Saturday, April 28, 2012

Zoya Blogger Collection by Birchbox: Review and Swatches

It's been a while since I've ordered any Zoya polishes, so when I heard the news about this collection, I couldn't pass it up! Zoya collaborated with Birchbox to create these limited edition polishes inspired by the mood boards of select bloggers.

from left to right: Coraline, Kate, Belle

The girls over at Eleventh Gorgeous created Coraline, described as a "warm, juicy tangerine."

 Kate, a "pinkish grapefruit," came from The Small Things Blog

Belle is a "coppery pink" with "microscopic bits of iridescent glitter." inspired by Capitol Hill Style

The polishes are all jellies, which I've decided I love. They're perfect for Summer and remind me of the jelly shoes I used to wear as a kid! I was too excited to wait to try them when they came in the mail, but I was also pressed for time, so I did one color per nail, as well as layering Belle over Kate, which was a look inspired by Love for Lacquer's. review on this collection.

top to bottom, two coats per nail in natural light: Coraline, Kate, Belle, Belle over Kate

top to bottom, two coats per nail, outdoors with flash: Coraline, Kate, Belle, Belle over Kate

I am loving these polishes! Definitely a great purchase...I know they will be on my nails a lot this summer! 

Availability -
Price - $22.00 for the set, plus FREE shipping!

Zoya Share the Love BONUS
Forward a copy of your Zoya Blogger Birchbox Trio proof of purchase (confirmation email showing the purchase) along with your Art of Beauty (Zoya/Qtica) Customer Number and they will deposit 200 "Love Points" into your account! What a deal!

If you don't have a Zoya account yet, sign up for one HERE. Just for creating an account you will receive a coupon for a free bottle of polish that can be used on your current order, or any future orders!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More MIO Bags!

If you've been following me from the beginning, you may remember my post on MIO Bags:

From accountant to fashionista: Beth Iovino aka Mama Io is the creator of Mio Bags, which are, as she describes them, FUNctional! Beth handcrafts amazing products that include a variety of handbags, a lunch tote bag and reusable snack setwine totes, and even an entire organized shopping system! The best part about Beth's products is that the customer is the designer! You choose from a variety of oilcloth fabrics and she customizes your purchase. I came across Mio Bags thanks to a Groupon I found, and the rest is history. I've placed multiple orders with her, and loved every one of them. I even had a trunk show party at my house for some friends, which produced several more satisfied customers! Beth's dedication to her work shows in all the beautiful pieces she creates. Check out her website, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

I just had to post a follow up, because I recently received the newest addition to my collection, the gorgeous tote you see pictured above! I cannot wait to pack this up and take it to the beach, the park, and on shopping trips! Thanks, Beth!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Too Faced Cosmetics: Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System Review

After loving Too Faced's LashGASM Mascara, I was psyched when they sent me their latest in mascaras:  Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System. It's a lash extension system which uses a mascara activator and sealer in combination with nylon lash enhancing fibers. As always, the packaging from Too Faced is gorgeous. The box has a front flap that opens to reveal the two tubes and a set of detailed but easy to follow instructions. The gold tube is used for steps 1 and 3. The white tube is the fibers used in step 2.

Steps 1 & 3

Step 2

Here's how it works: First you apply 1-2 coats of the mascara as an activator so the nylon fibers have something to stick to. Next, you apply 1-2 coats of the fibers just as you would regular mascara. The nylon fiber applicator is a spool wand. Applying the fibers was an interesting experience! I felt like I was brushing thin strands of cotton onto my lashes. It was strange, but not difficult or uncomfortable. Finally, you seal the look with the golden tube of mascara.

Let's take a look at my lashes throughout application.

bare lashes

after an activating coat

after brushing on the fibers. they can be a little messy, so just take your time!

after sealing the look with a few coats

Upon first application, I wasn't sure what to make of the results. It's obviously a huge improvement from my bare lashes. The product lengthened my lashes and gave me some curl and volume, but it's not what I had envisioned when thinking of a product that was "better than false lashes." I wanted more volume and better separation. I decided to try again, this time using more fibers and really concentrating on the areas where I wanted the most volume. This yielded the look in the picture above.

Conclusion: Even though I didn't get a red-carpet lash look, Too Faced's Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System was better than false lashes for me. Why? Because I've never applied false lashes and they're not really my thing. What I'm into is any mascara that can get me as much length and volume as possible. BTFL are an easy on, easy off substitution for false lashes. Like I said earlier, the fibers absolutely add lots of length and I would purchase them if Too Faced ever sells them separately. I'm still in love with my LashGASM mascara and I can't wait to try more Too Faced products!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Giveaway Winner and What's Next

Big congrats to Victoria, the winner of the Too Faced LashGASM mascara giveaway! In our email correspondence she told me she never enters giveaways because she doesn't think she'll win. Glad she beat the odds this time around! I'm sure you'll love LashGASM as much as I do!

You can expect to see a review of another Too Faced cosmetic in the very near future. I am really excited for this one! I think it's going to be a fabulous product! I'm considering doing a video for this one, so stay tuned!

As always, if you have a product that you think I'll love, let me know about it so I can give it a try! Thank you for reading Concepts and Commodities!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments Share the Love Program!

As you may have concluded from past posts, I adore Zoya nail polish. It's the best formula I have ever used, and they have some fabulous colors. I'm especially excited about their summer 2012 Beach and Surf collection.

Zoya has recently introduced their Share the Love program. If you use my referral link to set up an account, a coupon for a FREE bottle of polish will automatically be placed in your account and can be used immediately on your current order! You can also get free shipping with an order of three bottles of polish (one of which will be free!) It's a great deal.

Once you have an account with Zoya, you can share your own referral link to start accumulating points, and you'll also be able to take advantage of the great promotions they often run. I own many of bottles of Zoya polishes, and I haven't have to pay full price for any of them thanks to the generous Zoya promos!

Here's my referral link to get you started:
If you like nail polish, I just know you'll fall in love with Zoya like I did! Thank you for using my link to get your FREE bottle of polish! Enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Another eos product...hand lotion!

Perhaps you remember my first post on eos lip spheres. The lip spheres aren't the only eos product I'm obsessed with. Their everyday hand lotions are also fabulous! Now, the fact that I'm calling a lotion fabulous carries a lot of weight, because I typically don't like lotion. I usually can't stand the way it feels on my hands, but eos lotion is different. The hypoallergenic formula goes on smoothly, heals dry skin, and leaves my hands feeling soft without any greasy residue. The lotion comes in an innovative package that fits anywhere...even in your pocket! I have the cucumber and berry blossom lotions, and they have an unscented lotion as well. Here are some pictures of my eos everyday lotions. Give them a try and see for yourself why I love them!

berry blossom