Monday, November 30, 2015

November Ipsy Glam Bag 2015

My Ipsy bag came at the very last second this month, hence the late post! But it was worth the wait because it came with some fun goodies! For those of you unaware of Ipsy, it's a monthly beauty subscription that costs just $10! It's my favorite subscription and I recommend it to anyone who likes to experiment with products before splurging on the full price. If you're interested in signing up or learning more, click here

November's theme is "Beauty Blast" and it came with the following...

  • China Glaze Nail Polish in Soft Sienna Silks - This is a full sized nail polish, which typically retails for $8 (nearly the entire cost of the bag itself! great value!). This is a beautiful sparkly reddish-brown color that's perfect for fall and winter. 
  • tre'Stique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Chile Red - I enjoy getting lip colors in my Ipsy bags, and this seems like a bright color suitable for the holiday. It's formulated with Vitamin E and Monoi Tahiti Butter for moisture and antioxidant properties.
  • Crown Brush Oval Concealer Brush #C224 - Rarely do I use concealer brushes, but I am a fan of Crown Brush. This is a synthetic bristle brush, perfect for applying cream eyeshadows or concealer (of course!).
  • Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara - I've never tried this mascara, so I'm looking forward to using it. It's meant to be volumizing and lengthening. 
  • Coolway Strong Hold Spray - This brand is totally new to me. This is just a travel sized hair spray. It claims to fight humidity and  make big hair without frizz.

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

Friday, November 27, 2015

November Empties (#20)

The month started out and I thought "gosh, I'm not going to have any empties this month." Funny how it always works out, my empties bin filled up like crazy towards the middle and end of the month and then I thought my bag might overflow! Here's what I used up, and a quick review of each product...

  • Kiss My Face Green Tea & Bamboo Shave Cream (would not repurchase) - I got sent this product to test out (shortly before they launched their shave creams in tube form like this -- such an improvement from the pump bottle they had before!) and I enjoyed it. This scent is so good. However, I have sensitive skin, and this wasn't nourishing enough when shaving my legs. My legs itched like crazy after I shaved and they didn't feel very moisturized. I've found something I like better, so I won't buy this again. 
  • Suave Refresh & Revive Dry Shampoo (would repurchase) - I really enjoyed this dry shampoo. It's cheap & affordable. Look for it in an upcoming Battle of the Dry shampoos!
  • Plantlife Patchouli Body Oil (would repurchase) - This is a lovely body oil, which I used to moisturize my skin right before I got out of the shower. It has a very strong patchouli scent, and the smell lingers all day long. Rarely did I wear this without someone noticing the scent. 
  • Carapex Botanical Facial Toner (would repurchase) - This toner is very gentle on the skin. It won't burn like some astringent toners. It's odorless, and it'll remove any lingering makeup or dirt on your face. 
  • Alba Botanical Dual Textured Exfoliating Towelettes (would repurchase) - This makeup removing wipe has one exfoliating scrubby side, and one normal smooth side. I primarily used the scrubby side to remove all my face makeup. I wasn't in love with them, but they are certainly unique in the world of makeup wipes.
  • Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser (would repurchase) - This cleanser smells like citrus and did a good job of cleaning my face. It didn't break me out, and didn't strip my skin. I'm not the biggest fan of foaming cleansers, but I'd get this again if I saw it for a good price.
  • Dove Go Fresh Mandarin & Tiare Flower Body Wash (would not repurchase) - I got this sample in a Walmart Beauty Box, and I don't think I'd bother purchasing the full size. While the wash itself is great -- I love how moisturizing these body washes are, I didn't care for the scent. 
  • Mogongtox Soda Bubble Sheet (would repurchase) - This is a sheet mask version of the recently popular oxygen carbonated masks. This bubbles up, and it looks like you have a beard from all the bubbles! It's refreshing and unique. I enjoyed it! You can purchase it on the Memebox website for cheap here
  • Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume (would not repurchase) - This scent is fruity and young... in fact, it's far too young of a scent for my taste. It smells great, but I prefer warmer, more mature perfumes. 
  • BareMinerals 5 in 1 BB Cream eyeshadow (would not repurchase) - This little sample isn't completely gone, but it dried up on me and now it's time for it to go. This wasn't anything special to me, so I wouldn't bother getting a full size. 
  • L'Occitane Marvelous Flowers hand cream (would not repurchase) - I enjoy L'Occitane hand creams, but I was happy to only have this scent in a small size. It's a very overpowering floral scent that it just too strong for me, and not a smell I particularly enjoyed with extended use. 
  • eva nyc Therapy Session Hair Mask (would repurchase) - This stuff smells so so good, very warm and salon-like. This tub lasted me ages, and I enjoyed using it. It's not intensely hydrating, it's more like a normal conditioner, and I'd probably use it as such if I purchased it again. 
  • Tree Hut Olive & Shea Sugar Body Scrub in Tropical Mango (would repurchase) - I love love love Tree Hut body scrubs. They've got super scrubby power, and they don't leave any oily residue behind (perfect if you self-tan or spray tan). They smell amazing, and they're so affordable! I will definitely buy more of these scrubs in the future
  • Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara (would not repurchase) - This is another sample I got in a Walmart Beauty Box, and I absolutely hated it. I used it once, and threw it promptly in the trash my empties bin. If you like very natural, barely there lashes, this is your mascara. I prefer way more volume and intensity than this! No thank you. 
  • Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel (would repurchase) - I tried this brow gel on a whim, and fell head over heels for it! It's relatively cheap, and it keeps my brows in place without being sticky or clumpy. I've already got a backup of this! 
  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (would repurchase) - I heard so many negative reviews of this mascara, but I really loved it! The secret is to let it dry out a bit, and it performs far better than when you first open the tube. Urban Decay mascaras continue to be a hit in my book! I wish they were just a little cheaper. 
  • idee B Goodbye Oil compact (would not repurchase) - I got this ages ago in a Memebox, and just finally used it up. This powder is white, and it has a fragrance to it. It set my makeup just fine and erased shine, but I do not want unnecessary fragrance in my powder. 
  • Wet n Wild Mega Liner (would repurchase) - This is a tried and true favorite liner, you've seen it in many an empties post previously. It's one of the blackest liners I've ever used, and it dries totally matte. It's under $5, too. Love!
  • Tarte Maracuja Oil (would not repurchase) - You can tell this isn't completely gone, but it's OLD and I can just tell it's gone off. Time to throw it away. There are face oils I like much more than this one, so I won't bother purchasing this again. 
  • LaVanila Deodorant in Vanilla Lavender (would repurchase) - LaVanila deodorants are my favorite all-natural deodorants. This one smelled really nice, and kept me BO-free all day long. Do note, this is not an anti-antiperspirant so if you sweat a lot, this may not be the deodorant for you. 
  • Carapex Elastin & Collagen Day Cream (would repurchase) - This was a nice day cream. Find a full review here
  • Lush Celebrate Hand & Body Lotion (would not repurchase) - This was a limited edition body lotion last holiday season, and I bought it on their Boxing Day sale. This is super luxurious, and really really oily. Can you tell the packaging is greasy? I started using this just on my legs after shaving because it was so nourishing, but I found it too be too oily for my entire body. I also wasn't a fan of the smell, which smelled like a disgusting orange. (not to be confused with a good orange!)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Body Lotion (would not repurchase) - This is actually a hotel sample... impressive, PTR at a hotel, amiright?! I used this just on my hands, and it actually wasn't very hydrating at all. My hands still felt slightly dry when I woke up in the morning! Quite disappointing. 

And that's all I got for the month! Have you tried any of these products? Let me know! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

MEMEBOX: Nooni Snowflake Cleanser + I'm Dual Pore Brush

I have to say, I was really excited when I got an email from Memebox saying - "oh hey, we sent you some fun stuff!" Mostly because I really love Korean cleansing balms, and I've been seeing the Nooni Snowflake Cleanser pop up in my social media feeds. And also, I was excited because I just plain love Memebox! They always send me unique items to try and I'm so appreciative of that, because it means I can share with all of you!

As I mentioned, they sent me the Nooni Snowflake Cleanser ($16), in addition to the I'm Dual Pore Brush -- two products meant to be used together! 

The Nooni Snowflake Cleanser is an oil cleansing balm, actually marketed as an oil, milk and balm all in one, as it's supposed to change texture with how you use it. (I really didn't notice any big shift between states). It's formulated with jeju water, a mineral-rich spring water that promotes vitality and elasticity in the skin. It's also got shea butter, citrus peel extract, and Lotus Flower extract among other good ingredients. 

This cleanser is fragranced, so if you're sensitive to fragrance, be wary of that. I prefer my cleansing balms to be fragrance free, so that's my one gripe with this product. But despite that, this product was nice! Massage it in to dry skin to remove your makeup, and then rinse of all grime with water. Simple! I liked using this little sample size, it worked well for me.

The I'm Dual Pore Brush ($12) is a super soft microfiber facial cleansing brush. It's made up of over 550,000 bristles that clean the skin without being irritating. It's so, so soft! I've never used a cleansing brush as gentle as this. 

The back side of the brush has silicone bristles aimed at removing stubborn facial impurities. It's a nice scrubby side to get your skin really clean.

Sadly, I wasn't a huge fan of this brush. Mostly because I prefer something more rigid, like a Clarisonic brush head, and this is way too gentle for my taste. If you have sensitive skin, I would highly recommend you try this brush out - I just happen to like really exfoliating treatments and tools for my own skin.

Have you tried either of these Korean skincare products? Let me know! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hask Keratin Smoothing Hair Care Collection

If you ever peruse the hair aisles at Walmart, Ulta or Sally Beauty, chances are you've heard of Hask before. They have a few different hair lines targeted to specific needs, and recently I was sent the Keratin Protein line aimed at smoothing and softening the hair. If you're snooty about hair care and only like top-end brands, I'd recommend you give Hask a shot despite the super affordable pricing. These budget-friendly hair products perform extremely well and I think you'll be impressed.

This line is free of: sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors. All of these products are infused with keratin, which reduces frizz and blocks humidity.

The first thing to mention is that everything in this line smells amazing, and the smell very lightly lingers throughout the first part of my day. The shampoo and conditioner (5.99 for 12 oz) alone are a very nice combo - after using my hair felt soft and looked shiny and healthy. I really enjoyed using both of these products.

I also tried out the Keratin Protein Smoothing Shine Oil ($2.99 for 5/8 oz). After washing and conditioning my hair, I put a dime sized drop of this in the ends of my hair (from my ears down) and then proceeded to style with a blow dryer. Initially, I was worried this product would weigh my hair down or force me to wash my hair the next day - but I worried for nothing. This is a light weight oil that adds shine and softness without making your hair greasy. I would advise avoiding your roots, or you may end up looking like a greaseball. 

Lastly, I put the Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioner ($2.99 for 1.75 oz) to the test. This packet will get me 2-3 uses - it's got a lot of product in this little pouch. This product is marketed towards those with very dry, over-processed hair. Because I'm lazy and rarely do anything to my hair, that's not really a problem I deal with, however I like to use an intense deep conditioner about once a week. The blend of ingredients in this product repairs damage, reduces breakage and helps to reduce static and drying time. I really enjoyed using it. It made my hair soft and smell great. It's not the strongest deep conditioner I've ever used, but I did like it regardless.

You can find the whole Hask range at Ulta, for a super affordable price! 

Have you tried anything from the Hask brand? What are your thoughts? Let me know!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Burnin' Up #9: Candles by Victoria

If you watch any beauty gurus on YouTube (who, for some reason, all love candles -- apparently beauty + candles go hand in hand), you may have heard of the brand Candles by Victoria. I first heard about this brand from Michele1218 who raved about all of her candles. There are even collabs on the Candles by Victoria site between TiffanyD and other YouTubers -- I am guessing they may have gotten free items to review or paid for their reviews - just a guess. All items were purchased by me with my own money - so you can expect a completely honest review. 

ANYWAY - I picked up a couple things earlier this fall for my mom and I and wanted to share with all of you. There are ENDLESS amounts of scents on the CBV website, so for those of you ready to make a purchase, I hope this can take the guesswork out of your ordering! Here's what I picked up:

  • Oh Holy Night: "Frankincense, cedar, sugar spruce, Christmas Tree and sweet cinnamon." This is a really nice, fresh wintry scent. You can definitely smell the cinnamon and frankincense with a hint of sweet. I'd recommend this cozy scent. 
  • Sage: "A blend of wild jasmine, white roses, french lavender and bergamot with a light hint of fresh pine needles." To me, this smells like powdery jasmine with a hint of laundry. It's a scent that will make your house smell clean. Not my favorite, but not bad. 
  • Pomegranate & Cider: "Juicy Pomegranates combined with the fullness of a sweet rich cider, amazing!" This smells like a cider infused starburst. It's very sweet but has a nice warmth thanks to the cider. It's unlike any wax melt I've used before, definitely a nice scent. 
  • Soothe: "A relaxing combination of Eucalyptus, Patchouli, Lemon and Basil." The scent description is spot on. I get a whiff of all the notes mentioned. It's a fresh, clean scent that wouldn't offend anyone. 

  • Marshmallow Peppermint: "This is a fun, flirty, fluffy fragrance that embraces lightheartedness and femininity all in one!  A fabulous blend of fresh essential oil of peppermint and huckleberries, hints of violet and white floral, with creamy base notes of vanilla marshmallow." I can absolutely smell the peppermint and floral berries in this scent. It doesn't really have a hint of marshmallow to me, but it is slightly warm like vanilla. Not my favorite, but I think many people would love this scent.
  • Let It Snow: "Eucalyptus and Cinnamon flourishes dance on a bed of crisp, chilled peppermint. If you are not caroling after smelling this there may be no hope for you." The scent description is spot on for this scent. I wouldn't imagine eucalpytus and cinnamon making such a great combo, but it's delightful! It smells like ribbon candy to me! 
  • Minty Twist: "For our Minty lovers, Spearmint, Peppermint with a touch of Vanilla." This smells mainly of spearmint to me. It smells a lot like spearmint chapstick. I enjoy minty scents in my home, and I imagine this will be nice. 
  • Charlie Brown Christmas: "Name that Scent winner. A wonderful holiday fragrance with top notes of Brazilian orange, bergamot, and bread with cinnamon, nutmeg, and lily of the valley on a base of vanilla and raspberry." I can distinctly smell the bread and cinnamon notes in this. I am sure all the other notes are there, but to me I just get that perfect spicy smell that's ideal for fall and winter. A really nice scent if you enjoy spicy home scents. 

  • Crackling Birch: "Outdoors on a winter day...Simply amazing if we may say so ourselves! Crackling Birch fragrance begins with top notes of bergamot, orange, and lemon; with middle notes of geranium, lily, and rose; and base notes of patchouli, vetiver, and tonka beans. This fragrance is one of the most well-rounded fragrances we have ever smelled." This smells like a fancy men's cologne. I can smell the vetiver and bergamot - overall, I really like this scent. 
  • Christmas By the Fire: "A subtle seasonal cinnamon spice -- a very unique combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cedar wood, sage tempered with frankincense and myrrh for warmth and comfort, snuggle up with your favorite book and enjoy!" Cinnamon and sage are the two scents I smell the most. This is a unique Christmas scent, and I really like it. 
  • Country Bumpkin: "A wonderful complex blend of apples, candied yams, marshmallows, sweet cream butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, crushed cinnamon bark and fresh cloves. Bring the country home to you." Mmm... this is cinnamon and sugar goodness. If you're a fan of spicy fall scents, I guarantee you'll love this one. 
  • Why I Autumn: "An Autumn blend of lemon and apple; followed with middle notes of anise, cinnamon, and ginger; sitting on well-rounded base notes of woods, musk, and vanilla." I adore this scent - it's one of my most favorites. It smells like an autumnal lemon cupcake and it made my house smell so good. I would definitely get this scent again in a future order.

  • Snowdrift Berries: "Uniquely different and absolutely incredible holiday scent that has become a year round favorite! Top notes of semi-sweet berries mixed with undertones of balsam pine." This smells like a piney starburst, and while that sounds disgusting, I can promise you this smells quite nice! 
  • Christmas in Who-Ville: "Pink Sugar and Sweet Snow." This reminds me of something you'd pick up at Bath & Body Works. It smells minty and perfumed all in one. It's nice, but not something I'd pick up again. 
  • White Chocolate Caramel Crunch: "White Chocolate, Caramel and Carmel Corn. Yum!!!" I think this was a freebie in my order, as I don't remember ordering it. It's not typically a scent I'd go for. It's a very sweet chocolate scent. I don't tend to like chocolate scents burning in my house, but if you do - you'll like this.

So there ya have it - I ordered quite a few scents! I've put a few of these to the test already and I'm happy to report they burn very nicely. Even in my open high-ceilinged house, the smells fill up the whole space. The wax is very creamy and soft, so my only gripe is that it's a big tougher than normal to get the dried wax out of my burners. (pro tip: freeze your burners and the wax should pop right out -- these take a little more coercing). Because the wax is so creamy and soft, it's easy to cut -- and I'd recommend cutting each of these wax melts in to four pieces so you get your money's worth!

Overall, I'm really glad I placed an order with Candles by Victoria. It certainly won't be my last. I'd recommend trying the company out if you are looking for some fun new scents to try! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Target Beauty Box | Fall 2015

Target Beauty Boxes go QUICK - I mean, really fast. They're $10 and filled with sample and full sized products, all of which can be found at Target. Unfortunately, this box I'm showing you today is already sold out, but I wanted to show you what came in it so you can see the value (and wait anxiously for the winter box to arrive!). I don't always pick these up, but this time there was enough products I wanted to try in this box that I decided to place my order. Here's what came in the fall 2015 box:

  • Acure Repairing Shampoo + Conditioner: A more natural cleaning and conditioning duo, formulated with moroccan argan stem cell + argan oil to soften hair, repair damage and strengthen.
  • Covergirl Intensify me! Liquid Liner: I did a full review of this eyeliner here. I've come to like it quite a bit because it's very black and dries matte (I said semi-shiny in my previous review, so IDK if my pen's formula changed or what). Takes some practice to handle the shape of the tip, but once you master it, you'll love it.
  • Olly Undeniable Beauty Vitamin Gummies: Comprised of biotin, vitamins C, E and Borage Oil work to make your hair, skin and nails the extra healthy and radiant.
  • Goody SlideProof Elastics: One can never have too many hair bands, amirite ladies? These have a little grippy side to keep them in place. I haven't tried them yet, so I don't know if that's a good thing or a rip your hair out of your head kind of thing.
  • SW Basics Exfoliant: I've wanted to try this brand for ages now, so even though this sample is tiny, it was one of the reasons I bought this box. This exfoliant is made without synthetic chemicals, plastic microbeads, alcohol, or fragrance. It's USDA organic certified and made with only three ingredients. Love!
  • Skinfix Ultra Rich Body Butter: This body butter is free of fragrance, soy, gluten, parabens and phthalates. Meant for ultra dry skin, this aims to soothe and heal rough patches all day long. Especially good for those suffering from eczema.
  • Hello Mojito Mint Flouride Toothpaste: This toothpaste is vegan and never tested on animals. Plus, it has a fun flavor -- mojito mint! 
  • Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede lipstick in High Heels: A long lasting lipstick in a peachy pink shade. Not my favorite color, so not sure I'll be keeping this. 
  • ROC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream: It's a simple as it sounds, a wrinkle reducing night cream. This is a $20 cream, which makes this box well worth it! 

Have you purchased a Target beauty box before? Let me know your thoughts below!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lip List #3

The last couple weeks, I really didn't feel like sporting bold lips, or any lipstick at all (hence the lack of these kind of posts). But last week, I felt like myself again, and I have for you a week's worth of different lippies. Here's what I wore last week:

  • Monday:  Hikari Cosmetics Lipstick in Cabernet. This wine red matte is perfect for fall. It's slightly drying on the lips, but I've used much worse. I love this color.
  • TuesdayTarte LipSurgence Lip Creme in Thoughtful, a brown-rose. This lippie is minty and feels creamy and hydrating on the lips.
  • Wednesday: Maybelline Color Elixir in Mauve Mystique, a my lips but better mauve. The Color Elixir formula is creamy and hydrating.
  • Thursday: Starlooks Lipgloss in Guilty Pleasure, a perfect creamy nude. This smells like vanilla and feels nice on the lips. A great gloss.
  • Friday: Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Aurora, an orange-red liquid lipstick. A highly pigmented gloss that's super comfortable to wear, non-drying.

What are you wearing this week? Let me know!
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