Saturday, April 28, 2012

Are YOU a Julep Maven?




So i was curious!  Every time i view my blog, i notice this interesting AD for Julep nail polish.  Interestingly enough, it always asks "Are you a Julep Maven?"  Well, i know I'm Fashion Maven Mommy but a Julep Maven?  Well, i decided to take a look and see what this was all about.  So, initially when you first go on this site, you are asked to take a quiz in order to determine what kind of maven you are.  It was a short, yet fun quiz determining that i am a "classic with a twist" maven.  I chuckled because I've often described myself as just that... that exact term in fact!  Classic with a twist!  So, once you determine what kind of maven you are, you can then sign up for monthly deliveries of Julep nail polish/products for only $19.99 per month.  Mind you, each polish costs around $14 so you are actually getting a deal!  If you don't like the selection your particular maven has to offer, you can opt to change.  I did just that opting for Boho Glam Maven simply because i was intrigued by the grey and yellow selection. It also came with glycolic hand scrub leaving your hands so soft and smooth! Now are you ready for the best part?  I only paid $.01 for this!  Yep, you heard right... shipping included!  They have an awesome trial offer, so if you look for their ad on my page, you will find the coupon code necessary for this particular offer.  You can't go wrong!  No go ahead and let that inner Julep Maven in you loose!  Have fun and let me know your thoughts! 

FYI:  The grey and Yellow polish came as my first set along with the glycolic hand scrub.  The green polish i purchased at Sephora as they now carry Julep polishes as well!




As for the three colors on my nails, i just couldn't decide which to wear... so why not all right?



 
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Movie Night!

It's been such an exhausting week here!  I'm dreaming of just being able to sleep in and getting some much needed rest this weekend...except... I'm a mommy... to TWINS!  So resting is not always in sight, however, i did just get "The September Issue" in the mail and I'm dying to watch.  Hoping the girls will actually comply with an early bedtime so mommy could cozy up in bed and watch this fashion lovers dream!  Love magazines, particularly the September issue because it's always filled with amazing new trends and inspiration for new looks!  It will definitely be fun watching how it all gets put together!  I'll let you know what i think... but first, i have to take the girls to ballet! 


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Make-up obsession





Ever since i was old enough to wear it, I've been obsessed with make-up.  I have very fond memories of my very first purchase of MAC cosmetics and brushes.  I was about 17 years old when i visited a MAC counter at my local Nordstrom.  I was giddy browsing through all the fun colors available to me!  The MAC artist was very helpful and provided me with wonderful make-up tips.  One thing she taught me was that i could use a wet brush to intensify the color of my eyeshadow.  I spent my first mini-fortune (remember, i was only 17) and knew, there was no turning back!  That's how my inner make-up snob (lowering my head in shame) was born.  Don't get me wrong, i own drug store make-up and there are certain products that i will only buy at a drug store, however, a large bulk of my make-up is purchased from Sephora or at a Department Store simply because of my love and admiration for gorgeous, innovative beauty finds.  So, this is the train case i recently purchased.  It looks very similar to the one i previously had and broke.  It's a good size and fits all of my necessities (OK, it carries way more than what i actually need but you get my point).  The only issue i foresee is the fact that it is pretty full... you know what that means right?  No, i'm not going to stop buying make-up... duh!  I will probably need a second case soon! lol  So i thought it might be interesting to first, show you my case filled with products i own and then perhaps, tackling one product type at a type to blog about!  What do you think?  I'd like to do a few video tutorials at some point as well... perhaps my fabulous sister Joann (Joey) can assist me with those since she's a former MAC artist, who's runway certified and worked the VMA's the last time they were held in NYC!  Cool stuff right?  OK, so here it is... i love hearing from you guys so be sure to leave your thoughts!  If there's something specific you'd like me to start with first, let me know and i'll do my best to show you what i use and what works for me.  Thanks!


 
The Allure Beauty Blogger of the Year awards are sponsored by Revlon, so all the Revlon products you see in my case (and then some) were courtesy of Revlon! SCORE!








 
 


 
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Accidentally Organized!




So a few weeks back, my make-up train case broke!  Uhh don't you hate it when that happens?  Well, i immediately ordered a new one, and in typical Carla fashion, i failed to check the measurements assuming it was the same as the one i currently owned.  Well, i was wrong!  When it arrived, i knew immediately there was no way this make-up obsessed girl would fit all of her beloved make-up in this new case.  Needless to say i was not a happy camper!  So, i promptly ordered another, this time making sure to purchase the correct one.  But what would i do with this one?  I mean, i certainly didn't feel like shipping it back.  And then it clicked!  This would make a great case for organizing my nail polish collection, which until now, had been residing in a large rectangular plastic container... hardly a pretty home for my gorgeous polish collection!  Turned out to be indeed!  I love how when i open it now, i can see every single color perfectly making it easier to decide on a selection based on my mood.  Key word being "easier" not "easy" by any means since there are so many choices!  But you've heard me say it before, I'm obsessed with nail polish yada yada, so as you can see, i wasn't kidding!  Only thing is, i can't fit much more in this case which can be problematic for future purchases!  Hmmm  As for my manicure supplies, i keep those in a really pretty fabric bag that i found at Home Goods... couldn't fit it all in this one.  I bet if i had the large train case specifically for this purpose, I'd fit it all in there... ok ok, this will have to do for now!  So here are some pictures.  Hopefully, i will inspire some of my nail polish junkie friends to organize their collections as well. 


So when you open the case, it opens up into three tiers on both sides.  My thought was to separate each tier by brand.  Each brand, i tried to separate by shade. 







Getting a picture of the entire open case was quite challenging lol 


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yin and Yang




As you have seen in previous posts, I'm having loads of fun with my nail polish!  In fact, i think it's one of my favorite beauty products because you don't have to commit to it for long periods of time. I'd get bored anyway.  In fact, back in January, i tried the new OPI gel manicure that lasts forever, and i can tell you that i was over it quick!  I can see from a practical perspective how this particular manicure can be a good thing, but certainly not for my everyday polish needs. 

I love corals, particularly this time of year.  But what i love even more, is the pairing of orange and pink.  I love it so much, i used those colors in my wedding decor with subtle touches of apple green.  This manicure is inspired by my love of these two colors.  When i couldn't decide which to use, i used BOTH!  Problem solved! 

For this manicure, i used two polishes from Forever 21 by the brand "Love & Beauty" which I'd never heard of before.  First i applied a coat of "orange", then a coat of "bubble gum" on just one side of my nails creating what i call a 'yin and yang' effect.  For a touch of fun, i added gold glitter polish solely on my ring finger (optional).



 

Interestingly, if you look from one angle, it looks as though I'm wearing orange polish...



  
From a different angle, it looks pink! 



From afar, since the colors really compliment each other, you can't quite tell you are wearing two shades of polish.

Thank you SO MUCH for visiting!  I would love it if you would become an official follower of Fashion Maven Mommy!  If you already are, WELCOME BACK!  Also follow me on twitter, Bloglovin, and "like" my page on Facebook!  Hugs

Friday, April 20, 2012

Allure

 

So listen to THIS!  Allure.com has placed www.fashionmavenmommy.com on their blog roll!!! YAY I'm so excited! Click on the link, scroll down to the left... it's in alphabetical order) http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter

 THANK YOU Allure!  OK, so the picture above is another one that i took for the Allure Beauty Blogger of the Year Awards (note, i did not submit this one... but it was fun a pic so i figured I'd be quite appropriate for this post!  LOVE Allure!


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Allure's Beauty Blogger of the Year Awards


In life, have you ever felt as though the universe is leading you? When things just seem to fall into place without much effort? Well, I'm going to tell you a little story. Since my early teens, I've had a passion and admiration for the fashion and beauty world. In fact, while in College, my dad allowed me to take a few summer courses at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC) so that i could somehow be in touch with that world. He felt strongly about me pursuing a career that would promise me a job after graduation and so this is the compromise we made... i would attend college during regular semester for an undergrad degree in Education along with a double major in English Literature, however in the Summer I'd attend FIT and take a couple of courses. After graduation, i decided to give myself a year to work in the fashion industry because i didn't want to go through life wondering what if? I immediately got a job working for Frederic Fekkai, however, this was just a retail job in the summer while i interviewed in NYC for a more stable position. Well, i landed a job at Liz Claiborne Inc, working as a showroom manager for Liz Sport. Shortly after, i was promoted to assistant to the President of Sigrid Olsen. I worked for Sigrid Olsen for three wonderful years. I did a little traveling to Boston which was fun, since she was based out of there. And although the job was not entirely creative, it was still in the heart of the fashion district. After September 11th, everything changed. I, as many other Americans, suffered a major catastrophe that day. One that would affect me for a long time. I believe i worked in NYC for another four months or so before calling it quits. It was just too difficult emotionally at the time for me. In addition, i wasn't really doing my dream job by any means and my creative needs were not being met. So i decided to go back into teaching. Teaching is certainly a job i love, particularly pre-k because it enables me to get in touch with my more creative side. I liked it so much, i decided to obtain a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education.

So, here i was, great job, wonderful marriage and two beautiful twin girls. Who could ask for more right? Well, to be completely honest, there was a part of me that didn't feel fulfilled. My thirst for fashion and beauty was not fulfilled. For years, I'd been searching for the one thing that would fully complete me. I've thought about perhaps having some sort of related side business, but it just wasn't it. At the end of last year, it dawned on me... i could BLOG! From that very moment on, everything changed! EVERYTHING! I felt as though i could finally exhale. I'd found it, the one thing I'd been searching for was here! Blogging is a wonderful outlet for me to talk about all the things i love! One in particular is product reviews! When i find something that i love, i have to share it with the world and this was the perfect venue!

So one of the things you need to do when you have a blog, is to promote it. This was certainly a challenge, but i was determined. Besides, even if I'd only reach a handful of readers, it was OK because i was doing what i loved to do! Well, a couple of months in, i noticed that my blog had a large concentration of beauty review type posts. So i picked up an issue of Allure magazine since they are the leaders in the beauty industry, in hopes of finding a contact person that i could perhaps submit one of my reviews to. It was a long shot, but who cares! You don't know 'til you try right? Well, a few pages into the magazine, there was a double page spread advertising Allure's Beauty Blogger of the Year awards. Um remember i mentioned the Universe talking to me? Well, i think at this point, it was literally shouting at me! So i took this as a sign and applied, even though I'd only been doing this a couple of months. What did i have to lose? Well, what do you know! They actually contacted me!!! I spoke to one of their super friendly editors who told me that they had already selected the 15 contestants who would be competing in the challenges of this contest. However, they loved my blog so much, they didn't want to let it slip through the cracks. SO, she asked if i would become an alternate and complete the challenges in hopes that perhaps someone did not complete theirs, in which case I'd be placed as a contestant. They told me they had a 'bagillion' entries! How my little blog was recognized, I'll never know but i was SO excited to do this! I knew immediately this was a long shot, BUT was also aware of the amazing opportunity I'd been given. Here i was, two months into blogging, and already getting a nod from this iconic magazine! This confirmed the fact that i was on the right path and needed to continue following my heart! The past month has been a whirlwind! I had a blast completing these challenges and being in constant communication with Allure. I should also mention that i received a very generous box of goodies to complete one of the challenges which in itself makes me a winner already! I mean.... hello! Who doesn't love free stuff right? As expected, i did not make the final 15 as everyone submitted their work in a timely fashion, however, i was contacted by an editor at Allure informing me that they were impressed with my work and enthusiasm, therefore would like to possibly either incorporate my challenges or me in some sort of future project. This would be an absolute dream come true if in fact they follow through. For this reason, I'm not going to post my challenges just yet. I certainly don't want to ruin a great opportunity. But I'm hopeful that at some point, i will be able to share them with all of you. One of our challenges involved shooting a video, which Allure now owns rights to. Maybe one day, they'll put it on their website? Either way, i promise to keep you posted on any future events. I am however, incredibly grateful to those who helped me along the way. Millie, Deanna, Joey, Ana, Manny, my mom and dad, and CHRISTINE for their incredible support! Your help will never go unnoticed! I'm sorry for not being able to share this information sooner as it was confidential. Allure's micro site is now up and running which means the official announcements can be made.

Lastly, i'm very proud of myself for making it this far. I truly believe that when you find something in life you love to do, all the stars allign themselves and things just work out. This event, was one of hopefully many that will prove Fashion Maven Mommy to be a success!  Also, thank you Allure for believing in me and giving me the confidence to move forward with this little journey of mine.

(BTW the picture i used here was one that didn't make it to my challenges... kind of a fun shot!)

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

A 'bangle' for your buck!

 

I've received some questions about the bangle bracelet i wore for my recent Marc Jacobs post.  Well, you know how sometimes you browse through a store and accidentally find something you love and it's ON SALE????  I know, it hardly ever happens but when it does, it's SO fun!!!  Well that exact case scenario happened recently when i strolled through Nordstrom's jewelry department.  I love checking out all the Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and other fun accessories.  Well, i noticed a tray with a bunch of stuff on sale so i peeked in!  Well, immediately this gold bangle bracelet (i've linked it to a similar one as this one is not available online) spoke to me!  Yes, it spoke to me!  I picked her up and noticed this darling orange stone dangling from it.  Well, orange is right up there as one of my favorite colors!  The other side of the stone had the initials MK so i immediately knew it was a Michael Kors bangle.  The best part, it was on sale for $21.99!!!!  It was originally $45.  Well, i could absolutely positively NOT walk away...could you???  Here's a closer look...





Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stay Tuned for a Special Announcement!




Hi everyone, thanks for visiting!  Please make sure to check in on Tuesday, April 17th for a special/fun announcement! (hint:  involves a major magazine)   This past month has been so exciting for my blog and i can't wait to share all that's been happening with YOU! 

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Accessories are EVERYTHING!




You've heard me say it before... accessories are EVERYTHING!  You can take a plain Jane outfit and turn it into a vavavoom outfit simply by adding the right accessories.  Jewelry is a great way to do just that!  JCrew is one of my favorite stores because i feel they really capture what i feel is my style... classic with a twist.  One of my favorite necklaces of all times is the turquoise JCrew bubble necklace which i've shown you here.  I don't know but there's just something about turquoise bold statement jewelry that makes me happy!  Well, the other day, while strolling through the store, i came across this necklace (i picked it up in mineral green btw) which i completely fell in love with.  It's simple, the perfect color and yet has a bit of a sparkle embedded between the turquoise/seafoam beads making it even more special.... you know, classic with a twist!  So i couldn't resist... I knew exactly what i wanted to pair it up with!  Remember a few posts back when i did the side swept bun tutorial?  I wore one of my current favorite white boho tops from Anthropology which you can see here.  Don't you think this would pair well with that top along with a great pair of jeans?  I'm showing it here with that top as well as a classic boat neck stripped nautical top to show how it instantly dresses it up without overdoing it.  What do you think?




I've paired it here with the polishes i used in my most recent manicure post.  I think they compliment each other don't you?


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pucker up!



The harsh winter months really take a toll on my lips.  They get cracked, chapped and sometimes hurt.  I've looked into some products but recently, while attending the 'Sugaring' event i mentioned in a recent blog entry which you can read about here, guests were treated to gift bags containing Alexandria Professional products.  They were wonderful products, but two that completely stood out to me were the Buff Up Lime Lemonade Lip Exfoliant and Balm Up Lime Lemonade Lip Balm.  The minute i applied the exfoliant followed by the balm on my lips, i knew I'd found a gem!  The lip exfoliant is intended to eliminate dead, dry cells from your lips making your pout picture perfect!  The balm feels incredible on!  And can i mention that they taste delicious!!!  That's always a plus right?  You can purchase these products at Vito Mazza Salon & Spa or by visiting the Alexandria Professional website.

















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Isn't She Lovely?



Ahhh another bag... nope not just another back, but a beautiful, timeless, classic, gorgeous, insanely soft, versatile bag by the incredibly talented Marc Jacobs. This is the MARC BY MARC JACOBS 'Petal to the Metal - Natasha' Flap Crossbody Bag available at Nordstrom, which comes in black, Shell (which is the color i opted for), and a bright orange (which i almost got but figured that if I'm going to spend this kind of money on a bag, it'd have to be a more classic color - besides, i already own several orange bags). This particular style is quite different from any bag i currently own. I specifically love the details from this particular 'Petal to the Metal' collection. The gold hardware against the soft shell color is just divine! My philosophy on purses and bags is that if you are going to spend a lot of money on a bag, make it a timeless piece. One you can wear over and over again and it won't feel outdated. I tend to spend less on the more trendy stuff that i know won't be around for long. That way, i don't feel so bad when i decide to splurge once in a while.
Here are a few pictures of my new beauty.
 
 
 
 
 Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crazy for Coral

 

'Tis the season for Coral!  Actual color is everywhere, particularly bright colors!  Every year around this time, i get an urge to wear coral.  It's such a happy, feel good color and so perfect for Spring!  So I've recently found a couple of pairs of coral shoes that i just had to tell you about!  First is a pair of Franco Sarto patent leather peep toe wedges that i scored at TJ Maxx for only $39.99.  They're a bright coral and are perfect to wear with a great pair of cropped pants or jeans!  They really help to elongate the legs creating a slimmer illusion and lets face it, we could all use a little illusion here and there right?  The second pair, i found at JCrew on sale for $29.99 (Plus 15% teacher's discount SCORE!)which is always a plus!  They're jelly coral flats with a pretty bow.  These shoes look incredible on and are very comfy too!  In fact, i plan on wearing these with rolled up cropped khakis as i think they're the perfect pairing for these fabulous flats.  So here they are! 
 
Here's the J.Crew pair... aren't they darling?




Seeing Blue




Summer is just around the corner and I'm so excited that we finally booked out Summer vacation to the gorgeous island of Curacao.  I have visions of beautiful turquoise water, sand on my toes, sipping tropical drinks, relaxing... oh wait, my little twinadoes are coming along so there probably won't be much relaxing going on.  However, there will be beautiful memories made and the turquoise water will still be just that... turquoise right?  So I'm feeling a bit inspired or perhaps I'm just anxious for Summer to finally arrive so we can pack up and go!  So this manicure is my little tribute to our upcoming vacation.  Doesn't it kind of look like the Caribbean ocean? 

I used a few of my favorite nail polish brands for this manicure.  First, i applied Butter London in Slapper which is a gorgeous turquoise blue.  I must mention that this brand is vegan and environmentally friendly.  Next, i applied Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid Dreams (which is an uber popular color right now) solely on my ring finger.  In fact, it took a while before i was able to snatch a bottle because it was back ordered for a while.  Lastly, i applied OPI for Sephora in Only Gold For Me also on my ring finger.












Monday, April 9, 2012

Have YOU been sugared lately?



Attention all my shaving, waxing and threading friends!  Have you been sugared lately?  Wait, what?  You’ve never heard of sugaring?  Well, luckily I’m here to tell you all about it!  So I was recently invited by Ann Mazza to the Vito Mazza Salon & Spa in the heart of Woodbridge, NJ.  They were hosting a “body sugaring” event for their clients.  Body sugaring sounded divine to me.  I instantly had visions of a wonderful body scrub, exfoliating all the dead skin damaged by the dry winter months. 
So when I arrived at the Salon/Spa, I was instantly greeted by Vito and Ann.  They were incredibly welcoming and immediately gave me a tour of the facility.  The spa area was very serene, warm and so inviting.   I could have lounged in the ‘tranquility room’ for hours cuddled up with my favorite magazine while sipping on tea.  Ok, back to reality!  The salon area felt quite upscale, clean, beautiful and the staff was incredibly professional.  I would soon learn that ‘body sugaring’ is in fact a wonderful alternative to waxing
History of Sugaring according to AlexandriaProfessional:  Sugaring is a method of depilation that has been used since 1900 BC.  It was created as the ultimate hair removal procedure at a time when a hairless, totally smooth body was considered to be healthy and clean, but also the standard of youth, beauty and innocence for women in Egypt.  It was an indulgent pampering treatment and also a social activity for young Egyptians. 

What it is:  As stated above, sugaring is a method of hair removal.  What separates it from the all the other forms of hair removal is the fact that it’s a sugar paste based on an Egyptian recipe.  It’s 100% natural, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and is actually edible!  YES edible!  In fact, I tasted it and let me tell you, it was certainly yummy!
Ann introduced me to their special guest Lina Kennedy, the president of Alexandria Professional. They are “the pioneers of body sugaring hair removal – transforming this ancient process into a modern day beauty industry miracle treatment for both men and women”.  Lina was a very fun, quirky individual.  She immediately asked me what I typically do for hair removal.  The truth is, I’m not a very hairy person so I usually just shave using my favorite ‘intuition’ razor.  She assured me that even though I shave my underarms everyday, she could still remove hair from that area.  She used these special eye glasses that magnified your skin, making it easy to detect any missed hairs.  She opted to do a little ‘sugaring’ on that area.  I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous since I’d never even waxed before.  She prepped my skin, and then proceeded to sugar the area, removing any hair that may have been there.  I have to say, yes it hurt a bit, but the pain was minimal.  It’s been almost two weeks and the hair has yet to come back!  That alone would have sold me, but I explained that the one area I was really concerned about was my upper lip.  I don’t have a ton of hair there either, but even the tiny blonde hairs in that area create a shadow.  I typically use a depilatory in that area, but was not really happy with the results.  So Lina proceeded to ‘sugar’ my upper lip.  Well, I’ve converted for sure!  It was quick, the pain was minimal and the results were AMAZING! You MUST try it!   I honestly can’t wait to try it on other body parts!

If you are not fully convinced, here are some other advantages to sugaring:
v     It is more gentle and less painful than other forms of hair removal
v     There is no burning, bruising, or blisters caused as the sugar paste is at room temperature
v     It is safe, sanitary, and skin friendly
v     It removes hair in the natural direction of growth eliminating ingrown hairs and other skin irritations
v     It’s 100% natural
v     It is a natural preservative where bacteria does not breed
v     It is safe for eczema, spider veins, and psoriasis
v     The sugar paste adheres to the hair causing minimal discomfort
v     It is effective for all skin types including sensitive skin.
Here are a few pictures from the event!



 
Pictured below, from left to right:  Lina Kennedy (President of Alexandria Professional), myself Carla Kokoszka, Ann Mazza (owner of Vito Mazza Salon & Spa) & Christie Citsay (Spa Director).

 
 
This is the actual product used for body sugaring.  Looks just like honey!
Below are some pictures of the 'tranquility' room at the spa.




Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sephora + Pantone Universe




If you've been reading my blog, you know that I'm completely obsessed with Sephora.  Honestly, I'm like a kid in a candy store whenever i  shop there.  Every time i go, i find new beauty tools to experiment with, new shades to play with and all kinds of fun ways to help me get dolled up.  If you're really lucky, you'll even walk away with a sample or two!  I own a Beauty Insider card which allows you to accumulate points whenever you shop there and then redeem them for free stuff.  In fact, i was recently upgraded to a VIB!  This essentially means i shop there way too often! lol But, it's a place of happiness for me.  Well, recently, they teamed up with the global color authority for forecasting and science Pantone Universe creating a limited edition product line inspired by the color of the year 'Tangerine Tango 2012'.  Well, I'm a huge fan of the color orange so this was sweet music to my ears!  I want EVERYTHING!  But, i opted for the 4 pack of Tangerine Tango nail enamel containing one shimmery, one glitter, one matte and one creme color all in the same hue ($24).  I immediately gave myself a mani/pedi while experimenting with the textures.  I wound up with the Tangerine Tango Creme topped with the TT Glitter.  It's such a fun color to wear.  And this monochromatic look is incredibly shiny and sparkly in the sunlight really standing out!  I also picked up the lip color (@$16).  As you've seen in previous posts where I've experimented with orange lip hues, this one stands out tremendously mainly because it's not matte.  It glides on very smoothly and has a sweet pleasant taste to it.  I'm sure I'll be back for more from this collection as it's a limited edition.  Get yours before they sell out!