The Cosmo Voxbox

I got the honor of being sent the 2012 Cosmo Voxbox last week πŸ˜€

If you’ve never heard of Influenster , I suggest you go look at their website! It’s really cool, and you might get the chance to try new stuff like I did.

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This is a peek inside of what I got, and some mini-reviews.

A Venus Razor with a Venus + Olay cartridge (not pictured – but was in the yellow bag). It’s kind of hard for me to be unbiased on this one, because shaving can become a pretty dire situation. I’ve been loyal to Gilette’s Venus since I first ever started shaving, but with the price of razors only going up (and me being a broke college kid), I’ve been pretty stuck to the basic razor. I love the Venus + Olay cartridge, I definitely will purchase more of those. I find it makes shaving easier and I haven’t had my usual horrible razor burn on my underarms.

Sample Size of Bath and Body Work’s Forever Red.Β  Described on B&BW’s website as “our most luxurious fragrance ever”, it just was not my kind of scent. It was a little too… fruity or something. I’m not really good at determining what a perfume smells like, so forgive me, but I prefer the “clean” scents and this does not fall under that category. Don’t get me wrong, it smells good, but it just isn’t the type of perfume that I like to wear. I also try not to get too attached to Bath and Body Works’ perfume, since I fell in love with Breathe Romance back in sixth grade and then they discontinued it 😦

Ghiradelli Gourmet Sea Salt Escape Chocolate Bar. Um, YUM! This milk chocolate bar is loaded with almonds and a kiss of sea salt, so it hits on that salty-crunchy-sweet taste/texture explosion that I love SO much. This bar is really, really good.

Pilot Frixion Pens in Black and Red. These are nice. I like how smoothly they write, and the fact that they are ERASABLE! Whaaaaaaat?! It’s perfect for a student like me, because I’m a weirdo but I can’t stand taking notes in pencil, yet I make a mess of my notes with all my scribbling-out mistakes. This is perfect. I seriously love them.

 

Disclaimer: All of these products were complimentary, but reviews are my true opinion. I am not being compensated for writing these reviews.

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Gettin’ Swatchy

Yeah, I don’t know either.

Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was filled with friends, family, and food. My three favorite f words.

Last week I posted a photo that looked something like this

 

glossy glossy

glossy glossy

Which is pretty bold (pun intended) considering that my lips areΒ usually always coated in MAC C-Thru.

lipglass

Anyway, ask and you shall receive! So here are some swatches of those lip glosses, along with their names. I tried to get photos of them on my lips, but my janky camera got blurry when zoomed in close enough to get just my lips. If you’d still like to see them, leave a comment and I’ll try to work something out to get some better quality photos.

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Top photo: no flash; bottom photo: flash.

From left to right (in all three photos): Benefit Ultra Shines in Back to the Fuchsia, Sephora Ultra Shine in Sweet Mauve Sparkling, Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing in Witty, Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Flashes in 686, 886, and 856, Le Metier de Beaute in Cannes, Estee Lauder Pure Color in 71 Rebellious Violet Sparkle and 49 Frivolous Pink, YSL Golden Gloss in 24m (I think that’s the name anyway), and Vincent Longo in Alpha 7 and Cherros.

Beautiful, huh?! Although I couldn’t get over how sheer the Estee Lauder Frivolous Pink and Le Metier de Beaute Cannes were! I don’t know the exact price of all of these lippies since I didn’t purchase them and they were a gift, but they are definitely not cheap.

Also – maybe this is not interesting to anyone else – but I haven’t bought a Sephora brand lipgloss in years, and I was pleasantly surprised by their take on the doe foot applicator: DSCF0401

The little ridge in the middle makes getting gloss on evenly all around the mouth a cinch! I’m a fan.

 

On a More Serious Note

This post has nothing to do with beauty, cosmetics, the latest fashions, who’s wearing what, etc. While that’s fun and good and the point of this blog, I’d really like to take this opportunity to write about what’s been on my mind in the last few weeks, and is on my mind as we start approaching the holidays.

In the past week this blog has gotten more followers than in any other week-long period of the just over a year that I have been writing. I’ve had more time to post, and generally, I actually feel like I’ve caught some footing on here. So I want to say a huge thanks for that! I started this blog as sort of an outlet for myself. I honestly still get shocked when another blogger ‘likes’ something that I write.

I love the holidays. I always have, and I always will. In classic Stephanie manner, I use it as an excuse to go scope out Sephora while I’m buying gifts for my sister. (Who always steals the makeup I buy for myself, but barely touches the stuff I buy for her. Even if it’s identical. I know. Sisters…)

However, this winter I have had a very special task at my job over break that I absolutely cherish. There is an agency called The Home for Little Wanderers, which provides services for children and families in need. Each winter, they publish a wishlist, where kids who are using the agency can ask for holiday gifts, and individuals can choose to buy that gift for the child. The children sometimes share part of their stories through the wishlist, and the donors (hopefully) make the child’s wishes come true. My job has been to go through the wishlist and, using a budget, purchase gifts for some of the children on behalf of the company I work for.

I went into this task with the wrong attitude. “Yeah, I’m getting paid to shop! Woohoo!”

I’ve spent eight hours this week reading through the stories, and have had my heart broken with each one that I read. The effects of parental terminal illness, domestic violence, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy are absolutely devastating. I’ve seen the effects of these obstacles in my own family, as a relative of mine is involved in the Foster Care system. Unfortunately, adoption doesn’t always solve problems for the kids in Foster Care, as my family had to learn the hard way.

12 year old boys and girls should be asking for skateboards and dolls, not gift certificates to the grocery store so that they can purchase food for the holidays for their families. Obviously poverty is not an issue that is going anywhere, but I strongly believe that the children are the future, and even if the gifts my company is giving only make one kid’s holiday, then damn it, we made an impact on ONE kid, and that’s better then not having any impact at all.

This holiday season, I encourage you to give your kids (or nieces, or cousins) a hug and just tell them how much you love them. I think the holiday seasons really come to down to love, and even if you’re barely making ends meet, if you can make your kids feel safe and protected and loved, you are a special kind of person. Because unfortunately, there are not enough parents who are willing to protect the innocent babies that they bring into this world. And that, to me, is the biggest crime.

 

 

 

Dreaming of Food

Because I had my wisdom teeth taken out. I guess all my wisdom has been lost. πŸ™‚

"I feel pretty...oh so pretty"

“I feel pretty…oh so pretty”

 

I haven’t been able to touch my face for five days because it’s been extremely swollen and tender, (also, I probably shouldn’t be near anything remotely pointed while on Vicodin) which means I’ve been makeup free since Thursday. Luckily, I haven’t left my house!!

Which also means I’ve been trolling Pinterest… salivating… and I also realized that my food board is the biggest one yet. Shocker. As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for the dough for my English muffin bread to rise. Thanks, Jillee! My little brother requested that I make it, as I discovered the recipe this summer and got him hooked. Seriously, if you’re a carb lover, TRY IT! It is so, sooooooo good. I’m looking forward to actually being able to eat something that will feel like real food in my stomach… please please no more soup.

 

Which got me thinking about what to bake for the holidays. And for, you know, everyday. Weight loss, schmeit loss.

Like this recipe for pretzel crusted brownies. COME ON!! Why didn’t I ever think of that!? It’s genius!!

Or this recipe for Arancini! Yummy!!

 

What are some of the foods you make for the holidays?

 

 

Quick! Somebody Return Me to Starbucks…

…Because this caramel flecked mocha is on the LOOSE!

 

Yeah, sorry, I’m feeling corny. But seriously: the hair has been done. I love it so far, although I’ve never felt more pale

 

pretending to be normal for 3 seconds for the classic photobooth shot

Better go put on my St Tropez. If I’m gonna be pale, I’m gonna be orange baby!!

November Favorites

 

 

 

Tazo Organic Chai Tea Concentrate, Target

Victoria’s Secret So Sexy Style Hold and Finish Hairspray

European Wax Center Ingrown Hair Serum

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Fashion Whim

NARS Orgasm Illuminator

Yankee Candle’s Vanilla Icing

Red Peacoat (Scored mine at Target on clearance – check out your local Tarjay!)

TJMaxx Jewelery Tray. Check your local TJ’s to see what colors and patterns they have in stock!

Time for a Change

Hi!
I’ve been thinking for awhile now that it’s time to make a change to my hair. I’m getting sick of the upkeep of blonde highlights, and I also am seriously bored with my hair!

Tomorrow I have an appointment, and I’m gonna be going some shade of brown!! Here are the photos I’m going to bring in to the salon for some inspiration:

 

I did my best to choose photos of women whose coloring is otherwise similar to mine. I’m really loving Jessica Biel’s color – hopefully that’s how mine will turn out. Sort of a warm, golden brown, with a rich enough base to make her eyes pop!

I’ll post pictures tomorrow after the salon!

 

Have any of you ever made a drastic hair change? What made you decide to go through with it? Do you have any regrets?

Penetraitt

Is 15 weeks long enough to review a hair product? πŸ™‚
Because I am totally in love with the Penetraitt system by Sebastian. The shampoo and conditioner combo have completely changed my hair, even in the dry Colorado climate.

Before, my hair was frizzy, dry, and dead. Since I get highlights, the effect was dramatized.

Look at those raggedy ends! Yikes!!

I clearly needed a trim in this picture. But my hair was also just not in a good place. After using the Penetraitt system for 15 weeks, it’s more to the tune of this:

That’s me on the right. HOW MUCH BETTER IS THAT?!

My hair is so soft, doesn’t tangle, and is much shinier. And I haven’t changed my heat styling habits at all. It’s amazing.

 

Do you have a hair care system that you swear by? If so, which one?

A Satisfying, Guiltfree Mocha

Hello beautiful people!
Are you on a weight loss mission like I am? Do you ever wish your morning coffee could sustain your appetite? Do you not like eating in the morning? Do you hate plunking down $5 for an iced mocha?

Join. The. Club.

So, I present to you: My guiltfree mocha.

I’m sure there are similar recipes out there. I know I probably didn’t come up with the idea. But regardless, I love it, and it’s been helping me keep from gaining a single pound during this first month of school (Jimmy Johns! Dominos! Chinese takeout, oh my!)

 

What you’ll need:

A Blender

Ice

Chocolate Protein Powder

8oz of Skim Milk

Black Coffee, brewed and chilled, amount based on your preference of coffee-chocolate ratio

 

Basically, dump all of your ingredients into the blender and give that baby a whirl! I usually get a nice frothiness on top, adding to the luxe latte feeling.

(I drank most of it. Yumzo)

Nutrition info:

Calories: 186

Carbs: 23g

Fat: 2g

Protein: 23g

For all that, you get a GIANT cup of delicious. I got around 24 ounces. Take that, Starbucks!