Olay Fresh Effects Dew Over Hydrating Gel

Many months ago I got a free sample of Olay’s Fresh Effects {Dew Over!} Hydrating Gel.

Lovely little jar.

Lovely little jar.

My little sample was .5 fl oz, while the full size product is 1.7 fl oz. and retails for $12.99.

Typically, I’ll use this moisturizer once or twice a week, but I’ll use it more often if my skin has been on the dry side. It’s also a great product to use after a cleanser that has ingredients that can by drying like salysilic acid.

The gel is pale green color but the light color doesn’t show up on your skin when you’ve rubbed it in. There is also a lovely scent to this product of honeysuckle and white tea. Putting it on in the morning smells so good but the scent doesn’t linger all day, which is a good thing.

Almost an empty.

Almost an empty.

Olay’s website claims that Dew Over will provide 24 hour moisture, and I’d have to agree with that claim. As with any product, it’s effectiveness lessens with wear, but at the end of the day my skin still feels soft.

This hydrating gel is also formulated with a powder, which means that it absorbs quickly into the skin and helps fight the look of oily skin.

Olay also proudly claims this is an oil free product that won’t clog your pores. I find both of these claims to be true as well. My combination skin leans toward the oily side and it is also sensitive and clogs up easily. I don’t feel oily when I’m using this moisturizer, and I do not feel that it clogs my pores.

However, after further exploring the ingredients list there are three different kinds of parabens in this product, which I found to be extrem disappointing. If you’d like to learn more about parabens, please click this link. I won’t pretend that I’m living an 100% paraben free lifestyle, but I’m trying to make a conscious effort to avoid or minimize their presence in my life.

Originally I wanted to give Olay’s Fresh Effects {Dew Over!} Hydrating Gel 4 beauty bubbles for its performance and great smell. But after doing some research and finding out about the parabens in this product I’m giving it 2 beauty bubbles because it’s still an effective product but my desire to use it and recommend it has gone down.

ColourPop Cream Eyeshadows

Let me introduce you to my latest obsession, ColourPop Shadows.

Even my coffee table likes these shadows.

From Top Clockwise: Sequin, So Quiche, Hammered, BAE, Get Lucky, and Liberty

ColourPop exploded onto the makeup scene within the past month with YouTubers like Kathleen Lights raving about the amazing shadow pigmentation and shine of these metallic cream shadows. The best part? They’re $5.00. And the brand has promised to always price their items at $5.00 because they believe beauty should be fun and affordable. Bless them.

And for those of you who are rocking cruelty-free only cosmetics (woot), ColourPop does not test on animals. They’re also extremely forthright in listing all their ingredients for every shadow, so you know exactly what is going into each product.

Thus far I have six shades: Get Lucky, Liberty, Sequin, So Quiche, Hammered, and BAE.



These cream shadows are silky to the touch and are best applied with your fingers. A little bit goes a long way for all-day sheen and wear. I also don’t experience creasing with any of these shadows.

ColourPop specializes in metallics and sparkle, with no mattes yet added to their collection. But my-oh-my are their metallics good.

Get Lucky and Liberty are part of the ultra-metallic line and have a liquid-like sheen that lasts all day. Both of these shades are so pigmented that swatch just as strongly the second time around.

Sequin is a nice coppery shade that has great shine. So Quiche is a golden brown with subtle flecks of purple.

Hammered is an olive-green with dark gold glitter. And BAE is a deep purple with blue glitter that has a near duo-chrome shine as this shade changes dramatically in the light.

My favorite way to wear these are to pat them all over my lid with a warm brown in the crease. Simple, quick but bold eye look!

Make sure you seal these up tight when you’re done so they don’t dry out!

I have had to stop myself from buying too many colors. I will definitely purchase more shades in the future. ColourPop also has a line of lippie stix and lip pencils. I haven’t tried any of them as yet, but these lip products are also $5.00 each.

Because it’s still a small company, there are still some personal touches that cemented my budding brand loyalty. Each of my purchases came with a handwritten note thanking me for my business with tongue in cheek wit. I kept each note because it put a huge smile on my face.

I give ColourPop Cream Shadows 5 Beauty Bubbles! If they ever start making matte shadows then I’m in real trouble.

Thanks for popping in!

September Ipsy Bag 2014

It’s ipsy time again! This month’s theme is Street Style in honor of the glamorous and edgy looks created by fashion week and ipsters everywhere.


I like the square design and faux silver leather look with its little rivets. It’s a great piece for fall and winter. I could see myself using this as a clutch for an evening out. One of my favorite physical bags in several months.

Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush by Crown Brushes (full size $6.99)

Synthetic fibers, so yay for cruelty-free brushes! Double ended brushes have always mystified me a bit because of the difficulty in storage. This one is much the same. Soft bristles and blends well though.  30 % off any purchase of $25 or more with code CROWNIPSY30.

NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Velvet (full size $4.50)

One of my all time favorite drugstore brands. I will always be happy to see NYX in my ipsy bag. The warm brown shade I received is the ideal crease shade and blends beautifully. Perfect for fall and I think it brings out my blue eyes well too. The coupon for this one was for 30% off their waterproof shadow primer: FALLPROOF.

Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask from Briogeo (sample value $4.95)

I wasn’t very excited about this when I saw this in my bag, but the results have changed my mind. First of all, the smell is so light but creates a nice scent cloud. The top note is the sweet almond, which I love. But there’s also some great, nourishing ingredients in this mask like avocado, argon oil, aloe, and essential vitamins. Oh, and its cruelty and gluten-free.

It’s been three days since I last used this and my hair still feels soft and clean. A full size tub of this (5.25 oz) will set you back $26.00, but you don’t need much of it to get the full effects so it would be a good value. I’m considering purchasing but I also have a few other hair products that need to get used up first. So maybe in the future. Just a free shipping code with this one, I probably would have purchased if the code had been better.

Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct (full size $19.00)

I wanted to love this product. The name alone made me want to love this gloss. And I’d had luck with Cailyn lippies in past ipsy bags. But at best I find this lip gloss wearable. I won’t be reaching for it regularly. In the tube it looks like a pinky nude but on my lips it reads more like terra-cotta. I do like the applicator which is an oblong sponge instead of a traditional doe foot. This gloss has a very chemical smell to it which is off putting. And the wear-time is poor, maybe 40 minutes max. I’m not giving up on the brand but I’m disappointed with this Cailyn product.

Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish in Red Red Wine (full size $9.00)

My favorite product this month. Holy cow! I put this on my nails a few days ago and can’t stop staring at them. There has been some chipping but I’m so in love with this color that I’m not even mad at needing to do touch ups. Gorgeous Merlot colored polish that was already quite glossy without a top-coat. I would love to check out more of the Pacifica polishes in the future. Really impressed. For 20% off of any Pacifica purchase use the code FallBeauty at checkout.

Even though I wasn’t happy with the Cailyn lip gloss, this ended up being one of my favorite ipsy bags in months. There were some quality products in here and four out of the five items were full-sized. This month’s $10 bag had a value of $44.44. Very nice!

Here’s my referral link if you’d like to try ipsy.

August Empties

It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything big to share in an empties post, and even still this will be a shorter post. I don’t care what size an item is, I am going to get pumped whenever I hit pan or run out. It’s just satisfying. I’d compare it to finishing a good book or the end of a good movie marathon. You’re happy it happened and you just want to talk about it.

So without further ado here are my August empties.

The few. The proud. The empty.

The few. The proud. The empty.


Ole Henriksen Truth to Go Cleansing Wipes ($8.00)

I’m sad to see these wipes go. For the most part, I’ve switched over to using a cold cream for makeup removal but I like to keep some wipes around for the nights I’m feeling lazy. These wipes didn’t burn my eyes and they removed even my most stubborn long-wear  makeup. The citrus scent was refreshing without being overwhelming. And I felt like they went a step beyond makeup removal and did some mild cleansing. The texture of these were also quite lovely. Not overly wet feeling but very soft. I got this product in an ipsy bag several months ago, which was great because you hear a lot of good things about Ole Henriksen but I probably wouldn’t have bought this for my self.


Would I repurchase?

If these wipes were not $8.00 for a ten pack, absolutely I would. They’re luxurious and work well. But I don’t want to pay a luxurious price for something I could use in under two weeks. Unless ipsy wants to send me some more of these, I think not.


Just enough left to do a little swatch.

Just enough left to do a little swatch.

Clinique SuperFine Liner for Brows in Soft Blonde ($16.00)

I’ve had this brow pencil for years and used it off and on, usually for formal occasions. And then I started using it daily back in April and fell in love with this product. I’m surprised it never made it into a favorites post. The color is what really sells me on this liner. Soft Blonde looks so natural and makes filling my brows in incredibly easy. Even when I mess up it’s not noticeable. Tons of bloggers love the Anastasia Brow Wiz and I can’t compare them having never tried that product, but I’m not sure I would bother. I am so in love with this brow pencil and it’s $6 cheaper.

Would I Repurchase?

Yes. I’m in the midst of trying to use up some other brow products so I can’t justify it at the moment, but when the day comes I will be repurchasing this lovely liner as quickly as possible.




Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer (sample value $5.50)

I got this lid primer in a try-it kit from Sephora many months ago that came with the under eye primer and the original photo finish primer for I want to say $10. But a full size one of these fellas is $22. I’d say it’s worth it. The primer is a nude shade that blends out well and neutralizes any lid discoloration. And it holds your makeup like a dream. I can count on this lid primer to lock my shadows in place: cream, pigment, or powder. Some other high-end primers can leave my lid feeling a bit oily and since I already have oily lids, I feel gross by adding more. This Smashbox lid primer starts me out with a matte base that doesn’t feel chalky. I used this sample size until there was no more product for the doe foot applicator to grab.

Would I Repurchase?

Yes! I may or may not (and by that you know it means definitely) have already bought the full size. What can I say? I think this might be a holy grail item for me.

Quite by accident this ended up being more of a high-end empties post. And I’m sad to see all of these products go! Have you tried any of these products? Was it love, like, or hate?

August Beauty Favorites

Tis that time again! Well, technically, it is past time to talk about what beauty tidbits I loved in August. Most of these were things I have had in my collection for several months but never quite made it into a favorites post. So today these products get their due. Let’s dig in!

August Faves in all their glory.

August Faves in all their glory.

Though it’s not technically a beauty product, this soft, snuggly, lavender blanket has been my favorite random item this month. My grandma bought it for me at Costco as a housewarming present when I couldn’t stop petting the darn thing in the store.


So good I don't want to stop!

So good I don’t want to stop!

The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Hydrating Toner ($13.00)

This is one of the only new items in my favorites this month. I bought this in a Body Shop Vitamin E kit for $20.00 at a TJ Maxx and when I couldn’t find my regular toner in the midst of unpacking I turned to this one. I’m actually upset about the prospect of switching back to my former toner now.  This Hydrating Toner has a light, clean scent that I can’t get enough of. My skin feels refreshed after I use it, and this product truly does hydrate my skin. I also appreciate that there is no bite to this toner but it removes oil and makeup with ease. Would highly recommend this product.




Rimmel Exaggerate Full Lip Colour Lip Liner in Eastend Snob 063 ($5.99)

Normally, I have no use for lip liners, but I stumbled upon this shade and decided to give it a go. The universe steered me right that day because this shade is perfection. For me, Eastend Snob is a my lips but better shade. I can wear it alone for a matte look or under a nude color for longer wear. The formula is smooth and doesn’t tug at my lips. The design of the product is simple but gives you more precision: when you twist the product up it comes up at an angle for an always slanted tip. No other lip liner has ever charmed me the way this Rimmel liner has!


The unsung hero of any beauty lover.

The unsung hero of any beauty lover.

Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat (4.99)

These kinds of products don’t normally get a lot of love in favorites post but I am here to change that today! I used to have a terrible problem with my nails breaking whenever they got to a certain length. My friend, Elyse, suggested using some kind of strengthener and recommended a few from Sally Hansen to me. I have been using this as a base and top coat for months now and my nails seem so much happier. I won’t pretend this product cures all nail ills, but for my needs it has been fabulous. I’ve noticed my nails are less brittle and grow to longer lengths (when I let them) without breaking. And the shine this top coat gives is so glossy. I recently tried returning to my old O.P.I top coat and was terribly disappointed. This base & top coat might just be a holy grail item for me!




O.S.T. Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum ($24.99)

This is the first serum I’ve ever regularly integrated into my skin care routine. Months ago, back in November I believe, a blogger Suomica (she hasn’t been on in a while for personal reasons but I hope she comes back to the blogging community one day), did a post on this product and I was tempted enough to buy it. I got my bottle from a Korean beauty website called wishtrend.com, and though it took about seven weeks to get to the States, this serum is worth the wait. I put it on every night before bed and my skin soaks it up. It’s supposedly 20% vitamin c and the website claims that it helps firm up skin, evens skin tone, and combats breakouts. As to the firming part, it’s hard to say, since I’m twenty-four and can’t tell if it’s tightening loose skin or not. I will say that my skin has looked brighter and it helps sooth breakouts. It doesn’t remove blackheads entirely, but I can tell when I haven’t been using this serum at night. Love the little apothecary style bottle and glass stopper too.


Probably my favorite palette of all time. No joke.

Probably my favorite palette of all time. No joke.

My three favorite shades from the palette. Top to bottom: Selfish, Stand-offish, and Seductive

My three favorite shades from the palette. Top to bottom: Selfish, Stand-offish, and Seductive

The Balm’s Nude ‘Tude Palette ($18.00)

If you’re a makeup fan, you’re probably curious about the price I’m citing here. I got my Nude ‘Tude palette on Hautelook for $18 when it’s regularly $36. This one purchase has justified my Hautelook account. These shadows are so velvety and soft I have to stop myself from randomly touching them and wasting product. My favorite shades are Selfish (silvery taupe), Stand-offish (golden pink), and Seductive (light copper). All of these shadows are blendable and have great pigmentation. This has been my go-to travel palette when I went home in July and then went to my friend’s wedding at the beginning of August. And I love the sassy pin-up girl pans! If you’re looking for a neutral palette, I would highly recommend the Nude ‘Tude palette, even at full price it’s still cheaper than Urban Decay’s Naked Palette (don’t get me wrong, I love that one too but sometimes you have to think of your budget first).

Hope you all enjoyed my beauty favorites for August!


e.l.f. Treasure Within Beauty Book

Haven’t you always wanted to be a princess? Be it warrior or fairy or dare I say mermaid? Ladies, e.l.f. has you covered. Fresh off their success with their villain line last fall, e.l.f. has begun creating Disney sanctioned Beauty Books a.k.a. palettes for some of Disney’s princesses.

The first in what I presume will be a series is the Ariel Treasure Within Beauty Book. The Beauty Book comes with nine eye shadows, two bronzers, a lip gloss, and two brushes. All for the wallet friendly price of $10.

My nails conveniently coordinated with the mermaid theme.

My nails conveniently coordinated with the mermaid theme.

I am obsessed with the artwork for this Beauty Book. The black and white sketch is so dreamy and a bit more sensual. All of the e.l.f. Ariel products have similar artwork and it’s very enticing. The collection also has lip gloss, blush and eye shadow, and brush kits that are priced $10 and under. I stopped myself at the Beauty Book because that way I can sample a bit of everything and not get spastic.

The brushes included in the Beauty Book are OK. The eye shadow brush is more versatile but not as good as the e.l.f. studio line of shadow brushes. The little brush for the bronzers is just not the right size or shape for application but other than that it’s an alright brush.

Inside the Beauty Book is a small mirror and a few total look suggestions. I really enjoyed these additions though the looks are a bit extreme for me personally. And the mirror isn’t the best quality but it’s great to have that in the palette for travel purposes. There is also a piece of plastic covering the makeup so if anything breaks or falls out it slightly contains the mess.

Little details like this make the Beauty Books special.

Little details like this make the Beauty Books special.

Nice to have a visual with the instructions.

Nice to have a visual with the instructions.

The shadows themselves feels soft to the touch and all but the purple shade (Seashell) have some level of shimmer to it. I do find it a bit strange that out of nine shades only one is a true matte. They all blend easily, which is a good thing because some of these shades are rather bold. But there are also some nice neutrals in there to balance a look out.

In terms of pigmentation, the best shades are the three in the middle–a shimmery pewter (North Star, a shimmery brown (For Shore), and a slightly shimmery copper (Siren Song). Oddly enough these are the three shades that do not get used in the suggested looks you can see above. The other shades have decent color payoff but you have to build them up or pack them on to get results. The palest shade of the bunch (Sand Dollar) barely shows up, so I’d say use it for a browbone highlight or a base shade to neutralize your lid. You absolutely need primer with these shades, not so much for staying power but more for the color enhancing properties a good primer gives.

The eye shadow brush is now living in my brush jar but here is the rest of the Beauty Book.

The eye shadow brush is now living in my brush jar but here is the rest of the Beauty Book.

And here are some swatches for the eye shadow shades and bronzers. I apologize for the semi-blurry photos! But hopefully you can get a better sense of what these products look like outside of the pan.

From Right to Left We Have: Brilliant Sea, Seashell, Seaweed, Siren Song, For Shore, North Star, Tropical Wave, Coral Reef, and Sand Dollar.

From Right to Left We Have: Brilliant Sea, Seashell, Seaweed, Siren Song, For Shore, North Star, Tropical Wave, Coral Reef, and Sand Dollar.

You can barely see Sand Dollar because it is as pale as I am, but I promise it’s there. Most of these shadow swatches had to have two layers for them to show up well, except for the three in the middle that are the warm neutrals. North Star, For Shore, and Siren Song are my favorite shades in Ariel’s Beauty Book. Together they create a really stunning metallic smoky eye.

I will never in my life be this tan. Ever.

I will never in my life be this tan. Ever.

The top shade of the bronzers is Tan Lines and the middle swatch is Conch Shell. These were one swipe swatches. These bronzers are nicely pigmented and actually blend out beautifully. Perfect for a faux beach glow. I was really scared on Conch Shell but it’s not as intimidating if you buff the color out a bit. Then the lip gloss swatch is true to color and it’s called Go On And Kiss the Girl. How perfect is that product name? Wear-wise it goes on fine but feels a bit sticky and doesn’t last overly long. It’s a nice bubblegum pink but I don’t find the gloss itself to be a major staple in my collection.

Below are my versions of the two suggested looks. I tried to blend out some of the shades more because if you pack these colors on I don’t see these looks as overly wearable.

First is the “Sunset Cruise” look, which is on the right side of the diagram. The green shade, Seaweed, should be dusted onto your brow bone and inner corner. Then blend Seashell, the vibrant purple, into your crease. Apply Brilliant Sea, the bright blue, into the outer 1/3 of your eye.

First off, no. These shades together are a bit much for me because they need to be built up or else they get murky. And once they’re built up they are bright. I’d love e.l.f. to explain to me how Seaweed is a “light eye shadow color” fit for highlighting. But I digress. I blended Seaweed into the crease instead of as a brow bone color. Brilliant Sea went on to my outer 1/3 and then got winged out a bit for flair. And I packed Seashell onto the center of my lid.

You can also see the shade Tan Lines on my cheeks.

You can also see the shade Tan Lines on my cheeks.

Eye close up!

Eye close up!

Clearly I blended the living daylights out of everything because the colors were a bit too club-kid for every day.

Then the second look is called “On the Beach”. You take Sand Dollar, the pale off-white, and apply it to your brow bone and inner corner. The light yellow shade, Coral Reef, goes all over the lid. And then the blue green shade Tropical Wave goes on the outer 1/3 of your eye.  I stayed fairly close to the directions for this one but was disappointed by the poor color payoff on the first two shades.

Well I wouldn't wear this to the beach, but maybe that's just me.

Well I wouldn’t wear this to the beach, but maybe that’s just me.

Overall, I think this is a decent palette/ Beauty Book. The most impressive shades are the center trio, but you can get some lovely looks by playing around with different color combinations. This would make a fun gift for someone who is a Disney fan; I certainly felt pretty cool playing with my princess palette. I’d give Ariel’s Beauty Book 3.5 beauty bubbles. Not bad but not mind-blowing either.

As I mentioned earlier, this Beauty Book and other Ariel themed e.l.f. items can be found at Walgreens or drugstore.com. They’ve already released a Snow White range, which also includes a Beauty Book, so I’m going to wait for my next drugstore.com offer before I purchase. These are limited edition and for their price are worth exploring. I’m a happy Disney dame at the moment and can’t wait to see which princess they pick next.

Bite Beauty Giveaway!

Eeek! PopSugar is hosting a giveaway for Bite Beauty called Color Your Summer.

All you have to do is like them on Facebook and give them your email address. I usually don’t post things like this, but this is too cool not to share! This link will lead you to the giveaway page.

I recently tried my first ever Bite Beauty product that came in my PopSugar Must Have Box. It felt great on my lips and had a great glossy sheen that lasted for hours. It also felt quite nourishing. So I have already entered and am keeping my fingers crossed!

Full disclosure the above link should lead to the giveaway but I also get credit for whomever enters. I still think it’s worth entering, but I didn’t want anybody thinking something shady was going on.

Again, here is the giveaway link: http://bit.ly/1uXUO0H

Good luck!


June Favorites

Five Fabulous Favorites

Five Fabulous Favorites

This month, I limited myself in terms of my makeup purchases because I went a little loony in May.  So my favorites this month are all things that I’ve been trying for a few months. And I’ve loved them in these months, I’ve just been neglecting them in my favorites posts for some reason or another. But no more! These products will finally get the recognition that they deserve for the month of June.

*If I specify a store in the price, it means that that site or store offered a much better offer than the others when I did an online search.*


Easiest lotion ever.

Easiest lotion ever.

Vaseline Spray& Go Moisturizer ($5.99 at Drugstore.com)

Most of you have probably seen the commercials with the adorable hipster chick who can hop into her clothes super quick because this stuff dries that fast. I had so much doubt and a touch of condescension for that commercial’s promises. But after I read several bloggers recommend the Spray & Go I figured it was worth trying, especially with the price. Doubt and condescension gone, my friends! I’ve been trying to do a full body lotion treatment every day, and this spray makes that process simple and easy. For a spray it gives great coverage (you do have to rub it in) and it is true to its claim of being non-greasy. My skin feels soft and healthy. The lotion has a lovely, light oat smell as well. It’s a weirdly comforting smell for me. The line also has a cocoa and an aloe scented spray. I might try one of the others when I run out of this oat scent.


Pens! I know how to handle pens!

Pens! I know how to handle pens!

I Heart Nail Art Pens by Sally Hansen in Black ($5.99)

I am just starting to adventure into the realm of nail art. These pens by Sally Hansen come in a wide range of colors, but I wanted to start with the basics. I haven’t gotten too fancy yet–just simple dots and lines. But this pen is so easy to use. Shake and then draw. The formula is as opaque as a regular black nail polish and sets up incredibly quick. It’s as easy as handling a regular pen. For more advanced artists, I’m sure you could create some fantastic designs, but I’m thrilled with what I’ve created already. Check out one of my designs below.

Dots galore.

Dots galore.

The rich gingerbread-y brown here is a Julep polish by the name of Vera. All Julep colors are named after fabulous females.


Miracle is in the title!

Miracle is in the title!

L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur ($19.99 at Target)

Lately this has been my favorite primer. You could readily wear this by itself though. The Miracle Blur comes in two separate formulas, the regular and the oil-free. This one is the standard formula that has oil in its base, but I do not feel that it makes my skin all that oily. I have normal to oily skin so anything that makes me any more oily would not survive long in my collection. The Miracle Blur has an SPF 30 which makes it a great way to start your makeup. A pea size portion covers my whole face if I warm it up between my fingers first. It smooths out lines and pores and gives you that airbrushed finish we all crave. My skin has been on the dry side lately so I’ve been using this product with my next favorite  because the combo leaves my skin feeling supple and soft all day long.


All about that H2O.

All about that H2O.

Pixi’s H2O Skin Tint in Cream ($24.99)

I got this product many moons ago at Target, but I haven’t fallen in love with it until this month. Before I would use it for evening events where I had little prep time, like a random invite to the movies. It’s a quick blend and will get you out the door in minutes. The Pixi website claims that this tinted gel will give you a flawless, no makeup look. And that is exactly what it does. Not only is this one of the most hydrating things I’ve subjected my face to, but when it’s on my skin looks happier and healthier. More so even than when I use a BB cream. The tone of my skin is more even and has a natural looking glow without bronzer. It’s a water based formula, so it makes sense that it is so skin friendly.

Pixi H2O Skin Tint

Pixi H2O Skin Tint

You can see that when it’s rubbed in the gel blends well with my natural skin tone. From left to right is a full blend to the product just sitting on my skin. This is a full pump of product, and it covers my face entirely. For a tinted moisturizer it’s a tad expensive but it is worth the price.


Best Makeup Remover Ever

Best Makeup Remover Ever.

Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser ($4.49)

This is a giant vat of cold cream that I may never fully empty out. Good thing it’s awesome. A quarter size dollop or less will remove every last bit of makeup on your face, even waterproof. You just gently wipe off the excess product with a damp washcloth. My face feels so hydrated after I take my makeup off. And I don’t need to rub hard on my eyes to get any shadow or mascara off. Some of the key ingredients in this product are mineral oil and beeswax. So moisture is key. And it’s hypoallergenic too, so if you’re like me with sensitive skin this shouldn’t irritate it. I have to say I don’t reach for my makeup wipes as often these days because my skin doesn’t feel as great afterwards.  You’d be crazy not to try this.

So those are my June favorites, and they’re all about ease and staying hydrated. Don’t forget to take your water bottles with you when you go out this summer to stay hydrated inside as well as out!

May Empties

I don’t think I ever paid that much attention to what kind of products I go through in a month until adding the empties post to my blog routine. I’m in a phase where I’m rotating through some skin care items, which I am crazy proud of finishing up because it feels like I’ve had them for far too long.

Just to rehash my system for empties I like to think of completed products as Buy Now, Buy Later, or Never Buy Again. I’ll give you my thoughts on each item and then the final verdict. Let’s get to it!

I squeezed every last ounce of toothpaste out of this thing.

I squeezed every last ounce of toothpaste out of this thing.

Colgate Total Zx Pro Shield Plus Sensitivity ($3.87):

I feel a perverse sense of satisfaction whenever I finish a tube of toothpaste. I picked up the Total Zx maybe eight months ago, and now I can’t even find it on the Colgate website. Does anyone know what happened to it? It’s a nice minty toothpaste that left my  mouth feeling professional level clean. There is a warning on the back of the tube that you shouldn’t use it consecutively for more than four weeks because of the strength of the toothpaste…this is maybe why I can’t find it online anymore. But it was a good toothpaste and I think it did some mild whitening.

I’m a die-hard Colgate girl so I’ve already repurchased another Colgate tube but not this specific one. So I’m calling this a Never Buy Again simply because I can’t find it and that warning is ominous.

Best Editing Tool

Best Editing Tool

Almay Lash Care Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($5.99):

Typically when I remove my makeup, I do it in one fell swoop with either a cold cream or a full face makeup wipe. And I’d like to point out that I didn’t buy this for myself the first time around. My Grandmother got me this product because she liked it so much for travel. What I ended up using (and loving) these pads for are for editing when I apply my makeup for the day. If I got a little too crazy with my eyeliner or contoured too hard, then these pads are my salvation. And when I test new products on the back of my hand or do swatches for the blog, these are quick little erasers. They may be meant for eyes but they work on all kinds and formulas of makeup. This little tube holds 80 makeup remover pads, which for its price is acceptable math for me.

These Almay Makeup Remover Pads earn a Buy Now from me, though I imagine any of the other Almay Makeup Remover Pads (Oil Free, Longwear and Waterproof, and Soothing) would be just as nice.

My go to facial sunblock

My go to facial sunblock

BeautiControl’s Cell Block-C ($30.00):

For most of my life, my mother has been a BeautiControl consultant on and off. If there is one product that company produces that I cannot get enough of, it’s the Cell Block-C. It has an SPF of 20 and is an ideal pre-makeup moisturizer. You don’t need a ton of product to cover your entire face. It’s also great for your no makeup days where you just want a fresh look because it gives a dewy look. The nutrients in the formula also tone your skin and I’ve seen a reduction of the freckles under my eyes. If you have oily skin this might not be your best bet because it takes a few minutes for the product to sink in. But for my combination skin, it’s perfect.

This is definitely a Buy Now for me. I already feel its lack on my bathroom counter and can’t wait for my order to come in.

I honestly thought I'd never finish this bottle of toner.

I honestly thought I’d never finish this bottle of toner.

Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Toner ($6.99):

Sorry for the blurry photo! I have had this bottle of toner since my undergrad. I don’t load my cotton pads with a ton of product so it took me forever to get through this. Excellent toner though. It would easily remove any lingering makeup and I do feel that it helped minimize my pores. It does sting a bit since one of its primary ingredients is alcohol, but it also has some more friendly ingredients like witch hazel extract and peppermint leaf extract. Even though I’ve been branching out lately, Neutrogena is still my go-to skin friendly brand.

When I’ve had a product for a long time, I prefer to try something different. However this product definitely worked for me so I’d call it a Buy Later.

Minty freshness

Minty freshness

Listerine Whitening Plus Restoring Rinse ($7.43 at drugstore.com):

I’m not really sure what to say about this product that you haven’t heard already. I mean, it’s mouthwash. You either prefer the kind with alcohol in it or you don’t. I’ve used other brands like ACT or Crest, but I prefer the whitening power of Listerine. I just feel like my breath is fresher longer even if I have to suffer through the burn of alcohol. And since I’m not going to give up my soda any time soon, the whitening and enamel strengthening thing is kind of vital.

I’ve already got a new bottle of this on my sink, so it’s a Buy Now.

The first eyeliner I ever loved.

The first eyeliner I ever loved.

Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner in Brushed Pewter ($7.99):

When I first started using makeup in middle school, eyeliners were such a foreign concept to me. I hated getting up close and personal with my eye line. It wasn’t until college that I got brave enough to give eyeliner a chance, and Neutrogena’s Nourishing Eyeliner was the first one I tried. Because, again, I implicitly trust Neutrogena. Over the years I’ve learned that I prefer cream liners instead of pencils. Occasionally I will use a liquid liner but it’s only when I’m going for a specific look. This product claims to be nourishing, but I honestly couldn’t say if it was or not. It is a nice formula and is excellent for beginners. The end ever comes with a smudger and built-in sharpener.

I’ve already got a replacement for this little fellow because it’s such a perfect everyday liner. Buy Now.

Phew! That’s it for empties this month. Hope you enjoyed this post about products I’ve enjoyed till the end.

April Beauty Favorites

April has flown by, which is a shame because it is such a lovely month. The weather is gorgeous: warm and breezy without being overpowering. In a way, that’s also my makeup philosophy for spring. I want my face to feel light, fresh, and colorful without being too loud. Here are my favorite beauty products that help me achieve that April freshness.


1. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin : You know how luxurious and shiny your hair feels when you leave the salon? This product absolutely extends that feeling. After I shower, I pop my hair into a Turbie-Twist and go about my business for a bit. Then before I bed down for the night or leave the house for the day, I spray the Miracle Leave-In product lightly over my hair and brush it through. After three weeks of doing this, my hair is healthier, shiner, and softer. And it smells lovely. My boyfriend has even commented on how nice my hair smells. Can’t beat that. This little 4 oz. bottle can retail upwards from $18.99 depending on where you buy it, but I’d say this product is worth it.

2. Voluminous Power Volume 24H Mascara: According to its description, this mascara is infused with collagen. The goal there being fuller, plumper looking lashes. I’m not a scientist, but goal achieved. It’s also just fine for sensitive eyes. I use the color Black Smoke and love how full my lashes look. The volume is definitely there too. Maybe not the most natural look out there, but I favor this mascara for nights out. For $7.95, I’ll take it over false lashes every time.


3. Clinique Quick Corrector in Light: THEY NO LONGER MAKE THIS PRODUCT. Talk about trauma. People are selling this for over $25.00 on eBay when it originally retailed for around $15. I have been hoarding this little tube in my drawer for a while now. And, yes, I know makeup can expire. But the Quick Corrector still gets the job done. I use it more now for highlighting than for straight concealing. The creamy consistency and full coverage are perfection. The light tone is also an ideal brightner. If anyone has found a dupe for this one, please let me know!

4.Wet N Wild Take on the Day Eye Shadow Primer: This little nugget is part of Fergie’s Center Stage collection and is titled For My Primas. I know there are some lovely eye primers from brands like Urban Decay (I have a sample pot next to my bathroom sink), but for those budget conscious beauties, this Wet N Wild primer is an ideal substitute. It has a light color that creates a lovely base for shimmer and matte shades alike. A tiny dot covers my lid and I don’t see creased color in the mirror hours later. It’s a must have for $4.99.


5. Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink: I’ve already raved about this product in my ipsy bag review, but I have been using this lip balm several times a week since the bag arrived. The color is exactly the shade of pink that I love. It’s more of a lush peony shade than apple. The little lip brush adds a precision element to application and the matte formula also moisturizes your lips. Some mattes look cakey, but this one just settles on to look natural. Grab yours for $19.00 here.

6. NYX’s Eyebrow Push-Up Bra: Go ahead, take a second to giggle at the name. I certainly did when I saw it in stores last month. The brown half of the pencil is a universally flattering shade to fill in your brows, and the pink side highlights underneath your brow and inner eye corners. My Mom once told me that one day I would care about the illusion of fuller brows, and that day has come. This pencil is easy to use with instant results. It fills in my brows and looks utterly natural, and the highlighter portion gives the brows a natural lift. For $10.00, it’s a must for a fresh face.


These are my ultimate faves for creating a fresh look this April, but they’re great products that will carry me through other seasons as well. Hope you enjoyed my April Beauty Favorites!