Fall Empties!


I love reading “Empties” posts and vlogs because you can get a true impression of what someone thinks of a specific product.  This batch of empties is for a couple months but hope you enjoy reading about a few of my favorites and a few that I didn’t like! Continue reading

September Beauty Empties!


I love empties videos and posts because we can share with each other the good, bad, and ugly results!

1. Bath & Body Works – Wildberry Hibiscus Hand Soap

I love Bath & Body Works Hand Soaps and you’ll see it showing up pretty frequently because its my go to soap for the bathroom.  This scent was from last summer and it was a nice floral and berry scent. *I will definitely buy more…once I work through my existing stash!*

2. Soap & Glory Clean On Me Creamy Moisture Shower Gel

I liked this.  I love how super moisturizing and bubbly it was when I used it, but despite rave youtuber reviews I wasn’t a fan of the scent.  I’m not even sure how to explain it other then being super girly!  I would say try the travel size like I did before committing to the monster size!  You might like it – my mom liked the scent but I wasn’t a big fan.  One plus was that the scent lingered on my skin for quite a while after I got out of the shower. *I would check to see if there are any other scents available first.*

3. Sephora Super Serum – Super Loaded Age Defy Serum

I was looking for something to treat my dreaded forehead lines.  I used this pretty religiously but didn’t notice any significant differences.  The packaging is also misleading because you have no idea how close you are to being out.  (Design Flaw Sephora!!!) I did take mine apart thanks to a knife edge and some prying and dug out the last bits.  However, once I took it apart I realized that the inside canister is somewhat smaller than the outside. *Not impressed enough to purchase this again…the hunt continues!!*

4. Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover (deluxe sample)

You guys know by now I’m a Clinique girl – it just works on my semi-sensitive skin.  I have several of these free from ordering at Clinique.com and have been working my way through them.  I like it and its the perfect size for travel.  I ran out when I was at my moms and picked up the Equate version that you shake and I’d say its a contender to this and at a fraction of the price. *I’m torn, I love this but love saving a ton of money on Equate…its a toss up if if I’d purchase this again.*

5. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish (deluxe sample)

I really liked this – it had a super fine texture that exfoliated without making me feel like I was damaging my skin.  It was lightly scented and rinsed off nicely.  I would use this at night and after use I would follow up with a nice thicker moisturizer to let my skin soak in all its goodness.  *I would definitely consider purchasing this.*

6. Fresh Sugar Rose tinted lip treatment

I got this like many of you last year from Sephora for my birthday.  I have a love/hate relationship with this product. First off the scent and lemony flavor is sort of a turn off to me.  I prefer unflavored and unscented lip products.  However, I loved the sheer wash of color that it gave my lips.  I did feel like this dried my lips out and found myself reapplying quite a bit.  My biggest complaint was that towards the end the balm got really soft.  I’m not sure if it was getting “old” or what, it lived in my purse and while applying at work, the little quarter inch that was remaining literally came off and dropped onto my shirt…luckily it didn’t stain! *I will not be repurchasing this, it was ok but too many little things I didn’t like about it.*

That is it for my little empties collection – thanks for topping by Gracious Luck today!

First Impressions ~ Clinique Perfectly Real Foundation

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First the deets from Clinique.com

Perfectly Real Makeup $26.00

  • Benefits: Controls Oil
  • Skin Types: 2 – Dry Combination, 3 – Combination Oily
  • My Shade: 08
  • Formula Liquid
  • Coverage Moderate
  • Feels like nothing at all. Yet creates your skin’s most perfected, natural look. Patent-pending* micro-mirrored technology optically resurfaces skin. Ultra-lightweight liquid formula is oil-free, non-acnegenic. *US and International Patents Pending

My Thoughts~

  • Super light weight (I don’t even feel like I’m wearing makeup!)
  • Great buildable coverage
  • After 3.5 hours – I was getting oily in my t-zone 😦 But a blotting paper took care of it!
  • After 8 hours – I had to re-blog with some papers 😦

Confession: I’m sort of a foundation snob!  I bounce between drugstore and department store foundations.  Yet I’m always drawn back to department stores or Sephora because I can be color matched.  That is one thing that’s pretty hard to do in a drugstore.  I went to my local department store this a couple weeks ago and was browsing one of my favorite brands – Clinique when I stumbled upon their foundations.   I’ve never tried any of their foundations but use & LOVE their skincare products and few makeup products like blush, eye shadows, and mascara.

The lady at the counter did my entire face – she explained and demonstrated how it can be built up and in the store it looked amazing!!  I got outside, looked in my mirror and was shocked at how it had settled into my pores (strike 1!) and fine lines (strike 2!) – I couldn’t wrap my head around it since it looked so nice in the store.  Despite settling and oxidizing a tiny bit, I think the big turn off for me was that she applied a much darker bronzer than I ever wear.  Granted, I am pretty light handed with bronzers and blushes – but this pushed me too far outside of my comfort zone.  I prefer a pretty natural look.

I decide to give it a shot at home.  I started with a smashbox primer since I had a meeting that night and don’t have  much time to retouch my makeup between work and the meeting.  I used my real techniques expert face brush and buffed it in.  It applied like a dream.  Its very light and easily built up without getting “cakeface.” I realized in application my lady at the counter might be too new to the job.  She used a flat or paddle style foundation brush and literally painted it on my face for what felt like ten or fifteen minutes.

I did set it with a tiny bit of powder before I left work work.

End of the day report. – It held up pretty well over time.  I only blotted my face with blotting papers to absorb any oil that I typically get in my t-zone.  Obviously my eyeshadow primer didn’t hold up {see pics} but I have oily eyelids and its a miracle for eye shadow to last longer than 6hrs.  It did wear off of my nose since I have crazy allergies that cause me to sneeze and blow my nose a lot.  Otherwise I’m quite pleased with it.  *note* part of its magic is that there is some super fine shimmer/glitter in the foundation.  I didn’t mind this and honestly didn’t even notice until I was reading a couple reviews on clinique’s website.  It is there in sunlight but didn’t show up with the flash from my camera.

Since buying it I’ve worn this foundation for about a week and a half.  I’ve put it through the paces of an outdoor wine tasting and humid night of bar hopping.  Despite sweat – it stayed pretty well.  I didn’t “wipe” my face but did blot randomly because I hate the feeling of sweat on my face!  lol (As if any of us like that feeling?!)

I’d definitely recommend this if you like a lighter foundation that can be built up and feels as if you aren’t wearing anything.  Caution to my oily skin friends – prepare the carry some blotting tissues with you but for the most part it did a great job and I’m happy with the purchase.  If you are true “oily skined” instead of combo – I might shy away from this since I did get some oil in my t-zone throughout the day.

Have you tried this?  What’s your favorite foundation?

Thanks for stopping by Gracious Luck and have a wonderful day!

My Skin Care Regime and a product FAIL …sorry :( Michael Todd Organics


I have been seeing a lot of buzz about Michael Todd Organics skincare.  I have also been on a diligent search to find the perfect skin care regimen.   I have combination skin (I think we all have some varying degree of this) – I have an oily T-Zone but get dry patches on my cheeks.    Right around my early 20’s I started breaking out pretty bad so tried Murad – if you have acne, and want to spend the $ – this stuff worked wonders on my skin.  In the years since (I’m 29…for another month and a half!) I have bounced around between Mary Kay, Biore, Aveeno, Clinique, Garnier, Clarins, and a host of other drugstore and more high end products.

I tend to be pretty cheap but when it comes to skin care, if something works I tend to spend more money on it.  My current favorite line – tried and true for a few years is Clinique.  Recently I saw an offer for Michael Todd Organics and watched several vloggers who are pretty much obsessed with this line.  I ordered a “discovery kit” for combination skin.  First off – its not cheap, five travel sized products was around $30.  While a little goes a long way after about two weeks I have developed acne or some type of reaction.  The breakouts are deep and more annoying than anything.  They are the kind that simply need to dry out and disappear, not that essentially break the skins surface.

I have since quit using that line and gone back to my random mix of drugstore and Clinique to bring my skin back to its normal balance.

Here’s a quick shot of what my current routine consists of.   It works for me so sometimes you have to stick with what you know!

For eye-makeup remover I was a die hard user of Mary Kay.  After my bottle ran out I started rummaging though my stash of product samples that you get with a purchase from department stores or Sephora.  I found Clinique’s and find it comparable to Mary Kay if not better.  Once I run out, I’m going to try out the Up & Up brand that I’ve heard good things about.  As long as it gets eye makeup and mascara off, I don’t care if its Target or Walmart brand!

Then I wash my face with Biore.  I have both the Morning Burst (exfoliates) and the Ice Cleanser.

IMG_20130627_200608I have found that Clinque Liquid Facial Soap Cleanser dried my skin out too much when I used the Combo to Oily version.  I do however love my sample sizes of Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser and Extra Mild Cleanser.  I keep going back to good ole Biore because its a lot cheaper and works just as well if not better for me!

Next step is the Sephora super loaded age defy serum.  I don’t have any “wrinkles” yet but have this forehead crease that drives me nuts.  I’ve used this day and night and have seen a difference.  I also put any excess around my face for helping to “prevent” any future problems!

Last…my holy grail moisturizer.  I’ve tried sooo many times to wean myself from Clinique’s Dramatically Different “GEL” but every time I try it backfires!  Most creams are tooo heavy and greasy and drugstore gels don’t have enough moisture to them.  I did try Garnier Nutritioniste – Moisture Rescue Refresher Gel-Cream  because it was compared by many to Clinique.  It is okay but not close enough for my tastes.

Hope this was interesting and informative for you all! 🙂  I’m always fascinated by people’s reviews of skincare especially if we have similar skin types because you never know when you can stumble upon some great finds.

Thanks for reading & Have fantastic Day!