Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Swatches and Stuff - October 2014

Hi friends,

Lots to talk about this month with regards to cosmetics and skincare. I am discovering Coastal Scents and going back to old time favorites for winter skin. For once, I also have some non-beauty related products to share, items I have tested to let you know whether they are worth the purchase or not.

Swatches and Stuff - October 2014

Here is the coordinating video:

1. Curls - Cream Brule- Curl booster and moisturizer - A

2. Curls - Lavish Curls Moisturizer - B+

Curls- Hair Products
I am always on the lookout for a good curly hair product. Between harsh weather coming and my naturally frizzy hair, taming my do is quite the daily challenge but when I stumbled upon these organic products, I was pretty impressed with the results.

The  Curls - Cream Brule- Curl booster and moisturizer  is a wet or dry hair cream (though I find it works better on wet hair) that will boost your curls and keep them in shape throughout the day. Let's start with the scent - if you like Creme Brule, you will be quite taken over by this product.  I personally can't imagine a morning when the scent of coffee or anything pastry is not in the air and this smells just like the dessert it is named after. The texture is creamy enough but not too fluid. It applies evenly, though it may require combing through. I have been using this consistently following my usual hair routine and find that it does a good job at defining my curls, keeping them defined throughout the day.
I have also tried it as a conditioning cream prior to blow drying my hair and found that it detangles well throughout brushing and leaves my hair silky smooth, not heavy at all.  You can find it for under $11 for 8 oz and since a little goes a long way, I can see this product lasting me for a very long time.

The Curls - Lavish Curls Moisturizer  is a little bit different. This is meant to be used on those days when you do not wash your hair, let's call it day two, and want to boost your mane following a good night of sleep and the unfortunate pillow hair that follows. It comes as a clear gel like texture, though it is a bit more fluid than Aloe Vera, but does come out as a blob worth of stuff (I am blaming the spray nozzle for that). You are better off spraying it directly into your hand rather than directly onto your hair. 
With  light application, you can quickly reshape and revitalize your curls, providing them with a new bounce and shine in between shampoos. I find the scent to be very pleasant, more fruity than pie though. 

Interestingly, these are meant for multi-ethnic women with coarse and kinky hair, but found that they work just fine on my mane. 

Both products are made from organic ingredients, they are paraben and sulfate free, with no mineral or petrolatum oils.  I recommend them both. If given a choice of only one, I would go with the Cream Brule- Curl booster and moisturizer.

3. Vanicream - Cleansing Bar - A

4. Nivea - Essentially Enriched Body Lotion - A

Winter Skin Essentials
It is time to winterize my skin! With the change of season, I find that my legs and in particular the back of my thighs as well as my arms are begining to suffer from lack of hydration. Throughout the rest of the year, I do perfectly fine with my rather large collection of Bath and Body Works lotions and shower gels. However, when cold wind starts to go through clothing, chaffing and itch begin!

These two items are timeless essentials for winter skin: 

Vanicream - Cleansing Bar  is a no nonsense soap bar, dermatologist recommended for very sensitive skin. It is free of dyes, lanolin, fragrance, parabens and Formaldohyde  . While it does not produce a great level of lather, it cleanses beautifully and leaves my skin very moisturized. It also works great as a face cleanser. I have tried their other products and find the cream and lotion to be amazing. However, and this time around, I wanted to pamper myself with a good old trusted lotion from Nivea, not to mention the original and so classic fragrance.

Nivea - Essentially Enriched Body Lotion  You really cannot go wrong with this product. It comes as a thick , creamy lotion that applies easily and is quickly absorbed yet leaving your skin unbelievably moisturized. When I went to the store looking for a good winter lotion, I just could not believe how much scents have changed over the past few years. Quite frankly, I had a hard time finding something that would have a pleasant fragrance and not interfere with my perfume. I decided to go back to this classic Nivea lotion because the original scent brings back childhood memories and when you take a bath in the evening and lather the stuff all over, it still smells wonderful in the morning. Not too many lotions have that staying power.

5. China Glaze - Nail Polish - A

Last month I talked about a new discovery of mine: China Glaze Nail Polish, but could not find them anywhere. Thankfully, you guys messaged me and pointed me in the direction of Sally Beauty where I found these beautiful colors - mostly fall ready!

From left to right: All Aboard, Rich&Famous, Fifth Avenue and Nice Cabooze.

These are just great. A bit fluid but with a decent brush that makes application easy with one stroke. They provide great coverage with just one coat and stay on for just about the entire week. I do find that I need a good base coat and top coat to maximize the shine and duration of the polish. Overall, I find that they actually dry pretty fast, so it's a good one to have at the office as well. Out of the four above, I really like the far right one (Nice Cabooze). It's a beautiful rich Iris color with a hint of gold shimmer.

6. Coastal Scents 10 Piece Professional Blush Palette - A


Last month, I fell in love with Coastal Scents. What a bargain! This palette, with 10 full size blushes, is only $15.95! What? Yes! And they are very pigmented. 
It is a good mix of shimmers and mattes. They have great staying power and can be mixed together to create more shades. I use the last two on the right as bronzer and contour . Beautiful! They are a bit chalky but when you are gentle and use a good, dense brush ...They are very wearable - a little bit is needed though, pigmentation is very high. If you find you have applied too much blush, just use a bit of face powder on a face brush and blend in with small circular motions. It does the trick in toning the blush down.

7. Laura Geller Beauty 'Brighten' Blush - A

Laura Geller Beauty 'Brighten' Blush

This was a totally impulsive purchase on my part, quite frankly I did not need yet another blush! But I heard so many good things about these Laura Geller Beauty 'Brighten' Blush  I just had to try one out! These are a bit expensive, like most high end blushes are ($33) but you do get a lot of product, so I really don't see myself hitting pan on this one, anytime soon.

These are a mix of several hues, mine is called Tropical, with a bit of shimmer. All the colors blend in to produce a really good shade that is mostly apricot with a bit of pink. I usually stir away from shimmery blushes, but this one is subtle enough to provide a nice healthy glow without overpowering your cheeks. I think it is a very good shade for the winter months. If you feel like splurging on a good blush that stays on ALL- DAY, no joke, try one of these!

8. Coastal Scents - Single Eye Shadow (custom) palette - A- 

Coastal Scents
 Last month I purchased the Winterberry Palette and fell in love with its versatility . Since Coastal Scents was having a mega sale on their site, I went ahead and customized my own, with mostly matte versions of the Winterberry Palette

You can purchase the empty palette for under $6 and fill it with single eye shadows of your choice for $0.99 each  (reg.  $1.95). Overall these are good eye shadows, though not too creamy and a bit chalky, but they have good pigmentation, stay on well, especially with a good primer such as Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion . They can also be used as wet. A really good buy.

9. Potato Express Microwave Potato Cooker  B-

Potato Express Microwave Potato Cooker

This is one of those As Seen On TV item that is just too intriguing to pass on. Beware though, it goes for $12.99 in some stores but under $9 on Amazon !
I was first introduced to it through my Mother in Law who had purchased a handmade version from her church. Basically, this is a quilted bag with a flap. No bell or whistle. It's actually pretty simple and easy to make on your own.
The idea here is that you place up to 4 small potatoes into the bag and cook in the microwave in 4 minutes. Supposedly you end up with the perfect baked potato.
Well! let's just say that the potato has to be very small, and you are better off with just one, two at best, cooking at a time.
It does work, but not in four minutes and I find that most potatoes will need another run in the Microwave. It is practical, especially if you want a baked potato at the office (why not!) other than than it's not earth shattering.

10. Better Homes & Gardens - November 2014 Issue - A

Better Homes & Gardens - November 2014 Issue
 So I keep on receiving this magazine in the mail, and I don't know why because I certainly did not renew my last subscription. Overall I find it to have too many add and really do not like the paper quality. That being said, I was very pleased with the November 2014 issue and thought it was their best one this year so far. It is full of beautiful decor ideas and good recipes. I enjoyed reading this issue.


I hope you enjoy these kinds of reviews, I am trying to inform you the best I can on some of the stuff you would find out there before you would splurge and regret it. Comment below if you want to see more As Seen On TV items in my next Swatches and Stuff series.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and watching my YouTube videos! Share the love!

Sophia, NJ

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This site contains affiliate advertising. This is how I support my blog and provide for giveaways and products to review. I am not affiliated with Laura Geller, Coastal Scents, Nivea, VaniCream, China Glaze, Curls, Potato Express or Better Homes and Gardens. Whenever you click on one of my links and purchase from the site, I receive a small commission. This is not a sponsored blog, all items were purchased by myself with my own funds. All opinions are my own.


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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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