PopSugar Must Have Unboxing June 2016!

PSMH June

Hi everyone!

PopSugar Must Have subscription box is in! For those who don’t know, PopSugar Must Have Box is a monthly box that includes items that range from fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food, making it a well rounded subscription box.  All items are full size and valued at over $100. This box is$39.95 per month while the new PopSugar mini box is $18.95.

June Inspiration

The themes that inspired June’s box.

PSMH 3

NCLA Born On the 4th Nail Lacquer, $16 

This cruelty-free red, white, and blue polish can stand alone or worn on top of a different polish.  I haven’t tried this one yet but it looks very festive and appropriate for the 4th of July weekend.

Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes, $9

An easy way to freshen up on the go, these travel-ready wipes neutralize odors and have an aluminum-free and vegan formula.  I was a bit skeptical to try these at first but also curious as I have been looking for natural deodorant alternatives.  I’m actually impressed with how well these held up throughout the day and while working out.  I did find I needed to reapply before working out to keep completely odor free but overall, I will definitely purchase these again.

Knock Knock Are Your Ready (For Your Close-Up?) Compact, $10

A cheeky compact mirror that’s durable enough to throw into a beach bag for touch-ups on the go.  Personally, this item felt a little on the cheap side.  One side kind of magnifies which is nice but I gave this one away as I just wasn’t thrilled with it.
PSMH 2

Wild and Wolf Ridley’s Games Room “Who Am I?” Quiz, $12.95

An easy-to-play game that you can bring anywhere to keep you and your friends guessing which celebrity it is.  Haven’t used this but I’m sure it will come in handy as I’m always up for board games. I just hope that they’re not too hard to guess. 😉

Sisters of Los Angeles “Cheers” Gold Bottle Opener, $12.95

A weekend staple, this golden bar accessory is the ideal companion to your favorite brew.  Again, not an item I was overly thrilled with.  It’s nice and sturdy with some heft but eh, nothing to brag about.

Pressels Siracha, $1.29 

I’m pretty much always happy when there are food items included.  These have less fat and sodium than regular chips with a hint of spice.  Although these were definitely not spicy or close to a siracha flavor, they were still tasty nonetheless and provided a filling snack.

Hat Attack

Hat Attack Neutral Diamonds-Printed Sarong, $58

This multifunctional sarong is lightweight and easy to pack.  You can switch up how you tie it, creating different possibilities on how to use it.  Another item I was just not too thrilled to receive either. It has a nice design but I think I would have preferred a beach towel.

Overall, this was not my favorite box.  The main item that was stellar was the Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes and I enjoyed the Pressels but other than these, this box was not exciting. 😦  Here’s to hoping next month is better.

What did you think of this month’s box?

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing June 2016!

Sephora Play June

 

Hi everyone!  I’m excited to bring you a peek and review of the June Sephora subscription box. This curated box is $10 a month and you receive 6 deluxe size samples from prestige brands.  There’s currently a wait list so if you’re interested, visit the Sephora website to add your name to the list.

The theme for this month is minimalism for a low-key summer look.  Let’s take a look at what’s included.

Sephora Main

Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It 

This hair creme is said to add body and “enhance fine to medium hair textures for a laid-back, air-dried style.”  I have curly hair and while this provided it some definition, on it’s own, it didn’t hold up.  My hair frizzed up and I had to pair it with other styling products.  I think it would work better on wavy or straight hair.

BareMinerals bareSkin Bronzer 

A liquid bronzer that can be used by itself or customized with your foundation to give you a sun-kissed glow.  I loved this product.  I used it to softly contour my face and although it looks dark, it blends out nicely without looking orange.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara

A bestselling mascara, this helps to lengthen and volumize the smallest of lashes with its specially designed brush.  Personally, I am not a fan of this mascara at all.  The formula burns my eyes and somehow I find that this tangles/clumps my lashes so much.  I gifted this one away.

Becca Backlight Priming Filter

Easily the product I looked forward to most when my box arrived.  It’s a shimmering makeup primer that helps to blur imperfections and create a luminous look.  I loved how this paired underneath my foundation to create a nice glow and I found it worked nicely as a liquid highlighter.  I made sure to use powder over my makeup to keep my skin from looking overly shiny as I have combination skin.

Tarte Taretguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30

The esthetician in me is of course happy that a sunscreen was included in this box.  An antioxidant- infused physical (non-chemical) sunscreen, this provides both broad-spectrum protection and moisturizing benefits.  This sunscreen feels almost like a serum that absorbs quickly and is a bit on the oily side.  So far, I haven’t experienced any breakouts from this though and it mixes well with foundations.

Tocca Beauty Florence  

This romantic perfume, “conjures long-ago Paris with a sophisticate blend of bergamot, violet petals and blonde wood.”  I didn’t care for this scent much.  When I looked it up on the site, I noticed it also had notes of ivory gardenia and jasmine, both of which I really dislike.  In order for me to like a perfume that contains jasmine or gardenia, these scents can’t be prominent and unfortunately that was the case with this one.

Swatches of the primer and bronzer.

Sephora June Swatches

Top-Bottom: Becca Backlight Priming Filter and BareMinerals bareSkin Bronzer

I was pretty happy with this box as it included some great brands that are perfect for a glowy summer look.

Sephora Flatlay

What did you think of this box? 

Stephanie 

Skin Tip: Smile Like You Mean It!

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope everyone is doing well!

June is be comfortable in your own skin month and whatever skin condition or obstacle you’re battling, don’t forget to share a smile. You can spend thousands of dollars on skincare items and makeup but if you can’t also master the simple technique of smiling, then you’re missing the bigger picture.

Smiling can change our mood and alter a negative viewpoint into a positive one.  It can also help alleviate stress, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, make you look younger, seem more attractive,  and best of all, it’s contagious.  A smile will draw and bring happiness to you and those around you.

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Stephanie 

 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil Review!

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil

Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m excited for today’s post as about a little over a month ago I received confirmation that I was part of the SEPHORA Beauty Enthusiast community. They sent me a deluxe sample of Sunday Riley’s Luna Night Sleeping Oil and while I had tried a small sample of this before, I gave another test run. Let’s take a look at what this highly talked about oil is all about.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Described as, “a next-generation retinoid oil that improves skin plumpness and helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly clearer, younger-looking skin.” It’s supposed to help reduce pore size, improve the appearance of damaged skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and moisturize and calm the skin.

Pros 

Retinol as an ester

Antioxidant oils such as cold pressed chia oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil

Improves skin texture

Provides excellent hydration

Includes chamomile which helps soothe irritation

Can be mixed in with your moisturizer for added benefits

Cons 

Essential oils might be irritating for some people

Very fragrant

May be too moisturizing for acne skin types

A bit pricey

Inclusion of dyes (albeit small)

Overall:  The first thing I noticed is that even before I opened the box, I could smell the product.  The scent is laced with chamomile that while it smells nice , it’s fairly strong.  Once this is applied though, the scent quickly dissipates.  The star ingredient is hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a trans-retinoic acid ester.  According to, The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook, hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a mild retinoic ester that decreases effect of sunlight-induced aging and can improve the appearance of acne-prone skin. An ester is a compound formed by a reaction between an acid and an alcohol, significantly reducing the risk of irritation; it’s perfect for people that have experienced irritation with retinol.  As I’ve stated before, my forehead has textural issues and I noticed it was smoother after using this for a few days.  This inclusion of the above mentioned oils and chamomile left my skin feeling very nice and hydrated but unfortunately because I have combination skin, it made me breakout on my jawline.  I would recommend this oil if you have normal to dry skin but if you have acne prone skin or are have sensitive skin, I would tread with caution. I found that I had better luck with Sunday Riley’s Good Genes.

Sunday Riley Luna Oil

What are your thoughts on Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil?  

Stephanie 

June Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

June Birchbox

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Although I’m not 100% better, I can’t stay away from blogging too long because I really miss it and miss you guys as well.  Thanks for your comments and well wishes-it’s always nice to hear! 🙂

June’s Birchbox box has arrived so let’s take a look at what’s included.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3- Minute Peel- Body

This is a gentle and acid-free exfoliator that can be used to exfoliate your feet, calves, bikini area, arms, and décolleté without irritating sensitive skin. It’s supposed to help with skin problems like keratosis, eczema, body acne and ingrown hairs.  I have yet to try this one as I didn’t like the Real Chemistry Luminous 3- Minute Peel for the face at all.  I’ll update as soon as I try this out.

 

SuperGoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50

This product is 3-in-1 mist that is part makeup setter, oil controller, and UV protector.  I’m not the biggest fan of this product for the face as I received the full size of this in a PopSugar box last year.  You can read my review for this one here.

June Birchbox Swatches

Top to Bottom: Laura Gellar Gilded Honey, Benefit Gimmie Brow in Medium and Ardency Inn Modster Eyeliner

Ardency Inn Modster Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner in Black

A creamy, waterproof liner that glides on effortlessly and then sets to a bold finish that won’t smudge or budge.  The pigmentation on this is really intense and almost reminds me of a liquid liner.  It applies very smoothly and has great staying power.  I kind of wish I had gotten a more colorful shade but I can’t complain too much as this one is pretty good.

Laura Gellar New York Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey 

Guys, this illuminator is life.  Seriously, I was so thrilled to see that this was included in my box because I have swatched it a few times at Ulta and really loved it.  This highlighter’s formula is designed to apply like a powder but feel like a cream, making it easily to blend.  I have nothing but glowing reviews for this as it’s gorgeous, easy to apply and looks lovely.  You can check it out in action on my Instagram page.

Benefit Gimmie Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Medium 

This month’s sample choice, a few strokes of this brow-building invention can make brows look full and defined. Volumizing microfibers and an exclusive water-resistant gel adheres to skin and hair, thickening brows to certified bold status. I was excited to try this out as it seems like an easy way to define brows and I was not disappointed.  Since it has a spoolie like application, I found it easy to define and tame by eyebrows in a few easy strokes. I received the shade medium which is a bit too dark for my liking so if I get the lighter shade, this will be perfect.

June BB

Ardency Inn Modster Eyeliner, Laura Gellar Gelato Swirl in Gilded Honey and Benefit Gimmie Brow in Medium

Overall, I liked this box, especially the Laura Gellar highlighter.  I may cancel my Birchbox subscription after July because I’m accumulating a lot of samples and I kind of want to take a break from it.  I’ll keep you guys updated though.

What did you think of this month’s Birchbox?  Are any of you planning on cancelling or taking a break from it? 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out Sick For the Week!

out sick

Hi everyone!

First of all, I’d like to thank you for all the birthday wishes I’ve received this past week/weekend!  It really made my day. 🙂  I haven’t responded to them here on the blog but I will get to them soon enough.

Unfortunately, I came down with a sinus infection and I’ve been feeling super tired and drained. But if all turns out okay, I’ll be back next week.  In the meantime, you can always keep up with me on Instagram to see the latest and greatest in my life.

Thanks so much for the support! 

Stephanie 

My Top 3 Healthy Summer Tips!

Hi everyone!

We’re into June (my birthday month!) and summer is right around the corner.  Many of us are looking for ways to look our best and today I’m sharing some easy tips for achieving a perfect, healthy summer glow.

Protect Your Skin

sunscreenw

One of the most important aspects on achieving healthy skin is to protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. While exposure to sunlight creates vitamin D, also known as the ‘the sunshine vitamin’, it is also responsible for 90% of all skin cancers.  Excessive and unprotected UV exposure accelerates the aging process, degrading collagen that results in premature wrinkle formation and rough leathery skin.  Using broad spectrum sunscreen everyday and reapplying every two hours, especially when outside is crucial and remember that 90% of UV reflection from sand and water bounces back!

Protect From Within!

blueberryw

Summer brings a bevy of delicious rich fruits and vegetables and eating these antioxidant rich foods does wonders for our body and skin! UV exposure and environmental pollution unleash free radicals that cause inflammation, oxidation, disease, and aging in the body- especially wrinkling and sagging of the skin. Because free radicals are unstable, they damage healthy cells when trying to stabilize themselves.  Luckily, antioxidants can help reverse this damage and work as shields against further damage to tissues and cells.  One of my favorite fruits that are in season during summer are blueberries.  These tiny berries are bursting with antioxidants, have a low glycemic index and can be tossed into smoothies or oatmeal.

Take A Break…A Water Break, That Is!

strawberriesw 

As temperatures rise, we need to keep in mind our daily fluid intake.  It’s so easy to get caught up in outdoor activities and forget to hydrate but our body and skin rely on water to function properly.  Water aids in the elimination of toxins and waste, helps regulate body temperature and sustains cell health.  If you’re not fond of plain water, try infusing it with your favorite fruit.  Strawberries are another great and in season fruit for summer.  High in vitamin C and folate, strawberries help with collagen maintenance, provide antioxidants, and boost circulation for healthy skin respectively. A win-win!

What are your tips for summer?

Stephanie

*All photography used here was done by my sister.

Skin Tip: Foods that May Cause Acne!

Happy Friday everyone!

If breakouts don’t seem to be clearing up, food allergies may be the culprit. Common food allergies include eggs, milk, peanuts and wheat. Eating a diet high in processed carbohydrates, salt and sugar is also thought to cause acne. Keeping a food journal may be useful to determine whether certain foods trigger or exacerbate acne.

Have a great weekend! 

Stephanie 

Disclaimer:  The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.  

Birthday Wish List 2016!

Hi everyone!

With my birthday coming up next week, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of a few items I’ve had my eye on, and serve as inspiration for possible birthday gifts. Enjoy!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush

I’ve heard great things about Estee Lauder blushes and while I was at Macy’s, I checked out the color selection and it didn’t disappoint.  Peach Passion is of special interest.

EL Blush

Maison Margiela ‘REPLICA’ Beach Walk 

I spritzed this on in the store and fell in love with the scent.  With notes of Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Coconut Milk, Heliotrope, Musk, Cedarwood and Benzoin, it screams summer.

Beach Walk

Chanel Makeup 

No beauty arsenal is complete without at least one proper, Chanel makeup item weather it be a lipstick or blush.

chanel makeup

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation

I received a sample from Nordstrom of this foundation and I love it.  It’s light-weight, gives a nice sheen and makes skin look like skin.

 

CT Light Wonder

Aesthetics Exposed Mastering Skin Care in a Medical Setting and Beyond by Terri Wojak

The always skin care nerd, I love reading and keeping myself educated on skincare.  This book would complement by collection perfectly.

Aesthetics Exposed

Camera

It would be nice to purchase a basic camera for my blog. 🙂

Lumix

Gift Cards

Gift cards are always appreciated.  Anything from Ulta, Sephora, Nordstrom or Macy’s would be highly appreciated.

Gift Cards

Of course, whatever I receive, I know I’ll love. 🙂

Have any recommendations you think I’ll love? Share them in the comments below! 

Stephanie