A New Day

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

Use It: April 2017 Empties

Hello again, everyone!

What a crazy, crazy month! I know – it is so boring to say that… but this month flew by.  We are nearing the end of construction in our bathroom FINALLY. Throughout the construction, I have been using really minimal version of my daily routine… for what seems like forever at this point. But it has really helped me focus on using up a few things – deluxe samples, full size.. the whole deal.

So here we goooo! This was a fairly productive month, so I’ll be breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.

SKIN CARE

Balance Me Tinted Wonder Eye Cream – in theory, this is great. It is a hydrating, light reflecting moisturizer that diminishes under eye circles. It’s an all-natural product, chock full of hyaluronic acid and light reflecting particles… Ok – what is the down side?? It actually did nothing for my skin – it was all smoke and mirrors. The tint was just a bit too dark for my skin tone and it didn’t actually have any long-term brightening effect. I didn’t finish all of this and wasn’t really interested in purchasing. Available on Birchbox.com for 0.34oz.

Kate Somerville Hydrating Firming Mist – did not firm, was not overly hydrating. I didn’t really enjoy this. Bummer. But for those KS die-hards, you can purchase the full-size at Sephora for $48 for 4oz.

Murad Renewing Cleansing Cream – this was a very dense, creamy cleanser. It was a bit harsh for my eyes, so had to use a different cleanser. I would recommend as a follow up to an oil or balm cleanser, but did not find it thorough enough to remove everything on the first try. This would be much better for mature or dry skin. This was not my favorite Murad product and I would probably not purchase. Full-size available at Ulta or Sephora for $38 for 6.75oz.

 

 

Perricone MD Photo Plasma Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – this was a great moisturizer – it was hydrating during the cold months and light enough for the summer months. I loved the high SPF and found it really took great care of my skin. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Sephora for $75 for 2 oz.

Vichy Liftactiv Supreme – this was received through an Influenster box a while back – I received this and a serum, which I ultimately went and purchased a full-size of! This was an excellent moisturizer and a great introduction into the brand. I definitely want to explore more and would definitely consider purchasing. Full size is available at Ulta for $42 for 1.7oz.

Vichy 3 in 1 One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution – another Vichy freebie! This one was a gift from the company through an Instagram contest. Seriously – I was thrilled! This is a really great formula – very gentle and removes makeup so quickly and easily. I actually have a backup of this, but down the road I would definitely repurchase. Full-size available at Ulta for $14.50 for 6.8oz.

MAKEUP

 

 

Buxom Vanity Lash Mascara – this is a really flimsy wand. I get that Buxom wants to offer options as far as the wand, but I cannot get behind this one. This bent so much during application that I cannot actually speak to the formula of the mascara because I cannot apply it well. I think Buxom has a lot of great products – this is just not one of them. Full-size available at Sephora for $20 for 0.37oz.

BODY

 

 

Aveda Hand Relief Night Renewal Serum – this was a great addition to my daily hand treatment. I used this day and night and liked the additional boost it gave with my regular hand cream. This was really great during the winter months. Would definitely repurchase. Available at Aveda for $35 for 1oz.

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps – still not a fan. Am I the only one who does not love this? I think I’m in the minority. I used this at night on my hands.. whatever. Available at Kiehl’s for $11 for 2.5oz.

HAIR

Aloxxi Firm Hold Hairpray – this is a very firm hold at first, but then starts to break down after a couple hours. I’m not a big hairspray user so… I received this through Birchbox and I can’t find this version on the website anymore. It’s not worth hunting down.

 

 

Cricket Static Free Fast Flo Brush (1.5in) – I’ve had this brush for like 6 years and it is completely falling apart. It no longer eliminates static and the brush tips have started falling off. But I love it and have already replaced it! Available at Ulta for $7.49

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (x2) – I’m pretty sure I reviewed this before and I was not impressed. It says it’s for normal hair, but I think this is more for fine hair – I have lots of hair and this just gets lost. I don’t feel like this works beyond a few hours for me. Full size available on Birchbox for $20 for 3.2oz.

LIFESTYLE/Other

 

 

Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Lady is a Tramp – can I just point out that I used a whole bottle of Deborah Lippman polish? These are 0.5oz bottles so this is quite a feat! This is a crème pink-toned red that was semi-opaque. I needed 2-3 coats to assure there was no streaking or thinner spots. I would definitely like to try out more shades – this formula is fantastic! Available at Nordstrom for $18.

Julep Crème Color in Vicki – hot, hot pink! Whoa! This is an obnoxious, but great spring/summer color. Sadly, this bottle broke down and got really clumpy. I couldn’t salvage it! I couldn’t find this on the website, but there are some other really similar colors and sooo many others available for $14 at Julep.com.

Saint Augustine and Suds Tonka Whiskey Leather Candle – this is so good. Oh man. Can I bottle this and wear it? I love this combination – it is amazing. I bought several of these so there will be no running out! More scents available seasonally at Saintaugustineandsuds.com for $12.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat – this dries super fast and makes any shade look super glossy. I’ve gone through a few of these now and I think it’s definitely reached permanent status in my stash. Available at Ulta for $9.95.

Total products used 2017:

Skincare: 15

Body: 7

Hair: 11

Makeup/face: 5

other: 5

Nails: 5

Samples: 5

Sheet masks: 1

Month total: $242.44   (approximately)

Year total: $580.19

In keeping with the past few months of tracking my low-buy behavior, I will sadly share my inevitable derailment. Thanks Sephora VIB sale… Also, there is so much amazing new stuff out that I threw up my hands and totally caved:

VIB Sale:

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – FULL SIZE! $23 for 3.5oz

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino EDP 1oz – $145

Deduct 15% and a $10 Shopkick gift card… I also used a $100 gift card from work. This ended up costing about $40 total out of pocket.

Ulta trip… not with 20% off… oops…

Monthly Brow Bar visit – $21 -but I don’t count this in my monthly low-buy tracking!

Benefit Cheek Parade – $58.00 for 5 full size cheek colors!

Cotton balls – $1.99 I don’t count this either!

Cricket Static Free Fast Flo Brush – $5.39 on sale!

NYX Blotting Tissue – buy one get one 50% – $3.99 each

Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat – $9.95

Tony Moly Fresh Cleansing Tissue – $8.50 (5x points!)

Ulta Nail Polish Remover – $2.49

Total – $120 (ish) – minus $3.50 coupon and $35 gift card. Actual out of pocket expense $87. Subtract Brow Bar visit= about $62

Total spent in April – just over $100 out of pocket. Not bad! My wine spending however… yikes! Good thing this is a beauty blog and not a wine blog, right?

There you have another month of empties. What did you use up this month? Any favorites?

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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

March/April total: $274.74

Year total: $593.58

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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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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2014 Favorites and Year in Review

Happy 2015 everyone!

I think it is only fitting that I come up with some sort of year in review… there are weekly favorites, subscription box reviews and product favorites on this blog, but are they all winners at the end? I guess that is the true test… I spent some time going back through my posts this year and really thought long and hard about what I really, really loved. As it turns out, I stand behind a lot of my initial thoughts on products!

Last January I shared my 2013 favorites, many of which were Birchbox finds. This year, I really only discovered 2 new must-haves from my beloved subscription service. The remaining products came from dipping my toes into the Memebox/K-Beauty world, product evaluation with L’Oreal and just stopping by counters and asking tons of questions about the brand and the types of products available. This year opened my eyes to some amazing lines like Le Métier de Beauté and Tom Ford, as well as revisiting some old favorites like LUSH and MAC.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Birchbox Finds:

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English Laundry No. 7 for Her – this sample appeared in my March Birchbox and I was immediately taken by this soft, clean scent.  I purchased immediately with some BB points and added it to my fragrance collection. This is an absolute favorite now and was featured in my Spring Favorites post.

Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo – I went back and forth on this a couple times, honestly because it wasn’t really a new product, but it was a 2014 rediscovery. This came in my April Birchbox and I fell back in love after not using for a few years. I recently purchased the full-size (8oz.) shampoo and conditioner to be part of my regular routine.

Brands

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Glamglow – I hate overhyped products… but then I tried said overhyped product and um… wow. Thanks to some very generous samples, I was able to test out all of the formulas and really fell hard for the Supermud and the Eye Brightmud. I took advantage of the Sephora VIB 20% off and made the leap on purchasing the Supermud.

Le Métier de Beauté – I think if there is one brand that really helped me to rethink how I approach beauty, it would be LMdB. With products like the skincare enhancing Peau Vierge Anti-Aging line and their amazing kaleidoscopes, its hard to deny the quality of the brand. Since my first visit to the counter at Neiman’s this summer, I have quickly become a dedicated patron of the brand. My top picks of the line are the gorgeous eye shadows and the Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe.

LUSH – Ah, LUSH. This was another rediscovery…I’m not sure why I stopped shopping here, but I think it was really just due to lack of stores in my area. Once I walked back into the store, I beelined it to some old favorites and fell hard for some new products. My current favorites are the Dream Steam and the Stimulating Ginger and Fennel Sugar Scrub.

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MAC – so MAC had the most ridiculous schedule of releases in 2014… it was difficult to keep up. Not all of the collections were of interest (Simpsons…huh?), but I really fell hard for the Alluring Aquatic and  Prep + Prime CC – Color Correct lines. Hopefully 2015 is a little less schizophrenic and they really focus on more limited edition colors and fewer repromotes (Ahem, Maleficent). I’m most excited for the Cinderella (March) and Giambattista Valli (summer) collections this year.

Tom Ford – find someone who isn’t in awe of this brand. Without being redundant, I think this is the most beautiful beauty line – from the packaging to the colors, I believe this brand lives up to every ounce of hype. As mentioned previously, I love the lip products and would like to acquire a couple eye quads or blushes in the near future.

Individual Products

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Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’Eau Perfume Oil – ohhh heaven in a bottle! Originally featured in one of my weekly favorites posts, this scent and product has continued to grow on me. There is a bit of a learning curve for me with concentrated oils, as I like to apply a little heavy (apologies to my coworkers). I’m also a big fan of the Philosykos (fig), so if anyone is looking for a gift for me… 😉

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – this has been the most significant product that I discovered in 2014. It is in no way a new product, just new to me. I use this every single night – it absolutely enhances my evening routine and adds a much needed level of hydration. You can read my original post here.

Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask – if you want soft, glowing skin, this is the mask for you. This product inspired a Sunday skincare regime that I have not only stuck with for a few months, but also still look forward to.

Sheet Masks – thanks to the nice folks at Memebox, I rediscovered the benefits and ease of using sheet masks. Since my job involves a lot of travel, I’ve been taking these to use in the evenings post-flight. There has been a noticeable difference in hydration and comfort after use. I really like the masks by When and Missha and have found that Memebox USA has some of the best prices as well has low cost or even free shipping.

Hair Oil – I was terrified that hair oils would weigh my hair down and make it look super greasy. So wrong. Last winter, I was really struggling with dry, static-crazed strands and discovered the magic of marula oil and then ventured into more specific treatments. My go-to treatment is the Biolage Exquisite Oil, but have also recently discovered the Kerastase Elixir Ultimate, which smells just heavenly.

I hope you had a great 2014 and are looking forward to an equally wonderful 2015!

Thank you so much for reading along over the last year. I’m so grateful for each of you and hope you stick with me again this year!

What were your favorite things of 2014? And what are you most excited for in 2015?

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Fekkai VoxBox from Influenster

It feels like its been ages since I’ve had something to share from Influenster. I was so excited to get an email saying I would be receiving some Frederic Fekkai products in my mailbox. Well, that might be the best kind of mail!

What is Influenster?

Influenster is a community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influensters meet here to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives. Influenster invites its most active members to participate in exclusive VoxBox programs where members receive complimentary products to test and review. In exchange, we ask our members to do what they already love to do: share their opinions with their friends & followers on social media.”

And:

“VoxBoxes are boxes filled with complimentary products from your favorite (or soon-to-be-favorite) brands. Not all Voxboxes are created equal: some programs feature an assortment of products while others will spotlight one awesome brand. But make no mistake: All VoxBoxes are created awesome.”

There were apparently a few different VoxBoxes that went out to Influensters and I received the Brilliant Glossing Shampoo, Brilliant Glossing Conditioner and the Brilliant Glossing Crème. The shampoo and conditioner came in multi-use foil packets and the cream in a 2 oz tube. The proportions were a bit skewed, but the shampoo and conditioner lasted 3 washes.

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From the Fekkai website:

“Brilliant Glossing Shampoo – Let the radiant ritual begin with the luscious, luster-enhancing lather of Brilliant Glossing Shampoo, Fekkai’s iconic shine shampoo. Its translucent formula cleanses hair with luster enhancing lather.

Brilliant Glossing Conditioner – Show hair the way to shine daily with Brilliant Glossing Conditioner, Fekkai’s richly rewarding iconic shine conditioner. Its soft crème formula bathes hair in brilliantly lustrous radiance.

Brilliant Glossing Crème – Transform hair’s texture so it can truly shine. This lightweight glossing cream with the brilliance of an oil lavishes hair with rich radiance to leave it smooth and glowing with vibrant shine.”

Feedback:

These products were amazing! I thought the overall effect of the 3 products in combination was great – my hair was smooth, shiny and there were NO FLYAWAYS. Guys, that’s huge. There is a disclaimer on the glossing crème to use a small amount, and I can absolutely verify that. Its an olive oil infused product and can weigh hair down if too much is applied. After 3 uses of the combination of all the products, there was a noticeable difference in my hair. I will say that the one drawback is that this is not a color-safe shampoo and I noticed a significant loss of color after the first shampoo. I did use with the Fekkai color protecting shampoo (as a first wash) the second and third times and noticed less of my color rinsing out.

While I loved all of the products, I don’t think I could use the shampoo and conditioner regularly due to the amount of color it pulled from my hair. The glossing crème, however will be a new staple in my styling routine.

 

All products were received complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

This does not guarantee a favorable review by the blogger.

 

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What’s the Bzz? Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster

About a year ago I signed up for BzzAgent, a social marketing company that relies on consumers to test and evaluate products. Every so often, I’m invited to participate in a campaign to try out a product and give some feedback. Several weeks ago, I was invited to participate in the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster campaign.

BzzAgent provided the following info:

“Don’t let your skin give away your age. Thanks to Paula’s Choice the only secret when it comes to smoother, brighter and firmer skin is what you choose to tell people about your date of birth.

After using Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster for a few weeks, dark spots and wrinkles will be a distant memory. The light-as-water formula blends 15% stabilized vitamin C, antioxidant vitamin E, ferulic acid and peptides to repair visible signs of aging while stimulating collagen production for dramatically younger, healthier and more radiant skin.

Mixed with your moisturizer or used on its own, the Resist C15 Super Booster not only handles the unwanted signs of aging like wrinkles and dull skin tone, but also fades acne scars and subdues redness. Since it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts, it’s ideal for anyone looking to give their skin a boost!”

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More about Paula’s Choice:

“Too busy putting beauty products on to consider what’s in them? We feel your pain. And so has Paula Begoun. After years of trusting product claims at the expense of her skin, Paula set out to help others make sense of skin care, cosmetics and the flood of product claims they’re faced with each and every day.

Decades later, she’s the author of 20 best-selling books on the topic, including Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. Paula’s books have sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide, and her work as a nationally recognized consumer expert for the cosmetics industry has led to repeat appearances on CNN, Oprah, The Today Show, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The View and Dr. Oz.

In 1995, at the request of her fans, Paula decided to use her years of research on skin care ingredients to create the Paula’s Choice line. The company’s mission is to take brilliant care of your skin, whether you use their products or someone else’s. That’s why they created Beautypedia.com! It’s the most comprehensive beauty resource in the world, with over 45,000 expert skin care and makeup reviews reaching far beyond Paula’s Choice products.”

Feedback:

I really wanted to like this product. I’ve only started using serums in the last year and am still a little gunshy about them. Paula’s Choice is a brand I have heard much about and wanted to try. This really seemed like a win-win. Unfortunately, this product really let me down. I used it twice a day, as directed in combination with my regular products for four weeks and had the following results:

  • Tightness and drying, not a firming feeling
  • Larger, more pronounced pores
  • Deeper creases and smile lines
  • Caused my night cream to pill
  • Increased oil production

Overall I give the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster a D.

Have you tried this or other Paula’s Choice products? What was your experience?

 

All products received through BzzAgent are complimentary for review.

No monetary compensation is received by the blogger.

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What’s the Bzz? COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer™

Several months ago, I signed up for BzzAgent, a social marketing company that relies on consumers to test and evaluate products. Every so often, I’m invited to participate in a campaign to try out a product and give some feedback. Recently, I was invited to participate in a campaign about something very near and dear and gets a lot of use. Hello, sunscreen!

From BzzAgent:

When you’re hitting the beach or hanging at the pool, applying sunscreen is second nature. After all, it’s right there in the bag with your towel, sunhat, magazine, sunglasses and snacks. But the sun’s rays are everywhere, which is why you should always protect your skin. Tell friends how great everyday sun protection can be by posting about the lightweight formulas of COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer sunscreens that leave barely a trace on your skin. 

Those long winter days of dreaming about warmer weather are finally over!”

Here is what came in my recent BzzKit:

  • Full sized COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer Sunny Days Body Lotion
  • Trial sized COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer Sunny Days samples
  • Trial sized COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer Beach & Pool mini sprays

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This is a heck of a lot of sunscreen! I decided to give both products a true test of endurance – a day at the Indy 500. I used the Beach and Pool SPF 50 on my legs and the Sunny Days SPF 30 on my face and arms. I applied both products after getting parked and began the 30 min walk to our seats. A little sweaty, but strong performance from both products. No greasy feeling or even movement… its staying put! After about 2 hours, I reapplied in the same way – spray on the legs and lotion for the arms and face. You know how when you put on a second layer of sunscreen it can build up and get sticky and heavy? No way – these products continued to feel light and absorbed quickly. At the end of the race, we walked back to the car through dust and crud – to further demonstrate how non-sticky these were, I managed to stay relatively dust-free. I was worried that the products would be hard to remove (there has to be a catch, right?), but both products came off easily with body wash and left zero residue.

Lightweight, clean scents and easy to use. COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer gets an A+ in my book! Thanks, BzzAgent!

All products received through BzzAgent are complimentary for review. No monetary compensation is received by the blogger.

 

 

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Mary Kay MKGlam VoxBox from Influenster

I recently received my first VoxBox from Influenster. A what from who?

From the website:

Influenster is a community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influensters meet here to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives. Influenster invites its most active members to participate in exclusive VoxBox programs where members receive complimentary products to test and review. In exchange, we ask our members to do what they already love to do: share their opinions with their friends & followers on social media.”

And:

“VoxBoxes are boxes filled with complimentary products from your favorite (or soon-to-be-favorite) brands. Not all Voxboxes are created equal: some programs feature an assortment of products while others will spotlight one awesome”

So, I received this MKGlam VoxBox, chock full of gorgeous products from Mary Kay. I sold MK products several years ago and I don’t remember the quality being this high. I was definitely impressed with all of the products:

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Mary Kay® Bronzing Powder – $18
Mary Kay® Translucent Loose Powder – $16
Mary Kay® Mineral Cheek Color – $12
Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color in Apricot Twist -$14
Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush- $10

Mary Kay® Powder Brush – $16
Mary Kay® Lash Love® Mascara – $15
Mary Kay® Gel Eyeliner with Expandable Brush Applicator in Jet Black – $18
Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss in Mango Tango – $14

Swatches of products:

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From the top: Nourishine Lip Gloss, Gel Eyeliner, Cream Eye Color, Bronzing Powder and Mineral Cheek Color.

How could you say no to this mascara?

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In creating the look below, I used all of the enclosed products as well as Benefit The Big Easy (shade 01 fair) as a base, MAC Prep + Prime in Highlighter in Radiant Rose under the eyes and theBalm Mary Lou Manizer under the brows.

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Feedback: I was really happy with quality and color of the majority of these products. The mascara is great – it really coats and separates each lash. Two coats will last all day. I am not 100% sold on the color of the cream eye color, but the staying power is really fantastic – it didn’t move a centimeter in 8 hours. I am not the best with bronzer, but I felt like this product was really blendable and forgiving, which worked great on my super fair skin.

The products that really failed are the brushes. MK is not known for great brushes and they are a definite disappointment.

This was a great introduction to the type of products from Influenster… and right up my alley! I’m looking forward to participating in many campaigns in the future!

MaryKay Facebook:  www.facebook.com/MaryKay

Twitter: @MaryKay

Hashtag: #MKGlam

All MaryKay products were received complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

This does not guarantee a favorable review by the blogger.

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What’s the Bzz? Starbucks® and Special K™ duke it out!

A while back, I signed up for BzzAgent, a social marketing company that relies on consumers to test and evaluate products. Every so often, I’m invited to participate in a campaign to try out a product and give some feedback. Recently, I was invited to participate in 2 campaigns that involved one of my favorite things ever – CAFFIENE!

Campaign #1 – Special K Coffee House Breakfast Shakes

BzzAgent provided the following info:

Your morning isn’t exactly overflowing with time to burn. But you don’t have to sacrifice a healthy start to your day just because you’re rushing around. Special K Coffee House Breakfast Shakes are the on-the-go answer for all your nutrition and convenience questions.

Even though these delicious shakes are less than 200 calories, each serving includes 10g of protein and 5g of fiber.* They also provide nearly 1/3rd of the daily value of key vitamins & minerals often lacking in women’s diets, giving you the nutrition you need to kick start your day and helping you stay on top of your weight management goals from the get-go.** Plus, the convenient bottles can travel anywhere and contain as much caffeine as a cup of coffee!***

*Contains 5g total fat per serving
**Data shows that women weight managers often do not meet the nutrient recommendations for certain nutrients including vitamins A, C, D, E, Calcium and Folic Acid
***A 5.5 oz cup of drip-brewed coffee and Special K Protein Coffee House Breakfast Shakes both have 65mg of caffeine”

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Feedback: My BzzKit included Vanilla Cappuccino Coffee House Breakfast and Chocolate Mocha Coffee House Breakfast Shake to try and provide feedback. I love this concept – high protein, few calories and caffeine. And I wanted to love the product, but I just could not get past the consistency and taste. The chocolate version was much more palatable and I loved the injection of caffeine, but I didn’t like either…. I tried. I’ve never been a shake kind of gal, so maybe it’s just me?

 

Campaign #2 – Starbucks Blonde Roast in Veranda Blend

BzzAgent provided the following info:

Starbucks® coffee is known for being bold. But what if you want a cup that’s just as great-tasting, but not as dark roasted? Enter Starbucks® Blonde Roast coffees. It’s the coffee Starbucks has been missing — made for the people they’ve been missing.

Just like the Starbucks® coffees you already know, they’re crafted using only the finest beans and are full of flavor. But unlike their renowned dark roasts, Starbucks® Blonde Roast coffees are decidedly mellow. One sip and you’ll fall in love. We’re talking perfectly balanced, beautiful, light-bodied coffees. But don’t just take our word for it — sample Starbucks® Veranda Blend®, Aria Blend and NEW Bright Sky Blend for yourself.”

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Feedback: Oh yes, plain ole beans. This is my kind of coffee. I usually brew my own coffee at home daily with fresh ground beans. I never buy ground coffee or get it ground on site because you lose a lot of flavor and freshness. If I do make a coffee run mid-day, it usually is to Starbucks for guess what.. a blonde roast! This was a great change from my usual Colombian and I was sad to see it go!

 

 All products received through BzzAgent are complimentary for review. No monetary compensation is received by the blogger.

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What’s the Bzz? Schick® Hydro Silk® Sensitive Care Razor Review

A while back, I signed up for BzzAgent, a social marketing company that relies on consumers to test and evaluate products. After participating in a somewhat lackluster RedBox campaign, I was super excited to be invited to participate in the Schick® Hydro Silk® Sensitive Care campaign.

Last week I received my new BzzKit and dove right in – a razor, heavy duty razor guard for travel (smart!), 2 refills and lots of coupons:

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BzzAgent provided the following info:

Hypoallergenic Moisturizing Serum infused with Shea Butter. 5 Curve-Sensing blades. Skin Guards. All those features might just sound like bells and whistles for now, but trust us – as soon as you take a few strokes with Schick® Hydro Silk® Sensitive Care® razor, everything will make perfect sense.

Winter can be especially tough on sensitive skin. Dermatologist-tested Schick® Hydro Silk® Sensitive Care® razor delivers a better hydration boost than any other razor. The Hypoallergenic Moisturizing Serum hydrates your skin for up to two hours after shaving while the 5 Curve-Sensing blades protect your skin from irritation. So even while you’re bundled up in a parka, your legs will feel like hitting the beach all winter long.”

After taking it out of the packaging, I quickly realized this is probably the nicest razor I’ve ever owned. I’ve been using the same brand of disposable razor for years because I know that my super sensitive skin can tolerate it. What a great reason, right? So I took this new razor for a spin and it’s pretty fantastic. With very minimal effort, I quickly had amazingly smooth legs. I didn’t feel the blades at all against my skin and the razor left a really nice moisture layer. I figured like every other time, I would discover razor burn a couple hours later, but no chance. My legs feel great – no sign of razor burn and feel soft and smooth.

While I received this complimentary product for review, I am in no way required to give this a glowing review. Clearly, I’m pretty impressed. So thanks, BzzAgent! I’ll keep spreading the word!

 

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