blogger

Play! By Sephora- Is it worth it?

I recently subscribed to the Play! By Sephora monthly box. I just received my first box (July 2016) about a week ago. I made the decision to subscribe because I get the majority of my cosmetics and skin care from Sephora. I like the idea of receiving items from one store and being able to purchase all of the items from the same store. Other subscriptions do contain items that are sold at stores like Sephora and Ulta, but a lot of them aren’t so you have to order online.

So far I’m really liking what I received in my box. Like all of the other services, the first thing you do is fill out a questionnaire. The products you receive are based off of the answers you put in your profile. I have normal to dry skin which explains why I received the products I did. Now to show you what I received in my July box…

smashboxSmashbox Photo Finish Primer– One of my favorite primers. Especially in the winter. Right now I am loving the Photo Finish Light for summer. I do not own the full size because I always get them as freebies with points. Glad I get to add another one to my stash.

 

 

first aid beautyFirst Aid Beauty Cleanser– The only product I have tried from this brand is the Ultra Repair Moisturizer. Although that product wasn’t hydrating enough, I’m excited to try this one. It’s perfect for traveling purposes. The 1oz is actually sold online and it is $5.50. There goes half your box!

 

 

 

hoolaBenefit Dew the Hoola– I wasn’t too excited about receiving this product. Even though I love liquid/cream products, this one seems a little orange. I have yet to try it on my face but we’ll see. The reviews online are def not the best.

 

 

ouaiOuai Haircare Wave Spray– This is the item I was really excited to try. I’ve been wanting to try these products ever since they came out. The prices have been keeping me from trying any. I’ve used this a couple times already and I like it. Enough to buy it? I’m not sure… It smells great and gives the hair just enough texture to get that beachy look. Again, great for traveling or even my gym bag.

 

blotterazziBlotterazi by Beautyblender– My friend has this and she loves it! It’s been pretty hot in Seattle lately (believe it or not) so my nose has been quite on the oily side. I will have to try this out. I like the fact that its reusable. It also comes with a sample of the liquid cleanser.

 

 

nestNest Citrine Eau de Parfum– I LOVE getting perfume samples, especially if it has a spray top. I used to hate receiving perfume samples. One day I decided to put them in a really cute glass container in my bathroom. It’s so easy for me to dig my hand in the jar and actually use the samples. I also love to use them when I travel! I LOVE this smell. It’s the perfect blend of citrus and flower. I wouldn’t mind owning the full size.

Now I want to talk about the pros and cons of this subscription box…

Pros

  • high end brands
  • brands you are familiar with
  • items great for traveling
  • easy access in-store/online
  • online how-to videos
  • one-on-one tutorials in-store with play pass card
  • 50 extra beauty insider points when you scan play pass card with any purchase

Cons

  • chance of receiving products you dislike
  • some samples are really small

Overall, I think Play by Sephora is the way to go. I used to be a subscriber for Ipsy and Birchbox years ago, but I got tired of receiving crappy items from brands I wasn’t familiar with. With the Play box, you at least know you will be receiving items from prestigious brands. I have created a chart below comparing other July boxes from Birchbox, Ipsy, and Boxycharm.

July 2016

Play! By Sephora $10

Birchbox $10

Ipsy $10

Boxycharm $21

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer .25fl oz ($36)* Balance Me Radiance Face Mask 0.5fl oz ($34)* Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in No Filter ($15) OFRA Magnetic Palette with 6 OFRA Eyeshadows ($59)
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser 1oz ($5.50) Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution 1.7fl oz ($21)* Shray Queen Bee Mask ($6) Mally Beauty Rounded Blender Brush ($15)
Benefit Dew the Hoola  .16oz ($28)* Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara ($22)* Shray Ms. Amazing Mask ($6) Noyah Lip Gloss in Melbac ($16)
Ouai Haircare Wave Spray 1.7fl oz ($26)* Raw Spirit Fragrances Mystic Pearl Eau de Parfum ($40)* bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Swag ($18)* PYT Hair Oil Treatment ($30)
Blotterazi by Beautyblender ($20 for 2) MDSolarSciences™ Mineral Crème SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB Sunscreen .25oz ($30) Mellow Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Plum ($8 full size included in bag) Mally Waterproof Eyeliner ($18)
Nest Citrine Eau de Parfum .04fl oz ($68)*

*price for full size items

Birchbox– Contains most items that are sold at Sephora. The good thing is that all of their items are sold online at birchbox.com. I also like their point system. You earn points by reviewing the products you receive. One hundred points equals $10, so thats a big plus!

Ipsy– The July bag contained only one item I’m familiar with. I would’ve been disappointed if I received this box. The Ipsy website does not sell items, but they do provide links to the designated website. They also have coupon codes for each website.

Boxycharm– This subscription box costs more, but it also has a value of at least $100 every month. The items in the July box are pretty good. I just can’t see myself spending 20 bucks a month. I’d rather use that money towards an item I really want. They also include brands I’m unfamiliar with. I honestly don’t think those brands are worth what they are retailed for. That goes for the items included in Ipsy and Birchbox as well.

I think if you are a beginner and have zero makeup, you can’t go wrong with any of these subscription services. My top choice would have to be Play! by Sephora, then Birchbox, Boxycharm, and lastly, Ipsy. There is also the Allure Beauty box ($15) and Glossybox ($20). Those may be worthy of checking out as well.

Thanks for reading. I hope this was helpful! Let me know what your favorite subscription service is!

XO, Diana

Tulip Festival

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
A couple of days ago my husband and I went on a mini roadtrip to the Skagit Tulip Festival here in Washington. I have been wanting to visit this place ever since I moved to Seattle. There are 2 massive fields of tulips. The festival welcomes hundreds and hundreds of people every year in April.

I wanted to share some of the pictures I captured. It was truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

IMG_2195

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Of course I had to take a picture of my lipstick; Kat Von D-Lovesick

I hope you enjoyed my pictures! Be sure to add this place on your bucket list!

XO, Diana

Flawless Foundation Routine

Hello beauties! I’ve been asked a few times what products I use to achieve a flawless face. In this post I’m going to show you all of the products I use including the most important tools.

Step 1: Moisturize and Prime

I’ve been using the Belief True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (rewards), Origins Ginzing Eye Cream, and the YSL Blur Primer (deluxe sample). I apply the primer in the center of my face and around my mouth.

Step 2: Apply Foundation and Concealer

IMG_2426I am currently using the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation and the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. My foundation is in the shade Natural Beige and my concealer is in the shade Custard. The concealer is about one shade lighter than my skin tone. I normally use the UD Naked Concealer, but my under eyes are a little to dry for that one right now. I also love using the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.

The most important tool to use when blending in foundation and concealer is the Beauty Blender. The only thing I dislike about using it is how long it takes takes to blend. Feels like foreeevvveerrrr. But it works and it’s the only tool that blends everything flawlessly.  I first apply my foundation and then my concealer. If I really want to highlight under my eye then I apply the concealer in a triangle formation. I also apply it on my chin, cupid’s bow, tip of the nose, and the center of the forehead. I blend my concealer with the beauty blender as well.

Step 3: Set Foundation and Concealer

IMG_2423The KEY to a flawless face is setting it with powder. My favorite powder to set my concealer is the yellow shade (Lucid) in the Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette. This really highlights the under eye and makes it look flawless. To do this, I use the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. I gently press it on the same areas I applied concealer. I NEVER blend in, just press onto the skin.

To set the rest of my face I use the NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder. You can use any kind of brush for this. I normally use a larger powder brush. I feel like the NARS powder is underrated. People rave about the Laura Mercier one, but I hardly ever see anyone mention this one. I’ve never tried LM (it’s on my list), I’m sure it’s great, but this one gets the job done too. This product also works great for the ‘baking’ technique.

Step 4: Bronze, Blush, and Highlight

mufeNow the fun begins… First, I apply bronzer, the middle shade in the same Kat Von D palette. I hardly ever take the time to really sculpt my face. I’ve seen many people ask how to contour and what tool to use. I don’t think contouring is necessary more than half the time, just add a little bronzer and your good to go. I do believe the right brush is needed. I prefer to use a flat type of brush. I’ve been using the MUFE Large Powder Fan Brush.  This brush is amazing and makes bronzing/contouring so easy! It allows you to create the perfect line. I also run the brush across my nose, top of forehead, and around jawline. You could also use this brush to apply blush and highlight. It’s a huge brush so it takes a while to get used to holding it. But once you do, you’ll love it!

IMG_2397

After applying bronzer, highlight, & blush

Finally, I apply blush and highlight. Those two vary from time to time. Lately I have been using a Tom Ford blush/highlight duo that came out last year in their holiday collection.

Step 5: Setting Spray

I don’t really like my face to look too powdery so I always apply a setting spray. My go-to’s are MAC Fix Plus and Urban Decay All Nighter Spray. If I want my makeup to last all day and night then I use the Urban Decay.

I also wanted to mention that if I am wearing a lot of eyeshadow, like a smokey eye, then I do that first. I normally apply the foundation, then the eyeshadow, and then the concealer. This way you can easily clean up any fallout or mistakes. You can really use that concealer to clean up the eyeshadow.

So there you have it. Those are all of the steps I do to achieve a flawless look. I usually do this about once a week. I prefer a lot less steps and makeup on a day to day basis.

IMG_2428

*Eyebrows: Diorshow Brow Styler, Eyeshadow: KVD Shade + Light Eye, Liner: KVD Tattoo Liner, Lips: Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in More Better.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope this was helpful. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions!

XO, Diana

 

 

Shade of the Day- Truffle

Welcome! It’s been a while since I’ve posted… It feels so good to be back!

Truffle

Today’s post includes one of Dose of Colors new shade called Truffle. It’s a neutral shade with of a mauve tint. I really like this color because it’s not too light or too dark. I absolutely love the formula of Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks. They last all day, and do not feather, clump, or transfer.

IMG_1065

(Left to right) Truffle, ABH-Pure Hollywood, KVD-Bow n Arrow, KVD-Lolita

IMG_1106As you can see it’s pretty different from the other swatches above. Truffle was extremely easy to apply. It is also very pigmented and not as streaky as Bow and Arrow or Lolita. Pure Hollywood is too light for me to wear on its own. I normally wear it MAC’s Whirl lip pencil. With Truffle I used Make Up For Ever’s Lip Line Perfector.

IMG_1100

I went for a very minimal look.

Face- Diorskin Nude BB Cream (Medium) mixed with Cover FX drops (G30), Urban Decay Naked concealer, and Hourglass Radiant Bronzer

Eyes- Diorshow brow pencil, MAC Soft Ochre paint pot, Hourglass bronzer in crease, Rimmel Scandaleyes nude liner, Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara, and Clinique Bottom Lash mascara

Thanks for stopping by. I have lots of blog posts planned for the next few weeks.

Stay tuned!

XO, Diana

Whole30 Week 4 Recap

Week 4 was just about the same as week 3. My body felt great and I got lots of sleep. My only issue was being sick of cooking. I did a lot better about making sure I ate 3 meals a day. I also forgot to take a lot of pictures again.

Day 22- Monday
I woke up and made some hashbrowns, lil smokies, and fried eggs. My husband and I were both off work today so we decided to go to the movies. We watched Antman (best movie ever btw). The smell of popcorn always gets me at the movies. Since we went at an earlier time, I wasn’t too tempted. I packed some grapes and a Larabar. We headed to Chipotle after the movies to grab some lunch. For dinner I made some chicken with veggies.

Day 23- Tuesday
 I repeated Monday’s breakfast. I also had a banana with coconut flakes and sliced almonds. Lunch included leftover chicken and veggies. For dinner I made some ground beef with potatoes. I also had some sliced cucumbers. I also made it to the gym after breakfast.

Day 24- Wednesday
 I’ve been trying not to drink coffee but some days I just can’t help it. I had some coconut cream so I got curious. I added about a teaspoon to my coffee and put it in a blender. It was def a life saver! Since I didn’t add much coconut, it didn’t give the coffee any extra flavor. It pretty much just acted as a creamer. I made some breakfast sweet potatoes, fried eggs, a sausage patty, and a banana. After breakfast I headed to gym. For lunch I had leftovers. For dinner I made this amazing cracklin chicken by nom nom paleo. I also made roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Day 25- Thursday

 I had sweet potatoes and eggs for breakfast. I snacked on some grapes before lunch. I picked up a bottle of Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic dressing so I made a salad with leftover chicken for lunch. This dressing is delicious and very convenient. For dinner I made some burger patties with french fries.

Day 26- Friday

 I had same breakfast except I added a cajun sausage. I went on a wonderful hike with my friend this day. I snacked on some grapes during our hike. After, we headed to Chipotle because we were starving. I was so exhausted when I got home, so laid down for a nap. I woke up and made some beef fajitas. I didn’t know what sides to make so I just made it as a salad. I added some guac and Tessemae’s dressing.

Here’s a little view from our hike 🙂 
Day 27- Saturday
 I made some eggs with chorizo this day. I also had some sliced bananas and coffee with coconut cream. All you have to do is put a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Once you open the can you’ll see cream on top. I headed to gym a couple hours after breakfast. For lunch I had some leftover beef patties and potatoes. I also had some pickles -_- not sure if those are compliant. For dinner I baked some drumsticks and potatoes.

Day 28- Sunday

My husband and I went the gym as soon as we woke up. I had some eggs with chorizo and grapes when we got back. For lunch I had some leftover fajitas with a salad. Dinner was super simple, I really did not feel like cooking. I made a cajun sausage link and a baked potato with a tiny bit of ghee. I also had some watermelon.

As I am typing this I am realizing I only have 2 days left. I seriously can’t believe it! Time has gone by so fast. It’s been an incredible journey. I can’t wait to share my final thoughts and tips for any of you interested in completing a Whole30.

Thanks for stopping by!

Check out week 3, here.

XO, Diana

Sephora Haul- July 2015

  I’ve mad a few purchase to Sephora these last few weeks so I figured I’d show you what I got.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector- Champagne Pop

  Let’s start off with the most exciting purchase…. The new Becca Highlight in Champagne Pop. This highlight is everything! It’s pretty close to being my favorite. Jaclyn Hill did an amazing job creating this highlight. I think it definitely suits all skin types. It has a gold tone with a little pinch of peach.

Dior Brow Pencil- Universal Shade

I ran out of my second ABH Brow Wiz and decided I was done purchasing it (again). I just cant justify repurchasing this because it runs out too fast. I decided to go online and check out all of the brow products available. This one had lots of great reviews so I decided to give it a go. It’s more expensive than Anastasia but I’m willing to purchase if it lasts longer. So far I am really liking it!

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

This was a repurchase. I seriously love this mascara!

Embryolisse Nourishing Moisturizer 

This was also a repurchase. It’s one of my favorite moisturizers.

Sephora Collection- Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer

  This is a new product from the Sephora Collection. For $14 I figured it was worth a shot trying. Its supposed to be a lightweight buildable concealer. I purchased the color Medium-07 Custard and Tan-14 Toffee. Custard is a little too light for me right now. I think it would be perfect for highlighting or a winter concealer. I purchased Toffee to contour with and I think its gonna be perfect!

Since I made a few orders, I was able to get some pretty good deluxe size samples. They always get me with those emails!

Too Faced-Born This Way Foundation

I got the color Sand since it was the only color left. I think it may be a tad too dark for me but I still make it work. I have been wearing this foundation almost everyday. I will have a review in my next blog post but so far I am loving it.

YSL- Touche Eclat Blur Primer

I was very intrigued by this product. It’s “an illuminating primer that blurs imperfections and boosts the radiance of foundation.” It has a silicone texture with tiny gold shimmers–very interesting. I am looking forward to trying this product.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation

This is another product I’m excited to try. It’s MUFE’s newest foundation. I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of the original HD foundation. I tried it out several times and it just didn’t work. This one is supposed to give a natural yet flawless finish. We’ll just see about that!

Stayed tuned for reviews on most of these products! I’m also expecting a couple more exciting packages! Eeeeek!

XO, Diana

Whole30 Week 1 Recap

Ok. I’m not gonna lie. Last week was HELL. I was not expecting it to be as hard as it was. I also didn’t prepare as much as I should have. Dinner was the only meal I actually planned out. I thought I had ideas for lunch but I was way wrong. This week I have already planned out lunch and dinner. Breakfast is always the easiest thing to plan for. One thing I learned is to make breakfast my biggest meal of the day.

Day 1

Day 1I felt pretty good this day. I was lucky and found this chorizo at Safeway. I made it with eggs and spinach. I also made some breakfast sweet potatoes seasoned with paprika and cumin. So yummy! I also had back coffee. For lunch I had a simple pot roast I made in the crockpot. I added grassfed beef, potatoes, onion, carrots, and cilantro. I stopped by Starbucks on the way home and got an unsweetened green tea. For dinner I made a salad with chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados and cilantro. I made a lemon vinaigrette to go with it. I had some organic apple chips as a snack in between lunch and dinner.

Day 2

Day 2This is the day I began getting headaches but other than that I was feeling pretty good. I had the same breakfast as yesterday along with a banana. For lunch I had 2 pieces of chicken breast marinated with cilantro, jalapeño, and lime, two boiled eggs, and a little salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, olive oil and lime. For dinner I made a salad made with shredded pork I purchased from Costco. I added guacamole and homemade salsa to it. I had apple slices as a snack between lunch and dinner.

Day 3

Day 3Not only did I wake up with a headache, but I was soooooooo sleepy this day. I was sleepy all day long. For breakfast I had one of these sausages with two fried eggs and a big bowl of watermelon. Lunch was leftovers from dinner. For dinner I wanted something quick so I made some ground beef with potatoes. I also made some fajita veggies and added it on top. I had cherries right before lunch because I was starving.

Day 4

IMG_3061I think this was the worst day by far. I was mentally exhausted by this day. I still had a headache and I was still really sleepy. I was off work this day and I didn’t get out of bed until 1pm. I got up around 8am to have breakfast, same as yesterday. After hiding in bed all morning, I decided to get up and go to the mall. Worst decision ever. I literally walked into Sephora, walked right out, and went home. For lunch I had leftovers from day before. Once I got home I took some ibuprofen and I was surprised it actually helped my headache. For dinner I made some delicious coconut shrimp with mango salsa. I made the shrimp with eggs, coconut flour, shaved coconut, and coconut oil. You can find the recipe here. I had a bowl of watermelon after dinner.

Day 5

IMG_3007I woke up feeling a lot better this day. The sleepiness also went away, thank goodness. I wasn’t very hungry when I woke up, but I was craving something cold and fresh. I made a smoothie with water, fresh blackberries, frozen pineapple, bananas, and strawberries. A couple hours later I had two boiled eggs and an egg white. I wanted to get out of the funk I was in so I met up with a friend for lunch. I was a bit nervous about going out but it ended up being okay. I ordered a chicken salad with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette. For dinner I made a salad with the shredded pork again.

Day 6

IMG_3063I struggled again this day. I’m not sure if it was because it was the 4th of July or what but it sucked. I made some breakfast potatoes with onions, jalapeños, and tomatoes. The plan was to make sweet potatoes for myself but I was short on time. I topped the potatoes with a fried egg and some Frank’s hot sauce. I also made a monkey salad (bananas, cashews, and coconut flakes).

My husband and I went to the movies (at the mall) and of course we were starving when we got out. We wanted to grab some Chipotle but it was closed. I wanted to give up so bad. Looking at the food court was pure torture. We ended up having some fajitas at a Mexican restaurant. For dinner I made some lettuce wrapped burgers with french fries. All I added to burgers was avocado, tomatoes, and pickles. After dinner I had a bowl of canteloupe.

Day 7

IMG_3065I woke up feeling a lot better this day. My husband and I made it to the gym first thing in the morning. We had the same breakfast as the day before. Afterwards, we  decided to go to the batting cages and play some mini golf. On the way there I had a bowl of cantaloupe. We stopped at the grocery store before heading home. I was pretty hungry when we got home so I made a berry salad with a blueberry vinaigrette. This salad was sooooooo delicious. I found the recipe here. I used a mixture of lettuce instead of spinach. For dinner we had some steaks with roasted red potatoes and grilled zucchini.

As much as I thought about quitting or cheating, deep down inside I knew I couldn’t. I knew it wouldn’t get me anywhere and I’d be back to square one. I knew it wouldn’t have been worth it.

I quickly learned I need to plan for all meals. My trips to the store have become very interesting.  The produce and meat sections are the only areas I visit. I try to purchase as much organic foods as I can. I’m pretty lucky because I often find grassfed beef on sale at Safeway.

I have already planned my meals for this week. I am also planning on making it to the gym 5 days since I finally have my energy back!

Check out my goals and plan for Whole30 here

Lets hope week 2 is better! Thanks for reading!

-Diana