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Is e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji A Bargain Beauty Best Buy?

I Bought It Affiliate Links

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji is one of those beauty items I spent months hunting down. And I mean, months! When I hear good things about certain products, I’ll search high and low, and that’s pretty much exactly what I did at any and every Target store I have come across since late 2014, when Fiji was first released.

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji

So, what’s the deal with Fiji that makes it oh, so attainable?

Review of e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji

For starters, it’s matte, which makes it perfect to use for contouring purposes. Also, the $3 price tag makes it extremely attractive.

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji Review

The blush in this duo is a deep berry color that is easy to build up. The bronzer has a nice amount of warmth to it, which I find makes it ideal for contouring purposes.

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji Swatches

The matte texture is what sets Fiji apart from the rest of e.l.f.’s blush and bronzer duos. The pigmentation is really nice, and while I won’t claim it’s THE most pigmented blush I’ve ever used, it does offer a nice amount of long-wearing color. Fiji and the rest of the the colors in this collection remind me of similar products from Nars, and offer great color payoff with much better pricing.

Makeup With e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji

So, why didn’t I just order Fiji online to begin with? Well, when I first wanted this product, e.l.f.’s standard shipping was $8, and I didn’t really want anything else from e.l.f. at that time to justify that price. To my surprise, e.l.f.’s standard shipping rates have gone down about $3 and I was able to find and use a coupon code (BDAYFIVE) for $5 off my order, which also included a few other e.l.f. items I’ll be sharing with you soon.

My Final Thoughts: Price and product quality considered, I’m naming e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji a bargain beauty best buy. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of contouring.

Rating: A

Price: $3

Availability: www.eyeslipsface.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes

3 Steps To Curly Hair Sanity With Macadamia Pro Hair Care

Press Sample

 

TBC_Collaborative Post HEADER

It’s always an exciting day when I have great hair care products to share with you all, especially when they’re the reason for good curly hair days. For the past few weeks I’ve been using three Macadamia Pro Hair care products that are catered to curly hair: The Ultra Rich Moisture Shampoo ($22), the Ultra Rich Moisture Conditioner ($22), and the Nourishing Moisture Oil Spray ($31.95).

Revive Your Culs With Macadamia Pro

As a lifelong member of the naturally curly hair club, I’ve picked up a few beauty tips over time that have been hair lifesavers. Literally, they are the key to curly hair sanity! Don’t believe me? Just take a peek at my high school senior photo, aka, a trip down memories lane to frizz-ville.

Top.bmp-216x300

That photo is one I LOVE to show off when ever I review hair care products. It’s hilarious. And yet it’s not. And  yet, that’s exactly how my hair looked for so, so, so many years of my life. Large. Unruly. Unnecessarily layered. Just say no to unnecessary layers on curly hair, kids. However, there’s one photo from my youth I haven’t shown on Painted Ladies. Curls, gloriously defined, non-frizzy, non-layered curls.

Sheila Arkee Curly Hair

This was taken a mere three years after the first photo, and in that time span I managed tinker with my hair care routine and gain decades of curly hair sanity. There are 3 easy steps to my routine that give curly hair the TLC it needs and deserves.

Step 1: Embrace natural oils.

Macadamia Pro Nourishing Oil Spray and Wide Tooth Comb

Using natural oils on my hair was the key for taking my hair from frizz to fab. I like to use oils like the Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Oil which contains Argan Oil, Vitamin E, and Macadamia Oil, as a pre-wash treatment. When I apply some to the ends of my hair and comb out with a wide-toothed comb, it prevents breakage and gives my dry ends added moisture.

The Macadamia Professional Nourishing Oil is also great to use as a pre-heat treatment and to spritz on your hair periodically as needed.

Step 2: Wash sparingly with moisture-rich products.

Macadamia Pro Ultra Rich Shampoo and Conditioner

What my curly hair needs more than anything is moisture, moisture, moisture and to be left alone. I wash my hair every other day and sometimes stretch it to every three days.

One of the reasons I love the Macadamia PRO Ultra Rich Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner is the fact that they’re free from sulfates and parabens, and rich in nourishing Omegas 7’s that work to repair hair from the inside out. The ingredients are rich with hair enhancing goodies, that include Macadamia Oil, Argan Oil, and Mongogo Oil, which is rich in lineolic acid. My curls can tell the difference!

Step 3:  Dry your hair with a t-shirt.

As funny as this sounds, wrapping my wet hair with a t-shirt eliminates so much frizz! I haven’t used a regular towel in years and will never look back. The soft knit of a t-shirt absorbs water quickly and doesn’t rough up your hair the way a terry towel does.

The results of my 3-step approach? Complete curly hair sanity. It’s a good thing!

Macadamia Pro Hair Care For Curly Hair

I’m truly enjoying the Macadamia Professional Hair Care products that I’ve been using the last few days. As I mentioned, they are chock full of Omega 7, more than any other hair care product on the market. The reason Omega 7 is so great for hair is that it’s the closet oil to hair’s natural sebum and helps to transform the natural texture of hair. Expect to see a whole new level of easy-to-manage hair with shine and bounce!

MAC-PRO-Logo-w-TM-3My Final Thoughts: The Macadamia Pro line of hair care products are definitely worth checking out for all hair types. My curls are really loving the Omega-rich shampoo, conditioner, and oil and I’ll be back for more!

Rating: A

Price: $22-$31

Availability: www.macadamiahair.com, Ulta, Ulta.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes

Need Some Sweetness? Add Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener To Your Day

Over the past couple months, Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener has become an essential part of my day-to-day life. In fact, I can’t imagine my day without Zing™! Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener It’s been over a year since I made a complete lifestyle change. What I’ve learned over time is that my body is at its best on a low carb diet and I’ve made changes accordingly. In addition, I’ve also resolved to add natural sweeteners to the mix, and have to say Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener is just what I was looking for. Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener Review Zing™ initially impressed me with its incredible taste. Made with only real ingredients — nothing artificial, it has the sweetness extracted from Mother Nature’s stevia plant. Zing™ tastes sweet to the point I can hardly believe it has zero calories or artificial ingredients. Zing™ is available in boxes with 40 packets for around $3, which is a great deal. The packets are perfectly portable and go so well with my morning, afternoon, and evening coffee. I just love coffee. Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener For Coffee Now, here’s a little secret I have to share about my cooking skills. They’re minimal. Sure, I can throw down a mean lemon chicken dinner when the time avails itself, but for the most part I’m all about tossing things together, and the quicker and more convenient the better. Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener and Chia Seeds A chia seed pudding is so easy to assemble and it really satisfies my needs for dessert. I eyeball the amount of chia seeds I use, typically just a palm-full. Hydrated with unsweetened almond milk and half a packet of Zing™ in the mix, it’s a similar to tapioca only with health benefits attached and tastes SO GOOD! Chia seeds are rich in fiber, antioxidants, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener and Chia Seed Pudding If I’m needing a little more sustenance, I’ll make a quick quinoa cereal. Typically I’ll match protein-rich quinoa with more savory ingredients, but I’ve found a bit of Zing™ with about a 1/4 cup of quinoa and sometimes some almond milk is super satisfying. Really, it’s a morning dream come true! Born Sweet™ Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener and Quinoa I’m a huge fan of Zing™ and highly recommend looking for it in the Sweetener Aisle at mass merchandiser and grocery stores nationwide. If you’d like to try new Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener for yourself, visit www.zingstevia.com to request a Free Sample of Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener, plus a $1.50 coupon, which is a great deal! One lucky Painted Ladies reader will be entered to win a $100 gift card! To enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment letting me know how you’d use Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener. Good luck!    

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 3/25/15 – 4/21/15.

Be sure to visit the Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Makeup Of The Day 96 With Sugarpill Countess

Press SampleI Bought It

I am in burgundy eyeshadow love with Sugarpill Countess. It’s definitely going to be one that I reach for frequently. For this look I paired it with a shimmery bronze and a pop of lime green on the lower lid.

Sugarpill Countess Makeup Inspiration With ColourPop BFF Lippie Stix

Keep reading for more photos and to find out what products I used for this look!

Continue reading Makeup Of The Day 96 With Sugarpill Countess

Sugarpill Loose Eyeshadow In Countess Is Shimmery Burgundy Goodness

I Bought It

Sugarpill Loose Eyeshadow in Countess is my latest acquisition of the new loose shadows recently released by one of my favorite indie brands.

Sugarpill Loose Shadow in Countess Review

I’m slowly making my way through the nine new shadows that were introduced for 2015, and had my heart set on Countess for quite some time.

Sugarpill Countess Swatch

A burgundy shimmer with flashes of aqua blue microglitter, Countess won my heart over with it’s compatibility on brown eyes. I love burgundy and purples on brown eyes – it’s a surefire way to enhance your peepers.

Sugarpill Countess Eyeshadow Design

In a way, Sugarpill Countess reminds me of one of my favorite burgundy standby colors, MAC Sketch. However, Countess is more like the artsy, funky totally cool cousin.

My Final Thoughts: Burgundy eyeshadows are totally underrated, and if you’re looking to expand your shadow collection in this direction, I’d highly recommend Sugarpill Countess!

Rating: A

Price: $13

Availability: www.sugarpillshop.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes

Gluten-free? Yes

Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015

I Bought It

Late last week I received the Walmart Beauty Box for Spring 2015, and I have to admit I totally forgot I had signed up for this $5 subscription box until the shipping notification arrived in my email inbox.

Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015

A quarterly service, a $5 flat fee covers the cost of the products you receive as well as shipping.

Walmart Beauty Box

I’d  heard about this box through the beauty grapevine and decided to give it a go after seeing that earlier boxes included full-sized makeup items. I cannot say no to the potential of full-sized beauty items for under $5!

Review Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015

The first Walmart Beauty Box  I received was the Winter edition and it was a pretty great value with a mix of skincare,  makeup, and coupons. The Spring 2015 box is purely skin and hair related samples, with nary a full-size to be seen but with coupons and sample packets galore. The Walmart Beauty Box I received included the following items:

Review of Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015

  • L’Oreal Total Repair Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Dial 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion
  • Lady Gaga Fame Perfume Sample
  • Caress Adore Forever Shower Gel
  • Burt’s Bees Renewal Serum
  • Coupons and a few sample packets

Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015 Coupons

While I’m not overly thrilled with the makeup-less contents, I’m not complaining and will farm out the samples to friends.

My Final Thoughts: So, is the Walmart Beauty Box worth keeping around? For $5 every 3 months, I think it’s worth the gamble, so I’ll give it another try!

Rating: C

Price: $5, every three months. You’re charged when the box is shipped.

Availability: beautybox.walmart.com

Cruelty-free? No

 

Is The City Color Contour Effects Palette A Dupe For The Anastasia Contour Kit?

I Bought It

As my son and I were rushing through the mall on a mission to get to Cinnabon, we passed by a small beauty salon that had the City Color Contour Effect Palette featured right and center in the window display.

City Colour Contour Effects Palette

You see, a Cinnabon cinnamon roll is a treat my son looks forward to every couple of weeks. There isn’t one very close to us (thankfully), so when we visit family members an hour away we’ll stop by a mall that has all kinds of hidden treasures, including a store with  a large variety of the budget-friendly beauty products we Internet beauty folk love and usually have to order online.

City Colour Contour Effects Palette Review

From City Color, J. Cat Beauty, Violet Voss glitter, and L.A. Girl concealers and lip products, the little store had it all. It was a beauty geek’s dream come true! Having seen the City Color Contour Effects Palette featured on blogs and Instagram, I had to make this palette mine.

Review City Colour Contour Effects Palette

The City Colour Contour Effects Palette contains three generously-sized matte colors: A contour color, a bronzer, and a highlighter.

City Colour Contour Effects Palette Swatches

While these are powders, the texture is creamy and I found the colors to be easily to blend and layer. The colors are long-wearing, and I appreciate the fact that the packaging includes a contour guide. If contouring is something you find puzzling, make sure to check out the Breaking Down Beauty post where I take you though this beauty technique step-by-step.

Contouring With the City Colour Contour Effects Palette

I find the actual contour color in this kit to be a bit intense, so I use it mainly along my jawline. The bronzer color is perfect for my typical contouring under my cheekbones and down the center of my nose. It’s not a bad palette at all, but I honestly think the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit is a better, if more expensive, option.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit Review - Copy

Is this palette a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit? Nope. Not at all. The Anastasia Contour Kit contains 6 powders that have a completely different texture and color. However, the City Colour Contour Effects Palette is very similar to a generic contouring palette I picked up on eBay a while back, and I suspect they are one and the same, with the exception of the bronzer color which is missing in the eBay variety.

ebay contour kit

My Final Thoughts: In terms of texture and the variety of colors available, I have to say I favor the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit as my contour palette of choice. The City Colour Contour Effects Palette is definitely a cheap treat with blendable powders, but I’d recommend saving up for the higher priced option.

Rating: B

Price: $13.99

Availability: www.citycolorcosmetics.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? No

 

My Instagram Life 3-22-2015

A look behind the scenes of Painted Ladies and my life, as seen on my Instagram.

I may have a thing for minty green polish. It’s my most used polish color!

Mint Green Nail Polish

A handful of stars.

Stars

I posted a super cool contest this week – a look at a POND’s vanity case designed by Jonathan Adler and a chance to win a $200 Jonathan Adler gift card!

Jonathan Adler Gift Card Giveaway

It was St. Patty’s day earlier this week so of course I shared some green eyeshadow makeup inspiration.

St. Patricks Day Eyeshadow

3 reasons to love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick. This is Smooth Talker. A vibrant pink!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Smooth Talker Review

When I bought the Anastasia lippie I also picked up her shadow in Iridescent Purple. It’s all kinds of pretty!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow in Iridescent Purple

After much searching, I finally got the elf Cosmetics Fiji blush duo in my possession! Review and swatches coming up soon.

elf Blush Fiji

A look at my Ipsy bag and the prettiest highlighter I’ve seen in a minute.

Ipsy Floral Fantasy March 2015

The Rodan & Fields Redefine skincare regimen improved my skin leaps and bounds!

Rodan & Fields Redefine

A flashback! My family celebrated the Persian New Year, which happens to be the first day of Spring. I was about 3 in this photo.

Persian New Year

Something amazing happened. I finally met him. The best mechanic of all time ever. And he has the coolest chair in his waiting room. Surely finding Mr. Right cannot be far behind.

Cool Chair

The Living Proof Curl Collection is my curly hair holy grail system. It’s that good!

Living Proof Curl Collection

A look at the Jordana Cat Eye Liner.

Jordana Cat Eye Liner Black Leather

My happy boy! He got a remote controlled Land Rover yesterday and is in car heaven. We have plans to go to the park and have fun with it today.

Happy

Here’s to a blessed week!

Dior, Jonathan Adler, Avon, and Fun Nails In The Beauty Blog Coalition

Here’s a look at what members of the Beauty Blog Coalition were writing about last week!

 

With A Quick Swash, Jordana Cat Eye Liquid Liner Makes Fab Eyes In A Flash

I Bought It

The tagline under Jordana Cat Eye Liner is “Beauty’s Best Buy”, and considering the luck I’ve had with the Jordana Modern Matte Lipsticks and now this liquid liner, I thoroughly agree.

Jordana Cat Eye Liner in Black Leather

Drugstore makeup has come leaps and bounds in recent years quality-wise. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find items you love at any price point these days, and it’s always such a treat to find budget-friendly makeup wins. I really needed a new liquid liner, so I gave this new Jordana liner a try. At $2.99, I figured I couldn’t go wrong, and my gamble paid off.

Jordana Cat Eye Liner in Black Leather Review

The liner itself comes in several colors, including brown, purple, blue, and green. For this initial foray into Jordana Cat Eye Liner, I stayed with my tried and true, Black Leather. The applicator is a thin brush that is flexible and easy to apply. I found it easy to adjust the width of the liner as desired and love the fact that it wears all the live long day. It won’t come off until you decide it’s time to remove your makeup, a plus!

Jordana Cat Eye Liner in Black Leather Swatches

What I really like about this liner is that it dries fast, which eliminates any possible smudging. That’s a huge relief – haven’t we have all been there with a highly smudge-able liner situation? It’s a major annoyance to fix liner that’s unexpectedly migrated to the upper regions of your eyelids!

MAC Haux, MAC Sketch, MAC Honesty, MAC Gesso

Now, the first time I wore this liner I removed it to apply another eyeshadow look only to find that my lid was patchy as all get up. It was so patchy, I couldn’t get eyeshadow to stick to certain parts of my lid! I suspected an allergy to Jordana Cat Eye Liner was the culprit, but I’ve used the liner several times since and haven’t had a problem at all.

My Final Thoughts: In terms of budget beauty buys, Jordana Cat Eye Liner is a win amongst wins. For $2.99 you can’t go wrong with this fast-drying liquid liner that offers dramatic, long-wearing results. I’m really enjoying this liner and will make a point to pick up the other colors that are available.

Rating: A+

Price: $2.99

Availability: Walgreens, Jordanacosmetics.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes