All around me are familiar faces, Worn out places, worn out faces…

I loved writing my first empties post so much that I decided to do another one.  I use a lot of products and I buy a lot too.  Last year I decided to use up a significant portion of my beauty stash.  I’m also hoping to only rebuy products that worked well for me.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money in the hopes that something might work, I’m way past that.  So over the past few months (so many months, this was supposed to be a quarterly feature) here are some of the products I’ve used up.  Some I love and others not so much.  Here are my thoughts, I hope you enjoy round two of empties.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple – My favourite gentle face wash.  It has a natural scent that is not over powering, over drying, or in anyway harsh.  I love this stuff and I like to keep a back up.

Philosophy Microdelivery – My favourite exfoliating face scrub.  It’s gentle exfoliation, lightly scented, and really works.  I also like to keep a back up of this around just in case.

Philosophy Miracle Worker  – I got a deluxe sample of this moisturizer and I generally liked it, I prefer HIAJ, over this.  I’m glad I tried it, and I love the brand, but this moisturizer was not for me.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar Eye – I got this a a point perk and I figured I would try it out.  I was using this with okay results, it’s your basic run of the mill eye cream, then I lost the top to the container, and it started to dry up, and it became balmy, I still used it all up.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase even though I am a big Philosophy fan to begin with.

Fresh Seaberry Restorative lotion – This lotion is of medium thickness, absorbs quickly and smells a little lemony.  I used this lotion for a while and even at the beginning of my pregnancy.  It is a bit expensive, but it is very worth it and lasted me a fairly long time.  I wish the price was better, because I really like this stuff.

Burt’s Bees Body Lotion – I got this lotion after I ran out of my Fresh body lotion.  I liked this because it was less expensive and there was no scent.  It is thick and absorbs well.  I decided not to repurchase once it was empty, and I got Cocoa Butter instead.

Mac Zoom Lash mascara – I got this as a sample expecting nothing.  I like how this mascara coats my lashes, separates, and defines them well.  But it melts and smears all over my eye area and that I am just not into.  I’m glad I didn’t spend any money on this mascara, because I am so moving on.

Nars Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base – This stuff is of miracles!  I love it so much, when I use it my eye shadow does not budge.  I’ve already repurchased and when I wear eye make up I don’t want to be with out it.

Benefit Benetint – I love this stuff, I have been using it for years.  It is a great multipurpose product, easily blendable as a blush, and buildable as a lippie.  It also smells divine.  I prefer the smaller deluxe sample size because the applicator brush is smaller and I feel I have more control when applying.

Fresh Seaberry Oil – This was my fifth bottle.  I can’t go on with out this HG oil.  I use it day and night, for my face moisturizer, on my elbows and knees too.  It is mid weight, absorbs quickly, and smells really nice.  I have been using it for almost two years now and I am so glad that I took the leap into face oils, because I am never going back.

Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal mask – I bought this in the hopes that it would replace my GlamGlow superMUD, but it in fact was not up to my standards.  It did not clear my pores as well, or keep my skin as tight.  I’m back to superMUD, even though its really expensive. (Not pictured because by “using it”, I really mean, I gave it to my Sister)

L’Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm – I was on the hunt for a new eye cream after my Fresh eye gels that I tried throughout last year.  I am so glad that I tried this one.  I really love it, it smells nice, has a great consistency, absorbs quickly, and lasts a long time.  I feel it’s reasonably priced, my crow’s feet are slowing, my dark circles are becoming a rarity, and my eye puffiness is less frequent.  I have a few deluxe samples to work my way through but I am really sold on this one.

Benefit Rollerlash – I got this as a deluxe sample, in the hopes of finding a less expensive alternative to Diorshow.  I’ve read a lot of reviews online about this mascara, and decided why not.  The consistency I feel is similar to Benefit They’re Real, but with that being said, this mascara doesn’t melt, flake, or give me raccoon eyes buy lunchtime, more like 3:30.  I feel the application is even, it coats my lashes well, and it’s reasonably priced.  I have a few more mascaras to work through, but right now, I generally like it.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase.

EOS lip balm – I finally finished (a lot of the way), the fruity one.  I wasn’t really into it.  It smelled nice, but I really love the sweet mint (which I am currently loving/using). The egg shaped container is really obnoxious, and not very portable.  Which is why I prefer the stick version.  The stick version broke about a week after I bought it.  I was super upset.  So I probably won’t buy either again after I use up all of my back up lip balm stash.

Clinique Perfectly Real Make Up – I have been using this foundation for years now, I have not found a reason to switch.  It is a lightweight, medium yet buildable coverage that last all day.  I prefer to use either my Beauty Blender or a foundation brush for my application.

Chanel No. 5 – I have been wearing the Eau De Parfum for years now.  I can not get enough of it.  It really is the best smelling perfume I have ever worn.  Yes, the price can be steep, but I don’t wear a lot of it, and the scent lasts all day.  I haven’t found another perfume that smells as great or better one me.  I have no reason to ever wear anything else.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo – I have been using this dry shampoo for a few years now, and I love it.  It’s very reasonably priced and it works really well.  I recommend this dry shampoo to everyone.

Sephora Collection Express Cleansing Wipes – These are probably the best make up removing wipes I have ever used.  They are durable, gentile, have a light clean scent, and can take off a face full of make up with ease.  They also don’t leave any residue.  I am sold, I always try to keep a back up so I don’t run out.

EOS Shave Cream – I don’t normally use shave cream, but my Mother gave this to me for Christmas, so I decided that I should try it.  I really like it, it smells nice, “lathers” well, and I find it gave me good results.  It’s not that expensive so I may repurchase in the future.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil – I got this as part of my Sephora birthday gift last year.  I started to use Rikugien first, it is a rose shade.  And I really love it.  I don’t know if I would rebuy for two reasons: I have to sharpen this pencil, which I know is part of life, but it’s not great when I’m trying to get portability out of it.  And It doesn’t last as long after it’s applied like the lipsticks from the brand do, which I can eat, drink, and go for most of my day with out having to reapply.  With this lip pencil this is not the case.

Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial – I got this mask as a deluxe sample, and thought since I’m trying to use up my beauty stash, why not use up my samples too!  I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, because I’ve never tried the brand before.  Let me just start with the scent, because it is strong.  It smells like roses which I really enjoy, but if you don’t enjoy that aroma, steer clear, because after about twenty minutes it was still strong.  The texture was like butter, so soft and creamy, and my skin just drunk it right up.  After leaving the mask on all night I awoke to radiant, supple, brighter and well hydrated skin, and that was just after one application.  I was pleasantly surprised and I think this may be an option I may pick up in the future.

Dove Antiperspirant Deodorant Original Clean – I have been using this deodorant for many years now,  and I really like it a lot.  It has a very light clean scent, it goes on smooth, and for a normal, work day, it holds up.  During the dog days of summer, or maybe some strenuous activities you may need to reapply.  Some times I mix it up with a fruity scent, but I always go back to the clean scent.  I also enjoy that I can snag a two pack, or multi-packs from places like Wal-Mart, Target, or Sam’s Club.

Drybar Texas Tea Volumizing Spray – I got this as part of the set when I got my Buttercup  blow dryer in 2014, it took me a long time to use this, mainly because this winter I chilled way out and I haven’t been styling my hair as often.  But now that it’s getting longer again I am doing more blow outs.  I probably wouldn’t repurchase this spray as it’s just okay, I feel there are better options that are less expensive, and also don’t smell like booze, much like the other Texas Tea products do.

Sephora Collection Instant Eye Makeup Remover – I got this last Autumn, after using up the Lancome eye makeup remover I got from a GWP.  I like it, I feel it’s a basic eye makeup remover.  I think I will try the waterproof version, just because sometimes some of my more stubborn makeup won’t come of when I use this stuff.

I hope everyone enjoyed this round of empties.  I decided to share them on a quarterly basis instead of monthly so that I actually had some time to accumulate some.  I’m looking forward to using up a lot of my make up stash this year.  I mentioned before that I would be repurchasing what has worked for me in the past, and products that I really liked from last year, and items I have yet to try this year that I have already purchased.  And on that note, it’s time to end!

All for now,

–Kiki–

Title from: Mad World by Gary Jules

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Like my lipstick, the color of dawn…

As I did last year I’m going to share some of my favourite beauty products from 2016. This is a little late going up, being that it’s now the end of January, but better late than never! This year I didn’t splurge too much, I stuck to a lot of what I know, so with that being said, I took the time to use up samples and look for less expensive alternatives to established faves.

1. Fresh Sugar Face Polish – I got this as part of the spa discovery trio, and I only recently opened this scrub. I found a refreshing scent, a gentle exfoliate, and a skin master. My skin looks great after using this scrub, not that I was surprised!

2. Burt’s Bees BB Cream – When I read that Burt’s Bees was releasing a BB I knew I had to try it! And I found myself loving it. All the essentials are there, the coverage is buildable, the formula light, the colour match great! And the best part is the price, I have spent a lot of money in the search of a great BB, and it can be found at your local Target!

3. Bobbi Brown Eye Cream – This is my first Bobbi Brown product experience and it’s not going to be the last, as I am with most eye creams, I don’t expect much going in, but this is right up there with L’Occatain Immortel Eye Balm.

4. Josie Maran Argan Oil – If there is one thing I love, it’s a face oil, I got this as a point perk from Sephora and in between switching up my skin care I decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised, it’s a lightweight, well aborsbing oil, there’s no scent which is also nice, and it’s a little less expensive in comparison to my Fresh Seaberry oil, and there is also a jumbo size.

5. John Freida Sea Waves – very similar to the original from the late 90s early 00s. It enhances my natural waves and give great texture, all for a whole hell of a lot less than Bumble and Bumble Sea Salt Spray. And a lot more nostalgic for me too.

6. NARS Cruella – I’ve always been a red lippie sort of gal, but I, like many struggled to find the right shade and the confidence to pull it off. I have always been team NARS and this is no different. It’s rich deep red with a huge colour pay off, I rarely find myself reapplying. And I love this shade for Autumn/Winter, when deeper matte reds are in order.

7. Earthmama Angelbaby Nipple butter – about 6 months into my pregnancy there was a lot going on with my body, one strange thing that happened was my nipples were so dry that they were flaking.  Regular body lotion and cocoa butter did not work, this was the only product that did the trick. Also great for use on your elbows to smooth them.

8. Bumble and Bumble Invisible Hairdresser’s Oil Shampoo and Conditioner – I got both as a point perk and finally decided to try them, that was a mistake, because I love them and they are expensive! They both smell great, the shampoo makes my hair feel really clean, while the conditioner leaves my hair really soft and manageable. I prefer to use them before a blowout.

9. Water – Legit just drinking a shit ton of water. During this year alcohol and coffee were kept to ridiculously low minimums, and rightfully so, and water stepped up in a big way! Once I calculated how many ounces of water I drank and is was triple digits. It was summer and really hot.

10. Fresh lip balm – I got this as part of a holiday set I got at last year’s VIB Rouge sale and I freaking love it! I didn’t want to because of its steep for what it is price tag and because I have a million EOS lip balm eggs, but I will repurchase in the future. I love the lemony scent, you don’t find that with many Fresh products.

I’m looking forward to work through a lot of my beauty stash again this year and focus on skin care.  I’m looking forward to a healthier 2017, and little by little I will share my skin care and wellness progress.  And on that note it’s time to end!

All for now,

–Kiki–

Title from: Bentley by LDR

So I pacify problems with kisses and cuddles…

Now that I am a full blown Mommy, I thought I might hop back on the posting bandwagon with some of the baby gear J and I love for our little girl!  Being first time parents can be really scary, overwhelming and just plain hard.  All of these products have made our lives a teensy bit easier.

  1. Halo SleepSack Swaddle – This thing is a lifesaver!  Not only does it keep Baby Girl nice and warm, but it also keeps her wrapped up tight, and I don’t have to constantly reswaddle her! As she likes to kick those little legs.  We’ve already had to put her in a 3-6 month size, because she is growing like a weed!  I love how warm it is for her, and it’s much safer than a regular blanket.
  2. Sleep and Play body suits – Since Baby Girl was born in November and it has been pretty cold since then, the terry cloth and fleece body suits have been amazing!  She stays warm, they are easy to launder and they are not too expensive, usually they go on sale for $5.00 or under.
  3. Boppy Pillow – I love this pillow, it is so versatile.  I bought it mainly for nursing, which was such a challenge at first.  But now that she’s bigger we sit her up in it and use it for tummy time.  I would recommend everyone have one, or maybe two!
  4. Kiki the Elephant – Baby Girl is on the cusp of teething, so this will come in handy very soon.  It’s less expensive than Sofie the Giraffe, and it’s name is Kiki!
  5. Mamaroo – Baby Girl had bouts of colic and this bouncy seat was just the ticket.  This thing was not cheap, but worth every penny!  It has five motion options, four sound options, mp3 jack, blue tooth enabled, a soft plushie seat, it’s only about twenty pounds so it’s easily portable and it doesn’t take up nearly as much space as other bouncy seats or swings.  Baby Girl likes car ride and tree swing the best, and if she’s really fussy putting it on the highest speed really helps.

Adjusting to parenthood has not been an easy thing, and I am sure all new parents would agree, but at some point it just gets a lot easier all of the sudden.  I hope this post helps anyone out there who may be struggling, I was there, we all were and it does get better!  This is coming from the girl who thought she would be really terrible at all this mom stuff. And on that note it’s time to end!

All for now,

–Kiki–

Title from: Bathwater by No Doubt

All the gray turns into gold…

A month into the new year and I fell like I am off the a great start to my 2016!  I have been working diligently to optimize my time behind the scenes and deliver some great content!  I’ve also added new Twitter and Facebook pages for B@K’s!  I wasn’t so sure that I would find the time to enjoy anything this month, but alas I was wrong and I enjoyed several things!

1. Shadowhunters – I am a huge fan of supernatural fiction, and I loved The Mortal Instuments movie, so when I discovered that the story was being developed into a series I couldn’t wait!  It’s airing on the new Freeform (formerly ABC Family).  I’ve gone in with a grain of salt, again I loved the movie, but I have not read the books so I don’t know which is better or more true to the series.  I’m really enjoying the show and I’m planning on picking up the books! 
2. New notebooks – A month into the new year and it’s already time for a new notebook.  My Mom got me this totally adorable one with blue and green whales on it!  I’ve already begun filling it with  all of my ideas for B@K!
3. Staying hydrated – I am all about staying hydrated, and this year I am staying on top of it.  It’s so important for your well being, so I’m making it a priority in 2016.
4. iPhone 6 Plus – J and I recently upgraded our phones, and it was a long time coming! I may look like a baby holding an iPad, but it was so worth it!  I am never going back.  It takes way better pictures, it’s fast as hell, and it’s actually responsive!  And there are so many updated features that my old iPhone 4 just didn’t have.  
5. DM boots – I have been lusting after a pair of Doc Marten combat boots for years!  Breaking them in has been a challenge, but it’s so worth it!  I can’t wait to wear them with sun dresses in Spring.  
6. War and Peace – J and I recently started watching War and Peace, on BBC, it’s really well done.  I am a sucker for the classics and this show is right up my alley.  This story has it all!  And Lily James is in it!
I am so looking forward to February and all the possibilities that it can bring.  It also means we are so much closer to Spring…  And on that note, it’s time to end!

All for now
–Kiki–

Title from: Black and White Movies by Andrew McMahon 

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better…

It’s my last update post in January, and it’s pretty had to believe that it’s over already…  This month was filled with inspiration, excitement, and well productivity!  I have been working really hard doing a ton of research on how I can optimize my time.  And the answer was staring me in the face the whole time.  Schedule your posts!  It’s so simple, once you finish a post, schedule it.  By doing so I have posts scheduled well into May!  It really is my new favourite thing!

I have also been working on my content like a crazy person…  I really hope everyone likes where I’m going, because I’m enjoying it.  And when it stops being fun, I should probably stop right?  I have also been trying to add more pictures to my posts.  I’m still not the best photographer/editor, but Ii can say I have learned a whole heck of a lot, and my pictures have come a really long way.

I am also really proud to report that I have hit, and exceeded my goal of fifteen posts for the first month of the year.  I really wouldn’t have been able to do it with out scheduling.  I know I mentioned it above, but it really makes all the difference!  I plan to continue this throughout the year, and I know that it is an attainable goal.

I’m having the hardest time with AdSense, since I switched to self hosted I can’t seem to figure it out.  I have been reading online for days, and I’ve had very little luck in finding how to fix it.  If anyone has any ideas I am open to them!  Please help!

Here’s to February and all that it brings!  I’m really looking forward to have another successful month of blogging!  I hope to be able to at least meet my goal of fifteen posts, take some awesome pictures, share some fun ideas, and just have an all around good month!  And on that note, it’s time to end!

All for now,
–Kiki–

Title from: Getting Better by The Beatles