Christmas

Book Depository giveaway! (International!)

Win a book of your choice from BookDepository.com!(Photo by Glen Noble via Unsplash)

If there’s one thing I can never have enough of, it’s books, and I’m sure many of my readers feel the same way…which is why I’m giving you guys a chance to win the book of your choice from BookDepository.com! The giveaway is open internationally and closes in one week; just use the Rafflecopter below to enter. (Please keep in mind that you can select any book up to a $25 value, and you must live in a country that BD will ship to—see the list here.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY: Trio of Zoya Holiday/Winter 2014 PixieDust polishes (U.S. only)

Zoya PixieDust polishes

It’s almost Christmas, and this time of the year I live for glitter nail polish. This week I’m giving away a trio of Zoya’s new holiday/winter 2014 PixieDust polishes: Nori, Imogen and Thea. I’m also throwing in a 2-oz. bottle of their Remove Plus nail polish remover, to help you get all that glitter off when you’re ready to change your manicure!

Entry is easy: just fill out the Rafflecopter widget below. Due to shipping restrictions this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, but I’ll have one more international giveaway coming up next Friday to finish out 2014, so make sure you subscribe to my feed so you don’t miss it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY: Flower Beauty Lip Chubby gift set (INTERNATIONAL)

Flower Lip Chubby set

Time for another Friday giveaway! This week I’m giving away a Flower Beauty Lip Chubby gift set, containing three popular shades: Life’s a Peach, Berry-More, and Red-dy to Bloom. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open internationally through next Friday and you can earn extra entries daily by sharing the giveaway on social media. :)

And while you’re at it, there’s still time to enter my Pacifica Wanderlust beauty set giveaway (here) and my giveaway for a copy of ‘The Magician’s Lie’, by Greer Macallister (here)–both giveaways end tomorrow, so don’t wait!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nail polish swatch: P2 Opulent

Here’s a quick swatch of a new nail color I got for Christmas! My friend Katrin sent me another bottle of P2 Sand Style polish from Germany. This one is called “Opulent” and it’s a dark blue-green liquid sand loaded with teal microglitter. It dries down to a matte gritty finish, but like my favorite Zoya liquid sands it’s a fairly smooth sand, not a bumpy one, so I didn’t bother adding a top coat.

There’s a barely detectable shift to purple at the edge of the nails, but I don’t think it really showed up in these photos. This is the first time I’ve encountered a holo liquid sand, so I’m pretty thrilled with it! I think you can see the purple a bit more at the edges of the polish bottle, if you look closely.

 

Product review: Anjolee (customized diamond jewelry!)

(Disclosure: I received the product mentioned in this post in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated in any other way for writing a review and as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Today I’ve got a really cool product to show you: custom earrings from Anjolee! Anjolee is a custom jewelry design company based out of San Diego, California. Founded in 1977, they’ve been manufacturing high-end diamond jewelry for retail sale for nearly four decades, but it’s only been in the past several years that they moved online with a web model that lets you fully customize your own diamond jewelry pieces from start to finish. You can create diamond stud earrings, bracelets, pendants and even diamond wedding rings!


Anjolee is a perfect way for you to create a one-of-a-kind custom item as a treat for yourself, or as a gift for someone else in your life. Ladies, it’s time to start dropping hints to that guy in your life; Valentines Day isn’t that far off! Don’t worry if he’s a procrastinator: manufacturing takes three business days and after that, he’ll get free two-day FedEx shipping (complete with insurance) on his parcel.

Anjolee was kind enough to send me a pair of silver cz studs for review. I wore these out for a day of errands and really loved how perfectly sized they are–not too small, but not too large! Customizing jewelry items on the website is fast and easy–in addition to selecting your metal type and gemstone, you choose the carat weight so each item is perfectly sized and perfectly priced for your needs. As someone who often finds that the pieces in stores are just not quite the right weight and shape for my tastes, I really like the idea of customizing each piece. Full dimensions and 360-degree views let you see the piece as you create it so you can understand just how it will look in the end–no surprises! Not sure how to continue? Clicking “jeweler’s advice” will apply a design according to Anjolee’s recommendations, which you can then alter accordingly.

Aren’t they beautiful? I’m so pleased with my new earrings! Thank you Anjolee for this beautiful style, I see myself wearing these daily for a long time to come!

(Disclosure: I received the product mentioned in this post in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated in any other way for writing a review and as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Product review: Steamcream

Disclosure: I was sent a product in exchange for a review. However I was not compensated for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

Hey beauties! Are you enjoying your winter? We got several inches of snow here yesterday and I’m loving it. If there’s one thing I don’t enjoy about winter, though, it’s the fact that colder temps and drier air turn my skin super-dry and sensitive, and my regular body and face lotions just don’t cut it anymore.

Hence, I was pretty excited when Katie from Steamcream contacted me to ask if I’d like to try a tin of their all-in-one moisturizer, suitable for use on face, body, hands and feet ($20/75ml). After a couple of weeks of testing, I’m finally ready to share my thoughts with you! Steamcream is vegan and natural and contains ingredients like almond oil to soothe and moisturize without piling on heavy synthetics that can actually do more harm than good. You can learn more about Steamcream’s ingredients and sourcing here

The Steamcream formula comes packaged in your choice of a variety of different beautiful tins. I opted for Thalia, with a pretty orange and white floral design, but if you browse their design gallery you’ll see they have nearly two hundred tins to choose from, meaning there’s something there for everyone! The metal tin is very sturdy but small enough to fit in your hand.

Steamcream has what I would describe as an earthy fragrance, due to the combination of almond oil, lavender, chamomile and neroli. It’s not terribly strong and doesn’t linger long, but if you prefer preppy or uber-fresh scents to what I like to call “hippie” scents, you might be disappointed with the fragrance. Just an FYI. Personally I love natural scents, but I’ve also gotten the side eye for saying I like patchouli, so to each their own. I like that the scent fades away quickly so you can add your own perfume or body spray without creating a competing mix of fragrances.

Surprisingly, the formula is very thin–I expected it to have the consistency of a body butter, but it’s thinner than even a facial lotion. Obviously if you’re used to piling on heavy moisturizers in the winter, such a thin consistency seems odd; it’s hard to imagine how Steamcream can moisturize so heavily when it feels like there’s nothing on your skin. However, when I tested out the cream on one side of my face and body versus a thicker face cream and body butter, I found that there was no noticeable difference in moisturization even after several hours. At the twelve-hour mark, the side with Steamcream actually felt like it was retaining moisture better without reapplication–no dry or itchy patches!

The really lovely thing about Steamcream is that it’s truly an all-in-one product: it moisturizes my dry legs and hands like a much thicker product, but it’s still lightweight enough to use on my face without triggering a breakout. Also, since it’s so light and non-greasy, it’s very good for layering under makeup. I think it would be great for someone who didn’t like using very thick products, or for someone who wanted to layer products without feeling that they were slathering a layer of buttercream frosting over their limbs.

If you’re looking for a new cream to add to your winter skincare routine I highly recommend heading over to the Steamcream website and browsing their tins–it’s a great way to treat yourself this holiday season!

Full ingredients: Oatmeal infusion, orange flower water, almond oil, cocoa butter, glycerine, stearic acid, triethanolamine, organic jojoba oil, lavender oil, chamomile blue oil, orange flower absolute, rose absolute, neroli oil, cetearyl alcohol, coumarin*, geraniol*, citronellol*, limonene*, linalool*, perfume, methylparaben, propylparaben. (*Occurs naturally in essential oils)

Disclosure: I was sent a product in exchange for a review. However I was not compensated for writing a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.
 

[CLOSED] Merry and Bright blog hop giveaway!

Merry Christmas to all of my lovely readers! Okay, I’m a couple of days early, but I can’t wait any longer. :) I’m finally feeling the Christmas spirit!

And with that in mind, I’m joining the Merry and Bright Christmas blog hop/giveaway! What is it, you say? Basically, it’s a way for bloggers to have fun with a mass interconnected giveaway while also finding new blogs and gaining new readers!

Here’s how it works: from December 15th through January 4th, each of the bloggers involved will offer a giveaway worth at least $20 on their blog. Each blogger has control over their own giveaway, but all of the giveaways will be linked by a linky widget and by the hashtag #MerryAndBright on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

Okay, so now down to the prize: I decided to give away a package of some of the winter essentials I’m loving right now to keep me warm and comfy in this cold, dry weather.

  • A super-cute knit kitty hat (how adorable are those ears and little ribbon bows?!), worth $10
  • A tube of Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa Shea Cashmere hand cream, worth $6
  • A tube of minty Hurraw! lip balm, which is organic, vegan, and Leaping Bunny-certified, worth $4

All you need to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter form below! A winner will be drawn on January 5th. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY, so pass the word on using the hashtag #MerryAndBright and encourage your friends to enter, too! And be sure to check out the other bloggers in the linky and enter their giveaways, too!

Happy holidays to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. Want to hook up with this giveaway? Check out the post that started it all over on Ashley Brooke’s blog; there you’ll find the sign up form, linky and button HTML, and everything else you need to join in on the fun!

Random Thursdays: My Christmas Wishlist

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner? Neither can I. I had trouble making a Christmas wishlist for the husband this year, mostly because when I want something for myself, I buy it–I don’t wait for him to buy it! But here are a few of the things I’m wishing for this year that I haven’t gotten around to purchasing for myself…

Turquoise and pink Converse All-Stars. I have a pair in black, but I’m itching for these colors too for some reason.

A yellow gown reminiscent of the one Anne Hathaway wears in the January 2013 issue of Glamour. I brought this up the other day in a post. I don’t know where I’d actually wear such a dress, but I imagine I’d be blissfully happy wearing it, wherever I went!

A shopping spree at Zoya.com. Seriously, does it get any better than Zoya polish?
More scarves. Seriously, I cannot have enough scarves.
Gift cards to some of my favorite stores. I always tell my husband that I won’t be offended if he just gives me a gift card and sends me off to the mall for the day, but he never listens–he insists on picking out all of my gifts himself! I’m not complaining, though–he always picks out awesome gifts.
What are you guys wishing for this year? Tell me in the comments section below!