Sunday, January 31, 2016

Project Use It Up - January Update/February Goals

I can't believe that a month of 2016 has already passed.  We were busy with work, school and gymnastics competitions every weekend.  February weekends are a little less busy which I'm looking forward to.

I'm enjoying doing Project Use It Up because it is helping me put goals into smaller, manageable chunks.  This is the update for January and goals for February.

I was able to meet all my January goals so I'm excited to be off to a good start (top post it).  I didn't finish all the products I anticipated (bottom post it) but I am rolling some them over to February which you will see at the end.

One goal was to finish 1 foil pack.  I have a lot to go through so I will be trying to finish more than 1 a month but my goal is at least 1.  These are the two products I finished in January.  The top was SW Basics Exfoliant.  It is a powder that you mix with water and then massage onto your face and rinse off.  I like that it has very few ingredients and the ingredients are natural.  I usually exfoliate in the shower which is difficult with a product like this that needs to stay dry.  The other sample was Guerlain Lingerie de peau foundation.  This was too full coverage for me.

These are products I will be working on in February but don't anticipate finishing.  The Kerstin Florian are the peel pads listed in my goals.  They are starting to dry out so I am including using 4 pads in my February goals to try to finish them up.  I am following up the peel pads with the Laniege sleeping mask to add moisture back into my skin.  I set the Ponds night cream aside last month because the combination of this cream and the Mario Badescu serum makes me super oily at night.  I will use the Ponds cream again once the Mario Badescu serum is finished.

I would like to finish these 3 products in February.  I've been using this serum for a long time and thought it would be done awhile ago.  I'd really like to have it finished this month.  I started using the Murad moisturizer sample in place of the Ponds cream at night.  It is a tiny sample and I should finish it this month.  I am almost finished with the Calvin Klein Euphoria perfume and hope to finish it this month.

These are my February goals.  I have kept the basic goals the same although I do hope to use a mask more often than 2 times during the month.  However, these are the minimum I am aiming for.

I have shown all the products I'd like to finish except the License to Blot.  This is a stick product and is a deluxe sample I tried to finish in January.  It isn't a product I use or like so I just want it out of my collection.

Let me know your goals for the month and if you're doing Project Use It Up!


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

Sunday, January 24, 2016

What I'm Loving Lately - January

Happy weekend to you all!  I'm taking the afternoon to relax and thought I'd try to catch up on a few blog posts.  My daughter is a competitive gymnast and it was their home meet this weekend.  I spent 14 hours at a gymnastics meet yesterday and relaxing was the only thing I could manage today:)

On to what I've been loving lately.  Remember how I said I wasn't going to do very many projects?  I guess I lied.  Lol.  It is just so motivating to join in projects with other bloggers, youtubers, and all those who post on Instagram.  That being said, I'm trying not to overlap products too much so that I can still use some items I've been neglecting alongside the items in my projects.

One of my friends sent me a sample of this to try and I loved it.  She had an extra full size and so she sent that long to me once she heard how much I was enjoying it.  She's the best!  It is the LaRoche-Posay Effaclar Duo and you use it on problem areas when you have breakouts.  I can use a tiny bit when I start feeling breakouts coming on and this product will keep them away.  The catch is that you can't buy the version they sell in the United States.  You need to order it from but it is free shipping over $15.  They list the price as $22.48.  The version they sell in the US is almost $40 so it is worth it to buy the good version.

My next love is the It Cosmetics CC cream.  I had heard a lot about this from some beauty friends on Instagram and Youtube.  I was trying to use up some foundations at the end of 2015 before I bought a new one.  I have this in the shade "fair "(bought online so I hadn't tried the colors) and it might be a bit light for me.  However, I can easily darken it up with some bronzer and it works just find for winter.  I want to try it in the shade "light" to compare and see if it would be a better match.  I prefer a light to medium coverage and this works perfectly.  I also like that it has SPF.  The full size is $38 on Ulta's website.

Finally, I have been loving the NYX lipstick in my Finish 14 by February 14th project.  This is a NYX round case lipstick (that is how it is listed on Ulta's site) in Thalia.  It is a pretty mauve brown shade.  I am really enjoying the shade and am happy I am trying to use it up before I have to toss it.  The formula is nice and creamy.  I wouldn't call it long lasting but I'm okay with how long it lasts since it so comfortable to wear.  It is $3.99 at Ulta.

What have you been loving lately?  I would love for you to share 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.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

January Birchbox and December Reviews

My January Birchbox came this week so I thought I would share what I received and also my reviews of the December products.  When I started this format last month, it had a positive response so I will continue posting about Birchboxes with the reviews from the previous month.

I will start with what I received for January.  I can never wait so I always peek ahead of time to see what I'm getting and I wasn't totally thrilled with the products.  That happens some months but I usually have a few products I'm excited about even if it isn't the whole box this time.

The theme for this month was just that it is the beginning of a new year.  I did not participate in sample choice this month because none of the product choices really excited me.  However, then I received the Eyeko eyeliner anyways.  If I wanted it, I would have chosen it, so that is a little annoying.

What I received:
Beautiful Nutrition grapefruit detox shine repair shampoo - full size $12
Beautiful Nutrition grapefruit detox shine repair conditioner - full size $12
Ciate London mini paint pot in Access All Areas - full size $15
Eyeko fat liquid liner - full size $16
Paula's Choice Resist intensive wrinkle repair retinol serum - full size $40

I am excited to try the serum the most because I hear a lot about Paula's Choice products but haven't tried any yet.  I have a glitter polish from this nail brand and I think this will be a great summer color.  I don't mind trying different shampoo and conditioners out because I would like to try to find one that I think does great things for my hair.  Not a fan of the liner.  I will try them all out and let you know next month!

December's Box - All Wrapped Up

Malin and Goetz clarifying clay mask - full size $48
This was a very different mask for me.  It was a clay mask but also had exfoliating particles.  You were to apply the mask and then before removing it, massage it into the skin to exfoliate and then rinse.  I found it a bit scratchy to apply because of the exfoliating particles.  It made my skin feel soft and I did not have a reaction to it.  However, I wasn't a fan of the mask/exfoliating combo and did not like it enough to pay full price.

Soap and Paper Factory shea butter hand cream in green tea scent - full size $18
This is nice and moisturizing and I do love the scent.  It has that spa-like scent which I prefer to floral scents.  The full size is 4 times this amount so you get a good amount of product for the price.  It is also paraben and phthalate free and does not test on animals.  It will probably be the end of the year before I need hand cream but I would pick this up.

Kate Spade Walk on Air perfume - full size $25-$95
I was very excited to have a sample of this perfume and had already asked for it for Christmas when I received my Birchbox.  I love this scent.

TheBalm cosmetics Frat Boy blush - full size $21
I love this color but it is hard to fit in blush brush in the tiny little square of product they send you.  I'll use this up and might try it as an eyeshadow too.  I own a blush from theBalm (Hot Mama) and I love it so I know I'd love this one in the full size but I have a lot of blushes and don't need anymore right now.

Coastal Scents styleEyes eyeshadow palette in formalEyes - full size $12
I love these shades but I didn't find them to be as pigmented as other Coastal Scents shades in the revealed palettes I have.  I layered them with some shadows in my project pans and it made for a nice natural eye look but the quality of these two shades does not make me want to buy the full size of this palette.

Thanks for reading everyone!

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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Love to Project Pan: Finish 14 by February 14th Update #3

Time for an update on my Finish 14 by February 14th project.  This was started by Kristen Kay and Glamour with Grace on Youtube and there are lots of updates happening on Youtube, blogs, and Instagram for this challenge so check them out!  I know this post is a few days late but I did mark the products on the 14th.  It has been too dark and dreary after work to get very good pictures so I waited a few days for the post.

Since my December update I have finished the Acure cell stimulating facial mask.  You will see this product in my January empties so watch for my review there.  

I have finished two products:
1.  Tarte poreless primer
2.  Acure cell stimulating facial mask

Here is what I am still working on...

3.  Coastal Scents Revealed sampler in Ballerina - I have repressed the bottom left shade and it is almost finished.  It is hard to reach the corners in these tiny pans so I might have one or two more uses before I call this done.  I have a good amount of pan in the top left and a good dip and hope to hit pan soon on the top right shade.  I haven't used the bottom right shade much so I am trying to add it in to more looks to hopefully at least hit pan in the next month.
4.  NYX eye shadow in white pearl - I use this every day over my base before I apply other shadows. I have a good dip but the front of the pan is still virtually untouched.  I don't anticipate finishing this in the next month but I will have a good portion finished up by then.
5.  NYX nude pencil - I am using this as my eye base and have been making very steady progress.  I'll show the progress paper at the end of the post.
6.  Jouer pencil in gris - I am using this daily since finishing my other project on January 1st but it won't be finished.  I shouldn't have put in two eye pencils in overlapping projects because it made them harder to finish.  I'm not a fan of this color, it looks to blue when I apply it.  I am using the darkest shade in the quad over it to change the color some.

7.  Laneige water sleeping mask - Since finishing the Acure mask, I am using this mask once a week at night.  I will be cutting it close to finish it by the end of the project.  
8.  Benefit Fake Up - I am trying to use this on the weekends and I am making some progress.  This is not enough coverage for my very dark circles and it does not last long enough for me to wear on a daily basis.  I thought this product would be super easy to finish but you don't need very much so it goes a long way.
9.  Vapour cream blush in courtesan - I am using this daily and when I got to mark progress it shows none.  So frustrating!  But I am using it every day.  At this point, I'm just hoping to finish this by the end of the year:)
10.  Elf blush in mellow mauve - I have a lot of pan showing on this now so that's exciting!  I am working on the bottom right corner where the product is the thickest.  However, it is hard to get much product with my brush so I will likely repress this one soon.

11.  Smashbox gloss in forever - I have finally made some good progress on this.  I put it in hot water and let all the gloss settle to the bottom to mark it.  This is a very light shade so I keep it in the bathroom and swipe it on whenever I am home instead of a chapstick.  Finishing this will be close!
12.  Stila lip glaze in super plum - There is very slow but steady progress on this product.  It is more pigmented so I don't need very much when I apply it.
13.  Tarte energy lip crayon - I think I've used this once.
14.  NYX lipstick in Thalia - I marked this on my sheet the other day and now I can't find it.  I'm hoping it is in the bottom of my purse or I mixed it back in with other lip products that aren't in a project.  You will see the progress on the paper in the next picture.

Here is the paper I am marking my progress on for the items.  I made the picture a little bigger so hopefully it is easier to see.  As you can see, I have pretty steady progress on the NYX and Jouer pencils, the FakeUp and the NYX Thalia.  The Vapour shows no progress even though I use it daily and I haven't used the Tarte pencil to show any progress.

Hope your seasonal challenges are going well!  Let me know so I can follow along!

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

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Beauty Empties - December

2016 is underway and we head back to school and work tomorrow.  I'm not sure I'm ready for real life again:)  I can't things off until the next day, knowing I'll be home to do them.  On that note, trying to get some things organized and cleaned up this weekend.  That includes getting rid of my beauty trash from December!

One of my best buddies on Instagram (@beautyempties) started a hashtag for last called #364daysofempties with the goal to hit 365 empties.  In an effort to make 365, I worked during December on finishing up deluxe and sample sizes.  I ended up with 354 empties for the year...still pretty good in my opinion.  During December, I posted samples and deluxe sizes as I finished them on my Instagram account (@lovetobebusyblog) so check those out too!

These were the deluxe sized empties I finished up on the last few days of the month so I thought I'd include them here.
Vitabath cucumber and white tea body wash - I really loved the scent of this body wash.  I also liked the consistency.  Once I use up my body washes, I will be purchasing this brand.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin cream - This moisturizer has big claims and I didn't notice anything special for the price tag.  I liked the Air Repair moisturizer I used at night and will purchase that over this one.
Jouer matte moisture tint sunscreen - I really liked this product.  The shade was too dark for me (I had it in nude) but it wore nicely and wasn't greasy even with the sunscreen.  I would definitely buy this product.

Triple Lanolin hand and body lotion - This was part of my finish 9 by New Years and a project pan before that.  It last me a long time and I did love how it moisturized by hands.  I used it at night because it was a bit greasy for daytime for me.  I got this as a gift so I'm not sure where to repurchase but I have plenty of hand creams right now anyways.
BBW cashmere glow body lotion - I really liked this scent and this body lotions moisturize enough for me until it gets super cold and dry.  At that point, I usually switch to something thicker.  I have a lot of lotions to finish before I'd ever repurchase.  I don't often buy BBW lotions because Ulta and Target are much more convenient for me and have good options.

Sephora cotton rounds - These are my absolute favorite.  I bought a few sets with orders on Black Friday and the beginning of December.
Up and Up cotton rounds - These are my second choice for cotton rounds.  I usually buy these since I'm at Target often.
Vasanti Brighten Up - I really loved this exfoliator until I found the Michael Todd charcoal one.  This is still good and exfoliates well without being too harsh.  I do follow up with a gentle cleanser because I feel like there is a bit of a residue.  Otherwise its a great product.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin makeup in buff 30- I have a tendency of buying foundations too dark and this one was too dark.  I made it work to finish off the last little bit in this bottle.  I like the feeling and coverage of this foundation although I'm not sure it is the best for oily skin.  Lots of foundations I want to try out there so I won't repurchase this one any time soon.
Cargo HD picture perfect eyeshadow primer - This primer worked well for me.  I always put some other type of base under eyeshadow so my eye primer doesn't have to be magical.  I don't think this would be one I'd go out of my way to repurchase.
Maybelline FitMe concealer in light - I really like this concealer.  I am very impressed with the coverage and how it blends for the price.  I'd pick the fair shade over the light again but I'd definitely purchase this one.
Pixi shea butter lip balm - Nothing impressive.  I kept it on my desk at work because I could swipe it on without a mirror and get a tiny bit of color and it moisturized okay.  I wouldn't purchase it (this one came in a Birchbox).
Stila lip glaze in star fruit - I like these but they get a bit messy because I usually twist up too much product.  This was a neutral pink that gave me just a tiny bit of color.  I won't be purchasing any lip products for a long time (well, that is my goal anyways...we will see).  I do have a few others of these to use up in my stash.

Perfume samples - I am horrible at describing scents so I'm just going to tell you yes or no:
Atelier cologne Santal Carmin - No, felt like I smelled like food.
Escada Joyful - No, too floral for me.
Replica Lazy Sunday Morning - is strong and you only need a bit but I did like this scent.

December Totals:
Full size - 8
Deluxe - 22
Samples - 43
Total - 73
Total cost used:  $179.36

I used 354 products this year for a total of $1471.16.  I am very happy with what I accomplished and I hope to see lots of progress this year too.  I have already started some seasonal projects and Project Use It Up in hopes to see some empties very soon!