Coastal Scents Revealed Sampler Review | Birchbox

20140118-190026.jpg

While there are always new varieties of makeup coming out one thing never changes, nude palettes. While I am a dedicated Urban Decay Naked fan, I was pleased to receive a shadow sampler from Coastal Scents new Revealed palette in my latest Birchbox.

The Revealed set comes with 20 nude and metallic shadows which seems perfect for the natural smokey look or even something a little shiny for a special occasion. The sampler I received came with four shades from the set; a plum, a olive, a silver highlight, and a black. I figured these were the perfect colors to use to create and nice smoke (I will post my youtube video below of that tutorial!)

Giving that I am an opinionated beauty junkie I figured I would share with you all my full run down review of this sampler, so here we go!

Right off the bat I was pleased with shades I received, I tend to not overdo eyeshadow and focus more on liner so I thought this would be a great time to makeup outside of the box. I was surprised with the pigmentation of the shades,mi thought they had a nice amount of shimmer and shine, all though the colors did come off a little more muted than I would have liked. My biggest problem with these shadows was the fall off, there was a ton! I always do my foundation before my eyes because I’ve never really had a problem with fall out. Up I really found myself making quite a mess of my face while applying. The other problem I had is that I found them a little more difficult to blend and once blended the colors became muddy. The one plus I will give them is that the colors lasted throughout the day with very little creasing.
While I don’t think this palette is a dupe for the Urban Decay Naked, it is a nice alternative at a more affordable cost (retails for $32). However I don’t see myself purchasing the full size product because I have no need for it, perhaps it will work best when blending it with some shades for the Naked pallet.

That’s what you get when sampling products, you can either not care for something or find your next big thing!
Lots of love,
Kate

Wanna see my tutorial for this sampler?
Youtube.com/users/KatesTillMidnight

Wanna sign up for Birchbox?
https://www.birchbox.com/invite/tlwgm

Eyebrow Tutorial | Shape and Fill

20131017-210350.jpg

Raise those eyebrows ladies, it’s time to get those caterpillars in check!
While it took me a lifetime to get mine correct I’m here to pass my trial and error wisdom along to you!
So here’s what you will need:
Eyebrow pencil (or powder, whichever you prefer)
Eyebrow gel
Eyebrow spoolie
Brow bone highlighter
Cream concealer

Now onto the basics!
My simple rules are to follow your natural brow shape, use your nose and your eyes as your guidelines, use short lines and strokes to keep them natural looking, and use a shade match to your roots.

Now that you have the ground rules down its time to jump into it, check out the below video for my full rundown. Remember, practice makes perfect!
Good luck!
Kate
Tweet or Instagram me your best arches!
Twitter|
RecycleRex
Instagram|
Mkateholmes
Youtube|
TillMidnight

Birchbox October 2013 | Unboxing and Exciting News!

Hey loves! This is my Birchbox October 2013 Unboxing and first impression!
Thanks for watching!
Kate

Birchbox blog Ruffian Manicure |
http://blog.birchbox.com/post/63734189619/3-supercool-ways-to-update-your-mani-for-fall

Wanna sign up for Birchbox? It’s only $10 month! Use my link!
http://birch.ly/14S9ttr

Where’s Waldo?? Find me!
Instagram | mkateholmes
Twitter| RecycleRex

September Beauty Favorites and More!

20131002-092538.jpg

Hello my dears!
Now that September has come to an end I’m going to give you my run down of all the products and things that I’ve been in love with this September, a couple of fails as well!
What gave you been loving this Septemver? Let me know below!!

Lots of love!
Kate
Have you subscribed to my youtube channel yet? The giveaway is close to being open, and if you subscribe to both blog and channel you double your chances to win!

My Skincare Routine

20130901-121951.jpg

I am a big believer in taking care of your skin. A good, well rounded routine is the best way to not only combat signs of aging but also helps fight off breakouts and other skin irritants. I took me a long to realize how important the habit is and I only wish I started really taking care of my face earlier. Now when we about the signs of aging we are talking about a few key issues; elasticity, discoloration, age spots, and fine lines. I have come up with a pretty good everyday system which I find works best for my skin type, however it is important to recognize the type of skin you have and build a routine around it. I have combination skin which is acne prone. While I don’t really get breakouts anymore I do find myself having to fight them off…around…a…certain..time of the month..so It’s important for me to keep on top of it so I can do a preemptive strike! My biggest skin concern is redness, over the past few years I have noticed that my skin has gotten so much more redness around my cheeks and nose so for my skin I have to stick with lightweight products so not to irritate it any further. But enough with the talking…this is what I use!
There are four basic steps you should use:
1. Remove:

20130901-122845.jpg
I use to just wash my face without really removing makeup first and while that is better than going to sleep with your makeup on, you’re still doing your skin a disservice because even the best face washes will leave makeup residue behind. So I start with a gentle eye makeup remover, right now I’m using the Almay sensitive skin wipes. I love these because I am always running out of cotton pads and these are really easy to travel with as well. After I gently wiped my eye makeup off i give my face a good once over with my Olay fresh wipes, I love these wipes because they are super refreshing and don’t dry out my sensitive skin. You might find that your face feels a little oily after removing your makeup so that’s where the next two step come iin.
2 and 3: Cleanse and Tone

20130901-123508.jpg
I am such a huge fan of the Simple line! I think they did something really amazing by taking out all the harsh dyes and parabens and leaving you with a simple wash that won’t dry your skin or leave it feeling tight (when a face wash leaves your skin tight that means that is drying your skin out) which is perfect for me because of my redness. After I wash my face (I use the refreshing gel wash) I follow up with their refreshing facial toner. I used to use a very heavy astringent instead of my toner and I found that to be way too damaging to my skin. Then we come to step four:
4. Moisturizer and treat:

20130901-124055.jpg
First we have all over face moisturizers, I use to spend so much money on these looking for the best one I could find until I ran out one day and was at my grocery store and found this Nicel daily cream for $2 and being the bargain hunter I am I tried it and man was I pleased. It feels so smooth and I always apply it to my neck and chest as well and it has retinol cream in it as well so I know that it is doing its job, I’ve being wearing it for over a month now and not only do I feel a difference in my skin but it has also not broken me out, so all around pleased…and a money saver too! Now this cream I use as strictly a day cream and for night I like to stick with the Ponds dark spot correcting cream so help me combat some discoloration and scarring. Both of these products are under $5 and I am a big believer that the more expensive the product doesn’t always mean a better result.

20130901-124746.jpg
Now we come to eye creams..the is the one step I never really could get into but I know is so important. Under your eyes is the most sensitive part of your skin, and also the thinnest. I cannot tell you how important it is to protect it and care for it. I have always gravitated toward Neutogena products because I think they’re line is great for sensitive folks like me and their under eye cream is no exception. It is a smooth application and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tacky. The major thing I look for in an eye cream is that it needs to really be absorbed well into the skin so I’m not sitting there for an hour patting it in because that is only going to cause more irritation. Now the other two products I received as samples because I’m not one to pay over $50 for some eye cream but I do however enjoy trying them out. The Lancôme eye serum I have been using nightly for the last couple of weeks and haven’t noticed a great difference in fine lines but I do notice that it does keep my under eyes smooth. The Orgins GinZing cream, however, is amazing. I use this in the morning because it also claims to be an eye brightener and in the morning I really need some brightness in my life. It is so soft and it has almost a pearly consistency and it really does help to open up my eyes in the morning.
While these are my products for an everyday and night routine there a few other things I like to throw in there, and I call them my big guns.

20130901-125609.jpg
Whenever I’m having a breakout I like to switch to something just a little but heavier that contains salicylic acid to help me out, my favorite of the bunch is the Neutrogena pink grapefruit wash. It really gets in there and pulls out dirt and I appreciate that. Another thing I add whenever I need a refresher (about twice a week) is a nice abrasive scrub because good scrubs literally wash off all the dead skin and all of the buildup in your pores from makeup and dirt. Lastly I like to use a good hearty clay mask and the end of every week, just to refresh my face and kinda of get my skin started for a new week. This new one I have from Freeman works wonders, at first I thought I might have been allergic because my skin was burning a little but from what I’ve read that is normal and I would have been a lot more upset if it didn’t work well, but it did. My pores were so much smaller and my skin felt totally rejuvenated.
With anything in life, skin care is all about trial and error. While this routine might not work for you, it works for me, and it took me a long time to really nail down the products that work best with my skin. My suggestion? Look for reviews, if you know your skin type and you know what things you want to get out of your products just search for it because I guarantee you that you will find a routine that gives you want you want. My best piece of advise for taking care of your skin? Never sleep in your makeup and always wear sunscreen. Sleeping in your makeup really dulls out your skin and can cause irritation and not protecting your skin can cause seriously sun damage as well as increase your risk of skin cancer.
I may never have the same skin I had when I was younger but I’m learning how to protect and maintain the skin I have now, and that’s really what life is. Change and Adaptation.
Take care!
Kate
AND…..I am going to be having a giveaway soon! Once I reach 100 subscribers I am going to be doing a beauty giveaway, so let me know below some things you might want to see in this giveaway and don’t forget to subscribe and tell you friends for your chance to take part in the love!

My Super Awesome Birthday Haul!

20130827-203409.jpg

A couple weeks ago I celebrated a birthday, but not just any birthday..my 30th. Yikes. Luckily the blow of a new decade was softened by the sweet, sweet cushion of birthday perks! I’ve never been the person who asked for gifts and ever expected to receive them so I can honestly say I’m always surprised. Now a little fact about me is that I love perks, and birthday time is the absolute best time to cash in on them. I’m on way too many beauty mailing lists to count but I always look forward to the flood of birthday offers in my inbox every year. So let me start off with the awesome free birthday extras I received this year!

20130827-205530.jpg

20130827-205720.jpg

20130827-205802.jpg

My first little gem was a totally whimsical and adorable, my family and I after a long day of shopping we stopped by Trader Joe’s where my son proudly announced to anyone who would listen that it was birthday so a very lovely employee had him pick out a glorious bouquet of flowers for me which did get me a little choked up!
Next were my birthday extras from Ulta Beauty. Ulta has a great rewards program that gives you points for purchases and also slips you goodies on your birthday. This year I received a huge handful of samples. First I received an amazing gift trio from Laura Geller that included a baked powder foundation, some berry lip gloss and their signature “spackle” makeup primer. My favorite of the trio is most definitely the foundation, while it doesn’t give me enough coverage I find it perfect for setting my concealer. The other perks I got were a very rich pomegranate hand cream and a small sample of Smashbox primer (I already have a few of these samples, but I love the product so bring it on.). Ulta did not disappoint this year!
Lastly we have Sephora. Sephora also has an amazing beauty rewards program and what I got this year literally made me squeal. I am a Benefit girl through and through, I think their products are amazing and I have yet to find a dud in their incredible line so color me over the moon when I saw that their birthday perk was a little benefit kit including a travel size of “they’re real’ mascara (check out my previous review on this mascara) and a travel size tube of “watts up” highlighter which are two of my favorite Benefit products. While I was there I figured I’d go ahead and cash in my beauty points because right now they are offering Lancôme eye serum as a beauty reward and I couldn’t pass it up!
I also did take advantage of Benefit brow bar birthday service where you get a free eyebrow service for your birthday and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Saying that my friends and family are amazing is a great understatement. I honestly owe everything to them, so to receive gifts from them after all they have given me already is surprising. That being said, these are the incredible things I got.

20130827-211628.jpg

20130827-211701.jpg
First I got some incredible handmade jewelry from my bestie, She is an amazing girl with a awesome art background and I swear everything she touches turns beautiful. My favorite part about these pieces she made me were the personal touches, the evil eyes. Some of our best memories together is the summers we spent at the Greek festival.
And then there’s my dad, to say he goes over board does not cover it. He gave me an iPad. He is one if those men who has worked his ass off for 40 years just to do things like this, and I love him.

20130827-212428.jpg

20130827-212459.jpg

20130827-212516.jpg

Lastly we come to my dreamy husband and kids. If you were to ask him he would tell you that he is simply “feeding my addiction” because it is no surprise that I am a beauty product hound. How did he know what to get me? He listens! Every time I gush about a new product I want to try he takes mental notes. This year was quite the shocker, the Urban Decay Naked pallet is something that I’ve wanted in my makeup collection forever now and that fact that I actually get to touch it, and use it is incredible to me, and I have to say I was not let down ( I will be giving you my full opinion plus some looks from the pallet in the future so stay tuned for that!) Next he got me three of the  OPI for Sephora collection nail polishes which I’m obsessed with, and last he got me The Balm Stainiac which is such an incredible cheek and lip stain which I always wanted to try, and I’ve had so much fun playing with it.

So that is all for my birthday bonanza run down. Full disclosure I am absolutely not bragging, I am genuinely surprised, touched and amazed by all of the birthday love I received so I only found it fitting to pass the love onto you.
Here’s to the next year!
Kate

My Birchbox: August 2013

It’s that time of the month again, when all the stars align and the birds are chirping and my lovely Birchbox makes it’s way to my doorstep. In case you don’t know what Birchbox is, it is a monthly subscription service that sends you 4-6 beauty and lifestyle samples (and sometimes full size products!) for you to try and review and it only costs $10 a month, and what is really great is that for every product you review you get 10 points which equals to one dollar, so basically you get $5 a month to spend at their store. I’ve been saving up my points for something nice and I think I have about $25 worth to spend. Just for girls? Nah! They now have boxes for men so everyone can join the fun.

Depending on the beauty and lifestyle info you fill out on your profile determines what samples you will receive that month and also depending on their theme. This months theme was “Finishing School” so it’s all about getting a fresh start to a new season.

Now lets get down to my box. I recieved 3 samples, one full size item and lifestyle extra which isn’t to shabby. I’ve had this box for a week so I’ve been able to really test the products and give you a fair opinion, so lets get to it!

First sample I grabbed was the Dr.Jart+ Premium BB cream. Right off the bat I was pretty disappointed with the tiny sample size but I still gave it a good ole’ try. This product claims to even out skin tone while is contains SPF and antiaging benefits, so right away I’m hooked. Now I have to be honest, I am not a BB cream fan, I find them to be oily and not very long lasting. This one however went on smooth and didn’t leave my skin feeling slick, in fact, this is the first one I tried where I didn’t have to layer foundation over it. Unfortunately I can’t tell you about benefits because the sample was too small to tell. This will not be a full size purchase for me because the price isn’t what I would spend on a BB cream but if you are looking for a really good one, this might be for you.
* Dr.Jart+ BB Cream retails for $39 for a full size

Next we have the Jasmine Seven Fresh Foot Wipes’. This was the product I was least excited about because while I understand the idea behind cleaning your feet off during the day, they just don’t work for my life. By the time I get home and get my shoes off I’m in the shower anyways. I did, however, find them as a nice excuse to get my husband to massage my feet. They claim to soften your feet with aloe, peppermint and vitamin e and while that might be the case they just have no use to me so, big dud.
*Jasmine Seven Fresh Foot Wipes retail for $25.95 for a full size pack

Next I got the Number 4 ‘Super Comb Prep and Protect’. This is a leave conditioning spray that also protects color and protects from UV rays. I have to say I loved this product. I really felt as if my hair was being protected, it didn’t feel as dry after a day in the sun and it did make my hair easier to comb through and the sample size I was sent was a really nice size as well. The only downside for me was the smell. It was an almost overwhelming cocoa butter smell which isn’t my favorite, but I have to say the pros outweighed the con. Best of all it only takes a couple little squirts to saturate my hair so I feel this sample will last me a while!

*Number 4 spray retails for $32 for a full size

Last product I recieved was a full size lipstick! ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in “Disco Fever’. It was a beautiful matte lipstick in a very wearable peachy orange shade. I was worried that it would go on too orange but it actually has become my favorite shade to wear because it really compliments my olive skin. Plus is was full size, so it was practically the cost of the box entirely (this did make up for the DUD foot wipes!) I also found this lipstick to be very buildable and super pigmented and lasted a good amount of time.  I will probably find myself repurchasing this brand.

*ModelCo Party Proof lipsticks come in a set of three and retail for $24

Now we come to the lifestyles extra. This is a little something extra that Birchbox likes to pass on to their subscribers and this month I got the TanTowel. TanTowel is a self tan towelette that claims to give an even natural tan with just a swipe. I do not tan, I do not sun tan, I do not self tan. If I ever need some extra glow I always go to my Lorac tan lotion so I was nervous about this one, but it was a bonus so why not. It takes a few hours and up to a day to see the full effect and I didn’t know if it was me and my lack of tan knowledge but it left giant streaks on my arms. As suggested I did shower and exfoliate before hand so who knows. On the plus side, it didn’t smell funky and was easy to apply so maybe this will work for a tan enthusiast.

*TanTowel wipes retail for $24 for a full size pack

So that’s it for my August Birchbox, I have to say that it wasn’t my favorite because I feel like I got a few things that aren’t new to Birchbox and stuff I’ve seen other bloggers talk about getting in their Birchboxes months and months ago and I’m all about NEW NEW NEW, so we’ll have to see how next months box shapes out!

If you’re interested in learning more about Birchbox shoot over to their page, and while you may not always be happy with a product or two, half the fun is trying new things and making an opinion of your own. Also, if you got a box this month let me know below what you got and how you like it! Don’t forget to subscribe because I just had a big birthday and oh man did I get spoiled with products from the hubby so I will give you all the rundown soon!

Lots of love!

Kate

Birchbox Homepage