Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September Birchbox 2014

Another great box... keep it rolling Birchbox!  

Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Ruffian Naked.  I love nude nail polish but I still haven't found the perfect shade.  Hoping this might be the "one" as I've used Ruffian polish before and was really impressed with the quality. 

Ruffian Perfumed Nail Laquer Remover Towelette.  I don't think I can stray from the easy peasy nail polish remover that is Sally Hansen Kwik Off because it is the best invention ever for taking off finger nail polish.  I will however be trying out this towelette on my toes. 

Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah Exfoliating Shower Gel.  The bright pink packaging of this product totally drew me in.  I'm using a fairly nourishing shower oil right now but since I love body exfoliation I can see myself popping this into my routine every few days. 

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel.  I'm partial to acid toning, exfoliation and treatments but this no-acid peel looks promising.  I'm up for anything that promises results in such a quick amount of time. 

Forever Noir Long Wear Eyeliner. I usually go for a very natural eye look but I've been thinking about adding some depth to my look in the coming fall and winters months. (I say coming months because it is still very much summer in Los Angeles)  If I can nail the technique down, I intended on using this as an inner rim liner.

Tommy Girl Eau de Toilette. Last but not least.  Although I have so many perfume samples, I can't let a new one make it into my perfume stash without trying it first.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Empties #5

Another empties post because they are my absolute favorite, both to read and write.

This empties post is super sad because I used up two products that I purchased in London: Superdrug Vitamin E Exfoliating Body Scrub and E45 Dry Scalp Shampoo.  Both are absolute loves.  The Vitamin E scrub is cheap, moisturizing and gets the job done.  E45 is probably the best "drugstore" shampoo for dry scalps.  I'm disappointed I can't readily purchase either of these in America.  I found E45 on Amazon but stock issues are questionable.

In skincare, I unexpectedly used up the last pump of my Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse. This is a great product, expect for the packaging because you can't even remotely tell you are getting close to the end before the end is upon you.  This cleanser is a really nice balm than turns into an oil when massaged into the skin.  It is similar to Emma Hardie, but just a tad more oily and runny.  To inject some moisture into my skin, I have been using the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery. This did hydrate my skin but is difficult to work with.  Half of whatever product I dispensed into my hands ran down my hands as I applied it to my face and for that reason alone I wouldn't repurchase it.

Although technically not empty, it was time to throw away my travel size Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara because I'd been using it for too many months.  The effect is a really great dark and dramatic lash but not so dramatic that it can't be worn during the daytime. Another product I didn't really finish is the Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment.  I was cleaning it and accidentally broke off the remaining product.  Love the color of this lip treatment, though there are drugstore dupes that work just as well.

A Birchbox sample I actually finished to the last teeny bit was the Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Treatment Mask.  So moisturizing and so soft; it really does nourish the hair and I would definitely buy the full size from Birchbox.  A product I wouldn't repurchase is the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter.  It is a good, thick moisturizing body cream but it doesn't do anything particularly special so I can't justify buying the full size product.

Can't wait to use up more products.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekly Wants #12

1. Oskia Renaissance Mask.  Why does this have to be so pricey?  I would love to try this mask as the renaissance cleanser is amazing.

2. Lush Rehab Shampoo.  On a recent visit to Lush the girl working told me this shampoo helps with a dry, irritated scalp and now is just one of the many dry scalp shampoos I want to try.

3. Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial.  One minute immediate glow from an awesome skincare brand? Yes please!

4. Prada Saffiano Lux Double Handle Mini Satchel.  99.9% will never purchase this handbag but it is oh so gorgeous.  Great for online window shopping.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lazy Day Haul

A Saturday with no plans and just a few errands to run.  That is how yesterday started.  Cut to the end of the day and I'd made several unplanned purchases (which is so unlike me!)  I blame it on the fact that I've been sick for the past week and needed to spend money to cheer myself up.  

My first stop was Ulta where I picked up The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub because it smells amazing and I've been wanting it since reading reviews online.  I would say it was great timing as I used up a body scrub Saturday morning before heading out, but since I have about six in my stash to use, I didn't really need to pick this up.  Also at Ulta, I got my hands on a lipstick by Revlon called Pink in the Afternoon which I had looked for at Target but hadn't seen.  I saw a review, and some gorgeous photos of this, on a blog called the Bird's Words.  I only discovered Beth's blog recently but I'm loving her posts, clearly, since I already ran to the store based on her recommendation. 

Next I went across the street to Nordstrom where my mom wanted to look at the new Bobbi Brown lipsticks.  At the counter was a display of the new Skin Weightless Powder Foundation.  Now I don't think I've owned powder foundation for years, but with the display was a gorgeous photo of Kate Upton and her makeup was so perfect in the advertisement that I had to ask the girl at the counter to color match me.  It is weightless enough to wear over liquid foundation without having to deal with the cakey look.  However, I am most interested in trying it out without any other base product to see what kind of coverage such a lightweight powder can give.  

The girl who helped me at Bobbi Brown was wearing some beautiful pieces of jewelry, including some rings she told me she found at Nordstrom Rack.  So back across the street I went to see if her rings were still in stock.  They weren't, but luckily I found a set of stackable rings I liked more.  The real selling point was the delicate gold band with a single stone.  It looks so nice on and has an expensive look even though it was extremely inexpensive.

Now I must tell myself no more shopping for awhile! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekly Wants #11

1. Ray Ban Classic Wayfarer.  I wear sunglasses every day while driving and being out and about in the California sun.  I have one pair of sunglasses and I'm tired of them.  However, I don't want to stray from a timeless look.  These have such a great shape and look that isn't overdone.

2. Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo. I'm always looking for a dry/itchy/irritated scalp shampoo that lives up to its name.  The staff at Space NK assure me that this is a great brand and the products really do deliver.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream.  I've read too many good reviews on this and now it is available at Nordstrom.  Must go hide wallet...

4. New Look Tunic.  Browsing the dress section on ASOS is never a good idea.  There are some gorgeous dresses available now but this simple, and of course black, dress is a beautiful piece for fall and winter.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Unexpected Purchase

Earlier this week my beloved, twelve year old flat iron abruptly stopped working.  Obviously, I knew that day would come but it was still a big shock.  My previous flat iron was from a company called Paul Brown Hawaii and my mom bought it for me back in high school.  With a price tag of what most flat irons go for these days, it was definitely a splurge.  But I got my use out of it and I always had great results: smooth hair in just a few passes with no pulling or snagging. 

After getting over the disappointment of having to chuck my old flat iron in the trash, I headed to Sephora just to take a look at what they had in stock.  Of course, I didn't just browse, I bought.  I looked at the GHD straighteners first and was initially attracted to the classic 1" styler in periwinkle. However, a girl working in Sephora asked to try the drybar flat iron on my hair... and no girl turns down a chance to have her hair done.  I was thrilled with the results - my fluffy, frizzy, messy bun hair was smooth, shiny and straight in one pass.  My only concern is that reviews on this flat iron are not that great.  Most say the flat iron stops working relatively fast.  Seeing as my last flat iron lasted for twelve years, I am hesitant that this may not last very long at all.  I'm looking forward to trying it out on my own and hoping I have better luck with this flat iron than others did.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Travel Packing - Adventure

Usually when I pack for vacation, I spend a lot of time thinking about what makeup I'm going to bring and what looks I might want to wear each day of the vacation.  However, by the time this post goes live, I will be in Alaska exploring the great outdoors.  This time I am much more concerned with having the necessary essentials while hiking and exploring nature instead of the perfect shade of lipstick.  The number one thing I made sure to pack was my sunscreen of choice, Coppertone Clearly Sheer SPF 30.  Although this product has a lower SPF, I make sure to apply it every two hours to ensure protection.  I headed to the travel section in Target before I left to get a travel size OFF! Insect Repellant, which I am sure will come in handy as I am especially prone to insect bites.  I usually use Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer but I don't think that will cut it on this trip.  Instead, I need something a little more heavy duty so I also picked up some Wet Ones antibacterial wipes.  I think one, or more of these, will get the job done after I've spent the day hiking, fishing and gold panning until I get back to civilization to clean up.  To keep my lips moisturized after changing climates, and to protect them from the sun, I'm relying on Blistex Five Star Lip Protection SPF 30.  I'm putting all of these products, plus water, snacks and lots of camera equipment into my new Jansport + Madewell Compadre backpack.  

Time to explore!