Friday, July 25, 2014

Ipsy Bag - July 2017

Sensational Sunkissed

I absolutely love this makeup-heavy bag.  There are a few items I can't wait to incorporate them in my regular routine. They seem a little more waterproof and perfect for the hot, humid NJ summer.  I totally dig the pink bag, too.  It has a smooth feel and the outside is waterproof.

bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Full size $18.00  This eyeshadow is amazing.  A little goes on a long way, it's really pigmented but sheers out rather well.  I love the fact that it has a SPF. I'm not impressed with the dark color I received however, I like the formula so much I will make it work.
*Bonus:  Receive free shipping at with any bareMinerals purchase.  Code: IPSYBAREFS

Benefit They're Real! Beyond Mascara Full size $23.00  I already own this product.  After hearing such great things about it, I bit the $23.00 bullet and picked it up.  Sadly, I'm not a huge fan of it.  I like how the formula is long lasting.  Even though it's not a water proof formula, it doesn't budge. What I don't like is how spidery it makes my lashes look.  And for some reason, whenever I apply this, I get it EVERYWHERE.  It's still a cult favorite, but I'll pass.

Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass Full size $22.99 I really like this!  It's a lip and cheek stain in a lovely dark pink/red color. It smells like cherries!  (The things that excite me.)  I'm looking forward to using this when I want my lips to really have a pop of color without having to worry about eating my lipstick off.  

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 08 Full size $11.99 This is the one product I didn't try yet.  I'm not much of a dark tanning oil person at all.  Although my opinion changed a bit after watering KathleenLights open her Ipsy bag on YouTube last night.  She went on and on about the smell of this tanning oil, and that got me curious.  Maybe I can use on my legs when I'm wearing shorts to give them a nice sheen?  I need to investigate.

Lavilin Jojobo Gel Cream Full size $21.00 I swatched a bit of this on my hand and I really liked it.  I wasn't quite sure that to use this on. The description on leaving me shaking my head a bit. "Lavilin Jojoba Gel Cream calms and softens skin, is excellent after over-exposure to sun, and is suitable for use in intimate areas."  Intimate areas?  Say what?  I'll stick to using it as an after sun lotion.

Once again, this bag is a hit for me.  Go Ipsy go!

Interested in getting your own subscription to Ipsy?  Click here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Birchbox Unboxing - July 2014

Last month I was sorely disappointed. No Birchbox. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I was really looking forward to it. I'm a big cheater and I looked online at the products I was getting. There was a Coola tinted cream I wanted to try. I guess I will have to keep waiting. Anyway, time to move on.

This month's box is a Women's Health theme.  The box itself was very cute.  Instead of the usual brown box, this one was white and patterned.  It included a little booklet with tips about changing habits.  I love the booklet.  Here are my thoughts on the products.

Number 4 Super Comb Prep and Protect  Full-size $32  This is a leave-in condition mist heat protector.  I don't normally use any heat to style my hair choosing instead to let it air dry.  I am looking forward to trying it out.  One thing I have to say about it is it smells heavenly.  I wonder if this will give my holy grain Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle a run for it's money.

Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35+  Full-size $32  I'm looking forward to using this.  It has a great consistency, good coverage and has a high SPF.  I will be traveling at the end of September for a long weekend in Texas.  This is the perfect size for a short trip.  It doesn't take up a lot of space in mm 3-1-1 bag.

SmartyPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults  30-day supply $29.95  Not excited about this.  I don't take a vitamin daily and I'm pretty sure it I started taking one, it wouldn't be one that was nearly $30 for a 30 day supply.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner Full-size $16 I really like the formula of this eyeliner.  It glides on smoothly and dries very quickly with very little smudging.  I wish I would have received it in anything but a metallic silver. I hate the silver color.

Harvey Prince Hello Body Cream  Full-size $22 I really enjoy this cream.  It's very moisturizing and has great, light scent.  

Interested in your own Birchbox, click here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beauty Box 5 Unboxing - July 2014

I broke down and got myself another subscription box.  This time I went with Beauty Box 5.  I was interested in this one because everyone receives the same products. One of my frustrations with Ipsy and Birchbox is that everyone gets different products, some a lot better than what I get.  I was ready to level the playing field.

Athough I haven't tried out these products yet, I'm sure they will show up in an Empties post soon enough. I'm looking forward to trying all five, especially the mascara and cleaning gel. I know I will get a lot of use out of the products I received in my first box.

Defining Moments

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara Retail: $7.99  I'm really interested in trying this but am holding off because I have a few mascara that I am currently working through.  Here's hoping it truly does deliver "volume and definition."

HASK Argan Oil Intense Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment Retail $2.49  The summer is really wrecking havoc on my hair. I  have been hooked on the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, but I am excited to try out this mask.  

Body Drench Candy Licious Lips Retail $3.99  This smells like cotton candy.  

SimySkin Anti-aging Eye Serum Retail $70.00  This is a perfect little travel size for my Texas trip.  

H2O Plus Aqualibrium Marine Cleansing Gel Retail $18.00  This is the one item I am the most excited to try.  I like that it gently exfoliates and leaves the skin clean and soft.  Hopefully it will also live up to that.  

Interested in your own Beauty Box 5, click here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Lovin' 2014

I am an avid YouTube beauty related videos watcher.  There are quite a few vloggers that I love. One of them is Fleur DeForce.  Check out her channel here.  Recently, she started a Summer Lovin' Tag that was very fun to watch.  l decided to take her questions and incorporate them into a blog post of my own.


Summer lipstick you're loving?
I don't like to fuss too much with lipstick in the summer, choosing instead to go for a natural lip with a bit of shine. The one I love using to get this look is the NYX Butter Gloss in Angel Food Cake. It's the perfect "your lips but better" color.  Just one swipe offers great shine and it feels light on the lips.

Summer nail polish you're loving?

I love anything orange for the summer, especially on my toes. My favorites are Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Fiery Island and and OPI's My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours.

Bikini you're loving this summer?

I didn't pick up a new swimsuit this year.  Last year I went a little swimsuit shopping crazy.  This year I am loving the grey strapless tankini I got last year from Old Navy.  It's very comfortable and I love the color.

Favourite summer Frappuccino from Starbucks?

None.  I'm not a big Starbucks fan at all.  I can't remember the last time I went there.  I'm pretty sure I never had a Frappuccino either.

Favourite fake tan?

This is another product I don't really use.  I tried it a couple times, but with limited success. My first attempt was the Equate Self Tanner, but that was a huge fail. The second one was the Banana Boat Summer Color Sunless Tinted Lotion.  It was easy to apply but I couldn't shake the feeling I looked orange.  The latest product I picked up was Million Dollar Tan from Hautelook.  Truthfully I haven't tried it yet.  So, honestly my favorite fake tan?  I guess that's to be decided.  

One a different note, something I use all the time is sunscreen and my absolute favorites are pretty much anything by Neutrogena especially the Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock. It applies easily and is not sticky at all.  I even use it on my face and I haven't had a single breakout.  I love it.

Favourite summer song?

Rude by MAGIC!  This song sounds like summer.  Confession:  I can't wrap my head around the word rude in the song.  Whenever I sing along, I catch myself singing "Why you gotta be so cruel?"

Favourite summer accessory?

I am absolutely loving Alex & Ani bracelets.  My new favorite one is the life preserver bracelet.  It is so fun and perfect for summer.  

Favourite summer fragrance/perfume?

I love the smell of coconut and a smoky fire and the ocean.  Those are my favorite summer smells.  As far as a summer fragrance, I really don't have one.  I don't switch up my perfume for summer.  What I am loving a lot this summer is the Bath and Body Works candle in Ocean Driftwood.  It's a little floral, a little woodsy, a little salty.  It smells like taking a walk along the Jersey Shore.  

Summer book you're loving? 

My all time favorite summer book is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.  Yes, that Judy Blume.  I just love this book.  It's a summer romance, a coming of age story, it's about friendship, and love. It's wonderful.  

What are you most excited to do this summer?

Summer means one thing...The Poconos!!!  My parents have a trailer home in a community, a place my sister often says reminds her of Kellerman's Resort in Dirty Dancing.  At two hours from home, it's the perfect distance to drive to get away while not feeling too far away.  My weekends there are spent lounging at the pool, reading in my hammock, and spending time with family.  I love it there. 

Another thing I am very excited for this summer is the second annual dinner with three of my best friends from high school.  We take a ride down the shore and have dinner at Mud City Crab House.  Good food and excellent company, it's the perfect evening among friends.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Now, what are you loving this summer?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Products I used up: May 2014

This month had me letting go of quite few mascaras.   I threw out a lot of them mostly because I didn't like the formula and because I actually found one I really, really love.  I finished off quite a few beauty items too. Let's start a look at this month's empties.

Blum Naturals Daily Cleansing and Makeup Remover Towelettes with Organic Cucumber and Aleo Vera Extracts  I liked these and would purchase them again.  They were soft, thick and removed my makeup well. I picked these up at TJ Maxx so the price was nice too.

Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover This was a hit and miss for me.  It got my eye makeup off rather well.  The only flaw is that it felt so oily, it drove me nuts.  

Equate Self Tan Foaming Mousse If you happen to be in Walmart and you get the bright idea to purchase this product, please change your mind.  It is horrible. It doesn't tan the skin as much as color is a muddy brown with thankfully washes out in the shower.  Just say no.

The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Night Cream I loved this night cream.  It left my skin so soft and smooth.  I didn't repurchase this but only because I am trying out something new.

Michael Todd Honey and Oat Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser  This is another iffy product for me.  It definitely cleaned my skin really well. My issues are twofold.  The first is I didn't like how watery is was.  I wasted a lot of product because too much came out of the opening.  The second is Michael Todd is only available online.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant I really enjoyed this sample I received from my Ipsy bag. It's such a fine grit and smelled so lemony.  I worked really well.  I probably won't purchase this but liked it and recommend it if you are looking for a great exfoliant.

Keims Hair Care Peppermint and Macadamia Cleanshine Energizing Shampoo  This shampoo is pretty fantastic.  I really liked it and I'm not much for trying new shampoos.  I especially loved it on days I choose to use a hair mask.  I would definitely purchase this again.

Air Repair Rescue Balm This was a good skin balm to use.  To me, it felt like silicone.  It's marketed for travelers to combat drying conditions on airplanes.  It works and I liked it but I'm not in a rush to purchase a larger size.  

Maybelline Lipgloss in #30 One Day Shine  I'm not sure if One Day Shine is the name of the color or type of lip gloss.  I'm not crazy about this one.  It's pretty pigmented and applies smoothly.  I am getting rid of this mostly because I never use it and I've had it for a while.

Mascara Showdown

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara  The wand is gigantic.  It's huge.  I didn't like it at all.

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System  I liked the wand but I'm not crazy about the formula.  I especially didn't like the three step process.  I like one mascara that volumnizes in one coat or less.  This is too much work.

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes (Waterproof) The formula was too wet and I hated the wand.  It had plastic bristles, but was a bit too large.  

L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black  Love this.  Seriously one of my favorite mascaras of all time.  

And finally,
Covergirl Clump Crusher Extensions  I don't love this one as much as the original formula.  I purchased this in error.  I'll stick with the original.

Thanks for reading.

You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's own doing. ~Marie Stopes

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things: May 2014

There are things in life I love that never change.  For example, the New York Islanders, the TV show Friday Night Lights, Mumford and Sons, and Suave's 2-in-1 Shampoo.  There are others, however that change all the time.  This is what I'm loving at the moment.

Makeup:  I have quite a few makeup faves this month.  The first is my Too Faced Chocolate Soliel Bronzer.  I love this stuff.  I use it as eyeshadow in my crease.  It applies smoothly, blends evenly, and smells like chocolate.  Yes, you read correctly, chocolate.  Sticking with the eye them, I am loving Pacifica Mineral eyeshadow in Celestial.  I love, love, love this color. I got in in May's Ipsy bag.  I wasn't impressed when I saw it but all that changed when I applied it.  It's a wonderful, gives my eyes a nice shimmer, and complements the Chocolate Soliel bronzer really well.

The last eye thing I am loving is Maybelline's New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner.  I have it in brown.  Because I have hooded eyes, I usually opt to skipping eyeliner choosing instead to tighline to make my lashes look fuller.  This gel has changed all that.  It's very easy to apply.  I use my Sigma Eyeliner E05 brush for a fine line.  It's waterproof and lasts all day.  It does not budge and that is a great thing.

On the rest of my face, I am really enjoying NYX Sunkissed Radiant Finishing Powder in Sunkissed.  I'm hesistate to use a real bronzer for fear of having it look too blotchy, but this stuff is perfect.  It has 6 different colors that blend beautifully for a natural finish with a very slight shimmer.  Not to mention that the power is buttery soft and blends very well.  Paired with my last makeup favorite, Maybelline Master Hi-Light Powdered Blush in Nude, it's a perfect combo.  The blush has a nice shimmer that I apply to the high points of my check. This has been my go-to blush for a couple of months now.

NEST  - Midnight Fleur
Courtesy of Sephora
Perfume:  Midnight Fleur by Nest.  I am totally stealing this from Sephora because I know no matter how hard I try, my description will not do this perfume justice.  "Exotic wood, patchouli, and black amber are blended with sensual notes of night-blooming jasmine and vanilla orchid. The combination of these notes is bold, irresistible, and purely sensual."  And did I mention the bottle is beautiful?

TV Shows:  Orphan Black is back!!!  This was hands down my favorite show last year.  It's expertly written, has tons of plot twist and one of the most versatile actresses I have ever seen in Tatiana Maslany.  She plays half a dozen characters on the show.  I'm so glad it was picked up for a second season.  This show is just wonderful.  My second favorite show of the month is Scandal.  Oh my nuggets, it is fantastic.  I'm glad I put my prejudice for Kerry Washington's manner of speaking aside and watched this show.  I am all caught up and can't wait until October.  What will come of Huck and Quinn?  Will Olivia come back? What evil twisted things will Cyrus do next?  Oh, the questions!!!  I need answers!

Music:  Hennessey by Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, and Chaley Rose.  You may have heard this already if you are a Nashville (TV show) fan.  I love, love, love this song.  Like obsessive compulsive will listen to this and this alone on repeat for days on end.  It has such a down home funky beat, the vocals are fantastic, I can't help tapping my feet.  I am obsessed.

Fashion:  I am absolutely in love with my Cole Haan sunglasses.  I picked up these bad boys at my local Marshall's on clearance for $13.00.  Go me.

Books:  I have not done a lot of reading at all this month.  I just started "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green and am really enjoying it so far.

Food:  I love Trader Joe's Organic Mango Chunks.  I keep them in the freezer.  They are the perfect snack when I need something sweet.  I can indulge without feeling guilty afterwards.

Miscellaneous:  There is a good possibility that I will be taking a cruise vacation next near.  I am currently obsessed with planning said vacation and checking out different cruise lines, ships, Caribbean islands...well, anything cruise related.

I hope you enjoyed my monthly favorites. Check back at the beginning of next month for an updated list.

“If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.” ― Emile Zola

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ipsy Bag - May 2014

Fresh Picks

This month's theme is Fresh Picks.  The bag itself is cute, a burlap-type texture with printed leaves on it.  The products inside are all about the skin with only one makeup item.

Hang Ten Classic Sport SPF50  I'm looking forward to using this product.  I have a couple of outdoor sporting events coming up and this is the perfect size to throw in my bag.  I perused the reviews on the Ipsy website and they seem pretty positive.  (Full Size $12.99)

Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo in Duo #1 (Celestial/Opal)  I love the darker color.  It's perfect as a subtle highlighting in the center of my eyelid.  It's pigmented and applies incredibly smooth.  I have used this everyday since I first opened my bag.  I hate the lighter color which I'm guessing is Opal.  It is so powdery.  I also hate the cheap plastic packaging.  It's difficult to open.  Still, it's completely worth it for the darker color. (Full Size value unknown.)

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub  I have used this a few times since I got it. The scrub is a fine grit with a fresh lemony smell.  I like it but it stings my face no matter how lightly I rub. t I liked the Dr. Brandt Microdermabration I received in last month's Ipsy bag better. The grit was just a bit smoother. (Full Size $ 32.50)

Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask  I haven't tried this yet and I'm not excited to try it either.  As much as I love masks, I'm not a fan of peel off masks. (Full Size $ 35.00)

Pur~lisse Pur~moist Hydra Balance Moisturizer  This is another product I am looking forward to trying.  I have a week long trip next month and I'll bring this along.  It's a great size to pack instead of my usual Trader Joe's moisturizer. (Full Size $ 55.00)

All in all, I am happy with this month's bag.

Interested in getting your own subscription to Ipsy?  Click here.