Beauty Product Empties

When I first started accumulating my empty products it felt as though I would never have enough to actually write a post.  Months later, and I think I have enough products to write several posts...but we're going to go with it.  I've tried to break them into categories and I hope that makes it an easier read for you.  So without further a do, let's dig into my first ever empties post!

Cleansers/Makeup Removers

Exfoliant 

  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish - I love to use this exfoliating polish about twice a week.  I like the gentle exfoliation which leaves my skin feeling smooth but not dry and gets rid of impurities that might leave me with a dull complexion. 

Toners 

  • Pixi Glow Tonic - While I didn't get the hype when I first started using this, I immediately noticed a difference in my skin when I was without it.  My skin felt more rough and less smooth and I have since repurchased it.
  • Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner - I had heard a lot about the this toner and was excited when I received it in my Beautylish bag.  I really liked the scent and refreshing feeling this gave my skin but I won't be repurchasing this item.
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner - This toner was gentle and refreshing and left my skin feeling hydrated and balanced.  I would repurchase!
  • Clarins Doux Exfoliant - This is a must in your skincare routine for gentle chemical exfoliation 2-3 times a week. I love this toner!
  • Pixi Rose Water & Green Tea Makeup Fixing Mist - I didn't notice a difference between this and the Heritage Store Rosewater Toner that I use fromWhole Foods.  It didn't do anything life changing for me and for that reason I wouldn't repurchase it.
  • Caudalie Grape Water - I used this as an extra step of hydration throughout the day and I thought it was nice but I would not repurchase it.
  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir - This product is strictly a luxury product.  I find the scent super relaxing and calming and I like to carry this in my bag or on a flight.  Love!

Moisturizer, Serums & Sunscreen

Fragrance & Deodorant

  • Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume- I have gone through so many of these bottles and I will continue to go through them.  This is my favorite everyday scent and I get so many compliments when I wear it. I wish the bottles were bigger!

Body Lotion

  • Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter - I love this lotion for the cooler months which means I must have had this empty container for quite a while.  It is a thicker more moisturizing lotion that I really enjoy during this time of year.  I will be repurchasing this soon.
  • Vaseline Aloe Vera Spray & Go Moisturizer - I'm someone who enjoys applying lotion, it really isn't a nuisance to me.  I decided to give this a try and I didn't find that it saved me more time and I also didn't find that it lasted very long.
  • Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Moisturizer - I loved this lotion.  It was refreshing and it smelled so good.  I would definitely repurchase this!

Brush Cleaner

Makeup

I know that those were A LOT of products, but it took me several months to accumulate all of these items.  Doing an empties is great because it gives you and me insight into the those products that are worth it or not.  Let me know what products you think I should try. 

June Glossybox Unboxing




The first thing that caught my eye when I opened the box was the bright pink nail polish from Orly in Berry Blast.  I own several hot pink polishes but none quite like this one as it has a very pretty purple iridescence.  It did take about three coats to get it as opaque as I like which is fine, next time I'll use a white base to make the color really pop.

I had heard and continue to hear a lot about the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara but because I am currently obsessed with the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara I ignored the hype.  Needless to say, I've worn it several times and I understand what all the fuss is about.  It lengthens and volumes without being clumpy which means you can serve some real lash drama.  My favorite thing about this mascara is that it's great for a day to evening look because it layers beautifully.  My least favorite thing about this mascara is that it starts to flake by the middle to end of the day and based on that alone, I don't think I will purchase the full size.

I very rarely use lip plumping products but I am definitely not opposed to doing so and I actually really enjoy the Buxom Lip Polishes.  Needless to say, I was excited to use the City Lips Advanced Formula Lip Plumping Treatment that came in the June Glossybox.  I immediately noticed that it has what I would describe as a cocoa chemically smell and if you are someone who is sensitive to scents then you won't like this.  That said, the lip product works really well without the usual tingling sensation you would expect.  It can be worn during the day but as suggested on the packaging, it should be more effective and more easily absorbed when used as a nighttime treatment.  I have only used it during the day but I will give it a go as nighttime treatment and report back.

The last two items in the box are skincare items and I'm always a little hesitant to introduce new products to my routine.  I found a lot of great reviews for The Aloe Source Jojoba Radiance Cleansing Polish and I decided I would try it.  I've tried it twice and my skin didn't feel tight or dry at all and I didn't have any adverse reactions.  I don't prefer cleansers with micro beads but I do like that this one is sulfate-free and feels very gentle.
As for the Etre Belle Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel, many of the reviews mentioned that it was a very refreshing and hydrating product which to me seems perfect for the summer months.  I did a patch test and it was fine but I have not used it all over my face.  I am going to give a try and I'll report back

 
Let me know if you want a more in depth review on any of these items and please share with me what you received in your June Glossybox.

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May Glossybox Unboxing


After being on a beauty subscription box hiatus, I decided that it was time to get to sampling once again. I had tried other subscription boxes in the past, and found that with time there seemed to be a repetitive streak that I was quite frankly, getting bored of. That said, I did a little research, read several reviews and decided on the Glossybox. It seems the most well-rounded when it comes to variety and creativity, they offer full-sized products and based on reviews you ladies seem to like this box service the most. So without further delay, let's get into the May Glossybox.



The product that I was most excited about was the GlamGlow Powermud DualCleanse Treatment.  I had heard great things about this cleanser and am already a fan of the Youthmud Tinglexfloiate Treatment so I was excited to try it.  The Powermud Cleanser is meant to be used once or twice a week and provides a deep cleanse that isn't harsh but gets rid buildup and grime.  I already use a mud mask twice a week but what I love about the GlamGlow mask/cleanser is how it dissolves into an oil and melts away all the nasty stuff we accumulate overtime.  I've already used this mask/cleanser several times and I'm pretty sure that I am going to purchase the full size.  My skin doesn't feel tight or dry but it feels clean and balanced which as we know are important factors for me when it comes to skincare.

The Teeez Trend Cosmetics Head Over Heels Nail Lacquer in Cadmium Rush was the first thing I tried because I'm obsessed with nail polish and because the packaging was really beautiful and immediately caught my eye.  More importantly (obviously)I was curious about this formula and brand which I had never heard of.  I have to admit, the color is not one that stands out to me and it's definitely not one that I would choose but like I said, I wanted to try the formula because they do have some beautiful colors which you can see on their website.  As they state, the polish is very glossy and shiny and lasted a little less than a week, so new huge claims here.  At $14 a bottle, I think that's a bit steep for standard nail polish that isn't super long lasting.


Doucce Cosmetics which is a New York based company  was another brand I hadn't heard of but that's what I love about these subscription boxes, I get to discover new brands that I would have never heard of otherwise.  I received a Mineral Matt Lipstick in 907 Cherry Blossom and it's a great everyday shade.  Because it's matte,  I don't have to worry about reapplying after I've had my very important cup of coffee and a huge bonus is that it has SPF 10 and vitamin E. Overall, I really enjoy how it feels on the lips, it isn't drying and I like to know that while I'm wearing a lip color, that I'm also nourishing and protecting my lips.


The Clearista Retexturizing Gel is free of synthetic dyes and fragrances, does not contain parabens and it isn't tested on animals so right away I am already liking this product.  I only used it once but the scrub is fine enough that it didn't feel irritating and it left my skin feeling very soft and supple.  At $79.99 a bottle, I'll have to think about it before purchasing the full size.

I love products that serve multiple purposes and the Sebastian Professional Stylbird 9 is just that.  It can be used for heat protection  before you heat style and once your done it offers a flexible hold and extra volume not to mention it also provides UV protection.  It is paraben and alcohol free and at $19.65 a bottle, this hairspray and me are going to be getting along.

So far I am really enjoying Glossybox and all of the different brands and items that I am going to be discovering.  Are you subscribed to any beauty box subscription services?  I would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and what your favorite items are.

Til next month!


Essie: Find Me An Oasis

Unless I have a special occasion to attend, the process of choosing a nail polish for me is nonexistent.  I don't strategically choose a color, I go with however I'm feeling at the moment or I go with a color that is completely opposite of what is on trend at the moment..living on the edge, I know.


I was at Target not shopping for nail polish when I saw this color and I had to have it (let's be clear, I definitely don't need it).  Find Me An Oasis is as Essie puts it a "refreshing ice blue" and because I love the look of white polishes, this instantly drew my attention.  While this polish isn't white, the pale white washed almost white blue brings a flare of interest to my nails and I love how it looks against my tanned skin.  I used Seche Vite base and top coat and it took three coats of polish to get it as opaque...that may have something to do with my application

This is a color that I would use all year round but as obsessed as I am, it may not make it past this summer.

My Current Nighttime Skincare Routine


As much as I enjoy putting my makeup on in the morning, nothing beats the satisfaction of removing it at the end of the day. (It's almost as good as taking your bra off after a long day) 
It is one of the first things I do when I get home and it allows me to unwind from the day, I find it to be very relaxing and therapeutic.  After learning about Caroline Hirons' blog about a year ago, my skincare regimen has completely transformed and I have noticed a huge difference in my skin.  If you feel like your skin is in a rut I HIGHLY recommend her blog.  Go read it!  Now let's get into my routine...


I first remove all of my makeup with the Body Shop Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil and I apply this straight to my dry face. Not only does this smell amazing but it just melts all of the makeup and grime from your face.  After I massage the oil and make sure that all of my makeup is off I remove it with a hot wash cloth...pure bliss.  I like to do this even on days that I don't wear makeup because I do wear sunscreen everyday.  Did I mention it feels amazing?!

I follow this step with my favorite cleanser, the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel which you will remember from my Morning Skincare Routine.  I'm still obsessed!

On most nights (not all) I like to use the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator which as it states is a gentle exfoliating toner that is less abrasive than a actual scrub.  It brightens and softens the skin and provides a more even complexion overtime.  Since I don't use this every day, there are times I forget to use it altogether and I notice a more dull appearance in my skin.  This Clarins Toner will always be a part of my product rotation.  I like to let it sink into my skin before I move onto a hydrating toner like the Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner (also in my morning routine)or a rose water spritz like the Mario Badescu Facial Spray (ULTA) or the Heritage Store Rose Water (Whole Foods).  Toners are one of the products I like to try new ones of the most because I feel that they irritate my skin the least.  If I do however try a toner that has an adverse reaction, I know that I can always count on these products.

For the last couple of months, I have been using the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye Cream which is supposed to reduce puffiness and dark under eye circles, as well as diminish the appearance of fine lines.  I do like it but I prefer the more creamy and thick consistency of the Kiehls Creamy Under Eye Treatment with avocado.  Now, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I use eye cream because it makes me feel good but I don't believe I will see the benefits of it for another 10 to 20 years.  We shall see...




The reason I decided to try the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye Cream was because I was completely obsessed with the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate.  I take 4-5 drops of this and press it into my skin and then rub whats leftover on my decolletage and into my hands.  If my skin is acting normal, this is usually the last step in my routine and I love that because I really enjoy the relaxing scent of this serum.  It sinks into the skin beautifully and you wake up with a bright more even complexion.  I know it sounds cheesy but it's the truth.  This is an expensive product, (at least for me) and I am on my second bottle but it lasts so long and it works, so I can justify this purchase.   Like I said, this is usually the last step in my routine when my skin feels normal and calm.  I tend to do my routine early in the evening so if I feel like my skin needs a little more hydration I'll go ahead and use something a bit more moisturizing.  I'll be touching on those types of products in another blog. 

Once I get into bed I moisturize my lips with the Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm which I've been using for several months now and I can understand what all the hype is about. It is super hydrating but it isn't sticky and when you wake up in the morning you can still feel it on your lips.  It keeps my lips moisturized, soft and supple which I love.

I know it seems like an insane amount of steps to go through especially at the end of the day, but it doesn't take long at all.  It's important to take care of your skin and once you make this a part of your routine you'll find it difficult to stop.  

If you have any products that you recommend please let me know in the comments!

About Me

Thank you for taking the time to check out AllThingsCaro.com!

My name is Carolina and I love to indulge in all things related to beauty and fashion.  After having watched an insane amount of YouTube videos and reading many blogs, I decided to create my own space here on the internet.  The focus of my blog is in beauty and fashion but as it develops I will also include lifestyle, interior inspiration as well as some food posts.

Please stay a while, have a look around, leave your comments and lets be friends!

Thank you!

Carolina

2015 Mother's Day Gift Guide



The greatest gift we can give our mothers is showing our appreciation and letting them know that we love them every chance that we get.  At times, it is easier said than done but as we get older, not only do we turn into them (our mothers) but we learn to value all of those moments we would roll our eyes at before.

Mother's Day gives us a chance to spoil our mothers more than usual, and while my mom is satisfied with a hug, a kiss and our mere presence (my brother and I) we always go the extra mile with a gift that expresses our love for her.

Here are a few gift ideas for this upcoming Mother's Day.

  • I think that a gift certificate to a spa is always welcome...there is no explanation needed here.  I love Dorit Baxter in New York and both my mother and I have visited and thoroughly enjoy this spa.
  •  If your mom is into beauty and skincare, the Mother's Day themed GlossyBox is a perfect add-on gift.  At $40 you get six full sized products that are worth over $430.  Not bad!
  •  Who doesn't love a delicious fragrance?  Sephora offers a wide range of brands that are usually made into gift sets perfect for the occasion.  Jo Malone also has quite an array of beautiful scents for mom as well as her home. Just lovely!
  •  I already expressed my love of BaubleBar in my previous post so naturally I had to include them in my gift guide.  They created a Mother's Day Shop with blogger and mom of three Love Taza. (love her blog)  There are classic and fun, easy to wear pieces for the stylish mom...I may just pick some up for myself.
  •  We are a family of pajama lovers and I always like to gift my mom simple, soft and super comfortable pj's.  The White Company has beautiful sleepwear that mom won't want to get out of. You can also find gifts for the home, candles and fragrances that are equally as beautiful.
  • Of all of things listed, the one we enjoy the most is getting together and having a nice meal, preferably brunch and preferably a week before the Mother's Day rush. Of course, you could always fix the meal yourself but if you don't want to fuss, go out and enjoy a relaxed afternoon out. Some of our most frequented places in the city include Max Soha and Pisticci in West Harlem and French Roast in the Upper West Side.  I mention all of these places in New York City because even though I live in Florida, my mom lives in  New York and these are our favorite places.
I hope these options are helpful while shopping for Mother's Day.  Don't forget to call your mom and tell her you love her. Cherish her.

"My mother...she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel.  I want to grow old and be like her" - Jodi Picoult

What I Bought! - BaubleBar

Accessorizing is one of my favorite parts of putting an outfit together, but it's one of the things that can make or break a look...so choose carefully...



 I recently decided that I wanted to revamp my accessories collection by purchasing both fun and classic pieces that I can use over time.  I had been perusing the Bauble Bar website for quite some time and it wasn't until I purchased a gorgeous necklace for my boss that I was completely sold. (see below) From the beautiful (and sturdy) packaging, to the quality of the pieces, it can not be beat for the price.  Bauble Bar is a pretty awesome website that sells high quality, on-trend accessories at reasonable prices.  Items are continually marked down on the website and on Mondays and Fridays one item is marked down to $10 or $20.  They also sent me this Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick in Lilac Flush as a gift with my purchase.  While the color is not flattering for me, I loved the formula and would definitely purchase another shade.  Not too shabby!!!

The Opal Mezcal Pendant is a beautiful and versatile piece that can dress up a simple outfit or add to an already glam outfit.  The fact that it isn't heavy makes it comfortable to wear and the fringe factor adds a playfulness that I love.  This piece will definitely be coming out to play.



I love mixing and matching small stud earrings to bring a little edge and fun to my everyday looks and I thought the Itty Icons Stud Set was just perfect for me.  These small studs can be mixed together or with other pieces already in your collection.  It's the perfect way to add your own personal touch to your style.



 Let's talk about these jacket earrings I've been seeing everywhere and loving.  I find them to be so cool and unique and again can bring edge to a otherwise simple outfit.  I wasn't sure which pair to go with but I thought the Cairo Ear Jackets were versatile enough for day or night.

What I really like about all of these pieces is that they can be incorporated into my everyday style.  I can easily put together an outfit that will be taken to the next level with these pieces.  I 'm already excited about treating myself to a couple more!

My Current Morning Skincare Routine


I wish I was a morning person, but on most mornings I hit the snooze button more times than I should.  I do, however, always try to make sure that I have time for my skincare.  While I  tend to  have a number of products on rotation, these are the ones I'm enjoying at the moment.  By the way, I have combination/oilyish/breakout prone skin.  Doesn't that sound fun?!


Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel
I massage this cleanser onto my dry skin and wipe it off with a hot cloth.  This cleanser has a gel/oil consistency that just melts into your face as soon as it touches your skin.  There is something about massaging this into my face in the morning while still half asleep that is so comforting. (let's be honest, I'm not awake until I've had my coffee) I'm a big fan of the rosy scent and it leaves my skin feeling balanced and comfortable.

The Body Shop - Vitamin E Hydrating Tone
This toner lotion reminds me of the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner  in its consistency in that it isn't very watery like most toners, but think a watered down gel... if that makes sense.  I love the feeling of applying this onto my skin because it is hydrating and refreshing and like the Oskia Cleanser leaves my skin feeling balanced.  Notice a theme here?  Balance is key!

First Aid Beauty - Eye Duty Triple Remedy
You never know what the long term affects of a eye cream will be, but it's one of those things that at least in my case, I feel guilty if I don't do.  When the product has a metal applicator it isn't a step you want to miss anyway.  (put it in the refrigerator for those extra tired days) The First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy is pretty much everything you need in a morning eye cream for instant brightness and a soothing cool application.  It does claim to "reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles" but I'll have to report back on that in a couple of years.  A little bit goes a long way and I like to let it set before I apply concealer, so by the time I'm done with the rest of my routine, it is good to go.

The Body Shop - Aloe Protective Serum 
We (my boyfriend and I) recently went to Vermont for a little ski getaway and my skin did not enjoy the cold harsh winter weather at all.  I had been in search of a serum and I had heard a lot of good things about the Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum.  I've been using it for about two weeks and my skin feels much more calm  and the redness has fairly reduced.  I am a big fan of layering my skincare and I really enjoy the extra protective barrier this provides, while still letting my skin breathe.






La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +
I don't use this everyday but if I have a spot or a hormonal breakout this is my go to item.  It helps to speed up the healing process and it's super gentle on my skin.  This is a staple skincare item that I am never without.  NEVER!  


First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer
Like all First Aid Beauty products, this moisturizer is ideal for sensitive skin.  It's lightweight and perfect to wear beneath my tinted moisturizer or foundation.  Because my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is already armed with SPF this is creates the perfect base for a flawless and even application.

Kiehls - Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Speaking of SPF, if you are looking for a non-greasy formula that will sink beautifully into your skin, look no further.  This formula is very watery which in my opinion is what makes it so great for daily wear.  It will not irritate your eyes and is perfect to be worn underneath your make up as it won't produce the white cast that most other SPF's will.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
I am quite obsessed with lip balms and I must have one with me at all times.  The Agave Lip Mask is the mother of all lip balms!!! Its super rich formula makes it so that you don't have to constantly reapply but it doesn't feel heavy on the lips and it leaves a nice sheen for those days you can't be bothered with lip gloss.  A little goes a long way so the tube will last for quite a while.  If you live in a cooler climate you may have to warm the tube a little in your hands in order to get the product out, but trust me, it's worth it.  I can go on and on but I won't...just go try it...your lips will thank you!





I know that this seems like a lot to do especially when you're trying to run out of the door in the morning, but it takes me under 10 minutes to get through my routine.  I consider this my "me time" before I start my day and I really do cherish it.
 I would love to know what your favorite products and if you think that there is a product I need to try please comment!