Best of December: Beauty

Monthly Favorites

For the new year I think I am going to try a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule which, is why this post is a few days later than I had planned. In past years, I have taken Blogmas right up to the 31st but was a bit burnt out on holiday posts and called it quits on Christmas this year. I cannot believe that Christmas has come and gone, yet again – I also cannot believe that New Year’s Eve is tomorrow already! I remember the week between Christmas and my birthday seeming like it was months away, now it’s already upon us. The weather has been incredibly horrendous, we had rain on Friday that turned into an ice storm on Saturday then more rain and now about 4 inches of snow. I don’t mind the snow but the ice I can do without. I think it will be here for awhile though since temperatures are supposed to plummet this week. I have this whole week off still but was already looking to see when the next federal holiday was because…I’m tired. In fact, I’ve had two people comment on the fact that I look tired recently and I’m like bitch, this is just my face at this point. Anyway, I had quite a few beauty favorites this month and here they are!

There was a time when I exclusively used Bare Minerals products but I couldn’t tell you what they’ve released over the last decade or so. I stopped wearing mineral foundation but when I decided to switch back to it, I was surprised at all of the new complexion products they had to offer. I decided to try their new stick foundation instead and am really glad I did, it’s a very light formula for a stick foundation with just the right amount of coverage. It claims to be hydrating and it does feel really good on the skin but it’s also long wearing. They really nailed it with this product although, I am miffed that they convinced everyone that liquid foundation was poison and then are selling that shit back to us. Well played.

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Next is a total impulse purchase that I snagged while in the Bare Minerals section. In my defense, it was in a two pack and it was 40% off. Their Lashtopia Mineral-Based Mascara is pretty awesome, it is volumizing and a deep matte black. It plumps up my lashes but leaves them so soft and natural(ish) looking. I also like how it washes off, this is the only mascara that I’ve tried that actually comes off with just micellar water. I really like it, I’m glad I snagged two tubes.

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I’m back on the Buxom Full-On Lip Creams but I’ve always loved these. I don’t know how plumping they are but I like the minty scent, my go-to shades have been a mix of Hot Toddy and Brandi.

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I have two new skincare items that have been helping me battle the winter flakiness and redness. I hadn’t tried tula until I stopped in ULTA one day when a rep was there handing out samples and doing demos. tula is a clean beauty line, cruelty free, made in the USA and packed with probiotics. I have been using their glycol toner and gel-cream along with my regular skincare and they are both great. The toner is mild enough to use everyday and has helped to clear up some of my most stubborn dry patches. The gel-cream is similar to an emulsion or serum and adds an additional layer of hydration that my skin has been needing. I am looking forward to checking out more of the brand when I use up my other skincare products.

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This next one is a beauty tool really, I dermaplane at home but this is something that I’ve been using to touch up areas when in between full dermaplaning. The Flawless Touch does really well at removing unwanted peach fuzz and stray eyebrow hairs without irritating the skin. I am curious to know how long a single head lasts, I have been using this well over a month and it seems to still be plenty sharp.

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I usually steer clear of the holiday scented lotions and body products because most of them are gross but Hempz did an awesome job with this Pumpkin Spice & Vanilla Chai scent. It’s sweet and spicy, I only picked up a couple of the small bottles because it’s pretty potent and I can’t imagine that I will wear it all year round.

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My last pick is this tinted brow gel from Colourpop that I picked up when I ran out of my Glossier Boy Brow. This gel is less than half the cost and honestly, just as good. I like natural looking brows, this gel shapes them up just enough and adds enough to tint to look polished.

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That’s most everything that I’ve been loving this month – what products have you been loving? Let me know if you have tried any of these!

Blogmas Day 18: My Actual Wish List

Blogmas - 2019

I have been racking my brain for the perfect gift for one of those people who already has everything and is also pretty picky about the things that they own. The thing is, if a person already has everything then they don’t needย anything and why am I wasting my time and energy on trying to find a gift for them. I am this person, I have most everything that I need but also, I don’t expect anyone to buy me gifts. In fact, I am terrible at receiving them – it stresses me out. This person in my life would do everyone a favor if they could be more like me and tell people to not get them anything. Now, I gift myself shit all of the time because it’s much less awkward. Here’s what I want for Christmas besides a cleaning service ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Theย Starry Eyes to Hypnotiseย palette is this year’s holiday palette and I cannot believe that it hasn’t sold out yet because it’s so much more appealing than last year’s holiday palette. I don’t love all of her eyeshadow palettes, I don’t think that the quality is the same sometimes, I am hoping that this one isn’t a dud.

CT Palette

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I need a gym bag, I keep stuffing all of my clothes into my handbag which is working well enough but I don’t love putting the sweaty clothes back in there. This looks like a solid gym bag without being too huge.

Gym Bag

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These are by far my favorite gym shoe, the soles aren’t too grippy so you aren’t squeaking all over the place but so comfortable. I don’t think that they are terribly spendy at bout $40 a pair and they come in tons of colors so you can look all cute and coordinated. I just have a plain black pair now, the toe box will tear out if you have that problem which is my only complaint.

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I need new pots and pans like yesterday – the ones that I have are probably 15 years old most of the teflon is torn or peeling off in areas. I’ve had a good run with them but I think it’s time to move on. Unfortunately, most of them are so worn that I don’t think that I will be able to donate them. I want a Greenlife set because they are non-stick without the teflon and look at this pretty pink set!

Greenlife

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So, what I really want is a television to sit on my kitchen counter but apparently, these aren’t in fashion anymore. I could get a small monitor but that isn’t the same, I figure that I can hook my phone up to this device and still watch stuff while I am doing things around the apartment. I don’t own a television so I watch everything on my phone which works but I’ve dropped it, spilled stuff on it and generally just treated it poorly ๐Ÿ˜€

Echo

Amilya Regular

If you have not tried an Instant Pot, I definitely recommend. I love the taste of slow cooked meals but sometimes I don’t plan ahead, Instant Pot makes your food taste deliciously slow cooked but in a fraction of the time. I was gifted a hand me down but look at this teal one.

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I think that’s it, although, I did see some really cute sweater dresses at Target the other day. I just hate shopping for clothes, nothing ever fits the way you think it’s going to. Maybe I will get some new lounge wear since I’m planning on doing a lot of lounging in the coming weeks. What are you wishing for this year? Are you a better gift giver or receiver, let me know and thanks for reading!

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Blogmas Day 12: Winter Manicure

Blogmas - 2019

That isn’t very wintery at all despite my best efforts. I had not planned to get my nails done last night but spinning was cancelled because of the weather, apparently. I still don’t understand why it was cancelled because it was just cold outside, the snow wasn’t supposed to hit until this morning. Which it did, which led to 150 crashes across the state of Minnesota.ย People.ย Anyway, so I call the nail salon to ask if my gal could take an appointment and she said to come in. Well, I think we got our signals crossed because I assumed that I was scheduling an appointment but clearly I was a walk-in which was fine since I hadn’t planned ahead. I sat there reading magazines for about half an hour, then it took almost another hour to get my nails done because she kept getting interrupted and was doing that thing where she was doing two clients at once. I felt bad because had she just said she was busy, I would have come in on another night. I picked navy but clearly this is purple, it’s a dark purple so I guess it looks wintery. I almost asked for something else but I had already been there for almost 2 hours and just couldn’t. I dunno, I feel like the nail swatches are never totally accurate. I like the sparkles, I think I will try again in a few weeks and do a grey. That was a whole lotta’ complaining to show off my new manicure ๐Ÿ˜›

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Anyway, I’m hitting the gym tonight because that seems overall less stressful ๐Ÿ˜›

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Blogmas Day 8: Winter Skincare Night Routine

Blogmas - 2019

I’ve used a lot of different skincare in my lifetime, loads of brands at varying price points and I find myself less interested in splurging on the next big thing and more interested in finding a simple routine that works. I have dry, sensitive, acne prone skin so it’s tricky to find products that work for me. I’ve recently changed my routine up and have experienced some improvement.

For the first step in my double cleanse, I have been using the Garnier Micellar Water for wateproof makeup. You can’t see it very well in this photo but a portion of the liquid is oil which removes makeup really well and doesn’t dry out my skin. I recommend the value size because it’s way better value and less plastic waste. I wish brands would find another material, I hate how much plastic there is in my bathroom.

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Currently, I am using up three cleansers all from CeraVe. The Foaming Facial Cleanser is leftover from this summer when my skin runs a little oilier. I really like this cleanser, it is formulated for normal to oily skin and is fairly gentle. The cleanser that I use during the winter though is the Hydrating Cleanser for normal to dry skin, I really like the texture as it feels like I’m washing my face with lotion and it actually leaves my skin feeling hydrated. I have been exfoliating every other night with the Renewing SA Cleanser which says it is just for normal skin but since I don’t use it every night, it doesn’t bother my skin and helps with keeping it clear and smooth. Then I tend to use a facial oil followed by plain ‘ol moisturizing lotion. I like this lotion because it goes on thin, absorbs without any greasyย  feeling and doesn’t pill if I feel like I need additional layers.

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I also wanted to mention this nifty little silicone tool by Conair that I picked up when my skin was feeling especially congested. It has three different textures and two speeds, I use this on nights when I’m not using the exfoliating wash but want a deep clean. I wouldn’t use it every night if you have dry or sensitive skin but 2’ish times a week works for my skin. Also, not pictured, I found these knock-off makeup eraser cleansing cloths at ULTA recently and they work like a charm. I use them with cleanser but have really noticed a difference in how quickly and thoroughly my makeup comes off.

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I haven’t found an eye cream that doesn’t clog the pores around my eyes, I just pat onย  a little additional moisturizerย  instead. I am currently taking a break from retinol because I was experiencing quite a lot of irritation from the one that I had been using. I hope to work it back into my routine soon though since I get such good results from it. Currently, this routine is working for me but it’s been a rocky start to winter so far! Let me know if you have any winter skin holy grails, I’m always on the hunt for great products and thanks for reading!

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Blogmas Day 7: What I Actually Want for Christmas

Blogmas - 2019

I’m not big into presents, I never know what I want, I feel guilty asking for stuff and I usually just purchase gifts for myself. I miss being a kid when Barbies, craft supplies and books were the only things I was wishing for. Now that I am in my 30’s and mostly don’t believe in Santa, my wants have changed and here’s what I’m wishing for this year.

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My place is always pretty clean but I’d really like a maid service to come in and deep clean everything especially all of the things that I hate cleaning like the windows and the oven. I want my bathrooms bleached from top to bottom and turned sparkling white, seriously, best gift ever.

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Who enjoys having to pay for gas? I don’t get why people give cards to stores that I like because I don’t mind spending money at those stores, I don’t want to spend money on gas.

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If I never had to grocery shop or cook ever again, it would be too soon. Can someone just cook my meals for me? Is that so much to ask?

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I really do still love receiving books as gifts, used only please. Paying for my Audible membership would be even better ๐Ÿ˜›

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This goes with the maid thing, I am fairly organized but I’d really enjoy someone coming in and organizing my life.

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My skin has really been pissing me off lately, I’m sure that it’s just the change in weather but if it could knock it off, that would be great.

I would be delighted to receive any of these things, can you imagine? Sitting around, reading in my spotless apartment, eating food that I didn’t have to cook? It’s the little things ๐Ÿ˜› It seems like overall, society is shifting towards gifting experiences over stuff and I am totally on board with that. Let me know what’s on your list and thanks for reading.

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Blogmas Day 3: Winter Wonderland Tag

Blogmas - 2019

I’m so over Christmas carols already, it’s my own fault since I turned on the oldies station on Thanksgiving and haven’t turned it off since. I need some new carols in my life, and not that Michael Buble album. He has a lovely singing voice but I can’t with his Christmas carols. Adele should do a Christmas album but is that the end of career cash grab? I mean, don’t we all feel sorry for the pop stars who decide to release a holiday track (looking at you Wham!)? Maybe not Mariah Carey but Elton John…? Anyway, are you satisfied with the current carol offerings or do you want some new ones? We are doing a tag today because it wouldn’t be my blog without a good ol’ tag ๐Ÿ™‚

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The snow! I love snow, it makes the world so crisp and clean and quiet. I hate driving in the snow but I’m that person who will head out right after a storm when the roads are mostly clear but not clear enough for the city slickers and enjoy the mostly deserted city. I do get stressed out living in such a densely populated area, I much prefer cruising around small towns or country roads in the snow because there are less SUV driving jackasses. I love snowboarding, snowshoeing, running on snowy trails – I think you get the point.

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Definitely scarves, I think they work more as an accessory than a hat. A hat means business, I’m probably going to be outside for a prolonged period of time and don’t care what I look like. But a scarf can be dressed up or down while still serving a practical purpose. Also, I have a huge head and most hats squeeze my forehead which is stressful.

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Just one?! If I had to pick, it would definitely be Home Alone because it’s a classic. It’s one movie from my childhood that I distinctly recall watching with my family and it always puts me in a Christmas mood when I watch it. Hell, if I am feeling down or homesick in the dead of July I will put it on ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the house, the setting, the very plausible 90’s plot line – it’s just so good.

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Probably red or gold sparkle or both.

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I hate them all! None of them taste like they have an ounce of coffee, they are all sugar and syrup – yuck. Back in my early 20’s they had a drink that I really enjoyed but I don’t think they make it and I can’t recall what was in it. I like black coffee with a shot of cinnamon and splash of coconut whipped cream as my festive drink. The Starbucks holiday blend is very good too but I don’t care for their drinks also, they are all about 500 calories which is a whole freaking meal! Am I missing something? What’s your favorite drink?

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Burt’s Bees lip balm, it’s the only lip product that keeps the sides of my mouth from splitting. My snowflake coffee mug that makes all coffee taste 100 times better and I swear keeps it hotter. My black lounging cardigan that’s actually just a regular cardigan that I wore so often that the elbows wore out and I can’t wear it in public anymore. It’s so thin and worn and soft, I am going to be totally bummed when it just disintegrates ๐Ÿ˜€

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It’s actually a necessity and I’m just gonna have to suck it up and purchase one, I need a new Patagonia. I hate spending the cash, it’s not that they don’t make really good clothing but their coats are just so expensive and I only wear it for a few months. For my body type, it’s hard to find a coat that doesn’t make me look like a stuffed turkey but their coats are just so nicely cut and flattering. Anyway, it has to happen but maybe Santa will surprise me ๐Ÿ˜›

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Ugh, I can’t but if I had to choose one…no, I can’t.

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Nope – never do, never will. I did stop at Target for some potatoes but I don’t think that counts.

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Burt’s Bees Original lip balm for day time and the Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask at night. Can we talk about lip fillers though? I have these little lines that look like smoker lines but I’ve never smoked, they are from pursing my lips when I am reading or writing or driving – I don’t know why I do it but you know how your granny would tell you that if you made ugly faces that it would get stuck that way? Wrinkles, she was talking about wrinkles and she was right. So, I’ve been doing some research on lip filler and did you know that a risk of this procedure is that the filler can be injected into a blood vessel and your lip will literally fall off? If you know of any potent lip line products, let me know.

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Not really, I have a festive turtleneck that doesn’t really look that idiotic. I just can’t purchase something with such a specific purpose that I can only wear once a year and don’t actually need.

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Most every year and I cannot imagine living somewhere that doesn’t get snow.

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Champagne Toast, I think this is the first year that I won’t be purchasing one and it bums me out a little.

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Same as usual, snowboarding.

I hope you are having a beautiful day and if you do this tag, be sure to let me know!

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Blogmas Day 1: Winter Favorites

Blogmas - 2019

It’s snowing & blowing here in Minnesota, which is my favorite kind of winter day if I didn’t have to be to work in a couple of hours. It seems like the perfect day to kick off Blogmas, I’m only doing 24 days of posts as I am leaving on a snowboarding trip for the last two weeks of the year and I don’t think I would have time to blog. Anyway, today’s post is a handful of products that I’ve been enjoying lately.

Happy Wax Scented Soy Melts: I found these on Amazon and they have quite a few flavors. I’ve been melting the Spa Blend which is a medley of lavender, eucalyptus and cotton. It’s a clean scent, the melts are shaped like cute bears and the throw is decent. I melt way more than the recommended 1-2 pieces but I like my home scents potent and I’m sure 1-2 pieces would be just fine.

tgin Miracle Repair Leave in Conditioner: Winter arrived overnight along with dry hair, dry skin, chapped lips and all of those seasonal discomforts. My hair dresser recommended switching to a leave in conditioner for the winter and this one is really nice. It has a light, fresh scent and does a great job at keeping my hair healthy and soft. It also hasn’t broken my face or neck out which is an issue I experience with moisturizing hair products. This was around $10 at ULTA and it’s been worth every penny.

Acure Marula Oil: I think I’ve talked about how much I enjoy the Drunk Elephant marula oil before but at $80/ounce, I’m always on the hunt for a more affordable product. This one isn’t bad, it’s a bit lighter consistency than the DE version but still deeply moisturizing and repairing. This was another ULTA find and cost around $12, I also like this component more since it’s a pump and not a dropper. I think it’s a fantastic alternative to the DE oil.

Frank Body Peppermint Coffee Scrub: I’m not one to futz around in the bath or shower with body treatments but if you have dry, flaky skin and want a physical exfoliator that isn’t terribly abrasive, coffee is pretty awesome. Yeah, it’s a complete mess but it does the trick and this one smells amazing.

LUSH Cosmetics Karma Kream: Still my favorite body lotion, it smells heavenly with notes of sandalwood and citrus and the scent stays with you all day. It’s by far the best of all the body lotions.

Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask: If you want a lip mask that falls somewhere between Vaseline and a lip balm, this is it. It’s just enough to feel like a mask but not suffocating, Mamonde makes great skincare with simple ingredients and this is a winter lip savior.

Let me know what some of your winter must-have products are and if you are participating in Blogmas this year! Do you have any Christmas decorations up? Has it snowed where you are? I hope you enjoy these festive posts and I’m looking forward to reading yours!

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