Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 2014 Favorites

Here's what I've been loving for the month of December!


I had a feeling that the Stila In the Moment palette would be a favorite when I picked it up. If I had gotten it earlier in the year, it may have been my favorite palette of 2014. But I haven't played around with it long enough to give it that title. This is an awesome neutral palette and it's a complete palette! I didn't have to add any other shadows to complete a look. It has a dark brown shadow which I love and it also has a black shadow which isn't a "scary" black shadow. Meaning that it's pigmented but not hard to blend. The shadows go nicely, easy to blend and have very nice staying power. This just might be my work travel palette for next year. It's easy to pack and easy to use. Not once when I used this I had to stare at and try to figure out a look. My "beauty mind" was like ok, these are the shadows we're using today and go! This was an awesome deal at $20. If you can get your hands on it  at the sale price, I say grab it.


I ordered the philosophy fresh cream ultimate 5 pc collection w/gift bag from QVC on auto delivery and I'm so glad I did. Fresh Cream has become my new favorite scent from philosophy. I also love that everything in this set is regular sized! I usually jump on the super sized bandwagon for philosophy products. But I've said that I'm done with super sized. The product I have been loving most from this is the lip shine. The Fresh Cream scent translates differently from product to product. The lip shine smells so freaking good! The product itself is not super sticky and is moisturizing on the lips. It's the product I have been reaching for at night to put on my lips. When I wake up in the morning, my lips feel soft and hydrated.

I picked up some of the new Maybelline Creamy Matte lipsticks online from Ulta when they had a 40% off promo along with buy one, get one 50% off. I think it was the Saturday after Thanksgving. An amazing deal right? One of the colors I didn't get due to it being out of stock was Siren in Scarlet. Ulta needs to do better with that but at least they didn't cancel my entire order. I heard that they did that during Black Friday. I got 5 colors and the one I have reached for the most is Divine Wine. No surprises there right? I love my berry shades. I also enjoyed wearing Lust for Blush and Mesmerizing Magenta. For a matte lipstick these are creamy and goes on very very smoothly. The pigmentation is great and the staying power on these is AWESOME! Yes I'm shouting lol. If you are looking for a good matte lipstick check these out. I'm definitely getting the red.


I had some breakout issues this month. So I pulled out the Bare Minerals Blemish Ready foundation again to see how it would work. I do feel that it did help heal the breakouts on my face. It does contain my favorite acne fighting ingredient Salicylic Acid. When I first got this foundation and was using it, I didn't really have any breakouts going on to test their acne fighting claims. I'm happy to say that it worked for me. So this is a definite keeper in my beauty arsenal.

I thought I have mentioned Bobbi Brown's Highlight Powder in Bronze Glow. This was part of her holiday collection and it is pure awesomeness! I have raved about her shimmer bricks before and how easily they are to apply and how they wear nicely on the skin. This one is no different. It gives you this pretty glow that is not glittery. Trying to decide if this or Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector will be my favorite highlight product for 2014. That post is coming, so stay tuned for that.


I made a Bath & Body Works run when I had a 20% off coupon and they had several promos going on. I picked up two of the Vanilla Bean Noel Body Creams. I have also shopped the Semi Annual Sale twice and got another tube *head palm*. Somehow I missed out on picking this scent up last year. If you are a vanilla lover then you have to check this out. I have always loved Bath & Body Works' Body Creams. They recently revamped the formula and it's even better. This is true vanilla scent. It's not overly sweet or fake smelling like some vanilla scents can be. The key note are: Fresh Vanilla Bean, Warm Caramel, Sugar Cookies, Whipped Cream and Snow-kissed Musk. Almost sounds like a dessert, minus the musk.

Korres released a new scent in their shower gels and body butters. The new scent Cinnamon Vanilla is EVERYTHING! OMG! It is so good! This is my new favorite Korres scent! It's a good mix of sweet and spicy. It's not too spicy that you couldn't use this all year. Well at least I would but everyone's nose is different. It'll mix well with other vanilla scented fragrances. I rarely write product reviews online but I had to share my thoughts on HSN's site. I picked up the duo which is a super awesome value. When I ordered, free shipping was available

Random Stuff

Last year I pick up a Twisted Peppermint candle from Bath and Body Works and loved it. I ended up getting 3 this year from two different trips. I gifted one and the other 2 are for me lol. I just love the scent. The peppermint is not overwhelming and it has a creamy side to it as well. It is described as "merry and bright peppermint celebrates the season with vanilla and sugary musk."

If you are an Amazon Prime member, then you HAVE to download the Amazon Music app to your smartphone, tablet, laptop or whateva so you can stream music for free. You can add various songs and albums to your library for free (as long as you maintain your Prime membership). I have had fun searching through the music and adding stuff to my library. I have the app on my phone. I'll plug in my headphones and just zone out. They also have various playlists as well. It's awesome.

Another app that has consumed a lot of my time is Candy Crush Soda! I've played Candy Crush Saga and got hooked on it but then I kind of fell off with it. When I saw that a new version was coming out, I said I would NOT download it. Well yea that didn't last long lol!!!!

Surprise Products of the Month

I ended up returning the Buxom Dolly's High Roller palette I picked up during the VIB sale and exchanged it for the Urban Decay On The Run palette. From the reviews I've read, it seems like people aren't happy with the packaging. I guess they were expecting something more "compact" for travel. I would totally travel with this. It is pretty much your full face. I love that the eyeshadows are all new shades. They are true to the quality of other Urban Decay shadows. They are pigmented and easy to apply. My favorite is Dare (second from the right). It reminds me of Buck from the original Naked palette but a tad deeper. Also I have never tried any of Urban Decay's Naked lip glosses until I picked up this palette. The gloss in the palette is called Sesso. It's described as a rose pink shimmer. It is very pretty and feels so good on the lips. I am overall pleased with this palette. Check it out if you can.

Nothing to report on nail favorites and no meh products either.

And there you have it! Woohoo! Not a lot of stuff but I really enjoyed using these products for the month on December.

Thank you SO much for taking the time to read my ramblings, commenting and sharing my posts. I hope that everyone had a Merry Merry Christmas or whatever it is you celebrate during the holiday season. If you are going out tonight for New Year's, please be safe. "See" you all in January for more favorites shenanigans!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Book Lovin - 2015 Reading Goals

(Courtesy of Microsoft)

Well this thread didn't get a lot of love this year lol. I only read 53 books this year. Which is down from last year. In years past, I would set a goal of how many books I want to read. Not sure I'm ready to do that for 2015.

Last December I posted my reading goals for 2014. And well yea...I had good intentions. I did tackle my wish list but it needs some more work.

I have gone through my books again for the year. This time there was no wishy washy going on! I have a bag now ready to donate. I have my "library" on a spreadsheet and I would like to inventory my books. Especially since I feel like some books are MIA.

I saw a reading challenge floating around on Facebook that made me go hmmmm. One of the items was read a non-fiction book. I was going to try and read one non-fiction book a month. Now I think I may aim to read one a quarter, ending up with 4 for the year. I may go ahead and pick them out and I may do a post of them.

Then talking with one of my book loving sorority sisters, I realized that I am behind on a lot of series books that I have started. I was like oye vey! So I am going to try and get caught up on those.

Also I'm going to try and take advantage of the library bit more. Mainly borrowing eBooks. Borrowing print books from the library sometimes gives me the hebejebes lol. Some people are trifling with how they handle library books!

Doesn't seem like much but I think this is doable. It's enough to not get overwhelmed.

Let the reading begin!

Out of My Face - 2014 Edition (Recap)

This is my 200th post! Woot!!

In February, I posted a laundry list of products that I want to use up by the end of the year.

Was I successful?

Here is what I actually used up:
  • Bare Minerals Original Foundation in Golden Deep
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
  • Philosophy Unconditional Love Shower Gel
  • Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel and Body Butter 
  • Mally Face Defender
  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate
  • Out the Door Top Coat
This item was "indirectly" on my list but I didn't post about it lol. Weird I know. I used up:
  • Bare Minerals Matte Foundation in Warm Deep - Good thing since I determined that this is not my shade even though I got "matched" in it. Hmph! I noticed that it turned red on me. I was like what the what??! So I'm sticking with Golden Deep. I can pretty much wear it all year.
Some items I just got fed trying to use up or they went bad, so the following go tossed:
  • Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss - I just couldn't finish it, It was starting to get gunky and I don't like potted lip products.  
  • Mally Glosses - As I was wearing these, I noticed that as the day progressed the worse of my lips would get. These were the cause. I had some newer Mally glosses and I wore those without any issues. Also these 3 didn't smell as sweet as the newer ones. They weren't rancid but you could definitely tell that the product started to turn. Glosses in general don't have a long shelf life but these definitely don't last long. So I don't plan on buying any more of these anytime soon.
  • MAC Lipstick in Call My Bluff - MAC lipsticks and glosses have a vanilla scent to them. Well the scent was gone and it didn't smell all that great. So I pitched it. I have another one that I got from a blog sale. 
  • MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass - Another lippie I just couldn't finish. It was still ok but it was time to toss it. I'm not a fan of MAC Lipglasses and haven't not repurchased any in a good while. I think I only have 2 left in my stash but only because I really like the colors.
  • Bath and Body Works Creamy Coconut Body Splash - I tried to use this up but I just wasn't reaching for it. Also when I sprayed it, it smelled more of alcohol than the Creamy Coconut scent.
  • Buxom Dolly - I ended getting this again in a set I had purchased from Sephora. So I tossed the one I had since it was time and I had used most of it. But since I returned the set, I don't have it anymore. I may repurchase it at some point since I don't have any other mauvey lipglosses and it is a long time favorite.
And I didn't use up the following:
  • MAC Lipstick in Heroine
  • Urban Decay Perversion Eyeliner & Mally Evercolor Eyeliner in Onyx. I ended up giving the Mally liner away when I was purging items from my stash. Perversion is my favorite black pencil liner. So there was not need to keep the Mally one.
  • Bare Minerals 100% Natural Lipgloss in Glazed Donut
  • Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
There you have it. I will continue to use the items that I didn't use up. Not a bad effort.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Back to Basics - Skin Care Update

Back in October of last year, I posted about some skincare products I had been using and what my current skincare routine was at the time. At the time, I was enjoying everything that I was using.  In my June favorites post, I mentioned that my skin went all out of whack, how I freaked out and went back to basics for my skincare needs. I was like ok the basics for me are cleanse, treat and moisturize my skin. For cleansing, I like a light exfoliation in the morning and cream cleanser at night to help remove my makeup. For treating, I'm prone to breakouts, got pores going on, some dark spots and want to address anti-aging. Also I do like using weekly masks, peels, scrubs etc. For moisturizing, I need something that absorbs into my skin but doesn't contribute to my oiliness and I need an SPF for the daytime. Not too much to ask right? Some of these items you've heard me mention in previous favorites posts. Here's what I've been using and more importantly, what's been working for my skin.

Cleansers/Makeup Removers

I went back to the Biore Unclogging Pore Scrub. This was my favorite cleanser to use in the morning. Before I stopped using this I had purchased 3 tubes. I like using this in the morning in the shower. Sometimes I use it twice a day if I don't wear makeup on that particular day. It's not a harsh scrub, I like the tingling sensation and how my skin feels once I rinse it off. It feels smooth and not super tight/dry.

I randomly picked up the Olay Foaming Face Wash for Combination/Oily Skin when I was in Ulta. To me to this is more of a cream cleanser vs a foaming cleanser. This really got some use in July when I was doing a bunch of travelling. This was the one cleanser I took with me and used morning and night. I really really enjoyed using this cleanser. It gets my face clean but it doesn't feel stripped or have a tight feeling. I could stick with just this cleanser. But I do like having the Biore cleanser on hand too. There's also a Sensitive version that has good reviews. If you're looking for a good simple cleanser then check this one out.

I also use makeup remover wipes and I keep picking up random brands to try lol. Right now I have Maybelline Clean Express and Aveeno Ultra-Calming makeup remover wipes on hand.

I'm still using the Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil and enjoying it. The only thing I don't like is the packaging. It leaks but it's not enough to make me throw it out. But it's enough to be annoying. I don't know if I was a messed up bottle or if this is normal. Once I use it up, I won't be repurchasing it.

I'm still making my way through the H2O+ Dual Action Eye Makeup Remover. I'm still liking it but I forget to use in the evening when I remove my makeup! Oye! So when I do use it up, I don't plan on repurchasing it or any other eye makeup remover. Using a makeup remover wipe and the Olay cleanser gets all my eye makeup off. It's just another step that I don't really need.


I know some people say that you don't need a toner and then others say yes you do. Well for me, when I've had a toner in my routine, it has helped my skin. I'm still using Neutrogena's Clear Pore Oil-Controlling Astringent. I've lost count on how many bottles of this I have purchased. I was going pick up Dickinson's Witch Hazel again but this one does have Witch Hazel in it along with Salicylic Acid. So I'm sticking with this one.


I've talked about the L'Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector products in previous favorites post. I'm still using and enjoying the Day/Night Cream. I don't plan on switching it out of my routine anytime soon. It absorbs into my skin nicely and it helps mattify my skin along with keep it moisturized. I've used both day and night.

When it comes to moisturizers with SPF I am very picky! I don't do thick ones. I need something that absorbs into my skin and doesn't make me oily. I picked up the Cetaphil Oil Controlling Moisturizer from Ulta. I was iffy on it once I mentioned picking it up to my beauty pusher and she said that she didn't like it. When I first started using it, I was meh towards it. But the more I use it, the more I've grown to like it.  So I will continue to use it. I may check out one from Neutrogena at some point next year. But again we'll see on that.

Eye Cream

I still have the L'Oreal Youth Code Eye Cream on hand and I'm still enjoying it. I've looked at some Olay ones. I may try one next time Ulta has a sale or I have a coupon. The L'Oreal one I order online from an Amazon seller which is fine but it would be nice to have something that I could get directly from the store. I have some sample ones that I am trying to use up now that aren't from drugstore brands (Murad Essential-C Eye Cream and Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel). Once I use them up, I will crack open the tube of the L'Oreal eye cream that I have.


The Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum is a favorite for the year! I think this is my third or fourth bottle and I have a back up bottle waiting in the wings. This is one of the best serums that I have used. I love that I can score a deal on it from stores with store promos and coupons. I was tempted to try another L'Oreal Youth Code serum but I'm not going to. This helps keep my skin smooth, soft and addresses anti-aging.

The Clean & Clear Persa Gel 10 is what I have been using for blemishes and I love it. It blends in nicely to the skin but doesn't dry my skin and cause dry patches like some acne products with Benzoyl Peroxide. It gets the job done quickly in taking care of blemishes too. It's one of the best acne spot treatments that I've used. This will stay in my skin care arsenal!

Alpha Hydrox's ResQ has been a long time favorite. It's a dupe for philosohy's Help Me. I added this back into the rotation a few months ago. I stopped using it earlier for a little while to "see" if I really needed it. I noticed a difference. Retinol has so many benefits in addition to anti-aging. Plus this one also has Vitamins A,C and E. So check this out if you're looking for a good retinol but don't want to speed a lot of money.

Alpha Hyrdox's Oil-Free Treatment 10% Glycolic AHA is a newer item to my skin care routine. I picked it up based off of several reviews on Ulta's site from acne prone users who said that it helped them with their breakouts and control oil. It also helps with anti-aging. Since I use the ResQ at night, I only use it in the morning based off of information I found on Alpha Hydrox's website. So far I'm liking it and will keep using it.

Masks, Peels, Scrubs

The Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque is awesome sauce. I have used this off and on for years but really have been sticking to it for the last few months. I use it once a week every Sunday. Sometimes twice a week if I have a lot of breakouts going on or if my skin is just "congested".

I've mentioned the Queen Helene Grape Seed Peel Off Masque in my August 2014 favorites post. It's awesome sauce as well. I use this twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The peel gets all the gunk out of my pores and firms the skin (especially my neck!).

I mentioned the St. Ives Pink Lemon & Madarin Orange Scrub in my November 2014 favorites post. I'm still enjoying it. The times where I have been lazy do the Queen Helene Masques, I'll make sure I use this since it doesn't take long and it does the job. So this is another product that will remain in my skincare stash. I haven't seen it at the Ulta store that I frequent. So I need to go by Target and get another tube.

And there you have it!! Phew! Seems like a lot but it really isn't. I don't use all these products everyday or even twice a day.

It's kind of cool that everything that I am currently using is a drugstore/low cost product. For the most part I am consistent with my routine but I do have lazy days. Mainly on the weekends if I'm at home and not going anywhere. If you're curious about skin care at the drugstore, I highly recommend picking up products from Ulta. They seem to always have some type of promo going on, they have coupons you can use ($3.50 off $10, $5 of $15 or 20% off) and they have a pretty good return policy.

There are a few higher end items that have caught my my eye. Was tempted to pick up a Perricone Today's Special Value a few months ago, a Kate Somerville acne product had caught my eye and I've been contemplating trying the new Proactiv + line. But honestly what I have been using has been working. Even when I get lazy and don't do my masques, my skin is still pretty decent. I also love the fact that everything I'm using I can pick up from Ulta, Target or the drugstore. I do love me some online shopping but it is nice to run into a store and get what you need every now and then lol!! So as the saying goes, if it ain't broke don't fix it! So this will be my routine unless my skin goes whacky again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Beauty 2015...

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

I follow The Posh Blog on Instagram and I've watched a few of her YouTube videos. In November she said that she was going on a no buy. She recently did a blog post on whether or not she was successful and the eight things she learned. It was an interesting read. Of course it got me thinking yet again about my beauty ways.

I've picked up a some things here and there that have caught my eye. I've scored some good deals and picked up things that I am really liking. I have been BETTER this year at returning/exchanging items that I don't absolutely LOVE! Which is big for me. Most of the time, I'm like wellllll it's not bad or I can "make" it work. For instance, I think since 2010, I have purchased the Bare Minerals November Today's Special Value (TSV) from QVC which is their holiday TSV. I got this year's TSV and it sat for maybe a week and half to two weeks and I did not touch. It just said on my dresser. Usually I tear into as soon as I get my hands on it. I finally did a look with it on Thanksgiving. It was just ok. I wasn't wowed by it. Then I was like well maybe....then I thought about it and said NOPE, SEND IT BACK! No more wishy washy. No ma'am! No sir! NO MORE! I've talked with some friends and beauty lovers on Twitter and quite a few are on the same wavelength. What's the purpose of keeping something that you're lukewarm towards? That's just  a waste of money and more stuff taking up space.

I've also done what I think is my final makeup purge for the year. Instead of operating on a complete no buy, I'm going to attempt a "low buy" for 2015. Of course I will replenish what I need but I am going to be very critical when it comes to future beauty purchases and try not to buy into the "hype" from YouTube, Instagram or beauty blogs. I need to do a bit more organization in my 10 drawer cart as well. Maybe I'll do an updated makeup collection post and you'll see the difference from October 2013 and now. We'll see. So that'll be my beauty focus for 2015 along with using what I have!! Maybe I can actually hit pan on an eyeshadow or blush lol!!! Let's see how I do.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Palette Play December 2014

Ok sooooooo....this was supposed to be Drugstore December. But I picked up a couple of Stila palettes that I was going to wait and play around with next month buuuut I didn't want to wait. So there lol.  Here is what I'll be playing around with for the month.

Week of November 30 - Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows

First column: Bella Emerald, Bella Black
Second column: Bella Purple, Bella Teal, Bella Espresso
Third column: Bella Bronze, Bella Champagne, Bella Gold

I got these from a friend a while ago and I have yet to play with them. I could depot them and put them into a Z palette. A nice mix of shades for a palette.

Week of December 7 - Stila In the Light Palette

I got this for $20 from Sephora online. I've heard that the "In the..." palettes are being discontinued. So check Ulta and Sephora online if you are interested in these palettes. This reminds me so much of the original Naked palette and y'all know that is my favorite palette. I've heard good reviews on this palette.

Week of December 14 - Stila In the Moment Palette

I got this from Ulta online. I kept going back and forth on it. But come on it's a purple and neutrals together! It's my palette happy place. The reviews on this palette are good as well.

Week of December 21 - Wet n Wild Sparkle 'Til Morning

This a short work week so we'll see how much use this gets. I have had it for a while and have yet to play with it *hangs head in shame* The makeup hoarder struggle.

Week of December 28 - elf Baked Shadows

I'll be hanging around at home for the most part this week. So we'll see if these get any use at all. These are good for a quick one eye shadow look which is all I'll probably be up to doing. The four shadows I have are Burnt Plum, Chocolate Dream, Bark and Passion Purple.

And Palette Play is done for 2014!!

Thanks for riding this out with me. I think I did a job good with utilizing my various palettes, quads, single shadows, etc. this year.  I'm going to do something similar for 2015 but slightly different. So stay tuned...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Polish Play December 2014

Let the festive nail polishes begin!

I got a set of minis from China Glaze's Twinkle Collection which is their holiday collection for the year. I got them from Fab Polish which is a subscription service for nail polish. This service is different in that you get 4 mini polishes a month. Which isn't bad. I mean have you ever truly used up a nail polish? So we'll see how this goes. I'll try to stick with until the Spring. How cute is this set right? I could probably use just this set from the month. But you know there's more lol!

De-Light, Define Good..., Pine-ing for Glitter, Feeling Twinkly

Here we have a hodgepodge of polishes. I pulled out the Sephora by OPI glitter polish that gets a lot of love in December. When I got the glitter OPI polish Let's Do Anything We Want! from The Muppets collection, I instantly thought about using it during the holidays. I also pull out OPI's Live and Let Die during the holidays every year since I've had it. It's a beautiful dark green polish with some gold glitter in it. The Urban Decay polish I scored from Sephora when it was on sale. It's a beautiful red polish. The Dior one I scooped up from a blog sale and the SpaRitual ones I scored from Ulta on sale. I've never tried SpaRitual before.

First row: Urban Decay Mrs. Mia Wallace, Dior Amazonia, Sephora by OPI Good Tidings We Bling
Second row: OPI Live and Let Die, Let's Do Anything We Want!
Third row: SpaRitual Ill Ume, SpaRitual Days of Wine and Roses

I hope you enjoyed these posts and that they helped you reach into your stash. Or pick up something new.

Let's paint some fingas!