Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: Tree Hut Body Scrub in Coconut Lime

There are many body scrubs that have found a home in my bathroom, and I tend to keep 2 or 3 in my shower at any given time to swap out, depending on my mood. My skin is dry, and nothing makes my skin softer than giving it a nice scrub with an exfoliator and my Clarisonic and then slathering it with a body butter (hello, Laura Mercier SoufflĂ© Body Creme!). Most of the time I pick a body scrub based on it’s scent – but today I want to review one that’s the whole package.

My bathroom is spa-themed, with blue and green being the key colors. I like it to be soothing and therapeutic, as it’s one of my favorite rooms in my condo to relax in (bubble baths are my thing). So, whilst checking out at Ulta awhile back, this little baby caught my eye, and all it took was one quick sniff for it to go into my basket. The packaging matches my bathroom, which I adore, but it’s the scent that makes this stuff irresistible – it’s divine! The Tree Hut Shea Sugar Coconut Lime Body Scrub smells like an island paradise, and the product itself looks like the sand at the bottom of crystal blue ocean water. The scrub itself is non-abrasive, but gets the job done, and washes away cleanly. It’s moisturizing as well, containing certified organic shea butter along with its natural coconut and lime extracts.

It’s inexpensive as well, at $4.99 for a 5.5 oz (my size) and $7.49 for a 18 oz. Plus, it comes in a body butter version as well, which I discovered while in Florida with my cousins – Loli, my 13 yr old cousin, was using this stuff along with the matching body butter. If I didn’t already have 500 body butters (and an ongoing love affair with the Laura Mercier one linked above) I would have picked up the body butter as well – it smells just as good.

This brand also makes a few more scents, all of which I have sniffed, and all of which are delicious. These products are definitely worth checking out the next time you are in Ulta or another store that carries them! This will definitely be repurchased - I enjoy using it so much. I recommend! 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Holy Grails: Worth the Hype?

There are many products out there that are so hyped up in the beauty community that you can’t help but wonder if they are really that good. Today I want to start a little series called “Worth the Hype?” where I will give my opinion on whether these products are really as amazing as people make them out to be. Remember, this is just my opinion, and for a product to get to the “cult favorite” level, it has to work really well for the majority of people – so take my opinion with a grain of salt! That being said, I get asked for reviews of these products a lot, so without further ado:

Urban Decay Naked Palette (Both 1 and 2):

My Story: When the first Naked Palette came out I put my foot down and said “no”. I felt I didn’t need it, and knew that I had plenty of dupes in my rather large MAC collection, so I didn’t give in. When the Naked 2 Palette came out I said “no” to myself again out of annoyance… first there was Naked 1 that everyone “had to have” and now there was a second one? I held off for a long time, until one trip to Ulta, where the Naked 1 Palette really caught my eye for the first time. As I looked at the colors I realized that yes, this palette really was gorgeous. I felt that $50 was quite a lot to shell out on a palette when I had many of the colors already (if not all of them), but I justified it as being a great travel palette – it has every color I would need to create natural to dramatic looks. I bought it, and yes, I love it.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Why or why not? Because it really is that good. That being said, I don’t think you need both of them. Pick one, the one that has the colors that attract you more (for me this was Naked 1), and go for that one. Both are gorgeous. Is it bad to have both? Definitely not! But don’t feel bad for only getting one – trust me, they create similar looks.

Worth the hype? Yes!

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser:

My Story: The Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser is one that almost every beauty guru has tried and loved. I hear about this product everywhere as a great basic, and I’ve heard it is lovely paired with a Clarisonic (see review below). It’s a good “I don’t want to think about it; I just want something that works” cleanser. I picked up a small size of this recently in Florida after forgetting my cleanser at home, and was quite excited to give it a try. And… it’s good. It’s not great (in my opinion). It feels quite nice on my skin, and the scent is nice (not too overwhelming). Plus, it’s perfect for traveling – it’s no fuss and does the job, but I won’t be purchasing it in full size. I’m just too into my balm cleansers right now to give this product enough love.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Why or why not? It’s a good cleanser. There’s nothing I didn’t like. It’s good, but it’s not great.

Worth the hype? Yes and No. It’s good. It’s not “the best cleanser I’ve ever tried in my whole life, if I was on an island I would need this and only this with me”.


My Story: I got my first Clarisonic years and years ago, when I was still in college. I did a whole video about it called "A Toothbrush for your Face!?" in which I rave about it. My skin loved this, until it didn’t anymore, simple as that. It used to do great things for my skin, and helped clear it up, but now it breaks me out, so I don’t use it anymore. I’ve gotten emails from people who ask me why the Clarisonic doesn’t work for them, and my response is, “it won’t work for every single person. Listen to your skin. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t use it!”

Now, I do want to point out, I still adore my Clarisonic, I just don’t use it on my face. My little pink Clarisonic makes for the best body exfoliator, and I love using it with my shower gel. It makes me feel so super clean, and afterwards I love how soft my skin is. So if you have invested in one, and it’s not working for your face, and you are frustrated, try it on your body! The skin on your body is able to withstand more exfoliation, so even if your face is too sensitive your body probably won’t be.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Why or why not? Even though I don’t use this on my face anymore I still use it daily, and used to love it on my face. It’s a good product, I think.

Worth the hype? Yes. Just don’t go into the purchase thinking that it 100% will work wonders for your face. It probably will – but just know that it doesn’t work for everyone!

MAC Makeup Brushes:

My Story: My very first “nice” makeup brush purchase was MAC. When I first got into watching and making YouTube videos MAC was the ONLY thing that the beauty gurus used. Because of that, I thought that they were “the best”, and I slowly invested in building up my collection. It’s been over 5 years, and they are still amazing and in perfect condition. The “oldest” MAC brush I have is 8 years old (a MAC 217 - it was the only eye makeup brush I had in college!) and you can’t even tell it’s older than my 5-year-old brushes.

Now, there are lots and lots of amazing brush companies, a few of which I have sprinkled into my “everyday brush collection” (Real Techniques, Sigma, Chanel), so MAC is definitely not the best-and-only-brush-company-ever, but it’s a good middle price-point line. You can find cheaper brushes (Real Techniques is really good, I find), and you can find much pricier brushes (Hakuhodo is one that I’m dying to try but they are SO expensive), but MAC is right in the middle.

Do I recommend them? Yes.

Why or why not? They last years and years and they create beautiful makeup. They are worth the money, in my opinion. You can build up your collection slowly, getting one brush at a time when you have the extra money, and they last ages as long as you take care of them. I wash mine with baby shampoo.

Worth the hype? Yes.

Beauty Blender Sponge:

My Story: The beauty blender is one of those products that people swear by with an eager, “if you have never tried this you have NO IDEA what foundation is SUPPOSED to look like!” I’m just more of a brush girl. I’ll admit, when I want my makeup to look perfect, there is nothing better than a damp beauty blender. But honestly, it’s too much work for me to wash this thing every time I use it. It’s much faster to spot clean a brush then to wash the beauty blender with soap in a sink every single day, and because of that I don’t tend to reach for it as much. I’ll admit though, if I had a collection of about 15 of these I would maybe use them more – I could just toss the dirty ones in a shoebox and do a nice deep clean of all of them every week or so… but since I just own one it is only used for the most meticulous of makeup applications.

Do I recommend it? Only if you like applying makeup with sponges, and don’t mind washing this with soap every time you use it. Would I recommend this over a foundation brush if you could only pick one? No.

Why or why not? As far as sponges go this is the best one I have tried. The original is better than the cheaper “knock-offs” that you can find in drugstores, and way, way, better than those little white triangle makeup sponges you can find in bulk packs in drugstores. 

Worth the hype? Yes (but only if you like applying makeup with sponges).

If you guys have other “hyped up” products you want me to feature in my next “Worth the Hype” post, let me know in a comment! I want to make this a regular feature here on Dreaming in Blush

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Huge Haul: 4-in-1

Today’s haul is unique, because I’m not just going to show you what I bought, but also what 3 other people selected on a recent trip to Ulta. I was joined by my youngest sister and two of my cousins, and I thought a 4-in-1 haul would be fun to share! As you can see, put all together, we purchased a lot of stuff! Let’s start with what I got, shall we?

The very first thing I picked up was the EOS SPF 15 lip balm in Lemon Drop. I like this one best out of all of the EOS balms, not only because it has SPF in it (which is perfect for the beach!) but also because it smells of Lemonade! Plus, it tastes good, and comes in a fun, bright egg for summer. This is going to be my best friend in the coming weeks! As you will see, everyone else also selected this same EOS balm – everyone thought it smelled delicious! I also wanted a few Maybelline color whispers, so I picked out Pin Up Peach and Coral Ambition. The little beige NYX pencil is a “wonder pencil” which is a 3-in-1 concealer, lip liner, and waterline liner that I have never seen (or heard of) but thought looked cool. Into my basket these goodies went.

You guys are going to totally make fun of me, but I forgot to bring a facial cleanser with me to the beach. I know, what kind of beauty addict am I? I think I must have forgotten it on my floor near where I was packing or by my sink at home, because I definitely pulled one to pack – but it obviously never made it into my suitcase. I’ve been using my mom’s Pevonia one, which you guys know I adore, but I felt bad using up her cleanser so when I saw this little travel size “Purity Made Simple” by Philosophy I thought, why not? I’ve wanted to try it for ages, and this was the perfect excuse. Plus, it's travel size, so if I don't like it, no harm done.

The Macadamia Oil Reviving Curl Cream was recommended by tons of you on my hair story post, so when I spotted a little tube of this I was very excited. My Ulta in LA has been out of this the last few times I’ve gone, and since I currently happen to be at the beach and wearing my hair curly it was perfect timing to try this out!

You know how Ulta and Sephora have all those deluxe samples at checkout for people to get sucked into buying? Hello, my name is “people”. The Tan Towel was casually sitting on the swivel stand at checkout and was literally screaming my name. “You’re pale and YOU DON’T LOOK GOOD NAKED! I can make you PRETTY AND TAN AND LOOK GOOD NAKED!” (honestly though, what kind of marketing is that? “The Tan Towel… look good naked"). Since they were in single-use packets I thought I would give one a try. No harm done to my wallet if I don’t care for it since I’m only paying for the one!

I’ve been wanting to try a diffuser on my curls, so when I spotted this standard-size Revlon one I grabbed it. The girl said if it didn’t fit my hair dryer (which isn’t Revlon) I could bring it back, but thankfully it did! I haven’t tried this yet but am going to try it with my new Macadamia curl reviving cream during my next hair wash (which will be tonight, LOL!).

Along with Mr. Tan Towel accusing me of being pale, this Maui Babe Browning Lotion was impossible to pass up. I have heard amazing things about this, but have never seen it in person, so it wasn’t hard to talk myself into purchasing it. They had this one and a darker brown one, which I was actually going to select, but it contained mineral oil, and this one didn’t! Since I am trying to stay away from mineral oil (sorry Eve Lom Cleanser, I still love you!) I went for the light brown one.

Urban Decay “all-nighter” was selected after reading a blog post from a blogger who explained that her “trick with testing setting sprays is to see if her makeup budges on her nose after wearing sunglasses”. As someone who gets INTENSELY annoyed by those “sunglass dents” in my foundation I was APPALLED with myself that I have never realized that there are SETTING SPRAYS THAT CAN FIX THIS! The Urban Decay “all-nighter” is the most highly recommended, and is made my Skindinavia whom I adore, so into my basket this mini-size version went. I found this at the checkout line too along with Mr. Tan “You Are Pale and Ugly” Towel.

The stars of this haul though are the Orofluido products. The Hollywood Ulta (which is the only Ulta in LA to my knowledge) has been out of stock of the beauty elixir for the last 5 trips I have taken there. Get it together, Hollywood Ulta! This Ulta had one (just one!) in stock, and I made a beeline for it! I’ve had a sample of this from a birchbox and it was the most lovely hair oil I have ever tried. I love Moroccan, Macadamia, Argon, and all the others too, but this one tops them all. On top of that it smells of Vanilla and the scent lingers in your hair… le sigh. I love this stuff! They also had the mask in stock, which I don’t think my Ulta even carries, so I picked that up as well. I’ll let you know if it’s as good as the oil!

Jellybean’s haul was the smallest, which makes sense as she is only 10. She needed a face wash just for her nose, to take care of some pesky blackheads that have started taking up residence there, so I helped her pick out the Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub. She's also been wanting a Revlon Lip Butter, so I told her she could pick one out. She picked "Strawberry Shortcake". Since it’s more like a balm than anything else I didn’t think she was too young to have it. I also ended up getting her the yellow Lemon Drop SPF 15 EOS balm, since all of the cousins were getting one and I didn’t want her to feel left out. Plus, SPF is important!

Margaret, AKA "Stringbean", age 15, selected her items very carefully, choosing to save some of her summer money for clothing. Margaret has a job and earns her own money, and likes to pick out items that she has researched extensively. She loves YouTube beauty videos, and I helped her pick out a few of these items. She has the same coloring as me, blonde hair with the “Fowler Blue” eyes (in fact, all four of us do! They aren't actually blue; they are identical shades of a blue/green/grey/hazel mix), so I thought the Stila “in the light” Palette would look gorgeous on her. She wanted a black liner so Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Perversion was selected. She also wanted a setting spray, and since I was getting the Urban Decay “all-nighter” spray she wanted to try it also, but ended up picking “de-slick” since she has more oily skin than me. She also purchased the Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Primer Potion, (which I have never tried), because she said she read reviews and thought it would be perfect for her. The Lemon Drop with SPF 15 EOS balm completed her haul.

Lolibean, age 13, got the most out of all of us. She is very girly, and wanted to spend most of her summer spending money on beauty products. She got her favorite spray sunscreen, a Revlon pencil sharpener, and the yellow Lemon Drop EOS balm we all got. She got two things from NYX, the Lip Liner in Pinky and a Matte Lipstick in MLS 06. 

She asked me for advice on a good concealer that matched her skin, so I recommended the Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in Light. She also picked up the Maybelline Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara (I just tried this out too and didn’t like it, BTW), the Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray, and Urban Decay de-slick like her sister. 

She also got a set of 3 combs (they were only 2 dollars for the set!! I wish I had seen them – I am in need of a fine tooth comb with the needle-thin end like that!), a Wet Brush, and a package of BIC razors. Two products from Cetaphil, the Oil Control Foam Wash and the Cleanser, and two from Tree Hut, the Coconut Lime Body Butter and Body Scrub completed her haul. 

All four of us came home and they helped me take the pictures for this post, each selecting their "background fabric" (AKA our clothing) and helping arrange the products. I wouldn't be surprised if Lolibean and Stringbean started blogging at some point ;)

P.S. Jellybean has no interest in the beauty world. She's into horses, goats, bunnies, and pet rocks. 

P.P.S. For those wondering about their nicknames, when Loli and Jelly were small they were inseparable and identical, and we would call them "Loli" and "the Bean". "Loli" comes from "Lowly Worm" from Richard Scary's children's books, which the girls loved, and "Bean" comes from Jellybean, which has always been her nickname (since before she was even a person and was just a bean-sized alien in Mom's tummy). Fast forward a few years and "Loli and the Bean", my Mom and Aunt's boutique, was born. Glitzy-Glam was my spin off from that store. Now you know where the name came from ;)

Lowly Worm.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Just a super quick update!

Sephora is having a limited time 8% cash back sales at Ebates! Normally it's 2.5% so this is really good! - Link!

Plus use these codes!
 - Use code "10DAYS" for a 10-day supply of Algenist Retoniol Firming and Lifting Serum with $25 purchase.
 - Use code "VIBSKINIQ" for a sample bag with 9 skincare samples with $35 purchase.
 - Use code "DIORFLASH" for a deluxe sample of Diorshow Mascara with $25 purchase.
 - Use code "DIORCLEAN" for a deluxe sample of Dior's Cleansing Oil with $25 purchase.
 - Use code "GOODGENES" for a sample of the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment with $25 purchase.

J.Crew is also doing double back, they have gone from 3% to 6% cash back! - Link!

More posts will be up soon! I have a big 4-in-1 haul coming soon :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Lush's "I love Juicy" Shampoo

Mango. Papaya. Kiwi. Pineapple.

Sounds amazing right? It is.

This is a tiny little shampoo that I picked up during my last Lush haul based on the scent alone. It’s not made for my hair type (dry) and I wasn’t exactly in the market for a new shampoo (I’m having a love affair with the TIGI S-Factor Shampoo and Conditioner) but I gave it a sniff and knew it had to be mine. I compromised with myself by purchasing the smallest size available, the 3.3 oz. It cost me $9.95, and I thought that if it was terrible stripping I would pass it on to Blair, my little Juicy-star (get it!?). Her hair isn’t as dry as mine, you see.

I packed this with me on my beach vacation, thinking that its scent would be perfect for hot summer days. This shampoo is bursting with fruity freshness; it smells like summer to me. I also packed Miss S-Factor Shampoo in case this one was terrible, but guess what? I haven’t used the S-Factor one once.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the S-Factor one is still my favorite - my go-to if you will. It’s gorgeous and smoothing and smells of peaches and cream… it’s won such a fierce place in my heart, but this little Juicy shampoo is giving it a run for its money. The fruit juices mentioned above are slightly acidic, which works to mop up oil and grime produced by the scalp. It has sea salt for volume and seaweed extract to soften, and is meant to “leave your hair squeaky clean, with unbelievable shine and touchably soft tresses.”

Something interesting came into my mind today as I was using this stuff. I was happily lathering up my hair and deeply breathing in this glorious scent when the thought, “you only like it cause its small” crossed my mind. That gave me pause, and I realized that I was right. “I’m a genius!” I thought. I had purchased the smallest bottle of this, and once I realized how much I loved it I started cherishing it, and really enjoying each and every moment I used it. That’s the way using beauty products should always be, but let’s be honest – it’s not always. More often than not it can feel like a sort of chore. So I’m actually very happy that I purchased the tiny size, because I don’t even need to be using this every day, and it makes me enjoy it more.

This product does leave my hair “squeaky clean” like it claims, which I know is not “good” for your hair, but it doesn’t feel stripped. You definitely need to follow this up with a conditioner, but I do that anyway so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I just used my usual S-Factor conditioner. My hair feels soft, and I think this product has helped my curls come out a bit more, probably due to the sea salt, as seen in this post. But, as you can probably guess, my favorite part is the scent. It doesn’t just rinse out and disappear; my whole bathroom smells of this for hours after my shower. As my 10-year-old sister asked, “why in the world does the bathroom smell like a Key Lime pie?” And it does, oddly enough. We had Key Lime pie for dessert that night, and sure enough, they smell the same. They are sisters. Key Lime pie and Juicy shampoo, Sisters from another Mister. Or however that saying goes.

Do I recommend this? Yes. Will I repurchase it? Yes, the small size. Will I repurchase a huge gigantic size and use it forever and ever? No, but only because it’s not even meant for my hair type. It’s targeted for oily-haired gals, so if that’s what you have then you need to try this! And if you are dry-haired, like me, you should still try a small size. It’s the perfect summer shampoo! This would also be the perfect “I’ve needed to wash my hair for well over a day and been slacking and it needs a really good, deep clean” or a “I have so much hairspray/dry shampoo/product in my hair and it needs a really good, deep clean” shampoo. I like!

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate , Carrageenan Gel , Sodium Alkyl Sulfate , Cocamide DEA , Cocamide MEA , Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate , Perfume , Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum) , Fresh Papaya Juice (Carica papaya) , Salt (Sodium Chloride) , Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis) , Fresh Pineapple Juice (Ananas comosus) , Fresh Kiwi Juice (Actinidia chinensis) , Fresh Mango Juice (Mangifera indica) , *Citral , *Limonene , Benzyl Alcohol , Methylparaben , Propylparaben

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