March 26, 2012

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser

Rating: ♥♥ Like it
Cost: $18

I've been using this cleanser for awhile. The product aims to "remove impurities and visibly reduce excess oil on skin's surface". It's a gentle cleanser that's paraben-free, silicone-free, fragrance-free, and oil-free.

To Use...
In the directions it says to avoid the eye area so I use it after I use a basic cleanser to remove makeup at night.  I squeeze a pea-sized amount into my hands and massage it onto my skin. In a few seconds it lathers up and I spread it all over my face, except the eyes of course. The way it lathers reminds me of a shaving cream, which is funny to feel on my face! It has that creamy-foamy-soft texture to it. It's fragrance-free but still has a soapy scent.

I notice that my face feels softer and has a smooth finish, not just after I use it but also the next morning and throughout the day. I also have combination skin (oily in the t-zone, dry on the cheeks) so a product that balances my skin is desired and appreciated! Have I noticed my skin more balanced? Maybe a little, not a super noticeable difference though. I do, however, love how little product I have to use - it'll last a long time!

Will I keep using it? Yes. My skin looks and feels healthier and over time maybe I'll see more of a difference in visible oil.  I would recommend this cleanser to others who have the same issues with their skin as it's not incredibly expensive and will last a long time, not to mention works well.

*I am not affiliated nor am I being compensated for this review. 

March 22, 2012

Happy Spring + $25 Sephora Giveaway

Spring is here and it's time to celebrate warmer days, outdoor activities, and my blogiversary! As some of you may know this month marks my one-year anniversary of blogging. I'm so proud that I put forth the effort to write for this long and I'm excited to continue my blogging adventures. So how shall we celebrate this milestone? With a giveaway of course!

One winner will receive a $25 Sephora Gift Card!

I'm using Rafflecopter for this giveaway (it makes everything so easy!) so all of your entries will be handled through the Rafflecopter widget I have posted below. If it doesn't properly load try refreshing the page.

You'll be able to enter a number of ways. 
1. Tweet about the giveaway - you can do this once daily (worth 1 entry per day)
2. Follow me on twitter (worth 2 entries)
3. Leave a comment (worth 1 entry)
4. "Like" this blog post (worth 1 entry)
5. Follow my blog (worth 2 entries)
Use the Rafflecopter widget to make sure your entries count!

Contest begins March 22, 2012 and ends March 31, 2012
Winner will be selected randomly and notified by e-mail.
This giveaway is open to all U.S. residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

March 19, 2012

Current Obsession: Essie

I never thought to try Essie nail polish before. I always use OPI and I'm not sure why I haven't ventured to other brands. I guess I was just comfortable with it. I still love OPI but lately the Essie displays at the store have really drawn me in.

Set in Stones (silver) and A Cut Above (pink)

These two textured top coats are from the Luxeffects collection. They are absolutely gorgeous! I received Set in Stones in my March Birchbox. I used it immediately and found the amount and size of glitter to be perfect. I had to go pick up A Cut Above as well because this is what caught my eye from the beginning of my Essie curiosity. The glitter pieces vary in size and aren't hard to remove. They don't make your nails feel rough or rigid, a big reason why I typically don't wear glitter polishes.

Sure Shot
This pretty magenta color is from the new Resort collection. It was an  instant favorite for me.

Buy Me a Cameo
A sandy mocha color. This is close to a nude color for me since I am naturally tan but it's also frosty so it stands out. 

These colors/top coats amaze me.They're good quality and apply with minimal effort. I think I may take a little OPI break so I can start growing my Essie collection. What nail polish brand is your favorite?

March 14, 2012

Teen Vogue Birchbox: Tarte, Essie, Shiseido

Ok, I know I haven't posted for awhile.  I guess I just wanted a little tiny break to do some brainstorming and find some inspiration. I recently hit the one-year mark of blogging (yay me!) and it made me think about how I can improve and keep moving forward. I'd like to put more effort and research into my blog posts in this next year of writing. While I work on writing creative and informative posts, I bring you my March Birchbox review!

This month we were given the option to receive a regular Birchbox or a Teen Vogue Edition. I chose the Teen Vogue one - I thought it would be fun. Here are my thoughts...

What came in my box...

1. Annick Goutal Petite Cherie Fragrance
Full-size $85

This scent was created by a French designer in 1998. It's a blend of fruity and musky scents. The first thing I could smell was a floral scent, which is rose. It also has notes of peach, vanilla, fresh grass, and pear. An interesting mix but I like it.

2. Essie Luxeffects "Set in Stones"
Full-size $8

Love this! It's a glitter top coat. This isn't just a sample size either, it's a full size Essie polish. I am mildly bummed that it wasn't "A Cut Above" which is the pink glitter top coat that I've been eyeing at the store for weeks, but this silver glitter would've been my 2nd choice. I love the varying sizes of the glitter. I'm fairly new to Essie polishes but I'll elaborate on my opinion of the brand in a post later this month.

3. Shiseido Pureness 
Oil-Control Blotting Papers
100 sheets $18

My sample came with 10 sheets. You use these to soak up oil in your T-zone. I get pretty oily in that area so I tried one out and sure enough the paper picked up a lot of it. I know you can get them cheaper though so I don't think it's necessary to buy high-end when it comes to this product.

4. Tarte LipSurgence lip tint
Full-size $24

This is a lip stain pencil that is moisturizing and long lasting. It's infused with peppermint, which I could smell right away (and I like it).  My lips are naturally on the dark side so I try to balance them out with lighter colors. Of course I was given the bright fuschia color, Amused - but that's ok! It gives my lips that popsicle-stained look. It looks like maybe I was given the full size which is awesome! The price is steep though.

5. Twistband Hair Tie
12 pack $18

I've had this type of hair tie in a box before by another brand. I like these alot. I think they're cute and they don't leave creases. I would probably buy them.

Final thoughts...
This box was so worth the $10! In fact, considering the prices of the products and how much I was given (and also assuming the lip tint is full size) the contents of my box add up to around $40, not to mention a $10 discount from I'm obviously still loving Birchbox!

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. A referral link was used.
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