NEW at icedpink.com – Create Your Own Sets, NEW Packaging and NEW Products~!

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I’ve never sold sets in the Iced pinK Etsy Store before, because each of us have different taste in earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. And you shouldn’t have to buy a set, with a piece that you may not use. So, it got me to thinking. And then I began creating lots of pieces in different sizes and styles and colors, that coordinate!  When I listed them in the Iced pinK Etsy store, each listing includes pieces that match or coordinate – to create a set unique for you! And the “Create Your Set” was born! I’m excited to bring you, yet another form of customization to your accessory wardrobe! Most of the necklaces and/or bracelets allow for you to customize your length, and now you can create your own sets!
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Top 10 Splurge and Steal Eyeshadow Palettes

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After just finishing my Sequence of a Smokey Eye Post,  I thought it would be fitting to do a top 10 Eyeshadow Palette Review~! I should first let you know that I am a former “eyeshadow snob”. I never used to buy eyeshadow in the drugstore, because of the lack of pigment and color selection. But a couple of years ago, after trying a couple of brands at the drugstore I felt like I’d discovered treasure ~! Yes, I was shocked! Highly pigmented, unique colors at a bargain price??? Who knew???

So I’ll just let you know, when I’m reviewing these palettes, I look for a couple of things. First and foremost – how pigmented is the palette? I’m not interested in eyeshadows that you have to apply so much to your lids to get the color shown in the palette. Or the shadows that never really look as bright on your lids as they do in the palette, no matter how much you apply.

Secondly, I look for range and unique colors. You want them to stand up to your department store counterparts – not produce the same colors every line comes out with. When you go to the MAC counter at Nordstrom – you see every color of the rainbow times 100!!! And although, you won’t find as many colors in the drugstore – you should still be able to pick up some fun and unique colors that emphasize your eyes~!

And they are ranked in order from 1st to 5th for both Drugstore and Department store. So here ya go, fellow beauty junkies ~ read on…..

 

STEAL:

 

  

1. Wet and Wild ColorIcon Palettes: I know, shocker right? (haha, not~!) Yup, these are number one for a reason – amazing colors and highly pigmented! One of the few undiscovered treasures at the drugstore. And add to it, that these are the palettes that converted this former department store snob into a drugstore glamourista~!

 

2. NYX Palettes: These little beauties come packaged in a sleek “professional” looking black case. Each one comes with beautiful, highly pigmented colors. They have everything from natural looking to vibrant ones~! Gorgeous~!

 

 

3. Maybelline Eye Studio Palettes: These quads have amazing texture and pigment. And with the clear lids – makes it easy to find the colors you want when you’re getting all “glammed up”.

 

4. Ulta Eye Shadow Palettes: Ulta has come out with a great range of colors, pigments and textures for their eyeshadows.

 

5. Revlon Eye Shadow Palettes: Revlon has a nice selection and wide variety of eye shadow palettes. I haven’t tried the new Colorstay 16 hour eye shadow quads yet, but those look amazing. Hopefully will have to try them soon and review them~!

 

 

SPLURGE

 

   

1. Too Faced Eye Shadow Palettes: Can’t say enough amazing things about these little palettes. Not only do they come with beautifully pigmented eyeshadows in a great selection of colors; BUT they also come with 3 handy dandy cards that show you different looks and just how to apply them! These palettes are a “no-fail” guide to amazing eyes~!

 

 

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette: Of course, right??? This palette probably made famous last year by its extreme popularity, and how fast it sold out of all stores and online – and took quite a few months before stores saw their stock replenished! The colors are amazing~! A definite must have~! They have since come out with the Naked Palette 2 – which looks like another winner~!

 

 

 

3. Lorac Palettes: Lorac produces amazing colors that are rich with pigment. The above two are the Private Affair Palette and one of their Croc Palettes. You definitely can’t go wrong with Lorac~!

 

 

4. Mac Palettes: Mac comes out with several different palettes throughout the year and still continues to be at the top of the industry for their wide variety of colors and textures. They truly DO have something for everyone~!

 

 

5. TIE~~!!! Between Stila (the two palettes on the left) and SEPHORA (the two palettes on the right) : Stila is, and always have been, amazing with colors and pigments. And Sephora has produced some amazing eyeshadow palettes as well~! Beautiful~!

 

I hope you enjoyed this Eyeshadow Edition of Splurge and Steal Beauty! I love palettes, because aside from being extremely economical – you get beautiful and complimentary colors with no effort on your part. Several times I’ve discovered new and unique shades I would have never purchased individually – but given the chance, they’ve quickly become some of my fave colors~! Palettes seem to INSPIRE experimentation with color – which I love to do~! Well my beauties, that’s it for me! Remember keep it glam, keep it colorful, and never stop experimenting~!

Wham Bam, INSTANT Glam~!

In a world of drive thru coffees, drive thru dry-cleaners, drive thru pharmacies, and drive thru fast food ; why not a product that makes for an instant manicure? Well the convenience generation has finally invented a beauty product that IS a convenient manicure which not only delivers easy application – but staying power of 10-14 days on your natural nails! I have to say, at first I was more than a little skeptical, when most nail polishes chip within a couple days of application. But after going to my local drugstore and finding them on an amazing sale (plus I had some manufacturer coupons), and seeing that the patterns available could never be acheived by mere mortals; I thought I’ll give these little beauties a whirl~!

I’m talking about the new stick-on nail enamel strips. You can find them at your local drugstores and big beauty chains like Sephora. And yes, they are beauty tested – and I definitely approve! Speaking as a busy Mom, one who gets her hands dirty cleaning the house and dealing with the kids – these little inventions DO hold up better than most nail enamel (on natural nails). And anything that can keep my nails looking glam for up to 10-14 days with only one application – is a a little nail miracle in a box. I’ve tried so many brands (even salon brands) of nail polish and they all take only a couple days to start chipping pretty badly. And when this happens, after you’ve spent so long making them look so nice – it’s almost like why bother? Who has time to do their nails every other day? Most of us don’t – so these products are amazing for us with natural nails. (Although I’m sure they’d work just as well on fake nails)

 

       

They come in many different brands – the ones I’ve seen are Sally Hansen Salon Effects, Kiss Nail Dress, and Sephora has their own brand of these as well. (I’ve also seen them at Sally Beauty Supply) I’ve tried Sally Hansen and Kiss so far, I have some Sephora beauties in my stash I have yet to try. Sally Hansen comes with 16 self adhesive nail strips in each package, while Kiss Nail Dress comes with 28 nail strips in each package. For my money – you get a better value with the Kiss Strips simply because they come with more per package – but Sally Hansen has a MUCH wider variety of patterns etc. Either way, when your nails are done – they look like they’ve been done at a salon – so when you look at it that way – both brands offer amazing value compared with getting your nails done at the salon. And that’s how you should compare it – these aren’t as cheap as nail polish, but they last longer, there’s no drying time or foul smell,  and the designs are so intricate – its a much higher quality product overall.

What I found was, since I don’t have very long nails, with both Sally Hansen and with Kiss – to do all my 10 nails I only used 5 strips! So talk about adding extra bang for your buck~! Think about how many manicures you can get out of each box – now the price is looking even better. Especially when these often go on sale at Rite Aid and Walgreens, and there is frequently manufacturer coupons on both. If you don’t have any manufacturer coupons, don’t hesistate to ask your local drugstore’s beauty counter to see if they have any for you! They have saved me several times with coupons I didn’t have!

They way I apply them is:

 

1. First apply a good quality base coat. If you have natural nails like mine, make sure you invest in a good quality base coat, it really WILL extend the life of any manicure you do. Personally I got a huge bottle of Nail Life Gripper from Sally Beauty Supply for less than $5, and it will last for SO long!

 

2. Second, match up the right size strips to the corresponding nails before you unpeel them. I usually start with matching up a strip with a nail on my right hand (since I am right handed, my nail beds are slightly larger on the right hand) After I find the right size – I’ll turn it around and see which nail it will work with on my left hand. Now that you know which fingers to use first, unpeel the strip and apply it to the larger nail bed. Press down and smooth out very well. Then get a sharp pair of small scissors and cut the excess off right above your nail (being very careful not to cut yourself or your nail). Then take the other half and turn it around so that the smooth edge borders the cuticle, and apply it to your other nail. After this, use your nail file and smooth the edges so they are seemless at the end. I like to use the less rough side, so you don’t take off to much of the nail enamel.  Repeat this smoothing and filing process and do this for all of your nails after you’ve applied strips to both hands.

 

3. Apply a good quality top coat. I’m a fan of Seche Vite, and although it is pricey – ULTA or Sally Beauty will often have it on sale, so keep your eyes peeled for that! In addition Ulta will also have their coupons you can use on top of the sale prices – making it as cheap as any drugstore brand, but its much better!

 

 

 

Here you see, I just added a Sally Hansen Zebra nail strip to my ring finger on each hand to jazz up an otherwise boring manicure~! So if you aren’t ready to bling-up every finger on your hands, you can just add one or two strips to each hand, and it makes for a fun and very glam manicure.

Remember Chicas, you can keep it glam on a budget and even as a busy Mom, just pick up a package of these little beauties the next time you are at the drugstore beauty counter and treat yourself to a “salon-inspired” manicure. Its  “Wham Bam, Instant Glam” for YOUR nails~!

Great Deals for Beauty Products?

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What do you get when you combine a manufacturer’s coupon, with a store sale and in-store coupons??? An AMAZING, if not FREE, deal!!! Yes that’s right folks – coupons really DO save you money. LOTS of money! I’ve been couponing back before it was “hip” to do so ;) …before the TLC show “Extreme Couponing”, before there were coupon classes, coupon websites and all the other amazing resources we couponers have available to us now.

Now its easier than ever to make coupons work for you – saving money off of your grocery bill each time you go to the store and not just for groceries folks! But I’ll explain more about the grocery couponing in a later blog post.  (Disclaimer: even tho I’m a die-hard couponer, doesn’t mean I’m a hoarder or any other similarity to those on the TLC show.) :) There are LOTS of coupons for beauty, skincare and haircare products,  and they are quite often substantial amounts off each product. So, I’ll lay out the key factors to helping you save money on all of your beauty purchases.

 

1. Flexibility


First thing is being flexible and willing to try new products. Most often when companies release the limited time products and or colors, they will frequently put out coupons in the Sunday Papers, In-store coupons and in Magazines. The flexibility comes into play more often in getting products for “free” – because usually companies don’t offer HUGE discounts for the top selling/regular products – its always the ones they are just putting out. You can still save a bundle on your regularly used “core” products, but if they’ve been around for awhile – chances are that the coupons available on those are not sufficient enough to get them for free. Although – keep your eyes peeled on blogs and websites, because once in a blue moon you might be able to find one of those for free too!

And although I definitely have my “core” beauty products (ie my foundation, mascara and certain color of lipstick), beyond that I’m always willing to try something new especially when its for free or at a greatly reduced price. That’s how I’ve discovered so many great products – because the great ones aren’t always necessarily the most advertised ones. That’s definitely something to remember. Because as you’ve read from my Beauty VIP Products blog post – one of my faves is Wet and Wild Eyeshadow and Blush. And when was the last time you’ve seen a Wet and Wild Commercial??? For me – don’t think I ever have. And that’s another reason they’re able to keep the prices so low, not because it isn’t a quality product! (Gee, they should be sending me free products for all this free advertising I’m giving them, right? haha just kidding!)

And with certain stores (Rite Aid, Ulta, Walgreens) offering money-back guarantees if you don’t like your product, its a win/win situation! (By the way – products usually must be returned within 30 days with a store receipt) That more than makes up for the fact that they often lack testers for their products – YOU get to be the tester at THEIR risk! :)

 

2. Sunday Papers


I also buy a couple Sunday papers each week (well, actually 4 ). But I figure, since I have a family of four, that’s more than reasonable. Although I will tell you I buy the Sunday papers, not because of beauty (manufacturer) coupons but largely for the grocery coupons. The beauty coupons are just icing on the coupon cake! So while organizing my coupons – I’ll have a special “beauty” section that I will keep separate from my grocery coupons – so I have these coupons at the ready for any “impulse” buying. ;) Cause you just never know when you are going to be out looking for something else – and find your fave lipstick or mascara on sale or clearance – gotta be ready to double up the sale with some manufacturer coupons!

Also in the Sunday Papers, aside from the manufacturer coupon inserts, are the weekly ads for your local stores (ie Fred Meyer,Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc) – and each week they’ll have special deals on certain brands of beauty products. The stores I’ve scored the BEST deals on beauty would definitely be Walgreens, Rite Aid and ULTA – because with each of these stores they’ll offer their sales, PLUS store coupons and often store rebates! And you’re able to use ALL three in a single transaction on a single item (note – only 1 manufacturer item per product per purchase – sometimes with a max of 4 in a single day. Check the terms and conditions on the coupons and store policies for specifics – cause in no way am I trying to promote breaking of/or abusing of the rules pertaining to using coupons.)

 

3. Magazines/Websites/Blogs

There are a few blogs that I check frequently, and you can actually subscribe to the ones you enjoy so it will just show up in your email everytime there is a new post. One that I love is http://www.frugallivingnw.com/ – this one is pertaining mostly to my area, so you might want to google coupons sites for your specific area and find one that appeals to you.  With these blogs – they do most of the work for you! They tell you which coupons you need and where to get them, to get any specific product for a certain price/free. Definitely a lot easier than when I first started couponing! :)

And it never hurts to keep abreast of certain magazines that will offer great coupons on beauty products – some of the ones I’ve seen that offer great beauty coupons on a regular basis are In Style, People StyleWatch, Allure, Glamour, and last but NOT least – “All You” Magazine (which is exclusive to Wal-Mart only).  I have a few subscriptions – so I’m definitely cutting out any coupons that are available in those magazines. And if you find yourself buying a couple of issues of any specific magazine throughout the year – you might want to weigh the price of a subscription against buying say 3 in any given year at the store. You’d be surprised how cheap the subscriptions are offered at vs store price. So definitely do your homework – on your blogs/magazines etc….

And for me – when I’m “trolling” ;) the coupon websites etc its usually for grocery coupons – but I always have my “beauty product” radar on! ;) So that’s when I’ll discover greatly reduced/free offers. Several coupon websites, blogs and even Facebook offer printable coupons on many of the top beauty brands – so check their websites and their Facebook websites as well. Several stores I’ve signed up for email and text coupons – so when a new set of coupons come out – I get them directly to my email inbox or to my phone via texting! Talk about techie couponing~! (Currently a few that I have coming to my inbox are Target, JcPenney, Fashion Bug, Ulta, and LOTS more!)

 

3. Check your Clearance Sections


Sounds so simple – but how often are you in a store for a specific item, buy it and leave? Wander over to the clearance section in any store and see what’s offered – often products are being clearanced to make room for new products. And to get rid of them quickly retailers will offer them at a huge discount,  these products still qualify for your manufacturer coupons (and sometimes even store coupons – refer to store/coupon policies for specifics).

 

4. Do Your Homework


Armed with all of the above information – make sure you have the necessary coupons clipped, and your list neatly laid out and in hand so when you get to the store you know specifically which brands and products and sizes are the ones that match up with your coupons. Don’t rely on the store to always display their sale prices – I’ve been at the stores several times when these tags are missing, but if you have your list and your coupons it won’t matter.

 

5. Stay Current with the Sales and Coupons


As often the sales change weekly and even some coupons can – this is a key step. Another key factor if your seriously looking to score on these great deals on beauty products is to always be aware of the sales and coupons in your area. If you’re randomly checking sales once a month or say, when you run out of a product – chances are you will have to pay full price. What I always do is when checking the sales/coupons, if I find one of my core products a huge discount – I’ll pick up a couple and put them away till I run out of my current one. Ensuring I never have to pay full price. This also applies in the free product situations – if you are staying current with your sales/coupons – you’ll be able to score those free deals before they expire or even run out of stock. Which often does happen when a product is offered for free – you’ll see stock depleting fast in your store if you don’t jump on the deal as soon as possible.

In the event that you aren’t able to get it before they run out of stock,  sometimes certain stores will be able to offer you a rain check for the item at the sale price. Make sure and show them your manufacturer coupon at the time they issue the rain check – because certain stores will staple that coupon/coupons to the rain check and even if the manufacturer coupon is expired they’ll still honor it because they were out of stock. And for those of you with smart phones and app stores – I have a Coupon App for my phone (that I got for free) and it alerts me to all the deals and FREE stuff in my area – dining, coupons, shopping etc! Its a priceless resource!

 

6. Prestige Cosmetic/Department Store Brands


For those of you trying to score the top department store brands (Nars, Mac, Clinique etc) at lower prices, there are ways but you won’t find them as inexpensive as your drugstore brands. Often certain stores do offer clearances at the end of season on these top brands. Stores I’ve seen that offer great deals on these higher end cosmetics would be – Ulta, Sephora and even Cosmetic Outlet Stores. Also consult trusted online store (ie Amazon) and you just may find great deals on those higher end cosmetics and even cosmetics that have formerly been discontinued.  So keep your eyes peeled – you can score on these – but its a little more challenging and not as often.

Well that’s all for me gals. If I can think of anymore tips- I’ll definitely update this list. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two and enjoy scoring some AMAZING beauty deals in your area! Feel free to share any great/free deals you’ve been able to score – I’d love to hear about it! And remember girls – we can always keep it glam while also keeping it inexpensive~! ;)

Beauty VIP Product List – Best in Beauty for your Buck!

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So anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been a beauty junkie since I was 8 years old and applying it like a clown. ;) …..I’ll never forget as a kid (probably only 9 years old) my Grandma took me to a department store for a beauty lesson, after which she purchased a couple things for me to re-create the look the makeup artist had given me. She probably saw how I was doing my makeup and was thinking – uh – she needs some help! (haha) But turned it into a fun Grandma/Grandaughter experience! And I LOVED it – loved getting pampered, loved how glam I felt wearing the makeup, and loved learning about how to apply it. …..Aaaaand thus a beauty junkie was born~!

Fast forward (a couple of years later~or so) ;) and I’m still as in love with it as I was when I was a kid. Its one of the many fun parts about being a girl~! And yes, I know, I’m probably pretty high in the estrogen department – I’m as girly-girly as they come…But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about not only makeup application, but also which brands work the best for your money. We’ve definitely been blessed here in the USA with coupons and MAJOR sales – so I get to try new products usually for free – or next to nothing. So the fact that I’ve tried a lot (read A MAJOR AMOUNT) of different cosmetic brands, had my makeup done at the beauty counter/and by makeup artists several times – you definitely pick up a lot of tricks. And I’m going to share as many of them as possible with you~!

First off though, I’ll share with you my own personal list of VIP products. Beauty products that help accentuate our “natural” beauty – not cover it up. Ones that you don’t need a lot of to acheive a desired affect.  I subscribe to several beauty magazines so I’m always trying to keep abreast of the new products, trends and looks. And some of you are going to be surprised at my choices – because I’ve dabbled not just in drugstore brands – but also the department stores as well… And my list is devised to give you the best look for your buck. Of course you are always going to be able to find a $50 eyeshadow that performs amazingly well – but my list will help you navigate both department and drugstore beauty, so you’ll know where and on which products to splurge on. And where you can save your $$$ by getting a product of equal value at your local drugstore! And who doesn’t LOVE saving money, right?? So without further adieu, here they are: (in no particular order)

 

Foundation:


Steal:
Revlon Colorstay (the original) And still as amazing as ever – this is what I use and have used for years! I always go back to this one!

Splurge: Makeup Forever HD Foundation ( A makeup artist applied this on my face at 7am before a wedding I was in – and it was still on and looking amazing when we were dancing and having fun till 3:30am~!!!)
(I personally stick with using the Revlon Colorstay on a regular basis)

 

Powder:

Steal: Revlon Colorstay Photoready

Splurge: Makeup Forever
(I use Revlon Colorstay Photoready daily)

 

Eyeshadow:


Steal:
Wet and Wild (Their eyeshadow palettes are AMAZING – great colors, amazing pigments, and at under $5 a palette, you can’t go wrong!)

Splurge: Mac  (I go back and forth between both of my stashes, but actually get MORE compliments when I’m wearing my Wet and Wild shadows!)

 

Mascara:

Steal: Cover Girl Last Blast Volume
Splurge: Honestly – don’t bother – stick with the Cover Girl – its AMAZING~! And because you should be replacing your Mascara often, here is one of those places you’re going to want to save.

 

Blush:

Steal: Wet and Wild

Splurge: Nars
(I personally stick with the Wet and Wild on a daily basis – great array of colors and great pigment! Oh and at under $3 dollars a piece – can’t complain!)

 

Lipstick:

Steal: Maybelline Superstay (this stuff truly does what it advertises, stays on ALL day – as long as you are applying lip gloss after each meal)

Splurge: Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick (this one is rich in pigment and extremely moisturizing – and a multiple award winner too)
(I use the Maybelline everyday – love its staying power and the price can’t be beat either)

 

Lip Gloss:

Steal: Ulta Super Shiny, Bonne Bell Lip Lites, Wet and Wild Glassy Gloss, Maybelline Shine Sensational (ok – so it isn’t just one – but all of these are amazing and extremely well priced!)
Splurge: Honestly after trying several department store brands – and them being the same as (or subpar) to the drugstore brands, stick with the drugstore here!

 

Best Lip Plumper:

Steal: Honestly haven’t found one in the drugstore that actually does what its supposed too! LOL
Splurge: (TIE) between Too Faced Lip Injection and LipFusion …..these DO actually plump up your KISSER ;)
(This is a fun thing here and there – but I definitely don’t use these very often. And don’t try putting it on top of your lipstick – it will just dissolve your lipstick and won’t have the full plumping effect! That’s why I don’t wear this often – I prefer lipstick to lip plumping. haha)

 

Best Nail Polish:

Steal: Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure (Amazing for natural nails!)

Splurge: China Glaze 
I mostly use Sally Hansen – and if done properly you can stretch a “homemade” manicure to last 7-10 days lasting quite well! Which is quite the achievement for natural nails. I find OPI is made more for Artificial nails and chips quite a bit on natural nails.

 

So that’s an abbreviated list for now. I may add some more in the future – and feel free to post any comments with recommendations of products you love/can’t live without! I’d love to hear your feedback and maybe discover some new products I haven’t tried~! And by the way, look for a follow up article in the future to this one, on just how to score these products for rock-bottom prices!  Take care and keep it “GLAM” girls~!