These are a few of my favorite things: August

Tomorrow is September 1st....seriously!?! School started back up for me this past week, Pumpkin Spice lattes are out, Halloween candy is in the stores...yet it's still difficult to believe that we're already at this point in the year. Fall is by far my favorite time of year though, so as much as I enjoy summer, I'm really for all things fall!

So let's bid adieu to August and jump into my monthly favorites!

First up is this Kate Spade iPad mini case. I am SO happy that I snagged this when I did. Can we just talk about how gorgeous it is!?! I don't know why, but I've been pretty obsessed with anything rose/rose print lately and this definitely fits the bill. It keeps my iPad nice and snug and is also a smart case, which means that my iPad goes dark when I shut it, preventing the battery from draining too quickly. I also featured this case in my Back to School series here!

This book has not only been one of my favorites of the books I've read this past month, but also a top favorite of the books I've read this summer overall. I absolutely loved the story and cannot wait for the second installment and also, the movie which is set to star Emma Watson! You can read my review of The Queen of the Tearling here! 

Oh me, oh my! Why have I not tried this chocolate before!?! While it definitely took me far too long to grab a bar of this, I'm so glad that I did. Sensitive teeth be damned! Can I get this by the case please?! It's the perfect compliment to reading, studying...pretty much anything.

Alright so next up is this miracle product from Kiehl's. I bought this Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer specifically for my feet which, unfortunately are pretty dry and have a tendency to get cracked. It's something I'm pretty self-conscious about and for which, I have purchased a mountain of products. Let me say that NOTHING I have tried could ever compete with this moisturizer!! This is definitely a holy grail product that seriously does the job! I could see this being a great product to have on hand in colder months as well. Seriously - if you have any dry skin issues, go out and buy this now!!

Let's continue with the apparent trend of TMI and talk about this deodorant from Dove. This is the Advanced Care skin renew deodorant and I have to say that not only does it smell lovely and do the job as far as deodorant goes, it also achieves the claim of restoring your skin tone. I can be pretty picky when it comes to deodorants, and purchased this to replace a natural product I was using that did NOT do the job. Besides this deodorant, I haven't used a Dove product in years and am wondering if there are more winners that I've been missing out on? Let me know!

So this next product is one I'm pretty excited about. I'm sure it's been around for ages, but I'm late to the party! I recently picked up this Clinique bottom lash mascara from Sephora on a whim and it was worth it for sure! This makes applying mascara to your bottom lashes a breeze. No more dealing with huge wands on those pesky tiny lashes! The wear is great and I haven't noticed any fallout. When I'm out of this, I will definitely re-purchase!

Last but not least is this Dior lip glow color reviver balm. I picked this up from Nordstrom when I was actually intending on purchasing a different Dior lip balm. Let's call this a happy accident because I am so pleased with this product. First off, the packaging is gorgeous! The balm itself is super moisturizing without being greasy or heavy, isn't too shiny, and gives your lips a wonderful dose of color. This is definitely one of those products that you can throw in your bag and go! It's a "your lips but better" color!

That's it for August! Now we move onto my favorite time of the year: Fall! What were your favorites for August? I'd love to hear them in the comments! Feel free to share your blogs & videos as well! :)


Product Empties #1

So even before I started blogging here or anywhere else, I was always interested in trying out new/different products. There are so many options out there that it can be pretty overwhelming! I've been trying to save all empties that I acquire for doing a product empties post. I went to add to my pile recently and realized that I had quite the build up and figured that it was definitely time for a post!

Almond Butter from The Body Shop - I went through this surprisingly fast. I really loved the scent and used it in lieu of my normal lotion after taking a shower. I did find that it was a bit greasy but it left my skin feeling super soft! I would definitely repurchase and have been considering trying out their new Argan line as well.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream - I purchased the small size of this initially and fell in love instantly! I have plenty of lotions, but this one was the ONLY one to make my skin calm down when I was breaking out thanks to the case on my old computer (I know, a very creative allergy!). It smells great and is super moisturizing. I have already repurchased this in the larger side and keep it on my bedside table. It's happily become part of my evening routine! 

OPI polish remover - This is the nail polish remover that I currently am using. I've repurchased it a few times now because it is (so far) the best remover I have found. However, I'm still in the market for something that works even better - specifically something that tackles glitter/texture polishes better! If you know of anything PLEASE let me know!! 

Victoria Secret Pure Daydream Body Wash  - I LOVED the scent of this body wash!! It just had a nice, cozy, not too perfumed scent to it. The lather that you get was also pretty fantastic. I have a few other scents of VS body wash in my stash so I want to use those up first but I would definitely repurchase this!

Kiss My Face 4-in-1 moisture shave in Peaceful Patchouli - Alrighty, so this is a product that I just did not love. I really wanted to, but it just didn't work for me. I'm always trying to find eco-friendly/natural options for body and makeup products but unfortunately this one just didn't do it for me. The scent was alright but not my favorite. The real clincher though was how it clogged my razor when I was trying to shave, which resulted in a far less smooth shave. I'm not even sure why it's called a 4-in-1 product! Needless to say, I will not be repurchasing this one!

Toms Naturally Dry Antiperspirant Deodorant - Unfortunately this was another bust for me. I do not agree with their claim that it provides 24 hour wetness protection...I didn't feel it did so for even half of that time. I also did not care for the texture of it. I felt it didn't absorb as well as other products out there. This one is another that I will not be repurchasing.

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Creamy Moisture Shower Gel - Say hello to one of my all-time loves! This is definitely a holy grail product to me. I am so in love with the scent of this shower gel! I have yet to be let down by any of the Soap & Glory products that I have tried and sincerely wish that I could purchase their makeup products in the states as well! (I'd be first in line for them!!) I will definitely keep repurchasing this - in fact, I already have some backup and this is definitely not something I'd want to go without!

Victoria Secret Sensual Blush Lotion - I liked the scent of this lotion, but unfortunately, I found that it was extremely greasy!! I mean I would at times have difficulties getting it to absorb adequately and I just did not enjoy the formulation of this lotion. I would not repurchase this.

Imperialis Facial Moisturizer from Lush - Lush is such a fun brand and one that I sincerely enjoy. However, this product is not one of my favorites. Personally it did not work for my skin, so it might just have been me and not the product. I will say that I feel that it is fairly affordable as you get more than an ounce for $25.00 - not bad! I will not be repurchasing this though.

Cupcake Fresh Face Mask from Lush - Now on to a product I really enjoyed - this face mask. First of all, it has cocoa powder, which means that it smells A-MA-ZING! It also made my face feel very calm and soft. It was perfect for a nice Sunday pamper evening! I would definitely repurchase this in the future. I would like to note however, that if you are interested in this mask that you can only purchase it in stores as it needs to be refrigerated.

King of Skin from Lush - Alright so since this product comes in bar form, all I have to show for it is the empty tin. This bar is one that you use in the shower and leaves your skin super smooth. It was recommended to me by a Lush employee, as an alternative to shaving cream. I tried it for that purpose and was not happy with the results. However, I did enjoy using it for its intended purpose. I would consider repurchasing it in the future, but it isn't a product I need to rush out and replace either.

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief (Whitening) Toothpaste - Yep - I'm gonna review a toothpaste! It might be weird, but I feel everyone has opinions about this stuff and we all need to use it so I'm going to put in my two cents. I liked this toothpaste, but I don't feel that it did much for my sensitivity. When I ran out I picked one that was slightly different and am loving it so I don't see myself going back to this one in the future.

Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie from Lush - This was another product recommendation from an employee and I have to say that I just wasn't a super fan of it. I enjoyed the smell - a lot actually. However, I can't see myself purchasing it just for the scent alone, and I also didn't find that the scent had much staying power for me. Personally I felt that instead of hydrating, this product actually made my skin feel dryer. Unfortunately, I would not be purchasing this one in the future.

Almond & Coconut Shower Smoothie - I don't know if this product is being discontinued or if they changed the name but I had a difficult time finding it on the Lush website. This is again a Lush product that just drew me in by its scent. This one smells so yummy! I found that it made my skin feel far better than the Turkish Delight did, perhaps thanks to the coconut. I would consider purchasing this one in the future. 

Ocean Salt Scrub from Lush - I really wanted to like this face scrub after all the great reviews it has received. However this just ravaged my skin and made me break out madly. It might have been too abrasive, it might have been some of the ingredients, or perhaps a combo of both. I also didn't care for the scent as much as others have. I will not be purchasing this in the future.

Well that's it for my first products empties post! Stay tuned for more in the future after I built up some empties again! :)


Vegan Cuts August Beauty Box Review

I recently signed up for a subscription with Vegan Cuts, a company who offers vegan focused monthly boxes. I opted for their beauty box version and now that I've received mine and have played around a bit, I've put together a review.

Vegan Cuts is a Canadian based company that offers both snack and beauty focused monthly boxes. While I am not vegan, I love trying to find cruelty free options when it comes to beauty products, so I signed up in hopes of discovering some new products!

In my box I found six samples. One of them however, the fresh feet wipes were actually a bonus for signing up for my first Vegan Cuts box.

The first item up is this soap from Etta and Billie. I received a sample slice in the rosemary and lemon scent, which I actually really enjoy! I did feel that this was a bit of a small sized sample and would have liked a little bit more product. Upon looking at their website I see that Etta and Billie actually offer a wide variety of soaps (I REALLY want to try the coffee one!!!!) in addition to a ton of other body products. I would love to explore this brand more and see what else they have to offer!

Estimated value of sample: $1.00 

The next item is this aromatherapy spray from Balanced Guru. I received the scent fearless, which is supposed to help you find balance through "stillness and security". Personally,  I'm not a fan of this scent (the box states that it has lavender, geranium, palmarosa, roman chamomile, neroli and petitgrain) so I passed it along to someone who I know will enjoy it.

Estimated value (according to their website): $10.00 for 8ml

This product, Pacifica's Alright Multi-Mineral BB Cream, is actually the item I was most excited for! I love everything that I have tried from Pacifica and have really been interested in trying out some of their makeup products. This BB cream worked well for my skin tone and felt really great on my skin. However, I will say that due to it's shimmer, I am more likely to use it as a highlight rather than an all over BB cream. I found the shimmer to be quite noticeable. It's definitely not a dislike though (I LOVE the packaging)!

Estimated value of sample: $5.00

Ok, so next up is this bath salt from Enfusia. I have to say that honestly, this is not a product I will be testing out, even if I desired to, as I only have a shower. I will definitely pass it along to someone who does though. I wish that more subscription boxes would take the time to survey their customers about their general likes/dislikes, allergies and if there are any products they just don't want to see. It's frustrating to get something that I can't even test out if I wanted to!

Estimated value of sample: $1.00 

These wipes were actually a bonus item for signing up for my first box, so they weren't in all of the August beauty boxes. Foot wipes are definitely a new product to me and one that I would never have thought of. These wipes from Jasmine Seven supposedly have antibacterial qualities as well as aloe and vitamin E. I can definitely see these wipes as being a great addition to your beach bag, or a product to bring along camping.

Estimated value of sample: $2.50

Last but not least is this Mineral Hybrid Cream from Emani Vegan Cosmetics. This product is apparently versitile in that it can be used for eyes, cheeks and lips, however I personally look at it as a eyes only product (perhaps in part due to the color I received). I received the fearless color and I do like that you can get very different colors depending on what portion you swatch of the pan. You could do some interesting eye looks with just this one product! While some of the colors are quite shimmery/metallic, I did not see any fallout happen at all which is another plus. I would definitely consider exploring more of this brand!

Estimated value of sample: $18.00 

Overall I felt that the selection of products in this box were decent. However, for my personal preferences, it left a lot to be desired. I would have liked to see more makeup products as it seems more difficult to find decent cruelty free beauty products rather than body products. Out of the items I received, there are three items that I could see myself repurchasing (the eyeshadow, the soap and Pacifica BB Cream). Two of the items I received I will be passing along to others as they aren't items I can use/don't suit me.

Cost of a Vegan Cuts Beauty Box: $19.95/month (plus international processing fees)

Overall value of August box (excluding free sample of wipes): $35.00!! Not bad! 

While the value was definitely more than the cost, I am still on the fence about whether or not I would like to continue my subscription. I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on Vegan Cuts in general and their beauty box! Please share in the comments!