June Favorites

Thirty-One

I have talked about this line before on my blog and truly believe in the product. This month I traveled quite a bit, sometimes planned and other times unexpected. I found myself using Thirty-One in all areas of my life and it always made things easier. Because my sister is a consultant, I have a good amount of the line in my personal collection and can vouch that the products are amazing.

Dermalogica Clear Start Matte Moisturizer

On very recent trip to a very humid set of islands (stay tuned for Florida Keys posts 🙂 ) I learned the importance of prepping my face for the weather. This oil-controlling moisturizer really does the trick. Use it once daily in between your face wash and makeup primer for a matte finish.

Perfectly Posh Bath Salts

There is something about a nice long bath that is so irresistible to me, yes even in summer! I love these salts because they are all natural, reasonably priced, and smell amazing. One pack lasts 2-3 baths. When you pour the product into the tub you may notice a thin layer of oil at the top. That’s the yummy goodness that you want rub all over your body for super soft skin.

Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer

Anyone else out the struggle with seasonal allergies? This baby has been a God-send for me this month. It’s perfect for covering up dark and itchy eyes. The formula is thick so you don’t need much and the effect is flawless.

Shahs of Sunset

Again… don’t judge me, XOXO.

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?

Garnier Micellar Water

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This product does exactly what it claims to do… removes makeup and cleanses skin.

I primarily use it nightly to take off my eye makeup. The easiest way to do this is to soak a cotton pad in the solution. (Don’t squeeze too hard! It comes out quickly and you don’t need much.) Hold the saturated cotton pad on your closed eyelids and gently wipe away. Voila! Since there is no alcohol or fragrance added, this will not sting your eyes in the slightest. Plus, this bottle is a whole lot cheaper and bigger than most eye makeup removers and works better in my experience .

The second way I use this is to cleanse my face by using the same technique, just all over my skin. Originally I thought this product might replace makeup wipes in my skincare routine, however since I wear a full coverage foundation, I found that I needed quite a few saturated make up pads to remove my makeup. (If you wear a lighter coverage foundation I do think this technique would work well.) Instead, on days I want to feel extra clean, I add this step in after my makeup wipe but before my cleanser to really get every spot of makeup off of my face. Since it is oil free, your skin feels fresh and pores won’t get clogged up.

This is a fantastic, versatile product. I love that it is gentle yet strong on the skin, XOXO.

Have you had a chance to this or other micellar waters yet? Thoughts?

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…

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And here is the mix of items I was sent…
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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.

Ipsy May 2016 – Review

Have you heard of Ipsy?! It’s 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!!! Feel free to sign up by clicking here.

This is what I got this month…

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Aurora – Gel Effect Nail Polish

I’m skeptical of any nail product that claims to be gel but doesn’t require a uv lamp. This was streaky to go on and chipped within a few days. It would have required three coats to look decent, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

Pacifica – Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow Trio

The colors in here are so spring and summer appropriate although the pigmentation is lacking. The purple works well on me and I really like that one exclusively.

Crazy Rumors – HibisKill Natural Lip Color

I don’t always need a super pigmented lip. Sometimes I appreciate a softer tinted lip so I was  pretty open-minded in trying this product. The scent was so strong that I had to take it off in less than a half hour and the tint was nothing special.

NoTS – 28 Remedy Acne Pore Deep Cleanser

If you saw my preview post on this month’s Ipsy bag, you know this was the item I was most looking forward to this month and I generally do like it. It is very sudsy with little exfoliation and leaves the skin feeling really soft.

Smashbox – XRated Mascara

I enjoy this a lot! The wand looks a little out there, like it will massively clump up your lashes but I was pleasantly surprised with the effect it gave me… longer, thicker lashes with a smooth dark black formula!

My Review:3-star

This is an Ipsy first for me, but the thing I loved most about this month’s bag was the bag itself!! I have been looking for something to keep travel brushes in and this bag is so perfect for that job. The bag is big and flexible and the print is too perfect for what I’ll use it for. Beyond that (and I hate to be negative on my blog) this was one of my least favorite bags I have gotten in my 9 months with Ipsy. It’s hard for me to 100% get behind any of the products with the expectation of the mascara. The cleanser and shadow I will use but am not overly excited for. The chapstick and nail polish I am planning to give away to people in my life I think it may work better for. Without the actual bag, this month would have been sort of a bust for me.

 

Any thoughts on your bag this month?

Ipsy May 2016 – Preview

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This month’s Ipsy theme is “Destination Chic” which I think is adorable. The bag itself I absolutely love! I’ve been on the lookout for a bag to keep brushes in for travel and think this one will be perfect because of the shape and print of the bag.

I am most excited to try the face cleanser because it is specifically for acne prone skin, which I have (and hate). The nail polish comes in either the pink shown above or an orange. If I get the orange it will be the product I least look forward to. Everything  else looks useful for me. I’m super excited to get my hands on the bag this month!

Be on the lookout for my review on this bag after I get a chance to try everything out, XOXO.

April Birchbox 2016 – Review

I’ve given all of my products a try and come to you today with a review on my April Birchbox :). To find out more about Birchbox, you can click here to access my first Birchbox  review post, where I really get into the details about this beauty subscription service.

You can also click here to sign up if you’re interested.

First of all, how CUTE is this month’s box?!

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Laura Gellar New York Baked Blush-n-Brighten

This is by far my favorite product I got in the box and probably my favorite product I have ever gotten in any box! This blush is so bright and so unique and so incredible and… you need it in your life!

PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Volumizing Lifting Spray

I didn’t love or hate this. The times that I tried it my hair felt more smooth than volumized so for that reason I don’t think it does what it claims. However, the smell is amazing!

TOCCA Crema da Mano Hand Cream

Lotions are fun for me to get because I keep them everywhere! My nightstand, purse, desk, makeup counter… the list goes on. The actual product wasn’t anything to swoon over, however the scents offered in this hand cream are truly bold and different.

Dr. Jart+ Liftra Contour Cream

In my Birchbox April 2016 – Preview post, I didn’t name this as what I least looking forward to but, for me, it finishes last this month. (Let me explain…) The product itself seems decent, but the sample size is not enough for me to know if it is actually firming my skin or not. And for the very hefty prize tag of a full sized bottle, I’m honestly not that interested in ever finding out.

Marcelle  3-in-1 Micellar Solution

This product is a serious win! It works wonders for taking off makeup at the end of the day. I wouldn’t recommend using it on the lips because there is a strong chemical taste, but for the rest of the face it’s perfect.

 

My Rating: 3-star

The blush completely made this box for me. I seriously can’t tell you just how much I love it! The rest of the products… they’re all okay. I will use the lotion and micellar water for sure, the volumizing spray occasionally, and the contour cream just for the sake of using it up. Some months my excitement is spread across products and other months all of my excitement is channeled into one great product. Either way I’m happy with my box this month, XOXO.

Birchbox April 2016 – Preview

I have another new and exciting series to announce today!

Starting this month, I will be “previewing” and “reviewing” beauty box subscriptions. The preview will include my initial thoughts on what I am going to get (I always peak), as well as the items I am most and least looking forward to. A couple of weeks later, I will post a review on the same box, which will include my experience on the products after having tried them out.

Today I bring you my very first preview… April Birchbox 2016.

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I opted for the featured box this month, which is how I already know everything that will be coming to me.

The product I am most looking forward to this month is the Laura Gellar baked blush. I have heard nothing but great things about this brand and this specific product. This is perfect for me because I am trying to grow my blush collection and try different shades to figure out what looks best on my skintone. The product I am next most looking forward to is the Dr. Jart+ cream, which looks like it should help with lifting the skin and eliminating fine lines. Skincare has been more of top priority for me lately, so this one is really exciting for me to try out. I’m also looking forward to trying out the Marcelle micellar water. These seem to be all the rage right now and I have not had the chance to use one yet. Although I am not super excited to try it, the Tocca cream does look nice and I strongly believe you can never have too many lotions. Lastly, I’m not all that crazy for volumizing sprays in pump bottles like the Parlor product included in this box, but will be trying it out even though it is the product I am least looking forward to.

To learn more about this beauty subscription service, visit my first Birchbox review post.

You can also click here to sign up for Birchbox!

Be sure to stay tuned for my review of these products in a couple of weeks, XOXO.

Freeman Masks Review

I love these masks!!! First of all, they are very affordable at around $5 apiece. Second, they are sold in sample sizes, which is perfect for a girl’s night in, traveling, or to just try a few out if you’re curious. Lastly (and most importantly), they do what they say they will. I’m making it a point to try every mask-type product in the Freeman line, but haven’t gotten quite that far yet.

 

Here are the ones I have tried so far…

Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask – Perfect for firming skin and reducing oil. This works well for controlling acne breakouts.

Mint & Lemon Clay Mask – Firms skin, reduces oil, and the mint/lemon combo will leave your skin feeling super refreshed. My favorite so far!

Charcoal & Black Sugar Polish Mask – Did not work out for me. Very gooey formula that never did dry on my face, which I wasn’t expecting considering it is advertised as both a charcoal product and a mask.

Honeydew & Chamomile Sleeping Mask – Not your traditional “mask”, this is more of a deep moisturizer. It works great for extra dry parts of your face.

Sparkling Pear Pore Cleansing Mask – A lighter whipped clay mask. Does not firm up as tight. Would be a  good option for summer or if you have less oily skin.

 

Be on the lookout for another Freeman mask review… I am so obsessed with them and have lots more waiting  to be tried out. Using them nightly has done wonders for my skin. Check out a few if you get the chance, XOXO.

Birchbox – March 2016

My Birchbox came today!

Birchbox is a $10 a month beauty subscription service. You can sign up here to get 5 deluxe-sized samples sent to your house in a pretty new box each month. It’s a fabulous way to collect different beauty items and get to try products you may not otherwise purchase on your own.

There are two reasons why I love Birchbox… This first is because there is a level of customization you’re involved in that other beauty boxes don’t offer. Each month you get to decide between a preselected mix of items or pick one item that you’re guaranteed to get and all others are selected for you. I also love Birchbox because the rewards system is really great! You can go online and review the products that were sent to you and get $5 back per box to spend on the site.

Let’s dig in, shall we?!

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Amika – “Perk Up Dry Shampoo”

This is the product that I hand-picked this month. It smells great and is perfect for my summer weekend trips to the cabin. I use dry shampoo all the time and find that buying minis in the store gets really expensive, so this is perfect for me.

Wilma Schumann – “Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads”

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on these and already tried them out. They are unlike anything I’ve ever tried! This pack comes with two gel patches that you put on for 20 minutes. They have a refreshing feeling and work great to hydrate your under-eye area.

Cargo -“Land Down Under Eye Shadow Palette”

I believe I got the color duo Beach and Suntan, which are sandy gold and smimmery chocolate. (Does anybody else find that these are really common colors to get in beauty subscriptions across the board?) They are pretty colors,but I have tons of these shades so I’m not overly excited to try them out.

Coola – “SPF 50 Sport Mango”

This smells so yummy! I tend to only use a separate sun tan lotion during the summer because my make up usually already contains SPF. However, this will definitely come in handy for my upcoming trip to Key Largo. It’s light, so would work well on the face.

Marcelle – “BB Cream Golden Glow”

I’m a little surprised this isn’t advertised as a tinted product because the color is very dark. I don’t tend to use BB Creams because I prefer a more fuller coverage look, but again will probably save this for Key Largo because I think it might be perfect for the pool and beach.

My Rating: 3-star

This month’s box was filled with a lot of good-to-have items that will likely be useful for summer traveling, but only had one product that I was super excited to try. I’m a little disappointed because up until now I have always gotten one new product in the box that I fell in love with right away. This time I don’t see anything like that. Still, I do think that the price of the box was a great value and am content with what I got, XOXO.