Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My manicure, and into the trash we go! February edition.

My gosh this month has gone by quickly. My birthday is in just over two weeks, and it's hard to believe how fast time has flown. I guess that's the way of the world. I decided to go ahead and sort through my empties and expirees even though it's not quite March yet. February has been a pretty good month as far as it goes for using up old products and trying out samples. March is looking to be promising as well.

Before I get to that I have a rare thing to share with you - a manicure! That's right, I actually got pictures before it was completely destroyed. I decided to do a post Valentine's day scramble. I used elf flat candy apple red, dark metallic red, light pink (the top coat picked up some of the dark metallic red and bled over onto light pink but it looked pretty), gold and ox blood. I was really happy with the quality of the elf polishes, and pretty surprised by the results. They dried pretty quickly, applied OK and lasted quite long. The only issue I had was light pink didn't apply well. I think I must have had oil on my nails or something because it just did not apply evenly. It seemed to repel the polish in some spots. I fixed that issue before the final manicure though. Dark metallic red was my favorite color among these. I don't normally wear red, but I was very happy with this particular manicure.

 After several days, I touched up a few chips. Unfortunately the next day then I noticed my polish had cracked. I had used Ciate London gelology top coat, and I'm thinking I applied the top coat to thickly or something about that top coat with regular polish made it crack. I really am not sure. I decided to top over the works with 365 Days of Color's Come Little Children, which is a red and black glitter. Yes I used red glitter over red nail polish. Perfect contrast of colors, and I loved how this looked. Especially over the gold accent.

So there's that. Before I get to my empties for the month, let me show you what is expiring this month. Only two beauties this time.

My ipsy Nyx eyeshadow is the first to expire, but I've gotten pretty good use out of it. I mostly used up the lighter shade, as it made for a good base color. The darkest color I didn't use much. I've just started to use eye shadow over my eyeliner to keep it in place, so that's how I've been using it mostly.

My treStique mini matte lip crayon in Nantucket Nude also is expiring. I really wasn't crazy about this product so no big loss. I actually did almost use it up even though I didn't like it. The color just isn't something I would have picked out for myself, and the matte formula definitely did not mix with my chronically chapped lips.

So out with the old, and in with the new... I will be adding my tarte lip creme to my bag this month. It expires.. next month, I believe, but I've actually almost used it up, too!

.... and here is my empties for the month. Pretty decent pile. I also tried out some Purina dry food with Winslow this month.. and some other cat food, but I'll stick with more beauty things here mostly.

Firstly, for Christmas I received a whole bunch of CST brand bars of soap. These bars are pretty awesome. They're huge at 12 ounces, so one bar lasted us about a month, in comparison to the one bar a week we're used to with cheaper soaps. This month we used Egyptian Cotton. It left my skin feeling very soft. I will definitely recommend this brand. The cool thing about these soaps is they come in very nice little boxes which I am definitely keeping to reuse for something or other.

Next is Arm & Hammer Ultra Max antiperspirant deodorant. This seemed to last me a good long time - I want to say about 6 months. Pretty standard deodorant, nothing special or unique about it. Not liking some of those nasty chemicals in it, now that I look at the ingredients, but I guess you will have that.

Sensetive+ BB cream from Dr. G I got from Ipsy. Pretty standard BB cream - but why is it called sensetive? That really bothers me. This is supposed to be 10 free, provide protection, etc. I like that it gives you a place to write in when you opened the container, so you know when it expires. Not that I did that - the sample was small enough I used it up before it had a chance to expire.

Carmex hydrating lotion I won.. so long ago in a giveaway. This actually may have expired already, I'm not positive since I don't see an expiration date on the container.  The vanilla scent was nice, and there are some healthier ingredients in this but still, some not so good ones I would assume since they are chemical names. I don't recall noticing any fantastic improvement with this. Again, pretty standard lotion and nothing too special.

3D Creat White strips, I got a free sample of.. I believe from Walmart perhaps? I found the bottom strip wouldn't stay on my teeth so I tossed it. The top one I noticed was actually hurting my teeth after maybe a minute so I tossed it as well. I'm guessing I didn't get any benefit from having the product on for so little time but I do recall my teeth hurt for hours after using this. Never again. I will definitely NOT recommend this. Ever.

Hey Honey Honey Silk Facial Serum was another Ipsy product I received. It's not tested on animals, and I really liked that it made use of natural products aka honey. I want to say I did notice improvement in the softness of my skin with this, and I did like it.

PinchMe.com sent me a sample of SlimFast 100 calorie snack bites, and I gotta say these were pretty awful. They just tasted like fake chocolate chemical crap (probably because that's what they are.....) I immediately regretted eating those 100 calories.

I also received a sample of Burt's Bees Protein powder. I added my sample to a fruit smoothie and it was absolutely awesome. It tasted so delicious. I made the same smoothie another time without the protein powder and it wasn't anywhere nearly as good. Unfortunately the protein powder is too expensive for me, because this is one of those few samples I would actually purchase if I could. I highly recommend this for a healthier choice for extra protein.

This month I received two facial masks from Ipsy. I've just used the one. I used #stay gogeous botanic fiber facial mask from bioBelle. I noticed my skin felt softer after use. It seemed to fit my face pretty well, unlike some other face masks. I like that it is paraben, GMO free, made with natural ingredients (even if it is made in China.) Again however, lots of chemical names on this little package.

Lastly, I used up my Living Proof restore hair mask treatment, which I had gotten for free from Ipsy using rewards points. Pretty standard hair mask, with a short time of 5 minutes to sit. This was a small sample but it was enough to use a couple of times. I definitely wouldn't pay the $11 I see this is selling for on Walmart's web site. Gosh. I expected this to be higher cost but didn't think it would be that much for something you only use 2 or 3 times. I was going to say I would purchase this product, but not for that price. I may just try a good old mayo mask again since it's so cheap to make mayo at home.

I guess that's another wrap up for this month. I'll be back around eventually to completely review my February Ipsy bag and of course to give a sneak peek at my March bag. Here's to another good month :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February Ipsy bag first look

I bought this. This page contains a referral link.

I'm so excited because my February Ipsy bag arrived today. Funny thing about it is I never noticed in any of the pictures that it has orange on it! That's so strange considering how bright it is in this picture and real life.

Unfortunately my nail polish seems a bit wonky - I think perhaps just from the cold weather... so I'm giving everything 24 hours to warm up. Hopefully that helps... because at the moment my nail polish is looking a bit like fudge and I know it's not supposed to look like that. I really hope I'm not going to have to ask them to send me a replacement because I just had a similar experience with another product a few months ago. They do seem to be good about replacements though!

So check out what I got in my bag this month.

First up is Trust Fund Beauty in $12 Latte. Let me just say that I hate brown nail polish. But this is Trust Fund and so far their polishes are pretty awesome. This one looks like it's more of a purple brown which sounds kind of weird but it looks like it's a color I don't have already, so at least it will be unique in my collection. I really hope this settles so I can try it out tomorrow. I like that this is made in the US.

Next up, I received two facial masks from bioBelle. I absolutely love that I received these since getting two products, it's basically a two for one deal. Pretty awesome! I haven't tried this brand yet, but I've tried some other mask sheets and they're pretty fun. Immediately I like that these are GMO, and paraben free. Not crazy that they're made in China, but you'll have that.

I'm also really excited to try out the bellapierre volumelash mascara - how awesome that it's full size?! I don't seem to get many full size products so I definitely lucked out this month in that department. This expires after 12 months, so I'm glad it will last a good long time. I've gotten a few mascaras recently which only lasted like 3-6 months so I really hope this is a good one since I'll be using it for awhile.

I also got Nyx butter lipstick which I could have given or taken, but I'm very happy it's full size and that I received Ripe Berry. I prefer more wine colored reds, so I'm happy they picked this shade out for me. I'm definitely looking forward to trying this. Again - this one was made in Taiwan. Just can't avoid foreign made products sometimes.

Lastly, I received Lord & Berry eyeliner in Travel Black. I really, really don't need any more eyeliner... but this ones lasts 3 years and it's I think half size so I doubt it will actually last that long. I see it's made in Italy. I don't recall trying an Italian makeup products before, so that has my interest piqued. Again, it is black, and I already have like 10 eyeliners in black.. but I'll try it and see what I think. I don't normally use regular pencil eyeliners anymore either. One of the other things I'm curious about this eyeliner is I saw on Ipsy's Web site that this can be used along the waterline. I have never ever used eyeliner on the waterline. I'm actually a bit nervous about that, but I'll try it.

You may have noticed I left out one product here. I also got Make Face Gloss as a rewards item this time. I can't say that I've ever used a face gloss, don't recall ever hearing about such a thing - so I got it to try just for that reason. Ipsy says this can be used as a highlighter which I find interesting. I assumed this was colorless - and after checking it is. I've yet to use a clear highlighter so that will be fun to experiment with. This is pretty small, just .1 fluid ounce but for something free to try out, I can't complain.

So before actually digging in, I feel like I made out pretty well this month. Something you got in your bag this month you want to tell me about? Anything here you love, hate? Let me know in the comments!

If you're not familiar with Ipsy, they are a subscription service where you get 5 beauty items a month delivered to your door. Sometimes you get full sized items, sometimes travel or sample sized. But they're fun just if you like to try new things. For me, it's been a great experience to try new products and types of products as I learn more about makeup. Additionally, they have a cool rewards program where if you review items on their Web site, share your bag, etc. you get points which can be used to exchange for free products. Score! (Referral link follows.) You can sign up for your custom monthly Ipsy bag here

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Glass Sky by Alexia Purdy review

I received an advanced reader's copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.

I've been getting caught up on some of the works by author's I enjoy, as one of my goals for this year. Recently, I had been reading some works by Alexia Purdy. I don't enjoy doing book reviews so much anymore so I don't do them very often, but I got the opportunity to review her newest story, The Glass Sky.

The Glass Sky
A Re-imagining of the tale of King Thrushbeard
By Alexia Purdy


Star’s refusal of suitors lined up for her hand has her family in knots, but when the city is bombed and overthrown, she loses everything. A stranger named Clyde comes to her rescue, but he isn't who she thought he was, and the secrets he shows her are stunning. When Star sneaks back to the city for her parents, the new president wants her for himself and will stop at nothing, even place her where no one can touch her ever again.

I don't recall ever reading the tale of King Thrushbeard, but I enjoyed this short story regardless. I was surprised by the story line, yet it drew me in immediately and I definitely enjoyed it. It is a short read, so most readers could probably pick it up and finish it in one read. I was surprised to be reminded of Terry Pratchett's Strata, to some extent. This also reminded me of something out of perhaps the old Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. Yet at the same time, I'm reminded of more traditional fairy tales. Another well done, well written story by Alexia Purdy. I definitely recommend this for most ages.

The Glass Sky was released yesterday, February 1, 2017, as part of the Once Upon a Kiss Anthology.

Once Upon a Kiss is available from Amazon for 99 cents for Kindle.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My manicure, and into the trash we go!

So today I have a manicure to share with you - I was going to do more with it until our house decided to literally fall apart on us. Long story and I'm too worn out to go into the details. Last year was difficult for us, and this year isn't looking much better so far. Something has to give soon.. just waiting for things to improve while trying our best to get there is so exhausting.. and we've been working towards things being better for so long. It's incredibly difficult to keep going sometimes.

For this manicure I used Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Get Mod, which is just a fake gel polish in white. I found the polish to dry fairly fast so I'm really happy with how it worked. However, I did end up with some bubbles - and for some reason after a few days I noticed the polish was starting to crack on me. Kind of like an iceberg. I've never seen anything like it. Really weird. I used two coats of Get Mod, and topped with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat. I did use base coat with this just because I don't believe any of these companies when they say not to use base coat. My nails are not happy with me if I don't use it.

I used a zebra stripe mask to do stripes on every other nail. I had planned on adding stickers to the plain white nails, but then my house collapsing on itself happened, so that didn't happen.

I used one coat of Top Shelf Lacquer Arctic Kiss on each nail. Arctic Kiss is a white polish with iridescent glitter. Unfortunately it doesn't really show up much in the pictures but it did add a nice bit of sparkle to my nails.

I sponged on three LA Colors which are neon blue, neon yellow and neon pink. This combination worked really well and I was very happy with the results. The zebra stripes looked pretty awesome. I really loved it. I somehow got flecks of the pink mixed in with the blue on a few spots so that adds some interest to it.

I'm thinking it would be fun to do a candy cane manicure similar to this for Christmas some time. It sure would be easy enough. The Sally Hansen gel polish made it so much easier to paint my nails one day, then do the nail art another. I have a couple more of that polish line to try out so hopefully that means I'll have more nail art to show off this year. I certainly have enough supplies to use!

So moving on, here is my small pile of things to toss this month. Not much to toss for once.

First I have Insta Natural peppermint oil which is expiring this month. It's still very potent so I think I'm actually going to keep this on hand just to use in the kitchen to keep the mice away - which that does seem to be working now. I just won't be using it on my skin incase there is any bacteria growing in it.

My Tarteist mascara from tarte also expires. I wasn't crazy about this one, anyway - it seemed kind of clumpy like it was starting to expire, almost since I got it honestly. Maybe I just got a bad batch, I don't know.

I'm kind of surprised that's all I have which has expired this month - it seems I'm getting a better handle on my supply and of what I really need and don't. Lastly, the single item I used up this month was a sample of volumer from etude House. From an internet search, I found you were supposed to combine this with bb cream, so I guess it just helps stretch out the bb cream? I don't really know, honestly. I can't really say I noticed much of a difference.

I guess that's it for now. I have a few things which I will probably review before long, so I'll be back sometime. Thanks for reading :)