Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Beauty Empties

May was a busy month for us with lots of night meetings and activities and weekend plans.  Really cuts into my blogging time.  But, things are slowing down and we are nearing the end of the school year so I am catching up on some posts.  I really do love blogging so it makes me sad when I can't find time to fit it in.

This is going to be my May empties.  I'll give some mini reviews of the products and recap at the end of the post with my totals as I usually do.

Full size empties:
1.  Mary Kay Timewise cleanser for combination to oily skin - This is one of the last few products I have from when I used to sell and use Mary Kay exclusively.  I like this cleanser.  It is gentle and does a nice job of cleansing and removing makeup.  I won't repurchase because I have other cleansers I want to try.
2.  Ulta 3 in 1 smoothie in mango tango - I use these for a shave gel (not as a shower gel).  I like them better than a shaving cream because they don't get as much build up in my razor and rinse off nicely.  I have 2 more to use because I buy them when they are buy 2 get 1 free or when Ulta has a deal.
3.  Suave Advanced Therapy lotion - This was 32 oz. and I will never buy a lotion this large again.  I used it for 6 months during last winter.  Then I had to take a break from it.  I started using it again this past December and finally finished it this month.  I save it for the winter because it does a great job of moisturizing my very dry winter skin.  I won't repurchase any time soon because I still have a ton of lotions to use up.

Deluxe size shower empties:
1.  Beaver Hydro Shampoo - I got this in a Birchbox and it was okay.  I think it made my hair too greasy.  If I use the right shampoo for my hair, I can go a few days between washes.  This made my hair too oily on my scalp to do that so I won't purchase a full size.
2.  Beaver Hydro conditioner - Again, from Birchbox.  It was just okay.  It didn't wow me enough to buy a full size.
3.  12 Benefits Love at First Lather Moisture Balancing Mousse Shampoo - I received this as a free gift when I bought the 12 benefits leave in spray at the beauty show.  You pumped 10-12 pumps into your hand and it was like a mousse (hence the name).  Similar to the Beaver shampoo, this made my hair too greasy and apparently did more moisturizing than I needed.  I will not purchase the full size.
4.  Olay Body Wash in cooling white strawberry and mint - This came as a free sample from either a Walmart box or PinchMe or something similar...not sure.  I do love the scent and it is the gel type body wash that I like (not creamy like a lotion).  I have a bunch of big body washes to use up but then I'd consider purchasing this one.  I am using another small sample now.
5.  Caress Adore Forever Body Wash - Again, this came from a Walmart box I think.  I was not a huge fan of the scent of this.  It was a big too strong and heavy for what I prefer in a body wash.  It was the consistency I prefer though.

More deluxe size empties:
1.  Ulta premium cotton pads - I did not like these and won't repurchase.  They were too thick and absorbed my eye makeup remover or toner before I ever got it on my face.
2.  Sephora cotton rounds - These are my favorite brand at the moment.  I bought a bunch recently when there was a code for Beauty Insiders.  I'd like to try the ones from the Body Shop.  I don't know that I would buy these at full price because you don't get very many for the price.  But I will continue to repurchase these when I can get them on sale.
3.  Yarok Feed Your Ends - This is a leave in conditioner and heat protectant that came in a limited edition Birchbox I got back at the beginning of the year.  I liked this product but it isn't as good as the 12 Benefits one that I love so I won't purchase at this time.  However, I do like that it is a cruelty free product.
4.  Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Primer - This came in an Ulta free gift with purchase but it isn't something I would purchase.  I much prefer other leave in sprays.
5.  Michael Todd Citrus Cream Moisturizer - I bought this as part of a set off Groupon last year.  This moisturizer was much too thick for me, even as a night cream.  It was breaking me out so I finished it up by using it on my upper body as a lotion.  I won't purchase this although there are Michael Todd products I really like.

Other empties:
1.  Smashbox primer - I will use this primer when I have samples but it isn't one I will buy.  I'm not a huge fan of the silicone primers.  I just don't like how thick they feel on my skin.  That being said, I do love the blemish controlling primer from Smashbox (its green).
2.  Origins Super Spot Remover - This is a spot treatment for blemishes.  It doesn't work as quickly as some other products I've tried for this purpose but those dry out my skin where this one doesn't.  I am switched to use tea tree oil to keep my skin clear and it seems to be working.  I also have a Mario Badescu spot treatment I bought to try and it seems to work faster than the Origins one.  I do like this one though and would recommend it.
3.  Chapstick hydration lock - This came as a Birchbox sample at some point and I kept it in my purse.  Its okay.  I'm not a huge fan of the night end, it has a weird taste/smell.  I won't purchase because there is no point if I'm only going to use one end.
4.  Physicians Formula Concealer Twins - I bought this last year in my ongoing quest for the perfect undereye concealer.  However, this really burned my eyes so I couldn't use it for dark circles.  I ended up using the flesh toned end for spots on my face.  I did take the stopper out but once it got too hard to dig out, I tossed it.  It wasn't worth it for me to put so much effort into using a product I didn't like.
5.  Gucci Guilty perfume sample - I am horrible at describing scents but I did like this one.  Wasn't too floral or sweet smelling.  I am trying to decide between this one and one other for my Sephora rollerball coupon.
6.  Marc Jacobs Dot - This is the other one I'm considering for the Sephora rollerball coupon.  Again, not too sweet or floral.
7.  Chella eye pencil in ivory lace - I received this product in a Birchbox awhile ago and it was a full size.  I used it to highlight under my brow bone or for an inner corner highlight.  Sometimes I used it as an eye shadow base as well.  I love this product and will repurchase once I use up some other products I have.

May Totals:
I started with 303 products
I added 27 products (subscriptions, free samples, Tarte and Birchbox orders)
I used 23 products this month (7 full size, 11 deluxe size, 5 foil packets)
This brings me to 307 as my product total.  However, I completed my inventory yesterday and according to my inventory I have 323 products so I will use that as my product total to start June instead of the 307 (sometimes I miss products I add, especially if its a foil packet or magazine sample).

I have a total of 105 empties for 2015.
I've trashed $141.01 due to expired products, an eye infection, etc.
I've used up $696.85 in products.  I try to put the amount of the product or size used (sometimes it doesn't happen with foil packets or perfume samples that don't list their size).

I am at -72.43 for my beauty budget because of big purchases this month ($1 for each empty so I have spent 72.43 more than I have emptied).  I have fallen off the no buy wagon for sure lately.  My goal is to get back on track in June and bring my negative balance closer back to 0 or even into the positive over the next few months.  No unnecessary purchases!

Thank you for stopping by!

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

Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Beauty Inventory

My Instabesties and I have been going back and forth about our 2015 beauty goals and continuing on our journey of using up products this year.  I posted about my inventory and had a request from one of my besties to write a post about my inventory.  So, I am going to try to explain my process in the hopes that it will inspire someone else.

Let me start by saying that I am very Type A personality.  Lots of organizing, lists, reorganizing, everything needs to be in order.  Therefore, specific lists were what I needed to keep track of my panning journey this year.  I have quite a few pictures in this post (sorry) but I really wanted to show what I did to make sure it was clear.

On December 1st of 2014, I did my first inventory.  I had never inventoried before but I had products in multiple places in the house and no idea what I really owned.  I decided to inventory every 6 months.  I completed another inventory today (what I am considering my June 1st inventory).

I emptied out the linen closet of everything in there that was beauty related.  Then I sorted it all by category.  As I put it back, I wrote down every single product by category.  This is what it looks like...

Because I add and use up sample packets (foil packets) very quickly, I made them their own pages so it doesn't interfere with the rest of my inventory.

The rest of the pages of the inventory look like the 2 pictures above.  A product with a "D" next to it indicates a deluxe size.  The rest are full size.  I tried to leave extra lines for each category for when products might be added.  I didn't do this last time and it made it very messy!  I totaled what I have in each category and put a box to cross off when I finish a product in the category.  I will also cross the specific product off the list and put the month it was finished next to it.

This is the front page of the all the inventory sheets.  I currently have a total of 321 products.  As you can see, this is way more than when I started.  So, I am going to really be cutting back on spending as my goal was to see the number of items I own decrease.  Total fail at this point.  But I have quite a bit of 2015 still to go to get back on track.

In addition to my inventory sheets, I have a notebook with two sections.  This is for my 365 days of empties on Instagram and for my empties posts at the end of each month.  You can see that I list products added during the month (this is an estimate, sometimes I am wrong or forget some:).  I also tally the full size, deluxe, foil samples, and items I trash during the month.  The rest is my calculations for how much I have used up for the year in both product and cost.

The other section of the notebook contains a page for each week.  The weeks run Thursday to Wednesday since 2015 started on a Thursday.  I list each product I use up and it gives me $1 for my budget.  As you can see on this page, I am currently negative because I have spent way too much!  If possible, I calculate how much the empty product was worth when I list it.  Some of the foil samples and perfume samples don't list ounces.  The totals at the bottom of the page are the dollar amount of products I have trashed, products I have used, and my empties budget.

Finally, I thought I would show you my medicine cabinet.  I told you I like lists.  It's a sickness really:)  These are projects I am participating in and the products included in each of those projects so I can cross them off as I finish them and don't forget what is included.  In case you're wondering, the projects are Finish 4 by the 4th of July, a project 20 pan I'm doing, and 12 empties of Christmas.

I hope all of that makes sense.  I know I am probably writing way more than I really need to but I like having multiple lists and the satisfaction of crossing items off a list.  I have debated putting it into a spreadsheet on the computer, but it is much quicker for me to just cross an item off and write it in my notebook at the moment I finish it than to do it later on the computer.

Let me know if you have any questions or this has led to any other post ideas you would like to see!

I am so appreciative of all of you who stop by and read my posts.
You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @hmills79 if you aren't already.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Birchbox

Happy Wednesday all!  I can't believe it is almost June!  This end of the school year is really taking its toll on my free time.  We recently spent 5 days in Annapolis, Baltimore, and DC so now I am playing laundry catch up.  Does anyone else feel like there is never a day where all the laundry in the house is clean?  A dirty towel or something always seems to show up.

On to why we are here...May Birchbox.  This came two days before we left on our trip so I didn't have time to use the products much or post.  I've been using some of the products in the few days before and after so I thought I would get my review up!

Tocca eau de parfum in Isabel - I haven't worn this much but I do really like the scent. It is a spicy, deeper scent and will be perfect for fall.  I think I have liked every perfume I have tried from Tocca over the past few years.  The full size is $68 which isn't too bad and I might consider a full size of this.  I don't currently have any full size perfumes but plan to buy some in the fall/winter once I use up samples.

Prescriptives Super Line Preventor XTreme - I think this product is similar to a serum and it goes on before moisturizer.  I've tried it a few times at night and I like the consistency and how it feels on my skin.  I prefer it to the Mario Badescu that I have been using (the Mario Badescu feels too much like an oil which I don't like).  The price tag on this is $84 so I am going to pay careful attention to how long the sample lasts me and compare it to the size of the full size to see if it is worth it.

Marcelle Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel - This is a moisturizer and I am a big fan!  I don't need too heavy of a moisturizer because my face tends to get oily easily and a lot of moisturizers cause me to break out because they are too heavy.  This is light weight and sinks in quickly and easily.  I had planned to buy the DDF moisturizing dew that I loved from Birchbox but at half the price ($24), this might be purchased instead.

Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist - I haven't tried this product yet.  I plan to give it a try in the summer months when I let my hair air dry.  Look for a review in a future empties post or I'll throw it into a Birchbox review in the future if I love it.

Pix Beauty Fairy Dust - This is an eye shadow and I'm a little unsure about using it.  I think I might try it over my color tattoo by patting it on so that it doesn't make a huge mess.  With my ability levels, it isn't likely but I'll be trying it out in the future.

Continuing to love my Birchboxes for the most part!  I'm a big fan of trying new skincare (as opposed to makeup) so I love all the skincare samples they send each month.

What have you tried lately?


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

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Just One Tag!

I was tagged by one of my girls on Instagram to do the Just One Tag.  Go check out Stephanie's post here.  The idea is that you pick just one product from each category.  This was tough!  As you can tell from the picture above, I have trouble picking just one:)

Here goes...

Lipstick - Tarte Plummy Rose - I love the formula of these lipsticks.  This is my favorite shade and it is what they describe as a "your lips but better" shade for me.

Lipgloss - Revlon Super Lustrous in Super Natural - I bought this because I saw a Youtuber talk about what a great natural shade it was (sorry, don't remember who at this point).  It is a great nude shade that I can swipe on without a mirror and goes with any look.

Blush - Maybelline Master Hi-Light in Pink Rose - These are great blushes because they have a bit of a sheen with a built in highlight.  It is my pick for when I need to pack a travel bag because it can serve as a blush and highlighter.  Once I use up some blushes, I would like to try other colors of this line.

Eyeshadow Single - Mac in Satin Taupe - This is the only Mac shade I own and I love it.  It is my go to for lining along my lower lash line.  I also like that I can sweep it over my lid and it looks great alone.

Eyeshadow Palette - Stila In the Light - This might have been my hardest one to choose.  I have Tarte, Urban Decay, and Coastal Scents palettes that I absolutely love.  I choose the Stila palette because I love every shade in the palette.  There isn't one shade that I shy away from using or have trouble finding an eye look for.  I use shadow smudged along my lower lash line instead of liner and these shades are great for that too so I don't need a separate product.

Mascara - Mally Volumizing Mascara - My easiest pick!  I absolutely love this mascara and have purchased multiple tubes since discovering it last June.  I do use up samples when they come but I will spend the $20 on this mascara over any drugstore mascara or high end mascara I've found.

Foundation - Neutrogena Healthy Skin - If I had to pick one, this is the one I would pick from those I've tried or owned over the past few years.  However, I wouldn't say it is the foundation I would pick over all others. I'm still searching for my favorite foundation and plan to get some samples from Sephora soon to try out some new ones.

Facial Cleanser - Neutrogena Acne Wash - I have purchased this over and over throughout the years.  When I am using it, I only use it once a day at night.  I find that it keeps breakouts at bay.  However, I have recently decided to try a new tactic with my skin.  Recently, I've been wondering if my skin breaks out because I strip it too much.  So, I have a plan to try some more gentle cleansers and see what happens.  Hopefully my skin doesn't hate me.

Powder/Bronzer - Rimmel Stay Matte - I bought this product to try after hearing and seeing lots of people talk about it.  I like it for the light and bendable coverage it gives me.  Again, I'm not sure it is my forever favorite powder but it is my favorite of the ones I've tried so far.  

Nail Polish - Color Club in Grey - I bought this off the Birchbox website because I love the formula of these polishes.  The bottle doesn't have a name but it is a grey shade that I absolutely love.

There you have it!  What one product would you choose?

I tag Kelly (a_chic_geek) and Jami (countrygirlinstilettos) if they care to share their picks!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

12 Empties of Christmas

@jencoempties stared the challenge #12emptiesofchristmas on Instagram and I thought I'd join in.  This way, I know I have at least some products that I'll be sure to finish by the end of the year.  Although, I hope to have a lot more.  These are larger sized products that are mostly or completely full since we have quite a few months to work through them.

In case you are new here, I have a few reasons for working on using up products:
1.  I want to make room for new products I want to try.
2.  I want to make room for only products I love.
3.  I want to find skincare and haircare that I absolutely love and feel works best for me.  I am working to use up some things and try new products in search of what works best for me.

Let's look at what I hope to use up:

1.  Kerstin Florian peel pads - There are 50ish pads in here and I try to do a peel at least once a week. I use 1-2 pads and I have a feeling if they start drying out, it might require more.  I got these for my birthday and I really like them.  You run the pads over your face and let it sit for a few minutes.  Then rinse with water to neutralize the peel.  These are pricey, but they do last a long time since my skin can only take the peel once a week.  I included them in the project because I want to make sure I continue to get my money's worth from this product.
2.  Loreal Revitalift cream - This was a deluxe sample from a Walmart box.  I plan to use it as my night cream and finish it up.
3.  Olay regenerist cream - This was another deluxe sample from a Walmart box.  Again, I just want to make sure I use this up.
4.  Ponds cream - I'm not entirely sure where this came from.  I think a Walmart box?  Anyways, as with the above creams, I doubt it will be something I will fall in love with but I want to use it up.
5.  Mario Badescu - I'm on the fence about this serum.  I want the anti-aging benefits but I'm not in love with the texture.  Feels too much like an oil to me.  I have a feeling it will take me all year to use this up since I only need 2-3 drops.

6.  TheBalm Nudetude Palette - This is my Pan That Palette for this year.  I am about halfway through four of the shades but it will be hard to use up once I get to the darker shades being left.  I hope to have the majority of it done by the end of the year.
7.  Bronze - I got this in a Birchbox or Ipsy bag.  I'm not really a bronzer person but have 3 right now?  I think I only bought one of them in a kit from Too Faced.  But anyways, this is a smaller size so I will use it to warm up my face and hopefully use it up by the end of 2015.
8.  A Great Kisser Lip Balm - I put this on every morning before I start my makeup.  I'm going to try to use it more frequently when I'm home to use it up.  I love this balm but I am not a huge fan of pots of product.
9.  Neutrogena Healthy Skin - I love this foundation.  It is my favorite drugstore foundation.  I have included all 3 foundations/BB creams that I currently own in projects to make sure I use them up.
10.  Perfumes - I put Pure Grace in the picture.  However, I have replaced this with two  small rollerballs of Calvin Klein Euphoria and Demeter Snow.  If I finish these, then I will work on Pure Grace.

11.  All these face washes count as #11.  I am hoping to finish these four face washes by the end of the year.  The cream cleanser has been used a few times and the others are unused.  I have always thought that my skin needs really strong cleansers and toners to keep it from breaking out.  However, I have recently heard that perhaps my skin is overcompensating for the strong products I use on it.  I want to use these up and try a new approach.

12.  These 3 astringents count as #12.  Again, for the same reason as above.  I want to use them up to try some new products and see how my skin reacts.  One of these is about half gone and the other 2 are full.

If I can use all of these products up, it will be an additional 17 products out of my collection/hoarding stash of skincare and body products.  Emptying products becomes kind of addicting after awhile:)

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @hmills79.  I plan to update this project around the middle of each month since I will be posting my final blog about that time in December.


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

Monday, May 4, 2015

Project 20 Pan Intro

One of my insta-besties on Instagram (aworldoffab) is starting a Project 20 Pan and so I am going to start one as well so we can work through the products together over the next couple of months.  It is nice to have support when you work through a project.  I am considering this project as started on May 1st and it will go until September 1st (that is my plan right now anyways).  I have included 28 products and hope to finish at least 20 of them.  My plan is also to keep track of how long it actually takes me to use up a product so I have a better idea when I buy something how long it will last.

1.  I am counting these lotions as one item of my 20 (however they are included individually in the total of 28 - hope that makes sense).  The Soap and Glory and Bliss ones are already about half gone.  The others haven't been used at all.  I'm guessing it takes me about 2 weeks to go through a deluxe sized lotion?  We will see.

The face products I am including are: (the Vasanti has a line on the right side.  The two eye creams and glam glow are brand new.  I can't see through the others for a starting line)
2.  Vasanti Brighten Up face scrub
3.  Garnier BB cream
4.  Michael Todd Pumpkin Mask
5.  Glam Glow mask
6.  Balance Me eye cream
7.  Clarins eye serum

Body Products:
8.  Triple Lanolin lotion (about half full)
9.  Body spray in Cashmere Glow (unused)
10.  Body spray in Twilight Woods (unused)
11.  Body spray in Oahu (unused)

Makeup products:  I didn't really mark any of them:(
12.  NYX blush in dusty rose
13.  Elf high definition under eye setting powder
14.  Stila Balm in Gabrielle
15.  Mac Viva Glam
16.  Urban Decay lip gloss
17.  Sugar Petal lip balm
18.  Sugar Honey lip blam
19.  Stila eye liner in amethyst
20.  Jouer eye liner in chocolat

Those are my 20 products.  I hope to see some progress by September 1st and even some of the products used up!  I will update at the beginning of each month.  I will try to mark some progress in the future, especially on the face and body products that are easier to mark.


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

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Beauty Blogger Book Club

Beginning of a new month means it's time for the Beauty Blogger Book Club review!  This month we read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Michelyn chose this book because it was #16 on Business Insider's list of 100 books everyone should read.

This is the story of Liesel Meminger who is sent to live with a foster family in Germany as World War II begins.  She is unable to read or write and is embarrassed at school after being placed with the younger students.  In addition, she wakes up at night with nightmares about what happened to her brother who died on the way to the foster family.  To soothe her nightmares, her foster father (Papa) begins to come in and read to her when she awakes at night.  He also teachers her to read and write throughout the course of the story.  Liesel loves to read and steals books so she has something to read since her family can't afford to buy books.

To be honest, this is not the sort of book I would choose to read for myself.  However, that is the great thing about this book club, it pushes me to read something different.  The story was narrated by death which I found a bit confusing to start with.  I enjoyed seeing the character of Liesel grow and develop  relationships with others living in her town in Germany.  We saw her desperation as times grew tough and the lengths she went through to fulfill her passion of learning to read and write.  She had many touch choices to make as Nazi Germany and the Holocaust affected those she loved.  While I enjoyed the book once I got into it a bit, it is definitely not a "light" read.

This next month, Ashley chose Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Sample.  I have heard a lot about this book so I'm excited to read it!

We would also like to welcome Lisa of Uncommon Wife Life to the book club.  I'm looking forward to her picks in the future months.

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

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?