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??

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?


February Birchbox

Monthly unboxing and reviews

I was most excited when I saw this shampoo and conditioner from Love Beauty and Planet, which I’ve been wanting to try for a couple months. These are from the Volume line, which has Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower, and they smell lovely. The duo is vegan and sustainably produced with ethically sourced ingredients; I absolutely love that and am impressed that the full sizes are only $7 at Target.

However, the shampoo contains sulfates which I try to avoid for my dry, wavy hair. It claims to be replenishing and nourishing, and while it does not strip my hair as much as some other sulfate shampoos, I wouldn’t say it’s hydrating. There are no silicones in the conditioner, so it doesn’t weigh down my hair, but I’m not sure if I saw an increase in volume either. I might try the Hydrating Shea line because I’m really into the thoughtfulness behind the line and all of my favorite shampoos and conditioners are much more expensive.

My favorite item is the Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream. I love that it’s 99% natural and hydrating without being heavy. Some eye creams can give me milia, but this hasn’t and I’ve been using it for a week. I’ve tried a few things now from Balance Me and I’m impressed with the line!

The last two items are eye makeup products. I received the Smashbox Always On Gel Liner in black which is pretty boring. I don’t wear eyeliner much because my eyes are sensitive. I also received the MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash mascara which was disappointing honestly. With such a dramatic name, I was expecting lots of volume. It separates very well, so I liked the fanned out effect, but there was not much length or volume. If you like a very natural looking mascara, you may like this.

Box breakdown:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner (3 oz each): $8
  • Balance Me eye cream (.24 oz): $14
  • Smashbox eyeliner (~.02 Oz): $9
  • MAC mascara (~.14 Oz): $7

For $10, I received $38 of product! I also got to try a brand I’ve been intrigued by, a brand I already loved, and a new mascara (which is my favorite makeup item to try). If you’re thinking about getting a subscription, please considering using my link!

What did you receive this month? Did we try any of the same items?

Clean Beauty Round-up

Getting into green beauty

As I’m trying to incorporate more natural makeup and skincare into my routine, I wanted to share some new additions to my collection.

I love everything from Bite Beauty and the Amuse Bouche lipsticks are no exception. They’re creamy, smooth, and really pigmented.

This Clove and Hallow concealer covers the dark veins under my eyes so well. It also blends in nicely using the Ecotools Concealer Brush.

I’m usually not much of a primer girl, but the Whish Beauty primer is actually smoothing and hydrating on my skin. I’ve been enjoying the extra step in my routine.

I’ve been testing out some Mad Hippie skincare lately. I love that you can find the line at Whole Foods and it’s affordable compared to some other clean lines. I’ve been using the Vitamin A Serum twice a week to combat fine lines; I need to test it longer before I can give it my stamp of approval. I like the Cream Cleanser as a gentle morning face wash. It doesn’t remove my makeup, so I don’t use it at night.

This Beautycounter Nourishing Eye Cream is my favorite discovery from the line so far. It’s hydrating without being heavy.

Lastly, I’ve written about this Balance Me mask before, but I’m loving that it’s 98% natural and makes my skin feel so soft.

What are your favorite clean beauty products??

My Clean Beauty Wish List (and current favorites)

Opting for more organic, vegan, clean beauty
Clean Beauty Wish List

I’ve been interested in Clean Beauty for a while, but I’m consciously making an effort to switch up my products as I’m learning more and more about toxic ingredients recently. I’m aiming for an 80/20 lifestyle, where I’m aware of what I’m putting on my body and try to mostly use clean products.

A great place to start is the EWG Skin Deep Database – you can search by brand, product, or ingredient. You can also build your own report if an item hasn’t been verified yet. For example, the Wander Beauty powder is not in the database, but I input the ingredients and it’s score came out as a 2. The lower the score, the safer the product.

My favorite clean beauty shop is Credo Beauty  because they have a large selection with detailed product descriptions and ingredient explanations. I also use the Ingredient Conscious page on Birchbox. Target even has a natural beauty page, which is pretty awesome to see how mainstream clean beauty is becoming. Some other brands I really want to try include Pai, Herbivore BotanicalsAlima Pure, and 100% Pure.

Here are some clean beauty products that I already love:

What are your clean or green beauty favorites? Where do you get information on product safety and new brands? If you have a green/clean beauty blog, please share it below!