Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Top 5 Tips to Combat Dry Skin in Winter

 *Post contains affiliate links*
Hi guys! Today I'm going to be sharing with you how I combat dry skin in the Winter. If you're anything like me, every inch of skin on your body just dries up and hardly anything seems to help. Well, I've come up with a regime that has helped me tremendously, and I want to share it with you all!

Tip #1: If you have dry skin all over your body, pretty much from head to toe, I recommend a chunky body scrub, and a nice thick body butter. The body scrubs I like to use typically have an oil base to them, along with sugar or salt as the scrubbing particles. The scrub I have pictured is The Body Shop Chocomania Sugar Body Scrub. This one is fantastic at scrubbing away any dry, flaky skin you may have, and it also is very hydrating as it has that oil base to it, but it's not overly slippery to where it makes you slide in your bathtub. In the Winter, I typically like to do a full body scrub about once a week because my skin can be sensitive to too much scrubbing. Everytime after showering, I slather myself up with a thick, rich body butter. The Body Shop Shea Body Butter has worked miracles on my skin. It keeps my skin feeling and looking hydrated all day long. I have so many different body lotions/butters in my stash, but the ones from The Body Shop are always my go-to. I've noticed as I keep up with exfoliating and moisturizing, I don't have those itchy red bumps on the backs of my arms or legs, which I tend to have all year around. 

Tip #2: Use a thick lip balm at night before bed. I don't know about you guys, but my lips get horribly dry in the Winter, to the point where they crack and bleed at times. It's so painful, and alot of different lip balms just aren't thick and hydrating enough. The two lip products that I tend to reserve for the colder months are the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask and The Body Shop Lip Butters. The Bite Beauty Lip Mask is pretty darn intense if you ask me, and I typically only use it when my lips are at the cracked and bleeding stage. You only need the tiniest amount of it to get the job done, and I wake up to brand new lips when I use it. The Body Shop Lip Butters are fantastic when my lips are still dry and flaky, but they don't work as well if my lips are to the point of no return. The one I'm currently using is the Sweet Lemon scent, and I like it alot. It doesn't give me a white cast to my lips, which some of those lip butters tend to do, particularly the Shea and Coconut scents. I still do love those scents though, and only will use them at night. 

Tip #3: Using a hydrating face mask. Now, this may seem obvious to most people, but I normally have oily skin that goes more towards combination in the Winter. I do also get dry flakes here and there, and my skin gets way more dehydrated in these colder months. My skin gets so finicky in the Winter because I still have oiliness and clogged pores, so I have to use detoxifying face masks, but they dry out my skin alot more when it's cold. That's where a hydrating mask comes in. My ultimate favorite one is the Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment. After using a detoxifying mask, I slap on a hydrating mask for at least 30 minutes. I can't tell you how soft and hydrated my skin looks and feels after doing that combo. I do follow up with my treatments and a heavier moisturizer, but just adding a hydrating mask to the mix has changed the skin on my face so much. I use this mask sparingly since it is $69, but it's incredibly hydrating, my skin drinks it up, and it smells like coconut so I can think about Summer when it's on my face!

Tip #4: Use the thickest hand cream you can think of before bed. During Winter, my hands tend to end up dry, cracked, and bleeding like my lips. The only hand cream I've found to make that go away overnight is The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector (I swear they're not paying me to mention all these products, I just love them!). I've gone through countless hand creams that seem to work at first, but the dryness comes back after a little bit. This hand cream is seriously a miracle worker. Many years ago before I found this hand cream, my hands where in so much pain from the little cracks that formed and started to bleed, and nothing was working. I decided to give this a try, and I swear to you, my hands were like new overnight. I slathered this on my hands, and while it is a bit greasy at first, I didn't care, I just wanted my hands to stop hurting. I woke up to brand new skin that was soft and crack free. The scent can bother some people (my husband hates it, but he has to deal with it), but it's the absolute best hand cream ever. If you work in retail, a restaurant, or in the healthcare field where you constantly have to wash your hands, I can't recommend this enough. It lasts through multiple hand-washings as well, which I loved when I worked in retail. 

Tip #5: Drink more water! I know, I know, water is important all year round. I really have major issues drinking alot of water in the Winter, because one, I'm always so cold now thanks to being on blood thinners, and two, I just don't feel as thirsty in the Winter. When I don't drink enough water, I notice my skin starts to get dry and it just looks parched. When I up my water intake, it goes away. Seems simple enough to just drink more water, but I know it can be tough. I've made it a point to drink just an extra glass of water a day from what I'm normally used to, and it really has helped me (even though it makes me feel really cold!). 

I hope these tips helped you in some way! What are some things you do to help combat dry skin?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: Pur Cosmetics Browder Perfecting Brow Powder

*Disclosure* Products featured were provided for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always!

Hi guys! I'm so excited to bring you this review today, because it has to do with eyebrows. Now, I'm usually not one to fuss over my brows. I typically just use a gel to keep them in place. When Pur Cosmetics very kindly sent me their line of brow powders, I was intrigued, yet scared, because I had no idea what to expect from them. 

The Pur Cosmetics website says:

Bold brows are in! With PÜR’s long-lasting brow powder, you don’t need to be a makeup artist to get perfectly defined brows. This unique fiber formula adds naturally bold definition to sparse and uneven brows for a look that’s always natural, never “drawn on”. Use the innovative flocked applicator to groom and sculpt for the perfect arch or reach for your eyeliner brush for double duty use as a smoky eye lining powder.

Shades L to R: Blonde, Medium Brown, Brunette
Pur Cosmetics Browder only comes in 3 shades: Blonde, Medium Brown, and Brunette. The shade I have gone for in testing out is Blonde, and for me, it seems like a good fit. I also feel like all three shades aren't too warm either, which is great for me personally. When I first tried this out, I was glad I didn't put on foundation or concealer first, because I had brow powder all over my cheeks and under my eyes. This stuff is insanely messy if you have no idea what you're doing, and I'm still getting the hang of it honestly. I haven't tried these as a powder eyeliner, but I can see that as a good option for a more natural liner look.

Once I got the powder on my brows, I had to then go in with a spoolie, and brush the heck outta them. I personally don't like that drawn on, fake look so I tried making them look as natural as possible. I do feel like this powder fills in sparse areas nicely, and once I had everything blended in well, I do feel like my brows completed my look. Like I said above, I really only set them with clear gel because I just don't like them to look over-done or fake. Once I really get the hang of using these, I may eventually branch out and start trying brow pencils and whatnot. Even though I'm a newbie with brow products, I'm pretty impressed with these Browders!

Each of these Browders costs $22 and you can find them on the Pur website, Ulta, Kohl's, pretty much wherever Pur Cosmetics is sold!

I'd love to know what your favorite brow products are in the comments! Especially for newbies like myself!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Proganix Anti-Fade Shampoo & Conditioner

*Disclosure* These products were provided complimentary for review purposes. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always!

Hey guys! This review is a long time coming because I had actually received these in the mail back in October, after I had gotten out of the hospital. I know, that's a long time, but I was trying to recover from being in the hospital, and I have so many different shampoos and conditioners in my stash that it took me a while to be able to try these! Anyways, Proganix sent me a very nice package of their Anti-Fade Shampoo and Conditioner, along with a few other products and hair goodies. 

 According to Proganix, they're shampoo and conditioner are said to be:

A color protecting blend with antioxidant rich cherry blossom extract, and UV filters, perfected in the salon, it helps reds to stay vibrant, blondes to shimmer, and brunettes to stay brilliant, giving you hair that you'll always love.

I ended up coloring my hair around the first week of November, and it ended up being this really pretty deep burgundy/purple shade. I figured that this duo would be a great test to see if it lived up to the claims. 

I first noticed the nice cherry blossom scent. I typically am not a huge fan of cherry blossom, but the scent in both the shampoo and conditioner are light enough to not bother me. For the shampoo claiming to be sulfate-free, it lathers nicely. I feel like it cleans my hair well without drying it out. The conditioner is amazing for my fine, tangly hair! It spreads out evenly and once rinsed out, it makes my hair feel so soft and tangle free without feeling greasy. 

I do feel like the Anti-Fade Shampoo and Conditioner helped to keep the color my hair was looking nice. To an extent, of course. Now that it's almost February, my hair is faded, but you can still tell that it's color treated. I think these are nice, but at a price tag of around $10 each depending on where you buy them, I'd say skip them. I'm honestly not terribly picky about the color in my hair fading though. 

What is your favorite shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: Covergirl Plumpify Mascara

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

Hey guys! Today I'm bringing you a review of a new mascara that I was chosen by Influenster to try out, and it's the Covergirl Plumpify mascara. I was pretty excited to give this a go because I'm always on the hunt for the perfect mascara!

On Covergirl's website, they say:

Our Plumpify blastPRO Mascara plumpifies your lashes with 50x volume boost for full lashes! This volumizing mascara has a specialized, double-action brush that vertically lifts lashes from their roots, guaranteeing plumping without the clumping — A whole new look in lashes, plumpified! 

This brush is probably the most interesting brush I've come across in a mascara. It's got rubber bristles, it's very thick and spiraled, and has a spiky balled tip that's said to be good for those hard-to-reach lashes. It kinda reminded of the Benefit They're Real! Mascara, and I hate that mascara with a passion, so I went in a bit nervous trying this out. 

I posted this picture on my Instagram about a week ago showing the difference with and without using the Plumpify Mascara. After just one coat, it's safe to say that I got decent length and curl, but a 50x volume boost? Eh, I don't think so. I'm happy with the volume this did give me, but I don't see 50x the volume. Maybe in length I got that much. Also, if I go in with more than one coat, I do start to get just a bit of clumping, but nothing major.

Overall, this isn't a bad mascara. it's a bit tough to work with at first because the brush really is massive and a bit scary with the rubber bristles, but once you get the hang of it, it's not bad. I like the amount of length I get, and I really appreciate the curling power I got as well. I should mention that in the picture above, I did not curl my lashes beforehand. This only smudged a little bit on me after about 6-7 hours, but by that time, I was ready to wash my face and go to bed. 

The retail price of this mascara is $10.49, depending on where you buy it. I find that to be a little on the pricey side, considering my favorite mascara by Covergirl, the Supersizer, is just under $6 at my Walmart. That being said, I do recommend this mascara if you're not afraid of the rather large brush, and want more length and curl than volume. Remember though, everyone's lashes are different, so you may have a totally different experience that I had!

What do you think of this mascara?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Makeup Declutter: Lip Glosses & Lipsticks

Hey guys! I'm pretty sure I've mentioned on here that I've been in decluttering mode lately. For whatever reason, I've been really in this mindset that I need to start throwing out stuff my husband and I don't need or use anymore. I've already made a massive dent with alot of our stuff and I just put 6 trash bags worth together to donate. I've gone through more than 10 trash bags of junk that I've thrown away. I also have gone through my makeup and gave away alot to friends and family. However, I seemed to have skipped going through my lip products. I was going through my lip drawer and could barely open or shut it, so I decided that now is the time to clean out and throw away!

This was my entire collection of lip products, minus the few that are in my purse. I knew I wasn't going to get rid of those, so I didn't bother adding them to the pile. In total, there is a whopping 239 lip products here! Some of it is so old, I can't even remember when I bought it. Now, I didn't include lip balms because I know I'll use up what I have and if anything goes bad, I immediately throw it out. I don't know why or how I've accumulated so many glosses and lip sticks, but it's pretty ridiculous. I told myself if I could narrow it down to getting rid of at least a quarter of my collection, I'd be happy. If I did that math, I'd have to get rid of at least 60 products. That seemed doable enough, because lets be honest, there is no way I'd be able to use all this up even if I used a different one every single day. So I went on my decluttering mission, and this was the end result......

The pile on the left is what I'm getting rid of, and the pile on the right is what I'm keeping. I ended up throwing out 75 products! I'm happy with that honestly, and in another few months, I'll probably do this all over again because I really don't think I need 164 lip products, but this is a start! 

I'm sure I may have missed a few lip products because I tend to leave them all over my house, and I end up finding them in weird places. I guess my point in making this post is to say that you really don't need so much stuff cluttering your life. While I'm incredibly fortunate to be able to have beauty products sent to me to try out and review for you guys, it can be a little overwhelming at times. I've made it my mission in 2016 to just get rid of junk that I no longer care about. My husband and I would like to move at the end of our lease in June, and I'm trying to get a head start in throwing stuff out, donating alot, or giving away to friends and family so I don't have to lug it to a new place. 

I have to say, it feels pretty amazing throwing out stuff. I hate cleaning with a passion, but it's like something in my brain clicked, and I realized I don't need all this junk surrounding me. So, slowly but surely I'm going through every single thing in my house, and deciding whether I'm keeping it, throwing it away, donating it, or giving it to family and friends. So far, so good!

What are your thoughts on decluttering?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Top 15 Favorite Beauty Products of 2015

*Post contains affiliate links*
Hey everyone! I know this post is probably a bit late for most of you, but I still wanted to share with you all my 15 favorite beauty products of 2015. They're in no kind of order and I loved everything pretty much equally. 

First, I have to talk about eyeshadows. My favorite palette of 2015 has got to be the Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Palette. Every color is amazing, and you get warm, cool and neutral toned matte shadows in one palette. It's a hooded eyed person's dream, and even though I'm more of a neutral/cool lover, I do appreciate the warm shades as well. I did a review of this here if you wanted to check it out! I had to also give some love to Make Up Geek Eyeshadow singles. For just $6 each, these shadows are such amazing quality, and they may be all you really need if you're just getting started in makeup. All of the ones I have are shown in the picture, but I definitely need to add more to my collection. They're pigmented, buttery smooth, and blend onto the eyes nicely. 

Next up is the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. I did a review here, and I have to say, this mask is probably my favorite mask that makes my pores look invisible. You can mix it with either water or apple cider vinegar (it works better with ACV for me personally), and you leave it on for up to 20 minutes depending on how sensitive your skin is. I do get redness from this mask, but since I use it at night, it doesn't bother me. This is a miracle worker if I feel like my pores are super clogged and nothing else is helping them. You need this if you have pores that clog easily, and it's super cheap as well. 

Oh Batiste Dry Shampoo, how I love thee! Honestly guys, I will never buy another brand of dry shampoo as long as I live. I've gotten others in the past that don't work nearly as well as Batiste does, and everytime I've strayed, I've been disappointed. Batiste is my one true love in keeping my hair feeling and looking clean, even if I've gone about 4 days without washing it. I also did a review of this here quite a long time ago.  

Who can live without a Beauty Blender? I can't! I honestly don't know where I was or what I did before this little pink egg-shaped sponge came into my life. This has changed my foundation/concealer routine in so many positive ways that when I I try to use a brush or even my fingers, it just doesn't work! There is something truly special about this sponge, and completely worth the $20 price tag. Any dupes out there are not the same, including the Real Techniques sponge. I used to like that, but they've changed the texture of it and it's awful. 

If I ever have issues with removing my makeup, Bioderma always comes to my rescue. Yes, this seems like just regular water in a fancy bottle, but there is magic in this water! It removes every last bit of makeup from my eyes and face without irritation. I've said this before, but no makeup remover has ever done what Bioderma does for me. It's incredible and it's surprisingly not that expensive. I purchased mine off of the Beautylish website, but you can also find it on Amazon. I did a review of this here

You all are probably so tired of me talking about The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner, but this is still my all-time favorite toner, and I have yet to find something better. There are under 10 ingredients in this, feels great on my skin, and preps it well for serums and moisturizers. I always have backups of backups in my stash. 

The Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder was something I had been wanting to try for well over a year. Every beauty YouTuber raves about it, so I gave in and splurged. They must've been on to something because this is an amazing setting powder! I have oily skin and for some reason it helps keep me more matte, and it's a wonderful setting powder for under the eyes. I feel like this is just such a versatile powder that anyone can use, whether you have oily, dry or combo skin. You get a ton of product as well, so I feel it's worth the price. 

The Tangle Teezer was another product that I had heard about for quite a few years. I felt it was completely overpriced for a hair brush, but fell into the hype anyway. The first time I used it after I had washed my hair is when I knew what the hype was about. I have very fine hair that gets knotty and tangled very easily, that sometimes even combs would snag my hair. The Tangle Teezer just glides right through and gets all the tangles out without hurting. My husband was even interested after I kept telling him how amazing it was and he started using mine to brush out his beard. I ended up buying his own, and he absolutely loves it. Even though I have fine hair, I do feel like people with thick hair can use it was well.

You all know how much of a lip balm freak I am, and my all-time favorite has to be the Lip Butters from The Body Shop. You only need the tiniest amount to make your lips feel soft and moisturized, and one little jar lasts for ages. I love this Sweet Lemon scent that I'm currently using, but my favorites have to be the Shea and Coconut scents.They do leave a little bit of a white cast on your lips, but I only use these at night as my lips dry and crack the worst at that time. 

Every product I try from Bite Beauty, I fall more in love with the brand. The product pictured is the Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in the shades Date and Fig. These duos are only around during the holiday's I believe, but they do have many single shades available. If I could've, I probably would've put every Bite Beauty product I own in this post, and I know you have things to do rather than sitting on my blog all day. The Luminous Creme formula is just incredible. It feels nice on the lips, and it's just a good quality lipstick. These duos don't cost much either, just $12 or $14. 

I have two mascaras that practically blew my mind this year. A little while ago, I was given the chance to try out the Covergirl Super Sizer Mascara. I used to really like the mascara in the orange tube, but hadn't used much from the brand in many years. Trying this mascara has changed my opinion on the Covergirl brand, and now I'm tempted to go out and buy a ton of their makeup. This mascara gives me amazing volume and length, and it looks good all day long. It's probably my current favorite drugstore mascara. I do have a review on this here. I also had to put the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in my favorites. If you want volumized lashes that look fake, this is your mascara. I get a bit of length from this, but the volume I get is like nothing I've ever gotten from a mascara before. I used up a full sized tube around the end of 2015, so this is a deluxe size that came with the Stardust palette. For a high end mascara, this is definitely my favorite, and there is a review here!

Another lip product that was a surprising favorite is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks. I have a few of these now and the shade pictured above is Outlaw. I was so on the fence with wanting to try liquid lipsticks because my lips are already dry, and I always heard that liquid lipsticks were very drying. While I don't feel like this is hydrating by any means, it's not as drying as I thought it was going to be. The colors available are so gorgeous, highly pigmented, and they stay on and don't budge once they're set. I definitely see myself picking up a few more colors in this line. 

The last product I have pictured is an Airbrush Blending Crease Brush by it Cosmetics. Again, I'd put the whole entire brush line in this post if I could, because they're that good. I don't think I've ever felt softer brushes before. I have quite a few different it Cosmetics brushes, but this crease brush is my favorite. It applies and blends out shadows like a dream, and I find myself playing with these brushes because of how soft they are. Seriously, go to an Ulta and have a feel for yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed! 

Those were my favorites from 2015! Let me know in a comment what some of your favorites were in the last year. I'll need some inspiration when my spending ban is over ;)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Valentia Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub & Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask

*Disclosure* Products were provided for review thanks to Tomoson. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always

Hi everyone! I hope you all aren't tired of me talking about Valentia products, because I have another review for you guys! Today I'll be talking about their Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub and the Detoxifying Clay Mask. Lets see if I liked these products!

Here is a bit about each product from Amazon:

Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub- A refreshing scrub with green and white teas partnered with a trio of tropical butters. Green and white teas were specifically chosen for their anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Tropical butters provide essential nourishment to the skin to keep it hydrated. The result is smoother, softer, brighter, and rejuvenated skin.

- Brightens & revives skin
- Improves skin tone & texture
- Removes dead skin cells
- Softens the skin
- Prevents future breakouts

Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask- A natural kaolin clay and botanical based mask that gently removes excess, dirt and oil while deeply cleansing and exfoliating the skin to reveal softer, smoother skin.

- Draw out skin impurites
- Improve skin tone
- Reduce pore size
- Firm & strengthen the skin
- Leave skin feeling smoother

The scrub and mask first off have very different smells. They both smell like sexy men, but the scrub smells like Johnny Depp, and the mask smells more like Chris Hemsworth (I know, I'm really strange). Seriously though, the scrub smells dark and sultry, and the mask is like an Abercrombie model. Not taking into account the scent of either, they're both pretty good products! The scrub has grainy bits that are suspended in a gel based formula, that's a little hard to spread around the face, but once you get it going, it does a great job at smoothing out the skin. The mask also has grainy bits in it, but it's based in a clay formula. You leave it on for 15-20 minutes then you can use a washcloth to take it off, or rinse with your hands and get more exfoliation out of it. Using both the scrub and mask one right after the other makes your skin look poreless and feel slick to the touch. Since I have sensitive skin, I had a bit of redness for about 30 minutes after removing the mask, but my face didn't feel irritated. 

I would only use these products sparingly, as they do really pack a punch to them. Maybe once a week or even once every other week if you have super sensitive skin. The scrub costs $24.99 and the mask is also $24.99, but I have seen it a little cheaper once in a while. 

Overall, these are both great products! For the price, you really can't beat it, and I can never say enough good things about the Valentia brand. I'm so thankful I've gotten to try out so many cool products from them, and I look forward to seeing what they come out with in the future. 

What are some of your favorite scrubs and masks?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 2016 Ipsy Bag: All Eyes On You

*Ipsy link is an affiliate code*
Hi guys! Today I'm going to be sharing with you all what I got in this month's Ipsy bag. It came just a couple days ago, which is early for me honestly. This month was a good one, and the theme is All Eyes On You. 

I think the bag everything came in is so cute! It's got a vinyl feel to it, and the back of it is a pretty blue color. The zipper is at the top of the bag, which I definitely appreciate. 

The first product I received is a travel size of the Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths. I love the Skyn Iceland brand and am currently using a cleanser of theirs that is pretty darn good. I can always use wipes like these. 

Next up is a City Color Eyeshadow Trio in Falling Leaves. It comes with a matte burnt orange, metallic bronze and a champagne highlight color that look pretty nice, but I have yet to swatch them and see how good they are. City color isn't really a brand I've dipped my toes into. 

Next is a Lasting Smiles Lip balm in the scent Peppermint Creme. I love lip balms and have a stash of them that will probably last me for the rest of my life. The cool thing about this brand is that for every one of these lip balms sold, it helps to fund cleft surgeries for children. Every 1,000 sold helps out one child. 

Then we have a Tre'StiQue Mini Matte Lip Crayon in the shade Florence Fig. This is a beautiful color and I'm pretty sure I've gotten one of their lip crayons in a previous bag before. This brand makes some nice products though, so I don't mind having another one!

The last product I received is theBalm Mr. Write(Now) Eyeliner in the shade Jack B. Bronze. I've tried a few theBalm products and haven't been too impressed honestly. The eyeliner I got is broken and fell out when I first opened it, but it's still usable, so I won't bother contacting Ipsy Care about it.

That's everything I got! Not too bad for just $10 a month, if you ask me. If you want your own Ipsy bag, I'd love it if you used my affiliate code here. Like I said, it's just $10 a month, plus shipping for some, and you get typically 5 deluxe beauty products to try. Occasionally you'll get a full size product, which is pretty nice!

If you're already subscribed, what did you receive?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask

*Disclosure* Product featured was provided for review thanks to Tomoson. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always

Hello everyone! Today I bring you yet another Valentia product review, this time being on the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. You all know my love for Valentia from my previous reviews, and this one is no different!

Here is a bit about the product from Amazon:

Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask - A blend of amino acids and hyaluronic acid work together to flood the skin with moisture providing intense hydration and nourishment. The result is a softer more luminous looking complexion that feels rejuvenated from the inside out. 

This is said to boost collagen production, increase skin radiance, reduce fine lines, lock in skins moisture, and reveal softer, smoother skin. 

Some ingredients to note:

Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend: These natural miracles increase moisture content and help in the production of collagen and elastin which decreases the appearance of visible lines.  
Botanical Hyaluronic Acid: Penetrates deep into the skin to secure moisture and plump skin from within. 
Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil: An anti-aging wonder berry that results in fewer fine lines, diminished sun spots, more even skin tone, and firmer more supple skin. 
Japanese Green Tea: Contains catechins that provide anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-irritant effects to the skin. 
Aloe Vera: This botanical moisturizers skin and fight aging by improving skin firmness.

I absolutely love this mask after I use a detoxifying mask. In the Winter especially, those kinds of masks tend to dry out my skin more, but I still need to use them to keep my pores clear. Using a hydrating mask afterwards helps to combat any dry skin I may get. The first thing I noticed was the scent. The Valentia products I've tried have smelled like citrus, but this one smells very different to me. It's kind of like a sweet/sour candy. It's not unpleasant, but I wasn't expecting it either. The directions say to apply to your skin and leave on for 15-30 minutes. It also says that tingling is normal, which I do get, but it's not bothersome at all. I tend to leave this on for closer to 30 minutes, then rinse of with a warm washcloth. After doing my little pamper routine, my skin feels so soft and hydrated, and it definitely does look plumper! I have also used this just after exfoliating, and have the same results. It hasn't clogged up my pores or made me breakout either, which is a great bonus.

Overall, for hydrating mask that only costs $23.99 here on Amazon, you can't really beat it. I continue to be impressed by this brand more and more and the prices are very reasonable.

Does this seem like a mask you would try?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: Derma E Firming DMAE Eye Lift #NOTICETHELOTUS

*Disclosure* This post is sponsored thanks to Derma E and BrandBacker. All opinions are 100% honest and my own, like always

Hi everyone! I was so excited to be chosen to talk about the Derma E Firming DMAE Eye Lift. You all know I love a good eye cream, and Derma E is known for being free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and petrolatum, as well as cruelty-free, gluten-free and 100% vegan!

Derma E is now selling a few of their products at Target, with the Firming DMAE Eye Lift being one of them. I've tried just a couple Derma E products in the past, and have always been impressed. I definitely love what the company stands for in regards to animal welfare and taking care of the planet. 

The Derma E DMAE Eye Lift is said to visibly lift, firm and tighten the delicate eye area, while smoothing crow's feet. DMAE is clinically proven to boost collagen for firmer, more resilient skin. InstaLift® Goji Berry glycopeptides add further firming, lifting and tightening antioxidant power. Advanced peptides Argireline® and Matrixyl® synthe'6® work together to soften facial muscles and synthesize new key components such as collagen, helping smooth wrinkles and discourage new lines from forming. Hyaluronic Acid, also known as nature's moisture magnet, infuses a surge of cooling eye moisture helping leave skin soft, smooth, tone and rehydrated. With continued use, this is said to leave the eye area firmer, smoother and younger looking. 

Since I started using this, I can definitely tell a difference with the skin around my eyes. I used this morning and night for about a week, then just at night for another week and a half. I love how hydrating this feels while sinking in fast, and it just feels like my eyes are brighter and smoother. I don't have wrinkles yet, but I do get dehydration lines. Those are gone since starting to use this!

There is a video on YouTube that you can watch here to see the results people have gotten from using this eye cream, and some of them are pretty fantastic! 

Now that Derma E is at Target, what are you planning to pick up? Next time I go, I definitely want to see what they have to offer (along with buying some things I probably don't need, but hey, that's what Target does to you!).

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Beautylish Lucky Bag 2016

Hi guys! I just received the Beautylish Lucky Bag in the mail, and let me tell you, this was pretty expensive, but completely worth it in the end!

The whole Lucky Bag (box?) cost $75 plus $5 for shipping on the Beautylish site. I had done a pre-order the day after Christmas and it was shipped out on January 4th. The only thing with this box was that you had no idea what you were getting. I had read that in previous years, this was worth every penny, so I'm glad I bit the bullet and spent the $80. Here's a list of everything I got, along with their individual prices:

- Wayne Goss The Brow Set: $55
- it Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed: $29
- Nudestix Blur Pencil: Can't find this exact product online, but their other Pencils are $24
- Becca Ombre Rouge Eye Palette: $40
- Kevin Aucoin The Creamy Glow in shade Tresbelle: $26
- Bioderma 100 ml: $6.95

Total value of the Lucky Box for 2016: $180.95

Ok, so it's pretty safe to say that this is 100% completely worth the $80 I paid! I've never tried Wayne Goss' brushes before, but have been dying to, and I was so close to buying the Becca Ombre Rouge palette last month at Ulta, but put it back last minute. I can't be happier with this Lucky Bag, and I will most likely buy next year's as well!

Did you buy this year's Lucky Bag? What did you get in yours?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

December 2015 Empties

*Post contains some affiliate links*
Hey everyone! I've fallen behind a little bit on the blog here lately. I've been on this decluttering my house kick, and all I want to do is just clean. That's pretty weird for me since I hate cleaning, but I figured since we're in a new year, I should start getting rid of junk I no longer use or need. Anyway, today's post is going to be the products I used up in December. I initially didn't think I used up much last month, but it was more than expected!

Starting off with a few bath/shower products, I finally have managed to use up the Pura D'or Premium Organic Hair Loss Shampoo and the Argan Oil Conditioner. I had reviewed this duo here close to a year ago now, and it took forever for me to go through. Now that these are gone, I'm glad they are honestly. In the end, I didn't like these. They didn't do much for my hair, and if anything, they made it feel more dirty. The only good thing is that the conditioner smelled incredible and made my hair feel soft. 

I also manged to use up the Adovia Dead Sea Salt Scrub. I did a review on this here, and at first I really did like it. The scent is pretty strong that reminds me of a very fancy spa, and the scrubbing bits are pretty rough as well. That helped me with the rough bumps I have on my arms, but this scrub is oil based and it made the bathtub so slippery, which I'm not a fan of. I'm clumsy enough, so a slick tub and I don't get along too well. 

Next is some body and health products. The Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer seemed like it was never ending! It lasted me through the Summer til the middle of December, with nearly daily use on my arms. I had gotten this a long time ago in a past Influenster voxbox, and I really freaking liked it! It's very light, sinks in nicely, and feels pretty hydrating considering it was so light. I have another one of these in a brown container which I believe is a cocoa butter scent. This one has pure oat extract in it, so it smelled like uncooked oatmeal to me. 

Next up is a Bath & Body Works Foaming Hand Soap in the Georgia Bourbon Peach scent. I adore these soaps, but prefer the soap with the scrubbing beads, so I'm trying to use up the foaming ones first. This scent was incredible for the Fall time. 

The Tom's Sensitive toothpaste is wonderful! It's fairly expensive and I only buy it when it's on sale, but it makes my teeth and gums feel clean and not irritated. 

Last up is a Wegmans brand Women's multivitamin. Nothing special about this, but I do like to take a daily multivitamin for the supposed health benefits they're said to provide. 

Lastly is some skincare and a lone makeup product. The sample size of the Lancome Definicils Mascara was awesome while it lasted. it gave my lashes amazing definition and length, but not the best volume, which is fine. I just use a separate mascara if I want the extra volume. 

You all know my love for The Body Shop is strong, and the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner is no exception. This makes my skin feel soft and not as greasy. However, I don't think I'll be purchasing this anymore, because it contains denatured alcohol in it. I haven't had any bad reactions because of it, but I want to start really taking care of my skin more and use products with better ingredients. I do have one left of these that I'll start using again in the Spring, but that'll be it once it runs out!

It took forever for me to use up the Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye Gel. I reviewed this almost a year ago here and overall, I think it's a nice eye gel. It's not incredibly hydrating, and if you have very dry under-eyes, you won't like this at all. I'd say I have normal under-eyes, so this worked fine for me, especially in the warmer months. As it got colder, I felt like I needed something a bit more hydrating. 

I used up a sample of the MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28. Don't buy this stuff, it's awful! I'm not sure if the sample I had went bad, but it balled up immediately when I put it on my skin, and I had to wash my face all over again. 

The final product I used up is a deluxe sample of the Murad Perfecting Day Cream SPF 30. Murad products are pretty darn amazing, but they're expensive. I hate to say that I liked this, but I really liked this! I may have oily skin that turns more combination in colder weather, but this made my skin feel incredible and look amazing. 

So, I decided to be a little weird and tally up how many products I was able to use up the entire year of 2015:

January: 17
February: 16
March: 19
April: 15
May: 15
June: 15
July: 8
August: 11
September: 14
October: 10
November: 25
December: 12

So if my math is correct, I used up 177 products this year! I honestly didn't think I had used up that much, but it just shows how much stuff I really have. I'm making it my mission in 2016 to use up as many products as I can. Like I said above, I'm in decluttering mode lately. Mainly because the lease is up on our apartment the end of June, and I really want to be able to move by then because we'll have been living in the same place for 4 years, and I feel like it's time to move on to a bigger place. I figured I'd get a head start with cleaning up and just getting rid of stuff I no longer care for, use, or haven't used in years (which is alot honestly), therefore making the move a bit easier for us. I'm also putting myself on a beauty spending ban for three months, so I can't buy myself any makeup, skincare, bodycare, or haircare until April 1st. I don't foresee myself running out of anything in that time frame, so I should be okay. There are alot of new products out in the drugstore that I'm dying to try out, but they'll have to wait for now!

What did you use up last month? Any resolutions you have that you hope to stick with?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

December 2015 Favorites

 *Some links below are affiliate links*
Hi everyone, and happy 2016! I'm pretty excited that 2015 is over and done with, and I can't wait to get this new year started. Today I'm going to be sharing with you some products that stood out to me in December. I am planning on doing a yearly favorites that should be up sometime next week, so stay tuned for that, but for now, here are a few products I loved last month!

The first product I was loving was the Arvazallia Rejuvenating Hair Mask. I had reviewed the entire 3-step range here, and completely fell in love with the line. The mask in particular has been so amazing for my hair lately. I honestly don't wash my hair too often, about every 2 or 3 days, but alot of times, my hair is just so dry! I don't use this mask every time I wash my hair, but about every 3rd washing I will. This mask just makes my hair feel so soft, silky and manageable. 

Next up is a toothbrush. You probably are thinking I'm a total weirdo (I am, actually), but hear me out! I'm sure I've mentioned here before that my teeth and gums are super sensitive. I can only really use a sensitive toothpaste, but I also can only use extra soft toothbrushes. I can never find extra soft toothbrushes in-store anywhere, so I end up buying them online. I found a package of 8 toothbrushes by a brand called Cand, for just $13.99. They're apparently a Chinese brand and these toothbrushes have black bamboo charcoal bristles (again, totally weird). I was reading up on these before purchasing, and they're said to help get rid of toxins in your mouth and to help with tooth whitening. I haven't used mine long enough to notice any whitening, but this is hands down the best toothbrush I've ever tried! My teeth and gums feel so clean, it doesn't irritate at all, and my teeth feel clean for alot longer than when I used a different toothbrush. I kept telling my husband how impressed I was that even he started using one, and he loves it too. This has changed my life honestly.

The next product is by a brand called Ecru, and it's their Acacia Protein BB Cream for Hair. I had received this in a previous Ipsy bag, and was kinda intrigued at the thought of a bb cream that you use on your hair. To me, this is basically just a lightweight leave-in conditioner, but it makes my hair feel so incredibly soft, and when I use it after the Arvazallia hair mask, my hair feels just incredible. I feel like this has helped my hair to feel cleaner longer as well. 

My next favorite has been a Philosophy Lip Shine in the scent Red Velvet Cake. Now, I love these lip shines mainly because of all the different scents. They don't particularly leave color on the lips, but if you apply these over a matte lipstick, they make your lips look and feel big and juicy, which I really enjoy. I have so many of these and I just love them.

My last favorite has been the Valentia True Glow Eye Cream, which I did review on here. I'm in love with the Valentia brand and have gotten so lucky to be able to try a bunch of their products. This eye cream makes the skin around my eyes feel so soft and hydrated, but I never get an oily film, which can happen if I use an eye cream that's too rich. I feel like this helps with dehydration lines and slowly helps with dark circles as well.

What have you been loving lately?