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.