Friday, June 29, 2012

Favorite Travel Items of Summer 2012

Sorry I have been AWOL for a few weeks.  My amazing big brother flew me out to visit him and to see good friends from high school.  On my trip I brought some products that I love and that were great to have on my trip.  One product, I bought while on my trip and it has quickly become a daily favorite of mine.  Of course, when traveling, it is nice to use up foil packet samples and travel size products so the full sized products don't take up all your suitcase room.  I had quite a few facial moisturizers and toothpaste packets I was able to use and get rid of.  I still have a huge pile of foil packets that didn't get used mainly because I liked these products better.  Here's a look at some of my favorites from my recent trip:

First is my Strawberry EOS LipBalm.  I've pretty much been in love and addicted to this for a few months now.  This is my second one of these I've gone through.  This lip balm is incredibly moisturizing, it smells AND tastes amazing, and it doesn't have gluten, parabens, petrolatum, or phyhalates.  The only thing I wish it did have was SPF.  This little ball of joy is a staple item in my purse.  When traveling in an airplane with recycled air, your skin can get the moisture sucked out of it and this will help keep your lips hydrated.  You can get these at Ulta and Target.

Ponds Wet Cleansing Towlettes is my go-to for make up removal.  They get all of my make-up off and leave my skin feeling smooth and clean.  I've been using these for 9 or 10 years and I haven't tried anything else because these work THAT good.  I found some travel size packets at Target that were perfect for my trip.  I was gone for less than a week so I didn't need the huge package they normally come in.  This was the perfect size.

When you travel, your clothes are folded inside a suitcase.  This can cause wrinkles in your clothing.  This handy little travel sized Downy Wrinkle Release was a life saver.  When I didn't have time to iron something this actually did a pretty decent job of getting the wrinkles out of my clothes.  You spray it on and then smooth out the wrinkles with your hands.  I'm taking this on all my future trips.

****  UPDATE***  I no longer 'love' this brand.  I bought the full size and after a while, I had more hair loss than normal and I guess this has happened to many other people after looking at reviews of this brand.  As soon as I stopped using it, the problem ceased.*****This is probably my favorite thing I discovered/used on my trip.  I had always seen these little Organix Coconut Milk travel sized shampoos and conditioners by the check out counters at Ulta, and they always intrigued me.  I got some for my trip and I might just end up buying the full size next time I need shampoo and conditioner.  My hair hasn't felt this good in a long time.  It is smooth and light.  Not to mention, my hair smells good enough to eat.  If you like the smell of coconut, this is yummy.

My hair does not hold curl well and Paul Mitchell's Round Trip is the only stuff I have found that keeps the curl and doesn't leave my hair feeling gross or crunchy.  I found a little travel size version a few years ago and now I just re-fill it with my full size bottle when necessary.  It comes out like a gel texture, but dries and leaves your hair soft and moveable.

DRY SHAMPOO!  As amazing as this stuff is, I am suprised that the craze with this stuff just started a year or so ago.  Dry shampoo is nothing new to this world.  I was in the MidWest, and with all the humidity, it was nice to be able to dry up some of the oil in my hair throughout the day.  This is a travel sized can I got from Target.

I received this in my Spring VoxBox and since it was a nice travel size bottle, I took it on my trip.  This body wash is incredible.  I have sensitive skin and this left my skin feeling clean and smooth.  It doesn't really have a smell which is a bummer, but it gets the job done.  I recommend this if you have sensitive skin.

Let me just start out my saying that this is one of the best things I have ever smelled in my entire life.  It smells divine.  This is Amika hair oil treatment.  It is a hair oil, but it doesn't leave your hair feeling greasy.  I got this in one of my first Birchboxes almost a year ago and I am STILL using it.  It is seriously like the never ending bottle!  I brought this as something to protect my hair from my flat iron.  I use about a dime sized drop and spread it throughout my hair after I get out of the shower.  It makes my hair frizz-free and nourished.  It is a lot like Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Serum (but better).  This was the perfect size to take with me; It hardly took up any room!

This is what I brought to wash my face with.  The Philosophy sample of Purity face was was from a Birchbox and I used my Clarisonic Mia.  The Clarisonic is the best thing that has happened to the skin on my face.  I had heard really good things about Purity, but I had to try it for myself.  I like the way it leaves my skin feeling.  I can see where the good reviews come from.  The MidWest and the humidity makes for a oily mess on my face so this was my night time regiment that got my skin feeling clean and fresh on my trip.  *Sorry the brush on my Clarisonic has been used and so it doesn't look all new and clean*

I could rave about this all day long.  I love any type of scrub.  Face, body, and lips.  I hate chapped lips, but it happens.  This lovely little pot of sugar and oils scrubs off dead skin on your lips and leaves them smooooooth.  Plus, this stuff tastes great.  The ingredients are edible and this one is deliciously minty.

Alright, so this product isn't travel sized, but I discovered it on my trip.  I had originally brought a travel sized hair spray with me, and it made my hair crunchy and nasty.  Dove came to the rescue!  This stuff is amazing.  It is my new favorite hair spray.  It leaves your hair in place, but your hair can still move (if that makes sense).  It smells fantastic and it doesn't dry your hair out like most other hair sprays.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff.

Leave me a comment and say what products you recommend for traveling! 

-polish. impress. repeat.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Birthday Mani!

I wanted to wear something fun on my nails for my birthday and I came up with this.  I color blocked Essie's "Orange, It's Obvious!" and China Glaze's "Wicked Style".  I really like the way these two look together and it's a festive combination great for the summer!  Here are some more pictures:

 Orange, It's Obvious! is a bright opaque orange.  I got out my Crayola collection and this is exactly the same color as the "Orange Red" color.  It does have a little bit of a red tint to it.  This color is part of Essie's Spring 2012 collection.  It's such a bold color for Essie that it really stood out to me and I gave in and purchased it.  It only took two coats, but it was rather runny leaving me with a good mess in my cuticle beds to clean up.  The nice thing was that it cleaned up easily....

Wicked Style is from China Glaze's Electropop Spring 2012 collection.  It is a bright fuchsia color.  It's gorgeous and something I wouldn't mind wearing on my toes all summer long.  This went on really nice, but it did leave some small bubbles.  The smallest bubbles I've actually ever had with nail polish.

I like the fact that these are really bright bold summer colors, but they aren't quite neons.  It's a small change up from the neon craze, though I'll return to it shortly!  :)

What are some good combo's that you like to color block with?

-polish. impress. repeat.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 2012 Birchbox!

It's that wonderful time of the month!  No... not that 'time of the month".  Birchbox time!!!  I was excited for this month's box because the theme is "Jet Set".  They wanted to give products that were useful during and for the travel season.  It's perfect because I am actually flying out next week to go visit my brother!  Little does he know that Birchbox even sent me a little something for him!  Lucky guy!  I was really hoping to get the full-sized Stila bronzer, but alas, I didn't.  This box was still amazing and I am super excited to try the products out.  If you don't know what Birchbox is, here is a previous blog post here where it is explained in detail.

Here's a better look through my box:

This is the sample that I'm going to give my brother.  It is John Varvatos's cologne "Star U.S.A.".  They sent it for Father's day as well as to promote Birchbox Man.  I took a picture of the sleeve with the explination.  Birchbox Man is like Birchbox, just with 'manly' products and items.  This month they gave out a watch!  If you know a guy that would be interested or if you're a guy that is interested, it's $20 a month and you can check it out more at Birchbox's website by clicking the link I'll paste at the end of this post.

This is probably my favorite item of the box.  This is Eyeko's Fat Eye Stick.  I have pictures of this swatched  below.  I got this in the color "Old Gold" which is an antique looking gold.  It's gorgeous and long lasting.  I'll add, this was a full-size product (always a plus)!

Birchbox had quite a few different lifestyle extras that I saw in other subscribers' boxes. I got this adorable zip bag by tili.  This will be a fun way to pack all my liquids for when I go through security at the airport next week.  This is quart size, and they sell different sizes.  This has a slider to zip it closed which I like a lot better than the other way.

I am really interested to try these out!  These are Self-Tanning Intensive wipes from Comodynes.  These wipes give you a tan that forms to your skin.  You can build up the color or just use it to get a nice glow.  It takes about 3 hours to fully develop the color.  Neatooo.  Tan without having to use UV rays.  :)

All the Birchbox subscribers were so excited to try Staniac by theBalm cosmetics.  I think everyone got this in their Birchbox.  I like using stains on my lips, but not a huge fan of using them on my cheeks.  We'll see how I like this.  Below I included a  picture of what it looks like swatched and blended out.

I have been a huge fan of the skincare products that Birchbox has worked with.  I'm sure this one will be just as great as the others.  This is the Facial Moisturizer + Sun Protectant SPF (Normal to Oily) by Likewise.  I love a good moisturizer and even better that this has 50+ spf!  WOW!  It is anti-aging and water resistant too.

The total value of my box was $27.65.  If you are interested in signing up for Birchbox, please use my referral link here: 
What do you guys think about this month's box?  If you get Birchbox, tell me what you got in your box this month!

-polish. impress. repeat.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Essie - Mojito Madness

I had seen way too many great things about this nail polish for me to go without it!  This is Essie's Mojito Madness.  It is a creamy kelly green color.  I've heard many people refer to it as a 'Starbuck's green', while I think it is still a tad lighter than the Starbuck's green.  This is such a great vibrant color and I think it will be one of the number one polishes of the summer for nail polish junkies like myself.  The formulation was fine.  It was a little patchy and sheer with the first coat, but it all evened out with a second coat.  Look at how fun this color is!!!!!!

Are you planning on jumping on the bandwagon and getting Mojito Madness?

-polish. impress. repeat.