Friday, May 29, 2015

What's in my Trash?! #18

Welcome to the first month of the NEW format for What's in my Trash?! Not too much has changed but I'm doing it in a way now where I just show three product images at once and then describe them. I feel like this way it is easier to match the product to the description visually! This way I can also take away the text overlay on the product which actually saves a lot of time which is fantastic for me! This is a particularly long empties post, I went through quite a sheet mask phase so I wanted to get them all in at once. By no means is this all though, I'm sure the next month will have about half the empties being sheet masks! I'm also trying to provide more information for each product including the size and a more articulate review of it, so here we go!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

HauteLook Haul!

It's been awhile since I've done a haul on this blog and it's been even longer since I have bought anything off HauteLook. At the beginning of May theBalm made another appearance on the site so I stocked up on a few items as well as grabbed some things from skyn ICELAND. In true HauteLook fashion my goodies are just coming to me now so I'm going to share the goods! I'm making it my personal mission to own everything from theBalm, I think it's safe to say at this point that it's my favorite overall brand because I think both their makeup and skincare are just so phenomenal. In fact Time Balm (the skincare line of theBalm) is slowly taking over my skincare routine, it does have a dominating presence in my morning routine which is something I will need to post an update about soon since I think I almost have the product line finalized! Anyways, on to the goods!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Bucket List

I made one of these guys last year and I was sad to report that I missed out on most of them. Last year was just a weird year for me, a lot happened due to several uncertainties and therefore I wasn't able to accomplish nearly as many things as I would like. This year I am in a much better place in my life so why not try and put together a bucket list again!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Unboxing: Beauteque Mask Maven May 2015

Not that I am subscribed to many beauty subscription boxes anymore but hands down this is my favorite subscription probably of all time! Who is ever going to get mad at a bag of 9 different masks delivered to your house monthly?? I love that there's a wide variety of masks so you aren't just limited to face masks but other body parts too! It costs $15 per month plus shipping which is a little pricey but these are all Asian brands so you're getting a really good deal. Plus if you sign up for multiple months the price drops closer to the $10/month end of things. There is a slight variation in bags each month it seems like there are the same brands for every bag but the specific type of mask varies. I do wish they had a profile so they could customize the masks you receive a little better, but small complaint really, there hasn't been a mask yet that I didn't like!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Lipstick Diaries #3: Good-bye!

So we thought last month's update was short, this one really is. I'm shutting this down. The state of my lips are in such flux right now I'm not comfortable putting anything on it except lip balm. Maybe this should turn into a monthly update into products I've tried to help my lips...I'm so sad over this because I was so excited about this project but for now it needs to be put on pause until I figure out what the heck is going on! If it's something bacterial I don't want to contaminate a bunch of my lip products so for now good bye Lipstick Diaries, we will meet again someday!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Unboxing: Birchbox May 2015

Another box another Birchbox unboxing! It's strange not having mountains of boxes come to me every month but it is what it is.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Birchbox it is one of those monthly beauty sample boxes where they send you a box of 5-6 (sometimes even 7 with bonus extras) samples and deluxe samples. Occasionally there will be full size products too! The brands they send are all fairly high-end and they have a point system and customer service staff that just can't be beat. For $10 a month you are able to select a sample from a select group of choices and have more surprises delivered to you based on your beauty profile! Have I convinced you to sign up yet? If so I would love it if you would do it through my referral link here! Feel free to also go to www.birchbox.com if you want to look around without any strings attached to me.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Old Reliable: Nail Polish

Is anyone else like me where you have a million options for things but you always end up going back to the same things? Yes? No? To vague? Well today I want to talk about nail polish specifically. I have nearly 200 bottles of nail polish yet time and time again I find myself gravitating towards certain colors. Whether it is the shade or the formula of the polish, there is just something about it that keeps me coming back. If anyone ever has time go back and look at my NotW and I assure you that you will see these six polishes a lot!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: theBalm Brazil Nut Eye Perfection Gel

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time you will know that I am obsessed with theBalm's skincare line. Much to my surprise I found one more product lurking in the depths of my drawers that I haven't opened yet! Naturally I busted it open immediately and now after a month of daily use I am ready to deliver a review! This is the Brazil Nut Eye Perfection Gel which retails for a whopping $32! Okay not so surprising, eye gels and creams do tend to retail for much higher but a little dab is all you need for these kinds of products!

What drew me to this particular product is that it is an eye gel so immediately I thought it would be perfect for daytime use. So far I've been using roller ball types of things for my eyes in the morning because I wanted something light for my oily skin. I've had great success with gel moisturizers during the day so I thought a gel eye cream would be the perfect solution to getting a little more hydration but still keep things light and fresh.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Adovia Purifying Mud Mask


Are we surprised that I managed to get my hands on another face mask to review?? No? You guys know me well. Huge thanks to Brandbacker for hooking up this opportunity for me! The last dead sea mud mask I tried out wasn't the best match so I was interested in finding a different brand that would work out better. Today I have for you the Adovia Purifying Mud Mask that is formulated with a blend of dead sea minerals, aloe vera, and vitamin c! This is a great blend of ingredients that works toether to pull out toxins and unclog pores, drawing out excess oil, deliver hydrating to counteract the drying nature of the minerals, and help improve the skins overall complexion and smoothness.

Adovia is a brand from the parent company goPURE Naturals and here's a bit about the company:

goPURE Naturals was started by Erin Keyan who after becoming a mother was shocked to discover how many products contain toxic and dangerous chemical ingredients. She formulated goPURE Naturals with the goal of developing a brand that women can trust to contain only the purest and natural ingredients, while making them look and feel their best.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Nails of the Week #39: Mixed Pattern Nails

Here they are the nails I alluded to in my F5F! Maybe not the most creative patterns but oh well. For this pattern I used Essie in Bachelorette Bash and my trust butter London Bobby Dazzler. As an afterthought I layered on Essie in Set In Stones on my completely silver nail. So this design was pretty simple, I used nail tape to make the stripes, and a sticker to do the ruffian manicure on the middle finger, then free handing the half and half. I'm not really going to keep describing the nails, let's just get to the pictures which will showcase the patterns better.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday 5 Faves

Happy May guys! Actually it's precisely the middle of the month now which seemed like the perfect time to bring you this months Friday 5 Faves. How are we loving the random timing of these posts? Really they happen for me whenever I've had an especially inspiring week of random favorites. I guess we can have a quick little life update, just to say that work has been crazy for me! I'm in the process of switching teams right now and the new stuff I'm doing is a complete 180 from what I was doing before. I'm working crazy hours now and eventually that will include some weekend hours too but I'm also learning a lot which is my daily goal in life so that's good. I'll admit I struggled a little with this blog last month I really started losing steam and almost went down to posting three days a week but in the end my determination to stick to what I promised when I first started this blog won out and I powered through it. I've slipped into a nice schedule of "Blog Mondays" though which is the day I dedicate to write all my posts for the week as well as the following Monday's post. It's working out really well for me, especially since I spread out taking pictures, editing and any Photoshopping of banners or collages throughout the week so I'm completely focused on just writing Mondays. My loose pre-planning of my editorial calendar for each month is still going strong and has also been really helpful in staying on track. Anyways, enough about that, let's get into my favorites for this week!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Step-By-Step Skincare

If you've caught my previous skincare routine posts (such as here) you will notice that I have many steps. It seems a little ridiculous, so I'm almost embarrassed to admit that my skincare routine has managed to grow since I've last shared it....I'm still doing a little bit of tweaking so I'm not quite ready to share them again yet but stay tuned! Until that post I thought I could tide everyone over with a quick guide to a few steps of my skincare routine with a explanation of why I use such a product. When your routine is 10+ products it takes quite a long time just to describe each product and why I love it, there doesn't really need to be another paragraph about the use of the products, so that is what I'm bringing you today! I'm going to discuss six specific steps because they are the bare minimum must do steps and may be a little confusing for some people about why they are so important, so let's dive in.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Etude House Collagen Moistfull Sleeping Pack

It's taking me quite awhile to get up all these reviews for all the Asian beauty goodies that I picked up back in February, but I really wanted a chance to thoroughly test things out before giving my honest impression on them, so I get a little slack for that right? Today I have for you the Etude House Collagen Moistfull Sleeping Pack! The Moistfull collection as a whole is one of Etude House's most popular skincare line and it comes in three ranges: Collagen, Aloe, and White. I picked up the Sleeping Pack in the Collagen line since that is the line targeted towards firmer skin with better moisture retention and overall would leave your skin deeply hydrated. While I have oily skin, the best defense to youthful skin is always adding more moisture into it. The Collagen line is definitely targeted more towards dry and mature skin, but that is specifically the reason why I picked up the sleeping pack because I knew it would deliver the biggest punch of moisture to my skin.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Face Masks 411

Hi my name is Catharine and I am a face mask addict. I think that's pretty clear though without me proclaiming it because I talk about these things almost non stop. There really is nothing better than coming home from a long day at work and slapping on a face mask before bedtime. With that being said there are zillions of different masks out there so I thought it would nice to slap together a quick little guide talking about all the different types of masks out there! I'm listing out the most common types of masks and the best time to use them!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Nails of the Week #38: Dip Tip Gradient

This one was a really quick manicure that I must admit lasted for about one weekend for me but I still thought it was worth talking about. At this point I'm nearly a month behind on manicures but I kind of did this on purpose since my nails are really suffering lately and peeling like crazy so I've actually been rocking the naked nail for awhile now. I'm waiting for at least 50% of the existing nail to grow out so I can chop it off and start fresh with some stronger nails. Anyways, there was my weekly tangent, now let's talk about this (very old) manicure of mine!

I've been wanting to do a gradient manicure for awhile and after staring at my colors for a long time I decided I had enough shades of grey to possibly pull this off. I'll just start by naming off the colors so from lightest to darkest: Color Club in Silver Lake, Essie in Chinchilly, Essie in Power ClutchEssie in Over the Edge, and Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Black Satin. I decided against doing a full nail because initially I had the idea to do just french tips but I was inspired to actually flip the sticker around and doing a sort of oval splash of color at the tips. I think it's a fun idea and I sort of pulled it off. The edges are definitely the cleanest yet that I've done with these sticker stencils so I call this a win! Unfortunately due to the sorry state of my nails and how it's the tips that are really peeling, this manicure chipped and peeled away within a day, but one day when my nails are strong again we will return to this idea!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fitness Friday!

I swear I won't turn into one of those crazy fitness people, I don't have near enough the motivation to do so, but I really have learned that this blog is great for keeping me accountable! I honestly started this blog expecting not a single person would read it and to this day I'm not quite convinced I'm talking to anyone out there at all but that's okay because this blog is for me and it's serving its purpose quite well. I'm at a point where I understand myself very well and accepted the fact that I probably won't ever join that gym ever again, nor will I pick up running ever again. It's time I made some lifestyle changes so it seems appropriate to dedicate the first Friday of every month to document this journey, so from hence forth the first Friday of every month shall be known as Fitness Friday! I wanted the cute alliteration but this day will be dedicated to all aspects of a more "fit" lifestyle so of course it includes eating habits.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Purifying Mask

A few months ago I picked up quite a few things from Sibu Beauty because it's always been a brand that I've heard about and I was interested in trying some things out. These products got lost in my stash for awhile and probably about a month ago have resurfaced and I decided it was high time I tried them out. Today I have for you a quick review on the Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Purifying Mask and I'm looking forward to doing a few more reviews on the other products I have!

So some background information first on this brand and item. Sibu Beauty is an all natural skincare line that sources the sea buckthorn berry from local harvesters in Tibet. The berry itself is self-fortified with over 190 bioactive compounds that protects itself from the harsh environmental conditions where it grow. Basically this is one tough berry with a potent blend of ingredients that your skin will love. The magic ingredient in this berry is the omega 7 fatty acid which is a powerful ingredient to really help reveal youthful radiance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top 5 Brands: Designer

Yesterday I posted about my favorite drugstore brands so naturally today I'm going to talk about the designer brands! I am a drugstore girl at heart but there are just a few brands that I find really excel at a few products and I truly believe it is worth kicking in the extra money for it! Most of the time you are really paying for the packaging and the prestige of the name but there are some standout products out there that really do work out better than drugstore counterparts so I am here to share my top 5 favorite designer brands for makeup and/or skincare, in no particular order of course.

Why I Love It: When I first started getting into high end brands, Benefit was my go to. My very first Benefit purchase was the Hervana blush and to this day it is one of my most favorite blushes. I absolutely adore the packaging and design of these products however where they excel in makeup, they definitely aren't the same caliber when it comes to skincare. Everything I've tried from their skincare as well as reviews that I have read do not compare to the quality of their makeup so my advice is to skip on that and stock up on their blushes instead! It's quite pricey with one boxed blush hitting close to $30 but it's totally worth it since they last forever! A good tip with Benefit products is to spend your money on your sets because those things have great value and the "mini" version of the products are huge and will last you a long time at a fraction of the price.
Some Favorites
They're Real Mascara, the best ever mascara I've found for length and definition by far. They really do look like falsies, I love the brush design with the spiky ball tip to really fan out my lashes.
Rockateur Blush, the OG of rose gold blushes for me, and while the scent isn't for everyone I love the light floral girly smell of the boxed blushes. This color perfectly compliments my skin in the summer for a subtle yet gorgeous glow.
Big Easy BB Cream, this liquid to powder BB cream is my favorite in the summertime when I want something light on face with SPF. It never feels greasy and is also great at controlling the shine for me and is virtually sweat proof.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Top 5 Brands: Drugstore

I want to say at this point it's been a good 2-3 years now where I can say that I've really played around with a lot of makeup/skincare and kind of know what I'm doing. At the very least I am very familiar with my own skin type and preferences now so there are definitely certain brands and products that I tend to gravitate towards. I'm a strong believer in drugstore products so the brands on this list probably shouldn't come as a surprise but it's always nice to have everything in once place. So here, in no particular order, are my top 5 favorite drugstore brands for makeup and/or skincare, the why, as well as some standout products!

Why I Love It: What started as just a shampoo and conditioner line for me has exploded its way into my skincare as well as makeup. I haven't found anything else in which each product smells so consistently good, that is if you're into fruity smells like me. My skin and hair responds very well to everything I have tried from this brand and quite a few of my staples are from Garnier. Some of the skincare is on the pricier side for drugstore hovering near $30, but then there are other gems like the superb $5 dry shampoo that just balances it all out.
Some Favorites
Garnier Cleansing Oil, I won't use anything else to take off my makeup now, this stuff gets rid of everything so there is no need to fear raccoon eyes in the morning
Garnier Dry Shampoo, my favorite dry shampoo of all time is a $20 canister so imagine my delight that I can achieve the same effect of clean yet soft hair for just $5! Also the delicious fruity smell helps!
Garnier Gel Moisture Cream, my first gel cream I've used and what I ultimately discovered is the best form of moisturizer for me during the daytime
Garnier Dark Spot Corrector, this stuff is pricey but truly helped diminish even the darkest acne scarring for me.
Garnier BB Cream, thick and nearly full coverage with the added benefit of keeping me matte all day while having SPF
Garnier Hydra Recharge Shampoo & Conditioner, I've had hits and misses with their shampoos but this one in particular really gets my hair feeling squeaky clean and soft

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive

Without a doubt face masks are my favorite product to buy ever. It is clear with my ridiculous mask collection so I'm always on the look out for something new. I try and do a mask every single day rotating between different types and I have a formula for almost every skin ailment. Today I have for you a quick review on the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive and let me tell you it's quite a unique mask. For $39 you get 2oz of this stuff and it will last you a long time. Just a bit is enough to cover your whole face and it is sure effective. I actually received this in a Popsugar Box I believe and typically I wouldn't buy something labelled sensitive but this stuff is potent and I'm glad I didn't jump right into the full strength stuff.

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 Favorites + Unfavorites!

So I am just a hot mess this month. This is going to be a slightly different Favorites not only because it is a very short list but I'm photoshopping together my products instead of taking pictures of them. My things are just spread out right now so at the time that I'm blogging this all out, I don't physically have a few of my favorites but I promise you they are things I have been using the heck out of. As for me, I haven't done much new this past month, I haven't been wearing much makeup or experimenting because my skin is pretty happy lately so if anything I've been just using a little toner and moisturizer and that's it. My lips are still on and off having its issues and my nails have started peeling again so I haven't been wearing nail polish. So pretty low key month of favorites for me and I'll tell you now that there isn't an unfavorite for me! Let's just get into my short little list.