Friday, May 31, 2013

Cheap Thrills: Black Magic

We all know I'm the gothic Whoreder, so it comes as no surprise that I love the darker side of life - and that includes my beauty products. What fine lady and dapper gent couldn't do with a little black magic in their beautification routine?

Let's start from the top, my long-time hair care companion, Aveda's Black Malva Shampoo and Conditioner. I've been using Aveda for 20+ years, and although I like to try new products now and then, I've never been without my beloved Black Malva. It's made for dark hair colors, and helps bring out the cooler tones while reducing red & brassy tones. I loathe red in my hair, I want it black as black can possibly be. As mentioned on Aveda's site, "Contains organically grown aloe, black tea and emollient-rich black malva that's been wild-crafted—sustainably gathered by hand in its natural habitat." 

Left: Black Malva Shampoo, Right: Black Malva Conditioner
Black Malva is part of Aveda's Pure Plant collection, and there are other flavors colors available: Blue Malva (for blonde or grey hair), Camomile (brightens blonde highlights), Clove (enriches brown hair), and Madder Root (for red & auburn hair).

Charcoal Skincare
Black Moon Charcoal Sandalwood Soap

Charcoal is another dark and lovely ingredient that can work its black magic on your skin. Activated charcoal can draw out dirt and muck from your pores, leaving you with super clean skin. You can use if for your face, or for your whole body - just don't forget to do your best Buffalo Bill Silence of the Lambs voice while you lather up. The first charcoal soap I ever tried was Shea Moisture, which is available at drugstores (I got mine at Target). But there are so many out there now! Here are some others I've tried and are on my to-try list: Coal Face from Lush, Origins Body Soap, Soapwalla's Charcoal Soap, and Sisters of the Black Moon's Charcoal Sandalwood soap.

Origins Charcoal Mask
Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

Origins introduced me to the world of charcoal years ago, and I still love their Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. I use it a couple of times a month, and follow their recommendation to use a warm towel on my face right before applying the mask. The warmth will open up your pores and help the charcoal draw out the ick that got all up in your face. The 1.7 oz size is only $16, and will be enough for multiple uses, so treat yoself!

Boscia Black Mask  & Pore Strips
I am having a hardcore love affair with Boscia at the moment, their BB Cream blew my socks off and I've started trying more of their products (and falling deeper in love). I got their Little Black Book kit as a gift, it includes sample size versions of their Black Collection - all products that help control shine and minimize pores.
Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips
Boscia's Pore Purifying Black Strips are like those disgusting but fascinating pore strips you may have tried in the past. Boscia kicks it up a notch by including charcoal powder (to draw out dirt and oil), silica (to control excess oil), witch hazel extract (tightens the look of pores), and willowherb (an anti-irritant to help calm skin and remove redness). Plus, hello, they make you look fabulous!

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask
My new favorite Boscia obsession, Luminizing Black Mask! First off, it's a peel-off - so you feel like a mad scientist or Christian Bale in American Psycho.  You apply a coat of the mask on your whole face (I just did my nose in the photos above), avoiding your hairline and brows. You wait for it to dry, about 30 min, and then slowwwwwly peel it off. If feels super weird and kind of gross, but SO GOOD. If you're a real weirdo (like me), you can save the peeled off sections to study later.

Nail Polish

Let's all agree that Karen O is amazing, okay?  That being said, her KnockOut (KO, get it?) Nail Polish is amaaaaazing! I especially love her Flatte Black, a black-black-black no-shine polish that comes in a beautiful bottle. I love flat nail color, hop aboard my crazy train. They also make a Flatte Top top coat that protects your polish while keeping the color matte.

Illamasqua also makes two really nice black polishes, Scorn (flat) and Boosh (glossy). I love their polish, it lasts a really long time and the color selection is gorgeous.

I've missed sharing my Cheap Thrills with you! I promise not to be such a stranger, if you promise to do that thing you told me about that one time.

Until next time, stay glamorous...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Swanky Sweepin' Volume 83

Sweepstakes of the week:


$1,500 Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree   Ends 6/23


Smell like Britney  50 winners, ends 6/24

Too Faced makeup  100 winners, ends 7/29

One piece retro swimsuit  50 winners, ends 6/10. Do not subscribe.

Vacation in Utah's pretty, right? 15 winners, ends 8/30

Ojon haircare set  30 winners, ends 7/29

Zombie apocalypse kit  Ends 8/30

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Birthday Freebies - Shopping Discounts

I turned older again. HOWRUDE. Let's just pretend that didn't really happen.

The only good thing about turning older (once you're past 21) is that you can get things for free, even from people who don't know you. WHAAT. We've written about the freebies before (and you should check them out if you haven't already), but I'm here today to tell you that there's also shopping discounts to score. Perhaps not as exciting as completely free, but you could get a good deal on something you've been eyeballing.

Here's some of the discounts I received by email. Let us know if you have any to add to the list!

Free birthday gift set from Philosophy with $25 order
$10 off $50 at Old Navy
$20 off $50 at Alloy
20% off GOjane
25% off Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
10% off Spanx
20% off at
$5 off $30 at Hot Topic
20% off $50 purchase at Urban Outfitters
Free shipping, no minimum at Macys

Monday, May 13, 2013

Swanky Sweepin' Volume 82

Sweepstakes of the week:


Trip to Bordeaux, France  2 winners, ends 12/31

$10,000  and 50 winners of $500, ends 7/31


Nail wraps and a candle  30 winners, ends 5/29

Bunch of beauty stuff  all end 5/30

Cute sunglasses from Quayeyeware  20 winners, ends 5/31

$5,000  Pinterest contest, ends 12/31

$7,500 gift card  Polyvore contest, ends 7/15

Monday, May 6, 2013