Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bare Minerals Mystery Box

I posted a picture of the Bare Minerals mystery box that I received on Instagram yesterday (lovetobebusyblog on IG).  Last weekend, JenLuvsReviews (youtube) posted that the Bare Minerals mystery boxes were available.  I had gotten this last summer/early fall and it was super fun so I thought I'd grab one again.

The box cost $40 (plus tax) with free shipping.  They can sell out quickly so it wasn't something I could debate, I just grabbed it.  You don't have any control over what they send you but it is usually a good mix of products.  Last year I got a great makeup bag, an eyeliner I really like and some other great products.

Here is what came in the box this time.  They is a lot of variety and great products.  I did try to research them all a bit for you since sometimes they are discontinued products included.  I also have swatches (very amateur swatches:) at the end of the post for you.

These are all the non-makeup products included in the box.  I love the silver makeup bag!  It is a good size for my purse or a short trip.  I received a tapered blush brush, a flawless radiance brush, and a double ended liner shadow brush.  I love the size of the blush brush and flawless radiance brush for travel!  I also received free samples of some of their face products.

Prime Time oil control foundation primer - This is a full size product.  I can find it available at Ulta and Sephora but not on the Bare Minerals website which makes me think they are phasing it out.  However, a full size bottle like this will last me a long time.
Pop of Passion cream blush in Petal Passion - I already have worn this cream blush.  It blends nicely, you just need to give it a little time to set or it feels tacky when applying other makeup.  This product is available on the website, just not in this exact shade.
All Over Face Color in Enchanted Beauty - This is more like a highlighter or blush topper.  It is a pretty pinky rose shade.  Again, this product is available but not in this shade.

Marvelous Moxie lipgloss in Rule Breaker - I really like their glosses and this is a very pretty champagne color that I will definitely use.  This is currently available on their website.
Buxom Full On Lipcolor in Brooklyn - I hear a lot about these lip products but hadn't tried one of them.  This will be a great shade for fall.  It is a bit darker than I usually wear but I think it might work with a lighter gloss for me.  This is available at Ulta.
Eyecolor in Nude Beach and True Gold - I've never tried any Bare Minerals loose mineral products so I'm excited to try this out.  I love the shades for my lid.  Neither one of these specific shades is available on the website unfortunately.
Big and Bright eyeliner in Chocolate - I'm a big brown eyeliner fan.  It is my favorite to wear so I'm excited to have this shade.  The eyeliner goes on smoothly (it is a twist up) and I was able to smudge it out a bit.  These liners aren't available on the website but the Lasting Line ones are also good and still available.
Pop of Passion in Pink Passion - This is one of those oil balms.  I received a sample of this in last year's box also.  I am working through my older sample this summer and it feels very nice on the lips.  This is currently available.

Swatches from bottom (I don't know that I've ever swatched for a blog post so I'll work on them:):
Big and Bright eyeliner in Chocolate
Marvelous Moxie lipgloss in Rule Breaker
Buxom Full On Lipcolor in Brooklyn
Pop of Passion balm in Pink Passion

From bottom:
Eyecolor in True Gold
Eyecolor in Nude Beach
All Over Color in Enchanted Beauty (its the very faint pink)
Pop of Passion blush in Petal Passion

Last year I got a lot of eyeliners (3 or 4) so I'm glad there seemed to be a bigger variety this year.  I like that they include the brushes and makeup bag too.  The bags are very good quality.  I'd definitely pick this box up again in the future when they offer it.


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

Friday, June 24, 2016

June Birchbox and May Reviews

After a recent trip to California, I came home to all sorts of fun packages:)  One of these was my June Birchbox.  Unlike past months, I did not choose the curated box this month.  There weren't enough products in it that I was interested in so I did my sample choice and left the rest a surprise for the month of June.

Some thoughts on Birchbox before I begin.  I have been subscribed to Birchbox since 2011 (almost the beginning of the company), pretty much continuously.  I love getting the samples in the mail every month and trying out new things.  That being said, Birchbox recently changed their point system.

Since I started subscribing, you received 10 points for each review you completed from the items in your box.  This means that you would earn at least 50 points each month.  Once you collect 100 points, that gives you $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop.  This system is changing.  I can earn 50 more points for reviews (basically my June box) and then I will no longer have this perk.  I will only earn points for purchases through the shop.  In addition, points will expire which didn't used to be the case.

That being said, I am subscribed through next spring since I renewed for a year.  I will see if it continues to be worth it to buy through their shop instead of other stores in that time period and I will make a decision next spring if I want to continue.

In addition to their point change, I do have a lot of samples.  It definitely wouldn't hurt me to take a break from all subscription services and work through everything I have instead of continuing to take in samples each month, especially when I get samples from orders and Target beauty boxes as well.

Onto the reviews of the boxes.

Here is June's box.  I am finding the theme harder and harder to pick out from the card.  The product card this month talks a lot about products that will transform your every day routine (like magic).

The items I received were (prices are for full sizes):
Avene thermal spring water - $9-$18.50
Benefit cosmetics gimme brow volumizing fiber gel in 1 Light - $24
Kiehls precision lifting & pore-tightening concentrate - $64
Lavanila the healthy sunscreen sport luxe face and body cream SPF 30 - $22
The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie stick in Raisin the Roof - $14.95

I've tried the Avene water before from when I received Ipsy bags awhile back.  I'll definitely use it.  I love the original Gimme Brow so I hope I like this one too.  I already had the lip crayon on and love it!  I'm excited about the Kiehls product and I'll definitely use a sunscreen this summer.  So, overall I'm excited about this box, especially considering most of it was a surprise.

Now onto the reviews of my May box...

Benefit cosmetics Hoola matte bronzer - I am on the Hoola bandwagon.  I like this bronzer a lot.  I like that it is matte and it is a good shade for me.  I have a ton of bronzers to work through but I will definitely add this to the rotation.

ModelCo Lip Laquer in Creme Brûlée - The first time I tried this, it was much more opaque than I was expecting.  It feels very nice on the lips.  The color isn't the greatest for me but I think I can make it work.

Coola SPF 30 organic makeup setting spray -   I was very disappointed in this product.  I was excited to try a setting spray with SPF but this was not good.  It stung my eyes (even with them shut) and the spray was not fine enough to use as a setting spray.  I ended up with blobs of spray all over my face and I'd have to blot them.  I'd skip this one.

Davines Love smoothing shampoo - I really liked this shampoo.  It had a nice scent and made hair nice and soft.  It didn't bother my scalp at all (many shampoos make me itch) and I didn't feel like I had a lot of buildup.  I'm not sure it is worth the $25 price tag but I definitely liked it.

Davines Love smoothing conditioner - Pretty much the same feelings as the shampoo.  I did feel like my hair was smooth and not frizzy.

Clean Blossom perfume - This is too floral for me.  I am a big fan of the other Clean scents but I don't usually prefer a floral scent.

Overall, May was a good box for me.  The only thing I really didn't like was the Coola spray.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What I'm Loving Lately - June

I had every intention to share some items I was loving with you every month and I don't think I've done that since January!  I hope to be better about it each month, especially as I am trying new products to work through all my makeup and skincare.  I'm also going to include some random things each month that I love.  I always thinks it fun to see a little of people's personality through what they enjoy.

A few things I have been loving lately...

Marcelle 3 in 1 Micellar solution - This came in a Birchbox and I absolutely love it.  I use it as a cleansing water at night to take of my makeup before I cleanse.  Unlike others I have tried, this doesn't sting my eyes.  On recent vacations, I have taken this product and used it as my eye makeup remover as well so it can do double duty.  I have some others to finish up but then this might be a purchase for me.

Make Up Forever Artist Plexi Gloss in 202 - I have no idea where I got this lipgloss.  I have looked back through Instagram posts and I can't find it anywhere.  But I do love it.  It is slightly sticky but not enough to be annoying.  Just enough stickiness to stay put a little longer.  This shade is a very neutral shade that doesn't even show up much on my lips but that makes it easy for me to swipe on anywhere and it very wearable.  I'd love to try other glosses from this line.

Laura Gellar Blush-n-Brighten in Tropical Hues - I had never tried a Laura Gellar product until this came in a Birchbox.  I love how natural it looks on the cheeks and it wears really well during the day. I'd love to try the powder from this brand as well.

Bare Minerals Lasting Line in Forever Brandy - This came last fall in my Bare Minerals mystery box and I hadn't ever used it until recently!  It is the perfect purpley brown and I can smudge it a little right when I apply it and then it stays all day.  I'm not a black liner girl so I like that this is a darker shade without being black.

Scentsy bar in Blond Wood and Moonflower - I am absolutely horrible at describing scents but I love this one!  I have Scentsy warmers in quite a few rooms of my house and am addicted to their scents.  The catalog describes this as "pale, warm wood and amber envelop demure moonflower, delicate white roses and upturned lilies in a modern, magical fragrance."

My last love this month is ordering ahead in the Starbucks app!  Sometimes, I really feel like a Starbucks on the way to work but I usually have to plan ahead since it is an extra 10-15 minutes in line most of the time.  However, I can order ahead and then just walk in and it is ready to be picked waiting necessary.  I have heard that drinks are more expensive if you do that but I haven't noticed a significant difference if there is one at all.

What have you been loving lately?  I often buy items and put them to the side, waiting months to use them.  I'm trying to be better about using products or at least trying them out so I can let you know my thoughts and if they are worth keeping.  I hope that will give me a good variety in my recent favorites to share with you all.


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

Monday, June 20, 2016

Finish 6 by Summer Finale

Today is the first day of summer which means it is the final day of my Finish 6 by Summer seasonal project pan.

I really thought I would do better with this project than I did, but I got good use out of some of my products so I am going to call it a success.

I did not finish 6 products.  At the May update I had finished 3 products.  I have also finished the Tarte detox mask since the last update bringing my total to 4.  The Tarte detox mask was in my May empties post if you want to see my thoughts.

Here is what I have left.

Malin and Goetz clarifying clay mask - You can see my progress marks, although there is a lot of air in the tube as well.  I'll continue to use this and hopefully finish up in the next few weeks.

Smashbox lipgloss in limitless - I am almost done with this but I haven't used it in the past few weeks because I don't like it!  It is super goopy and collects in the corners of my mouth (gross!).  I am calling this done.

Tarte lip crayon in energy - I haven't used this in a few weeks either.  I did make good progress on it but it is super drying and I'm not a fan of the shade it turns on me (it is one of those pinks that adjusts differently on everyone).  It becomes a very bright pink.  So, I am calling this one done too.

The final product was the Jouer cream blush in petal.  My goal was just to hit pan which I did!  Cream blushes are very hard to finish so I know this will take me quite awhile still.

If you count the blush and 2 lip products, I finished 6 products.  So, this is kind of a win:)  I am continuing with my Finish 50 by Fall project and thinking about what I will do next.


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

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Super Mom VoxBox

I was sent the Super Mom box from Influenster to review and try out.

Palmolive fusion clean with baking soda and lime - This dish soap smells good but I don't know that it works better than other dish soaps.  It claims to remove 24 hour stuck on food but I tend to wash my dishes right away or soak them so I can't speak to those claims.  If this was on sale at the store I would buy it again but I won't go out of my way to hunt it down over another brand.

Suave kids purely fun - My daughter was excited that something in the box was for her.  She likes the shampoo and leave-in conditioner and I like that they are paraben and dye free.  She has long hair that gets tangled with gymnastics chalk and is a mess by the end of the day.  The leave-in has helped with the amount of complaining I get about brushing her hair.  I would purchase both of these products for her in the future.

Plackers flossers - These were also a kids product.  They aren't even in the picture because she grabbed them right away.  She loves the flavor and she says they are the perfect size to fit inbetween her teeth.  I have yet to find these for her at the store but I have been trying to hunt them down.

Secret Outlast Xtend Invisible Solid - This compares to most other deodorants I like.  Similar to the dish liquid, if it was on sale I would pick it up.  It claims 48 hour odor protection but, since I apply deodorant daily, I don't know how true this claim is.  And since it is 90 and humid here now, we won't be testing it out soon:)

Pilot Acroball Pens - I am a pen addict!  I love pens and colored pens and these write so nicely!  I have enough pens to last forever but these are good ones and I would definitely buy them!

Daisy Squeeze Sour Cream - Used this coupon to pick up some sour cream for baked potatoes one night.  The squeeze part is definitely convenient for dinner items like baked potatoes and tacos.

These boxes from Influenster are always fun to receive because I get fun new products to try out and let you guys know what I think.  Definitely some good stuff in this Super Mom VoxBox this time!


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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Finish 50 by Fall Update #1

I had great intentions of posting some updates over my vacation in California and it didn't happen.  So you'll see a whole bunch from me over the next few weeks as I catch up on all the posts I had planned.

First up is my update for Finish 50 by Fall.  This was a project I started in May in an effort to use up some samples and deluxe sized products.  You can see my intro post here.

I'm not going to review all the products in the project each month.  I will just show you what I have used up towards my 50 products.

Quick recap of the products:
Porefessional - I don't have large pores and don't feel a need for this primer (although I have a million samples)
Scentsy body souffle - I liked this product but have a lot of body lotions to use up
Hourglass mineral veil - I don't get the hype or the price
Kiehls ultra facial oil free toner - I like this product and have another sample to use up.  I think I prefer my Mario Badescu toners to this one though.
Kiehls ultra facial oil free lotion - This was good for me at night.  I love their gel one as my daytime moisturizer.

Red Ginseng sheet mask - I didn't like this.  It says not to rinse after but the color of it left my face looking like it was dirty.  And it didn't do anything special.
Pur correcting primer - Way too thick!
Urban Decay eden primer - A little goes a long way, this is super pigmented.  I prefer the original one.
Smashbox primer - Again, I have millions of these samples and I don't really like it.

Mario Badescu AHA botanical body soap - I like the idea of this, especially to keep my skin on my body clear but it was kind of runny, didn't get sudsy, and I needed a lot to feel clean.  I'd like to try another sample though and see if it was just the sample.
Marlowe body butter - I love the scent of this. I also love the thickness, especially for when my skin is very dry in the winter.  I hope to use up enough lotions to purchase this in the coming winter.
Healthy Skin Boosters facial cleansers - I liked how this felt and made my skin feel but I don't think it is better than some other drugstore facial cleansers.
Sephora Total age defy night cream - I loved how this felt on my skin and the texture.  I just wish it didn't smell so strong.

I had started with 5 products in each of 10 categories.  Here is what I have finished so far:
13/50 products plus 1 bonus perfume sample

face primer -  4/5
lips - 0/5
body -  3/5
face wash - 1/5
night cream - 1/5
face - 0/5
hair - 0/5
sheet masks - 1/5
makeup - 1/5
face - 2/5

What seasonal projects are you working on?  Let me know so I can follow along!


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

Monday, June 6, 2016

New to Me in May

Time to share my May purchases with you!  I did very well with my purchases this month so I am happy with that.  I have also resisted the recent Sephora sample bags so go me:)  Hopefully I keep it up.

One of my friends had a Younique Facebook party.  I have never tried any of their products so I thought I'd order a few things.  I got a lipgloss in a pretty milky pink.  I also picked up their brow gel to compare to Gimme Brow and some others to see if I like it.

These are all samples I got with a Sephora order.  I had ordered a few items as gifts for other people and wanted to try this foundation.

I like to have a backup of toner for when I run out of the one I am using.  It is a product I can't live without.  I wanted to try this Kiehls toner so I picked it up along with the lip balm to try out.  The other items were free with the order.

Finally, is my Sephora Play box for May.  This was the first month I received this box and I wasn't super impressed.  I'll try everything out and update in the future.

I do plan to update and give reviews of my purchases at a later date.  I think next month I will start with my haul updates from my March purchases.  That will have given me 3 months to try things out and let you know.  So stay tuned for that!


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

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Beauty Empties - May

Time for my favorite post...empties!  I have been pretty consistent with how many products I'm using up with around 25 each month.  I am trying to work through lots of foil samples and deluxe sized samples as part of my Finish 50 by Fall so that might help to move out more products too.

Haircare Empties:
Hair Food Root Cleansing Shampoo - I received this in a box last year (Influenster I think?) to try out and I really liked it.  It isn't a shampoo I'd use every day but I did like it to get a good cleanse every few days or once a week.  I have some other shampoos to work through but I might purchase this as a deep cleansing shampoo.
Parlor Smoothing Blowout Spray - This was okay but nothing special.  I didn't notice it did anything different than other products I use like 12 Benefits.
Soapbox coconut conditioner - This was a Target Beauty Box sample and I wasn't a fan.  It didn't do anything special for my hair.
Tresemme thermal creations heat tamer leave-in spray - This is my favorite heat protectant and I use it every time I straighten my hair.  I have already repurchased.

Skincare Empties:
Garnier clean Gentle Clarifying cleansing gel - This was a nice gentle cleanser and I really liked it.  I kept this in the shower to use as my cleanser.  I have cleansers to finish up but I'd consider repurchasing this one if I don't find one I like better.
Mario Bedescu Peptide Renewal Serum - I bought this last year because I went to Ulta looking for a serum that wasn't super expensive.  I am not a fan of this for my oily skin.  I use this at night and it makes me very oily by the time I wake up in the morning.  Knowing more about Mario Badescu products now, I know that this product is not made for my skin type.  If you have dry skin, this might be for you.  I used this almost daily and it lasted me over a year so definitely worth the money.
Laneige water sleeping mask - This was a nice mask, definitely different for me.  I had never tried a mask you leave on all night.  This was moisturizing and didn't make me oily but isn't a product I feel the need to use at night.
Origins Night-a-Mins - I liked this night cream but not enough to purchase it.  I didn't notice great things although it moisturized okay.
Tarte Amazonian clay double detox mask - I really liked this mask and it made my skin feel nice and soft after I used it.  This is similar to the Caudalie detox mask to me and I prefer the Caudalie.

Air Repair Rescue Balm - I love this stuff!  I primarily use it on my cuticles but we also use it for extra dry patches or chapped lips.  I have already repurchased!
Prada Candy Florale perfume - This was too sweet and floral for me.  Not one I'd purchase.
Replica Beachwalk perfume - I loved this scent!  I have perfumes to go through but I'd purchase this one.
Chapstick - I am still going through all the chapsticks I have around from sales over the years.  Looking forward to being done and trying something else.
Eyeshadow from Coastal Scents sampler quad in Ballerina - This shadow was in my Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo.  I liked it a lot as a crease shade.  I have a few Coastal Scents palettes to work on using up including this shade.
Air pump - This was a combination of a few foundations I had been trying to use up.  It was too dark for me in the winter so I was able to finish it up this spring.

Not included in my inventory:
I finished up a nail polish remover.  I am not picky with these.  I think I have a generic brand from Target or Walmart that I have opened now.
Ulta cotton pads - These were okay.  I prefer the Target or Sephora ones.
Sephora cotton pads - These are my favorite!!

I forgot to include in the pictures a Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub in Coconut Lime.  I love the scent of this scrub.  I have some other scrubs to use up but I'll repurchase the Tree Hut brand.

May Update:
Used - 24 products (7 full size, 7 deluxe size, 10 samples)
Total of $126.56 this month, $573.12 for the year

I did very well with my budget this month.  I bought a shave cream and body wash which were necessities.  The only product I purchased that was not needed was a Kiehls lip balm for $7.
I started the month at -$9 and added in the $25 to bring me to $16 for the month.  After the lip balm I have $9 for roll into next month's budget.

I'll post my May purchases soon!


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

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Project Use It Up - May Update/June Goals

The family is now on summer break!  Looking forward to lots of reading, relaxing and organizing some closets:)

Time to update my Project Use It Up for May and tell you what I'll be working on for June.

I did pretty well with my May goals.  I used my face masks and sample products.  I only painted my nails once but they are not in great shape still so I am taking a break between polishes.

I finally finished my Mario Badescu serum so I am really excited!  I also finished the Night-a-Mins deluxe sample this month too.  I really need to work on using up my Kerstin Florian peel pads before they dry out!

My overall goals for June will stay the same.  I still want to use up the License to Blot.  I don't like the product but there isn't much left so I just need to use it up.  I forget to use it a lot.  I have started on the Kiehls serum and hope to finish that this month as well as the night cream from Kiehls.  I have added in a Coola setting spray to try to finish up this month also.

These are the products to finish this month.  I marked progress for the License to Blot and Kiehls serum from last month.  The night cream is about half full and the Coola is brand new but only about half full as well.

This was the only foil packet I finished up that wasn't part of my Finish 50 by Fall which I posted on my Instagram and will update later this month.  I liked this conditioner.  It made my hair feel soft and smooth.


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