June 2016 Favorites

June 2016 FavoritesJune 2016 Favorites
1. Stridex Pads, $5 / 2. Sensationail Polish to Gel, $8
3. Excipial, $12 / 4. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, Moonstone, $19

Thanks for bearing with me last month since my favorites were a bit of a mess, but I’ve got my act together just in time to share my June 2016 Favorites.

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Skincare Arsenal Update – June 2016

I needed to take my own advice and get back to basics. My skincare routine became too complicated and had too many moving parts. I was vacillating between Cetaphil Gentle, philosophy Purity, Noxzema Triple Clean, and random cleanser samples I had received from Sephora and Ulta (because that’s what you do when you’re a beauty blogger who reviews things). I was inconsistently using this toner, that moisturizer. Exfoliant roulette. Masque roulette. You get it. I was all over the place.

All that combined with a stressful eight months and my skin just wasn’t my biggest fan. It was making me crazy, and it was preventing me from having as much fun with my makeup. So I revamped my skincare arsenal and process to get back to consistency, and I’ll just need to go longer between trying new skin products for science. Tomorrow, I turn 25 – and I’m doing so with skin that is behaving.

Makeup Removal & Cleansing

Skincare Arsenal Update - Cleansing

Micellar Water – I am really impressed by how well the Garnier one I reviewed is treating me. As I don’t use waterproof mascara or go hardcore, full-face every day, I’m delighted with the way this stuff has been (oh-so-gently!) treating my skin. A lot of people have eschewed their other face products in favor of this minimalist product; I can see why. I’ve picked up the one by Simple (I liked their Micellar wipes, after all) to try, but I’m not remotely unhappy with the Garnier one. I still have Kirkland Makeup Wipes; they’re effective, inexpensive, and convenient – but I’m growing tired of the fragrance. They’re still a good product and a great value, but I am scaling back my usage in favor of micellar products. Personally, I’m also not in love with something so disposable for everyday use.

Cetaphil Gentle – Tried and true. Just as good without water as with. Plays nicely with both my Clarisonic and my Luna Mini.

philosophy Purity – For when I need a deeper clean. This is about as ‘hardcore’ of a clean as I want, these days. Also plays nicely with both aforementioned tools.

Keep reading for more on my Skincare Arsenal Update…

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Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIB

Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIBUlta Platinum vs Sephora VIB

Beauty chains companies are realizing that they have a a fiercely loyal group of customers that it is wise to maintain. Ulta features Ultamate Rewards and Sephora features Beauty Insider, respectively. They work differently and have different perks but they do have one thing in common – a tier system to reward their, “frequent fliers,” and top spenders with premium perks. So when it comes down to Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIB which wins?

In late 2014, I hit Platinum status at Ulta and got to keep that status this year. I have no idea how this happened (reality, not being cute); I was shopping at Ulta less frequently than Sephora and I tended to spend less there; so I’m chalking it up to occasionally shopping with a friend who was content to have her purchases apply for my rewards.

In Spring 2015, with the purchase of the Silk’n Flash n Go Freedom (no longer sold at Sephora) and the Foreo Issa, I hit VIB at Sephora.

So between Ulta Platinum vs Sephora VIB – which is better?

This was originally published in December of 2015, but felt it could use some refreshing. Not joining rewards programs is like leaving money and/or product on the table, so I want to help educate my readers!

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Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid LipstickMaybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick

It’s been a while since I’ve been a part of an Influenster campaign, but I got into the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick campaign and recently received the product for free to test.

I received two colors. Rebel Red…

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick - Rebel Red

…and Nude Flush.

Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick - Nude Flush

To date, my experience with liquid lipstick is minimal. I’ve tried Stila Stay All Day, in the game before it was cool, and I’ve tried NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. The prestige market exploded a couple years ago and became heavily saturated with vibrant tubes of product. As per usual, the drugstore market lags behind, and is only recently catching up (I count NYX as kind of in a league of its own; drugstore price-point, bu t not drugstore quality). The Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick is in a friendly price-point, only $6.49 and eligible for coupons and whatnot.

But enough about market share!

Application

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May 2016 Favorites

Pardon the screwy schedule and format this month – we’ll be back to normal next month!

May 2016 Favorites
1. Real Techniques Retractable Lip Brush $7 / 2. St Tropez Tanning Mitt, $6
3. Arm & Hammer Essentials Fresh, $3 / 4. Coconut Acetone , $5

rtlipbrush I can’t say if this is the, “best lip brush ever,” because frankly, it is the only one I’ve ever owned. That said, it makes applying F-Bomb and other bold colors a breeze; you can line with the thin edge and fill in with the flatter side. At $5.49 and usually on sale BOGO 50% off at Ulta, it’s a steal.

sttropezmittI mentioned that it is tanning season, so my St Tropez self-tanning mitt has been getting weekly use. I actually need to get a new one! I’ll never go back to applying by hand.

 

armhamdeoDeodorant isn’t a glamorous thing to talk about, but it is important and with the weather warming up, what better time? I waffle back and forth between this ultra-inexpensive, aluminum-free (so it’s only a deodorant, not an antiperspirant) one and this slightly more luxurious Lavanila one. I’m on my 3rd stick. This clear solid stick is a unisex fragrance – not feminine or, “pretty.” By its nature it is strong but fades quickly enough not to offend.

cocoacetone

Yeah, I thought coconut scented acetone polish remover was too good to be true. I ordered it because my usual stuff was out of stock. I am pleased to report, however, that it does leave a pleasant coconut aroma behind! That said, please don’t get all sommelier on the bottle – it is acetone, and it does smell like acetone. More importantly than its novelty fragrance, though, is that it works. I’ll definitely repurchase. I decant mine into a pump-top bottle for easier use

What did you love last month?