Category Archives: makeup

Makeup, skin care, and hair care empties

I have been lucky enough to write a few reviews of skin care and hair care products over the years, but I thought it would be interesting to do an “empties” review of beauty products I have actually finished, or emptied. This idea came from a series of similar empties reviews from the Franish blog, and as Fran states, “I firmly believe that initial impressions aren’t sharing the full story, but continued use lets me give a more thorough and honest review of the product.”

Please note that I get commission for affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

Brow pencil

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Billion Dollar Brows pencil

First up, I received a brow pencil from Billion Dollar Brows back in Dec. 2015 — see my initial review of Billion Dollar Brows here — and I finally used up that pencil a couple of months ago. It’s a good, sturdy brow pencil that doesn’t wear off quickly, and the “taupe” color blends in well with my dark colored brows. I’ve used this brow pencil on its own, as well as in combination with the Billion Dollar Brows brow powder, also in taupe.

I noted that Billion Dollar Brows products were sold in Kohl’s stores, so I bought a new Billion Dollar Brows “micro” brow pencil, which a thinner tip, just to see if I liked the thinner tip better. Jury’s still out on that one — I’ll let you know! You can buy the original “universal brow pencil” here and the “micro brow pencil” here.

Sunscreen

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Aveda sunscreen

I’m now on my third bottle of the Aveda Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid SPF 30, which I originally bought and wrote about in my “Getting serious about skin care” post two years ago. I put this sunscreen on over my moisturizer on a daily basis. It’s light but not greasy, and it doesn’t dry out my skin, which is already on the dry side. The slim size also works for when I’m traveling!

Moisturizer

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Aveda moisturizer

I originally bought and wrote about the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Soft Creme moisturizer in my “Getting serious about skin care” post two years ago, and I am now on my fifth (or sixth?) container of this moisturizer. There’s a “soft creme” and a “rich creme” version, and my dry skin does better with the “soft creme” moisturizer. After washing my face in the morning, I put on this moisturizer. It sinks in while I get dressed, and then I put on the sunscreen, which I detailed above. I actually have TWO bottles of this moisturizer at any given time, one upstairs in our half-bath, and one downstairs in the medicine cabinet in the full bath, for when I take a shower in the morning.

I love this moisturizer because it feels light and non-greasy, but it’s heavy enough to take care of any dry patches on my skin. I’ve definitely noticed that I haven’t experienced hardly any dry patches on my skin since I started using this moisturizer.

Concealer

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Aveda concealer

I have just about used up this tube of Aveda concealer in “02 Balsa,” and I have already purchased another tube for when I finally empty this one. I basically use this as both a concealer and light foundation, and I put it on over the sunscreen and Aveda All Sensitive body formula oil which I use as a primer. I don’t wear concealer every day, but I do like that I save steps with this product, which is light but also heavy enough to smooth out my skin.

Deodorant

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Native deoderant

I switched to this natural deodorant about a year and a half ago, which I wrote about in this “Everyday faves | Native deodorant” post in April 2017. I’m now on my third tube of the “Lavender & Rose” scent, which is very subtle and not overpowering (I also have two tubes of this deodorant in other scents, but this scent is my favorite). I also have a mini-size of this same scent in my handbag organizer, which has definitely come in handy. I really love this deodorant, including the free and fast shipping, and especially the super-positive and funny communications from the Native brand.

If you’re also interested in trying out Native deodorant, then you can get a FREE travel-size deodorant with your next purchase by clicking this link. Plus, Native ALWAYS has free shipping and free returns. (Please note that the link above is a referral link. This means when you get a free travel-size deodorant, then I’m eligible to get one, too. #GoNative!)

Dry shampoo paste

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of dry shampoo paste

I first wrote about how I use this R+Co. Badlands dry shampoo paste here in this “Everyday faves | Dry shampoo paste” post back in November 2016. I still use this dry shampoo paste on a weekly basis, and I’m just about finished with my first pot of the paste. I will definitely be buying another one! I love how this dry shampoo paste helps shape my short hair, and it extends time in-between washings. I can use it with either damp or dry hair, and it works whether or I air-dry or blow-dry my hair. My hair is on the thin, dry side, and this dry shampoo paste helps tame any flyaways, provide structure and hold for my hair — and it smells great! Highly recommended.

Shampoo + conditioner

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Finesse shampoo + conditioner

I received my first bottles of Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner via a Brandbacker campaign back in March 2017, as detailed in my “Review of Finesse shampoo + conditioner | Restoring my hair after a long winter” post. In the pic above are my second bottles of the shampoo + conditioner, and I’m just about to purchase my third bottle of the Moisturizing Conditioner.

(Note: I’m currently switching between using the Finesse shampoo and the Shiny Leaf Argan Oil shampoo, which I reviewed earlier this year here, which explains why I’m replacing the conditioner faster than the shampoo.)


So that’s my first “empties” review of beauty, skin care, and hair care products I’ve emptied. Do you like this kind of review? Would you like me to revisit my empties from time to time? Please leave a comment and share — I appreciate your feedback!


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Lypsyl lip balm review

Y’all know I love me some lip balm — I’ve even written an entire post last year about it being an “everyday fave” — so when I got an opportunity to work with Lypsyl, a Swedish lip care brand, I was super excited to try out a new lip balm! Please note that I was provided two complimentary Lypsyl Intense Protection lip balms in Original Mint, and my following review reflects my own experiences, thoughts, and writing.

Librarian for Life + Style | Lypsyl lip balm review

So who’s Lypsyl?

Lypsyl is a lip care brand that originated in Sweden over a hundred years ago. I had admittedly not heard of Lypsyl myself, so I did what any self-respecting librarian would do — ask an expert! I contacted a Swedish librarian colleague, one I had worked with overseas and have stayed in touch with since, about Lypsyl’s lip balm, and here was her response, verbatim:

“It’s the one and only, the oldest, and a very well known brand in Sweden.”

I was quite impressed with that succinct summation, straight from a Swedish source! (Are you also impressed with my alliteration? 😉 ) Bottom line? Lypsyl is legit.

Lypsyl also does not test products on animals. You can find out more about Lypsyl here on their website and here on their Facebook page.

What’s in the Lypsyl lip balm?

As you can see in the packaging below, the Lypsyl lip balm is made with pure Swedish beeswax, organic shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamins A and E.

I’ve found other beeswax products to feel a little heavy sometimes, but not with this lip balm — I think the shea butter and coconut oil help make the texture glide on more smoothly. I have worn this lip balm every.single.day the past week, and I have not experienced any odd bumps, lumps, or gloopy bits. (Technical terms, y’all.) The mint gives a little cooling tingle when you first put it on and provides a nice fresh scent mixed in the beeswax.

Librarian for Life + Style | Lypsyl lip balm review

What do I like about this lip balm?

I like the reliably smooth feel of the lip balm as well as its smell of mint and beeswax. I like that the lip balm size is a bit larger than most other lip balms, so you’re getting more product for the price, plus the wider surface makes for a smoother, more efficient application on the lips. Basically one swipe on the bottom lip, one swipe on the top lip, and you’re done!

Speaking of price, it’s only $2.99! So that’s another plus. And it’s available at major retailers, including Walmart (and Walmart.com) and Meijers.

The packaging is also super-cute, with the honeycomb shape of the external packaging, as seen above, and the little bee slider on the side to push up the lip balm, as seen below. The color and shape of the lip balm feel a bit retro to me, which also makes me smile.

Librarian for Life + Style | Lypsyl lip balm review

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out Lypsyl mint lip balm

What do I NOT like about this lip balm?

Honestly, I like just about everything about Lypsyl lip balm!

The little bee slider on one of the lip balms did stick a bit for me, so I had to use two hands to balance the lip balm to move up the slider. But that is a very minor point, and it didn’t detract from the quality of the lip balm itself at all.

Below are photos of me carrying and holding the Lypsyl lip balm, so you can get an idea of its size and scale.

Librarian for Life + Style | Lypsyl lip balm review

Librarian for Life + Style | Lypsyl lip balm review

Keeping the Lypsyl lip balm handy

So y’all know that I love love love lip balm and have it stored just about everywhere, including at home, in the car, and at work. And as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been wearing Lypsyl pretty much non-stop the past week. I’ve put one of the Lypsyl lip balm sticks in my handbag organizer, which I then switch out from purse to purse, so it stays with me wherever I go. And I’ve put the other Lypsyl lip balm stick on my nightstand for easy access when I’m at home.

Librarian for Life + Style | Lypsyl lip balm review

Librarian for Life + Style | Lypsyl lip balm review
Have you ever tried Lypsyl lip balm? Are you interested in trying it out? Are you also a lip balm junkie like me? Please leave a comment and share! 😀


Full Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, in conjunction with BrandBacker and Lypsyl. I received two samples of Lypsyl Intense Protection lip balms in Original Mint in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own and 100% honest.


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DIY Halloween costume | Dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

This is my fifth (!) consecutive year to dress up for Halloween by putting together a costume from items already in my closet. Five years of DIY no-cost costumes!

Here’s a quick trip down Halloween memory lane:

This year, I had two costume ideas, both for strong women action heroes in recent pop culture movie hits. So I decided to do them both! That’s right, you get two (!) DIY Halloween costume posts from me this year.

First up, I realized I had pieces already in my closet to dress up as Wonder Woman from the recent 2017 film version… or rather, Diana Prince as she looks after she’s tried on costumes to “blend in” with 1918 London. So yes, I’m dressing in a costume… of Diana Prince in a costume. It’s so meta! 😉

I searched for inspiration photos, and I created a “Wonder Woman / Diana Prince inspiration board” on my Pinterest account.

Librarian for Life + Style | Wonder Woman / Diana Prince inspiration board on Pinterest

For my own version of the costume, I put together:

  • Wonder Woman tee (also remixed here, here, and here)
  • Knit jacket/blazer (which I’ve had for ages!)
  • Long brown skirt (also remixed here and here)
  • Brown hat with a wide brim (borrowed from my husband)
  • Brown chunky heels (also remixed here and here)
  • Bronze bracelet cuffs (from a craft store months ago)
  • Brown belt (also borrowed from my husband!)
  • Bit of gold braided ribbon (to represent the “lasso of truth”!)
  • Gold rope knot earring studs (to echo off the “lasso of truth”)
  • My own glasses!

And mad props to my husband, Sam, for creating this photo graphic below of me in my Diana Prince costume with a composite reflection of Wonder Woman in the window. AMAZING.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

 

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince, closeup

For the makeup, I went for the more natural and apple-cheeked look that Gal Gadot has as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince, as seen here in this screenshot. I put on foundation all over my face for a smoother, more even finish, then I filled in my eyebrows a bit and added dark brown eyeliner. I put on a neutral lip stain, and added pink blush to mimic the perpetual rosy glow Wonder Woman has. As someone who doesn’t normally wear blush, the fact that I really liked the effect of this makeup surprised me!

And below are additional closeups of the details I put in the costume, including bronze cuffs peeking out of my knit blazer and a bit of gold braid left over from a previous craft project that I pinned underneath my blazer to serve as my favorite Wonder Woman prop, the “lasso of truth.” Did you also notice my gold rope knot earrings above? Yep, an additional little wink to the “lasso of truth”! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

I never worry too much about exact accuracy with these DIY costumes — it’s really more about the overall effect. I don’t have a long blazer jacket and matching long skirt like Diana Prince did in the movie, but this shorter knit blazer and long brown skirt combo sufficed. And she wears a navy hat with a rounder shape and brim in the movie, but my brown hat (borrowed from my husband Sam!) served as a nice substitute, as it is bigger than a regular fedora and has a brim that I can tilt slightly to one side like she does in the film. And of course, the Wonder Woman tee is not period — LOL! — but it’s a cheeky nod to my costume and inspiration.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

We took photos this past weekend in front of two theater buildings in Tacoma, the Pantages Theater and the Rialto Theater. The reason? I wanted backdrops that matched the 1918 time period of the film — and both the Pantages and Rialto Theaters opened in 1918! The Pantages Theater opened in January 1918, and the Rialto Theater opened a few months later, in September 1918. You can read more about the history of these two historical buildings here on this site.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of Pantages Theater in Tacoma

Collage of Pantages Theater in Tacoma

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of Rialto Theater in Tacoma

Collage of Rialto Theater in Tacoma

Librarian for Life + Style | Catching Wonder Woman/Diana Prince snapping a pic of the Rialto Theater sign!

Catching Wonder Woman/Diana Prince snapping a pic of the Rialto Theater sign!

During our photo shoot, we tried to get in as many of the details as possible of these historical and beautifully restored buildings! Below are some closeups of the details in the external lobby of the Rialto Theater.

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

Librarian for Life + Style | DIY Halloween costume, dressing up as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince

I posted this costume early, but I will be wearing this exact Wonder Woman / Diana Prince costume on Halloween next week. And yes, I have to teach AGAIN on Halloween, so my students will be seeing this costume up close! 😀 Are you planning on wearing a costume for Halloween? Please leave a comment and share.

And be sure to tune in on Friday for my second DIY, no-cost Halloween costume idea!

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Casual Friday Pride

I showcased this new tee in last month’s monthly budget post, and I wore it on a day in which I knew I would be attending an art gallery reception immediately after work. So this is another example of a “day-to-night” outfit for me.

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Pride tee + casual Friday summer work outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Pride tee + casual Friday summer work outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Pride tee + casual Friday summer work outfit

I seriously got SO MANY compliments on this outfit from work colleagues, which I wasn’t expecting. Tacoma Pride!      

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Pride tee + casual Friday summer work outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Pride tee + casual Friday summer work outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Pride tee + casual Friday summer work outfit

We took these photos at a little Japanese friendship garden. I’ve been wanting to take photos here for awhile — I’m so glad it worked out this day!

I was also really pleased that I was finally able to get a good photo of these tuxedo-stripe jeans, so you could get a sense of how the black stripe looks against the dark denim, without me having to lighten the photo.

It was a happy accident that I happened to be wearing my “Rockstar” nail polish while wearing my Tacoma Pride tee. This nail polish is bright pink but includes all colors of the rainbow if you look close! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Rockstar pink manicure and cherry blossom lipstick closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Rockstar pink manicure closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Tacoma Pride tee + casual Friday summer work outfit

Weather:  Clear and perfect

Where:  Casual Friday at the library and an art show reception after work

What:

  • Tee:  Tacoma Pride Festival, new
  • Blazer:  The Limited, over a decade old
  • Skinny jeans:  LOFT, old
  • Sandals:  Lands’ End, old
  • Rose earrings:  Local boutique in Portland, old
  • Nail polish:  Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in “Rockstar Pink
  • Lipstick:  Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in “Cherry Blossom

Shop my outfit:

very similar classic black blazer  //  similar Pride tee  //  tuxedo-stripe jeans  //  exact lipstick  //  exact nail polish  //  similar black flat sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Pride tee + blazer outfit combo

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Experimenting with lip liner and lip stains

I’ve been experimenting lately with layering lip stains over lip liner, so I thought I’d document it (finally) for the blog. If you’re a longtime reader (thank you!), then you know that I’ve long loved lip stains, and I’ve written before about layering lip stains over other lip stains, like here in this post.

Recently, I’ve liked the look of layering neutral-colored lip stains over my red lip liner. Here are the steps I do to achieve this subtler take on the classic red lip:

Step 1. Choose liner and lip stain

Librarian for Life + Style | Experimenting with lip liner and lip stains, choosing products

Details:

Step 2:  Outline lips with the lip liner

Librarian for Life + Style | Experimenting with lip liner and lip stains, lining with red lip liner

Funny story:  After I’d lined my lips but before I’d filled in the liner, as seen above, Sam stopped outside the bathroom to ask me something. While I answered him, he had a funny look on his face — he said it was mesmerizing to watch the lip liner “move” while I was talking. Hah!

P.S. It feels so weird to take selfies in the bathroom for makeup posts.

Step 3:  Fill in the rest of lips with the lip liner

Librarian for Life + Style | Experimenting with lip liner and lip stains, lip liner all over

I generally prefer to fill in my entire lips with lip liner, just to have a more natural look for when the lipstick or lip stain on top fades or comes off. The trick is to choose a non-drying lip liner. I really love this L’Oreal Colour Riche line of lip liners because it doesn’t dry out my lips.

Step 4:  Blot, and then layer the neutral lip stain over the lip liner

Librarian for Life + Style | Experimenting with lip liner and lip stains, final product

The neutral lip stain not only adds shine to the lip liner, but it softens the color a bit. I’ve really enjoyed how it’s not a bright red but also not a coral. It’s this nice in-between color, one with depth to it, thanks to the combination of the liner and lip stain. And because it’s lip stain, it doesn’t feel as “high stakes” as red lipstick, if that makes any sense.

Step 5:  Enjoy!

Here’s how this exact lip liner + lip stain combo looks in natural light:

Librarian for Life + Style | Experimenting with lip liner and lip stains, final look

I also did the same lip liner + lip stain trick for our Audrey Hepburn style inspiration mini-series, as you can see in the color version of the closeup below:

Librarian for Life + Style | Layered lip liner and lip stain, Audrey Hepburn style inspiration closeup

Do you like wearing lip stains? Have you enjoyed experimenting with layering lipsticks or lip stains? Please leave a comment and share! 🙂


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp