Play! by Sephora Review

When I got an invite for Play! by Sephora, I decided to sign-up for it since I haven’t done a subscription box in a while and it was only $10.  I normally don’t sign up for beauty subscription boxes, but I figured Sephora’s box wouldn’t be all make-up products.

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I’ve received 5 boxes so far, and they’ve all been pretty good. I like that the boxes include a mixture of skin, hair, and beauty products. In addition, I like that you receive a Play! Pass to earn extra points on your Sephora card.

Here’s my review for this month’s box:

  • Living Proof Prime style Extender Spray: I haven’t had a chance to use the product yet, but I am a big fan of Living Proof. The spray is suppose to help extend the life of your hairstyle.
  • dr. brandt needles no more: This is suppose to be like botox in a bottle. I’m not sure if I’ll use this, but I’ll most likely give it to my mom to use.
  • Clinique Chubby Stick Highlight: I’ve been looking for a good contouring product, so I’m happy this was a sample, and I’m a fan of Clinique as I normally don’t breakout with their products.
  • Sephora Eye Mask: I receive the Rose sample and it’s very moisturizing. I do love these types of eye masks, so I might purchase some more as they’re currently on sale at Sephora.
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel: I’m hesitant to try this product since my skin is very sensitive, but I read reviews about it hydrating your skin.
  • Tocca Beauty Isabel: I normally don’t like perfume, but this scent is nice and not so overwhelming.

I would give this box 3 out of 5 stars. The samples were good sizes, but some were just items that I wouldn’t really use.

Do you subscribe to Sephora’s Play! Box?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

 

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Worth the Splurge: Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer

When Drybar first opened in Houston, I was lucky enough to go to the soft grand opening. My hair felt so amazing that I stocked up on some of their hair products. I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase Buttercup (their mascot!) since I was in the market for a new blow dryer. It was totally worth it! The price may seem steep it, but what it does for your hair is worth it.

Buttercup

What it does: A nanoionic blow dryer that makes your hair soft and silky

Cost: $195 – You can actually purchase Buttercup at a lower price with one of Drybar’s bundles. The current bundle at Sephora – “Peace on Earth Good Hair to All” contains Buttercup plus 5 other products to try.

Where to Buy: Sephora or Drybar’s Salon

Verdict: If you need a blow dryer, consider this one.  I have long hair, and I can finish blow drying my hair in 5-10 minutes, depending how I style it. I love using it with a heat protectant and smoothing cream in my hair. My hair always comes out so soft, shiny, and frizz free! Even though it is pricey, it might be worth considering if you use your hair dryer as your hair styler.

Would you consider purchasing Buttercup?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

My Favorite Travel Items

I recently came back from my first bachelorette party, and it was a great way to kick-off 2016! Since there wasn’t an itinerary given beforehand, I wasn’t really sure what to pack, but I knew I needed my travel essentials.

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  • Tumi Just In Case Travel Duffel Bag: I own the above design, but unfortunately it’s sold out. Even though it retails for $95, you can purchase for a cheaper price at the outlet store. Mine was only $30, so be sure to stop by if you can. I love that this bag folds up into the tiny wristlet, so it makes it easy to pack. Usually, I end up buying to many presents, so I always have to pull this bag out. It’s also made of nylon making it water proof and a good pool bag. Plus, it’s has a zipper and an add a bag sleeve, allowing you to slip it over the suitcase handle instead of carrying it.

RFID Passport Case

  • Fossil RFID Passport Case: I’ve been wanting a cute passport case, and Fossil’s case does that and more. It has a special RFID lining which helps your passport be protected form unwanted scanning. In addition, it has credit card slots so you can store your chip credit cards in it too for protection. It does retail for $45, but I managed to snag mine at 40% off at dillards, so always be on the look out for sales. There are other options that I saw on Amazon if you need it right away.

Eagle Creek TSA Travel Safe Lock

  • TSA Travel Safe Lock: Before I go, I always make sure my luggage is locked, as I don’t want anyone snooping in my suitcase. Also, it sort acts as a small safe for me, when I leave it at the hotel. You can probably find one for under $12, and it makes a great luggage identifying when you’re looking for your bag at the baggage claim.

Port Power by Quirky

  • Travel Power Strip: When I first brought a travel strip on a trip with my friends, they all thought it was a waste of money until we could only find two outlets at the hotel room. This one at The Container Store is a great price at only $5.99.

In addition to the above, I also need the following:

  • Refillable Water Bottle: Most airports have a water bottle refill station, so I always bring one instead of having to spend money on a soda.
  • Luggage Tag: I make sure every single bag has a unique tag on it.
  • Pop-up Hamper/Travel Laundry Bag:I always pack both! I use the pop-up  hamper during the trip, and once I’m ready to leave I pack it all in my travel laundry bag, so that my dirty clothes doesn’t contaminate my luggage with germs.

What are your travel essentials?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Lush Holiday Favorites

Every year after Christmas, I look forward to Lush’s BOGO sale on their holiday items. I was introduced to Lush a few years ago from a friend on my birthday. Lush products are all handmade products and the company’s famous for their bath bombs. I’ve actually never tried one before, but I am a fan of all of their other products, especially shower jellies and massage bars.

Below are my favorite items included in their annual Buy One, Get One Free sale: Some of these products may be sold out online, but check out your local store. They’ve also been doing restocks online periodically, so maybe you’ll get lucky.

  • Christingle Body Conditioner: This is my first time trying their body conditioner, and so far so good. My skin is so smooth and I like the cool feeling on my skin when I stop out of the shower. I might stock up on this product, as the cooling sensation is a great way to beat the summer heat.

Christingle

  • Buche de Noel Facial Cleanser: Ever since I found out about Lush’s annual BOGO sale, I make sure i try to stock up on this facial cleanser. I love that it’s all natural ingredients and my skin always fills so clean and smooth after use. It does get a little bit messy to use through, but it’s worth it! I tend to refrigerate mine so it lasts longer.

Bûche de Noël

  • Santa’s Belly or Snowman: Lush’s shower jellies are one of my favorite items. They’re so much fun to play with and such a unique concept. I always stick mine in the fridge so that it feels so cool and refreshing to use. You just need a small amount to squish and lather with it. Plus, their jellies always have a special surprise like glitter.

Santa's Belly

  • Santa’s Lip Scrub: Unfortunately, my lips tend to get dry and flaky this time of year. This lip scrub works wonder, plus I love the fact that it’s cola flavor. It does stain things red though, so be careful when trying to remove it. My other favorite flavors are the Popcorn and  Mint one.

Santa's Lip Scrub

These are a few of my favorite thing. I hope next year, there will be a Christmas theme massage bar!

Do you use Lush Products?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Holiday Gift Guide – The Homebody

It’s officially the Christmas Season! I’ve been listening to Christmas Music non-stop since Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite time of year because I love trying to find the perfect gift for everyone at a great bargain!

Here’s my gift guide for The Homebody in your life:

  • The Dreamers Flannel Pajamas: $39.50 – I love curling up in bed with a pair of comfy pajamas. This collection from Victoria Secret is a nice light flannel that comes in an array of prints. Use code “MOSTLOVED” online for a free sleep tank. You can also go in store to, but the pajamas unfortunately aren’t on sale for that same price.
  • Netflix: $7.99 a month, Gift them a subscription of Netflix, to binge watch all of their favorite shows or introduced them to new ones!

  • Draper James Coaster Set: $35 – I’m a sucker for coasters. I have a bunch all over the place in my living room. I love that these cute coasters have fun sayings. To maximize this gift even more, split up the coasters and add a bottle of your favorite wine or sparkling drink. Just wrap it all together in a cellophane bag or tissue paper, and you have an instant hostess/thank you gift!

Garett Cozy Throw

  • Garett Cozy Throw: $29 – I love how soft this throw is. It’s fun to wrap yourself up in it while watching a movie on the couch. or adding it on to your bed as an extra layer of warmth.
  • Naughty or Nice Shea-Infused Lounge Socks - Bath & Body Works   - Bath & Body Works
  • Bath and Body Works – Shea-Infused Socks: $8.50- These socks really soften your feet by wearing and have grips on the bottom so that you can wear them as slippers too!

Have you started your holiday shopping?

Happy Shopping!

-C

Check, Please!

I’m a huge fan of plaid, and I love that stores start to carry more items with the check print during the holiday season.

Here are a few of my favorite things with this fun print under $50:

Buffalo Check Salad Plate, Set of 4

  • Buffalo Check Salad Plates: $49.50 for a set of four: Add these salad plates to your next dinner for more color on the table. I love that the print reminds me of my favorite plaid shirt. You can either dress up a table or keep it casual with this plate.

Garett Printed Cozy Throw, 50 x 70

  • Garett Printed Cozy Throw: $27: This throw is so soft that I just want to stay in bed with it. I currently have mine on my bed, but you can throw it over a couch or keep it in your car. It’s perfect as a gift for white elephant.

Adam Lippes for Target Bar Set with Carrier - 7 pc

  • Adam Lippes for Target Bar Set: $15 : I believe it’s sold out online, but I found my set at my local Target. If you’re looking for bar tools or needs a great hostess gift, this works perfectly, just add a bottle of your favorite liquor or drink mixer. The tools all have a pretty good weight to it too, and the carrier allows the tools to be easy to transport.

  • The Dreamer Flannel Pajamas: $39.50: After watching New Girl, I fell on the Pajamas bandwagon. I purchase some from Victoria Secret and I love how comfy they are. Now is the best time of year to purchase them, as they’re usually on sale and you can usually receive free gifts with purchase or secret rewards.

Are you a fan of plaid?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Disney Pin Trading

On my recent trip to Orlando, my sisters and I participated in Disney’s Pin Trading. It was a really fun experience that allowed us to interact with some Disney Cast Members and collect unique souvenirs. We’re looking forward to doing it again, the next time we visit Disney. Prior to the the trip, I had a vague idea of pin trading due to reading some Disney Boards/Blogs, but I thought it was pretty expensive. Typically, pins can retail at around $8+, and a starter set including a lanyard starts at $20+.

Luckily, we stopped at the Disney Character Warehouse in one of the Orlando outlets, before venturing to Disney World. We were able to snag a 2015 Pin Starter set (1 lanyard and 4 pins) for $10. My sister also purchase a set of 2015 Pins for $15, which gave us around 3 more pins each to trade.

Below is my pin collection: I’m a big fan of Pooh, so I tried to collect as many cute Pooh pins as I could.

Disney Pins
My Pins!

The steps for Disney Pin Trading is pretty easy:

  1. Meet a Disney Cast Member wearing a lanyard or other pin accessory with trading pins.
  2. See if there’s a pin on their lanyard with your favorite Disney character/icon/ride/etc… that you would like to trade for.
  3. Trade your Disney pin with them.

Here are my tips on Pin Trading:

  • Visit the Disney Character Warehouse before heading over to the parks. – We were lucky that we were able to find such great deals on trading pins, especially a starter set.  Plus, if you’re in need of some pins, they’re usually marked at least 50% off retail. This is a great way to get some pins that you can use later to trade for the ones you want.
  • Buy From Ebay, but beware of counterfeits and fakes. – If you know beforehand that you’re going to Disney, see if you can find some cheaper pins on Ebay. Just make sure that the seller is selling authentic Disney pins. Do some research before purchasing, as a Cast Member won’t trade you if your pin is a fake.  This seller sells a lot of 25 pins for $50 which equates to around $2 a pin. The seller is one of the recommended Ebay sellers from some of the Disney Boards. It might seem pricey, but if you’re splitting it with others, it’s much cheaper than buying a few sets at the Disney Parks. Also,you can  use any lanyard to stick your pins. I recommend it be at least 1″ – 1.5″ wide as some of these pins are bulky.
  • Pick a Theme – Picking a theme beforehand, such as your favorite character like I did with Pooh, will allow you to focus on collecting that one collection of pins. This will save you some money as you’re not trying to collect everything (ie: needing more pins to trade), and trading only when you see a pin for your theme.
  • Don’t Expect to Trade for Exclusive Pins: If there’s an exclusive pin, like the ones from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas, go ahead and purchase it. It’s very unlikely that a Cast Member will have this pin for you to trade. It’s better to just purchase it, and spend more time enjoying the Park, than trying to find a Cast Member with your pin.

Most importantly, Have Fun! Pin trading was pretty cool, because I can look back at some of the pins and remember where I was when I traded for it. If you’re looking for a unique Disney souvenir, consider Pin Trading.  It might be better than getting a t-shirt, as you can use it again later when going back to Disney. The pins also work great as push pins for a cork board!

Do you participate in Disney’s Pin Trading?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

 

Costco Designer Deals

When you hear the word “Costco”, you’re probably thinking of a giant warehouse with your every day household needs. Surprisingly, I found a bunch of great designer deals that make my Costco membership worth it!

These are my favorite deals, all under $100!

Kooba Leather Hobo Bag – I love Kooba bags. The leather is so soft and buttery. This hobo bag comes in this gorgeous tan color and black. It’s priced at a 50% discount than if you were to find a Kooba bag in a similar style.

Kooba Leather Hobo Bag TanHunter Rain Boots: These are such a great steal if you can find it in your size. The boots are priced around 40%+ off retail, depending on the style and color. You better act fast, as these boots have been selling out like crazy. Though some styles are listed as “back-ordered”, Costco can’t guarantee the boots are coming back in stock.

Hunter Ladies’ Original Tall Gloss Rain Boot-Black

UGG Blanche Robe: If you’re  an UGG fan, then this robe is for you. Wrap yourself in the comfy fleece, that UGG is known for. You can find this robe on the UGG website, at a much higher price,  but you do have more color options than the Gray and Cream available at Costco.

UGG® Ladies’ Blanche Robe-Gray

Badgley Mischka Swarovski Watch: I’m not normally a fan of watches, but I do like this one. It looks likes it could pass off as a bracelet if you don’t see the watch face. I’m a fan of their evening wear, and this watch matches their design aesthetics. There are other designs to picks from, and they’re all priced at 50% off other retailer’s prices.

Badgley Mischka Swarovski Crystal Accented Silver-Tone Women's Watch

Columbia Ladies’ Fast Trek II Jacket: When I went skiing this year, I purchased a Columbia jacket, and the inside was  a fleece jacket similar to this. It did keep me warm, and I was able to wear just the jacket when I went out and about on the touch. Costco has select colors on sale at 50% off retail.

Columbia Ladies’ Fast Trek™ II Full Zip Fleece Jacket-Hyper Purple

There are more deals online, but the above are my picks. If you don’t have a Costco membership, it might be worth considering if you find a great deal like those above!

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Buckstaff Bath House Review

I had the pleasure of visiting Hot Springs, AR and visiting Buckstaff Bath House. It was great to experience a part of history that was so popular in the 20s.

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Buckstaff is located on historic Bath House Row in Downtown Hot Springs. I wanted the most authentic experience, so I chose to go with Buckstaff. They offer different types of services, and I went with the Whirlpool Mineral Bath. They’re only open at certain hours, so you want to make sure you get there early in order to ensure a spot.

The Whirlpool Mineral Bath consists of the following:

  • Tub Bath :This was relaxing. You sit in a tub soaking in the mineral water from the Hot Springs. They also have bubbles so it was really soothing. Towards the end of the bath, one of the attendants comes in and scrubs you down with a loofah . My skin felt really great after this.
  • Hot Pack: This was my favorite part of the whole experience. Your attendant brings you over to lie down on a bed and places hot towels, drenched in the mineral water, on areas that need attention. I asked to do my lower back and feet. It felt so nice, and I didn’t want to move on from it.
  • Vapor Cabinet: the cabinet was basically a metal steam room that you sit in and your head sticks out of it. I could only do it for a few minutes, before I felt like passing out from the heat.
  • Sitz Bath: This was an interested tub. It’s basically a chair that you sit in, and you just soak your bottom in it. It was nice, but after a while I wanted to move on.
  • Needle Shower: I wish I had this shower head. You’re in a shower and sprayed in all directions that it feels like a massage on your body. You only get to be in it for a few minutes, before you have to move-on.

If I come back to Hot Springs, I plan to do this again. It was a nice relaxing treat, and costs less than a massage.  Plus, my skin felt really great after it!

Would you go to a bath house?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C

Starbucks Bottled Iced Coffee Review

Like hundreds of people, I’m a Starbucks Addict. I love their variety of iced coffee drinks, as I don’t like drinking hot drinks. Luckily, I stumbled across these gems at the grocery store. They only cost $3.99 a bottle, and each bottle makes six 8 fl oz cups.

Starbucks Iced Coffee Caramel

Caramel Iced Coffee

This drink is delicious. It’s already sweet and has a good flavor. I just add some milk and I’m good to go.

Starbucks Iced Coffee Caramel Macchiato

This drink tastes exactly like a caramel macchiato once you mix it up!

I’m so glad my local grocery store started to carry these. I normally spend about $5 for a drink at Starbucks, and this one bottle lasts me a week, saving me $25!

What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?

As always, Happy Shopping!

-C