October 2016 Favorites!

october-favorites

Happy Thursday everyone!

October is coming to a rapid end so here’s some products that have gotten me through with stellar results.  Take a look!

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in C3 

Words can’t express how much I really love this cushion BB cream.  It provides a natural “my skin but better” look and leaves behind a nice glow that is not overwhelming.  One of my go-to products for practically any given day.

Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake

Included in the Too Faced Naughty Kisses and Sweet Cheeks holiday set, I’m pretty obsessed with these lip glosses.  With just the right amount of shine, I love the plumping effect of this gloss and they last a pretty good while.

It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo plus Keratin

Pretty much my holy grail shampoo at the moment!  Finding a shampoo that does not make my scalp or skin itchy is painstakingly difficult.  This sulfate free, sodium chloride free, paraben free, keratin protein infused shampoo lathers nicely, cleans my hair without feeling harsh, smoothes my curly and often times unruly hair and the best part? No irritation.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask 

Basically the only worthy product included in my Birchbox box this month, I like using this mask in the shower to gently exfoliate my skin.  Although it’s compared to a traditional peel, I disagree.  I can’t see the levels of willow bark and pomegranate enzymes these have but it doesn’t appear to be too concentrated as I felt no activity once I placed it on.  I like this for cooler weather at the moment because it provides hydration without feeling heavy.

Clinique Nude Pop Cheek Pop Blush

This blush is one of my favorites for a reason.  It provides both a natural look and finish and is perfect when you want to look put together in a jiffy. It blends seamlessly onto skin.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel

Look no further than this product when you need to groom and define your eyebrows stat! Since this has a spoolie like application, a few quick strokes helps fill in sparse gaps and brush them at the same time to save you time.

What are your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

 

 

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Play! By Sephora Unboxing October 2016!

play-by-sephora-october

Hi everyone!

I have a look into the October Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Cool Cut, with products that truly stand out from the crowd and destined to become mainstream with breakthrough formulas.

october-play

How cute is this Lipstix and Chill bag?!

Let’s get into the rest of the contents!

Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel 

An advanced, non-abrasive peel that is supposed to gently exfoliate skin to reveal a bright and renewed complexion.  The active ingredient is AC-11, which is derived from cat’s claw and helps gently exfoliate.  As an esthetician, I have a different expectation for a peel.  Personally, I didn’t see a difference with this at all and it actually left behind a sticky feel and residue. Not impressed at all.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil 

A conditioning hair mask that strengthens strands while enhancing color and shine.  The unique ingredient in this is prickly pear oil that comes from the seeds and contains over 80% fatty acids that provides an unparalleled amount of deep nurturing oils to hair.  This mask it quite thick and has an interesting smell.  When I used this mask, I found that it did leave hair shiny but it didn’t have a conditioning effect as I assumed it would.  It does not state that it’s supposed to condition hair so it’s best to mix in your own conditioner with this mask to get knots out.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat 

This matte liquid lipstick claims to last 8 hours and have a water-resistant, non-feathering formula. Jojoba, apricot and sunflower oils are included to provide a non-drying finish.  The shade I received was Driver’s Seat which is described as a warm pink however I kind of find it to be a terracotta-red type shade.  The shade is gorgeous and it is highly pigmented.  This does come off when drinking and eating food and I do find this formula drying to lips.  If you’re looking for a true matte liquid lipstick, then definitely check this one out.

drivers-seat

Blinc Mascara Amplified 

What makes this mascara special is the innovative “tube technology” that coats lashes with easy-to-remove, tiny water-resistant tubes that won’t run, smudge or flake.  Removing this mascara is simple as you only need warm water and a cotton round or ball to remove.  I’ve used this mascara before as part of my simple makeup routine and I love it for a natural look.  I find that it doesn’t provide much volume though.

Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb 

This South Korean skincare brand is made with Scottish botanicals and based on the research of Duncan Napier, a Victorian botanist from Edinburgh.  This lightweight gel-cream is meant to tighten the look of skin and sink in for a smooth, supple feel.  It can also be used as a mask and tissued off after 5 minutes. I love the feel of this cream and it does feel very lightweight and refreshing when applied.  However, I did notice that as I was using this, my face started to breakout.  I’ve discontinued use and will try again to see if this was the source of my breakouts.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris 

Inspired by a love for the sophistication and allure of Paris, this scent layers fruity and floral notes over a musky base.  It contains notes of bergamot, pear, raspberry jasmine, musk and patchouli.  My sense of smell hasn’t been the best so I haven’t tried this one yet but I will update this once I’ve had a chance to give it a fair try.

sephora-end

Overall, I’m happy with this month’s box and look forward to receiving November’s.

What did you get in your box this month? 

Stephanie 

 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing September 2016!

play-by-sephora-september

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  I can’t beleive fall is just around the corner! Cra-zy.

I’m kicking off subscription week here on the blog with a look at the September Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Unbasic Basics, with products meant to become the building blocks for your beauty routine.

september-sephora

Kat Von D Tatto Liner in Trooper 

A waterproof liquid liner that glides on to reveal precise, bold strokes of highly pigmented color. The applicator on this liner is thin enough to provide a very fine line bit can also be tilted to provide a thicker line.  This eyeliner doesn’t budge which is always a plus.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector 

You’re supposed to work this product into damp or dry hair and leave it on overnight.  You can rinse it out in the morning or leave it on to get a full week of softness and shine with this long-lasting, weightless solution that keeps hair looking its best. This did make my curly hair softer but other than that, I haven’t seen a dramatic change.  Perhaps the more I use it, the more I’ll see results?

Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell 

This pink creamy, moisturizing lipstick is formulated with shea butter and caster oil to nurture lips.  The consistency of this lipstick is very much like a lipgloss and with the weather changing, it’s a great formula to have on hand.  The shade of pink is a gorgeous color that is perfect for daytime or paired with a smokey eye.

love-spell-and-tropper-swatches

Top-Bottom: KVD Tropper and Sephora Love Spell Swatches

Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia 

This refreshing floral blend balances delicate notes of magnolia with layers of wood and citrus.  At first scent, this smelled okay but then as the day went on, it kind of made me nauseous so unfortunately this one didn’t work for me.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel 

A light-weight, flexible clear gel that sets, defines and keeps brows in place for a polishes look that stays all day. I’ve actually had a sample of this one before and I really like it.  My brows tend to get unruly as they grow in so this is perfect to help tame them a bit.

 

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation 

Light, silky, and oil-free, this moisturizer melts into skin to help soften, brighten and even skin tone.  It contains licorice root to brighten, chamomile to soothe and vitamin C to help encourage collagen production. I do like this moisturizer as it does sink into skin without feeling heavy, however with the weather changing, it doesn’t provide enough hydration on its own.  I decided to pair this with a serum and it worked better.

sephora-september-box

Overall, I’m really happy with this box!

Have you tried any of these products? Which ones are your favorites? 

Stephanie

August 2016 Favorites!

August Favorites 2016

Happy first day of September everyone!  It’s time again for my monthly favorites and you’ll notice that most items here are skincare.  Well, my skin has been acting up lately and I had to pretty much stop wearing all products until I could try to figure out what the culprit was.  I’m thinking I have a slight sensitivity to something in my kickboxing class.  These products have been instrumental in keeping my face calm so let’s get to it.

Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 

Described as, “flawlessly undetectable like it belongs on your skin, this innovative formula features medium, buildable coverage and a modern matte, natural finish that feels uniquely airy and silky on skin.”  On a whim, I decided to pick up this foundation and I absolutely love it. It silky texture melts right into your skin and enhances it in the most natural way.  You’ll forget you’re wearing makeup.  I haven’t really heard much about this foundation but I highly recommend giving this a go.

PCA Skin CliniCalm 1% 

This product contains 1% hydrocortisone to soothe and provide temporary relief of itching and irritation, both of which I’ve been experiencing lately. While the formula is safe to be used for 7 consecutive days, I find I only need to use it for 2 days before my symptoms start to clear up.

PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Not pictured above, I received a few sample packets of this and I have to say I am impressed.  This is a universally tinted, water resistant physical sunscreen (Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) that can be used alone or layered under makeup. Since it’s a purely physical sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), this has been perfect for my sensitive skin.  The coverage is very sheer, so a tiny bit of redness still peeks through but overall, it’s a great product and I’ll be picking this up at the trade show this month.

Skin Script Green Tea Citrus Cleanser 

Most of my cleansers were off limits for a bit and this one was really the only one that didn’t feel irritating.  With a blend of antioxidant rich green tea, grape seed extract to counter skin irritations to offset redness and inflammation, and wild cherry bark extract to help soothe skin, this gentle foaming cleans without stripping skin dry.

Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm

Featured in this month’s Play! By Sephora box, this eye cream absorbs quickly into skin and provides a nice brightening effect. Read review here.

Dermalogica After Sun Repair

One of my most cherished items from Dermalogica, this is my holy grail skin saver.  I keep it in the fridge and when my skin feels like it’s burning, I apply a generous amount of this to my face and the coolness instantly calms my skin.  This product is left on and is formulated with lavender, cucumber, chamomile, yucca and algae extract to restore moisture loss and aid skin recovery.

Stephie Estie Skincare

Another huge favorite this month has to be of course my new business doing skincare.  I opened up the first weekend of August and I’m so blessed and thankful to God for this opportunity. It’s a work in progress and pretty stressful but so far a lot of people have been so supportive and I couldn’t ask for more at the moment. 🙂

Facial Room

Note: For the most part, my skin is slowly returning to normal.  I notice that once I stop the kickboxing class for a few days, my skin feels better. I’ve participated in other fitness activities where I sweat just as much, but I don’t get a reaction.  I’m assuming my skin is either sensitive to the cleaning solutions they use or perhaps the gloves/punching bags.  Of course I don’t want to give up the class because I really enjoy it so I’ve found that right after completing my session, I immediately remove my wraps, wash my hands and arms thoroughly with soap and water and then rinse my face with cold water. This process has helped tremendously in reducing irritation/sensitivity.  

What are your favorites for August?  And, have you experienced any skin reactions when exercising? Share your thoughts below! 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing August 2016!

Sephora Play August

Hi everyone!  I know took an extra week for my summer blogging break but I’m back!  I’ve been keeping pretty busy with my new business, getting ready for a wedding I’m attending this weekend, my regular work, researching, and working out.  Sending a huge thanks and welcome to all my new followers. 🙂

I’m bringing you a review for the August Play! By Sephora, which is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Eye Openers, with products meant to refresh and recharge your beauty routine.

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose

A classic yet edgy bouquet of rose, jasmine and peony with a sandalwood base that is supposed to evoke feminine sophistication and allure.  I typically love rose scents but this smells awful.  Definitely not my type of perfume at all.  Doesn’t help that it has a combination of peony and jasmine, which is way too overwhelming for my taste.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544

An eyeshadow described as a, “highly saturated, iridescent pink granite eyeshadow made with a unique gel-powder formula and ultrafine pigments for smooth color.”  I like this shadow and the fact that you can create a smokey effect that’s subtle and pretty.  It shows up kind of purple on me but it can be sheered out or built up to more intensity.

Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Flirting Game 

An easy-to-apply pencil that has a 12-hour waterproof formula in a shimmery taupe shade.  So confession, I have been wearing this as eyeliner only.  I confused this with eyeliner but it’s actually supposed to be used on the contour of your eye.  Whoops. No worries though, it works just as well as an eyeliner and the taupe shade is a perfect enhancing shade that gives definition without a stark harshness. It lasts all day yet by the end of the day, it has smeared a bit.  I doubt it would hold up for 12hrs without a primer on my oily lids. The Make Up For Ever shadow and this are great shades for transitioning into the fall season.

Swatches below: Sephora Contour Eye Pencil (top) and MUFE Artist Shadow (bottom).

MUFE Artist Shadow and Sephora Contour Eye Pencil

 

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

A lengthening and volumizing mascara that has a triple-black pigment formula to coat lashes.  I like this mascara as it makes my lashes look thicker and the pigment is intense.  However, just like the Perversion eyeliner, the formula does make my eyes water and sort of burn by the end of the day.  Because of this, I won’t be purchasing the full size.

Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm 

This eye cream is said to lift and smooth the eye area with a breakthrough patented formula while reducing the look of dark circles and puffiness. This eye cream does have a brightening effect on me- like a very muted opal iridescence. It works well under makeup and doesn’t irritate my eyes.  Will definitely keep this on my wishlist.

Lancome Energie de Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer 

A concentrated energizing liquid lotion that visually relieves dullness, diminishes signs of fatigue, and promotes a healthy-looking glow.  I haven’t tried this one yet because my skin has been acting up and I’ve been keeping my skin care routine simple until I’m back to normal.

Play by Sephora August

Since I liked about 4 of the six products included here, I’d say this was a good box overall.  Curious to see what next month holds.

Any particular favorites that you see here? Let me know in the comments below! 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

July Favorites 2016!

July Favorites

Happy Tuesday and second day of August!  How was your weekend?  If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peek of a new exciting opportunity that’s happening in my life.  I’m setting up shop inside a studio and will be offering skin treatments twice a week very soon!  I am so excited and nervous at the same time.  Those who know me know that it has been a very bumpy road for me in the esthetics arena but here I am and I am so thankful that God has provided this opportunity for me. 🙂

Here’s a picture of the room I’ll be renting.

Facial Room

In other news, July has come and gone which brings us to my monthly favorites post.  Ready to see what I’ve loved this month? Keep reading!

Sol de Janeiro Brazillian Bum Bum Cream 

I’ve seen this item floating around on Instagram and has been recommended by a few beauty blogger friends so I picked one up while I was at Sephora. A blend of guaraná, nourishing cupuaçu butter and coconut oil helps your body look and feel its smoothest and tightest. I love the coconut smell of this and how it provides skin with intense hydration.  The texture of my legs looks a bit smoother so who knows what will happen with continued use.

Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne 

I received this last month for my birthday and I absolutely love it.  It’s woodsy without being overpowering and perfect for any season if you ask me.

Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom Cologne 

Along with the Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne, I got a sample of the Mimosa and Cardamom one and it smells so delicate and nice.  Based on the suggestion that you can layer the fragrances, I blended it with the Wood Sage and Sea Salt and guys, it’s such a great combination.  With scents of mimosa, cardamom, tonka bean, sandalwood, heliotrope, Damask rose, it softly mellows out the woodsy aspect of the other cologne if you want a more subtle and sweet version of the Wood Sage and Sea Salt.  I highly recommend it.

Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer 

Featured in my July Play! by Sephora bag, this liquid bronzer is very easy to use and looks natural on my skin tone.

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara 

A sample that came with my July Birchbox, this mascara does not leave my eyelashes clumpy and does a nice job of providing a fan-like effect.

MAC Powder Blush in Melba

Another item from my birthday haul, I’ve been using this blush almost every single day because it just looks so natural and blends in effortlessly.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Shine Sculpting Shine Lipstick in Fairest 

The last item on here from my birthday haul, this lipstick is sort of like a MLBB shade that’s just a tad darker. I love using it alone or layered over my ColourPop Echo Park liquid lipstick to create a customized shade that has a little bit more shine and hydration. The magnetic cap is a neat feature.

9Round Kickbox Fitness 

At the beginning of this month, I joined 9Round Kickbox Fitness and though I leave looking like a super sweat drenched mess, it’s also a lot of fun.  With all that goes on in my life at times, it feels so good to just punch out your frustration. There are no class times which is nice because you can pop in anytime you have 30 minutes to work out and be done or do some extra rounds.  Plus the owner, Dan, is very helpful and has modifications available in case you need it, which I do at times.

July Favorites End

That’s it for this month!  What are your favorites and do you have any advice/suggestions for starting your own business? Let me know in the comments below! 

Stephanie 

PopSugar Must Have Box Unboxing July 2016!

July PSMH

Happy almost Thursday 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.

PSMH Inspiration

The themes and inspiration for this month’s box.

 

PSMH HairSachajuan Hair in the Sun, $32

A UV hair protector for the hair, this will protect your strands from damaging UV rays, keeping your hair color vibrant that will stay on until you shampoo your hair.  I used this a few times but I haven’t really been out in the sun to see how it fully works.  It smells nice though and seems to make my stands softer.

European Wax Center Oh My Brow! Brow Highlighter in Pearl, $19

This highlighting illuminator is multifaceted.  Use it to lift brows by blending it along your brow bone, widen eyes by applying it on your inner corners, add glow to your cheekbones or add a romantic touch to your lips by dabbing it above your cupid’s bow.  Always great to have a highlighter pencil on hand as they are easy to use and you can apply them quickly.

Michael Stars Porcelain Skinny Scarf in White, $30 

This skinny black and white scarf can be dressed up or down by wrapping, knotting or draping it over your ensembles or can double as a headband. *Sigh* Another scarf type thingy.  I think we’ve had about 3 in a row already.  I appreciate that this is skinny so perhaps I’ll use it as a headband or maybe to accessorize a handbag.

Emoji Napkins

 

House of Pom Emoji Cocktail Napkins, $25

Designed with House of Pom, these exclusive cocktail cloth napkins allow you to serve up icy-cold drinks with cute emoji designs that are oh so #instagrammable.  One of the better items in this box, these napkins are adorable.  I’m glad they are cloth material as you can reuse the cuteness.

PSHM Snacks

Joe Chips Classic Sea Salt Retro Potato Chips, $1.49

These kettle chips are an all-American classic that will give you the old-school crunch you crave.  I tried a few chips and they really weren’t anything different than Lay’s.  I kind of wish they had offered different flavors instead of a plain one but well, less calories, right? I’m always happy to see a food item in a box.

SunnyLife Inflatable Swan Drink Holder, $18

Float up to four beverages poolside with this inflatable swan so you’ll never have to leave the water. Even though you don’t have a pool this can also serve its function on any table.  I don’t have a pool so I might gift this.  I think it’s much better suited for the pool than a table.

Pintrill Pineapple

Pintrill Pineapple Pin, $12

Use this pineapple pin to pin your skinny scarf into place.  It’s a cute pin but I don’t see much use for it.  Personally, I would have preferred the pineapple ice cub tray that was featured in the PopSugar Must Have Mini.

Trove $20 Gift Card (Special Extra), $20

A $20 gift card to treat ourselves to on-trend, customizable jewelry.  I probably won’t redeem this because I hardly can remember to wear jewelry and everything on there is very pricey.

Overall, I was disappointed with this box and for the moment, I’ve cancelled my subscription with PopSugar.  While I’ve loved past boxes, I’ve been accumulating a lot of stuff I don’t use and certain items are being repeated. Maybe in the future I’ll give it another go but it’s goodbye for now.  😦

What are your thoughts on this box?  

Stephanie