Monday, November 7, 2016

MAC Lipstick Collection

My MAC Lipstick Collection + Lip Swatches

I remember when I got my first MAC lipstick. I spent a good 45 minutes at the computer, switching between the MAC website and Google image search trying to compare shades and figure out which one I would like best. I finally settled on Brave, which was and still is my favorite lipstick of all time. The formula of the satin finish lipstick was perfect for me - if I could make my own lipstick, it would pretty much be the same as a MAC satin finish lipstick. And the first color I made would probably be identical to Brave. The only thing I'm not particularly fond of is the classic MAC lipstick vanilla scent, although it has grown on me.

Left to Right: Brave, Finally Free, Twig, Craving
As you can see, I've used Brave a lot. I've never actually finished a lipstick before but I'm pretty sure I'll end up finishing Brave in the next year. And I will absolutely repurchase it. Finally Free is a cremesheen, and it was made with Caitlyn Jenner. At the time I purchased it, 100% of the purchase price went to the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative, which is the main reason I bought it (I do like the color though). I'm not entirely sure if that's still the case but I do know that as of when I post this it's still available. Twig, a satin finish, is actually quite similar to Finally Free but less glossy. Craving is an amplified finish, which is almost like a more pigmented cremesheen finish to me.

Left to Right: Russian Red, The Fashion Flock, "O"
Russian Red is a matte finish. It's my perfect red - matte, blue-toned, and intense. The Fashion Flock is a matte, and it was limited edition so it's no longer available, at least not through MAC. I don't think it's worth trying to get on eBay or a blog sale though, which I will explain in more detail in the lip swatch section. "O" is my newest MAC lipstick, and it's a frost finish. I would never have gotten it if I hadn't swatched it myself in-store, because in the tube it just looks like a shimmery dark brown, which is pretty but not what I prefer on myself. When you swatch it, though, it's really a lovely purple shade with lots of copper and gold shimmer.


Brave (Satin Finish)
Like I've mentioned a couple times already in this post, and excessively in past posts, Brave is my favorite lipstick. If I had to choose one lipstick to wear the rest of my life, it would be this one. Brave is one of those shades that looks good on pretty much everyone. It's not quite a nude, but it's not quite a pink or purple either. It looks different depending on the lighting, but it generally looks like a mid-tone mauve.

Finally Free (Cremesheen)
This shade is another universally flattering one in my opinion. It is a bit more sheer than Brave is, though, so it may look different on you depending on how pigmented your lips are. When I bought it 100% of the purchase price went to the MAC AIDS Fund Trangender Initiative, but I'm not sure if that's still the case. You can still get it though, so if you like it then it's available as of posting.

Twig (Satin)
I wanted a brown lipstick, but I knew most brown lipsticks weren't all that flattering on me, so I went for Twig after seeing some swatches online. It's a lovely rosy brown color that I think looks nice on me. I don't wear it nearly as often as I should.

Craving (Amplified)
Craving is another one I don't wear as often as I should. It's kind of a plum shade, but a little more brown than I would expect from a plum color. I think it's a great fall shade.

Russian Red (Matte)
If you like blue-toned reds, this is for you. It's also highly pigmented, which is an essential quality for a red lipstick in my opinion. And it's matte, which is my preferred finish for bright and bold lipsticks so they don't bleed as easily. Those things as well as how long-wearing it is make this my favorite red lipstick.

The Fashion Flock (Matte)
The camera doesn't show enough detail for it to be obvious here, but it is in real life - this is the patchiest and streakiest lipstick I've used in a long time. And it's a shame, because the color is bright and eye-catching and gorgeous. Even if my lips are in perfect condition, no chapping or cracking at all, this lipstick clings to every tiny little dry patch. You will be able to see every little line and crack in your lips if you wear this. I was so disappointing by this one, especially because it looked like the perfect bright spring shade and I needed one. It was limited edition, so it is no longer available.

"O" (Frost)
I was at the MAC counter in the Macy's in a mall when I first discovered this one. I almost didn't even swatch it because it just didn't look like something I would wear, but I'm so glad I did. It looks like the average brown lipstick but with some shimmer if you just see it in the tube, but when you swatch it, there's way more to it. It's a sheer dark purple base that reflects a coppery-gold, and it shifts from more purple to more coppery-gold depending on how the light hits it. Most people would use this as a lipstick topper, and I'll probably do that too, but I'm loving it on its own right now.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Beauty Hygiene

Beauty Hygiene - When to Replace Products, Brush Washing, and More!

When I first got into makeup, I don't think I even knew you were supposed to wash your brushes. Luckily I found out pretty quickly (thank you so much, YouTube tutorials!), but I never came across a good general guide on makeup and beauty hygiene. I wanted to make this post so that maybe somebody who is new to makeup can find everything they need to know in one place. Some of these tips include science and even medical-y stuff, and I am not a doctor or scientist, so please just see them as guidelines. If you want to be certain of something here, make sure to do your research and possibly ask a professional. I will list all of my sources of information at the end of the post.

Makeup Sponges - Cleaning, Replacement, and Storage.

Does anybody else remember the huge freakout that happened when a girl found bugs in her Beauty Blender? I do, and I still refuse to watch the video itself because I would never use a makeup sponge again. I was horrified that the same could happen to me, until I read a couple articles explaining why it probably never will. To avoid bugs in your sponge (which is still rare either way; mold is more likely), you need to store it properly. Your sponge should be stored somewhere with good lighting and ventilation, and it should preferably be a cool temperature. This is because those things are all the opposites of what mold likes - anywhere warm, damp, or humid can encourage mold growth. Mold also likes to grow in dark places. So if you put your sponge into your makeup drawer or in a makeup bag after cleaning or use, it's more likely to grow mold. I like to store my sponges on top of my IKEA Alex 9-drawer unit in my room, since it's always a bit cool in the colder months, and my windows provide good light. Your main worry should be mold, not bugs - I've only heard a handful of stories about bugs, and a lot of people are skeptical of whether they're true.

As for cleaning, you can go about it a number of ways. If you get a sponge from a well-known brand, there's a good chance they have instructions specific to their sponge on their website. In general, though, you can wash pretty much any sponge the same way. I plan to do a brush & sponge washing post soon, which will be more detailed, but here are the basics; wet the sponge, making sure to fully saturate it. Squeeze out most of the excess water, then use the soap you have chosen (I use a bar of Zote Soap, but I used to use baby shampoo) to clean it by either pouring a small amount onto the sponge and massaging it in (liquid), or rubbing the sponge on the soap and working the soap throughout the sponge (bar). Massage the sponge gently to work the soap through the whole thing, being careful not to rip or tear it. Put the sponge under running water and squeeze it (not too roughly) so that the soap and old makeup starts to rinse away. You may have to repeat these steps a few times until the water runs clear. Once you're done, squeeze out as much excess water as you can using a dry towel or washcloth. Store it properly.

When it comes to how often you replace your sponge, the general rule is at least every 3 months. I am very guilty of not replacing my sponges often enough, and I know that a lot of other people are too. Whether you replace them every three months or not, if your sponge starts to grow mold, throw it out immediately. Please don't put mold on your face. It's generally not a good idea.

Brush Care and Cleaning

Good quality brushes are an investment. If I pay $20 for a brush, I want it to last a while. I expect expensive brushes to be better quality than inexpensive ones, but if they aren't taken care of properly, expensive brushes will break and shed just as fast as inexpensive ones. The main things that I find ruin brushes the fastest are improper storage while they dry and being washed too roughly. If you store brushes with the bristles up while they're still wet, water will run down the ferrule (the metal part where the bristles are glued to the handle) and loosen the glue, causing shedding. If too much hair sheds, the brush won't be usable anymore. While you're washing a brush, it can be tempting to scrub it really hard to get it super clean and get deeper into the brush. Do not do that. It can bend and break bristles, ruining the shape of the brush. This is even more important when it comes to sparse, flimsy brushes like fan brushes. A dense brush with a stiffer shape, such as a flat-top foundation brush, can withstand a little more intense cleaning.

Like I mentioned in the sponge section, I plan to do a brush & sponge washing post soon that will go into detail. The basics of washing your brushes are similar to the basics of washing sponges; wet the bristles of the brush, holding the brush at a downward angle and attempting not to get too much water on the ferrule or handle. If you use bar soap (my favorite is Zote Soap), gently rub the brush on the soap a couple times. If you're using liquid soap (if you go this route, I would recommend baby shampoo, but a gentle hand soap can work as well), squeeze a bit into your hand and rub the brush in it, or have a small container of it to dip the brushes into. If you're just starting out, you can use the palm of your hand to (gently!) scrub the brush. If you can, though, I recommend getting something textured to rub the brush on instead so it gets a bit deeper into the bristles. I use this brush cleaning egg a lot, and it's only a dollar. Once you've worked the soap on the brush into a lather, rinse it under lukewarm water. Always use lukewarm water if possible, too cold won't work as well but too hot can damage the bristles. For most eye brushes and powder face brushes, you probably won't have to do this more than once for the water to run clear. Foundation and concealer brushes can take a few times to truly be clean.

To dry the brushes, it's best to find a way to store them bristles down so no water gets into the ferrule. This isn't realistic for most people, though, so lying them on their sides either on a towel or over the edge of the counter is fine. How often you need to wash your brushes can vary depending on how often you use them, but a good rule is at least once a month. I need to clean mine once a week most of the time since I wear makeup and play around with it a lot. If you have a lot of brushes, then you may not need to clean all of them every week or two weeks, since you can use a different brush of one is too dirty.

Replacing Makeup

Some products, like powders, can last years before they even show signs of going bad. But things like mascara need to be replaced very regularly to avoid infection and illness. Generally speaking, powder products last longer than liquids or creams. If you ask me, the most important thing to replace regularly is mascara. If you use an expired foundation, you might get a breakout or rash. But if you use an expired mascara, you can get pinkeye. I would like to avoid both of those things, but I would rather deal with a breakout than pinkeye. Most products will have a symbol somewhere on the packaging that looks like this:
Image Source
Inside of this symbol you will see a number followed by the letter "M". The M stands for months, and the number is how many months you can use the product after opening. Some products will have an actual expiration date, but that's pretty rare. Some mascaras will say six months, but it's usually best to replace it every three. And if it smells bad, has changed consistency, or you can see obvious separation or mold growth, toss it. You wouldn't eat food if you noticed any of those things had happened to it, so why would you wear lipstick that has those problems? You may not ingest as much, but it can still make you sick. Plus it just feels really gross to know there's mold or bad bacteria on your face.

Final Thoughts + Sources

This post really only covers a few basic things, so please let me know if you would like me to cover something else in a future post! As with any other post involving health and hygiene, make sure to do your own research too - I did a good amount of research for this post and tried to use only sources that I knew were reliable, but that doesn't mean I didn't miss something important or leave something else relevant out unintentionally. I will list my sources for this post below, organized by which of the issues covered they relate to.

Makeup Sponges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Brush Care: 1, 2
Makeup Replacement: 1, 2
Please Note: The Zote Soap linked in the sponge section is much cheaper in store, less than a dollar sometimes!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Moon Child Glow Kit Review

ABH Moon Child Glow Kit Review + Swatches

I have never bought a high end highlight palette (or even a single high end highlight for that matter) until I heard about this palette. Anastasia Beverly Hills is a brand I'm not all that familiar with, but as soon as I saw the packaging and what was inside...

...I fell in love. Intense highlights are my thing, and so is anything duochrome. I know I read somewhere that only three shades are technically duochromes, but I've been trying to find which ones they are and can't seem to find an answer. All of them seem duochrome to me, and either way they're all gorgeous! From what I can tell, this palette will be permanent, but I heard it was limited edition a bit after it came out, so I can't confirm that. Most places I look seem to be saying it's permanent, which I hope is true, because if it's not I need to buy a backup! The palette is $40, and you can buy it here.


These are the three shades on the top row. Top to bottom: Blue Ice, Star, and Purple Horseshoe. Unfortunately, my camera and lighting setup doesn't do them justice at all. If you want super intense highlight, it won't be hard to achieve with this palette!

These shades are, from top to bottom: Pink Heart, Lucky Clover, and Blue Moon. This is the bottom row of the palette. Lucky Clover is hands down my favorite shade from this palette. All the shades are unique, but this one is unlike anything I've ever seen - a green highlight that's still wearable for me day-to-day.

Blue Ice is described on the ABH website as "diamond white with an icy blue reflect". I've never used a blue highlight before getting this palette, and I'd never really thought of it as something I would like. I was wrong, though - it's freaking AMAZING.

Star looks like a lovely mint shade in the pan, and that translates onto the cheekbones as well, but in the best possible way. The ABH website describes it as "a moonstone fusion of mint, platinum and silver reflect". This is one of the more 'wearable' highlights in the palette, assuming you aren't as into super bright highlight as me.

Purple Horseshoe has the most small glitters and sparkles of the six, but I really like it that way. You can tell they're there up close, but it works. The ABH website describes it as "a glittering lavender with an arctic blue reflect".

Pink Heart is a lovely highlight, but I also love it as a blush topper. If you use a light hand you can add a pretty pink sheen on top of your blush, which can really pull a whole look together. The ABH website describes this as "pearl white with a pink opal reflect".

Lucky Clover is described on the ABH website as "a shamrock-infused gold with canary yellow diamond reflect". This is my favorite shade in the palette so far - I've never even thought of the idea of a green highlight. I'm glad somebody did, since this is amazing! This shade is the one that convinced me to buy this palette when I still wasn't sure.

Blue Moon is described on the ABH website as "frozen blue with a silver reflect". I go for this one if I want a frosty highlight. I think this is perfect for winter!

My Opinion

I love this palette and I think it's the best highlight palette I've ever seen. If you have very fair skin like me and want an intense highlight, this is for you. I'm not sure if people with darker skin would like it as much, since the highlights themselves are pretty light, but I have seen some pictures on Instagram of these highlights on dark skin and I think they're gorgeous. The formula is amazing, super soft and buttery and pigmented. They have good lasting power, and they look good the whole time rather than fading unevenly or leaving a bunch of sparkles and glitter behind once the color's gone. If you want to make them even more intense than they already are, you can use them wet. I recently tried Purple Horseshoe with some Mac Fix+, and it looked beautiful. One thing to note is that although you can use a light hand, it's still not going to be subtle. I knew that before buying the palette, and that's why I like it. But this probably won't work well for somebody who prefers natural makeup. If you like this palette or want to talk about it, please feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Products I'm Excited About

Products I Can't Wait to Try (Ulta Haul!)

With so many new beauty and makeup products rolling out constantly, it's easy to forget about older ones that you never got around to trying. I recently made a trip to Ulta and I spent a good 2 hours there deciding on new things to try. Instead of gravitating to the brand-new releases like I usually do, I went for some of the things that I've been dying to try for months (or even over a year!). I plan to review most, if not all, of these things in the future, so let me know which ones you want to see first!

The only newer thing I got was an Urban Decay Vice lipstick in F-Bomb. I wanted to try out the new formula, and even though I absolutely do not need another red lipstick, I got another red lipstick. They had the same shade in their Revolution lipstick line and I always thought it was pretty. The Urban Decay website claims that "Just one swipe provides an unbelievable laydown of color," which sounds fantastic to me since I always want a highly pigmented lipstick.

I surprised myself by only getting three lip products - these two and the Vice lipstick. Lipsticks are my weakness, so that's pretty good for me (I know, I have a problem). NYX's Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick and Suede Matte Lip Liner in Little Denim Dress have been on my wishlist for quite a while now, so I can barely wait to start trying them out! Blue lipstick is a trend I'm intrigued by, and I've had good experiences with NYX lip products in the past, so I'm hoping this will be as good as I'm expecting.

Ever since I dyed my hair hot pink a couple months ago, I've been using hot pink eyeshadow to fill in my brows. The issue with that is I only have clear and blonde brow mascaras, so my natural eyebrows peek through a bit. I'm planning to use these NYX Color Mascaras in Pink Perfect and Coral Reef (it says Coral Reef on the tube, but the Ulta listing just says Reef) as brow mascaras to remedy that problem. Once I find a good white lash primer to make them pop, I'll probably use them like regular mascaras as well.

It seems that every blog post and YouTube video I see about brushes includes at least one from IT Cosmetics. I was in need of a new blending brush (then again, when am I not?) and this one, the #105 Blending Crease Brush, looked promising. I haven't gotten the chance to wash it and try it out yet, so I don't know if it will shed, but it does feel very soft. I've heard nothing but good things about the IT Cosmetics brushes, so I have high expectations.

Mini things are my weakness in every aspect of life, from makeup to animals (like have you SEEN a mini pony?), and I've wanted to try this for so long. I didn't realize it came with a mini brush until I got home and opened it and I almost cried (I'm serious about mini things). Since it's hard for me to get the right bronzer shade, I'm glad I got the Mini Hoola Bronzer to try before purchasing a full size.

How I haven't even tried the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray until now is beyond me. It seems like this is everybody's holy grail setting spray. I've always hesitated because of the $30 price tag, especially since I love the Hard Candy Fast & Fabulous Setting Spray which is only $6. But I've finally given into the hype, and I'm hoping it ends up being as good as everyone says.

Until now, I didn't have an actual face moisturizer, I was using a body moisturizer that I liked (see my previous skincare routine here). Burt's Bees is a great brand to get skincare with mostly natural ingredients for a drugstore price. I got the Sensitive Daily Moisturizer even though my skin hasn't been sensitive in years because I hate the feeling of heavy moisturizers. My skin is normal to dry though, so I may end up needing something a bit more moisturizing once it starts to get cold.

I've been curious about the Biore Baking Soda Liquid Pore Cleanser ever since it came out, so I finally decided to get it. I've used the Biore pore strips for years and love them, so it's a brand I trust when it comes to skincare. Baking soda cleans things pretty well in my experience, so it'll be interesting in skincare.

I broke my rule and got a high-end cleanser. I only buy drugstore cleansers because unlike things such as eye cream and moisturizer, the product washes down the drain instead of absorbing into your skin. If I'm paying more for skincare, I want the extra money I'm paying for better ingredients to be as beneficial as possible. But everyone raved about this when I was starting to get into makeup, and I've always been curious. So I gave in and got the Purity Made Simple Cleanser in the 8oz bottle. I almost hope I don't fall in love with it because then I'll want to repurchase it, and it's more expensive than any of my drugstore cleansers.

So many people have talked about how good these smell, so I decided to try them out. The Breakfast Scrub smells literally just like maple syrup, which makes my Canadian side very happy. And the Sugar Crush Body Buttercream smells exactly like a lime. They aren't scents I would have picked on my own, but now that I have them, they're definitely growing on me!

I'm so excited to try all of these out! If you want to share your thoughts on these products or tell me about beauty items you're excited to try, feel free to leave a comment underneath this post, or check out the Contact Me page! Also let me know which of these things you want to see a review on first!

Friday, October 28, 2016

I'm Actually Back

I'm Actually Back This Time + An Update on Life

Hello, everyone! I know it's been quite a while, and I'd like to apologize for that as well as offer an explanation. I did mean to come back when I posted my last "I'm Back" post, but life doesn't always go as planned. Since then I've had some more health issues as well as quite a few unexpected stressful life events. I love this blog but I simply didn't have the energy to update it, so I made the choice to take a break as mental health is very important to me. I definitely thought I would be back sooner, but I've had a few things happen in my family life that set me back in my recovery. I'm still pretty out of it, so I'm going to be changing some things about how I run this blog.


  • I'll only be posting three times a week for now - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In the future I do plan to go back to every weekday but for now that's just not something I can handle. This will be starting next week, on Monday Oct. 31st.
  • Any sort of series such as project pans won't be continuing since it's been so long. This includes the Erin Condren stickers I said I'd be doing, since I've lost interest in that and just don't have the time or energy as of now.
  • Every once in a while I may post a short life update or rambly post on something I find interesting. They won't be counted as one of the three weekly posts, so they'll go up on the weekend, a Tuesday, or a Thursday.
  • I'm going to be updating the layout of the blog a bit, probably adding some new pages if I can figure it out such as an About Me and a place to find me on social media. If anybody has any suggestions, feel free to comment, e-mail me at, or message me on my Instagram which is @makeupwithmaggie773.
  • Suggestions! Although I did take suggestions for posts and content before, I never made it very clear how or where to do so. You can suggest things using the same methods I listed in the fourth bullet point, and I will be trying to find another easy, clear way for you to use.
It's good to be back, I missed this blog and the interaction I had with readers. I wanted to come back on September 3rd, which would have been this blog's first birthday, but life just didn't allow it. I've been looking into getting a real camera to take pictures for posts with - I'm still using the built-in camera on my iPhone 6, which isn't bad (I remember when I got my first phone in 2011, a Pantech Ease, and thought that it had good camera quality - technology progresses so fast now!) but still not as good as I'd like. I appreciate anybody who's stuck around all this time and/or kept following my Instagram for updates all this time, I would totally understand if you hadn't but I'm so glad you did.

Monday, June 20, 2016

June Boxycharm

June Boxycharm Unboxing

This is my third month of Boxycharm, and I'm very excited for it because I saw some sneak peeks on Instagram and it looks like it's full of things I'll use and enjoy! This month's theme is very summery, perfect for the beginning of summer.

I wanted to do a quick update on the broken lipliner from last month - I contacted customer service, and I'm happy to say that they were great about it! After I sent them a picture of the broken product and my shipping label, they sent me an email back saying that they would send me a replacement with my next box and apologizing that my lipliner came broken. They said that they would do their best to send the same color, but they couldn't assure that it would be, but they did end up sending the same color as the one that was broken, so I'm happy about that. Overall I had a really good experience with their customer service and it makes me a lot more likely to renew my subscription next year.

The first product in the box, worth $24.00, is a set of three sheet masks from Farmacy. They're called the "Coconut Gel Mask Medley" and although I'm not as fond of sheet masks as I am of masks that you apply with a brush or your fingers, these ones say they're hydrating, which is my favorite kind of mask, so I think I'll get good use out of them. These say they're made exclusively for Boxycharm on the package but you can find them on Farmacy's website and I can't find any difference between them. Still, I'm excited about this product and I'm glad that Boxycharm gave us three of them so we get a chance to test them out properly.

The second product is the Ofra Oil Control Pressed Powder (priced at $39.95), which I'm excited for because I love translucent powders and even though I have a bunch already, I feel like I can never have too many. I think that it seems a bit pricey for a pressed translucent powder, but maybe I'll end up falling in love with it. I got an Ofra liquid lipstick in my first Boxycharm box and I really like it so I'm somewhat familiar with the brand and I do like it, so I'm happy to try another one of their products.

Next up is a nail polish from LVX in the shade Serene, worth $18.00, which really reminds me of Essie's Bikini So Teeny. I love that color, so I'll have to compare them and see if they're dupes. I'm not as excited about this product as I am about all the other ones because I don't wear nail polish super often, but I really do like the shade, so I'm still happy about getting it. The card in the box says the polish has a gel-like formula which is something I'm curious about.

The next product is an interesting one - the Cougar Beauty Mineral Face & Body Shimmer in Diamond Kiss (worth $16.00). I think it's like a highlighter, but I'll have to play around with it a bit to see. I hope it is a highlighter because I'm always happy to have another one of those, but it does say face and body shimmer, so maybe it's more subtle and meant for an all-over glow. Either way, it seems like a good product for summer.

Last but not least is the Girlactik Precise Eyeliner Marker in Black Noir, priced at $20.00. It's always good to have another black eyeliner, and I'm always searching for the perfect liner to create the best winged liner I can. The packaging is really cute too.

The total value of this month's Boxycharm is $117.95, which is much more than the $21.00 per month the box costs. I'm really excited for everything in the box, but I'm especially interested in the Face & Body Shimmer from Cougar Beauty. It seems like a unique product and I can't wait to find a use for it. I'm also really happy about the replacement lipliner as well. Did you get this month's Boxycharm? If you did, what was your favorite thing? If not, what do you think you would enjoy the most?

Monday, June 13, 2016

I'm Back! + Free Erin Condren Planner Stickers

Where I've Been + Free Erin Condren Downloadable Stickers

I want to begin this blog post by sending my thoughts to the victims and their families in Orlando. It's deeply upsetting to me that something like this could happen, and if you're reading this, please send your thoughts and prayers their way as well.

As for where I have been the past few weeks, I've been a bit sick and I thought that the best way to recover would be to relieve some stress in my life - which included not posting here every weekday. I will be resuming that now, though, and I want to announce something new I'll be doing - giving you FREE downloadable stickers for the Erin Condren vertical planner! I plan to have one each week, probably on Mondays, so check in at the beginning of each week to see what I've come up with! I don't actually have an Erin Condren planner, but I do have some sheets I bought and downloaded off of Etsy that have the same size boxes as the Erin Condren planner. I would love to get a real one someday but I don't want to spend $50 on one at the moment. But because the boxes are the same size, I'm able to do plan with me's if anybody is interested.

Now, on to the free stickers! I wanted to start with something fun and unusual, so I went with a goat theme! I uses images from, where all of the images are free, even for commercial use, so these stickers aren't breaking any copyright laws. It's actually a really great resource for bloggers because you can use any of the images as icons if you need them. I want to make it clear, though - I don't own any of the pictures in the sticker set. Please feel free to share this sticker set, but please either give me credit or at least do not remove my name from the first page.

Because this was my first sticker set, it may not come with everything you need for a full weekly spread. In the future my sticker sets will be more complete.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Battle Of The Balms Round 2

Battle Of The Balms: Tins And Pots

This is the second post in my Battle Of The Balms series, and I'll be focusing on balms in tins and pots. I have quite a few this time - five, which is up from the three I had last time. If you've read a lot of my blog posts n the past then you may already be able to guess which one is going to win!

Today I'll be comparing the Starry Honey Essence Rosehip Lip Balm ($1.00 from ShopMissA), the Nivea Lip Butter ($2.99 at Ulta), Lip Shit Lip Balm ($6.99 at Blue Q), the e.l.f. Conditioning Lip Balm ($3.00 from e.l.f.), and the e.l.f. Lip Balm Tint ($2.00 from e.l.f.).

First we have the Starry Honey Essence Rosehip Lip Balm.
-Quite moisturizing
-Super cheap
-Thicker consistency means you can use it as an overnight treatment as well as a balm
-Super heavy floral scent that even I find a bit overwhelming, and product scents don't usually bug me
-The lid comes off easily so you can't throw it in your bag
-Harder to find (possibly only sold online)

Second in line is the Nivea Lip Butter. I'm showing the Raspberry Rose Kiss scent/flavor but it comes in a few others, including a plain one.
-Super moisturizing
-The scented ones (especially this one) smell absolutely lovely
-Thicker consistency means you can use it as an overnight treatment as well as a balm
-Rather inexpensive, especially for the amount of product you get
-Easy to find (sold at most drugstores as well as at Ulta)
-Can leave a white cast on your lips if you use a lot of it at once

Next is the Lip Shit Lip Balm. Mine is in Cucumber Mint but it comes in quite a few other flavors.
-Pretty moisturizing
-Cucumber Mint flavor has a slight cooling sensation (I find it pleasant)
-Smells good, and if you don't like this scent it comes in other ones as well
-Fun packaging
-If you really don't like the cooling sensation then this specific one isn't for you
-Although the price isn't outrageous, it is the most expensive on the list
-The very hard consistency makes it difficult to get a good amount on your lips. I find I have to dig a small chunk out and spread it onto my lips
-Not the easiest to find

Second to last is the e.l.f. Conditioning Lip Balm.
-Quite moisturizing
-Pretty easy to obtain (sold both online and in stores)
-Has a nice tint
-Smells pleasantly like coconut
-Inexpensive (you get a good amount for the price as well)
-If you don't like tinted balms (I don't very much) then it doesn't have a colorless option for you
-If you dislike coconut then you probably won't like the scent
-The color can be somewhat uneven

Lastly is the e.l.f. Lip Balm Tint.
-Pretty easy to obtain (sold both online and in stores)
-Comes in a good range of shades
-Pleasant but light sweet scent
-Not actually all that moisturizing
-No colorless option
-No scentless option
-You don't get a whole lot of product
-Texture is a bit odd (waxy and very little color payoff)

And the winner holy grail lip balm, the Nivea Lip Butter! It may not be everyone's absolute favorite because of the white cast it can leave on the lips, but if that's literally the only bad thing I can say about it, then I don't see how I could not love it because I don't really care about that. It's the most moisturizing of the bunch by far, and I've actually used up a whole tin in the past as part of a project use it up. That's how I ended up falling in love with it. Nothing keeps my lips feeling as soft and smooth as this does. Wear this as an overnight treatment and pair it with a decent daytime balm and your lips will be in great shape in no time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Origins Eye Cream

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream Review

A few months ago I was looking for an eye cream, and Sephora was offering a deluxe size sample of the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream as a 100 point perk. I had wanted to try it, so I got it. That sample lasted me a good two months, and during that time I decided I loved it so much that I would get the full size. You can buy the full size (0.5 ounces for $30 USD) at Sephora or the official Origins website. I love the packaging - very simple but still cute in it's way. I happen to love the color orange so that could be part of it. Some may not like the pot container because of how easily it can get full of bacteria if you dip your fingers in it, but if you scoop out product with a q-tip or other clean implement you should be fine.

This is what the product itself looks like. It's a very light consistency, which I enjoy because it is meant to be applied in the morning, so I don't want a ton of heavy moisturizing product on my face as I'm probably about to apply makeup. Although it is thin in consistency, I find it to be very moisturizing. On Sephora, these are the product's claims:
"This morning-after eye cream with coffee beans, panax ginseng, magnolia extract, and natural optic brighteners rapidly wakes up tired eyes. It helps reduce dark circles and unsightly bags, refreshing to restore a radiant look."
I agree that it reduces dark circles and undereye bags - within two weeks of daily use, I noticed a pretty big difference in mine. Which was exciting, because I had really bad dark circles! They aren't totally nonexistent now, but they're definitely much better. I do start to notice a difference when I forget to use this eye cream for a few days in a row. It also claims to be good for normal, oily, combination, dry, and sensitive skin. I have normal skin with occassional dry patches, especially under my eyes. When I use this, those dry patches under my eyes totally go away. This eye cream is also supposed to instantly wake up tired eyes. While I don't fully agree with that, I do notice that this eye cream has a slight "sheen" or "glow" right after I apply it, and it does brighten the undereye area to an extent. I have pretty severe tired eyes, though, so I can see it waking up tired eyes a bit better if your eyes are a lot less tired.

So, do I recommend you try this product? Absolutely, yes. But try to get a sample first, or buy it from somewhere with a good return policy, because skincare is a very personal thing and what works for me may not work for you. At $30 for half an ounce, I don't think the price is all that bad, especially since Origins is a high-end skincare brand. I've seen some drugstore eye creams that are about the same price, so really it's not very expensive at all for an eye cream, and especially not for one this fantastic. And not only is it an all around good product, it's not one of those products with a bunch of annoying false claims. It genuinely does for me what it says it will do, and I like that.