Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's new in #lashesandlips from @janeiredale #Cosmetics Spring #Beauty

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an evening of Fresh Delights and Mixology at Haven's Kitchen in New York City with the Jane Iredale Cosmetics team and learn about the latest releases for Spring in their iconic skincare line.

Even those that haven't met me in person, know from my posts here, that I custom blend two things, there are two things I have never worn straight out of it's container as is: (1) My Lip Color and (2) My Scent. I prefer to blend them until the result is something totally and uniquely me. So I have to admit I'm always a bit skeptical and picky when it comes to lip color and fragrances, and not everything I get to try makes our pages.

When your first experience with a brand is an entirely transformative one, it definitely stays in your mind and you always want to know what's new and what's going on with the line. At the 2010 New York Makeup Show I got the chance to try out a makover from Jane Iredale's team, for some reason they were the only table I said yes to that day. And while the artist there did appreciate the work that went into my custom blend signature red lip, he wiped the slate clean so to speak and did the entire opposite of what I'm used to in makeup. He gave me a heavier eye and a barely more than nude lip. I honestly didn't recognize myself at first when he was done, but I really did like it. and I kept buying the products he used on me that day, until the gloss which I love, love, love, stopped being made. OH THE HORROR! (I even use that gloss in my signature custom blend red lip!)

It's actually a huge fear of mine that started many years ago with a drugstore brand of red and plum that I fell in love with and a few years later when it stopped being produced and I was back at square one, I was NOT a happy camper! Thankfully my fears were assuaged at Jane Iredale's introduction of PureGloss, this luxurious new formula is creamy on the lips, does NOT use petroleum-based products, and does not feel tacky. (No worries about your hair sticking to your lips on windy days!)

As this is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday, I wanted to make sure this post would be a treat for the eyes too! 


All 18 Shades of Jane Iredale PureGloss

PureGloss in color 'Red Currant'

PureGloss in color 'Beach Plum'

PureGloss in color 'Snowberry'

The new formula has a base of organic oils including Moringa Butter, Lotus Flower Wax, Orange Peel Wax, as well as Blackberry and Pomegranate Extracts, and anti-oxidants Vitamins C and E. The new collection offers 18 colorful shades just in time for Spring that give you a natural looking, sheer tint of color!

I have been playing with the colors already and creating my own custom colors and blends with them, but one of our editors who is way better than I am at playing by the rules, has already worn Beach Plum straight out the tube with only her lip liner, and she loved the color on it's own, she wanted me to let you all know it gave great saturation on it's own, a sheer hint of tint and a light hint of fruit is how she described it!

I'm playing with Red Currant, Snowberry, Cosmo, Tangerine, and my editor nabbed Beach Plum! While these glosses are totally seasonless, they are just the pop of Spring I needed to put winter far behind me!


Longest Lash Lengthening and Thickening Mascara

I think the new squeeze tube design is absolutely brilliant, and wish I would have thought of it first! It helps you to dispense an even amount all around the applicator so you don't have to double pump for mascara which helps you eliminate clumps and get out every last bit of product! The formulation is water resistant and lengthens your lashes with the help of plant cellulose fibers, NOT synthetic ones!

PureLash Lash Extender and Conditioner

I have been using the Lash Extender and Conditioner since being introduced to it in 2010, but I read a very helpful hint on the Jane Iredale Makeup Blog that I thought I would pass along here, if you plan to layer both products, don't let the Conditioner fully dry before applying the Longest Lash!

Mixology, The Event:

They chose a warm, lovely, intimate event venue called Haven's Kitchen in Manhattan to debut the new collection of PureGloss and the new formulation and packaging of their Mascara to Bloggers and Makeup Artists, with signature drinks to match the new PureGloss Shades! Here is a mix of pro shots and my shots taken during the event!

Sign Reads: Welcome to our mixology class inspired by the NEW PureGloss Lip Glosses. Come  Experience fresh delights during this colorful event with seasonal food and drink, friends and new makeup for spring.

We learned how to make these super delish cocktails that share the same names as the new PureGloss shades from Jane Iredale!

Snowberry Cocktail with it's matching PureGloss Lip Gloss in front of it,  Red Currant Cocktail with it's matching PureGloss Lipgloss in front of it and last but not least, Beach Plum Cocktail with it's matching PureGloss Lip Gloss in front of it, and a a signature sprig of Lavendar. Jane Iredale grows it in her garden, and her cosmetics come wrapped in her signature tissue paper with a sprig of lavendar on top! Very lovely touch! Great job Haven's Kitchen, they truly customized the cocktails to the colors and to the person behind the brand, genius! It's a detail that did not go un-noticed!

My Take:

The Jane Iredale team put together a wonderful time where bloggers got the chance to try out and find their perfect shade match, and learn how to make the Signature Cocktails when the mixologists gave some of us the chance to get behind the bar and try our hand at making the cocktails. We got a great selection of the new collections to take home and try out and I am sure I speak for everyone when I say I can't wait for Spring to begin here in the city! The new PureGloss formulations have great pigmentation and consistency, and the new  Longest Lash Lengthening and Thickening Mascara has such a fantastic new squeeze tube that really helps to apply it better and smarter!

Get Social:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @janeiredale on Twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Jane Iredale on Facebook

Once I get things more caught up here, I'll reach out to Jane's team and see if we can put some touches of Spring in your makeup bag too, so until then tell me butterflies, what is your favorite Lip Gloss Shade ever?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. No monetary compensation has been received to share our event recap coverage. Guests were provided with gift bags to try out the new products, however all opinions are 100% my own!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Motivation Monday: What goes better with quotes than butterflies?

Graphic Reads: "When you get to the end of all the light you know and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly!" ~ Edward Teller

I feel like I am about to step into the unknown myself this year in so many ways, and my Faith definitely tells me I will fly! Just thought I'd put a little Motivation in your Monday, here's hoping you not just 'fly' but 'soar' this week!

What do you need encouragement to try this week? Share your leap of Faith!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Are You Recycling Your Electronics? We can all get a bit 'leaner' and 'greener'!

I am a Spring Baby and with the end of Daylight Savings Time coming soon, and signs of Spring popping up everywhere, my mind is on Spring Cleaning, the closet purging that will make room for some fun summer fashions, and a purge of a very different kind as well. An 'electronics purge'.

I don't know about you but there are old phones, TV's and other outdated tech that I have been meaning to get rid of, but it has piled up. With some of it, (many of you I am sure can relate to this), I kept as a 'backup'. (Especially with some of the phones). But I've never touched those backups and in some cases have gone on to newer technology well past their immediate replacements.

As a renter, space is at a premium and there isn't really the luxury of allowing outdated items to pile up. I've been actively trying to switch over to all Energy Star Certified Products and get a bit 'greener', which in turn helps you get 'leaner' as Energy Star Certified Products all save you money in the long run!

With my schedule, I need Recycling to be simple and easy and with my budget, I definitely need it to NOT be a burden. So how do you do something good for the environment AND you? I'm so glad you asked!

Best Buy Electronic​s Recycling Program:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Available for free in every Best Buy location in Puerto Rico and the U.S.! Learn more about the program by clicking HERE

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - No matter where you bought or how old it is, Best Buy will recycle it!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Best Buy recycles 387 pounds of electronics each minute their stores are open!

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ -   Did you know that Best Buy carries a whole line of Energy Star certified products as well?  Recycle your old electronics and upgrade to more energy efficient ones. To learn more about Best Buy's Energy Star certified products, click HERE

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Best Buy will recycle any eligible item at no charge.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Recycling Kiosks - Every US and Puerto Rico Best Buy store has free kiosks, just inside the door, for you to drop off ink and toner cartridges, rechargeable batteries, wires, cords and cables.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Appliance and TV Haul-Away — Best Buy will remove an appliance or TV free of charge from a customer's home when a new product is purchased and delivered by Best Buy Home Delivery.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Not ordering something from Best Buy right now, but would still like home pick up? Appliance and TV Pickup - For $100, Best Buy will arrange a home visit to remove up to two appliances or TVs for recycling. For more than two units, add $20 per additional unit.

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Want a Gift Card?Trade-In @ Best Buy - You can visit to trade-in select gently used electronics for a Best Buy gift card.

My Take:

You can Recycle free of charge or even trade in and get a gift card so you can upgrade your technology, what's NOT to love? Turn your old technology into that new iPad or Tablet you've been wanting! Turn some outdated stuff into a brand new GPS for this summer's road trips, the possibilities are endless, and with the old stuff NOT polluting our landfills and getting re-purposed, you are doing something for the environment, something for you and getting something great in return! GO FOR IT!

Get Social With It:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like Best Buy on Facebook

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @BestBuy on Twitter

Have you tried Best Buy Electronics Recycling Yet? If so, what product(s) did you recycle? Did you Trade In or use the in store kiosk? Don't forget to let Best Buy know you saw the Electronics Recycling Program featured on Ascending Butterfly!

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FTC Disclosure: I am a Best Buy WOLF program Blogger, you can also visit the WOLF program on Facebook and Twitter. I will receive a Best Buy Gift Card for sharing about the Recycling Program, however all opinions are 100% my own. This program offers additional incentives for participation. But you can best believe I reduce, re-use and recycle! Go Green!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My experience with @LOrealParisUSA #MagicBBCream #Beauty

While I have partnered with quite a few beauty brands since the inception of Ascending Butterfly, I had yet to try a BB Cream, and when I put out the call that I was interested in trying one, I received not one, but two different brands of BB Cream, L'Oreal Paris was first to answer the call and I received their L'Oréal Paris Magic BB Cream in the shade 'Medium' to try!

It was absolutely nothing like I expected it to be, in a good way. I was under the impression they were going to be like a tinted moisturizer, and because I'm a bit hard to match when it comes to foundation, I feared the shade would end up being all wrong. Even going to 'professional beauty counters' have resulted in horrible foundation matches for me. So while most people are excited about new foundations, I tend to be to be very cautious and reserve judgement until I take a picture of myself in the sunlight and check it out. I do try holding a mirror to the window when I try out a new foundation, but I find the picture thing a better test for me.

I put a very small amount in the palm of my hand and what surprised me most of all was the texture and color, it was somehow 'grainier' than I expected it to feel and almost a grayish white hue. I will admit I was a bit hesitant at first, but while it remained white in my hand, when I applied it to my face it did blend right into my skin and what felt 'grainy' in my hand was actually the 'Beautifying Beads'. They are encapsulated pigments infused in an ultra-light lotion.

Much like it stays a grayish white in your hands, it does stay that way on your face for a small time while it blends in then sets, so don't wipe it off, it won't stay that way. While they call it a "Magic" Skin Beautifier, you have to let the magic happen first! Then you will be happy with the results!

About Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - PRIMES: to smooth skin's texture.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - PERFECTS: to hide imperfections.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - HYDRATES: for all day moisture.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - CORRECTS: skin for a healthy looking even complexion.
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - ANTIOXIDANTS: Vitamins C and E
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - TRANSFORMS: To your Perfect Shade for a flawless, bare skin finish.

My Take:

As a normal-to-oily girl I love that it looks semi-matte on (not shiny at all) and is non-comedogenic and doesn't clog pores. It really does blend well and turns into the perfect match, what surprised me more is that one of our editors who is way fairer in complexion than I am, found this same exact shade to be her perfect match as well. Our skin tones and textures are by no means even similar and it worked equally well for us both. With this being my absolute first BB Cream I had no idea what to expect. I will say that I prefer to apply it with a sponge because of the gritty feeling of the texture, instead of using my fingers, but I love that I can reduce the number of steps in the morning, and just apply this and go. My only negative is that it doesn't have a sunscreen, so I still do need to add that extra step because I wear sunscreen everyday even in winter, if they add an SPF to it, it would be absolutely perfect! I do highly recommend it, and if you don't have major acne scarring on your face this really can replace a foundation especially in summer!

Get Social With it:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Follow @LOrealParisUSA on Twitter
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Like L'Oreal Paris on Facebook
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Check out the newest videos by subscribing to their channel on YouTube

And a little birdie told me . . . .

Twitter Party!

When: Thursday, March 7th at 9pm ET


RSVP: Coming Soon! - I am NOT a host or co-host, so please contact the host with any questions, not Ascending Butterfly!

Hashtag: #MagicBBCream

Host: @SheSpeaksUp


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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received in exchange for this review post. I am a member of She Speaks and a sample of L'Oreal's Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream was provided to us for editorial consideration at no cost. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

NYC: Sake and the City at Astor Center Event Recap {Photos} #SakeAndTheCity

Introduction to SAKE and Guided Tasting with Sake Samurai Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a very fun event at Astor Center in New York City, a SAKE tasting! I had the chance to attend not just the walk around tasting that was open only to media during the day and then opened to the public in the evening, but I also attended two seminars where I learned so much about SAKE and about creative food pairings that go beyond Sushi!

My mom introduced me to SAKE and I introduced her to Sushi, so we attended the SAKE And The City Event together and had so much fun!

Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake gets ready to present an Introduction to SAKE and Guided Tasting

We started with the first seminar which was an Introduction to SAKE and Guided Tasting with Sake Samurai Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake! If only I had known YEARS ago that my love of SAKE could have been turned into a job with such a fun and funky and job title!

Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake kicks off an Introduction to SAKE and Guided Tasting

The crowd was definitely excited!

Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake outlines Sake Ingredients during Introduction to SAKE with Guided Tasing at Astor Center in New York City

We started out by learning the ingredients that goes into SAKE, which are:

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Water
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Yeast
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Koji
Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ - Rice

Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake explains Sake Classifications during Introduction to SAKE with Guided Tasing at Astor Center in New York City

We then moved on to the Classifications of SAKE, they fall into either the 'Fortified Style' or the 'Pure Rice Style' this chart can be read in detail HERE.

Timothy Sullivan of Urban Sake explains the Sake Fermentation Process during Introduction to SAKE with Guided Tasing at Astor Center in New York City

He then discussed the fermentation process of Sake, which brought me back to my tour of the Bacardi Rum Factory in Puerto Rico when the tour took us through the fermentation tanks!

Introduction to SAKE with Guided Tasing with Sake Samurai Timothy Sullivan at Astor Center in New York City
Everyone was excited for the tasting part of course!

Introduction to SAKE with Guided Tasing with Sake Samurai Timothy Sullivan at Astor Center in New York City

I had to snap a shot of the bar that also showed the pictures of the bottles of the SAKE we tasted!

I loved the color of the bottle, and found the Kirin-Zan SAKE to be a mild and mellow SAKE I would definitely serve!

There was time before the next seminar and we hit the walk around tasing room! I wasn't able to get pictures of every single SAKE so I tried to nab shots of the ones I really liked best from each table. The Kirin-Zan pictured above was my favorite from the first table I visited.

Aronia Nigori on the far left was this table's standout SAKE

I learned in the seminar that some SAKE is meant to be served warm and others should be served chilled. The Aronia Nigori, the pink bottle on the far left that is in the ice bucket was my next standout SAKE. This SAKE is meant to be served chilled, and there was a refreshing crispness to this one that I greatly enjoyed!

After trying the Aronia Nigori, I followed the signs to the next table!

Tahei-Zan SAKE

This SAKE is an Award Winner! And I definitely appreciated the enthusiasm in which it was presented! This was a very flexible SAKE and I can see keeping it in stock at home because it's quite balanced on the palate!

We were hearing some major compliments at this point (which was about the mid-point of the tasting) regarding a Plum Sake that was a must try, in fact someone standing next to us asked us if we had tried it yet and we hadn't. He literally walked us over to this station and boy am I ever glad he did! Plum SAKE is actually already a personal favorite of mine, but this is one I had not yet tried. Hannya is this un-expected burst of Plum SAKE with a literal burst of peppery flavor, it's a bit of spice and heat that you don't expect it to have, and while you can certainly pair it with a meal, it's also one I can see you wanting to enjoy on it's own. This one was our hands down favorite, and apparently everyone else's too because when we visited Astor's Cellar later on to purchase it, it was already sold out, and I can tell you I fully understand why! This one is my super standout pick of the entire day, hands-down!

What was also fantastic is that they took so much time with us to show us a photo gallery of their brewery, and they were super personable! And if it's true that someone's passion and enthusiasm can actually be tasted in the final product be it a meal or a rice wine, then you can definitely see this is true with Hannya, they love what they do, you can truly taste it and it really shows!

After finishing up with Hannya, we realized that we lost track of time and it was time for the second seminar of the day!

The second seminar was the SAKE with Specialty Food Pairings by Brushstroke Executive Chef Isao Yamada

The second seminar was the SAKE with Specialty Food Pairings by Brushstroke Executive Chef Isao Yamada and it was fantastic! It took us beyond the obvious which is SAKE and Sushi and challenged us to be more creative with how we pair SAKE with food.

That salad was delish and so was the SAKE it was paired with!

SAKE with Specialty Food Pairings by Brushstroke Executive Chef Isao Yamada

We got to watch as the Chef prepared each dish before and then we were presented with the dish to taste!

This was definitely the most un-expected pairing, I wouldn't have thought a jerky type of meat would have paired so well with a SAKE but I was wrong!

SAKE with Specialty Food Pairings by Brushstroke Executive Chef Isao Yamada
I loved that the pairings went beyond the Sushi and SAKE mindset and challenged us to be a bit more creative and adventurous.

We got to pair the perfect Sake for the food that was prepared!

Below: I asked Timothy and Chef Yamada to pose for a close up and they kindly obliged!

LeftBrushstroke Executive Chef Isao Yamada and Right: 'Sake Samurai' Timothy Sullivan of
After the last seminar we went back to the tasting to try hit some of the stations that we missed.

My Take:

I greatly enjoyed SAKE And the City, I enjoyed trying SAKE brands that were new to me and discovering new favorites to add my list. I learned a great deal about SAKE and appreciated the panels by Timothy Sullivan and Chef Yamada greatly. Whether you are a SAKE expert or a novice this tasting definitely had a little something for everyone! I certainly hope that the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) decide to host another one soon. Creative events are another one of the many reasons that I love my city, the 'city that never sleeps', New York City!

Butterfly, Are you a SAKE afficionado? What is your favorite SAKE?

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. No monetary compensation has been received to share our event recap, there were no gift bags, and all opinions are 100% my own.