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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Head & Shoulders VoxBox 2012

Hi loves – a quick review for y’all today!

In late December, I received 3 Influenster VoxBoxes of complimentary products – awesome! I love testing out new products, and sharing my thought with you – especially when I ended up really liking or loving them!

One of the boxes I received was a brand specific box  for Head & Shoulders. Included was two full size bottles of their new Damage Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner collection.

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So I have been using this shampoo for the past month, and as with all Head & Shoulders lines, it is primarily directed at those seeking help with dandruff and dry scalp, but with this specific line aimed at helping those needing extra help with damage.

Considering my hair is very long, and curly, it is more easily prone to damage and dryness, so I was happy to receive this line to test out.

During the cooler months, I actually use Neutrogena T-Gel to combat any seasonal dryness, so I did not mind the fact that this was an anti-dandruff/dryness/etc. brand.

Both the shampoo and conditioner are quite thick in consistency, with a pale yellow color, somewhat like vanilla pudding. They have a nice, gender-neutral and man-friendly, peachy scent.

The shampoo lathers well and neither product leaves a residue if rinsed out properly.

From my experience trying out different products, I usually take it as a step in the right direction when the conditioner is quite thick.

So after the first couple uses, I definitely noticed a difference – a good one – my hair did have that stronger feeling.*

*I should note that I leave my conditioner in my hair for a very long time. Washing/conditioning my hair is one of the first things I do, then I wrap my conditioner coated hair up, only rinsing it out at the end of my shower.

The only downfalls or doubts I have for this line are, for the effectiveness of the anti-dandruff/dryness – as it did not perform as well as my seasonal use of the T-Gel.

Also, from what I have experience, I feel this line serves well for helping with damage if you use it quite regularly. It helps with short term “damage rescue,” but it’s important to point out this is NOT a treatment with long-term effectiveness – it is shampoo and conditioner.

Full Size Value: $5.99 for each the Shampoo & Conditioner

Final Verdict: Definitely recommend this line if you are looking for an economical, gentle, but effective line for light-medium damage and low-mild dryness – to be used regularly.


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Influenster Cosmo VoxBox 2012

Happy Monday and Yay for another Influenster VoxBox!!

I believe this makes box number six for me, plus I have two more VoxBoxes of complimentary products to review this month 🙂 If you have not heard of Influenster before, you can read up on it here.

So I received the Cosmo VoxBox in early December full of items a “modern girl needs” and I have to say that this box definitely had some great things!

ArtsyArchitette Influenster Cosmo Voxbox 2012

The Cosmo VoxBox Goods

1. Ghirardelli Sea Salt Escape Chocolates

2. Bath & Body Works “Forever Red” Perfume

3. Venus Embrace Razor & Cartridge

4. Venus & Olay Razor Refill

5. Pilot “FriXion” Pens

ArtsyArchitette Influenster Cosmo Voxbox 20122

Ghirardelli Sea Salt Escape Chocolates

Mmmm… these were sooooo good! Milk chocolate with almond bits and a hint of sea salt. I’m sold! If you are a milk chocolate lover, a fan of Ghirardelli in general, or just needing something a little different for your chocolate fix – definitely check these out.

Final Verdict: A great buy, at $2.79 – $4.35 a pack, to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Bath & Body Works “Forever Red” Eau de Parfume

A slightly sweet fragrance, with a bit of floral and just a tiny hint of vanilla spice. Forever Red is described as B&BW most luxurious fragrance and it definitely is a luxurious (and pricey) one for B&BW, but it is a sweet luxury.  It is a gorgeous scent – in moderation, at least for me.

I apply just a spray or two and I love it; but too much and the fragrance is too overwhelming for me, and ultimately causes a mild headache. The mist, as opposed to the perfume here, may be easier on the senses.

It is a blend of pomegranate, osmanthus (floral) and vanilla rum. So, if you like semi-sweet and floral fragrances, and have no qualms with vanilla, I would say stop by a B&BW and give this one a test – you may fall in love.

Final Verdict: Beautiful in strict moderation.

Venus Embrace Razor & Cartridge

Okay, so I’ll take this one in two parts. First, the actual razor handle is awesome! Fits and feels great in your hand with a gel cushioned handle and it attaches the the razor cartridge at the base – making for a very flexible and easy shaving experience.

Attaching at the base of the razor cartirdge, as opposed to the middle – as many are, lets the razor move over curves, bumps, knees, etc., very easy.

Also, something really awesome is that the handle fits any Venus blade cartridge refills – so if you don’t like the one you originally received with the razor, you can try out another without having to buy the whole thing!

As for the Venus Embrace blade cartridge, it is a very good razor. It has five blades that are extremely close together, making it quite effective on the first pass. It has a “ribbon of moisture” around the blade head, basically that is just a fancy  way of saying the regular moisture strip has just been extended around most of the razor blade head.

Like, most moisture strips, it is really only effective for the first shave.

Final Verdict: One of the best razors I have used and if you are in the market for a new razor, I would recommend trying out a Venus non-disposable razor.

Venus & Olay Razor Refill

Okay, so I was initially quite skeptical about this one, but this Venus & Olay refill really surprised me. I loved it!

It looks a little funny, with the “moisture bars” looking like gummy, floppy tongue tabs hanging off the razor blade head; but once in the shower, they turn to super slick flexible bars that have a really nice sensation on your skin and keep your skin slick throughout the entire shave.

I do think it is important to say that they do not claim or state to not use shave cream/gel, but in my limited experience with it – you can skip the cream/gel with this one, if you want to.

Also, I have read some reviews of people getting angry that the bars didn’t last more than 3 or 4 shaves, but honestly, you really shouldn’t be keeping disposable razor blade refills (or full disposable razors) for an extensive period of time anyway. It can be very unsanitary and poor for your skin. Maybe these were some very hairy ladies, or maybe they were using it everyday or stored it improperly (it should be common sense but, this razor should not be stored in the shower – due to the water activated moisture bars – if you allow it to get wet regularly when not using it – you really are just washing your money down the drain). 

So far I used it once and it hardly made a dent in the moisture bars.

I’m so glad they included a coupon in my VoxBox, because I am definitely wanting to purchase these refills!

Final Verdict: Definitely recommend trying it out, but the refills are a little pricey!

Pilot “FriXion” Pens

For an artist, doodler, and constant note-taker, these are great to have! They have good strong pigments, but are easily erasable if needed.

They have a grey, rubber nub on the end of the pen – not an eraser that dwindles down with every use, that lets you “erase” the ink with a little friction.

Final Verdict: Great for artists, moms, students and anyone in a business that is constantly putting a pen to paper.

Well, that sums up everything for the Cosmo VoxBox 🙂


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Most Loved Beauty Products of 2012 ♥ Skin Care Edition

Happy New Year lovelies!!

I hope your holidays went well, with 2013 starting off amazingly for you all and continues to be a wonderful year. So I’m here with my favorite skin care products of  2012!

Fair warning, my name is Samantha and I am a beauty addict. Skin care, body care, make-up, nails, perfume and tools – I’m throwing all my most used/most reached for items out there! So stay tuned for more 2012 favorites…

This is a product heavy post – so I won’t be going in depth on the products, since there are so many; BUT if you see a product you like or are curious about, and want to know more or want me to do an entire review post on – let me know in the comments or via email!

ArtsyArchitette 2012 Beauty Favorites Skin Care

These are definitely my go to facial skin care products and I don’t deviate from them (or my routine) very often – if at all – unless I am testing a new product out. I have a couple other well liked products that, depending on the weather or situation, I may use them in place of these; but these are my overall well loved favorites.

1. Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 with Helioplex – My everyday morning/day/pre-make-up moisturizer.

2. Yes To Blueberries Intensive Skin Repair Serum – My nightly serum for the neck and chest area.

3. Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer – My nightly moisturizer. It is all about being proactive!

4. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque – My go to (and usually weekly applied) mask for getting/keeping my skin clear. You can read my review on this masque here.

5. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery ConcentrateThe product that really keeps my skin glowing and looking great every morning!

6. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Eye Cream (as above) or the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Eye Cream – I go back and forth between the two, but either one is a must for my nightly routine!

7. Origins GinZing Eye Cream – My day eye cream, great for brightening up the eyes in the morning.

*8. MAC Fix + – I had just sadly ran out and forgot to include it in the photo, but I go through 2 bottles of Fix + every month! Vitamins, minerals, calming ingredients and just overall really lovely on my skin – I use it to refresh my skin in the morning, pre-moisturizer, throughout the day and at night as the start to my nighttime routine!

 

ArtsyArchitette 2012 Beauty Favorites Skin Care2

When it comes to body care, I’m not as picky, so I’m not really going to bother with body lotions and body washes, but I do have some stand out favorites I just have to mention!

1. Neutrogena Body Oil – A must have in my shower for everyday!

2. Victoria’s Secret Jasmine & Water Lily Body Oil – When I want just a little something more luxurious and the scent – to die for!

3. Soap & Glory Hand Food – I take this hand cream everywhere 🙂

4. Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish – My all-time favorite scrub – nothing has beat this one yet! Read my review on this scrub here.

There you have it, my most loved skin care products of 2012! Look out for more of my 2012 favorites this month!


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Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Him ;)

Okay, so first off, sorry for the lack of proper posts, my life has been sucked into the black hole of holiday madness and job hunting. Oh my gosh, I’m tired already…

Anyways, in case the world doesn’t go poof! in the following days – hehehe,  my apologies to the Dec 21 doomsday prepper’s on high alert, but I find it mildly amusing 😉 – so, back to it, you may be like me, in that you are still holiday shopping, especially for some of the most difficult of the bunch – guys!

So, just as before with my Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Her ♥ I gathered some easy – under $50 – gift ideas for the men in your life.

ArtsyArchitette Holiday Gift Guide for Him Under $50

1. For the man that loves books

Whether he’s into crime, mystery, history or fantasy, if he likes to read and its a topic he loves – a good book is always appreciated. Maybe get him a new one he hasn’t read or perhaps an old favorite that he’s lost somewhere between high school and a life full of moving boxes.

Men are fairly transparent in their interests, but when in doubt cross reference the NY TimesAmazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers lists.

Featured Books Above: The Millenium (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Series by Stieg Larsson, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand,  On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

2. For the scent conscious guy 

If he likes to smell good, cares for his place enough to own cleaning supplies, and isn’t afraid of a dash of feminine, then he might love a man-friendly scented candle to warm up his place.

Bath & Body Works have had some yummy candles lately that really do smell like men’s cologne!

Featured Candles Above: Mahogany Teakwood, Fireside and Black Pepper Bergamot.

3. For the guy in need of a little pampering

Guys often neglect their skin and especially their hands, unfortunately, so sometimes they need a little push – next thing you know – they’re hooked!

Nowadays, there are some great men’s skincare lines and around this time – gift sets galore!

Featured Items Above: Kiehl’s Men’s Refueling Kit and Helping Hands Essentials.

4. Movie/TV Junkie?

Easiest thing ever! His favorite show’s latest season or perhaps a special edition blu-ray.

Featured Item Above: The Dark Night Trilogy Blu-Ray Limited Edition (just got this exact one – thanks to my awesome brother – for $27!!)

5. The Gamer

If he is a gamer, no doubt he has been raving about the latest game out that he just has to have, but maybe just can’t afford at the moment.

If you’re unsure – get him a points/gift card for his most used game console.

Featured Games Above: Call of Duty Black Ops II and EA Sports Madden NFL 13.

6. For the workaholic and the traveler 

Whether he commutes, or just has that never ending job that requires him to mainline coffee – a quality insulated travel mug that could take a beating and his favorite coffee is guaranteed to be welcome!

Featured Items Above: Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend Whole Bean Coffee and Stainless Steel Insulated Travel Mug.

7. For the sports fanatic

No brainer – his favorite team gear!

Featured Items Above: San Antonio Spurs T-Shirt and Chicago Bear Cap.

8. For the musician 

Why not opt for the unexpected, but totally awesome gift! Maybe hunt down a vintage record shop, or a bio on his favorite musician, or maybe just a nerdy novelty gift you know he would just love.

Featured Item Above: DIY Guitar Pick Punch from ThinkGeek.

9. Guy friendly Coziness 

Whether he is unprepared for the cold/dry weather or maybe you just want to spruce up his winter wardobe, pick up some non-holiday guy-friendly gear.

Featured Items Above: Lightweight sweater from Old Navy and Scarf from Gap.

10. And for the man who loves a good beer

If he enjoys the beer craft and is practically on his way to becoming a beer connoisseur, why not get him a new beer sampler?

This isn’t for the drunk guy in the bar, who you should NOT encourage with more beer, this is for the man that likes to buy 2 very good beers at the bar with a quality steak; and enjoys discovering new brews.

Featured Sampler Above:  World Market’s Winter Brews 9-pack Seasonal Beers.

Well guys – and ladies – hopefully that helps out, in case you are still in need of a few gift ideas 😉

x Sam