Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blush Mystery Beauty box - September 2013

After weeding all my subs down to nothing, I did some careful research while deciding what to subscribe to and what to pass on. I decided to give the blush mystery beauty box a shot, based on some really great reviews and unboxings!

This was my first month of blush! The shipping was fast and I was really excited to get it! Blush is $25/month and includes at least $100 of products, which is a pretty great value. Here's what I got for September!

Aside from the bag itself, I got three little bonuses - a blush branded blue cream eyeshadow, a small sample of emu oil, and a sample of Lumene moisturizer. I'm happy to try all of the above! The shadow is a nice bright shimmery color.

The biggest item this month is this Racinne Deluxe Travel Set. This is a 4 piece anti-aging skincare set! I've been using anti-aging products religiously over the last few years...despite still being in my 20s, prevention is easier than curing, so I'm happy to give this a shot and see what it does for me. I love the shiny gold packaging!

This is a pop beauty lip crayon in Fuchsia Flirt. I actually have this same crayon already, so I gave this one away, but it is a nice product. It isn't really me it's more of a bubblegum pink. It doubles as a cream blush.

This first item is Caviar Anti-Aging dry shampoo by Alterna. I love dry shampoos, and all of the alterna products I have tried have been really nice. I love the cute little bottle. The 2nd item is Brad Biophotonic Skin Care Ultra Peel. It treats dark spots and evens the skintone. I haven't heard of this brand, but I love peels so this is a welcome addition to my box, as well!

This is a product I have heard others rave about - brow gel by Anastasia! I have gotten brow gels before that have been too dark for my fairly blonde brows. I'm happy to get a clear one. I don't do much with my brows so I like the idea of a clear gel to help me keep them in order.

This is a foot cream by Amlactin. It doesn't have a scent to it, but it feels nice and moisturizing. My skin gets dry in the fall and winter, so I'm always looking for creams to keep my hands and feet soft! I think this will be part of my bedtime ritual.

And finally, a nail polish by LVX. They sent out 6 different shades this month. I got Koko, which is a nice chocolate brown. I don't wear browns often, but I am glad to get this to branch out! It's a really pretty color for fall. I haven't tried this brand and I'm excited to.

Overall, I am really happy with this box! I love the variety of items - there's skincare, makeup, hair care, polish, and foot cream! This is definitely a fantastic value for what I paid, and I'm excited to see what comes in future boxes.

Have you tried blush yet?

Ipsy - September 2013

This month, I had to get a new card and wait for it to arrive, so my Ipsy sub shipped and arrived late! I'm glad to finally have it to play with, though!

September's theme is Classic Beauty. This is not my favorite theme (I tend toward the more edgy than classic), but no big deal. :)

The bag itself is cute this month - pretty blue with a kind of abstract butterfly print in black. This is the first month that I don't think the bag they picked for me suits my profile, though! I received both lip products, and while I love lip products, I had them deselected because I have way too many. Everyone got a lip product this month, so I would have gotten one regardless, but I kind of wish I had gotten the Freeman masks instead of the 2nd! No big deal, though.

This month, they sent a paper card sample of the new em cosmetics line by Michelle Phan. There is a lot of controversy about this line (questionable quality and very high pricing), but I'm glad to get a little sample just to see for myself. The colors I got could not be more boring, but we'll see how I feel about the quality! I have not heard great things.

This is a full sized nyx eyeshadow. I love shadows, but this is a sparkly black, and I have a few of those, so I opted to pass it along in a swap box instead of swatching/trying it. It looks pretty, though! Nyx is an affordable brand, but I don't mind getting it because it is not available near me. 

This is a deluxe sized It's So Big mascara by Elizabeth Mott. Again, this is something I am not opening to try right now. I love mascara, but I have several open right now and don't want any to go to waste! I will try this after I've used up my open ones. I always like mascara, but I'm kind of swimming in them right now, so I'm ready for my subs to take a hiatus from them while I use up my stash!

This is a lipstick by J.Cat in Honeycrisp. It is a light nude color. I have a few other J Cat lipsticks, and they are pretty nice! This color is not one I'd normally wear, but I've been appreciating a nude lip lately. The color will also be great for toning down bright/dark colors, as well. This is a full sized lipstick.

Cailyn calls this a tinted lip balm, but is much more pigmented and much less moist/balmy than a balm to me! It's in Big Apple, and it's a nice bright red shade that pulls a bit pink on me. I love the packaging and I've been really into red lips lately, so this will be used.

Here are swatches of the two lippies in bad lighting. 

And finally, an eyeliner pen by Jesse's Girl. Again, I'm not opening this yet, as I have a few open, but I am always happy to receive an eye pen. I wish it was in a fun color rather than black, but it's a staple that looks nice.

Overall, this isn't my favorite Ipsy bag, but it isn't bad! Everything but the shadow will be used, and it's a pretty good value as always! It definitely fits the Classic Beauty theme. I'm really looking forward to seeing what October brings!

What was in your bag this month? Do you like the classic beauty look?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Acure Organics skin care review

I posted a couple of weeks ago about needing a skincare overhaul, and said I was beginning a new regimen of products by Acure Organics! Now, after using those products for over 2 weeks, I am ready to weigh in on them!

Acure Organics is a family owned and operated company that makes natural and certified organic skincare products (as well as some for the body and hair.) They use certified organic and fair trade ingredients, which makes me feel good about trying them on my fussy combination skin. They are never tested on animals, and they are free of preservatives and nasty chemicals.

I used nothing but these products for the last 3 weeks, with the exception of a weekly mask, which I always use.

 First of all, isn't the packaging on these products cute? I love the bright clean look.

This is the Sensitive Facial Cleanser.  It is a soothing, gentle cleanser with a nice creamy (but not heavy) texture. It contains probiotics as well as argan and pumpkin seed oils! It is fragrance free and completely non-irritating. It is pH balanced and the probiotics help reduce inflammation. I found this cleanser to be great for daily use! It cleansed my face of dirt and oils, but didn't dry me out at all. 

This is the Brightening Facial Scrub. It is an exfoliating scrub that contains sea kelp, green clay, lemon peel and chlorella growth factor (which is extracted from algae, and helps support cellular replication). It also contains Argan stem cells, which help stimulate dermal skin cells...really cool technology! This scrub is really effective. It clears the pores and sloughs away dead skin to keep skin bright. I absolutely love this stuff! It's a little crazy looking - green (thanks, sea kelp) which I enjoy. It has a pleasant light natural scent.  I use this 3 times a week, and I love how smooth it leaves my skin. It is not too abrasive and leaves my skin looking clear and bright.

This is the balancing rose + red tea facial toner. This is a gentle toner, and it does not sting. It helps balance the pH levels of the skin after rinsing, and has a light natural scent. I will admit I have been pretty neglectful of toners, but I have fallen in love with this one. It feels nice and refreshing on the skin, and really does seem to help balance out my combination skin. This might be my favorite product of the line!

This Day Cream contains Gotu Kola stem cells, which help the skin to maintain its own hyaluronic acid to balance moisture levels and firm and plump the skin. It is light, but hydrating, with a light citrusy scent. I found this to be great for daily use - not too heavy, and didn't leave me greasy. A little goes a long way, and while it wasn't too heavy for my combo skin, I also think drier skin types would like this cream, as well.

The Night Cream contains a blend of amazing oils and anti-aging ingredients, as well! This is a richer consistency than the day cream (but still not too heavy) and has a really nice lavender scent. This cream is great - I wake up with my skin feeling soft and hydrated. The lavender scent makes it really calming for bedtime.

Finally, I tried the leave-in conditioner. Like many of the skincare products, it contains argan oil and stem cells to strengthen and protect the follicle. My hair is thick and color treated, so I was super excited to try this - and I fell in love! It smells amazing, light and citrusy (thanks to the lemongrass!) This spray detangles my hair and leaves it nice and soft, but never weighed down or greasy. I have found many leave in sprays to be too heavy or sticky, this one is just perfect.

Overall, I have fallen in love with Acure's products over the last 3 weeks! My skin looks and feels so much smoother and brighter. The amazing ingredients make me feel good about using the products, and the company's values and service make them a company I am happy to support. I will be purchasing more products in the future, and I definitely recommend these products to anyone looking to rejuvenate their skincare routine. 

If you'd like, please check them out at

Disclaimer: I received products for review from the company. I was not compensated for this review, and my opinion is my own.