Tag Archives: recommendations

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Thing He Told Me By Laura Dave Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Thing He Told Me By Laura Dave Edition

Hello and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Laura Dave called The Last Thing He Told Me – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This book kept me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns on every page and an ending that almost made my cry. I simply could not put it down and devoured it in less than a week! Now, let’s get to it:

Hannah and Owen have been married for about a year and everything is going picture perfect. They live in a charming houseboat with Owen’s teenage daughter, Bailey, in Sausalito, California and Hannah constantly wonders how she got so lucky. Even though Bailey is not particularly thrilled over the relationship!

Hannah thinks that she knows everything there is to know about Owen until he doesn’t return home from work. Instead of calling, he has a note delivered to their front door with the simple message of “Protect her.” on it. Shortly after Hannah receives the note, we learn that the CEO of the tech company that her husband works for has been indited for major fraud and embezzlement. Fast forward a few days later and Owen has seemingly disappeared without a trace… That is, except for the huge bag of cash he left in Bailey’s locker at school.

As if Hannah didn’t have enough to stress about, the FBI and U.S. Marshals are hot on her trail and she knows that she needs to act fast to save herself, her step daughter, and husband. With the unlikely help of Bailey, they begin to uncover dark secrets of Owen’s past that could put all of them in unspeakable danger. This begs the question of if Hannah and Bailey really even knew him at all.

The Last Thing He Told Me was a fast paced, urgent read because every twist that occurred put everyone closer to being in harm’s way. This is why I couldn’t stop reading if I tried and it was definitely a nice change of pace from the lackluster Such A Quiet Place, which I finished recently. The Last Thing He Told Me also offered a story line that was incredibly unique which made trying to figure out the grand reveal pretty difficult. There were some things I got right and others that I missed and that made it even better.

What I liked the most about The Last Thing He Told Me were all of the different emotions that I felt while reading. Hannah and Bailey’s anxiety was palpable and they were both so easy to root for as they were thrown into such a life altering situation. I felt bad that Hannah’s fairy tale was cut short and awful that the only parent Bailey has left had disappeared off the face of the Earth. This made all of their discoveries and final heart wrenching sentence even more triumphant to the point that I was almost moved to tears.

I really can’t go into detail about Owen’s past because it would ruin the point of reading this book. I can tell you, however, that if you like a good thriller, then The Last Thing He Told Me is definitely worth the read. I am going to award it with an eight out of ten star rating. Laura Dave delivered with flawed but insanely likeable characters and a book that will keep you guessing until the very end. I highly recommend it!

What are you currently reading? 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

 

 

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Flight By Julie Clark Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Last Flight By Julie Clark Edition

Howdy and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing the thriller that I just finished called The Last Flight by Julie Clark – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Right from the start, The Last Flight had me on the edge of my seat and it was an unputdownable read revolving around two strong women. Now, let’s get to it but, first, I will be putting a trigger warning on this book as it deals with spousal abuse:

If you saw Claire Cook in the news or in a gossip rag, you would think she had it all. She is married into the powerful Cook family and her husband, Rory, is about to begin his campaign to become a New York senator. What you don’t see in the pictures, however, are Claire’s expertly covered bruises and utterly fake smile as she tip toes around her husband to keep him from losing his temper. The beatings have worsened and an incident unraveling from Rory’s past leave Claire fearing for her life. The only thing she can do now, is plan her escape.

On the opposite end of the country in California, there is Eva James. If you were a student on the Berkeley campus, you would be sure to have seen Eva skulking about and would brush her off as a loner just trying to get by. Eva’s hard facade is not by choice but, rather, out of necessity. If you passed Eva on the street, you would never guess that she is the chemist for a drug lord named Fish. With a DEA agent hot on her trail and murders being linked to Fish, Eva very well could be next. The only thing she can do now, is plan her escape.

After months upon months of creating a master plan, Claire and Eva are ready to execute them and come to find themselves in the same airport. A chance encounter brings them together and they decide to add one more curve ball to the mix: They are going to swap plane tickets. Will the escape of Claire and Eva be successful? Or will they wind up even worse off than they were before? Read The Last Flight to find out!

If you have read any Lil Red’s Book Club posts before, then you will know that I am partial to the back and forth narrator thrillers. The Last Flight alternated between Claire and Eva each chapter, which made it so hard to put down because I couldn’t read about one without reading about the other too! I devoured this Julie Clark novel and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer because I thought it was excellent.

In the world of “unstable narrator” suspense novels, it is rare to find one that revolves around two women who are both in a sane state of mind. The very real threat of danger for Claire and Eva rather than something possibly imagined added such a sense of urgency to The Last Flight because their lives are completely dependent on the success of their ticket swap. Each page introduced new twists and turns and it was exciting to read how Claire and Eva used their intelligence to evade their problems.

Although both of these women have their flaws, you will find yourself rooting for them the entire time and will be blown away by the outcome of The Last Flight. I highly recommend this read and will be awarding it with an eight out of ten stars for the fresh story line, strong heroines, and the anticipation I felt with every turn of the page.

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

 

July 2021 Finishes

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July 2021 Finishes

Hello everyone and welcome to the last post of July 2021 here on lifewithlilred! Today, we are going to discuss my beauty finishes for the month and there are a lot of them so let’s get to it:

Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

LANEIGE Moisturizer: The LANEIGE birthday freebie from Sephora was, hands down, one of the best gifts that they have offered in years. It came with a lip sleeping mask, a sleeping face mask, and the Water Bank moisturizer. This travel size jar gave me a week of twice daily use and I would love to use it again after such a short amount of time. The Water Bank moisturizer left my skin soft, glowing, and oh so hydrated all without feeling heavy during the scorching summer days of July. Highly recommend. 🙂

Unfiltered Salt Soak: Lil Red loves a nice bubble bath and especially enjoys testing out products like bath bombs and salt soaks to enhance the experience even more. Sadly, the Pineapple + Mango salt soak missed the mark for me. The tropical scent smelled amazing in the jar but it didn’t translate to the water at all. It also dissolved really quickly, which eliminated the chance to do some exfoliating. I got four uses out of the jar but, I admit, I definitely poured heavy handed lol!

B&BW Body Wash: I have been using the body washes by Bath & Body Works exclusively for the past handful of years and have never had anything to complain about with them. The body washes lather so well and my skin always feels soft and hydrated every day after my shower. I truly think that my skin is healthier and smoother from consistent use of the washes and you can’t beat the prices if you shop during the semi annual sales!

It took me over a month to finish the Raspberry Tangerine scent and I wish I had another bottle of it because it smelled so good. The tart raspberry mixed with the sweet tangerine made for a perfect fruity scent and I actually just started using their Raspberry Tangerine hand soap a few days ago. Love it. 🙂

TBS Face Wash: While I love experimenting with the different skin care lines from The Body Shop, I don’t use the Tea Tree products often because of my normal skin type. However, I received the sample size of the Tea Tree face wash as part of a Christmas prezzie and beggars can’t be choosers!

I wouldn’t use this face wash in the winter as it would totally dry out my skin but it was a-okay for me for summertime use. It is so hot in my apartment and we have had a plethora of ninety plus degree days in Ohio which left my skin feeling less than its best from sweating constantly. Using the Tea Tree face wash helped get rid of all of the yuck that I felt was clogging my pores every day without making it feel dry or tight. This small bottle also lasted me over one month with daily use which is insane to me!

As you can see, July was a great month for beauty empties and I was thrilled to have used up a ton of products that I enjoyed. It is a rarity for me to have so many finishes for one month which is great because that means I can try out so many new products in their completion. 😀

Which products did you use up this month? What are your thoughts on any of the above if you have used them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Face Mask Festivities: Korres Pomegranate Ahas & Enzymes Resurfacing Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Korres Pomegranate Ahas & Enzymes Resurfacing Mask Edition

Hello and welcome to another new edition of Face Mask Festivities compliments of my Sephora Haul! The best part of online shopping with Sephora is all of the freebies and promotions on the site and during my last haul, I received five items FO FREE. This never happens when shopping in store and I feel like I get so much more bang for my buck when I need to restock my beauty must haves.

Today, we are going to be discussing the Pomegranate Ahas & Enzymes Resurfacing Mask by Korres. This mask is made for people with oily or combination skin and, despite having normal to dry skin, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try! Now, let’s get to it:

My first impression of the Korres Resurfacing Mask was how good it smelled! I caught a strong strawberry scent and was reminded even more so of them by the crushed pomegranate seeds. This mask had a sandy texture, applied easily, and dried quickly so if you use it, you do not want to have it on more than the recommended time. I had the mask on for roughly three minutes before washing it off and that was plenty as my skin started feeling slightly tight.

Although I don’t have oily skin, I do sweat a lot in the summer because my apartment is so hot which is why I thought the Resurfacing Mask could still be beneficial. I was right on the money because my skin both looked and felt much better after using it. My skin had a nice glow to it thanks to the exfoliating pomegranate seeds and it didn’t look as shiny, either. Any tightness I felt also dissipated as soon as I put my serum and moisturizer on.

I wouldn’t be able to get away with using the Korres Pomegranate Ahas & Enzymes Resurfacing Mask regularly as it would really dry my skin out. However, I can definitely see how it would be great for people with oily or combination skin and recommend this mask if you have that skin type. It had a wonderful scent, worked quickly, and had instant results. It doesn’t get much better than that!

How would you describe your skin type? Which products benefit your skin the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Face Mask Festivities: LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask Edition

Hello! During my last online Sephora Haul, I was able to cash in on my freebie birthday gift right in the nick of time as the month of June was almost over. I went with the LANEIGE gift set which offered a travel sized moisturizer, lip mask, and sleeping mask. Since arriving in the mail, I have used all of these products and can easily say that I would buy a full size of any of them – especially the Lip Sleeping Mask!

This past week, I used the Water Sleeping Mask three days in a row and was blown away by the results every morning. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

When I saw the Water Sleeping Mask by LANEIGE in person, I remembered that I had actually tried it out before. It’s funny, because I was less than impressed in my previous review two years ago. Fast forward to present day and I am freaking obsessed with this mask!

Despite its rich gel texture, the Water Sleeping Mask applies really thin and this is so nice in my hot apartment. It can be unbearable having a thicker product on when I am sweating constantly! A little of it also went a long way and I have barely made a dent in it after three uses.

I was so excited to see the results upon awakening after my first use and when I looked in the mirror, I thought it was a fluke. When I wake up in the morning, I look and feel like the Swamp Creature lol but when I saw myself, my skin was absolutely glowing. It looked so healthy, bright, radiant, and *dare I say* younger! After three uses in a row, I woke up to the same results each morning and couldn’t believe my skin could look that good from just one product.

If you’re looking for instant radiance in the morning, then this nighttime mask is for you! I have no idea how I didn’t experience that during my first test run with the Water Sleeping Mask and am so glad I had the opportunity to try it again. Highly recommend!

Have you used any LANEIGE products before? What are your thoughts on them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Violet Voss Le Macaron Palette Swatches Pt. 3

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Violet Voss Le Macaron Palette Swatches Pt. 3

Hello! Today, we are going to take a better look at the third and final set of swatches from the Le Macaron eyeshadow palette by Violet Voss. I am in love with everything about this palette but I am especially enamored with the fact that it was of such high quality for only eighteen dollars! If you are a metallic eyeshadow fan like me, then I cannot recommend the Le Macaron palette enough. 😀

Now, let’s get to it and be sure to tune in tomorrow for a brand new Face Mask Festivities!

^^^ Since all of the eyeshadows in this palette are no names, I’ll do it! How about “Stardust” for the silver and “Moonlit” for the yellow.

As I expected when swatching these eyeshadows, I really liked Stardust and can’t see myself using Moonlit very often. I have been in need of a new silver eyeshadow for a while and I think that Stardust will look so pretty when applied wet as an eyeliner. It reminds me of New Year’s Eve and this eyeshadow will definitely add a touch of glam to even the most simple outfits.

I can acknowledge that the Moonlit shade is lovely but it is one of those colors that would not look good on Lil Red. Despite the shimmer, Moonlit is still way too pale to be flattering on me. I knew it would wash me out completely before swatching it and it is my least favorite color in the Le Macaron palette.

Overall, I am incredibly pleased with both of my palette purchases from Sephora. The Rare Beauty palette by Selena Gomez was a knock out and I think Le Macaron is great too! My only comment on the Violet Voss palette is that it is not the most cohesive set of colors. However, if you are buying it strictly to have more variety with your makeup, then I don’t think you could find a better palette for the price!

What is your favorite eyeshadow that has been swatched recently? Would you purchase the Rare Beauty or Le Macaron palette? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: LANEIGE Berry Lip Sleeping Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: LANEIGE Berry Lip Sleeping Mask Edition

Hello! At the end of June, I had an online Sephora haul just in time to get my birthday freebie. For my gift, I went with a skin care set by LANEIGE because I have always been interested in trying their products. While I can’t wait to test out the moisturizer and sleeping face mask by LANEIGE, I was most looking forward to using the Berry Lip Sleeping Mask. I see their lip masks all the time at TJMaxx but I could never justify the fifteen dollar price tag. After a few uses, however, I will happily be purchasing a full sized jar because I am obsessed! Let’s discuss:

In a world of skin care that revolves around moisturizers, serums, and eye creams, it is a rarity to find a product solely dedicated to the lips. While I do apply moisturizer to my lips, I have never used a treatment specifically for them, which is why I was so eager to test the Berry Lip Sleeping Mask out. I am very prone to chapped lips and after just three uses I have noticed a huge difference in both the hydration and appearance of my lips.

My first impression of the LANEIGE lip mask was how pretty the seashell pink packaging and product was! It also smelled amazing – just like the mixed berry Lip Smackers. The jar I received was, of course, a trial size but just a small swiping of it went such a long way and I have hardly made a dent in it after three uses. The texture of the mask is rich and creamy without feeling thick and I have been applying a small amount after my nighttime skin care routine every other few days.

When I used the Lip Sleeping Mask for the first time, I couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning to see the results! After washing it off, I couldn’t believe what I saw and felt. My lips had never felt so hydrated and cared for before and they looked fuller and healthy. I even think that the natural color of my lips has improved too from the berry tinged mask. The best part? My lips still were highly moisturized and had a supple, color tinted appearance after a handful of days without using it.

The LANEIGE Berry Lip Sleeping Mask is literally everything and I never realized how much I needed a product just for my lips until testing it out. I highly, highly recommend it!

What is a skin care essential for you? What are your thoughts on this mask if you have used it before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Selena Gomez Rare Beauty Palette Swatches (Elevate & Trust)

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Selena Gomez Rare Beauty Palette Swatches (Elevate & Trust)

Hello! Today we are going to conclude our swatches for my new palette by Selena Gomez called Rare Beauty. I am so pleased with this purchase – everything from the colors and quality to the packaging and price (A mere twenty-five dollars!) made this the perfect beginner palette for me. I am not a huge makeup gal and didn’t want a palette with an overwhelming amount of colors. However, a little variety would be nice and I found it with Rare Beauty. Check out my final swatches and tune in tomorrow to see my turquoise and orange acrylics!

^^^ The silver eyeshadow is called Elevate, which makes the pink one Trust!

Originally, I thought I was going to really like the silver shade in Elevate because I assumed that it was going to be a pure silver metallic. Swatching it was an entirely different story, though, as it appeared very yellow on my skin. Because of this, I can’t see myself wearing just Elevate as an eyeshadow. But this is not to say that I won’t use it! I plan on applying Elevate to my tear duct and waterline for a little extra sparkle. I actually used to do this all the time with a similar shade but never repurchased it once I ran out so Elevate will work just fine.

Upon first sight of Trust, I also felt like I was going to love it and my instincts were right! The metallic watermelon pink is oh so sweet and I think it is an ideal summer eyeshadow shade. While I wasn’t crazy about Elevate, I thought it looked awesome paired with Trust. This palette purchase is all about being able to experiment and I can definitely see myself attempting a combination of the two in the future. Will it look good? Maybe. But I’ll never know if I don’t try!

Despite a few misses in terms of color (And that is just my opinion!), I still highly recommend the Rare Beauty palette by Selena Gomez. It will not break your bank and will give you the opportunity to play around with the different shades as they all pair well together, for the most part. The quality and pigment of these colors for the price is excellent too!

What is your favorite eyeshadow palette? How do you learn different makeup techniques? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Selena Gomez Rare Beauty Palette Swatches (Boost & Will-Power)

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Selena Gomez Rare Beauty Palette Swatches (Boost & Will-Power)

Hi! Ever since getting my makeup professionally done for my wedding, I have become more interested in experimenting with makeup. Shocking, I know, considering all I do is alternate between three different eyeshadow colors lol! I have never bought an eyeshadow palette before and, at twenty-seven years old, it’s better late than never. While online shopping with Sephora, I purchased two eyeshadow palettes in lovely metallic hues: Le Macaron by Violet Voss and Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez.

The Rare Beauty palette boasts six beautiful and highly pigmented shades and we are going to be discussing two per day, starting with Boost and Will-Power. Check it out:

^^^ The chartreuse eyeshadow is called Boost, which makes the sparkling sapphire Will-Power.

While browsing through the palettes on Sephora’s website, I was immediately attracted to the Boost color. I absolutely love to wear green and now that my convertible hair has cooler undertones, I thought that the chartreuse shade would look striking. When my hair had ultra warm undertones, I could never get away with a color so light as it would wash me out!

I can’t say that I have ever worn blue eyeshadow before and, to be honest, I don’t plan on using the Will-Power shade often, if at all. It is just a bit too loud for my liking. However, Boost and Will-Power together make for the ultimate mermaid combination which might be fun to try. This palette purchase was all about experimenting, after all.

The Rare Beauty palette by Selena Gomez seemed like the perfect one to try for a beginner. Most of the colors would pair well together, eliminating the guess work out of finding the best combination. This palette was very reasonably priced at twenty-five dollars, which made me a bit nervous for the quality. I am glad I took the risk, though, because these shades are incredibly pigmented. I hardly needed any eyeshadow to make the swatches on my hand and the texture was rich and creamy, providing for easy application.

Although we are only two swatches into the Rare Beauty palette, I can already say that I completely recommend it. I know that I will be using each color but Will-Power and that makes the purchase well worth it. Tune back in tomorrow for more swatches in Gutsy and Strong!

What is your favorite eyeshadow palette? How do you learn new makeup application techniques? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

May 2021 Finishes

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May 2021 Finishes

Hello everyone and happy last day of May! Normally, I am a huge fan of the month of May but this year, it couldn’t end soon enough. Not only are both mine and Johnny’s birthdays in June but our wedding is too! We are so incredibly excited and I can’t wait to share our joy with all of you. Before we say farewell to May, let’s discuss my beauty finishes for the month:

Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Neutrogena/Garnier Moisturizers: I love a good gel moisturizer, especially in the summertime and plan on using both the Neutrogena and Garnier moisturizers all season long. While I am more partial to the Neutrogena Hydro Boost, you just can’t beat the low price of the Garnier and it is a wonderful less expensive alternative. The Hydro Boost moisturizer is fourteen dollars on Amazon and the Moisture Rescue is around seven. To help cut the cost, I alternate between the two and think that my skin looks much brighter, clearer, and supple because of it.

Eclat Serum: The novelty of the Eclat Vitamin C serum still hasn’t worn off on me yet and I love the way my skin looks and feels after each use. I highly recommend this product and if you purchase it for yourself, I would also highly recommend buying more than one bottle. Despite the excellent quality and unbeatable price (Seven dollars!) one bottle alone will not get you through an entire month if you are using it twice daily. I find that I need at least a bottle and a half to last me for a whole month.

SkinLab Eye Gel: SkinLab products were my go to for the longest time because I could get them on the way cheap at TJMaxx. I would pay about eight dollars for the moisturizers and eye creams or gels. However, during the pandemic, I only shopped online and was shocked to see that the SkinLab products were over double what I paid at TJMaxx on Amazon.

I opted for different moisturizers but still would shell out for the Lift & Firm eye gel since one jar lasts me about three months. After a few repurchases of the eye gel on Amazon, I just couldn’t justify the twenty dollar price tag on it any longer. Once I finish the eye cream that I am using from The Body Shop, I will be testing out a seven dollar one by Elf and have my fingers crossed that it will work well!

There! Now we can officially bid adieu to May. 😀

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