February Favorites 2016 – Beauty

Hello everyone! Happy Monday ❤

Today, I’m sharing beauty products I’ve come to love in the month of February. Some of these products are old favorites and others can be best described as new discoveries. After placing my February favorites into four little categories (skincare, hair, makeup, and tools), I realized that I didn’t have any nail related favorites this month. I’m currently loving pinky nude tones though and found some great nail inspiration on Pinterest for March.

Feb Fav

It has been getting much warmer here in California, so I had to make some minor adjustments to my skincare routine. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water is an oil-free cleanser that removes dirt, oil, and makeup. This cleansing water is fragrance-free and I find that it doesn’t over-dry my skin. The drawback of this product is you sometimes need to use MANY facial cotton pads to remove stubborn make-up, which can make the process very tiresome. It’s still a favorite product though because cleaning up any mascara or eyeshadow mishaps with q-tips can be done effortlessly.

Since there has been less cloudy rainy days and more sunshine, I was in search for a moisturizer with SPF and rediscovered the Clear Start Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer (an old favorite!). The formula is hydrating, oily skin friendly, and provides SPF 15 without the strong sunscreen scent. It helps with shine control and has become my go-to daily moisturizer. My t-zone is primarily the area where I get oily so I use Daiso Japan Oil Blotting Paper, which is made from traditional Japanese “Mino-Washi” (paper) that contains natural clay to gently absorb excess oil. There’s 100 blotting papers in each package and it’s less than two dollars. The Daiso Japan store doesn’t seem to carry it online, so it might be difficult to get your hands on the product if you don’t have a site near you.

My absolute favorite hair product that I’ve used since February is the Pantene Advanced Care Conditioner. This conditioner has a lovely fragrance and leaves my hair incredibly soft. I highly recommend this product if you’re looking for something that moistures, strengths, and color protects your hair.

As for makeup, I’ve been reaching for Chocolate Bon Bons Eye Shadow Palette by Too Faced Cosmetics because of the rich pigmentation and color selection. I find the shadows in this palette blend beautiful, so you can pretty much create any look with it easily. My favorite foundation currently is Dream Velvet by Maybelline (even though the shade I picked up wasn’t an exact color match… oops). It comes out of the bottle slightly moussey in texture but the formula is lightweight and doesn’t just sit on the surface of the skin. For my brows, I love using Universal Eyebrow Pencil by OFRA Cosmetics. I received it in my January IPSY glam bag and adored the shade, quality, and formula of the brow pencil. I tend to rotate face primers but one that has stuck out to me in February is the Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline. The last makeup product, the Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Mascara by IT Cosmetics, is only a sample size (which I also received from my IPSY glam bag) but makes my lashes thicker and longer.

I finally caved and purchased the Original Beauty Bender. It is on the pricier side but I got a great deal with Birchbox and received many other goodies along with it. I love the airbrushed finish it provides and I feel that in makes all the difference when I apply any foundation. Another beauty tool I’ve come to love is the super affordable Eye Crease Brush by e.l.f. Cosmetics. The brush comes in handy when you want to blend and contour corners of your eyes (for only $1!). I also use the Blush Brush from the e.l.f. Studio line, which is vegan friendly and a slightly more durable brush.

Sincerely, Ingrid Nicole

What are your February favorite beauty products?

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IPSY BAG | February 2016

Pretty in #ipsypink






Ipsy is an online beauty subscription where you sample five different products (mascara, eyeshadows, etc.) mailed in a collectible bag. There’s a lovely theme each month and the products you receive are personalized according to your answers in a quiz, which is taken at the beginning of the subscription.

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!

I received my February Ipsy glam bag and the theme “Pretty in #IpsyPink” this month is my favorite by far. It’s completely inspired by the 80s romcom Pretty in Pink movie! (If you have the time, please watch the movie… It’s a classic.) The collectible glam bag for February has a textured design on front, which reminded my younger brother of Minecraft (thus making the bag cool to him lol), and a shiny hot pink backside. I love the look of the bag and have been using it ever since it arrived. The products mailed to me this time ranged from hair oil mist to nail polish, so a good mix and change from last months Ipsy bag.

The products I received February 2016:

  1. Vitamin B5 Weightless Oil Mist by OGX
  2. Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand by Josie Maran Cosmetics
  3. Sparkling Lip Gloss (Pink Sequin) by VINTAGE Jessica Liebeskind
  4. Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer (Neutral Medium) by IT Cosmetics
  5. Pink Gel Coat by Perfect Formula

Sincerely, Ingrid Nicole

Next time: February Favorites

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Too Faced: SWEET on you set

Too Faced Cosmetics is a cruelty-free makeup brand with a mission to inspire “unapologetic glamour and femininity.” They produce quality beauty products with lovely packaging and encourage you to #ownyourpretty. After discovering their SWEET on you set, an online [holiday] exclusive, I placed an order immediately because it contained an eyeshadow palette of my choice AND many other goodies.

Sweet on you set


As you can see, the box my order was shipped in is glamorous. It’s pink and I love it. The products inside the pretty pink box arrived intact and to my surprise, included samples of Too Faced bronzers and BB cream as well (thank you TF!). The SWEET on you set was a perfect holiday exclusive for me because I was able to get Too Faced’s new eyeshadow palette and try their best-sellers (something I’ve wanted to do for sometime now). This SWEET on you set included

The Chocolate Bon Bons packaging is absolutely charming. The palette has a decent sized mirror on the inside and 16 unique (scented!) eyeshadows. Each eyeshadow is smooth, buttery, and has a great color-payoff. The collectable makeup bag I received in this set is the perfect size to hold the palette, mascara, and lipstick.

I tried the Better Than Sex mascara for the first time and I must say, I’m impressed. The mascara lengthened my lashes and held a defined curled that lasted all day. I’m excited to try their new waterproof formula coming out in March. As for the mini Melted lipstick I received, the color sadly wasn’t my favorite from the line and I wish I was given the option to choose a more neutral shade. Overall, the formula and pigmentation of the lipstick is stunning, but I still have to test whether or not it’s truly a “long-wear” lipstick.    

Chocolate Bon Bons

Sincerely, Ingrid Nicole

Next time: February 2016 IPSY bag

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IPSY BAG | January 2016

IMG_4515Ingrid, what is Ipsy?

Ipsy is an online beauty subscription where you sample five different products (mascara, eyeshadows, etc.) mailed in a collectible bag. There’s a lovely theme each month and the products you receive are personalized according to your answers in a quiz, which is taken at the beginning of the subscription. Intrigued? Visit their site for more details.

January 2016 IPSYI’ve been subscribed to Ipsy for almost half a year now and so far I have no complaints. Sure I prefer certain bags and products over others, but overall the beauty subscription is a fun treat I look forward to every month. It’s a new year and the theme Ipsy created for the month of January is “All Eyes on You“. The bag’s design had the same graphic repeating on the front but varied in color.

IPSY Glam Bag | January 2016

The products I received January 2016:

  1. Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Lavender Bloom by Pixi
  2. Mr. Write (Now) by theBalm Cosmetics
  3. Universal Eyebrow Pencil by OFRA Cosmetics
  4. Smudge Brush by Beau Gâchis® Paris
  5. Travel Size Glacial Cleansing Cloths by skyn ICELAND

Sincerely, Ingrid Nicole

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Bath & Body Works Haul – PART THREE


   PART THREE – Aromatherapy Body Wash and Lotion


Whenever I pay a visit to my local Bath & Body Works store, they’ve either launched a new line or released seasonal exclusives. During their Semi-Annual sale, products from their new lines AND seasonal exclusives were up for grabs. It was quite exciting. I found some pretty great deals (details in Part One and Part Two) and will share the last two products I bought, wrapping up this B&BW Haul segment.

The Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy line includes products that range from stress relief body washes to sensual lotions. For the longest time, I’ve wanted the Sleep Body Wash and Sleep Body Lotion because 1) The Black Chamomile [soothing] fragrance is AMAZING, and 2) The packaging is so sleek. I bought and tried this duo for the first time and I must say, I’m very pleased with it. I don’t know if it’s thè reason why I slept so well that night, but it left my skin so incredibly soft.

This limited edition formula is infused with Bamboo Charcoal Extract to help detoxify before sleep and Chamomile Essential Oil to Enhance sleep.


Next time: January 2016 IPSY BAG

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Bath & Body Works Haul – PART TWO


    PART TWO – Shower Gel and Body Lotion


Happy Monday everyone! Last week I shared Part One of my Bath & Body Works haul and as promised, today will be part two! During the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale, I purchased some old favorites (details in part one) and a few NEW products I never tried before.

At the time of the Semi-Annual Sale, most of their seasonal winter line products were on sale, so there wasn’t much left by the time I got there. I stumbled upon the Snowkissed Sugar line though and instantly fell in love with its sweet wintery scent. It’s a great mixture of sugar, chilled coconut, and vanilla orchid. There was just a single bottle of the shower gel remaining and something along the lines of, “I am the chosen one,” and “It’s meant to be,” crossed my mind when I picked it up.

I purchased both the Snowkissed Sugar Shower Gel and Snowkissed Body Lotion, which is now my go-to winter dynamic duo, during the sale. These products are great for the skin since they’re both infused with Shea and Vitamin E. The shower gel provides a bubbly lather and a pleasant fragrance when in use. And Unlike other lotions, the Snowkissed Sugar Body Lotion doesn’t leave my skin sticky or greasy. The formula is soft on the skin and keeps it hydrated for most of the day after application. These products are part of the seasonal lines though, so it could be difficult to track down now if you’re interested. Good luck!


Next time: Part 3 of the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale haul

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Bath & Body Works Haul – PART ONE


    PART ONE – Hand Soaps and Candles


Hello everyone and welcome to the Ingrid Nicole: Alive & Living blog! During the holidays, I took a much needed break from the (occasionally stressful!) college life by traveling to the great Salt Lake City, Utah. I was able to spend quality time with family and experienced magical snowy winter days. I live in a part of California where snow is rarely seen, so waking up to a lovely town covered in a blanket of snow was quite exciting.

While in Utah, I did a “little” shopping with family relatives. Station Park, a plaza filled with different attractions, was by far one of the greatest shopping destinations during my visit. There was a wide range of shops at Station Park, but Bath & Body Works’ large and bright “Semi-Annual Sale” signs drew me in. The store was up to 75% off select items and I found myself purchasing some old favorites and picking up new things.


My all-time favorite hand soaps are from Bath & Body Work’s Gentle Foaming line, which contains Aloe and Vitamin E. The formula washes away impurities without drying out my skin (great for the winter) and there’s several fragrances to choose from. It looks like a liquid hand soap but when you go to pump the product out, it turns into foam. Above are the three fragrances I routinely purchase: Kitchen LemonEucalyptus Mint, and Peach Bellini. I picked up two of each during the semi-annual sale and discovered they also carry these same fragrances in a different line, Deep Cleansing, which is an exfoliating bead-like soap.

The Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale also included some of their three-wick candles. I had purchased the Oahu Coconut Sunset last summer because of it’s subtle sweet tiger lily scent. I thought the ombre design was unique and so wanted to buy another one. My Bath & Body Works store back home didn’t carry the Hawaii line anymore so when I found it hidden behind other candles during the sale, I was thrilled! I’m not sure if Bath & Body Works will continue the Hawaii line but you can find some great deals here!


Next week: Part 2 of the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale haul

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