Influenster Reviewers Choice Beauty Box

Hellooo gingersnaps!

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email about a collective beauty box from Influenster available for $50.  *BTW if you are NOT a member of Influenster and have a decent presence on social media, you should sign up because YOU WILL get sent free things. Seriously. 100% free. The promotion was accompanied by an offer from Ebates, which unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard of by now. I begrudgingly signed up for Ebates as well, due to the $10 cash back they promised, making the beauty box only $40.

I also ended up doing a bit of Christmas shopping on Ebates and low and behold, already got my first reimbursement check for 16 big ones! So basically, I will be using Ebates from now on because why the hell wouldn’t I? If you are not signed up for Ebates btw, you probably should because it is free money.

But enough about all the money I saved. ON TO THE BOX!

Feast yer eyes on all the items I got for $40.

For starters, Influenster values this box at $300 and they ain’t lyin.  I mean, check out the following items:

A Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder ($23)

AND you get the pouf:

A FULL SIZED Everlasting Lipstick by Kat Von D in the shade Lolita ($20)

A mini Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Vanilla Quartz ($19)

Those three items alone total $60. WHAT A DEAL folks! What. A. Deal.

Here are some other faves that came in the box:

Colorpop Supershock Eyeshadow in Lightening Bug ($5)

SO freakin’ pretty!

Full sized Tresemme Tres Two hairspray and my beloved Batiste Dry Shampoo in Neon.

A FULL SIZED Origins Ginzing Eye Cream ($32) plus samples from Sunday Riley and Purity Face Wash!

FULL SIZED products here too! Body lotion from Love Beauty and Planet, Ponds Dry Skin Cream, Coola Sport Face SPF 50 White Tea Sunscreen ($32).

All full sized products here too – from NYX, Real Techniques, Younique, Wet’n’Wild and Covergirl!

I just love ordering boxes like this around this time of year. They make great gifts in and of themselves but you can also put together smaller gift bags using some of the products depending on the person and keep a few things for yourself. SUCH a good idea!

This box is still for sale here! Go get you one!

Advertisements

Ulta, T.J Maxx and Walgreens Haul

Oh hullo BBs.

Apparently I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree as of late. As I was scrolling through the pictures on my trusty iPhone 7 I realized I went on a kindof a tear. But like, whatevs because you know I’m only dropping dollas on some dealzz!

And apologies for the lingo. Sometimes the rapper in me just needs to let loose.

Here’s what is on the docket:

No 7 Lift and Luminate Foundation

As soon as I saw Kathleen Lights use this stuff, I knew I wanted to try it. So you can imagine my the bittersweet feeling when I saw it at Walgreens on closeout. It was marked 50% off at $7.99 and while I was elated at the price point, my heart sank that the line was ditching this as I had heard great things.

I ended up getting the shades Cool Vanilla, which matches when I am a little bit tan and Warm Ivory, which matches me  normally (pale).

The consistency is thick yet light, almost a mousy texture. The coverage is definitely medium and it applies SO smoothly. I think it is really great for mature skin and does a great job of not settling into fine lines or getting patchy. It does fade a bit throughout the day so it isn’t the most long-wearing formula but I do not mind the way it fades. It doesn’t break-down in a bad way. I highly recommend this if you can get your hands on some!

Anastasia Brow Whiz

I purchased this during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty event for only $10. The color really is perfect for me and I prefer to use this color over blonde. I apply taupe at the inner parts of my eyebrows and then use soft brown on the out parts. I find this looks super natural, soft, and beautiful.

Covergirl So Lashy! Mascara

Picked this up at T.J Maxx for only $3 in a pinch. I like to keep a mascara at work for emergencies. This mascara is not terrible but definitely pails in comparison to my beloved Covergirl SuperSizer. But for $3, it’ll do ‘er.

Morphe M506 Tapered Mini Blender Brush

Ulta carries Morphe now! Fiddle dee dee! I have been looking for a pointed blending brush for when I want to smoke out a more intense color. This one fit the bill and was only $6.

Velour Lashes in Trust Me Try It

I purchased these on Nordstrom Rack for $12 as I have always wanted to try Velour. These are from their silk line (not mink) and are STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS. Well worth the 12 bucks. Fluffy as hell, thick but not too thick, a thin, flexible band. Come on, what more could you want!?

On me:

Mac Fix + in Rose

I was delighted to find that they had all three smells (coconut, rose and lavender) at Mac when I went in to purchase this. I was back and forth between rose and coconut but ultimately liked rose better. If you’ve never tried this stuff….GO GET YOU SOME. It is worth every penny.

Skintimate 2 in 1 Shave Cream in Coconut Silk

Saw this at Walgreens the other day and bought on impulse due to the coconut. I am a sucker for coconut shower products. I can confirm this stuff is rully nice. Thick, moisturizing and smells VERY much like tropical coconut.

Ole Hendriksen Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths

I got these for fi-dollas. So pumped. T.J Maxx son!

Sorry the rapper came back again.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by!

 

The Ordinary Skincare | Before & After

What up fam? It’s ya boii.

I have been using five different products from The Ordinary for right around 1.5 months now and as promised, herr I am with an update!

To see all of the products I have been using, please see this post. That being said, the two products I’ve had the highest hopes for are the Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene and the  Alpha Arbutin 2%. One of the benefits of both these formulations is their fading of dark spot capabilities. As you all know, I wrecked my skin as a youngster and am paying the price with a hefty amount of sun spots. It would be great if I did not have to pay an arm and a leg in products and laser treatments to get rid of these pesky little suckers and The Ordinary gave me hope that this was possible.

Here is what I found out:

But before I get into that, the pictures!

BEFORE

AFTER

*taken very early in the morning, might I add

So what do we think guys?

(Before on left, after on right)

I feel like the products did help fade my sun spots.  They are most definitely still there, still hanging on being all pigmented and annoying. But I do think they look better. As an added bonus, I feel like my skin just looks and feels better too. It feels more hydrated (thanks to the Squalene and Hyaluronic acid!), brighter, softer and my makeup goes on better. I should also note that I didn’t use the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA lotion too much. So these benefits are all from using the four serum products.

Next, I want to try the caffeine formula from The Ordinary under my eyes. Because the purple under there isn’t cute.

And please leave any recommendations you have for me in the comments. I am ALL ears!

Spring Collective Haul

‘Eyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

I’ve once again, accumulated enough crap to write a haul post, fiddle dee dee!

But really, these are kindof my favorite kinds of posts to write because I get to be all hopeful and imagine all of these products will make me prettier, more youthful and just plain better. And while  they inevitably will end up not making that big of an impact in my life, they make me excited and bring me joy for the time being so let us focus on that! #realness

First up! The Becca First Light Priming Filter

If you are not living under a rock, you know the 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta is happening RIGHT NOW. And when I saw that this primer would be on sale for $19 (usually $38) I pounced. You see, both Kathleen Lights and Kristin Gehm claim this as their ride-or-die primer and with credibility like that, I would have been stupid NOT to purchase.

I am excited because, a.) I’ve not used a primer for a WHILE (where the F have I been? and b.) this one is supposed to provide a gorgeous canvas on the skin.

The next product comes with a doozy of a story.

This would be the Phyto Paris Phytojoba Hair Mask, retailing for $45.

Perfect product for me and my dry-ass, damaged hurr.

And you will never guess where I found it…

For those of you who cannot dissect the price tags above. This would be a clearance tag from Target covered by a Goodwill price tag.

YES. I got this $45 hair mask at Goodwill for $1.99. Completely sealed and unopened. I tell you guys what, it pays to go to thrift stores and rummage around. You never know what you’ll find!

The next product is one I received complimentary (not sponsored) from Serendipity Skincare. This would be their Serenade Repairing Night Cream.

Check out this absolutely stunning packaging!

I am overjoyed to incorporate this night cream into my evening routine! The claims and ingredients read like a dream and I plan to do a full review once I start using it.

Serendipity also has a Sparkle Rejuvinating Eye Serum which I am DYING to try out. I have heard great things about this product!

Check out the website to learn more about Serendipity and their simple, yet elegant range of products.

Next we have a freakin’ unicorn of a foundation: The Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation.

I call this stuff a unicorn because MAN OH MAN was this hard to find. First of all, it is exclusive to Ulta. Second of all, Flower is a new brand to Ulta as whole, so finding an Ulta that carries the brand is damn near impossible. On top of that, every Ulta I called that carried this brand was sold out of this foundation in nearly every shade.

But you know that didn’t stop me.

After a family Easter brunch in Vancouver, WA David decided to stop at another random Ulta for me just to check to see if they had it. (Do you understand why I love this man?) And low and behold they had EVERY COLOR. I peed a little.

Annnnd after owning this for several days now, I can happily report that it lives up to it’s reputation :). Full review coming soon!

Last weekend I did some shopping at T.J Maxx and made out with a few exciting items. It should also be noted that  I did buy some beauty items which I have previously discussed my thoughts on. And while a couple items I determined to be exceptions to my rule, I also ended up taking a little risk. More on that below…

The Elf Mascara Primer was only $1.99 and I am pleased to report it works quite nicely! It easily saves me a couple coats of mascara and definitely helps keep a curl. The product was not dried out, used or anything out of the ordinary.

Next I found a box of 10 Esfolio Pure Skin Egg Essence Sheet Masks (I researched them on my phone before purchasing to ensure positive reviews). I know EWWW to the “egg” part but I can promise you these masks smell great and nothing AT ALL like egg. The masks seem to be completely effective and TOTALLY worth the $5.99 price tag.

My last beauty find at T.J Maxx is this Norvell Dancing With the Stars  Self Tanning Foam. NOW. I know Norvell is a reputable tanning product company as I have used their tan extender in the past and loved it. The brand no longer sells the Dancing with the Stars line but after doing a little research (standing in the aisle at T.J Maxx) I learned it got glowing reviews. No pun intended. It cost just $4.99 so I decided to take a risk and give it a shot. I plan to do a full product review on this stuff as well.

Any other new products I need to try!? Let me know!

The Ordinary Skincare Review

Hello lemon-heads!

Today is an exciting day. A VERY exciting day.

Today marks the official first day of my adventures in a new skin care line! (not spons’d. i wish)

Never in MY LIFE have I been a one-brand girl. In fact, those of you out there who always buy the same exact soap, cereal, laundry detergent, etc., I ask you – WHY!? There is just too much variety out there for me to want to stick to THE SAME stupid brand each time. I prefer to mix it up and get a little crazy. Except when it comes to dry shampoo because YOU KNOW the best brand for that, obvs.

But when I caught wind that there was a skincare brand boasting powerful concentrations of quality ingredients with price points as low as $6, I was SHOOKETH.

Give me a bargain  or give me death, I always say. And while you’re at it, make it work.

After I wrote about how I wrecked my skin just shy of a year ago, I had all kinds of folks giving me all kinds of advice. “Don’t try lasers!” they said. “Try this $200 set!”, they said. And I was intrigued. I DO want the spots to fade, the lines to disappear. But at what cost? In my book, $200 for a 90-day supply of product just isn’t worth it. I’d rather go to Paris, or buy us a nice dinner out or maybe the 6-foot Pusheen plush at Fuego. Doing a laser treatment is also not off my radar but I am pretty much going to need a 100% guarantee that it will work.

So in the meantime, I decided to give The Ordinary a shot. This brand is now available on Sephora.com but I placed my order on deciem.com.

Here are the products I purchased and the reasons I purchased them:

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene.

  • Should help fade my sun spots
  • Also helps fine lines and signs of ageing

I went with the Retinoid versus Retinol because I read that they are stronger. I decided on the highest percentage because my sun spots are pretty intense.

The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalene

  • Helps with hydration
  • Also great for my damaged hair

I decided on this product after reading multiple articles about how great it is. Plus, I like the word squalene :).

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%

  • Amazing for hydration
  • Helps “plump” the skin

OF COURSE I got a hyaluronic acid. This ingredient is produced naturally but the production slows down over time. I have seen first-hand the amazing effects of hyaluronic acid and how glowy and plump it makes the skin appear.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2%

  • Also helps with hyperpigmentation and spots

I purchased this one because of the high concentration of the active ingredients at 2%. The standard is 1% and Mama needs all the help she can get.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

  • Intense Hydrating  lotion

I wanted to try at least one product that was not an oil-based serum from the line and this lotion is regarded very highly. Also, you get 100 mls for less than $8!

Over the past few days of using these pups I can attest to their keen absorption into the skin, the wonderful absence of scent and the ease of the packaging.

And since I am so very excited to see how the results pan out, I am doing before and afters! So here is my BEFORE in all her eye goop and age spots, morning glory.

Let me know if YOU have tried any products from The Ordinary! I hear they make a nice foundation too :).

Current Winter Skincare Routine

Hiya buddies!

 

The other night as I nestled myself cozily into bed, I realized something. I patted it my eye cream and thought, “Wow, I take awhile to get ready for bed.” What once took me minutes to accomplish now takes well over 15 minutes and why? #thirtysomethingproblems

The amount of steps involved in my current winter skincare routine rivals the cha-cha-cha. Here’s how it breaks down:

STEP ONE: Remove makeup

Lately I have been using the Earth Science Creamy Fruit Oil Cleanser to remove makeup and cleanse the skin. As a dry gal, I need a gentle product that cleans the skin but isn’t overly harsh. This stuff works great and is only about $10.

STEP TWO: Tone

My all-time favorite facial spray is the Beauty Elixir from Caudalie, mostly because it smells like a bougie spa and makes my face tingle.

STEP THREE: Moisturize

For me, moisturizer comes in many different forms. On a typical night I have been using the Skin Laundry Restoring Night Serum, followed by the Boscia Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask. The serum has a bit of a funny smell but pairs nicely with the sleeping mask.

If I need an extra surge of moisture, I will throw a sheet mask on. I am not too picky about the sheet masks these days but I LOVE these ones from Karuna.

If I want a lighter moisturizer for my face, I will use the Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer. I LOVE this line from Origins.

On my eyes, I have been using the Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate. I smear this stuff all the way around my eye and it feels amazing.

Sometimes, if I want a CRAZY amount of moisture under my eyes, I apply some Confetti Cake Lip Balm, from Treat Beauty. It is basically straight-up coconut oil.

For my lips, I like to exfoliate! This Elf Lip Exfoliator in Mint Maniac is just the ticket. I follow up with more of my beloved Treat Beauty lip balm.

 

In regards to body care, I use a couple of different products for added moisture before bed.

On my thighs, I apply the CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion which helps with KP (read a whole post on that here).

Everywhere else, I apply this Exfolicare Coconut Oil Creme that David’s aunt Sandi got me from Maui. IT IS AMAZING and if we go back, I am hunting it down and buying it by the barrel.

That is about it for my winter skincare routine. What do I need to try next?! Let me know in the comments below!

My 2017 Favorites!

I’m a little late to the game on posting these but sometimes a girl needs a few days  a month to figure out her sh*t. I know you guys get it.

So. In no certain order, here are my favorite products from last year!


MAKEUP

Foundation

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

This two-year winner takes the cake for a menagerie of reasons. It covers well, lasts long, looks natural and is priced reasonably.

Concealer

Tarte Shape Tape

It’s true, everyone and their dog loves this concealer. Because it is perfection.

Powder

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation

I fully realize that the reason I love this powder so much is because it is also a friggen’ foundation and therefore, the coverage is insane. But I don’t care and neither should you. This powder is velvety soft, beautiful on the skin and makes me feel airbrushed.

Bronzer

Benefit Hoola

Oh Hoola, I can’t quit you. I’ve tried so many bronzers and contour shades and Hoola remains always in my line-up. always on my cheekbones and forever in my heart.

Blush

Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro

Where in the F has everyone been  on discovering this underrated color from Milani? Sure, we’ve all sung the praises of Luminoso but this color is absolutely stunning as well. I wore non-stop last year.

Highlighter

Revolution Blushing Hearts Highlighter in Goddess of Faith

 

I realize as I am typing this that this is the first time I have EVER spoke of this product. I am shooketh. This is hands down, 10 out of 10 the BEST HIGHLIGHT I have ever used. And it is from the DRUGSTORE. And it is heart-shaped. It is perfect on my pale skin, boasting a gorgeous icy champagne hue that is so extra I can hardly contain myself. Hat tip to sister Megan for discovering this gem.

Setting Spray

Milani Make it Last Setting Spray

Although the mister on this thing isn’t my favorite (FAR too much product is centrally distributed), the effects are great. YES it contains alcohol but if it goes in my mouth, why can’t it go on my face? TWSS.

Eyeshadow

Stila Magificent Metals in Diamond Dust

Why do I not own every shade of this product? WHY? I give SO many props to Stila for inventing thee most practical way to apply intense glitter.

Pencil Eyeliner

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner

This liner is super creamy so take that as you may. I love how richly pigmented and black it is and being that I am not oily, I have no issues with smearing.

Mascara

TIE! Between Covergirl’s The Super Sizer and Total Tease

The one characteristic these two miracle-workers posses is their ability to separate and be buildable at the same time. If you’re a person who enjoys over 3 coats of mascara, then run out and buy these then come back here and thank me ;).

Lashes

H&M Lashes

Go figure, these .99 cent lashes on closeout from H&M have been easily my favorite of the year. I have worn them multiple times and I cannot get enough of the super thin and flexible band, the natural clumpiness and realistic curl. Here’s what they look like on me:

Lipstick

Mac Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme Cup

You guys saw this one coming 782378435 feet away. This color is just perfect on me and it just so happens to come in my favorite finish AND it’s Mac so it has the vanilla scent. I just feel more myself wearing this, ya feel me?

Lipgloss

Buxom Full-On Lip Creme in Bellini

I cannot recommend any of the Buxom glosses enough. They provide a lil’ plump and a healthy dose of color. What’s not to love?

Lipbalm

Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter by Sol de Janeiro

I know this is good because when I wear it to bed David always says I smell good :). It is super moisturizing and also a jumbo size.

AND of course, Treat Beauty Jumbo Lip Balm in Confetti Cake

These jumbo lip balms are the best! All natural, come in THEE BEST flavors, jumbo sized AND from Portland Oregon!? What more could you want?

Tools

Flower Beauty Makeup Sponge

As I said in this post, this has to be the softest, most bouncy-soft makeup sponge on the market. You can get yours at Wal-Mart for $9 or pay over $20 at Sephora for a Beauty Blender. CHOICE IS YOURS!


HAIRCARE

Shampoo +  Conditioner

Davines is where it’s at y’all. I have  thoroughly enjoyed each and every product from this brand. My stylist uses Davines color on me as well. The whole brand is great and I highly recommend!

Dry Shampoo

Batiste!

Absolutely nothing beats this dry shampoo and I have tried a few (RHYMING!). Yes it leaves a white-cast but I like me a white-cast! How else do you know it’s working?! The tropical scent is my favorite because it smells like coconuts.

Other Hair Products

Davines Oi Oil

Here’s Davines again! This smells amaaaazing and I love to use it on my ends.

Davines MELU Hair Shield

I love how lightweight this spray is. It smells nice and provides the best protection for my hair.


BODYCARE

Lotion

CerVe Renewing SA Lotion

As you might have read about in this post, I have KP (keratosis pilaris). This lotion was recently recommended to me by my dermatologist and I do really like it. Being the winter time, I have not had to be as diligent about putting it on everyday but I do apply it to the affected areas after bathing. It uses salycilic acid to exfoliate and break down the keratin around the hair follicle.

Brazilian Kiss Body Mist by Sol De Janeiro

(in this set)

This body spray smells like everything I want to be. That should tell you all you need to know.

Dr. Teals Epsom Salts

Call me old fashioned but I love me a good ol’ epsom salt bath to cure what ails me. So great for sore muscles and the Dr.Teals brand has so many scents to choose from. I have tried nearly every one and haven’t found a dud yet!

And that wraps it up folks! What are YOUR favorites from 2017??