Perlier Shea Butter Body Balm


I always love getting lotion samples in my Birchbox, because I can then throw them in my handbag. After receiving this one, I put in in my handbag to give it a test...and was pleasantly surprised! The first thing I noticed when applying this was the amazing scent- it has sweet almond milk that makes this product smell so warm and wonderful. The scent smells like a mixture of honey and almonds, which are both things I love my products to smell like.

In addition, this product is super thick! I was afraid that meant it wouldn't absorb quickly, but to my surprise it absorbed quickly and didn't leave my hands feeling greasy. You don't need very much, and I've been using this sample on my hands for about a month and have just recently started to use it as a body lotion...and 3 uses in, I've still got loads left. 

For $24.50 for a full size, I think I'll save repurchasing this product until winter when my skin needs hydration-and I need a treat. But I can tell you that I will definitely be buying this product again...the scent and hydration level make it impossible to forget!

Murad Oil Control Mattifier


This product was one I absolutely didn't expect to love. I don’t even remember where I got this sample to be honest, but one morning after applying a little bit too much rosehip oil to my face, I decided to give it a shot and see if it would help. I was amazed at how much I loved this product! I use a tiny amount- less than a pea size, smooth it all over the skin, and find that it hydrates and mattifies without being overdrying. My makeup lasts longer, and when I pair this with the Loreal True Match foundation I find I don’t even need to powder my face which is normally unheard of. My problem with foundation primers is that they tend to clog my pores or dry my skin out, but because this one is marketed as a moisturizer it doesn't do either of those things. I've been using this sample since the end of June, and it is still going strong...but when it runs out, I'll definitely be repurchasing. Do you have a mattifying moisturizer you love?

Mary Kay Satin Lips



I attended a Mary Kay party last winter and when looking through the catalog I came across a lip mask and balm duo called Satin Lips. I'm a huge fan of the Satin Hands set from Mary Kay, and the thought of a lip mask intrigued me, so I thought I'd give it a shot. The first step of the system is a Lip Mask, a white creamy balm with exfoliating beads that you are supposed to apply and leave on for two minutes. After rinsing the mask off, you are supposed to apply the lip balm, which is clear and thin in texture.

I really wanted to love this product. And while it's a nice idea, I just think there are products I love more. The lip mask isn't particularly good at exfoliating or hydrating, and I much prefer my ELF Lip Exfoliator to slough off dead skin. The lip balm is thin and almost watery feeling, and I prefer a thicker balm. I'm not saying this product is bad, and if you use it and love it, tell me how you apply it, as I could be doing something wrong. I just wasn't wowed by this product, and wont be repurchasing.

Have you tried any Mary Kay products?

5 Thing I Wish I Had Known When I Was 15

Today, I turn 21! It’s strange because growing up I always thought turning 21 made you SO old. But, now that I’m actually 21, I’m realizing everyday how young I really am. I wasn’t really sure what to do for today’s post, so I thought I would share with you 5 things I wish I had known when I was 15. Some of these are Chrissy-specific, but hopefully you'll be able to get something out of them anyways. A lot of the readers of my blog are young, and looking back, I really wish someone would have told me these things. (I’ve also included a picture of my 15 year old self for your entertainment…you are welcome)

1.       Be thankful for your family. They are the ones that will always love and support you, even when you might not deserve it. They might drive you nuts, but I promise one day you’re going to regret getting into a huge fight about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher.  You’re incredibly blessed to have brothers who will always love and protect you, and parents who model true love every single day. Soak up family time when it comes, because as you get older “family time” comes around less and less. Enjoy every family dinner, road trip, and Sunday at church.

2.       Don’t waste time on friends who try to control you. Your real friends are the ones that support you and love you no matter what, and you know exactly who they are. It might be hard to let go of the toxic friend, but you need to do it. Life is way too short to constantly fighting with anyone.

3.       Love your body…Freshman year is a rough time for everyone, I promise. You will look back on pictures of yourself and laugh your head off, no matter how you look. Be grateful for a healthy body, and don’t worry so much about how your hair is, or how you look in a swimsuit. The people that really matter don’t care anyways. And everyone else is too worried about how they look, to be worried about how you look. Stop stressing and enjoy being able to eat whatever you want without gaining weight. I’m serious. That metabolism won’t last forever!

4.       Enjoy school. I know you feel like school is the bane of your existence right now, and you just want to be done. But, one day you’re going to look back and miss seeing your best friends every day. Enjoy the time you have, and try to learn as much as possible…Your teachers really do want to help you, and one day you might just regret not paying attention in math class.

5.       Don’t try to be cool.  Try to be an honest, genuine, kind person. Focus on being the best version of yourself that you can, and don’t worry about looking like the “cool girls.” The best girls are the ones that support you and love you no matter what. Stop worrying about fitting in and being cool. In the end, it honestly doesn’t matter. Instead of wasting time trying to have a million friends, focus on getting closer with your best friends. They are the ones that will stick around through high school, college, and “the real world” and they are worth so much more than social status.

      Well, those are the 5 things I’d tell my 15-year-old self. I mean, I’d also tell myself to use concealer, find a foundation that matches, and use a different mascara…buuuuut these are the most important ones. What would you tell your 15-year-old self? Here are a few (terrible) pictures of me at 15...It was a rough time, people. Be kind!

Smith's Rosebud Salve: The Product I Didn't Think I'd Love


I didn't think I was going to love this product, in fact, I only put this in my online Sephora basket in order to reach the level needed for free shipping. After purchasing, I decided I would try it out so it didn't go to waste...and you know what? I loved it. This multi-purpose product can be used for so many things...here's how I use mine.

First, as a cuticle and lip balm. This stuff is seriously hydrating, and never feels heavy on the lips as some multi-tasking products can do. It also leaves a lovely rose-tinted hue to your lips, which makes it perfect for days when you are in need of lots of moisture. 
Second, to add dewiness and shine to a lipstick. Add some of this stuff to your lipstick either on the lips or on the back of your hand (my favorite) for a glossy, sheeny effect.
Third, as a highlighter. I've been adding a tiny bit of this to the tops of my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose for a lovely subtle highlight that's perfect for the summer (when you don't want to look like a disco ball in the sun).
Finally, as an intensive moisturizing treatment. I recently slathered this on my knuckles and cuticles before bed, put on some cotton gloves, and woke up with seriously soft skin.

For $6 at Sephora (or $3.80 at drugstore.com), this stuff is an inexpensive multi-tasking product that I've been seriously obsessed with lately!

Midmonth Loves



We have officially hit the middle of August...where has summer gone? This month I've been busy soaking up the sun, spending my days at the beach and pool with the kids I nanny for...and sticking to a more simplified beauty routine. After all, who wants to wear a full face of makeup to the beach? Here are four products I've been loving for days spent in the sun.

Rimmel Match Perfection has been the perfect foundation for hot summer days. Light to medium coverage, this foundation gives a dewy finish that is perfect for covering imperfections without ever looking cakey or heavy.

The NYC Sunny Bronzer has been perfect for giving a nice bronzed look to my skin, which I have been needing as I haven't had much of a tan since I've been slathered in SPF all the time. It's matte, doesn't look orange, and above all looks very natural, which I've been loving lately.

For the hair, I've been loving Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray for beachy hair. After a shower, I liberally apply this and let my hair dry for a more textured look. This doesn't make my hair super mermaid-ey, but does provide amazing texture that makes my side-braid or messy bun look even better. This also makes my hair smell amazing, which is always good. A tip for sea salt sprays, make sure to follow up with a moisturizing leave-in conditioner or oil after your hair dries to avoid split ends and frizz.

Finally, Lucas's Paw Paw Ointment has been a major skin savior after a day spend in the sun. I apply this to my lips and cuticles, which get majorly dried out after beach days. This also works great on any sunburn I may get if I miss a spot when I apply my sunscreen.

Those are the four products I've been obsessed with...what have you been loving lately?

Nail Rehab



My nails are truly terrible. They're flaky, thin, permanently damaged, and are constantly breaking. This is mainly due to the fact that I'm constantly switching nail polish colors, so recently I decided to go a bit natural and give my nails a bit of a pigment break. The first thing I did was remove all of the polish from my nails and gave myself a bit of an at-home manicure. I used Sally Hanson Instant Cuticle Remover to clean up my cuticle, and went in with a nail file to make my nails quite short and even. Now if my nails weren't incredibly damaged, I would leave it there. But my nails are so flaky that if left on their own, they will just break more. I've used the O.P.I Nail Envy before, and while I like it, I find it can turn my nails slightly yellow if I use it too long.

I've been recently testing out the Nail Tek Restore Damaged Nail Kit, and have been pleasantly surprised. The three-part system starts with Foundation II, a base coat that is super-quick drying and easy to apply. I put two coats of this one, followed by the top coat called Intensive Therapy II. The top coat is definitely not fast-drying, so if you're impatient this one isn't for you. But I think it's definitely worth it in the end, because it stays on for a few days without chipping. After the top coat is dry, I apply the Renew tea tree infused cuticle oil to hydrate my cuticles.

After sticking to this routine for two weeks, my nails are stronger and less flaky...and I'm ready to get back to nail polish. If your nails are looking a bit weak, I would definitely recommend giving this regime a try!

It's a 10 MIracle Leave-In Product


If you read my haircare routine post last month, you know that I've been on a never-ending quest for the perfect leave-in conditioner. After hearing about this product from some of my favorite beauty bloggers, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. I picked it up on a whim in Walgreens, and after using for about a month I thought it was time to share my thoughts with you.
 
At first, I was seriously obsessed with the product. It claims to do 10 things, which pretty much makes it the only hair product you need (in theory). While I do think it does a great job hydrating, I just think this product is a bit too heavy for my hair. Especially after getting 4 inches chopped off my hair, I've been finding that my hair just isn't as dry and unhealthy, and when I add this product in I notice my hair gets much greasier way faster.

 I've started to use this just on the ends of my hair and have had better luck with that, but I don't know if I'll be repurchasing this product.

I've heard that the It's a 10 Plus Keratin is much lighter, so I think I will probably give that a shot next. Perhaps if you have super dry hair this is one to check out, but for greasy-haired girls I wouldn't recommend it.

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil



When I got the LAQA & Co. Lip Lube pencil in my Birchbox, I was a little skeptical. It looked a little bright in the packaging, and I think we all know how I shy away from a bold lip. But once I applied this product, I was pleasantly surprised. I have it in the color Bees Knees, which is a lovely sheer coral that applies really smoothly and seems to give a decent dose of moisture to the lips. These also have a minty taste to them, which I really l really like as it feels nice on the lips. The amount of shine I get from these pencils make it almost seem like a lipgloss, which is good for the color-phobic in me. If you’re looking for high-pigmentation, you're not going to find it here. But if you're looking for a lightweight feeling, shine imparting lip pencil, this one's for you!

FOTD: Feat. Ulta Pigments + Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

After some serious product-buying in July, I've been really been experimenting with new products this month. I've been seriously obsessed with the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, as it gives good coverage while still looking super natural! Here is a recent look I did for a day of shopping:





Face: Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, Loreal True Match Super Blendable Crayon, Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener, Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder, Ulta Extreme Wear Matte Mousse Blush in Peach Glow, NYX Matte Bronzer in Light

Eyes: Hello Kitty Charmmy Eyeshadow Stick in Cupcake, Ulta Color Pure Eye Shadow Pigments in Mesa (lid) and Riviera (crease + outer corner), Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner in Black Vinyl, Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara in Black-Brown

Lips: Jouer Lip Enhancer


Jouer Lip Enhancer



When making a recent Birchbox order, there was a code where if you spend $30 on Jouer products, you got the lip enhancer free. Since this product was free and I hadn't heard a whole lot about it, I was expecting a standard lip balm. I've never been happier to be wrong! This balm looks pink in the tube but comes out a clear, shiny, thick balm. It also claims to decrease fine lines and increase the fullness of your lips in 29 days. I'm not sure if it will decrease fine lines (since that's not something I really struggle with at age 20), but the glossiness of this balm definitely makes my lips look more full!

 The biggest thing I love about this product is the intense hydration my lips get from this product! I've run out of my Nuxe Reve de Miel, and didn't want to repurchase right away (even though I love it) because I have so many other lip products. However, when I stopped using that product my lips started feeling dry and sore even when I had other lip balms on. After using this product twice, my lips feel hydrated even when I don't have this on.

This may just be my new holy grail lip moisturizer! Have you tried this product?

GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment


Let me start out by saying that I totally didn't expect this product to be worth the hype. As someone who is a face-mask junkie, I've tried many skin-clearing and purifying masks and been very happy with the results. But after a ridiculously terrible breakout at the end of June/beginning of July, I decided to try this mask...and am now so in love with it I can't not talk about it.

GLAMGLOW is one of those brands that everyone has heard about- the $69 tiny pots are heralded as a skin miracle...and while I wouldn't go that far, I do think this mask is seriously amazing. I personally apply it only on the areas where I have breakouts (chin and cheeks), as this mask is so expensive I want it to last as long as possible.

This mask goes on a gray color, but what initially confused me were the particles of what seemed like dry clay in the mask...while I still don't feel like these serve a purpose (other than maybe exfoliation?), this mask still does a fantastic job of seriously drawing out impurities. I've used my sample several times and it is still going strong, but I'm afraid when it runs out I'll have to repurchase. I never know how to feel when an expensive mask works well...because on the one hand, I'm glad that I didn't waste my money. On the other hand, now I'm fated to spend $69 on a 1.2 oz jar of mask. In my opinion, it's worth it for clear skin.

Have you tried any GLAMGLOW products?

Budget Lip Crayon Favorites


I'm not going to lie...I'm pretty sick of the lip crayon obsession in the beauty world. It started with Clinique Chubby Sticks, and now it seems like everyone and their mom has a new lip crayon formulation. However, there are a few lip crayons that I think are actually worth a mention. So here we go, my 4 favorite budget lip crayon formulations...

1. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains. I know these have been out for ages, but they legitimately are one of the best formulations out there. These go on very balmy but do actually leave a stain on the lips that lasts for hours-through eating, drinking, and even swimming (tested it out, looked great even after I'd been in a chlorinated pool for hours!). My personal favorite shade is Honey, as it's the best "your lips but better" shade for me.

2. ELF Matte Lip Color. These were my first venture into a matte lip look, and I have been really loving them! The brighter shades look the best, but all of the shades have a creamy texture that has decent lasting power and doesn't sink into my lip lines. These are also ridiculously inexpensive at $3.

3. NYC City Proof Lip Crayons. These are mega-glossy, super hydrating lip crayons that are so inexpensive I picked up all of the colors. These are perfect to keep in your bag for when you want a hint of color without having to look in the mirror. 

4. ELF Jumbo Gloss Stick is my last pick. These are the glossiest of them all, and also incredibly hydrating. They feel amazing on the lips and are pretty pigmented! I love a natural lip, and these are great for giving shine and making your lips look much fuller! 

All done! Do you have any budget lip crayon favorites I should know about?