Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lush Godiva Shampoo bar

     During my trip to Seattle last month I made my first ever purchase at Lush.  Lush is a company that makes cruelty free bath products and has a niche following among long term travelers. One reason being their line of shampoo bars. A shampoo bar is similar to a bar of soap but since it is a solid, it doesn't need to go in the liquids bag in your carry on. This is a big plus for us beauty junkies who need all the extra space we can get! I don't like to skimp on my beauty routine when I'm traveling nor do I enjoy the hassle of bringing a checked bag. Anything I can use that multi-tasks or doesn't need to go in my liquids bag is essential. I've always wanted to try solid shampoo so when I spotted the Lush store, I had to check it out.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mini E.L.F. Haul and DIY Travel Eye Shadow Palette

       Before I begin my post, I wanted to give you guys an update on the blog. Recently I've found that trying to stay on top of writing, editing and sharing blog posts has been very difficult. I like to spend as much time with my family during the holidays as possible and between that, a full-time job and various other priorities, it doesn't leave much time for quality posts. I don't want to abandon my readers but I also think you deserve to read something good, not something I threw together and typed up at the last minute. I was trying to maintain a schedule of two to three posts per week, but as you may have noticed, that hasn't happened. Until things quiet down, I may only be able to post once a week, or every other week. Even though I have so many ideas and things I want to share with you, I want to make sure I am being respectful of the time you give me when you read my posts. I'm still learning how this whole thing works and trying to find my style which is why I feel for now it is more important to practice producing meaningful material that you will appreciate than how many posts I can throw together every week. Thanks you guys!!!

     A while back, E.L.F. had a free shipping promo that I couldn't wait to take advantage of. I had been wanting to pick up a few things that weren't available locally but I can't bear paying $7 in shipping for $15 dollars of products. While I could have easily spent more, for the sake of my bank account, I refrained. Here are a few favorites I picked up plus some new ones AND l'm going to show you a cute and easy DIY eye shadow palette! So read on!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


     For as long as I can remember, I have loved variety stores. Dollar stores, local pharmacies, gift shops, etc. They're just amazing for finding things you wouldn't expect for cheap. Plus, little know fact, an independent pharmacy can order almost anything skin related,(not high end obviously) and have it to you in about a day. So if there's a particular product you like and can't find it, give 'em a call! You never know. Anyway, I went to Seattle a few weeks ago and got to visit one of my favorite little shops, DAISO. Daiso is a Japanese "dollar" store where most items retail for only $1.50 or $2. I actually went to two different ones since there are none in the state where I live. I found all kinds of unique goodies and couldn't resist taking a bunch home!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stocking Stuffer and Beauty Gift Ideas!

     It's getting to be that time of year again!! The holidays are upon us and Christmas will be here before you know it!!  Soon the question on everyone's mind will be, What do I get so-and-so? I go through this every year and it helps to get ideas from other places so I thought I'd put together a fun little list of beauty items and stocking stuffers for the makeup lover on your list! My family is not big on expensive gifts so most of these items are fun and won't break the bank.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Major Mascara Review!


      Whew!! I got a little carried away with this post. I was only going to review two new mascaras that I spotted at Fred Meyer the other day and of course, had to try, but I also wanted to show you two that I wear often as well. So I did four. You're welcome. The two I bought were Maybelline's Lash Sensational and from their Great Lash line, Real Impact.  I had recently read some posts about a new mascara that was out and I thought it was the Lash Sensational, but it was only after purchasing that I remembered the new one is by Covergirl and is called Lash Bloom, not Lash Sensational. Oh well. I'll just have to try it too! The two favorites that I've been using lately are Ulta's Twisted Volume and Revlon's Lash Potion. Read on for more info and swatches! ;) All the photos below show the mascara on the left and my natural lashes on the right. All mascaras were swatched with two coats and the shades are all Blackest Black, except for the Ulta mascara which is Jet Black.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Aeveka Skincare Repairing Micro Facial Scrub Review

     A few weeks ago I won a bottle of Aeveka Repairing Micro facial scrub from one of my favorite bloggers, Macarons and Mischief . I was so excited!!! I rarely win things, and I remember thinking how perfect this product was for me when I entered, so it was an extra special treat.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November Ipsy Glam Bag Review

     It's that time again!! The November Ipsy Bag is here, yay!! *cue applause* My bag arrived extra early this month but due to some time constraints and some health issues, I wasn't able to review it until now. Read on for my thoughts!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Maybelline The Nudes Palette Review


     First off, let me say, Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you to those of you who have served and protected this country. The freedoms we have did not come free, they were dearly won by those who have gone before us and are protected now by those who currently serve. Veteran's Day is in honor of those who served our country in war and I hope we never forget that. Regardless of your political opinion, I hope we can all take a moment today to remember those in service to our country.

On to the review!

     I'm admittedly a little late getting on board with this one. Do you ever see something and get really excited about it but when someone says something negative it changes your mind? You wait for months before you try it yourself and then kick yourself for not getting it sooner. No? Oh, just me then... This was how it went for Maybelline's "the Nudes" palette. I just bought this palette about 2 weeks ago and after I opened it, I thought to myself, "Why did you wait so long?!?!?!?!" For some reason I got caught up in other people's negtaive or so-so reviews and I didn't think it was worth it. And maybe for $10.99 it wasn't. But for $6 something on sale I'd thought I'd give it a try. Also, some of my favorite eye shadows are a duo called "Browntones" and a trio called "Almond Satin." When I remembered that those colors were all from Maybelline, I was even more excited to try this palette. So read on!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Giveaway Update


      I had a comment tonight from a new Instagram follower who was having trouble getting her entry in, which makes me sad since so many of you have tried to enter! Fortunately, the giveaway does not end until Friday and I've changed a few things to make entry easier and give you all more chances. I suspect that if you use a AdBlock service it was interfering with the pop-ups for the giveaway. Rather than having you fuss with turning that off, I removed the requirement for verification AND opened up the giveaway for once daily entries, rather than just once for the whole contest. I hope this helps!!!

Thank you all for your patience and I hope that everyone gets a chance to re-enter!!

10th post giveaway!

All right you guys, as promised, here is my first giveaway!!  I'm pretty excited to share with you some of my favorite things!

Read on to see more details and how to enter!

Friday, November 7, 2014

BeeFriendly Skin Care Review + a Giveaway!

     Let's start with the fun stuff first!! Since I just realized this is post #11, that means I've reached 10 posts!! And I'm kind of excited about that. I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this little blog of mine and I love reading your comments, they are the highlights of my day!! In celebration, I wanted to do a giveaway. Now, considering I just realized I hit 10 posts and had this idea this morning, I haven't decided what to giveaway yet, but I promise you'll love it. The giveaway will go live on Sunday, Nov. 9th around 9am PST and will end on Friday the 14th at 6pm PST. Contest is open to residents of US and Canada.  Look for an update on how to enter and the prize coming soon!! Thank you so much you guys!

Now, on to the review!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sonia Kashuk Makeup Brush review!

Whew!!  What a crazy week last week was!!  It seems like forever since I posted but I guess it's only really been 8 days...Still soo long, wow!! I usually try to do major post prep over the weekend but this last weekend was just crazy! Having three different activities in addition to the usual responsibilities, plus getting sick is a bit much for this girl. No wonder I'm exhausted. Fortunately, I have something fun to share with you!

A while ago I was perusing for a new face brush. I use mostly liquid foundations and while it is easy to just smear it around with my fingers, it's not very professional and it wasn't giving me the look I wanted. I have the e.l.f. studio powder brush which works pretty well but tends to absorb a lot of product. Enter the wonderful world of Sonia Kashuk!

I had previously purchased the smaller eye shadow brush pictured above, the Pointed Blending Brush #109 from her Core Tools collection. I loved it so when I spotted the Synthetic Buffing Brush I was intrigued. I'll be honest though, I'm kind of a bargain shopper. Unless something is dirt cheap, I won't buy it right off. I like to read reviews and see what other people think of it. And then find a coupon. =) 

This brush retails for 12.99 at Target and I had a coupon for $3 off a $15 beauty purchase, So I basically bought it and got free makeup remover wipes. (I was out.) So it was kind of on sale but not really, ha ha.  But I really wanted to try it! Most reviews i read raved about this brush and claimed it gave them the beautiful finish they were looking for. And I have to agree!!  

     About the brush: The synthetic buffing brush has a dome shaped head with synthetic bristles. It is recommended for use with cream products but I found once I dotted my liquid foundation on, this brush works amazingly to blend it out. In addition, even though I usually have to clean my e.l.f. brush daily when I use it for foundation the Synthetic Buffing brush lasts a good three days or more before I feel like I need to clean it. It absorbs significantly less product than my other one. Win win!.  

     One dilemma I usually have is that it is difficult to use big brushes around my eyes. I have prominent veins in my eyelids and dry skin everywhere so the foundation helps to conceal the veins and prep my eye shadow. I also like to make sure there are no hard edges in my foundation and I don't want to have to change brushes. This doesn't seem like much to ask but my experience with other brushes seems to differ. Often I have to go back and blend with a different brush or try to use the same brush and poke a bristle into my eye. I had no trouble with this brush though! The soft bristles and the dome shape fit perfectly into my eye socket so I was able to blend out under my eyes and around the inner corner around my nose seamlessly. No prickly bristles here!!! 

I have to say, I'm very satisfied with this brush. Maybe I'm not used to using nice tools or this brush really is that good. It does everything I ask it to do and it hasn't shed a bristle yet. It's soft yet dense enough to blend without streaking or picking up too much product. If it came in a travel version with a shorter handle I would totally buy a second one. I may get a second one anyway because it does takes a full day to dry and I want to use it all the time. Or just to use to blend out dry product like blush and powder. For $12.99 its a steal. 

Have you tried Sonia Kashuk products? What are your favorite face brushes? Any others you would recommend?

***Disclaimer: All items mentioned in this or future posts have been purchased by me, at my own expense unless otherwise noted. I am not affiliated with or sponsored by any company or brand so you can be assured my opinions are mine alone. My opinions are based on my own experience and independent research. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Walmart Beauty Box!

     Friday's mail brought another beauty box delivery and I could barely wait to share it with you! After I opened this box and showed my husband the contents,  he couldn't believe that a company would send so much stuff for only $5. Read on on to see more!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

In my pocket.

     Holly-Pockets...It's a nickname at work. Mostly due to the fact that I carry way more in my pockets than one should ever carry. On any given day, not only do I have my cell phone, bobby-pins, at least 2 of my favorite pens (usually 3), change for the vending machine, pieces of candy or mints, a notebook, extra pens for my boss and post-it notes all crammed into my pockets. And then of course there are the lip products. There are at least 2 lip products on my person at all times as it is, but at work there are at least 3, sometimes 4.

     So to ease my conscious and in hopes I'm not the only one, here are the items I have been clinging to all week. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Primer showdown!

     For the past few weeks I've been trying out a few different primers. I used e.l.f.'s Hydrating primer in the past but due to my combination skin, I started to react to it. So, I've been on the hunt for a new one!! I've tried 3 so far and I think I found one that both suits my skin and my budget.  For more on my new favorite read on!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Target Beauty Box Unboxing!

          I was feeling pretty stressed this morning, so when I saw my Target Box was out for delivery I practically skipped out to the mailbox to get it. The mailman had just arrived and hadn't even finished distributing the mail. But he had already left my box!! I left everything else there and ran inside to open it. And now here it is!

     Target started doing beauty boxes just this year with a spring box. I missed it but everyone else seemed to love it. When I heard they had a fall box I ordered it right away. It was $7 and while I heard some people had to pay shipping, mine came up with a shipping discount. Guess I got lucky! 

Let's open it shall we?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Ipsy Glam Bag Review!

Wednesday's are hard. That mid-week slump can be so trying! What made this Wednesday better was that I got my Ipsy Glam Bag today!! I've been really excited for this one and I'll show you why, after I tell you a bit about the Ipsy service.

Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service that sends you products and samples based on your reviews and profile. I've had my subscription for about 11 (?) months and I've been very satisfied. I know a lot of people have had complaints about the products they've received in their bags but I try to remind myself it's a sample service. They can't always give everyone exactly what they want and you can always trade with someone or gift your extra items. If you don't have Ipsy, you can sign up here

Monday, October 13, 2014

Makeup tutorial- Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette!!

     I LOVE a good smoky eye. I also love cat-eye looks. So of course, my favorite eye look is a combination of the two, and I just had to share it with you. I apologize in advance for the unruly eyebrows, the poor lighting and the fact that my face is a bit asymmetrical. I can't really change that last one but I will work on the rest.

     Last year I purchased the Revealed Palette from Coastal Scents. The colors were a combination of neutrals, and I couldn't resist getting it. I was amazed at how great the shadows were and how inexpensive it was. When I found out Coastal Scents had released a Revealed 2 palette, I had to get it as well. I've been using it for a few weeks now, and this look has been my go-to most days. The eye shadow colors I used for this look are listed at the bottom of the post. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

BEST ever DIY Lip Balm!

Today I have something extra special for you!!! 

     I know there are tons of recipes like this on the web right now, but seriously, this one is the best. How do I know? Because I tried it of course. I also had my friends and co-workers and families try it. I've adjusted and readjusted the recipe until I came up with the perfect lip balm.
And I'm super picky about my lip balm.

It's smooth, moisturizing, long-lasting and actually helps your lips heal and moisturize themselves. Plus, it's extra shiny. Like, wear over your lipstick, lip gloss shiny. I would say that it's non-addicting, but if you love the way it feels on your lips as much as I do, you won't want to stop using it. And most of the ingredients you can find locally. And because I'm nice and love you all so much, I'm going to share the recipe with you!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mary Poppins' Carpet Bag

My husband hates to get things out of my purse. He calls it the Mary Poppins bag or my Hermione bag.

    Either way, there's a lot more in it than there should be, and just like my makeup bag I'm trying to streamline, but it's just not easy. Who knows if I want  purple or brown or black eyeliner today? Maybe I want liquid eyeliner, or do I want to use a pencil or a brush, or just shadow? Umm.... what? There are so many options! And that's just the eyeliner. Let's not discuss the plethora of eye shadows and palettes in my bag. In fact, I got a new bag just to fit more in it! It's a dilemma. 

    I read somewhere that to streamline your morning routine, you should only keep the basics, those products that you know you will use, in one makeup bag and everything else separate. That way, you don't have a lot of choices and decisions to make when you're rushed. If really pressed for time, you can just grab that bag and know you're covered. It really does make a lot of sense, but I haven't found the willpower to try it yet.

Anyway, here is what's in my bag right now. Subject to change of course. 

The bag itself is from Ikea. I drooled over my friend's so much she bought me one last week. I'll pay her back of course, probably in coffee. 

 I have 3 different primers I'm trying out:

-Almay's Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer
-Benefit's the POREfessional and
-Garnier's 5 Sec Blur

I love the POREfessional, but as it's fairly pricey, I'm trying to find suitable alternatives. I tried buying one that appeared to be a brand name POREfessional primer that was only $15. While the packaging seems legit, the formula seems off. It's not as silky as the sample I have, and the staying power seems shorter. The Almay primer is nice, but I haven't used it enough yet to give a true comparison. I am really liking Garnier's 5 sec Blur. It's quite to close the POREfessional sample I have, and like most silicone primers, it appears to be just as silky. For the past two days it has lasted through my entire work day. My dry skin is hard to prime since most products appear to be geared towards women with oily skin. My skin will start out glowing and luminous, but by the end of the day my cheeks are dull and the makeup has cracked and shifted. Of these three primers the Garnier seems to have solved this problem for me. Time will tell.

    Tucked away in my bag I also have 8 different eyeshadow palettes,  Revlon Lash Potion mascara, Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, Revlon Photo Ready concealer, NYX yellow HD concealer, e.l.f. Glitter Primer, Maskcara liquid blush in Princess Peach and e.l.f. Makeup mist and set.

I haven't tried many Revlon products in the past but I decided to stock up as they were on sale recently. Last week at Ulta all Revlon products were 40% off and you could combine that with a $3.50 off $10 coupon. I may have made a few trips there to try them out. So far I've been very happy with my purchases. 

All that talk earlier about eyeliner and it's not even in my bag. It's in a separate place. Because there's too much of it. See, it's a problem.

What do you think? What are your favorites? Things I should try, leave out? Best primer for dry skin? 
What's your favorite way to store your makeup?

Monday, October 6, 2014


If you're reading this far back, hopes are you have probably seen some brilliantly shot product photos and some clever but honest reviews and maybe even some cute DIY projects. No? Oh.

Well. I guess I have more work to do! But first, a little bit about me.

I am *about* 30 years old and 4 years into marriage with the best guy I know. We don't have any kids, (yet.) And no pets, as much as I want one. (Does this blog count?) I love seeing beauty in the everyday and creating as much beauty as I can. I'm not perfect and often I don't do things right the first time around. I'm learning to be patient with others and myself. I love Paris and the Eiffel tower, French macarons and Audrey Hepburn.

And traveling anywhere.

And I love to make things.

So, why am I writing a blog? I've never felt particular special, just kind of ordinary, nothing that unusual. But as I've gotten older, I've come to know myself more. I realize, everyone's a bit unusual. Everyone has something to say. Not everyone will like everything I say and someone may think I'm boring or that what I share just doesn't interest them.

But it might interest you.

And since you are reading this, you are who I'm writing to. So here's me. Kind of short, awkward me. Constantly running into the door jam and tripping over my husband's computer cable- me. I am a little bit of a control freak and other times I really just don't care. I am NOT a morning person. But I am passionate about people and my hobbies and I hope you find some enjoyment out of my little contributions.