Sephora VIB Sale Haul: Spring Edition

Hello, lovelies!

Sephora’s spring VIB sale took place from April 20-23 for members. During the sale, VIB members received 15% off all purchases, and this was a perfect opportunity for me to stock up on skincare and makeup I recently ran out of! Here’s what I picked up during the sale:

1) Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil – This cleansing oil has become my regular makeup remover. I had a few sample-sized bottles of the oil, but purchased a full-sized bottle after realizing just how often I use it! It is a gentle, effective cleanser to remove my makeup daily and lightly refresh my skin.

2) Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Primer/Setting Spray – I put a sample of Too Faced Hangover Primer in my cart after my beloved MAC Fix+ ran out. The first thing I noticed about this primer after trying it last week was the coconut scent. I like that this product acts as a primer or setting spray. I tested it as both my primer and setting spray yesterday, and it refreshed my skin while holding my makeup in place all day!

3) Bite Beauty Lip Pencil – I apply lip pencil every day. I own two shades of the lip pencil from Bite Beauty (020 + 044). The shade 020 is a beige-nude that is an excellent color to apply underneath any lipstick. I repurchased another pencil in that shade to replace the one I used up. (Plus, I love how easy it is to toss these lip pencils into my purse for touch-ups!)

4) Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Lipstick – Bend and Snap – This Too Faced lipstick purchase was an impulse-buy. I own tubes of this formula in a deep, mahogany red and a subtle lavender. One shade I do not have in my lipstick collection is a bright magenta. The shade ‘Bend and Snap’ is that exact match. The formula is lightweight and non-drying on my lips.

5) Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer – Finally, I bought a powder bronzer from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I did not have a bronzer in my collection after misplacing my favorite Too Faced compact. The bronzer from Anastasia Beverly Hills is finely-milled and provides matte coverage. I bought the shade Rich Amber, a gorgeous honey-toned color.

6) Living Proof Restore Conditioner – I received a sample of conditioner from the brand Living Proof. This conditioner renews softness and shine to damaged hair. I’ve tried the conditioner once, and my hair felt softer, bouncier and smooth.

Did you purchase anything during Sephora’s VIB Sale?

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REVIEW: Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette

Hello, lovelies!

Desert Dusk is the second palette released by blogger Huda Kattan. I bought this palette a while back, and it’s been a perfect palette to create casual, glittery, or smoky eyeshadow looks. I love this palette for its combination of warm-toned shadows, and it’s versatile for day or night.

The Packaging 

The packaging of this palette is stunning. It is sophisticated, colorful and sleek. The outside of the palette contains a graphic of Huda Kattan’s eyes, along with the name of the palette. Upon opening the palette, you will find the eyeshadows and a large mirror. The palette is lightweight and easy to travel with.

The Eyeshadows

Each shadow blends easily, and there is no fallout from any of the shadows when I dip a brush into them. However, the shade Cosmo is a pure glitter – I noticed some fallout when I applied the shadow to my lids without using a glitter glue first. I often wear the eyeshadows for 8-10 hours, and the colors do not crease or fade. I apply the matte shades using a shadow brush, but often apply the shimmer, duo-chrome and glitter shades with my finger for a maximum color payoff.

The Shades

Desert Dusk contains 18 shadows. The shadow selection is a combination of matte, pearl, duo-chrome and glitter textures.

  • Desert Sand – Matte pale cream
  • Musk – Matte sandy light brown
  • Eden – Matte pale peach
  • Amber – Matte red
  • Blood Moon – Pearl crimson
  • Oud – Matte rust red
  • Celestial – Duo-chrome orange with gold reflect
  • Nefertiti – Gold shimmer
  • Twilight – Lavender duo-chrome with pink reflect
  • Amythest – Matte purple
  • Royal – Purple shimmer with pink undertones
  • Retrograde – Duo-chrome silver with pink reflect
  • Cashmere – Pale gold shimmer
  • Angelic – Pale peach shimmer
  • Cosmo – Pure red glitter
  • Turkish Delight – Bright red shimmer
  • Saffron – Matte bright red
  • Blazing – Matte orange

Huda Beauty’s Desert Dusk Palette is versatile, eye-catching and sophisticated. It offers a combination of shadow finishes to create an array of eye looks. The palette retails for $85 at Sephora.

3 Keurig Hacks for Better Coffee At-Home

Hello, lovelies!

I adore my Keurig, and I use it regularly to craft my own coffee each morning. I’m always interested in new ways to upgrade my coffee, change the flavor profile, or simply try a new recipe. Today I share three tricks I use to create a smoother, better cup of java.

1. Add a pinch of salt 

Keurig coffee is often bitter. To mellow out the taste of your coffee, stir in a pinch of salt. The salt creates a chemical reaction and lowers the acidity of the beverage.

2. Clean your machine regularly 

Much of the bitter taste you may experience is due to bacteria build-up. I keep my Keurig in top-shape by running white vinegar through the machine. I empty the water chamber and fill it with white vinegar. I then brew rinses of hot water until the vinegar rinses out. Finally, I rinse the machine with cold water.

3. Heat things up 

One downside to my Keurig? My coffee cools quickly once it brews. To combat this, I like to refill the water reservoir each time I want a cup of coffee. Because colder water is introduced to the machine, it takes longer for it to heat up. The result? My coffee is a fewer degrees warmer.

Have you ever tried any ‘hacks’ for your Keurig before? 

How and Why I Motivated Myself to Begin a Fitness Routine

Hello, lovelies!

Finding motivation to get fit can be a struggle for people. I’m a walking injury, and typically don’t exercise for fear of injuring myself again. One of my resolutions this year was to become more active and fit. Today I share why and how I’ve rejuvenated my fitness routine/goals.

Why Did I Begin a Fitness Routine?

I’m petite (aka: 4’11”) and easily feel any weight that I gain. Upon noticing that I was gaining a few extra pounds, I decided it was time to start a fitness routine again. I lead a sedentary lifestyle and decided to incorporate more exercise, and better nutrition into my life.

How I’m Doing It

I struggle with sticking to a set of exercises or a mundane exercise routine. To re-motivate myself, I downloaded the Fitness Planner Pack from Blogilates. Blogilates is a website/Youtube channel developed by fitness instructor/entrepreneur Cassey Ho. Her workout videos, meal plans, and other resources are easy to follow, fun, and effective.

After I subscribed to Cassey’s newsletter, I received a monthly workout calendar (available here). The calendar lists videos from her Youtube channel that correspond to each day of the week. Each day is categorized and features 2-3 videos (e.g. Wednesday is categorized as ‘Crazy Core’, Thursday is categorized as ‘Total Body Blast.’). Along with these motivators, I’ll add three specific tools to compliment my fitness routine:

Fitbit

My Fitbit will be my integral fitness tool. The activity tracker monitors my sleep, daily steps/activity, and weight. I’ll use it daily to record these various statistics plus my weekly weigh-ins. My Fitbit will allow me to track my fitness with little effort.

Blogilates Monthly Calendar + Meal Plans

I printed a copy of Cassey’s April Monthly Calendar and selected exercise videos to complete each day for the remainder of the month. A visual calendar lets me put a red X through the workouts I’ve completed (I don’t know about you, but writing an X through items on a list is oddly satisfying!) In addition to each daily workout, I’ve decided to incorporate Cassey’s meal plan printable into my nutrition-tracking.

Weekly weigh-ins

Because my Fitbit calculates my weekly statistics each Sunday, I will be completing weight-checks on that day to track the data. I’ll have a visual record of my weight each week, and any changes that occur.

REVIEW: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil

Hello, lovelies!

I adore products that remove my makeup gently. I’ve tried Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm  before and it removed my makeup effortlessly. However, I did not enjoy the texture. I was quite excited when I received a sample of the Cleansing Oil to test in comparison to the makeup wipes I always use.

The Packaging 

The product has a watery texture and is packaged in a bottle with a sleek pump. Like other Clinique products, the bottle is a chic, transparent purple that bears the brand’s logo. I like that the packaging is lightweight and mess-free. It is also composed of plastic, not glass, so it will not shatter if dropped. (I tested this fact after the bottle fell off my bathroom counter last week).

The Cleanser 

I love the texture and how easy the cleanser is to use. It feels like an oil when applied to the skin, but does not contain any actual oils. It contains oil-like ingredients plus emulsifiers to break down makeup. The product dissolves makeup the second it is applied to the skin. It leaves my skin feeling soft. I have acne-prone skin, and this cleanser is ideal for removing makeup without clogging my pores!

How to use it 

Apply the cleanser to dry skin, gently massage, then rinse with water. The cleanser will lightly foam. I like to rinse my skin twice after using the product to remove any makeup residue that may be left behind. I’ve used this cleanser with both cold and warm water and noticed that warm water is the most effective to rinse away any residue.

Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil is a perfect makeup remover for quick, easy makeup removal. It retails for $35 at Sephora.

3 Tips to Help You Spring Clean Your Makeup Collection

Hello, lovelies!

If you love makeup, you know that your collection of powders, palettes, and lipstick just grows. It’s important to keep your makeup bags, products, and brushes clean. Check out my favorite tips to spring-clean your makeup collection.

1. Deep clean your makeup brushes

Makeup brushes should be cleaned regularly to avoid product build-up and breakouts. There are multiple techniques you can use to clean brushes – from soap to brush cleaner. I often clean my brushes with Sephora Collection Daily Brush Cleaner. It is an easy product to work with, and all it requires is a spritz of the product onto a towel. Gently rub the towel into your brushes and voila! An important note when cleaning brushes is to ensure they are completely dry after you rinse them.

2. Check the expiration dates

Most products have period-after-opening (PAO) symbol that will indicate how long the product will last. This symbol is found on the back or bottom of the product. If you are unsure of the exact date of expiry, here’s a quick guide to makeup expiration dates:

Foundation + concealer: 2 years

Mascara: 3 months

Eyeshadow: 1-2 years

Eyeliner: 4-6 months

Lipstick: 1 year

3. Re-organize your collection and make products more visible

When reorganizing my products a few weeks ago, I picked up a few items that made me think, “Oh, I forgot about this!” When most of your collection is not visible, it is common to forget about products. It is a good idea to place all products in a single, highly-visible area. I keep my makeup on a shelf that is eye-level, to continuously remind myself of which products I have/have not used recently.

What are your tips for spring-cleaning your makeup collection?

3 Looks, 1 Palette: Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam

Hello, lovelies!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette has been perfect for creating soft, spring eyeshadow looks. I’ve spent a lot of time testing this palette and creating different color combinations. For this post, I decided to show you three of the main looks I’ve achieved while using this palette (plus steps to achieve them!)

Look #1: Soft Smoky Eye

First, I applied eyeshadow primer to my entire lid. I then blended Orange Soda into my crease, carefully creating a winged shape in my outer corner.

I applied Rustic into the crease and blended it into the outer corner.

Using a flat shadow brush, I applied Cyprus Umber to the outer corner, smoking it into the shape created by the previous shadows. I transitioned the shade across my entire lid before softly blending it onto the crease.

Look #2: Pink Passion

I started this pink halo eye by blending Burnt Orange into the crease. I built up the intensity of this eyeshadow to create a halo-shape. I then packed Dusty Rose on top of Burnt Orange before blending the two shadows.

I placed Raw Sienna into the outer and inner corners before diffusing the color into my crease.

I applied Mulberry to the inner and outer corners, blending it into the shade Raw Sienna.

I then set the colors with concealer before pressing Rose Pink onto the center of my lid. Next, I blended Glistening into my crease.

To finish this look, I blended ‘Sienna’ and ‘Noir’ into both the inner and outer corners of my eyelid.

Look #3: Gold Glam

I applied Burnt Orange into the crease, and topped with Sienna. I blended both shades lower onto the lid.

I then pressed Mulberry into both the inner and outer corners of my eye before blending it. I applied Noir on top of Mulberry and blended again.

I applied Bronze to the centre of my eyelid, pressing lightly. I then applied a second layer of the shade to intensify the pigment.