Archive for March, 2013

Review: Starlooks’ Starbox February Birthday Box 2013

Review: Starlooks’ Starbox February Birthday Box 2013

Ratting: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me! Well you know how the rest goes! My birthday is in February which meant that I’d be receiving the special Starlooks’ Birthday Starbox! I had looked up what those who received birthday boxes in the fall which the program started and loved that there was a matching lipstick and lipliner along with a body glitter and a hand written note from Starlooks.

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I hadn’t looked up if the box contents had changed as I’d thought they’d wait until the fall to chance it when is when the birthday box program first began. In hindsight I understand that they changed the contents based on an item we’d be receiving in February. So without further ado my February Birthday Starbox. The first item is a kohl eyeliner in Onyx (black). It is nice, it has very good pigmentation, little drag, and is very smooth. But it isn’t special the way their Diamondline pencils are! It is a good basic black eyeliner. but is probably not something I’d purchase.

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Just like in last fall’s box, I received a matching lipstick and lipliner, but unlike last year’s stunning coraly-pink shade, I received the shade called Kinky which is a BRIGHT red. *sigh* I really don’t like bright reds [on me that is]. They make me feel like an old lady and just don’t look very good on me. I’ve noticed that lately nearly every service has sent out a red lip product. Yet I have not ONCE seen a berry or wine shade of lip product. That said I am very appreciative that Starlooks cares enough to send out birthday boxes! I wish there was a way to have ranked a few lip colors so that each person could receive a shade that they are more interested in trying. Especially since Starlooks has already sent out a reddish shade, back in October’s box in the shade known as Masquarade.

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Since I first opened the box, I’ve slowly become much more fond of the Kinky lipstick. What I do is I put a thin coat followed by a coat of the tendergloss lipstick in Nude that I received in the November Starbox. I wasn’t super fond of that lipstcik either as I prefer mine to be the pink-berry-wine shades. Nevertheless, I decided to try mixing the to lipsticks and voila! I found a custom shade that I am enjoying! I highly recommend trying to mix any lip colors that are out of your comfort zone to either tone down (or up) the shade based on your own personal preference.

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If receiving 3-4 FULL sized cosmetic items (although frequently more items are included as bonuses) each month sounds interesting to you then you should check out Starlooks’ Starbox! For $16.98 (includes $1.98 shipping) you’ll receive extremely good quality products and be introduced to a variety of products in the process. Plus customer service is amazing! And its so easy to get in touch (and receive a response) from the founder and creator of Starlooks Marci Lieberman personally!

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Staring as of January 2013, there will be a three month rotation of Neutrals, Mixed Neutrals/Bold, and Bold products with January being Mixed. That means the next month you can subscribe in time for is April which will be Mixed Neutrals/Bold. If you sign up after the first of the month, then you won’t receive your first box until the following month. Also Starbox is the ONLY subscription that I know of that sends you a birthday box during your birth month for no additional charge. Since February is my birth month, I have already received mine and will be posting my review shortly! If you DO decide to subscribe, PLEASE mention me, Jaclyn Cotton or my blog Jaclyn’s Musings where it asks about who referred you. I’d really apprecaite it!

~Jaclyn

Review: Nailuv at Home Gel Polish System

Review: Nailuv at Home Gel Polish System
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Just before the holidays, I got the chance to try out an at home gel polish kit from Nailuv. I was attracted to Nailuv because not only do they sell UV lamps, but also LED ones and because they are based in my relative vacinity in Southern California. I find supporting local, small, and up and coming busniesses attractive. I was sent their intro kit which includes everything needed to get started a 4 watt LED lamp, bonder, base/top coat, nail polish remover, nail polish cleaner, cuticle pusher, nail file, and one polish in homebody not (bright red).

The red lamp is heart shaped with the LEDs glowing bluish-purple when turned on. The only thing that would have made it more convinent would be for the lamp to include two timed settings in 30 and 45 seconds which is the lenght of time needed for the various coats. Also included in the box are a set of well written and easy to follow instructions. The first time I tried I read the direcitons the process seemed daunting, but it really wasn’t that bad. And while it IS necessary to “bake” the nails after each coat (except for the inital bonder layer which quickly air dries), it was amazing that my nails were actually HARD afterwards and not that ‘soft’ dry regularly polished nails are for up to several hours afterwards.

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I have a knack of always being able to mess up at least one nail when I use ‘regular’ polish, but was thrilled when ALL my nails came out smooth without having to redo that one (or two) nail(s) several times. While a bright red polish was included in the box, Nailuv has many shades to choose from also including several glitters. But I found the glitters to have a very sheer base and work better over another shade. Even though the directions say to apply thin coats, I, of course, applied a WAY too thick coat that first time that resulted in a very uneven coating that was visably thicker in some areas than others.

I am loving how smooth and shiny my nails look with gel polish compared to “regular” non-gel polish. And it lasts significantly longer without chipping than my non-gel polish ever did. I am looking forward to experimenting with designs and embellishments. While I did use to enjoy having my nails done at a salon, I haven’t had been in well over 5 years, in part due to my health and also as there have been rising concerns (and articles) about unsanitary practices leading to infections. I’ve had more infections (and potentially deadly serious ones) than any family should have and so I’d much prefer to indulge in painting my nails from the comfort (and safety) of my home.

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I gave this at home gel polish system 4 stars because in many ways this doesn’t cut down on the time needed to do a self manicure. That is mainly from the sheer number of steps one must go through. According to the very nicely detailed instructions, one should scuff up her nails with the side of a nail file (and always go in just one direction and not back and forth like a saw), then wash her hands to get rid of dust, then apply a thin coating of the bonder and allow it to (air) dry for about 30 seconds, then its time to apply the first layer of the base/top coat and “bake” it under the lamp for 45 seconds. Afterwards comes the most fun part which is to apply (a thin layer of) the actual nail polish followed by 30 seconds under the LED lights. Repeat until desired sheer or opaque-ness pausing to let each thin coat harden under the lights. Follow up with another layer of the base/top coat for 45 seconds. The last thing is the use just a tiny bit of the included cleanser to remove the oiliness from ones nails. But the advantage is once I completed this process. my nails were completely harden solving my problem of smudging some of my nails within minutes up to a couple hours of finishing painting my nails.

You can purchase a starter kit from Nailuv for $125 (HERE) or look for Nailuv on daily deal sites like Coterie.com or Hautelook.com.

~Jaclyn~
*Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this review was sent to me by the company or PR representative in exchange for my honest review. Please see my disclaimer for more information. The link included above for Hautelook is a referral link*

Review: Starlooks’ Starbox February 2013

Review: Starlooks’ Starbox February 2013
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

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I have to say that I had been very curious as to what exactly would be included in the very first collaboration between Starlooks and up and coming makeup artist, Lauren Clark. When I say the lookbook I had a few ideas as to what I’d hoped would be inside including a lip product in the shade she is wearing in that photo shoot. I’ve since found out that, that shade is called Tipsey and is a coraly-pink shade and just beautiful!

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According to the included product information card, we were receiving three full size products, but I counted four! Turns out that the fourth item is a bonus item and a preview of the signature lip set to come!

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The first item I pulled out was a lip gloss in the shade pink oasis which is a very sheer yet sparkely gloss that has a deeper color on the brush or in the tube than on ones lips. This is not a stick lipgloss and contains a generous amount. Lately, thought I’ve really preferred more opaque glosses and I’d love the one that matches the included bonus lip liner Tipsy.

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Next is an item that I am still on the fence about, the infinity satin liner in the shade princess diary (which reminds me of one of my favorite movies, I know it was a book series by Meg Cabot first but I could not get through even one of those!) which is a very light pearly pink. I’m still not so sure about such a light pink color as an eyeliner. I’ve tried playing around with it a litter, but definitely need to try out a few more things. I’ve heard of others using it a base for other shadows and want to give this a try. Would you wear a light pink gel eyeliner? Are there certain colors that you wouldn’t wear on your eyes? cheeks? lips? nails even? I’d love ot hear!

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The last of the “regular” items is a brand new item to the Starlooks likes called HD Fluid Blush. And while that tube looks small, looks are very misleading as it is extremely well pigmented! A teeny tiny amount of this will go a very long way! At first I was very ambivilent as to why I’d ever wear a blush THAT bright pink! Turns out the same of this shade is aptly named Barbie which is quite fitting. When unscrewed the cap and started to gently apply pressure to the little tube as I didn’t want it to squirt out all over me, I waited until I had a miniscule amount on my middle finger and gentry tapped it onto my cheeck. I was surprised at how well it blended in and looked natural! This is by far my favorite of the “regular” listed products.

Last, but not least is the bonus item we received, a lip liner in the shade Tipsy! I absolutely LOVE this shade!!! Unfortunately, I’ve found just trying to wear the lip liner by itself dries out my lips too much, but when I add some of my favorite clear scented lip balm (MOR macaron lip balm in sorbet) to it all of a sudden I have the most beautiful lip color! I’ve never seen a shade quite like this and certainly don’t own anything that even closely resembles this shade! It is so different from what I typically wear on my lips, but I love it nonetheless.

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p style=”text-align: left;”>I’ve included swatches of what the products look like on my skin. Starting on the left the first swatch is the Tipsy lipliner by itself, next is the Pink Oasis gloss, followed by the Tipsy lipliner with the Pink Oasis gloss on top, to the right of that is the Princess Diary light satin infinity eyeliner, past that is the HD Fluid Blush in Barbie on first pass after squeezing a teeny tiny amount out, and lastly the Barbie blush somewhat diffused and rubbed in. Also new this month was a little fold out guide that shows you two different looks to try using these new products. I like this idea a lot and very much hope they continue doing that again in the future. I think it would make a GREAT addition to the box to be shows a couple of different looks to try that could also help in jump starting the creative process for both newbies all the way through pro makeup artists and everything in between!

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I gave this box 4.5 out of 5 stars as I’m still unsure how much I’ll actually use the Princess Diary light pink with a statin finish (more iridescence than sparkle or even shimmer) as an eyeliner which is what the product is “meant” for. Lauren Clark herself recommends using it as an eyeshadow base for brown shadow while others on the beauty forum MakeUpTalk (www.makekuptalk.com) have suggested using it as an eyeshadow base more generally saying that it adds more depth. And while I LOVE lip glosses in general, I wasn’t that impressed with how sheer Pink Oasis was although I do like the little bit of sparkle along with a non-tacky formula (the only thing worse than a super stick lip gloss is one with a very strong scent)! Whereas my favorites from this box are the HD Fluid Blush in Barbie and that awesome pinky-coral lip liner.

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As of this past Monday evening, Starlooks’ launched their first ever singature collection also from Lauren Clark who is the professional makeup artist that collaborated with Starlooks in curating the February Starbox! Well, until the end of March, anyone can choose to purchase this set that includes the lipliner in Tipsy, matching lipstick in Tipsy, coordinating lip gloss also in Tipsy and a bonus limited edition HD Fluid blush in a pinky-coral to match this extremely Tipsy set!! I’d LOVE to be able to get my hands on this limited edition special set. The full set is selling for $39 while the set without the Tipsy lipliner which is available ONLY to current subscribers as we already received it in this months Starbox and that set is $32!

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If receiving 3-4 FULL sized cosmetic items (although frequently more items are included as bonuses) each month sounds interesting to you then you should check out Starlooks’ Starbox! For $16.98 (includes $1.98 shipping) you’ll receive extremely good quality products and be introduced to a variety of products in the process. Plus customer service is amazing! And its so easy to get in touch (and receive a response) from the founder and creator of Starlooks Marci Star personally! The photo of Lauren Clark above is of her using many of the products included in the February bag and her limited edition signature lip set.

Staring as of January 2013, there will be a three month rotation of Neutrals, Mixed Neutrals/Bold, and Bold products with January being Mixed. That means the next month you can subscribe in time for is April which will be Mixed Neutrals/Bold. If you sign up after the first of the month, then you won’t receive your first box until the following month. Also Starbox is the ONLY subscription that I know of that sends you a separate birthday box during your birth month for no additional charge! Since February is my birth month, I have already received mine and will be posting my review shortly! If you DO decide to subscribe, PLEASE consider mentioning me, Jaclyn Cotton or my blog Jaclyn’s Musings where it asks about who referred you. I’d really appreciate it as it’ll help make sure I’m able to review more and more of the Starlooks’ line!

~Jaclyn~

*I know I’m way behind in posting reviews of the Starboxes. I’ll be posting them in reverse order from most recent to oldest. I appreciate your patience while I work on catching up on sharing some amazing boxes, books, and products with you in the coming weeks and months!*

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