First Impressions: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash!

ExfoliKate Cleanser

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope you are all doing well. ūüôā

So when a new item is launched based on a cult favorite product, curiosity and excitement is bound to arise. ¬†At least, this was the case for me when skincare brand Kate Somerville announced that their new cleanser stemmed from the best-selling exfoliating treatment ExfoliKate. ¬†If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I love, love, love¬†Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate¬†so I immediately went to get a sample at Sephora.

Is it just as good as the ExfoliKate? Keep reading for my thoughts.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash

Described as, “a¬†daily foaming cleanser that contains AHA‚Äôs and natural fruit enzymes to purify without over-drying.”

Pros 

Thoroughly removes oil

Has exfoliating properties with fruit enzymes plus lactic and glycolic acid

Easily lathers

Refreshes skin

Paraben, sulfate and phthalate free if you’re concerned about these ingredients

Cons 

A bit pricey compared to other professional brands- $38 for 4oz

Can feel a little stripping at times

Exfoliating properties may be too much for some as a daily cleanser

Overall:¬†When I was trying this cleanser, I expected (and kind of hoped) that it would have the same earthy scent of the exfoliator but it doesn’t. ¬†The scent on this is citrusy, almost like lemongrass, but not overpowering. ¬†It lathers well and does a great job in removing oil but there were days were I felt it left my skin a little too tight so this might be a great choice for summer, when I tend to get more oily. ¬†Although the instructions say to use this twice a day daily, I feel this might not work for everyone’s skin type as it can overexfoliate and dry out skin. ¬†Personally, I would use this once a day, 3 times a week, especially if my skin is congested. ¬†So while I do like this cleanser, it didn’t impress me enough to purchase the full size. I prefer to stick with ExfoliKate.

Have you tried Kate Somerville products? Which is your favorite?

Stephanie  

 

Priority: You!

Stephie Estie

MTFY

Schedules.

Deadlines.

Life in general.

On any given day, we probably find one more stressful situation/event to add to our already hectic, fast-paced agendas.  We tend to give all of our attention and effort to meet these demands but how much of that energy is geared towards dedicating an equal amount on ourselves?

Not much or I don‚Äôt have time is typically the answer.¬†¬† The concept of ‚Äúme time‚ÄĚ boils down to a selfish act or deemed as unimportant to the average individual, and in a sense, who can disagree?¬† Raising a family while having to work and tend to household chores doesn‚Äôt ¬†offer much flexibility and can leave you feeling exhausted. ¬†Since I love helping others, I often put their needs ahead of my own, so yeah, I am guilty as charged. ¬†However, taking time for yourself has proven to be productive rather than its counterpart.

When you slow…

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February Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

February Birchbox

Hi everyone! ¬†Thank you so much for the sweet comments I received yesterday for my 2nd blogiversary-it made my day! ūüôā

February’s Birchbox has arrived so let’s take a look at what’s inside!

Cartier Baiser Vole Lys Rose 

“From a brand that knows elegance, a romantic floral scent with notes of fresh, powdery lily.” ¬†I usually like rose scented perfumes but I think the combination of lily made this¬†a bit overwhelming and I’m not a fan of it.

Marcelle NewAge 8 in 1 Power Serum 

This is a lightweight anti-aging gel that is supposed to provide, “eight transformative benefits in one tube.” ¬†A quick glance at the ingredient list shows a few peptides, which can help with ant-aging issues. ¬†I’ve only used this once and it is light with a silky, almost silicone-like, feel when applied. ¬†My skin felt and looked a bit smoother afterwards.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar- Black Metal Dahlia 

A cruelty-free, cult favorite product, this liquid lipstick offers matte and opaque coverage with the tiniest application. ¬†I haven’t tried this one because I’m thinking of giving it away as I already have something similar to this.

Ouidad VitaCurl Define & Shine Styling Gel-Cream 

This¬†ultrahydrating, non-sticky formula is said to enhance the texture of curls and waves while leaving a luminous finish. I’ve used this once and it did provide a hold to the curls without leaving them crunchy. ¬†Since the sample size on this is generous, I will keep testing this out to see how it works in the long run.

Whish Revitalizing Cleansing Oil 

“This skin-balancing cleansing oil melts away makeup, oil, and impurities.” I’ve used this at night and I rub a dime size amount over my face to help breakdown my makeup. ¬†I then rinse with water and follow up with my cleanser. ¬†I do like this product, however as with most cleansing oil/creams I’ve used, this leaves behind a greasy film and I really have to remove it with the cleanser. ¬†I just wished it would rinse off a bit cleaner.

Feb BB

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite box but there’s always next month’s box.

What’s your opinion on February’s Birchbox?¬†

Stephanie 

Stephie Estie Turns 2!

blog 2

Hi everyone! ¬†I have a special post today because my blog turns 2! ¬†Yay! ūüôā

Two years ago, with a friend’s suggestion, I transferred the weekly skin tips I posted on Facebook and created a much bigger platform to share my knowledge and love of beauty. ¬†These past two years have been a whirlwind of emotions and at the beginning, I thought about quitting. ¬†For quite a while, I hardly had any views and I was getting discouraged, thinking that perhaps blogging just wasn’t for me. ¬†However, I kept creating blog posts because I found I did enjoy writing and once I began engaging with other bloggers, I accumulated more followers and more views.

I’m glad I didn’t give up because had I done so, I would have never met some of the most incredible people from all over the world. ¬†I have formed some great friendships and it never seizes to amaze me how helpful and supportive everyone I’ve encountered has been. Whether I need advice on beauty or life in general, I have a great group of friends I can turn to. A huge thanks, of course, to all my readers who inspire me to keep doing what I love. ¬†Your emails and comments are greatly appreciated. ūüôā

Here’s to many more years blogging,¬†

Stephanie 

 

Besame Cosmetics Red Velvet 1946 Lipstick Review!

Besame Cosmetics

Happy Tuesday readers! How was your Valentine’s Day weekend? ¬†I didn’t have anything planned really but at the last minute I went out with my family/friends to a lake where we celebrated an Un-Valentine’s day, haha.

Late last year, I picked up this cute set while I was waiting in line to purchase some items at Sephora. ¬†I had heard about Besame Cosmetics and¬†instantly fell in love with this unique vintage packaging. Later, I read that this lipstick, Red Velevet 1946, is the lipstick that Hayley Atwell wears on the show Marvel’s Agent Carter so of course I had to try it.

Let’s take a look!

Besame Cosmetic Matchbook and Lipstick

The matchbook has this quote written on the inside:

“Life without lipstick is like cake without frosting.”¬†

I couldn’t agree more. ūüôā

Besame Cosmetics Lipstick and Matchbook Set 

Described as, “a¬†set of five rich, highly pigment lipsticks housed in a portable matchbook, plus a full-size lipstick with a satin, matte finish that delivers full coverage in one coat.”

Pros

Highly pigmented

Good value ($23 for the lipstick and matchbook-lipstick alone is $22 and the matchbook alone is $6)

Long-wearing

Leaves behind a stain

Cons 

Difficult to apply

Doesn’t glide on as smoothly as I would like

Drying

Can accentuate fine lines/imperfections

Overall: ¬†I really like this lipstick as the shade is gorgeous and it’s what I used in my Valentine’s Day look (check it out here). ¬†If you’re looking for lipstick shades that are true an era (i.e. 1940s, etc) then Besame Cosmetics is your brand. ¬†I did have trouble applying this straight out from the tube so a lip brush comes a bit handy. ¬†The formula is a satin matte, which kind of tugged on my lips a bit when I was applying; however, prepping your lips beforehand-exfoliating and a little bit of lip balm-helps the appearance and and application process. ¬†The lasting-power is great, however with eating and drinking, this will come off although it leaves behind a stain.

The lipstick matches are a cute addition and you’ll get about 1 use out of them. ¬†Word of caution: make sure you close the matchbook well if you’re going to be carrying this in your purse.

Red Velvet 1946 Swatch

Here’s a swatch of Red Velvet 1946.

Have you tried Besame Cosmetics? 

Stephanie 

Skin Tip: DIY Lip Scrub!

Happy Friday everyone!

Show your lips a little TLC this Valentine’s Day weekend with a simple lip scrub. ¬†Simply take a little bit of sugar, combine it with coconut oil, and apply to lips in a circular motion. ¬†Wipe off the mixture with warm water and apply your favorite lip balm afterwards.

If you’d rather purchase a lip scrub, Fresh Lip Polish and Sara Happ The Lip Scrub are two lip scrubs I highly recommend.

Have a great weekend! 

Stephanie 

PopSugar Must Have Unboxing February 2016!

PSMH Feb

Hi guys!  February’s PopSugar Must Have box has arrived and if you haven’t heard of this it’s a monthly box whose items range from fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food, making it a well rounded subscription box.  Subscription plans start at $39.95, all items are full size and are valued at over $100.

I’m excited to share this month’s box so keep reading to see what came in the box. ūüôā

VS

Victoria’s Secret Coconut Milk Hydrating Body Lotion, $18

This soothing lotion moisturizes winter skin to leave it hydrated, soft, and smelling faintly of coconut and floral scents.  A favorite of mine already.

Victoria’s Secret Sports Socks (Special Extra)¬†

Socks that provide a cushioned sole, arch support and made with fabric that keeps your feet cool and dry even while working out. Of course I will be using these.  You can never have enough socks, right?

Victoria’s Secret Reward Card (Special Extra)¬†

A $20 gift card to use at Victoria’s Secret? ¬†Yes please! ¬†Love their sports bras, but not the price, so this will come in handy.

Beauty Counter

Beautycounter Nourishing Cleansing Balm, $50

A cleanser formulated with carefully sourced ingredients to remove makeup and impurities while also moisturizing skin. ¬†Also included is a soft muslin cloth to remove the cleanser with. ¬†I’ve tried this twice, sans the muslin cloth, and while I find it does help makeup breakdown quicker, I definitely need to follow up with a cleanser because it leaves behind a greasy residue. UPDATE 4/2016:¬†I stopped using this one as it was making me break out.

Fringe Studio Hello Beautiful Square Tray, $14

A kiln-fired glass tray that can serve as an elegant accessory for work or home that has the words Hello Beautiful embossed on it.

JewelryStorm Endless Arrow Ring, $28

A dainty ring that has, “just the right amount of bling to wear alone or stacked with other pieces.” ¬†I love this ring with the simple yet chic design. ¬†However,¬†sizes seem to run a bit small on these.

Cookie Mix

Foodstirs Heart Cookie Mix, $12.95

Co-founded by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Foodstirs cookie kit is, “free of artificial ingredients, GMOs, and preservatives.” ¬†This kit includes the cookie mix, a heart-shaped cookie cutter and pink crystalized sugar. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Tilo Heart Print Scarf, $125 

This scarf was designed exclusively for POPSUGAR and has white hearts imprinted on them.

Definitely one of my favorite boxes for sure!

What are your thoughts on this month’s box?¬†

Stephanie 

 

Valentine’s Day Beauty Collaboration 2016!

Valentines Makeup

Happy Tuesday readers! ¬†Valentine’s Day is this weekend so I am collaborating with¬†my friend Cos from The World of Cos to bring you makeup and nail inspiration for this Sunday! I decided to stick with pink/bronze tones for the eyes and red lips for makeup. ¬†Keep reading if you want to know how to get this look and I’ll also be posting the nail inspiration from nail guru Cos. ūüôā

 

Get the Look

Foundation: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in Natural Tan (4.25) 

Concealer: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla

Eyeshadow: MAC Eyeshadows 

   Highlight: Shroom  

   Lid: Pink Venus 

   Crease: Texture

   Mid/Outer Lid: Bronze

   

PinkBronze

Directions: Apply Pink Venus on the lid and Bronze on the mid and outer lids.  Use Texture on the crease and to blend out Bronze on the mid and outer V.  Use Shroom as the highlight shade beneath the brows and just above the crease color.

Pink Bronze Forward

Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Steel Ink on the top lashline and Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon on the waterline.

Mascara: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara 

Contour: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour 

Blush: Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral 

Lips: Besame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick in Red Velvet 1946 

Makeup

Here’s a little nail inspiration from Cos and don’t forget to check out and follow her Instagram for more nail and beauty inspiration!

Valentine's Day Nails

I hope you enjoyed this collaboration and a special thanks to Cos for asking me to collaborate with her once again. ūüôā

What are your Valentine’s Day picks?

Stephanie