Okay so I am trying to get back to my regular posting schedule and let’s be real, sometimes that works better than others. I got my Birchbox last week and I have been having mixed feelings about it.
I already reviewed my box on the website because I honestly wasn’t feeling this month’s box. I know I have been saying this for the last few months and I feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record but this may be one of my last boxes. I am going to get June’s box and see if their algorithm has changed at all with my added reviews from this month.
I am going to dive straight into the products, I liked the box it was nice but I am more focused on the products this month. It was six items again this month but I still had NO tracking information to know when my box would be at my apartment.
Arrow Enhance Waterproof Eye Brightener:
I don’t wear eyeliner, I haven’t since about 2008 at the end of my emo phase. I have never put any eyeliner in my waterline because I have a thing about getting pointy things close to my eyes. I can imagine using this for a wing if I could do those either but I cannot. I think that eyeliner is great but it’s just not for me. So this product was a no for me.
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle:
I rarely put any product in my hair besides shampoo and conditioner because I don’t like how my hair feels when it is full of product. My conditioner does a great job of detangling my hair so I just don’t use products like this. Again, this was kind of a no for me, I just don’t feel as if this one was relevant to me.
Coola Classic Moisturizer:
I have a full sized Coola sunscreen; I actually have two. I like the brand I like the product but I already have so much of it that this was kind of a letdown for me. I like that it’s fragrance free and it would be good for travel but other than that I don’t mind this one.
Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain:
It adjusts to your skin and it turns into a nice shade so I don’t mind it but I am not usually someone who uses a multi-purpose stain or even stains in general, they are just not up my street. Nice shade and would love some lipstick this color so this is a maybe at most for me.
MAC Cosmetics In Extreme Dimension Mascara:
I love mascara but I have so much of it, I feel like in most of the subscription beauty I get there seems to be a lot of mascara involved and I know that is partly because there is a lot out there and I am looking forward to trying it because I like MAC but I haven’t gotten to use much of it. Again a maybe from me.
Wilma Schumann Skin Care Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads:
I have gotten into eye masks recently so I was actually really excited to get these, I think this was the highlight of my box. I am looking forward to trying them out, this was the only product in the box that I was presently surprised with.
Well that’s about it for this one, I am taking stock of this service and I have been mildly disappointed in it for a few months now, I know they are making changes to the service and maybe I just need to put this on pause for right now while they work out their service and get everything going with their new changes and new products.
So this is my second post of May, I have been sick for the last like week and a half and I have just been dealing with some things that have taken a front seat instead of letting them take a back seat even though I wish they were taking a back seat.
Okay on to this though, they opened up the wait list for the Glam Bag Plus last month and I jumped on it because I am a huge fan of ipsy’s service and I was really excited for the prospect of a full sized product box from this company.
Okay so honestly I didn’t really know what to expect in this box and I was pleasantly surprised and I must say for an initial box, I know that it will just get better as the service continues.
This post probably won’t be super long because I am just not in a great mood and I don’t want that to bleed into this post.
Yensa: Tone Up Primer Essential Glow:
I like it and it has really good essences in it so I am looking forward to seeing how my skin reacts to it, I have been having more breakouts recently because of stress so I am hoping that this product doesn’t make those worse. It goes on really smoothly and I am a fan of the packaging and the ingredients, it does give a very slight glow to the skin when it is put on but as it dries it sinks into the skin.
Glam Glow Bubblesheet Sheet Masks (3):
I got some of these in one of my FabFitFun boxes last year and I have used one or two now and I really like them already so getting more was a big plus in my book. They don’t bubble up a lot but it is still kind of odd to have something bubbling on your face, you don’t leave them on the length of time that you would with a regular sheet mask. These are more of a quick turnaround mask; this mask only stays on for 3-4 minutes unlike a regular mask which can stay on for 20+ minutes.
Kandee Johnson x pūrlisse Butter Me Orange Creamsicle Body Butter:
I love the packaging and I am always on the lookout for good lotions and stuff, I hoard them and then don’t use them, to be honest and I love them. It smells amazing but I haven’t used it yet if we are being honest. I didn’t even know Kandee Johnson did a collab with Pūrlisse but here it is and I can’t wait to give it a try.
I have been following Wander beauty on Instagram for probably six months now but I have never purchased anything from them. So when I found out that there was a potential for a Wander Beauty product with the may Glam Bag Plus I was excited. I really like the colors in the palette, now I have swatched them and they are a little cakey but on a brush it may be a completely different story. I am not usually a wearer of blue eyeshadows, not for years now but the blue called Coastal in this palette is beautiful. It makes a nice little palette for travel if you took a matte single shadow to go with it.
Illamasqua Lip crayons in Media and Lust:
I have really only dove into lip pencils recently and I don’t’ have all that many, I think I have two if we are being completely honest so I was actually really excited when I saw the lip pencils in this box. The colors are beautiful and they go on very smoothly. Media is a more pinky coral shade and Lust is a redder/berry shade so they would go with a bunch of different shades because they are more neutral when it comes to their specific colors. I am not saying neutral in general but a more neutral pink and red so they go with various shades of pink and red.
Overall it was a great first box and I am excited to see what is coming in the upcoming months, ispy continues to do a great and consistent job when it comes to their subscription services and their products.
Do you subscribe? If you do what was your favorite product this month?
I’ll see everyone on Tuesday/Wednesday for another post!
I am going to be honest with you guys, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to get a post up today, it’s been one of those weeks where I have felt really creative and great but I have also just felt like sitting on the couch and watching The Incredible Dr. Pol on Hulu, seriously all I have been watching lately and then I am going to move on to other Nat Geo Wild shows because when I watch TV it’s usually something like Science, Discovery and their family of channels, Nat Geo and its subsidiaries, and Animal Planet. I want to learn something while I am watching TV, I also understand now why people watch home improvement shows, I didn’t get it as a kid and now I’m like Look at that crown molding! I yell at home improvement shows like people yell at sports.
None of that is what this post is about but maybe someday I will reveal my Netflix and Hulu watch lists, that is not lifestyle or beauty but sometimes I like to deviate from my blog theme and just write whatever I want to.
So April I did buy some beauty products, I feel like most of them were necessities though so it wasn’t like I went hog wild and bought out Ulta or Sephora. (No matter how much I want to.)
I went to Sephora because it’s birthday month and I get a gift going there so I went and bought a replacement for my Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion because I love it so much and mine is almost empty. I need to get another tube of the Oil Mattifying Lotion as well but I think I am going to use my points at Ulta to do that. I went to Sephora for my lotion though because they have a great selection of prestige skin care and sometimes I like to look at it because it is really pleasing and I know that most of those products wouldn’t make my skin hurt or break out. I say look, not purchase, because usually what I want to try is very expensive.
I got up to the register and they put small products up there like candy so you make an impulse purchase, like seriously this is the candy shelf for adults, I picked up a small Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream. I have heard good things about their other lotion and I really like the coconut smell so I am going to give it a try.
The birthday gift I got was a sample of Drunk Elephant jelly cleanser and the polypeptide cream. I have yet to try it but I am hopeful that it doesn’t do me dirty.
Okay, onto Ulta, mind you I did this all in one day. It is super dangerous for me to walk into either of these stores and I walked into both on one day. I went in with the intention of purchasing some foundation for work, I have my Urban Decay foundation for more formal things but I use a cheaper for every day wear because I put it on at like 7 and take it off at 4:30 and I want something that lasts all day but does not cost 45 dollars. So I have been using Maybelline but I decided to try something else, this time I got Milani and I think I got their lightest shade.
I also got something that was not on my list and that was the Ulta Beauty Avengers palette, like it’s the Avengers and of course I am a sucker for collabs with pop culture things that I like, I bought the Cargo collab palettes with Star Wars and I also got the Colourpop Disney Princesses collab as well. I really want the villains Misunderstood palette as well but I do not need more palettes. Some of the shades in this palette were a little cakey and flakey but it was the top of the pan so I can’t fault them for that. The shades are nice; I am used to more color pay off but they will work.
I also got two more sheet masks, both were Tonymoly and those are usually the face masks I purchase, I got a replacement I’m Lemon and I also picked up the I’m Cactus, my lemon one was almost dried out when I put it on a week or so ago so I decided to get another one because I like the mask I just wish mine wouldn’t have been dryer, it is all my fault though because I have had it for a while.
So I got some good stuff in April even though when this goes up there are still a few days left in April but I am not planning on buying anything else.
Did you get anything good in beauty in April?
I’ll see everyone on Saturday or Sunday, I am messing with my upload schedule to see if I want to switch it from Tuesday/Saturday to Wednesday/Sunday.
In the last month Birchbox has announced some changes, a price increase, more brands, and other things as the months move along. Now this month I got six things in my box, I do not know if that change is permanent but I suppose we will find out.
Let me start out with this, I am finding myself not enjoying Birchbox as much as I hoped I would, I am going to give it another few months because at the moment they are in a transition period and that means that things get crazy. I feel like I need to review more products because on both Birchbox and ipsy. I forget to review my products and that can change what they send you in the future, some of this is totally my fault and I know that but I’m still not feeling the personalization, yet. I am not throwing in the towel on Birchbox yet because while the products I got felt repetitive it doesn’t mean that in the future it will be that way.
So first up of course like all of the rest of my unboxings I am going to talk about the box first. Now when I saw it on the website and in the email it looked like it was just a multi colored lid, no I was wrong, it is holo. That’s right, holographic, it’s really pretty and I am going to try and figure out something to do with it because it is really pretty.
On to the items, like I said there were six items this month and granted they were a bit repetitive I have done some reviews and hopefully that will help the algorithm figure me out. There was tissue paper in the box which to be honest, I was not a big fan of, it is aesthetically pleasing and reusable but it still adds to the packaging and it comes in enough packaging to begin with.
Juara Candlenut Body Crème:
I am all for a good moisturizer and I am excited to try it because it smells really good, this is a brand that I have never heard of but I am always up to try new brands to see if I can use them. Granted this is a sample so it will not last very long but that is sometimes a good thing because if you don’t like something you don’t waste your money but if you do like it you can purchase a full size.
Love of Color One & Done Shadow Stick in Heavy Petal:
All of the people who name things in a lot of makeup companies have a great sense of humor and are super creative. Seriously, makeup shade names are normally really great, nail polish names are too. I worked in a nail salon in high school and into college and OPI always had the best shade names, so punny. Back to this product though, I really like the color and it goes on really smoothly, it is a pencil so I am hoping that I can sharpen it. (I have to purchase a sharpener though…oops.) I love the color, it is rose gold and by now I am known to love rose gold and copper so this is right up my street.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Bright and Plump Moisturizer:
I love Peter Thomas Roth, my cleanser is from the same brand and I am such a big fan. It is a Vitamin C moisturizer so it is good for brightness and I am excited to give it a try. This is one of those products that in the future if I like it that I would spend the money on because it is a good brand.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil:
Again if they give me the option to have a Sunday Riley product sample I am going to take it, the facial oil I use now has blue tansy in it as does this one so I am hopeful that it doesn’t break me out. On the car it says start by using the oil twice a week and then work your way up and I wish that I had known that when I was using a facial oil twice a day and I was breaking out so bad. I am going to take the advice and hopefully my skin doesn’t react to this product. There is a lot of packaging with this one for the size of the bottle but the bottle is glass so it has to be protected.
Marcelle City Multi-Protection Tinted Cream in Fair:
Okay this was one product that I honestly didn’t really like. I am really fair and I have pink undertones so I have to have cool toned everything when it comes to foundation, concealer, and tinted moisturizer. Unfortunately, this one is a little yellow for me, it’s not too bad but I rarely ever wear a tinted moisturizer, I wear sunscreen and lotion most of the time because usually tinted moisturizers break me out for some reason. I wish they didn’t but they do. I got a Marcelle product in my February Birchbox so I have seen this brand before. Also it comes in a lot of packaging and again, that’s not a great thing.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray:
I don’t use hairspray or texturizing spray, I don’t even like dry shampoo. I got this same product in my November ipsy Glam Bag last year so I have one already and I haven’t used it at all. Haircare spray products are not something that I use, I don’t even like blow drying or putting heat on my hair because I have spent such a long time getting it healthy after bleaching it and dying it a lot in high school. It Is fundamentally a dry shampoo and I use Batiste now, I am not a huge fan of how my hair feels with a lot of product in it so this was kind of a no for me.
So I guess I liked four out of the six items more than I thought I did when I started writing this post, I am hoping that with consistent reviewing and the algorithm learning my preferences that it will get better and with the changes being made I am hoping that helps too.
Sorry I disappeared again and missed an upload, my space bar stopped working last weekend so I had to take it to get fixed for the second time in a month…so much fun. That meant however that I didn’t have the ability to post on my usual day because I didn’t have my usual computer.
Though guess who’s back, back again, MJ’s back, tell your friends. No seriously though, I am hoping for no more laptop issues so I can actually have a routine posting schedule. I’m trying, I really am.
March favorites though, I had a few not as many as usual but still some great items that I found myself reaching for a lot in the month of March.
My parents were gone for a little over a week in March visiting family in the north and I was tasked with poodle care, they are both cute and I love them even though they were both pains in my butt for different reasons. It was nice just hanging out with them for such an extended period of time. By the end of it I was just really excited to go home and sleep in my own bed, alone, with no poodles in sight. They lived with me last year while my parent’s house was being finished so I spent a lot of time with them from May to the end of October when they moved about half an hour north west from where I live, it’s only like 15 miles but because the roads are so twisty it takes a lot longer to get there.
One thing for sure that was one of my favorites in late February and early March, even into this month was my Chromebook, I had a rocky start with it because I was sold a piece of software I couldn’t use and that was a mess but I am over it. The store I bought the computer from I probably won’t step into for a while because they made me feel like I had been had. It really came in handy when I didn’t have my regular laptop and I am a huge fan of it because I can use it as a laptop and a tablet. So convenient, I have been a Mac user for over a decade now but it’s kind of nice to have a second operating system on hand just in case.
Next was my facial oil, now I don’t use it every day because my skin is pretty acne prone and I noticed that when I add more oil to it I have a lot more breakout days. I was using Derma Deli’s Pumpkin Seed oil but it was too much for my skin even using it once every other day. So in February I switched over to Pacifica’s Super Flower, I do like it more it is not as oily as ones I have used in the past and I can use it slightly more often as long as I mix it in with my moisturizer. I know that’s not what you are supposed to do but that seems to be the only way that it will work and I don’t have major breakout issues.
I am trying to eat better this year, some days are easier than others in that department but I am also a person who snacks, I don’t know why but I do, stress eating and all of that. I found however that I really like prepackaged seaweed snacks and I am lucky enough to have an Asian market within 15 minutes of where I live. They are crunchy and not too many calories so it’s like chips but not as bad for you. You for sure have to like the taste of seaweed though and I know people who don’t so if you like seaweed I suggest you find some, I usually get mine at Wal Mart or Target but the Asian market has a much bigger selection of brands.
Last but not least, I have been on a cozy mystery kick this year, they are the only books that I have actually read, I’m on my 11thbook of the year and they have all been by two authors. The one that was one of my favorites last month was Carol J. Perry, I finally caught up with her Witch City Mysteries series and I couldn’t put them down, they are really fun and easy to read and they keep you guessing on “who done it” it adds an element of magic and witchcraft in a beautiful way where it’s not overbearing on how magic it is but it is used as a tool to help solve crimes. I just really enjoy the series, her main character is fiery and multi-talented with a cat sidekick and I love it so much.
If you are looking for cozy mystery recommendations I would suggest the Meg Langslow series from Donna Andrews, they are bird themed titles and that’s hilarious, or the Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke and they are all baking themed, that is the series that I am currently reading. Though I need catch up with the three or four new books from Donna Andrews. I like reading cozy mysteries because they make great beach reads or reads during a break in your day, I read them while I am on the stationary bike and I find that when I get to the “good part” at the end of the book where the heroine or hero is in danger that I get my best workout times.
I have so many books to read but I am on my mystery kick at the moment, a few years ago it was post 1900 pre World War 1 British period literature so I get on kicks and read ten or 15 books in the same vein and then get sick of them.
So that’s it for my March favorites, nothing really all that groundbreaking but I enjoyed them.
Did you have any favorites in March? Got any book suggestions?
I feel like I have been waiting for this box since December when I got my winter box because this subscription box is probably my favorite ever, I love the other boxes I get but nothing can beat full sized items and the brand named items in the box are always really great quality. By the time you are all reading this I have had the box for at least a week, I have been a little busy and I had some posts scheduled ahead of time so this is a little later than I wanted it to be.
Seriously, this box was amazing, like usual I am not going to tell you how much the total of my box was because that’s just a little odd for me, the box is $50 four times a year or $180 once a year to be a select member, I will probably upgrade to that at some point because it allows for more customization options and early access to the edit sales and customization as well as an earlier ship date. I feel like in my past unboxings I have kind of glossed over this portion of the subscription service.
Like I said this box is $50 a quarter and this box was valued between $226.99 and $314 dependent on the customizations and the options that were available to potentially be in this box. Really, this box is worth over four times what you pay and that is such a good return on your investment. The only thing I am going to say about the value of mine was it was in the upper mid-range of those prices. If you really want to you can do the research and look up the prices of the items to see an exact figure.
Per usual all of these opinions are mine, as they always are.
Okay, enough exposition, now onto the real stuff; what did I get? I am going to start out with the items that I had the ability to customize and I will tell you the other options that I opted not to get, what I didn’t get may be something that you love but what I chose I wanted more.
Deux Lux Demi Backpack: I am a sucker for backpacks because I screwed my shoulders up when I was in high school carrying heavy one shoulder bags to class so I have carried a backpack since late 2015 and I have not looked back. This is a smaller and more versatile than the faux leather backpack that I carry usually. It is pretty light weight and it is canvas and vegan leather, (according to the care instructions) it seems like it would be great for anything really, dates, music festivals, hanging out with friends, going to the park with your dog. It is a really great backpack and it comes in a protective sleeve so it will be stored in there for now. The other two options were a Show Me Your Mumu Brie Robe, I didn’t choose this one because I am not a robe person. The other option was the Unplug Meditation Aromatherapy Diffuser, this would be a great thing to use the Way of Will Essential Oils from the Winter Box, but I already have a diffuser so I didn’t want to get a second one.
Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Facial: Now that is a mouth full, I really like Korres I got their body lotion in my spring box last year and it is so nice. It is moisturizing and it smells amazing. I have really been getting into skin care this year so when this was one of the options I jumped on it. It smells amazing and I am really excited to try it and see how it does with my skin, it is dermatologically tested to that usually means that I can use it without any adverse effects. According to the packaging it has over 90% natural content so I should be just fine. The other options were one of two pairs of Quay Australia sunglasses, they are really cute but I wear glasses and I have prescription sunglasses so they wouldn’t work for me. The other option was the Sunnylife Lovers Picnic Set, again really cute but not something for me, I don’t think I have ever been on a picnic in my life.
Makeupdrop Silicon Beauty Applicator: If anyone read my foundation application post you know how much I love my Ulta brand silicon applicator and I am looking forward to trying this one as well. This one was a mystery item, I kind of liked having a bit of mystery even with the customization options, sometimes it is a way to get rid of excess stock and I am totally okay with that. The other two options were a set of Giadzy measuring spoons, I have a set of measuring spoons and I am not a huge fan of plated items because that starts to come off and it gets harder to use the item. The other was a bottle of Lavido body lotion in Mandarin Orange and Bergamot, I have so much lotion that I don’t need any more no matter how much I love Bergamot.
These next two items were customizable to select members so I had no option on what I got here and I was not upset with what I got.
Sip by S’well: It’s an insulated travel water bottle and I have been eyeing a S’well water bottle for years now and I was really hoping to get this option because I am a hoarder of water bottles, as I am writing this I am still mourning my Kate Spade travel tumbler that I dropped on my bathroom floor yesterday (last Thursday for you) and broke, for some reason I break my favorites that I can’t replace and I don’t know why. I really like the fact that it’s covered in triangles for reasons of my own. This is a hand wash only but most water bottles and travel tumblers are so that wasn’t too shocking. The other two options were a bar necklace from The2Bandit’s, which is also really cute or the Ciaté London setting powder, I like Ciaté so I would have been okay with any of the options that were within this category.
Tula Purifying Face Cleanser: Again I have been getting into skin care and I have a pretty good skin care routine going on but I am always willing to try something new. It is probiotic skincare so I am hopeful that I don’t have a reaction to it, I like the packaging it’s nice and simple so I see nothing wrong with that. I can’t really say much else because I haven’t tried it yet to see how my skin reacts to it. The other options were either the Daily Concepts detoxifying brush or the Eleven by Venus (yes, that Venus, the tennis star) jump rope.
These last three were in every box, so every subscriber got all of these items.
Ouai Leave in Conditioner: Ouai is a brand that I am familiar with because of ipsy and it’s a really nice brand. I have pretty dry ends of my hair so having a leave in conditioner is something that I need but I don’t actually have. I am excited to add this into my hair care routine.
Dr. Brandt Skincare Needles No More No More Baggage Eye De-Puffing Gel: Another mouth full to say, it is red so it color corrects for dark spots but I put it on my hand to see it’s consistency and once it sunk in my skin was so smooth and it was amazing. I really like Dr. Brandt so having more good skin care is for sure up my alley. I got a Dr. Brandt product in my winter box as a surprise and I can say, it’s pretty great.
Manna Kadar Champagne Body Scrub: Champagne and Charcoal, sign me up. I am cool with body scrubs; I should use them more because I love how my skin feels like after I wash all of the grit off. I love the packaging, rose gold lid, simple label with a pink and rose gold marble detail around the bottom, it’s so nice. It is a really large jar too, it’s about 18 oz. so for a body scrub that is on the large side from what I have seen. I am excited, pre usual, to give this one a try and really see what it smells and feels like.
So that was my spring box and I am already waiting for the summer box and its accompanying spoilers and customization options. I’m excited for it already.
If you subscribe what did you get? Did you have a favorite this month? Did you not get any of the items that you wanted to get? Let me know in the comments!
Hey everyone, welcome to February! This would have been posted earlier but I have been doing Professional Development for the transfer of my teaching license all day. To be honest I wasn’t even sure what post I was going to put up today because my original idea required actual planning and to be honest, I forgot.
So I figured, what was something that I do pretty regularly that I can share. The first thought that popped into my head was, skin care. I have been really trying to take better care of my skin in 2019 and that includes a routine that I did every once in a while last year but am now trying to do it every day twice a day because skin is important.
Now I am going to be focusing on my facial skin care routine that I do every day. Now I will also include some special occasion skin care when it comes to my face as well.
I need to disclose that I have normal to dry skin but also an oily T-zone so the products that work for me may not work for you depending on your skin type or skin issues, I have really sensitive skin that is prone to acne so the products that I use I have curated to my skin and its issues. Also because of my skin issues I do have to use more high end skin care products, it’s expensive and I wish it wasn’t but for the benefits I have seen with my skin right now they outweigh the monetary cost of the products that I have found work for my skin.
So morning routine first, most of my steps are similar when it comes to cleansing and moisturizing but there is always a chance for an anomaly in my routine.
I have a Luna Fofo which I love and use again at least once a day if not twice. I usually take the time to use it to measure the moisture level of my skin, I need to try and really figure out how to make sure my moisture level is good because most days it really low. I try to get enough water and keep my skin moisturized but there is probably more that I need to do when it comes to keeping my skin’s moisture up.
After I have checked that and it has updated my skin routine from the app to the Fofo I use the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser, it is a 4oz. size and I got mine at Ulta for about $30 with tax. I only started using this specific product about a week ago because I was using the Soap and Glory facial wash but it was becoming just too harsh for my skin when using it twice a day every day. This cleanser so far actually isn’t as abrasive as some of the cleansers I have used in the past and so far, I love it. I still us my Soap and Glory face wash in the shower but for my every day routine I have recently switched to this and so far so good.
After I get everything rinsed off my face it’s time to moisturizer, I do not use toner, because every toner I have ever tried hurts my skin, the last time I used a toner was probably 2004. I should more than likely try again with the knowledge that I have now but I am still a little leery from past experiences. I also don’t really use serum, don’t get me wrong I have used serum in the past but it just made my face too oily so I am still on the hunt for a good serum that won’t make my pores clogged and my skin unmanageable.
Now my moisturizer routine is pretty straight forward, I use the Mary Kay Timewise Eye Cream, why? Because my mom got it and her eyes are a lot more sensitive than mine are to products and she couldn’t use it so she gave it to me. I use it every day now and I really like it. Granted it is the first ever eye cream I have used but I like it so far. The eye cream retails for $36 but I don’t know if when I run out I will purchase it for myself or I will try and find another brand that I like more.
I use two different lotions, one in the morning and one at night. My morning lotion is the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier and it is really thick so you have to use more than you think. Well I do, you may not have to. It lays down a pretty good base for makeup as well as just feels really good on the skin. It retails for $40 on their website, Ulta, and Sephora (I got mine at Sephora.)
Let me get this out of the way right here, I am trying to get better at moisturizing everything and I have been pretty successful so far this year, for body skin care I moisturize with The Body Shop’s Raspberry Body Butter and I love it. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized for days and it smells amazing.
My night routine is pretty much the same, though I add Micellar cleansing water to the mix because I am usually taking my makeup off before I do anything else.
So I do that, wash my face, put on the eye cream, and then finally the only real change to my moisturizing routine is I switch out the Oil Control Mattifier for the Murad Skin-Perfecting Lotion, it was one of my favorites last year and soon enough I am going to have to buy another one. This like the Mattifier retails for $40 on the Murad website, Ulta, and Sephora.
There is a good chance in the coming months that I will add more steps to my routine but for now that is what I do every day and I have seen a change in my skin since I started taking better care of it and making sure that I am doing more to protect it.
Special Occasion Skin care:
I normally don’t do peels of any sort because they make my skin burn, I found that the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel however does not have that adverse effect, I have only used it a few times but I really like it. Granted my face is a little red afterward but my face is always red, MJ has rosacea so it’s a daily battle.
I also am a fan of sheet masks; I don’t do them as often as I would like even though I have about 20 of them. I have done one in 2019 and I have plans to do another one tonight right after I post this and have a nice evening of self-care because I did PD all day. Face masks are great they have some really great benefits. I have so many Tony Moly sheet masks and I love them, I have gotten so many in my ipsy bags that I need to start doing them more often and maybe I will find a new favorite brand, who knows.
If you have skin like mine, any tips on products to try out? Do you have a routine that you swear by?
This is still one of my favorite monthly repeating posts, I am writing this on Tuesday and it’s going up on Saturday. I should be at work right now but guess who screwed up their back moving furniture on Sunday, it was me so my back is killing me. I do this about once a year and so right now I am sitting at my desk with a heating pad on trying to get my muscles to cooperate so I can go to work tomorrow. I’m already scheduled somewhere Thursday so I have to be better tomorrow. Finally putting my new teaching license to good use and subbing! (personal opinion: all teachers should sub for at least a while, but that is not what this post is about at all.)
No this post is about my December ipsy Glam Bag! Get excited! Because of the huge influx of things being shipped this time of year my bag shipped on the 7thand didn’t get here until the 17th that was a really long span of time and there were very few updates in tracking, not the first time and it’s not a big deal because I knew it was on its way and would get here in due time. I can’t even imagine the volume increase of packages traversing their way across the country right now. To all of our postal and parcel carriers, I applaud the work that you do.
Now onto the good stuff, first and foremost; the bag.
This bag is super cute and they have been knocking it out of the park on bags lately, I love the sequins and the gold, they suggest using it as a clutch for holiday parties and New Year’s parties, if I was going to any of either of those I would so take this with me. I love the littler tassel on the zipper closure and the black faux leather back it all ties in really well together to make it look elegant.
Ciaté London Glitter Flip Glitter Liquid Lipstick in Infamous
This is the perfect color for this time of year a rich berry shade that apparently transforms from the metallic matte that it looks like in the tube to a glitter in a few minutes. I like the shape of the doe foot applicator and the color is gorgeous. I like the consistency and the pigmentation, this is the second product I have gotten from Ciaté in my Glam Bag and I am a fan of it. I swatched it to see if the claim was true that it would take a few minutes to go from a metallic matte to a glitter and maybe on the hand it doesn’t work the same as on the lips but I for sure saw a lot of glimmer in this shade as it did dry down.
F.A.R.A.H Brushes Taper Blending (35F)
First impression this brush is so soft! I love the handle of it because it has groves near the top for your fingers to hold almost like a pencil and that is really innovative because I feel like I don’t have many brushes that do that so I am excited to add it to my brush collection.
Katherine Cosmetics All over Powder in Siena
It is a really sheer almost golden/rose golden shimmer, for me it would make a great subtle highlight, or if you just want to sparkle a little bit. I went into the pan to swatch it and when I swatched it on my hand it virtually disappeared just leaving behind a little glitter in its wake. I like it, do not get me wrong but I am so used to the dramatic highlighters that this was a shock. I like it for the less dramatic though because sometimes you only want a little highlight and this is buildable according to the description so the more you put on the better it looks.
The Balm Cosmetics Nude Beach Eyeshadow in Bootylicious.
Gotten a lot from The Balm in the last few months I feel like but I love the color and the pigment is great. The eyeshadow feels super creamy and it goes on really well. It’s a nice pan size and I really like the shade because it is a shade that I will actually use.
The Crème Shop Limited Edition Holiday Sheet Mask Trio in:
Let it Glow! Jojoba oil for dry, cracked winter skin
Oh Deer! Detoxifying Lemon for inflammation reduction
Clarifying Peppermint Cocoa for acne prone skin.
I feel it needless to say that I am always excited about sheet masks and ipsy knows that apparently. I need to use more of them because I love the idea I just don’t like the application because I am a glasses wearer and that means for the time I have the sheet ask on, I can’t see and that means laying somewhere with a sheet mask on my face staring up at my phone hoping I don’t drop it on my face, thank goodness for PopSockets! The packaging is real cute and I have used products from The Crème Shop in the past but don’t ask me what they were.
One final thing that was a bonus this month because it is the holiday season and that was the:
Kiss and Smink The Everything Stick in Tulum
It’s a really pretty metallic pink shade and it can be used everywhere, as a lip color, crème eyeshadow, and a blush I like the idea of an all over stick but I also have some hesitation with the cross contamination of the product when using it over multiple areas of the face. I mean I like the color and it would make a really nice lip color so that is most likely what I am going to use it for because otherwise I would have to designate a brush to it to make sure that I didn’t cross contaminate it.
So that was my ipsy Glam Bag this month and I say this most months but I will say it again, ipsy knocked it out of the park with this one and I am excited to receive my January bag and that’s not for another month.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year because I got my winter box! Seriously if you can afford it and you like beauty, fitness, lifestyle, and skincare get on it and subscribe to this box. I will have it for a year in the spring and I have never regretted getting it. It is a little pricy $50 a season but for the full sixed products that you get it’s totally worth it. This box in particular was worth anywhere between $290-$335 and that is some pretty good math for only spending $50 to get the box itself. Per usual I am not going to tell you what the value of my particular box was but it was on the higher end of that price range from above.
As always the views I put on here are my own, I just really like the box.
So what did I get in my box you may ask? Well I’m going to tell you all about it in just one second. But first I want to take a second and talk about the magazine that comes in every box. Since I started receiving my boxes in the spring they have gotten better and better, I prefer the smaller magazine than the one that I got in my spring and summer boxes which were rather large like a newspaper. They are also getting more pages and more things to read like a traditional magazine and I am here for it. I really like that the company pairs with a charity for every box because to me that is really important, charitable foundations and charities are something that have always been close to my heart and knowing that a company that I support supports others it’s great.
Now the bulk of this and I promise it is not going to be long and rambling like some of my recent posts, but it’s not going to be short because I have some things to say about this box.
I’m going to start with what was in every winter box:
Thrive Cosmetics Brilliant Eye Brightener in “Stella”- So I have never had a stick highlight like this, nor have I ever had a highlight that is meant specifically for your eyes and if you guys read my Blush, Contour, and Highlighter Round Up you know how much of a highlighter fan that I am. On the inside of the uni-carton it says “leave a little sparkle wherever you go” and I love that quote.
It’s vegan and cruelty free which I am always excited about and it has a beautiful champagne shimmer and a built in sharpener, I love a multipurpose beauty product. I tore open the box to show you the quote inside. (don’t worry I’m going to recycle it) I love the packaging, the product, and I am excited to add it to my collection.
Ahava Hydration Cream Mask- I have loved Ahava for years, the nail salon I worked for in high school carried it and their Frasier Fur scent is still one of my favorites, I don’t even know if they make it anymore but I loved their scents and how they felt on the skin so I am excited to be able to rediscover this brand. You can wash it off or leave it on all night and it is approved for sensitive skin so that is a huge plus in my beauty book. Again the packaging is simple and I am a huge fan. It doesn’t really have a fragrance to it, at least not a strong one it just smells like good skin care.
Blaq Hydrogel Eye Mask with Hyaluronic Acid- It has activated charcoal and hyaluronic acid?! Count me in! It comes with five sets of eye masks and I have never done the gel masks under my eyes before but I am hoping that they don’t have some adverse effect, though nothing I have gotten from Fabfitfun in the past has really ever affected me in a negative way when it comes to skin care. I mean we try to detox everything else so why not our under eyes too. I’m excited to try it and I will hopefully follow up with how they worked eventually.
The next set were choices that all members could make and therefore some of these items I chose over another item that was offered.
Bearpaw Headband and Pop-Top Glove Duo- It was either this option of a treatment mask for your hair and for my needs where it is cold but not super cold I chose the glove and headband set. I love floppy hats during the winter but I don’t have any headbands and I always lose my mittens so I figured this would be a better choice for me personally. I probably should have gotten the other because my hair is always a mess but for my winter needs I chose the gloves. I think during the spring, summer, or autumn I would have chosen the other option.
Lele Sadoughi Sliver Circle Necklace- I am a huge fan of understated jewelry, I don’t like things that are too flashy or trendy, I want to be able to wear my jewelry for the next ten years not the next ten minutes when the trends change. This necklace is beautiful and understated so it is perfect for any sort of occasion with any outfit. I can’t remember if I chose this item or said surprise me but either way I am really excited for it. The packaging it came in is super simple and also really elegant. The necklace itself comes on a good length chain and the end of the chain has more loops for the clasp so you can make it longer or shorter depending on occasion and preference. The other options were either an H Halston jewelry portfolio or an Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, I actually got an Oribe trial size texturizing spray in my November ipsy Glam Bag so I am at least familiar with the brand.
Pür Be Your Selfie Palette- I can hear everyone sighing from here, I didn’t need another eyeshadow palette but I could not pass it up, it was really pretty and I don’t have anything from Pür Cosmetics. I love the compactness of the palette and the fact that it is only nine shades. It is not something that I would walk into a store and purchase myself because it is kind of expensive for nine shades, though who am I kidding a Naked palette is $54 for 12 shades and I have purchased those in the past. If the quality is there I am going to be super excited. I love the colors in the palette because who doesn’t need 15 neutral palettes, the shade distribution is pretty even four mattes and five shimmers so that is pretty average for a palette like this. You do get a higher payoff with the darker shades but overall when swatched they feel creamy and look pretty pigmented with some nice warmer neutral tones. The other options for this were the Richer Poorer Reina over the knee socks or the Sherrie Matthews Jade Stone Roller.
These last three were customizable for the select members, I am not a select member though one day I hope to be.
Okay so this next one, there was a note in my box saying they weren’t happy with the quality of the coaster’s that are pictured in the magazine and in their place was going to be a mystery item. So I got the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion age defying exfoliator, now I looked on the Dr. Brandt website for a price and I was blown away, guys good skin care is so expensive! I mean, I am excited to try it out and see if my skin can handle it but I bet it can because it seems like a pretty good formulation so I am pretty excited to try it. The other options besides the coasters were Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in “Meringue” or the Brooke Burke Body Sliders.
Way of Will Elevate Essential Oils: Sweet Orange and Eucalyptus- I love essential oils, I have a diffuser in my bedroom and my favorite combo is lavender and bergamot now normally I am not a fan of orange smells because they are too sweet, too strong, and too artificial smelling for me but this sweet orange actually smells like oranges and I really like it. I know they will both smell better in the diffuser, I don’t put essential oils on my skin it is just a me thing but I am looking forward to everything around me smelling like eucalyptus and sweet orange. (not at the same time) The other option for this was the Anthropologie X Mer-Sea & Co Sea Whip Body Cream in Coconut Sugar.
Last thing in the box! Mark & Graham Colorblock Throw in Natural/ivory, the other option was the same through but in a different color way, gray/ivory. I really like the gray/ivory one but I think this one will go better with my décor. It is apparently a Williams-Sonoma Brand and this girl loves her some Williams-Sonoma. When I lived in Indiana the closest one was in Chicago, well in the suburbs of Chicago, now where I live my closest Williams-Sonoma is like and 15 minute drive! It’s so exciting! It’s really soft and it’s just the right size for curling up on the couch with it. I don’t know where it’s going to live in my apartment yet but I really like the throw.
So that’s all for my box this winter, I am already looking forward to the spring box and that is three more months away, that’s the hardest part really, waiting for the next box. If you guys subscribe what did you get? What was your favorite thing? Is there something that you didn’t get that you really wanted?
Okay, so I was wrong; this was supposed to go up yesterday but after work on Monday I came home and felt really ill so I didn’t get a chance to write the post. I spent most of yesterday (Tuesday) in bed because I felt really poorly, I don’t know if it was because I got a little dehydrated on Monday, I had a weird eating day, I was getting a little sick, or I was just overly tired that made me feel really run down. So here I am on my couch watching The Muppets Christmas Carol and writing out this post which I am hoping to be rather short.
In November I feel like I didn’t have a lot of physical favorites my favorites were more getting my apartment back. My mom and the puppies finally moved out at the very end of October after living with me since the last week in May because my parents new house was finally finished. So getting my apartment back under my control was really nice.
I feel like most of November was working on getting my place back to being my place but guess who got their office back? I know if it wasn’t me it would be rather sad. It was me, I got my office back and now I have been in a more creative mood because I have that separation back within my apartment. They tell you not to work where you sleep and I had to do that when I lived at my parent’s house and then for several months while they finished off the house. (It took quite a bit longer than originally expected, sub-contractors are so fun to deal with! I’m kidding, but you can’t read sarcasm through the internet.) I was really happy to get my office back but I didn’t have a desk until probably the week before Thanksgiving so I have been able to get back on track with writing novels and blog posts while also working on my Bullet Journal and everything else I do in my office. I got a new across the hall neighbor who talks loudly on his phone and a new upstairs neighbor who tromps around just as loudly as the woman who used to live above me, but this is not a blog post to complain because I feel as if I have been doing that more frequently recently and I don’t like what kind of person that makes me. Here is what my desk currently looks like, it is just a lot of organized chaos at the moment, lots of notebooks, Christmas cards I have send out, stuff for other blog posts, and my computers. Ignore my garbage can and the mess under my table, it is just how life works.
Next favorite, so I have been using Micellar cleansing clothes for almost the entire year when it comes to taking off my makeup but I recently purchased a bottle of cleansing water from Garnier and you soak cotton pads and then take your makeup off that way. Now I don’t know if it’s better for the environment but it seems more economical to buy a bottle of cleansing water and cotton pads rather than the wipes. I am a huge fan of it because it does a really good job taking off makeup even the stubborn eye makeup that normally is what gets me every time.
I got my office back but I also got the rest of my place back and I have been able to get it back in order so it makes my life a little less chaotic and I have been loving getting everything back where I want it.
Okay, so I have a confession to make. I am one of those people who starts decorating for Christmas early in November so my apartment was fully decorated well over a week before Thanksgiving. Now I did not light my tree until after Thanksgiving so it wasn’t too bad. All the pictures of that are up at the top, I grew up in a house that had many many Christmas trees so I have four in my apartment, one is not pictured but it is really small and next to my bed.
Last favorite, I got a new piece of artwork at Hobby Lobby and it is my entire life, it says Messy Bun and getting stuff done and that has been my life motto long before I had ever heard the phrase. When it got around time for finals in university my hair was up in a bun and I had a look on my face that said leave me alone so that has translated into my adult life as well. Graphic artwork with catchy phrases are some of my favorites even if they are mass produced. (Ignore my hand in the picture, I am still figuring out how to photograph reflective surfaces!)