Weekly Wonders: Beauty Products

Fresh: Rose Face Mask

I was expecting a stellar performance from this product due to the quality and popularity of the Fresh brand.  It underwhelmed me a whole bunch.  I received this product as sample from Sephora and figured I would give it a try.  It smelled great and had pieces of rose petals in it.   It is gel like, goes on smoothly, and is not clumpy.  It dries naturally so you can forget you put it on your face if you are not timing the length of wear.  I was not happy with it because I did not recognize any difference in my skin.  I used it for about two weeks and didn’t feel like it actually did anything except make my face feel clean.  Let me know if you have used the product before and what you have thought of it.  Leave a comment in the comment section below.

Origins: Charcoal Mask

I love this mask!  It is amazing and I have been using it for years!  My skin looks and feels great after it’s use. This product does not irritate my skin which is a plus because tons of products do leave my skin red, blotchy, or broken out.  This product is thick and messy when applying but stays on the skin and is not watery.  Once the mask is applied you let it sit on your face still it is dry and cracking.  After you wash it off and it does take a bit of time to get off all of the charcoal mask.  After using this for a few weeks I have noticed a difference in my skin although this charcoal mask does not remove all of the blackheads.  This mask works great for me and remains a staple in my beauty routine. What are your reviews on this product?  What are some recommendations of other Origins products to try?

LORAC: Black Tie Affair Eyeshawdow Palette

I ordered this product from Ulta during their Black Friday sale.  I have been trying this product since i have received it and have liked it so far.  I like to experiment with my shades and mix colors.  I am not a fan of dark colors due to my fair skin coloring.  Usually I use the lighter shades for my daily look and will occasionally put on a dark hue on a night out or fancy event.  The shadows on this palette are natural, silky, and have lasted most of the day.  I like how the colors are natural and how the colors work well with a natural look.  So far I am loving this palette so go try it out today!  FYI, I own both palettes and love them!  I use the darker shaded palette for nights out or fancy events. Any other users of this particulate palette on here?  If so, what are the pros and cons of it? Just seeing what others like and love about these eyshawdows.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer

This is a new primer for me.  Previous to this one I have not consistently used primer as part of my makeup routine.  I went to Sephora and was recommend this primer.  It is very pricy and I took a leap of faith on this one.  I  do like that it feels lightweight on my skin and does not feel heavy.  Honestly I cannot tell if it makes a difference in my makeup application or if it makes my makeup goes on smoother.  It is lightweight and does not feel heavy on my skin.  I will need to use this product more to see how it works.  Reviews of this hydrating primer?  Does it help your makeup routine?

Neutrogena Healthy Volume Waterproof Mascara

My go-to mascara by Tarte is quite expensive so I figured I would try a drugstore one for the time being.  My eyes are extremely sensitive to mascara so this limits me to certain brands mainly ones that are hypoallergenic.  I saw Neutrogena and waterproof in the name and I had to grab this product and try it out.  My Tarte mascara would always run or smudge during the day  or night.  I wanted to try a waterproof mascara to see how it will last during the day or night. I used it for a day and night and it lasted and did not irritate my eyes.  I applied the mascara  I started my day and it lasted until late into the night. There was no smudging or running of the mascara.  I was able to get good length by applying a few coats of the product and it was a bit clumpy.  But all of that was worth it for it to be waterproof and not cause my eyes to be red.  I will definitely be adding this to my makeup routine.  I do not like it as much as I do my Tarte mascara but it comes pretty close.  Let me know your thoughts and experiences with this product. 

First and Only Birchbox

So, I was so excited to order my first Birchbox for the month of December after hearing so many good things about it from friends.  Of course they convinced me to subscribe and I was excited to see that my BirchBox arrived in the mail this afternoon.  It was packaged nicely and liked that there was a card describing all of the products included in the box. Since this was a holiday box a small mirror was included. This is sweet but cannot be used for travel or in purse do to the fact that it is only one sided without a cover to protect the mirror.  So this item was a waste for the company to make and waste to place in the box.  This mirror will probably be headed to the trash because there is no way to keep it from getting scratched or broken.

Now on to the fun stuff!  The items in the box!  I am so happy that there were no perfume samples in here because I hate those.

IPKN Radiant Cream Primer

This is such a simple product design and it is so adorable!  This is a primer and has SPF 15 in it. I will let you know how this product feels and works.  I occasionally use primer in my makeup routine.  I should probably use primer more often than I should.  So I will let you know how it goes.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3 minute Peel

I am nervous about this product due to my sensitive skin.  This could irritate my skin so I’ll see what happens after I use it.  It will be my first peel mask.

Wilma Schumann European Skincare: Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads

This product looks very fancy.  I have not used eye pads before and am willing to try them out.  I am not a fan of these types of products and do not use anything like them in my skincare routine.  Since there is only one set of pads I do not know if I would be able to see a difference in the skin around my eyes after only one use.

Ardency Inn: Modster Eyeliner

This eyeliner is supposed to be waterproof so I will see if that is true.  I am not a fan of eyeliner and it is not part of my daily makeup routine.  I will try it or give it to a family member or friend to try it out and report on the results.

Amika: Perk Up Dry Shampoo

I am excited to try this dry shampoo!  It smells amazing and the bottle is adorable!  I due use dry shampoo on my hair so that I do not have to wash it or use the blow dryer on my hair.  I have seen a vast improvement in the quality of my hair from doing this.  I will have to let you know how it goes when I use this product.

Overall, I was not sure impressed with this box.  It is more like samples I could get from Sephora for products that I do not really use or need.  So far Birchbox does not seem like it is worth the money each month.  I will stay subscribed until next month to see what products are sent.  If I like the products I will stay subscribed.  It the products are lackluster I will stop subscribing to the service.  I’ll keep you posted.

Have any of you tried these products? If so, what do you think of them?

Also is Birchbox worth it in the long run?  I was not super impressed with my first box.

**An update to this post since it was written awhile ago and I have had time with the products that Birchbox sent to me.   All of the products seemed like quality products but were not ones I would use frequently with the exception of one product.  The dry shampoo I have loved so much.  It worked well and smells amazing!  Overall I was not impressed with the products sent to me and that can be due to the fact that I do not use many of those products.  I will not be subscribing to Birchbox again due to my lack of interest int he products of the first box. 

Guess who is back … back again

So, it is safe to say that I have been missing from this blog for a few months. It is not something I planned on happening but it did and I am ready to jump back on the bandwagon!
I have missed blogging so much and in lieu of logging on here the notes on my iPhone is chock full of future posts and ideas! The pas few months have been emotional and frustrating for me due to certain things happening the holiday, difficulties in my relationship (which is now non-existent), family, career, and self worth. All of those factors were overwhelming and resulted in me not blogging like I should have done. Blown helps me connect with others, express my ideas, and document aspects of my life an thinking during my life. So, I am back and excited to finally start positing again. I am not sure how frequently I will blog, most likely as fast as I can edit and elaborate on those ideas and posts in my iPhone notes. so, cheers for now and see you soon!

XoXo ~ Amanda

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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I was so excited when I heard that more episodes of Gilmore Girls were coming to Netflix! So of course I marked my calendar and anticipated the day that the four episodes would be released! November 25th could not arrive soon enough for me!

Finally the day arrived and I was thrilled! I just had to watch all of these episodes no matter what. I almost did a binge watching session but decided against it. Instead I watched two episodes on Friday and the other two on Saturday.

I was thrilled to see old characters and the writers sure tried to cram everyone in to these four episodes. I was very pleased with how things went and could relate to Rory’s struggle of finding her place, her career, her voice, and just feeling lost. I am currently going through some of those things now. So, I think these four episodes took a different path than how I thought but in a good way. Before diving into the episodes I figured the focus would be on a successful Rory with a great journalism career. She would be taking time out or a vacation to visit Star’s Hollow to see her family and catch up with the happenings in town. But Amy Sherman-Palladino,the writer, took another path and showed a more reality type version of events. Not everything goes as planned or is like a storybook ending.

The episodes were lengthy and some of them felt a bit dragged out such as the episode where Lorelai and Emily were going to therapy. I think most of the old characters

Questions/Comments I have from the episodes:

No theme song … I repeat no theme song.  I was so bothered by this to no end. Yes, the episodes were titled by the seasons which were featured in the Carole King theme song but it is not the same.   So, it is safe to say that I was really disappointed by this detail being left out. 😦

Who and why is Mr. Kim at the food festival? He was never in the original Gilmore Girls and now randomly appears. That was unnecessary.

Dean shows up at Doose’s.  Really?  There was absolutely no point or reason for him to be there.  Regular Gilmore Girls fans know that Dean is married and that Rory almost ruined that relationship.  Another random pop-in

Kirk is so annoying throughout this series. He was always a bit quirky and annoying during the regular seasons but he go under my skin so much more in these episodes. The ooh-ber thing drove me nuts. He just annoyed me throughout the episodes.

Who is Paul and where did he come from? I think this was such a silly character to add and even have in the series.  it was literally pointless and it didn’t add anything to the series.

I felt that all the writer attempted to cram pop-ins and sightings of majority of the old characters in the four episodes.

Rory, why is it a good idea to stay at Logan’s place when he is engaged.   This is a big no-no.  Logan should have known better also and suggested that Rory stay somewhere else.  These were just poor decisions on both of their parts.  No good can come from  this situation.

Rory so needs to end up with Jess!  I think they should wind up together!

Leaving everyone hanging at the end when Rory announces that she is pregnant!  I need more episodes!  Amy Sherman- Palladino needs to make more episodes to address this little dilemma.

What are your thoughts on the new Gilmore Girls episodes? What were some of your favorite and least favorite parts?

Black Friday 2016

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Black Friday is one day where I stay away from stores.  i avoid them like the plague and that is fine by me.  On that day I wills scour the internet for online deals and I have found a few this year!  Usually there is nothing that I desperately need to purchase and that saves me a bunch of money.  See below for my Black Friday purchases. * This post is NOT sponsored by any brand,store, or company.  All reviews and opinions are my own and I like to share my likes and opinions with readers!*

Ulta

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I enjoy browsing through Ulta’s store, catalog, and website.  I knew that I would find some good deals this year.  Last year I purchased ogx shampoos and conditioners because Ulta had a buy one get one free deal going on.  This was a a good buy because the ox shampoo and conditioner are expensive! SO that was good deal.  This year I bought makeup and skin products.

Lora Black Tie Attire Eyeshadow Palette

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This will be my first Lorac makeup purchase.  I have never purchased their products before.  The colors on both of these palettes were just too good to pass up!  They fit with my style and makeup look.  When doing makeup I stick to neutral and natural colors.  I do not go too out of the box with my makeup look.   Both of these palettes are $18 each.  i think these are a steal based on the quality of the product and the normal pricing.  I will have to do a review once I have used the product for awhile.  I am so excited to use this palette and am highly considering getting the second palette because the colors are just so gorgeous!  If any of you readers have tried this product let me know your experience and how it is?

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

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I love most of the First Aid beauty products.  They smell good are parabin free and do not irritate my skin.  Currently I use the First Aid Beauty Repair Cream as my moisturizer and I love it!  I had to get these two mini products when I saw them listed on Ulta’s site.  This is a great stocking stuffer gift for anyone who loves First Aid Beauty.  The cost $20 bucks and was a steal in my eyes because the full sized product is $ 3o per jar.  So you get two products for less than the price of one!  What is your favorite First Aid Beauty product?

Mario Badescu: Holiday Multi Masker Set

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This was a great find!  There are three small tubs of the following masks: Super Collagen, Flower & Tonic, Whitening.  You get to try all three masks and for a great price too! The whole set was only $12.  If there is one mask you like best you can then buy the full sized mask!  It is also a great stocking stuffer for the holidays or a great site for traveling!

First Aid Beauty: Fab Cleanse & Exfoliate Kit

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First Aid Beauty is one of my favorite brands so far and I just could not pass this kit up either! The kit includes a Face Cleanser and Facial Radiance Pads. I did not get this for me but for my sister who loves their  products as well.  She is traveling and this kit is perfect for luggage and a purse.  This is perfect holiday gift for First Aid Beauty lovers or just and individual that want to try out First Aid Beauty products.

Soma

Stunning Support Balconet Bra

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Sensuous Lace Majesty Lace Balconet Bra

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For a large chested girl bra shopping is no joke.  I gave up on Victoria’s Secret bras long ago.  For the record they are cheap, over priced, not supportive for large chested women, and the consultants always measure me wrong.  My new love for bras comes form Soma.  They cover all the sizes and actually make supportive bras for big chests!  I love it!  They are expensive but it is well worth the price!   On Black Friday Soma had a buy one get one half price so I had to get some bras.   I also had a gift card from my birthday so I could not pass up the opportunity to get some bras.  The Stunning Support Balconet is my everyday bra an looks nice, is comfortable for long wear, and truly supportive.  They are worth every penny you spend on them!  I am trying the Lace Balconet for the first time and will need to let you know how it is  Has any reader ever used Soma?  If you have, what is your favorite bra?

What are some of the Black Friday deals you purchased this year?

Any recommendations for good makeup brushes will be much appreciated!  I am on the hunt for some great brushes for liquid foundation, eyes, and powder.  Leave a comment below if you know of any  good brands!

Turkey Day!

This has been one memorable and unique turkey day. Growing up my family has always hosted Thanksgiving and we would squeeze 20 people into my small house and just have great time. Now that I live in the South my family still hosts but for less people usually just some neighbors. To us it doesn’t matter because we enjoy cooking and hosting. It is one of our family specialties!

This year has been very different than all the past Thanksgiving because we had to cancel it. My mom got really sick and she tried to make it but we did not want to risk getting our neighbors sick. They only live up the block so we told them it was canceled and that we would deliver to them dinner later. So, this is new for us because we never had to cancel a holiday.

What makes today even more special is that it is my sister (Pep’s) 21st birthday! She is so exited that it fell on a holiday this year! So we celebrated in the morning with balloons and presents! This is the second time she has had a birthday on a holiday. Her sixteenth birthday also fell on Thanksgiving. I have a feeling that she will have more holiday birthdays!

Despite what happened we are still cooking away and enjoying time as a family. I am so thankful to have such an amazing family and love them so much. i treasure this family time because throughout the year we are not able to get together as much as I’d like. So here is to another year in the books! Happy Thanksgiving!!

What Thanksgiving traditions do you have? Funny Thanksgiving stories? Feel free to share in the comment section!

Cheers to One Year!

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So, it has been one year since I started this blogging adventure!  Ian so excited that I was able to stay dedicated and blog for one whole year!  It has been a goal of mine for years to create and post on my own blog.  Now I have been successful at this after multiple failures in the blogging world.  To top it all off the one year anniversary aligned with my birthday which was yesterday and made the one year milestone that much sweeter!

At the beginning of this journey I thought that I would have no followers or readers by the end of the year and boy was I wrong.  I have been able to connect to many different individuals and it has been fantastic!  I have realized there are others that share the same views, likes, and struggles that I have and it is almost therapeutic  writing on my little corner of the internet.  It is my goal to keep this blog going for another year and continue to improve my posts.  Since I have turned another year older I have debated changing the name of the blog.  Here are some ideas below.  What do you all think?

26andrambling

Beyond the Quarterlife

Charming the South

Northern Girl in a Southern World

Maybe my next job should become a blog name generator.  I have a notebook full of blog names that I have thought of on the fly.  That would be one cool job and I would love it!

Cheers to One Year!

I am also open to ideas so what would you readers love to read or what posts would you like to see?

Does any readers and followers out there have any tips for another successful year blogging?  What strategies have worked for you?  I would love to know!