Summer Lip Picks

I tend to switch up my go-to beauty products alongside the changes in season, so it’s no surprise that I recently placed an epic Sephora order looking for some new summer favorites. Luckily I was rewarded with not one but two new lip products that I’m sure I’ll be wearing all season long. 

  On really hot, humid days, I’m not willing to put more than sunscreen, a tinted moisturizer and tinted lip balm on my face. These days that lip balm will definitely be Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Lip Recue in Cherry. Though it looks really red in the tube, it’s more of a sheer berry on the lips, and it feels amazing. It features a light minty scent and pleasant cooling sensation, perfect for hot summer days. It’s also ultra moisturizing. I call that a summer win. Quench Lip Rescue comes in a variety of other sheer shades that you can find here

  On cooler days, or when I’m looking for something a bit more glam, I’ll be turning to Nars Lipstick in Orgasm. In case you haven’t heard, Nars finally turned their cult favorite peachy pink looks-good-on-everyone blush into a lipstick. While I find the lipstick to be more pink-brown than peach-pink, it’s still a lovely, flattering neutral with a bit of shimmer. For those with an aversion to gritty shimmer particles, fear not – the lipstick has a nice smooth texture. It’s long lasting and light, but it does highlight little lip imperfections, so I’d recommend applying some sort of lip primer first. You can find it online here

What lip colors are you wearing this summer?

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February/March 2016 Empties

It has been far too long since my last post and for that I must apologize. It has been a very hectic couple of months and I simply have not had as much time as I would like for fun stuff (like sampling and writing). However, I have managed to try some new products and even finished a few in the past several weeks. Here’s a look at my empties for February and March:
February & March 2016 Empties
Dove Purely Pampering Sweet Cream Beauty Bar: I picked up a duo of these beauty bars after trying a body wash that left me broken out and very unhappy. I chose the sweet cream version because of it’s light, sweet scent – very feminine but also very mild. Nothing earth shattering here but it gets me clean without the addition of pimples and it smells nice. I’d buy them again.

Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask: This has got to be my favorite new beauty thing; it’s certainly the best sheet mask I’ve ever tried. It’s drenched in a super-moisturizing formula that soothes the skin and left me looking and feeling fresh and glowy for the rest of the day. Bonus: you can freak out your pets by looking like a serial killer when you put it on.

Make Dual-Phase Eye Makeup Remover: This is my all-time favorite eye makeup remover. It’s gentle and effective, lasts for a ridiculously long time, is a pretty pink color and comes in a cool square bottle.

Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry Powder Fresh Antiperspirant/Deodorant: I bought this for 99 cents one day when I was feeling nostalgic for the days when I used to swear by powder fresh deodorant. It’s a solid deodorant (see what I did there?) and kept me fresh and sweat-free.

Covergirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: This is not new to my blog or to my empties. My classic winter BB cream, it’s still moisturizing, easy to use and light enough for my ghost-like winter complexion. Still a winner.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths: Another empties MVP, these wipes are great for those days when you just cannot be bothered to properly wash your face.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara: This mascara is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s dark and dramatic and lasts all day without flaking or smudging. Plus I love the unique packaging and curled wand. If you haven’t tried this mascara yet, do yourself a favor and buy some right now.

Winter Obsession: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

So winter happened. I’ve been quite happily bumbling along these past few months, thoroughly enjoying the mild weather we’ve been having, when suddenly, out of nowhere, it’s cold outside and my lips are super dry and chapped. 

  
Luckily I recently received a tube of Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. I’m new to the brand and the balm, but I slathered some on over the weekend and I’m already hooked. It provides instant relief to dry, scaly lips and is incredibly long lasting. It contains an SPF of 25, making it ideal for outdoor sports, and its natural mint and shea butter combo is very soothing. And even though it contains mint, I don’t find that it has any taste or scent – rare in a lip balm these days. If you’re looking for a good winter balm, I definitely recommend this one. 

October/November 2015 Empties

Happy holiday season beauties! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write a real post; I’ve been having some serious technical difficulties but they appear to finally be resolved! Since I was unable to share my empties at the end of last month, I’m combining October and November into one:
Empties
Suave Naturals Almond Verbena 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner: I am obsessed with this shampoo. It’s responsible for every good hair day I had during the past two months! It was conditioning enough to be fine on its own without ever making my strands look or feel greasy. It made my hair feel light and clean and smelled lovely. I’ll definitely be buying this again.

Tocca Giulietta Nourishing Body Scrub: The fine grain of this exfoliator was gentle and left my skin feeling exceptionally soft and smooth, but I wasn’t crazy about the scent. I expected to love the pink tulip/green apple combination, but it was overly floral. I’d be interested in trying the other scents.

Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner: A remnant from my summer beauty favorites, this is a decent conditioner that smells great and makes a wonderful shave cream.

Dior Diorshow Extase Mascara: From the gold tube to the thick, dark lashes it leaves in its wake, everything about this mascara is glam. It doesn’t flake off but it will rub off it you forget you’re wearing it. One of my favorite mascaras.

Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer in Aloe Soothe: I wrote about this over the summer and I still love it. This is an excellent pick for anyone who is too lazy to take the time to put lotion on (I’m looking at you, Mom). The aloe version was great for summer, but it also comes in other varieties that would be perfect for cooler months!

Osmia Organics Lavender Shea Soap: This smooth bar of soap lasted months! It left my skin clean and never dry. My only complaint is that I wanted more lavender! The scent faded long before the soap was gone.

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing: This organic moisturizer had a light texture and was surprisingly moisturizing. When the weather started to turn cool and dry, I started layering this under a tinted moisturizer for an extra boost. I’d recommend it as a gentle, effective moisturizer.

EOS Hand Cream: I didn’t love the scent but this weird, flat little tube holds a really nice little lotion! I used it as an all over body cream while traveling and it worked perfectly. This would make a great stocking stuffer.

Great for Fall: NYX Butter Lip Balm in Panna Cotta

  This time of year I really like a little pigment on my lips. In the warmer months I’m happy with a clear balm, but fall makes me yearn for berries and browns. This season I keep grabbing the same tinted balm again and again: NYX Butter Lip Balm in Panna Cotta. It has a smooth, creamy texture that lasts for hours and a sort of burnt rose shade that is both flattering and just right for fall. Plus, at less than $4 a tube, I’m pretty sure a better deal for a pretty pout doesn’t exist. 

September 2015 Empties

I can’t believe we’re already more than a week into October! You’ll have to forgive me for being a bit behind with reviewing last month’s empties – between a road trip to visit some good friends in their new home, several nights out to celebrate various happy occasions with friends, and a jam-packed work schedule, I’ve had a very busy couple of weeks! Luckily, the long hours and short weekends have not kept me from testing and finishing up a whole bunch of things. Let’s take a look at September’s empties:
September 2015 empties
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Refreshingly Clean Cleansing Cloths: These gentle daily cleansing cloths are formulated to remove makeup and oil without over-drying or irritating sensitive skin. They combine the natural toning properties of witch hazel with soothing aloe, a blend the package says gives the cloths their “signature botanical scent.” Here is what I have to say about these face wipes: they are very effective at removing makeup and oil, and when I used them they kept my skin quite clear and even. However, I found that signature scent to be almost stomach-turning. The scent was so strong and so unpleasant that it took me months to finish up this pack of 25 cleansing cloths. I would not recommend them to anyone who is the least bit sensitive to strong smells.

Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips: As with Boscia’s classic black mask (and pretty much every other Boscia product I’ve tested), I was very excited to give this pore strip a try. As a person whose past experiences with drugstore pore strips have been quite painful and ineffective, I was cautiously optimistic that this one would work for me. Happily, it did! I decided to test this strip one afternoon after noticing that my pores looked unusually large and grimy. Not only did this strip remove the grime and make my pores instantly less prominent, I was actually able to peel the strip from my face without crying or taking any skin with it. This is definitely the Cadillac of pore strips.

Malin + Goetz Geranium Body Wash: I’ve sampled a couple of Malin + Goetz products over the years, and I’ve really liked all of them. This body wash was no different. Though I don’t typically love floral scents, this one was mild and left a pleasant fragrance on my skin that lasted through most of the day. It also made my skin insanely soft, even without lotion. I think this would make a great gift.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB: I’ve written about this so many times, there’s not much left to say! I finally used up my summer BB cream, and not a moment too soon; my tan has definitely abandoned me, making this beauty balm just a touch too dark for my complexion. Other than that, it’s an all-around great BB cream that provides moisture and nice light coverage for a super reasonable price.

Colgate MaxFresh with Whitening Flouride Toothpaste: A pretty basic toothpaste. I can’t say I noticed a difference in whiteness, but it did a great job of keeping my mouth feeling fresh.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple: This facial cleanser is an old favorite for good reason – it’s gentle, effective, and even smells pure and simple. I often turn to it when another product has caused irritation or the changing seasons has turned my skin into a red blotchy mess. It’s always a safe bet.

Benefit They’re Real! Remover: This waterproof eye makeup remover has a unique creamy gel formula that is designed to prevent pulling or tugging of the delicate skin around the eyes. I have to confess, I was completely caught off guard by the odd texture. It was goopy and unpleasant, and I got a ton of it in my eyes. This makeup remover is formulated to be safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, and I’ll admit that my highly sensitive eyes did not sting or burn after using it. Still, it felt gross. And with all the wonderfully effective eye makeup removers out there (like this one from MAKE), I don’t see a reason to use one that feels this bad.

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I wrote about this a little while back after receiving it in a Birchbox. It’s a nice, fresh-smelling dry shampoo that’s great for giving second day hair a little oomph. That oomph doesn’t last very long, but it’s really clean and natural looking while it lasts. A great product to throw in your purse for on-the-go touchups.

Eye Do: NYX Cosmetics Ipsy Eye Shadow Trio

NYX Cosmetics Ipsy Eye Shadow TrioIt’s no secret that I love NYX Cosmetics. So when I discovered that my September Ipsy bag contained a trio of NYX eye shadows created exclusively for Ipsy subscribers, I was psyched. Not surprisingly, NYX delivered a trio of high-quality shadows that are easy to apply, long lasting and versatile – the three shades can be worn together or separately.

The set contains a light beige shadow, a rich medium brown, and a deep black that makes a great liner. The first two shades have the slightest bit of shimmer. I really like the beige, but I cannot get enough of the brown; it’s just right to make my blue eyes pop and I find myself reaching for it each and every day.

This month I also received a Crown Brush AC012 Shadow/Crease Duet brush from Ipsy, and I have to say I’m really impressed. I usually prefer a sponge tip applicator for eyeshadow application, but this brush is firm enough to pick up the right amount of powder while still being soft enough to glide smoothly over the lid. Both of these Ipsy picks have definitely made it into the daily rotation!