April Empties – Skincare, Haircare, Bodycare, Makeup

I’ve finished up some more products, but are they worth repurchasing? Here’s my latest Empties video!

 

What have you finished up recently? Anything I should try?

Products mentioned:
Drunk Elephant Baby Pekee Bar + Juju Bar Travel Duo (full review here)
Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturizer (full review here)
Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment
Clarks Botanicals Radiance Cream
Balance Me Radiance Face Mask (full review here)
Bumble and bumble Bb. Curl (Style) Primer
TOCCA – Bianca Nourishing Body Scrub
Burt’s Bees Mango Lip Balm
ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm – Berry Busy (swatched here)
Lip Smacker Kiwi Berry
Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara

Drugstore Dud or Delight: Yes To and Pixi Beauty

One skincare review; one makeup review

I’ve used a few Yes To products in the past (the cucumber and blueberry cleansers and I think a tomato moisturizer back in the day) and I was pretty impressed with the line. I really believe in investing in your skincare, so when I find a drugstore line that works for me, I’m happily surprised.

I received this Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mask Bar last month thanks to the Preen.me VIP program. It came with this adorable little brush, which is super soft and perfectly applies this mask. I’d never tried a mask bar before, but it’s really a genius invention, especially considering how much I travel! There’s no mess and it doesn’t count as a liquid for carry-on bags.

The first step is to wet the clean brush and then swipe it across the charcoal bar a couple times. You should pick up enough product for about half of the face. I make sure I’m applying to clean skin since I have to dip the brush into the mask again for more product.

Then you let it dry for ten minutes and wipe away with a damp cloth. I’ve had drier than usual skin this season, but this thankfully this still works for me and doesn’t dry my skin out more. It does feel a little “squeaky clean” after rinsing, but a bit of moisturizer takes care of that. I only use this once every couple weeks when I really need a detox. It’s great a few days after flying when my skin starts to freak out.

I think this is a tiny bit pricey for the drugstore ($16.99 at Target), but I think it’s an innovative product and it’s effective. The travel friendliness alone is worth it to me. Definitely a Drugstore Delight in my book!

Next I’ve been testing out this Pixi Beauty Makeup Fixing Mist that I purchased on Dermstore. I hadn’t ever shopped there before, but so many people on Instagram have raved about it. They carry tons of amazing brands and I received 20% off my first purchase, which was awesome.

This product is really interesting too because you can use it in a few different ways. If you spray it before applying any makeup, it prolongs the wear of the products. You can of course use it to set your makeup once finished – which I’ve been doing most often – and then refresh throughout the day too.

I haven’t found a setting spray that I love enough to use consistently until this one! It really gives my makeup a natural looking finish and does seem to extend the wear. The only tricky part is the nozzle… I find it best to hold the bottle about a foot or arm’s length away from my face. The circumference of the spray is great there, but any closer and the mist turns into more of a spritz with noticeable drops on the skin. The packaging is also super cute and I like the scent. Another Drugstore Delight here!

It was definitely a great month for drugstore finds for me! What should I try next? Do you have an holy grail items from the drugstore?

Weekend Wear: Wedding in Chicago (ootd)

Bridging winter and spring

Reed and I went to a wedding in Chicago a couple weeks ago and I was torn about what to wear considering it was April, but the weather was in the 30s! Suffice to say I froze while taking these pictures (notice the RBF and neck tension… 🤦🏻‍♀️😬), but I just had to show off this stunning floral dress.

I’m obsessed with the heavier fabric combined with a short sleeve silhouette and brighter print. The black lace grounded the dress and it felt appropriate for the weather paired with a warm wrap. However florals are very springy and celebratory as well.

This was a great Anthropologie sale find that fit perfectly since it’s from Eva Franco’s petite line. I love the flirty ruffles and red pattern detail on black lace. It’s an intricate dress that doesn’t overwhelm my petite frame, which is rare. It’s quite short for me, so I was glad it has more of a relaxed swing silhouette.

I’m also loving these black strappy sandals. I purchased them for a wedding we went to last October and I’ve gotten more wear out of them than I had original figured for a bolder shoe. The simple color and comfortable heel makes these my go-to fancy sandal for nights out or events. Here are a couple similar pairs under $100 or under $35.

We finally had some 60* weather here in the city, so I’m hoping Spring is here for good and I’ll have more outfits to share! In the meantime, do you have a go-to look for weddings? How about any recommendations for comfy shoes that still look cute?

Marimekko x Clinique Pop Splash Lip Gloss Review and Swatches

One of my favorite collabs ever

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How beautiful are these new glosses* from Clinique and Marimekko?? I absolutely love the packaging, especially how each shade has a unique pattern on the cap and matching box. The splashy colors and patterns are so perfect for spring and summer too. What’s even better is that I love the hydrating formula just as much!

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The texture of these glosses is perfect – they’re not sticky at all, but they feel plush on the lips which gives off that juicy, plump appearance. I love that they aren’t sticky either, but somehow they’re a bit longer lasting than your typical gloss. They’re also very hydrating and the moisture lasts even after the color starts to fade.

The color payoff is great as well and the doe foot applicator makes it really easy to smooth onto the lips and get even coverage. As with all Clinique products, these glosses are fragrance free.

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Here are swatches of the five shades I have (starting from the top/right):

03 Sorbet Pop – a shimmery nude with warm undertones

08 Tenderheart – a midtone pink with a creme finish

10 Espresso Pop – a buildable red brown with a creme finish

11 Air Kiss – a super sheer peach with tons of golden shimmer

18 Pinot Pop – a pigmented berry with microshimmer

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Espresso Pop and Air Kiss are my two favorite shades. They’re total opposites, but I think both are great staples to have in my lip wardrobe. Espresso Pop looks great on its own and Air Kiss works well over lipstick or liner to add a shimmery, glossy finish.

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I can’t stand drying lip products, but I really like to wear a little color, so I’ve been reaching for these a ton. I think it’s my favorite lip product so far this year! The range comes in 20 shades from sheer pink and nude to darker berry colors and reds. You can pick them up for $18.50 at Sephora or (if you’re buying two you can get a free 7 piece gift on the Clinique site!).

What color is your favorite? What other glosses should I try?

*I work for the Estee Lauder Companies and received these as a perk. All opinions are my own and I hope you don’t mind me sharing the ELC items I really love from time to time.

April Birchbox Unboxing and Mini Reviews

Monthly Birchbox review

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Here are the five items I received this month! I requested the Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse for my sample choice item. I love their wave spray and dry texture spray, so I figured I would enjoy this product as well. I do think it gives nice volume (and smells amazing, of course), but there was a bit of a learning curve with the amount of product to use. First I used too little and I couldn’t tell much of a difference. The next time I used too much and my hair was crunchy/stiff at the crown. Now I know to use about a golf ball sized pump.

The only skincare item I received this month was the Bioderma Sensibio Eye Contour Gel. I’ve actually never tried this brand before, but I’ve heard great things. I love how lightweight this is because I’m prone to milia and avoid heavy eye creams. It has caffeine to reduce puffiness and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. It’s also supposed to have a light-reflecting effect, but I don’t really notice that. I think this is a great size for travel and I’m happy to have tried something from Bioderma.

One of my favorite things about Birchbox is being able to try out unique and niche brands. I received the Fill and Tame Brow Gel in Brunette from Beautaniq Beauty which is the perfect shade for my dark brown brows. It holds the hair in place without feeling crunchy which is great; it’s also pretty pigmented and the brush shape is a perfect tapered cone.

This Cupuacu Butter Lip Balm is a cute mini from Adesse New York. It glides on very easily and leave a hint of color behind. I built up the swatch a little so the color would be visible. It makes my lips look just a bit lighter and pinker and moisturizes for a short amount of time. My lips are always dry and I’m a total lip balm addict, so this one wasn’t my favorite, but it’s not bad either.

I also received a mini of the Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara, which I did a whole blog post about. I’ve already put the new one aside for my next giveaway!

Box breakdown:

  • Benefit Mascara (.1 oz): $8
  • Beautaniq Brow Gel (full size!): $12
  •  Adesse Lip Balm (.05 oz): $11
  •  Oribe Mousse (.18 oz): $5.5
  •  Bioderma Eye Gel (0.06 oz): $2.4

For $10, I received about $39 worth of product! I absolutely love the full sized brow gel and was happy with all of the brands I received – any box with Oribe is a win in my book and I like trying smaller brands as well. If you’re interested in Birchbox, I would so appreciate if you used my link to subscribe.

What did you get in your box this month? What’s your favorite beauty subscription box? I just subscribed to Beautyfix from Dermstore!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – The Blue Box Cafe Experience

Shopping and brunching

When Reed’s family came in for Easter, we were able to squeeze in a trip to the Tiffany flagship store for some shopping, brunch at the Blue Box Cafe, and a tour of the on-site workshop. It was such a fun day, so I thought I would share our experience on the blog!

First we had brunch on the fourth floor. How cute is this decor? Everything was perfectly on theme from the gorgeous blue walls and chairs to the Tiffany china on the table. The Blue Box Cafe even serves their own tea blend – which is delicious by the way.

Breakfast comes with an adorable fruit salad with tiny flowers and croissants while lunch is served with your choice of three appetizers. I chose the truffled eggs – which were delicious – Gramma had a lobster salad, Jill had avocado toast, and Brent had a waffle. We were all very happy with the food.

After the main course, we were pretty full but just had to order the Tiffany box cake for dessert. How adorable, right? It’s a lemon funfetti cake with buttercream frosting. Overall the service was great and the atmosphere made it really special. If you can get a reservation I would definitely recommend visiting the Blue Box Cafe.

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After brunch we were invited to go down to the private salon to try on jewelry. The associates were so helpful and sweet – they treated us to champagne and we were able to view all of these gorgeous, elaborate pieces from emeralds and rubies, to pink and yellow diamonds.

The salon was a beautiful room and relaxing break from the busy floors full of people shopping. I also loved seeing the sketches, CADs, and showcase pieces. Here are some of the rings we tried on and a custom necklace designed for Greta Gerwig.

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After that, we had a tour of the workshop where the amazing artisans were working on hand crafted pieces. Some of them were for the Jean Schlumberger collection that is being celebrated this month and they were so intricate and beautiful! The amount of detail, effort, and thought that goes into the work there was seriously impressive and made me even more of a fan. Photos weren’t allowed here unfortunately.

It was such a lovely day with our family. The biggest thanks to Tiffany for such a wonderful experience and making us feel like royalty!