Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January Birchbox and Reviews

Even though I am on a no buy/low buy, I am still keeping my Birchbox subscription each month.  It is usually a birthday gift or Mother's Day gift from the hubby depending the time of year it expires so it has already been paid for at least the first couple months of 2015.

I still have yet to take advantage of sample choice that Birchbox offers so all items in my box were a complete surprise to me.  While my box arrived a little later than normal, I have had a chance to try out all the products for awhile and I wanted to share with you.

1.  Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 - This is the second type of Dr. Jart BB cream that I have received.  I like how the product feels on my skin.  It is not enough coverage for me on a daily basis so I have been using it as a primer under a BB cream with more coverage or a lightweight foundation.  Also, this product tends to give me a grey cast to my skin so I can't wear it alone. It is $39 for a full size and I don't like the product enough to pay that price for it.

2.  Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume - This perfume sample smells so good!  I am trying to use up a Jo Malone perfume currently so I haven't finished this sample but I am really enjoying it.  The full size is $90-$120!  However, I usually only have one bottle of perfume that I really use at a time so I would be willing to pay that for a fragrance I use daily.  This is definitely going on the wishlist.

3.  Sumitra Color Contrast Eyeliner - I have gotten a few Sumitra eyeliners from Birchbox and I like the formula.  It is a pencil but it goes on very smoothly and blends nicely if you want to smudge it out at all.  This is a gold color and is too light to wear alone for me, but I have layered it with shadow as an eyeliner and I like it that way.  The full size is $11-$21.  I won't be purchasing this since I'm not a huge fan of the color but I do like the formula and would purchase other colors.

4.  Neil George Shampoo - This shampoo was okay.  I got quite a few uses out of it which I appreciate in a sample.  However, I didn't feel like it did anything great for my hair.  I usually wash my hair every other day (depending on my workout schedule that week) but this made my hair feel dirty before I could get to day 2.  I think it just didn't get my scalp clean enough so I won't be purchasing it.

5.  Neil George Conditioner - Again, this was a good sample size and I am still finishing it up.  I didn't feel like it didn't anything great for my hair for the price so I won't be purchasing.

Do you subscribe to Birchbox?  What did you receive this month?  Any samples you have tried from Birchbox that you are loving?

Follow me for more beauty and fashion related posts on 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.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Project 10 Pan Update

Hi all!  I am trying to be more consistent with blogging but it is hard during the school year by the time our family fits in all our activities and get home from work.  I will keep working on it, I promise:)

I am here with my 1 month update for my first Project 10 Pan.  I started this project on December 22 and since today is January 22, I wanted to make sure I updated my progress.

I have finished 3 products so far!  The Bare Minerals Concealer, Lorac Porefection face primer and the Dr. Brandt Pores no more vacuum cleaner.  My list of products included one of my deluxe mask samples and I chose this one since I am not a fan.  I bought the concealer in my quest for the best undereye concealer.  I didn't like it for that but it did work well for spots on my face.  I didn't like the Lorac primer and wouldn't purchase it (this one came in a Lorac set of products).

The left picture is my start date and the right is my update picture.  These are the products that I carried over from my Finish 6 by Christmas (except the concealer).  These are not finished except for the primer which I included because I was comparing the eyeliner size to the primer.  I have marked my progress on the items and there is more pan showing on the blush, as you can see.

The picture on the right is from December with my original marks.  The picture on the right shows new marks on the products and a bit more of a dip in some of the eye shadows.

I have finished 3 of the 10 products at this point.  I thought I would have more progress as I neared the end of January but I am hoping to be finished with most products by the end of February.  I've decided that I'm not as much of a fan of the eye shadows anymore but I will continue to work on them for awhile.  My goal was to hit pan on some of the shadows.  After that point, I will reevaluate where I am at with it and may take a break for awhile.

Thanks for stopping by!  Check out my Instagram and Twitter for more posts on beauty and fashion (@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, January 2, 2015

Goals for 2015

I thought I would post about my goals for 2015.  I have mentioned a bit in previous posts such as my project pan or through Instagram posts about it but I wanted to include it here.

On December 1, 2014, I went through and inventoried every product I owned at the time including products I was currently using and back up products in the areas of hair care, body care, skin care, and makeup.  I originally wrote how many I had in categories such as shampoo or conditioner but decided I wanted to be more specific in my lists.  I wrote either the brand or shade of the product so I can cross off the exact product on my list as I use it up.

I have also started writing the dates on a lot of the new products I pull out so that I can learn how long it takes to use up my products.  I often buy backups convinced that it will take only a month to use up a product.  Then a few months later, I have multiple products still hanging on and extras I have purchased since.

My Goals for the year include:

1.  A low buy or no buy for the year - I will only be buying products if I run out of all the options I have in that category.  For instance, I have four toners in my back up stash.  I will only be purchasing a toner this year if I use up all of those.  For example, I know I will run out of eye makeup remover since I only have one and a half bottles left.  Most categories will not require any purchases to make it through the year.

2.  Keep track of empties - I will be keeping track of my empty products, as usual.  Each empty will give me $1 to spend on new products.  However, my goal is that this will include the purchase of any products I run out of.

3.  I do not need to buy any makeup products - I don't anticipate having to purchase any makeup products.  I think I have enough in each category to get me through the year.  This also means that I can save my empty money for my skincare that I know I will run out of.

4.  Participate in project pans - I have already started my first Project 10 Pan and it is going well.  Since deciding to start using up products, it is very rewarding to see the progress on specific items I am keeping track of.

5.  Connect with others who project pan - I have found some wonderful ladies on Instagram who I have become friends with and will be using as a support system this year.  I also have subscribed to lots of project panners on Youtube as well.

My lovely friend @abeautyproject is doing a project pan right now also and we are supporting each other on our #365lowbuychallenge through blog posts and instagram.  @beautyempties and some of my other beauty friends on Instagram are doing #365daysofempties which I am also participating in.  I have kind of combined a few different things into what works for my goals for the year.

My goal through all of 2015 is to get my collection of beauty products to include only things I love.  I do not have an excess of products in many cases (especially compared to many beauty lovers).  However, some products are not products that I absolutely love and I would like each category to include only my favorites.

Thanks for reading!  I know these are not the most exciting of posts, however, I have been inspired by the tips and progress of others on this journey and hope to pass that along.  I also want to keep myself accountable throughout the year.  In my December empties, I started including product counts to provide an idea of where my beauty stash is at.