Monday, June 29, 2015

Swatches & Stuff - June 2015 + GIVEAWAY!!!!

Hi friends,

I am back with another episode of Swatches & Stuff, in which I go over the products I tried within the last 30 days. This is not just a review on cosmetics and skin care, I always add "stuff", and this month I will review a book I am currently reading!
Stick around as I am also doing a giveaway this month, to celebrate summer and over 13k subscribers on my YouTube Channel!

Let's dive right into it:

This is the companion video, if you prefer to watch the review and swatches:

1. Estee Lauder 'Nutritious' 2-in-1 Foam Cleanser:  
Estee Lauder 'Nutritious' 2-in-1 
Foam Cleanser, 4.2 oz

A fabulous foam cleanser that removes all traces of dirt, oil and even waterproof mascara, without drying or clogging my face! I absolutely fell in love with it and cannot recommend it enough. It is as good, if not better than the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser and works very well with my Clarisonic Mia II. Apply morning and evening. For the evening and when I have more makeup than usual, I leave it on for 2 minutes before rinsing off! FABULOUS! ($30).

2. Vanicream - Soap Bar: 

Vanicream Cleansing Soap
This may be the Holy Grail of basic cleansing soaps! I have returned to using this in my shower for both my face and body as I am having some dry-itchy patches from the heat and allergy season. This soap is recommended by Dermatologists for sensitive skin, free of dies, fragrance, parabens, Formaldehyde and the like. It is about as pure as pure can get. I love the subtle suds, it rinses well and leaves my skin silky smooth with no residue. Just plain and simple soap! ($5.41).

3. Maybelline New York The Blushed Nudes Palette:

Blushed Nudes Palette
I was not sure as to whether I would like this palette. It is so similar to the Urban Decay 'Naked' Palette (one I have successfully resisted purchasing for years). It turns out it is excellent when considering the low cost and the fact that it is a drugstore brand!
I find it to be versatile as you can create several looks with it, whether subtle, bright or smoked. Overall, it is good quality but with some fallout. It stays on all day and does not crease! I think this is one I would recommend as a small splurge! ($14.95).

4. Physicians Formula - Argan Wear Blush in Natural:

Argan Wear Blush in Natural

Yet another great product from Physicians Formula! This blush is the perfect shade of strawberry & cream pink with a hint of peach and shimmer. It goes on smooth, does not blotch, zero fallout and stays on all day without shifting in tone. What else can you ask from a casual-day-out blush? It does have a bit of gold shimmer in it, so if your skin has enlarged pores, beware that it will accentuate rather than minimize them. The brand offers another choice (rose) which is more subtle and barely visible on olive and tan skin tones. So unless you have porcelain white skin, I recommend the Natural one instead. Very, very good blush for the price ($11.95).

5. Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm in Berry:

Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm
I have only seen this brand (Palladio) available at Sally Beauty and Amazon, so maybe some of you are not familiar with it all. I know I was not until I started hanging out at my local  Sally Beauty store.
This is a phenomenal tinted lip balm! I mean that! Let me start with the formula: it feels buttery smooth and smells like cocoa butter. This is definitely moisturizing without feeling gooey, tacky or heavy on your lips. To add to this excellent base, Palladio brings in a subtle tint that is perfect for everyday action. Though this one is called Berry, it is more coral than pink/red and fits me just fine. I like it so much that I plan on going back to check out all the other colors in the same line. ($6).

6. Vincent Longo Starlette Eye Gel Stain in Starlette Blue:

Eye Gel Stain
This is another proof that "High End" does not always equal better! 
I was intrigued by this eye shadow gel stain because of the application itself. It comes as a gel which you twist push into a doe foot applicator. I thought that was pretty sleek and wanted to try it since I tend to goof a lot when using wet/cream shadows. Well, aside from the novelty factor, this gizmo here has nothing to offer. The formula is not as pigmented as one would expect when the words "gel" and "stain" are combined together. The color I picked (Starlette Blue) is supposed to be a Navy Blue but it turned dark green on my skin tone. There is some glitter to be seen but not enough to carry the name "Starlette", if you ask me! Although the doe foot allows you to smooth on the product in a rather speedy fashion, it stays on wet for quite a while and, I did not think this was either practical nor a time saver.

Determined to make this work, I ended up twisting some product out onto an eyeliner brush and applied it as a thin line rather than an all over shadow. It did the trick for me but quite frankly for the price, I can do much better with anything M.A.C. ($24).

7. China Glaze Nail Polish Lacquer in Don't Desert Me:

China Glaze - Don't Desert Me

This is an intense Fuchsia color with a pearl finish. Need I say more?
China Glaze will remain my 
favorite brand of nail polishes. I love their brush, the formula and the longevity of their products. 

This one is particularly good because it ends up almost looking like a gel after two coats. Like all my other China Glaze polishes, this one does not pull back from the tip of your nails after a few days. It also dries relatively faster than an average brand such as Essie

8. Seven Miracles That Saved America by Chris & Ted Thomas:

Seven Miracles That Saved America
If you are looking for a good non-fiction read this summer, this one might be it. The book is separated into several significant events which have changed the course of America and how these events occurred via "Miracles", not in the biblical terms, but rather by coincidence. I find it very fascinating and though it is history, it is actually quite entertaining while providing enough information to teach me a few things about these important pivotal events. For instance, there is increased evidence that the Chinese actually discovered America prior to Christopher Columbus and some 70 years prior to the Santa Maria took off from Spain. It was Political upheaval and Power Struggles within China that led them not to find any interest in claiming their discovery. So in essence, Christopher Columbus was the first "known" adventurer to claim the discovery! That was just a tidbit!
A very good read indeed!

On to the GIVEAWAY!

In honor of Summer and my reaching over 13,000 subscribers on my YouTube Channel, I am offering the following Giveaway:

June 2015 Giveaway

The giveaway contents (all full sizes):

  • 3 Assorted Ipsy Makeup Pouches
  • Vanicream Cleansing Soap 
  • Maybelline Blushed Nudes Palette 
  • Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm in Berry
  • Nail Tek 10- Speed Quick Dry 
  • China Glaze in Don't Desert Me

The Giveaway is open internationally to all participants who are 18 years old or older.
You must be a subscriber to my YouTube Channel.
You must Like my Facebook Page.
You must enter a comment in the comment section below or on my YouTube Channel and let me know that you shared my blog and video.
The giveaway ends July 12, 2015 at Midnight.

Thank you all for participating and GOOD LUCK!

Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below - sometimes it is glitchy so you may have to reload the page or return at a later time!

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

Sophia, NJ

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My Great Challenge
PO Box 402
519 Pompton Avenue
CEDAR GROVE, NJ 07009-9998

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