Friday, July 31, 2015

July Favorites | 2015

July was an awesome month. How can you go wrong with a cabin trip over Independence Day, a trolley wine tour bachelorette party, your sister's 21st birthday, free tickets to see One Direction and 3 weddings for 3 awesome couples? Mark it down as one of the best Julys ever. With me through all of that were my favorite products, which is what this post is alllll about. Check them out...

  • Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation - I'm a sucker for Covergirl foundations (always have been), so I had to give this new formulation a shot, and I love it! It stays all day, doesn't break me out, and gives me medium coverage that's buildable. I did a full review of this drugstore foundation here
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo in Wild - I love Batiste dry shampoos, they are my absolute favorite. With all the busy work days and jam packed weekends that July brought, this stuff was my best friend. Girl doesn't have time to wash her hair every day, ya know?! Wild is my favorite scent, it smells like fancy perfume. Highly recommend it. See how it held up in my Battle of the Dry Shampoos here
  • Balenciaga Rosabotanica Perfume - This perfume is hands down AMAZING. It's not for everyone, but I could easily make it my signature scent. It's rosy, but not overly so. It has a sweet hint, with a mix of citrus and woods as well.  It's unlike anything I've ever smelled, and believe me -- I've smelled a LOT of perfume. 

  • bc Bud Moisturizing Hemp & Omega 3 Body Lotion* - This lotion is super moisturizing and has a pleasant light scent. It's formulated with 98% natural ingredients and is free of parabens, SLS, harsh chemicals and is cruelty free. I really like the formula and I especially like that it isn't so strongly scented that I can always wear a perfume with it. Love! 
  • Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer - I've raved about this bronzer before, and I still think it's 100% fabulous. It's matte, it doesn't make my face look muddy, and the best part? It actually smells like chocolate. I like to use this best when I've self tanned, as it's a bit too much for my natural uber-white self.
  • Urban Decay All Nighter XL Makeup Setting Spray - I got this XL size ages ago, and I'm not even sure they sell it in this size anymore, but regardless -- this stuff rocks. I use it when I'm all done with my makeup. I just spritz my face and it lets my makeup sit more naturally on my skin, and it helps it last all day long. 

What are your favorites this month? Have you used any of these products? Let me know! 

*Product sent to me for review. See disclosures for my review policies. All opinions are my own. I only recommend products I truly believe are great.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Starskin: The Secret Revealed

If you're a face mask freak, listen up, and say hello to Starskin, a brand new line of skin products fresh out of The Netherlands. You may think this brand looks awfully familiar if you check out Glazed Over often, as it was a featured product in my bomb-ass Grammy swag bag! After that post, the company reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their line of face masks... and well, you know I'm a face mask freak, too - so I'm here to show you ALL the goodies!

There are four different masks in the Starskin line: Calming (Behind the Scenes) Hydrating (Red Carpet Ready), Brightening (After Party) and the Firming (Close-Up) Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Masks. These are all sheet masks, so you just take the mask out, place it carefully on your face (there are holes cut out for your nose, mouth and eyes), and look like Jason for about 20 minutes while you let the mask work its magic. You don't have to wash the excess off when you're done, you simply rub whatever's left on your face in and wa-lah.

You can't talk at length about Starskin without mentioning the absolutely adorable branding and packaging (I work in marketing in the real world, this is my life!) I love that the packaging resembles a movie poster, and that all the masks are different steps toward getting you to the "red carpet" and beyond. I think it's so adorable without being cheesy.

I went through the whole star-ifying process one evening, starting by using the Starskin Foaming Peeling Perfection Puff (Instaglam). This is a lightly textured puff with skin brightening and exfoliating ingredients. After cleansing your face, simply wet the puff and suds it up, and rub it on your face to remove dead skin cells. I have to say, my skin felt heavenly after using it! You can use it 2-3 times before disposing of it. (I am sad to report -- no red carpet appeared and Harry Styles didn't come to whisk me away.... but my skin DID look and feel good!)

After exfoliating with the Perfection Puff, I used the Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Facial Mask. This was a great mask; it felt soothing on the skin, and even though I looked totally freaky wearing it, it made my skin feel amazing through the next day. This was also the first sheet mask I've used that didn't break me out at all. 

The cool thing about these masks is that they're made with bio-cellulose, which is a natural fibrous material (not chemically created) made from fermented coconuts. This natural material adheres easily to the skin, and is air-permeable so your skin can breathe during the whole process.  All of the Starskin masks are free of parabens, mineral oil, sulfates and alcohol. I love the ingredients, and I love these sheet masks! 

The Starskin website says their products are available at Sephora, but I don't actually see them on the Sephora site. I'll update this page if they do become available! If you've seen them around, let me know where.

What is your favorite face mask? Let me know! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July Ipsy Glam Bag

This month's Ipsy arrived at my door, and as you can easily see for yourself -- it's another fabulous one! Honestly, if you haven't signed up for this subscription service yet, do yourself a favor and sign up now. It's just $10/month and you get so many deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products that are really fun to try. Click here to subscribe

Here's a detailed look at what came in July's Ipsy Glam Bag....

  • Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser - This cleanser is meant to cleanse the skin without stripping it of essential moisture. It aims to stop sebum and oil production and diminish acne-causing bacteria. 
  • Jor'el Parker Classico Eau de Parfum - This is a great sized sample of perfume! If only I appreciated the scent more! The notes are Indian Tuberose, Turkish Cyclamen, and Spanish Mandarin. I get a whiff of jasmine somewhere in there, too, but it's not listed as a note. It's sweet and floral, good for spring and summer.
  • Be a Bombshell Lip Balm in Ruby - This is a lightly tinted red-orange lip balm. This is a good one to throw in your purse for a hint of color, no need for a mirror to apply. See the swatch below! 
  • Ofra Cosmetics Eyeshadow & Highlighter in Bliss - Pick your poison, this product can be used as an eyeshadow OR a highlighter. Bliss is a beautiful gold shimmering shade that is buttery and easy to apply. Very nice quality. It's hypoallergenic and cruelty-free. See the swatch below! 
  • Tarte Park Avenue Princess Bronzer - I was most excited about this product gracing my Ipsy bag, as I've heard so much about it but never tried it. This is a waterproof formula, and it has a gorgeous satin finish. See the swatch below! 

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

Monday, July 20, 2015

Carapex Day + Night Cream

I'm all aboard the wrinkle-prevention train lately, and for the past couple weeks I've brought Carapex Elastin & Collagen Day Cream and Fine Line Repair Night Cream along for the ride. I was sent these to sample, and I have to admit, I didn't have very high expectations for what they'd do for my skin, but I have to say, they've both FAR exceeded my expectations. 

First and foremost, let's start with the Elastin & Collagen Day Cream ($34.99 for 2 oz). For one, it's all natural (hooray - you know I love that!). Obviously, it's infused with elastin and collagen, two ingredients that smooth the skin, and restore youthfulness. Other great ingredients in the day cream include: natural shea butter, aloe leaf gel, grape seed oil, avocado seed oil, jojoba seed oil and vitamin E (all of which moisturize and heal the skin).

The day cream is fragrance free (love!), paraben-free, harsh chemical-free, and never tested on animals. It's a great moisturizer and is light enough to apply makeup over without any issues. Overall, this cream should plump, moisturize, soothe, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

The Fine Line Repair Night Cream ($34.99 for 2 oz) is also a natural product, free of parabens, fragrance, harsh chemicals and is never tested on animals. This cream aims to diminish signs of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as soften the skin. Much like the day cream, it has fabulous ingredients like natural shea butter, aloe vera, avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and vitamin E. 

As you can see from the image above, the night cream is thicker than the day cream, but it doesn't leave my face greasy in the slightest. Each morning when I wake up, I've been so shocked by the even tone of my skin and how soft and supple my skin feels. 

So remember when I said I had low expectations of these creams? I should just slap myself. I have been FLOORED by how much my skin loves these creams. Rarely do I see any noticeable difference in my skin when I switch up products (apparently my skin is an equal opportunity tester -- only breaking out when it hates something), but I have seen an actual change in my skin's appearance. The pores on my skin are smaller, my makeup glides on with ease and looks flawless, dry patches have been healed and oil has stayed at bay. I am a freakin' believer in the combination of these two creams, and I will absolutely continue to use these when the sad day I run out of these comes. 

You can purchase these at or on Amazon

What's YOUR favorite day/night cream combo? Let me know! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate

If you're in to the whole anti-aging skincare thing, you've likely heard of StriVectin, one of the top dogs in the wrinkle-free world. Their original StriVectin-SD product was huge, as they claimed their product was better than Botox. The StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concetrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks is a reformulated version of the original (this is the third version of this product) and is jam packed with skin moisturizers, antioxidants and other good stuff.

The SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate boasts a slew of benefits: significant reduction of wrinkles and fine lines, healthier, younger looking skin, hydration and enhanced texture of skin, and a strengthened skin barrier for maximum skin performance. It's supposed to change your skin for the better in just 15 days (based on their clinical studies). 

How has this product changed from what it once was? StriVectin listened to what the people wanted, and this formula is now more moisturizing and has a better texture (I can't speak to this as I never tried the first 2 formulas), and supposedly the results appear quicker than before. 

It's hard, as a 26-year old with some fine lines, to really speak to the anti-aging properties of this product. Right now, I use products like StriVectin SD to prevent wrinkles, and improve my skin's texture. But I can say that overall, I enjoyed using it. I was a bit concerned that it broke my face out after extended use, but I am not sure if my skin was just being problematic or if I can even directly relate it to this product. Hard to say, especially since I have sensitive combination skin. This cream has the consistency of a light lotion, and it doesn't smell like anything, which I like. I found it to be hydrating enough to use as my night cream, and I didn't use it in the morning because I want some SPF in a day cream (anti-aging products need to be used with care and a good SPF in the daytime).

Overall, I like this product. I'll certainly continue to use it because I am always in search of the best Fountain of Youth cream. I've seen this at Costco in a 2 pack for somewhere around $100, or you can buy a 2 oz. size from Ulta for $79.99. It ain't cheap, but keep in mind this stuff is LOADED with amazing anti-aging ingredients that are proven to work, and your skin will thank you for the investment.

Have you tried anything from StriVectin before? Let me know your thoughts on it! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Walmart Beauty Box | Summer 2015

This Summer's Walmart Beauty Box is arriving in mailboxes, and if you haven't signed up for this seasonal subscription yet, what are you waiting for? It costs just $5 a box (4 boxes per year), and you can sign up here. The samples aren't as good as an Ipsy bag or Birchbox, but you do get samples of drugstore items that are nice to try out before spending the $$$ on a full size.

Included in the summer box is a decent sized sample of the Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme, a basic all-over lotion that I've never tried before. Behind that are some lame foil packets of Jergens Natural Glow lotion, which I've used before and enjoyed. On bottom is a nice travel size of Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion with SPF, which is something I'd only use as a sunscreen, not an every day lotion. And the one full-sized product in the box is the NYC Big Bold & Precise Liquid Eyeliner, which I'm excited to try because you know I love me some black eyeliner!

Also included is the John Frieda Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray, which I got a sample of in an Influenster previously. I'm not a huge sea salt spray kind of girl (I don't wash my hair enough for that!) so I can't say I'm too excited about this product. A rather large travel size of Clear Complete Care Nourishing Anti-Dandruff shampoo is in the box, and I happen to enjoy Clear shampoos so that's a plus. There's also a little sample of the One Direction You & I perfume, which is way too young of a scent for me, (I still love you, 1D! I'm lookin' at you, Harry Styles..... mmm...) so I will probably pass it on to my sister who is a 1D fan. It's super-duper fruity, if you like that kind of thing.

Lastly, we've got more annoying foil packets of Ken Paves Volumizing Shampoo + Conditioner, Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara (never tried!), and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser, which actually came in the Spring box, too -- lame.

Overall, this was an OK box. For $5 I can't really complain. I am looking forward to trying the NYC eyeliner, which I'd happily pay $5 to try, so the rest of the samples can just be considered a bonus. What do you think -- have you signed up to receive these beauty boxes yet? Will you? Let me know!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Clairol Hair Food Shampoo

Do you ever get a build-up of gunk in your hair, courtesy of all the hairspray, heat protectant, dry shampoo or anything else you might use? And sometimes that gunk lingers even after you wash your hair, making it harder to go a few days between washes because your roots get greasy faster? I know that I've been a victim of hair grime because I don't wash my hair every day, and I have finally found the perfect remedy.

Say hello to the relatively new Clairol Hair Food Root Cleansing Shampoo Infused with Strawberry Ginger Fragrance. Longest name ever. Aside from the semi-obnoxious name, this stuff is pure gold. It deeply cleanses the hair to remove all the buildup from root to end, making it easier to start fresh and go days between washes. Clairol Hair Food is silicone, paraben and mineral oil free - score!

I'm partial to ginger scented products, and I have to say -- the scent of this shampoo is out of this world. I want to use it every day, or have a body spray that smells like this. It's a heavenly aromatic experience to use this shampoo. Whenever I use it (once every one to two weeks) my hair feels so clean, but never stripped of moisture. If you're a daily hair washer, be sure NOT to use a clarifying shampoo every day. Save clarifying shampoos like Hair Food for once a week at most, or it will start to strip your hair of necessary oils and moisture.

 I really love having this product in my hair lineup. I will definitely buy it again when I run out. You can purchase Clairol Hair Food at Target for $9.99 (10.1 oz).

Monday, July 6, 2015

Battle of the dry shampoos | Volume 1

If you're anything like me, and you like to skip washing your hair a few days out of the week, dry shampoo is probably one of your very best friends. I use it every day I don't wash my hair, and it saves me from looking greasy and oily, while providing added volume to my roots (assuming the dry shampoo is any good) .

I've tried many a dry shampoo, and I thought I'd share my oil-busting exploits with you so you don't have to spend a zillion dollars trying to find the best dirty hair remedy. This won't be the final post on this subject, so check back in the near future for volume 2.

First up is the Eva NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo. This can be purchased at Ulta for $11.99 (5.3 oz). Of the three shampoos shown above, I'd put this one in last place. It smells fabulous, like a fancy perfume, but it just doesn't do what it's supposed to. When I used it in the morning, spraying it in my roots and rubbing it in, it looked pretty good. But come lunch time, I needed to reapply. It did have a whitecast when first sprayed, but as long as you rub it in, it won't stick around. Overall, I wasn't a fan of this dry shampoo. Not only is it the most expensive option out of the three, but it just doesn't keep me looking fresh all day long.

The Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo is one of the first dry shampoos I've ever tried. You can find it at most any drugstore for around $5 (5 oz). This is one of the best drugstore options I've found. I don't have to reapply throughout the day and it adds volume to my fine hair. For darker haired girls, it will give a whitecast to your hair upon application, but again -- if you rub it in to your roots, it'll blend in. It has a fresh scent that I know many people love, but it does tend to get sickening to me with repeated use. On the up side, that's the only negative I have for the Dove dry shampoo.

By far, the Batiste Dry Shampoo is my favorite of these three. It can be purchased at Ulta for $7.99 (6.73 oz). This hits all the marks for what a good dry shampoo should have: it has long lasting oil-busting power (one application has lasted me two days!), it smells lovely (Wild is my favorite scent -- it has a fancy perfume smell), and it gives my hair volume. I've gone through probably 6 or 7 bottles of this stuff, in a variety of scents, and it has never disappointed. I highly recommend it.

So tell me - what's your favorite dry shampoo? And are there any others you'd like me to review? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Empties (#15)

It's that time again. I went through quite a bit this month, and now it's time to share with you whether or not these items are worth repurchasing in the future and any other gems of wisdom I choose to impart. Let's get right to it...

  • Pantene Nature Fusion Smoothing Shampoo (would repurchase) - I really liked this shampoo. When I started using this, my scalp was dry and flaky, and this really helped hydrate and treat my scalp. It smelled nice, too.
  • Dove Nourishing Body Wash in Pistachio Cream (would repurchase) - I've gone through one of these in the past, and I really enjoy this body wash. It's moisturizing, creamy, and smells amazing!

  • Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes (would not repurchase) - I don't know if I just had these waiting in backstock too long, or what, but these were awful. They were nowhere near saturated enough, and they didn't do that great of a job at getting my makeup off. I swear the first pack I used of these wasn't so bad, so maybe I got a dud. On the upside, they didn't irritate my eyes at all, but that's not enough to sell me on these again.
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture (would repurchase) - This is a super basic moisturizer. I used it in the morning, it didn't break me out and it doesn't have a fragrance. I like to switch up my skincare, so I won't be buying this anytime soon, but I'd consider it in the future.
  • Sephora Organic Cotton Facial Pads (would not repurchase) - Much to the happiness of my wallet, I didn't care for these. They fell apart easily and weren't as big as I'd like them to be for removing my makeup and applying toner. I have one more box, but once those are up, they won't be coming home with me again.
  • Bubbles By Brooks Shower Tabs in Walk in the Woods (would repurchase) - These are by no means necessary, but these little tabs will make your shower feel like a trip to the spa. All they do is add a nice smell to your showertime, and these smelled like sandalwood, which I enjoyed. They're sold locally by me, but I do believe you can purchase these online.
  • Vanedo Aroma sheet mask (would not repurchase) - This wasn't a bad face mask, in fact it was quite relaxing because it smelled like lavender, but my skin always seems to break out after I use a sheet mask. So because of that, I wouldn't purchase this again.
  • Rituals Honey Touch Body Cream (would repurchase) - This was a lovely body lotion, which you might remember from a previous haul. It was deeply moisturizing without being greasy or sticky. The smell will last lightly all day, but it's not overwhelming, and you can easily wear a fragrance over it. This lasted me a long time, and I enjoyed it while I had it.
  • Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner (would not repurchase) - I got this in an Ipsy bag a long time ago. I didn't think it was anything fancy and I didn't find it did much for my hair at all. 
  • Covergirl 3-in-1 Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation (would repurchase) - You all know this is my holy grail foundation. I absolutely love it. It's full coverage, lasts all day, and will keep you matte. Full review here.
  • LaVanila Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit (would repurchase) - I love love loved this deodorant. It has good ingredients, no aluminum or cancer-causing crap, plus it smells amazing. It's pricey, but you can find it on sale now and then, especially online.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer (would purchase) - I really enjoyed using this sample. I do think it kept my undereyes from looking crepe-y and dry. I'm not sure how much it costs, but if it wasn't too expensive, I'd think about purchasing a full size.
  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (would purchase) - I like this mask, but for the price, it's not worth it. I think it feels excellent on the skin, but there's NO way I'm going to pay like $70 for this stuff. I'll just keep enjoying the samples I receive.
  • CLEAN Original Perfume (would not purchase) - I am not a fan of the CLEAN perfume. It smells like laundry or something, and while I enjoy my actual clothing to smell fresh, I don't care for my everyday fragrance to smell like that.
  • Makeup Forever HD Foundation (would repurchase) - I got a sample of this foundation to try out, because I'm in a couple weddings this summer and I want a foundation that'll look good on camera. After trying it out, I bit the bullet and purchased it because it really did make my skin look fabulous. 
  • Neutrogena Micro-Mist Airbrush Sunless Tan in Medium (would not repurchase) - This stuff give a very light application of color, but beware, because it will stain your surroundings. I sprayed it on in the shower, and when I cleaned my shower it was all brown on the towel (my shower tile is dark, so I couldn't tell until I cleaned). Not cool.
  • Paula's Choice Sun 365 Self-Tanning Foam (would repurchase) - This is a nice self tanning mousse because it doesn't have bad ingredients, and it doesn't have that nasty self-tan smell at all. Did you hear me... AT ALL!! This gives just a light, but buildable tan, that even as a pale-girl, I wish was slightly darker, but I'll give this a whirl again I'm sure. 
  • Jack Black Lip Balm in Shea Butter & Vitamin E (would repurchase) - This is one of my most favorite lip balms ever. It's so so so moisturizing and it feels great on the lips. I believe this won Temptalia's reader's choice award for best lip balm last year, and that's what spurred me to try it originally. I got a few more of these over the holiday season, so this certainly won't be the last time you see this baby.
  • Christian Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm (would repurchase) - I love the smell of subtle rose, and I love the fancy packaging of this, so this was a major win. It's easily the most expensive lip balm I've ever owned, but I hope I'll receive it as a gift again in the future. Full review here.
  • C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve (would repurchase) - Another rose item, go figure! This stuff isn't quite empty, but I have had it for YEARS, so it's time for it to go. It smells really nice, and it's hydrating on the lips. I don't really love having to stick my finger in the jar to get product out, unless it's sitting on my nightstand to use before bed, so that's kind of a downside. But they do sell this stuff in a squeezy tube, too, which is how I will repurchase it in the future.
  • Vitacost Quick Dots Chewable Biotin (would repurchase) - I get these off of Vitacost, which is one of my FAVORITE online retailers, because they sell health items of all kinds (food, pet items, beauty items, etc.) at discounted rates. I liked these, they tasted like sour candy. I like to take biotin daily as it's great for hair, skin and nails. 
  • Pur-Lisse Pur-Moist Moisturizer (would repurchase) - I got this deluxe sample size in an Ipsy bag, and I enjoyed using it. It doesn't have a scent, it didn't break me out, and it moisturized my skin. 
  • B&BW Antibac in Vanilla Berry Sorbet (would repurchase) - I use these before applying makeup to get anything icky off my hands. This was a nice scent, very fruity, but not my favorite.
  • NYX Eyeshadow single in True Taupe (would repurchase) - This color was awesome. I've talked about it before... it's multi-purpose, great for the eyes, or brows. I used this primarily for my brows, which worked really well. If I could find this again, I'd repurchase it, but I haven't been able to find it.
  • B&BW Candle in Sunrise Lagoon (would repurchase) - This is an OLD scent that I'm pretty sure is discontinued now. It smelled nice, and I'd buy it again if they re-release it.
  • Gold Canyon Wax Melt in Fizzy Pop (would repurchase) - This really did smell like Sprite, and I really enjoyed the scent in my house. These melts are kind of fun, and I think this is a sample size, but Gold Canyon is one of those pyramid scheme brands so you have to find a rep to purchase them. Bummer.

And that's it! Have you used any of these products before? Let me know!
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