Tag Archives: review

Drugstore Makeup Hits!

22 Mar

About 3 months ago I decided that I needed to change up my beauty routine because I wasn’t loving any of the products I was using and it was starting to feel like “same old same old.” I also had to change up my beauty routine during the week because my baby was turning into a toddler and so I just couldn’t place her on the floor while I got ready and have her just hang out with me. The hope was to find a quick and easy routine that lasted all day long. I spent about 3 weeks checking out beauty blogs and YouTubers who had beauty channels (shout out to Lipstick and Stockings, Tanya Burr , Eleventh Gorgeous, Makeup by Alli) to look at some reviews of products and then make a list of all the “needs” and then a list of all the “wants” so that I had an idea of what I was looking for when I went into the drugstores and Sephora. I found that this really helped me get products that were great for my skin type (very dry) and help improve my quick routine with the right products. I am proud to say that I bought more hits than misses with doing the research and checking out what others were using (pat myself on my back!).  I did hit upon some misses and some products that I am still on the fence about (post on that soon)–but it is Friday and so I am going to end the week on a positive note and talk about the hits first! I am also glad to say that all my hits have were from the drugstore and very reasonably priced in case you are looking to spruce up your beauty routine!





1. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation ($13.00): Hard to find this product in the actual drugstore, but worth the effort! A bit of a dewy effect on the skin, goes on beautifully, light to medium coverage depending on how much you use, stayed on all day and never flaked on my skin (which I sometimes have happen with foundations since my skin is so dry).   It is a pump system which helps control how much I need to use. Really love this new foundation and it blends so well! When I wear this I normally do not feel like I have foundation on! LOVE IT!  I think was my best find from the drugstore!

2. Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation ($12.00): Easy to find in the drugstore and it goes on really smooth as well.  It isn’t as dewy (more matte) on my skin.  This gives me more medium coverage and stays on my face all day long.  It says 24 hours although I have never tried it for 24 hours I feel it looks best for about 12-14 hours which I still think is awesome.  It goes on very easily although fingers do get dirty as there isn’t a pump for this foundation.  One reviewer made note that if you don’t like mouse type foundations that you don’t need to steer clear of this foundation and I would agree.  I have tried mouse foundations before and this feels and looks nothing like that type of foundation.  I would say it is in between a liquid and mouse foundation.  I have used this one more in the winter for a little bit more coverage, but I know that once spring really sets in my go to foundation will be the Rimmel Wake Me up Foundation.  This foundation also blends very easily and I never have streaks.

3. Jordana Easyliner Retractable Eyeliner Pencil ($2-$4): This is also a bit of a hard find in the drugstore, but Walgreens sells this eyeliner and there is a small beauty section of Jordana products.  This eyeliner is SO CHEAP price wise, but feels so good on! It is creamy and applies really well and stays on the lid all day long.  I don’t have any smudging or falling to underneath my eyes and I only have good things to say about this product.  For the price it is amazing! They also have a liquid eyeliner that I have bought, but not have used yet.  Reviews on Youtube are great for the liquid eyeliner as well! For the price–why not try it?!

4. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer-Brightener ($7.00): This one took a little for me to warm up to and I think it was mostly because I didn’t know how to use the product! I would dab a little on under my eyes and then pat and I would really see no difference.  They I watched someone put it on during a blog review and realized I wasn’t going far enough down or using nearly as much as I should.  Once I started to add more on I noticed a difference on days that I felt I had dark circles.  It is in my hits because I have seen a ton of improvement of not feeling like I look tired all the time and helps with dark circles, but for the amount I use I wonder if there is a better solution.  It doesn’t crease after I wear it all day and it seems to stay on for a good portion of the day (I would say 5-6 hours).

5. Wet and Wild Eyeshadow Palette in “Silent Treatment” ($3.00): I always thought that Wet and Wild products were for teenagers and that I have moved past the Wet and Wild stage, but I found a ton of individuals raving about the Wet and Wild palettes and I have to say for the price you really can’t beat it! For the newbie in the beauty product world it was easy to apply and the eyeshadows stayed on my lids all day long (with an eyelid primer I got even more wear time out of the eyeshadow).  I found that they didn’t flake and were really easy to blend.  I have used high end eyeshadows and I can see the difference with the pigments and “powdery” feel, but not enough difference to not add a couple go to eye color palettes into my makeup bag.  When I have to get out of the door really fast and can’t really think of what eyeshadows I want to blend together I always reach for this palette and feel put together!

6. CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara by Lashblast ($7.00) : I had been using the original Lashblast (in the orange tube) for the longest time and then when I needed to pick up a new Mascara the clump crusher was on sale and I had seen some hits and some misses for the product.  I figured that I would try it out for myself and it landed in the hits pile for me (although I can see where people can see that it would be a miss as well).  For me it really separated my lashes unlike the original Lashblast and I found that they were a bit longer than when using the Lashblast mascara.  I would put on two coats and felt that my eyelashes were good for the entire day and it does ring true that there are no clumps when putting on the mascara.  I will say though that they didn’t get my lashes as much volume and thickness when it came to the Clump Crusher.  I have a good amount of lashes so I don’t necessarily need the thickness and volume, but I had grown so use to it that it took a little while for me to adjust to the new mascara.  I think I really enjoy the separation of lashes and length over the volume.  I would repurchase this mascara (which is why it went into the hits pile), but I don’t know if I would say I am an exclusive Clump Crusher girl.  When I bought it the sale was close to $5.00 dollars at Target and for that price I say give it a try!

What are your favorite drugstore beauty products? Anyone else tried these products and love/hate?

New on Blog: Review Series!

19 Mar

I am always a sucker for a good review. I want to say most products that I own or have tried have come from either blog reviews, YouTube reviews, or family/friend review they told me in person. I very rarely buy something because I saw a commercial for it (although I have been known to get cravings for food by watching a commercial now and again). Even if I don’t “know” the person in real life I find that hearing about reviews from someone who is actually human and actually tried the product. Gotta love the commercials that say that your eyelashes will be 10 times more luminous and then the celebrity has fake lashes on in the commercial! GAH! Drives me insane! There are some pretty great review blogs out there, but two of my favorite review blogs are actually friends of mine!  For book reviews The Well Read Redhead is your gal–all types of genres and great reviews without giving away the book! For really everything else under the sun you can hit up my girl over at Life Reviews–she is honest and hilarious and I truly wished we lived closer so we could share a bottle of one of her wines (that she reviewed on her blog!) and gossip of course.

So I thought it would be fun to do a weekly review series on the blog! My reviews will be a smorgasbord of items as I have a pretty random list of items that I want to review!   Disclaimer: These are not sponsored posts and the company did not send me item for review.   All the reviews I do on the blog are my honest to goodness opinion. Pinky swear.  Girl scouts honor (yea I took the oath way back when).  So without further ado, here is my first review of the series–a recipe review! Hope you enjoy!


I do quite a bit of pinning on Pinterest over the past year and I can honestly say that I haven’t made a darn thing on that site (like I said in the toddler post).  I mean there are a ton of things that look great to make–but when I think about trying something new for dinner I just never think to go to my Pinterest boards and check out a recipe.  The toddler post made me realize I wasn’t tapping into a great resource that I have at my fingertips and I needed to utilize it more!  I am a little bit skeptical of Pinterest because I feel that there are so many pins out there that I feel just stretch the truth in either their pictures or their instructions.  I really can’t say too much since I have never actually made anything–but I read enough blogs out there to know that it isn’t just PRESTO! Beautiful cookie monster cupcakes in minutes!

So yesterday I finally decided to try to make something pretty simple that I had been wanting to make for a quite some time on Pinterest: Carrot Chips.  I am always looking for healthy alternatives to foods we love and I thought this might be a great recipe to replace the french fry.  I love french fries and my daughter loves eating items that come in stick form and so I thought this might be a great alternative for our family.  I also hate the taste of cooked carrots and so I thought it might help me in the flavor department and also get more carrots in my diet.  Here is what I pinned for instructions to make carrot chips (original link came from this site) .

carrot chips

I have mixed feelings about this particular recipe for Carrot Chips.  I didn’t hate them, but I (nor my daughter) didn’t really love them either.  Plus my husband didn’t want to try them (although he doesn’t like vegetables in general so we can’t count on his review). Let me be a little more specific though so you can make up your mind if these might be worth making for your household.  I loved the ease of making the carrot chips as it took me less than 5 minutes to make about 12 carrot chips.  I was confused at first because it says to peel carrot into thick slices and either I have the wrong peeler or I was doing something wrong (totally possible), but I couldn’t get the peeler to make thick enough slices that would really make a carrot chip.  Instead I took a knife to make the thick slices needed for the carrot chips.  A pretty simple fix.   I will also say the flavor was pretty tasty and for someone who doesn’t enjoy cooked carrots I found them really edible.  Now one of the major flaws of these carrot chips is that they never came out as chips for us (even with adding an extra 5 minutes to cook!).  They remained soft and kinda chewy rather than crispy like a chip even after a good amount of cooling.  That made the texture of the carrots kinda “eh” and not as fun as I was expecting with these carrot chips.  Now this could have been my fault as I may have put too much olive oil on the carrots before baking or perhaps since I didn’t use a peeler they were a little too thick to make into a chip.  I think I would try this recipe again if this was the only flaw and try to tweak the recipe with adding less olive oil and perhaps increase the oven temperature to get them more chip-like.  Unfortunately the biggest flaw of the recipe had to do with the reaction my daughter had to the chips.  She first loved the chips and ate the first one rather quickly and so I had high hopes and then it just went downhill.  She barely at 3 of the carrot chips last night even though they were in stick form which she loves and tonight I gave her the left over carrot chips and she didn’t even touch one of them.  She loves food and eats almost everything and so it didn’t pass the toddler test, my hubs didn’t want to try one, and although I found them flavorful the olive oil left my hands greasy.  Overall, they were quick and easy to make and had good flavor, but unfortunately they never turned into chips for us, olive oil made them feel greasy, and they didn’t pass the toddler or husband test.

If anyone does try this recipe and gets them to be more “chippy” could you shoot me a comment below to tell me what your magic trick is? Any flavorful carrot recipes out there to covert me to a lover of cooked carrots?

Dance Class: Zumba

26 Jan

#45 Take a Dance Class

Over winter break there were Zumba dance classes being held at my gym {which is right across the street from my apartment} and so I really had no excuse and so I decided to try it out. 

If people are wondering if they would like Zumba and what is this Zumba dance class I speak of check out this youtube video of the type of class it would be:

So my review of Zumba class: Even though I never did a Zumba class I was able to pick up the moves pretty quickly because even though the moves can sometimes be quick they are also repetitve.  Just as there is a chorus that repeats in a song there are dance moves that are repeated througout the entire song.  Also I really loved that a song lasts about 3-4 minutes and so you get this burst of energy and working out and moving your body but then you get about a 30sec-1 minute break before you go into the next song.  As someone who loves to dance and just let loose this dance class is AWESOME for me.  It keeps me entertained during the entire hour I am doing the class and I never feel bored.  There are all shapes and sizes that come to workout to Zumba so if you don’t think you can keep up you can moderate the dance moves or not do them as “strong” or “full out” when you need a break–the point is to keep moving! I also like that my instructor starts out with some medium intensity songs then half way through the class gives us about 2-3 hard songs to get through and then brings it back down to medium intensity.  I love that I can sometimes sing to the songs and really get into the dance moves! I am in love with this workout and if you get the chance to try it out you will really be surprised by the type of workout you get from this class. 

Now I have gone twice (last week it was canceled due to snow).  The first time I was a bit awkward but kept with it and felt a lot of it in my arms and a bit in my legs and definately in my core I felt stronger.  The second time I went I had the same instructor and she had a couple of the same songs and a few new ones to the mix.  Since I was more comfortable with what she was asking of me and my body I felt like I could do the moves a lot better and stronger and really push it.  What a difference! The second class was by far harder as now I was not only learning the moves but really putting my all into the steps! My abs were sore, my quads were burning, and OMG my arms were burning like crazy all night long and I woke up with really sore arms and legs.  Not the “I can’t get out of bed” feeling I sometimes get when I do something new–but more of my arms and legs and core had a great workout.  I think as I keep going to these dance classes my body will get stronger and respond to this type of exercise. 

Overall, if you get the change to take a Zumba class–DO IT! SO FUN!!! You will not regret it!!! Anyone else love Zumba? Other classes you love to take at your gym?

Books Review!

25 Jan

Gosh, what a slump 2010 was for book reading for me! YIKES! I didn’t want to start off 2011 with a book reading slump and I was trying to get through Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and it was moving fast…slow…fast…slow… and I was really looking for something to really get me back into reading because I vaguely remembered from 2009 I loved doing it…

SO when I got back from vacation I had two emails from my local library sent to me back to back telling me the two books I had on reserve were mine!! I was completely excited as I thought these two books might be the turning point of my reading!


2 books in 1 week.

Since it has been forever since I reviewed a book here are ratings:

 0-4 star rating.  {0} = oh gosh I didn’t finish the book it was THAT bad. {1} I finished the book, but not before it took a piece of my soul! HA! {2} average book and it was somewhat enjoyable. plot, characters, or ending could have been better. {3} really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to someone looking for a new book to read {4} blew my socks off! Couldn’t put the book down and probably didn’t speak to my husband or go to bed until it was finished! fabulous!

I gave it a 4 because I gave all the others in this series a rating of 4.  All 4 books were fantastic and although I am not sure blew my socks off is the best words for this book as it wasn’t mind blowing.  It did have the qualities of a 4 because I read this book in ONE DAY.  After a year slump like I had this is amazing feat and I am so thankful for Nora Roberts for giving me the love of books back into my life.  It felt so good to be swept away with characters and staying up late to read and going to my happy reading place that I missed so much.  If you love weddings, romance, and a quick read this quartet is for you!! This is the last book so I would recommend the Vision in White book to start off with.  This book ended the quartet well and I was really pleased with the ending.  SO GOOD!!

To keep up with my reading I went directly into another book…Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

I gave this a 4 star and it really did knock my socks off.  I have always been interested in body image articles, movies, books, etc. and so I was really interested to see her struggle and her recovery.  She didn’t dissapoint! It was one of the first times I really understood what bulemia and anorexia and really how it impacts a person, a family, etc.  She was very graphic and as a person who struggles with dieting, weight gain, calorie counting I could really relate (but in a different way) about the struggles with weight.  I also was amazed by the book because I watched Ally McBeal and remember one episode where she is standing in the bathroom with just lingerie on and remember thinking “gosh if I could only look like THAT she is so beautiful” and in the book she talks about this episode and how she really felt in that moment.  It really blew my mind and gave me the AHA moment! The book was mostly based around that era of her being on Ally McBeal which I could really relate to since I watched the show.  It was a really great book and I stayed up to read the book and to me that is a sign of a really really great book. 

As for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo…I love the premise of the book and thought I would fly by it because whenever this is a mystery of sorts to a book I JUST NEED TO KNOWWWWW but this book is kinda strange to me. I can’t get as swept up as I normally do and when I am really I am totally into the book and I feel it is a page turner BUT as soon as put it down to do something or go somewhere I don’t have the desire to pick the book back up.  SO it is going fast when I read, slow when I put it down…I am never like this with a book so it will be interesting to rate this book once completed.  I haven’t given up on it but it is slow going…

“Killer” Review!

13 Oct

Awhile back the husband and I happenstanced on this movie.  We decided it looked okay enough and we didn’t have high hopes. OH EM GEE! Loved it!! I think I loved it because I was so surprised how funny it was and how good it was for a movie I hadn’t really heard about when it came out for the theater! NO seriously really good with the jokes and Ashton has a pretty great bod in it for the ladies.  Now don’t get me wrong there are better movies out there but for a date movie it fits the bill.  There was a little romance involved, a little action involved, and a little comedy involved as well.  It isn’t a slow moving movie and really ends at a good time and not feeling like they dragged it out too much.    A little for the hubby and a little for a wifey. This is always a perfect blend for us when watching movies.  We both said after that movie, “wow, that is a really good movie!” Even when we were looking for a movie to watch this weekend we passed Killers and once again talked about how good the movie was.  Hopefully I am not steering you in the wrong direction, but even while I am typing this it makes me want to open a bottle of wine and watch it all over again with my fleecy pants on. 

Here is a recap of my rating system for movies: { A+ }=in my all time favorite section {A} =it was really fabulous and a movie I could watch over and over  {B+}=Above average, a must see and will buy it if I had only rented the movie {B} = Average, glad I watched the movie and it kept my attention  {C}= Eh, I could take this movie or leave it. Not really my style and I would not purchase it  {F}= Ummm yea complete waste of my time and I would like the director to give me back whatever I paid to see this movie. stinky like old socks.

Hmmm….I am going to give this movie a B+.  If you like Mr. & Mrs. Smith type movies you will enjoy this one as well {minus the whole Brad cheating on Jen thing that I always get hung up on with this movie}. 

Anyone else seen this movie? Any good date night movies you would suggest for us?

Book Review: Um, Finally?

29 Sep

as my husband would put it…”are you done with that book YET?!’

and well finally I can say YES and under my goal of before September ends!!!

you probably remember me complaining about said book here and I decided to bring it on my trip to California a couple weeks ago.  TWO 8+ hour flights surely should get me through the last 120 pages, right?

barely.  I barely finished this book even while trapped on a plane and not much to do.

Here are my book ratings just as a reminder since it has been SO LONG since I reviewed a book: 0-4 star rating.  {0} = oh gosh I didn’t finish the book it was THAT bad. {1} I finished the book, but not before it took a piece of my soul! HA! {2} average book and it was somewhat enjoyable. plot, characters, or ending could have been better. {3} really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to someone looking for a new book to read {4} blew my socks off! Couldn’t put the book down and probably didn’t speak to my husband or go to bed until it was finished! fabulous!

So as you can guess I gave this book 1 measly star {*}. 

I think in this case though the book only getting one star had more to do with me than with anything to do with the book.  It wasn’t poor writing, and it did have a good plot–I just couldn’t get into this book.  I am not a huge history buff and so that took a little time for me to sift through at the beginning.  Then once I got used to the history aspect of the book it was too back and forth from past and future and I was almost always confused.  Also the names of the people in the past were very similiar to the people in the future {on purpose maybe to show similiarities in past and future maybe??}–but that got me even more confused.  What kept me going besides never liking to stop books half way through was it was a sort of mystery and trying to figure out what happens to the characters in the past and in the future.  I think with all the confusion I just never got the rhythm of the book and never felt the need to keep reading.  I will say though if you pick up the book–the ending will not dissappoint.  After the months of reading this book I felt some validation in holding strong and reading the book because it was very thought provoking. 

Anyone else read this book? Any thoughts on it?

Green Zone Movie Review!

2 Sep

So unfortunately my busy time was my husband’s down time and although I wouldn’t call it slow in my office it is definately at an easier pace my husband has started graduate school this Fall and so yesterday was the start of his really busy season.  So for one magical day {Tuesday} it was my slow night of activities and the night before he started school and so he was guilt free in having a “date night”  The night started with a trip to the bookstore and the grocery store but with only 1 free day for both of us we had to sneak in some errands during date night.  We got home and I cooked a home cooked meal since it had been over 3 weeks and I was tired of subs, pizza, and any other fast food.  We then contiplated the movie we were going to watch on  demand.  We had a few in mind but being that I can watch movies whenever I want in the next 2-3 years guilt free I let my husband be the one to pick the movie.  It was a toss up between Leap Year and Green Zone and although I of course would have leaned towards Leap Year I was selfless {well as selfless as you can be watching Matt Damon star in a movie} and we chose Green Zone.

WARNING: A little of my politics seeps through in this review so if politics and government talk angers you…read with caution.

So as for my review.  My husband and I looked at each other at one point and said “this is way better than the hurt locker” {we hated that movie in case you missed that review}.  This war movie had a plot it had more action and it was really easy for me to follow as I am not into history or war education.  Now my husband loves every war movie out there {except hurt locker} and so he was thrilled with our movie selection.  I am more of the romantic comedy or action kinda gal and so war movies can be a bit…well boring. This movie actually kept my attention but I couldn’t help feel really sad and really upset during the movie.  It was just TOO REAL and it might have been TOO SOON.  The movie was about the war that is going on right now as we speak over in Iraq and whether the movie was all fiction or all truth it was still very infuriating to me to think people that we trusted to run our government created {in my opinion} this senseless war.  It stirred up so many emotions in my mind that the movie left me feeling kinda sick to my stomach.  I mean for someone who doesn’t like to watch the news because it is far too depressing and painful every day and isn’t into history it was a nice slap of some sort of reality of what is happening all around me as I am not watching/looking.  In the end I almost was rooting for the other side and had to snap myself out of it and say…BUT YOU ARE AN AMERICAN!!! But if you watch the movie you might understand what I am saying…  

Once again a recap of my rating system for movies: { A+ }=in my all time favorite section {A} =it was really fabulous and a movie I could watch over and over  {B+}=Above average, a must see and will buy it if I had only rented the movie {B} = Average, glad I watched the movie and it kept my attention  {C}= Eh, I could take this movie or leave it. Not really my style and I would not purchase it  {F}= Ummm yea complete waste of my time and I would like the director to give me back whatever I paid to see this movie. stinky like old socks.

My rating on this movie would be a B.  I was on the verge of calling it a B+ as I felt it might be a much watch for Americans, but decided that it wasn’t a documentary on the war happening right now and just one person’s view.  I went with B mostly because of the way it made me feel in the end and probably not the best date movie we could have picked–it really just might have been too soon and too raw for a movie about Iraq just yet.  Make sure you are in the mood to get stirred up when watching this movie… 

Anyone else see this movie? I would love to chat!