Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Desk/Vanity


home office desk, makeup vanity, ikea alex & linnamon

First Impressions/Review: Ikea Alex Drawers & Linnmon Table TopIn November, I had the chance to visit Ikea for the first time. I quickly knew it was time for a desk upgrade. I've been eyeing the Alex 9 Drawer unit for way too long. (And even fake checked-out online; I immediately X-ed out when I saw the shipping charges.) About a week before the trip, I had a change of heart and decided to get two of the Alex Drawer Units instead.

I knew I wanted the high-gloss Linnmon Table Top to avoid makeup stains and for easy-clean. I continuously debated if I want the 47.5 inch or 59 inch table top. (Even while in the store, it took me 30 minutes to decide.) I finally went with the 59 inch. Simply because it was a lot more desk/surface for only $11 more.

My old set up was a mix-match of old apartment furniture: Bed Bath & Beyond Z-Carts topped with half of a Wal-Mart parsons desk. It did the job but it wasn't sturdy, or all that pretty to look at. I didn't have foot space. Not to mention, all of my other shelves/furniture are white. (For the record, my old table top was around 30 inches.)

When we got home and set the new Ikea furniture up, I immediately thought it was way too big for me. I loved the look and drawer space, but I felt like I should've gotten the 47.5 inch top. I immediately purchased the ClosetMaid Stackable Storage Organizer to take up the back corner of my desk. (And give more storage space for bottles and other items I didn't want in drawers.)

Fast forward to weeks later, now - I'm really happy with the whole desk and the 59 inch top. 1.) I have foot space. 2.) I can hide my printer and trash can under the desk. 3.) The extra width of the table top allows room for cords behind the desk. 4.) I have so much work/surface space!

I'm incredibly happy with the drawers. My old drawers were deep and not very long. The Alex drawers are shallow and around 20 inches long. So much stuff can fit in these! In one unit, I have all of my makeup, samples, and hair accessories/tools. In the other, I have office and shipping supplies. I lined the bottom with shelf liner and used foam board to make drawer dividers. Getting the drawer dividers exactly how I want them is a work in progress. So far, I'm pretty happy with these two:

makeup, office supplies

I do feel a little guilty for spending nearly $250 on myself so close to Christmas, but I know I'll have this set up for years to come. I definitely recommended the Alex drawers and Linnmon top.

desk drawers & table tops,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

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 makeup products


Benefit They're Real Mascara + Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
Both of these mascaras are good/okay are on their own. I really like layering these two together to get very black voluminous lashes - with no clumping!

Jordana Rock n' Rose Liner + Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor
As mentioned last month, I'm still really liking Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor. My daily lip combination has been Jordana Rock n' Rose Lip Liner (I finished up two of these in November!) topped with Hello Sailor.

black lashes & blue lipstick,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Friday, December 4, 2015

Empties #15

My empties bucket is overflowing! Here are all the products I finished in October & November:

beauty empties

ACT Frosted Mint Mouth Wash (sample)
This mouth wash wasn't bad. I just prefered the Clean Mint flavor I finished in Empties #14; I ended up purchasing the green one.

Acure Repairing Shampoo (sample)
I didn't like this at all. It was way too light, didn't lather well, and had a weird smell.

Alpha Hydrox 12% Foot Cream
I liked this foot cream. Like all heavy-moisturizing-products, it's great while it's on but doesn't seem to make any long term effects. I might repurchase this; I prefer Bath & Body Works shea it isn't so foot cream.

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo (Birchbox sample)
This was a really good dry shampoo. It absorb most oil and smelled pleasant. I might use some Birchbox points for the full size.

BeautyCleanser (Birchbox sample)
I've had this forever; I'm glad I finally finished it up. It did a pretty good job - not great - at removing the makeup from my BeautyBlender. However, I prefer the solid cleanser or regular soap over this.

Beauty Protector Hair Mask (Birchbox sample)
This hair mask was okay. I didn't notice any major difference in my hair. The scent was just too much for me.

Bikini Zone After Shave Gel
This product is great for minimizing shave bumps and irritation all over.

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water (Birchbox sample)
This product was heavily scented and not very effective at removing eye makeup. Not a fan.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Cream (sample)
I enjoyed using this cream. It smelled really good and made my skin feel awesome right after applying. However, I prefer the Vinosource Sorbet over this.

Clear Total Care Shampoo (foil packet)
I've been a long time Clear fan. I actually purchased a full size bottle right after finishing this up!

Clinique Take off the Day Makeup Remover (travel size)
This was my old HG. Lately, I prefer micellar waters.

Crest 3D Luxe Glamorous White Toothpaste
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Crest 3D White Two-Step Toothpaste (foil packet)
This product seemed pretty pointless to me. I didn't notice any difference after a single use. The taste was unpleasant.

Crest Complete Scope Toothpaste (travel size)
I've had this tube for awhile, I'm not a fan of the overpowering scope flavor. The texture was weird, too.

Davines Love Conditioner (foil packet)
This was a nice conditioner, but I don't think it's worth the price tag.

Davines Love Shampoo (Birchbox sample)
This was a nice shampoo, but I don't think it's worth the price tag.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar Soap
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

It's a 10! Miracle Leave in Product
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Jordana Easy Liner for Lips in Rock'n'Rose (2)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me. It's crazy I finished both of these on the same day! (They were purchased at different times.) One was on my vanity and one was in my purse at all times. I immediately purchased a few more. This lip liner is great under so many different lipsticks.

Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub (Birchbox sample)
I didn't like this scrub at all. The texture and smell were both unpleasant.

L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Hair Mask (foil packet)
This mask was effective but I prefer higher end ones.

LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipe (1 ct)
I didn't like this makeup remover at all - it smelled weird and wasn't very effective. It was very similar to a baby wipe.

Maybelline Rocket Volum Express Mascara
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (7 ct) (2)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (25 ct)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Nivea Pearl & Beauty Deodorant
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Noxzema Mini Razor
These mini razors used to be incredibly effective; they have since redesigned them and the plastic guard makes it impossible to cut any hair. I won't be repurchasing these.

Origins Modern Friction Scrub (sample)
This scrub was just okay. (Note to all - avoid the eye area. It burns like no other.)

Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle
This was my old HG lipstick; I've been through plenty of these!

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara
This mascara was just okay. It didn't make my lashes have the 'wow' factor. I won't be repurchasing this mascara.

Rituals Happy Buddha Foaming Shower Gel (Birchbox sample)
This reminded me of the foam soap I used when I was child. It lathered and moisturized well. I really enjoyed the scent, too!

Ruffian Dressing Room Nail Remover Towelette (Birchbox sample)
These were overly fragrant and not that effective.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water
This is one of the better drugstore makeup removers; it's also a good, cheaper alternative to Bioderma.

Simple Cleansing  Facial Wipes (7 ct)
These wipes were scentless, which was nice. Unfortunately, they weren't as effective as my HG Neutrogena ones.

Skintimate Lotionized Dry Skin Shave Gel
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

St Ives Apricot Scrub (sample)
I used this primarily as a body scrub, since many reviews say it isn't face-safe. This scrub was just okay. I prefer salt ot micro bead scrubs.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds (100 ct) (2)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Trilogy Vital Cream (sample)
This had a strong scent, I was afraid my face would be too sensitive for it. I just used this as a hand and foot scrub. It was pretty moisturizing. I don't think it's worth the price tag.

Venus + Olay Refill Cartridge
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Venus Sensitive Skin Disposable Razors (3)
I didn't care for these razors. They caused a lot of irritation. I'm happy to finally be tossing these!

Vitafusion Women's Complete Multivitamin (220 ct)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Wet'n'Wild MAX Volume Mascara
I used this mascara for less than a month. I just wasn't a fan. It was very difficult to work with.

candles

Candles:
Bath & Body Works Autumn 3 Wick Candle
This scent is more on the girly/sweet side, but I still like it.

Bath & Body Works Leaves 3 Wick Candle
This smells like fall in a candle; it's one of my favorites!

Bath & Body Works Sparkling Pear Riesling
Surprisingly, I liked this scent - I usually don't go for food scents.

Better Homes and Gardens All that Glitters Wax Cubes (6 ct)
This smells dainty, girly, and clean all in one. I enjoyed melting these!

Glade Hit the Road Candle (2)
This was a clean fall scent. I enjoyed it so much I got a second, and bought the wax melts on sale...

Glade Hit the Road Wax Melts (6 ct)
^^

Glade Pumpkin Pit Stop
This smelled nice in the jar/store, but I didn't really care for the scent while burning.

Target Amber Wood Candle
This had little to no scent while burning. (I need to stop buying cheap, brandless candles.)

Yankee Candle Fluffy Towels Votive
This is one of my favorite scents!

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Thursday, November 5, 2015

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. October was all about lip products.
Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor & handmade lip balms

Handmade Lip Balms
I've purged my lip balm collection. Most of the drugstore and chemical-y stuff ended up in the trash. Lately, I've been loving handmade lip balms. They tingle in a good way and don't cause irritation. All month I've been using Apothecary Fairy Peppermint Tea Tree Medicated Lip Salve* (This was gifted to me.) As well as Margarita! and Peppermint Lemongrass Lip Lotions from Kettlepot Soap.

Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor
This has been on my wishlist ever since Birchbox mentioned it on their YouTube channel over a year ago. I finally purchased Hello Sailor as a birthday present to myself! It looks like a scary royal blue in the tube, but it goes on as a sheer purple tint. It makes your teeth appear whiter and brighter. It's somewhat hydrating. I've especially been liking this lipstick over mauve lipliners. It leaves a nice shine but doesn't feel sticky. My only complaint is the taste/smell; it's not unbearable but it isn't pleasant either. It reminds me of some 'play makeup' from my childhood/preteen days.

lip balms & blue lipstick,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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. Here are my belated September favorites -

Caudalie beauty favorites

Caudalie Skincare
I've been loving all things Caudalie lately. All of their skincare products feel and smell amazing!

NYX Stay Matte Not Flat Powder Foundation
My Revlon pressed powder broke. I heard a few YouTubers raving about this NYX powder. I decided to give it a try - so far, I'm really impressed. It gets rid of shine and sets concealer really nicely. It doesn't leave a powdery or cakey look.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
The Naked 2 Palette is by far my favorite. In September, I've been gravitating towards the Naked 3 Palette - this palette really screams 'it's fall' to me. Most of the colors really make my green eyes pop, too!

powders & palettes,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Empties #14

Does hoarding trash ever stop feeling weird? Here are all of the products I finished in August and September:

beauty empties

ACT Advanced Care Mouthwash in Clean Mint 
(This was sent to me for free.) I've never tried ACT mouthwash before. I'm not sure why. I've always gravitated towards Listerine or Scope. This mouthwash was excellent, it didn't feel like a war was happening in my mouth, like the other mouthwashes. I'll definitely repurchase this in the future.

Anastasia Clear Brow Gel 
I've had this for over a year. While it wasn't completely empty, it was no longer clear. I liked this a lot but I don't feel like it's worth the price. Lately, I prefer tinted gels.

Bath & Body Works Love & Sunshine Shower Gel 
(travel size, GWP)  I don't really remember this scent; I don't remember liking or hating it. Like all Bath & Body Works shower gels, it lathered good and also made a good bubble bath.

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium
(This was sent to me for free.) I really liked this. It's pricey for such a little tube. I recently purchased Maybelline's similar product. I might purchase the Benefit one.

Clairol Hair Food Moisture Mask with Honey Apricot Fragrance 
(Target Beauty Box) I hated this. The scent was awful. I don't like food-scented products to begin with; this reeked of imitation honey. It was decent on the ends of my hair. Overall, it made my hair feel weighed down and my scalp have product build-up. I used about half of the bottle; I just can't make myself finish it.

Clear Complete Care Shampoo 
(travel size, Walmart Beauty Box) I've purchased this shampoo in full-size multiple times in the past. I really like it. It smells good, lathers good, and leaves my hair feeling clean. I might repurchase it again.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion
I purchased this over a year and have used it almost daily since. I asked for the big bottle - I had no idea there were three sizes; I wanted the medium bottle. While this was a better value, working with it full was nearly impossible. I ended up decanting the product to use it. I have - finally - finished all 13.5 ounces of this. This is really effective. While it was my holy grail toner, I'm a little tired of it I'm looking for something new.

Clinique Take the Day off Makeup Remover
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Dove Go Fresh Revitalizing Body Wash (mandarin scent)
(travel size, Walmart Beauty Box) I've used a few of these now. I like the scent and the lather. I actually just purchased the full size in the plain scent.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar Soap (2)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant 
(sample size) I really, really like this product. However, I do not like the full-size price tag. I've been gravitating towards gift sets and beauty boxes that have a sample of this product. It's an excellent exfoliant.

Joico K-Pak Shampoo 
(travel size) While the K-Pak Conditioner is my holy grail, the shampoo is just okay. I like it, but probably won't purchase the full size again.

L'Oreal Oleo Therapy Oil Infused Shampoo & Conditioner 
(travel size, Target Beauty Box) One of these bottles went MIA before the photo (aka probably accidentally in the trash.) I liked this scent. The smell and lather were pleasant. There was no product buildup left behind. I might repurchase these.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
I didn't like this mascara, my lashes felt and looked really limp and heavy throughout the day.

Mirenesse Curl Mascara 
(Birchbox sample) This mascara was just okay, it gave a more natural look - rather than the false-lashes look. I won't be purchasing the full size.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (7 ct) 
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (25 ct) 
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen SPF 85
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Nivea Touch of Happiness Body Wash 
(travel size) This was my holy grail body wash in high school, I'm just not liking it anymore.

Oribe Cote d'Azur Perfume Sample
I thought this would smell like all of the amazing Oribe hair products. Unfortunately, it didn't. The scent was still pleasant. It sort of reminded me of Marc Jacob's Daisy - light and fresh. I won't purchase the full size.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray 
(purse size) This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Revlon Colorstay Pressed Powder in Fair 
I've had this powder for over a year. I hit pan, then the powder cracked, then one of the hinges broke off. While it's not empty, I think it had a good life. This was effective for concealer-setting and mattifying. I recently purchased the NYX Stay Matte powder; I like it a lot better.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Lotion 
(travel size) I love the way Soap & Glory products smell. I've been through a few tubs of the Righteous Body Butter - I like it a whole lot better than the lotion. The lotion just wasn't moisturizing enough for me.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds (100 ct) (2)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator 
(deluxe size) This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Venus Sensitive Skin Disposable Razor 
I'm not a fan of these; I'm just trying to get through the package to go back to the Venus + Olay razors.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume Sample 
I have a love-hate relationship with this perfume. It smells excellent but doesn't work with my body chemistry. I typically just spray it on my clothes or around the house. I have a few samples on hand. I probably won't purchase the full size.

Wet n Wild Eyeshadow in Creme Brulee 
This eyeshadow was horrible. I typically like Wet n Wild products but this was entirely too chalky to work with. It's not empty, but I'm tossing it.

Candles:

candles

Better Homes and Gardens Tranquil Garden Spa Scented Wax Cubes 
(value pack, 12 count) This is becoming my staple scent. I'm looking forward to when this scent comes in candle form, too!

Glade Cashmere Woods Large Jar Candle 
This is my favorite Glade scent. I'm so glad they make large candles now. It's definitely a great value!

Luminescence Fresh Linen Candle 
This was a Dollar Tree find; I thought it would be a dupe for Fluffy Towels. It smelled nice in the jar; however, while burning, it had little to no scent.

Method Scented Beach Sage Soy Candle 
I wanted to try some of the Method candles for the longest time. Beach Sage is my favorite Method scent. I finally decided just to purchase this during the last Target Method sale. For $6 and little burn time, it's not the best value. The scent was nearly nonexistent while burning. The Method Beach Sage Surface Cleaner smelled stronger than this. I will not be repurchasing Method candles.

Yankee Candle Fluffy Towels Medium Jar Candle
Yankee Candle Fluffy Towels Votive
This is my favorite Yankee scent; I won't continue to rave.

Yankee Candle Coastal Waters Tart 
Yankee Candle Harbor Breeze Tart 
Yankee Candle Meadow Showers Tart 
All three of these run together in my head. They're all clean and fresh scents. I liked all of them, but no more than my current favorites.

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Monday, September 7, 2015

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

Alpha Hydrox Extra Strength Deep Therapy Foot Cream
My feet have been so dry lately. My lips and feet have always been problem areas for me. I was looking for a new foot cream that would really help; this cream had great reviews. It contains 12% glycolic acid, so it really penetrates and exfoliates. I've been using this nightly most of the month and my feet have definitely improved.

Mr. Robot
I marathoned the television series Mr. Robot this month and I really enjoyed it. If you're a fan of the movie Fight Club and shows about technology and mental disorders, definitely check Mr. Robot out! The show has 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ocean Water
I visited the beach for a vacation at the end of August. Ocean salt water does so much good for your skin. After just one day there, my skin felt lighter, softer, and refreshed. Ocean water is more or less a natural exfoliant; my dry patches and blemishes completely disappeared. Not to mention, I had natural beach waves all week - with no product required!

OPI Push & Shove 
Purchasing this polish was sort of an accident. I was on the hunt for silver craft paint, and ended up purchasing this on eBay for $6. I was intrigued - a polish that required a mandatory base coat and no top coat. (Plus, who isn't a Gwen Stefani fan?) It promised "one night of wear" - which was somewhat off-putting. This polish only lasted two days before flaking off badly. I feel like OPI could've improved the formula a bit more. The color was so awesome - I felt like I had mirrors/reflectors for finger nails. This polish is good for occasions, but it can't handle normal use of your hands.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
I raved about this spray in the past. I started a second bottle this month. In my opinion, it's basically an all-in-one product - dry shampoo, texturizing spray, light hair spray, and hair refresher. It smells so amazing. The only negative is the price - $42 for a full-size bottle. I'm saving Birchbox points!

mirror nails & beach waves,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review: YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector & Primer*

I was beyond excited to find a YSL package in my PO box a few weeks ago. High-end/luxury products just aren't in my budget, so getting the opportunity to test new products from YSL was exciting! Both of the products - the primer and perfector - promise to extend the life of your make-up. Over the course of a week weeks, I tested both products.

YSL

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer
The full size is 1 oz and retails for $52. (I received a deluxe/trial size .33 oz.) 

I was a little worried when I saw the gold flakes in this primer. A glitter face is the last thing I want to 'blur' my imperfections and be under my makeup. Surprisingly, you do not see the gold flakes when applied. This primer feels heavy and really silky at first. It takes a few minutes to really sink in and dry/mattify. When I was in a hurry, I found this annoying. It did make my skin feel good and soft. It also made some of my pores less noticeable. Unfortunately, I didn't notice my makeup staying on any longer. (I'm in the southern heat, I'm not sure if that's why.)

YSL Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Perfector

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Perfector
The full size is 0.33 oz and retails for $55. (I received a full size.)
The packaging is beautiful. The compact feels sturdy and snaps together nicely. The perfector comes with a cloth/velour sponge. The sponge doesn't fit in the compact, nor is there storage space for the sponge. I found this annoying - how am I supposed to store and travel with the sponge while protecting it? The balm is slightly sticky but silky at the same time - the sponge left cloth partials/lint in the balm - I also found this annoying and decided just to apply it with my fingers. The balm is a tinted rose color. I was a little worried at first since my skin is more yellow-toned. Luckily, it goes on clear; there's no color pay off.

On the first few days of testing, I used on this on my bare skin - it made my skin feel good and soft and somewhat evened out my skin tone. However, it didn't 'blur' redness. Next, I tried it under my makeup (concealer and powder) - that was a poor decision... my makeup looked flakey. It made my dry skin look drier. Next, I used it over my makeup - as a setting powder. I blotted it all over with my fingers; I noticed fine lines that I never really notice. The best use I found for the Blur Perfector is using it as a brow gel to keep my brows in place. While that's not what's made for, I found it being the most effective for this task. I do not like heavy brow gels; this balm has just enough of the sticky feeling to keep hairs in place.

Bottom Line: After seeing so many raving reviews, I'm really sad to say these products just didn't work with my normal-to-dry skin and current, minimal, makeup routine. I didn't notice a major difference in my skin while using these products. While they're good ideas and somewhat effective, I do not think the price tag matches the results. The primer is potentially worth looking into. In my opinion, the blur perfector is an unneeded extra step. I will not purchase these in the future.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Empties #13

Here's all of the products and candles I've finished in the month of July:

beauty empties

Acqua Di Goila EDP
(sample) I've always liked this scent in the store. I received a sample of this perfume and started wearing it daily. It's a good summer scent - very clean and fresh. Although I'm not sure I like it enough to purchase the full-size.

The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream
(gift set/travel size) This was effective and smelled nice, but there are definitely better shower products out there.

Camille Beckman Tuscan Honey Hand Cream
(Birchbox sample) I received this in my Birchbox a long time ago. It was effective, the scent was too strong for me personally. I ended up finishing it as a night-time foot cream.

Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub
(beauty bag sample) Firstly, this sample package annoyed me - it looked and felt like a large sample. Like you were getting a lot of product. I hit pan in no time... the shallow part of the container was only as deep as the lid. You received more plastic than product. As for the product itself, it was nice - a creamy scrub with a light scent. I prefer Vasanti or Dr. Brandt over this.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Mirco Water
(Birchbox sample) This is probably my least favorite micellar water I've ever tried. It took so much product to get so little makeup off. Simple and Bioderma were a lot more effective (using way less product) than this.

Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash
(beauty box/travel size) I've used up a few of these so far. This has been favorite body wash sample to date. It smells like soap and Shocktarts combined. The lather is excellent. It's moisturizing enough for shaving. I plan on purchasing the full size.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil
(gift set/sample) I wasn't a fan of this. It was incredibly oily and I didn't feel moisturized after it sunk in.

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Serum
(beauty box sample) This sample packaging also annoyed me. It looked like a smaller deluxe-sample. However, it only had 2 mL of product (less than foil packets do) plus lots of air and plastic. The packaging stated it was for a single use, but I used it for a few nights. I didn't notice any difference in my skin.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
(Birchbox sample) This was effective and made my skin look and feel good. I already repurchased more of the muslin cloths. I might purchase the cleanser, too!

LUSH Mint Julips Lip Scrub
This product is sort-of gimmicky. While I did enjoy using it, and it was somewhat effective, I'm not sure I'll repurchase it. I used about half of it the jar and realized it expired a long time ago.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (25 ct)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen (SPF 30)
I really like all Neutrogena sunscreens - they're light/non-greasy and don't have a strong sunscreen smell. I've already repurchased more!

Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme
(Walmart beauty box sample) This smelled like an old-lady cold cream. It was somewhat effective.

Noxzema Mini Razor
I used to really like these razors for areas prone to nicks or irritation. I haven't seen these razors in-store in a long time, so I ordered some online. These are a lot different than the old ones... the guard is different - larger - making it impossible to effectively grab/cut hair. It won't cut your skin - but it also won't cut the hair. I will not be repurchasing these.

Olay Sensitive Body Wash
(beauty box/travel size) This didn't lather or smell great.

Oribe Signature Shampoo & Conditioner
(gift set/travel size) I'm obsessed with Oribe styling products, so naturally, I wanted to try out the shampoo and conditioner. I ended up cashing in some Birchbox points for a gift set. While this set did make my hair smell excellent, I didn't notice any difference in my hair. Neither product was extremely moisturizing. For the high price tag, I expected a lot more.

Prescriptives False Eyelashes Mascara
(Birchbox sample) I heard good things about this mascara, so I was really excited to see it in my Birchbox. I didn't like this mascara at all. It wasn't buildable. It didn't leave the 'false eyelashes' look, but more of a natural look instead. Even with my long eyelashes, this mascara didn't seem like much.

Venus Sensitive Skin Disposable Razor
I purchased a package of these on Amazon just because of the price point and good reviews. These razors only have 3 blades - which seems weird for sensitive skin - less blades, more irritation, in my opinion. I'll use all of these up but I'm looking forward to purchasing the Spa Breeze or Venus + Olay ones again.

Yankee Fluffy Towels Medium Jar Candle
This medium jar filled the whole living room with fragrance. It's one of my candle scents! I won't continue to rave.

Yankee Fluffy Towels Votive
Votives are excellent for smaller rooms. One of my candle scents! I won't continue to rave.

Yankee Golden Sands Tart
This scent/throw was really light; I barely smelled it while burning.

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Thursday, August 6, 2015

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.


Joico K-Pak Conditioner

This is my holy grail conditioner. I feel like I can use the most horrible shampoo in the world and this conditioner will still make my hair feel, look, and smell great. I always purchase the liter size online just because it's more cost effective for my long hair. Not to mention, a salon pump makes everything SO much easier! I finished a liter of this a few months ago. Since then, I've been using beauty box conditioner samples to switch things up and quit hoarding products. After taking a break from K-Pak and using it again, I noticed an immediate and huge difference in my hair. I can't recommend this enough. 

OPI Nail Polish in Coca-Cola Red

This is truly a coke can shade in a nail polish bottle. It's the most perfect red. I've been wearing it on my toes all month. 

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush

It's been a LONG time since I've purchased a makeup brush. My Sonia Kashuk Angled Brush that I purchased YEARS ago was starting to shed, so I needed a new bronzer brush. I've been loving my Real Techniques Blush Brush, so I figured I'd try another one from the brand. This sculpting brush is really dense, so it's great at applying product AND blending it out. I've been using this brush daily for bronzer and I'm really impressed. Not to mention, I got an awesome deal on the brush (I used a 20% off Ulta coupon, $2 off Manufacturer coupon - from the Walmart Beauty Box, and a $1.50 Ibotta rebate.) I got this brush for just under $5 - which makes me like it even more!

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume
I've purchased this perfume twice and have taken it back because it just didn't work with my body chemistry. By the end of the day, it smelled powdery and old lady. I love the way it smells in the air or on the sample paper. Recently, I received some samples in a swap. I decided to give a try once more - this time, I'm only spraying it on my clothes. Which is weird, but my body chemistry doesn't interfere and it smells the same way (like it should) all day long. I really like the floral notes combined with patchouli that leaves a spicy scent. I've been wearing this almost all month. I like it almost as much as I like Stella by Stella McCartney - that's saying a lot. 


pumps & patchouli,

-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Monday, July 20, 2015

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. 

The ridiculous southern heat index has made me pretty unmotivated when it comes to makeup. In turn, my June favorites is going up super late this month. Better late than never, right? I really like looking back at my past monthly favorites - I haven't skipped a month yet! 


Lately, I only wear a lot of makeup about once a week. Most days, it's very minimal or none at all. My skin is doing pretty good, regardless of the heat. I've been drinking lots of water and really just giving my skin a break. These have been my go-to products lately:



beauty favorites

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium*

I've had this little tube for months. It's still going strong! At first, I thought this tube was a sample - nope, it's full size! The small wand is perfect for filling in and setting at the same time. On days I don't feel like messing with a pencil, this is always a must-use. 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
I purchased this in a Caudalie gift set a LONG time ago. I just didn't understand or get the hype of this product. But recently, it's becoming an excellent product to use when I need a face/skin pick-me-up. I use it on a bare face or over light makeup - multiple times a day.


Origins Vitazing SPF15 Sheer Release Tint
This has been my go-to for years. It's pricey, but it lasts 3-4 months. I use a small amount daily. It does a pretty good job at evening out my skin tone with the release tint. The product comes out of the bottle gray but ends up a nude/tan shade - it's magic. It has SPF, which is much-needed all year but especially in the hot, summer months. Lately, I haven't felt the need to wear a lot of concealer with it, that's why I wanted to rave about it again. 


brows & skincare,

-Kaitlyn 

* = This product was sent to me for free through a Birchbox & Benefit giveaway. 


Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram


Friday, July 3, 2015

Empties #12

Although I have completed the 100 days of empties challenge, I still feel like doing a monthly empties is post is necessary. I always enjoy empties posts and videos because completely finishing products rather just hauling them is a lot more impressive, in my opinion. Here's all the products and candles I've finished in the month of June:

beauty empties

Amika Nourishing Mask Sea Buckthorn Berry 
(Birchbox sample) This sample was pretty small. I used it all over my hair once and just on my ends the second time. I liked the way it smelled. It left my really soft for a day. I liked this but still prefer the Macadamia Masque.

Bath & Body Works Peach & Honey Almond Shower Gel 
(travel size) This was a freebie. The scent got old pretty quickly. It lathered nice and made a good bubble bath, too. I probably won't repurchase it.

Blistex Medicated Mint Lip Balm 
This has a little bit left. I've switched to Lanolin and more natural products. I just find this really irritating now so I'm tossing it.

The Body Shop Shea Body Scrub 
(travel size) I purchased a set of the shea butter scrub, body butter, and shower gel awhile ago. I really like the body butter. This scrub was effective but it didn't smell as nice as the body butter. It also left a weird film in my bathtub. I plan to stick to more natural body scrubs.

Clinique take the day off Makeup Remover
This was my old HG. I'm already working on another bottle. I really prefer micellar waters now. I'm looking forward to buying a big bottle of Bioderma once I get through all of my makeup removers on hand.

Crest 3D White Luxe Vibrant Mint Toothpaste 
This is my HG toothpaste. I'm not sure it really helps whiten, but I love the taste.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar Soap 
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

LUSH Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub 
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me. (This is the old version. I know they have recently changed the ingredients, I haven't tried the new one yet.)

Klorane Conditioning Balm with Mango Butter 
(Birchbox sample - foil packet) I'm not a fan of foil packets since a one-time-use is hard to really give a review. First impressions: I didn't feel like this was extremely moisturizing.

Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter 
(Birchbox sample) This shampoo was nice and moisturizing; the mango scent was just okay.

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave. I'm looking forward to buying another tub!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer in Fair 
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me. I ran out and bought another the DAY I finished this one. This concealer is so light and doesn't settle.

Neil George Conditioner 
(birchbox sample) The scent reminded me of Pine Sol; I found the formulation very drying.

Neil George Shampoo
(birchbox sample)  The scent reminded me of Pine Sol; I found the formulation ery drying.

Olay Fresh Effects Makeup Remover Wet Clothes (7 ct) 
These feel nice on the skin, but they do have a fragrance and I think they might've broken me out... not a fan!

Paula's Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster 
(Birchbox sample) I'm convinced I love all things Paula's Choice. I really liked using this oil/serum on the dry spots on my face; I had a lot less redness and flakes. I might purchase this in the future.

Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Ruffian Naked 
(Birchbox sample) I really liked this shade of nude on my pale skin. About halfway through, the formula just got too thick to work with, so I'm tossing it.

Shea Moisture 10-in-1 Superfruit Complex Hair Masque 
(foil packet) I only used this once since it was a foil packet. For whatever reason, this intrigued me. The scent was way too fruity. I felt like it left a lot of product build-up... I had to wash my hair the very next day. (I usually wash my hair every 3 days.)

Suave Moroccan Infusion Dry Shampoo 
I liked this at first. It smelled sort of masculine and added texture to my wavy hair. I've been trying to use this for months and it still feels half full. I think the nozzle broke or something because mostly air comes out with the smallest amount of product. Recently, it has made my hair fill more oily than fresh. I'm just tossing it.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds (100 ct) 
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Victoria's Secret So Sexy Balancing Shampoo 
(travel size) This was my HG shampoo & conditioner in high-school. I've been hoarding a travel size set, for some reason. It's moisturizing and smells nice. I'm still on the hunt for a better shampoo though.

Victoria's Secret So Sexy Conditioner
(travel size) This was my HG shampoo & conditioner in high-school. I've been hoarding a travel size set, for some reason. It's moisturizing and smells nice. However, I prefer Joico K-Pak conditioner over this now.



Bath & Body Works Big Island Bamboo 3-wick candle
I liked this scent. It was clean and refreshing at the same time. I would repurchase this in the future.

Bath & Body Works White Barn Fresh Waters & Sea Salt 3-wick candle
I really liked this scent in the store. It reminded me of the beach. Once I got it home and burned it, it smelled like I caught sunscreen on fire. Not a fan.

Better Homes & Gardens Brazilian Bamboo Wood Scented Wax Cubes (6 ct)
This was similar to Big Island Bamboo, but less clean and more obnoxiously fragrant. It was nice but I probably won't repurchase this scent.

Glade Honey Bee Rhythm single wick Candle 
This candle smelled like Secret Deodorant when burning. Not a fan.
Some tarts/wax-melt info: I always buy my wax melts at Walmart because of the good quality and low price point - 6 melts for $2.00 (about .34 cents a piece.) They'll last for a few days. Recently, I saw Yankee Candle was having a sale and a lot of their tarts were only .75 cents. I bought about 10 different new-to-me scents. My tart burner is on the smaller-side: one Yankee tart would be way too much wax, so I cut them in half. (Making them .38 cents a piece - nearly the same price point as a Walmart one.) The Yankee fragrance only lasts for a few hours and then quickly smells like Crayola crayons. (The Walmart ones don't smell like anything once the scent runs out.) I've only burned 3 Yankee tarts so far but I haven't been pleased with how long they last....
Yankee Candle Coastal Breeze Tart
I liked this scent at first, clean and masculine; it didn't last very long.

Yankee Candle Hazelnut Coffee Tart (2)
I liked this scent at first - like a Starbucks and donut shop combined. (I usually don't like food scents, but this was an exception.) After just a few hours, this smelled like crayons.

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Sunday, June 7, 2015

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. 


Macadamia Healing Oil Hair Spray
I've been using Moroccan Oil and the Macadamia Mask for years. When I received this oil spray in my Birchbox, I was pretty excited as I thought it would be a combination of both. This oil spray doesn't smell like the hair mask, unfortunately. I've been reaching for this oil spray all month to tame fly-a-ways, split ends, and overall dryness. I really like how I can apply it in a hurry and not worry about having residue on my hands like when applying most regular hair oils.

Versace Bright Crystal Perfume
My beloved perfume, Stella by Stella McCartney, is running low. I have no desire to purchased another one anytime soon as the price keeps going up. So, I've been looking for other fragrance options. I got this mini on eBay over a year ago. I really like wearing this scent in the hotter months. It's clean, light and summery.

hair oils and perfumes,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Empties #11

I did it! I finally completed 100 products and kept my beauty spending extremely low. Five months is officially the longest I've stuck with a New Years Resolution. I'm super proud of myself. Not to mention, my storage space and wallet are thanking me for not bringing in/purchasing a ton of new products over the past five months. The challenge was to complete 100 products in 100 days. Unfortunately, it took me over 100 days as I'm not a fan of single-use packets. But better late than never! In case you missed it, see all the challenge details on my first post: Empties #7.

beauty empties

Empties:
Almay makeup eraser sticks
These used to be a staple for me when I always wore eyeliner. These are perfect for quick fix makeup mess-ups. I always wait for them to go on sale at stock up at $2 or so apiece. In the meantime, a q-tip dipped in makeup remover is just as effective.

Aruba Aloe Luxe Foot Cream 
(Birchbox sample) I liked this. The scent was a little weird but the formulation and results were nice. I'm not sure I would purchase the full size.

Beaver Hydro Nutritive Repair Conditioner
(Birchbox sample) I really liked this conditioner. It smelled nice and I didn't feel like I needed to apply a hair mask or leave-in conditioner because it made my hair so soft.

Beaver Hydro Nutritive Repair Shampoo 
(Birchbox sample) I didn't really care for this. It had no scent and made my hair feel a little dried out. But I applied the matching conditioner right after and all was well.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara 
(sample) This is probably my new favorite high-end mascara. I liked it just as much as the Maybelline's The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara (my HG.)

Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment (3)
I've been using all natural lip products lately. I tried to use this twice this month and it irritated my lips so badly. I had 3 half-used tubes left; I decided to toss all of them and stick with natural products from now on.

Cover Girl Full Lash Bloom Mascara
I didn't really care for this. It made my lashes heavy and limp.

derma-e Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Creme SPF 15 
(beauty box sample) I got this in the Whole Food Beauty Bag. I used this under my makeup. It was a decent cream but I prefer one-step tinted moisturizers.

Dove go fresh revitalize body wash mandarin & flare flower scent 
(travel size) I liked the original scent (that I finished last month) better. This was moisturizing and effective.

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Beauty Balm 
(Birchbox sample) I liked this until I was about halfway through the sample. I felt like this was oxidizing on me and turning me orange mid-day.

ELF HD Lifting Concealer in Adjusting
I discussed this product in last month's favorites.

LUSH Sex Bomb Bath Bomb
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena makeup removing cleansing towelettes (7 ct)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Nivea Pearl & Beauty Anti-Perspirant 
I switched to roll-on's as solid deodorants were staining/ruining my clothes. I believe this only available in the UK. (I purchased it on Amazon.) Having a glass deodorant is a little weird; it's not super portable. I liked the scent. I felt like it was effective for normal days. But if I'm being active or sweating a lot - I have to apply this multiple times throughout the day.

Not Soap Radio Body Wash 
(Birchbox sample) This was just okay. Not impressed for the price.

Olay Fresh Outlast Cooling White Strawberry & Mint Body Wash 
(travel size)  This scent was obnoxious. (I don't like food scents anyway.) This reeked of imitation strawberries - like a bad child perfume.

OPI Pink Flamenco Nail Polish
This was my favorite hot pink nail color until I discovered OPI Strawberry Margarita. They're similar. Pink Flamenco just got too dried out - nail thinner couldn't save it.

Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel
Crest whitening strips cause way too much sensitivity for me. I was looking for a cheaper and less painful option and discovered this! I don't use the tray; while in the shower, I apply this on my teeth with my finger and try to keep it on the whole time. The main ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. I feel like this has been super effective; I've already repurchased another tube.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds (100 ct)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Venus & Olay Razor Cartridge 
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

candles


Candles:
Bath & Body Works Brazilian Blue Waters 3-wick candle
Both Brad and I really liked the scent of this. It smells clean and masculine at the same time (my favorite type of scent.) It was pretty strong when burning.

Glade Hello Spring (green tea & birch) candle
I liked this in the jar. While burning, it was just way too sweet. It sort of smelled like cheap Rave hairspray.

Mainstays Hazelnut Cream wax cubes (6 ct)
I typically don't care for food scents, but coffee is an exception. This smelled like an artificial Starbucks. Okay, but not great.

Scentsationals Herb Garden (basil leaf & fresh rosemary) wax cubes (10 ct)
I liked the lighter side of this set; it smelled clean and herbal at the same time. The darker side gave me a headache.

Yankee Candle Fluffy Towels Votive (2)
This is my favorite Yankee scent. I especially like burning in these in the bathroom - it smells like fresh laundry. I'm bummed you can only purchase these online now, but I do need to stock up!

Totals:
#100daysofempties totals: I've finished 106 products in 153 days.
#oneemptyonedollar totals: $20.39 remains in my beauty budget.

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Friday, May 8, 2015

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. 

beauty favorites, green makeup

I've been having some skin issues lately - mostly just dryness/redness and I'm not sure why. In April, I was all about skincare and wore minimal makeup not to cause any more irritation.

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
I've been using this for about a month now and I really like it. The consistency is like a lotion, gel, and serum all in one. It dries pretty fast. I apply it before bed and wake up with moisturized skin.

Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips
I got this about a year ago with my Birchbox points. I rarely used it just because I didn't care for the consistency (very sticky) or scent. My lips have also been dry/flaky/red lately, so I was looking for a fix. I read many people raving about Lanolin on Reddit. As I was about to head to the store to pick some up, I remembered I had this. It has provided a lot of relief for my irritated lips - more so than any other product.

ELF HD Lifting Concealer
I'm not a huge fan of foundation, so I just wear concealer. When face redness kicks in, I need more coverage. I got this months ago but really haven't started using it until recently. Since green and red are opposites, this product camouflages my red spots nicely. Best of all, I'm using less concealer and I still don't have to mess with foundation.

Paula's Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster
I received this in my Birchbox. I've barely made a dent in the sample and I've been using it nearly all month. I just use a drop or two on super dry areas before bed. In the morning, face redness and irritation is much more manageable.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Color Correcting Adjust 
I've used this for a year or two. I've really been liking it in combination with the ELF HD lifting concealer. I like the silky consistency of this primer. It helps my powder products to stay on all day long.

green makeup,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Empties #10

Onto another round of empties! See more information on the #100daysofempties challenge on one of my previous posts: Empties #7. Unfortunately, 100 days has passed but I'm still determined to finish up 100 products!

beauty empties

Empties:
Benefit They're Real! Mascara*
I discussed this mascara in last month's favorites. I really liked this towards the end when it dried up a bit. However, I always toss mascara after three months. I will repurchase this in the future.

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash
(travel size) This smelled like SweeTarts mixed with soap. I generally don't like food scents, but I found this scent refreshing. The formula was moisturizing. I might repurchase this in the future.

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

eos Medicated Lip Balm Tangerine
This is probably my favorite eos scent. The scent/flavor was nice - very citrus. This lip balm felt nice immediately after applying, but I didn't notice it really treating my lips. I probably won't repurchase this.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
So, so many people raved about this product - both in the online beauty community and people I know in real life. I finally decided to try it out. It's a little pricey but it was effective. However, I prefer coconut oil over this.

Giovanni 2Chic Shampoo
(travel size) I liked the scent of this - very coconut-ish. Unfortunately, I didn't find it extremely moisturizing.

Maybelline Define-a-Brow Pencil
I read this was a 'dupe' for Anastasia's Brow Wiz. After purchasing, I realized it's a third of the size of Brow Wiz for a third of the cost. I'll probably just with Anastasia. Not to mention, with Anastasia, you get a spoolie instead of a comb.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser
(sample size) This smelled nice and was effective - I found it just okay.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
(7 ct) This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
(25 ct) This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Nivea A Kiss of Mint & Minerals Lip Balm
I liked the scent but I didn't find it super effective.

Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
(Birchbox sample) I really liked this, especially on my red/dry spots around my nose. After using it nightly for just a few days, I noticed less redness. I might purchase the full size.

Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Mini Kitten Heels
(Birchbox sample) This is probably one of my most-used Birchbox samples. I received this in my Birchbox years ago and have used it monthly since. It's not completely empty but it has thickened up so much I can't work with it anymore. I might repurchase this in the future.

Schwarzkopf essence Ultime Omega Repair & Moisture Shampoo
(travel size) I found this pretty drying, I didn't care for the formula or scent.

Schwarzkopf essence Ultime Omega Repair & Moisture Conditioner
(travel size) This was more moisturizing than the conditioner, but I didn't care for the scent.

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant
(travel size) This was my old HG deodorant. I've switched to clear/roll-on to avoid stains on my clothes.

Skintimate Dry Skin Moisturizing Shave Gel
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water
This was super effective and gentle. I liked Bioderma a little bit better. But for the cost and availability, this is a good option.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds
(100 ct) This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
(Birchbox sample) I got my hands on a few more samples from a beauty swap. In the past, I said I would purchase the full-size, I'm sure I still will!

candles

Candles:
Bath & Body Works Rio Red Guava
(3-wick Candle) I liked this scent but it didn't burn properly towards the end.

Better Homes and Gardens Tranquil Garden Spa Wax Cubes
(6) This is my new favorite wax melt scents; it smelled so clean and refreshing.

Glade Poppy Grove Candle
I didn't really care for this scent. It smelled nice at the store, but was ended up being too floral for me. When burning, you could barely smell anything. I like candles/melts to make the whole room smell pleasant.

Yankee Candles Beach Walk Votive
This and Fluffy Towels are my favorite Yankee scents. I've been through so many of these.

Totals:
#100daysofempties totals: I've completed 84 products in 125 days.
#oneemptyonedollar totals: $16.33 remains in my beauty budget.

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sephora Favorites: Skinstant Radiance

Calling all high-end skincare lovers, RUN to your local Sephora inside of JCPenney! One of my favorite things is to try out new high-end skincare. I don't have the budget to spend $40-$100 on one single skincare item, like a lot of companies charge. I always end up going for these value sets or beauty boxes that feature an assortment of skincare products. After trying them out, I can decide if it really is a miracle product and worth the high price tag.

Sephora Favorites

Nouveau Cheap posted about this value set on Tuesday. I have been loving all of my other Sephora Favorites sets and knew I had to have this one. Not to mention, yesterday also launches the Beauty Insider 10% off sale with code "BILOVE". (Yes, I'm on a no-buy but I always hoard my Christmas gift cards for the April sale.)

I believe this set is available only in-store at Sephora inside of JCPenney; you can not purchase it online.

sephora favorites

The Skinstant Radiance Set has 11 skincare samples and a makeup bag. The set says it's a $110 value, I had a difficult time believing that, so I did my own calculations:
  • bareMinerals Mineralixirs 5-Oil Blend (0.1 oz.) - $2.94 value
  • Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder (0.35 oz.) - $5.97 value 
  • Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF45 (0.17 oz.) - $4.42 value
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser (1.0 oz.) - (1.0oz retails for $5.50 at Sephora)
  • GLAMGLOW Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment (0.5 oz.) - (0.5oz retails for $19 at Sephora)
  • Josie Maran Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil (0.16 oz.) - $2.04 value
  • Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (1.0 oz.) - $5.34 value
  • Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel (0.1 oz.) - $4.20 value
  • Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel (3.3 oz.) - $14.75 value
  • Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Lotion (1.7 oz.) - $1.50 value
  • St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion (2.85 oz.) - $14.96 value
  • Sephora makeup bag - unknown value
I didn't triple check my math and I could've possibly made an error; according to my calculations, the product value comes out to $80.62. I guess Sephora put a $29.38 value on the makeup bag? (Someone please correct me if you see an error.)

Either way, $35 (plus 10-15% off) for $80+ worth of product and a makeup bag is an awesome deal! I'm super pleased and happy with this purchase. I haven't tried any of these exact products; I'll get to try out new skincare for months!

HE skincare junkie,
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Monday, April 13, 2015

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.
benefit cosmetics

Benefit Rollerlash Mascara*
(sample size) I have been loving this mascara since day one. It gives the illusion of curled lashes without the lash curl curler. While I'm not a fan of the lash curler to begin with, this mascara does make my lashes feel more curled and voluminous.

mascara eyelashes

Benefit They're Real! Mascara*
(pictured above) This mascara has been one of my favorites for awhile. In the past, I've only ever tried the sample size. This full-size tube is creeping up on the three-month mark and I'm starting like this mascara even more dried out a bit. I feel like it's even more thickening with the drier consistency.

Benefit Gimme Brow Tinted Brow Gel*
I have been pretty lazy when it comes to makeup lately. (It's been pretty humid lately, makeup just feels so thick.) Filling in my brows with a pencil has been the least of my worries. On days that I still want a more polished look, I've been loving this tinted brow gel. I've never used a tinted brow gel before, so I'm not sure how it compares to other brands. It's definitely easy to apply and provides good results.

Benefit obsessed,
-Kaitlyn

Disclaimer: I received all of these products for free (through promotions and giveaways); this does not influence my opinion in anyway.

 Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram

Monday, April 6, 2015

Blogiversary Giveaway 2015 (CLOSED)

4/28: Congrats, Kara! Thank you all for entering. This giveaway is now closed.

I can not believe my blog turns FIVE this month! As a thank you to current followers/subscribers and welcoming new ones, I'm holding my annual Blogiversary Giveaway!


Prizes
One lucky winner will receive:
• Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette
• $10 Starbucks Gift Card
• Deluxe lip products:
------ The Balm Read my Lips Lipgloss in Bam!
------ The Balm Stainaic Lip & Cheek Stain
------ bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Speak Your Mind
------ Marc Jacobs Beauty Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in Kissability
• a few more surprises!

Rules & Terms
• This is open to all followers and subscribers, both old and new.
• This giveaway is open to the USA only.
• Ages 18 and older can enter.
• Applicant must follow/subscribe to this blog and complete the Rafflecopter widget. Additional entries are available across social media platforms; these are not mandatory but will better your chances of winning.
• The giveaway will close April 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm (Central Time)
• Winner will be chosen through rafflecopter.com and contacted on April 28, 2015 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.
• Social media accounts must be public at the time of drawing.
• Accounts created for the sole purpose of giveaways and/or those who give false entry information will be disqualified.
• This giveaway is not sponsored or affiliated with any mentioned social media platforms, companies, or brands. All prizes are new and were purchased with my own money; the prize package is valued at approximately $60.

How to Enter
To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter form below. (GIVEAWAY CLOSED) You must Follow or Subscribe to this blog. Additional entries are given for blogging about this giveaway, following me on Twitter, tweeting about this giveaway, following me on Instagram, and reposting the giveaway picture on Instagram.

Good luck!
-Kaitlyn

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram




Thursday, April 2, 2015

Empties #9

Onto another round of empties! See more information on the #100daysofempties challenge on one of my previous posts: Empties #7.

beauty empties

Empties:
Bath & Body Works Fresh Lemon HandiBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Foam
I had this on my desk at work, I used it daily. Foam (instead of gel) takes a little time to get used to. It was effective and I really enjoyed this scent. I would repurchase it.

Bath & Body Works Fresh Lemon HandiBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
This was in my purse and I coincidentally finished the gel and foam on the same day! It was effective and I really enjoyed this scent. I would repurchase it.

Chloe Sample Spray Vial 
Stella is still my all-time favorite scent. But this scent is nice when I want a change. It's a very clean scent with a hint of floral. I received a roller ball for Christmas so I finally made myself finish this sample vial.

Gilchrist & Soammes Spa Therapy Stimulating Sea Wrack Body Wash 
(Birchbox sample) I really liked this scent - very clean and spa-like. It lathered okay. It seems a little pricey, so I probably won't purchase the full size.

Gillette Venus Swirl Razor Cartridge
I kept seeing commercials and advertisements for this new razor. I had a coupon and gift card, so I finally decided to try it out. I like the handle part of the razor; the small ball makes it slightly swivel to the right and left, allowing a super close shave. The cartridge itself was just okay. I really prefer cartridges with the built-in moisturizing shave bar. I'm hoping my favorite cartridge with fit into this handle!

Joico K-Pak Conditioner (1 Liter)
This is my holy grail conditioner. I've been through a few of these salon-size 1-liter bottles. They're just more cost-effective for me. Not to mention, it's a huge accomplishment to use a liter in its entirety! I'm sure I'll repurchase another once I get through all of my conditioner samples.

Liz Earle Muslin Cloth 
I received this in my Birchbox nearly a year ago. While I found the Liz Earle cleanser just okay, I really liked this muslin cloth it was paired with. I've kept it in my shower and used it consistently. This one is incredibly stained and I finally decided to replace it with a new one.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in Ivory
(foil packet sample) I received this in my Walmart spring beauty box. I typically don't wear foundation, but this one was actually on my 'to try' list. I used it immediately and was unimpressed. The coverage and matte feature were nice, but it made all of my other makeup seem super matte as well - even my (supposed to be) shiny highlighter. Not a fan.

N.4 Volumizing Shampoo 
(Birchbox sample) This shampoo smelled and lathered nice but it didn't scream 'wow' for me to purchase the full size.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (25 ct)
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion
(foil packet sample) I've accumulated a few of these sample packets, so I decided to give it try. The scent was okay - it reminded me of a cold cream. I applied it in the shower and then rinsed it off (as directed.) It felt like I applied a very light, non-greasy lotion. When I towel-dried, I felt like I wiped all of the product away and I needed to apply my regular, normal lotion. I guess this is a good concept if you time to air-dry. Needless to say, I won't be purchasing the full size.

Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Moisturizer
This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Swiss Cotton Rounds (100ct)
(not pictured) This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Zoya Remove+ Big Flipper 
(not pictured) This is both a staple and a holy grail product for me; I won't continue to rave.

Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer 
(sample) I've had this for nearly a year. I use it every now and then. Lately, I feel like it was just clogging my pores. I'm about halfway through the sample jar and will probably just give it someone else.

Essentiel Elements Shower Gel
(Birchbox sample) I typically like light, fresh scents in the shower. The scent of this gel was just way too overwhelming for me. It reminded me of Scope mouthwash but stronger. My sensitive skin just couldn't handle it. I used it a few times and I'll be passing it to my younger sister.

Physician's Formula Perfecting Concealer Duo
I bought this when it was on super sale at CVS a while ago. While I liked the colors and concept, the formulation just wasn't working with my skin type. It was caking on me badly. I'll probably toss this or pass it to someone else.

candles

Candles:
Bath & Body Works Champagne Toast (3-wick candle)
This was a holiday scent but didn't scream 'holiday time' to me. It was fresh, clean, and girly all at the same time. I hope it comes back around next year.

Glade Cashmere Woods (6 tarts)
I mentioned these candles in my last empties post. This month, I finished up the matching tarts. I enjoyed this scent - very clean and woodsy.

Greenleaf Candle Cubes Votive in Silver Spruce
I received this candle in my Birchbox a few months ago. I liked this scent but it really reminded me of Christmas... (I burned it in March. oops.)

Totals:
#100daysofempties totals: I've completed 66 products in 91 days.
#oneemptyonedollar totals: $17.49 remains in my beauty budget.

Follow / Subscribe / Twitter / Instagram