Monday, March 30, 2015

Manicure Monday

After my last try of using the Sally Hansen Salon Effects, I really wanted to give it a try at home when I had the proper tools to really do the manicure correctly.  I wanted to paint my toenails, since it's getting to be sandal season here in Florida.  While I was doing my nails in Pennsylvania, my mom had mentioned that the Salon Effects strips were so long you could probably do your fingers and your toes with one set.  I decided she was a genius so I gave it a try!

I used this design, called Disk-O-Queen, which I think may have been discontinued, since I bought it at Bealls Outlet awhile ago.  I really liked the way this looked with the sort of half moon and the glitter without the mess.  They applied really easily, with no creases and on my fingers, they lasted for five days, which is really very good on me.  It's been over a week on my toes and they are still looking great there!  To do both my fingers and toes, I just first peeled off the plastic strip on top, then cut the strips in half.  To get a strip that fit my smaller toe nails, I just cut the strip down to size with cuticle scissors.

I will definitely be trying more of these Salon Effects on both my fingers and toes at the same time!  It was fun to have a matching mani and pedi and I felt like I really got my money's worth out of those Salon Effects.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Makeup Bag Recap, 3-28-15

This week was back to a more normal routine for me so I made sure to keep track of what went into my makeup bag.  Here are the products I used this week.

Face Products:
1. Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana (used as a highlight)
2. Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer
3. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny
4. Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Foundation in Buff
5. Physician's Formula Multi Colored Pressed Powder in Translucent
6. Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Bronzer in Fair
7. Pixi Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate
8. Maybelline Define A Brow Pencil in Medium Brown

1. RueBeaute Natural Eye Kit
2. Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Palette 02 (Matte)
3. Too Faced single in Magenta Moon
4. Wet N Wild single in Brulee
5. Hard Candy duo in Peace
6. Ulta Mineral Powder single in Gleam
7. Wet N Wild Trio in Walking on Eggshells
8. L'Oreal Quad in Canyon Stone
9. Cover Girl Trio in Shimmering Sands
10. Milani Shadow Eyez Stick in Sand Dunes
11. e.l.f. Studio single in Pebble
12. Nyx single in Dark Brown

Liners & Mascaras:
1. Physician's Formula Shimer Strips Liner in Nude Eyes (black)
2. Physician's Formula Shimer Strips Liner in Nude Eyes (champagne)
3. Physician's Formula Shimer Strips Liner in Nude Eyes (pewter)
4. Rimmel Scandal Eyes in Brown
5. Jordana 12HR Made to Last Shadow Stick in Continuous Almond (used to line lower waterline)
6. Rimmel Scandal Eyes in Nude
7. Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Waterproof Mascara in Classic Black
8. Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Mascara in Glam Black
9. e.l.f. Volume Plumping Mascara
10. NYC Big Bold Angel Lash Mascara

1. Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Pretty Peach
2. e.l.f. Studio Blush in Blushing Rose
3. e.l.f. Studio Blush in Pink Passion
4. Essence Silky Touch Blush in Autumn Peach
5. Jane Blushing Cheeks in Blushing Petal
6. Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Classic Pink
7. Milani Minerals Blush in Mai Tai

1. Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08
2. Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Pretty Natural
3. NYC Expert Last Lipstick in Creamy Mauve
4. e.l.f. Studio Moisturizing Lipstick in Pink Minx
5. Maybelline Baby Lips in Melon Mania
6. Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue in Berry Soft
7. Maybelline Baby Lips in Coral Crush
8. Blistex Lip Vibrance

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Sonia Kashuk Brush and Sponge Cleanser

Today I'm doing a quick review of the Sonia Kashuk Brush and Sponge Cleanser.  This product is available at Target and I paid $6.99 for my bottle.  This cleanser is meant to be used when you deep clean your makeup brushes or sponges.  I've been using this every week for the last four or five weeks now.

How I Use It: Once a week, I deep clean my makeup brushes that I've used.  (I also should mention that I use this recipe to clean my brushes every night so they don't get too gross and also to remove color before my next use.)  To deep clean, I use warm water to wet my brushes.  In my left hand, I spray the brush cleanser and then use my right hand to swirl the brush in the cleanser and swish around.  Then I rinse the brush until the water runs clear and repeat with the cleanser if necessary until the brush is fully clean.

Pros: Gets your brushes clean and does work pretty well.  Seems to work especially well in removing cream or liquid products like foundation or concealer from brushes.

Cons: Smells strong and chemically when using it, though the scent disappears when the brushes are rinsed.  Noticeably dries out my left hand where the cleanser gets sprayed.  That makes me wonder if it's drying out my brushes too.  They seem soft afterward but I swear they were softer when I used to just use baby shampoo to clean them.  I have to use quite a bit of this spray for my larger brushes.  My large stipple bronzer brush often gets sprayed with about 14 pumps before it comes clean.

Is It A Must Have?  I don't really think so.  Now that I've tried it out, I'll probably stick to only using it to clean my cream or liquid products from my brushes, as it seems to really work well for that.  Powders come out just fine with baby shampoo for me and I'll probably go back to just baby shampoo when this is gone.  It's way cheaper, just as fast, and doesn't leave my hands or brushes feeling as dry after.  What I'll probably end up doing is diluting my baby shampoo with water and using this spray bottle for that.  The spray bottle is definitely more convenient than trying to dump out just the right amount of baby shampoo.

Would I Buy It Again?  Probably not.  I just didn't think it was that awesome and baby shampoo works just as well for me for the most part and is much cheaper.

Has anyone else tried this product?  I'd love to hear some other opinions and maybe tips on how to clean those larger brushes without using so much product.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Short Lived Manicure

While I was in Pennsylvania, I found these fun Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips on sale at KMart for $2.24.  They were really fun and gave me something to do at my parent's house so I picked them up.  I always love trying these salon effects because they are pretty easy and quick and don't require a lot of products.

Sometimes I have trouble with these salon effects though.  I've found that for me at least, I don't feel like they are all created equal.  I've used some that I struggled to apply and some that applied really easily.  These fell somewhere in the middle for me.  They weren't too bad but I did end up with some creasing on a few nails.  I do wish I had remembered to wipe down my nails with some polish remover first though.  As you can see in this thumb shot, the edges of the stickers didn't seal well and the downfall of this manicure was that the edges caught in things like my hair and peeled off.  I also had trouble sizing them because I didn't have my cuticle scissors with me.  Normally if I do these at home, I can trim up one that's slightly too big until it's a better fit.  I ended up redoing the thumbs after this photo.

This manicure only lasted about two days on me before the tips and edges were peeling and chipping off.  I didn't have top coat to seal it.  Over all, I loved the way this design, Out of Line, looked on me.  If I could find them again, I would definitely repurchase them (for $2.24, not $10) just to see if I could do a better job at my own house, with all my normal tools and products.  If nothing else, they gave me something to do at my parents house and looked pretty for a couple of days.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Travel Makeup Bag

I didn't get to post my makeup bag recap this week because with our trip to Pennsylvania, I was tossing makeup all around trying to find some products that would be travel friendly.  I did think to take some pictures of what I took when I got back so I thought I would share that instead.  Since we flew carry on only and were only in town for a few days, I wanted to pack as light as possible.  Also, I thought it would be helpful for myself to reflect on what I packed and what I might do differently next time... in case there ever is a next time.

1. Ecotools powder brush: This short stubby powder brush did a great job of applying face powder all over.
2. Stipple blush/bronzer brush: I used this brush to apply blush.
3. Angled blush/bronzer brush: This brush did a great job of applying bronzer all over the face as well as for contouring my cheeks.
4. Mini powder brush: This brush was perfect for setting my under eye concealer with powder!  I would definitely use this again for that purpose.
5.  e.l.f. essentials blending brush: I used this as an eye contour brush.  If I did this again, I would not take this brush.  It's just so scratchy that it actually irritated my sensitive eyes.  I much prefer my Essence of Beauty crease brush and next time I would take it instead.
6. Angled liner brush: This did the trick for smudging out my liner on my top lashes but I mostly used it to apply shadow on my lower lash line.  It worked well.
7. flat shadow brush: This particular shadow brush was a little too flimsy for me and made it take a little longer to pack shadow on the lid.  Next time I'll probably just take my trusty e.l.f. essentials shadow brush instead.
8. Ecotools crease brush: This brush made a great blending brush for my eyes.
9. Spoolie: Perfect for brushing through my brows.  I actually set my brows with a bit of hairspray and that worked well for me.

1. Physician's Formula Organic Wear 2-in-1 Bronzer and Blush in Light Bronzer/Pink Rose: This product worked great as a dual purpose blush/bronzer.  I would definitely take it on another trip.  The only thing I didn't like is the flimsy plastic cover got a bit messed up from my lash curler poking it so maybe next time I'll think ahead to place it in my bag upside down.
2. Maybelline Mineral Power Pressed Powder in Light: This worked just fine and didn't take up much space.
3. Rimmel BB Cream in Light: About this.  So I didn't have enough room in my one quart bag for a foundation and a day time moisturizer with SPF so I thought this would be a great combination product.  I literally bought it on the way to the airport.  Little did I know, it's not very moisturizing at all.  It's actually rather dry and way too dark for me.  I made it work while I was away by mixing it with a bit of my night time moisturizer (Cetaphil moisturizing lotion) and that gave me a nice dewey effect, which worked well in the colder climate of Pittsburgh in March and also sheered the color out a bit.  In Florida, that would make me look greasy though.  For future reference, I think I could just squeeze a little of my Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation into a contact case.  A tiny bit of that stuff goes a long way and then I would have had room for a moisturizer too.  Live and learn.
4. Savvy Satin Eye Shadow in Vintage Wines: This tiny trio was awesome to travel with!  It's compact but the shades are also really easy to apply and blend and could give you a nice natural look or something a little bit darker, depending on where you put the shade.  It worked out great and I would definitely travel with it again!
5. Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach: I can't leave home without my dark circle concealer.
6. Mini Too Faced Travel Insurance: This bitty baby size works great for travel.
7. Hard Candy Concealer Pencil in Light: I brought this to use on my lower waterline but after using Rimmel Scandal Eyes in Nude for awhile, this seemed way drier and more painful.  Next time I'll take my Nude liner, since it doesn't take up much room anyway.
8. Maybelline Define A Brow in Medium Brown: My current go to brow product.
9. Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Pencil Liner Nudes (Pewter shade): This worked out great to define my eyes.  The shimmer makes it quick because it can mask any small imperfections in the liner.
10. Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara Waterproof in Classic Black - This worked out great because it rained for half the time we were in PA.  Also holds a curl really well.  I wear this a lot in the hot, humid Floridian summer and I was reminded how much I love it on this trip.  I need to get a new tube, as this one is pretty much empty.
11. Avon Ideal Flawless Concealer Stick in Fair: I brought this in case I had any breakouts but luckily I didn't need to use it while we were away.  Good thing, because it was a totally different shade and texture than the BB cream I brought.
12. lash curler and Q-tips: Must haves!  Glad I brought these.

I also forgot that I brought one of my favorite lipsticks, Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate in 08. I wore it every day and loved how it brought some life to my face without looking over done for family time. I would definitely bring it again. 

Do have any products you would recommend for travel?  I might keep my eyes peeled for a blush/bronzer duo with a sturdier lid, as that was so convenient except for the almost hole I poked in the compact lid.  Anyone have suggestions for a rosey blush and light matte bronzer duo?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nexxus Mousse Plus Review

Sorry for the silence on the blog for the last several days.  We had a death in the family and we flew out to Pittsburgh from Friday to Monday so that we could be there for the viewings and funeral but we are back home now.

I bought this mousse back in January in a travel size to try out.  Now that I've used the entire can, I feel that I can review it.  

Pros: A 2 oz. can lasted me more than six weeks, even though I was using quite a lot of the product each day.
Cons: I didn't notice much additional volume in my hair.  However, I wasn't really expecting much volume as these sort of products never really seem to give me volume on their own.  What I was hoping for was just some added texture to my hair that makes it a little less fine and soft feeling so that when I style it I can get some added volume.  With this product, I didn't seem to notice much difference at all.  I also really did not like the way it smelled, which to me was sort of masculine and strong.  Like spraying old man cologne in your hair.
Would I repurchase?  To be honest, I wasn't impressed and I would not repurchase this item.  The full size is around $14 and I just really feel it's not worth it.  I think there are better mousse products out there for a lower cost.  However, for the travel size, I have already repurchased it for my trip back to Pittsburgh simply because it was the only hair mousse that was TSA approved for size.  I left the rest of the can at my in-laws for our next trip so I wouldn't have to purchase it again, since I knew it would last more than long enough for a week long trip.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dropper Bottle

I showed this cobalt dropper bottle in my February Budget post but I wanted to give it its own post to explain what I bought it for.  As part of The Regimen, which is part of my skin care routine, I add about 4-5 drops of 100% jojoba oil to my moisturizer in the morning and at night.  I found this Desert Essence bottle of jojoba oil on Amazon and bought it in May of last year and still haven't even used half of it.  However, I find that trying to get just 4-5 drops out of this container is just about impossible without making a colossal mess.  After I got tired of wiping oil off of everything within a three foot radius of my makeup area, I decided it would probably be easier to just store some of it in a dropper bottle.  I found this really pretty cobalt dropper on Amazon for a great price.

This bottle is working out great for me.  It's aesthetically pleasing and not nearly as messy as the original bottle and I'm able to get out the perfect amount to mix with my moisturizer.  This is important because if you get too much of this oil on your face in the morning, it can definitely make your face look shiny, though it doesn't make me break out.  I will say for anyone looking at purchasing this bottle, the dropper only fills up about halfway, as you can see in the photo.  That's pretty standard with these type of droppers though.  I really have no complaints about this bottle and I'm glad I bought it!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekly Makeup Bag, Recap 3-8-15

Last week I had mentioned that for the month of March, I wanted to start doing my weekly makeup bag as more of a recap than picking out items to use for the week.  I think this helped me to feel like I was able to pick each day what I felt like wearing so I plan to continue this for a little while.  Here are the eye, cheek, and lip products I ended up using for the week.

Eye Shadows:
1. Too Faced Pixie Pin-Ups Palette
2. Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette (I'm so tempted to buy the Revealed 3 but I want to wait and see what the reviews are like first.  Also, I've been drooling over the Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Shimmer Palette as well as the Coastal Scents 28 Neutral Palette.  Right now, I'm leaning towards the 28 neutral.  Anyone have opinions on the Coastal Scents 28 Neutral Palette to share?)
3. L'Oreal Eyeshadow Quad in Canyon Stone
4. Almay Intense i-Color Shimmer Eye Kit in 424 Trio for Greens
5. L'Oreal Infallible Shadow in Amber Rush
6. Nyx Shadow Single in Dark Brown
7. Cover Girl Shadow Single in Brown Smoulder

1. e.l.f. Studio Blush in Pink Passion
2. e.l.f. Studio Blush in Blushing Rose
3. Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in True Plum
4. (mini size) Hard Candy Baked Blush in Living Doll
5. Milani Minerals Blush in Mai Tai
6. Essence Silky Touch Blush in Autumn Peach

1. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 006 Pink Blush
2. Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Lipstick in 08
3. Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Lipstick in 32
4. Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Matte Lipstick in 104
5. Maybelline Baby Lips in Melon Mania

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

February Favorites

I've been a little all over the place with makeup during the month of February, as I was on a mission to try to use as many items as possible.  However, there were a few items that I particularly enjoyed using and found myself gravitating toward over and over.

- Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer: A great primer that doesn't make me extra shiny the way silicone based ones sometimes can.
- Revlon Whipped Creme Foundation in Buff: Loving this foundation!  Easy to blend and lasts well.  Also a good match for my skin tone.
- Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana: My current favorite highlight.  I love that it's not too shimmery but just adds a glow without being over the top like a lot of other highlighters.
- Milani Eyeshadow Primer: A great primer that doesn't crease on me and is super affordable.
- Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara in Glam Black: Loving this for those rainy days!  Also holds a curl really well.
- Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eyeliner in Nude: Lasts pretty well in the waterline and brightens up your face!
- Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 17
- Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 08
- Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Lipstick in 104
- Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Pretty Natural
- Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Naturally Chic
All of these lipsticks are fairly natural and neutral and just add a little something to your face when you've been working far too much and sleeping far too little.  I'm really loving the Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick formula right now.
- Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Matte Palette 02
- Physician's Formula Matte Eyeshadow Quad in Canyon Classics
I'm really loving matte shadows right now.  Some shades I'm particularly liking are the lightest shade in the PF quad, which is really pigmented and also the medium and dark shades in the SK palette as transition shades or contour shades, even with a shimmery shade on the lid.
- Hard Candy Plumping Serum Volumizing Lip Gloss in Cake Walk
- eos Lip Balm in Sweet Mint
I've found I like the eos lip balm before I apply lipstick to sort of prime the lips and the lip gloss is great over top of the lipstick if I start to feel a little dry.  Also adds a nice shine.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February Empties

I'm trying to be better about posting my empties on a more regular basis.  This is more like January/February empties but it's a start to being more regular about posting them.  I made a bit of an effort this month to try to use up a few items that were pretty close to empty so I think I did pretty well on the empties.

Hair Products:
- Garnier Fructis Style Curl Shaping Spray Gel
- Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo
- Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist
- Nexxus Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam Styler (travel size)
- Tresemme Tres Two Hair Spray (travel size)

Skin Care Products:
- Top Care Makeup Remover Wipes
- Garnier Ultra Lift Day Cream (sample)
- Essence of Beauty Coconut Lime Hand Lotion (travel size)
- Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion (travel size)

Makeup Products:
- Almay Truly Lasting Color Foundation in Ivory
- Hard Candy Plumping Serum Volumizing Lip Gloss in Cake Walk
- Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara in Glam Black
- Wet N Wild Mega Plump Waterproof Mascara
- Nyx High Definition Eye Shadow Base
- Carmex Lip Balm
- Nyx Slide On, Glide On, Stay On Eyeliner in Brown Perfection

Monday, March 2, 2015

February Budget

At the beginning of February, I had mentioned that my husband and I were setting a $150 budget for spending each month and keeping track of what we spent.  I actually am a total nerd about this sort of thing and I set up a spreadsheet on my tablet to keep track of my spending.  It really made me think more about my spending and helped me to work harder to find sales, deals, and ways to save money.  I came in about twelve dollars under budget, which was better than what hubby did!  Here's what I came out with.

Here's all the makeup I bought in February.  It was definitely a lipstick heavy month.  I never used to really be that into lipstick but I'm learning how much lipstick can really bring some life to your face, especially when you are tired.  I also bought two new foundations to replace the ones I threw away or used up.  All of my old foundations were between two and five years old and they were definitely in need of replacing.

I also stocked up on storage this month and found all of these items for a really good price.  The larger glass dishes were from the Dollar Tree.  The small acrylic lipstick holder is from Amazon and the larger one is from Home Goods.  The small blue bottle will be mentioned in its own separate post later this week.

Finally, I bought a few random things.  At Walgreens next to the school where my husband teaches, I found a hooded sweatshirt on clearance that has his school logo on it.  It was a great deal so I picked one up for me and a T-shirt for hubby, which went on his monthly budget.  I also got some Sonia Kashuk Makeup brush cleaner, shelf liner, and a couple of makeup brushes.

So that's how I spent my monthly budget.  Next month, I have my eyes on a few higher ticket items that I've really been wanting.  Reflecting on my purchases, I think I've spent a lot of time doing what I call "lonely shopping".  My husband is coaching lacrosse and he's been gone a lot lately.  I've been doing a lot of the grocery shopping by myself and I find myself often at Target on a Friday night shopping to keep myself busy.  Luckily, in just a few weeks, we'll both be on Spring Break and get to spend some time together.  We have some fun plans to do a bit of shopping one of our days off together so I'm going to try to "save" all of my shopping money for then.  I'm also trying to be better about making a shopping list of the makeup I want because normally I get to the store, get distracted by all the pretty, fun new things and forget to buy the thing I actually went in to get!  This month I'll try to focus more and do less impulse shopping.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weekly Makeup Bag 3-1-15

This week I didn't pick out a lot for my makeup bag because for the month of March I want to focus on using whatever strikes my fancy so I thought maybe I would just pick out some things I know I'll use and for other items like blush and eyeshadow, I'll sort of work backward and put in the bag whatever I end up using.  Then at the end of the week, I can share what I used.

Face Products:
- Hard Candy Sheer Envy Face Primer
- Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer
- Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation in Light Ivory
- Revlon Color Stay Whipped Creme Foundation in Buff
- Nyx Dark Circle Concealer in Light
- Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach
- Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Face Powder in Translucent Light (depotted into a smaller container)
- e.l.f. SPF 45 Sunscreen Powder
- Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana
- Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Bronzer in Fair
- NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny

Eye Products:
- Physician's Formula Matte Collection Eye Shadow Quad in Canyon Classics
- Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral Matte Palette 02
- Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner Trio for Nude Eyes (pewter and champagne shades)
- Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Espresso
- Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eyeliner in Brown
- Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara Waterproof in Glam Black
Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara in Glam Black
- e.l.f. Volume Plumping Mascara

Lip Products:
- eos Lip Balm in Sweet Mint
- Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 32
- Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Pink Blush
- Hard Candy Plumping Serum Volumizing Lip Gloss in Girl Next Door