Sunday, June 30, 2013

Let's Review...ipsy glam bag June 2013 :)

Hey guys!

I get so excited for my *ipsy* bag each month its honestly quite silly. This month I had caught a peek on another blog of what the bag was going to look like for June & I would of been happy if the only thing that came was the bag itself! Luckily for me *ipsy* is amazing beyond the bags that I got some pretty wonderful products too, lets check them out! :) 

 June *ipsy* bag! See I told you it was amazing! Animal print & a hint of neon? So perfect for me. :) The theme for this month was On the Wild Side, now let's see what was inside this pretty little bag.

CAILYN Cosmetics-Gel Eyeliner with Brush Built In  (Full Size $21)
I had never heard of CAILYN Cosmetics but after getting this eyeliner I want to try more products from the company. I have been wearing this purple eyeliner almost every day since it arrived, hence the destroyed look of it in the photo above. :) It goes on so beautifully & CAILYN has 21 shades in this same gel formula! Other *ipsy* bag subscribers received the same liner in black, I'm so happy I got this purple shade because it inspired me to try out some new day time eye looks.  The built in brush is really convenient, it does need to be cleaned after each use or it gets really hard to use, but I don't mind that because I need all the help I can get to motivate me to clean my brushes. :) I already have my eye on 3 more shades of liner, Plum, Mermaid, & Gold Khaki. 

 Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil (Full Size $18)
I had to log into my glam room on to find out what kind of highlighting this little crayon was meant for. I assume it was for the brow bone & I was right! :) It can also be used in a pinch in place of concealer. I love multi-use products & have been getting a bunch of use out of it this month already. I like to use it on my brow bone & add a powdered highlighter over it just to give my eyes extra brightness. 

J. Cat Sparkling Cream Palette (Full Size $4.49)
As much as I love glitter in all aspects of my life I haven't really wore any actual glitter on my eyes in years. I haven't had what I believe is an appropriate event or night out to rock a glam glitter look in forever. I really loved the look of this palette & it swatched out pretty well for what it is, but I already have NYX glitter cream palette that I bought 6 months ago & still haven't used (I just can't resist glitter sometimes ok...). I gave this to a friend who loves glitter as much as I do & enjoys wearing it more often than I do. :)

NIX-Mosaic Powder in DARE (Full Size $7)
This blush is beautiful! Someone at *ipsy* most have known how obsessed I am with rose gold because this is a perfect rose gold shade for a blush product. After trying this one out I'm tempted to try out some more of the Mosaic Powder Blushes...resist, resist.

Starlook Lip Pencil in Bare (Full Size $12)
I haven't really played with this lip liner yet, I want to test it out this week though. It's pretty dark for me in terms of a nude liner so I will have to play around with it to see what it works with. :)

This months *ipsy* bag was AMAZING! Other than the glitter palette I will use all of the products (most of them I already have been all month), for months to come. Plus the subscription is $10 a month & the total of all of the products this month was $62.49!! 

If you are interested in having a bag of your very own arrive each month click here.

as always,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let's Review- June 2013 Birchbox

I recently re-signed up to start receiving birchbox again each month. There were numerous reasons for cancelling, from little foil samples of products (you can never truly test out a product from a wimpy foil sample), to lots of lavender scented products. For some reason, call it a 2AM lapse in beauty box judgement, I signed back up with birchbox. The first box I received was May & it was pretty underwhelming. Let's see if June has made me a little happier about the $10 I'm spending on this little birchbox....

 This month birchbox unveiled a new look. While I really like the simplicity of the new design, I think they should of kept it pink to help it stand out a little more.

This months theme is wanderlust. "When wanderlust strikes, it sticks." Birchbox, I have to agree...I hope that Justin & I are instilling a lust for wandering in our children & that we hang on to our own wanderlust as we grow older. Although for me this summer has been about anything but wanderlust, I wanted to stay as close to home as possible & really enjoy all of the things our little Mat-Su Valley has to offer. After spending years traveling around AK for work, it has really been nice to let my roots sprawl out & build more of a life in my new home town. 

Birchbox + Color Club Wanderlust Collection ~Full Size $8
You can see a bit more of the new design for Birchbox here, it is a pretty way to brighten up a box. :) While I'm obsessed with mint shaded items, these extra cardboard boxes are just such a waste to me. I have really never found a good use for them & I wish they would vanish from my monthly boxes altogether.  Inside of the little mint package was this Color Club polish in the shade Mod in Manhattan. According to Birchbox there were exclusive neon & pastel shades in the collection that were inspired by 4 of their favorite cities. I really wish I had gotten the coral color I've seen in other reviews, but this is actually a shade that I do not have in my collection so I will make it work. :) 

Klorane-Gentle Dry Shampoo w/ Oat Milk~Full Size $18
I love a great dry shampoo so hopefully this one kicks some greasy-booty on 3rd day hair! It is loved by celebrities & is made in France. I have been planning on doing a dry shampoo review soon-ish, I just need to get my hands on a couple of other test subjects first, until then this one will have to do. ;)

LAQA & Co Lil' Lip Duo~Full Size $16 for 2
This little lippy is another Birchbox exclusive & I love it! Bright pink colors have been my favorite for summer & this one packs a little minty kick that makes it feel very refreshing. You can purchase a mini duo set on Birchbox for $16 or a single full size is $18. Any lip product that looks like a giant make-up crayon is something I'm interested in trying out, so this was by far my favorite item in the June box. 

suki-Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser~Full Size $32.95
This is a 2-in-1 cleanser/exfoliate that lathers & smells like sweet lemon. My literal reaction to seeing this was "eh" as I have received a suki face cleanser before & found it extremely blah & underwhelming. Even though I'm in a serious, committed, skincare relationship with Michael Todd True Organics, I will put this little suki in the travel trailer in case I forget to pack my facial cleanser.

LIFE STYLE EXTRA Twistband-Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie Collection~Full Size $14
I really like this hair tie. Pink=love! Anchors=love! Spending $14 on 6 hair ties=we are never...ever...ever, yeah you know... I actually ordered a bunch of elastic over the last few weeks & I have started to make my own hair ties. I have also made a bunch for my girls too. :) I plan to post a DIY how to very please do not spend $14 on the twistband collection, I know the little anchors, starfish & seahorses are totes adorbs, but just resist & make your own. I'll show you how, I pinky promise. :)

The twistband was considered the lifestyle extra, but there were also these cute little post cards. I'm guessing that these are the 4 favorite cities that the Color Club Collection was based on. I think they would look really cute framed & hung in my office for inspiration. I have not been to any of the cities, but all of them are on my someday list. :)

There it is! June 2013 Birchbox. For a $10 subscription box this was a pretty great little collection. It was a huge leap towards fantastic compared to May's box. Also, I wanted to mention that with the new look the little item card also got quite the helpful makeover. Underneath each product there is a WHAT & a HOW area that breaks down the details & how to use the product. I think it is a really neat way to showcase the products & their intended proper uses. 

New posts are coming all this week! So don't forget to subscribe to alaskalove12 with bloglovin!

as always,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let's Review. Eco-Emi June 2013

Summer is officially here! This month's Eco-Emi is packed with some perfect summer essentials. Each of the products are amazing & I can't wait to share them with all of you. :) 

I absolutely loved the packaging this month! The theme was centered around the 4th of July & it included a great stars & stripes bandanas. :) 

Badger Cuticle Care-Soothing Shea Butter $5.99 .75oz
My cuticles can always use some extra care & I really like products with shea butter. This product is also fragrances with essential oils of Geranium, Mandarin, Lemongrass, & Ginger.

All Natural Face-VEGAN Lip & Cheeks in Peachy Rose $4.00
The All Natural Face is a frequent repeat brand with Eco-Emi. This lip & cheek cream has great pigmentation & the coral peachy color is wonderful for summer. I have a couple of blushes in shades similar to this one, but none of them are a cream formula so this is perfect! 

Surf Sweets- Gummy Bears $2.19 2.75oz
I won't even try to keep it a secret that I snacked on these while I was taking the pictures of all of the products. :) They are made with organic fruit juice and sweeteners & have 100% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. I will have to keep an eye out for these for the kids & Justin. 

 Nelsons Pure & Clear-Purifying Cleansing Wipes $8.75
These wipes soothe redness as well as refresh & cleanse the skin. I have tried a lot of different cleansing wipes & during the summer I like to keep some on hand for the kids to use too. These have Witch-Hazel Leaf Extract that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to calm, red irritated skin as well.

Desert Essence-Coconut Hand & Body Lotion 8oz $8.99
Coconut scented lotions are among my absolute favorites so I was thrilled to see this little sample. I like to gather up all of these foil packet style samples & then put them in our travel trailer for camping. That way if we head out for a couple of weeks or a long weekend & I have happened to forget something, there is usually a bit of it in sample form. :) 

Purely You Minerals-Vegan Bronzer 4 Grams $7.00
This bronzer is supposed to be the perfect shade for lighter skin & will work as a highlighter on darker skin. As you can see from the swatch it is a little on the orange or coppery side, which on my skin will just end up making me look, I'm going to try & play around with it a bit as an eyeshadow, if that doesn't work it will end up in my giveaway collection. 

Beanitos Black Bean Chips-Chipotle BBQ 6oz $2.64
I haven't had a chance to try these yet & I'm actually not a huge fan of BBQ flavored chips. I am always on the look out for healthy snack alternatives & the kids love BBQ chips, so these might be a wonderful snack after all. :)

Botanical Interests- HEIRLOOM Seeds-Organic Wheatgrass $1.69 15grams
Wheatgrass is packed with great nutrients & I have been wanting to plant some in my herb garden for a while. I will have to experiment & see if I can get it to grow inside as well as outside in the big garden. That way in the winter we can have some "liquid sunshine" during the dark, cold days. 

There you go! Everything that was in the June 2013 Eco-Emi box. I will be enjoying finding uses for these products over the next month until the July box arrives. If you are interested in getting your own little box of Eco-Chic lovelies click here. :) 

I have a lot of fun posts planned for the end of June & start of July, as well as the rest of my subscription box reviews for this month. 

as always,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Beauty Product Lust!

Hey guys!

I have been loving the warm weather we have been having here the last couple of weeks. There is something about summer that makes me want to try out new products from beauty to hair care there is always something new & I thought I would share with all of you a few of the things I'm lusting after, even in this 95* heat. :)

Too Faced-Too Faced Loves Sephora 15 Years of Beauty Palette $52
I have read tons of reviews on this product & it seems to be a summer must have for a lot of beauty product lovers. I really like the idea of a palette like this, but something always falls short, either the shadows aren't pigmented or the blush is chalky or the bronzer is too deep. In this case it seems like all of a products are equally amazing. I have been doing my makeup on the go A LOT lately & this would be the perfect palette to grab & use for those rushed makeup days. 

MAC Lipstick-Candy Yum Yum $15
 Neons hold a dear place in my heart, I think I'm still recovering from being born so late into the 80's that I missed out on everything. I have had a few MAC lipsticks in my collection over the years & while I prefer drugstore prices there is just something about this shade that I just keep being drawn to more & more. 

NYX Matte Bronzer in Light $9
I love some shimmer, don't get me wrong, but I prefer to apply the exact amount of shimmer or highlight that I want, where I want it. When bronzers are too intensely shimmery I really have a hard time in getting them to blend as beautifully as I would like. The idea of this totally matte bronzer is amazing! It received an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2012 & I might just have to add this to my next online order from ULTA.

Rita Hazan Pop Color Temporary Color Spray in Blue $18
I have been calling the Sephora store in Anchorage for months, hoping that they will have this in stock. So far no luck. :( No one will ship it to Alaska & I'm starting to think I will never get my hands on a single bottle. I do have a pop of teal Elumen in my hair for now, but I would still like to be able to add more in with out having to double process my hair to get the desired result.

batiste Dry Shampoo in blush (Price Varies)
This is another product that I can't seem to find available to ship to Alaska. According to batiste's website it is carried at Walgreens. Now, I haven't been able to find it at my local Walgreens yet, but I haven't totally lost hope. I don't care what scent they get in, I will be purchasing some! (I could also go to a Walgreens in Eagle River or Anchorage, but it just seems silly to travel all that way for a $7.99 bottle of dry shampoo)

Urban Decay De-Slick-Oil-Control-Makeup-Setting Spray $29
I'm a huge fan of the All Nighter Makeup Setting spray, but this mini heatwave has been causing my skin to appear really oily & shiny. I think this De-Slick would do a better job at keeping my appearance more glam during the hotter summer days. 

There are a few things that I have been lusting after so far this summer. Other non-beauty related things include another 2 or 3 fans for my house & a half dozen maxi dresses. It has been one hot summer! What have all of you been lusting after this summer? 

as always,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Get to Know the Blogger, in this case...Me!! :)

Hey guys!
I know, I know it has been forever in blogger years since I posted last, but life has been so, so, hectic! Justin came home from his hitch on Tuesday & we have been non-stop busy. The twins turned 6 on Monday (YAY twins!!), & we had their party last night. I will post some pictures once I get a chance to edit them & get all of the confetti from birthday poppers cleaned out of our carpet. :) 
Anyway, the kids fell asleep around 8 this evening, usually in the summer time they are up running around outside, soaking in all of the night time rays of the sun until 10 or so. With how long our AK winters are we truly make an effort to spend as much time outside in the summer time as possible. The mosquitoes have been horrible lately, luckily since I'm an AVON/mark consultant I have a stock of bug products to help with natures vampires. 
Since the little trio is asleep I thought I would do a Get to Know the Blogger post that I have been wanting to do since I started this blog a few months ago. For a while I debated on doing a get to know me post that had questions that were a bit more general & not so much about beauty/hair ect, but I really am a lover of all things within the beauty blogger spectrum so I decided to go with the questions in this Beauty Blogger Get to Know the Blogger Tag. :)
1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
My hair is confused. For years I had extremely wavy hair & then I changed up my hair care routine & grew it out to the length it is now & it has lost a lot of its volume.

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
I have dyed my hair a bunch of times myself, but in the last few years I have really enjoyed going to a salon to get my hair done. Currently I go to Lauren at Forget Me Knot Hair in Wasilla & I love it!!! The salon is new but all of the stylists working there are business partners with many years of experience between them. The atmosphere is wonderful & Justin & Nikoli even get their hair cut by Lauren regularly now too. :)

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
No. I do have a few go to lazy-day hair styles (side-fishtail braid, messy bun, high-top knot, messy pony), but since I don't shampoo my hair more than 2x a week (GASP!) I have to style my hair differently depending on how far between washes I am. I really like trying out new hair styles & styling techniques.
4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
I do both at home. I absolutely cannot handle getting a pedicure! It is a form of torture for me & I the last one I had was before my wedding & luckily my mom was with to distract me.
5. How often do you change your nail polish?
Usually weekly, lately I have been letting my nails take a break from all of the polish & polish removers. I will probably paint them sometime this weekend though.
6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?
Year round! The sight of naked toe-nails gives me the creeps! haha. :D
7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?
I asked Justin this question just to see if our length of time matched up. I thought it only took me 20-30 minutes just for my make up. He said he doesn't know what I'm doing in there, but it takes me at least an hour. I think he is including the time it takes to do my hair & he's probably right. :)
8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?

I do my face first, unless I'm trying out a new-to-me look or technique. Then I will do my eyes first in case I end up with smudges, smears or a complete disaster that I have to wipe off & start all over.

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
I'm a collector. Sometimes I like to pretend that I only purchase when I need something, then I walk into my bathroom.
10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Only for special events or when I want to feel extra glamorous. There was a time when I wore lashes almost daily, now I'm just luck if I evenly contour my face.
11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?

If I'm going to be home all day & no one other than my kids are going to see me, I won't wear any makeup. But if I'm leaving the house I will usually wear a full face or at least a tinted moisturizer, mascara & gloss.

12. Do you wear makeup when you’re home alone or with family?
I answered that a bit in #11, but when I'm visiting with family back in WI, yes I wear make-up. Something about being around all the women in my family just makes me want to be chic & pulled together all the time.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup?
Not really, people always ask me if I'm feeling alright or if I'm just getting over being sick when they see me without make up. After years of that....I have to say I'm a little self conscious when it comes to bare skin & eyes. :(
14. How many high-end products do you have?
Enough...while there are some high-end products that I adore & have/will repurchase. I really love finding hidden gems at the drugstore. If I'm going to try a new look or if I want to try a new shade of some product I will always turn to the drugstore first. There are a lot of duds with high end products & at the drugstore so it is important to read reviews, watch youtube videos & do a little research before hand. Or, if you're like me you'll start out with the best of intentions of researching products before you leave for the grocery store & then impulse by anyway because you have no self control.
15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you’re getting dressed?
This is one of my biggest fails! My entire life I have been a last minute outfit planner...My side of our bedroom looks like a Forever 21 dressing room after a sale if I can't find something to wear. I'm pretty sure if you ask my mom/dad/dayma/anyone I have ever lived with, this has been true my entire life.
16. How often do you change your handbag?
With being an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot I like to change my handbag often. Justin says all of my bags are the size of carry-ons, which if I'm being honest with myself, is accurate. Lately I select my handbag based on what the kids & I are going to be doing or what I will need throughout the day. 
17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
Oh I'm all over the place on this on! When I was working out of town my day started at 3AM & often ended around 10 or 11PM. Due to that type of a schedule for years I have really struggled to get back on a consistent bedtime routine. Currently I go to sleep a few hours after the trio has gone to sleep & I have finished doing whatever it is I wanted to accomplish. I wake up at 5:53 every-single-fricken-day when the road construction equipment gets fired up around the corner. I sit up, look at the time & panic for a moment, thinking that I forgot to make the crew breakfast! Then I realize I'm in bed & no longer a head chef in a remote location camp...
18. How often or when do you workout?

Ugh. Never. NO seriously, I do not even know how I ended up in a lifestyle rut where working out isn't a top priority. But with the kids & Justin working out of town so much I just can not get myself on a consistent workout plan. It's is something I'm actively trying to fix...

19. Left handed or right handed?
20. How tall are you?
21. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Toddler Speak, baby babble & unicorn. Yep, after years & years of Spanish Classes, tutoring & a lot of margarita drinking, I speak unicorn. I'm quite fluent too, just ask my 6 year old daughter.

22. How many pets do you have?
5 (well, probably 24 or so if you individually count the fish, so we will count them as 1 making it....) 6! Denali-Justin & the kids pup from before we met. :) Aurora-My pretty girl-pup that Justin brought home from a shelter for me as a gift around our 1 year of being together anniversary. Collins & Cordova, rescue cats that we got the kids after they begged us for a year. Kobuk-Our little wubbie, Justin got him for me as a total surprise for Valentine's Day this year. He is part American Eskimo & part cutest mutt ever. Then there are the fish, which were given to us by Justin's mom last week. Guppies, bottom feeders & an angry catfish round out our mini zoo.
23. How often are you on Blogger?

Depends on if I'm posting or editing..if I'm reading other blogs I use Bloglovin now because Google decided to do away with the google-friend-connect-thingy.

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
I do! People can be so rude & it upsets me, so I'm not sure why I continue to read the rude comments left on other people's blogs but I just can't help it.

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
I do! It's so much fun trying out new things.
26. How did you come up with your blog name?
I live in Alaska & it is the place where I truly believe I found myself, Love because without all of the love given to me in my life I would be a much more bitter shell of a person & I like to remind myself that ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!!!! (Cheesy, Moulin Rouge reference, anyone? anyone? ) Of course the 12, 11 was my favorite/lucky number for years. But then Justin came into my life & I felt a whole lot more complete, happy & lucky so I added 1, which equals 12. 2012 is also the year we got married.

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
my iphone. Seriously, it's bad...we are looking at a Canon 600D on at them moment though.
28. How often do you clean your house?
Daily...we have 3 mini tornado producers living here. Laughter is the sign of a tornado siren around here. What is it about the funnest things for kids being the messiest?
29. What’s your favorite color?
Teal-Mint-Turquoise. Anything that I can deem teal is my shade!
30. Do you swear?
Ask my father-in-law. No, seriously, I have been actively trying to phase out the F-BOMBS because they offend him so much. Someone please tell me how to quit swearing, I've never been addicted to anything in my life but I just can't give up the damn F-words.
31. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
Shower. Watch a movie with Justin & fall asleep...probably on the couch while watching a movie with Justin. 

Well guys, there you go! A little glimpse into who I am. Hopefully you will all get to know me better & better as this blog continues to grow. :) I tag all of you to answer these questions & look forward to reading the responses. 

****You can now follow alaskalove12 on Bloglovin'! Just click the link to the right & add me to your daily dose of internet fun!****

as always,

Friday, June 7, 2013

May Birchbox :)

Hey guys!

I had canceled my subscription with Birchbox a few months back, really I was just frustrated & sick of tea samples, foil packets & lavender based/scented products. I had previously really liked all of the summer edition boxes so I decided to give Birchbox a second chance. My first month was May & let's take a look at what I got! :)

Nothing snazzy about this month's box, just the classic Birchbox packaging. For a while I missed these boxes more than I missed the actual samples!

Inside of the May box! The theme this month, is Birchbox beauty diaries. "This month's Birchbox is all about you:the order in which you try your products, your daily routine, the techniques you've mastered. We want you to spill big-time--consider it your beauty-tell-all." It's a fun beauty play on a mad lib (which I LOVE) that Birchbox wants subscribers to take a picture of & tweet with their choices filled in. The winner (not sure how they are selecting one), will get full sizes of all the products in their boxes. 

Inside was this little gold package. Honestly, I think these are a waste of paper products & really do not add any value or pizzazz to the boxes.

Cargo-Water Resistant Blush in Ibiza $26 (Full Size)
One of the items inside the little gold box was this blush by Cargo. When I first swatched it, it felt quite chalky but when applied to the skin it was a bit softer & more blendable. The shade itself is a classic pink with quite a lot of sparkle. The pigmentation isn't very bright & it adds just a little pop of color now that I have a bit of a tan. I do have a lot of pink shades like this in my blush collection, but none of them are water resistant, so this is a happy edition. :)

Isaac Mizrahi- FABULOUS Eau de Parfum $20-$69 Full Size
I think I'm one of the rare people that doesn't mind perfume samples. I enjoy having new scents to test out & usually in subsription boxes they are scents that I wouldn't ask to smell at a perfume counter or ever purchase myself.  That makes recieving lots of perfume samples something I look forward to. This scent is totally me & something I would purchase myself though so it is PERFECT! It is a blend of mandarin & jasmine (MY FAVORITE!) laced with vanilla. I have already worn this a couple of times & I love it! :)

COOLA Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face $32 Full Size
This is the product that I like the least in this May box. I have been using Michael Todd True Organics products on my face for about 2 months now & I'm afraid to try anything else that might cause a breakout. I also think this was in the Birchbox-Man Subscription box this month, personally I think it's pretty lame for them to use the exact same products in both boxes. If you are interested in this moisturizer it has evening primrose & borage seed oil.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive $39 Full Size 
I have to say, I have been really liking all of the Juice Beauty samples I've been getting from all of the different subscription boxes. I've been able to try out quite a bit of the line & have selected some full size products I would like to purchase sometime soon. This peel uses organic, fruit-derived hydroxy acids to help exfoliate & brighten skin. 
Runa-Guayusa Tea $39 Full Size
Tea samples were one of the reason that I cancelled my Birchbox in the first place. This tea though, is something new & different to me. Guayusa is a native Amazonian tree leaf that indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon have brewed like tea for thousands of years. The tea has as much caffeine as one cup of coffee & twice the antioxidants of green tea with a smooth, naturally sweet taste. :) I have been wanting to try caffeinated teas & reduce my coffee intake daily, so for me this was a good sample. :) 

There is everything that was in the May Birchbox! If you are interested in getting your own click here. I'm looking forward to seeing what June-July & August's boxes have & then I will decide if I want to continue my subscription beyond then. 

as always,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Julep Maven-June Love

Hey guys!

Aside from birchbox(I might cancel AGAIN, due to their crappy shipping) the Julep Maven box is the last one to arrive each month. It has been well worth the wait & without making you wait any longer here is what was in my May-Julep Maven Box!
Classic with a Twist

 Inside the little black box this month! Sail into Summer. :) 

Thought I would show all of you what was on the back of the Julep in June card. I think these little things are such a nice touch. I keep them in my bathroom, bedroom or office as cute reminders. I love putting things with quotes EVERYWHERE! :) 

Underneath that pretty Nautical packaging was a Julep DD Creme & a little blue package.

Julep DD Creme Maven Price $28 (Regular $36)
A dynamic do-all makeup that goes beyond BB crème to moisturize, prime, perfect, and protect—both instantly and over time.
DD Creme? I haven't even made my way past all of the BB creams into the world of the few CC creams & now there is Julep DD creme?! That was my initial reaction, before reading the packaging; "This lightweight damage-diminishing formula delivers dewy, buildable coverage to moisturize, prime and perfect. Provides daily defense from UV rays and dramatically decreases the look of pores and fine lines. Nourishing hibiscus and olive extracts add a double dose of hydration." 
So at best, this is a tinted BB cream with some extra benefits. I will have to see if it does do all of the DD creme things listed. Right now I'm about a shade darker than this though so I might have to wait until summer is over. There is also a DD creme concealer available on Julep's site, I may have to try that out next month. 

 Julep Polishes in Kennedy(left) & Martha (right)
"Julep Nail Color is “4-free” and does not contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP"
Kennedy is a creme finish that looks just like beach sand. I selected the Classic with a Twist box this month because I wanted this darker nude color. Kennedy is going to look great now that I have a bit of a tan! 
Martha a classic baby-doll pink shade with a creme finish as well. Usually I'm not a fan of really light pinks because my skin is sooooo fair, but this summer I made it a goal to be tan, even in AK! :) So far our stretch of 80* days has made it very possible.
All of Julep's Polishes are $11.20 (Maven Price) & $14.00 (Regular Price)

 *BONUS* Dolle's Salt Water Taffy
Dolle's History
"In 1906, native New Yorker and carousel builder Rudolph Dolle and his wife, Amelia visited the up - and - coming seaside resort of Ocean City, Maryland. Four years later, they returned to Ocean City to open an amusement business near the corner of Wicomico Street and the Boardwalk. In 1910, Mr. Dolle was given the opportunity to purchase a fledgling salt water taffy business which was located next to his hand carved family carousel, and an eastern shore tradition was born."
I LOVE salt water taffy. My favorite is from a little shop(I can't remember the name) in Wisconsin Dells WI. I had 3 different flavors of Dolle's taffy, strawberry, chocolate & lime. Although they were a bit hard I enjoyed them & have been trying to resist the urge to order some online from Dolle's. 
Julep also offered up some styling suggestions if you really wanted to bring on a full Nantucket feeling. :)

This month Julep is having a BE GOOD TO YOURSELF CHALLENGE on their Facebook page. If you are interested in entering head over to the page for all of the details. According to this card the prize is 3 months worth of Julep Maven Subscriptions. 

There is my June Julep Maven Box! I'm really excited to give the DD Creme a try & to have some polish shades that are unique to my collection. Getting some salt water taffy has also made me want to stock up on some to share with the kids on camping trips this summer. :) 

If you are interested in getting your own pretty polish box each month click here.

as always,

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cloth "Diapering" Night Time Style 4.0

Hey guys,

Today I'm going to take a break from all of the subscription boxes & beauty products, to talk about a bit of our journey with cloth diapering. We haven't cloth diapered all of the kids from birth to now, (mostly due to Justin & I not getting together until the kids were 2&1, if another baby Leader ever happens we will be 100% cloth) so our journey has been a bit shorter than some of the truly dedicated cloth diapering parents.
When it came time for the potty training stages we used a mix of cloth & the awful, no good, bad, terrible, pull-ups. Looking back at that time I wish I had made the decision to be fully committed to using cloth training pants & products instead of the odd mix that we ended up using. Luckily, we have moved on beyond the stages of daytime potty training so our need for training pants has passed. :)
The twins, who will be 6 in a week are 100% daytime accident free & I can't even remember the last time they wet the bed. Our littlest Leader, who will be 5 in July wets the bed every single night & often every time she takes a nap as well.
It is completely frustrating & upsetting to have a preschool aged child who still wets the bed. We have tried everything...cutting off liquids hours before bed, waking her up in the middle of the night to go, reward charts, stickers & so on. The reality is she's just a little girl who still wets the bed. We no longer make a big deal out of the wet nights but we do praise her & celebrate when she has a dry night or nap time. We even have a really awkward dance, which I hope no one other than Justin & our children ever see me do!
We knew that we didn't want to return to the dreaded pull-ups for night time so I turned to my sister-in-law, Jessica, who owns Arctic Baby Bottoms in Wasilla to see what she thought would work the best for our situation. For a really long time we used these & these diapers.
The Kushies(Toddler Size 22-45lbs) worked great for a while in terms of absorbancy we ran into issues with them fitting her after a recent growth spurt. She isn't quite 45lbs yet so according to their sizing they should work great, but she is almost 5 so the amount that she now pees more than what those Kushies can hold!
I was a huge fan of the Thirsties & they would be in my top 2 if I ever had to go through the experience again. We ran into the same issue with the sizing & absorbancy issues, so unfortunately we had to move on. :( Which brings us to our current night time, super absorbent, wonderful...SUPER UNDIES!!! 
Unlike the Kushies & Thirsties, Super Undies are made in sizes that are designed for older children. They are a bit on the pricey side at $29.95 for sizes S-L & $34.99 for sizes XL-XXL, but when I weighed the amount of laundry I was doing due to night time leaks I decided that they were well worth it! I initially ordered 2 of the Purple Pixie color in Medium, I wanted to make sure they fit her perfectly & were actually absorbent enough to save us from anymore leaks. Well, with using an insert (a pack of 3 is $3.50), we have made it through 2 months without a single leak or issue. :)
After I finish this post I'm going to order 3 more of the Purple Pixie, this time I'm going to order them in L just so that we don't have to repurchase a larger size again in the near future. I'm okay with having 5 because I do laundry every other day so 5 will be enough for a weekly rotation.
Super Undies does offer a couple of bundles designed for nighttime bed wetting.
The Survive the Night Kit ($89.99) has 1 Pair Bedwetting Pants, 1 Step-up Insert, 1 Soaker Pod, 1 Mattress Topper & 1 Waterproof Sheet. I would recommend this if you are just starting to transition away from diapers at night. They also offer the Survive the Week Kit ($155), which has; 3 Pair Bedwetting Pants, 3 Step-up Inserts, 3 Soaker Pods, 1 Mattress Topper & 1 Waterproof Sheet. I really like that they kindly remind you to wash your used undies with this statement; "Why dose this kit come with three undies when there's 5 days in a week? Because you should not let your used undies sit for three days without washing them :)" There are also two bundle-kit options for day time. We chose to not purchase the Survive the Week Kit because we already have some water proof sheets & the mattress on Little Leader's bed is a plastic-water proof one. :) 

So...I hope this post will help some of you that are experiencing the frustration of a little rugrat, who not matter what, still wets the bed. As long as you have gotten your kidster checked out & there are not any underlying medical issues the best advice I can offer is to just find something that allows all of you to make it through the wet nights. Whether it is Super Undies or setting an alarm to wake you up @ 3AM to take your little one potty or taking deep breaths while trying not to cry hysterically because your husband is gone for work & you're the worst step mom ever & that's why she's wetting the bed...did I mention I err on the side of the dramatic??? :) Just find a way to accept & cope with the bed wetting, it will not last forever, but it will probably stick around for a while. In the meantime I would suggest going & checking out Arctic Baby Bottoms & Super Undies to check out some amazing products that will make the whole process a little easier. :) 

If any of you have any other nighttime cloth suggestions please let me know!

as always,

PS. How cute is the Super Undies site??? Little Leader always gets soooooo excited when she sees me browsing. :) 
***I was not compensated in any way for this review. All products mentioned were purchased with hard earned, icy cold,  North Slope cash. ;) As always the opinions were 100% my own.***

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May Beauty Favorites, HOORAY!!!

Hey guys,

I really wanted to be able to make my May Favorites into a video for my youtube channel, but I still have not been able to figure out a set up for me to be able to film. Hopefully, when it's time for my June Favorites you will all be watching a video, not just reading another blog post. ;)

I've broken things down into categories, the first being....


Bioderma Crealine H2O
I was really, really, really, really late in jumping onto the bandwagon for this product. While it was a huge hit in the youtube-beauty guru world, I didn't know anyone personally who was using it. After watching it sit in my amazon's saved for later section for over 6 months I decided that I would just take the risk & purchase some. Well you guys, I should of ordered it the day I first found it on amazon, it's amazing! The product itself is made in France but there are various USA distributors. It is a must have make-up remover; that is scent-free & feels like you are removing layers of make-up & dirt with pure water. I'm half way through this first bottle & have already ordered a second one, the shipping takes about 2-3 weeks to get here so I wanted to make sure I didn't run out! 

Michael Todd True Organics-Hyaluronic Acid + C Antioxidant Moisturizing Serum
This is another product that I had heard the youtube beauty guru world raving & raving &....raving about. I have always been a huge fan of organic & natural skin care products so I was instantly interested in the entire line offered by Michael Todd. My skin literally FREAKED OUT back in the first couple weeks of April. I actually ended up in the ER because my entire face & neck was covered in a red rash that was a combination of hives & an eczema type rash. The Dr. that examined me ended up prescribing me a topical ointment for it, luckily it was cleared up within a few days but I decided to just make the switch to using Michael Todd products on my face.  This serum in combination with the other products has completely changed the way my skin looks & behaves. I will be doing a skincare post soon which will feature everything I have been using from the line. :) If you have combination to dry skin this is a total stand out product!

I purchased this back in January from Sephora, while I have liked it since then it has become a favorite product in the last couple of weeks. When spring & summer rolls around I tend to pull back on the amount of make-up I wear, especially when it comes to foundations/powders. This BB cream gives me enough coverage that I feel comfortable going without a full face of make-up during the day. It also has an SPF of 20 which is perfect for summer time!

AVON-Elements-2 in 1 Eye Brightening Roller
For those of you that didn't know I am an AVON/mark beauty consultant & while I'm 100% in love with Michael Todd True Organics I can't help myself from trying new fun things! When I saw this eye brightener in a preview catalog I just had to order it to test out. Well it's made it's way into my daily skin care routine as one of my favorites. :) The roller itself vibrates when you twist the bottom & the vibrations help the product penetrate deeper into the skin, ideally, making the product work even better. I use this every morning & almost instantly I see a reduction in redness & puffiness, plus I'm becoming really aware of every single sign of a wrinkle on my face. So prevention is a must!

LUSH Cosmetics-Sweet Lips-Lip Scrub
Would someone please open up a LUSH store in Alaska??? Preferably in the Mat-Su Valley or Anchorage? Thanks! :)  For years I used a lip exfoliating balm from Bath & Body Works, but with my last LUSH order I decided to test out a new lip scrub. I had thought the only flavors they made were mint & bubblegum (I like mint food type items but not beauty products & even the slightest scent of bubblegum makes me queasy!), so I had never bothered to try one before. I was thrilled when I saw this sweet chocolatey flavor! I use it almost daily in the morning before I apply any other lip products & it keeps my lips from having any unsightly dry-flakiness. The kids even love using it & then licking their lips to taste the sugary sweetness!


L'OREAL MagicLumi Concealer in Light/Pale 862
I have gone through 2 of these concealers already! It is my must have for using under my eyes & to contour my nose. I'm actually a huge fan of the entire MagicLumi line by L'Oreal including the foundation & the brightening primer. As I mentioned with the NAKED BB Cream I have been using minimal face make-up lately, usually it involves this primer & a tinted moisturizer/bb cream. I even have this concealer purchased a shade darker so that I can use it when I get a deeper summer glow going on. ;)

Maybelline-Limited Edition Blush in Wild Blossom 205
Maybelline blushes & I have had a love/hate relationship since I was about 13 so I usually only purchase shades that have been recommended to me or that I have heard multiple rave reviews of. Somehow I ignored all of my previous bad luck with Maybelline blushes a few months ago & grabbed this from an end-cap display at my local Walgreens. I got home & went to put it away I thought what the hell am I going to do with this blush?? Well I finally opened it this month & I'm blown away! Now that I have spent a little time in the sun it is the perfect baby-doll pink color for summer. It does have quite a bit of shimmer to it, so if totally matte blushes are your thing do not purchase this! :) ***This stuff is selling for $19.99 on Amazon. CRAZY BABY!!***

(This photo is from here. I had to do a Google search for a photo, I forgot to snap one myself & the lighting was terrible by the time I realized it!) 

Physician's Formula Bronze Booster in Light/Medium
I have struggled to find a completely matte bronzer that does not oxidize to the point of making my round head look like I belong amongst all of the other carved gourds on someone's porch during Halloween for years! Now, this bronzer is not 100% matte but the shimmer doesn't really show up too much on my skin & even more importantly no oxidizing! While I'm still on the hunt for the perfect matte bronzer that doesn't make my face look dirty or orange, this has become my go to for this summer.

Urban Decay-All Nighter Make-Up Setting Spray
The bad luck I have had with beauty products being destroyed when I travel is unreal! I had a brand new full size of this sucker that ended up breaking open in my checked luggage a few months ago. I was so upset that I placed an online order & somehow selected this little bottle. I think it has about 5 sprays left in it, so not only is it a May Favorite it will soon be ready for a product empties post/video.


WET N WILD-Eye Palette in Comfort Zone 738
If you are looking for an affordable eye shadow palette that can create multiple looks, this is the perfect palette! All of the colors are highly pigmented, crease free & last all day long. I have been using this almost every single day this month & I recommend it to anyone as a must have from the drug store! 

(I took this photo inside, somehow I swatched all the shades outside & snapped a photo, but forgot about the palette picture completely!) 

 (The farthest right swatch is the shade on the top left of the palette photo & then on down...I know it is backwards, but that's what happens when you shoot photos at 10PM!)

REVLON Grow Luscious by Fabulash
The only reason this mascara made it into my collection is because I was searching for the new Lash Potion by REVLON & it was no surprise to me that I could not find it at any drugstore(Alaska is always late with new product releases at the drugstore). This stuff was EVERYWHERE though, so after my third drugstore in a week I finally gave up & purchased this one instead. Luckily more me it turned out to be amazing & I'm so happy with it. The wand itself is bigger than my eyeball, it's a total full effect, lengthening, drama creating mascara (my absolute favorite kind)! I still want to get a hold of the Lash Potion mascara soon though. ***Found the Lash Potion @ Target today!***

(REVLON has the most beautiful mascara packaging!)

 (This wand is huge!)

Milani Cosmetics Shadow Eyez 12 Hour Wear 2 in 1 Pencil  (06 Royal Purple)
A couple of weeks ago I was on the hunt for the perfect drug store make-up for a purple smokey eye look & I stumbled upon these Milani Shadow Eyez. I instantly grabbed the Royal Purple shade & it was absouletly perfect for the look I created. Due to it's 2 in 1 formula I was able to use it as a shadow that blended out beautifully, I will say that you need to blend it in right away because once this stuff sets it is there for 12+ hours! It also didn't smudge or crease on my lids which was spectacular. 
(I could not get my damn iphone camera to focus on this product! Sorry for the blur!)

(This crappy photo does not do this pigmentation justice! It is so dark & purple & beautiful!)

Milani Cosmetics 3D Glitzy Gloss (39 Fashion Diva & 40 Starshine)
Milani glosses have always been a drugstore favorite of mine, but these are a fairly recently new formula that I love! The purple caught my eye right away & since I didn't have a purple sparkly gloss in my collection I decided to just test it out, well I'm so glad I did because I have been wearing it all, the, time. It looks great on top of blue toned bright pinks & the Starshine is a great companion for wearing over more nude toned pinks. These glosses are REALLY sparkly & smell really sweet. There are a few other colors in the collection & the regular Glitzy Glosses are a great choice too! 

(Once again, this photo doesn't show how pigmented & sparkly these glosses are. Fashion Diva is on top & Starshine is on the bottom.) 

Wet N Wild Shocking Pink 905 D
I have recently fallen in love with Wet N Wild lipsticks & although they are a little drying to the lips I think they are a great bargain! This is a beautiful blue-toned pink shade, it isn't as bright as some of the pink shades in the Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids line, so it is perfect for days when all I want to do is throw my hair up in a messy bun, wear some big sunnies & call it a day! I really like to layer it with both of the Milani glosses I mentioned, with the Fashion Diva shade it appears much more blue toned & with Starshine it stays appears very pink.  

 (I wanted to take this photo inside so that I could add a background that would show how pink the color really is, in the swatches outside it appears as more of a red toned hue.)

(The top swatch has Fashion Diva swatched over it on the left & Starshine on the right. The bottom swatch is just Shocking Pink, all alone. ) 

AVON-Spring Fling Lip Balms in Coconut Flower 
I have all 4 of the balms in this Spring Fling collection but this one is by far my stand out fave! It has a really light coconut scent & adds a little bit of a glossy look to your lips. It has become my go to balm on days when I don't feel like wearing any sort of color on my lips. The other 3 shades all have a bit of a tint which is about as pigmented as some of the Maybelline Baby Lips

The Body Shop-Body Butter in Satsuma
My obsession with The Body Shop started when I was about 12, one of my aunts let me try a Body Butter & from then on I was HOOKED! The Satsuma scent is so wonderful! It's citrusy, sweet & amazing! It has been my go to choice for so long I don't think I've ever had another favorite, although Strawberry & Mango come close. One of the ladies that works at The Body Shop in Anchorage knows me as the Satsuma girl & she tries to steer me towards new scents all the time & we just laugh because no matter what I will purchase something in Satsuma! I especially love the little mini one I carry in my purse for emergency dry skin situations! Please, go to a Body Shop near you & smell this stuff! :) 

Bath & Body Works Mist in Bali Mango
As much as I love BBW (candles, body mists & hand soap!), I have to space out my orders online because they charge a TON for shipping to AK! People at BBW, if you're reading this, your shipping to AK should not be more expensive than your overseas shipping!!! Especially if you do not have a brick & mortar store in this state! Ok, ranting about shipping aside...this is a perfect scent for summer time. I purchased the travel size during one of BBW sale periods where all travel sizes were 3 for 10. For me it is the perfect way to try new scents, if I don't like them I can easily give them to someone else & they are perfect for travel & carrying in my bag. :) Now, I'm not sure who at BBW decided to call this Bali MANGO, according to the scent description on their site there isn't even a drop of mango in it! It is still a really sweet, fruity scent that I have loved wearing & I'm constantly being asked what I'm wearing. 
Jennifer Aniston Fragrance Roller Ball
This perfume has been in my top 5 since it came out! I really need to get a full size, but I have been able to get my hands on a TON of samples of it (Thanks Mom & Sephora!), so I haven't needed to yet. When Justin & I had our mini-getaway I was able to spend some time in Sephora, I knew I wanted a roller ball for summer & then without even browsing anything else I instantly picked this out. It smells soooooo good! I love being able to roll it on through out the day, now it doesn't last as long as some other perfumes but I always reapply any fragrance through out the day. 
***The last two photos I took from BBW & polyvore. I totally forgot to grab mine to take photos & by the time I realized it, it was too dark to take my own photos.***

OKAY! We made it through my May favorites. :) I know this was a longer post & that these descriptions would of been more fun & fit into a video format a billion times better, but it just wasn't possible for me this month! :( What have all of you been loving this month???? Should I do a post about the things I LOATHED this month? I have a few products that really disappointed me or were just plain underwhelming compared to the hype they have been receiving....anyway....
as always,
PS. I braved the Alaskan vampire mosquitoes at 10PM to take these if they are less than perfect it was because I was trying to fight off the swarm that was trying to suck me dry!