Saturday, July 30, 2016

What I'm Loving Lately - July

This post is a bit late in the month.  But it is summer so my schedule is not so much of a schedule:)  I haven't been consistently wearing makeup since it is summer and has been very hot lately.  Therefore, most of the things I've been loving lately are skincare or haircare.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water - I'm a big fan of cleansing waters.  I have loved the Sephora brand and Marcelle brand so I thought I'd give this one a try from Birchbox.  I really like this one too.  A big plus for me is when it doesn't sting my eyes and I can use it as an eye makeup remover too.

Bumble and Bumble Don't Blow It - This came in a Sephora Play box and it is perfect for summer.  I use it on my wet hair and let it air dry, usually in some sort of bun.  My hair seems to be less frizzy when I use this product and a little goes a long way so the sample has lasted quite awhile.

Shea Moisture Body Wash - I bought a few of these body washes on Black Friday last year from Ulta and I am just now getting around to using them (remember when I posted in my haul about not using the stuff I buy?).  This particular scent (Olive and Green Tea) is a nice fresh scent.  The wash lathers well and isn't drying out my skin.  I'm looking forward to using the other scents I have too.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream - I love gel moisturizers.  I bought the Simple Gel moisturizer and this one around the same time.  The Simple one lasted FOREVER and it no longer being made (hate that).  I love the consistency of a gel moisturizer and how quickly they absorb into my skin.  My oily skin does not need a heavy moisturizer in the morning so this a great one to use.

Garnier BB Cream - I have had this for quite awhile...since BB creams first became popular and this was one of the few on the market.  This is a nice light coverage for me for every day wear.  This shade is only a good match in the summer so I have been wearing it daily.  During the rest of the year I mix it with my It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair which is too light and they look great mixed together.  I really wish they made this in Fair/Light and I'd be even more in love.

What have you been loving lately?


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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Project Use It Up - July Update/August Goals

Almost the end of the month so it is time for a Project Use It Up update and some new goals.  These are some of my favorite posts and videos to watch along with empties.  I am going to show you how July went and then I'm going to change things up a little starting in August which I will explain below.

As for my monthly goals, I did better with masks this month and I even painted my nails...once:)  I finished more than 2 deluxe samples and more than 2 foil packets.  I did not finish a perfume sample since I was concentrating on a perfume in this project instead.  I did not finish any of the products I had listed for the month, although I am close on the serum.

Here are the products I had listed above.  I swapped out the Clean rollerball perfume for this Marc Jacobs one since the Marc Jacobs is older and I should use it up first.  It was full when I started so just a bit of progress.  I finished about half of the mouthwash and it is in the trash since it expired this month.  At least I got some use out of it.  And that License to Blot is still holding on.  I just don't ever use it because I forget, especially in the summer when I don't care as much about my makeup.

August Goals
I am going to change things up a little bit from here on out.  I am going to start treating this more like a rolling project pan that I update each month.  I've had very limited products and really no makeup included each month.  So for now, I am going to include a lot more products in an effort to finish some things up and get myself to concentrate on them.

With that being said, here are my August goals.  The general goals will stay the same.  I have added more products to be working on.  I know they won't all be finished in a month but I want to be able to keep track of my progress and really work on them.  I have put the Kerstin Florian peel pads at the top because I used one this month and they are drying out so I need to use them up.  I can really only use one a week on my skin so I hope to use 4 this month.

These are what I have included this month:
Murad toner - way too strong for my face so I am using it on my body when needed - you can see my progress marks from last month
Ponds cream - I'm sick of using it on my face so I am using it on my neck and chest to finish it.  I can't really show you progress because it is white inside.
License to Blot - I hope to be able to have this done this month.
Marc Jacobs Dot - You can see the line where I am starting from July.
Pure Grace - You can see my starting line.  These are my two oldest perfumes right now so I want to use them up before they go bad.  I will be alternating between the two during the month.
Kiehls serum - This will be done very soon.
Garnier BB cream - This is way too dark most of the year but I have been enjoy it this summer and it is matching me very well.  I hope to finish it up while it is such a good color for me.  I am right above the words Skin Renew where the black line is (I think...this is hard to see through).

Some categories of products, I am down to just one (day moisturizers) or I have them included in project pans so I am not including them here.  You may see that change depending on what I bring in or what season projects I am doing at the time.  If I don't have a project going, I may include more makeup or lip products.  We will see what I am feeling each month.


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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Finish 50 by Fall Update #2

Time for an update on my Finish 50 by Fall seasonal project.  I began this project in May so I am about halfway to the September finish date.  I posted my first update back in June which you can check out here.  This is my second update for the project and I am a little more than halfway to my goal of 50 samples.

Let me show you what I finished since the last update...

14. Tate face powder - I mixed the fair and light shades and it worked well.  I liked the powder.
15.  Urban Decay Anti-Aging primer - I liked this sample better than the Eden one but the original is still my favorite.
16.  Davines Minu conditioner - This was for colored treated hair which I don't have, but it worked fine on my hair.
17.  Sephora blush - This blush is very pigmented and I really like it.  I'd purchase it if I didn't have enough blush to last a lifetime.
18.  Mario Badescu Botanical exfoliating scrub - This was a thicker consistency and I used it on my arms and legs in the shower.  I'd consider purchasing it.
(The origins mask was not part of my project so I'm not counting it)

19.  Lancome Visionnaire nuit - I loved how nice this cream felt on my face but it was too heavily scented for me.
20.  Ayres body polish - This smelled like a men's cologne and wasn't better than the Mario Badescu one above or Tree Hut that I usually use.
21.  Davines Minu conditioner - another sample of this....same thoughts as above:)
22.  Mario Badescu almond and honey scrub - This was hard to rinse off and the almond pieces were too large to feel like they were exfoliating anything.
23.  Algenist Ultimate Anti-aging cream - I loved how this felt on my skin.  I have a lot of night creams to finish but I'd consider splurging on this one.

24.  Sephora Rose mask - This wasn't too heavily rose scented which was good.  I didn't notice much brightening effect and I don't like sheet masks so I wouldn't buy this.
25.  Kiehls Ultra Facial oil free toner - I had a sample of this in update #1 as well.  I still prefer my Mario Badescu toners to this one.
26.  Los Poblanos lavender lotion - This was a free sample from my hair salon.  I love the smell of lavender so I loved this but it was very thin consistency and not very moisturizing.

These are items I am working on from the project but haven't finished yet.  I've used the Tata Harper cleanser a few times but it is an exfoliating cleanser so I can't use it every day so it will take awhile to finish.  I marked on the Dr.Jart cleansing water, Makeup Forever lip gloss, and Kiehls face wash where I am at.  I plan on these being finished by the next update.  I have also used my Too Faced Naked Dolly lipstick a few times but not enough to show any progress.  I also have a few hair products I am working on too.
I had to declutter a foundation sample from Bare Minerals because it broke me out badly.  I am subbing in a different foundation sample from Maybelline in the makeup category.

As a reminder, I started with 10 categories of 5 products each.
I have now finished a total of 26/50 products and 2 perfume samples which I am counting as bonus items.

What I have finished in each category:
face primer - 4/5
lips - 0/5
body - 5/5***Done!
face wash - 1/5
night cream - 3/5
face - 2/5
hair - 2/5
sheet masks - 2/5
makeup - 4/5
face - 3/5

Thanks for stopping by!

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July Birchbox and June Reviews

Can we take a moment to talk about how it is already the middle of July?  Where has the summer gone?  I still have lots of closets I planned to clean out and I'm running out of time:)  That being said, let's move on to Birchbox for this month.

If you missed my June post, I talked about changes Birchbox is making to their points system.  You can check that out here.  With having a year long subscription, I am technically receiving boxes through next spring.  I did read where people were canceling their yearly subscription early and Birchbox was letting them.  For now, I am going to hold out and we will see how I feel in a few months.

I will start with what I received in my July box...

The sample choice for July was a mascara.  There were a few options to choose from.  I went with one from the brand Marcelle because it wasn't one I had tried before.

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris perfume - full size $65-$110
MD Solar Sciences Mineral Creme SPF 50 broad spectrum sunscreen - full size $30
Balance Me Radiance Face Mask - full size $34
Cargo Blush and Bronzer Duo - full size $35
Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara - full size $14

I am excited about the face mask because I have had Balance Me products before I liked.  I love Marcelle skincare so I'm excited to try makeup from them.  I'll use the Cargo duo although the packaging makes the products a bit hard to use.  The other stuff is kind of blah.  Just because it is summer, doesn't meant I want a sunscreen in every single box all summer long.  Between Sephora Play and Birchbox I think I've gotten 5 sunscreens or something.  Too much!

Now on to reviews of the products in June's box...

Avene Thermal Spring Water - I haven't opened this yet.  I've had it before when I subscribed to Ipsy. I just use it as a makeup setting spray and I don't need one right now.  I'll use it eventually.

Lavanila The Healthy Sunscreen Sport Luxe Face and Body Cream SPF 30 - Remember my sunscreen comment above?  Haven't even opened this one because I have a bunch of other ones open to finish.

Benefit Gimme Brow in 1 Light - Gimme Brow is my brow product of choice.  I tried this out a bit (even though I have another one open) because my understanding is that they changed their brow product formulas.  This one does seem a bit crunchier after it dries?  But I need to play with it a bit more.

Kiehls Precision Lifting and Pore-Tightening Concentrate - I really like this serum, but there aren't too many Kiehls products that I think are bad.  I don't have a large enough sample to say for sure that it is making a difference in my wrinkles, pores, and tightening.  However, I have some serums to work through and then I'd consider buying this to try out more.

The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick - I love this product.  I have the color Raisin the Roof.  It is a great neutral color that I love.  It applies and wears very comfortably.

3 out of 5 products is pretty good for a box.  The other ones aren't bad either, just not something I'm super excited about.  The lip crayon looks to be full size at $14.95 and the Kiehls serum is $64 for a full size so this small sample is still pricey and definitely boosts the value of the box.


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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Was it Worth It? - Thoughts on March's Purchases

Back in April, I decided to start posting what I bought each month.  In April I started with what was new to me in the month of March.  You can check out that post here.  When I started those posts, I had a request to do a follow up post with my thoughts on those purchases.  I gave myself 3 months to use the products from my original post.  So, each month going forward, you should see my thoughts on what I purchased three months ago.

My first purchases were a Glycolic Eye Cream and Strawberry Tonic Mask from Mario Badescu.  The rest of the items were samples.
My Thoughts:
I am using the eye cream now and it is very thick but seems to do a good job of moisturizing.  We will see if I notice effects after weeks of use.  I haven't used the mask yet as I am trying to finish up other masks first.
I tried the Almond and Honey scrub, the Botanical Exfoliating Scrub, AHA botanical body soap, and enzyme cleansing gel and none of them were products I would purchase based on the samples.

I also purchased some items at Ulta with points.
My Thoughts:  
I really like the Tarte mascara.  I haven't actually used this tube because I had some older mascaras to finish up first but I know I love it.
I really like the Tarte Tease palette.  It is great for travel and has nice neutral colors I can wear every day.
The primers are blah for me.  I wouldn't buy them.

I had coupons for my birthday for Ulta and purchased a few items.
My Thoughts:
I like the Buxom palette in May Contain Nudity a lot.  I have been using it as my crease and lid shades along with the Tarte Matte palette that I'm panning this year.  They blend nicely and are my perfect neutral browns.
I bought the Living Proof styling treatment because I really liked a sample I had.  However, I have yet to use it (this is why I'm really trying to control my purchases).
I love the NYX high voltage lip color in Flutter Kiss.  It is a great neutral.  The Bare Minerals gloss was the birthday gift that month and I haven't really used it, but I do like the shade.

Finally, I purchased some items from Birchbox with another birthday coupon.
My Thoughts:
I love the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint.  It gives me the perfect amount of light to medium coverage.  The color leans a bit yellow but I like it because it neutralizes some of my redness and still looks like a good color match for me.
I also purchased the Air Repair Rescue Balm.  I use this primarily on my cuticles but the whole family uses it on dry patches and raw noses when we have colds.  I've purchased this over and over.
The extra box was a gift with spending $50.  I have not used the sheet mask yet (it is my finish 50 by fall project).  I have finished the Ayres Body Scrub (nothing special) and I am using the Frat Boy blush, Loc shadow stick, and Davines styling product.  I'm liking all of them.

Overall thoughts...
As I prepared for this post, I realized how much I buy that I don't use right away and often don't get to after a few months when I have so many products in a category (like the styling treatment).  I hate to see open products sit and go bad so I try to avoid opening something if I won't use it up right away.  But that also means, that I probably don't need to buy it in the first place.

Items I know I'd definitely recommend from what I've used so far are the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, NYX Flutter Kiss high voltage lipstick, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara, Tarte Tease palette, and the Buxom eye shadows.

Stay tuned and we will see how April's haul goes next month.  I'll be interested to see if I've used more of the products.


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

Monday, July 11, 2016

New to Me in June

Time to share what I purchased during the month of June.  I shared a post on the Bare Minerals Mystery Box and all the products I received in that box.  You can check that out here so I won't go through those products again.  I forgot to take a picture of my Sephora play box so that won't be included this month.  However, everyone receives the same products so you can check that out many other places on the web if you're interested.

Ulta Purchase #1:
I was on the last little bit of my Tea Tree Oil which is a necessity for me.  My Ulta was out of the single bottles so I purchased this kit instead.  I will definitely use the skincare products in the set and the products would be at lest $40 if purchased separately so it was a good deal.

Ulta Purchase #2
There were a few things that caused this purchase:)  I had a 20% off coupon, Matrix was buy 2, get 1 free, hubby needed shaving stuff, and there was a platinum bag with $125 purchase.  I needed a clarifying shampoo and then a back up hairspray and shampoo because I am running low on my current ones.  I wanted to try the travel size of the light shade of the CC cream.  The fair shade is too light for me so I want to see how the shades compare.  The Art of Shaving is hubby's face stuff.  There was another shave product they shipped separately too.  After my coupon and points, I paid around $80 and got the platinum sample bag.  Hubby's shave stuff is expensive so I try to get it when there is a coupon.

This is everything that came in the platinum sample bag.  There are lots of good sized items in this bag and very few things I won't use so it was a great decision to go for this one.

The only purchases this month that I wouldn't consider necessities was the Bare Minerals box.  I needed hair products and the skincare (mostly:).  That being said, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am on a no buy for July.  I do not need beauty products for awhile and I am trying to pare down and make more thoughtful purchases when it comes to everything.   I have done well for the first 11 days and haven't purchased anything.

What have you purchased lately?  Since it has been a few months since my first haul post back in April (of my March purchases) I will be posting an update this month on those products to let you know my thoughts.


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

Friday, July 8, 2016

Project Polish Update #2

It is time for Update #2 of my Project Polish for the year of 2016.  In case you haven't seen my previous posts, my project polish is a bit different than some.  My goal is not to use up most of these polishes.  My goal is to use them and decide if they are worth keeping.  I buy polishes and don't use them or they aren't any good and I keep them anyways.  I want to try all of my polishes at least once and get rid of the ones where the formula or color just isn't for me.

Over the past few months, the polishes I have liked the most have been the Julep ones I have tried.  They were in the colors Hannah and Spencer and the lasting power was great. They wore great for at least a week before I needed to remove the polish.

I am decluttering four polishes this update.

Mary Kay brand in Silver Sparkle and Mary Kay brand in Inky Blue - These do not last at all.  They are streaky and not a good formula.  I had previously decluttered a pink shade from this brand also.

China Glaze in Boo-Gie Down - This glitter polish is old and has gotten very gloopy so it needs to go.

Ciate in Comic Strip - This colors of this polish have changed so I think it has reached the end of its life.

In addition to trying out my polishes, I have been avoiding buying more new polishes.  I really loved the two Julep polishes I tried out so that brand may be one I purchase more of as I declutter more polishes and colors.


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

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Beauty Empties - June

I had another good month of empties, although no makeup finished this month.  I am decluttering some items that I will show at the end from my makeup collection.  But first, let's talk about what I finished this month.

Skincare Empties:
Simple Ultra-Light gel moisturizer - I really like gel moisturizers for my oily skin.  They hydrate without being too thick.  When I went looking for info on this one, it looks like it might be discontinued.  However, I am using the Kiehls gel moisturizer right now and I really like it.
Marcelle Eye-Makeup Remover - I love this eye makeup remover.  It is gentle and doesn't sting my eyes but takes everything off.  I don't wear waterproof mascara so I can't speak to that but it has no problems taking off all my eye makeup.  I am already working on another bottle.
Exuviance Purifying Cleansing Gel - This was a free gift with an Ulta order awhile back.  It was a good gentle cleanser but I have tried others I like better that are much less expensive.  This one is over $30!

More Skincare and Bodycare Empties:
Marcelle 3 in 1 Micellar Solution - I used this as a makeup remover before I cleansed my face at night.  It removes makeup great and I can use it as an eye makeup remover also and it doesn't sting my eyes.  I would definitely purchase this one.
Gold Bond Healing with aloe - I kept this lotion on my desk at work and I liked it.  It tends to be a bit greasy for me to use during the day on my hands but I would purchase as a hand cream for night if I ever run out of the all the ones I have:)
Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream - I loved this sample from Birchbox.  I used this as a night cream because it is too heavy for my skin for daytime.  I have a lot of night creams to work through but this was a good one!
Kiehls Creme de Corps - If you like a thick lotion, this is for you.  I think this would be good for wintertime dry skin but I don't need this heavy of a body lotion during most of the year.

Haircare Empties:
Macadamia Healing Oil Spray - I love this stuff!  It makes a huge difference when I air dry my hair.  It keeps it from being frizzy and makes it more smooth.  I have another bottle I bought on Hautelook awhile back but this is discontinued so I am looking for something that can replace it.
Davines Love Shampoo - This shampoo is for coarse or frizzy hair.  I felt like it made my hair nice and smooth and I really liked how my hair felt when I used it.  I'm not sure I'd pay over $20 for it though.

Other Empties:
Shiseido facial cotton - I don't get the hype around these.  I heard Youtubers talk about them forever so I thought I'd try them out when I had the VIB sale coupon.  These get very flimsy as soon as you put a liquid product on them and don't hold up to putting toner on my face.  Definitely not worth the money.
Juliette Has a Gun Gentlewoman perfume - This was okay.  Not very memorable and not a purchase.
Nest Citrine perfume - I loved this scent from my Sephora Play box.  It is a great fruity, but not sweet, scent for summer.

Decluttered Products:
I recently did my six month inventory.  These were all products I had used, not liked, and held onto even though I wouldn't be using them again.  The Ulta eye shadow was not good quality.  The Tarte lip pencil was super hard and hurt my lips.  The rest were colors and products I just didn't like.

More Decluttered Products:
The Coola was not a fine mist.  I had blotches of sunscreen/spray on my face and it stung my eyes.
The Bare Minerals Bareskin foundation and Dr. Jart+ Liftra cream both broke me big breakouts, not little bumps.
The Smashbox gloss is old and is no longer applying well.  The Tarte Energy lip pencil was very drying.

June Update:
Used - 23 products (5 full size, 7 deluxe size, 11 sample size)
I used a total of $102.79 this month bringing my yearly total to $675.91.
I have used up 127 products so far this year.

I had $36 of my beauty budget going into June.  I purchased the Bare Minerals mystery box (which I already posted about here) for $40 and a Body Shop skincare kit for $29.  I am at -$33 going into next month since neither of those items were absolute necessities.

What have you finished up?  I post my sample sized products and foil samples on Instagram so be sure to follow me over there too (@lovetobebusyblog).


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

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Project Use It Up - June Update/July Goals

Wow!  I can't believe it is already July!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.  We spent time with friends and enjoyed being outside all weekend.  I'm a few days behind but it is time for my Project Use It Up update for this month.

Starting with June's goals, here is how it went...

I did a good job finishing up deluxe and foil sized products.  I did paint my nails once as they are in better shape than they were coming out of our dry/cold winter.  I used a clay mask once and a sheet mask once.

I was able to finish the Kiehls Ultra Repair Cream that I was using as my night cream.  I decluttered the Coola spray because the spray was not the fine mist of a good setting spray and it stung my eyes.

Now on to July's goals...

I am keeping my overall goals the same for July.  They have been working well for me and if I want to be more specific, I just add those products in for each individual month.

I am continuing with the License to Blot.  I barely use this because I don't really have a need for it or like it much.  I am also carrying over the Kiehls serum, although it should be done in the next week.  I am adding in the ACT mouthwash because it expires this month and I don't want to waste it.  I put the Clean rollerball perfume in this project but I might swap it out for my Marc Jacobs Dot rollerball because it is more of a summer scent.  Finally, my peel pads continue on (even though I am horrible about using them).

These are the specific products I will work on.  The white jar on the left is the empty Kiehls cream from June.  Again, I might swap out the Clean rollerball, however, the Marc Jacobs is completely full so we will see how much I get through.  I am also concentrating on using up a Ponds moisturizer that I didn't put in the picture.  It has been around awhile and I don't really like it for my face so I'm using it on my neck and chest area instead.

I'm really enjoying this project each month because I concentrate on using up skincare (especially deluxe sizes) instead of jumping around between products.  It gives me more of a focus each month.


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