Monday, January 25, 2016

Brand Spotlight: belif

Disclaimer:  All products mentioned were purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions expressed are my own

Every once in a while I find a brand that I become absolutely obsessed with.  One of those brands has been the Korean skincare brand belif. belif combines herbal apothecary traditions with modern Korean skin science. I have only tried three of their products but I love everything I have used and am eager to try more.  

Cleansing Herb Water easily removes makeup and leaves skin soothed, fresh, and deep cleansed. This moisture-rich formula contains tri-herb tea complex;  Saint John's Wort to keep skin healthy looking and clear; Burdock to leave skin soft and supple; and Dill to sooth and calm skin. It is formulated for even the most sensitive skin types, refreshing the skin without leaving an oily residue.

I am on my second bottle of this cleansing water.  First of all, it smells AMAZING!  I like to use a cleansing water in the morning in lieu of a traditional cleanser.  This removes any dirt that may have settled on my face during the night, without drying out my skin.  I find it so calming and it also leaves my skin super soft.  This is by far one of my favorite cleansing waters.  

Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner is a botanical toner with a unique gel-liquid formula that’s designed to hydrate and balance normal to oily skin to create an even and deeply moisturized complexion after cleansing. Formulated with bergamot, to balance and sooth, and sage, a natural antioxidant that leaves skin even and deeply hydrated. 

I have been a little obsessed with toners lately.  I'm not sure why, but I find myself with about 4 different toners in my  collection.  I like this because it is a little thicker than other toners; it has a gel-like consistency that you can just press into your skin with your fingers/hands.  It absorbs well into my skin.  It doesn't dry me out and makes my skin feel soft and hydrated.

The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb is designed for normal to dry skin types to provide the skin with intense hydration, leaving it supple, smooth, and deeply nourished for up to 26 hours. This formula contains a blend of apothecary herbs, including comfrey leaf, which detoxifies skin, leaving it smooth, soft, and clear  The cushiony cream format is designed to 'burst' when applied, releasing a flood of moisture onto skin, and then absorb completely without stickiness for a healthy, smooth, supple appearance. 

I received this in a Play! by Sephora box (deluxe sample size pictured) and was a little scared at first because of the color (it is blue).  I immediately fell in love with it.  It is not super thick  and absorbs really well.  I can use it in the morning and not have to wait before applying my make-up.  It also leaves my skin super soft and moisturized.  Because it is lightweight yet very hydrating it would be great all year long.

belif is sold exclusively at Sephora and in the US.

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Disclaimer:  All products mentioned were purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions expressed are my own

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January Birchbox: Korean Beauty Favorites

This month's Featured Birchbox was curated by esthetician and cofounder of Soko Glam, Charlotte Cho. Featuring soothing masks, a fresh lip tint, an essence that helps skin retain moisture, and more, this box features the brightest stars in K-Beauty.

As with all the featured/guest editor curated boxes, subscribers know all the contents of the box before choosing.  Having two subscriptions, I usually choose the featured box as one of my boxes.  

Beauty Planner Cucumber Soothing + Moisturizing Mask, Manefit (full-size, $10) - "Infused with cucumber, this sheet mask soothes, tones, and restores moisture to dry skin." I have been obsessed with sheet masks lately so I am excited to try this.  (sample-size 1 mask/$2 value)

Flash Cream Radiant Primer, IPKN (full-size, $28) - Described as "Rich in fruit extracts, this nourishing SPF 15 primer creates a smooth, luminous canvas for makeup." I really like the texture of this.  It is moisturizing and absorbs really well.  I didn't have to wait for it to dry before applying my foundation and it smells really nice.  (sample-size 7 ml/$4.90 value)

Delight Tony Tint in Red, TONYMOLY (full-size, $6) - Described as a "lightweight super pigmented lip stain that dries quickly for a sheer, matte finish that won't budge all day."  This is a nice stain.  I also received on in my sample choice box. (sample size unknown)

Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb, RE:P (full-size, $41) - "This soothing mask uses organic herb and kaolin clay to reduce redness and deeply cleanse pores."  I love clay masks.  They tighten pores and calm my skin.  I am probably going to use this tonight! (sample-size 20 g/$6.31 value)

Waterest First Essence, Goodal (full-size, $30) - "This high-tech formula includes hyaluronic acid and fermented lotus flower to help skin retain moisture."  Essences are really popping up everywhere as of late, so I am excited to try this out.  (sample-size 6 ml/$1.20 value)

Yerba Mate Cleansing Foam & Yerba Mate Bubble PeelingGoodal (full-size, $20/$33) - The cleansing foam "harnesses the healing powers of plants from around the world to soothe, nourish, and protect the skin" while the peel "doubles as both a peel and a scrub to gently remove dead skin with salicylic acid." (each sample-size 5 ml/combined $3.97 value)

The total value of this box (minus the lip stain) is $18.38.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Beauty Haul

A new year calls for new products so I have done a little shopping as of late . . . who am I kidding?  I didn't go shopping because its a new year, I went shopping because I have a  bit of a shopping problem.  (hehe)  In any event, I have a beauty haul for you today from Sephora, Ulta, MAC, Henri Bendel and LUSH.  I have quite a few products, so let's just get right to it!

It's no surprise that I have many new purchases from Sephora. I mean, it's a new year and there is only 11 shopping months left to renew my VIB Rouge status.

Olivia Palermo x Ciate London Mail Collection in Napa Valley,  Ciate - I have been scouring for this polish for a while.  It has been sold out in store for months so I finally pulled the trigger and ordered it online.  It is gorgeous!  I already used it twice on my nails.  It is definitely going to become a staple for me.

#ColorCurators: Song of Style Edition Nail Polish in A Girl's Best Friend, Formula X - I love mildly pink polishes.  I haven't used this yet, but I am sure I will crack it open as soon as I grow bored with the Ciate polish. 

Power Couple Duo: Total Transformation Kit, Sunday Riley - I first bought this duo  as a Christmas gift for my sister and then to decided to get one for myself.  Its such a great way to try both products since the kit comes with half size bottles of each Good Genes Treatment and Luna Sleeping Night Oil at just a fraction of the full size price of just one.

Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner, belief - I have been loving everything I try from this brand.  Since I needed a new toner, I decided to pick this up.

Cleansing Herb Water, belief - This was a repurchase for me.  I usually use a cleansing water in the morning in place of a cleanser.  This one smells great and makes my skin feel clean and soft.

Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser, Sunday Riley - I love clay masks, so I thought I'd give this cleanser a try.  Sephora even suggests mixing this with Good Genes for a five minute facial mask.

Essential Starter Kit, KEVYN AUCOIN - I never tried anything from KEVYN AUCOIN, so I thought this was a great and affordable way to try out some of the products.  The powders and blush are TINY (the pan is no bigger than a nickel) but for $32 with 5 products in the kit I wasn't expecting too much.

No 28 Primer Serum, Hourglass - This was another repurchase for me.  I have been trying to repurchase for a while but everytime I went to order, it was sold out.  Not only is this a great primer but it treats the skin and smells AMAZING!

I have been hoarding my points for months and decided to redeem some for a few 100 point perks.  Sephora has had some pretty great rewards perks lately including Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector, Living Proof; Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Marc Jacobs Beauty; CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base, Lance; and Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence, Murad

Not only have I been hoarding my Sephora Beauty Insider points, but I have also been saving up my ULTA Rewards.  Since I had $30 in Rewards burning a hole in my pocket I had to pop in and look around.

Brow Set, Real Techniques - This is a new product for 2016. I couldn't yet find it listed on Ulta's website.  It comes with 2 sets of tweezers, a spoolie, a brow brush and a brow definer.

Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipstick in Broadway Plum, Laura Geller - I was a little hesitant about this color because it looks so dark in the tube but its actually a really pretty berry. 

Butter Lipstick in Little Susie, NYX Cosmetics - I hear a lot of raves about the butter lipstick but didn't own any before this one.  Estes Lalonde (Essiebutton) had this on in a recent video and I just loved the color so much I had to get it. 

Nude Interlude Color Balm Lipstick in Meg, Stila - I picked this up on a whim and not sure if I like it.  It is supposed to compliment fair skin, so I think it might too a little too light for me.  

I stopped at the MAC counter to check out the new Retro Matte's and picked up one along with a gloss.

Cremesheen Glass in Calypso Beat, MAC Cosmetics - I was looking for a peachy nude gloss so the sale associate suggested this.  It is a nice formula and not to sticky.

Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Tailored to Tease, MAC Cosmetics - I was really excited when I heard about these.  They are pretty easy to apply and wear for a matte and this color is a great everyday bright pink.

Henri Bendel was having a sale one day last week for 20% off all sale cosmetic accessories.  

Brown & White Shower Cap, Henri Bendel - I can't live without a shower cap.  Since I don't wash my hair everyday, I shower cap is a necessity for me.  

West 57th Cosmetic Clutch in Rose Gold, Henri Bendel - I didn't really need another make-up bag but since this was significantly discounted there was no way I could pass it by.  When everything was said in done, I ended up getting 60% off the original price.  It is pretty big so I probably won't use it as an everyday make-up case but it would be great for traveling.  

I don't have a ton of products from LUSH, but went in with my sister so she could pick up a few things, and ended up buying a couple things myself.  

Golden Handshake Hot Hand Mask, LUSH - This is an oil hot mask for your hands . . . it is just the ticket for dry winter hands.

Pumice Power, LUSH - I have been using a pumice on my feet for years.  I love the idea of having a pumice and soap in one. 

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Monday, January 18, 2016

January Birchbox: Sample Choice

It has been a VERY long time since I did a Birchbox review.  Last year Birchbox really upped their game with guest editor curated boxes and sample choices, so after subscribing for years I decided to sign up for a second subscription.  This month, Birchbox offered a choice between their regular box with a choice of one sample (all other items a surprise) or the feature box full of Korean Beauty favorites.  Having two subscriptions, I chose one of each. 

This is what was in my sample choice box:

For the sample choice box, Birchbox gave subscribers a choice between Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner, TONYMOLY Delight tint and IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer.  I didn't end up selecting a sample and instead let Birchbox select it for me.  I ended up getting two  of the choices in my box.

Bombshell Blowout Spray, amika (full-size, $24)  This is described as a "lightweight styler that volumizes, smooths, and protects for a sleek yet bouncy 'do."  I feel like I keep getting this product in my birchbox. I don't mind it.  When I do blow dry my hair, it helps make it smoother and holds my style longer.  (sample size 1 oz/$3 value)

Lait- Creme Concentre, Embryolisse (full-size, $28) This is described as "a make-up artist fave, this french moisturizer heals dryness and preps skin for foundation."  I had purchased this full size last winter when my skin was feeling super dry.  This was a miracle product for my skin and never felt greasy.  I am excited to have received this in a sample/travel size.  (sample size 5 ml/$1.87 value)

DEATH VALLEY Dry Shampoo, R+Co (full-size, $29) "Style-refreshing spray that saps excess oil, give hair volume and body, and adds tousled texture"  I have received this as a sample before as well. I have not yet tried it for no other reason except that I have so many dry shampoos that I am working through.  It have received good reviews so I am excited to try it.  (sample size 1.6 oz/$7.37 value)

Fat Liquid Liner, Eyeko (full-size, $16) "The eyeliner delivers the same smudgeproof  rich color in a thicker, bolder line than the original skinny liner."  I have been really into  liquid eyeliner lately, so I used this immediately.  I am obsessed!  Its so easy to use and does not budge at all.  I only wish it came in other colors.  (received full size)

Delight Tony Tint in Red, TONYMOLY (full-size, $6) Described as a "lightweight super pigmented lip stain that dries quickly for a sheer, matte finish that won't budge all day."  This is a nice stain.  It gives me that just bitten cherry lip. (sample size unknown)

The total value of this box (minus the lip stain) is $28.24

Stay tuned for my reveal of my Korean Beauty Favorites Birchbox.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday Wish List

Vintage Web Original GG Boston Bag, Gucci - I have wanted a Gucci Boston Bag FOREVER, and I love the vintage look of this bag.

Insolite Organiser, Louis Vuitton - I love a big wallet. This has compartments for everything so I won't really need anything else.  

NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette, NARS - I have been looking for a good cheek palette for a while now.  You don't really need anything else with this.

Sandrine Tote, Clare V - I am a sucker for a great structured leather tote.  Creme is a great color year round, and I love the metallic handles.

Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rococotte, Christian Louboutin - I got a Louboutin lipstick for Christmas.  The packaging is just so beautiful and luxurious.  Since I am obsessed with matte formulas, I'd love to add the matte formula to my collection.

Makeup Brush Cleaning Machine, Lilumia - Let's face it, no one enjoys cleaning their makeup brushes.  Its messy; it takes forever; and you never get all the make-up off.  Lilumia makes the process painless.  I need this machine in my life!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Current Favorites

Now that 2016 is upon us, I have been completely consumed with watching 2015 favorite videos and reading everyone yearly favorites on their blogs.  Here at, I've always loved showing my monthly and yearly favorites; however since I haven't posted much in 2015, I thought I would just share with you the products that I have currently loving.

Protect & Shampoo and Protect & Condition, Beauty Protector - I have repurchased this duo probably about 3 times. Aside from the fact that both products smell incredible, they are both really amazing on their own.  I love that the shampoo is sulfate free and even if I go a few days between shampoos, I don't need to use a lot to make my hair feel clean. The conditioner is probably one of the most hydrating conditioners I have ever used.  It makes my hair so soft.  

Bare Face Cleansing Oil, Julep - This is my all time favorite cleansing oil and one that I have repurchased over and over.  Just a few pumps breaks up all my makeup without leaving a residue.

Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, Proactiv - I have been using Proactiv for years.  Its the only cleanser that keeps my skin clear.  Whenever I switch to something else, I always find myself coming back.  

Micellar Cleansing Water, Garner - I like to use cleansing water in the morning in place of a regular cleanser. My sister bought me this one when she was in Ireland this fall right before it launched here in the states.  Because I only use it in the morning, I can't say if it removes make-up well. It does remove any dirt that settles on my skin over night and leaves my skin soft and clean. It is also very gentle on my eyes

Cleansing Herb Water, belief - I love the way this smells.  It is has a nice herbal scent and leaves my skin soothed and deep cleaned.

Essential-C Night Moisturizer, Murad* - This works great for my skin.  Because I am prone to breakouts, I like moisturizers that aren't too heavy. Because it is a night moisturizer, it is a little thicker, but absorbs well into my skin and doesn't clog my pores.  The overall condition of my skin just feels better with this. 

Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Murad* - I like that this has SPF 30 and absorbs quickly.  I don't have to wait very long between moisturizing and applying my make-up.  It is super hydrating and doesn't cause me to breakout.

Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme, Estee Lauder - I got a sample of this over the summer and knew I had to purchase it full size.  I use it only as a neck cream and have noticed the lines I once had forming across my neck have significantly faded.  It is a bit pricey, but you only need a little to treat your whole neck.

Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream, Fresh - When I started to notice the skin under my eyes start to thin and my under eye concealer starting to crease, I knew I needed a more moisturizing eye cream.  After reading the reviews, I decided to purchase this one.  This has become holy grail for me!  My concealer sits perfectly, my eyes are moisturized and the skin is no longer crepey.

Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, Peter Thomas Roth - I love masks.  This has really been the only mask I have been reaching for lately.  I feel like it does everything I need all in one products.  It resurfaces, exfoliates, brightens, calms . . . the list goes on.

Effacer Duo, La Roche-Posay - As someone a little older and prone to breakouts, I love this acne treatment. It treats breakouts without drying out my skin.  

Maracuja Oil, tarte - I bought the sample/travel size and have yet to even use half.  A little goes a long way.  It adds extra moisture and just makes my skin look better.  

All Purpose Skin Cream, Egyptian Magic - This stuff really is magical!  I am prone to very dry lips and this is the only product that cures my lips when they are super chapped and blistered.  I also love that it is multi-purpose. Not only  do I put it on my lips, I use it on my cuticles, on dry patches, I even have used it as an intensive eye treatment every so often for extra moisture.

Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+, It Cosmetics - This is probably my third or fourth tube of this CC Cream.  It has replaced all other foundations for me.  I love that it is light weight, and doesn't make me look like I have a mask on.  It hides my flaws without hiding my face. Its also super easy to apply . . . most days, I just use my fingers.

EFFACERNES Undereye Concealer, Lancome - Just a little of this goes a long way. I just need two or three small dots to hide any dark circles.  

MAQUICOMPLET Complete Coverage Concealer, Lancome - This is holy grail for me.  It is probably my favorite creamy concealer of all time.  It is easy to apply, melts into the skin without budging or fading throughout the day.

Rouge Edition Velvet, Bourjois - These are my everything.  I am obsessed with matte lip color lately. I love the color range of these and they are just so easy to apply and feel great on the lips.  My only complaint is that they are not available in the states.  I had to purchase through Amazon and Asos.  (Asos delivery is super fast but the color availability is sparse.  However be prepared to wait for Amazon delivery)

Brow This Way Clear Brown Gel, Rimmel - I have repurchased this a couple times now.  It doesn't make my brows crunchy like some brow gels.  And because the tube is smaller,  I like that I don't have to toss most of the product before I get to use it because it gets gross from my brow pencil.  

Brow Pencil, Sumita - This is very easy to apply and lasts well throughout the day.  I like it better than any other brow pencils I have tried.  

Chance Eau de Parfum, Chanel - This is an oldie but goody for me.  I have own Chanel Chance since it first came out.  I stopped wearing it for a while, but just recently repurchased and have been wearing it non-stop since.  It is one of my favorites.

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Disclaimer:  Products marked with an asterisk (*) were received as sample for the purpose of review. All other products were purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Brand New Year!

Happy New Year!  Sine a new year brings new opportunities and new beginning I thought there would be no better time to relaunch

Over the past year and a half I have sort of neglected this blog, posting sporadically, if at all.  Then in April, I just kind of gave up all together.  There was no real reason other than I had just become really busy with work.  While things still remain a bit busy, I realized I missed blogging and decided to just jump right back in. 

So whether you are new to my blog, or have been following for a while, welcome/welcome back.  Here's to a new year!

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