Tuesday, August 15, 2017

May, June & July Empties

 *Links are affiliate links*
I fell incredibly behind on updating you all on the products I've used up. Being a mom has, of course, taken precedence in my life, and my daughter has had a ton of appointments. She's also been wanting more attention, so I try to get things done during naps, but she doesn't seem to like sleeping either. Anyway, I have three months worth of empty products to share with you, and I'm quite proud of what I have!

I'll start with skincare, since that's what I have the most of. I used a When Glamour Base sheet mask, which I was a fan of! I feel like it did brighten up my skin and helped it feel more hydrated. 

The Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream took me a while to use, considering it's a deluxe sample size. It has SPF in it, so I would only use it on days where I would leave the house. It seemed like it was fine, but nothing special. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner used to be one of my favorite toners to use, until I discovered it has a high concentration of alcohol in it. This was my last bottle, thank goodness, so I won't repurchase again. 

I LOVED the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster! I would put just a couple drops into my morning moisturizer, which really seemed to help with some dehydration I was having. I doubt I'd repurchase, since Dermalogica is quite an expensive brand. 

I had the Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial Mask in my stash for quite a while, so I'm glad I was able to use it up. It was very tingly on my skin, and left it a bit red once I rinsed it off. It did, however, make my skin feel super soft. 

The Boscia Luminizing Black Mask is a love/hate for me. I love how incredibly soft it makes my skin feel, and it grabs any little baby hairs that are annoying. I hate how hard it is to remove. Seriously, if you get this anywhere near eyebrows or hairline, oh man does it hurt! I think I may have one more of these deluxe samples, but I wouldn't buy a full size. 

Origins is one of my favorite skincare brands, so it was no surprise I enjoyed the Make A Difference Plus Rejuvinating Treatment. I used it mainly as a serum before moisturizer, but it could be used by itself for very oily skin. I would consider buying this once my stash runs low. 

I used the Clinique Spot Healing Gel on any blemishes I may have gotten. Most times I only had to use this once, and the next day my skin was clear. I'm not too fussy when it comes to spot treatments, I just can't use benzoyl peroxide. 

I'm completely horrible with using body scrubs, but I adored the Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub in the Coconut Lime scent. I have so many scrubs to use, but I will likely buy this brand again when I use up what I have first. 

I go through lip balms like crazy normally, but I only have 1 I used up. I love the Badger brand, and their Lime Rocket scent of their Cocoa Butter Lip Balm is fabulous! Very moisturizing and kept my lips soft throughout the day. I have many different scents in my lip balm stash and don't think I'll run out anytime soon!

There's a sad story to the OXG Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil, since I didn't get to use it. I was cleaning up around the house and found the bottle laying on the floor, empty. I have no idea what happened to it, because my carpet is fine. I really wanted to use this too! My hair breaks easily, so I thought this would be great to use. Maybe one day I will purchase one for myself. 

I don't wear my contacts often, so it took a while to use up the Opti-Free Pure Moist contact solution. I surprisingly liked this, since most solutions burn my eyes, but this didn't. 

With how often I wash my hands, you would think I'd have more than one hand soap. Lemon Meringue Cheer from Bath & Body Works smelled amazing! Plus, I love these soaps with the scrubbing bits, although I think they end up drying out my hands more. 

Only one hand cream as well, also from Bath & Body Works. I absolutely adored this Island White Pineapple scent and would consider buying again. This is a great Summertime hand cream as it's not too heavy or greasy. 

We must've loved brushing our teeth the past few months! There's the Colgate Cavity Protection, Tom's of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive, and a mini Crest that I had from when Olivia was in the hospital. The Colgate one my husband mostly used, and I always need a sensitive toothpaste. I was not a fan of this particular Tom's toothpaste, though. It made my teeth feel clean, but the taste wasn't very good, and I felt like I had bad breath really fast. 

I gotta include the baby products! So my daughter has fairly sensitive and dry skin. Because of that, her doctor recommended baths no more than twice a week, so we only used up two mini sizes of the Johnson's Head-to-Toe Wash, as well as a mini Johnson's Baby Lotion. I gotta admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Johnson's, but we have a ton of products we were given, plus I was able to take home what was used in the hospital, so we're likely set with body washes and lotions for the next year. 

The Hydraguard Phytoplex Silicone Cream is what was used on Olivia's diaper rash while she was recovering in the hospital from open heart surgery. Guys, THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! I kid you not, this cleared up her diaper rash so fast, and made her butt so soft! I went on a hunt for this because I had never heard of it, and I found it on Amazon. When I run out of other diaper rash creams, this is what I will be buying. It's a miracle! Plus it smells like cake batter. 

Number of products used up: 21
Total used up for the year: 43

I probably mention this in nearly every empties post, but my goal for the year was to use up 150 products. That includes full size, deluxe samples, foil packet samples, and now Olivia's products. Considering we have about 4 and a half months left to the year, I'm not quite sure I can make that goal. I'm doing well so far in August, and have a bunch of stuff nearly finished. I also want to start doing my makeup again, and I know I need to clear out some old stuff that hasn't been used since before Olivia was born! So maybe I will make my goal, who knows? 

What are some things you've used up recently?

Monday, July 24, 2017

NEW! Macy's Beauty Box Overview

*Product provided for consideration. Post contains affiliate links*
I was so excited when this showed up on my doorstep, and I have to share it with you guys! Macy's now has their own beauty subscription box, and it seems like something worth checking out.

The Macy's Beauty Box costs $15 a month, you get 5 deluxe samples, plus one bonus product, a cute makeup bag, as well as a $5 gift card towards your next beauty purchase at Macy's, online or in-store!

Products in bag:

- Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleanser
- Benefit Gimme Brow
- Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau De Parfum
- Tarte Maracuja Oil
- Smashbox Cover Shot: Golden Hour Eye Shadow Duo
- MAC False Lashes Extreme Black

I've been subscribed to a few different beauty boxes over the years, and this one seems like any other subscription service. I think the price is nice, although I know I won't use the perfume sample. Everything else is up my alley, especially the Purity Cleanser! Each months box is a surprise, and the deluxe samples are chosen by Macy's beauty experts.

If you want to learn more about the Macy's Beauty Box, click here.  

What do you think about the new Macy's Beauty Box?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 2017 Goals

I completely fell off the face of the Earth in June and the firsts half of July, and I apologize for that! There are times where I feel like social media and blogging take over my life, and I obsess over making everything perfect. Also, with having a daughter who has special needs, I cannot have that in my life. Her well-being is the most important, and so is my mental health. I took a bit of a break to regroup and now I'm back! Since I didn't recap my goals from May, I'll go over those and then let you all know what I would like to accomplish in July. 


- Reach 2,000 page views: That didn't happen, yet again. Since I took a decently long break, I wasn't promoting anything either on my social channels, so page views suffered greatly.  

- Have a family day: That sadly still has not happened! My husband works his butt off 50-60 hours a week, so when he has a day off and we have no appointments for Olivia, or any other plans, he just wants to stay home. We did end up going out for lunch one day in June to Olive Garden, and that was Olivia's first restaurant experience! She did well, and was talking up a storm (aka. screeching and giggling). She also enjoyed licking their breadsticks...

- Do a face mask once a week: Nope, didn't happen in May, but I have gotten better doing masks in June and July so far. I need to use up some of my stash before they go bad. 

- Organize Olivia's clothing: Yes and no. I had a good handle on it and it was all sorted out, then it got all disorganized again. I need to still put away all her 0-3 month clothes, and organize her 3-6 month clothes again, which is what she fits in currently (yes, she's still really small, but she was a preemie after all!).


- Promote older blog posts on social media at least 3 times a week: Doing that usually helps drive more traffic to my blog, and gets more of my work out there. 

- Try to get more sleep: I know you're probably thinking, "you have a baby, sleep doesn't apply anymore." It actually does! Olivia sleeps decently well, only waking once occasionally. I don't feed her at night anymore, so she tends to just shuffle around and goes back to sleep on her own. However, since she wakes me up when she moves, I tend to stay awake for a while. I also have a bad habit of being on my phone for an hour or so when I get into bed, and that needs to stop. 

- Use up more beauty products: Ugh, I've been awful again with taking care of my skin and need to really get into a solid routine and use up products. I've been really slacking with using up products lately and have sad looking empties posts as a result. I'll be starting those again in August since I'll have a bunch of empty products to share!

- Write and post 6 blog posts: I'm not putting a weekly goal or anything since we're already about half way through the month already, but I would like to publish 6 posts during the rest of this month, and looking at my blogging schedule, I just may be able to do it!

That's it for July! I'm so sorry again for the absence. I'm sure all my fellow moms can relate to life getting tough and needing a break!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Keeping Cool During Summer w/ Evian

*Product sent courtesy for review thanks to Evian and BrandBacker*
Ah, Summer! A season that most people love, but when it's ridiculously hot, no one is happy. I'm a fan of warmer weather versus cold, but in the Summer when it gets humid, I totally like staying inside with the AC on full blast. Now that we have our daughter here, we want to try and get out a little more, but make sure we all stay comfortable in the heat.  Evian makes it easy to help stay cool, and refresh tiny hands and faces!

Here is some info of the brand:

Evian® Natural Brumisateur Mineral Water Facial Spray gently cleanses and helps refresh baby's skin. From the French Alps, Evian® has a unique balance of minerals, a neutral 7.2 pH, and is free from any chemicals so it won't irritate your baby's delicate skin. Our spray is also propelled by nitrogen, so it's safe for babies and for the environment.

As a new mom, chemicals are something I've been trying to stay away from. If you're not an avid reader of my blog, my daughter had open heart surgery on March 1st, so it's been very important to me that I watch how she is in heat, and that I'm not getting nasty chemicals on her skin or near her mouth. 

Evian says, "Moms can use the spray to rinse off sticky fingers and messy faces, during diaper changes, to sooth irritated diaper rash, kid's hair brushing or styling, and many more. There is no limit to your creativity when it comes to your kids, as mom's already know."

This is now a diaper bag staple for us. If we're out and she gets messy, I just spray a little Evian onto a cloth and wipe up her face. She also has sensitive skin and is prone to diaper rashes, and this helps immensely with irritation.

Evian is also very kind to be giving away a diaper bag, as well as several sizes of their sprays! This giveaway goes until June 30th, so be sure to enter here while you still can! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: NeoCorium EGF & Stem Cell Facial Treatment

 *Product provided for review consideration*
NeoCorium is a brand I had never heard of before, so when I was given the chance to try out their EGF & Stem Cell Facial Treatment, I looked into the product, and it sounded incredible. There are some pretty hefty claims, and I was excited to try it out for myself. 

Here is some info on the product from their website:

What it is

A powerful at home EGF facial treatment for rejuvenating, detoxifying and restoring skin to its optimum health.

NeoCorium utilizes all-natural epidermal growth factors, essential amino acids, phospholipids & glycosaminoglycans in an ultra-concentrated formula to give you back a youthful appearance.

What it can do for you

- Renew facial skin challenged by the damaging effects of aging and environmental aggressors.
- Reclaim new, fresh, healthy skin that resists wrinkling, sagging and thinning.
- Restore luminosity, volume and elasticity to your face.
- Returns youthful response- skin looks and acts younger.

Why it works

NeoCorium’s clinical-grade facial treatment is an all-natural blend of powerful active anti-aging mammal growth factors and stem cell concentrate. This nutrient-dense formula feeds your skin nourishing ceramides, proteins and minerals to intensely hydrate and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Your face looks revived and strengthened- resilient against the effects of aging.

Our EGF therapy helps rebuild healthy skin with epidermal growth factors, transforming growth factors and stem cells. Vital amino acids, phospholipids and glycosaminoglycans deliver and hold moisture in the deepest layers of the face. Your skin’s structure is not only maintained, but strengthened and can defend against oxidation and breakdown from aging and environmental stress.

So basically this sounds like magic in a bottle, right? 

I've been using this for a little while now, and after a solid few weeks of use, I can safely say that this product is pretty darn amazing! My skin woes started after my daughter was born. Long days in the NICU, open heart surgery, and just plain old not taking care of myself caught up with me. My skin was flaky, dry and oily at the same time, I was getting little lines around my eyes, and my skin just looked tired and dull. 

I used this every night for a week, and noticed a major difference in my skin. It no longer was flaky and I started getting a nice glow again after not seeing one for months. After a week, my skin was starting to feel sensitive (but I do have very sensitive skin), so I started using it about every third night. I was still seeing results, and now the lines around my eyes are starting to diminish. 

In the package, you receive the Derma Carrier, which is a nice moisturizer, and the EGF & Stem Cell Concentrate, which is like a serum. It also comes with little mixing plates that you place 4 pumps of the Derma Carrier in, and 3 drops of the Concentrate. Mix well and apply to the areas you want to treat. I just used it all over my face as I felt I needed help everywhere. 

Now, the cost may very well turn you away but it's worth taking a look into. It's a whopping $389, BUT if you sign up on their website, you can receive a code for some money off. 

Does this sound like a product you would try?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

*Product provided for review thanks to NeoStrata and BrandBacker*
I never used to be a fan of Glycolic Acid, but when I was given the chance to try the NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash, I was very intrigued. 

Here is a little bit about the product:

There's a reason NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash has been a cult favorite for those in the know for years:

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash is a potent, pH-balanced facial cleanser formulated with 18% Glycolic Acid and 2% Lactobionic Acid to smooth skin texture and unclog congested pores. Recommended for experienced Glycolic Acid users, this soap-free face wash prepares skin for optimal benefits of the regimen that follows.

The benefits:
This cleanser is recommended for experienced Glycolic Acid users who are ready to kick results up a notch. Best used as part of an anti-aging regimen, NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash targets congested pores and encourages cell renewal for skin that’s prepared for optimal benefits of the regimen that follows. Once you’ve tried it—you’ll never go back to a regular face wash again. Here’s to a fresh-faced, younger-looking you!


How to use: Twice a day, pump a moderate amount of foam into hands. Apply to wet skin and cover entire area. Rinse with water.

Key ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Lactobionic Acid.
Recommended for: Experienced AHA users looking to step up their skin care regimens


Size: 3.4 fl oz
Price: $40 at NeoStrata.com 

I first really enjoy that this is a super foamy cleanser. It makes it a great cleanser to use in the warmer months when my skin tends to be more oily. The scent is very medicinal to me, which I actually tend to like.

Now that I'm getting older, I really need to make an effort to consistently take care of my skin. Glycolic Acid used to not agree with me, and I'm thinking part of the reason was because my skin just didn't need it at the time. Glycolic Acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and that is meant to work on the top layer of skin. It doesn't penetrate the pores like BHA's (beta hydroxy acid) do, which is what my skin typically loves. 

From the combination of getting older, and having a baby born early and being in the NICU for 4.5 months, it's taken quite a toll on my complexion. I've noticed it become more tired and dull looking, and the texture I have now is insane. After just one use of this cleanser, I did notice much softer skin, and that was even before moisturizing. After using this every night for over a week, my skin started looking more bright, and the texture seemed to slowly be getting better. Directions say to use this morning and night, but because I want to slowly introduce Glycolic Acid, I'm starting with just once, at night.

I'm normally a person who thinks cleansers with fancy ingredients aren't really worth spending money on, since they just get rinsed down the drain. However, I have completely fallen for this cleanser and just might be buying this. 

You can find this cleanser here on the NeoStrata website

Have you tried this cleanser?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Perfect Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts w/ it Cosmetics

 *Products provided for consideration. Links are affiliate links*
Mother's Day is literally just around the corner, and if you're a procrastinator like I am, chances are you still need that perfect gift. it Cosmetics is a brand that I adore already, and these products are ones that anyone will love!

It Cosmetics makeup brushes are probably some of the best brushes I have come across. Their quality is top notch at a good price point. This is the Your Face & Eyes Essentials set. You get 5 travel sized brushes that can get your whole face made up. The brushes in the set include the Complexion, Crease, Shadow, Smudger, and Liner/Brow brushes. This retails for $30 and it's an $80 value. 

Lip products are my weakness! I love balms and glosses, and the Je Ne Sais Quoi Rose Hydrating Color Awakening Lip Treatment is an amazing gift idea for the simple mom. It's a beautiful shade and has a light, sweet scent. This product retails for $24.

Ah, blush! One of those products that I love and have a million of, but seem to rarely use. This is the Bye Bye Pores Blush in their famous shade Je Ne Sais Quoi. It's a STUNNING peachy pink shade that looks great on virtually everyone. This blush has optical blurring technology that diffuses the look of pores and discoloration. Great for oily skin that has larger pores, or mature skin that needs a bit of color. This product retails for $24.

What are your plans for Mother's Day?