Tag Archives: recommendations

June 2020 Finishes Pt. 1

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June 2020 Finishes Pt. 1

Hello!! I have a theory that June seriously dragged because of my family vacation to look forward to at the end of the month. It made each day feel like a lifetime… Maybe that explains why I have so many empties that I had to break my normal monthly finishes post into a part one and two!

The real reason, however, is that I haven’t been wearing makeup in quarantine. Therefore, I’m using twice as much skin care per month because I have a fresh face to apply a nighttime routine on. I can definitely notice the difference in my skin from the daily double whammies of moisturizers and serums. Now, maybe I’ll be more motivated to take my makeup off at night post quarantine. Maybe!

Lol, let’s take a look at these skin care empties and discuss:

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Would I Use Again?

  • Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair moisturizer: NO
  • SkinLab Lift & Firm moisturizer: YES
  • SkinLab Lift & Firm Eye Gel: YES
  • Biossance Vitamin C & Rose Hip Serum: YES

Why/Why Not?

Neutrogena Moisturizer: My mom gave me this moisturizer when I was running low at home and holy wow is this stuff powerful. Of course, this product was made with more mature skin in mind and at twenty-six, mine just didn’t meet that mark. After a few days of use, my skin was SO dry and red that I had to put olive oil on it just to breathe some lift back into the painful, burning dryness.

Once I realized it was way too strong for my skin, I mixed a bit of it into my normal SkinLab moisturizer and that felt much better. Waste not, want not as the saying goes. I can’t say I recommend this product for anyone in my age range but I think it would be fabulous for those with more mature skin.

SkinLab Moisturizer: My Lift & Firm moisturizer felt like absolute heaven in comparison to the Neutrogena one! So rich and insanely hydrating, my skin was drinking it up after being so dried out. It takes me one month to finish one jar and I always plan on using it again. In fact, I need a restock soon!

SkinLab Eye Gel: And, as you know, I am all about the SkinLab Eye Gel too. It takes me at least three months to finish one tiny jar and I can’t picture my skin care routine without it, either.

Biossance Serum: I received this little vial of serum as a freebie during my last Sephora haul and, if given the opportunity, I would use it again. My skin looked radiant and felt so nourished after each use. My only qualm, though, is that it never fully sank into my skin and it left a somewhat greasy residue. This is not ideal, especially in the hot summer months. It took me a week and a half of twice daily use to finish the sample.

Now you know all about my skin care empties for the month! Do tune in tomorrow to learn more about the rest of my June Finishes. 🙂

Which products have you used up this month? Have you tried out any new skin care recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 3

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What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 3

Hello! As the old saying goes “When in quarantine, do as those who are quarantined do”… Or however it goes. But, we all know that this means watching ample amounts of TV. And I mean AMPLE. We’re talking one new series a week or you’re doing it wrong. Haha, well maybe not that extreme but you get the point.

Johnny and I are both huge fans of the entertainment world. We love movies, TV, music, and video games so we never have a lack of things to do. We also have four different streaming services so the options are endless. As soon as I get home from work or am off on the weekends, we immediately watch some of the following:

Hannibal:

Johnny’s mind was completely blown that I had never seen The Silence Of The Lambs before. Believe you me, I understand how crazy it is that I haven’t seen it either since I am a horror fan. But, my logic was that I’ve gone this long without seeing it, so why start now? I have to say, I loved the movie and can’t wait to watch it again.

In fact, I loved the movie so much that we began watching the TV series called Hannibal, who is played by the incomparable Mads Mikkelson. Long story short, this is all of the cat and mouse drama between Hannibal Lector and the FBI before he gets caught. Every episode leaves me gasping, freaking out, and at the edge of my seat. And, of course, we always have to watch a few!

Hannibal is a show that is absolutely NOT for the faint of heart because every trigger warning imaginable is in it. But, if you can stomach all of the high fashion horror that takes place, then you’re in for a wild ride.

The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks & Rec:

After all of the intensity of Hannibal, Johnny and I will usually end our days with shows that make us laugh. Something lighthearted and pure fun. Cue The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Parks & Rec. We have both seen The Office and Parks more times than we can count and typically just end up quoting each episode verbatim.

We have never watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine before and are just about done with it. 9-9 follows the 99th detective precinct in Brooklyn, obvi, and the cast is led by the hilarious Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Andre Braugher, and my absolute favorite: Stephanie Beatriz (She’s a badass!).

I don’t know if we’ll watch 9-9 again like The Office and Parks & Rec but it certainly has provided us with a lot of laughs. I’ll be the first to admit that it kind of slows down towards the last few seasons but I am looking forward to finishing it. 😀

Le Manoir:

As all of you know, learning languages is one of my favorite hobbies so I love watching foreign films in my free time. This past week, I watched a dreadfully funny French horror comedy called Le Manoir. It was basically a spoof on your classic horror movie thread of staying in an old school castle or mansion and having all of your friends die off, one by one.

A scary plot, yes. But, the cast of twenty-somethings who were such caricatures (social media queen, wannabe actor, etc.) brought so much humor into it. The plot twist ended up shocking me and there were some parts that had me just rolling with laughter. I got to practice French and I was thoroughly entertained. I can definitely see myself watching Le Manoir again!

Blind Date:

Now, I’m sure all of you know by now that Lil Red is not a romantic comedy type of gal. However, I LOVE French romantic comedies and Blind Date was simply adorable. I just feel like the characters in French romcoms are so much more like regular people than anything made in America and it keeps me interested.

There was really no fluff to Blind Date because the man and woman in a very peculiar relationship started out the flick as enemies! I can’t tell you the nature of their relationship because that would destroy the movie. But, if you enjoy foreign films and are looking for a cheeky and very real romcom, then do yourself a favor and watch Blind Date. Similar to Le Manoir, I plan on watching it again ASAP.

Now you know all of my recommendations and I want to hear about yours! What have you been binging on? Which streaming service is your fave? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Sephora’s The Bubble Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Sephora’s The Bubble Mask Edition

Hi! There is nothing that Lil Red loves more than when I can apply a face mask during my free time in the evening. During my last Sephora haul, I purchased a bubble sheet mask to help me get over the fifty dollar free shipping threshold. The baby blue packaging and the description all looked and sounded so nice and I am happy I bought it because it WAS nice! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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Alright, let’s start off this post by saying that sheet face masks are, admittedly, extremely creepy. The creepier part? I had the intention of putting this face mask on all day and was looking forward to it at work. So, naturally, I had to apply the mask anyways while my boyfriend and I were watching Hannibal. There is something about wearing a sheet mask while watching a show about Hannibal Lector that seems so wrong and we were in stitches when I walked out of the bathroom with the mask on my face. But, hey, limited free time means pampering oneself while… one can? Lol!

Despite feeling like a total CREEPER, Sephora’s Bubble Mask was amazing! As soon as I put it on, I could feel the bubbling effect begin to take place. And, within minutes, my face was being treated with luscious, sudsy bubbles popping and fizzing away. This mask was refreshing and it was so cool to feel it actually working instead of just sitting there like a clay mask.

My only qualm with this product is that the sheet mask was SO saturated with the treatment that it would slide down my face. This was not great because the liquid would get in my eyes and it burned. In fact, I couldn’t even leave the mask on for the full fifteen minutes, as much as I would have liked to, because it hurt too bad. Had this not been a problem, I honestly would have rated this mask with a ten out of ten.

Although there was the problem with the eye irritation, I cannot even tell you how shocked I was with the results once I removed the mask. My skin looked SO fresh, it was almost as if I spent all day getting beauty sleep instead of working. It looked radiant and bright and I definitely plan on purchasing it again if I need a little extra something to get me free shipping when I shop online with Sephora. But, next time? No watching Hannibal during my relaxation time! 😀

Do you prefer sheet or traditional face masks? What is your favorite face mask? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bath Bomb Blitz: Da Bomb Galaxy Bomb Edition

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Bath Bomb Blitz: Da Bomb Galaxy Bomb Edition

Hello! For my twenty-sixth birthday, my bestie treated me to some bath and body care goodies including a salt soak, bath bomb, and face mask. This past week, after my long day at work, I returned home to an empty apartment because my boyfriend was at band practice. So, I figured it was the perfect time to treat myself to a nice, cold bath.

Yes, I did say cold! Lol, it has been hot, hot, hot in Ohio. Therefore, it is simply unbearable in my apartment and cold showers and, now baths, have become the norm. It’s funny, because just as one sinks into the steamy bath water, I did the same in the cold and it still felt just as good! The bath bomb just added to the ambiance! Haha, check it out:

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Despite being labeled as “Fun Size” on the packaging, this Galaxy Bomb by Da Bomb (Love that name!) packed a huge punch. In under two minutes, my bath water achieved the inky black hue that I love so very much. The amber scent, which I am normally not a fan of, somehow added a touch of warmth into the cold water and taking an evening soak turned out to be one of my biggest treats of the week.

My best friend, Lea, knows me so well. Obviously, I love bath bombs. But, she always knows how to incorporate my favorite color of black into everything, which made it an ideal fun sized surprise. Speaking of surprises, a small prize was added into each bath bomb and I fished out a tiny golden shield from the water after the bath bomb fizzed out. It still smells like amber! 😀

Da Bomb is a company formed by two sisters and I have never heard of it before. But, this bath bomb was definitely one of the better non-Lush ones that I have used and I would recommend it! Overall, I rate this bath bomb with a: six out of ten stars and was really impressed with the color and scent of my bath water. Thanks, Lea! ❤

What is your favorite bath and body care brand? Do you prefer hot or cold showers? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tooth Glow Gem Kit Review

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Tooth Glow Gem Kit Review

Hello! A year or so ago, my cousin applied tooth gems to my pearly whites during a visit to her salon in Pittsburgh. Within a few weeks, one of the two gems fell off. The other one, however, managed to stay on until just about a month or so ago. I absolutely adored my tooth gems and I missed my smile without them so I purchased a few Swarovski crystal kits off of a site called Tooth Glow.

The crystals I picked out were lovely, light pink and a multi colored opal and the application process looked promising, so I was very eager to get my package in the mail. After what seemed like an eternity (AKA over three weeks, lol.), my Tooth Glow kits arrived and I applied them the same night.

Bear in mind, there was still bonding on my teeth when I took the selfie – it looks a lot better now, I swear:

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The application process for the tooth gems was really easy. First, I put some petroleum jelly on wax paper and used it to stick a gem to a cotton swab. After that, I mixed up a bonding type of concoction that looked similar to what braces are applied with. Then, I brushed the spot I wanted bedazzled on my tooth heavily with the bonding agent.

Once the bonding was on, it was essential to move quickly and get the gem on before it dried. This was a little stressful and I failed the first time. But, I succeeded the second and third time around and I am really pleased with the outcome! It’s nice to have some sparkly bling back in my smile and I would recommend the Tooth Glow kits, easily.

One tiny qualm, though. I was only given one packet of the bonding agent when I bought two gem kits. I’m a little peeved about that but it is still a purchase that I’m glad I made!

Have you been successful at doing DIY salon treatments? Or not so much? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 2

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What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 2

Hello!!! Although the stay at home order in Ohio is gradually being lifted, Johnny and I are still not comfortable yet diving into normal society. So, until we feel safe to enjoy the community again, we are okay with continuing our constant state of vegging out at home. On a previous post, I broke down all of the television and movies that are keeping my boyfriend and I sane…

Can you believe that a few weeks after posting that article, we’re already done with all of the shows that I mentioned?! Now, we’re onto the following:

SuperStore:

Johnny began watching this comedy based in a Walmart style store a couple of weeks ago and, originally, I didn’t care for it. Season one was weak and it took me a while for all of the different characters to rub off on me. When I finally started enjoying the show about halfway through season two, I did a complete 180 and now I am obsessed.

Superstore is the first thing I recommend when Johnny asks me what I want to watch. There are a few bigger names in the cast but I have not heard of a majority of the actors in it, which is kind of fun. From coworker relationships to goofy antics throughout the store, this show has kept me in stitches ever since I realized I liked it!

LEGO Masters:

I have definitely posted about LEGO Masters before but I wanted to mention it again, because it is that fun. Hosted by Will Arnett and judged by two master builders from LEGO, this is a fast paced competition show where teams of two create masterpieces out of the beloved children’s toy.

LEGO Masters follows your standard competition style protocol with eliminations and different challenges, each episode more exciting and difficult than the next. The artistic ability of every single contestant on the show was just amazing and I am crossing my fingers for a season two.

The Pacific:

My boyfriend is a huge history buff and you can often catch him at home watching different documentaries and TV shows about the subject. Earlier in quarantine, we watched Band Of Brothers, which depicted the soldiers fighting in the Easy Company division in WWII.

Now, we are watching The Pacific. Still WWII, but the soldiers being depicted are now fighting the Japanese soldiers in famous battles like Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Believe me, the show is intense. But, omg is it interesting. I can’t say that I am as big of a war genre lover as my boyfriend. However, an episode or two of a series per day is something that I can handle and I have been enjoying dipping my toes in the water with that.

America’s Next Top Model:

Lol, this is certainly not one of Johnny’s shows but it is one of mine! I have been dedicated to rewatching ANTM since all of the seasons got put on Hulu and revel in when Johnny ends up taking a nap so I can put on a few episodes without him complaining! Cheesy, corny, guilty pleasure TV? Absolutely. But I couldn’t stop watching Tyra Banks and that big beautiful forehead if I tried! ❤

These are just a few of the shows that have been keeping my boyfriend and I entertained in quarantine. How about yours? What are you currently or have recently been binging on? 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: Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep Edition

Hello! Before Ohio’s stay at home order was put in place, I took my brother to the library to get some books. I ended up picking out Doctor Sleep by Stephen King for myself and, since all of the libraries are closed, it has been sitting in my apartment this whole time. So I read it. And, let me tell you, I am so glad I did because it was EXCELLENT! Let’s get started:

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Doctor Sleep is the sequel to The Shining, which follows the infamous Jack Torrence’s son, Dan. Despite constantly being drunk, Dan still shines and every once in a while, he gets contacted by a little girl named Abra who writes on the chalkboard of his rented room. Fast forward, and Abra grows up into a preteen, Dan gets sober, and becomes a hospice orderly with the nickname of “Doctor Sleep” because he helps people who are close to death pass over.

Everything is looking good, until Abra becomes aware of a wandering group called the True Knot. The True Knot are a vampire like people who feed off of “steam” to help promote their longevity. What is steam? It’s the vapor that comes out of the children who they like to torture that are able to shine. And Abra? She shines a lot. So much so that the True Knot, lead by a beautiful viper women named Rose The Hat, picked up on her and they want her bad.

Will the True Knot continue to prosper from their evilly acquired steam? Or will Abra, Dan, and some unexpected friends along the way be able to finish them off once and for all? Read the book to find out!

Before reading Doctor Sleep, I saw the movie with my sister and boyfriend in theaters and was less than impressed. I loved the story line but, oh my god, did it drag on for what felt like forever. I believe it was just under three hours. So, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the book because I didn’t want it to be so drawn out that it read like a dryer manual.

Thankfully, it was the movie that was flawed and not the book because it was a wild ride. There was excitement with every turn of the page of Doctor Sleep and I found myself reading it for hours on end without feeling any desire to stop. The “good guy” characters were all just so likeable and I was mentally cheering them on the whole time. As for the bad guys? They were awful. But, I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that I was eager to find out what they were going to do next.

Doctor Sleep was an amazing read and my only regret was that I didn’t start it sooner. I loved it so much that I’m even willing to give the movie another shot! I reward Doctor Sleep with the prestigious ten out of ten stars and I can’t recommend it enough if you are a Stephen King fan!

What book are you currently reading? What did you think of the movie or book of Doctor Sleep? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self-Isolation Recommendations

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Self-Isolation Recommendations

Hello! With self-isolation still going strong and cabin fever officially setting in, I thought I would post about my recommendations to keep your day running as normally as possible – especially if you are working from home or not working right now. I am so thankful that I can still work but it is pretty boring because it’s not like I can take my clients anywhere!

I definitely have been feeling antsy lately because I just want to DO something. But, these little tricks have helped me keep some ounce of sanity during this lock down:

Get ready in the morning:

Towards the beginning of the stay at home order, I pretty much gave up on my morning hair and makeup routine and that was a big mistake. Wearing comfy clothes and a fresh face all day gave me zero motivation and it almost felt like an excuse to have a “lazy” day. So now, even if I am just staying home or hanging at a client’s house for the day, I get myself ready – even if it’s not my full routine. I still feel put together, a lot better, and it adds a renewed pep to my step.

Follow a routine:

Things feel so chaotic right now and when you have ample free time to fill with nothing to do it can be quite overwhelming. Routines always make me feel more at ease and it keeps my day running smoothly without the awkward pause of figuring out what to do next. Plan out what you intend to do for the day every morning while you’re getting yourself ready and see your day improve.

Set up a place to work:

If you are working from home right now, set up a place to work that isn’t the couch! We all know how easy it is to set the laptop aside and turn the TV on and that shouldn’t be a constant mental battle while you’re doing your job. Clean off a cluttered desk or work at your kitchen table and try to follow your normal work schedule as closely as you can – lunch and coffee breaks too!

Cook your meals:

I have had takeout a few times in self-isolation but I have been doing my best to cook the meals that I eat at my apartment. It feels good to see and taste something that you made and that can be a real high point of the day – not to mention all of the money you’ll save! Get creative with new recipes or make old favorites. And, no matter how your meal turns out, at least you killed some time. 😉

Don’t be a night owl:

I notice that it’s been harder for me to go to bed at night because I have so much extra energy that I haven’t done anything with all day. I understand completely how difficult it is to not give into the night owl temptation but I promise it won’t be worth it when you go back to work with a totally thrown off schedule.

If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, try going for a walk or working out an hour or so before you go to bed. You could also take a bath or read a book – whatever will help you relax and keep to your normal bed time as much as possible.

Although self-isolation is difficult, it is the best thing right now to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Use the tips above and keep your day running as normally as you can!

How have you been adjusting to self-isolation? What do you do to keep yourself from getting cabin fever? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Miracle Skin Care Product: Clean & Clear Persa-gel 10 Edition

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Miracle Skin Care Product: Clean & Clear Persa-gel 10 Edition

Hello! As all of you know, Lil Red takes her skin care seriously. So, I’m sure you can understand how I would be frustrated when I was dealing with a cystic pimple that literally would not go away. No joke, I have been trying to get rid of this thing since September and used every face mask and cleanser you could think of to no avail. Sometimes the swelling would go down but, for the most part, the progress in eliminating it completely was stagnant.

That’s why I am absolutely thrilled with the Clean & Clear Persa-gel 10. After looking up the best treatments for cystic acne, I realized that this product with ten percent benzoyl peroxide was the way to go and the internet definitely wasn’t lying:

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Within two weeks of at least two to three uses per day, the Clean & Clear Persa-gel 10 has made the cystic pimple that I have been struggling with nonexistent. Of course, it has dried out my skin but that is a side effect that I am willing to deal with to finally conquer the problem.

I legitimately have never gotten so much as a pimple before so having one that just wouldn’t go away was a huge blow to my self esteem and I wish that I would have discovered the Persa-gel sooner. I am so thankful to have a blemish free face and plan on using the gel until I can’t feel the bump under my skin anymore. But, for now, the noticeable portion of the problem is gone and I could not be happier.

If you have a tough blemish, then I can’t recommend the Clean & Clear Persa-gel 10 enough and will continue to keep a tube handy at all times for emergencies!

What is one of your favorite miracle beauty products? How do you keep a clear complexion? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Watermelon & Aloe Cooling Gel Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Freeman Watermelon & Aloe Cooling Gel Mask Edition

Hello! Every once in a while I like to treat myself to a new face mask to indulge in during my weekly night of pampering. I never spend too much money on them and, whether I liked the mask or not, I still tried something new and I love testing out different skin care products. At Five Below, they have a wonderful selection of Freeman face masks and I believe I paid four dollars for one of them. You definitely can’t beat that and I ended up purchasing a Watermelon & Aloe Cooling Gel Mask. Read on to find out more:

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I have never been too keen on gel face masks unless they are to be applied before going to bed. But, the Watermelon & Aloe Cooling Gel Mask just seemed way too refreshing to pass up. Not only will something like that feel good after a hot summer day but it will also help soothe my dry skin, compliments of surviving another Ohio winter. So, into the cart it went and I was looking forward to giving it a try.

First of all, this mask smelled amazing. It smelled exactly like the Watermelon Lip Smackers and it instantly perked me up when I took a whiff before my morning shower. The mask also felt cool to the touch immediately once it was squeezed on my hand and, as I applied it on my face and neck I was invigorated by the tingling, cooling sensation that I felt on my skin.

After washing it off in the shower, my skin definitely felt smoother and not as tight in the patches that are experiencing dryness. I was surprised at how well this face mask worked and I daresay that I like it better than the Freeman clay masks that I have tried. This mask didn’t promise miracles on its packaging but everything that it did have was 150% accurate and I can’t wait to use it again!

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