Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July Beauty Empties

Can I say that I don't believe it is the end of July already?  I know everyone says that every month with these posts or favorites posts but summer has really flown by.  Being a teacher, the beginning of the school year always seems to come up so quickly.  Few weeks left for us and then its back into the routine.

A few days ago, I started 100 Days of Beauty/100 Days of Empties with a few other instagram ladies.  We are posting beauty reviews or empties every day for 100 days.  Some of us are also going to try not to make any purchases for the 100 days and really use up what we have in our collection.  If you want to see what I'm posting, head over to my instagram @hmills79.

Onto the empties...(I know I mention it frequently but in case you're new, empties are my absolute favorite posts and youtube videos).

First off is haircare:
1.  Garnier Fructis Daily Care Shampoo - I like Garnier Fructis as a drugstore brand shampoo.  I buy it frequently and I buy different kinds.  This is the daily care for normal hair.  I am finding my hair is broken and frizzy lately so I probably won't repurchase this specific type but I do like this brand.
2.  Oi All in One Milk - This is a spray for wet hair before you blow dry.  It is supposed to be one of those that strengthens, detangles, heat protectant, etc.  I liked this sample a lot (from Birchbox).  It seemed to make my hair softer and smelled so good!  It is pricey and I have chapter alternatives I like just as well so I probably won't purchase a full size.
3.  Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner - These were a free sample from PinchMe.  I didn't really care for them.  I didn't feel like they gave my hair any moisture and I won't purchase a full size of either product.

1.  Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash - I love this face wash.  Even at 35, I have issues with my skin, especially on my chin.  I find that using this once a day, usually at night, helps with some of my breakouts.  I have already repurchased.
2.  Philosophy  Hope in a Jar Night - This was a sample or point perk from Sephora.  It was okay.  Not a huge fan and didn't feel it was fantastic for the higher price tag.  It is really thick which I don't need in the summer but I just wasn't a fan to even try it again in the winter.
3.  Coola Mineral Sunscreen - This was a Birchbox or Ipsy sample.  I use SPF on my face all the time and put this on one day under my makeup.  It did not work under makeup at all.  I found that it wouldn't blend well and didn't look very natural over this sunscreen.  I would not repurchase since I have other sunscreens I like better.
4.  Mary Kay Timewise Firming Eye Cream - I had this from awhile ago and wanted to use up what was left.  It is a good product.  It helped hydrate my eye area in the winter when it got really dry.  I'm not sure I saw any firming effects.  I like this but have other eye creams to try before I'd repurchase.

1.  Beauty Blender - This is starting to get some holes in it so I'm tossing it.  I already have a backup because I love this thing!
2.  Chapstick - One is vanilla creme and one is the regular chapstick.  I keep chapstick all over my house and multiple ones in my purse.  I like the original for every day use.
3.  Maybelline Mega Plush Volum Express Mascara - Bought this to try because it was on sale at CVS.  Its okay, nothing great.  I bought a two pack so I have another one to use up.  I can't use it on my bottom lashes because it just doesn't work for me.  I don't have problems with this flaking or smudging so that is a plus.  I won't repurchase because I have other drugstore mascaras I like better.
4.  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Makeup - This is my absolute favorite foundation.  It is probably considered light to medium coverage but that is what I prefer.  I am in the shade Buff 30 and I have already repurchased this foundation.
5.  Elf HD Lifting Concealer - This is way too dark for me.  I ordered it online and it was too dark.  So I saved it for summer...still too dark.  So it is going in the trash.  Haven't been able to use it much but I might try a lighter shade because it isn't very expensive.
6.  Lorac Pro Mascara - I really like this mascara.  It made my lashes nice and long.  It is pricey though and I have some drugstore mascaras I really like so I won't repurchase this any time soon.  Maybe next time I have a 20% off coupon at Ulta.
7.  Glam Glow Mud - (probably should have been in the skincare pic:)  This is okay.  Made my skin soft but I don't think it did anything remarkable for the price.  I know I am in the minority with this opinion but I don't feel it is worth the price for my skin.

So, those are my empties for July!  What did you use up this month?
Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter (hmills79), Instagram (hmills79) and Facebook (Love to be Busy Blog).  I do post a lot of other beauty pictures on Instagram besides these blog posts.


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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Beauty Subscriptions - July

Time again for Ipsy and Birchbox information and reviews.  I got my box and bag a few weeks ago and have been trying to use and try some of the products so I can give you a little more information when I post about the products that just a list of what I received.  If you guys like that, let me know.  If you just want a list, I can go back to doing that too.  Remember, all the opinions on these products and services are my own and what works for my skin, hair, etc.  You may feel differently about them and that is okay!

I've been doing these posts for a few months so if you are unsure what these services are all about I've given more information there.  Basically, they are $10 each and you receive 4-5 samples with each service.

I'll start with Birchbox this time.  I feel like my boxes from them have been really good lately.  I know they can be hit or miss but I've had a string of really good boxes with good sized samples.  I had quite a few products in my box this month so hang on:)

1.  Beauty Protector Protect and Treat Mask - I love all the Beauty Protector products I've tried.  The hair protectant spray I received a few months ago was wonderful and made my hair feel very soft after blowdrying.  I'm kind of iffy on the smell because they do have a very sweet smell which isn't my favorite.  That being said, I don't notice the smell once I've applied the product to my hair.  I would definitely consider purchasing this hair mask after I use up the samples I have around.  I've recently started using hair masks since I have been getting them in my Ipsy and Birchbox over the past few months.  I've liked that they have made my hair smoother and appear less frizzy.  I use them not more than twice a week, usually once a week or less depending on what my hair needs.  With summer, I don't think my hair is as dry and it will be in the winter when I may want to use one more frequently.
2.  Benefit Cosmetics Posiebalm - I was so excited to receive this product because I had been debating buying the full size.  Being able to try it first with this sample was even better.  This product has a very slight pink tint and feels like a chapstick. It is super comfortable to wear although not very long wearing.  But it is easy to keep in your purse to swipe on without a mirror or lots of effort.  I don't have very pigmented lips so the color did show up on me but that might not be in the case with this particular shade if you have more pigmented lips.  I will definitely buy this product once I use up my sample!
3.  Naobay Body Radiance Lotion - This is a lotion.  There isn't much else to say.  I'm not particular about my lotions.  I will use them all unless they smell horrible which this does not.  I either keep them in my nightstand for before bed or in my purse when they are the smaller size like this.  I have been using this before bed on my hands and its worked just fine, especially for summer since I don't need a very thick hand cream.  I won't purchase this product just because I have so many similar products at this time.
4.  Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel - I had never tried a peel like this.  It was strange to be able to see my skin rubbing off when I removed it but I suppose that means it was working.  My skin was smooth and soft after use however this isn't a product I see myself using frequently so I won't be purchasing this one.
5.  Ruffian nailpolish in Relic - I love this silver shade and have it on my nails right now.  I used two coats with a base and top coat (OPI) and this hasn't chipped on me yet in 48 hours!  Amazing!  Usually polishes chip or start wearing at the tips after about 24 between dishes, laundry, household chores, etc.  I will continue to use this shade and may consider purchasing other shades.  I'm not a huge metallic fan usually so I might see if there are some matte shades by the same brand.
6.  Ruffian Towelette - I used this to remove my nail polish before I painted them the other night and it was amazing!  It took off glitter with minimal rubbing and didn't smell like nail polish remover either.  They are pricey for a nail polish remover but I am considering purchasing a set to keep around when I have to remove more difficult polish.

On to Ipsy...This is the second month in a row (at least) that I've been kind of disappointed with my products.  When I first signed up I was receiving a lot of makeup items often full sized.  The bags have been more of a variety lately, which is fine with me, except that the products included are just not good.

1.  Bare Minerals 5 in 1 cream eye shadow in divine wine - I have used this a few times and I like it when I want just a simple shadow look.  You only need a little bit of the product and then I blend it out, mostly with my finger.  I have tried to layer shadows over it and haven't had much luck with that but it has worked well for a simple summer look.  I would probably not purchase this product just because I have a ton of eye shadows and this isn't a type of product I normally like.
2.  Lord and Berry eyeliner in black - This is tiny!  It worked okay as a liner.  It was a hard pencil which I don't usually use and didn't draw a real smooth line for me.  I did take a pencil brush and blend out the line a bit to get a more even application and then it looked fine.  However, I wasn't real impressed with it and won't purchase a full size.
3.  Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil - I didn't use this and threw it away.  Sorry, but I like to be honest in my reviews.  I don't tan, I don't lay out, I wear at least SPF 30, and I have no intention of using any product like this.  So, it went in the trash.
4.  Clear Clinic Vanished Spot Treatment - I tried this once.  Then it went in the trash.  First ingredient was alcohol and it smelled like rubbing alcohol.  I had no desire to put it on my face.  I have other spot treatments that I really like that I don't feel like would be harming my skin.  And this may not harm your skin but the scent alone made me wonder.
5.  Models Own Nail Polish - This is a very sheer red/pink with large glitter.  There is no shade name on the bottle that I could find.  I used Sally Hansen Pink Punk as a base then applied this over the top.  It looked good, the glitter was kind of subtle.  I might consider purchasing other shades of this nail polish.

So, those are my products and reviews for this month.  Depending on next month, I may be done with Ipsy.  I say that every month though:)  I hope you like the reviews of the products and waiting for this post instead of a list of products I receive right away.  Let me know in the comments what you received this month and if something worked for you!

I posted pics of my nails with these polishes over on my Instagram.  Check them out.
IG - hmills79
Twitter - hmills79
Facebook - Love to Be Busy Blog


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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How I Use my Planner

One of the things I love to do besides play with makeup and read is organize.  I like to organize cabinets, closets, other people's lives:)  Since I spent some time changing up my planner last week I thought I would update what I am using now.

Back in January, I posted about what planners I started using at the beginning of the year.  I was using the Erin Condren Life Planner and a smaller one from May Designs.  You can find that post here.   Let me explain why I am totally changing things up.  For me, the Erin Condren planner is rather large and bulky and the spaces for the days are too narrow for the way I use my planner (I'll show how I use mine further down in the post).  I had the same issue with the May Designs planner, just not enough room for what I needed on each day.

I do not carry my planner to work, I use it primarily for lists and reminders around the house and it sits on my desk at home.  I am a big list maker and I like them to be included in my planner.  I felt the Erin Condren planner did not give me enough room for my lists.  My husband and I use iCal on our phones so our schedules sync and we know if things are being scheduled at the same time or if one of us needs to get our daughter to an activity.

I recently saw Danielle at Sew Much Crafting post some of the inserts she has created and uses in her planner.  Her weekly view was what caught my eye and I purchased the digital file from her Etsy store.  You can visit her website which I linked above, Etsy store, or Instagram (SewMuchCrafting) to see the types of inserts she offers.

I had an Arc notebook from Staples already at home and I had the punch for the pages as well.  I have a few of these notebooks so I invested in the punch a long time ago.  I decided to use the Arc since I had it and purchased the A5 size inserts that fit in it.  I also had some dividers from the Martha Stewart line and a pocket I could use as well.

It took a little playing to get them to print back to back on my printer. I also originally printed on paper and the pages kept pulling out of the Arc disc rings.  After playing on Instagram, I found another user who suggested using card stock so the pages don't pull out.  So, I reprinted the pages on card stock and it made a huge difference.  I am much less frustrated now.

However, since I am on summer vacation from teaching and my daughter was at gymnastics, I had some free time the other day to change up my planner a bit.  I didn't like the solid colors of the plastic dividers and wanted something fun at the front of the planner so I created them out of scrapbook paper I already had at home.

I traced the outline of the Martha Stewart dividers I had onto the scrapbook paper and cut them out.  Then I laminated them on my Scotch Laminator I have at home and cut them out again, leaving a little edge.  I then punched the dividers and labeled them using my label maker (I have the Dymo brand from Amazon).

The sections of my planner are monthly, weekly, info, lists, and blog.  The monthly has the monthly inserts from Danielle.  I use these to keep track of pay days and important dates each month such as days off school.  The week section contains the weekly inserts you will see below.  Info contains important numbers or information I need to keep in my planner.  Lists is where I keep ongoing lists such as when I think of gift ideas for upcoming holidays or projects around the house I want to complete.  The final section is for this blog and any notes or ideas for posts I may come up with.  I also created a cute front page for my planner.  I had seen this quote on Pinterest so I typed it up, taped it onto some scrapbook paper, laminated and punch it as well, and put it in front.

This is what the inside of my planner looks like for this past week.  The page facing that isn't shown has Sunday thru Tuesday and a box for notes also.  I put any important activities along the left side of each page.  Then the right side is where I put my to do lists and things I need to complete that day.  I hand write boxes to check off the items.  I saw Danielle do this and liked the idea.  Some items that don't need to be taken care of immediately will get moved to the next week's lists if needed.  

To mark where I am in the planner, I tied a piece of ribbon on a colored paper clip.  It isn't pictured but I can see it stick up out of the planner and know where I need to turn to for the current week.

My planner tends to be a work in progress that changes depending on my needs.  During the majority of the year, I am at school during the day and have a meeting calendar that I keep posted at school for any before or during school meetings.  Therefore, I do not need a daily breakdown in my planner but that is something that she offers if you prefer to break down your day into smaller sections.

Happy Planning!

*All items shown were paid for with my own money.  I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Liebster Award

I was nominated by the beautiful Brittany Gary for the Liebster Award.  You must go check out her blog!  In addition, Jen at Twirly Skirt nominated me back in the spring but I was in the middle of finishing my final semester of grad school and I never had time to do the post.  So, I apologize for that but wanted to be sure I thank her for the nomination also!

I am so thankful that I have so many new visitors to my blog over the past few months.  Instagram has become one of my new favorite social media platforms to see everyone's gorgeous pictures of makeup and fashion.  I have also found many new blogs to follow through pictures posted on Instagram.

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:
1.  Create a post thanking the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2.  State 11 interesting facts about yourself
3.  Answer the eleven questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
4.  Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 500 followers.
5.  Create 11 questions for the bloggers to answer.

11 Facts About Me:
1.  I had reconstructive surgery on my leg three times in high school.
2.  I am deathly allergic to raspberries.
3.  My best childhood friend came up with my daughter's middle name because my husband and I couldn't agree.
4.  I have two master's degrees in areas of education and would love to get another one.  I like school, what can I say?
5.  I love to read...a lot.  I can read multiple books in a week, especially if it is summer vacation.
6.  If I wasn't a teacher, my dream job would be to organize people's lives or be a personal assistant.
7.  It is a running joke with my friends about how organized and Type A I am.
8.  I like to coupon although I'm nowhere near an extreme couponer.  I just like a good deal.
9.  I could live on coffee and iced tea.
10.  I love to cook but hate to bake.
11.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love to wear jeans, sweaters and boots.  I love the smell of pumpkin and fall candles.

1.  What's your latest beauty/fashion purchase?
I just bought some cute new printed bobby pins and hair ties at Nordstrom Rack.

2.  Are you a saver or a spender?
It depends what it is.  I coupon and try to save money on household items and groceries.  I try to seek out good deals on the things I love as well (Cole Haan after Christmas sale anyone?).  However, if its something I really want or our family really wants, I will spend the money on it.

3.  What's your favorite boutique?
I've recently start shopping at more smaller stores that I have found on Instagram, mostly for jewelry. Shoot the Moon LA and SoCal Gems have great affordable pieces.

4.  Name your celebrity crush.
Drew Brees - quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.  I love him!

5.  Describe your fashion style
I would say classic and probably more on the tailored side.  I like Banana Republic, the Gap, Ann Taylor Loft.

6.  What are two things you like about yourself?
I am very positive.  I tend to see the good in most situations.  I am a very hard worker.  You can always count on me to get things done.

7.  What would be your dream job?
A professional organizer, either of homes or people's lives.

8.  What is the first thing to do on your bucket list?
I don't really have a bucket list.  I don't know if that means I'm not adventurous?  I would like to travel to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in Canada.  I loved Anne of Green Gables (the books) when I was younger and think that area is very pretty.

9.  What is inside your purse?
My wallet, sunglasses, planner, and a makeup bag with about 10 lip glosses, lotion, hair ties, and hand sanitizer.  I also have my daughter's sunglasses, chapstick, and notebook and pen.

10.  How did you get into blogging?
I was reading lots of different blogs a few years ago, mostly home and DIY blogs and was doing projects around the house so I decided to blog about what I was doing.  I have since shifted the focus on my blog more because while I liked doing the household projects, it wasn't something I was passionate enough about to keep writing about.  I absolutely love makeup and beauty and so I am much more eager to write these posts although I do continue to do the household and craft projects.

11. Name one of your summer plans.
Clean out the closets and crawl space.  This may sound like a horrible summer plan but I love to clean out and organize so I'm really looking forward to it.  Weird, I know.

My 11 Nominees:
While I follow these blogs, many I am new to over the past six months and so I apologize if someone has already been nominated and I missed it.
The Dotted Bow
Candidly Marie
Twinkle Twinkle Little Style
Loves and Loathes
Miss in the Midwest
If You Give a Girl a Ring
Peplum and Coffee
The Pale Side of Beauty
Carly Blogs Here
Collective Beauty
Coral Star

11 Questions for My Nominees:
1.  What is your favorite beauty brand or product?
2.  Where would you love to live?
3.  What is your best quality?
4.  Who is your favorite celebrity?
5.  Why did you start blogging?
6.  Favorite TV show, if you have one.
7.  Favorite place to shop.
8.  What is the one food you can't live without?
9.  What is the best trip you've ever taken?
10.  What do you splurge on?
11.  What is your dream job?

Thanks all for reading!  Stop by and visit on Facebook (Lovetobebusyblog) or on Twitter and Instagram at hmills79.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Favorite Purses for Travel

Since we have just returned from vacation, I thought I would share some of my favorite purses for family traveling.  We have a camper and our family vacations usually involve camping somewhere (this year has been Nashville, Door County, and the Wisconsin Dells).  When I take a trip by myself or with girlfriends, what I use as a purse is different from when our family travels.  For family trips, I use one of my two purses I have from Sherpani.  You can find their website here.  I discovered these bags quite a few years ago and have a few of their purses and totes.

This is the style called Trevia which is what I took on our most recent trip.  This is made of a durable fabric that shows little in the way of wear or stains.  I love the neutral color with orange accents!  It has the two pockets you can see on the front (one zipper and one flap with magnetic closure), a large zipper pocket in the middle, and a pocket on the back.  The large zipper pocket has a section to keep an iPad if desired.  This bag has handles as well as an adjustable strap which I wear cross body.  This bag is very spacious but nice and light.  I can fit sunglasses, wallet, small makeup bag, plus items to occupy my daughter like a small notebook and pen.  It will fit our mini iPad along with all of that if necessary.

I also have another style called Tre which is a messenger bag style purse.  I did not find the particular style listed on their website currently, however, it is similar to the Milli style listed.  I used this style on our vacation to Disney World last year and it fit everything we needed during the day as well as ponchos in case of rain, collapsable water bottles, and park maps.

Finally, I have the Sojourn LE which I use as my tote bag for school/teaching materials.  Again, I like that it has shoulder straps or one long shoulder strap depending on how I want to carry it.

Sherpani offers their bags in a variety of colors and styles.  They also have great sales and offers through email and Facebook.  In addition, seasonally they make some changes to colors and what they offer so you can always check out something new.

Happy traveling!

*All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way by Sherpani for this post.  I just love their products and wanted to share them with you.  All products were purchased with my own money.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Beauty Favorites

First off, I want to thank Brittany Gary for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  I was also nominated by Jen at Twirly Skirt a few months back and never had time to do the post.  So, since it is summer break for me, I will try to get it done this time.  So watch for that in the next week or so.

My June favorites have been pretty simple since it is warm and I am on summer vacation from teaching.  And quite honestly, there have been quite a few no makeup days if we have nowhere to go.

First off, I've been using my Naked Basics palette.  I love these neutral shades and they blend so well for a natural look.

I have been lining both upper and lower lashes with Satin Taupe from Mac and an elf essential smudge brush.  During the school year when I am getting ready for work, I am a big liner girl, especially on the top lash line but this has been super easy for summer.

The mascara is the volumizing mascara from Mally.  I received it in my Birchbox this month and I have been loving it ever since.  It is one of the few non-drugstore mascaras I would consider purchasing.

I've been reaching for NYX blush in dusty rose.  This is a gorgeous pink shade that is great for daily wear.

Finally, I've been using my Jouer lipgloss in Mirage.  I absolutely love the formula of these glosses.  They feel so nice on the lips and not at all sticky.  They don't last forever and aren't super pigmented but I love the formula.

The blush, Mac shadow, and lipgloss are a few items I have been trying to reach for more frequently and use up. They are some of the older products I own and I want to finish them instead of having to throw them away because they are old.

What were you loving this month?


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