Perfecting Primers to Make Your Pores Perfect?

Winter is brutal on my skin.  I have very dry skin and in the winter it becomes a disaster!  I have tried everything from Aveeno Eczema to Johnson’s Baby Lotion to fix the disaster that is my skin.  The major downside to winter skin is my pores are much more noticeable.  Ugly skin if awful y’all.  Awful!  I put three “pore minimizing” primers to the test hoping they could help my dry skin with huge pore issues.

For this round of testing I grabbed “prestige” brand pore minimizing primers and gave them each at least a three day trial run.   The three are: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing, Benefit Professional Face Primer and Makeup Forever Skin Equalizer Primer – Smoothing.   Good luck remember the names of those three… they’re all super long and wordy!

Perfecting Primer Review

Makeup Forever Skin Equalizer Primer – Smoothing:
Best smelling!  Matte finish for the oily skin ladies!

MUFE was my first prestige cosmetic brand love affair.  I fell in love with their original formula HD Foundation in the mid 2000’s.  Despite their foundation issue, I have faith in their brand which made me very hopeful this primer would be my new ride or die for smoothing/pore perfecting.  The first thing that stood out from the other two primers was the scent.  This one has a very citrus scent.  It reminded me slightly of Pledge or another cleaning product.  Thankfully once you apply it and it dries the scent disappears.  If I had oily skin I believe this would have been my go-to pore primer but I don’t.  I have very dry skin.  The mattifying effect it had on my skin made every line and dry skin flake much more noticeable.  I would strongly suggest thing one to someone like Autumn who has oily skin, but this leathery skinned gal is going to pass on using it unless I miraculously wake up tomorrow with brand new skin!

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing:
Meh, buy the original!

My ride or die “regular” primer is Smashbox Photo Finish primer.  I love their original formula so much that I really convinced myself this would be the winner of these three primers.  I wanted it so badly to be the winner.  It disappointed me.  I have used this primer daily for almost a month because I purchased the travel size which is larger than the other “deluxe samples” I used.  In my heart I truly believe if I kept using it we’d fall in love with one another.  I do not hate this one.  It doesn’t make my skin look horrible but it also doesn’t improve the texture like advertised.  I don’t notice my makeup looking better or it lasting longer as I do when I use the original formula.  Overall, I would skip this one and purchase the original if you’re wanting a truly superior formula.

Benefit Porefessional Face Primer:
Ride or die pore minimizing primer.  You MUST own!

Let’s chat about my ride or die.  The one I always grab off the shelf when my skin isn’t as smooth and beautiful as I wish it would be.  My true love that I really thought might let me down against the other two but proved it’s my pore prime soul mate… Benefit’s Porefessional Primer.  I adore this primer.  It’s my go to if I don’t grab Smashbox Photo Finish (the original; not the pore smoothing!)  This seems to be the only one I tried that doesn’t make my skin very matte.  They do make a matte version for everyone with oily skin.  My skin continues to feel moisturized vs moisture zapped.  It also does a fantastic job of filling in  my pores and toning down the leather situation I have going on.  If you’re new to primers or don’t like the silicone fill of many makeup primers this is your holy grail!  I cannot praise it any more.  Benefit produces a fabulous product.

Continue Reading

15 Outstanding Baby Products You Need Immediately!

Things have been a little quiet around here lately! On top of the busyness that come along with the holiday season, both Alicia and Autumn welcomed new additions to their families! Alicia welcomed baby Anderson at the beginning of December and Autumn welcomed her twin boys, Landon & Colton, mid-December. Today Alicia and Autumn are sharing some of their must-have baby products!

Hi everyone! I’m Alicia and can’t wait to share some of my favorite baby products with you. Here’s a picture of my little guy, Anderson!
16395683_10203043921816814_330655276_n
16402402_10203042954672636_1851246754_n

  1. The Snug Bug 4 Pack of Baby Swaddles– These are the perfect muslin blankets for swaddling and covering your baby in warm weather. They come in 4 really pretty white and grey prints that are perfect for baby boy girl. I love that they follow the minimalist trend that is so popular right now. They are quite large so you can continue to swaddle as your baby grows. I will be giving them as baby gifts from now on because I love them so much.
  2. A&D Ointment– My go to baby booty ointment for diaper rash prevention. I use this every diaper change with all three of my children. It protects and nourishes sensitive skin and it is easy to wipe off! I have it on subscribe through Amazon Prime!
  3. VTech Baby Lil’ Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo – This hippo is a nightly life saver with 4 settings, volume control, voice activation when baby cries, and 100 combinations of soothing sounds, songs, and stories. It is the best crib toy we have used over the years and caught our babies attention even at 4 weeks old. It is so soothing I’ve considered using it for myself!
  4. Initials Inc. Diaper Bag– hands down the best diaper bag I’ve used. Solid construction and fabric allow the bag to keep it’s shape. The straps are all padded for comfort and there are plenty of pockets and elastic straps inside. Initials Inc personalizes free of charge. The biggest plus is that my husband does not mind carrying this bag because of it’s classic design.
  5. Noodle & Boo New Born Wash and Baby Balm – I splurged on Noodle & Boo Newborn Wash and Baby Balm one day while feeling particularly emotional about my last baby getting older by the minute. These products are a little pricy but worth every penny. The scent is like bottled newborn and his skin looks amazing after every bath. It’s great product line for babies with easily irritated skin. As if a newborn could glow any more!
  6. Eddie Bauer TrailGuide Jogger Travel System – If you are on the market for a light weight travel system, this set is perfect. It solves the problems I have had with previous joggers with an ultra smooth ride for baby and adjustable handle bars for us tall people! It also has an easy to use break bar that locks both wheels simultaneously with out the need to bend down. The carrier is super lightweight and the built in neck support keeps my newborns head up perfectly. No need to purchase additional neck support.
  7. LILLEbaby Carrier – I received this carrier as a gift, to use as an alternative to our travel system when taking the baby out on the town in Savannah. I was a little intimidated, but after a few YouTube videos, I was able to get the system down easily. It has been a lifesaver while grocery shopping with my toddler! It allows you to carry baby in 4 positions. We used it when baby was a week old (baby must be over 7 lbs) and he was super comfy. I have had zero back pain so far during use because construction is padded and supportive. Lille Baby is super supportive so for baby also, keeping his hips, legs, neck in a supportive and safe position.

 

Hi all! Autumn here! I’m so excited to share some of my favorite baby products with you! First, here’s a recent photo of my sweet boys! You know I have to show them off!
15936961_10100121419117656_2522544072903676867_o(Yes, they’re fraternal and look nothing alike!)

Let’s get started!!

16265484_10100127650100716_523568278209569469_n

  1. Honest Co. Wipes
    I’ve always been a Pampers gal. I love their diapers and their wipes, Pampers was the only brand I used with my daughter when she was small. A friend of mine LOVES the Honest Co. and got me a pack of their wipes for my baby shower. I’ll be honest, I expected them to be an overpriced version of Pampers wipes. Boy was I wrong! I am OBSESSED with these wipes. They’re larger than regular wipes, clean better, and really leave babies bottom clean with just one wipe. Even my husband commented on how great these wipes were. Yes they’re expensive but you use fewer and they clean better!
  2. Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Cleansing Cloths
    These bath wipes are amazing for nights I don’t give the boys a bath in the sink! They smell delicious and are super easy to use. Being boys, they frequently pee all over themselves and everything else during diaper changes if I don’t get them covered quick enough. These make it super easy to clean them up without having to give them a bath!
  3. Blooming Bath
    Sticking with the bath theme, I HAD to share the Blooming Bath! I use this to bathe my boys and it makes bathing little babies who don’t have great head support so much easier! It fits right in the sink and my boys absolutely LOVE it! Babies are so slippery when wet and this makes things much easier.
  4. Gerber 3-Ply Prefold Cloth Diapers
    There’s not much to say about these cloth diapers other than we love them. We use them as burp cloths and they are SO much better than a traditional burp cloth! We have them lying everywhere around the house because they make cleaning spit-up so much easier. They’re thick and super absorbent. Definitely a must-have item!!!
  5. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets
    I became obsessed with A+A when my daughter was born. Seriously you guys, I think we had 15 swaddle blankets? (Something I am not proud of, haha!) I love these blankets. They’re extremely soft, breathable and large enough to easily swaddle baby! We double swaddle our boys at night and these blankets are perfect for that, we don’t have to worry about them overheating because the blankets are so thin!  They also are great to throw over a carseat or stroller in the warmer months!
  6. Blue Booger Sucker
    If you’ve ever had a baby, you know those booger suckers they give you in the hospital are the absolute best. We asked the nurses for extras so we wouldn’t have to worry about losing them once we got home. I don’t know what it is about these bulb syringes but they are phenomenal. Ask for extras before you leave the hospital and take every one you see in your room! (I am ordering a NoseFrida to try and will review that soon.)
  7. Dr. Browns Bottles
    Another item I thought was an overpriced hype! My daughter was super gassy and these bottles did nothing for her. One of our little guys has silent reflux and is extremely gassy. One night I went to CVS at 11:30 out of desperation to pick up a pack of these bottles to try. Low and behold they REALLY helped him! I’m a believer now. And for those of you who are worried about cleaning all of the parts, it’s really not that bad. After every feed we just throw them in some hot soapy water to soak and wash at the end of the day. It makes washing MUCH easier and faster!!
  8. Snuza Hero Mobile Baby Movement Monitor
    My absolute FAVORITE baby product! My twins are extremely noisy sleepers. They’ve been in their own room since they were 7 days old and the primary reason I was able to do that is because of the peace of mind these monitors give me! I had a Snuza with my daughter (it’s still working and we use it nightly) and decided to compare other similar products when I found out I was having twins. I decided to stick with the Snuza mainly for the mobility factor! I love that I can send these monitors with them to the babysitter or they can wear them when they nap in the pack n play during the day. I could not sleep without this item!

I have so many items I couldn’t live without but these are definitely a few of my must-haves. I’ll be blogging about my must-have items for twins soon so stay tuned!!

Continue Reading

Play! by Sephora | October 2016 Box Review

I’m not going to lie to you, I have been waiting on this box to arrive for almost a year.  I (Kelly) am a subscription box addict and also their biggest critic.  I signed up for Birchbox back in 2011/12ish when subscription boxes were becoming all the rage.  I then bounced back and forth between Ipsy & Birchbox.  Both boxes disappointed me because they weren’t fulfilling my needs.  I didn’t want to receive drugstore products in my box.  I could buy those as Ulta or CVS for $6 if I wanted to try them.  I wanted to receive the products that I would never try unless I had a chance to sample them prior to dropping $40+.  I wanted my prestige brands!

When Sephora announced their new Play! boxes I was immediately in lust.  Sadly they were limited to larger cities and I live in small city.  I waited… and waited… and waited some more until finally the email arrived (almost a year later!) that I was chosen!  It was my turn!!!

My first box arrived and it was fabulous!


Play! by Sephora is a monthly subscription box featuring deluxe sample sized products.  The box costs $10 a month and includes a handful of prestige brand cosmetic and beauty product samples.

Cost: $10 a month in the US

Shipping: Included in your monthly fee.

What’s Inside: The October box included an adorable satchel (is that what you’d call that?) that said: Lipstix & Chill.  Plus FIVE deluxe samples of prestige products.

play-by-sephora-october-2016

Flash Photo GlossThe Estee Edit:
I absolutely love a good lip gloss.  The shinier the better!  Estee Edit’s new Flash Photo Gloss does not disappoint!  This stuff is very shiny.  The product boasts that it has blue micro pearls which give your teeth a more white appearance.  I didn’t see a magical change in my teeth color when I put it on, but I also wasn’t on set with a professional camera and lighting.  That could definitely make a difference!  This gloss is very thick and tacky.  If you’re not a fan of sticky gloss I would definitely steer clear.  It’s not my favorite gloss in the world and I don’t think I would buy it again.  If you’re in front of the camera for a living this could be worth adding to your makeup collection!

Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting SprayFarmacy:
I’m not going to lie: I haven’t used this sample yet.  I absolutely love setting spray but I don’t use it enough to purchase full size bottles.  When I get my hands on a sample sized bottle I save it for my night time makeup or special events.  I did spray a bit on my face to smell/feel it and the first impression was fabulous.  I think Urban Decay Up All Night setting spray will always be my ride or die setting spray but if you are a fan of the Farmacy brand this one could be a great alternative.

Bamboo Creme Frappe Skin Reviving Fresh GelErborian:
Say that name three times fast.  Really, do it!  If you could do it then you’re better at speaking than I am because that’s one very long name.  When I received this sample Autumn instantly commented how much she loves this brand.  I cannot remember having ever used their products in the past but her positive input excited me.  This product does not disappoint!  It does exactly what it promises: moisturizes, absorbs quickly and has a light feel to it.  I really love this one enough that I have put it on my list of possible moisturizers to purchase in the future.

Side note on moisturizers: I have found that once you find what type of moisturizer works/you love that it makes your life much easier when hunting for the perfect moisturizer.  I love a glycerin based moisturizer.  Almost every moisturizer I try and instantly love has glycerin as one of its top 3 ingredients.  Alicia taught me to pay attention to the ingredients in the products you love/hate and beauty product shopping will become simple.

Always on Matte Liquid LipstickSmashbox:
I am not a fan of lipstick or anything matte.  I feel like most matte makeup makes me look more washed out and pale than I am but I didn’t hate this one!  The applicator has a little bowl built into it to ensure you receive the perfect application and it stays much better than most lipstick.  I still have to pile on some gloss to give it some shine.  Chances are pretty much zero that I would purchase a matte lipstick but if you love matte this is probably the best one I have tried recently.  Maybe someday I’ll grow up and learn to love lipstick, until then I’ll stick with my Nars gloss.

Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed OilChristophe Robin:
This stuff is amazing y’all!  I am on a quest to have healthy hair after a unfortunate event in July 2015 with my hair and a lot of bleach.  Recently I have been using Living Proof hair care and I decided to throw this little gem into the mix.  Every time I use this on my hair it smells amazing throughout the day, it styles better and looks healthier.  The price makes me want to cry a bit but I may actually purchase a full size of this item if I keep loving it as much as I do right now.

Mon ParisYves Saint Laurent:
I am without a doubt the worst person to ask for perfume recommendations.  My nose couldn’t decipher between apple and strawberry scents if it had to and my idea of whether a perfume is good is if I like how it smells.  I don’t hate this one which is a huge plus.  I tend to hate most perfume.  I wore it for a day and the scent stayed with me.  I will most likely use the rest of the sample and move on.  It has a bit of a musk scent to it and I’m a fan of light and airy fragrances.  I give it a A+ for staying power.  If only I loved the scent a but more.

Review:  I’m pretty sure you’ve already gathered that I absolutely loved this box.  It is by far the best box I’ve received from a subscription box service thus far.  The products are all items that I will definitely give the samples a try!  There was nothing in the box that I immediately re-gifted to another of the mom’s to try which usually happens with my subscription boxes.  This is a definite win for me!

Box Value: Approximately $44!  It’s a bit tricky on some of the products to figure out the retail value of them but the value was enough that I felt it was $10 well spent.

Want to Try?  Due to high demand Play! is currently on a waitlist status.  Hop on over to get your name on the list.  It’s absolutely worth the wait!

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this review are my own.  I do not receive compensation for reviews.  This post may contain external affiliate or review links.  Kelly paid for this subscription.

Continue Reading