April Ipsy Reveal

Like last month, I received a wide variety of products in my April Ipsy bag – some makeup, some skincare, and one tool. Here’s a breakdown of the items I like, don’t like and what I’ve yet to try and why.

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LXMI Crème Du Nil: I’m convinced this is the stuff Cleopatra used for anti-aging. It’s magic in a bottle. This crème moisturizer is a pore refining product that improves the look of skin across the board. It helps even out skin tone, improves brightness, and so much more. Because this product is a rich and thick formula, a little bit goes a long way. I’ve incorporated this product into my nighttime beauty routine and have noticed improvements overnight. Once my sample is out, I’m definitely buying more. While the price point is more on the expensive side for the full-sized version, this product is worth it and the work LXMI does is amazing – check them out to learn more.

Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel: This is the one product I haven’t tried. Since it’s an aloe soothing gel, I wanted to save it for when it’s a little bit warmer out and when I’m getting more sun. I’m sure this will be refreshing after a long day of sitting poolside.

Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Glow: This sample is absolutely tiny. While this product can be used as both a highlighter and an eyeshadow, I’ve been using it strictly as a highlighter. It’s a light champagne color perfect for highlighting the brow bone and Cupid ’s bow.

PS Cosmeceutical Infused Nail Lacquer in Southern Sand: I was really excited for this nail polish. It’s a really great peachy-nude color and it’s made with grapefruit seed extract, which sounds like a good thing. I wore this for about a week on my natural nails. The color came off almost white against my olive skin tone. It was a little bit difficult or chunky to apply. It began chipping after a few days. It’s definitely not my favorite product – it’s just okay. It was a great color for Easter.

Tony Moly Liptone: I really liked this, but I only used it a few times and here’s why – so the packaging is kind of like a lipstick tube and the product wouldn’t twist back down. I would only twist it up enough to use it, but when my boyfriend tested it out he twisted it up way too much and it got stuck to the top and basically broke off. This was great while I had it, but it’s not something I would go out and buy myself. I’ll stick with Chapstick.

Glamour Dolls angled brush: I always love getting brushes in my Ipsy bag because quality brushes can be expensive and Ipsy send really fun ones. This brush has a whole Lisa Frank theme that only 90s kids will remember… haha but seriously it’s a really cute, soft brush that I’ll proudly display on my vanity.

Overall, there were some hits and some misses, but I’m always happy to try the products in my Ipsy bag. What did you guys get this month? What was your favorite product? Are there any you’d like me to go into more depth about?

Pretty in Pink: March Ipsy

It’s about that time of the month again… It’s time to reveal my Ipsy bag! This month’s bag had major French vibes. Everything’s pink and tres jolie! I’m definitely here for this theme – I took four years of French and I love all things dusty rose and baby pink – this bag was made for me.

The bag itself is a faux suede type of baby pink fabric with a mesh side to it, which seems to give it a little edge. The zipper is rose gold toned, which is super cute. I’m currently looking to use this bag in my every day purse. I’m so in love with it, but I don’t necessarily want to carry makeup in it because I don’t want it to get super dirty.

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I received a wide range of products this month, which was nice. In previous months I’ve received all makeup, which I haven’t tried, or all skin care, which is kind of boring. I was excited to have a chance to try a few different things.

For skin care, I received Milk to Foam Coconut Milk Cleanser and Cake Desserted Island Body Mousse. I haven’t yet tried the cleanser, but I’m sure it’s great and I can’t wait to try it. I have tried the body mousse because I actually almost bought a set of these on sale a few months back, but I was hesitant because I can be really sensitive to fragrances and lotions. I love this product by Cake. It’s really light and airy, but pretty moisturizing. It’s not very greasy and smells sweet, but isn’t overpowering or sickening. I’m throwing this little guy into my purse to use on my hands at work.

For makeup, I received a sample of the Tarteist Lip Paint and Eyeko Fat Brow Liquid Liner. I was excited to try the lip paint and I really love the formula, but the color just isn’t very wearable for me – at least not for this time of year. The color is deep burgundy red brown, which is honestly great for fall. The formula is outstanding. It’s super easy to apply and once it dries, you can’t even feel it on your lips. It’s like a second skin. It’s such a luxurious liquid lip stick. Honestly once you put it on, it does not budge. I’ll probably go out and buy a neutral color so I can get more wear out of it. The brow liner was not my jam at all. I have black hair and really dark brows and this liner was a light color, so I didn’t even really try it out before I gave it to someone else who would get more use out of it. I’m sure this product is great for some people, but it’s like a marker for your brows to shade them in, but it just wasn’t for me.

The last thing I got was a blending brush! I’m always excited to get new makeup brushes through Ipsy because honestly, they can be so expensive. This brush is super cute, super soft, and it’s the perfect size to travel with. I’ll definitely get a lot of use out of this.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my Ipsy bag this month. Even though some of the products didn’t quite work for me, I’m happy I’m being exposed to new brands and new types of products that I can share with my friends and family.

Beauty Favorites: New & Old

I clearly never got around to putting together a list of yearly favorites at the beginning of 2017, so I’ve decided to share with you some of my current favorites and daily go-to items. While I like to try new beauty products, my daily routine doesn’t stray too far away from my favorites. Like a great pair of jeans, these are just a few of the products that have won over my heart and make me feel confident and sexy on a daily basis.

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I love my travel sized Aveda Hand Relief creme. Winter in Chicago means dry, chapped skin which is obviously no fun, so I like to use this hand lotion. The size is perfect to tote around in my bag on a daily basis and the formula is super moisturizing without feeling greasy. While this little bottle runs about $10, a little bit goes a long way – I’ve been using this same bottle since the beginning of December. My nose is also extremely sensitive to scents – I can’t use or be near Jergens lotion at all – this one has a really natural, floral scent. I’ll definitely buy another one of these once this bottle is empty.

OPI is definitely one of my go-to nail polish brands when I have the money to spend on it, but there are certain colors I can’t live without, like Cajun Shrimp. I’ve tried to find dupes in Essie or random inexpensive brands, but no one does this spicy coral better than OPI. This color is my signature shade and something I always come back to.

YSL’s Black Opium is one of my all-time favorite fragrances. I would go as far to say it’s my new signature scent. This perfume is so intoxicating and sexy, I was hooked the first time I checked it out at my local Sephora. It’s a scent that’s exciting, soft, and sensual. I have the one ounce bottle that I keep at home and the travel spray that I carry with me. While it’s on the pricier side, it’s definitely worth it.

I was pretty late to jump on the Anastasia Beverly Hills band wagon, but my life has changed since purchasing the Brow Wiz. Honestly, I was super hesitant to spend around $20 on an eyebrow pencil since I’ve had trouble getting my desired brow look with pencils in the past. I kept visiting Sephora to try it out and look at the different shades, until I finally pulled the trigger. I honestly don’t know how I lived without this product. The pencil tip is so precise and gives such a natural look. This brow product has made its way into my daily makeup routine.

Lastly, the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette has become my favorite eyeshadow palette. I find cool tones look best on me and the shades available in this palette are perfect for an everyday eye look. Like other Urban Decay products, the colors are very pigmented and easy to blend. This palette is the perfect size to tote around if I’m changing my look later in the day for a cool, smokier date night look.

Again, these are just a few of my favorite beauty items that I’m finding I can’t live without. Using these products makes confident, sexy, and put together. While most of these are on the pricier side, the quality makes them hard to pass up. What are some of your beauty staples?

September Ipsy Bag Review

I just began hearing about Ipsy this past summer while watching some of my favorite beauty and fashion YouTubers. One YouTuber in particular raved about how she just began getting super into makeup and this was a great service to try different brands and products to see what works for you. With that being said, as a makeup junkie on a budget, I was definitely intrigued. After doing some research, I got the facts and signed up!

If you’re also new to Ipsy, it’s a monthly beauty subscription service, much like more popular and well-known Birch Box. While I don’t know the specifics about Birch Box, when you sign up for Ipsy, you take a short quiz to personalize your bag – choosing skin tone, eye and hair color, what types of brands you’re interested in, what types of products you’re interested in and more. Once your profile is complete, depending on if they have product available, you’ll be billed and sent a bag. You receive a makeup bag with a new design each month and each bag holds fives items, both sample sized and full sized, based on your preferences.

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I signed up about a week into September thinking I’d have to wait until October to get my first bag, but I was actually notified a few days later they still had some spots left for this month. I did end up getting my bag September 24th. I was pretty stoked when I got it and checked out all the products immediately. Here’s what I got in my first Ipsy bag with a quick review on each product:

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Befine Food Skin Care: Exfoliating Cleanser (1 oz Trial Size – $10.00)

I hadn’t heard of this brand before and was anxious to try it. If you’ve been following mIMG_0171.JPGy
blog for a little while, you’ll know that I was dealing with some skin issues about a year ago and have been recovering ever since. While I don’t really like trying new skin care products, I did try this one because it is all natural, allergen free and paraben free made for sensitive skin – so I figured it was safe. I used a relatively small amount of the brown sugar, sweet almond and oats mixture, which turned into a really nice and gentle lather. It has a really light, sweet, non-offensive scent. Once I rinsed it off, my skin felt soft, clean and renewed. I’m really glad I was able to try this product and I can’t wait to use it again.

Trestique Mini Highlight Stick (Received sample stick, 0.04 oz. Full size retails for $34.00)

I’ve only swatched this product on my hand because I rarely ever put on a full face of glam makeup. It’s a very beautiful champagne color that’s extremely easy to blend and feels light weight on the skin. I’ll definitely use this when I want a subtle highlight.

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Tarteist Lash Paint (Received sample, 0.10 oz. Full size retails for $23.00)

I was extremely excited to try this mascara. I’ve been wanting to try a few Tarte products, but have never wanted to spend the money. I found the wand for this mascara to be pretty stiff, but it has many little bristles that help separate and coat each individual lash. It definitely made my already black lashes, even darker and thicker. I’ll definitely be using this every day until it’s gone.

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Waxing Kara Sweet Lips Honey Lip Balm ($10.00)

This was another product I was extremely excited to try. You can never have too many lip balms! This was definitely a hit with me! It’s a simple, natural, non-greasy formula that’s extremely nourishing to the lips. I immediately threw this in my Speedy for everyday use.

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Be a Bombshell Cosmetics Va Voom Nail Polish ($6.00)

I was excited to get a nail polish, but not so excited about the color – at first. The color I got is a deep purple/blue. My mom was the guinea pig with this product, since I just applied OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques Friday night. The polish was super easy to apply and only took one coat for full coverage. Although the color is not something I would choose for myself, I would definitely try it for a few days. It’s very different, but it’s such a gorgeous, rich, jewel color.

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Overall, I was pretty pleased with my first Ipsy bag. For the three items I was able to find pricing information on, I found the bag clearly pays for itself. Each product is definitely something that would work for me and I’m really glad I got to check out brands I’ve never heard of. The bag is definitely worth the $10 a month so far. I’m pretty pumped to see what’s in my October bag!

Have you tried any of these products? Have you tried any similar subscriptions? What has your experience been like? What was in your September Ipsy bag?

Beauty Benefits of Witch Hazel

When my usual toner started irritating my skin and making me break out, I had to find something else. I had read a lot of great reviews about witch hazel, but I was hesitant to try it – I didn’t want to make my face worse. I ended up going out on a limb when I stumbled across a bottle of Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Honestly, I haven’t looked back. Ever since I added witch hazel to my beauty routine, my face has become so much clearer and evenly toned. It seems to have reversed the damage on my face. Witch hazel is my savior, my secret weapon – I don’t know where I’d be without it!

A Little Background

Witch hazel comes from a plant species called winterbloom. This beauty staple contains tannins, which helps tighten skin, fights bacteria and reduces inflammation. Overall, it’s been used for the treatment of skin conditions, and we’re just finding out how it can benefit the skin on a daily basis.IMG_1983.JPG

Anti-inflammatory

Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties which help the skin when it comes to various rashes, including razor burn and bug bites. I’ve found that it really helps soothe and heal acne.

Astringent

Due to the high level of tannins, witch hazel makes for a potent astringent. The tannins tighten skin proteins, causing them to form a protective covering to help the healing of skin. This is really helpful for treating eczema and restoring vessel tone.

Moisturizer

Witch hazel is also used to lock in moisture. Scientists have found that it helps reduce water loss and maintains the skin’s softness and elasticity. Personally, I like to use witch hazel after a shower and before my moisturizer to clean any leftover residue on my face and lock in shower moisture.

Overall, witch hazel has so many uses, for both beauty and other skin conditions. I’ve seen so much improvement in my skin’s appearance. It really helps clean the face and dissolves makeup, as well as soothes and tones the skin.

Have you ever used witch hazel in your beauty routine?