Monday, December 29, 2014

December Beauty Empties

I am a few days early with my December empties but I am starting a low buy/ no buy on January 1st so I want everything cleared out so I can start fresh.  I mentioned in a previous post about my first project pan and creating a makeup inventory.  A lot of "youtubers" have also been posting goals about their ideal numbers for how many they would have of each product.  I'm not really sure what my ideal numbers would be.  I do know that I have products that aren't bad but that I know I wouldn't purchase again and so I would like them to be used up.  I also know that I have developed some favorites in certain areas such as mascara and I need to use up the items that aren't my favorite.  So, while I don't think I have a crazy makeup collection, it isn't my ideal in that it doesn't consist of all products that I love.

Anyways, on to the empties for this month.  I am hoping to have more makeup empties at the end of January as I use up some of the items in my project pan.

Crown brush - This brush came in an Ipsy bag and I am not a fan.  It isn't horrible, but I don't feel like it picks up much product and it not as good as other brushes I have.  So, it is going in the trash.

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair - This was another sample from Ipsy and it was okay.  It moisturized my hair but a lot of the products in the Ipsy bags aren't ones I find at Ulta or Sephora so I'll keep trying different masks for now until I find one I love.

StriVectin SD Advanced Anti-Wrinkle concentrate - I received this in a bag of samples with an Ulta order.  I was excited because I have been wanting to try some wrinkle creams for my face where I am developing fine lines or some larger lines (forehead and around my mouth).  I had a horrible reaction to this product after only using for two days.  I developed an itchy rash so this is going in the trash.  Disclaimer - I do tend to have reactions to things often, although not usually face products (usually the cause is unknown or environmental allergens).

Sheaterra Rose Hips Black Soap - This was another beauty box sample and I really liked it.  It claims to be microdermabrasion in a bottle.  It did not have any particles to exfoliate and felt more like a face wash.  However, it did make my face feel soft and exfoliated after I washed it off.  The only downside is that you are supposed to leave it on for 5-10 minutes which I am too lazy for at night.  I ended up leaving it on while I brushed my teeth and things so it was closer to the 5 minute mark but it still worked.  I'm unsure of the price of a full size but I might consider purchasing this product.

Tresemme Thermal Creations - I use this spray before I use my flat iron on my hair but after I blow dry.  I think it makes my hair nice and smooth and I hope also protects some from the heat of the flat iron.  I bought two of these so I am already using my back-up.

CVS Cotton Rounds - These are fine.  I usually buy them on sale wherever I can find them.  My absolute favorites I've tried so far are from Sephora but they are more expensive so I don't buy them often.

LivGrn perfume in earth - I will never buy a bottle of perfume this big again.  I used this almost daily for a long time.  Then I received other perfume and samples and stopped using it.  Now it doesn't smell right.  It is a very light scent and performs more like a body spray for me in terms of how long the scent lasts.

Supergoop hand cream - This was nice because it had sunscreen in it to protect your hands.  I kept it in my purse for when I was out and needed some hand cream.  The only downside is that it then made my hands smell like suncreen until it wore off.  I have other hand creams so I won't purchase this one.

Amika perk up dry shampoo - This was a Birchbox sample and I loved the smell!  It was my first dry shampoo I've ever used (yes I was late to the game on that one) and it did have the white cast to it.  However, I saw someone on Youtube mention that they spray it the night before and so I did that, massaged it in, and it was fine the next morning.

White Citrus lotion - I don't buy Bath and Body Works lotions too often because I usually find ones at the drugstore that I'm okay using.  This was a gift and I really liked this scent.  It was nice and light without being too much like perfume.

Mally Volumizing mascara - This is my holy grail mascara at the moment.  I have a backup ready once I use up a few others I have opened already.

Maybelline Mega plush volume express - This was okay.  I often felt like the bristles on the brush were poking my eye and it didn't do anything fantastic so I won't repurchase this one.

Maybelline color tattoo in Inked in Pink - I really like this shade but this one has dried up.  I can't seem to use these up fast enough before they dry out.  I am trying to finish up another one right now and then I think I will try a different product like a shadow stick.

Mario Badescu hyaluronic eye cream - I received this as a free gift with purchase from Ulta when I bought the drying lotion.  I like this eye cream.  It is very moisturizing.  I won't be purchasing thought because I have other eye creams to go through.  And I think I would like one with anti-aging or anti-wrinkle properties to it.

Mary Kay tinted lip balm in natural - This was living in my makeup bag in my purse for a long time.  I am trying to put one lip product in my purse that I can apply consistently when I am not at home in an effort to use up some of my lip products.  Mary Kay doesn't make this product anymore (to my knowledge) but I have so many lip products that I wouldn't repurchase anyways.  I did like the little bit of color it gave but I would compare it more to the Revlon lip butters they make now than a lip balm.

That is it for this month!  Sorry for such a long post but I want to make sure I give good reviews for you all.  I love empties videos and posts because it really gives me an idea of a product is worth purchasing (I consider it product research).

In terms of my product stash:  I started December 1st (when I wrote my inventory) with 267 products including every shower, skincare, body care and make up item I own.  I added 17 items from Christmas gifts, Walmart Beauty Box, and Birchbox.  That brought my total to 284.  I used up 16 products (including foil packets that I don't put in my posts) so my total is at 268.  Close to breaking even.  I'm hoping with no walmart box and no gifts next month (only Birchbox adding products), I will see my total go down more.

As always, check out my posts on Instagram and Twitter at hmills79.
Thanks for reading!

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

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December Birchbox and Reviews!

My Birchbox took a very long time to arrive this month.  I get impatient as soon as I see the shipping email:)  Usually I receive my box within days of the shipping email.  This time it took about 10 days. I'm assuming it was due to the large amount of holiday packages being shipped.  I certainly hope it doesn't become a regular occurrence:)

Birchbox has started customizing boxes over the past few months.  There are lifestyle extras you can add to your box (I haven't found one I really need to spend the money on yet) as well as choosing a specific box.  With the specific boxes, you know exactly what products you will be receiving when you choose that box.  There is also sample choice where you can pick one of the samples in your box for the month.  I enjoy being surprised by my box and the choices haven't been anything I couldn't live without.  Therefore, I haven't taken advantage of any of these extra perks yet but I may in the future.

I've had a bit of time to use the products and two I already knew I liked so I thought I would go ahead and get this posted before I get to the end of the month.  As always, Birchbox is $10 a month.

Klorane dry shampoo with oat milk in natural tint - I have received a sample of the Klorane dry shampoo previously (I think from Ipsy before I cancelled) and I already knew I loved it.  This one is a little different because it has a darker tint to it which is nice for my brown hair.  While I haven't tried a lot of dry shampoos, I really like this one and would definitely purchase a full size.

Yu-Be moisturizing skin cream - I received a sample of this years ago from Sephora.  Since then I have also purchased a full size from Sephora.  This is a thicker balm and I use it nightly on my cuticles and any very dry patches before I apply lotion.  While I like this product and will use up my samples, I have since found a product I like better for the same purpose and I will be purchasing that product instead (is is the Air Repair Rescue Balm).

SeaRX anti-wrinkle facial lift treatment serum - I have been using this sample on my lines around my mouth and on my forehead at night.  I can't say I have seen any results from it.  The only other wrinkle cream like this I have tried was by StriVectin and it really irritated my skin.  So I am happy that this sits well on my skin and doesn't bother it.  I won't be purchasing this product because I am not seeing results from it.  If I continue to use it and that changes, I will be sure to update you all.

W3ll People Bio brightener stick - This is the one product I didn't try.  I have a Temptu highlighter sample that I am trying to use up so I have been focusing on that product.  I will let you know my opinions when I use this in the coming months.

Manna Kadar Lip Locked - This lip product claims to be a primer, stain and gloss in one.  I don't usually use a primer on my lips so I can't speak to that part of the product.  However, it is a nice satin finish that isn't at all drying.  It has a sponge tip applicator which I like and it was in a pretty rosy nude shade.  I really like this product but have a lot of lip products to finish before I would consider purchasing it.

I have been very happy with my Birchboxes over the past six months or so.  I have gotten a lot of great products!  I also enjoying redeeming my points for products I enjoy or want to try.  If you want more information on how that works, you can look back at some of my first Birchbox posts or just ask in the comments.


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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Finish 6 by Christmas Finale and New Project Pan!

It is not quite Christmas but I thought I would post my final update on my Finish 6 by Christmas before we spend time with family over the next few days.  I did not finish any of the products but I can see that I have made a lot of progress and am close to finishing the products.

Here is the first picture from September:

Here is the progress now! (Yay for sunny days for good picture quality:)

Befine Night Cream - I really like this product but I've had it awhile.  I have been mixing it with a drop of the Tarte Maracuja oil in an effort to use up both products.  This is a very light night cream so the oil also makes it a bit more moisturizing for winter.  The line closest to the cap is where I am now.

I am almost finished with the lip glaze, primer, and concealer.  You can see the progress on the lip glaze and concealer.  The primer tube is definitely flatter but it is hard to mark progress on it.

I was super frustrated with the NYX blush so I put a hole in the middle to find out how far down the pan actually was.  I'm getting close!

I have been using the eyeliner every day along my top lash line.  I love the color but I purchased a few of these when Stila discontinued them so I need to use this one up.  You can see it is shorter when compared to the primer.

I will be continuing to use up these products which brings me to my "Project Pan."  I have inventoried all of my makeup (yikes!) and will be working hard in 2015 to get rid of products and not buy more.  I did pretty well with this over the last few months of 2014 during my 100 day no buy.  Through that no buy, I realized that I want to spend my money on products I really want and know I will use instead of roaming the aisles at Ulta and picking a bunch of items just because (which I did almost weekly).

I am a list maker and love to cross items off a list when they are completed.  So, I listed every item in my skincare and makeup collection so that I can cross off items as I go.  The list was made as of 12/1/2014 so I have already been using up some of the products.  I'll be including that information in my empties posts each month.

For the project pan:  I have never done one of these before.  I am not sure how long it will take me to use the items up or how long the project will last.  I am considering it started on 12/22/2014 and I will just continue with the items until they are gone.  I am hoping most of them will be finished by the end of January because I purposely picked items that I think will be easy to complete in a short amount of time so I don't get frustrated my first time out.

I will be continuing with my 6 items from Finish 6 by Christmas.  The four items I will be adding in are the Jo Malone perfume, Dr. Brandt Pores No More deluxe sized sample, Temptu highlighter deluxe sample, and TheBalm Nude'tude palette.  

I love Jo Malone perfumes but they are pricey and I do not want this scent to go bad before I finish it.  I'm not a huge fan of the Dr. Brandt mask (although it doesn't harm my skin) so I just want it used up.  I have been layering the Temptu highlighter with my NYX blush I'm trying to use up.  I'm about halfway through so I will continue to use these two together, at least until the Temptu is gone.  Finally, I would like to hit pan on some of the shades in my palette.  I'm not sure I will pan the whole thing but it isn't my favorite palette and I'd like to get some use out of it since I don't reach for it often.

I have taped my list to the inside of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom as a reminder of what I am trying to use up.  I am thinking I will probably update towards the end of January and see where I am at.  Then update at the end or more frequently if needed.  

My goal is to post every week but then life gets in the way.  My Birchbox just arrived less than a week ago so I am using those products but haven't used them enough to post about it yet.  That post will get pushed to the end of the month which is later than I usually post but the mail did not cooperate this time.  I will continue my Birchbox subscription even though I am on a no buy/low buy.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this journey with me.  I am looking forward to support from some of my favorite Instagram ladies who will be doing a low buy/no buy with me.  
Instagram and Twitter - hmills79


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

Friday, December 5, 2014

November Beauty Favorites

Yay for Friday!  And the weather is pretty nice here also for being the beginning of December.  I didn't have too many favorites as I'm working through lots of products I already own and haven't purchased many new products.  However, I thought I would share the items I have been loving even though they are items I have had in my makeup collection for awhile so you can see what I have been using and why.

First up is a blush combination I have used every day this month.  The two products are a Temptu highlighter in champagne shimmer and NYX blush in Dusty Rose.  I have been trying to pan the NYX blush for pretty much all of 2014.  I was getting very bored with it and rather discouraged.  However, it is also in my Finish 6 by Christmas I posted in September so I've been wanting to use it.  So, after watching a video from Absolutely Airs (Erin Wilbers) on Youtube I decided to try layering some blushes like she was doing in the video.  The Temptu is not enough color on its own (and also not light enough to be a highlighter for me) but when I put it on under the NYX blush it gives the powder blush a little different look and it gave me a  new way to use the NYX blush.  I used the ELF stipple brush with the liquid highlighter and a blush brush with the NYX product (I have purchased a new blush brush from Ulta brand since I took this picture).

A few other products I have been loving this month:
1.  100% Pure mascara - I bought this from Birchbox after receiving a sample one month.  I loved the sample as a bottom lash mascara so I bought this product for that purpose.  Unfortunately, the brush is different in the full size and it didn't work for my bottom lashes.  However, I have been using it on my top lashes and I really love it.  It isn't quite as good as my favorite Mally Volumizing mascara but it is pretty close.  It gives me a good amount of length and doesn't smudge.
2.  Macadamia Healing Oil Spray - This is a product I recently received in a Birchbox as well and I have been loving it.  It can be used before blow drying but I have also loved to spray it on my hair when I plan to air dry.  It really helps tame the frizz and my hair is much smoother when I air dry and use this product.
3.  TheBalm Nude'tude palette - I pulled this out this month for 2palettes1month that I did with some other girls on Instagram.  I only used this and the Naked 1 palette for the whole month.  I had barely used this palette since purchasing it off Hautelook in the spring and I have been enjoying the shades and the variety.  I'm continuing to use it often this month in the hopes of maybe hitting pan on some of the shades.

That is it for me for the month of November.  I am still on a quest to use up many of my products.  New products will be coming in since I put some on my Christmas wishlist.  However, after the holidays, I plan to work hard in 2015 on using products up and doing a low buy (only buying products I run out of).  We will see how I do.  My makeup, skincare, and body care products are starting to take over more shelves in the closet than they really should so I am going to work on using them up.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more posts @hmills79.

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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November Beauty Empties

The end of 2014 seems to be flying by.  We have had parent/teacher conferences here, my husband started coaching basketball, my daughter is gearing up for competitive gymnastics season to start in December, and we've also had flu germs!  I've enjoyed these days off with family over Thanksgiving and decorating the house for the holidays.

Back at the end of July, I started 100 Days of Beauty and 100 Days of Empties with some other ladies on Instagram.  My 100 days ended at the beginning of November but I was determined to keep track until I hit 100 empties which I did right before Thanksgiving.  As always, I had some foil packets I used up and posted about on my Instagram but are not included in this empties post so it doesn't end up a gazillion hours long.

I inventoried all my beauty products today.  Woah!  I will be working on using up a lot of my skincare, haircare, and beauty and only purchasing minimal products or the necessities.  My backups of products are becoming a bit ridiculous.  I have also been using makeup long enough that I really do know what works for me and what some of my favorites are (especially skincare).  I need to stop buying every new product or skincare that doesn't work for my skin.  So, in 2015, I will be continuing my quest for empties.

Here are my empties for this month...

Loofah - My favorite ones are from either Ulta or The Body Shop.  I find they don't fall apart as fast as others do.  I'm not keeping them forever, but I've had some that fall apart after a few days!

Suave Body Wash in ocean breeze - I like the Suave body wash for the inexpensive price.  When I run out of Bath and Body Works, I usually just buy whatever is on sale.  I'm not picky about body wash, as I've said before.

Epielle Facial Cleansing Tissues - These were $1 at Big Lots.  They were okay for $1 and I have posted a few packs in my past months of empties.  I have returned back to my Sephora cleansing water which I love and will probably stick with.

Herbal Essences body wash in body burst - This was another sample from somewhere.  I think the scent is body burst although I'm not sure.  Again, it was fine for a body wash.  It was the type I like (versus the moisturizing lotion kind which I don't like - too greasy).

Real Chemistry Luminous 3 minute peel - This was a Birchbox sample and was a nice, gentle peel.  It was really cool because you put it on and then when you massaged, you could see your skin coming off.  It left my skin super soft!  Someday, when I use up some of my millions of skincare products,  I might purchase this.

Michael Todd cleanse and tone - This was a good cleanser but did not contain enough toner for my skin.  I still had to use a separate toner to keep my breakouts at bay.  For the price, I wouldn't purchase this specific cleanser because I don't like it enough.  I do want to try some other Michael Todd cleansers in the future.

Sephora cotton rounds - This is my first time using the Sephora brand and I really like them.  I judge cotton rounds based upon how fuzzy they are.  I always get the fuzz in my eyes and these are not fuzzy at all.  I would definitely repurchase these.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum - This bottle lasted me forever!  I'm not entirely sure it kept my breakouts away.  I tend to have hormonal breakouts, mostly on my chin.  If you have more acne prone skin or small pimples in multiple places on your face, this might work really well for you.  I am not repurchasing for the time being.  If I see my skin getting worse without it, then I will repurchase.

BeeKind Body Lotion - This came from Birchbox or Ipsy one month.  It has a nice light scent of chamomile and honey.  It was a lighter weight lotion so I used it mostly on my arms and legs instead of my hands at night like I usually do with these small sample sizes.  I won't purchase because I have a million lotions.

Not Soap Radio body wash - I loved the lemon scent of this body wash.  It was a Birchbox sample and would be a definite splurge for a body wash.  But it would be worth it!  I might trade in some Birchbox points for this one!

Physicians Formula Organic Wear mascara - I bought this mascara because Tati (GlamLifeGuru) raves about it on her Youtube channel.  I don't get why she loves it so much.  It would be a nice mascara for a very natural or minimal makeup look.  But I have tried others that are so much better for my short little lashes (Mally Volumizing is my current favorite!).  I won't repurchase this one.

Naobay body radiance lotion - This was another sample from a beauty box or something.  Again, I used this on my arms and legs because it wasn't thick enough for my hands at night.  It had a nice subtle scent but it didn't wow me enough to hunt it down and purchase.

Camille Beckman Platinume Gold imperial repair hand therapy - Long name!  Awesome lotion!  This was a lemongrass vert and sparkling grapefruit scent and I loved it.  It was a nice thick lotion without being greasy for me to use before bed.  The scent is strong but I was okay with it because I loved the scent.  This would be another Birchbox splurge that would be totally worth it!

Neutrogena lip moisturizer - This is my favorite chapstick for nighttime.  I keep one of these in my bedside table to use before bed every night.  In the spirit of using up products, I will hold off on repurchasing this until I use up a few other chapsticks I have.  I will definitely repurchase this product  though!

If you made it all the way to this point, then you're awesome:)  I know these get long but I want to make sure I give thorough reviews for you all.

As always, feel free to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for other beauty and fashion related posts (among the random other things).  Both are @hmills79


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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November Birchbox and Mini Reviews

I have really been loving my Birchboxes lately.  Lots of good products to try out, some of which I have really loved and have added to my wishlist.  I have also recently been using the Birchbox Men portion of the website to purchase items for the hubby.  He loves the brand Art of Shaving which they carry.  I'm able to use the coupons they send through email and earn more points for me to spend:)  Win for all!

Camille Beckman Platinume Gold Imperial Repair Hand Therapy - That is a crazy long name for some hand lotion!  But it is wonderful hand lotion.  I have a lemongrass and grapefruit scent which sounds crazy but it smells wonderful.  I like the clean earthy scents and this smells a lot like lemongrass which I love.  I used it before bed for the few uses included in the sample and it was hydrating without being greasy.  The full size is $20 which I might consider when I want to treat myself.  I have a million hand lotions to use up before I would need to purchase this though.

Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in Satin Taupe - I haven't used this too often this month because I am doing 2palettes1month which some other Instagram ladies.  We picked two palettes to focus on for the month of November and I've been trying to stick with that.  I love the taupe shade of this pencil though and it is awesome that it is a full size product.  I look forward to playing with it more in December and finding different ways to wear it.  The full size is $15.

Make Silk Cream lipstick and lip primer - The sample included the primer and two different shades of lipstick. Neither one of the shades is really a favorite for me (I prefer nudes) but they are great shades for fall.  I did use the primer and my finger to dab on the shade all the way on the right called Magnolia.  It gave me a nice shade of berry pink without being too bright.  However, I don't know if it was the primer or the lipstick or both, but this felt very drying.  I had to put chapstick over the top.  Also, once I opened these little bubble packets, I didn't have a good way to save the rest of the product so it wasn't the best way to send a sample.  The full size is $36.

Not Soap, Radio Joy Inducing Body Wash - This is another lemon scented product and I love the scent. I am a fan of lemon, obviously:)  I prefer a body wash of this type versus one that has more of a lotion or thicker consistency.  I find they leave a film on me and the shower that I don't enjoy (Just my personal opinion, others love them).  It is also a paraben-free product.  The full size is $16 and while I loved it, I'm not sure I can justify the price when I'm just not that picky about my shower gels.  I'm okay with a Target one for much cheaper.  This might be another Christmas or birthday list product along with the lotion that was first in my box.

Rusk Texture Spray (Dry Finishing Spray) - This is a nice lightweight finishing spray.  The bottle is a bit crazy though!  It sprays out with some power!:)  I do like that is a nice lightweight finish that holds but isn't sticky and doesn't make my hair hard.  The full size is $18.  I do use hairspray to smooth down flyaways almost daily so I might consider buying this one.  I'd be interested to see if Ulta has it when they have their hair product sales during the year.

Lifestyle Extra - Potato Chip ChocoPods - I ate this right away and it was so good!  It was a chocolate covered potato chip with sea salt.  Sometimes Birchbox includes these lifestyle extras in the boxes which do not count as one of the samples.  I've gotten a hair tie, food items, Chapstick, notecards.  It is just a fun little surprise extra.

That is it for my box this month.  Again, some great products although nothing that I feel I have to run out and buy right away.  I do like that you can favorite items on the Birchbox site so I can favorite items like the body wash and lotion and later when I'm wanting to make a purchase, I can easily the find the products I really like from each box.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram for more beauty related posts:
Twitter - hmills79
Instagram - hmills79


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

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mad Grab Tag

I was tagged on Instagram by bama_beauty_addict for the MadGrabTag.  The tag:  If I had to leave in a hurry and had only 1 minute to grab a makeup bag and makeup to fit in that bag, these are the things I would pick.  These products are the first ones I grabbed without really thinking about it.

I thought this was one of those tags that might need some explanation of the products.  Also, I didn't do an October favorites so I thought this would showcase some of my favorites.  By the way, I have been working on using up products so I really didn't have any new purchases or new favorites for October.

For face I chose:
Maybelline Fit Me concealer - I use the shades light and fair depending on the time of year.  This has been my favorite concealer recently.  I really like the Nars concealer, however, there isn't a grade shade match for my skin so I don't want to spend the money when it isn't perfect.  This seems to be a cheaper alternative to the Nars for me.

TheBalm Sexy Mama translucent powder - I purchased this product awhile back and only recently started using it after finishing up my other powder.  I really like this powder, it doesn't make me look cakey at all.  I have always used powder with a color in the past but I'm really liking translucent powder since using this product.

Physicians Formula bronze booster - I don't always use bronzer but when I do, this is my favorite.  I tend to use bronzer on the days when I feel like I need a bit more color.  I'll sweep it along my forehead, nose and cheeks.

Cargo blush in Bali - I have a few of these small Cargo blushes I have gotten in different sets and I really like them.  This or Tarte blushes would be ones I would lean towards.  I also love the Maybelline Master Hi-light blushes for a cheaper alternative.  The blush was my hardest choice to pick for this tag.

I didn't notice until after I started this tag that I didn't pick any sort of foundation or BB cream.  I currently switch between the Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation or Garnier BB cream depending on the day so I'd probably grab one of those.

For my eyes:
Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion - I am working on using up this eye primer since I have been using it forever and would like to try something different.  I wouldn't say this is my holy grail at this point but I do like it.

Urban Decay Naked Basics 1 - I love these shades and could use them every day.  I have many palettes but this one is small enough that it fits in a small makeup bag but still has a good variety of shades to play with.  I can also use the darker shades as liner under my eyes.

Stila kajal eye liner in amethyst - This is my absolute favorite eye liner ever.  I continue to use them since I bought a bunch before Stila clearanced them.  I don't think it is a product they sell any longer:(  It applies super smoothly and will smudge out if you would like but also doesn't wear off during the day.

Mally Volumizing mascara and Maybelline lash discovery - I use the Mally mascara on my upper lashes.  This is my absolute favorite mascara ever since it came in my Birchbox over the summer.  This one is almost gone and I will definitely repurchase.  The Lash Discovery I have also purchased multiple times and I use it for my bottom lash line.

For Lips:
NYX butter glosses - This particular shade is Angel Food Cake however I have multiple shades of these glosses, mostly nude shades such as Tiramisu and Eclair.  These go on smoothly and last for quite awhile without being sticky.

So, those are my choices of what I would grab.  When we take a short trip or I need to pack light, these are the products I will most often choose.  Have you posted this on your Instagram or posted about it?  Feel free to participate and show me what you would choose!


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*All opinions are my own.  I purchased all products with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Beauty Empties

Time again for the end of the month and an empty post!  As I say every month, these are my favorite posts and Youtube videos to watch.  I love seeing what people have used up and their thoughts on products.  It helps me decide on what products I want to purchase.  So here is what I used up this month.  I had been working on using up lots of partially used and smaller sized products as part of my 100 days of empties and 100 day no buy I was working on with some girls on Instagram.  At this point, most of those are gone so I am working through new full size products which means less empties.

Toni and Guy Nourish Conditioner - Not empty!  Made my scalp itch like crazy.  Going in the trash.

Toni and Guy Cleanse Shampoo - Not empty!  Made me itchy.  Going in the trash.

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti Frizz serum - I put this on my damp hair, especially on days that I am letting it air dry.  I feel like it helps smooth everything and make my hair less frizzy.  I have a few backups of this because I bought them on sale so I will continue to use and opened a new one already.

Love Shampoo Lovely Smoothing Shampoo - This was a recent Birchbox sample.  I liked this shampoo but I didn't feel like it worked better than some others I have tried from the drugstore so I won't be purchasing a full size.

Perlier Shea Butter Intensive Nurturing Body Balm with sweet almond milk - I absolutely loved this lotion!  I used it as night before bed and it smelled so good.  It moisturized without being greasy.  It was a Birchbox sample and if I ever work through my ridiculous amount of hand creams, I will be purchasing this!

dr. Brandt Pores No More - This is a pore refiner that came in an Ipsy bag a few months back.  It smoothed into the skin nicely but I don't have very noticeable pores so this isn't a product I feel that I need.  I have primers that I like better.

Michael Todd Organic Lemon Toner - I got this in a Michael Todd set I bought off Groupon Goods so that I could try some products.  I liked this but didn't feel like it helped the more acne prone portions of my face.  I need something stronger on areas like my chin that break out often.  I would like to try other Michael Todd products in the future so I will be looking into that once I use up some skincare I have.

Mereadesso all-in-one moisturizer - This is a day and night moisturizer that also claims to be an eye cream, toner, and primer in one product.  I never used this during the day because I didn't like the way it sat on my skin before I applied makeup.  I did use it at night as a moisturizer but I wasn't a fan of the texture.  It felt kind of sticky and I didn't like how it absorbed into the skin.  This packet was $28 (good value for a Birchbox sample) and a full size would be $128!  I don't feel that it is worth that price even if I had the money.

Realtree for Her Perfume - I liked the scent of this but it wasn't very potent and after a few hours I couldn't even tell I applied perfume.  I won't purchase this scent.

Folle de joie perfume - I loved this scent.  It is a bit pricey (about $100 for full size) and I have lots of perfumes to work through.  Once I work through some scents and would use this more often, I would consider purchasing it.

CVS Premium cotton rounds - These have one side that is smooth and one that is textured.  I bought a bunch of these when they were on sale at CVS because I was out of the other brand from Big Lots.  These are okay and don't shed fuzzies into my eyes which is my big pet peeve.  I have a few packs of these to work through before I need to repurchase any more.

Epielle facial cleansing tissues - These were another Big Lots purchase because I had seen girls on Instagram that used them.  I removed my makeup with these at night before I cleansed my face.  I have one more pack to use up and then I will be returning to my favorite Sephora Cleansing Water.

Mary Kay Lip Gloss - I really like the formula of these glosses.  I have tried a shimmery shade though and I don't like it as much because I feel the glitter is big and chunky.  Anyways, I really like the matte shades.  They are super creamy and not sticky but still last on the lips for awhile.  This was in the shade Pink Parfait.  I was impressed with myself that I actually used up a whole gloss (minus the stuff in the bottom I can't dig out).  I kept this on my desk at work and used it like a lip balm because it was a nice easy shade to swipe on without a mirror.  I would definitely purchase more of these.

Urban Decay Perversion mascara - I really liked this mascara when I first received it from Ipsy.  However, over time it has become very goopy and thick and makes a huge mess.  Every time I put the brush back into the tube, product spills out over the sides and then gets all over everything.  For a high end mascara, I expect more for the price.  I won't purchase this product in a full size.

Bare Minerals Stroke of Light - This was an eye brightener I purchased because the ladies at Ulta recommended it as a concealer when I was on a search last year.  This is not enough coverage for my dark circles as a concealer.  However, I continued to use it as a brightener for around my eyes.  I won't repurchase at this time because I don't need a concealer and have other brighteners that I would like to try.

Maybelline fit me concealer in Sand - I really like this concealer and it is what I have been using for most of 2014 now.  This concealer is mostly empty but is now way too dark for me since my summer color is gone.  And I don't want to keep it around to use next summer after it is mostly used.  If I need the same color next summer, I will repurchase this product.  I am currently using the same brand in lighter shades and really like this concealer.

That is it for this month!  What products have you finished up and would recommend that I try out?  Any concealers you love or a brightener I should try next?

I'm also frequently posting on Instagram and Twitter if you want to follow me there!
Instagram - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79


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

Monday, October 27, 2014

October Beauty Subscription - Birchbox

I chose to cancel Ipsy after last month.  I decided I would rather try out another service or spend the $10 on other beauty products.  So this month, I just have Birchbox for you.  I have to admit that this month was not as exciting as the past few months.  However, that happens sometimes with sample boxes no matter where they are from.  And I still was able to try out products that were new to me, which is the main reason I continue Birchbox.  So let's check out what I received.

The theme for the box this month was Fanfare.  It sounds like this was to be a box of Birchbox favorites.  I do enjoy that I continue to receive a variety of products and brands from Birchbox even if they aren't my favorite products.  I do find a lot of products I absolutely love from Birchbox too.  But enough babbling.

1.  dr. brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner - I have only tried this product once.  It is a mask that claims to clear out blackheads and pores.  I do not have too many blackheads but I do have some clogged pores.  I didn't notice a big difference the one time I used it, but again, I don't have noticeable blackheads either.  I will continue to use this product, alternating with my other masks, and see if I develop a definite opinion.

2.  Ellovi vanilla butter - I was unsure what this product was for and the folks and Ellovi were nice enough to comment on my Instagram about all the uses which include as a hand cream, body lotion, makeup remover.  I have used this product as a cuticle cream at night and it smells very nice but not too overpowering.  It moisturized my cuticles nicely so I will continue to use it for that purpose.  It is a solid in the pot so you do need to warm it up a bit to use it.

3.  Lord and Berry Paillettes glitter eye pencil in black - I used this product once and now I can't find it.  Whoops:)  It was a teeny tiny sample and I think it must have rolled under a cabinet or something.  Who knows?  Anyways, the liners from this brand are nice and lasting but I feel like the pencil is very hard and pulls at my eyes when I apply.  I wouldn't buy this liner for that reason.  Although the glitter was fun for a night out or special event.

4.  Toni and Guy Cleanse shampoo for damaged hair - This arrived just in time for me to take with on a weekend away.  And I was very disappointed.  This shampoo and conditioner (see next item) made my scalp itch and not many products have ever done that.  While I do have sensitive skin, not too many hair products bother me.  So, I stopped using these products and you will see them in my empties in the next week.

5.  Toni and Guy Nourish Conditioner for damaged hair - This made my scalp itch.  See above post about the shampoo.  Disappointed in this product but I have since read that this brand can be hit or miss with their products.

So, that is it for my Birchbox this month.  Overall good products, some just didn't work well for me.  I should add that I usually take whatever Birchbox sends in the boxes each month rather than using the sample choice they offer.  I like the small surprises each month.

Follow me on Instagram and twitter for more beauty posts - hmills79 on both!


*All opinions are my own.  Products were purchased with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Walmart Fall Beauty Box

This is a beauty box subscription that I read posts about on Instagram.  It is from Walmart and is supposed to come out four times a year (seasonal) and the cost is $5 to cover shipping.

There is no profile and the boxes do not claim to be customized.  However, from chatting with friends on Instagram, we believe that anyone who entered an age over 30 got one box and those under 30 got another box.  This is just our assumptions and it could be something totally different.  However, if you have seen posts or watch Youtube videos, you will have seen that they did send out two different boxes.

So, here is what I received in my box this month.  There is no product information so I do not know if the sizes I received are full size.  Both of the moisturizers I received were 0.5 oz and the products listed on Walmart's site are 1.7 oz so I believe those are sample sizes.

Secret Clinical Strength deodorant - I am not too picky about my deodorant as long as it isn't Lady Speed Stick which causes an allergic reaction for me.  Otherwise, I will use Dove, Secret, Suave.  So, while I haven't tried this one yet, I will definitely get use out of it.

Clear Scalp and Hair Shampoo and Conditioner - I have tried this brand before and have the full size in my shower now.  They offer a few different types and this one was for damaged and color treated hair.  I do like this brand of products from the drugstore and have been happy with what I have tried from their lines.  They are pricier as far as drugstore brands go but have coupons often available.

Couture Couture perfume sample - I like this perfume.  It isn't one I would buy for myself but it is a sample that I like enough to use up.  I am horrible at describing scents but I would say it is a sweet and floral scent.

Covergirl Lipstick - This is a nice full size ( I believe) product included in the box.  It is a great wine shade for fall.  It is too dark for my personal tastes but I have friends that will use it.

Olay Regenerist Micro sculpting cream - This is a moisturizer for day and night.  I have not used it yet because I have moisturizers I am working on using up before they go bad for my Finish 6 by Christmas.  However, I plan to use this one once that has been used up.  I did try it once and I liked the texture.  I am also leaning towards anti-wrinkle products in my skincare routine lately so I am excited to try this one.

Loreal Revitalift Deep Acting Moisturizer - This is similar to the Olay cream with anti-aging properties and seems similar in texture as well.  I will be trying this one more once I use up my current moisturizers.

Overall, I definitely feel as thought I got my $5 worth in this box.  The moisturizers retail for about $20 each for 1.7 oz so the sample sizes of both of those would be more than the cost of the box.  Throw in the other products including a full size lipstick and this is a great deal.

I am unsure if you can still sign up for these boxes but you can find the link by going to and searching Beauty Box.  It did still have the option to subscribe when I searched while writing this post.  If you subscribed, let me know what you got this time around!


*All opinions are my own.  Products were purchased with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Monday, October 6, 2014

September Beauty Favorites

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I have been on a 100 day no buy since the end of July/beginning of August.  I will be done with it at the beginning of November.  For that reason, I don't have too many new favorites this month but I have been loving some products that I hadn't used much before.

The product that was new to me this month was the Sexy Mama translucent powder from TheBalm.  I bought this product back in the spring when TheBalm was on Hautelook.  I was trying to finish up a Neutrogena powder though so I just opened this one in the month of September when the Neutrogena was gone.  I like that this is sheer and goes on nicely.  It doesn't look too powdery and it doesn't cake in any spots on my face.  I can dust it on over concealer and it blends right in.  I wasn't sure about a translucent powder because I usually like that a powder gives me a bit of extra color but this one is nice.

Tarte Be MatteNificent palette - This is another product I got a long time ago and have barely used.  I have green eyes so I like the look of pinks and purples on my eyes.  I love all Tarte products I have tried and this is no exception.  I've been loving this palette this month and will be continuing to pull it out through the fall.

Butter London Lippy in Toff - This is more of a liquid lipstick consistency than a gloss.  However, I feel the pigmentation and feel on my lips isn't too heavy like some liquid lipsticks can be.  This shade is a nice rosy pink (one of those my lips but better shades) and I am really liking the formula of these products.

That is it for the month!  I have been continuing to love lots of products that I have talked about previously like my Mally mascara and FitMe concealer.  If you are interested in my thoughts on some past favorites that I'm still loving, check out those posts as well!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more beauty and fashion related posts!
Instagram - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79


*All opinions are my own.  Products were purchased with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Beauty Empties

I am sure I think and say this every month but time is flying by.  I can't believe it is already October and getting so close to the holidays.  We have quite a few birthdays between November and December so it is a busy time for us.  I thought I would have more makeup empties this month, but it is mostly skincare or body care.  There are some products I am close to using up so hopefully next month, I'll have more makeup to share.  Also, I am participating in the Finish 6 by Christmas tag that is going around on the blogs and Youtube.  So I'm hoping that will encourage me to use up some products as well.  Here is what I used up this month...

Oahu Coconut Sunset Body Lotion and Body Wash from Bath and Body Works - These were a gift and I'm trying to work through my stash of body washes and lotions.  I really loved the lotion in this scent.  It smelled like coconut and was perfect for the end of summer.  The body wash wasn't quite the same scent.  Something was just off about it.  I'd repurchase the lotion but not the body wash.

Suave Advanced Therapy Lotion - I really like this lotion, especially in the cooler months because I find it very moisturizing.  I just had a small bit left in this tube so I wanted to use it up.  I have a full size that I am working my way through and will be using quite a bit once it gets cooler and drier here.

Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah exfoliating shower gel - This was a Birchbox sample and I was disappointed to only get two uses out of it.  It smelled nice but I have a lot of body washes to work through before I would consider purchasing this product.  I do like the Harvey Prince scents that come from Birchbox.

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo - This is hubby's absolute favorite shampoo.  He uses it as a shampoo and body wash when he showers.  I buy it whenever it is on sale so we are stocked for quite awhile.

Suave Kids 3-in-1 in Wacky Melon - My daughter's shampoo and body wash.  This claims to also be a conditioner (3-in-1) but my daughter has long and very thick hair so she uses a regular conditioner on her hair when she showers.  I usually buy whatever is on sale for her hair but she likes to pick out these Suave scents.

Garnier Fructis Style Sleek and Shine Anti-humidity hairspray - I like this hairspray.  I am working through another bottle right now.  I don't think I will repurchase because I would like to try some others.  This one does work well on my hair and hold without being sticky.

Premium Cleansing Rounds - These are $1 a pack at Big Lots.  I really like them because they don't leave fuzz around or in my eyes.  I keep these stored in a container in my bathroom and when it runs out I'll refill which is why there are two packs this month.  I will purchase these next time I am at Big Lots again (mine is not very close by).

Neutrogena Rapid Clear acne eliminating spot gel - This is not quite empty but I am tossing it because it doesn't seem to be working anymore.  I don't know if I have found better products so this doesn't seem to work as well or it is just old and lost its clearing power (lol).  But it isn't clearing up anything with my skin so it needs to go.  I won't repurchase because I have found better products.

Mary Kay Timewise Face Wash - This is one of the few products I have left from when I sold Mary Kay a long time ago.  I like this face wash however I don't think I'll repurchase once it is gone since I have drugstore ones that I like better.

Mary Kay Timewise moisturizer - Again, this is nothing special but is leftover from when I sold Mary Kay.  It is a nice lightweight moisturizer for the daytime but I would like to try some other products so I won't repurchase.

Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser - I wasn't a fan of this.  It was very thick and I didn't feel like it rinsed off real well.  I'm not even sure they make this cleanser anymore, that is how old this sample is.  I think the creamy consistency is just not good for my skin.

Mary Kay Bronzer - This is old and is cracking and making a mess so I am tossing it.  I don't use it as a bronzer anyways because it is shimmery.  I sometimes would use it as a highlight but I wouldn't repurchase.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin pressed powder - I really like this powder.  It gives coverage without being too much or too powdery.  I have a few powders to work through but then I would repurchase this one.

Benefit Posie Balm - This was a Birchbox sample and I liked the consistency and amount of coverage.  It gave me just a hint of pink and I could apply easily without a mirror.  I do not have very pigmented lips but if you did, I doubt this would show up with any color on your lips because it is very light.  It also has a rather heavy scent but I didn't really notice it once I applied.  I won't purchase a full size because I have so many lip products to go through and it didn't wow me enough to run out and buy it.

Maybelline Lash Discovery mascara - I use this on my bottom lashes and I really love it.  I am using another mascara I bought for my bottom lashes right now but when it is gone this is the one I will repurchase.

Original Chapstick - I keep these everywhere.  And I have a ton more so I will continue to use it but definitely don't need to repurchase anytime soon.

Sorry, these posts get so long!  But I want to make sure I am thorough in my reviews for all of you!  What did you use up this month?  Anything you loved that I should try out?  Let me know in the comments below.

I also post reviews and beauty items on Instagram.
Instagram - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79


*All opinions are my own.  Products shown were purchased with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Beauty Subscriptions - September

Time again for my beauty subscriptions and mini reviews!  I have Ipsy and Birchbox included this month.  I decided to cancel my Ipsy after this month so you won't be seeing it in my October post.  The products I was receiving weren't products or shades that I use.  Ipsy says they customize the bags based upon your reviews, which I do every month.  So I have been a little disappointed that when I put in my reviews that bright colors are not for me, I continue to receive them.  And I know that everyone is different, so this is just my opinion on the products I was receiving and how I felt about the service.  There are a ton of people who love Ipsy, I just wasn't feeling I was getting my money's worth from it.  I continue to keep Birchbox because even though I don't always like the products I receive (although my boxes have been great lately), I find their point system makes up for it.

I did sign up for the Walmart Beauty Box so I will try to post about that once I have a chance to use some of the products.  There is no profile or anything, you just sign up with name and age.  Therefore, the boxes are not necessarily customized but for $5 I figured I would give it a try.  I might include that in its own post and then depending on when it comes in the future include it with my Birchbox post.

This was my Ipsy bag for September:
1.  Hikari Lipstick in Cabernet - I opened this, swatched it on my hand, and gave it away.  It is a dark reddish burgundy color.  I am not a dark lipstick person.  This was not a shade I would wear which I have told Ipsy when I received products in similar shades in the past.  If you like the fall burgundy lip you would probably love this shade although I can't speak to the formula.
2.  Pacifica Eyeliner in Fringe - This is a brown pencil liner.  It isn't anything special.  It did tug a bit on me and wasn't a very soft pencil to use in my opinion.  I do like brown eyeliner a lot but this is not one I am finding myself reaching for.
3.  NYX Shadow in Innocent - This is a pretty champagne color.  I love NYX shadows so I was excited to receive this and in a color I don't already own.  It is a great color to pair with lots of different looks or to wear as a highlight.
4.  Crown Crease/Shadow Brush - This is okay.  I have used it a bit with the shadow end.  I'm not impressed enough to go out and buy any of this brand of brushes.
5.  Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask - I have used this once and I did like it.  I will continue to use it and see if it wows me.  But right now, I'm not finding it any better than some other masks that I really have liked.  And it is hard to dig the product out of a tub when in the shower.  I prefer when the hair mask is in a tube (yes, I'm picky like that).

On to Birchbox:
1.  Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah - This was a shower gel and I really liked the smell.  I can't remember exactly what it was though.  I tend to like the Harvey Prince scents that Birchbox sends.  The only thing I didn't like was that I probably got two uses out of this small tube since it was a shower gel which requires more product (at least for me).
2.  Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray - This is the first product from this brand I have tried and I love it!  They smell fantastic and I do enjoy using it as a leave-in before I blow dry or heat style my hair.  I have also used it on my hair when I was air-drying my hair and it seemed to help control some of the frizz I get when I air dry.
3.  Mereadesso All-in-One Moisturizer - This packet of moisturizer is $28.  The full size is $120!  For that price, it has to do amazing things to my skin and this doesn't.  It is nice as a moisturizer.  I've been using it at night because it is a bit heavy for my skin for daytime.  It smells really nice and applies nicely too.  It claims to be a primer, eye cream, serum, etc. all-in-one (hence the name:) however since I was using it at night I don't know how it works as a primer.  While it is a foil packet, this packet has lasted me a few weeks already so its a good size and it is resealable so you don't rip off the top and get a mess.  It would be great for travel because I think you can buy these packets for the $28 price online.
4.  Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar - I was super excited to receive this lip balm because I have been wanting to try it.  It is a sheer neutral color which I love in a balm because I can swipe it on without a mirror when I am out running around.  This feels very nice on the lips and moisturizing.
5.  Temptu S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer - I will admit I was a little frightened to try this because I was afraid it would make me look like a disco ball.  However, it really doesn't at all.  I put a little bit on my cheek bones and then applied my powder blush over it.  Perhaps its because I have fair skin, but it showed up as more of a pinky cream blush than a shimmer.  I was surprised by how much I liked this product.  And I think this small bottle will last me quite awhile since I only use a few drops.
6.  Chapstick Day and Night - This was an "extra" that Birchbox throws in now and then on top of your usual samples.  The nice part is that you can still do a review and earn points on it.  So, I basically had 6 products to review this month which will equal $6 I can use in the Birchbox shop.  I like this Chapstick.  I put it in my purse and have been using it frequently.  I haven't used the night part at night because I am loyal to my Neutrogena chapstick before bed.  However, I've tried both ends during the day (the day end has SPF) and I like that it doesn't feel waxy and goes on very nicely.  And it stays put for awhile instead of wearing off and feeling like you need to reapply often.

I was very happy with my Birchbox again this month.  And I have already talked about Ipsy so you won't see that in a future post.  I have thought about joining a different subscription service but I am holding off for right now until I decide if I want a beauty box or something totally different (like snacks...yum:)  What did you receive this month in your subscription services?  Have a new one you think I should try?  Let me know in the comments below!

As always, I post a lot on Instagram and Twitter so follow me there!
Instagram - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79


*All opinions are my own.  Products were purchased with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finish 6 by Christmas

There is a tag going around Youtube called Finish 6 by Christmas.  I have yet to find any blogs participating but I will be looking for those as well.  I love Project Pan and "finish it" tags because I always find it interesting what people want to use up (I'm weird like that).  Most people also post updates and I like to see if they are using the products or decided they hated them too much.  I love the whole idea.

I was encouraged by two ladies on Instagram that also make Youtube videos to participate in Finish 6 by Christmas.  They are Anyamarie10 and Jessicagreen518 so you should go follow them too!  Those are their Instagram and Youtube channel names.  The point of Finish 6 by Christmas is that you pick 6 items that you will try to use up by Christmas (I'm sure you'd already figured that out:)

I thought I would share my items with you through a blog post since I don't make Youtube videos.

1.  Befine Night Cream - I really like this night cream, especially in the warmer months.  It is not too heavy and does a great job moisturizing without being greasy.  I am including it because I have had it for quite awhile and I need to use it up before it goes bad.  I hate to throw a product away and waste it, especially when it wasn't inexpensive to begin with.  I did put a line on it with a sharpie on the back so that I can monitor my progress.

2.  Stila Lip Glaze in Banana - This is another product that I've had around for quite awhile and need to use before it is bad (this probably it true of a lot of my lip products but can't choose them all:).  It lived in my purse for a long time which is why the end is so nasty.  I usually swipe on some type of lip product before I walk out the door so I'm going to use this every morning until it is gone.  I also put a line on this product for progress.

3.  Stila Eye Kajal in Amethyst - I love this eyeliner.  It is my absolute holy grail!  So why am I including it you ask?  It could be because I have four or five more.  Lol.  So, Stila discontinued this product a few years ago and when they put it on clearance on their website I bought about 10 of them.  So I use it, just not as often as I should considering I still own about five backups.  I purposely laid this eyeliner next to the Lorac product so I can compare size as I go through the new few months.

4.  Lorac Porefection - This came in a Lorac kit I bought and is a silicone based mattifying primer.  I am including this because I don't like it and really just want it gone.  It is probably 3/4 of the way full if not more.  Full disclosure - This could be what is causing the clogged pores I am getting.  If they get worse and I determine it is this product, I will be trashing it.

5.  Bare Minerals Concealer - I think this is the shade light 2.  I bought this last year in my quest to find the perfect under eye concealer.  I had never tried the Bare Minerals brand and thought this might work.  It is a great concealer but it is way too creamy for my under eyes.  I am going to include it to use in problem areas on my face to try to use it up.

6.  NYX Blush in Dusty Rose -  I love the color and I love NYX blushes.  I just have so many blushes I thought I would focus on one to try to use it up.  I may get totally frustrated from seeing very little progress on a blush but maybe I'll at least hit pan by Christmas.

So, those are my products I will be focusing on using often if not daily.  I plan to post a few updates between now and Christmas on how I am doing.  Also, if I do actually use a product up, I might try to find another product to add in.  Just to keep clearing some products out.

If you are participating in something like this whether through a blog or Youtube, let me know in the comments below.  I would love to check it out!

I post a lot to Instagram and Twitter so follow me there too!
Instagram - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79


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

Saturday, September 6, 2014

August Beauty Favorites

I didn't post a July Beauty Favorites because it was summer and I didn't wear much makeup, if any at all.  However, August means back to work and looking more presentable:)  So, here are my August Favorites...

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - I was super excited to get my first Vox Box from Influenster.  If you're not familiar with Influenster, it is linked with social media, you complete activities online and have opportunities to receive products for review.  The site is if you are interested.  It is free to sign up.  I received this set of polish from Influenster to review.  I did an entire post about the products which you can read here.  I liked the wear of this polish.  It lasted about 10 days before it chipped enough that I chose to remove it.  With a normal polish, I get about four days:(

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara - I received this in a Birchbox and I absolutely love it.  I believe it was in my June favorites also.  It is one of the few high end mascaras that I would pay full price for.  It gives me good volume and also some length.

Air Repair Super Hydrating Eye Cream - I received an Air Repair product in a Birchbox (it was the Rescue Balm) and I really liked it so I thought I would try more of their products.  This eye cream is hydrating without being greasy.  I think my future eye cream purchases need to contain some sort of anti-wrinkle property but this one is really great for hydration.

NYX Butter Gloss in Angel Food Cake - Everyone loves the butter glosses.  I have quite a few shades but I hadn't ever used this particular shade even though I owned it awhile (I have too many lip products, obviously).  I pulled it out this month and it is a great rosy shade, very close to my natural lip color.  It is one of those "my lips but better" shades that people talk about.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Inked in Pink and J.Cat Eyeshadow in Half Naked - I have been loving this particular color combination this month.  I apply the pink color tattoo and then the champagne shade J.Cat shadow.  It gives a lovely pink color without being too shimmery.  I have worn this with navy liner, brown liner, black liner.  It has been my favorite shadow combination this month.

What have you been loving this month?  I have been on a 100 day no buy and will be continuing with it until the beginning of November.  So my favorites in the coming months will be items I have that I hadn't ever pulled out to use or items I've rediscovered.  What did you love this month?

I post quite a few pics on Instragram of beauty and fashion I'm loving so check me out over there.
Instagram - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79


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

Monday, September 1, 2014

August Beauty Empties

With the end of August comes back to school time for us.  My husband and I are both teachers and I have a daughter who started second grade this year.  We are fortunate that we can travel and be together in the summer but August gets busy with meetings, evening events, and getting ready for school again.

I'm excited for my August Beauty Empties because empty posts and videos are my absolute favorite. I love seeing the mini reviews on products to help me decide whether I want to purchase an item.  And also seeing what people liked enough to use up or get rid of.  So, here goes...

1.  Ulta Shower Smoothie in Creamy Cocolada - I use these shower smoothies to shave with.  I have had lots of different scents but I love the coconut smell!  I usually buy them at Ulta when I am running low and there is a sale.  This is the big bottle which lasts me quite awhile.  I've already repurchased.
2.  Happy Birthday, Beautiful Shower Gel from Sephora - This was a birthday gift at Sephora quite awhile ago.  I had just a little bit left so I wanted to use it up before I would have to toss it.  I don't usually spend much money on shower gel so I probably won't buy a Philosophy shower gel although I liked it.
3.  Twilight Woods Shower Gel from Bath and Body Works - This was a gift and I really like shower gels and lotions from BBW.  I liked this scent but it wouldn't be one I'd repurchase if I was buying for myself.
4.  Twilight Woods Body Lotion - Again, I liked it but it isn't a scent that is my favorite from BBW.  I like more clean/fresh scents.
5.  Jo Malone Body Creme in Wild Bluebell - This came in a set with the perfume I received for Christmas.  It was rather greasy so I used it on my hands before bed and this tub lasted me a long time!  I won't purchase since Jo Malone is pricey but I do love this scent!

6.  Epielle Facial Cleansing Tissues - I know there are different types of these but these are the first ones I've tried.  I have seen other ladies post about them on Instagram and picked some up.  They are $1 at Big Lots for 30 wipes and aren't the best wipes but they are $1!  I use them to remove makeup at night before I cleanse.  I would repurchase these if I was near a Big Lots (mine aren't too convenient).
7.  Royal Cleansing Pads - These are another Big Lots purchase and they were right around $1 for 80 of them.  I love these!  They aren't exfoliating if you like those types but I sometimes find that cotton pads shed and I end up with fibers in my eye.  Ick!  These didn't shed at all.  If my Big Lots was closer I would only buy these cotton pads.  I would definitely repurchase if I am in Big Lots again.
8.  dr. brandt Microdermabrasion - I received this in an Ipsy bag and was able to get quite a few uses out of it since it isn't something I do daily.  I liked this microdermabrasion because it had very fine particles and I didn't feel like I was taking my skin off.  LOL  I won't repurchase because my favorite is the one by Vasanti and I have a full size to use up of that one.
9.  Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum - This was a Birchbox sample a long time ago.  I liked it so much I bought the full size which I have been using.  However, I was concerned this small sample that I usually keep for travel would go bad soon so I went ahead and used it up.  I already have a full size of this product.
10.  Grand Central Beauty SMART skin perfecting serum and primer - Also a Birchbox sample, I liked how this felt on my skin.  It went on very nicely and absorbed quickly.  I didn't have enough uses to know if it perfected my skin but as a primer it worked well.  I might repurchase depending on price of the full size.

11.  Tresemme Tres Two Spray - This was in my travel bag and I used it up on one of our recent vacations.  I really like this hairspray and would consider buying the full size once I use up the Garnier one I have a few of already.
12.  Beauty Protector Protect and Treat Mask - This was a Birchbox sample and it smells so good!  I felt it worked well as a hair mask and made my hair smoother and less frizzy for awhile.  I have quite a few hair mask samples to use up before I consider purchasing a full size of this product.
13.  Hello Perfume by Harvey Prince - This was a sample size from somewhere and it was an okay fragrance.  I'm really bad at describing fragrances but I didn't like it enough to purchase a full size of it.
14.  OPI Original Nail Envy - There is still a little left in this bottle but it is hard to get out and getting thick and goopy.  I alternate using this on my nails with nail polish.  The ends of my nails peel and this seems to help.  I have already repurchased this product.
15.  Wet N Wild Mega Impact Mascara - I bought this on a whim because between a coupon and sale it was super cheap.  I can't use this because I found it very flaky and it really bothered my eyes during the day.  So it isn't empty but it is going in the trash.
16.  Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara - I love this and have repurchased many times.  It isn't a super crazy mascara and gives me a nice natural look for daytime.  I am wanting to try some other drug store mascaras so I won't be repurchasing at this time.
17.  Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara - This was part of the birthday gift from Sephora.  It was okay.  I had trouble with it making my lashes clumpy.  I don't know if it was the brush shape or what but it didn't apply well for me.  I won't repurchase because it just wasn't a favorite.

Sorry for the long post!  I also used up some smaller samples and foil packets but I'm not including all those in my empty posts.  You can check those out and the mini reviews if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter.  I am also doing a no buy for 100 days with some ladies on Instagram so I am trying to use up products and not buy anything new until the beginning of November.  So far, I haven't caved:)  I do have quite the wish list going though.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Beauty Subscriptions - August

Time again for my Ipsy and Birchbox reviews!  This is my favorite mail day of the month so I hope you are all enjoying these mini reviews.  I have posted about both of these services before so I won't go into it much.  Feel free to look back at previous posts for more information.  Each one is $10.

I'll start with Ipsy this time.  (I never remember which I start with:)  My Ipsy bags have been rather disappointing to me lately.  There just weren't very many products that I liked.  But this month was much better!

1.  Urban Decay Perversion mascara - I love this product!  It is one of the few high-end mascaras I would consider buying.  It makes my lashes nice and long and doesn't smudge at all.  I would definitely purchase this product.
2.  Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk - I have never used dry shampoo and have no comparison for this one.  I did try it and it left some white cast that went away as I massaged it in.  It smelled nice.  I would say it worked since my hair appeared less greasy.  I wouldn't purchase because it isn't something I use.
3.  J. Cat Beauty Flying Solo Shadow in Half Naked - I love this shadow too!  I was afraid it would be orange or very peach when I opened it.  However, it is a very nice champagne color and I wear it often on my lid.  I would say I'd purchase one, but it will take me forever just to go through this one:) And I haven't ever seen the J.Cat Beauty brand anywhere around me.
4.  Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer - I have been using this as my primer every morning.  I don't have huge pores, just a few noticeable ones around the end of my nose.  However, I have been applying this on my t-zone as I normally do with a primer where I tend to be oilier.  It works as well as most primers I've tried.  I'm not wowed by it so I wouldn't spend the money on it.
5.  Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Nutrient Dense Anti-Aging Lip Conditioner in Mandarin Green Orange Ginger - Longest product name ever!  I have been keeping this in my purchase and using it as my chapstick.  It is okay.  I like waxier chapsticks (don't know how to describe them) like Chapstick or Burts Bees.  This doesn't seem to stay on very long and I need to reapply often.  I will not be purchasing this product.

Now onto Birchbox!  My Birchboxes over the past few months have been awesome!  This one was not as great but I still always love Birchbox.

1.  Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo - Again, I don't really use dry shampoos.  This one smells awesome though!  If I was buying dry shampoo, I would probably buy it over the Klorane just because it didn't leave the white cast on my hair so I found it easier to use.
2.  Dr. Jart+ Dis-a-Pore Beauty Balm - I tried this once but it was way too light for my skin.  It left a white cast like a sunblock does, perhaps because it contains 30 SPF?  I will try it again in the winter and see if it is the coloring or just the product.
3.  ModelCo Shimmer Bronzer - This is just okay.  I think the color isn't really for me.  I can use it very sparingly on my nose or temples but not to contour my cheeks because it makes them look dirty.  I will continue to use this and see if my opinion changes.
4.  Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream with Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 - I always like hand cream samples because I put them in my purse or nightstand.  However, since this one contains SPF, I felt like my hands smelled like sunblock all day or at night.  It isn't a hand cream I'll use much.
5.  Nugg Beauty Soothing Mask - I liked this mask but can't say too much about its effects because I only got a little more than one use out of it.  I liked the texture of this mask  It made my skin feel soft but I don't have much dryness right now or redness which is what the mask is supposed to be for.  The Birchbox site has other types of masks from this brand so I might try some of those out.

So, those are my products and reviews for this month!  I have been using quite a few of the products and really liking them.  The favorites would be the mascara and eye shadow from my Ipsy bag.

If you don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I post mini reviews of products over there, some other beauty posts, and some outfit posts.
Instagram - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79


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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Review

I was super excited to recently receive my first box from Influenster.  If you aren't familiar with Influenster, it is a website that you can sign up for.  Once you sign up, you post reviews, complete activities, and many other activities related to social media.  Part of being an "Influenster" means that they will send you products to review.

I received the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish.  I love nail polish but often get annoyed by having to change it so often.  No matter what top coat I use, I often have chips after 24-48 hours.  And often after only a few days, I feel that it has chipped so badly that I need to remove the polish.

I was a little skeptical about the Miracle Gel since I do have so many problems with my nails, but I was very surprised and pleased by the wear time.  I received a fun shade of red to try out that had a hint of orange to it.  It was a great color for summer (330 in Redgy).  I followed the directions and applied two coats of the gel color and one coat of the gel top coat.  It says "No Light Needed" but I did sit outside and read while it was drying to give it a little help from the sunlight.  That won't be possible in fall and winter so I'll be interested to see how it works then.

I was very pleased with this polish.  It stayed on well for me with minimal wear at the tips.  This was after four days.  After four days with most polishes, I'm getting close to needing to remove it.

I left the polish on for ten days before I finally removed it and I was super happy it lasted that long.  Here is what it looked like before I removed it.

This is the same hand as the picture above and you can see there is a bit more chipping on a few fingers but overall really good.  I also have problems with splitting at the ends of my nails so that causes the polish to chip which is what happened here.  If I didn't have splitting, I might have been able to get some more days out of this.

I was very satisfied with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel.  At my local Walgreens, the set retails for about 17.99.  That includes a shade of polish and a gel top coat.  The sets do come in different shades besides the one I received.  The polishes are also sold without the gel top coat so you can get different shades.  Those were 9.99 at my Walgreens.  I am definitely going to pick up another shade of the polish to try, probably a nude shade that I wear more often.

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Let me know if you have tried this polish and your thoughts!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  All opinions are my own.