Lotsa New Stuff & Mini Reviews: Sephora, Birchbox, Influenster, Ulta & Target

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I had recently gone on a bit of a shopping rampage in Target, Sephora, Birchbox, Ulta and then came my Influenster box in the mail. Here’s small mini-reviews on the products I’ve been testing out for a few weeks!

1. Benefit The Porefessional: Everyone knows this product and I am also loving it for filling in the pores on my cheeks. I tap it in before any foundation. I’ve tried applying it over foundation like the packaging says you can during those instances I forget to do it first but I don’t like the result as much or how my foundation seems to have moved. I’ll just try to remember to apply it first.

2. OCC Nail Polish in Vapid: I saw this color everywhere after IMATS this year and fell in love. The color is amazing and unique, the formula creamy and opaque. Love it!!!

3. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde: I feel like everyone & their mother have been getting this new product. I love it because it’s waterproof and easy to apply for a more dramatic OR every day brow, provided you use a lighter touch. I will definitely be using this during vacation and pool days.

4. Boscia Oil-Free Nightly Hydration Moisturizer: I love that this is lightweight for the summer and it also has antibacterial properties, great for humid and hot temperatures as well as my congested, oily skin. I’m almost at a HG status with this little tube of wonder.

5. Caldrea Essentials Collection lotion in Apple Mint: I got this body lotion as a sample in my May Birchbox and fell in love. Serious love. The light lotion is perfect for summer and it leaves a unique smoothness to the skin that made me hunt it down. I found mine at Target which also carried wonderful scents like this Apple Mint, one that I never would have purchased otherwise. I love unique smelling things and this is perfect.

6. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig: I got this on recommendation of Makeup By TiffanyD. Let me say that everything people say about Bite Beauty formulation…. is true. It’s smooth, pigmented, and doesn’t feel heavy on the lips. I love how moisturized my lips feel when I wear it and if not for the price, I’d already have more in my possession.

 

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Next up is the stuff Influenster graciously provided me with to try out (Again, no, I’m not paid to post this nor do they know I am posting this. I did explain the whole program in another post you can read here). I received my Surf’s Up VoxBox and as the name suggests, it includes lots of summer products which is great as I’m preparing to go away.

1. Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Aqua: I normally do not like this brand of polish as it’s chipped more than too easily in my experience but I’m always willing to give it another shot. Oh, and it’s like $2. I have heard the Sinful Shine version is actually really great and lasts better, but it’s hard to find near me. This duo-chromey blue color reminds me of a mermaid 🙂

2. First Aid Shot Therapy: This is marketed as a hangover cure in liquid form. It has a painkiller and replenishing vitamins and minerals your body is lacking the morning after. I’m honestly really skeptical this product will last very long on the market as it’s kind of strange. If your stomach is already upset, why would you want to drink a liquid pain reliever? However… as much as I don’t like feeling gross, this product will be rather interesting to test out regardless of how gimmicky it comes off.

3. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun Lotion: I already have and love this stuff. It’s aloe + lotion so it’s not going to leave you utterly sticky like pure aloe tends to (hate that feeling). It’s only miiiildy sticky and I can deal with that. I do love that I now have a travel size for my trip since I’m sure it will come in handy.

4. Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sulfate Free Texturizing shampoo + conditioner: I actually never tried anything by this brand but I hear a lot about it. I’m going to try this out on my vacation since I’ll already be in the beach vibe and they’re the perfect size. If I like these, I may branch out in the line and try some more. If there’s anyone reading this who has a favorite product by them, please let me know!

 

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Finally, here’s some stuff I got at Target, Birchbox & Ulta. I wish I could move into Target’s dressing rooms. Anyway.

1. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge: I somehow “lost” both my Beauty Blenders a while ago and can’t find it in me to spend another $20 on one when I’m sure I’ll find them. In the meantime, I’ve been reading up on the dupe sponges which have all gotten terrible reviews… except this one. I tried it a few times and I do love the finish it gives. My makeup looked flawless and lasted forever each time I used it. While it may not be *as soft* as the BB, I’m ok with that. It’s $6 and honestly, you can’t beat that. (P.S. I linked the best BB deal I found and was considering buying… 2 for $23 on Amazon!)

2. Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Linen: I got a sample of this product in my Birchbox but in the illuminating/regular variety. It was really nice but just didn’t seem to be a match made in heaven with the dewey finish plus my oily skin. In between my pale and tan self, I’ve been mixing this with the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream in Fair for a perfect match. It has light to medium coverage and I could certainly build it up in the areas I need.

3. Tangle Teezer brush: I heard so so so much about this goofy little brush for months. I have super long hair and have used a pick to comb it out for just about as long as I can remember. Let’s just say… I immediately felt like I should tell everyone I know about this thing. My first experience with it was taking my hair down from a knotty little bun it had been in all day and the Tangle Teezer breezed through the hair, making it super soft without as much as a tug. I was amazed. It’s a little more noticeably tugging on your hair when it’s wet, but still just as good. I am in love.

4. IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination in Fair: I heard Grav3yardGirl/Bunny talking about this product and since I already love so many of their items, I figured I needed to try this. It’s simply a pressed powder foundation with medium to full coverage.  It was a little cakey a few hours after the very first application using a powder brush. I don’t know if it is user error or the brush I used… or even using a primer would help, but I’m not giving up yet. I have an upcoming review of a bunch of IT Cosmetics products so while I’m not in love with this illuminating version right now, I do like it and have to continue to play with it. It may be excellent to use to set a light coverage foundation for an extra boost where you need it.

 

Phew. If you’re still reading this, I owe you a drink. Thank you 🙂

– SF

Note: Beauty Organizer Drawers in photographs purchased from HomeDecorators.com 

Bad Beauty Habits!

We all have them. Sometimes I don’t admit them to myself either. So let’s get real for a hot minute.

There are a bunch of beauty ‘habits’ we shouldn’t nevar evar do; here are my top 5.

1. Touching thy face.

This means putting your hand on your chin or cheek, picking and prodding at blemishes, etc. I am guilty, 100%. I can’t not touch my face. My hands gravitate there when I’m not even looking. Sometimes I think it’s a learned habit and sometimes I think it’s almost like a nervous tick. It’s so annoying to me too, since I know I shouldn’t do it since hands are the most bacteria-laden things on your entire body!! I have to remind myself daily (hourly?), NO TOUCHY. It’s like I’m scolding the child inside of me. It helps if my nails are painted since I don’t want to mess them up or if I had just put on hand lotion. Those are my little tricks that sometimes work. It’s the most hated thing about myself but hey, it’s a work in progress.

2. Flossing.

I hate to floss. It’s annoyingly tedious and I feel like it rarely does anything that I can “see.” That’s usually the problem with me; if I don’t visually see a difference, I don’t think it’s doing anything regardless of knowing better and years of dental hygiene being drilled into my skull. It’s one of those things I’m working on as well which is also going hand-in-hand with finishing my dental routine with mouthwash. This blog post is already sounding like I am a scuzzy scuzzball. I promise I’m super clean and healthy 😛

3. Peeling Off Nail Polish.

I paint my nails all the time and I love it. I have more nail polish than I can count and am always adding to the collection. My fallback is nervously or absent mindedly peeling off my nail polish. My policy is, once I start don’t stop until it’s all off (although this is not a good policy, haha). This is mostly due to my absolute hatred of massively chipped nails. I can stand a few chips as that’s normal wear, but having half your nail polish missing reminds me of those gross people who smell of old cigarette smoke and daddy issues. However, peeling the polish off really ruins the top layer of your nails and could possibly damage your nail bed! If you do this too, have you ever noticed how dry your nails sometimes look after you peeled off the color? I’m trying to not be as lazy and just grab my nail polish remover but everyone knows how much more fun it is and easier it is to peel it off, especially for glitter nail polish! I have yet to try those “Peel Off” base coats as I hear they don’t make your polish last as long but may give it a shot soon if I hear of a good brand to try.

4. Daily Hair Washing.

I have an oily scalp, oily face, oily everything. How could I possibly go a day without washing my hair? It’s long, fine, and oily. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Well… I recently did it. About 3 months ago, I started washing my hair every other day and I’m still alive and sane. I know, I know – I can barely believe it myself. I do color my hair and that does take some of the natural oils out and my hair tends to be less oily after I’ve just had it done, so I have that working in my favor. However, I began washing my hair twice in the shower and then conditioning (or deep conditioning). I rarely dry my hair or for more than 3 minutes if I absolutely have to. On second day hair, I use the HG-status Batiste dry shampoo which is my sole savior during those off days. I remember watching Casey Holmes’ video (video here) on how she ‘weaned’ her hair off everyday washing (she has similar skin to myself) and it’s working for her that she’s at the point of washing every 3 days or more, I believe, which is amazing as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that point, but she motivated me to try it and I think my hair is similarly adapting. It’s a rough process but so much better for your hair to wash as least as possible so it’s certainly my bad habit to try and break.

5. Body Moisturizing.

I used to be so good at this, I swear. For years. Now, all of a sudden I never fully moisturize my body after a shower anymore during the cold winter months. I simply can’t bare to be cold for a second longer than necessary and I put as much clothes on as possible as soon as possible, leaving no time to moisturize my skin. Do I even have to say that it’s the worst time to “forget” to moisturize? Winter dries out your skin worse than ever and I literally have the deserts of Nevada spread across my body. I have a space heater in my room now so it’s helping me stay warm enough to slap some body butter on, for now. Spring is not too far away so at least I have warmer weather to help me break this habit!

– SF

Winter Hair Favorite

I want to share the most recent hair care products that I have been loving. Here’s a bit of info on my hair: I have very long, naturally straight-mildly wavy fine hair that gets oily rather fast. I professionally color my hair about every 6-8 weeks and trim every 12-18 weeks. I wash my hair every other day and do not blow-dry my hair. I’ll sometimes use a straightener to smooth everything out if I’m feeling ambitious in the morning.

Styling Products

BATISTE DRY SHAMPOO It’s been moderately difficult to adjust to an every-other-day shampoo routine, but Batiste dry shampoo has literally saved me from a greasy meltdown on multiple occasions. This stuff is amazing – which is no secret – and costs less than $10. I find mine at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for around $5.99 which is better than Ulta or the drugstores where it costs around $8. Amazon sells it as well, if I’m feeling super lazy… I use Prime 2-day shipping. I buy both the Light & Blonde and Crisp and Clean Fresh scents. The blonde one has a slight tint which does double-duty covering up any regrowth between hair appointments… and I can’t say enough good things about that. Ulta sells a travel-size for $3.99 which I also carry in my purse for a super-911 gross hair emergency. Don’t say it doesn’t happen!

PAUL MITCHELL HOT OFF THE PRESS THERMAL PROTECTION SPRAY This stuff smells incredible and doubles as a light hold hairspray and thermal heat protectant. I get mine at a beauty supply store but it’s also available here for under $20. It’s especially awesome if you want to curl your hair and have fine, long hair like mine. You can spray each section as you go and it helps hold your style in place while allows your hair to remain touchable and soft. Oh, and did I mention the scent?! It’s … delightful.

JOSIE MARAN 100% PURE ARGAN OIL Sure, this product is expensive at $48 for a full size bottle. Could I find another one? Maybe. But it’s so multi-purpose (skin, hair, nails) that it just makes it all ok in the end. I tried it when I found a small size available during the holidays for $5 at Sephora (regularly $14). I’d rather be able to use it to fix any beauty woe than spend more on multiple products. I use this specifically on the ends of my hair after I’ve straightened it to add moisture back or sometimes just to smooth everything out a bit. When I’m done, I just rub the leftovers into my hands and nails. It’s a beautiful thing.

Shampoo/Conditioner/Treatments

MACADAMIA DEEP HAIR MASQUE This hair masque is expensive but worth the hype. I leave it on my hair while I finish doing all the many things girls are required to do. It leaves my hair soft (but not too soft which is also a thing) and smelling incredible. It’s thick and feels great. Target sells it and often has a promotion for buy 1 get 1 free which is THE TIME to buy. Ulta sells it regularly for $33. 

ITS A 10 MIRACLE HAIR MASK I bought this on a whim, while waiting for the Macadamia one to arrive in the mail. This is also amazing and I switch between these two masks on a weekly basis. This mask seems to leave my hair soft but also smooths the cuticle a little more. It’s a little cheaper than the Macadamia masque at under $20 from Amazon.

PAUL MITCHELL PLATINUM BLONDE SHAMPOO I’ve always wanted to try a violet shampoo just to neutralize any brassiness that can sometimes sneak up on us blondes. This one smells like cantaloupe and lilacs (strange but I absolutely love and HUFF it in the shower). I’m not sure if it’s really working as far as removing any brassiness but I know that my blonde is a really nice shade where I am going to thank both my stylist and this shampoo. It’s available for around $15 on Amazon.

PAUL MITCHELL KERACTIVE FOREVER BLONDE CONDITIONER While this conditioner is meant for daily use, it feels more like a deeper conditioner to me which I love. I imagine it’s to combat the damage that most blondes experience and that it’s a “Keractive” product. I love this stuff and will definitely repurchase it. You can find it on Amazon for around $12!

Is there a hair product that you recently found and love? I am forever up to trying new stuff!

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