Thursday, December 31, 2015

Finish 9 by New Years Finale

Happy New Year's Eve all!  Hubby made italian beef for dinner and we are having a lazy day today.  We aren't ones to venture out on New Years and prefer to stay in with family or just have dinner out and then head home.

I thought I'd post my Finish 9 by New Years Finale for your reading enjoyment if you are also staying in tonight:)  I was able to finish 6 out of the 9 products.
I finished:
1.  NYX blush in Dusty Rose
2.  ELF HD undereye setting powder
3.  Stila eyeliner in Amethyst
4.  Lanolin hand cream
5.  Clarins eye concentrate
6.  Vasanti scrub - I just finished this since the last update

Here is what I didn't finish:

Garnier BB Cream - still mixed in with Neutrogena foundation in the air pump.  I expect to finish that pump in January.  Then I will use the BB cream on its own.  To be honest, if I hate it by itself, I will just get rid of it.  I don't remember ever really liking it and I'm not going to use a foundation that I don't think makes my skin look good.

Jouer liner in chocolat - I made really good progress with this liner.  It is getting very dry and hard to work with.  It crumbles frequently so I sharpen it often.  I am going to focus on the liner in my Finish 14 by February 14th and put this to the side (although I may try it on my lower lash line).  After that project is over, I'll finish this one up.

Stila lipbalm in Gabrielle - Again, just a bit left of this lipstick.  However, I have 4 lip products in my Finish 14 by February 14th so this will be set to the side and I'll include it in a Project Use It Up this spring.  Or maybe a project I do after Finish 14 by February 14th.

Here are my progress marks for the products.  The left side is the Stila liner I finished.  The middle is the chocolat liner which has had steady progress since finishing the Stila liner.  And the right side is the Stila lip balm.  Again, steady progress and just a little to finish.

I will only be participating in Love to Project Pan: Finish 14 by February 14th for right now.  This past year I wanted to do all the projects and was often overlapping and I wasn't able to concentrate on many of the products.  Once Finish 14 is over, I will pick another seasonal project to participate in.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

November and December Birchbox

It has been a long time since I posted about my Birchboxes.  I absolutely love my Birchbox each month and I really want to share it with all of you!  However, the way I was going about it just wasn't working for me.  I didn't always open the products right away to try them out to review and so then I wasn't posting the products at all.

I am going to change up how I post about the Birchboxes and do something similar to what I have seen some Youtubers do.  I will include the products from the most recent month, but my reviews will be the products from the previous month.  This will give me more time to try them out.  I also plan to include full size prices so that when I tell you something is worth the money or not worth the money, you can see what it costs.

I have changed how I project pan for 2016 (only one at a time) and plan to include deluxe samples in my project use it up every month.  I think the combination of both of these will give me a better chance of opening and trying out what I receive because I really do love the products and hate to let them sit unused.

So, to start I will show you December's box.  The theme was All Wrapped Up and I did participate in sample choice but picking one of the eyeshadow duos.

What I received:
Malin and Goetz clarifying clay mask - full size $48
Coastal Scents styleeyes eyeshadow palette in formal eyes- full size $12
Kate Spade Walk on Air perfume - full size $25-$95
Soap and Paper Factory shea butter hand cream in Green Tea - full size $18
theBalm cosmetics FratBoy blush - full size $21

I was very excited about this month's box because I know I will put all these products to good use.  I have already tried the Kate Spade perfume and love it.  The full size of the perfume was actually on my Christmas list before I even received this box.

November's Box - I can't find the card from this month's box with exact product names and prices but I want to let you know my thoughts on the products.

Living Proof perfect hair day dry shampoo - I really like this dry shampoo.  It does have the white cast to it but I find if I spray it in and let it sit while I get ready, I can massage it in easier.  This dry shampoo also claims to actually clean hair like a shampoo versus just absorbing oil.  I'd definitely recommend it.

TempleSpa la la lagoon shower gel - This was included in one of my posts for DeluxeDec on Instagram.  I love the spa scent, however, the shower gel was too runny for my liking.  I felt like it took a whole lot to get any sort of lather and I was wasting a lot of the product.

LOC shadow crayon - This is the shadow crayon from the collaboration between Birchbox and Tati (Glam Life Guru on Youtube).  This was my sample choice for the month of November and I really like it.  It is a pretty rose gold shade and I'm looking forward to using it under more eye looks.  I would consider purchasing a champagne shade as an everyday eye base but I am not sure of what colors are offered.

Make face gloss - No!  I tried it because I read it could be used as a highlighter so I thought I might be able to make it work.  This product was very sticky and I never felt like it blended into my skin.  Hours later, the area where I applied the product still felt sticky.  My flyaway hairs were sticking to it!!!  Absolutely not!

Liz Earle superskin moisturizer - This is the one product I have not tried.  I am finishing a moisturizer and then this is next up on my list.  I will definitely review it in my empties in the future.

Do you like this new set up?  I would love your opinion!


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

Pumpkin VoxBox from Influenster

I am so behind on box review posts.  One of my goals for 2016 is to be on more of a blogging routine and schedule my posts.  We will see how it goes.

Awhile back, I received the Pumpkin VoxBox from Influenster.  If you have never heard of Influenster, it is a free to join.  They send you products to test out periodically throughout the year.

Items included in the box were...

Goodness knows snack squares - These were granola and cherry with a bit of chocolate on the bottom.  They were so good.  I nice sweet treat without totally indulging.  This isn't something I would normally buy but they were good to try out.  I would definitely recommend them if you like a granola bar with a bit of chocolate.

Werther's original soft caramels - I used to love the Werther's hard candies but I hadn't had them in a long time.  These caramels were so good!  They didn't last long in our house!

Popchips - I love Popchips.  These were not a product that was new to me but I love them and was happy to have them as a little snack.  Their salt and pepper flavor is my favorite although I did like this sea salt flavor from the box too.

Ultra Downy April Fresh liquid fabric softener - We don't use fabric softener too often because our washer is kind of temperamental about adding it to the cycle:)  I will keep this around for when I need to toss a little fabric softener in with my laundry (usually with the sheets).

Mr. Sketch scented marker - The mini loved using this for her drawings.  She thinks the smelly markers are the best and doesn't have any of the thin tip ones.  They also included a coupon for Mr. Sketch markers which was nice.  These are my absolute favorite markers for making my charts for my classroom because they are so bright.

Alexia Foods - A coupon was included for a free product from Alexia foods.  We picked up their seasoned waffle fries to have one night and they were very good.  Nice and crispy with good flavor.  We have also tried the rosemary oven potatoes from the brand in the past and I recommend those as well.  Alexia is a more natural brand but they still are very reasonably priced and taste good.  I liked their products even before getting a coupon in this box.

Yucatan guacamole - This was another coupon for a free item.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find this brand in my local stores.  I will continue to keep an eye out because we love guacamole and would love to try this one out.

This box was fun because it was mostly treats to try out, which the family always loves!


This box was sent to me by Influenster.  I received this products for free for testing purposes.

Monday, December 21, 2015

What I'm Loving Lately - December

I've decided to start a new monthly post similar to a favorites post.  I'm going to do it mid-month since the end and beginning of each month is busy with empties and use it up posts.  It will just be anything I've been loving since the previous month's post.  It'll be mostly beauty related but I might throw in some other things now and then.

I focused in 2015 on panning a lot of items and I honestly got bored with many of the items.  I have decided to do some projects during 2016, but not as many at the same time, and I want to play more with products I've purchased and barely touched.

On to what I'm loving lately...

My first loves are this mascara combination.  I had never used an eyelash primer until I received this one in a Tarte calendar of minis from last holiday season.  I decided to try it with this Laura Geller mascara that I was liking but not totally loving.  It made a huge difference and I am loving this combo.  The products are Multipleye prime from Tarte and Laura Geller Glamlash dramatic volumizing mascara.  This particular primer is no longer available on the Tarte site but they do have one called Opening Act that I would try out to see if it is similar.

If you read my goals for 2016 post, you know I am trying out my nail polishes in an effort to only keep ones I know I will actually use.  My nails are often brittle and break and peel easily at the tips.  This seems to be especially true if I am continuously applying nail polish.  I do love to paint my nails though so I am trying to find what will work best for my nails.  In the past month, I have been using this combo when I paint my nails.  I use the OPI Original Nail Envy as my base coat and the Ruffian Varnish Top Coat as my top coat.  In addition to keeping my nails in good shape, this has also given my polishes decent staying power with minimal chips.

I started using this Coastal Scents quad sampler after including it in my Love to Project Pan: Finish 14 by February 14.  I am loving the pinky rose shades and the shadows are good quality as well. This particular quad is in the shade Ballerina.  I have the Coastal Scents Revealed 1 and 2 palettes and I'm excited to use them as I finish this quad and my pan that palette for 2015 comes to an end.

What have you been loving lately?  Do you like this idea for a monthly post?  I would love to hear your thoughts!


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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Love to Project Pan: Finish 14 by February 14 Update #2

This feels like a very long week!  The kids are super antsy knowing winter break is right around the corner.  I'm looking forward to having the first few days to finish my gift shopping and wrapping.  I am way behind this year.

Now, on to the reason for this second update of Finish 14 by February 14th which was started by Kristen Kay and Glamour with Grace on Youtube.

I finally finished a product for this update.  I finished the Tarte powerless primer and talked about it in my November empties post.

For the 13 products I have going still...

1.  The NYX eye shadow single has pan showing now!  I don't know if you can see it in the upper lefthand corner.  And it has a pretty big dip going in the rest of the pan.  I use this every day under all my shadows so they blend together better.
2.  Jouer eyeliner in gris - I haven't really used this because I have been using another eyeliner in my Finish 9 by New Years project.
3.  NYX liner - I use this nude liner as my eyebase each day.  You'll see my progress at the end of this post.
4.  Coastal Scents sampler - I have a good dip going in the bottom left corner.  I hit pan on the top left but I am using a small liner brush for this so it will still take quite awhile to finish.  The other shadows I use but you can't see much progress.

5.  ELF blush - I had hit pan at my first update and now have a lot more pan showing.  I use this every day and it isn't very pigmented so I don't need to worry about how much I use which is helping use it up faster.
6.  Vapour cream blush - I use this every day layered under the powder blush.  And yet, I did not see any progress this month when I went to mark it.  I'll continue to use it every day and see where I get.
7.  Benefit Fake Up - I've used this a few times.  I only wear it on the weekends when I have very minimal makeup on because it isn't enough coverage for me.  If I continue that trend over the next two months I think I'll finish it.

8.  NYX lipstick - I have a bit of progress.  I apply this every morning before I leave the house.  I tend to make my lipsticks really pointy as I use them so progress is goofy to mark.
9.  Stila lip glaze - I put this over the NYX lipstick and you can see a tiny bit of progress each month. I need to apply this more often if I plan to finish it.
10.  Smashbox gloss - I have a little bit of progress since last update.  I keep this in my bathroom and reapply at home almost like a chapstick.
11.  Tarte lip pencil - I have used this once:(

12.  Laneige sleeping mask - I have not used this mask yet.
13.  Acure mask - This is the one I have been focusing on and trying to use at least once a week.  I think I only have one or two more uses in it and I hope to have it finished at the next update.

Here are my progress marks for the products.  You can see a bit of progress on some and no progress on others.  I have two months to go still so I am finding it hard to predict just what I will actually finish.

I have learned, however, that I need to stick to one project at a time.  With 3 projects going right now, I have too many liners and lip products to really focus on the ones I am trying to use up.  Part of 2016 will be to focus on one project at a time.


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

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Project Use It Up 2016 Introduction

After watching a bunch of Project Use It Up videos on Youtube every month, I have decided to set some goals for a Project Use It Up for 2016.  I really love watching these videos and the idea of manageable goals to keep me on track to use it products.  This year my goals have been 365 empties (I'm getting close...stay tuned for the end of the year to see if I make it) and a budget of $1 for each empty.  I totally blew the budget idea although I have been working on using products up.  I will talk about my budget idea for 2016 at the end of the post.

I have made a list of some goals for 2016.  Not having done this before, I wanted to make sure I started with something I felt was attainable and not create goals to the point where I was overwhelmed.

I am bad at using up masks so I want to try to use one at least twice a month whether it is a sample pack or a larger size.
I would like to use at least one perfume sample a month.  I tend to collect them instead of use them.  If I can finish more than 1, that would be even better.
Finish 3 lotions, 10 lip products, and 5 eye shadows are goals for the whole year but will ensure that I focus on products to finish instead of jumping between items all year.
I would like to finish 3 nail polishes.  I will talk more about that in a minute.
Each month, I get samples from Birchbox and then I collect them during the year with orders.  I want to work on using the samples throughout the year so I am going to work on finishing 2 deluxe samples and at least 1 foil packet each month.  Hopefully this will keep my sample stash from overflowing all year.
The yearly goals have boxes next to them so I can keep track of how many I finish.

This will be the way I keep track of my goals each month.  I have put the monthly goals such as "use a mask two times during the month" on the post it with boxes to keep track.  As I decide specific products I want to finish, such as a skincare or body care item, I will include that on the post it for that month as well.  I am going to add finish my Mario Badescu Serum and Ponds Night Cream to January on a separate post it note to remind me.  I keep these post it notes on the inside of my bathroom cabinet as a reminder.

I also have a nail polish project planned.  I have decluttered a lot of shades that I just do not like this year.  I have 20 polishes left but some of these I have never used or used so long ago that I don't remember how the formula applied, if it lasted on my nails, or if I even liked the color.  I am going to use each color at least once and decide if it is worth keeping.  I have been having luck lately with polishes lasting a week on me with minimal chipping.  I am unsure whether it is the base and top coat I have been using or the formula of the polishes I chose.  My goal is to find colors and formulas that I am happy with.  I may not get rid of any of the polishes or I may toss some but buy others in a formula that works for me.  So, the number of polishes may not change much.  I will keep you posted on this project as well next year.

Finally, my thoughts on my beauty budget.  I will share what I am thinking for next year although I will say it is subject to change:)
1.  I will give myself a budget of $25.00 a month.  This is $300 for the year which is definitely saving money for me when it comes to what I spend on beauty products.  Whatever I do not use in a month will roll over to the next month.  This will allow me to save up for a more expensive item.  The budget will be for items that are not considered a necessity such as eye shadow or lip products since I have a lot to use up.
2.  It will not count towards my beauty budget if I purchase a product that I do not have a backup of.  For instance, I have a lot of face wash right now.  If I finally use them all up, it will not count towards my budget to buy a new one.
3.  Gift cards and Birchbox will not count towards my beauty budget.
4.  Hubby's items will not count towards the beauty budget (he likes the Art of Shaving line and I usually buy it at Ulta because it helps me get to platinum status pretty quickly).

As we near 2016, these are my current thoughts and goals for next year.  If you have any thoughts for me, please leave them in the comments.  I love to hear your feedback.  I plan to update monthly on how I am progressing and what I am focusing on for Project Use It Up for the month.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Finish 9 by New Years Update #3

It is time to update my Finish 9 by New Years project.  I am a few days late with this post so I apologize.  But my progress marks were done on December 1st.  So I might even have a tiny bit more progress in the last week.

As of update #2 I had finished:
1.  ELF underage setting powder
2.  NYX blush in Dusty Rose
3.  Stila eyeliner in Amethyst

I finished one more product - the Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate.  I included this in my November empties posted last weekend.

I was sure I would have 3 product finished by this update but 2 are still hanging on.  They each have just a few uses left so they will definitely be finished by then end of the project.

The lotion mark is all the way at the bottom and I use this every night and during the day on the weekends so it will be done soon.  I cut open the Vasanti scrub because it was very hard to squeeze out.  I put it in a Sephora jar and have one use left as of writing this post.

I continue to work on the Garnier BB cream.  It won't be finished by the end of the year but I'm definitely trying to finish off as much as possible.
The Jouer eyeliner in chocolat is super dry and hard to use.  I am having to sharpen it often and it is not applying well.  I hope this will be finished soon.  I am debating throwing it away at the end of the year because it is just so dried out.  We will see.
I have been trying to use my Stila balm more often during the day to see more progress.  It will be cutting it close to finish it by the end of the year.

I am looking forward to having this project and 12 Empties of Christmas finished so I can concentrate on only one project.  I've realized that 3 projects going at once gives me too many overlapping products to see much progress.  I will talk more about that when I post goals for 2016 soon.


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

Thursday, December 3, 2015

BBBC: The Rosie Project

The beginning of a new month means a new book review for the Beauty Blogger Book Club!  For the month of November, Ashley chose The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.  I hadn't heard of this book but it must be very popular because all the copies at my local library were checked out with multiple holds waiting on them.

Don Tillman is a professor of genetics who struggles with social skills.  He decides to find a wife and, in order to do so, designs The Wife Project.  The Wife Project consists of a survey and process in which he hopes to find a compatible wife.  Rosie enters the picture and Don easily decides she is not wife material but is interested in her own quest for her biological father.  As the pair collaborate on The Father Project, Don finds that change might not be such a bad thing.

I enjoyed this book even if the ending was a bit predictable.  I love the show Big Bang Theory and Don Tillman has many similar mannerisms and characteristics of Sheldon Cooper.  His social mistakes are entertaining but, at the same time, you are rooting for him to work through them and prove what a great guy he is to Rosie.

For the month of December, I chose the book Maybe in Another Life  by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  I have read another book by this author and really enjoyed it.

Check out what the other bloggers thought of this month's book:

What have you read lately?  I'm always looking for suggestions!