Friday, November 28, 2014

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HER 2014

Holiday Gift Guide for her

For this week’s Friday Favorite I thought I would give you not one, but twelve favorites! Considering today is Black Friday and the official launch of holiday shopping I thought what better time to premiere Brazen Brunette’s Holiday Gift Guide for Her.  These items are perfect for a friend, sister, mother or colleague and I would personally love to receive any of them myself. (hint hint, wink wink) Below are my picks and for those of you out there Black Friday shopping today good luck amidst the chaos!

1. F. Scott Quote canvas bag
Who does a love quote better than Fitzgerald?, and put it on a makeup bag and we have perfection.  He wrote to Zelda the quote that adorns this canvas bag. This is an adorable pouch great for holding school supplies or beauty items and an ideal gift for the literature lover on your list.  Retails for $17.99  (CLICK HERE) 

2. Oh She Glows Cookbook
This is currently on Amazon’s cookbook best seller list and for good reason.  I have been following Angela Liddon and her blog ohsheglows.com for years and I love her spirit, humbleness, and knack for creating amazing plant based recipes that are doable and make you feel great.  And the photography in this is stunning!  Whether your gift recipient is a vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore anyone would love this who is health conscious and looking to try out some new recipes in the kitchen.  Retails for $25 (CLICK HERE)

3. Pottery Barn Cable-knit Throw
Nothing says holiday season to me more than cuddling up in front of a fire with a cozy blanket.  This throw from Pottery Barn is great quality and feels like you're wrapped in your favorite thick and cozy sweater. Anyone would love this cable knit throw.  It’s also machine washable and would look great adorned on any bed or armchair.  Priced at $63. (CLICK HERE)

4. AERIE Pajama sets
Who doesn’t want to receive a comfy set of Pj’s around the holidays?  Aerie does pajamas right and these adorable flannel separates are priced at $34.95 a piece, but if you hurry fast they currently have a promotion going on where if buy one item you get the second for 50% off! (CLICK HERE)

5. Victoria’s Secret Eau De Parfum Fragrance Cracker
Victora’s Secret has some of the best fragrances for women around and every holiday season they come out with great gift sets.  This product is a perfect example, coming in at only $25, this set features 10 fragrances and is valued at $65.  A great budget buy! (CLICK HERE)

6. oh gosh, Cindy! Art Prints
Perfect for that quirky friend on your list or for the girl who has everything, these prints from UK Etsy shop ohgoshCindy are original and a gift she’ll never expect.  The artist has such a great variety and from doing business with her before I can vouch that her items ship fast and are great quality.  Go check her Etsy shop out!            (CLICK HERE)

7. Madewell Transport Tote
What girl doesn’t love a sturdy tote bag?  Whether it’s a friend in school or a business woman on the go, it’s a great investment to buy a good quality tote bag.  This Madewell tote, hits all the marks.  It comes in a bunch of different colors, can be monogrammed, and is made of genuine leather ensuring it will stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life.  I know this item is a splurge at $168, but the site offers free shipping and if you read the glowing reviews it promotes this bag will hold up for years to come. (CLICK HERE)

8. Urban Outfitters Teddy Bear Eternity Scarf
Being a native New Yorker having warm scarves in the arsenal is a necessity.  This is another great budget buy any girl would love.  Made of super soft and fuzzy fabric this scarf retails for $34 and comes in ivory, black, and light grey.  It is also great for travel because it’s large enough to double as a shawl on long chilly flights.  And can you ever have too many scarves? (CLICK HERE)

9. Sequin Star Map Necklace
Such a beautiful piece of jewelry!  Featured on Oprah’s Favorite Thing’s list this year, these necklaces each feature a crystallized constellation charm with a zodiac name plate.  There is a necklace for each zodiac sign and they are made of 22k-gold plated brass with crystal details.  Retailing for $48.00 this is a unique and personalized gift any woman would love. (CLICK HERE)

10. Nest Fragrances Pumpkin Chai Candle
A festive candle makes a great hostess gift.  This one by NEST, at $34, has a burning time of 60 hours and is housed in gorgeous glass packaging.  And whatever genius was behind this scent combination, rock on.  Pumpkin Chai blends wild pumpkin, spicy masala chai, cardamon, ginger, and cinnamon for a treat for the nose.  Scoop this item up for that holiday party you will be attending this season!  (CLICK HERE)

11. PIVOT Coffee Mug
For that Friends fan out there…can you think of a more perfect gift?  Who can forget the classic scene of Ross trying to get that couch up the stairs. I crack up every time I think of it and I know a couple friends on my gift list who would love this.  $16 from Etsy shop perksofaurora.
(CLICK HERE)

12. Kate Spade Metro Watch
This beauty is for that special someone.  With a gold plated face and a beige vachetta strap it’s a classic shape that would compliment any outfit.  Retailing for $195, it is on the pricey side but is great quality and an investment piece that will last for years.  (CLICK HERE)

Merry Shopping!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

IPSY BAG NOVEMBER 2014

IPSY BAG NOVEMBER 2014


Oh, Ipsy Bag.  I wait months and months to get off the dreaded wait list and be a member of the cool club and now my day has finally arrived.  This is my first Ipsy Bag, a monthly beauty subscription service similar to Birchbox and BOXYCHARM.  In this deal you get a cute makeup bag and five “deluxe-sized” products shipped to your door for only $10 a month.  This month’s bag came in a silver glittery pouch enclosing three makeup items, a haircare product, and a skincare sample.

Upon opening my stash the first thing that caught my eye was the J. Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint in Mad Splatter.  It’s pretty obvious they are trying to be a dupe for the OCC lip tars with the identical packaging, so I was excited to test how this lived up to its competitor.  I applied this lip paint with my finger and the color was a beautiful bright fuchsia.  It had very good color payoff and it did stain my lips, but bled a little bit with wear and the consistency was watery compared to the tars.  It’s a steal at $4.99, but it might be wise to splurge for the real thing if you're in the market for this kind of lip product.   

Next is a Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray (say that five times fast), valued at  $3.00.  I have tried this a couple times and I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it.  It’s a pretty basic hair spray and not too sticky, but I felt it weighed down my fine hair a bit.  Nevertheless, it's always great to have samples like this for traveling and on the go.

So you know how you subscribe to these beauty boxes and take a quiz?  Well I remember noting that I have brown eyes and this is the fourth, yes FOURTH Olive green eye product I have gotten in the past two months between, Ipsy bag, Birchbox, and BOXYCHARM.  If anyone needs an eye product in the olive family you know who to call...  Despite the repetition I like this Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Ultra Olive and it is very creamy.  The only drawback to this is I noticed it didn’t have very good staying power and was almost gone by the end of the day.  This is a full-sized product valued at $17.00.

Next up, is a sample size of the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Anti-aging concealer valued at $10.00.  I am a big fan of It Cosmetics and love their bye bye redness correcting cream.  I love this product as well, but the color was off.  I received the sample in "neutral medium" and it’s just too dark for my under eye area, I have owned "light" in the past and it was a much better match.  Not to go to waste, I plan to use this as a spot concealer.  I recommend everyone go out and try this product who has problems with dark circles under their eyes.  This stuff is the real deal.  It has phenomenal coverage, wears all day and doesn't crease.  It's really an all-star product.

And last, but not least is this Sea Rx BIRCHSAP moisturizing lotion.   I received a sample size and the full size 4oz product retails for $28.00.  Advertised as delivering “minerals, oligoelements, and sugars combined with birch sap to smooth and strengthen skin while providing long lasting moisturizing effects,” I tired this out and liked that it leaves skin feeling smooth and hydrated without being greasy and it has a clean simple scent.  Although any lotion that can be used for both face & body makes me a little wary.  And what is up with the warning label on the back of the sample, “Not for use by women who may be pregnant or are nursing.”  Ehh, think I’m gonna stay clear of this one Ipsy.




From L to R: J. Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint in Mad Splatter, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye in Neutral Medium & OFRA Cosmetics Star Looks Gem Eye Pencil Ultra Olive

This subscription box is a good value at only $10 a month, although I am not as impressed as I have been with BOXYCHARM.  Hopefully next month will be better and if you're interested in checking Ipsy out, click here!   Are you guys Ipsy Bag Subscribers?  What do you think of this subscription box?  Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, November 24, 2014

BOXYCHARM NOVEMBER 2014

BOXYCHARM NOVEMBER 2014

I have to say as the months go by I am more and more impressed with BOXYCHARM.  I just feel you get so much bang for your buck and I love that all the products are full-size.  I have been disappointed in my Ipsy bag of late and I have to say BOXYCHARM is making strides to be the front runner as my favorite subscription box.   This months theme is “Sparkle and Shine," and in the box I got five full-size products for a value of $121.  This is a steal since BOXYCHARM is only $21 a month! If you're interested you can click here to subscribe. So now on to the products…

BOXYCHARM NOVEMBER 2014

MicaBeauty Eye Primer- This waterproof eye primer is flesh colored and helps even out skin tone while priming eyelids to extend and intensify eyeshadows.  I love this.  Even if not used as a primer it works great to cover up any veins or discoloration on the eyelids, brightening up the face.  I have tried this the past couple days and it does what it says, it does a great job of priming the eyelids.  But this bad boy retails for $44.95/0.3oz….yikes, that’s expensive.

OFRA Cosmetics Pressed Blush in Paradise Pink – This matte blush is very bright and would probably look better on darker skin tones, as it looks pretty intense on my fair skin.  I would recommend using a brush similar to the Real Techniques blush brush to sheer out the color on this.  This would be a good dupe for NAR’s blush in Mata Hari.  Retails for $24.95/0.28oz.

TARINA TARANTINO Eyelicity Glitter Liner- I don’t really know what I’m going to do with this.  It’s a sheer black eyeliner infused with silver micro-glitters and advertised as “long-lasting, smudge resistant, and quick drying.”  I’m not a huge fan.  Don't get me wrong I love some shimmer, but chunky glitter eyeliner comes off as a little juvenile to me.  Maybe this would look nice over an opaque black eyeliner to add some glitter, but I will have to play around with it some more.  Retails for $16.00/0.17oz.

Kevin.Murphy Color.Bug- This is such a cool product!  This is a colour pad for your hair that wipes on colour and washes out instantly, and I got it in this gorgeous purple color.  You slide the colour bug over chunks of hair coloring it temporarily and then it comes out in your next wash.  Retails for $20.00/0.17oz.

Bellápierre Shimmer Powder-This is a mineral based loose pigment and I received this gorgeous olive color.  Green eyeshadow is very complimentary to brown eyes so I was excited to see this in the box.  This pairs great with the MicaBeauty eye primer. Retails for $14.99/2.35g

          
                             Swatch of MicaMinerals eye primer on top, underneath from L to R: OFRA Cosmetics Pressed Blush in Paradise Pink
                                      TARINA TARANTINO Eyelicity Glitter Liner,  Bellápierre Shimmer Powder and Kevin.Murphy Color.Bug

And that is all the products in this months BOXYCHARM.  Between my glitter eyeliner, bright pink cheeks and purple hair it is gonna be crazy up in da club.  Just kidding...less is more, right ladies?  Have you guys tried any of these products? Check out BOXYCHARM and let me know what you think!

Friday, November 21, 2014

FRIDAY FAVORITE - BATH & BODY WORKS CANDLES

BATH & BODY WORKS CANDLES

You enter my apartment and are enticed by a captivating aroma… Am I baking a pie?  Is there a Christmas Tree farm in sight? Oh no, that’s a Bath & Body Works candle.  Topped with festive, snowflake-embossed silver lids and a burning time of approximately 25-45 hours the Bath & Body Works Holiday 2014 collection is here and the scents are divine.  I have tried almost every candle out there from Voluspa to Yankee Candles and I keep coming back to these for several reasons.  First off the scent payoff is like nothing else I’ve experienced.  These suckers will fill up a room and fast, burning consistently and evenly.  Also, they are inexpensive.  Bath & Body Works periodically has their 2 for $22 sale for the three wick candles (which are the ones pictured) and this is a great time to stock up.  They also have a $10 off $30 coupon online which I found on my iPhone and was able to use at checkout.  Thus on my last haul I picked up four three wick candles for $36.38, not bad considering a Jo Malone candle will run you $65.  And the scent selection is great!  They are constantly coming out with new great fragrances and they really thrive in their seasonal launches.  Now for the downside…these don’t have the prettiest packaging.  Most of them have a picture or little design on the front, but I don’t know if I would give these as a gift.  They do sell these little wire candle holders, but c’mon people see right through this and the candle should look nice enough on its own without me having to buy a metal container to keep it in, right?  Also, these burn very quickly.  With my other candles it will take me awhile, if ever to burn through the whole thing, but these burn quick.  I guess that’s the trade off considering the price point.  But below are the candles I just picked up with their scent description from bathandbodyworks.com along with a couple of my other favorites.  Happy shopping and enjoy your house/apartment/dwelling smelling magnificent!

Flannel -Wrap yourself in the warmth of bergamot, mahogany and a delicate veil of musk.” This one smells like a handsome man, enough said. 

Peach Bellini - “A shimmering holiday twist on a classic blend of white peach, tart blackcurrant and a splash of juicy orange.”  I usually don’t go for fruit scents, but this one enticed me.  I can actually smell the fizzies, I don’t how they did this, but it actually smells like a bellini.  Can you think of a better candle to light while getting ready to go out with the girls?

Leaves - “Celebrate the brilliant colors of autumn with a rich blend of golden nectar, red apple and spiced berries.”  This is a classic that they bring back every year.  It is such a great scent and smells like a mix of an apple orchard, thanksgiving, and hot mulled cider.  One of my brothers friends was over and remarked, “Omg it smells amazing in here,” and actually asked me what candle it was.  If a man picks up on the fabulous scent, that's saying something.

Baltic Amber - “Sandalwood, lush suede and jet black spices.”  This is one I was a little disappointed in.  It smelled better in the jar than it did when I actually lit it.  It smells nice, but weaker in fragrance payoff than the others. 

Winter - “Be transported to the mountains with bracing notes of pine needles, winter citrus and white woods.” I love this one.  I don’t know why but Christmasy smells always put me in a great mood and remind me of home.  This one definitely has a balsam scent to it, but is less concentrated than the “fresh balsam” scent they offer.

Marshmallow Fireside - “A sweet end to a long cold day – toasted marshmallows and sumptuous vanilla cream blend with the comforting aroma of rich smoldering woods.”  This is the standout.  I saw this candle recommended by youtuber Kathleenlights and I actually wasn’t going to get it because it smelled kinda blah in the jar, but I’m so happy I got it anyways. This candle is amazing.  If you just get one, get this one.  I don’t even know how to describe the fragrance but it’s like a warm fire mixed with men’s cologne, and snow.  I know great description, but trust me get on this.  I’m literally trying to limit myself from burning it, because I'm afraid it's going to run out. 

Some of my other favorites and recommendations are Sparkling Icicles, Fresh Balsam, Pumpkin Cupcake, and Autumn Mums.  What are your favorite candles for this time of year?  And are there any other Bath & Body Works scents I should try?  Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

KYLIE JENNER LIP COLOR AND LIPSTICK TIPS & TRICKS

Ok, I know, I know, I’m like six months late to this whole Kylie Jenner lip color thing.  But despite your personal feelings towards the teen it can’t be denied that she has made a major impact on the makeup world with the endless selfies on Instagram and that pouty mouth of hers.  The overdrawn lips and that nudey brown hue…the YouTube tutorials are endless.  I’m telling ya, the 90’s lip color is coming back full force and there's no better time than fall to add a new shade to the lipstick collection.  Not being able to resist hopping on the bandwagon myself  I went out and picked up MAC's cremestick liner in Beurre.  It is a crème lip liner that comes off as a dirty plum with brown undertones if applied heavily, but if applied with a light hand it is that gorgeous nude brown shade of the moment.  I am loving this product.  It stays on all day and it's not over drying on the lips.   Below I included some of my other picks for re-creating the Kylie Jenner lip and a couple tips & tricks to help your lipstick last longer.  Now, Ms. Jenner keeps her lip looks matte and uses a liner to over draw her lips.  My tip is that if you try to over line everything it will look clown like so I suggest lining a bit over the bottom dip of the lips and at the cupids bow, focusing on these two areas.  Try this 1990's lip look out and let me know what you think.  Now if only we could master that Kim K glow….

Mac Cremestick Beurre
MAC Cremestick liner in Beurre.  Swatches and Lip swatches below.

Mac Cremestick Beurre Swatch
Add caption

Bare lips

Kylie Jenner Lipstick
Applied with a heavy hand

Kylie Jenner Lip color
Blotted.  This is the shade your lips will stay all day.

Top Five Picks:

1.  MAC cremestick liner in Beurre, as seen above. $16.00 and can be found at any MAC counter. (click here)

      2. Lipstick queen lip liner in natural, $18.00, can be found at most major department stores (click here).

      3. Jacyln Hill 1995- Jacyln Hill for Gerard Cosmetics $19.00 (click here).

      4. MAC Whirl Lip liner $16.00 (click herewith MAC Brave lipstick (click here). Both can be found at any MAC counter. 
  
      5. Rimmel 1000 kisses lip liner in Tiramsu $3.99 (click here), with Nyx lipstick in Whipped Caviar $5.99 (click here).   Both can be found at Ulta Cosmetics and most drugstores.
        
           Below L to R: Mac Lipstick Brave, Jacyln Hill 1995, NYX lipstick Whipped Caviar

Kylie Jenner Lip color

Kylie Jenner Lip colorKylie Jenner Lip color



Tips & Tricks:

-Exfoliate your lips beforehand.  I personally love the LUSH sugar lip scrubs, but if you don’t have a lip scrub that’s ok.  Just use a dampened wash cloth and rub this over your lips to get off all the dead skin following up with Vaseline or your favorite lip balm.

-Moisturize.  Make sure you apply lip balm or a little Vaseline and let it sink in before applying your lipstick.  This will help the lipstick go on much smoother and keep it from drying out.  A dark lip color on flaky lips is not a good look.

-If you really want to go that extra step I would recommend using a lip liner, especially for any darker color.  Lip liner is a great tool to keep lipstick from feathering and it creates a crisper look.

-To further define the lip line take concealer brush and your favorite concealer and conceal around the lip line covering up any discolorations or redness.  This will really help your lip color pop.

-And lastly take a tissue and blot your lip color, removing any excess.  Then take another tissue, peeling off one ply, and place this over the lips.  Using a powder brush and a translucent powder dust this over the tissue placed on your lips.  This will create a seal on the lipstick and help it last longer. 

Hope you enjoyed this post and leave me a comment below letting me know your favorite lipstick shade for fall! xoxo Nicole