A New Day

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

What’s in my travel bag?

Hi there everyone!

I was thinking that it was time for another look at what is in my travel bag… Since travel is what I spend about 30% of my time doing, finding the right travel items are somewhat of a necessity. I tend to look for a lot of hydrating products to combat the dry, recycled air in planes and constantly changing environments of hotels.

In addition to the products, I’ve tried to narrow down my makeup items to a couple key pallets, including Urban Decay Naked on the Run ($54) and the Laura Mercier Flawless Face Book. I’m still learning how to best use the concealer/correctors in the Face Book (not to be confused with Facebook…), but I feel like I have Naked on the Run down pat. If you are a UD fan, you know all about this kit, but if not, it is a great neutral pallet with 5 eye neutral colors, bronzer, blush and highlighter built in. There are separate compartments for some lip and eye products, which I actually switch out. I’m currently using a different UD black liner and a Bobbi Brown mascara. I haven’t even opened the lip gloss yet – not sure how I have resisted that temptation…

If you read my blog regularly, you know that Kiehl’s makes me swoon. I think they make some of the best skincare products for sensitive skin – no heavy perfumes or dyes. When I find a mini in something I like, I snatch it up. It took me a while, but I was able to track down a mini Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (full size $46 for 1oz) and travel size Close Shavers Squadron (full size $14 for 5oz to $21.60 for 10oz). I prefer the sensitive skin version, but this is not too harsh.

Every season Sephora puts out some great sample sizes of some of their best selling products. A while back, I visited the Sephora inside of a JCPenney and discovered that they carry their own sets that vary from the stand alone stores… who knew? The fall/winter skincare set had some wonderful stuff in there, including the Murad Renewing Cleansing Cream (full size $36 for 6.75oz). I really like this because it is a really gentle, hydrating face wash, but strong enough to take off makeup, setting spray and city grime.

Since we are on the subject of brands I talk about constantly, how about one more? Yes, the Batiste Dry Shampoo (full size $8.99 for 5oz) strikes again. I haven’t used this in a while and managed to get ahold of a couple smaller cans recently – I think in some subscription boxes (?).  This particular version is the Blush and the scent is a bit strong, but is the same old Batiste formula that I know and love. I hate when my hair gets the slightest bit greasy and will use this after a flight or on day 2-3 of a trip, especially if I get a blowout before I leave.

Sunscreen is an absolute must. Ohio is not sunny, however most of the locations I travel to are. I always have some sun block tucked away somewhere. My travel size of the moment is the Supergoop SPF30 (full size $19 for 2.4oz) oil-free sunscreen. Anything less than SPF30 doesn’t do a thing for me – I call BS on all of the articles that say otherwise… I need a minimum of 30-50 to prevent a burn.

I know I mentioned this line recently in a Use It post, but I really like to have familiar scents with me when traveling. My go-to scent for helping me get to sleep home or away is the Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus and Spearmint Aromatherapy line. The lotion and linen spray are pretty much staples in my travel bag. The 1oz travel size is usually available for $3 each.

Let’s be honest, flying sucks. I’ve started pacing a sheet mask to use post-flight and I feel like it has really made a difference with feeling hydrated on day 2 of a trip. One of my current favorites is the Missha Pomegranate Sheet Mask – its super hydrating and full of antioxidants. I’ve also been experimenting a bit with facial mists for longer trips.. what I love about sheet masks is the convenience for the cost – for $1-$3, you can find a great mask.

So there you go. What are some of your travel must haves?

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Use It – March 2015

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a great start to your Spring and have started to defrost a bit! I spotted flowers in my yard the other day and nearly fell down my front steps rushing to take a photo. So yeah.. I’m happy to see Spring has sprung!

If you follow me on Instagram (@lvp8779), you know that I’m participating in the #sampledout challenge. While there is no way I will be sample free by 2016, I hope to make a significant dent. This is my declaration before you read through this post and ask “why so many samples?” I’m tracking on Instagram, but reviewing here. I feel like I can give a more thorough review and list the prices and where to find, should you care to track it down.

In keeping with the last several months, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle. So here we go:

SKINCARE

EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge – I go through so many of these.. The recommendation is to change every 3 months, but can only go 1-2 before being kind of gross (in my opinion). This can be found at Ulta for $5.99 – keep an eye out for the buy 1, get 50% off deals!

Murad Pore Reform Balancing Moisturizer – this has been my go-to moisturizer for years… YEARS, I tell you! Originally posted in My Favorite Things Part 2, this has been a life saver so many times. I have tried other products and just keep coming back to this time and time again. Would I repurchase? Of course. This comes in a 1.7oz tube and runs about $35 at Sephora and the Murad website.

Murad Acne Clearing Solution – I’ve already reviewed this like 5 times… I love this and have a ton of samples. If I ever run out, I would buy it! Available at Sephora and the Murad website for $39 for 1.7 oz.

StriVectin Intensive Illuminating Serum – this is a repeat from last month. Thank you, Allure for sending this out twice! I really liked this, but unsure if I would make the splurge. Available on the StriVectin website for $89.

Sheet MasksPureSmile Pearl and Vitamin, When Present Perfect – the When mask kind of burned (would not purchase), however the PureSmile were really nice (would purchase). The pearl was one of the best sheet masks I’ve ever used. All are available for $2-$4 each.

MAKEUP

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Honey – so this is probably cheating, but this is included in my Project Pan. I DID finish it this month though! I would not repurchase – the color payoff was disappointing, which is why it sat in my drawer forever. The cream shadows are available in 18 shades and cost $26 at any Bobbi Brown counter or online.

BODY

Joie Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum – this was a sample from Birchbox – they love, love, love this perfume over there. I think this is the second time I have received this. It’s a floral-y citrus scent – I guess. I wouldn’t purchase, but it was a great travel scent. Available at Birchbox for $98 for 3.4oz.

LUSH Whoosh Shower Jelly – this has been happily residing in my travel bag for the last few months. I was incredibly sad to see this go! This Jell-O looking soap has a bright, clean citrus scent. It is kind of difficult to use, as you have to either use as a giant blob, or try to break off some small, slippery chunks. I tried both and it worked just fine… I ended up laughing frequently about my inability to hold onto it in the shower. This appeared in one of my Weekly Favorites, and I would venture to say this might become a future staple. It comes in 2 sizes – a travel(ish) 3.5 oz for $6.95 and 8.4 oz for $11.95. And don’t forget to save your pots – when you return 5 pots you get a free mask!

Philosophy Happy Birthday, Beautiful! – this was a birthday gift from Sephora a couple years back. I wasn’t a huge fan of the scent, so it sat in a drawer forever. I finally decided to use as a hand soap and that worked out much better. It lathered well and was very gentle, I’m just really picky about my vanilla scents. I wouldn’t purchase.

The Body Shop Bath & Shower Gel in Cranberry Joy – if you have been reading for a while, you know this is one of my favorite cold weather scents. I go through a couple products every year. And yes, it is old packaging. I hoard it when it goes on sale after the holidays! I will purchase again and again. This will be available again round mid-October and is like $10-$15 for 8.4oz… might be off on that price.. sorry.

Whish Shave Cream in Acai Grapefruit – I used the blueberry version before and found it to be clumpy and somewhat ineffective. This formula was much better – it went on smooth and left my skin soft. My feelings on this had changed until on the last use, I got really horrible razor burn. Not cool, Whish. That is strike 2 and I will never purchase. If you want to buy it, the full size is available exclusively on Birchbox for $20 for 150ml.

HAIR

Julep Dry Clean Invisible Dry Shampoo – this was one of the items in my September Maven box. My initial feedback was that it lasted about 8 hours and I would agree with that still. This is by far not my favorite dry shampoo and I definitely would not seek it out to purchase. This is available on the Julep website for $22 ($17.60 for Mavens).

Klorane Conditioning Cream – I think they could have just called this a conditioner. After cleansing, the instructions suggest to leave in for 5-10 minutes to hydrate and detangle hair. I have to say, I really have mixed feelings on Klorane products. The scent was really nice, but this isn’t a product I would purchase. One more for #sampledout

LIFESTYLE

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Pillow Mist in Eucalyptus Spearmint – I absolutely believe in the power of aromatherapy. This is guaranteed to put me to sleep anywhere and any time. The pillow mist and lotion are essentials in my travel bag! Available in full and travel sizes – 1oz is available for about $3.

Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Hand Gel in Ghoul Friend – I love a good play on words. I have a ton of these and stock up when they are $1.

There you have it. Another month in the books. I hope you have a  wonderful March!


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Project Pan Round 1 – April Update

Happy April, everyone!

If you have been following along with my Project Pan updates, you know that I have been focusing on 5 key items in my stash:

Benefit The Big Easy in 01-Fair 

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Honey

MAC PowerPoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown

MAC Lipgelee in Moistly and Moon-something

Last month, I shared progress with the cream shadow and the lip products and I felt like I hadn’t really made a dent. Well today, I am happy to share that I have finished my first product! Say goodbye to the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Honey! This ended up just sort of crumbling at the end and was completely unusable… fortunately it was just a small amount.

Ta-da!!

While it is hard to really tell the progress with the foundation, the tube has gotten noticeably thinner… I would like to finish this before spring, as it really is more of a winter foundation for me. The Moon LipGelee is slowly moving down also – just a small change over last month though.

I also wanted to show a little bit of the eyeliner progress – months 2 and 3 are almost the same line. However the line finally moved a bit over the last few weeks. I haven’t been using this as much as I hoped.

So that is just a quick update… hopefully more finished items next month!

Are you working on a Project Pan this year? How are you able to stay motivated and on track? What advice do you have for others?

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My Quick Makeup Recommendations

There are so many titles I could give this post… 5 minute face, beauty hacks, etc. etc. etc. I had a friend ask if I could give my suggestions for doing a quick routine for the non-morning person. As a non-morning person myself, I thought this would be a fun challenge. I really enjoy the process of doing my makeup and matching colors and selecting specific shades to compliment my outfit, which by the way is typically navy or black. My options are pretty much endless and it definitely takes me more than 5 minutes…

I did some serious planning ahead for this challenge… I tried narrow it down to 5 products, but it just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I tried to put together a few key things, like what could I recommend that is multi-purpose or appropriate for any season? Also, what might be a good suggestion for someone who wants to build up a small collection of staples?

So here we go:

 – Benefit Big Easy in 01 Fair – you may recognize this from my recent Project Pan posts. While I had some mixed feelings at first, it turns out this was a great foundation for the winter months. This foundation can easily be applied with your fingers. The Big Easy runs about $36 for 1.18oz, and comes in 6 shades.

 – MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose – originally featured in my MAC Prep + Prime CC review. This is perfect for the under eye area and any other area that needs brightening – cheeks, bridge of the nose or forehead. This is $26, and so worth it. I would buy this again and again!

 – MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder – even if your foundation/BB cream is a cream to powder formula, use a setting powder to finish the look and set your makeup. This particular powder runs about $26, but there are many other (and cheaper) options from L’Oreal, Maybelline, NYX, etc.

 – Sephora Professional Powder brush – get a decent brush. I really like the Sephora Pro and Real Techniques ($15 and under) brushes. You don’t need a $100 brush… but they are nice sometimes! This one was probably $20-$30.. can’t find it on the website.. You can have the most expensive products, but they won’t do a darn thing with crappy tools.

Le Métier de Beauté blush – there isn’t an actual shade listed since this was January’s featured product ($30) in the LMdB VIP program. But this is a great neutral – find a shade that that works well with your skin tone. You can get matched by a Sephora Pro, ask for help at your local drugstore or even Google “blush color for (blank) skin tone.” Also featured in the January shipment was a realllly nice kabuki brush ($85). Remember how I just said brushes don’t need to be expensive? Oops.. ;)

 – NARS St-Paul-de-Vence eye duo – this is a limited edition, spring release from NARS. Find a multidimensional neutral color that can be used on the entire lid, or a duo/quad that will give you some coverage and depth. This is a nectarine and brown duo that brightens my eyes and is really easy to apply and blend. This duo is $35 and it will last you FOREVER.

 – MAC 217 – this is the most versatile brush you will ever own. I can’t believe I only added this to my collection just recently… if the idea of using lots of brushes has you overwhelmed, then get one all-purpose brush that will help you achieve an easy and flawless look. Available at all MAC stores, counters and website for $24.

 – Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Oscar Fish – again, another easy to use neutral. Do you have to have a liner? No. But it will give you a more polished eye look and open up your eyes even on the worst Monday. I’m a big fan of the Urban Decay 24/7Velvet Glide-On Pencil and the Stila Smudge Stick. They are both easy to use, fix if smudged unintentionally or to intentionally smudge. To transition to a night look, thicken the line and define some of the lower lash line. Both are about $20 and come in a broad range of colors.

 – Benefit Roller Lash – I had to buy this to see if it lived up to the hype. Answer: sort of. But again, you don’t need a $24 mascara… I love, love, love the Maybelline Great Lash (big brush). While you don’t need an expensive mascara, you should use a mascara. If nothing else, for the same reasons as the liner – it brightens and opens your eyes. If you’re unsure how to use, go to a makeup counter and ask. There is nothing wrong with asking for a little help!

 – Tarte LipSurgence Lip Luster in Glitzy – Tarte makes beautiful, hydrating lip products. The LipSurgence is like a big pepperminty balm, crayon-like stick. This particular shade is a neutral with some shimmer and looks great on a range of skin tones, but there is an amazing range of tints and creams in this line. They are easy to use and are long lasting. Each stick is $24. My second recommendation would be the L’Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire in Nude Ballet ($8-10) featured here. There are lots of other options, but I don’t feel that they are not as hydrating or long lasting.

I promise this can all be accomplished in 5 minutes! I think I actually did it 4 and some change.

What are some of your go-to products for a quick look?

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Memebox Anti-Aging

If you are a Memebox fan, you are well aware that there have been a number of changes within the company. In November, I received a message about changes happening to the affiliate program. Then nothing. I thought maybe my reviews weren’t hitting the mark or my site wasn’t getting enough traffic for the program. While readership is growing, this is still a “young” blog compared to many others!

Then in January, we received a message about the company ceasing international shipments except for U.S., Korea and China beginning early February. Wow. My understanding is that there will now be a separate shop for U.S. customers as well as country specific boxes to be shipped out. So no more international shipping… bye DHL! :(  I’m hoping that with this change, shipping costs will go down and it won’t be weeks between order and receipt of the box.

As they were wrapping things up, I received an email offering one last international box for affiliates. Of course I jumped on that! I made a first and second choice selection and I was really excited to receive my first choice – Anti-Aging. Memebox does a fantastic job curating the anti-aging boxes that offer a range of products.

This review will be a bit different than those in the past. I have yet to test out these products and since the box is not available for purchase, as of the time I published this post, the individual products are also unavailable the U.S. site.

“Anti-aging is everyone’s beauty concern, no matter what the age.

And so we’ve created a mean anti-aging box that defies the laws of gravity – no more lines, no more wrinkles, no more sagginess!

With all the best goodies for combating visible signs of aging, this breakthrough box is packed with high-performance products that dramatically counteract all the signs such as wrinkles, lines, loss of firmness, dullness and dehydration!”

1 – BORY Wrinkle Repair Serum – (full size included – $48 for 50ml)

This anti-aging Wrinkle Repair Serum works on skin to remodel and rejuvenate the skin’s surface for the look of firm and supple skin. It contains EGF to enhance collagen production and Acetyl Hexa Peptide, a natural ingredient with properties similar to that of Botox, to relax the facial muscles and prevent the creation of fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains coenzyme Q-10 and Lipidure-PMB to hydrate skin and lock in moisture and nutrients. Best recommended for those with aging, lifeless skin.

HOW TO USE

On cleansed and tone skin, take 2 to 3 pumps of serum and apply onto the skin and neck. For best results, use daily, morning and night.

KEY INGREDIENTS

EGF, Lipidure-PMB, acetyl hexa peptide

2 – Esthetic Lounge Collagen Herb Complex Eye Cream – (full size included – $42 for 100ml)

Now you can have it all. This jumbo sized eye cream will give you the lifted look, the firmer feeling and glowing radiance from around the eyes. The intensely nourishing formula contains marine collagen, herbal complex, and adenosine to lift, firm, define and brighten the area to improve visible signs of aging around the eyes, around the mouth and brow areas to blur the look of wrinkles and deep lines for the look of firmer, brighter, smoother skin.

HOW TO USE

On clean skin, take a dime-sized amount of cream and smooth around the eyes, mouth, brow area and neck.

KEY INGREDIENTS

Marine collagen, herbal complex, and adenosine

3 – ENESTI Day to Day Pomegranate Acerola Foaming Cleanser – (full size included – $14 for 160g)

This daily pomegranate and acerola infused foaming cleanser effectively removes makeup and oil, opens and declogs pores, enhances skin’s elasticity and brightens up the overall complexion. The micro bubble gently yet effectively dissolves oil and makeup, rinsing away pore-clogging surface debris, impurities, and excess oil. It refines skin texture, brightens skin clarity, and enhances skin’s suppleness and firmness.

HOW TO USE

Gently massage cleanser onto dampened face and create a warm lather. Rinse with lukewarm water.

KEY INGREDIENTS

pomegranate extract, acerola extract

4 – TOSOWOONG Snail Natural Pure Cream – (full size included – $26 for 45ml)

This intensive skin-repairing, anti-blemish cream contains snail mucin, renowned for its regenerative properties. Snail mucin and galactomyces help to control excessive sebum production, the core of all acne and skin blemishes, and support natural cell regeneration to decrease the appearance of wrinkles and other flaws. It is super concentrated to replenish, repair, and moisturize to maximize the appearance of elasticity and performance.

HOW TO USE

After applying moisturizer to the skin, take 1-2 dollops of cream and massage into the skin, focusing on problem area. Use daily, morning and night.

KEY INGREDIENTS

Snail mucin extract, galactomyces

5 – PURESMILE Mask 5 Pack Box – (full size included – $6 for 23ml x 6)

These facial sheet masks are concentrated with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, collagen, and other nourishing ingredients to address all your skincare concerns. Each sheet ingredients to address all of your skincare concerns. Each sheet provides a rich infusion of moisture to help improve texture.

Pearl: hydrated skin and locks in moisture.
Bee Venom: softens and smooths the skin’s texture and delivers a radiant glow.
Snail: repairs, renews and rejuvenates skin.
Red Ginseng: delivers vital nutrients to the skin and enhances skin’s elasticity.
Vitamin: revitalizes and energizes dull skin.

HOW TO USE

On clean skin, place sheet mask over the skin. Leave on for 15 minutes.

KEY INGREDIENTS

hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, collagen

Memebox now only ships to the U.S., Korea and China – each country has their own website and ships from a home base within the country. There are 2 key areas – curated boxes and individual products. I feel like the range of products has been scaled back, but does feature some great brands. I definitely have some mixed feelings about the changes, but look forward to watching the company grow within the U.S.

All products were received complimentary for testing purposes from Memebox and does not guarantee a favorable review by the blogger. 

 No compensation was received in exchange for product reviews.

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Weekly Favorites – part 21

So I’ve been a bit MIA… sorry everyone!

Between both my husband and I being sick and loads of work travel the last couple weeks, something had to give. Unfortunately, that meant the blog was that thing. So while I normally have the “I’ve been busy and am behind on posts..” schpeal, I’ll save that this time. No apologies…

I wanted to share a couple favorites from the last couple weeks – I’ve picked up a few new things recently, but haven’t had the chance to test everything out yet. For now, enjoy these lovely things:

Saint Augustine and Suds – local, handmade (and gorgeous!) soap, scrubs and soaks. After a couple months of admiring Instagram photos (@saintaugustineandsuds), I finally had a chance to meet Denise, the artisan/owner behind the brand. Her website and Instagram photos are gorgeous, but the products are even more amazing in person. I picked up a few things for myself and my friend Laura, who is also kind of obsessed with the products. There are beautiful scents like Vetiver and Bergamot, Lemongrass Eucalyptus Shea and Peppercorn and Rose – each bar runs about $6, and available at saintaugstineandsuds.com

MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Redness Correcting Primer – and the longest product name ever! I bought this after a distress call from my cousin the day before her wedding, for which I was planning to do her makeup. She had broken out overnight and had some redness that we needed to conceal for photos the next day. After reading several reviews about the new MUFE primers, I had faith that this would do the trick. It evened out her skin and eliminated the redness with a thin, even layer. I’ve used this on my face a couple times since and am really impressed with how little product is needed. I also found this to help my makeup stay put and be less shiny throughout the day. This is available in 9 versions at Sephora for $36 (1oz.).

And of course, I have to share some photos of the bride and wedding party! I don’t get many opportunities to do special event makeup these days, so jumped at the chance for Natalie’s special day!

Bridal Party

Have a great week!

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Project Pan Round 1 – March Update

Hello and happy Sunday!

If you have been following along on this brief adventure, you are probably familiar with the 5 products included in my first Project Pan:

Benefit The Big Easy in 01-Fair 

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Beach Honey

MAC PowerPoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown

MAC Lipgelee in Moistly and Moon-something

Last month, I shared some progress with 2/5 items, the eyeliner and the Moistly Lipgelee. Over the last 28 days, I feel like I have been using the products the same but seemed to get very different results. There was no noticeable difference with the liner and I honestly just can’t tell with the foundation… and I use it nearly every day.

The Long Wear Cream Shadow showed the most significant signs of use and I feel like the end is near for this one! It is also getting much more difficult to use, as it has started to really dry out.

The Moistly Lipgelee showed significant use during the first month, but far less in the second. While there was little change over the first month in the Moon-whatever Lipgelee, there was definite progress, as indicated by the lowest mark on the tube. The top line on each indicates the starting amount.

I try to use these 5 products as much as possible, however do catch myself using other things time to time… after a couple days, I get back on track and pick up the things I should be using. One of the things I have done to help focus on these specific items is to store the foundation, liner and shadow separately but also more visible than other products in my drawer. If it is right there, I can’t make the excuse that I forgot about it!

Are you doing a Project Pan? What are some of your tips or tricks to using products regularly?

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Weekly Favorites – part 20

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a great week! I started traveling again for work last week and am off by a good week again…. Please bear with me!

This week’s favorites take me back to the most wonderful decade ever – the 1990s. Listen, if I had been around to experience the 60s and 70s, I’m sure that would win. However, I started really experimenting with makeup back when Marsala was a staple in everyone’s closet.

– Tom Ford Lip Color in Blake – this is part of the Lips and Boys collection that launched at the end of the year. This is a gorgeous burgundy-brown shade with a bit of gold shimmer. This reminds me of MAC “O” that I owned years ago. Temptalia gave this a B-, but I have to disagree. I find the pigmentation to be solid and it applied very evenly. As far as I can tell, this collection is still available. Check out all of the shades on the Neiman Marcus or Saks website – $32 for 0.7oz.

Benefit Smokin Liner – this liner was meant to be smudged. Channel your inner Courtney Love and go to town. For a pencil liner, this is incredibly soft. I love making a thick line on top and then smudging it out on the lower lash line. As you can see, this is a very well-loved product! Available at any Benefit counter to freestanding store as part of the Smokin’ Eyes kit. I originally purchased in the Gimme Brow kit.

Hopefully the sun comes out soon and I will feel inclined to look a bit more Spring-y!

Have a great week!

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February Le Métier de Beauté VIP Vault

 

 

Happy March!

I really, really had the best intentions of getting this post up in February, but obviously the month got away from me. Work travel picked back up and due to some crazy weather, I spent a total of 4 days in travel limbo as well as a 4-day trip. Ah, winter!

The February Le Métier de Beauté VIP Vault shipment arrived on a really cold, single digit snowy day. Seeing something bright and sunny definitely brought a smile to my face!

This The Romeo and Juliet, Blushing Bronzed Duet:

“See how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek! – Romeo”

From the Neiman’s website:

Sublime blush meets the perfect bronze. The Blushing Bronzed Duet embraces the incomparable pairing of Le Métier de Beauté’s Echo Radiance Rouge (delicate coral-pink blush) and Sun Kissed Bronzer (sheer, light bronze powder), which have been individually heralded for their universally flattering and natural-looking tones. This beautiful and balanced combination creates summer’s quintessential glow with ease and grace.”

Indoor lighting, without flash

Indoor lighting, with flash

This is listed on the NM website for $65. You may notice this is not swatched – I am likely going to swap this on one of the subscription box sites. The pink is just too bright and I would probably just let this item sit in a drawer. I really liked this month, but it just isn’t for me.

Previous months:

– August – After Dark Total Kaleidoscope valued at $95

– September – Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe valued at $175

– October – Goldfinger Kaleidoscope Palette valued at $95

– November – Lip liner set valued at $135.50

– December – two limited edition VIP eye shadows valued at $60

– January – blush and kabuki brush valued at $115

Total VIP program value to date: $740.50

 

What is the LMdB VIP Vault?

“It is Here the 2014 VIP Program! Consider yourself a VIP.

Become a member of the LMdB Beauty Vault VIP Program. Gift it to yourself or gift it to a friend. We promise: you won’t be disappointed. Liberate your inner Beauté and share the discovery of something beautiful every month.

How it works:

For a one-time fee of $348 ($29 dollars a month, for 12 months), become a Beauty Vault VIP. At the beginning of each month, our Le Métier de Beauté experts will send you a carefully curated full-sized product or assortment of products shipped right to your door. As an added bonus, Vault VIP Subscription shipping is free. All you have to do is sign up and anticipate 12 exciting months of LMdB surprises. Savor the perks of insider access, and start discovering beauty with us.

  • One full-sized item or an assortment of items shipped to you at the beginning of every month
  • Curated mix of our favorite Color, Skincare, Pre-release Sneak Peaks, Lab Previews, and Vault Exclusives
  • Shipping is free
  • Share your feedback, we want to get to know you better”

I’m really looking forward this month’s shipment!

Have a wonderful March!

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Use It – February 2015

Happy March!

Wow – that sounds so frightening! On the first day of the month, we are expecting up to 10 inches of snow… again. Since the weather is horrible and I’m nursing a really gross cold, it seemed like a good idea to stay in and wrap this up and get it posted.

If you follow me on Instagram (@lvp8779), you know that I’m participating in the #sampledout challenge. While there is no way I will be sample free by 2016, I hope to make a significant dent. This is my declaration before you read through this post and ask “why so many samples?” I’m tracking on Instagram, but reviewing here. I feel like I can give a more thorough review and list the prices and where to find, should you care to track it down. That’s not to say I’m not trying to cut back on using full-size items.

So here we go:

SKINCARE

Absolute Make-Up Cleansing Tissues (not pictured) – meh. Am I the only one who doesn’t really use these regularly? I found these to be a bit dry and were fairly unsuccessful at removing stubborn eye makeup. These came in an Ipsy bag at some point. Would not purchase.

Bite Lush Lip Wipes – reviewed previously here. They do a great job removing heavily pigmented shades, but I could accomplish the same thing with my eye makeup remover. I wouldn’t purchase just because of the price. Available at Sephora in packs of 10 ($12) or 30 ($22).

dr. brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner – this was a decent cleanser. After cleansing, put this on for about 3-5 min to clean pores. It was very refreshing and tingly. This sample also lasted for what seemed like months… I used it twice a week and it did a fair job of helping improve pore appearance. My preference, however is still the GLAMGLOW. I think this came in an ipsy bag a while back, but you can find at Sephora for $45 (1oz).

Dr. Hauschka Revitalising Mask – oh I liked this – very hydrating and smelled lovely. After leaving on for 10-15 minutes, my skin was incredibly soft and had a lovely glow. I would consider purchasing this. Available on Amazon for $42 (1oz).

Mario Badescu Kiwi Face Scrub – I had really high expectations for this and it ended up being kind of weird. I thought that the seeds might be crushed, but they were whole and either did nothing but slid around or stabbed me in the cheek. The formula was also a little too creamy for my liking – I never really felt like my face got clean when using this. Would not purchase. Available on the Mario Badescu website for $15 (4oz).

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm – the first time I used this, I cursed every YouTuber and blogger out there… I just didn’t get it – my face felt greasy and I don’t know.. slimy? The second use was totally different, as in angels sang from heaven. Folks, I get the hype. I massaged this on my face, added some water and rinsed… followed it with my regular night cleanser and WOW. My skin felt amazing – so clean and hydrated at the same time. Would I purchase? I already did – and yes, broke my February No Buy. This is available at Sephora and Neiman Marcus for $32 (0.5oz) or $110 (1.7oz).

StriVectin Intensive Illuminating Serum – I was really excited when Allure sent this in the January and February box. One tube lasted about 3 weeks, but I don’t think I really noticed a difference until around week 4. There was a noticeable difference in my skin overall. While it doesn’t claim to firm, I feel like it eliminated some fine lines around my eyes, as well as the claimed benefits of brightening skin and evening skin tone. I had someone tell me they were shocked that I was over 30 this week – coincidence? On the fence about whether or not I would purchase this… Available on the StriVectin website for $89.

Sheet masks – Lioele Aloe and Missha Pearl – both are perfectly fine… cost about $1-3 each. Sure, I would buy again.

 

MAKEUP

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink – this was probably one of the most generous samples I’ve ever used… it just wouldn’t end! But that isn’t a bad thing… with the air being so dry and temperatures hovering around zero, a little extra hydration is definitely welcome. After foundation, I applied with my fingers and then finished with translucent powder. The color can be built up in intensity and lasts 12 hours. I would definitely consider purchasing and feel like a tube of this would last forever! Available at Sephora for $18 (0.5oz).

Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base – this little guy only offered up 2 uses but it was enough to impress me! I used only under my eyes on the first day and it minimized dark circles and had no visible creasing or fading throughout the day. On day 2, I used under my eyes and then all over to help even out my skin ton. It lasted all day and also helped minimize oil. I found it to be very similar to, but more lightweight than the MAC Prep + Prime CC Neutralize (yellow) base. This would fall into the maybe purchase category. I bought the sample kit on Hautelook and might go for the full size next time it is on sale. I had to dig a bit, but found it on Amazon, Dermstore and Sephora (online only) for $48 (0.88oz).

MAC Powder Blush in Breath of Plum – my go-to blush shade for years! I’m very sad to see it go, but no worries, I have another stored away. This is a lovely sheer shade. The website depicts the shade to be very mauve, but I don’t find it to be that deep. Back2MAC we go! Available at all MAC counters and online for $22 (0.21oz).

 

BODY

AHAVA Mineral Body Lotion (affiliate link) – and another one bites the dust… I’ve gone through so many of these, so I’m sure I don’t need to go into more detail. Its the most perfect moisturizer – clean, fresh, quick absorbing. I already repurchased! Available on the AHAVA site for $26 (8.5oz)

Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt (affiliate link) – oh, Jo Malone… you make some amazing scents! I just wish some of them lasted longer. I did some reading up on this particular scent and read a lot of ‘if you mix it with… it lasts longer.” I don’t want to mix it – I like THIS scent… clean, salty and fresh. Unfortunately it only lasted about 2-3 hours before needing to reapply. So sad! Would not purchase unless it is reformulated. Available at Nordstrom for $60 (1oz.).

Korres Extra Moisturising Cream in Fig – one of my dear friends bought this and the body wash for me forever ago and while the body wash ran out long ago, I’ve been trying to make the lotion last forever. Fig is probably my favorite scent – rich and fruity. This one in particular is a bit spicy – peppery, maybe? I would definitely consider purchasing this or the Japanese Rose. The smaller size doesn’t appear to be on the Sephora website, but the larger 7.95oz size is available for $29.

LUSH Lotion in Celebrate – a limited edition holiday scent unfortunately! This was incredibly hydrating and very thick, but not greasy. This was a lovely citrus scent and I couldn’t quite place it… I will purchase next year if it returns!

LUSH Shower Gel in So White – featured here a couple weeks ago in my weekly favorites. I just love LUSH holiday items and this was such a nice treat and I hope it comes back again next year!

Pure Silk Shave Cream in Raspberry Mist – this was sent for review from the fine folks at Influenster a few months ago. As I mentioned in my post about this VoxBox, this really took me back to my favorite scent in high school, Bath and Body Works Sun Ripened Raspberry. Oh, 1995… Fortunately the scent did not linger like my heavily layered body splash and was not able to be detected after showering. The shave cream itself was great – really moisturizing and I never experienced razor burn (which I often do) while using this. I probably would not purchase though just because of the scent. Available at most drug stores and big box stores – $1.49 5 oz.; $2.19 8 oz.

 

HAIR

Biologe Deep Smoothing Conditioner – this wasn’t really anything special. It smelled lovely, but I didn’t notice any smoothing qualities – my hair has been a static nightmare recently. Probably wouldn’t purchase. Available at most salons, Target, etc. – full size (8.5oz) around $20.

Bumble and bumble Brilliantine – this is designed to be an edgier styling cream, but I never found it to really create that “slept-in, sexy look” that it claims. I started using this when I had a really short haircut and it didn’t perform that well then either. Since then, I have used it mostly in the summer when I let my hair air dry and be naturally wavy. I really just was intent on finishing it and getting it out of my closet. Would not repurchase. Available at select salons or on the Bb website for $24 (2oz).

Goldwell Color Enhancing Conditioner for Warm Reds – I initially discussed this in the post about my favorite things. I can’t remember the last time I actually finished a bottle of conditioner… this really helps protect and enhance my red shade. Sadly, I believe this has been discontinued. No worries, I have another bottle hoarded away.

John Frieda Radiant Red Color Magnifying Daily Shampoo – I can’t believe I finished a shampoo and conditioner in the same month! I usually double wash my hair, so have to be really careful about selecting shampoo that doesn’t strip the color. Reds are so finicky that way. This is deep cleansing, but really gentle. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Target and Ulta for $5-6 (8.45oz).

Kerastase Chroma Riche Hair Mask – mentioned here last January and then again recently here in my weekly favorites. Darn you, Kerastase.. so expensive! This packet held about 4 uses – and does just amazing things to my hair. It really works well as a deep condition before a color treatment as well as a smoothing treatment when my ends start to get really scraggly between salon appointments. As great as this is, I probably would not make the splurge… I think there are a lot of comparable, less expensive treatments out there. Available on Amazon for $54 (6.8oz)

 

LIFESTYLE

 

Bath and Body Works Candles – while these are 2 different sizes, both are consistent with leftover wax. I feel like the wicks are placed too high. These are both limited edition, so I won’t go into a lot of detail, but if the Spiced Apple Toddy makes a comeback this year, I’m stocking up. The 3-wick candles are $22.50, but are often on sale (2 for $24) and the votive size was free for joining their insider program.

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment – this does your nails a great service – every few days, I would use alone to help my nails recover from the constant abuse from nail polish and acetone. I’m pretty sad to see this go! I would certainly repurchase. Available on the Julep website for $18, but can’t seem to find the Maven price… maybe $14-15?

Ulta Strengthening Nail Polish Remover – its nail polish remover… does the job. I always have some handy. Its $2.99.

 

TOSS

Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Sunset – this was just too dark for me and the wrong coloring for my skin tone. I tried to make it work, but no luck.

Marc Anthony Beach Spray – I didn’t like the way this smelled. It also left my hair frizzy – which is a fairly accurate beach look for me. Maybe it was more on point than I give it credit?

pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Pixi Pink – no. There is just no way I can make this color work. Bye.

I think it is interesting to note that all 3 items in the toss pile this month were from Ipsy, which is a fairly strong indication as to why I cancelled my subscription.

So there it is… another month, another post about my trash. What did you finish up this month?

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