A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

Use It: March and April 2016 Empties

Hello again!

Welcome to another round of empties! This is one of my favorite type of posts to write and read. It makes me really take a good look at my purchases and consider if they were worth it. It also puts in perspective how many other things I have to use up!

As always, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle.

SKINCARE

Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover – I don’t get the hype. This is a fine eye makeup remover, but it isn’t great. More often than not, I would wake up with leftover mascara and eyeliner caked under my eyes (gross). I expect a lot more for this price point and definitely would not repurchase. Available at any Lancome counter or online for $30 for 4.2oz. Nordstrom does price matching and you can purchase there for $27.

MAKEUP

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium – what a great, easy to use brow tint and filler. Benefit calls this a “volumizing fiber gel.” Just a few swipes fill in sparse areas and the formula holds unruly hairs in place. This little tube lasted 6 months, but I would say its worth it and consider repurchasing. Available at Ulta and all Benefit counters for $24 for 0.1oz.

Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Currant – this is a fabulous neutral shade gloss. Bite makes wonderful lightweight glosses that aren’t sticky or clumpy. All of their products are made with natural oils and are scented like fruit. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Sephora for $22.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rose – I’ve gone through so many of these – granted, I have a stockpile of the minis… This balm is lightweight, non-greasy and provides a lovely, sheer wash of color. I will purchase a full size if I ever run out.:) Available at Sephora for $24 for 0.15oz.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara – I received this through Influenster a few months agoand used it religiously up until a few weeks ago. I read see feedback from another blogger that she knew its time was up when it started flaking throughout the day. and flake it did. This was fantastic until then – this wand separated each lash and the formula coated evenly every time. This lasted easily 10 hours every day. But yes, at the end of its 3-month life cycle, it definitely flaked. Maybe more companies should create a built in reminder when you should toss? Overall I really liked this and would purchase again. Available at Sephora for $26.

Neutrogena Glow Sheer in Ivory to Fair – my friend Laura gave me this forever ago when she was decluttering and I didn’t love or hate it.. perhaps that’s why she passed it along also? The definition of sheer is spot on – it provided little coverage and left a nice dewy finish. It made a great weekend errand-running foundation. Sadly, this has turned and now separates upon application. I have plenty of foundation, I don’t see myself ever repurchasing. Available at Ulta, CVS and many other locations for $12.99 for 1.1 oz.

Stila Smudge Stick Eye Liner in Oscar Fish – I love the Smudge Stick formula so I’m very sad to see this go! This was a great chocolaty brown that I featured in a quick makeup recommendation post last year.  Will not repurchase right now, as I have a few similar shades that I want to finish. Available at Sephora for $22 for 0.01oz.

BODY

The Body Shop Body Butter in Cranberry Joy – I’ve reviewed this product, as well as many other things in this scent. I love cranberry! The body butters from TBS are so great – very hydrating and the scents last all day. I will repurchase this again and again – and I probably don’t need to… I think I have backups. This seasonal scent is available starting in September for $21 for 6.7oz.

 

Saint Augustine & Suds Scrub Down – this is a great coffee scrub from my favorite local gal. They just reformulated this and want to test it out! Its hydrating and exfoliating at the same time. Visit the website to check out when the new scrub is up as well as see her gorgeous soaps!

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter – this was my first Soap & Glory product and I thought it was so great – definitely makes me want to try more from this brand. This little tub sat on my desk for quite a while – a little bit went a really long way. It was very moisturizing, but not greasy and really helped my hands survive winter! Available at Ulta for $4 for the 1.69 mini or $15 for 10.1 oz.

HAIR

Biologe Color Care Shampoo – this is my favorite shampoo. I might change from time to time, but I always come back! It gets my hair incredibly clean without harming my color. I will always repurchase. Available at most salons for $13-24 (this older 16.9oz is no longer sold).

Biolage Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray – this is part of a shampoo and conditioner set that I finished a while ago (these sets never finish together..), so I used this in combination with my regular Biologe color treated shampoo. A few sprays left my hair smooth and shiny when used with high heat. I would consider repurchasing after I downsize some of my current products. Available wherever you can buy salon products for $23 for 6.8 oz.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – I think this would be better for fine hair – it does an okay job of absorbing oil.. it is fine for about 4 hours before my hair starts to feel greasy. Will not purchase again. Available on Birchbox.com for $20 for 3.2oz.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – this was.. fine. It was a perfectly fine dry shampoo. It did fairly decent job of absorbing oil for 5-6 hour, but after that just completely disappeared. I also felt that this was good for like 1-day, but given that I usually only wash my hair twice a week, it did nothing to extend my style or time between regular shampoo. And for such a “clean” line of products, this smelled like chemicals. Would not repurchase. Available at Sephora for $12 for 1.8oz.

LIFESTYLE

Bath and Body Works PocketBac in Vampire Blood and EEK! – yes. These are from Halloween and I love the cheesy names! I have a bunch of different scents hoarded away and will not be repurchasing any for a while. Available at Bath and Body Works for $1.75 for 1oz.

Julep Nail Color in Shari, Claudette and Margot – yes, I finished 3 nail polishes in the last couple months… Julep has so many great shades, however they are very dupable. I love the message behind the brand and like supporting an all-female business, but the Julep formulas frustrate me as a whole. I can get 2-3 days before they chip even with a durable topcoat. They also get really gloopy towards the end, the exception being Margot (gold) and I was able to use every available drop. These colors were beautiful but I will not be repurchasing any of them – especially at $14 each.

Ulta Strengthening Nail Polish Remover – I’ve written about this several times. I’m not super picky about polish remover. This works fine and is cheap. I have backups.:) Available at Ulta for $2.99 for 6 oz.

TOSS

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Black – when makeup artist extraordinaire Lisa Eldridge (bow down!) recommends a product, I take that pretty seriously. Unfortunately this was an absolute fail for me. This constantly smudged onto my brow bone and under my eyes with and without primer. After a week of trying to make this work, I GIVE UP! Ugh!

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 4

Body: 9

Hair: 5

Makeup/face: 12

other: 3

Nails: 4

Samples: 13

Sheet masks: 4

All of my sample and sheet mask reviews are posted regularly on my Instagram (@lvp8779) as well as random other beauty things.. stop by and say hi!

I hope you have a wonderful May!

 

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Update: Progress with Perioral Dermatitis

Hello everyone!

My photos and links on my Instagram (@lvp8779) sparked some great conversation about dealing with and treatment of perioral dermatitis. It is reassuring to find others who have dealt with this, as well as be able to offer my own experience and treatment recommendations.

In my last post, I shared the backstory to discovering the problem and my over the counter attempts to treat it. There were a couple First Aid Beauty products that really helped reduce inflammation and reduce the pain.

When I last posted, I was  day 7 of doxycycline, week 3 of the FAB products, and using the Sensodyne toothpaste. The photo below is day 14 of antibiotics week 4 of the FAB products:

This is bare skin, just serum and moisturizer. A few days prior, I added in the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum which, like all of their products, contains colloidal oatmeal. This is a gentle anti-inflammatory that eliminated the residual dry skin.

I have been careful not to use any harsh peeling treatments, scrubs or masks the last several weeks. One of the best changes has been that I no longer need 3 concealers to cover up the redness. As you can see, the inflammation is minimal – hallelujah!

So here is a photo from a few days ago:

 

 

This was day 21 of doxy and week 5 of the FAB products. My skin is no longer inflamed and painful… it is always a bit red, so this is nothing unusual. I am only using the Maybelline Master Conceal as needed and have put the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and the green MUFE primer back on the shelf.

So I’m finally starting to feel normal again. Thank goodness. I even left the house without concealer or foundation the other day. I just wore the IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+ in Fair and felt really comfortable and not a bit self-conscious for the first time in months.

I’m so glad to be able to see this improvement and hope it has been helpful to any of you with PD. Please feel free to share any of your own experience or tips for dealing with PD. Stay tuned for more updates!

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March 2016 Favorites

Hello again!

Welcome to the March edition of favorites! Another month has flown by – I know, I know… doesn’t everyone say that? We started off spring so well – 60-70 degrees, lots of sun and flowers blooming everywhere. In the last couple days, however, we have regressed to winter. It has been snowing, windy and downright frigid for the last few days. Wtf? I didn’t sign up for this

If you read my last post about addressing and dealing with my perioral dermatitis, you already know about how much credit I give First Aid Beauty for helping calm the pain and redness. I’ve been using the Face Cleanser following a gentle cleansing balm at night and Ultra Repair Cream morning and night. I was worried about the cream clogging my pores, but it hasn’t caused any negative reaction whatsoever. What a life saver!

The nice folks over at Influenster sent me 3 of the new Amuse Bouche lipsticks to test and review. I received Pepper, Gazpacho and Beetroot which are all lovely! The formula is great – solid pigmentation and my lips stay hydrated for hours without needing to reapply. I liked these so much that I purchased a 4th shade in Nori. There has been a ton of press on this launch, so I won’t get too wordy… but the Amuse Bouche formula really reinforces my love for this brand. I love all of their products and believe in what they do. Now if only they would bring back my BB for lips…

 

So there you have it – short and sweet! What were some of your favorites for March?

Have a wonderful month!

 

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A Recent Discovery and a Skincare Challenge

This story is maybe not what you think, however I thought this story would be appropriate to share on the blog, as it does relate to beauty but in a slightly different way. If you read my blog regularly, you know that I’ve mentioned been battling something that I thought was eczema for the last couple months. It has made me incredibly self-conscious and has led me to being overly critical every time I look in the mirror. My already sensitive skin has become even more sensitive, even painful at times. It has been beyond frustrating.

The symptoms started in January as a red, flaky patch in my right nasal fold. Then I developed what looked like acne on the same side on my chin, but near the corner of my mouth. I assumed it was some sort of reaction to the products I was testing out at the time along with allergies. I stopped using this and went back to my previous day and night routine, thinking that I was too sensitive for a high content hyaluronic acid product (my apologies, L’Oreal).

To treat the dry spot, I started applying argan oil twice a day and put some on the weird acne spot just for good measure. After a couple weeks, there was no relief. To complicate things, I now had a matching red patch on the left side, mirroring the right.

I asked a couple friends with eczema what type of home treatment they were using and they all suggested hydrocortisone cream. That seemed like a very logical next move, so began applying to the spots in question twice a day. This reduced some of the pain and inflammation but only temporarily. I didn’t notice any reduction in the size of the rash and in fact, it advanced further to the left nasal fold. A week later I had 4 painful, bright red spots. I finally made the decision to schedule an appointment with the dermatologist, but it was 3 weeks away.

My first instinct every morning was to hydrate and then conceal, conceal, conceal. The first concealer was color correcting the red with the green tinted Make Up For Ever Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer, followed by the Maybelline Master Conceal in 10 Fair, then foundation and the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2 (yellow) topped off with setting powder. After a few hours, the red would start to shine through and the pain would return.

 

A couple weeks ago, my friend Noreen and I went to visit our local Sephora for new moisturizer (for her, I promise) and we started discussing eczema treatments. My skincare gal, Jess recommended the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, which I already had along with the face wash. I went home and immediately washed my face and applied the lotion. Within minutes, I noticed that the inflammation subsided a bit. Hallelujah. Again, I didn’t know the diagnosis yet, so was open to ANYTHING to relieve the symptoms.

While filling the time over the last couple weeks waiting to get into the dermatologist, I used the FAB cream twice a day religiously. And I have noticed a significant difference in the overall inflammation and the spot on the lower right is nearly gone! This is not to say that there was 100% relief, but I was feeling so much better. I was really hoping that if I got the diagnosis of eczema that I could get a steroid shot and go on my merry way.

On the day of my dermatologist appointment, I packed up all of my skincare because I figured they would want to see what I was using on a daily basis, but also included some makeup wipes and makeup figuring I would need to reapply… I removed my layers of concealer and foundation and the nurse practitioner took one look and said without hesitation Perioral Dermatitis. Wait, what? What is this?

 

Perioral Dermatitis affects mainly women ages 25-40, could be caused by fluoride or whitening products or topical steroid creams, but there is no real known cause… but most likely a result of stress. I laughed at my dermatologist. Out loud. Then apologized. She then informed me that the only way to really get rid of this is a 3-month treatment of antibiotics. I did not laugh at that…  She said it could come back in 5 years or never. If it does, we do another round of antibiotics.

I went home and searched Perioral Dermatitis and found a million suggestions of how to treat it. None of which seemed to be a magic cure. I read about violet extract, aloe, cutting back sugar and eliminating sodium lauryl sulfate. All of the commenters on the stories had some sort of “cure” but never really eliminated the symptoms, except for the individuals who sucked it up and took the antibiotics. I appreciate a good, natural cure, but sometimes, you just need antibiotics.

Many of the commenters in the articles, including those in this interesting piece in xovain, mentioned using gentle products from Avene (which I already do) and toothpaste without whitening agents. My dentist had recently recommended switching to Sensodyne so I went ahead and made that switch as well.

So here I am, day 7 of doxycycline, week 3 of the FAB products, and using new toothpaste. I already feel better. After the first day of antibiotics I noticed decreased inflammation and less pain.

I hope to use the blog as a platform for discussing my perioral dermatitis and the progress over the next few months as I recover. This is significantly more personal than I typically get… so if you are used to reading a lighthearted review, welcome to a bit of a different side of me!

Have you experienced perioral dermatitis? How did you find relief from the pain?

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Use It – February 2016

Hello and Happy March!

Welcome back to another installment of talking about my trash or reviewing a bunch of products – you choose how to look at it.😉 I love reading these posts on many other blogs because you are getting so much more than a first impression.

Obviously February was a short month and I feel like this post kind of reflects that – especially since I’ve already started collecting some March empties!

Here we go:

e.l.f Shine Eraser – these are very basic blotting papers that I think have been discontinued. There is nothing special about these sheets – they absorb oil. I snagged a bunch of these at Target for $0.85 (you read that correctly) for 50 sheets. If I find them again, I will repurchase.

Kiehl’s Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish – this smells AMAZING! It is full of Shea butter, jojoba butter an almond oil, creating a clean, soft scent with a serious exfoliant that leaves skin super soft. BUT the exfoliant is micro-beads, which is really disappointing coming from Kiehl’s. If they adhere to the new regulations on micro-beads I would repurchase in a heartbeat. Available at any Kiehl’s counter or online for $11 (2.5oz).

Henri Bendel EDT in Wild Fig – many moons ago, Henri Bendel carried an exquisite line of body products that mirrored some of their most popular candle scents. I have been nursing this little bottle along for years in hopes that they would return with this product. I’ve begged and pleaded with HB, but no luck. I decided to purchase the similar Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis. It isn’t exact, but it will do. I think the Diptyque Figuier is actually a bit closer but I am going to work with the Jo Malone for now. Given my love for fig, I might cave on the Diptyque when fall comes around.

NYX Blemish Control Blotting Papers – these claim to have salicylic acid, but I’m not sure. I also don’t have major acne problems so… there was nothing exceptional about these – I would rather pay $0.85 for the e.l.f. Shine Eraser. These are $5.99 for 100 sheets.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar for Body – what an unimpressive lotion. I used this on my hands at night and I did not find it to be over moisturizing and can’t imagine how dry the rest of my body would have felt. Thumbs down. This doesn’t seem to be available any longer – shocker.

R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo – I liked this dry shampoo, however I think it would be better for thinner hair. It doesn’t level a white mess and has a decent scent. This would keep the oil at bay for a few hours, but would lose it’s effectiveness mid-day. The Birchbox crew seems to love this and constantly raves about it, but I disagree and will not repurchase. Available at Birchbox.com for $29 (6.3oz).

Saint Augustine and Suds Himalayan Salt Scrub – this was a lovely orange and (I think) bergamot salt scrub. It was infused with lots of nourishing oils that left my skin incredibly soft and hydrated. The owner of Saint Augustine and Suds is my favorite local artisan – she makes beautiful soaps and designs her packaging for each product. This isn’t currently on the website but I would definitely repurchase. Check out her fantastic website – saintaugstineandsuds.com and Instagram (@saintaugustineandsuds).

If you want to know what I think of sample size products or sheet masks, check out my Instagram account (@lvp8779).

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 3

Body: 6

Hair: 1

Makeup/face: 5

other: 1

Samples: 8

Sheet masks: 2

Have a great March!

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February 2016 Favorites

Hello everyone!

The down side to a short month is that when you don’t finish your previous month’s favorites until mid-month, the end of the month comes up real quick! So while I’m still regularly using (and loving) everything from January, there are a few new things that have made the rotation.

I’m just going to say that everything in my Current Winter Rotation post is still part of my daily routine. My favorite of the rotation is definitely the Julep Hydrating Body Cleanser – it is a really hydrating body wash and even though it is an oil, doesn’t leave me feeling oily.

It has been really dry in my house and office, but super humid with fluctuating temperatures outside. The side affect is dry and static fueled hair, dry skin and even a bit of eczema. How is it possible that my face is oily and dry at the same time?  I’m not amused. These things are helping though!

Once again, I have to bring up another limited edition item. I’m sorry! If you were lucky enough to snag some things from the MAC Ellie Goulding collection, congratulations. You can still find a few of the products on the MAC website. I managed to snag the last Halcyon Days quad from my MAC store and started out using it very sparingly. After a couple weeks, I caved and started using regularly. This quad has 4 cream color bases and a blotting powder. These beautiful cream shades can be used under a powder shadow or layered for a multi-hued eye look and the coral can also be used as a cheek color. It is so versatile and very long wearing.

My final favorite is a cult classic. Once again, I am super late to the party on something. This time it is the Seche Vite Top Coat. My friend Laura talked about it for a long time and I went to look for it at Ulta a couple times and it was sold out. I finally found it and have been using nonstop. It dries incredibly fast and prevents smudging if I do my nails before bed. The down side is this stuff is toxic as hell – kept away from open flame, pets and your face. Hey, I’ll take some fumes if it means my nails look good. Yes, I AM that superficial.:)

So there you have it – another month in the books. What were some of your February favorites?

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January 2016 Favorites

Hello again!

How on earth are we half way through February?? I’m still thinking about January (obviously) and my calendar just keeps moving forward.

As I was taking some photos of swatches of this month’s favorites, I realized I liked all of the shadows because they are in the same color range. I guess I really am that predictable!

First up is pretty much an entire collection… my friend Noreen and I went out to the Faerie Whispers launch at MAC and got into some serious trouble. This is probably my favorite launch since the Magnetic Nudes collection in late 2013. I don’t want to go on too much about this since it is limited edition, but I really want to start a petition to make the Foiled Shadows part of the permanent collection. This collection is still available on the MAC website.

The Foiled Shadows are incredible – buttery soft, bendable and buildable. The pigmentation is excellent and can be used we or dry with little fallout when used either way. I picked up Faerie Fayre, Enchanted Forest and Joy Toy – all of which look beautiful together. They have been in constant rotation!

The other acquisitions include the Beauty Powder in Pearl Sunshine, Cremesheen Lipstick in Among the Fireflies and Cremesheen Glass in Enchanter. Being a NW10-15, I can use the Beauty Powder as a blush or highlight – it produces a warm, natural glow. I’m happy to see that MAC has been launching these more often with their recent collections. The lip shades are fantastic and I may have to purchase backups! The Cremesheen lipstick is one of my favorite formulas – this one in particular is so well pigmented and incredibly long lasting. Among the Fireflies easily stands up to my morning coffee and doesn’t need reapplied until after lunch – it wears a solid 4-5 hours. The Cremesheen Glass also has an excellent wear time and goes well over a lipstick or on its own. This is an absolutely beautiful shade that have been wearing nonstop.

Top to bottom: Beauty Powder in Pearl Sunshine, Foiled Shadows in Faerie Fayre, Enchanted Forest and Joy Toy, Cremesheen Lipstick in Among the Fireflies, Cremesheen Glass in Enchanter. Left photo is indoor lighting; right natural light.

Next up is the Sleek i-Divine mineral eye shadow palette in Storm. My friend Jenn brought this back from England in the fall. I’ve used it off and on but really started appreciating it more over the last month. These shades definitely need a primer, they will wear off quickly otherwise. The swatch photos are my 4 favorites and most used, however all of them have made it into the rotation over the last month.

 

My last favorite is the Kerastase Resurfacing Reinforcing Milk, formulated to strengthen weak and brittle hair. I apply this while my hair is damp and is being subjected to high heat from my blowdryer. I definitely think my hair breakage has decreased over the last few months – I’ve gotten several trims totaling about 10 inches over the last 6 months and believe all of my post-surgery damage is almost gone. It isn’t perfect, but definitely the best it has been since last spring. I feel like this has made a big difference in sealing my chronic split ends.

January was obviously very robust in the eye shadow department. I had a lot of fun using these things – and really, isn’t that what its all about? If you aren’t getting joy from it, why have it?

What were some of your favorites last month?

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Use It – January 2016

Hello again!

We made it through the first month of 2016 – and so quickly! I hope you had a wonderful January and are staying warm wherever you are!

This month was a bit light on product use, but managed to get through a few big things. Even my sample use was a bit light – if want mini reviews of my samples, check out my Instagram (@lvp8779).

So here we go:

Amore Pacific Time Response Skin Renewal Cream – this was a lovely night cream. This generous sample lasted for 2+ months and was crazy indulgent, hydrating and smelled amazing. Worth it? I don’t think so. I did not notice any major skincare benefits that other things in my current night time rotation doesn’t offer. It was a perfectly fine moisturizer. Full size available at Neiman Marcus for $450 for 1.7oz.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion  – this came to me through the giant Allure box last year. I’m pretty loyal to the Olay Quench when it comes to drugstore lotions. But this was a really nice, hydrating lotion. It is unscented, which is nice to be able to pair any perfume without worrying about clashing scents. I liked it just fine and would have no reason not to repurchase. Available at Target or drugstore.com for $6-$7 for 8oz.

GLAMGLOW Flashmud (PR sample) – I received a 3-day sample pack from GlamGlow and was so excited to try this out. The instructions state to use this 3 days in a row to increase skin brightness. Wellll… I could only use this 1-2 times per week. It was way too harsh for my skin – it did sting a bit while I was wearing it and it left my skin overly sensitive for a couple days. I did not notice any brightening effects. I’m not sure I get this one so will stick with my other GlamGlow favorites. Full size available at Sephora for $69 for 1.7oz.

Kiehl’s Midnight Concentrate – I LOVE this. Originally shared here in it’s own dedicated post. This adds just a bit of much needed hydration and essential oils that help battle the daily elements. I’ve already repurchased! Available at any Kiehl’s counter or website for $46 for 1oz. *eligible to be part of the Kielh’s recycling program*

Peter Thomas Roth Kojnac Sponge – this little guy came with the PTR cleansing balm. I decided not to use it with the balm, as it would get pretty gross in a short amount of time and used it with my morning cleanser instead. This was really nice and gentle and worked well with a mild cleanser. Most of my EcoTools kojnac sponges last around 2 months, but this one only lasted about 3-4 weeks. It randomly got really hard and resisting water. So strange. I don’t think these are available for purchase, so I bought the Boscia kojnac sponge to take its place.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – I featured this in one of my favorites posts a while back. Where have I been?? This is great – thickens and thoroughly coats lashes with just one pass. I’d had this for a while – it came in my UD On the Run palette but I never used it. If it hadn’t hit the 3 month mark, I would have continued to use it. I’m pretty diligent about switching out my mascara as suggested. Would definitely repurchase. This is a mini version – full size is $22 for 0.4oz.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – nice, but overhyped and I hate the name. I picked this up on a trip to take the place of my mascara that I forgot at home. Oops. It was great at first – separated, but thickened lashes. I found the formula to be very wet and take forever to dry and then it tended to clump while it was drying. I did use this off and on for a couple months but had to say good bye due to an eye infection. Repurchase? Nope. Mini version available for $12.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara – this wand is GIANT. And it scared me a bit. Honestly, there was nothing exceptional about this mascara. The formula didn’t blow me away – it could be easily duped out by a much more reasonably priced product. I pretty much just used this on my lower lashes. Full size is $24 for 0.23oz.

TOSS

Victoria’s Secret Hydrating Body Lotion in Amber Romance – I sort of forgot about this… and now it separated and changed color. It was a gift from my sister-in-law a couple Christmases ago – she has great taste! I ran out of the body wash quite a while ago and meant to use up the lotion. It’s a warm vanilla scent that is incredibly long lasting. I’m not sure if VS makes this scent anymore.

There you have it – another month in the books. What did you use up this month?

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Current Winter Rotation

Hello again!

Winter is a beautiful time of year – cold, crisp air and fresh snow can be so invigorating… unless it is the 30th snow of the year. I love being able to throw on a few layers and build a fire. However, I despise the feeling of dry skin and static-fueled hair. Ah, winter glamour.

So I wanted to share some of my current winter saviors – its been a couple years since I’ve done this and have added a couple different elements. I am always looking for the best way to battle the winter and feel like I have a pretty good routine this year!

Julep Hydrating Body Cleanser ($38/10oz)

The amazing folks at Julep developed this as part of their Korean skincare line and as a compliment to the top selling cleansing face oil. Created with grape seed oil, coconut oil, kukui nut oil and grapefruit peel oil, this is a fantastic deep cleanser that offers immediate hydration. I pair it with the Julep konjac charcoal body sponge to help exfoliate away dry skin to help the oils get to work.

Aveda Massage Formula (8.7oz)

I scoured the Aveda website for more info or cost for this, but no luck… I received this as a gift through their rewards program this year – customized with the Aveda Chakra 7 scent. It is a fabulous lightweight almond and jojoba oil blend that I use all over a couple days a week after showering. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave marks on clothes. This is the first time I have ever used body oil and definitely realize what I’ve been missing!

Julep Elixir (1oz)

This is just pure organic Moroccan argan oil – no specific reason for this particular product. The key is that it is a pure and unscented oil. I have 2 very dry spots on my face after a weird breakout and this has been calming and healing these spots incredibly well. I use this every night before bed and apply any extra oil from the dropper on my dry cuticles.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($22/5oz)

If you have read my blog for a while, you know I go through a tube of this pretty regularly. This is just the best hand cream – incredibly hydrating without leaving my hands a greasy mess. It is chock full of avocado and sesame oil with a light eucalyptus scent. A small amount really goes a long way!

What are some of your current winter favorites?

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Project Pan Round 2 – December 2015 Finale

Well friends, this was a big project pan fail.

Not only did I not finish the three items, I feel like I barely even made a dent. While that is not true, I know I did… Perhaps this is because this second project pan was definitely not as successful as the first? The lack of progress definitely was not worth documenting, so there were only 2 previous posts including the launch post and mid-point update in November.

Once again, here are the 3 items selected for this round:

BareMinerals Touch Up Veil SPF15 in Translucent

LORAC Multidimensional Eye Shadow in 3D-Luxe

MAC PowerPoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown

The Touch Up Veil has some definite signs of wear, but looks similar to the November photo. I did end up repressing the shadow because it was so messy – it now seems as though there is about half a pan left. And the pencil… well… 

So while I will continue to work on the progress of these 3, I won’t be boring you with the tedious, microscopic signs of progress. I am going to focus on a few items in the upcoming months and will likely document the use on my Instagram (@lvp8779) so feel free to follow along over there!

Do you have any project pan goals for 2016? Please share below!

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