Quarterly Empties | NO BUY Update

It’s the end of March, and I’ve decided to start doing my EMPTIES posts quarterly so that I will be able to show everything that I’m using up.  I’ve been on the NO BUY for a full three months now, and I am using up a lot- especially makeup!


When I start using a product, I stick to it until it’s gone.  I don’t switch to a different one until it’s empty.  The NO BUY is really helping me to get rid and use up all of my half empty containers.

I thought that being on the NO BUY would be difficult, but it’s actually not, at all!  Every time I see a picture of a new product or a review on something that looks good, I just remind myself “you have 20 blushes already, you don’t need that” or “you already have a perfectly good setting spray” and it really discourages me from wanting something new.  I feel like my collection is slowly shrinking, and it’s a good feeling to be able to use things up.  Ok, so onto my empties!

Let’s start off with hair products.

The first two things here are always in my empties posts!  The It’s A Ten Miracle Leave in Plus Keratin is my favorite- it does 10 beneficial things to your hair (heat protectant, detangles, conditions, repairs, etc.), and it smells amazing. This is actually the bottle from the girls’ bathroom, but I thought I’d include it here.  We have already repurchased it.  

Next is one of my favorite dry shampoos, the Garnier Volune Extend Dry Shampoo– this stuff volumizes, gets rid of oil, and makes my hair feel super clean and smell nice.  Already have a backup of this bad boy.

Lastly, a new product I’d been using- the Redken Pillow Proof Blowdry Express Primer Spray.  This is similar to my favorite Kenra Blowdry Spray– but I found this Redken one to be a bit drying on my hair, and although it did help with blowdry time, I like the scent of the Kenra one more, so I think I’ll stick to that from now on.

Here are some skincare things I’ve used up.

This Garnier Micellar Water is my staple, I always use this to remove my makeup, and it works like a charm!  I love how it doesn’t leave my skin greasy.  Love this and already repurchased.

Another staple- my daily Clinique Moisturizing Gel.  It’s not heavily fragranced, doesn’t break me out, and doesn’t feel greasy.  It sinks into my skin fast.  Already using my backup. 

Last skincare item here is my beloved Caudalie Beauty Elixir.  This is just a little travel size one.  I love the scent of this and I love how it makes my skin feel!  It’s a cooling toner and feels like you’re at the spa.  Love it!  I’ve got a big one in my bathroom.

And lastly, makeup.  Look how much I’ve gone through!

I’ve used up a few primers- the Benefit Porefessional is one I’ve been working on using up for awhile!  This is a huge tube and you only need a tiny bit.  It fills in pores and helps foundation to just glide right on.  Next is the MAC Strobe Cream, which is an illuminating type primer that adds a lovely glow and moisture to the skin.  Love this under makeup.  I would repurchase both.

Two foundations I’ve used up are the ItCosmetics CC Cream and the Bare Minerals Original Foundation.  These are pretty much my two favorite foundations!  The CC Cream has SPF 50, its lightweight, and I love the perfect coverage it gives.  The Bare Minerals is my everyday foundation that I brush on super quickly every morning for a light even coverage that gives a nice finish.  I will repurchase both!

I’ve used up a beauty sponge ( I’m trying to only keep these for 3 months before I throw them away), and this one is my favorite.  It’s the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.  I love the flat side for applying my foundation and the pointy side for concealer.  I have 4 backups in my drawer. Haha.

Next, a concealer I’ve used up is the Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer.  I wear the shade meringue under my eyes, and it covers my dark circles pretty well and keeps them hydrated.  I would repurchase this.

I’ve used up two mascaras, and both are some of my favorites.  The Bobbi Brown Smoky Lash Mascara is seriously one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used!  It lengthened like crazy and kept the volume all day.  This was a sample size, but I will definitely be purchasing the full size.  The other was Urban Decay’s Perversion, which is a longtime favorite.  This one also really adds volume and length, and it holds all day.  I already have two backups of this one in my drawer.

Lastly, I have used up two lip products.  The first, NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita is a true MLBB color.  It’s pretty sheer and adds really nice moisture.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase, just because there are so many cheaper options.  But this was a great lipstick.  The other was the Benefit Lollibalm.  This was a sheer pinky-purple color, and gave a lot of shine.  I probably would not repurchase this just because it didn’t add much color- it was like a tinted chapstick- and was pretty pricey.

That’s it for my empties!!!  

xx

EAT | Chicken Piccata

Hello!  Today I have a delicious recipe for you, a crispy chicken breast with a delicious and tangy lemon reduction.  You can pair this chicken with pretty much anything and serve; my favorite thing to go with it is pasta!

Here’s what you need: 

  • 4 thin chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Oil

Trim the fat off of your chicken breasts, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Set up a little assembly station for yourself, first your flour, then your egg, and then breadcrumbs.  Dip the chicken in the flour first, then coat with egg, and then dip into breadcrumbs.


Fry the chicken in oil.  I am using vegetable oil, but you can use whatever oil you prefer.


Flip, and fry until crispy and brown.


Drain on paper towels.


For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon slices and parsley for garnish 

Melt one tbsp of butter in your pan.

Add lemon juice and wine, and bring to a boil.

Add remaining butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with lemon and parsley.

Ta-Da!  A delicious dinner is served.

Enjoy! xx

BEST Self Tanners | Tips for a Perfect Tan

Self tanning is something that is definitely necessary for me in the warmer months.  I am pretty fair skinned, and even though I am outside with my girls a lot, I still like to use a little bit of self tanner when it’s time to start wearing summer clothes and bathing suits!


Today I’m going to be sharing a few tips for you if you’re new to self-tanners-  and all of these products are super easy to use, aren’t orange, and won’t give you streaks!

PREP

Before you plan on applying your tanner, you want to make sure to exfoliate your skin pretty well.  Exfoliating will help the tanning product to go on smoothly and even, and it won’t cling onto any dry dead skin.  I always like to take a shower and exfoliate and shave my legs really good before tanning.

After you’re all exfoliated, take any body moisturizer, and apply it to knees, ankles, and elbows.  These spots tend to accumulate tanning product, so you want to make sure and keep them smooth so the product doesn’t build up.

This is optional, but ALL SELF TANNERS go on better with a mitt.  Get a mitt.  It will prevent streaking, and it will help you blend the product.  You can purchase these here, or they even come with the Fake Bake products.  I also use a latex glove underneath my mitt to help it to not slide off my hand.


TIME TO TAN

Ok, so now that you’re all ready, I’m going to show you the different types of tanners that work the best.

This is the Vita Liberata Ten Minute Tan.  This is a gel consistency product that you apply to your skin, leave on for 10-20 minutes, and are actually able to rinse off, towel dry, and get dressed.  The tan develops 6-8 hours later.  


This is a great option- it comes out as dark brown gel, so it has a nice color guide to show you where exactly you’re applying it.  Buff it in with a mitt quickly, and wait about 20 minutes before rinsing.  This will give you a nice even tan, and you don’t have to feel sticky or smell like self tanner all day.

The next product here is Fake Bake Flawless (the original).  If you’ve been reading awhile, you probably know that this is my fave.  This is a liquid spray product that sprays out as a dark brown so you can see where you’re applying.  I spray this product directly onto the mitt, and then work the mitt in circular motions to blend.  Leave it on for about 6-8 hours before showering.  I’ve got a full review on this one here.

Amazon has the best price for this product, and it comes with a mitt and gloves.

Next I have a mousse formula.  This is Tanwise Dark Bronzing Sunless Mousse.  This product comes out as an extremely dark foam, and is super easy to blend.  Don’t be afraid when you look instantly really dark, most of that color will wash off.


I apply this one like the others, pump some onto a mitt and buff into the skin.  Leave on for 6-8 hours and wash off.  

Lastly, is this Tanwise Face Gel.  I use this gel to add a little bit of color to my face, so it matches the rest of my body.  You can use a regular product for this, but I really like this gel.

I apply a tiny amount of this with my fingers all over my face and blend it in really well.  It instantly gives a bronzed glow, and the full color develops like the others, in 6-8 hours.  This really just subtly evens out my complexion.

TIPS:

All of these self tanning products will rub off onto clothing or sheets… but in my experience, it has always washed right out.  So, be aware of that.  Don’t freak if your white sheets are brown in the morning!

All of these products have that “self tanner smell”, and I have yet to find a product that doesn’t. (And I’ve tried everything!)  If this smell bothers you, I would recommend going for the Ten Minute Tan, because it only smells until you rinse it off.  Also, I prefer to apply my tan at night, sleep, and then wake up and wash it off.  It is a little bit of extra work because I have to wash my sheets too, but I do not like feeling sticky and smelling like self tanner.

Another helpful tip is that you do not want to get any water on your skin while a tanning product is on you.  This is very hard, especially when you have to give children their baths at the end of the day, (again, why I like to do mine right before bed).  The water will make your tan run and it will leave a streak on you.  It happened to me.

If you’re a beginner and self tanners kind of scare you or seem like too much trouble, don’t be afraid, and they really aren’t a lot of trouble.  Have someone help you if you need it, like getting your back, and just take your time to blend.  These products are really user and beginner friendly!  It just takes practice.

Hope this was helpful, and thanks for reading!

xx

5 Spring BEAUTY Staples

Spring is officially here!  It is finally sunny and beautiful outside here in Texas, and I am so excited for spring.  Today I am sharing some fun spring inspired beauty products that are definitely must haves for warmer weather!


Bronzer is essential.

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil is one of my favorite bronzing powders- it’s matte, and just the perfect light brown color to bronze up my face.  (This comes in 3 colors, btw) I apply this all over the perimeter of my face and inside my cheekbones.  It instantly adds warmth and liveliness to my face.  I can’t do my makeup without bronzer!

Bright nail polish – a pretty coral nail just SCREAMS spring to me.  This color is so pretty, and looks good on both toes and fingers!  Essie Cute As A Button.


A PINK LIP!  – a pink glossy lip is my favorite lately, and even better for spring!  It adds that juicy and pretty look to the lips.  This color, Bed of Roses by Dior,  has a frosty finish to it and is so gorg. 

For my hair, this Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray is a must have for me in the warmer months.  I love beachy waves, and this spray makes them look so nice, not crunchy, and it smells like the beach!  Just apply to wet hair, scrunch, and blow dry on low.  You’ll get the texture, without the crunch or gel-look.

A champagne colored highlight is so key for spring!  This one called Lunch Money by Colourpop is so good for warmer months.  It’s a no-fuss cream that you can just apply to your cheekbones with your finger for that glowy goddess look.  LOVE!

What do you love for spring?

xx 

Have We Been Washing Our Hair Wrong? | TRESemme Reverse System Review 

Hello!  Today I have a review for you on a fairly new hair care system that has launched.  I had seen this in stores and magazines, but was hesitant to try it out.  My best friend April mentioned to me that she wanted to try it out, so we decided to both try it and see how it worked.  We were both SO EXCITED and immediately bought it.

This is the TRESemme Reverse Hair Care System.


I was hesitant to try it out because you are supposed to condition first, and then shampoo.  My immediate thoughts were that the shampoo would just wash out the conditioner and leave my hair super dry.  

I purchased these from my local Wal-Mart for $4.94 apiece.  They also have them on Amazon here.  Step 1 is the Pre-wash Conditioner, which comes in a 16.5 oz bottle with a pump, and then Step 2 is the Shampoo, which is a 25 oz bottle.  We couldn’t quite figure out why the bottles were different sizes, maybe because you use more of the shampoo?  Even so, they are great prices for the amount of product you get.

So, first off, I love the pump on the conditioner!  I wish the shampoo had one.  Also, the smell of these products is classic TRESemme.  Smells so good and reminds me of when I was younger and used the brand all the time.

TRESemme says that using conditioner after shampooing can weigh hair down, and using it first before shampooing can still leave hair soft and silky without that weighed down feeling.



The directions say to start off with the Step 1 Pre Wash Conditioner, and apply 2-3 pumps throughout hair, and leave on for one minute.  I applied about 4 pumps of this to my hair, because I have long, thick hair, and 2-3 didn’t feel like enough.  I only applied from my ears down (like any other conditioner), waited one minute, and then rinsed.  I was worried at first because the conditioner has a thin consistency to it, and frankly, doesn’t feel that special.  After I rinsed it though, my hair felt SUPER soft and silky.



Next I applied Step 2, the shampoo.  I applied a generous amount (almost a palmful) to my hair, and it lathered quickly and was very sudsy.  It felt like any other shampoo until I RINSED.  It felt like I had just applied conditioner, but still felt very clean.

After I got out, I dried my hair, and I noticed that my hair came out very straight with this.  Usually I have a bit of wave to my hair, but this totally left it sleek and straight after drying.  April said it left hers very sleek too, and she noticed less frizz on a humid day.

So, bottom line is, April and I both love this system.  We LOVE the smell, and I noticed that the smell lingers throughout the day, which is so nice.   We both love how silky and soft our hair comes out with this.

I would recommend trying this out if you are looking for a new shampoo/conditioner!

Thanks for reading! xx