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.