Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Finish 50 by Fall Finale

I know the first day of fall is Thursday but I finished up this project today and thought I would share my finale with you all.

I started this project back in May with 50 products.  I had them broken down into categories.  Some were foil packets and some were deluxe sized samples.  I also included up to 5 perfume samples as bonus items to help me reach 50.

Here is what I have finished since my last update in August.

Smashbox photofinish primer - I don't like this.  You've seen it included in posts before and my thoughts haven't changed.  But I still have a ton of samples of this to finish.

Laneige Water Bank Soothing Gel Mask - I don't like sheet masks so I wouldn't buy this.

Ahaha Night Cream - This felt very nice but wasn't enough to tell if the full size would be worth the price.

Dermaclear micro water from Dr. Jart+ - I loved this stuff!  It removed makeup and didn't sting my eyes so I didn't need a separate eye makeup remover either.  I'd consider purchasing it when I'm in need of a cleansing water again.

Aloe sheet mask - See mask post above:)  Happy to say I only have one sheet mask left in my stash after this project.

Argan hair mask - This made my scalp itch.  I wonder if it doesn't like argan oil since the other mask did the same thing.

Origins checks and balances - This cleaned okay but I wasn't a big fan of the tingle, especially around my eyes and I'm not going to use a different face wash just for my eyes.

Boscia charcoal cleanser - I loved this stuff!  It is definitely on my to buy list once I get through some cleansers.

Parlor volumizing spray - This was okay.  I didn't notice that it did anything special.

Tata Harper regenerating cleanser - I don't get the hype around Tata Harper.  I wouldn't buy this.

MyChelle Refining Sugar Cleanser - I really love this stuff.  My gripe is that it seems to dry out quickly.  I might look into the full size packaging and see if I think it would make a difference.

These are the only items I did not finish.
Too Faced lipstick in Naked Dolly - I did make some progress on it.
Bare Minerals Pop of Passion - This is almost done.  I hope to finish it this month.
Murad vitamin c peel - I used about 1/3 of this product.  I'll continue to use it once a week until it is finished.
Manna lip stain - I never even got to this one.

So, I started the project with 50 products and 5 bonus perfume samples.
I finished 46 of the products and 4 perfume samples for a total of 50 products!!

I'm hoping to finish the two lipsticks I started and the peel in the next few weeks and have those out of my collection as well.  My goal going forward is to include 2-5 foil packets in my project use it up each month so I can continue to clear them out.

I had debated a finish 7 by 2017 for the fall/winter.  However, a few youtube ladies have posted a Cross 6 off your Christmas List project so I might do that one instead.  I'll decide and post it in the next few days or so.


Monday, September 19, 2016

September Birchbox and August Reviews

Going to start this post off with a little bit of a rant so bear with me:)  After seeing the options for September, I wasn't super excited about Birchbox.  I didn't want to be spending $10 on items I didn't think I'd ever use.  So I contacted Birchbox about canceling.  I prepay for a year every spring (I ask for it as a birthday gift) and their policy states that you can only cancel within the first month of your yearly subscription.  While I understand that is what their policy states, throughout the summer, there have been many people on Youtube, blogs, and in comment sections of posts saying that Birchbox let them cancel anyways and credited them for the remaining months.

Well, perhaps they had enough of that or were getting annoyed...I'm not sure.  But they won't let me cancel.  I'm a little unsure why some people were allowed to cancel in the middle of their paid year and I was not.  But it certainly didn't win Birchbox any points with me.  Apparently I will finish out the year though so you'll continue to see these points for awhile.

Now onto what came in my September box.  As I said above, I wasn't super excited about any of the sample choices or the curated box.  So I didn't choose a sample at all and figured I would just be surprised with what arrived.

The theme this month was multitaskers.

Bioderma Sebium H2O - $16.90 - I was super excited about this until I saw the itty bitty sample size.
Derma E microdermabrasion scrub - $32.50
Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara - $15
Milk Makeup Highlighter - $24
R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner - $29

I love Derma E products and I have friends who love the Elizabeth Mott mascara so I'm looking forward to those two products.  I'm kind of meh on the other ones but I'll let you know next month.

Living Proof no frizz nourishing oil - I have been using this on my wet hair, especially when I am letting it air dry and it works well to combat my frizz.

Beauty Protector protect and detangle - I didn't use this during the past month however I have had quite a few samples in the past from Birchbox and I know I like it.  It works well to protect my hair when I blow-dry and it smells wonderful.

Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick in Patina - This shade is a little darker and more brown than it looks in the tube.  However, the formula is nice and not super dry.  I'd like to try other shades.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow - This matched me for about 2 days after being in the sun.  It is way too dark for every day foundation for me and if you want to use it to make your face appear more tan, it isn't very natural.  I have been mixing it with my very fair It Cosmetics CC cream just to finish up the little tube.

Acure Organics coconut and organ oil cleansing towelettes - These didn't smell very good and they were super dry.  They removed absolutely nothing from my face.  I ended up using them to wipe foundation off my hand when I mixed shades.

Hum Nutrition powder - I don't even know where this went:)  So I didn't try it.

Overall, the box wasn't as great as I had thought when I chose the curated box.  I do love the Beauty Protector Spray and I'm liking the Living Proof oil as well.  I love the formula of the Stila liquid lipstick and it will be a good fall shade.


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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Was It Worth It? - Thoughts on May Purchases

Time for a few reviews of recent purchases.  These are items I purchased in May so I've had a couple months to use them (maybe:) and let you know what I think.

#1 - Younique
A friend of mine had a Younique online party and I had never tried any of their makeup.  I bought a brow gel which I haven't used yet because I didn't want to open it and have it dry out before I finished my Gimme Brow (which means I really didn't need it in the first place).  I also bought a lip gloss.  It is a very nice formula and I would like to try other shades one day.  The shade I have is a milky light pink.

#2 - Sephora
I had ordered a few gifts and these were the samples I had included with the order.  I really wanted to try the BareSkin foundation.  I have used this and found it did not work well with my oily skin.  It ended up breaking me out so I decluttered it.  I have also used the Nest Citrine fragrance and loved it.  I still have a few of the samples to work through.

#3 - Kiehls
I picked up this Kiehls toner with the purpose of having it as a backup toner.  Well, I still haven't finished the one I have been using so I have only used this once or twice.  I am almost done with my current toner though so I should be using this soon.  The toner and lotion samples were okay but nothing I'd purchase.  I haven't used the lip balm yet.

#4 - Sephora Play Box
I have used the Maskimizer once with the charcoal mask that came with it.  I have used the Korres mask once.  I decluttered the Tarte lipliner because it was very dry and not a good formula.  I haven't used the rest of the products.
This was my first Play box and I wasn't impressed but I am happy to say they have been much better and I am finding that I am using the products a lot more than I did with these.

Once again, a few items here I purchased and haven't used yet.  I am on month 3 of really trying to cut down on my spending for this reason and I think I'm doing pretty well.


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

Sunday, September 11, 2016

New to Me in August

I am happy to say it has finally cooled off a bit here and is feeling more like fall.  We turned off the AC, opened the windows, and I have my fall scents burning in my Scentsy warmer.

After no beauty related purchases in July, I did pick up a few things in August.  However, I am proud of myself for not going overboard and not being sucked in by all the extra goodies and sample bags that keep popping up.  Just to review or if you are new here, there are some items that I do not count towards my spending because they are necessities and I do not hoard them (some skincare items, cotton rounds, nail polish).  Most makeup items, face wash, body wash, and lotion would be examples of items I do not need more of (because I have a million already) and so they do count towards my spending.

Purchase #1 - Birchbox - No cost to me! (Free with points)
I had about 400 points in my Birchbox account.  With the points now expiring, I wanted to be sure I didn't lose any of them.  And I won't really be earning any more points for reviews so I figured I'd use up what I had.  I bought the DermaE makeup remover as a backup to the one I am using now.  I also bought the Caudalie micellar cleansing water to try out and my favorite Ruffian Varnish topcoat.  The other items were two free samples which I wasn't super excited about.

Purchase #2 - Sephora - No cost to me! (I don't count cotton rounds since they are necessity)
At the beginning of August, one of the new Sephora 100 point perks was a sample of the new Bare Minerals Gen Nude liquid lipsticks.  Since everyone had been talking about them and I am a big fan of a nude lip, I wanted to give them a try.  Sephora cotton rounds are my favorite and I always like to make sure I have plenty on hand so I ordered a few packs, threw in the 100 point perk and the other few items were my free samples.

Purchase #3 - Walgreens - $4.79
I had seen this lip balm advertised in magazines recently and I loved the sound of it so I had to pick it up.  I debated buying a few since it is limited edition but I did very well and only picked up one of them.

Purchase #4 - Coastal Scents - $7.68 including shipping
I have a few besties on IG who rave about the Coastal Scents hot pots.  In August, they ran a sale where they were .99 each.  So I picked up a few colors to try out and the sample quad was a free gift with purchase.

Purchase #5 - Ulta - No Cost (The Tea Tree Oil is a necessity since I'm almost out and the chapstick is for hubby)
One day in August, Ulta offered 10x points on certain items and 5x on everything else.  The Tea Tree Oil was one of the 10x items and I was in need of a new one so I grabbed it.  The chapstick was 5x points and everything was free shipping so I picked this up for my hubby.  The other items were free samples.

Purchase #6 - Sephora - No Cost (concealer was a need)
I am working on using up my Urban Decay concealer which is the only undereye concealer I currently own.  I can not be without concealer so I always make sure I have a backup on hand.  I tried the Nars concealer awhile back and the lady in the Sephora I went into did not color match me very well and it led to me not being very happy with the concealer.  So, while near a Sephora store recently, I went in and had the sales associate help me choose a different shade to try out.  I also grabbed the LaVanila deodorant because I have not tried a natural deodorant before.

For the month of August, I only spent a total of about $16.00 (I bought another lip balm for $4 that isn't pictured).

I am very happy with how I did and I am trying very hard to stick to necessities going forward.  I need to get out of the mindset that I need to be Ulta Platinum and VIB again...it would definitely help.


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

Monday, September 5, 2016

Beauty Empties - August

I hope you have all enjoyed your holiday weekend.  My first day of school with students is tomorrow so I have relaxed a bit and also done my prep for lunches and breakfasts for the first week of school.
Being the beginning of September, it is time to share with you my August empties.  Quite a few of my empties this month were sample packets and deluxe sized samples from my Finish 50 by Fall project.  I talked about the products in that post which you can view here so I won't be talking about them again in this post.

Makeup Empties:
Mally Volumizing Mascara - I love this mascara and have purchased it multiple times.  I have some mascaras to use up but this would definitely be a repurchase.

Benefit Porefessional License to Blot - This is an oil blotting stick that I was trying to use up forever! This does make me appear matte when I apply it, however, it also clogs my pores in the areas where I apply it and I think it makes those areas appear cakey.

ModelCo shimmer bronzer - This lasted me a good year of every day use!  It was shimmery but I didn't notice it once I applied the bronzer on my skin.  This was a good shade match for me, not too orange.  I'll never finish the bronzers I have so I won't be purchasing this one any time soon.

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium - This is my favorite brow product.  I have yet to figure out how to fill in my brows with a pencil so this gives me a bit of color and fill in and I can't mess it up.  I am using another sample but then I have some others to try out before I would repurchase.  I hear Essence makes a good dupe.

Mac ProLongwear concealer in NW 20 - Everyone raves about this concealer so I had to give it a try since my dark circles are insane.  It was nice but I don't think it was any better than the Maybelline FitMe for the price.  I don't see myself repurchasing this one.

Maybelline Lash Discovery mascara in black - This is my holy grail bottom lash mascara and I will always repurchase.

Skin and Body Empties:
Garnier Fructis Style Sleek and Shine hairspray - This is my favorite hairspray and I have gone through a few of them.  I am trying some new ones out but I would definitely go back to this one.

Mayfair body creme in Sea Lily Jasmine - This came in a Target box and smelled so good!  I used it as a body lotion and it was on the thicker side and very moisturizing.  It would make a good hand cream too.  I would purchase this one day when I need lotion or hand cream again.

Tocca hand cream in Giulietta - This hand cream smelled nice as well but I didn't like the formula as well as the Mayfair one.  It sunk in quickly which was nice but then my hands didn't feel very moisturized.

Kiehls Precision Lifting and Pore-Tightening concentrate - I liked this serum and it didn't make me oily.  There is a precision lifting concentrate with out the pore tightening part and I would consider purchasing it in the future when I need a serum.

Clean Blossom perfume - This scent was really nice.  I love the Clean perfumes because I never find them very heavy or strong.

Lots of cotton pads....if you've been around, you know the Sephora are my favorites.  I purchase the Ulta ones when I need extra for an online order free shipping.  The Target ones are okay, again, I'll grab them if I'm running low.
The reason for so many empties now is that I keep a basket in my bathroom filled with cotton rounds and it all depends on when I fill it during the month.  I haven't used many of the Sephora rounds but since I emptied them into the basket, I include it as an empty.

Decluttered products:
Mary Kay Satin Hands - I pulled this out to use before bed and it is just too old and separated.  Reason why I am trying to reign in my purchases and use items before they expire.

MadGab chapstick - I bought this on vacation when my other chapstick ran out.  The more I used it, the more chapped my lips got so it has to go.

Pantene airspray hairspray - The nozzle on this is horrible.  I can't use it.

August Recap:
I used 23 products (7 full size, 10 deluxe, and 6 samples).  I decluttered an additional 3 products.
My total used for the month was $114.62.

I have used 173 products with a total of $854.91 for the year.

I added in 37 items through subscription boxes and a few purchases.  Some of the items were free with Birchbox points and a few purchases were necessities.  I only spend $16.29 on items I didn't really need:) which you will see in my haul coming up soon.

This month was feeling very slow but once I added everything up, I was happy to see 23 empties.  I have quite a few skincare items that are close to being finished so I hope to have some great September empties for you!


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