Saturday, April 8, 2017

March Empties | #35

The empties bin wasn't too full this month, but we all love some mini reviews, am I right? So regardless, here's what I went through this past month and my feelings on each item.

  • L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation (would repurchase) - This has become a staple foundation in my collection. If you have really dry skin, I wouldn't recommend it. For my normal, combo, or oily peeps, this will be right up your alley. This is the foundation I pull out when I know I've got a long day and need my foundation to hold up. The shade is my perfect pale match, and it costs less than $15. This made my top 10 products of 2016, and I still love it. 
  • Rimmel Extra 3D Lash mascara (would not repurchase) - This was a flop for me. It has a flat plastic brush with short bristles. It made my lashes really tube-y and clumpy, and was difficult to work with. It got slightly better as the formula dried out, but not enough to convince me it's worth a repurchase. 
  • Anastasia Clear Brow Gel (would repurchase) - This is an excellent clear brow gel. I wish that it didn't cost so much, because it just seems dumb to pay a lot for freakin' brow gel, but every time I use it, I fall in love. The brush is a perfect size, it keeps my brows in check, and it isn't sticky. 
  • Clinique Bottom Lash mascara (would repurchase) - I know it's kind of gimmicky to buy a mascara just for the bottom lashes, but I personally like the smaller brush and the fact it doesn't transfer. This only costs $10 and lasts me about 3 months, so I already got myself another tube. 
  • Smashbox Photo Finish primer (would repurchase) - I wasn't excited about using this, but I ended up really liking it. It blurred my pores and it did help my makeup last longer. I wouldn't run out and buy a full size, but I'd grab it if I was in a pinch. 

  • Clear Total Care Nourishing Shampoo (would repurchase) - I enjoy Clear's hair products. I like the creamy texture, and the soft fragrance, and the way it makes my hair feel. I'd get a full size in the future.
  • Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Cream (would not purchase) - This was outrageously fragranced for a face cream. It smelled like Chanel products do, which I enjoy, but not in my face creams. No way. 
  • Erborian Black Concentrated Mask (would repurchase) - I liked this mask. It made my skin feel refreshed and it smelled nice. Hard to say if it was amazing after just one use, but I'd consider a full size in the future. If I'm recalling correctly, this stuff is stupid expensive? I'm sure it is, because I always end up having expensive taste. 
  • Tresemme Dry Shampoo (would not repurchase) - I was not a fan of this. It hardly soaked up oil in my hair, it didn't add any volume... it was pretty worthless. 
  • Got2b Dry Conditioner (would not repurchase) - I never noticed this doing anything for my hair. It didn't make it soft or shiny, like you'd expect a conditioner to do. It left a huge cloud of product swarming in the air after you sprayed it which I didn't like. I just didn't see the point in this.
  • L'Occitane Amande Hand Cream (would repurchase) - Ohhhh the L'Occitane almond line smells so heavenly. This hand cream is no different. It smells divine, and it smooths on so softly and comfortably. It isn't greasy. It just makes your hands feel instantly soft. 
  • Thierry Mugler Alien perfume (would repurchase) - I already have a rollerball size of this, and I enjoy this scent. It isn't something I'd wear in the spring or summer, but it's a perfect cozy warm scent for fall and winter. 
  • Ole Henrisken Sheer Transformation (would repurchase) - I've used a sample of this in the past and remember feeling ambivalent about it, but this time around I actually enjoyed it. It's a simple moisturizer. It doesn't smell, doesn't feel heavy on the face, but I appreciate how unnoticeable it is. I'd actually consider getting a full size of this in the future.
  • Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer (would repurchase) - I liked this little sample so much I got myself a full size. It even made a recent favorites post.
  • LaVanila  Deodorant in Vanilla Amber (would repurchase) - LaVanila is my favorite deodorant brand. It's free of aluminum and other crappy ingredients that are cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting. I believe this scent was limited edition, but I'd get it again if they bring it back.
  • Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash (would repurchase) - Every single Soap & Glory scent smells amazing. Sugar Crush smells like candied limes, and it's truly the perfect summer scent. I got anxious and used it before it was even warm outside, but I enjoyed every second.
  • StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner (would repurchase) - I love this stuff, as you can tell by the fact I cut it open and got every last bit out. This retinol works for my skin without drying it out completely. It smells nice. It's effective. All that good stuff. I still have another bottle to use, thank goodness. See full review here.
  • Sibu Beauty Eye Cream (would not repurchase) - I wanted to love this, and maybe it was just my bottle, but this was separated and chunky and gross. I feel like it went bad, even though it was still a few months out from expiration according to the bottle. I ended up getting rid of this before it was completely gone for that reason. If you've tried this, let me know what your thoughts are on it. 
  • bareMinerals Vital Power Infusion (would repurchase) - I did not think I'd enjoy this as much as I did. I'm not sure if it transformed my skin, but I liked the feeling of it, and I kind of want to get a full size bottle to see if I do see results after using it for a longer period of time.
  • Phyto Specific Thermoperfect 8 (would repurchase) - This was a cream heat protectant. It worked pretty well, and I liked that it did 8 beneficial things to the hair, but I don't typically need a cream heat protectant - I prefer a spray instead.
  • Swisspers cotton rounds (would repurchase) - I love these cotton rounds for removing eye makeup and applying toner. I get them in a mega-pack from Costco, and I'll keep on repurchasing them.
  • EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths (would not purchase) - This was nothing spectacular. It's a glorified baby wipe, nothing more. I wouldn't bother getting a full size of these in the future. 
  • Simple Micellar Cleansing Water (would repurchase) - I used this mainly to freshen my skin up on days I wasn't wearing makeup and it worked nicely. Made my skin feel clean and refreshed. I don't really like micellar waters for removing makeup, but if you do, I'd recommend giving this one a try.
  • L'Oreal Miracle Blur Instant Eye Smoother (would repurchase) - I really liked this little sample. I have fine lines under y eyes and I could notice them looking softer and less noticeable when I used this.
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Wash & Shampoo (would repurchase) -  I dare you to find a baby shampoo that smells this amazing and has clean ingredients. I guarantee you won't find it. This stuff is my absolute favorite, from a brand I adore. Shea Moisture seriously has the best smelling stuff (without being offensively so) that is actually effective. Love love love.
  • Yardley soap in Vanilla & Sweet Orchid (would not repurchase) - I did not care for this soap. It didn't smell that nice and the lather was so-so. I let my husband finish it after trying to like it for a few washes myself. I've got enough crap to use up that I won't bother wasting my time on something I don't like.
  • B&BW Marshmallow Fireside candle (would repurchase) - This is one of my favorite B&BW candle scents. It is smokey and sweet and I'll burn it any time of the year. 

What did you use up this month? Let me know in the comments! 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

March Favorites 2017

Unlike some bloggers and YouTubers, I don't do monthly favorites. I don't buy new stuff quite that consistently, nor am I just trying to squeeze PR items in to a post and lie to you about how much I like a given thing (not to say every person doing monthly favorites is guilty of this). Instead, I do them when I've accumulated enough things I love that are worth sharing. That's why it's been a bit since my last Favorites post. Let's get to it, shall we?

  • Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer - I got a sample of this in a Walmart Beauty Box and initially rolled my eyes since it seems every drugstore brand is hopping aboard the shower moisturizer train. Well... I stand corrected because I really like this. You apply it to your skin while it's still wet in the shower, and you don't rinse it off. It truly left my skin feeling hydrated without being greasy. My one gripe is that I find it to be overpriced for a drugstore product. I want to say it costs somewhere in the $10-$15 range. I had a couple coupons and got this for about $6 after all was said and done, and I wouldn't pay much more than that.
  • Human + Kind Wash Off Facial Cleanser - I had never heard of this brand until I perused the Sephora sale page and saw they were clearancing out pretty much everything in their stock. I decided to try this face wash and I'm glad I did. It's a creamy cleanser with great ingredients. Plus, can we just take a second to appreciate the beautiful packaging? I'm not sure where I can buy this anymore, since Sephora appears to be discontinuing the line, but I'd definitely keep it in my rotation if I can find it again.
  • Dr. Marvey Flash Dry top coat - This was a random Walmart or Target purchase. I ran out of Seche Vite and decided to take a chance on this. Turns out, I think it's going to become a holy grail of mine. It dries super fast, and doesn't leave quite as thick of a finish as Seche Vite so it doesn't chip so easily. So so good.
  • Kat Von D Lightning Liner - A couple of the Lightning Liner colors were in the Sephora sale page the other week, and as I've been on the hunt for a great not-black liquid liner, I gave these a shot. (Can you sense a trend... *cough*I'M CHEAP*cough*) Turns out I freaking love these. It's essentially a liquid liner pen - you twist the bottom and the product dispenses in to to brush end and you paint it on. It's very pigmented, but also slightly shimmery, and it lasts all day. I think this line is being discontinued, and all 4 colors are on sale on for $12! Go grab 'em while you can! 
  • Benefit Watts Up highlighter - I've got a few samples of this highlighter, and for a long time, I never really cared for it. Then I started using it more regularly and fell in love. It gives a super natural sheen to any place you want to highlight, and the products doesn't travel all over your face as the day goes on (the way many powder highlights do). I adore this product and once I ever run out of my samples, I will definitely buy it in full size.
  • Manic Panic Dreamtone - If you're tan, just stop reading right here. This is for my pale girls, especially the ones like me, who often times can't find a foundation shade light enough to match their skin. I present to you, Dreamtone. Add this to any foundation that's too dark and it will lighten it up. This is a freakin' godsend for me and I recommend it to anyone who's living that pale life like me. 

What have you been loving recently? Let me know! 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Play! by Sephora | March 2017

If you remember, last month I wasn't crazy about my Play! by Sephora box. But they made up for it in March and I was all googly-eyed over what came in this month's box. This subscription is just $10/month and features deluxe-sized samples of brands you can find at Sephora. For more info, or to subscribe, click here

Let's take a closer look...

  • Benefit Watts Up highlighter - This product is a favorite of mine. I've tried it before, and I adore it. It's a cream-to-powder formula that gives the most natural glow. I like it because it doesn't travel all over your face by the end of the day, making you look like some crazed disco ball, the same way some powder highlighters do. You can purchase it for $30 for 0.33 oz.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink - These shadow sticks are pricey, ringing in at $30 for 0.05 oz, so I'm excited to get to test one out. These can be used for an all-over color on your lids, or a highlight on your brown bones or inner corner of your eye. You decide. They come in a range of 13 different shades, most of which are neutral and universally flattering colors. 
  • Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast - This spray is meant to texturize and volumize your hair. Personally, I haven't quite figured out how to make these kinds of products work for me, but if you're on the texturizer train - you're currently on-trend, or so it seems. This claims to give volume without weighing down your hair. You can pick it up for $29 for 7.5 oz.
  • Fleur de Chloe perfume - I love the Chloe perfume range. It's certainly not for everyone, but I find it to be a very sexy, feminine scent. This version incorporates notes of rose and freesia for a more floral take on the well-loved original. If you like this fragrance, it'll cost you, totaling up at $75 for a 1 oz bottle. 
  • Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm - I've been intrigued by this product, so I was excited to see it in this month's box. This product is essentially a makeup primer that adds glow to the skin. You can also use it as a highlight after makeup is applied. Personally, I think it seems to creamy for that. It's made with good ingredients that have anti-aging properties, so you're treating while looking amazing. I love a good 2-in-1 product. A full size costs $36 for 0.5 oz.
  • Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer - Glamglow has finally expanded their skin care line beyond face washes and masks, and I'm sure the beauty world will go gaga. There are three different tones you can purchase this in, the one included is "Nude Glow". This moisturizer has a bunch of glow-inducing ingredients, as well as "pearl particles" (aka shimmer), which may not be everyone's cup of tea. A full size costs $49 for 1.7 oz.

What is your favorite product from this month's box? Let me know! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

HASK Greek Yogurt Collection | NEW!

You guys, Hask is such an underrated drugstore hair brand. I've tried a bunch of their different lines (exhibit 1, exhibit 2) and I've loved them all. They're affordable, easy to find, and they actually work! 

Hask has recently launched a Walgreens exclusive, their new Greek Yogurt line. There are three different scents with different motives; personally, I tried the Blueberry & Acai line which is for repairing. There is also Fig & Honey for hydration, and Pomegranate & Cranberry for color protection. 

This collection, while sort of gimmicky, is pretty cool. (Is greek yogurt about to be the new wonder ingredient in the beauty world? Hask might be on to something here...) There's supposedly real greek yogurt and fruit extracts in with all the usual hair washing & conditioning shiz to "feed" your hair with nourishing ingredients. 

As you can see, there's two chambers to the bottle. The inside is greek yogurt which has calcium, minerals and other good things that are beneficial for the hair. The outside is the fruit extract blend. The Blueberry & Acai blend repairs damaged hair with essential vitamins. 

If you look closer at the shampoo bottle in the first image, you can see there's a white bottle inside the clear part, where the greek yogurt is. Kind of cool, but might be annoying towards the end when one may run out faster than the other. Again, dual chambered products for hair care is a bit of a gimmick in my book. There's no reason this stuff can't mix...

I'm not sure if there's legit greek yogurt in these, because yuck... wouldn't that smell rancid at some point? Or need to be in a refrigerator? I seriously don't know, but what I do know is that these washed and conditioned my hair really well. My hair felt soft and clean and also smelled nice. And that's really what I look for in a shampoo + conditioner. 

I don't see these for sale on the Walgreens site, so I'm guessing these are an in-store exclusive. Typically, Hask shampoos & conditioners retail for around $5.49 a bottle, which is pretty darn cheap. Check them out - I'd recommend any of the Hask lines!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

February Empties | #34

Why empties? A couple reasons. One being that once a product is used up, you're qualified enough to give a review on it. Would I repurchase? Would I pay for a full size? All of these questions are answerable. Secondly, I genuinely love these posts - both writing them and reading others posts or watching their videos about it. 

That being said, here's what I went through in February - mini reviews and repurchase decisions and all.

  • Caldrea Hand Balm in Mango Lily (would repurchase) - The scent wasn't my favorite, but the lotion itself was nice. It moisturized my hands without being greasy.
  • Vaseline Advanced Repair Unscented lotion (would not repurchase) - This was fine, but it sort of just felt like a layer of gunk sitting on top of my skin, not really ever breaking my skin's barrier and doing some deep moisturizing like it claims. 
  • Laura Mercier Souffle Body Creme in Creme Brulee (would not repurchase) - I was not a fan of this scent at all. It's a super strong sugary-bakery scent. I'm not opposed to bakery scents, but I wasn't a fan of of this one. The formula is nice, and it really does make your skin soft, but I'd recommend one of the other scents. 
  • Deep Steep Argan Oil Body Wash in Peppermint Vanilla (would repurchase) - I really liked this body wash. It had a nice pepperminty-tingle and smelled great. I love Deep Steep because their products have great natural ingredients. 
  • Hask Mint Almond Oil Thickening Shampoo (would repurchase) - Another good one. I enjoyed using this. See full review here
  • Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Soap in Baby Unscented (would repurchase) - I love Dr. Bronner's soap. It's multipurpose, no nasty ingredients. I used this to make homemade baby wipes, but I also use it to clean my makeup brushes. 
  • Avalon Organics Intense Defense Cleansing Gel (would repurchase) - I liked this. It's a pretty basic, gel cleanser, but it has good natural ingredients. It didn't strip my skin dry, nor did it break me out. I'd get it again.
  • Clean & Clear Deep Action 60 Second Shower Mask (would repurchase) - This brought me back to my high school days of using Clean & Clear. It has that classic smell and the classic tingly feeling. By all accounts, I don't need this, and it's not nearly as natural as the things I like to buy, but I weirdly want to get a full size of it... it was just convenient and nice to use. 
  • Derma E Hydrating Night Cream (would repurchase) - Loved this night cream, and also the fancy new redesigned packaging by Derma E. This felt nice, moisturized well, didn't break me out, and has good ingredients - a.k.a. everything I love in a moisturizer bottled up in to one. Full review here.
  • Blum Naturals Daily Cleansing & Makeup Remover Towelettes (would not repurchase) - Not a fan... these were way too dry for my taste and didn't get all my makeup off. If you use towelettes to remove your eye makeup, too, these wouldn't do it. 
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - My tried and true cotton rounds. They work great for removing eye makeup with and applying toner. 
  • Zum Frankincense & Fir goat's milk soap (would repurchase) - This was a limited edition holiday zum soap, but I adored it. Zum soaps are amazing and have stellar ingredients. I got two of their holiday packs because I loved these soaps so much.
  • Keomi Skincare soap in Golden Crown (would not repurchase) - As much as I like these soaps, I didn't care for the scent of this one so I wouldn't get this one again. Full review here.
  • Makeup Forever HD Foundation (would repurchase) - I love this foundation. It's a light to medium coverage but makes my skin look A+. This is especially good to wear if you have photos to be taken.
  • Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation (would repurchase) - My holy grail foundation. Full coverage, wears all day, I've talked this to death. 
  • Essence Waterproof Liquid Liner (would repurchase) - I really like this eyeliner. It's under $5, is super matte black, and goes on really easily. It can crack if you apply too thick of a layer, but it's avoidable. 
  • Nivea Extended Moisture Body Lotion (would not purchase) - This was fine, but nothing special. I didn't much care for the scent of it. 
  • Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (would purchase) - I really liked the feel of this pre-serum. It's goal is to help whatever you put on top sink in better. Hard to say if it did anything, but I'd be interested in giving a full size a shot. 
  • Clinique Turnaround Overnight Multitasking Moisturizer (would not purchase) - I did not care for this. I think it broke me out and it didn't feel overly hydrating. 
  • Clear Total Care Nourishing Conditioner (would purchase) - I really like the Clear shampoo and conditioner line. They make my hair feel clean, they smell nice, and don't strip it of all it's natural moisture. I'm a fan. 
  • Jimmy Choo Stars perfume (would purchase) - I got this deluxe sample from Scentbird and I adored this scent. It's a warm, musky take on the original scent, with notes of toffee and patchouli. I think this was limited edition, but if I stumbled upon it at TJ Maxx or something, I'd think about picking it up. See full review here.
  • Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne (would purchase) - I actually already have a full size of this perfume. To me, it smells like the holidays in a bottle. I get compliments on this one when I wear it. It's not a scent for the spring and summer, but it's one you neeeeed for the fall and winter season. 
  • Jason Sea Fresh Toothpaste (would repurchase) - Jason toothpastes are my absolute favorite. They're natural, don't have bad ingredients, but also don't taste like ass and still foam up. Highly recommend. 
  • New Chapter Perfect Postnatal Multivitamin (would repurchase) - Since having my son in July, these have been my multivitamin of choice. They have ingredients that support lactation and energy for postpartum mamas.
  • DW Home Warm Tobacco Pipe candle (would repurchase) - I've had this candle before and I love it. It has a warm, sweet tobacco smell, but not in that gross cigarette stink way. It is such a cozy winter scent to have burning. I'll definitely get this again. 
  • B&BW Winter Sun (would repurchase) - I'm trying to burn through my stash of candles and only burn soy from here on out, but I did like this. The scent carried through the house, and has notes of vetiver and musk. It was really fresh, I enjoyed it. 
  • B&BW Mahogany Teakwood candle (would not repurchase) - I know this is kind of a cult favorite scent, but I'm not crazy about it. It's got that "man candle" scent going on, kind of cologne-y, and super strong. 
  • Better Homes Under the Mistletoe wax melts (would repurchase) - These were nice. They had sort of a pepperminty-vanilla-balsam thing going on that I enjoyed. Perfect for winter time.

What did you use up this month? Are any of these products your holy grails? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, March 13, 2017

February Play! by Sephora

Oopsie... I'm a tiny bit late here with my low down on what's in the February Play! by Sephora box. Sorry guys, I blame new mom motivation syndrome. Sometimes, when I finally get 5 minutes, I just want to veg: read a book, mindlessly flip through Instagram, go on a Pinterest binge... you know what I mean? And then there was the whole website outage thing. I tweaked one little thing on my website host and caused myself a week of stress with a website I couldn't get running again. Argh... ANYWAY.. I'm back! Hooray!

I found this month's Play! box a little underwhelming, but the redeeming factor are the quality of the samples and relevancy. All brands are pricier, high-end brands, and all items are talked-about or newer items. Let's dig in...

  • Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake - Full size retails at $22, but this deluxe sample will last you quite some time. Aimed at softening, plumping and tinting lips, you're bound to find a shade you like with 6 different shades to choose from.
  • NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound - Full size retails for $26. A semi-matte gloss in a pinky rose shade. It's formula is somewhere between a lipstick and a gloss. Provides hydration with a burst of color. 
  • Marc Jacobs Decadence perfume - Notes of champagne, orange blossom, bergamot and vanilla (among others) make up this sensual fragrance. It'll cost you, with a 1 oz bottle retailing for $72.
  • Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream - Kind of a cult classic, this eye cream energizes tired eyes. It helps with dullness, puffiness and dark circles. You'll get a lot of use out of this mini sample, but a full size will cost you $30. 
  • Sephora LashCraft Length & Volume Mascara - A double sided brush with a flat paddle wand. Jet black color, and volumizing formula. The price is reasonable, ringing in at $12.
  • Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer - This Pep-Start line is fairly new to Clinique, and is targeted to a younger audience looking for more affordable prices (in my marketer eyes, at least). Good for oily and combination skin, this lightweight moisturizer hydrates while leaving the skin matte and blurring imperfections. A full-size will cost you $29.50.

Play! by Sephora costs $10 per month, and it really is an awesome way to get to try deluxe high-end brands before shelling out the big bucks. See other months here, here and here. If you're interested in signing up, click here - no affiliate link, just sharing the love! 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rovectin Skincare

If you're looking for very simple, gentle skincare, especially good for sensitive skin, you might want to stick around for a bit. I was recently contacted by Rovectin, a Korean skincare company, asking if I'd like to try out their products. I though, heck... I'm a skincare junkie. Not gonna say no to that! 

But truly, I was intrigued by their products. Originally, Rovectin aimed to create products for cancer patients who were suffering from skin irritations associated with their cancer treatments. That being said, their line is formulated with ingredients that are safe and help repair the skin. 

Because my skin has been on a bit of a rollercoaster, I didn't put all of these products to the test but wanted to share the line I received with you regardless.

The Rovectin Conditioning Cleanser is the one product I've given a good test to. It's basic, gentle, has no fragrance. It cleans the skin without stripping hydrating. I love that the ingredients are minimal and safe - so often cleansers are jam-packed with unnecessary fragrances and irritants, but you won't find any yucky stuff here. 

 The Rovectin Barrier Repair Cream is a multi-purpose hydrator. It can be used on the face, neck, hands, body, etc. While this is marketed as being free of yucky stuff, it has a lot of ingredients, many with long names that I don't even know what they are exactly... microcrystalline wax, sodium acryloydimethyl taurate copolymerxanthan gum...huh??

The Rovectin Cream Concentrate is a moisturizer specifically for the face and neck. This is good for very dry skin and can be used morning or night. It aims to repair stressed skin.

Lasty, the Barrier Repair Face Oil is a rich blend of oils to mega-moisturize the skin. Like all the other products, it's hypoallergenic. It's got a mixture of different ingredients for moisturizing, including aloe leaf extract, calendula extract, chamomile oil and others. 

It appears the US Rovectin website is not up, or not working, but you can buy Rovectin products on, one of my fave websites. 
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