Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May Ipsy Glam Bag

May's Ipsy Glam Bag is here, and oh my goodness, can you see how cute the actual bag is? It's like a little envelope with all sorts of cool buildings of the world on it. Adorable! The contents inside are pretty nifty, too - and cost me just $10! If you don't know, you can get Ipsy at your door for just $10/month and then you can have cute travel bags and fun sample and deluxe sizes beauty goodies all for yourself, too! Click here for more info. 

Here's what came in May's glam bag....

  • Hanalei Lip Treatment - This is a balm meant to hydrate and protect the lips. It's formulated with kukui nut from Hawaii. I think the packaging looks super sleek and I'm excited to try this out! 
  • Smashbox X-Rated Mascara - This mascara claims to isolate and magnify each lash with its fiber-loaded formula, all while being clump, smudge and flake-proof. 
  • SLmissglam  W07 Small Contour Brush - This brush brand is the creation of SLMissGlam, a YouTuber turned brush creator. This brush is really soft and would work well to contour around the nose or very defined cheek bone area, or even as a highlight applicator. 
  • Aurora Gel Effect Nail Polish in Old School Pink - Helloooo neon summer nails! This nail polish is meant to give you the shiny, eye-popping gel look without the use of a UV light. 
  • Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask - This mask is made with berry boosters (whatever berry boosters are...) and strawberry and rosemary to rid the skin of impurities. Don't be fooled, the ingredients aren't quite as natural as you might believe from that description. 

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Flowerbomb | Precious Oil

I don't think it's a secret anymore that I absolutely love the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume. You may remember, it's the scent I wore on my wedding day, and it continues to be what I wear only for special occasions like date nights or vacations. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Influenster (not familiar, click here to find out more about this awesome website that will send anyone things for FREE, in exchange for a review!) emailed to say they were sending me one of Flowerbomb's latest products - their Precious Oil. 

It has to be said, like any perfume, you might love Flowerbomb as much as I do, or it might not be your cup of tea. It's a warm, floral fragrance with notes of jasmine, orchid, freesia and patchouli. It has a slight muskiness to it, which makes this perfume something I gravitate towards more in the fall and winter. If you've smelled Lancome's La Vie Est Belle or Nude by Rihanna, both are very similar scents. 

The newest thing to the Flowerbomb family is the Precious Oil ($75 for 0.68 oz). This product is meant to work with the perfume to prolong the life of the Flowerbomb scent on your skin. You could, of course, just purchase the oil if you prefer just a light perfume scent. Apply the Precious Oil to pulse points, and give yourself a spritz of the perfume wherever you like and you're guaranteed to smell amazing all day long. You need so little of this oil, that even this 0.68 oz bottle will last you quite some time. 

This isn't a product I'd typically purchase, but I really do enjoy using this to give me an added boost of Flowerbomb goodness. I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you're a fan of this perfume, or if you're in the market for a light, floral scent to add to your collection.

You can find Flowerbomb at Sephora, and most department stores. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

May Favorites

If you asked me to put these favorites in a list ranked most favorite to least, I don't know if I could do it. That's how much I love all of these goodies! There's a little bit of everything here, so take a peek and let me know if you love any of these, too!

Full disclosure, these OGX Coconut Curls Shampoo & Conditioner were sent to me, but you need to believe me that this duo is so lovely. I don't have curly hair.... and I love them. The ends of my hair like to flip whichever way they please, but overall, I have pretty straight hair. What I'm trying to say is, any hair type could get use out of these products. This line is formulated with coconut oil so it's nourishing and moisturizing. I was a bit nervous it was going to weigh my hair down, but it never did. It also added a good bit of shine to my hair which I always appreciate as my hair has a tendency to look dull. And of course, the smell - to.die.for. Coconut is not a scent I typically gravitate towards, but the mix of coconut, sweet honey and citrus is so heavenly and it doesn't smell at all like that gross fake coconut that so many hair and body products often have. You can find this line at your local drugstore or superstore like Walmart or Target. 

During the later part of the first trimester of my pregnancy and as well as the beginning half of my second trimester, my skin went haywire. It was on hormone overload, and when that happens, I am one of those lucky people who gets acne near my mouth and around my chin. Turns out, it's really hard to find acne treatments that  don't have salycilic acid or benzoyl peroxide (both pregnancy no-nos), and then I stumbled upon the Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick. This has a toner-like consistency, and smells like tea tree oil (because that's what's in it). It isn't a cure-all, but it certainly helped heal and treat my blemishes and I've continued to use it on any spots that pop up.

I absolutely love the Essence Liquid Eyeliners, both this waterproof version, or the non-waterproof version. I have used this non-stop this month and I am obsessed. It has a dark matte black color and it is so simple to apply once you get the hang of it. You get so much product for a really cheap price (under $5), and it performs like a high end product. Conveniently, Essence is now available at Target so you can easily find it if you've got a Target nearby. For those of you lucky enough to have an Ulta nearby, you can also find it there. 

I've been curling my hair a bit more frequently than normal lately, and to protect it from all that heat, I use the Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Serum. Woo.. that's quite a mouthful. I love that this is a more natural heat protectant, always a positive in my world. It smells nice and I do think it protects my hair.

I'll end with a confession. I've been wearing a men's cologne. I'm not sorry about it either, Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver smells so so so good, and it's absolutely perfect for the spring season. It's hard to describe the smell of vetiver, but it's fresh and earthy, and it happens to be one of my favorite scent notes. I would argue that this cologne really is quite gender neutral, and no one has ever asked me if I was wearing cologne when I've worn this. It would smell sexy and fresh on a guy, and on a woman I find it to be sophisticated and vibrant. This isn't a new fragrance by any means (although it's fairly new to my collection), but it's worth stopping for a sniff if you ever happen across it! 

What are your favorites this month? Let me know!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

MAC Haul!

It's been a while since I've placed a MAC order but I'm getting dangerously low on Fix+ and I don't ever want to be without it! And once I started perusing the website, I couldn't help but notice their single eyeshadow refills are now only $6 (they used to be $10!) and then I had myself a nice little haul! Here's what I picked up...

If you haven't used Fix+ ($22 for 3.4 oz), you need to. It's a game changer (and made my best of 2015 list). It's infused with green tea, chamomile and cucumber to soothe the skin. It seems pretty basic, just a nice refreshing spray, but it makes all the difference in my makeup. Once I've applied all of my makeup, this is the last step. I mist my face with Fix+ and it makes my makeup look more natural and it helps set everything and keep it locked on. If you prefer zero dewy-ness to your skin, this isn't for you, but I think a little bit of sheen makes skin look healthier and younger. A bottle like this lasts me many months, so I find it to be well worth the price.

L to R: Haux, Malt, Quarry
Yes, you read right above, MAC refill eyeshadow pans are just $6 each now. I keep mine in a Z palette and it works wonderfully! I picked up three shadows, from left to right, I got Haux, Malt and Quarry. 

Haux is described as a "soft muted rosy brown". Malt is said to be a "soft pinkish-beige", and Quarry is described as a "soft muted plum brown". These colors are all matte and work great for every day eyeshadow. They're great to blend with other shadows or to define the crease. All of these are great eyeshadows to pick up if you're new to the MAC world and need some basic colors that you'll get a ton of use out of.

What are your favorite MAC shadow shades? Let me know for my next order! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

April Empties | #25

You guys... where did April go?? Seriously. And how are we in week 2 of May? Obviously time is flying by too quickly and I can't keep up when my empties post has gotten so late it's being posted mid-way through the next month! YIKES! 

Anyway, let's dig through my trash and I'll let you know whether my empties are worth a repurchase or not. Here we go...

  • Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish (would repurchase) - This was pretty good. It certainly does foam up and it's gritty enough to exfoliate the skin, my only complaint is it doesn't smell nice at all. Full review here
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (would repurchase) - I love this setting spray, it's one of the best I've ever used. I definitely notice a difference in the longevity of my makeup when I use it. I've already got another bottle of this on hand!
  • LaVanila deodorant in Pure Vanilla (would repurchase) - LaVanila deodorants have no aluminum or nasty ingredients, which I prefer. This brand works really well for me, but keep in mind that natural deodorants seem to work differently from person to person, so it may or may not work for you.
  • Origins Soothing Souffle whipped body cream (would not repurchase) - This stuff literally smells like spearmint toothpaste. About half way through the jar, the smell became  sickening and I was so happy when I finally used it up. Even my husband commented on how sickening the scent was, and he's usually pretty indifferent to what lotions I use. Never again.
  • Redken All Soft Shampoo (would not repurchase) - There was nothing inherently wrong with this shampoo, but I just wasn't that impressed. I'd rather use Suave, which is significantly cheaper, than buy another bottle of this. My husband ended up using more of it than I actually did, and he thought it wasn't very foamy. Meh, no need to get it again.
  • Yes To Blueberries Healthy Hair Repair Conditioner (would repurchase) - I enjoyed this conditioner. It made my hair feel really soft and smelled nice, and as an added bonus it's affordable and made up of good ingredients.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - These are some of the best cotton rounds I've used. I get them in a mega pack from Costco and this certainly won't be the last pack in my future. 
  • Vanedo Beauty Friends Rose Mask (would not repurchase) - This mask was just OK. It claims to soothe, moisturize and "converge"(???) the skin, but I didn't notice it doing much at all for me. It felt nice and was relaxing, but I'd rather use a mask that provides visible benefits. 
  • Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste (would repurchase) - A boring empty, but this was a good toothpaste and I'd probably buy it again. I tend to stick with more natural toothpastes, but now and then I pick up a random tube of something like Colgate.
  • Sensodyne Pronamel (would not repurchase) - I don't really need a toothpaste like Pronamel, but I was given a zillion sample tubes so I'm just using them up. It works fine, but won't make your mouth feel all that fresh and clean. 
  • Physicians Formula Multi-Colored blush in Blushing Nude (would repurchase) - You can see it isn't all gone, but it was getting tough to get enough on my brush. I love this blush. It looks natural and blends really well. If I saw it again, I'd pick it up. I'm not even sure they make this anymore, to be honest. See it in action here.
  • Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette in Light (would not repurchase) - This concealer palette is awesome, don't get me wrong, but if you are pale like I am, these shades are WAY too dark. But, if you aren't as pale as I am and need some serious coverage, I would highly recommend picking up this palette. It's best used for covering up blemishes, which it does like a champ.
  • Soap & Glory Vitamin C Facial Wash (would not repurchase) - This took me AGES to use up, anf my husband even helped me through it. I'm talking a solid 6 months or so. This is nothing special, and unfortunately it has microbeads in it (not cool, Soap & Glory!!) so I definitely won't buy it again.
  • Oz Naturals Ocean Minerals Facial Cleanser (would not repurchase) - I didn't finish this up all the way because it burned my eyes so bad if it got in them and I don't like that. Also, the smell started to make me nauseous (thanks, pregnancy) so out it goes. The ingredients are good though, which is a plus! Full review here
  • Rodan + Fields Pore Minimizing Toner (would repurchase) - This toner was nice. It's highly fragranced (a con in my book), but it did the job of prepping my skin for moisturizer and removing any extra traces of makeup left on my skin. Full review here.
  • Rosehip Plus Organic Rosehip Oil (would repurchase) - Rosehip oil has many great benefits for the skin (reduces appearance of scars, wrinkles and more - yay!) and this was a nice option. I found it at TJ Maxx and if I saw it again and needed a night time moisturizer, I'd pick this up again. Full review here. 
  • Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Oil-Free Perfecting Creme (would not repurchase) - This creme is supposed to have tons of great benefits, but I did not notice it doing anything for me. It's really pricey and I wouldn't shell out the money for it again.
  • MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara (would not repurchase) - This mascara requires at least 3 coats to get the volume and length I prefer. For the price, I don't want to work that hard to make my lashes look nice. 
  • Wet n Wild H20 Proof liquid eyeliner (would repurchase) - If you want a seriously waterproof eyeliner that won't break the bank, look no further. This stuff is awesome and this little tube lasts ages... I probably used it longer than I should have, but it didn't go bad. I've already got another bottle on back up. 
  • Essence I Heart Extreme Waterproof Mascara (would not repurchase) - This stuff was awful. It clumped and flaked and made my lashes look like crap. I used this a couple times and promptly threw it in my empties bin.
  • Nivea Kiss of Mint & Minerals lip balm (would not repurchase) - This stuff was okay, but it felt like it just sat on my lips without actually hydrating them. There are better drugstore options if you're in the market for a new lip balm. 
  • Veriditas Peppermint essential oil (would repurchase) - Veriditas makes really great quality essential oils, and their peppermint oil was nice. Peppermint is one of my favorite oils to use and I have to admit I'm proud to have used a whole bottle! 
  • Lush Santa's Lip Scrub (would repurchase) - As much as I love Lush's lip scrubs, I can never get through a whole jar before they go bad so they end up being a waste of money for me. This one tasted like cola and worked well to get rid of any dry skin on my lips.
  • Lush Gorgeous Facial Moisturizer (would repurchase) - This sample was nice. It smells quite herbal, so be warned if you don't like things that smell overly "natural". It didn't break me out and did a good job of hydrating my skin. I'd consider getting this in a full size.
  • BeautyBlender (would repurchase) - Mark my words, no other beauty sponges compare to the BeautyBlender. They are worth every penny. All other sponges I've tried end up soaking up more makeup than what they put on my face, but that's not the case with the BeautyBlender. Love it, and already have a new one to use.
  • MyKind Organics Prenatal Once Daily (would repurchase) - These are the prenatals I've taken my entire pregnancy. They're made up of whole, organic foods and surprisingly, these once a day pills aren't too huge. They're certainly not the cheapest prenatal on the market, but the ingredients are so good that I'd highly recommend them if you're looking to get pregnant, already are, or just need a good multivitamin. 
  • Alive Calcium Gummies (would repurchase) - I got sick of pill taking and opted to get my calcium in gummy form. It's really hard to find vegetarian gummy vitamins, but these are gelatin-free. They don't taste as good as I wish they would, but they do the trick. 

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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Burnin' Up #12 | Empties

With warm weather finally gracing Minnesota, my candle burning has slowed quite a bit. It's taken me some time to gather these empties, and now I'm ready to show you what's been making my home smell heavenly and whether or not any of them are worth a repurchase. 

Amber & Bergamot scented candle - This is a target candle I got a year or two ago on clearance at the end of the season. It is described as smelling like bergamot zest, tainted rose, fresh verbena, cardamom seeds, wild geranium, and oakmoss resin. It was earthy and smelled so good in the jar, but once it was lit it didn't smell like anything. Such a shame! 

B&BW Sparkling Icicles candle - I believe this candle was part of Bath & Body Works' winter collection from this past year. The smell is described as a citrus bouquet, bergamot and a touch of holiday moss. To me, it smelled like bergamot and a really fresh men's cologne. I liked it, and I'd get it again if it's released in the future. 

Bella by Illume Mandarin Woods candle - This is another candle that smelled so good in the jar, but had absolutely no throw once it was lit. Characterized by red cedarwood, Italian mandarin and star jasmine, it's the perfect blend of citrus and woods. If only it actually made the house smell nice when it was burning! 

Bahoma London Seduction candle - I got this in a set that came with a reed diffuser in the same smell. The scent is made up of cardamom, amber, patchouli, sweet vanilla, musk and amber. It musky and woodsy (can you tell what kind of scents I like??) and smelled good when it burned. It's definitely more of a fall/winter scent. Aside from burning like crap (see all the wax on the side?!), I liked it! 

Darsee & David's Vintage Luxe fragrance candle - This candle is from Hobby Lobby (I think this is their house brand of candles), and it smelled like pipe tobacco and musky amber. Another fall/winter scent that I really enjoyed.

Better Homes & Gardens Frankinscense  & Myrrh wax melts - You'll either love this smell or hate it, but I quite liked it. The scent is exactly what you'd expect, and if you like that, you'll enjoy these melts because the smell will majorly fill your home. 

What candles are you burning? Let me know!  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Play! by Sephora | April 2016

April is the second month I've received the Play! by Sephora subscription service, and I was pretty excited to see what goodies would be inside. This subscription costs $10 per month, and you'll typically get 5 or 6 samples, one always being a Sephora brand product. I liked March's box, and I'll spare you my thoughts on April's until the end. If you're interested in trying out this beauty box, you can sign up here

Let's take a look at April's Play! box....

  • Sephora Colorful Cheek Ink Blush Gel in Peony - This is a gel stain for your cheeks. It's quite light, and would take a bit of product to actually build up to something noticeable on your face. But, if you like a barely there blush, and you don't use much foundation (I could see this wiping away most powder and liquid foundations if applied on top), this might be the perfect thing for you! 
  • Derek Lam 10 Crosby perfume in 2AM Kiss - Derek Lam perfumes are crazy expensive, so getting to try one out is a treat. 2 AM Kiss has notes of salty woods (salty woods? wtf does that even mean??) and amber. It was inspired by scenes outside of Derek's SoHo studio.... fancy. I actually really like this scent, but it reminds me of something I've smelled before, and if I can freakin' remember what it is, I'm sure I'd rather buy that than then spend $95 on a 1.7 oz bottle of this stuff.
  • Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil - This oil is meant to be used from head to toe. It's made up of fragrance and essential oils including avocado, grapefruit peel, tangerine peel, mandarin, and lemon peel for a boost of hydration. It's free of parabens, sulfates and pthalates. 
  • NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien - This is a dusty rose lip color, and honestly, a bit of a disappointment because this exact color was part of the birthday gift from Sephora last year..... meaning, I already have it. It's not really my color to begin with, so I'll pass this along to a friend. 
  • Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream - This is a new product in the Clinique line. It aims to hydrate and de-puff the undereyes. It's formulated with peptides that help support your skin's natural collagen reserves (aka the stuff that plumps up your skin and makes it look youthful). It's oil-free and can be used under makeup if desired.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment - Of all the samples, I am most excited about this one. This serum is supposed to exfoliate the skin and visibly reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. I've heard so many good things about the Sunday Riley line, and everything from the brand is CRAZY expensive, so I'm excited to try one of the products out! 

Overall, I liked April's box, and I continue to be happy with this subscription. I like that all the samples are big enough to get plenty of use out of that you'll know whether or not you want a full-size.

Have you subscribed to Play! by Sephora? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know! 

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