Build Your Own Birchbox at Walgreens

Subscription boxes have become increasingly popular over the last few years.  It seems like there is a subscription box for almost any kind of hobby, niche and lifestyle.  There are boxes specifically for pet owners, at-home chefs, kids, beauty lovers, you name it there is probably a box out there for you to order.  It’s a great concept, you fill out a brief questionnaire and then a curated box of items arrive at your door month after month. You are introduced to new products, foods etc. without ever having leave your home.

Now, to be completely honest I have a love-hate relationship with subscription boxes.  I love trying new products and it’s fun to receive packages in the mail, especially when its  surprise not fully knowing what each package will contain!  Since I predominantly talk about beauty products, it will probably come as no surprise that the few boxes I have subscribed to in the past have been beauty boxes, specifically Ipsy, Birchbox and Sephora Play. Continue reading “Build Your Own Birchbox at Walgreens”

My Nighttime Skin Care Routine


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In the last few years as my interest for makeup has grown, so too has my skincare routine. I realized how important it was to have a proper skin care regimen in order to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.  I started out simple, using a makeup remover wipe or generic face wash, and over time have added several products that work well with my skin type.  When I use these products consistently I really notice a difference in the appearance of my skin and the way my makeup applies and wears.  Below are the six steps I take every night in order to keep my skin looking it’s best.

Step 1: Remove Makeup

skincare remove makeup

I always begin my routine by removing my makeup. I like to use a wipe for this step.  It’s quick and easy.  I’ve tried several brands and variations of cleansing towelettes, but for the most part I stick with the Target brand.

Step 2. Cleanse

skincare cleanse

After removing the majority of my makeup, I cleanse my face using a face wash or cleanser.  I’m currently using this L’Occitane Precious Cleansing Foam, however I also like using Cetaphil.  If my skin is looking dull and in need of a little exfoliation, I will use these same products with my Clarisonic, otherwise a wash cloth does the trick!

Step 3: Tone

skincare tone

Following cleanser, I use a  facial toner.  Toners help restore the pH balance to your skin and ensure that every last trace of your makeup or other dirt and oil are removed.  I’ve gone through several bottles of this Mario Badescu one, but also use Clean and Clear when I’m in a pinch.

Step 4: Serums

skincare serum

After toning my skin I like to use a serum or any other type of anti-aging product I have. It’s important to complete this step before moisturizing to ensure that the product penetrates the skin and doesn’t just sit on top.  Currently I am using the RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream to help with the texture of my skin.  In the future I would like to try a product with hyaluronic acid.

Step 5: Moisturize 

skincare moisturize

Moisturizing is a crucial step in the nighttime skincare routine.  After washing away any natural oil from the face, it should be replaced by a moisturizer or other hydrating product. If you skip this step, your face will be left dry and your skin will want to produce extra oil to compensate, which in turn will lead to clogged pores!  I am currently using the L’Occitane Creme Divine cream and under-eye cream.  I also like to use the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, or CeraVe from the drugstore.

Step 6: Refresh

skincare refresh

As my last step I like to use a facial mist to leave my skin feeling nice and refreshed.  This is not a necessary step, but it always makes me feel relaxed and ready for bed.  Plus, I love trying new mists.  Currently, I am trying out the Caudlie Beauty Elixer.  I also really like the Pur Minerals Miracle Mist and the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb and Rosewater. 

After these steps my skin is ready for bed!  What is your favorite nighttime skin care product?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!





New Month, New Products

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Can you believe it is August already?  Summer always seems to go by so fast!  In my last post I focused on products I had recently used up in the month of July.  Today, I am sharing a few of the items I recently purchased to replace a few of those items.  I had a 20 percent off your entire purchase coupon (including prestige brands) from Ulta and platinum members earned 5 times the rewards, so it seem like a good time to pick up a few items I have been wanting to try.

I had seen several bloggers and YouTube vloggers talking about the new Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation  that recently launched and could not wait to try it out for myself.  It is advertised as a full-coverage, matte finish and long-lasting foundation. Even though I have only been wearing it for a few days, I can already attest to these claims.  Per the advice of many reviews, I chose a shade lighter than normal, as the foundation dries a bit darker than when first applied.  I am the lightest shade 0.5 Fair Porcelain.  There seems to be quite a large shade range, however the lighter shades seem to all run on the warm side.

When I ran out of my Make Up For Ever Ultra HD concealer I knew I need to find another under-eye concealer ASAP-it’s definitely a crucial step in my makeup routine.  I had tried a drugstore product that worked pretty well, but I was looking for higher coverage and something with a shade light enough to give my face a highlighted look.  I decided to go with the recently released Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer in the shade Very Fair.  Last year I tried the Born This Way Foundation and was not a fan for my skin type, but so far I’m pretty impressed with the concealer.

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my favorite mascaras was discontinued.  In it’s place I’ve been using the new Rimmel Volume Colourist Mascara.  I’m really enjoying the wand and the consistency of this formula.  I haven’t had too many issues with smudging or smearing around the lash line- a total feat for the summer heat.  I am curious to see if I notice any difference in the color of my lashes, as this product claims it will tint your lashes over time.

While I was at Ulta I totally fell total victim to the travel/sample-size section at the check-out and ended up picking up the First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist .  I thought it would be a good product to replace my empty Mac Prep + Prime Fix +, so into my bag it went.  I’ve been giving it a go for the last few days and it seems to be nice and refreshing both before and after my makeup application.

Overall I’ve been pleased with all the products I purchased and will continue to test them out and share reviews as time goes on.  Did anyone else use the 20 percent off coupon over the weekend?  It’s such a good deal!  Let me know what products you are wanting to try this month in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!


July Empties: Products I’ve Used Up

empty beauty products
These products are empty and headed to trash. Read below to see which products I would repurchase. 

Do you ever finish a product and have that bittersweet moment of simultaneously being sad but also proud that you used up an entire item?  If you are a total makeup lover like me, you totally get it.  Now, you are either left without your favorite product and need to restock ASAP, or you are excited because you get to replace it with a new item you’ve been wanting to try.  Either way, it always seems to end up in a trip to the beauty counter.

Today, I will be sharing with you the products that I have finished over the past month. Some of these products I have been using longer than others and some I enjoyed more than others.  Continue reading to see what products were hits, which were misses and what I’m looking forward to purchasing in the future. Continue reading “July Empties: Products I’ve Used Up”


Left to Right: Razzle Dazzle | You’ve Been Mangoed |Sakura | Pumice Power | Softy | Ayesha

Today I’m sharing my recent purchases from LUSH.  Up until my recent move back to Chicago the closest LUSH store was over 140 miles!  Now, I live within blocks from a location-dangerous!  I have always been a fan of their masks and other face products, but had never really ventured into a lot of the bath and body products, which is kind of crazy considering they are known for their bath bombs and soaps.  Anyways, now that I have moved and have a tub that deems worthy of taking a relaxing bath I decided it was time to try a bath bomb.
I had done a little research ahead of time (a.k.a. watching YouTube videos and searching the hashtag #bathart on instagram), and had a pretty good idea of what items I was interested in.   In the end I chose the Sakura bath bomb, which is described as  “A refreshing floral dip into springtime…with scents of mimosa and jasmine”.  While I was in the bath section I came across the luxury bath oils. I admit that more often than not I’m too lazy to moisturize my entire body after showering, so I figured these would be fun and useful products to try. I picked Razzle Dazzle, described as “a berry relaxing blend of Persian lime oil, bergamot oil and violet leaf” it also includes shea butter, cocoa butter and jojoba oil.  Beware-this one is easily transferred onto your hands (pink and sparkly nonetheless).  The employee suggested I keep this one in the bag until I was ready to use it and then to drop the product directly out of the bag and into the tub.  I should have listened-it can be a little messy!  I also picked up You’ve been Mangoed simply because it smelled too good to resist (clearly I have no-self control).

Going in I knew that I wanted to pick up the Pumice Power Foot Soap.  Its one of my absolute favorite products from LUSH.  It gives instant results and leaves your feet feeling super smooth and refreshed.  It is surprisingly gentle, much more so than an actual pumice stone, but with the same, if not better results. A definite must-have if you’ve been walking around in sandals all summer like me!  I also received a sample of the Softy Foot Lotion.  It has a wonderful sounding blend of essentials oils and seems like it would be perfect to use after the foot soap.

Last but not least, I grabbed the fresh face masks Ayesha.  What really drew me to this particular mask was it’s description as “a blend of tightening and toning ingredients to refresh tired-looking skin”.  The woman helping me told me this really shrank her pores for several days-B-I-N-G-O, I’m sold!  In the past I have used the Cup O’Coffee for exfoliating and the Mask of Magnaminty  when my skin is acting up, and I have been very pleased with both, but I am always looking for new products to try.

I can’t wait to use these products and report back with a review.  At checkout I was informed that if you bring back five empty LUSH pots you get a free face mask.  What an awesome incentive to recycle and reuse!  Do you have any favorite LUSH products or items you’ve been wanting to try?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!



What’s on My Bedside Table

bedside table

Today I’m sharing the essentials I keep on my bedside table.  I try to keep my bedroom as clean and uncluttered as possible, as I believe this is an integral part of getting a good night’s sleep, but I also want it to look cute and styled.  In order to balance the two I have placed a white tray on top of my nightstand to help organize and contain all the items I want easily accessible.  I have a small soft sheepskin rug underneath to both protect the table and to add texture and a cozy feel to the area.

Every night right  before bed, I spray the Bath & Body Works  Aromatherapy  Pillow mists in Lavender Vanilla or Eucalyptus Spearmint on my pillows and surrounding area.  I also love using the body lotion as well.  Next, I like to moisturize my face and lips. For my face I apply the L’occitane Divine Cream.  A small amount worked into the skin goes along way and leaves your skin smooth and moisturized until morning.  For my lips I keep a variety of balms and chapsticks available.  I absolutely  cannot sleep if my lips feel dry!  The combination is always changing, but currently I am enjoying using the Vaseline Lip Therapy in Bubbly Pink, Nivea A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon  and L’occitane Shea Vanilla Bouquet Lip Balm.

I love to read, however I rarely find myself carving out enough time to be able to calm down with a good book.  To get myself into the habit of reading a few chapters a day, I keep a book near my bed.  I just finished reading “Why Not Me” by Mindy Kaling, and it was a fantastic read-funny, insightful and empowering.  I highly suggest it-especially if you are a fan of The Mindy Project or The Office.

Do you ever get into bed only to realize you’ve forgotten to take off your rings, earrings or other pieces of jewelry?  It happens to me almost every single night.  In order to keep these small items from getting lost or knocked of the table, I keep two small catch-all dishes handy.  This way, I can always locate my jewelry come morning.  There’s nothing worse than stepping on an earring or having a cat get a hold of your favorite necklace!  The small pink dish is from Home Goods and the cute dog one is from Hobby Lobby.

When possible, I like to cheer up the area with a small arrangement of fresh flowers.   I also like to have a candle to add to the overall ambiance and cozy feel of the room.  Since I use my pillow sprays and lotion l tend to lean towards a simple, unscented candle.  Lately, I’ve been using LED candles that run on a timer.  You can pick up so many fun styles at stores like Home Goods and T.J. Maxx at a discount.

Do you have a special night-time routine?  Any products that are always by your side?  Let me know in the comments below.  As always, thanks for reading!

First Impressions: Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer


While traveling over the recent holiday I ran out of my current concealer (I had been using this), so I quickly headed to the Walgreens to find something that would get me by for the rest of the weekend.  Of course, I can’t walk into any store and solely look for my intended item, so I browsed the beauty aisles to see what was new.  I came upon the Milani display and immediately looked for their newest foundation.  I had been hearing great things about it on YouTube, specifically from Tati of Glam Life Guru, and since Milani products were buy one get one half off, I decided to pick up a bottle.

Now, for the details: the foundation is called Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer.  It is 1 fluid ounce, comes in 14 shades and retails for $9.99 plus tax.  The back of the bottle claims the product is medium to full coverage, has a lightweight, oil free formula, is long-wearing, water-resistant and sweat-proof.  Sounds like all the things I want in a foundation, especially during the summertime. Continue reading “First Impressions: Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation and Concealer”