A New Day

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

Use It: June 2017 Empties

Hello again!
How on earth is June over? I cannot believe that half a year is gone at the blink of an eye. My personal has been really stressful the last several weeks – lots of stuff that I don’t feel like sharing with the world (sorry…). On the flip side, work is great and I’m enjoying daily creative work. My animals are geriatric and hate the heat, but are muddling through with wagging tails and smiles. They are just the best.

I’m trying to focus on using up a few key things – older body products, foundations and a few specific makeup things that need to get used or go in the trash. Given the shameful amount I spent on all of this stuff, the option I prefer is to use it up. I’m going to go alphabetically again this month due to the lower volume. As always, sample reviews can be found on my Instagram (@lvp8779).

Here we go:

Ahava Dead Sea Essentials Refreshing Body Spa Towelettes in Hydrating Hibiscus – these had a really lovely, light scent – not overpowering or too floral. I loved using these after a trip to the gym or after work on a really hot day. Sadly, I think these have been discontinued, hence the Target clearance sticker. So sad… I would repurchase. Target – $2.08 for 28 wipes.

Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist – ok so maybe the packaging does not explicitly say this, my beauty sleuthing skills came in handy for this one. I received this and a couple other products from The Pink Panel a while back, this was rediscovered during my bathroom renovation. I remembered I liked it while I was testing it for the study, but then was quickly reminded how much I love face mists in the summer. I used this as a toner – after washing my face in the morning, I sprayed a few pumps over my face before daily serums. This was really cooling and hydrating. I would consider purchasing if it wasn’t for the price – it’s a bit steep and there are some great mists out there. Available at Sephora for $35 for 4oz.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Porcelain and Sheer Finish Loose Powder in White – I know I have talked about this before – this is a long-discontinued design from Bobbi Brown. The two products stacked was brilliant, however now they put side by side in a small compact. This makes no sense – you get powder in the concealer and the powder is pressed vs. loose. It is so problematic. I think I have one more old design stashed away… Once that is gone, I will probably not repurchase. As I’m getting older (sigh), I find that the concealer settles in the creases around my eyes throughout the morning. I do love the coverage though… don’t count it out down the road! Side by side kit available at Nordstrom for $37.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara – this was so nice to revisit! I used this a couple years back and discovered I had another mini in my stash. As I mentioned in a previous post, this really separated and provided lots of volume to my lashes. I feel like it coated each lash and provided a ton of definition. Farewell, good friend! I would definitely repurchase! Full size available at Nordstrom for $30.

Julep Nail Color in Kelsey – this was an odd peachy shade. I tried to make this work several times and the last time I wore it I just scowled at my nails all day. I really disliked how it looked with my skin color. Will not repurchase. Available at Julep for $14 for 0.27oz.

Le Métier de Beauté Classic Flawless Finish Foundation in Shade 1 – I finally finished a foundation – it has been ages! This is medium to full coverage foundation that hides blemishes and evens out skin tone. This was great during the fall/winter/early spring months. This does not work well for me in warmer weather. This was a good shade match, however as it aged it did oxidize a bit and left my skin a bit sallow. I think there are a lot of great foundations out there… so I probably won’t revisit this one again. Available at Neiman’s for $68 for 1oz.

MAC PowerPoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown – oh man… remember this from my Project Pan  a while back? Well, I lost it at some point during the project and then found it a few months later. Then I lost it again and recovered it during the infamous bathroom renovation. I tried to make it work and it is just done – it was too dry at this point to really use. This is my favorite style of MAC eyeliner, so I would probably purchase again at some point. Stubborn Brown is a rich, chocolaty shade that works well on any skin tone. Available online and MAC counters for $17 for 0.04oz.

MAC Prep+Prime Transparent Finishing Powder – this is the most versatile setting powder I’ve used in a long time. It is incredibly lightweight and keeps my makeup from creasing and helps keep shine at bay for a few hours. I would definitely repurchase. Available online and MAC counters for $27 for 0.32oz.

Mally Volumizing Mascara – this was terrible. The formula was so dry I couldn’t even get it to coat my lashes. I used it on one eye and then tossed it in the Use It bin. Bummer. Available at Ulta for $20 for 0.39oz.

Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Sabbath – I love this pencil. It took an hour of swatching to find the perfect navy liner and this was the winner – a rich, heavily pigmented navy blue that doesn’t lean purple or grey. This really does last all day. After the latest round of work-related pink eye, I am retiring this. I know where to find it and will probably repurchase soon. Available at Ulta for $20 for 0.04oz.

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – this is great – a few spritzes and makeup does not budge. I feel like this definitely extends the wear time of my makeup, specifically eye makeup, in the summer. However, I do prefer the MAC Fix+. I would probably circle back around to this again though. Available at Ulta for $15 for 1oz.

Short and sweet. Lots of makeup this month – wow!

Total products used 2017:

Skincare: 17

Body: 10

Hair: 12

Makeup/face: 15

other: 6

Nails: 7

Samples: 13

Sheet masks: 1

Month total: $245.08   (approximately)

Year total: $1,011.80

At the end of December 2016, I used up a total value of $1,570.80. If I keep up this pace, I might hit $2,000… I am shaking my head at that… I can’t believe how much I’ve spent over the years. Ugh.

I’m not even going to talk about what I purchased this month… I did some retail therapy. That’s all I’m saying.

I look forward to hopefully getting a few more posts up soon. I realize I’ve really been slacking. There has been a lot going on personally and I hope to step it up in the second half of the year.

Enjoy the rest of July!

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This Week’s Lips #4

Hello again!

Here we are in week 4 – and I’m still writing about my week in lipstick. This should not really surprise anyone who knows me. I just had a conversation in one of my friend group chats about my love for lipstick. It is possible that is just as deep as I get or I’m just really passionate about it. Then again, you are still here… reading my blog post about lipstick. So I think we understand each other. 🙂

I decided to try and get some use out of a couple minis and samples to hopefully do some de-stashing in the next couple months.

Monday – Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked – for some reason I have never really worn this… and I’ve definitely been missing out. This is the old formula – I would be interested to compare with the new Vice formula to see if they wear similarly. The pigmentation is great – it doesn’t apply patchy or sheer out. This wears comfortably for 3-4 hours before it starts to settle in lip creases and needs reapplied.

Tuesday – Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer Lipgloss – I believe this is the shade Allow Me or Love Drunk – can’t tell because the sticker fell off. This is a sheer, mauvy-pink with a lot of shimmer. If you look at it in the tube, it looks like there are huge chunks of glitter which I assure you do not appear when applied. This sheer gloss provides a nice wash of color with a lot of shine and the minty scent provides a nice pick me up in the afternoon.

Wednesday – Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Thistle – can’t stop, won’t stop.

Thursday – Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Nori – clearly, I love Bite products. Nori is a very pigmented brown based red. If last week’s brown-red (MAC Enchanter) was for those afraid of reds, I would advise those folks to steer clear! I find these formulas to be hydrating and long-lasting. After a second coffee and lunch, I only needed a light touch up to make the color last the remainder of the work day. Even then, my lips still had a color stain when I went to remove my makeup at 10 pm.

Friday – MAC Matte Lipstick in Strip Me Down – this is the lone shade from the collaboration with Taraji P. Henson – this is described as a “deeptone beige,” but I feel it has much more depth than that. I feel like it sits on the line of coral/rust-toned on me. This definitely changed up a week of pink. I realize this is a matte formula, but I found it to be very drying. It wore several hours, but somewhat uncomfortably… A light layer of clear gloss really helped.

 

Saturday – Tarteist Lip Paint in Rave – I took this out for a daytime spin this time. We decided to get out of the house on a rainy Saturday and go antiquing. So Rave seemed totally appropriate! If you follow me on Instagram (@lvp8779) you saw it in this photo with an amazing vintage Dior hat. You also might have witnessed some really odd vintage furs with faces. 🙂

What did you wear this week? Are you getting excited about the release of holiday collections and limited edition shades?

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Use It: May and June 2016 Empties

Happy Summer, everyone!

Sorry to be a bit MIA for a bit… My husband got very sick and ended up having emergency surgery the end of May/beginning of June, so life got a little crazy. He is finally on the mend, but still has quite a bit of recovery to get back to normal. Obviously blogging took a backseat for a few weeks.

So in an effort to play catch up both my empties and favorites posts will cover both May and June. With a long weekend I’m also able to get caught up on a backlog of reading and writing – so bear with me!

As always, 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

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Cleansing Foam – what a fantastic face wash – I used this primarily at night after an oil-based cleanser. It would remove any traces of eye makeup and leave my skin feeling soft, hydrated and refreshed. I would definitely purchase this – I love everything in this skincare line! Even though this is a 1oz tube, it was a GWP from Saks. The full-size is 4.2oz and runs about $105 (YIKES!).

Pixi Glow Tonic – I don’t get the hype. There. I said it. I am probably one of the few people who feel this way and I’m okay with that. I really disliked the scent and it didn’t do anything noticeable for my skin. Would not purchase. Available at Target for $15 for 3.4oz.

Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate – I can’t say much about this. While this little tube lasted for about 2 months, I can’t say that I noticed a difference. It was a very nice, lightweight serum but that’s about it. Thanks to Allure for sending this for testing! Available at Macy’s for $65 for 0.5oz.

Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes – very rarely am I impressed by makeup wipes. They all seem to serve the same purpose, right? This is the first time that I used a wipe that can remove all traces of a dark lipstick or a lip stain. I would definitely repurchase these! I think these were part of an Allure box a while back, but can be purchased for $5-$6 on Amazon.

MAKEUP

Benefit Roller Lash – this is not the first time I’ve used this… I do find that I like it more every time I try it. There is a bit of a trick to getting the lashes to hook just right into the wand. I would probably not purchase, but only because I like They’re Real and Bad Gal more. 🙂 Available at all Benefit counters for $24.

e.l.f Shine Eraser – I mentioned these in a previous post – I stockpiled them on clearance at Target for $0.85. Not bad for 50 sheets! Unfortunately I have not been able to find them again, so my guess is that they have officially been discontinued. Bummer.

Le Métier de Beauté Precision Liquid Liner in Noir – a heavily pigmented liquid black liner with a felt tip. I’ve been using this way longer than one should use a liquid product.. oops. I loved this so much. It was perfect for tightlining and deepening darker pencil shades. I would purchase this again in a heartbeat if it wasn’t $42.

NYX Green Tea Blotting Paper – oh hey.. more blotting paper! I think I have tried every version of the NYX blotting papers, and these might possibly be my favorite. They are very absorbent and the larger sheet covers more areas of my face. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Ulta for $5.99 for 100 sheets.

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara – I don’t know what it is about this, but I really dislike this formula. After a couple swipes, it feels like you have one giant, clumpy eyelash. I had to find a second wand to declump it after use. I love big lashes, but this didn’t get anywhere near a good result for me. I did like that it was a very deep black pigmented mascara, but it also felt like it never dried down. Definitely would not purchase. Available at Ulta and Sephora for $23.

BODY

Bath and Body Works Peach and Honey Almond Body Scrub – I love, love, love this scent and am so bummed that this was a one-time seasonal scent. Fortunately I still have a body wash and lotion that I have been using sparingly! I also really appreciate that this scrub was made from walnut shells and not micro-beads. If this ever comes back, I am going to stockpile! Similar scrubs available at Bath and Body Works for $12-$13 for 6oz.

LUSH Charity Pot – I love the messaging behind the annual release of the LUSH Charity Pot. I selected the pot that featured the Women’s Empowerment International Foundation. The scent is not my favorite – heavy ylang-ylang and gardenia are really opposite of my preferred scent range… but that isn’t why I bought it. I will probably pick up another on my next trip to LUSH. Available every year for a limited run (and supports a variety of charities) for $6.95 for 1.7oz.

LIFESTYLE

Bath and Body Works Candle in Fresh Sparkling Snow – this was such a happy scent! It was clean and fresh and wasn’t too overwhelming for warmer months. The one complaint I have again and again with their candles is that there is always a ton of wax left in the bottom. It is so frustrating. I would purchase again this winter! The 3-wick candles are $22.50 but don’t ever pay the full price… they are always on sale!

 

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 8

Body: 11

Hair: 5

Makeup/face: 16

other: 4

Nails: 4

Samples: 20

Sheet masks: 7

May/June total: $122.29

Year total: $715.87

All samples and sheet masks have mini reviews on Instagram!

There you have it! Another round of empties! What did you use up recently and love/hate?

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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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Update: Progress with Perioral Dermatitis

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

So here is a photo from a few days ago:

 

 

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

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

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

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Use It – February 2016

Hello and Happy March!

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

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

Here we go:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 3

Body: 6

Hair: 1

Makeup/face: 5

other: 1

Samples: 8

Sheet masks: 2

Month total: $31.84

Year total: $318.84

Have a great March!

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Use It – January 2016

Hello again!

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

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

So here we go:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOSS

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

Total value used: $287!

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

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Project Pan Round 2 – December 2015 Finale

Well friends, this was a big project pan fail.

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

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

BareMinerals Touch Up Veil SPF15 in Translucent

LORAC Multidimensional Eye Shadow in 3D-Luxe

MAC PowerPoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown

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

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

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

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November Favorites

Welcome to the first installment of my monthly favorites a.k.a my former Weekly Favorites that I only updated once or twice a month. Hopefully this will be a more manageable and interesting regular post!

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($22/5.3oz)

If you follow me on Instagram (@lvp8779), you know I threw out some pretty powerful words about this. Potential new holy grail product. This dry shampoo is ridiculously good. I found it to be very absorbent without creating lots of buildup. This came in one of my Birchboxes and reappeared in the Sephora Extend Your Style dry shampoo set that came out a month or so ago.

Julep Nail Color in Rayma ($14/.27oz)

This is a gorgeous berry/wine shade from the October (?) Maven box. This is a crème finish, which I find to be the longest lasting of the Julep formulas. With a good base and topcoat, I can get a good 5 days of wear before detecting any chips or fading. I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with Julep, but this is a definite LOVE. I wore this several times throughout November and find myself just staring at the shade time to time… I’m a magpie!

Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Cleansing Butter ($55/5oz)

Last winter I fell in love with an amazing (and super pricey) cleansing balm. As the temperature started to fall this year, I started to feel the post-cleansing dryness come back. After a couple weeks of adding a couple drops of my trusty argan oil into my nighttime routine, I decided I needed to go a step further and add a cleansing oil back into the mix. I decided to take advantage of my VIB 20% and go for a few big skincare items. My favorite skincare guru Jess was working that day, gave me the scoop on new releases and best holiday set deals and showed me this beautiful, buttery, gold cleanser. I tried the 24K mask previously and loved it, so knew I needed this.

As with other PTR skincare products, a little goes a long way. You melt it in your hands and then apply all over your face – it continues to melt once applied. It is gentle enough to be used on eye makeup, yet a small amount removes makeup and oil. Follow with regular cleanser. My skin felt amazing after one use. I have been using it daily and my face is brighter, more hydrated and my skin is so soft! This is a winter game changer!

There you have it – the new and hopefully improved favorites.

What were some of your favorites last month?

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Weekly Favorites – part 27

Wow – long time, no weekly favorites. Yikes! Sorry everyone!

I’ve been sort of away from the blog for a bit – not really posting or reading any other blogs either. There has been a lot of work travel and well, just life taking over. My apologies for being a bit off the grid!

I only have a couple favorites, but they are definitely good ones:

Aveda Hand Relief Night Renewal Serum – you might recognize this from my Birthday Haulin’ post last month. I’ve been using this pretty religiously and using it totally opposite of the directions. It is supposed to be used at night (hence the name), however I use 2-3 times per day with hand cream. I use one pump on the back of my hands and rub them together and let dry. After it has a few minutes to really sink in, I use a nourishing hand cream. I am really bad about using SPF on my hands and I feel like it is really starting to show. After 3 weeks of using this daily, I have noticed a definite difference. My skin looks brighter, more hydrated and overall less damaged. I can’t say I love the scent, but it is very short lived once I apply another lotion. This has been a life saver! Available at all Aveda stores for $35 (1oz).

Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow in Clair – I picked this up a while back at my first visit to the Guerlain counter and fall more in love with every use. First of all, I cannot even explain how intoxicating the scent it. It’s a heavily violet scent that slowly fades out throughout the day. I typically do not like such heavily scented foundation, but I can’t help myself. This gives such a beautiful, warm, even skin tone that I almost don’t need anything else. I am trying to use up another foundation but I just keep sneaking this in every couple days. Available at Saks for $54 (1oz).

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Lip Color – 610 Eva’s Nude – I bought this a while back on a whim and have had it tucked away in a drawer. I started a September challenge on Instagram (user @lvp8779) to review a set of products over 30 days. The second day was lipstick, so I decided to test this out. This was the first L’Oreal lipstick I have purchased or used in years. The scent took me back about 20 years and was so nostalgic. The color, pigmentation and appearance is so luxe – this does not look or act like a drugstore lipstick. This gorgeous pink-brown lasted easily for 3-4 hours, through my morning coffee and beyond. I reapplied after lunch and added a light pink gloss and it looked even better. I now want to check out all of this collection! Available pretty much everywhere for $8-9.

There you have it, folks! What were some of your favorites this week?

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