Friday, December 30, 2016

Play! by Sephora | December 2016

I've been subscribing to Play! by Sephora for just over half a year, and it's no surprise that I'm still loving it. December's bag had a slew of good things, setting me back only $10! If you're interested in signing up, click here. (not an affiliate link)

Here's what came in December's box...
  • Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red - A Sephora house brand lip stain that actually kicks a lot of ass. It stained my lips without making them feel like the Sahara and the lasting time was amazing. They are a little pricey though, ringing in at $14, which I feel is a little steep for a house brand product.
  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer - Aims to balance skin and perfect makeup application. Also assists with skin tone and increases wear time of foundation. A full size retails for $37 for 1 oz, which is not cheap, but this will probably last you ages. 
  • Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo - A dry shampoo to absorb oil and add body to the hair. Drybar is a great brand, but their products don't come cheap. A full size retails for $23 for a measly 3.3 oz. 
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray - A setting spray that makes your skin look more natural after makeup application and increases wear time. I swear by this stuff and never go without it. It costs $31 for 4 oz, but you can often find sales on this elsewhere (2 for $50 is a common sale at Macy's and Nordstrom).
  • Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara - A mascara that touts added volume and "super-saturated length" for dramatically poppin' lashes. $30 freakin' dollars for a full size! #toocheapfordat
  • Elizabeth & James Nirvana Bourbon perfume - Ya'll already know this is one of my favorite newer perfumes, worth every penny. For a full review click here

As you can see, the full sizes of all these products are pretty spendy. But that's what I love about Play! by Sephora. You get a chance to try out all these products (for just $10/mo) before splurging on an expensive full sized version! Gotta love that!

What do you think of this month's box? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Battle of the dry shampoos | Volume 3

I'm always trying new dry shampoos. Why? Not because I haven't found some that I love, but because I know it's an ever-asked about topic when I talk to people, and heck - I can't help myself. I wash my hair two or three times a week, and on the days I don't, I rely on dry shampoo to keep me looking like I did. I've put a few more dry shampoos to the test and I'm ready to give you my verdict. If you're curious about volumes one and two, find them here and here.

Matrix Mineral Play Back Dry Shampoo: I wanted to like this stuff. Full disclosure, it was sent to me, but you know I tell it like it is. This just didn't do it for me. It costs $18 for 3.4 oz, so it's not cheap. You spray it in, it doesn't have a white cast, and it adds texture and soaks up oil..... for a little while. I noticed my hair looking decent for 3-4 hours at work, and by lunch time I looked oily and my scalp felt gross again. It didn't do much in the way of volume either. Overall, this was disappointing for me. I definitely wouldn't shell out the cash for it when there are far better and cheaper drugstore alternatives.

Macadamia Volumizing Dry Shampoo: I'm a huge fan of the Macadamia brand - their deep conditioner is one of my all time faves, so when I saw this dry shampoo I figured I'd love it, too. WRONG. I'm not a fan of dry shampoos that make my scalp feel gritty and mega-textured, and that's exactly what this feels like. This is one to use if you want to rat and style your hair with some volume. I wasn't overly impressed with it's oil eliminating properties, so you can mark my words that I wouldn't be spending $19.95 for 5 oz of this stuff again in the future. (I found it cheaper at TJ Maxx, if you're curious about testing it out for yourself).

Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1: Another fail for me, and another pricey product ringing in at $26 for 4.2 oz. This product aims to volumize, texturize and work as a dry shampoo. It smells great, kind of sweet like a bakery item. Unfortunately, much like the Macadamia dry shampoo, this one was way too gritty and texturizing and actually made my hair feel dirty. After a day or two of using this stuff, I needed a solid clarifying shampoo to get all of this stuff out of my roots. Not something I'd buy in a full size, for sure. 

The lesson here? You don't have to spend a lot to get a great, quality dry shampoo. See volumes 1 and 2 for some clear winners. If you like gritty, texturizing sprays... heck, you'll love 2 out of 3 of the ones above.

Stay tuned for volume 4 in the future, and let me know if there's a dry shampoo I gotta try! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mini MAC haul + swatches

Did any of you cash in on the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal that MAC was having? They actually offered 25% off a purchase which is unheard of from MAC. I'm hoping they're realizing pretty much every comparable beauty brand offers sales so they're jumping on board, too. I didn't get a lot, but I did get a repurchase of the Fix+ setting spray (not pictured), and then I got a few eye shadows that I wanted to share with you.

MAC eyeshadows are actually pretty cheap if you buy refills - they're only $6 each! Get yourself a Z Palette and you've got a cheap way to house your MAC shadows. I've slowly built up a small collection (look under the MAC tag on my blog for more swatches) and I really like using their eyeshadows. They're soft and pigmented and top notch quality.

The three new-to-me colors that I picked up are All That Glitters, Satin Taupe and Antiqued, shown below from L to R.

All three of these colors are gorgeous, a little shimmery and perfect for every day. Have you tried them?

Monday, December 12, 2016

OGX | Argan Oil Shampoo + Keratin Oil Conditioner

Ok, if you're a YouTube beauty guru watcher, and you follow Melissa Autry, you probably saw her go off about OGX recently. She claims her hairstylist told her OGX products are the bane of the drugstore and they've made her hair brittle and tangly and they're ruining her hair. It was an epic rant of a video. 

I'm here to say I don't buy a word of that. I personally love OGX products. Yes, they send me stuff for free, but I'm under zero obligation to review or even mention them. And I always keep it real. I LIKE OGX products, and I don't believe they damage your hair.

Recently I tried out the Argan Oil shampoo and the Keratin Oil conditioner and I really enjoyed both of them. First and foremost, like nearly all OGX products, they smell so amazing. The Argan Oil shampoo smells perfumey and luxurious and it made my hair feel so clean without feeling dried out. 

The real star of the show is the Keratin Oil conditioner. This stuff smells amazzzzinnnggg and my hair felt silky smooth after I used it. You have to be careful with keratin because too much of it can make your hair brittle, but if you were to use this every now and then, it'll make your hair feel hydrated and smooth. 

Both of these products can be found at the drugstore or Ulta for under $10. They're great for the price, and they have NOT ruined my hair and I don't believe they'll ruin yours either. I'd recommend them through and through! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Stocking Stuffer idea: Besame Mini Lipstick Set

It's my favorite time of year to peruse the Sephora website. It's loaded with great gift packs that aren't normally there all year long. This year, the Besame Mini Lipstick Set stuck out to me and I knew I had to grab it during the VIB sale. It keeps going in and out of stock on the Sephora website, so check for it here if you're lusting after it like I was. 

If you're looking for a great gift for a lippie lover, or heck - for yourself - Besame lipsticks are amazing. I've talked about Besame lippies for a long time and I've continued to be a big fan. They have amazing wear time (5+ hours), they don't dry your lips to crap, and they are so pigmented and gorgeous. Easily some of the best lipsticks I've ever tried. 

That being said... take a look at the 5 gorgeous lippies you get in this set. 

And here are swatches of all 5 colors...

1930 Noir Red - a vampy black cherry color
1935 Cherry Red - A perfect deep red for the holidays
1946 Red Velvet - A warm bold red 
1969 Dusty Rose - The name couldn't be more spot on
1970 Chocolate Kiss - A red chocolate color

What gift sets are on your holiday list this year? 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Empties | #32

I used up a crap ton of things this past month - to the point where my bag was nearly overflowing. Dang, it feels good to get through my backstock of stuff! Can anyone else relate?!

I love empties posts because they're a super efficient way of knocking out a ton of mini reviews all at once, and heck - once you've used the ENTIRE product, it's safe to say you know whether or not you'd buy it again and why. So, read below for a speed dating style review of everything I finished up in November.

  • Dr. Clear Magic Toner (would repurchase) - I got this ages ago in a MEMEBOX, and it was decent. It wasn't anything magical. It's supposed to balance the skin and help combat oil. I don't have really oily skin, but I do think it helped managed the spots that do produce more oil on my face.
  • Origins Modern Friction (would not repurchase) - I hated this face scrub. It's creamy and has little scrubby balls in it that just aren't scrubby enough. It burned every time the tiniest bit got on the very outer part of the inside of my nose, and my skin had some weird reaction to it that made my neck itchy for a few minutes after I was out of the shower. Not worth the price. It might work for you, but it is not a face scrub that works for me. 
  • Epice Purifying Exfoliant (would repurchase) - On the other side, I adored this face scrub. It had very fine, almost sand-like, exfoliant in it and it made my skin feel so soft and clean after using it. I have no idea if this is mega expensive or not, but I would consider buying a full size in the future. 
  • DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew (would repurchase) - I love this moisturizer. It's light but moisturizing and it doesn't break me out. If I'm remembering correctly, a full size of this is stupidly expensive, but I would consider buying it in the future. 
  • Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Hand Cream in Be Joyful (would repurchase) - This is such a luxurious hand cream, I'd love to have a big size - especially for winter. The Be Joyful scent was pleasant and not too overpowering. Overall, super nice and worth the couple extra bucks for the brand name.
  • Gold Bond Healing Aloe Lotion (would not repurchase) - Wasn't a big fan of this. I used it for my hands and it just felt like it created a layer of lotion on my skin that didn't really do anything. 
  • Laura Mercier Body Souffle in Tarte Au Citron (would repurchase) - These body souffles are so decadent and mega-scented. You can't wear perfume over them, which might be a perk if you want to smell good but don't want to layer lotion and perfume. If you like sweet bakery scents, this would be up your alley. It moisturizes really well and left my skin feeling silky smooth. A full size jar ain't cheap though, so keep that in mind if you're watching your wallet. 
Can you tell I'm trying to get through my endless amount of samples?
  • Garnier Balancing Daily Exfoliator (would repurchase) - I didn't expect to like this all that much, but it surprised me and I really enjoyed using it. My skin looked brighter and felt really clean after using it. I'd definitely considering purchasing this at some point.
  • Biore Charcoal Pore Strips (would not repurchase) - These are shit. They leave sticky black crap all over your nose when you take the strip off. And let's be real - these are actually damaging to your skin. Combat blackheads and clogged pores a different way than Biore strips, people. Not worth it. 
  • Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Mask (would repurchase) - This was a nice mask. It looked like I was inappropriately trying to pull of blackface makeup, but aside from that it felt nice and made my skin feel clean. 
  • Yves Rocher Elixer 7.9 (would not repurchase) - Fairly certain this day cream broke me out. Yves Rocher products are really cheap, and I'm sure the cheap ingredients didn't do anything good for my skin.
  • Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter (would repurchase) - This was a super pretty cream highlighter that gave a natural glow. It looked amazing in both low light and sun light. I'm not usually one to use cream highlighters, but this made me consider changing that about myself. 
  • Matrix Play Back Dry Shampoo (would not repurchase) - I did a blog post on this line from Matrix this summer, and while this was OK, I wouldn't bother getting it again. I have others I like better for less money. 
  • Redken Extreme Anti-Snap (would not repurchase) - I like the idea of a product like this - one that helps prevent hair breakage and split ends, but unfortunately it just didn't do anything for me. 
  • Pantene Ultimate 10 BB Conditioner (would not repurchase) - I'm not 100% sure, but I think this product weighed my hair down. I only put conditioner in my hair from my ears down, and yet, it seemed like my hair got greasy really fast and was limp and flat when I used this. It's cheap, and you really get what you pay for here. 
  • Joico K-Pak Color Therapy Repair Treatment (would repurchase) - This was a nice deep conditioner. I don't have color-treated hair, but I can still use the nourishment that products like this provide. It smelled nice and made my hair feel good. Full review here.
  • Sunstar Gum Mint Waxed Floss (would not repurchase) - I keep these little minis from the dentist in my desk at work for desperate flossing needs. This stuff is fine, but it's not the best floss. I wouldn't buy it in a full size.
  • Lush Creme Anglaise (would repurchase) - This is my favorite Lush lotion of all time and it's discontinued. I've been nursing this little sample for way too long while I wait for it to someday pop up on the Lush Kitchen site and I can buy a few tubs of it. RIP Creme Anglaise, the most decadent, deliciously-scented, soft-skin-inducing lotion of life. 
  • Prada Candy (would not purchase) - This is kind of a cult scent, but it's nothing special and definitely not something I need a full size of. It's very sweet with hints of musk, so it's actually quite mature despite how sweet it is. It doesn't smell bad, but I prefer more unique scents than this. I don't like to smell like every other woman, and this is kind of one of those perfumes.
  • Bella Organics Vanilla Mint Deodorant Creme (would repurchase) - Long long ago, Bella Organics sent me a sample of their deodorant to test and review. I absolutely adored it (I wasn't paid to say that either!) I bought a 3 pack on Zulily and this was my last of them. This is a natural deodorant that really does mesh well with my body type, keeping me smelling good even on hot and humid days. It is annoying you have to dig it out and apply it with your hands, but it works so well that I'm over that already. The Vanilla Mint is my favorite scent that I've tried. Full review here
  • Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion (would not repurchase) - Hello old packaging! Can you tell it's time to get rid of this? I did use most of it, but it's time to say goodbye. I know people rant and rave over this stuff, but it's not one of my favorite eyeshadow primers. I've found way better than this, especially for oily eyelids. 
  • Pacifica Alight BB Cream (would not repurchase) - This stuff is way too shimmery and light for my taste. I ended up mixing this in with foundation for a glow and it was OK for that purpose, but I most certainly don't need a full size of this.
  • Up & Up Latex-Free Foam Wedges (would repurchase) - Let's be real, these are the original BeautyBlender. I still love using these with certain foundations and I always have some on backup. I always get latex-free so I don't smell like a doctor office.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - You already know I love these. I use them for toner, eye makeup remover, cleaning my brushes, nail polish remover... you name it. I buy them in bulk from Costco so I'm never without a pack when I use a sleeve up. 
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture (would not repurchase) - This is such a throwback product. I used to use this in high school, but have strayed away from it. I just don't like it anymore. It smells like sunscreen and I think it breaks my skin out. 
  • Wet n Wild Mega Liner (would repurchase) - This has been a long time favorite of mine, but Wet n Wild went and reformulated and repackaged this product and it just isn't the same, I'm told. I bought a bunch when they got clearanced off the shelves and I'm sadly working my way through them now. 
  • Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel (would repurchase) - This is an awesome drug store brow gel. It has a small brush and applies easily. It'll hold brows in place without making them feel crunchy. I find it comparable to the beloved Anatasia Brow Gel. 
  • Dior Diorshow Mascara (would not repurchase) - This was a pretty good little sample. It made my lashes look long and full, and the mascara itself actually smells good (weird, I know) but it's expensive and there was just something about it that I didn't love but I can't put my finger on it.  I wouldn't buy a full size tube.
  • Spongeables Pedi-Scrub Foot Buffer in Citron-Eucalyptus (would repurchase) - I like these, especially in spring and summer when I do a lot of walking and I want to give my feet a good scrub. I didn't like this scent as much as their lavender one, but it worked fine and you get way more than 12 washes like it states. 
  • Q-Tips Precision Tips (would repurchase) - I always have these in my vanity drawer. The precision point is nice because you can easily remove stray makeup, an oops with eyeliner, or what have you. 
  • Deep Steep Apple Spice Hand Wash (would repurchase) - I love me some Deep Steep hand washes. They're natural and they typically release some good seasonal scents like this one. The Apple Spice scent was perfect for fall. 
  • Mrs. Meyers Apple Cider Hand Soap (would repurchase) - I loved this seasonal Mrs. Meyers soap. I also loved the fall colored packaging. I hope they release this again next fall. 
  • B&BW Wasabi Apple candle (would repurchase) - This is an older B&BW scent from a couple years back, but it smelled delicious. Let's be clear - I hate wasabi in my food, but the B&BW version mixed with apple was heavenly! 

What have you used up this month? Let me know in the comments! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Play! by Sephora | November 2016

This month's Play! by Sephora box is themed "Best in Glow" and features products that help combat winter dullness with products that revitalize and perk up the skin. 

For those of you new to the Play! by Sephora subscription, it costs  just $10 per month and you get deluxe sized samples of premium brands sold at Sephora. It's one of my favorite monthly beauty subscriptions. Interested in subscribing? You can sign up here - this is not an affiliate link! 

Here's what came in this month's bag:
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rose Gold - A long lasting, creamy eyeshadow stick that's pigmented and super soft. 
  • Stella McCartney Pop perfume - A fruity sweet scent, characterized by notes of tomato and violet leaves, plumeria, cedarwood and musks. Definitely more of a young, girly scent in my book. 
  • CoverFX Illuminating Primer - A primer free that gives the skin a glow and is free of silicone. It preps the skin for makeup and improves skin tone. 
  • Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gel in Pin Up Pink - A mega-shiny lip gloss inspired by gel nail polishes. It sits comfortably on the lips and adds a subtle pop of color. 
  • The Estee Edit Dissolve the Drama 2-in-1 Makeup Remover + Cleanser - An oil cleanser that removes makeup and cleans the face with aloe and cucumber. 
  • Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment - The face mask EVERYONE talks about. Designed to visibly improve the skin and clear breakouts, you can see problem areas being treated by this mask when you apply it. Super expensive, but feels so nice on the skin. 

Have you signed up for Play! by Sephora? Let me know your thoughts on it! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Stick Foundation | Review

I don't know what's gotten in to me lately, but I've had this itch to try out new foundations. Even though my beloved Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous has done me no wrong, I just feel like experimenting, and foundation is something I haven't played with much. 

So, when I canceled my Ipsy subscription a couple months back, I redeemed all of my points for the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Stick Foundation. Kind of a big leap for me - I don't normally buy high-end foundations because I'm cheap, and I've never used a stick foundation before this one. So I dived right in.

The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Stick Foundation sells on for $46 for 0.25 oz (not a lot of product!). It comes in 26 shades, which is pretty impressive. It's touted as "a long wearing foundation with the coverage of a concealer, fluidity of a liquid, and weightlessness of a powder..." Already, it sounds kind of like my favorite Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation just from the description. It describes that you need very little product to get full coverage, as it claims to have double the pigment than normal foundations. The Vanish Seamless stick works with your body heat to blend in to your skin for an ultra smooth finish. 

One thing to note as you figure out if this foundation would be right for you: I have normal to combination skin. My skin maintains a normal amount of moisture, without many dry patches, and my t-zone gets a tiny bit oily. I'm also prone to breakouts, especially around my mouth. I do have fine lines that certain foundations can sink in to and accentuate. 

Above is the before and after - before I applied anything but moisturizer and primer, and immediately after I applied the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Stick Foundation in shade Blanc (the lightest shade) using a Sigma foundation brush. I applied my typical makeup routine on top of it - bronzer, blush, concealer, etc. and a setting spray. I then wore it to work and for 12 hours of the day. 

Click the image above to see a close up of how the foundation performed, with snapshots from hour 2, hour 6 and hour 10. Initially, application looks great, especially at hour 2. My skin looks radiant and a little dewy, and the tone is evened out. That darn forehead wrinkle isn't quite so obvious at hour 2. Then we look at hour 6, and wrinkles are looking a little more prominent and my face isn't looking so seamless anymore. By hour 10... WOOF. Take a peek at the skin between my eyebrows. The foundation has started to wear away and is looking really cakey. It's settling in my eyelids and in other wrinkles on my face. It's broken down around and on my nose and some imperfections are shining through. 

And really, that's the story of the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Stick Foundation. It looks great if you need to wear it for just a few short hours, but if you want to wear it all day, don't count on looking flawless at the end of the day. This is touted as long wearing foundation and I think that's a stretch. It's on, sure, but it does not look nearly as good as it did in the first few hours. 

The pros: 
  • There are tons of shades to pick from so you're almost certain to find one that works for you. 
  • You probably do end up using less foundation than a traditional liquid foundation, especially if you like a light medium coverage.
  • The packaging of the product is classy and high quality.
The cons:
  • It's not long-wearing as it claims to be. 
  • It wears away over the course of the day, and sinks in to fine lines and wrinkles.
  • It is expensive for the amount of product you get.

I think if you had semi oily skin, or like a light coverage, you might like this stick foundation, but honestly - my recommendation would be to try something cheaper. I think there are far cheaper foundations that perform just as well, if not better, and you won't be out $46. 

Overall, the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Stick Foundation isn't for me. I've used it a bunch of times, and the last time I did, I swore it off. It doesn't mesh well with my skin and honestly, I'm embarrassed by how my skin looks when I have to wear it for more than a few hours. Not my thing, but I don't mind because getting hooked on a $46 foundation is the last thing my wallet needs! 

Have you tried the Hourglash Vanish Seamless Stick Foundation? Let me know how you liked it!

Friday, November 4, 2016

October Empties | #31

Holy cow - my empties bag filled up quick this month. Lots of goodies to share with you, so let's get right to it...

  • Proganix Soy Protein + Caffeine Volume Shampoo (would repurchase) - Last month I used up the conditioner, this month I made it through the shampoo. This stuff was fine. It didn't blow my mind, but it made my hair feel clean and volumized without stripping it. Full review here.
  • Psssst Instant Dry Shampoo (would repurchase) - This will be featured soon in a battle of the dry shampoos so I don't want to get too detailed, but just know I enjoyed this. 
  • Clairol Hair Food Root Cleansing Shampoo (would repurchase) - I absolutely loved this clarifying shampoo. It smells amazing and removes buildup, and it's a better option than some other brands. I only use this once a week or so, so this lasted me forever and ever, but I never got sick of it. Full review here.
  • Schwarzkopf Oil Potion Gold Shimmer Treatment (would not repurchase) - I think this was discontinued, and I can kind of see why. It really didn't deep condition my hair, it didn't smell that nice, it was just sort of blah. The only cool thing about it is that it's a shimmery gold cream that looks cool in the jar. 
  • CC Pollen Anti Aging Serum (would not repurchase) - I purchased this on a whim from Vitacost, and I can't say I noticed any difference in my skin when using this. It had fabulous ingredients, but it just didn't do anything. Maybe with continued use it would, but I'd rather try out other serums instead.
  • Insta Natural Youth Express Eye Gel (would not repurchase) - Let me first say, this is a good product. The reason I wouldn't repurchase it is because it's only good for me in the months my skin needs less hydration, plus this lasts forever and I like to switch things up. If those two things aren't something that you need to look out for, go for this! It has good ingredients and the price is right. Full review here.
  • Exuviance Skin Rise Bionic Tonic (would repurchase) - I was on the fence about this product when I first used it. I brought it back out earlier this month to use up, and combined with a retinol, I saw a noticeable difference in my skin. I'd definitely consider getting another jar of these pads because the ingredients are dang good. Full review here
  • Naobay Oxygenating Moisturizer (would repurchase) - This is a very basic facial moisturizer that I really enjoyed using. I got it in an Ipsy bag, and finally pulled it out just to use up, and not only did this little sample last me forever, but I actually liked using it more than I expected to. It didn't have a scent, and it didn't break me out - both pluses. 
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser (would repurchase) - I like to keep my skincare WAY more natural than this, but I truly enjoyed using this cleanser. It made my skin feel super clean and fresh, which I loved the feeling of in the morning. I get samples of this now and then in Walmart Beauty Boxes, so I hope I get some more. 
  • Lush Sympathy for the Skin Hand and Body Lotion (would repurchase) - I really like using Lush lotions, and this is a new favorite. I smelled this when I was in Colorado last year, and loved it so much my husband got it for me for Christmas. I used it sparingly and only just used it up. It smells like vanilla, which I love, and even has little vanilla bean granules in the lotion that soak in to your skin. This certainly won't be my last jar.
  • Lush The Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask (would repurchase) - A great mask for hydration. Full review here
  • Reviva Labs Antioxidant Skin Smoothing Day Cream (would repurchase) - This is actually my husband's daily moisturizer and he likes it. It has good ingredients and doesn't break him out, so he already had me repurchase another one for him. 
  • Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation (would repurchase) - You already know this is hands down my favorite foundation of life. I've repurchased this a million times and already have a few bottles on back stock because I refuse to be without it. Full review here.
  • Carmex Cherry (would not repurchase) - I love Carmex, but I do not love the Cherry flavor. The taste takes over my mouth and it isn't pleasant. 
  • Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (would not repurchase) - This wasn't the worst mascara, but there was more I disliked about it than I liked. The wand was way too big so I got product all over my eyelids, and it took around 3 coats to get the volume I prefer. This isn't worth the price tag in my book. 
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Precision Micro Eyeliner (would not repurchase) - I only used this a couple times because it's awful. The tip isn't long enough, and it applies so sheer it's laughable.
  • Jafra Hydrating Toner (would not repurchase) - There wasn't anything bad about this toner, but it also wasn't anything special. I think Jafra is one of those pyramid scheme beauty brands, and ya'll know I hate that shit, so I wouldn't bother trying to get my hands on this in the future.
  • GUM Cavity Protection Toothpaste (would not repurchase) - This is a little sample from my dentist. Again, nothing overly special here. I prefer more natural toothpastes than this, and if I weren't to use a natural kind, this isn't my first pick.
  • DKNY My NY perfume (would not purchase) - Not bad, not great. Fruity and warm, but nothing I need a full size of.
  • Babyganics Face, Hand & Baby Wipes (would repurchase) - Let me be clear, I wouldn't purchase these again to use on my son's butt because they suck for that. I would purchase them to wipe off swatches and clean up my vanity, which is what I use them for. They're made with good ingredients and free of gross chemicals.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - Y'all already know how much I love these. I use them time and time again and I buy them in a mega pack from Costco so I never run out. 
  • Audrey and Lewis Barrier Reef Hand Soap (would repurchase) - I haven't included hand soaps in my empties before, but I figured I'd start. I got this at Marshalls and I enjoyed it. It was very lime-y, so if you like citrus scents, you'd love this.
  • Seche Vite Top Coat (would repurchase) - One of my absolute favorite top coats. It dries super fast and leaves my nails looking mega shiny. 
  • Benefit Porefessional Primer (would not repurchase) - This is a nice primer that helps minimize the appearance of pores. It has a slippery silicone feel, and actually did make my skin look pretty good. I didn't notice it extending the wear of my makeup at all. I don't think I'd get it in a full size, though. 
  • B&BW Radiant Red Maple candle (would repurchase) - I got this candle last year and finally pulled it out -- I'm not sure they brought it back for this season. It smells amazing - like toasted marshmallow and apple. The scent throw was amazing and I could smell it throughout my entire house. 
  • dw Home Apple Cider candle (would repurchase) - I'm obsessed with apple cider scented things this season and this candle lived up to my expectations. It smelled just like cider and had great throw. Extra points for the gorgeous frosty orange/red glass. Wish it didn't have writing all over it so I could save it and reuse it.
  • Yankee Candle Vanilla Chai candle (would repurchase) - This spicy-scented candle was nice, but didn't have quite the scent throw the other two did. If I left my bathroom door mostly closed, I could smell it when I walked in, but not if I left the door open. It was nice though, perfect for fall. 

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

October Favorites | 2016

October is one of my favorite months of the entire year. Apple cider, pumpkins, heck - pumpkin everything, cozy blankets, pretty leaves... you can't tell me it gets any better than that. Along with the season, I've had some favorite beauty things I wanted to share with you, too.

Now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I've been itching to incorporate anti-aging products back in to my skincare routine. I promptly dug through my stash and found the StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner and I've been loving it ever since I started using it. This retinol cream actually works, and doesn't dry out your skin in the process. I can see a noticeable difference in the texture of my skin and how quickly my skin regenerates. You may recall I did a full review on this in the past where I go in to depth about all the goodness this stuff does for your skin. It's not cheap, but you totally get what you pay for, plus it lasts a long time because you don't need to use a huge amount each time. 

I switched up eye creams recently because I ran out of one that I used all summer long, and I've been using the Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm, which I've talked about before. This eye cream is fantastic. It's super hydrating, reduces puffiness and just plain feels nice. Definitely worth trying out if you're in the market for a new eye cream.

This third favorite is something I've loved for ages and have been lusting after, and it's finally in my posession! I used some Sephora points to get this deluxe-sized sample of Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb cologne. Yes, it's a men's cologne, but truly I feel it's more unisex than anything. It's sexy, and smoky and spicy and so so perfect for fall and winter. My husband won't wear it because he thinks it smells like funeral incense, but that makes me secretly happy because that means I can wear it and smell it all day long. Seriously, if you haven't ever smelled this and you like spicy scents, run to your nearest department store and give this a sniff. 

I don't have a CCO near me, but when I visit friends who have one nearby, I make them take me. My latest purchase from CCO was this MAC Next to Skin "blush" (sorry for the totally out of focus picture!). This was part of the fall 2014 "Artificially Wild" collection. I don't use this as a blush, but as a bronzer. This is the PERFECT gray-ish taupe for us pale girls who want to contour our face but don't want to look orange. I'm obsessed and wish I would've bought a couple backups because I'm not sure it's available anymore, but I'm so hoping they bring it back for a future collection. 

And lastly, I don't know if you've walked in to a Trader Joe's lately, but if you have, you know that you can't turn your head without finding something pumpkin flavored/scented/spiced/etc. I've heard so many good things about TJ's body butters - the typical year-round scent available being coconut which I'm not crazy about - so when I saw the fall Pumpkin Body Butter was out, I took a chance. Boy, am I glad I did. This isn't a gross bakery scented lotion, but more potpourri pumpkin-y. It's mega hydrating but doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy. It smells nice on application and then the scent slowly fades so you can easily wear any perfume over top without smelling like a fragrance counter. This stuff is under $10 and you get a ton of product. Definitely check it out if you have dry skin or just love a good body butter.

What are you loving lately? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Play! by Sephora | October 2016

My one and only beauty subscription box, Play! by Sephora, continues to keep me excited each month. October's box is full of some fun goodies, all of which are available for purchase at Sephora. This subscription costs just $10 a month, but there is a short waiting list (it takes about a month to get off of it), and you get a handful of samples from prestige brands.

If you're interested in subscribing to Play! by Sephora, click here

Here's what came in October's box...

  • Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver's Seat - A lippie that boasts 8 hours of wear time. Driver's Seat is a warm pink color and this sample size is large enough to get lots of use out of.
  • Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream - A moisturizer infused with collagen for younger looking skin. Good for dry, sensitive, normal and combo skin types. Free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates. 
  • Skin Inc. Pure Revival Cream - A non-abrasive peel that sloughs away dead skin for brighter, renewed skin. Safe for blemish prone and sensitive skin. Free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
  • Nudestix Intense Matte Lip & Cheek Pencil in Belle - A multi-purpose pencil for lips and cheeks. Dries matte for all day wear. Belle is a plum nude color. Free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, preservatives, cyclomethicones and animal-derived ingredients. 
  • Verb Leave-In Mist - A hydrating mist that tames and detangles hair while prepping it for styling. Good for straight, wavy and curly hair. Free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
  • Tom Ford Orchid Soleil - The newest Tom Ford fragrance, characterized by notes of tuberose petals, black orchid, vanilla, chestnut, and patchouli among others. Warm and floral. 

What product are you most excited about in this month's box? For me, I think it's the Egg Mellow Cream. Let me know yours in the comments!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lush Fresh Face Mask | The Sacred Truth

I am one of the few people in this universe, it seems, who hasn't tried a Lush Fresh Face Mask until very recently. It's not that I haven't wanted to, but I don't live anywhere near a Lush, and only recently was I able to get to one, return a bunch of empty pots and redeem my FREE face mask! There was only a couple options to pick at the time, and I opted for The Sacred Truth.

The Sacred Truth's main goal is to hydrate and soften the skin. They market it towards mature or dry skin, but really, I think just about anyone could give this a go. Much like the name ("fresh face mask") implies, all of the ingredients are fresh. This mask, in particular, is made with eggs, shea butter, wheat grass, papaya, green tea, ginseng root and a handful of other ingredients. It has a prominent smell of ylang-ylang, which isn't my favorite, but it's not like it sticks around once you wash it off.

When I used this earlier this summer, I did have dry skin. I would apply this in the morning for about 10 minutes, wash it off and go about my normal skincare and makeup routine. I noticed a difference in the feeling of my skin, and it helped keep dryness at bay. I really enjoyed using this mask and would definitely get it again as a free perk for returning my Lush pots.

My only gripe about the Fresh Face Masks, and it's just what comes with the natural ingredient territory, is that they have a shelf life of about 2 weeks or less. It just is what it is. I don't mask often enough to really get through one of these and get my money's worth (assuming I paid for one), and for that reason I'd only get these if I had enough empty pots to get a free one. 

I have almost enough empty Lush pots to get another face mask when I can get to a Lush again. What one would YOU recommend trying? Let me know!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...