Saturday, May 24, 2014

Influenster Go VoxBox May 2014

*I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.*
I always review things honestly.

I love Influenster because it's always fun to try out new products, but before this box I'd never been too impressed with the selection of goods. Perhaps this was because I'd never received a box that was geared toward me as an athlete and health nut before. I love this box and have enjoyed most everything in the box.

This is my favorite product in the box. It's like a PedEgg, but soft and it doesn't look like a cheese grater for your feet. I love that I can use it wet or dry because sometimes I need to use it in the shower and other times I'm in a rush and need to clean up my feet immediately. As a runner and a hurler who wears cleats on a regular basis, this is a must have for my house.

PROFOOT Triad Orthotic
This isn't the best orthotic I've ever tried. I have plantar fasciitis so this could have been helpful, but it is geared toward back and leg pain, not foot pain. The arch support is flimsy and should be made of thick plastic or like Birkenstock material. I wouldn't recommend this if you're looking for a good orthotic. Pick up the SuperFeet inserts because they rock.

Playtex Sport Fresh Balance
How convenient is it that this box came right before my time of the month? Anyway, I've always liked the Playtex Sport tampons, but tend to gravitate toward the U by Kotex tampons on a regular basis. I might be a convert, though. These were comfortable and didn't leak at all. That's really all you can ask for in a tampon, am I right? Wasn't fan of the whole scented thing. I have sensitive skin and didn't want to irritate anything. I happily used them, but if I were to buy Playtex Sport I'd go for the unscented version.

Blue Diamond Fruit Flavored Almonds in Blueberry
This was my second favorite item in the box. I'd already tried these so when I opened the box I was super pumped. I had to set it aside right away so I wouldn't dig into it before I could take a photo for the blog haha. Anyway, I love these and would highly recommend trying them if you like almonds.

Aqua Spa Relax Collection
I'm a fan of baths. I love Epsom salt baths and LUSH bath bombs. So when I saw this I was very excited. It smells like lavender, which is lovely, and creates a really relaxing bath time.

Next Step Fit N Full Protein Shake mixes
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try these myself because there are ingredients that I can't eat, but I gave them to my dad who happily drank them. He said they were good, but wouldn't drink it alone. He recommended mixing it into a smoothie. He said if he was looking to buy a protein shake he couldn't think of a reason he wouldn't buy this one.

Next Step Shaker Tumbler
I'm so happy the shaker bottle was included in this box. It's so useful and who couldn't use another water bottle?! Since I can't drink the Fit N Full Protein Shake mixes I use the shaker for chia drinks and other protein mixes that don't have egg/rice/gluten/soy.

Muller Greek Corner and Corner yogurt coupon
The last thing in the box was a yogurt coupon which I also gave to my dad because I don't eat dairy. He hasn't used it yet, but I'm sure he will soon and I'm sure he will enjoy it.

Thanks Influenster for a box I really enjoyed!

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Favorites 2014

It's been awhile since I've posted a monthly favorites list, but that's because I've been trying to pare down my beauty products and search for more natural alternatives. I've been pretty successful, although I still tend to reach for some of my less natural products occasionally.

Nourish Organic Deeply Nourishing Coconut & Argan Body Wash
This is the most recent addition to my beauty routine. It doesn't smell as coconutty as I was hoping, but it still has a nice subtle scent. I wouldn't buy it for the scent, but the formula is great. It's made of organic products and is free from parabens and sulfates. It leaves my skin feeling smooth; sometimes I even skip my daily moisturizer.

Clif Kit's Organic Fruit and Nut Bar - Berry Almond
Clif recently came out with a new line of bars and if you know me then you know I'm all about the bars. Larabars are my favorite, but the Kit's Organic line is the same sort of idea. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo friendly. A must on my shopping list. I also really like the Lemon Chia flavor. I'm a chia girl and I'm not ashamed.

Crystal Body Deodorant Roll-On
This is a natural deodorant made with mineral salts which are supposed to help prevent body odor. I've been on a mission to find a natural deodorant for YEARS. I'm not kidding. This has been such a difficult task, but I've finally found something that somewhat works. I'm not saying this works miracles, but on a daily basis I can get away with this and not smell like sweat (what every girl dreams of, am I right?). I can't workout and expect this to be a magic odor blocker, but for everyday wear I can handle this. Also, since it's not scented it doesn't have to fight with whatever perfume I've decided to wear.

NYX Blush in Peach
I've heard about the NYX blushes for so long and have just had trouble finding them in any stores around me. I've seen them at Ulta before and just never picked them up when I had the chance. Lucky for me, my Target just started carrying NYX! I love this shade because it's a nice bright pink for spring and summer. I definitely wouldn't call it peach. It's more of a light pink, at least that's what I think. Peach shades are usually tougher for me to pull off because I'm so fair, but this one is just right.

SPRI Rolling Pin
I've been adding a bit more weight lifting back into my workout routine, and let me tell you, there have been some super sore days around here. This rolling pin has saved my hamstrings. It's my favorite accessory. I even traveled with it when I went home for Easter. It comes everywhere.

Go Primal Pucker Paste in Orange Creamsicle
I've heard about the Primal Pit Paste, but I haven't been able to find it in any stores. That's why I was surprised to see this lip balm by the Go Primal company at my local health food store. I absolutely love it. It's made with coconut oil (of course I had to buy it) and smells like the orange creamsicles I used to eat as a kid. It not only smells great, but it is my favorite lip balm and works wonders in such a short amount of time.

Revlon Brow Fantasy in Dark Blonde
I haven't been a brow girl for a super long time, but now that I'm converted I am never going back to bare brows. Before this brow pencil I didn't have great luck finding a color that was suitable for my blonde almost non-existent brows. This color is great as long as I blend it nicely. I rarely use the brow gel because I don't exactly have unruly brows and I don't like them feeling crunchy and unnatural, but I'll be using this color forever and have officially stopped looking for anything else in a brow product.

What have you been loving?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Playlist 2014

Is it just me or does spring always put you in the mood to find new music? I've been using the Songza app recently to find new inspiration. Songza is like Pandora and Spotify, but way cooler! You can choose an activity or a mood or a genre and then find a playlist that fits your needs from those lists. The playlists range anywhere from "Vintage Cocktail Party" to "Cardio Hip Hop" and everywhere in between. It's nice to have another music playing app that lets me discover new music without choosing one artist or song from which they create a station like on Pandora.

I'm all about chill music so if that's what you like then these songs will be right up your alley.

Lemonade (Ukulele Version) - Jeremy Passion

This song is good for when I'm in a relaxing mood..which is all the time!

19 You + Me - Dan + Shay

As the lyrics describe summer scenes, it has me yearning for summer days at the beach. I have a feeling this will be my summer anthem. I'm not usually a country girl, but this song is fun and upbeat.

Falling in Love - Us the Duo

Not only is this song about falling in love and being with the person you can't live without, but their video was filmed in PARIS. Gah! I just can't get enough. I first heard this song a few days after I returned from Paris and felt nostalgic even after just that short time. I love the song, and the video. Us the Duo has easily become one of my favorite singer/songwriter groups. They have a great YouTube channel and you may have seen them on Vine!

Till I Fall Asleep - Jayme Dee

This is a nice slow song, kind of sad, but I still love it. I like to listen to this as a lullaby before I drift off to sleep like I'm a part of the song. (I know I'm lame haha)

Best Day of My Life - American Authors

This is definitely my top song of the moment. It's one of my Songza discoveries and it's just so upbeat and puts me in a great mood. It's motivational to workout to, as well. Keep this song ready to go when you need a boost to get up and raring to go in the morning.

Round and Round - Imagine Dragons

I hopped on the Imagine Dragons bandwagon kind of late, but better late than never, right? So many of their songs are great songs for spring and summer, but I love Round and Round and could listen to it on repeat for days.

What songs have you been loving? Any spring or summer recommendations as I build my playlist?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Wish List 2014

It's officially spring, though it doesn't quite feel like spring here in the Midwest! Actually, here in Minnesota, we've just had an April blizzard. You know what they say...April blizzards bring May flowers? Anyway, I've been doing some spring window shopping and have started to put together a list of things I'm dying to have for spring and summer.
Sports Bra - Athleta, Plié Tights - Athleta, MorrocanOil Root Boost Volume - MorrocanOil, Cherry Blush - 100% Pure, Coconut Tea - Tea Forte, Nike Sports Watch + GPS with TomTom - Best Buy, Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning - Nordstrom, Crop Top - Pac Sun, Maxi Skirt - Victoria's Secret
I'm still absolutely obsessed with Pilates, so much so that I'm officially going to start Pilates instructor certification in the fall. This only means one thing: buying more Pilates clothing! Kidding, but really, who doesn't love a cute sports bra and a great pair of yoga pants. The Athleta gear is built to last and is of really nice quality. I'll be looking forward to some of their summer collections, but I'm a big fan of their yoga pants. This is the Athleta Freedom Bra paired with the Plié tights.

Recently I've become very interested in all natural beauty products. I'm trying to cut out as many chemicals as I can. Sometimes you just can't live without your holy grail concealer, but I'm determined to find natural alternatives. This Fruit Pigmented Cherry Blush from 100% Pure is 100% natural, gluten free, and vegan. It's also made with plum, pomegranate, blackberry, raspberry, apricot, and cherry. I have a concealer and a mascara from 100% Pure and I love them both. They come highly recommended from me. I'm blush obsessed so I'd love to try this for spring and summer.

I've heard so many great things about the MorrocanOil products but have never tried any of them. Allison from recommended this Root Boost Volume because it blasts volume into her fine, limp hair. She had me hooked when she said her second day hair didn't even need dry shampoo. I'm a dry shampoo fanatic because it saves me from having to wash my hair everyday, but if I don't even need that?! I'm intrigued.

I'm addicted to tea. There, I said it. That's the first step right? Well I don't think I want help getting over my love of tea. I love green teas, black, white, herbal, rooibus, and oolong. Think I pretty much covered all of them. Of all the teas I've ever tried, I've never seen coconut tea. This one is from Tea Forte. If you know me then you'll know I can't pass up coconut flavored or scented things. It would be a nice addition to my summer collection of teas.

Being pale is nice sometimes, but when spring rolls around I always end up feeling like a ghost. It's not like I'm wishing to be a golden bronzed goddess. I know that won't ever happen. I'd just like to look like I'm not dead. So I've always used the Jergen's self tanner lotion, but it kind of smells. And I lost my last bottle. So I'm looking for something new and improved. I've heard fantastic things about the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning oil. It's a facial moisturizer, but can also be used on the body.

With summer running right around the corner I've been researching GPS watches. My iPhone is always great for tracking time and distance, but sometimes it's kind of hard to fumble with the passcode and everything while I'm running. I want to be able to just take a quick glance at my watch and know my pace. The Nike + Sport Watch Powered by TomTom tracks time, distance, and pace.

And finally, here is my number one must have. I haven't hopped on the crop top bandwagon yet, but I think I'll be starting this summer. This Pac Sun crop top paired with this high waisted maxi skirt from Victoria's Secret would be the perfect laid back summer outfit. I don't know if I'll be getting this exact pairing, but I love the crop top maxi skirt look.

What is on your spring wish list?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Influenster Rimmel Moisture Renew VoxBox March 2014

**I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**

I received the new Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick from this month's Influenster VoxBox.
The color is highly pigmented and the formula is creamy and moisturizing as the name implies.

The packaging is fun and classy with that pop of purple.

This is just one swipe of the lipstick on the back of my hand. As you can see, a little goes a long way. You wouldn't believe how pigmented this is. For me, on an everyday basis, this is a little much. I prefer light moisture and more natural shades. I can't speak to the staying power because I was frightened by the color on my lips, but I did leave it on the back of my hand and it stayed for a few hours without moving, even when I'd tried to wipe it off. A stain of the color was left behind on my hand, and also on my lips, when I'd tried it out. It's pretty awesome for a drugstore brand. The creamy texture is something I'd go for if I could find a shade more suited for my skin tone and style.

The shade I received is 360 As You Want Victoria

Monday, March 17, 2014

March Birchbox 2014

I have been quite absent on the blog recently and it's mostly because I'm busy, but that's honestly no excuse! My last post was the February Birchbox so honestly I'm just being lazy. My more understandable excuse is that I'm really trying to purge products that are either expired or on the list of "no-no" products according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep cosmetic page. I've been really into learning more about natural products and keeping it simple with skincare and makeup lately. I've found some new brands I like and will hopefully stop being lazy soon so I can post about that if anyone who reads this would be interested.

Anyway, my last Birchbox came the other day and I was so happy to see it appear at my doorstop. I have enjoyed getting Birchbox for the past three months, and I have to thank my best friend for that, but I will not be continuing my subscription. I highly recommend it as a gift because it's a fun way to get mail and a fun gift that keeps on giving. I currently don't have $10 extra each month to spend on sample products.

This month my favorite product is the INIKA Eyeliner in Green Lagoon. It's an organic brand and I'd been having trouble finding a good pencil eyeliner from an organic line. Most come in gel form with the little pots, and I'm a pencil girl all the way. Although I would have preferred a color that is a little bit more wearable, I really enjoy this shimmery green color for spring and summer. I'll definitely be checking out their brand a little bit more to see what other colors they offer.

I got the Control Corrective Oil Free Healing Lotion and Cucumber Bead Cleanser. Getting samples like this is always hard because it has so few uses that I can't really decide how I feel about a product. I enjoyed the soothing cucumber scent, but can't really rave about either. They were nice to try, but I'm sure they're full of chemicals. I'll be sticking to my 100% organic raw coconut oil for a moisturizer and cleanser.

Gilchrist & Soames showed up again in this box and I really like the scents of their line. The shampoo and conditioner from last month's box didn't do anything for my hair, but my roommate loves them both. The body lotion is very nice because it's light and doesn't leave you feeling greasy. It's not something I'd buy, but I love lotion samples because they easily fit in my backpack or handbag.

Air Repair included their Rescue Balm in the March box and what perfect time! With the changing of the weather my skin has been super dry and that means my lips are chapped and my hands hurt. This is an all-natural salve that is supposed to repair dry, cracked skin anywhere on the body.

The Obliphica Professional Intensive Hair Serum was the last thing in my box. I absolutely love the scent and it says it repairs damaged hair with omega-rich sea buckthorn berry. I don't know what is contributing to the wonderful scent, but it's great. I'll be using this until the very last drop. Hair oils didn't used to be my thing, but with long hair like mine, my ends just drink it up like water.

I'll be sad to see my Birchbox subscription coming to an end, but I've thought about trying another box like RunnerBox or NatureBox sometime in the future!

Do you subscribe to any boxes? Any reccomendations?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February Birchbox 2014

Time for another Birchbox post! I love getting mail and the Birchbox is something I look forward to opening because even if the box has a few duds, there's at least one star product waiting to be tested.

This month my favorite of the box was the Beauty Protector Protect & Oil treatment. It smells like vanilla and brown sugar (which is amazing) and leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth. My ends don't seem as damaged. The product claims to defend against UV rays, heat, and breakage. Don't know too much about the UV rays, but I'd say it works well as a heat protectant. And it also smells great, so that's an A+ in my book.

Next I got a Harvey Prince Hello perfume sample. It smells incredible, like spring and citrus. Although I don't like getting perfume samples, this one was great and now I want the rollerball of this. Figures. So I guess their marketing scheme worked on me!

The full size product this month was a Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Liner in Black Ink. I am not a huge fan of liquid liner because it looks too dramatic on my fair skin, I do appreciate the full size product. And it really is smudgeproof as it claims on the packaging. I'll use it when I want a more done up look than my every day makeup routine.

I also got Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Ride 'Em Cowgirl. This is a fun polish because it changes colors in the sun, although, it's a glitter polish which I don't wear too often because it's so hard to remove. I will definitely try this out though because you can't go wrong with a little gold glitter once in awhile.

The last product is Previse HydroMilk moisturizer. I really enjoy the lavender scent and the lightweight formula, but this product is sixty bucks for the full size so I'll just enjoy the sample while it lasts!

The Beauty Protector Protect & Oil won my vote this month! Come back in March to see what will win for the next box!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

French Pharmacie Haul + Photos from Paris in January

I'm still convinced I'm going to wake up tomorrow and I'll be back in Paris and that these last few days home were just a dream. Paris was incredible. There's no way I can put into words what an amazing month I had.

There's something magical about Paris. The leisurely strolls, the crepes, the historic monuments, and the soft rain create a particular je ne sais quoi that is so Paris.

My group stayed at a hostel called the FIAP Jean Monnet in the 14th arrondissement. It was a modern building with great amenities and it was super close to the metro. I'd highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Paris. (There's also free WIFIAP (wifi) here. Although it's frustrating, it was a huge bonus!) 

 Glaciere was our home stop and I can't wait to return to Paris and visit all of my favorite stops.

I was so very excited to visit the famous French Pharmacies that line most streets in Paris. They're world renowned for their skincare products, and we all know that's right up my alley.

I first hit up the Bioderma section. Everybody's heard of the Bioderma Solution Micellaire which is their gentle cleanser and toner. I also grabbed Bioderma Atoderm Lait Hydratant body moisturizer because I forgot to pack a lotion and my skin needed some hydration. Lastly from Bioderma, I wanted to try one of their facial moisturizers so I chose the lotion from the same line as the body lotion. It's Bioderma Atroderm Nutritive Creme Nourrissant. I've used all three of these and so far I'm loving them. You can't go wrong with Bioderma. Their products are gentle and have little to no fragrance.

My next stop was the Caudalie aisle. Caudalie can be found in U.S. stores, but the prices are extremely high. In Paris, the prices are much more affordable for a girl like me. I had heard wonderful things about the Caudalie Huile Divine and knew I had to test it out. It's a mix of gentle oils suitable for hair, face, and body. It smells pleasant, but not overpowering. I don't know how much it smells like perfume, but it's light and natural smelling. On my way out of the aisle a tiny bottle caught my eye. It's the Caudalie Eau de Beaute. This particular formula is laced with peppermint oil so it's soothing and refreshing. I'm kicking myself for not grabbing more than one of these sprays because I'm almost out and I NEED more. Alas, I'll just have to savor the rest of it and return to Paris as soon as possible. Doesn't sound too bad, right?

My last little skincare bit is a drugstore formula, just a cheaper price in France. It's the L'Oreal Absolue Douceur Solution Micellaire. This is just like Bioderma, but cheaper. I have heard European beauty gurus gush over this so I just thought I'd try it out. I love it. Micellar waters are great for my sensitive skin. Again, I wish I would have grabbed a few more as these are not yet available in the states.

Finally, I visited Yves Rocher. It's not technically a pharmacie, but it's full of skincare products and perfume. Think French Bath and Body Works. It's fabulous. From there I purchased the Yves Rocher The Vert Parfum that smells exactly like iced green tea. So refreshing and different from what I am usually drawn to. I also needed body wash and picked out the Yves Rocher Pamplemousse Gel Douche. Such a fresh scent. I love Yves Rocher and wish we had one in the states!

I had a fabulous time in Paris and hope to be back very soon. Here are some photos from the trip. Enjoy!

YES. I saw Lady Gaga at the Louvre.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January Birchbox

I spent the entire month of January roaming the streets of Paris and eating crepes all over my favorite city in the world. So now I'm back to the Polar Vortex of Minnesota ready for another semester of school. I arrived at my apartment a few days ago to a wonderful surprise. My best friend gifted me a three month Birchbox subscription for Christmas! I didn't know about it because I hadn't been to my apartment for so long and she is good at keeping secrets! So excited about three months of fun goodies. Yes, this can almost be categorized as a full month late, but I only opened it a few days ago!

First of all, Birchbox has a fabulous packaging strategy. The products come in an adorable printed box and it's presented as a gift complete with bright pink tissue paper.

Inside January's box was a 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara, Gilchrist & Soames Shampoo and Conditioner, a sample of Juicy Couture Original, and Reviver Dry Deodorant Wipe.

I've tested the mascara and absolutely love it. It smells like berry black tea and gives natural looking lashes while also pumping up the volume a bit. I'll be testing it out a bit more over the next few days, but if I like it enough I might just go buy it. It's a natural mascara and I've been on the hunt for more natural products recently.

Haven't tried the shampoo and conditioner yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Both smell like passionfruit and citrus. I'm not too picky with shampoo so I'm assuming I'll like this. My only concern is if it is too heavy for my hair. We shall see!

The Juicy Couture Original perfume sample is nice, but I wouldn't purchase this in full size. It's expensive and it's not my type of scent. The scent description says, "Mandarin, rose, and sandalwood." To me, it's much too floral, but I know many people who enjoy this scent.

The Reviver Dry Deodorant Wipe is surprisingly the product I'm most intrigued by. The card says, "The first-ever deodorant for your duds, this handy cloth whisks away odors on contact." Being the scent girl that I am, I am constantly worried that my clothes smell like the restaurant I just left (or that I'm sweaty). That happens too. Anyway, I haven't had a chance to use this yet, but I'm very interested in what it can do.

The box also came with adorable colorful cards. They're full of happiness and motivation so, naturally, they've already found a place on my wall.

I'm loving this first Birchbox and cannot wait until February's box arrives!

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