Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 2015 Surprise Products of the Month

This was a good month of playing around with stuff.  Here we go!

Christie Brinkley 3pc Age-Defying Skincare Regimen

So my drugstore skincare bandwagon has come to an end lol! This was a Today's Special on HSN and of course, I was curious and ended up ordering it. I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised by all 3 items. I love that this is a set that you can incorporate into your current skincare routine. The Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish is really nice and not abrasive at all. The Recapture Day + IR Defense Cream and Recapture 360 Night Beauty Treatment are awesome. I have oily skin and I'm usually leery of moisturizers with SPF since they usually contribute to more oil on my face. This one is awesome and it seems to mattify my skin. My makeup the last few weeks and gone on smoothly and has looked really good all day. I haven't really needed to blot my face as much either. The night cream is luxurious and my skin feels so soft and smooth when I wake up the next morning. So glad I signed up for autoship. Can't wait to see what else comes to HSN from the brand.

KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Glossifier

My scalp can get dry which turns to itchy. It has been dry and itchy more so than usual this winter, so I poked around looking at this and that. My hairdresser uses this product on my hair when I get it done. I've used it in the past but couldn't really remember if I liked it or not. So I stopped at Ulta and got it along with the shampoo and conditioner in the line. The Glossifier however is the star. I used it daily for a week straight and I see and feel the difference it had on my scalp and my hair. The following week I used it every other day just for giggles. I'll see once the warmer weather hits if I'll have to adjust how often I used it but this will stay in my hair care rotation.

Nivea Extended Moisture Body Lotion

I picked this lotion up from Ulta the same day I got the KeraCare products. This winter has done a number on my skin as well. My face is still oily but the rest of my body is dry dry dry! It's not that bad but since it has been so cold, all the doggone heat that has been pumping indoors and the dry air hasn't helped matters either. This stuff is awesome! It sinks into my skin nicely and keeps my skin moisturized all day, It's inexpensive and you get a ton of product. I guess I shouldn't be surprised liking this so much since I love the Nivea Creme that  I use as a hand cream. When I use this up I may check out some of the other Nivea lotions. Poking around on Ulta's site, every product has really good reviews.

Coach Poppy Freesia Blossom

This was a Christmas gift that I hadn't used until about the middle of the month. I wore it every day for a week. It is described as a "a sweet, indulgent fragrance". The notes in this scent are: Bergamot, Cassis, Raspberry, Mara Strawberry natureprint, Apricot, Star Jasmine, White Orchid, Tiare Tahiti natureprint, Freesia, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Musk. It is a good mix of sweet and musky which I like. This will probably be my go to fragrance once the warmer weather truly hits. But honestly I would wear this year round.

Safeway Care Cotton Oval Rounds

I know, I know. What's so earth shattering about cotton ovals? I randomly saw this in Safeway as a new item. They are a lot larger than your typical cotton rounds. So I was like oh I can use these with the CVS Cold Cream Deep Cleanser (Ponds dupe). It's quite messy and I've already stained a washcloth. So I deiced to give these a whirl and I really like them. I have also used them with a cleansing water and they work well too. So score for a random grocery store find.

Shea Moisture 10-in-1 Renewal Hair Masque

Another product I scooped from Ulta. My last hair appointment I had to cut a good bit of my hair off and I was PISSED! I know it's only hair but I was hot to trot. But after like a day, I was fine and actually like the cut. It's not a short as I thought it was. I am kinda lazy when it comes to deep conditioning my hair. I had already been using the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Masque from Shea Moisture but wanted to check out something else. So I grabbed this. I have been alternating this with the Jamaican Black Castor Oil one. I really like the results. After using this, my hair is soft, more manageable and moisturized. So we'll see what comes from my next hair appointment.

And on to the meh....

Aveeno Creamy Moisturizing Oil

I picked up the Aveeno Creamy Moisturizing Oil when Aveeno products were on sale at Ulta.  I got this before I got the Nivea product I mentioned earlier. I've had success with Aveeno products. So I decided to give a whirl to see if would help with my dry skin issues. It did not help keep my skin moisturized which is shocking. I think this will be fine for me come spring, summer and early fall. So I don't hate it. I do actually like it but just right now, it's not season appropriate for me. I went ahead and gave what I had left to my mom. Maybe I'll pick up again if I can catch it on sale during the warmer months.

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Espresso

The Too Faced liner came in a set that I picked up from HSN a while ago. I hadn't used it in a while and I was going to give it away but I was like nope, let me give it another whirl. I LOVE the color since I like dark brown liners. It glides on easily and is super smooth BUT this no joker does not last on me at all. It's so frustrating. I'm tired of trying to make it work and I don't even feel like going through the motions of trying to find someone to get it to. So it the trash it's going.

And there you have it. Next up will be March favorites!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Product Play March 2015

Can you believe that it's already March??! I feel like January was just yesterday. Oye! But still I'm glad to see February go! I had dental work that knocked me on my azz for about two weeks, very cold weather and lots of snow and a car accident to end out the month. Peace out February!

Here's what I'm playing around with this month.

Palette Play

Chocolate Bar palette, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar palette

So I finally caved and picked up both Chocolate Bar palettes from Too Faced. I got both palettes from HSN. The original Chocolate Bar palette was included in the Too Faced Better Than Chocolate 4-piece Essentials set that was a Today's Special. The set was the same price as the palette alone. What sealed the deal for me was that I had a credit on my account. So I ended get the set for about $33. The Semi-Sweet palette, I ended up getting due to free shipping and a 20% off coupon. I've already did a couple of matte looks with both palettes and I really liked how the looks turned. Also both palettes smell like chocolate! This is going to be fun!

Polish Play

I placed a Zoya order last month. I had a really good coupon code from the Cyber Monday Mystery Bag. I'm telling you, if you see the mystery bag deal, get it! For $15 and what you get, it's an awesome deal! I picked up four polishes.

Aurora, Monet, Chanelle, Dream

I also pulled out the other six full size polishes I have from Zoya. So March is Zoya month!

Ibiza, Envy, Storm, Pasha, Nimue, Freja

Out of My Face

philosophy Living Grace Perfumed Olive Oil Body Scrub, philosophy Senorita Margarita Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath, Bath & Body Works Cashmere Glow Shower Gel

From last month, I did use up the Fresh Cream items. I'm still working on the Black Radiance primer and the Elasta QP hair moisturizer. I'm going to throw in three more bath and body products. I don't think I'll use them up by the end of the month, but I would like to get them close to empty. I told you all that I lost my mind getting bath and body products last year. So you'll be seeing a lot of them posted here *insert deep sigh*.

And off we go!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 2015 Top 5

And the fun continues!

This month was good month. So let's get to it!

Starbucks Chestnut Praline Flavored Syrup

The Chestnut Praline Latte was a new drink at Starbucks last year. I had it several times and really enjoyed it. The Starbucks near my office had the syrup on sale for $9.95. Every time I would go in, I kept looking at it and looking at it. I finally picked it up and I got one for a gift. It is SO GOOD! I have a Keurig at home. I'll add a little bit in my cup before I brew my coffee. I have also used it when I've made hot chocolate at home. I'm so glad I caved and picked it up! As you can see I have put a serious dent in it!

Black Radiance BB Cream

Black Radiance has gotten a lot of  my money this month! This was a random purchase one Sunday morning when I was in CVS. I picked it up in Coffee Glaze and Chocolate. I'm terrible at color matching myself. I like Coffee Glaze more so than Chocolate. Chocolate is a little too dark for me, so I went ahead and gave to a friend to try. I also ended up getting the shade Brown Sugar. I think it might be a better fit for me over the summer. So I'll hold on it to it and see how it goes. Coffee Glaze may work for me year round. This BB Cream is awesome! It covers what I need to cover and it has some excellent coverage. It blends into the skin nicely and gives you a matte finish. This is a perfect everyday product for any type of makeup lover. So glad I took a chance on this product and will definitely scoop up another tube of Coffee Glaze.

Black Radiance True Complexion Under Eye Concealer

I got this along with the BB Cream. Wasn't expecting much and the only reason I picked it up was due to the 50% off sticker on the packaging lol. Turns out this is a really nice concealer. It's very close to my skin tone. I've used it on my face and under my eyes. The stick side I use under my eyes along with Bare Minerals Stroke of Light. I love the combo of these two together. The other side is a liquid but it isn't runny and it has a doe foot applicator. I use it on any dark marks on my face that need some extra coverage and on my upper lip. I'm curious about checking it out in a lighter shade for brightening/a possible replacement to Bare Minerals Stroke of Light *gasp* lol!!! We'll see if that happens. Y'all know I loves me some Stroke of Light from Bare Minerals.

Black Radiance Perfect Tone Lipstick in Cognac

I have 3 other lipsticks from Black Radiance that I enjoy. I was looking for some newer shades that I heard about but I didn't see them. But Cognac caught my eye. This a very pretty everyday shade for me. Its mix of brown and red but it's not too warm. The mornings when I did not know what to put on my lips, I threw this on. It goes with just about any eye and blush combo. These lipsticks are pigmented, have awesome staying power and you cannot beat the price.

Real Techniques Brushes

Not a particular brush but just all of them were my favorite this month. Again I kind of cheating here. I'm using all the ones I have now and you can tell they are used since they are dirty in the picture lol. I do have some other brushes mixed but the majority of them are Real Techniques. I always enjoy using them and whenever I travel for work, they are the brushes that I take with me. But for some reason, I really have been enjoying them more so this month. I could probably get rid of my other brushes and just use the Real Techniques. And I have thought about that. They are so soft, apply product nicely and they are easy to clean. I also like that they are multipurpose. They can be used with cream, liquid or powder products. I did pick up two from the Bold Metals collection which are a a higher price point from their main collection. I am enjoying those as well. If you are looking for good quality brushes and don't want to spend a lot of money, check Real Techniques brushes out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

And done!

On to March and hopefully warmer weather!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

February 2015 Surprise Products of the Month

Hey party people! Long time no "see"! I had some dental work done early this month and it was rough couple of weeks afterwards. Plus winter has decided to show up and show out the last week or so. Fun times. Any who...

I was going to include these items in my Top 5 post for February but then it started to get kind of long. So voila a separate post. I may not do this every month. But if I have some products like this to talk about then I'll do a post separate from favorites. Sound good?

This month has been the month of face products from the drugstore. You'll see some more face stuff in my Top 5 post. So here we go!

Covergirl Queen All Day Flawless Foundation

I FINALLY was able to see the Covergirl Queen All Day Flawless foundation in person. Well let me step back. I  attempted to check it out in Hel-Mart (Wal-Mart) butttttt the display was so messy and people had opened and used the product! I was so disgusted, I left and didn't even bother checking again to see if the display had been refreshed. Before a dentist appointment, I peeked into a Walgreens that I check out from time to time. Now I hadn't been in this Walgreens for a while, but from previous visits I've never saw the Covergirl Queen collection in this store.  This trip I was like on my! They had a TON of stuff from the collection including the foundation. I also picked up the CC Cream but I haven't gotten into it yet. I am terrible at color matching myself and I had looked at this foundation online when I was going to try and order a shade. A friend of mine has been using the foundation and we're about the same skin tone. So I grabbed the one she had been using as a starting point. I picked up Mocha Q835. This is an awesome shade match for me! It blends so nicely into the skin, the coverage is awesome, it has SPF 20 and you don't feel it on your skin. It also held up nicely on my face during the day. I love the is has a pump. A lot of foundations at the drugstore don't have one. I was curious to try it but I was truly surprise by this foundation. There may be a new favorite that isn't a Bare Minerals foundation for 2015 *gasp*.

Black Radiance Soft Focus Finishing Powder

Black Radiance has launched a new finishing powder. I got mine from CVS. The display does have testers which is nice. There are three shades and I was thinking the middle shade would be best for me. But the display only had the lightest and deepest shades available by the time I made my way over to the store. I kept looking at the deeper shade which is Milk Chocolate. I thought it would be too dark but I went ahead and got it. When I got home, I put it next to my Bobbi Brown Loose Powder in Basic Brown and they looked exactly the same. So I was like ok this was the better choice of the two but still I wasn't expecting much from it. I've been using it for the majority of the month and it is a really nice powder. The one thing that gets on my nerves is the packaging. It's rather larger and hard to open. I have to use a hair clip to open it every doggone time. Other than that I have been really enjoying it. I still may go back and pick up the middle shade for giggles. We shall see.

Zoya Matte Velvet Lipstick

I got this lipstick in the Mystery Bag from Cyber Monday. I actually forgot I had it until it was looking in bag that the items came in. I thought I took it out. Smh. This is another product I wasn't expecting much from but this is a really nice matte lipstick. It's comfortable to wear and doesn't dry out my lips. It also has some serious staying power. I looked on Zoya's website and I saw lipglosses but no lipsticks. So maybe it's something new coming for 2015. I would be interested in trying more shades. One thing I don't like that there isn't anything printed on the lipstick packaging. It's a basic black tube. So I kept the box so I know what the heck it is. It also doesn't have a shade name. It's a pretty deep red shade.


Yes Noxzema! I haven't used to this in yearssssssss. This is product that makes me think of my dad. This is what he used (and I think he still does) to wash his face and he's always had pretty decent skin. I used it when I was in high school and maybe college. I came across this article, 8 classic cold creams to save your skin this winter. I was like hmmmm. So I scooted over to CVS and picked it up along with the CVS version of Ponds. Jury is still out on Ponds. I got the Classic Clean version. There are two other versions. I've mainly been using Noxzema in the morning and evening on the days that I don't wear makeup. I've really been enjoying it. It makes my skin soft and smooth. I also feel like it's helped clear my skin up as well. When I was in Bed, Bath & Beyond, I saw it in a bottle with a pump. I'm debating if I want to pick it for work travel since there ain't no way I'm travelling with this huge jar. Sometimes it pays to go old school lol. Today on QVC, philosophy has a Today's Special Value. I knew it was coming and looked at it before today. It's a nice configurations but I loudly told my NOPE! I have mix of products that are working for me and I like the prices too! I was able to score a good deal on the L'Oreal Youth Code products that I have been using from drugstore.com. Also the Bed, Bath & Beyond I when to as a NICE skin care section and I always have a coupon from them. See I'm getting better.

And I do have a meh product to talk about -___-

LaVanilla The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla

I picked up a mini LaVanilla deodorant from Sephora. They had it in the area of stuff just before the cash register. I have been curious about using a more natural deodorant. I mentioned back in my October 2014 Favorites about my deodorant issues. At first I really did like this. Then I noticed that it wasn't keeping my underarms dry. I know it ins't an antiperspirant. Then I started noticing an order. I was like oh hayle to the naw lol!!!! I'll continue to use it until it's done and maybe I'll have a change of heart. But right now I don't plan on repurchasing it.

And there you have it! Next up my Top 5 for February!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Product Play February 2015

Hello February!

The month of love *insert eye roll* and the end of the football season *tears*. Here's what I'm play around with and what I'm trying to use up this month.

Palette Play

I had gone back and forth on whether not I wanted to get the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. I finally made up my mind thatI would get my hands on it in 2014. I lucked up and got it  for a really good price from a blog sale. It pretty much looks brand new. I've purchased stuff from this person before and she's good with her makeup. I don't just buy anything from anyone. Trust and believe! I see some folks selling makeup that's all beat up and stuff. Just trifling I tell ya!

I haven't used the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette in a while, so let's show it some love.

Polish Play

I need more polish like I need another hole in my head *sigh*.  I'm still on an OPI kick. I placed an order on Amazon and ended up picking up 1 full size polish in Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm! and 2 sets of minis. It irks me to NO end that OPI doesn't print the polish name on the minis. They are only listed on the packaging. Grrrrrr!!!! So I'm going to add these to the mix and still play around with some polishes I didn't use from last month.

Out of  My Face

Last month the three products that I wanted to use up were Wen Fall Apple Spice Cleansing Conditioner, CVS Cocoa Butter Petroleum Jelly and Aveeno Positively Nourishing  Comforting Whipped Souffle. I was successful in using up these 3 products in January! Woohoo!

Here is what I want to use up this month:

philosophy Fresh Cream Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath, philosophy Fresh Cream Body Lotion, Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer, Black Radiance Shine Control Primer

Some of these may carry over in March. But that's fine. The goal is to make up effort to use to stuff up!

Annnnnnd gooooooo!

Monday, January 26, 2015

January 2015 Top 5

I hope that everyone's new year is off to a great start!

I went back and forth on what I was going to do for favorites this year. It's funny that I hate writing and have blog. Anywho...I didn't want a long list of stuff like last year. Plus since I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff, I didn't want to end up talking about "the same" products. Makes sense?

There will be repeats I'm sure. So I'm going to try my best to stick the 5 products/looks that I absolutely enjoyed using and wearing for the month. Let's see how this goes...HA!

Here are the four products and an eye look that I have been loving for January.

elf Mineral Primer

elf had a 40% off promo in December and I picked up this primer in Clear based off of a friend's recommendation. I really really like it. Here is the product description from elf's website:
"Transform your face into a flawless and smooth canvas with the Mineral Infused Face Primer. Developed to combat against excess oil, flaky dryness, enlarged pores and fine lines. This clear multipurpose skin primer will prepare your skin so makeup goes on evenly for a long lasting satin finish."
It goes on nicely and fills in my pores to smooth out my skin. I've used this will liquid and mineral foundation and it works well with both. I've also noticed that it helps maintain my oily skin. My forehead still gets shiny but it's not as bad as it can be. I did alternate this with Rimmel's Matte primer and compared the two. I like Rimmel primer more but I still enjoy this primer. It'll be interesting to see how this holds once the warmer weather hits.

 elf Blush Palette in Dark

This was another item that was in my elf order. There is also a palette in Light but I decided not to get it. But according to my friend, I need to get it lol. The shades in the palette are pigmented, easy to blend and are not chalky. This would be a good palette to travel with. It reminds me on my Bobbi Brown blush palette that I put together in terms of the packaging. Now mind you I had to get the blushes separately and the empty palette. So without a doubt this elf palette is the better deal. My go to blush was the one on the bottom right. It's a pretty deeper pinky plum shade. The one that surprised me the most was the one on the top left. It's the perfect peachy pink shade for deeper skin tones. This just may be my blush favorite for the year. Calling it early am I?  I've already made myself but it away because I could seriously keep using in through February. But y'all have seen my blush drawer *head palm*

OPI Suzi Has a Swede Tooth

If you checked out my Best of Beauty 2014 post then you might have seen my fingers floating around in some of the pics. This is the polish that I'm wearing and I really really like it. I have various pink nail polishes and I like them. But this one for some reason really caught my eye. I like how it looks against my skin tone. If I had to get rid of all my pink nail polishes and just keep this one, I'd been fine with that. This will get a lot of use from me once the warmer temperatures roll around.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velvet Lipsticks

I ordered the bundle of 3 from the Jeffree Star Cosmetics website I'm gifting the pink shade called Prom Night to a friend. I kept Red Rum and I'm Royalty. Liquid lipsticks are the new lip trend and everyone seems to have them or they are launching them this year. For some reason the ones from Jeffree Star Cosmetics caught my eye. These are fantastic. They are SUPER long wearing but I didn't feel like they dry out my lips. They are pigmented and not for the faint of heart. Both apply on the bright side. When I first put them on I was like ummmmm o_O!! But once they dried down, I was ok with wearing them. Looks like a pinky nude shade will be launching soon and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Brown Smokey Eye

Sooooo the MAC quads that I mentioned in January Product Play got NO LOVE this month. Oye. I may try to use them again. Or take it as a sign that they need to go. Not sure how I feel about just straight giving them away since MAC quads aren't cheap. Anywho...

I'm kind of "cheating" here since I'm mentioning more than one product but this eye look has been a go to for me in January and these are the products I used to achieve the look. Some mornings I just want something quick and simple and this kind of eye look is it for me. I can wear whatever blush and lip combo and keep it moving.  I could wear a brown smokey eye everyday and be happy. Which is telling and may help me the next time I go through my makeup stash to purge more stuff. That's the hope anyway. The two main products I used the most this month to create this look were the Jordana 12 HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in Tenacious Brown and elf baked eyeshadow in Chocolate Dream.  I also used the Jordana pencil with Darkhorse from the Naked palette. One morning I used Tarte's shadow pencil which in a bronze shade with the elf shadow and it was so pretty for more of dark bronze/brown smokey eye. The Jordana pencil is matte and is a good alternative to a black shadow pencil since it is a nice dark brown shade. I've worn the elf baked shadow on its on all over the lid as a one shadow look and it's very pretty without a base.

And done! That wasn't too painful. I probably could have listed a few more products but I'm sticking to my guns and only picking 5!

See you in February!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Lovin: 2015 Non-Fiction Reads

Here are my non-fiction reads for 2015!

Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from The Underground Railroad

I picked this book from a African-American book store during a book event featuring on of my favorite authors. I got this a long time ago and never read. I'm always up to read anything about black history.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

I picked this up from a bookstore in Portland during a work trip in 2013. When I got home I gave to my mom to read. She enjoyed and she read it no time. I had heard about what happened to Henrietta Lacks and it struck a nerve with me. So I wanted to read this book.

Dreams from My Father

Once President Obama was elected, I went out and purchased several books he authored. I think this was his first book.

Steve Jobs

I picked this up based off of a recommendation from my boss. She loves all things Apple and Steve Jobs. Our office is a Mac shop. I do like my iMac. I "claim" to be lightweight anti-Apple lol.

Nellie Quander, An Alpha Kappa Alpha Pearl.

And we have a bonus book! I originally said I was going to pull out 4 books.  Fancy I know. I bought this book in 2008 during our Centennial celebration. I have a ton of books about my sorority. Some I have read a while ago and some I haven't read at all. So why start with this once. Along with black history, I love reading about women's history as well. This encompasses both.

Let the reading commence!