Monday, June 27, 2016

Play! by Sephora | June 2016


This month's Play! by Sephora box has arrived and it's full of lots of fun goodies! This beauty box costs just $10 per month and you get a handful of deluxe and regular sized samples. This box is not customizable, everyone gets the same thing, but so far that hasn't been a problem for me.

Here's what came in this month's box...


  • Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion - This is a non-chemical sunscreen that can be used as a moisturizer. It protects against UVA and UVB rays and claims to have a lightweight non-sticky formula. 
  • Benefit  They're Real Mascara - A mascara aimed at lengthening, curling and volumizing lashes. I've used this before and really liked it. It'll make your lashes look like a million bucks.
  • Tocca Florence Perfume - This perfume is comprised of notes of bergamot and violet petals, gardenia and blonde wood. This is a really fresh scent. I have a mini rollerball of this scent and it's one of my favorite Tocca perfumes. 

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know how you like what you've tried! 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shir-Organic Skincare




I try to keep my skincare natural. I like products that are formulated with good, clean ingredients, so naturally when Shir Aesthetics reached out to me to see if I wanted to try some of their products, I couldn't say no. 

They sent me a sampling of their Shir-Organic line and I loved trying out the products! This is only a handful of what they carry, so if you don't see something fit for your skin's needs here, make sure to check out their website here.

Here's what they sent me...



  • Pure Algae Soothing Gel - Provides hydration and soothing for sensitive or irritated skin. Also fortifies skin against environmental stresses. Reduces redness and inflammation, encourages skin renewal and soothes.
  • Pure Revitalizing Pomegranate Serum - Helps skin regenerate itself, reduces signs of aging and moisturizes. Contains high levels of vitamin C to help prevent cell damange. Perfect for mature, dry and aging skin. This smelled really good and felt nice on my skin.
  • Pure Eucalyptus Serum - Cleans and heals inflammation with its antibacterial properties. Won't clog pores or feel greasy, and will also moisturize the skin. Tightens pores, balances oil production and reduces acne breakouts. I really liked this and would consider purchasing a full size.
  • Pure Red Lava Mineral Mask - Helps skin prone to break outs by absorbing oil and treating breakouts with salicylic acid. Calms and heals the skin.
  • Pure Mango Butter Mask - Made for dry or dehydrated skin, mango butter and pulp work to enhance the skin's natural moisture barrier. Makes skin supple and improves elasticity. It's very hydrating on the skin. 
  • Pure AHA Treatment Scrub - Both a physical and "chemical" exfoliant, this product works to slough away dead skin. AHAs help other products absorb in to the skin, so any treatments used following will sink in better. I loved this scrub and would love to have it in a full size. 
  • Pure Avocado Moisturizer - Ideal for those with dry and dehydrated skin, this moisturizer penetrates the skin, helping provide smoother, softer skin. Also protects against free radicals and signs of aging. 
  • Pure Sugarcane Microderm Peel - Helps get rid of tired dead skin for a more youthful appearance. Hydrates and evens out skin tone. Stimulates collagen production to plump the skin. 
  • Pure Coconut Oatmeal Cleanser - Removes dead skin cells and strengthens skin with coconut oil. Gently cleanses, hydrates and prevents signs of aging.
  • Pure Eucalyptus Cleanser - Deeply cleanses and disinfects the skin without causing dryness. Soothes and relieves irritation. This was really nice and good for those who suffer from acne.
  • Pure Grapefruit Moisturizer - Improves collagen production for smoother looking skin. Helps clarify, heal, hydrate, tone and prevent blemishes. Balances oil production and reduces the effect of free radicals. I really enjoyed using this moisturizer and would consider purchasing it. It smells great!

If you prefer your skincare to be made with quality, natural ingredients, I'd highly recommend checking out Shir-Organics. The products smell great, work well and aren't loaded with gross chemicals. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ipsy Glam Bag | June 2016


June's Ipsy Glam bag is here, and it's jam packed with good stuff all conveniently packaged in a cute graffiti-ed keepsake bag. Ipsy costs just $10 a month and all sorts of cool deluxe-size samples and full-sized products show up at your door! Want to sign up? Click here

Here's the rundown of June's bag...
  • clariSEA Deep Pore Detox Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Mask - Clears breakouts, gently exfoliates and refreshes the skin. It's a mask "disguised" as a cleanser; just mix it with water for deep cleaning. 
  • Hey Honey 24Seven Day & Night Revitalizing Cream - Heals and hydrates, balances out the skin, and perfect for use either day or not. 
  • Seraphine Botanicals Happy Hibiscus Blush - A rosy blush shade that you can layer to the intensity you desire. It's 98% natural (nice!) and claims to last up to 8 hours. 
  • Sephora Formula X Nail Polish in Wingwoman - A reddish-pink summer red. Formulated without parabens, pthalates or sulfates. I love the Formula X polishes, they're long lasting and apply easily. 
  • Urban Decay eyeshadow in Fireball - A peachy-gold shimmer shade that switches appearance in the light - a "shade-shifter". Velvety smooth and easy to apply. Urban Decay shadows are among my favorites. 

What did you get in your bag? Let me know!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

StriVectin HAIR | Max Volume Line





When you think of StriVectin, chances are you aren't thinking about hair products. StriVectin has long been an anti-aging skincare brand, with an arsenal of products meant to keep your skin looking young and fresh using top of the line ingredients. But it's time to change your thinking, StriVectin has launched itself in to the hair world, and while I was quite skeptical of how these would work, I have to admit I was blown away.


There are three total lines in StriVectin's new haircare range, Max Volume (what you see above), which aims to strengthen hair and plump it up, Ultimate Restore for extra nourishment of damaged hair, and Color Care for overly processed and color treated hair. 

I put the Max Volume line to the test, starting with the shampoo and conditioner ($23 each for 8.5 oz). Both of these products claim to provide volume and body, radiance and luster without weighing hair down, and removal of excess buildup. I can honestly say that these delivered on all three of those promises. My hair looked noticeably shinier and felt clean and volumized. Another benefit? These smell AMAZING. Like a fancy perfume that lingers all day in your hair. I would seriously buy them just for that smell alone. It has to be noted, these aren't cheap hair care items, but if you've got the cash I would definitely recommend them both.


The supporting cast to the shampoo and conditioner are the Root Lifting Spray ($26 for 5 oz) and the Bodifying Radiance Serum ($35 for 1.7 oz). 

The Root Lifting Spray is supposed to do exactly what it sounds like - boost those roots! You aim this bottle at your damp roots and style as usual. I found this to be most effective when I blowdryed my hair afterwards, but it didn't do a whole lot if I just let my hair air dry,as I typically do. 

The Bodifying Radiance Serum adds luster and softness to the hair, transforming UV rays in to visible light for extra shine. Just apply 1-2 pumps to the ends of your damp hair, and watch it work its magic. I definitely noticed my hair looked far more healthy and shiny when I used this.

If I were to tell you to run to the store and get your hands on any of these products, I'd definitely say start with the shampoo and conditioner. They are the real highlights of this new hair care line. If you're like me, and end up loving them, maybe get your hands on the root spray and radiance serum, too - you certainly won't regret your purchases! You can purchase these products on StriVectin.com, Sephora.com, and Ulta.com.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Labiotte Wine Lip Tints | MEMEBOX





I could not be more excited to share with you some of the most fun lippies I have ever owned! Say hello to the Labiotte Wine Lip Tints, a super fun Korean product that brings a splash of fun to your every day beauty routine.



Not only are the tubes shaped like miniature wine bottles, these tints are actually formulated with a wine extract called "sepivinol" which helps moisturize and prevents that sticky feeling other lip tints can leave behind. 

These would make the perfect gift for the beauty-loving wino in your life! You can purchase them from MEMEBOX (the Korean retailer powerhouse), and they retail for $15 each. MEMEBOX was nice enough to send me three colors to try, RD01 Shiraz Red, RD02 Nebbiolo Red, and RD03 Merlot Burgundy. All three colors are super gorgeous.


RD01 Shiraz Red
RD02 Nebbiolo Red
RD03 Merlot Burgundy

These lip tints are beautiful, and all are work appropriate or easily wearable for your every day look. I don't find them to be super moisturizing (I have yet to meet a lip tint that is!) but they definitely didn't actively dry my lips out the way other lip tints have. I'm able to get 3-4 hours of wear before needing to reapply. Do be careful though, as the color can easily get stuck to dry patches on your lips and look uneven. I'd highly recommend using a good lip scrub before attempting to sport one of these colors all day.

 There are three other colors in the collection, all available on MEMEBOX, if you're not a fan of the colors you see here. If you're looking for long wearing, easy to wear color, I'd definitely recommend trying these lip tints out. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pregnancy-safe Acne Treatments


Before I even got pregnant, I knew I'd be one of those lucky people who gets hormonal breakouts when I actually did get pregnant. I've struggled with acne throughout most of my early adult life, until I treated it with accutane and it mellowed out. Fortunately, when I got pregnant last fall, my hormonal acne wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, but I've definitely had to treat my fair share of breakouts. I am now 9 months pregnant and still using a mini arsenal of products to combat the nasty little buggers that creep on to my face.

The two most common OTC acne treatments, Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid are considered pregnancy no-nos, so most any acne face wash or treatment that you'll find on the skincare shelf at the drugstore is off limits. If you do a quick google search, you'll find there really aren't many products one can choose from. Even many natural products have hidden salicylic acid (listed as Willow Bark Extract) so it's very important to read labels carefully when looking for something to treat breakouts during pregnancy.

I've used three products that are safe for pregnancy, and while none of them are a complete miracle, I have found them to be helpful and speed along the healing process of my blemishes. 


The first product is the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. This product is meant to be used overnight to treat blemishes and prevent others from popping to the surface of your skin. It separates in to a chalk on bottom and liquid on top, so you need to shake it up before applying. I used a q-tip to apply this product on to any trouble spots, and then made sure to avoid putting moisturizer over top, as the instructions suggest. I use this every other night, as needed, as it's a more potent treatment than the others. You can buy it online or at Ulta for $19 (1 oz). 


I started using the DeVita Essential Control for Blemishes in the 8th month of my pregnancy. It has great ingredients, made up of pure essential oils like tea tree, witch hazel and camphor bark, which are natural antiseptics. It has other great ingredients, too, which help soothe and calm the skin. It smells very strongly of tea tree, so be warned if you can't stand that smell. I apply it using a cotton round on problem areas, and areas I want to keep clear, and then apply a moisturizer over top. I bought mine on Vitacost.com for $10 (0.5 oz).


The very first product I purchased is the Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick. It's easy to roll right on to any problem spots and I do feel like it helped hurry the healing time along. It was gentle enough to use both day and night which I liked. This is also formulated with fabulous ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and calendula, among others. It's soothing and acne fighting and you can get it for really cheap on Vitacost.com - I paid just $5.99 (0.31 oz). 

Pregnancy is a wild hormonal ride, so it's only normal that your skin may freak out a little bit. Don't worry mamas, it's temporary! Try out these treatments that will help you heal without bad ingredients that can harm baby (and really aren't that great for you either!). 

Are there other acne-healing pregnancy-safe treatments you've tried? I'd love to know what worked for you! Let me know in the comments. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

May Empties | #26

I'm not kidding you when I say these last few months have been the speediest of my entire life, I think! I can hardly believe that May is over and we're now on our way in to June. Slooooow down, time! The month was fast, but I still managed to use up a good chunk of stuff. Let's take a peek through it  and I'll let you know what's worth your time to try.


  • Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Creme Cleanser (would repurchase) - This is a nice, gentle cleanser. It didn't irritate my skin and it kept it soft and smooth. Full review here
  • Michael Todd Kaolin Clay Detoxifying Facial Mask (would not repurchase) - I've had this for a while now, and it's not gone, but I honestly hate using it because it smells so awful. I have plenty of charcoal masks that work better and don't smell disgusting, so I'll stick to those instead. I typically love everything in the Michael Todd brand family, but this just didn't do it for me. 
  • ROC Daily Resurfacing Disks (would not repurchase) - These were just OK. They were super-fragranced, so if you're like me and don't enjoy products with synthetic fragrance up the wazoo, stay away. It cleaned my face fine, but I didn't notice any line reduction in my skin or any fabulous results. 
  • Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara (would repurchase) - I loved this mascara so much it made it in to a recent favorites post. It makes my lashes look full without being clumpy or unnatural. I already have backups of this in my stash. 
  • Covergirl Clump Crusher water resistant mascara (would repurchase) - Do note, the packaging on this says "water resistant" - it is NOT waterproof. It's a good option, but not what I'd reach for if I need some serious water protection. 
  • Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer (would not repurchase) - This primer is just OK. Most days it couldn't withstand my oily eyelids and I'd be creasy-looking come 5 PM. I used it up, I won't buy it again.
  • Benefit Ooh La Lift Under Eye Brightener (would repurchase) - I really like this little brightener. I think it helps my concealer go on better. It's not a miracle product, but I enjoyed using it. 
  • Tarte Clean Slate Poreless Primer (would not repurchase) - I wasn't a huge fan of this face primer. It didn't make my skin look flawless like other primers I've tried, and I can't really say it kept my makeup on longer or better. 
  • Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Lotion in Passion Fruit & Guava (would repurchase) - I snagged this on clearance a while back and I really liked it! It had a very subtle fragrance that wouldn't overpower any perfume I wanted to wear. It moisturizes without feeling greasy and the price is quite cheap considering the big bottle size! 
  • Soap & Glory Rich & Foamous Body Wash (would repurchase) - Oh my gosh, I LOVED this body wash. It had a creamy consistency and a delicious warm almond scent. This would be a perfect wintertime body wash. I was sad to use it up! 
  • Origins Ginger Body Wash & Body Scrub (would repurchase) - I love love love the smell of Origins' Ginger line, and while I enjoyed the body wash, the scrub was just not scrubby enough for me. I'll get the body wash again, but I won't get the scrub again. 
  • Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes (would repurchase) - I don't know, I feel like I had these for too long so they were drier and weren't as rave-worthy as I remember them being. I'd still buy them again because I used to love them. I must've just got a bad batch. 
  • HASK Purifying Deep Conditioner (would repurchase) - This was nice, smelled great, and made my hair soft. Full review here
  • Up & Up Cosmetic Wedges (would repurchase) - I love using these wedges to put on my foundation. I always buy latex free because I despise that scent. 
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - There's always a pack of these in my monthly empties. I love them, and use them for everything from removing nail polish to applying toner on my face. My Costco carries  them in a mega pack which is the best deal around. 
  • Matrix Miracle Extender (would repurchase) - This was a pretty good dry shampoo. It's not cheap, but it did the trick. I can't say I'd spend $16 on it (they sent me this bottle) when I like my $6 bottle of Batiste, but if I found it for cheap, I'd pick it up again. 
  • MAC Fix+ (would repurchase) - I love this facial water to set my makeup and give me a little sheen. It helps my makeup look less powdery and more natural and dewy. I already have another bottle ready to go. 
  • Covergirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation (would not repurchase) - This got a really wonky smell before it was even finished, a tell-tale sign that it's time to let this go. I was not a fan of this foundation as much as I wanted to love it. It made me look way too oily and it didn't last all day on my face the way my beloved Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation does. 
  • Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick (would repurchase) - I picked this up when I found out I was pregnant to help combat hormonal acne without harsh chemicals. It wasn't a miracle but it did help. 
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm (would not repurchase) - I wrote about this in a post about overhyped products. I didn't love this, it felt like it just sat on top of my lips without doing anything. For the price and the less than stellar results, I wouldn't buy this again. 
  • Weleda Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion (would repurchase) - This little sample smelled great and moisturized my hands nicely. It's free of nasty ingredients and works well. I just bought a full size of this the other day, I liked it that much. 
  • Tom's Propolis & Myrrh Toothpaste in Peppermint (would not repurchase) - This wasn't my favorite, it wasn't the worst. It's definitely a very natural tasting toothpaste, so if you're looking for that fake, overly minty taste, you won't find it here. It didn't make my mouth feel fresh enough, so I probably wouldn't pick it up again. 
  • Shir-Organics Pure Avocado Moisturizer & Pure Coconut Oatmeal Cleanser (would repurchase) - I don't want to give too much away, but look for a full post on these products soon! 
  • Lush Love and Light hand cream (would repurchase) - This was a nice hand cream! It's a little on the greasy side, but I loved it in the dry winter months. To me, it smelled like herbal fruit loops, which I found pleasant. 
  • Maybelline Fit Me powder (would not repurchase) - This was just an OK powder. It's nothing special and there are definitely powders I like far better than this. 
  • Chapstick in Pumpkin Pie (would not repurchase) - I was not a big fan of the scent of this. I used it up because I'm like that, but I prefer other lip balms and definitely like to keep it a bit more natural than Chapstick.
  • bareMinerals Marvelous lipstick in Moxie (would repurchase) - This little sample got super soft and broke off, and I am not fussing around with applying it anymore. It's got a gorgeous mauve color  that I loved wearing, perfect for everyday, but it's not worth toying with. 
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Third Trimester Tea (would repurchase) - This stuff is delicious. It tastes like a peppermint tea but it's got other great stuff for mamas in their third trimesters like red raspberry leaf, which helps to tone the uterus and get it ready for birth. I've been drinking this very regularly and I'm hoping it'll help my labor. 


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