Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mani Round Up: January 16, 2018

Temps in CT (and pretty much the rest of the US) are awful lately, so I wanted some bright polish to cheer me up!

It all started late the week before, when I grabbed Orly Glowstick. I won't do another mention about it, but I'll just start with a pic to refresh your memory:


After I received so many compliments on this one, I thought it might be cool to keep going with the brights!


Smitten Polish Terra Opal: How gorgeous is this!!? This is another polish that is much brighter in real life. The golden flakkies make this neon green so unique. I did three coats over a white base, which isn't great, but the results are lovely!


China Glaze Bottom's Up: I am a free-spirit, LOL, so sticking to a theme is always harder than I think it will be at the beginning of the week. I wanted to stick with neon, I knew I wanted a pink, but I didn't want to go the traditional neon pink route, so I used Bottom's Up, which is bright and sort-of neon, but not your traditional hot pink neon. I love this color! I did use three coats as it is getting a little older and is slightly patchy, but it's totally worth it!


Zoya Dori: I had plans to see my girlfriends when I picked out this color. I wanted something cheery, slightly out of the box, and just pretty...and also bright enough to fit in with this week's theme - sort of.  Also, my Grandmother, who is a wonderful watercolor artist, keeps noticing that the sky, even though it is so cold, has been a lovely sky blue lately. Zoya Dori was the perfect pic and my last bow decal added a touch of whimsy. This is just two coats and Glisten & Glow topcoat, of course.


Orly Push the Limit: Rounding out neon week is one of my faves, Push The Limit. It much more orange than the photo shows but you get the idea. I did two coats and topcoat.

Neon week was a success! But I think it's back to neutrals next week, LOL.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mask of the Week: by nature Pumpkin + Chai Latte Brightening Face Mask

I am catching up by blogging now about some memorable masks that I have used in the past. I couldn't leave this one off the list!

In October/November...honestly...August, LOL, the pumpkin spice craze hits hard. We all know this. It used to be controlled - found in the forms of lattes, cookies, and the occasional yet festive seasonal candle. Thanks to capitalism and crazed, fall-loving Americans, the pumpkin spice trend has now infiltrated everything - including face masks.


And yes, I must admit, I bought this, and therefore, I am one of those crazed and fall-loving Americans.


Honestly, it is well known that pumpkin, as an edible fruit (veggie?), has a ton of benefits and is eaten regularly by pretty much everyone except Americans. Why? LOL, instead, we schmear it on our faces!  I digress.

This mask is just too much! The "spice" part is overwhelming to the senses and you can almost feel the cinnamon penetrating the skin. It has extra essence, which is usually nice, but I ended up with a pumpkin spice flavored body, which was also overwhelming. The results of the mask were decent - my skin looked quite bright and any discoloration was gone. It was also a great base for the rest of my skincare.

I would not re-purchase this, but it was fun to try at the time! This was definitely a spontaneous purchase that I bought entirely for the pumpkin spice, so any benefits were really a plus, haha. I have most certainly tried other masks with just as much brightening power without the heavy duty fragrance! Next!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

eopenmarket: The Lucky Box!


If you have been reading the blog for a while now, you may have noticed that I have adopted the 10-stop Korean Skincare System.  In brief, it goes like this:


This is pretty much the closest image I found to the routine I do.  A couple notes for me, personally:

  • For me, step 0. would be a makeup remover wipe for me. Oil cleansers never remove my makeup enough and I hate that smearing-makeup-all-over-to-remove it nonsense. 
  • Step #3, exfoliate, is maybe 1-2 times per week for me. 
  • I often do two masks, with a treatment mask at Step 3 and a hydrating sheet mask for Step 7.
  • In addition to Eye Cream, Step 8, I also used a neck and chest creme, so I would call that Step 8a for me. I love Strivectin Neck Creme or LUSH Kitchen Mirror Mirror.
  • In more Western terms, Ampoule = Serum, Emulsifier = Moisturizer, and Night Cream actually means an Overnight Treatment, not what we traditionally (in the US) think as night cream - that would be Step 9 and then you would follow with an even heavier overnight creme or even an oil.


With that out of the way, let me get to the point here.

If you're any sort of interested in the graphic above, an awesome place to start is the Lucky Box from eopenmarket. Here is what I purchased for $4.35:


A couple things to note about eopenmarket:

  • It is not US based and therefore, if you're wary about not so traditional ingredients, this is probably not for you. 
  • Many of these sample packets have no English directions, so if you're unfamiliar with the routine and keywords and their synonyms, this might be frustrating - I know my first purchase was, more so than this more recent one.
  • Shipping isn't cheap and it takes at least two weeks to receive, but it is worth it for me to buy one full size item that I need and then add this to the order. eopenmarket also adds more samples if you purchase anything else.

I sorted the samples by type to show you the variety:


I won't name everything, but I received the following:

  • 2 sheet masks (Step 7)
  • 1 Wonder Pore single treatment (a toner, Step 4)
  • 1 blackhead nose patch treatment (considered part of Step 3 to me)
  • BB Cream samples (cosmetics)
  • Serums/Ampoules/Essence (Steps 5&6)
  • Eye Cream (Step 8)
  • Cream Cleansers (Step 2)
  • Moisturizers/Creams (Step 9)
  • 2 Conditioning Treatments for hair
  • 1 shampoo packet

How cool is that? There are at least 2 of each item and I find that I can get two uses out of most sample packets. 4 tries is enough, for me in most cases, to decide if I like a product. I also recently found a sample based company on ebay and made a purchase, which means if I find a sample that I like, but want to explore it more, I can purchase specific samples. I will review them once I receive my order.

I hope this helps you if you're interested in learning more about KBeauty. There is plenty more to discuss this but the eopenmarket Lucky Box sample box a fun and inexpensive way to explore the steps.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Mani Round Up: January 9, 2018

Happy Tuesday!  How has your 2018 been so far?

Let me show you what I wore on my nails during the first week of 2018.


MAC Girl About Town: This polish was gifted to me eons ago by my friend, Lauren (Hi!). Why don't I wear it more often!? I love the color and the formula was great. This is two coats and topcoat.


Glisten & Glow Saddle Shoes and Sock Hops: So, GAT was  my first MAC Polish and Saddle Shoes is my first Glisten & Glow creme polish!! This is two perfect coats and topcoat. I also bought a pink polish from G&G that I am sure you'll see quite soon.


SinfulColors Vacation Time: Found it! I "lost" this polish in the depths of my melmer for the longest time! I love this cinnamon color for fall in winter. Why it is called Vacation Time is beyond me when it's the most office appropo mauvey meets cinnamon color, I don't know, but I love it. Two coats and topcoat! Sidenote - if you own Kat Von D's Lolita lippy, it looks quite similar to me, with Lolita being slightly darker (add Knotty by ColourPop and it's a spot on dupe, FYI).



Orly Glowstick: I long for the day when I have a camera that will photograph neons properly! You already know Orly Glowstick, it is the must have neon from Orly, in my opinion, and it's been the yellow neon queen (king?) of the nail world for a while now. You either need a white base coat and two coats of Glowstick, or just three coats, as shown here.

Till next week!


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Mask of the Week: The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask

One of my blogging goals in 2018 is to bring back the Mask of the Week post. I have been faithfully masking throughout 2017 and my skin looks so swell that I plan to continue. Might as well blog about them, too!


One brand that I began to explore in late 2017 is The Body Shop. I remember loving the products back in the day, LOL, but now it deserves a new look with fresh, older, wiser, more skincare concious eyes. I am loving quite a few of the Vitamin E products they offer, so I picked up this British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask out of curiosity when it was on sale (seriously, watch Ulta, they have 40% off on this brand pretty often).


It comes housed in a hefty jar. It feels sturdy and luxe and looks great on my vanity.


By fresh, they mean slimy! Fresh Cosmetics, I'm looking at you!


The directions say to slather some on clean skin, wait 5-10 mins and rinse. I do a full skincare routine, so I did a first (oil) and second (cream) cleanse before applying this. I used just my fingers as it was a little too loose in texture for the elf spatula tool.

The smell is divine, of course, but you must love roses. It is not a sweet rose scent but instead mixed with a herbal, clean scent. It just smells fresh, as the name suggests.

As it dries down, it does not tighten the skin and it does not harden much. You can just feel it sitting on the skin. Once you rinse with warm water, the skin is extremely soft to the touch and texture more even. The small, persistent, dry spot near my nose was completely healed up! I finished with my normal routine and woke up with very soft skin that had absorbed my other products very well.

I would definitely recommend this! Can't wait to use it again.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

My Top 5 Favorite Items From 2017!

Happy 2018!

Looking back on the past year of MBHM, I realize that I have gone through a ton of products.  Some I have loved and some I have certainly not!

I wanted to do a special post to narrow down my top 5 products that I simply cannot live without after looking through my favorites and fails posts. Let me show you the best of the best!

In no particular order, this year, my 5 favorite beauty items are:
  • LUSH Cosmetics Lemony Flutter Body Conditioner
  • Formula 10.0.6 Face Wipes
  • Rhonda Allison Cucumber Spritz
  • Benefit The Pore-Fessional Pore Minimizing Makeup
  • e.l.f. Kohl Eye Pencil
Now I will tell you a little more about each item!


LUSH Cosmetics Lemony Flutter Body Conditioner: The LUSH Kitchen is closing/reformatting itself/whatever, so I fear I'll never get my hands on this amazing product again. Lemony Flutter scent, the most magically soft lemon scent ever, is usually only available in the Cuticle Cream, which I do not like at all. In 2017, the Kitchen released a Body Lotion and this Body Conditioner in the Lemony Flutter scent. Body Conditioner is wonderful anyway, it's like an in-shower lotion that you use after cleansing and then rinse right before you hop out.

(Pic Credit: Lushalot.com - the most amazing LUSH lover website there is!!)
Formula 10.0.6 Take You Face Off Face Wipes: Pretty sure these wipes made an appearance on the blog at least once per month, either as a constant favorite or an empty! These wipes are just above and beyond better, for me, than any others I have tried. The scent is clean and gentle, the wipes themselves remove everything under the sun, and the price point is decent. They are at Ulta with BOGO50% sales often enough to stock up. My only qualm is that in December, they changed the package to what you see above, and I do miss the little plastic closure for security and moistening purposes.


Rhonda Allison Cucumber Spritz: I discovered this in March at the Spa at Essex in Essex, CT. I am now on my 3rd bottle! I use this when my skin is super dehydrated for a quick pick-me-up, but I also use it on my arms and shoulders to cool off in the summer. It smells divine!

Benefit The Pore-Fessional Pore Minimizing Makeup in Shades 2 and 3: In the summer I am a 3 and in the winter I am a 2 - and yes, I have both so I can swap out as (begrudgingly) needed. This is a super thin, almost watery (if you forget to shake it) foundation that covers well and feels so incredibly light on the skin. This was suggested to me at Ulta and I've never looked back. It makes your pores next to invisible, has no scent, and comes with a cute lil' blender sponge attached. The cap also screws on, so it is safe for travel - bonus points, for sure.


e.l.f. Kohl Eye Pencil: I don't feel like myself without my elf Kohl Eyeliner on!! I use this every.single.day. It's cheap, it doesn't smudge, it's cheap, the kohl doesn't bother my eye at all, it's cheap, it comes with it's own smudger and sharpener - and did I mention, it's cheap!?

That is it for my Top 5 Favorite Items from 2017. Do you love or hate anything I've mentioned? What are some of your faves from this year?


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

December 2017: Empties Report (234 Empties in 2017)

Welcome to the last Empties Report of 2017! I have kept track of all sample packets and products that I have used over the past year. There are plenty of items that I will re-purchase and plenty that I won't, thanks to this series.

Let me show you what I used up in December:


There are 24 items above, so I am not going to get into each one. Let me show you a close up of the items that I liked best.


From LUSH Cosmetics, I discovered Buck's Fizz, the Bubbly Shower Gel scented Body Conditioner. It smells like citrus, with bright orange notes, and is orange in coloring! I have already purchased a full size of Clinique Smart Serum, which melts into the skin. Drybar Prep Rally is a before thermal spray and conditioner that detangles my hair with ease. I will continue to repurchase the Suave Almond and Shea Butter Moisture Mask. Orly's Nail Lacquer Thinner is a must-have for every polish lover. Formula 10.0.6 wipes are forever my go-to wipes. NYC BB Creme has been discontinued so that's that, but I enjoyed it while I could get it!


I also used up 22 sample packets. IOPE Whitegen Essence is probably my new discovery of the bunch. It is pretty expensive (and I love my Boscia Sake Hydrating Essence) so I ordered a few more samples to make sure I want this product as my next purchase. The Matrix Brass Off samples were nice to try considering I purchased full size bottles due to recommendations from my co-workers. I accidentally ordered that Etude House Moistfull Collagen Essence thinking it was just a regular moisturizer, but I'll use it up anyway.

Monthly Totals: 24 Empties and 22 Sample Packets

Yearly Totals: 234 Empties and 118 Sample Packets

There you have it!


Bonus pic! I am going to purge my stash over the next year. I give away everything that is fit to share, but some times there are items that just need to get thrown away, for various reasons. Here is what I am going to throw out:


The polishes were dried out or discolored, in the case of the Nabi Holo. The LUSH Cosmetics samples needed to go since I haven't used them. Dark Angels isn't a product I like anyway, so that is getting thrown out. The two mirrors are also getting thrown out because they have been covered in makeup and spray and stuff that just won't get cleaned off. The Essence All About Matt! is broken beyond use and needs to go as well. Feels good to discard items I won't use (and can't donate or give away)!

Mani Round Up: January 16, 2018

Temps in CT (and pretty much the rest of the US) are awful lately, so I wanted some bright polish to cheer me up! It all started late the ...