February 2017 Favorites

Bob Marley “Legend” – If you keep up with my blog then you know I just came back from Jamaica a few weeks ago.¬†This cd was on serious repeat in January and February to get amped up for the trip and to transition back home. No problems, mon… just situations ūüôā . It brings me right back to that beautiful, tropical island.

Nth Degree “Moroccan Argan Oil & Keratin Hair Serum”¬†– To be honest, I ran out of my regular hair serum and wanted to put off buying a replacement because it’s so expensive. I used this, which I got in a past Ipsy bag, as a fill¬†in for the month and it worked out well! Try putting it just on the ends of your hair for a less oily look, that’s what I did.

Too Faced “Hangover Primer” – I typically have very oily skin, though this winter find that I need just a little extra moisture. This primer has been working wonders for me. It is high quality, smells amazing, and gives my skin the love it has been needing. I do pair it with a pore filler primer, which I use just on the areas I need it the most. This baby goes on all the other parts of my face.

Almay “Clear Complexion Concealer” – This is a great, full coverage drugstore concealer. I have been a fan of Almay for years and find that this gives me a really nice, smooth finish all the while brightening up my undereye area.

O.R.G. “Mineral Peel Face” – Probably my absolute favorite exfoliator!!! I like to use this before I shower by spraying a few pumps on to my hands, patting it onto my face, and rubbing the product around for a good 10-15 seconds. The amount of dead skin this product gets off of your face will seriously amaze you. I have been using it at least once a week on my full face and sometimes a¬†second time just on the driest parts of my skin.

 

img_9756

This month I also (somewhat impulsively) chopped 5 inches of my hair!!! I haven’t had an actual style in close to two years and have just kept it long and layered. My husband got me a gift card to my favorite salon for Christmas and I decided (while waiting for my stylist) that I wanted to put the money to good use and try something new. I’m so happy with the result!!! XOXO

Walmart Beauty Box – Fall 2016

Who else loves seasonal beauty subscriptions?! I think I’ve been subscribed to this service for a year now, though have only showcased one other box on my blog,¬†and definitely think this is the best Walmart Beauty Box I’ve gotten so far!

Like I’ve mentioned before,¬†Walmart offers this¬†seasonal box¬†for $5 per month, which is charged and received around the start of every new season, so 4 times per year. About 6-8 samples are sent in each shipment and if you are interested you can click¬†here¬†to sign up.¬†I like to¬†use the Walmart Beauty Box to stock up on mini-sized items… super helpful for travel and you get more bang for your buck this way!!!

Here is what I got this month…

img_6672

Brush cleaning cloths, biotin gummies, charcoal pore strips, bath salts, dry shampoo, toothpaste, a shower mask, lotion, and a body cream. Does it get any better than this?! I literally can’t decide what I’m most excited for but have to say that Batiste, Clean & Clear, and Village Naturals products probably top the list.

If you do end up¬†signing up for this service, I like to warn my followers to not expect many makeup products or trendy names because I know (for me at least) that’s common to look forward to in a beauty subscription.¬†You can expect items that are more geared toward drugstore essentials.¬†It’s a great box and I would totally recommend giving it a shot, especially if you don’t want to pay the hefty price that other boxes require, XOXO.

 

Ipsy Review – September 2016

Ipsy time!!!

Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service that allows you to try unique brands, use different products, and collect items items that you may not pick up on your own… AND it’s only $10 a month!!! Five customized beauty products are sent to you each much in an adorable new bag. Sign up by clicking here.

Here is what I got this month…

image

image

Be A Bombshell Cosmetics – Nail Polish:¬†I received the shade “Holy Fuchsia” and think this will be oh-so perfect for fall! I love deep, vampy colors on my nails.

Eva NYC – Forget Me Knot Dry Conditioner: Never have I ever even heard of a dry conditioner. I honestly just used it like I would a dry shampoo to cover up oil on day three hair. It did work nicely and smells amazing.

Trestique – Mini Highlight Stic: Because I use powder on the daily, I don’t tend to reach for cream highlights. The shade I got¬†is¬†“Maldives Luminescent” and it does not show up well on me even pre-powder, so I’ll be passing this along to a friend. (Love this brand, though!)

Too Faced – Lip Injection Extreme: I haven’t tried a lip plumper in years and am totally in love with¬†this one!¬†The effects visibly show within 15 minutes. It goes on clear with subtle shimmer and tingles just a tad at first. The only thing I don’t care for is the scent and taste, which both remind me of candied grapefruit.

NUXE – Moisturizing Mask Creme Fraiche de Beaute: This will be super helpful for me in the colder months to come. I am typically pretty oily but when winter rolls around my skin needs a little bit more moisture, XOXO.

Ipsy Review – August 2016

Could the bag this bag be any cuter?! For those of you unfamiliar with Ipsy, it is a ten dollar a month beauty subscription. You get five deluxe or full size samples shipped to you in an adorable bag. Join by clicking here if you are interested!

Now on to the good stuff…

image

image

Marc Anthony – Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Deep Hydrating Treatment

Repeat offender! I was super disappointed to see this included in my bag because I have gotten it before and didn’t love it. I’m probably the only person on the planet who doesn’t like the smell of argan oil, but that is the reason I don’t use this product. I’ll be passing this along to someone who may like it more than I.

Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics – Neapolitan Palette

Pigmented shadows and I can totally create a full look using these shades. Overall I am impressed at the quality of these and think it will make a great travel product, especially.

Ciate London – Paint Pot in “Dangerous Affair”

Love!!! This is such a perfect color for the upcoming fall season and I have been wanting to try this brand for forever and a day. I have heard some amazing reviews about Ciate and can’t wait to try this little baby out!

IT Cosmetics – No Tug Waterproof Mini Gel Eyeliner

If ¬†you are looking for a creamy, easy-to-wear, glide on black liner then I would ¬†recommend this one hands down. It stays put all day, even on the waterline, and does live up to the claim that it won’t tug at your skin. It also goes on matte plus is easy to remove with a wipe.

Beaute Basics – Three Tone Bronzer

While these shades are a bit on the darker side, I’ll be saving this little guy for next summer when I really want to bronze it up. I think it would make a really pretty shadow as well.

My Year With Ipsy

It’s official… I have officially been with Ipsy for a year now! What better time to look back through my ¬†collection of samples and reflect on some of my favorites. In no particular order, here are the stand out products (including the super cute bags) that have been a tried and true for me from Ipsy within the past year.

In my opinion, Ipsy is the best beauty subscription service out there within the $10 a month price range. I have subscribed to Lip Monthly and Birchbox in the past, but those only lasted a few months each for me… Ipsy is surly here to stay.

What do I love so much about Ipsy? I’m glad you asked ūüôā . What has kept me subscribed for a full year first and foremost is the strong focus on makeup rather than skincare and haircare. Yes, Ipsy does include a wide variety of products, however my bags typically have more makeup than anything else, which I love. Ipsy also has a great customer service department and I know this firsthand. Two months I inputted¬†my first complaint to Ipsy, which was based on a missing item. I emailed them, got a quick response, and with ease was sent my product. And I can’t forget to mention that Ipsy sends so many amazing brands that are unique, well-known, and trendy. Plus HELLO have you seen the cute bags they send you?! Another plus.

If you’re interested in signing up for Ipsy you can click here to see for yourself just how amazing it really is, XOXO!!!

Birchbox Review – July 2016

image

image

Today I bring to you my very last Birchbox review, at least for now. Wondering why this will be the last? Keep reading for more details on why I chose to cancel my Birchbox subscription this month. But first a rundown of the products I received ¬†for the month of July…

I’m always happy to try out a new mascara and the¬†Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara¬†looks really great. Like I mentioned in my Ipsy Review this month, however, I won’t be actually trying any new mascaras until I can use up the billion (at least) that I have open right now. So this little guy will just have to get in line. My favorite product by far that I received in this box is the¬†LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil. I got the color “Cupid’s Bow”, which is cool-toned hot pink that is oh-so perfect for summer. The formula is very creamy and long lasting and I just love it! I also got the¬†Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower, which will be great for a relaxing night in. I’m going to save these for a day that I’m looking for some rejuvination, since these combat dehydrated undereyes. I did get a chance to try the¬†Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray¬†and while it smells amazing, it also gives your hair that lovely crunchy texture circa 1992 so I don’t know that I will continue to use it. Lastly I got the¬†Avene Thermal Spring Water¬†and really love the hydration it gives my face that I didn’t actually know my skin has been longing for in the summer months.

So why no more Birchbox? Well, for a few reasons…

For about a year now I have been getting at least 2-3 beauty boxes per month. As a result my sample collection is a little out of control for my liking! I have been stashing up tons of products and in general don’t like items laying around my ¬†house that don’t often get used. (I have more beauty bags, hair serums, and single eye shadows hanging out than I care to count.) So I knew something had to go. Birchbox has a stronger focus on haircare and skincare, which I do enjoy… by I like getting makeup better. Birchbox also recently got rid of their pretty amazing rewards system, which solidified my decision to cancel. So there you have it. I have enjoyed my subscription while it lasted but also know the importance of using up what I have, XOXO.

What samples did you love this month? Anyone else throwing their Birchbox subscription to the curb?

Birchbox June 2016 – Preview

Of course I peaked!!! Did you expect anything else?!

I’m glad I did because I think this will be one of my best boxes yet…

I’m most excited for the Benefit Gimme Brow!!! I’ve heard nothing but amazing reviews from the beauty YouTubers I follow and trust. I continue to struggle with extremely sparse brows and haven’t yet tried a fiber formula so I hope this product can help me with a naturally fuller look.

Though they don’t top the list, I’m equally excited for the liquid exfoliator (something I’ve also never tried), the lip crayon (fingers crossed I get the berry shade!), and the texturizing spray (I love using them).

I’m least excited for the tinted SPF because I either wear no makeup or full coverage, anything in between isn’t my favorite.

What are you most and least excited for in your box this month?

Redeeming my Birchbox Points

Part of what makes Birchbox so incredible is their points system. As you probably know by now, Birchbox is a $10 per month beauty subscription service. What you may not have known is that by going online each month and reviewing the products you receive, you are able to get $5 per month back in points to spend on their site. Now, I’m not an expert on every beauty subscription service out there, but this is by far the best rewards system I have seen. The points add up so quickly and the products you can choose from are seriously endless.

Recently, I cashed in 200 points ($20) for two fantastic products.

image

I was introduced to the Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray by Birchbox, actually. Several months back I had gotten the sample size in one of my boxes. At first I didn’t really know what to do with it. My whole life I have had frizzy, curly, thick hair that doesn’t like to cooperate and most of the time has a mind of it’s own. Generally¬†I don’t like to pack on the hair products because that just tends to make it worse by going in the complete opposite direction and make my hair greasy, lifeless, and drab.

This spray, however, has changed entire experience when I want to curl my hair. I use it after showering only when I know I’ll blow dry it and curl it that same or next day. At least, that’s what works best for me. I find that this really does give my hair extra volume, life, and shine. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for bigger hair or the blow out type of look.

image

The second product I found on my own. If you don’t already follow Tati Westbrook the Glam Life Guru on YouTube go follow her now! She is super fun, super honest, and puts in so much time and money to make¬†her¬†beauty reviews perfect for makeup lovers everywhere.

This product, LOC Vibrant Matte Lipstick, is from her line and you need it in your life yesterday. I hadn’t tried this out prior to this purchase but knew if Tati was somewhat involved in the creation of the product that it was going to be fantastic. It didn’t disappoint! I went for the shade “Glam Life” which is a berry plum. I was seriously tempted to pick the cool red tone and will probably purchase it in the near future because these lipsticks are so wonderful. The matte texture isn’t drying in the slightest. It is creamy and fuss-free.

That’s my redemption in a nutshell. It was my first time cashing in points and everything went very smoothly. I can’t tell you enough just how much I love Birchbox, XOXO.

 

Any recommendations on what to redeem my points for next time?

Birchbox May 2016 – Review

It’s Birchbox day!!!!

Birchbox is a $10 a month beauty subscription service. Sign up by clicking here to get 5 deluxe-sized samples sent to your house in a pretty new box each month. (The boxes are  useful for so many random jobs around the house.) I love Birchbox because of the customization you’re involved in and the rewards system is really great!

Here is the design of the month…

image

And here¬†is the mix of items I was sent…
image

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Body Peel

I hand-picked this peel to come in the box and love it. Birchbox introduced me to Real Chemistry several months back and it has proven to be such an amazing line. I loved the face peel so much that I featured it in my favorite exfoliators post. I had every intention of using this on my face, however the packaging is very clear that that is not the best idea. So I ended up using it on the heels of my feet and it felt like I had just gotten a pedicure!

ModelCO Lip Lacquer

This is essentially just a very lightly pigmented (almost clear) gloss. Nothing special in my opinion. I will save this to top other lip colors when I want more of a shine but don’t see myself using this as a solo lip product.

Vera Bradley Vanilla Sea Salt Fragrance

Birchbox is great about sending fragrances, which I enjoy because it’s not something I typically want to spend my beauty budget on. I love this scent! I was afraid it would smell too salty for my liking but it’s very subtle and reminds me of the beach for sure. It also brings me back to my childhood when I loved¬†vanilla everything.

Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist

In my Birchbox preview post this month, I predicted I would like this mist the best and I was right! As I get older, sun protection gets more important.¬†Using this setting mist, which doubles as an SPF, could not be any easier.¬†The packaging reads “matte finish three-in-one sets make-up, controls oil, and delivers UV photoaging protection”. Umm… thank you, Birchbox, for reading my mind on exactly what I need in my life!!!

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

This baby smells so good. As you have probably heard me say time and time again, I don’t use leave in conditioners¬†like this regularly. I find that they make my hair greasier faster ¬†and that’s just not a cute look. This is¬†something I will keep on hand but likely will not use too often.

My Rating: STAR-4

This box was pretty solid overall. I am stoked about the setting mist, that’s by far my favorite product! It will be especially perfect for the summer months. I also really love the peel and fragrance, both of which I can see investing my own money into after my samples run out. The leave in conditioner is okay to have but you may have heard me say that I have been sent so many of these that they just aren’t super exciting to get. I’m not crazy about the lip product, that’s probably the only thing I don’t like or find useful out of the mix I was sent. Good month, Birchbox. Just send some better lippies next time, XOXO.

Birchbox May 2016 – Preview

I think this is going to be a good Birchbox month!!!

The item I am¬†most excited for is¬†the setting mist because I’ve been looking for a spray to use to lock my makeup into place and hope this one works well for my skin. It’s a total plus that it has SPF right in it! I am least excited for the hair protector because I have so many of these types of products and don’t tend to love them for my hair.

I also love Real Chemistry, Vera Bradley, and ModelCo so really look forward to trying all of those products out as well this month!

Stay tuned for an upcoming review on everything, XOXO.