March Favorites!

There were several products I was loving this month, from a hydrating lip and cheek tint to a Trader Joe’s must have. Here is my first favorites video! Let me know what you think!

Here’s the cliffnotes version in case you don’t want to hear me chat about makeup and then get really excited about food for the last 3 minutes:

What were you loving this month? Do you have any Trader Joe’s favorites I should try??

Beauty Haul! Space NK Sample Sale, L’occitane

Haul and experience

Anastasia and I have been picking the worst days to shop lately… we headed to the Space NK Sample Sale this morning and froze while waiting outside for two hours. The things we do for makeup! The doors opened at nine and we arrived at ten, so I knew we would have to wait a bit, but I really wasn’t expecting such a long line!

I had been hoping to pick up some Tata Harper and Sunday Riley skincare (two of my favorites!), or maybe a Diptyque candle, but nearly everything was sold out. Some customers were walking around with three overflowing baskets which was depressing.

There were tons of Malin & Goetz, Lipstick Queen, Kevyn Aucoin, and By Terry products left though and I heard they’re restocking on Thursday. I managed to find a few exciting things thankfully, in the form of these three lip products:

Here are two of the Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball Shimmer Treatment Lipsticks in Float and Moment. The former is a gorgeous sheer nude while the latter is a pretty berry-ish red. They both have this fine turquoise shimmer running through them which reflects light like a dream and looks surprisingly natural on the lips. I’ve been wearing Float all day and love the look, although it’s definitely not a long wear lipstick. These originally sold for $24, so $5 is an amazing deal. Lipstick Queen discontinued them from their e-commerce site, but you can still find them at QVC.

The top swatch is a Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Papavier. It looks patchy on my hand, but it’s evenly sheer and glossy on the lips. It also feels comfortable, almost like a plush lip balm. There were several shades to choose from and Space NK still sells them for $30, so again this is a great deal.

Anastasia (the sweetest) also brought me this body butter which smells like delicious baked goods. It has shea butter, cocoa butter, cinnamon, and marshmallows in it. I love the scent and texture, which feels rich but sunk in quickly. I’m going to have to see where I can find this in the States!

Lastly, I popped by L’occitane to check out their adorable Easter Eggs. I had also received an email for this free gift box. I love their Verbena body products and Almond Shower Oil, so I’m really excited to try these versions and a face cream. I also enjoyed opening this cutely wrapped box. Such a treat!

That’s it for this haul! I’m on a low-buy because I’m trying to finish some of the products I currently have open and my birthday is in a month. This was definitely fun though.

What have you hauled recently? And would you wait two hours for the Space NK Sale??

Weekend Wear: Happy Spring! (ootd)

Excited for warmer weather

The temperature reached 50* twice this week and it feels like Spring is finally right around the corner. I can’t wait to start wearing sandals, short sleeves, and skirts! It’s still a little chilly for this outfit, so I also was wearing a jacket and scarf, but I wanted to show off this adorable top! I love the mint green shade, tiered bottom, and ruffled sleeves. Here are some similar options.


I’m not sure how well you will be able to see them, but I’m wearing these fun threader earrings my mom gave me. I think these are the perfect mix between dainty and statement earrings. They catch the light nicely and have a pretty movement to them as I walk around. This pair is really similar, but you can find these at BaubleBar and Nordstrom as well.

I’m also loving these jeans from Loft – I have the lightest wash and love the split hem detail. These fit like a dream and are super comfortable. The petite length perfectly grazes my ankle as well. I generally wear darker wash skinnies, so this lighter option is perfect for transitioning into spring and summer.

How do you feel about this mint color? What spring outfits are you looking forward to wearing?

March Birchbox Review

Monthly unboxing and review

Here are the five samples I received. I had actually requested the Winky Lux Glazed Donut Lip Gloss as my sample choice for the month, but it was not in my box. This is the first time I haven’t received the item I had chosen. Thankfully the Birchbox customer service team is great and sent over a mini of the new Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara as an apology since my original choice was out of stock.

I was most excited to try the Ouai Leave in Conditioner because this line gets so many glowing reviews and I liked their hair and body oil. The scent of this is rather strong and I can smell it throughout the day. However, it made my waves a bit more defined which I loved. It’s also a great size for travel and has a nice spray to evenly distribute the product through my hair. I definitely want to try more from the line.

My favorite item ended up being the Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer. What a useful and innovative product! It basically doubles your lipstick collection because it really does transform creamy or glossy formulas into a matte finish. Check out these swatches with some of my favorite lip products: the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal, Pur Cosmetics Chateau De Vine in Showoff, and the Buxom Full-on Lip Cream in Rose Julep.

You can see that the transformer really takes away the shine. It made the colors slightly less pigmented as well, but the effect wasn’t as bad on my actual lips. The texture basically feels like a very silcone-y primer; it’s a clear gel that feels slightly thicker on the lips, but it’s not dry at all which is my main gripe with matte lipsticks. I love this discovery!

I received a few new skincare items too – the GlamGlow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer and MAC Cleanse Off Oil. I don’t understand the whole glittery moisturizer trend… This one in Nude Glow is not as intense as some of the others I’ve received, but you can still see some golden particles on the skin. I don’t think it looks natural and personally avoid all of the fake glowy products – skincare should provide that glow with the ingredients in my opinion. Besides that, this moisturizer has a pleasant (but strong) creamsicle scent and sinks in very quickly.

The MAC oil cleanser wasn’t for me either, but it’s not a bad product. You apply it to your dry skin to break down makeup and then rinse. I felt that I had to use more product than a traditional gel cleanser and it took a bit longer in my experience. However, if you’re used to balm or oil cleansers, you probably would like this.

Lastly, I received the ModelCo Luxecreme Long Wear Lipstick in Sienna. It’s a pretty burnt orange-red, but it’s not a shade that I would really reach for. I love the ModelCo Lip Laquers though and the formula sounds amazing, so it will be going in my next giveaway!

Box breakdown:

  • Ouai Leave In (.84 oz): $5
  • MAC Cleanser (.20 oz): $1
  • Smashbox Transformer (.16 oz): $11
  • GlamGlow Moisturizer (.24 oz): $7
  • ModelCo Lipstick (1 of 3): $7

For $10, I received $31 worth of product. This isn’t the highest value for a box I’ve received and I didn’t love most of the products, but it’s worth it to me for the Smashbox lip product alone. Plus I got to try another Ouai Haircare item! If you’re interested in trying out Birchbox, you can use my link to subscribe.

What did you receive in your box this month? Did I totally miss out on the Winky Lux Glazed Donut Lip Gloss?


Skincare Roundup: Cleansers

Reviewing ALL of the cleansers


I I’ve been wanting to keep track of my open skincare items and also write notes on other options I have used in the past. I figured it might be helpful to have multiple reviews in one place. At the very least, it will be a reference point for me to remember what worked well and what to avoid. So, here’s my current stash of cleansers. I use different ones to remove makeup, quickly wash my face in the morning, and deep cleanse. I generally use a chemical exfoliant, so I’m including my only physical exfoliant in this post because I mostly use it as a cleanser.

First up is the newest addition to my collection: the Little Seed Farm Activated Charcoal Bar that was very kindly gifted to me. I think solid cleansers are great for travel and I like to bring something detoxifying with me just in case, so this is perfect. I love that it’s handmade, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. It does leave my face feeling a little dry, so I only use this about once a week or after a really sweaty workout.

Next I have the Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser. This doesn’t remove my mascara (which isn’t even waterproof) so I only use this in the morning as a very gentle cleanser. I love the pump, it’s affordable, and you can get it at Whole Foods. It also has lots of great, organic ingredients and hydrating oils, so it doesn’t strip the skin.

This Drunk Elephant duo is one of my very favorite cleansers – I’ve repurchased it about four times!! I love traveling with these bars because they’re effective and convenient. The Pekee Bar is my favorite nighttime cleanser; it removes makeup so efficiently without irritating my eyes. The Juju Bar has tiny exfoliating particles for a very gentle scrub – it’s nice in the morning as well and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. I like the scent of both and these tiny bars last about six months! I’d highly recommend this and think it’s definitely worth $18.

Lastly, I use this Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Gel in the shower as a simple and easy step. It removes makeup as well and I love that it’s natural as far as ingredients. Acure is one of my favorite skincare lines – they just went through a rebranding with new packaging and I can’t wait to try everything.

Here are all of the other cleansers I’ve owned in the past (that I can remember).

Skincare Roundup: Cleansers

Fresh(R) Soy Face Cleanser(R) • $15–38 – This is an amazing daily cleanser that also removes makeup, is gentle, and smells fresh like cucumbers. It’s definitely pricey, but a tiny bit goes a long way. It’s a gel formula that lathers well.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water • $32 – One of the only micellar water type cleansers I like because it actually removes all makeup without leaving any residue behind. It’s expensive for what it is though.

Lush Let the Good Times Roll • $12.95 – I forgot how much I love this cleanser! It smells amazing and leaves my skin soft. You take a tiny bit and add water to make a paste, so I used it in the shower as a very light physical exfoliant; it doesn’t remove makeup. I’ve repurchased two or three times!

Peter Thomas Roth Anti Aging Cleansing Gel • $38 – This cleanser was great for keeping my skin clear from the occasional breakout. The bottle is gigantic, so the price is actually decent. I liked the gel texture and inclusion of salicylic acid. It has a lot of anti-aging claims that I’m not sure about.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash, 4.0 oz. • $38  – I love the glycolic and lactic acids in this cleanser; they help maintain a glow in between peels or masks. I never used it to remove makeup, so I’m not quite sure how effective it would be.

Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash • $20  – Great for a nighttime cleanser because it quickly removed my makeup. It’s a slippery liquid that lathers easily. This is the only item I’ve tried from the line and I haven’t heard many people talking about it, but I’m intrigued.

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, 5.0 oz./ 125 mL • $78  – This is clearly a splurge and I’m really not sure if any cleanser that you wash down the drain is worth this much, but I received it as Gratis when I worked at Birchbox years ago. It’s super luxurious, smells amazing, and the packaging is gorgeous (anything with a pump is also a plus for me).

Origins Checks and Balances(TM) Frothy Face Wash • $23  – This was one of the first cleansers I remember buying at Sephora. I tried it again a year or so ago, but it was super drying. My skin has changed a lot, but I think it’s only good for really oily skin.

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Wash – 6 oz • $10.29  – I picked this up with my Birchbox points because the sample smelled amazing. It was effective at removing makeup and had a gel texture. Love the pump and price and that it’s available at Target now.

Tatcha Women’s The Deep Cleanse 150ml • $38  – Here’s a recent launch that I’m not really sure about yet. I love the gel texture with natural luffa fruit bits. However, it says not to use near the eye area, which is off-putting. It’s also for normal to oily skin and I have normal to dry skin. I’ll test it again in the summer when I’m more normal – combo.

Foreo Day Cleanser • $19.95  – I received this cleanser as a gift with my Foreo Luna Play purchase. It works well with or without the device. I found it to be very gentle and creamy. It also smelled delicious, like creamsicles.

Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser • $8.99  – I remember liking this as a drugstore option and kept a bottle at my parents house for when I stayed overnight. It’s a good, basic cleanser with a smooth consistency.

Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser, 6 oz • $10  – Here’s an affordable option that removes makeup and smells nice. I’m not sure how much it brightened alone, but I was also using the Caudalie Radiance serum and my skin looked much less dull through the whole bottle. I’d definitely repurchase.

Derma E Daily Detox Scrub • $15.99  – This is one of the only other physical exfoliants I use. This is gentle but effective for surface flakiness. It has a light, natural charcoal scent that adds to the detox experience in my opinion. Derma E is one of my favorite skincare lines for sure.

Avene Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser • $20  – I really liked this a few summers ago when my face was oilier. It never stripped my skin and removed makeup well. I love this brand and want to try more of their products.

I apparently go through a lot of cleanser… which makes sense because I use it twice a day. I’m sure there are even more, but these were the main ones that stuck out to me.
Have you tried any of these cleansers? What’s your go-to cleanser that also removes makeup?