January Favorites

150129-JanuaryFaves_04The weather has been unusual lately. The last couple of days up here in the PNW have been spring-like. So much so, I’ve been tempted to breakout my spring clothes, but I know when I do, it’s just going to get cold again… I really want to start wearing some spring clothes and opened-toed shoes. January: What’s going on, huh?

Speaking of January, I thought I might start doing a monthly favorites, or rather things that I’m completely obsessed with this month. So here’s just what I’ve been lovin':

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//Hair & Skin Care//

I don’t know if I should put this in as a January favorite since I brought it back in November, but I finally used the last of it just last week. Alaffia African Black Soap was my go-to body / face / shaving / shampooing wash for the last two months. I brought it at Haggen’s when I made a quick lunch run to pick-up some medications before Thanksgiving. For the first few uses, I thought the Peppermint smell with the shea was a little weird, but grew used to it. It’s all gone now, but I’m kind of thinking of going to get another bottle (maybe a different scent) since it was a great all-around soap. Definitely give this a try if you haven’t.

As a mix-chick, I use conditioner like there is no tomorrow and I usually have at least two or three bottles on hand. Why? Don’t know. Makes me happy… Anyhow, I was wondering the beauty section at TJ Maxx and found this bottle of By Nature From New Zealand Dry and Damage Hair Conditioner. I love this stuff. I use it when I wash my hair with soap and when I just do a co-wash. Leave it in for 10 to 15 minutes and my hair is like uber soft!

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//Beauty//

You probably already saw these in some previous posts, but yeah loving the L’Oreal True Match Lumi foundation and Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. I made the switch at the beginning of this month from Maybelline’s Fit Foundation to L’Oreal. Mainly since I was reading a lot of posts of other blogger raving about it. And they are right. The True Match is a great formula. Glides effortlessly on my skin and blends so well. And the Pore Eraser, why did I go so long before purchasing this! Such a good product in comparison to the higher priced one I was using.

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//Food Faves//

QuestBars. They are a bit on the expensive side of protein bars: a box of 12 goes for about $25. But they are some of the best protein bars out there. Whenever I hit the mall I stop into GNC and grab some, but this month, I’ve been having them pretty much after every strength workout in the evenings. They are great tasting and most are loaded with about 20g of protein. They are also low in sugar and carbs. My favorites are the White Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Brownie!

I’ve made the switch from whole wheat brown bread to rye bread. I thought it was going to be odd tasting at first, but it’s not. It’s really great with vegan cream cheese and cucumbers. I got recommended Mestemacher Whole Grain Rye from a fellow gym member. Right now I can only find it at Haggen’s and online. So Haggen’s better not stop selling them. I would be so unhappy!

What’s everyone else obsessing about?

Stress Relief Mini-Haul

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For a brief time, I didn’t know if I was going to post anything today or not. I had made plans with myself to go to Starbucks and work on today’s post and start on a couple of ones I was thinking about, but my computer had other plans. Black screen. So I restart, I hear it chime in. White flash, then black. I did this several times before I started to panic… a little. Okay, go home. Maybe it doesn’t like the charger you are using. I went home. Tried it again. Several times. Black screen.

At this point, completely panicking. Tried some DIY fixes I found on the web via my phone, but nothing. Even a call to Apple support line didn’t help fix whatever was going on with my computer. I did however know that it wasn’t the hard-drive, but blacklight of the screen. The local Apple contracted computer shop nearby had a tech that would check it out, but wouldn’t be able to till Monday.

So, to relive the stress of all that, I did what every other gal would do. I went out and shopped. I mean, I had to get some things like dishwashing liquid and toilet paper. I also got some goodies to help me feel a bit better.

At Rite-Aid, I got the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser and the two L.A. Girl Color Pop Nail polish in Cornflower (the blueish one) and Wild Child. I heard good things about the Pore Eraser and how it is similar to Benefit’s POREfessional. I really excited to use this one.

There were quite a bit of cosmetics on clearance, but the ones I really wanted to spend money on were already gone. Sad. But I did find these two nail polish for less than a dollar each. Since I wasn’t really too sure about the formula, I only pick up these to colors. If they work out well, I might go back tomorrow and grab some of the other colors they had left. If there are any left by tomorrow.

I also stopped in to TJ Max, but there wasn’t any makeup or skincare products that caught my eye so I got myself a 9.5″ crepe pan by Il Mulino and Barney Butter Bare Almond Butter. ‘Cause almond butter always makes me feel better.

Then in a funny (not funny) moment, I decided to see if I can at least hook my laptop to my tv via the video port and it completely boots up without going black. WTF.

Frosty Vox Box Beauty Goods

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So I had originally planned on writing about the beauty products found in the #FrostyVoxBox right after the treat post, but life and other posts got in the way. Let me tell you, I’ve got a list of post I’ve need to get started on!

Out of all the beauty/hair products included in the Vox Box there are two items I love, two that were okay, and one I was super disappointed in. One of the biggest item in the box and the one that disappointment me the most was the hairbrush. The Eco Hair Brush that was sent in my package was the Full Volume Styler. It was suppose to dry hair 20% faster and has frizz and static fighting design. Even before I tried it on my filipino/african-american hair, I suspected it wouldn’t work and I was right. It’s possible that one of their other products would work better with my hair type, but not this one.

The next two are good products but just ones that I wouldn’t go first to use. The NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum glides on easily and gives out great color. It’s suppose to have “shine that lasts up to six hours” but I notice it fading after one and had to retouch which is really annoying since I’m not much of lipstick kind of gal. I’ll definitely use this on special occasions but not for everyday wear. Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover was one item I was glad to receive since I had just used the last of my other one. It works great removing my makeup except for my waterproof mascara. I really felt like I had to “scrub” the remover with the pad several times before it felt like it had came off. Definitely going to stick with my Boot Sensitive Eye Makeup Remover.

Now my favorites. Rimmel Scadeleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner is fantastic! It’s a thick pencil with an incredible pigment. It goes one wonderfully easy. I love using this eyeliner when I don’t want to pull out my liquid liner and in a bit of a hurry. Definitely will buy this one when I run out. The last beauty item in the box was a sample packet of No.7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum. It’s such a nice cream and my skin feels so soft and smooth afterwards. And since they included a coupon looks like someone is buying the full size real soon.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own personal views, and do not represent the views of any company or organization with which I may be affiliated.

Frosty VoxBox: Green Tea & Sweet Treats

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Just in time for the holidays, my VoxBox arrived among parcels of Christmas gifts! The Frosty Box has a good mesh of beauty products and food items. Most of the items were quite good and I would probably buy them in the future!

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The first two items I opened are the Celestial Candy Cane Lane Green Tea and the Fruit Vines Bites. Both delicious! I love tea, but usually I only stick to with simple basic teas. However, this green tea was refreshing with a hint of peppermint. Very nice on a warm winter day. But I think my favorites were the Fruit Vines! Super tasty and didn’t last long on the 5 hour road trip to Portland between three people. They were sweet and reminded me a lot of Red Vines. I really like how they are already bite size. Definitely going to buy them again when I seem them in the stores!

This is just the first part of the #FrostyVoxBox. Tomorrow I’ll give you all a review of the skin care and beauty products I received, and soon after a recipe using the thyme seasoning!

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I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own personal views, and do not represent the views of any company or organization with which I may be affiliated.

Winter Sephora Haul

SephoraDec02I finally used my Sephora gift card that my sister had brought me for my birthday earlier this year. Why was it so late to be use, well, my sister didn’t mail it to me before she moved and it ended up sitting in storage for most of the year before my sister and brother-in-law brought their house. Hilariously, it was packed in one of the boxes sitting in front.

While I love visiting the actual store and trying out all their goodies, you get far better samples to try at home if you order online. The only time now that I actually buy thing physically is when I’m in town and it’s an emergency. This time around I ordered my usual acne moisturizer, the SEPHORA COLLECTION Acne-Fighting Mattifying Moisturizer. I started using this earlier this year and I’m quite fond of it. I hit the gym six days a week and while I do wash my face right after I finish, I find that using this moisturizer helps control any breakouts cause from that. I’ve also notice that it helps tone down my pores on my cheeks. I have really deep pores that very noticeable (something I inherit from my mother). If you are looking for a cheap alternative: Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Control Moisturizer is also good. I have this one for when I completely space and didn’t order the Sephora one.

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I also order myself some face masks by Karuna: Brightening+ Face Mask and Anti-Oxidant+ Face Mask. I haven’t tried these guys yet, but I hope they stand up to par to my Korean face masks that I buy at H-Mart. I love how face masks have become a major skin/face care trend. I really hope it never ends! I love to pamper myself with a face mask!

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I also order Kat Von D Autograph Eyeliner. This is one of my favorite eyeliners. It’s thick and easy to apply with a steady hand. I like using this pot-like liner to put on a “Kat”-eye look. It has taken me a couple of month to finally get the right look and a lot of watching how-to vlogs.

Now the really fun parts: Excess amount of samples!!

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So the first picture are the one I choose since I ordered over $25 (is that correct?) of products: Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent! Eye CreamAlgenist Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector Gel Moisturizer, and LANCÔME Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur. I haven’t tried Benefit’s eye cream yet, but I have used the Algenist and LANCOME. I like the feel of Algenist when I put it on, but it has a musky perfume scent that annoyed me. I keep smelling it all day and that’s really important to me. I can’t wear something I have to smell all day if I don’t like it. Which is also why I don’t wear a lot of perfume. I haven’t really found a scent I absolutely love.

I also tried the LANCOME Visionnaire, but I didn’t see much of a difference in my skin. I’ve used a photo finished cream before; Smashbox, which was also in my sample bag. I was really expecting that matte finish once applied, but I didn’t notice any change. It just felt like I was putting on another layer of moisturizer on.

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I’ve stared on the massive little sample packets that came in the Sephora Makeup Bag. Clinque’s Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup and Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief I’ve used before and already know I love both and usually set aside some cash for them since they are pretty pricey. I mean just for small container (1.7oz) of the moisturizer, it’s like 38 bucks. Definitely good stuff, but pricey. I use the matte foundation in color 25 Spice and it blends quite well with my skin tone. Usually during the summer I have to go darker, so then I switch to Amber or Clove. Depending on how much sun I’ve been getting.

Most of the rest I haven’t tried yet so I’m pretty excited to see if I find something that I’m going to get in the full size. I’ll let you know soon what I think about the rest. I’ve started keeping a sharpie in the bathroom to mark the used packets with notes. Though I might end up also keeping a notebook in there.

What does everybody else think? Have any of you tried these products?  Any suggestions about which one I should try next? I’m kind of excited to use the body buttercream, but that might require me to shave my legs…

 

Freeman Beauty #BAREFOOTbliss

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It’s been so hot lately! After last weekend of cool weather, the PNW is now burning up in the upper 80’s for the last couple of days. So I been wearing mostly skirts, flowly dresses and shorts (which I can) everyday! Along with only sandals!

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At Sunrise

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Morning all. It’s about 6 am, no, sorry it’s 5:35. I just looked at my phone and I pretty much just woke up as you can see from my photo (below). I’m currently at my parents house on the island and I’m a bit tired

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