May’s Sephora Play box is themed “Beauty on the Rise,” and is a tour of cult favorites, hard to find formulas and one of a kind brands that are making their mark in the beauty industry. This month, Sephora replaced their regular drawstring cloth bag with a cute, see through pouch that’s perfect for housing your essentials. Here’s what was inside my box:
Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone: This is a color-rich stick that is a lip liner, lip stain, and lip color all in one. While I love getting lip products, I tried this on, and the color is a rusty brownish red, which is definitely not my shade, especially for summer time. It’s a major bummer to get a shade that’s not in my preferences.
Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser: I was so excited to see Sunday Riley in my box this month. This is a clay cleanser that brightens the skin while cleaning and minimizing the pores for balanced, clear skin. I was not expecting a clay cleanser to be so runny, but it smells good and makes my skin feel great when I use it with my Clarisonic Mia.
Grande Lips Lip Plumperin Clear: I was surprised to discover that this product was more than just a temporarily plumping gloss, but instead a treatment gloss with results over time. I’ve only applied it once, but the instant results are a little bit of a cool, minty tingle (not nearly as aggressive as some other lip plumpers I’ve tried), and a shot of hydration which feels really good. The instructions say that in order to achieve maximum results it should be used regularly for 30 days, and this sample will definitely not last that long, but I will enjoy using up what I do have. Read more…
Dagne Dover first popped onto my radar when I started to see Facebook ads for them. Because Facebook is clever and very scary, it knew that I was a prime target to be converted into a Dagne Dover customer. Not only has my handbag obsession been around for years, but I also deal with the struggle of having too much stuff floating around in my bag, and at the same time not having nearly enough room for everything I wanted to put in there. After being convinced that this bag was perfect for me, I decided to boldly reach out to the company and tell them why I was the perfect person to write a review for them. Amazingly, they responded and agreed to send me their classic tote. While I was sent the bag, the following opinions are 100% honest. Remember, I reached out to them…and let’s be real here, if they didn’t agree to send me one to review, pure curiosity would have caused me to drop the money on it anyway because I already decided I had to have it. I just want to be fully transparent here. Ok, now we can get started.
While 95% of the time I’m working it’s in the comfort of my own office (and sometimes my couch), there have been plenty of occasions where I have wanted to take my blog’s HQ to a different location. Okay, usually that location is Starbucks and occasionally a meeting, but still, it requires me to pack up my things and go somewhere else. When this happens, it’s pretty typical that I’m carrying my big purse as well as a laptop bag and a water bottle. I’m clunky, clumsy, and take up far too much space. If only there was a way to solve my traveling dilemma.
When I first laid eyes on that targeted Facebook Ad I was instantly smitten with this tote bag. It had all of the features of any bag I could possibly want, and even a few features I didn’t know I needed. Here’s some info on the features of this bag (we’ll get more in-depth in a second):
Drop Zipper Opening
L 13” x H 8” x W ¾” Padded Laptop Sleeve with Hidden Magnetic Closure
L 10 ½” x H 7 ½” Padded Tablet / Notebook Sleeve
Phone Pocket with ID / MetroCard Compartment
3 Pen / Lipgloss Loops
Large Interior Zipper Pocket
2 Slip Pockets (L 5 ½” x H 6”)
Additional Side Slip Pocket (L 4” x H 4 ½”)
4” Diameter Neoprene Bottle Holder
Detachable Leather Key Leash with 2 interior D-Rings
2 External Aesthetic D-Rings
Pyramid Hardware Feet
The Classic Tote fits everything you could possibly need to get you through a work day all the and take you all way to a night out with friends. The coated canvas looks super chic but is also water-resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth, making it ideal for the woman on the go.
Here are a few of the awesome products that have caught my eye and made it onto my wish list for the new month. We’ve got a little bit of everything this month. Check it out!
Air Fryer ($150)- My biggest wishlist item of the month is an air fryer. After seeing all of the awesome creations people are coming up with in their fryers, I’m having some severe envy about not having one of my own. Air Fryers help you achieve the crisp cook of fried food while using little to no oil in the preparation. This sounds like a dream come true. I’m longing to get my hands on one of these so I can try out different veggies in there to make my own sweet potato fries, butternut squash bites, and I’m really dying to try the Green Giant cauliflower tots in there. I was obsessed with them when I had them at my parent’s house, and I imagine tossing them in an air fryer rather than the oven will make them even more amazing. This appliance actually surpassed a new coffee maker on my wishlist. That’s just crazy talk!
Benefit Galifornia($29)- I’ve always enjoyed Benefit’s cult classic boxed blushes. Coralista has always been one of my favorites, and GALifornia looks like it might be a slightly brighter, but still completely wearable version of my all time favorite. Read more…
When I say “Dyson” you picture a high-end vacuum cleaner, right? Of course you do! I recently added their amazing cordless vacuum to my collection and I’ve never thought I could love a Dyson more than I love that vacuum. Then I got my hands on their hair dryer…
Yes, Dyson, the brand many of us turn to for clean floors, makes a hair dryer, and it’s amazing.
What makes the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer so special?
The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is without a doubt the most high-tech piece of beauty technology I have ever used. The professionals at Dyson worked long and hard to produce this well thought-out and designed product. Equipped with a Dyson v9 motor, the supersonic hair dryer gets hair dried quickly and with minimal damage to your precious strands. The features of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer are as follows:
Air Multiplier Technology: Air is amplified 3 times, producing a high-pressure, high-velocity jet of air (Think about the Dyson hand dryers in some public bathrooms. Those things are powerful).
Pulse-width modulation enables precise control of the heating element.
Annular element construction: Annular double-stack heating element allows a compact barrel without compromising heat generation.
Glass Bead Thermistor: Thermal sensor measures exit flow temperature 20 times per second and transmits data to the machine’s microprocessor.
Intelligence: To help prevent extreme heat damage a microprocessor in the head intelligently controls the heating element using data from a thermistic bead.
4 heat settings and 3-speed settings
Power: The Dyson digital motor v9’s 13 impeller blades spin at up to 110,000 rpm. It’s fast, light, and small.
Vibration reduction mount: a rubber isolation mount prevents the motor from vibrating against the inside of the handle, reducing the transfer of noise between the motor and the case.
Removable filter cage: easy cleaning!
Engineered for balance: the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is the only manufactured hair dryer with the motor in the handle instead of the head.
Negative ions help reduce static in the hair.
Stainless steel magnetic interface: The only hair dryer with magnetic attachments for easy fitting and rotation.
I am a skincare junkie who is constantly on a quest to find the right combination of products that work for my skin. While I feel like once I find the “magic formula” in my day to day products, I will likely keep any changes to a minimum, when it comes to face masks it’s a whole different story. Face masks are treatments that help enhance your normal skincare routine by offering a dose fo super strength for whatever ails your skin at the time. While I’m acne prone, I have a collection of masks that not only treat acne, but hydrate, brighten, exfoliate, and energize. I love trying new masks, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop and settle on just one.
When I heard about the First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 bouncy mask I was immediately intrigued. Not only did the information I saw about the mask make me want to try it, but the one video I happened to click on (It was on FAB’s Youtube channel) sang the praises of the instant gratification the mask provides. Granted, I’m sure the blogger featured in the video was paid, but I had to try it and see if it was true. Read more…
Every month (okay, every month that I actually take the time to do it..) I like to compile a list of the things I’ve got my eyes on. This month we’re looking at a few different kinds of sweet treats and even a new kind of crayon. Read on!
Wicked Good Cupcakes: If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for all things sweet, and cake/cupcakes are at the very top of my list. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, all of the best sweet treats are coming out with limited editions for V-day. I’ve been dying to try these Wicked Good Cupcakes.. I mean, Wicked is in the title! How could I not want to try these?? Has anyone ever tried them? Are they as good as they look?
Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection: I know this collection is SO hyped up, but I’ve also heard it’s as awesome as it looks. Too Faced is the company that really got me into high-end cosmetics (with the purchase of an eyeshadow duo called “bon-bon”) years ago, and I love trying all of their products, but I just haven’t been willing to purchase anything from sweet peach yet. Now they have more than the eyeshadow palette (which I’ve wanted for months). There are lip glosses, a highlighter palette, and a blush that looks amazing. If I do cave, I’ll be sure to give you a full review of whatever I get. What do you recommend?
Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites: Did I mention I love cake?? Now I’m looking at a more Weight Watchers friendly version of cake with these protein cake bites from Optimum Nutrition. They come in 3 flavors: Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, and Chocolate Dipped Cherry. How does one choose?? Each serving packs 20g protein, giving your cake fix a bit of a nutrition fix as well. I’m dying to get my hands on these. As per usual, if I find them, you’ll hear about them.
Clinique Crayola Chubby Sticks: The latest lip product line from Clinique, a company I adore, is a set of Chubby Sticks inspired by Crayola crayons. How cute is that?? They even look like giant crayons. I saw them swatched on social media, and every shade is one that I would wear in a sheer, hydrating stick, so it is definitely a collection I’d like to get my hands on. You can get the full set of 8 for $49.50. Read more…
After years of being a subscription box addict, trying many different varieties since the dawn of Birchbox, I’ve unsubscribed from all but one: Sephora Play! Sephora is one of the 2 primary stores that fuels my beauty addiction (Ulta is the other), so this subscription makes sense to me. It’s $10 a month for themed boxes with deluxe sample sizes (equivalent to the 100 point perks you can get in-store) of products you can find in Sephora.
The theme this month was “Beauty, Set, Go” and is filled with products to help detox and refuel your beauty routine. Let’s see what’s inside.
Tarte Frixxxion Stick: At first, I wasn’t sure what this was, but it turns out it’s an exfoliating gel cleanser. You apply it to your skin straight from the stick and it lathers up to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin. You can also leave it on for 10 minutes to act as a purifying mask. Being a skincare addict, I am looking forward to trying this out.
Ouai Treatment Mask: A restorative mask that helps care for dry, damaged hair. My only experience with this brand is in a wave spray that I happen to love, so I’m excited to have the chance to try something else from Ouai.
*Update* Okay so I used this yesterday (I had a draft written a few days prior), and after using this and blow drying my hair I must say, my hair looks amazing. I will be buying this.
Boscia BB Cream: I’ve tried this product before and I remember loving it, so I’m excited that it made an appearance in my box. This B.B. Cream adds a bit of tint and skin perfecting coverage while SPF 27 protects from the sun. It’s also oil-free, which is a huge plus for me and my acne-prone skin.
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: I had a sample size of this product in a different shade, and I loved it, so I’m excited to give this cult-classic shade a try. While it appears to be crazy dark in the tube, this actually delivers a beautiful sheer wash of color that is perfect for the winter months. The formula is also hydrating and feels great on my lips.
Fragrance bonus: Pinrose Wild Child: Notes of florals, vanilla, and amber combine for an exuberant and confident scent. The sample is in wipe format for easy, on the go (but a single) application.
* Links are affiliate links which gives me a small commission to help support my blog. Thanks for your love and support*
Everyone knows that a crucial part of any skincare routine is exfoliation. Exfoliating regularly gets rid of the dead cells resting on the surface of your skin that could result in dull, flaky, and even broken out skin, leaving you with a flake-free bright and fresh glow. There are two different types of exfoliation: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation is the type we probably think of when we hear the word “exfoliate.” Physical exfoliants use a buffing motion and some sort of grainy texture to remove the dead skin cells, while chemical ones simply require product application (and a little time) with no other action necessary. Today we’re taking a look at the AP25 Performance Peel from Exuviance, which is a chemical exfoliant.
About the Product
The Performance Peel AP25 contains a 25% blend of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA) including Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, and Gluconolactone. It works at skin’s surface to exfoliate the surface layers of the skin which are dead and dull, and it also enhances cell renewal to reveal fresher, healthier-looking skin. With regular use (up to twice a week), Exuviance has found that this peel:
Refines pore size and smoothes texture
Visibly diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles
Improve clarity and brightness
Brighten and even skin tone
Provide an overall healthy glow to the skin
How to Use
Cleanse face. After your face is clean and dry apply a Step 1 (the packets are labeled for you) activator pad all over your face. Be careful to avoid eye and lip areas, and any areas that are super sensitive. This step 1 pad is applying the actual chemical peel to your face so pay attention to any stinging, tingling, burning, itching, peeling, or redness that may be happening while you’re waiting. As with most peels, a slight tingling sensation is to be expected. Leave step 1 on for up to (but no more than) 10 minutes.
When your 10 minutes are up, open and apply the Step 2 neutralizer pad. This is a solution that cancels out the acids in the peel effectively stopping the chemicals from doing anything else to your skin. Rinse your face with water. If you find the tingling sensation too much to handle you can apply step 2 before the 10 minutes are up. This is your call, but if you’re really hurting or turning pretty red I suggest not trying to wait it out. Better safe than sorry.
Use up to 2 times per week.
First, I am happy to say that I had zero burning and hardly any tingling sensation, save one application where I had a slightly irritated pimple (ie, I might have picked it a little the day before.. I know, shame on me). That burned, but only where the angry pimple was lurking. I shouldn’t even talk about application because it’s the easiest thing ever, but I will anyway. Each packet contains one product soaked cotton round, and you apply it to your face like you would a toner. Okay, I’m a tad more thorough with the peel than I am my toner, but you get the idea. After 10 minutes (I set an alarm because otherwise, I’d forget it was on) I do the same with the step 2 pad, taking care to make sure I apply it to every single millimeter of skin that I put the peel on. After a quick rinse, I apply a strong moisturizer and I’m on my merry way.
While I haven’t used up the whole box of peels yet, based on ease and cleanliness of use and the lack of burning alone, I enjoy this peel. While I don’t necessarily see any improvement in my fine lines (that have just started to make an appearance on my face), I will say this does a great job of getting rid of my dead, flaky skin and leaves things looking a bit brighter and clearer.
The Exuviance peel is $77 for 13 sets of 2-step packets (12 uses and an extra to skin test for reactions before your first use). I’ll be honest, this is definitely one of the more expensive peels out there (in terms of price per use), but it’s definitely still cheaper than going for a facial. There are other options that have a bit less power, or a higher price tag and more uses, but at the end of the day, skincare is all about finding what works for you, and the Exuviance peel is a product that does what it claims it will do.
You can find the Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 on the Exuviance website or at Ulta.
*I was sent this product for review via Exuviance and Brand Backer, but all opinions are my own*
With Christmas looming a mere 12 days away, this coming weekend is bound to be filled with holiday parties galore. Winter is when we break out darker colors, smokey eyes, and bold red lips. While I’m not usually a bold-lipped kind of lady, being in a show and rocking a bold red lip in Pippin has forever changed my opinion of red lippies, and I now have faith that I can rock them. Here are 6 lip products I’ve been using this holiday season.
Smith & Cult Lip Gloss in The Warning: This is the sheerest of all of my picks, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect look for the holidays. This bright red gloss brings a pop of Santa red to your lips without forcing you to panic about getting red lipstick everywhere. It’s hydrating, not sticky, and even has a little bit of subtle glitter in there for an extra pop of party bling. ($22 @ Smithandcult.com)
Too Faced Melted Berry Liquid Lipstick: Melted berry is a stunning shade of berry red (almost deep, dark pink. Almost.) that will surely pop on your lips this season. I’ve found that I really enjoy the formulation of the Too Faced Liquid Lipsticks, and this is a bold shade I found I wasn’t afraid of even on the very first wear. ($21 at Ulta)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic Stained Gloss in Nomad: I’ll be honest, at first I thought this shade appeared to be far too dark for me to even consider trying on. Turns out that this deep colored gloss sheers out into a great winter maroon. It can be sheer or be built up for a more intense coverage. I was incredibly surprised by how much I liked this shade, and have been wearing regularly. ($18 on Amazon)
Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Matte Lipstick in Dolce Flirt: I got a mini of this lipstick from an Influenster campaign a year or so ago, so I had to try it for review purposes. This was another product that really surprised me by how much I liked it. This matte formula was very comfortable and non-drying. The shade “dolce flirt” was such a beautiful, flattering true red color that I loved wearing it to my husband’s office Christmas party. I felt sexy, feisty, and very festive. (available at Nordstrom $38)
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella: This lip pencil is in a shade that feels like it was inspired by Miss Cruella DeVil herself. This is a deep scarlet red that definitely feels like the perfect bold winter lip in a long wear, top rated formula by Nars. ($26 @ Sephora)
Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate: This lip product is the one I used in my show that made me accept that I could pull off a bold red lip color. Pomegranate is a gorgeous rich red that made my lips pop on stage, made my teeth look a bit whiter, and made me feel like a sexy little vixen going out on stage. This is definitely a shade I will now rock on a regular basis. This product felt great on, stayed put, and lasted my entire show ( and afterward) without needing to be reapplied. This baby is the reason I’m no longer afraid to rock a bold lip, so shoutout to Bite Beauty to opening my eyes to a world beyond nudes and light pinks. ($24 @ Sephora)
What are some of your go-to lip products for the holiday party season? Do you wear the bold statement lip, or do you have some deeper neutrals that you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.
*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links*
At the base of any good skincare routine is a solid cleanser. After all, you need your skin to be squeaky clean so all of your lotions and potions can work their magic. When I got this new cleanser in the mail, I couldn’t wait to try it out. Exuviance was kind enough to send me their Purifying Cleansing Gel to review, and while I did get it for free, you know that my reviews will always be honest. Let’s dive in and see what it’s all about.
About the Product
The Exuviance purifying cleansing gel is an anti-aging face cleanser with Alpha (AHA) and Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA). The acids offer chemical exfoliation and help clarify the skin. The gel is soap-free which is gentle and prevents the skin from drying out. Conditioners soothe the skin and help improve the skin’s texture. It’s also allergy and dermatologist tested (in case that’s important to you).
Basically,this cleanser foams up to wash away makeup, impurities, and surface oils without stripping the skin or altering skin’s natural moisture balance and is suitable for all skin types .