product reviews

beautybox five: take it easy

Beauty Box Five is a subscription-based, beauty sampling program that delivers a box filled with 5 cosmetic samples to your door step every month. I am really excited, because they have asked me to join their review program, becoming part of their beauty contributor team!

The box is a tiffany blue color, so if packaging gets your attention, you will enjoy opening this little box when it arrives! Besides the paper shreds to protect the products during their travel... Beautybox Five includes an information card, sharing the theme of the month, announcing contests, and details on products and prices.

I just got my first box - which is the October 2013, "Take It Easy" box....let's begin!!!

1. Aveeno Daily Mositurizing Lotion - $6.99

Benefits: Clinically Proven to improve the health of skin in one day, this emollient moisturizer is formulated to help prevent dryness. It will leave your skin feeling soft and naturally healthy.

Pros: This moisturizer absorbs into skin instantly-which is great for men who don't appreciate a "heavy" texture. I am going to give this to my hubby for his travel bag!
Cons: I prefer a heavy texture- something richer, when it comes to my body moisturizer.

2. Model Co Illusion Lip Pencil - $20.00

Benefits: This unique, nude pencil easily enhances your natural shape while keeping lips soft and nourished with cocoa and shea butter. Face it, there's no better pencil for plumping up that pretty little pout!

Pros: Will blend in with all lip pigment/lipstick colors for a natural enhancement to your lip size. It also has a sharpener on the lid, which is always my problem with lip liners-I never carry a sharpener with me...this is brilliant!
Cons: At the end of the day, this may not "enhance" your lip shape,  but it's still a nice lip liner color. There aren't too many negatives for this product.

3. Swissco Glitter Toe Separators - $2.00

Benefits: Feel like a princess during your next pedicure with these handy little glittered piggy-parters!

Pros: Super cute color, and sturdy design.
Cons: I don't normally do my own pedicures, so I may give this cute little tool to my sissy-she's super creative with her nails and will love this.

4. La Fresh Travel Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes - $19.99

Benefits: Packed with aloe vera, cucumber, chamomile, marshmallow and tea plant botanical extracts these, hydrating, oil-free facial wipes work with all skin types. Simply open, unfold, cleanse and go!

Pros: There is no oil, residue, sting, or heavy scent left on your skin after using these wipes.
Cons: I feel the price point is a bit high for facial wipes.

5. Nubar Alter Ego Nail Lacquer in Blondie - $8.00

Benefits: What's more fun than glitter nail polish? Um, nothing! Use alone for a beautifully translucent finish or over your favorite fall color for a glitter-studded top coat.

Pros: Gold glitter is perfect for the upcoming holidays.
Cons: It's glitter, pretty easy for anyone to use, not too many cons with it.

Instagram Photo Contest: Win the glittery Nubar Alter Ego Collection 
1. Post a picture of you and your box
2. Tag @beautybox5
3. Use #BB5winprettynails

My favorite product out of this months box, was the Illusion Lip Pencil by Model Co. I can't wait for November's box!!!

Priscilla Francine

Degrees of Dazzling

The BareMinerals "Degree Of Dazzling" Holiday Set includes 20 miniature sized eye shadows, perfect for any mood, outfit, or occasion. In my opinion, this is one of the best value sets they have launched in years. The finishes and the color range are flexible for any personality...and while it is geared towards the Holidays, this set can merge well with running errands and work too.

-There are 4 finishes to play with from creamy velvets, high shines, and sparkling glimmers, to deep liners.

-There are 5 color families, warm neutrals, seductive greys, perfect pinks, majestic purples, and luscious greens.

Yoga // Black Leather // Lagoon // Toasted Espresso // Starry Nigh 
There are a few options to apply the liners. 

1. If you want a soft look, use them dry. 
2. For a smoldering creamy finish, mix a small amount of the shadow with PrimeTime eyelid primer (half/half). 
3.To achieve fierce definition, run your liner brush under some water and mix the powder in the lid for a liquid liner. 

Iridescent Iris // Rose Gold // Deep Sea // Pewter // Stay Golden 
The High Shine shadows are perfect for Holiday parties! You can also create a foiled effect by applying them with a damp brush! 

Golden Pear // Violet Spell // Ginger Sugar // Silver Dollar // Strawberry Mouse
The Sparkling Glimmers are feminine and subtle! I love the tiny sparkly they have! They are effortless, and chic! So pretty! 
Velvet Nude // Velvet Emerald // Velvet Mauve // Velvet Charcoal // Velvet Lavender 
The Velvet shadows have a matte finish, without looking "cakey" or dry. These are great for a soft everyday look, used on the entire eyelid as your base color. You can also use them in the crease with a dramatic smokey eye to blend and create a soft finish.  

What's your favorite finish? What's your favorite hue? 
Keep an eye out online and in department stores to get your hands on this set! ($79)

Priscilla Francine 

Add this to your wish list...

When I started dated my husband, his family would always request a wish list for Christmas. Some people are good at knowing exactly what they want, but it takes me forever to come up with a list to give to people. Was this a childhood tradition for you? Or did your family just buy whatever they thought was best for you? Well, maybe I can help you add a few items to your "wish list" this season...or maybe find a few gifts for your gal pals...

Lately my hair has become dry and more prone to tangle, Moroccan Oil Extra Volume Shampoo + Conditioner actually does what it says and detangles my hair! As for the Moroccan Oil, yes it is a higher price point, but it works. I have used lower price points from the drugstore, and they just aren't as hydrating and healing.

Hair doesn't need to be washed daily, but when you are working out or feel a bit uneasy with your natural oil production... dry shampoo is a great solution for this issue. I found Batiste at Urban Outfitters for $8.00 and was a bit over zealous and purchased a couple different scents. I'm a little bummed with the white residue it leaves, you really have to comb out the hair...otherwise your hair looks very grey. It definitely absorbs oil, but gives no volume. I still prefer Oribe over any other dry shampoo...I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

In the past I would use the same facial cleanser in the AM and PM, but there isn't really a need for me to get a deep cleanse when I just wake up. So, I started using Dior's Instant Cleansing Water just to freshen up in the AM. It's also nicknamed the lazy girl cleanser, so it can be used with a cotton pad to remove any makeup before bedtime (works great on mascara too). It leaves no residue behind so you won't feel sticky after.

Dior's One Essential seems to be a confusing product for most. It says 'super serum' on the bottle, so it has been taking over the 'serum' step for alot of people's skincare routines, but it's actually a detox product...and should be used under a serum and facial cream to help those products be more effective. It can assist any skincare routine to be 4x more efficient, so feel free to start using it with whatever you got going on already. I do have an unusual breakout since I have started this purging process, and haven't decided if I am ok with it or frustrated by it. I'm still using it to get rid of the impurities in my skin... so we shall see what happens.

As we age our lips will become smaller as they loose moisture- I highly recommend Dior's Lip Maximizer as a treatment for fuller lips. I use it 2x a day (morning and evening) sometimes 3x depending on if I remember to throw it in my purse. It has hydrated my lips, so they have not become chapped yet during this cooler weather, and my bolder red lipsticks aren't bleeding like they use to. (Great tip for the Holidays!)

This last month, my skin became ultra sensitive-so when this happens-eliminate product and reintroduce things slowly back into your routine. I haven't figured out what I was sensitive to, but during this process I fell for Cetaphil's Gentle Daily Cleansing bar and I am no longer a snob to this "sensitive" product.

Allure's November issue had an article on dark circles and I found the information quite intriguing ...did you know rubbing your eyes can cause this irritating discoloration!? Unfortunately, it can also just be in your fix this issue, find a corrector that will cut the purple/green/blue circles. Giorgio Armani cosmetics has a pink and orange corrector that I like to combine with my concealer to achieve a flawless look. Make sure to prep with eye cream, and set with a translucent powder if you normally see creasing at the end of the day.

One way to distract from sleepy eyes is to enhance the lashes. In the past I felt a lash primer was an unnecessary step (I am just lazy though) and now I am obsessed!!!! Dior's Lash Maximizer hydrates and conditions your lashes, as well as adds volume and length before mascara. LOVE THIS PRODUCT-it makes a drastic difference!

Dior Extase's brush was inspired by the layers of a dress awww... this mascara will capture your short and long lashes for a fuller effect, while promoting future growth too. The brush reminds me of my all time fav YSL but with no flaking at the end of the day.

*For best results, start at your lash base and wiggle into the tips.

Hmmmm, you can't go wrong with a cinnamon scent for the Holidays! I stock up on Illume Boulangerie candles at Anthropologie every time I visit. I have a weakness for candles, they help release stress and make my home smell delicious!

Now you have lots of new things to add to your wish lists for Christmas. Happy Tuesday friends!

Priscilla Francine

Painted Purple

There is one main concern my clients and dear friends seem to share, and are a little distraught about. I repeatedly hear the sentence, "My makeup disappears by the end of the day." Is this one of your struggles too? Most of the time we are getting ready for the day around 6am, so I have been on the search this month for the perfect long-lasting products on the market. We all loved my Keep It Red find with let's talk about their Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow today.

Let's start with the good stuff first. Pros: 1. It does not crease. 2. It's hue is intense. 3. Because it is such a pigmented color, the product is really packed into the jar...which means it will last you a very long time. 4. I paid under $4 for Painted Purple on sale at Longs.

Raspberry Sorbet Flavored Lip Shine by Philosophy $10.00

Cons: 1. When applying the cream shadow, it may streak, leaving some areas without any product. 2. I needed to set it with a powder shadow 3. I had to layer the cream gel shadow to create the look I preferred.

Earrings by Francesca's
When using Painted Purple, use the color on your eyelid, stopping at the crease. Smudge the left over color on the brush on your bottom lash line for full eye definition. Next, press on a powder color that is exact in it's shade (I used a discontinued Nars matte shadow). Last, soften the crease with a beige or neutral matte shadow with a pony tail brush.

Priscilla Francine

River Veda- River of Knowledge

Entrepreneurs who are evolving the beauty industry are extremely inspiring-especially a woman like, Megan Douglas, who has a story behind her line River Veda. To me, the story is like an inspiration board behind a clothing line-it's insight into the process of how something was created. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was a fashion designer in London before she created River Veda. Read all about her story here!

Its been over a week now since I've been using The Everyday Evening Primrose moisturizer and the Freshly Free Facial Toner.The toner's key ingredient is Aloe Vera Organic juice, which will heal any skin disturbances. It's suitable for any skin type because it is so gentle. It feels like you are wiping water on the skin because there is no sting or tingle.The packaging won me over before I even opened the moisturizer!! It's shaped like a tooth paste tube...and I loved that I had to pierce the opening before using (I felt comfortable that I was using an extremely fresh product!) The scent reminds me of a sugar cookie, it's not overwhelming, more citrus than than sweet hmmmm. The texture is rich, but blends into the skin pretty fast so there is no heavy feeling throughout the day.

*My skin is more oily, but lately I've been testing out more hydrating products to prevent wrinkles and slow down the aging process of my skin. So far, this has been one of the more effective moisturizers I've used in a long time! If you feel it's too heavy for you, just use it at night.

This vegan skincare line also has a partnership with Indian Community Farms-giving back to our world-which I think is so neat... Make sure to follow on River Veda on Facebook to stay up to date with this New Zealand skincare line!


Get unStuck

Life can become routine: sleep, eat, work... In the midst of your daily routines, you become comfortable with having the same food, watching the same TV show...and repeating the same steps to your beauty ritual. Any type of curve-ball gets most in a frenzy, especially when your favorite product is discontinued-horrible I know. Lately, I have been feeling kind of "stuck" in my week. So I am going to challenge myself to get unStuck.

1.Mascara is the easiest way to get unStuck from your beauty routine. You need to replenish this product so often, why not try something new....and SHOCKING! I love the smell of YSL...and the length it provides is a little crazy!

2.While technology is the future, I am hesitant to join the crowd but an ipad is the perfect way to showcase my portfolio. I will be facing my fear of trying something new, with a Tory Burch to help guide me.

3. I always do my own manicures, I've been inspired to create designs with Sally Hansen's Nail Art Pen.

4. My goal is for my hubby to try new things too-pedicures at the spa with me! I am going to learn how to use a cuticle trimmer in the meantime for at home maintinence.

5. I needed to re-vamp my color and have had no time to visit my friend's salon....This NEW formula by Garnier only takes 10 minutes. Time saver, yes please! ...and I noticed it did not stain by sink like some have in the past.

6.I've been intrigued with styling my hair more, so these small Conair clear poly bands are perfect to assist me.

7.Whole foods gets me into trouble...and for some reason they decided to put a beauty isle next to the dairy. Pistachio Foot Repair Cream has been starring at me for a few weeks now. It was under $8 so I decided to give it a go. It's hydrating and has a oilier texture than a normal lotion or cream.

Are you stuck in a rut? What new things have you tried lately?