Monday, February 29, 2016

Project Use It Up - February Update/March Goals

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I totally missed my latest loves post, my book club will be has just been crazy.  I am going to try to catch up over the next week or so to get back on schedule.

This post is to update how I did with my Project Use It Up in February and what I will be focusing on for March.

I didn't do as well with this month with meeting my goals but I think that goes along with my lack of time.  I lacked the free time I usually have to devote to beauty posts and goals.  A brief recap...
1.  Mask - I used a mask two times this month.  I have been using the Laneige water sleeping mask that is in my Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo.
2.  Perfume sample - I finished one perfume sample.
3.  Deluxe sized products - I finished 2 deluxe samples (actually more than 2) and I will include those in my empties coming up.
4.  Foil packet - I didn't use any foil packets this month:(
5.  Paint Nails - I only painted my nails once.  The dry, cold winters here are causing very dry skin and nails and my nails have been peeling like crazy so polish won't even last a day before it flakes off as my nails peel.

Finished products:
Euphoria deluxe sized roller ball perfume - yeah!!!!  This lasted much longer than I anticipated and was starting to lose its scent so I'm glad I finished it up.
License to Blot - rolling over to March
Mario Serum - rolling over to March - this serum is taking forever to finish!  I've used it almost exclusively for a year!
Murad Cream - finished!!!
Peel Pads - I only used 2 pads this month.

My March goals are staying pretty consistent with February.  I added an additional foil packet to March since I didn't use any in February.  I hope that my nails will improve this month as the weather gets warmer.  It will also start getting warmer for painting my toe nails as well (I don't bother when I'm living in boots all winter).

License to Blot
Mario Serum
Origins Night-a-Mins - I'm using this as a night cream after finishing the Murad cream.
Macadamia dry shampoo - I don't use dry shampoo too often because I work out almost every day and sweat!  So I wash my hair every time I work out.  I have just a little bit left in this dry shampoo though and I know I will have a reason to use it, I just need to make sure I pull it out.
Peel Pads - I will try to use one each week and then use a hydrating mask after.

These are the products that I am focusing on this month.  The peel pads will not be finished but I do want to ensure I use one each week.

Be sure to comment below if you are doing Project Use It Up either on a blog, Youtube, or Instagram.  These are some of my favorite videos and posts to see!


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

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cheers to You VoxBox

A few weeks ago, I was sent the Cheers to You VoxBox from Influenster to try out.  If you've never heard of Influenster, it is free to join.  You connect your social media and complete their questionnaires for a chance to receive products free to try out.

Here is what I received in the box...

Suave professionals coconut milk shampoo and conditioner - These are a deep moisture shampoo and conditioner for normal to dry hair.  I always look forward to trying Suave products because they are so affordable.  However, I am not a huge fan of these because I feel like they leave a film on my scalp.  It causes it to get itchy and bothers me more than any other shampoo and conditioner I have tried.  I am sure my daughter and I will use them up over time but I will only be using them when I know I am washing my hair again the next day (and not going for 2 day hair).  I have tried the anti-breakage products from this line and have the same problem with those as well.

Dr Teal's soothe and sleep epson salt - We love these in the bathtub!  They smell so good!  The directions state to pour the whole bag into the bathtub, but my daughter has been the one to use these and I don't think it is necessary for her to use the whole bag.  She does enjoy soaking in them in the tub.

Hormel Taco Meet - I used this free product coupon to pick up the shredded chicken meat.  I mixed it with corn, black beans, and avocado in corn tortilla shells for my lunch this past week.  It was very good.   I would definitely pick it up for my lunches again and it would be something great to have on hand if you wanted a quick dinner option.  They also have beef and pork too.

Way Better Snacks - These chips were so good and I did purchase a full size when I went to the grocery store.  I would definitely recommend these and want to try out some other flavors.

Yaye App - There was a postcard included in the box for a health and fitness app called Yaye.  It sounds similar to MyFitnessPal.  This is not an app I am interested in using so I won't be trying it out.


*I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

February Birchbox and January Reviews

It is time again for a Birchbox update.  I received my February Birchbox this past week and have tried out most of the products from January to review for you.

Here is what I received for February...

The theme for this month is What's the Occasion and I have:

Pop Beauty Matte Velvet Lipstix in Cozy Crimson
Whish Three Whishes Body Butter in Lavender
Arrow Revive Cooling Cheek Tint in Pink Punch
Sahajan Restorative Eye Cream
Corioliss Argan Conditioning Mask

I'm excited to try everything out except for the lipstick.  I am not a fan of red and would try out the lipstick to review for you by wearing it around the house.  However, I may not even try it out so that I could pass it along to someone else.

Beautiful Nutrition grapefruit detox shine repair shampoo - I honestly don't notice much difference in my hair when I use this shampoo.  It doesn't seem to hurt or help my hair.

Beautiful Nutrition grapefruit detox shine repair conditioner - I feel the same way about the conditioner.  It doesn't do enough for my hair to justify buying it.

Eyeko fat liquid liner - I'm not a huge liquid liner fan to begin with but this one was very hard to work with.  I like a thinner line along my top lash line and this was very thick every time I tried to use it because it has a very fat tip for the pen.  If you like a thick line I think you would like this a lot, it is just not a product I prefer to use.

Paula's Choice resist intensive wrinkle repair retinol serum - After using this a few times, I was happy to see that it didn't seem to dry out or make my skin peel as some retinols have done for me.  I don't know that I have seen enough effects yet but maybe once I use the whole sample, I will have a more definitive answer if this works for me or not.

Ciate London paint pot in Access All Areas - My nails have been in horrible shape lately and I haven't painted them in almost a month.  They are very dry and peeling with our cold weather here so I am trying to moisturize and help get them in better shape.  I look forward to using this shade when the weather warms up and I already know I love Ciate polishes.

I have to admit I am not super excited about my February box, although I will use most of the products except for the lipstick.   See you next month for my update!


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

Monday, February 15, 2016

5 by Cinco de Mayo Intro

I thought I would jump on the 5 by Cinco de Mayo bandwagon with a few products.  A lot of people have already posted intro videos or products for this challenge but I still have over 2 months which gives me quite a bit of time to finish these up.

With 12 Empties of Christmas, Finish 9 by New Years, and Finish 14 by February 14th, I have a lot of products that I came close to finishing during the projects and then set aside.  I am pulling a few of those out to work into this project to make the final push to finish them.

The products I have included:
1.  Elf blush in Mellow Mauve - I have repressed this in the last month but still have quite a bit to go. I'm guessing it will take at least a month to finish up.
2.  Stila balm in Gabrielle - This was what I had left in the product after Finish 9 by New Years.  I hope to finish off this last little bit in the next two months.
3.  Coastal Scents eye shadow quad in Ballerina - I am not going to try to finish this whole quad since I want to use my Tarte palette for Pan That Palette and it has some similar shades.  I am only including the top right shade in this project because it is a shimmery shade I can incorporate with the mattes in the palette.  It took a long time to hit pan on this shade so, while it doesn't look like there is much left, I think it might be hard to finish.
4.  Lineage water sleeping mask - This is a carryover from my Finish 14 by 14.  I'm not a huge fan of this product and can see myself setting it aside and not finishing it.  I know it am close to being done so this might be a bit of a cheat product but I want to make sure I am using it.
5.  Stila lip gloss in Sugar Plum - I didn't finish this in my Finish 14 by 14 but I did use up about half. Without another gloss in this project, I will be able to focus more on this particular one to use it up.
6.  Bonus product - This is the small amount of foundation I have left from mixing my Neutrogena and Garnier BB cream last year.  It is too dark for me so I don't use it often because I have to do a bit of magic to make it work.  However, there isn't much left and I would just like to have it finished up so I am including it as a 6th bonus product.

Let me know if you are doing this challenge so I can follow along!


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

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Love to Project Pan: Finish 14 by February 14th Finale

It is snowy and cold here today so I'm spending it inside blogging, reading and enjoying some hot tea!

It is time for the finale of Love to Project Pan: Finish 14 by February 14th that was started by Kristen Kay and Glamour With Grace on Youtube.  I started this project back in October.  I will link my intro here so you can see where I started with these products.

I actually thought I'd finish a lot more of these products than I did.  However, I am happy with how much progress I have made and know that I'll finish most of these products sometime this year.

At my January update I had finished:
1.  Tarte poreless primer
2.  Acure cell stimulating facial mask

3.  Elf Blush in mellow mauve - I had quite a bit of pan showing at my January update.  I have repressed the product recently and hit pan again.  I still think there is quite a bit of product left but hope to finish it up in the next few months.
4.  Benefit Fake Up - This was just a deluxe sample and you can see there is barely any left, just a bit on the right edge.  This is not a product that I use daily because it lacks the coverage I need.  I have just been using it on a day where I'm not wearing makeup which isn't very often.  I hope this is done by the end of the month.
5.  Vapour cream blush in courtesan - I use this every day under the Elf blush and it still shows no progress when I go to mark it.  I am going to take a break from it for awhile.  It is very pigmented so I only need a small amount and it is lasting much longer than I anticipated.
6.  Laneige sleeping mask - I started using this mask only after finishing the Acure one last month.  I don't really need a moisturizing mask at night since my skin is fairly oily.  Therefore, I'm only using this once a week and not applying much product when I do use it to avoid becoming an oil slick.  I will continue to use this over the next few months to finish it up.

7.  Smashbox gloss in forever - I am calling this product DONE!  I have taken the stopper out and have been scraping the sides.  I can't get to the little bit left in the bottom and when I try to scrape the sides I get very little product to apply.
8.  NYX lipstick in thalia - This is another product I didn't start to use at the beginning of the project often enough to finish it up.  I had too many lip products in various projects to be able to concentrate on finishing them.  I'm going to put this to the side for now but will come back to it and try to finish it this year.
9.  Stila gloss in sugar plum - I really focused on finishing up the Smashbox gloss because I knew i was close.  I made more progress this month than in past months but it definitely isn't finished.  I will be continuing to work on this one.
10.  Tarte lip crayon in energy - Never even touched this one.  I think I used it once.  As I said, I was a little ambitious with the amount of lip products I put in this project.

11.  NYX wonder pencil - I have made a lot of progress with this product.  I will continue to use it as my eye base but I can tell from my progress markings that it is still going to take quite awhile to use up (probably six months).
12.  NYX shadow in white pearl - This has gotten a very significant amount of pan and a good dip going since I started the project.  I am putting this to the side to focus on shades in my Pan That Palette for this year.
13.  Coastal Scents eye shadow sampler in ballerina - I finished one shade and have a significant dip in two more.  I am also going to be putting most of these shades to the side as I focus on my Pan That Palette.
14.  Jouer eyeliner in gris - I am getting rid of this product.  I have made some progress with it but I am just not happy with the color.  It pulls very blue on my eyes and I am not a fan of the eye looks I get when I use it.  I'm glad I decided to pull it out and use it the last few months so I could decide it just isn't for me.

These are my progress markings for the project.  You can see the progress on the NYX pencil, Jouer pencil and NYX lipstick.  There is no progress on the Tarte crayon and no visible progress on the Vapour cream blush to mark.  The Benefit Fake Up is so small at this point I can't even mark it on the paper.

I am considering 4 of the 14 products finished.  Definitely thought I would finish more given the length of the project but I made a lot of good progress on the eye shadows and blush so I am very happy with that.  I still feel as though I haven't learned how to pick products I will be successful with finishing in a project.  However, I am happy with seeing visible progress on these products.

The lip product I finished will count towards my goal of 10 lip products for 2016 so that is exciting!

I am going to be joining in with Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo including some of these products that I feel I can finish in the next 2 1/2 months.  I will post that intro soon!


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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January Beauty Empties

The end of the month means my favorite post...Empties!  I love to read reviews and watch these videos on Youtube.  I will be keeping track of how much money I use up in empties again this year.  I am also keeping track of purchases and my $25 budget.  I'll update all of that at the end of the post.

Loreal Total Repair 5 conditioner - I have used a few of these samples and I really like this line of products. I don't need shampoo or conditioner anytime soon but I'd purchase this one.
Acure repairing conditioner - This was okay but I didn't notice anything great with my hair to want to purchase it.
Rusk anti-frizz spray - This was too sticky for me.  I'll pass.
Rusk mousse - I am not a fan of mousse I guess.  This gave my hair texture but it is already very thick and I don't need to add volume.  I ended up using this on wet hair when I knew I was going to air dry and put it in a ponytail the next day.

Acure cell stimulating facial mask - I really liked this mask.  My skin felt very soft after using it, however, I didn't really see a huge difference in how my skin looked.  It was a bit weird to take off since it foamed up as you rinsed it.  I'd consider purchasing the product after I finish some other masks though and see if I notice a difference with more uses.
Belif the true cream aqua bomb - This was a 100 point perk from Sephora that I picked up because I really liked the sample packet I tried.  I really love this moisturizer for my oily skin.  I have some other gel moisturizers to use up but I'd purchase this one again.
Ole Henriksen truth serum collagen booster - I love this stuff but it is pricey!  I am trying out some other serums that are similar right now to see if I find one I prefer that might be less expensive.  I'll go back to this one if I don't find anything I like as well.  This does last me about six months with using it in the mornings so it is probably worth the price.

More skincare:
Sephora triple action cleansing water - This is my holy grail cleansing water.  I use it every night to take off my makeup and it does a great job and doesn't sting my eyes.  I use this as my first step and then I use a cleanser.  I will repurchase.
Clinique take the day off makeup remover - I hated this.  I'm glad I just bought the travel size.  It left a residue and I didn't feel like it removed eye makeup as well as others I have tried.
Ole Henriksen the clean truth cleansing clothes brightening - I didn't like these either.  They weren't saturated enough to remove makeup and had a weird smell.

Sephora soft touch cotton pads - These are my absolute favorite.  I'll add them to an online order or buy a bunch when I have a coupon code.  I keep them in a jar in my bathroom that I refill so I don't always go through all of them each month, it just means I have refilled my jar.
Soap and Paper Factory hand cream in green tea - I really liked this hand cream.  It moisturized and had a nice smell.  I don't need to buy hand cream for a long time though:)
Chapstick - I have a bunch of these sitting around still that I am trying to finish up.  They are fine but not super moisturizing.  I'll look for a better replacement when they are gone.
Elizabeth and James Nirvana White perfume - I don't understand the hype around this fragrance.  It was okay but definitely not something I need to purchase.

Rimmel Stay Matte powder - I really liked this powder.  I just had a bit around the edges when it got knocked off the counter and shattered on the floor.  I was able to use up most of the product though before it happened.  I am trying to use up a few other powders before I consider repurchasing this one.
Tarte multipleye prime - This came in a Tarte holiday calendar of minis and I'm pretty sure this exact product is discontinued now.  They have another primer I might try although I don't feel like I need one with most mascaras to get a nice everyday look.
Laura Gellar glamlash dramatic volumizing mascara - This didn't do much for my lashes on its own.  However, when I used it with the Tarte primer, it was fantastic and my lashes looked long and thick.  I'm not sure I want to spend the money on two products to get the effect I want when I can get it with one mascara I really like.
Bare Minerals blemish ready mattifying prep gel - This was a good primer.  It wasn't a silicone primer but more like a lotion, which I prefer.  I did not get really oily when I used this and I think it did a good job of mattifying most spots on my face.  I'd recommend it but I don't need a primer anytime soon.

January Update:
Used:  4 full size, 12 deluxe sized, and 3 samples for a total of 19 empties (I do not include foil packets in these posts and items like my cotton rounds do not count in these totals either.  I inventory only beauty, skincare, and body items I tend to hoard.)
Total of $137.54

I took in 21 products plus 6 nail polishes.
I spent $15 of my $25 budget this month on 4 Zoya nail polishes.  Although I don't have a ton of nail polishes, these weren't a necessity so I am taking them out of the budget.  I will have $10 roll over to next month.

What did you use up that you loved or hated?

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

Monday, February 1, 2016

Beauty Blogger Book Club - The Life List

With the holidays, I totally missed the January book review!  During the month of December we read Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I would highly recommend this book!

During January, we read The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman.  I really enjoyed this book also!  It has been on my "want to read" list in Goodreads for quite awhile.

In this story, Brett's mother dies and she can only receive her inheritance if she completes her life list.  The catch is that the life list is a list of goals she created when she was 14.  At the beginning of the story, I definitely shared the character's disbelief that the life list would be completed.  However, as the story progressed, I enjoyed seeing the character develop and achieve her goals.  This book was sad in spots but I really enjoyed it.  I think you should all check it out!

For the month of February we are reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  This is another book I've heard a lot about and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Be sure to check out everyone's opinions of this month's book!

What have you been reading lately!  I would love suggestions!