Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Matrix | Oil Wonders Volume Rose collection

I don't know about you, but I've seen ads for the Matrix Volume Rose collection everywhere! The targeted advertising gurus certainly know my taste - I'm a sucker for rose-scented products, and I can always use added volume to my often limp hair.  So when this package of goodies showed up at my door, I was super excited to try them! 

There are four products in the Volume Rose line - a shampoo and conditioner for fine hair, a plumping mousse and a pre-shampoo treatment. 

The Pre-Shampoo Treatment ($24 for 4.2 oz) is a very oily product, meant to be spread through your ends pre-wash. Using 3-5 pumps and warming it up between the hands, gently spread it all over your hair from the ears down. Leave on for 1-3 minutes and then wash out. This is meant to help strengthen the hair and reduce breakage. It will only attach to damaged areas  so it won't weigh your hair down. It definitely didn't weigh my hair down, but I think it will take me a whole bottle to tell if it's really working. Fortunately, my hair isn't super damaged, but I am all for preventing breakage and repairing anything that needs it. 

The first thing that needs to be said about the shampoo ($18 for 10.1 oz) and conditioner ($18 for 6.8 oz) is that they smell absolutely amazing. It's a perfume-y rose scent that reminds me vaguely of Roses de Chloe perfume. The scent will last all day in your hair, which I absolutely love. The formulas are infused with rose hip seed oil for softness and shine. Despite the fact that these are "oil wonders" - they won't weigh your hair down and make it feel limp. They are very gentle and light.

The Plumping Mousse ($20 for 8.3 oz) is a lightweight mousse that'll keep your hair styles in place and give added volume. I'm not much of a mousse user, but it is a nice formula. The Finishing Spray ($20 for 10.2 oz) is a flexible, strong-hold hair spray. It smells amazing (go figure) and does a good job of holding my hair in place without feeling gritty or making my hair immobile. I like a natural feel with my hair spray, and this fits the bill. 

Overall, I like this line. I like it most because it smells amazing. It didn't give me outrageous volume, but it also didn't weigh my hair down. I'd definitely consider purchasing the hairspray, shampoo and conditioner again because I really like the way they make my hair smell and they work well. If you're in need of mega volume, this line certainly won't weigh your hair down, but I'm not sure if it's going to give you as much volume as you want. Find the Volume Rose collection online, and in stores at Ulta or in salons.

Have you tried the Volume Rose collection? What are your thoughts? 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Play! by Sephora | March 2016

I finally got off the waitlist for Play! by Sephora!!!! I'm so excited! Play! is Sephora's $10 monthly beauty subscription. You get deluxe-sized samples from premium brands, and typically something from Sephora's house brand, too - from what I've seen. It comes packaged in a super cute, durable box, and it has a nice magazine-style booklet to explain each product.  Unlike Ipsy or Birchbox, everyone gets the same Play! box every month - it's not customizable to your preferences.

Interested in a new beauty subscription? Get your name on the Play! waitlist here.

Here's what came in the March box:

  • Replica Beach Walk perfume sample: You'd never ever guess, but this is an uber-beachy scent. It smells like a day at the beach - sunscreen, coconut, surf and sand. If you like Bobbi Brown Beach or Bronze Goddess, you'll love this scent, too. 
  • Murad Invisible Perfecting Shield: This is a silky sunscreen with SPF 30 for protection from the elements. It also functions as a primer and moisturizer.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil: I got a sample of this in my February Ipsy, but have yet to try it. This oil claims to sink in quickly to add radiance and make skin appear smoother and camera-ready. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous to try this for fear of an uber-oily face!
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: This gentle cleanser is ideal for sensitive skin. I've used samples of this in the past and I really like it. It's expensive in a full size, so I'm excited to have another mini bottle.
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner: I was surprised to find that this liner had a way different brush than the ones I bashed in my overrated products post. This formula is mega-waterproof and very black. I'm excited to give this a go since it seems better than the others I've used in the past.
  • Sephora The Perfectionist Airbrush Sponge: Here's Sephora's take on the BeautyBlender. The interesting shape is supposed to help get in to small facial curves for an even makeup application. I already tried this out and I can't say I'm a fan. It seems to soak up all my foundation without applying it to my face and the shape isn't very convenient. The BeautyBlender still holds the title as best beauty sponge in my book.

Overeall, I'm excited about this box. I can't wait to see what I receive in the upcoming months. Have you signed up? Let me know how you like it! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

March Favorites!

It's been too long since I've done a favorites post, but recently there have been a few stand out items that I couldn't wait any longer to tell you about. I keep grabbing for these fabulous products, and I'm thinking you might want to pick them up, too...

While on vacation in Hawaii, I reached for the Vita Liberata Self Tanning Gradual Lotion. Even on a tropical vacation, you'll find me underneath an umbrella because me and the sun just don't get along. I was able to fake a teensy bit of color by using this lotion. I applied it every other night for a week and had a nice subtle glow that wasn't orange or streaky. I am very fair skinned and this lotion gave me the perfect amount of color that was still natural. I absolutely love that this lotion is made with organic botanicals and has clean ingredients, AND it has the such a minimal self tanner smell. Loooove.

The rest of my favorites are all for the face. I've really enjoyed wearing L'Oreal's Infallible Pro-Matte foundation. I like this best when applied with a damp beauty blender. It lasts all day long and provides a matte full coverage. I especially like that the lightest color actually suits my skin tone. If you're pale like me, you know the struggle of finding a foundation that is light enough! 

On my cheeks, I've been coming back to an oldie but goodie over and over this month - Wet n Wild's Pearlescent Pink. These Wet n Wild blushes are under $5 and they pack a serious punch in the pigment department. This color in particular is a perfect pink with subtle golden shimmer. You only need to dab your blush brush once or twice in to it and you have more than enough to give your cheeks a healthy glow. 

Lastly, the Covergirl Full Lash Bloom mascara has been my go-to this month. At first, I didn't think it was love, but one day I looked in the mirror and realized how truly full and voluminous my lashes looked and it was all roses from there on out. This drugstore mascara isn't going to give you crazy length, but if you're in need of volume and fullness, I would highly recommend picking up a tube! 

What were your favorites this month? I'd love to know! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March Ipsy Glam Bag

Ooooohhh boy - this month's Ipsy Glam Bag is a good one! I kept pulling products out and getting more and more excited! I know I say it every time, but just in case you're new to the idea of Ipsy, it costs just $10 per month and you get a really good sampling of full and deluxe sample sized goodies. If you're interested in giving it a go, you can sign up here

Here's what came in the March Glam Bag:

  • Marc Anthony Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect  Blow Dry Cream - This cream is a combo of olive oil, argan oil and shea butter. It's meant to keep hair straight and frizz free for up to three days. 
  • NYX Liquid Suede lipstick in Pink Lust - This lipstick goes on nice and easily and dries to a velvet, waterproof matte finish. This will stay glued to your lips for hours. Pink Lust is a neon pink that's far too bright for every day wear, but it's fun for the right occasion. 
  • Manna Kadar Cosmetics eye shadow in Fantasy - This eye shadow is gorgeous, buttery and the color would look amazing on any skin tone. I love it and will definitely get a lot of use out of it. 
  • Pixi Beauty Blush Duo in Rose Gold - I'm a big fan of Pixi products and this blush is no exception! The color is beautiful and natural looking and the highlight that accompanies it is gorgeous. 
  • NoTS 28 Remedy Balancing Toner - This toner aims to calm and soothe the skin while prepping it to absorb the products you put on top of it. 
L to R: Manna Kadar eye shadow, Pixi blush & highligther

What came in your bag this month? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

HASK | Mint Almond Oil line

Hask is a brand I've recently come to love. You may recall my review of their Keratin line, which I adored! Well, they recently sent me one of their other lines, the Mint Almond Oil line. Minty shampoos and almond-y things are my favorite, so needless to say I was excited to try these out.

This line has three components: the Thickening Shampoo, the Thickening Conditioner and the Root Thickening Spray. For reference, I wouldn't say my hair is thin by any means, but I definitely wouldn't mind added thickness to my locks. Each one of these products has three key benefits for hair - it restores volume, invigorates and fortifies. 

The aim of this line is to breathe some life in to limp hair, and boost volume and thickness in the process. It's formulated with Hask's Bio3 Thickening Complex to leave you with hair that looks full and voluminous. 

I really enjoyed using the shampoo and conditioner ($5.99 each). It has peppermint oil in it which feels tingly and pleasant. I didn't feel the tingle so much with the shampoo, but as I let the conditioner work it's magic and I soaped off in the shower, I could feel the tingle as my hair rested on my back. I love that feeling! This would be a refreshing duo to use in the summer time as it has that cooling effect. 

This shampoo and conditioner were really enjoyable to use. My hair felt soft and it did give me a little extra boost to my limp hair. Nothing over the top, but I know my hair requires a miracle to hold any volume.

The Root Thickening Spray is something I need to keep experimenting with. You're meant to spray this in damp hair, focusing on your roots. Blowdrying is said to produce the best results. You can also spray it in dry hair for an added boost. 

Unfortunately, this spray didn't do much for me. I tried it on damp, blowdryed hair and I tried it on dry hair and I just didn't notice any extra lift. I'll keep giving this a try, but not sure if it's the miracle limpness cure for me.

This line seems to be tough to find online. Ulta doesn't carry it online anymore, and  you can't purchase it online at Walgreens but supposedly you can in stores. You can find the shampoo and conditioner on, FYI. Look around - this is a really nice line and I'd definitely recommend giving the shampoo and conditioner a try! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

MEMEBOX goodies | Tony Moly & More!

Are you dying of cuteness overload yet?! Because I can hardly handle the cutest cat compact you're seeing above. I mean, I love a good cleansing oil, too, but CAT COMPACT!!! MEMEBOX recently sent me some goodies and it has reaffirmed my beliefs that Koreans have way cooler everything than we do.

That cute compact is the TonyMoly Cat's Clear Wink compact, an ivory pressed powder. The powder is velvety and soft and creates a matte finish on top of any foundation. It does a great job of keeping my face matte all day long. Another plus? This powder is formulated without parabens, minerals, ethanol, benzophenone, or tar coloring. How gross to think that stuff makes it in to other powders! One thing to note, if you don't have lighter skin, this foundation will make you look white. It is not translucent. 

In the market for a new setting powder that's too cute to pass up, AND you'll have a cute mirror compact to throw in your purse when it's all used up? Buy it for $8 on the MEMEBOX website here.

The mini bottle next to the cute cat compact is the I'm Cleansing Oil, a MEMEBOX house brand product. This is the #02 formula for oily/combination skin. This lightweight oil gently removes makeup and impurities with ease. It has a lovely light floral scent that's not overwhelming in the slightest. Take a quarter size amount in your hands and rub it over your dry face, and watch as your makeup melts away. Rinse it off and your skin will be makeup free!

I LOVE this cleansing oil. It removes my makeup so easily and doesn't break me out. I will definitely be buying a full sized bottle once I get through my makeup remover backstock, that's how much I love it. You can buy it on the MEMEBOX website for $14 here.

What's your favorite cleansing oil? Let me know!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Eco Friendly Skin Exfoliators

I'm a big fan of exfoliating not only my face, but my body. I feel like most often, exfoliation is talked about in relation to self-tanning, but there are so many reasons to exfoliate your skin regularly whether or not you use self tanner. It gets rid of dry skin on your body, it keeps pores from getting clogged, and allows your skin to regenerate faster so skin looks and feels healthier. 

I like a rough exfoliation, and most times I use a glove on top of a rough scrub to really get my skin feeling soft and brand new. I was recently sent the Thermalabs 3-pack of Eco Friendly Exfoliators and I'm excited about these mitts. Each mitt is made with a different texture, some a little softer or rougher than others.

These mitts will help you get your skin baby smooth. Personally, I'd recommend pairing it with an exfoliating scrub (like these) for extra smoothing power. If your skin is sensitive, these will work fine without any added scrub on top. Throw a mitt in your shower and make it part of your shower routine, scrubbing away dead skin as the last step in your routine, and then lotion up when you're out. Do it once or twice a week, and you'll be amazed at how great your skin feels.

The mitt on the far left is made out of Sisal, which is a type of agave plant. This is probably the least rough mitt in the pack. Over time, the fibers will smooth out and become more polished. 

The mitt in the middle is made from Jute, a natural fiber. After cotton, it's the most used and produced vegetable fiber. It's organic, recyclable and biodegradable (score!). It's durable, and will hold up over much use. This is probably somewhere along the middle of the road in terms of abrasiveness.

Lastly, the mitt on the right is made from Bamboo Fiber and Loofah. This feels quite rough, but once wet down, the mitt softens and becomes more flexible. The mix of bamboo, which is soft and absorbent, and loofah, which is gentle and softens when wet, makes for a really great exfoliating mitt.

These mitts can be purchased on Amazon for $15.95, a great price. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

On Wednesdays we wear pink.... | #glossierpink

Who can resist a Mean Girls quote?! Certainly not me... love that movie. As one of Pantone's colors of the year is Rose Quartz, a baby pink. And if you haven't heard of Glossier before, you should also check out some of their great beauty products all about enhancing our natural beauty.

This look is simple and perfect for every day wear. If you don't have a certain product that I used, don't worry - look through your own makeup stash and find something close. You'll look glamorous no matter what product you use!

Face: For a smooth base, I started off by applying Tarte's Clean Slate Poreless primer on areas that have more visible pores than others (namely my nose, inner cheeks and between my eyebrows and just a tad above). I then used my beloved Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation, obviously, applied with a damp beautyblender (a pink one, fittingly!). I dabbed on some Maybelline Fit Me concealer under my eyes to hide my dark circles (do you even know how many times this pregnant lady gets up to pee in the night?! ugh...) To set everything, I used the Maybelline Fit Me powder all over. On my cheeks, I used NYC Smooth Skin bronzer to contour under my cheekbones and a bit on my temples, and then popped on some BH Cosmetics Lilac blush (the perfect pink blush!) and used the included highlighter on top of my cheekbones for added radiance. It's actually a realllly nice highlighter! The BH Cosmetics blush/highlight duos are super cheap, totally check them out if you're in the market for a great new blush.

Eyes: The eyes are where the fun starts! I primed them with the Benefit Stay Don't Stray primer. I created another sticky base by using the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Oyster thinly over my lids. This is a pretty shimmering pink/purple that works great for a base. For the entire eye look, I used the Naked 3 palette, full of gorgeous pink shades. I defined my crease with the shade Limit (a warm matte brown), and then used Buzz all over my lid (a shimmery rose pink). To tone down the mega pink and add a bit of sparkle, I combined Dust and Trick and tapped that in the middle of my lid. I lined my eyes with the Covergirl Intensify Me! eyeliner pen, and finished it off with Covergirl Full Lash Bloom mascara, a recent fave. No look is complete without some eyebrows, mine are a combo of the Jordana Fabubrow in Taupe (I think!), Tarte Amazonian Clay Volumizing Brow Powder in Medium Brown, and Maybelline Clear Mascara for setting gel. 

Lips: I kept the lips simple, but you could totally play it up more if you want! I used NYX Butter Lip Balm in Parfait which is a great pop of pink that doesn't look like you're trying too hard. Great for class or work. 

What are your go-to pink products? I'd love to know - I'm a bit of a pinkaholic, myself! Also, if you create any look similar to this, be sure to send me your photos!

Monday, March 7, 2016

February Empties | #23

February wasn't a very exciting month of using things up, and because it was a shorter month, I feel like I don't have much now but I have a WHOLE bunch of stuff that's nearly empty. March will probably be jam packed with goodies. Here's what I used up in February and my two cents on each product. 

  • Suave Visible Glow Self-Tanning Body Lotion (would repurchase) - This stuff reeks like tanning lotion, but it gives a really nice color and it builds fast. It's also ridiculously cheap. I didn't quite finish this bottle, it expired before self-tanning season, but I'll definitely get some more for summer.
  • glonaturals essentials SPF 30 sunscreen (would repurchase) - This is a Vitacost house brand ( is the best website ever with all sorts of healthy and natural products at a better price than in-store). I like this lotion because it isn't super sticky and it kept me from burning.
  • Honest Company SPF 30 Sunscreen (would not repurchase) - This stuff is mega greasy. You will look oiled from head to toe. It's fine for a beach day, but it's not something you want to be covered in if you're just headed out to a ball game or something.
  • Davines LOVE Conditioner (would repurchase) - This smelled nice and made my hair feel soft. I do know it's kind of a pricey product, but if I saw it for a good price, I'd snatch it up in a full size.
  • Equate Latex-Free Applicator Wedges (would repurchase) - Wedges are still my go-to way to put on foundation. I think they help keep acne at bay because they're one time use only. I'll always have a bag of these in my stash.
  • Ken Paves Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner (would repurchase) - These smelled really good, kind of herbal and reminiscent of certain Aveda products. They made my hair so soft and shiny. I'd definitely pick up a full size of these. 
  • Clear Eyes Maximum Redness Relief eye drops (would repurchase) - This spilled all over the bottom of my purse, sadly, but they were good while they lasted. I'm prone to red eyes, so I always keep a bottle of these on hand. 
  • Milani Brow Shaping Gel (would repurchase) - This is probably one of my top 3 favorite brow gels. I get it on Amazon for under $10 and it lasts me a solid few months and keeps my eyebrows from being wonky. 
  • Dr. Brandt Pores No More pore refiner (would not repurchase) - I've been trying to make my way through the tons of mini primer samples I have, and I started with this one. It does a good job of making your skin look flawless, but I just don't *need* to have it on hand so I wouldn't buy it if I saw it.
  • Sensodyne Extra Whitening Toothpaste (would repurchase) - I've got a million of these little travel sizes. I like this toothpaste, and I'd purchase it in a full size.
  • Up & Up Eye Makeup Remover (would repurchase) - This stuff works awesome to get tricky waterproof eye makeup off easily. It's cheaper than name brands but works exactly the same. 
  • Weleda Oat Replenishing Treatment (would repurchase) - This smelled amazing, very herbal and sort of Aveda-like. It's super thick, like spreading lotion in to your hair, but it leaves hair soft and conditioned. A nice option for a more natural deep conditioner.
  • Kiss My Face Triple Action Toothpaste (would not repurchase) - I wasn't a big fan of this toothpaste. It didn't foam up well and it never left my mouth feeling particularly clean. 
  • Bella Organics Iced Lemonade deodorant creme (would repurchase) - I did a review on Bella Organics deodorants back in the day, and I ended up buying a 3 pack of the full sizes when they were on Zulily this past summer. I like these natural deodorants a lot. Read the full review for more info. 
  • Sephora Organic Cotton facial pads (would not repurchase) - These are overpriced and are far too flimsy. I didn't enjoy using these up and I won't buy them again. 
  • Q-Tips Precision Tips (would repurchase) - I loooove these Q-tips. The ends are finer so you can easily remove any messed up eyeliner (what I use them for) or  nail polish. They work great.
  • Skinfix Ultra Rich Body Butter (would not repurchase) - I used this on my hands at night before bed. I had realllly dry hands through much of this winter and even this stuff couldn't really save them. It would work if you need medium-intense hydration, but it won't give you mega hydration. 
  • Lush Let the Good Times Roll cleanser (would repurchase) - This cleanser for face or body, I used it for face, smells like a cookie and has nice natural grit to exfoliate the skin. My husband wasn't a fan, but I definitely am. 
  • Flowerbomb perfume (would repurchase) - I have a full size of this but I used this little mini up. This is the perfume I wore on my wedding day, so it has all sorts of good nostalgia tied to it. 
  • Marchesa Parfum Dextase (would not repurchase) - This was wayyyy to much for me. It's strong on the hydrangea/floral notes and just isn't my style.
  • Thierry Mugler Alien Perfume (would repurchase) - I love this scent so much. It's warm and inviting and really good for the colder months. I got a rollerball size for Christmas so I don't have to keep hoarding these mini samples anymore. 

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

February Ipsy Glam Bag

February's Ipsy Glam bag was a doozy - with tons of value and deluxe sized samples, I have to say I was impressed! Ipsy Glam Bags cost just $10/month and if you like to try beauty products out before you buy them, this subscription is for you. If you want to sign up, click here (affiliate link - I'll get points if you want to use my link). Here's a detailed look at what came in February's bag:

  • Margaret Dabbs London Mini Crystal Nail File - I've always wanted a crystal nail file (weird, I know) so I was really excited about seeing this in my bag! Crystal nail files are supposed to give a smoother finish to your nails, hopefully preventing future splitting. 
  • Trust Fund Beauty nail polish in I'm Kind of a Big Deal - Trust Fund Beauty's polish is vegan and cruelty free. This pink shade is really pretty and you get a whole full sized bottle! Great value! 
  • Seraphine Botanicals Carrot + Rose Hydrating Cream - This moisturizer smells delicious, like a Starburst! It's formulated with glycerin for hydration, and is free of parabens, and is vegan and cruelty free. I think the packaging is adorable, too! 
  • Naked Cosmetics Mica Pigment in Sierra Nevada - Naked Cosmetics are made from 100% oxidized Mica, and they don't contain any unnatural fillers like talc, oil or wax. They're also non-comedogenic, so they won't clog your pores.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil - This is a brand new product, and marketed as the first ever primer oil. It's formulated with 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm definitely intrigued. 

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