EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo Set

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EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo Set

After getting my Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette, I decided I needed some new brushes to use with it. I mean, good brushes make a big difference! So, I picked up this Eye Enhancing Duo Set by EcoTools the other day at Walgreen’s.

EcoTools brushes are made from soft, cruelty-free bristles, recycled aluminum ferrules & sleek bamboo handles. The set I bought has four brush heads (shade, define, blend, smudge), to create & complete any look. Plus, brushes come in a cute, reusable eco pouch! In case you couldn’t guess it, EcoTool‘s slogan is, “Earth-Friendly Beauty” (which makes tree-hugger me happy).

I have to say, these are some of the best brushes I’ve ever used! & on the handle next to each brush it tells you what each brush head is called (how convenient!).

I’ve used them for my eye makeup for the past couple days & they really work better than my cheap-o ones; these haven’t started shedding! & the definer brush really helps a gal out! πŸ˜‰ 

To summarize: LOVE THEM. Need more!

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September Birchbox

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September Birchbox

For September, I decided to go with the pre-packed Fashionista Box. All of the boxes this month have a colorful design on them, which I think is a nice touch.

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September Birchbox

I mean, it was an okay month; the Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner is a full size & I really, really like it. It has a no suds formula, which was kinda odd at first, but got my hair clean & smooth. My hubby said he likes my regular shampoo better, though, because it makes my hair “go poof!” LOL

In my opinion, silver is a horrendous color for an eyeliner (at least on me)…but Birchbox disagrees. Cynthia Rowley Beauty Silver Eyeliner has a creamy, smudge-proof formula that may be good for creating a smoky eye look on some people, but definitely not for me. This was by far my least favorite product this month.

I decided to go with the Fashionista Box this month mainly for two items, one being the Naobay Body Radiance Lotion, which I had sampled in a previous box. It’s an all natural lotion that hydrates & softens skin without leaving a greasy residue. It has a nice, light lemon scent. I love this lotion!

The other item I really wanted this month was the Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara. It lengthens, volumizes & curls & is waterproof to boot. I have a hundred mascaras that do the same thing at a much more reasonable price, but I do like this one. Not enough to fork over $24 for a full size, mind you, but it was nice to try it.

Last thing in my box was dr. brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner. I wish I could give an honest review of the product, but my sample was nearly empty! It’s supposed to “degunk pores for fewer blackheads” & give spotlight ready smooth skin. I wouldn’t know, though. 😦

September wasn’t a total bust for me, I’ve certainly had worse boxes, but it wasn’t a home run, either. But hey, the products I liked, I really liked, so I consider that a win!

September Ipsy

September was an amazing month for ipsy subscribers, I kid you not! & after last month, it should have been!

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September Ipsy Bag

Let me start by saying: I adore the Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct! Goes on smoothly, isn’t sticky like most lip glosses are & the color is beautiful! It didn’t even dry out my lips like other glosses do. I’d love to have more of this!

I’m currently rocking an awesome mani thanks to my new Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish in color Redgy. Very quick drying bottom color & an equally fast drying top coat. Best of all? Natural light is all this gel polish needs to look fab! This also came with a $2 off coupon, so I may have to go buy another set! πŸ˜€

There were two color options for the Pacifica Natural Minerals Eyeliner, a silver color & Fringe, a brown color. Thankfully, I received the brown! It’s a nice eyeliner pencil & I will get use out of it, but I don’t see what all the hype was over. In my opinion, it’s just your average eye pencil.

As sneak peeks were being revealed, I hoped I’d get the Be A Bombshell Smooth Criminal Powder & lo & behold, I did! It can be worn alone to smooth flaws & reduce pores, or over makeup as a setting powder. Either way, I think it works wonders! Tried it over my makeup & didn’t have to touch up once! & by itself, it did smooth over some of my imperfections (not that I have all that many “imperfections”!).

The final item from this month’s bag is Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. It smells good, but I don’t really like conditioners!

That’s not the end of my bag, though! I finally saved up 1,000 ipsyPoints & was able to score a NYX Bronze Smokey Look Kit! It has 9 eyeshadows, 2 lip colors, 2 double ended applicators & a mirror! My entire bag was awesome, but this made it the best bag I’ve ever gotten! πŸ˜€

Walmart Beauty Box

I don’t even remember where I heard about the Walmart Beauty Box, but I’m glad I found out about it! The box of samples (& full size items) is free, you just pay $5 for shipping. The Walmart Beauty Box only comes out 4 times a year, though. 😦

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Walmart Beauty Box - Fall

It’s a nice sized box! Bigger than my birchbox, for sure.

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Walmart Beauty Box - Fall

Inside my box was 9 (yes, nine!) items:

Niki Minaj Pink Friday perfume sample
L’Oreal Youth Code Pore Vanisher
Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant
COVERGIRL Glowing Nights Glosstini in AfterDark
Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Shampoo
Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Conditioner
Dove Pure Care Dry Oil For Hair
Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup (with a $2 off coupon!)
L’Oreal Glossy Balm

For $5, I think I came out great! I’m sad it’s not a once-a-month box, but I’m still excited for the next one I get!

The Niki Minaj Pink Friday perfume smells great. I’ve already gone through half the sample, so hope I’ll get the full-size for Christmas!

I haven’t tried the L’Oreal Youth Code Pore Vanisher — yet. It came in a little packet, but I can tell the packet is very full. (Score! Most sample packets barely have anything in them)

I have been using the Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant since I got my box & really, really need to get more! Keeps my pits dry & smelling good all day. It’s supposed to be applied before bed & work for 24 hours. Certainly does for me!

Another one I haven’t had the chance to try yet it’s the COVERGIRL Glowing Nights Glosstini in AfterDark. It’s a pretty color nail polish & want to try it, but I have to wait for my current mani to chip off! πŸ˜›

The Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner is awesome! I already use the shampoo, so having an extra is nice. I’ve never really liked conditioner, so. Yeah. This one might be great, but I’m not trying it. LOL

I most definitely AM going to try the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil For Hair. Going by the directions, the one little sample ought to last a year, no joke.

The Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup is awesome! The downside? They put 8 tiny samples on a card, which is standard, I get it, but the samples are sooo tiny. I found my color match, but can’t really review the product since there wasn’t enough product to cover my face! The bright side? There’s a $2 off coupon, so I might buy the full size, anyway.

Best item out of my box, by far? L’Oreal Glossy Balm in Innocent Coral! The color is perfect for me! πŸ™‚  It’s like  moisturizing balm meets colorful gloss. & the best part? It’s not sticky! Plus, the color lasts quite a while!

I can’t wait for my Winter box to come, now! Hurry it up, Walmart! πŸ˜‰

Overall, I’m beyond happy that I signed up for the Walmart Beauty Box! & hey, when I want to buy the full size items, I know they’re at Walmart! πŸ˜‰

Battle of the BB Creams

Summer is upon us & with the heat & humidity comes the inevitable need to alter our make-up routines. It’s time to ditch the heavy foundations & break out the BB Creams!

There are a plethora of BB Creams out there, but today I’m going to rank my top 3 BB Creams that are affordable for everyone (let’s face it, sometimes “expensive” doesn’t mean “best”):

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My 3 favorite BB Creams

MY #3 FAVORITE BB CREAM: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream says it’s an 8-in-1 skin perfecting beauty balm that:

-blurs imperfections
-enhances
-brightens
-adjusts to skin tone
-smoothes
-hydrates
-has SPF 30
-has 0% oils or other heavy ingredients

This BB Cream has a sheer, buildable coverage that really does adjust to your skin tone; I have fair skin, so usually medium tone is too dark for me, but not so with this BB cream! It has a high SPF, which is a must for me, as most of my day is spent outside. It doesn’t feel heavy or oily…because it’s not! This comes in a 1 fl oz tube & is sold almost everywhere.

MY #2 FAVORITE BB CREAM: Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream says it’s a skin perfecting tinted moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 15.

Olay’s tinted moisturizer is my #2 BB Cream because it’s so moisturizing! I also like the light fragrance it has. A little bit of this product is all I need to use; if I put too much on it looks like I’ve been in a sauna all day. It comes in a 2.5 fl oz tube & again, is available almost everywhere. The cost is a little bit more than the Maybelline BB Cream, but you get more than twice the amount of product, so that’s a win, IMHO. Plus, I love the scent of this stuff! πŸ˜›

MY #1 FAVORITE BB CREAM: Avon Ideal Flawless BB Cream

Avon Ideal Flawless BB Cream also says it’s a 10-in-1 skin perfecting beauty balm with SPF 15.

Avon’s Ideal Flawless BB Cream is my #1 choice in BB Creams for several reasons; it’s light weight on my skin while still giving me the coverage I want, it’s buildable without making me look shiney or product caking, it adjusts to skin tone & really gives a naturally flawless look. Just to name a few! It comes in a 1 fl oz tube & costs $10 (but goes on sale often!). You can order online, or through an Avon sales rep. This BB Cream is my must have for summer! It does everything the expensive creams do, at a fraction of the cost!

Do you use BB cream? If so, which brand do you prefer? Which would you love to try?

Lip Care +

One of the most important parts of my daily routine is lip care. I must slather lip balm on my lips at least a dozen times a day. The skin on your lips is some of the most sensitive on your body, so it needs a little extra TLC! Plus, let’s face it. Dry, chapped lips aren’t all that attractive & when you put lipstick on chapped lips it looks like it’s flaking off. I don’t know anyone who can pull that look off.

So, all that said, I have a few simple tips on keeping your lips looking & feeling their most supple.

My First Tip is: Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips!

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Dr. Lipp's Original Nipple Balm

This balm is made out of 100% ultra pure medical grade lanolin. Lanolin is harvested from sheep’s wool & is the closest thing to your skin’s natural oils. I apply a little of this before bed, about once a week (or whenever I notice my lips are dry & my other balms just can’t quench their thirst). By morning, the dryness is gone, & with regular application of a daily lip balm, stays gone for a while!

This has a thick consistency, so just a little bit will do wonders. It doesn’t have an applicator so I apply with my finger & rub any excess on my cuticles (healthy cuticles, healthy manicure!).

Side Note: Not only is Dr. Lipp’s Original Nipple Balm great for chapped lips, it also helps with a multitude of other issues. It was originally created as a nipple balm for breast feeding mothers, but also helps heal burns, scratches & scrapes, cuticles, eczema & dry skin anywhere. Just to name a few. There’s not much this balm can’t do!

Second Tip: Apply your favorite lip balm morning & night (& in between!)

This might seem like a duh tip, but not everyone religiously applies lip balm. It’s one of the first things I do. If you moisturize your face in the morning, why not your lips? If you shower with a moisturizing body wash & condition your hair, why not your lips? Before bed, apply more. A lot of moisture is lost while we sleep & applying lip balm before bed helps to retain some of that moisture.

& throughout the day, don’t wait until you feel your lips get dry! You’ve probably heard that when your brain tells you you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated; the same goes for your skin! Try to apply your lip balm 4-6 times per day, at least, regardless of the season.

Third Tip: Know Your Ingredients!

There are probably thousands of lip balms out there that claim to do miracles, but how do you know which ones really do? Look at the ingredients!

AVOID THESE: Camphor, phenol, menthol, OL (which indicates alcohol is present) & fragrance

All of the above ingredients might help – at first – but dry your lips quicker & tend to irritate sensitive skin more easily. If you get cold sores, those ingredients may also contribute to a break out.

GET THESE: Cocoa butter, Shea butter, lanolin, & beeswax

All of those ingredients are highly moisturizing & safe for sensitive skin. Of course, if you’re allergic to one of those ingredients, avoid it. πŸ˜‰

Those are my 3 tips to healthy, sexy lips. I hope that even if you knew some of what my post covered, you were able to take something new out of it. Now, go put some more lip balm on!

July BIRCHBOX Review

Got my BIRCHBOX yesterday & while they sent me the right box this time, I’m not nearly as disappointed with it as I thought I would be. Shocking!

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July BIRCHBOX

This month BIRCHBOX teamed up with Women’s Health Magazine. In addition to the products, they included 12 Power Up Challenges with tips on workouts & beauty & stuff. Plus, they included a year’s subscription to the magazine! Score!

This month, I was most excited about the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette Sampler in Sunset. It included 4 eyeshadow shades: 3 shimmery colors, from a light tan to a deep rose shade & 1 matte color, which looks like a deep plum to me. I think all of the colors are very pretty & look great each by itself or all blended together. There’s plenty of ways to wear ’em, which makes this an awesome sample!

Next on my list of Most Excited For comes the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream. It says it’s an anti-aging multi-tasker that conquers wrinkles & dark circles at the first signs of aging. I have dark circles under my eyes like whoa (who really gets a whole 8 hours of sleep, anyway?), so at least I have a need for this. A little dab’ll do ya with this, so at least the sample will last a little while. It has a lemony scent & feels quite refreshing.

I haven’t tried the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel yet, but I’m kind of looking forward to it! I’ve got a hundred different cleansers, so I’m not sure why I’m so excited about this one; maybe it’s the hefty price tag tricking me into believing this is going to be da bomb. I dunno.

The two little packets are 100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel samples. They were this month’s Beauty Extra. I keep forgetting to put them in the bathroom, so there’s no telling when I’ll try them out. πŸ˜›

Last, but not least, comes the Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Acai Grapefruit. BIRCHBOX sent me the full size last month, so this is a nice extra. It smells nice (if grapefruit is your thing), but I don’t find it to be particularly moisturizing, as is claims to be. I do have very dry skin, though, so maybe it’s just me. Still, easier shaving with this than with soap – this doesn’t wash off quite as easily.

Overall, even though I thought at first I was going to hate this month’s box, I really liked it! I’m excited for next month, now!

Did I mention each box is only $10/month? If you want to sign up (what are you waiting for?!), click here!

July BIRCHBOX Preview

I’m late getting my BIRCHBOX this month, so here’s the preview:

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BIRCHBOX sneak peek

Not really too excited about much other than the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette Sample. I’ve already got the Whish Shave Cream in a full size, but I guess having an extra isn’t so bad.

Maybe they’ll mess up again & send me an awesome box by accident. Please? πŸ˜›

I was supposed to be able to choose an item, but never could. Same thing happened for August, too, so that’s kind of a bummer. I would have loved to get the August box with the Benefit Push-up Liner

Anyway, review when it gets here! I hope after trying the products I’ll actually like them.