Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: Dr. Song 20% Salicylic Acid Gel Peel

*Disclosure* I received this product complimentary for review purposes. Even though this post is sponsored, all opinions will be 100% honest and my own, like always!

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be reviewing a facial peel for you that I was able to try out and it's the Dr. Song 20% Salicylic Acid Peel. Facial peels can be scary, but this one is pretty good!

Salicylic acid is used to help treat acne, acne scars, wrinkles, large pores and blackheads, oily skin, psoriasis, razor bumps and warts. My skin personally loves salicylic acid because it's the only "acid" that helps with my skin issues, which are large pores, blackheads, oily skin and I do have mild acne. As a teenager it was way worse, but now at 26, it's more hormonal. Even then, salicylic acid was the only thing that helped calm my skin. Most OTC (over-the-counter) products that contain salicylic acid contain at most 2%. This bad boy has pharmaceutical grade 20%, so I knew this would be potent stuff. 

This comes in a dropper style bottle and you put some on a cotton ball/pad and swipe it on the problem areas of the face, avoiding the mouth and eye area. For me, I put it all on my T-zone and also my cheeks as I do have quite large pores there as well. You start off only using it for 1 minute and as you continue use, you can up the time an extra minute if you want to. I'm currently up to 4 minutes as that's all my face can really handle. After the time is up, I rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry my face, and immediately follow up with a hydrating mask which I leave on for as long as possible. Then I use a very hydrating serum and moisturizer and call it a night. In the morning, You have to make sure you're using sunscreen to help protect from the sun.

When I use this, my skin is noticeably different the next morning. It feels softer, my pores look a bit smaller, and my skin is less oily even though I apply a good amount of moisturizer. It's only recommended to use this peel once a week as it can irritate sensitive skin. I do have sensitive skin, and after using this peel, my skin does get quite red. It also tingles quite a bit as the peel is on my skin. It's said that this can cause your skin to peel after a day or so that it's used, but in all honesty, I have not experienced any peeling at all. That could be because I use a hydrating mask afterwards. 

Each bottle contains between 15-20 full facial peels and only costs $14.99 on Amazon. I honestly think that's an incredible deal considering this is a full strength peel you can do in the comfort of your own home. If you have skin like I do, I would give this a try if you're curious about at-home peels. Definitely do a patch test if you have sensitive skin, because sometimes the tingle can be so strong.

Have you tried any at-home facial peels before?

Remember I have my Borghese giveaway and blog sale!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Eyehadow Palette

Hey everyone! Today's review is going to be of a palette that I got during the holidays, and it's the Anastasia Tamanna Palette. I've been giving this a good testing out and I'm finally ready to share my thoughts. 

Taken from the Anastasia website, this palette is:

The perfect fall and holiday palette designed in collaboration with makeup artist Tamanna Roashan, @dressyourface.

This collection of versatile shadows constitutes Tamanna’s “must have” shades to achieve her most requested looks on any skin tone. The combination of warm and cool tones combine to create anything from smokey eyes to intricate cut creases, all from a single palette. Specially formulated, high-impact pigments in rich neutrals and shimmering jewel tones go on smoothly and eliminate the need for overbuilding when applying. 

I have to say how much I love the packaging! I think the design is gorgeous, even though it's made of cardboard. The lid is magnetized well, so it's good for travel and the colors inside are so beautiful! It comes with a nice sized mirror as well, which definitely comes in handy.

You get 10 gorgeous colors which to me are prefect for the Fall season, but you can wear these anytime really, there are no rules! Like the description above says, there are a good mix of warm and cool tones that will look good on alot of different people. I'm super fair and I can work with pretty much every color here. 

Fresh, Blush, Venezia, Gilded, Custom
Sangria, Bengal, Chocolate, China Rose, Noir
As you can tell from the first picture, the color Fresh is basically my skintone, so I'm sorry if you can't see it too well. I tried to get a heavier swatch, but I'm just super pale. The colors Venezia and Custom are a bit disappointing, only because I feel the swatches of all the other colors are amazing. Custom in person is just so gorgeous and looks great on the eye, but it just doesn't swatch as well. Can we talk about Sangria?! I love burgundy colors with a passion and when I swatched this, I almost cried tears of joy with how beautiful it is. Love, love, love! Bengal is your transition/crease shade and you can't go wrong with Noir. I think every palette should have a good black shade to work with, and this one is pigmented out the wazoo! You definitely need a light hand with this one. It does come with a double-ended brush, but I have not used it. It is soft though and seems like it's decent quality.

Overall, I think this is a great palette. I bought it when it was still available on the Sephora site for $29, but I did find it on the Macys website, if you want to check it out! If you do want it, don't look on Amazon because I see them going for over $50 and that's just insane. Now Anastasia recently came out with single eyeshadows, and you can find them on her website here. From what I saw there, you can find every shadow in this palette aside from Sangria, Blush, Venezia and Gilded in the single form. I have heard that she's having a hard time keeping shades in stock, so maybe she does have those colors, but they're not in stock right now. I think these shadows are really nice though and if you can find this palette or her other ones, definitely get them, but not for $50 ;)

Have you tried Anastasia eyeshadow palettes? If so/not, what do you think of them?

Also, remember my Borghese giveaway I have going and also my blog sale, which I updated recently!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blog Sale Update!

Hey guys! I just wanted to let you all know I have updated my beauty blog sale page here. Check it out! I'm going to keep updating it occasionally, so check back every so often. I have a tab on the top of my page in case you just want to click that instead. Thanks! :)

Remember I have my Borghese giveaway going on as well :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette

Hello everyone! I have an exciting review today of the new-ish Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette. When it first came out, I was so on the fence about getting it because I heard a ton of mixed reviews. My mother-in-law had gotten me a Sephora gift card for Christmas, so I figured I might as well try it for myself and form my own opinion. 

Before I get into the review, here is a description of the palette taken from the Sephora website:

Inspired by Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Collection, this Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar palette is a deeper, warmer version of the original coveted palette. Infused with the scent of sweet chocolate, this collection features 16 antioxidant-rich, cocoa powder-infused shadows in matte and shimmer shades with warm caramels, deep mochas, bronzy chocolate, and vibrant sugared blueberry hues. These rich, high-pigment shades are perfect for any season, and it includes a signature how-to Glamour Guide to help you get started with three eye looks. 

The one thing I absolutely love about this palette is that they put the names of the shadows on the actual palette. The first palette that I also have only came with a plastic sheet with the names on it. As far as I know, they still don't have the shade names on it, but the size of the palette is thinner, like the new one is. This one is a lighter shade of brown so you can distinguish between the two palette. It comes with a little how-to guide as well so you can create different looks. 

Top to bottom: Licorice, Coconut Creme, Cocoa Chili, Pink Sugar, Puddin', Rum Raisin, Mousse, Caramel
Of these colors, my favorites are definitely Caramel, Rum Raisin, and Cocoa Chili. Pink Sugar is nothing but pink sparkles. There is no pigment whatsoever, which I find pretty annoying and the actual pan of it is loose in the palette when I swatch it. The other colors to me are just basic colors that can be duplicated in other palettes and single shadows. 

Top to bottom: Nougat, Truffled, Hot Fudge, Blueberry Swirl, Peanut Butter, Frosting, Bon Bon. Butter Pecan is missing, sorry!
I'm so torn on this side of the palette. I was so unimpressed by the Blueberry Swirl shade, but tried to make it work by using a blue eyeliner as a base. It helped a bit, but the pigmentation is just not that good. Peanut Butter is such a good transition shade and it has to be my favorite in the palette. Nougat is great when blending out harsh lines and bright colors. I also really love Frosting. I'm so sorry Butter Pecan is missing, but on my skin, it just gives alot of shimmer and not much color payoff. 

Ok, so overall, I do like this palette, but it's hardly as good as the first Chocolate Bar Palette. If you asked me which of the two I prefer, there is no doubt that I would say the first one. This does cost $49, just like the first, but with it not being as impressive as the first, I feel that's a high price considering the lack of pigment. The textures of the shades aren't terrible, some are hit or miss, they blend well and some of the colors do look beautiful on the eye. Like I said above, Peanut Butter is just a beautiful crease shade and you can make it darker or less intense if you like. If you're like me and have an obsession with eyeshadow palettes, get it and see what you think. However, I don't think this is necessary to have in your collection. 

You can find the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar palette wherever Too Faced is sold, but I did purchase mine at Sephora. 

Have you tried this palette? What do you think of it?

Also, if you're in the US, you can enter my Borghese giveaway! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

(CLOSED) Borghese Giveaway!

Hey everyone! If you remember my reviews of the Borghese Eclissare Eyeshadow Palettes and their Lip Glosses, you may remember me saying that Borghese was kind enough to send me duplicates for a giveaway! There will be 2 winners as I'm giving away 1 of the small eyeshadow palettes along with 4 glosses. Make sure to click the links of the review to see colors and swatches of what I'll be giving away! The giveaway will run until March 2nd, so that hopefully gives everyone a fair shot at entering.

There are some rules so please make sure to follow them:
1. This will be a USA only giveaway. I'm sorry to my Canadian and overseas readers, but shipping is just to complicated and expensive for me. 
2. You must follow my blog via Bloglovin' or GFC to be entered, and I will be monitoring that very carefully. 

The first set is the Sultry palette with the gloss colors in Chaos, Odyssey, Omen and Brightside

The second set is the Torrid palette with the gloss colors in Darkling, Simmer, Gilt and Brink

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I'm Now on Instagram!

Hey guys! Just a quick post letting you know I finally broke down and made an Instagram account! I have the link to it on the right side on top of the Bloglovin' button in case you want to follow me :)

Thank you all for your support!

January 2015 Ipsy Bag

Hello everyone! I know this post is overdue, as I received my Ipsy bag sometime last week. I just didn't get a chance to write it up, so forgive me! Anyways, this is the first Ipsy bag of the year and the theme this month is called Fresh Start. 

The bag everything comes in feels like plastic/vinyl and one side is white, while the other side is blue, and it has a orange zipper. It's kinda cute, but I don't really see myself using it honestly. 

I was so excited for the products this month! The first product I got is the BellaPierre Shimmer Powder in the color Whesek, which looks like a dark gray/black color with a hint of dark blue. Looking at the description of the product, depending on the color you get, these can be used as an eyeshadow or highlighter. I obviously can only use this as an eyeshadow, but it's so dark and I don't know if it will look good with my fair skin. I'll give it a try since I am a fan of mineral products. 

The next product I have is the Jouer Essential Lip Enhancer. I have tried this product before that I got in an old Birchbox, and I absolutely loved it! It made my lips look and feel so hydrated and plump. This tube I have now is about twice the size of the one I had before, which makes me really happy. I have strongly considered purchasing a full size of this, but I already have a ton of lip balms and treatments to use up. 

Next up, we have the Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eyeshadow in the shade Ethereal. I have already tried this, and it's not bad, but it's not fantastic either. The pigment is alright, but the staying power isn't that great, even with a primer. A gripe I have with this product is that the container was stuck inside the box so bad, and there's still glue in the back that's been a pain to remove, and it sticks to everything. I'll probably continue using this as a highlight shade, but Pacifica makeup is not very good. Their body products are really nice though!

The next product I received is the La Fresh Eco-Beauty Good Day. Day Moisturizer. I love me some good skincare, so I'm looking forward to trying this out. Even though this comes in a glorified foil packet, it seems like there's a decent amount of product to try. I'm also reading that this stuff smells bad, but I honestly can't tell because my nose is stuffed up right now. 

The last product I got is the Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush. I also love me some good brushes, so I was happy to have received this! I used this as well already, and I do like it. It deposits color nicely on the lids, it's soft, it's easy to clean, and it's a good size too. Plus, it's pink! Who can resist an adorable pink brush?!

That's everything I got! If you want to sign up for Ipsy, you can do so here! It only costs $10 a month, plush shipping for some and you get 4-5 samples. I am definitely impressed this month, but some months are a miss for me. I highly recommend this bag if you want to try out new brands for a good price!

If you're already signed up to Ipsy, what did you get in your bag?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Adeline Anti-Aging Moisturizer

*Disclosure* I received this product complimentary for review purposes. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always!

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be reviewing the Adeline Anti-Aging Moisturizer, a product that I was really excited to be able to try out. First off, here is a product description taken from Amazon:

5 POWERFUL ANTI AGING INGREDIENTS IN ONE BOTTLE: Adeline's Anti-Aging Face Cream is formulated with 5 powerful ingredients that fight wrinkles and rejuvenate your skin: Matrixyl, Witch Hazel, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C & Vitamin E. The results on your skin are fantastic! You would normally have to purchase multiple creams to attain the benefits that we pack into one of our bottles. Our customers discover they don't want or need to use any other creams on their face after using our skin cream.

SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to double the amount of collagen needed to give the skin its elasticity. This means your wrinkles are going to fade and you will no longer be looking at celebrities and other women wondering how they look so young because you now know the secret. Start feeling more confident. Your search for the perfect anti-aging skin cream is over!

GET YOUR TIME BACK: After washing in the morning and evening, it takes just 30 seconds to gently apply the cream to your face, neck and decollete. Skin appears radiant and more plump after use. Over time our customers experience visible improvements in the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, laugh lines, dry skin and uneven skin.

UNBEATABLE PREMIUM QUALITY: Our face creams are handmade in our FDA-Inspected facility according to strict manufactures guidelines outlined by the GMP right here in the USA. All our products are free from parabens, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) & petrochemical derivatives. With no added fragrances and no additives or fillers we are positive you are going to love our anti-aging moisturizer from Adeline.

ADELINE'S RISK FREE PROMISE TO AMAZON CUSTOMERS: "Give this skin cream a try. Feel its effects on your skin immediately. Use it in your daily beauty regimen. You will consider it one of the best skin creams you've ever used OR ELSE we insist on providing you with a 100% money back refund - no questions asked and you can even keep the unused bottle on us." - Adeline Beauty

I've been testing out this moisturizer for about a month now, and I have to say, I really am enjoying it so far! I love that the bottle has a pump, and as you keep using the product, the bottom of the bottle comes up, so I know I'm using every drop! This feels so lovely as I apply it to my face, and it has a light peppermint scent, which I really like. Normally, scents aggravate me, but this one is fine. 

It's quite a potent product, so the one pump you see above is plenty for your entire face and neck. After one application, I noticed my skin looked and felt more hydrated and plump. The freezing cold weather here has really dried out my skin, but this helps me alot. I only use it at night because during the day it made my skin a little greasy. Have I noticed anti-aging benefits? Honestly, no, but I am only 26 so there's nothing really on my skin that needs anti-aging. I do have dehydration lines on my face because of the weather and not drinking enough water, and this moisturizer does help with that temporarily. 

Normally, this product sells for $59.95, but you can find it here on Amazon for only $35.25 right now! If you're like me and only use one pump every night, I can see this bottle lasting about two months or so, so the price isn't bad for the amount of product.

Does this sound like a moisturizer you would try?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Hey guys! Today I'm going to be reviewing a mascara that I've really been loving lately and even featured in my favorites last month, and that is the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

According to the Sephora website, this mascara is "An intensely black, volumizing mascara with an hourglass-shaped brush that separates, coats, and curls each lash to voluptuous perfection."

What it does:
Inspired by the curves of a woman’s body, the hourglass-shaped brush was designed with extra stiff bristles to maximize the performance of this carbon black, collagen-fueled formula. One coat and lashes are full and defined. Two coats and lashes are even more luscious, curled, and dramatic. Three coats help you achieve the most intense, black, multidimensional lashes possible. 

Here is a picture of my tired eyes, bare lashes, with no makeup on at all. My lashes also have not been curled.

These are my still non-curled lashes with one coat of mascara. I usually only like to do one coat of this because I'm always happy with the results I get. I know my lashes probably look a bit wonky, it was hard to get a good angle on my camera and this was the best shot. 

Overall, I really am impressed with this mascara. It only costs $23, which isn't terrible for a higher end mascara. I absolutely love the volume this mascara gives me, and it gives me decent length. Whenever I do decide to go with two coats of this, my lashes look so much thicker and people usually ask what kind of lashes I buy! I find that hilarious since I've only ever gotten compliments on one other mascara, and that was Maybelline's Illegal Length. I have yet to try three coats. I also really like the brush too. It's got regular bristles so it can grip the lashes better, but the shape took some getting used to. As you can tell from the pictures, I have hooded lids, so the outer parts of the brush can touch my lids if I'm not careful. The formula is great too, not too wet and not too dry. Wet formulas aren't my favorite as they pretty much immediately smudge on me, so I do prefer a drier formula, but not so dry where it gets wasted if I didn't use it enough. My only tiny complaint is that if I don't set my under-eye concealer well, I do get some smudging from this, but that happens with pretty much every mascara I use. Once I use up other mascaras in my stash, I will definitely be repurchasing this one. You can buy Better Than Sex wherever Too Faced is sold, but I purchased mine from Sephora

Have you tried this mascara before? What do you think of it?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Review: NYX Butter Lip Balm in Parfait

Hey guys! Today's post is going to be a review of the NYX Butter Lip Balm in the shade Parfait. I received this in my December Ipsy bag and have been really enjoying it. 

The packaging of the NYX lip balm is just like a standard twist up lip balm container. I was excited to try this lip balm because I love their Butter Glosses and have a ton of colors, but I hadn't tried the balm version. 

I love the color I got! NYX describes this color as a fuchsia with blue undertones. That's perfect for me because I prefer cooler colors and pink is my favorite color. This lip balm feels so smooth and wonderful when applied to the lips. The color payoff is pretty good too but the staying power is just okay. The color lasted on me for about 3 hours. 

The color doesn't seem to come off as bright as it looks in real life, but you can still see it. This lip balm is pretty hydrating too, but once the color wears off, I do feel the need to reapply. 

These NYX lip balms come in 8 shades and only cost $4, which is a pretty good price. I'm not sure if I would purchase more only because the color selection isn't that great in my opinion. Hopefully they expand the line more because I do love how they make my lips feel, and I have no problem reapplying it when needed. 

If you want to sign up for Ipsy, you can do so here! Ipsy bags only cost $10 a month, plus shipping for some, and you get deluxe sized samples sent to your house every month!

Have you tried these Butter Lip Balms before? If so/not, what do you think of them?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter 2014 Walmart Beauty Box

Hi guys! Today I'll be showing you what I got in the Winter edition of the Walmart Beauty Box. I have to say right off the bat, this was such a pain in the butt to receive and there was alot of confusion when people signed up. Lets see what I got in this box, then I'll explain the issues I had personally. 

Everything came packaged in this white box that says Walmart Beauty. Inside of the lid it says, "Help define your beauty" and the Walmart website where you can find beauty products. It's a cute little box but the products were mediocre at best. 

The first product I got is the Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes. I enjoy Burt's Bees products, their lip balms are awesome. I have not tried their face wipes, and this is the only product that I'm sort of interested in trying out. I always look for good makeup remover wipes. 

Then there are the foil packets. I can't stand getting foil packet samples in something I'm paying money for. Anyways, the first packet is the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Shampoo and Conditioner. I have tried John Frieda hair care before and from what I remember, I did like it. The second one of from L'Oreal and it's their Color Vibrancy Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment. I've never tried L'Oreal hair care before, so I will try this and see how I like it. At most, I'll probably only get about two uses from each sample. 

I also got a Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash. This is a 1.8 fluid ounce bottle, so I think I could get about 5 or so uses out of this. I may even give it to my husband because he's been complaining about dry skin from his normal bar soaps. Since I love him and all, I'll be a good wife and share ;)

Next up we have the Covergirl Colorlicious Lip Gloss in the shade 640 Juicy Fruit. This is the only full size product and it retails for $7.99 depending on where you get it. This alone makes up for the price you pay for the box, and it is a pretty color, so I'll get some use out of it. 

The last product is the Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. This tiny sample is annoying because I've gotten these for free as like a gift with purchase. I'll still probably use this as I'm drier than dry because of this cold weather, but it's frustrating it's so tiny!

I also did get a card with some of the Flower Beauty scents on it, but it's not worth showing honestly. They smell awful too.

Overall, this really is a meh box. It is a quarterly box you get every season and you only pay $5, which is said to be a shipping charge. Now for the rant. I had signed up back in October when I heard there was a Fall box. My card was charged right away, so I figured I'd be receiving that one. However, after about a month and still no box, I was getting worried. I couldn't log into my account to see what was going on, so I sent many emails and only got one response saying the Fall box was sold out and I'd get the Winter box. I started to think that I'd be charged again once the Winter box was sent out, but thankfully I wasn't. I did get mad though because alot of other people were having the same issue I was. I hate to say this, but I made a big fuss over everything on Twitter because I was upset. Yes, I know it's only $5, but still, it's my $5 that I thought was getting taken and I wouldn't be getting anything. All in all, I was able to get back into my account, and the box was sent to me. I decided to stay signed up for now and get the Spring box, but if something like that happens again, I'm cancelling in a heartbeat. If you want more information, here is a link on how the Walmart Beauty Box works. You don't have to sign up for it from the link, it's just information where you can look it over and see if it's right for you.

What do you think of the Walmart Beauty Box?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: ZenWise Labs Hair Growth Vitamins + DHT Blocker

*Disclosure* Product was provided complimentary for review purposes from BrandBacker

Hey guys! Today I'm bringing you a review on a hair growth supplement from ZenWise Labs. I'm always looking for something to help promote healthy hair, so I was excited to try this! 

Here is a little info on the product:

Zenwise Labs Hair Growth Vitamins formula contains our distinct blend of 27 ingredients, including 5000 mcg of Biotin, that promote hair growth and overall hair health. This formula also provides essential vitamins and antioxidants to address deficiencies that have been shown to cause hair loss.
Our all Natural formula can be used to:
Promote Thicker Fuller Hair
Stimulate Hair Growth
Address Vitamin Deficiencies Associated with Hair Loss

Key Ingredients:
MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane)
Grapeseed Extract
Saw Palmetto
Pumpkin (Seed-Curcubita Pepo)(4:1)
Gotu Kola (Herb-Centella Asiatica) (4:1)
Ginkgo Biloba (Leaf)
L-Lysine Hcl
Citrus Bioflavanoids
Nettle (Leaf-Urtica Dioica)

I've been taking these for almost a month now, every morning after breakfast. It's recommended to take 2 pills per day. I can safely say that this supplement has really helped in growing my hair. I usually have hair that is really stubborn in growing out, but this has really helped. I honestly haven't noticed anything with new hair growth though. I have pretty fine hair, but it's wavy and can get frizzy. My hair doesn't feel thicker, but it does feel healthier. I notice after I wash my hair and do my normal conditioning routine, my hair looks shinier and overall feels better. I would probably have to keep using this for a while longer to notice if it makes my hair thicker. The pills are also a bit large for me, but I just take them with my coffee and I'm fine. A bottle of this normally costs $29.95, but is on sale for $24.95 on Amazon right now. One bottle gives you a 30 day supply, so to me, it is a bit on the pricey side. 

What do you think of taking supplements for hair growth?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Body Shop & Ulta HAUL!

Hey guys! Today I'm going to be showing you a haul that I did before the new year started. I decided it was time for a spending ban so as if January 1st, I won't be purchasing anything beauty related for at least a month. We're 5 days into the new year and so far, so good! I am tempted with all the new makeup/skincare goodies that are starting to come out, plus I got 2 Sephora gift cards for Christmas, but I want to save them. Anyway, let me show you what I bought!

I'll start off with what I purchased online from The Body Shop. I have to tell a little story about his purchase. When I went to order everything, the entire site was 50% off, which they don't have too often. I'm also a Love Your Body member, which gave me 10% extra off my order. My birthday is in December, so they give you $10 to spend towards your purchase. ALSO, I didn't realize that I had my 8 point gift to use up, which is when they give you $25 to use toward your purchase. After all those discounts, I only spent just under $25 for everything you see above, I kid you not! Can you believe that?! I was so excited and my husband was actually proud of me lol. 

Okay, onto all the lovely stuff I bought. I definitely had to stock up on my favorite toner of life, the Aloe Calming Toner. I've talked about this toner more times than I can count, but it's just amazing, which is why I bought three bottles. 

I'm obsessed with their Hemp Hand Protector! It's one of the only hand creams that I can use in the Winter because everything else doesn't work. My hands get so dry and cracked, but this hand cream is a miracle worker for me, especially since I have to wash my hands alot working retail. I should mention though, this was actually a freebie because I spent a certain amount online. I honestly don't remember what amount I had to spend to get it though. 

I haven't tried much from their Nutriganics line, so I figured I'd try out the Smoothing Night Cream. This is supposed to be a more natural line in their skincare range, but I'm not picky about that honestly. As long as a product works for me, I'm happy. I've been having alot of little dehydration lines on my face because of the weather, so I'm hoping to find something that helps with that.

This wouldn't be a Body Shop haul if there wasn't a body butter invloved, and the one I bought is in the holiday scent Vanilla Brulee. It smells divine and everyone and their mom knows how much I love these body butters.

I haven't tried too many of the masks they have either, so I picked up the Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Cleansing Mask. This smells lovely as well, very light and like baby wipes. This has scrubbing particles in it, so after you leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes, so scrube it off your face to get some exfoliation going. I think this will be amazing for my skin. 

The last product I bought thanks to Essie Button on YouTube and it's the Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in the shade 01 Light Matte. The color sure is stunning, and looks like it will be great for my fair skin. Essie Button sure knows a good product!

Now for Ulta. they had a 20% off coupon in December, so I kinda went a little crazy on the website! I've been running low on dry shampoo, so I purchased two scents of Batiste, Wild and Refresh. I typically get the Tropical scent but for whatever reason, they don't have it at Ulta. At least not at mine. 

It Cosmetics is a brand that I'm dabbling in and their brushes have intrigued me for a while. I decided to purchase the Airbrush Buffing Foundation Brush #110. I normally use a Beauty Blender for foundation, but wanted to try this since it reminds me of a Sigma look-a-like. Oh my word is this brush soft! I haven't tried it on my face yet, but I have washed it and there was no shedding. I can't wait to try this out on my face. It feels like chinchilla fur or something!

Thanks to EmilyNoel on YouTube, I had to purchase the Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara. She raves about this mascara all the time, so I bought into the hype and purchased it. Haven't tried it yet, but I will probably write up a review of it when I do!

I needed a blow dryer so bad! In all honesty I've never owned on myself. I always would use my mom's hair dryer if I wanted to blow dry my hair, which was rare. I usually air dry it. I ended up choosing the Bed Head Mind Blower Hair Dryer. I already used it once, and so far I like it! I'm not picky since I don't know much about blow dryers, but it dried my hair nicely and didn't make it feel like a fried mess. 

Since I'm on a hand cream kick and seem to be using up alot of what I have, I bought the 100% Pure French Lavender Hand Buttercream. This smells so lovely, and I plan on mostly using this at night since lavender is very calming and relaxing for me.

I love me a good eye cream, so I treated myself to two. The first one is the Tarte Maracuja C Brighter Eye Treatment. I've heard good things about this eye cream so I'm hoping I like it for my dark circles. The other one I bought is the Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream. Hyaluronic acid loves my dry skin I've been having, so I have a feeling this will work well for me. 

That's everything I purchased! Hopefully this spending ban goes well for me and I don't give into temptation. Is there anything you've purchased recently? Are you doing a spending ban?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: InstaNatural Youth Express Eye Serum

*Disclosure* I received this product complimentary for review purposes. All opinions are 100% honest and my own

Hello everyone! I'm going to be talking about yet another product from the brand InstaNatural, and it's their Youth Express Eye Serum. Here is a description of the product:

Youth Express Eye Serum is a highly concentrated blend of invigorating ingredients designed to restore a youthful appearance to the eye area. Our serum contains an advanced Peptide Complex - along with Plant Stem Cells, Matrixyl 3000, Astaxanthin, Kojic Acid, Caffeine, Passionflower, and Vitamins C and E - which help to deliver exceptional results to the under eye area, resulting in a decreased appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles and puffiness.

Key Ingredients:
+ Vitamin C
+ Plant Stem Cells
+ Astaxanthin
+ Kojic Acid
+ Passionflower
+ Caffeine
+ Hyaluronic Acid
+ Niacinamide
+ Matrixyl 3000

I was so excited I got the chance to try this eye serum out! I've been really into Vitamin C lately since it's a brightening ingredient, and I need all the help I can get in that area lately. As you all may know if you read my blog regularly, I have hereditary dark circles that are such a pain to get rid of. Nothing really helps with them unless I use concealer, and at times that isn't always enough. 

The serum is this bright orange color that I was kind of shocked by. I thought it wouldn't sink in and I'd have an orange rim around my eyes. However, this serum blends in like a dream and leaves no orange cast whatsoever around my eyes. The amount of product shown above is all you need for both eyes as well. It comes out from a dropper and I just put some on one finger and press my finger on my other hand together. I take this product onto my eyelids as well and I haven't had any irritation at all from doing that. Now, I don't have deep wrinkles since I'm only 26, but I do have small dehydration lines because of the cold weather. This serum plumps up those lines and makes my eye area look bright and awake. Once I put on concealer, my dark circles seem to get covered up better. 

I should also mention that this product is made in the USA, contains no harmful parabens, sulfates or alcohol, and is cruelty-free!

I'm definitely excited to keep using this product and hopefully see continued results. I'm very impressed so far. This product normally sells for $47.95, but is currently on sale on Amazon for $21.95. Not a bad price considering you get 1 fluid ounce of product and a little bit goes a long way.

What do you think of this product? Would you try it?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

December 2014 Empties

Hello everyone! This is my last empties post from 2014! I used up a good amount of products in December, so lets see what I have!

The first product that was used up is the Silkience 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner. I bought this at Big Lots for I think around $3 when my husband ran out of his shampoo. I didn't want to spend too much money, so he said to get whatever, he's not picky. After he used it a few times, he said he hated it, so I decided to try it out myself. It really is not a good shampoo. It didn't clean well, and didn't feel good rinsing out of my hair either. It felt like I still had product in my hair after using it. My husband has lots of curly, thick hair so for him it was really bad. We used it up though since we don't like wasting, but we will never repurchase!

It wouldn't be an empties post if I didn't have a can of Batiste dry shampoo! This is the Sassy & Daring Wild version, and I think this is my new favorite scent. I typically love the Tropical scent, but I can never find it in stores, and the last time I tried ordering it online from, my package was lost in the mail, so I had to call and get my money back. So I'm either going to start buying it in-store at Ulta, or on the Ulta website. 

I used up the Nature Made Multi For Her vitamins and this brand of vitamins is definitely my favorite. They're always on sale somewhere, and they're a good price to begin with. Will always repurchase this. 

This perfume is so old! It's from the Victoria's Secret Pink line, and this was called Wish Pink. I remember first seeing these in store and thinking how cute the packaging was. This particular one smelled the least offensive to me, it's sweet with just a hint of floral. I honestly rarely used this as actual perfume. I used it mainly as an air freshener! If I felt like maybe the trash was starting to smell funky, or I just wanted the air to smell nice, I'd do a few spritzes of this, and everything smelled good again. They discontinued this line so long ago, I don't even remember when. 

I was glad to finish up the Bath & Body Works shower gel in the Vanilla Tini scent. I'm pretty sure I've said before that these shower gels aren't my favorite. The scents are nice, but I don't feel like they clean very well, and they make my skin feel drier than the Sahara. I have a few more of these to use up, but I'll never repurchase any. 

This Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream sat in my stash for ages! Once the weather got really cold, I decided to finally use it up. I now know why it sat for so long. The scent is overbearing and it actually made my hands burn and feel more dry. I'm so glad this is finally used up.

I also used up the two lip balms I was rotating through. The first one is the Badger lip balm in the scent Vanilla Madagascar. I love Badger lip balms and typically buy a few when I see them. I have such a large stash of lip balms though so I don't need to repurchase any for a long time. I used this one mainly during the day as it was easy to just take off the lid and swipe it onto my lips. The second one I used up, I used at night and it's the Rosebud Strawberry lip balm. Oh my heavens, does this smell amazing! I love how this applies to the lips, and it gives a nice sheen where it makes your lips look so full and healthy. I usually loaded up on this stuff because my lips dry out alot overnight, but this helps a ton with that. 

I have finally used up the Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips that I've had since before my husband and I met. I always heard these were so bad for your skin, but they really cleaned out the pores on my nose and made them look so small. I typically used one after I washed my face, then I would use a deep cleansing mask afterwards, and it was a match made in heaven. I probably won't go out and repurchase right away (spending ban time!), but eventually I will. 

I used up the little jar of the Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub. I was using this for ages because you only need the tiniest amount to get the job done. I could've sworn I had a review of this, but I actually don't. I do have the larger size jar to use up as well, so I may review it sometime soon! I really am a fan of this scrub. It makes my skin feel so soft and smooth, and the grains are the perfect size and not too irritating. 

I had a little sample size tube of the Sephora Instant Moisturizer hiding in my closet and decided to use it up. I have mixed feelings about this. I love how it spreads evenly on the skin and it makes it feel really soft at first. As the day goes on however, my skin turns into a big greaseball. The scent is also a little overwhelming, it's very floral-y. I probably will not repurchase. 

I also used up the Valentia Even Glow Serum, which I reviewed here. This serum is amazing! It felt so lovely on my skin, it sinks right in, it smells like oranges, and it helped brighten up my complexion when it was looking really dull and tired. I'm tempted to buy this, but with the massive amount of skincare I have in my stash, and it being $35, I'm going to pass on it for now. 

I've been trying to use up alot of the samples I have, and I wanted to try the Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector. This product is no joke guys! I know the bottle is really tiny, but I noticed a difference in my skin the next morning after using this. This is supposed to help with wrinkles, pores and evenness, and I swear to you, my pores were almost invisible when I used this. I do have another one of these little bottles to use, but I won't buy the the full size. A 1 ounce bottle costs $79, and the 1.7 ounce costs a whopping $115!

The last product I have used up is the Korres Wild Rose moisturizer. I didn't like this really. It felt heavy on my skin, even with it being so cold out, and the rose scent was too strong for my liking. I do think I have another one of these small tubes to use up, so I'll probably use it up soon before it starts to get warm, otherwise I'll be an oily mess after using it. 

Well that's everything I used up in December! I have to say, I was curious to see how many products I had used up this past year, so I went through all my empties posts and counted the products. From January through December, I have used up 181 products! I can't believe that! I was in shock when I saw that. But hey, that just leaves room to buy more products to try and use up, after my spending ban of course! ;)

What did you use up in December? Did you count how many products you went through?