B.Koi's Memorial Day Weekend Spring is On!!!!

Since I love sales and I'm assuming all of you love sales I decided B.Koi had to have a Memorial Day weekend sale! Everything is 15% off with the promo  code "MemorialDay" and shadows from the All's Fair in Love & War collection along with our new Sparks have even deeper discounts since they are on sale even without the promo code for this weekend only! The promo code can be used with sale items of course ;)

This is a perfect opportunity to get some of the B.Koi products you've been dying to try at a discount! Spread the word :)

And if you haven't already entered our giveaway, hurry before it ends on June 1st! Everyone that enters will get a 10% off promo code after the contest ends, just in time to purchase the new product that inspired the giveaway! So even if you're not one of the two fabulous giveaway winners, you'll still be able to try our new product for less.

By the way, I am in LOVE with the new product we're releasing and I am so proud of its performance. It's been months and months of planning, researching, and trial and error that began back in 2010! So exciting and it'll be released SOON! I'll be talking about it again soon and in much more detail. Stay tuned!


Flavored Lip Products:

There's only a week left to enter our giveaway!!! Enter here and get a 10% off coupon once the contest ends!

Have you ever wondered what gives your lip gloss, lipstick, or lip balm flavor? You may be surprised by what you find . . . or don't find!

First of all, it's important to remember that part of what we "taste" is actually what we smell, so companies use aromatic things to create a "flavor" in their products. Sweetener may or may not be added as well .

Let's start with the most natural--essential oils or flavor oils. Essential and flavor oils are typically natural, alcohol-free (though some flavor oils include alcohol, you can sometimes find alcohol-free alternatives), and can even be organic. While you can purchase synthetic fragrance oils, those aren't the types of essential and flavor oils I'm talking about. These oils can be extracted in a number of different ways, including cold pressed and through distillation. Typically with natural cosmetics you see either/or both essential oils and flavor oils. You shouldn't consume all essential oils, but hopefully the companies you purchase from are aware of that! This is definitely the most natural, chemical-free choice.

Next in the list is Vanillin. Vanillin does occur naturally in vanilla beans and other plants, however, extracting it is very expensive and yields little from each pod. As a result, most companies choose to use synthetic Vanillin. How is synthetic Vanillin created? Now this could be wrong and please provide information if you've found proof otherwise, but from what I can see some Vanillin is derived from lignin (a gummy byproduct of paper making) and guaiacol (which comes from wood creosote). Guaiacol is a petrochemical from what I can find. If you're unfamiliar with petrochemicals, pthalates are a group of petrochemicals for example. Long and the short of it is, Vanillin is not only in lip products, but food as well. I'm not going to get into it too much, but I personally don't like synthetic when I can avoid it and this seems pretty unsavory to me. But, I'm not a chemist and unless I did extensive research I wouldn't feel comfortable telling you what you should or shouldn't put in your body. Either way, this is what I could find on Vanillin. Just looking through some of my cosmetics from high-end cosmetic companies I can tell you a bunch of my lipsticks from one especially popular company contains "Vanillin". Hmmm . . .

Lastly, I'm going to touch upon the term "flavor" or "aroma" (used in European products). This is kind of crazy to me. If you know anything about the term "fragrance" on ingredients labels, you know it can literally mean ANYTHING that gives something its scent. While the FDA requires companies to reveal all of their ingredients, there's a loophole when it comes to scents because companies like to keep them secret so that other companies can't steal their scents. The problem is, a number of chemicals could be umbrella'd under the term "fragrance". "Fragrance" in ingredients lists does not have to mean one ingredient only! The same loophole applies to the terms "flavor" or "aroma". According to the FDA, "flavor" can mean "any natural or synthetic substance or substances used solely to impart a taste to a cosmetic product." So again, you can have either one or multiple ingredients fall under the term "flavor". I don't like this. I steer clear of things that say "fragrance" and I have an issue with the term "flavor". Looking again through some of my high-end cosmetics from other companies a bunch of my lipglosses contain "flavor".

So what's a makeup lover to do? I think everyone needs to judge for themselves whether or not they're comfortable with using synthetic chemicals on their bodies and/or taking a gamble and settling for the fact they will never know all of the ingredients in their cosmetics. Personally, I want natural, but to each his/her own!

What do you think? Does it bother you to think you don't know what you're putting on your body? Or are you comfortable with cosmetic companies making those choices??


B.Koi Memorial Day Weekend Sale!

It's official, B.Koi will be having a Memorial Day Weekend sale from 5/27 to 5/30! And aside from sales on some of our fabulous shadows, something shiny may be added to the sale, too ;)

So when you make your Memorial Day Online Sale rounds, make sure you stop by B.Koi to pick up some vibrant, dye-free eyeshadows!

If you haven't entered already, there's about a week left before our Read My Lips Giveaway ends! Click here!


Packaging Woes

Just a quick reminder, there's a little over a week left before we announce the winners of our Read My Lips Giveaway!!! We'll also be sending out the 10% off promo codes to everyone that enters at that time. If you haven't entered already, ENTER HERE!

This entry really isn't to your benefit at all since it's basically me airing out my frustration with cosmetic packaging, but what can you do? ;)

I am having packaging woes. In general, I prefer recyclable metal and glass packaging for cosmetics. However, plastics are more cost-effective, more accessible, and provide more size/style options. I have been looking at packaging for a few new products for MONTHS now. One of the key things I consider when I look at packaging is how it will ship. Will it make it through the mail? Glass is great, in my opinion, when it comes to food and cosmetics. But it's not the most rugged when it comes to shipping. Also, glass can be much heavier than its plastic counterpart. I've looked into eco-friendly packaging made of recycled paper, but moisture is a HUGE issue with that type of packaging and the number of companies that manufacturer that type of packaging are few and far between.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I wish there was a family-owned, economically-priced company called "Design Your Packaging Here" and you could design your cosmetic packaging without having to buy enough units to fill a small suburban home and you had unlimited power over size, color, shape, material, etc.

Since that's not the way things work, I'll continue weighing pros and cons and see where I land in the end.  Thanks for letting me vent! I know this entry is BEYOND thrilling ;)


An Ingrown Hair Serum that Works!

With summer just about here and bathing suits coming out of storage, I thought ingrown hairs might be a necessary, though not necessarily exciting, topic to discuss. Regardless, the product I'm posting about is amazing!

Ingrown hairs may not be a very dainty topic, but they're a fact of life. Especially for those of us who shave, wax, use depilatories, etc. I've seen a lot of ingrown hair treatments, but I can say I have a favorite that I use and love 100%

Have you ever heard of Whish?  If you haven't, consider yourself informed! I love Whish Body. They offer some absolutely amazing products and I can't help but appreciate the fact that the original products created were for the wife of one of the founders. Their products are free of many horrible chemicals and they work!

Whish Flawless Ingrown Hair Serum
Back on point, Whish makes one product in particular called Flawless. It's an ingrown hair serum that is made of many natural and organic ingredients and it is seriously so effective. I believe it may also possibly be vegan. I use it when I wax or shave, especially certain delicate areas, and my hubby even uses it on his face/neck when he shaves. There are a million stories of women buying it for themselves and/or their husbands with great success. It doesn't sting, it doesn't have a horrible smell, and it's a gel so it's super easy to apply! All you have to do is spread it on any areas you're concerned about developing ingrown hairs once you've waxed, shaved, etc. It is NOT tested on animals and comes in packaging that the company states is earthy-friendly. I don't know much about the composition of the packaging, but it comes in a cardboard tube (which is biodegradable I assume) and a plastic pump bottle (which must be made of recyclable plastic).

Either way, both my husband and I have had amazing luck with this stuff. The company site says it works by replenishing the suppleness of your skin and weakening follicles to discourage hair growth. It also has ingredients that sooth irritated skin. All I know is that it's free of parabens, sulfate, petrochemicals, etc., has a light, pleasant smell without a sting, and it works!

A bottle of Flawless is priced at $22.50 for a 1.1oz bottle, but I purchased a bottle 1.5 years ago for my husband and he still has about 1/5 of the bottle left! I use it at about the same rate my husband does--fairly sparingly. Even if you use it much more frequently, it is a great investment!

Have you tried Flawless? Have you tried other ingrown hair treatments? Share your experiences!

Also, if you haven't already, make sure you enter our Read My Lips Giveaway! Everyone that enters will receive a 10% off promo code and 2 fabulous winners will be chosen to receive mystery prizes. ENTER HERE!


Curling Your Eyelashes: Could care less or can't live without

I was a part of a discussion a while back regarding eyelash curling and whether or not everyone involved thought it was an essential part of a daily makeup routine or not. The second the question was even posed, I did a little bit of a double-take. The thought that anyone could question the necessity of eyelash curling to me was just . . . OUTRAGEOUS!

It wasn't shocking to me because I feel everyone has to do it, it was shocking to me because it never occurred to me that well-versed makeup lovers might NOT do it. I probably sound ridiculous with my assumption, but here's why I thought that way ;)

If you've read any of my previous posts regarding falsies or other related topics, you know I cannot stand my ridiculously disappointing eyelashes. They are not only short, but they're thin. I envy anyone that has long, luxurious lashes and doesn't need an oz of lengthening mascara on each lash just to make them noticeable. My sister in-law come to mind. She has crazy eyelashes. Actually, both my kids have lovely eyelashes (go figure they're boys).

So anyway, for me, curling my eyelashes is absolutely ESSENTIAL! Before I even began wearing eyeshadow every day back when I was 13 or so, I began curling my eyelashes every morning and applying mascara. If I go out, whether to the grocery store or out to dinner, I curl my eyelashes. It's not something I think about. It's just a necessary must before I walk out the door.

After being a part of that discussion, I started to notice other discussions on different beauty forums talking about the same thing. I was absolutely surprised at how many makeup lovers didn't feel eyelash curling was essential. Some of the chicks that said they never curled their lashes definitely didn't wear a lot of makeup in general, but some wore quite a bit. I did notice that the chicks that said they didn't curl their lashes generally had 2 reasons:
  • They didn't see the point
  • They pinched themselves when they curled their lashes
If you don't see the point, my guess is you either have naturally gorgeous lashes or you don't see the benefit curled lashes give you. I love the wide-eyed look they help accomplish. I also think they're very feminine.

If you're pinching yourself every time you try to curl your lashes then you either need different curlers and/or someone to show you how to use them.

Generally when I curl my lashes I do it in two steps:
1. Curl them close to the lid, but obviously not so close I pinch the delicate skin.
2. Curl them midway up the lashes to give them a rounded curl.

You want to be careful to never hold for too long or pinch too hard! You don't want to end up with sharply angled lashes and you don't want to stress them too much and end up with any breakage.

I have almond-shaped eyes and slightly less contour because of my Japanese heritage on my dad's side. I still manage to use a traditional eyelash curler. I have, however, been seriously thinking about investing in a precision eyelash curler.

This is a Japonesque ergonomic grip lash curler.
A traditional eyelash curler is contoured to fit over the curve of your eye, functioning like scissors as you "crimp" your lashes essentially. I actually don't like traditional curlers because I find it's too easy to apply too much pressure.

Revlon Cushion Grip Curler

Eyelash curlers with springs provide some tension so that it's easier to apply the right amount of pressure to your lashes, in my opinion. I don't know why, but I have always been partial to this Revlon eyelash curler. I've tried super expensive ones, electronic heated ones, etc. This is my go-to drugstore eyelash curler.

Japonesque Precision Lash Curler
Precision eyelash curlers are much less contoured and they're 1/3 or 1/2 the width of a traditional eyelash curler. This is meant to curl your eyelashes in sections. I've tried a few out and I have to say, you really can accomplish a better curl overall. Even though you curl your lashes in sections, I never had a problem with it separating the sections out in the overall look once I was done. The only downside to the precision eyelash curlers is that it takes a bit more time as you have to do several sections. But again, if you're super concerned about achieving the ultimate curl then this is a fabulous choice! Personally, I love eyelashes curled to the sky, but that's just me ;)

So anyway, I'm not big on the heated lash curlers or plastic eyelash curlers so I didn't include them as I really don't have anything overly positive to say from personal experience, but I know plenty of makeup lovers that love them.

Now here's the big question: Do you curl your lashes every day? If so, what do you use? If not, how come?


Cosmetics Q&A: 3 Free Nail polishes: What to avoid and what to try

Sliding a blog post in right  before the stroke of midnight because I promised myself I would blog every day moving forward (when possible) ;)

This is a topic I've wanted to blog about for some time because I think it's a really important one. When we were kids (if you were a child of the 80s like me), there were no warnings about the chemicals in nail polish and we picked up whatever colors sparked our fancy off of the drugstore shelves--from sapphire blue to Barbie pink, the glittery-er the better! Now I'm not discouraging drugstore nail polish. To each his/her own! I personally don't use them anymore, though I still love and wear those shades, and let me tell you why.

You've probably hard of "3 free nail polish". What are the "3" they're referring to?

There are a few major chemicals in the average nail polish you want to stay away from. Those are:

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) - This chemical is a plasticiser that is used to keep the polish from chipping or cracking. The problem with it is that there is a growing amount of research pointing to the fact that it may cause birth defects with exposure. In laboratory tests, DBP caused damage to male reproductive organs in the animal fetuses that were exposed to it (I am so against animal testing by the way, but I did want to share this fact). Some fetuses had so much damage they were left sterile. As a result of these findings the European Union and Canada have already banned the use of DBP in nail polish.

Formaldehyde - This is a seriously debated topic. Many sites claim that formaldehyde is present in nail polish while others say it's present in nail hardener only. Then there are many sites that claim formaldehyde isn't in nail polishes now nor has it ever been. Ooooh goodness. Well either way, steer clear of it! I looked at a few ingredient labels on major non-natural nail polish companies online and couldn't find formaldehyde listed outright on any of them. I don't want to speculate so all I can say is, keep your eyes peeled.

Toluene - This is a solvent that makes the nail polish easier to spread onto your nail. Toluene is aromatic and can give you a headache, but that's not why you should watch out for it. It is believed to possibly cause cancer and reproductive issues over a long period of time and in high dosages. While most people aren't dousing themselves in Toluene, I can't help but wonder if it's worth avoiding chemicals in general like this simply because I don't see risking it when there are more natural alternatives.

So now that we've discussed "the big 3" as they're referred to, what nail polish companies are safe to purchase from?

There are many companies you can choose from, but the ones that have caught my attention the most are:
butter LONDON 3Free polishes
Piggy Paint
PeaceKeeper Causemetics

I have used PeaceKeeper, Piggy Paint, Zoya, and butter LONDON. My favorites are butter LONDON and Zoya out of the four, followed closely by the others. In my opinion, butter LONDON and Zoya's nail polishes perform the most like "traditional" nail polishes. I love the colors, they goes on perfectly, and they lasts! However, I can't help but love PeaceKeeper as well because they are an amazing company dedicated to women's health and human rights issues. They actually donate all of the money they bring in after taxes to these causes!

When it comes to Zoya, they definitely have the most extensive color list I've seen of all these companies. They are also reasonably priced and available at several nearby store locations.

Do you guys have a favorite "3 free" nail polish? Share!


B.Koi's Read My Lips Giveaway!

Please Note! We've had some questions regarding entering even if you don't have a Gmail or blogger account. You can comment and follow using several different forms of log in information including twitter, wordpress, Gmail, Blogger, AIM, etc. If you cannot log in with one of these profiles, follow the steps below and send us an email at [email protected] with all of the correct information rather than commenting below!

In honor of a new product we'll be releasing at the end of the month, B.Koi Cosmetics is holding a giveaway! We'll have not 1, but 2 winners that will receive fabulous mystery prizes that will remain a surprise until the day the winners are chosen! Winners will be chosen June 1st and the amazing giveaway prizes will be revealed at that time. The prizes may include more than one item, may have something to do with the name of the Giveaway (Read My Lips), may contain new and already-released items, and are sure to be FABULOUS! There will be one first prize winner and one second prize winner. The winners will receive different prizes, though neither will disappoint!

Furthermore, we will be sending a 10% off promo code to everyone that enters and supplies a valid email address after the contest has ended! So even if you don't "win" this contest, you can score some B.Koi Cosmetics at a discount. This contest is open to anyone in the US or Canada. Anyone from a country outside those two may still receive a promo code at the end of the contest by following the B.Koi blog and leaving their email address in a comment below. Make sure you state what country you are from, B.Koi loves its international customers!

Here's how to enter:
1. You must follow B.Koi's blog.
2. You must like B.Koi Cosmetics on facebook.
3. You must leave a comment below which contains an email address at which we can contact you if you're the winner, confirming that you've done both steps above and including your facebook name so that we can confirm you've completed this step. *Please only post one comment below for your entry after doing the first two steps. If you forget to include something in your post simply delete your comment and write a new one.

How to score bonus entries AFTER you've followed the steps above (each step below will give you one additional entry for the contest):
1. Follow B.Koi Cosmetics on twitter @bkoi_cosmetics, tweet some form of the following tweet "Enter @bkoi_cosmetics fabulous Read My Lips Giveaway and get a 10% off code!" and comment below with your twitter name
2. Post an entry in your blog about B.Koi's Read My Lips Giveaway which includes a link to this page and comment below with a link to your blog
*Each step can only be done once, but you may do both for a total of 2 additional entries. Please only post one comment for each step. You will not receive an extra entry for posting about the contest on a makeup forum as we cannot confirm it without a membership to the forum, though we appreciate you spreading the word!

The First and Second place winners will be chosen using We will confirm that the chosen winners have followed the steps as described above. We will contact the winners on June 1st. The winners have 48 hours to respond with their shipping information. Should a winner not respond within 48 hours we will choose another.

The 10% off promo code will be sent via email to everyone that entered and supplied a valid email address after the contest has ended. Please allow a few days after the end of the contest for the email to reach you.

If you have any questions regarding this giveaway, contact B.Koi Cosmetics at [email protected]

Good luck makeup lovers!


In a War Against Your Skin? Tea Tree Oil to the Rescue!

Hello All! I hope you're having a good Monday. For some reason my weekend ended in craziness, but today (aside from having no voice) has gone fairly well. Also, I've decided I'm going to try to start blogging daily by the way, I hate that I've been so sporadic lately! We'll see how that goes ;)

So this weekend was my husband's birthday and after celebrating Saturday, we spent Sunday saying hello and good-bye to one of my sisters who is currently in college (all of my siblings but 1 are much younger) and going to Japan from now until December with a small break home in the middle. While we were at my mom's, one of my brothers asked me what he could do about his skin. We all were blessed with fairly good skin, with tiny breakouts here and there. He's ending his Sophmore year in high school and suddenly went from having perfect skin to having a horrible breakout on his forehead.

I thought that this would be a great subject to blog about! Even now I have the occasional blemish and it drives me nuts. I prefer to avoid salicylic acid, which can be a very effective way of handling breakouts. Instead, I turn to tree oil! You've probably seen tea tree oil in the past or at least noticed it on your ingredients labels. Tea tree oil is GREAT stuff. I'm not going to get into all of its uses, just focus on using it in fighting difficult breakouts.

Now, tea tree oil is an oil (and if you have oily skin you're probably thinking what is she thinking?), but it is an extremely amazing anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-bad stuff oil! Now, before you go running out to go grab some 100% pure tea tree oil, I have to warn you that if you've never smelt it, it can be a little shocking to some people simply because it's strong. I don't find the smell offensive, but it's not like I want to dab it all over myself in place of my favorite perfume ;) Also, in addition to a sharp smell, it is also very strong in a pure state and irritates many people's skin. It is often suggested that you dilute it for regular and all-over face use.

Diluting tea tree oil can be a bit tricky because it is an oil. Water obviously doesn't mix with oil, so unless you plan to get an emulsifier (polysorbate 20, lecithin, etc.) you're going to have to either mix it with oil or find a way to make mixing tea tree oil with water without allowing it to separate. I personally think mixing it with oil is a great way to dilute it, especially because some oils such as jojoba do not clog pores at all. Also, tea tree oil can very drying, which can make skin problems worse.

Here are some oils that can be used to dilute tea tree oil:
1. Jojoba oil (a great, non-greasy oil that I love to use on my face)
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (very moisturizing)
3. Avocado oil (also very moisturizing)

To find the right proportion you should start with 1 drop tea tree oil to 10 drops of the carrier oil. You can then add more tea tree oil if your skin can handle it or up the carrier oil if your skin is extra sensitive. I have used it both diluted and straight and while I have to be careful with 100% pure tea tree oil, on occasion it does the trick.

If you'd prefer to stay away from oils, you can attempt to dilute it with purified water (I suggest distilled water). Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of water and mix it quickly until you see a ton of tiny beads of tea tree oil in the water. Quickly get a cotton pad and soak up the mixture. Then you can gently apply it to your face. If you wait the tea tree oil will float to the top of the water. You can play around with the concentration of the tea tree oil and may find you can use more. Some people prefer to rinse their faces a few minutes after applying the tea tree oil. If it doesn't irritate your skin, you may not find a need to.

A third alternative, and the one I do not do personally but have heard some people prefer, is adding a drop or two of tea tree oil to the facial cleanser you'd use. Just put the facial cleanser in your palm and add a drop of tea tree oil, then you can mix it right in your palm and apply it to your skin as you normally would.

I don't use tea tree oil daily, though I will use it for a short stretch if I'm having a little breakout. For people who have regular trouble with their skin, using tea tree oily daily or every couple days may be very helpful.

Where can you buy tea tree oil? I know that Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both carry pure tea tree oil. Any natural food store or health food store should also carry it. Of course you can also purchase it online. Just make sure you get pure tea tree oil from a reliable source and company! Price-wise I've seen it vary greatly depending on the store, company and quality.

So there you have it! One of the fabulous uses of tee tree oil :) Have you used pure tea tree oil to clear your skin before? If so, what method did you use?


Something Borrowed, Something Blue - Doing your own makeup on the big day!

Sorry it's been a bit since I've posted anything, things have been pretty crazy as I try to finish one of our new products (hopefully it'll be released by the end of May) and take care of all of the other things going on in day to day life. And as if all of that wasn't enough, our Golden Retriever had a severe allergic reaction to a spider bite recently that resulted in an emergency visit to the vet, a shot to prevent the swelling in his face and ears from getting worse and spreading, and both steroids and antihistamines for the next 2 weeks. Oy vey! And of course you guys probably noticed that Blogger was having some major malfunctions all day yesterday. Nuts!

Anyway, I meant to post this a little bit ago, but as I mentioned things have been nuts! I wanted to do a post on doing your own makeup on your wedding day. You're probably immediately thinking of Kate Middleton and her bold choice to do her own for her internationally watched wedding ceremony, but that's not the only reason! When I heard she was doing her own makeup I thought, "Yes! Go Kate!" because I did the same thing and love when brides in general feel confident enough to do their own makeup! Now, I'm not judging those who get their makeup done by someone else by any means. I can definitely understand why! Those pictures will haunt you for the rest of your life, you pay a ton of money for one day and want to look your best, and you want to feel amazing while all eyes are on you!

I chose to do my own makeup on my wedding day for several reason. First, I have a hard time in general believing that anyone will be able to do my makeup as well as I can simply because I know my own face--particularly how to best enhance my almond-shaped eyes. It has nothing to do with the fact that I think I'm better than anyone skill-wise, it is literally just because I've been doing my own makeup daily for almost 14 years so who better to know my face than me? I've allowed others to do my makeup in the past and for whatever reason, they have a difficult time with my eyes if they don't have a similar eye shape. The second reason I chose to DIY-it-up when it came to my makeup on my wedding day was because I wanted to look like myself. I can truly appreciate the makeup artists that do bridal makeup and the end result is a barbie-like look--perfect, flawless, etc. With a look like that your pictures will be fabulous and people will be sure to gasp at how gorgeous you look. For me personally, I wanted people to see ME when I walked down the aisle. I'm not talking about going bare-faced down the aisle because I don't walk around that way from day to day. I definitely wore full on makeup and certainly spent more time on myself than usual, but it was still my hands, my taste, etc. I purchased special products for the day, new colors, a new brush or two, etc. I didn't just throw on whatever I had in my train case and call it a day, though obviously if that's what you want go for it! I loved the excuse to buy more makeup and wanted it to feel special when I applied my makeup by having designated "wedding day makeup" to use haha.

Do I think everyone should do their own makeup? No, if you're not comfortable, confident, and feeling good about it don't do it! For me, I felt most comfortable and confident doing it myself. You're already going to be shaking like crazy and nervous as hell, the last thing you need is to worry that your makeup is right.

Back to Kate, I thought it spoke volumes that she did her own. My wedding was obviously significantly smaller and certainly not as viewed (no televised wedding for me though I know you're all disappointed to have missed it nearly 6 years ago haha), so I definitely acknowledge that her choice was certainly a more difficult one. But all the same, from one former bride to another, I think that's amazing!

So you're probably wondering how I looked on the actual day. Here it is!

I got married on the last day of September but it was still very warm that year so I wanted light. I wore MAC foundation, MAC concealer, Fresh blush, MAC shadows, MAC lipstick and gloss, falsies that weren't very dramatic, etc. Notice a trend? Hahaha MAC was my first high-end cosmetic love that started back in high school and at the time, the quality was amazing. I feel they've changed, but that's off topic ;) Anyway, I wanted a bright, light look that wasn't heavy or dramatic. Kind of ironic because at the time my favorite colors to wear on my eyes were blue and green. Excuse the slight shine on my cheeks, we were waiting in a room without AC and I was actually pregnant when I got married so I was HOT. I didn't intend to walk the aisle pregnant, but we found out after we'd decided to get married that we were pregnant and ended up moving the wedding from February to September. Why? I was due at the beginning of April and didn't want to walk down the aisle hugely pregnant. Also, I got very sick when I was pregnant and had a complicated and high-risk pregnancy and really wanted to get married prior to having my son. It's a good thing I didn't wait because things were so complicated I would have had to get married in bed (literally). I don't feel that anyone should ever get married just because they're pregnant by the way. We were best friends before we even dated (he was also my boyfriend of 5.5 year's best friend--long story!) and we'd already made the decision to get married (he'd asked my mom for her permission to marry me, we'd looked at venues, etc.). Getting married was a CHOICE not an obligation for me. I don't want anyone to think I felt pressured to tie the knot just because I was prego!

Back to the makeup. Would I do things differently if I had another ceremony now? Of course! Trends are different, my style is different, my skills are different, etc. But at the time I was happy and confident and that's all that matters! (Wow this post is long . . . haha).

So anyway, a bit of a scattered post with some personal history, but hey it's Friday the 13th and it's been a long day! I'd love to see your wedding makeup looks whether or not you did your makeup yourself or not!


Happy Mother's Day Makeup Lovers!!!!

I want to wish every makeup-loving mommy out there a very Happy Mother's Day! As a mommy of two busy little guys I know that you sacrifice so many things for your kids. Thank goodness your love of makeup doesn't have to be one of them! ;) I hope you can all take time for yourselves and enjoy a little pampering today. You deserve it!

And don't forget to call your own mothers!

DJ Murphy of B.Koi Cosmetics


B.Koi Review & Fabulous Look by Phyrra!

I just wanted to share a review on some of B.Koi Cosmetics' shadows which was written/reviewed by the fabulous Courtney of! You can read the review here.

I am so excited and just wanted to share this excitement with you gorgeous makeup lovers ;)

Also, I didn't realized it until today, but Courtney of also did a look with two B.Koi eyeshadows back in April as well!  Love this look and I totally agree, gold and purple look lovely together ;) View the look here!

No matter how much I personally like my shadows, I created B.Koi Cosmetics because I wanted to provide products that other makeup lovers could love as well. Something unique and vivaciously colorful to fall head over heels with. It's always so nice to see someone else like my products as well!

Aside from this great review, I am working on getting a new product to you as soon as I am completely happy with it--soon I think! I've been wearing it a lot lately and I think with another tweak or two it'll be perfection ;)  Check back and definitely check out the review and look!


Couldn't get away with not doing a Mother's Day post!

Mother's Day is quickly approaching (if you just slapped yourself on the forehead and said - oh crap! - time to start brainstorming!) and if you're like me you're trying to decide on the perfect give for your mom :) Now my mom and I are similar in a few ways, but really very different others. However, she loves cosmetics, skin products, hair products, etc. like me--thank goodness! I was having a discussion last night with one of my best friends and we talked about a few different ideas. I love that like me, she tries to get the person she's giving a gift to something thoughtful that he/she will like.

Anyway, we talked about getting a few different skincare products and the conversation eventually turned to making your own at-home spa type things--facial masks, moisturizers, etc. Here mom happens to be Celiac so she's very limited to what she can use and has to be super careful. Talk about challenging in this day and age! Now this idea may not work if you don't live near your mom, but if you do it could be a fun, economical, and natural way to celebrate Mother's Day with your mom! Rather than taking mom to a spa or buying her some products online or in-store, treat your mom to a natural, at-home spa day!

Here are a few things you can do:

Give mom a pedicure! I did a whole long blog post on things you can do at home to get those piggies sandal-perfect HERE! Once you've got her feet nice and smooth, choose a fabulous polish shade to show off her lovely pedicure. Pastels are really in and just about every company has them. You've probably already got a whole drawer full of some of the new fabulous shades coming out! Of course you can apply some of the foot soaking techniques and moisturizing ideas to hands to help soften cuticles and moisturize so that you can give mom a mani as well!

Give mom a natural facial! Use the following ingredients to whip up a fabulous face mask for mom right in your/her kitchen (you can take out some of these ingredients if you can't find them, are allergic to them, or don't have them and it'll still work fine; feel free to play around to get the consistency you want):

2 Tablespoons organic oatmeal
2 Tablespoons organic yogurt
2 Tablespoons mashed organic carrot, papaya, avocado, or pumpkin (or all of the above)
1 Tablespoon raw honey (warmed so it's easier to work with and mix)

I suggest using a food processor or really good blender to mix up this concoction so it's blended all the way through. If you find your mix is too thick because you chose not to use some of the vegetable/fruit ingredients, add 1 Tablespoon of warm water at a time until it's right. Obviously you don't have to use organic ingredients, but I prefer them for eating and "wearing" ;) Let the mask sit on your mom's face for 10 minutes or so then wash it off with warm water. Don't forget to put cucumber slices on her eyelids to get the full effect and reduce any puffiness/circles.

Moisturize Mom with natural oils! Rather than purchasing some lotion for mom, buy her some organic, pure oils to moisturize with! If you read my blog you've probably already realized I have a slight love affair with natural oils. They're so fabulous! Anyway, here are a list of oils you can get mom to moisturize her skin or even hair. You can purchase this at almost any natural food store, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's has some, etc. I apply some of these daily and some at night to keep my skin youthful, while others I use to deep condition my hair on occasion!

Jojoba Oil - It is actually a wax, though it comes in what looks like a liquid form. This can be great for your face as it won't clog your pores, absorbs without leaving any oily residue, and it's actually very light once absorbed. Love it!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Such a great oil to eat and use on your skin! I find this does have an oily feel, but it is great if you want to apply it to an area like your feet then put on socks to lock in the moisture. Also great for deep-conditioning hair!

Avocado Oil - Such a great oil! I do find it does have a slight oily feel after absorbed, but I like to apply this to my face at night on occasion, especially around the areas that will eventually wrinkle (outer eye creases, forehead, around mouth, etc.)

Sweet Almond Oil - This is also great for deep moisturizing things like your feet or hands, just be mindful that there is often a slight oily feel after it is absorbed into your skin.

Castor Oil - This is AMAZING for deep conditioning hair. To use it I suggest warming it up (don't make it boiling, but definitely pretty warm) and apply it to your hair from your scalp to the ends of your hair. Don't use too much because you don't want to end up with super oily hair. I'd say 2 Tablespoons at most should do the trick if you have long, thick hair. Use less if you have short or thin hair! Leave it in for as long as you have time for (some people leave it in overnight). Wash it out with gentle shampoo after you're done with your treatment. I wouldn't suggest doing this more than monthly as it is a very heavy oil and will give your hair an oily feel otherwise!

These are just a few ideas I had on giving mom a natural, at-home spa experience. One of the best parts is that while you're busy giving mom a mani/pedi, facial, or whatever else you do you can sip your mom's favorite drink, have some chocolate, and watch a movie in your PJ's! I'm all about PJ's for relaxation ;)

If you have any at-home beauty recipes feel free to share them below! Even if you have another fabulous idea for Mother's Day, these are great ways to treat yourself when you have time, too!