September Beauty Favorites

1. Tarte | maracuja lip exfoliant- This is perfect lip exfoliant for the fall. It mositurizes dry lips while preparing them for the trending dark lip colors. I usually apply this after I moisturize my face and leave it while I do my make-up. Your lips will feel so smooth after and the minty taste is a bonus!

2. Rimmel Stay Matte | Translucent- I haven't found a product yet that beats this! I use it to set under eye concealer and all over my face to matte the skin. It last for about 5/6 hours before you need to re-apply. For the money you will not find a harder working face powder.

3. Olay 4-in-1 Daily Face Cloths | Sensitive- These are perfect to use at the end of the day. Everything you need in one cloth and at the end of the day when your tired, one step cleansing is very welcome. Once the cloth is wet, massage over the whole face then ring out and use to remove the cleanser from skin. So simple and it feels great.

4. Maybelline Babylips | Berry Bomb- I held off on the baby lips trend for a long time, but why? These little lip balms are super moisturizing and can be worn alone or on top of your favorite lip stain.  I've been using mine with the Cailyn lip balm I got in my IPSY bag this month.

5. Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten | Berry- This blush will last me a lifetime. You only need the tinist amount on your brush for a full flushed cheek.  I've been applying this behind the apples of my cheeks and it gives a nice natural blush to the cheeks.  Single handily this blush made me want to explore the rest of the Laura Geller line.

6. Blow Pro | After Blow- This hairspray holds without the sticky crunchy residue most other have. The additional benefit is the shine it leaves you with.  I used this earlier in the summer at a wedding I attended and my hair looked just as good at 1AM as it did at 5PM!

7. Maybelline Great Lash | Vision in Violet- This isn't the worlds best mascara (even though its sold every 1.7 seconds in the US- seriously!) but these limited color mascaras are fun to play with especially when worn over your favorite mascara. I like the Purple for my green eyes, but it would look awesome on brown too.

What are some of your beauty favorites this month? Does Fall make your skin change? My skin has been really dry and especially around my nose. ARGH.

//disclaimer- I purchased these products with my own money and these brands don't have a clue who I am.


Subscription box review- Birchbox vs IPSY

I know these reviews are OVER done, but I still enjoy reading (and watching) them.  I've said in the past that Birchbox reignited my love for make-up. Finding the make-up/beauty blogger community has sort of been like coming home! There are other make-up nuts out there also?! Its been so fun to experiment and see whats new.

This month marks my twenty-second Birchbox. I feel like I've been with them long enough to understand the concept, I've faithfully done reviews, and fine tuned my profile- but my boxes have gotten worse and worse. I'm just not seeing the value in the boxes and I haven't found a single holy grail item in about nine months. This was the heritage box celebrating Birchbox three years in business. Really? This was the best they could do?! Major disappointment.

Beauty Protector Shampoo & Conditioner- Smells nice and works just like a drugstore shampoo.

Ruffian Nail Polish | Fox Hunt- I didn't try this because I didn't care for the metallic rust color- It seemed very 90s to me.

Juice Beauty | Green Apple Peel- I got this in a Haute Beauty Bag and it is a great product.  Very good for sensitive skin.  If you are careful you will have enough for two applications. 

Soak Laundry Detergent for Delicates- This tiny small foil packet is meant to be used in a sink. This product does not need to be rinsed after washing. I didn't try this.

Birchbox is $10 a month (shipped) and gets you a delivery of high-end beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples customized for you. I haven't received a make-up sample in four months, but they do have them. If you prefer make-up over skin care and shampoo/ conditioner I wouldn't recommend Birchbox.

This is my fourth IPSY bag and they just keep getting better and better! I think this is a better fit for me because I love to try new makeup brands and skin care.  IPSY never disappoints with make-up and every month when my IPSY bag arrives,  I get that excited feeling inside! This month I was over the moon to see the paper masks in my bag- I've been wanting to try paper mask for quite awhile!

Starlooks Kohl eye pencil | Obsidian- Very creamy with moderate staying power. I didn't notice any pulling or skipping when I applied it.

NYX Eye Shadow | Rock- I love NYX eye shadows. They are very affordable and have good pigment. You do need to use a base and anticipate a little fallout. I actually think the best way to apply NYX shadows is with your index finger.

Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm | Big Apple- This tinted lip balm comes with a built in brush and applies like a dream. This is part stain | part lip balm very long lasting and works great as a base. I can't wait to try other colors.

Elizabeth Mott | It's so Big Volumizing Mascara- This is my new holy grail mascara. The mascara is light enough to hold a curl, but gives you major volume. The thing I like best is how soft it leaves my lashes even after multiple coats. Love it!!

Freeman Beauty | Facial Paper Mask- I tried the blue agave hydrating mask and was so pleased with the way it left my skin.  I will be purchasing it again as it is a great way to hydrate the skin between facials.

Subscribe to the IPSY Glam Bag and you get 4-5 beauty products every month delivered to your door, for just $10. You build a profile with them to ensure you get products suited to you. I've enjoyed every bag I've gotten so far and can't wait to see what October brings.  * The link above is an affiliate link, but it should help you pass the wait list!

Which do you prefer? I didn't think I would ever stopped being a Birchbox fan, but my boxes are such disappointments I rarely even open them. I have two more months on my subscription so hopefully Birchbox turns it around- if not I will be an IPSY girl!


Fall Fashion for curvy girls

On my curvy girl Pinterest board I try to find fashion pieces that are affordable, fashionable and fit the more curvy girl.  Like most women I am never happy with my weight and work continuously to find the right balance of healthy eating/exercise, but I find that I am most motivated to continue my journey when I feel good about myself.  The majority plus size clothing is horrible, tent like with lots of sparkles when what a curvy girl really needs is structured pieces that flatter the shape instead of hiding it.  I learned of eShakti sometime last year and I am always excited when they release a new line for the season because there clothes are 100% customizable. This isn't a paid review I just like their clothes and the choices they offer! If you are a new customer the first customization is free & you can save $30 off your first order.  The fabric quality is unmatched and the workmanship on the clothing is fantastic.

*Tip* If you are going to customize your clothing you should try to have someone else measure you (a tailor will do it for free) this will assure you get the best fit possible! 

Fall Fashion for Curvy girls


Shoes for that little black dress with Dr. Scholl's® For Her High Heel

I'm attending a good friends wedding in August and to say I'm excited is an under statement. I haven't really had a chance to see my best long distance friends since Elly was born. I also haven't had many reasons to get dressed up so my fancy clothes are in short supply. In looking through my closest I found a "little black dress" (similar) that fits well and can be dressed up and down with the right accessories. Shopping from your closet means splurging on shoes right? I love the booties trend right now, but not sure I am confident enough to pull it off.  I have a gift card to anthropologie from last Christmas ( I know, right?!) and I am thinking about investing in a pair, but I'm just not sure. Anyway,  I'm really like the nude heel trend lately and I think that will probably be the winner. I truly love the Kate Spade wedges below, but my budget not so much.
Shoes for that little black dress

//Jessica Simpson leather ankle boots / Report wedge heels / Chinese Laundry high heels / Kate Spade studded wedge heels / Jessica Simpson tall high heels

It's been a LONG while since I've worn heels for any amount of time and I favor wedges because heel wise they are the most comfortable, but even with the wedge by the end of the day/night the balls of my feet are throbbing.  In my most recent Influenster VoxBox I got Dr. Scholl's High Heel insoles. I was interested because the gel heel works to take pressure off the balls of your foot.  I slipped them into my highest non-wedge heels and was pleasantly surprised.  Will they let you run around on heels pain free? Doubtful, but I did notice they they helped my foot from sliding into the toe bed and that made the heels more comfortable. They are also discreet enough to wear in strappy heels. I will give them a proper test at the wedding, but I think any bit of extra comfort is worth it. All Dr. Scholl's products have a money back guarantee! Go here to get info and a coupon (not an affiliate link.)

What are your thoughts on booties? Yay or Nay?

//disclaimer- I received the Dr. Scholl's complimentary from Influenster for review purposes, but the opinions are my own


Currents 7.23.13

Loving// moorea seals new shop and mintbarry.co
Loathing// the constant rain we've been having here in Charleston, SC.
Reading// lots and lots of design magazines for textile inspiration.
Watching// gossip girl (currently in season 3- major crush on Chuck Bass!)
Listening// Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Great Gatsby Soundtrack, Tori Amos
Eating// Blueberry oatmeal.
Drinking// Grande Americano from Starbucks
Making// Lots and lots of new bracelets and some pillows for the store.
Needing// A real vacation and one morning to sleep in.
Wanting// To clean out the garage so I can park my car in there again!
Wishing// I had about three hours extra in each day and that 27 of them I wasn't thinking about my weight.
Thinking// About Elly's surgery a week from today.  She is getting tubes in both ears. My sweet bug!

Current list inspired by the perks blog & amy tangerine.

>> PS. Don't forget to follow me on bloglovin | instagram | pinterest | twitter


Make-up Product Budget Makers - Budget Breakers No.4

I have always been a fan of MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation.  It gives nice even coverage that stays matte, but doesn't make your face look cakey thanks to the velvet texture.  Its long wearing, doesn't oxidize on me and still lets some of my natural skin shine through.  I've gone through more compacts than I can count (thanks for all the "free" lipsticks MAC) but, at $27.00 I started thinking there has to be an alternative.

I am a newish convert to NYX.  I've gotten a few products in various beauty boxes/bags and the quality has impressed me.  ULTA always seems to have NYX products BOGO 50% so I've be able to try/experiment with the brand and find what works and doesn't.  While looking for a setting powder from the brand I stumbled upon NYX stay matte but not flat powder foundation and swatched a bit on my hand (thanks for the testers ULTA.) The coverage was great and the texture felt silky, similar to the MAC Studio Fix. I've worn stay matte but not flat for around a week and I definitely think it compares.  It last all day, keeps me shine free, doesn't oxidize has no scent, and goes on effortlessly.  The only issue I have is that it seems a little heavier and does leave me cakey if I use a heavy hand.  After a mist of rosewater it knocks the powder down and makes for a great base.

Great tip -----> to choose a foundation with coverage swatch a bit on the back of your wrist and see if it covers the blue veins and blend in to your skintone. This is easier than using your neck/ face where you already have some foundation applied! 

At first glance the NYX foundation is a great savings, but in reality you are only saving a little over $8.00 choosing NYX over MAC. I still felt it was a budget maker because NYX often goes on sale and you can use coupons on top of the sale.

If you try this foundation out I would love to hear about it! Any budget makers of your own?


Summer make-up with Olay Fresh Effects

So I am not a huge fan of the "selfie" but the other morning everything came together.  I got a good night sleep, my hair was looking good, I felt super happy about the easy summer make-up look I did so I took a selfie and uploaded it to Instagram. I seriously hoped my friends wouldn't eyeroll at the pic and went about my morning.  WHOA! I was surprised and happy all day with the really nice comments I got!  I see why people love taking selfies!

above mentioned selfie
Don't worry friends I won't be taking them daily, but I do think it was a great way to get the word out about Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream.  My sister even commented that I looked fresh faced! This stuff is AMAZING.  I have tried a billion BB Creams (who hasn't) but this is legitimately a good one from the drugstore.  For me the most important thing in a foundation or BB Cream is coverage.  Will it cover-up splotches and even tone? I personally like to see my own skin show through with foundation and this includes my freckles.  Fresh Effects evens my skintone, but still lets my skin show through. I'm using the light-medium and it works even with my summer skin.  The second thing that's most important to me is sun protection. Does it contain SPF? Living on the coast means sun rays year round and having a product that does double duty is worth it. Olay Fresh Effects has skin benefits including SPF.

• Refreshes skin instantly 
• Brightens for a radiant glow
• Evens tone with a splash of sheer color
• Hydrates for 24 hours
• Smoothes for softer feeling skin 
• Protects against UV damage with SPF 15 

You can find it at most drugstores, Amazon, or online for around $9.00.  I have been using this as part of my morning make-up since early July and it has streamlined my summer make-up to just the following products:

1- Simple light moisturizer
2- Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in light medium
3- Pixi eye brightener for under eyes and darkness in corners.
4- NYX eyebrow shaper wax
5- Benefit Hoola bronzer
6- MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
7- Bare Escentuals Big Tease mascara
8- Tarte lip tint in amused
*not pictured NYX stay matte not flat powder

And that's how I get my fresh face in the summer.  Are you a fan of BB Creams?

//disclaimer- I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, but the opinions are my own.