Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Wow, this may be the first Thursday Thoughts I've written on an actual Thursday instead of writing it the night before. I had a REALLY rough night (which I'll talk about it a bit), hence the later than usual posting. Any ways, as per my usual I am linking up with Jen of Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for her Thursday Thoughts weekly link up.

So I'm about a week into my first dose of Lupron, and it has not been a fun experience so far. The first month is the worst, and I knew that going into it, but everything hitting almost all at once was just to much for me to handle. I've had a headache since getting my injection and I've been feeling sick for the last few days as well. The hot flashes suck in this heat for sure, and I've started throwing up pretty much every meal I eat the last 2 days. My hair is falling out a bit and my pain level has easily doubled. This is just a lot to deal with, but I'm committed to doing all 6 doses and theoretically by month 2 I will be feeling better. Hopefully.

We went to IKEA the other weekend to pick up some stuff and the new items are starting to float in! These are some of their new mugs (or at least new to my store), I can't decide which I like the best. And have you heard about the new bulk candy section IKEA is adding to their food section? My store will get it this weekend, but we won't have time to go check it out till later in August. I personally can't wait for the new paper goods stuff to hit my store, that is quickly becoming my favorite section. Anybody else an IKEA fan?

Yesterday was National Lipstick Day, anybody do anything special? I wore one of my favorite shades and helped a friend pick out the perfect shade for her new dress and that was it. If I had realized beforehand it was National Lipstick Day I would have done a themed post about lipstick. Did anybody do a good sale? I was expecting a whole bunch and didn't really see any. Not that I need anymore lipstick. I want more lipstick but I really don't need anymore. Want vs need, the age old conflict.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SlimQuick Extra Strength Drink Mix

*I received this free for testing and reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

UPDATE: The people at SlimQuick were kind enough to provide a $5 off coupon for my readers, click here to get it.

Because of my health issues I bloat horribly and I'm not able to work out like I want to, which means my belly looks full all the time and I've got some squishiness in places I don't want to be squishy. Until my treatments have progressed enough that I can do 10 sit-ups without horrific, crippling pain I have to look to other methods to help with the squish and the bloat. I eat pretty well most of the time and I'm attempting to limit my salt intake and drink more water to help with the bloating, but I can only do so much. Sometimes as I blogger I get to try items I really want to, and these SlimQuick Extra Strength Drink Mix packets are one of those times where my wants and my opportunities aligned perfectly.

In case you are not familiar with SlimQuick, they are a company that specializes in weight loss products like meat replacement shakes and powders (though I seem to think I've seen bars too). They make a protein powder I love but my store no longer carries too, so I was pretty familiar with the brand. Most SlimQuick products are designed to help women lose weight by addressing the most common physical reasons our weight loss program may be struggling, like hormones and the ever dreaded bloat. These packets have a drink mix that helps boost your metabolism, suppress your appetite, debloat you, boost your energy so you can actually work out, and support your natural hormones. A pretty good list of benefits, but I know you don't care about what the manufacturer claims, you want to know if it worked for me and how it tastes.

Let's start with the flavor, since for many people a bad tasting product, no matter how well it works, is a no go. These are "mixed berry" flavored, sort of a fruit punch sort of flavor. You mix the powder into 16 ounces of water and drink several bottle of it throughout the day with your meals. It wasn't a bad taste, there was just this medicinal quality to it I did not like at first. After about day 3 of my testing I got use to it but if you want something that just tastes like juice you won't like this. It tastes just enough off that I never forgot what I was drinking. And can I just say drinking several bottles of anything a day sucks? I know I should drink more water but since my bladder is basically being strangles peeing in uncomfortable and difficult on good days so needing to pee every 2 hours really wasn't fun.

I've only done 4 days of this drink mix and I did not do the recommended amount due to the above mentioned bladder issues and I've already seen results that make me want to suck it up and do a full course of it. My normally bloated stomach is almost flat and my jeans fit better as a result. I'm also more comfortable without the bloated stomach as well, which is making life a little less awful right now. I don't know if I've lost any weight because we are a scale free household for my mental health but I look better and I feel better. Do I think I've lost weight? Probably a little bit from at least the water weight going away, and I'm sure if I combined this with an exercise routine and drank the recommended amount I'd see some serious results.

I've always like the SlimQuick brand and I'm just as happy with their new drink mix as I am with the other products I've tried. I would assume you can find these in most stores, but you can do a search on their website as well as get valuable tips on weight loss and see what else they have available. I'll be finishing up my box for sure and will probably purchase another box once that's done.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Brightly Colored Box of Goodies: Birchbox July 2015

Every month the makeup fairy leaves me a box full of goodies in my mailbox. Ok, so maybe the fairy is my mailman and the magical box is my monthly Birchbox, but it still feel special every time I open my mailbox and see my box waiting for me. Last month's box wasn't bad, but I had high hopes for the July box to be great. Shall we open the box up and see what goodies the makeup fairy brought me this month.

This might be my new favorite box design, wow is that gorgeous! So bright and the geometric design is awesome! To my knowledge there wasn't any sort of collaboration this month, so I'm not sure where they got the idea for the design. But I really liked it and even if I wasn't keeping all my boxes I'd be keeping this one.

I actually got what looks like a great box for me. Red lipstick, the CC cream I've been wanting to try forever, a hair product, a face oil, and my husband's favorite after sun lotion. Unless everything seriously bombs this box is going to be in my top five for sure. I won't be doing a price breakdown this time just because I'm feeling terrible and honestly don't have the energy to track everything down and calculate it up, but looking at the brand I know this is a high value box for sure. And so long as I get my $10 out of it AND like the products I'm happy.

This month instead of different sample choices you got to pick the shade of the Stila liquid lipstick. I of course picked the red one, never met a red I didn't like. I've never owned anything by Stila, they're a bit out of my budget, so I was pretty excited to get to try this out. It's a liquid lipstick that dried to a matte and stains your lips as well. Since it's a matte finish it can be pretty drying, so I found it best to wear it over lip balm and to apply a thin layer. I am really enjoying it, though it isn't my favorite red for sure. The drying factor can be a bit much at times, and like all liquid lipsticks leaves that ring around the edge of your lips as it fades. Would I buy another at full price? No, but if I found some for a good price I would for sure

Amika is a great but expensive hair care line that always has the most interesting ingredients. I've tried their dry shampoo and really enjoyed it, so I was super excited to try this. This is the un.done texture spray, which seems to be a mix between a hair spray and a dry shampoo. It also gives you a matte finish, which is confusing for a hair product. I thought the goal was nice and shiny hair? Anyways, I'm not really sure what to make of it. It's just kind spray/dry shampoo? I don't hate it, I just don't get it I guess. I've been using it for interesting hairstyles but I wouldn't purchase it.

I actually laughed when I saw this in my box. Many many years ago my husband (then my boyfriend, like I said this was many years ago) and I went to Hawaii. My pale as a ghost husband got crazy bad burned after a day of boogie boarding, so I wandered from the hotel in the middle of the night to this little shop we had passed one day that had an ad in the window for burn relief creams. The aloe gel and the after sun lotion I bought worked like a charm and I've always wondered if they had an online shop. Well guess who's lotion should be sitting in my box this month. And just in time for summer. I'll be saving this little gem for when my love gets burned to a crisp again.

My next little gem was a teenie little bottle of Jouer's skin clearing facial oil. I know this is expensive because the sample is so adorable cute and small. You are suppose to put a drop or two onto your hands and then smooth it all over your face. I've been using it at night and I'm pretty happy with it. There's tea tree oil in it so it helps with any acne you have and gives your skin the good moisture it needs to not go into oil producing overdrive. If it wasn't so crazy expensive I'd buy  bottle for sure, so maybe next time I do a big splurge with my Birchbox points.

And lastly is the item I've been wanting to try forever and have just been unsuccessful in getting a sample of. If you've been reading my blog for a while you know I love Supergoop so so much, so I've been wanting to try their CC Cream but because of the price and not knowing what color to get I've been holding off on buying a full sized bottle. I really hate dealing with returns so getting to try before I buy is a huge perk of Birchbox. This is the light to medium shade, and is suppose to help even out skin tone while protecting my skin from harmful UV rays ect ect.

Color wise it was a really good fit for me (there's a swatch of the lippie as well), but I was the most excited to discover that it dried to a nice matte finish on me. I have admittedly only tried it once, I'm SO close to finishing my usual foundation that I've been focusing on that, but from my initial test on non-primed skin it help up really well and stayed nice and matte even before I added my powder. I'll keep wearing it throughout the next week or so but if my initial impression holds up I'll be buying a bottle of this for sure.

While I did not get any full sized items this month this box was a big win for me and I really like everything I got minus the weird hair spray. I actually felt like Birchbox listened to what I want for once and I'm hoping that there will be more boxes as great as this in the future. Next month I'll be leaving everything up to Birchbox, including my sample choice, so we will see if the trend of good boxes continues. If you received a Birchbox this month what did you think of it?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Good Mood Tea

*I received this product free for testing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own*

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this a few times on this blog, but I'm a big tea drinker. There's something about tea that is so soothing, from the ritual of actually making it to getting to hold that warm mug in your hands and sip it. I go through a lot of tea, especially during the colder months. My greatest moment of joy was discovering that my grocery store of choice sells one of the teas I like in the bulk section for half the price of it in the box. So anytime I'm offered a chance to test out and review tea for this blog I take it.

For the most part there is no such thing as bad tea per say, so when reviewing teas it's more about how it tasted (full bodied, any bitterness, what notes do you taste, ect), the quality of the tea, and the tea company itself. And tea, like makeup, is a personal preference. My favorite tea ever may not be everybody's cup of tea, pun intended. Sometimes personal bias can affect a review as well, if I'm upset with a company I'm less likely to give their product a glowing review (or even review it in the first place). I am recognizing that I am annoyed with the company that sent me this sample (I'll talk about why in a second) and I am currently is a significant amount of pain or I'm less likely to be forgiving of certain things.

Culinary Teas is obviously an online tea shop that specializes in the more gourmet teas. I received the Good Mood Tea, which is a black tea with organic cacao nibs and other natural mood enhancers in it. Well, I sort of received it. So I get having a limited budget for PR stuff, but I received their 1 oz sample pack (which retails for a criminal $3.75) instead of an actual container of their product. So not only can I not review their packaging, which is an important part of product review, but I only had enough product to make a full cup for myself and a half cup for my son. That's like receiving a foil pack of shampoo and being asked to do a full review. Obviously I'm pretty annoyed at that. An actual pack of the Good Mood tea retails from $12.50 to $35.75, depending on the size you get. This is an expensive tea company, so I expect better things from them.

As far as the actual tea, it was a pretty looking blend for sure. Because I had such a small sample I didn't get an even mix of stuff, like there was only one piece of orange rind in the whole mix. Since it is a loose tea you need to either put it in a tea infuser or strain the tea into your cup, which is how I prefer to make my loose tea. This is a pretty basic black tea. A nice black tea with very little bitterness, but a basic black tea. You really don't get any of the cocoa nibs and while I could smell a bit of the orange I couldn't taste it at all. It wasn't a bad tea, but looking at the ingredient list I expected to taste something besides black tea. And for the price they're charging I had better be blown away. I don't mind paying more for tea, the Mighty Leaf brand is up there in price but they are so worth it. This tea reminded me of something I'd get at a restaurant during the fall, not a gourmet blend.

Overall I'm not impressed and I wouldn't recommend this tea to anyone. While some of their other blends sounded good, after the let down from this blend I won't be paying almost $4 to try a single cup. If you want to give them a try, you can find them at Maybe you will enjoy them more than I did, but for me they fell pretty flat.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Today is the Big Day

If you stopped by yesterday you might have read that I was starting Lupron Depot as a way to treat my severe stage 4 endometriosis. The stars aligned just right and I should be getting my first dose today! I was actually expecting to have to wait till next week, so this was a very happy surprise. I'm obviously very nervous and anxious right now so there's no plans for an actual beauty blog post today. I may be feeling less anxious and more able to focus later on Friday (I write and queue up all my posts the night before they are published) so there might be one up later, but no guarantee. I'll write about how the actual first treatment goes in next week's Thursday Thoughts, hopefully everything will go smoothly and I'll feel fine. But for right now I need to focus 100% on my health and getting through this, so regular posts will resume on Saturday. Thank you.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Another Thursday is upon us! This week has been a whirlwind of emotions and things so I'm just going to dive right in. I'm linking up with Jen of Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for her weekly Thursday Thoughts.

I know I've mentioned that I've been experiencing some health issues and that they've been impacting my ability to put out a new blog post. Finally after a few months of back and forth to my Doctors, testings, and dealing with my insurance company I have been approved to start a form of chemotherapy to treat my stage 4 endometriosis. For those not familiar with endo, basically the inside of my uterus is growing everywhere in my pelvic cavity. I have been in crippling pain for a while now and it finally reached the point where I either tried the Lupron or end up in the hospital. I should be starting it sometime next week, just depending on how slow the pharmacy is to send the stuff to my Doctor. Fingers crossed in two months I will start feeling better and be able to actually function without being heavily medicated. Hopefully I'll be able to put up a blog post every day, but if there are missed days this is why. All I ask is that you please have patience with me while I go through this difficult period.

If you follow me on Instagram you already know this, but I finally got brave and tried that chemical peel I received in my Birchbox the other month. I want to know why nobody told me how gross and full of dead skin my face was. The amount of nasty stuff I scrubbed off, you guys would not believe it. Nasty. Once all the dead me goo was washed off I was left with the nicest looking, softest skin ever. I am seriously impressed with the Real Chemistry peel and YAY my face didn't melt off. So two thumbs up!

You know how most people have a bucket list of things they want to do or places they want to visit? Well I have a bucket list of weird food I want to eat. I finally got to cross frog legs off that list, and let me tell you they were tasty! Like a mix between cod and chicken in both flavor and texture. They were crispy fried with a super good sauce drizzled on them. Now to just find some place local that sells snails. What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

Yeah, my no buy lasted like a week. I got some extra cash and promptly headed to Ulta for some goodies. The nail polishes were $2 a piece and all the NYX products were buy one get one half off so all total this came to under $20 once I used my coupon. The color correcting palette review should be going up sometime this weekend, with the rest being reviewed probably in August once I play with them some more. My will is weak, I couldn't say no.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Aromatherapy at its Best

*I received this free for product testing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

If you've been reading this blog for a while then you know I'm a big fan of essential oils not only as an ingredient in homemade bath goodies but for the aromatherapy aspects of various oils. I've reviewed lemon, peppermint, and tea tree oil on this blog before, so it was only a matter of time before I reviewed some lavender oil. GoPure was kind enough to send me a bottle to test out and play with, so my long overdue post on what might be my favorite essential oil is finally going to happen.

Lavender oil is obviously an essential oil made from lavender, and the GoPure version is 100% pure and natural. Traditionally lavender is used to calm and relax people, though it's been showing up more and more lately it seems in just about everything. Lavender just smells good, so I don't blame cleaning product companies for wanting to scent their products with it. What would you prefer your toilet to smell like, bleach or lavender? I've been know to put a drop or four in my toilet after a night a taco binge eating. 

I personally like to use lavender in bath products, either by making bath bombs (recipe coming soon) or just putting a few drops in my bath water. I've been under a tremendous amount of stress lately so the calming scent has become a stable in my routine lately. I actually keep the bottle on my desk so that I can smell it whenever I sit down to work. I'm also working on a few aromatherapy diffusers to do a tutorial on, which will eventually be on the YouTube channel that is starting to stress me out.

I've used and reviewed the GoPure brand before and I'm really pleased with the company and the quality of their products. They are a USA based company, which means I'm shopping local (local as opposed to having something made and shipped from China). And this particular product has been fantastic and I literally have nothing bad to say about it. The size is good for the price (it is currently unavailable to purchase, I will update this if that changes), there's no weird added ingredients, the design of the bottle is fine (love the built in dropper), and it smells and works great. If you are in the market for some lavender essential oil I recommend this one for sure. And if you like lavender stay tuned for various projects over the next month using this wonderful essential oil.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Oodles and Oodles of Zoodles!

*I received this free for testing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

I have been attempting to eat healthier lately, which can be difficult when you love to cook and bake. Mmmm cupcakes, they get me every time. One thing I keep seeing over and over on my personal Facebook feed and Pinterest are these noodles made out of veggies, like zucchini and carrots. While this was an intriguing notion the thought of cutting up veggies into noodles was way to much work and I promptly began ignoring the recipes. Fast forward to earlier this month and I was given the chance to test out and review one of those nifty gadgets that turns zucchini into noodles. I'm never one to turn down a nifty gadget so here we go.

First impression is that I'm an adult sized 10 year old who is easily amused by strings of zucchini and will promptly dance around the kitchen pretending to be Cthulhu. Second impression is that the Spiralizer Vegetable Slicer does what it says it does, it turns veggies into noodles. Now full disclosure I've only tried zucchini with it, I keep forgetting to pick up other veggies to try it out on. What can I say, I prefer zucchini (and my in-laws had a bumper crop this year so I haven't had to actually buy any). In a nut shell, you take your veg of choice and put it into the slot you want (thicker noodles vs smaller noodles), then start turning. The slots have little knives and act like a cheese grater basically, shredding the veg into lovely ribbons to be consumed at your leisure.

While making the zoodles (zucchini noodles) was really simple, making a tasty dish with them required more forethought and planning than I had originally thought. Zucchini noodles release stored up water once they are cut, so I recommend letting them sit on some paper towels for a bit unless you want your beautiful spicy Thai peanut sauce to end up a watery mess by lunch time. The clean up was a bit more work than I had anticipated, this particular model doesn't come with a little brush to get all the bits off so you either have to wash it right after use or stick a knife (or finger) down into it to fish all the dried zucchini bits out because you were a bonehead and forgot about it till the next day when you actually had time to do dishes. Luckily this is top drawer dishwasher safe, and I have a husband who isn't anemic and prone to bleeding for an hour if cut so he got stuck cleaning it.

I actually really like this device and have been enjoying using it for quick summer salads/pastas. I saw a suggestion online to use it to quickly shred veggies for your stir fry so I'll be testing that out once its below 100 degrees here and I can actually stand at my stove without melting. If you would like to purchase this device you can find it on Amazon for $12.99 with free Prime shipping. I'm going to explore Pinterest some more and see what else I can whip up using my spiralizer, the avocado cream zoodle pasta recipe I found the other day sounded heavenly. If you do zoodles, what do you like to mix with it?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Musings on Manicures

I do a fair amount of manicures and pedicures per month thanks to this blog and my need for lovely nails. My weekly manicures range from the super simple to the awe inspiring masterpieces themed around some event that is coming up. This gives me a lot of time to really think about nail art and what works and what doesn't, so I though today we'd do something different and just talk about nail stuff.

One of the things I have noticed is that the brighter colored nails get more compliments than maybe a complex but neutral colored manicure. I don't know if that's because the jewel tones and glitter polish just attract the eye more but those are always the designs that have people stop me in the store to compliment me on them. The only exception to this is when I did the little paw prints manicure, that was the one that EVERYBODY loved and I really need to revisit on this blog. So if you want the flash but not the time think about a jewel tones polish with an accent finger in a complimenting glitter like I did in the picture above,

One thing I've noticed is that the polish brand really makes a difference. The Ulta brand surprisingly is my favorite out of all the brands I've tried, with Essie being my second favorite. More often than not I can get Ulta polish on sale for $2 and they last the longest out of all my brands. I've had a manicure last almost a full week with just regular top coat, that's super impressive. I've started picking up another bottle every time I go into Ulta now, pretty sure I will own every color by the end of the year.

Nail polish is a nice way to express my creative side in situations I may not be able to normally, and it has become a way for me to bond with my son as well (he loves having his toes painted). Doing dozens and dozens of different manicures can get difficult at times and have taken a toll on my nails, but I am greatly enjoying going them and can't wait to show you guys a new design next week.

Friday, July 17, 2015

NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette

Sometimes makeup is like a spell from our fairy godmother, it elevates and transforms us to something extra special. Whether its the really good concealer for our acne and under eye circles or that bronzer than gives us the vacationed on the beach glow, makeup paints our faces in whatever light we choose. One of the most well known ways to transform our face is to reshape it with some contouring and highlighting, and makeup companies have met that demand by producing all in one palettes. Most of the ones out on the market right now are pretty expensive, from $40 to $50 on average, so when NYX released their own palette my wallet let out a cheer.

The NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette features 8 different highlighting, correcting, and contouring powders for the wonderful price of $24.99. Now I never pay full price for anything so I waited till a sale and used a coupon so I only paid like $12 for mine, which is an amazing price for a palette this size. There are 4 bronzer colors, two highlighters, one yellow powder for under eye circles, and a matte nude color to either highlight with or set your makeup with. There is a great selection of colors and finishes, which is something I appreciate. One of the bronzers has some shimmer to it, the others are a matte finish. One of the highlighters is a champagne shade (my favorite), while the other one is more of that traditional silvery beige highlighter.

Because these are powders they are a little bit easier for a contouring newbie (like me) to use, since you can blend the crude out of them if you get a little to heavy handed with your brush. They are a bit powdery, but if you are gentle with your brush it isn't to bad. They all blend fairly well, though some took a little bit longer than others to make look good. And the pans actually pop out, so you can refill your palette as you finish certain colors up or create a custom palette with the shades available that aren't in the palette (these are available here).

I am really enjoying this palette and I've been using it almost every day since I bought it. I'm so glad my favorite high quality but low priced brand finally put out a highlight and contour palette, it really does make it ten times easier to contour your face when you have all the correct tools to do it with. If you want to get one for yourself NYX is sold online, at Ulta, and Target.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Oh no, is it Thursday already? I need an extra day or three this week I swear, I am so far behind on everything. So let's get this post started shall we? As per my usual I am linking up with Jen of Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for her Thursday Thoughts link up.

We are now back from our trip out of state for the funeral, and slowly getting unpacked and back into our usual routine. My kiddo is now worried that every car trip is us going to a funeral now, so it's been a difficult week emotionally here. How do you explain things like funerals and death to a 4 year old?

Do you ever get something that is both totally ridiculous and totally awesome at the same time? My Grandparent's bought me a Snackeez cup and I seriously love this thing. A drink cup that also holds some snacks for me? Sign me up! The spawn got a Ninja Turtle one, he's pretty excited about that. I will never go back to a non-snack cup cup again. Best thing ever.

Did anybody else get a free little bottle of It's a 10 miracle leave in spray from Ulta this week? I love when they give me free goodies, just gives me an excuse to run in and grab "a few things". I'll actually be stopping in today, so keep your eyes peeled for new goodies on my Instagram. I know I said I was on a No Buy but I got some extra funds and some stuff I want is on sale so I'm breaking my ban. What can I say, I have no will power. And it's for my blog, so I don't feel super guilty about it. Speaking of which, I'm just about done testing out that NYX contour palette I picked up the other week so you should see the review up this weekend at some point.

I recently acquired enough yarn to open up my own shop, so I've set the challenge to finish some sort of object (like a scarf or a hat) a week until Christmas. The purple infinity scarf in the picture is for myself, but I've got about 1/5 of another scarf done as of Wednesday, hoping I have at least half of it done by the end of today. And I have 3 rows of another scarf started, so my goal is off to a rocky start right now. Anybody a knitter or crocheter? Should we start a Best Beauty Yarn Club?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Brush it on, Blend it out

*I received this free for testing/reviewing purposes. All opinions are 100% my own*

Oh man, trying to get caught up on everything and back in my groove after almost a week away is difficult. I am about three days behind on everything still, and new stuff to get done is coming in droves I swear. Quick and easy is the name of my style and beauty game right now, so my latest item to test out and review is perfect for my busy schedule. A tube of foundation with a built in brush sounds quick, easy, and convenient, but does it live up to my expectations?

Faces Beautiful is a liquid mineral foundation that comes in a tube with a built in brush for ease of application. I would call this a full coverage foundation more suitable for normal to oily skin. The concept is really neat, I like the attached brush since that's my current preferred method to apply my foundations anyways.

The brush twists to a locking position (off) to prevent makeup from being squeezed out while in your bag, which was a concern of mine. The brush isn't the nicest one I've ever used but the bristles are dense and worked fine when I was testing it out.

A ordered a shade or two to dark, so if you do buy this keep in mind that they looked lighter in the picture than mine at least was in real life. I recommend applying a bit to your hand then dipping your brush into that till you get use to the flow of the liquid. My first few times using it I squeezed out way to much, so there is a learning curve. But as you ca see from the swatch this has really great coverage.

Way to dark for me, but I did really like the feel and lasting ability of it. The full coverage meant I didn't need to apply any concealer to my face, not even under my eyes. And the swatch I put on my arm one day survived most of my shower till I got the the soapy washcloth bit. Towards the end of the summer the color will match me better and I'll be able to do a full day test of it, but from my wearing it around the house I'm very surprised by it. I'll be keeping my eye on this brand for sure, I see good things in their future.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Road Trip and a Funeral

Wow, I am really really terrible at getting a whole week's worth of posts queued up. As I mentioned earlier in the week my husband's Grandmother died so we had to go out of state for a few days for the memorial service and whatnot. After a very long trip I am just drained, so instead of writing something witty about blush I'll just tell you guys about our trip.

From where we live to where we were staying was about an 8 hour drive once you factored in food and bathroom breaks. If you've never driven 8 hours with a 4 year old let me tell you it can suck. Especially when you're in a hurry and can't really stop anywhere. Luckily part of our trip followed the Columbia River (in between Oregon and Washington), so it was a gorgeous drive for about 2 hours.

And then the drive became hot, dry, and full of nothing but beige hills and canyons. This went on for about 4 hours. 4 very loooong hours. Eastern Oregon and Washington are not the most exciting areas to drive through, sorry.

We finally made it to Idaho (where we were staying) and I marveled at my packing skills. Seriously guys, if you travel little bags for your items are the best. The pink rectangle is a jewelry organizer, the red/black bag held all shower/hair items, and the peach flower bag was makeup and face stuff. Made it so much easier to find exactly what I was looking for. Bags, they're the best. Especially when packed in my awesome vintage suitcase that I finally got to use. Pro tip, most vintage luggage is heavier than you think, so pack light. No barbells.

The memorial service was the next day, and I'm honestly not going to talk about that here on my blog. It was a deeply personal, private event and I'm just not comfortable talking about it here. That day was spent pretty much with my husband's family, we didn't do any personal (for us) stuff.

On Friday we took our son into Coeur d'Alene Idaho to explore around. If you ever get the chance to I really recommend it. Not only is it a beautiful town around a beautiful lake but there are lots of fun things to do, like the world's longest floating boardwalk. Which if you get seasick on you might want to skip. Or get sick into the lake....again. You'd think I'd learn?

Seriously though, how pretty is that? I'd love to go back and actually rent a boat (and some Dramamine) for an hour or two and just goof around at the lake the whole day. You can even take a trip around the lake in a pontoon, which is that airplane that lands in water for those who don't know.

We did a little bit of window shopping in the fancy mall there and I found the coolest thing ever, a cotton candy vending machine! I wish I had cash on me so I could have tried it out, but alas my cash gets spent on eyeshadow instead. Have you guys ever seem something like this before? Was the cotton candy good?

And finally on Saturday we packed up, said goodbye to everybody, and started wandering home. We stopped here and there so the trip back home was much more enjoyable than the drive up, we even found a fun indoors farmers market to stop at and get some fun jam. I bought some prickly pear jam and 2 jars of cherry preserves there, can't wait to crack them open and enjoy them. If we didn't have a 6 hour drive I would have bought a bunch of Washington cherries, but they would never have survived the drive home in the heat.

I wish the trip out there had been under better circumstances but it was a good trip over all. I love getting to see where my husband grew up and here the family tell stories, and getting to make new memories with our son there really is the best feeling in the world. But I'm exhausted and ready to sleep for 12 hours straight so I will see you guys on Monday with a brand new manicure.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Not so Little Lipstick Haul

Somebody asked me once what one makeup product I could not live without and without even having to think about it I said lipstick. I own a fair amount (according to my husband fair amount means I'm like the crazy cat lady but with lipstick instead), and every time I go to Ulta or Target to get some shampoo or whatever I end up buying another lip product or six. And as soon as I buy some I immediately have to start planning which ones I'm going to buy next. I might have a slight problem in retrospect. But can you really blame me? The right lip product can make or break a look, as anyone who has found their perfect shade of red can tell you. Today I'm going to show you the lip products I bought or was wonderfully gifted during June, because what fun is a lipstick collection if you can't show it off?

First up are my NYX lovelies. I've been exploring their entire line for the last few months, picking up a few items here and there. For the most part I really like the company, and they have a great selection of affordable lipsticks. I did a big review of some a month or so ago of their Round Case Lipsticks, so this time I tried to pick some different products (though I did get one more Round Case Lipstick).

The High Voltage Lipstick line is fairly new I believe, and judging by the picked over display at my local Ulta are pretty popular. I only bought one because I wasn't sure how different these would be from their other lipsticks, and of course it was one of the reds. Hollywood is a highly pigmented, creamy bright red that I've fallen completely in love with. These are much more opaque and pigmented than the Round Case Lipsticks, and offer more fun colors like a bright purple I need to buy.

The Round Case lippie I added to my collection is such a non-me color that I'm surprised I bought it, but it has ended up being a new favorite. If you follow me on Intagram you know I love the bright and bold colors, so Cocoa (a soft, neutral brown shade) is way outside my normal. As with all the other lipsticks in that line, it applies well and stays on as long as you'd expect from a regular lipstick. It is a great everyday color and if you love neutral lips I highly recommend getting this one.

The Butter Lip Balm line is newish, came out about a year ago I believe. For some reason these have never interested me, but I finally bought some literally so I could review them. Certain colors that I want seem to always be out of stock at my Ulta, so I settled on Panna Cotta (a very sheer pink) and Ladyfingers (a bright pinky mauve color) finally. Panna Cotta is sheer enough I don't really notice any color on my lips, but Ladyfinger gives me a nice flush of color. They're decent lip balms and they smell really nice, but I don't know if I'd get any more. Maybe if they were on a good sale or the red one was finally in stock.

And lastly is my biggest disappointment from NYX. I've been lusting after certain shades of their Soft Matte Lip Cream line for over a year now, but they are ALWAYS out of stock at my Ulta. Finally one of the shades was available when I was in buying all the other NYX lippies, so I snagged it and rushed home to apply it. The color  (San Paulo) is gorgeous and rich and I loved it, till about an hour later when half of it had dissolved into a patchy mess all over my lips. While I was at work. I really expected better lasting power from a matte product than this. If I do any eating, drinking, or talk for a while (like I do at my job) this fades in patches and really looks awful. I wanted to love this but I really can't. If you have any suggestions on making it work I am all ears.

My second lip haul of June was born out of necessity believe it or not. I finished my favorite lip balm during my Spring Project Pan and the one I was using just wasn't cutting it. The Baby Lips line by Maybelline had a huge cult following so I figured for under $4 I'd give them a try. I bought one of the clear sunscreen ones (Quencher) and one of the Crystal ones (Pink Quartz). I can see why people like these, they're fun looking, smell incredible, and are a decent lip balm. Are they the best lip balm in the whole world? No, but they're better than what I was using and are ten times more fun. They both smell like candy and the Pink Quartz one not only has a light hot pink tint to it but also has little bits of glitter in it. I'll be picking more of these up probably next month, I'm on a strict no buy this month now.

My very last lippie of the month was actually given to me as a thank you present by Air Repair. If you follow me on Instagram you've already seen my review of it, but in case you haven't I'll share it with you. This is a bronzey pink lip gloss that is basically a tinted version of their rescue balm. What this means is it's not sticky at all, smells like roses, and will not only moisturize your lips but help repair them. I believe this is the only color available, but if they ever put out more colors I would buy them in a heartbeat. This is how you do lip gloss, not that awful sticky mess most other companies call lip gloss. Air Repair can do no wrong in my book, I've seriously loved all of their products.

Those are my goodies from June, did you see anything you have to have right now? I'm ok being an enabler, and you deserve a new lipstick or twelve. What lip products should I get next? Am I totally wrong on the Soft Matte Lip Cream sucking? Are you a Baby Lips fanatic as well? If you want to see these on my lips I'll be posting them to my Instagram account all week, so make sure you are following me.