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 

 

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 

Play! by Sephora Unboxing July 2016!

Play by Sephora July

Happy Tuesday everyone!  How was your weekend?

The July 2016 Play! by Sephora is in and I must say, I’ve really been loving these curated boxes and the cute bags they come in. The theme for this month is Effortless Summer and I think the featured brands were spot on.  Here’s the breakdown of what was included.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleaner

This cleanser is rich in antioxidants and botanicals.  This cleanser lathers creamy and is free of harsh chemicals, parabens, phtlates, alcohol, fragrances and artificial dyes.  I’ve tried this cleanser before and it didn’t work for me.  It kind of made my skin itch so while I liked that my face didn’t feel super dry afterwards, it wasn’t for me.

BeautyBlender blotterazzi 

A cushion blotter that is designed to remove shine and absorb oil, you can wash and reuse this as you please and it’s great to smooth away cracks or cakey texture that makeup can form on your face.  I really love the Beauty Blender so I was happy to see this one in the box.  I used it once and it absorbed some of the shine but not as well as I thought.  I need to use this a few more times-maybe I used it wrong?

Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer  

Based off of the popular Hoola Bronzer, this liquid version is lightweight and shimmer-free to create a warm radiant look.  I’m a fan of the original bronzer so I’m uber happy that this one was included and I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s subtle and blends out nicely that gives a very natural look.

Dew the Hoola

Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola swatch

Nest Fragrances Citrine

Describes as, “layers of fresh lotus flower and freesia mingle with bright citrus and a base of precious woods.”  I like this fragrance but not my favorite and I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it as it’s not really my style.

Ouai Wave Spray 

This weighless texture mist gives hair an effortless, undone look while adding volume and shine.  I’m addicted to the smell of this as it leaves hair smelling soo good.  Combined with other products, this does a nice job of keeping curls in place.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

An iconic primer for normal to dry skin that keeps helps keep makeup in place-a must for the summer! I’ve used this primer before and I like it but because I have combination skin with a tendency to be oilier in the summer, it doesn’t really provide a mattifying effect and I’m a shiny mess by the end of the day.

Overall, I’m happy with box. 🙂

Sephora Play July

What box did you get this month? 

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 

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! 🙂

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 

January 2016 Favorites!

January Favorites

Happy Tuesday everyone!  How was your weekend?  It’s been super windy over here but other than that, everything is good.  It’s time again for my monthly favorites so let’s get started!

Renee Rouleau AHA Smoothing Serum 17%

I have a very textured forehead and even though I exfoliate on a regular basis, it doesn’t help much.  I’ve found that exfoliating serums though make a major difference in the appearance of my skin and this glycolic acid based one works great.  After cleansing and toning my skin, I pat on a thin layer before applying my moisturizer on top. It tingles a little but isn’t uncomfortable.  I use it for three nights straight and then discontinue it for three nights straight and I’m mindful of not spending too much time in the sun when using this.

Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate 

I have a sample of this bronzer and I’ve been reaching for this pretty much everyday.  As the name implies, there is no shimmer here which is great and it blends in effortlessly while looking natural. There is a slight chocolate scent but it quickly dissipates once you apply it.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Athens

I’ve reviewed this lip cream here so I won’t say much other than the scent to this one is addicting and the color is natural and gorgeous.

NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Peanut Brittle

I’ve been stalking the NYX store to purchase the shade Tres Leches and since they are always out of stock, I picked up the shade Peanut Brittle.  Peanut Brittle is part of the NYX Spring 2016 collection and believe me when I saw this lipgloss is highly pigmented.  The swatch below was just one swipe.  I wear this alone and I get a glossy nude lip that’s divine.

Athen and Peanut Brittle

Top to Bottom: NYX Athens and Peanut Brittle

Chloe Love Story

Jen from In the Beauty Box (give her a follow!) sent me a bag filled with gifts and this one was one of them.  With notes of Neroli (Orange Blossom Oil), Stephanotis Jasmine, Physalis and Cedarwood, I’m really liking this scent.  It’s not overly overpowering and somehow I get a whiff of rose which is nice.  It doesn’t last long though which is about the only downside I see.

January Favorites End

What were your January favorites? 

Stephanie 

 

Sephora VIB Guide and Wishlist!

 

 

HEP

Hello readers and happy Thursday!  Starting today, Sephora kicks off it’s 15% sale for VIB members (yay!) and I thought it would be nice to create a guide for some higher end products that are worth every penny but when you can apply a discount, well, why not! 🙂

 

Makeup

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (Illuminating)- Perfect for creating a healthy glow and excellent for aging skin.  Also available in oil free version and regular tinted moisturizer.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush- Amazing blush that is blends effortlessly, provides a subtle glow and is a go-to for my simple makeup routine.

YSL Glossy Stains- Love these stains as they don’t feel drying and are highly pigmented.

HE Makeup

Fragrance

Givenchy Ange ou Demon Le Secret- This perfume has been a staple for years and is just very unique with notes of cranberry, green tea, white peony, sambac jasmine, blond woods and white musks.

Giorgio Armani Si- New to my collection, this fragrance delivers a sophisticated scent with notes of pear, freesia and amber wood.

HE Fragrance

Hair

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo- A great travel item to toss in your purse and use on the go.  Read my full review here.

Drybar

Skincare

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment- This green tinged product is one of my favorite exfoliators that leaves my skin soft plus I love the scent.

Kate Somerville

My Wishlist

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette 

hourglassambientlightingpalette6

Nars Audacious Lipsticks- looking at shades Greta, Raquel and Anita 

NARS-Audacious

 

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation 

Laura Mercier

Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel Super-Charged Oil Free Foundation 

 marc jacobs

 

I may tweak a few items here and there but this is what’s on my list so far!

Tell me, what are you planning to get or what’s on your wishlist? 

Stephanie