Summer Empties -Part 2

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I didn’t think I would use up more products before the end of summer, but I thought wrong! There’s just something awesome about using up a product, and know I got my full money’s worth. 🙂 Now, that I’m about to head onto the road, I don’t want to keep these empty containers around. So, here’s my latest empties post!

1.   L’Oreal RevitaLift Intensive Overnight Mask Sample –This sample was included in my September 2014 edition of InStyle Magazine. I decided to try it out and see how I liked it. It spread evenly, and soaked into my skin well, which I did like. This fragrance was nice, although a bit strong. In the four days that I used it on my face at night, I did see a difference. My skin was softer, and a little firmer. I wouldn’t say that I had amazing results, but it didn’t break my skin out into a rash, which is a big plus. Would I buy this? Probably not, as it costs $20 at Walmart for a 1.7 ounce container. That’s a bit too expensive for my price range, and not quite worth it.

2.   Aussie Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner –This stuff has really helped protect my hair after highlighting it. I wouldn’t say  this stuff is a miracle worker as they claim on the back –in fact, I’d say it’s a standard leave-in conditioner. If you’ve tried the Suave for Kids detangling conditioner, it works just like that, but with a more grown-up fragrance. That said, it did what it was supposed, and at $3, it’s not a bad deal. I probably will try a different hair product in the future, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I came back to Hair Insurance at a later date.

3.   Coconut Oil –For most of the summer, I used unrefined coconut oil as my night-time moisturizer. It did keep my skin super soft, though I had mixed feelings about this stuff. On the internet, people rave about coconut oil, as if it is the Holy Grail of skincare. As for me, I just didn’t have those results. I found that it was super greasy, and didn’t really want to soak onto my skin. It just sat on top for the most part, which was annoying. I also found that it did nothing to help the fine lines on forehead, when the most basic of moisturizers tend to help a little. And, I started to develop a breakout from it, which was disappointing. That said, I was probably using too much, and I probably have some sort of skin allergy to coconut oil. It didn’t work for me, but I’m sure it works great for others.

4.   Sally Hansen Wax Strip Kit –This is the first time that I tried wax strips. Before, I’ve used the wax that you spread onto your face and wait for it to harden. A lot of people told me that these don’t work, but they worked great for me! In fact, I had to be a little gentler than normal, to make sure that I wasn’t ripping skin along with the hair! It was nice to not use as much brute force in wax. They were easy to use –just rub between hands, apply, and rip. They were also a lot easier to dispose of. Will I repurchase? Yes, most definitely.

5.   Clinique Super Balanced Makeup –This foundation was just awesome, and I was so sad when it finally ran out. It was the perfect color (Petal), and I loved it. Granted, I liked the texture and consistency a lot better in Idaho, where it’s dryer, than here in Texas. For some reason, my products become thicker in humid weather. Why that is, I don’t know. That said, it still is amazing, even here in Houston. Sadly, it’s just not in my budget right now, so I purchased the equivalent color in the L’Oreal True Match (N2). Will I repurchase? Maybe later down the road when I have more money. Do I recommend this foundation? Yes, absolutely.

6.   Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mist in Cashmere Glow –This is the second of 3 mini perfume bottles that I have used up. I still love the smell –it’s warm and cuddly. It does work better for the fall and winter months, but if I don’t spray it too heavily, it works during the rest of the year too. I love these mini bottles, and I don’t think I’ll purchase a full-size bottle from BBW ever again. I just love trying out new fragrances way too much! It is a lovely scent, though, and if I were more of a one perfume kind of gal, I would repurchase.

7.   Stridex Maximum Strength Pads –These were my husband’s, but I slowly took over using them. 🙂 They are a typical salicylic acid acne product, and they seem to work well. I didn’t experience any skin care wonders with Stridex, but they got the job done. Would I repurchase? Probably not. They’re $10 a package, which is a bit much for me. Ben did get them from his mom’s stash of bath, body, and skincare products, so it technically was free.

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7 Things I Am Grateful For

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1.   Pearl Earrings –This week, Ben found something for me –the matching earring to my pearl set! These earrings mean a lot to me, as Ben bought them for me on our 6 month anniversary. I thought that one of the earrings had been lost in the midst of our move to Texas, but thankfully, this wasn’t the case! It’s just so amazing to have these little beauties back in my life. 🙂

2.   Red Lobster –I have wanted to go to Red Lobster for as long as I can remember (I just love seafood!), and I finally got the chance! Ben and I went on a date there yesterday, and I had a fantastic time! We both ordered the 4 Course Feasts for $15.99 each. I got lemon wood-grilled tilapia, and clam chowder, and a salad, and cheesecake. And the cheddar biscuits were delicious! It was so much fun, and the atmosphere was really soothing. I hope to go again sometime!

3.   Disc Golfing –We also went disc golfing yesterday, with Ben’s coworker, Jordan. We went to an 18 course up in Conroe, and it was lots of fun! I’m getting better at my throws. 🙂 While I’m doing a pretty good job at my accuracy, my throw isn’t super far. It is definitely improving though!

4.   Leopard Print Purse –So I switched from my black bag with the zebra print ribbon back to my leopard print purse. I love this bag –again, it was a gift from Ben. It is cute, and has a slouchy boho feel to it. And since it’s brown and black, it goes with just about everything in my wardrobe!

5.   Books –I love reading so much. I finished Allegiant by Veronica Roth this past week, and it was so good! I thought the ending was beautiful, in its own way. I’ve also been reading a lot of other stories lately, and it has been wonderful. There’s something amazing in writing –how it can transport you into another world, and change the way you think about things. I really hope to publish a book of my own someday. I’m still in the process of revising Cry of the Amazon, and I have started a fashion mystery novel, whose name is still to be determined.

6.   Lipstick –I think lipstick is one of the most awesome things in this universe. I think it is so much fun to decide what lipstick I want to wear for the day, and it’s fun to see all of the different makeup looks and moods you can create with lipstick. A neon orange gives a way different feel than a dark berry, or a classic red. Today I wore my persimmon, or reddish-orange lipstick. I did blot it down, though, so it wasn’t too strong of a color. 🙂

7.   Red Heels –I love my red heels. They are about two inches high, and super comfortable! The classic design means I can wear them in any season, and the shiny red material makes them eye-catching. I especially like that I was able to get these shoes that retailed at Kohl’s for about $30 – for only $4 at the thrift store! I always love a bargain!

7 Things I’m Grateful For

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This week was so much fun, and I can’t wait to share seven of the thousands of blessings I received this week! Going to Linda’s wedding and spending time with family was exactly what I needed! Although I have lots to be thankful for every week, this week in particular has showered down blessings. 🙂

1.   Linda’s Wedding –I have been looking forward to this wedding all summer, and it did not disappoint! The wedding sealing was so sweet and touching.The reception and open house were a lot of fun as well. The decorations were stunning, and it was great helping to set up. And all of the cheesecake was delicious! Plus, it was really nice to see Ben’s family. 🙂

2.   NYX Round Lipstick –I decided to buy a neon pink lipstick from the NYX line last week. And I love it! The formula is so creamy, and stays on a really long time. I also like that if I brought, it can look pretty natural, and conversely, it can give me a really bold look. I don’t remember the exact name (it was a number), but it was $4 at HEB. It was a lot of fun wearing this week during all of the wedding fun.

3.   Kayaking –Yesterday, I was able to go kayaking with Katie, one of my awesome sisters-in-law. It was so peaceful out on the ocean, dipping my oar into the water, and looking out at the spacious ocean. The sky was a clear blue, and the temperature perfect. I believe that if you surround yourself with beauty, that it will begin to rub off on your soul. I know this was one of those moments that will stay with me forever. 🙂

4.   The Ocean –Along those lines, I really enjoyed going to the Carpinteria beach. It was simply glorious! The old belief that the ocean is a form of medicine totally rings true to me. There’s nothing like experiences that indulge all five senses. I love the taste of salt water on my tongue, the brisk water rushing against my skin, the smell of seaweed and sunscreen, the sound of the crashing waves, and the sight of beautiful sand meeting beautiful water. It was so much fun, and I was able to really let go and enjoy myself. 🙂

5.   Blue Maxi Dress -So, my awesome idea for a modest dress to Linda’s wedding kind of failed. It worked fine until the wind blew, or I sat down…. But thankfully, Patty, my awesome mom-in-law came to the rescue and brought me a blue maxi-dress that I could wear. It was pretty, the right color, really comfy, and completely modest. Yay! As for the other dress, I’ll probably sew on another layer of ribbon. 🙂

6.   Crocheting –While here in California, I felt the urge to crochet again. And as Patty has loads of yarn in the attic, I decided to pull some out and start playing with it! Katie showed me how to do the wavy stitch that she’s really good at. I’m determining if I want to make a hat, scarf, or blanket with it. I guess we’ll see… 🙂

7.   BBQ Sandwiches –I love the taste of pulled pork sandwiches –it’s a little taste of Virginia. And we had some on the night before Linda’s wedding! There’s nothing like a barbeque sandwich to brighten my day! The recipe used was really simple –just pulled pork and barbeque sauce. So delicious. 🙂

Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polish

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So, on Wednesday, in my Things I Want blog post, I mentioned that I really wanted the Revlon Parfumerie nail polish in Surf Spray. And yesterday, I mentioned that I bought it in my An Unlikely Haul post. So today, I figured I’d actually show you what it looks like on me!

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I really like this nail color. It has a pearlescent finish to it, which I think is really nice. And the nail polish bottle doesn’t lie –once it’s dry, it really does have a nice ocean scent to it. It’s a really pretty translucent blue that’s perfect if you want a nice subtle look to your manicure/pedicure. The coats are thin, which lend this translucent look to the nail polish. I’m actually wearing three coats, for a more opague look. While I know a lot of people don’t like nail lacquers with a thin formula, I think they’re fun for softer looks. And because you can build them, you can wear Surf Spray as light or as bold as you want. I’m not sure if this is true for all of the Parfumerie polishes, as this is the only one I have tried. I have found that oftentimes there are different levels of opacity within the same collection, depending on pigment.

PLUS -Another great aspect of this nail polish is that it’s DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde free.

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As for application, I’d say this nail polish is pretty typical for drug store quality nail polishes. One coat dries in a breeze, two coats take a little longer, and you have to be careful with the third coat. Even though the third coat seemed dry, I still managed to dent and smudge one of my nails when I was placing my SD card back into my camera. That said, a nail enamel dryer, or just some extra time would have taken care of this little issue. When it comes to applying evenly, I thought this Revlon nail polishes did a good job of not streaking weirdly. Also, I didn’t have that annoying issue of the tips of my nails not being coated correctly, which was nice.

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Recently, I have started to take more of a look into Revlon products in general. Of the four “mega-brands” in my drugstore –Maybelline, L’Oreal, Revlon and Covergirl, Revlon is the only company that claims to distribute cruelty free products in the US (granted, their nail polishes are animal tested in China as required by law… but that’s a whole other debate). I also like that Revlon has more of a retro feel to their brand. And, looking over the years, Revlon nail polishes have been some of my favorites. In fact, I wore a Revlon nail polish for my pedicure for my own wedding!

Disclaimer: This nail polish was purchased with my own money. My opinions are my own. 🙂

My Unlikely Kroger Haul!

Yesterday, I found some amazing stuff not at the mall… but at Kroger, my local supermarket! Granted, this Kroger isn’t your typical grocery store –it’s much closer to a Super Walmart, or other multi-purpose store. I was picking up some items for a meal I was taking to a lady who just had a baby, and decided, why not check out the cosmetic and clothing section?

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I had lot of fun in the Revlon section. I looked for the two colors of lipstick by Revlon that I really wanted to try. And sure enough, they were there! I really want to try Cherries in the Snow and Fire and Ice. 🙂

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I also checked out the Revlon Parfumerie nail polish section. They had my surf spray nail polish, which was pretty exciting. And, it was on sale!

Once I got to the clothing section, wow! I found some amazing deals! There was a huge clearance section filled with clothing and accessories –and that clearance section had an additional 50% mark down! And, on top of that, there was 15% off coupon that applied to all items, including clearance!

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I was stoked to find this adorable pair of earrings! They’re perfect for Linda’s wedding, as it is one of her wedding colors! I’m pretty stoked to wear them on August 6th!

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I bought a super cute turquoise dress marked down from $70 to $15.99, a gorgeous green scarf (that I’m really excited to wear when I get back to Idaho!) marked down from $17 to $6.79, a pair of blue earrings marked down from $10 to $3.40, and a bottle of Revlon nail polish marked down from $6.39 to $4.79. It came to a total of $30.97, which is a steal if you ask me! The dress alone should have cost that much!

All in all, it was a pretty awesome shopping trip. 🙂

Things I Want

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Today, I thought I’d write about some items on my beauty wish list! I decided to include 4 drugstore beauty products, and four higher end products. That way I can showcase my dual love for cheap items, as well as luxury! From blush to concealer to nail polish to lipstick, I think this is a pretty well-rounded wishlist!

1.    NYX Rouge Cream Blush –NYX is a cult drugstore classic, and I have to say, that the eye pencil that I tried by them has a fantastic formula! So, with that in mind, I’m ready to try out more products by NYX. This crème blush by NYX looks super awesome. I’m a big fan of crème cosmetics, as they tend to blend better and look more natural. Too bad my local Kroger and HEB don’t stock this product. I just might brave buying it online one of these days. I’d like to try Boho Chic, Tickled, or Glow.

2.     Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Crème in Cherries in the Snow –This lipstick is a classic color and formula that has been around since the 1940s. Bombshells and celebrities have worn this shade throughout the ages. It’s a blue-red, and is just gorgeous. I really want to get my hands on this lipstick, as well as the Revlon classic Fire and Ice, which debuted in the 1950s. Fashion Thrill has an interesting blog post on these two lipsticks, in case you are interested: Revlon’s Fire & Ice and Cherries in the Snow: A History.

3.   Clinique All About Eyes Concealer –I really love my foundation by Clinique, which I blogged about here: Clinique Super Balanced Foundation. I’ve been really struggling to find a good concealer, and I’m thinking I’ll go to a brand that I trust. Plus, it’s really handing to have the salesperson behind the counter help me pick out the perfect shade. One of things that I like about Clinique, is that it’s relatively cheap compared to other department beauty brands. If I try and buy, I’ll let you know. 🙂

4.    Revlon Parfumerie Nail Lacquer in Surf Spray –I’m in the process of trying to find a fun blue nail polish for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I pass by these scented nail polishes by Revlon every time I’m at the supermarket, and they really call to me. Partly because I wore a scented Revlon nail polish to my own wedding. 🙂 This one by surf spray is a pretty blue, and I just might pick it up. My main hold-up is determining whether or not it will explode on the airplane… 🙂

5.   Tom Ford Lipstick in Flamingo –At $50 bucks a tube, I know I won’t be purchasing this lipstick anytime soon. But a girl can dream, right? Tom Ford lipsticks are supposedly very hydrating, pack a punch of color, and have long lasting wear. They’d better at that price range! Initially I was drawn in by the shade Aphrodisiac –it’s the perfect full rounded rose color lipstick. It’s not too dull, and it’s not too bright. But, it looks like that shade is no longer available! Sad day! Flamingo is pretty close, though. It leans a little closer to a coral rose than a rose rose, but I still like it. Will I ever own this lipstick? Maybe, maybe not. But if I ever do, you can bet that I’ll blog about it!

6.   Victoria Secret Bombshell Perfume –I tried this perfume on Monday, when I went to the Woodlands Mall. I even briefly mentioned in in my Forever 21 blog post. It’s a fun, floral and fruity perfume, and I like that it’s not too heavy. And well, the name bombshell really gets to me. I just love that old school vintage archetype. It’s most prominent notes are passionfruit, oriental peony and vanilla orchid. While it’s not hundreds of dollars per ounce, this perfume is still a bit on the spendy side. The body mist is cheaper… but the bottle is so cute… Sigh. I’ll probably won’t be buying it for a while.  I need to finish up all of my Cashmere Glow perfume from Bath and Body Works anyway.

7.   Butter London Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator –One of the things that really annoys me about my hands, is that my cuticles grow really high. Pushing them back doesn’t seem to help, and I’m scared to try and clip them. But here’s a product that can magically wipe them away. I read a blog post about this product, and was amazed by the pictures. Sadly, I can’t remember which blog posted about Melt Away, so I can’t credit them. Anyway, I’m so getting this product as soon as I can! Granted, it’s not a drugstore product, so again, it may be a while…

8.   NYX Macaroon Lippies –With a fun name like Macaroon Lippies, how could I not want to try one of these lipsticks? These are fun neon and pastel colors not typically available in normal lipstick collections. Personally I’d love to try the rose, royal purple and orange. The mint green and electric blue, while super cool looking, will probably not ever end up in my makeup bag. That said, these colors are just so fun! 🙂

Empties: Summer 2014

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This summer, I have 11 empty products to blog about! I’m pretty excited -this is my biggest empty post ever! I have products from drug store to luxury brand here, and I’m excited to tell you all about them!

1. Matrix Total Result Color Care Shampoo/Conditioner (conditioner not shown) -I used this shampoo set for a year and loved it. It’s very gentle on color treated hair, and left my hair soft and detangled. While I’ve switched to a different shampoo line, I still love this one and recommend it to anyone who just had their hair colored or chemically treated.

2. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen in SPF 30 -This sunscreen smells really good, and is really hydrating. It’s a treat to put on during the summer. That being said, I hated putting it my face. My face would sting, and get a little red with irritation (though the damage wasn’t too severe). I’ve since switched to a gentler sunscreen by Coppertone.

3. Onsen Pure A Skin Renewal Peel -Okay, so I’ve had this product for… several years, which is kind of gross. But, it kept working until the very last drop! I got this product at one of those Dead Sea Mineral Product kiosks at the mall -you know, with the annoying, pushing salespeople. This stuff was expensive, but it exfoliated my skin like no other. I could see the dead skin literally sloughing off, and my skin looked so much better afterwards. While this product isn’t really in my price range these days, I do still love and admire it.

4. Naturelle Bioterra Thermal Protectant Styling Spray -This was a heat sealant that I bought at Sally Beauty Supply. It was a good decent heat spray, but I had to be careful not too spray too much, or it would ruin the entire styling process. It’s not as good as salon products, but it’s better than drugstore heat sealants. So, I would say that you get your money’s worth for the product.

5. Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Energizing Body Lotion -Before this product was given to me by my friend Emily Ray, I had no clue that Paul Mitchell made lotion! It was a fun lotion, with an eclectic, but fun and upbeat smell. The lotion was pretty good at moisturizing, which was nice. I had to be careful to dry my legs completely before using, so it didn’t sting (but my legs are ultra sensitive, so that’s probably just me and my weirdness). The scent isn’t too girly, and in fact, it almost seems like a unisex scent. I thought the lotion was lots of fun to use, especially in the mornings.

6. Skintimate Vitamin E Shaving Gel -I love the unscented, vitamin E, and sensitive skin versions of Skintimate shaving gel. They are super gentle on my easily irritated legs. That being said, I’ve switched back to Hydro Silk razors, which come with a built in shaving gel.

7. Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow Shower Gel -This was part of a fun set that Ben got me for Christmas two years ago. The scent smells like vanilla and musk, and a little hint of peaches. While it wasn’t the most phenomenal shower gel I’ve ever used, it did smell really yummy.

8. Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover -I love this eyemakeup remover. It’s the best I’ve ever used, and the only one that doesn’t make my eyes tear up or swell after using. It does a good job of removing most mascaras.

9. E.l.f. Mineral Eyeliner in Coffee -This eyeliner was simple, and easy to use. It didn’t stay in place as well as more expensive eyeliners that I have used, but its staying performance wasn’t too shabby. If you’re looking for a comfortable, cheap, and easy to use eyeliner, you’ll probably like this one.

10. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Mascara in (Waterproof) Black – It took me a while to figure out how to use this curved mascara wand, but once I did, it was amazing! My eyelashes looked full and dramatic all day, and didn’t smudge in the least even after a couple hours in the pool, or a long bike ride in the humid Texas heat. This mascara was difficult to remove, however, and did leave my lashes feeling stiff and crunchy. That said, it’s a cheap mascara packed with lots of drama!

11. Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks -These little pre-filled q-tips were a wonder! I made touching up makeup mistakes a breeze. While I wouldn’t recommend this product for full eye makeup removal, especially mascara, it’s great for touching up on the go!