Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Beauty Blogger Book Club: One Moment, One Morning

Coming to the end of March means its time for my review of this month's book for the Beauty Blogger Book Club.  March was my month to choose the book.  I chose One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Raynor which I had added to my Goodreads list a long time ago.

This book is set in England and begins with an incident on a train while people are on their way to work one morning.  Through that incident (I won't give away what it is), a group of people are brought together.  I was unsure how all the characters would be woven together but I really enjoyed this book.  Each character developed on their own but also through their connections with the others in the book.  It was interesting to see how one moment on the train affected the choices the characters made throughout the rest of the book.  In addition, the women in the story developed new relationships with each other, leading them to reevaluate their current relationships and life choices.  I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a much quicker and interesting read than I initially thought.

Head on over to the other blogs and see what they thought of the book too!
Ashley - If You Give a Girl a Ring
Michelyn - Brains, Beauty and Basketball

For the month of April, Michelyn chose our book from a list circulating on Facebook called 100 Books Everyone Should Read.  We will be reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I have heard about this book so I am excited to read it.

If you are a blogger and interested in joining our book club, email me for more information!  If you love to read but don't have a blog, you can still join us!

Each month, on of the members of the Beauty Blogger Book Club (BBBC) will choose a book for the club to read.  At the beginning of the following month we will share a book report/summary for our readers to enjoy and share the book for the following month.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?Heather

Monday, March 30, 2015

March Beauty Empties

It's almost April!  The end of this week begins our spring break so I'm looking forward to some family time.

While I am still working on using products up, this month I did make a few purchases.  I will talk about all that at the end of the post as usual.  First, the empties...

Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner - This brand is now called OGX I believe.  I bought the shampoo and conditioner from this line a long time ago because I had a coupon while they were on sale.  I liked the conditioner more than the shampoo but it isn't a necessary repurchase.
Pureology Hair Beautifier - This is a leave-in spray to protect hair.  I do not have color treated hair but I used this sample anyways as a protectant when I was going to blow dry my hair.  It was okay.  I didn't notice any special benefits and probably wouldn't purchase if I did have colored hair.
Macadamia Healing Oil Spray - I have talked about this before and I absolutely love it for when I air dry my hair.  It really cuts down on the frizz.  It is pricey though so I don't know about repurchasing it all the time.  It was recently on Hautelook so I did purchase two bottles for 50% off which should last me awhile.
Garnier Fructis Hairspray - I really like this hairspray although some days it isn't as strong of a hold as I would like.  Overall, it is a good lightweight hairspray that isn't sticky for a normal day of hold.  I would repurchase this product.
Klorane Dry Shampoo for dark hair - This shampoo has a tint to it for darker hair.  It was more of a tan color instead of white.  However, this one made my head itch where I applied it as the day wore on where the regular Klorane doesn't do that.  So I will purchase the original Klorane.
Eva NYC hair mask - This was an Ipsy sample from a long time ago.  It was okay but nothing fantastic enough for me to spend money on.

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash - If you have read any of my empties posts, you have seen this before.  Using this once a day helps keep my skin clear.  I'm trying a few other products but I will most likely purchase this as they don't seem to help as much.
Neutrogena makeup remover - This is my favorite eye makeup remover that I have used.  I am trying a few others that I had in my stash but at this point, this will be a repurchase.  This removes makeup without bothering my eyes.
Ole Henriksen truth serum collagen booster - I used this serum in the morning and I liked how it applied and wore under makeup.  It is more expensive and I'm not sure it made a huge difference in my skin.  However, if I don't find anything I like better, I might repurchase.
Chloe perfume sample - Too strong and floral smelling for my liking
Jo Malone Wild Bluebell cologne - I have loved all the Jo Malone scents I have owned.  I won't repurchase right now because I have other perfumes to use up but might add a new scent to my Christmas list.
Dr. Jart+ BB Beauty Balm - This is my favorite Dr. Jart BB cream that I have tried.  This had good coverage and the grey cast did not affect the way my skin looked at all.  Some of their BB creams make me look grey, but this blended in well.  I probably won't purchase just because of the price but I would consider it with some Birchbox points someday.

A few random things:
Ulta premium cotton pads - I don't like these.  They are way too thick.  They seem to absorb anything I want to put on my skin so then it doesn't actually have any product to take off makeup or remove face makeup.  I won't buy these again.
ELF Powder brush - This came unglued and I bought a Morphe brush at the beauty show I went to so I am using that instead.
Hairbrush - This is old and I bought a Wet brush at the beauty show to replace it.

March Totals:
I started with 277 products
I added 46 products (Birchbox, Walmart Spring Beauty Box, birthday gifts, beauty show, samples)
I used up 19 products (6 full size, 6 deluxe, 7 samples, 0 trashed)
So I will have 304 products to start April (not really going down but I did have lots of birthday gifts that were beauty related).

I spent $81.00 this month - I knew I was going to the beauty show and would spend money there and planned for it by saving my empty money from previous months.  I didn't plan on Macadamia being on Hautelook which was $28.00 but the products were 50% off and worth it.  I don't anticipate having to make any purchases that aren't a necessity (bottom lash mascara) anytime soon.

I have still spent less than $100 for the first 3 months of 2015 which is pretty good for me!

I have used up $424.37 in products, $104.01 has gone in the trash for various reasons, and I am negative 31.44 in my $1 for each empty for 2015.

I am feeling good about this empty journey.  Emptying products is kind of addicting:)  I get frustrated when I feel like a product is empty but just keep squirting out product, but I am trying to use up every drop and really get my money's worth.


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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Finish 4 by July 4th and Pan that Palette Update

So, it is snowing here today.  Ick!  We should be done with snow when it is spring!  I find that I don't have as much time as I would like to be posting each month so I am going to roll a couple projects into one update.

Finish 4 by July 4th:
I did not participate in any of the projects this spring and I kind of missed having the deadline and seeing what I could finish.  So, I am going to join Amber F (Youtube) and everyone else in Finish 4 by July 4th.  Here is what I am choosing:

1.  Ready Set Gorgeous foundation from Cover Girl - I really like the coverage of this foundation but I think it changes on me after it is applied.  I'll go to put on lipstick in the car and it looks so much darker/more orange than my neck or when I applied it earlier.  So I would like to use it up and try some other foundations.  I didn't mark this because it is too full still.  I am hoping that by the next update you might see some empty tube.
2.  Maybelline FitMe concealer in fair - I also have this in light so I am trying to use up fair before summer comes and I get a little more color to my skin.  This is my favorite concealer I have ever tried so far, even though it is drugstore.  I do have a MAC concealer I bought that I want to get to so I'm trying to use up this one and the one in light so I can try out the MAC one.  I tried to get the concealer to move down the tube so I can mark it but it wouldn't cooperate.  I would guess I have half of this left.
3.  Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded - I am tired of this color tattoo.  These seem never ending but I am getting pretty far along with it and really want to finish it.  I did mark where it is on the bottom, but that whole side isn't full.  It kind of slopes down so I don't even have all of what it appears left.
4.  Bare Minerals cream shadow - This is a small sample from an Ipsy bag but it is old and much darker than I usually use.  However, with summer coming, I tend to use less makeup when I'm not working during the summer and I think this will be a good pick to throw on with some mascara each day for an easy look.
5.  Bonus - 4 eye shadows from my palette - see below

Pan That Palette Update:
I know I keep saying that I am going to set this palette aside for awhile.  But, I have hit pan on three of the shadows and am really close on a 4th now so that has motivated me a lot to continue to use it!  I'm not sure the dark shadows at the top will ever be used up, but if I could use up the lighter shadows towards the bottom, I would be very proud of myself.

I have hit pan on sassy (the white), snobby (the yellow), and seductive (the brown).  I am very close on stubborn (the pink).  My goal is to finish these 4 shadows as bonus items to my Finish 4 by July 4th.

Project Use It Up:
Last month, I finished my project pan and had a list of products to use up.  I have marked progress on the ones that I can and I am making progress on most of them.  However, it is quite a few products to show in a blog post and would make for a lot of reading!  So, I'm just going to show you my list and what I have crossed off.

Woohoo!  Not!  I only finished one of the products in the last month.  I know some of these might take awhile like the blush and concealer.  I also feel like others are lasting forever even though I am using them every day like the eye cream and oil.  The only one I can really say I haven't been using much is the pumpkin mask.  So, I will be trying to use that one more often.  As I stated last month, as I use something up, I will be replacing it with a new product.  My plan is to replace it with a similar product such as gloss for gloss or lipstick for lipstick.  I would like to have all items on this list gone by June 1st.

Whew!  That is a lot, but it would also mean a lot of progress by the beginning of July!  I post empties updates and lots of other beauty related goodies on my Instagram and Twitter @hmills79 so follow me over there!


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

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March Birchbox

I was super happy that my box came earlier in the month this time.  I get impatient waiting:)  I've resorted to spoilers on the Birchbox website while I wait.  If you have seen recent posts of mine, you will know that I am on a quest this year to use up products and cut down on my spending.  For that reason,  I did not open and try some of this month's products yet.  I do not want anything to go bad because it has been opened but not used up or being used.

Beauty Protector Protect and Oil - I have liked all the Beauty Protector products I have tried.  I like the smell of this oil.  I used it on wet hair that I was planning to let air dry to see if it would combat frizz.  It helped some but did not work as well as the Macadamia Healing Oil Spray which I love.  If the full size is cheaper, I might consider purchasing it just because the Macadamia is so expensive.  However, I have quite a few hair products to use up before I purchase anything.

Jelly Pong Pong Glow Getter Highlighter - This is a liquid highlighter.  I have not tried this product because I do not want to open it and then have it sit around open.  I am currently using a highlighter from Well Beauty which is all natural and needs to be used up as it is already open.

Mirenesse Glossy Kiss - This is a glossy lip pencil and I do like the feel of this product.  I received a coral-red shade which is not normally a color I reach for.  I think I will try it out as a summer color when the temperatures warm up.

MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser - This product is very interesting to me.  First of all, it smells amazing!  I put it in the shower to use as an exfoliator as I do my other scrubs.  The interesting part of this scrub is that, as I massaged it into my skin, it felt like it turned into a creamy cleanser.  I'm excited to continue to use this product.

No4 Clarifying Shampoo - This is another product I have not opened because I am trying to use up a few shampoos that I already have open.  I plan to try this next so you will see it in my empties in the next month or so.

I also received a foil packet of the No4 Reconstructing Masque as an extra.

What did you receive in your Birchbox this month?


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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Beauty Blogger Book Club: Beautiful Ruins

The start of March means its time to review our February book club book for you!  Ashley over at If You Give a Girl a Ring selected "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter for us to read this past month.  She recently traveled to Italy with her husband and was excited for us to read a book set partially in Italy.

The story begins in Italy in 1962 when a dying actress visits a small hotel off the coast.  The following chapters tell the tale of the innkeeper and the actress and how their lives weave together.  The book jumps between Italy and the present day in Hollywood as the Italian innkeeper goes in search of the actress he let get away.

This book had a bit of a slow start for me.  I was finding it hard to keep track of some of the characters, especially as it jumped back and forth in time.  However, as I got into it, I enjoyed seeing how Jess Walter wove together the different lives of all the characters.  The characters became more connected as the story went on and it was interesting to see how the choices of each character affected the others.  It didn't have any twists (as I think of them in thrillers) but I was surprised by some of the relationships developed between characters and how they came together in the end.

Head on over to the other blogs and see what they thought of the book too!
Ashley - If You Give a Girl a Ring
Michelyn - Brains, Beauty and Basketball

For the month of March, I chose the book for us to read.  We will be reading "One Moment, One Morning" by Sarah Raynor.  This has been in my "To Read" list in Goodreads for quite some time.

If you are a blogger and interested in joining our book club, email me for more information!  If you love to read but don't have a blog, you can still join us!

Each month, on of the members of the Beauty Blogger Book Club (BBBC) will choose a book for the club to read.  At the beginning of the following month we will share a book report/summary for our readers to enjoy and share the book for the following month.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Beauty Empties

I am so excited that today is the first day of March!  Hopefully that means that spring, or at least a taste of spring, might appear one day soon.

I am continuing on my journey for 2015 of using up products and participating in 365 days of empties and a low/no buy.  Part of 365 days of empties with my Instagram friends is to count each empty as $1 and that is my beauty budget.  I will recap all of that at the end of this post.

These are the empties that were part of my Project 10 Pan.  I posted my update last week and you can find that here.

Hair care empties:
12 Benefits - I received a sample of this leave-in treatment a long time ago from Birchbox and purchased the full size.  I used this only when I was going to dry my hair with heat so it lasted me quite awhile.  I have a bunch of samples and other products I want to try but I would repurchase.
Neil George Conditioner - This was another Birchbox sample but I did not like it enough to purchase the full size.  It wasn't bad but it didn't wow me enough to purchase it.
Klorane Dry Shampoo - This is my favorite dry shampoo.  I'm working through another sample and then I will purchase the full size.

Body care empties:
Softsoap body wash - I've said before that I'm not picky with my body wash, except I don't like the lotion ones (I know they can be more moisturizing but I feel like I have a film on my skin).  I have quite a few different back ups to finish before I worry about what kind to purchase next.  I do like this one and would repurchase.
Ulta Cotton Pads - These are the usual cotton pads.  They don't get cotton in my eyes or shed so I'd repurchase them.
Shrinking Beauty lotion - This was supposed to firm with lobster or something weird like that.  It came in a sample bag from Ulta.  I didn't notice any firmness or change.  Definitely not a purchase.  And it had a weird sticker on it like they covered up the original label for some reason which I found a bit suspect.
Fig and Yarrow Hand Salve - This came in a limited edition box from Birchbox and it isn't even close to empty but I can not handle the scent...at all.  It must go.  It is the type of product I would consider purchasing for my cuticles and dry patches if it came in a different scent.
Yu-Be moisturizing skin cream - I use them on my cuticles at night.  They are okay for that purpose but I won't repurchase.

Skin care empties:
Michael Todd jojoba charcoal facial scrub - I love this product and have already repurchased.  I use this scrub a few times a week when I wash my face it the shower.  Some people claim it leaves a film or is hard to wash off.  I just follow it up with a very gentle cleanser to get rid of any of that film or scrub left behind.
Origins Ginzing eye cream - This is my holy grail morning eye cream.  I am already using a new tub. This gives a nice brightening effect to my crazy dark circles in the morning before I apply makeup.
Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish stick - I bought this when I was having crazy breakouts last summer.  I don't think it makes them go away any faster than other products I have tried.  The rollerball was a bit weird to use because I didn't want to roll it directly on the problem areas but then it was messy if I tried to put it on a q-tip or something.  I don't think I would repurchase.
SeaRX Anti wrinkle serum - I received this in Ipsy or Birchbox.  I didn't notice any difference in my skin and the top started to crack and break off which made a huge mess.  Not an item I would purchase.

Makeup empties:
Stila glamor eyes mascara - This came with an eye shadow set I bought from Stila.  I'm not sure if it was actually flaking or it was just the formula but it really irritated my eyes.  I will not purchase it.
Dr. Jart+ BB Dis-a-pore - This was okay.  It had that gray cast to it and didn't blend into my skin very well.  I am using a different BB cream by Dr. Jart right now that I like much better.
Pixi Flawless beauty primer - This was an Ipsy sample and is supposed to be an illuminating primer.  I felt like it made my face greasy and when I was using it, my skin had red bumps and broke out more.  Not a purchase for me.
Neutrogena naturals chapstick - This was okay but the original Neutrogena chapstick is my favorite.
Chapstick - Again, this is okay and I have a bunch to use up (from my crazy couponing days) but then I won't purchase again.

Lots of empties again this month, but that is a good thing!  I know that makeup empties will be few and far between and I'm okay with that because I know my powder products last longer and I do use them every day.  It just takes longer to use them up. I am really trying to work through my body care, skin care, and lip products though because I do not want them to go back and lose what I paid for them.

February Totals:
I started with 277 products at the beginning of February.
I added 24 products through Birchbox, free samples, and birthday gifts.
I used up 24 products (9 full size, 9 deluxe size, 4 foil packets, and 2 trashed products).
So I will have 277 products to start March.

I spent $5.66 during the whole month on a hair tie and hair spray.

So far for 2015 I have used up $272.83 in products and have had to trash $104.01 in products (for a variety of reasons).  I have spent $14.44 for the months of January and February.

I feel like my progress is very slow compared to what I was hoping to see.  Every month I feel like I have products that should be so close to being finished but then just keep hanging on!  But I am using things up and continuing to work on keeping any purchases to necessities (I have gotten some birthday gifts during February that were not necessities:)

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter if you don't already @hmills79


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