Happy New Year 2016!

NYE

Happy New Year’s Eve (or day) everyone!

I ran across this quote yesterday and I found it to be perfect for today.  2015 for me was a good year.  I accomplished several of the things I set forth on my vision board in 2014.  This blog has grown so much within a year and has been viewed in about 97 countries!  To many, I am considered their go-to skincare and beauty expert and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that means to me.  Whenever I get a text message, an email or a comment asking for my advice, I’m so thankful I’ve established myself in a way where people can trust my opinions and advice.  I’m continually reading and educating myself to provide you with the best information available which lead me to accomplishing my dream of (finally) taking the UCLA Cosmetic Chemistry course.  It’s crazy how when you put your heart and soul into something you love, greatness occurs.

Of course, life wouldn’t be life if it also didn’t come with many downfalls and yes, I had plenty of those this year too. There are lessons we have to learn and sometimes they present themselves in the most painful ways. My willingness to help sometimes exposes me to be torn apart and used, making me withdraw from getting attached to people.  This is something I have to work on.  Defining myself as a person and not by my chronic illness is something else I’ve been struggling with. But, I just have to keep going forward, staying positive and having faith that things will get better.

So what will 2016 bring?  I have no idea but I have a feeling it will be awesome!  I’m working on some other ‘visions’ so stay tuned. Thank you so much for the love and support you have shown me.  May 2016 bring all of you happiness, love and health.

Best wishes for 2016,

Stephanie 

 

 

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December 2015 Favorites!

December Favorites

Hello everyone!  How was your Christmas and long weekend?  Mine was great although I still can’t believe that we are only a few days away from a new year.  Crazy how time is zooming by.

Anyhow, I’ve gathered my favorites this month so let’s get started. 🙂

Renee Rouleau Purifying Face Wash

This face wash is on heavy rotation in my skincare routine.  It’s a very gentle, unscented gel cleanser that slightly foams but doesn’t leave skin feeling stripped of moisture.  Ingredients like sea whip and green tea are included to calm skin. I think this cleanser is perfect if you don’t have too many breakouts.

Skin Script Raspberry Refining Cleanser 

I ordered a box full of Skin Script skincare gift sets and I’m really loving this cleanser.  It smells like raspberries and includes glycolic and salicylic acid to help clear up acne as well as yucca extract to help relieve irritation.  This cleanser gently foams and rinses clean without that harsh tight feeling certain cleansers can leave afterward.

Skin Script Cacteen Balancing Moisturizer

I picked up a few samples of this moisturizer at the esthetic trade show in Long Beach and it’s been a good moisturizer for these winter nights.  A medium weight moisturizer, this has prickly pear cactus to help heal and is rich on olive oil fatty acids that help retain moisture in the skin.

Tarte Cosmetics Beauty and the Box Eyeshadow in Apple of My Eye

I’ve been reaching for this eyeshadow quad quite frequently throughout the holidays and I love it. Bronze and gold eyeshadows are my go-to shades and this quad encompasses gorgeous colors that can be used to create subtle daytime looks to dramatic smoky night time looks.

e.l.f. EX-tra Lip Gloss in Scott

I picked up the e.l.f. Mix and Mingle Lip Gloss set at Target and while I’ll have a complete review on the blog later, the shade I have been loving is Scott. Scott is a peach beige lipgloss with gold flecks that once applied give a nice subtle glow.  Priced at $2 each, they glosses have good pigmentation, decent staying power, aren’t sticky and have a sweet taste.  My only issue is that the lip gloss applicator is flimsy and I’m constantly worried it may break off.

Scott Swatch

e.l.f. EX-tra Lipgloss in Scott

Rhonda Allison Holiday Wine Luster Holiday Set

I follow fellow esthetican Christina Gliatta from Estie Skincare on Instagram and when she posted this Rhonda Allison kit, I knew I had to order it from her.  I’ve been wanting to try Rhonda Allison skincare products for a while and this kit did not disappoint.  It includes one ounce of Cucumber Spritz and half an ounce of Blushed Wine Gel.

I use the Cucumber Spritz in the morning before I apply my makeup to add moisture to my skin without it feeling heavy. Depending on the weather, I’ll toss it into my purse and take it on the go to refresh my skin.  The Blushed Wine Gel is a great antioxidant moisturizer for my combination skin during the day.  It has small shimmer particles that provides skin with a glow and it works great under my makeup.

So far, I am impressed with the Rhonda Allison line and can’t wait to try more in the future.  If you’re looking to try out Rhonda Allison products, make sure to follow Estie Skincare-Christina is super nice and helpful.

Sara Happ Lip Scrub in Peppermint 

A special extra that Christina included- thank you!- this lip scrub is heaven sent!  I like Fresh Sugar Lip Polish but this one is more moisturizing, and perfect for this harsh winter weather.  The price is a little steep at $24 but you only need very little of this luxurious feeling lip scrub so it will last you a long time.  Lips feel super soft and hydrated and most importantly, are left flake free.  Bonus: the packaging is so chic complete with a little bow.

Estie Skincare

What are your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

PopSugar Must Have Unboxing December 2015!

PSMH

 

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  It’s windy and gloomy over here today but luckily I have an insight to December’s PopSugar Must Have Box to brighten things up.  Let’s get to it! 🙂

Luv AJ The Rose Gold Ombre Bracelet, $65 

An ombre bracelet that has a mix of silver, rose gold and gold plating.

Swing Design Nova Blue Mist Jewelry Box, $36 

A jewelry box that has a stitched blue leatherette and suede interior-perfect for housing the rose gold ombre bracelet we received.

Jewelry Box

My Cup of Cake Classic Belgian Chocolate, $5.99

It doesn’t get much simpler than this three minute gourmet souffle that features dark Belgian chocolate and all-natural ingredients.

Meri Meri Silver Stars on White Glitter Tape, $4

Perfect for the holiday occasion, this white glitter tape adds a sparkling finish to your gifts.

Nima Oberoi Lunares Geo Stopper, $24 

An exclusive geo stopper, wine lovers will appreciate this bottle stopper that is handcrafted to not tarnish or break so you can reuse it.

Cake

Stowaway Cosmetics Creme Lipstick Trio, $30 

A lipstick trio that is designed for the girl on the go.  They are small enough to fit comfortably in your clutch and also to be used up before they expire. Shades include Muted Plum, Raspberry and Cranberry.

Tiny Prints Gift Tag Stickers + $20 Promo Code, $20 (Special Extra)

Another great holiday item, these heart gift tag stickers have already been used to seal Christmas gifts.  A $20 off your purchase card was also included with this.

Stowaway

Below is a swatch of Muted Plum.  I may gift the others away so I didn’t swatch those but one is a bright red shade (Cranberry) and the other is similar to fuschia (Raspberry).  These remind be of Bite Beauty except Muted Plum has a little more slip to it which makes it glide effortlessly on the lips

Muted Plum

Stowaway Cosmetics Muted Plum

As with my other PopSugar boxes, I am pleased with the items included in here, especially the lipsticks and the holiday tags!

PSMH End

What do you think of this month’s box? 

Stephanie 

December Birchbox Unboxing 2015!

December Birchbox

Happy Thursday everyone!  December’s Birchbox is in so let’s get to it! 🙂

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk 

For a few years now, I have been wanting to try out this dry shampoo so when I saw it was included, I was happy.  After trying it though, I found it to be sticky and it doesn’t have a scent per se but still smells kind of odd, if that makes sense.  Not my favorite dry shampoo yet but I’ll give it another shot.  Bonus points for not leaving a white residue behind.

JUARA Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm 

This balm is supposed to hydrate, firm and plump hands as well as improve nails and cuticles and with this cold weather, it was good to put it to the test.  It is fast-absorbing but not as hydrating sometimes as I would like.  The scent reminds me of the beach so it’s a nice little pick me up during the afternoon.

Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist 

I’ve seen this in multiple beauty blogs and I’m glad it was included.  It has a citrusy, floral-esque scent and it gives a nice, beach-like texture to my ends when I flat iron my hair.  Would definitely invest in the full size bottle.

Blush + Shadow

Coastal Scents styleEYES Eyeshadow Palette- socialEYES 

This month’s sample was an eyeshadow quad from Coastal Scents.  While I love the colors, a vibrant turquoise and lovely gold, I will be giving this one away, hence the reason for no swatches.

theBalm Cosmetics FratBoy 

You gotta love the packaging on theBalm Cosmetics and the nifty names they come up with.  Again, the color looks lovely but I will also be giving this one away as I have colors that look similar.  Although I am not entirely fond of the size of the sample-it looks like it would be an eyeshadow sample-my previous experience with their blushes was great so I am sure this is no different.

Birchbox End

Overall, this was a good box filled with items I have been eyeing for a while now.

What’s your opinion on this month’s box? 

Stephanie 

Christmas Gift Guide 2015!

gift guide

 

Hi everyone!  Can you believe Christmas is only 10 days away?  Yikes!  Time flies.  In case you’re still looking for gift ideas, check out today’s post.

Ban.do Good Ideas Notebook Set from Bella Eve Boutique, $14

Start off the year right with these chic Ban.do notebooks and journals offered by Bella Eve Boutique. Use them to jot your goals for the upcoming year or to write that story that’s been brewing in your mind. Make sure to check out Bella Eve Boutique’s offering of fashion and jewelry while you’re there.

bella eve

Le Labo Rose 31, $70-240

If you’re looking for a unique fragrance, look into Le Labo.  Made with high quality natural oils, Le Labo fragrances are vegan, handmade in their own lab upon order and can be labeled with the name or message of your choice.

 

le labo rose 31

 

Renee Rouleau Merry Mint Buffing Beads , $29.50

Get your holiday glow on with this special holiday exclusive.  Buff away dry, flaky skin gently with jojoba beads suspended in a creamy peppermint-scented base.  Skin will be left feeling soft and refreshed.

mint buffing beads

FitBit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker Wrist, $99

Perfect for those who are trying to keep/stay fit, this light-weight device allows you to track how many steps you take, calories burned and distance traveled.  It can also monitor your sleep patterns and automatically connects your data with popular health and fitness apps to help you to accomplish your goals. fitbit

Modply Vera Wood Watch, $89

This handmade wood watch provides a distinctive take on traditional watches.  I helped my sister pick one out for our dad earlier this year and he absolutely loved it. You’ll definitely get a one-of-a-kind gift with this one.

wood watch

Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks, $36

Lastly, no beauty blog Christmas guide would be complete without a makeup set.  This set from Too Faced is perfect to give to your makeup loving friends or can be split up and used as stocking stuffers.

too faced2

What items made your gift guide this year?  

Stephanie