Showing posts with label Product Review. Show all posts

Bubble Away The Impurities

I was lucky to be introduced to the belif Pore Cleaner Bubble Foam which was a new-to-me skincare line and product. What I love about this gel-to-foam wash-off mask is that works for any skin type whether you have oily, dry or combination skin.

New Beauty Voxbox from Target

Another great VoxBox was received from Influenster a few weeks ago filled with some new beauty goodies from Target, which I've been testing and I'm excited to share my thoughts on.

Blackhead Suction Device

I stumbled upon this "Pore Vacuum Cleaner" on Amazon and I'm so glad I decided to purchase it. Costing only $27, it's a steal of a deal and works wonders.

Friday Faves

Yesterday's temps were the lowest it's been since 2010 in Central FL so we're feeling frosty around here and need all the warm clothes to bundle up.  Luckily I prepared early when I found some great sales on cute winter gear which arrived just in time!

Friday's Fave - The "Coolest" Thing in Skincare

I've never tried a tightening gel or firming treatment of any kind so Kate Somerville's Tight'N Cryogenic Tightening Gel couldn't have come at a better time as I approach my mid-30s and the fine lines have started to appear around my eyes and forehead area.

Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Palettes

I'm a huge fan of Marc Jacobs fashion and have used several of their perfumes over the years - Daisy Kiss, Oh, Lola!, Dot, and I'm currently using Decadence.

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Review + Giveaway

I've tried several different home teeth whitening products over the years that I've liked to varying degrees. None that I can say I loved or had remarkable results. The problem with me is that I've never made teeth whitening a priority in my routine which has left my teeth looking stained and quite dull from coffee, wine, etc. Having very sensitive teeth also limits my options or at least makes me wary of many of the whitening products that don't have a desensitizing factor.

Duncan Hines Carrot Cake

Duncan Hines Perfect Size for 1 is an individually portioned pouch of cake mix which comes in 18 varieties with flavors for morning, afternoon or evening indulgences.

Last Call For a Beauty Haul

Happy Friday friends!

Beauty products have been on my mind lately and Spring is the best season because it brings brighter colors for clothes, accessories, and makeup. Even though I live in Florida - "the land of no real seasons" - different skincare products are needed to deal with the temperature changes and brighter lip colors are always fun.

Today I'm sharing some new products I've stumbled upon along with my tried & true products that are permanently in my beauty/skincare routine.

(The Ulta/Sephora Beauty Giveaway is at the end of this post)

New to Me

I'm so intrigued by the new Bliss Correcting Sticks to even out different tones whether it may be blemishes, redness, or discoloration. They supposedly help soothe your skin before applying tinted moisturizer or foundation. Since I have pink undertones, redness is my main concern.
Yellow Corrector - Neutralizes redness
Peach Corrector - Corrects darkness and discoloration
Green Corrector - Camouflages redness and covers blemishes
Lavender Corrector - Counteracts dullness and brightens skin

Current Beauty Lusts

Tried & True Beauty Faves

I've mentioned these products before, if not several times, when I share my skincare routine and favorite makeup products.

Last call for a beauty haul!


Finding Balance for Your Skin Type

Has anyone tried Ole Henriksen products before? This skincare line was completely new to me so I was excited when I received 3 full-size products in the mail to test out. 

Although I have my tried and true favorites when it comes to skincare and hair products, I'm always keen on trying out new and possibly better products especially as ingredients become more organic or refined.

The Ole Henriksen Balance product line is specifically formulated for oily or combination skin so you can get that glow without the icky shine from oil-prone skin. The face moisturizer is particularly unique because it hydrates and mattifies at the same time.

I incorporated these three products into my AM/PM skincare routine over the past couple weeks with no breakouts, no redness, just healthier looking skin. The smell isn't my favorite but I think the natural ingredients keep it from being too fragrant plus these products contain no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.

Key Ingredients
 Green tea, eucalyptus, algae (kelp) and Irish moss: extracts contain natural antiseptic properties which help to absorb excess oil and refine pores.

Salicylic acid + glycolic & lactic acids: help lift and loosen dead skin cells that clog pores.

Neem seed oil: a legendary ingredient in Ayurveda.

Rosehip fruit extract: helps reduce oil production and fights shine while minimizing the appearance of pores (only found in the face hydrator/moisturizer).

    Oil Control Toner
    A gentle astringent that removes oil and refines pores—without stripping your skin.

    Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser
    Deeply cleanses and purifies pores reducing excess oil.

    Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator
    Hydrates, controls oil, mattifies and reduces the appearance of pores.

    I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions expressed in this post are true and honest based on testing out the products over a period of time.

    Nice to See You Friday

    I've been spotty with getting a post ready in time for Friday with my work schedule and other life events but today I have some fun things to share.

    Boots, Books, Beauty, Baking & Bands.

    All B's...somehow it worked out that way so I'm rolling with it!

    I've bought 3 pairs of boots in the last couple weeks. All black. Maybe a little over the top but after moving and digging through my stuff, I remembered many of my black boots were given to Goodwill since they all had a good amount of miles on them so I'm starting fresh this "winter".
     one / two / three

    I'm wayyy late to the game on this but I've been "audio-reading" Eat, Pray, Love this week on my commute. Last week I finished reading The Couple Next Door which was a crazy, mind-boggling suspense book (that I thoroughly enjoyed) but it was time to change the pace and I feel this soul-searching book was the right decision.

    image via

    Beauty: Hair Products
    My hairdresser convinced me a while ago that sulfate-free hair products are the way to go for my color-treated hair in terms of moisture retention and keeping my blonde looking vibrant.

    shampoo / conditioner / 10-in-1 Elixir

    I was pleasantly surprised when Influenster sent me these three L'Oreal EverPure hair products complimentary for testing purposes because they contain some main ingredients that I look for that are gentle on your hair and are 100% sulfate-free. I've washed my hair a handful of times now using all 3 products and my hair has been silky smooth since. I have to the say Elixir is one of my favorite products for detangling and using as a heat protector since I blow-dry my hair quite often.

    Beauty: Lip Products
    The Murad Age Reform Soothing Lip Care is quite possibly the most amazing thing that ever touched my lips. My Ethestician introduced me to it last weekend when I went for a facial and I hesitated to purchase the $22 product but I went home I found it for a more affordable price on Amazon.

    I'm always on the hunt for new recipes since we tend to have the same rotation of meals for dinner during the week. K has mastered the art of cooking Chicken Cordon Bleu which is one of my favorite dishes so I was immediately intrigued by this Sundried Tomato and Cheese Stuffed Chicken recipe from SkinnyTaste. I can't wait to try it!

    This one has me the most excited because I don't go to concerts often enough. We have tickets to see Florida Georgia Line this weekend so you already know I'm ready to get the weekend started!

    All favorites aside, didn't we just ring in the new year and it's already the last weekend in January?

    I hope you enjoy a weekend full of your own favorites.

    Flawless Starts with Skin

    The e.l.f. brand is not a new name to me but I've never in fact owned or tested any of their cosmetics so I was pretty ecstatic when Influenster sent me a Voxbox of beauty and skincare goodies to test.


    Hydrating Bubble Mask
    Goes on as a gel, and then transforms into a refreshing fizzy bubble foam that removes excess dirt and cleanses pores without drying them out.

    Mineral Infused Primer
    Helps prep you skin so makeup goes on silky smooth for a long lasting finish.

    Lip Exfoliator
    Treats and helps smooth lips for a soft and supple pout.

    Matte Lip Color
    Glides on effortlessly and gives long lasting, richly pigmented matte color.

    Baked Highlighter & Bronzer
    Creates a gorgeous sculpted glow.

    I've read several e.l.f reviews and I'm happy to report I was extremely impressed with all of these products.

    The Highlighter & Bronzer compact creates a gorgeous look which will be perfect for the holidays and the lip exfoliator is another favorite especially around this time of year when the cold can take a toll on your lips (mine at least). I've been using it everyday.

    Another favorite was the Hydrating Bubble Mask, because hello my skin needs all the hydration it can get and I haven't tried anything like this before.

    You push down on the top to dispense a small amount which helps to keep bacteria out. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes and it works magic on deep cleaning your pores. This is a product I definitely need since I wear makeup on a daily basis.

    For such great quality products, the price point is shockingly low. For instance the bronzer is $3 an the lip exfoliator is also $3. That's very affordable and are perfect stocking stuffers.

    e.l.f. offers some great gift sets such as The Desk to Dinner eyeshadow set for only $5.

    The e.l.f. Cosmetics and Skin Care Voxbox is definitely one of my favorites to date with so many good quality products and ones that I'll continue to use.

    These products were sent to me complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes but my review stated in this post are my true and honest opinion.

    Aussie Hair & Yoga Gear

     Who else agrees this week was one hell of a ride? Almost everyone I spoke to on Wednesday was exhausted from staying up way too late watching the election. I made it to midnight and couldn't hang any longer. 

    That being said, on Fridays we celebrate with some favorites and inevitably a cold glass of wine in the evening.

    I started Wildflower by Drew Barrymore this week and I'm enjoying the recap of random happenings throughout her life. I've been intrigued with her as an actress since my teen years so, when a few of you ladies recommended her book, it was immediately added to my book list.

    Two workout gems from Target: This strappy back sports bra and the most comfortable workout capris. I'd buy them in every color but unfortunately they don't come in a variety of colors.

    We're hosting our first party at the new home this weekend and we have lots of classics on the menu but I'm most looking forward to trying this new-to-me Pulled Pork Sliders with Garlic Aioli recipe.

    Influenster sent me 3 full size products from Aussie for testing purposes and it made me remember how much I love the smell from when I used this back in college. The triple moisture conditioner has always been a favorite of mine.

    My sweet Lola all day everyday, even though she hogs the bed.

    Hope you have a fab weekend!

    Travel-Size Essentials

    We travel quite often so I have a toiletry bag that's always packed with travel size products for when we decide to take off for a weekend trip or even a longer vacation. While I'm known to over pack in the clothing and shoes department, I have my toiletry selection under control. Other than the basic necessities like toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant and a razor, these are some of the other essentials I take with me on vacation (in travel-size).

     A few other travel-size things that I also pack are dry shampoo, body spray/perfume, hand sanitizer, a good quality chapstick, and aloe vera (for tropical destinations).

    When it comes to getting adequate sleep on vacation, I usually also bring along some melatonin for those restless nights. Until recently when I tried ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid (sample from Influenster). I went out and bought a full pack because it helps you fall asleep within 20 minutes and doesn't leave you feeling groggy the next morning.

    I've talked about being a non-morning-person before, probably because I'm the exact opposite and prefer to stay up late but that isn't practical when you have a 8-5 pm gig and need to be up at the crack of dawn. So I really like how ZzzQuil helps you sleep soundly for about 7-8 hours. The best part is the ingredients are non-habit forming because it's solely made for sleep and not for pain or sickness. While I wouldn't take this every night, I definitely need it from time to time when the night owl in me decides to come out to play.

    I received a sample packet of ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  The review above is my true and honest opinion. #ZzzQuil, #SleepLovers, #ad, #gotitfree @Influenster

    Silky Hair & Stylish Gear

    Healthy hair and cute yet comfortable clothing and shoes are a continuous improvement battle in my life. I often buy things that just don't work so I tend to stick with products for a lifetime when I do find something that works 100%.

    A big part of the battle is finding products that are actually effective for my hair type which is naturally very thick and wavy. I blow-dry my hair after washing to get the straight look that I typically rock on a daily basis. On top of being thick, it can be very frizzy in the Florida humidity so hot tools and hair serum are a necessity for me!

    I shared my torturous hair drying routine two years ago in this post but since then it became significantly easier when I discovered the Revlon Hair Brush Dryer. Having explained my hair type, I have to say all three of these products provided to me by Influenster couldn't be more perfect!

    I received a VoxBox of goodies from L'Oreal Paris' new Extraordinary Oil product line and I was immediately shocked they sent full size bottles. I was excited to try them but honestly a little hesitant because the name of these products led me to believe they have a very oily consistency. That was definitely not the case.

    L'Oréal® Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner 
    I'll start by saying that all of these products contain lightweight oils which are nourishing for dry or damaged hair but not noticeable. The shampoo lathers up so well which is great for thick hair and I love how the conditioner left my hair feeling super soft and silky. I will definitely purchase again!

    This serum has ultra-light oils and absorbs very quickly in my hair to fix the frizz without leaving an oily look. I absolutely love this serum and use it after blow-drying to soften and style my hair.

    Outfit Details:

    L'Oreal Paris provided these products for review purposes via Influenster. This review is my true and honest opinion based on actual product use.

    Summer Essentials

    When I think of summer, I think of weekend days lounging by the pool and a few trips to the beach for some sun, sea and sand. Luckily I already have a few trips planned so I'm excited about that! With the weather almost being summer-like here, I have my favorite essentials ready to go.

    Packed Beach Bag
    I have a beach/pool bag that remains packed with some essentials all year round. Can I go to the pool or beach all year round? That would be a no. But why unpack everything when I can have my beach bag ready to grab and go for that one perfect weather day.

    Here's what's in the bag:
    * his and hers beach towels
    * waterproof bluetooth speakers
    *  SPF sunscreen
    * SPF tanning oil spray
    * Lip balm with SPF
    * hand sanitizer
    * small body spray
    * small hair brush
    * a fedora hat

    Swim Suits & Cover-ups
    Of course some good fitting swimsuits and cover-ups are needed and, from the name of my blog, you can probably tell I'm all about cute bikinis and just swim wear in general. PHAX Swimwear, a fashion focused swim/surf brand out of Colombia, contacted me about their brand hitting the shelves in the USA and asked if I would be interested in ordering some of their products. Of course I was interested!

    I chose a beautiful jade-colored bikini to go with the Samburu cover-up from their Spring 2016 Ortulivo Beah Lookbook. I can tell that all of these pieces are great quality because of the super soft material. Their swim suits contain LYCRA fiber which helps the material to move and stay true to your shape to get that perfect fit.

    PHAX is offering my readers a generous 30% discount at checkout with the coupon code: shopmartinisbikinis


    What I really like about PHAX swim wear and clothing is that their product line is very fun and vibrant which is perfect for summer. Everything is also hand made (from cut to stitch to embroidery) so that's pretty impressive! I get nervous ordering swimwear and underwear online because you really need these things to fit perfectly for your body. Thankfully the sizes for the bikini top and bottom piece were perfect. The cover-up (pictured below in blue) I ordered a small but it runs more like a medium. The good thing is loose fitting cover-ups are comfortable so it doesn't need to be returned.


    I have a few pairs of sunglasses that I rotate depending on the outfit and occasion. My current favorite are these Michael Kors Aviators pictured below. They have purple mirror lenses which you can't really tell from the photo.

    Never leave home without some cold water or sparkling water bottles to stay hydrated and if you're looking for some spike in your refreshments, I'd definitely recommend Skinny Girl Cocktails. They are all light and refreshing but I happen to love the Mojito and  Cosmo cocktails.

    Waterproof Flip Flops
    I mean this goes without saying. Comfortable shoes in general are always needed throughout the year but when it comes to summer, cute flip flops are a must. My current lust are these beauties from Tory Burch which are also waterproof.

    Activities & Fun
    If you're heading to the beach or the pool some entertainment might be needed. This could be reading material or water/land activities and sports such as volleyball or racket ball. Whatever peaks your interest, make sure to pack it in your beach bag so you don't get bored.

    What are your summer essentials?

    The PHAX products were provided to me complimentary in return for my honest review of the products. All opinions stated above are honest and accurate based on my true experience.