October Favorites

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Hello my lovelies! It's October Favorites time! I haven't put up a favorites post in a couple of months because I don't really have many favorites right now. Sadly for me, I've mostly just been wearing minimal makeup most days. Even so, I do have some products that I have been wearing with consistency and loving.

All of these products are what I have been wearing for quick and easy looks on the go.

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector Bb Cream for Combination To Oily Skin in Light/Medium has been my favorite product for foundation. It has a thin consistency, but still gives great coverage. My favorite thing about it is that it works well with my oily skin.

Kevin Aucoin The Essential Mascara - This sample came in the Glossybox collaboration with Bergdorf Goodman. (I have another post on the entire box here, in case you missed it.) I'm really loving this little sample. It makes my lashes long and thick without having to apply a lot of layers. 

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark - This is a product that I may not have included, but I got so many compliments on my nail polish when I wore this last week. It was chipped, and people were still telling me how much they liked it! This super dark purple is such a popular color for fall and winter. 

Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadow in Collie - I have no idea why Buxom discontinued these! I apologize for having a discontinued item on my list. There are some colors available on Amazon for various prices. These are my favorite cream eyeshadows. They have the mousse-like texture similar to the ones from Chanel, but unlike Chanel, these haven't dried out at all. I have several of these, and love them. This shimmery peach has been my go-to eyeshadow lately. (EDIT: A few colors are available at Sephora, and you can find all of the colors one the Bare Escentuals site!)

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Rush - I got this in my birthday haul, and I have been wearing it nonstop. This color is just so easy to wear, and I can't get enough of it!

My favorites aren't extremely exciting, but this is what I have been wearing for most of the month. Thank you all so much for reading! Have a happy and safe Halloween tomorrow if you celebrate!

-xoxo Lauren
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*Some links may be affiliate links.

Oleavine Konjac Sponge Review

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*Product received for testing purposes.

Hello everyone! Before I get started on the review, I just wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming response to my 1 year giveaway. Thank you so much! Welcome to my blog, if you're new, and thank you for sticking around to all of my readers that have been with me for most of the year. I appreciate every person that pays me a visit! I posted the giveaway, then went on vacation, and I have had several emergencies since I have been back. Please forgive my lack of posts right, but hopefully now I am back to posting with some regularity. 

Konjac sponges seem to be the new "it" tool in the skincare world. So many brands have come out with their own version of the konjac sponge. Today, I have the Oleavine Konjac Sponge for review.

Here are the reasons why I wanted to give this one a try:
-Free From Chemicals, Pollution and Irritants
-100% Biodegradable and Sustainable (You can even plant it in your flowerbed or compost when you want to retire it)
-Not Tested on Animals, and Vegan Friendly
-Has NO Added Dyes or Colorants

What it claims to do:
-Gently Exfoliates
-Deeply Cleanses
-Effectively Detoxifies
-Luxuriously Refreshes
-Naturally Moisturizes

How to sanitize

How do I use this thing?
To use the sponge, first rinse it with water. I was surprised at how soft it becomes! Then, massage your face with the sponge and your choice of cleanser. It recommends a non-foaming cleanser, but I use one that foams without a problem. You can even use it without a cleanser, but I have not tried that. This sponge will have to be replaced every 2-3 months or when it starts to break down. I have been using mine for a month, and haven't noticed any changes with it. The sponge has a little string, so you can hang it to dry in between uses.

Wet Sponge

My thoughts
My skin doesn't agree with most exfoliating tools. The exfoliating brushes don't work for me, so I am skeptical of many of the new tools that come on the market. What makes this one different is that after the sponge is placed in water it becomes extremely soft. This sponge is less abrasive than my usual washcloth. If your skin doesn't like strong physical exfoliators, then give the Oleavine Konjac Sponge a try! This sponge is currently on sale for $10 on Amazon.

Have you tried a konjac sponge? How did it work for you? I always appreciate your comments; it makes my day!

Thank you all so much for reading!
-xoxo Lauren
Let's be friends!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

1 Year of Blogging! Thank You Giveaway

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Hello all! This blog is one year old today! The time has really gone by so quickly. I can't believe it has been a year already! I started blogging just to have an outlet for my love of everything beauty related and didn't really know what to expect. It has been wonderful to meet so many nice people who love beauty products as much as I do.

As a thank you to all of my readers, I have a little giveaway for you. One of my readers will win:
- Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Collection brushes
- Bath & Body Works Honeycrisp Apple & Buttered Rum Orchard Fine Fragrance Mist
- Bath & Body Works French Lavender & Honey Fine Fragrance Mist
- Bath & Body Works Beautiful Day Fine Fragrance Mist
- Rimmel Scandaleyes Khol Kajal - Nude
- L'Oreal Extraordinaire by Colour Riche - Ruby Opera
- Almay Liquid Lip Balm - Apricot
- NYX Infinite Shadow Stick - Almond
- Maybelline Volum'Express Pumped Up Colossal mascara- Glam Black

Beauty Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This will be an international giveaway. If I cannot ship to your country, then I will have to pick another winner. You must be 18 or older or have a parent's permission to enter. Giveaway accounts will be disqualified. This giveaway will end Nov. 3, 2014 at 12 AM Central Time. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me before another winner is chosen.

Thank you all so much for reading!
-xoxo Lauren
Let's be friends!


Birthday Haul | Sephora & Ulta

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Happy Friday, everyone! My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would share the beauty items that I got. Both Sephora and Ulta give extra perks for birthdays, so I got some things that were on my list!

Here's my little haul!
I'll start with the items that I ordered from Sephora. I have been wanting to try something from Becca for quite some time, so I purchased the Becca Mineral Blush in Gypsy. It was so difficult deciding which color to get! This one is a light pink with a tiny bit of gold shimmer. It's perfect for fair skin, and I'm loving it! 

Becca Mineral Blush - Gypsy
Next on my list was the Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Retsina. This is definitely one of those blogging made me do it purchases. It's a wonderful formula and a really pretty nude.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick - Retsina

The Sephora birthday gift this year is a little set from Make Up For Ever that comes with a mini mascara and a mini Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N9. I haven't opened the mascara yet, but the lipstick is one of those popular 90s lip colors. The 90s were bad enough the first time, but I don't mind the lip colors coming back in style. 

Sephora Make Up For Ever Birthday Set
I forgot to include this in the picture above! I put in a code to get a free mini Benefit They're Real Push-up Liner. I used it once and didn't like it. Too much product squeezed out of it when I tried to use it, and then it was difficult to work with. I'll have to try it again to form more of an opinion, but that's my first impression.

Now on to Ulta! If you are a platinum member of their rewards program, then Ulta will send you a $10 unrestricted coupon. I really wanted one of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks, but I was so disappointed that the colors I wanted were out of stock at my Ulta. Eventually, I decided on Rush. It's an easy to wear mauve color. I like it, so it worked out after all!

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick - Rush

In addition to $10 off at Ulta, they also gave me a free CK One mascara. I haven't opened it yet, but I'm not one to pass on a free mascara!

That was everything! I didn't go crazy, but I did get some things that I've been wanting for such a long time. Do you have any of these products? What's on your wishlist?

-xoxo Lauren
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New Fitness Posts and a Bit on Raspberry Ketones

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For quite some time, I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate some fitness related posts into this blog. I started lifting weights three years ago, and have progressively gotten more serious about it. In November, I will be competing in my first powerlifting competition. Lifting has become such a huge and wonderful part of my life that I would love share it with all of you, but I still want it to be relevant to what you want to see. So, I'll go ahead and ask...would any of you be interested in fitness related posts every now and then? If you have any specific questions please ask away!

As an attempt to get me started, I decided to review the Summit Nutritions Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract. This product was sent to me for review purposes.

Here's what the company has to say about this product on Amazon:

What is Raspberry Ketone Extract?
Raspberry Ketone is a phenolic compound, which is naturally found in berry fruits like raspberries, also known as Rheosmin, and chemically known as 4-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone. It is the primary compound responsible for the fruity aroma of raspberries, and is often used as a fragrance and flavoring agent for cosmetics, perfumes, foods, and beverages.
How Does it Work?
In Vivo and In Vitro studies have shown that Ketones increase Fatty Acid Oxidation and stimulate Adiponectin, which is a protein involved in regulating Glucose Level and Fatty Acid Oxidation. It burns body fat and converts it into energy the body needs. In this way, it helps the body to control appetite making it an appetite suppressant. Raspberry Ketones work as an efficient weight loss supplement when combined with a balanced diet and exercise. During exercise the body requires extra energy to burn fat, and if you’re taking Raspberry Ketones, existing body fat is burned and converted into the energy needed for exercise. Raspberry Ketones also stimulate the secretion of Adinopectin (Enzyme). This supports and boosts your metabolism, which converts food into energy and will help in storing less food and fat in the body.
Raspberry Ketones and Garcinia Cambogia Work Synergistically As Weight Loss Supplements
Raspberry Ketones increase the level of Adiponectin, a protein responsible for the oxidation of body fat and convert fat into free energy for the body to use in a way that controls appetite. The fat blocker Garcinia Cambogia inhibits the enzyme Citrate Lyase, which is a key enzyme in making fat from food. It also increases the level of the Serotonin hormone, which is known as a mood elevator hormone and appetite controller. So the combined effect is additive because one blocks the formation of fat and the other burns the fat and converts it into energy, which body can utilize to preform regular activity without taking additional food. We strongly recommend a balanced diet and regular exercise to achieve best weight loss result.
Why Our Products?
Because they are pure, natural Raspberry Ketones, not synthesized in a lab, but extracted from natural sources. 250 MG, 120 capsules, no additives, no binders, no fillers and no artificial ingredients. Quality is tested and standardized against the monographs in USP/NF.
Here's my experience and thoughts on these:
I'm really sensitive to caffeine in regular fat burners. Please don't take those; they really aren't all that safe for a lot of people. I really appreciate the fact that I don't feel hyped up when I take these. I can take Raspberry Ketones before dinner and not have problems falling asleep later that night. I never felt hyped up or crazy while taking these. The Raspberry Ketones will give you raspberry burps, so keep that in mind if you hate raspberries!

Did I loose any weight while taking these?
Surprisingly, yes! I was not expecting to loose any weight at all. Both my husband and I did lose a couple of pounds when we were taking these. The thing that needs to be taken into consideration is that we were doing some pretty tough workouts and eating accordingly -- meaning high protein, lots of vegetables, and carbs before and after working out, but not carb crazy -- while taking these.

Final Thoughts:
If you are already working out and making dietary changes that are right for you, then I think that these might be able to give you a little boost. You still have to put in the effort. Any pill that just magically makes you loose weight would more than likely not be safe anyway.

Let me just add here that I never recommend "just eating less." That's a terrible idea that doesn't work over time. You should not be hungry. Also, I am not a health or fitness professional. I am just a person that has had to learn the hard way when it comes to fitness and my diet. I have gone through a lot of trial and error and am finally finding what works for me.

Feel free to leave any and all questions below!

-xoxo Lauren
Let's be friends!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The Lipstick Addict Tag!

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I was tagged by Sissi from Beauty4Free2U to do the Lipstick Addict Tag back in June. I started this tag, but somehow forgot about it. Makeup hasn't been that exciting for me recently just because I haven't been wearing much at all -- just enough to keep from having to tell everyone that I'm not sick. If you wear makeup regularly, then you know what I'm talking about! At long last, I am posting this tag in an attempt to get out of my makeup rut! Even when I'm not wearing much makeup, I'm almost always wearing some kind of lip product.

1. Favorite Lip Balm/Treatment?
I will confess that lip balm isn't my favorite thing, and I rarely use it unless my lips are dealing with some serious dryness. Lately, I've been better about applying the Aquaphor Lip Repair before I go to bed. This is really nice because it isn't heavy, but it is still very moisturizing.

2. Best eye catching red?
Revlon Lacquer Balm in Provocateur is my favorite red. It's easy to use, and has a glossy finish with good lasting power. Not needing a liner makes it even better! While this may not be the most eye catching, this is my most worn red. I have a review here.

3. Best luxury and best drugstore?
My absolute favorite lipsticks from the drugstore are the Revlon Super Lustrious Lipsticks. I have quite a few of these, but my favorites are Fire & Ice and Cherries In The Snow. It was really tough for me to pick a luxury lipstick, but I decided on the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipsticks (review here). The formula is really fantastic. These lipsticks are moisturizing and long wearing and feel very luxurious on the lips. I have the colors Infamous and Dominant. I kept going back and forth between these and the Tom Ford lipsticks, but the formula of the Estee Lauder just feels so good on the lips.

L-R: Revlon Fire & Ice, Cherries in the Snow; Estee Lauder Infamous, Dominant

4. Best MAC lipstick?
I think MAC has some beautiful lipstick colors, but I'm not a huge fan of their lipsticks. I like them, but I don't think there's anything overly impressive about the formula. That being said, I do have several colors. My most worn color is Sweetie. I really like the light purple mauve color, and the lustre finish makes this lipstick very easy to wear.

5. Most disappointing? 
Don't hate me for saying this, but I really don't like the YSL Rouge Volupte lipsticks. People seem to really love this lipstick or really not like it. The formula is a little too thin a slippery on the lips for me, if that makes any sense. It doesn't stay in place. I have small lips and have to cheat my lip line a little. The Rouge Volupte lipsticks don't work very well for that at all. This was my first high end lipstick that I ever purchased, so I have worn a lot of it trying to make it work. I can get it to work over a lip liner base or over another long wearing lipstick. To me, this isn't worth the price at all.

YSL Rouge Volupte No. 1

6. Liner - yes or no?
Yes, yes, yes! If you have small lips, then lipliner can do so much for you. 

7. Best gloss?
I am loving the Color Your Smile glosses from Gerard Cosmetics. This is a gloss for those of you that don't like lip gloss. I wear gloss occasionally, but I've never been a huge fan of it. These glosses are fantastic! I have a review of these coming soon.  

Rose Hill, Sugar Mama, Butter Cream

8. Something extra?
I am a huge fan of lipstick pencils, and I'm still loving my set of High Pigment Pencils from Bite Beauty. These pencils are really easy to apply and long wearing. I have a review of the Bite pencils here.

Cranberry, Quince, Madeira, Rhubarb
This was such a fun tag! I can't believe I forgot about this one, but it was exactly what I needed right now to get some inspiration. 

What are your favorite lip products of the moment? If you are a blogger, what do you do to get yourself out of a blogging rut? Leave a comment with a link to your posts below! Thank you so much for reading!

Check out my cleanser giveaway that's ending soon!

-xoxo Lauren

Let's be friends!
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