Sunday, May 22, 2016

Finish 6 by Summer Update #3

This weekend was finally sunny and 80, but we still have a little over a week of school left.  Need to get back into work mode for a bit longer.

As of Update #2, I had finished 3 products.
1.  Jouer eyeliner in chocolat
2.  Benefit porefessional deluxe sample
3.  12 Benefits hair treatment

I have been using both lip products.  You can see the progress of the Tarte Energy lip pencil on the cap.  I have about half of the product left from what I started with.

The Smashbox lipgloss in Limitless also is about half finished.  I put this in a cup of water for quite awhile and it wouldn't move much (compared to the last gloss from this brand).  So this is kind of a guess.  I won't take the stopper out because I don't like this one very much but I'll use it until I can't scrape any out.

Tarte detox mask has been used twice.  I think I have one more use left.  The mark is on the right side right above the writing at the bottom.  This will definitely be gone.

Malin and Goetz mask hasn't been used anymore because I have been using the Tarte mask.  I might not finish this one but it'll be close.

This is the Jouer cream blush in Petal.  I have been using along the edge and my goal is just to hit pan.  There is a definite good dip going but I also feel like the product moves around a lot since it is a cream product.  We will see what happens in the next month.  I really hope to see some pan soon!

I was a little worried about finishing items at the last update but the lip products and masks are definitely moving along.  I just need to make sure to continue to use them when summer vacation comes and I get lazy with my makeup so that they can finished up.


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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May Birchbox and April Reviews

I think spring has finally decided to arrive here...I think.  We've had 75 and sun one day and 55 and rain the next.  Looking forward to more days of sun and warm weather soon!

I chose the curated box again for May.  I usually like the surprise of seeing what Birchbox chooses every month but the curated boxes have been so good lately that I've been choosing those instead.  We will see what June brings.  For now, I'll share what was in the May box.

I didn't see a theme on the card for this box.  However, I absolutely love the print of the box I received.  They say that they have partnered with Keds and have shoes with the patterns in the Birchbox shop.  I am seriously considering picking up a pair.

Here is what I got...remember prices are for full sized products:
Benefit Hoola matte Bronzer - $29
ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Creme Brûlée - $24
Coola SPF 30 organic makeup setting spray - $36
Davines Love smoothing shampoo - $25
Davines Love smoothing conditioner - $29
Clean Blossom Eau de parfum - $20-$72

I've never tried Hoola bronzer so I'm excited for that.  I have liked Davines products in the past although I'm not sure I need products for coarse and frizzy hair (frizzy maybe).  I'm excited for everything else too!  This was a great choice this month.

Now, on to reviews of the April's box.  I had chosen this box for the Marcelle and Laura Gellar products and I was not disappointed.

Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution - I absolutely love this product.  I use this as the first step to remove my makeup before I cleanse.  I do not have the type of skin that can use this product instead of a cleanser, however I know some people like it for that purpose in the morning.  This might be out my Holy Grail Sephora cleansing water only because it doesn't sting my eyes at all.  I took this on a recent trip and didn't need a separate eye makeup remover.  This did a great job on my face and eyes to remove everything.  I'll definitely purchase this in the future!

Dr. Jart+ Liftra Contour Cream - First off, this cream is very sticky.  I was not a fan of the texture of it and it made my face feel sticky.  In addition, I didn't notice any lifting effects along my jawline (that is where it was instructed to apply it).  Perhaps the sample wasn't big enough, but I didn't notice enough of a difference to make me want to spend $60 on this product.

Laura Gellar New York Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropical Hues - I absolutely love this product!  It applies so nicely, wears great, and has a subtle sheen to it that I love.  I'll continue to work through this sample but I would consider buying a full size of this product, as well as trying other products from this brand.

Parlor by Jeff Chasten volumizing lifting spray - This was a fine blow dry spray.  I didn't notice any difference from the ones I have used previously such as 12 Benefits.  This wouldn't be a must purchase for me.

Tocca crema da mano in Giulietta - I absolutely love the scent of this hand cream.  I have been using it every night before bed.  The card that came in the box says that this cream absorbs in a flash.  And I feel like that is definitely true, almost to the point of not feeling super moisturizing.  After I apply, I sometimes feel like I still need to apply lotion.  It doesn't moisturize like I prefer.

The Marcelle micellar solution and Laura Gellar blush would definitely be purchases for me!

What have you received lately?  Any great products?


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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Finish 50 by Fall Intro

This sounds a bit crazy for a project but we will see how it goes.  My next seasonal project is going to be Finish 50 by Fall.  I have chosen 50 deluxe sized and foil packet products to try to finish by the start of fall on September 22nd.  I decided to choose 5 products from 10 different categories to try to keep myself organized.  So here goes...

Category 1 - Face Primer
1.  Porefessional
2.  Smashbox pore minimizer
3.  Smashbox primer
4.  Hourglass primer
5.  Pur correcting primer

Category 2 - Lips
1.  Makeup Forever gloss
2.  Tarte gloss
3.  Manna lip stain
4.  Bare Minerals Pop of Passion
5.  Too Faced Naked Dolly

Category 3 - Body
1.  Lavender lotion
2.  Ayres Body Polish
3.  Marlowe Body Butter
4.  Scentsy body souffle
5.  Mario Badescu body soap

Category 4 - Face Wash
1.  Origins Checks and Balances
2.  Boscia charcoal cleanser
3.  Tata Harper regenerating cleanser
4.  Neutrogena Healthy skin cleanser
5.  Kiehls ultra facial cleanser

Category 5 - Night Cream
1.  Algenist
2.  Sephora
3.  Clinique
4.  Lancome
5.  Ahava

Category 6 - Face Products
1.  Mario Badescu exfoliating scrub
2.  Mario Badescu almond and honey scrub
3.  Murad peel
4.  Mychelle sugar cleanser
5.  Dr. Jart+ micro water

Category 7 - Hair
1.  Argan Hair Mask - foil packet
2.  Argan Hair Mask - deluxe size
3.  Parlor volumizing spray
4.  Davines conditioner
5.  Davines condition

Category 8 - Sheet Masks
1.  Red Ginseng
2.  Laneige water mask
3.  Sephora Rose mask
4.  Aloe mask
5.  Dr. Jart+ water replenishing mask

Category 9 - Makeup
1.  Bare Minerals foundation
2.  Sephora blush
3.  Tarte powder
4.  Urban Decay Eden primer
5.  Urban Decay anti-aging primer

Category 10 - More Face Products
1.  Kiehls Oil Free Toner
2.  Kiehls Oil Free Toner
3.  Kiehls Oil Free Lotion
4.  Kiehls Oil Free Lotion
5.  Kiehls Line Reducing Concentrate

My 11th bonus category will be perfume samples.  I want to finish at least 5 of them and they will be bonus products in an effort to reach 50.

In case you are curious how I organized so many products, I have everything written down by category in a notebook.  I also put all the products in two empty makeup bags so when I finish one, I don't have to hunt down the next product in the category.  I can just pull it out of the makeup bag.

I would love you have you join me in this seasonal challenge.  I have accumulated a lot of deluxe sizes and foil packets and my baskets are overflowing again (after having narrowed them down last year).  I'm looking forward to moving these products out over the next few months.  If I finish a category early, I may throw in some extras to continue to use up these smaller sizes.  Let me know if you decide to join in!


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

Sunday, May 8, 2016

New to Me in April

I got a lot of positive feedback on my post of what I purchased in March so I thought I would continue with it.  Just hoping I remember to take pictures for the post each time:)  I also had a request to do reviews of my haul at a later date so I'll add that post in a few months once I've had time to try the products out.

I purchased a few things in April with the Ulta 20% coupon and Sephora VIB coupon.  I tried to be responsible with my purchases though.

Ulta Purchases:  I received a 20% off almost anything coupon in the mail this month.
I bought the Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray because I had very little left in my current bottle and I use this every time I flat iron my hair.  I bought a backup Clarisonic sensitive brush head.  The final purchase was the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer.  I bought the color fair neutral.  I am getting to the end of my current concealer and wanted to make sure I had a back up (I can't go without concealer!).  The Smashbox makeup back and samples was a gift with purchase of $50.00.  I added in the Ulta cotton rounds to get to $50 because I know I'll always use cotton rounds.

Kiehls Purchases:
I wanted a travel shampoo and conditioner for a trip at the end of April.  Kiehls was offering extra samples and free shipping so I grabbed the Nourishing Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.  The foil packets were all free samples with purchase.

Sephora Purchases:  I am Sephora VIB and had 15% off during the sale time.
I went to the store to buy a backup Beauty Blender and cotton rounds because Sephora cotton rounds are my favorite.  The store I was at didn't carry the cotton rounds in store so I thought I'd try the Shiseido cotton pads everyone talks about since I had 15% off.  The last item I picked up was a new blending brush.  This is one of the Sephora brand brushes.  As you saw in my April empties, my blending brush was shedding and falling apart so this is its replacement.

I did pretty well with my purchases this month.  No eyeshadow, blush, or lip products!!  I call that a win!  What have you purchased lately?  Anything you're loving?


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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo Finale

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  I am excited to bring you the finale of Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo because I finally feel like I was pretty successful as a seasonal project!

I started the project with 6 products, hoping to finish 5 of them.  At my last update in April, I had finished one of the products, an Elf blush in Mellow Mauve.  You can see that update here.

Before the end of April, I finished the 2 lip products included in the project!  I included them in my April empties post which you can see here.

Finished products:
Stila Lip Glaze in Sugar Plum
Stila Balm Lipstick in Gabrielle

This week I finished the Laniege Water Sleeping Mask for a total of 4 finished products.

I have two products left, but I doubt they will even last a week.

The air pump is a mixture of Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation and Garnier BB cream that I was trying to use up last year.  When I pump, I get a lot of air and just a little product.  So I'm guessing it is a matter of days before it is gone.

I repressed the Coastal Scents eye shadow last week.  Ever since then, it crumbles a lot every time I use it.  I just have the very edges left and it will take me a day or two of applications and it will be gone as well.  This is from a sample quad called Ballerina.

I'm really excited about how this project went.  I didn't technically finish 5 products by today but I will have 6 finished in the next week so that is a success!

Thank you all for following along in this project.  I'm going to start my Finish 50 by Fall this month.  I need to pick the products to include in the next few weeks and then I'll let you all know.


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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Beauty Empties - April

I was a little frustrated at the end of March with my lack of empty products.  However, I am feeling much better this month about my progress.  I'll share totals at the end of this post.

Seasonal Project Empties - Spoiler Alert!
Stila Lip Glaze in Sugar Plum - I love these lip glazes and still have quite a few to go through.  This was a nice plum shade but was still very wearable and not too dark.
Stila Balm Lipstick in Gabrielle - I loved this pink shade.  These have the minty feeling on your lips so avoid them if you don't like that.  I have a lot of lip products to go through before I'd consider purchasing this one again.

Benefit Porefessional - This product is okay for me.  I don't have huge pores that I feel I need to cover or blur so it isn't necessary to me.  I won't purchase it.
Benefit Gimme Brow in light/medium - Confession:  I only started filling in my brows in the last year.  It was very intimidating to me but this product makes it very easy for me.  I'm using a deluxe sample now and then I'll repurchase.
Tocca Perfume in Giulietta - This scent was okay but too floral for me.
Tocca Perfume in Isabel - No!  I think it was the rose scent that I couldn't handle.  The whole scent was very strong!  I didn't even use this one, just got rid of it.
Marc Jacobs Daisy - I like this one and would consider purchasing one day if I need a perfume.

Simple Cleansing Wipes - I prefer cleansing or micellar waters to wipes.  I don't ever feel as though they are saturated enough to remove my makeup.
Wilma Schumann Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads - I don't understand the point of these.  They were very hard to get them to stay in place and they kept sliding down my face.  And they didn't do anything noticeable to my eye area.
Pig-nose clear blackhead 3-step kit - These 3 steps take longer than a normal nose strip - about 30-40 minutes total.  However, I did notice that my nose was clearer when I was done.  I don't usually purchase products like this but I'd recommend this one if you do.

12 Benefits instant healthy hair treatment - I loved this product.  I spray it on wet hair before I blow dry and it makes my hair feel soft and it looks shiny.  I have another one of these to use up.
Olay Ultra Moisture body wash - This was okay.  I liked the scent but I prefer a gel body wash to a lotion texture.
Dial body wash in coconut water - I bought a bunch of Dial body wash when it was on sale.  This was my last bottle.  I like that it is a gel and not a lotion.  I'm tired of the product so it'll be awhile before I consider repurchasing.
Beautiful Nutrition grapefruit detox shine repair conditioner - This didn't do anything for my hair so it wouldn't be a purchase for me.
Soapbox coconut shampoo - This was just a basic shampoo and didn't do anything special for my hair.  However, I do love that purchasing a full size Soapbox product helps bring clean water to communities in need.

Miscellaneous Products (not counted in total)-
Sephora Cotton Rounds - these are my absolute favorite cotton rounds!
Stila brush - This doesn't have a number or name (or it rubbed off the handle).  I used this as a blending brush on my eyes but it has gotten old and is shedding so I bought a replacement at the Sephora VIB sale.
Hello toothpaste - I'm including this because I posted on IG awhile back when the company sent a bunch of products for me to try out.  We really liked these toothpastes, although my husband likes the Mojito Mint (green tube) flavor over this supermint one.  I bought one of the usual drugstore brands of toothpaste for us to use now and I can really tell a difference.  It tastes much more sugary and artificial.  I will definitely be purchasing the Hello brand when we run out.

Decluttered Products (not counted in money total of products used)-
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash - I used to use this product every day.  I recently tried going back to it and it has become too drying for my skin now (probably due to my aging skin).
Paula's Choice Resist Intensive wrinkle repair retinol serum - I was very excited to try a Paula's Choice product because I hear a lot of good things.  However, this was much to thick and oily for my skin and made me break out.
Mary Kay lipgloss in Cafe au lait - I went to use this and it has gotten too old.  It is very thick and goopy and the consistency has changed.  I do love the formula of these glosses though!
I also passed along two Murad Invisiblur deluxe samples to a friend.

April Update:
Used - 25 products (6 full size, 6 deluxe, 8 samples, and 5 decluttered)
Total of $115.26 this month, $446.56 for the year.

I was -$27 after last month for my budget.  I added my $25 for the month to bring me to -$2.  I bought a Target Beauty Box for $7 that was not a necessity so that brings me to -$9.

I did buy a few necessities as well such as a concealer (I'm almost out), a Clarisonic brush head, and a few travel items for a recent trip.  You'll see all that in my haul post soon!

I'm going to work hard in May to finish off products and not bring in much.  I haven't been going crazy with my spending but I'm buying what I need only when there are free samples or gifts, which then brings in more samples and products than what I really need.  They are very tempting, though, so I will be working hard to resist this month.


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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Project Use It Up - April Update/May Goals

I can't believe today is May 1st!  We have just about 20 days of school left and then it is summer!  Although with our rainy weather and temps in the 40 degree range, you wouldn't know it.

I'm really enjoying participating in Project Use It Up this year because I am focusing more on using items up, especially skincare, instead of jumping in between different items.

I did well with my April goals.  I used up foil packets, deluxe samples, and perfume samples.  I made sure to mask at least once a week to try to work through masks in my seasonal projects.  I didn't add boxes but I did mask more than twice this past month.  My nails are finally in better shape and I did paint them once this past month.

As for my April products, I didn't finish any of the products I've been focusing on for a few months now but I am very close.  I need to be better about using a peel pad once a week before they dry out.  The Exuviance and Garnier are my two cleansers that I am making sure to use each day so I hope they will be finished up soon.  I like them both, I just have other cleansers I'd like to try.

These are products I was focusing on.  I have maybe a week's worth of uses left in the serum (finally!!).  The Night-a-Mins will be gone in about a week as well.  I'm continuing to try to find times to use the License to Blot so I hope it will be gone this month.

These were all the foil samples I finished this month.  I am loving Kiehls and Mario Badescu products so I love that they include packets with their orders so I can try out more products.
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel - very thick and I didn't feel like it lathered well enough to really cleanse my face.  Not one I will purchase.
Kiehls BB Cream - I loved how my skin looked the two days I wore this.  The fair/light shade wasn't a bad match but I'd like to try the fair shade before I decide if I'd buy it.
Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer with sunscreen - I'm not usually a big fan of moisturizers with sunscreen because they get greasy and oily.  This one was pretty good.  I didn't have any problems with the product.  If I decide to buy a moisturizer with sunscreen, I'll buy this one.
Kiehls super multi-corrective cream - This was a very thick, heavy moisturizer.  I don't have a need for a product like this but if you have dry skin, I'd definitely tell you to try it out.
Skin Food Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off - This smelled so good!  It made my skin soft but I didn't notice any other effects to persuade me to purchase it.

May Goals are very similar to my goals for previous months.  The overall goals are the same.  I kept the same products to finish and added a two Kiehls products since I think I'll finish my night serum and moisturizer soon.

These are the two Kiehls products I am adding in.  One is Kiehls midnight recovery concentrate and the other is the Kiehls Ultra Facial cream.  The serum is about at the top of the blue label and the cream has been used a few times but is about half full.

How are your product goals going?  I would love to hear all about it in the comments!

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