Back to School Giveaway (CLOSED)

Congrats, Sarah! Click the picture above to check out her blog.

It's time for another giveaway; the Back to School Giveaway is back!

This is open to followers/subscribers both old and new.

This open internationally. If there's an international winner, I will send it the cheapest way possible (unless you would like to pay for faster shipping -via PayPal) so it could take at least a month+ to get to you. :/

Any age can enter, but if you're still living with your parents, please get their permission to enter and possibly get a package on your doorstep!

Fill out the form only once.

The contest will end September 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm (Central Time)

Winner will be chosen through and contacted on September 16, 2011 via email. Winner has two days to reply with their mailing address or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced via Twitter and blog post once address has been received.

One winner will receive:
School/office supplies
MAC Lipstick (in the shade of your choice)
A surprise gift bag filled with cosmetics and beauty tools.

How to Enter
(giveaway closed)

Thanks for following and entering.

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Review: Organix Moroccan Argan Oil

Mention damaged hair and most will recommend Argan Oil in some form.  Argan oil is a vitamin-packed antioxidant from Morocco. As a hair treatment, it penetrates to soften, strengthen, restore shine, increases elasticity, and protects against UV damage.

Argan oil has mainly been found in high-end products and is rather pricey.  Organix has offered a cheaper alternative.  Each product from the line is $7.99 and can be found at any drugstore.

I've had this review half-written for ages, I just couldn't decide if I loved this line or they were just like all any other drugstore product. I finally came to the conclusion they're just so-so.

I bought them one by one (usually with an Ulta coupon.) In the order I purchased: conditioner, oil, mask, then shampoo. I purchased the conditioner back in March (previous favorites post) and the remainder of the products a few weeks after each one. So all together, I've been using the line for a few months. I don't like reviewing a product until I've used it for at least two weeks.

About a year ago, I tried the Organix coconut conditioner (just because my mom/sister picked it up and it was in my shower.) So I knew nearly nothing about the brand - but Argan oil for $8, a reminder of my childhood (a L'Oreal fish-shaped bottle), and the fabulous smell drew me in. At first, I loved the products - the smell was amazing, my hair looked and felt great - but could this be what I like to call the new product syndrome?

I do switch up hair products like you're supposed to. I've been using these on and off for a few months. I did use all four products together.  As all lines promise, "this works best with the remainder of our products from the line."

Conditioner • I feel like it's an above average drugstore conditioner but still doesn't compare to Joico K-Pak. It doesn't leave the silky feeling that I love after rinsing out conditioner. The scent lingers for a little awhile, not as long as I'd like for it to.

Renewing Treatment • (Mask) I haven't tried any other drugstore hair masks to compare it to.  The instructions say to leave it on for 3-5 minutes, which I feel like nothing can be done within that short of time and my thick hair. I'd leave it in for 10-15, (sometimes even longer but then it would just harden. In my opinion, I found it actually works a little better on wet hair.  My hair was softer and the ends weren't as fried.  But when it came to completely damaged hair, (freshly bleached) it didn't help at all. If your hair is normal and you just want a boost, this is the product for you. • I dislike the jar packaging, it's an extremely thick consistency but I'm sure it could've still worked in a squeeze tube (as all my high-end masks do.) It's just a hassle to screw the lid on and off, keep it out of the water and hold on the lid (especially if you use this in the shower.) I'll usually find product stuck under my nails as well... gross.

Shampoo • It's just your basic drugstore shampoo. (I still haven't found a shampoo I just adore.) It's sulfate free, so sometimes I didn't really feel like I completely got the clean feeling. The scent is great (the products all smell the same) but it didn't linger.

Penetrating Oil • (Serum) This is the only product I still use daily.It tones down the frizz, adds some shine, hydrates, and smells great. This is the only product that the scent actually lingers for awhile. • Again, I dislike the packaging. The flip-top when you need to hold the bottle at an angle/upside down to get a messy oil-serum out isn't convenient.  Maybe I'm messy or just in a hurry when I get ready but a pump would've made my life so much easier. - I did use the higher-end brand, Moroccanoil Oil Treatment a tiny bottle (1oz, if that) for double the cost. I purchased the original formula (should've gotten the light) and it made my hair a little oily. Yet Organix hasn't caused any oiliness, which made me wonder about the ingredients....

The Ingredients
How could Organix sell Argan oil at just a fraction of the cost? Take a look at the ingredients.  The comparison between Organix (Drugstore) vs. Moroccanoil (High End) can be found here. Argania Spinoza Oil is pretty far down on the list for Organix. Nearly last on the Penetrating Oil ingredients.

Are they dupes? Highly doubt it. (I haven't tried all of the Moroccanoil products, judging by ingredients and cost - it's not likely.) The Organix line is a step above drugstore lines with their ideas and ingredients. But I still think $8 for drugstore shampoo that doesn't continue to produce amazing results after the first few uses is a little pricey.

The Penetrating Oil may be worth looking into if your hair needs a boost, this is on sale, and you can't find or decide on any other product.

Value Tips: Bed Bath & Beyond has mini bottles (travel size) for $1.99. Ulta has BOGO on Organix as well as 20% coupons, Rite Aid and CVS offer Extra Bucks, Target has 50% more free on the shampoo and conditioner (massive bottle for the same cost), my mom said she picked up some of the conditioner at Walmart a month ago for $2.

Product: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Packaging: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Bottom Line
No, I would not recommend this line to a friend.

fish-shaped shampoo bottles,

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June Favorites

"Favorites" posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) "rediscovered" items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month."

I'd really like to pat myself on the back for not purchasing one single MAC product this month.  Most of these are all drugstore items and I know a lot of you will be appreciative!

Benefit High Beam
I've used 3 sample sizes and decided it was finally time to get (or swap for) a full size. It's great for brow highlighting and the lasting power is impressive too. Unfortunately, the applicator isn't the best, I have to blend it out with a makeup brush to get the finish I want. 

Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blush - Spicy & Sweet
I've heard quite a few raves about this, so I wanted to try it out. The packaging is really cute - similar to Benefit's blushes. The pigmentation is amazing. This may be more pigmented than my NARS blushes, and only 1/5 of the cost! There are four colors within the box so you can create a few different looks; I usually just swirl my brush (definitely not the one it comes with) over all four colors.

L'Oreal Lash Boosting Serum
This was the only product I "splurged" on this month. And for $12, it still isn't that bad cost-wise. It was a little pricey for a drugstore item. Some are comparing it to Rapid Lash and other lash-growing serums, but that's an unfair comparison.  This just helps "boost" your lashes; it conditions them, it doesn't have anything to make them grow faster. I used to wear quite a few layers of mascara; rubbing my make-up off night made my lashes very brittle. I apply this serum on clean lashes at night and immediately notice a difference in the morning. I only need one coat of mascara to get the length & volume I want now.

MAC Mineralized Skin Finish - Soft & Gentle
It's the only highlight [product I use anymore. It's the perfect subtle color (especially for fair-medium) skin tones. I apply this on the top of my cheekbones with the Sigma Tapered Blending Brush.  Occasionally, I use this for a brow highlight and on my chest and color bones, too.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock
I've never really worn sunscreen just because I couldn't stand the oiliness plus sweating.  I've been reading a  lot of skin articles and getting a little more paranoid about tanning and UV rays. This sunscreen makes me want to apply it - it smells great, dries immediately, and seems somewhat moisturizing. It feels like a normal lotion.

Nubar Nail Polish - 2010
My nail polish collection is much larger than it should be, but sadly, I'm already bored with most of the colors I have. This is a dupe for the limited edition and rare Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure. I've been wearing on top of any and every color just to see all the different results. It's large rainbow flakes, but with different colors underneath the result is always different.

NYX Lip Liner - Mauve
I found a nearby local-owned store that carries NYX products for cheap, I was looking for a lip liner to match MAC Velvet Teddy and I think this may be the one. It's one of those "the color of your lips but better"to give definition.

Ponds Cold Cream
I needed a replacement for my MAC Cleanse Off Oil (almost on my 4th bottle - not wallet friendly.) I had a few coupons and ended up purchasing this for only $2. For whatever reason, I always associated cold cream for older skin.  The concept of smearing a thick lotion over a full face of makeup was really weird at first.  It removes every trace of makeup and leaves your skin feeling moisturized.

Sonia Kashuk Metal Eye Lash Comb
I've heard of people using all types of odd items to get rid of mascara clumps - specifically safety pins and bobby pins.  I've always used a plastic eyelash comb, not the greatest - but got the job done.  I've been loving most of the beauty tools from Sonia Kashuk, so for $3 (coupon), I thought I'd try it out, and I'm glad I did. With just one sweep of the metal comb, the lashes are completely clump-free and separated.

Urban Decay Naked Palette - Sidecar 
I'm still loving the Naked palette, but specifically the color Sidecar. It's a super shimmery champagne. I've never been much of a one-color eyelid person but because of laziness and humidity, I have been opting just for this color.

Thrift Stores
I mainly look at the home decor and accessories.  Occasionally, I'll browse through the clothes and find a high-end item like new or new with the original tag for about 10% of its full price.  Nearly all thrift stores (not consignment) that I've been to get all their items donated and the profit goes to charities.  So you can feel even better about getting an item for cheap and knowing your money is going to a charity of their choice.

My favorite finds of the month were these throw pillows for $2.50 each and three canisters for $5.00 total.

boosted lashes & thrift finds,

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