Monday, August 26, 2013

Skin care overhaul beginning!

I have mentioned in some previous posts that I've been having a lot of skin issues lately. My combination skin is getting's either feeling tight, rough, and dry, or oily with breakouts. My current go-to products just haven't been cutting it! I've decided to seek out a whole new routine.

Starting today, I am trying out a whole new regimen by Acure. Acure Organics is a company that makes natural an certified organic skincare products (as well as body and hair products). They feature plant stem cell technology, use some really amazing ingredients, and I'm really excited to see what their products do for me.

For the next few weeks, I will be using only these products! After this time, I will be posting a full report/review of the products and my results.

The products I will be trying are their Sensitive Facial Cleanser, Brightening Facial Scrub, Balancing Rose + Red Tea Facial Toner, Day Cream, Night Cream, and Leave-In Conditioner for my hair. (And how cute is this packaging?)

I'm excited to see how these products work for me and share them with you!

Have you discovered a new great brand or product lately?

*Disclaimer: I was provided with complimentary products to try and review. I was not compensated or paid for my opinion. All thoughts are honest and my own.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag - August 2013

After taking what seemed like forever, my Ipsy bag showed up this week! It's something I look forward to every month, and this month was no exception!

Ipsy's theme this month is "Glamour Academy", which I think is a really cute theme for the back-to-school season. Ipsy says that the Glamour Academy bag is perfect for the professional or student, and that it contains beauty essentials to stash in your bag as well as goodies to help you prep for an event or party. Sounds good to me!

Over the last several months, Ipsy has been refining and using their IpsyMatch system to send out bag variations. I have finally managed to tweak my profile in such a way that I have been super happy with my bags each month! Here's what I got for August.

The bag itself this month is a cute purple and gold print...reminds me a little of Harry Potter! I received five items this month.

Michael Todd Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub - This is a gentle exfoliating scrub using charcoal to remove impurities and jojoba wax to gently exfloliate. I was so excited to get this! I've always been curious about Michael Todd's products, and I have a charcoal mask from Origins that I adore. I have used it, and it didn't disappoint! It is not too abrasive and left my skin feeling super soft and smooth. Plus, it gives you an awesome case of scaryface (while using),  perfect for disturbing any brothers, boyfriends, or husbands you might have around. Always a bonus!

Pacifica Alight BB Cream - This is a shade adjusting BB cream that is sheer and illuminating. I love Pacifica, and I like BB creams, but this one doesn't work for me! It is too dark for my pale skin, and it has zero coverage.  That said, I'm happy to have tried it, because it is the sort of product I might have bought at some point. Glad to know I should save my money and buy the Pacifica goodies I do love!

Pixi Lash Booster Mascara - This is a simple black mascara. Pixi is another brand I like, so I was happy to try this. Upon use, it is okay! It is not super lengthening or thickening, but it offers a nice natural look with just a bit of definition and some color for my pale lashes. I'll use up the sample for everyday looks, but I don't think I'll purchase it. I do like my dramatic mascaras!

Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Anarchy - This is something I was so excited to try! I love Urban Decay, but I never did try their lipsticks. This promises to be longwearing while not being drying. I got the shade Anarchy, which is a bright fuschia pink (which is exactly the right shade to send me to make me super excited!). Let me tell you, this stuff lasts! I am more prone to reach for lip balms because lipsticks never last on me, and when at work, I can't be bothered to reapply a billion times. I put this on in the morning, and more than 8 hours later, I had to physically remove it! It survived 8 hours, a full meal, several drinks, and even a toothbrushing! I'm super impressed with the staying power, the feel, and the color is just beautiful. I am definitely going to be buying a couple of these!

MicaBeauty shimmer powder in Bronze - I received this product in the shade Earth in April. I loved that one, and I love this one too! It is simply a loose shimmery pigment. It is a bronzey gold color and so sparkly. I'm excited to use this more and add some shimmer to my looks!

Here are light swatches of the Urban Decay in Anarchy and the MicaBeauty shimmer in Bronze. Both are just lovely.

Here, I am wearing the Pacifica BB cream, the MicaBeauty shimmer powder (on eyes), the Pixi mascara, and the Urban Decay lipstick! I am wearing no other makeup, so excuse the scary skin. As you can see, the shimmer is subtle, the mascara is darkening but doesn't provide much length (I think I'll try it paired with another mascara!) and the lipstick is nice and bold! (Normally with this shadow, I would have added another color or two and some eyeliner, and I'd normally wear a bit of blush and/or some highlighter, but I wanted to keep things for this picture limited to the items in the bag!)

And because I can't turn down an opportunity to disturb others, here is the charcoal mask in action! Love it! (and yes, that is the lipstick, still going after 8 hours, brushing my teeth, AND washing my face!)

Ipsy did a really great job with my bag this month! Most of the items were just outstanding, and I will be purchasing full sizes of them...and the couple that aren't my favorite, I am still glad to have tried! This is one of my favorite bags to date.

What was in your bag this month?

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Birchbox - August 2013

My Birchbox shipped and showed up pretty early this month! I'll say that, while I was excited to get it so early, I canceled my Birchbox subscription this month. It's not that it has been terrible, or even all bad, over the last few months...but when you're consistently finding yourself not excited or even disappointed in a service each month, it's time to cancel! After all, there are a ton of subs out there and general discontent means I can find another one to suit my current needs better!

The theme for August is Finishing School, and was designed around products that can add the perfect finishing touch! I'll say that the products in my box don't really scream "finishing touch" to me, but I never really pay much mind to the themes, anyway! Here's what I got this month (I don't know how the picture got flipped, but I'm not going to mess with reuploading totally get the idea, right?)

Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer - I have used this moisturizer (and several other products) from Juice Beauty before. I really like it! It is light enough for the summer and doesn't cause me to break out. I'm currently working on completely overhauling my skincare routine (man, my skin is unhappy this summer) so I know this will get use, eventually.

stila stay all day liquid lipstick - I love stila, and I am always happy to receive items from the brand. However, this particular item, I will be trading. Not because there is anything wrong with it (actually, I have heard it is awesome with great staying power), but simply because I am currently swimming in red lip products...I have them coming out of my ears! So, as much as I'd like to open this and try it, I figure it's better to pass it off to a home where it will be properly loved. I know I wouldn't reach for it as often as I should!

Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes - This is one of those products I'm undecided on. On one hand, I am barefoot as much as possible and my feet do get dirty. On the other hand, I don't really sub to a beauty service to receive two minty wet wipes. So, I'll use the samples (actually, I already used one. ) It feels nice on the feet, but a similar effect can be had with a baby wipe and a swipe of minty foot lotion, which I already have.

TanTowel Self Tanning Towelette for the Body - Okay. This might be a great product. I wouldn't know, because there is nothing in the beauty product world I despise more than I despise self tanners. There is nothing I am less likely to use.  Birchbox seems determined to send me these things, and I really wish there was a way to opt out of receiving them. I like my pale skin, and I have no desire to change it. This isn't something like makeup that you can try and wipe off if it doesn't suit you. They wouldn't send out hair dye or skin why are they so determined with the tanner? Even if I wanted to use it, one wipe is for one half of the what are you supposed to do for the other half? This has already been given away.

Coastal Scents mini quad from the Mirage Palette - I was surprised to see Coastal Scents in my Birchbox this month. I love Coastal Scents, as is evidenced by the more than 400 shadows I own by them. But, I already have the Mirage palette, so I'm giving this sample away. The colors are beautiful, though, and like all over Coastal Scents shadows, they are super pigmented for the low price. If you do want to buy this (or any other CS palette) make sure to buy from Coastal Scents directly, as Birchbox has majorly marked up the price!

Overall, I am not regretting cancelling. The moisturizer and the stila are great products, but this just wasn't the best box for me. I am sure over time I will find myself missing the Birchbox points system, though, and come crawling back!

What was in your box this month?