Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Project Use It Up - August Update/September Goals

I can't believe it is the end of August already!  We are starting school a few weeks later than usual due to construction and it feels very weird to have August coming to an end and just starting school.  I did a good job this month of meeting my masking goals and painting my nails.

I was able to mark off all my goals for the month of August.  Our days are returning to normal and we are only traveling on the weekends, if at all, so that should help with my progress over the next few months.

I was able to finish the Benefit Professional oil blotting stick (finally!) and you will see that in my empties along with the Kiehls serum which I also finished.  I am still doing a horrible job of using the peel pads.

For September, I am adding two boxes for masks since I really want to try to use one every week.  Otherwise, I am keeping my numbers the same.

I have a Murad peel I am trying to use up before the end of my Finish 50 by Fall project in September so I have added that instead of the peel pads this month.  I don't think it would be good to try and use both on my skin.

Here are some progress marks on the items in my project.  I am making small progress on the Murad toner.  I use this on my body when I get break outs so I don't necessarily use it every day.  I only used the Philosophy Pure Grade perfume once or twice.  I focused on the Marc Jacobs perfume or worked on perfume samples.  I have been using the Ponds cream every time I put on lotion.  It is hard to tell but there is progress.  Finally, I use the Garnier BB Cream every time I put on makeup but when I hold it up to the light, it doesn't look like there is any progress.  I'm hoping it is going down in the middle and just clinging to the sides of the tube a bit.

I am going to be adding these three items into the project.  I have been using the Algenist vitamin C serum at night since finishing the Kiehls one so I will continue to work on that.  I am close to finishing the BB Don't Blow It so I'd like to be done with that.  I added in the Marcelle BB cream because it is dark and I need to use it now while I still have color or it will sit until next summer without being used.

I have held off on adding any makeup items to my projects because I am doing Pan That Palette and seasonal challenges with makeup in them and will probably continue to do so through the end of the year.


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

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Finish 50 by Fall Update #3

Summer is starting to wind down around here.  My husband and daughter have both gone back and I start this week.  However, since fall is my favorite season, I am very excited about fall clothes and fall weather arriving soon.  This is update #3 for my Finish 50 by Fall project.  I began this project in May and you can check out my most recent update here.  I have a month left of this project and I'm not positive I will finish all the items so let me fill you in on my progress.

The most recent items I have finished...

27.  Dr. Jart+ water replenishment mask - I don't like sheet masks so it is a no for me.
28.  Kiehls powerful strength line-reducing concentrate - I really liked this although it wasn't enough to tell if it actually helped my skin.  I might try it again in the future.
29.  Kiehls ultra facial oil free lotion - I prefer their gel version of this moisturizer.  It is lighter for daily use on my oily skin.
30.  Clinique moisture surge - This was fine at night but too thick for me to use regularly.
31.  Makeup Forever lip gloss - I really liked this gloss.  I included it in a recent loves post over the summer.

32.  Maybelline dream velvet foundation - I put this in the project in place of a Bare Minerals foundation that was breaking me out.  This foundation was too thick for me.  I didn't feel like it blended well and looked unnatural.
33.  Kiehls ultra facial cleanser - This was a good basic cleanser similar to the First Aid Beauty cleanser.  I have a million cleansers to work through but this was a good one.
34.  Tarte lipgloss in exposed - I liked this gloss because it was easy to swipe on and a natural color.  Again, I have a million glosses to work through before I'd consider purchasing this.
35.  Coroliss argan hair mask - I did not like this mask.  It made my scalp itch.

Now let me show you the items I am currently working on....

Parlor Voluming spray - I have less than half left in the bottle.  I just need to dry my hair so I can use it instead of hair drying.
Boscia detoxifying cleanser - I am about halfway finished with this cleanser.
Tata Harper cleanser - I am trying to use this every few days.  I only have a few uses left in the bottom of the jar.
Dr. Jart+ dermaclear - I really like this cleansing water.  I just have a tiny bit left in the bottom (you can see my progress mark at the bottom).
Origins checks and balances cleanser - I recently started using this one when I finished the Kiehls.  I'm pretty sure it will be finished in a month.
I also have the last 3 foil packet samples that I'm working through right now.

I am working through the Bare Minerals pop of passion and Too Faced Naked Dolly lip products.  Both were full when I started so you can see a bit of progress on each.  I don't know that these will be finished in a month.  It will be close.

These are the 5 products I have yet to touch.  I can use the sheet masks in the next month without a problem.  I don't know about having time to finish another lip color and face cleanser.  I just need to pull out the Murad and I think I can get close to finishing it.

I have now finished 35 out of 50 products and 3 perfume samples (bonus items).

What I've finished in the categories -
Face Primer - 4/5
Lips - 2/5
Body - 5/5 **done
Face wash - 2/5
Night Cream - 4/5
Face - 2/5
Hair - 3/5
Sheet Masks - 3/5
Makeup - 5/5 **done
Face - 5/5 ** done
Bonus perfumes - 3/5

I'm beginning to think about what my next project might be as this project comes to an end and I finish most of these products up.  I'm excited to have almost 50 items out of my collection!


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

Friday, August 19, 2016

August Birchbox and July Reviews

My Birchbox came super early this month!  I never even got a shipping email and it arrived on my doorstep so that was a fun surprise.  For August, I ordered the curated box because I wanted to try out a few of the items that they showed in the box.

August's theme was all about hair.  Here is what came in my August box.

Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil - $38 for a full size
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle - $23.50 for the full size
Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick in Patina - $24 for a full size
Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow - $28 for full size
Acure Organics Coconut and Argan Oily Cleansing Towelettes - $6.99 for full size
Bonus: Hum Nutrition Raw Beauty Green Superfood Powder

I love the Beauty Protector spray and I wanted to try the Living Proof, Stila, and Marcelle products which is why I chose this box.  Keep an eye out next month for my reviews.

Now onto my reviews of the July products.

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris perfume - You all know I can't describe scents.  I like this one because it isn't too floral or sweet smelling.  My complaint is that it is not a spray bottle which means I just won't use it often.  Those dabber ones tend to spill and make a mess and I just don't reach for them.

MD Solar Sciences Sunscreen - I haven't used this at all.  I've gotten about 5 sunscreen samples in the past few months from different boxes and I don't go through them that fast since I only wear them when I'm not wearing my makeup that has SPF.  I didn't want to open this until I'm ready to use it.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask - I used this mask once and I liked it.  I didn't notice a big different in how radiant my skin looked but it did feel nice.  I might see more effects if I am using it multiple times instead of other masks in between.

Cargo Blush and Bronzer Duo - I was very excited for this product because I like Cargo and I love blush.  However, I can barely get a brush into this product because of the size.  It is impossible to only use the blush and get any on my brush.  I may end up swirling them together and using it all over my face.  I am definitely disappointed in this product, not because of the quality, but because the packaging makes it impossible to use.

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara - This was my sample choice in July because you could choose one of three mascaras.  Marcelle is one of my favorite finds from Birchbox.  I love their micellar water and eye makeup remover so I was excited to try a makeup product.  This mascara applies nicely, isn't clumpy, and doesn't smudge on me.  However, it doesn't give me the volume I like on a daily basis.  I have been using it when I'm going for a low-key makeup look but not a daily basis.

Overall, not as impressed with the July box as when I first opened it.  But I know that some months are better than others and that is certainly true with my Birchbox boxes.

While I like Birchbox, their recent point changes and the fact that I get so many samples has been considering whether I want to continue with my subscription.  Stay tuned for updates on that.


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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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

Sorry for the absence in posts lately.  We have been traveling a bunch as the end of summer nears.  Both the hubby and my daughter go back to school this week so we are returning to a normal schedule (mostly...hard when it still feels like summer).  I wanted to let you know my thoughts on the purchases I made in April and give some updates.  You can check out the items I bought here in my original post.

My first was an Ulta purchase with a 20% off coupon I had received.
My Thoughts:
The Tresemme Thermal Creations spray is my holy grail.  I use it every time I straighten my hair and have repurchased multiple times.
I have fallen off the wagon with my Clarisonic and haven't been using it often.  My favorite brush heads are the sensitive kind.
I am using the Naked skin concealer now and I like it.  I'm not sure it will become my holy grail concealer but it works well.  I had ordered the shade fair neutral and it was too light so I exchanged it for light warm which is a better match for me.
I'm not exactly sure what samples came in that bag so watch my Instagram if you're interested in sample reviews (@lovetobebusyblog).  I haven't used the deluxe samples pictured either.

I bought a travel size shampoo and conditioner from Kiehls and the rest were samples that came with the purchase.
My Thoughts:
I am not a fan of the Nourishing Olive Fruit Oil shampoo and conditioner.  They make my hair greasier and I can only use them if I know I'm washing my hair the next day again.  I'm trying to finish them up.
I know I have worked through some of the samples in this picture so check out IG for my reviews.

My final purchase was during the Sephora VIB sale with the 15% off coupon.
My Thoughts:
I do not like the Shiseido cotton squares.  I bought them to try out since so many people rave about them.  However, I felt like they got very flimsy when they were wet and didn't swipe over my skin very well.  I would not purchase them again.
Obviously, this is not my first Beauty Blender but I take advantage of the coupon to buy a back up.
This Sephora Collection brush is perfect for blending out my eye looks and I use it every day.

I hope you are enjoying these updates.  I'm glad to see I used most of the products that I purchased this month instead of having them sit around like the products from my last update.  Go me!:)


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

Sunday, August 7, 2016

New to Me in July

I started out July deciding to give a No Buy a try.  My goal was no unnecessary purchases whether it be makeup, clothes, stationary...all the things I love but don't really need more of.  I did pretty well, just a few clothing purchases that I know I will get a lot of use out of and were on sale.  I didn't purchase any makeup!!

Due to that fact, the only items I have to share that were new to me in July are the items I received in my Sephora Play box.  I haven't posted separately for these boxes like I do Birchbox since everyone has been receiving the same products and have just been including it as part of my haul post each month.

This month Sephora changed things up a bit and sent out different boxes.  There were two different boxes that I know of.  The products that were different were the cleanser, primer, and bronzer.  You had one of each category but the exact product was a bit different.  For instance, I received a liquid bronzer and some received a powder bronzer.

Ouai Wave Spray - I have very straight, thick hair so these often don't do much for me.  I'll give it a try though since I haven't been drying my hair this summer and see how it goes.

Benefit Dew the Hoola - I have tried this bronzer once and it isn't too bad.  The Bareskin one in June's box was a bad color for me but this one seems to be better.  I need a second stipple brush so I can use this and my cream blush without washing my brush every single time.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser - I have had deluxe samples of this face cleanser before and it is a good basic cleanser.

Beauty Blender Blotterazzi - I'm not big on blotting or touching up during the day (combo of too busy and too lazy...lol) but I'll try this out and see how it works.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer - I'm not a fan of this primer since it has that heavy silicone feel which I don't like much.  However, I'm sure I'll use it up at some point.

Nest Fragrances in Citrine - I love this fragrance!  I had a sample a few months back from a Sephora order and I love the citrus, fresh scent of this.  Excited to have another sample to use.

This was an okay box for me this month.  But any beauty subscription service can be hit or miss depending on your personal preference for products.  I'll update you in a few months!

And like I said above, due to my no buy in July, this was the only makeup that I bought.  I'll have more to share in August, don't worry:)


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

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July Beauty Empties

This seemed to be a slow empties month for me, probably because I haven't been wearing much makeup or perfume with these crazy hot temperatures.  The only thing I've been good about is maintaining a skincare routine to keep my oily summer skin under control.  So, that is where most of my empties are.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser - I really like this cleanser.  It is a good daily cleanser that doesn't dry out my skin.  One is the deluxe sample from Sephora birthday gift and the other is a smaller size I bought.  It is quite expensive for a cleanser and I do have a lot to work through.  But I do really like it and might repurchase one day.
Formula 10.0.6 Wipe Your Face Off  - I really liked these makeup remover wipes.  I bought them for a few trips we were taking and I found them to be very saturated and did a good job of removing my makeup.  I'd definitely repurchase if I was traveling and needed wipes again.
CeraVe Healing Ointment - I used this on my cuticles at night and it was okay.  I don't think it moisturized for that purpose as well as other creams and oils I have tried.  It is greasy so keep that in mind if you're looking for a product like this.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil - This is a holy grail product for me.  I use a Q-tip to apply it to areas that tend to break out the most for me (like my chin).  I think it does help keep my skin clear and will continue to repurchase.
Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate - I am not usually a big fan of oils on my face but I really liked this one.  It felt drier than most oils I have tried ( I don't know if that makes sense) and absorbed quickly.  I have serums to work through still but this is a good one for night time.
Algenist Eye Renewal Balm- I was looking for an eye cream and bought this on a recommendation when Sephora had a set at the holidays.  This was definitely moisturizing for my eye area.  I didn't really notice any other benefits ( I would like some anti-aging/wrinkle help) so I will continue to try out other eye creams.
Bath and Body Works Pink Sugarplum lipgloss - This is crazy old but it is finished.  I kept it on my desk at work for awhile and then in my purse awhile.  They don't even have these anymore that I could find...this one had come in a holiday set.

These are all items I am decluttering.  I went through all my perfume samples and I just didn't like these scents so they aren't worth keeping around.
Clinique lip gloss - mostly gone but is old and separating and looks gross so it is going
Bareskin serum bronzer - not a good color match for me.  I look dirty and I had to take all my makeup off and start over...no good
Supergoop setting spray - These setting sprays are a wonderful concept, especially in summer.  However, I have tried this one and the Coola one and they both sprayed out very blotchy and goopy as opposed to a nice fine mist that covered my face.  Maybe they can work on the pumps for these and improve them a bit.

As always, there are some other empties (mostly foil packets, maybe a few deluxe sizes) on my Instagram.  It would be too long of a post if I did all of them on this blog.  You can find me @lovetobebusyblog to check out those empties.

I used up 17 products this month and decluttered 6 for a total of 23 this month.
The monetary total was $64.38
Year to date, I have 150 empties and $740.29 used.

I am happy to say I held to my makeup no buy this month and didn't buy a thing! (I didn't count subscription boxes since if I cancelled Sephora Play for a month I might never get it back!)
I started -$33 from my June spending spree:)  I added in my $25 July budget (which I didn't spend) and I am at -$8 going into August.


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