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?

Leave a comment »

Use It: March 2017 Empties

Hi there!

Another month has flown by! As I mentioned briefly in my previous empties post, we started a major bathroom renovation at the end of February/beginning of March. This completely consumed my time – blogging has not even been on the radar. The project is mostly finished… it has been just the absolute worst. Remind me never to do another home improvement project!

This was a very productive month as far as using up things in my stash – I was living pretty minimally which helped me focus on using some things up also. Due to the volume, I’m going back to 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

 

 

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale The Toner – sigh. I still love this so much. This leaves my skin feeling so amazing. Full size available at Saks for $135 for 4.2oz.

Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner – I purchased this originally for a face mist, but found it to work so much better as the first step of my morning skin care. After using a gentle cleanser or scrub, I used several pumps to spray evenly over my face. I found this gentle and refreshing without being too drying or creating more oil. I would definitely repurchase this again! Available at Lush for $10.95 for 3.3oz.

MAKEUP

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara in Black – this arrived in an Allure box a while back and I kept stalling on using this. Shame on me – this is fantastic. I already have very long lashes that constantly hit my glasses, so I am always looking for a mascara that can add volume over length. My lashes are very light so I really like a pure black mascara to help my lashes pop behind my glasses. This added a lot of definition without feeling heavy. I would absolutely buy this! Available at Ulta for $7.99.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer Lipgloss – originally featured and swatched here. I like the minty aspect, but there is nothing spectacular about this. Full size available at Sephora for $28 for 0.16 oz.

 

 

Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss – it’s a balm. It’s a gloss… it’s… neither? It’s an anti-aging lip serum. I wore this so often on its own, as it had a lovely natural shade and was very lightweight, but I would also layer with another deeper gloss shade or lipstick. I didn’t notice any significant change in my lips while using this, so probably would not repurchase. Available at Sephora for $30 of 0.11oz.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet – I typically love the 24/7 liners, however this one let me down. It completely dried out. I’ve never had this happen to the UD liners – I tried sharpening it several times and warming it up before applying… nope it’s done. This was a very, very deep matte black. I would give it another chance, but I have so many black liners.. I don’t need to rush out and buy it any time soon. Available at Urban Decay counters for $20 for 0.04oz.

BODY

Julep Bare Body Milk – this was a really nice, lightweight lotion. It is a fun, beachy fragrance, but there is nothing spectacular about it. I probably would not purchase unless I rejoin the Julep Maven subscription. I can’t currently find on the Julep website, but their items change frequently. I’m going to assume that this was about $20 for 6.8oz.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis EDT – WOW. This is such a bright, clean scent – hints of citrus and bergamot stick with me 8+ hours. It also paired really well with the Body Milk. I would totally buy this. Available at Luckyscent.com for $195 for 70ml.

 

 

Skinfix Ultra Rich Hand Cream – this was fabulous – incredibly hydrating without leaving behind a greasy feeling. You can just feel all of the nourishing oils working their way into your skin. This reminded me quite a bit of the Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. I would definitely purchase. Full size available at Ulta for $9.99 for 3oz.

Tony Moly Changing U Magic Foot – this is the second time I have used this. I had a different experience this time around – maybe my feet were reallllly bad? This was really effective in removing some really serious callouses. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Ulta for $6.50.

HAIR

 

 

Alterna Caviar RepairX Multi-Vitamin Heat Protection Spray – another long name, another useless hair product. I really don’t see the results from the Alterna products. I have stopped using my straight iron so my hair is exposed to less heat in general. But there is nothing that justifies that cost of this for me. Available at Ulta for $30 for 4.2oz.

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – I’m totally going to eat my words about this. Last time I used this I despised it. I decided to give this mini another chance and I have a completely different feeling about it. This experience was soooo much better – smell, texture, everything. If I used this on day 2 or 3, I would be able to skip using dry shampoo the next day. This worked so incredibly well. I actually went to look for the full size the other day but they were sold out. Available at Sephora for $13 for 0.8oz.

Sally Hershberger 24K Voluminous Dry Shampoo – this was terrible. I’m wondering if it wasn’t mislabeled hairspray? This did not cleanse my hair at all. My hair felt crunchy and stiff after using this. No thanks. I don’t know where it is available and am not bothering to look it up.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Illume Soy Candle in Noble Currant – I love currant scents! This little candle packed a big scent and burned at least 20 hours. Originally purchased on Birchbox.com for $10.

 

 

Julep Nail Color in Devon and Lori – one is great, the other is not. Devon is a slightly shimmery gunmetal that lasts 4-5 days without budging. I used this until there was no more. Lori is a thin, Jelly formula that NEVER DRIES. I have tried pairing this with other shades and using with the quick dry drops… nothing works. I gave up on this one. I would totally purchase Devon again. Available through Julep for $14 for 0.27oz.

Total products used 2017:

Skincare: 9

Body: 5

Hair: 7

Makeup/face: 4

other: 4

Nails: 2

Samples: 5

Sheet masks: 1

Month total: $178.77   (approximately)

Year total: $337.75

Things I purchased:

I took advantage of the MAC Select 20% off and bought a new bottle of Fix+. The 20% basically covered shipping, so I saved $1.

Amount spent in March: $23

There you go – another month, another round of empties! What did you use up this month? What do you plan on repurchasing?

Leave a comment »

Use It: October 2016 Empties

Hi there, hey there.

It’s been a few weeks… things have been really crazy on the home front, hence the blog silence. No worries though, everyone is doing well and we’re all getting back into a regular routine.

This was a very low-use product month. After plowing through a bunch of full size as well as sample sizes for Sample September, I think I really just focused on using the things that I love and getting back to a regular routine. With that being said, I still managed to use a few things and wanted to give you some reviews:

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush – I’ve had this brush for years and sadly it is time to say goodbye. It sort of frayed and no matter what I do I cannot reshape this. I actually trimmed some of the crazy hairs in hope of making it work but it still applies my liner erratically. This was a great brush – I could really pack a gel/cream eyeliner into both sides and get an even application well into the lash line. While I’m terrified of tightlining, this did make it easier to accomplish. I would consider repurchasing down the road. Available at Nordstrom for $28.

Ciaté Nail Polish in Members Only – I never loved this polish, but I also got it for free… maybe I don’t really have that much to complain about then? This is the only Ciate polish I have ever tried, but I’m not inclined to rush out and buy any. It was a very gel-like formula that only liked to be worn with one layer. I felt like this never really dried despite trying several top coats. This I can no longer use this because the brush doesn’t reach any further. Will not purchase. Full size available at Nordstrom for $14-$15.

Color Club Nail Lacquer in Status Update – this was a Birchbox find a while back. I really like their colors and formulas. This one could be worn with one coat, but I always prefer two just to make sure there are no opaque spots. Status Update is a deep, dark blueish grey that borderlines black and would easily wear 4-5 days without chipping or fading. As you can tell it isn’t empty, but the applicator broke. It is really difficult (and messy!) to try and use the inner applicator. I would repurchase this brand and shade. Available at Birchbox.com for $8-$9 for 0.25oz.

Julep Crème-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick in Plum Shimmer – I opened this the other day and the crayon went flying out… guys, I still can’t find it. In the stick, this was a beautiful multihued purple. When applied, it lost its luster and was a flat plum shade. No shimmer like in the stick or dimension, just flat. I usually blended with a lighter, more shimmery shade to create a more ombre look. Long story short, I would not repurchase this shade. I would be willing to try a different shade however. Available on Julep.com for $18 for 0.04oz.

MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch – this has been my go-to eye shadow single for years. I have gone through so many of these and have a few backups. This is the perfect neutral eye shade – it blends well with other shades, but I love to wear it just on its own. Naked Lunch is a buildable, multidimensional peachy-pink shade that looks flattering on so many skin tones. Repurchase? Always and forever. Available online and at all MAC counters for $16 for 0.04oz.

Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara in Classic Black – this curled, separated, thickened and never clumped. It also would not come off. This clung to my lashes regardless of how much micellar water or eye makeup remover I used. It would not come off! I always felt like I had a crunchy layer of primer on. Again, this applied and looked fantastic… but I will never buy this again. Available at Ulta for $6.99.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleansing Gel and Eye Makeup Remover – for such a long title, you would expect magic but this also would not remove the Colossal Mascara! This was a very nice, simple cleanser. It would work into a slight foam and removed all of my makeup and left my skin soft and not stripped of moisture. This tube lasted forever – I’m actually happy to see it go so I can use up a bunch of other things that are piling up. I may repurchase some day. Available at Sephora for $23 for 7.5oz.

Tony Moly Changing Magic Foot Peeling Shoes – I heard that this was great dupe for the popular (and creepy) Baby Foot. The difference? About $20. I figured since I love Tony Moly masks, why not give this a chance. This is crazy. I wore these booties for an hour and a few days later, my feet started peeling like crazy. I won’t get all gross, but within a few days, even my most stubborn callouses were gone. This is a fascinating product. I already bought another. Available at Ulta for $6.

So there you have it!

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 14

Body: 18

Hair: 13

Makeup/face: 25

other: 6

Nails: 15

Samples: 39

Sheet masks: 10

Month total: $112.99

Year total: $1,330.08 

 

What did you use up this month? Anything you’ve been trying to check off of your list?

Leave a comment »

Use It: September 2016 Empties

Hello and happy October!

Farewell summer – I won’t miss you!

As usual, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle. Sample reviews are posted frequently to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. This month included a higher number of samples than usual as I was participating in Sample September. It was really nice to be able to clear out a few more things out of my sample stash!

Here we go!

SKINCARE

 

 

Julep Charcoal Konjac Sponge – I really liked the shape and feel of this sponge. This was great out of the gate, unfortunately between uses it would dry out too much and start to condense. After a couple weeks it became increasingly difficult to rehydrate and use comfortably. It kept shrinking and absorbing less and less water every day. I think I really only got one good week of use out of this and completely gave up after 2-3 weeks. This was only with using a gentle cleanser first thing in the morning – no cleansing oils or use with makeup. Would not repurchase. Available at Julep.com for $12.

Lancôme Genifique Yeux/Youth Activating Eye Cream – this was from L’Oréal Product Evaluation and probably one of the best gifts they’ve ever given! This was great for day and night – incredibly hydrating and soothing. This has reflective agents and minimizes the appearance of dark circles. It did not, however, tighten or firm the fine lines. I liked this, but did not love it for that very reason. Would not purchase. Available at Nordstrom for $67 for 0.5oz.

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes – this confirmed my dislike of cucumber scented things. Additionally, they did not remove my makeup very well… it was fine for foundation and some eyeshadows, but they didn’t touch mascara or eyeliner. Would definitely not repurchase. Available at Target for $2.99 (10 sheets).

MAKEUP

Benefit They’re Real Beyond Blue Mascara – this was so perfect for summer! I originally discussed this here. As typical for They’re Real, it lasted about 3 months on the dot before it started to dry out. I was hoping to get a few more uses out of it, but managed to get yet another round of pink eye.. ugh! Out it goes! I love this formula, but I probably would not purchase this color in this line again. It’s fun, but I know I can find a colored mascara for much cheaper. Available at Ulta for $24.

 

 

Vella Flower Flower B.B Whitening Moisturizing Color Control Base – this was a really great BB cream. I used this quite a bit when I was battling perioral dermatitis – it cancelled out all of the redness and was hydrating enough to minimize some of the flaky skin. This made my skin overall look super porcelain and flawless. It did get shiny throughout the day, but it wasn’t anything that a little powder couldn’t get rid of! If I could find this, I would definitely repurchase. It was a Memebox find from when the majority of the products were coming straight from Korea. I will probably never find this again.

BODY

Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiance Fair to Medium Skin – I despise most tanning lotions simply because of the scent. This one smells so nice! It is also a really subtle color enhancer that doesn’t make my incredibly pale skin look orange or too dark. This never streaks or leaves uneven patches. I already have a backup! Available at Ulta for about $10 for 13.5oz.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Bath and Body Works Soothing Pillow Mist in Eucalyptus Spearmint – I love, love, love this and have been using it for years. When I have the Sunday blues and can’t fall asleep, I just spray on my pillow and I’m out within 5 minutes. I don’t know what kind of magic this stuff is, but fortunately I have backups! The down side is that this wasn’t completely empty, but the sprayer thing broke. Bummer. I will purchase more during one of the BBW semi-annual sales where it’s 50%. Available in-store and on the website for $12.50 for 5.3oz.

Butter London Nail in The Sweet Spot – this lovely, creamy pink was part of last year’s collaboration with Allure – I think they had 4-5 limited edition shades. I received this last year through the Allure Beauty Box (which I discontinued a few months ago) and originally featured in my 2015 Favorites – with good reason. The formula was long lasting and well pigmented – I have some other shades from this brand that I look forward to testing out! Regular shades available at Ulta for $15 for 0.4oz.

Formula X Delete All – I bought this in hopes of finding something that would take off glitter polish better than my regular $1.99 remover. This is one of those contraptions that has 5 slots for each finger… you contort your hands so it coats your nail and removes the polish. This worked incredibly well on removing all traces of gritty glitter! I’m not sure why I was on the kick, but I have certainly moved past it. It works well on all formulas, pigmentations, etc. It has really dried out so it’s time to say goodbye. I would definitely repurchase! Available at Sephora for $15 for 5oz.

 

 

Julep Nail Color in Rayma – so this was a September favorite and an empty 😦 I absolutely love this color. It reminds me of wine, which is probably why I like it so much! This started to get really thick, so I added a similar shade to kind of thin it out. I was able to get a few more uses, but sadly it is no more. I would consider repurchasing if I didn’t have so much nail polish… the Julep subscription was great, but just soooo many products. I will not need to buy polish for the next 5 years. Available on Julep.com for $14

Julep Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops – this worked really well and lasted forever! This oily formula dried polish in a snap. I do have a back up of this and will use it, but I don’t anticipate repurchasing. The product below will explain why… Available on Julep.com for $18.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat – ah, my beloved Seche Vite. Toxic as hell, but I can’t resist it. I can use this on any polish and it will be dry in 2 minutes. I never get a smudge, bubble or crinkle when I use this. As you can probably tell, this is not empty, but it got really thick and hard to use. Don’t worry, I already have a backup! Available at Ulta for $7.99.

Whew! There you go. Again, it never seems like a lot until I start typing… then it seems like it takes forever to wrap it up!

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 13

Body: 17

Hair: 13

Makeup/face: 22

other: 5

Nails: 13

Samples: 39

Sheet masks: 10

Month total: $190.98

Year total: $1,217.09 

What did you finish up this month? Any favorites? Non-favorites?

Have a great October!

Leave a comment »

September 2016 Favorites

Hello again!

I was trying to think of my September favorites and kept struggling with what that could actually be… after a couple days I had to laugh at myself because the answer was right in front of me. Literally in and on my face all month.

If you have been following along with my new weekly lip shade overview, you know that Bite Thistle has made a number of occurrences. This one is definitely not a secret. I wore it on repeat for several days before I started the series and then a few times throughout as well. This is a “mauve infused taupe” that leans a little purple/grey on me. I am a huge fan of Bite products, especially the newer Amuse Bouche formula – the colors and pigmentation are excellent and the formula lasts for hours on me. When it does start to fade, I am left with a nice stain.

The other favorite has been on my nails for the last 4 weeks nonstop. Julep Rayma is a beautiful plum shade that lasts 4-5 days without chipping or fading. I love this as a seasonal transition shade – it is dark but the shade is still acceptable for daytime. Sadly I also managed to use a ton of it this month and will be featured in my September empties post. 😦

There you go – another short and sweet monthly update. This month was all about purples so I can’t wait to see what October brings!

Have a happy October!

Leave a comment »

Use It: August 2016 Empties

Hello again!
August always seems like the longest month, but this one just flew! I survived my birthday month – I actually didn’t age this year… it was amazing. I don’t foresee aging any upcoming birthdays either. 🙂

I had zero empties the first couple weeks of the month and just assumed I would be waiting until the end of September to write this post. But mid-month, I started finishing up a bunch of products and all of a sudden I had a massive pile… I don’t see this as a bad thing. I have a ton of products open, not open and backups of many. After tossing a few things and getting their replacements, I actually made a significant dent in one of my drawers. Little victories!

As usual, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle. Sample reviews are posted frequently to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.

SKINCARE

Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge – I bought this one in a pinch. It’s great, but I know there are so many cleansing sponges that do the same job for 1/4 of the price. Available at Sephora for $15.

MAKEUP

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose – if you read my blog regularly, you know that I just love, love, love this. This is just a perfect pink highlighter that works so well under your eyes and just as well on cheeks or forehead. I will definitely repurchase! Available online or at MAC counters or freestanding stores for $27 for 0.12oz.

Stila Lip Glaze in Mango Berry – this was a beautiful, sheer coral shade. It wasn’t until half way through this when I remembered that I despise the applicator – it is so messy and you can never dispense enough so then you get too much and it gets all over the lid. Loved the color, but will not repurchase any of these again! Mango Berry is no longer available, but a similar shade called Tangerine is available at Sephora for $222 for 0.08oz.

W3ll People Expressionist Mascara – Birchbox just looooves this brand. The applicator is one of the best I’ve ever used – short and coated the whole lash. The formula, however is a bit of a miss. It coated the lashes, but it didn’t thicken or lengthen… it was a very natural look. I do tend to prefer a bit more drama in a mascara. Available on Birchbox.com for $22 at 0.23oz.

BODY

Kamill Aloe Hand and Nail Cream – this was a nice, lightweight lotion. It was good for spring and summer months, but just wasn’t hydrating enough for cold weather months. The aloe scent was a bit strong, but faded after a while. I would love to test out some of the other scents! Available at smallflower.com for $4.95 for 100ml.

Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Antiperspirant and Deodorant Cream – yet another one… this is just the absolute best deodorant. It is unscented, dries quickly and lasts 24 hours – so great! I have gone through so many of these and am about to stock up on more. Available on kiehls.com for $19.50 for 2.5oz.

LUSH Rose Jam – this is my all-time favorite Lush product. Why isn’t this a lotion? Or a perfume? It is just SO GOOD. Not only does it smell amazing, it is hydrating as well as gentle on your skin. This is only available at certain times of the year. When you see it, grab it! Available at Lush for $9.95 for 3.3oz.

HAIR

Alterna Bamboo Style Cleanse Extend in Mango Coconut – this claims to be free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic color.. ok so I want to know what chemical it smells like because this stinks. It might be a “natural” dry shampoo but it smells like mangoes and chemicals and I had to leave the room that I would spray it in. I originally got this in a Sephora dry shampoo kit but can no longer find it on the website… guess I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

Davines LOVE Shampoo – I just love this shampoo. It’s deep cleansing, smoothing and smells amazing. It I actually needed to buy shampoo, this would be it. available at Birchbox.com for $25 for 5oz.

Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo – this is awful. I only used this a couple times because it left my hair feeling really heavy and oily. By the end of the day it would look horrible – super greasy and unwashed. I don’t know what hair this is meant for, but definitely not mine. Available at kiehls.com for $7 for 2.5oz.

Not Your Mother’s Knotty to Nice Conditioning Detangler – such a long name… This came in an Allure box a while ago – it was perfectly fine. I don’t frequently find much difference between detanglers – either they work or they don’t, right? I would repurchase I guess. Available at Ulta and Amazon for $6.99 for 6oz.

LIFESTYLE/OTHER

Julep Clean Slate Polish Remover Pads – I know I reviewed these at some point a long time ago. I feel like I really have to work to get the polish off with these pads. The liquid evaporates very quickly so you can only really use 1 per hand. Given the cost, I can’t see how people use these all the time. Available at Julep.com and now Ulta for $14 for 10.

Ruffian Nail Color in Rosary – this is a lovely warm, rose gold shade with a lot of shimmer. I did not like the applicator brush because it collected very little polish to apply… however, you really didn’t need much to fully cover the nail. I usually use 2 coats but 1 would be sufficient. I wouldn’t repurchase because I have a ton of nail polish and it is actually crazy expensive.. like more than twice as much as Chanel ($28 for 0.40z). I got this in a Birchbox, definitely wouldn’t shell out this much. Available on Birchbox.com for $24 for 0.17oz.

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 10

Body: 16

Hair: 13

Makeup/face: 20

other: 4

Nails: 8

Samples: 27

Sheet masks: 9

Month total: $184.39

Year total: $1,026.11 WHOA!

What did you finish up this month? Any favorites? Non-favorites?

Have a great September!

Leave a comment »

Use It: July 2016 Empties

Hello again!

How on earth is it already August? What the heck… I swear I just got caught up on June.. I’ve been working on a few drafts, so will hopefully have those complete in the next few days. There has been a lot of travel and then I got sick… ugh. Excuses.

This month did not yield a ton of empties, so I will just list everything alphabetically rather than my usual categories. I contemplated just waiting until next month, but I really hate having all of these empty containers sitting around.

Aveeno Nourish + Dandruff Control – so this did nourish, but it did not control dandruff. I feel like it was actually worse after using this shampoo. It wasn’t deep cleansing or anything spectacular for that matter. Thumbs down. Available at Target for $6-$7 for 10.5oz.

Avene Hydrance Light Hydrating Cream – this was great for colder weather. But once the weather turned and the humidity went up, this left my face feeling really greasy. I did finish this up on my neck and décolletage and it was fine. I would consider repurchasing for the fall/winter months if I can find the version with SPF. Available at Birchbox for $32 for 1.35oz.

drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – this stuff stinks…. but it works so well! This mini version lasted almost 2 months – a little bit really went a long way. A couple sprays distributed enough dry shampoo to eliminate all of the oil from my hair and helped extend time between washing. I don’t think I could repurchase though because the smell bothers me that much – I might be one of the few people that actually dislikes all of the drybar products. Available at Sephora for $13 for 1.4oz.

e.l.f. Shine Eraser – yes… another. I think I am finally using my last pack. Again, they are fine and were being sold at closeout at Target for $0.85.

Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat – I have been using this for a while and haven’t noticed much change… I started using this when my hair and nails were all messed up after some surgery a couple years ago. I don’t know that I can say it did that much repair – I think it just needed time… not this base coat. On that note, this is a decent base coat. It is a bit tacky and helps the color really adhere to the nail. I have a couple other base coats so I probably won’t repurchase right now. Available at CVS and Target for about $8.

Julep Nail Color in Farrah – this is a really interesting cool toned, purple-grey shade. This is the Silk Finish formulas – in the bottle it looks super shimmery, but dries sort of matte. With a good top coat, it has a lot of depth and shimmer. I have no idea why anyone would want to wear this as a matte! This wore for 4-5 days. I would not repurchase only because I have a ton of nail polish. Available at julep.com for $14.

Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron Blue Eagle Shave Cream – this is the sensitive skin version, and yes it’s for men. My skin reacts so poorly to most shaving products, so I get really excited when I find something that doesn’t cause horrible razor burn. I’ve been using this for a while and just keep coming back. Dear Kiehl’s, don’t ever stop making this. I have backups of this. 🙂  Available at Kiehls.com for $16 for 5oz.

Kiehl’s Crème de Corps – I have to be honest… I don’t get the hype. It’s a perfectly fine lotion. I think there are a lot of other lotions out there at a lower price point. Kiehl’s makes a lot of really great products, but this is just ok. Much like the drybar products, I’m sure I’m in the minority on this. Available at Kiehls.com for $11 for 2.5oz.

One ‘n Only Brazilian Tech De-Frizz Wand – this is an absolute life saver in this humid weather. A couple quick swipes tames flyaways and keeps my curls from frizzing. I originally received this in an Allure box and I repurchased a couple at Sally Beauty – they are not currently on the website. I’m going to stalk these down in my local store and hoard them away! If you can find them, get them… buy one for me too. I think they ran around $6-$7.

Rusk Dry Finishing Spray – this was a nice, lightweight spray that helped bring my curls back on second day hair. After brushing out my hair, I would dampen it and then spray on a small amount and re-scrunch the curls. Full size is available at Birchbox for $18 for 8oz.

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 9

Body: 13

Hair: 9

Makeup/face: 17

other: 4

Nails: 6

Samples: 24

Sheet masks: 9

Month total: $125.85

Year to date: $841.72

All samples and sheet masks have mini reviews on Instagram!

What all did you use up this past month? Any favorites?

1 Comment »

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!

 

Leave a comment »

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?

Leave a comment »

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?

1 Comment »

The Beauty Deputy

Reviews on all things beauty related such as: makeup, skin care, fragrances, and much more!

sarah loves makeup

ramblings from a girl who's been obsessed with makeup since, well, forever

The Project Pan Gal

This blog is about my love for makeup and my attempts on using my products up.

After the 9 to 5

Lifestyle - beauty, music, art, books - blog for balancing after the 9 to 5

Life Before Noon

I am learning what the world is like when you wake up before sunrise.

Canadian Beauty Blogger - Makeup Swatches Reviews Hair Nail Polish

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

Beauty & The Tomboy.

My Beauty Obsession Shared!

BlushingNoir

Just another WordPress.com site

The Subscriptionist

Subscription Boxes Revealed and Reviewed

Makeup and Beauty Blog | Makeup Reviews, Swatches and How-To Makeup

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

The Makeup Blogger

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

PrettyTrippy

a beauty & travel blog (well sort of...)

All The Lovely Things In Life

A blog about beauty, crafting, and things that make me happy.

Beauty High

Beauty Tips, Product Reviews & Beauty Trends