Facial Scrub

One thing I like to do a few times a week at night is use a great scrub to really clean my face and get all the dirt off my skin. Enter, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics’ Ocean Salt Cleanser.

This is the first pot of it I’ve tried and am about a third to half of the way through it. I absolutely love it, so much so, I made my husband try it out. It leaves my face so incredibly smooth.

It is a salt scrub as the name would suggest. It smells divine, almost like a cocktail and the ocean rolled into one. A word of warning though. If you have any open wounds on your face (i.e. popped zit, shaving nick, etc.) it will sting for a hot minute.

What I do is wet my face and put a small amount in my hand (maybe a touch more than this). I rub it between my hands and then onto my face. This doesn’t remove makeup so I usually will use a makeup removing cleanser first and then this scrub. Once I feel my face is good and scrubbed, I rinse it clean and pat dry my face. Then I feel how smooth my cheeks are. I tend to use this scrub every other night when I know I am going to wash my hair the next day in the event I get a little too crazy with the scrub.

I highly recommend the Ocean Salt scrub. It’s the first scrub from Lush I’ve tried and will definitely be purchasing another one when mine is empty.


Soap & Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker XL

I’ve got to admit, I was amused by the name. That is what drew me in to this product. I was at Ulta earlier today and saw this and had to try it. It is Soap & Glory’s Sexy Mother Pucker XL Extreme Plump. It’s a collagen lip gloss that is supposed to make your lips plump.

I got in the car after leaving the store and immediately tried it. I must have put a super thin layer on because I didn’t feel anything at all on the ten minute car ride home. So, of course, I put more on when I got home. Holy tingling batman. The back of the box even says, “Caution: This lipgloss will almost immediately plump, buzz, tingle, and zing. (It’s not for the meek of mouth.)”

I definitely agree with that statement. For about 15 minutes, my lips did nothing but tingle almost to the point of being painful. I think my lower lip definitely looked larger and more plumped. Or it looked like I got punched in the mouth, I’m not quite sure. Now the tingling has subsided and I actually kind of miss it. It has a very sweet, almost brown sugar smell and a nice glossy appearance. If you are looking for larger lips through a lip gloss, this product might be for you.

If you try it, let me know what you think! I’m so curious. I love it and hate it at the same time.

Birchbox: September 2015

On Thursday, I got home from work from a particularly stressful day. I did the usual things first: put my bags down, took my shoes off, fed the cat, and got the mail. In my mailbox was a nice pink box and it was my Birchbox. I was so happy to have received it, finally.

I took photos as I was opening it, so it’s like you’re opening it with me. This month’s box has a lovely design with a nice reminder that everyone is beautiful.

Above, I opened the box and artfully posed all of the samples. This month there are a lot of things. Let’s take a closer look.

First up, love shampoo from Davines. I’ve received samples from Davines before and love their products.

I received a matching conditioner packet as well. Next week I’m traveling for work a couple days, so it will be great to have these two to wash my hair at the hotel. Perfect timing, Birchbox.

I received a perfume sample from English Laundry. It smells AMAZING. I like receiving perfume samples because they usually last a couple weeks and I can really test out a scent. This is a very sweet smelling scent and I’m in love. Perhaps a full size purchase of this may happen soon…

I received a couple items from (MALIN+GOETZ). They are a grapefruit face cleanser and a vitamin E face moisturizer. I then received a green apple peel. I’m looking forward to trying to peel and seeing how it cleans and exfoliates my skin.

Lastly, I received an eye shadow palette from POP Beauty. The colors are gorgeous and I’m looking forward to trying it out soon.

I am very, very happy with this month’s box. I think Birchbox really hit it out of the park with this box and has kept me as a subscriber for a bit longer. The last six months have just been okay, but starting last month and into September they are definitely getting better.

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? Do you have any other monthly subscriptions you like?

September 2015: Ipsy Glam Bag

I received my ipsy glam bag yesterday. Let me show you the goodies. I was extremely pleased with this month’s glam bag.

This month, the bag was a metallic bronze color, as seen in the bottom of the photo. The samples are all pretty good sized.

This eye shadow palette from NYX Cosmetics is so dreamy. You can see in the photo I immediately stuck my finger in each of them. The two browns are a gorgeous metallic color and what appears to be black on the far right is actually an espresso brown that is a matte eye shadow.

I received the ultra repair cream from First Aid Beauty. I’ve used a couple of First Aid Beauty’s products before and have enjoyed them. This cream can be used from head to toe. It’s a great size to throw in a bag. I just tested it and put some on my hands. It has little to no scent at all. My hands feel moisturized without being greasy. I like it! On the right, is an argon oil from Octavio. I’ve never heard of Octavio, but I can always use more argon oil to put on the ends of my hair before blow drying.

This is a matte lip crayon from treStique. The color is a nice nude as show on the end of the lip crayon. I will definitely give it a go.

Lastly, I received queen of the fill by Elizabeth Mott. It is a tinted brow gel to sweep through the brows. I like these kinds of products. The color I received is light medium, so that should be okay.

All in all, I feel like this month’s ipsy glam bag was good. I think I will get the most use out of the tinted brow gel, eye shadow palette, and the lotion. I am still on the fence about ipsy as a whole since I’ve been a subscriber of Birchbox for so long. I’m going to keep going with ipsy for a couple more months and then decide between the two.

Do you subscribe to ipsy? If so, did you get any of the same samples? What are your thoughts on them?

Brush Cleaning

On Sundays, I like to clean my make up brushes. It lets me start the week out fresh. By the end of the week, my brushes begin to look a little gross.

The photo above is after two weeks of use. Usually, if I miss brush washing on Sunday mornings I will put it off until the next Sunday. I try to wash my brushes at least once every two weeks.

I will wash all the brushes I have used and that are dirty. For the most part, the above brushes are the ones I use all the time. You can see especially on the blush brush (pink handle) it is well used. The tips of the bristles should be white.

My soap of choice is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. I really like the peppermint scent. Honestly, this soap is great. I use it to mop my floors as it is pet safe and use it on my makeup brushes since it is super gentle.

I start out by wetting the brush. I take a drop or two of the soap in my hand and swirl the bristles around my hand until it is nice and foamy.

I then rinse the soap out. If the brush didn’t get fully clean and a second washing is needed, I repeat the process. Then, I reshape the brush and lay it on a washcloth to dry. Repeat with all brushes.

So fresh and so clean. I’m going to tell you a secret. Up until about a year ago, I maybe cleaned my makeup brushes once every six months to a year. I know, not good. Washing your brushes is important because they can harbor bacteria and if you use the same brush over and over, your skin can get irritated. My skin tends to break out when it gets irritated.

There is something so great about starting Monday morning off with clean brushes. Mondays are hard, so something this simple makes Mondays a bit more bearable. Do you clean your brushes regularly? What kind of cleaner do you use?

Sunday Musings

I can’t believe it is already Sunday again. The weekend has flown by. My sister-in-law and nephew were visiting this weekend. It was so great to see her and awesome to meet the little guy.

A couple weeks ago at Target I saw Yes to Grapefruit Pore Perfection Night Treatment. It is a treatment to put on at night (as the name suggests) to minimize and reduce pores. I was very intrigued and interested. I picked it up this afternoon at Target after looking at it multiple times. I haven’t yet used it, but can’t wait to give it a try. I think the coolest part is the pump at the very top. We will see how it goes.

I’ve made this angel food cake now twice in my life. I think it is a feat to make an angel food cake from scratch and I want to do it again and again. Let me know when you want to make a cake and I will stop by!

Do you have houseplants? The only houseplants I am really good at growing are plants from Ikea. I just watered them and looking around my living room, I’m proud of what they have become.

It is the middle of September which means fall is right around the corner. I’m thinking pumpkin everything is going to need to happen real soon. After fall though, that means winter is coming. I am not ready for the cold.

Come back later this week. Things are going to get super clean. Stay tuned!

Brand Focus: tarte cosmetics

I want to talk to you about my favorite cosmetic brand – tarte cosmetics. Tarte is a brand I began using a few years ago when I started caring more about what products I put on my skin.

As you can see, I’ve accumulated quite a collection.

On tarte’s website, they say all of their products are made without parabens, mineral oil, phthalats, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and gluten. I feel like their products are light and do not clogs my pores.

You can see from my photo above, I have the showstopper clay palette – in the top right corner. I got this palette about a month ago and have been seriously loving it. In the bottom right corner, there are two foundations – the Amazonian clay full coverage foundation (brown tube) and the beyond BB perfecting liquid foundation (white tube). The full coverage foundation is almost empty. I should just use the rest of it up, but I have been saving it for whatever reason. The beyond BB foundation is new to me and I really like it. It has a quite dewy finish while still being matte enough that I’m not oily.

The cylinder with the bamboo top is the Amazonian clay full coverage airbrush foundation. It is a mineral foundation. I don’t use it as much anymore, but it is great during the summer when you want something lighter on your skin. The cylinder with the brown and gold top is the smooth operator Amazonian clay finishing powder. This is a loose powder that is white and goes on sheer. It is a nice mattifying powder. The two blushes are the Amazonian clay 12-hour blush. Bottom left is the color exposed and top middle is the color glisten. Their blushes are probably my favorite item from tarte since they have a huge range of colors and the quality is great. There is an eyeliner, the lights camera lashes precision longwear eyeliner in black. This one is actually fairly dried out and I should toss it.

Lastly, I have three brushes by tarte. The large fluffy one on the right is the buffer airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush. The round one pictured in the middle on the left side is the airbuki bamboo powder foundation brush. I use that brush with the mineral foundation. The last brush on the top left is a brush that came with the beyond BB foundation. I looked on their website and couldn’t find a name for the brush, so who knows.

As you can see, I obviously love tarte. I love them as brand. I wouldn’t say their products are on the cheap side, but I feel you definitely get your money’s worth. A little bit of the product goes a long way. I also am signed up for emails from tarte and usually will order a product or two during their friends and family sale. I got 30% off on the showstopped palette and the beyond BB foundation. And I just realized now I forgot to include the clean slate 360 degree 12-hour smoothing eye primer. I use that daily as my eye shadow primer. It is definitely my favorite eye primer out there.

Do you use any tarte products reguarly? As I mentioned in my last post, tarte is now available on QVC. If you try tarte for the first time, let me know!