Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Arbonne Cosmetics & Skincare

Review by Lisa VanWilliams

Bold, brushed up brows and flushed, glowing cheeks are one of this season's biggest trends. Arbonne has just launched some new products that make this look easy for anyone to try. They sent me a few items to check out for myselt to achieve the current look.

Arbonne is a company that started out of Switzerland in 1975, and came to the U.S. in 1980. They are based out of California and they create personal care and wellness products that are crafted with premium botanical ingredients. They are a green company and cruelty-free. They also run Arbonne Charitable Foundation and their mission is to provide support for programs and opportunities that promote the development of confidence and self-esteem in teenage girls and boys. More info about the Foundation here: http://www.arbonnefoundation.org/en-US/

The Arbonne Shape It Up Brow Pencil ($32) delivers a feathering effect to create definition. It comes in three shades: light, medium, and dark. The Arbonne Shape It Up Tinted Brow Cream ($32) tames unruly hairs and fills out empty spaces. It comes in two shades: light/medium or medium/dark.

Both products are specifically made with a larch and green tea complex to help brows look fuller. I have extremely full eyebrows, so I did not actually try out the pencils and cream, but they look like great products in wonderful packaging.

Get soft pink flushed cheeks with Arbonne Blush in Ballet ($30), which will accentuate your cheek bones and create rosy flushed cheeks without looking overdone. There are 8 shades to pick from. I tried the color Sunset which is light for my right now because of a summer tan. It feels good on my skin and it helps to smooth out the appearance on my cheeks. I would recommend the blush. The formula is made with polypeptides which contain skin-conditioning amino acids helping to glide on smoothly and moisturize. No application brush included.

You can find out more about Arbonne and order here:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cosmetics

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Shaping brows since 1997, and blowing up Instagram (10.6 million followers) & Twitter (178K following) for the past few years , Anastasia Beverly Hills offers a complete cosmetics line and fab best-seller palettes like Moon Child and Modern Renaissance.

Anastasia Soare immigrated to America from Romania and started out as an aesthetician. Her eyebrow technique became popularized by working with celebs like Cindy Crawford, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum,Victoria Beckham & Megan Fox over the course of the past few decades since the "brow revolution" began. She started developing her own products based on her experience in the industry, and she now runs the company with her daughter Claudia. The mother-daughter duo are obsessed with beauty and the rituals that come with it, which makes them successful at what they do. Anastasia Beverly Hills has some of the most viewed tutorials out there on how to get your brows on fleek (which means perfectly sculpted eyebrows), and they have a massive presence in the social media game. Plus, the whole brand gets awesome reviews on Ulta and Sephora.

They sent me some Liquid Lipstick to try out which is a long-wearing, waterproof, smudge-resistant, matte lip color and I'm in love. They go for $20 each and it's available in 21 different shades...even Opaque Black..so there's a shade for everyone! Claudia recommends wiping the wand off before you apply so you can get the exact coverage your looking for. One swipe and you will see why because it goes on full coverage as soon as it touches your lips, and it stays on without bleeding. It takes a few tissues to get it off. The colors I tried were Bad Girl (deep rich ruby), Sorbet (pink matte), and Pure Hollywood (tan matte). My pick of the bunch is Bad Girl. Great deep shade for evening color, or if you go bold during the day. Great long-wearing colors if you don't want to bother reapplying every hour.

They also sent me some of their eyebrow collection that made them famous. The Tinted Brow Gel goes for $22 and it will give your eyebrows a finished polished look. The Brow Wiz pencil goes for $22 and is award winning for it's ability to create precise, hair-like strokes to fill in sparse areas. Lastly, the award winning Perfect Brow Pencil that goes for $23 and it will fill and define brows. My eyebrows are pretty dense, so I did not check out the brow items, but this is what made them famous.

You can find out more about ABH here:

Anastasia Beverly Hills is also available at Sephora, Macy's, Ulta, Nordstrom, and Dillard's, and select retailers in 25 countries worldwide.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bombay Cheese Ball Platter

Recipe By Lisa VanWilliams
This is a wonderful platter that's great for anytime of the year. Seasonal fruits can be used, it looks wonderful, and all the flavors blend together for a perfectly exotic tasting treat. My cousin Linda first introduced me to this at our Aunt's Christmas Eve party and she told me she would get this platter made for her at a natural foods store way to far from me. I was determined to recreate the secret recipe. I called the store but they would not share the exact recipe with me, but gave me the basic components. I tried it out today and S-U-C-C-E-S-S!  I had some friends over for a swim and we snacked on this all morning long. Nothing was left.

Ingredients for Cheese Ball:
Cream Cheese
Goats Milk Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

Curry powder (1 teaspoon)
Mango Chutney
Chopped Pecans
Scallions diced finely
Golden Raisins

Seasonal Fruit:
Dried apricots

Directions: Mix together the cream cheese, mascarpone, and goat cheese and let it chill for bit.

After chilled, mold into a flat circle. Top with curry powder at least a teaspoon full or more to cover all the cheese evenly.

Then coat the cheese with mango chutney evenly.

Sprinkle with coconut, pecans, scallions, cranberries, and raisins.

Then surround the cheese ball with fresh fruit of your choice. Serve this was a plate of assorted crackers. Enjoy! It's fabulous.

Friday, July 8, 2016

NYX Cosmetics

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
NYX Cosmetics is a 100% cruelty-free brand that offers high-quality makeup and beauty products at affordable prices, plus it has great reviews. It's named after the Greek goddess Nyx (pronounced Niks) and she was said to have ruled the night. Her power and beauty even had Zeus mesmerized. The company started out in 1999, and NYX was popular on the trade show scene. They were later acquired by L'Orèal. NYX is based out of LA and they are a global brand available in 70 countries. Ulta carries the brand: http://www.ulta.com/brand/nyx-cosmetics

They sent me a few items in the lip line to check out for myself and I like the brand. I would recommend them if your looking for some budget friendly new colors to freshen up your day. The INTENSE Butter Gloss ($6 each) was not sticky and it goes on smooth. Black Cherry was dark for me, but Sorbet was just right. The Soft Matte Lip Cream ($6 each) was nice as well. Budapest was a medium chocolate and Milan is a light pink shade. The color goes on surprisingly easy in a few swipes and it does not bleed. Butter Gloss is my new favorite. The Fortune Cookie color was too light for me, it looked like I had concealer on my lips, but the Angel Food Cake is where it's at. It's my #1 now. The Matte Lipstick ($6 each) was nice but I prefer the glosses. The lipstick cases were not very substantial and the stick sometimes falls down. Great color options on the lipsticks, they just need to work on the tube for that product.

The Lip Liners are nice and they go on smooth and last a while. I tried Cabaret which was redish brown color and I also tried Never which was a med/dark brown color - both very nice colors depending on which shade you go with.

You can find out more about the company, view the products, and order here: