Sunday, February 16, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Greetings, dear readers! It's that time again for the collection of posts from the Beauty Spotlight Team! This is a highlight reel of the past week. If any post catches your attention, please feel free to follow the link for more details!

Prime Beauty got her pretty Valentine's look with these 3 products from Merle Norman!

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show ends this weekend, and Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour gave KBShimmer’s newest black and white creme polishes some love while creating a look for it!

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has found three Top Pick Products for a Gorgeous Glow from Babor, Bodyography and Tata Harper! Hint: there is a luminous eye cream, a glowing serum and a glow stick, and they are all truly amazing!

Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom Blog decided to try her hand and ordered a Lucky Bag from Beautylish this time around. Head over to her blog to see what she got.

Spring is on the way and our thoughts are turning to lighter, softer makeup shades with a rich, nourishing formula. Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table has a couple of beautiful, spring perfect lippies to share with you. The Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 Lipsticks in Dancefloor Princess and JK Magic are waiting to delight your lips in the upcoming season.

It's no secret that Never Say Die Beauty has been truly enjoying her subscription to Ipsy Plus with its full size beauty products. Check out what she got in the Ipsy "Clean Slate" glam bag for January!

Calling all beauty lovers over to Beauty Info Zone to enter a giveaway that will bring a spring to your step.

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gem Show Ready Nails with KBShimmer

Greetings, dear readers! This is the last stretch of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, and I couldn't let the opportunity go by without a little nail art. Now that I'm back in Arizona, I'm hoping to go this weekend; I don't think I have the words to express how excited I am about it! I've not really said much about it on the blog, but I'm a rock nerd, and I look forward to this event every year. When we lived in Tucson several years ago, my husband and I would visit many of the individual  shows set up throughout town and definitely have our favorites. Now that I'm 100 miles away, I only go to the big event at the convention center. Maybe when the kids are older I'll just stay a night or two (if I can get a hotel room- they go FAST this time of year) so I can see even more of the shows.

What could be better for a gem show than gem-inspired nails? I have KBShimmer's new white and black cream polishes to try out (White Here White Now and Total Eclipse respectively), and I opted to give them some love along with other KBShimmer shades for my gemstone nails. I started out with White Here White Now for my base, so let's get a quick look at this polish by itself first.

Press Sample

White polishes are notorious for being difficult to apply. I often find them to be patchy and uneven, requiring multiple coats to get a relatively smooth working surface. I am happy to repot that was NOT the case with this baby! The application was surprisingly smooth and I was able to get full coverage with just a single coat without any extra fussing about!

Please pardon the photos as white polishes look a little harsh on my by themselves in the first place and then they really mess with my camera. White Here White Now is a stark white shade. The shade also uses KBShimmer's new curved fan brush, making it even easier to get your self-leveled manicure.

 I've also topped my nails with Free & Clear Quick Dry Top Coat for these photos.

Now let's get a look at my gem show-ready nails!

Jewel tones are my favorite, and I just had to include a few shades to create this look!

I used KBShimmer's Total Eclipse with a stamping plate from Born Pretty Store (direct link to L089) for the gems. I then filled them in with Under Cover, Vested Interest, and If You've Got It, Haunt It!, all by KBShimmer. These shades definitely gave me the sparkle I had in mind for this manicure! After topping it off with Free and & Clear Top Coat, I'm all set and ready to take in all the sparkly sights!

How has your week be going? Do you have special plans for Valentines Day tomorrow? My hubby doesn't like to celebrate, although I think we're going out for lunch.

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Royal & Langnickel Deluxe Mystery Box: Was It Worth It?

Ah, mystery boxes! Some people love them, some people loathe them, and then there are those that fall somewhere in between. I'm normally not one to purchase mystery boxes as I prefer the security of knowing exactly what my money is going to bring. While they may be a great way to get a far larger value than even sale purchases, it is always a gamble on what you will receive. Is it something I might already have (and not really need another)? Is it a product I've used before and severely disliked (check out the purge half of my Pan and Purge Challenge post to see some products that really failed me)? Or perhaps some products are acceptable but just not quite to my taste. I'm just not a gambler by nature, and after viewing reveal videos on YouTube and photos posted in Facebook groups of assorted mystery boxes, they aren't the type of thing to appeal to me. That being said, I did finally come across a mystery box that made me pull the trigger, or at least pull my credit card out of my wallet.

I love makeup, but my makeup collection has become rather sizable and I am working more towards destashing rather than adding to it (with a few exceptions here and there, of course). Instead, it was a makeup brush mystery box that piqued my interest. Last month, Royal & Langnickel advertised two mystery boxes: a Standard Box and a Deluxe Mystery Box. The Standard Box was $50 with a value of $200 while the Deluxe Box was $80 with a value of $315. I enjoy trying out makeup brushes, and while I certainly have favorites, I cannot say no to trying even more! Given that they take up less space AND more brushes at my disposal means I always have a clean brush handy, I knew I had to jump on this deal!

For this post, I want to share what came in my Deluxe Mystery Box. I have also added in the cost of each item and the price as marked on each item when the box arrived. Let's jump in and look closer at the contents of my box.

SILK Eyebrow Brush | BC490
It's always nice having a good eyebrow brush on hand, and this one is quite fine, giving you the ability to make very detailed lines. I have and use several eyebrow brushes already, but this is the first for me that doesn't have an added spoolie on the end. As much as I like having a spoolie, I think this brush will be great to draw in individual eyebrow hairs where I have some bare spots.

Suggested Price: $3.99
Listed Price: $2.79

SILK Super Eye Fluff | BC448
"Super" is correct as I find this brush to be rather large for the eyes, and wow, is it dense! If it were one or the other I could see myself getting some use out of it, but I don't think this brush is a good fit for me.

Suggested Price: $11.99
Listed Price: $8.39

SILK Large Round Foundation | BC206
I have a few foundation brushes, and while one is angled, I don't have any that are pointed. This brush will be fantastic to get foundation better pressed along the side of my nose and in my inner eye sockets by the bridge of my nose. It's an area that is tricky for me to do when I do eye makeup first, so this brush should be perfect for there. Hopefully I can get a good finish with it!

Suggested Price: $14.99
Listed Price: $10.49

SILK Synthetic Bronzer Brush | BC141
This brush baffles me as it's nothing like what I would use for a bronzer. It is much more like my flat top brushes I use for foundation application. The bristles are less firm so I'm not sure how it will work out for me, but I'm still going to give it a try.

Suggested Price: $11.99
Listed Price: $8.39

Master Pro Tapered Blender | BMP-150
Tapered brushes like this one are my favorite for eyeshadow application, and I am particularly eager to see how this one performs. It is a little thinner than some other in my collection; hopefully it gives me control over smaller areas when I want a little less blending out! This is something I look for when applying several colourful products to I don't get a muddied effect.

Suggested Price: $9.99
Listed Price: $6.99

Master Pro Blush Brush | BMP-142
While I haven't tried this brush yet, I don't have a favorable first impression of it. It is shaped like a paddle, making it quite thin and flat, not my preferred shape for my swirling technique. I could have ignored this and used a sweeping motion instead, but wow, is this brush coarse! This is not a sensation I enjoy rubbing on my face; I don't think I'm going to attempt to use this brush.

Suggested Price: $12.99
Listed Price: $9.09

MODA Pro Buffer Brush | BMX-180
I feel like I've had this brush before and got rid of it because I wasn't happy with it, and I cannot for the life of me remember why. That being said, my makeup application technique has changed, so I'm looking forward to using this and see how it performs. This brush is more along the shape I prefer for my bronzer and contouring, and I look forward to seeing how testing goes.

Suggested Price: $7.99
Listed Price: $7.99

MODA Pro Powder Brush | BMX-100
While I may have many duplicates and options for other types of brushes, I only have (until now) a single powder brush, and it recently walked off somewhere. I like to apply powder in my more oily-prone areas prior to applying makeup, a tip I got from Jordan Liberty, so this brush should suit my needs nicely.

Suggested Price: $9.99
Listed Price: for $9.99

MODA Rosè 4 Piece Face Perfecting Kit | MSEF-FPK3
I have never used paddle style brushes before, so this will be a first for me! I'm really curious if this will become my go-to style of brushes once I try these out or if I'll stick with my more traditional makeup brushes? I have mixed feeling about Moda's cutesy colours and styles with some of their brush lines (I'm all about the functionality!), but this one isn't too over the top for me and hope to enjoy these.

Suggested Price: $24.99
Listed Price: $24.99

MODA Rosè 5 Piece Complete Kit | MSET-RCK4
Another rosè kit? Unlike the previous rosè set, these are more traditional type brushes. The colour is a little more vibrant than this photo wants to show, but I like rose gold so I don't mind it. This is the only item Royal & Langnickel set that has a smudge brush, and I definitely could use another one of those! That said, I'm not sure that is enough for me to crack this set open to keep. I'm likely going to donate this set to my kid's school system as this is one of the gift items they like as an option for the pre-teen and teen girls.

Suggested Price: $19.99
Listed Price: $19.99

MODA Mythical 6 Piece Star Travel Kit | BMD-MSTSET6
As much as I have liked a lot of my MODA brushes and sets I have purchased, I will not be getting use out of this particular set. The brushes may work fine, but the colour scheme and unicorn horn handles are just too cutesy for me. Call me a grumpy old lady if you will, but at least this grumpy old lady will be making some young lady's day when she gets this set!

Suggested Price: $19.99
Listed Price: $19.99

Brush Essentials 6 Piece Travel Set | BTRAVEL-SL
After my unpleasant experience with the travel brush set by Borghese, I am both nervous and excited to try out this set! Thankfully this time I learned my lesson and will try these brushes at home first before taking them as my only brushes on vacation! Three of the brushes are double sided and the brushes are slightly bigger than my palm. Hopefully that doesn't make application problematic or too messy, but I am looking forward to finding out! The travel case is quite nice as well, and I like the added zipper area to toss in cotton rounds and Qtips I occasionally need when putting on my makeup.

Suggested Price: $19.99
Listed Price: $13.99

SILK Pro Limited Edition 11 Piece Brush Kit | BLE-PSET10
I'm guessing this set is supposed to be the "wow factor" from the Deluxe Mystery Box. I have to admit when I saw it in my box, I was not impressed. The roll itself feels like cheap plastic, and I was a little nervous when I first saw this set. Upon unrolling it, the brushes are nicer than the roll implies, although I have to test out their performance to make a final call yet. I do like that this set has a good brush variety that lends itself well for both face and eye makeup applications. I've looked at a few larger sets like this that were heavily biased towards one or the other, so I do appreciate a variety.

Suggested Price: $149.99
Listed Price: $74.99

Phew! We did it! We finished looking at the box contents!

Now I suppose the next logical question is: was it worth it?

Here is a final look at the totals for the box:

Suggested Price Total: $318.87
Listed Price Total: $218.07

I paid $80 for a box that was supposed to have a value of $315. Royal & Langnickel obviously places their value to match the suggested price, or what you would pay for each of these brushes and sets when they first became available for purchase. If I would have bought the exact same contents individually from Royal & Langnickel the day the box arrived (or today even; I just confirmed the prices then are still current as of this posting), the box is valued at almost $100 less than what they promised. Over 60% of the mystery box contents were/are discounted, and that is a little disappointing to me. Upon closer inspection, all these items are specifically in their "Goodbye" section. They have clearly decided to use the mystery box as a ploy to relieve themselves of unwanted product. This definitely happens with other brands, so I cannot say I am entirely surprised, but I had much higher hopes from the company. While I was expecting there to be some items like this, I truly thought they would deliver a better box than what I received.

Was the box worth it?

I do not think this box is worth the reported value of $315. If I could turn around and buy the exact items and the total comes almost $100 (!!!) below what I was promised, that's a problem. This is obviously my opinion and there is no recourse for me when it comes to this, but it does foul the image I had of Royal and Langnickel in my mind.

Was this box worth the $80 I paid for it?

If I saw the contents of this box and was asked to pay $80 for the lot, I would seriously consider it. I'd still use some items and those that I wouldn't are still going somewhere good (donation to my local community in this case). It's not an emphatic yes, but more of a "I guess so?".

Based on my experience with this box, I have no intentions of purchasing any mystery box from Royal and Langnickel in the future. There were no guarantees on box contents and receiving a substantial amount of unwanted product just doesn't appeal to me. It's a shame as Royal and Langnickel do sell some quality brushes, but I have a limited budget and I want to enjoy what I spend it on. Perhaps your experience was different from mine (and that's great! I'm happy for you if that's the case), but this experience sadly left me wanting.

Have you purchased any mystery boxes lately? Were you happy with what you received? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful evening!

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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser is the perfect exfoliating cleanser this winter. Lola's Secret Beauty Blog loves that it is gentle and hydrating, and it leaves skin incredibly soft, smooth and perfectly prepped for the rest of your skincare products. #TataHarper 

Beauty Info Zone is hosting a great Fashion Flash Giveaway. Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card, a romance novel that's perfect for Valentine's Day, and cosmetics you'll love. 

Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom is tempting us with a gift with purchase from Lancome this week. The gift contains products geared toward a Spring refresh. Head over to check out the goodies and see some of Stacie's Lancome favorites.

Never Say Die Beauty has gotten soft, healthier, fuller lashes from new City Beauty Beyond Lashes mascara, a treatment mascara that stimulates growth while conditioning lashes!

It’s the season of love, and Jen over at Laugh, Love, Contour wants to celebrate the love you have for your favorite gal pals along with a dose of self love. Her Galentine’s Day giveaway is currently live, so be sure to enter to win some fun beauty products to enjoy while you celebrate the day with your nearest and dearest!

Pammy Blogs Beauty pampers her hair with the new 2020 lineup from OGX!

For soft, silky hair, coloured or not, Erika at Notes from My Dressing Table shares all of the details of the Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil. Come check it out, Your hair will thank you!

Heather over at Crazy Beautiful Makeup is adding some new vegan collagen and other supplements to her everyday healthy routine. Trying out Rae Wellness which is available at your local Target!

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Use It or Lose It January: Pan and Purge Project 2020

Greetings, dear readers! I figured I better get with the program and share my collection of products that I either finished or destashed in January before we get even further along in February. I'm always so torn when it comes to these types of posts- it's so satisfying to watch my number count roll up as I destash and purge, and I enjoy reading empties posts from other bloggers, but for some reason, I'm not crazy about writing these posts. It always feels so daunting. It's no wonder my final post from last year included products for five months! I really want to do better about it this year, so here's hoping I can get these posts done for every month!

I mentioned in my final post from 2019 that my goal for this year is to either pan or purge 175 products. While the number seems ridiculously high, I do have a rather substantial number of products that I have held onto that I just don't use for one reason or another. Those that I have really disliked have been easy to destash, but those that are "ok" get put away in a drawer to never see the light of day again. I could probably raise the number further, but I do want to use some of those items again before I commit to a destash. I've got a respectable number of products to get through on today's post, so let's jump in and do this!

Use It: The Empties

As the subtitle suggests, these are the items I have finished up this month.


Foaming Facial Cleanser (Sensitive Skin) | Clean & Clear

Anyone that has been following along on my empties posts should know this facial cleanser by now; it's been my go-to for years! The Sensitive Skin formula works up to a light lather that removes dirt, excess oil, and light makeup without stripping my skin and leaving it feeling dry. I've added other cleansers into the mix periodically, but this is the one I always come back to.

Deep Cleansing Oil | DHC

After going to Ulta three times last year for my birthday gift and them always being out, they decided to give me this travel bottle of cleansing oil instead. I was initially irritated by the switch, not that I can recall what I was supposed to get, but as it turns out, I really liked this oil! I used it on the days when I wore heavier makeup, and it certainly did the job well at breaking it up quickly and effectively. What took me by surprise is just how well it rinsed off my face with just a few splashes of water! Mind you I have no experience with cleansing oils like this, but I have used balms that were just gunky and needed a good facial cleanser to remove. I still would wash with my cleaner after using this oil, but I didn't feel like I needed to use it to wash off the oil first before getting to my skin. I have no done so yet, but I will be picking up another one in the full size!

Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sunscreen SPF 50+ | Etude House

If you've been following along on my skincare woes last month, you've likely seen this sunscreen. I like how it applies to the skin and dries to a smooth finish without leaving a sticky or slick film like so many other sunscreens. What I don't like is it leaves a white cast on the skin, but I've come to accept this as fact with sunscreens. To prevent the white cast, I added a drop of concentrated foundation liquid before applying to the face. This is one of my favorite sunscreens and I already have another bottle open and being used.

Vitamin Sadness Mask | MustaeV

It's no secret that I have enjoyed the Vitamin masks from MustaeV, particularly this "Sadness" version, and I am a little sad that this is my last one in my sheet mask stack. I decided last year to no longer purchase sheet masks, but I still had some to go through and I don't use them particularly often. This particular one contains snail mucin, and I just love how it made my skin look! Mind you I don't use masks often enough, nor the same one repeatedly to really get a feel for how well this one works compared to others, but it is one I enjoyed a lot and will miss. I'm no longer finding it on their website, along with other skincare items, so we'll see if MustaeV has parted ways with their skincare lineup!

Cucumber Sheet Mask | Oh K!

I don't think I have had a sheet mask baffle me as much as this one by Oh K!. FOr a product that is described as ultra hydrating, I actually found it left my skin feeling dry as could be. I don't think I have ever encountered that with a sheet mask before- they all seem to leave my face feeling hydrated, so for me to experience dehydration with this one was rather shocking. It was the only one of this type on my stash so I’m not having to destash others, but I definitely did not like this mask and wouldn’t want to use it again.

Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks | Wander Beauty

I had several of these eye masks I used towards the end of last year, and this was my last one left! I actually enjoyed this eye mask and could see a difference in my undereye area after weekly use of these. Of course I ended up using a different skincare product that undid all the good these had done to my dark undereyes. I'm so torn on my decision to not purchase single-use masks as I really did like these. I have a few other products I am using at the moment, but I may pick up a box of these since I know these work well for me.


Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara | L'Oréal Paris

I don't know what I'd do if this mascara were to come off the market. It is my go-to mascara, and I am obsessed with its tubing nature! It makes my lashes look a little thicker and a fair bit longer, but I mostly keep coming back to this one because it doesn't smudge and yet it is so easy to remove with water. I've used so many different mascaras that always end up giving me less-than-sexy raccoon eyes, and yet when I want to wash the rest off at the end of the day, they were just a pain in the backside to remove. Not so with this baby! Just a few splashes with water and a short soak and this mascara easily wipes off. The only downside is if my eyes get watery during allergy season the mascara on my lower lashline in the outer corner occasionally comes off, but it is a trade off I am willing to make.

Orchid Gel Canvas Ready Treatment Eye Primer | Skinn Cosmetics

While I wouldn't say this was my go-to eye primer, I have used a few tubes of this one by Skinn Cosmetics. The formula is a little thicker and may feel a little drying for those with drier skin, but it works really well on my oily lids. It dries to a tacky finish, which can also take some getting used to, but overall, I like this eye primer. I currently have two others I am using, one of which I am liking a lot so far, so I'm not sure when or if I'd purchase another one of these, but I wouldn't write it off either.


Cuticle Oil | Northern Star Polish
Scents: Highball and Raspberry Truffle

I've recently taken a hard look at my cuticle oil stash, and have decided this year to only keep on hand the products I really enjoy. As these two are empty, I'm sure you know this means I loved this cuticle oils by Northern Star Polish enough to finish them up! They were part of two different sets offered on the Polish Pickup, and I am working my way through the rest of the scents. I love Northern Star Polish's cuticle oils so much I actually have another untouched set of four already (on top of the 6 currently in use that I have yet to finish); it's definitely become my go-to cuticle oil! The only downside for me is the sets, each with a different fragrance collection, is limited edition, and that makes me so sad! I really love the way they all smell, and I wish I could make each scent forever!

Lemoney Flutter Cuticle Butter | Lush

I tend to stick with cuticle oil during the day, but at night, I often rub a little bit of Lemoney Flutter onto the skin around my nails. The dry weather of winter has been rough on my hands in particular, and this helps to keep them soft. This is a product I have enjoyed for several years now, and it should come to not surprise that I already have another jar on my nightstand currently in use.


Seaside Olives and Citrus Foaming Bath Bar | Lollipop Posse Lacquer

This was another limited edition product that was offered exclusively for the Polish Pickup. I had actually purchased two of these and used the first immediately. I held onto this one, and it sadly was forgotten about until after the move and unpacking a box of random items. I really enjoyed the first bath bar, although this second one didn't hold up as well over time. Don't get me wrong, it still smelled nice and looked lovely (before getting destroyed for the bath, obviously), but it just didn't have the foaming action. I cannot fault this product though as it is my fault it sat so long. I've love to see Lollipop Posse offer more foaming bath products in the future!

Proud as a Peacock Gentle Bastille Soap | Handmade Natural Beauty

This was another limited edition exclusive made for the Polish Pickup, and I delayed using it as long as possible. It its fresh, unused form, the colours were so beautiful, but it was time it got some use. While not so pretty in the end, I did like how gentle this soap really was on the skin! My six year old deals with dry skin periodically as he's been outgrowing (we hope) his eczema, and this soap helped to get him clean without stripping away oils completely. 

Mochaccino Organic Sugar Scrub | Soak It!

I was really excited to try out this sugar scrub as it contained sugar and coffee, and I've had such mixed results with this type of scrub. It was a dense formula reminiscent of brownie batter, and the delicious cocoa fragrance I'm sure helped sway my thoughts on that. While the formula was thick, I was pretty blown away by how well this scrub would then rinse off in the shower. I've used a few others that were sticky and required a post scrub scrubbing with a loofah to get residue off, but that was definitely not the case here. I believe Soak It! has closed up shop at this point, so I sadly won't be able to get a replacement for this scrub. If I ever seen a come back, you can best believe I'll be looking for another one of these!

The Dark Crystal Sugar Scrub | KBShimmer

It certainly feels like the theme for January was limited edition and Polish Pickup, as this is another item that was an exclusive. I really enjoy sugar scrubs by KBShimmer, so it was no shocker that I liked this one as well. Not as thick as the previous scrub, it gently sloughs off dead skin cells and smooths those tiny little bumps on the back of my arms that insist on coming back. The scent was created for this past November, but I opted to pull this one out in December as the amber plus plum scent combination was a fun festive fragrance (say THAT three times fast) for the season but a pleasant alternative to the more common peppermint smells. The Dark Crystal scent was excluvice for the month, but the sugar scrubs in general are not: KBShimmer is back in this month's Polish Pickup with a Freesia-scented Sugar Scrub.

Lose It: Purged Products

These are the items that are not empty but I have decided to let go.


I don't think I have the words for how much I disliked this moisturizer. I've used some on the past, but apparently they have reformulated to this chemical-scented, barely moisturizing (and that's being generous) formula that left my skin in a lurch the last half of January. After about a week of use, my skin hurt and started peeling like crazy. I had not used anything new other than this new jar nor had I recently done any sort of chemical peels, but my skin was on fire and required some serious tlc to get to a healthier state. Thankfully my skin is pretty much back to normal at this point, but my loathing of this product is high and I recommend using caution when using this product.

This was a press sample I received awhile back and I just couldn't bring myself to like it. While it worked well at removing stubborn makeup, I really disliked the coating on my face that wouldn't easily wash, let alone rinse, off. I held onto it for stubborn lipsticks, but once I started using the DHC oil above, I just couldn't reach for it any longer.

I have thoughts and feelings about the brand, but I'm not going to get into them here. I got this lip scrub along with an eyeshadow palette. I have not enjoyed using this lip scrub, and it's difficult for me to separate he product quality with the feeling dirty about using the brand. The scrub itself seemed ok- not too harsh but still would slough off dead skin form the lips. The flavor left a lot to be desired and was kind of disappointing to me. If it were just these two factors I maybe would have continued to use this product, but add to it my feelings on the brand and I just have to get rid of this scrub.

I had received and used a small sample size of this product awhile back and loved it, so I happily picked up a full sized version from the G9 store. Y'all. This one is awful! While the sample version foamed up, it did not strip my skin and leaving it feeling as dry as could be. I was so disappointed when I realized this was happening with the full-sized product, and I have no idea what is happening! I have moved into a drier climate since using the sample, so that may be playing a role in it, but I'm not convinced. No matter how little product I would use or how much water I added , I couldn't find a way to make this work well for me. Away it goes!

Skin Balancing Carbon Mask | Paula's Choice

I don't know if it's due to age or that I've been using richer moisturizers than I did in the past, but my skin has become less oily and more in the normal range (except my eyelids; they betray me). I've not needed to use this face mask to help with oil so it's been sitting for quite some time in my medicine cabinet waiting to be used. At this point, this bottle is pretty old and should just get tossed in the garbage. I don't anticipate purchasing another as it doesn't seem to suit my skin's needs, but it is a good mask if you are oily-prone.

10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel | Equate Beauty

Again, here is another product that is old, past the expiration date, and has just been taking up space in my medicine cabinet. I deal with hormonal acne, and often have one of two zits just before my period starts. As a result, this type of product gets used, but only on occasion. It dries my skin out, so I end up using the fewest applications, so this is one of those product types I never finish up by the time it expires. I have not yet picked up a replacement, but I foresee picking up another. I have no major brand loyalties when it comes to acne products, so if you have something you love, let me know! I appreciate the low cost of this one, but since I don't go through tubes quickly, I don't really mind spending more as long as it helps clear up acne quickly.

I reviewed this product this past fall and had pretty good results after a few weeks of use. It's not a bad product, by any means, but I didn't notice any improvements beyond what I had previously experienced the three weeks prior. I also found I stopped wanting to use this in favor of other eye products because it took too long to absorb into the skin. You know how there are those things that are fine at first but become annoying after a period of time? The slow absorption started to really bug me and it wasn't long until this was just sitting untouched on my vanity. I've opted to just destash this and use other products that I enjoy more. Even if I did love this, I don't think I would have loved it enough to pay for another.


Is anyone really surprised to see I've finally decided to cull Subculture from my stash? I did find a way to make it work for me, but it was still work. I bought this when it was released and I didn't have anything remotely similar to this palette. Now that I have found a love of singles and indie cosmetic brands, I just don't need this in my collection any longer. Other shadows still perform better for me without extra effort or attention needed, and I just didn't WANT to use this when I had it in my "test to keep or purge"bin.

Meet Matt(e) Trimony Eyeshadow Palette | theBalm Cosmetics

I initially had some trouble deciding the destash this palette as I've really enjoyed several of the lighter matte shades. It wasn't until I had so much issue using the darker mattes that I lost my patience and decided to just let this one go. I already have a respectable selection of lighter neutrals that I enjoy, so it wasn't worth even depotting those shades.

Ultra Precision Eye Liner (Black) | Doucce Cosmetics

Doucce is a brand I have enjoyed that doesn't seem to get much attention. I actually like this eye liner, but I have another along with a slew of other black liners. This particular destash is most because I'm overwhelmed with black liners and didn't see a reason for me to have two of these.

Galaxy Eye Glider | Hard Candy

Now this is an old eyeliner! I remember buying this one from Sephora when I was SO much younger, and I just didn't have the heart to let it go. I loved the combination of black with the sparkle, but I just don't use, and quite frankly, haven't used this in so many years I forgot I even had it. While a small part of me wanted to keep this just for the memories, I don't really have any specific memories associated with this liner and would prefer to declutter what I don't use.

Gel Eye Glider (Radiant Amethyst) | Julep

I've not made it any secret that I dislike Julep, especially how they suddenly dropped their Mavens program complete with rewards. I had so many rewards to spend, but with no notice, that never got to happen; I'm still bitter about it. One product I loved from Julep were there gel eyeliners (later renamed to When Pencil Met Gel), and I actually still have and use a few of them to this day. Oh, I get a little mad every time I pull one out to use, but d@mn do I love this eyeliner! I'm letting go of this one because I have two in this shade and just don't need both.

Double Ended Brush Set | Borghese (5 pc)

I love makeup brushes, so when I saw this travel set by Borghese pop up on Zulily for sale, I was quick to snap up the set. I had previously used both cosmetic and skincare items from the brand, so I didn't give this a second thought and knew I would love to have the set with me for travel. Was I wrong about that! These brushes arrived shortly before a trip so I gave them a quick wash and packed them when dry for departure the next day. Not trying them out at home was a big mistake. While traveling, I found I spent almost as much time removing random hairs that fell out of these as I did putting my makeup on in the first place. It was both disappointing and disgusting. Having a set that is double sided that takes up less space just isn't worth it to me if this is the tradeoff.

Neutrals Glitter Palette | Wet n Wild

I don't wear a lot of glitter, but I loved the colours in this palette and bought it on a whim while at Walgreens looking at other Halloween makeup. Unfortunately, it sat unused until last month, and ooh baby, was I angry when I finally used it! When I opened the sealed palette, I touched the shades I was interested in an noticed they felt a little dry with no base pigment showing. Not a big deal, I could create a look with other products and then top it with these glitters. After I had done my base work, digging further into each well revealed the vaseline texture of these shades. All my hard work gone into laying down the base was destroyed in an instant. The slick sensation never dried down, and the glitters shifted and bunched together, pulling my base colours with them. I don't think I have ever tossed a product in my purge bin so quickly before. I'm still made even now because it started out so good and this destroyed the look in minutes.


I generally love KBShimmer products, so this one is hard for me to let go. The sugar scrubs and nail polishes are fabulous, but the formula of the cuticle oil just doesn't work for me. Sure, it helps my nails better than nothing, but I have other cuticle oils that I like a lot more. In an effort to declutter my life, it's time for me to accept I'm not fond of this one and move on.

I found this baby hanging in an old cosmetic bag, and wow is it old! It actually smells fine, quite delicious actually, but I know it is several years old and probably should just be tossed at this point. I'm so bummed as I love the smell, and YouPolish no longer sells cuticle oils for me to buy a replacement. That being said, you CAN buy some really cute decals from the brand, both for on your nails and for windows and such.

Cuticle Oil (Beignet Done That) | Ever After Polish (2)

Oof, there is a lot to unpack when it comes to this brand, and honestly, I just don't want to deal with that here. Instead, I'm just going to focus on the product if that's ok with you. There isn't much to say other than this cuticle oil just isn't nourishing enough for my skin. I picked up two of these when I got them as I loved the scent and it was exclusive to the New Orleans Polish Con event. I already knew the cuticle oil formula wasn't my favorite, but I was willing to set that aside at the time. Knowing what I do now combined with my effort to declutter my beauty products, these have to go.


Now this is an oldie that somehow has only been used a time or two and never tossed. It's been so long since I used it, so I don't recall if I actually liked it or not, but it's been sitting far too long and now smells rancid. Obviously it has to go! Since I have other scrubs that I enjoy, I don't foresee purchasing a replacement. The few Bath & Body Works products I still have and use just having been winning me over any longer, so it's just not worth it to me.


I got this texture spray from Sally's a fair bit ago and have only used it a handful of times. Even though it contains coconut oil and claims to not be too oily, I found that was not the case. I tend to have an oily scalp (dry shampoo is my BFF), so it is too much for me. Even with a light coating, it also weighted my hair down. I'm sure it would work well for some hair types, but my hair is predominantly fine (with some coarse to the mix) so this combination just isn't a good fit for me.

While I don't use oils in my hair often, I DO still use them on occasion. This is the original formula by Saffron Secret, but I found I grab for their Anti-Frizz version more, particularly on the days I opt to let my hair curl. The original is still a good product, but since I just don't use it in favor of one of its sisters, I'm going to pass this one on to someone that I think will enjoy it.

Monthly Stats
Empties: 15
Purged: 25
Total: 40

Yearly Stats
Empties: 15
Purged: 20
Total: 40

With a total of 40 products gone in just the first month, I am well on my way to hitting my goal! I don't anticipate going through this much each month as I do want to test out some things more before I commit to a decision to purge, and last month's skincare debacle put a serious halt on the use of some of my skincare products. That being said, I do want to try to push my destash and make some tough love choices rather than letting sentimentality get in the way. There are a few products that I have a special attachment to, including a brush set I'm not crazy about that my 6 year old picked out for me for my birthday last year. We'll see what the rest of the year brings for my Pan and Purge Project. Who knows, I may end up increasing my goal after all!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day and enjoy your weekend!

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Galentine's Day Giveaway

Greetings, dear readers! As promised, here is the Galentine's Day giveaway for you! February is the official season of love, and that includes the love you have for all your gal pals out there. In putting together this giveaway, I also wanted to give a nod to self love, hence adding products from RealHer to the prize pack.

Entries and rules for the giveaway can be found on the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck, and as always, thank you so much for your support!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Happy Sunday, dear readers! I hope you've been enjoying your weekend thus far! It's pretty low key for me. We're sticking around home, cooking on the grill, and watching the 49ers win the Superbowl. It's that time again to share posts from members of the Beauty Spotlight Team, so let's jump in and I can share our posts with you. If anything really jumps out to you, click on the included link to go directly to each corresponding post for more details.

Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour is a fan of small businesses and her blog post this week features indie makeup brand Doubledown Cosmetics. Created only a few years ago by a husband and wife team, this philanthropic duo gives back to their local community by supporting organizations that help those impacted by domestic violence, homelessness, and addiction. Now this is a great way to be beautiful both on the outside and inside!

Never Say Die Beauty shares her favorite face oils to help hydrate winter dry skin!

Beauty Info Zone took a look at some Pinch of Colour lip products and want to know what you think about these pretties.

Prime Beauty got a fresh spring look with Tarte's Frose on Ice Kit.

This Valentine’s Day, rather than purchasing the typical box of chocolates, Lola's Secret Beauty Blog recommends trying the divine collaboration between Aftelier Perfumes and Areté Fine Chocolate. These sublime flavored chocolate bars are unlike anything you have ever experienced, and the Violet-Raspberry Dark Chocolate Bar, Ginger-Rose Dark Chocolate Bar and Ylang Ylang-Pear White Chocolate Bar are even more deletable than they sound!

Did you know that your sleep position can contribute to the wrinkles on your face? See what Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom is doing to prevent the wrinkles.

Next week, I'll have a little beauty giveaway up to help you celebrate Girl's Night out for Galentine's Day or even a romantic look for Valentine's Day with your honey.

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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