Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Candy Shop Dupe

When my husband took me to see BD2, we had a little time to walk around the mall before the movie started. Which...I never do. I'm so not a mall person. I don't enjoy it, at all. I will park outside one store, run in and get what I need and leave. I never just walk around, perusing and sweating my face off in hot stores with millions of people. Not my bag, baby.

Anyway, we had time so I ran into Claire's. I've been looking for a sparkly cross bracelet and found one for $6 (score). I also checked out their nail polishes, which I've never done before either.

I actually found 4 that I really liked and they were on a BOGO 1/2 off sale. Nice, because at $5 a pop I would never have spent $20 on cheapo nail polish from Claire's.

But these ones were all sparkly topcoats and unique. The one I'm talking about today is Candy Shop. Which is an identical (right down to the name) blatant rip off of Deborah Lippmann's cult classic Candy Shop.

photo courtesy of

SEE HOW PRETTY?? It's all kinds of girlie glitters suspended in a pink jelly base. It's amazing. It's also $18 a bottle. Steep.

Claire's version is identical, and I got it for $2.50. Kind of a no brainer. I used Revlon Colorstay Cafe Pink as a base, which made it a brighter pink and used 2 coats of Claire's Candy Shop for my birthday mani. I think this would also be pretty over a pinky nude like Ballet slippers and super fun over a black or charcoal gray.


Topped with Seche Vite, I had no chipping or anything and it came off pretty well for a jam packed glitter. I have a few more of these Claire's glitter top coats I'll be reviewing. I would definitely repurchase the glitters, they have all been pretty decent and fun!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick in Merlot

I may not be in love with Clinique's customer service right now, but I am totally in love with their lipsticks. Fizzy is one of my all time favorite lipsticks for autumn. I recently got Merlot and holy's beautiful!
It looks brick red in the tube, but it's a little more vibrant on the lips. It's a warmer red, not too purple and not too orange, just a very nice warm red. It's definitely a wearable red and perfect for the holiday season.
I love the way these lipsticks feel on. The color fades off slowly so you don't get left with an awful ring and they feel moisturizing and very comfortable on. You get a little shine and a lot of color in just a few swipes. I wear this without liner for a more casual red lip. You can wear it with a liner for a more precise finish, a little more of a statement lip.
Clinique Long Last Lipsticks are sold for $15 and are available wherever Clinique is sold.


Friday, November 16, 2012

At Home Highlights with Revlon Frost & Glow Kit

I loved the ombre but I was over it pretty quickly. I really only liked it when my hair was wavy. If I straightened it, the ombre just looked like grown out highlights. I wanted it to look effortless, not lazy. Big difference.

So I went darker and then highlighted myself. It's a good transitional autumn color. I really love it! I used the Clairol Professional Premium Creme Haircolor in 5NN. It took 2 bottles to get my whole hair covered. It was DARK. Which I liked but wasn't the result I was going for.

I let that simmer down for about a week and then used a Revlon Frost & Glow Honey Highlighting Kit for Medium to Dark Brown hair. They also have a kit for lighter hair. I prefer the Honey kit, even when my hair is super blonde.

Revlon Frost & Glow Highlighting Kit 1 ea

I have honestly been using the Frost & Glow kits since I was about 16. It's the only drugstore highlighting kit I ever use. I've used it on myself, friends, family and even was paid to do a teachers hair in high school. This kit is seriously fool-proof, provided you follow a few simple steps. Here's the method I use to get great results every time.

1. I always highlight on second day hair. I feel like it just works better. Maybe the oils protect my scalp a little more or something, but I never highlight freshly washed hair.

2. I part it down the middle, even though that's not my regular part. This step ensures even distribution of the streaks throughout your hair, regardless of where you normally part.

3. I brush my hair really well and put the cap on as tightly as I can stand. This prevents leakage into the cap.

4. I pull the streaks through every single hole in the cap. There are markings on the cap that you can follow for different effects but I've had the best luck using every hole.

5. After all the streaks are pulled through the holes, I take a brush and brush all the streaks really well. Make sure all the little loops are pulled through near the roots to ensure your streaks are solid. I also put all the hair that is not pulled through the cap into a low pony tail in the back once I am done. This helps prevent any bleach from falling into the hair not being bleached.

6. I start with the bleach in the back as it is usually the darkest and needs the most processing time. I do it in about one inch sections and pull the bleach through the ends first and then work closer to the roots. DO NOT EVER put the bleach straight on the cap. The bleach will puff up as it heats up from processing and WILL bleed through the holes. You want the bleach away from the scalp and off the cap as much as possible. Don't be concerned with getting close to your roots, a little space will give you better results and will avoid spotting. This is the most important step, bleach on the cap will give you leopard spots...EVERY SINGLE TIME.

7. As I complete each section, I loosely clip it with a small plastic claw clip. Don't pile it on your head, again...this will create bleeding. Clip it loosely to keep it from tangling with the other sections and to keep the bleach from dripping, but don't clip it on top of your head.

8. After all the sections are done, gently put the provided plastic cap on and seal with a plastic claw clip on your forehead. 

9. I know my hair is done processing when the streaks turn a very pale yellow while under the plastic. It generally takes 30 minutes of processing for ME, but everyones hair is different. Don't make the common mistake of removing when they look orange. The bleach is still lifting. Wait until you get that pale butter shade and then rinse.

10. The shampoo and conditioner provided is enough to wash about 1/8th of my hair. Use your own shampoo and a nice deep conditioner. This is bleach afterall and will damage your hair somewhat depending on it's condition. I always deep condition after bleaching.

Here's my hair before Frost & Glow...

And here's my results...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

100th Post!! My Dream Makeup Kit

It's my 100th post here on Lovely Dalliances. YAY!

I thought it would be fitting to do a fun post. I love a lot of things, but if I had to pick only one kind of each item, these are the ones I would absolutely HAVE to have. Holy Grail, money is no obstacle kind of "Dream Makeup Kit".

1. Foundation- Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet +
Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation
2. Concealer for blemishes- MAC Studio Finish Concealer
Product Details
3. Concealer for under eyes- Maybelline Dream Lumi
Maybelline New York Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, Ivory, 0.05 Fluid Ounce
4. Powder- MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural
Product Details
5. Bronzer- NARS Laguna
Bronzing Powder
6. Blush- Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Glisten
Tarte - Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush
7. Highlighter- Too Faced Candlelight 
Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder
8. Eye Primer- MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study
Mac Paint Pot Painterly .17 Us Oz (Authentic)
9. Eyeshadow- Urban Decay Naked Palette
Urban Decay - Naked Palette
10. Eyeliner- Lancome Art Liner
ARTLINER - Precision Point EyeLiner
11. Mascara- Lancome Hypnose (original version)
HYPNÔSE - Custom Volume Mascara
12. Lipgloss- BareMinerals in Cupcake
bareMinerals - 100% Natural Lip Gloss
13. Lipstick- Tarte Glamazon in Inspired
Tarte - Glamazon™ Pure Performance 12-Hour Lipstick
14. Brow- Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Ash
Anastasia - Brow Wiz
15. Brush Kit- Real Techniques (every single brush!)
core collectionstarter set

 What's in your dream makeup kit?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Simply U Shampoo Review

I am so mad. I can't find Not Your Mother's shampoo or conditioner at any of my Walmarts anymore. They have all the other products but Way to Grow isn't even listed on the shelves anymore. I don't know what's up but I hate it. This was my holy grail, completely in love with shampoo and conditioner set.

I was completely out of shampoo and needed something moisturizing and sulfate free. This Simply U Sulfate and Paraben Free Moisturizing Shampoo was right on the shelf next to the NYM stuff so I grabbed it.

Big mistake.

It is what I usually expect from a sulfate free shampoo. Little suds, hard to rinse out and leaves my hair a tangly mess. It also leaves my ends feeling like straw. For a moisturizing shampoo, this is the worst shampoo I've ever tried. I'd hate to see what the other versions do if this one is that drying. My hair literally felt crunchy. I thought I'd used too much or too little so I gave it another try. Nope, my hair just really hates this shampoo.

I don't know if this is Walmarts attempt to try to sell something similar to NYM, but this is definitely a dud in my opinion. It's more expensive than NYM, it's in an awkward giant bottle with a pump instead of the easy flip top tube and the worst part, Simply U smells like grandma shampoo. You know that powdery, musty smell that a lot of products geared toward an older clientele? Not a fan. I miss my Way to Grow and am upset I'm going to have to order it online now. BOO.

This is one product that has offended me so much that I wouldn't even waste my money trying ANYTHING else in their collection. It takes a lot for me to diss a product, everyone is allowed one dud but this is just a worthless shampoo for me. One I definitely would not repurchase.

Product Photo Moisturizing Formula
photo courtesy of

Friday, November 9, 2012

Holiday Wish Lists and Gift Ideas

It's that time of year for birthday and holiday wish lists. I've been perusing my favorite makeup and girlie goody websites for this season's gift sets and found a couple of things I wanted to pass along. They would make great gifts for your best girlfriends, nice presents from the man in your life or just awesome things to treat yourself to after a long hot day of shopping for everyone else at the mall!

Happy Shopping!

1. Sephora by O.P.I. Tinsel Town collectors set. This includes 16 mini nail colors plus a full-size jewel top coat. These products are worth over $90, but this is available at Sephora for $49.50.

2. Benefit "Upgrade to Gorgeous" set. This 5 peice set contains a High Beam, Porefessional, They're Real! Mascara, Sugarbomb blush and a Laugh With Me LeeLee roller ball perfume. It also comes ready to gift in a cute floral suitcase. These products are worth over $85, but this is available at Sephora for $34.


3. Too Faced "Love Sweet Love" set. As always, Too Faced does some of the best themes and packaging with their holiday sets. This is adorable and fairytale themed. It comes with Shadow Insurance, Primed and Poreless, Perfect Eyes eyeliner, LashGASM Mascara, Face Brush, 6 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, 2 lipglosses and a travel bag. These products are worth $163, but this is available at Sephora for $46. 
4. Tarte "Carried Away" collectors set. This is probably one of my favorites just for the sheer amount of products you get. This includes an Amazonian Clay blush, Amazonian Clay finishing powder, 8 Maracuja lip glosses, Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara, Face Brush, 24 (yes...24) Amazonian Clay eyeshadows and a cute bag! These products are worth over $512 (!!!!), but this is available at Sephora for $54.

5. Sephora "Glitz and Glam" Party Sampler. This is a great way to try products from several different brands in an affordable way. This sampler includes Stila Duo Shimmer Powder,  Laura Mercier Baked Eye Color, bareMinerals Eyecolor in Good Fortune, SEPHORA by OPI Nail Colour,
Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara, Nars Body Glow, Lorac 3D Liquid Lustre Gold, Bare Escentuals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss, Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner. Products are worth over $133, but this is available at Sephora for $45.
all makeup kit photo's are courtesy of
That's it as far as makeup is concerned, but I did manage to find a few other things I thought would be great things to put on your wish list or ideas for that hard to buy girl in your life!
6. Nordstrom's Make + Model Pattern Thermal Pajamas. Who doesn't like getting fresh new jammies? These ones from Nordstroms are SO CUTE. I love that they don't look like frumpy dump jammies but still look so soft and cozy. They come in 4 different patterns and are available at Nordstrom's for $48.
Make + Model Pattern Thermal Pajamas
photo courtesy of

7. Lush "Rosie" gift set: I think Rose is one of those classic scents that almost everyone likes if it's done correctly. Lush does Rose well. It's not grandma scented Rose, it's a true Rose scent. Floral, feminine and sweet. This cute set from Lush contains Rose Jam Bubbleroon, Rose Queen Bath Bomb, Amandopondo bubble bar and Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner. This is available from Lush for $29.95.
photo courtesy of
 8. Lemon Kissed 3 Month Jewelry Club Subscription. This girl makes some of the most awesome jewelry I've ever seen and she's fantastic. Her prices are affordable, the jewelry is amazing and I think this subscription is the cutest idea. Each month, for 3 months your friend (or you!) will recieve 1 jewelery item (of the seller's choice) sent directly to you. One suprise ring, one suprise pair of post earrings and one suprise pair of dangle earrings. For only $38. With FREE SHIPPING!! Visit to see all of her pretties!
photo courtesy of
9. J.Crew Wool Angora "Glittens". Anyone with an IPhone knows how important a good pair of glittens are. You need your finger tips!!!! Kind of hard to do in freezing weather. Glittens keep your hands warm and your fingertips available for your phone use. I am always on the hunt for a cute pair of these babies and these Wool Angora ones from J.Crew are fab. Not only are they practical and soft but they have a longer wrist to keep them from creeping out from under your coat. What a thoughtful little luxe gift! These come in 5 different colors and retail for $29.50.
Wool-angora Glittens
photo courtesy of
10. Cherry Blossom Stationary Set. This SUPER CUTE stationary set from Papyrus comes packaged in a beautiful matching wooden box. It comes with 20 notecards and 20 matching envelopes. Who doesn't like stationary!? It's one of those things that's so lovely to have but no one ever buys for themselves. This cute gift is available in 6 different patterns, but the Cherry Blossom was my favorite. It's available for $32 from
Cherry Blossom Stationery in Wooden Gift Box
Cherry Blossom Stationery in Wooden Gift Box
photos courtesy of

**I am not affiliated with any companies mentioned and was not paid for any mention of any company listed. Purely my own opinions.**

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mineral Eyeshadows

I have a real Love/Hate relationship with mineral eyeshadows. Particularly of the loose variation. On one hand I think the color payoff is immense and the ranges of colors are amazing, but they are not travel convenient and can get quite messy. Loose mineral eyeshadows are really a product for a stay at home makeup collection and need to stay flat when not in use, not ideal for a makeup bag. If you are patient and take good care of them, I think mineral eyeshadows can produce beautiful eye looks.

Here's a quick peek at a few of my favorites. I have several from e.l.f. and a few from BareMinerals. In the photo's of the swatches, I applied one swipe over the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (which is an amazing primer for any eyeshadow).

Wet N Wild MegaShimmer in "White Lotus":

(not mineral, but same effect)
A very shimmery pale ivory. Great over whites, silvers or greys for an icy shimmery effect.

BareMinerals in "Queen Phyllis":
All time favorite golden shade, have repurchased many times. Great for browbone or inner corner highlighting.

e.l.f. in "Elegant":
The champagne cousin to Queen Phyllis.

e.l.f. in "Sweet":
Because every girl should have a pretty pink in her collection.

e.l.f. in "Wild":
A deep, cool coffee brown with gold flecks. A lot of the gold flecks are lost upon application.

e.l.f in "Confident":
A rich shimmery mocha with high shine.

BareMinerals in "Queen Tiffany":
A plummy satin taupe, another shade I adore and have repurchased several times.

Overall I think that the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadows are every bit as nice as the BareMineral ones. However, I do think the BareMinerals are only slightly more finely milled. I find that some of the e.l.f. ones can have a bit more fall-out, but for $3 each it is hardly worth fussing over. BareMinerals eyeshadow pots retail for about $12 and are still a very affordable, high quality product.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Amena Bean Acne Prone Skin Care Kit


Today, I'm doing my very first review of a product that was sent to me for consideration. EXCITING!!

I was recently talking about how I've been having some issues with my skin which I now believe to be from Revlon ColorStay foundation. I think the Whipped Version is fine but the original just freaked my face out. I was sent this package right around the worst part of the breakout and right when I stopped using ColorStay. I started using it religiously twice a day and have noticed some serious results. I've not experienced any further breakouts in the 3 weeks I've been using it, my old spots are gone and any residual redness has faded noticeably. I am very impressed with this system.

It consists of 3 products, a cleanser, a toner and a moisturizer.

You start with the Dermaclean Cleanser.

Product Description:
This unique foaming liquid cleanser includes a blend of Meadowsweet extract, combined with Lactic Acid and polysaccharides from Honey extract. This combination provides excellent moisturization while increasing skin surface renewal. Lemon Bioflavonoids and Rosemary extract stimulate and tone. The fragrant essential oils of Orange, Geranium, and Eucalyptus refresh the senses. Thoroughly cleanses and removes excessive oil, environmental impurities and makeup.

This is very gentle and has a nice soft, clean, slightly floral scent. It has no exfoliants like the Proactiv cleanser and suds up a little more than a Cetaphil cleanser. It's a really nice product. I found it to be very soothing and a little goes a long way. It doesn't take much to clean my whole face and does so without overdrying it or leaving it feeling "tight" or anything. Just very comfortable. My skin used to respond better to benzoyl peroxide but as I get a little older I find that gentler products like this produce better results for me. The directions recommend rinsing this with cold water, I used lukewarm and found it worked just as well.

The next step is the Herbal Blend Toner.

Product Description:
Organic Salicylic Acid (Willow Bark Extract) is added to enhance this formula. It is one of the most effective Hydroxy Acids. Willow Bark Extract can increase cell renewal. Willow Bark is a safe way to get the benefits of a Beta Hydroxy acid without the risk of irritation. Willow Bark Extract is known for its antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. All of the selected extracts help clarify and condition the skin while giving the skin a revived and refreshing feel. We have improved on the blending of the extracts by using a cold process and eliminating the alcohol content.

If I'm being honest, the toner is my favorite step. I love products that you can feel working when you use them and this is definitely one of those. It doesn't have a stingy "astringent" feel because there is no alcohol in it (YES!) it just makes your face feel SO CLEAN and fresh. I love this toner. It is unlike anything I've tried before, gentle but powerful. I started out using it once a day but now use it morning and night with no drying or redness. It's dramatically reduced the redness left from old breakouts, BONUS! I feel that products like this with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties work two fold, the antiseptic reduces new breakouts and the anti-inflammatory agents reduce any current breakouts leaving your skin literally healthier and less acne-prone. That makes SENSE to me, it's a proactive approach to skin care that I love. Rather than slathering on acne creams to dry them out, this actually works to stop them before they ever even happen. Genius.

Lastly, I finish with the Sage and Citrus Moisturizer.

Product Description:
This lightweight crème uses ingredients selected to help to condition and tone skin. A combination of active botanicals Sage, Watercress and Lemon Bioflavonoids, purify and revitalize the complexion. The antioxidants Vitamin A, C & E are also incorporated in this formula to protect and improve the skin’s elasticity.
This honestly took some getting used to. I don't generally love "herbal" scents. The sage in this was something that I wouldn't have picked for myself but after use I now really enjoy it. The citrus scent balances the sage out leaving a very clean and fresh overall scent. I only apply this at night because I apply a moisturizer with SPF during the day. I really like that this just goes on smoothly, doesn't require a lot and it feels like it just gets absorbed right into my skin. I do not like moisturizers that feel greasy or thick on my face right before bedtime and this is not like that at all. It's light and effective. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and healthy and looking great.

This Amena Bean kit retails for $26.50 and contains a 5oz Dermaclean, 5oz Herbal Blend Toner and a 2oz Sage and Citrus Moisturizer. There are 2 kits available, I can only speak to the one I've actually tried which was Kit 2 and is designed more for acne prone skin. For more information you can contact Elaine at:

Beauty By Delivery

**This product was sent to me by the company for consideration of a review. I was not compensated for this review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.**

Monday, November 5, 2012

October Favorites

It's November, my birthday month!! My favorite holiday month (Thanksgiving). I love love love November. I can't believe how fast October flew by. But, it's here which means it's time for my October favorites!

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation. I've done several reviews of this foundation and can't rave enough about it. It's seriously a game changer.
L'Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup SPF 20, Shell Beige (Pack of 2)

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stain in Precious. I have had Honey and Fuchsia for a while but just recently picked up Precious. I was a little hesitant because it looks very nude in the package. On my lips takes on a nude that's wearable and has just a touch of pink which makes it more flattering than a regular tan based nude, I think.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish in Greyt Expectations. This color just keeps impressing me. I can wear it for over a week with minimal wear, the color goes with everything and it's so unique and pretty. I can't stop wearing it!
L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish, Greyt Expectation, 0.39 Fluid Ounce

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy perfume. An all time favorite and a bit of my signature scent. My husband usually buys me a bottle every Christmas but I've been out for a while. I recently spotted the large bottle at TJ Maxx for $30 and snatched it right up. This scent is so feminine and lingering but not too "girlie" or fruity or over the top. It's just a really lovely perfume and one that always gets noticed, in a good way.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone Palette. I have definitely gotten my $5 worth out of this product. I've worn it a million different ways already and even used it for my Halloween Witchy Woman costume. So versatile and such high quality.
Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection C738 Comfort Zone

L'Oreal Voluminous Full Definition Mascara. My first L'Oreal mascara purchase was a few months ago after LashBlast frustrated me beyond repair. I bought the original Voluminous Carbon Black mascara and loved it. I liked it so much I felt a little more brave venturing into the L'Oreal mascara world. Full Definition looked right up my alley and I'm loving it. It lengthens, seperates, volumizes and defines my lashes like nothing I've tried before. It's an amazing mascara! It reminds me a lot of the original Lancome Hypnose mascara.
L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Full-Definition Mascara, Black, 0.28-Fluid Ounce
all images courtesy of

That's it for my favorites this month. HAPPY NOVEMBER!!