June [Beauty] Favorites

Time for another round of monthly beauty/skincare favorites!

I’m curious…I’ve been thinking about setting up a separate blog just for beauty/skincare/fashion. I have a lot of ideas for beauty/skincare posts, but I think it might be a good idea to keep the content separate from this blog. This blog would stay as a lifestyle blog along with home/DIY projects &  other inspirations. Then the other blog would have everything else. I understand that many who read this blog may not be interested in the beauty/skincare/fashion posts. Let me know if you’d like them separate of if you prefer I just integrate them into this blog.

 

Makeup

June-Faves_Makeup

 

1. Illamasque Cream Pigment in Hollow: This is the perfect contour color for my fair skin, and the cream pigment is incredibly easy to blend.

2. Kiss Trio Lashes: Unless I’m attending a party or event, I usually stick to individual lashes. Kiss is brilliant and have created little sets of 3 individual lash bunches. This makes application super fast since you only need one or two and your good to go. If you’re new to wearing lashes, these are a great start. Every time I wear these lashes I get lots of compliments and I find random strangers just staring at my eyes (which can be a bit creepy, but I try to take it as a compliment). I believe they’re only available at CVS and Walgreens.

3. ELF Clear Mascara and Brow Gel: I always use clear mascara to tame my brows, but I hate to pay a lot for it. ELF make a great little one for only $1! I also like that it has two sides (same gel in both sides) so when one side gets really dirty, just switch to the other. You can buys these on their website, but I usually grab them from Target.

4. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: I used the color Vanilla and find that this is my favorite concealer right now. It’s creamy, but doesn’t crease on me. In a pinch, I can use this instead of foundation on a hot summer day when I want to wear minimal makeup.

 

Skincare

June-Faves_Skincare

 

1. Boots Botanics Super Balm: I often get little dry patches on my eyelids which I always thought was strange. How could my whole face be fine, but that little tiny bit of eyelid is dry. Turns out it’s stress eczema! Makes total sense since it tends to turn up when I’m stressed to the max. I picked up this balm at Target and spread a very little bit on my eyelids during a flair up. Amazingly it heals up overnight. I can also use this on any other dry patches that turn up, something I suspect will be really helpful during the dry winter months.

2. Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm: You may be noticing a trend here, I’m really enjoying the Boots Botanic line lately. In fact, this product ranks as a top favorite this month. At night I take very gentle care to remove my eye makeup, then use this balm to remove the rest of my makeup (I’ve never had a problem with it stinging my eyes). It does come with a cloth, but I just use a simple white washcloth in warm water to remove the balm after massaging it into dry skin. For anyone that has trouble finding Emma Hardie (US gals I’m looking at you!) this is a good alternative for under $10!

3. Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner: After I use the above balm, I do a second wash with my standard Cetaphil, then follow with this product morning and night. It seems to be going really fast (probably since I use it twice a day), but I’m really enjoying the effect. I’m not acne prone, but I do get bouts of cystic acne and this has worked well at keeping all acne at bay. I may try a different brand next (because I like trying new things), but I would definitely repurchase this product. Bonus – I love the KS packaging and this pump is genius. 

 

Hair/Body

June-Faves_HairBody 

 

1. Boots Extracts Mango Body Butter: Truth be told, I don’t like The Body Shop Body Butters (GASP!!). They’re just too thick for me, and I find them very hard to spread on the skin. I do still love the Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter, but it only comes in the one scent. Boots has a range of body butters that is similar to the Trader Joe’s formula. I have been really loving the Mango, but I also have the coconut scent…because when it comes to Coconut, I just can’t help myself.

2. Drybar Shower Cap: I LOVE shower caps since I don’t like to wash my hair everyday. My hair can get very dry and washing it everyday tends to bring on more frizz. Caps have such a vintage and beauty bombshell vibe to them which feels fun. The Drybar shower cap is my newest and such a great quality. I love this one because it’s not just the standard plastic, the inside is lined in terry towel. Any water that seeps in is immediately soaked into the towel and I find that my hair stays nearly completely dry when I use this as opposed to the flimsy plastic ones.

3. Pantene Overnight Miracle: Since my hair is so dry, especially at the ends, I’m always on the lookout for treatments. This treatment feels like a light leave in conditioner that you put on the ends of you hair, then you go to bed. It’s not greasy so I haven’t had any trouble with it transferring to my pillow. You’re not suppose to rinse it out in the morning, just style and go. I’ve really like it this past month as it does seem to keep the ends of my hair in check, and it’s not greasy or heavy.

 

Nails

June-Faves_Nails 

 

1. Mavala Nailactin: This is a cuticle night treatment that has been working great for me. I do like the Mavala Cuticle Cream (I think I’ve shared that in a past favorites), but it’s a bit sticky. This Nailactin is not sticky at all, and it’s meant to be rubbing into the nail bed to heal brittle and damaged nails. I will warn you, I find the fragrance quite strong. It seems very ‘perfume-y’ to me,  so you might want to try and give it a sniff before picking this up to make sure you like it. I find that as long as I don’t sleep with my hands right next to my face, it’s no problem.

2. Sephora by OPI Exfoliating Cuticle Cream: I use this product 2-3x per week and it does a great job of gently exfoliating the cuticles. In fact, I like this product so much that I just picked up a few more to tuck away since they are on clearance at Sephora. So if you want to check it out, now’s the time since it’s nearly 50% off.

3. Out The Door Topcoat: This has been my recent replacement for Seche Vite. It doesn’t have that terrible smell that Seche has, nor does it have some of the same unhealthy ingredients. It also doesn’t seem to peel off my nails like Seche can sometimes do, not does it get as gloopy as you use up the bottle.  However, it still dries incredibly fast so I can do my nails and walk away within minutes.

4. Orly SmartGels Polish in Rage: I picked up both of this months colors on HauteLook when they were on super sale. I love this polish in the non-gel formula and the gel formula is just as great.

5. Orly SmartGels Polish in Passion Fruit: I was a little caught off guard by this color initially since it looks more red in the swatch, but it’s really a bright Coral Pink. It’s quickly become one of my favorite colors this past month. I have both of these on my Instagram account if you want to see swatches.

 

 

What were you beauty favorites last month? Have you tried any of these items, if so, what did you think?

 

 

*I was not provided or compensated for any of these products. All favorites were purchased with my own money, and as always, the opinion reflected in the post is completely my own. Some links contained may be affiliate.

April Favorites [Beauty/Fashion]

I have a lot of beauty favorites this month since I’ve been rebuilding my ‘beauty collection’, but these are at the top right now. What are some of your favorites right now? Feel free to share recommendations in the comments, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

 

Makeup Favorites

Makeup Favorites_April

MAC Fix+

I’ve been using this everyday (both before and after applying my makeup) to keep it lasting all day. It also does an amazing job at removing the ‘cakey’ look that can appear when using powders.

 

Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer

I used to use the Smashbox Primer, but I like this one SO MUCH better. I use it in the T-Zone, not all over, to prep areas where my pores are more visible.  After applying makeup, the pores are nearly invisible, it’s AMAZING!

 

L’Oreal Magic Anti-Redness Primer (I think they’ve renamed the product to Studio Secrets Anti-Redness Skin Primer Liquid)

Drugstore find of the month! Don’t let the color scare you off, if you have any redness or ruddiness, I would recommend this product. I have redness particularly in my cheeks and chin, but this green liquid balances the color perfectly. I use a VERY tiny amount and pat it on the red areas, just blending enough to blur the edges. It will leave a slight green cast, so you definitely want to use some sort of foundation over this primer.

 

Z-Palette

I just started using Z-palettes this past month, but I’m really impressed with their versatility. I have a bunch of small eye shadow quads & single blushes, that take up a lot of space. With the Z-Palettes, I’m able to de-pot the shadow quads and put them all in the palette. I have one palette for blushes, a second for eye shadows, and a third for bronzers (not shown). 

 

Skincare Favorites

Skincare Favorites_April

Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter

I may start an uproar with this statement, but…this beats The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter, HANDS DOWN! The smell is amazing, the texture is perfect. As long as I can get my hands on this stuff, it will be a favorite. Bonus: while it’s cheaper if you buy it at Trader Joe’s, you can also get it off Amazon! Great for those that don’t have a Trader Joe’s locally.

 

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum

An excellent, hydrating serum if you struggle with dry skin. It is pricey, but I think it’s worth it. It’s not heavy or greasy, and it soaks in quickly making it easy to top with my night moisturizer right away. I’ve used it morning an night and haven’t had any problem with breakouts due to this serum.

 

Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion for Hands, Face & Body

Speaking of night moisturizers, I’ve been using Skin MD for the past month since my skin has been SO dry. I usually use really thick night creams, thinking that it was necessary for dry skin. This lotion is not thick or heavy at all. In fact, it seems a little more on the watery side, but it does it’s job. I have found the 4oz size for about $10 it at only one Walgreens (not all locations), or I buy the 8oz size at Amazon for about $15.

 

Sephora Precision Pore Cleansing Pad

I can’t even pretend to hide my love for these. I’ve actually been using these more than my Clarisonic [GASP!], and I no longer use a wash cloth which can often feel very abrasive. I use two of the ‘scrubbies’, one on each hand, when I wash my face. They are made of soft silicone so it has a ‘massage like’ feel and are not scratchy at all.  I actually love these so much, and am afraid Sephora will stop carrying them, so I’ve bought 2 for my sink, 2 for my shower…and I may have a few tucked away for travelling as well. Just in case.

 

Nail Favorites – Colors

Nail Favorites_April

Harmony Gelish Sizzling Summer Nights Collection

By far, these are my favorite Gel nail colors. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen these on #manicuremonday. The Sizzling Summer Nights Collection has four colors: Sunrise in the City, Big City Siren, Showstopping, and Shake Your Money Maker. They are amazing color shifting glitters. Big City Siren & Shake Your Money Maker are solid is 2 coats. The others are a bit more sheer, but can be built up.

 

Essie – Beyond Cozy

The best White Gold micro glitter polish. Great as an all over color or as just an accent nail. 

 

Butter London – All Hail The Queen

When I get tired of the bright spring colors, I reach for a neutral. This shade is a great neutral polish with a subtle shimmer.

 

Nail Favorites – Treatments

Nail Favorites_April

Mavala Cuticle Cream

I used this Cuticle Cream in college when a very pushy sales person talked me into buying it. I’ll admit, she was right. When my local beauty supply shop stopped carrying it I was bummed. But I recently found this at both Ulta and online via Amazon so I’m back in love. It’s a thicker cream, and can be a bit sticky, but it’s amazing stuff. I use this every night before I go to sleep.

 

Gelish Basix Kit

I overpaid for this kit by buying it at Sally Beauty, you can find it cheaper online. In fact, I’m a bit bummed that I didn’t just buy the Full Size kit on Amazon since it was the same price as I paid fo the mini. While I’ve used other brand gel colors, I’ve only used the Gelish brand kit so far and it’s been great. I’ve done 4 full manicures so far and haven’t had a single problem with peeling, chipping, or tip wear. I’m SOLD.

 

Haircare Favorites

Haircare Favorites_April

Tangle Teezer

Regardless of what shampoo and condition I use, my hair is incredibly tangled out of the shower.  At first I thought this was simply an over priced comb, but it’s no joke. It works really well at getting tangles out of wet hair with minimal effort meaning less damage to my hair while it’s wet.

 

TIGI Bed Head Manipulator

I used to use this product when my hair was super short. When I grew it out, I stopped using the ‘manipulator’ because I thought it wasn’t useful on long hair. I’ve held onto it because, truth be told, I really like the scent. Long story short, I started using this recently on dry hair, just at the ends. I only use a very little bit, but it completely removes any static or frizz.

 

Organix Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist

I don’t like using oil serums on my hair because of the mess it leaves on my hands. The Organix spray is a fine mist that I add to the ends and comb through with my fingers. It has the GREATEST coconut scent and is completely mess free.

 

L’Oreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner

I’m no expert, but my guess is that this cleansing conditioner is L’Oreal’s version of Wen. I’ve never used Wen so I can’t compare the two, but I love the L’Oreal version (and it’s so much cheaper). It really conditions my dry hair without feeling heavy or greasy. I use it about 2 times a week as opposed to every time I wash my hair.

 

Fashion Favorites

Fashion Favorites_April

Sequin Clutch (Rose Gold/Smoke)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these clutches. I picked them up at DailyLook in both Rose Gold and Smoke because I love them that much. They are padded so they work great as a Tablet case which is what I use them for, but I’d happily swap out my tablet to use the clutch as an evening bag.

 

MIA Floral Wedges

I love these wedges for spring! I couldn’t find them online anymore, I think I bought them at DSW a few years back. Now that the temperature has warmed up (at little too much at 105 yesterday), I’m breaking in the spring/summer shoes. These are great because with the colors, they go with so many outfits and the wedge style is so versatile.

 

Rose Gold Jewelry (DailyLook, Henri Bendel, Fossil)

Silver has always been my favorite type of jewelry, but lately I’m seriously warming up to gold…rose gold at least. I’ve already talked about the clutch, but I’ve also been collecting some beautiful rose gold jewelry. The necklaces are from the Fossil outlet, the bangles and ring are from Henri Bendel, and I found the chain link bracelet at DailyLook.

 

 

*Some links contained within this post are affiliate; however, none of the products were provided to me, nor was I asked to review them.

March Favorites [Non-Beauty]

Part two of the monthly favorites, and these cover home, food, health/fitness, and entertainment. I’m really late in posting the March ones (sorry), in the future these will be much earlier in the month. In fact, April favorites will be up later this week.

 

I want to hear about your favorites too. So if you have a favorites post on your blog, or any items you recommend, leave them in the comment section!

 

Home Favorites 

Home March Favorites

 

Panasonic RP-HTX7-W1 Stereo Headphones -White 

I find it kind of funny that technology has advanced so much that I can wear my wireless Bluetooth headset to listen to music…but I’d rather wear the ‘retro’ big-ass headphones. I picked up these Panasonic headphones a few months back because I liked the vintage vibe, and the price was right (about $30!). I wear them all the time to listen to podcasts or music while I’m working, and the quality is great. They don’t fold up, so they can be bulky to travel with, but I still love them. 

Moleskine Squared Cahier Journal X-Large

I’m a little bit obsessed with notebooks, pens, pencils…always have been. So even though I use my phone/computer for my work calendar, I like using a paper calendar for my personal life/business. The problem is, I can never find a paper agenda that has what I need. I need multiple monthly calendars and I like an open weekly format where I can write in appointments, to do lists, shopping and project ideas, etc. So this year I decided to design my own agenda and bought an XLarge Moleskine Squared notebook. I’ve used tabs from Staples and sectioned off the months. I created weekly pages, a 2014 calendar, and left blank pages at the end for notes. There is a ton of inspiration online from those that have done this same thing. Try searching Google images for DIY Moleskine Planners. I linked to the red notebook because the black was no longer available on Amazon, but I bought mine at a local Barnes & Nobel store (couldn’t find it online).

Roku 2 XS 1080p Streaming Player

I believe I shared a while back that I cancelled my cable in order to pocket the $130 a month. WHAT!! It was crazy expensive and I watch most TV shows on my computer through Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, so having cable was a waste. However, I really wanted to be able to access those streaming sites on my TV so I picked up a Roku. They have a new version out now, but I have the 2 XS and love it. I’m able to move it between TVs throughout the house (or to my friends/family houses) and have easy (and cheap) access to all my favorites shows.

 

Foodie Favorites

Foodie March Favorites

 

Aerolatte Deluxe Edition Milk Frother with Stand, Stainless Steel

I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I do enjoy a cup of either coffee or tea on most days. Usually coffee at home is boring to me, but I’m too cheap to actually buy a latte each day. To make it a bit more luxurious and special, I bought a aerolatte. I use my Keurig to quickly make a cup of coffee, and while it’s brewing I use the Aerolatte to froth a little bit of coconut milk. I top the coffee with the frothed milk and a dash of cinnamon or cocoa. Ta Da! It’s may favorite way to start the morning.

 

Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter Creamy (2x16oz)

Honestly…I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter. I’ll eat it on a piece of bread or an English muffin in the morning, but I don’t eat it any other time. I don’t eat it by the spoonful, or in a PB & J sandwich, and I REALLY don’t like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (ewwww!). I know it’s weird.  I used to keep Skippy Naturals PB in the house, but I’ve found something WAY better! Earth Balance now makes a creamy and crunchy Coconut Peanut Butter. While I may not love Peanut Butter…I do LOVE Coconut. I think the crunchy version is actually better than the creamy (I find the creamy to be more oily), but both are delicious. You still won’t ever see me eating it in a sandwich, but more often than not, I will eat the Coconut PB on a piece of wheat bread for breakfast these days. Locally I’ve only found it at Henry’s…but you can find it online as well, and probably in other ‘health’ food grocery stores.

 

Homemade Protein Bread

I did a separate post on the recipe for this bread so I won’t go on too much about it here. I’ve been making it a lot lately since it’s easy and healthy. I also feel pretty bad-ass when I make my own bread from scratch!

 

 

Health & Fitness Favorites

Fitness Health March Favorites

 

EBOOST Orange Flavor 20 Packet Box of Effervescent Powder

Even when I’m eating super healthy, I feel like I need a nap around 3pm. Never fails, I’m dragging most afternoons. I’m not a fan of Red Bull or Monster style energy drinks but I’ve been addicted to eBoost. I’ve been drinking an eBoost packet almost everyday for the past 6 months and I LOVE them, definitely a favorite of mine. The package says to make it with 8oz of water, but I actually mix it into a 32 oz Mason Jar which I keep at my desk so the flavor is al little more diluted for me. I can’t speak to the flavor when mixed with 8 oz, but I know others find it a bit too strong. I drink the orange flavor and it’s not very sweet, it’s a bit more of a slightly bitter and slightly carbonated orange drink. Similar to the Emergen-C packets but with a non jittery, healthy, energy boost!

 

Manduka Black Mat PRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat

I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for years. In the past I’ve used an inexpensive mat that I picked up at Target or a sports store, but they never last long, and they’re usually really thin (and uncomfortable). Since I’m trying to build my practice, I thought it was time to invest in a quality mat. I bought the Classic Manduka Black Mat based on some incredible reviews from yoga friends. This mat is NO JOKE, I’ve been using it for 3 months now and love it. It is a little pricy and it’s heavy. I probably won’t take it to a class since it weighs about 7 lbs, but it works great for me to use at home. It does come coated with a film which can make it slippery for a while, but I was able to wash it off and haven’t had any other problems.

 

Polar Ft40F Women’s Heart Rate Monitor Watch(White)

Of all the things I’ve starting using (health-wise), this has probably made the biggest impact. Since I’m trying to lose weight knowing how many calories I burn when I work out is pretty critical. This model is pretty basic, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. I think I bought it on sale for around $80 but I’ve seen the other colors for even cheaper. I use it to motivate myself to work harder during my workouts in order to hit a specific calorie burn goal. It also helps me identify when I’m acclimating to a workout so I know when to change things up.

 

Entertainment Favorites

 

Ok, the last grouping for March! I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m hooked on Jillian Michael’s free iTunes podcasts. I always seem to learn something new and I especially like listening to the caller segments. Did I mention they’re free…yeah, I love free things.

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The second entertainment favorite is actually a new ‘to me’ show. Sadly it’s also a cancelled show. I was looking for something new to watch on Netflix and stumbled on Breakout Kings. I was HOOKED and have watched every episode (a few times) since both seasons are on Netflix now. I’m a huge Jimmi Simpson fan so I started watching for him…and his role is very similar to the ‘Reid’ character in Criminal Minds, so that was bonus. The cast is great, and I love the mix of action/drama/humor. It’s an overall win for me (if only AE had felt the same way…so sad).

image 

Lastly is a favorite phone app. This is only for those that use an Android (sorry iPhone folks). The only Apple product I have ever owned is an iPod. I’ve had one since they first came out so all my music is in iTunes.  However, I don’t have AT&T as a carrier so I couldn’t have the iPhone until recently. In reality, the only reason I wanted an iPhone was so that I could have my music/podcasts on my phone and not have to carry the iPod all the time. Lucky for me there’s an app for that! Synctunes launched in the beginning of 2013 and let’s you transfer your iTunes media to you Android phone via WiFi. SCORE! The free version lets you move one category (i.e. playlist, podcast, etc), but the paid version let’s you move anything you want. I ended up paying for the software and I think it’s worth it. Now I have my favorite music playlists and my podcasts on my phone all the time.

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*Some links contained within this post are affiliate; however, none of the products were provided to me, nor was I asked to review them.

March Beauty/Fashion Favorites

I’ve done some ‘favorites’ posts in the past, but not quite like this. I’m going be doing two posts each month (usually earlier in the month), one that covers Beauty/Fashion and a separate post for Home/Food/Fitness/Books, etc. This is not a sponsored post, I purchased everything with my own money. I simply love reading and watching these types of posts/videos because I always learn about new things, and I wanted to share some of my favorite items with you guys.  If this type of post is not your cup of tea…no prob…the next post is not beauty related. I have some Decor/DIY posts that will be up soon. 

I want to hear about your favorites too. So if you have a favorites post, or any items you recommend, leave them in the comment section!

 

Makeup Favorites

Beauty Makeup March Favorites

Kiehl’s Scented Lip Balm – Mango

I’m a lip balm kind of girl. I don’t wear lipstick very often because it makes me feel very made up…it’s just not a comfortable feeling for me. But I ALWAYS have lip balm on and I love Kiehl’s #1 balm. It’s moisturizing, with  just enough shine to work for me as a gloss. Mango is my favorite so far, but I’ve also enjoyed the Cranberry scent. I hear they have Coconut and Pear…can’t wait to try those. They run $9 a tube, but lately I’ve been able to buy them on sale at Nordstrom’s Rack.

 

L’Oreal Infalliable Gel Lacquer Liner 24 Hour

Since I don’t wear lipstick, I always put the focus on my eye makeup. By far my favorite style is lightly winged eyeliner, and I can’t get the cleanest line using a pencil. I also prefer to use a brush, so I tend to avoid the pen style liquid liners. In the past I was using the Smashbox cream liner, but I have a new favorite (for so much cheaper!). I picked up the L’Oreal Gel Lacquer Liner at Target a few weeks back and have since picked up 2 other colors. It’s incredibly easy to apply and lasts all day on me. I don’t know about 24 hours, but 12 hours have been no problem. I also love that it’s easy to remove with regular eye makeup remover. I have Espresso, Dark Slate, and Navy…and each package comes with it’s own little brush! They run about $9, but they often go Buy One, Get one 50% off at Walgreen, CVS, and even ULTA.

 

Elf Studio Endless Mini Eye Shadow Palette

I’m such a chicken when it comes to wearing colored eye shadows. I usually stick with my basic browns with maybe a grey thrown in from time to time. But I’m trying to step outside my comfort zone a bit, so I picked up this ELF palette at Target last month. It only cost $6, and has 32 different colors. I haven’t been brave enough to try those bright purples, but I’ve played around with the greens, pinks, and blues. The colors are pretty sheer so they are easy for me to use without feeling too crazy. Surprisingly my favorite color is the brightest pink in the palette. I never thought I would wear pink on my eyes, but it’s such a sheer wash of color that I find it so easy to wear.

 

Skincare Favorites

Skincare Bodycare March Favorites

Fresh Rose Marigold Floral Water

Growing up I had Combination Oily skin, but over the past few years my skin has shifted to Normal/Dry/Very Dry. I use the Rose water morning and night, any time I need some added moisture to my skin. I always apply this before toners or lotions. It smells so good and it’s a big bottle which has lasted me a long time. It’s a very refreshing way to start and end the day.

 

Clinique All About Eyes Serum

I’ve been a loyal All About Eyes customer for years, the regular product is great. I use it at night, but this roller ball serum version is perfect for mornings. It has a metal roller ball applicator which does a great job at ‘de-puffing’ the eyes and the formula is very light. I go through it really quickly, so anytime it’s at the Cosmetic’s Company Outlet (CCO), I stock up.

 

Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes

I’ve tried a lot of facial wipes to remove makeup. I had the Pond’s brand recently, but the smell was so overpowering that I ended up throwing them out. On a whim, I picked up the Pacifica brand at Target because I’m sold on anything with coconut. I’m almost out of the package pictured and already have a new package on hand. The smell is a subtle coconut scent, not too sweet, and the wipes are very gentle. There is no exfoliating side, so if you like that texture, you’ll want to try something else. This is a gentle wipe that has worked great for me at taking off makeup before I wash my face.

 

Nail Favorites

Nail March Favorites

OPI Original Nail Envy

If I had to pick one overall favorite (of all time), it would be Nail Envy. I know there are a lot of reviews out there on this product, and it’s not anything new, but I only tried it recently. I’m a lifelong nail biter so my nails were naturally thin and very damaged. Without the nail envy they are nearly flat and break VERY easily. I wear this under everything except a gel manicure. It’s truly the only product that I’ve found that has actually transformed my nails.

 

Essie Apricot Oil

As a nail biter, my cuticles were also a mess, so I started keeping cuticle oil at my desk. I’ve used others, but I like Essie’s best right now.  It smells pretty good, not quite like Apricot, but I like that the scent is light and doesn’t linger for too long. I also really like this oil because it soaks in quickly. I find that a lot of oils feel greasy for a long time, and can be messy. Not so with this one. I keep it at my desk and put it on a few times a day. I go back to typing immediately and I haven’t found it messy at all.

 

FoodScience Biotin

So this isn’t really a ‘Nail’ item, but I feel like taking this supplement has made a massive difference to my nails. My regular multi-vitamin does has Biotin, so this is in addition for me. Of course you’d want to research any supplement that you choose to use, but this works great for me. I like that the FoodScience brand doesn’t have all those crappy additives that you find in other supplement brands. This one also has Calcium and Vitamin C so those are an added bonus. I’ve only found them at Vitamin Shoppe so far, and a 30 day bottle costs about $10.

 

Hair Care Favorites

Haircare March Favorites

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

I purchase my coconut oil from Trader Joe’s and I use it for a ton of things, but my favorite use is on my hair. Several times a week, I coat my hair in coconut oil before I work out. It acts as a deep conditioner mask during my workout, and washes away clean when I shower. There is NO greasy/oily residue and it makes my hair incredibly soft. After using it for several months, my hair looks so much healthier, and doesn’t break nearly as easily as it used to. Granted, the biotin probably has something to do with that as well, but the feeling is amazing after using the coconut oil. 

 

Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color [Egyptian Plum & Medium Brown]

I used to get my hair colored in a salon, but my colorist is about 90 minutes away and super expensive. So about a year ago I stopped going and just let me natural color grow back in. Since it’s still growing out, the bottom was a bit brassy, and I was starting to see some grays that needs to go away. I didn’t want to commit to the upkeep of a permanent color, so I picked up Natural Instincts at Target. It’s a demi-permanent so it will wash out in about 28 shampoos. I mix two colors [Egyptian Plum and Medium Brown] and I’ve been thrilled with the results. It’s a little darker than my natural color, but it has the great plum/burgundy highlights that you can see when I’m out in the sun. Bonus…I don’t have to worry about the brassy grow out since it will just fade in a few weeks. Love this stuff!

 

Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo

I love this dry shampoo for a few reasons. One, I’m totally brand loyal to Dove, I’ve been using it for years. Two, the smell! It smells great, not too strong or perfumy. I also don’t have any problem blending it into my hair. Some dry shampoos have left a white cast on my dark hair, but this has worked great for me. Extra bonus…it’s CHEAP! I think I paid with a coupon and scored a few cans for about $2 each.

 

Fashion Favorites

Fashion March Favorites

Gapfit GFlex Pants

I workout 6 days a week since I’m trying to lose weight. Ok…let’s be honest…I wear these around the house even if I’m not working out.  They are thicker and hold you in all over, but are so comfortable…not ‘spanx like’. I also love that they come in the long length which is perfect for me. I’m 5’7, so not that tall, but I fall right between the regular and long length in GAP pants. Most workout pants are just too short for me, but these are perfect. I have a couple of pairs, and pretty much live in them.

 

Twin Buckle Handbag (Burnt Orange)

I feel like I should be using this in Autumn, a rust color bag feels a bit out of place right now. Oh well…I love it! It’s big, so it can hold all my stuff…and I have A LOT of stuff that I carry around. I never thought I would have an orange bag, but it works surprisingly well as a neutral color. I picked this bag up at Daily Look on sale, but it’s fairly inexpensive even when not on super sale.

 

Roxy Women’s Pier-Fur Slip-On

Slippers!! I buy new slippers every year and Roxy is always my first choice. They usually have a few styles that look more like shoes, and I love that style. This version has a thicker sole so I can actually wear them outside. In fact, I don’t think they sell these as slippers, they promote them as ‘fur’ lined shoes. I don’t wear them as ‘shoes’, but it’s nice that they hold up if I want to wear them to put out the trash or grab the mail on a cold (and lazy) day.

 

 

 

 

*Please note that several of the links contained within this post are Amazon affiliate links. The items were purchased by me and the opinions are 100% my own.

Back To Blog – #InstaCatchUp

Hey everyone, Happy Sunday!

It’s been a while, a long while, since I put up a new post. I don’t have an exciting excuse as to why I disappeared, it was just due to work. We’ve gone through layoffs AGAIN, and we lost someone on our team. So I’ve taken on more work, and I’ve gone from treading water to full out drowning each day. It’s been tough to steal a few hours away to blog and do house projects. But I miss it and you guys, so I’m going to try and make a stronger effort to blog a few times a week again.

I’ll keep it short today and just share a few instagram pics that I’ve taken lately. You can click the link below to follow me on Instagram.

Follow @addisonshaw 

My little bug had a episode of tremors (a very mild seizure) a few weeks ago. There is nothing that makes me feel more panicked than realizing my pup is in trouble and I have to carry all 95 lbs of him down three flights of stairs and rush him to emergency because he’s can’t walk. It was terrifying. Of course by the time I got to the doctor, he was fine so I just looked like the crazy dog lady. They ran tests and he’s perfectly healthy, so hopefully it was a one time thing.

I’ve recently become ADDICTED to watching YouTube beauty videos when I can’t sleep at night. I love the shopping haul, monthly favorites, and empties videos so I can see what other people are buying and recommending. I love beauty products, but I haven’t invested much time into myself over the past few years. Apparently that’s over! I’ve been on a HUGE beauty binge lately. This was a recent Sephora, MAC, and Papyrus haul. That’s not even the half of it folks! Seriously, someone needs to stop me.

I also tried gel nails for the first time recently. I did these myself at home using a Gelish Mini Basix kit that I bought from Sally Beauty. I don’t know why I waited so long to try gel nails, I LOVE them! I took this picture after about 4 days, but they are still on my nails and it’s been nearly 2 weeks. I did do a little fill after a week to hide the grow out, but otherwise it looks amazing. The coolest part is that the silver polish you see in the French tips is not gel polish, it’s just regular Sally Hansen Xtreme Polish in Celeb City. Knowing that I can use my regular polish in a Gel Manicure has me totally hooked. I might do a tutorial on how I did the manicure in a future post, so let me know if you’d be interested in that.

Pretty flowers I found on Easter Sunday. They made me smile.

More beauty stuff…told you I was addicted. I scored a great deal at House of Lashes recently so I stocked up since they are my absolute favorite full lash strips, especially their Au Naturale collection.

Boredom ensued while I was waiting for my eye appointment last weekend. I don’t take pictures of myself very often, but here ya go.

Ok…I swear this is it for the beauty stuff…for now. I joined Julep Maven which is a monthly subscription box of nail polish…I mean, really…like it took much to pull out my credit card for that one. I do love that you get to preview the box each month before it ships. If you don’t like what’s in your box, you can swap boxes for a different one, or you can skip it completely and save your money that month. I used coupon code, JULEPVIP, to get my first box for just a PENNY! If the code no longer works, check out RetailMeNot for current promotion codes.

Alright, that’s it for today. I have a few furry houseguests right now, so I have to go hang out with my little doggie entourage. I hope you all have a great weekend, talk to you soon (I promise!).

My Favorite Moment of the Week & Grocery Challenge

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! I hope everyone’s week is going well.

I need to catch up a bit. So my favorite moment of last week was on Sunday. We had beautiful weather and my little pup and I took a long walk down a local trail.

Long Walk Home

For both my sanity and his mini waistline, we’ve started taking longer walks during my lunch hour (as often as possible). I usually have to work through my lunch so I’m trying to sneak away when I can, and zone out during a walk. It also gives me a chance to listen to a podcast or audio book. I’m really loving Jillian Michaels free podcast on iTunes right now, lots of great health/nutrition info. This past Sunday, Bubba went for his longest walk in a long time. Since I’m writing this on Wednesday morning, I can say he actually went even further on Monday. He was like a little energizer bunny.

Long walk home

We saw some beautiful scenery. I had no idea there was a large horse ranch behind the trail near my house, it was gorgeous.

Long Walk Home

On to the food. Last week I totally forgot about the Super Bowl [I don’t have cable, so I obviously wasn’t going to watch it], and went grocery shopping on Saturday with the rest of the world. BIG MISTAKE. The lines were crazy.  

The Budget: $40

I Spent: $38.82 (Henry’s, Trader Joe’s)

Leftover for the Piggy Bank: $1.18

Groceries 2_4_2013

 

The Goods:

  • Rotisserie Sliced Chicken
  • Broccoli Florets
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • Frozen Turkey Meatballs
  • Fat Free Sour Cream
  • Cage Free Eggs [1 Dozen]
  • Chobani Plain Yogurt
  • Flank Steak [1lb]
  • Mushrooms
  • Organic Fuji Apples
  • Carrots [5lb] – dog treats
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

I still had spinach, kale, and romaine leftover from last week so I skipped those in this trip, and instead focused on meat/dairy which cost more overall. I won’t need most of the above next week, so I’ll replenish the veggie stash on the next trip.

 

Tentative Meal Plan:

Monday: Quick Beef Stroganoff 

Tuesday: Ricotta Broccoli Stuffed Shells & Kale Salad

Wednesday: Honey Mustard Chicken & Veggie

Thursday: Leftover Ricotta Broccoli Stuffed Shells

Friday: Feta Chicken Burger & Veggie

Saturday: Sausage Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash [?]

Sunday: Tomato Soup Leftovers

 

Reader Question:

A couple of people pointed out that I seem to cook most meals, and asked if I’m making full size recipes or adjusting for just one person. Truth is, I cook 99.9% of my meals. I don’t eat out often, maybe 2-3 times a month. I love cooking, so it’s enjoyable for me to make food at home. To answer the size question, most of the time I make the whole recipe so that I can freeze the additional servings for future ‘freezer meals’. For example, The ‘Quick Beef Stroganoff’ recipe made 4 servings. I ate one on Monday night, I have one in the fridge for lunch this week, and froze the other 2 servings for future meals. I do the same for most recipes and love having premade ‘freezer meals’ ready to go throughout the week. Right now I have Chili, Tomato Soup, and Beef Stroganoff all ready to be heated in the freezer. The Feta chicken burger recipe will make 4 patties, so I’ll eat one on Friday and freeze the rest. You get the point.

I also do this with cookie dough. I like baking cookies…I do not like having 3+ dozen cookies in the house. So I will make a half/full batch, bake a few (like 5), then freeze the rest. For basic dough, like chocolate chip, you can scoop the batter into cookie size scoops onto a plate or cookie sheet and put in the freezer to set. Once frozen, you can put the frozen cookie dough balls in a bag and bake as needed in the future.

I mean, really…can you ever have enough cookie dough in your freezer?

My Favorite Moment of the Week & Grocery Challenge

Moment of the Week_3

It has been very rainy for the past few days…and I’ve been loving every second of it! I love the rain and gloomy weather, and after a 110 degree summer, I adore these kinds of days. That photo was taken yesterday when I came home from breakfast, but it’s a tie for my favorite moment of the week. This past week was really good, and I’ve had a lot of favorite moments. I spent a girls day with my mom early last week where we went shopping and had lunch, and I cancelled my cable this week so I’ve been reading a lot more…not to mention the $130 back in my pocket each month. I achieved a 25 lb weight loss so I was able to get my 25lb reward, a new heart rate monitor. I picked up the white Polar Ft40F Women’s Heart Rate Monitor Watch(White) and am loving it! I meant to get this part of the post up on Sunday, but as I type this on Monday I’ve actually reached 30lb weight loss. I assign rewards to every 5 pounds so I also picked up the 30lb reward which was a new yoga mat, I chose the Manduka Black Mat PRO 71-Inch Yoga and Pilates Mat . These are things that I was saving money for anyway, but instead of just buying them a few weeks ago I decided to achieve a weight loss goal before cashing in.  I’ll do a separate post on the workout program I’m doing right now, but I can say that I’ve never felt better and am seeing MAJOR changes in a short amount of time.

Since I forgot to put the Favorite moment post up yesterday, I’m going to combine it with today’s Grocery Challenge post. I took a picture of the grocery haul this week, but apparently I deleted it. Bummer. Instead I’ll share a few pictures of recent eats. I don’t consider myself a food blogger so I don’t ever plan to post daily eats on a regular basis; however, I do tend to put health/food pictures up on my instagram account. You can follow me at @addisonshaw

Greek yogurt, blueberries, raw honey, and Quinoa Crunch [kind of like a quinoa granola]

Homemade Tomato Pasta Soup and Grilled Cheese

Wasa Toast topped with Avocado and Eggs along with a sprinkle of parmesan. So good!

Apples and Peanut Butter. I have to hide in the office when I eat this or my dog tries to steal it from me. Seriously, that pup has a peanut butter addiction.

Homemade Turkey Meatball Pizza.

Garlic Snow peas with a salad made of Shrimp, Avocado, tomatoes and Cilantro Dressing. Side of Wasa Toasts. I was going for a bruschetta type thing. It was AMAZING.

Spaghetti Squash Meatball Bake, cooked in pan instead of the squash shell.

 

This week…

The Budget: $40

I Spent: $36.64 (Henry’s, Trader Joe’s, Target)

Leftover for the Piggy Bank: $3.36

 

The Goods:

Ricotta Cheese

Cage Free Organic Eggs [1 Dozen]

Chocolate Croissants

Cilantro Salad Dressing

Whole Wheat Pita Bread Pockets

Kale

Organic Spinach

Organic Romaine

Broccoli Florets

Chobani Greek Yogurt [16oz]

Vanilla Coconut Milk [Half Gallon]

Colby Jack Cheese [about 1/2 lb from the deli section]

Sirloin Tip Steak [4oz]

Carrots [5lbs] – Dog Treats

 

I’m still using the Out of Milk app and loving it. It makes it so easy to keep track of items to buy throughout the week.

 

Tentative Meal Plan:

Monday: Spaghetti Squash Bake [pictured above]

Tuesday: Steak Fajita Pita Pockets

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken & Veggies

Thursday: Basil Tilapia & Veggies

Friday: Chicken Parmesan & Veggies [instead of pasta]

Saturday: Eggs & Yam Hashbrowns

Sunday: Homemade Chili [leftover from my freezer stash]

 

 

*Some links contained within this post are affiliates.

Grocery Challenge – Week of January 21

This week…

The Budget: $40

I Spent: $35.81 (Henry’s, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens)

Cash for the Piggy Bank: $4.19

Groceries 1_21_2013

I learned something this week…don’t go shopping at Trader Joe’s on Saturday night. Not because it’s a somewhat pathetic thing for a single girl on Saturday night…but because they were sold out of EVERYTHING! So many things I wasn’t able to get this week and had to swap out for something else. They were completely out of Broccoli and Kale so I swapped them for Snow peas and Spinach, a few other things I had to skip altogether. I was also a little disappointed in some of the produce at Henry’s. They had a bag of sweet potatoes on sale, but the potatoes in the bags were mushy and molding. So sad.

  • Carrots (5lb) – Dog Treats
  • Banana (4)
  • Organic Apples (3lb)
  • Grape Nuts (2 boxes)
  • Organic Spinach
  • Organic Romaine
  • Snow Peas
  • 1/2 dozen Cage Free organic eggs
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Organic Blueberries
  • Sweet Potatoes (3)
  • Sliced Chicken Deli Meat
  • Frozen Mac & Cheese

 

Menu Plan (not necessarily made from the items purchased this week):

Monday: Homemade Chili & Veggie

Tuesday: Mustard Salmon & Veggie

Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash Meatball Bake

Thursday: Basil Tilapia & Veggie

Friday: Homemade Tomato Soup

Saturday: Homemade Chicken Pesto Pizza

Sunday: Spaghetti Squash Meatball Bake

Grocery Challenge – Week of January 14th

It’s the first grocery challenge post of the new year!

 

With the holidays and travelling, I’ve been doing a lot of random grocery shopping lately. Random shopping means I spend way more than I mean need to on things I don’t need. So in the new year I’ll be keeping up with the grocery challenge to get myself back on track. I’m making only one change…the budget is back to $40 each week, instead of $50. Any money not spent each week will continue to go into the ‘piggy bank’.

This week…

The Budget: $40

I Spent: $31.45 (Henry’s, Trader Joe’s)

Cash for the Piggy Bank: $8.55

Groceries 1_13_2013

  • Carrots (5lb) – Dog Treats
  • Chobani 0% Plain Greek Yogurt – for homemade Dog Treats
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Avocado
  • Feta Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Spinach
  • Sliced Chicken Deli Meat
  • Pita Bite Crackers
  • Frozen Mac & Cheese
  • Bouquet of Flowers

 

I suppose you’re wondering how I’m going to live on one box of frozen Mac & Cheese, spinach, and lunch meat for the week. The truth is, I’m not. In an effort to better organize my life, I recently cleaned out my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Everything was straightened, shelves were wiped down, and anything with a past expiration date was dumped. Apparently I am a food hoarder, because this exercise showed me just how much food I have in my house, and I still go out every week and buy more. So for the next few weeks, groceries will probably be lighter than usual and I eat through my stash. 

 

ScreenClip(9)

 

I also recently started using the Out of Milk app on my phone, and their coordinating website. This is where my inner organizational Type A nerd comes in. I used the app’s barcode scanner while I was cleaning the kitchen to scan every item I have in the pantry, freezer, and fridge. It didn’t take as long as it’s sounds, and was fun because I like scanning things. I can now tell you exactly how much flour I have in the house from a quick glance at my phone, and that I have enough chicken in my freezer to serve my entire extended family at a moments notice. Turns out that every time I went shopping over the past few months, I was buying duplicate items simply because I didn’t know that I already had more than enough at home. That’s why I have so much chicken in my freezer, and several weeks worth of soup in my pantry. The app makes it easy to create my weekly shopping list since I can drag the empty items from my pantry list over to the shopping list. With the paid upgrade to the app, I can even track coupons for my lists. My nerdy, coupon loving, shopping desires are now completely fulfilled.

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some chicken and soup to eat…

 

*This post was not in any way sponsored by Out of Milk. They have no idea who I am and did not ask me to mention them. I simply like the product and wanted to share.

Etsy Finds Friday – Art Favorites

I’ve always thought of art as a great holiday gift, and not given enough. It’s personal, doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive, and it’s fun/creative. You can chip in with others and get a large piece that you know they’ll love, or a small postcard size piece perfect for their office desk. A collection of vintage postcards are a great gift for your travel/art loving friend. You can usually find a variety of options at local antique stores for a few bucks each. I even found a few from the 40’s & 50’s that have writing on the back. It’s cool to get a glimpse into someone else’s life (ya know…before blogs, facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc).

 

So it seemed fitting to do an art themed Etsy find Friday this week as people are working on their holiday shopping. These are a few of my favorites.

 

Summit Ridge

I only came across this store recently and was blown away by the detail in their designs. They sell custom water color maps! How amazing is that Paris map? LOVE. They also have prints of several of their designs that are less expensive than the water color original.

 

 

Native Vermont

If there was only one art piece on my Christmas list this year, it would be from Native Vermont. The picture of the brown lab looks so much like my pup that it was love at first sight. I haven’t bought it yet (hint hint family and friends!), but I plan to after the new year. They have several other dog designs, as well as beautiful other pieces. I don’t know where I’d put it, but I love the fox.

 Mister Fox GRAPHIC ART Illustration 7x7 giclee print SIGNED

 

Bold and Noble

I can’t explain Bold and Noble better than they can, so this is from their Etsy shop page.

“We created Bold & Noble to design beautiful artworks that don’t cost the earth, in both the financial and ecological sense. We make products that stand the test of time, by hand, in the old-fashioned way. And we believe in living. If it’s a sunny day, we’ll be out there looking for inspiration—providing all the work’s done.”

I’m specifically enamored with the foil finish limited edition pieces. Absolutely beautiful!

 

 

Orignaux Moose

This gets the prize for most original. I’ve never seen this type of work done anywhere else and it’s really lovely. The calligraphy style state names are shaped like the actual state. Even better, the 8.5 x 11 prints are priced at $10, so you can purchase a few for a larger gift. You could give a pair of ‘home’ states to a Newlywed couple, or start collecting them as you visit new states during your travels. I’m thinking of doing this myself and adding them to a future photo wall. 

 

 

What do you think of Art as a gift? Too personal or just right? I know it can be difficult to pick out art for someone else, but if you know their style, then I think it’s the perfect gift.