Nov 12, 2013

Accutane Update (November 2013)

It has been some time since I have talked about my Accutane experience, but I think that is because I don't have much to talk about. My skin gets gets better, then it breaks out. It's a mundane cycle. I haven't had any side effects other than the occasional dry patch of skin and dry lips. I'm sure it will really affect me once winter hits, but as of right now, I am having a good experience. My hair doesn't get oily as quickly and my skin rarely is shiny.

I'm using the same products I mentioned in my last Accutane post and I am picking up my next (third) prescription in a little over one week.

I am also still trying to finish the products I have with fewer natural ingredients. They may or may not be causing my acne. The point is that I would rather keep it simple. Since I am hoping to have an internship in the summer, I will not be as tempted to buy things as I was when I worked in retail.

I have noticed that the Maybelline FitMe Shine-Free Stick Foundation seems to break my skin out when I use it. My skin clears itself up and then I will start using the foundation again and then my face is a mess again. I do want to throw it away, but I have used over 50% of the product and I could easily finish the stick if I wanted to. When my skin looks good, I only wear powder. Unfortunately, that does not fix my "I have way too many foundations for one face" problem.

I am a little surprised that this process hasn't been so difficult yet. I still do not know how long I am supposed to be on Accutane. At this rate, I doubt I will really see any major difference for at least two or three more months.

Have you used Accutane? How long did you take it, if you did? When did you see results? Comment below because I am curious! :)

Oct 28, 2013

I Like to Talk/Write

I just thought I would take the time to blabber on about random things because I haven't written a beauty post in a while and I haven't been using anything new or exciting.

I'm still on the hunt for those limited edition Maybelline Color Tattoo's. I swear, these are my beauty weakness right now. I used to constantly look for the next great foundation or skin care product, but I haven't gone too overboard with either in the past couple years.

I am the type of person who has a list for everything. Just thought you would be interested (or scared) to know that I have a list of almost every single beauty product I own. It's intimidating to look at, but crossing each item off is like a breath of fresh air. On the other hand, I keep finding expired products around my room. Yuck. The next empties post is gonna be a big one.

I found out that one of my classes requires that I own/know somebody who owns a DSLR camera. It's exciting because I can finally learn how to use one and then use it for my blog and YouTube channel, but I'm not exactly prepared to fund it ;

I am also thinking about shelling out the money for a website host. This would also mean I'd be switching to Wordpress (the .org version, not .com), which is more powerful and more customizable than Blogger. I'm torn because (a) I don't think I want to keep the name Blushing Antics and (b) it is a lot of money to spend on something I might not have enough time for.

Enough about how I've been since my last post - how have you all been lately? :)

Oct 11, 2013

Super September Day 15: September Favorites

I didn't think I would make it to my September Favorites post, but now I have. I really should just create these favorites posts sporadically, though. If I truly love a product, I will use it for a long time. That being said, I won't include my Maybelline Color Tattoo's this month ;)

I am just going to list a few products here. I've mentioned almost all of them in the past month, so here we go! I also don't have many favorites because I'm just working through my collection.
  • Maybelline The Rocket Mascara: As I said in my previous post, if you want a natural looking mascara, this is not the product for you. However, if you are like me and you really like dramatic eye lashes, then this is a great product!
  • Jane Iredale Magic Mitt: I only began using this again recently, but it was a product I received to review back in January and used for a few months before it began to wear down. It still worked, but it was somewhat rough. I'll definitely be buying another when I get the chance.
  • The entire L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Hair Care line: Yes, I mean the shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, AND dry oil! I went crazy with the hair care purchases back when I worked at CVS (darn coupons), but I really like these products. I do want to find natural alternatives to all of my hair care products, but if I can't find anything I like better, then I will definitely be coming back to these products. 

Least Favorites:
I only have one product that I wasn't a fan of: John Frieda Radiant Red Shampoo and Conditioner. As some of you may know, I dyed my hair an auburn color in July, and then I dyed it again in August. Red fades quickly, so I wanted to preserve it with a shampoo that was designed for dyed hair. This made my scalp greasy and my ends dry and tangled. I'll finish the bottles, but I don't think I will be repurchasing them.

Things I Found Out About and Kind of Really Want:
Alright, so I said I won't include my beloved Maybelline Color Tattoo's in on the favorites section, but if you've kept up with other beauty blogs, then you might know that Maybelline's Holiday 2013 collection (Gilded in Gold) has been spotted in some locations. It features some blushes, lipsticks, and nail polish. But it also features three new (limited edition) matte Color Tattoo's! The colors are: Matte Brown, Nude Pink, and Just Beige. I can safely (and shamefully) say that when I see these, I will be picking them up. Maybelline seems to choose to release the ones that should have been in the permanent collection in the fall ;)

What were your favorites? Least favorites? Things you found out about and kind of really want? Let me know!

Oct 6, 2013

Super September Day 14: My Travel Makeup Bag

Well, I've procrastinated on this post long enough. I don't travel too often, but when I do, here is what I take with me!

I try to keep it as simple as possible. I want products that can multitask for me. That is why I finally caved and bought the Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 foundation. It functions as a primer, foundation, and concealer. I agree that it lasts a long time on my skin and also covers well. And it has a pump! I follow with the Covergirl Clean Oil Control Powder. I don't love this, but I had it in my purse and I thought it was long gone, but I still have quite a bit of powder left. I hope this is the next powder to make it to my empties list because I just want to finish it.

For my eyes I simply bring my favorite Maybelline Color Tattoos (Barely Beige and Bad to the Bronze). For eyeliner I typically pack the Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Blackberry, although a couple days after I took this picture, I did take this traveling with me and somehow the eyeliner broke off the base and dried up, so now I will be packing the same eyeliner in black with me. For my lashes I have been using Maybelline The Rocket Mascara (non-waterproof). It doesn't give a very natural look, but I personally love to have dramatic eyelashes.

I also use Aquaphor to keep my lips from feeling dry. The only problem is that Aquaphor does nothing to moisturize my lips... it just makes them feel temporarily moist. If I want to wear lipstick, then I usually pack the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Wink for Pink. I typically choose this over any other lip stick because the color itself works beautifully as a lipstick and a cream blush.

I apologize for taking so long to finish this post. One day I will finish a series on time. Keep watching for my September favorites!

Oct 1, 2013

Super September Day 13: Accutane Update & My Accutane Skin Care Routine

Welcome to the first update of my Accutane experience. I've only been taking Accutane for ten days, but I am experiencing mild side effects, so I thought I would share those with you before I share my Accutane skin care routine. Also, I am trying a new format for this post, so let me know how you like it!

Within a few days my nose began to get drier and my lips are constantly chapped. The first four or five days my skin looked better, but now I am in the initial breakout stage. I have quite a few small pimples all over my face, but they are not painful and they disappear relatively quickly. My skin has also felt more sensitive the past two days. These are the only side effects I have experienced. I know that more will probably come in the next few weeks, but I hope I am prepared enough to prevent the severe side effects.

Below I will list the products I plan to use while I am on my Accutane treatment. However, I will admit that I miss using more natural products, so I will probably be replacing some of these products with some more natural alternatives. Most of the products I am using are by my dermatologist's recommendations. He suggested that I stick to using Cetaphil and Aquaphor products. As you may know if you have read my blog in the past, the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is not my favorite cleanser because it is loaded with sulfates and parabens.

To remove makeup, I use Philosophy Purity Made Simple. For some reason I forgot to include this in the picture. I bought this on a whim a while back because I used it in the past and loved it. I still really like it, but I do not like that it contains parabens. After I remove my makeup, I cleanse my face with the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. It is like Cetaphil, but without the parabens and sulfates. It has a VERY similar consistency to Cetaphil. I like this cleanser better than Cetaphil, but I have my eye on some other products that I will try when I run out of this. My skin is not very dry yet. I am not sure if it is because of the products I am using, or just because I have quite a while before my skin does dry out. Either way, I am using the CVS Moisturizing Cream (it is the generic version of the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, which is paraben-free, but I had coupons to make the CVS version even cheaper). To keep my lips from feeling too dry, I use Aquaphor. My dermatologist gave me a few small tubes that I have everywhere. However, I am trying to use up some of my other lip balms. Truth be told, they aren't enough, so I keep going back to Aquaphor.

What products are you using for your skin care routine?

Super September Day 12: I Love Fall Tag!

The lovely Katy tagged me in this and I am (of course) behind on Super September posts, so I thought this would be a great way to begin to catch back up since it is officially October 1 where I live. Fall is definitely my favorite season. The weather is neither too cold nor too warm, I can eat as many pumpkin-related things as I want, and some of my best memories are from fall. So let's get on with the tag!

1. Favorite Fall lip product?
I'm not too crazy about lip products in general, but I definitely want to use my Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum a lot this year. I also love the Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Dare Devil.

2. Favorite Fall nail polish?
It is Purr-fect Plum from the Fall 2012 China Glaze collection (On Safari). It is a berry color and since I don't love orange, brown, or yellow (typical fall colors), I really stick to berry in the fall.

3. Favorite Fall Starbucks drink?
I do like the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I usually get it with half of the amount of pumpkin in it. It's a strong syrup and in my opinion, the amount they put in is too much for me. I will admit that I prefer Christmas drinks from Starbucks. I'm one of five people who loves the Eggnog Latte. Now THAT is something I can't wait for!

4. Favorite Fall candle?
Pumpkin scented candles, anything spicy, Leaves (Slatkin and Co, Bath and Body Works), basically 99% of the fall candles. I only really like candle scents for fall and winter. Florals and fruity scents can make me feel nauseated.

5. Favorite Fall clothing item or accessory?
Probably just warm boots. I'm more interested in makeup than fashion, but I wish I appreciate fashion more.

6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?
I have never been on a haunted hay ride, so I would actually consider trying it. I don't really care for haunted houses, but a haunted corn maze is okay. Less intimidating for some reason.

7. Favorite Halloween movie?
I had to look at a list of Halloween-related movies because I couldn't even think of any. If Young Frankenstein counts, then definitely that one!

8. Favorite candy to eat on Halloween?
I've never been trick-or-treating, but my parents would buy me some candy for Halloween anyway. I think I just like being able to eat a little more chocolate and get away with it ;)

9. What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
My boyfriend and I talked about this and we think we want to dress up as an elderly couple. We probably won't end up dressing up

10. What is your favorite thing about Fall?
I think the memories that I have associated with fall are my favorite part. I love the change of weather, the fact that my boyfriend and I started our relationship in fall (two year anniversary is October 16: mark your calendars), and I really love Thanksgiving and spending more time with my family.

I tag:
Jenna of Northern Beauty 85
Nika of Nika's Beauty Land
Heather of Of Beauty and Nothingness
Melissa of HistoryBeauty

Sep 22, 2013

Super September Day 11: My Acne Story

I'm not sure how to introduce this post, so I will just begin with the story.

I got my first pimple sometime in middle school. I think it was on my forehead and it went away quickly. Throughout middle school, I always had one or two pimples on my face, but it was never bad. As a matter of fact, this was the case through my freshman year and part of my sophomore year of high school.

Within the first few weeks of sophomore year, my skin began to get bad. Why? I think it was because I was using skin care products my skin did not like. I also think it was because I was more stressed out than I ever had been because of the usual angsty teenager problems. My normal skin became oily and the breakouts started getting worse. I won't pretend that my acne was ever the worst out of the people I knew, but my skin was bad. Every now and then I would try to simplify my routine and my skin would get worse.

By the end of my senior year, I was persuaded to go to a dermatologist. He prescribed me an antibiotic and Veltin gel (1.2% clindamycin and 0.025% tretinoin). It made no difference to my skin, so a month later I was put on a different antibiotic and Aczone. That particular combination kept me clear for 3 or so months. Unfortunately my body became used to what I was using, and I began breaking out again. After trying a few more things, my dermatologist told me that he thought my last two options were either spironolactone or the big, scary A: Accutane. I resisted both for a while, but in June, I finally decided to go ahead and try spironolactone. He first put me on a small dosage that ended up doing nothing for my skin. Then he increased the dosage and I started having a weird side effect... my monthly cycle was completely messed up. As in... every 2-2.5 weeks I was given my monthly gift. When I went to see him in August, he took me off spironolactone and asked again if I wanted to consider Accutane. I decided to take the plunge. I can talk about that process more, but I only just picked up my prescription.

I will say that somewhere in the middle I stopped taking antibiotics and tried eliminating foods from my diet that are known to cause acne. I posted a few times about no longer drinking milk, only to see no difference after a few weeks (maybe I should have gone longer), and then I would start using it again in my coffee and cereal. I have a few other examples, but the biggest one was milk.

I will say that my skin is loads better than it was 2-3 years ago. But the problem is that I am 21 and my skin is still consistently broken out. It is somewhere between where it was in middle school and high school, but I'd like for my skin to heal some. I hope that I can share my experiences while I am on Accutane. Soon I will be posting the skin care routine I plan to be on while I am taking the big A.

I wish I had a decent picture of how my skin looked a few weeks ago, but below is a picture of me wearing makeup in May 2011. You might be able to see the breakouts. Yikes.

Sep 20, 2013

Super September Day 10: Empties Part Three - Makeup

This is my last empties post for a while. This could be good or bad, depending on how you feel about empties ;)

As always, this has fewer products than the other empties posts. And as always, I'm finishing the same things.

  • Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara - I liked this, but it dried up within 3 weeks, so I might not buy it again because it is a little wasteful to be buying a mascara with so much packaging and so little product.
  • Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara - I was sent this to review and I really liked it. It dried up, but I liked it while I had it. It's expensive, but I would buy the full sized one in the future because it has good ingredients and it looks like a luxury product.
  • NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Powder - This is a translucent powder that is okay, but I don't think it is worth all of the raves I have heard. Then again, it is inexpensive.
  • Maybelline Dream Matte Powder - This is one of my favorite powders of all time. I probably would buy it again and again, but I didn't repurchase it as soon as I was done. The only complaint I have is that both of the ones I have had would crack after I hit pan and I end up wasting a lot of the last little bits.
  • ELF Complexion Perfection Powder - This was okay. Once I hit pan each color eventually fell out on its own. I'm not even sure if that made sense, but it cracked and didn't cooperate.
  • Be a Bombshell Liquid Eyeliner Pen - I don't like thick eyeliner, so I had problems with this. I probably used it two or three times before it dried up.
  • Benefit They're Real! - This mascara is great! I would definitely buy the full size in the future.
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance Candlelight - I have the full sized tube and I love the color and quality of this primer. I would buy it again and again.
  • Not pictured: Maybelline Volum' Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara - I really liked this, but I have great luck with most Maybelline products.
What makeup have you finished recently?

Super September Day 9: Empties Part Two - Skin and Body Care

Alas! I have finally sorted out my used skin and body care products and will be showing them to you. I hope you enjoy seeing the products I have finished since my last empties video in June. I do apologize for not making a video, but I forgot to take my camera home the last time I went.

  • Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion 10% Glycolic AHA - This was okay. I used it on my face at first, but I didn't love it, so I started using it on my body. It worked better on my body than my face to soften my skin, but I would rather use a different lotion.
  • CVS Daily Moisturizing Lotion - I really like this, but it has pretty bad ingredients. I might buy it (or the Aveeno) version again.
  • Tretin-X (Tretinoin Cream) - This is prescription ONLY. I got three samples from my dermatologist and they lasted me a while. I like it, but it's not strong enough to have a lasting effect on my skin. The first two months were great, though!
  • Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer (SPF 17) Sample - I hated this at first, but when my skin was dry from using Tretin-X, this worked beautifully. Sadly it has parabens, so I probably won't be buying it again.
  • Noxzema Deep Cleansing Cream - I bought this because I heard it was great and I wanted to try something new. I liked it, but the packaging bothered me because the label would flake off. I think they repackaged it so the label doesn't do that anymore.
  • Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads - These didn't do anything for my skin, good or bad. I won't be buying them again.
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser - This is gentle, but it also doesn't really do anything. Plus, it has pretty harsh ingredients for being a gentle cleanser. I don't like it. I have some more samples of it, but I won't actually buy it again unless I have the urge to.
  • Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Moisturizer - This takes a long time to sink in. I like it, but I don't at the same time. I'm on the fence.
  • Mario Badescu Orange Cleansing Soap - This smells like crayons and wasn't too remarkable. I wouldn't buy it again.
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes - These made my skin burn, so I definitely won't be buying again.
  • Yes to Tomatoes Mask - I think this broke my skin out every time I used it. I don't really find that masks help much, so I won't be buying again.
  • Evian Facial Mist - This was useful, but overpriced at the same time, so I don't think I will buy it again, but I will consider trying facial mists with more than water in the future ;)
  • Several bars of soap - I haven't been keeping track, but I have finished at least one bar of Dial Gold (maybe two), all of my Lush soaps (Honey I Washed the Kids and Rockstar), and I am on the verge of finishing a bar of Ivory.
One more empties post! What skin care products have you finished lately?

Sep 19, 2013

Super September Day 8: Empties Part One - Hair Care

The last time I posted an empties related post or video was toward the end of June. Yikes. As you can guess, I have finished heaps of products. This is why I am dividing this month's empties post into three parts. If I would have even tried to film a video it probably would have been 30 minutes long. I tend to ramble. I also don't have the best setup for pictures because my empties bag was at home and I went home to do some things and I had forgotten my digital camera. So we're back to iPhone pictures for the next few posts.

Anyway, shall I continue?

I finished 3 shampoos, two conditioners, two deep conditioners, and one hair treatment. Not bad, eh? I still have a can of Batiste from when I was in high school that I need to finish, but I never use dry shampoo, so it might be gone by the end of next year ;)

First, I finished the Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo. I also finished the conditioner. I like how these smell, I don't like the ingredients, but I do think they work well on my hair. I also really appreciated how inexpensive they were. If I wanted to stick with these products, I could have gotten much larger sizes for no more than $6-8 together, which is half the price of other drugstore hair products. I don't think I will buy these again right away, though. As a matter of fact, I really really really want to try Chagrin Valley hair products, so I'm trying to finish up everything I have. (Note: not an affiliate link, just wanted you to see what I am interested in buying once I finish what I already have!)

Next up is the TiGi Bed Head Epic Volume Shampoo and Conditioner. I bought these at Ulta sometime last year when they were having a buy one, get one free sale on select hair products. These were available in bulk, so I decided to take the plunge. I wasn't overly impressed, to be completely honest. I won't be buying these again.

I finally finished my L'Oreal EverSleek Renewing Deep Conditioner. the smell really bothered me, so I would not buy this again. It wasn't the most impressive deep conditioner, either.

I also finished the Organix Renewing Moroccan Oil Treatment. I did like the smell of this product, but again, it wasn't the best deep conditioner out there. I wouldn't buy it again.

It took me a long time, but I used the sample bottle of the Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo. I received this in a Birchbox. The ingredients were great and it worked well, but it is so expensive that I cannot justify buying it on a regular basis.

Finally, I have a sample of the Redken 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk. I liked this, but I have so many other hair products that do the same thing and are cheaper.

Overall, I'm happy with everything I finished. I still have quite a lot of half-empty hair products, so I will let you know when I do get around to trying those Chagrin Valley products! What hair products have you finished lately?

Super September Day 7: This or That Beauty Tag!

I originally planned to post the first part of my empties today, but I will be posting those later instead. I was tagged by Gabrielle of Gaborillaa and I haven't done a tag post in a while, so here we go!

1. Blush or Bronzer- I definitely prefer blush. Bronzer looks pretty scary on my skin.
2. Lip Gloss or Lip Stick- Lip products are not my favorite, so lipstick.
3. Eyeliner or Mascara- Ohh, mascara will always win.
4. Foundation or Concealer- Concealer. I wear foundation more than I'd like to admit, but I am really trying to let my skin breathe.
5. Natural or Colored Eye Shadow- Neutral. I'm not so daring.
6. Pressed or Loose Eye Shadow- Pressed. I only have a couple pale loose eye shadows and I haven't given either a good test.
7. Brush or Sponge- I prefer brushes.

1. Opi or China Glaze- I can't really choose. I will say that most of the limited edition collections by OPI are better, with the exception of The Hunger Games collection that China Glaze released in March 2012.
2. Long or Short- Definitely short. I can't really do anything with long nails.
3. Acrylic or Natural- Natural. I don't think I have ever had acrylics and I really don't want to.
4. Bright or Dark- I like both
5. Flower or No Flower- No flower. I think other designs are better.

1. Perfume or Body Splash- I like perfume better because they have a more complex fragrance, but I like body splashes too.
2. Lotion or Body Butter- Lotion
3. Body Wash or Soap- I prefer soap
4. Lush or other- Either. It depends on what I am looking for

1. Jeans or Sweat Pants - Jeans
2. Long sleeves or short sleeve- Long
3. Dress or Skirt? - Dresses
4. Scarves or Hat- I never really wear either
5. Studs or dangling earrings- Studs
6. Necklace or bracelet- Either, I guess
7. Heels or flats- Flats
8. Cowboy boots or riding boots - Neither
9. Jackets or hoodies - I might have to go with hoodies
10. Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe- Forever 21

1. Curly or Straight- Straight. I am too lazy to curl my hair
2. Bun or Ponytail - Either
3. Bobby pin or butterfly clips - Bobby pins
4. Hairspray or gel - Hairspray
5. Long or short- I prefer having long hair, but shorter hair can look great on other people!
6. Dark or light- Dark
7. Side swept bangs or fully bangs - Side swept
8. Up or down- Either

1. Rain or shine- Sometimes I want a rainy day so I can stay inside and read. I'm an introvert through and through.
2. Summer or winter- Summer
3. Fall or spring- Fall! It is my favorite season
4. Chocolate or Vanilla- Chocolate

I tag:

  • Katy from Skin Stuff by Katy - She's getting married on Saturday and I'm so excited for her!
  • Steph from In Her Makeup Bag - I've been reading her blog for the past couple of years and she's great.
  • Melissa from HistoryBeauty - Melissa primarily makes videos now and she has been busy from moving, but she just might like to fill this little tag out! ;)

Sep 15, 2013

Super September Day 6: My Hair Care Routine

I'm not sure if I have ever shared my hair care routine with you. I planned to in July, but as we all know, Glam July was a failure on my part. Super September isn't going quite as swell as I'd hoped, but I am still making more progress than I did in July, so that's good! But I should be talking about my hair ;)

I try to keep things simple because my hair doesn't need that much assistance. I do have dyed hair, but overall it isn't too dry. It can get tangled, but it's not horrible. My hair is medium to long, normal/fine, and straight with the occasional natural wave.

I tend to use products in the same line. As you can see, 3 of the 4 products in the picture above are from the L'Oreal Total Repair 5 line. The other is the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product.

It's not technically healthy to wash your hair every day, but I do it anyway. My hair lasts a day and a half before it gets greasy, but for the sake of keeping a regular schedule, I go ahead and wash it daily. Once per week I will deep condition my ends because I am probably doing a lot of damage by washing daily. After I am done showering, I always spray the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In product on my damp hair. Sometimes I blowdry it, but typically I just let it air dry. If my hair looks too crazy, I will straighten it. Otherwise I try not to use too much heat on it.

If you are interested in a detailed review of these products, please let me know in the comments!

Sep 13, 2013

Super September Day 5: Revlon Colorstay Review (Normal/Dry)

I first mentioned using this foundation back in July. I was staying at a friend's and I had forgotten to pack foundation. Since I'm not too keen on greeting the world with a bare face, I decided to go to the drugstore to see what I might want to try. Naturally, I had to eliminate most of my options simply because of my fair skin. Eventually it was down to Revlon Colorstay for Normal/Dry Skin versus Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Foundation. Since it is nearly impossible to really see the color you are getting from the Whipped Creme formula, I eventually chose the Normal/Dry version in 110 Ivory. 

I have tried the Combination/Oily formula in the past and I wasn't the biggest fan. I'm not saying I hated it, but it didn't match my skin well. To be honest, neither does the Normal/Dry formula. Before I turn this into a comparison review, here's a short list of the product's claims and features (and what I think of them):
  • Wears for up to 24 hours: This claim is crazy. Not only because it won't last for 24 hours, but also because you should not be wearing foundation for 24 hours. I chose Normal/Dry because I was having dry skin issues because of Tretin-X. This holds up for about 8 hours and kind of goes downhill from there. But I also don't have mega dry skin.
  • Flawless look: I actually agree with this statement. My skin looks amazing. It doesn't cover my larger bumps, but it covers hyperpigmentation like few other foundations will
  • Lightweight feel: I agree with this statement as well. It doesn't feel heavy on my skin. I think the Combination/Oily version felt heavier, but I think there also may have been a reformulation since I used the Combo/Oily version.
Other things to be aware of:
  • This foundation is not paraben-free: I know there is a lot of controversy about parabens and how a lot of people argue that they are the safest preservative, but I think I would rather use up my products with parabens and stick to having one item in each "category" that is free of parabens. Of course, I don't condemn others for using products with parabens, and every now and then I will probably pick something up with parabens without checking the ingredients first. The point is, it has them. If you want fewer parabens in your products, this is not the foundation for you.
  • The packaging is a pain: In some countries it has a pump, but here in the States we get the bottle that likes to keep on giving. So it leaves a problem: do I waste this extra foundation, or do I contaminate the foundation in the bottle? On those rare days when I pour out the exact amount I need, I am happy.
  • I think it used to have SPF, but now it doesn't: I heard this has been reformulated over the years. When I started wearing makeup, it had SPF 15, but I can't find any sign that there is any sort of sun protection at all in the newer formula.
  • For a drugstore foundation, it's kind of expensive: I say "kind of" because drugstore makeup is becoming more and more pricy. 
Bottom line: I like this foundation and would probably buy it again if it matched my skin well and if it was free of parabens. It ranges between $10 and $14 and is available at drugstores, Walmart, Target, and so on.

Sep 10, 2013

Super September Day 4: How to Get the MOST Out of Your Money! (While Shopping)

Can I get an award for the most obnoxiously long title? I couldn't think of a concise way of putting it, but it's okay, hopefully I made my point effectively. Also, I wanted to apologize for being a few days late on this one. For some reason this post and day 5 did not make the to-do list. Oops. Well, either way, the post is here!

I personally do not see a reason to pay full price for drugstore beauty products. They always go on sale, coupons are everywhere, and with different loyalty programs, it's just easier to plan my purchases. Does it always happen? No. But if you are more dedicated to saving your hard-earned money than I used to be, then I hope this post can help you.

Tip #1: Join Loyalty Programs!
A lot of people assume that they will be spammed instantly if they join a loyalty program. Some companies might get a little crazy with the emails, but you can later unsubscribe without losing the benefits of having a loyalty card. The loyalty cards I personally have are for Ulta, CVS, and (gasp) Walgreens.

To my knowledge, all of these cards are free. In the past, you could get the sale price on products without having a loyalty card, but at CVS and Walgreens, you have to have a card to get the sale price. CVS has a card they can scan to give you the sale price without the commitment of the card (I do not know if Walgreens does or not), but if you want to get the most of your money then you will want the card. Also, if you want a product that is offering ExtraBucks from CVS, you need to have your own card for the ExtraBucks to print out.

CVS also prints out quarterly ExtraBucks. To calculate how much you will get in ExtraBucks, CVS will take the amount you spend in a quarter and give you 2% back.

At Walgreens and Ulta, the money you spend is tracked on a point system rather than by how much money you have actually spent. I am not so familiar with this system for Walgreens, so I will discuss Ulta's point system. If you have the loyalty card for Ulta, you will get 1 point for every $1 you spend unless it is indicated otherwise in the monthly ad. Once you reach a certain number of points, you will be able to apply those points to a purchase. Click here for a chart showing how each point value works out.

Tip #2: Find Coupons!
Coupons are everywhere. The main place I find them is the Sunday newspaper. Some weeks there are coupons with everything I need, and other weeks I end up giving the coupons away because I don't find anything I am interested in.

Another place to find coupons is online. The Target website has an entire section dedicated to coupons. If you have your CVS card registered, you can go the website and print coupons. You can also go to to print coupons you want to use.

Tip #3: Know the Store!
By this I mean know the policies. Some stores take expired coupons, so I recommend looking into it before assuming that you can't use an older coupon.

Tip #4: Find Discount Stores!
Although I appreciate the value of seeing a product in person before I buy it (and also because with age I am becoming increasingly wary of technology), it is sometimes more convenient and also a better deal to buy products online. The top two websites I recommend are and At Vitacost you get free shipping with purchases of $49 or more, so you can really stock up on products. At you only have to spend $35 to get free shipping. And the best part is that at both websites you don't pay the retail price for most products!

I hope these tips have been helpful and I do apologize for the delay in this post. Look out for days 5 and 6!

Sep 5, 2013

Super September Day 3: Time-Saving Tips for College Students

I know that college is fun and exciting, but if you have your priorities straight, then you might find yourself not having time to get ready in the morning. I am here to share with you what I have learned and what I do since I have 8 AM classes for the first time in three years. So, let's go!

  1. Shower at night: I know a lot of people do this already, but I have always been the type of person who has to shower in the morning. If I didn't shower in the morning, I would feel disgusting by noon. But I took showers at night when I was in middle school, so I decided to just go ahead and try it. The first week wasn't the best experience because my hair would be a little oily by the morning. Luckily I brought a backup shampoo and discovered that with a different shampoo/conditioner combo, my hair looked silky and clean the next day. Also try styling your hair at night. I don't mean pulling out the curling iron. I mean braid it when it is almost dry or twist it for waves.
  2. Use tinted moisturizers or BB creams (or CC creams, or A-Z creams... you get the idea): If you find a product that works for your skin, stick to it. These are less time consuming than other products. Now, I did recommend the Covergirl 3-in-1 foundation in my last post. I realize it is a foundation and none of the things I listed, but it does work well and that saves time too, because I don't always have to powder with it. I also have yet to find a BB cream that I like better than the Smashbox one I used last year.
  3. Have the products you use daily set aside from the ones you use occasionally. This way, you won't have to look around for your favorite mascara or lip balm.
  4. Have your outfit picked out. I recommend checking the weather the night before so you won't be caught off guard. Also check in the morning if you have time. The weather can be fickle depending on where you live.
And there you have it! I hope my tips have helped somebody. Stay on the lookout for the next Super September post!

Sep 3, 2013

Super September Day 2: Drugstore Makeup Kit for Beginners! (Tools Included)

In 2010, I made a video with the same idea. If you go on YouTube, there are plenty of videos suggesting products for makeup newbies to try out. I've been wearing makeup for over 4 years and I still watch these videos from time to time to see what people are recommending (and it's fun).

Since I am really trying not to buy makeup right now, I won't have every single item I recommend, but I can promise you that I have probably mentioned most of these products before, so if you're a regular reader, you might roll your eyes and label me a broken record... but it's okay! I can live with that label. I am going to separate things into different categories. My goal is to make this list as short as possible, but with the best possible products. The prices I am using are from the Ulta/CVS and Walmart websites and these products are found in the United States.

Also, if you don't like the look of a product I am recommending, that's fine. There is no "perfect" guide to the best makeup kit for beginners because every person has different needs and preferences. My kit is created with a college student in mind because I am a college student. Will I create a makeup kit with middle/high school students in mind in the future? Probably! (Let me know if you want to see it this month - I have most of my Super September posts planned, but there is plenty of room to make changes. I'd rather post something people are interested in!)

Pricing Guide:
Orange text is the Ulta price. Blue text is the Walmart price. If one is missing, then that product is not sold at the store with missing information (hopefully that made sense!) Since sales tax varies, I won't be including that.

  • Primer/Foundation/Concealer: Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation ($12.99/$9.47) - As the title of this bullet-point suggests, this product functions as a primer, foundation, and concealer. I spent a long time deciding whether or not to buy this. I was annoyed with Covergirl for repackaging their tinted moisturizer and calling it a BB cream and I came to the realization that I didn't really love Covergirl products in general. When I heard about this foundation it sounded like the perfect base. It takes a few minutes for the product to set properly, but my skin looks great after it does set. Another advantage is that the lightest shade is not too pink or dark for me. There are 14 shades of this ranging from very fair to dark. I think the Covergirl Queen collection also has its own version of this with 14 different shades, which is also great!
  • Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte ($4.99/$3.97) - I recently mentioned that I wanted to try this and eventually broke my Project Minimize goal (yet again) and I love it. You get so much powder for such a low price. It gives my skin more of a semi-matte look than the "flat matte" look that so many people dread. This powder also doesn't irritate my skin, which is a plus. After I finish my other powders, I think I will just keep buying this one.
  • Blush: Covergirl Cheekers Blush ($4.99/$3.74) - These blushes are not the most pigmented, but there are plenty of colors for you to experiment with. These are scented and don't have the best ingredients, but I still recommend them.
  • Bronzer/Highlighter: Wet n Wild Color Icon "Reserve Your Cabana" ($3.93, this one is tricky. Wet n Wild products are not sold at Ulta to my knowledge and not every Walmart sells Wet n Wild... Walgreens and CVS do sell Wet n Wild, and they sell this for $3.99) - This is great for highlighting your cheekbones. I cannot recommend a bronzer because I do not wear bronzer, but this is from their bronzer line. The only piece of advice I have for this is to be careful... it is not pressed very tightly, so it can break with a slight drop. It hasn't happened to me, but I've heard of it happening to other people. Another suggestion I have for highlighting your cheekbones is just a shimmery single eye shadow (cream or peach colors are nice). I have heard people rave about the NYC Sunny Bronzer if you really really want to try one, but I wasn't a fan.
  • Primer/Base: Maybelline Color Tattoo's ($6.99/$5.94) - I don't think I've raved about these at all ;) - just kidding! It's like I never stop talking about these. I know some people don't love them, but I do. Bad to the Bronze is quickly becoming my favorite (yes, it is even passing Barely Beige). Not every color has the best formula, but I always get really excited when Maybelline releases some new ones.
  • Eye Shadow: Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Collections ($2.99-$4.99) - These are the only drugstore eye shadows that I constantly find myself recommending to people. I will say that drugstore eye shadows have improved tremendously even over the past 4 years... but they still don't really compare to my Urban Decay or Too Faced eye shadows, so I rarely try drugstore eye shadows.
  • Eyeliner: Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner ($4.49/$3.97) - These are smooth, inexpensive, they last pretty well (not the absolute longest wearing eye liners, but they are still wonderful), and there are plenty of different colors to try.
  • Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes ($5.49/$3.97, rolled back from $4.44) - I hate the classic Maybelline Great Lash. The formula is wet, the brush doesn't work with it. I don't get a remarkable look from the product at all. Oddly enough, the different brush makes all the difference. My eyelashes look long and full and it seems to take less time to dry than the classic Great Lash.

  • Lip balm (non-tinted): Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm ($3.29/$2.97) - If you like honey, I highly recommend this lip balm. I don't think this will be the best product for winter, but for the first time in a while, my lips are smooth.
  • Tinted lip balm: Maybelline Baby Lips ($3.99/$2.97) - These are also pretty hit and miss. I love Cherry Me, but Peach Kiss is just okay.
  • Lip gloss: Revlon Lip Glosses - Okay, so this one is less specific because I prefer Revlon lip products in general.
  • Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick ($6.99/$4.97) - These have an unoffensive flavor and scent, are smooth, and there are so many colors to choose from. As I said, I just adore Revlon lip products in general. I think my favorite color is Wink for Pink, but I really want to try Cherries in the Snow.


  • Real Techniques brushes: Surprise, surprise. These brushes are amazing. If you can get any of their brushes, definitely get the Expert Face Brush. I also love their brush sets.
I hope you've enjoyed Super September day 2! Stay tuned for day 3.

What products do you recommend for beginners?

Sep 2, 2013

Super September Day 1: Another Challenge + Hogwarts-Inspired Looks!

Why indeed, I have set another goal for myself. I want to publish a blog post every other day... starting today! Some posts will include videos. I will be posting reviews, makeup looks, and anything else that just sounds fun.

It's not a secret that I am a Harry Potter fan. I first read the books in 2002/2003 when I was in fourth grade. I fell in love with the story and the action and just about everything else in the series. Any fan of the series will know that yesterday, September 1, was the day that Hogwarts students would board the Hogwarts Express, sit through the Sorting Ceremony, eat an endless supply of food (but only because of house elves), and then be on their way for a new school year. So for Super September Day 1, I wanted to post pictures of looks inspired by the Hogwarts Houses!

As I've said before... I'm not particularly good at applying makeup. I may try just as much as everybody else, but the end result just looks average (or worse). I also decided that even if the end result to each look was bad, it didn't really matter that much. Why? Because this is just for fun. And I need to step out of my comfort zone every now and then. This is way out of my comfort zone! Oh, and I realized as I was creating these looks that my eyebrows were looking very unkempt and my tweezers were nowhere to be found. Ah, my first world problems ;)

I will actually begin by listing the face makeup I used in each look (as well as mini-reviews because I can't resist sharing my thoughts). Any different products used (blush, highlighter, etc.) will be listed below each picture!
  • Benefit "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer - I got this as a sample a long time ago and was afraid to use it. I like how it gives my skin a glow without looking greasy, but I won't purchase the full size version. 
  • Revlon Colorstay Foundation (Normal/Dry formula) in 110 Ivory - I like this foundation, but I also have some major issues with it. Ivory is too pink for my skin. The next shade up (Buff) is the right undertone, but it is too dark. Mixing the two colors doesn't help (I tried that back in the day). Why did I repurchase it? To be honest, I had $10 in CVS ExtraBucks and I forgot to pack foundation when I was on a trip. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have chosen something else. It's a good formula, but the color is not right for me. Oddly enough, I've used about 1/3 of the product inside the bottle. I honestly have a love/hate relationship with this stuff. Odds are, I will repurchase it at some point in my life (assuming I finish this bottle, of course!) Also - why does it have a pump in some countries? Come on Revlon. You know you want to include a pump for this foundation in EVERY country you sell it in ;)
  • Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder (Oil control) in 510 Classic Ivory - I think I mentioned having this a long time ago. I knew it was in a makeup bag in one of my purses, but I didn't have the motivation to find and finish it... until I started using up the powders in my collection. I doubt I would repurchase this powder, but I do want to try the Rimmel Stay Matte powder. I had it years ago, but I can't remember what I thought about it.
  • And in every look I used the Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara. Not face makeup, but I never used a different mascara.
Now that I have bored you with the face makeup used for this look, I am finally going to show you my Hogwarts House-inspired looks!

Gryffindor (scarlet and gold)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold
  • The plum & gold colors from the Revlon Colorstay palette (Embellish) - I would recommend MAC Cranberry over the plum color, but I don't have Cranberry and I probably wouldn't use it too often, so I tried using something comparable. Fail.
  • This is the only look with a corresponding lip color. I used the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in British Red

Hufflepuff (canary yellow and black) 
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold
  • Mark i-Mark in Stellar
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero (I tried to wing my eyeliner out to make this look more interesting)
  • Burt's Bees Honey Lip balm (it's an inside joke. I had to put it in)

Ravenclaw (blue and bronze - yes, I realize that in the movies it is blue and gray, but I am basing this off the books)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
  • Wet N Wild Idol Eyes in Distress (or MAC Freshwater)

Slytherin (green and silver)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Silver Strike
  • The silver color in the Revlon Colorstay Palette (Embellish)
  • Wet N Wild Idol Eyes in Envy (or MAC Humid)

I'll probably try this again in a couple years. Hopefully by then I have the courage and skills to create a tutorial instead. Watch out for Super September #2!

Aug 29, 2013

Oh. Right. This blog...

As you may have noticed, I really struggled to keep this blog up and running on a regular basis over the summer. Since the school year has started, I actually intend to post more frequently. So keep reading if you want to know what is going on!

I am trying to make videos on YouTube. I tried posting every other day in July, but that fell through. As I planned Glam July, I planned it as if I would not end up getting a summer job. That changed at the end of June when I finally did have a summer job.

I worked at CVS. Yeah, working at CVS was pretty amazing. I'm not sure if I will work there again next summer, but I am happy that I ended up with a job that I generally liked.

I kind of also failed at Project Minimize. The only problem with working at CVS is that I felt like I needed to try new products and earn Extrabucks so I can try even more products. Did my makeup collection double? Not at all. But I probably did exceed the 12 item limit I set for the year. Now that I am at college again, I won't be near any beauty products other than my own.

I transferred to a different university. I liked the school I started out at, but I didn't love it. I had a group of friends that I was content with, but I knew my degree wouldn't be worth as much as I wanted it to be. I decided to transfer sometime between the end of March and the beginning of April. I like my new school so far, but since I am such an introvert, it is difficult to open up to all of these new people.

I believe I have covered everything I wanted to. I have quite a few ideas for upcoming posts. An unintended hiatus can be a good thing!

Jul 2, 2013

Jun 11, 2013

Video: April and May 2013 Empties!

Here is a video featuring products I have recently used up!

Products Mentioned:

  • Redken Extreme Shampoo and Conditioner
  • LUSH Lovely Jubblies
  • Pantene Heat Protecting spray (fine hair)
  • Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion (sample size)
  • Giovanni 3-in-1 (Grapefruit Sky)
  • BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream (two samples)
  • St. Ives Apricot Scrub (sample size)
  • St. Ives Blemish Control Green Tea Scrub (sample size)
  • Tresemme Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray
  • Clinique High Impact Mascara (sample)
  • C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Buffer
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara
  • Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Fragrance Mist (3 fl. ounce version)
  • Stila Smudge Crayon in Smoke (small size)
  • Benefit They're Real Mascara (sample)

What have you finished recently?

Jun 10, 2013

Update: Project Minimize, Life, YouTube

It has been too long since I have written a blog post. At first, I had hit a busy few weeks at school. But here I am, out of school for almost a month and I have yet to share anything with you.

I think my lack of motivation stems from Project Minimize. If you are unfamiliar with Project Minimize, it has its own page on this blog, but I will explain it briefly in this post. Project Minimize is my goal to only buy 12 products in 2013. Any sort of beauty product is fair game: makeup, hair care, skin care, and so on. I never really established whether my birthday counted or not, so when I received a bit of makeup as a birthday gift (my parents don't "get it" yet), the guilt began to come. I eventually decided not to worry about it, but I know I probably will not meet the 12 item limit I set at the end of December. As a beauty blogger, it is difficult to not try new things every now and then so I can share my opinion. I am still going to keep track of my purchases and I am still going to show all of you my "empties" whenever I have enough to show, but if I go over 12 purchased items this year I will not beat myself up over it.

So how is life going? It's great! I'm transferring to a different school, which is scary but exciting. I might be writing a post or recording a vlog about my college experience and why I am transferring. Of course I'll also be sharing as much as I can.

I am finally setting goals for my YouTube channel. Although it has always been easier for me to write my thoughts and feelings, I want to feel comfortable in front of the camera. What use is a comm major who gets nervous speaking in front of a camera or other people? ;)

One of my bigger YouTube goals is to upload a video every other day in July. I'm not sure if it will happen or not, but I do have several video ideas.

How have things been for all of you? :)

Apr 18, 2013

New YouTube Channel!

This is just a quick post to let you all know that I now have a vlog channel on YouTube. I don't have any videos on it yet, but I've got a few ideas! Please give a warm welcome to... HillarieVlogs!

I will be uploading non-beauty related tags to my channel as well as lifestyle, follow me around, and Q & A vlogs. And of course I'll try to make some more videos for my main channel.

Apr 15, 2013

Get to Know Me: The Beauty Blogger Tag!

Although I have a few weeks left of school and should really be working on my class video project or any of my three papers, I decided to take a little break for the sake of my sanity. So here I am with a blog post. I haven't filled out a tag in a long time and I saw that emilynoel83 aka Emily (BeautyBroadcast) posted this tag earlier today and I thought it would be a fun way for you to get to know me (in terms of the beauty community) in a nutshell.

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
My hair is naturally straight, but it has its own random waves when I let it dry naturally. I have trouble curling my hair without certain products.

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I haven't dyed my hair in about a year, but I have only ever dyed it myself. I want to dye my hair dark red this summer, but I don't know if I am brave enough to try it.

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
I usually am too lazy to do anything with my hair because it is long and I am in college, so I have to prioritize whether or not it is worth my time to style my hair and usually it isn't. Eventually I will practice doing different things with my hair.

4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I have gone to a salon a few times for a mani/pedi, but honestly it wasn't worth my time or money. My nails are strong, so I never get fake nails. I can also make my own "treatments" (like a brown sugar scrub for my feet) and do everything on my own.

5. How often do you change your nail polish?
Realistically, once per week. When I am busy I don't really paint my nails.

6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?
I still polish my toes in the winter, but I don't change the color as often.

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?
It can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. For class it usually takes 10 minutes, but on the weekends I take more time.

8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
I always do my face first. I'm not sure why (because I have never really thought about it), but it's just how I've always done it.

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I do collect makeup, but not to the extent that I used to. I am trying to work my collection down to a manageable level so I have a variety of products, but I am not overwhelmed with options.

10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
I have never worn false eyelashes, actually!

11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?
Nope! I used to, but since I am in the more stressful stretch of my semester, I have to prioritize.

12. Do you wear makeup when you're home alone or with family?
I do sometimes. It's good to practice different techniques, especially since I'm not actually so great at applying makeup to begin with.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup?
Two years ago my answer would have been: "Never, no way, will not happen." and now my answer is: "Sure, why not?" - I love makeup, but if I don't have time to put it on, then I don't.

14. How many high-end products do you have?
I have a fair few. I haven't gone through and counted how many I have, but I have more than I did when I first came across the beauty community (2008). I think it is important that I know what I am willing to splurge on, and for me that is certain face and eye products.

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you're getting dressed?
I plan my outfit every night because I don't want to wake my roommate up in the morning. When I am at home it depends on what I am doing the next day.

16. How often do you change your handbag?
It depends on my needs. I try to change by season or depending on what I am wearing. I don't really splurge on bags, though.

17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
I wake up around 8 and go to bed around midnight. That sounds so bad, but my earliest class is at 9:30, so I like to sleep in as late as I possibly can.

18. How often or when do you workout?
I do a little bit here and there every couple of days, but I'd like to get a routine going where I do cardio 3-4 times per week and then find something else to do on the other days.

19. Left handed or right handed?

20. How tall are you?
I am somewhere between 5'3 and 5'4, so I'll go with 5'4 ;)

21. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I can speak a little bit of Spanish, but I'm nowhere near fluent.

22. How many pets do you have?
My parents have two dogs and two cats, but I claim one of the cats as my own when I am at home.

23. How often are you on Blogger?
I read posts every couple of days and I don't post nearly as often as I wish I could!

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
I do read comments posted on other blogs and I definitely read all of the comments I receive.

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
I've got a list of things I want to try, but I'm trying to wait until I finish products up before I buy anything I don't need... this way I won't break any of the project minimize rules.

26. How did you come up with your blog name?
Once upon a time I thought I was a clever girl. And I thought Blushing Antics was clever. To be honest I can't think of a better name for my blog, but I wish I could have thought of something a little more clever and definitely something shorter.

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
I use a Canon PowerShot for my photographs. Before I got my Canon, I used my iPhone for pictures

28. How often do you clean your house?
I clean in sections, so when I am at home I'm always cleaning something, but I couldn't do it all at once

29. What's your favorite color?

30. Do you swear?
Actually, no. I have before, but I just think I can get my point across without using swear words.

31. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
Filming for my video project and writing a little bit for each of the papers I've been assigned.

Let me know if you answer the questions to this tag on your blog because I'd love to read what you have to say!

Apr 11, 2013

Video: Beauty Things I Suck At!

Be sure to comment, rate and subscribe if you enjoyed my video! And perhaps tell your friends ;)

Apr 8, 2013

March 2013 Empties!

I hardly finished anything during March. It's a little disappointing, but I knew that at some point I would begin to finish fewer and fewer small items and then I'd have to tackle the full-sized products. My classes have also been rather busy so I didn't notice until I sat down to write this post that I don't actually have the bottles from the products I've finished here, so I'm going based on memory. This post might be funny or it might be awful.

Not Pictured/Actually Emptied:
J.R. Liggett's Shampoo Bar: I reviewed this a while ago and I finished it during spring break. I have other shampoo bars I want to try eventually, so I won't be repurchasing immediately.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap: this was the last of my little 1 ounce bottles. I finished Baby Mild and Tea Tree. I might repurchase eventually, but as I said in my "Guilty Pleasure Products" post, I started using Dial soap when these ran out and it doesn't actually dry my skin out, so I might stick with that for a while since it is so inexpensive.

Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap: I had a few of these lying around for a long time, but the one I know I finished is the original formula.

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Mineral Powder: I hit pan on this, but I didn't finish it. I noticed it was making my skin shiny within two hours, even when I wore it alone. The color was also orange on my skin. I don't know how this affected any breakouts (if it did at all), but it certainly did not help my skin. I also don't know why it stopped working for me because I liked it at first.

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup: the color just didn't work for me.

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm in Vanilla Glow: the color was too dark. Too Faced released a lighter shade that I've swatched before (and turned out to be a lovely match), but I don't love the formula of the Too Faced BB cream as much as I liked the Tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer's formula.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: I received this in a swap on Makeup Alley and used it once. I didn't like it for my skin. Everything just seemed wrong for me - the color, the texture, etc. Basically now I have my Tarte tinted moisturizer and my Shiseido liquid foundation. Once I am closer to finish those, I want to try something different.

I think that is everything! I hope that by the end of the school year I will have a more impressive list of empties. I think my dad and I are going to build a vanity I designed as a birthday present to myself (June 4! I'll be 21, which is crazy to think). Once my vanity is built, I will have an updated makeup collection. I haven't added anything that isn't on my Project Empties page, so I have been keeping track of that. I just haven't kept track of everything I no longer have.

What did you finish in March?

Mar 30, 2013

Guilty Pleasure Products

Although I strongly encourage all of you to buy products with the very best ingredients possible, I can admit that there are times when I do not follow my own advice. I realized this when I was close to finishing most of my remaining body washes (I had maybe a 3-4 day supply and I wouldn't be home for spring break for another week). See, my school is in a rural area, so in the immediate area there is a CVS and a local grocery store. If I am willing to drive a little, I can get to a Walmart, but getting to the nearest Whole Foods would require a lengthy drive (and consequently, I would end up driving straight past my home anyway, so it makes sense to wait until I am home). This makes my purchasing options very limited when I am in need of something. And yes, I know... I am the kind of person who typically plans far ahead so things like this do not happen. This time, I just wasn't prepared.

Since I do look at the ingredients of everything I buy, just looking at and choosing soaps and body washes at Walmart can be a nightmare. On the particular occasion when I caved and bought what I am about to mention below, I was also helping my boyfriend to find a product that wouldn't irritate his eczema. We probably spent ten minutes in the aisle analyzing prices and ingredients. He is less picky about his ingredients than I am (and more conscious of price) and his goal is to buy something that will work. I can appreciate that because sometimes "natural" products just don't work AND they cost more than conventional items. Eventually he decided to try the Dial Gold Antibacterial soap bars for nostalgic purposes (they were a staple at his grandmother's house, as was the liquid hand soap by the same name). Even though I try to avoid heavily fragranced products, I had to take a whiff of the soap and it reminded me of hotel soap and something else (I still don't remember where else I have smelled this soap). Some people may be cringing at this point, but for some reason I was a big fan. We went on our merry way, but the soap crept back into my mind when I was showering (and it reminded me that my supply was running short - normally I would be willing to try my shampoo as a body wash, but for some reason my brain rationalized that just buying the Dial soap was necessary). Later that day, I caved and drove to Walmart to buy the same soap my boyfriend had purchased the day before.

That was an excessively long introduction. My point is that sometimes there are products I just want to buy or use even though they conflict with my purchasing norms. Typically I buy these things when I am feeling nostalgic or in a pinch. Sometimes I am happy with the purchase, but other times I realize why I do not usually jump for joy when I see certain products
  • Dial Gold (bar soap): I adore how this smells. It doesn't feel too bad on my skin. The ingredients annoy me, though. Oh, and you can buy them in bulk at some Sam's Club locations if you have a membership (and I have looked through different prices near where I live and it is just under $7 for 20... which I will have to confirm in person). 
  • Lip Smackers: the Dr. Pepper one actually burns my lips. The rest just smell good and taste waxy.
  • Neutrogena skin care products: It has been about a year since I have bought Neutrogena skin care, and although external skin care is no replacement for healthy habits, I still find the temptation to buy Neutrogena products from time to time.
  • Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter Shampoo/Conditioner: I first tried this in high school when I was playing my family's annual Christmas Bingo game (we all bring items under $5 and when somebody gets a "bingo" they can choose anything that is on the table - I chose these). Although the ingredients are not impressive, I love how affordable the shampoo and conditioner are. I also love how they make my hair feel. I have a bottle of each left at my mom and dad's house and even though I have said goodbye to sulfates I feel the temptation to finish the bottles. I probably will at some point.
What are your "guilty pleasure" products?

Mar 22, 2013

Review: Jane Iredale PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner

Note: I was sent the Jane Iredale PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner to review. However, I refuse to review products in an unethical manner. That being said, let us continue with the review!

I love simplicity. This means I can be lazy when it comes to applying steps that I personally do not find to be necessary. Something I consider unnecessary is face primer because I have yet to find one that doesn't make my skin look or feel gross by the end of the day. I do think eye primer is a necessity, so I take the extra time to put it on. I didn't really think about how I would feel about adding a lash conditioner (essentially I see it as a primer even if the description doesn't call it that) until last year when I started watching mascara routine videos for some bizarre reason. When I saw the difference that a lash primer/conditioner can do, I was intrigued. The problem is that it is difficult to find products to prime your eyelashes. Enter the Jane Iredale PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner.

This lash extender promises to condition lashes, make it so you need to use less mascara (therefore you'll get more bang for your buck), allow your lashes to grow to their full potential, and prevent splitting.

Since (I believe) it is impossible to grow your lashes past their full potential, it would be unrealistic to expect false-looking lashes after using this for an extended period of time. However, I've read that each person's lashes can only reach a certain length, and that length is predetermined by genetics (but please correct me if I am incorrect here). For me, I did notice my lashes staying in longer and feeling softer and stronger when I don't wear mascara. However, it doesn't dry completely clear, so I don't recommend wearing this product alone. I've tried it under every mascara I own (including some that dried up) and it works nicely with a variety of formulas.

The hardest part of getting used to this lash conditioner is that you're not supposed to let the conditioner dry before you go in and apply mascara (so it still needs to be a little wet and you have to work fast). It just took me a few tries to get the technique just right. I think the price is just right ($16) and the ingredients list is impressive since almond oil is known to condition lashes, but actually using almond oil would probably not work well under mascara ;)
Ingredients: Water, Algae Extract, Beeswax, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Carnauba Wax, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Oleic Acid, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Sweet Almond Seed Extract.
I won't say this item is necessarily "essential" for everybody but I will say it is a fantastic addition to my daily routine and I will repurchase it because of the benefits and the fact that my lashes definitely seem to be longer and fuller on their own. I highly recommend it.

FTC: I was sent the Jane Iredale PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner to review. However, I always give my honest opinion on products and will not compromise my own integrity for the sake of a product's reputation. I am not being compensated for this review and my ties with Jane Iredale are informal, but friendly (as in, I haven't signed a contract with them or anything). You can buy this product here or anywhere that Jane Iredale products are sold!

Mar 21, 2013

Review/Swatches: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

When the original Urban Decay Naked palette was released, I wasn't impressed. It featured neutrals that definitely leaned on the warmer side. I already knew that a lot of warmer colors just make my eyes look swollen/like I had been punched, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a palette full of colors that would do that (by the way, the color I was most reluctant about was Half-Baked, which I have changed my mind about). A year later, Urban Decay released the Naked 2 palette, which featured what the Urban Decay website describes as "12 taupe and greige neutrals" - which is something I could get on board with. I didn't buy it immediately because I kept telling myself I didn't need it. I was given it for Christmas and once I played with the different shadows, I regretted not trying this sooner.

Left to right: Foxy, Half-Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease,
Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout
The colors in this palette are: Foxy, Half-Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, and Blackout. I'm terrible at describing colors, but I will make the attempt. And if you don't want to read my descriptions, I don't blame you in the slightest ;)

Foxy is a matte cream color. It is smooth and not chalky in the slightest.

Half-Baked is a golden-y bronze. It is the reason I didn't want to buy the original Naked palette (as I said before), but I really like it!

Bootycall is a shimmery champagne color, but it is not so shimmery that it makes me feel like my eyes are at some sort of disco.

Chopper is a glittery bronze (maybe on the copper-y side). The glitter in this one is obvious, but I personally don't have *too* much fallout when I use it, but I recommend applying this one with caution.

Tease is a semi-matte taupe. It is a color that I would personally consider great for somebody to wear to work as it is not over the top.

Snakebite is a cool, medium-dark shimmery brown.

Suspect is a shimmery medium brown.

Pistol is a shimmery taupe (more on the gray side).

Verve is a shimmery sand-y color.

YDK is another shimmery bronze.

Busted is a dark shimmery brown.

Blackout is simply black.

This palette also comes with the Urban Decay Lip Junkie lip gloss in the color Naked as well as a dual-ended brush. The brush is average and the color and consistency of the gloss is quite nice (although of course I don't have it where I am at the moment and don't have pictures, but it wasn't a very pigmented gloss to begin with - I'd describe the color as a pinky nude). The packaging is also very sturdy, which is something I appreciate when I travel. Naked 2 isn't as easy to travel with as Naked Basics, but this is best for longer trips.

Is Naked 2 worth $50? Personally, I'd say it is! If you aren't sure you want to spend the money on it, I recommend testing it out before you buy it. For me, it is worth every penny and I will repurchase it perhaps once I've finished every shadow in the palette.

Mar 20, 2013

Review: Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara

I can safely say that of all the beauty products I've tried, I am the least picky about mascara. I've had a few that I didn't like (and I've never liked a Revlon mascara), and too many to count that I've loved.

As some of you may recall, I was sent the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt a couple of months ago (by the way, I still use it nightly and I still adore it). After posting that review, the company offered to send me a mascara since that would fit under my Project Minimize requirements (especially since I am adamant about throwing my mascara away after three months), and I ended up receiving Jane Iredale's Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara (as well as their PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner, which will be reviewed in a separate post).

I tend to ignore the appearance of packaging, but this mascara just looks so darn sophisticated when it is in the same container as my less "posh" looking eye products. The tube is gold and unlike typical mascara tubes - this one is "squishy" (pardon my inability to find a better adjective). I've never had a mascara with similar packaging. To be honest, I was worried that it would dry up within a month. I've had it longer and it is still going strong. I actually feel like I will be able to get more product out of the tube, which is great, since the mascara itself costs $33. Considering the performance of the mascara, I think it is worth the money.

This mascara is meant to lengthen and volumize (and separate) lashes while still giving a natural appearance to your lashes. It can also be layered (I usually throw on one coat and go). The formula is also meant to be moisturizing so lashes stay healthy and conditioned. It is free of some of the more controversial ingredients found in mascaras (petroleum-based ingredients being one I personally am concerned about). Finally, it is said that this mascara contains 50% more product than most other mascaras. That is one claim I can't confirm or deny without doing some dangerous work with scissors and other sharp tools, so I trust that it is a true statement.

Here are the ingredients:
Ingredients: Water, Algae Extract, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Cellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Algae Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Sweet Almond Seed Extract, Tribehenin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Oleic Acid. May contain: Iron Oxides, Carmine, Titanium Dioxide.

I believe that the mascara lives up to its claims. My lashes look nicely lengthened and volumized. I always fear having spidery-looking lashes, so it is great that I can get a natural look for every day. I also love that when I remove this mascara (along with the lash extender underneath), my lashes don't feel brittle. I may be wrong, but I feel like they have been given a chance to grow a little longer and thicker than usual, and that is amazing. I've used this mascara both with and without the lash extender and it is nice both ways, but I definitely see a little more "oomph" when I have the lash extender on.

Do I recommend this product? Certainly! I like putting a mascara on my eyelashes without wondering if something nasty is in it. I've got a long list of products I want to try in the future, but I can definitely see myself repurchasing this in the future.

Below are pictures of my lashes!

My lashes without mascara - they're pretty obnoxious.
Some point in the wrong direction and are straight, and others
are fine and hardly need to be curled. First world problems, eh?

My lashes with one coat of the Jane Iredale mascara (and
lash conditioner)! look shocked. But really I just can't take
 pictures like this.
This was taken on a different day and without the conditioner.
I also didn't curl my lashes.
FTC: I was sent the Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara to review. However, I always give my honest opinion on products and will not compromise my own integrity for the sake of a product's reputation. I am not being compensated for this review and my ties with Jane Iredale are informal, but friendly (as in, I haven't signed a contract with them or anything). You can buy this product here or anywhere that Jane Iredale products are sold!