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 

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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.

May Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

May BB Main

Hi everyone!

May’s Birchbox is in so let’s take a look at what’s inside!

May BB End

Cool Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea 

This was the sample choice I picked this month as I’ve heard great things about Coola.  This sunscreen is described as a sheer and moisturizing with lasting protection and hydration for an active lifestyle. So far, I like this sunscreen. It doesn’t leave a white film which I love, it absorbs quickly and I love the inclusion on white tea for added antioxidant support.  It is a chemical based sunscreen so in case you’re sensitive, this may not be the best choice.

Davines OI All in One Milk 

Described as a, “nourishing leave-in treatment [that] adds volume, shine, detangling, and heat protection,” this hair milk smells amazing.  Hard to describe but it smells clean and fresh. I love using this when I detangle my hair and spritz a little bit on the ends when I straighten my hair.  They also added as a special bonus the shampoo and conditioner from this line, which I also loved.  It leaves my hair feeling so soft and manageable and again, I love the scent. I’m considering purchasing this. 🙂

Clean Blossom 

This fragrance sample has notes of Tunisian neroli, orange blossom, and sensual sandalwood.  I thought I would like this due to the sandalwood scent however this scent is not in my taste.  The scent is way too overpowering and gives me a headache.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm- Pink Blossom 

Tinted lip balms are always great to have as they provide moisture and color in one swipe.  I like the sheer color on this one, however, I don’t feel like this is as moisturizing as I would like.  If I have any dry patches, I find this clings on to the imperfections but a little bit of exfoliation helps with that.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner 

“From the go-to UK eye makeup line, this user-friendly liquid liner goes on velvety smooth.”  I’ve used this about twice and I do like it but in general, I prefer gel liners.  It has good lasting power though I always use a primer underneath as my eyelids get oily. The applicator tip is thin enough to create a sharp line but you can angle it a bit to draw a thicker line.

May BB Swatches

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Bali in Pink Blossom and Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner.

Here are some swatches of the eyeliner and lip balm.

May BB

Overall, I am very pleased with this month’s box. 🙂

What did you get in your box?

Stephanie 

SuperGoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 Review!

SuperG

Hi everyone!  How was everyone’s weekend? I’m hoping it was good. 🙂

On the posting schedule today is a quick review on the SuperGoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 which I received in July’s PopSugar Must Have Box.  Let’s get to it.

Described as “an innovative three-in-one mist that sets makeup, helps control oil and shine, and refreshes your defense against photoaging UV rays with an uplifting scent of rosemary and mint.”

Pros 

Portable/Travel friendly

Sunscreen factor

Mattifying

Excellent concept

Cons

Rosemary and mint can be irritating for some individuals

Created a burning sensation on my face

Potential health hazard from inhalation of sunscreen

Nozzle doesn’t always spray product on evenly

Overall: As much as I love the concept of this product- refreshing skin/makeup while providing essential SPF protection- it didn’t work for me.  Every time I sprayed this product, my face has this uncomfortable burning/tingling sensation that lingered.  Also, for most spray-on sunscreen formulations, it needs to be rubbed in for the full effect which is hard to do if you have a face full of makeup.  There’s also the concern of potential health hazards with accidental inhalation of the product. I did find that this really kept the oily parts in my skin matte though.  In the meantime, I take this with me to theme parks or when doing outdoor activities and use it on my body, making sure to hold my breath while applying.  However, once it’s finished I will not be purchasing.

Have you tried this product?  What are your thoughts? 

Stephanie 

*Note: Stay tuned tomorrow for a special collaborative post on fall makeup looks using the Urban Decay Naked palettes! 

 

July Birchbox Unboxing!

Birchbox July

Hi everyone!  Hope your weekend was great.  🙂  Today’s post will be a quick run through of  July’s Birchbox with my first impressions so let’s get to it!

Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub

This milky white scrub utilizes bamboo, tiny  jojoba beads and apple enzymes to exfoliate.  Compared to the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, this feels more gentle and hydrating.  According to the instructions, this can be used as a mask and left on for 1-3 minutes.  So far I like it.  Haven’t noticed any dramatic effects but it leaves skin smoother. *Note: this has cinnamon, clove and ginger extract so it may be a bit stimulating for sensitive skin.  Always conduct a patch test.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray 

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you’ll know I really love this spray and I was excited this was featured in July’s box.  It’s a smaller sample than the purse size option but is enough to give you a feel for the product.  I love using this product when I use a curling wand to curl my hair as it sets the style, adds texture without a sticky or stiff feel and smells ah-mazing.

Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 

Love that a sunscreen was included in this box as it’s essential for skin health.  Like the name implies, this feels like a serum which is so light-weight and absorbs quickly into the skin.  It’s a chemical based sunscreen which you can read about here. Definitely an easy sunscreen to work with underneath makeup as it doesn’t pill.  Best part?  Toss it in your bag to carry with you on the go or if it irritates your skin, try using it as hand sunscreen protection when you’re driving. Yes, our hands and body need protection too!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Bella 

I call this lipstick my ‘sitting pretty’ lipstick.  You know how you have those high heels that are so beautiful to look at but killer to wear so you use them only when you’re not going to be walking much? Well, the same concept applies to this lipstick.  It is a gorgeous, bright pink color that provides intense (and I mean intense) color in one stroke.  It does stain lips but it tends to move and transfers so if you’re planning on going out to eat while using this or are wearing white, I’d skip this or a least, use caution. Removing it with an oil based makeup remover works best.

theBalm cosmetics Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush 

I was surprised by how tiny this  sample is-a little bigger than my thumb.  You’re still able to pick up enough product with your brush but it takes a bit more effort.  The consistency is creamy and blends nicely but I think this is more bronzer than blush.  You can use this as blush-I love using bronzer as blush- but compared to the Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer, which has a lot more pink undertones, this one is a dusty rose shade that leans more towards tan.  Makes a great pick for summer.

JB Swatches

L-R: Bronzer/Blush and Bella

That’s it for today!

What did you think of this month’s Birchbox? 

Stephanie 

June Favorites!

June Faves!

Hello readers!  It’s July which means my monthly post on products I loved in June.  I have been trying a lot of products and not all of them made it on here but no worries, they will be making appearances in the next coming posts.  Now, on to the task at hand.

 AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30

First off is a sunscreen from the Sephora Sun Safety Kit.  There are quite a few more I need to go through but this pink-tinged sunscreen feels light-weight and silky, absorbs quickly and leaves behind a very subtle glow.  There is a very strong, flowery scent but that dissipates within a few minutes of application and this works well with my foundations and moisturizers, meaning it doesn’t pill (clump up).

 

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser 

A product featured in my May Birchbox, this product was something I was both excited and hesitant to try.  I loved the fact it was a skincare item but I’m not usually fond of products containing sugar designed for use on the face as I find them abrasive.  This however was a very unique experience and is different than other sugar based exfoliators I have tried.  I gathered a little bit of the product, mixed it with water and applied it in circular motions.  Immediately, the product began to foam up and the majority of the sugar seemed to melt into the skin while still leaving a few granules to exfoliate. My face felt softer albeit a bit dry but that was resolved as soon as I applied moisturizer.   The Suki skincare website states they use, ” larger, soft sugar crystals (sanding sugar),” which could be why this felt gentler though I did research sanding sugar and I couldn’t find anything on it in its use in skincare besides what’s provided on the website.  Not sure I would recommend this for sensitive skin but normal to oily skin could benefit from it.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow 

I received this in my June Birchbox and wasn’t too excited at first but I ended up using it quite a bit.  I was worried the color would be too dark but it gave me a hint of color without looking orange.  According to the description, this is “gluten-free, perfume-free, and oil-free.”  The formula is light and perfect for everyday use.  I feel this would work well if you don’t have problematic skin but if you’re looking for full coverage, skip this as it functions more like a tinted moisturizer.  Unlike some BB creams this one does not contain SPF but even if it did, I still recommend layering your normal sunscreen underneath.

Marcelle NP

Marcelle Golde Glow BB Cream + Clinique Nude Pop Blush

Clinique Nude Pop Cheek Pop Blush

If you’re in the market for a, ‘I’m not wearing any blush’, blush, this shade is a great one to try, especially if you’re fair skinned.  Although it’s a powder formula, it blends effortlessly into the skin and provides either a sheer wash of color or can be built up for more pigment. Perfect for day and/or night, and complements both a smoky or natural look.  There’s also a great variety of shades so if this one is too light for you, you’re bound to find another that better suits your skin tone or style.

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour 

After reading countless articles on contouring sticks, I gave this one a try and am glad I did.  The color appears dark and downright scary at first but after it’s been blended out, you end up with definition that isn’t over-the-top.  Fairly simple to use, you just draw lines wherever you want to contour and then either blend it in with a sponge, your fingers or a brush.  I find that a damp sponge or synthetic brush do the best job at blending though.  This doesn’t take up too much space in your makeup arsenal either, making it easier and perfect for traveling.

June Cheeks

L-R: Clinique Nude Pop + Clinique Chubby Stick Contour

Here’s a picture of me wearing the contour shade on the hollows of my cheekbones.

Contour

e.l.f Moisturizing Lipstick in Pink Minx

Oh e.l.f.  You’re incredibly low prices make me both eager yet skeptical to try products but luckily there’s more to love with this lipstick than the $3 price tag.  The color pay-off is absolutely gorgeous where one swipe garners a creamy opaque coverage and as the name implies, it is moisturizing.  I do find that this sort of clings to dry patches so make sure lips are exfoliated.  The packaging is simple and secure and although it’s not the best, I won’t complain.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Noble

The lovely Katie from Plus Beauty sent me the Kat Von D Lip Vixon Duo as a birthday gift (thank you Katie!) and I loved the Studded Kiss Lipstick.  Described as a, “matte petal pink nude,” this is a great nude color that feels so creamy when applied.  I do have to top it off with gloss so that the color doesn’t wash me out and exfoliated lips are a must again but I just love the texture.

June Lips

L-R: KVD Studded Kiss in Noble + e.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick in Pink Minx

 

 

 

What were your favorite products this past month? 

Stephanie