Sunday, October 23, 2016

October Birchbox and September Reviews

I haven't been super excited about the sample choices lately for Birchbox so I have chosen to be surprised.  Because of my lack of excitement about the sample choices, I haven't had high hopes for my box either.  However, I was pretty happy with my October box because it contained a lot of skincare which I enjoy trying out.

October's theme was Soothing Standouts.
I received:
Clarins Multi-active Day all skin types - $53 full size
Hustle Butter Luxe - $25 full size
Juice Beauty cleansing milk - $22 full size
LOC vibrant matte lipstick in wildest creams - $8 full size
Tat Harper Resurfacing mask - $58 full size
Parlor by Jeff Chasten volumizing and texturizing conditioner - $22 full size
Clarins booster energy - bonus item not listed on the card

I'm excited to try the Clarins products and I like Juice Beauty as well.  I won't use the red lipstick and am not even opening it so I can pass it on to someone else.  I don't understand why they don't include more neutral lip shades in their boxes.  I would get much more use out of them, but maybe I'm in the minority.

Now on to September's reviews...
I truthfully didn't use much from this box yet.  I didn't want to open the mascara since I am working on 2 others right now.  I'll try this one out next though.

I tried the Bioderma and I really liked it.  I got more uses out of this sample than I thought I would.  I'm currently using the Bioderma in the pink bottle and I like that one too.

I liked the Milk highlighter stick.  I used a stipple brush to apply to my cheekbones and it looked nice without being too shimmery and crazy.

I didn't open the DermaE microdermabrasion because I have used it before and I know I like it.  I will definitely use it, I just didn't want it to go bad by opening it yet.

I didn't use the cleansing conditioner because the idea just doesn't excite me.  I'm afraid my hair will feel dirty but I'll give it a try one day soon.

September's Birchbox wasn't super exciting for me when it arrived and I think that contributed to my lack of excitement over trying out the products.  I am working hard towards using up lots of my samples and deluxe sizes as I get them so hopefully I will get to these soon.


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

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Was It Worth It? - Thoughts on June Purchases

Life has been a little crazy here lately.  I am in charge of a 5K this coming weekend and it is consuming a lot of my time.  I wanted to take a break from all of that to post some reviews of the items I purchased in June.  One of my big purchases was the Bare Minerals mystery box.  Since there are so many products in that box, I will post that review separately in the next few days (hopefully:).

My first purchase was from Ulta.  I needed a tea tree oil which they were out of but I decided to try this kit of products instead.  I have finished the tea tree oil from this kit (and repurchased another one) but I have yet to try any of the other products in this box.

My second purchase was also from Ulta because they were offering a sample bag, I had a coupon, and the list goes on.  Hubby loves the Art of Shaving line and it is all he uses.
I have used the clarifying shampoo I purchased and I do like it.  I only use it about once a week so it will last me a long time.  The other Matrix products (hairspray and shampoo) have not been used yet.
I have been using the CC+ from It Cosmetics in Light to mix with my fair shade for a better match.

This was the sample bag that came from Ulta with the purchase above.  I have recently started pulling items from this bag to try to use up.  I finished up the Clinique Happy body lotion and am currently using the Murad serum.  I did not keep the Lorac Tantalizer because it is not a product I will ever use.  The rest of the items I will get to eventually:)

I am really trying to work through my products and have been good about avoiding these sample bags lately since I have too much stuff.  I will include reviews as I use these up in my empties post or on Instagram so watch there for updates too.


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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Sephora Play Event Experience

I recently attended one of the Sephora Play events near me so I thought I would share a little bit about the experience.

The closest store offering the event to me is 45 minutes but I was going to be up that way having dinner with a friend so we both went.

At the back of the store, the associates had a table set up with the products from the September box.  We had two associates who visited with us and shared about the products from the box.  They were very nice, answered questions, and were very personable.  Unfortunately, I do not remember their names.

Everyone introduced themselves to begin the event and it was fun to see such a mix of women who love the Sephora Play box.

The associates explained every item in the September box including how it should be used and more information about the product.  The other women from the event were encouraged to chime in with their experiences and suggestions about the products as well.  This was the majority of the time we spent at the event.

Our two associates also showed us how to use the app with the information that comes in the box every month.  It was fun to see how you can watch videos for more information about the products.
We also got a few free samples from the event which was a fun bonus!

I really enjoyed learning more about the products and hearing about the other women at the event who have used them.  I wasn't sure the Living Proof night cap would ever be a product I would use.  However, after hearing them all talk about it and the associates give more information, I have since tried it and like it.

It was a fun experience and if it works out, I'd definitely attend again.  However, due to the distance from my house, this isn't a week night event I'd drive to every time.  It would be nice if they added them at more stores so there are more options closer to me.

Have you attended a Play event?  What did you think?


Sunday, October 9, 2016

New to Me in September

Time to share with you what I purchased in the month of September.  While I had a few beauty purchases, I feel like I am doing much better overall with being more conscious of what I am purchasing before I spend the money.

Purchase #1 - Sephora
Sephora offered 4x points on purchases and a sample bag with a $25 purchase during a few days of September.  I am almost out of my Pixi undereye brightener and want to try the Becca one next.  So, I purchased that along with some cotton rounds.  The samples were a Caudalie serum, YSL perfume sample, and a foundation sample.

Purchase #1 continued -
This is the sample bag of items that came with the Sephora order above.  The products include perfume sample, Fresh skincare foil packets, Estee Edit lipstick sample, Belif moisturizer, Origins moisturizer, Benefit they're real mascara, Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion, and Beauty Blender cleanser.

Purchase #2 - Ulta
I was finishing up a toner and would need some new backups so when I had 5x points on Mario Badescu, I bought my favorite toner from them.  I also needed a new nail care item.

Purchase #3 - Ulta
Ulta offered the Lorac Mega Pro 3 early for Platinum members.  The shades looked beautiful and there are so many shades I can see myself wearing.  I used points so I paid $45 instead of $59.  I also had 2 skincare samples with the order.  I've used the palette once and I loved it!

Sephora Play Box
My items for September were:
Anastasia clear brow gel
Ole Henriksen sheer transformation
Kat Von D tattoo liner
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day night cap
Sephora Lipstick
Atelier cologne

Overall this month I spent $93.00.  This is a little more than I would normally want to spend but I did buy that gorgeous palette that I am so excited to be using (and that makes it worth it!).


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

September Beauty Empties

I'm back!  We were without internet for about 10 days and I had so many posts planned during that time.  I ended up posting my Crossing 6 off our Christmas List project pan and my October Project Use It Up goals on my Instagram.  I had thought I would get to the blog posts but with the internet being down for so long, I'm just going to stick with Instagram for those things and start here on the blog with my September empties.

Body Empties:
Suave Naturals everlasting sunshine lotion - These 18 oz. lotions last me about 6 months which is a pretty good deal for the price.  I liked the scent of this lotion but I can't seem to find it online anymore so it must be discontinued (they do have other scents in this formula).  This was good in the summer but it isn't moisturizing enough for me for the winter months.

Clinique Happy body cream - This was okay.  I just used it up because it was a little deluxe size I knew I could move out quickly.  I do like the scent of Happy but I wouldn't buy a body cream because I find them too fragranced.

Bath and Body Works nourishing hand cream in Merry Cookie - I received this last year at the holidays as a gift and I really liked it.  I don't buy BBW products often because I rarely go to the mall and I have lots of options at Ulta or Target which are closer.  I really liked the formula of this hand cream though and would consider purchasing it (maybe I'll try online if there is free shipping or something).

Hair Empties:
Kiehls Nourishing Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo - I bought this travel size for a trip back in the spring.  It makes my hair way too greasy.  I could only use it when I knew I would be washing my hair the next day because I definitely couldn't go a few days if I used this.  I wouldn't repurchase since it isn't right for my hair type.

Garnier Fructis conditioner - This was fine, nothing special.  Another deluxe sized out of my collection.

BB Don't Blow It - This came in a Sephora play box and I really liked it.  It was perfect for the summer months when I was letting my hair air dry a lot.  It helped keep my hair from getting frizzy as it air dried.  I have a lot of hair products to use up but this would be something I'd recommend purchasing.

Skincare Empties:
100% Pure coffee bean caffeine eye cream - I liked this eye cream.  It seemed to depuff and brighten my eye area a bit.  And it is more natural than the Origins eye cream which is almost glittery to me.  This tube (which I thought was full size but it isn't) also lasted me quite awhile.  I'm using a different eye cream now but I might consider purchasing a full size of this next.

Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-aging vitamin c serum - There were quite a few uses in this 100 pt perk from Sephora which was nice.  I didn't notice any different in my skin from using this serum, especially when the full size is over $100!  I also thought it had a weird smell.  Not a serum I would purchase.

Klorane floral water makeup remover - I really liked this makeup remover.  It took off my face makeup and I could also use it to remove eye makeup without any irritation to my eye area.  I have some other removers I need to use but I did like this one and would purchase it again.

Other Empties:
Sephora cotton rounds - You guys know these are my favorite!

Chapstick - I have a ton of different kinds of chapsticks and lip balms that I am trying to work through.  I bought a bunch of these one time when they were $1.00.  They work fine for me unless my lips are super chapped.

Acure coconut and organ oil cleansing towelettes - So I just read the directions before I gave my review in case I had made an incorrect assumption about these wipes.  These did nothing for me.  They were dry, small, and didn't remove any of my makeup.  However, the directions do say for makeup removal (I just checked:).  I wouldn't buy this particular one or recommend them.

Miss Charming from Juliette Has a Gun - I loved the Not a Perfume from this brand so I bought a sampler from Sephora awhile back.  This sample was way too strong and too floral for me.

For the month of September I used 24 products (6 full size, 11 deluxe, and 7 samples).

My total used was $72.13.

I purchased 30 products at a cost of $93.00.  I purchased a Becca concealer and Mario Badescu toner I will be using soon when the items I'm currently using run out.  I also purchased the Lorac Mega Pro 3 because the shades were just so beautiful!  The rest of the products were beauty boxes or samples that I don't count in my monetary total.

I have finished 197 products for the year with a total value of $927.04.

Sorry for the delay in putting up posts but I should be back more often now that I have internet again.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Finish 50 by Fall Finale

I know the first day of fall is Thursday but I finished up this project today and thought I would share my finale with you all.

I started this project back in May with 50 products.  I had them broken down into categories.  Some were foil packets and some were deluxe sized samples.  I also included up to 5 perfume samples as bonus items to help me reach 50.

Here is what I have finished since my last update in August.

Smashbox photofinish primer - I don't like this.  You've seen it included in posts before and my thoughts haven't changed.  But I still have a ton of samples of this to finish.

Laneige Water Bank Soothing Gel Mask - I don't like sheet masks so I wouldn't buy this.

Ahaha Night Cream - This felt very nice but wasn't enough to tell if the full size would be worth the price.

Dermaclear micro water from Dr. Jart+ - I loved this stuff!  It removed makeup and didn't sting my eyes so I didn't need a separate eye makeup remover either.  I'd consider purchasing it when I'm in need of a cleansing water again.

Aloe sheet mask - See mask post above:)  Happy to say I only have one sheet mask left in my stash after this project.

Argan hair mask - This made my scalp itch.  I wonder if it doesn't like argan oil since the other mask did the same thing.

Origins checks and balances - This cleaned okay but I wasn't a big fan of the tingle, especially around my eyes and I'm not going to use a different face wash just for my eyes.

Boscia charcoal cleanser - I loved this stuff!  It is definitely on my to buy list once I get through some cleansers.

Parlor volumizing spray - This was okay.  I didn't notice that it did anything special.

Tata Harper regenerating cleanser - I don't get the hype around Tata Harper.  I wouldn't buy this.

MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser - I really love this stuff.  My gripe is that it seems to dry out quickly.  I might look into the full size packaging and see if I think it would make a difference.

These are the only items I did not finish.
Too Faced lipstick in Naked Dolly - I did make some progress on it.
Bare Minerals Pop of Passion - This is almost done.  I hope to finish it this month.
Murad vitamin c peel - I used about 1/3 of this product.  I'll continue to use it once a week until it is finished.
Manna lip stain - I never even got to this one.

So, I started the project with 50 products and 5 bonus perfume samples.
I finished 46 of the products and 4 perfume samples for a total of 50 products!!

I'm hoping to finish the two lipsticks I started and the peel in the next few weeks and have those out of my collection as well.  My goal going forward is to include 2-5 foil packets in my project use it up each month so I can continue to clear them out.

I had debated a finish 7 by 2017 for the fall/winter.  However, a few youtube ladies have posted a Cross 6 off your Christmas List project so I might do that one instead.  I'll decide and post it in the next few days or so.


Monday, September 19, 2016

September Birchbox and August Reviews

Going to start this post off with a little bit of a rant so bear with me:)  After seeing the options for September, I wasn't super excited about Birchbox.  I didn't want to be spending $10 on items I didn't think I'd ever use.  So I contacted Birchbox about canceling.  I prepay for a year every spring (I ask for it as a birthday gift) and their policy states that you can only cancel within the first month of your yearly subscription.  While I understand that is what their policy states, throughout the summer, there have been many people on Youtube, blogs, and in comment sections of posts saying that Birchbox let them cancel anyways and credited them for the remaining months.

Well, perhaps they had enough of that or were getting annoyed...I'm not sure.  But they won't let me cancel.  I'm a little unsure why some people were allowed to cancel in the middle of their paid year and I was not.  But it certainly didn't win Birchbox any points with me.  Apparently I will finish out the year though so you'll continue to see these points for awhile.

Now onto what came in my September box.  As I said above, I wasn't super excited about any of the sample choices or the curated box.  So I didn't choose a sample at all and figured I would just be surprised with what arrived.

The theme this month was multitaskers.

Bioderma Sebium H2O - $16.90 - I was super excited about this until I saw the itty bitty sample size.
Derma E microdermabrasion scrub - $32.50
Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara - $15
Milk Makeup Highlighter - $24
R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner - $29

I love Derma E products and I have friends who love the Elizabeth Mott mascara so I'm looking forward to those two products.  I'm kind of meh on the other ones but I'll let you know next month.

Living Proof no frizz nourishing oil - I have been using this on my wet hair, especially when I am letting it air dry and it works well to combat my frizz.

Beauty Protector protect and detangle - I didn't use this during the past month however I have had quite a few samples in the past from Birchbox and I know I like it.  It works well to protect my hair when I blow-dry and it smells wonderful.

Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick in Patina - This shade is a little darker and more brown than it looks in the tube.  However, the formula is nice and not super dry.  I'd like to try other shades.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow - This matched me for about 2 days after being in the sun.  It is way too dark for every day foundation for me and if you want to use it to make your face appear more tan, it isn't very natural.  I have been mixing it with my very fair It Cosmetics CC cream just to finish up the little tube.

Acure Organics coconut and organ oil cleansing towelettes - These didn't smell very good and they were super dry.  They removed absolutely nothing from my face.  I ended up using them to wipe foundation off my hand when I mixed shades.

Hum Nutrition powder - I don't even know where this went:)  So I didn't try it.

Overall, the box wasn't as great as I had thought when I chose the curated box.  I do love the Beauty Protector Spray and I'm liking the Living Proof oil as well.  I love the formula of the Stila liquid lipstick and it will be a good fall shade.


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