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 

 

 

September Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

september-birchbox

Hi everyone!  The last subscription box of the month is here and this month’s theme was all about multitaskers.

Take a look below to see what I received!

sept-bb

 

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

A creamy cleanser that sweeps away dirt and makeup while gently exfoliating.  This product was paired with a muslin cloth to aid in the removal of it, although you can remove it separately. First off, I really love how this product feels- so very creamy and luxurious.  However, it did leave a film behind and although I tried to remove it with a different cleanser, it never really went away.  It kind of made me breakout a little too.  I will try this again once the weather cools down.

Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

An eco-friendly, lightweight sunscreen that has a cucumber scent.  This is a chemical sunscreen that has antioxidants like evening primrose oil and acai which are a nice addition.  It doesn’t feel heavy at all but as much as I like Coola products, I’ve been receiving them a lot lately and would love to explore other brands.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk

This lip and cheek stick melt on contact with body heat for sheer, buildable color.  The sheer coral shade is a great option as a cheek color or lip shade.  I prefer to use it as a cheek shade and it goes on nicely and blends out evenly.  I will be trying this out further to see if it causes breakouts or not.

milk-perk-swatch

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

A lightweight formula that protects and adds gloss to hair ans strengthens and nourishes hair with watermelon, lychee and edelweiss.  I’m a fan of a few Oribe products so I was curious to see how this worked since I have color treated hair.  This did make my hair feel softer and left a nice, glossy sheen behind.  However, most Oribe in shower products cause a little bit of a reaction on me and this made me slightly itchy.  I might just use it sporadically to minimize the reaction time as I was impressed with the results.

Bonus: Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color

While I really like the Oribe shampoos and conditioners (hello amazing scent and lovely feel!), I do seem to have a reaction to them as my hair and body start to itch.  I decided to hold off on these as I tried the Oribe glaze and didn’t want to increase the risk for a reaction.

Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum

Notes of grapefruit, bergamot, jasmine, blue iris, blonde wood and white musk make up this scent. Unfortunately, this was a no-go for me as the scent of jasmine was a bit overwhelming.

bb-end

Overall, this box was just okay.  I could do without the perfume and while I appreciate the sunscreen, I have plenty samples to last me a while.

What do you think of this month’s Birchbox? Will you be keeping your subscription?

Stephanie 

 

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor Review in HD Kisses and HD Embrace!

revlon-hd-matte-lipcolor

Happy Thursday everyone!  This week is flying by as it’s almost Friday-what?! That’s the perk of a long weekend I guess and I’m not complaining. 😉

I have another review on some budget friendly lippies so let’s get started.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor

Described as a, “lightweight, high definition velvety matte color. Moisturizing, velvety feel. 100% wax-free, gel formula.”  I picked up HD Embrace, a nude pink and HD Kisses, a raspberry mauve shade.

Pros 

Cost effective at under $10

Sleek packaging

Clear tube allows you to see the color

Color glides on smoothly

Good lasting power

Good array of colors

Excellent pigmentation

Cons

Not truly matte

Dry down time takes about 30 minutes

Lighter colors accentuates any imperfections

Sweet scent may not be for everyone

Overall: I’m a big fan of these lip products.  They are reminiscent of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in both the feel and sweet scent.  I found that the formula glides on smoothly provided your lips aren’t chapped. Both leave behind a stain while eating and drinking, with HD Kisses more pronounced than HD Embrace.  The pigmentation on both are great and usually one swipe is all you need to get excellent coverage. Even as these dry down, I don’t find that these are completely a true matte because I can still rub my lips together and feel a bit of slip to them. With this said though, they aren’t really that moisturizing after they dry down either. I’d describe it as in between a satin and matte. The packaging on these is very sleek and the color you see is pretty much the color you get.

revlon-hd-kisses-and-embrace-swatches

Some swatches of the shades.
revlon-hd-matte

Have you tried the Revlon HD Mattes? What’s your favorite matte lipstick? 

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 

 

 

 

 

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.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette Review!

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Hi everyone!  As I mentioned last week, I will be taking a spring blog break but before I do, I have a review of the new Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow palette!  It’s available online and in-stores and yes you guys, it’s beautiful.

Rainforest of the Sea

Here is what the case looks like when it’s closed-very fun and pretty.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette 

Described to, “define and defend lids from everyday aggressors with this eye shadow palette. Introducing plush shades in a velvety formula, they’re powered by tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea™ complex, formulated to hydrate and balance lids with a creamy powder is that is never drying or chalky.”

Pros 

Creamy and easy to blend

Great pigmentation on darker shades

Little to zero fallout

Variety of looks can be created from natural to smokey

Long-lasting (with primer)

Cons 

No true matte shades

Didn’t experience the hydrating aspect

A bit pricey $34

Lighter shades take a bit to build up color

Overall: I really love this palette!  It’s a bit smaller than I initially thought but the shadows are a good size so no problem there.  The shades are creamy, easy to blend and the fallout is little to none.  These are definitely smoother than my Urban Decay Naked 3 shadows.  They last all day on me but I always use a primer.  I will say that I didn’t find any true matte shades as Sand and Cove still have a bit of a sheen to them but nothing overly shimmery.  The lighter shades, like Seashell and Mermaid take about 2-3 passes to build up a discernible color while the darker shades have opaque coverage in about 1 pass.  These don’t have any pop of colors which I don’t mind since I love neutral/bronze shades and this is right up my alley.

Here are some swatches

Rainforest of the Sea Swatches

Sand- Ivory (this shade blends in with my skin, lol)

Mermaid- Gold

Seashell- Pink

Wave- Slate

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Swatches

Cove- Tan

Starfish- Bronze

Reef- Copper (my favorite shade!)

Abyss- Dark brown

1Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

That’s it for this week readers.  I’ll be back March 21 with new posts so please stay tuned for that. 🙂

Will you be adding this palette to your collection? Let me know in the comments below! 

Stephanie 

 

February Favorites 2016!

February Favorites

Happy first day of March everyone!  Another month has zoomed by and of course, as one month ends, my monthly favorites are bound to ensue. Let’s get to it! 🙂

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream

One of my all time favorite hand-creams, this grape-seed oil cream that is rich in antioxidants and smells like oranges.  It moisturizes and absorbs quickly into the skin which is great when you’re in a hurry and don’t want to transfer the lotion onto surfaces.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon

I’ve used this glimmering dark brown eyeliner practically everyday this month and it gives definition to your eyes without it looking to harsh.  Perfect for work and it lasts all day on me.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral

Sorting through my blush stash, I rediscovered this gem which is a great everyday shade that gives the ‘pretty in pink’ phrase a run for its money. Used this look as part of my Valentine’s Day makeup look.

(Malin + Goetz) Grapefruit Face Cleanser 

I received this sample in my November Birchbox and I just got around to trying it.  This cleanser really surprised me to be honest.  It feels refreshing but gentle and that has a subtle citrus scent.  Left my skin clean without feeling stripped.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps 

After buying a gift at Kiehl’s, I was given samples of this body cream and I loved it so much that I went out to purchase a bottle. It’s a very creamy and rich and while it absorbs nicely into the skin, I do find that it is a bit greasy.  I prefer to use this at night after I take a shower to deeply moisturize my skin and the scent is neutral so it’s not overpowering at all. The only two issues are a) it’s pricey and b) it’s sometimes difficult to get the product out.

Tell me, what were your favorites this month? 

Stephanie