Try, try again.

Since I am STILL not allowing myself to spend money on new things and even on some repurchases, I’ve recently been re- trying some beauty products and things that I have had tucked away in my drawer.  Could be that I didn’t initially like them, or had just forgotten about them….  either way,  here are a few things I’m having a second moment with.

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Incandescent

Am I missing something with Hourglass?  Why is this stuff supposed to be so great? I remember two holiday seasons ago being pretty excited to get this in the Sephora “Glow For It” set, and at that time also being pretty unimpressed.  I didn’t use it for very long.  And now giving it another shot, I feel the same.  It’s not that good!  And it’s too expensive to be not that good. Time to give this one away.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

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What’s more satisfying than a good scrub?

Not much, IMO. Ever since I was a kid scratching my skin off with way too much St. Ives Apricot Scrub, I’ve loved the feeling of getting my skin as clean as possible.

Of course, now we know it doesn’t have to be harsh to be effective, but I still get so much satisfaction from a good exfoliating scrub.

With winter trying it’s best to flake all my skin off, here are my favorite ways to take control of my exfoliating game and get that so fresh and so clean feeling today.

photo courtesy of

JUARA Radiance Enzyme Scrub

This one is by far my favorite. I’ve mentioned it before in an empties post, but it’s definitely worth bringing attention to again.

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Empties: some old favorites but new reasons not to repurchase

It’s that time again! Time to go through my trash with you, aka my empties.

Giovanni 2chic Ultra Sleek Body Wash, Brazilian Keratin & Argon Oil: This is my favorite body wash. Period. It’s exfoliating and moisturizing. Adn I blow through these. Luckily, they are pretty cheap. Only $8.99 and I can get it at Festival Foods. So yup–repurchasing.

Dermalogica, Antioxidant HydraMist: I know we talk A LOT about the Mario Badescu spray–and for good reason. But I have a secret love for this mist. I bought it several years ago after getting a facial at Indulge Spa on the eastside and loving how it smelled. But then I didn’t love it when I got home. So I texted Pamela to see what the deal is with the spray and how to use it. (this whole talking products thing has been going on a long time, folks!) She gave me a nice primer on it–use it sparingly and give it time to soak in before going on to a next step. Since then I’ve been hooked. But because it’s kinda pricey, I only use it in the mornings and I’ve been using it just as a post makeup spritz to make it look a little more fresh and less make-upy. Pamela has recently told me I should use it as a toner and spray it on after washing my face at night–so I’m doing that now, too. I love this stuff. And it has already been repurchased.

BareMinerals, Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil: : I’ve already told you how much I love this and that I already repurchased it!

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl Gel Cream Treatment: So yeah. I’ve had this for a minute.

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Cracked, chapped, dry? My winter lip saviors

One of the hilarious jokes of winter–like how the brightest, sunniest days are also the coldest–is that the season calls for a dark, bold matte lip, but your lips are in the worst position to support the look.

So what do you do? Bail on the bold? Or find ways to help your lips fight back?

Well–you know nothing stops me from rocking not only the darkest colors I can find–but also obsessively wearing the most drying of all  formulas, the liquid lip.

By following a strict three step lip care strategy, my lips have been hanging tough all winter.

my lip survival kit

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

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Cheap Thrills: Two New Ulta Finds!

You know how you’re just going to pop into Ulta quick to buy one thing that YouTube convinced you that you need and then end up grabbing a few more things even though your husband is (patiently!) waiting in the car? Here’s what happened a few days ago- I’m happy to report that it was, at least, successful!

One impulse buy was shampoo and conditioner- I didn’t need it, but the kind I like was on crazy sale so I grabbed liters. Spending money on shampoo is no fun, so I embrace the sales!!

Then, while on my way to the area of the store that had the aforementioned YouTuber recommendation (more on that later), I noticed these new Powder Puff lippies from NYX:

Nyx Powder Puff Lippie (photo via

Intrigued, I swatched the shade “Moody” on my hand and then thought it was dumb to be buying (more) lip stuff so I moved on. But then I couldn’t stop looking at it. Continue reading


I don’t think I can understate how badly this winter has affected my skin…. and it’s only just begun!  I cannot remember a winter that has been so cold and so dry so early on in the season.  To say my skin is dry and dehydrated is one thing, but it’s a whole new level of red and irritated on top of that.  I have had to pause any use of exfoliants and retinols, and up my mask game big time.  Here are the three masks that I’ve been rotating between to find some order and relief:

Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask

This mask is hands down my favorite mask of all time.  I’ve been using it for about 13 years now, and it never does me wrong.  It’s super soothing and calming, but also replenishes, hydrates and plumps fine lines.  It saves me in winter, but is perfect in summer as well (I’ve treated a mild sunburn with it.)  It’s just the best.  If you’ve not tried it, you need to.  I’m going to go use it right after I finish this post! Continue reading

Are Fenty Beauty by Rihanna lip products worth the price?

In a word–YES!!!

On December 26, Fenty Beauty added the Mattemoiselle Plush Matte lip collection to the already comprehensive makeup line with 14 shades of magic–at least based on how they look on Rihanna’s IG posts.

yup. (photo courtesy of

A December 28th visit to Sephora–both the main store and in JC Penny’s one–was the perfect opportunity to check them out in person.

There was a swarm around the kiosk at the main Sephora, but I used my old school boxing out skills and was able to swatch the colors I was most interested in.

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