Saturday, August 30, 2014

Influenster VitaVoxBox

Woohoo, another Influenster VoxBox! This time, I got the Vitality VoxBox, also known as the VitaVoxBox. This box was all about promoting health and beauty during the summer months, and I loved it!

I've actually made my first ever YouTube video for this, so you can hear all of my product reviews below. Excuse the fact that I'm barely wearing makeup--I filmed this while sick. So check out everything that I have to say, and let me know if you received this box, too!

Another aspect of this box was gearing up for a #BikiniReadyLifestyle. While I'm more of a one-piece kind of gal, I think my biggest tip would be wearing LOTS and LOTS of sunscreen! I'm very partial to COOLA and Kiehl's, and always wear at least SPF 30. I'll probably move toward La Roche-Posay once I get to France, though!

So, what do you think about the video? As soon as I move to France (23 days! AH!), I'll probably start posting more! Let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see!

Products from this box:

P.S., are you interesting in joining this awesome community? Leave your email address below and I'll send you an invite!

Full disclosure: I received these products compliments of Influenster to review, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Product Review: Exuviance Illumination Duo

Oh, how lucky I am that BrandBacker send me ANOTHER anti-aging product! This time, I received samples of the Exuviance Illumination Duo and Performance Peel AP25.

Photos via NeoStrata Company.

Let's start with the Illumination Duo, which is comprised of the Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster and the Evening Restorative Complex. The Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster is a serum, and I know I've talked about all of the benefits of using vitamin C on one's face. Brighter skin, fewer blemishes, filled-in wrinkles...the list is endless! The Evening Restorative Complex is the second step, and it's a cream that keeps skin smooth and soft. These products stay true to their word--they smoothed out some fine lines on my face and kept my skin feeling hydrated and soft!

I also really loved the Performance Peel AP25. It's a two-step peel, and I've never seen a more convenient product! Each step comes in its own individual packet and is a soaked cotton round. The first step is soaked in the peel, and the second step is soaked in the "neutralizer" (which you wipe on your face after letting the peel sit for 10 minutes). It literally just takes a few swipes to give yourself a facial peel with this product, and there's zero mess! Plus, my skin didn't burn with it, and I have very sensitive skin. I was incredibly impressed by this product, and my face felt baby soft after washing off the peel.

My own image.

While these products are somewhat pricey, with the Illumination Duo retailing at $77, the prices are competitive with other anti-aging products. And let's not forget that the $77 gets you TWO products!

Have any of you tried the Exuviance Illumination Duo (or the Performance Peel AP25)? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Full disclosure: I received this product courtesy of BrandBacker, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Product Review: Valentia Even Glow Serum

I'm a huge skin care and anti-aging buff, so I was thrilled when BrandBacker invited me to review Valentia's Even Glow Serum!

Image via Valentia

This is a vitamin C serum for face, and it contains 20% vitamin C. For those of you who don't know a lot about skin care, this is GOOD. Vitamin C does wonders in protecting your skin from harmful free radicals and in helping to reverse sun damage, and it's known to boost collagen production (which, in turn, reduces fine lines and wrinkles). Additionally, there's sea buckthorn oil, green tea, and other natural ingredients in this magical potion.

I love serums like this, because you only need one or two drops to cover your entire face. The Valentia Even Glow Serum smells like oranges, so I actually looked forward to applying it!

My own image. I love the dropper--it makes application so easy!

Unfortunately, I can't take all of my skin care products with me to Europe next month, so I plan on passing this on to my mom when I leave. For the time being, though, it makes my skin feel silky smooth and leaves my face glowing!

Right now, Even Glow Serum is retailing for $35, so grab it before the price increases! And with Valentia's 90-day money-back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose.

Full disclosure: I received this product courtesy of BrandBacker, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birchbox Unveiling (August 2014)

August 2014

August was all about lightening up one's beauty routine to accommodate for the hot, sticky weather. For the second month in a row, subscribers were allowed to choose one of five samples, which I thought was really great!

Here are the products I received.

Giveaway: Ulta Gift Card, Psych DVDs, Harry Potter Mug

My friend Emily at Designs By Emily F is turning 23, and she's celebrating with a giveaway that I'm co-sponsoring! Go enter!

Giveaway open to US Residents only, winner will be chosen 2 weeks from today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trip to Ohio

Last week, I spent a few days in Ohio to visit my best friend Lydia (who happens to blog at Down and Out In Sephora) in Granville. The weird thing is, she's lived there for almost 10 years and this was the first time I'd ever come to visit! How crazy is that? We see each other at least once or twice a year, but it's almost always at my house in Michigan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Traveling in Style

One of the hardest decisions to make when traveling, in my opinion, is what to wear on the airplane. You need to wear enough layers that you can adjust for changing temperatures, but not so many that you're unable to carry them all when you're hot from running through the airport. The most important factor, though, is maintaining that delicate balance while opting for heavier pieces from your wardrobe so you can maximize what goes in your suitcase. It's an art, I tell you.

With my imminent move to France, it's important that I wear bulkier clothes on the airplane but still look cute. I'll be landing in Paris, after all! So, I've put together two possible looks that I could wear on board. And make sure to vote on which look is your favorite!

Photo via Robert Couse-Baker, modified with text.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Snapshot of Déols

I move to France in six weeks, and I'm getting super excited about it!

As I've mentioned before, I'll be living in Châteauroux, but I thought I'd give you guys a quick look at Déols, the town in which I'll be teaching. I'm teaching English at a single elementary school, and the location is perfect. The school is close to the bus stop, which is only a 15-minute ride! (Plus, all buses in the area are free.)

Déols is an extremely small town on the Indre River with a population of only 8500. I don't plan to spend much time there outside of teaching, but it looks so quaint that I thought I'd share some photos!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Wish List

I'm baaaaack!

Sorry about going totally MIA for the past week. My computer was acting up, and when I took it to the Apple Store they said I needed to replace the hard drive...lovely. Luckily, it behaved well enough that I could back everything up, and now I have a brand spanking new hard drive!

Anyway, it's the first of the month, meaning it's time for my monthly wish list. Here's what's on my radar right now:

Let's start with those pants. I've wanted crepe pants for a long time, but these have tiny embroidered camels all over them! They'd be so perfect for Morocco, and the clutch matches them perfectly.

With all of the excitement about going to France, I'm growing more and more impatient about buying Caudalie products. I love the Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil, and can't wait to get my hands on it so my face stays fresh and clean all night. The Beauty Elixir will keep my face hydrated on those long train rides and flights, and I've been on the hunt for a morning eye cream.

Finally, there's MAC Heroine lipstick. This color is a cult favorite, but I didn't want to make the plunge without knowing how it would look on me. While my mom was at the Bobbi Brown counter when we went to the Nordstrom Sale, I popped over to the MAC counter and asked to test it. It looked so much better than I expected, and it's really amazing how the color looks different on different people!

So tell me--what's on your wish list this month?