January Birchbox

Good evening my friends! I hope you have had a good day and that you’re settling in for the night. I’m back with another Birchbox reveal post to show you what came in this month’s box and some things that you could receive if you’re wanting to give Birchbox a try.

If I’m being honest, I almost didn’t post this today because in the scope of things and life–sometimes blog posts seem to be the least important/meaningful things and there are so many things that are just way more important. But (as my sweet little sister reminded me–love you Abs) one of the purposes of this blog is to be a little bit of an escape from whatever is going on in life, to provide some encouragement, life, and joy–so I’m going to keep writing blog posts.

Here is what’s inside my January Birchbox:

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Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo/Conditioner

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Oribe products are super expensive but they smell so good! I’m always excited when those samples are included. These are also a great travel size and might be coming with me on a trip later this week.

Laura Geller Fortifying Lashes Primer

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I like that this is a black primer–instead of the white formula that others are. I’m interested to see what this is like to wear by itself and then with mascara.

Clark’s Botanicals Age Defying Radiance Cream 

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This is another super expensive product if you buy it full-sized. I’ll make sure to use this one sparingly. The consistency of this cream looks like it will add a nice glow under makeup or just by itself.

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Radiance Primer

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I have used this twice already and it was really hydrating to use under makeup–which is great for the winter. I also noticed a luminous finish and it helped to keep my foundation on for much longer.

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Empties #8

If you read the title of this blog post, you know that it’s that time again–time to talk about a whole lotta empties! It’s a perfectly normal thing for a person to have a box of empty bottles in one’s house…right?? These empty bottles are the majority of products I’ve used/finished over the last several months and I’m going to share my review of that product with you. A lot of these products are ones I’ve received in various subscription boxes or just things that I’ve bought from the drugstore.

HAIRCARE

Batiste Dry Shampoo: I’ve had one of these in every single empties post I’ve written so I won’t say too much about this again. Bottom line is that it’s my favorite dry shampoo and it’s definitely the most effective if you tend to have oily hair.

Oribe Hair Plumping Mousse: I love the scent of Oribe products but this one was a little too heavy for my thin hair. The mousse seemed to make my hair more oily/greasy than it  did to add any additional volume. Not to mention that Oribe products are usually a lot more than I want to spend on haircare.

R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray: This was a nice hairspray to use, and it was a great travel size, but I don’t remember it being the most effective to hold curls all day. The regular price is also a little much for me.

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I really like Amika products! This dry shampoo did not leave any white cast and it was great to use on less greasy hair days. This is another one of Amika products that I’ve tried–Bombshell Blowout Spray.

SKINCARE

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towlettes:These are so great to have for on-the-go, traveling, or the lazy nights when you don’t feel like taking off all of your makeup. The Burt’s Bees cleanzing towlettes are also very gentle and good for sensitive skin.

Derma E Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser: This cleanser has Vitamin C which helps to brighten skin and improve the complexion. I really liked this cleanser and thought it did a decent job of evening out my skin tone.

Elizavecca 24K Gold Mask: I bought this mask off of Amazon because it said it was good for removing blackheads, deep cleansing, and the packaging just looked interesting. The mask itself was a gold color and so that made it pretty fun to wear. I thought this mask did a great job of clarifying my skin and helped to decrease the amount of blackheads that I had, without drying my skin completely.

Retinol Anti Aging Gel Cleanser: This product has been staple for me to keep my acne under control. I usually get this at TJMaxx because it’s always cheaper there. If you deal with acne, milia, or post-acne issues–I highly recommend this face wash.

Honey Girl Organics Face & Eye Cream: This face cream was in a previous Bless Box and it was such a nice product to use. The product is a thick consistency that melts into the skin as soon as you apply it. A little goes a long way also. The honey in this product was also a great anti-bacterial property–which is also a good thing for acne prone skin.

MAKEUP

ColourPop Precision Brow Colour in Blondie: This is my favorite pomade to use because it’s long-lasting, it’s the exact color of my hair, and the consistency is really nice. Plus, this product is super affordable online!

Ardell Blonde Brown Pomade: This was not my favorite pomade to use because it was too waxy and the color was too dark.

NYX Wonder Stick: This is a great product to use for contour/bronzing because it has a darker shade on one end and a lighter shade on the other.

Ardell Brow Building Fiber Gel: This was nice to use over a pomade to help seal in all the brow hairs. It was a little more on the expensive side for me, for what it is, so I’m not sure that I would repurchase it.

Cargo_HD Picture Perfect Highlighter: This was in a FabFitFun box that I received several months ago. This was a pretty powder to use but it’s still a little pricey for me.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: This was a sample in a Birchbox and I really liked it! The coverage was medium to high and the finish was kind of velvety. I’m willing to invest more in a foundation if it helps cover up my acne scarring.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer: This used to be such a good product for me because of the coverage, but now I think it’s too heavy for my skin. I would recommend this though if you are looking for a full-coverage concealer!

FRAGRANCE

Stella by Stella McCartney: Stella!!!! This is my all-time favorite fragrance and I was so sad when I ran out. I had this for a few years and only used it on days that I needed a boost or for a special occasion. My cousin, Bec, wore this for years and I just loved the way it smelled on her–so I bought some of my own. I will probably repurchase this eventually because it’s just that good.

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December Bless Box Reveal

How has your first week of 2018 been? Hopefully you’re staying warm in your area of the world and looking forward to the year with anticipation. This week I’ve been laying a little low and not feeling great–but it’s been a great time to get some planning and writing done. There are a few things coming up for me in the next couple of months and I can’t wait to share those with you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Bless Box reveal posts that I’ve done before and I’ve had some requests to do them more often. I get so excited every month when these are shipped because it’s always so fun and so surprising to see what’s inside. This post is not sponsored but I truly do love Bless Box and everything that Sazan and her team have created it to be. I also think Bless Box is a great form of self-care and if you are interested in signing up–visit the website at blessbox.com. Here is what was in the December Bless Box!

Skinn Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette: Retail $22.50

Maybelline Unnudes SuperStay Matte Lipstick in Fighter: Retail $9.49

Laura Geller Easy Illuminating Stick: Retail $26.00

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Matte Lipstick in He Thinks He’s Matte-Cho: Retail $8.99

Wen Winter Cranberry Cleansing Conditioner: Retail $40.00

Wen Ultra Nourishing Intense Body Treatment: Retail $80.00

Primal Kitchen Chocolate Hazelnut Bar: Retail $3.00

December Birchbox

I have been a Birchbox subscriber for a couple of years now and it’s such a fun thing for me to look forward to every month. I have hardly had to buy any makeup since I started using Birchbox because there’s always something for me to use in the boxes. I’ve mentioned this before but Birchbox is also a great way to receive travel size items and also for getting to try out new things (maybe even things you can’t typically afford)–which I love to do.

Here is what I got in my December Birchbox. This post is not sponsored, by the way–just me sharing my love of this particular service with you!

Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner

Purple shampoos and conditioners are great for color treated hair–especially blonde. I really like Amika products also because they don’t leave my hair feeling heavy or greasy.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

My skin feels a little dark and dull during the colder months, so I’m excited to try this out!

Bioderma Sensibo H20 Make-Up Remover Micelle Solution

Micellar water products, like this one, are one of my favorite ways to remove make-up. This is a brand that I’ve heard a lot about so I’m looking forward to trying this.

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain

How cute is this?? I almost don’t want to use it because it’s so cute, haha!

Stila Cosmetics HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara

I’m always happy to try new mascara because my lashes are not very long at all these days.

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A Day Off in the Life ft. ArtNaturals| AD

It’s November! Ahh I can’t believe it! Some of the busy but exciting holidays are coming up and I can’t wait. Because there are often weeks of going non-stop during the holiday months, I try as often as I can to just have a day set aside for rest and relaxation. Today I’m partnering with ArtNaturals to talk about self-care and how I like to spend my day off. In this post I’ll tell you about some of their products and how I like to use these products in my day off routine.

Sleep

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I’ve written posts before about the importance of rest but I can’t reiterate how important rest and sleep are to the body. I typically get anywhere from 5-6 hours of sleep a night during the work week, so on my days off—I like to sleep as long as my body will let me.

Coffee

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Coffee is definitely my love language. It’s part of my morning routine, it wakes me up, and it’s just like drinking a hug in a mug. Even on days when I don’t have to be super awake—I still like to indulge in drinking some hot coffee.

Skincare

On my days off, I typically won’t wear makeup because I have to wear it all week and usually for long hours. I like to give my skin a break and really take care of it on days that I can. I have been using ArtNaturals serums for a while now and have been using these three products on my skin in the morning and at night.

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Vitamin C Serum

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Vitamin C serums are good for brightening and evening out skin tone. I have mentioned before that I used to have really bad cystic acne and it left me with a lot of scarring. This Vitamin C serum has made such a difference and has helped to make my skin look a little more healed. I will use this serum in the morning after I have rinsed my face and patted it dry. I use about 2 droppers of this product, which is 5-10 drops, and I press it into my face–instead of rubbing it all over. A little bit of a warning–Vitamin C can make your skin a little more sensitive to UV rays, so make sure that you apply an SPF over it of a foundation that has SPF as an ingredient.

Hyaluronic Acid Serum

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Hyaluronic Acid is another serum that I LOVE to help restore my skin’s moisture. After using so many harsh acne products throughout the years, I used to think my skin would never feel hydrated again. Hyaluronic Acid helps to lock in hydration and it can be applied before other moisturizing products–making them doubly effective. I will use this serum in the morning, about 5-10 drops, and apply it over the Vitamin C serum, once it has dried. My skin has a little more natural glow after using this product too!

Retinol Serum

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Retinol products are something that my skin loves! Retinol serums have anti-aging properties and are collagen boosting. I noticed that the amount of acne spots were drastically different once I started incorporating a Retinol serum into my skin care. I will apply this ONLY at night though, once my skin has been cleansed, because it makes your skin SUPER sensitive to UV rays and the potential for your skin burning is greater. I use about 5-10 drops of this serum as well. Retinol is also beneficial to improving skin texture, correcting pigmentation issues, and erasing fine lines.

Candles

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On days when I want to relax, I like to use candles to create a peaceful environment. There’s something calming about the flickering light and the aroma that candles can disperse. I have been using the ArtNaturals candles lately and each one has such a unique, subtle fragrance. These candles are soy wax based and contain essential oils. Soy wax candles burn longer and cleaner than regular paraffin-based candles, which I love because then I can use them longer.  If you are in the market for some new candles, these are delightful! I will do my best to describe how each of these smell, but honestly–they all have such a unique fragrance.

Top row left to right:

Sapphire: Balance the Mind.  I think this one might be my favorite because Sapphire is my birthstone. This scent has notes of spices and it’s the perfect one for the changing fall weather.

Citrine: Energize Your Life. This candle has a light citrus fragrance and makes a room smell very fresh.

Diamond: Inspire the Senses. This is probably my second favorite scent of the collection. This fragrance is very sweet but not overpowering. I even feel more inspired when this candle is burning.

Bottom row left to right:

Rosaline: Revive Your Shine. This fragrance is also a sweet one and has notes of warmth. This would be the perfect one to light if you’re just snuggling up with a book or watching a movie.

Garnet: Share Your Passion. This candle is a little more robust, in a subtle way, and contains a muskier scent.

Jade: Uplift Your Spirit. This scent is also a very clean and smells like it may have marine notes. This one is definitely in my top three.

I hope you have a relaxing day off soon and that you enjoy the rest of November. Thank you to ArtNaturals for partnering with my on this blog post! Go check out the ArtNaturals website if you are interested in ordering some of these products yourself—artnaturals.com

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