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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Bridesmaids Book Review

I have something a little different to share with you all today!  A few months ago, I signed up through Birchbox as a Birchblogger.  Birchbox is the website where one of my subscription boxes comes from.  I filled out a form to be considered as a Birchblogger after I saw it posted on Twitter one day.  As a Birchblogger, I receive emails from Birchbox giving me the opportunity to win prizes for reviews, giveaways, etc.

I was super excited when I was chosen to receive a copy of The Bridesmaids by Eimear Lynch which was the book club pick for July.  Birchbox has been doing a book club each month and gave away copies of the book and then hosted a Twitter chat with the author at the end of the month.  I love to read and was excited to participate.

This book was great for a summer "beach" read.  It is a group of stories about what else?  Bridesmaids.  All the stories were experiences had by women and men who participated in weddings and I loved the variety of stories.  I really feel like there is a story in here that everyone can relate to, even if you've never participated in a wedding.  In addition to bridesmaids, the short narratives each tell a story about relationships and family dynamics that you will identify with.

One of my favorite stories was The Timekeeper because it is so me.  The bridesmaid knew the bride was never on time and had come up with tricks to keep her on time all their lives together, including the wedding day so that the wedding would take place on time.  I am complete Type A and plan everything out ahead of time so I could really relate to trying to keep everyone on the same page and on time.

The pick for August Book Club is Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  by Mindy Kaling.  Again, they will have a Twitter chat at the end of the month and you can also check out what people are saying about the book on Twitter by using #BirchboxBookClub.

Happy Reading!

*I was sent a copy of the book by Birchbloggers (Birchbox) for review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Makeup Organization

I can't believe it is already August!  In just about a week, I will be back to work.  Where did summer go?  Trying to get a few more things accomplished in this last week before school starts off my summer to do list.

I know I didn't post July Favorites.  I have basically lived in sweats and no makeup during the month of July and used my usual skincare products so I didn't really have any new favorites to post.  If you want to see what I was using, you can look at my skincare routine posts or my previous few months of favorites.

One thing on my list to do this summer was organize my makeup.  It was thrown in multiple makeup bags in the bottom drawer of our bathroom vanity.  I didn't use most of what was in there, just pulled whatever was on top of the bag I pulled out.  It just wasn't working.  Here is what I had before I started.

I began by dumping everything out into one big pile.

Then I sorted the pile by category of product.  I didn't really purge any products since I tend to do that throughout the month if something isn't working and throw them in with my empties for the month.

I bought a plastic container with three drawers at Target.  It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, was hoping for more open storage, but I couldn't find any that would also stack without spending a ton of money.  I put different categories in each drawer.  My eye products such as eyeshadows and mascaras are in the top drawer.

The next drawer holds face products such as primers, concealers, powders, and blushes.

The bottom drawer holds all my palettes.

I have an old vase that holds my brushes and eye liners.  I would like to separate the two because it is hard to find the eyeliners sometimes but I'm looking for another container. 

All of this went under the sink into the cabinet that wasn't being utilized very efficiently.  It looked like this before.

Some of the items were moved to another location, some were put in the drawer that originally held my makeup, and some still sit on either side of the drawers.  Here is what it looks like now.

The blue basket on top holds Q-tips and cotton rounds.  The grey basket holds foil packet samples or other small samples.  This is so much easier for me to find what I am looking for now.  While I do have to kind of play with the drawers being open and the cabinet open while I do my makeup, it has been working well so far with the limited space in our bathroom.

Have a great day!