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 24: Best of December Lifestyle

Blogmas - 2019

People, I just realized that I have not watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and I am just as shocked as you are. Here’s what happened, I got rid of most of my physical media last year and swapped to digital media. For some reason, I don’t own this movie though and don’t know how I overlooked this! It’s one of my absolute Christmas essentials, I’m purchasing it on Prime Video as we speak. I don’t think I have time to watch it today since I have places to be but tomorrow for sure. I was going to do one post for beauty and lifestyle but like I said, I’m on a time crunch – mostly because I slept past 8 this morning and it was glorious but I’m paying for it now. I wanted to quickly share what I’ve been loving in lifestyle this month!

The first item is this oversized sweater robe from Stars Above, a new pajama brand at Target. I purchased a grey one and this blush pink one (and another pink one since they went on sale), I have been wearing them non-stop. They are great for lounging around the house, I am a big nightgown person during the winter and they add just enough warmth if I’m up and about in my pajamas. Also though, I wear them out of the house too since they just look like super cozy cardigans. A little pricey but really awesome and so soft. The cats really like them too, as soon as a laid this out, Neptune came over – you can see her little cat butt 😉

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She’s mad that I scooted her out of the shot, that is her pillow – plus an additional two other pillows that are hers on my bed. No other cats are allowed on the bed, even though there is plenty of room and she can’t lay on three pillows at once.

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If you are a runner and like to get out in the winter, which I do since I actually run better when it’s cold – you have to have Yaktrax for your running shoes. They are like snow chains for your shoes and help you run on ice and snow without biffing it. Now, you can’t like sprint across the ice but they do help a lot with stability. They slip on over your shoe, I don’t really feel them through my show – maybe over the toe box but not enough to change my stride. I purchased these on Amazon, they run around $15 and last a good while.

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I don’t like headphones, I have weirdly small ear holes and in the winter I get terrible eczema patches in them so I really can’t have anything in them over them. I cannot justify spending too much on something that I can hardly use, I recently found these Purity Wireless Headphones on Amazon and I don’t hate them which, is about all you will ever get from me when talking about headphones. They fit in my ear tight enough to stay in but not so tight that they rub on the eczema since they are also kinda smooshy. I use them for about 1-2 hours each day and only charge them overnight once a week. They weren’t crazy expensive and seem to be holding up well – if you need some solid wireless headphones but don’t want to spend a fortune and have finicky ear holes, check these out!

Finally, I have owned this little beauty for like three days but I love it. The Echo Dot is amazing, it has added just enough background noise to my home and I already ordered another one for my living room. You can listen to books, music, podcasts, newscasts – pretty much everything. The speaker quality is fantastic, it sets alarms, has a sleep timer, whisper mode – I know that most everyone probably already owns one of these devices but if not – get one. Plus, it’s so small and cute.

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That’s it, I will post my beauty picks tomorrow – let me know what you’ve been loving this month. I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve, I cannot believe that it is here already.

Blogmas Day 21: Best Television Christmas Specials

Blogmas - 2019

Have you ever heard that jazzy, doowop mash-up version of What Christmas Means to Me with the bitching harmonica solo? Literally my favorite Christmas song but until this evening, I thought that it was a woman singing – it isn’t, it’s Stevie Wonder and I’m shocked. I might love it even more now but am I the only the thought it was a lady singing, let me know…

I’m just waiting on a couple of gifts to be delivered and I am officially done gift shopping. I like to stay up really late and listen to holiday music or watch old television Christmas specials while wrapping. I did a wrapping paper and gift bag shop yesterday, now I just need to queue up my favorite shows/songs.

Sugar Addiction *

The Conners decorate their home for the holidays, after receiving a note from their neighborhood association asking that the decor be removed – they retaliate with even more lights and over the top decor. I grew up in a very white trash community, this episode resonates with me on so many levels.

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Sugar Addiction *

Just about everyone is having a miserable holiday and regales their woes to a masseuse that Frasier has treated the household to as a holiday treat. Daphne and Martin are in a quarrel as Daphne though the old guy was dying on account of his mysterious visits to church. Frasier spills the beans about Roz’s pregnancy to her unwitting mother and Niles is just Niles.

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Sugar Addiction *

I know that most everyone’s favorite holiday episode is Benihana Christmas but I think that episode is just tragic. In this one, Phyllis blackmails Angela into allowing her to throw a really bizarre Moroccan themed office party. Meredith lights herself on fire while belly dancing and gets hauled to detox and Angela’s tryst with Dwight comes to light.

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Even the crypt keeper gets into the holiday spirit with this kitschy slasher episode. After offing her husband to cash in on his insurance policy, a disgruntled housewife falls victim to a serial killing Santa.

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Sugar Addiction *

George thinks he’s scored the best Christmas gift for Elaine when he finds a cashmere sweater on clear out. He soon finds out that it is stained with a small red dot, he seduces the cleaning lady and gifts her the sweater. Jerry accidentally servers Elaine’s alcoholic boyfriend booze and it’s all around a bizarrely hilarious episode.

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Sugar Addiction *

Have we talked about my love of Northern Exposure lately? Maurice meets his son he fathered while in the Marines and Joel sets out to find his first Christmas tree. It seems light on plot but it’s one of the most endearing episodes.

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Sugar Addiction *

Christmas is a rough time for Monk since it was his wife Trudy’s favorite time of year. He’s having a hard enough time when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and apparently guilty of shooting Santa.

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Sugar Addiction *

Springfield Elementary gets snowed in, Homer and Flanders are tasked with rescuing the kids before the students drive Principal Skinner completely insane.

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There are so many good Christmas specials but this will at least get you started 🙂 Are you done shopping or do you like the chaos of last minute shopping 😉 I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season, thanks for reading!

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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 need 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 😉

Amilya Regular

The Starry Eyes to Hypnotise 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.

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Amilya Regular

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.

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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!

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Amilya Regular

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 😀

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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 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 greasy  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 on  a little additional moisturizer  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 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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