Friday, September 27, 2013

Products I've Used Up: September 2013

Hey, friends! I've used up a few products over the past two months, so I thought I would share my thoughts on them with you.  


Olay Night of Olay Firming Cream (Full-Size: $6.50 ~ 2oz)

I've used this moisturizer for multiple years, and it was in this past May Favorites. I usually keep one set of toilettries at home and another at school to prevent me from lugging my entire medicine cabinet back and forth between breaks, and my other jar of this is almost gone as well. It's thick, creamy, and hydrating. I highly recommend it for someone with dry, combination/dry, or normal skin. It's great! I would definitely repurchase this, but since I'm always curious, I'm looking to try a new nighttime moisturizer. Any recommendations (preferably from the drugstore)? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Birchbox: September 2013 Review

Hey, friends! Today I wanted to share with you my very first Birchbox. I'm very excited. And I didn't even have to miss a month of beauty subscriptions! If you're curious as to why I cancelled Ipsy, please click here

Birchbox? What's that? - Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription service. It sends 4-5 sample size and full-sized products that are curated to your beauty profile. It is $10 a month, and has a wonderful rewards program, in which you can earn points for reviewing products and making purchases in the Birchbox Shop. You can then redeem those points for full-sized products in the Birchbox Shop! It's probably the best rewards program out there, in my opinion, which was one of the big draws in me signing up. If you're interested in subscribing to Birchbox, I would love it if you used my referral link. Thank you! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why I Cancelled My Ipsy Subscription

Hey, friends. Today I wanted to let you know that I cancelled my Ipsy subscription. Yes, after being subscribed for nearly a year (this month would have been my one-year anniversary) I decided to stop receiving a monthly Glam Bag. It's a sad day, but don't worry, there is a light at the end of the post!

Why I Cancelled My Ipsy Subscription
Ipsy August 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: e.l.f. Little Black Beauty Book: Warm Edition

Hi, friends! Today I wanted to review for you a thrifty find that I got at Marshalls. Did I need it? No, but there's no Target within a convenient proximity to me, and that's the only place I can get e.l.f. without ordering online (and I hate paying for shipping). So, I saw this baby on discount for $5 (marked down from $8--wow, I know), and for 48 shadows, I thought "Why not?"

Friday, September 13, 2013

My Morning Skincare Routine: September 2013

Hi, friends! I thought it would be fun to share my current skincare routine with you. I'm going to separating this into two separate posts, so this one will include my daytime skincare, and a post in the near future will talk about my evening routine. If I bunched all of them into one post, it would be very long!

About eight/nine months ago, I heard about a Doctor Oz segment in which he talked about not needing to wash your face twice a day. He discussed how it was drying and just plain unnecessary (kind of like what I talking about in my recent shampooing discovery, only for skin). He suggested washing your face really good at night, and then waking up in the morning and just rinsing with water (because in reality, you'd only washed it right before you went to bed). I tried doing this method, but realized that using just water didn't make my face feel as fresh and awake as it did when I was washing it in the morning. So, I started looking into cleansing waters and toners. I found that using these sorts of products on my face in the morning to freshen up, after a really good cleansing the night before from my Clarisonic Mia II (which I had recently acquired for Christmas as a gift) made my face feel nice and clean, without being stripped. I have combination/dry skin, so those of you with more oily skin might not find this method effective, but it did absolute wonders for my skin. The combination of letting up on my skin and cleaning it better at night with the Clarisonic really cleared up my skin (as I did get very frequent acne breakouts on my forehead). My acne has decreased significantly ever since, and my face hasn't felt as dry. My forehead and nose were also a little less oily, since my pores weren't trying to overcompensate for the moisture it was losing by over-washing it (as it really wasn't necessary to wash it twice a day, since my skin never got that oily to begin with).

The current toner I'm using right now is the Boots Botanics Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz ($8 ~ 5oz).

Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner

Hey, friends! Today I wanted to give you an in-depth review of the shampoo and conditioner I've been loving lately. I received them from my Total Beauty Mystery Collection back in June, though I just started using them recently. And I'm so happy I finally tried them!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Total Beauty Mystery Collection: June 2013 Unboxing & Review

Hey, everyone. After talking about it for two months, the review of my Total Beauty Mystery Collection that I ordered in June is finally here! I'll let you know why I refer to this as the Total Crapbox in a minute, but first, some back-story:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Back-to-School Beauty Essentials

Hey, friends! I started classes today, so I thought I'd share with you my basic, back-to-school beauty essentials. These are the items that I use the most often during the year, that I feel like almost every college beauty buff could benefit from. I also included my personal favorites of each category, just in case. This obviously doesn't include everything (you don't need me to tell you to pack a toothbrush!) but just a few of the things that might not immediately come to mind.

Dry Shampoo

When I wake up in the morning and realize my hair looks limp, flat, or greasy, I use a little dry shampoo to freshen it up. For the days when I'm in between washes, dry shampoo helps make hair look clean. It's my my saving grace, because I don't know about you, but the showers in my residence hall have pretty low shower pressure--meaning that sometimes the shampoo/conditioner/buildup of product in my hair doesn't always completely wash out. In a nutshell, dry shampoo just makes my hair go from "blah" to not-so-blah, so I always make sure to have some in stock.

Splurge: Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($21 ~ 5.3oz) 

I hardly use official "dry shampoo," but this is the one I have on hand right now. I got this sample from the Her Campus Conference  and so far I'm liking it so far. It's a spray, so it's not as messy as powder dry shampoos. I'm still testing it, so I can't say too much about it, but I'm a little obsessed with Amika products right now and I'm excited to explore their line (through free samples, because they're so expensive!). I probably won't repurchase it, just because I'm not wowed enough to justify that price, so I think the Batiste is next on my to-try list. 

Save: Johnson's Baby Powder ($4 ~ 22oz)

This is what I use most of the time as a dry shampoo. Any baby powder will do, but if you have blonde hair, baby powder is a super affordable alternative to dry shampoo. It absorbs any excess grease from your roots, and as long as your hair is light (it might give your hair a white/grey tint if you're a brunette or darker), it'll look natural. The only things I dislike about using baby powder is 1) you have to be really careful about not getting it on your clothes, and 2) it does take a good amount of shine out of your hair. I find that the best way to use baby powder is sparingly, only in the places you really need it, and then brushing it out to prevent any white spots. I usually put my hair in a headband on days when I use this, just to get my bangs out of my face. I prefer buying scented ones the lavender pictured above, just so it doesn't make my hair smell blatantly like baby powder (aka a baby's bottom). 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tag: Would You Rather...?

Hey, friends! I was tagged by Julia over at Penny Pinching Perfection to do this tag. If you haven't checked out her blog, you should. She's the one that got me into Swagbucks and a bunch of other alternative money-making websites. She knows her stuff!

Anyway, on to the tag:

1. Would you rather lose all your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks and lip glosses or lose all of your palettes and eyeshadows? - I'll have to pick the second one, because I can still do a full face of makeup with the former, but not with only eyeshadow. Mascara is the one item I feel that makes the biggest difference, since it really helps my eyes stand out. I'd feel weird wearing eyeshadow without mascara!

E.L.F. Beauty Book in Warm