Month: January 2016

Product review: StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner

(Disclosure:  I received a sample of this product for testing purposes from iFabbo and StriVectin; however I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner

The product: StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner, $99/1.7 fl. oz. at beauty retailers like ULTA and Sephora or online through Strivectin.com. Catch up with StriVectin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @StriVectin and check out the hashtag #StriVeSTORY for more on the brand.

The claim: A lightweight treatment that combines the power of retinol with skin-soothing hydration for skin that looks smoother and tighter. No irritation, redness or peeling as with traditional retinol treatments.Reduces the visible size of pores and delivers an instant mattifying effect. Wear alone for a #nofilter #nomakeup day or use as a primer under foundation.

I tried it: It seems like ever since I passed my mid-twenties, my skin needs more attention than ever. This winter especially, I’m fighting uneven texture and dullness. It seems like every beauty magazine I’ve opened recently is shouting “retinol!” as a solution but I’ve been leery of trying anything with retinol since it’s notorious for causing irritation, and my skin is already sensitive in the winter.

So, I was really intrigued by this hybrid treatment, which promises long-term skin improvement without any short-term side effects. It layers quite nicely over other skin care products and under makeup without adding shine or making my face feel slick. Worn alone, it gives skin a soft-focus effect that blurs imperfections and lets me skip a full face of foundation.

This product has a very faint, clean fragrance but it fades quickly upon application. I experienced no redness, dryness or other irritation while using it. It isn’t a moisturizer, so you’ll definitely want to layer it—I used it over my facial oil, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

I got several compliments on my skin while wearing this product sans makeup, which surprised me, since I don’t think my skin has been in its best shape this past month. I was very pleased with what a boost I got from a teeny, tiny dollop of product. With the size of the tube and the pump packaging, this will last me quite a while, even if used twice a day as recommended.

In summary: My biggest hesitation with this product is the steep price tag, but considering that a tube will easily last you several months, and if you could snag it on sale, I think it would be a worthwhile splurge.

Anyone else tried the StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner? Any favorite retinol products you can recommend, or are you, like me, a retinol newbie? What’s your favorite skin care product for a no-makeup day?

Top Ten Tuesday: bookish resolutions for 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: New Year's bookish resolutions for 2016It’s been a while since I’ve linked up with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday, so what better way to jump back in then with a New Year’s resolutions post? This week we’re listing our ten bookish resolutions for 2016, and after a long two months of barely reading or book blogging,  I certainly do have a few!

  1. Read more. Period! I’ve only read a couple of books in the past month, largely due to being so busy, but I got a huge stack for Christmas and can’t wait to dig into them.
  2. Get through my ARCs faster. I tend to download them and let them sit and sit and sit. I’d really like to start doing more release-day reviews.
  3. Post more book reviews on the blog. I do monthly roundups, but I’d like to do more in-depth reviews on single titles.
  4. Do more buddy reads. I did a couple this year and loved them.
  5. Be more active in the book blogging community. Linkups, giveaways, tours, etc. I’ve really enjoyed getting in touch with my fellow book lovers around the world and need to spend more time in this community!
  6. Wrap up some of my ongoing series before starting any new ones. Though obviously I won’t be able to wrap up A Song of Ice and Fire any time soon…sad face.
  7. Read some longer books. I tend to skip over long books (400+ pages) even if they sound interesting just because the size intimidates me. I like to flutter from book to book and a book has to be very, very strong to hold my interest for several hundred pages. But I would like to pick up some lengthier tomes this year.
  8. Get through titles before they become movies. Because otherwise I end up not getting to see the movie, either.
  9. Find more Nordic crime to read. It’s one of my favorite genres.
  10. Read more. Did I mention that already?

So what are your bookish resolutions for 2016? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear about them!

Winter icicles: Thought Questions: 309-315

Winter-icicles-Natahsa-Vasiljeva(winter icicles photo by Natasha Vasiljeva via Unsplash)

#309: Who was the last person you said “I love you” to? My husband.
#310: What is your biggest phobia? Probably bugs. I can get past almost anything else but bugs creep me out!
#311: What are some recent compliments you’ve received? That I’m smart. I suppose I’m smart enough.
#312: How many friends do you have in real life that you talk to regularly? Probably two! I have a very small circle of friends.
#313: How much money per month is enough for you to live comfortably? I don’t even keep track…I try to save a big chunk of what I earn for a rainy day. Otherwise I just pay my bills and move along. I’m not a terribly materialistic person.
#314: When was your first impression of someone totally wrong? I thought my husband was your average football-playing small town jock. Obviously I was wrong, because I ended up marrying a sweet, sensitive, smart guy (shhh, don’t tell him his cover’s blown!).
#315: How many hours a week do you spend online? It depends on whether I’m blogging a lot! For those weeks when I blog every day it might be forty hours a week. Other weeks, it might be one or two. It just depends on what I’m doing that particular week.