• books,  Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday: books on my spring TBR list

    Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we’re tackling the very difficult task of picking out our top ten spring TBRs–and let me tell you, with a TBR pile currently sitting at around 900 books (!), that’s no easy task. However, here are ten of the books that I’m most eager to read in the coming months, now that I can look forward to sitting on the porch in the sun to do so:

    1. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel–I’ve heard so many rave reviews from friends! I’m starting this now.

    2. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell–I really enjoyed The Bone Clocks and am eager to read this so I can see the movie.

    3. The Mistborn series, by Brandon Sanderson–a Christmas gift from the hubby!

    4. Dawn’s Early Light, by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris–I got tired of waiting for the library to get this, so I finally bought it–it was only $6 after all.

    5. A Dance With Dragons, by George R.R. Martin–I’ve held off on it forever, but I’m dying to know what happens next.

    6. The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer–I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series.

    7. Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane–I really enjoyed the movie, hopefully the book is just as good.

    8. Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton–I’ve heard that this is a really good YA pick, and great for fans of The Hunger Games.

    9. The Magicians trilogy, by Lev Grossman–because I love anything to do with magic.

    10. Dust, by Hugh Howey–I need to finally finish the Silo saga and see how it all ends!


  • Beauty,  cruelty-free,  eye makeup,  product review,  skin care

    Product review: Dermalogica Precleanse oil and wipes

    (Disclosure: I received samples of the products mentioned in this post for testing purposes; however I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

    Dermalogica Precleanse

    What it is: Dermalogica Precleanse oil ($38/5.1 oz.) and wipes ($18/20 ct.). Available through major beauty retailers like ULTA or through the Dermalogica website.

    What it does: This lightweight cleansing oil works to dissolve excess dirt, oil and makeup on the surface of the skin prior to regular cleansing, allowing your regular cleanser to penetrate more deeply, resulting in a deeper, better clean. The wipes are biodegradable and travel-friendly.

    I tried it: I feel like the best test of any “precleanse” or makeup remover is what I like to call the “classic Hollywood face”: foundation, liquid liner, mascara, and of course matte red lipstick. These precleansers took it all off with ease, allowing me to move on with my regular cleanser (which isn’t designed to remove makeup, especially around the eyes).  I usually use coconut oil to remove heavy makeup and I think that these were definitely less messy,not to mention they left behind less residue. Neither irritated my skin or eyes.

    Final thoughts: A couple of things keep me from totally loving this duo: first, the price, and second, the long list of less-than-natural ingredients. It’s true that these precleansers are a little less toxic than some others on the market, but they still contain ingredients like phenoxyethanol and a handful of parabens, so they’re not as “green” as I’d like. (You can view the full ingredients list below.) I do have to admit that they’re much less messy than natural oil and if you have nut allergy concerns then these might be a more attractive option. For performance I would give this product a 10/10, and overall a 6/10.

    Ingredients: Oil: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (To-mato) Extract, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Decyl Olive Esters, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben. Wipes: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Mentha Viridis Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Sodium PCA, Sodium Benzoate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Citral, Phenoxyethanol. Dermalogica is listed on the Leaping Bunny website as a bunny-friendly company.

  • books,  product review

    Review: ‘Q&A a Day’ five-year journal from Potter Style

    (Disclosure: I received a copy of this title from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.)

    Five year journal 1

    I think this journal has such a cool concept: it asks you answer a question each day, but instead of setting aside the journal once you’ve finished off the year, you start over at the beginning–recording five years’ worth of answers, so you can see how your feelings and circumstances change over time!

    Five year journal 2

    This is actually a very little book–it fits in my nightstand drawer–but it’s packed with so many interesting questions (who did you want to avoid today? on a scale of 1-10, how sad are you?) that will definitely make you think, and make you reflect as you compare your answers over the years. I really love the design too, from the detailing on the front cover (paper, not leather!) to the gold edging on the pages. It makes such a little book feel so luxe, and I’m really looking forward to writing in it each day over the next several years.

    Do you journal? Do you have a soft spot for pretty journals (like me!)?