30 Day Spending Ban

Friday, July 31, 2015

So I'm back with my only post this week.  My personal life has been quite crazy this week and I can't wait until it settles down a bit after the weekend.  I was going to do an unboxing of the latest Target Beauty Box, but that will be coming next week along with many hauls I need to catch up on.  But for today, I want to talk about a challenge I'm giving myself: the 30 day spending ban.

I know, this post looks familiar since I attempted a 30 day spending ban at the beginning of May, but I have to say that failed miserably.  For some reason I just got the itch to go out and buy something every week.  But this time, hopefully, it'll be different.  I've been putting myself on a mini-unofficial-spending ban for about two weeks now and I think I've resisted majority of the temptations.  I did end up purchasing something earlier today but... I can't really justify for that purchase besides the fact that I really want to try it and it was on sale and there was free shipping.  

So like previously, I will start on August 1, 2015 and end on August 31, 2015.  During this time I will not be purchasing anything that is not necessary for my survival, with the exception of one meal every week and an outfit for an upcoming event.  Other than that, I should not be anticipating any other purchases.  Hopefully I will be able to resist all the temptations that will come up during the time period and will be successful with this ban.  
So as a recap...
Start Date: August 1, 2015
End Date: August 31, 2015
Not allowed to buy: makeup, skincare, haircare, shoes, accessories, stationary or anything unnecessary for survival
Allowed to buy: a meal every week and an outfit 

I have plenty of haul posts coming up on the blog and I will make sure to not that those items were purchased before the spending ban.  At the end of the month, I will do a recap post and hopefully provide some tips and tricks for a successful spending ban, or analyze where I failed

If any of you guys are doing a spending ban, please leave some tips so that we can all succeed in the challenge!

First International Swap with Tales of a Pale Face

Friday, July 24, 2015

This post is so long overdue that I'm actually really embarrassed about how late it is.  But back in February, yes it's been that long, I saw a post where Kat from Tales of a Pale Face was organizing a beauty swap and I thought that would be such a fun thing to participate in, and to get to try some products that are not sold in the US!  So I signed up and completely forgot about it for a while.  Then she contacted me around March saying I was partnered up with her and we exchanged several emails and set some budgets and told each other our likes and dislikes.  I'm actually quite embarrassed because my goodies arrived at the end of May, before I even got a chance to mail out hers.  (Sorry!

I actually tried my hardest to not eat or play with that many things but my curiosity won and dug into all the lip products before I took the pictures!  When i first saw the contents, I was completely shocked and amazed at her generosity!  I told her that I love lip products and she made sure she included 6 different lip products for me to obsess over!  On top of that she also included an eye shadow palette and a blush, along with some of her favorite snacks!  So here are the products that Kat sent me!  (I honestly feel so embarrassed about the products I got for her after I saw this!)

First up are the snacks!  I've never seen any of these but I have to say, it took a lot of self restraint to not open these up and try them all right when I saw them!

One of the few non-lip products that was included in the package was this Gorgeous Glow Blush Block from Collection.  Collection is a brand that we can't get in the US so I was excited to see this!  The blush looks like a really nice peachy-shimmery shade that would look really nice on.

The other non-lip product that I was shocked to see was this eye shadow palette by Makeup Revolution.  This palette is the Redemption Palette Iconic 1 and it reminds me a lot of all those neutral palette out in the market right now.  What's really nice is, I think there are three matte shades in the palette that you can use as highlight or transition/crease color.  I'm really excited to dig in and swatch it all to see the pigmentation of it!

Everything else I'll be mentioning below was in this cute little makeup bag by Paul & Joe.  I think I squealed when I saw this makeup bag; it's the cutest and the perfect crazy cat lady makeup bag I've ever seen!  I've heard about the brand Paul & Joe and their cute lipstick bullet shaped like cats, but that's the extent of my knowledge of that brand.  I'm so excited to add this to my collection of makeup bags!

The first thing I saw in the makeup bag was this face mask by the brand Indeed Labs.  I've seen some bloggers mentioning this brand on the blogosphere a while back and was so excited I get to try this face mask!  I've been really into skincare recently so finding this made me so happy!  Ulta now carries this brand so I'm excited to see how I like this face mask and from that, I might pick up some more from this brand!

One last thing before we get into the pile of lip products!  I have also heard about the brand Kiko but I don't really know much about it.  I'm also really excited to see the Dawn Till Dusk Volume Effect Mascara.  Lately I've been really into trying out different mascaras (I blame my sister), and I can't wait to open this and try it.  I haven't even opened the tube to see what the brush is like because I'm still working on some opened mascara before I want to dig into this!

Now, this is my favorite part of the swap package!  I honestly was not expecting all of these to be included in the swap.  I know I told her I wanted to try some of the Bourjois products, and that I'm obsessed with anything lip crayons.  I think I also mentioned that I wanted to try some of the popular Rouge Edition lip gloss type products and boy did she go above and beyond.  She included the Lanolips Lip Ointment, which I've heard many good things about, Bourjois Color Boost lip crayon in Peach On the Beach, Barry M Genie, which is one of those pH adjusting lip products, Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar, I actually have one in Ripe Raspberry so I was happy this is a shade I didn't have, Bourjois Rouge Velvet in Don't Pink of it!, and Bourjois Rouge Aqua Laque in Rose on the rocks.  

Overall, I have swatched all the lip products at least once and I'm so excited to swatch blush and the eyeshadow palette!  I'm also excited to try the snacks that she included in the swap as well!  

I'm really thankful that Kat organized this swap and allowed me to participate; I know I'm still  at the beginning of my blogging journey and don't have a lot of history or experience with swaps, so I felt like I was a risk that she was taking so I'm really glad she gave me this opportunity to participate and try out makeup products from across the pond.  I hope to participate in more beauty swaps in the future and start collecting makeup from around the world!

Sephora Favorites: Skin-Fatuations

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm back with another skincare set from Sephora inside JCPenney!  I love it when Sephora comes out with these skincare sets.  I was a bit surprised because I thought they only come out once per season or something but the last one they had came out around April of this year, around the time of their VIB sale.  

I managed to grab these before they even made it to the floor (I think).  I went to Sephora a day or two after I heard about this set and had to ask an employee if they had any.  I was actually afraid they would come back out with the other set that I already had but luckily it was this set!  I managed to grab one for myself and one for my sister, since I wanted to try a bunch of the same things that she did.  Figured if we both had our own set, there would be less arguing between us!

Unlike the previous set, this set came with 9 high end skin care products in travel size, instead of 11.  I would say the sizes of these products are pretty generous.  There is ONE repeat from the previous set (Dr. Jart+ BB Cream) but the size that is included in this set is a lot bigger than the previous one.

Like the previous set, the products all came in a cute little makeup bag.  It is basically the same bag that was in the previous set except it's light periwinkle-ish blue and the little ribbon for the zipper is cuter in the previous set.  (It was more of a tassel rather than a ribbon looped through the zipper.)  Other than those two differences, I would say the bags are the same, but I think the previous bag is a tad bit cuter.

The products that were included in this set are:
  • Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Papers (25 count)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask (0.5 oz.)
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple (1.0 oz.)
  • Murad Invisiblur (0.17 oz.)
  • Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm SPF 45 (0.5 oz.)
  • Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Timeless Coral (0.16 oz.)
  • First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser (1.0 oz.)
  • GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment (0.3 oz.)
  • Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloth (10 count)

I am very happy that I was able to get my hands on this set!  I'm excited to see what else Sephora would include in their future sets but at the same time crying because I know I'll be running out to get some as soon as I hear about them!  I can't wait to try some of these out and maybe do a first impression post with a handful of different trial size products in the future!

Have you heard about this set and did you manage to get your hands on it?  What is the one product you are most excited to try in this set?

Unboxing | Walmart Summer 2015 Beauty Box

Friday, July 17, 2015

Welcome back to another blog post of a late unboxing, brought to you by yours truly.  This time, we have the oh-so-affordable Walmart Beauty Box for Summer 2015.   I was actually surprised I got this because I had to get a brand new credit card recently and this subscription was charged on my old card.  But none the less, I think I'm indifferent that I got this. 

For $5, I have to say there are a lot of samples in this box, a lot more than what we received in our Target's summer box, for the same price too!, but unlike the Target box, there was only one full size item.  Now for $5, you get 8 products, 6 of which were decent sample sizes, 1 full size lip gloss, and 1 foil sample.  

Now let's see what products were included in this season's box:
  • Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer
  • Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen Lotion 
  • St. Ive's Apricot Scrub
  • Dove Go Fresh Revitalize Body Wash in Mandarin & Tiare Flower scent
  • Clear Complete Care Nourishing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
  • One Direction You & I fragrance 
  • NYC Liquid Lipshine in Fashion Ave Fuchsia
  • Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme

Now, I see myself using most of these products so I am happy about that.  Personally, I am on the fence about Walmart's box.  I wish I could see the products beforehand so that I have the option, like Target, to see if I want to get that particular box or wait until next season's box.  Two things that disappointed me about this particular box: I wish I had received a different St. Ive's sample because I'm not a big fan of the Apricot Scrub, and they sent a repeat of the Dove body wash.  But I will say, even with the repeated product, this season's box is definitely better than last season's in my opinion. 

Are you guys subscribed to Walmart's Beauty Box?  If so, are you a fan of the products that are included in each box?  If not, are you thinking of subscribing to it?

Unboxing | Target Summer 2015 Beauty Box

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Surprise!  I have another unboxing today, and it's not the last of it either, and this time it's Target's Summer 2015 Beauty Box.  I have to admit, the beauty boxes from Target haven't been that impressive lately and I almost passed on this particular box but decided that $7 for an Olay eye cream was worth it, especially since that eye cream is normally about $20!

Now let's jump into what's in the box!

Like usual, the products were wrapped inside the box with the red tissue paper.  The box also came with an info card, with details of the products inside the box, along with a $3 off $15 purchase coupon (not pictured).

The products inside the box:
  • Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Styling Cream
  • Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Gladiolus
  • Olay Regenerist Luminous HydraSwirl Eye Cream
  • Sinful Colors Professional Nail Color in Sail La Vie
  • Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads
Overall, I am content with the box.  I will definitely be trying out the eye cream in the future, and I can see myself using everything else included in this box.  

Stay tune because I'll have another unboxing coming up and I just ordered another Target box yesterday!

What are some of your favorite things you've received in subscription boxes before?

Unboxing | Birchbox May 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sooo.... I apparently lied in my last unboxing, when I said I was getting better at unboxing posts... because this unboxing is several months late.  To be fair, I didn't order it until mid-May, and it wasn't shipped out until early June.... So technically, I'm only a month late... right? 

As you guys may or may not know, I don't order from any monthly subscription services at all.  I did Ipsy back when it first started, and was still called MyGlam, but I stopped when I moved back home after college.  I haven't picked it back up and I haven't picked up any other services, or else there would be a lot more late unboxings on here for sure!  But towards mid-May, Tati had this incredible deal in one of her videos that I could not pass up!  I think it was the beginning of her partnership, or whatever it is, with Birchbox and they gave her a code to give to her subscribers, or whoever found the code, where you get you first Birchbox for $1.  Now $1 for something that's typically $10, that's a deal I couldn't pass up and signed up right away!  

I was expecting and half way hoping it would be their June box, since it was already more than half way through the month and the fine prints said they wouldn't ship until June, but it ended up being the May's box.  May's box was a collaboration with a cupcakes and cashmere, and I love design of the box.  One of the things I really like about Birchbox is that the boxes are shipped in another box that has all the shipping labels on it, protecting the inside box.

Now I've had this box for a while now but I believe it did not come with an info card that tells you what products are included along with directions.  I believe most, if not all, boxes come with that info card so that was a bit disappointing.  Luckily all the products are in English and are easy to figure out how to use.

The products inside this box are:
  • Marcelle Clay Mask
  • Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
  • Whish Body Butter
  • Pixi by Petra Fairy Dust in Gold Dust
  • Nelson J Beverly Hills Moisture Healing Mask
I'm kind of disappointed by the products included in this box, but beggars can't be choosers right?  I did pay only $1 for this and it was my first time so they probably don't know what I would have wanted and whatnot.  I will say, I see myself using all of the products eventually so that is a good sign! 

What is one of your favorite subscription services out there right now? 

Still alive!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hiiiiiiiii!  So I meant to get back into the blogging groove earlier in the month, aka last week, but as we all saw, that did not happen.  Woopies and sorry!  I don't really know what else to say except life got in the way!

So here's a little recap things that had happened in my personal life since the last time I blogged.

» I applied for a certificate program close to home where I hope I'll make it in and start building a career.  I hate to admit it but I feel like a pretty big failure at the moment because I'm already in my mid-20s and I still don't have a stable job and a career.  I do have a lot of hobbies and interests that haven't exactly taken off either... I really need to get my life back on some sort of track... With that being said, I took some time off to work on my applications and had a mini-panic attack throughout the month of June as well... but I turned that application in on July 1st and I feel free again!

» The Mister and I took a road trip down to socal to visit some friends and to go to Disneyland!  We had a super long weekend and it was really nice that I find myself wishing I can go back to that weekend many times.  Umm... I plan to do an update on my 101 things in 1001 days challenge, so I'll probably go into more details then.  But I can say, I've been craving Boiling Point since then!

» My baby cousins came up from socal for a weekend and spent a few days with my family!  It's really interesting to see how fast kids grow up!  My immediate family and I don't get to see some of our extended families because they don't live in the Bay Area.  I've literally have only seen one of my cousins a handful of times and he's grown so much every time I see him.  I'm pretty sure they won't remember the visits since they're still under 5, and they probably won't recognize us the next time we see them, but I'm just amused by how fast they're growing!

Sadly that was the bulk of what happened during June.... I know, I lead a pretty boring life.  I've always wanted to do some sort of lifestyle blogging, but I think that would bore everyone to death.  Maybe I'll give it a try when I have a more interesting life in the future.... that just means I need to live a more interesting life.

If you've seen a bunch, or any of my older posts, it is basically chronicling my shopping addiction.  I don't want to admit I have that problem, but let's get real... I have a huge shopping addiction problem.  I like to buy things just for the sake of buying things with the intention of reviewing it for the blog but never gets around to actually doing so.  I really would like to work on that somehow on the blog and hope to turn my shopping addiction around some how.  Don't get me wrong, I love trying out new things, but who really needs like 5 different face washes at the same time?  Or 4 different hair masks?  Yah.... baby steps right?  The first step to recovery is admitting I have a problem... and I admit I have a huge problem.

Now that I feel like I have a bit more free time, I want to devote more time to this blog, this hobby of mine.  I really want to see it take off and go somewhere eventually....

Okay, I officially don't know what I'm saying anymore.  But the tldr version would be, I'm back and let's hope I don't take another break for a while!