Tag Archives: review

Pikin’ & Grinnin’

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Pikin’ & Grinnin’

Hello! First of all, major props to whomever got the Hee Haw reference of this post title! Second of all, I have been absolutely loving the waterpik that I purchased after my visit to the periodontist last week. During my appointment, I was so pleased to learn that my dental problems had remained stable during my long stint of no check ups thanks to the pandemic. To continue improving the issues, I bought a waterpik as soon as I got home as per the recommendations of the professionals:

I am still getting used to using my new waterpik and literally every review I have read on them was right – it is very messy at first! I have had to resort to laying a bath towel around the sink because the water just gets everywhere. I know that these mini flash floods in my bathroom will come to a halt once I get better at using the waterpik, though, so that is not a deterrent in the slightest.

I also read on the reviews for the waterpik that I bought that it was incredibly noisy but I haven’t found that to be true at all. It has the noise you would expect from a product like this – nothing more, nothing less. Even if it were obnoxiously loud, you can’t beat the price of this waterpik (about seventy dollars) for how well it works and all of the different accessories that comes with it.

This waterpik included five different tips which will help in different ways:

  • Plaque seeker tip: This one needs no further explanation
  • Toothbrush tip: Neither does this one
  • Tongue cleaner tip: Or this one
  • Orthodontic tip: This one is good for people with braces
  • Pik pocket tip: This is the one that I use as it gets deep into the periodontal pockets for an intense clean

I have been using my waterpik with the pik pocket tip every morning and night and my gums have already started to feel better. They are not as tender and I feel them getting healthier with every use. Dare I say it, I am almost looking forward to my next appointments with my dentist and periodontist because this is going to improve my oral hygiene tenfold and I think that they are going to be proud! 😀

Do you use a waterpik? How do you feel about going to the dentist? 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 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: Such A Quiet Place By Megan Miranda Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Such A Quiet Place By Megan Miranda Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving any spoilers away, of course, we are going to be discussing a thriller called Such A Quiet Place by Megan Miranda. Was it the best book I have ever read? No. Was it the worst? Still no. Now, let’s get to it:

Hollow’s Edge is a beautiful neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. The home owners consider themselves a family and you can often find them at each other’s places having coffee and barbecues or lounging together at the community pool. Not only is their free time spent with each other but their work lives also mingle as many of the neighbors are employed at the local college. It is a picture perfect place for thirty somethings to truly begin their adult lives with family or blossoming careers. However, if we know anything about thrillers, we know that Hollow’s Edge is anything but picture perfect.

A year and a half ago, the community was turned upside down by the murders of Brandon and Fiona Truett via carbon monoxide poisoning. With the utmost cooperation from the Hollow’s Edge residents, twenty-five year old Ruby Fletcher was convicted of murder and sent to prison. The neighborhood was completely shaken and everyone tried to move back to some sense of normality. That is, until Ruby’s charges were dropped after she served fourteen months thanks to an excellent lawyer and new evidence.

After being released from prison, Ruby waltzes back into Hollow’s Edge as if nothing happened. She invites herself back into the home she shared with her old roommate, Harper, and begins plotting her revenge for the wrongful conviction. Her erratic behavior frightens the community and they are sure that a murderer is walking freely around their tight knit neighborhood.

The people of Hollow’s Edge try their best to ignore Ruby but it is with much difficulty with every twist and turn she presents. And, when she is reported dead after a Fourth of July party, it becomes impossible. Are there two murderers in the neighborhood? Or was Ruby’s death just collateral for desperate community members trying to save face? Read Such A Quiet Place to find out!

Given the description, you would think that Such A Quiet Place would be right up Lil Red’s alley because I love a good thriller. And I did like this book. The story line was different than anything I had read before and that, in itself, is a huge plus. The grand reveal wasn’t the grandest ever, though, and I had figured it out well before the book was over despite all of the red herrings. While I do enjoy solving the major twist in thrillers, I like being completely blindsided better.

Megan Miranda’s writing style didn’t help the cause, either. This is not to say the book was poorly written because it wasn’t. However, I never got a deeper understanding of any of the characters because it was always skirted around with their outward cattiness. The book wasn’t boring, per se, but it’s not much fun to read about an entire neighborhood of people who are exactly the same.

I can’t say that I particularly cared for any of the characters in Such A Quiet Place. Although they were all pretty shitty people, it is nice to have someone to root for in a book and I just didn’t feel that connection to any of them. So, even when the plot twist finally revealed itself, I still felt underwhelmed.

Such A Quiet Place is a read that you could take or leave and I am going to award it with a five out of ten star rating. This thriller really didn’t do much for me but I did like the unique story line. Whomp whomp.

Which book 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: GlamGlow BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: GlamGlow BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment Edition

Howdy and welcome to the last Face Mask Festivities post from my Sephora Haul! My online purchase provided me with fun new eyeshadow palettes to play with as well as lots of freebie products to try out too. Today, we are going to be discussing the BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment by GlamGlow which was free after spending twenty-five dollars. And, let’s be honest, that’s not hard to do at Sephora! Let’s get to it:

I have always been interested in GlamGlow products so I was very excited to have the opportunity to test the BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment out. It actually reminded me a lot of the Korres Pomegranate mask that was featured yesterday in terms of its texture and effectiveness. However, that mask was specifically for oily to combination skin and wouldn’t be something that I would use again.

What I liked about the GlamGlow treatment was that, even after twenty plus minutes of having it on, my skin didn’t feel tight like it did with the Korres mask – and that was only on for three minutes! The texture of the mask had a lot of grit to it so that was a pleasant surprise. To activate the Exfoliating Treatment, I applied it in circular motions as advised and did the same when washing it off. I was definitely eager to see the results because it was one of lengthiest amounts of time that I had a mask on.

My primary fear about the GlamGlow BrightMud mask was that it would leave my skin feeling really dry but that wasn’t the case at all. After removing it, my skin felt oh so clean and smooth and looked bright. This was very welcomed because I used it in a hotel room after a long drive to Indiana with my husband and mom and I was glad to see my skin didn’t look as tired as I felt!

Despite enjoying the BrightMud treatment, I can’t say that it would be one that I would purchase a full size tube of. When it comes to exfoliating, I am extremely partial to the St. Ives scrubs and just bought three different ones from TJMaxx. While it is so fun for me to test out new products, you just can’t beat the price of good ol’ St. Ives for the amount you get and how well they work. In fact, I think they are even better than the GlamGlow BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment. Sometimes you can get a lot more bang for way less buck with drugstore brands and this was the case for the GlamGlow treatment.

What is your favorite high end skin care brand? How about your favorite drugstore skin care brand? 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: Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask Edition

Hi! During my last Sephora Haul, I got a bunch of trial sized face masks to try out FO FREE. I have used and enjoyed both the Water Sleeping and lip mask by LANEIGE and tested out the Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask this morning. The clay mask was definitely not my favorite in the world and that’s fine by me since it was a freebie! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

I was very excited to try this Innisfree mask because of the “Super Volcanic Clusters”. I thought that it would be similar to the huge pieces of charcoal in my favorite face mask from The Body Shop. The Himalayan Charcoal mask by TBS gives me a skin treatment and an exfoliater in one and it is ultra effective. When using the Innisfree mask for the first time, I was a little disappointed by the smooth texture. It also applied really thin for a clay mask and I never care for that. One positive first impression, though, was how good it smelled! This mask had a beachy scent and that was so refreshing in the morning.

I let the clay mask sit for eight or so minutes before washing it off and was still eager to see the results. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blown away once the mask was off. There were no instantly recognizable improvements to how my skin looked or felt. While I am not expecting miracles, it is nice to see a little something something after using a new mask!

Despite not being crazy about the Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask, it is always fun to try out a new product. This mask just didn’t pack enough of a punch for my liking. As I mentioned before, I am glad that it was free because I do not recommend it. #whompwhomp

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

Face Mask Festivities: Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask Edition

Hi! Recently, my mom surprised me with the Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask by Yes To Tomatoes to test out. She is the literal sweetest and knows how much I enjoy doing face masks so every so often when she sees one for a good deal, she will treat me to it. While it wasn’t the best face mask I have ever used, the sentiment behind it was a ten out of ten stars for me! Now, let’s get to it:

I am a huge fan of charcoal skin care products, especially my favorite face bar by Destiny Boutique. I am always eager to test new charcoal products out because they are so effective in clearing the blackheads on my nose. I was expecting two results when using this Yes To Tomatoes mask: Clearing up my problem area as well as giving a nice glow to my skin since my fave face mask by The Body Shop does both. While this mask did clear up a lot of blackheads, it really didn’t do too much else for my skin.

Although I wasn’t overly blown away by the Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask, it did apply very easily. This was nice because some mud masks can be so thick. I had this mask on for about twelve minutes while I did some housework but it dried in roughly ten. I would definitely recommend washing it off right at the ten minute mark because it started feeling uncomfortably tight on my skin after just two additional minutes.

The Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask by Yes To Tomatoes is one that you could take or leave. However, if you’re like me and enjoy testing face masks just for the sake of trying something new, then it wouldn’t hurt to give this one a try if you find it for a marked down price!

What was the best face mask that you have used? Do you have a favorite ingredient when it comes to skin care? 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