#WeeklyRecap / 05-52

Hope this first official week of February has been good to you. It's been a busy week for me, but lately that seems to the tune of things. *sigh*

Also, did you know people still roller skate? Took the kids to a birthday party last weekend at a roller rink and it was packed! I had no idea! In fact, the kids are going back again this weekend!

This Week's Posts

My Favorite Posts of the Week
How to Manage Your Money With the 50-20-30 Rule [bloglovin' - The Edit] // Sometimes even grown-ups need to follow this. But for all you youngins' out there, this is super helpful for when you're on your own.
10 Rosy Valentine's Day Desserts [Thou Swell] // Good ideas if you plan on making anything for Valentine's Day to share with that special someone (or group of people).
9 Green Makeup Brands You Need To Know [Hello Glow] // How many of these brands do you know?
Cookie Butter Latte [Ya Salam Cooking] // OMG... Thank you based-god for this wonderfulness!

Video of the Week
Loving this track so much right now.

#Swatch / Essie A Cut Above

Essie A Cut Above

TGIF and yesss, it's a nail polish post! Kicking off February to a great start! Today we're swatching Essie A Cut Above from the Luxeffects line. I have a love/hate relationship with glitter. I love the way glitter polish looks, but I really hate dealing with the removing of glitter. There's always the foil method, but I really don't like how dry it leaves my fingers. I have since bought a peel-off base coat, so maybe that'll change my mind about the process.

Anyways, moving on to the polish! A Cut Above is a multi-sized pink metallic glitter in a sheer pink jelly base. For my swatch above and below, I used one coat for each nail. The polish applied pretty evenly and the glitter spread about pretty good.

Essie A Cut Above

And just for reference, I also swatched single, double and triple coats so you can see the buildable coverage of the polish.

Essie A Cut Above

You can really see the base on the third coat. Overall a pretty glitter, but nothing too crazy.

FYI - In case you're wondering, the base polish is Mentality Stunning. We all know the Mentality story; needless to say I don't own this anymore.

#Empties / January 2016

*Affiliate Link

Another month, another going through my garbage bin. Not literally as these sit in a basket, but still. You know what I mean. Here's my January Empties! It seems like there's a ton, and I think there are, but really it seems to just be a lot of tiny bottles. Let's dive right in starting with skincare (masks then everything else), hair, nails and body and finally, makeup.

Nature Republic Aqua Super Aqua Max Deep Moisture Hydrogel Mask // My skin has been very dry this month, so I've been reaching for more hydrating masks. I definitely recommend this one as I feel the effect lasts for a couple of days. I purchase mine at my local Nature Republic store, but you can find this online. Cruelty-free status unknown; sells in China.

TonyMoly I'm Real Radiance Tomato Mask Sheet // I used to only find these at RoseRoseShop, but these are sold at Sephora (online, but currently out of stock) and Ulta (in the aisle bins). I also visit the TonyMoly store in the City, so these show up in my stash quite often. This happens to be my new favorite sheet mask. I can't even tell you how amazing my skin feels right after and then looks the next day. Definitely a new favorite. Cruelty-free status unknown; sells in China.

H&M Raspberry Smoothie Face Mask // I've used a couple of these masks before, but I absolutely love this one. Definitely gives your skin a glowy/radiant look right after that lasts. If you can't tell, that's totally my thing since my skin can look a little dull in the winter time. I would definitely purchase this again, but currently its out of stock online. I hope they release them again! (fingers crossed) Cruelty-free status unknown; inquiry sent.

The Skin Food Rice Mask Wash Off will be reviewed in an upcoming Sample Sunday post.

Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil* // A tiny sample of this showed up in my last empties, and I've done an empties review of this, but I still think this is my not one of my favorite cleansing oils. I don't feel the "coolness" either. Used it up because I had it. Just meh. Cruelty-free, except where required by law.

Yoshimomo Radiant-C Vitamin C-Infused Brightening Toner // This is only because I had to throw it out. I never got a chance to use it and I'm rather bummed. It looked lovely, but it appears this is discontinued. Cruelty-free.

RMS Beauty Oil* // Until I bought a full size of the Sunday Riley Luna oil, I didn't think I would spend this much on a face oil. Now I know why I would need to. Not only did this oil lasted a long time, but it was amazing for my skin. This kept my face nice and hydrated and looking plump. I'm bummed I'm out now.. Guess I need to splurge on that full size if I don't find anything else comparable. Cruelty-free.

Sephora Instant Moisturizer* // I was going to hold out on and do a Sample Sunday review, but I'll just talk about this now. I absolutely love this moisturizer. It really is a great day time moisturizer; not heavy, but does a good job keeping the skin hydrated and looking radiant (see the pattern?). For my combo skin, its just right. For warmer months I just add a little less and I'm good to go. I think if you're looking for a cheaper, yet still high-end moisturizer, this is a great pick. Cruelty-free, except where required by law.

First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads* // These are amazing. They help get rid of any texture issues and are very gentle on the skin. I use this as a toner after I cleanse; just swipe on and you're done! I will have a post (not sure when, but it will be up) comparing these to some other wipes, so stick around for that. Overall, an awesome product and I highly recommend it. I do have a tried and true toner, but this may slowly take its place. Cruelty-free.

The Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash, Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil, derma e Firming DMAE Moisturizer and the Pixi Glow Tonic will be reviewed in up-coming Sample Sunday posts. For the Origins cleanser, I'm not only going to share my experience, but my son's as well as he was the one who used it the most. 

Proganix Quench Conditioner* // I finished the shampoo last month and technically this only lasted a few days longer. I will have a full review of the Quench collection coming up shortly. Stay tuned! Cruelty-free.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk* // Again, another sample product that I had thought about doing a Sample Sunday post on, but I feel I would waste my time with that. Mostly because this product didn't work for me at all. I just didn't like the way this made my hair feel. It also didn't really get rid of any excess oils. Bummer; was totally looking forward to it. Cruelty-free.

Kerastase Resistance Therapiste Reverse Care Shampoo & Conditioner† // I received this from Influenster and I'll have a review coming up shortly of this set. I will say that I wasn't really a believer in the reverse care system, but holy shit does this work. I've said too much though... Stay tuned! Cruelty-free, except where required by law.

Pura d'Or Healing Conditioner* // I did a review on this a while back, but I loved this conditioner. I had given it to Izzy for her to use, but it finally was finished off this month. I love the scent and I feel it does a pretty good job . Cruelty-free.

Burt's Bees Hand Salve* // I've mentioned this product in an old winter must-haves post, but I love this balm. It keeps your hands super moisturized and it absorbs fairly quickly. I like to use this when its either extremely cold or after washing tons of dishes. Either way, it works wonders. Cruelty-free.

Essence Express Dry Drops* // These are the drying drops I mostly use. Super cheap and tiny little bottle, but works great! I will continue to purchase this. Cruelty-free.

Simple Sugars Coconut Scrub // I got this in my December '15 Glossybox and I have to say, I really liked this. I used it both for my body and my face and it was just amazing. I'm definitely considering buying the full size now! Plus, can't really beat anything that smells like coconuts. Cruelty-free.

Sweet Science Invisible Daily Tint  // I received this in the January '15 Birchbox and I have to say, it was quite nice. I hate the little pot, but overall it was good. I felt it provided just enough of a coverage (think Urban Decay Naked Beauty Balm or Pacifica BB Cream) but also looked like skin, but with SPF! Great for days out where you want the slightest coverage or evening of color. As much as I liked it, there are other SPF tints that I prefer over this. So if it was in front of me and I need one? Sure, I'd grab it. However, if I got to pick, there are others I'd choose from. Cruelty-free.

YSL Touché Eclat in 3.5* // If I didn't have so many concealers already, I'd jump the gun and buy this. I loved how well it matched my skin tone and was able to get rid of the dark circles I do have. It gave me the most natural looking coverage. I'll definitely keep this on my radar, but for now I'll just remember the wonderful time I had with it. Cruelty-free, except where required by law.

Vert Mont Perfumery EROS Natural Perfume Oil // I liked this perfume and a little definitely went a very long way. I think it was more my cup-of-tea, but not Phil's. I know he prefers the lighter scents, but he knows during winter I love the deeper, more complex scents. While I did like this, I don't think I'll purchase a full size. Not only do I have a ton of perfume, but I didn't go nuts over it. Cruelty-free.

Mai Couture Highlighter Papier in St. Barts and Blush Papier in Sunset Blvd.* // I absolutely loved the highlighter. The blush wasn't really a good fit for my skin tone, but the highlighter was pure magic. Which is why I've already purchased a full-size booklet of it. Just in time for my trip to AZ later in the month! Cruelty-free.

Adidas Pure Lightness Body Spray // I used this on my off-days. I found this at Marshalls for a few bucks. Definitely great to keep in a workout bag as it leaves you smelling really fresh. So fresh and so clean. However I wouldn't purchase this again. The scent was nice, but it just didn't last longer than a few hours. Cruelty-free status unknown.

By Apple Super Lash Mascara in Azul (Blue) //  After seeing this post on Honestly WTF, I realized I needed blue mascara. This mascara was pretty amazing and I would definitely recommend it, but there are other brands sold in the States that offer blue mascara. You could certainly see if your favorite brand offers that color, but I definitely suggest colored mascara. Brings new life to basic eye makeup. Cruelty-free status unknown; inquiry sent.

Essence All Eyes On Me Mascara* // This is a good bottom-lash mascara. The wand is relatively small and it defines the lashes quite well. I opted to use this on days that I only used mascara and left for the day. It defined the lashes well enough for off-days or simple outings, but didn't do anything too dramatic. I like having mascaras like that around though. However, with what feels like at least 20 mascaras in my collection (thanks subscription boxes), I think I'll hold off and purchasing this. Cruelty-free.

So what products caught your eye? Anything you're looking to go out and try? Also, did any of these products that worked for me didn't work for you? What was your experience? Don't forget to share!

#MonthlyPolishHaul / January 2016

January always tends to be my largest polish haul month. Mostly because I'm spending gift cards or finding really good sales. Now that I've tried to reason why they are so many, let's just dive right into the January Monthly Polish Haul!

Let's start first with the Urban Decay Naked set. I've been wanting this since it came out so I'm pretty stoked that I found it on eBay for under $12. From left to right there's Naked, Sidecar, Toasted, Smog, Hustle and Creep. I had read a few not-so favorable reviews, but I've swatched each of these for my swatch sticks (you've seen them in recent posts) and they're all lovely. Creep performs the least well, but even so, it is still a great color.

Next are my latest Butters. From left to right is butter LONDON Gobsmacked, butter LONDON HRH and butter LONDON Muggins. I bought these from Hautelook. If you all haven't bought cosmetics or anything from there you should (Illamasqua polishes for $5 anyone?).

Next are all of the OPI polishes for the month. As you can see, I needed to get one from the recent Hello Kitty collection. On the top we have OPI Cosmo with a Twist, OPI I Sea You Wear, OPI Funny Bunny. On the bottom is OPI Charmmy & Sugar and OPI Comet Closer.

These are the vintage Hard Candy polishes that I found on eBay this month. From left to right there's Hard Candy Liquid, Hard Candy Hick and Hard Candy Erogenous.

And now for the miscellaneous other polishes. On the top is Trust Fund Beauty Champagne Problems (which came in my January Allure Beauty Box) and China Glaze Star Hopping. On the bottom is Deborah Lippmann Sexyback, jinSOON Verismo and jinSOON Cantata.

Counting the Urban Decay polishes individually, that brings home 22 new polishes. I'll definitely be taking it easy next month. So what new polishes did you get this month? Any you've been wanting for a while? What collections are you looking forward to? Share in the comments!

#MomKnowsBest / Getting Your Beauty Rest

PR Sample

So we've been said I need to get my "beauty rest." But is there a such thing as getting beauty rest and waking up to better, healthier looking skin? There absolutely is. So how do we achieve that? Well, good thing I have some tips for you, and a bit of a review as well!

So first off, we've all heard to drink more water (which is important). Your body (and your skin) will thank you for keeping yourself hydrated. If you're looking to mix it up, try some tea. I personally have my favorites that help me relax. Most of my teas also help with other issues such as digestion and stress (here are my favorite green, lavender and peppermint teas). Additionally, I'm sure you've all heard of face mapping, so I've found that when I drink more water (and tea) that I can eliminate some problem areas over time.

Additionally, overnight masks, sheet masks and treatments help you wake up with an amazing glow. Below are my favorite masks:

From left to right there's the Julep Night Shift Sleeping Mask, the TonyMoly I'm Real Radiance Tomato Mask Sheet and the ever famous Sunday Riley Luna Oil. All of these masks help with making you skin look more radiant, plump and supple when you wake up. 

However, the one thing I've been using consistently for the past couple of weeks is a silk pillowcase. I remember reading based-goddess Hirons talking about silk pillowcases. From that moment, my skepticism went from being full-blown to non-existent. So of course when I was given the chance to try out a silk pillowcase for myself, I jumped on the opportunity. Below (and in the first picture) is my pillowcase from SilkSlip, which can be found here.

I have to say, not only has my skin been soft and I've woken up with less dehydration lines, but I've found my sleeping masks don't get all rubbed off (in fact not a single stain on the pillowcase) and my hair has looked amazing on the second day, even the third! But why? The silk doesn't absorb like basic cotton does, leaving your skin to reap the benefits from your nightly skincare products. So yes, it honestly does look like you got your beauty rest! I would say these are definitely a good investment and I'm going to be buying one for everyone in the house!

What are your thoughts on using a silk pillowcase? Would you be willing to purchase one for better skin and hair?
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