Buying Bioderma in the USA


I can't tell you how long I've been wanting Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution, I definitely know how hard it can be to find in the US. The one things that I was wary of was whether or not it would be fake buying it on Amazon or Ebay. I finally got my hands on it, I decided to take a risk and buy it on Amazon, there were a lot of sellers at completely different prices. And quite of few of them had reviews saying that it was fake or expired (like many other beauty products on Amazon...) but the seller I bought it from didn't have any such reviews so I thought I was good to go, even though it was quite expensive. And I am confident that it is real. I just don't think I'll take the risk again buying it on Amazon.

I've recently discovered the joys of shopping on UK websites because most of them will ship to the US, including Cult Beauty, Pai, Feelunique, and more importantly, Escentual, which has been the more reliable and cheapest website that I've found for Bioderma. Most of these websites will ship for about $8.00 or even free after spending x amount. It's completely worth it to buy Bioderma (which is about $10.00 less on Escentual then Amazon at the moment) or other products you can't get here.

Do you have any Bioderma-friendly websites that you can access here in the US?

Five New Products



I recently did a bit of shopping and picked up some amazing products. It's been a while since I've been this lucky with beauty shopping. Usually there are a few misses but this time everything is great.

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum- $48.00
This is a long awaited product, it's so expensive so I had a hard time going out and actually buying it. But I'm here to tell you. It is worth it. If you have dry skin at all this is the product for you.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil- $9.50
I haven't used this particular bottle of this yet because I don't have any blemishes at the moment, but I've used my sister's before and loved it. I'm so glad to have finally bought it for myself.

Nuxe Reve De Miel- $19.00
This is probably my favorite of the bunch, it has quickly become a holy grail product. I suddenly can't imagine my life without it.

Bioderma Micelle Solution- around $30
Finally, I got my hands on Bioderma! It's even better then I even imagined! Never before has a makeup remover worked so well, just a simple swipe removes most of my eye makeup and feels so great on the skin.

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter- $15.00
I got a sample of this a few months ago and loved it, I was just waiting to use up a few other cleansers before purchasing and it's really nice. It's so cool how it turns into an oil!

Have you gotten any new products lately?

Feet

I recently acquired almost the complete foot care line from The Body Shop and now that I've been using them for a few weeks I am completely in love. I always thought that the line would be good but I wasn't into foot care so I wasn't interested in it. But I finally accepted Essiebutton's recommendation on it and I will never look back!

The scrub is my favorite product from the peppermint line, it actually has bits of pumice in it for a really intense scrub. I also use it every week or so as a hand scrub although I have to be more gentle with it.

I was really excited to try a pumice- and then I read that this isn't real pumice, it's actually polyurethane- which I learned is what most feet pumices are made out of, I guess people don't want us using volcanic rock on our feet. Despite my disappointment, I love this pumice, if you may not have guessed I had never tried one before and it was different than I expected. It almost lathered while using it and wasn't as rough as I thought it would be.

This soak is nice but I feel like it was a little expensive for what it is. This is probably my least favorite product from the line, just because I get the same result with some Epsom Salt.


I was a little worried to use the lotion and foot rescue because of the peppermint smell, I thought it may mix weird with whatever body butter or lotion I had used but after applying them, there isn't a weird smell.

I like this duo a lot, I will use the lotion for two days and then the rescue for one - with the occasional foot butter thrown in there. I'm surprised how well I've stuck to this routine, seeing as I'm terrible about things like that.











I was scared to use this product because I heard such great things about it but my sister didn't like it (this is actually her discarded bottle) and we tend to like the same things. It's a very nice experience using it but perhaps it may be better for the summer time when I go without socks more. I think that it is really great deodorizer rather than "cooling" or "relieving."






Spa Wisdom Africa Honey & Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter- $22
This is definitely one of my favorite products of all time. It smells amazing and works extremely well as a thick foot cream and hand cream. I usually use it at night before bed and in the morning my feet and hand feel well nourished, something I don't necessarily get from creams or lotions.

I think the packaging of the peppermint range is the nicest from The Body Shop, the little foot is so cute.

What are your favorite foot care products?

NOTD | Holiday Sparkle

I painted my nails yesterday and I'm quite happy with the results. I used Deborah Lippmann Naked and Julep Oscar on the top. I tried my best to do another ombre look and while it's not completely uniform I love it. It's such a classic look, I like anything having to do with a nude nail, I also think it would be really cute for the impending holidays.

What is your favorite nail look for the holidays?

Review | Origins Gentle Cleansing Oil


Cleansing oil are interesting, they come in pretty bottles and scare the bajesus out of me. I've never liked the idea of putting oil anywhere, let alone my face. I've let up a little on my boycott against oil. I've started using a dry oil mist on my arms and legs at night and I bought Origins Gentle Cleansing Oil for makeup removal mainly. This was $25 and then I bought the pump for it for $4 because I thought a pump may be easier to use with a product like this. In fact, it's kind of weird that it doesn't come with it. Besides the lack of pump, I liked this product. I like to use this to remove my makeup before I use a cleanser for a super clean feeling. I'll rub it onto my dry skin and eyes for about 2 minutes and then add water which creates a milky lather and wallah, all the makeup is removed. It has a nice light smell like most Origins products and doesn't irritate my skin. My only issue with it is how it makes me eyes feel, it really bothers them and I can't see properly for a few minutes.


Felix really wanted to get a piece of this. Why is it that cats are always interested in what you're doing?

Jamaica Me Crazy & Iceberg Lotus | NOTD

Essie Jamaica Me Crazy and Nicole by OPI Iceberg Lotus

I decided to do a fun nail design today, something that I hadn't tried before and it ended up looking awesome! I had originally tried doing an ombre look with a cotton pad- not thinking that I'd end up with cotton all over my sticky nails. So that was a bust, next up I'm trying it with a sponge like more tutorials say to use. But for this design I didn't use any tools, just applying bits of color where it needed it. It was extremely easy and quick!


Best and Worst of The Body Shop



The Body Shop has become one of my favorite stores, it may be their constant sales, friendly employees, or amazing products but I can't help but go back every time. I also recently learned about their ethical environmental advantages as well. They are against animal testing (which is something I go looking for, but it's cool that they don't!), support community fair trade, and much more.

I have explored their line rather thoroughly, a whole lot of their body care, makeup, some hair care, a little skincare, and home. Which you may already know because I talk about The Body Shop nonstop on this blog. Not all of their items can be gems. I have discovered a few items that aren't quite up to my standard while others have become holy grails.

The Best:

It was extremely hard for me to pare down my favorites because there are so many products from The Body Shop that I love. I finally did it though and I'm happy with the results. Here we have it, the best of The Body Shop. 

Out of all the Brazil Nut products (which I love them all) I have two favorites, Brazil Nut Body Scrub and Brazil Nut Eau De Toilette, if only they had a lip butter, I'm sure that I would love and cherish that too. These two products are just the best smelling in the line and this formulation of their scrub is amazing. Another perfume that I love is the Strawberry Eau De Toilette, I'm thinking of buying the Honeymania Eau De Toilette next! I was surprised that I liked the strawberry perfume so much because it's really sweet which the complete opposite of what I usually like.

Coconut Lip Butter is an old favorite of mine, I've used this (not this specific one...) since early high school and it is one of my favorite lip balms so far. It smells great on goes on really nicely. My favorite body butter so far is their Honeymania Body Butter, which was another surprise. It's just perfect for skin. This line is such a hit with me. It's new and exciting and amazing.

One thing that doesn't seem like such a big deal are luffas, but I've tried many different types of luffas and non have even come close to how great their Bath Lilies are. Which are actually less than Target or Walgreens because The Body Shop is always on sale where a luffa will never (almost) be on sale at those other stores. I had a real struggle just now spelling luffa. 

One of my all time favorites of their is the Paddle Hairbrush. I don't think I could go back to using anything else. I have really thick hair so my hair is pretty finicky and this brush works perfectly. Another haircare item is their Rainforest Radiance Detangling Spray, I use this every time I get out of the shower. It smells like nothing else in the world- and surprisingly (to me at least) did a great job detangling, which I didn't expect because nothing else has really worked on my hair.

The smell of the Green Tea & Lemon Reed Diffuser is so great for the kitchen, I will definitely be buying it again. It's so fresh and light, it's perfect.

And the last one is a weird on, it just a mirror that I bought from them a few years ago, and then I lost it, and I managed to find it again on ebay. It's just a lovely little compact, it opens so nicely and it a great size.

The Worst:

I also had a hard time picking out my least favorites, I kept saying to myself "oh, it wasn't that bad" I feel really defensive about my favorite brand... even to myself. But then I sat down and just thought what products I really didn't like and these are it, the worst of The Body Shop.

My animosity towards their Mango Body Butter is due to my preference versus actually disliking what it does. I just don't like the smell, it's not a bad smell, but it's not what I like prefer. In fact, I'm starting to realize that I'm not a huge fruit smell fan. I bought two hand creams from them a few months ago, the Hemp Hand Protector and Almond Hand & Nail Cream were a huge disappointment. I had heard such great things about them but I couldn't get over the weird smells (mainly the hemp one) and they made my hands extremely greasy. Just not what I like in a hand cream.

Now onto makeup. I bought The Sparkler last Christmas. I really wanted to like this product, it's everything that I want for the holiday season. It's just a spray on shimmer type mist but the glitter will only last for a few minutes and then it will be gone. What I think disturbs be the most about this product is that it smells exactly like their Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub. Another makeup item is their Shimmer Cube eyeshadow, I was really interested in buying this for quite some time. And now that I have it, I'm really disappointed. These are probably the least pigments out of any eyeshadow that I've tried. The next item I am still really on the fence about, their Natural Lip Roll On Berry is one of the weirdest thing I've tried. It's supposed to be a lip moisturizing product- it's an oil rather than a balm or butter. It just feels really weird on the lips and doesn't smell very nice.

Even though I hadn't heard the best things about the Rainforest Radiance Shampoo & Conditioner I decided to give it a try because I loved the detangler so much and the shampoo and conditioner smelt the same. It's not that I hate them but they're just boring. They don't do anything bad to my hair but they don't do anything good either. I think I've given up on The Body Shop haircare because their other products smell really weird!

I was so excited to try their home items, I bought many candles but once I burned the Sandalwood & Ginger Candle I returned the rest because I didn't like how it burned at all. After I took these photos I burned it for a few hours and it only melted in a little circle in the middle so it's wasting a ton of candle, which is really disappointing because it definitely isn't cheap and it smells really great.

And last of all, which is not pictured because I no longer have it is the Ionic Clay Mask. From what I've heard, you either love it or hate it. And I just happened to hate it. It smelt gross and did nothing for my skin. My sister owns it and she says that it burns her skin really badly.

What are you favorite and least favorite items from The Body Shop?

Haul | C.O. Bigelow


I recently bought some C.O. Bigelow products from Bath & Body Works. They were having a sale on lip products buy 2 get 1 free, and then I had a coupon for a free item so I got their body wash. It was a good deal if I must say so myself. $34.50 for only $15! I'm no stranger to C.O. Bigelow, I used to use the Mentha Lip Balm Stick and the Rosebud Salve for years but I haven't used them in a long while. I also bought a lotion from them but I don't think I liked it. And before you berate me, I know that I talked about my new 'one-out-one-it' policy on lip balms, I actually used up 2 lips balms this week so I treated myself to these!

My Favorite Night Balm- $7.50
I bought this baby to replace my Rosebud & Co. Strawberry Lip Balm at night. I wanted a more hard hitting treatment for night so I'm going to switch between this and the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment.

My Favorite Lip Balm- $7.50
I had never used this one although with a name like that I had to try it. I've also never used a lip balm in a tube like this, I've always had sticks or pots so that will be a new experience.

Mentha Lip Balm Stick- $7.50
This is the one that I used a few years ago and figured I haven't had it in a while so I'll give it another go. I never stopped liking it but at one point I just realized how expensive it was compared to a lip balm from the drugstore so I gave it up.

Mentha Body Vitamin Body Wash- $12.00
And this was my free item, it was between this and a hand soap and I figured I'd get this for my boyfriend because I don't think he likes my girly strawberry body wash too much. This smells like peppermint and it's supposed to have a cooling sensation which will be interesting.

Have you tried any C.O. Bigelow Products? 
If so, how did you like them?

De-stressers


Stress is a huge factor in my life around this time of the year because school is in full force so I am overwhelmed with homework and exams. Sometimes you just need to take a deep breathe to realize that everything is going to be alright. I can't count the number of times I let the stress get the better of me and I won't let it happen anymore.

One of the things lacking in my life when I am stressed is sleep. I absolutely adore sleep so when I can't get any I get really upset and then I get more stressed. The vicious cycle begins. So to try and aid in this I bought Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Lavender Vanilla Pillow Mist, wow that was the longest name in the world. While I'm not the biggest fan of the smell I feel like it has helped me sleep a little deeper. Not sure if it's in my head... 

Another product is Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Eucalyptus Spearmint Candle (another awkwardly long name, step up you game Bath & Body Works) that I bought on their 2 for $22 sale and it smells like relaxing mint, which is my favorite when I'm stressed as you will see with the next product as well. 

I bought Origins Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind based on Essiebutton's recommendation and I'm so glad that I gave it a chance. Its a cream substance that you rub on your temples, back of the neck, and behind the ear lops. I love that it has a really intense cooling sensation- it gets rid of my headaches almost instantly.

And last of all I have L'Occitane Brightening Hand Care, which is just a sample (that I just used up...) but I intend to buy the full size despite my dislike of it's packaging. The smell of this is amazing, it has rosemary and daisy extracts in it so it has a beautiful natural smell. 

When I'm stressed and tired I like to take a scolding hot bath with candles and a nice book (no, I won't be reading my textbooks) I find that it helps to be clean and calm.

Do you have any rituals or products for when your stressed?


Blushin'

I have an addictive personality and I'm not afraid to admit that. When I get hooked on something it's on my mind all the time. My current obsessions have been with The Body Shop, all things lip balm, and most of all: blush. The funny thing is that you wouldn't know from reading my blog because I haven't posted anything about it. But I love blush. It's one of the prettiest makeup items and has not seised to put a smile on my face everyday. I'm trying to start my transition from summer and spring blush to fall and winter blush colors, which is a little hard because most of the blush I own is very light and bright.

My cat Felix was really interested in what I was doing, in fact, this will not be the first time you see him interrupting my photo shoots while I'm at my mom's house. He can't help himself.


Dry Lips?

Now that fall is upon us, we're getting 60 degree weather and bringing out cute sweaters, boots, and long socks but we're also bringing out our lips balms. Extreme weather causes lips above anything else for me to dry out and give a dull, cracked appearance. No one wants or needs that so a good lip balm is vital.

I am no stranger to lip balms, in high school I had extremely dry lips while I was taking the acne medication Accutane- I was crackly and crusty. And I told myself that I would never get to that point again. Now that I'm a little less dry I can actually enjoy a lip balm. I have to stop myself every time I go to the store from buying another. It got so bad that I decided to institute a one out, one in policy. I told myself that I wouldn't buy another lip balm or butter until I had used one up. This policy went right out the window the second I saw that The Body Shop had a sale last week and I bought two...  But I'm still trying, I even used one up last night. 

My favorites are The Body Shop Coconut Lip Butter, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, and E.O.S. Lip Balms in various flavors- anything but Raspberry Pomegranate which makes me feel sick.

What's your favorite lip balm?

School Essentials



As you may know I am in school for more than 5 hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday which really takes a toll on my mental stability, body, and not so importantly but still important: my appearance. I'm pretty good about doing my makeup in the morning, obviously, I do a simple look for school. Usually not using more than 6 or 7 products. But sometimes I just don't have the time to do anything, pressed snooze one too many times... And that's where a good BB Creme comes in, it's easy to apply and it's rather light coverage. At the moment I have the Ren BB Creme in a travel size, which is perfect to have in my backpack. Another essential is a concealer, because most likely if I snoozed so many times that I'm going to be late means that I'm exhausted with massive baseball sized dark circles under my eyes, Benefit Boing is really easy to use, I know that I don't need a brush and it's easy to put on.

And those are just to make sure people don't point and scream when they see me. I also want to look nice, which is where the next few products come in. Although it's not pictured, I keep a mascara with me at all times because I often forget to put it on in the morning (I'm not sure why this is...) and I think it really pulls a makeup look together, even the most minimal look. I like the Buxom Lash because it has never chunked since our relationship has started so I don't have to worry about making a mess. Another is a Clinique Color Surge Eyeshadow Quad which features (mostly) easy to wear colors and I can apply these with my fingers, again, so I don't need to take up more room with a brush. The last product for appearance is a hairbrush, because you never know when you're going to need a good brushing. I bought this mini folding one in the check out isle at Ulta but I think you can pretty much buy them anywhere- Target, Walgreens, etc.

I'm also a very dry person so I take a few precautions to make sure that I'm not miserable with hours more to go in the day. My number one being a lip balm. Right now I'm using the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, and I've used it so much at school that it's about empty. I use it a few times a class every class, in between class. All the time. The other real necessity is a hand cream, I've already used up the L'Occitane Rose Des Champs pictured (it was almost empty when I took these photos) so now I'm using the L'Occitane Brightening Hand Care, which I like just as much, if not more. It smells so natural and great and this may be all in my head, but I feel like it relieves stress a little.

The other two for moisture are more of just-in-case products, I keep an SPF facial moisturizer, right now I have a Shiseido Moisturizer that I got in my Sephora Sun Safety Kit. I keep this in here because my nose tends so get a little dry and it really bothers me. I don't end up using this everyday but it's nice to have. And then I have a lotion. I got this Bath & Body Works Honey Sweetheart Body Lotion for free a few months ago. And I can't wait till it's used up (almost...) so I can replace it with the mini of the Soap & Glory Righteous Body Butter that I love. Again, I don't use this every day, or even once a week. But sometimes I have a dry spot that I want to take care of right away.

And last of all I have two random products: a Bath & Body Works Pocketbac in Midnight Pomegranate   because you never know when you'll put your hand in something sticky, and Victoria's Secret PINK Fresh & Clean Body Mist, which smell so good and it's nice to have a little spritz in the middle of the day when I'm worn out!

Do you carry around a set list of products or just go whatever you grab in the morning? 
Any can't-live-withouts?

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

My brushes are dirty. They are disgusting and I've been meaning to do something about it for a very long time but it's very unexplored territory. Brushes in general make me feel like and idiot. Wait, why can't I use that brush to blend, why do I need a completely different brush? It's not the easiest thing to get into when I want to spend all my money on pretty makeup instead. It took me months to buy Real Techniques brushes despite their relatively cheap price compared to let's say Mac. I will choose Real Techniques every time. 

So now that I have nicer brushes that I don't want to exchange out in a very long time I decided to get Sephora's brush cleaning duo: the Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner and Makeup Brush Shampoo. Their idea being that you use the daily cleaner, well, daily... at least on the brushes you have used said day and the shampoo once a week. I used the shampoo yesterday and my brushes (even my biggest ones!) were dry within 24 hours.

I've used the daily cleanser for a few days and after using that my brushes looked clean, and I quickly took that back when I saw how much gunk came out of them when I used the shampoo for the first time. I was happy with the quality and the price at $14 each isn't too outrageous considering they're hopefully going to last me a while. 

How do you clean your brushes?

Herbal Essences Throwback


Unlike many other bloggers I can't afford to use Ojon or Pureology shampoo and conditioner on a daily basis so I stick to classic drugstore brands like Aussie and Garnier Fructis. I had been using Aussie for the past couple years but my hair started looking a little dull and I needed a change.

 When I was a kid before I could pick out my own Shampoo and Conditioner, the hair wash of my parents choice the original Herbal Essences collection. They recently brought them back and I couldn't help myself, I needed it.


I remember when they replaced these with their new hip design and formula, I was really disappointed even though it was a nice formula, design, and scent. But now that I have these babies are in my life I could not go back.

I didn't expect this shampoo and conditioner to change my life, I thought it would be average but the nostalgia was well worth it. I was all wrong. The first time I used it my hair looked pretty good, but that happens randomly (even if I don't change anything) so I didn't think much of it. My hair look better and better every wash, it's a miracle worker!


The pink set it the "smooth collection" and then the green is "shine" which is the one my family used but they smell the about the same. I think the names are a little misleading though, my hair does look better, but it's not any smoother.

I'm happy using this set and maybe I'll get the shine collection next time. 

You're Such a Budapest


O.P.I. You're Such a Budapest is from O.P.I's new Euro Centrale Collection along with 11 other gorgeous colors. I like this color a ton, it's everything that I want in a lilac-y/periwinkle color, I had been lusting over it at Ulta for so long until I finally gave in and bought it. I'm really glad I did, although I realized I already had an Essie color almost exactly the same.

And after all, it is a great complement to be called a Budapest, they are very strong people, after Soviet rule ended about 20 years ago, they are reserved from pain and suffering but strong willed. So if anyone ever tells me "You're Such a Budapest" I will regard it as flattery, although I doubt anyone would say that to me... it'd be pretty weird.

Fun facts: Budapest is the capital of Hungary and has more thermal springs than any other capital city in the world so it is super hot and is home to one of the very first zoos. 

Can you tell that I really love the names of some nail polishes? There's more meaning there than was probably intended but I'd like to think that the great minds in the depths of O.P.I. are sitting around a table researching and coming up with these brilliant names.