Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to get the most value out of your BeautyFix Spring box

One more beauty post before I go back to my regularly scheduled programming. This took me way too long to research to not share with the world.

One way in which my newfound obsession with all things beauty has manifested is that I have subscribed to 80 jillion of the subscription services. Not familiar? Check out Birchbox, MyGlam, BeautyArmy, Beauty Box 5, The Look Bag, Testtube, etc.

BeautyFix is similar to the subscription services above, but it's quarterly, you get to pick your own samples (8 of them), and many of them are full sized. It's run by DermStore, so many of the products are skincare related. It's $49.99 a quarter, but first time users can use the code BFBLOG to get $30 off. The boxes are supposed to yield about $100 of product - not bad for a $19.99 investment. Existing members can use the code BFMKUP this Spring (per Makeup Talk Blog, I used the other one so I didn't test it).

I subscribed in a fit of compulsion and wanted immediate gratification, so I didn't really take the time to research all of the products to make sure I was getting the most bang for my buck. I heard that many of the products are repeated each quarter, so I went ahead and did the research after the fact in preparation for next quarter (I'll probably quit at that point - how many skin care products does one person need?)

Rather than looking up each of the products on the DermStore website, I looked them up on Amazon (I wanted to know how much my sample was worth if I bought it in the real world, and I buy 99% of my crap on Amazon). I only had to resort to DermStore a couple of times for discontinued products.

The top 8 most expensive BeautyFix samples are:

1) DermaQuest Skin Vitalight ($63 - not on Amazon)

2) 3LAB M Creme ($47.05)

3) Kinerase Photofacials Night Moisturizer ($41.06)

4) Glytone Acne Self-Foaming Cleanser ($39.00)

5) Lisa Hoffman Beauty Night and Day 2 Vitamin A and C Serum ($39.00)

6) SkinMedica TNS Lip Plump System ($32.77)

7) Chella Enzyme Exfoliating Creme Mask ($30)

8) Jonathan Product Finish Control HS Flexible Hairspray ($30)

Assuming you actually need and would use these products, that means you can get $321.88 worth of product for $19.99. Not bad, eh?

Now for the cheapo BeautyFix samples:

1) Batiste Dry Shampoo Original ($4.70)

2) XEN-TAN Deep Bronze Luxe Mini ($4.64)

3) Degree for Women Body Mist ($4.04)

4) Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist ($3.45)

5) Frais Hand Sanitizer ($3.25)

6) Bioelements Pumice Peel ($3.20)

7) Belli Skin Care All Day Body Lotion ($1.54)

8) Caress Whipped Souffle Body Wash ($1.16)

Some poor suckers could end up spending $50 on $25.98 worth of product. I included a screenshot below of the more expensive stuff so that you aren't one of those suckers. If anyone wants the whole spreadsheet to help make your decisions, email me (diniwilks at gmail) and I would be more than happy to send it to you. I figure my ridiculous OCD + nerdiness has to pay off somehow.

Do you belong to a beauty subscription service? Do you think it's worth it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beauty Talk: Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW

Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I intend to become, a beauty blogger. I'm just a working mom with a passion for nail polish and now (apparently) makeup. If you want high quality, well-lit pics and awesome tutorials, you aren't going to find that here. Think of this as more of a "gabbing about makeup with your girlfriends" session.

In an ideal world, I would just wear mascara, eyeliner, and lip gloss. But, as you know, I have really shitty skin thanks to my rosacea. It's super duper red and has lots of bumpies and dry patches. As part of my plan to care more about what I look like, I am on a quest to find the perfect foundation. I normally wear Clinique's Even Better foundation in Ivory paired with the Superpowder in Matte Ivory. I like Clinique as far as the coverage goes, but NONE of their colors really matches my skin, and it can look a little cakey at times. Not exactly an awesome look for someone who would rather be wearing no makeup at all.

I am on the world's hugest Benefit kick right now (YOU HAVE NO IDEA. NONE.), so it only made sense to start my foundation quest with their new Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow. It's oil free and has SPF 25 Pa+++, both of which are a must when you have rosacea.

I was pretty psyched about the brightening aspect (all of their makeup is so bright and fresh looking) and the anti-aging benefits, not so psyched about the "plumping up" effect. I'm plump enough, thank you very much.

The salesperson at Ulta said that the titanium oxide means that the SPF won't expire. So that's cool for those people who actually throw out their old makeup instead of hoarding the shit out of it. Also, see that blurry thing to the right of the blurry box? I got a free makeup bag with my purchase, a little sample of the POREfessional, and 4 issues of Glamour and Allure that I'll forget to cancel.

It was much runnier than expected - almost like if you left your makeup bag in a hot car and then tried to put some on. Also, they had 9 shades, and only one (Ivory) was even remotely close to being light enough. As you can tell from the swatch, it's still a little to dark for me. Good thing it's summer in March.

I had some time, so I let the Ulta girl do her magic. She put on some of the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion moisturizer, which is super light and smelled AMAZING, and the POREfessional stuff, which I've never really played with (no idea if it did anything). I also had her slap on some Hervana, because I am trying to get over my issues with blush and highlighters (I spent so many years trying to make my face LESS red, that it seems weird to add color - but You Tube tells me I am silly, so I'm working on it). She also put on some of the Hello Flawless powder in Ivory on top (which I already own). The pic above is natural lighting, the pic below is crappy bathroom lighting before and after. The before is kinda unfair though, because I had been playing around with green primer and a cheap foundation - it's not my normal look.

I played around with it some more at home, and here are my thoughts.


- It's definitely buildable; it's nice and light with just one coat, or you can slather it on like they did at Ulta

- It makes your skin feel nice and soft

- It's definitely brightening, and gives me a nice, healthy glow

- It's very hydrating (which might be a con for people who don't want to look dewy)

- It's oil-free and SPF 25 Pa+++


- I wish they had some lighter shades

- I think the most you can build to is medium coverage, not full

- Oddly, I don't like it combined with the Hello Flawless powder. Individually, both products are awesome. Together, they kind of pool in my rough patches and look a little scaly / cakey.

I'm thinking this will be my "nice, summery foundation" for when I'm just hanging around the house or going to the store or to work. I don't think it will work with my winter skin, and it's not full coverage enough for when I want a flawless look. The search continues!

And, because I haven't spent enough money...Do you love Benefit as much as I do? What's your favorite beauty product? Have you found your holy grail foundation?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Diniwilk Stew

  • If anyone was wondering where the heck I've been, I'm still HERE, just crazy busy. Work has been pretty much nonstop, and the kiddos aren't cutting me a break either. Both girls have been sick at least twice over the last couple of weeks, and have decided that naps and bedtimes are for sissies.

  • Speaking of bedtime...Lucia STILL isn't consistently sleeping through the night. We had a breakthrough a few weeks ago, so she's finally staying in her crib all night long. And by breakthrough I mean her tubby butt burned out the swing's motor so it wasn't an option anymore. She still wants to eat 1-2 times a night, and still sometimes has those nights where she fusses from midnight to 4am. I THINK she only really does that when a new tooth is breaking through though. I finally just put a damn air mattress in her room so I can re-binky her from bed when she's having a bad night. She slept from 8-5:30 last night though, so yay!

  • Justin was out of town this weekend doing his version of meeting internet strangers (his gaming buddies all went to Atlantic City). This morning Adriana was crying because she missed him. When I asked why she was crying, she said "I miss Dada because I love him so very much." So very much! This kid kills me.

  • I took the kids to the zoo solo on Saturday, and it was like a whole new world. Lucy was in the stroller and Adriana actually walked the whole time, without whining or running off or anything. I bought her a little flamingo in the zoo gift shop for being so good, which she promptly named Maringo the flamingo. God, I love this age.

  • I have been buying makeup like gangbusters. Does anyone want to see what I got, or want me to post reviews or anything? I personally love stuff like that, but I didn't know if anyone else cares.

  • Assuming that there are some other makeup nerds out there, does anyone have any You Tube beauty gurus you love? I have pretty much seen every video by laurenbeautyy and diamondsandheels14 (if you have bad skin like me, you HAVE TO watch her stuff, she wears tons of makeup but it doesn't look cakey at all)(sorry for the lack of linkage, I'm posting from work). I need some new people to stalk.

  • And now, to end on the cutest picture in the history of the universe...

Friday, March 2, 2012

11 Questions

Ooh, Suzanne of Bebehblog tagged me in a survey/meme thing! I am one of the cool kids now!!!

Post a picture of yourself, tell us 11 things we might not know about you, answer the 11 questions asked of you, then write 11 new questions and tag some friends to play along (let them know you tagged them!)

I took this pic in the pumping room mirror (and approximately 18 others that were less satisfactory, but who's counting). Note my giant nerd glasses. I only paid shipping, so I wanted something fun, but neglected to consider that my face is way too long and narrow for frames this large. When I sent a pic of me in the glasses to Justin, he totally made fun of me. A lot. I was going to send them back, but that requires actual effort on my part. I busted them out again this morning, and Justin said they were "actually kinda cute", which is insane because he has been mocking my large sunglasses for many, many years. I'm still looking for less giant nerd glasses (preferably ones that also don't have a multiplication and division sign on them, WTF), so hit me up if you have any recommendations!

Okay, now for 11 things you might not know...hmmmmmmmmmm...

1) Pre-kids, I was crazy flexible - I could put my legs behind my head and twist both arms around in a full circle. I really want to start doing pilates again to get some of my flexibility back. I am old and creaky now.

2) I once made out with the lead singer of the eels.

3) I have always been the dumper, never the dumpee. Now that I'm married, I get to keep my perfect record forever (divorce is totally out of the question, we would probably stay together out of spite if things ever went south).

4) I love to talk smack, irrespective of whether or not I have the skills to back it up.

5) Both sets of my grandparents owned pizza shops when I was a kid.

6) I still own every Christopher Pike book, and enjoy them just as much as I did when I was ACTUALLY a young adult.

7) I used to have asthma and cat/dog allergies, but I have outgrown it.

8) I am left handed (and will be SO SAD if Lucia is a righty like Adriana and Justin).

9) The only way my hair takes dye is to completely bleach it first. In college, I would bleach out the front and go to town with all colors of manic panic. Some day I will find and post these pictures.

10) Related-ish, I have a tragus piercing and one tattoo.

11) I am going through a midlife crisis or something, I am seriously considering a) laser treatment for my rosacea, b) laser hair removal for several areas, starting with my super dark Italian armpit hair, and c) doing one of those crazy cleanses once I'm done breastfeeding. WHO AM I?

Suzanne's questions:

1. What is your favorite color and has it changed over the years?

I just answered this here! The answer is black, and no, it hasn't really changed over the years. However, I used to HATE pink and now I lerve it.

2. How well do you remember your first kiss? Details, please.
HEH. Adam Boswell, freshman year of high school (he was an 8th grader, I have ALWAYS liked 'em young). He lived next door to my best friend, and I pestered her FOREVER to set up a double date. We made out in a bean bag chair with our braces clinking together, it was all very romantic.

3. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
National parks - I want to visit all of them some day.

4. How many siblings do you have and are they older or younger?
I am the middle child and the only girl.

5. What are the baby names you used to LOVE but haven’t/wouldn’t ever use?
My only real naming regret is that I don't have a Gemma - LOVED this name but Justin wouldn't even let me put it on the list for Adriana. I was going to revisit it for Lucia but we found out our neighbors across the street have a little Gemma. Which was actually nice, because I didn't have to fight the fight - having a neighborhood Gemma automatically disqualifies the name.

6. What was your first car?
A 2000 Chevy Prism. Black, like every car since.

7. How do you feel about trivia games?
I LOVE them and I will beat you.

8. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I pretty much like every job I've had, even McDonald's.

9. What movie do you watch every time it’s on TV (even though you probably own it)?
Mean Girls!

10. Do you collect anything?
Random crap bins? And nail polish.

11. What color is your house and would you change it if you could?
Brick front, white siding, black door and shutters. I would change the style of my house - there are tons of gorgeous tudors on my street.

Questions for you - feel free to play along in the comments even if I don't tag you. If I do tag you and you participate, link in the comment section! I tag Saly, Shalini, Lacey, Heather, Laura, Megan, annnnd...Elise!

1) What are your top five all-time favorite bands?

2) What are your top five all-time favorite books?

3) What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

4) What is your favorite treat?

5) What are you the proudest of?

6) What are you the most ashamed of?

7) What is your guilty pleasure?

8) What are you really, really good at?

9) What does your handwriting look like? (post a pic!!!)

10) Which chores do you refuse to do (or do your best to get out of)?

11) Do you have any tattoos, body piercings, etc.?