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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Here are a few of my favorite things...Of 2011!


 As 2011 has rapidly ended I take a moment to reflect on all the amazing “beauty finds” that I had the opportunity to experience. Below you’ll find a nice extensive list of products that I’ve tried, places that I experienced and new brands that I found I couldn’t live without. You’ll also find a list of things that I’m looking forward to “try out” at the start of 2012! Enjoy! Here are a few of my favorite things…
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” –Marilyn Monroe-


This year for me was the year for Shellac. An incredibly good friend of mine introduced me to it and my first experience with Shellac was at BLISS Spa here in Scottsdale, AZ. After my friend explained to me how it worked I was very confused and rather perplexed as to how it worked and basically thought she was crazy! But until you have experienced it yourself you won’t really understand exactly how it works. And I have to say that since I’ve had it done I will NEVER get another kind of manicure ever again! At first there were very limited colors in the Shellac color palette but now the color wheel has gotten more expansive and there are quite a few colors to choose from even glitter. (And anyone who knows me well enough knows that if there’s glitter involved I’m all for it!) Here’s a few pictures of some Shellac manicures I had done both at BLISS Spa here in Scottsdale, AZ.

And the winning mascara of 2011 is:
Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes

As a makeup and beauty lover one product that I can never live without is mascara. I’ve been on the quest for the perfect mascara for some time now, and I think I finally found my match made in heaven! I find the mascara to be a bit pricey, but you’re paying for the name and I’m sure once it becomes less of a novelty item that the price will go down. The best part about it is how much volume my lashes have and I don’t even have to curl my lashes. I like to layer my mascara’s and using this one I didn’t need to use any others to give me the volume I was looking for. I mean Kim Kardashian wore this mascara for her shotgun wedding, so it has to be good right? ;-)

BLISS Products
This past year also brought another 1st experience for me: I went to my first BLISS spa here in Scottsdale, Arizona. Now that I’ve been exposed to the whole “BLISS experience” it’s definitely a place that I will treat myself to when I’ve been a good girl! Not only do I love their Shellac manicures, but their pedicures are amazing too! The last time I was there I definitely loaded up (or overloaded, I should say) on some of their INCREDIBLE products. Here are a few I love:

Aloe and Peppermint Exfoliating Foot Cream
Fabulous Foaming Face Wash

Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel (INVIGORATING)


Do you ever have one of those days where you’re having a rough day at work, nothing seems to be going right, you have a mad case of the Monday’s, and Aunt Flo has visited you and left you feeling like a fat cow, not to mention you think you look like an ogre? Well, I’ve had more of those days than I’d like to count, but you know what I do when I’m feeling down: I sweep some Chanel eye shadow on my lids and everything seems to be better in the world and I feel like I’m unstoppable and nothing can touch me.

Okay so maybe it doesn’t make me feel like I’m now a superhero who fights crime at night, but it sure does make me feel like a million bucks and ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! If that’s the only thing to make me feel chic, well then I’ll gladly take it. Here’s my favorite shade called Mirifique:


So when I wasn’t spending massive amounts of money on Shellac manicures I tried to do it on my own! I have fallen head over heels in love with anything made by Deborah Lippmann. She has quite a few glitter nail polishes that I just adore. I also really enjoy the Sally Hansen Salon Effects “nail polishes” and I feel like a kid when I use Revlon’s scented nails polishes. My favorite is the bubblegum.
Sally Hansen

Deborah Lippmann

Revlon Scented in Bubblegum


I discovered some fun brands that I can’t live without in 2011. Most of them can be found at Sephora, what I consider to be the beauty mecca! I love anything made by Urban Decay. They have a lot of fun bold colors that pop, and they also make quite a few makeup products with glitter. I love pretty much everything in the Makeup Forever line. I also like several of Tarte’s products and I just adore how they present their makeup. As mentioned above: Chanel, Deborah Lippmann, and Bliss products. I also like some of Hard Candy’s products that you can find at Wal-Mart. They have glitter mascara that looks awesome on eyelashes.



I discovered a couple of incredibly fun beauty places in the year of 2011 also! I was exposed to BLISS Spade-stress. And as I mentioned above the work of the nail techs is amazing and I just adore my new-found Shellac experience. Not only will I keep going there, but I’ll also keep stocking up on their beauty products too!


The next place I found is Zethina Cosmetics which is located a bit closer to me on the West Side in Glendale, AZ. It’s the cutest place, decorated incredibly well and makes me feel super uber girly! Zethina, the owner of the place actually graduated from the same high school I did and has been a makeup artist for over 20 years even doing some famous celebrities. She has her own line of makeup and is the most generous person I’ve probably ever met. I found out about it because I received a gift certificate there for Christmas one year, and I had the chance to experience a Shellac manicure there as well as a pedicure. What a joyful experience. The nail techs are great and definitely have a knack for making you feel comfortable and relaxed as well! I have been several times and have had upscale events to attend and every time I come out looking like a million bucks. There’s also a salon attached called Salon Michele Rene and all of the hairstylists there are amazing as well. I had my first all-over dye this fall and I got a darker auburn/chestnut color done and fell in love with it. I’ve also had quite a few updos done for my fancy events too and they’ve always turned out so well. Zethina gave me some awesome eye shadow samples to try with my new hair color (for free I might add) and she’s always so generous in giving me makeup tips or sharing the new trends with me. She’s on Sonoran Living on Channel 15 a lot and I cannot reiterate enough how much fun I have there and how  incredibly amazing their employees are. I will continue to keep going back and recommending them to everyone!


Another incredible beauty location of 2011 was the Blow Dry Bar in Scottsdale. At 1st the concept (like the Shellac) just completely baffled me and left me feeling rather perplexed. A place where you just go to get your hair blow-dried and styled? I mean people really do that? Well the answer to that is yes they do! It was such a fun and enjoyable experience for me. You have the opportunity to have a little “sit down” with your stylist to figure out what it is that you want to do. They have a “bar menu” which offers different types of styles with fun flirty names such as a Cosmopolitan or a Mai Tai, etc. Then you get your hair washed and have the option of adding a 10-minute head massage which was honestly sheer heaven for me. I could’ve fallen asleep right there. You get your hair blow-dried and then styled and voila you’re ready to go. The atmosphere is great (they have flavored waters for you and play chick flicks while you’re being “dolled” up) and the price is so reasonable. They even offer a service of coming to your house to do your hair and they even have what they call a Shirley Temple for young girls. So much fun and a great thing to have done if you’re going out on the town! And there are no cuts or color involved. Best part is that no matter how the consistency of your hair or length each “style” is only $35. What a steal!  


The last and final FABULOUS beauty find of 2011 was Birchbox. Birchbox is a rather unique idea that sends you a plethora of beauty products (most that haven’t even hit market shelves yet) and you get to keep them and try them out. It’s a monthly fee of $10 and you receive about 4 to 5 samples in a box ranging from toothpaste, to nail polish, to bronzer. Some of the products are well-known labels as well as emerging trends. You get to keep all the samples and afterwards you have the opportunity to buy the full size version from the website. You get Birchbox points and then accumulate them to use on other purchases. To me it’s like Christmas every month. I love the opportunity to be able to try out the products, see if I like it, and then purchase it. Highly recommend it to everyone!


There are some products that have just recently been released that I’m dying to try for 2012. Here’s what I’m lusting after:

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24-Hour Cream Gel Shadow

Maybelline Nude Dream Air Foam Foundation

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer

 Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner

Violent Lip, Lip Tattoos

And finally… I want to go to a Braid Bar, but sadly I don’t think any are open in AZ yet! =(

And in the ever so infamous words of Porky the Pig... "That's all folks!" Hope you enjoyed my 2011 beauty recap through my eyes!

Until next time...
<3 Stacey <3

P.S. I'd also like to report huge news for 2011: I FINALLY became a V.I.B. (Very Important Beauty Insider) as named by Sephora! THIS IS HUGE! It's about damn time! ;-)

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