Hello Beautiful Review

Well HELLO beautiful!

So fitting for today.

Why you ask?

Because the lovely folks at Musely sent me two boxes of Hello Beautiful Collagen & Multivitamin Powder to try out. And try, I did!

First let me preface this with some fun disclaimers:

  1. I am not a nutritionist.
  2. I am not even an especially healthy person.
  3. I am a girl who loves my island looking nice, not dying too young and feeling good.

And I’m no fool. I know that a powder you can mix right into yer Swiss Miss cocoa isn’t going to, poof – make me look like a Hadid. But I also know that a good vitamin regime can be a game changer, especially if you remember to actually take them.

Enter: Musely’s Hello Beautiful Collagen & Multivitamin Powders in Unsweetened and Wild Berry

Each box contains 20 packets of powder and retails for $26.

I immediately opened up both boxes and have been switching between the mixed berry and unsweetened versions for the past 3-4 weeks now.

The Pow

Each packet contains .21 oz of powder which for me is a hefty dose. I had a bit of difficulty mixing them into a cold beverage by hand, especially with ice or in anything fizzy. I did blend one into a smoothie however and that was wonderful (I felt so darn healthy!). It dissolves much easier into a hot beverage and the unsweetened version was totally undetectable in my coffee.

The taste

The unsweetened powder does not have a taste so much as a mouth-feel. If mixed into straight up water, you can tell something has been added but it does not have a taste. If mixed into lemonade or a different kind of beverage, the taste is undetectable.

The wild berry flavor is faint. It is not overwhelming or overly sweet. It actually reminded me of the taste of those Propel drinks (flavored water), as opposed to Crystal Light. *I keep my drinks klassy*

Results

I am pleased to report a noticeable change in the health an thickness of my nails. I can also speak to the growth, as right after I started having the powders I got my nails done (shellac).

Not even two weeks later, and my nails had grown out SO much that I had a good 1/8 of an inch of grow out! I had to use some soak-off remover the other night to remove this (so apologies for the state of my nails) but check out this growth!

As for my hair and skin –  I have not noticed any changes as significant as my nails. My skin does feel more hydrated and it seems to be taking better to The Ordinary products I have been using (read more about that here).

The other benefit I have noticed is my energy level. I have felt really great lately. I am not getting tired in the middle of the day as I usually do and I find that I have been sleeping better. Many factors could be contributing to this however the added vitamins probably are not hurting either.

Overall

I am very pleased with this stuff! I find it easy to mix in with lots of different kinds of beverages both hot and cold. The website also includes several recipes using the powders including a breakfast cookie (scroll to the bottom of the page)! I am happy with the results I have seen and experienced. From longer, thicker and more healthy nails to a boost in energy – this stuff actually provides results you can see and feel!

This post is not sponsored. I was sent these products complimentary but all opinions are my own.

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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!

Soleil Tan De Chanel Review

SO, hi. It me.

Do you ever just let yourself pretend for a minute that you’re super fancy? For me, these moments strike when I randomly get invited to sit in the box seats at a Blazers game. Or when the airline puts me in business economy and I get that extra 2 inches of legroom. It comes when I buy something NOT on sale at Nordstrom or any other bougie store. Or especially when I have more than one shopping bag on my wrist that isn’t a plastic H&M bag. The second they hand over that shiny ass shopping tote with my item neatly wrapped in tissue paper is the moment I am transported. Suddenly I am no longer Natalie with the dark roots wearing two different color Gap socks from 2007. I am NATALIE. The girl who pays full price! The girl who doesn’t get uncomfortable making eye contact with the who people who work at Gucci. The girl who frivolously impulse-buys the travel-sized items at the register at Sephora without hesitation.

YOU KNOW THE GIRL.

And I ain’t her.

But that’s okay. Because something my mother told me when I was but a little girl, begging my parents for a pink Tamagotchi, stuck with me  – “Natalie, the people who get everything handed to them will have nothing to look forward to. Won’t it be so special when you do finally get to have that?”

And she was right.

Enter: The Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzer. A $50 product I’ve wanted forever. It is the bronzer to the stars. The bronzer that all other bronzers aspire to be. It is the perfect tone and consistency. It changes lives.  It is CHANEL. It is everything.

And now…thanks to sister Meg…I OWN IT.

*cue maniacal laugh in a french accent*

The black and gold! Be still my heart.

Oh haaaaaaiiii interlocking Cs!

Doesn’t this look like perfect swirly tootsie poop? I hate to use the word poop in the same post as CHANEL but c’est la vie mes amies.

This product is best applied with a stippling brush, or a semi densely packed contour brush. You could also apply it with a sponge or your fingers. It’s french! Anything goes.

Here I am wearing this bronzer to the first Blazers playoff game where they laid a giant egg against the Pelicans. Apparently they did not have their game faces on.

BUT I SURE DID.

Wet’n’Wild Goth-O-Graphic Review

Oh, hey.

Just your average goth over here, gothin’ around.

But seriously, I have mad respect for goth subculture and fashion.  I love watching It’s Black Friday on the YouTube because she is amazing, beautiful and original. In another life, I wanna be her.

And while the two products I am talking about today hail from the Wet’n’Wild Goth-O-Graphic collection, by NO means are they only meant to be worn in a gothic style. They are just stunning, fun products that I was elated to get my mitts on!

First up, the MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Eyeshadow in Goth Tears.

In the packaging, this is a lilac purple with intense glitter and an iridescent shift.

One layer of product:

Two layers:

Not THEE best swatches but I figured it would better on a primed eyelid.

Next up, the Megaglo Highlighting Powder in White Raven.

This product swatched not so great.

Kinda chalky and I had to really dig in there to get the desired amount.

I decided to try out these two products at the same time to really up my unicorn game!

Lip Color is Lime Crime Diamond Crusher in Pink Pearl

I added iridescent glitter flakes from Forever 21 as well

 

That soft focus tho!

Overall I was happy with both products. I am happy to join this glittery, iridescent fairy princess-goth fun. Especially for $4.99 a pop. The liquid eyeshadow is really pretty and darn easy to apply. The highlight is not my favorite but is a fun change-up from the normal champagney highlights I usually reach for.

Go Wet’n’Wild! Have YOU tried anything from this collection??

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!

Home Additions & Springtime Fun

Hello chocolate bunnies!

Everyone get their obligatory bag of 75% off jelly beans after Easter? GOOD.

When we moved into our new house, David and I immediately knew we wanted to do something about the state of the back deck (see below). And while the realtor pics ALWAYS make everything look 328934 times better with their fancy cameras and wide angle lenses, believe me when I say that the deck was def pretty old and splintery. No bueno!

So, last fall David and his stepdad ripped the sucker right on out and replaced the wood with Trex! A wise choice indeed. Then in March, David (along with the help of many) planned out, purchased lumber for and built a motherf*cking pergola. THE PERG.

He then strung lights through it (my only request).

So yeah. Go us!

Next on the docket was buying a Q. David happily scampered off to Lowe’s and literally purchased (much to my chagrin) the largest barbecue ever made. Behold:

Not even Meira can comprehend it’s great size.

“But Natalie, it has a charcoal AND gas side!” he says.

I was literally picturing the good ol’ Smokey Joe of yesteryear so I had to let out a good chuckle and let bygones be bygones. The man likes his fire machine and I like this man.

Up next it was high time to address this modern monstrosity:

And absolutely no shade to anyone who fancies this light fixture (you can have it, btw). It just doesn’t seem to “fit” the  house (read: it’s a size behemoth) and the decor (read: could be a prop from The Matrix). Luckily, I had Nan and Meg in town so we went to Home Depot and I scored this adorable, weathered-wood number for a mere $99. We think it was an online return (read: limited edish).

With the lights on.

SO. Much. Better.

Then I decided our very white kitchen needed  a splash of color so I decided I wanted a valance for the window. Yes, a valance. For any of you readers our there that are NOT little old ladies, a valance is a very short curtain for a window that is typically in the home of (you guessed it) a little old lady. So, I scoured the stores and the web for such a thing and surprise surprise – good options are NOT easy to come by. I ended up custom ordering (what I thought) was a perfect pattern in lovely, complimentary colors to the room.

Here is what I ended up with:

NO. Just, no.

It looked like the Copa Cabana up in hurr.

And it really sucks because the fabric was nice and the lady who sewed them from Etsy did a great job. I just made a $25 bad choice. Again, any takers on some beautiful, albeit vibrant little kitchen curtains?

And then of course, there are these stunningly beautiful Portland days we randomly get that wet our whistle to the forthcoming months. These days are best enjoyed outside and preferably with a canine companion. Namely, Meira.

Yes, she is my flower child.

And then there are overalls.

Note the gingerbread socks. I’m sorry Meg (she can’t stand when people don’t take their socks off when trying on short items).

I did not buy these and have realized a few things when it comes to myself as I relate to overalls.

  1. Much like bodysuits and the dreaded romper/playsuit/onesie – overalls are just NOT made for us Amazons.
  2. Despite my best, most well-intended efforts, I may have to fork over more cash than I want to spend if I want a pair of these.
  3. Overalls are not going to happen to me as easily as I thought.

Darn.