From My Perspective

Instead of a beauty-related "opinion" post this morning, I figured I stray from the norm and talk about... myself. Ok, that's not so much straying from the norm I guess, {especially if you know me personally}, but for the sake of this blog, it is. When I first decided to start a blog, I knew it would be a huge undertaking, as I follow so many GREAT blogs with a multitude of different themes and concepts. I knew my blog wouldn't be a typical beauty blog, as I didn't want to keep it strictly beauty/makeup. I love watching movies and reading books, following politics and current events, performing in theater groups, talking about my furry friends {I have two cats}, drinking wine, trying out new restaurants... but unfortunately, there's no easy and organized way to blog about all of those topics while still maintaining some kind of focus. Alas, I've decided to ditch the preconceived notions about blogging, and make my blog exactly what I want it to be; a catch-all of topics, though tipped more toward the beauty side of things. But not wanting to restrict myself, and since it is my blog, I'm hoping to throw in some other things along the way.

So, on that note, I figured I'd talk a little about myself, without giving too much information away. :} I feel like I'm learning a lot about other ladies whose blogs I follow, but I have yet to really tell anyone about myself. So...
I'm 28 years old. I'm not married, I don't have kids, and as of now, I don't own a home. I do have two cats, Lucky and Bella, who keep me on my toes and never cease to entertain me. I have a bachelor's degree in English and am about 2/3 of the way done with my master's in business. I have a younger brother who is a lawyer and wonderful parents, and when I left home to attend college, I moved about 200 miles away from them. However, the move did bring me closer to my extended family, who I only live about 50 miles away from now. Instead of only seeing my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins on holidays, as the first 18 years of my life consisted of, I can now see them every Friday night when we all gather at my grandmother's house, just to enjoy each others company. It's a tradition that began before I was born, and it makes me very proud, having such a close, fun family. But, it doesn't make it any easier to live 200 miles away from my parents and brother. I have a full-time job and go to school full-time as well. I'm busy, obviously, but I manage to find time to write blog posts every once and a while, make trips to see my family, go to play practice for three hours every night during the week {when it's theater season}, and still remain somewhat sane. Somewhat. Some of my OCD tendencies might suggest otherwise. :}

So, that's pretty much it {without getting more specific}. Maybe I'll expand on one aspect or another in the future. But until then, I leave you with a picture of my animals:

{they love each other}
Stay Fabulous!


MOI Minerals: A Review

A few months ago I placed my first order with MOI Minerals Cosmetics, picking up six eyeshadows at that point, but before I started swatching all of my buys. A few weeks ago I placed a second order, after seeing a post from MOI Minerals on Facebook regarding special "cases" that were being sold for a very reasonable price. The specific case/set that I bought isn't on their site anymore, but there are similar cases/sets HERE. The one I chose was a Ladybug Bag Set {click HERE to see a picture of the set from the MOI Facebook page} that came to about $30 USD with shipping, which is a good price for all I received, plus shipping from Canada to the U.S.
The first time I ordered from MOI, I didn't take the time to read the shipping info, so I didn't know it was shipping from Canada {and would then take longer to arrive}. Totally my fault though. Obviously I thought the products were worth buying from MOI again, and this time I was prepared for the shipping time. So, onto the review/swatches.

:::  THE SPECS  :::

MOI Minerals has an extensive selection of products on their website {linked to above}. I won't go through the entire list of products and prices, but they're all more than reasonable. In regards to the eyeshadows in general, each jar is sealed with a sticker on the side, and has a logo label on the top or bottom. There were only two things I didn't really love: the sticker on the side is used to keep the lid secure, but they're not easy to remove, leaving behind gummy remnants. Also, the amount of product in each jar was inconsistent for a few of them. All but one jar arrived without sifters, so the one that had a sifter seemed out of place, and I'm not sure if there was a reason why it had one. Also, if you look at the picture of all the jars open, you can see that the amounts in some of the jars are somewhat different. Some are packed full, which is lovely, while others are not as full. That could be due to being packaged by "weight" versus "amount," but I'm not sure. Not a biggie, but it was worth mentioning. Overall, these are just small things for me, as the pigments themselves are the most important part. As for ingredients, they're listed on MOI's website for each product.

:::  THE PICTURES  :::

This post is picture-heavy, so get ready. All of the images can be clicked to view as larger sizes.
Also, all of the eyeshadows are swatched over NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk, and the pictures of the individual colors are in natural light.


:::  THE PRODUCTS  :::

The special set itself came in a ladybug bag, and included nine jars of eyeshadow, one tube of eye gel, one tube of eyelash conditioner, a set of brushes, a bar of handmade soap and two additional samples of pigments. I thought overall, this was a lot of products for only $30! I haven't used anything except the eyeshadow thus far, so I can't offer my opinions on anything else. The scent of the soap was different — almost chocolatey, but not super sweet. I haven't looked it up to see what the scent is supposed to be. As for the eyeshadows, they come pre-picked with the set, so I ended up getting a few I wouldn't have chosen myself, but am glad I have them now.

Because there are so many colors in this particular post, I won't go through the descriptions of all of them. I'll just point out the ones that stood out to me.

Chilled — a very fresh and icy aqua that really stands out from the rest.
Beach — a matte peach that just didn't appeal to me whatsoever. But I gravitate toward shimmer/sparkle anyway.
Cameron — a really cool color-shifter that's kind of hard to describe. It's like a metallic blueish-greenish-gray... I love it!
Snap — a vibrant lime green with a golden shift to it. Lovely!
Mercy — a rusty metallic plum that leans toward a purpley red... it's a fascinating color.
Polly — this was a color I wouldn't have picked myself, but I happen to {l o v e} it. I haven't integrated many light pinks into my collection, so this will be a great start.
Lilac — as you can see in the picture, lilac looks quite blue. It looks less blue in the jar, but once swatched, it looks more periwinkle blue. Or maybe I don't know what lilac should look like. :}

:::  THE OPINIONS  :::

I really like the selection that MOI has to offer, and I think I'd order more often if it wasn't for the customs part of it — totally unrelated to the company or the products, of course. I'm hopelessly addicted to instant gratification, so the wait for products is quite challenging for me. :} However, I'm happy to say that MOI IS worth the wait, especially since it's not their fault that mail from Canada to the U.S. is the true definition of "snail" mail. I highly recommend giving MOI a try if you haven't, and I plan to place another order within the next few months for additional shadows that I keep telling myself I "have to have." The shadows themselves are mixed well and apply evenly, with very bright colors and unique combinations. Their customer service is friendly and reliable, and I think the company has found the perfect balance between a substantial selection of products and a down-to-earth/indie vibe, which I really like. Yes, I'm definitely a fan of MOI Minerals.

Stay Fabulous!


Zoya Nail Polish: Lovely!

I didn't know anything about the Zoya brand at all until I read a blog post that featured the Zoya nail polish "Rica," and I immediately fell in love with that color. So I did some digging online to find the most reasonable place to buy, and settled on The Art of Beauty. Coincidentally, a few days after I found The Art of Beauty and signed up to receive their emails, I got an email offer for buy one Zoya polish, get TWO for free. Way better than a BOGO offer! So that's the only push I needed to place my order. Here are the details:

:::  THE SPECS  :::

Zoya Nail Polish can be found at a number of different websites, but the best deal seemed to be from The Art of Beauty. They offer every Zoya color possible, and the website makes it very easy to find the perfect color. In regards to how each color looks online versus in person, based on the swatches I did, they were very true to the pictures online. If you're unsure of the color, they offer color spoons at $0.50/each that are spoons filled with the actual polish you'd be receiving. I didn't bother with that before I ordered though. I picked my first color, and then the additional two free colors, and with shipping, my order was $14. Each polish is $8, so shipping was about $6 for the three polishes — not cheap, but not completely unreasonable. They arrived packed in a very secure package, with a packing material I haven't seen used before.
The three colors I bought: Reva, Rica and Happi.

:::  THE PICTURES  :::

*I don't have perfect hands/cuticles, so please ignore any imperfections* :}


{Brochure with pics of all their colors, the wrapped polishes are to the right}

{The background is the protective, thick felt-like material they were wrapped in}

{Photographed with a flash - Rica is more coral/pink than it looks}


:::  THE PRODUCTS  :::

Each nail polish is $8.00. Since I used a "buy one get two free" offer, as mentioned above, I only paid $8.00 for all three, before shipping. It's similar to what you'd pay for OPI nail polishes, so I didn't have a problem with it.

(1) Zoya Reva Nail Polish — Described as "A cool toned strawberry red with glowing golden metallic sparkle.  A very rich and luxurious looking gilded red." I find this description to be pretty accurate. I'd say the color leans more toward a fuchsia tone, but it depends on the light.
(1) Zoya Rica Nail Polish — Described as "Warm light coral with pink and orange tones and heavy gold metallic sparkle." This is as lovely as I hoped it would be, and definitely my favorite of the three.
(1) Zoya Happi Nail Polish — Described as "Pink metallic duochrome. A frosty hint of gold creates a unique peachy-pink." This is a color you have to see in person in order to appreciate how complex it is. It looks even better than it did on the website, so I was pleasantly surprised.

:::  THE OPINIONS  :::
I knew I'd like Zoya's products from the moment I saw "Rica." I believe I just fell into a slight Zoya addiction now, perhaps bypassing OPI. Zoya seems to have a more unique selection of colors, and as mentioned in the product descriptions, very complex colors and duochrome effects that I don't feel like I've seen from every other company. In regards to the technical aspects of the nail polishes, they all felt smooth to the touch once they dried — even Rica, which is full of glitter. So in that respect, they all seem to be made with a strong formula that applies evenly with significant coverage. I have nothing but good things to say about these polishes overall. Rica is still my favorite, with its perfect combination of coral, pink and gold; but Reva is a gorgeous color that reminds me of ruby slippers, and Happi was even prettier than I expected it to be.

:::  THE RATING  :::

Stay Fabulous!



The Everyday Opinionista Has a New Layout!

If you're currently reading this on the blog {as opposed to in an email version}, you probably already noticed the new layout/background. I decided it was time for an update, trying to refresh the look of the blog as I now try to expand and "attract" more followers {that's the hope, at least}. One of the other beauty blogs I follow uses a template from The Cutest Blog on the Block, and I really liked it, so I had to see what this blog template designer had to offer. In one word: LOTS! :} I had a hard time narrowing my favorites down to one final choice, but in the end, I felt that the one I chose was most representative of my overall blog concept, as well as my personality. Lots of pink, a chic black pattern, and of course, some sparkle. I {l o v e} it! I still have some tweaks to make to the font colors and such, and most of the older blog posts haven't been updated with the right colors yet {so they're somewhat hard to read}, but it's definitely a start. If you notice any problems on your end, such as fonts that don't look right, anything that's hard to read, something sized funny, please let me know. I'm obviously only looking at it from one computer, so it could look very different on another computer. But, *fingers crossed* that the blog is headed in the right direction!

Stay Fabulous!


August Birchbox

It's that time again... this month's Birchbox arrived! Actually, it arrived early last week, but I'm just posting it now. It's still just as fun a week and a half later. :}

If you haven't heard about Birchbox, I wrote up a short explanation of the program in my July Birchbox overview.

:::  THE BIRCHBOX  :::

{The signature pink box it arrives in}

{Inside the pink box}

{An explanation card for this month's selection}

{Under the pink tissue paper...}

{The goodies}
I received the following:

(1) June Jacobs | Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque
(1) Ouidad | Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel
(1) Shaveworks | The Cool Fix
(1) Smashbox Cosmetics | Photo Finish Foundation Primer
(1) EXTRA: Twistband | Hair Tie

:::  THE OPINIONS  :::

I was really happy to see the Smashbox primer included in this month's Birchbox, and overall I think I'll be able to use all five of the products. I've been using a small sample of the Smashbox primer and just ran out, so this was a timely addition to my collection. It's silky-smooth and easy to use, especially under foundation. The Ouidad gel is perfect for this time of the year, as well as my hair type. I haven't used any Shaveworks products before, and probably wouldn't have tried any had I not gotten The Cool Fix this month. It's supposed to be for skin relief after shaving, assumingly to help prevent ingrown hairs, which of course we all hate. I plan on trying this over the weekend to see if it really works. The papaya masque is intriguing, and I haven't used a mask in months, so this will be a good opportunity to treat my skin to a little TLC. Finally, the Twistband... I have to laugh at this item. It's just a piece of elastic tied in a knot. Not really innovative, but it's a good idea for anyone who can make them at home, as I would if I had hair long enough to use hair ties. It's supposed to be easy on your hair, which is always a plus. But the simplicity of it just makes me chuckle a bit. To each their own, though! :}

Did anyone else get different items this month?
Stay Fabulous!


Some Sephora Stuff

About two weeks ago I ordered a few things from Sephora so I could take advantage of the free birthday treat they offer to "Insider" members. So I purchased:

{Three samples + my order}

{philosophy "Happy Birthday, Beautiful" free birthday gift}

{Urban Decay Primer Potion - Original}

{Benefit One Prime Day Travel-Size Primer Set}

{That Gal, The Pore-Fessional and Stay Don't Stray}
:::  The Opinions  :::

Even though I was quite excited about the birthday freebie, Vanilla Birthday Cake isn't one of my favorite scents. I love philosophy's line of body products, but I had to pass on this one. Gave it to my mom. The Urban Decay Primer Potion is the same product I've been using for a few months now, but I was able to get it in the new tube, as opposed to the wand/tube combination I had before. I've already blogged about how much I love UDPP, and even after trying a few additional indie sellers' primers, I'm still stuck on UDPP. Fo-eva.
The Benefit One Prime Day was a steal for $10. I had never tried any of the three products before, so this was a great {non-committing} way to try them all. I haven't used That Gal brightening face primer yet, but I have used the other two. The Pore-Fessional is a really nice primer for smoothing out pores. It's very silky and creates a great base for applying my foundation. The Stay Don't Stray eye primer is decent, but not quite as wonderful as UDPP. I don't like the yellow-ish tint that has when applied, but it seems to wear well. It didn't last as long as my UDPP, but it did hold up better than many other primers. So, I'll definitely be using The Pore-Fessional on a daily basis, and will have to buy the full-size version soon {great marketing tactic, Benefit!}.

Stay Fabulous!