Birthday Haul 2016!

Birthday Haul

Happy Thursday everyone!  With the 3 day weekend, this week is zooming by fast.  I have a post today on some of the items I got for my birthday as several of you expressed interest in seeing what I got/picked up.  Ready? Let’s go!

Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm 

First up is this cooling eye balm which was also included in my June favorites.  It’s quickly becoming a staple in my daytime/nighttime routine.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Shine Sculpting Shine Lipstick in Fairest 

I had originally purchased the Estee Lauder blush in Brazen Bronze but it turned out to be a very close dupe to the Becca Wild Honey blush. So, I returned it and got this lipstick shade. It’s a neutral-mauve shade with a hint of bronze that is just so pretty and perfect for any occasion.

BH Cosmetics Forever Aqua Gloss Nude in Honeysuckle and Scone

Browsing through the BH Cosmetics website, I decided to add these glosses into the cart.  I’ve heard good things about them, they were on sale and you can’t have too many neutral lipsticks, right? Right! These are subtle, not too sticky and great for layering over lipstick.

 

Birthday Lipstick

Top to Bottom: BH Cosmetics Honeysuckle, Scone, and Estee Lauder Fairest.

BH Cosmetics Illuminate by Ashley Tisdale Cream Cheek and Lip Tint in Cabana 

The main reason I was glancing at the BH Cosmetics website was this blush/lip collection.  The shade Cabana looked so pretty and I thought it’d be a good addition to my collection.  It doesn’t disappoint as it has great pigmentation-don’t let the pale pink color fool you-and stayed on pretty much all day.

MAC Powder Blush in Melba

MAC was having a 15% sale (yes, another sale item!) and I could not pass it up. I’ve never owned any of their blushes so this was the perfect excuse. I’ve heard about the cult-favorite shade Melba so I snatched up this matte, soft coral peach pan.  The hype is real on this one as it’s not too strong of a shade nor is it too light.

Birthday Blush

Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector 

Initially I went to Sephora with the intent of picking up the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face palette.  After swatching it though, I decided it was too glittery for my taste and I couldn’t see myself using two of the blush shades. I decided that the next best thing was this eye brightener as I’ve seen the  floating around on IG and blogs. Layered under my concealer, this corrector brings more light and life to my under eye area. A must-have when you’re tired but don’t want to look it.

Becca

Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne 

I originally wanted Beach Walk from Maison Margiela and I did buy the roller ball version. However, I stopped by the Nordstrom counter and caught a whiff of this one and I fell in love.  I left the counter with only the perfume spritz card and plans to come back for it later.  Well, days later my mom surprised me with a bottle! Thank you mom!  With notes of bergamot, ambrette seeds, sea salt, sage and driftwood accord, this scent is unique and works well when layered with the Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom cologne. It’s my new signature scent.

 

Jo Malone

Of course, I love all of these-I can’t really choose a favorite. I also have a chocolate spa treatment day that my sisters gifted me which I still need to cash in so I’m hoping to do a blog post on it later. 🙂

Birthday End

Are any of these your favorites? Which products are you currently coveting for your birthday or otherwise? 

Stephanie 

 

June Favorites 2016!

June Faves

Hi everyone!  How was everyone’s weekend?  We celebrated the Fourth of July at the Rose Bowl yesterday and I had fun.  You can check out a clip of it on my Instagram page here. 🙂

Let’s dive straight into my favorites for the month of June!

Bath and Body Works Waikiki Beach Coconut Body Lotion 

Few scents evoke summer like coconut and this travel sized lotion does a great job.  With notes of coconut milk, plumeria, saltwater breeze, pink passionflower and Oahu Dragonfruit, a small application of this will make you dream of Hawaii and provide you a mini escapade throughout your day, whether you’re in Hawaii or at the office.

Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm 

I picked this up on a whim during a trip to Sephora and I’m so glad I did.  It’s supposed to reduce puffiness and soothes with goat’s milk and manuka honey. I love the fact that you can just glide it on and feel the cooling effects instantaneously.  It does not feel heavy or sticky at all and for an extra cooling boost, I stick it in the fridge for a few minutes before applying.

Cool Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea 

One of the samples in my May Birchbox, I have used this up this month and I really liked it.  It works well under makeup which is always a plus.  You can read more on it here.

Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation 

The main foundation I’ve used everyday this month, this, I love how fresh this makes my skin look and I’m constantly receiving compliments with this.  Aside from a great skincare routine, this is one of my secret weapons to achieve a radiant complexion.

Lorac Alter Ego Lipgloss in CEO

I’ve circled around these liplosses for a while and after swatching CEO, I had to buy it.  This lipgloss creates the illusion of fuller lips with a nice shine and it’s not sticky or heavy.  The color to me is like a rosy mauve with a tinge of grey and I love it.  Sophisticated with a slight edge, you’ll definitely feel like a CEO.

Laura Gellar New York Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey

A shimmery gold highlighter. Need I say more?  Check it out here.

Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner 

This industry favorite makeup brush cleaner cleanses, conditions, and deodorizes brushes in one easy step.  I’ve had a few makeup gigs this past month and this is by far a must-have in my makeup kit as it also has a quick drying formula and leaves brushes smelling faintly of vanilla.

Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes 

One of my favorite items from my PopSugar this month, these deodorant wipes are so easy to use, you can take them on the go, and most importantly, they are effective.

June Swatches

Top-Bottom: Laura Gellar Gilded Honey and Lorac Alter Ego Lipgloss in CEO

Some swatches.  Aren’t they pretty?

June Favorites

What were your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

 

Skin Tip: 4th of July Edition!

Happy Friday everyone!

We have a long weekend ahead thanks to the 4th of July. Celebrate by adding some red, white and blue summer fruits packed with antioxidants that will keep you and your skin healthy and glowing!

Red: Strawberries are high in vitamin C and folate; watermelon (my fave) is high in vitamin A and C.

White: Lychee is a great source of vitamin C; jicama (aka yam bean) contains vitamin C and small levels of B-complex-tastes great with chile and lime!

Blue: Blueberries are an excellent source of fiber and high in vitamin C.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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 

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.  

Play! By Sephora Unboxing May 2016!

Sephora Play May

Hi everyone!

I was recently scratched off the waiting list for the monthly Play! By Sephora subscription box and couldn’t resist giving it a try.  This box is $10 a month where you receive 6 deluxe size samples from prestige brands. This is a curated box so you can’t choose what to receive but with so many amazing brands carried at Sephora, you’re bound to receive something you like.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside!

Sephora 1

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi 

The Amuse Bouche Lipstick is a new formulation for Bite Beauty that, “provides saturated lip color with weightless coverage and a citrus flavor made from fresh pressed fruit.”  I really love the citrus scent to this and the shade Kimchi is described as a shocking pink.  You can tone down the shade by blotting down and applying some lip balm.

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial 

This is an overnight mask that is supposed to moisturize and brighten the skin thanks to the vitamin C found on here.  I had a bad experience with the Korres Greek Yoghurt line so I am a little scared to try this one.  My skin has been a little bit more oily so I may save this for when it’s feeling dry.

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine 

Notes of blood orange and geranium are found in this scent that is supposed to bring to mind relaxed mornings, sunrises, and soft sea breezes.  It’s classified as zesty, energizing and playful. I’ve spritzed this a few times but I can’t seem to bring myself to love it.  It’s a bit overpowering and not really my type of scent.

Swatch

Top-Bottom: Bite Beauty Kimchi and Tarte Lip Crayon in Latergram

Here’s a swatch of Kimichi and Latergram. (See below for description of Latergram).

Sephora 2

 

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask 

I was excited to see this mask as it was included in a previous Birchbox and I really loved how soft and manageable this made my hair.  Read my review here.

Tarte Tartiest Lip Crayon in Latergram 

This is a mauve colored retractable lip pencil that has a matte finish. It’s purpose is to help prime and line lips for a perfectly contoured look.  Personally, I haven’t jumped on the lip contour trend and as of now, I don’t plan to.  However, the staying power on this lip liner is incredible and it’s highly pigmented.

Origins Maskimizer + Drink Up and Clear Improvement Masks 

I haven’t had an opportunity to try these yet but basically it’s a kit that has a charcoal mask for deep cleansing, a hydrating mask for moisturizing and a primer for the face mask that’s supposed to help it work better.  I’m a little bit skeptical of the primer as it’s only ingredient is a marine algae complex and it may work good for hydrating but not necessarily help the mask work better.

So far, I’m happy with this subscription box! 🙂

What are your thoughts on Play! By Sephora? 

Stephanie