6:58 PM

Hey, guys! I wanted to apologize for my absence lately. I've had a lot going on, and I've been meaning to blog, but it just isn't happening. Anyways, I'm back today with a haul post. I went shopping today and picked up a few things, so I thought I'd show you!

I really only went to three stores - however, one of them was TJ Maxx, aka the death of me.

I picked up an Alba Botanica Very Emollient Suncreen SPF 45 in Pure Lavender. I've been meaning to get a natural sunscreen and I snatched this up when I saw it. I also got two H2O+ products, the Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment and the Marine Toner (a travel size). I also got the Giovanni Purifying Facial Mask and the Earth Theraputics Hydrogel Under Eye Patch. Of course, no haul is complete without a lip balm or two, two in this case - one is the eos lip balm in medicated tangerine, and the other is the Alba Botanica Hawaiin Lip Balm.

I also got some hair products - very strange for me, usually all I do to my hair is wash and condition it. I picked up the Rusk Sensories Calm Shampoo and Conditioner, in a travel size. I also got the Psssssst Dry Shampoo, which I've been meaning to try for a while. I thought the Sebastian Shaper Zero G Featherweight Dry Finish Hairspray was another dry shampoo, so I got it. I'll probably give this away. And last, not a hair product, I picked up a deo, the Zatik Herbal Refresh Deodorant.

Lastly, I got a few cosmetic bits and bobs. Essie's Chinchilly made it into my cart after one glance. I also got three brushes, two from the e.l.f. studio brush line (the Small Smudge Brush and the Small Stipple Brush). I got a foundation brush from I on Beauty, and two perfumes - Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck and Lady Gaga's Fame.

That concludes my haul! Thanks for reading. Have you been shopping recently?


Pixi Extra Eye Bright Liner | Review

10:00 PM

Today's post is a review! I'm pretty excited to be publishing this review, when I was looking online I could only find a handful of reviews on this particular product. Most of the reviews were on the original, not this shade.

What it is: a brightening eyeliner
Where it is: Target and online
For how much: $17
Anything else: Pixi does not test on animals

Pixi products really interest me. In case you didn't know, Pixi is a British based brand. Their products are sold exclusively in Target stores in the States. All of their products are packaged nicely and the green shade they have is gorgeous. There are also testers at the store, which is great. The only problem is that these products are pretty overpriced. I mean, come on! For a drugstore brand, do you really need to sell an eyeliner for seventeen dollars?  Even considering this, I have a pretty long Pixi wishlist...

So this eyeliner is basically a brightening liner. I've been interested in getting one of these since reading an article over on The Beauty Department.  There are two shades available, I'm reviewing 2 Extra Bright. Extra Bright is packaged the same as the other, but the box it comes in is different. Pixi describes this pencil as "This waterproof precision inner rim liner is designed to brighten the eyes and make the eye whites look whiter. Twist-up, non-sharpening precision point pen makes it easy to use and adds a brightening effect exactly where you want it. The pale white-pink-lavender colour enhances the whiteness of the eye white, giving the illusion of larger, more bright and awake eyes - your own little wakeup makeup secret!" This liner is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, mineral oil free, and suitable for sensitive eyes. It contains sunflower seed oil to "soothe eyes and help skin retain moisture." Sounds lovely, right?

The packaging for this is simple and functional. It's a retractable eyeliner, meaning you don't have to sharpen, but the tip does wear down and it's less hygienic. The cap on my liner is actually pretty difficult to get off, the first time I opened the product I thought perhaps the lid was jammed? Nope, it just catches on so sturdily that you have to put some elbow grease into it just to use the liner. That being said, at least I know for a fact that the lid won't come off and leave me with pink marks on the inside of my makeup bag!

The color of this pencil is really pretty. Like Pixi describes, it's a pale mixture of white, lavender, and pink. I think this liner would be a good match from pale to medium skin tones. There's no shimmer, but this liner reflects light nicely, brightening the areas where you put it. I use this on my lower rim and inner corners for a quick wake-me-up on days where my eyes are looking especially exhausted. It really makes me eye whites lighter and also makes my eyes appear a tad bit larger. I also like to use this on my Cupid's bow for a subtle highlight. Anyways, the texture of this liner is a lot harder than I imagine. You have to warm it up first, which I don't like, but it really wouldn't be a problem for most people. What I like to do is warm it up by drawing on the back of my hand, then dipping my pinky into the product and patting it in the inner corner. Then I draw a line on my waterline with the now-warmed pencil.

Bottom line? I like this liner, but I wish it was softer. I recommend for anyone who doesn't mind having to warm it up first.


Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day and Night Face Cream | Review

5:12 PM

Gooooood morning! Or afternoon, or evening! How are you today? Today's post is a review on a moisturizer, the Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day and Night Face Cream. Quick disclaimer, this is a skincare product. Everybody's skin is different, so your opinion on this might be totally different from mine.

What it is: a facial moisturizer
Where it is: Target and online
For how much: $20
Anything else: Pacifica products are natural, cruelty free, and vegan friendly! A portion of the proceeds also go to support clean water.

Shortly after purchasing the Sea Foam Complete Face Wash and loving it, I figured I'd pick up the moisturizer that Pacifica makes, as they come together in the Good Karma Skincare Set. The moisturizer came in a red cardboard box that I tossed, figuring I wouldn't review this (I usually don't review skincare on my blog). If I'm not mistaken, the box pretty much said the same thing as the bottle.

Pacifica claims that this moisturizer is "a highly effective anti-aging everyday natural moisturizer.  Proven peptides, high potency antioxidants, floral stem cells and advanced natural extracts come together in our exclusive superpower Fleuracell Complex® with ingredients shown to improve the overall appearance of skin and help minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles deeply moisturize and protect help support collagen promotes a lifting effect, and brings back skin's natural radiance." This moisturizer contains a very hefty list of skin benefiting ingredients, including sunflower seed oil, kelp extract, and coconut water. It's formulated without petroleum, parabens, SLS, or phthalates. It has 1.7 oz of product, although the website's picture says it has 1.

The packaging is really nice. The moisturizer comes in a white tube (why don't all face products have pumps, they're much more sanitary) with claims and directions. It's fairly simple but effective. One pump gives you the perfect amount for your face.

This cream is a white, very light and fairly runny cream. Since it's so light, it's not nearly moisturizing enough for my normal/dry skin. I've had a dry, tight, itchy patches on my face since I started using the product. It smells a little funky, not unpleasent but a little strange. To me, this scent is so familiar but I can't place it. It smells like a natural product, if you catch my drift. It spreads very easily over the skin and absorbs in a matter of seconds. I quite like the texture. It hasn't broken me out or left me with any kind of negative reaction. Since I've started using this, my skin has looked a bit brighter, but it's not like I radiate light. I honestly can't say anything about the anti-aging benefits of this product, because at my age I hardly need these types of products.

Bottom line: I'm pretty partial to this product. It's nice and light, but not moisturizing enough for my skin. I would recommend to anyone with normal/oily or combo skin. I'll finish this moisturizer, but I won't repurchase.


Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash | Review

4:49 PM

Hey, everybody! Today's post is a review on a cleanser I've been using for a couple weeks now. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the product. Quick disclaimer, this is a face product. Everybody's skin is different, so I'm not certain if you will enjoy this product as much as I do.

What it is: a facial cleanser
Where it is: Target and online
For how much: $11
Anything else: Pacifica products are natural, cruelty free, and vegan friendly!

For those of you that don't know, Pacifica is a vegan perfume and body brand that has recently expanded to makeup and skincare. Their skincare and makeup is formulated without "animal testing, animal ingredients, FD&C color, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, benzene, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil, triclosan, and other ingredients you do not want on your skin." Already sounds great, right?

Pacifica claims that this product will "harness the power of the ocean with marine extracts.  Coconut water and natural actives come together in our gentle sulfate-free foaming cleanser that removes daily toxins and make-up. Deeply cleanse, balance and refresh tired skin. Remember, one of the best defenses against aging skin is daily cleansing." It is formulated with papaya extract, coconut water, and sea algae extract. This cleanser contains 5 oz of product.
Click on the picture if you want to read the text!
 The packaging is simple, a pretty blue squeeze tube with a flip top. The product is a clear gel. It smells wonderful, like coconut with a dash of vanilla. Whenever I use this cleanser I am taken to the pool, the ocean, a lake, anywhere bright and summery with water. The scent is a great pick-me-up in the morning.

Cleansing wise, this is wonderful! It's very gentle and doesn't strip my skin, but leaves it feeling clean and wonderful. It takes off makeup like a charm. You wouldn't need a separate makeup remover if you only wear a little makeup. It foams up very well, and although foaming cleansers are supposed to dry the skin out, this one doesn't. I haven't had a bad reaction to this yet, and I've been using it almost daily for about a month or so.

Bottom line: this cleanser is great! It's gentle but powerful, non-drying and foams up well, and it smells great. I highly recommend.

Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Mask | Review

11:08 AM

Hi, everybody! Today's post is another review, on the Elizabeth Arden Hydrating Mask. Read on to see my thoughts on it!

What it is: a face mask
Where it is: I purchased mine at Marshalls (it always seems to be in stock there) but Elizabeth Arden products are available in department stores and online.
How much: around $13
Anything else: Elizabeth Arden products are tested on animals

This is basically a mask that you put on your face. It's no longer available on the website, so I can't find any claims for you... Apologies, apologies! You're supposed to leave this mask on your face for five to ten minutes and then rinse off.

Click on the image to enlarge if you want to read the info!

The packaging is fairly simple. It's a pale pink squeeze tube with directions in and ingredients on the back.

The product itself is a semi-opaque light pink color. The texture of this mask feels almost clay based, it's very solid and takes a bit of work to evenly spread around on the face. It has a bit of a strange but not unpleasant smell, the best way I can describe it is herbally. The mask feels very refreshing and tingly on the face, however some have said that the tingling turned to burning after just a few minutes. I have not had this issue with the mask, but if you have sensitive skin this mask could be a bit of an issue. Although the directions say to rinse this mask off after five to ten minutes, I leave it on as long as I want. This is because this mask doesn't really do anything for my skin. It feels nice and tingly, that's it.

I'm partial to this product. It's not hydrating, but it does feel really nice on the skin.

Thanks for reading! Have you tried this? What do you think?


No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Pencil | Review

9:41 PM

Hi, guys! I've been using a new brow product lately and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it with a review. Read on to find out what I thought of the No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Pencil!

What it is: a brow pencil
Where it is: Target stores and online
How much: $7
Anything else: Boots products are not tested on animals

So basically this is a brow pencil. It's available in three shades, mine is in the brown color. The other two shades are black and blond. Boots claims that this pencil "helps shape and define brows without smudging of flaking." Not very many claims, Boots!

I really like the packaging of this product. It has a spoolie on one end, and the pencil itself on the other. I don't understand why some brow pencils don't have spoolies, I really don't. It just makes life more convenient and easy. Anyways, this pencil isn't retractable, so it must be sharpened. This can waste product, but it's also more hygienic as you get untouched product every time you sharpen it.

The texture of this pencil is fairly hard. The color is a little dull, which is what I prefer in a brow product. Brown is a dark brown. Because this pencil is pretty hard, it's difficult to overfill your brows, which I think is great. Even if you do overfill, you can use the attached spoolie to blend everything out, quick and easy. It lasts all day and doesn't require any sort of touching up. It lives up to its claims... although there are only two. It doesn't smudge or flake away.

I really like this product! It's a basic brow pencil that functions very nicely. I recommend to anyone looking into another brow pencil! Have you tried this product? What do you think?


Wet n' Wild Color Icon Trio - Walking on Eggshells | Review and swatches

12:32 PM

Hi, guys! Today's post is a review on Wet n' Wild's Walking on Eggshells trio.

What it is: an eyeshadow trio
Where it is: drugstores and online
How much: each trio costs $3, but there are also singles and palettes with eight shades.
Anything else: Wet n' Wild is cruelty free!

I've been eyeing this little trio for a while now, more so than any of the other Color Icon eyeshadows. The trios all come with three colors, one for the lid, crease, and a highlight shade. Wet n' Wild claims that these "coordinating trio shades takes the guesswork out of creating the perfect eye look. The "how to" palettes are created to highlight, define, and accentuate specific eye colors to create unique looks." The trios are available in twelve palettes, I have mine in Walking on Eggshells.

The packaging is pretty simple, a little palette about the size of my palm that has a lock closure. The trio came with two tiiiiny little brushes, but I tossed those because they weren't great. Anyways, people have complained about the packaging not being too sturdy, but I haven't had any problems with it so far.

The colors coordinate well together. They form a very neutral and shimmery eye look when used according to the directions. All the shadows are buttery, easy to blend, and resistant to creasing. They are also extremely pigmented and with little to no fallout.

The eyelid color is a beautiful dusty, shimmery pink. Perfect for an all-over shade.

The crease color is a lovely glowing light brown. I prefer matte shades for the crease, but this gave it a nice looking effect.

The browbone color is a gorgeous shimmering champagne color. Very nice not only as an eye highlight, but as a face highlight too.

Overall, I really enjoy this product! All the shades work well together and are very good quality, despite their low and affordable price. I will be buying more of these eyeshadows.

Have you tried this product? What do you think of it?


Sephora Wishlist | Eye Edition

8:56 PM

Welcome to the third and final installment of the Sephora Wishlist collection! Today I'll be talking about eyes and the things that I want with eyes.

Lash Stash To Go - This is basically a set of mascara samples. You get to sample five mascaras, and when you pick your favorite you use the voucher given and you get to receive the full size of that mascara for free! Isn't that such a great idea?

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette - I have a feeling I don't need to explain why I want this, but I'll explain anyways. 12 beautiful shades, a mix of mattes and shimmers. Well pigmented, versatile, buttery shades. Sounds amazing already.

Shiseido Eyelash Curlers - I spelled it wrong in the picture above! I'm very very sorry. Apparently these curlers are amazing for Asian lashes.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Eyebrow Pencil - Apparently this pencil is beeeeeeautiful!

Thanks for reading! What's on your wishlist?


DIY Brush Cleanser

6:09 PM

I hate shelling out money for brush cleanser. I see no point in it, especially if won't even do the job well! So today, I thought I'd show you an easy-peasy DIY brush cleanser. It's quick, easy, and very affordable. You have all of these ingredients, I promise. This is how I always clean my brushes!

What'd I tell you? Super simple. A drop of olive oil + a blob of your favorite deep cleanser and wah-lah, squeaky clean brushes! Remember to put only a drop of oil - think of ratio of 1:8.

Why use olive oil? Olive oil breaks down and dissolves makeup with ease, and it will condition your brushes as well. Why use face wash? Well, it's going on your face anyways. Pick your favorite one that really cleanses your face well.
Thank you for reading! Let me know if you try this, and how you like it.


Bedside Beauty

10:24 AM

I get a tad bit obsessive when I fall in love with a product... It's the first thing I think about in the morning. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but there are definitely products I place by my bed so they're there when I wake up, or by my side when I sleep. These coveted products are my necessities for the dead of the night or at the crack of dawn.

Lip balm is something I absolutely cannot live without. It has to be everywhere in my house... My bathroom, my kitchen, my dining room, living room, and obviously, bedroom. I have various ones stashed in my home (I wasn't kidding about that everywhere in my house thing), but I have to say, my favorites are my Rose Salve and Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss. I slather either one of these on while I'm lounging around in my bed (a lot of the time, my friend).

Hand cream is something else that I love, however not to the obsessive amount as lip balm. I do love it enough to always have one by my bed. The one I'm using right now is the Bath& Body Works Sea Island Cotton Hand Cream, which is very lovely. The fresh and clean scent, combined with the rich and hydrating (and fast absorbing, I must add) formula makes me swoon for this cream.

I have a body mist that I actually use as pillow mist... I know, it's kind of weird, but the scent (Sea Island Cotton to match the hand cream!) is really clean and relaxing. I spritz some on my sheets before climbing in for the night.

I keep a hand sanitizer by my bed in case I feel like my hands are dirty, and the one I have is the B&BW Japanese Cherry Blossom Pocketbac.

You must stay hydrated. I drink so much water throughout the course of a day, and that includes at night too. I keep a mug by my bed and fill it up to the brim before I retire to my room for the night. Before I go to bed, I try to drink at least half the mug, and then I drink the rest in the morning.

By my bed, I also keep some random essentials. My phone, iPod and dock, a hair clip, and chargers. There's also a pair of tweezers for stray hairs!

Thanks for reading! What do you keep by your bed?


Sephora Wishlist | Face Edition

8:49 PM

Hi, everyone! Time for part two of the Sephora Wishlist installment. Today I'll be talking about three legendary face products that I am dying to own.

YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch - this product is basically a luminizer that can be used as a highlighting concealer. Everyone who has this absolutely loves it, and I don't think I'd be any different. I would adore this pen. The finish it gives! So beautiful.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 - this is apparently "the primer" if you're looking for a primer. Like the one above, everybody who has it raves about it. Who can blame them? It claims to even out the skintone, minimize shine, absorb oil, reduce the appearance of pores, the list goes on and on.

YSL Le Tient Touch Eclat Illuminating Foundation - you have no idea how badly I want this product. It looks so amazing and natural and beautiful.

Thanks for reading! What products have you been lusting after?


Desktop Darlings

6:43 PM

I tend to spend a lot of time cooped up at my desk, doing schoolwork or tapping away at my computer into the early hours of the morning. Seeing as I spend so much time at my desk, I put together a collection of of essentials on my desk to care for my constant beauty needs.

I always have to have a lip balm with me. If I don't, I steal yet another one of my boyfriend's. I have a growing pile of his stashed in a drawer of my desk. However, his lip balms are no competition when it comes down to using either mine or his. I always have my favorite lip balms floating around on my desk... my current favorite is the Fabulips Softening Lip Balm.

I'm too cheap to slop out $18 dollars for a Caudalie Beauty Elixir, which in my head is just a glorified toner, so I have a toner on my desk. This can be seen as a bit strange to some people, but I like to spritz it on my face whenever my skin is feeling a bit dull and drab. It really revives my skin and wakes me up. The toner I have right now is the H2O+ Oasis Mist.

Speaking of refreshing my skin, I have a refreshing eye roller in this little pile as well. It's the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Roller. I think this product is a bit gimicky, as it doesn't actually depuff eyes, but it does feel cooling and lovely on eyes.

This is another essential I usually have on my person, eye drops. My eyes get very dry and tired sometimes, and these hydrating eye drops from Visine always perk them up and rewet them.

Of course, to care for my ever dry hands, I have two creams: Nivea Creme, and the L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. Both of these are deeply hydrating and help heal my sad little hands.

For hair, I've got one of these tiny claw clamps and a hair tie!

I have some random essentials here as well, a pair of JLab headphones (I love these bad boys), my flashdrive with all my blogging work on it, and a microSD card reader!

Thanks for reading! What products do you keep by your desk?

bio oil

Dark spots on your body? I might have just the cure!

6:03 PM

A lot of people suffer from dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and scars on their faces. There are a lot of products targeted towards people concerned with that. However, what about us with dark spots on our bodies? I know how you feel, if you  have them. I pick at my scabs... don't do that. It'll leave you with a scar. As a result of that, my legs are scattered with scars. I figured I'd just let them sit by themselves until they eventually disappear for years, but a while ago I grew tired of looking at my legs and bought myself some scar removing products.

Bio Oil is a cult favorite in the beauty world. People rave about this being Holy Grail status and amazing. To be perfectly honest, I haven't used it yet. I got it as a backup for the oil I'm using right now. I will say that it smells a little odd.

Speaking of the oil I'm using right now, we have here the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil (the label peeled off, sorry!). It smells like chocolate (the scent lingers, by the way) and hydrates my skin really well. I haven't seen much impact that this has on my scars. It has, however, helped with my stretch marks. They've all but disappeared. The bottle recommends to use this three times a day for maximum impact. I use it once (or twice, if I remember) a day and the stretch marks are disappearing nonetheless.

The Yes To Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Body Creme is the first product I've seen designed specifically for correcting dark spots on the body. It's like a body butter, but a tad bit more whipped in texture. It smells diving (like grapefruits!) and sinks in quickly. The creme also claims to reduce spots in four weeks. I found that it took me more than four weeks to see significant results, but there were definitely results in a few weeks.

This one might seem a little out of place... Vitamin E (these are Costco brand). I squeeze the oil out of the capsules, but drugstores do sell vitamin E oil. This works, however, I can't stand it. It takes forever to absorb into your skin and you can never really get it off your hands from spreading it over your skin. However, if you have the patience, using straight up vitamin E does work.

Sorry, this product isn't pictured. Mederma is a scar treatment that my doctor actually recommended to me. I went through like, three tubes of this stuff. Full disclosure, after about six months my skin did grow immune to it (which is why I haven't repurchased), but it worked like a charm for those six months. My dark spots were reduced greatly. I used to put it on before my lotion, and then when I got lazy I started mixing it in with my body lotion, which worked all the same.

Another unpictured item: aloe vera. This might seem strange, but with continued use of this superplant, your scars will start to fade. Aloe vera gel can be purchased at most drugstores for a pretty affordable price, or you can scoop the meat out of the plant itself (also affordable). The only problem is that the plant's leaves don't grow back, so be wary if you're using the plant directly.

Some quick tips to helping body spots fade faster:

  • Sunscreen. Some of your spots might be sun spots, so always be sure to apply sunscreen!
  • Hydrate. I'm not sure why, but whenever my lets are soft and hydrated the spots seem to disappear faster.
  • Don't overload your spots with products!

Ayo, so I hope this post was of some help to you. I know it can be a little difficult tracking down products designed for dark spots on the body. Thanks for reading!

cleansing water

Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water Review

5:35 PM

Hey, guys! Today’s post is a review, specifically on Sephora’s Triple Action Cleansing Water

What it is: a micellaire water
Where it is: Sephora stores and online
How much: $12 for the 5 oz size
Anything else: Sephora products are not cruelty-free.

This is essentially a micellaire water, which are very hard to get a hold of in the States. A micellaire water, if you didn't know, is basically a water with minerals and micela (cleansing bubbles) that remove makeup and impurities. Similar to the legendary Bioderma, this can be used as a face, eye, and lip makeup remover, but it can also be used as a toner, or as a skin refresh.

Now, I’ve never tried Bioderma, as it is only available in the States online for a much steeper price, but an employee said that this is a good alternative, NOT dupe.

Sephora claims that this product “cleanses the face and eyes effectively in one simple step. Dispensed from a bottle with a clever pump design, its soap-free formula features cleansing spheres that effectively capture and eliminate impurities and makeup. It also includes HydroSenn+, a natural ingredient proven to deliver immediate and long-lasting hydration more effectively than hyaluronic acid.” This product is formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, GMOs, and triclosans. It’s available in two quantities, one a 5 oz bottle and the other a 13.5 oz bottle.

So I really love the packaging of this product. There’s a cool little pump where you put a cotton round on the top and press down to dispense and it soaks the cotton in the solution.

As you can see clearly, the remover takes off the makeup with ease! The only products that I had the slightest bit of trouble taking off was waterproof eyeliner, but that eyeliner doesn't budge for anything except for straight up oil. The product has a bit of a strange smell, think fake flower scent, but it also tries to be fresh. It smells weird, but not unpleasant. Mascara obviously takes a bit of elbow grease to take off because the mascara will be on lashes instead of skin, but I usually use oil to take off my eye makeup anyways and go over with with cleansing water.

I really like this cleansing water! It takes off makeup easily, and doesn't irritate my skin.

Have you tried this product? What do you think of it?


Mini Haul!

1:05 PM

Hi, everyone! I went shopping today and picked up a few things.

Thanks for reading! What have you been buying recently?

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Hi there, I'm Emily. It's nice to meet you. I'm a beauty blogger who also happens to be very interested in photography/film. Chat with me, let's be friends!