April, May, June Empties and Declutter!

Hey everyone! I’m excited to get back to blogging after having been away for a bit. Before July flies away, I wanted to share all of my beauty empties/declutter (it never stops does it) from April to June. I’ll try not to dwell too much on these since there are a bunch.

It probably goes without saying that at this point my primary focus is to do more using up of what I already have or declutter what I’m not really into anymore as a way to downsize and think about what I want to bring in. So let’s get to it! By month:

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Two Years Blogging! So What’s Next?

Two Years Blogging!
Two Years Blogging!

Hey Everyone!

So I’ve reached two years of blogging this month! That is, if you count the last three absentee months. I haven’t blogged since April- work and life in general have sucked up most of my motivation. I honestly could not find a place or will to blog, just couldn’t bring myself to post more of the same or anything at all. So how’s that for a two-year celebration? Lol.

As you may or may not know, we are expecting our second little one in September! Of course we are thrilled, but during my first and the start of my second trimester I was pretty tired and lazy after work and pretty much valued being a bum. So with that, combined with lots of introspective musings, life situations and just lack of desire, blogging just wasn’t happening. I was struggling to see the point of it in my life.

Looking back over this last year on BeautyLifeMom, I kinda played it somewhat safe. I’m not one to be super vulnerable and spontaneous on my blog, perhaps the reason I started so many drafts yet published so few of them. I managed to get some beauty reviews out, tried some things like going dairy-free to help a skin situation, and moved a lot of products out of my stash and added a few things in too. While all of that was fine and good and will more than likely continue to be a part of my blog, I know there’s a lot more I’d like to get into. As the months and now years of blogging roll on, it’s becoming more obvious that my focus is more towards using what I have over constantly bringing new stuff in, and it’s something I want to explore further on here.

Lately I rediscovered how important and freeing writing and getting my thoughts down is for me. That it is something I need to keep doing for myself. I take note of how great the blogging community is even after not being at it for a while and how much it means to be sharing what’s on my mind while also learning so much in return.

I’m no fortune teller so I can’t predict how often I will blog going forward especially with baby number two coming, but I would like to be more deliberate and be more active on here. I will continue to blog about the ins and outs of my beauty inventory (I’m not crazy about the word “collection” for some reason), but definitely want to talk more about consumer culture, my minimalist journey and where I am on that spectrum since it’s too big a part of my life to not talk about it.

So everyone, in this third year of BeautyLifeMom, I hope to be more of a blogger than I had been my second, for no other reason than I want to be intentional and show up. Because I truly love writing and sharing what’s on my mind and hear your thoughts as well. Perhaps those are higher hopes these days especially with major changes forthcoming, but who says anything has to be perfect? Sometimes perfection is just an illusion. No promises of a perfect blog with perfect schedules, but to showing up when I can to talk about more of what’s on my mind! So cheers! On to year three!

Love always,

Jen

Esqido Lashes Review!

Esqido Lashes-Little Black Lash
Esqido Lashes-Little Black Lash

Hey everyone!  Over the past year or so I’ve been wearing false lashes a bit more often. While I’m no lash aficionado, I’ve become a lot more comfortable using them for special occasions like weddings, and believe me I’ve been to a ton of weddings recently! I literally just got rid of my last pair of E.L.F. lashes when I was contacted by Esqido Mink Lashes days later, letting me know about their brand and product. Timing couldn’t have been better considering I was looking to get a new pair and a new lash glue to boot (my dark tinted DUO glue was not cutting it)! So needless to say, I was thrilled they reached out to me and honored to work with them on this blog post!

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January-March 2018 Empties and Declutter

Hey guys! It’s been a while. Last time I posted was almost a month ago so I have a lot to catch up on, empties and otherwise. A few empties I skipped writing about in detail cause I really had nothing to say about them or had reviewed them multiple times previously and I’d feel like a broken record. Of course if there’s anything pictured that I didn’t mention and you’d like more detail, please let me know! But hopefully overall this gives you (and myself down the line) an idea of what and how much I used up each month and some thoughts. So before I let these pile up any further, here are my January-March empties! Continue reading “January-March 2018 Empties and Declutter”

February Favorites!

February Favorites
February Favorites

Hey Guys! It’s been about a month since my last post, just couldn’t force myself to blog (another story altogether), but I’m back yet again and I’ve rounded up my favorites from February! Read on to learn what made my February list!

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January 2018 Beauty Favorites!

January 2018 Beauty Favorites
January 2018 Beauty Favorites

Hey everyone! We’re just about at the middle of February and what better time to get to my January favorites? That was a joke, I’m always late with these kinda things. So this is my first favorites post ever. I don’t know why it’s taken me over a year to do one. Empties posts are easier for me to do since you can easily quantify those by month-everything just goes into a pile and that’t that. With favorites I have to think back to what I’ve enjoyed the most over that time. Not hard, just not what I’ve typically done for my blog.  So here are a mix of both older and newer products in my stash that I’ve used and enjoyed in January- there’s quite a bit so lets get started!

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November & December 2017 Empties and Declutter

Hi all! Welcome to my first empties post of 2018! I think it’s neat seeing what and how much I finish in a month. I always learn something through these-how long it takes for me to use up a product, patterns. I notice that I don’t repurchase maybe 80-90% of what I finish. And not always because they stink either. I just don’t consider them staples or haven’t fallen in complete love. Some things I try just to try, which hey-never know what might end up being a favorite!

My journey in minimizing my skincare has been well underway, and I finished off a ton of products last year and have made a conscious effort to keep going and see what I enjoy, and of course I want to continue do the same with my body care and makeup. Skincare is just so much easier cause I use so many of the same things everyday. So let’s get into November:

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Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation Review

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation
Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation

Last year I was on a mission to try different liquid foundations in the  mid-higher end range. I have my drugstore favorites by L’Oreal, but it had been quite a while since I’ve used much else and figured it was time to branch out again.

My skin can get oily so I need foundations that will hold up and look reasonably decent after a few hours. I usually go for medium/full coverage since I am prone to breakouts and hyperpigmentation after they heal or are in the process of healing. The Urban Decay All Nighter foundation sounded like something worth trying for both coverage and staying power. This foundation I think was released in 2016 so it’s been out for a while, but new to my collection last summer.

Product background: According to the description on the Ulta website: All Nighter Liquid Foundation by Urban Decay provides full coverage with a modern matte finish that never looks overdone. Get all-night wear and a blown-out effect you never thought was possible for a flawless-looking complexion that looks amazing and stays that way. Perfect for all-night affairs and other scandalous activities, this revolutionary formula is also comfortable enough to wear every day. 

You get 1 oz of product for $40, so it’s not cheap by any means. But is it worth it? I’ll break it down for you based on my experience.

Packaging. Very cool pump bottle in an edgy, fun design true to the Urban Decay brand. The bottom rises as you pump product out so you won’t have to scoop anything out at the end. Less waste and you know you’re using up every last bit! Thumbs up there.

Coverage and Application. This is a very pigmented, fuller coverage foundation and more so if you use a foundation brush, but I find that when using a brush it looks a little cakey. Less is more in that situation but even so it still looks a little too heavy for me. I prefer applying it with a damp beauty sponge which helps with the cakiness, but then you lose some coverage and need more product and concealer in trouble zones. Not a big deal if you don’t have much to conceal, but I definitely need coverage so I have to work more into the skin.

Many have said this gets darker or “oxidizes” on their skin and I can confirm that to be 100% true, at least with the shades I tried. Originally I got it in the shade 6.0 but it turned much darker and orangey about a minute after applied, totally not how it looked in the bottle. Since I’m not one to like the Oompah Loompah look I returned it for 4.0 which was a much better fit. So yeah, I would recommend going a shade or two lighter.

Finish.  On the dry/matte side, at least at first. If you’re looking for a hydrated dewy look you might want to stay away from this. I like to use my MAC Fix+ or Milani Make it Last spray to take away some of the dry appearance. I also like mixing this with my L’Oreal Lumi foundation-with this combo I get a foundation that is long wearing and keeps the fuller coverage, but is a lot more natural looking and hydrating. As the day goes on though it definitely doesn’t look as dry, perhaps because my skin naturally gets oily.

How it Wears. The formula feels very comfortable on the skin and stays put for a good part of the day. No sliding around which I can appreciate, though there is a little shine in my T-zone after 5/6 hours (not too bad) which I can easily blot away with a little powder. Even with that said, my skin still looks evened out out and smooth overall.

On the flip side, this tends to settle into lines and emphasize texture or bumps, so not particularly flattering in trouble zones. If you have zero blemishes or younger skin you probably have nothing to worry about. Even so it might age you since it’s drying in areas and can appear heavy depending on how it’s applied.

Here are some before/after swatch pics:

No Foundation
No Foundation
With Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation
With Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation

Overall Thoughts. Though I found ways to make All Nighter work for me and it can look nice, as mentioned it emphasizes texture in some spots and can settle into lines and other parts of my face. I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable unless I look really close, but then again I always look close :).  For the most part it stays in place and looks smooth and not masky. The little bit of dewiness on my T-zone after a few hours isn’t a big deal, most foundations will do this on me no matter what they claim. It doesn’t feel greasy nor do I feel it on, also good points.

I will finish it and use it with a blending sponge or mix it with my Lumi foundation, but I don’t know if it’s definitely a repurchase. It’s a good foundation, not sure if it’s quite “ride-or-die” status at the moment, or different enough to warrant dropping $40 on again. If you are oily and have relatively smooth skin, it may be worth trying. Just don’t forget to go lighter!

UD All Nighter
UD All Nighter

Have you tried this or found your holy grail foundation? What are your favorites? Til next time, Jen <3

2017: Looking Back and Ahead

Happy New Year
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Friends! 2017 as expected came and went in a flash. Every January I tend to reset my mind a little, wipe the lenses a bit, do more reflecting. For me it’s just natural to do this time of year. I tried some new things. I decided to scrap things too. Learned a bit more I would hope. There are definitely things I want to continue or focus on more or approach differently, new year or not.

The more recent years are starting to mesh together and are getting harder for me to recall. I had to actually sit and think about what happened in 2015 and 2016 which kinda freaked me out. Besides my son’s birthday parties I just couldn’t remember. Thank God for pictures and other documentation because without it I couldn’t tell you what was going on during those years and it wasn’t even that long ago. I really must be getting older. With that said and and so I don’t forget, in no particular order what are some things that personally stand out to me about 2017?

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November 2017 Ulta Haul!

November 2017 Ulta Haul
November 2017 Ulta Haul

Hey, Friends! I’ve been meaning to be more intentional when it comes to sharing hauls since I tend to talk about my empties often, so I’m switching it up for once. Today I’m sharing with you my last two Ulta hauls which I combined into one here since there really wasn’t a ton.

I’m kind of a slow beauty shopper and shop at different retailers for my beauty needs, so I’m not one to ever get close to Ulta’s (or anywhere’s) platinum status. Well. I guess I spent more than usual at Ulta this year because I ended up getting sooo close to platinum! I had some items on my mind to get anyway so I decided to seal the deal and nab platinum for 2018. If I’m going to buy beauty products might as well get something in return, right? We’ll see if it’s actually worth it. So here’s what I got!

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