Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Was It Worth It? - Thoughts on August's Purchases

Time for some reviews for you!  I will be letting you know my thoughts on the items I purchased in August of this year.

Birchbox - My first purchases were free with Birchbox points.  I have yet to use the DermaE or Caudalie products because I am finishing up others first that are already open.  I have used the Ruffian varnish top coat since it replaced one that was old and goopy.  The SeaRX and Aloe were both samples with my order.  They have already been in an empties post but they weren't anything I'd purchase.

Sephora - I was interested in trying one of the Bare Minerals gen nude liquid lipsticks and it was offered as a 100 point perk.  I stocked up on some cotton rounds and included the lipstick in my order as well.  I really like the liquid lipstick formula and don't find it drying at all. I did keep it in my recent declutter.

Walgreens - I was determined to track down this lip balm because it sounded so fun when I saw an ad in a magazine.  I do really like it but definitely don't give it as much love as I should.

Coastal Scents - Coastal Scents was offering their hot pots (single shadows) for 99 cents!  I couldn't pass up trying a few.  I love the shades I chose and the formulas have been amazing to work with.  I also received the little quad as a free sample.  I would definitely buy more of these singles.  

Ulta - This purchase was a result of a day of extra points Ulta offered on certain items.  The Tea Tree oil was 10X points and this is the bottle I am currently working on.  The Burts Bees is my husband's favorite chapstick and was 5X points.  The rest of the items were samples. I gave away the shampoo and conditioner samples since they aren't right for my hair type.  I have used one of the chia seed body lotions and it had a crazy strong smell.  I'll use the other one but I wouldn't purchase it.  I haven't tried the Ulta lotion yet.

Sephora - I purchased the Nars concealer as a backup to my Urban Decay.  I am still working on finishing up the Urban Decay one but have started to scrape the sides so it will be done soon.  Looking back, I didn't really need the Nars concealer yet and could have waited awhile to purchase it.  I also bought a travel size of the LaVanilla deodorant because I heard good things and I know I should be using a more natural deodorant.  I have tried the deodorant and it is not for me.  I stunk by 4:00 that day and it was awful.  I'm going to give it to my daughter to use because it will work for her and I'll keep hunting for one that works for me.

I am happy to say that, unlike other months, I have actually used some of these products and the samples included in the orders.  I am trying to be better about not feeling like I "need" so many backups of products.  When I open my last one, or even when my last one is half full, is when I really need to be buying a replacement, not when I still have unopened products waiting.

I hope you are enjoying these reviews of what I have purchased in the past.  I think in 2017, I am going to post each purchase separately to keep my posts shorter (still thinking on that one).  That way, my reviews will be shorter as well.


Monday, December 5, 2016

New to Me in November

You all will be happy to hear that I have a more exciting haul for you this month because I purchased something other than my Sephora Play box ;)  November was the VIB sale and Black Friday so I did pick up a few things.

Purchase #1 - Birchbox
At the beginning of the month, Birchbox gave me 50 points for free.  I had some points in my account to use up (since I am canceling when my year is up and don't plan to purchase from them anymore) and the addition of the 50 points made it more enticing to use them up at that time.  I purchased The Body Shop tea tree oil which I use every day on areas of my skin prone to blemishes.  I also purchased the Marcelle micellar water which I've used before and love.  The Acure Lip Lush was a freebie with purchase.

Purchase #2 - Ulta
This purchase was out of necessity.  My daughter needed a new brush and I needed the other items.  Luckily, I had 2X points so that was a nice little bonus.  I have never tried Hand Food and my current hand cream is at the end so I'm excited to use it soon!

Purchase #3 and #4 - Sephora
I purchased three items during the VIB sale.  The first item was a new shaving brush for my husband because his is falling apart.  He likes the Art of Shaving brushes and so the 20% off was a good time to buy it and save $12 (this item is not pictured).  I also bought the small size of Hourglass powder in dim light.  I've been wanting to try one of their powders and I only have one powder in my stash at this point so I figured I'd grab another one so I have some options.  My third purchase was a Marc Jacobs lipgloss in Taboo.  This was not a need but I did get rid of a lot of glosses and had been wanting to try this brand.  The rest of the items pictured are samples from my orders (with a lot of substitutions by Sephora instead of what I actually chose when I ordered).

Purchase #5 - Sephora
This was my Black Friday purchase.  I am on my last beauty blender so I wanted something to keep around as a backup.  This was a set that they offered that day.  There was a sample bag code so I stocked up on my favorite cotton rounds to reach the amount for the bag.

This is the sample bag and samples that came with my Black Friday order.

Sephora Play box - I love the gloss and the perfume smelled really good.  I've already finished it.  I'm excited to use the caviar stick since everyone raves about them.
Stella McCartney Pop
Caudalie sorbet moisturizer
Glamglow mask
Sephora gloss
Laura Mercier caviar stick
Cover FX primer

What did you purchase this month?  Anything you are loving?


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Friday, December 2, 2016

November Beauty Empties

I can not believe we are into December and another year is almost over!  Not to mention, I have a lot to do before the holidays roll around.  In November, I got an itch to declutter.  And by declutter, I mean everything in my life:)  It is still going and I am struggling with feeling like I really don't want things and wondering if I will miss them down the road.  I'd also like to be replacing items with ones I know I will love more but I also know this takes time and money and needs to be a process.  This isn't the case in all areas, but definitely some.

What this leads me to is decluttering makeup items.  I decluttered 40 items in November from my beauty products.  Some were hair products and skincare that I had received in various boxes and said I would use, but in all honesty, were not right for my hair type or skin type.  I also did a huge lip product declutter and weeded out all the old products and ones that I had bought, tried, and weren't really right for me but I had held on to them anyways.

This is just a portion of what I got rid of.  Some are lipsticks while some are mascaras that I had tried and really didn't like.  I also have perfume samples that I tried and just didn't like the scent and didn't want to use them every day.

Now on to the actual empties...

These are all deluxe face wash empties that I used up.  I don't think I'd purchase a full size of any of them except maybe the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser.  The others were the Ole Henriksen african red tea foaming cleanser which I liked but not enough to pay the higher price for it, and the Ulta Pore Minimizing and Clarisonic cleansers.

More skincare:
Marcelle gentle makeup remover - I love this eye makeup remover.  I have gone through a few of these.  I have been using my cleansing waters as eye makeup removers lately but I would repurchase this one.
Murad advanced active radiance serum - I didn't notice that this did anything for my skin.  I have other vitamin C serums and brightening serums I prefer.
Murad Intensive-C radiance peel - Again, I didn't notice any difference when I used this product so I wouldn't purchase it.
Malin and Goetz clarifying clay mask - This was too gritty and irritated my skin when I had to rinse it off.

Bodycare and Haircare:
Ulta beauty smoothie in creamy cocolada - I use these beauty smoothies to shave and you can usually find a really good deal on them.  I have another scent going in my shower now.
Shea Moisture olive and green tea body wash - I really liked this body wash.  It lathered well and I enjoyed the subtle scent.  I would repurchase or try other scents from this brand.
Living Proof perfect hair day dry shampoo - I really liked this dry shampoo and I would definitely purchase a full size, although I'd like to try Batiste first since I've never tried it.
Aveeno lotion - I kept this small size in my purse.  It was okay.  I liked that it didn't get too greasy for applying during the day.
Gioje protein hair mask - I was not a huge fan of this.  It didn't hurt my hair but I also didn't notice that it did a whole lot for it.  And it has a very strong smell which lasted throughout the day which I wasn't a fan of.

Tarte lights camera lashes mascara - This is one of my very favorite mascaras.  It gives me great volume and I will repurchase.
NYX pencil in nude - I bought this a very long time ago to use in my waterline.  I have since learned that my sensitive eyes can not handle any liner on my waterline.  So I used it up by using it as base for eyeshadow.  I have no reason to repurchase but it was a good nude liner if you need one.
Smashbox Photo finish lid primer - I didn't like this primer very much.  It seemed very dry and didn't blend out well.
Tarte smooth operator amazonian clay finishing powder - I really like this powder, although I'd prefer a pressed version in the future.  I had a little sample I poured into the bigger container and used them both up.  I'd repurchase in the future.

Sephora cotton rounds - My favorites...I just stocked up during the sale in November.
Ulta cotton pads - I usually just pick these up if it gets me to a shipping amount or for a coupon.  I feel like they shed and get cotton in my eyes more than others.
Algenist lip renewal balm - I bought this because it came in a kit with their eye cream I wanted to try.  I wouldn't purchase it plus it had a very gritty texture that was weird.
Philosophy Pure Grace perfume - This was the oldest perfume in my collection so I'm glad to have used it up before it went bad.  I love this smell and would repurchase but there are other scents I want to try.

For November, I used up 26 products (8 full size, 12 deluxe, 6 samples).  I also decluttered 40 for a total of 66.  My year to date total is 288 used products.

I purchased 23 products at a cost of $63.  I'll show those to you in my next post, my November Haul. I am going into December with 356 products in my collection (roughly...won't be totally accurate until I do my inventory this month), down from 399 at the beginning of November.


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Project Use It Up - November Update and December Goals

Hi friends!  I suppose now that Thanksgiving is over, we start the countdown to Christmas.  We have a few weeks of school between now and then but I have already started my list of things to accomplish while I have two weeks off.  I didn't cross many items off my list during Thanksgiving break as many other things seemed to take over (like Gilmore Girls on Netflix:).  I did some shopping for gifts already and did buy myself one beauty item on Black Friday which I will include in my November Haul which I will post in the next week or so.

This is going to be my update on Project Use It Up for November.  

I have been doing pretty well with masking once a week.  I have found that I am more likely to do it during the week (I have been aiming for Tuesdays) when I am home and doing things around the house instead of weekends when we are out and about.  So, I will cross off that fourth box today since this is going up on Tuesday.
I used up all five foil packets but must have forgotten to cross off the boxes.  I reviewed those samples on my Instagram (@lovetobebusyblog).
I was much better about using my peel pads this month but I still haven't been painting my nails.

I finished the Pure Grace perfume and Malin and Goetz mask which you will see in my empties.  I am considering the Ponds cream finished since I have 1-2 uses left.

These are my December goals.  I am trying out listing them out in my notebook where I keep track of all my other beauty info.  My overall goals are the same for the month.

I am keeping a few products that I want to continue to work on.  I took out the Ponds cream since it will be finished very soon and I will use the Liz Earle in its place.  I am not adding any products in because during December I will be working on all my deluxe sized products so I want to focus on those.  I will keep a tally of how many I finish as well as a list with my empties.

These are all the products I am carrying over from November.  I have barely used the perfume since I was concentrating on finishing the Philosophy one.  I will focus on this one now.  I have 8 peel pads left.  I have been using 2 at a time because they are so dry now that I need one for each side of my face.  So, I hope to have those gone this month also.  

My big focus will be moving out deluxed size samples this month.  I will keep you updated on Instagram as I have empties.  

I am working on big goals and how I want to organize my beauty info for next year.  If you are interested in seeing how I plan to organize my beauty notebook, let me know.  I will blog about it after I get it all set up if people are interested (keeping some things I do now and modifying a bit after seeing Curious Sparkles post about hers on Youtube).


*All products were purchased by me.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November Birchbox and October Reviews

My November Birchbox arrived about a week ago but I wanted to make sure I share with you before the week gets crazy with Thanksgiving plans.  In case you are not familiar with Birchbox, you receive 4-5 samples for $10 each month.  You can earn points through purchases on their website that you can then redeem for products on the website.  They no longer give out points for reviews of products the boxes.

November's theme was The Finishing Touch.  I usually cheat when they send out the email to peek at our box before it arrives so I had an idea of what was coming:)

I received:
Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil - $40 full size
Chella eyebrow pencil in Tantalizing Taupe - $18 full size
Coola Mineral SPF 30 Daydream Makeup Primer - $42 full size
Marcelle New-Age LumiPower 3-in-1 Moisturizer - $26 full size
Oribe Superfine Hairspray - $22-$33 full size

I'm excited about all the products this month except the Coola primer.  I find that products with SPF do not agree with my skin on a daily basis (yes, I know this is horrible and I am constantly on the hunt for an SPF I can wear every day).

I don't use a pencil to fill in my brows because I've never wanted to buy one and be totally unsuccessful and have wasted money (haha).  But I will try this one out, maybe with the clear gel from Anastasia we got in a Sephora box and see how it goes.  I like hair oil, hairspray and I have loved almost every Marcelle product I've ever tried.

Now on to reviews of October's box...

I have to be honest that I didn't even open most of these products.  I am trying to work through a product before opening a new one since I have had to throw a lot of things away lately because they went bad.  I will definitely use the mask, healing balm, and cleansing milk as soon as I need to open a new one of any of these categories.

I have passed along the Parlor by Jeff Chastain conditioner because I don't need volume and texture in my hair.  I have also given away the LOC lip crayon because I don't wear red.

I tried the Clarins energy booster and it felt nice.  I mixed it in with the Clarins moisturizer I had in the box also.  I didn't notice a difference with the energy booster, maybe because I have been using a brightening product every day for awhile now.  I do like how the moisturizer feels and would consider purchasing it for night time (someday years down the road when all my others are gone lol).

I know I haven't tried every out yet, but I am excited to use them.  I am just trying to be more conscientious of what I have open at one time.


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Was It Worth It? - Thoughts on July Purchases

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week!  Things have been crazy and I know they are going to get busier with my daughter starting competition season for gymnastics and the holidays approaching.  Unfortunately, fall as decided to arrive today as it went from 65 to 45 in just a few hours:(

It has been a few months and it is time to review the purchases I made in July.  July was the month I attempted to not buy all.  I almost was successful since I only made a few clearance sale clothing purchases.  I did not buy any extra beauty products beyond the subscription boxes I got that month.  Therefore, the only item in my haul that month was my Sephora Play Box.

The first item I received was the Ouai wave spray.  I have very straight and thick hair.  It does not wave no matter how much product I put in it.  So I have passed this item on to someone who can use it.

Next I had Dew the Hoola liquid bronzer from Benefit.  I can not use this as a bronzer.  It is not a good color match for my pale skin.  However, I have started using it to darken up my It Cosmetics CC cream in fair so it is a better match.  I tried this after seeing a few people on Youtube using it for this purpose.  This is not a product that I would purchase a full size of.

The First Aid Beauty Cleanser is a good basic cleanser.  It removes makeup and cleans my face.  I'm not sure it is better than other cleansers I have tried for a less expensive price tag.  However, it has been nice to have around for my makeup bag when I travel.

I also received the Smashbox photo finish face primer.  I am not a huge fan of silicone primers and have not opened this one yet since I have another one I am trying to finish.  However, I will use this up at some point but I wouldn't purchase it myself.

Finally, my fragrance sample was the Nest Citrine fragrance. I love this fragrance.  It doesn't last a long time but it is a nice fresh scent.  I have had samples before from Sephora orders so I knew I liked it.  I haven't used this one up yet but I will soon.

So, that is it for my products that I hauled in July.  It wasn't one of my favorite Sephora boxes but it is always nice to try samples before you buy a product.


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Monday, November 14, 2016

New to Me in October

Since I have been trying to declutter and be better about my spending, I didn't have any big purchases in October.  I did buy the Lorac Mega Pro 3, but that might have even been at the end of September.

I am absolutely loving that palette, even though I don't have a picture for this post.  I love the shades and they are very pigmented and blend so well.  I have a little Lorac trio from a kit awhile back, but this is my first experience with a Lorac palette and I really love it.

Since I am trying to declutter (and will do even more as I create my newest inventory at the end of the month), I am trying not to buy too many items until I decide what to get rid of and what I would really like to try out in its place.

The only purchase in October was my Sephora Play box.  Since I don't share that any other place on my blog, I thought I would show you what I received in my box.  Sephora has been sending out different variations over the past few months.

October's theme was The Cool Cut and I received...

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver's Seat - I am giving this away because when I swatch it, it is not a good color for me.  It is very orange/brown on me (I need to stick to pinkier shades with my skin tone).

Blinc Mascara amplified - I have been using this and I do like it.  It is very strange to take off since it looks like your eyelashes are coming out:)  It doesn't give me as much volume as I would like but it does wear well throughout the day with no smudging or flaking for me.

Items I haven't tried ye:
Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel
Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb - I think I have used this before and if it is the exact same product, I do like it.
Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil

This box wasn't as exciting for me as a few of the past boxes but I will try everything out and report back over the next few months.  I will continue to try this out for a few months but I don't know that I will continue with the subscription after that period.

I have some thoughts on my own hauls, purchases, subscriptions, samples that I will be trying to put together to share for 2017.


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.