Tag Archives: recommendations

Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

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Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

Hi! As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, it is always best to find ways to limit whatever exposure you can and contact free grocery shopping is an amazing way to help with that. Johnny tried curbside pickup grocery shopping from our local store, Giant Eagle, earlier in February and loved it so much that he claimed he will never grocery shop any other way. With such praise, I figured I could give it a try too and ended up doing our shopping curbside pickup style at the end of February. I have to say, Johnny was so right – it was great!

Giant Eagle’s curbside pickup program has one of the employees do your shopping through a list created online and then you go to the store and your purchases get loaded into your car for you which allows for a completely contact free experience. It also gave me the thrill of online shopping even if it was just for food, lol! At first, I was having a lot of problems with Giant Eagle’s website running super slowly but once I logged on at a less peak time it was smooth sailing from there.

Online shopping for groceries was kind of weird at first but it actually ended up being really easy and insanely convenient. It was nice to be able to see all of the sales and promotions clearly from the website and apply coupons on the spot. I felt like I was able to take my time browsing the site instead of power shopping to get out of the store quickly which introduced me to options that I didn’t even know existed. Like frozen buffalo cauliflower!

I also was so thankful for the option to edit the cart once my order was placed because, in true Sarah fashion, I forgot a few things that I needed. I swear, I am always forgetting at least one or two things that I needed when I grocery shop which always ends up turning into an extra trip to the store. Online grocery shopping was no exception but, this time, I got to go back to my order and add the items that I forgot. No extra trip necessary. 😀

In my youth, I can remember how much I enjoyed grocery shopping with my mom and, pre-pandemic, I loved my trips to the grocery store. However, it is so important right now to utilize the options that different businesses have available to limit exposure for all parties involved. I am so glad that I gave curbside grocery shopping a try and plan on using it until it is safer. 11/10 would recommend!

What do you like to shop for online? Would you ever try using curbside grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

February 2021 Finishes

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February 2021 Finishes

Howdy! While January literally felt like it lasted for five months, February flew by and it is already time to discuss my beauty product finishes for the month. I have always enjoyed testing out new bath, body, and skin care products but I never realized just how much until the COVID-19 pandemic. Trying new products not only keeps me looking my best but gives me something different in my routine to look forward to, is relatively cheap, and helps enhance my relaxation time after work.

Whenever I do any online shopping, I usually will buy a couple of beauty treats for myself and tested out two new serums this month. I was very impressed with one but the other? Not in the slightest. Let’s discuss:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Lubriderm Lotion: Pre-pandemic, I was getting tattooed regularly and always had several bottles of fragrance free Lubriderm lotion handy in my stockpile for after care. Obviously, I haven’t been to my favorite tattoo shop any time recently so my half used bottle of Lubriderm had just been sitting there on the bathroom counter taking up space. Waste not want not, so for the past four or five months I tried to use the lotion before bed or after my shower much to the relief of my dry winter skin! Other than the bonus of being fragrance free, this lotion absorbs super quickly and feels light while working effectively.

I was glad to finally finish this lotion up and will be looking forward to using the good ol’ Lubriderm again… After getting new tattoos post pandemic, that is! 😀

Azure Lux Serum: I have been using Azure Lux Sparkling Oil serums pretty regularly for the past two years, switching between the 24K and Rose Gold options. I decided that I wanted to try a different serum by them and went with the White Gold which encouraged firming, toning, and rejuvenating. For the entire month of using it twice daily, I noticed no difference in my skin whatsoever. In fact, I can recall times when I thought my skin looked dull and that was never an issue with the Rose or 24K Gold serums. I definitely won’t be buying this product again and would not recommend it.

I actually don’t plan on purchasing any more Azure Lux serums after I finish what is in my stockpile because I feel like the products are no longer benefiting my skin. Which directly leads into me trying out the last finish that we’re going to talk about:

Eclat Serum: After making the decision to wean myself off of the Azure Lux products, I began to research the best recommended skin care for people in their mid-twenties. The resounding theme was incorporating a Vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid into your routine so I ordered a serum by Eclat and a moisturizer by Neutrogena. The Eclat serum was not only very highly rated on Amazon (five stars) but also very cheap (seven bucks) so I figured why not? And I am so glad I did!

After one use of the Eclat serum, I noticed a difference in my skin which was incredibly radiant despite the fact that I was dead tired. I was simply amazed by the results and continued to be impressed morning and night because the difference it made in my skin in one use wasn’t just a fluke. My skin was glowing! I cannot wait to finish up the rest of my Azure Lux serums so I can use it again and I highly recommend it.

My only qualm with this serum is that the bottle is fairly small. If you are thinking of making a purchase, make sure you get two of them if you want a full month of usage. With twice daily use, I finished this serum in a little under three weeks.

Overall, February was a pretty good month for finishes. I have also been enjoying using up the several slabs of bar soap that I received as gifts. If you want to make an effort to reduce the use of plastic in your life, using face and body bars as opposed to shower gels and cleansers is a great first step! 🙂

What is a must have beauty product for you? What is your skin care routine like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Eclat Vitamin C Serum Review

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Eclat Vitamin C Serum Review

Hey! Before my last skin care haul, I decided to look up the best recommended products for people in their late twenties. The resounding themes of the articles I read through included adding a Vitamin C serum as well as hyaluronic acid into your skin care regimen. For the hyaluronic acid, I ended up purchasing the Hydro Boost moisturizer from Neutrogena. As for the Vitamin C serum, I went with a well rated (five stars) and very cheap (six dollars) serum by Eclat. And, I will be damned if it isn’t the best, most inexpensive serum I have ever used. Let’s discuss:

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From every aspect, this Eclat Vitamin C serum rocks. First of all, it smells divine – just like freshly squeezed oranges and being able to use it first thing in the morning is invigorating. A little of this product also goes a long way because a dropper and a half full is more than enough to completely cover your face and neck. These are both important factors to me when it comes to a skin care product because I simply cannot use something that doesn’t smell good to me and having to use a lot of it to make it feel effective is definitely not the best bang for your buck.

The best thing about the Eclat Vitamin C serum, though? I am being one hundred percent truthful when I say that I noticed a difference in my skin after just one use. I had an extremely busy week at work and I was on my period so, needless to say, I was absolutely exhausted. And, when I get that tired my skin starts to look really dull. I used this serum for the first time during one of my melt into the couch tired days last week and my skin instantly looked more radiant and bright. It was amazing to me that I looked well rested when I didn’t feel it in the slightest.

I was curious to see if this product would keep seeming effective to me once I wasn’t so worn out and I was happy to find that it still lived up to the hype I built for it in my head. My skin just has this glow to it that certainly wasn’t there before with the Azure Lux serums that I have been using regularly for the past two or so years. I am beyond thrilled with the Eclat Vitamin C serum and highly recommend it because after one use I already knew that I would buy it again! GREAT SUCCESS!

What is one of your must have skin care products? Do you use any age specific products? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wrong Family By Tarryn Fisher Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wrong Family By Tarryn Fisher Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing the latest psychological thriller by Tarryn Fisher called The Wrong Family. Without giving any spoilers away, of course! I absolutely devoured this book in a matter of days and my only qualm with The Wrong Family is that it wasn’t longer because three hundred pages just wasn’t enough!

Now, this book is rather difficult to describe without giving a major part of one of the reveals away. I also want to give The Wrong Family a trigger warning as it deals with a lot of disturbing subject matter. Let’s get to it:

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Winnie and Nigel Crouch are the doting parents to thirteen year old Samuel. They live in Winnie’s dream house in a posh neighborhood in Seattle, Washington and, from the outside, their lives are picture perfect. But, we all know that in a psychological thriller, that is rarely the case as Winnie and Nigel have been harboring an extremely dark secret for the past decade and change.

Juno is an aged and sickly former therapist who has definitely seen better days. Now, out of work Juno spends her time just surviving and playing therapist in her head to complete strangers. She loves secrets and finding out what makes people tick and once she has her sights set on someone, it takes a lot to make her let go.

Winnie has absolutely no clue who Juno is other than seeing her briefly at the local park but Juno sure knows a lot about Winnie. In fact, it’s almost as if Juno is a fly on the wall of the Crouch residence as her knowledge of the family is very intimate. And, with all of the intel that she has gathered on her new “patients”, the Crouch’s lives will never be the same again.

How are these seemingly perfect strangers connected? What have the Crouches been covering up for over ten years of their lives? Read The Wrong Family and find out!

The Wrong Family was a whirlwind of a read and it was so unique in the fact that one of the most major grand reveals I have ever read was disclosed about eighty pages into the book and not at the end. Once you know this HUGE plot twist, The Wrong Family becomes even creepier and it will continue to shock you until the very last page.

This book was so different than any other psychological thriller I’ve read because, at the end of the day, Winnie and Juno (who take turns narrating) never formally meet. This is such an interesting take because most thrillers out there revolve around close friend groups or family problems. Both of these women are not particularly likeable. Actually, none of the people in the book are other than teenage Samuel, yet I couldn’t stop reading The Wrong Family if you paid me.

Tarryn Fisher flipped the psychological thriller game on its head and I am so eager to read more from her. I also feel like I am going to be holding what I read to a much higher standard now because The Wrong Family was excellent and I will be rating it with the prestigious ten out of ten stars. I highly recommend this book and would love to hear your thoughts on it if you have read it too!

What are you currently reading? What is your favorite psychological thriller? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

January 2021 Finishes

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January 2021 Finishes

Hello!! We almost have the first month of 2021 down in the books so that means it is time to discuss my finishes for January! This was a good month for empties, if I do say so myself, because I was able to finish up a few products that I’ve been using for forever as well as revisit some old favorites compliments of Christmas. Take a look at my finishes and let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

B&BW Body Wash: I have never used a Bath & Body Wash shower gel that I didn’t enjoy and the French Lavender & Honey is no exception. I am normally not a lavender girl in any sense of the word, however, this scent is so much more than floral. There is a delicious kiss of nectarine and rich honey mixed in making for a fragrance fresh from the most lush fields of flowers. The French Lavender & Honey is sweet without being overpowering and the nectarine gives it a fruity pop – I just love it and would gladly use it again! It took me over one month to finish the bottle.

Tree Hut Scrub: I have been working on finishing my Lemon Blueberry Tart Shea Sugar Scrub by Tree Hut for literally the past year and was so happy to finally finish it! Not because I didn’t like the product but because I have another Tree Hut scrub that I would like to use eventually, lol. This scrub rocked and I would use it every time I shaved for the closest, smoothest results. Not only did the sweet tart scent smell good enough to eat but it left my skin so soft and hydrated after shaving that I didn’t even have to use lotion after. A little went such a long way too, which is why I had been using it for so long!

TBS Moisturizer: This travel sized Vitamin E moisturizer came in one of my Christmas prezzies from my brother and I was so happy to use one of my Body Shop favorites again. The Vitamin E moisturizer is so rich and creamy and it always leaves my skin looking and feeling peaches and cream soft after each use. It also really is the perfect travel size as I got exactly one week of twice daily applications from the tiny jar.

And, finally, in case you were wondering why there is no lid on my SkinLab Lift & Firm eye gel, it’s because I dropped it while I was putting it back on and it bounced right into the toilet. I was so mad, lol, it was just one of those mornings, I guess! -_-

Which products did you use up this month? Do you have a favorite scent from Bath & Body Works or The Body Shop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Miss Benson’s Beetle By Rachel Joyce Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Miss Benson’s Beetle By Rachel Joyce Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing the newest book by Rachel Joyce called Miss Benson’s Beetle. I am a huge fan of Rachel Joyce, as she authored one of my favorite books, The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry, so I was very excited to read Miss Benson’s Beetle. Like Harold Fry, it was nothing short of delightful and told the tale of an unlikely duo going on a big adventure. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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Marjory Benson is a homely woman living in 1950s Britain with a large stature, no remaining family, or any meaningful relationships. She is a teacher of domestic sciences and, more often than not, is the subject of cruel jokes from her students. One day, after a particularly nasty cartoon rendition of her was passed throughout her class, she had enough and marched (Rather, limped) right out of the school. It was a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment and she was ready for an adventure.

As a child and young adult, Marjory had a fascination with collecting beetles, which sprang from looking through a book of undiscovered creatures with her father. This book included the Golden Beetle that is supposedly found in New Caledonia and it has never left the back of her mind since. Now unemployed, Marjory decides that this is her time to travel across the world, find the beetle, and name it after her father.

Of course, this will be no easy feat and Marjory decided that she needed an assistant to accompany her on her search. Her interviews with potential candidates left a lot to be desired and, in the end, Marjory was stuck with the last option she wanted to go with – a young, flashy woman by the name of Enid Pretty. Enid is everything that Marjory isn’t. She’s talkative, outgoing, fashion forward, and an instant annoyance to Marjory. Despite their differences, Marjory needs an assistant and Enid joins her on the extensive traveling from Britain all the way to the Pacific island of New Caledonia.

Little does Marjory know, her assistant is bringing a lot of baggage along with her and I’m not talking about the traveling kind. Well, that too, actually, considering Enid brought countless suitcases with her! Enid is a woman on the run and a trip across the world is her perfect getaway. Later, in their journey, Enid is named one of Britain’s Most Wanted Criminals with Marjory wanted for association. Can the women continue to evade the law, find the beetle, and salvage some form of friendship? Read Miss Benson’s Beetle and find out!

It has been a long while since I read a book that I would consider “light” as I am drawn to mysteries and psychological thrillers and Miss Benson’s Beetle was like a breath of fresh air. It was such fun to join the odd couple of Marjory and Enid on their adventure and I felt eager to read it every day. From their travels on boats, trains, and a stolen Jeep to them trekking through the New Caledonia rain forests for an undiscovered beetle, I felt like I was with them every step of the way. I laughed when Enid said something silly, cried for their hardships, and felt my heart pounding every time they came in contact with the police.

I loved this book because, at the end of the day, it was a testament to the power of friendship no matter how unlikely. It also gave Marjory Benson, a woman who spent her life wishing she was invisible, a chance in the spotlight. All she needed was the help of Enid to coax her shine out of her. Watching Marjory transform into a confident woman while Enid matured through Marjory’s guidance was a joy. I was rooting for their success the whole time and I just know that you will too.

Miss Benson’s Beetle was one of the best feel good books I’ve read in years and I can’t recommend it enough. I am going to rate it with the prestigious ten out of ten stars for brilliant characters, a unique story line, and the wonderfully descriptive writing of Rachel Joyce. I enjoyed it so much that I wouldn’t mind reading it again and I literally just finished it!

What are you currently reading? Which book should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bored At Home? Try InboxDollars!

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Bored At Home? Try InboxDollars!

Hey! I don’t know about any of you, but there was a point in my life when I would do online surveys like it was my job. I tried a multitude of different websites but when I found InboxDollars, I stuck with it and have been using it for years. In fact, I just got myself a thirty dollar Amazon gift card from my earnings and was able to purchase all of my skin care for the next few months for a song.

If you are bored at home and looking to make an extra buck, then I can’t recommend InboxDollars enough. The best part about this website is that it isn’t just endless surveys. You can answer trivia questions, open paid emails, play games, clip coupons, online shop, and watch videos to get you closer to your ten dollar cash out goal. Once you have enough earnings, you can collect cash or gift cards to restaurants and online retailers.

InboxDollars is a great way to kill some time and I go on it once daily to at least open some paid emails and answer their daily trivia question. You can spend as little or as much time on it as you’d like and not only is it an easy site to maneuver but it’s fun, too! If you are interested in signing up for InboxDollars, please use my referral code and I can help show you the ropes. 🙂

https://www.inboxdollars.com?rb=78080190&ref_src=link

Which online survey sites do you use? What are your thoughts on InboxDollars if you have used it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Formula 10.0.6 Get Your Glow On Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Formula 10.0.6 Get Your Glow On Edition

Hello! After testing out the Turn Up The Heat self-warming face mask by Formula 10.0.6, I was less than impressed. It’s safe to say that I was expecting another disappointment when I tried their Get Your Glow On skin brightening peel mask but I was dead wrong. Despite one issue, this mask rocked and I am very excited to use it again! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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Similar to the last mask I used by Formula 10.0.6, the Get Your Glow On mask was incredibly difficult to get out of the squeeze bottle. It wasn’t so much the mask as it was the bottle itself, which was stiff and rigid. I have nerve damage in my hands from a car accident and I had a tough go of squeezing enough of the mask to cover my face into my hands. In fact, I had almost given up on using it completely so if you struggle with any type of nerve damage or arthritis in your hands, this mask might be more trouble than its worth even though it worked well.

After finally getting enough product into my hands to apply to my face, it was smooth sailing and the mask smelled great – just like Lip Smackers chapstick! I left the mask on while I took a bath and it was ready to peel off by the time I finished my soak. It took about twenty to twenty-five minutes for the mask to dry, which is quite a bit more time than the directions recommend so be aware of that if you do decide to give the Get Your Glow On mask a try.

The mask peeled off perfectly and I felt like a snake shedding its skin, lol. I just love peel off masks in general and they are fun when they actually work because I’ve used a few in the past that just never dried or peeled. After removing the mask, I really felt like my skin looked brighter. I used this mask first thing in the morning and my skin no longer looked tired but radiant, even, and clear. It also didn’t dry my skin out at all, which is a huge plus because the Turn Up The Heat mask left my skin feeling so tight.

The Get Your Glow On mask was a huge improvement in comparison to my previous experience with Formula 10.0.6 and I would recommend it as long as you’re okay with struggling with the bottle each time you use it. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

What is your favorite type of face mask? How do you pamper yourself at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Best Of Friends By Lucinda Berry Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Best Of Friends By Lucinda Berry Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! After finishing the extremely wordy and fairly lengthy The Sleeping Nymph, I was ready for something short and sweet and I definitely got that with the two hundred and seventy page The Best Of Friends. While Johnny played his video games, I devoured this book in a handful of days and, although it wasn’t my absolute favorite thing I’ve read, I still enjoyed it and would happily read more by the author, Lucinda Berry. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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Kendra, Lindsey, and Dani spent their childhood imagining the fairy tale adult life. Great husbands, children who could play together, and their best friendships flourishing into old age. Lucky for them, they all got exactly what they wanted. However, picture perfect families and friendships tend to be anything but that in a psychological thriller and The Best Of Friends is a true testament to that. And, when an alcohol and drug fueled incident between Kendra, Lindsey, and Dani’s teenage sons leaves one of them dead, the other comatose, and the last one too traumatized to speak, their picture perfect world begins to disintegrate around them.

The Best Of Friends is written in alternating chapters between the three mothers who are each handling their grief in their own ways on top of the stress of a police investigation of what happened to their boys. Not to mention that some of their relationships with their husbands are hanging on by a thread. Dark secrets from their past and present comes to life as each mother tries to do what they can to make sense of what they thought was a horrible accident. Or was it murder? Read The Best Of Friends to find out!

I can guarantee you that if you read this book, you will fly through it just as quickly as I did. I love books with alternating narrators and, with each chapter being roughly four pages or less, I would knock out forty to fifty pages in one sitting and not even notice it. In fact, I wish it was longer! The Best Of Friends was a riveting whodoneit and, despite being able to work out some of the plot twists on my own, I still did not see the grand reveal coming.

This story line felt like something out of Law & Order and I was so there for it. I will be the first to admit that The Best Of Friends was not the most well written book – or maybe it just felt that way after the highly detailed Sleeping Nymph that I finished previously. Regardless, it was the palette cleanser I needed and I am going to rate it with: seven out of ten stars for the exciting story line, shocking grand reveal, and the fact that I couldn’t put it down if you paid me. I would definitely recommend The Best Of Friends.

What was the last book that you finished? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

December 2020 Finishes

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December 2020 Finishes

Hi everyone and welcome to the very last beauty finishes post of 2020! I, for one, am ecstatic that this dumpster fire of a year is drawing to a close and I am sure we are all looking forward to better times ahead. With all of the stress of the pandemic, I turn to self care in the beauty and skin care department to help me relax. So, with that in mind, we have quite a few empties to discuss today including a new moisturizer by Garnier that I am obsessed with. Let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Clean & Clear Cleanser: I absolutely loved using this Skin Brightening cleanser every morning. The citrusy scent was invigorating, it lathered well, and I definitely think it made my skin more radiant. Not only was my face glowing but my skin never felt tight or dehydrated after each use. Bursting Beads are always a fun addition and I am extremely impressed – especially since I paid less than six dollars for this cleanser. One of the best parts? It lasted me close to five months with daily use! Total steal.

B&BW Fragrance Spray: A few years ago, I went absolutely NUTS at a Bath & Body Works semi annual sale. Lol, I purchased so many fragrance sprays in Mango Mandarin and Country Apple and I am STILL working my way through them! Granted, this is easier said than done considering one bottle of perfume normally lasts me a good five months to a half a year with daily use.

Of course, I don’t mind at all, though, because the Mango Mandarin spray is nothing short of delightful. I love the punchy citrus scent and it helps add a touch of summer to a cold winter’s day. Maybe I should practice buying in moderation next time I need more… Said no one EVER! 😀

Garnier Moisturizer: The last time I needed more of my usual SkinLab moisturizers, I noticed that their price on Amazon was TWENTY DOLLARS. I would never spend that much for skin care so I had to opt for something different. And, I’m actually really glad I did because then I never would have ended up trying the Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue gel moisturizer.

Nothing pleases Lil Red more than a good gel moisturizer and I think this one is the best. It has the most pleasant, clean scent and absorbs super quickly. Despite it being so lightweight, my skin has never felt smoother, softer, or more moisturized. With twice daily use, one jar lasted me one month and I got it for an absolute STEAL too – seven dollars for two jars on Amazon, baby!

December was a great month for beauty finishes for me and I was happy to be done with some of the products that I’ve been working on finishing for a while. Here’s to lots more successful empties in the New Year!

Which products did you use up this month? What is your favorite moisturizer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah