Pore Clearing Mask from Origins

Last night I cozed up with my lavender neck wrap and my charcoal facial to watch TV with my husband on a chilly Sunday night. This was the second time I had tested the Origins Active Charcoal Pore Clearing Mask.

Said to to be good for all skin types, active charcoal, “acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers. White China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities.”

I really like it. It is a fabulous, detoxifying boost that seems to balance and soften your face without overdrying. It also doesn’t seem to bring impurities to the surface, which is one of my biggest concerns with masks like this. I put on a fairly thick but even layer after washing my face and using a light mist of Sanitas face mist. Your face will get so bizarrely tight as the mask dries that you will barely be able to talk! Super strange. After about 10 minutes, the mask is completely dry and you can rinse it off easily with warm water. I applied a quick coat of my night cream and that was it!

I love that Sephora currently has a special on a package of products, including the mask, in a smaller size. For $47, you get to try the Charcoal Mask, the frothy face wash, the mimosa and algae face moisturizer and the anti-aging serum. Click here to buy it from Sephora.com and if you have one other thing in your shopping cart, such as a refill of your favorite makeup sponges, you’ll get free shipping.

Mexico Beauty Survival Kit

Good morning! And sorry for my delayed blogging. My husband and I took a trip to Mexico for some fun and relaxation in the sun last week and I’ve been looking forward to writing this post ever since! Today I’m going to share my Mexico beauty kit, from sunscreen to haircare. We had a wonderful trip. Mexico is such a different climate from Colorado. When we came home, it was 25 degrees and we’d just left the beach and almost 90 degrees! Ahhh!

Here’s a picture of most of the speciality beauty products I took (shampoo, makeup etc not included as those are used at home too):


From left to right:

1. Clarins SPF 50+ spray sunscreen, $38

2. Alba Botanica SPF 45 sunscreen, $9

3. Kevin Murphy Young Again hair treatment, $40

4. Alterna hair heat protectant spray, $24

5. Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Lotion, $65

6. Shiseido SPF 38 Sunscreen, $32

7. Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother, $10

8. First Aid Beauty Aloe Sun treatment, $18

Yes, I know. I took quite a few things. One of the reasons I took so many sunscreens, lotions and after-sun products is that I was interested to see how a $40 sunscreen compared to a $10 sunscreen or how Burt’s Bees compared to First Aid Beauty. Does the price matter? Well, the definitive answer to that is yes…and no. It depends.

Without a doubt, no contest, the worst sunscreen was the most expensive. The Clarins SPF 50 is not remotely waterproof and it tends to run and spread when you spray it. Moral of the story is that if you spray it on your face, it will run in your eyes. The best sunscreen? Well, for your face, you can’t beat the Shiseido. It’s very runny (even more so than Clarins) and spreads so easily, absorbs into the skin with ZERO greasy feeling and does not remotely clog your pores. And those are the reasons a more expensive sunscreen is worth it’s weight in gold. Plus, it’s extremely water resistant and stood up easily to the Mexican sun.

We also loved the Alba SPF 45. It’s thick, creamy and smells amazing (it has green tea extract) but not girly and my husband really liked the scent, perfect for the tropical beach. It also absorbs easily and spreads easily. The bottle runs out more quickly than Shiseido, even though they are the same size, just because the consistency of the Alba sunscreen is so much thicker. We also found it to be very water resistant (equally to the Shiseido). For the money, Alba is a really fantastic option.

Now onto the after-sun options. It’s such a tie and honestly, it depends on what you like. Scent or no scent? The Burt’s Bees scent is really nice, it’s soothing, natural and herb-like. The First Aid Beauty Aloe has no scent at all. One is a cream (Burt’s Bees) one is a gel (First Aid). Truly, if I could only take one next year, I’d take Burt’s Bees. I love how it can be my full body lotion after a day in the sun. You really should only use the First Aid Aloe gel as a sunburn spot treatment because aloe can be so drying.

What is in your beach beauty kit? Add it to the comments!

Jurlique mist goes back to Sephora, not a win

Approximately a month ago, I purchased a moisturizing spray in hopes it would boost my daily moisturizer (I didn’t plan to wear it at night, knowing the REN Frankincense night cream I love is enough on its own) and help maintain balanced skin during the harsh Colorado winter.

After extensive review research, I decided to test the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist for $22. Unfortunately, the mist just took a trip back to Sephora because it wasn’t for me. It had some great pros. It sprays very evenly, adds zero shine and has a very light, pleasant scent. It definitely adds more moisture but without adding oil. But for me personally, the biggest con was that it gave me an extra pimple or two that I certainly wasn’t expecting.

I had the same result on both my face and my chest where a few small pimples popped up that easily disappeared after a few days with my favorite spot treatment. I used it for 5 days but the breakout continued. Didn’t give it long enough? Possible. But not going to chance it, especially considering there were no other factors or changes that could have caused the breakout.

Stay tuned for future tests of moisture mists! Do you have one you love? Let me know!

Boyfriend and Billionaire Boyfriend Perfumes

In my recent Sephora purchase, I tested a new roll-on perfume. I’d had some curiosities about Billionaire ever since getting a sample of Kate Walsh’s original scent, Boyfriend.

I almost feel as though this is not an authentic test because it’s a roll-on and not a bottle. Has anyone else had experiences where they think the roll-on is an ever-so-slightly different scent than the bottle?

Not that I’m complaining because I really like it, can’t quite say “love it”, but I really like it. It’s not as perfume-meets-cologne as Boyfriend. When I first tested Boyfriend and asked my husband what he thought, he replied “That smells great! Kind of like something I would war.” So there you have it. Billionaire has (to me) a more complex scent that changes the longer you wear it. It’s floral but not sweet. But it just doesn’t seem to be very strong as a roll on. However, interestingly enough, the other reviews of Billionaire on Sephora said it was too strong and the scent was too intense for many users. So maybe the roll on is a good thing!

So if you liked Boyfriend but want something that smells more feminine and a little more luxe, Billionaire is for you.
Click here for the roll on of Billionaire Boyfriend for $22.

Click here for the .5 oz bottle of Billionaire boyfriend for $35 (which is probably what I’m going to return the roll on to try) or the 1.7 oz bottle can be found here for $65.

OR, and you know I love this idea, Billionaire was just added to Sephora’s 5 fragrance sampler. You can try large testers of 5 great scents for only $18.

HealthyLip LaVanila is the Lip Screen you need to have

Creamy, smooth, fresh and slightly minty. That’s how I would describe the LaVanila Lip Screen from my recent purchase at Sephora. It packs more sunscreen than any other lip protection I’ve seen (at least any lip protection that doesn’t look/taste/smell like chalk) and it is free of parabens and synthetic dyes.

But here’s my favorite part. You know how many times you’ve tried to get into a pot of something – whether it’s a lip butter, solid perfume or some other potted makeup – and either given up because you’d just put lotion on and your hands were slippery or you’ve tried to pry it open only to make the lid tighter. Say goodbye to that! The Lip Screen has a twist cap with just a little half-turn to get it off. No more metal pots of lip butter that will never see the light of day! It works perfectly!

This is going to be a staple for all beach and ski trips for me from now on. And it will seemingly last forever so for $16, it’s worth the price. Click here to buy it from Sephora and benefit this blog! Or if you want to test another LaVanila product, their Lip Shine glosses, here’s a great deal on a Limited Edition 5-pack from Beauty.com.

Coolest makeup packaging EVER

On a recent trip to Sephora, I thought I’d give a test to something I’d been eyeing for a long time…the Dior eye palettes. The Dior has a 5-color eye palette and a 3-color smokey eye palette. After carefully evaluating the color options (I was looking for something fairly neutral for daily wear) I settled on the 3-color smokey eye palette in Couture Nude.

But here’s what’s so cool about the packaging. When you push back the top of the case, the mirror slowly pops up to reveal the shadows. Plus, the two small brushes fit inside to make it one cute little compact.

Dior eye 2 Dior eye shadow

In addition, I just really like the sheer shimmer of the colors in the nude palette. You can layer them on for a darker look or just swipe and go for quick color.

Overall, it’s a great product!

Click here to buy it online!

Dior Extase Mascara vs Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara

I have long been a fan of the classic Dior mascara, Dior Show. It’s just a perfect daily, easy to apply, not too much but definitely not too little mascara. But once I tried Dior Extase, I was sold. It’s a little more lengthening than Dior Show but has all the other great qualities. For a long time, it has been my everyday product.

Recently, when I purchased some Christmas gifts from Sephora online, I received their “secret gift”. I was a good mix of travel and trial size products to test. I plan to review a few more in the coming weeks, including the Origins charcoal mask, which was a pleasant surprise!

I decided to compare one of the mascaras, Buxom Amplified Lash in the “secret gift” kit with my daily Dior. And it’s a tough call!

One of the biggest differences you’ll notice right off the bat are the brushes. The Dior brush is more classic (on the right), while the Buxom brush is a newer invention that is typically used for length and separation.


Application details: They both apply evenly, smoothly and without clumping. I’ve always thought because they are thicker, the Dior mascaras take a few applications to “prime” the brush. Or in other words, it takes a week or so to apply quickly and have enough in the grooves of the brush to dip, swipe and go. Because Buxom is a thinner formula (in a good way) it applies quickly and easily the first time.

Length vs. Volume: This is where the real difference comes in. Hands down, Buxom lengthens and separates giving beautiful, catlike lashes and Dior is there to thicken and volumize. Does either mascara let you down in the other category? Nope, they just have their little advantages here and there.

Cost: Dior is more expensive than Buxom. At $28.50 a tube, it’s an expensive mascara. Buxom comes in at $22.

Overall: This is a toss-up! I’m going to keep Buxom in my drawer because I think it could be great for holiday parties!! Dior, for now, will stay as my everyday product.

Click the links below to buy either mascara from Sephora. While this post is not sponsored, your purchase will earn 2% for Everyday Lipstick, allowing me to keep testing products and bringing you the best in beauty!  xo

Buxom Aplified Lash

Dior Extase

Road Test: Eye Primers

In my recent Sephora purchase, I bought the NARS Smudge-proof Eye Shadow Base. It was a test to see if I could replace my Bareminerals Brightening cream eye shadow primer. I was looking for something faster to apply because, honestly, the Bareminerals cream is slightly time-consuming to put on and periodically I end up squeezing WAY too much out of the bottle and therefore wasting some of my $18 eye primer.

First, these primers are completely opposite and both great in their own regard. One is more of a true primer (NARS) and one is more of a pre-eyeshadow cream (Bareminerals). The Bareminerals has a pinkish sheen to it, as you can see on the left in the picture below. The NARS Smudge-proof Eyeshadow Base is on the right.

Here they are with a little bit of smearing. The NARS would be completely clear if rubbed just a tiny bit more but even when blended, Bareminerals keeps a pearly sheen.

So here’s the down and dirty of the review:

Price: NARS is $24, Bareminerals is $18

Application: NARS wins. It’s faster to apply due to the wand and it can’t be wasted by over-squirting like Bareminerals.

Crease after long wear: They are very close, but I’d say NARS wins by a slight margin. There was absolutely zero crease after 10-12 hours where with Bareminerals, there would be a slight line.

Ability to work with all shadows: Bareminerals wins. Because it’s creamy and doesn’t dry as matte, Bareminerals works better with both cream and powder shadows. Pressed powder was a little dry when applying on top of the NARS.

Which one will I keep for everyday use? NARS. I like how it doesn’t have any color but I will still continue to use Bareminerals when I don’t have time for a layer of shadow or I want the pearl undertones. But overall, NARS is my new everyday product!

DiorSkin Nude Foundation: Love/Hate Relationship

Ladies, I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time. It’s a long-standing issue I’ve had with my (so far) favorite foundation. I’ve been using the DiorSkin foundation for over a year and love it. It’s a great match for my skin, it delivers the perfect amount of coverage and it never looks too matte or chalky. However, there’s one big reason why it doesn’t deserve a permanent spot in my makeup drawer. 

After using a bottle for 2-3 months, it becomes chunky and granular when it comes out of the bottle. (See photo below) I have taken it back to Sephora for replacement bottles three times now because I just love the stuff, but it never lasts more than three months. Is that because you’re supposed to replace your foundation that often? Is it because Dior wants you to replace your bottle? I have no idea. But every single time, without fail, it becomes clumpy.

So ladies: what foundation should I replace it with? I’m really considering Guerlain Lingerie de Peau but what others would be worthy tests? Let me know in the comments!

Road Test: Makeup Sponges

As you’ll notice in this photo, I got my box from Sephora! Woohoo! There are two everyday products in here, the Jack Black balm (it’s sold out on Sephora, go here to get it fast from Beauty.com!) and the Brown Sugar body spray, and two new products I’m going to try and review! The first of the newbies is a package of makeup sponges.

Here’s a picture of my Sephora brand make up sponge next to the Laura Mercier contoured makeup sponge. Pretty big difference, right? The Laura sponge is bigger, thicker and much more pourous. A four-pack of the contoured sponges is $15 and a two-pack of the Sephora sponges is $6.

Now if you’re applying liquid foundation with a sponge correctly (there will be a future post on this!) you know to wet the sponge and squeeze out excess water and then use it to apply foundation. Otherwise, the sponge will absorb your expensive foundation and you’ll go through it twice as fast. Plus, the moisture helps apply foundation more evenly. This trick is 10 times more important with the Laura Mercier sponge. It really absorbs foundation otherwise because the pores on this sponge are much bigger than the pores on the white Sephora sponge.

I loved the shape and the larger size of the contoured sponges. It was a faster foundation application than usual with very even coverage. It will be under scrutiny for a few more days before earning a permanent spot in my makeup drawer, but so far so good! In the near term, I could see it replacing the smaller more foamy (instead of spongy) Sephora sponges.

What do you use to apply foundation? I’d love to know! Leave it in the comments.