Falsies I Can Get Behind – Lashes ANYONE Can Apply!

Falsies I Can Get Behind – Lashes ANYONE Can Apply!

I have what I would consider normal lashes, but I always ask people what type of mascara they’re wearing when their lashes look great and they always tell me they’re wearing false lashes.  Fail.  I’m not a false lashes person.  Don’t get me wrong… I love makeup and think it’s fun to play with and try new products, but years of dance has practically landed me in false lash trauma therapy.  I HATED false lashes during competition season.  They were easy enough to apply, but they were just a pain if they came loose, the glue dried up before the bottle was even opened, a pair ripped, whatever the reason was, they were a pain.

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Photo Credit: Target

I found magnetic Ardell lashes and thought, “Hmmm… maybe?”.  That was a big ole nope.  They stuck to each other in the middle of my real lashes.  Not attractive.  Not to mention since they’re two pairs of lashes that stick to one another just picture what three layers of lashes look like.  Like a caterpillar is attacking both of your eyelashes.  Not a good look, just take it from me.

Now, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Silly George magnetic lashes.  A magnetic eyeliner is applied and the lashes are attracted to the eyeliner.  The lashes never seem to look too fluffy, full, or fake, so I thought I’d check this option out.  Uhhhh… $40 for fake lashes I might hardly or never wear?  Next!

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Photo Credit: Amazon

The only logical solution to my search was… AMAZON.  Amazon solves all of life’s problems, right?  Behold… the solution to all of your false lash needs.  I basically found Silly George lashes on a budget, you guys!  You should read the reviews.  It made it sound like my 2 year old could apply them and wear them for a night out.  Where would a 2 year old wear false lashes?  Why would he wear falsies period?  I don’t know… back to the lashes…

The eyeliner is easy to apply and the directions say to apply 2 coats.  I HATE liquid liner and this liner was the easiest liquid liner I’ve ever applied.  Once fully dry the lashes simply follow the liner and stay put.  THAT IS IT.  Seriously, it’s that easy.  The awesome part about this kit is there are two sets of lashes for a full, fluffy look and a set that I would consider a “daily wear” set.  They are SO good.  You can’t beat the price (it seems to fluctuate, but it’s typically around $15-20) and they’re so easy to apply.  Try them-I guarantee you’ll love them!

 

 

 

 

Review: Full Face of Makeup Dupes

Review: Full Face of Makeup Dupes

These makeup dupes were inspired (ok, ok… flat out stolen…) by Tati‘s FULL FACE OF DUPES | Drugstore vs. Highend YouTube video.  In her video, Tati completes a full face of drugstore makeup on one side and matches it flawlessly with high end makeup on the other side.  When I watched the video I was shocked at how closely she was able to match the high end side and I loved the look, so naturally, I had to try it myself.

So, for this post I’ll be reviewing all of the dupe products I tried from Tati’s video and a few other drugstore brand suggestions Tati makes in various other video tutorials.  I won’t be comparing them to high end makeup, but reviewing them in general.  I have to hand it to Tati on this one, some of my new favorite products are in this list and… most of them are at a price point of around $5.99… what?!  Yes… $5.99.  I didn’t add the price of most of these items because they fluctuate so much between drugstores and Amazon. Before I purchase anything I usually compare the prices (and availability) between Meijer (I have one close by), Target, Ulta, and Amazon.  So… here we go!

NYX Studio Perfect Primer (Clear)

primer
Photo Credit: Amazon

Alright, we’ll start off with a primer.  I love Smashbox primer, but it’s SO EXPENSIVE.  It seriously works miracles, but I’ve never broken down and bought a tube because I don’t wear full coverage foundation enough to shell out the extra cash for a tube.  NYX Studio Perfect Primer is very similar to Smashbox, but at a much more wallet-friendly price point.  I was pretty pleased with the formula and I’m happy to use it instead of the pricier option.

 

Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation

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Photo Credit: Wet n Wild

Yes, I know, I know… I had a Wet n Wild nail polish in EVERY color of the rainbow as a kid and I used a different color on every finger, too, but Wet n Wild really has come a long way since then.  This foundation is $4.68 on Amazon.  Bam!  Ok, really, though… my new favorite foundation.  This formula goes on great with a Beauty Blender or brush and looks great all day.  I do tend to get a little oily toward the end of the day, but it holds up well especially for the price.  There are a variety of shade ranges (I think I might have chosen a shade a little too light for me, but for the price I can afford to get a few darker shades for the summer as well) and I think anyone can find a good match.  I’m curious to see how L’Oreal Infallible 24 HR holds up compared to this formula.  The L’Oreal is 3X the price of this one, so for a daily foundation, this is a great option.

 

Wet n Wild Megacushion Foundation

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Photo Credit: MakeupAlley

I’m on the fence on this one.  The coverage is great, but I was pretty dewy at the end of the day.  It’s cheap, it covers well, it blends well, it sets well with a setting powder, and it looks pretty natural.  For the price I would probably buy this one again as well.  The only downside with this one is that it contains coconut, which might break a lot of people out.  I’ll have to see if it breaks me out after wearing it all day today.  It does have SPF 15, which is also a little added bonus.  The other problem I have with this is the “cushion” container.  I feel like there is hardly any product in there.  For the same price (actually less…) I can get a whole bottle of the Photofocus.  Yes, it is a little different coverage and a bit of a different look and I get that, but I neither love nor hate this one.

 

Coty Airspun Loose Powder

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Yep-my grandma had this on her vanity, too.  This is hands down the best loose powder I’ve ever used.  You can bake with it (no, not bake as in bread… bake your makeup…), use it as a finishing powder, and it’s buildable and works great with bronzers and blush.  I don’t think I’ll give any of my other loose powders a second chance after this one.  You get a ton of product in the container and it’s so affordable.

 

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster

bronzer
Photo Credit: Ulta

I wanted to love this one.  The packaging is great, it’s relatively inexpensive, and bronzers are always fun to work with.  This particular formula has some pretty large chunks of glitter.  Yeah… not always the look you want.  On me it looked a little patchy, but that might have been operator error-for some reason I used a fairly densely packed and smaller brush than normal, so I’ll give this one another try and probably only use it when I want to feel more… tropical.

 

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

butter bronzer
Photo Credit: Amazon

I find this bronzer much easier to work with than the Bronze Booster.  It has a finer powder formula and blends much more easily.  I will give you a word of caution-if you’re fair-skinned and purchase the shade “light” it is basically a pressed powder… bummer.  Make sure you purchase the “bronzer” shade if you want an actual bronzer.  Yes… I found out the hard way.

 

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush

blush
Photo Credit: Wet n Wild

I love this blush!  $2.99?  Yes, please!  I hate trying to figure out what blush color to choose.  In Tati’s video she used Pearlescent Pink and I was like, “Yes!!!! That’s it!”.  Although this is called pink, it does have hints of coral, which usually works well with any color combinations.  I’m glad I added this one to my collection.

Milani Rose Blush

rose blush
Photo Credit: Milani

This blush isn’t in this video, but Tati uses it frequently in her tutorials.  This blush is my absolute favorite.  The color is soft (Romantic Rose), it’s matte, and it has such pretty packaging.  You can’t go wrong with this one!

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder

highlighter
Photo Credit: Walmart

Now, I’m not a huge fan of highlighters to begin with because they just enhance every large pore on my face and make my skin look oily, but Wet n Wild hit a home run on this one.  The shade in Tati’s video is Precious Petals.  It’s such a soft, subtle shade and the shimmer is very fine.  Highly recommend this one!

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Palette

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Photo Credit: Wet n Wild

Since I loved the single highlighting powder so much, I figured I needed more options, right?  Luckily Wet n Wild makes an entire palette.  I’m torn on this one-I love the shades and there is a variety that will go with any makeup look, but several of these have fairly chunky glitter in them.  I’m not 12… I can no longer dump glitter on myself and not be judged.  Overall, though this still isn’t too terrible for the price to give you a few more options.

Palette Wars: Urban Decay vs. Tarte

Palette Wars: Urban Decay vs. Tarte

*Sigh*  I hate to go here, but there is a clear winner when it comes to eyeshadow palettes in my makeup arsenal.  I know… you guys probably think you already have it figured out.  Well, after trying and TRYING to love a certain cult favorite eyeshadow palette, I just can’t do it.  Urban Decay, you are not for me.  Could it be the particular palettes I happen to have?  Maybe. I took a chance on Tarte and it paid off.  Big time.

Over the holidays I purchased Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, and Naked 3.  My typical daily look consisted of primarily matte shades from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette.  They are very pigmented, complemented my skin tone, and were great for a daily look.  I’ve always wanted to branch out and try bolder colors and since Urban Decay Naked palettes seem to be everywhere, I assumed this was a great place to start.  UD Naked Smoky was the first palette I purchased during the holiday season.  I was so excited to open the palette, was pumped to find a small tutorial insert in the package, and quickly went to work after ripping the package apart.  Unfortunately I had to send the palette back after realizing one of the shades was misspelled (read about the epic fail here).  After going through the tutorial, I quickly decided the smoky eye is not for me.  For some reason, no matter what brushes I use it looks like I grabbed charcoal and smeared it all over my eyes.  Could be my fair skin, could be my eye shape, I could just be an epic fail at eyeshadow application, who knows… all I know is it doesn’t work for me.

Next, I purchased the UD Naked Heat palette.  Well, just like I couldn’t rock the smoky colors, the “heat” colors made me look like I had pink eye or a serious lack of sleep.  Not exactly attractive.

Enter UD Naked 3.  Ok… this one got a little better, but there were still more cool tones in this palette.  There are some pink and purple toned shades, but they’re on the cooler side.  The entire reason I love my Naked 2 Basics palette is that it is full of warm colors that compliment my fair skin so well.  Urban Decay Naked 3 = Fail #3.

Right about the time I purchased the Naked Heat palette I decided to take a chance on another palette.  This was really more of a “collection” than a palette.  I kept seeing ads from Sephora and Ulta for Tarte’s Pineapple of My Eye Collector’s Set.

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Photo Credit: Sephora

Well, I felt like I couldn’t justify a giant set like this.  It didn’t all fit in the container (organizational me couldn’t deal…), I don’t need green eyeshadow (I’m not a 5-year-old playing with Barbie makeup, guys…), and… it’s expensive.  Of course the interwebs had to read my mind and suggest a different collector’s set that DID fit in the packaging, still had an adorable little pineapple (stand tall, wear a crown, people) and sequined packaging, and it was, wait for it… ON SALE!  Done and done.

 

 

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Photo Credit: Ulta

 

What I love about the Sweet Escape Collector’s Set is… everything.  Literally everything.  I decided on this set because of the awesome packaging and  now have found my favorite liquid eyeliner, blush, and SEVERAL eye makeup looks that I never would’ve attempted before.

I’m typically a matte eyeshadow type of girl, but this set has changed my mind.  The shimmer shades are so pigmented and so full coverage that very little goes such a long way and looks great on.  The blush colors are awesome-a great pink and a more rose option, and a bronzer and highlighter to complete the look.  I’m now completely in love with the liquid eyeliner (I don’t do liquid eyeliner… I have to do my makeup with midgets yelling for me in the background, people).  I ordered this set directly from Tarte when they had a 25% off sale during the holidays.  Since ordering this set Tarte has mailed 20% off coupons.  I will definitely be purchasing another Tarte shadow palette using their coupons.

So, for pigmentation, value, ease of use, and packaging… Tarte wins.  Sorry Urban Decay, but I’m just not that impressed.  I purchased an entire set of all of these shades of shadow, blushes, bronzers, mascara, eyeliner, and lip color for less than the price of an Urban Decay palette.  Maybe I’ve just purchased the gimicky palettes and will feel differently with a full palette from the Naked line.  For now, I’m not forking over the $54 to find out.

Fake Naked Palette From Sephora?!

Fake Naked Palette From Sephora?!

After years of wanting to see what the hype of Urban Decay Naked palettes was all about, I could never bring myself to purchase one for full price.  Honestly, I always wear the same boring neutral shades of shadow and I wasn’t about to shell out over $50 for an eyeshadow palette.  Do you know how many diapers that can buy?  Oh, right… back to the palettes.  I finally bit the bullet when I found the Naked Smoky palette which had been previously discontinued for half price.  Do I ever wear a smoky eye?  Nope.  Was I going to buy it?  Yep.  Girl logic.

I was so excited to finally get my palette in the mail, tore open the packaging, and opened the prettiest box of makeup I had ever seen.  The packaging didn’t disappoint and there was a helpful tutorial inside the box.  Score!  Perfect for a smoky eye newbie like me.  I whipped out the little tutorial card and went to work.  Added the shade Password and moved on to the shimmery dark gray shade of Armor.  Wait… Armop?  What the heck is Armop?  Seriously?  Now, even though this is my first Urban Decay palette I KNOW shades should not be misspelled.  That is a perfect sign of a dupe.  Did Sephora ship a dupe?!  Ugh.  You. Are. Kidding.  The color also didn’t seem to be terribly pigmented.  So, I packed up the palette and called all local Sephoras.  They weren’t even aware that Urban Decay had brought the palette back at half price.  An email to Sephora customer service was in order.

 

To my surprise they responded in less than 24 hours and told me they would send a new palette out as soon as possible.  I received a follow-up email after the new palette had been shipped instructing me to ship the defective palette back to Sephora.  New palette arrived, I shipped the old one back, and my problem was solved.

I still can’t help but wonder if Sephora shipped a lot of these misspelled palettes.  Did they somehow receive a bad shipment?  Let me know if you happened to receive a misspelled palette!

Give Me Lip: A Few of My Favorite Lip Products

Give Me Lip: A Few of My Favorite Lip Products

Winter is a horrible time to try new matte lipsticks, but… here I am, testing every brand and color ever produced.  I’m always up for a challenge, so why not?  I also figured if I’m going to review some new matte lipsticks I’ve tried, I might as well throw a few of my favorite lip crayons and a gloss or two in while I’m at it.  Since I’m doing the near impossible feat of wearing matte lipsticks in the dry winter months, I’ll also provide a few tricks I’ve found to keep my lips from looking like dried little raisins.  You’re welcome.  Pucker up and enjoy!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

img_5919This one is a bit of a mixed review.  NYX is the first TRUE matte lipstick I tried and although I guess I liked the formula (I really didn’t have it on long enough to give it a fair shot), the colors I chose couldn’t have been more terrible for my complexion.  Seriously.  Absolutely horrible.  All I see are nude matte lips.  Well, let me tell you, this is not a look for this girl whose skin hasn’t seen the sun in quite some time.  Sadly, it went into the drawer and I went back to my trusty stand-by lip crayons (they’re way more forgiving around the lip line anyway…).

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

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You guys.  These are AMAZING.  Every color in this set is perfection (which is hard to do with my skin tone), the consistency of the actual lipstick is great, and it stays all. day. long.  No joke.  I applied it at 6:30 am and took it off with micellar water that night at 8:45 pm and it still liked great before I removed it.  I bought this set on Amazon as a set of minis so I could avoid my previous failure of a nude NYX set.  I couldn’t be happier with these and now the only down side is that I want every single one of them in a full size.  The good news?  Amazon carries them! Woohoo!

Lip Crayons

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I use several different kinds of lip crayons.  They’re so forgiving when applying, give you a hint of color or a lot (depending on how you apply), and aren’t overly harsh on your lips in dry months.  My go to that I carry every day is a Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest.  It goes with pretty much any look.

I also love Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Sticks in Fresh Papaya and Pink Grapefruit.  I never would have tried either of these colors, but of course Ulta got me… like always.  Free samples.  Sure… the samples may have been free, but now I’m hooked!  These go on smoothly, are moisturizing, and give a great matte finish.

And last, but definitely not least, another Ulta sample.  Their very own Matte Lip Crayon in Soiree.  These are great.  In fact, I might like this lip crayon better than any of the others I use.  I receive a lot of compliments, it has great pigment, and overall the color goes with anything.  I also find these lip crayons are much more reasonably priced.

Lip Glosses

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I have to give a shout out to a few glosses.  It’s only fair… I’m a 90s child.  I glossed with the best of them back then and I’m not ashamed.  My current favorites are… you guessed it!  Ulta samples.  Darn you, Ulta, you sneaky little jerk.  I love NYX Butter Gloss in Peach Cobbler and BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Plumping Gloss in Rebel.  These two colors couldn’t be more different and I love them both!  BareMinerals is my favorite because of its cooling mint and plumping as well as the great shade.  I do believe it is now discontinued, but Ulta still caries it online… for now.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm

img_5918No lip collection would be complete without a tinted balm and no one does it better than Burt.  You have moisture, color… what more could you ask for?!

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 10.40.24 PMThe secret to great looking matte lips is to… well, not have dry lips.  Unfortunately for me winter zaps my skin.  I always use my trusty Burt’s Bees, but this winter I’ve needed a little extra help.  Enter the exfoliator.  No, not the terminator, but that could be handy sometimes I guess. Yes, I know I could get all Pinterest-y and make my own lip scrub, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

e.l.f makes a lip exfoliator that is in a convenient lipstick tube.  Rock on, matte lipstick wearers.  This is the holy grail of matte lipstick tricks.  This stuff works and is… wait for it… THREE DOLLARS.  Yes.  Three American dollars.  Holla!!!!!  Go get you some, girl!

Urban Decay Naked Palettes More Than Half Off? Yes way!

Urban Decay Naked Palettes More Than Half Off? Yes way!

Sound the alarm!!!!!  Urban Decay Naked Smoky and Heat palettes are 50% off!  Actually, Naked Smoky is LESS than 50% off right now.  Get them while they’re still in stock!  You can only get them online, but what a deal-two for the price of one.  Naked Heat is only available online at Ulta for two days and Naked Smoky is available online at Sephora while supplies last.

Amazon Fire Kids 7” Tablet Regularly $147.93 for $49.99!

Amazon Fire Kids 7” Tablet Regularly $147.93 for $49.99!

Thanks to a friend of mine, I came across her Facebook post asking parents for recommendations on tablets. I immediately thought, “Nah… our son doesn’t need a tablet. He uses my iPad. That continually runs out of space. Ok… maybe a tablet is a good idea.” So, I read down the feed and parent after parent suggested the Amazon Fire Kids. They said it was durable, easy to use, you can set time limits, and most said it was affordable. Ok, sounds alright. Then my friend posted a link stating that you can get one for $49.99 shipped from HSN. Hmmm… surely they can’t give a better deal than Amazon, right? Wrong! The same tablet is $99 on Amazon.

After reviewing the tablet it sounds like a decent buy. There is a 2 year guarantee from Amazon, a very durable case, and you can add pretty much any app. There are also parental and time controls available.

I checked out the website and the deals listed and the $49.99 (code 187109) is after a $20 code using MasterPass. Well, I’m not signing up for MasterPass, BUT there is a $10 off coupon code for new HSN users. So, $59.99 shipped (code 10NEW) is still a great deal. I’ll post a review when the tablet gets here. This will be a great Christmas gift!

Want a New Keurig K-Cafe for $121.91? Here’s How!

Want a New Keurig K-Cafe for $121.91? Here’s How!

k cafeI saw a commercial for the new Keurig K-Cafe the other night and decided I HAD to have one.  I mean, it would SAVE me money, right?  Lattes, cappuccinos, you can stick the milk steamer in the dishwasher, and you can use NORMAL K-cups?!  SOLD.  So, naturally I whipped out the old Google only to find out they’re normally $199.99.  Well, to be honest, I didn’t think that was too terrible of a price, but the thrifty side of me said no way… I can do better.

Well, I headed on over to Amazon (per my usual deal finding routine) and their deal wasn’t terrible-$179.99 for the system itself or $199.98 for the system in addition to a 24-pack K-cup sampler.  Ok, cool, but still not good enough for me.

I asked my sister-in-law if she had seen them and being a coffee-holic like me I knew she’d have to have one, too.  She sent me a text back and said “they’re $219 at Kohl’s!” and I thought, “Dang, Kohl’s… you usually have great deals! What gives?!”.  Then, it hit me.  Well, it took a while… it hit me at 3 am, but it hit me.  Kohl’s currently has 30% off online.  Free store pickup.  I’m sure there is also a miscellaneous $10 off for some reason or other.  Are they doing Kohl’s cash right now?!  Does RetailMeNot have a rebate?!  The possibilities are endless!!!!  So, here’s the breakdown:

RetailMeNot

Sign up for a RetailMeNot account if you don’t already have one.  They typically have rebates on all major retailers for some purchase or another.  Yes, even Amazon!  When you sign up with your account, look up Kohl’s on their website to activate their $10 cash back on $110 or more online purchase option.  I’ve had great luck with these cash back deals lately.  I redeem mine via PayPal.  They deposit it right into your account so you can use it on a future online purchase or you can choose to have it direct deposited to your bank account.  Sweet.  Deal.  Next, head on over to Kohl’s.

Kohl’s Deals

Now you’re ready to pile on the savings in your Kohl’s cart.  Add the Keurig K-Cafe to your cart.  Next, apply these deals:

  • APPLE30 -30% off your purchase with a Kohl’s charge
  • NOVHOME10-$10 off home purchase of $50 or more
  • Select store pickup to receive an extra $5 in Kohl’s cash
  • You’ll receive $10 in Kohl’s cash for every $50 spent, so you’ll receive $20 in Kohl’s cash

Alright.  There you have it.  Your grand total will be $156.91, $10 cash back rebate from RetailMeNot, and $25 in Kohl’s cash for a grand total of $121.91.  You’re. Welcome.  Now, if only all of my good ideas would come at a time more convenient than 3 am… I’ll work on it.  Go make yourself a latte!

Update!

Looks like Kohl’s has some competition with Best Buy! Best Buy now has this machine with a bonus of 24 k-cups for $179.99 and a $30 Best Buy gift card with purchase. Score! Either way, you can’t lose. By the way… I’m pretty sure if I had bought as many lattes as I have already made with this thing from Starbucks it would have paid for the machine 😉

I Tried a Few More Pricey Skincare Brands So You Don’t Have To!

I Tried a Few More Pricey Skincare Brands So You Don’t Have To!

I have tried it all.  I mean ALL.  I had flawless skin my entire childhood and nearly through my teens.  I started having acne problems around the time I became a sophomore in college.  Great.  I think I would rather I had suffered from acne in my teens than in college.  Nothing I tried worked.  I went from dermatologist to dermatologist and nothing worked.  Some things worked for a bit, most things dried my skin out like crazy, and others made my skin even oilier.  I wouldn’t say I have oily skin and I wouldn’t say it’s dry either.  I tried diet changes, I tried not wearing makeup, I tried wearing more makeup, I took every over the counter cream, every oral antibiotic, and even… Accutane.  Accutane, guys.  You know, the medication that has too many lawsuits against it to count?  Sure, it promises that if you take it for a few months you’ll never experience acne again.  That worked for a hot minute, then bam.  Back to my normal breakouts.

I had given up all hope and just tried random face washes and topical creams suggested by friends to no avail.  I switched makeup brands now and then and just accepted my fate.  After having kids my skin is all over the place, so every now and then I try different products to see if a miracle will happen.  Here are my reviews of the Dermalogica MediBac and Rodan + Fields Unblemish lines.

Dermalogica MediBac

Dermalogica

Expensive?  You bet.  I sprung for the kit and bought it at Ulta without a discount ($40 and usually a free gift is given online).  I shopped around a bit and found that the full trial kit is about the same no matter where it is purchased.

It is typical to wait a period of 4-6 weeks to determine if a product is working on adult (30-something) skin.  I used the products for around 2 1/2 months or so.  Here are some things I liked about this system:

Pros

  • My skin felt extremely clean after cleansing-very smooth, not oily, but it didn’t seem excessively dry as it does with some other systems.
  • This system uses salicylic acid, so it won’t stain clothes or towels (oh, the horror of benzoyl peroxide…).
  • It is targeted toward adult acne.  Unlike most systems, this is formulated for ADULTS.  Adults get… wrinkles.  Other systems don’t really take that into consideration.  This system does.
  • I liked that this had a night clearing lotion as well as a lotion formulated for day.  The night clearing lotion was targeted toward fighting acne while the day seemed more important to keep my skin moisturized.
  • There weren’t a million steps-just wash, put on a lotion.  It did come with a mask that they suggest using every few days, which I did like.  It was the first mask that I felt actually did anything for my skin.  It felt smoother, my pores felt smaller, and my skin didn’t feel completely dried out like it can sometimes.

 Cons

  • Price.  Each tiny bottle of this stuff runs around $50.  I did however manage to purchase from Target online at a discount (thanks, gift cards from diaper purchases!!!) as well as a discounted price from Nordstrom thanks to Nordstrom Note rewards.
  • The moisturizer doesn’t contain an SPF.  I felt this was rather odd since this system targets adult acne problems.  Most adult systems contain an SPF moisturizer to combat and prevent signs of aging.
  • It didn’t eliminate the core problem I was having: acne.  The system began strong, so I purchased full versions of each item in the system (ouch… that was a mistake).  This was so disappointing when my acne started to return after around 8-9 weeks.
  • It didn’t seem to reduce old acne marks or redness, which was a major reason I purchased an adult acne kit.  For some reason I now have more red pigmentation in my cheeks than I used to.  This product seemed to increase this problem.

Overall this system made my skin feel great, but it didn’t fix the problem: acne.  It seemed to for a while, but then kind of went in reverse, which is what always seems to happen.  After purchasing each pricey item, it all quit working.  Talk about disappointing.  Reluctantly, I moved on to Rodan + Fields.

Rodan + Fields Unblemish

RF

Ugggghhhhh… you guys.  Believe me when I say I did NOT want to have to resort to this.  Why?  I want to walk into a store (ok… really I want to just go on Amazon, but you get the point…), grab whatever product I need, and go, WHEN and WHERE I choose.  So, naturally, I went to Amazon.  Alright, Amazon is charging $190-something for this crap.  NEXT!

Ebay.  Ebay!  I forgot about Ebay! Found the entire kit brand new, sealed and in its original sealed box for $125-woo hoo! Yeah… I know, that’s a discount… insane, huh?

My Unblemish Routine

I modified the Unblemish routine a bit for various reasons.  First of all, the system says to use it once a day until you know how it will affect your skin.  I have a fairly greasy T-zone, but the rest of my face tends to dry out very, very easily (especially in the winter months).  I figured I might be sticking to the once-a-day instructions for this system since benzoyl peroxide can be very drying for skin.

Using the system once daily seemed to work nicely with some dryness, so that’s what I went with.  Here is the routine I’ve been using for the past few months:

Morning

In the morning I wash my face with Cetaphil daily cleanser.  This is a mild cleanser and I figure since I’m not wearing makeup at night it is sufficient to eliminate any oil my face has produced overnight.

cetaphil

Next I apply the Unblemish system’s Step 4 moisturizer with SPF 20.  This moisturizer is very light and helps to repel harmful UV rays while keeping your face matte.  Overall it is a pretty good moisturizer, but I wish they provided the kit with a larger size, especially since all of the other products in the system are significantly larger.

eye creamI follow the moisturizer with an anti-aging eye cream because, well, aging.  I love this moisturizer I found on Amazon.  It has amazing reviews and seems to be helping keep any signs of aging far away.

Night

micellarI use almost the full Unblemish line nightly.  First, I remove any makeup I’ve been wearing that day with Garnier Micellar water.  This product definitely won’t remove any stubborn waterproof makeup, but I’ve found it useful to help get any daily makeup off before washing my face.

Next, I wash my face with the Unblemish Step 1 sulfur wash for at least one minute.  I’ve read that the longer you leave a sulfur product on your face, the better the results.  A full minute is about as patient as I get, which probably isn’t a good thing.

After the sulfur wash, I apply the Step 2 toner.  This is basically like any other toner and I apply it with a cotton round.

Next, the Unblemish Step 3 is a dual pump with what seems to be a benzoyl peroxide product that you mix with a moisturizer.  Since this step contains a moisturizer and I won’t need an SPF product at night I omit the Unblemish Step 4 from my nightly routine.

Lastly, I finish with the anti-aging eye cream that I also use in my morning routine.

Pros

  • My skin feels much smoother and seems to have a more even skin tone.
  • My acne seemed to decrease around my forehead area.  However, I did seem to start getting breakouts on my upper neck, but it resolved itself within a few days when before any breakouts I had would last for at least a week.
  • Because the products are so expensive I FORCED myself to be extremely consistent.  This has also seemed to help my skin improve.
  • I love the convenience of just having a few different steps to the system that are very consistent.
  • I was able to make the product last much longer than the 60 day claim (score for my wallet!) because I only used the system at night and the moisturizer in the morning.
  • It seemed to diminish any fine lines I was beginning to get, which was a very unexpected benefit.

Cons

  • Consultants.  I repeat, CONSULTANTS.  If you love being a consultant and love your product, awesome-you do you, boo boo, but count me out.  I don’t want to have to go through a consultant EVERY DANG TIME I have to order something.  I’m I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that mean, man? Now I got the song stuck in your head, didn’t I?  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, climb out from under your rock… here you go… you’re welcome.
  • This stuff is EXPENSIVE.  I mean insanely expensive.
  • The sulfur wash smells.  Horribly.  It makes your face smell like a stink bomb kids used to break in class in elementary school.
  • Benzoyl peroxide stains (bleaches) clothing, towels, and pillowcases.  BUT… I actually haven’t noticed it staining anything, which is odd.
  • It does dry my skin out a little, but moisturizers work fine to combat a little dryness.  We’ll see how I hold up through the dry winter months.  My guess is I’ll need a little more help in the moisturizing department.
  • The one component I was looking forward to the most was a TINY trial size.  Yep… the moisturizer with SPF was tiny.  I guess I could always purchase a similar moisturizer, but if I’m going to commit to something I would like to be consistent and use all of the products, since I’m guessing they work together best.  On the bright side I have found that you can purchase Step 4 on eBay and there seem to be fairly good prices whenever I check.

Final Verdict…

As much as I hate to admit it, I think the Rodan + Fields Unblemish system is the ultimate winner.  I started the system in August and it is now November and I’m still not out of product, which is fantastic.  I do only use the products at night, so I know this has contributed to the longevity of the system.  My skin has never felt smoother or more primed for makeup application without being flaky, oily, or uneven.  It hasn’t completely eliminated my acne, but at this point I’m not expecting any product or system to do so.  I think it’s probably a mixture of genetics, a hectic lifestyle, and stress all rolled into one.  I think these products overall control major breakouts and make the best of acne marked and aging skin.  For now I’m sticking with the Unblemish system and will be finding ways of purchasing the kit from eBay or Amazon.  Yes, I know… I’ve heard all of the horror stories about why I shouldn’t purchase beauty products from such places, but I’m taking my chances.  The first kit I purchased from eBay was sealed in the box, not expired or close to expiration, and was the real deal, so I’ll take my chances.  Hope my honest reviews helped you choose what to purchase so you don’t have to waste money to find something that works great for your needs!

Are Amazon Deals Always a Great Bargain?

Are Amazon Deals Always a Great Bargain?

Amazon and I are practically besties.  They have everything, I mean EVERYTHING, are usually competitive in their pricing, anything ordered shows up at your doorstep typically in 3-5 days (at least), and their customer service is top notch. So, are those “deals” really good deals?  For the most part I’ve had great success with Amazon.  If their prices aren’t cheaper than most retailers they’re at least close to brick and mortar prices.  There’s also the added benefit of not spending time and gas going to said store, which to me is a win in and of itself.  I have purchased a large variety of things from Amazon from food to diapers and everything in between.  I’ll share a few odd things I’ve purchased from Amazon recently and why I chose to purchase them from Amazon over any other company or brick and mortar store.

Shapewear

shapewear1Yep… I know that’s really odd, but I have yet to find shapewear that meets my expectations.  I fell into the Facebook Shapermint ad trap.  Don’t do it.  Just. Don’t.  You will be so disappointed.  Instead, I found awesome shapewear that rolls very little, doesn’t impede breathing (kind of important…), looks great under clothing, and isn’t uncomfortable to wear all day every day.  Two kids make finding clothes that look cute but not lumpy difficult (those little boogers are lucky they’re freaking adorable because they did a number on my figure).  Ready for the price? $10.99.  No, that’s not a typo!  Probably the only negative for this shapewear is that it is made of a silky material that makes some clothing like pants or tights slide down, but that’s not a deal breaker for me.

shapewear2If the material is a deal breaker I do have a second type of shapewear that I also use from Amazon.  This is a little more expensive at $17.04, but it also does the job and is a great price for a name brand item (Maidenform).  This shapewear tends to be a little more restrictive, but works great.  It might tend to roll a little more than the first one mentioned, but it’s also great shapewear at a great price.

The key to great shapewear is fit.  Always review the size charts provided on Amazon.  Some of the sizing of shapewear is crazy, so make sure you take note of measurements before purchasing!

Lounge Bras

loungeHave you noticed a trend here?  I HATE shopping for shapewear and undergarments.  So, off to Amazon I go.  I previously had Jockey lounge bras and they were great, but didn’t wash well.  They became discolored after wearing darker clothing over them, became very pilled after wearing, and were extremely expensive considering they were only lounge bras.  I figured surely Amazon had a cheaper option and of course I was right!  Just like the Jockey version they have removable cups, they wash much better, and the price tag of $21.98 for four bras is incredible.  Definitely a great purchase!

Side Slit Cognac Booties

bootiesI’ve actually had great luck with shoes on Amazon.  The best advice I have for shoe buying (or any other wardrobe purchases) on Amazon is to read the customer reviews, the fit guide, and the fit section.  Purchasers are usually very truthful and helpful in providing fit feedback.  I also always view all photos uploaded by reviewers to see how the product actually looks on and if it seems of high quality in the submitted photos.

Back to the boots… I was searching for cognac or camel colored booties with the trendy side slit.  I looked everywhere (ok… everywhere online… kids, work… I don’t have time to get out much, people) and couldn’t find anything in a great color with the side slit.  Amazon had what I was looking for!  I don’t typically like paying much for trendy shoes, but I figured $32.99 wasn’t terrible for boots I would get a lot of wear out of, so I sprung for them and I’m glad I did!  They’re no the most insulated or comfortable boots, but they’re great to complete an outfit.  They don’t have a very high heel, which makes them even more comfortable.

Kodiak Muffins

muffinsYes, muffins.  Muffins you can make in the microwave with only water in one minute.  Need I say more?  You can find these guys (in addition to Kodiak flapjacks in a cup, pancake, flapjacks, and muffin mix) in local grocery stores like Kroger and Meijer, but this particular variety is cheaper on Amazon AND it comes right to your door. Sold.

We love these things so much that we should actually be paid for endorsements.  My husband and I make them at work and everyone comes to the kitchen to ask what in the world we’re making because it smells so good.  These muffins are amazing!

Car Seat Protectors

seat protectorsCar seats and gym going takes a toll on my car seats and I hate seat covers, so I figured there had to be a better alternative than old towels that wouldn’t stay on my car seats.  Seat protectors to the rescue!  These have been great for protecting the seat from kiddie feet climbing in and out of the car, car seat indentations, and sweaty gym sessions.  This particular style isn’t currently available, but there are plenty of other options to choose from.

Batteries

batteriesAmazon batteries are a great deal.  They’re so much cheaper than name brand batteries, they last about as long as name brand batteries, and it’s easy to keep them stocked up when toy batteries die every 5 minutes (not that that ever happens at our house or anything…).

 

iPhone and iPad Cases

I typically don’t switch phone cases all that often.  I find one that’s very protective (kids…) and just stick with it until it looks like it’s been through a world war then search for a replacement.  I’ve found that cell phone cases are always cheaper on Amazon, even for name brands like LifeProof and OtterBox.  Of course, you also have to have the fun waterfall cases, because… glitter.

So, there you have it.  Some recent things I’ve found on Amazon that were great deals that I’ve found extremely useful.  I’ll let you know what else I find!