The Body Shop Haul & Review: Fall 2017

My The Body Shop Haul and Review


I’ve been on the quest for the perfect skincare routine for a long time.  Months actually.  Mostly ever since I went on a skincare-focus-kick (addiction) in May of 2016–but even before that.  I was hoping to find a miracle product along the way, and actually have found a few.  But I was never able to fully establish THE routine, which combined the miracle products, and still left my face flawless.  I haven’t achieved “flawless” yet, but I have discovered some amazing products that have gotten my skin in some of the best condition it’s ever been in.

Enter: The Body Shop.

I had heard about The Body Shop long before I actually purchased one of their products.  It was always positive reviews.  So one day when I ran out of my go-to toner (actually I was rotating between two), I decided to try a new one altogether.  I bought the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner at my local Post Exchange, since I had had success with tea tree oil in my blemish treatments previously.  GAME CHANGER.  More than a game changer actually–skin changer.  I was shocked at how cleansing this one was.  Even after throughly removing my makeup at night and washing my face, this tea tree toner was able to give me the deepest cleansing that any toner had provided (without that awful menthol-stinging feel that harsh toners give).

Months passed and repurchases of the same toner happened.  But I always wondered what other products, ones other than the “Tea Tree” line, from The Body Shop could do for my skin.  Unfortunately, I ran out of my beloved Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask at the same time that my Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion was running low.  I looked into doing a Clinique haul to replenish my supply.  But then I decided to take a rebellious leap and order substitute products from The Body Shop instead!  So, without further adieu, here is the low-down on what I bought:


The Body Shop: My GO-TO Toner

“Tea Tree” Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner

I basically already reviewed this above.  But since I have the space and time to keep going, I think I will.  🙂  This is THE best (hands-down) toner I have ever used.  I can’t say that there is absolutely no tingling sensation when it is used, but I CAN say that it has a very natural and pure finish that contradicts the burning sensation that many harsh toners give.  I can also say that it doesn’t strip my pores of their natural oils.  It DOES clean them, and well.  I even use this twice a day.  And I know if I washed my face twice a day, I would have dry and blemished skin within a week.  With this product, that just doesn’t happen.  It deeply cleanses my pores, leaving them feeling refreshed and ready to absorb the lotion I am about to apply.  Can’t say enough good things about it!


“Tea Tree” Mattifying Lotion

I got this to replace my Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (basically my daytime moisturizer).  I wanted something that would give follow-up treatment to my pores, because I was experiencing clogged pores from my makeup.  What I needed was a lotion that sealed out the clogginess (not a word?) of my makeup, but still moisturized my skin well.  This product accomplishes both!  While it is definitely a lotion, it has a sheer quality about it that reminds me of a gel-cream.  It wears well under my makeup, and most importantly, over my pores.  It dries very fast, which kind of took me by surprise and made me wonder if it truly moisturized my skin enough.  But then again, mattifying is all about a smooth and flawless finish, and goopy lotion prevents that from happening.  I really like this product!


“Vitamin E” Intense Moisture Serum

I know this is a serum, not a moisturizer.  But I have SO many random, sample-sized tubes of moisturizer (thanks to my ipsy subscription…YAY!) that I didn’t want to purchase a new nighttime moisturizer.  I just wanted to turn those random moisturizers into nighttime ones.  So I got this serum (because of the intensity level) to go beneath my nighttime moisturizer, no matter what brand it might be.  I know a serum can’t magically transform a day lotion into a night cream, but it can certainly help.  It can intensify the moisturizing properties of my nighttime facial routine.  And the added vitamin E can go a long way in the fine-line prevention and skin-cell repairing methods that I like to employ in my nighttime routine.  This serum has a pleasant smell and makes my skin very happy.  I’m enjoying it and so far have loved the results!


“Oils of Life” Sleeping Cream

I only paid $1 for this teeny sample.  But I wanted to give it a try because I haven’t used anything from their “Oils of Life” line yet.  I know this is not an eye cream, although they have an Oils of Life eye cream, but I still wanted to try it for my eye area.  If I like it, I will try the actual eye cream next!   While I don’t think anything will ever be able to replace my ride-or-die Clinique All About Eyes eye cream, I still am interested in finding a runner-up product.  I take my eye cream game pretty seriously, and don’t want to run the risk of being completely out of a product.


“Drops of Youth” Youth Concentrate

This one is obviously a sample too (but it was free!)  I got it as an alternative to the Vitamin E Intense Moisture Serum that I planned to use at night.  I hadn’t tried anything from their “Drops of Youth” line, and so thought this would be a good place to start.  Plus who turns down a free sample?


Hand Cream Winding Key

I have wanted something like this for years….like since I was 8 years old.  (Well, back then I wanted a crank kind).  But this little tool totally fit the bill for what I was looking for, and I think I’ll get a LOT of use out of it.  Or at least, a lot of lotion out of it.  ha!  It was super on sale (like $1.50).  So I decided to do a mini-bitty-splurge and buy this.  I’m really glad that I did!

And that pretty much sums up my The Body Shop haul and review!  Have you tried any of these products?  I’m curious what you thought of them.   And if you are a regular The Body Shop customer, what do you like and recommend?  Please share below!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll come back soon!

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Glam Bag Unboxing: October 2017

Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing: October 2017 glam bag

As usual for October, ipsy chose a spooky-themed glam bag for this month.  They are calling it their “spellbound” bag, and while I’m never one for spooky stuff–I have to say the faux lace design of this bag might be my favorite of their pouch designs yet!!  It is a beautiful raspberry color, with faux lace rosettes (hard to see from photos), and a tiny black bat zipper.  The contents fit pretty well with the theme, and I was overall very pleased with the October 2017 glam bag!  Let’s see what’s inside:


Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye PencilPerversion 

I’ve gotten Urban Decay twice before from ipsy: a duo-chrome eyeshadow in my June 2016 glam bag, and a highlight/eyeshadow in my May 2017 glam bag.   Both products were great, and I’ve actually tried Urban Decay eye pencils before (and love them!)  So needless to say, I was super excited to receive this.  In case you’ve never tried one, they glide on very easily and have excellent longevity.  Probably one of my favorite things about them is that they aren’t prone to drying out.  There is nothing worse than dry eyeliner.  Except maybe dry mascara.  Anyway, not only does the color fit well with the theme, but it also fits well with my general collection (read: obsession) with eyeliners, particularly of the black variety.  Do you remember my embarrassing photo of all my mascaras at the end of one of my posts?  I could do the same thing with my eyeliners…but its way more embarrassing…



IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder

I often, though not always, feel like a pressed powder is a pressed powder.  I’ve definitely tried a variety, but only a few times noticed a BIG difference between two products.  This is absolutely one of those times where a pressed powder has stood out to me as different among the rest.  The finish is completely flawless.  Not so much for the way it looks as for the way it feels.  It turns the skin to velvet, and doesn’t cake or crack at all.  If you paired this with a good foundation, it’d be killer.  I wish it wasn’t a translucent powder, because if it was pigmented this would 100% be my go-to pressed powder for the rest of my life.  I guess the color fits with the theme though–a nice “twilight” white!


Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Eye Shadow – Bronzed

I’ve tried a DLS highlighter (June 2016 glam bag) and a DLS blush (March 2017 glam bag) but never have I tried a DLS  eye shadow.  Well, the eye shadow is JUST as good as the rest of their products I have tried.  DLS Cosmetics are well-pigmented, soft, and have minimum fall-out.  I’m really pleased with their products, and have never experienced any kind of negative reaction to any of their products.  I’m glad to add this dramatic shadow to my collection, and felt like it was a perfectly spooky shade for the October 2017 glam bag!


Hey Honey Trick AND Treat: Active Propolis Cream Concealer

The name alone is cute and perfect for this month’s theme!  I wasn’t particularly thrilled when I first saw that I got this product, but the more I have read about it, the more intrigued I am!  It’s a lightweight concealer, but has build-ability and a fascinating ingredient called propolis (a flower ingredient extracted by honey bees).  I’ve never had a concealer that specializes in hydrating (in fact, many of my concealer are drying), nor have I tried one that is packed with amino acids, vitamin E, other nourishing oils.  Basically, this concealer seems to be more than a concealer, and I’m excited to try it.  I’ve only ever tried one Hey Honey product before, from my May 2017 glam bag.  It’s a lip balm, and it’s VERY moisturizing.  So I have high hopes that this concealer lives up to its promises!


Marc Anthony Hydrating Coconut Oil and Shea Butter Oil Treatment

I have received quite a few oil treatments from ipsy.  And I have enjoyed trying each of them.  I have to say, that many oil treatments feel the same.  They smell good, they are thick, they add a ton of shine to my hair, and they make it heavy/overworked by the end of the day.  (By “overworked” I mean that my hair looks fuzzy, tangled, and full of products)  I can’t say that this Marc Anthony treatment doesn’t leave my hair heavy or overworked looking by the end of the day, but I can say that it smells AMAZING, and the oil itself is thin.  I thoroughly liked using this product, and will add it to my oils rotation!  Btw, is it too much of a stretch to say the bottle is a festive-pumpkinesque color?  I like it!

That’s it for my unboxing of the October 2017 glam bag from ipsy.  Are you a subscriber?  Leave a comment below comparing what you got in your glam bag!  And if you’re not a subscriber, but would like to be, you can follow this link to sign up.  Doing so will not provide me with payments, but will credit me with bonus points I can use towards makeup in the future.  Whether you’re a subscriber or not, your presence and readership is GREATLY appreciated.  Thanks so much for stopping by!




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Glam Bag Unboxing: September 2017

September 2017 glam bag -- ipsy unboxing!

The theme for the September 2017 ipsy glam bag is a pretty common theme on social media this month (and a few before it): Beauty Boss. The free zipper pouch is an all-business faux leather clutch, and the products are about empowerment and confidence. I’m pretty sure that’s not a new focus for the beauty world, but it hasn’t been done in an ipsy glam bag yet! I didn’t see a huge embodiment of the theme in my products, but then again, I think that’s because most beauty products fit in the category of “empowerment” and “confidence.” The products themselves were great, so I can’t complain!

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Radiance Primer

I’ve never heard of a product like this. It’s a combo of a highlight and a primer. Maybe developed from the “glow within” look? It supposedly can double beneath makeup as a hydrating primer, and then be used again for a final finishing highlight. Based on it’s pearlized, rose gold color, I can definitely see the highlight part happening. I’m not sure about it as a primer…I feel like it will give the skin a slightly orange look.

re:p real elemental practice Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb

This product was a result of ipsy’s collaboration with Soko Glam. It’s a very natural, hyper-sensitive, multi-tasking facial mask. Some stand-out ingredients include Kaolin, calendula, and chamomile. And some of it’s promises include redness reduction, facial calming, and dirt removal. I didn’t try this product out yet since I’m pregnant and have to be careful about what kind of natural remedies I turn to. But I’m EXTREMELY intrigued by this mask, and look forward to trying it! My current go-to mask is this one, and I generally like it.

Pixi by Petra Beauty Blush Duo – Peach Honey

If you can believe it, I’ve never tried a Pixi product! So I was happy to get this full-sized blush duo. This powder is made with mica, which gives it a shimmery finish that translates well as a highlighter. So maybe they should call this a quad, since its two shades that can be use two different ways. A product bonus and a space-saver!

Pretty Woman Nail PolishGirl Boss Because what other color could they send me this month? It’s perfect for the theme. I am a huge fan of pastel nail polishes, but never seem to have enough! This one will be beautiful for the winter. Now if only they would send me a blush pink polish, I’d be all set for the next few months!

Luxie Beauty Luxie Rose Gold Medium Angled Shading Eye Brush 207

This is not my first Luxie Beauty brush. In fact, it’s my fourth! I got two large brushes (think blush brushes) in my April and February bags of 2017, as well as my first Luxie brush ever in my July 2016 glam bag (a teeny angle brush I use I love the quality of the Luxie beauty brush bristles, as well as the smooth and comfortable handle. They come in stylish, pastel colors and never disappoint me in their longevity and practical use. They look cute sitting in my brush jar, but they also work wonderfully on my face!

That’s a wrap for my September 2017 glam bag! Well, I did get one more item, but it wasn’t really a normal ipsy product. I used my bonus points (I earn them through reviewing the products) on an “ipsy” merchandise sweatband, and it arrived with this month’s glam bag. I don’t know if I’ll ever really wear it, but it looks super cute on my toddler! haha Do you have an ipsy glam bag subscription? Please leave a comment below describing what you got in your September 2017 glam bag!  Thanks for reading and come back soon! And if you don’t have an ipsy subscription, but would like one, you can follow this link to sign up. Doing so will not give me any monetary reimbursement, though it will score me some extra bonus points.

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Glam Bag Unboxing: August 2017

August 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing

The August 2017 ipsy glam bag finally made it to my front door!  I don’t know why, but it felt like I waited so much longer for this one.  Whether I really did or not, it was SO worth the wait!  The products were all “full-size”…every single one of them.  And the theme was boho…which I’m all about!  I can’t say enough good things about the bag, so I won’t even try.  Let’s just say it was one of my favorites of the year!  And now, let’s jump in and look at the contents:

Vitamasques Yoghurt Mask Duo Kiwi and Strawberry

I can’t think of anything more “boho-skincare” than a mask made of natural, foodie ingredients.  The kiwi mask is said to soften and revitalize, while the strawberry smooths and illuminates.  I’m super excited to try these, as right now I only use two facial masks.  I use this overnight mask every night, and this mud mask once every two weeks or so.  A new yogurt mask would totally be a fun way to shake up my mask routine!


the Balm Cosmetics the Balm Voyage Vol. 2 EyeshadowKuwakaribisha

I love anything that is the Balm.  And this Balm Voyage eyeshadow is no different!  Kuwakarisbisha is a pale-neutral shade, with quite a bit of shimmer.  It has a total glow factor that reminds me of a highlighter.  Apparently, the reason the Balm eyeshadows are so buttery and soft is because the pigments are triple-milled.  They are so soft, that one dig of the finger into my eyeshadow pan resulted in the huge divot you see pictured above.  Courtesy of my toddler!  🙂

Aurora Pro Cover Up ConcealerPale Ecru

This one doesn’t immediately scream “boho” to me, but then again, neither does dark circles or hyper-pigmentation.  I guess you could say this product is “under-cover boho.”  ha!  This is my second Aurora product from ipsy, as my first was a felt-tipped eyeliner in my December 2016 glam bag.  In ipsy’s description of the product, they mention that this can be used as a highlight or even as a contour (not this shade) if it doesn’t match perfectly.  I could definitely see this working as a highlight, especially since it is a full-coverage product.  If you’re wondering why full-coverage highlights matter to me, visit my My Maskcara Beauty Haul & Review to read about this new epiphany in my makeup life!


Pacifica Coconut Blush Duo – Beaming and Tenderheart

I was floored when I saw this product in my ipsy bag.  A coconut blush single is currently retailing at Ulta for $12.00, and my entire ipsy bag cost $10!  So I’m looking at $24.00 worth of blush in my $10 ipsy bag, which so happened to contain 4 other products…SUCH A DEAL.  Digression over.  Since coconut is a main ingredient here, these blushes are not only beautiful, but also healthy for the skin.  While they are intended for blush purposes, I will definitely be trying these as eyeshadows.  The shades are too beautiful not to!  Plus I think having an eye look that imitates a cheek look would be super beautiful, especially if both were worn at the same time.  I’m pretty excited this arrived in my glam bag!


SLMissGlam BrushT35 Precise Blending Brush

But…there is nothing I was more excited for in the August 2017 ipsy glam bag than THIS BRUSH.  I received my first SLMissGlam brush in my November 2016 glam bag, the W20 Angled Eye Brush (in diamond white).  Then, my sister gave me another W20 brush this past summer.  So now, this is my third SLMissGlam brush and the excitement is making me think I should probably just invest in a complete set.  I can’t put my finger on why I love them so much, but I feel like the faux diamonds are 98% of it.  I think the bristles are soft and perfectly dense.  The brushes hold up very well during cleaning, and I haven’t seen a single bristle come out!  Unfortunately, I did stain on of my W20’s and haven’t been able to get the stain out.  Doesn’t matter because they are still my favorite, stains and all!

That’s a wrap for my August 2017 ipsy glam bag unboxing!  Thanks for sticking around to see what I got.  Are you an ipsy subscriber?  If so, please leave a comment below letting me know what came in your August 2017 ipsy glam bag!  And if you’re not a subscriber, but would like to be one, just follow this link.  *Subscribing via my link will not compensate me with any money, but it will credit my account with bonus points to use on fun products!*  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

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Glam Bag Unboxing: July 2017

The July 2017 glam bag hit mailboxes this week!  And the theme surprised me just a little bit, but I like it!  It’s all about lazy summer makeup and “doing less” so that a you can ultimately “do more.”  Apparently, the ipsy creators thought this theme is epitomized by the new ipsy mascot, a cartoon over-easy egg named Gudetama.  Some of you may already recognize him for his iconically lazy attitude and sluggish little depiction.  I didn’t.  And I still don’t know the backstory behind why ipsy chose him as their new mascot, but I can see why he fit the July 2016 glam bag theme!  Does anyone know why he happens to be an over-easy egg? haha  Moving on, the glam bag itself is pretty cute!  The brands that partnered with ipsy were fun because all but one were repeats.  It kinda felt like a mini-reunion of my glam bags over the past year.  And I really like the products that came in the July 2017 glam bag, so it was an overall, over-easy hit!

Seraphine Botanicals blush – Lychee and Gold

I think that this blush is so gorgeous.  It reminds me a bit of the Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Illuminating Baked Highlighter in Bellisima I got in my June 2o16 glam bag.  While that product is technically an illuminator, it wears perfectly as a glowy, shimmery blush.  This blush differs from that product in the fact that it is glowy, shimmery, and SUPPOSED to be a blush. 🙂  It is infused with lychee and chamomile extracts, which are apparently responsible for the glow.  I’ve never seen or tried this brand before, but I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.  While it has no bearing on the product itself, can we just take a moment to admire the packaging?  It’s totally gorge!

BellaPierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder

I first tried this brand in the form of a mineral blush from my September 2016 glam bag, and wasn’t impressed.  Then once more I tried it as a mascara from my February 2017 glam bag and was not particularly stunned.  I don’t think BellaPierre Cosmetics are a bad brand, but they aren’t my favorite.  However, this product came along and changed all of that.  This powder has been with ipsy for a while.  It’s my first time receiving it in my subscription, but my sister got it in her ipsy bag quite a while ago and gave it to me (not because she didn’t like it, but because she is just super generous).  My daily setting powder is the Stay Matte 011 Creamy Natural pressed powder by Rimmel Londno, and my specialty setting powder is the HD Finishing Powder 01 Translucent by Nyx.  But despite the effectiveness of those products, having a good banana setting powder on hand is always nice.  And I really, REALLY like this one.  It’s banana-y enough to complement my olive skin tone, and it actually smells really good!  (I have a thing against pungent powders).  Probably the reason I was most excited to receive this was because my baby dumped my last one out on her bouncy tray and smeared it around.  Such an epic way to see a makeup product die.


OFRA Cosmetics eyeshadow – Gold Rush

Another long-standing partner with ipsy is OFRA Cosmetics, as I received a nice OFRA highlighter back in my December 2016 glam bag.  Something that confuses me about this particular eyeshadow is that it claims to pull double-duty as both a matte and shimmer eyeshadow.  Umm… I’m pretty sure it’s just shimmer.  Which I d0n’t mind!  It also works wet and dry, which I think most eyeshadows do.  I love the shade and I REALLY love the improved packaging.  The little foam black disc holds the product in perfectly and makes all the difference.  Urban Decay–you have some work to do!

Ciate London Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner – Black

My favorite of all Ciate London products is the Geology topcoat (for mani-pedis) I got in my January 2017 glam bag.  Even more than the felt-tipped eyeliner pen I received in my October 2016 glam bag.  That is, until I tried the Gel-Kohl hybrid liner.  I have to say, it is still the kind that requires sharpening, which you know I HATE.  But it is ridiculously pigmented, detail-oriented, smooth, and high quality.  And so I kind of can’t help but love it.  Ipsy considers it to be one of their most versatile liners, and even created a video showing 11 ways to wear it.  I don’t think I would wear it many of the ways that the video featured.  To be honest I think some of the looks would be very difficult to pull of with just this pencil.  But the fact that it is so detailed and yet has the potential to be so smudgy is not to be taken for granted!  And as if the formula (and star-studded packaging!!) weren’t enough, one end of this liner is a beautiful little angled brush.  It’s perfect for smudging and blending, but can even be used as an eyebrow brush.  They literally thought of everything!

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongongo Lip Conditioner – Mandarin Green Orange and Ginger 

I received a Mongongo Lip Conditioner back in my August 2016 glam bag, and it was their Vanilla Coconut Cream version.  I really liked it, and still use it from time to time.  While I often reach for my more liquid-y type lip balms, this brand of lip conditioner holds a special place in my makeup drawer because of its buttery texture and gentle moisturizing.  It never gives the lips a super goopy feel, the way many balms do.  And while I have noticed the coconut bead a little bit, it’s not enough to keep me from using this lip conditioner.  An unglamorous, but mighty little product!

And that’s my little glam bag brand reunion!  Thanks for reading my July 2017 glam bag unboxing.  If you are an ipsy subscriber, please leave a comment below letting me know what you got!  And if you aren’t a subscriber but would like to be, you can sign up here.  (Doing so will not give me any monetary compensation but will give me bonus points to use on fun products!)   Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll come back soon!

              The “back” of the ipsy glam bag…and apparently Gudemata the mascot.  I just had to include this!  Haha.  You’re welcome.

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Glam Bag Unboxing: April 2017

ipsy: April 2017 glam bag unboxing

I thought the April 2017 glam bag would be my very last ipsy Glam Bag unboxing, as it was my last bag of the subscription year.  I was kind of sad about that.  To make matters worse, the bag was sent to my old address and despite the fact that the postal service forwarded my mail–they did NOT forward my ipsy bag.  I thought I would never see it again.  But just in case their was a sliver of hope, I thought I might as well send ipsy customer service an email.  I emailed them, providing them with my new address and explaining that I had yet to receive my bag (or my free bonus product) and that I had moved.  Not to sound like Eeyore, but I really didn’t expect any miracles, especially since I didn’t hear back from them.


 A few days later, a brand-new ipsy package was waiting in my mailbox.  I say brand-new, because it didn’t have a forwarding sticker like all our other mail.  The ipsy company had sent me a replacement glam bag!  I was stunned by their speedy no-questions-asked service.  They even included the bonus product I had mentioned to them in my email.  10 stars!

Anyway, we can move onto the unboxing now, but I wanted to give the backstory about why this bag means more to me than normal.  (I’ve been into backstories lately).  Oh, the other reason this means more to me is because I thought it was supposed to be my last one, but wasn’t.  Turns out that ipsy subscriptions run on auto-renew and so you have to manually cancel them before billing.  Oops!  I’m really not upset about having another year of glam bags.  More products to review!

This glam bag has the cutest design.  A movie ticket.  I don’t even like movies that much.  But this ticket…oh my gosh!  Based on the bag design, it wasn’t surprising to me that the theme for this month was show-stopping nights out.    But the products completely misled me about the theme.  Most of April’s products (those I received and those I didn’t) hovered around skin care, nail care, and muted colors.  There were only a handful of products that were colorful enough to be considered “showy” or “night-on-the-town-esque.”  I really didn’t mind, because I really love trying new skincare and because muted colors tend to be my makeup favorites.   But still–usually the ipsy theme carries pretty well throughout the bag, and this time, I felt like it just stopped at the design.  At the super cute design, that is.

And finally, the unboxing:


touch in SOL No Poreblem! Primer

I thought the name was kinda adorable.  I feel like primers are somewhat hard to find.  They are either theBalm Porefessional (very small tube and pricey) or elf primer (large quantities and cheap).  And if you don’t like either then you’re in trouble.  It was nice getting a decent-sized tube of this, and I actually really enjoyed this product.  It had the slippery texture of theBalm Porefessional, but had a slightly more lotion-y consistency, which I prefer.  My current primer is still the Maybelline Master Prime by Face Studio Blur + Illuminate 200, and I probably won’t switch from it anytime soon (I love that it has SPF 30 for these southern summers).  Still, I’m glad to have this one around and will continue to use it up.


Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel

This was perfectly timed, since I got my first sunburn of the year a few days later.  (Not thrilled about the burn, but really do like the product).  It felt a bit like glorified grocery store aloe.  Instead of being sticky and green, it was smooth and clear.  But it is still aloe, at the end of the day.  It wasn’t mind-blowing, but I like it better than the aforementioned grocery store stuff.  NB: The Hanalei Lip Treatment is their STAR product and I still use it to this day!

Ciate London Mini Bamboo Bronzer – Star Island

Ipsy first introduced me to this brand in January via the geology top coat (the BEST gel topcoat ever).  It was nice to see this brand again, especially in the form of a bronzer and the word ‘bamboo’ involved.  This bronzer differs from many in the fact that it has a little built-in skincare, in the form of amaranth and sunflower extracts which soothe the skin.  It also is oil-controlling, which is always nice for the summer months.  My favorite part is the tiny bow that is stamped on the top.


Naked Cosmetics Eye Pigment – Heavy Metal #04

This was definitely by far the most “show-stopping” product in the glam bag, and probably the one that fit best with the theme.  The color took me by surprise–it’s DEFINITELY got a red undertone to its copper pigment.  I can’t say that it is the most flattering shade, but it is definitely bold and different. It’s pretty fun, but not an everyday wearable shade.  It also looks really, really bad with pink, which is 50% of my wardrobe.  Oh well, guess I’ll have to pair it with black.  Which is the other 50% of my wardrobe.  Convenient!


Luxie Beauty- Luxie Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660

Luxie is another product that ipsy introduced me to, back in July of last year.  This past February, they once again acquainted me with this beautiful brush collection via the gorgeous Luxie Beauty Luxie Rose Gold Blush Brush 514.  I use my Luxie Beauty Small Angle 215 brush every single day.  So getting this pretty blue brush was such a score.  Plus, I love getting brushes in my ipsy bag.  A single brush always makes up for the $10 subscription fee, so getting 4 other products for this price is just unbeatable.

In this case, make it 5 other products.  I got a freebie after accumulating a certain number of points, earned by reviews, etc.  I opted for a lotion, because I thought my ipsy account would be over and this was my last chance to use the points.  That’s not to say I regret getting the lotion, in fact, it’s pretty nice.  But I probably wouldn’t have had the same sense of urgency to use up all my remaining rewards points if I had known I would continue to accumulate them for another year!  Oh well.


erbaviva organic skincare body lotionawaken

This is a cute 2 oz bottle of natural, organic lotion containing essential oils of melissa, lemongrass, and rose.  And more importantly, it DOESN’T contain artificial fragrances, silicones, petrochemicals, or artificial dyes.  Another bonus: it’s cruelty free.  So while maybe adding another lotion to my collection wasn’t a necessary use of my rewards points, this definitely felt like a reward and is a pretty nice product on it’s own.  I still can’t believe ipsy remembered to include it in my glam bag after the mix-up!

And that is finally the end of my April 2017 glam bag unboxing!  If you stuck through this whole thing, I really appreciate it!  And I am grateful every time you stop by, so hopefully you’ll get a chance to peek at my May 2017 unboxing.  It will be coming out soon!

**By the way, if you aren’t an ipsy member but would like to be, you can use this link to sign up!  Using my link will not provide me with any monetary compensation, just bonus points to use on fun products — see above!**

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Beauty Haul: Clinique


Since I just recently posted my mostly-Burt’s-Bees-skincare routine, you may be wondering why I placed a Clinique skincare order the same week.  I have my own concerns about that as well.  But I also have an excellent explanation.

In my skincare routine, I happened to discuss my go-to revolutionary product, Clinique’s All About Eyes cream.  Well, it also just so happened that I was running very low on my go-to revolutionary product.  But when I went to purchase it at my local PX, I was a little intimidated by the $32 price tag.  For a 0.5oz bottle. Not even a full OUNCE of product.  For $32.  This is probably an appropriate moment for me to insert the fact that I don’t believe that skincare has a price tag.  The way I see it, you only have one set of skin to take care of, and it’s hard (though not impossible) to reverse damage.  Prevention is KEY to proper skincare, imho.  With that kind of reasoning, I decided to go for the cream and it’s $32 price tag, on one condition: that I got a bunch of free products.

Fortunately for me, Clinique online was having an all-American July celebratory sale.  They really get America.  They had a deal running that if you spend $40, you get 4 free minis and free shipping.  I was almost at $40 with simply my one eye product, so I purchased a basic moisturizing lotion since I’m running low.   Then I looked around online to see if there were any coupon codes and was happy to discover a code that would add a mini-duo to any purchase.  I felt like 6 free products, even though they were “minis,” was enough incentive to make a Clinique purchase.  After all, I had been close to purchasing the eye product at the PX, full-price with no freebies!

Before I move onto the haul, I just wanted to give a shout-out to my sister-in-law who taught me how to “shop Clinique.” She is the person who got me into their skincare in the first place.  And she told me the big secret to buying high end guilt-free is to wait until there is some kind of deal going on.  Clinique is one of the few companies that gives away multiple products with your purchase, as long as you time your purchase right.  Well, I have to say I didn’t expect to spend under $50 on EIGHT Clinique products…but there you have it!



All About Eyes

I’ll start out with the product responsible for my Clinique haul.  This is my absolute favorite eye cream in the entire world.  As I’m sure many of you know, the eye area is one of the most sensitive parts of the skin, and also one of the thinnest.  Translation: it must be treated delicately.  But what many might not know is that there actually are eye creams that make a difference.  My sister-in-law gifted me a mini size of this cream to take on my honeymoon.  I was excited to try out something made specifically for the eyes, but wondered if it would make more of a difference than normal moisturizer put around the eye area.  IT DOES.

While this product says it is specifically designed to reduce dark circles and puffy bags, it does much more than that.  I have a lot of natural shadowing under my eyes, which this definitely helped.  But more than anything, it completely erased my smile lines.  Granted, I’m in my twenties and the smile lines certainly were not deep.  But they were there and I wanted to treat them.  Treat them, this did.  And now you know why I got three containers of this cream.   Small note–the dark ruby cream pot pictured above is still All About Eyes, but its the *rich* version.  It is still designed to target the eyes and correct the same issues as the normal version of the cream.



Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +

I remember my grandmother using this cream, and giving me her empty bottle to add to my “makeup collection.”  Nostalgia might have played a *slight* role in my decision to purchase this.  Also, I wanted to give it a try because it’s price was fair and I needed moisturizer.  It’s only a few bucks more than my beloved Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream, and I was going to purchase some of that soon.   I am so glad I gave this a try.

It is buttery, light, and moisturizes my skin very well.  A little goes a long way, which I always appreciate in a skincare product.  To be honest, it definitely does not have the nicest smell, but it also doesn’t stink.  It wears well under my makeup, and I generally like wearing it.  One of my freebies was a mini-sized version of this lotion–yay!



Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum

If I wasn’t so blown away by the All About Eyes cream, then this product would definitely win first place in my haul.  It is a serum meant to diminish fine lines, lift and firm skin, even skin tone, reduce dark spots, and improve the radiance and texture of the skin.  All I can say is that this has to be one of the best products I have ever put on my skin.  And I don’t say that lightly.

It comes out of the pump in a semi-lotion form, almost like a thin and watery lotion.  It seeps deep into the skin very quickly.   I am not exaggerating when I say that it changed my skin’s texture dramatically as I smoothed it on for the first time.  As much as I love makeup and skincare, they rarely give me “Aha!” moments, but this product really did.  Is it wrong for me to say I wish I never met this product?  A 12-week supply is over $150.  *bitter tears*  Would it also be wrong for me to say it would be worth it?



Moisture Surge Intense

This freebie seems to be a cross between the serum and lotion I purchased.  It’s an intense moisturizer that focuses not only on dehydration, but also repairing the skin’s barrier.  Apparently it can plump the skin for up to 24 hours, which sounds good to me!  I haven’t tried this yet but am looking forward to it.



Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

This cream focuses more on hydration than repair.  While this cream is meant to plump the skin like the one mentioned above, this one also creates a dewy and radiant glow.  It does so by enhancing natural hyaluronic acid (which Clinique calls nature’s moisture magnet).  It is also a 24-hr cream, which makes me hopeful that a little will go a long way with this one.  Which would be great, since I only have a little bit of it to begin with! haha

That is the conclusion of my Clinique haul.  Even though it was technically a skincare splurge to spend so much on just two products, I really feel it’s worth it.  Ever since my challenge days of not spending money on makeup, I have felt the value of skincare products over makeup products.  Note: I still LOVE makeup and wearing and purchasing it.  But I have learned that I can get away with using a $5 eyeliner pencil instead of a $25, but that my skin will pay the price if I do the same with moisturizers.  Another note: there are MANY lovable drugstore skincare products.  Just read my latest skincare routine.  But I am very excited to have these products as part of my skincare collection, because I really think they are wonderful and I know my skin will love them.

Thank you so much for reading.  If you have tried any of the products, or have one to recommend, leave a comment below!  And just as a note, this post was in no way sponsored– I definitely spent my own money on this haul.  And it was worth it!



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My Current Skincare Routine


I built my current skincare routine for the evening around the dream of having evenly-toned skin that is blemish-free and has a radiant glow.  A little backstory: I have normal to dry skin, and am sensitive to many products and brands.  I love trying new things, but don’t want to purchase over-priced “miracle products.”  Most importantly, I want my skin to last and be beautiful.  After some trial and error, I have come up with my favorite assembly of products to use at night.

For the past ten years, I have washed my face every night.  In fact, my nightly routine almost always included a moisturizer too. I would sometimes add a toner or a spot treatment, but never gave brands much thought.  It was an accident if I ever used two products of the same brand.

That all changed this year.  I finally decided that though I have a great love for makeup, I have an even greater love for my skin.  When I took it upon myself to give up buying makeup during the month of May, I did so to focus my attention on my skin and hair.  I finally pared down my collection of skin products and chose only a handful to be my regulars.  I wanted to give my skin a consistent dose of purposeful nourishment, not just random products that promise good things.   The results came in and I couldn’t be happier.  My skin is healthy, blemish-free, and evenly toned.  Allow me to introduce my current skincare routine!



Olay Daily Facials Gentle Clean Cloths

I begin my night-time routine with warm-hot water an Olay Gentle Facials cloth.  They are dry paper towels that have soap dried into them.  Once wet, they bubble and lather soap excellently.  I prefer dry cloths over wet cleansers because they never sting my eyes or dry out in the package and become useless, the way wet cloths can.  I will say that their soap can dry out your skin if you don’t add any moisturizer on afterwards, but who doesn’t do that?  Perhaps my favorite thing about these cloths is that they remove ALL makeup, even eye makeup.  I rarely have to follow up with a makeup remover oil, and if I do its only to remove pesky mascara from a day of heavy use.  And that rarely happens.  Well, not the heavy use of mascara.   I meant the makeup removing oil.  🙂



Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner

IMG_20160621_164245Next I like to use a toner.   My go-to toner is the Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner.  I love this because it is natural, light, and doesn’t sting at all.  It gives an extra radiance to my skin by cleansing my pores a little more than the facial cloths and adding nutrients at the same time.  At first, I didn’t believe it was possible for a toner to add radiance.  But after continual use and careful scrutiny, I really do believe it makes a difference.  I don’t necessarily use toner every single night, but I do most nights and my skin is better off for that.

I love the Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner, but if I need a really deep cleanse, I go for the Sea Breeze toner.  You might remember my love-hate feelings about that toner.  I like it because it is the most effective product I have (besides a facial spa brush) in cleansing my skin.  However, there is a difference between a tingling sensation and a stinging sensation, and this one definitely stings.   I can’t call it a go-to in my skincare routine, but I definitely have to mention it as something I use.



Burt’s Bees Radiance Serum

Once my skin is cleaned and toned, it’s time to start adding nutrients back in!  A while back I learned a beauty secret that I have found to be true: always layer on your products in order of weight.  If you put moisturizer on first, and then end your skincare routine with a serum, all you do is waste money and miss out on the benefits of your serum.  By putting on lightweight products first, however, you give them the best chance of soaking into the skin.  Any heavy products are perfect for the finale, because they seal all the nutrients into your pores.

Anyway, I like using this Burt’s Bees Radiance Serum to begin adding nutrients to my pores.  Despite its watery formula, this product is so rich that I only use it every other night.  I love the scent and how quickly it seeps into my skin.  The glow-factor that this gives is definitely one of the best features of this product.



Clinique All About Eyes Cream

This product is definitely my secret-weapon product.  I tried it by chance when I received it as a bridal shower gift.  At first, I used it occasionally and while I liked it, I didn’t see much of a difference in my skin.  But then I applied it consistently for a week and OH. MY. GOODNESS.  The results blew me away!!  The fine lines around my eyes had evaporated.  The skin near my eyes was practically glowing with health and silkiness.  The smile lines–GONE.  (Unless I smile, which is okay). If I hadn’t given this cream a chance, I definitely would have guessed it was an expensive miracle cream that promises a lot but doesn’t do much more than a regular moisturizer.  However, I can say with confidence that this cream really IS a miracle cream, and is worth every single penny.  I really love it.




Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream

This is the product that “started it all.”  It inspired me to create my current skincare routine in the first place.  It is such a good cream that it even convinced me to try the entire Radiance line.  This cream is cooling to the touch, buttery, lightly-scented, and extremely gentle.  It moisturizes my skin very deeply, but isn’t so heavy that I can only wear it at night.  In fact, I currently use it as morning and evening moisturizer.  It has been my go-to moisturizer for a while, as I have purchased and repurchased it.  I can’t say enough good things about this cream!


Secret Eyelash Serum

I apply this homemade eyelash serum on my lashes a few nights a week.  It really is a wonder treatment.  I have found my eyelashes grow longer and thicker when I use it, and look so much better in mascara. I only need to use it in bursts of two weeks at a time, because that is about how long the growth goes on for.  I take a few weeks off, and then use it for another two weeks.  Since using it, my eyelashes have never been the same.  You can get my recipe here.


Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm – Coconut + Pear

My last step is the lippies!  I really like this balm as it is moisturizing but not heavy.  Sometimes I love a heavy lip balm at night, but other times the goopiness drives me crazy!  This balm is perfect because it is lightweight and creamy.  The scent and “flavor” are gentle, which I always appreciate.  If my lip balm is going to have either of those traits, I want it to be gentle!  This is not my first Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, but so far it is my very favorite of those I’ve tried.  There is no tingling sensation with this variety, which I like.  It really is the perfect way to end my nightly ritual.

That is the conclusion of my night time current skincare routine.  Like I said, this is my first time ever having a formal and calculated routine.  The results are completely different from my past fun but less-effective days of mix-and-match skincare.  Even though it is exciting to try new products and various brands, I try not to make my skincare routine a game of variety.  It has been proven that using as many products as possible from a single line is more successful than a routine composed of a variety of brands.    Sticking to one (or mostly one) skincare line keeps you from being redundant about a certain nutrient or omitting an important one.  My own trial and error have proven this true too!

My post was not at all sponsored by Burt’s Bees (too bad! haha).  But I use so much of their Radiance line because have I found it to be effective.  As mentioned above, I use eye cream and facial cloths of different brands simply because Burt’s Bees does not make those products and I like the ones I use.  For the most part though, I have tried to stick to one skincare line, and to consistently use it every night.  I am so pleased to say that the consistency has paid off and my skin is positively the best it has ever been!

If you have tried one of these products and have an opinion about it, please share below!  I would love to know what your current skincare routine is.  Thank you for stopping by and reading!


~Any product links are affiliate links~ 

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Birthday Ulta Haul and Review



My birthday trip to Ulta was teeming with fun!  I got so many items, and just so happened to catch their BOGO Maybelline sale!  That was my only reason for the many Maybelline items. 0:)  This is more than just a regular Ulta Haul, because #1 it was my birthday and #2 I have used each of these makeup items and am more than pleased with all of them!  And you know, that is not always the case with beauty hauls.



Maybelline Dream BB Fresh Cream – 100 Light

I made a beeline for this product when I got into the store.  A fellow blogger had just mentioned that it was a great summer product and I really wanted to try it.  Well, it’s more than a great product for me…it’s my go-to foundation now.  I don’t say those words lightly, either.  But I have found that this wears comfortably on my skin, doesn’t clog my pores, and looks more natural/attractive than regular foundation.  It has very sheer coverage, however paired with a powder (see below), this covers my face just as effectively (but MUCH more naturally) than foundation does.  As a bonus, it has many benefits to it that a foundation doesn’t promise: blurs imperfections, enhances, brightens, adjusts skin tone, smoothes, hydrates, protects with SPF 30, and is lightweight.  Ha!  Foundation, you don’t stand a chance.



Maybelline Fit Me Powder – 110 Porcelain 

IMG_20160624_170646I got this powder on the recommendation of my sister, and I’m so glad I got it!  My previous setting powder was the famous Nyx Finishing Powder, but unfortunately at the time they were sold out of the ever-popular Banana color.  I bought the Nyx in Translucent and was never very happy with it.  Not only was the Nyx’s extremely sheer coloring unhelpful in providing coverage, but it also didn’t look very natural on my skin.  I think what bothered me the most about it, however, was its propensity to be cakey.  It just didn’t wear well on my skin, and I didn’t like using it for anything except to set my under-eye concealer.  (And now this is becoming a review on the Nyx Finishing Powder).  ENTER FIT ME POWDER.  I still opted for a lighter shade, but its coverage ability is far superior to the Nyx Finishing Powder.  Even though most powders can look cakey on the skin if over-applied, this one is definitely more natural-looking and seeps into my BB cream nicely.  It does exactly what it says it will–it sets and smooths.  No more Nyx Finishing Powder for me (unless its under the eyes, bc the lighter the better)!  I will be repurchasing this Fit Me powder for sure!



Maybelline Master Prime – 200 Blur + Illuminate

I have to attribute some of my BB cream and powder success to this product.  I raved about it before.  It is a very good primer, and quite affordable.  My BB and powder set nicely and will stay on for hours with this product beneath them.  I love the pinkish tint it has, as well as its slight rose smell.  There are two other primers in this line, one which blurs and smooths, and one which blurs and controls redness.  I have yet to try either, but I wouldn’t mind, as I have purchased an repurchased this one!


Maybelline Eyeshadow Palette – The Nudes

IMG_20160624_170501This was my final Maybelline item of the haul.  I am obsessed with brown and neutral eyeshadow palettes, and anything with a shimmer is my style!  I was impressed with the price point of this palette, as well as the variety of shades.  Sometimes the larger palettes or shade family palettes tend to repeat colors, but I feel like this palette offers a broad color spectrum.  About half the shades are shimmery and half are matte, which is also a good ratio to me.  Their color transfer and opaqueness obviously varies from shade to shade, but I have been overall pleased with their pigmentation and wearability.  I haven’t experienced color fallout or creasing either, which is a huge bonus.  Overall, I would say this is a very good palette for its price point, color variety, and pigment quality.  I wouldn’t say its a high-end eyeshadow palette in disguise, but if you are looking for good-quality drugstore eyeshadows in attractive neutral colors, I would highly recommend this one.  I am so pleased with it and have been wearing it almost exclusively since purchasing it!


L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow – Iced Latte

As previously mentioned, I adore shimmer shadows.  My first experience with the Infallible Eyeshadow pots was with their Amber Rush shade from my PX haul.  I totally love it and so buying more was a no-brainer.  They are highly pigmented eyeshadow pots with a velvet consistency and absolutely no fallout or creasing.  Even though there are a few matte shades in the line, they are almost exclusively glittery.  A few of them, like this one, feel like foil eyeshadow, as they are so shiny, pigmented, and opaque.  When I wear them, I almost always apply them with my finger and not a brush.  They just pat onto the eyelid so perfectly with my finger and stay put that I feel a brush would only break up the product application and fan out the color too much.  It is too easy for me to say these are the very best eyeshadows I have ever used.  One last word: waterproof.  <–but they come off with regular makeup removing wipes at the end of the day.


L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow – Silver Sky

And now that you know how much I love these eyeshadows (see above) you’re probably not at all surprised that I bought two of them.  This one reminds me a lot of my Ulta Glitter Eye Top Coat in Put a Ring on It, which is basically a pan of pressed glitter.  I would say this is a slightly more delicate glitter than the Ulta one though, as this one has smaller glitter particles and a smoother texture.  This color is more sheer than the Amber Rush and Iced Latte Infallibles though.  With those two, you get an opaque color that shimmers, shines, and glows.  With this color, it adds a glitter and sparkle to your eyelid and whatever color you already have applied.  Even though I think it would be gorgeous if this eyeshadow did give off a grey and sparkly pigment, I am still so happy with the product’s velvety texture that I don’t mind.  Plus a bonus to its sheerness is that it can be worn under the eye, on the brow bone, or even on the outsides of the eyes for a dramatic touch.


Sexy Hair Hairspray- Spray & Play

Last but not least, here is my truly *birthday* item.  The candle cupcake bottle is just too perfect!  Too bad I rarely use hairspray, because the packaging is cute enough for me to want to use it daily.  I generally use hairspray just to set the top of a hairstyle in, but sometimes I do spray the lengths of my hair if its curled.  This is a volumizing hairspray, which is great for down ‘dos, and that’s how I usually style my hair anyways!  Even if I don’t use this frequently, it is nice to be able to tuck this into my hair product arsenal for the next special occasion when I need it.  Plus I was excited to get this for free, because who doesn’t love freebies?

That is the end of my birthday Ulta haul.  I hope you go out and try some of these products!  I know it sounds silly but I like reading reviews of products I own, so if you do buy something from my Ulta haul, let me know!  I’d love to hear what you think about the product too, and if you write a review on it, be sure to send me the link.

Thanks so much for reading!

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My Current 10 Daily Products


If you’re like me, you get hooked on a particular eyeshadow palette, or blush/bronzer combo.  Then of course there are THOSE makeup products that you only ever buy in that particular brand in that particular color (L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, I’m looking at you).  And then there are some “ooh, let’s try this!” products that make their way onto your face every few days.  Today, I am giving you the list of 10 products (makeup OR skincare) that I apply every day, whether I’m doing an ALL-OUT makeup look, or keeping it simple with a daily couch-friendly, baby-friendly, husband-friendly, trying-to-look-like-a-put-together-adult look.  Here it is:

  1. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow.  It’s shimmery and delicate, but has a few dark shades that can build up for enhancing contour and shadowing.  Plus, THE PACKAGING.  Need I say more?
  2. Elf Expert Liquid liner.  This is one I’m wearing every single day no matter what, but I can’t say that I’m happy about it.  LOL  The quest for the perfect liquid liner is still on, because this one isn’t perfect.
  3. Maybelline Define-a-Line Eye liner.  I wrote an entire post dedicated to this product, because <3.
  4. L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara.  Again, this one deserved an entire post dedicated  just to its perfect little self.
  5. Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm.  I have been loving the coconut pear edition.  To me, this counts as makeup, because I only wear balms.  I’m just not a big lipstick person.  So this is my “lip product” of every day.

Fear not, this is not the ONLY makeup that I wear.  haha  Sometimes I definitely throw some bronzer, blush, foundation, primer, powder, highlight, illuminator and nose contour in there.  But these are just my current dailies that I put on no matter what the situation is.  What are your current five?

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