Friday, May 30, 2014

May Beauty Empties

Yay!  Love empties, as I've mentioned before.  Part of my love comes from knowing that if I use something up, then I need to replace it with something else....right?:)  I actually bought a whole lot of products after the holidays with gift cards and around my birthday in February so I haven't purchased much lately and am trying to use up some of what I already have around.  I also get lots of little sample size treats from my Ipsy and Birchbox each month so that gives me some new products to try.  On to what I used up this month....

1.  The top foil packet was a No. 4 Volumizing Conditioner sample from Birchbox this month.  I am still getting some uses from the shampoo so that will show up next month.  I absolutely love these.  They smell so good and I really like how they feel and make my hair feel.  However, they are super pricey so I probably won't purchase a full size unless I tally up a ton of Birchbox points:)
2.  Keims Hair Care Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo - This is another sample from one of my beauty subscriptions over the past few months.  I wasn't a huge fan.  It wasn't very thick (it tended to run out of my palm) and didn't lather as much as I like.  I wouldn't purchase it but I do like being able to try out new hair care samples.
3.  Eucerin Original Moisturzing Cream - I bought this over the winter because Chicago was horrible this winter!  It is greasy so I would only use it before bed on my hands but it was very thick and moisturizing.  I have lots of lotions and hand creams to use up so I won't repurchase anytime soon.

4.  Neutrogena Oil-free eye makeup remover - This is my favorite eye makeup remover.  It doesn't bother my eyes at all and I think it does a good job of removing my makeup.  I will continue to repurchase this.
5.  Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water - I bought this on a whim because I wanted to try the cleansing oil from Sephora that lots of people talk about.  My Sephora was out of the oil so I tried the water instead.  I really like this.  I used it on a cotton pad at night.  I don't know that you need to cleanse after but I used my face wash at night after this and felt my face was super clean and I had significantly less break outs.  I tried the Garnier Cleansing Oil which I'm using right now and not a huge fan of so when its gone, I'll definitely repurchase the Sephora cleansing water.
6.  First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with red clay - This was another subscription box sample.  I really liked this product however I have other face washes that I like equally as much that are not as pricey so I probably won't purchase anytime soon.
7.  Air Repair Rescue Balm - Came in a subscription box - I know you're surprised:)  This balm is amazing!  I used it primarily on my cuticles at night however I went through about a week with super chapped lips for some reason and I tried this on them instead of chapstick.  It worked so well!  I will definitely repurchase this item.

8.  CK One mascara - This was my free mascara from Ulta for my birthday.  I wasn't a fan and won't spend money on it.  It made my lashes look okay but I found it really hard to remove.  When trying to remove it, it tended to flake and then it got in my eyes.  Not good.  This is more of a trash item than an empty item.
9.  100% Pure Mascara - This was a sample from a subscription box and at first I wasn't a huge fan.  It gives a very natural look, not much volume or length for me.  And it has a very fruity smell, I'm sure due to the natural ingredients.  However, the smell went away the more I used it and I found it to be an awesome bottom lash mascara.  I'm saving up my Birchbox points to buy it very soon!
10.  Dolce and Gabbana Pour Femme - This was okay.  I use these samples so I can try out new fragrances, but I wasn't a huge fan of this.  It smelled too sweet and like candy which I'm not a huge fan of.  If you are though, it has a subtle hint of the sweet candy smell and you would probably really enjoy the scent.

Lots of skincare items this month.  Makeup is so much harder to get through.  I only tend to go through mascaras because I have such problems with my eyes (mostly due to allergies and sometimes infections) that I don't keep them more than 3-4 months even if I haven't used them up.

Would love to hear what you used up this month!  Let me know or share your post in the comments so I can check it out!

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

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Beauty Subscriptions - May

It's time to share what I received this month in my beauty subscriptions!  I subscribe to both Ipsy and Birchbox which are $10.00 each.  In case you are wanting to pick just one, here are my opinions on why I prefer Birchbox.

Both services offer points for reviewing the products you receive each month.  I prefer the points system of Birchbox because I feel you are able to get more from your points.  With the Birchbox points, you get 10 pts for each product you  review and once you reach 100 pts, you can redeem for $10.00 off a purchase from the Birchbox shop.  I honestly can't tell you as much about the Ipsy points.  I know you can redeem them once you reach at least 1,000 for different products but after six months, I'm still not even close to having enough to redeem for a bonus product from Ipsy.  Hence, why I don't have much information to tell you about that one.  You can also earn points from both companies for people using your referral link.

The reason I prefer Birchbox besides the points system is because it sends products that I wouldn't normally buy otherwise.  The sizes aren't always as large as Ipsy but the products are usually higher end so I can try them out before making the investment.  Ipsy often includes products I can find at Target and Ulta which are still great to try but I might be willing to spring for them if they are only $5 without trying them through a subscription service.

Now, onto what I received!  Let's start with Ipsy this month.  I wasn't as excited about Ipsy as I usually am.

The Ipsy bag was a burlap material with leaves that say Ipsy.  I do keep these bags each month, although I have yet to decide what to do with them.  I received a hair mask which is what I'm excited to try the most.  I also received a Calvin Klein Euphoria perfume sample.  Not too excited about the scent but at least it is a rollerball mini size which is easier to apply than some other sample sizes.  I received a sunscreen and a water spray, both of which I think I will get more use out of when it is warmer.  And finally, a Pacifica eye shadow which I'm not crazy about the shades.  As I have said, I wasn't very excited about most of these products this month.  I haven't tried a hair mask so I'm looking forward to that but otherwise....This does happen sometimes with these bags and boxes.  Some months I love them and sometimes they are just okay.  So we shall see what next month brings.

Now for Birchbox which I thought was pretty good this month.

I received a sunscreen (Cotz Face) which is a very small sample size but will be good for traveling.  I also received shampoo from the No 4 brand.  The foil packet is the coordinating conditioner which was a little "beauty extra" and did not count towards my number of samples.  I liked that this was an extra but I am able to try the shampoo and conditioner together.  I received a Lara and Co Lip pencil. This is similar to the Revlon balm pencils.  It has a slight tingle and I like how it applies.  It isn't really a color I prefer, which was the only fault I had with this product.  I know they have more nude shades, which I like better, so I may try one of those with my points.  The final products I received were a shave cream and Smarty Pants vitamins.

I haven't used many of these products yet this month.  However, as I use them up I will put them into my empties posts and let you know how I liked them.

I will include my links below...I do receive points if people sign up however you can always go to the website and sign up there as well.


As always, these products were purchased with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pinch Me - A Mini Review

So awhile back I heard about a service called PinchMe.  It is free and you can qualify for free samples of different products.  They ask that you complete a survey about the product after you receive it.  They release samples every few weeks and I qualified every time for the first few after I signed up, but haven't qualified for any the past one or two times they had a release.  So, I guess it is hit and miss.  I'm not sure what makes you qualify to receive a product, but any free samples are fun to me.  Over the past few months, I have received a few different samples that I thought I'd share with you.

The first sample I received was the Clear Scalp and Hair Beauty Therapy Shampoo for damage and color repair.  I don't color my hair but I do dry it and straighten it with heat so it can get damaged.  So, I am not super picky about my shampoo and conditioner (I think I have mentioned this before).  I would consider purchasing any shampoo or conditioner as long as it doesn't hurt my hair.  I would purchase this shampoo, especially if there were coupons or it was on sale.  I did use up this entire sample, and I think it is was in a previous empties post.

I also was sent a Gevalia sample.  It is one of the pods that goes in a machine for K-cups.  I don't have one so I took it to a friend's house one day and used hers:)  There is a froth packet that goes in first and then the cup fills with the coffee.  This was okay, I'm a black coffee fan so it was a little sweet for me.  However, I think if you like flavored coffees, you would like this product.

My most recent sample was a nail polish from Sinful Colors.  It is a pale blue/green color called Tidal Wave.  I really liked the color for spring.  However, this started chipping after only about 24 hours and I used my OPI topcoat with it.  I do have issues with nail polish not chipping but this seemed to chip faster than other brands.  I might try it on my toes and see how it holds up since those don't chip as quickly.

Overall, I think this is a fun service to receive free samples and try out new products.  I have completed my reviews which earns me points.  I haven't gotten enough points yet to know what the points do for you:)  Perhaps more points qualifies you for more samples, I don't know?
The website is


All opinions are my own.  I signed up for the service on my own after reading about it.  The samples were free to receive (and are for anyone who chooses to sign up).  I am not being compensated for my opinions on the products.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

April Favorites

Besides empties posts, I like to read everyone's favorites.  It always gives me ideas of new products I'd like to try.  I don't know if that is a good thing:)

In addition to these being products I really liked this month, they were all new discoveries for me that I either picked up at the store to try or heard someone else talk about either on their blog or Youtube.

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Leave-In Spray - I bought this because I was looking for a heat protector and it was on sale.  I spray this on my hair after I blow dry and before I use my flat iron.  You can also use it before you blow dry but I use a different product that is a combination leave in conditioner and protectant so I don't use it on wet hair.  I spray this on my dry hair and then flat iron.  It makes my hair seem so much smoother and it really makes it last.  I no longer have to flat iron my hair the next day, it is still super straight (I don't always wash my hair every day).  I also feel like it is softer after flat ironing.

Garnier BB Cream for combination to oily skin in light to medium - This was a suggestion from Tara at War Paint with Tara Michelle.  I apply this BB Cream with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and it gives good coverage.  This is great for when I want lighter coverage but still want to have good looking skin.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Pink Rose - This was a new product that Maybelline came out with recently and I really like it.  In addition to giving my cheeks some color, it also gives them a subtle glow without a separate highlighter.  I want to try a peach or nude shade so I might pick that up next.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in 920 Nude Lust - I love this lipstick for a nude lip.  I can wear it along or topped with a nude gloss and either way looks great.  Sometimes I feel like a nude doesn't apply very evenly but this always looks great.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 Sand - I picked this up this month because I ran out of my Nars Creamy Concealer and was looking to try something less expensive.  I heard this was a good concealer and thought I would give it a try.  I'm pretty happy with how it applies.  It is not quite as much coverage as the Nars but it is still good coverage and it is a better shade for me at this time (the Nars was too dark and there wasn't a great match for my skin tone as the lighter shades were all too pink).  This might be my new favorite under eye concealer....I'll keep you posted.

Jordana 12 hour Made to Last Liquid Eyeliner Pencil in Expresso Last - I had seen this on Youtube and Instagram as favorites.  This is not a liquid eyeliner.  It is a super creamy pencil eye liner.  It glides on really well and gives you a bit of time to smudge it out.  But then it sets and stays all day.  I don't wear eye liner in my waterline (my eyes are too sensitive) so I can't speak to the staying power there but it works really well on my along my top and bottom lashes.

I hope you have enjoyed my first favorites post!  I was really excited about new products I tried this month and wanted to share them with you.


**All products were purchased with my own money and I did not receive any compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Beauty Empties

Beauty Empties are some of my favorite posts to read and videos to watch because I love seeing what people used up and their mini reviews of the products.  I may have a problem:)  So, being the beginning of May, here is what I used up last month.  I had quite a few things!  I bought a lot of makeup at the beginning of the year with gift cards from Christmas and with my birthday being in February so my goal is to not buy too many new makeup items for awhile and try to use up some of what I have.  

First picture this time is of a few items that are going in the trash even though they aren't empty.
1.   Fabulous Face Natural Finish Concealer from Ulta.  I bought this awhile ago (I actually think I got it for free with a promotion) and hadn't used it yet because I was using my Nars concealer.  So, after finishing up the Nars one, I tried this.  Not for me!  I have pretty dark under eye circles and it didn't cover them at all.  I also didn't find it thick enough to cover blemishes well either.
2.  The other item is a Tarte Smoldereyes liner.  I think this just got old.  I don't use it too often and I tried to use it the other day and it was very dry.

Next up is body and skincare empties.  
1.  Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner - I like this conditioner, love the smell of coconut. However, I am also not too picky about my shampoo and conditioner.  I have yet to buy a product that I loved so much I felt I had to repurchase for my hair.  I usually buy what is on sale.  My hair is very thick, I have a lot of it, and it is not color treated.  Therefore, it is pretty agreeable for me:)
2.  Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave in Conditioner - I got this sample in an Ipsy or Birchbox.  It was just okay for me.  Compared to other leave in conditioners I've tried, I felt that it made my hair greasy.  I wouldn't repurchase since I have found others that I prefer.
3.  Clear Scalp and Hair Beauty Therapy Damage and Color Repair Nourishing Shampoo - Whew!  Long name.  I got this for free as a sample through PinchMe (I'll do a full post about this soon).  I liked this product and didn't feel it made my hair any worse.  But again, didn't feel like it did anything special either.  If it was on sale, I'd purchase it though.
4.  Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream - This was another sample from Ipsy or Birchbox.  It was okay as a body lotion.  I don't feel it is as wonderful as I've heard people say.  I have seen people rave about it.  It is nice and smooth and has a good scent.  It is not moisturizing enough for me in the winter months and I felt I went through the sample very quickly.  I would not purchase this.
5.  Mary Kay Timewise Age-Fighting Moisturizer - I think I've mentioned before that I sold Mary Kay products when my daughter was younger.  I really like their skincare and have continued to use some products that I bought for myself awhile ago before I stopped selling.  This bottle of moisturizer lasted me a long time!  I would repurchase this moisturizer, however I have a few bottles left that I will continue to use up first.
6.  Mary Kay Satin Hands fragrance free hand cream - This was a travel size I had from Mary Kay.  I kept it in my purse and finally used it up.  Its a good hand cream for your purse or car because it isn't too greasy.
7.  Mary Kay Timewise 3 in 1 Cleanser - Again, left over from Mary Kay selling days.  I've been trying to use up a lot of my skincare products instead of buying new items.  I like this cleanser a lot and would repurchase.

Lastly is makeup items:
1.  Loreal Youth Code Pore Vanisher - This was a sample from a magazine.  It was okay.  I don't feel that I have a problem with pores on my face at this time in my life.  Therefore, I would not spend the money on this product for myself.
2.  Garnier 5 Sec Blur - Again, a magazine sample.  And again, not a product I feel I need to use at this time so I won't be purchasing it.
3.  Urban Decay Ultra Definition Skin - This is a little sample packet.  No idea where it came from but it had a sample of a primer and a few different foundation colors to use as well.  It was a very small sample so it is hard to know if I really like it and how my skin would react with prolonged wear.
4.  Nars Creamy Concealer in Custard - I liked this concealer because it was thicker and I felt it gave me really good coverage, however the color never really matched as perfectly as I'd like once my summer tan wore off.  This concealer is pricey but it lasted me a good six months.  I would repurchase but I'm trying some less expensive options at the moment.
5.  Chapstick Hydration Lock - This was a Birchbox extra one month.  Its a chapstick, nothing special.  I kept it by my bed and used it at night.  It has a nice vanilla scent.  It isn't an item that I would feel the need to purchase.
6.  Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara - I really like this mascara although I feel like I went through it very quickly.  I would definitely repurchase it.

Wow, this was a long post, but I like to give you some info on the products and my opinions.  I feel it is much more helpful than just telling you what I used up.  If I don't feel its worth my money, you should know that.  What have you used up?  Do you have a post or a youtube channel?  Let me know so I can check it out!