March Favorites ♡

by Joyce in

I can't believe we're already a week into April and I've finally gotten around to sharing my March favorites. And this month, I even have a few makeup favorites to share, including a few I was quite surprised to like! 

Take a peek at the video to hear about my March favorites and let me know what products you were loving! 

Products Mentioned:
Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid
African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil (review)
Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Color in Antique Pink
Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Liner in Basic Black
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium
Extra Watermelon Gum
Bunny iPhone Case

Makeup Worn: 
Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation
Clinique Super Fine Liner for Brows in Soft Brown
Nars Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
Nars Narsissist Eyeshadow Palette
Nars Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium
Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Color in Antique Pink

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Another Lip Balm to Love: Osmia Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair

by Joyce in

Is there a rehab for lip balm addicts? Cause I really think I need to go... Although, given the never ending terrible dryness of my lips, a lip balm addiction is probably appropriate, lol!

*PR Sample

Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair Review

This winter, I've been relying heavily on my trusty La Mer and the newly released Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (review). While I have my concerns about both of those lip balms (La Mer being too pricey and Bite having horrid packaging) I really have no complaints about Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair*.

At $22 a jar, I find this little pot of goodness to be much more wallet friendly than my La Mer. Break the surface of the balm and really warm it with your finger - I didn't do this at first, but it really makes a difference when it comes to the texture and ease of application. Scent wise, I find it to be slightly sweet with a bit of something. (I think Larie determined it to be the scent of lanolin, which is an ingredient.)  

On my lips, I like that it doesn't have a ton of shine and isn't totally slippy. It also feels light to wear, so I imagine that it could wear well underneath many lip products. (For whatever reason, I have not tried that at all.) It wasn't a miracle on my lips like the La Mer Lip Balm was, but that's no reason not to give this balm a try. 

Have you tried Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair? Are you as much of a lip balm addict as I am? I'd love to know! :)

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Skincare Mini Loves

by Joyce in

I seem to be overflowing with deluxe samples (#storyofmylife) and I've been trying to use as many as possible these last few months. Skincare, haircare, makeup, you name it. I'm going to use up all those darn minis! 

In any event, I really wanted to share a few that I've been loving lately. I suspect a few of them will even make it to the repurchases pile! 

boscia tsubaki beauty oil review, african botanics neroli infused marula oil review, dr jart ceramidin liquid review

*PR Sample, Affiliate Links

Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil, $46 for 1.7 oz
I've never paid much attention to Boscia, but I'm really appreciating the quality of their products and affordable price point. I love how this oil keeps my skin feeling hydrated despite the cold weather we've had this winter. It is lightly scented and absorbs super quickly so I can layer it with moisturizer or makeup. I've been eyeing their Cleansing Oil-Gel from the same line - have you tried it? 

African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil*, $85 for 2 oz
I love neroli, and I've been dying to get my hands on this ever since I slathered some of this on at Space NK last May. I find this to be even more hydrating on my skin than the regular version, which I've seriously been obsessed with all winter. It is meant to hydrate, combat redness, and protect against the elements, and I really feel like it has done just that! 

Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid, $39 for 5oz
I have mixed feelings about this product - while I love the light, liquidy texture and over feel of the product, I'm not so sure it works for me. I have been experiencing very minor rash-like reactions to something, and I suspect it is this but can't say for certain. Who knows, it could just be the weather or something else all together. In any event, this "liquid" is quite an affordable serum that definitely helps with hydration. 

I am definitely considering purchasing both the Bosica Tsubaki Oil and African Botanics Neroli Oil - but, I will be restrained and wait till I've emptied more products. I won't be purchasing Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid (or the accompanying Ceramidin Cream that I don't have much to say about), but that is really because I am testing out a similar product from Asian brand Hada Labo that I like better! 

All in all, I'm pretty happy with how these products turned out. Have you tried any great samples or minis lately? I'd love to know! :)

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March Empties

by Joyce in

So I seem to be slowly trailing off on my empties, but I still managed to finish 3 full size products. Yay! 

I finally finished the bottle of Sponge Ladi Avokanto Oil that Gummy gifted me almost a year ago. (And I think she gifted it to me when it was only half full? Sheesh, I take my time.) One of the first oils I tried last year, I quite liked it in the beginning! This past winter though, I found it did not sink into my skin as well as African Botanics Marula Oil or Boscia Tsubaki Oil, and as a result left my skin feeling a bit parched. As I have other oils I want to try and ones to use up, I don't plan to repurchase this. 

I also liked the Sai Sei Mineral Bath Crystals (review), which were quite nice to use. I won't be repurchasing, as the jar is a bit pricey and I want to try other, less expensive options to see how different they are! And in terms of that big jar of coconut oil, I definitely plan to get another! 

On the sample front, there were a number of them that I liked. Most surprisingly, I loved the Korres Fig Showergel, a deluxe sample that I've had around for ages and ages. I also LOVE the scent of the Aesop Moroccan Neroli Aftershave. I'm contemplating picking up Bumble & Bumble Surf Shampoo and Jack Black Turbo Wash at some point in the future once as well. 

All in all, I still think this was an OK month for empties, don't you? What have you finished this month? Did you repurchase anything? I'd love to know! :)

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March Recap

by Joyce in

March seriously flew by! I don't know about you, but this gross winter weather is really leaving me in a state of general blah-ness. Hopefully this is the last time I have to say that, as I hope the weather improves and stays that way! :) 

I mentioned at the end of February that I started up a figure skating class - it has been fun, and some of my old skills are (slowly) returning. And it is worth noting that while I may be lucky to possess a fast metabolism and a large appetite, I have absolutely no core strength remaining. Lol. So, I'm working on that too. Contemplating taking a Pure Barre class - have you tried it? 

A few snaps from Instagram! :)

A few snaps from Instagram! :)

Posts This Month: The Repurchases // Beauty Musings // A Collection of Mini Lipsticks // Lush Perfumes // An Introduction to Lipstick Queen // Classic Cleansers from Clarins & Origins // Lush Celestial Moisturizer // Nars Matte Multiple in Altai // February Favorites

Products I Loved: I do have some favorites to share this month, and I don't want to reveal them all, but one of those that top my list is Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder. It has been on my list for nearly 2 years and I always went back and forth on it, but I realize now that I should have bit the bullet and gotten it! I was also happily surprised by a sample of Bumble & Bumble Surf Shampoo, so that may end up in my basket during the Sephora sale coming up. 

Product Disappointments: I didn't care for quite a few samples of shampoo, including Bumble & Bumble's Gentle and Thickening versions. Not much else disappointed me this month though. Woohoo! 

Beauty Purchases: I'm trying to stay restrained, but my one big purchase this month was the NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm quite excited to! Oh, and I picked up a few interesting things from the Japanese market that I plan to post about soon. 

Added to the Wishlist: Not much, surprisingly. How did that happen? I talked about my "almost" wishlist here, though. 

So, what have you been up to this month? Any highlights? I'd love to know!

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The Repurchases

by Joyce in

I’m a girl who is always checking the “New Arrivals” section of my favorite shopping sites. Yes, for a few years, I even knew the day and time every week that Sephora updated their new arrivals page…

In any event, you might imagine that by the time I make it to the end of a product, my attention will have already moved on. I love reading about what other people repurchase, so I thought I would share the few items I’ve repurchased over the last year or so and would continue to repurchase for the foreseeable future. 

The Skincare Favorites
If you've been a long time reader, you probably have heard me talk about Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water (review) and Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (review). You've probably also heard about my love for First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (review), which is a perfect multipurpose hydrating cream that I love for hands and body. 

The Hair Basics
I don't talk about hair very much, but I've kind of been loving Living Proof Thickening Cream. It just keeps my hair looking smooth and voluminous - whether I manage to blow dry it or not! On the dry shampoo front, I've been a fan of Oscar Blandi Invisible Dry Shampoo, which absorbs oil without the fuss of powder and keeps my hair looking normal if I oversleep... 

Are you surprised at how few items I’ve repurchased lately? I’m on a (never-ending) quest to minimize my stash, so there hasn’t really been much need to repurchase much. It isn’t as if I finish makeup! (Sad.) 

I won’t end this post without mentioning two products that I anticipate buying again sometime this year - Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve and Nars Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eye Base. I ventured off to try some new hand creams and use up some sample tubes, but this is such a great everyday hand cream that is (relatively) affordable too. And luckily for me, I somehow ended up with a few sample size tubes of the Nars base that i’ve been working through the last 2 (!!) years. I just opened my last sample tube last month, and hopefully that will last a while.

So, what’s made it to your repurchase list lately? Do you finish and repurchase a lot of products? I’d love to know! 

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Beauty Musings

by Joyce in

I don't know about you, but winter is really getting to me. I've just been exhausted! And exhaustion over here means I've been quiet about sharing some of the things on my radar lately. 

Loving these new goodies from African Botanics!

Loving these new goodies from African Botanics!

My hair is seriously getting long... 

My hair is seriously getting long... 

Products I'm Testing
African Botanics recently released some new items that I'm enjoying so far. Cleansing Mask and Cleansing Oil? I'm in! Check out my reviews of other African Botanics products here. I also need to test out quite a lot of products I've been buying over the last few months. I think there's stuff I bought in November that I haven't even tried yet. Oops!

Beauty Reads 
This past week, I have been obsessing over the site Violet Grey. A digital magazine and curated beauty shop, the site is just gorgeous.  Another read that has me asking myself what I've been missing is Andie's Techno Cupcake - I've been trying to keep up with her blog these past few weeks and dying over her Tom Ford and Armani acquisitions and foray into natural skincare.

Oh, and this weekend I've been watching Sali Hughes interview iconic makeup artist Mary Greenwell. If you're into beauty chats, this two part video will give you nearly an hour of entertainment! 

Help Wanted
It seems as if I have legitimate beauty product needs. Usually, I'd say I don't actually need another skincare item/ neutral eyeshadow / magenta-ish lipstick, but these two categories are not overflowing with products... Yet.

I don't know what it is, but my skin has been absolutely awful so far this year. I'm curious to try some other blemish treatments just to see what's out there, and I'm especially interested in what can make those scars heal faster. Also, since my hair is getting longer, I'm digging through my stash of shampoo samples hoping to find a nice option to keep my hair looking nice and fuss free. 

Obsessing Over Brushes
I think I have quite a healthy (read: excessive) stash of brushes, but lately I just feel like I don't have the right ones for eyes. For the most part, my brushes are from midrange department store lines or Sephora, and I have a good number of Real Techniques as well. I've been quite curious about some Tom Ford brushes lately but the prices are scary. And I definitely have been thinking about Hakuhodo... and I'm wondering, am I totally missing out by not having a MAC eyeshadow brush? Any thoughts, recommendations or enabling/disabling is appreciated. :)

Almost On the Wishlist
While I'm always adding things to my wishlist, I've had a lot of "maybe" products land on that list lately. I never thought I'd be interested in Bare Minerals, but I've always read great reviews on the Ready Eyeshadows and I'm suddenly curious. When it comes to the Nars Contour Blush, I'm sure I'll rush out and grab one, but so far I'm safe. I want to see them in person first, and really I don't need another contour product.

I've also been eyeing Fresh Creme Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask, a pricey item that has been on the market for a few months and just recently landed on Bumble & Bumble has suddenly caught my eye too, and I'm curious about the new Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster. Yup, all products I really don't need but suddenly find very interesting!

Affiliate Links 

So, what have you been up to lately?? Have you been testing any new products? (Hopefully not waiting forever like I do?) Do you have any awesome new blog discoveries I should check out? Are you surprised by the new releases and products you've added to your wishlist? Anyways, I want to hear all about what you've been up to!

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A Collection of Mini Lipsticks

by Joyce in

I was doing a little organizing a few weeks ago, and I discovered I had quite a cute little stash of mini lipsticks. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have discovered I have quite a talent for collecting far too many makeup minis in a short period of time... 

And I definitely can't decide if that is a good or bad thing. In any event, read on to hear about more about my mini lipstick collection!

The Everyday Favorites
I have been a bit in love with Bite Beauty lipsticks, and this stash of shades has been fun to play with. I've been quite impressed with the smooth and creamy formula and range of gorgeous shades. If you have dry lips, I would definitely recommend taking a look at these moisturizing lipsticks. 

The Designer Picks
I always love looking at Dior Addict in Lucky, and I've been holding onto the Rouge Dior in 999. For whatever reason, I don't wear these often, but I just love having them in there.  Actually, I'm not even sure I've opened the Rouge Dior, the Givenchy Le Rouge in Brun Createur, or the Armani Rouge CC in 400

The Midrange Selections
Also in my collection are a few fun choices from Sephora that I haven't worn much but have no general complaints about the formula - Stila Color Balm in Vivienne and Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Catfight. Then there's probably the oldest of the bunch, both of which may be discontinued by now, Benefit Lady's Choice and Laura Mercier Duchess Rose. 

... Oh, I just realized that I have a few Burberry lipstick minis too that I haven't included, as they live in my Burberry drawer. And in the interest of full disclosure, there are definitely minis of other lip products (gloss, etc) hanging around... 

So my lesson today is... stop buying lipstick! I'm not sure I've even finished a mini lipstick and quite a few of these have been waiting months for some love. Perhaps I need to commit to using them this spring?

What about you - have you been finding mini lipsticks everywhere like I have? Or are you actually using them up, unlike me? ;)

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Lush Perfumes: Imogen Rose, Orange Blossom & B Scent

by Joyce in

In my obsession with Lush Cosmetics shower and bath products, I always forget that they have plenty of other goodies in their collection. Last fall, I decided that I had to explore their skincare and perfumes, and Lush kindly sent me a small collection of travel friendly perfumes! 

In general, I found that these perfumes need a few minutes to develop into their real scents. I love how they come in a variety of sizes so you can have as much or as little perfume as you want - $15.95 for this .3oz travel size or a sample vial .07oz for $1.95! Or, if you really love a scent, you can grab an ounce for $42.95. 

*PR Sample

lush imogen rose perfume review, lush orange blossom perfume review

Imogen Rose is intended to be the purest of roses. On my skin, it is a mix of rose and powder, being very powder at first and developing into something more floral after an hour or so. I love that it doesn't smell like your typical rose scent, but it is a bit too powdery for my preferences. 
Main notes: Rose absolute, orris root, vetivert, tonka, and bergamot.

Orange Blossom is a scent I always want to try - this one is quite fresh, actually. Initially, it is a bit soapy and reminds me of classic Lush bath product scents. Then, as the fragrance develops on my skin, the neroli emerges. I've always been a fan of neroli, and after an hour or so on the skin, Lush Orange Blossom starts to remind me of Tom Ford Neroli Portofino. My nose is not that good, but for me, it is a passable replacement for Neroli Portofino given that it is much more affordable. Yay! Lush’s website says it was originally made for a candle, and I think I would actually love that! 
Main notes: Orange blossom, neroli, rosewood, ylang ylang, sandalwood and beeswax.

lush b scent review

B Scent is my favorite of the bunch, being quite citrusy at first and mellowing out with the sandalwood and rose. I didn't expect to like citrus mixed with lavender and fennel, but I'm quite impressed by the unique combination of notes. I can't explain it at all! 
Main notes: Lemon, bergamot, fennel, lavender, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood and musk.

All in all, I enjoyed experiencing these Lush perfumes. I've also reviewed a few solid perfumes here and I believe some of those scents come in spray form as well. Have you tried any perfumes from Lush? Do any of these sound interesting to you? I'd love to know! 

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An Introduction to Lipstick Queen: Sinner Lipsticks in Pinky Nude & Red

by Joyce in

Lipstick Queen is a brand I've read so much about and always wanted to try. So, you can imagine my excitement when I received Lipstick Queen Sinner Lipstick in Pinky Nude as part of a Space NK gift with purchase last fall, and Red* as a press sample from Space NK shortly after! 

Sinner is a lipstick formula meant to be full coverage, with about 90% opaque pigment. I love that the formula is not drying on me and fragrance free. There's quite a variety of shades too, and I'm quite curious to try the Medieval and Endless Summer formulas. 

Anyways, on to the lipsticks! :)

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Pinky Nude review

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Pinky Nude is quite appropriately named. It may just be the perfect pinky nude, actually - not too pink or too pale on my skintone. This lasts a few hours on me (about 2-3) and appears to fade evenly. I love the shade and the non-drying formula!

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Red review

*PR Sample

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Red* is such a gorgeous color, but for whatever reason, I found the formula to be a bit waxy in texture. It has a bit of slip as well, and for me I found it moved a lot while I was eating. As a very low maintenance gal who likes to eat a lot without thinking about her lipstick, that was a bit of a dealbreaker for me. Unfortunate, as the color is so gorgeous! I passed the color on to a friend, so I'm not sure if it was Fire Red or Scarlet Red... 

All in all, I was quite excited to try something from Lipstick Queen. I love Pinky Nude, and plan to check out the reds in one of the other formulas. I'm also curious to try the new Vesuvius Candy lip pen things. 

Have you tried anything by Lipstick Queen? If so, what are your favorites from the brand? If not, what are you lusting after? :)

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