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Votivo-Honeysuckle-Candle.jpgIt might still be winter, but we’re seriously looking forward to spring. So much so, we’ve started burning a candle that makes us think of warmer temperatures, walks outside and wearing dresses with gladiator sandals … none other than Votivo’s Honeysuckle Candle.

Honeysuckle is one of those scents that’s called to us ever since we were little. The heady flower grew near our grandparents’ house, and every time we smell it now, we’re brought right back to our childhood. Votivo captures the scent exactly, with a sensual and tantalizing aroma that fills our home within minutes yet never feels cloying or close.

The candle itself is beautiful — richly hued wax is poured into a glass jar and wrapped with the signature Votivo seal. And with a burn time of 50 hours, we’re guaranteed to let spring into our home right up until warmer temperatures actually arrive.

The Votivo Honeysuckle Candle retails for $25 at votivo.com.
L'Oreal-Mascara.jpg
Finding a mascara that checks off everything on your laundry-list of lash must-haves isn’t always an easy feat, especially at a price point that doesn’t make you cringe. Sure, Lancome mascaras never disappoint, but they also deliver a whopper of a price tag to your wallet. I like to save the award-winning “look at me” lashes for those extra special nights out, especially from a pen-sized container bordering on $30. With that said, L’Oreal’s new Double Extend Eye Illuminator mascara is fantastic and fun - even for festive outings - for everyday lashes. 

My biggest mascara must-have is lengthening, as my lashes are much shorter than I’d want them to be, and this product definitely delivers. It doesn’t clump, and gives enough volume to satisfy that need, as well. I always have a huge problem with smudged, raccoon eyes with non-waterproof varieties, and I did not have that concern with this mascara. 

The most notable part of this product is surely the “eye illuminator” part. Available in four shades, the mascara is supposed to bring out your eye color, and my chocolate brown eyes definitely shined a little brighter with the help of the golden specks in the Black Copper hue. Though glittery lashes might be a little much for the office, I loved it for date night or glam dinners out with the gals. 

Overall, for around $10, it’s a great everyday drugstore buy with some oomph and pizazz! $10.95, drugstore.com 

Loreal-Magic-Souffle.jpg
When we first received our package from L’Oreal Paris containing their new Magic Smooth Souffle makeup, we read through their product information and all we could think of was “Huh?” With terminology like elastomer, microspheres and Mati-Crystal Technology, no wonder it’s just put simply as magic

But, confusion aside, I prepped my face for using the mousse-textured foundation, and started applying with my fingers. I definitely had a preconceived idea of what this was going to look like on my face. I used to be a regular user of Maybelline’s mousse foundation - mostly because of the coverage - but switched to mineral makeup because of the dull, matte look it left on my skin. I was pleasantly surprised, though, because my face was smooth and luminous. 

The consistency starts out thick and creamy, and as you apply it to your face, it turns velvety and dry (but not drying.) I was most impressed with by the Magic Smooth Souffle makeup was the even application. I always have a hard time getting even coverage with liquid/cream foundations, but not the case here. My face felt nicely primed for blush and eye makeup, and light as air (I really hate that cakey feeling, as we’re sure most ladies do.) Though the shade we were provided with was a touch too light, I’m sure I could find the right  tone in the dozen colors available. 

After the 10-hours-of-use mark, my face was still intact from the morning application. Plus, my oily complexion seemed much more under control than it normally is. The only thing I wish it delivered was some SPF, but sounds like a winner to me! $14.99, target.com




Fresh-Sugar-Rose.jpg
We’ve been trying to test Fresh’s Sugar lip treatments for a while, but they were at such high demand in the beauty-testing world, that we were never able to receive samples. So, what did we do? We just went out, and bought the dang thing. It was well worth the $22.50 we shelled out for the Sugar Rosé shade

Before we start talking about the slick, smooth, perfect pouty pink, we want to talk about the construction of the case it comes in, because this, friends, is what makes this product stand out above other comparable lip goods. 

How many times have you stored a lip balm/gloss (whether cheapo or pricey) in your purse, only to reach in at some point and realize that the top had come off, and your precious, beloved product was smeared all over everything in your bag? This has happened one too many times for our liking - especially in our beloved designer handbag with the cream silk lining with a bright red lipstick (it was not pretty.) Well, Fresh’s lip treatments have a top that screws shut. You have to twist the top off to use it, and no matter how many times we tested rubbing it against something to see if it would unscrew, it stayed shut, just like it should. 

Now, on to the rest of Fresh’s Sugar Rosé’s winning qualities. One swipe, and our lips were super soft. Honestly, one swipe, though we prefered about 3 swipes on top and bottom to achieve the subtle shade of pink we were going for. It’s very sheer, so building color is easy without going overboard. The SPF 15 is wonderful for sunny days, and the lack of parabens, petroleum, sulfates other stuff we don’t want anywhere near our mouths, makes us feel comfortable about ingesting the product naturally. 

Though the smell threw us off (it’s almost a lemongrass scent…we were expecting something fruity), it didn’t bother us too much once we got used to it. It’s just glossy enough to put a pretty sheen on our lips, and overall, there really isn’t a single thing (besides the non-fruit scent) that we would change. We finally understand what all the noise was about. Even at $22.50, we’d buy it again in a heartbeat. Sephora.com
FAB-Facial-Radiance-pads.jpg
When we first popped the top on the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, we were instantly transported to our middle and high school years as acne-troubled teens in need of Clearisil. The pads are so similar in size and texture, that we couldn’t help but be nostalgic (well, not really.). But alas, our skin is relatively clear these days, and these pads don’t sting, or dry out our skin quite like the facial pads of our youth. 

Granted, First Aid Beauty’s (FAB) pads aren’t acne-killers. They are formulated with a balance of lactic and glycolic acids to - as the product totes - improve skin clarity, visibly reduce pore size, and help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They are alcohol-free, so they shouldn’t dry out your skin, and claim they are safe for sensitive skin.

After the first few days of using FAB’s facial pads in place of our usual toner, we didn’t really notice much difference. We started thinking that maybe they were too sensitive to actually help us see much of a difference in our skin. We usually tend to think that products only work if we feel them working - as in, tingling, burning, etc. Well, just the other day - we’d say after about two weeks of twice daily use - we looked in the mirror and were happily stunned at what our skin looked like without makeup. It was smoother, brighter, and our pores were actually slightly smaller than we could remember (unless our eyes were playing tricks on us.) 

After reading up on reviews online, some people complained about breakouts (we didn’t experience this, and trust us - our skin is more sensitive than a wet tissue), but most were incredibly happy with their results. For $28, you get 60 pads, which is good for a month if used morning and night. 

Bottom line? Were excited about our two-week results, and can’t wait to see what our skin looks like after another two weeks. Try it, give it some time, and you shouldn’t be disappointed. $28, sephora.com

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