Saturday, December 2, 2017

Collective Ulta & Sephora Beauty Insider Haul

I've purchased some beauty bits since the Summertime, and wanted to share with you all what I picked up! I've been on a kick lately with self-care in taking better care of my skin and occasionally doing my makeup more. I'm so excited I got to treat myself and can't wait to give everything a try!

I'll start off with the most exciting purchases, eyes shadow palettes! You all know eye shadow palettes are my favorite, and I ended up picking up 3 during different sales where I received 20% off my purchase, and that included prestige brands. I don't really watch Jaclyn Hill much on YouTube anymore, but her eye shadow palette that she put out with Morphe looked absolutely beautiful. Now with Morphe being sold at Ulta, I'm more inclined to try their products. 

I don't have very many MAC products in my collection, but the Cool Neutral eye shadow palette really tripped my trigger. I LOVE cool toned shadows, and I feel like every palette out there is warm toned, so this is a welcome palette to my collection. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills makes some amazing products (the clear brow gel is fantastic!), and I typically love their palettes. With the whole Subculture debacle, I was wary of buying any more from them. However, the Prism palette is just so stunning, and limited edition, so I knew I had to have it before it went away for good. I have yet to try it on my eyes, but I'm excited to, even though reviews I've seen are mixed. 

Skincare is always my weakness, and I haven't used Dermalogica products in ages. Their Active Moist moisturizer was a favorite of mine years ago when I was in cosmetology school. I figured I'd give it a try again to see if I still like it. 

Face masks are my favorite skincare product to use, and I had never heard of the brand Skin & Lab before. They have a few different kinds of masks, but I chose their Glacial Clay Facial Mask, which is said to be a purifying cooling & pore refining treatment with Canadian colloidal & Avena satiba oatmeal. This mask seems to be right up my alley!

I'm in need of replacing my beloved The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner since it's so pricey now, and with the 20% off coupon, I decided to give the Mario Badescu Keratoplast Cleansing Lotion a try. It seems like a simple toner and only has a few ingredients, so I'm hopeful this is a good one.

'Tis the season for dry hands and lips. I tend to go through hand creams and lip balms like they're going out of style once the weather cools down, so I decided to get the Delectable Dream Cream Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream set, and the Skinfix Lip Fix set. I went through so many lip balms and hand creams when my daughter was in the NICU, and I still seem to go through alot, so I can never have enough!

These Hempz products were a gift with purchase for spending a certain amount, and I had never tried any of these products, so I figured I'd give them a go. It came with the Triple Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, Hand Sanitizer, Body Cream and Lip Balm.

I wasn't planning on purchasing anything from the recent Rouge/VIB/Beauty Insider sale Sephora recently had, but this was the first year Beauty Insiders received a discount. I'm no longer Rouge, and much prefer Ulta's reward system, but the Kat Von D Saint & Sinner eye shadow palette for Holiday 2017 stood out to me. I missed out on last year's palette, Metal Matte, and I kick myself for not getting it still, so I knew I had to get Saint & Sinner. 

I also cashed in 100 points since I rarely buy from Sephora, so I got the Farmacy Honey Potion Hydration Mask. This is a brand I've been dying to try, and my skin needs some extra hydration lately. 

Is there anything you've purchased lately from recent sales?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Review: Jan Marini Clean Zyme Face Cleanser & Skin Zyme Face Mask

*Product provided for review via BrandBacker*
Jan Marini is a brand I had heard good things about, but never got the chance to try, until now! I was able to try out the Clean Zyme Face Cleanser and the Skin Zyme Face Mask. You all know my love for anything skincare related, so I was super excited to try a new-to-me brand!

Here is some info on the brand itself:

Jan Marini Skin Research is one of the most respected brands in professional skin care. JMSR has formed associations with some of the world's leading physicians and research scientists to develop cutting edge solutions to today's most common skin concerns. JMSR has introduced a host of technological firsts, has been awarded numerous patents and has published multiple independent peer-reviewed studies on it's products.  

Here is info on the products:

Clean Zyme cleanser and Skin Zyme mask are supplemental home care exfoliation products that have the ability to remove dead skin cells without harming sensitive or irritated tissues. Use anytime for an immediate polished look! Intended to be used as a pair. Both products are also great when used as part of a comprehensive skin care regimen. Proteolytic enzymes gently resurface to reveal healthy, smooth and polished skin


Instructions for using Clean Zyme: 

Clean Zyme should be applied in place of regular cleanser and left on 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a clean, wet and rung out washcloth using lukewarm water. Blot dry. 


Instructions for Skin Zyme: 

Apply Skin Zyme in a thin, even layer over entire face (and neck, if desired) and allow to remain for up to 20 minutes. To Remove Skin Zyme, apply a small amount of Clean Zyme to face and massage very gently to achieve emulsification. Remove with a washcloth and splash face 10 to 15 times with lukewarm water. Blot dry and follow with usual Skin Care Management products and/or moisturizer. 

These products were very interesting for me. I'm mainly used to cleansers that foam or at least have a nice lather to them. Clean Zyme is basically just a gel that you rub onto your skin that has no lather whatsoever. However, it is very effective in cleaning my skin and makes it feel soft and supple. 

Skin Zyme is a creamy mask that doesn't dry down and feels very nice on my skin. I typically prefer clarifying masks that draw out impurities, so this was a different, but welcome, change to my regular masks. Using a drop of the cleanser to remove the mask is quite different for me as well, but makes removing the mask easier than what I'm used to. The mask is a beige-y green color that sort of reminds me of avocado.

Both products have a light, refreshing scent that isn't overbearing, and both products haven't irritated my skin. I definitely feel like my skin was softer, and more plump after using this duo. 

The Clean Zyme and Skin Zyme duo runs $90 on the Jan Marini website.

Does this duo seem like something you'd be interested in?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

October 2017 Empties

I know I recently posted my empties for August and September, and I was thinking of waiting another month, but October was a great month with using up products! I don't think I've used up this many products in one month for quite a while. Since I have a good amount of products to share, I'll be combining November and December empties, even if it's a long post. So, without further ado, let's see what I used up!

Starting off with some skincare, I used up the AzureNaturals Ultimate Vitamin C Toner. I had a few skincare products sent to me from this brand, and they're not awful, but they're not great either. I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase anything myself. 

I've been working my way through the InstaNatural Youth Express Vitamin C Moisturizer for so long, I was getting so tired of using it! It's a decent moisturizer, but after using it all up, I feel like it just sits on my skin and doesn't sink in. 

I tend to shy away from Lancome skincare, mainly because it's so expensive, but their products are typically heavily fragranced. However, the Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate was lovely! There was little scent to it, and it really made my skin feel so soft and look brighter. Would I buy a full size? Eh, I don't know. I feel like there are better serums at a lower price, but this one is very nice regardless. 

Ole Henriksen makes some AMAZING skincare! I had a deluxe sample of their Sheer Transformation moisturizer, and I fell in love after the first application. I seriously think this may be in my top favorite moisturizers, that's now much I love it! I'm pretty certain I have a full size in my skincare stash, but I want to use a few more deluxe samples first before I open it. 

For haircare, I used up the Tresemme Platinum Strength Shampoo. The conditioner was in my previous empties, as my husband had used it a few times. I typically go through shampoos faster than conditioners, but I'm happy to have both used up now. They've been in my shower for way too long. There was nothing too special about this shampoo. It got the job done and is pretty inexpensive as well. 

I had purchased the Infusium 23 Color Defender Conditioner years ago after coloring my hair and wanting something different. I no longer color my hair, but wanted to still use this up. It made my hair super soft, but has a heavy fragrance. I got it from Big Lots for just a few dollars, so I have no clue if they even make this product anymore.  

Two body products I used up were The Body Shop Almond Shower Gel and the Philosophy Pomegranate Bubbly Exfoliating Shower Gel. You all know I'm obsessed with anything from The Body Shop, and the Almond Shower Gel was no exception. I also love Philosophy shower products, but this scrub was weird. The granules were too harsh and I wasn't a fan of the smell. 

I've used up more Bath & Body Works products! The Warm Vanilla Sugar Deep Cleansing Hand Soap, Vermont Sugar Maple Foaming Hand Soap, and the Vanilla Buttercream Hand Cream were all great! I love sweet scented hand products, and even my husband enjoyed the Vermont Maple Sugar soap. I've just realized how expensive all B&BW products are, even with a sale, so I'm slowly going through all products I have of theirs, and will likely not be buying anything else. 

 Lastly, I have a couple random products, and one of Olivia's. I don't understand why it takes me so long to go through mouthwash, but the Listerine Total Care Zero took me insanely long to go through. Possibly a year or more! Even though this has no alcohol in it, I still feel like it burned my mouth, but maybe I'm just sensitive. 

Call me gross, but I don't wear deodorant everyday. I'm home with my daughter, so I only ever wear it if we go out for errands, or have her physical/occupational therapists and family over. I really enjoyed the Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant. It smells really nice, and the spray nozzle is pretty great as well. I think I got this in a previous Influenster box, but I may purchase myself in the future. 

The last product that was used up was the Johnson's Baby Head-to-Toe Wash. This was of course what I used for Olivia during baths, and it's just ok. We got so many different products for her and still have tons to use up still before we need to buy anything ourselves. I will likely switch to something else once we run out of everything else we have

Number of products used up: 14
Total used up for the year: 70

I'm honestly so proud of myself right now! I've been struggling using up products ever since my daughter was born, but I finally feel like I'm making progress. I had made a new goal of using up 75 products total for the year, and I can't believe I'm 5 away! I won't make a new goal now, as there is only 2 more months of the year, but I hope to make some good progress. I hope to use up a lot more or deluxe samples I have, as well as foil packet samples. I also need to really make an effort with using up makeup, since I have way too much for any normal person to go through! 

What are some products you've used up recently? 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

August & September 2017 Empties

It's been quiet again here on the blog. I'm still trying to get into a groove with being a mom and a blogger, so I'm sorry if all goes quiet every so often. I have some empties from August and September to share, and I'm quite impressed with my progress! I was going to wait until the end of October, but this month has been pretty awesome with using up products, so stay tuned for that post! 

Most of this post will be skincare, and these are some smaller products and samples. I used up two foil packet samples, one being the Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil and the other being a Diskinson's Oil Controlling Towelette. I liked the face oil as a final step to my skincare routine at night. It kept my skin feeling hydrated, and I woke up with baby soft skin. The towelette I used in the morning as a toner before serum and moisturizer. I have tons of these honestly, and I liked it a lot. 

The Azure Naturals Ultimate Vitamin C Serum was alright. I had it in my stash for a while, and got bored of it fast. I typically like Vitamin C serums, but I didn't like this one in the end. 

I decluttered the Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan sunscreen after trying to use it once. It had separated horribly and the smell was off, so in the trash it goes. 

I really enjoyed the Bliss Best of Skintentions moisturizer. I like the scent and how it sinks into my skin without making it feel greasy. I have a few of these samples in my stash still, so I hope to use them up before the end of the year. 

We all know I love Derma e products, and I had done a review of their Firming DMAE Eye Lift a while ago. This product took forever to use up, and I loved it til the last drop! I would absolutely buy this when I use up the eye creams I have already. 

My love for sheet masks is still strong, but masking in general has been hard with a baby and life. I managed to use the Tony Moly I'm Real Moisturizing Aloe Mask, and the Sephora brand Pearl Mask meant for perfecting and brightening. I enjoyed both, but prefer the Tony Moly mask. Even though I have oily skin, I've been dealing with dry patches and flakes. Now with the weather changing, it'll just get worse, so hydration is key for me. 

I used up another of my beloved Aloe Calming Toners from The Body Shop. I've loved and used this toner for years, and only have 2 or 3 as backups. It's gotten too pricey for what it is, in my opinion, so I'll be looking for a replacement at a lower cost. 

The last few products are miscellaneous. I've had the Tresemme Platinum Strength shampoo and conditioner in my shower for way too long, and surprisingly I used up the conditioner first. I love this brand and would buy it again. It's inexpensive and gets the job done, plus makes my hair feel like a million bucks. 

There are two less Bath & Body Works products in my stash, and I used up the Pumpkin Coconut candle, which smells heavenly, and the Spring Time & Clementines deep cleansing hand soap. I cannot wait to use up all these hand soaps, and move on to others that are less expensive. 

I had purchased the Dermasil Dry Skin Treatment moisturizer at the dollar store of all places, and it worked better than some of my expensive moisturizers. I don't think I'd purchase again, only because I have so many body creams and lotions to use up. 

Number of products used up: 13
Total used up for the year: 56

Definitely not where I want to be with the products used up, but I'm very happy with my progress. I think my original goal was to use up 150 products, but with really only 2 months of the year left, that won't happen. If I can get to 75, I can start fresh in January and really work towards my goal of using up products and decluttering my life. 

What are some products you used up recently?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fall Lip Product Haul

*Post contains affiliate links*
Hey guys! I know posting has been very sporadic, and I'm really trying to figure out a blogging schedule that fits around my daughter's routines. It's been kinda tough lately figuring things out with her, and this blog has been neglected. Please bear with me as I figure things out! Anyway, I decided to do a little lip product shopping when Ulta was having an extra points deal, as well as a 20% off coupon. I'm all about Fall and love everything about it! The colors, smells, foods, cooler weather, it all puts me in a good mood. 

As you can see, I got quite a few lippies to play with! Maybelline was buy one, get one 50% off, so I picked up the matte shade called Toasted Truffle, and a Color Sensational lipcolor in Deepest Cherry. I've been wanting to experiment with nude shades and see what works with my fair skin, and of course I needed something dark for Fall. 

Revlon was also buy one, get one 50% off so I chose Mauvy Night and Certainly Red. I love mauve shades so much, and I love trying different shades of red. Certainly Red may not be cool toned enough for me, but I have yet to try it out. 

I don't own very many MAC products, and most people say a lot of good things about their lipsticks. I got Party Line and Creme in Your Coffee, both of which are cremesheens. Both shades are gorgeous, and I cannot wait to rock these in Fall and Winter!

The e.l.f. Matte Lip Colors have intrigued me since they came out. They're so inexpensive, and I have heard pretty good things about them. I picked the shades Praline and Wine, which I hear great things about. I definitely look forward to trying these out finally!

I love me some lip products, and would love to know if there is anything you've picked up recently that I need to try!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Review: HASK Monoi Coconut Dry Shampoo

 *Product sent for review thanks to BrandBacker*
As a mom to an almost 11 month old, dry shampoo is pretty prevalent in my life. Showers sometimes need to be skipped, but I still want my hair to look somewhat decent and not oily. I was given the chance to try out the HASK Coconut Dry Shampoo, and I've been pretty impressed with it!

Here is some info on the HASK Coconut Dry Shampoo:

Infused with a tropical coconut scent
Long-lasting Oil Absorption
Removing excess oil is now easier than lather, rinse and repeat. Skip a wash or extend the life of your style with this lightweight, coconut infused formula that will leave your second day hair even fresher than the first. Ultra-fine rice starch acts quickly to soak up oil, sweat and odor leaving hair bouncy, vibrant and clean. The tropical escape your hair has been waiting for!


You can find HASK dry shampoos at Ulta Beauty for $7.99 each. 

You all know I love anything that smells like coconut, and this particular dry shampoo smells incredible! It also makes my hair feel nice and fresh, even if I skipped a couple days of washing. It doesn't leave white streaks in my hair and makes it feel less fine as well. The can it comes in is huge and will likely last me a long while, which will be great for me in the Winter while I'm missing the warm weather of Summer. 

I feel like this is a great dry shampoo, the price is right, and definitely something I would consider purchasing myself!

What dry shampoo do you like to use?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Sugar Texturizing Spray

*Product sent for review. All opinions are my own, as always*
Salt sprays for your hair are all the rage, but a sugar spray? I had honestly never heard of them before, until I was given the chance to try the Sugar Texturizing Spray from the brand Number 4. 

Here is some info on the product from their website:  

Sugar Texturizing Spray denounces salt while heralding sugar in a declaration of sweet love for hair texture that is perfectly undone. Transform limp, lackluster strands into loose, touchably soft, “beach inspired” waves with a nourishing blend of sugar and flexible styling aids. Sugar Texturizing Spray aids in style defense against humidity to help build a long-lasting relationship with texture that’s more than just a summer fling. 

Sugar Texturizing Spray achieves hair texture through simple sugar cane molecules and flexible styling aids producing a lattice of soft structure and haphazard patterns of loose, shiny waves. Flex net resins help keep glossy texture intact despite unfavorable conditions of heat and humidity, while anti-static properties provide extra nourishment.

Directions say to lightly spray on damp or dry hair and style as desired. Then you can air dry or blow dry with a diffuser. 

Now, like I said above, I had never heard of a sugar texturizing spray. Any salt sprays I would use ended up drying out my hair so bad, that I had to use a crazy amount of conditioner just to make my hair feel good again. Therefore, I would never use salt sprays, because I like soft hair that's manageable and easy to work with.  

I find the Sugar Texturizing Spray to be an absolutely fantastic alternative to salt sprays! It hasn't made my hair feel any different texture wise once I wash again, and it doesn't make my hair feel crunchy like other texturizing sprays can.

The one thing I'm not a huge fan of is the scent. It has notes of Tonka Beans, Patchouli, and Spanish Moss. If you're a fan of these fragrances, then this will likely be a texturizing spray you'll enjoy. I can be very sensitive to certain scents, and depending on how my allergies are on certain days, I have to skip this. Otherwise, I'm a fan!

You can find the Sugar Texturizing Spray on the Number 4 website, as well as a whole bunch of other products for hair and body. 

What do you think of a sugar texturizing spray versus a salt spray?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Finding the Perfect Car w/ Cars.com

*This is a sponsored post*

Car shopping can be one of the most intimidating things to do. Being equipped with the knowledge and being prepared before going into a dealership, or private sale, is incredibly important, and Cars.com makes the task so much easier!

It's no secret that my husband and I are on a budget lately. We're also in the process of looking for a newer to us vehicle, as the one we have is pretty old. We need something that is family friendly because of Olivia, but at a great price point. Cars.com is incredible because you can input so much different info, from a certain model you're looking for, to the price point you want. The website also has a very handy Videos & Reviews section, which can really be beneficial while doing research!

When you find a vehicle you prefer, it's so important to do tons and tons of research! Look up different models you're interested in. Look up reviews. Determine your budget. With all that information, you go into a dealership feeling confident and ready to (hopefully) take home a new car! 

Another piece of advice that I've learned over the years is to not buy anything our of your comfort zone price-wise. Keep a mental note of the price you want to spend for a certain car, and keep doing your research. 

Eventually, the perfect car will come your way, and you'll have Cars.com to thank for it! 

Are you looking into buying a new car soon?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ulta Beauty Haul

I haven't purchased anything beauty related since December 2016. Yep, a full 7 months of not spending any money on makeup, skincare, haircare, etc. If you're a reader of my blog, you know having my daughter early had me put my blog on hold, as well as taking care of myself. I used to love doing my makeup and having a long skincare routine. Since she's been born, I have yet to wear makeup and I still struggle with doing even the simplest of skincare routines. I had put myself on a no-buy for this year, but was really wanting to start feeling good about myself again. Did I need more makeup? No, not at all, but it felt good ordering new products to add to my collection, and Ulta is definitely my favorite place for all things beauty. 

I have a ton of skincare, but always enjoy trying something new, so when I saw the brand Skinfood was on sale, I took advantage! I picked up the Rice Brightening Scrub Foam and the Egg White Pore Hot Steam Pack. My skin needs some good exfoliation and brightening, and my blackheads are out of control, so I cannot wait to try these! Plus, I love Korean brand skincare, as they always seem to have the best products at typically great prices.

I need new eyeshadow palettes like I need a hole in my head. The Ulta brand had a sale going as well, and I was very interested in getting the Melisa Michelle palette. I just love her and have been following her YouTube channel for years now. Her palette comes with 9 eyeshadows, a highlight, blush and a liquid lipstick. Not a bad deal for just $20 if you ask me! I also picked up two of their other eyeshadow palettes, Rose Gold and Matte Neutrals. I can't wait to start playing with these!

During the time I made this purchase, there was a sampler pack of haircare if you spent a certain amount, so I decided to get it. There are so many nice products from Living Proof, It's a 10, Redken and more. I usually don't do much with my hair, and I typically let it air dry, but I'll be able to use most of these products. 

Is there anything you've treated yourself to lately?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

May, June & July 2017 Empties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are some things you've used up recently?

Monday, July 24, 2017

NEW! Macy's Beauty Box Overview

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

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

Products in bag:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 2017 Goals

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

GOALS FROM MAY

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

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

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

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

GOALS FOR JULY

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Keeping Cool During Summer w/ Evian

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

Here is some info of the brand:

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: NeoCorium EGF & Stem Cell Facial Treatment

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

Here is some info on the product from their website:

What it is

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

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

What it can do for you

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


Why it works

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does this sound like a product you would try?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

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

Here is a little bit about the product:

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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


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

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

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

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

You can find this cleanser here on the NeoStrata website

Have you tried this cleanser?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

What are your plans for Mother's Day?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

April 2017 Empties

*Post contains affiliate links*
I'm finally able to share the products I used up every month now! April wasn't the best for using stuff up, but I currently have a few products on their last legs. 

Starting off with a little bit of skincare, the first product I used up was the REN Mayblossom And Blue Cypress Balancing Facial Cleansing Gel. Phew, that's a long name! I did like this cleanser, but I could only get 2 uses out of it, so it's hard to say if I'd repurchase, if it's still available. It seems like it's nice for oily skin. 

I have been working on the InstaNatural Youth Express Eye Serum for ages! I have a review here and now that it's completely used up, my final thoughts are it's a nice product, but I don't think I'd purchase myself. If you don't have any eye issues except for a tiny bit of dryness, you'll like this. If you have lines, wrinkles, dryness, and every other issue with the skin around your eyes, this isn't for you. 

Last skincare product is from Borghese and it's their Intensifying Moisturizer. I used this as a serum underneath my regular moisturizer, and I really liked the extra hydration this gave. Even though I have oily skin, I've been battling dry, flaky skin in certain areas, and this helped immensely. 

For bath and shower products, I only used up two. My husband helped with the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo, and we both liked it. It cleaned well, but I felt like it made my hair greasy faster. 

I don't think The Body Shop still carries this line of shower gels, but the Shower Gels For Earth Lovers in Cucumber & Mint was so refreshing, and my skin LOVED it! It lathered up nicely and left my skin feeling so soft and hydrated, I barely needed moisturizer after. 

The last sort of random product is the Wegmans brand One Daily Women's multi vitamin. What I liked about these is that they contain Folate and not Folic Acid. My body can't break down Folic Acid, which is the synthetic form of Folate, and it's surprisingly hard to find inexpensive multi's with Folate. Definite repurchase!

Number of products used up: 6
Total used up for the year: 22

AS I said above, I didn't do so hot last month. I'm hoping this month will be better so I can make my goal of using up 150 products!

What have you used up recently?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 2017 Goals

I had some pretty lofty goals for April, and didn't quite make the mark. May is such a nice month to me weather wise, so I'm going to cut myself some slack and go with the flow this month. Lets recap how I did last month, and talk about what I'd like to do in May. 

Goals from April

- Reach 2,000 pageviews on the blog: Didn't happen! I came in at just under 1,400 for the month, and that's ok. I ended up exhausting myself and didn't promote posts like I should have

- Have some ME time: Yes! I did have a little me time and treated myself to a haircut! I hadn't had a haircut in about 2 years, and it was just time to chop it all off and start fresh. I did also manage to hand off Olivia to her dad a few times so I could shower in peace and not have to rush. 

- Continue writing 2 posts a week: Eh, not so much. I was doing so well from about the middle of March to middle of April. Like I mentioned above, I exhausted myself with taking care of Olivia, making sure the house got cleaned, getting her to doctors appointments, making dinner, etc. Life just got crazy and I fell into a bit of a funk. Luckily, I have some awesome friends who understand what I've been going through, so I feel better and am ready to continue growing my blog back up!

- Organize our house: It's getting there! I was doing really well and managed to donate quite a few trash bags of stuff, as well as throw away stuff we no longer needed or wanted. It seriously feels so good getting rid of junk! I always feel like my head clears and I can focus more when things are put in their right place. Of course, our house still isn't perfect (and probably never will be) and is taken over by baby stuff, but I've made some great progress. 

GOALS FOR MAY

- 2,000 blog pageviews. I'm going to keep this as a goal because it's really so attainable, as long as I put in the effort. 

- Have a family day. Since we brought Olivia home, I've been weird about being around germs and lots of people. We've slowly ventured out into the world, and I would like to go out as a family one day to either a park or flea market. Something with just the 3 of us.

- Do a face mask once a week. This one has been soooo hard! I'm still getting back into a skincare routine, and I've been slacking using face masks. I love how they make my skin feel, and I need to use up what I have in my stash. 

- Organize Olivia's clothing. Ok, this has been a feat since she's been born! We've been incredibly lucky to have people give us so much clothing to last through about her first year of life. She's still small and is about to go into 3 to 6 month clothes. I just have so much to go through and sort, and I'm still trying to figure a way to make it easy on myself when she transitions to the next size.  

These are my goals for the month. I am definitely going to cut myself some slack and if I don't hit something, I'm not going to worry. Taking care of Olivia is my #1 priority, and I'm not taking time away from her, as I'm sure most people would understand. 

Let me know what goals you have for the month!