Don't forget to check the beauty sale pages at Macy's here and
Nordstrom here for new beauty deals plus free shipping!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Honest Scrap Tag

In case you're not aware, there are "tags" that go around in the blogging community and sometimes they're really cute and fun. I've decided to take part in the Honest Scrap Tag because it came from a real sweetheart, Caramel Diva, and it also sounds like a fun thing to do on the 4th of July. :)

Because I've been tagged, I have to share with you, my dear readers, ten things that you may not know about me, but are 100% true (I guess no matter how embarrassing that may be!). Here we go:

1. I'm left-handed. This gives me pretty much only ONE advantage in life: I can use a drive-thru ATM without having to reach across my body.

2. I like tomatoes in a salad, but I hate them on a sandwich.

3. I've been told by many people throughout my life that I have a soothing voice and that I could be a radio DJ or do voice-over work. I would LOVE to do either one of those jobs, and I actually used to be a recurring guest on a local radio show many, many years ago. I was friends with the DJ of an evening show and I'd call in as the "ditsy young girl" character every so often on his show. lol.

4. My favorite color is pale pink (but it's got to be the exact right shade of pale pink).

5. In a perfect world, there would only be one brand of pen: Pilot Precise V5 Fine Point (not Very Fine Point). Don't waste your time trying to convince me that there is a better pen in existence. I'll win that debate every time. :)

6. In recent years, I've come to appreciate the beauty of a plain cheese pizza.

7. I was a child of the 80s and I maintain, to this day, that I was the first person in my entire elementary school to wear leg warmers. Also, I was the first person in my entire junior high school to rock an asymmetrical bob. I swear, I really was. The sad part is, now, I'm probably the least fashion-forward person of anyone I know. What the hell happened?

8. I am a super freaky, geeky, waaaay-too-into-it-for-my-own-good fan of the TV show Lost.

9. I'm also a news junkie and subcribe to just as many news and political blogs as I do beauty blogs. What's more important than knowing what's going on in the world around you, right?

10. It sort of irritates me when people say, "I have a new blog up!" Your site in general is called a "blog", which originates from the term "web-log". When you write a new article on your "blog", it's called a "post". You don't write new "blogs" for your "blog". :)


A winner has been selected for the Nouveau Cheap Giveaway Extravaganza!

Congratulations to Amber, who has won the prize package containing some of my very favorite beauty products!!

Amber, I've sent you an email and all you need to do now is respond to the email before Midnight tomorrow (Pacific), July 5th with your shipping address. I've extended the deadline a little bit due to the holiday. :)

Thanks to EVERYONE who participated in this giveaway--it was an absolute joy to read each and every comment and I have taken your suggestions to heart and will be reviewing the products you've requested in future posts.

If you didn't win, don't be sad--I've got another AWESOME giveaway from Suave coming up in the next 24 hours, so please stay tuned!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Time is running out! Have you entered the Nouveau Cheap Giveaway Extravaganza yet?

At the stroke of midnight (Pacific), my Giveaway Extravaganza will end. Have you entered yet? If not, click here for details!

Good luck to everyone who has entered--I can't wait to announce my winner!

Super cool things to read this weekend

It's time again for my roundup of my favorite posts from the past week, from the lovely fellow beauty bloggers in my blog roll. Let's get started!

Guess which drugstore brand has a new "Blueberry Antioxidant" shower gel that totally passes the "smells like a high-end bath product" test? Click on over to Beauty Junkies Unite to find out!

And speaking of shower gels, BeautyjunkieLondon once again tempts us with a product that isn't yet available in the US: Palmolive Shower Gel. Yes, Palmolive!

Pink Sith shows us some fabulous nail color swatches from Diamond Cosmetics. Oh and their polishes are just $2 a bottle. Whoo!

Speaking of inexpensive nail color, The Cheapest Girl Around gives us the scoop on one of the new neon polishes from Sinful Colors. Guess how many coats of "Neon Melon" it took her to achieve an opaque look?

Who doesn't like live demos, especially when they're showing you the fabulousness of Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner? Check out The Pink Train Case's live demo here.

Older Girl Beauty gives us a great review of the new "dual color" lip products: L'Oreal HiP Color Presso and Avon Specktra Color Lipstick. Hint: She has me really wanting to try one of them.

Lastly, I'd like to share one of my favorite stand-up comedy bits with you! It's about shopping at Ross so if you're a Ross shopper, you MUST click here. :)

Happy reading and Happy 4th of July if you're in the US!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: e.l.f. Bath & Body Products

In addition to fabulous, recessionista-friendly makeup and makeup tools, did you know that e.l.f. also makes bath and body products? I'm ashamed to say that I wasn't aware of this until recently, but once I found out, I knew I had to get my paws on them (in case you didn't know, I am a serious a bath and body product junkie). Thanks to the great staff at e.l.f. I was lucky enough to receive a shipment of the above "Peony Petal" Gift Set to try out. Yay!

This set includes the following items:

Bath Gel (14.2 oz)
Hand Cream (4 oz)
Body Lotion (7 oz)
Body Butter (7 oz)
Hand Soap (6.76 oz)
1 bath pouf

And it all comes shipped in a reusable wicker basket. Cute! The price for this set is $15 and, sold separately, each product is $4. The scents available include Peony Petal, Cucumber Melon, Lavendar Blossom, Pineapple Mango and Vanilla Coconut.

Now, being a long-time user of Bath & Body Works products, I've got to say that this line by e.l.f. definitely gives BBW a run for its money. At just a fraction of the cost of BBW products, I found each one of the items in this set to be comparable, if not slightly better, than its Bath and Body Works counterpart. Talk about a bargain!

The Bath Gel foams just as well as BBW's shower gel and contains some good-for-your-skin ingredients such as aloe vera gel, tea tree oil and yucca root infused with rosewater.

The Body Lotion, which comes in a tube, seriously rivals BBW's Body Cream. It's thick, it's rich and it contains some great ingredients such as ginko biloba leaf, Vitamin E infused with shea butter, babassu oil and rosewater.

The Hand Cream, which is close in texture to the Body Lotion, is a bit lighter than other hand creams I've used, but it's got a nice texture and it contains some good ingredients such as shea butter, aloe vera and hemp seed oil.

The Body Butter, which is the thickest product of them all, is a tad thicker than BBW's butter and is great for seriously dry skin. I've been using it on my feet at night and I've been waking up with smooth, hydrated feet every morning. Yay! It contains some skin-loving ingredients such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and cocoa butter infused with shea butter.

The Hand Soap comes in a sleek cylindrical bottle (I actually prefer this shape over BBW's hand soap bottles) and it contains those scrubby beads that we all love so much. I like this soap because my hands do not feel tight or too dry after I use it, yet my hands feel very clean. This also contains some good ingredients such as Vitamin B5 and E.

Oh and I can't forget to talk about the scent, "Peony Petals". At first whiff I thought this reminded me of BBW's "Sweet Pea". But after using these products for a while now, I realize that while it's indeed a floral scent, it's cleaner and softer than "Sweet Pea". I don't know about you, but "Sweet Pea" can get a bit cloying and heavy for me. "Peony Petals" is a clean, soft, sweet floral with a rose undertone and it's just lovely. I think it would be a great scent for any woman, regardless of age. I should also add that e.l.f. definitely doesn't skimp on scent--each product is highly fragranced in a manner that is comparable to BBW products.

All in all, I can say that if you love BBW, I think you will definitely enjoy the bath and body products from e.l.f. At a fraction of the price, they are certainly a great alternative and I cannot wait to try "Vanilla Coconut" and "Pineapple Mango" next. :)

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and gratis samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Don't forget: Just two more days to enter the Nouveau Cheap Giveaway!

Don't forget! You've got just two days remaining to enter my Giveaway Extravaganza for your chance to win over $80 in beauty products, hand-picked by me, for you!

Click here for details.

Good luck! :)

The Wednesday Question

It's Wednesday so that means it's time again for me to ask a beauty-related question for you to answer!

What's your least favorite product in your makeup stash?

Do you have one product that always lets you down, yet you can't bear to toss it? What's taking up unnecessary room in your makeup bag? Tell me! Tell me! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review: Suave Professionals hair care products

I get so excited when I'm sent products for review that I would purchase on my own anyway. It gives me a chance to test something I've already been wanting to try, which is the case with this assortment of Sauve products. I already adore Suave and have been so pleased with everything I've used in the past, so let me tell you if these products pass the test!

Let's start with Suave Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream, which comes in a cute orange tube and retails for around $3 wherever Suave products are sold.

Since I'm big on anti-frizz creams at the moment (I've been using and loving Sunsilk's De-Frizz Creme for several weeks now) I know exactly what I need from this type of product. Suave's version does not disappoint. For my long hair, I need about 2-3 pea-size drops, which I apply to damp hair, working through from roots to ends. The smell is very subtle (clean and pleasant) and I love the fact that, unlike other anti-frizz creams, it doesn't feel greasy or sticky and it doesn't weigh down my hair at all. I'm left with soft, very manageable hair and it doesn't diminish my natural waves one bit. We've been having very humid weather in my area lately and I am pleased to say that this helps ward off the frizzies. For me, it's a great product--especially for the price!

Next up, Suave Professionals Extra Hold Gel, which also retails for about $3 wherever Suave products are sold.

Now I don't know about you, but for me, gel is something I normally associate with the boyfriend's hair, not my own. I honestly cannot recall the last time I used hair gel (maybe the early '90s?) but lately I've been stepping outside the box and trying new things in an effort to make my curls look the best they can. So when I received this product I was very excited to revisit a type of product I had dismissed many years ago. Um, all I can say is WOW, how times have changed!

This gel is clear and when you put it in the palm of your hand it feels light--not heavy like the gels from yesteryear. I use about 2 pea-size amounts in my palm and when I rub my hands together the texture feels amazing, almost like water! I apply the gel to my damp hair (after I've used Suave Sleek Anti-frizz Cream), and I work it from roots to ends. Honestly, when I first used this I thought, "I can't really even feel this in my hair. Should I use more?" But I decided against it, hoping I had used just the right amount. BINGO! I let my hair air-dry when I use this and I honestly cannot get over the results. This gel turns my curls into big, bouncy, loose, separated waves--the kind of waves you get from using hot rollers. With my other styling products, I am used to getting curls that are a little smaller and little less bouncy. But with Suave Extra Hold Gel, my curls were more separated, loose and BIG. Wow--it's a totally different effect but one I love! I keep looking at myself in the mirror, admiring how different my hair looks.

Who knew that gel could work like this? Oh, and I should also mention that there is no stiffness, no crunch and no flakes with this gel (again, so different from old-school hair gel!). It keeps my curls big and bouncy and separated all day long. Love it!

Lastly, I'd like to share with you my family's thoughts on Suave Professionals Extra Hold Hairspray and Freeze Hold Hairspray (retail around $3 each wherever Suave products are sold).

Since I am not a regular user of hairspray (I occasionally use it when I put my hair in a ponytail), I thought I'd put these hairsprays to the true test and let my parents use them for a few weeks. My folks are old-school, devoted users of Sebastian Shaper Hairspray and they know exactly what they like, and dislike in a hairspray, let me tell you. But they also like to cut costs wherever possible, so they appreciated the chance to use an economical product like Suave to see how it performs.

My mom used Suave Freeze Hold for a few weeks and, to make a long story short, is now completely converted. She loves how it holds her hair, even through the windiest of days. She also loves that, by the end of the day, there are no flakes and she can easily rinse this product out of her hair when she shampoos. But the thing she loves the most is, of course, the cost. :)

My dad, who used to use Consort (anyone remember that?) back in the day, stepped up to Sebastian Shaper many years ago. I think he was excited to try the Suave Extra Hold (the lighter hold of the two) because, let's face it: Even men like a little variety in their hair products! Long story short, my dad ALSO loved Suave! He echoed what my mom said but added, "I like how I can comb through my hair at the end of the day and it's not greasy or flaky, but it still holds my style." Pops. Gotta LOVE him! :)

So there you have it--Suave reviews from my family to yours! If you use any of these products or decide to try them based on these reviews, please leave a comment here--I'd love to know your thoughts!

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and gratis samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just a quickie...more new products to see!

Sorry but I simply cannot help myself. I see new beauty products and I must snap photos to share with you.

Apparently I wasn't the only one interested in these new Milani "Roulette Eyes" palettes ($7.99) because by the time I discovered them at my local CVS there were just three remaining!

Check out how cute they are--the shadows look like poker chips:

And here's a recent addition to my CVS, but I don't think they're new to the Essence of Beauty line: Lip Frosting!

Cute little tubes of clear lipgloss in three scents.

Strawberry Cheesecake:

Dutch Chocolate:

Vanilla Cupcake:

Alright alright, I know I have told you all how I'm so not a lipgloss person, but the packaging of these cuties sucked me right in (plus they are only $2.99 so since I didn't buy one of those Milani palettes I "allowed" myself to splurge on one of these). After standing in anguish in the Essence of Beauty aisle trying to make up my mind, I finally decided on "Strawberry Cheesecake." You don't really want to know what goes on in my mind when I'm trying to make a decision like this, but let's just say that I was first drawn to "Vanilla Cupcake", then talked myself into believing it would taste like a synthetic version of a cupcake. So then I was leaning towards "Dutch Chocolate" but then I said to myself, "You'll get sick of the flavor of chocolate and end up wishing you got something more interesting." So that's how I ended up with "Strawberry Cheesecake" which would totally NOT be my first choice. At all. (See, I told you you don't want to know what goes on in my mind.)

So naturally I was let down big time with the flavor and scent of "Strawberry Cheesecake." It smells more like straight strawberry and the taste is like strawberry syrup with just a tiny nuance of cheesecake somewhere in there. But this is the story of my life. It's nice and shiny on my lips though, so that's a bonus.

Oh well. At least it's cute.

Do you plan to purchase either of these new products? Do you have them already? Thoughts?

Review: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail color in "Blue Me Away"

I picked up a Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in "Blue Me Away" after being utterly entranced with this display last week.  This is a shade of blue unlike any other in my collection, and since I'm obsessed with blue nail colors at the moment, it just simply had to be mine.  The pic above, taken in full sunlight, is pretty darn close to the shade in real life.

Here's a pic taken in my living room (night time, indoor lighting):
Now as you can see, this color is pretty darn opaque. I used Orly Bonder as a base, two coats of "Blue Me Away" and a run-of-the-mill Revlon top coat.  I will tell you that the consistency of this polish is very thick. I'm not sure if it's the formula in general or just this particular shade.  After painting one nail, I had to stop and add a few drops of nail polish thinner to the bottle, but after that it worked like a charm. Honestly, I think every nail polish owner should invest in a bottle of thinner--it comes in so handy to revive old nail polishes that, ultimately, it pays for itself.  Anyway, back to "Blue Me Away."  I was able to achieve a totally opaque color with just two coats and I didn't experience any streaking, bubbling or clumping. One complaint I do have is that the brush holds A LOT of polish so you do have to wipe the brush a lot on the opening to get the amount you need for each nail.  But other than that, I am super pleased with this polish in terms of performance.  I was sort of expecting to see chipping after one day, but here are some pics of my nails after three days.
slight wear on the tip of one nail:
And as you can see in this pic, I got a serious chip on my pinky on day three, but I think that's due to a lot of keyboard usage because this seems to always happen on my pinky no matter what I'm wearing. 

Final Analysis: I would definitely purchase more of these Sally Hansen Extreme Wear Nail Colors.  The price, at just $3,  can't be beat for the selection of interesting colors offered. But if I didn't already own a bottle of nail polish thinner, I wouldn't do a manicure using this polish as-is.  It definitely needs to be thinned, but once you get it to the right consistency I think you'll be very pleased with the results.

Review: New Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick and Lipgloss

[For my updated review, including two additional shades and new swatches, click here]

I've never been a huge fan of Maybelline lip products, so it is with much happiness that I tell you how much I adore their new collection: Color Sensational. Both the lipsticks and lipglosses in this collection contain pure pigments and honey nectar and I will explain what these two ingredients mean to me, in terms of performance, in this review. (Note: For pics of the Color Sensational in-store display, click here).

Let's begin with the lipstick (case above--sorry for the weird glare but I wanted to take a pic of the transparent magenta case in full sunlight).

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor comes in 48 shades(!) broken down into "Pinks", "Neutrals", "Plums" and "Reds". I purchased a shade in the "Pinks" catagory called "Pink Me Up" which is a neutral, medium pinky-brown creme that borders on the cool side (my pics make it look like it's more on the warm side but in real life it's got a tad more blue). It very much reminds me of several Bobbi Brown shades I own (which is probably why I was drawn to it!):

Here are my lips before:

And after:

What I absolutely love about this lipstick is the fact that, unlike a million other drugstore lipsticks I've owned, what you see is really what you get. I am so used to purchasing a lipstick based on the color in the tube and then, SURPRISE, it looks like a completely different color when I put it on my lips. Not so with "Pink Me Up". I can honestly say that you what you get on your lips is as close as possible to the color in the tube (obviously you have to take into account the natural pigment of your lips, which affects *any* lip color you wear). But what I'm trying to say is that you get NO surprises with this lip color (except for the surprise of how accurate the color is when you put it on your lips!). Truly amazing. The scent of this lipstick smells, to me, like a very subtle combination of honey and vanilla. Not obnoxious at all, and there is very little flavor.

I tried to capture the similarities between the color in the tube compared to the color on my lips here:

Also, I've got to say that this is one of the creamiest lipsticks I've used in a long time and it definitely rivals high-end lipsticks in that arena (I guess that's thanks to the honey nectar in this product). But the great thing is that, even thought it's super creamy, I didn't experience any bleeding into fine lines, which I've found happens to me with some of the more creamy lipsticks I own. Also, the staying power is wonderful considering the creaminess of the product. I noticed that there wasn't a ton of product transferred to my drinking glass, which is nice, but there is some transfer. I'd say I can go a good three hours before I need a touch-up, which is a lot longer than I'm used to for a non-matte lipstick. All in all, I think this a fabulous new lipcolor and one that I will certainly reach for again and again. Now that I know that the color in the tube is very true to the color on my lips, I can't wait to pick up some different shades. The pure pigments contained in these lipsticks might help you take the guesswork out of choosing drugstore lipsticks that will work for you.

Next up: Color Sensational Lipgloss. Now, you probably know I'm not really a lipgloss girl, but the Walgreens BOGO 50% off called to me and I had to pick one of these up as well. I purchased "Hooked On Pink" which is a medium-bordering-on-dark berry with very subtle gold shimmer. The shimmer is so subtle that I couldn't really pick it up with my camera (also the color looks lighter in these pics):

It's got a standard doe-foot applicator:

And here's what it looks like on my lips:

My oh my, I wasn't expecting to love this as much as I do! Let me first say that, once again, the color in the tube is sooo close to the color on my lips (I hope you can see this when you compare my lips to the tube above). This is definitely not a sheer berry but I think that since these products contain pure pigments, they will generally lean toward the opaque. Also, it is so creamy (thanks again, honey nectar!). And it smells and tastes like yummy berry punch (but not to fear--the smell and taste fade quickly if you don't like berry punch). I love that the doe-foot applicator is on the smaller side, which allows for a lot more precision when applying this product to your upper lip. Also, the feel of it! Oh, it is like the Cadillac of lipgloss! So smooth, so cushiony, so luxurious. But magically, just like the lipstick, it doesn't seem to creep up into my fine lines.

For me, here's the best thing about this gloss: This product actually lasts longer than 30 minutes on my lips! I've said this before but I've got reiterate: I am a gloss-eater. When I wear glosses, I simply cannot resist playing with my lips. I rub my lips together constantly until every last trace of gloss has faded away. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to an hour to destroy a layer of gloss on my lips. When I put this gloss on my lips, I "ate" the gloss as I do any other gloss. I rubbed my lips together constantly (how could I not when it feels so smooth and cushiony?) and when I looked in the mirror after about 30 minutes of "smooshing" I was shocked! The color, the shininess, the was all still there! This never happens. So I continued...another 30 minutes...looked in the mirror again. The color was still there, but instead of fading to what is usually a ring of color on the outer border of my lips, this faded consistently, all over my lips, and left a nice, subtle berry color behind. Almost like a tint! Ladies, I think I may have finally found the gloss that was made for gloss-eaters like me. I just could not be more pleased with performance of this product and I will definitely be picking up additional shades.

I hope you've found my reviews helpful, and if you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear them. Also, if you've tried any of these lip products I would love to hear your experience!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Super cool things to read this weekend

Wow, I usually post my weekly roundup on Friday afternoon, but I guess the release of all these new products got me a little sidetracked. :)

But since it's still the weekend, there's time to share with you my favorite beauty posts from the past week. Enjoy!

Want to see what Cover Girl has in store for us next month? Then click on over to the TheDailyBeautyBreak to check out the new blush and eyeshadow that will hit stores soon!

One of the newest editions to my blog roll, TheCheapChica, gives us a fantastic (and of course, cheap!) tip for breaking in sandals. I am so going to try this!

Do watermelon, mango, tangerine and peach body mists sound appealing to you? Yeah, me too! So that's why I loved TheGlossMenagerie's review of the new yummy body mists from mark. Oh and even the bottles are cute!

If you thought my review of L'Oreal's Extra Volume Collagen Mascara was helpful, you MUST click over to HappyFaceHappyWallet and check out T's review, which is not only helpful but totally hilarious. (I know I always say that about T's reviews but I swear it's the truth--she cracks me up!).

If you're a hoarder with 18 cats, you might want to avoid PinkSith's review of Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector. But if you're not, then by all means give this review a read. :)

OK, how can I not plug my own interview? MakeupMasala interviewed yours truly for her ongoing feature titled, "The Same 5 Questions." If you'd like to know a little bit more about me, then by all means, check it out. :)

And since it's apparently all about ME today, I'd love for you to check out my latest obsession: The most glamorous gum in the world. The packaging of this gum is so glamorous it puts my normal Orbit Mint Mojito to shame! Check it out over at NouveauSweet. Oh and while you're there, be sure to check out the cutest DIY project ever (this is one you'll want to make for yourself even if you're not into crafts).

Happy reading!
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