Monday, July 20, 2015

Launch Of My New Chronic Illness Beauty Blog


I am officially launch my new blog devoted to helping those with chronic illnesses deal with some of the unique problems that come with having a condition in the field of beauty and fashion.  From gaining and losing weight constantly because of steroids, to what skin care is best, I hope this blog will be a place to share knowledge and experiences with what makes everyone feel beautiful!

I wanted to get this up earlier, but today has been a difficult day illness wise, BUT here it is!  I also plan on doing some sort of giveaway soon as I get a lot of extra beauty items from all of my subscriptions so I would love to give some stuff out that way soon.

I will be posting more and more and desperately want people's input, ideas, experiences, and tips you think could help others!  I want this blog to be a place everyone can come and get advice and input their own advice!  Hope everyone likes it! (Also, please share if you know any other good support groups or anything like that.  Would love help spreading the word! :P

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ipsy May 2015 Glam Bag Review and Unbagging/Unboxing

Ipsy May 2015 Glam Bag Review and Unbagging/Unboxing

Get your own Ipsy Glam Bag!

This months Ipsy Glam Bag theme was Jetsetter!  I have to say I was much happier with this months Glam Bag than last months.  Each product I received is something I will use often and is something I did not have already in my makeup kit! Ipsy Glam Bags are a subscription service that sends you 5 deluxe samples(sometimes full size items!) in a cute little makeup bag that fits whatever that month's theme is for $10.00.  A fun surprise this month was that there were multiple makeup bag options.  I actually got the one that is different than the one pictured above and LOVE it. Now, to the samples!

1. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Lip Pencil + Bonus Revolution High-Color Lipgloss
One of my favorite items this month, this lip pencil is an amazing primer.  It really helps make your lip product last a long time!  I have not tried out the lip gloss yet, but I love the colors and love Urban Decay so I am sure it will be something that I instantly become addicted too. :P  The pencil itself is a nice size and I should get quite a few uses out of it.

2. Chella Eyebrow Color Pencil(Possibly Full SIze)
Initially, I was not thrilled about this item as I have bold, thick eyebrows already, however, after I tried it I actually think it will be something I use!  The color is taupe, so it was not to dark and did not make my eyebrows look like big caterpillars so I am happy. Though it may not be a regular step in my makeup routine, anytime I want a bolder look I will be sure to use this!  I think this may also be a full size item!

3. Nuxe Reve de Miel Facial Cleanser and Makeup Removing Gel
One of my favorite items in this months bag, this cleanser works well, and completely removes all of my makeup.  After cleansing, my skin is left feeling soft and smooth and my complexion is significantly brighter and evenly toned. The smell is something you will either love or hate, but personally I love it. This is something I will definitely be purchasing!

4. Luxie Beauty Tapered Blending Eye Brush 205(Full Size - Value: $12.00)
I ordered a set of these from an Ipsy deal a few weeks ago and love it.  Getting this eye brush in my Glam Bag was an awesome surprise and a wonderful addition to my brush collection.  This brand of brushes is coated in a revolutionary anti-bacterial material, making care for these brushes a lot easier.  This item on its own cost more than my Glam Bag, and this item itself makes the Glam Bag worth it!

5. Bare Republic Naturals SPF 30 Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion
Normally I despise sunscreen on my face, as it is too thick and often makes me break out.  This sunscreen, so far, has worked well on my sensitive skin.  Though this item was one of my less loved, I do like it overall.  I also love how light the cream feels and goes on easy, so I am sure I will be using this as we go into summer!

I would say that this bag was extremely successful, and one of my favorites.  All of these items are great for summer, and I am sure I will get lots of use out of them!

Ipsy Glam Bag May 2015 Unbagging/Unboxing Video


Want your own Ipsy Glam Bag? Click Here!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 2015 Birchbox Review and Unboxing and Coupon!

Birchbox May 2015 Review and Unboxing
Cupcakes and Cashmere

This months Birchbox's curator is Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, on the wings of her new book, Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home.  This months box is beautiful and has a nice clean, elegant look, and like all Birchboxes has wonderful packaging.  Each box comes with a card detailing all the items in your Birchbox.  On occasion, you are also sent extra little gifts, but in general you get five beauty samples.  Before boxes are sent out, on the 27th of the previous month, you are sent an email allowing you to pick out one sample from a group of four possibilities.  This month, I was lucky to receive a shampoo and conditioner sample on top of the other five samples I received, totalling seven samples to review and receive points for.

Another great thing about Birchbox is their points system is amazing.  Every ten points equals a dollar, and you can use points in sets of one hundred.  Since each of your items you review you get ten points for, you get at least five dollars worth of points.  You also get ten points when you use the share button for twitter or facebook once your box is revealed on the website.  With the points system, your box only ends up costing four dollars at the most(sometimes even less), so while many of the samples are small it is definitely worth it. 

Now on to May 2015's Birchbox review!  Don't forget to check out the coupon code at the end of this blog post!

My first sample, this primer works really well and greatly reduces pore size.  I use it mostly around my T-Zone and it has actually started to reduce my pores size even until well after use.  Overall I love this product, and this may end up being my go to primer!

I love peels and mask, and while this is not a mask it is a great, easy to use, peel that works fast and has lasting effects.  The sample was way too small in my opinion, but I really loved how soft and smooth my skin felt after I used this peel.  Since it only takes three minutes to use this peel, it can be much more convenient compared to other peels I use.  The price tag is a little much for me though, and I have other peels I love just as much, but at a smaller price.  Overall, a fun sample to get.

At first I did not pay this cream much attention, but after using it I was pleasantly surprised!  Since it creates a gentle, cooling sensation, this cream is a great pick me up in the morning that wakes you up and makes you ready for the day! Though I like this product, I think it may be awhile before I need a new day cream.

This was a wonderful surprise as it is full size and the full size price is $18.00!  I love when I get an item that pays for the box itself. This eyeliner works well, and I love adding a new color to my eyeliner collection!  With easy application and long lasting effects, this new eyeliner is a new staple in my collection!

By far my favorite item in this months Birchbox, I have just discovered my new favorite hair care line.  With a sample of the Restore Instant Repair Lotion came samples of Living Proof. Restore Shampoo and Conditioner.  These were a wonderful surprise and not listed individually on the Birchbox information card.  Since using this line my hair had been thicker, shiner, and just overall healthier.  Having a chronic illness, things like my hair and nails are very fragile and I am always looking for products that can help remedy those problems.  I can say that I will be placing an order for this amazing hair care line very soon!

Birchbox May 2015 Unboxing:

And lastly, your Coupon Code!  Get $5.00 off your first month of Birchbox, just use code BB50OFF.  That means you get your first month for $5.00!  Thank you for reading my review and watching my unboxing video!  Hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to posting more unboxing videos and reviews!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Awesome IPSY Offers: Ziaja Goat's Milk Collection

Awesome IPSY Offers: Ziaja Goat's Milk Collection

Want premium samples sent to your door for only $10 a month?  Check out IPSY's Glam Bag!

One of my favorite sites, IPSY, has weekly offers for Glam Bag subscribers where you can get a varying degree of discounts on different products from brands that IPSY has featured in their Glam Bags.  I love trying new products, so I am always on the lookout for interesting products and amazing deals.  One of those offers was Ziaja's Goat's Milk Collection!  This collection has a day cream, night cream, and eye cream and as I was in need of a moisturizer, and it was a good deal, I thought I would try it out.

I have to say I really have loved the day cream, and use it every day.  It has acne fighting ingredients as well as anti-aging properties.  Since I started using the day cream, my face has been soft, smooth, and toned.  I have many different medical conditions, so my skin is extremely sensitive and making me a little picky with products, but this day cream is gentle, rich, and nourishing.

As for the night cream, I have not used it quite as much, but I do like it.  My main complaint is that it is quite a heavy cream, so I don't think it's something that should be used more than a few times a week for people with sensitive or combination skin.

Lasty, the eye cream is AMAZING!  It greatly reduced my dark circles and left my skin soft and smooth.  As I have used it more and more, my dark circles are the lightest they have ever been, and for someone with many chronic illnesses who pretty much lives with permanent dark circles under their eyes, this is a godsend.  I have another cream that I use in the morning. Between the two of them, my eyes are looking that best they ever have.

Overall I really have enjoyed this collection and for those looking for an inexpensive, effective, anti-aging, nourishing, acne fighting face care regimen, this is for you!

Want to check out this line? - Click Here!

Smily360 Randoms Review - "Let's Get Random!"

"Let's Get Random" - My Wonka's Random's Candy Review

I got these wonderfully inventive and creative candies to try for free from one of my favorite product testing sites, Smiley360! These candies come in 70 completely random shapes, 7 different flavors and 3 different gummy textures! Each bite is full of flavor and almost always a little different, making this one of the most involved candy experiences I have ever had.  Wonka's Randoms are made with real fruit juice.  With that and all the variety, each bite is entertaining and delicious, and although I never got my desired shape, a foot, I now find Wonka's Randoms to be one of my favorite gummy candies!  #Getrandoms

Want to know more? Click Here!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Influenster Review for Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils

Influenster Review for Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils

  I got this amazing mascara to try for free from a product testing site I used, called Influenster!  I have been using it for a few weeks and LOVE this mascara.  This mascara not only gives you huge, beautiful lashes when it is on, but it also nourishes your lashes to help them grow fuller and longer, naturally.  It also has a nice weight to it and you can tell the quality of the product just by how nice container is!  It does come with a little bit of a price tag, $32.00, but it is worth every penny!  Also, if you want to do something a little more fun, this mascara also comes in multiple colors!  Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils is now a must have in my makeup routine, and it even smells amazing!  I would highly recommend this product!

Watch my unboxing video!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

March 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

March Ipsy Glam Bag Review
March's 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag's theme was Floral Fantasy!  I loved the theme as well as the little pouch all of my lovely samples came in.  All Ipsy subscribers received one of three different full size NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick.  Though I did love this month's theme, for whatever reason this months Glam Bag was not in the top tier of my overall favorite Glam Bags.  Though I was excited a little at first, it was actually when I received my Glam Bag and tried out all of the samples that I became really excited.  I was pleasantly surprised by most of this months products and actually found quite a few new favorites from some of this months Ipsy Glam Bag's brands.

1. Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo
   Starting out, I was not super excited by this as I have gotten quite a few neutral tones from Ipsy. Though I have loved all the previous ones I have gotten, I would like to mix it up a little.  However, once I tried this out I found that the darker of the two is perfect for the crease above my eyes.  The lighter of the two makes an OK highlighter, but I have other highlighters I like better. This shadow goes on super smooth and has a good amount of pigmentation. Overall I am happy with this product and the brand, but would have enjoyed something a little bolder too. 

2. NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick(Full Size)
   Every Ipsy Glam Bag subscriber received one of these lipsticks in either Hunk, Little Susie, or Pops.  The one pictured above, and the one I received is in the shade Pops. I love, love, love these lipsticks!  They slide on super smooth and really have a nice pigmentation.  My only complaint is that, again, I received this in the most neutral of all the colors, and would have loved to try either of the other two, bolder colors. 

3. Acura Day Cream
   This day cream uses plant stem cells that firm your skin and fight free radicals.  I love this day cream and the smell is simply divine.  It is a great anti-aging cream and I think would be perfect for women in the "first signs of aging" category, from 25-35 or so.  I have been using this every day since I received this in my March Ipsy Glam Bag, and my skin much looks firmer and much more radiant.  This is one product I am sure I will be buying in the future, and will continue to use this in the future.

4. Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter(Full Size)
   This is another product I was only mildly excited about, but, again, once I used it I fell in love.  It also is a full size item that normally cost around $18.00.  This highlighter pencil is perfect for highlighting areas around your eyes and really brightens up and eye makeup. This product also glides on smooth and easy, and I have to say it is now a must have in my makeup routine.

5. skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels(two pair)
   By far my favorite item in this months Glam Bag, these firming eye gels are amazing.  They left me feeling refreshed and visibly reduced puffiness and dark circles around my eyes.  I have used the skyn Iceland brand before, and have loved every product I have gotten from them.  After trying these out, I actually ordered their eye cream which also works extremely well.  I did notice some people complaining that is did not work as much as they liked, but with any skincare product it usually takes 8 weeks to see the full effect.  A lot about good skin care is simply keeping up with a routine and using products over time.  That is the best way to get the full effect of your skincare products.  These are great for a spa day, and I will definitely be purchasing more of these from sister/mother spa days and general under eye care.  On another note you can get skyn Iceland product on at a discount!

Overall I enjoyed my bag, and actually ended up pleasantly surprised!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January Ipsy Glam Bag Review

January Ipsy Glam Bag Review
This months Glam Bag was one of my favorites so far.  For me, it was all about the eyes.  Every Ipsy Glam Bag subscriber received a Pacifica Eyeshadow in either Ethereal or Treasure.  The items in this bag seemed to be great quality and I really was surprised that I liked every single item I received.

1. Bellapierre Shimmer Powder in Excite(Sort of Full Size)
   Probably my favorite items from this month, those who received one of these in their bag were given one of three colors, Excite, Celebration, and Whesek.  This shimmer powder has a lot of pigment and of course sparkles!  In my bag I was given Excite(a white powder) and fell in love right away.  This powder is very pigmented, so you only need a small amount.  Since I received the white shimmer powder I can use it as a highlighter for my eyes or as an overall shadow.  Though it makes a beautiful highlighter, I prefer to use it as an overall shadow.  Combined with a glitter eyeliner, my eyelids look like they have little diamonds all over them. The most common complaint on the Shimmer Powder page was that this powder was TOO pigmented, so if you are worried about that it is best to apply a tiny amount.  Also, to prevent fallout, wet your shadow brush before you apply the shimmer powder. The size I received has the same amount as the full size, but the container was not in the same type you would get if you went and bought it.  So it is sort of full size, which is nice as the full size is around $15.00.

2. Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush(Full Size)
   I always love getting makeup tools, and this brush was a wonderful addition to my Glam Bag.  The bristles are so soft and really provide a good brush for a lot of different eyeshadow ideas.  It is small enough that you can get more precise as well as all over coverage.  Also, it's pink and thats always an added bonus.  This brush was perfect for the Bellapierre Shimmer powder I received.  A few Ipsters on the Elizabeth Mott Eye Brush page were not thrilled about getting another brush, as they got a different one last month.  Personally, I think you can never have enough brushes so this was no problem for me.

3. Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm(Full Size)
This lip balm has an amazing smell and really left my lips feeling soft and smooth.  I have been using it daily since I got it and will be very sad when I run out.  Many people on the Mojito Lip Balm page really loved the smell as well.  For anyone with really dry or chapped lips I would recommend this!

4. Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream
   Last month this was also a possible sample you could receive from your Glam Bag, but sadly I missed out on it.  Luckily, this month it was available again and I was fortunate enough to be sent one in my Glam Bag. I am ill a lot of the time, so my eyes often look tired and have dark circles under them and this cream seems to help reduce both.  Some people on the Renewing Eye Cream page, and seemed to see more results than others, and I have personally used other, better eye creams.  Though this does help, it may not be my first choice of an eye cream.  

5. Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eyeshadow(full size)
   Every Ipsy subscriber received a Pacifica eyeshadow in either treasure(above) or Ethereal.  I was given the shade treasure and LOVE it.  This eyeshadow has a lot of pigment, and stays on all day when applied with a wet eyeshadow brush.  The shade, treasure, comes out as a metallic tone and even has a little bit of shimmer!  This is a really good get up and go eyeshadow when you don't feel like spending a lot of time on your makeup.  Some subscribers on the Pacifica Ipsy page were not fond of the other shade, Ethereal. While some were able to use it as a highlighter, others said it was almost too pale and was more of an off white than white.  As I received the shadow in treasure, I can not give much of an opinion on the shade Ethereal. Personally, I was thrilled when I saw I had received Treasure, as I was a little concerned that Ethereal would be a little too neutral. I loved this brand of eyeshadow and would recommend it to anyone needing a nicely pigmented eye shadow.

One of my favorite Ipsy bags so far, I look forward to what is to come in the new year.  High quality product, sparkles, and full size samples?  What more do you need?

Want to become a Glam Bag Subscriber? Click Here!!

My Dove #trydry Review

My Dove #trydry Review

Loving my #trydry experience!

My Dove #trydry experience:
   Recently, I have really gotten into product testing and promotion, and one of the sites that I participate in said product testing sent me a free Dove dry spray Deodorant to try and share my opinions on!  As someone who has always used Secret, and has a hard time finding a deodorant that works well, I was skeptical. Boy, was I wrong.  After the first time I tried out the Dove dry spray deodorant I fell in love and have been using it ever since.  This deodorant smells fresh and clean and dries pretty much instantly, leaving your clothes clear of messy deodorant residue!  Also, because it is a spray, it comes out cool and can be delightfully refreshing! This product is one of my faves, and I would recommend anyone wanting a refreshing, non-messy deodorant!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Art Review: Heather Gwinn

Review: Heather Gwinn Art

   Some months ago I discovered an artist who I found really spoke to me.  In December the artist, Heather Gwinn, hosted a 12 days of Christmas giveaway and to my delight and surprise I won one of the prints she was giving away!  The piece I one is called "Blue Funk" and I LOVE it!  The product itself came very carefully wrapped up with no damage from shipping, which can be a problem when shipping prints and artwork, and was also accompanied by a handwritten letter.  Every piece that came in the package, from business cards to certificate of authenticity, were beautiful and had examples of her art on each piece.

   Her art reminds me of a Dali/Escher fusion, with its own unique quality.  This surreal art will leave you looking at each and every detail for hours, contemplating the meaning her art has to you.  Each print seems to have a complete, unique story that really speaks to each person differently.  

   My husband, Andrew, fell in love with Heather Gwinn's art when he first saw the print I won and now wants her art all over our home.  His favorite print is, The Summoning.  This piece has a spooky, eerie quality and the creature in the print seems to stare directly at you from every direction.  At the same time, there is a beauty that keeps you captivated and unable to look away. 

   Heather Gwinn is an artist who knows how to enchant and entangle you in the mysterious world that is her mind.  I will be following this artist for a long time to come, and if you are looking for unique, captivating surreal art, this is a good artist to check out!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

December Ipsy Glam Bag Review

December Ipsy Glam Bag

Decembers glam bag was a 7 out of 10 for me.  The products I got that I like I REALLY loved, but there were two items I was not as fond of.  All Ipsy subscribers received a NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm in one of four colors and a Tarte Deluxe lights, camera, lashes 4-in-1 Mascara. Overall I am very happy with the items I got, and the 3 products I LOVED I use all the time.

1. Beauty Without Cruelty A.H.A. 3% Facial Cleanser
   Probably my least favorite item from this months Glam Bag, this cleanser did not work for me.  It smelled nice, but irritated my skin. I have relatively sensitive skin, so many products that work for others don't work for me.  Reading through the comments on the cleansers Ipsy page others with sensitive skin had similar problems, while others had a positive experience using this product.  My advice, if you have sensitive skin it may be best to avoid this, but if your skin is normal in sensitivity you may very well like this product and it does have a pleasant and refreshing smell. 

2. Cailyn Cosmetics Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid(Full Size Item)
   By far one of my favorite items I received from an Ipsy Glam Bag, this eye polish is beautiful and adds a stunning shimmer to your eyelids.  Because it is a mineral polish, I find that using an eyeshadow primer OR cream eyeshadow before you put on the polish is a good idea and prevents a lot of fallout. This seemed to be one of the chief complaints on the mineral eye polish Ipsy page.  People also seemed to dislike the applicator, and I have to agree it is not the easiest to work with.  Additionally, on the Cailyn Cosmetics Website there are some really interesting examples of how this eye polish can be used for things from eyeliner and nail polish!

3. NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm in Marshmallow - Pure Nude(Full Size Item)
   Every Ipsy Glam Bag subscriber received one of 4 colors of this lip balm(Marshmallow, Red Velvet, Parfait, and Lady Fingers).  I received the shade Marshmallow(pure nude) and was not fond of the color from the beginning.  The balm itself made my lips super soft and it pigmented nicely but the color itself I did not like.  Not being a big fan of nudes and tones like that, I doubt I would have liked it unless it was a different color.  Others with the similar tone seemed to not be fond of it on the Butter Lip Balm Ipsy page, but those who received the a lip balm in one of the other shades seemed to really like this product.  In my opinion the balm in the shade Lady Fingers seemed to be the favorite of the four.

4. Sexy Hair 450° Blow out Heat Defense Blow Dry Spray Mini
   I love, love, love this product!  It has an amazing smell and my hair is super shiny and sleek after blow drying it.  This spray really protects against heated styling tools and I use it every time I blow dry or curl my hair.  The sample size is good, and I think it will last me for awhile.  It is a product I will definitely be buying when I run out of this sample.  On the Sexy Hair Ipsy page there were mixed feelings about this product. Some seemed to get great results while others felt it did not make much of a difference.  Personally, I noticed it is good to use a liberal amount when spraying in you hair as that gets the best results.  The scent bothers some, while others, including me, LOVE the scent.  It comes out smelling clean and fresh and I had no problems with it.

5. Tarte Deluxe lights, camera, lashes
 4-in-1 Mascara
   This Mascara is amazing and every Ipsy Glam Bag subscriber was lucky to get one in there December Glam Bag.  I don't think I have ever used a Mascara that made my lashes so long a full.  It takes a couple coats and it is good to watch the video in the description on the Tarte website to get some hints on how to maximize this product effectiveness.  The size of the sample is the same size as the Tarte mascara in the Best in Faux lash extending fibers set.  The set is $19.00 for both the Deluxe mascara and the Faux lash extending fibers, but I found that the mascara worked very well on its own!  The general consensus on the Tarte Deluxe Mascara Ipsy page is one of extreme satisfaction and delight at receiving such a high quality product that works so amazingly well.

  Overall this Ipsy bag was great and all my criticisms are minor in relation to the value of the products and the use, overall, that is gained from them.