Monday, April 22, 2013

ELF Products

Recently I ordered a few things off the elf website.

I think this brand is pretty hit or miss. Some of the stuff is great, and some is crap. I've learned to stay away from the eyeshadow and eyeliner products. Neither of them have any staying power, and the pigment in the eyeshadow is kind of have to apply it like 400 times before you can see it on your lid.

I tried a few non-cosmetic products.

The first product I got is the Daily Moisture Stick.
e.l.f. Daily Moisture Stick
 I had read good things about it on another blog, and I have read that it's comparable to a much more expensive product.

This was $6.

It's a moisturizer in a swivel-up stick form. It's very light, has no scent, and is filled with god stuff like shea, avocado, aloe and chamomile. It's clear and apparently is full of antioxidants.

I love this product. I use it a number of ways. I use it to swipe over my eyebrows to keep the unruly strays in check. (have I mentioned that if I wait too long between eyebrow waxes, I look like Bert from Sesame Street? It's true. I do.)

I use this on a scar on my hand that I've had for a few months. Keeping it moisturized seems to make it look a little more faded.

I use this on my elbows. Yes, my elbows. See, a few months ago I heard someone on TV say "If you want to know a woman's true age, look at her elbows. A woman always uses anti aging products on her face, neck and chest, but they all forget about their elbows." Let me tell you what, since I heard that gem I have been paying MUCHO ATTENTION to moisturizing me elbows. I don't want old elbows!

I have also used this on my cheeks. I have a dry patch on my cheek, and using this before makeup helps the makeup to lay more smoothly over the stupid dry patch.

In my opinion this was totally worth the $6.

The next thing I tried is the Eye Refresh. I paid $3.

This is another one I love. It's a rollerball applicator, and it's filled with a fluid meant to refresh your eyes. The rollerball itself feels great, like a mini massage. The fluid is unfragranced and very light. It contains rosemary, green tea and cucumber. It feels even better if you keep it in the fridge.

The last product I tried is the Lip Exfoliator. This was also $3.

With this you are supposed to apply it, then wipe it off with a tissue and follow with lip balm. It's pretty grainy, and is supposed to scrub off dead skin on the lips.

It works pretty well. I don't love the taste, it's a little chemical-y.

Mine is already a little dried out and I have only had it for about a month. So, I don't see this lasting a real long time.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the three products I tried, and I'm especially happy with the price. Buying from Elf is always a great way to try some new products without dropping a bunch of cash.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

L'oreal Total Repair 5

I read about this product in a magazine. I spotted it at Target and picked it up for $5.99. It's a hair mask by L'oreal that supposedly erases a year of damage in one use. The full name is L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm.

My hair is disgustingly damaged right now. Once it gets to a certain length, it starts breaking off at the ends. Well, it's been at that length for like 4 months now. I DESPERATELY need a haircut. You'll all be happy to know that it's happening next week. I'm tired of looking scraggly and gross.

I looked on the jar to see why it's called "Total Repair 5".  It's supposed to instantly repair the 5 signs of damage, which are Split Ends, Weak, Rough, Dull, and Dehydrated. My hair is certainly all of these things.

The directions say to apply to wet hair and let set for 3-5 minutes, then rinse. It has a nice fruity smell to it and goes on nice and thick. It's in a jar, which I like. You can really scoop it out that way. I probably used 3 times the recommended use, but I felt like I needed 3 times the help.

This is good stuff, but it's not miraculous. My hair was definitely smoother, softer, and shinier after use. It didn't really last, though, even until that same evening. I understand that these products aren't designed to offer permanent results, but I at least expect until the next shampoo, especially since I didn't even do any heat styling between shampoos.

In my opinion, the H2O hair masque is a much better product. Must be that extra "Q".

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Soap and Glory Reviews

A few months ago, I read about the Soap and Glory brand in a magazine. It's a UK based company that has become very popular over the last few years. I decided to try a few of their products.

I ordered the Calm One, Calm All Bubble Bath, the Great Kisser Lip Balm, and the Fab Pore Facial Peel.

Let's start with the Fab Pore peel. As you all know, I have recently become obsessed with my pore size, so this is the product that I tried first. This cost $25, and it's a tub of 1.7 ounces. The word "peel" makes you think of a product that you peel off. This is not the case. I don't know why they call it a "peel", it's not formulated to remove a layer of skin or anything, like an alpha-hydroxy peel.

This is what it looks like...

It's creamy and it has little green beads in it.

  It has a really fresh and clean smell.

The directions say to use a grape sized amount, and massage it on your face until all the green beads are dissolved, paying special attention to the T-zone. After that, you leave it on for up to 15 minutes before rinsing.

It takes a few minutes for the beads to dissolve, so it kind of forces you into a nice little spa-like facial massage.

The formula felt nice, not too dry or too goopy. The smell was pleasant. It didn't tingle or anything. It actually didn't really feel like anything, which made me question how well it would work. When I rinsed it off, my skin felt a little tighter. I didn't notice an immediate difference in my pores, though. They didn't really look any smaller.

My skin felt nice and soft and smooth, though, so I guess it wasn't a complete loss. I'm going to try using it every other day, and I'll see if there's any noticeable difference in my skin.

The next product is the Great Kisser lip balm. I love this stuff. I have it in my purse all the time and I use it multiple times per day.

Soap & Glory - A Great Kisser™ Lip Moisture BalmThe price for this is $10.

This has a very sheer pink/coral tint. It's a little bit sticky, but after it soaks in for a minute or two it's not a big deal. It makes my lips feel super moisturized. It has a nice fruity taste. I can tell it's going to last forever, I'll probably lose it before I use it up, that's how it usually goes. It has mango butter, pomegranate extract, apricot berry and lingonberry oil. It's like a goddamn smoothie in a tin.

The last Soap and Glory product I tried is the Calm One, Calm All Bubble Bath. This costs $16 for 16 ounces, and I don't normally spend $16 on something that's going to go down the drain after 20 minutes, but I had just gotten my tax refund back and was feeling rich. I'm glad I got it, because I really like it. The smell is so nice. It's hard to explain the smell, it just smells really mellow and relaxing. The description of the scent online is bergamot, strawberries, mandarin, musk, amber, floral, and warm vanilla. Uhhh, so basically they threw everything possible into the pot and stirred it up. It worked, though! They say this has built in body lotion. I don't know about that. My skin felt soft after the bath, but I used lotion anyway, because I always do, and it would be weird not to.

 Soap & Glory - Calm One Calm All® Bubble Bath

Overall I was pretty happy with the Soap and Glory stuff that I tried. Someday I'd like to try the Butter Yourself body butter.

Friday, March 29, 2013


I'm sorry I haven't posted for almost two weeks...I got pretty busy and then went out of town for awhile. Now that I'm back, let's get started with the March Glossybox. Honestly, after January and February, I had pretty much decided to cancel. In addition to a somewhat lackluster January box, I experienced some poor customer service from Glossybox in the month of March. This box was pretty awesome, despite a ridiculously long shipping time, so I might give them one more shot before I pull the trigger and cancel.

Here's what was in it.

We'll start with the least impressive. A soap from the company Prestiche. It smells fine, I just don't use soap all that often, and I still have the Bvlgari soap from the last Glossybox. Maybe I can slip it into a gift at some point. I also got a $40 gift certificate to this company. I looked online, and a body scrub is $59.99 with $10 shipping. So I think it's safe to say the gift certificate isn't going to get used. I didn't even look to see what this retails for. Let's say $10 because it seems like the company overcharges for everything.

Next we have a full sized Pixi Catching Shadows Eye Crayon. This is pretty awesome. The color is neutral, which means I'll use it quite a bit. The picture makes it look really shimmery, but it's not. This retails for $18.

Now we have a 1.5 ounce Sebastian Shaper Fierce hairspray. Awesome for travel. The full size is 10.6 ounces and retails for $12 on Amazon.

Here is a full sized Elite liquid eyeliner. It's brown, so I'll wear this. This apparently isn't available in America yet, so I don't have a retail price.

Best for last...this is a product I have heard about and was thinking about buying anyway. Love when that happens! It's Model Co. Cheek and Lip Tint...full sized, in Rosy Red. This retails for $24!

This month won me over. I'll stick around to see what next month brings!

I have a bunch of reviews to catch up on...I hope to get the majority of them posted by tomorrow. ALSO, stay tuned for another giveaway!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Boscia BB Cream SPF 27

I got a packet of this with my most recent Sephora order. I wanted to wear it out last night.

Boscia - B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++

I put it on in my main floor bathroom. In the vanity lights, it looked GREAT. I was thrilled.  My skin looked flawless and smooth, and there wasn't a heavy or greasy feeling. I was thinking that perhaps I had finally found a BB cream that works for me.

Then I went upstairs.

The mirror that I have upstairs is flooded with natural daylight.

From my neck up, I looked like I was auditioning for Jersey Shore, or maybe an Oompa Loompa. I was ORANGE, with a distinct mask-like effect where I had put the cream on. I had to scrub it all off.

This product doesn't have different shades, it says "self-adjusting shade for all skin". Yeah right. I have pretty light skin, and this stuff was WAY too dark. It did not appear to "self-adjust" even a little bit.

So, another BB cream bites the dust!

If the shade happens to work for you, though, I highly recommend this. It has SPF 27, and is oil free. It feels very light and it makes the skin very smooth. As long as you don't have really light skin, you should give this a try.

It retails for $38 and is available at Sephora.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Bag

I picked this up at Target yesterday.....a new handbag for spring. I love the pop of neon, yet it's still neutral enough to wear with anything. I couldn't find a picture of the bag on Target's website, so I took a picture with my phone at my desk. Also please enjoy the picture of a tank that my son painted for me.

Isn't it pretty? It was $29.99.

I currently have my eye on a Botkier bag, but I don't have $400 to spend on a bag right now, so this will have to do in the meantime. Possibly forever.

Snail Mask Review

OK, folks. This morning I tried the Super Aqua mask by Missha from the February Glossybox.

It was kind of an odd experience.

I read the instructions first. It said to take the two pieces of mask out of the package, and peel the backing from each half. There's a half for the top part of your face, with eye holes, and a half for the bottom part with a mouth hole. And good GRIEF are they slimy. It actually kind of grossed me out pulling it out of the package.

I soldiered on, and managed to peel the backing off the top half. Easier said than done. I made kind of a mess. You have to kind of press the slimy mask onto your face and then press down to adhere it.  I finally got both halves on my face.

Hello! (also please note my earrings from Ruche! Love them._

This was the best I could do. Turns out I'm not adept at pressing slimy things onto  my face.

The instructions said to leave it on for 20-40 minutes, then remove and discard and "massage remaining slime into face". OK, it didn't say slime, but it might as well have.

I left it on for 20 minutes, and that was all I could handle. It doesn't smell like anything or burn or tingle, but it just feels so heavy. There's a lot of snail slime involved.

I took it off, massaged the goo into my face, and honestly all I wanted to do was wash the snail off my face. I held off for an skin doesn't feel especially soft or moisturized. It just felt like I had snail goo remnants on it. So I washed it.

Can't recommend this one, people. Wasn't the best masque experience.

Monday, March 11, 2013


The winner of the Glossybox and Uptown Soap Company Organic Body Cream Is...


Great Giveaway! Thanks for the chance.

True Random Number Generator  11Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shopping at Ruche

I thought for the next few days I'd spotlight a few of my favorite places to shop online. Today I'm featuring Ruche.


Ruche is really reasonably priced and they have kind of a vintage style that I love. Here's what I'm liking right now.

Lunch in Baja Midi Dress

So pretty and springy!

Morning Light necklace

See a theme here? It's just like the one I bought last week...

Mirror Mirror pink barrettes

If barrettes stayed in my hair I'd totally get these.

Starry Sky Earrings

I don't change my earrings often..these would go with everything.

Summer Walk Sandals

I think my ankles are too fat for these, but in a perfect world I'd wear them every day in summer.

Daytime Leisure Skirt

I think this would be pretty for work.

Today I am going to order the star earrings, and the Lunch in Baja dress.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Today my good friend Hormily (that's her stage name) would like to share a review with you. She tried the Wen Cleansing Conditioner. Hormily, take it away....

Have you ever not been able to sleep?  Do you wake up in the middle of the night wide awake?  Me too.  During those wide-awake-at-2am times, I click on the TV to watch infomercials.  I love a good infomercial.  Several nights in a row I saw the Wen infomercial and was seduced by Alyssa Milano's soft, shiny, gorgeous hair.  And, like all infomercials, the product itself looked AMAZING and MIRACULOUS.
It cost around $32 for 16oz.  I have never spent this much on a hair product, but I had a little Christmas money left over and decided that since it wasn't really coming out of my own money I would try it.  I ordered it from Amazon.
When the bottle came, I was so excited to try it that I took a shower immediately.  The instructions say to use 20 pumps of the product for hair my length.  I had read many reviews online and many women were baffled at how the product cost so much but that they went through it so quickly.  I learned that they used 10 pumps and it was just fine.  So I used 10 pumps. 
The first thing I noticed was the scent.  It was Pomegranate, which I usually love.  However, this did not smell like Pomegranate at all.  It smelled slightly sweet but mostly like... plastic.  It was the weirdest smell.  Plastic, strong burned plastic.  I had read online that some women had a hard time getting used to the "natural" and "earthy" scent of Wen, so I was ready for that, but this was nothing natural.
I put ten pumps on and added a little water and worked up to a creamy lather.  I was then supposed to comb through it and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.  I tried combing through it and my thick, fine and super straight hair did not budge.  One bit.  It was so snarly and tangled.  I thought I'd let it sit on my hair for a bit and let it work.  I tried combing it again in a few minutes.  Still snarly as all get-out.  So I started from the bottom, combing a few inches at a time.  What a pain in the ass.  No problem though, I figured it was just because I didn't use the full amount. 
I rinsed it out after 10 minutes and hopped out of the shower.  My hair felt... snarly.  I threw a little Moroccan Oil on the ends and blow-dried it as usual.  My hair turned out shiny and soft, but the texture was different. I can't explain how.  Despite the shininess and softness, it felt somehow dry.
The next day, I didn't shower.  Yeah, that's right.  I don't shower every day.  Sue me.
The next day, I used the full 20 pumps.  It was easier to comb through, but still didn't glide through like I felt it should.  Same deal after the blow-dry.  Looked pretty, felt dry and almost brittle.
I tried it in a few other scenarios.  Without blow drying, without the oil,  completely air-drying without even combing it or touching it.  Still the same, every time.
I happened to go to Fantastic Sam's to get a trim during this time.  The stylist was nearly aghast at the dryness of my hair.  She combed through a back part of it and held it up so I could see it.  It was dull, ratted, and looked horrible.  She recommended I get a deep conditioning treatment right then and there.  (Fantastic Sams' deep conditioning treatments: $9.99 - heck yes!)  After the treatment my hair looked one million times better.  Shiny and soft, but moisturized.  I couldn't stop touching it.  Which is what I was hoping would happen when I started using Wen in the first place.

I haven't used it since.  It's sitting in my shower, half full.  And honestly, if it hadn't paid so much for it, I would have stopped using it after the first try based on the scent alone.
Since I've been highlighting my hair, I've been using sulfate and paraben free products since supposedly they are so much gentler on your hair.  After the Wen debacle, I've started just using my regular Pantene/Herbal Essences/whatever smells good routine again, and MAYBE working in a S/P free product once a week.  And my hair looks fantastic most of the time.  So, I say screw those special products.
Wen - not worth the money or effort.  You know, maybe it's my specific hair type that doesn't respond to it.  I did read that women with wavy, non-fine hair really love it.  So it might be just me. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


The necklace I ordered from Jeweliq came today, and I wanted to show you how beautifully packaged it was, and how beautiful the necklace is in person!

It came in a suede pouch, with a handwritten note!

The pouch is soft and heavy-duty at the same time...I will be using it for travel.

Beautiful necklace!

Shipping was really fast. I am 100% happy with this purchase and I'll be buying from Jeweliq again in the future!

Monday, March 4, 2013

February Glossybox....and a Giveaway!

I received my second Glossybox. This one is titled "International Style." Here's what was inside.

(PAY ATTENTION and KEEP READING, there's good stuff at the end.)

First, a Da Vinci Shimmer Powder. This says it's "versatile", but looking at the color, I can't imagine where you'd use it other than your eyes. It's called "Lava" and it's a deep brown, with purple shimmer in it. The color isn't my cup of tea, but I will probably try using it with a wet brush as a liner. The guide card says that a full size is $15.00 and that the full size is .06 oz. This container says 1.75 grams. I don't do math, sorry. Maybe it's full sized, maybe it's not. Every picture I tried to take of this looked like crap, the packaging makes it hard to tell what's going on, so I'm just posting the pic from the Glossybox website.

Shimmer powder

(this is not the color I got.)

Next is a Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro-Gel Mask by Missha. This is an Asian brand, and I'll just come out and say it, this mask appears to be made of snail. Snail-parts. Not sure which parts. Does it matter? It's an "Asian beauty secret". Hey, if the secret to reversing skin damage (as this product claims) is snail-parts, then who am I to judge? I haven't tried this yet. I'll let you know. I should also mention that the guide card says "word on the street is it has a huge celebrity following". Apparently, Hollywood's finest slather snail-parts on their face. Who knew. Anyway, this is a full size mask and it retails for $6.

Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro Gel Mask

Next we have a package of Nail Rock Designer Nail Wraps. I'm iffy on these. I tried some once (different brand), for my bachelorette party. They lasted, like, one day. Seriously. By the end of the night they were chipped as all get-out. I thought I followed the directions, maybe I did it wrong, I don't know. All I know is maybe I'll try these, maybe I won't. I got a few of these sets when I was a member of MyGlam, too, and here's my issue. They are all super blingy, or weird prints (like paisley!) and you know, I'm 34 years old. I'm a 34 year old mom of a 3 year old that's overweight and has a corporate job. (I am overweight with a corporate job, not my 3 year old. He still mooches off me.) When I go out, it's to get nachos and beer from the dump down the street. I do not go to clubs. I do not  go dancing. I do not need rhinestones and purple holographics on my fingernails. With that said, these particular strips are black and white stripes. I may try them, I may give them away. Black and white stripes make me look fat. The last thing I need is for my fingers to look fat along with everything else. The guide card says these retail for $8/set. This is a full set.

Now we have a Bvlgari  Deluxe Creamy Beauty Soap. I am no good at describing fragrances, If you are familiar with "the rejuvenating fragrance of Eau Parfumee Au The Blanc", well, that's what it smells like. It's nice. Kind of flowery. I can see using this for travel. The full size retails for $30, and that's 5.3 oz. This is 1.76 ounces, so a decent sample size.

Eau Parfumée au thé blanc Soap

Lastly we have a full sized Sheer Sparkle Lip Gloss by Lisi. The color I got is Soho, and I really like it. There's almost no sparkle at all, which is great, and it's nice and lightweight. The color is a sheer pinky-peach, very subtle. It smells kind of like vanilla. It's a little bit sticky, but not too bad. This retails for $7.

Sheer Sparkle or Color Glaze lip gloss

HERE'S THE FUN PART. This is where you benefit from my dumbassery.

I, like a moron, accidentally ordered two Glossyboxes. I checked out the return policy, and there isn't one. So. I am giving away the second Glossybox. I have opened the actual box, the shipping box, but I haven't opened the Glossybox. Therefore I don't know if the winner will get the same colors that I got. I'm also going to throw in a full sized (4 ounce jar) of Uptown Soap Company Black Honey Organic Body Cream, because I have a surplus of lotions. I ordered this jar as part of a set and ended up with a duplicate. It's all yours! Unused.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is leave a comment on this blog. Say anything, I don't care. And if you don't already follow this blog, follow it, either via a Reader or Google Friend Connect. I'll do a random drawing one week from today, Monday the 11th.


New Stuff.

I've been in a winter rut recently...this has really been kind of a crappy winter, and I can't wait for it to be over. With March 1st comes the knowledge that spring is on it's way...I mean, we should have no more than 5 more snowstorms at this point. You may think I'm kidding. I'm not.

So I've been doing some online shopping, preparing for spring. Here's the stuff on it's way to my grubby little hands....

From Forever 21 I got two items. This cardigan will be perfect with jeans and a black tank, when it's not cold enough for a winter coat, but not warm enough to go in just a tank or tee.

And this shirt will be great with jeans, for every day. Also, it looks like it might camoflauge my gut. Or will it trap it, like a vise? We'll see.

From a new-to-me website,

I thought this necklace would look good with rolled up jeans, brown leather flip flops, and a plain white tee. (note to self: procure brown leather flip flops)


I've had my eye on this Naked Flushed blush/highlighter for about a month now, just pulled the trigger.

Urban Decay - Naked Flushed


I am a BzzAgent, with Recently they sent me an assortment of Neutrogena cosmetics to try.

I got the MoistureSmooth color stick for lips in Sweet Watermelon, the Crease Proof Eyeshadow in Constant Copper and Lasting Taupe, and the Healthy Lengths Mascara in Black.

We'll start with the MoistureSmooth color stick for lips. I was iffy about the color. It's a brighter pink than I would usually wear. When I put it on, I was pleasantly surprised. It's sheer enough so that I don't look like a clown. Whenever I try to take advantage of the bright pops of color on my lips, I always end up looking like a clown. A sad clown. This was very subtle, though, I actually quite liked it. It's one of those Lip Gloss Sticks that are pretty popular these days. I like that it doesn't have to be sharpened, you just swivel it up when the product starts getting down there. Sharpening is a pain in my butt. This formula is very's soft, it has a subtle sweet taste. For a gloss, it lasts a decent amount of time. It's so easy to put on that I don't mind re-applying, so it doesn't really matter to me how long it lasts. This retails for $8.49.

I have been wearing the Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow every day since I got my package in the mail. This is another one that surprised me...I've tried a few brands of cream eyeshadow in the past, and every single one would crease up on my eyelids after an hour or so. Not this stuff. Unbelievably, it really stays. It glides on easily, and stays put. Super easy to apply, I don't even need to blend it when I use both colors at the same time. These retail for $8.49 each.

I'm happy with the mascara, too. To be fair, I'll use pretty much any mascara. This stuff is nice, though, it doesn't clump at all, and it gives a nice subtle daytime look. I didn't notice any super lengthening of my lashes, but mine are kind of long anyway. The black isn't too intense, it's just right. This also retails for $8.49.

I will definitely be looking to see what additional colors of this eyeshadow I can get at the store. Looking at the Neutrogena website, I see that there's one called "Stay Golden". That sounds right up my alley. Same with the lip color, I'd like to try the "Rich Raisin". Especially if I can find coupons. Quite often BzzAgent sends along coupons with the products, to use and also hand out to friends, but not this time.

Here's a pic of me wearing all 4 products, and a close up of the eye makeup.

Friday, March 1, 2013

H2O+ Spa Hair Repair Seaweed Masque

I stopped at Marshall's the other day to check out the beauty product selection. I do this every couple weeks...mostly I look for Philosophy products, but every now and then I find something else that I'm excited to try for cheap. This day I spotted the H2O+ Spa Hair Repair Seaweed Masque. My hair has been feeling pretty gross and dry lately. This was $5.99 at Marshall's. The Marshall's tag says the retail price is $12, but when I looked it up on Amazon, it was selling for almost $16. So this was practically free.

The package says "A moisture intensive treatment for hair damaged by sun, heat, saltwater or chlorine." My hair is damaged by none of these things. I live in Minnesota. We haven't seen the sun since September. My hair is damaged by curling irons and being inside with the dry air.

Now, this contains Panthenol. This is an ingredient that every hairstylist I've ever known says "STAY AWAY FROM THIS". They always bring up Pantene. They say "Don't use Pantene, it has Panthenol." You know what, though? Pantene makes my hair look AWESOME. I freaking LOVE Pantene. So screw 'em. Do what works for you. My point is, if you are a member of the Panthenol Avoidance Cult, this product is not for you.

The instructions say that you can use this as a conditioner, or as a masque. (hoity toity way of spelling "mask" "masques" are generally more expensive than "masks" Those Qs must run a pretty penny) So far I have only used it as a conditioner, I haven't had time for the masque. For the conditioner you leave it in for 3 minutes before rinsing. For the masque you leave it in for 10 minutes, after shampooing and towel drying. I will try that eventually, but expending the energy to get into the shower is hard enough. Getting in, getting out, and getting in again to rinse?!? Jesus. You've got to be kidding me.

Used as a conditioner, I LOVED the results. I really like the's very spa-like, kind of woodsy, fresh and green. I could still smell it in my hair 2 days after I used it. When I rinsed the product out, my hair didn't feel all that soft. In fact, it kind of had that "squeaky clean" feel to it. I admit, I thought "This product is probably a joke." Then my hair dried. It was SO SOFT. And shiny. Ridiculously shiny. Much like.....a Pantene model's hair. Hmmmmmm. Anyway, I kept picking up a hunk of hair and just staring at the light reflecting off it.

Love this stuff.

St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Lotion

I was sent a full sized sample of this lotion. I am 90% sure it was Viewpoints that sent it to me. I know that's so awful, that I don't remember 100%, but it was the time period when my mother in law was in the ICU, and I didn't pay much attention to anything during that time.

Anyway, I wasn't sure I'd like this lotion. St. Ives used to have an oatmeal body wash (maybe they still do?) that I had tried years ago, and I didn't like it. I thought it made my skin feel tight and dry. I didn't have high hopes for this lotion.

I was pleasantly surprised.

St. Ives Body Lotion, Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter - 21 fl oz

First off, it smells delicious. Kind of sweet, but not too sweet. It's not like rubbing a cookie all over your body. I guess that doesn't sound too bad, actually.

The lotion is REALLY soft. It's more like a body butter. It feels luxurious, and the best part is how quickly it soaks into the skin. I hate when lotion is left behind.

A few hours after use, my skin still feels soft. Sometimes cheaper lotions eventually leave a dry, sticky feeling. I hate that. That is not a problem with this stuff.

I've been using this after my shower or bath every night. I would buy it again. St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter body lotion retails for about 5 bucks.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

It's happened again. I've stumbled across a product that I have decided I can't simply live without. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I received a free "sample" (28 pads, a month supply!) with my most recent order. At first I thought they were acne treatment pads, which I don't need. Acne products dry out my skin with a quickness, so I was ready to give the pads away. Then I read the words on the container. (always recommended).

They are pads meant to brighten your skin, and leave it glowing. So I tried one out, and I am not kidding you when I say that I noticed a difference IMMEDIATELY. My skin looked brighter and cleaner and simply better.

First Aid Beauty - Facial Radiance Pads

They didn't dry my face out at all, probably because these pads are formulated without chemicals. The brightening and toning effect comes from cucumber, lemon peel, and licorice root.

The pads are meant to be used after cleansing, before any treatment or moisturizer. So I'll be using them in the morning after my cleanser and before moisturizing. The directions say to use at night too, but I don't need my face to look radiant for my pillow, so I'll be skipping that particular advice.

The retail price is $28 for 50 pads. I would use these once a day, so that works out to about 50 cents per pad. Not the cheapest, but I'll be trying to combine it with a good deal and/or waiting until a good promotion at Sephora, Ulta, or that involves free stuff.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Very First Glossybox!

Recently I cancelled my MyGlam/Ipsy membership and signed up with Glossybox instead. It's more expensive ($21/month instead of $12 or $10 or whatever MyGlam was) but from what I saw on the internet, the products that Glossybox offers seemed to be more suited to me. One of the things that I didn't like about MyGlam/Ipsy was that the products seemed to be more for a party lifestyle. For a younger generation. I am 34 years old, a boring geriatric lady, I don't have a use for gold glitter nail stickers or fur-trimmed fake lashes or red lip gloss with chunky glitter in it.

The first awesome thing about the Glossybox is the box it comes in. It's sturdy and heavy duty, perfect for using for wrapping gifts or storage, even. I was getting sick of the flimsy, small cosmetic bags that the monthly MyGlam products came in. You can only have so many cosmetic bags. I was a member for a year, so I had a dozen of them stocked up.

When you open the box, the products are beautifully wrapped. I will be saving the tinsel for wrapping gifts.

Now, on to the products....the first thing we have is this Sebastian Potion 9 Styling Treatment. It's a great sized sample, 1.7 ounces. The full size is 5 ounces. "Style your hair into multiple looks with flexible hold". I am getting a haircut soon, as soon as I recover some of the money I foolishly and violently gambled away in Laughlin this past weekend...but I will probably wait to try this product until I get the haircut. I will report back.

Here we have a full size bottle of the new "Liquid Sand" OPI nail polish. I'm gonna be honest, I don't wear purple on my fingernails. Nor do I like any sort of funky texture on my fingernails. I'll do pretty much anything on my toenails, though, so I'll be sporting this on my feets.

This is Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum. It's a tube, and it has .17 oz in it. Probably about 4 uses. I think that's plenty to decide if you like it or not. I recently found out I have large pores (I looked in the mirror one day last week and THERE THEY WERE. Then I realized that they had probably ALWAYS been there, and I was just used to them, and everyone else probably already knew about my large pores and in fact probably have had conversations about them when I leave. Like, "When is she going to realize that we could go swimming in her pores?!?) and so I think that this product will help with that. It says it controls shine, and has 24 hour antioxidant protection. (sorry about the blurry picture. Geez, it makes me dizzy.)

My favorite item in this box is the full size Tarte Natural Beauty lip gloss. I had been wanting to try this anyway, and the retail price is $21, so that paid for my box right there. The applicator is a click-brush style, just like the Stila Lipshine lip glosses, if you are familiar with those. The color is a sheer cherry color, I love it. It's a tad sticky, but I expected that as these types or lip glosses are often sticky. I am not 100% nuts about the taste..or lack of, I should say. I was hoping for a berry or mint taste. It just has a faint makeup-y smell/taste to it. This is supposed to be pretty moisturizing, which is cool. It's also super natural if you care about that kind of thing. I don't. Bring on the chemicals, is what I say.

Now we have a vial of Narciso Rodriquez For Her perfume. I was actually already familiar with this perfume and I like it, so I was happy to have a travel size now. When I saw this little box, I thought that it would be bigger than a vial. I got tricked, however. Just a vial.

This is a mini mascara. Lancome Sumptous Extreme Multiplying Volume mascara. I like to try new mascaras but I don't like paying for them, so this is good. It's in Extreme Black.

The last product is a packet of Le Metier de Beaute Replenishing Daily Solution moisturizer, SPF 30. I am a little bit afraid to try this because the retail of the full size (1.2 oz) is $225. What if I love it?!? How will I ever live without it?? (picture above, with the vial of perfume)

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this box. yes, there was a packet and a vial, but the two full size products and the generous samples of the other products made up for it. I'm looking forward to getting my next Glossybox!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sephora Smoothing Body Scrub

The last time I ordered from Sephora, I needed an item $10 or less to hit the $50 free shipping mark. I chose the Smoothing Body Scrub.

I got the Monoi scent.

The size is pretty decent, 4.7 ounces. The scrub itself is orange and the tube is also tinted orange. The scrub is pretty grainy, I wouldn't use it on my face. (you aren't supposed to, anyway. FYI. You shouldn't use a scrub on your face unless the label specifically says it's for facial use. Body scrubs are often full of oils that wouldn't be so great on your face.) It's the perfect amount of graininess for a body scrub, in my opinion. It feels like it works. The scent is lovely, it smells like tropical flowers, and just a hint remains after you wash the product off. The scrub leaves behind enough moisturizing oils so that your skin feels soft and smooth for the rest of the day.

I'll be taking this on vacation with me next week.

This was $10 and it comes in 6 different varieties. Monoi, Coconut, Lemon Verbena, Vanilla, Lagoon, and Mango.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Drugstore Finds

I picked up a few things at Walgreens last week that I'm really digging.

Green Apple Chapstick - this stuff was only a dollar. The apple flavor is light and refreshing, and the formula is much more moisturizing and much less waxy than original Chapstick. I noticed that they also had Apple Cider and Strawberry flavors.

Cover Girl TruBlend Foundation - I have been on the hunt for a new foundation for awhile now. My favorite foundation has been discontinued. (Cover Girl Whipped Foundation, in the jar. I don't know if that was it's exact name. But it was whipped, and it was in a jar, and it was awesome.) I do like Loreal True Match quite a bit, but for some reason I decided to expand my search. I tried the new Revlon Naked foundation first. I really, really wanted to like that. And to be fair, I DO like it. I love the way my skin looks when I'm wearing it. The downside is that it's really, really hard to blend. You have to be quick, and you have to be thorough with a blending sponge. It's just too work intensive for an average day. So back to the CG TruBlend, which I bought last week in my trusty Buff Beige. It's pretty nice...the formula is light and it blends easily. The coverage is medium. The label doesn't say anything about sunscreen, but since my daily moisturizer has sunscreen, that's not a concern. The color matches my skin well. I think that's why I keep going back to Cover Girl, because I KNOW that Buff Beige will work. It's a pain in the ass trying to find the right foundation color.

Cover Girl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm - I'm all about the giant chunky lip pencils these days. I love this because the coverage is light and sheer, therefore I can put it on without a mirror, which is important. I got a color that's a little outside my comfort zone...there doesn't appear to be a color name, it's number 245. It's a bright coral. I really like it, I wear it with a bit of blush, skin-toned eyeshadow, and mascara.

P.S. I just used my Kate Somerville "Exfolikate". I've said it before and I'll say it again, THIS SHIT IS AWESOME. There's a reason it costs about a zillion dollars, and it's because it works. My skin is all glowy and soft and awesome looking.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Candy Cane lotion...BRRR

Around Christmas time, I got a big 'ol bottle of Philosophy Candy Cane body lotion. (yes, "big 'ol" is the official size.) I took a shower this morning and decided to use the lotion post-shower as a pick-me-up. I stayed up way too late last night, so I figured the blast of peppermint would help. And it did...but here is something I learned about the makes you COLD. The lotion makes your skin tingle, and get COLD. It's been 20 minutes, I still have goosebumps, and I'm FREEZING. This is going to be super awesome when it's 100 degrees, but right now when it's 10 degrees outside, I am considering jumping back into the shower to rinse it all off! I am putting this away until about June, and then I'll be taking it up to our lake house where we don't have air conditioning. My air conditioning will be in lotion form.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Skincare Routine

I've had a few conversations about skincare routines with people recently, both online and off. I thought I'd go over my skincare routine here. I used to be pretty inconsistent with facial care..sometimes I washed my face, sometimes I didn't. I didn't give a rip about SPF and most nights I just swiped at my face with one of those makeup removing cloths. (I love those, by the way. I have nothing against them at all, and I still use them sometimes when traveling, when I'm too drunk to go through my whole skincare process, and after working out at the gym. Not that I do that very often. The gym thing. Anyway, I just don't use them every night anymore.)

Then, when I was 30 years old, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. As a result, I quit smoking immediately, cold turkey. (almost 4 years with not even a drag, what up!) After I quit smoking, I realized how badly smoking had aged my skin. I had lines around my mouth, lines around my eyes, and lines on my forehead. My skin was dull and always looked tired and parched. I decided to crank my skincare routine up a notch (or 12) and really start to take it seriously. I started with using a moisturizer with SPF every day. Today, at 34 years old, I have MUCH better skin. Many of my wrinkles have actually disappeared, and my skin looks smooth and soft. I know that quitting smoking had a ton to do with it, but I also believe that this new skincare routine has basically performed miracles. So here it is, folks.

I start the morning with washing my face. I believe that since a cleanser isn't on your skin for very long at all, since it's rinsed off pretty much immediately, that you can get away with using a cheap, no-frills cleanser. If you don't have acne, I recommend using one that is creamy. The clear see-through cleansers tend to be a little harsher and more drying. I don't have a cleanser that I ALWAYS use. I pretty much use whatever I have gotten on sale or whatever I have gotten as a bonus while buying beauty products. I have about 5 cleansers lined up, so I won't be buying anything new for quite some time! For about the past 2 months, I have been using Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser.

I really like it. It makes my skin feel really clean, it is slightly exfoliating, and it rinses clean. My skin doesn't feel tight after using this, which is my Number One Facial Cleanser Pet Peeve. This retails for about $8, and you can almost always find coupons in the monthly P&G coupon insert in the Sunday paper.

After the cleanser is when I start getting picky. I am pretty much strictly a Philosophy girl when it comes to skincare. It's pricey, more money than I ever thought I would want to spend on skin products, especially because as a general rule I'm kind of a cheap bastard. I have been so incredibly happy with the way my skin looks using Philosophy products, though, I just think there's no turning back. Other than cleanser, I have been using Philosophy products for about a year and a half. Like I said, my skin looks pretty awesome for a 34 year old ex-smoker, and I contribute at least part of the awesomeness to Philosophy products.

After cleansing, I use Philosophy Hope In A Jar with SPF 25 Moisturizing Cream.

This retails for $40. I do not by any means believe that you need to spend this much money on a daily moisturizer. I just happened to get hooked on this one and that's the way it is. I DO believe, however, that you ABSOLUTELY need to be using SPF on your face every day. Olay has some nice moisturizers with SPF and so does Neutrogena, both half the price of the Philosophy stuff. In fact, before I was using this, for 5 years I used Olay Complete SPF 15 Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin. I may go back to it when I am through with this tube, it's great stuff. Anyway, this Philosophy moisturizer feels light and it soaks in right away and makes my skin feel really soft. I also should mention that I love the way Philosophy skincare products smell. It's kind of a light clinical smell, which probably sounds weird, but they smell like they WORK, you know?

Now comes the nighttime routine. I wash my face with the Olay cleanser again, and then I use Philosophy Help Me Nighttime Retinol Treatment. This is my Holy Grail product, the one that I simply will not go without. I swear this product has ERADICATED the fine lines around my eyes. My skin looks brighter than it did before I started using this, and even a little tighter. This is a miracle product, I promise you.

It's $47, and it lasts me about 3 months. Maybe a little less. You just use a tiny bit every night. It is a retinol product, so you want to be careful about being in the sun when you're using this. Some people are more sensitive to the sun when they are using retinol product. I do not happen to be one of those people, but I have heard it's pretty common. This stuff, though, delivers the retinol via encapsulated technology, which basically means it's time-released, therefore more gentle. This product won the Allure magazine's "Best Of Beauty" award for "Best Anti-Aging Treatment".

Lastly, I use Philosophy Hope In A Jar moisturizer. It doesn't have sunscreen, which is why it's my go-to nighttime moisturizer. It's simple, light, and effective.

It's $40 and usually lasts me 2-3 months. Philosophy did just release a Hope In A Jar Nighttime Moisturizer, and I will be trying that as soon as I am done with this jar.

Three times a week or so, in the shower, I use this exfoliating product on my face. Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. This is $26 and I have had mine for probably 6-8 months, and it's a little more than half gone.

I know this seems really expensive, and it is, but there's ways I've found to get my Philosophy without paying full price. The Today Show runs a promotion every few weeks called Steals and Deals, and Philosophy is often featured. The last one was a 16 oz Philosophy Candy Cane shower gel, a 2 ounce jar of the Hope In A Jar moisturizer, full sized Philosophy Purity facial cleanser and a lip balm for $32, which is less than the regular cost of the moisturizer. So I always check those, and then I also check Marshall's and TJ Maxx pretty frequently. They sell Philosophy products at a discount pretty often. They sell the bath products more often than the skincare, but I have seen the skincare there a time or two. Lastly, I make sure to buy the products from Sephora, where I build points for free product and always get free samples with my order, or I buy it when has one of it's "spend $100 and get a makeup bag filled with 18 free samples." Ulta has a rewards program where you can build points to get free products. Basically, if I'm not getting the products at a discount, I try to get it from somewhere that I am at the very least building up points to get more products next time at a discount.

So there you have it!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I got another Cravebox in the mail today! This is the Back To School Snacks Cravebox. I paid $13 for it. Here we go!

Here's what it looks like, freshly opened.

First we have a white envelope. Inside is...a coupon for a free Earthbound Farm product. To be completely honest, I don't know what Earthbound Farm is, but according to the pictures on the coupon, they have salad bags, frozen fruit, grapes, and other produce.

 That's good, that will definitely get used, assuming my grocery store carries the brand. OK, next!!

A one ounce bag of Veggie Stix. Meh. I am not a fan of veggie chips or stix or stax or whatever you want to call them. Declan will probably like them, though. Oh, Declan is my 3 year old. I don't think I've mentioned him yet.

Next we have a full sized pack of Stride peppermint gum. I like gum. Gum is good.

Up next is a full sized Barilla Mezze Penne with Tomato and Basil sauce, along with a $1.00 off coupon. I have tried this before, it's pretty good.

Now we have three SunRype fruit strips. Declan and I both really like these, so that's awesome.

And an Honest Kids Organic Grape Juice drink. Yum!

Two Handi-Snacks. Pretzels and cheese dip.

That's it.

I gotta say, guys, I'm not super impressed with this one. Only one coupon for a free product. A few full sized  products, but nothing super exciting.

I have another one coming