Sunday, February 28, 2016

Love & Lotus Naturals Sea Goddess foaming facial wash REVIEW

*The products in this post were a giveaway prize. They were not provided for review. Please see disclosure tab for more info.

About a year ago I won a giveaway for products from a very new indie brand, Love & Lotus Naturals. Over the course of that year I have been a fan of the lip balms and solid lotion, but when they ran out I wasn't rushing to buy more. The one thing I did buy more of, was the foaming facial cleanser.

Love & Lotus sells two facial cleansers; SEA Goddess (scented with pure lemongrass essential oils) and SEA Nymph (scented with pure grapefruit essential oil). I have tried both but I really loved the SEA Goddess most.

I use this foaming facial cleanser every night to remove my makeup and cleanse away all the dirt from the day. It works amazingly and I only need to use a dime size amount, at most. The natural clays and oils in this face wash do not dry out my skin, which is sensitive and prone to drying out from cleansers, The scent is nice and not very strong. Texture is nice and airy with a fine grit from the exfoliator. I've actually noticed a big difference in the amount of time it takes to remove my makeup, it works pretty quick and well.

The cleanser comes in a 4oz jar and lasted me a few months.

Each jar retails for $14.00 and is available at

Friday, February 26, 2016

Alter Ego Be A Pirate nail polish collection

*Press samples were provided for Review. Please see disclosure tab for more information.

Reunited and it feel so good! It has been over a month since I have worn any nail polish, my wonderful daughter Violet accidentally closed a door on my hand so an injury made it so that nail polish and remover would be exceptionally bad of me to put anywhere near the hand.

Excitingly my first swatch post since wearing polish again is from a brand I love, Alter Ego nail enamel. Later this week I will have some more NEW products (soap, bath cake, and lotions) on the page from Alter Ego. Up for review today is my review of Alter Ego's latest collection.

The Alter Ego Be A Pirate Collection is available now, and features five shades centered around egos in the pirate life!

I do want to mention that Alter Ego no longer crafts their own nail polish base, and have now gone to a pre-mixed base like most indie makers use. The polish is still just as gorgeous, I have tried the old formula and new formula in the same shade. That being said, the polish no longer dries to a satin matte, but to a glossy shine and is a bit easier to apply.

Now onto the collection

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mama Roux bath+body Exfoliating Salt Scrub REVIEW

*The products in this post were a gift from a friend. They were not provided for review nor purchased by me. Please see disclosure tab for more information.

Yesterday's post featured some new to me products and a new to me brand, Mama Roux bath+body. Today's will feature another product from this indie brand that I am actually REALLY in love with.

I have always been a GREAT BIG fan of sugar scrubs, in fact they are something I enjoy creating myself, but my new love has really been salt scrubs. I feel like salt scrubs just work better for my skin that needs the mineral nutrients salt offers vs sugar, which has virtually no benefit other than exfoliation. Even the fine granule salt in this scrub works wonders for me like other brands who have a bit more abrasive larger granule salt mixture.

Cafe du monde exfoliating salt scrub

This brand has excellent packaging for their scrubs. I know that this product was shipped from shop to my friend Jenne and then to myself - the outer safety seal was intact, the inner safety top seal was intact, and I had zero leakage. The product is pretty solid yet soft so it is only natural that it wouldnt really slosh around.

Upon first opening of the jar I had an awful scent waft my way, it smelled foul and I was confused as to why because I also smelled a great cinnamon coffee scent. Looking at the ingredients I noticed the foul scent culprit, Castile soap, I was very familiar with that scent as I use it in my own soap crafting and I know that it does not last once lathered.

Mama Roux Exfoliating Salt Scrub is made to order and in small batches. The texture is that of a gritty peanut butter so it stays on the skin well while you lather it and massage against the desired areas. The scent is strong on first scrub but once rinsed off of the skin it leaves a lasting scent that dries down very mild and sweet. I've been using this scrub every other day for almost 4 weeks. Myself and those around me daily have noticed I not only smell awesome but I have softer skin and noticeably healthier looking skin. I really like to use salt scrubs on my belly and hips where my stretch marks have faded but are still slightly noticeable (thanks pregnancy), and have noticed the skin looking much smoother in those areas.

Overall I am VERY happy with this salt scrub, I have used a couple indie and many big or boutique brands and this one is hands down my favorite. I have ordered a few more scents and can't wait to see how they hold up to the staying power of Cafe du monde.

Each 4oz jar of exfoliating salt scrub retails for $5.00 per jar and can be found at

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mama Roux bath+body mani/pedi bomb REVIEW

*The products in this post were a gift from a friend. They were not provided for review nor purchased by me. Please see disclosure tab for more information.

Big big thanks to my friend Jenne (Polished Pathology) for introducing me to the indie company, Mama Roux bath+body. She gifted me a couple mani/pedi bombs and a scented salt scrub as part of a prize I chose in our fantasy football league. I constantly see mani/pedi bombs being used and sold by friends of mine, though I had yet to use one. When I received these from Jenne I was super excited to try them out, and before I try out any products I love to check out reviews first. After trying many search phrases I really didnt find reviews on the Mama Roux product, so I figured what better than to put out my own.

Packaging was simple and cute for these mani/pedi bombs, a simple bubble wrap baggie with nice brown paper sticker, or a bubble fold cardstock pouch, complete with directions and warning label.


The scents I tried were Carnival (citrus, pomegranate, dark rum, jasmine, violet), this has a very great blend of fruit and floral but is VERY strong. Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (literally smells like a silky pumpkin pie) - which I am assuming is a seasonal scent as it is no longer listed on their website, but the scent on this was really nice and true to its name, again this one was very strongly scented.

Carnival mani/pedi bomb

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie mani/pedi bomb

The mani/pedi bombs are square 2x2x1 inches in size and approximately 1oz each.

I gathered my normal large bowl I do all of my foot soaks in, filled with very warm water and dropped in the mani/pedi bomb (first ever was Carnival because it was too pretty). I followed the directions to wait until the bomb was fully dissolved, which was fun to watch like most bath bombs are.

When it was done it looked like a frothy, bubbly foam, floating on a beautiful purple pond. Soaked my hands and feet for 4 minutes each and pat them dry. Almost immediately my hands turned red and felt tight and itchy, but my feet (which often are more sensitive than my hands) were reaction-free, smooth, and soft. I rinsed my hands and pat dry and let them go for about an hour until they returned to normal color. It was a bizarre reaction and the ingredients in the product were nothing unusual from my normal bath bomb or foot soak ingredients. I chalked the reaction up to a sensitivity to the fragrance oil itself, or even a rare concentration issue in this specific batch. About 2 weeks later I knew I had to try the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie scented mani/pedi bomb and see if it was an issue with the fragrance or this specific brand's product. My hands did not react negatively to the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie scent. I had beautifully hydrated cuticles, smooth, and soft hands.

Would I try the mani/pedi bomb from Mama Roux again? Yes, but I think it is safer for me to do a comparison next time I try a different brand. I see that this one brand contained oils where most other brands seem to be loaded with butters. Despite the seemingly isolated reaction to the Carnival scent, I really enjoyed how soft and hydrated they made my skin look and feel, and the scents stuck beautifully and even scented my room for an entire day.

These can be purchased for S2.00 per mani/pedi bomb at MamaRouxBath.BigCartel.Com

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Love & Lotus - new indie + soothing mineral salt soak

*The products in this post were a gift from a giveaway contest. They were not provided for review nor purchased by me. Please see disclosure tab for more information.

As I have mentioned many times, I am a HUGE fan of indie and little known bath and body product companies as well as a member of many groups focused on these products. A few weeks ago a new to me indie company, Love and Lotus Naturals, posted a sampler box giveaway in the facebook group What's Indie Bath. I WAS A WINNER! She basically hoped for personal feedback but I felt a proper review was more up my alley.

In this box of wonderful products was:

Whipped body butter, whipped sugar butter, sugar lip scrub, lip balm, foaming facial wash, hydrating face cream, soothing mineral salt soak, bath tea, solid butter balm and my favorite of the box, nourishing hair conditioner.

Everything smelled AMAZING (except the champaca and bamboo scent for one of the body butters made my boyfriend and kids tell me i smelled funny oops!)

I plan to review everything individually and in a few posts.

You can purchase from Love and Lotus Naturals through their website.
Follow them on Facebook at Love and Lotus

READ MORE for my first review... Soothing Mineral Salt Soak!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

NEW! Alter Ego Nail Enamel and EgoSCENTrics Collection!

A new collection from Alter Ego Nail Enamel and special new product become available today through their Big Cartel shop! Along with each of these new shades there is a solid perfume/cuticle butter stick, or EgoSCENTrics, with the same name.

Since I have reviewed and featured the nail polish from Alter Ego in previous posts, I'll show off the new EgoSCENTrics first (which I helped name in a poll contest on their Facebook page). The EgoScentrics are packaged in a thin ovular shaped tube with a bottom twist rise mechanism. They are easy to use, convenient to carry and store, hold a good amount of product, and in addition to the unscented are available in great scents! Ingredients (coconut oil, beeswax, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and fragrance oil) are super nourishing/moisturizing and melt easily on the skin.

In the future Alter Ego will not make a matching EgoSCENTric tube for each polish.

The scents for each respective EgoSCENTric stick are listed on the labels:

Bubbly - Champagne scent
First Love - Lilac scent
Secret Lover - Gardenia scent
Tangy - Tangerine scent
Night Owl - Plumeria scent

As a cuticle butter they moisturize well and don't leave a shiny greasy residue. To apply, simply twist up the stick, swipe along the cuticle and rub in with your fingers.

As a solid perfume they last about 3-4 hours and to apply you do as you would for cuticle butter although you apply it on your pulse points (neck and wrists). When you first apply as a solid perfume you will want to rub in the slightly tacky feeling but try not to as you could "bruise" the scent and it may lessen the scent. The tacky feeling will soak in relatively quick.

The newest collection of nail polish has some of my favorite things, flakies and jellies!

Bubbly - Happy, cheerful and exhuberant, this girl is always Bubbly , just like the champagne she adores! My favorite champagnes are light golden and the tiny bubbles sparkle with pops of silver as they rise to the surface, calling me to admire their lively effervescence.

Below is 3 coats, still some visible nail line as it isn't an opaque base but a lightly tinted champagne to match the golden champagne micro flecks and flakes. Very easy to apply and a nice even coverage over the nail. Dry time was fast.

with She Shines! top coat

without top coat

First Love - No matter how old we get, we can never forget the thrill of our First Love. The memories of those emotions, hopes and dreams can make us blush all shades of pink to purple, just like the stunning bouqets of fresh lilacs her suitor always gave her!

Below is 2-3 coats. The shimmer in this one top coated and not is insane and gorgeous, the violet and pink sparks that come off are just pure beauty. This polish was slightly thicker than the others and it dried relatively quick, I'd say this was more of a true matte than their usual satin finish... so any brush strokes may show without a top coat. If you do decide you want this thinner then the maker suggests 2 drops at a time of your standard drug store isopropyl alcohol. Application was average to good and again dry time was very quick.

without top coat

with She Shines! top coat

Night Owl - Some people are early risers but this girl likes to sleep late because she's a bona fide Night Owl:) She wakes up to her true potential when the sky turns that stunning shade of deep bluish black, her bits and pieces of stunning gold and silver as evident as the colorful plumerias she wears in her hair!

Below is 2 coats. The charcoal base is extremely opaque and the gold flakes throughout are so eye catching and pigmented that my camera couldn't even focus properly on them. This is my favorite of all in the collection, but I generally prefer dark colors and flakies. Top coated or not this is a must have. Application was easy and dry time was average and this too dried to more of a matte than the standard Ego satin finish.

with She Shines! top coat

without top coat

Secret Lover - Furtive glances, light touches and dreamy eyes, all signs that this gal has a Secret Lover. There may not be anything that her family and friends would think of as "wrong" with the person of her devotion, she just wants tend to the relationship as carefully as she tends to the gardenias her paramour gave her their first date. In public she wears a simple red but when she dons a top coat the glimmering gold her lover denotes shines through!

Below is 2-3 coats. The classic bombshell red and holographic gold flecks (which I believe are quite similar or near identical to those in Bubbly) pair beautifully and I actually really prefer this one top coated so that holo from the flecks pops. Application was very easy to work and dry time was average.

with She Shines top coat

without top coat

Tangy - Your conversations with this high spirited woman are always poignant, tangy and zesty! Just as brilliant as the tangerines only available during the short winter months, this lively gal cannot be missed and needs no other decoration, she always catches the eye and stands out in a crowd.

Below is 3 coats. This is your classic tangerine jelly when top coated, when not it is a semi sheer satin finish. The only thing I didn't like about this polish was that orange polish makes my cuticles look yellow! I had no issues with the polish itself though, it was extremely easy to apply and dry time was quite fast. Since it is a sheer/jelly, you will have visible nail line.

without top coat

with She Shines! top coat

Currently the EgoSCENTrics solid perfume/cuticle butter sticks are only available at the big cartel shop, but the nail polish collection is available at all avenues that Ego's are sold!

Be sure to check these out when they go live at 12 - NOON EST

Alter Ego Nail Enamel retails for $9.00 per bottle and the EgoSCENTrics are $3.00 per stick

x Cas

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

OPI 4 In The Morning - Swatches + Review

*Nothing to disclose. These products were purchased by me.

As promised in yesterday's post, I am featuring my other favorite from the last OPI + Gwen Stefani collaboration collection.

4 In The Morning has two things I love when it comes to polish... a dark shade and a matte finish... or in this case... semi matte. This shade is a slightly shimmery charcoal black 2 coat shade that dries to a unique semi matte finish, and by unique I mean it's not that silky looking dusty feeling matte, it is a rock hard textured matte. Strange unique yet very cool. Once dry I didn't really notice the shimmers at all. Drying time was average. I noticed zero tip wear or scratches for almost 3 days. It is meant to be worn without top coat.

Since I didn't want to take off OPI Push and Shove, I did some nail art with that as my base and applied 4 In The Morning over vertically placed striping tape.

shown without top coat

I still am wearing this mani and I refuse to take it off...

I actually grabbed the pink ORLY matte fx flakie and painted a coat of that over each nail and topped it off with Essie Matte About You top coat... it looks even better!

shown with Essie Matte About You top coat


Monday, November 17, 2014

OPI Push and Shove swatches + review

*Nothing to disclose. These products were purchased by me.

Since their release, I have had 2 of the OPI Gwen Stefani collaborative shades in my collection, I just now came around to trying them out... and I want to never remove them!

Tomorrow I will feature the black semi-matte, 4 In The Morning, but today I have the unique and exciting, Push and Shove.

I have yet to see a really good mirror finish chrome silver like Push and Shove. It applies like butter so easily and smooth, and really could be a 1 coat polish but I did find that on certain nail lengths (I just trimmed mine so it wasn't necessary) 2 is required, which is fine. Drying time was quick. The only qualm about this polish, is the formula likes to highlight pretty much every flaw or texture on your nail bed. To combat this I used a ridge filler/smoothing base coat from OPI, which did help a lot but not as much as I think the ORLY one does, but alas I am currently out of the ORLY.

I did a wear test on this and for 3 full days I noticed ZERO dings, nicks, scratches or scuffs, minor tip wear and no lifting. Then on day 4 it was as if the magical barrier of Push and Shove eventually lifted and I make one PB&J for my kid and my nails are scuffed up to high hell.

shown with no top coat

Now as I mentioned, I have had these since their release quite a while back, and this polish does show some serious settling and separation of the contents. A good shake and roll, then allowing the polish to sit and work out bubbles before applying made it again like new.

Since the release of this collaborative collecting, I have yet to see them sold in stores.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Little Pony Rainbow Dash nail art!!!

I'm really proud of my nail art to show today, I scored some serious cred with my kid and a couple of friends' kids as well as some Bronys haha.

My daughters love the My Little Pony reboot, Friendship Is Magic, and it is no secret that I have been sucked into the fandom too! If you follow me on Instagram you can see my awesome MLP mugs that I was gifted. My favorite, and Violet's second favorite, is Rainbow Dash... a bright blue pegasus pony with rainbow mane, tail, and cutie mark. Rainbow Dash is the fastest and one of the snarkiest ponies in the show's magical land of Equestria, and in my opinion the coolest!

Photo copyright Hasbro

I did all of the nail art freehand over 4 nails with the cap brush and a single thin detailing brush from Winstonia, as well as 10 bottles of polish. On my thumbnail I stamped music notes from Cheeky plate CH31.

Read more for pictures and info on what I did to create this nail art!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Silver star stamping over periwinkle blue featuring Zoya + China Glaze + Cheeky

Sorry for not posting the past 2 days I had a bit of an issue logging into Blogger... bleh!

So... now that the winter weather is creeping closer here in Pennsylvania we are breaking out or warm pajamas and turning on the heat (and it's just barely half way through Nov). My daughters are ridiculously obsessed with wearing footed bodysuit pajamas and they look super cute in them, I'm beginning to get some nail art inspiration from the designs on quite a few.

One that my Violet wore last night was a pale periwinkle blue with silver stars all over it.

This picture looks much lighter of a blue as I had to take it of her pajamas by the light of the tv

My first thought was to use Zoya Robin, it matched the color spot on. I used 2-3 coats for opacity and topped off with The Nail Junkie matte topper. Using Cheeky plate CH-51 star image, I stamped with China Glaze Cheers To You and left it without top coat to keep the matte undies and metallic stamped image.

When my kid woke up the next morning and saw my nails she was ecstatic! First thing out of her mouth was "can I have jammie nails too?!"... and she got them :)


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Simple and classy manis using gold flakie polish... featuring OPI + Paint Box Polish

I was dreaming up some really simple and classy manis in my head last night and I kept picture a jelly sandwich with a sheer milky color and some gold flake top coat or a gold flakie...

I figured I would try out 2 looks but 2 different ways. Plain jelly sandwich and french tips.

Read more to see what I used to do these and larger pictures...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Alter Ego nail enamel - Bosom Buddy swatches + review

*Press Samples provided for review. Please see PR/Disclosure tab for more information.

This is the last of the new Alter Ego nail enamels that I have to showcase, and I certainly saved one of the best for last.

Bosom Buddy, is a gorgeous well pigmented slightly orange-toned red with glowing red shimmer and ultra fine glitter.

I only needed about 2-3 coats for full coverage. The polish applied like a dream and was extremely easy to manipulate on the nail. Drying time was quick and dried to the standard Alter Ego satin finish. As much as I usually love leaving Alter Egos like this in their satin/matte finish, this one really popped for me with She Shines top coat... really created a brilliant glow with that shimmer.

shown without top coat

shown with top coat

This is a great classic shimmery red for the coming holidays, so I am sure this will be featured again soon with some nail art!

SHOP Alter Ego nail enamel:
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Don't forget to stop my Facebook page and click the giveaway tab or click over to yesterday's post and enter the giveaway for 2 Alter Ego nail enamels, Big Sister + Armed Forces Vet!


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