Friday, February 27, 2015

Play ♥ Laugh - Natural Peel Off Nail Polish Review + Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hello beauty babes, today i have a review and giveaway to share with you for the Play Love Laugh Natural Peel Off Nail Polishes! Now I know what you might be thinking when you hear the words "Peel Off". If you are like me, you are instantly thinking back to your childhood and those cheap and stinky peel off polishes that lasted like 2 minutes before they peeled off like school glue on your skin... Come on I know you did that too! ;) Well put those thoughts aside because this natural nail polish is nothing like that! This polish has not harsh smells, is relatively long lasting (for a peel off polish) and quite lovely in fact.
Product info/description:::
 The first ever patented formula of a natural peel off nail polish made with fruits and vegetables. Truly, as natural as it gets!!! Play Love Laugh Natural Peel Off Nail Polishes, made by Hugo Naturals, are made with carrots, beets, spinach, acerola cherries, black currents, sugar.....what other nail polishes have these ingredients in them?!?!?!?  Though these are safe if ingested, they are NOT made for eating!!!  Our polishes currently come in 12 beautiful colors that are extremely quick drying. 2 coats suggested and voila!

Play Love Laugh polishes are 5- free, odorless, kid friendly, eco friendly, vegan, gluten free, quick drying, animal friendly and safe for pets to use, safe for expecting moms, and NO top or bottom coat needed, NO stinky expensive nail polish removers are needed, and we are free of nitrocellulose/alcohols/acetates/acetones/ethers, and free of FD&C dyes. Completely toxic free, noncarcinogenic, and really completely truly odorless!

Though our polishes are WATER PROOF, for removal, all you need is warm to hot water. When you are ready to remove your beautiful nail polishes, run them directly under warm/hot water, or soak them during a bath, and the polishes will soften. Once they are soft, at the base of your nail, lift up like you are taking off a sticker and discard remains.  If your polishes soften but you are NOT ready to take them off, run them under cool water for 10 seconds and they will reset.  Depending on lifestyle, longevity on toenails ranges from 7-30 days (average 14 days) and again, depending on lifestyle, the longivity on fingernails ranges from 1-7 days (average 4-5 days).

These amazing, safe, gorgeous natural nail polishes were created by a mom, of 3 young children, who is a Certified Physicians Assistant and a Registered Nutritionist. She created them for her children and for herself to use because there is not anything on the market as safe, as natural, as easy to use, as smooth, and as beautiful as Play Love Laugh nail polishes. She is very excited to share with all women and children who care about their health and beauty.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality, opacity and longevity of these polishes. I was also half expecting them to feel sort of plastic/vinyl like because that is what I remember from my childhood experience of peel off polishes. However, they look and apply much like regular nail polish - only without the harsh chemical smell! To give you an example of longevity, pictured below are my nails after a week of wear (photo also shows the easy peel off process). This is after doing dishes a couple of times, washing my hair a few times and just typical day to day activity.

The majority of polish wear off was at the tips of my nails. For a week, I find that pretty impressive for this natural nail polish! Also like I said, you can see the peel off process on my ring finger. I started at the base pushing towards the tip and the polish easily peeled off! Take a look at how clean my pointer finger nail is, as I had just removed the polish on that nail prior to taking the photos. So removal is quick and easy - and best of all, requires no chemical remover! Please do note that when you are ready to take your polishes off, you must first get them wet with warm - to - hot water so they soften and then peel them off. If you peel the polish off without doing this, you can ruin the integrity of you nails.
Over all these polishes are really great! I have nothing negative to say about them. They are perfect, natural and safe for yourself, pets and most importantly your little princess! I definitely recommend.

Connect with Play ♥ Laugh: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Enter for your chance to win the same two shades pictured above
'Sweet Purple' & 'Purple Fairy Twinkle' via the rafflecopter widget below!
Giveaway open to residents of the US only, my apologies to all whom this excludes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Much Love & Hugs,
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Purple & Gold EOTD Pictorial FT. MBA Cosmetics Pressed Shadows!

 Hello beauty babes, today I have a step by step pictorial for this purple and gold eye look! I used a few of MBA Cosmetics new pressed shadows, all products and details will be listed below. Don't forget, if you'd like to purchase anything from MBA Cosmetics - be sure to save some money by using my code AGAPELOVE15!

Hope you enjoy this look, and be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel because soon I will be sharing a video tutorial featuring the pressed shadows as well. SO you can see on video how they apply and all that good stuff. ♥

0. Not picture, but you always want to Prime your eyes. This keeps shadows in place longer and helps them appear more vibrant!

On to the pictured...

1. Apply Aruba (pressed) in crease with a blending crease brush.
2. Apply Swiss chocolate (pressed) in outer v using a small tapered brush.
3. Blend! Go back in with the blending brush and work those shadows together.
4. With a flat brush apply After party (pressed) on the entire lid.
5. Blend
6. With a tapered pencil brush apply Black (loose pigment) on lower lash line.
7. Apply Nudey Booty (loose pigment) on brow bone.
8. Apply 24 Karat (pressed) inner corner/lower lash line with another flat brush.
9. Apply Liner & Mascara!

Other MBA Cosmetics Products I used in this look:
Blush: Berry cool, Dazzle Dust "glimmer"
Lipstick: Bare
 If you give this look a try - be sure to share a photo, tag me and hashtag #AgapeLoveGirlLooks! I love seeing the looks you create inspired by the ones I share!! ♥

Much Love & Hugs,
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Boxycharm | February 2015

Hello beauty babes, today I wanted to share my February box from Boxycharm! This is my 3rd box so far and I have not been disappointed yet! BoxyCharm is $21 + Free Shipping a month for 4-5 Full-Size & Luxury-Size beauty items delivered to your door. And its SO worth the slightly higher price compared to other sub boxes!

♥ Modern Minerals Duo Fiber Mini Round Brush - Full Size!  $15
♥ Mullein & SparrowMini Facial Mask - Deluxe Sample! $15
♥ #ncLA Nail Lacquer in "Heart Attack" - Full Size! $16
♥ Jing Ai Velvet Shine Lip Jewel - Full Size! $22
♥ Mistura Beauty Solutions C-2-P Complexion Corrector - Full Size! $36.99

The products in this box are worth about 4 times what you pay for the box! Definitely worth it. If you would like to know more details on these items or reviews of any - just ask! ♥

Much Love & Hugs,
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Feeding My Food Addiction

Hello friends, thanks so much for stopping by. Today I am going to get a little serious here and talk about something that may sound silly, but is a true struggle for me. That is my food addiction. I tend to always jokingly say that I have an addiction to food, however, its not a joke... And its not even funny, its just my way of "coping" with the fact that I really have a problem! Honestly there has been a reason I have drastically cut down on the amount of weight loss posts and updates. I have let this problem start to really overcome me. I played it off like it wasn't a big deal, and just told myself "I work out - I deserve to eat what I want".

The problem with that (for me) is that I cant just indulge a little. Once the floodgates of food are open - I just wont stop. Its not that I "cant" stop - I just dont want to. I love food, I love to eat. Its more than comfort or emotional eating for me. I dont eat for those things... I eat because I love the taste, and when its good - I dont want that to stop - even when I feel full. Its ridiculous, I know. I am not quite sure when I decided this kind of thing was ok again for me. Its just slowly happened and then snow-balled - and now about a 1 year and 10 pounds gained later - here I am. Finally ready to admit this out loud, in a public place because I need that accountability. 

I am putting myself on blast because accountability for me is HUGE. I reminded myself that while I constantly posted about my weight loss journey here - I was constantly doing better and better. Once I stopped holding myself accountable, and also stopped getting that encouragement from those of you who cheered me on - I ended up backsliding in "secret". So here I am - Coming clean in my weight loss journey! It almost feels like starting again in a way. And I hope I can get that encouragement, support and accountability I once had before!

With all that being said, I thought that today I would share with you some of the better more "healthier" foods I can enjoy without as much guilt. SO I can still in a sense feed my food addiction without the regret. Sure I know some of these may not be super healthy - in comparison to just fruit and veggies. But lets get real here friends! I can easily sit here and write that all I eat or will eat is fruits and veggies and that's all! Have we not seen those kind of posts and with a heavy sigh think "right... I knew that... I thought they were gonna share something GOOD." haha Am I right!? I mean, we all want a little bit of the good stuff. Something LIKE junk food - but thats not going to set us back. Right? SO I am being honest here... Not all of this is super perfect healthy food. But its a start again - for me at least. And maybe for you too.

As an extra note to that - its not that I dont also eat fruits and veggies - I do - a lot! And I  love them, truly I do. But this is just some of the kind of "healthy" junk food I like to eat along with fruits and veggies. Which again, is something we all know is the best and healthiest option!

<- Check me out with my giant bowl of salad - haha - my sister thought it was funny the bowl was as big as my head and had to get this pic!

Now pictured above are just a few things I have found that I am loving to eat when I want to feed the cravings - there is a lot more (that we were just out of) - Like trail mix, graham-crackers, avacodos, cucumbers and sugar free almond milk. But you get the idea.

- Rice Cakes
I remember when I was a kid and tried (plain) rice cakes for the first time. I took one bite and could barely swallow it. It tasted like cardboard to me. YUCK! But now I LOVE them! Did you know they came is MANY different flavors - sweet and salty alike!? Caramel, Apple Cinnamon, CHOCOLATE! And then cheese, sour cream & onion, buttered popcorn... Its wonderful! And most of these are only 50-60 calories for a rice cake. SO I like to have one of two of these when I am craving a cookie, or chips!

- PB2 & PB2 with chocolate
This is powdered peanut butter. You can mix it with water to make yourself peanutbutter thats only 45 calories per serving. Which is a HUGE difference compared to regular peanut butter that is 200 cals per serving. This stuff is a life saver for me, because I LOVE peanut butter... I can (and do at times) eat it by the spoonful. PB2 is nice because you dont have to mix it to creamy peanut butter - you can use it as a topping or to add some flavor for your foods. I do that all the time! I like to add a teaspoon to my oatmeal for breakfast, or mix it as part of a protein shake! SO yummy.

- Granola & Greek Yogurt
I love having granola and adding it to cereal or yogurt to give me a boost of flavor and protein and help keep me full longer! My favorite it to add it to greek yogurt. And I have to tell you that this specific brand of greek yogurt is my absolute favorite! Only 80 calories (most of the others have 100) and then all kinds of yummy flavors to choose from! Not only is this snack a delicious treat for me - it also really does help to keep me full longer without a lot of calories.

BTW did you know you can search the hashtag #whatmariaeats on IG to see more photos of what I eat on the regular?

Next Up - some fruit! haha

-Apples are my go to fruit these days. Especially green apples (I am not a fan of reds). They are quick and easy to eat, clean and travel well. I always try to stick an apple in my bag when I know I will be out long, and want to make a good food choice if I get hungry.

- Grape Tomatoes
I am not sure why, but I prefer these little guys to full tomatoes and even cherry tomatoes. I always stock up on them with about 4 cartons in my fridge. They just make a quick yummy snack for me. My favorite is to cut them up along with a cucumber, avocado and even some peppersoncini's for a boost of spice and flavor! This yummy little salad mixture is not only tasty but very filling!
- Pepperoncinis
Ok I am OBSESSED with these pickled peppers that are super low in calories! They are spicy without being too hot/spicy and make just about every dish better! They really pack a punch of flavor and texture to your food. And I have found myself adding these instead of additional seasonings like salt/pepper.

Lastly I wanted to give this product a mention even though it is not a food, because it has been helping a lot lately with my cravings and desires to eat when I am not really hungry! This is a product that was sent to me for free to review, and I will also be paid for this mention. However I do not get any additional money if you click the link or make a purchase. All thoughts are my own honest opinions and true results.

- SuppressMints
SuppressMint® is a dot-sized, long-lasting (3-hour) slow-dissolve time-release peppermint-flavored micro-tab that is fortified with the proven dietary supplement and appetite suppressant Chromax® (chromium picolinate). Chromium picolinate, the active ingredient in SuppressMint is a safe, proven and highly effective mineral with 20 years of research behind it. It helps reduce cravings for foods high in sugar and fat (refined carbohydrates and saturated fats) while it helps stabilize blood sugar (glucose levels) and calm anxiety and stabilize emotions.

 As the tiny, pleasant tasting SuppressMint dot rests comfortably and undetectably in your mouth for its three hour slow-melt duration, it works on four levels to help you curb your cravings for high glycimic foods:

(1) Provides a sense of oral gratification for three hours. You don't feel the emotional need to eat while it's in your mouth.
(2)  The peppermint extract works directly on your brain's appetite control center to help reduce cravings.
(3)  The chromium picolinate also helps sooth cravings by interacting with the brain's "appestat," reduces blood sugar levels so you burn more fat for energy instead of sugar and enhances positive mood states.
(4) Most people who diet develop metallic smelling breath caused by ketosis. SuppressMint keeps your breath fresh and your mouth moist for its three hour, slow-melt duration.
This is a product that I was super skeptical about. I had a hard time believing something could truly take away my cravings and desire to eat... But it did! I was truly surprised by how well they work. There were a few times when I had just finished eating, was full and yet I still had a desire to eat. My stomach would grumble and I couldn't stop thinking about food. SO I'd take a SuppressMint. The first time I took one, I thought to myself  "there is no way this is going to take away my cravings or take my mind off wanting to eat." Yet the next thing I know, without even realizing it, I had completely lost the cravings. Its kind of hard to explain what I mean when I say that. All I can say is that they work for me. And I'm thankful. It helps with my food addiction. Helps me to not go back to the kitchen and continue to eat when I dont need to. Helps me to focus on other things aside from eating or food. I also love that it comes with two travel containers that I can easily keep in my purse while I am out and about. ♥

Alright friends thank you so much for sticking with me through all this. As I mentioned - I really need and, more than anything, appreciate your support and encouragement through my continued weight loss journey. Thank you so much! I hope you found this post encouraging and helpful if you too are on a weight loss journey. One thing to keep in mind - that I have to constantly remind myself - is that we are not perfect. We will fail, backslide, plateau, and just plain have a bad day-or week! But its ok, as long as we get back up and keep on going. We (I) must be honest with ourselves and others in our struggles to get the help (or push) we need to keep moving forward.

If you liked this post...You might be interested in reading my Weight Loss Story & My 18 Month Progress post which includes Before & After photos, weight, height and clothing sizes!

Much Love & Hugs,
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Makeup Monday #111

Hello Beauty Babes, and happy Makeup Monday to you! Makeup Monday is a fun linky party dedicated to all things makeup & beauty. ♥ If you are a beauty blogger or have a beauty related post, I'd love to invite you to join in and link up below!
I do ask that if you link up to share the love: visit/comment one or two (or more) other links. 
REMEBER: This link up is for makeup/beauty related posts only!
This includes but not limited to beauty reviews, how-to's, hauls, giveaways, mani's, and hair/makeup look inspirations.

If you do not have a blog, but showcase beauty elsewhere like instagram or flicker, or youtube you are still welcome to link up as well, please just link to a specific photo, though, not your whole account! :) 

You can Subscribe to the Makeup Monday newsletter if you want to stay up to date about the link up, features, challenges and giveaways! 

1. There is NO limit to how many posts you can link up! However, I do ask that you link to a specific Blog Post, not your entire blog.
2. Please grab a button to add to your blog/blog post or link back to Makeup Monday 
3.* Follow your host Agape Love Designs  
4.* Tweet about this linky
*Not Mandatory but appreciated

Makeup Monday

Much Love & Hugs,
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Beauty Box 5 | February 2015

Really great box from Beauty Box 5* this month! So many full size items! Not to mention I am just LOVING the pink and teal worms in the box. SO cute! I think I am most excited about that Absolute Love Lip Balm! I actually just purchased a couple of those last week in a different scents - so I am excited to see another one! They are packaged so cute - AND smell amazing! 

♥ Marsk Mineral Eye Shadow - Full Size!  $22.50 
♥ Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish - Full Size! $3.99
♥ Absolute New York Love Lip Balm - Full Size! $5.00
♥ Avon Big Color Eye Pencil - Full Size! $3.49
♥ GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatement - Sample! $69 for full size
♥ BONUS YourMinerals $20 Gift Card

If you dont already know, Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling program that delivers a box filled with 5 cosmetic samples (and sometimes full size) to your door every month.

Cost: $12/month, $30/Quarterly, $99/annually.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Much Love & Hugs,
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Makeup Brushes by Bella & Bear - The Kitten Kit Review

Hello beauty babes, today's review is on the Bella & Bear Kitten Kit Makeup Brushes! I was sent these for free to to review, however, all thoughts and opinions (as always) are my own, honest & true. ♥ This Kitten Kit retails for $120 but is available for only $75. Since the kit includes 15 brushes, that is an amazing deal at only $5 a brush! If you want to save even more money you can sign up for Bella & Bear's Band Of Beauties VIP Club and save an additional 25%. ♥

Bella & Bear Makeup Brushes (The Kitten Kit) Description:
  • PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP BRUSHES AT A GREAT PRICE-Our Makeup Brushes are made from the highest quality combination of Goat, Synthetic and Horse Hair
  • FULL COLOUR GUIDE FOR BRUSH USE AND CARE- Mailed Separately. We want you to know the ideal use for each brush and we also want you to be able to care for your Makeup Brushes Set as best as possible
  • ELEGANT HARD CASE EMBOSSED WITH OUR LOGO- Make sure your makeup brush set stays protected and well cared for with our hard makeup brush case. Perfect for travelling and storage.
  • A MAKEUP BRUSH KIT PERFECT FOR- powders and liquids and suitable for all areas of your face. Everything you need to apply makeup professionally including a quality kabuki brush
  • LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD'S ENDANGERED BIG CATS- We donate a percentage of our earnings to the protection of the big cats around the world and love sharing our passion for this with others

The Brush kit comes packaged in an adorable floral box that is just so pretty! Who doesn't love pretty packaging!? I know I am a sucker for great packaging! The kit includes a very nice case to hold all the brushes, and keep them organized! As well you get a brush guide to let you know what brush does what, how to take care of your brushes and more!
Even though I am very familiar with these brushes and what they do, I know not everyone is! And most likely if you are buying this kit (or wanting to buy this kit) you may be new to makeup brushes, or just starting out! So I just find this brush guide super helpful and an all around great idea!
This kit is absolutely perfect for someone new to makeup brushes and looking to build their collection. It has just about every brush you may need for face, lips and eyes! And again, the case makes it so easy for traveling and keeping your brushes organized. Some of the brushes I like more than others - but we all have different preferences - over all the quality is great across the board. ♥ 

I have had these brushes for a little more than a month. I have used them on a daily basis and washed them and all that. They do their job wonderfully, washed well, and haven't shed! You can actually see them in action in a couple of my videos! I use the eye brushes here, and the flat top kabuki here.
This brush below is one of my favorites! I love a good lip brush! This one is wider than most lip brushes, which makes applying lipstick a lot quicker and more precise for me! Also I love the fact that it sort of "transforms" with the lid.
If you would like to see video of each of these brushes up close - I encourage you to watch my video review below! And if you want to learn more about each of these brushes, check out the Bella & Bear blog.

Much Love & Hugs,
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing Makeup Review + WeMakeBeauty Discount!

Hello beauty babes, today I have a video review & demo of the Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing Makeup, which I received c/o wemakebeauty*. (Get 15% off the entire WeMakeBeauty site with code AgapeLoveDesigns15'!)

Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing Makeup SPF 15 
What it is:
A hydrating fluid foundation that delivers just the right amount of coverage to create a naturally flawless, bare-skin effect.

What it does:
Diorskin Nude boasts 100 percent natural active ingredients and an extended shade range to create a shine-free, natural glow without masking the skin's texture. With continued use, it improves the natural radiance and beauty of the skin day after day.

What else you need to know:
This formula is composed of a mineralized water enriched with an exclusive and natural floral water that offers hydration, radiance, and elasticity to the skin. Unlike most foundations that use opaque pigments and create a mask-like effect, Diorskin Nude Foundation uses exclusive Nude-Glow pigments that are translucent. They allow the skin's natural radiance and color to shine through, appearing luminous in any light.
In the video demo I used my flat top kabuki from Bella & Bear to apply. And in the before & after photo below I used my Real Techniques Beauty Sponge to apply just to test out different ways of applying this foundation. I usually prefer using a beauty sponge to apply full coverage foundations, to avoid "cake face", however this foundation is a lot more light weight. Because of that it applied very well with the flat top kabuki without looking streaky or cakey at all. I'd say its medium coverage, yet very build-able.
It truly feels like I am not even wearing makeup, while also providing nice coverage of my dark circles and blemishes. I still need to add a touch of concealer to my eyes, but that doesn't bother me. I personally really prefer a more light weight foundation, so I really enjoyed this one.   I also love the fact that is has SPF in it! And there is something about this foundation that really made my skin feel soft and yes almost velvety as it claims!

My only real "con" to this product is the price - at $50 a bottle... I am not loving it enough to consider it must have a repurchase! However, after more time using it - I MAY reconsider, since it claims to improve natural radiance and beauty of skin with prolonged used. SO we shall see about that! Until then, my suggestion for those who may be interested in purchasing this product - is to buy via WeMakeBeauty, and use a discount code to save even more money!!

*WeMakeBeauty sells affordable name brand Cosmetics, Skincare, Haircare and Fragrances for Men/Women and right now they have an awesome sale for Presidents day! 16% off site wide. This sale only lasts a week long, but after that I encourage you to use my code 'AgapeLoveDesigns15' for 15% off until the end of the year!
If you are interested in seeing my video review and live demo of how this applies,
I encourage you to watch the video below!

Much Love & Hugs,
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