Empties #6

Onto another round of empties! Starting 2015, I'm going to start a project pan and really limit my beauty spending. I'll be joining in on the #100daysofempties and #oneemptyonedollar tags - stay tuned!

beauty empties

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel
Lately, this is my HG brow pencil; I have a few back-ups already but I am on the hunt for a cheaper alternative.

Bath & Body Works Country Chic Shower Gel 
(travel size) This was a freebie, it smelled okay. I probably won't purchase it.

Bath & Body Works Pomegranate Lemon Shower Gel
(travel size) Loved this scent! Like all good things, it was limited edition.

Bath & Body Works White Barn Cranberry Woods 3-Wick Scented Candle 
Loved this scent! It didn't burn evenly though for some reason. I will repurchase next year.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara (2)
(sample size) I really liked these for volumizing and layering with other mascaras. I had one in my vanity and one in my purse. I have quite a few back-ups.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter
Didn't really care for this. I prefer the Shea Body Butter or Organic Coconut Oil. I won't repurchase.

Clinque Take the Day off makeup remover 
This is my HG remover; I have a few back-ups.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar Bar Soap 
This is my HG soap; I have a few back-ups.

Dr. Lipp original nipple balm for lips 
(sample) This is so sticky. It works but it's not fun to use. I bought a full size awhile ago and now I have quite a few samples. I prefer Aquaphor over this.

J.R. Watkins Foot Repair Salve
I really liked the smell and feel of this but I didn't notice a major difference; I probably won't repurchase.

Laneige BB Cushion SPF 50+ Puff & Light 
(sample) I received this in my Target Beauty Box. I did not like this at all. Generally, I don't wear foundation.This reeked of sunscreen and didn't even cover my redness.

LUSH Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub
This is my HG face scrub; I'm already working on a new tub.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara 
This was my HG mascara; I'm not currently using it but I do have a few back-ups.

Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Mud Skin Restoring Treatment Mask 
(sample) I received this in my Birchbox. I wasn't a big fan. It was super messy, felt gross, and I didn't really see any difference in my skin.

N. 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect Spray 
(sample) I received this in my Birchbox. I liked it. The scent was too vanilla for my liking but it did a good job at detangling.

Neutrogena Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes 25 ct (2)
These are my HG wipes; I already have a few back-ups.

Satin Dry Skin Shave Gel 
(travel size) This lathered nicely but I didn't notice any difference in my skin.

Secret Clear Gel Outlast Unscented Deodorant 
I'm not a fan of gels; I won't be repurchasing.

Skintimate Lotionized Moisturizing Shave Gel 
(travel size) This lathered nicely but I didn't notice any difference in my skin.

Skintimate Lotionized Moisturizing Shave Gel  for Dry Skin 
This was my HG shaving gel but lately, I haven't been using it. I have a few back-ups.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Butter
I love this scent, it's pretty moisturizing and lingers all day. I might repurchase although I just prefer Coconut Oil.

Sure Regular Scent Invisible Solid Deodorant (2)
I used this cheapie deodorant for awhile but it has messed up a lot of my clothes. I've switched to something else. I might repurchase.

Up & Up Cotton Rounds 100 ct (2)
These are just a necessary staple.

Venus & Olay Razor Cartridges (2)
These are my HG razors; I already have a few back-ups.

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November Favorites

'Favorites' posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) 'rediscovered' items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month. 

beauty favorites

Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Comet

I got this in a lighter color about a year ago. I liked the formula but didn't love the color. Recently, I saw the shade 'comet' at CVS for 50% plus I had a $1 off Rimmel coupon. (I paid about $2.00 for it, which makes me love it even more.) The applicator is awesome. I feel like the color suits me well. I've been wearing this almost every day.

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm (Pot & Stick)
I bought the pot form nearly a year ago. It's one of my favorite lip balms but using it in public just doesn't seem very hygienic. I was a few dollars away from free shipping on Amazon and decided to finally buy the stick. It doesn't leave a white cast, it tastes nice, and it's pretty moisturizing.

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
I got this in my Birchbox and have been using it weekly in the shower. I've been loving all face scrubs with microbeads, it just seems like a deeper cleaning and not abrasive. This one doesn't disappoint!

Himalayan salt lamp

Himalayan Salt Lamp 

Long story short, I accidentally broke our bathroom lamp. It was from Ikea (we don't have an Ikea in Memphis - yet!) Not to mention, the $20 lamp is now sold out and is selling for nearly $80 on eBay. Umm, no thanks! I've been wanting a salt lamp for a few months but I couldn't think of a good place to put one. I guess it was a happy accident; I finally got a salt map! (This one, to be exact.) Salt lamps have a ton of benefits but I mostly just like how cool it looks. Plus, this one has a dimmer and has been making an awesome night light too!

orange lip balm & salt lamps,

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October Favorites

'Favorites' posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) 'rediscovered' items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month. 

beauty favorites

I was lucky enough to have received the beautyblender in one of my first Birchboxes a few years ago. I used it on and off for awhile; it's been in my makeup drawer for a few months. Recently, I fell in love with this tool all over again. It blends concealer and illuminating products so effortlessly!

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium
I've never been a fan of tinted brow gels. Birchbox x Benefit sent me this and I decided to give it a try. I've been liking this on days I don't have a ton of time to do my makeup and just want a bit more brow definition.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet
My skin has been so dry lately with the cold weather coming in. I've been shopping my stash and trying to use up a lot of my skincare samples.  This smells awesome and has a great texture.

ELF Studio Blush Palette
I was wanting some new blushes without paying a lot. I remembered emilynoel83 reviewing these blushes, so I decided to give them a try. I got both the light and dark palettes. These palettes are cool because you can easily remove the pans from the palette and make it custom to your needs. (Two blushes from the light palette and two from the dark palette are pictured.) All of the blushes are super pigmented and have great staying power.

Jordana Easyliner for Eyes & Easyliner for Lips
I've raved about these multiple times. Through the entire month of October, Walgreens had Jordana cosmetics for 40% off; some of the colors were being discontinued and were only .59 cents a piece. I bought a few more shades that I didn't already own. These are such a good value. Best of all, they're twistable - you never have to sharpen them.

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
I received this in my October Birchbox and started using it immediately. It's definitely helped with redness and dry skin patches. I'm contemplating purchasing the full size.

blushes & samples,

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Empties #5

beauty empties

beauty empties

Onto another round of empties! The top picture is from my normal empties box and the bottom picture is products are I used/finished up on a cruise.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel
This has become my favorite brow pencil. On the downside, it's pretty pricey and I'm going through them super fast. I already have a few backups.

Bath & Body Works Shea It isn't So Foot Cream 
(travel size) This used to be my all-time favorite foot cream. Recently, I've just found it too greasy and I've been trying out other brands. I might repurchase in the future.

Beauty Protector Hair Mask 
(2 samples) I got these in my Birchbox. I wasn't that impressed with these. They smell nice but didn't do much for my hair. I won't be purchasing the full size.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter 
(travel size) I've been wanting to try body butters from The Body Shop for a while. When they had 40% off plus free shipping, I purchased both the Shea and the Coconut butters. I definitely preferred the Shea. It smells awesome and it was pretty moisturizing. I will probably repurchase the Shea butter when I finish up some other lotions.

CeraVe Renewing SA Cream 
This smelled so medicine-y and sort of worked, but I didn't notice any difference over the long run. I won't be repurchasing.

Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for lids, lashes, & lips
This is my HG makeup remover; I won't continue to rave. I already have a few backups.

Crest 3D White Radiant Mint Toothpaste 
(travel size) This was the only travel size 3D white option, I didn't really care for the flavor. I prefer 'Vibrant Mint.' I probably won't repurchase this flavor.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar Bar Soap
This is my HG soap; I won't continue to rave. I already have a few backups.

Gillette Venus & Olay Refill Cartridges (3)
This is my HG razor; I won't continue to rave. I already have a few backups.

INM Out the Door Top Coat
This was a decent top coat, I heard it was similar to Seche Vite without all the chemicals. Unfortunately, I prefer Seche Vite over this. I might repurchase.

Johnson's Baby Oil Gel
I love to use this on dry flaky skin (like sunburn peel, for example) right out of the shower. It really moisturizes. I'm already working on a new bottle.

LUSH Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub
This is my HG face scrub; I won't continue to rave. I'm already working on a new tub...

LUSH The Olive Branch Shower Gel
This smelled nice and lathered awesome but the consistency turned water-thin super fast. It's kind of pricey. I might repurchase it in the future.

Maybelline Fit Me shine-free Foundation in Porcelain 
I used this more like a concealer for spot treatment. I liked how it dried to almost a powder finish and was really easy to apply. Unfortunately, the lid cracked and the product dried up near the end. I probably won't repurchase.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser - Brightener 
MakeupbyTiffanyD raved about this product a few times. I've used the concealer for years so I decided to try out the brightener. I didn't see any noticeable changes; I won't be repurchasing the brightener and I'll continue to stick the concealer.

Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelettes (25 ct) 
These are my HG face wipes; I won't continue to rave. I already have a few backups.

Nugg Face Mask Flaxseed & Peppermint 
I received this in my Birchbox. It smelled nice and made my skin feel soft right out of the shower. Otherwise, I didn't notice any major changes. I won't be purchasing.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Exfoliating Wet Cleansing Cloths 
These are my old HG face wipes; I won't continue to rave. I will probably repurchase if I can find the black packaging again.

Organix Sea Mineral Moisture Shampoo
I liked the unique scent of this. But halfway through the bottle, I just grew tired of it. I think it really stripped the color from my hair too. I won't be repurchasing.

Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Body Wash 
(travel size) The citrus scent was really refreshing and a nice pick-me-up. It lathered nicely, too. Although it's a little too pricey for me, I probably won't purchase the full size.

Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover 
(sample) This didn't work well removing mascara. I won't be purchasing the full size.

Skintimate Skin Therapy Moisturizing Lotionized Dry Skin Shave Gel
This is my HG shaving cream; I won't continue to rave. I already have a few backups.

Up & Up Cotton Rounds (100 ct)
Cotton rounds are a necessary staple for me. Currently, I have a bulk supply of Swiss cotton rounds, but I would repurchase the Up & Up ones in the future.

Up & Up Ibuprofen 
I'm not sure why this ended up in the picture on the cruise. Regardless, I've already repurchased.

Vaseline Lip Therapy 
My dermatologist recommended this when I asked for a lip remedy. I didn't notice any difference in my lips and didn't care for the scent/taste. I won't be repurchasing.

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September Favorites

'Favorites' posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) 'rediscovered' items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month. 

beauty favorites

Benefit Hoola Bronzer*
I originally got this as a deluxe sample perk from Sephora; I've been loving it to add some color to my pale face. I think it would be great for all skin tones. I've always heard so much hype about this product but it was a little too pricey for me and I was happy with my drugstore bronzers. Luckily, I won a full-sized bronzer for when I finish up this sample. (Thank you Benefit x Birchbox!)

Jordana Easyliner for Lips in Rock N' Rose
This is an oldy but goody. Recently, I've been just wearing this as an all-over lip color and topping it with a balm or gloss. It's a great shade!

Macadamia Healing Oil Spray
This is definitely in my top five favorite Birchbox samples. I've been using the Macadamia mask for years, so I was super excited to try this. (I chose it in September's Birchbox choice.)  My hair has been so soft lately and I think it's a combination of using the Macadamia mask, MoroccanOil on damp hair, and using this healing oil spray on the ends of my dry hair. The smell was a little overpowering at first but I've grown to like it.

Birchbox Soho

Visiting the newly opened Birchbox SoHo Store was a life-favorite for me this month. I've been a huge Birchbox fan for over three years, so visiting the store was pretty much the only thing on my to-do list while in New York. In the store, products were organized by type, not brand - which makes it so much more convenient. I got to build my own Birchbox and purchase a few items I've been eyeing for awhile with a fun and helpful staff.

cross ring and peplum top

(nails: Ruffian Naked, criss-cross ring, BCBG Scarlet peplum top)

I've been loving nude nails again. Nude nail polish goes with everything, makes your fingers look longer and skinnier, and chips aren't nearly as noticeable - score!

Lately, I've been loving all things oxblood/burgundy. Every item of clothing I see in this color I end up wanting. This is such a flattering color for pale skin and dark hair. On the plus side, I'm stepping away from black and adding some color to my closet.

new samples & oxblood clothes,

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August Favorites

'Favorites' posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) 'rediscovered' items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month.

beauty favorites

Milani Eye Tech Liquid Eyeliner
Black eyeliner hasn't been part of my routine in years. But lately, I've been admiring winged/cat eye looks and tutorials. The flashy "NEW" writing on this product and the fact I had some CVS Extrabucks to burn encouraged me to purchase this on a whim. It's so easy to use and comes off clean, too.  The compact size was great for vacationing/traveling.

OPI Nail Polish in Coca-Cola Red
I saw this in a magazine advertisement and immediately purchased it on eBay; I've been wearing it constantly since it arrived. It's a perfect red, exactly like a Coca-Cola can. The formula is great, as always.

Suave Moroccan Infusion Dry Shampoo
I used the Suave Moroccan Shampoo (not a huge fan). However, I did the like the smell. For only $3, I decided to give this a try. It works just as good as some of my high-end dry shampoos. Not only is good for hiding oily roots, but works pretty good on clean hair to add texture and boost waves.

cat eyes & Coca-Cola cans,

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Empties #4

beauty empties

Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks
I've purchased these for years and have a few back-ups on hand. They're a quick fix when you make a mess of your mascara or eyeliner. (Makeup remover and a q-tip would do the trick too but these are great for on-the-go.)

Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel 
(travel size) I'm always drawn to clean or citrus scents - this is a little of both; it's super refreshing and wakes you up in the morning. I will probably repurchase.

Beauty Protection Protect & Detangle Leave-In Conditioner 
(Birchbox sample) This was great at moisturizing and detangling; I just didn't care for the scent - it's a very strong vanilla scent. I probably won't purchase this in full-size.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
My doctor recommended to use this bar soap on more sensitive areas. It lathers really nicely and is scentless. My skin has responded well to it. I have a few back-ups on hand, but I'll repurchase when I need to.

equate Oil Free Eve Makeup Remover 
(comparable to Neutrogena) I usually don't go for generic items but this was on sale and about half the cost of Neutrogena; I decided to try it out for around $3. It was a little bit more oily than Neutrogena, but it's definitely comparable. I'm not sure if I'll repurchase; I prefer Clinique and coconut oil lately.

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara 
The wand on this mascara was super cool - it bends in all directions. However, it didn't provide more volume than Maybelline The Rocket. I won't be repurchasing.

Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Volum' Express Mascara
This was just an okay mascara - not good, not bad. I won't be repurchasing.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara
I've raved about this over and over, it's my favorite mascara. I will continue to repurchase.

MoroccanOil MoroccanOil Treatment
This is the only hair product I really use anymore. I use two pumps on wet hair to moisturize and about half a pump on dry hair to tame frizz and add shine. I've already repurchased another bottle.

Ms. Manicure Strike to Smooth mini emery boards
These mini nail files were great for on-the-go. They take up little space in your purse or travel bag. I prefer glass nail files now, so I don't plan on repurchasing these.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
The are the most effective makeup removing wipes I've tried that don't irritate my skin (aside from the black packaging Olay Regenerist Wipes.) But they're not super great with mascara. I've already repurchased these in bulk.

Revlon Photoready Powder in Fair/Light
It has taken me about two years to finish this powder. (Actually, it finally broke when it was a super thin ring.) I used it just for setting concealer and it did the job. I might repurchase this in the future.

Skintimate Dry Skin Shaving Gel
This shaving cream is moisturizing and doesn't have an overwhelming smell. I have a few back-ups and I will repurchase it in the future.

Suave Moroccan Infusion Shine Conditioner
I picked up a cheap conditioner to leave at Brad's house. This smells great and left my hair pretty soft. It doesn't have any Moroccan oil in it though. It doesn't compare to my beloved Joico K-Pak; I won't be repurchasing.

up & up cotton rounds (2)
Cotton rounds are an essential for me. I go through them super fast, which is why I already repurchased in bulk.

Vitafusion Women's Complete Multivitamin (150 count)
I've discussed these in a previous empties post; I already repurchased an even larger bottle.

Venus & Olay Razor Cartridge (2)
These are my favorite razor... multiple blades, a shave bar, and a moisturizing bar leaves my skin super smooth. I've already repurchased them in bulk.

mascaras & bulk buys,

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July Favorites

'Favorites' posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) 'rediscovered' items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month.

beauty & food favorites

This month, I've rediscovered a lot of old favorites that I always mention in previous posts but haven't used in awhile:

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara is awesome for long and thick but clump-free lashes.

LUSH Sex Bomb Bath Bomb smells heavenly and leaves the bath water pink.

Glass nail files are the only way to go to avoid breakage and get smooth edges with minimal effort. I've used the Sephora Glass nail file for nearly two years but I wanted more to keep everywhere - my car, purse, and travel bag; these were a great find.

This month, I also have a few "random favorites":

Larabars - I first discovered these about two years ago in one of my very first Birchboxes. Kroger constantly has these on sale for 10/$10 so I've slowly been trying all of the flavors. The bars are great for a light meal or snack on-the-go. They're made from whole foods and have pure and simple ingredients - not to mention, they're extremely flavorful!

Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble Cereal - I'm slowly but surely cutting all dairy from my diet. Finding a cereal that tastes amazing with almond milk has taken forever. I've finally found the perfect combination - it reminds me a little bit of Cap'n Crunch Berries cereal... but more healthy, of course.

Polarized Sunglasses - My eyes are pretty sensitive. I'm never outside without sunglasses. Even on those cloudy-but-bright days, I'm the weirdo wearing sunglasses. Recently, I made the switch to polarized sunglasses and I don't think I'll ever be turning back. The glare is cut and colors are so much more vivid; it's a little easier to see.

grown-up Cap'n Crunch & vivid vision,

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Haul: St. Louis

mall haul shopping spree

My last no reason shopping trip was in January - nearly half a year ago! Lately, when it comes to shopping, I'm always on a mission looking for just one item... in-and-out in just ten minutes. It was refreshing not to be looking for anything and to just aimlessly wander through a mall all day. In honor of my second no reason shopping trip this year, I thought a haul was appropriate:

LUSH cosmetics

Unfortunately, we no longer have LUSH in Memphis. I always look forward to visiting LUSH whenever I'm out of town. (My last visit was in March!) I picked up my two favorites: Ocean Salt Scrub & Sex Bomb Bath Bomb.


The only clothing item I'm 'need of' at the moment are shorts. The majority of my shorts from last year are too small or just fit weird. I'm having issues finding both comfortable and flattering shorts this season. I was contemplating between a pair of Joe's white shorts (flattering but not comfortable) and these H&M ones (comfortable, sort of flattering, but sheer.) For now, I went with the H&M ones. But the shorts hunt continues...

I'm obsessed with midi rings! However, I'm constantly losing or breaking them. I got two variety packages at H&M: I got 15 rings (all shapes, sizes, and colors) for $8.90; (that's about .60 cents a ring) I won't feel too bad about them disappearing anymore!

Fashion finds from Wildfox & BCBG

I have been wanting a Wildfox sweater for forever, but I could never talk myself into spending $100+ on a funky, not-everyday-wear, sweater; I was super excited when I found this one on sale. It's so comfortable! It feels like a soft blanket and will work as a great, year-round piece.

I scored this BCBGMAXAZRIA 'Carman' dress for 60% off. I think it will work as both a career and night-out piece. I'm a big fan of matte jersey material... it's comfortable and low-maintenance (no steaming or ironing!) Not to mention, how cool is the design?

french macarons

Finally, no big shopping trip is complete without some sweets! We stopped at LaBonne Bouchée for macarons. They had 35 flavors to choose from (WOW!!) - it was both overwhelming and fun; I picked six flavors for myself. They have pre-packaged bags and boxes for a discounted price; I also got a grab bag for a gift. (If you can't tell, macarons aren't really a 'thing' here in Memphis, so I always try to find the best macarons in other cities when I'm out-of-town.)

disappearing rings & endless macarons,

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June Favorites

'Favorites' posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) 'rediscovered' items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month.

I've been in a beauty rut lately; I've been sticking to the same products I always rave about or just wearing minimal/no makeup (thank you, Memphis humidity.) For the first time in the history of this blog, this month's favorites consist of no beauty products. I'll rave about some shoes and food instead...


All of my shoes just scream winter (boots are my favorite) or they're just extremely dressy. I work in retail, so I wanted some comfy but still fashionable shoes. I was eyeing the Steve Madden Felixx Sandal, but I couldn't find them anywhere in my area and I wanted to try them on before purchasing. (In my opinion, Steve Madden shoe sizes run differently depending on the style of shoe. No to mention, paying return shipping to exchange a size really irritates me.) A week later, I found the MIA Melonye Sandal. I decided to go with these instead. I'm in need of more closed-toe shoes, when I saw the Gabriella Rocha Vanya ankle booties for only $15 (It must have been a promotion; they're double the price now.) I immediately put them in my cart. These two have been the best, super cheap, research-less purchases I've made in awhile. I've been wearing both of these shoes interchangeably the entire month of June. No one believes I only paid around $20 a pair!

In my shoe order, mentioned above, was a free trial of Graze. (I've never heard of it. A subscription of unique, healthy snacks right to your door? Sign me up!) They offer weekly or biweekly options; each box is $6 and you receive four individually wrapped, ready-to-eat snacks. (That's only $1.50 a snack!) If you're constantly on-the-go and looking for more snack options - this is definitely for you! Sign up now to get your 1st and 5th box for FREE. I've enjoyed everything they've sent so far:

Graze Box

booties & snack boxes,

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Empties #3

beauty empties

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
This is a basic, light lotion. It's good for sensitive skin and didn't interfere with a rash I had a while back. It's 'scentless', as in no added perfumes, but still leaves a sort of weird smell. I probably won't repurchase this.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner
This lip treatment reminded me a lot of MAC's Lip Conditioner. I got this in a set with the cleansing water for $10 over a year ago. I liked the scent - sort of vanilla-ish. It was just a little too waxy for my liking. The retail value is $12, I won't repurchase it unless it's in a set again.

Clinique Take the Day off Eye Makeup Remover
This is still my holy grail makeup remover; I alternate between this and coconut oil, now. They're equally as good - great for getting off super stubborn mascara and lipstick. I've already repurchased another bottle.

Crest 3D White Luxe Vibrant Mint Toothpaste
This is my favorite toothpaste; I haven't noticed a major difference in the color of my teeth. However, I really love the flavor - it's the perfect level of mint - not too sweet, not too overpowering. I have a few backups tubes already.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant 
(sample) - This is probably in my top 10 of favorite samples I've received from Birchbox over the years. My skin felt so clean after using this. However, it retails for $78... it wasn't a miracle product. If I can find it at a lower price, I'd consider repurchasing.

E.L.F. Makeup Remover Exfoliating Cleansing Cloths
I think my beloved Olay wipes have been changed - not only the packaging but also the ingredients; they smell different and leave my face sort of sticky. I made a spur of the moment ELF order and decided to try these - they're cool idea. They exfoliate on one side and cleanse on the other. I didn't think they were super effective (lots of makeup left behind on my face) nor price efficient - 10 wipes for $3 isn't that good of a deal. I won't be repurchasing.

Glam Glow Youth Mud Treatment
(sample) - A few of my coworkers raved about this. I realized I had a few samples, so I decided to finally try it out. The mask made my face unbelievably soft and smooth. Again, the high price point is a turn-off for me. Some drugstore masks are equally as good. I won't be purchasing.

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product
This is a holy grail hair item for me; it completely detangles my long, thick hair. Not to mention, it smells awesome. This is a little pricey - but worth since it's a 10-in-1 product. I've already repurchased.

L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
I go back to this mascara every 6-8 months. So many mascaras are good at lengthening but aren't good at volumizing; this one is the other way around. It's awesome for adding volume. I often layer this mascara with a lengthening one to get thicker lashes. I'll probably repurchase in the future.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Fair
I really like this concealer for both under the eyes and to cover redness. The twist-up sponge applicator makes application a breeze. It's light, buildable, and doesn't cake. Currently, I'm using the brightener (the pink shade) but I'd repurchase this in the future.

Miss Jessie's Transitioner's Magic 
(sample) - I absolutely hated this product. I liked Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls, so I immediately tried this sample when I received it in my Birchbox. I applied exactly as directed. My hair never felt more weighed down and oily; I had to wash it immediately. It seemed like this product might be for ethnic hair? Obviously, I won't be purchasing it.

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Urban Decay Primer Potion was a holy grail for me until the wand packaging was no longer available. I picked this up and really liked it - it works just as good, if not better than UDPP. A little goes a long way! I'm currently trying out drugstore brands. I may repurchase this in the future.

Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Cleansing Cloths (2)
As stated above by the ELF wipes, I think these might have reformulated. I can only find the white packages now - they smell different and leave my face feeling sticky. The black package (old) is/was my holy grail... on the hunt!

Olay Quench Body Lotion
This is probably my favorite drugstore lotion; you can get a HUGE bottle for around $7. It smells awesome; it's light, not sticky, and pretty moisturizing. I've already repurchased!

Sephora super supreme body butter in lusty pleasure 
(sample) - I liked the scent. The lotion was a little sticky and not very moisturizing. I won't be purchasing.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter
I've always been a fan of the Soap & Glory products; the scent is wonderful. This body butter was thick and moisturizing. I have a few travel sizes floating around, but when I finish those - I'll probably repurchase.

Victoria's Secret Love my Body Nearly Nude Body Wash in White Tea & Sage
I'm not a fan of this packaging or formulation; the bottle continuously got clogged. I loved the scent, so I dealt with it. It was frustrating to use but the scent and suds were kind of worth it. I think this product has been discontinued. I will repurchase if it is repackaged.

Vidal Sasson Repair Shampoo
I got this for free - coupons - so of course, I gave it a try. The shampoo often came out of the top, even with the bottle sitting straight up. (Think volcano/witch potion.... lots of wasted product.) It smelled and lathered nice. I probably won't purchase this again.

lotions & potions,

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May Favorites

'Favorites' posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) 'rediscovered' items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month.

MAC lipsticks

(Pictured: Brick-o-la, Chatterbox, Crosswires, Girl About Town, Vegas Volt, Velvet Teddy, Viva Glam I)

MAC Lipsticks
My beauty routine has been super simple lately - moisturizer, concealer, mascara, maybe blush, and a lip product. Recently, I have been on a lipstick kick; I think my new, half-full 24-slot lipstick holder may have something to do with it...

Once upon a time, I was a MAC snob. (No pun intended.) I realized there are better products - both drugstore and high-end; I finally started trying other products and I sold or swapped the majority of my MAC products

However, recently, I remembered why I fell in love with MAC in the first place - their lipsticks. They're so smooth, smell awesome, and have pretty good staying power. Plus, who doesn't love the classic, grown-up packaging?

I'm happy MAC lipsticks are back in my life; they've definitely been a favorite this month.

ex-MAC snob,

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April Favorites

"Favorites" posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) "rediscovered" items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month."

coral makeup

This month, I've been loving all things CORAL.

My main two favorites are Clinique Cheek Pop in Peach Pop (also mentioned last month.) As well as Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous. You already know I'm a big fan of balm stains but I didn't have a coral one in my collection; I haven't quit wearing this awesome color since I purchased it.

coral craze,

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March Favorites

"Favorites" posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) "rediscovered" items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month."

beauty favorites: clinique cheek pops, brow wiz, coconut oil, The Wet Brush

Anastasia Of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel
I am growing tired of sharpening my Prestige Brow Perfection pencil so frequently; I wanted a mechanical pencil and something more precise. After reading all the raves about this, I decided to try it out. I have been enjoying using it this month, but I'm not sure it's really worth the value.

Clinique Cheek Pops in Peach & Berry
I haven't purchased any high-end blushes in the longest time. I did some research and checked these out in person... I knew I had to have them. The packaging is compact and adorable. They're powder blushes but go on like a cream and give an awesome sheen.

Coconut Oil
I've been reading about all the uses and benefits of coconut oil for the longest time; I can't believe it has taken me this long to purchase some! So far, I've only used it as makeup remover and lotion. (Using it as a sugar scrub and hair mask are on my to-do list!) Coconut oil has been the BEST eye makeup remover I have ever used; my mascara practically melts right off after applying this; I don't think I'll ever be purchasing makeup remover ever again.

The Wet Brush
I tried the Tangle Teezer a few years ago, this is similar but much better. After breaking another cheap hair brush, I knew it was time to try something new. I watched a few YouTube videos on The Wet Brush and I was sold. Tangled hair is much more manageable with this brush, and you can use it wet or dry!

cheek pops & coconut oil,

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Blogiversary Giveaway 2014 (CLOSED)

April marks four years for this blog. As a thank you to current followers/subscribers and welcoming new ones, I'm holding a third annual Blogiversary Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a $30 Sephora gift card.

Rules & Terms
• This is open to all followers and subscribers, both old and new.
• This giveaway is open internationally.
• Any age can enter.
• Applicant must follow/subscribe to this blog and complete the Rafflecopter widget; additional entries are available.
• The giveaway will close May 1, 2014 at 11:59 pm (Central Time)
• Winner will be chosen through rafflecopter.com and contacted on May 2, 2014 via email. Winner has two days to reply with their mailing address or another winner will be chosen. Winner will be announced on this blog post once their address has been received.
• Accounts created for the sole purpose of giveaways and/or those who give false entry information will be disqualified.

How to Enter
You must Follow or Subscribe to this blog and then complete the Rafflecopter widget below. (CLOSED) Additional entries are given for following me on Twitter, following me on Instagram, tweeting about this giveaway, and blogging about this giveaway.

Thank you for following/subscribing and entering.
Good luck!

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February Favorites

"Favorites" posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) "rediscovered" items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month."

beauty favorites: chubby stick balm stains

Balm Stains
I've been loving all balm stains this month. They're pretty moisturizing and they make applying lip color super easy. I've discovered the Wet 'n' Wild megaslicks balm stains this month - I'm a fan because they're both cheap and scentless. However, I still reach for my Revlon balm stains on a regular basis too.

I was so excited to finally find the Maybelline Dare to Go Nude Collection. It was tempting to buy everything when I first saw the untouched display but I limited myself to a few things. My favorites are the Maybelline 24 HR Color Tattoo in Nude Compliment and Maybelline Master Hi-Light in Natural. The color tattoo makes a great base for all of the shades in the Naked 3 palette. My eyeshadow doesn't budge! I've also been enjoying the Master Hi-Light - it's very similar to MAC Soft & Gentle MSF. It would make a great, cheaper highlight powder for anyone on the paler side.

Wet 'n' Wild Fergie Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer
My NARS primer finally dried out and I wanted to try something new but not pay a ton. This had great reviews and for under $5, I decided to try it out. Surprisingly, this works just as good as the NARS primer! It's scentless, colorless, and stays put all day. It looks like I might not have to buy a high-end primer again.

bases & primers,

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Empties #2

Onto another round of empties...

beauty empties

Anastasia Clear Brow Gel
I've enjoyed using this but I don't think it's worth the price tag. I have repurchased another just because I got a great deal on it... but any ole clear mascara works just as good.

Camille Beckman Morella Monarch Body Butter (sample)
I received this in my Birchbox. I did enjoy the sample - the scent and texture were nice. But it's too overpowering to mix with perfume. I won't be purchasing this.

eyebrow spoolie
This isn't necessary an empty, but it was beyond cleaning. (product junk/hair) It's time to throw it out. This came in some brand-less makeup brush set. I use this to tame my eyebrows and sometimes eyelashes. I've purchased a few more of these from ELF cosmetics.

Germanicure by OPI Nail Lacquer
This was my go-to nail color all of last year. Apparently, I didn't close it too well and it turned into a goopy mess (nail thinner couldn't save it.) Less than half the bottle was left, anyway. I repurchased another the day I realized this was no longer useable.

Gillette Satin Care with Olay Shave Gel
For starters, I'm a huge Skintimate fan. However, I got this for free when I last bought some razor refills, so I figured I would give it a try - not a huge fan. I won't be purchasing it.

Macadamia Deep Repair Masque
This is my favorite hair mask of all time; it gets all the tangles out and makes my hair soft and shiny. It's pricey but worth it. I've already repurchased another.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara (2)
This is my favorite mascara - I feel like I'm going through these faster and faster.  I have repurchased another, but I have my eye on a few different new mascaras, too!

Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover
I alternate between this and Clinique Take the Day off. This is the best drugstore eye makeup remover I've tried. I recently repurchased the store brand to see how they compare.

Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Wipes
These have been my favorite wipes for a few months; I already have a few more packages under my sink.

OPI Matte Nail Envy Nail Strengthener
If you have brittle nails or are trying to grow out your nails - I highly recommend this. This has made my nails as hard as rocks. The matte (invisible!) finish is great because it doesn't infer with your nail polish and allows males to wear it to.

Prestige Ideal Match Brow Pencil
It's taken me a little over a year to finish this pencil. After flying through MAC's Brow pencils, I decided it was time to find a cheaper alternative. I've really liked this pencil and still haven't thought about switching back to MAC. As you can see, you can definitely get your $3 worth:

Prestige Ideal Match Brow Pencil

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish
This scrub smells awesome and left the smallest amount of residue in my shower, unlike most scrubs. However, I didn't notice it doing any miracles for my skin. It's just not worth the price tag. I won't be repurchasing.

Vitafusion Women's Complete Multivitamin
As the quote goes, "beauty starts from within." So I threw these in with the rest of my empty beauty product... I'll admit, I don't always eat right and I wanted to avoid the winter blues, so I started taking these vitamins about two and a half months ago. These had great reviews and a good price point... I was sold. These supply vitamins A, C, & D; energy metabolism support; and bone support. Not to mention, they taste like candy. I've purchased two 70 count bottles and recently finally bought the big 150 count bottle since it's a much better value. I definitely recommend these!

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January Favorites

"Favorites" posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) "rediscovered" items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month."

beauty favorites

Dry Shampoos
I'm definitely in a winter funk and I have been slacking when it comes to washing my hair.  I've been loving dry shampoo to hide the oiliness and add volume. I've been using both Psssst and Oscar Blandi all-month. I'm been eyeing some others from Batiste, Dove, and Suave.

J.R. Watkins Peppermint Foot Repair Salve
This has been on my wishlist for a long time. I finally cashed in some Birchbox points and decided to throw this in my cart, too. The salve takes some getting used to if you're a lotion/cream user, but it's worth it. I noticed my feet were softer after just three uses!

Revlon Highlighting Palette in Bronze Glow
I don't need another bronzer, I thought as this ending up in my basket while at CVS. I've really enjoyed using this; it provides just the right amount of color and glow when you swirl your brush in all of the colors. It's similar to Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips.. you can also use the individual colors for eyeshadow or highlight.

Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Kitten Heels
This arrived in my January Birchbox and I haven't taken it off since. The staying power was great. No chips until Day 4-5 (miracle!) It only changed colors in the sun a few times; I think the sun has to be at just the right angle. Both the pink and red are vivid, pretty colors.

Urban Decay NAKED 3 Palette
I've tried all of the NAKED eye palettes, and this one definitely works the best for me. There are endless eye looks and all of the rose-gold shades really make green eyes pop. The quality is nothing but amazing... as usual!

peppermint feet & kitten heels,

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Empties #1

beauty empties

I'm a big fan of "Empties" videos. In a way, they're almost like "Favorites" on steroids. I'm excited to start this series on my blog. However, I'll admit hoarding trash is a little weird. (Especially since I'm the complete opposite of a hoarder.) If you're not familiar with empties videos/posts: You simply share products you've used up in their entirety, give a mini a review, and mention if you would or wouldn't purchase the item again.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 (6.7oz)
I'm not a fan of Clinque's whole skincare line. But this has been my holy grail toner for many years. It's crazy to see how much gunk make-up wipes leave behind.  I've already repurchased the big 16.5oz bottle.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Exfoliating Wet Cleansing Cloths (30 ct)
I've used up two of these. These are definitely my favorite drugstore makeup wipes. The scent isn't too overwhelming, they have just the right amount of moisture, and they're not irritating. I've already repurchased a few more packages.

Joico K-Pak Reconstruct Conditioner (33.8oz)
I use a lot of conditioner needless to say, I always go for the BIG bottles. Salon bottles with pumps are great! I use this everytime I shower; this conditioner is great at detangling and always leaves my hair soft & shiny. I've already re-purchased another big bottle (and I'm a fan of the new packaging!)

Joico K-Pak Reconstruct Shampoo (10.1oz)
I received this as a gift last Christmas and I've been using off and on ever since. (I never go for high-dollar shampoos just because you immediately rinse it down the drain and slather on conditioner.) I'm huge fan of the conditioner but I didn't notice any difference with the shampoo. Not a fan - I won't be purchasing it myself.

Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara
I think this is my 3rd or 4th tube. I'm loving this mascara. It lengthens and volumizing and it's under $10! It starts to get clumpy after 2-3 months, but it's just a reminder to switch to a new tube. I have already repurchased a new tube.

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Volume + Length Mascara
I didn't like this mascara from day one. It was messy, clumpy, and provided little to no results. However, I layered it with The Rocket Mascara and made it work. A month or two later - the mascara dried out.  I will not be repurchasing this mascara.

(Not pictured:) I also used up quite a few Birchbox samples, like Miss Jessie's Original Pillow Soft Curls, Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo, Beauty Protector Protect & Condition and  Nelson j Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask. I did enjoy using all of these, but I don't plan to purchase these anytime soon.

clumps & big bottles,

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2013 Beauty Favorites

Happy 2014! I'm excited to bring you my annual favorites for a FOURTH year! It was neat to look back on my favorites from 2010, 2011, and 2012 and compare them with the products I've used (or continued using) this year.

(The products marked with - means it is a type of product that I do not use, or I just didn't find a miracle product for the year.)

These are all products I have used continuously through out the year.  I have repurchased most of these or I will in the future.  I have recommended them to friends and family, and I recommend them to you.

Makeup beauty favorites

Blush: Wet 'n' Wild Color Icon Heather Silk
Bronzer: -
Brush: Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter
Concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer Treatment
Eyebrows: Prestige BrowPerfection Ideal Match Marbleized Brow Pencil
Eyelash Curler: -
Eyeliner: -
Eyeshadow: (high end) Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette & (drug store) Wet 'n' Wild Color Icon Trio Walking on Eggshells
Eyeshadow Primer/Base: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Foundation: Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick
Highlight: MAC Soft & Gentle Mineralized Skin Finish
Lipgloss: -
Lipstick: Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle
Mascara: Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express
Nail polish: German-i-cure by OPI
Powder: -
Tool:Unii Cosmetics Palette
Top Coat Polish: -

High End Brand: NARS
Drugstore Brand: Maybelline

Bath Product: -
Body Exfoliator: LUSH Ocean Salt Facial & Body Scrub
Body Lotion:Olay Quench Daily Body Lotion
Cuticle Cream: -
Nail Tool: Sephora Glass Nail File
Nail Polish Remover: Zoya Remove Plus
Fake Tanner: -
Foot Cream: -
Hand Cream: Soap & Glory Hand Food
Perfume: Stella by Stella McCartney
Shower Gel: Victoria's Secret Nearly Nude Body Wash
Soap: Dove Sensitive Skin
Teeth Whitening: Plus White 5 Minute Maximum Whitening Speed Gel

Conditioner: Joico K-Pak
Electrical: -
Hair Dye: -
Hairspray: -
Mask: Macadamia Deep Repair Masque
Miracle Product: It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Spray
Shampoo: -

Exfoliator: LUSH Ocean Salt Facial & Body Scrub
Eye Product: -
Cleanser/Makeup Remover: Clinique Take the Day Off & Olay Regenerist Wipes
Facial Mask: -
Lip Treatment: Burt's Bees Soothing Lip Balm with Eucalyptus & Menthol
Moisturizer: Origins Vitazing
Toner: Clinique Clarifying Lotion

here's to the best,

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