this can be requested when you fill out the eBay selling form). Still jittery? Bring it to a consignment shop :). This is not for an eBay newbie or faint of heart. I sold a designer handbag set and received a much nicer amount than a consignment shop.

List Towards The END Of The Month, So You Can SELL At The Beginning Of The Month: THINK about when people get PAID! Some people get paid weekly! Some monthly! Think about when people are most likely to have money (usually it's at the beginning of the month or near an upcoming HOLIDAY). It's important to list right before, so they can SEE your item, make a decision and then hopefully BUY your item.

Be Patient: Don't expect to list an item once and expect it to sell the very first time. It takes time! You may have to relist it many times! Remember someone has to come along, that is your size and likes your style. Sometimes items sell right away! JCrew, Anthropologie, Garnet Hill, Coach, etc sell FAST! When you buy something, think of it as an investment. Ask yourself if you will resell, toss or give it away?

Research the Fees: Whenever you are selling on eBay you are going to need to understand that there are fees to consider, and many people overlook these. For the items you sell on eBay you are going to need to pay a fee if you choose to list a certain number of items. It will be free up until a certain point, after which you will have to pay the fee. Understanding the different costs that are involved when it comes to improving this is so important, and you need to try to make sure you focus on the best ways of being able to achieve this. So, ensuring you research this by using an eBay & PayPal fee calculator to figure out the best ways of achieving this is so important for the future.

This is something you need to understand as it can help you save money and reduce costs long-term, and this is something that you need to try to make the most of. In addition to this, you also have to think about things like tax, and packaging and shipping costs, all of which will eat into your budget. So you have to factor these kinds of things in when you are pricing your products more effectively.

I hope these tips help. I realize this post is long, but I made mistakes when I first sold on eBay.  
I didn't think everything through. I learned quickly, have a 100% sellers rating and thought it would be helpful & beneficial to someone else to write a post. Do you sell on eBay or another site? Share your experiences below.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ciate Dark Chocolate & White Chocolate Nail Polish Remover and Nail Lacquer Product Review

Dark chocolate and white chocolate nail polish remover!?! Yes, please! When products like this pop up, I always ask myself, why didn't I think of that. I couldn't wait to try these, because I am so tired of my regular nail polish remover. Ciate is a UK brand, and it seems these have been available in the UK for awhile (why didn't somebody tell me? haha). I've been wanting to test Ciate products for awhile now (notice I'm doing International Beauty Reviews), so I ordered the dark & white chocolate nail polish remover and a nail lacquer in 'cabaret' from QVC. I purchased these products with my own money. Below are my thoughts.

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues) not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 

Ciate Dark & White Chocolate Nail Polish Remover
These are fancy! You know how you hide your drugstore nail polish remover in the back of the closet? Not these. These are meant to be seen. They're meant to sit on a fancy tray with the rest of your perfume bottles or on the counter of your bathroom. The bottles are glass and definitely have some weight to them. If you look at my Vine video below, you'll notice that you don't pour this nail polish dab honey! So every aspect of it is Fa Fa! Both smell like chocolate! One smells like white chocolate and the other smells like dark chocolate. There is a hint of nail polish remover scent, but the chocolate scent overrides it. The million dollar question! Do they work? The answer is...YES! But let me say this! It took 9 swipes to remove the purple nail lacquer (shown below) using this nail polish remover. My drugstore brand removed it in 3 swipes. So if you want QUICK, continue using your drugstore brand. Also price is a factor! This is $16, whereas drugstore brands are around $2. I STILL give these a sweet rating, because it was heavenly smelling chocolate while removing my nail polish, the scent lingers after you're finished AND my nails didn't feel dry afterwards. If I had to suggest only ONE to you, I would go with White Chocolate. The scent was more chocolatey and stood out. Why not a Supersweet rating? Price! Number of swipes!

Ciate 'Cabaret' (PP039) Nail Lacquer
A couple of weeks ago, I threw out a lot of old lipsticks and nail lacquers. I'm getting ready for Fall! I want FALL COLORS! I want FALL MAKEUP! So I thought this shade of purple would be perfect. I love it! It's purple! It's plum! One coat is not enough my friends. You will need two coats. The drying time is super quick! I was really impressed with that. By the time I finished my hand, it was ok to apply a second coat. This nail lacquer has a long handled brush, but application was very easy. You'll get 4-5 days of wearing time. I love the packaging of Ciate paint pots! The bottle design and sweet little bow makes doing nails FUN. Plus you will want to display your collection (I plan on buying more). So why not a Supersweet rating? Shhh, It still doesn't beat Butter London.

Have An Awesome Weekend Everybody!!!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

How do you feel about mirror metallics? I feel if you wear too much, you either start looking like a disco ball or aluminum foil. I picked silver for this post, but they do come in an array of colors. Color helps, but then you have to make sure it doesn't come across cheap looking - ya' know. You also have to worry about scratches. Oh, my brain hurts with this one. Tell me how you feel! Let's all just sing 'Mirror Mirror' by Diana Ross now :)

4. Jimmy Choo Mirror Crown Open Pump 5. JCrew Mirror Metallic Oxfords 6. JCrew Strappy Mirror Metallic Pumps (check them out in Cinnamon!) 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Beauty vs Brains Tag

Susannah from Sparkle2Day blog tagged me in a Beauty vs Brains TAG. 
You can definitely have BOTH! Below are my answers.
I Tag: Kizzy of The Dainty Dolls House, Jo of White Roses and Coffee, Kat of Nails My Dreams

Favourite Book?
Memoirs of a Geisha. It's about inner desires that are hindered due to poverty, death, jealousy and abuse. It's about prayer, faith, having dreams and never giving up on those dreams. Awesome read. I read the book in three days. I couldn't put it down.

Favourite Quotation?
If you can't see the forest for the trees, then chop those motherfuckers down. P.Diddy I prefer electric saw, but chopping sounds like good exercise :)

English or Math?
I was never a fan of either (or is it neither...just kidding). HaHaHa

Science or Art?
I love art and art history. I'm just not good at making things (or it takes me awhile). I'm a science girl. My bachelors degree is in Biology & Chemistry. My masters degree is in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Policy.

Favourite and Least Favourite Subject At School.
Favourite = History
Least Favourite = Math

If You Could Study Anything, Anywhere, What Would It Be?
1. Peggy Porschen Patisserie School - She makes the most amazing things. Everything is so beautiful.

2. Acting. I always wanted to play La Femme Nikita. Hmmm, La Femme Kim!?! LOL

What Is Your Nerdy Little Secret?
I can cross-stitch.

Beauty Gurus you admire for more than their love of fashion/beauty.
Too many to list! I admire so many of them.Beauty Bloggers inform me of new products and I save money with their reviews. Gotta love beauty bloggers.

If your blog couldn't be focused on beauty/fashion, what would be the focus instead?
Travel! I would love showcasing THE WORLD!

Name 5 musical artists that changed your life. I couldn't narrow this to 5. I came up with 16 artists. Each one played a huge part in my life. Notice I was very influenced by THE BRITISH! Below started off pretty, but it's really late now and I'm super tired. So excuse how the font just got bigger and bigger. I'm usually very particular, but GUESS WHAT!?! SHIT HAPPENS. LOL
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