Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today's Cuppa

I don't drink a lot of coffee, because I've seen what it does to it's dedicated adherents. My poor husband is so addicted that he'll get a raging headache if he goes without, and I know when I've had it more than a few days in a row, I was sluggish and unable to wake up without it. Tea however- oh am I ever a tea gal. I generally go back and forth between rooibos, tisanes, and caffeinated. Today is a caffeine day, so I turned to my beloved SBS Teas Ice Wine black tea.

To make ice wine, Vidal or Riesling grapes are left on the vine until after the first frost hits: usually in late November. The grapes area picked on freezing cold nights when the temperature is less than 17 degrees. At this temperature the frozen grapes are as hard as marbles and thus during pressing, water is driven out as shards of ice. This leaves a highly concentrated juice very high in acids, sugars, and aromatics--the required elements for perfect ice wine. This premium high grown Ceylon tea, infused with natural flavors and Ice wine captures the romance and flavor of this exotic treat. There are beguiling sweet pear notes with hints of berry and caramel. YUM!!!

I love that they also sell a Personal Tea Bag, an environmentally friendly paper filter specially designed for loose-leaf teas. Simply put tea into bag, fold the flap and smooth and use just like a regular tea bag. There is even a string with a paper tab for easy manipulation. These are great for me to keep on hand at work for my loose teas since it's a pain to clean out a tea ball here. (though I DO still need to get a few new ones, just in case.) 

Not only are SBS Teas prices supremely low, but they also have awesome gift sets and their grab bags ROCK! These make for super Christmas presents and at the same time you get to support an independently owned business! Right now they're having a blowout sale on their beautiful stoneware and porcelain mugs- only $1.50 each! One of these with a $5.00 tea grab bag and you just put together a gift that looks like it cost WAAAAAAY more!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cyber Monday freebie deals extended at Mark!

Julep Two For One Tuesday Flash Sale

Painted Laydies Mineral Makeup

 Group Coaching button

Painted Laydies Mineral Makeup is an independent cosmetics company that specializes in hand created mineral makeup. Their formulas are multipurpose so you have multitasking cosmetics that can be used on eyes, lips, nails, etc. What I like about their website is they actually have a page that describes in detail exactly how to use minerals for uses other than just eyeshadow (they even give shadow application tips though). There's even a tutorial on how to use mineral colors on your eyelashes! 

There's a whole page dedicated to helping you pick out the best colors for your skintone, with guidelines to determine which shade range you're in, not to mention another page dedicated to helping you perfect your eyebrows! 

Besides mineral pigments, there's also three types of foundation, from heavy to light coverage depending on your needs. Within each style of foundation there are tons of colors to choose from, so you can be sure to get the right color for you. 

I have two of their colors- Desert Wind and Tramp. Desert Wind appears to be a bricky red/brown in the jar, but when applied it has these underlying flashes of purple and orange that give it an amazing optical effect. This looks gorgeous applied to the lips. 

Tramp is a soft pink with gold highlights that looks AMAZING on cheeks, the gold creates these highlights that are incredibly eye catching and mimic certain expensive brands of highlighters. While it also is a beautiful eyeshadow, it really reminds me of Nars Super Orgasm Blush (and at $6.50 compared to Nars $27, is a bargain to boot!) youre wearing nothintrampg.
Painted Laydies is a makeup that not only enhances your natural beauty, but helps to protects your skin while you’re wearing it. This is a mineral makeup that helps prevent and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while helping to protect from the sun's damaging rays to keep your skin looking young and healthy. 
It is designed to make your skin look and feel clean, silky and fresh, not cakey or pasty like some other makeup. It gives you a flawless, beautiful finish every time. It is also very concentrated, so a small amount will last longer than many store brands or traditional items with binders and fillers that dilute the end product. 
Mineral Makeup offers the following:
*sun protection 
*dose not clog pores
*contains no waxes, dyes, chemical preservatives
*provides a color pallette for any shade of skin and can be mixed to get your perfect shade 
*ease of use 


update- they have extended the 40% back deal thru today!!!!

Whoo hoo! Today only, is giving you 40% back in BloomDollars! BloomDollars are as good as cash, so you're getting store credit to spend on whatever you want in the store. As always, Bloom still has the best free samples in the beauty biz since you get increasingly bigger and more freebies based on what you spend (including your choice of an additional full sized freebie if you spend $100) and if you become a Bloom member (it's free) we can be in each other's beauty circles and get bigger discounts in their store! This is a great time to try them out. I can vouch for their wonderful deals, their awesome selection and their superb customer service.

Cyber weekend, start shopping!
Earn rewards on great gifts!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pernilla's Something Swedish

UPDATE! Use code BEAUTYPIRATE and get 10% off your order! Awesome Christmas gifts!

Pernilla's Something Swedish is a seller with something for everyone. Jewelry? Check. Candies to kill someone for? Check. Cute little sculpted gnomes? Check. (Really!) She has both an Artfire shop and an Etsy shop, as well as a blog. Some time ago I ordered a gourmet chocolate sample pack and fell in love!
Everything literally melted in my mouth and I hid the package from my husband so he could only have the little tiny nibbles I doled out to him. This stuff was precious. This stuff was gold. The flavors! The variety! The unique combinations! Sigh.... Not only that, but she threw in some extras, including one of the most gorgeous necklaces ever! (Sadly, I wore it to stay the weekend out of town and it got left there and supposedly disappeared. I have my suspicions though- hey, this was a really rad necklace!)

Pennie uses all natural ingredients and offers sugar, gluten and soy free options! She can customize anything to your desires and needs. One of her feedbacks on her Etsy store was so effusive about the sugar free fudge you'd have thought it was a commercial! Pennie has got a loyal army of followers, and I highly encourage you to become one yourself! You will not be disappointed, I guarantee.

Her jewelry is absolutely lovely. I ADORE her tangled ball pieces- truly one of a kind and sure to draw attention. (Ahem- missing necklace- for example!) She does a lot of wire wrapping in her pieces giving them a depth and complexity that I love.
And remember the gnomes?
Told you I wasn't making it up! If you have a gnome fetish like I do- these are just too adorable. What an excellent one of a kind gift for the gnome lover in your life!

Here's my interview with the lovely Pennie herself!

You're originally from Sweden. What did you do there?

Yes, I am sooooo Swedish, lol! :) I did a lot over there, right before I moved to the US, I had my own Beauty Salon. I owned it for about 10 years and I loved my job every single day. I have always been very interestead in "taking good care of ourselves from the inside and out". I belive that it is so important to do.
I also had my own Skin care line. Besides that, I am educated as a special need child care provider, so I have been working with kids in all kinds of different ages and with special needs. I also owned horses, dogs, kats, cows etc, I am a real country girl and I could never deal with not living close to nature and Animals. That is a must in my every day life. I have also trained dogs, including my own a little bit on the side of my other jobs.

Why did you move to the U.S.?

People ask me this all the time, and I always tell the the same, MY HUSBAND, LOL! Yes, it is true, it is because of him that I am here, he is American. I do have a long distant Amarican family on my fathers side. And, my great grand father on my mothers side came here to the US for about 8 years to work. (Long story) lol!

How long have you been making jewelry and yummy candies?

I have been making my Candy and Jewelry for as long as I can remember. I have always been making yummy treats for the family and the same with my Jewelry and crafts. Me and my sister, we use to sell our Creations at craft shows in Sweden all the time. That is a lot of fun. I do that here in the US too, but I sell most of it through My Online Shops.

What or who got you started making your goodies?

Well, I would have to say my mother and my grand mother. They both have always Loved to bake and cook, so I was quick to follow in their foot steps so to speak. I just have such a passion for it all, and I think that it is a must to be passionate about what you are doing if you want it to turn into something Great and Wonderful.

What inspires you?
My Family, My Dear Friends and My Wonderful returning Customers! They inspire me the most. Also, sellers who have been choosing to follow me, those who wishes to make what I make or make something simular to what I have, that makes ME feel very special, and then I know that My very own Design and Creations are something Really special and Awesome!

What's your favorite of your edible treats?

Ohhhhh, Now that is one hard question, LOL! I have sooooo many Favorites, but right now I would have to say My Sugar Free BlueBerry Butter Cookies. :)
Otherwice as I am Swedish, I am Totally in Love with My Black Licorice Fudge and My Swedish Munks.

So run, don't walk to Pernilla's Something Swedish and tell her The Beauty Pirate sent you!

Cynthia Rowley Curated Birchbox

I have gone on and on about Birchbox since they first came out. This was their first celebrity curated box and was done by none other than fashion icon Cynthia Rowley! To read a Birchbox exclusive interview with the designer, Click here

Birchbox is a monthly surprise and delight, and if you'd like to join yourself, just CLICK HERE

For a peak inside, here's a video for you!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Eco Emi - A Completely Eco Friendly Sampler Box!!!

Eco-Emi has a heartbreaking yet compelling back story- Check it out here

This is a monthly sampler program similar to Birchbox, however all of the items in it are green and eco-friendly. As with other samplers, this is a great way to try out a product you might be unfamiliar with without having to cough up the full cost for something you may not like. I just received the November box- my first, and I have to say, I'm really pleased! The products came inside of a reusable plastic zip up makeup bag, which I need because this one is the perfect size to hold essentials in one place but still fit in my smaller purses. My one suggestion would be to not individually wrap items, saving on packaging . (Though that does look pretty, it kinda negates the point of going green)

For reviews of the products included, here's a vlog entry that I did on the box and it's contents after trying them all out. Check out Eco-Emi and tell her The Beauty Pirate sent ya!
Here's what was in the box with links to the sellers (click on the photo)

Vanilla & Sweet Orange Mist Spray
Keeki Ooh La La Lip Shimmer
Eye Shadow Sunlight
Vanilla & Sweet Orange Mist Spray
By: Hugo Naturals
Keeki Ooh La La Lip Shimmer
By: Keeki Pure and Simple
Eye Shadow Sunlight
By: Earths Beauty
Foot Cream Candy Mint
Dark Chocolate
Organic Excellence Wild Mint ShampooOrganic Excellence Wild Mint Conditioner
Foot Cream Candy Mint
By: Deep Steep
Dark Chocolate
By: Sweet Riot
Organic Excellence Wild Mint
Shampoo & Conditioner
Ugandan Shea Butter Hand Cream
Refine Clay Renewal Face Mask
Pin Button
Ugandan Shea Butter Hand Cream
By: Planet Botanicals
Refine Clay Renewal Face Mask
By: Blissoma
Pin Button
By: Soul Flower

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Me Likey

Stuff that I've been enjoying lately....

Borghese Gel Delicato is an absolutely wonderful eye makeup remover, especially for delicate or sensitive eyes. Because it's a gel and not a runny liquid, you don't waste any and it's easy to use in the exact area you want it. It's very soothing and cooling and after a long day, it makes my eyes feel refreshed. A little goes a long way, so it'll last you a really long time. It gets rid of every last bit of NON-WATERPROOF eye makeup (if you're wearing waterproof, you should probably use an oil based like Lancome Bi-Facil) and also any lipstick stain as well. There's no pulling or tugging with it, it glides across the skin smoothly. So gentle that I have gotten some actually ON my eyeball and it didn't burn, making it perfect for getting every last bit that's up all in your eye. (I'm a klutz- that's how I roll, dawg.) A bottle of this bad boy is sitting on my bathroom sink at this very second.
Gel Delicato - Gentle Makeup Remover (8.4 fl oz.)
Gel Delicato - Gentle Makeup Remover (8.4 fl oz.)
This luscious elixir removes eye makeup with ease. The lightweight, oil-free formula works thoroughly without causing irritation to delicate orbital skin. Lavender, comfrey and Acqua di Vita® Complex provide rich nourishment and protection for eyes that are clean, soothed and refreshed.

Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask was my summer go-to, so it was only fitting that I used up my last little bit last week right as winter is now around the corner. The clay really cleans out those pores making them appear smaller and more refined, as well as clearing up skin congestion. I used it because I had gotten a few blemishes from slacking on my beauty routine post surgery and within a day or so my skin was more than back to normal, it was in excellent shape. The lavender is really calming to reactive and sensitive skin like mine and rosemary zaps any buggerboos hiding in your pores. It only takes the tiniest bit and it's aroma-therapeutically very relaxing. (unless you don't like the scent of rosemary, thyme or lavender- I did read one bad review from someone who objected to the scent of the herbals.) I steam my skin first to really get those pores open then go to town.
Herbal Lavender Repair Mask (2.5 fl oz.)
Herbal Lavender Repair Mask (2.5 fl oz.)
Herbal Lavender Repair Mask features a rich, oil-absorbing texture that restores balance and clarity to the skin. Pure clays soak up excess oil while naturally antiseptic rosemary, thyme and lavender essential oils heal and prevent acne breakouts. Herbal Lavender Repair Mask is perfect for oily, combination and acne-prone skin types, as well as skin that has become sallow or generally unhealthy.

fresh Umbrian Clay Absolute Concealer is a lightweight concealer that walks this weird line between sheer and being able to cover up even under eye circles. It has a lightweight coverage, but is easily buildable without looking chalky or gunky. This is great for when you need extra coverage over larger areas like if you have rosacea and don't want to pile on the foundation- this will blend in smoothly and cleanly with your foundation. There's a lot of colors available making it easy to find your perfect shade, I use the #1. Because of the clay in it, it's excellent for covering blemishes as it also provides a medicinal effect to help diminish spots. I like how easily it blends in and looks so natural instead of just sitting in a big thick layer.

Fresh Umbrian Clay® Absolute Concealer® 1

GoSmile Touch up Ampoules are so super cool! They're these little tubes that you snap with your fingers like a glow stick and they have a little scrubby at the end that absorbs the liquid inside and lets you apply it to your teeth. Great for carrying in your purse or what you to use after eating, drinking or smoking. much better than gum or candy to freshen breath because it also brushes your teeth and contains ingredients that prevent stains from things like coffee, tea, wine or cigarettes from settling into your teeth. Perfect for those folks who have long days- just flip, snap and rub! I ALWAYS have these around.
GoSMiLE Touch Up Variety Pack with Carrying Case

Big Girl Cosmetics has the coolest back story! The founder was in the audience when Oprah gave everyone a car. not needing the car, founder Kiley Russell sold the car to use the money to start her own cosmetics company! Check out this piece from Inside Edition

They have a really good mission statement too:
"At Big Girl Cosmetics it is our mission to not only provide the best, state of the art products in the cosmetic industry but to also offer affordable beauty products that improve women's lives. Our goal is to empower women to take control and honor their bodies to make more informed choices and feel more secure with their own definition of beauty. "

 I have the Bling Diva Lipgloss  which is a luscious sparkly gloss with a beautiful tint of color and I love the twinklies! This is a really rich, nourishing gloss that isn't gloppy and feels delightful on your

For women of color, they specialize in liquid, loose mineral, and dual powder foundations that have been chosen time and time again as top picks for darker skin tones (I'm not in the position to judge, as I'm pretty darn pale...). They do free shipping on orders of $25 or more. I love that they aren't afraid to flaunt some kapow colors in their shadow range! They've got a shadow palette that I'd really like to try out, as these colors would make the green in my eyes really pop....