Friday, August 26, 2016

GÖTZ Bad Ischl Facial Tonic

I went a good stretch of time where I didn't use a toner in my skincare routine. It seems kind of pointless, right? That was my thinking at least, and boy was I wrong. A toner helps get rid of any remaining dirt on your face and it also helps the products you put on after sink in better to the skin. For the last couple years, I haven't been without a toner and it's now an essential part of my skincare routine. 

For the last couple weeks I've been trying out the Gotz Bad Ischl Oxygen Facial Tonic as my toner. This is a 100% organic and natural product, free of parabens, alcohol, and fragrances. It's also cruelty-free. It's made with Bad Ischl thermal water (which contains oxygen, minerals and trace minerals) Edelweiss, daffodils, grass and other plant extracts. 

The Gotz tonic is specially made for oily and blemished skin, as it aims to reduce oil, soothe redness and minimize spots, blackheads and enlarged pores. 

To use, spray the product on to a cotton round and wipe it evenly on face and neck after cleansing. As you can see, the product does show a bit of color on the cotton round, but it doesn't appear on the face. Apply serum and moisturizer following application of the toner. 

I do like this product, and I especially like that it's formulated with high quality, organic ingredients. My one gripe is that it smells kind of strange. In the bottle it smells like tea, but when it's diffused through the spray nozzle, it takes on this weird "feet" smell to me. Call me crazy. It doesn't linger, thankfully, so it's not really something that turns me completely off to using it.

I haven't noticed it clearing my blemishes any faster than normal, but it's hard to really know it's effectiveness in that arena as my skin is still balancing out hormonally since having a baby. My skin has also been far more dry since having my son, so I also can't speak to it's oil-reducing properties. What I do know that it's refreshing, natural and feels nice. Would I purchase it again? Probably not, because it's quite expensive for the amount of product you get (2 oz) and this girl shops on a budget! 

If you're looking for an all natural toner to test out and the price doesn't spook you, you can purchase the Gotz Bad Ischl Facial Tonic on Amazon for $35 here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August Favorites | 2016

It's been a hot second since I've done a favorites post and there are a handful of things I've been itching to tell you about! All of these are simply awesome and I'd totally recommend you picking them up for yourself. Let's get to it...

I have been using the crap out of the L'Oreal Lash Out Butterfly mascara. I think this exact version might not be widely available anymore, but I am guessing the Voluminous Butterfly version is pretty darn similar since the brushes look identical. This formula separates my lashes and gives tons of volume and length. It's nearly impossible to make your lashes clumpy, even with multiple coats. I'll definitely try out other versions of this in the future. Drugstore mascaras are where it's at, and this is one I'd recommend picking up if you're in the market for something new.

My ultimate favorite products this month are the new Elizabeth & James fragrances. On the left is Nirvana Bourbon, and on the right is Nirvana Rose. I'm going to do a whole post about these soon, but if you're a fan of the original Nirvana Black and Nirvana White, go smell these immediately. Amazing. 

My new favorite skincare item is the Himalaya Herbal Healthcare Exfoliating Walnut & Wood Apple Face Scrub. Long name, awesome product. It reminds me of the St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub, but this is far more natural and not as harsh. It has natural organic ingredients and it smells very herbal which I quite like. It's free of SLS, parabens, pthalates, artificial colors and fragrances and it's not tested on animals. The consistency feels like sand in a cream, and it does provide quite a bit of exfoliation. If you like a gentle exfoliator, this probably isn't for you. My husband also uses this and likes it, so we'll definitely be getting it again in the future. 

The OGX Healing + Vitamin E Penetrating Oil is a multi-purpose oil that I've used in a number of ways. It can be used on hair and skin to help hydrate and increase strength and elasticity. I've used it as a shaving oil, which it's a tad bit thick for, but not bad. I've also used a couple drops in damp hair to help reduce frizz and make my hair soft. 

One of the best eyeliners I've used recently is the Essence Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. It has a felt tip brush that makes application easy. It dries to a matte, very black black. You get a lot of product in this little bottle and it's under $5! You totally can't beat that. I actually think I like this better than my beloved Wet n Wild liquid eyeliner!

What are you loving this month? Let me know! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Farmacy Honey Potion

I have been so intrigued by the Farmacy brand and have been itching to try out some of their products. I love their branding and their all natural approach, and I was so excited to get the chance to test out their Honey Potion face mask. 

Farmacy has just launched a line of honey products, and this mask is their debut product. It's a warming face mask formulated with honey (surprise, surprise!), bee propolis for healing, and royal jelly which helps the skin look younger. This mask promises to nourish the skin and make it look glowy and smooth.

This mask is thick like honey, and its sticky when applied. Once applied, you're supposed to massage it in to the skin for a minute or two until it turns white and heats up. You can really feel it warm up and start to get to work. It needs to stay on for 10-15 minutes and then you wash it off to reveal younger, more hydrated skin.

This mask feels so nice on the skin. You really can feel it moisturizing and detoxifying. I love that the ingredients are pure and natural and they actually help achieve great results. I noticed my skin feeling more hydrated and plump after I used this. 

Another bonus? The jar it comes in is ingenious. It's a very sturdy glass jar, and the top is magnetic so the metal spatula to scoop out the sticky mask never gets lost! I think you're definitely getting your money's worth when it comes to both packaging and product alike. 

Another cool thing that I can totally get behind is that Farmacy donates $1 for every bottle of Honey Potion sold to City Growers, a non-profit that educates kids about where food comes from, health and sustainability, which includes teaching them the importance of bees in pollinating and producing honey. 

Farmacy's Honey Potion isn't cheap, ringing in at $56 for 4.1 oz. You can purchase it at and on Sephora's websiteHowever, like I said before, I feel like you get what you pay for and the quality is definitely there.

I would highly recommend checking this out if you need an extra boost of hydration to your skin and you enjoy masking. I'm so impressed with this product and I can't wait to try more of Farmacy's skincare line. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ipsy Glam Bag | August 2016

August's Ipsy Glam Bag has arrived in my mailbox and it's full of goodies both full and deluxe-sized. It costs just $10/month and every month brings a fun new variety of things to try. Review your samples and you'll earn points you can redeem for full size products. I think Ipsy is a lot of fun, and I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you're a beauty lover. If you're interested in signing up, click here!

Here's what came in August's bag...

  • Rodial Smokey Eye Pen in Black - A highly pigmented gel liner. Build the intensity for your desired effect. Smooth and easy to apply. 
  • Ciate London nail polish in Spinning Teacups - A pretty light lavender color. Ciate nail polishes boast high shine and easy application. This is a full size product - score! 
  • NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Gleam - A golden peachy shade that is mega glowy. Can be worn alone or tap it on to cheek bones for a hint of shimmer that's perfect for summer. 
  • Organic Surge Perfecting Face Polish - Gently removes impurities and dirt. Formulated with rosemary and lemon oils to clear the complexion, chamomile and gingko biloba to soothe, and almond oil to soften. 100% free of harsh chemicals, no parabens, GMOS, or artificial fragrances. 
  • Sally's Box Secret Garden Ampoule Masks - These are 2 step masks that hydrate the skin. Step one is to apply the included serum on the face, and step two is the sheet mask. They include olive oil to nourish and diminish fine lines, camellia oil for glowiness, and the microfibers in the mask allow the product to soak in to the skin. 

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know your thoughts!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Luster Lock Instant Shine & Repair Treatment

In my haircare routine, I make deep conditioning a priority. It's not something I do every wash but at least once a week, I like to treat my hair to a little something extra. Lately, I've been putting the Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Luster Lock Instant Shine & Repair Treamtent (oof, that's a mouthful!) to the test.  

For reference, I don't have color-treated hair. My hair is naturally pretty healthy, mostly straight and prone to a bit of frizz. 

This conditioning treatment boasts lots of positive results - increased shine, deep repair, vibrancy, and smooth hair that's easy to brush. It's formulated with Manketti Oil (had to look this up - it originates from Africa from the Manketti tree. It's super nourishing and used for everything from wind protection to sun protection) Argan Oil, silk, soy and seaweed extract to help prevent damage during styling.

Even though I don't have color treated hair, I found this to be very nourishing and hydrating to my hair. It has a pleasant smell that lingers in the hair all day and I noticed my hair felt soft and easy to brush without using any extra leave-in conditioner. I thoroughly enjoy using this product and I'd definitely recommend it if you need to give your hair a little extra oomph of moisture and nourishment. 

K-Pak Color Therapy Luster Lock can be purchased at Ulta for $19.99 (4.7 oz) and online at various retailers. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bamboo by Franck Olivier | Fragrance Outlet

It's no secret to my friends, I'm a perfume fiend and I'm not afraid to admit it. One of these days I will do a perfume collection post, but it's going to take some time to write up because this girl owns a LOT of perfumes. What I'm getting at is that I couldn't resist the opportunity to try out a new perfume (new to me, at least) when given the chance - and thanks to Fragrance Outlet,  Bamboo by Franck Olivier is now part of my collection. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Fragrance Outlet, it claims to be one of the nation's largest retailers of genuine fragrances. They carry brands like DKNY, Michael Kors, Coach, and Vera Wang just to name a few. They also claim to carry fragrances at a cost lower than department stores. However, that's not true considering they are selling Bamboo for $89 but you can find it all over the internet and at Sears for a measly $40. Do your research before you buy, people! 

Bamboo is not a scent that I would typically pick up for myself, as I tend towards warmer, more sultry perfumes but if you're a lover of fresh, crisp scents this is going to be right up your alley. 

The bottle is  thick sturdy glass with a cool bamboo imprint on the back side. My only gripe is that the silver lining on top is cheap plastic. I don't appreciate tacky packaging for perfumes over $40. 

There's a lot going on in this perfume, scent-wise. It's characterized as a woody floral scent. It has top notes of ivy, violet and black currant with base notes of vetiver, cedar and musk. This combo sounds disgusting, but it's actually really pleasant. There's no better way to describe Bamboo other than fresh. 

This perfume is a perfect spring and summer scent. If you're in to fragrances like Burberry Brit or Marc Jacobs Daisy, I think you'll really enjoy Bamboo, too. 

What's your favorite fresh scent? Let me know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Covergirl The Super Sizer Fibers Mascara

Of all the endless releases of new drugstore mascaras, there's one newer mascara that has stuck out in my mind as one of  the best. I've talked about it in the past, and that's the Covergirl Super Sizer mascara. If you loved that one as much as I did, it's time to get excited because there's a new version of the formulation called Super Sizer Fibers and it's worth your attention! 

Upon first glance of the brush you'll probably think that it looks too sparse to really do anything to your lashes, but believe me when I say this little plastic brush with tiny nub applicators has got it going on. The bristles start short on bottom and get longer towards the top making it easy to apply mascara to every nook and cranny of your lashes. Despite how short the bristles are, they are still able to carry a ton of product and I can typically get the look I'm going for with only one dip in the bottle per eye.

This brush head is nearly identical to the original Super Sizer mascara, the only real difference between the two  products is that this formula has fibers in it to give added volume and the appearance that you're wearing "falsies". 

The Covergirl website boasts that this mascara will give you 400% added volume, which is probably a bit ridiculous, but I can say my lashes look full, super long and voluminous. 400% more than normal? Probably not, but they do look dang good!

I should also note, typically the idea of fibers gives me the willies. I immediately envision spidery, gross, thick and clumpy lashes, but that is not the case with this. I am able to apply multiple layers without clumping or spidery-ness. Other positives - I didn't experience any transferring or flaking.

I'd highly recommend this mascara. I don't have  much of a preference between the original Super Sizer mascara vs. the Fibers version, both I think are really great and will make your lashes look long and amazing. Another plus is that it'll only set you back about $7.50, which you just can't beat for such a high quality formulation. Find it at your local drugstore or Ulta.
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