Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lancome Don't Glow It Alone Box

I was super excited to have a box arrive from Influenster a few weeks ago.  The box included a variety of products from Lancome.  If you haven't heard of Influenster, it is free to sign up.  You can take surveys or do a variety of tasks on the website.  Sometimes, they will send you boxes of products to try out for free.  I have gotten a few boxes in the past, most recently Make Up For Ever lipsticks to try out.  These products were sent to me for free for testing purposes by Influenster.

There were four products in the box.  Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick, Teint Idole Ultra Wear camouflage, Click and Glow, and Le Metallique.

The Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick is a stick foundation.  I do like that is has some SPF in it as well. This foundation is light to medium coverage for me.  I really like how it applied, the coverage level, and it wore pretty well throughout the day.  I was sent the shade 140 Ivoire.  The shade is a bit dark for me (although I chose based upon other shades I wear at Sephora) but it will work once I get just a bit of color.  I can make it work now although the color is just a bit too different between my face and neck if I do.  I applied this to my face from the stick and then blended out with a brush.  I love the easy application and it blended well.  This foundation retails for $42.00 at Sephora.

I also received a concealer.  I have the shade 110 Ivoire.  This is too dark for my under eye area and there is only one shade lighter so I am not sure they have anything fair enough for me in this particular product.  However, it works for areas on my face.  A tiny bit goes a long way and I think this will work well when I have problem areas on my face that I need to conceal.  A full size is $31.00.

The next product is the Click and Glow Highlighting Skin Fluid.  This is the shade Lumieres Rosees. This product looks a lot more intense that it does when it blends out.  I find that once I blend it out, I almost get more of a color to my cheekbones than a shimmer.  It isn't a great color for me as it looks kind of muddy and grey once I blend it out.  I will continue to play with it though because it is a very pretty color to see if I can get it to work.  This product retails for $23.00.

The final product in the box was the Le Metallique Lip Laquer.  This shade is Mirrored Nude and it is definitely metallic.  I find it to be quite sticky as well.  I do love the shade and find it feels less sticky if I put it over a matte or other lip product with a dry formula.  I have been pairing it with the PBJ Smoothie Stick in Raisin the Roof that I received in a Birchbox awhile back.  It gives a very pretty pale lilac shade.  This retails for $22.00.

Swatches from top to bottom: Lip Laquer, Highlighter, Concealer, Foundation

Overall, I love the foundation stick and might look for a better shade match if they have one.  I think the stick is so easy to use and it was a good amount of coverage for me.  The concealer gives good coverage and does not wear off during the day so that is a win too.  I like the shade of the lip laquer and can make it work if I layer it with other products.  The only product I am on the fence about is the highlighter so I'll continue to play with it.


*These products were sent to me complimentary for review from Influenster.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Birchbox - March Box and February Reviews

My Birchbox for March came a few days ago and I wanted to share what I received this month.  As I have said in previous posts, my Birchbox subscription is coming to an end.  I believe April will be my last box.

Here is what came in my March box...

Tocca perfume in Emelia - full size $68
Daarvoor Replenish Jojoba Creme Treatment - full size $29
Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water - full size $32
Kiel's Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream - full size $27.50
Arrow Enhance Waterproof Eye Brightener - full size $16

I chose the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream for sample choice this month.  I wasn't excited about any of the choices and didn't want to end up with something I'd totally hate.  I know this Kiehls cream doesn't irritate my skin so I chose it.
I absolutely love the Dr.Jart+ water.  I have had samples before so I am excited for that product.

Reviews from February...

I have to say that I haven't tried any of the products from February.  Yikes!  I didn't even realize until I went to write this post.  However, that is part of the reason why I cancelled this box.  I'm not excited enough by the products I am receiving to try them out right away.

I am excited for the Davines wash but I am saving it for when we go to our place in Michigan because I usually keep some travel size toiletries there.  I passed the lip product on to a friend who wears darker lip shades instead of trying it out and then having to throw it away.

I will update my thoughts on these product in my empties over the next few months.


*This post is not sponsored.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Letting Go Vol. 2

I've accumulated some products that I am decluttering so I thought I would continue with another volume of Letting Go.  I started this series in January as a way to share products that I am getting rid of after trying them out, but they aren't empty.  I am not necessarily posting these every month, just once I gather a few to share.

1.  Pacifica sea foam complete face wash - This face wash breaks me out very badly.  I couldn't figure out why my skin kept breaking out last fall.  I was alternating between this product and other deluxe sized face washes.  My skin would be great for awhile then horrible for awhile.  I have mentioned before a woman on Instagram (@imalilcupcake) who posts a lot about her skincare and how she has helped clear up her skin.  She told me that she has a lot of problems with coconut products and to investigate the ingredients.  In my February haul, I talked a bit about using a website to look up acne triggers.  This face wash is pretty high on the acne triggers.  As soon as I stopped using it, my face cleared up and I haven't had many problems with breakouts since.

2.  Well People Bio Brightener in Moonstone - This is a sample from Birchbox of a highlighter.  The full size comes in stick form.  I am decluttering this product because it has just gotten too old.  I have been using it for almost 2 years, it is a cream product, and I am starting to see darker spots in it that weren't there before.  I do really like this product and it is almost gone but I know a more natural cream product won't last forever and it just needs to go.

3.  Ilia lipgloss in The Butterfly and I - This is also a more natural product that I have had for quite awhile.  The unfortunate part is that I just opened this in the fall when I was going through all my lip products.  But within a few weeks, it smelled bad and had accumulated little black dots inside the gloss that weren't there before.  So, unfortunately, this product was never really used.

4.  Cargo blush in Bali - I had this blush as one of my picks for February.  I found it to be very patchy and hard to blend.  I had tried other Cargo blushes and I liked them so I am assuming this one has just gotten old.  Or it might be the shade.  But I have a lot of blushes I prefer to fighting to make this one work.

5.  NYX lipstick in Thalia - This lipstick was the first product I bought on a Youtube recommendation and it was very many years ago.  I had it in a recent project but the coloring looks weird and it has gone bad.  I do really like the shade, although I'm not even sure they make it anymore.

6.  Hourglass powder in dim light - I posted about this powder on my Instagram.  I bought it in the smaller size at the VIB sale last year because everyone posts about how great these are.  I just returned this product to Sephora.  It pulls very pink on my skin and looks very unnatural.  This make me sad because I think they give a beautiful finish, but it just doesn't work for me.

As you can see, these products aren't all duds.  The lipstick and highlighter are both products I have loved and are almost gone, but went bad before I could finish them off.  This is another reason why I am working on panning and even giving away products I won't get to use.


*Not sponsored

Friday, March 17, 2017

Finish 6 by Summer Intro

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!  Since I finished my last seasonal challenge/project pan at the end of February, I wanted to find a new challenge to join in.  Kristen Kay on Youtube was doing Finish 6 by Summer so I decided to join her in this project.  Some of these products are repeats from other projects that I am hoping to finally finish up.  The project will end around the 20th of June.

1.  Bare Minerals 5 in 1 cream shadow/base - This is a small deluxe size cream shadow.  I just finished by eye base and need a new one so I am going to work on this one.  I prefer pencil type products so I know I wouldn't reach for this if I don't put it in this project.  I have marked it but I haven't used it before so it is brand new even though the line is not at the top.

2.  Marc Jacobs Dot Perfume - This is a rollerball that I have been working on for awhile as you can see by all the lines.  It has been in my Project Use It Up each month but I haven't been very motivated to finish it.  I am hoping that I'll be more consistent with it if I put it in this project.

3.  Soap and Glory A Great Kisser lip balm - This is a carryover from Sweet on Project Panning.  I did use up quite a bit in the two months of that project so I am hoping to finish it during the next three months if I use it consistently.

4.  Maybelline Color Whisper in Lust for Blush - This is one of my oldest lipsticks so I want to work on finishing it before it goes bad.  My goal is to finish this product.

5.  NYX eye shadow in White Pearl - Another product I didn't finish during Sweet on Project Panning that I am hoping to finish during this project.  I will use this mainly as my eye shadow all over my lid and I might use it as a highlight if I am down to the wire and its not done:)

6.  Laura Gellar Baked Blush and Brighten in Tropic Hues - I worked on this blush last fall and thought I'd finish it and I didn't.  I have put it to the side over the last few months and I am hoping if I pull it out again, I can finish it off.  Sorry about my big ole thumb, but I wanted you to be able to see how flat it is to start out.

This is my list of products for this challenge.  I am trying to include where I am at and my goal for each one.  The bottom of the page will also be where I mark my progress for the Maybelline lipstick.

Would love to hear if you are joining in on this project or any seasonal challenges so I can check out your progress!


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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Was It Worth It? - Thoughts on November's Purchases

I am really enjoying going back and reviewing purchases I made a few months back.  In addition, it keeps me on track when I see how many items I have or have not used since buying them.  It is time to let you know what I thought of the items I bought in November of 2016.  You can check out the haul post here.

Birchbox - I bought these few things to use up the last of my points.  I am currently using the Marcelle cleansing water (which I absolutely love) to remove makeup and eye makeup.  The Tea Tree Oil is something I use every day on problem areas of my face that tend to break out so I will always repurchase.  The Lip Lush was a free gift with purchase and I have yet to even open it.

Ulta Purchase - The hairbrush was for my daughter and she is loving this brush.  It makes brushing her hair much less painful.  I have finished the cotton rounds and loofah already.  The Hand Food was in my recent February empties.  So I am happy to say this was a very thoughtful purchase as these items are not still sitting around unused.

Sephora - I bought a few items during the VIB sale.  I love the Marc Jacobs gloss in Taboo and need to wear it more often.  I also purchased the Hourglass Ambient lighting powder in Dim Light.  I have really tried to make this work and I think I am going to return it.  It is way too pink for my skin tone and looks very unnatural.  I am very sad that it doesn't work since everyone loves these so much.  The rest of the items were samples and I have worked through quite a few of them during #foilfebruary.

Sephora - This was my Black Friday purchase.  I needed a replacement for my Beauty Blender and then I bought cotton rounds to get to the amount needed for the sample bag.  I am on my last set of these cotton rounds and just repurchased a bunch more.  I have been using the Sephora beauty sponge and it just isn't the same as the Beauty Blender.  It works okay but I wouldn't repurchase it and think the Beauty Blender is definitely worth the money compared to this one.

Sephora Black Friday freebies - Some of these samples I used during #foilfebruary and others I will continue to pull out and work through this year.  You can check out my Instagram (@lovetobebusyblog) for reviews of what I used during #foilfebruary.

Sephora Play Box -
I have finished the Caudalie Sorbet Moisturizer.  I really liked the consistency and it didn't break me out but I have a lot of skincare to use up before I'd consider purchasing a full size.
I also used the Stell McCartney Pop perfume and loved that too!  I might purchase a rollerball of the scent after I use up a few perfumes I have around.
I really liked the gloss, I just haven't used it much.  The other items, I haven't tried yet.

I am happy to see that I am doing better with using the items I purchase compared to when I started these reviews.  I think it also helps that I am more mindful of what I purchase and the timeframe in which I will use it.  I'm not purchasing items years before I might need them anymore.  I hope you are enjoying these reviews of the products as well.


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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New to Me in February

Happy weekend to you all!  We have had a busy weekend of state gymnastics meet for my daughter, recovering from a time change, and much more!  We are also supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow starting tonight and possibly 6-9 inches!  It is too late in the season to be getting that much snow!

I do have a few purchases from February to share with you.  I even have a few splurges from this month instead of just necessities:)

Ulta Purchase #1:
These two items were necessities since I ran out of both hand cream and concealer for my face.  I picked up the Ahava Hand Cream (I adore this good!) and the Essence Say No to Imperfections concealer stick.

Ulta Purchase #2:
I am platinum at Ulta so I received a coupon for the Benefit Professional for the birthday gift and also a $10 off any purchase coupon.  With the $10 off, I splurged on the Tarte Don't Quit Your Day Dream palette (which I am loving) and I bought the NYX Stay Matte not Flat powder to try since I feel the powder I have been using is too dark for me.

Ulta Purchase #3:
I also received a coupon for 20% off everything including prestige brands (which doesn't happen too often at Ulta).  I am almost out of my current night serum and want to try something that might help some of my wrinkles (the one on my forehead seems to deepen daily lol).  I have loved the Juice Beauty products I've tried and wanted to try the serum in this kit.  Instead of paying over $70 for the serum, I figured I'd try them all out with the $50 kit.  The peel in the small jar was a free gift.

Ulta Purchase #3 cont.:
I have done a great job of cutting down on purchases in body and hair care in the past year.  I am actually on my last body wash so I bought this one to try out next.  I am hoping it helps with the texture and breakouts I get on my body (especially when I'm consistently sweating during workouts). I also bought a hand cream to get to free shipping since the Ahava one I bought at the beginning of the month was not a very large size.  The other two items were free samples.

Julep Maven Box:
I am loving the Julep box.  One of my favorite parts is that you can customize it to include different products or swap out products each month.  If you follow me on Instagram (@lovetobebusyblog) you saw the nail shade on the left which is a deep blue.  I also posted this eyeliner as one of my favorites during February.  This box comes at the very beginning of each month so I have gotten a lot of use out of the eyeliner since it arrived.  I also love that you can skip a month with this service.  I haven't gotten a chance to use all of the colors I've received in the past few months so I may skip the April box.

Sephora Play Box:
This was a pretty good box this month.  I've already used the Nars Velvet Lip Glide and really like it! I also tried the Too Faced lip gloss and have had to declutter it.  I can't do the plumping feeling that the product has.  It makes my lips actually hurt.  I love the eye cream from Origins and will definitely try out the mascara.  I have a larger size of the Clinique item that I have yet to try out too.  I am on the fence about this product and here is why...
I was having a lot of issues with my skin for awhile.  I had a lot of breakouts and many of them were large and just kept recurring.  If you follow @imalilcupcake on Instagram, you know that she is very careful with her skincare so I sought out her advice.  She recommended a website that lists acne triggers for many products.  So, I have been checking out all of my products.  If I start using something and it breaks me out, I immediately check out the triggers.  It has stayed pretty consistent that anything with an acne trigger number of 3 or higher makes me break out.  This moisturizer has acne triggers at a 5.  So I am very hesitant to try it out.  I'll keep you posted.

During the month of February, I took in 23 items (through purchases and samples).  I spent $94.51 which is my highest amount in quite a few months.  Overall for the year I have spent $105.09.  This does not include Birchbox, Sephora Play, Julep Box because they are all prepaid.  It also does not include what I purchase with gift cards from other people.  What fun new items have you purchased to try lately?


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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Beauty Empties - February

I am excited to post my empties this month because I have quite a few products that I thought I would finish in January that are finally done and I can now include in my totals.

Haircare empties:
Detox dry shampoo - This left a very heavy white cast that was hard to work in.  I would not purchase full size but I am glad I was able to try it out since many people like it.

Kenra Finishing spray 26 - I liked this hairspray a lot.  It held my look but wasn't too heavy.  I would consider purchasing this in a full size when I finish the hairspray I'm using now.  But I didn't love it as much as the Oribe I finished in January.

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle - I like this leave in conditioner.  I have had quite a few samples before from Birchbox.  It smells like candy.  I won't purchase a full size just because I am done with Birchbox.  This was part of my Sweet on Project Panning challenge so I'm happy it is finished.

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair deep conditioning mask - This wasn't any good.  It was very thin, didn't coat my hair very well, and I didn't notice that it did anything.  I wouldn't purchase this.

Skincare empties:
Bioderma Sensibio H20 - I really liked this!  I used it to remove makeup before I cleansed my face.  It didn't bother my eyes at all so I was also able to use it as an eye makeup remover.  I would purchase this but there are lots of other drugstore cleansing waters I want to try first.

Kiehls ultra facial oil free gel cream moisturizer - I love gel moisturizers for my oily skin.  This tub lasted me quite awhile and worked well as my morning moisturizer.  I have some others to work through and have others I'd like to try before I'd consider repurchasing.

Derma E hydrating night cream - This was a good nighttime moisturizer.  It didn't make me oily or break me out as some of the heavier creams can sometimes do.  I am looking into more anti-aging properties in my skincare lately so I don't think I'd purchase a full size.

Makeup empties:
Stila Huge mascara - This was okay when I first opened it but it got better as it dried out.  It makes my lashes thick and long.  My only issue is that I find that it smudges onto the area below my lower lash line even though I don't use it on my lower lashes.  For that reason, I'm not sure I'd buy a full size.  However, my overall feelings on this have improved since I tried a different sample awhile back.

Smashbox Photo Finish more than primer in Blemish Control - I like this because it is a lotion instead of silicone primer.  Unfortunately, it does nothing to keep my breakouts away even though it has salicylic acid in it.  For that reason, I will look for another primer with a similar lotion consistency instead of repurchasing this one.

Stila lip glaze in raspberry sorbet - This was also in my Sweet on Project Panning challenge so I was happy to finish it.  It is also my first finished lip product of 2017!  I really like these Stila lip glazes and might purchase more one day after I work through many more lip products.

Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer in light warm - I really liked this concealer.  It worked well under my eyes and on my face.  I have scraped all that I can out of the inside without taking out the stopper and I was able to use it for almost 6 months so that is good for me.  I'd repurchase this concealer.

Other empties:
Sephora cotton rounds - My favorite.  You all know that.

Soap and Glory Hand Food hand cream - Everyone raves about this and it is good.  Not sure it is that good though.  I'm sure I am in the minority but I was not as crazy about it.  I don't think I would repurchase.

Tory Burch in Love Relentlessly - No.  Too floral for me.

Replica Lipstick On - I like this scent but wasn't sure I really loved it.  Then hubby complimented me one morning and said I smelled really good.  He hasn't done that with a scent I've tried in awhile so this might need to be a purchase!

I finished 12 full and deluxe sized items this month.
I also finished 41 samples as part of #foilfebruary which brings my total to 53 for February!
The total for February was $117.50 because I had quite a few full size skincare and makeup items.

For my total dollar amount, I have changed it from how I have counted in the past.  I don't have time to break down every single sample.  If it came from Birchbox, I am counting it as $2.00 since I pay $10.00 and get 5 products (2.00 each).  With Sephora, it is being counted as $2.50 since I pay $10 and get 4 products (I don't count the perfume samples in my totals).  If it was a free sample or a gift, I am not including it in my total.  I will include the price of the full size if I bought it myself.  Hope that helps explain it a bit.  It is less time consuming and still allows me to count what I actually spent.

For the year I have 66 products used for a total of $152.49.

What have you finished lately?


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

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Project Use It Up - March Goals

Running a few days behind with my update but here are my goals for March for Project Use It Up.  I have been working on some of these products for quite awhile and I am happy to see some being close to finished!

This how I did with my February goals.  I did not do as well with masks this month.  I usually try to do them on Sundays because I usually forget during the week.  However, the mini had gymnastics competitions on Sunday nights and we weren't home for me to do the mask.  And then I forgot as the week got going.  I did pretty well with my other goals and even painted my nails once:)  I was also able to use up quite a few samples during #foilfebruary.

Here are my March goals.  The amounts for each category are staying the same.  I have kept a few of the products which I will show in a moment.  I took out the Smashbox primer because it is finished (Yay!).  I am almost done with the Air Repair spray (maybe one or two uses) so I took that out also.

These are the products I am carrying over from February.  The Tarte oil is at least half finished since I know the lines are hard to see.  The Living Proof product is hard to see through so my progress lines are total guesses.  Progress on the Marc Jacobs perfume has been pretty consistent with about 2 weeks of use for the month (I am using 2 perfume samples a month and those usually take about a week).  I put the Becca primer in for February but I decided to use up my primer foil samples instead so I only used it a few times at the end of the month after my samples were gone.

These are the two products I am adding for March.  One is the Fresh Rose Mask that was the Sephora birthday gift last year.  I have used it a few times so it has been open for awhile and I need to finish it.  The Radiance face mask is also one of my oldest masks and is an exfoliator so I am going to try to use one on the weekend and the other during the week.

Since taking these pictures, I have also decided to try to finish my Tarte lipstick in Plummy Rose.  I started it in a project last fall and I think I could finish it this month.

I am really liking this type of project to keep me on track with products that I need to use up.  I don't usually put too much makeup in because I tend to switch that up or have it as part of seasonal challenges.  But this is a good way to keep my skincare and body care projects on track.


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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sweet in Project Panning Finale

It is time for the finale of the Sweet on Project Panning challenge.  This was a large collaboration on Youtube and many joined in on Instagram as well.  You were to pick 5-6 products with a "sweet" theme.

I didn't quite hit all of my goals with this project but I am very happy with the progress I did make.  I finished two of the products completely.

I finished the Stila Lip Glaze in raspberry sorbet and the Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle spray.

The next products were two lip products.  This is where they were at my intro at the beginning of January...

My goal was to clear out the left side of the Soap and Glory lip balm and finish the cake batter Chapstick (which was my bonus item).
This is the progress I made...

I did clear out quite a bit of the Soap and Glory lip balm even if I didn't quite get all of the left side done.  I am much closer to finishing this (which is getting too old) and I was able to see how much progress I can make in a few short months if I use it regularly.  I had just a tiny bit left of the chapstick and it will be done within the next week.

I also included an eye shadow in this project.  Here is where I started...

My goal was to finish the NYX shadow in white pearl.  Here is where I am now...

I didn't finish the shadow but I flattened it out quite a bit and expanded the pan.  Since my last update at the end of January, I also began using this as a cheek highlight.  It worked well as a subtle shimmer.  I am putting this product to the side for now but I will come back to it and try to finish it up at some point this year.

The final product was the Mario Badescu Strawberry Tonic Mask.  This was brand new when I started and my goal was to use it once a week and see how much I used up.  I would say I'm about a fourth of the way through this tub.  I have found that I am not a huge fan of this mask.  I feel like it leaves a residue on my face and might even break me out.  I am going to put this to the side for now and may try to use it again at some point.  I am honestly not sure I like it enough to use it again, but I will take a break and see how I feel.

So, that is my progress for my first challenge of 2017.  I would like to continue panning throughout the year so I am going to pick out products and begin a Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo challenge on March 5th which will give me 2 months.  Watch for that post this weekend!

I would love to hear about any panning projects you are participating in so share them in the comments!


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