Friday, March 27, 2015

FRIDAY FAVORITE: Hercules Biotin

Hercules Biotin Vitamin Supplement
Ever since I was young I have always had thin & fine hair.  That’s just the way it is.  Now as I got older and learned about Biotin, the virtuous vitamin promising faster hair growth and reduced hair loss, I made it my mission to find the best of the best on the market.  On this quest It feels like I tried every “miracle supplement” out there. Viviscal, Hairfinity, Maxi Hair, Phyto Phytophanè name it I've tried it in attempts to aid my limp locks.  Well I'm here to tell you Hercules Biotin is the best of the best and is a worthy recipient of this week's Friday Favorite.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty here for a second.  How does Biotin work?  Well, vitamins basically aim at patching up any nutritional deficits in our diet.  Biotin is considered to be an important part of the B-complex group of vitamins and is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, as well as the metabolism of fats and amino acids. When used daily this vitamin has been linked to cosmetic benefits such as stronger nails, clearer skin, and faster hair growth.  But not all vitamins are made the same.  The potency of the supplement, the process it goes through to be manufactured, if natural or synthetic compounds are used; all these factors have a big impact on the vitamin’s effectiveness.  All of Hercule’s Vitamins come with a potency guarantee meaning you’re actually getting what you pay for and their supplements are made with only raw ingredients and exhaustively tested by laboratories certified by the (FDA) to confirm that the ingredients listed on the label are actually in there.  Score.
Hercules Biotin Vitamin Supplement
There are two main reasons I love Hercules Biotin.  First, these vitamins actually work.  I have been using these on and off for the past four years and every time I step out and think there’s something bigger and better out there I come back.  I really do notice that my nails are stronger, skin clearer, eyelashes longer, and my hair grows like a weed on this stuff.  Second is this product doesn’t break me out.  When you get into the realm of affecting fatty acid production and all that with biotin this can lead to break outs and I learned that the hard way.  Most of the “hair, skin and nails” supplements I tried broke me out and left my face feeling oily.  (If you don’t believe me read some of the horror stories from reviews on Viviscal and Phyto Phytophanère of individuals badly breaking out from using these pills.)  So if you’re looking to stop hair loss, or simply give your luscious locks a boost this supplement by Hercules Vitamins is for you.  These vitamins can be purchased online and the site always has great deals where the products are buy one get one free with gratis shipping.  (Right now each bottle of Biotin is retailing for $7.99 on the Hercules Vitamins site.)  Each bottle of biotin contains 60 supplements, each capsule containing 5000 mcg of biotin, and instructions encourage to take two capsules a day for optimal results.  This is my take....I would start out with taking two a day for a couple months, but after that you're really just in maintenance phase and can get away with taking one. 

Ok so if you got to the end of this lengthy post you are a rock star.  What can I say I’m loyal and passionate about my Biotin!  I hope this post was helpful to you and I strongly encourage you to forgo generic supplements at the drugstore and check out Hercules Vitamins, their products are such high quality and I’m simply obsessed.  I just know I’m gonna be a doppelganger for Rapunzel in no time. #goals  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for stopping by Brazen Brunette!! 
Xoxo Nicole

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Boxycharm March 2015
boxycharm review

It is that time of the month again ladies (and no I don't mean thattt time.)  Spring has sprung and BOXYCHARM has left me a bundle of love on my doorstep.  I so look forward to getting my box every month and seeing all the goodies inside.  If you are interested in learning more about the beauty box subscription service you can check out their website HERE.  Now onto the products...

The first thing that caught my eye, and probably my favorite in the stash, was a Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in "Charmed."  Valued at $24.00 this pinky hued lip crayon will be sure to get lots of use in my handbag.  Advertised as being a 3-in-1 product offering all the benefits of a lipstick, lip gloss, and creamy balm this lip color provides a glossy sheen, great hydration, and a minty scent.  On the subject of mint, next in the box was an LVX Nail Lacquer in the color "Mynt."  This formula is pegged as being free of the 5 toxic and harsh chemicals found in most common nail lacquer formulas and the pastel green hue is just dreamy.  A dupe for Essie's Mint Candy Apple anyone? Valued at $16.00.  The next item to catch my eye was the Previse Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic, a full size skincare product valued at $48.00.  I’m kind of confused about what this is supposed to be and wary of new skincare products because of my sensitive skin, but I'm willing to give it a shot.  Described as neither a serum or toner, this tonic is instructed to be used after your face wash to “help fight skin oxidization, promote cellular regeneration, and even skin tone while mattifying for a cleaner appearance for both men and women.”  This oil-free substance sounds a little gimmicky to me, but I’ll keep you posted.

Swatch Spring Colors Makeup
Swatch of Tarte Lipsurgence in Charmed on left, LVX nail color in Mynt on right

Now onto some of the more dissapointing products.  Bummer.  First is this Ofra eyeliner in the shade Navy.  I've gotten a couple of these eyeliners is other beauty boxes and I have yet to be impressed.  I'm not a big fan of pencil liners and this one fits their reputation of being dry, sheer, and not long lasting.  Wouldn't recommend, especially at $13.00 a piece.  (If you're interested in reading about a banging eyeliner check out my post HERE.)  Second is an Oscar Blandi Hairspray for Volume, Hold & Shine valued at $11.00  Everyone got a different Oscar Blandi sample this month and I was hoping to get the dry shampoo, but I got the hairspay.  Womp, womp.  I'm sure it's fine, but I'm not a big hairpsray user as it is and probably won't get much use out of it.  This will probably go to a friend.

This month’s box was kind of hit and miss for me.  I love the lip crayon and nail polish, but am kind of blasé about the other three.  I hope next month’s box has some more variety and I would love to see a bath & body item and/or a new mascara or eyeshadow.  Nevertheless I think this box is a great deal and I paid $21 for a box valued at $112.  I hope you are having a wonderful week and enjoying what I hope is cheery spring weather, wherever you may live. Tampa has bypassed spring and it's already 90 degrees here, but hey I'll take it.  Have you tried any of the products in this box?  Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Monday, March 23, 2015


Spring White Dress Panama Hat

What better excuse to go shopping than a change in season, am I right ladies?!  Spring is officially here and enticed by floral prints and a great sale I just couldn’t help myself.  Piperlime is one of my favorite online retailers for the great selection they offer, their presence on social media, interaction with bloggers, and their awesome sales.  As I was perusing their website last week I was looking for some updates to my work wardrobe and a couple pieces for spring.  I purchased five items and they shipped quickly arriving in the cutest packaging.  (Most of Piperlime’s items come in a baby blue satchel with a silk ribbon, adorable!)  I also love that they offer free shipping and returns and if you're new to Piperlime you can sign up for their e-mails and receive a 30% off coupon on your first purchase.  Steal. 

Spring Fashion Haul Blouses
First I picked up two tops for work.   This Cross Front Floral Top by Eight Sixty is the epitome of spring.  It's an airy, easy to wear blouse that features a gorgeous lavender floral print.  Would highly recommend if you're looking for a blouse for work, and I would size down as Eight Sixty tends to run loose.  This Sheer Flower Embellished Blouse by Willow & Clay is just gorgeous in person.  It is a very pale lavender color with black and white beaded flowers embroidered throughout.  I wore this to work last week and have never gotten so many compliments on a garment in my life...Now the only problem is figuring out how I'm ever going to clean this thing, I tried my best not to sweat while wearing.  
Summer Sandals Nude Heels
Now onto the shoes... I picked up these nude heels by Joe's Jeans in the style 'Pete.'  I saw these on one of my favorite fashion bloggers Kendi Skeen, and just knew I had to have them.  When they arrived I was awestruck by their beauty, the perfect nude hue and the ankle wrap detail...swoon.  But I have tried to wear these and they hurt like a mother.  Because the heel is so thin all your weight is pushed onto the balls of the feet and it's not pleasant.  Will I sacrifice comfort in the name of style?  I'll keep you posted.   I also scooped up these Steve Madden sandals in the style 'Donddi-L'.  They have a brown leather ankle strap and a leopard strip covering the toes. So cute!  And better yet they're comfortable.  I love Steve Madden sandals and seriously think these will go with everything.
White Shift Dress
Last, but not least I was in the market for a loose breezy, go-with-everything summer dress and this Summer Fling Dress by Sanctuary checks all the boxes.  This dress is perfect and and it's what I'm wearing in the picture above. It even has this subtle striping down the front that is oh so flattering.  (Size down, even the XS was roomy on me.)  

And that concludes this haul!  I would have to say my favorite item is the white dress from Sanctuary.  I think I will be wearing it tons this summer, especially in the Florida heat, and I love how comfortable it is.  I hope you guys enjoyed my Piperlime picks and hope you are having an absolutely amazing weekend.  Leave me a comment below letting me know your favorite spring purchase so far, and thanks for stopping by!!
xoxo Nicole

Friday, March 20, 2015

FRIDAY FAVORITE: Links I’ve Been Loving Vol. 2

Happy Friday everyone!  This week has been a little rough for me with some personal stuff going on so I cannot wait for the weekend.  Is it 5 o’clock yet?!  But on a brighter note I couldn’t wait to share this post with you guys.  I got such positive feedback on my first “Links I’ve Been Loving” that I thought why not keep the ball rolling.  In today’s Friday’s Favorite I’m featuring some of my current favorite links and findings around the web.  I hope you enjoy and leave me a comment below with any other links I should check out!

Oh, Amelia Liana with your perfect hair and adorable British accent.  What isn’t to love?  This girl knows makeup and can do a smokey eye like nobody’s business.  She’s bubbly, relatable, and most importantly a talented makeup artist.  Check out of my favorite videos of hers below, and also peruse through her YouTube channel, she has great content and you won’t be disappointed!  

Vance Joy Album "Dream Your Life Away"
If you’ve been a fan of Vance Joy’s indie hit “Riptide” you will love his full length album titled "Dream Your Life Away." It’s such a feel good, easy listening album and Vance’s lyrics are just dreamy.  Some of my favorite tracks are “Mess is Mine”, “Wasted Time”, and “From Afar.”  (If you’re interested in some more Brazen Brunette tunes check out the playlist I curated with Spotify HERE.)

Vance Joy Album

Hot Dudes Reading Instagram Account
Pictures of hot guys reading popping up on my IG feed?...I’m not complaining.    Pair a good looking chap with some literary chops and you have my dream man.  C’mon Mr. Darcy where have you been hiding. Seriously check out this new Instagram account that is taking the social media world by storm.

Hot Dudes Reading Instagram
Image via

15 Times SATC Set us up For Disappointment 
This article cracked me up because it’s so true!  Really how did those women prance around the cobble streets of Manhattan all day in 3 inch stilettos?!  I’ve lived in NYC myself and can vouch that SATC set us up for unrealistic expectations.  One of my favorites is, “That you’ll fall in love in an unexpected but romantic meet-cute on a city street.”  Yeah that doesn’t happen.  Most men work in finance, don’t want to settle down, and think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. 

Sex and the City Martinis

Ok, so I know I’m like super late to the party on this...but I just saw the Fifty Shades movie last weekend and is it just me or was it upsetting?  In the book Christian is into some kinky stuff, but Anastasia gets into it , am I right?  In the movie it was portrayed as if she was being coerced into something she felt uncomfortable with.  Did anyone else feel this way?  This is a really interesting article by a psychiatrist on the Fifty Shades of Grey film and the message it can send to girls.  Check it out, very interesting read. 

Fifty Shades of Grey

And that’s it!  Short and sweet, but I hope you guys enjoy this second installment in my Links I’ve Been Loving series.  And for those that have asked, the car update is sadly not cheerful.  (Check out my last Friday Favorite post to be in the loop.)  I had found a great car I loved and was going to pick it up last night, but when I got there there were some mechanical issues that arose that were concealed the first time I test drove it, and it was just the sign of problems to come.  I was super disappointed and frustrated, but am telling myself it just wan’t meant to be.  Thus the search continues and this weekend will be filled with white wine and hopefully lots of laughter to lift my spirits.  Thank you so much for stopping by Brazen Brunette and I hope you have an amazing weekend!