Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks | Matte Metallics

Metallic is all the rage in the makeup world lately. Whether it be eyeshadow, eyeliner, highlighter or lipstick, it seems like there's a metallic product of some sort in every makeup line. 

In that vein, new to the drugstore lipstick scene is the Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Metallics line. There are 10 shades that are not for the faint of heart - if you're looking to add a dash of bold metallic color to your makeup routine, look no further.

Influenster graciously sent me two shades to try - Smoked Silver and Molten Bronze. Both shades are exactly what you'd expect (see images below). They're comfortable on the lips, but they're not the most natural every day colors. If your every day style is business casual, like mine, chances are you'll feel a little odd sporting these at work. And to be honest, these aren't colors I'd wear outside of work either.

There are some more wearable, every day shades in the line, such as Copper Rose and Hot Lava, which online resembles MAC's Viva Glam Rihanna lipstick that I'm obsessed with and was limited edition. If you have a darker skin tone than me, Molten Bronze may look absolutely stunning on you! Pale girls, I hate to say it, but this probably isn't for you.

Molten Bronze
Smoked Silver

The lipsticks are very pigmented, easy to build up the intensity, and they have a subtle metallic finish. I'd imagine some of the everyday shades would actually be really gorgeous and comfortable to wear on the lips, as I did like the feel of them. They're not as drying as some matte lipsticks tend to be.

Look for this line at your local drugstore or at Ulta for around $7.49 each. 

What are your thoughts on the metallic trend? Is it hot or not? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, November 6, 2017

PLAY! by Sephora | September + October 2017 boxes

When I do these box reviews monthly, it always starts to feel like they're always being posted and are clogging up my blog feed. I'm trying something new (as you may have noticed) and condensing the months in to just one post. If you'd prefer to see them monthly, just let me know - but otherwise we're going to forge ahead like so.

I'm still thoroughly enjoying my Play! by Sephora box more than other beauty boxes I've tried in the past. Mostly because the brands are prestige and I happen to get a lot of items that I wanted to try before receiving the sample. If you're unfamiliar with this subscription, it costs $10 per month and you receive samples from brands that are sold at Sephora.

Here's a look at the September and October boxes.

  • DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask - Despite the fact that "curl" is in the brand name, this deep conditioner is for all hair types. It's meant to add extra hydration and nourishment beyond what a regular conditioner would.
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner - This is a cult favorite liquid eyeliner pen. It has a precise felt tip and all reviews I've ever heard confirm that it truly is waterproof. I've never tried this before, believe it or not, so I'm really looking forward to giving this a go.
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia perfume - Another cult product, but this is the feminine version of the much beloved men's cologne. It's summery and ocean fresh with notes of mint, peony, brown sugar, jasmine and lemon. 
  • Benefit Gimme Brow - If you read my blog, especially my empties posts, you'll know I love this stuff dearly. If you don't have unruly brows, this will add extra tint and fullness without a lot of effort. It takes no time at all, and works like a charm. Plus it lasts all day.
  • Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Color in Happy - This warm fuchsia lipstick claims to be moisturizing and highly pigmented. It's a matte formula but won't dry out your lips thanks to the added mango butter for hydration.
  • Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb - If you're a skincare junkie like I am, chances are you've heard of this korean moisturizer. It's a bit of a fad product right now. It's meant to be deeply hydrating, and it's especially good for those with normal or dry skin. 

  • Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation - This foundation is very lightweight and natural, with a light coverage finish. When my skin looks great, I enjoy using this. If I have a zit or two, it doesn't give me enough coverage. Happy to have a small size to pack for travel. 
  • Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight - If you're looking for an extra glowiness to your skin, look no further. You can drop these in to your moisturizer or foundation or apply with a light hand directly on to cheek bones. 
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Powder - Set your look with this translucent powder. It's sheer with a touch of color, and will keep all your makeup from slipping and sliding and creasing.
  • Chanel Gabrielle Chanel - This perfume has the hint of Chanel that we all love, but with a fresher, more spring-like touch. It has notes of jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose and ylang-ylang. Smells nice, but smells more like something I'd wear in the summer than in the colder months. 
  • Makeup Forever Ultra HD Skin Booster - I did not realize Makeup Forever had skincare products until this showed up in my box. This is a face serum that aims to hydrate and reduce the appearance of fine lines. This is meant to be used as the last step in your skincare routine before applying your primer. 
  • BECCA First Light Filter Face Primer - This primer is infused with a subtle glow to add radiance and perfection to the skin. It works to improve dryness, dullness and uneven skin tone. The cool violet color works to brighten skin and even out imperfections.

Do you subscribe to Play! by Sephora? Are you loving it as much as I am? Let me know!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Empties | #40

It's been about two months since my last empties post, and it's time that this post is written. My bag is full, and my brain is too - humming with my thoughts on all these used up products. Below you'll find mini reviews and purchase recommendations on everything I've finished over the last two months. Let's get to it...

  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer (would repurchase) - I really like this concealer for underneath my eyes. It covers my dark circles and is one of the best drugstore options I've found that creases minimally. It seems that it's been reformulated (anyone know??) and the consistency is a bit different with the latest tube I've bought, but I still like it.
  • Essence Liquid Eyeliner (would repurchase) - This is a dirt cheap liquid eyeliner (I'm talking under $5) and I love it. It has a felt tip making it very easy to apply, and it wears all day long. You can also get this in a waterproof version which I like equally.
  • Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth foundation (would not repurchase) - I don't know why I am sometimes overcome with the desire to purchase "dewy" foundations. I know my skin, and while it's not particularly oily, it works best with satin to matte foundations that sit and settle on to the skin. This would separate during the day, break apart, and settle in to my fine lines. I didn't finish this whole bottle up, I eventually just tossed it in the empties bin.
  • Covergirl Full Lash Bloom mascara (would repurchase) - This is the second tube of this that I've used up. It really does make my lashes look fuller, while giving me length. It's cheap at the drugstore and something I'm sure I will use again. I like it so much, in fact, that it made 2016's yearly favorites.
  • Essence Make Me Brow (would repurchase) - If you're too cheap to shell out for Benefit's Gimme Brow, like I oftentimes am, this Essence knock off is a great alternative. It's not quite as pigmented, but it does the job of giving my brows a pop of color. This drugstore option is a fraction of the price of most tinted brow gels from Sephora.
  • Mitchell and Peach The Radiance Face Oil (would not repurchase) - I enjoyed using this - it smelled really nice and felt luxurious, but it never seemed to actually sink in to my skin. Even after hours, it was just pooled up on top of my face instead of diving deep and hydrating my skin. I love the branding and packaging and the scent and feel, but it didn't perform unfortunately.
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish (would repurchase) - I love getting little samples of the facial exfoliator. Many might find this too abrasive, but with gentle hands, I think this is the perfect way to get baby smooth skin. It feels like you're rubbing gentle sandpaper over your face, removing the dead skin and junk that needs to be buffed away. Some day I'll shell out for a full size of this. 
  • L'Occitane Gentle Toner (would not repurchase) - I am not a fan of L'Occitane's toners. They're more like perfumed waters, and don't seem to be providing my skin with any benefits. 
  • Up & Up Eye Makeup Remover (would repurchase) - The Target Up & Up brand of eye makeup remover holds a candle to any higher end brands. It works great, it's dirt cheap, and it'll last you! Oftentimes you can find double packs of these bottles for a better deal than just one. Keep your eyes peeled!
  • Estee Lauder Take It Away Makeup Remover (would not repurchase) - I was not a fan of this. It's highly HIGHLY fragranced which bothered me, and it didn't seem as effective as a cleansing oil or makeup wipe. Happy to have tested a sample of this before shelling out on a full size and hating it.
  • Dior The One Facial Serum (would not purchase) - I enjoyed using this delicately-Dior-scented facial serum, but can't say I noticed it doing anything. Truth be told, a small sample like this isn't the best way to know if it would perform over time, but I'm too cheap to find out with a bigger size.
  • Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser (would repurchase) - This was a nice, gentle cleanser that I opted to use in the morning. A hot cloth cleanser, if you've never used one, is applied on dry skin, and then removed with a hot wet wash cloth. I just rinsed it off, personally, but it worked the same nonetheless and was an effective gentle cleanser. Brightening? Hard to say, but it did leave my skin clean without stripping it.
  • Ginger People Ginger Face Cleanser (would not repurchase) - This was a very basic, very bland cleanser. It cleansed my face just fine, but I felt like it could've done more. It has no skin nourishing ingredients, anti-agers or anything of the sort. If that's what you're looking for, you'll probably like this! I prefer something a bit more beneficial and nourishing for my skin.
  • Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser (would repurchase) - This was a lovely, simple face cleanser. It has gentle beads that help exfoliate the skin, but they're very very gentle and won't be abrasive in the least. My skin felt clean and refreshed after using this and I'll definitely get it again!
  • Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel oil controlling towelettes (would repurchase) - I've had these for ages and finally pulled them out to use as a toner after washing my face. I liked them - I like using witch hazel as a toner because it helps clear up blemishes naturally.
  • Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins (would repurchase) - I thoroughly enjoyed this night cream. It felt luxurious, slowly melting in to my skin. It didn't break me out, it hydrated without being too much. Overall, just really nice.
  • Ladykin Affinitic Snail Cream (would repurchase) - This moisturizer is light but still packs a punch with hydration. My husband also liked using it. It sits easily under makeup, and is perfect if you've got normal to combination skin like I do. If you have dry skin, you may need something more than this. See full review here.
  • Origins Ginger Burst Body Wash (would repurchase) - I love love love the ginger burst scent from Origins. It's such a juicy sweet scent that I adore at any time of year. This body wash lathers nicely and leaves me feeling fresh and clean.
  • L'Occitane Verbena Shower Gel (would repurchase) - This shower gel smells lightly of lime. It's a refreshing scent, great for summer. I enjoyed using this sample.
  • Molton Brown Orange & Bergamot body wash (would repurchase) - Molton Brown shower gels are highly fragranced, so much so that you'll still smell it lingering on your skin when you're out of the shower. I liked this fresh, clean citrus-y scent. It foamed up nicely as well. 
  • Origins Gloomaway Grapefruit body souffle (would repurchase) - I don't like Gloomaway nearly as much as the Ginger Burst scent, but it was nice and fresh nonetheless. This is lightly hydrating, good for summer when you don't want your skin to be sticky and oily from your body lotion - not intense enough to combat winter dryness.
  • Hask Charcoal Purifying Conditioner (would repurchase) - Hask is a super affordable drugstore haircare brand, and the quality isn't lacking despite the cheap price! I love the smell of this Charcoal line (sort of citrusy and perfumey) and it made my hair feel so soft. See full review here.
  • Batiste Floral dry shampoo (would repurchase) - Batiste is my favorite dry shampoo. It's affordable, and it soaks up oil in my hair, extending the time between hair washes. There are many different scents to choose from, and this floral version was pleasant!
  • Progranix Quench Leave-In Moisture (would repurchase) - This wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't bad. It didn't do anything spectacular for my hair, but it did help me comb out tangles with a little more ease. See full review here.
  • Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Conditioner (would repurchase) - I loved this conditioner! It smells so nice and it made my hair silky smooth and soft. Bumble & Bumble isn't cheap by any means, but I'd consider shelling out for this in the future.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - I get these cotton rounds in bulk from Costco and use them nearly every day for one thing or another - makeup removal, nail polish removal, toner application, etc. They're great and are economical when bought in bulk. 
  • Q-Tips Precision Tips (would repurchase) - I know it seems trivial, but pointed q-tips are everything when it comes to removing makeup mishaps or anything that requires even a teensy bit of precision. I've bought these repeatedly and I'll continue to do so. 
  • Carmex lip balm (would repurchase) - I love Carmex for a bed time lip product. It's cooling, and it exfoliates the dead skin off, so in the morning I have smooth lips that are lipstick-ready. (Can you tell my one-year-old teethed all over this?! ha!)
  • Folle de joie perfume (would repurchase) - I adored this perfume sample, and if I ever see it for a good deal, I will buy a full size bottle. It's characterized by notes of citrus, rose and woody musk. It's fresh and sexy all in one.
  • Lancome La vie est belle perfume (would not purchase) - I like this scent, but it's very reminiscent of Flowerbomb to me, which I already own a full size of. It's pretty much a copycat scent -- my husband always asks if I'm wearing Flowerbomb whenever I'd wear this. It's warm and musky with hints of floral.

  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (would not purchase) - I am the ONE person on the planet who doesn't like the smell of this lotion, it seems. It reminds me a lot of some summery Bath & Bodyworks scent (Waikiki maybe?). It's ridiculously fragranced, so much so that I can smell it even after washing my hands - you definitely don't need to (and shouldn't) wear a perfume with this. I wanted to like this, but it made me nauseous, which isn't a typical response I have to things, so yeah... I'll never ever buy this. 
  • Jafra Night Moisture (would not purchase) - Honestly, I don't remember much about this so that tells you how much of an impression it made on me... I know Jafra is one of those pyramid scheme businesses, which means I won't ever buy anything from the line. 
  • Radius Ginger Citrus Coconut Oil Toothpaste (would not purchase) - I had high hopes for this, but it has a weird plastic-y taste and it doesn't foam up at all. It's like rubbing plastic-flavored spit around in your mouth, so you can imagine how fresh your mouth tastes after using this... yuck.
  • Auromere Ayurvedic Toothpaste (would not repurchase) - I'm bummed because I really do like this toothpaste. It's one of my favorite natural toothpastes, but I didn't realize until I started using it that it has SLS in it. I prefer my toothpaste to be SLS free because that stuff gives me canker sores which I am prone to. Unfortunately, this will be my last tube. 
  • Sensodyne toothpaste (would not repurchase) - I used this while my husband used up the Auromere because it doesn't have SLS. It's nothing special, and honestly doesn't leave my mouth feeling that clean, so I probably wouldn't buy a full size tube.
  • Dr. Tung's Smart Floss (would repurchase) - This is my absolute favorite floss. It's the perfect thickness to get crud out of your teeth and it's more natural than your typical drugstore options. I used to purchase this on Vitacost but it appears they don't carry it anymore, so you can find it on Amazon if you're interested.
  • Dr. Jacob's Sweet Tea Tree Castile Soap (would repurchase) - I loved this stuff. This scent is amazing and I thought it made a great kitchen hand soap. I found this at TJ Maxx but I've also seen it on Vitacost. I'll definitely get this again in the future.
  • Jason Total Protection Coconut Mouth Rinse (would not repurchase) - This was just ok. It didn't leave my mouth feeling overly fresh, and I really didn't notice it doing much of anything. I typically love Jason products, but this one just didn't impress me.
  • rareESSENCE Passion Oil Diffuser (would repurchase) - These rareESSENCE diffusers are lovely. They're made with 100% pure essential oils, so you don't have to worry about breathing in disgusting chemical scents. This smelled great like patchouli, tangerine and cinnamon leaf,  and it lasted a long time. I'll definitely get more of these in the future.
  • Yankee Candle Campfire Treat candle (would repurchase) - I love nearly all campfire marshmallow candle scents, this being no exception. It's sweet and smoky and made my house feel cozy. I adore this and I'm sure I'll get it again sometime.

And that's a wrap! Have you used any of these products? If so, let me know in the comments!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Maui Moisture | Thicken & Restore line

If you've hit the hair care aisle at the drug store lately, you may have noticed a new line. Chances are these unconventionally cool, square bottles stuck out to you. I wouldn't even be surprised if they ended up in your cart and on their way home with you.... but let's back up...

Not too long ago, a nice little PR package showed up at my door, stuffed with the Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore line, and I let out a squeal of glee. I'll be honest, I have so much hair stuff (most of which is sent to me) that I haven't needed to walk the aisles of Target or Walgreens to restock in ages. But if I did, I can guarantee you that I would've been sucked in to buying this stuff by the packaging alone. (Yes, I work in marketing. Yes, I still fall for good packaging). 

Maui Moisture isn't actually a completely new brand. This line was created by the makers of OGX, formerly Organix. You may recall I've reviewed a few of their products in the past. I happen to like a lot of OGX products, and this new line is maybe my favorite yet.  There are six different collections in the Maui Moisture family: Curl Quench, Heal & Hydrate, Nourish & Moisture, Smooth & Repair, Strength & Anti-Breakage, and what I was sent... the Thicken & Restore line.

The Thicken & Restore line is made up of three parts. The first two things are a shampoo and conditioner. The scent is "Bamboo fibers".... whatever that means... I have never smelled a bamboo fiber, but if it smells like this shampoo and conditioner, it smells simply amazing. The scent is soooo good; it's juicy and fruity and I can smell it lingering in my hair.

While these bottles say this line is for weak and brittle hair, I have neither. I do like to treat my hair to extra moisture and nourishment, though, and I found my hair was really soft and manageable after using this. If your hair is overprocessed or heat styled, or if you just need an added boost to kick your hair in to shape, give these a shot. 

The final item in the line is the Blow Out Mist. Spritz this on to damp hair and give your blow dryer a whirl. This will help boost your roots and give your strands volume. Given that I have about 6 hairs on my head, I'm all for added volume and it seems like it takes a miracle to make that happen. While this spray wasn't a godsend, I was pleasantly surprised by the extra boost this gave my hair. 

Overall, I'd recommend this line. It smells simply divine, it made my hair feel soft and manageable, and the styling spray actually gave my roots a lift. If you're interested in Maui Moisture, you can purchase it at Target, Walmart, and Ulta for starters. See a full list of retailers here. The shampoo & conditioner cost around $8.99 each, and the styling spray is the same price. Totally affordable and I'd definitely recommend trying out the line for yourself.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fenty Beauty | Worth the hype?

Fenty Beauty ... it's ALL the hype lately. Rihanna's new makeup line has made a big splash in the beauty world, and it seems like everyone is talking about it. It appears PR packages were sent out to influencers in the beauty world, but fear not - I spent my own money on a couple key items from the line, so you can bet (as you always can, sponsored or not), that my opinions are entirely my own and I'm being 100% honest about these products.

Much of the hype around Fenty Beauty surrounds the foundation, and it is completely warranted. The foundation line has an unprecedented 40 shades to choose from.... yes, you read that right, 40 SHADES. How amazing is that? The beauty industry has been majorly lacking for way too long, offering a variety of beige and dark beige foundation shades, but nothing for those of us on either end of the spectrum... whitest white to darkest dark. I really, sincerely hope that the buzz around Fenty forces other cosmetics brands to up their diversity game.

I'm not sure what possessed me, but when I went to place my order, I meant to only pick up the foundation... but lo and behold, I ended up throwing a highlighter in my cart, too. There are four different highlighter duos, and I nabbed the Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal duo. The shades are buttery and soft, and great for pale girls. These duos are $34, which is pretty steep actually, but justifiable for me because highlighters last ages.

It was really tough to capture the beauty of this highlighter on camera, but you can see the left shade is not quite as creamy. It's a perfect highlight with a subtle glittery shimmer. The right shade is very buttery and could even be used as an eyeshadow. Both of these are pretty intense nude-colored highlights - you can glow like a disco ball if you don't use a light hand. After my initial swatching, I considered returning them, but after a couple uses I changed my mind and I really do like how they look on my skin. I think they look much better on than swatched on my arm.

I'm most excited about the foundation. The hype is SO REAL about this foundation, and it's more than just the 40 shades. You get 1.08 oz in a bottle, which is a little more than the standard 1 oz you get with most all foundations. It is a tad pricey, ringing in at $34, but I'm going to spoil the rest of my review for you and tell you it's completely worth it. 

This foundation is a DREAM. For reference, I have normal to combo skin that's acne-prone. I also have fine lines, on my forehead, underneath my eyes, and extending from my nose to my lips.

I purchased shade 110, the second lightest shade, and it's a perfect match for my very fair skin. A pump and a half covers my whole face using my preferred method -  a damp beautyblender. You can build the coverage, but I'd say you get medium to full coverage with one layer of foundation. As you can see above, it covers up my blemishes but not entirely.
It does have a slight fragrance, which I find pleasant, but something to consider if you're really sensitive to fragrance in your makeup. The finish is a satin matte, which is really quite nice. It's not quite as chalky and flat as say, L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Foundation, it's just skin-like and light with the same amount of coverage. The wear time is fantastic - it looks great after an 8 hour day of work, and like some black magic, it doesn't sink in to my fine lines the way so many other foundations do. I'm so in love - this is one of the best foundations I've tried recently.

I will say, if you have dry skin, this will cling to patchy areas, and I could see this being a bit too matte of a foundation for you. 

Overall - I think the hype really is worth it for the Fenty Beauty line. These two products are just a couple of the things available for purchase at Sephora. There are also brushes, lip gloss, cream color sticks and more. Look through the line here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Nothing like missing a month of empties to make you feel really accomplished about everything you've used up. If you're looking for some quick reviews on a whole smorgasbord of products, you're in for a treat. Let's get to it...

  • Antipodes Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum (would repurchase) - This was more like a facial oil than a serum. I used it in the morning, and after applying I sealed it in with another moisturizer. I think this would be really great in the colder months, but it was a bit much for summertime. I'd like to try more from this brand in the future. 
  • L'Occitane Essential Water Toner (would not repurchase) - This toner was super duper scented, and not in a good way. It felt more like I was smearing perfumed water over my face, rather than a beneficial toner. I wouldn't get this in the future because it has too much fragrance and artificial ingredients in it. 
  • ROC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream (would not repurchase) - This came in an old Target Beauty Box and I kept putting off using it. It has that typical smelly ROC smell - if you've used any of their products, you know what I mean. I don't like that scent, and I don't think this really did anything for me, so I wouldn't buy this again.
  • Reviva Labs Eye Gelee Concentrate (would repurchase) - This gel is like an essence for your eye cream. Apply it before your eye cream to assist with puffing and hydrating the undereyes. I've found it keeps me from looking crepe-y and dry. 
  • Hey Honey Open Your eyes Eye Contour Lifting Fluid (would not repurchase) - This came in an Ipsy bag, and I can't say I was much of a fan. I prefer thicker, more hydrating eye balms than this. This was like a thin, watery lotion that didn't do anything for my undereyes. 
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (would purchase) - This little sample pack had all three versions of the lip mask and I loved all of them! I definitely want to get the non-tinted version for use at bed time. This stuff is thick and coats your lips while hydrating. You'll wake up in the morning with it still on. Goooood stuff and smells yummy too. 
  • Benefit Ka Brow (would purchase) - This was my first experience with an eyebrow cream-gel color and I actually really liked it. The blond color was a good shade match, but I had to be light handed so my brows didn't look too bold and caked on. This claims to be waterproof, but I found it easy to smudge off. Despite that, I may pick this up at the next VIB sale. 
  • Covergirl Intensify Me eyeliner (would repurchase) - This is a good, cheap drugstore eyeliner. Once you get over the learning curve of the flat felt-tip, it's easy to use. The color is a perfect matte black, and it doesn't easily smudge on my oily eyelids.
  • Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner (would not repurchase) - On the flip side, this eyeliner pen sucked. It was very light, so I had to go over it again and again in order to build up a bold enough line. The felt tip wasn't very long so it just felt weird to apply. I don't like this and would never buy this again.
  • Prada Candy perfume (would purchase) - If I saw this perfume for cheap, I'd get it because the scent is nice, but it's so popular and not the most unique. It's very sweet and also a bit musky. It borders that line of childishly sweet. Not essential to have in my collection, but I enjoyed using this sample up. 
  • Replica Beach Walk perfume (would not purchase) - This was not my cup of tea. It's very coconut heavy, with a hint of salt water and sunscreen. The smell really does make you think of a beach. It also has some floral notes like ylang-ylang, which is a scent I'm not big on. If you like Bobbi Brown Beach, I think you'll also like this perfume. 

  • Tree hut Shea Moisturizing Body Lotion (would repurchase) - I liked this lotion. It had a very subtle scent and was hydrating without being greasy. I want to say I purchased this at Walmart, and it was dirt cheap.
  • St. Tropez Gradual Tan (would repurchase) - Before I bucked up and got over my fear of tanning mousses, I liked using lotions. This was one of the best I tried. It gave a nice warm color, didn't streak, and the smell wasn't too bad. I'd consider getting this in the future, but I much prefer the color payoff of the St. Tropez mousse instead.  
  • Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo (would not repurchase) - I'm inclined to getting dry scalp, which I chalk up to dry shampoo wreaking a little havoc on my scalp. I thought I'd try something more natural, but this was not the answer. It has a nasty old lady smell and really did nothing for me.
  • TonyMoly Makgeolli Mask Sheet (would repurchase) - I like the TonyMoly sheet masks. I think they feel nice and they don't break me out. Did this purify my face? Hard to say. But it was nice nonetheless. 
  • Botanic Farm Sea Mustard Mask (would not repurchase) - It's not that anything is overtly bad with this mask, but I just can't for the life of me remember anything about it. If it didn't stand out, it's probably not worth buying again.
  • Vanedo Beauty Friends Gold Mask (would repurchase) - This was also just OK. It has lots of serum on it, enough that you could save it and keep using it after you're done with the mask. It didn't break me out. It was just refreshing and hydrating.
  • Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder (would not repurchase) - This really wasn't exfoliating in the least. It was just a powder that functioned as a cleanser once you added some water in. I didn't notice this doing anything for my skin, and it didn't really make my skin feel clean, so I wouldn't get it again.
  • Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner (would repurchase) - This was a nice toner. It had a light rose fragrance, and it was gentle on my skin.
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover pads (would not repurchase) - This is an awful eyemakeup remover. The pads aren't saturated enough so I had to add extra remover to them to even get my mascara off. I'd rather have the bottle of Neutrogena eye makeup remover than these.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - What's an empties post without a pack of these? I use them for toner and eye makeup remover and they work like a charm. 
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Wipes (would not repurchase) - The scent of these makeup wipes is way too overpowering for me. It's a really artificial scent that is just, no... just no. 
  • Babyganics Face, Hand & Baby Wipes (would repurchase) - I don't actually use these wipes on my son, but I use them to wipe down my makeup area and any makeup on my hands. They work great and don't have bad ingredients. 
  • Audrey and Lewis South Pacific Shower Gel (would repurchase) - This body wash has a nice, subtle scent of vanilla and citrus. It sudsed up well and made me feel clean. 
  • Dr. Bronner's Hemp Rose Castile Soap (would not repurchase) - I love Dr. Bronner's but I do not love the hemp rose scent. It started off ok, but became sickening to me pretty quickly. I use this to clean my brushes and beauty blender and it works nicely for that, but I'm glad I used this bottle up. 
  • LaVanila Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut and Vanilla Lavender (would repurchase) - LaVanila is my favorite natural deodorant brand. Deodorants, especially natural ones, seem to work different for everyone so while this might not be your perfect option, it works well for me. 
  • Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo (would repurchase) - Batiste is a stellar dry shampoo brand. It does a great job of soaking up oil in my hair and refreshing it, and it's affordable, too! I find it to be cheapest at TJ Maxx, but you can also find it at the drugstore for a couple bucks more.
  • NelsonJ Argan Oil7 Non-Foaming Shampoo (would not repurchase) - I didn't like that this shampoo didn't foam. It was so hard to tell when I'd scrubbed my hair enough or if I'd gotten it all out. It also has little beads in it that would get stuck on my scalp. I really wanted to like this, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.
  • Rimmel Stay Matte powder (would repurchase) - This is an oldie but goodie in my makeup drawer. I've repurchased it time and time again. It works well to set my foundation without being cakey. I don't experiment much with powders so I just keep picking this up and it doesn't disappoint.
  • Beautyblender (would repurchase) - The beautyblender has become my go-to makeup application tool. It makes my skin look flawless, doesn't leave streaks, and makes application quick and easy. I think the beautyblender trumps all other cheaper knock-off brands. I've tried many and nothing compares. Worth every penny to pay for the actual BeautyBlender.
  • Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (would not repurchase) - I used to love this for spot concealing, but have found things I like better now. This is a very thick and oily concealer, and while it says it's creaseless, there is literally no way I'd put this on my undereye area. It's way too thick for that and it would either make my eyes look crepe-y or it would majorly crease.

  • Spry Healing Blend Mouth Wash (would repurchase) - What sold me on this mouthwash was both the good ingredients in it and the marketing around it having healing properties for canker sores or sensitive gums. I did have a canker sore while using this and I can't say it really healed it any quicker or helped it feel better. Despite that, I still liked this overall. 
  • Kiss My Face Triple Action Toothpaste (would not repurchase) - I didn't realize until I got a canker sore that this toothpaste has SLS in it. I thought it was free of that ingredient but my body let me know differently. For that reason, I wouldn't buy this again, despite it being a decent toothpaste.
  • Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Gel (would repurchase) - This was my final vial of the Smile Brilliant whitening gel, and I really like this stuff. It makes a noticeable difference in the brightness of my teeth. This set was sent to me for review, but I did just purchase more vials of whitener once I finished this. See full review here.
  • Ralph Lauren Hot Perfume (would repurchase) - I love this perfume. It has so much good nostalgia tied to it. But I've had this in my collection for longer than I'd like to admit so I made a conscious effort to use this up. The main notes are vanilla, fig, spice and amber. It's tough to explain, but it's something unique that I'd certainly buy again. If you like scents such as Vera Wang Princess, Viva La Juicy and Hillary Duff With Love, chances are you'll like this one.
  • Aura Cacia Lavender Baby Shampoo (would repurchase) - This was a gift from one of my baby showers, and I enjoyed using it on my son. The ingredients are pure and didn't irritate my son's skin. It smells just like fresh lavender, but the scent doesn't linger long.
  • Mrs. Meyers Watermelon Foaming Hand Soap (would repurchase) - This was a really fun scent of hand soap. It smells like watermelon candy, and the scent stuck around for a bit. I really liked this and would definitely get it again. The Mrs. Meyer's brand is one of my favorites for household items.
  • Signature Soy Pinky Peony Candle (would repurchase) - This was a candle from Target that was a nice one to burn during the spring months. Smelled just like a peony, and like that it was soy so it burned cleaner. It's a goal of mine to switch over to just soy candles once my backstock of others is gone.
  • ScentSationals Herb Garden Wax Cubes (would repurchase) - This mix of herb-scented wax melts smelled fresh and clean. A great option for making the house smell nice in summer.

And that's it!! Have you tried any of these things? What interesting things did you use up this month? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Play! by Sephora | Summer 2017

I figure I better start this post with a "uhhh yeah, I'm still alive" disclaimer! Blogging has taken a back seat this summer to family time and any extra minutes of sleep I can possibly get. Family is always my #1 priority, but I sure do miss blogging! 

It's been a while since I've shared my Play! by Sephora box and I have really been enjoying it. I thought I'd spare you multiple posts and instead lump June, July and August's boxes all in one conveniently long post. 

If you're on the hunt for a great $10/month subscription beauty service, look no further than Play! by Sephora. All of the brands featured in the bag can be found at Sephora, so naturally you get some great deluxe samples to try. If you're interested in signing up, you can so do here (not an affiliate link). 


  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium perfume - This is a cult favorite perfume. It's musky yet sweet, not for the beginner perfume-wearer. I think this smells like a knock-off of Flowerbomb and because I love that perfume so much, I'll probably never purchase Black Opium.
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub - This formula of lipstick is super-long wearing. Like, will hold up through a hurricane long-lasting. I have found it to be extremely drying, but I am so impressed by the pigmentation and longevity of it. I'm not excited about the shade they selected, but perhaps I'll have a reason to get funky with my lip color and I'll pull this out.
  • Benefit Porefressional primer - This primer smooths pores for an even and flawless makeup application. I've used it in the past and really liked how it seemed to give me a blurred base to apply my foundation on to. 
  • IGK Rich Kid Coconut Gel - A coconut-infused hair gel that nourishes and conditions. It's not marketed like your typical gel; it seems to be more of a leave-in conditioner than something that's going to hold a style all day. It's also said to be good for both wavy, curly and straight hair.
  • Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil - This is a silicone-free multi-purpose oil. It's said to be quickly absorbed in to skin or hair. Use this product to restore and repair dry skin and hair and reduce the appearance of scars and redness. 
  • First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer - An oil-free primer comprised of super-food ingredients. It'll blur the appearance of pores and provide a dewy finish to the skin. It can be worn alone or underneath makeup. 


  • bareMinerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Swag - This lip color is infused with a primer and hydrating ingredients for a cream-to-matte finish. Swag is a really pretty everyday color, perfect for the office or to dress up your look. 
  • Milk Makeup Cooling Water - This is a caffeine-infused stick of... something? that you can rub on to your skin or under eyes for a cooling, de-puffing effect. You can also leave it in the fridge to amp up the effect. It seems a little gimmicky, but maybe it really is the next best thing? TBD.
  • It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara - This mascara's aim is to be like skincare for your lashes. It volumizes, lengthens and stretches lashes while conditioning and strengthening. 
  • Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment - First off, can we just talk about how gross the term "pore pudding" is? Ughh... anyway. This is a fancy swirled face mask that detoxifies the skin and reduces the appearance of pores in the process. It's formulated with white charcoal and kaolin clay, both known for removing impurities in the skin. 
  • Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine - If you're a citrus-scent lover, this one's for you. Orange Sanguine features notes of bitter orange, blood orange, amber, and sandalwood. It's not my favorite scent, but I prefer far warmer, woodsier scents than this typically.
  • Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray - This is a lightweight leave-in conditioner. Spray it on damp hair and let it work its magic. It aims to reduce flyaways, protect against UV rays, and hydrate hair. It's also 96% naturally derived! 


  • Alterna Cavier Anti-Aging Miracle Multiplying Mist - A treatment and styler in one. It claims to provide volume both instantly and over the course of using the product. It strengthens hair to reduce breakage and restore it's natural thickness. 
  • Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Perfumes - Two new fragrances from Kat Von D. As you can guess, Saint (the white bottle) is the lighter, fruitier version of the two. It has notes of vanilla, jasmine and tiare flower. Sinner is the warmer, darker version, comprised of notes of patchouli, wood and cinnamon. Neither fragrance smells very unique to me, so not something I'd bother picking up for my own collection in the future. 
  • Clinique HIM Dual-Ended High Impact Mascara & Primer duo - The priming end of this duo helps boost the appearance of the mascara you put on top, adding volume and length. It goes on white, so over top you layer the High Impact mascara for color and fullness. 
  • Beauty Blender Micro Mini - This mini version of a beauty blender is teeny tiny. I use mine for blending out under-eye concealer and getting in to any nooks and crannies that my normal-sized beauty blender can't. Not essential to have, but convenient from time to time. 
  • GlamGlow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturizer - This moisturizer claims to hydrate the skin for a glow without shine. It's marketed as a "water balm" formula, which I've heard is complete crap, but hey... it has decent reviews on the Sephora website, so maybe it's not so bad.
  • Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil - This oil is meant to take off both waterproof and normal mascara. It has a small wand that almost looks like a bristle-free mascara wand, and you just rub that along your lash line to coat your lashes, let it sit for a minute, then wipe away the product and mascara with a wipe. Not really essential, especially for $17, in my opinion. 

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