Sunday, February 28, 2016

My Experiences with Estee Lauder (And One Really Bad One)

estee lauder

I like to do reviews by brand because I'm one of those people that once they find one product they love they will keep trying out more from that same brand. This isn't even all of products I tried from EL but the more recent ones.

I was a pretty big fan of Estee Lauder and have tried several of their products over the years whether they were purchased or came as a gift in those promotions they seem to constantly have. Recently though I had a harrowing (first world) problem with one of the products pictured above and it made me reconsider the brand and that maybe it's not worth dropping a pretty big penny for anymore. Read on to see which product caused me to lose all trust and one I will probably never stop using. Ever.

1. Double Wear Max Coverage $38
What it is: creamy foundation
How to use: Apply with brush or sponge on primed skin
Results: The most pigmented foundation you'll probably ever use. Like a drop will cover your whole cheek. When they say max coverage-they mean it! I tried go light handily with it and my husband still said it looked like paint. Definitely not for every day, throw it on and run out the door.
Verdict: Returned. I like full coverage but not at this level. 

2. Gentle Eye Makeup Remover $20
How to use: Like any liquid makeup remover, with a cotton pad/ball, gently massaging into eyes
Results: Removes a good amount of mascara, eyeliner without feeling oily. Sometimes requires doing it twice or an extra rinse but overall effective.
Verdict: Gets the job done but nothing amazing. I do like that it's not oily feeling like I said so that's a plus for me. 

3. Double Wear Zero Smudge Curling Mascara $24
What is is: Promises, long wear, smudge proof and curling power
Results: This was one of my favorite mascaras back in the day but either the formula changed or I did because suddenly it didn't do much for me. It gets thick pretty quickly which makes it smudge while applying so there goes that. I don't think it delivers on it's promises.
Verdict: There are cheaper, better drugstore options. 

4. Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II $62-92
What it it: Hydrating, smoothing, anti-aging nighttime use serum
How to use: Apply nightly over clean face
Results: LOVE. After one use I noticed my skin looked more radiant and I've been a believer since. I've been using this for about 3 years and have written about it before because I really do see it working. I use this almost daily at night and especially when I feel like my skin needs repair from blemishes and dry spots. I'm only 26 so I don't know about anti-aging yet but hopefully this is helping me in the long run haha (side note: I have normal/oily combo skin)
Verdict: Let's just say if I had to choose one skin care product to use the rest of my life it would be this. Read the other 147 five star reviews on Sephora if you don't believe me ;)
*No I've never actually paid for this because it always comes with their gift with purchase promotions which is craziness to me that they give this stuff away!

5. Advanced Night Repair Eye $58 (got as sample)
What it is: Anti-wrinkle under eye cream
How to use: Apply nightly under eyes
Results: So here it is. The product that made me scared for my eyes. I used this about 4 o 5 nights in a row thinking I was fighting the wrinkle war early when I got my most noticeable eye wrinkle ever.  Of course I have since stopped using it but something about my under eye area has changed for the worst since using this. I wish I could say it was a coincidence but they look grayer underneath and normal crease lines look deeper. I did not have any under eye problems before this. 
Verdict: I had such high hopes but now I'm just not sure about Estee Lauder. Besides the serum nothing has wowed me and this cream has left me traumatized.

I know review are subjective based on the reviewers preferences, skin type, habits etc but hopefully this helps someone. Let me know what you love about this brand and also any eye creams that you swear by. I'm looking for something hydrating. Thanks for reading :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016


beauty blender

It's Friday! Yay! I've been thinking it's Friday since Wednesday so my brain is just happy to be caught up.

First love that I have to profess today is to my beauty blender. I was a skeptic but like all skeptics, we eventually have to be proven wrong somewhere. That's me with the beauty blender. It seems to unnatural to put a bunch of makeup on your face than dab it off with a wet sponge. But I watched enough YouTube beauty channel videos to convince myself to try it once. Let's just say my make up has never looked so good and let's just say I'll never go back to life with out it. I use a cream concealer over blemishes, use a brush to put on my liquid foundation than-my favorite step-use the above Maybelline FITme concealer under my eyes, center of forehead, chin and down my nose  and blend ALL that in with a really damp (but not dripping when squeezed) beauty blender. I lightly tap all over my face and it just looks flawless, natural and dewy. Pretty much every word you want use when describing your face haha

Another love I wasn't sure about-the Wet Brush. It's my favorite brush I've ever used and that says A LOT because I absolutely hate brushing my hair! And I pretty much never had to because it would never tangle (stick straight hair probs) but ever since I had kids the texture changed and it seems to always tangle.  But I never did anything about it because I am not into hair at. all. Messy bun all day, every day. Didn't even own a curling iron until this past Christmas. Fast forward to Juliana's birthday and I bought the mini version for part of her gift because unlike me she loves her hair (it's gorgeous) so I decided to try it on myself and wow! I don't know what it is about it but it doesn't snag or hurt and feels so silky to the scalp. I will be picking up a grown up version asap.

I read a few really lovely posts about parenting that pretty much sum how I've been feeling lately about Juju turning 3 and changing into the beautiful bigger, little girl that she is right before my eyes. The first one appropriately titled When Your Babies Turn into Big Kids at Little Baby Garvin and a post about loving and saying goodbye to age 2 at Seven Graces Blog. Motherhood is the most bittersweet role I will every be blessed to experience. 
Like I mentioned yesterday, we're on a budget which means lots of cooking at home. But on the weekends we ALWAYS go to our favorite pizza place and lately it's feels more special since we don't go out to eat as often as we used to. If you ever stumble upon a Punch Neopolitan Pizza, do yourself a huge favor and go inside. 

I'm loving all the mints and lavenders I've been seeing everywhere lately. I don't typically gravitate towards dark colors so pastel colors are more my jam. 
Happy Weekend!
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Thursday Confessions

This week I confess...

target wish list

My husband and I set up a budget (his idea) and it's actually going really well. It made me realize of how much more I was actually spending than I thought on things like groceries and "super necessary" Target runs. To limit myself I've been avoiding Target and getting our food from a grocery store, you know, where they just sell food... But ugh I miss it so much! Darn you addictive bullseye! I've been looking (but not touching!) online and above are the things I'm missing out on not wasting money on.

Juliana's party decorations are still up from her birthday two weeks ago. My excuse is I'm enjoying all the pink...

I love gloomy weather. Overcast skies, rain, wind. I would be a fine resident of the pacific northwest or England. I know everyone is super psyched for summer but I'm pretty sure too much direct sunlight gives me an instant headache so I'm kind of dreading it. I only want warmer weather for the sake of my kids who have been cooped up more this winter than I care to admit.

Speaking of summer-I'm so not ready to put away my Ugg boots when the time comes. They're not actually Ugg's but Bearpaw brand from Macy's.  Many people think they're a fashion no-no but I have no shame, I love wearing them! They're comfy and warm and hide my calves haha needless to say they are my #1 choice for footwear.

My husband would make a better stay at home parent than I currently am. He was the one that transitioned both girls to sleep in the crib after the first months of co-sleeping with them, transitioned Juliana to her big girl bed and yesterday while I was at my bible study he put the girls to bed without sitting in the room with them (they share) like we have been for the past few months. He said he just told them they need to sleep and left the room. They didn't cry or get up. And when I came home they were sleeping and the house was clean. Yes, he's a keeper.

Linking up here!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mario Badescu Skincare Product Review

mario badescu product review

I've recently been on a skin care and makeup kick. I've tried more new products this past month than probably all of last year. I've also recently come to the conclusion that it's better to invest your money into better skincare than makeup because your make up will only look as good as your skin. A new to me line that I started using-and loving-is Mario Badescu. These can all be found at Ulta and I saw a few of these at Nordstrom Rack.

1. Drying Lotion $17
What it is: Spot treatment meant to dry up pimples
How to use: Make sure bottle is settled! Dip a q-tip all the way into the pink powder and apply directly to pimple and let dry. I do this at night, sleep with it than wash off in the morning. Doesn't rub off onto pillows. Has a strong sulfar-y powdery smell. It does sting!
Results: It definitely dried up smaller pimples overnight and deeper/bigger ones after 2-3 times.
Verdict: Love. It's exactly what I was looking for. I also like the glass packaging, it's fun to use and really helps.

2. Enzyme Revitalizing Mask $20
What it is: Thin creamy mask with papaya extract meant to encourage cell turnover, remove dullness. Doesn't have a strong smell
How to use: Apple thin layer to clean face and leave on for 20 minutes.
Results: I used this a few times and I believe my skin looks a little brighter after.
Verdict: Will keep using though don't know if I'll repurchase just because I like my masks a little more intense. Also, it's a pretty small pot for the price. But who knows, maybe once I'll use the whole thing up I'll see better results and fall in love. Never say never :)

3. Glycolioc Gel $25
What it is: Thin glycolic gel meant to reduce pore congestion, minimize acne and remove dullness. Glycolic acid is used in chemical peels. This is a more diluted version but it's still strong, not recommended for sensitive skin and SPF after use is a must. Light scent, doesn't sting.
How to use: Apply thin layer over clean skin before bed. Use sparingly! I use this in place of my nighttime lotion twice a week.
Results: I notice a difference in the brightness of my skin and pore congestion seems reduced. A day or 2 after using I notice dead skin starts to sloth off when I was my face.
Verdict: Love it. Wish I could use it more frequently but I try to control myself haha

4. Rose Water Facial Spray $5
What it is: Rose and herb water meant to hydrate skin. Strong rose scent (not my favorite).
How to use: Spray over clean face for hydration or make up to help set. Use as often as you want.
Results: I pretty much bought this just because the price seems like pennies compared to other MB products. I also wanted to try it as a make up setter. My make up does look dewier after spraying this over my skin and helps blend the powders to the creams to help them stay put longer. Sometimes I spray over my clean face for a little pick me during the day. It makes me feel fresh.
Verdict: I've actually been using this more than I thought I would and really like it. I don't know if it makes any difference for your skin as far as hydration but I think it's not hurting either. Sometimes my skin just loves the boost.

Overall, I really like this line and there are SO many other products that I can't wait to try!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lucy-Almost 18 months

Nicknames: Luc, Lusik, Woosy, Prince (to Juliana's princess...) Lucilia

Clothes: 18-24 months 
Diapers: size 3 (almost potty trained, #2 consistently on potty and at least one #1 per day)

Can I just say how much I love toddlers?! I think I've been blessed with the most easy going little girls ever and it especially shows after the 1 year mark but 18 months is the best! Lucy is almost there and I see her silly personality emerge more and more. Today was the peak. She was just so funny, cuddly, sweet, my little best friend. She followed me around, watched everything I did without getting into things, gave me random hugs and kisses.

She's not really talking yet but I think she's getting there. She's repeating more sounds and actually says papa now. Before that everyone was mama.
"Lucy, say Juju"

She loves music, food, animals, books, stealing her sister's toys & Peppa Pig. Really friendly, waves to every one. Loves babies-real and doll. She has one dolly that she carries around everywhere and is always "feeding" her or swaddling her in what ever she finds-coats, scarves, etc.

Of course, she has her feisty moments. She does this funny little stomping dance when she wants something she can't have or when told no. She's pretty independent. Loves running in other directions away from me, loves to be chased (hence the constant toy stealing), will not hold hands, not a fan of being restrained-what kid is? But also Lucy is not one those kids that cries for no reason. She rarely cries when she gets hurt unless it's really painful. We call her a little bulldozer sometimes for this reason.

I love her so much. I'm so excited for this stage. She was mostly a chill baby but there were phases that made me a little (cough cough a lot) crazy with her. Toddlerhood is so different and I think she was one of those babies that once she learned to crawl/walk was a whole different child. I think she was pretty motivated too because she learned to do both pretty fast.

Anyway, that's my Lucy lately. I'm so thankful to God for her.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Time to Start Again!

Just wanted to drop by for a quick, after midnight, Sunday night post to say I'm back to blogging! I miss writing and documenting the everyday little things that make life what it is. The girls are growing like crazy and changing almost daily. It's fun yet bittersweet especially looking back at pictures. Seems like there are so many precious memories but unless I write them down they start slipping away. I never want to forget this stage in our lives.

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