January 2017 Ipsy Unboxing – Metropolis

This month Ipsy’s theme was Metropolis. This is my favorite bag that I have gotten in the past 7 months! It’s a pretty, pale lilac/blue with little holes in it showing through the icy, steel grey interior – mimicking some of our most incredible skyscrapers.

But the best part is what’s inside:

Manna Kadar 3 in 1 – Fantasy Eye shadow – The eyeshadow is really pretty and perfect for everyday wear. It has an amazing pay off.  This is supposed to be wearable as a highlighter and/or blush, but it’s too dark for me to wear as a highlighter in the winter. It may be a great summer highlight, though! And I’ll have to try it out as a blush and get back to you guys.


Pacifica Blushious in Wildrose – My initial impression is that this isn’t for me. Trying to swatch this was a nightmare – it was almost impossible to get anything to show up. I have no idea how it will actually work as a blush, but I might give it a shot today.


IT Cosmetics -Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Anti-Aging Concealer –The concealer itself is  gorgeous but too dark for my under eyes.  I will probably use it with my other dewy finish foundations as regular concealer. It is a thicker concealer, but it blends out wonderfully and would be great for covering small blemishes and imperfections.


January 17 Ipsy Swatch

Left to Right: Manakadar Eyeshadow, Pacifica Blush, and It Cosmetics Concealer

Lasting Smiles Lip Balm in Passion Fruit Mango – This might be one of the simplest, but most fun products I’ve received from Ipsy.  It’s a clear fruity-scented lip balm, but the company Lasting Smiles was started by Founder Zoe Mesnik-Greene selling them door to door to raise money to fund cleft palate repair surgeries! How amazing is that?! This year, they are going to repair over 300 cleft deformities in babies!


Ciate London Geology Top Coat – Last but, certainly not least, this clear top coat.  You can apply it over any brand of nail polish to turn your at-home mani into a long lasting gel manicure.  I wasn’t expecting much from this, but it rocked my socks. This made my basic Essie Mani last for almost a week and a half. I’m super rough on my nails and am lucky to get 24 hours out of fresh polish, but this was a game changer.  I’ve used this top coat twice since I’ve received it.  You do have to be careful to not to pull to hard when you apply the topcoat or it will drag a little of the previous color layer off the nail.  So be gentle.  And if you get the polish on your fingers (like me – queen of mess), it peels off with ease when it dries.

January 2017 Ipsy Swatches - It Cosmetics Concealer

Left to Right: Manakadar Eyeshadow, Pacifica Blush, and It Cosmetics Concealer Blended

For only $10.00 per month, Ipsy is a great subscription option for those of you who want to try new things or even get a little treat each month in the mail.  I’m always pleasantly surprised with the makeup and skincare products I receive! The bag designs aren’t always my favorite, but they are cute and super handy for keeping my purse organized.  If you want to check Ipsy out, you can use my affiliate link here: Ipsy Beauty Subscription. If you sign up through my link, I do not get any money – I only earn points that can be redeemed through Ipsy’s rewards store. If you have any questions, please let me know!

January Ipsy Unboxing Pinterest Graphic

Are you already signed up for Ipsy? What did you get in your January bag? Let me know and leave me links – I’d love to check them out!

Goodreads: The App Every Book Worm Needs

If you haven’t heard of Goodreads, then stop what you’re doing right now. This is an app you won’t want to miss. First and foremost a huge shoutout to my best friend, Courtney, for introducing me to this app. I probably check this app more than any of the others on my phone these days.

What is Goodreads?

In simple terms – Goodreads is a free app that allows you to keep track of books you’ve read and what you want to read. I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking, “okay, why do I need this so badly?”

Well, when you first sign up for Goodreads, you get to sort through and select your favorite categories and rate books that you’ve read and ones you want to read.  From there, the app will give you further suggestions of what to read. These can also be added to your Want to Read list – more on this later.  You can also connect the app to Facebook and see your friends’ recommendations and what they are reading. Don’t worry, there are no spam notifications/requests on Facebook when using this app. *No more Farmville repeats.

You can update the app to reflect the novel you currently are sucked into and even track what portion of the book you have read by entering the page you are on (no more lending books to a friend who returns them with a bunch of dog-eared pages) or a percentage of the book that you have read.

Good Reads App Icon

Goals and Lists

If you’re anything like me, you love lists – I have them everywhere, which is starting to be a problem since I tend to misplace things.  Well Goodreads can track books that you have read and that you want to read in the future, with your “Read” and “Want to Read” lists. It’s a great way to never forget a book you want to read.

One of my favorite features of the app is the challenge.  At the beginning of the year (or at any point) you can set a goal number of books that you want to challenge yourself to read and as you mark books as read throughout the year, it automatically adds them to your list and to marks another off on your challenge. The app will tell you when you fall behind on reading and will guide you towards meeting your goal. I love it. My challenge for this year is 25 books, which will put me several ahead of what I read last year.

You can rate and review books, as well.  There is the typical 5 star scale and you can leave lengthy reviews about the book.  Additionally, I haven’t found a book I want to read that isn’t on the app yet, including some that JUST launched and aren’t on a popular topic. I’m very impressed with this simple app.

Goodreads currently reading app screen

Goodreads want to read list

As you can see, you can sort through your “Want to Read” list in several different views, search for books, and even scan books you have in your personal library.  The home page allows you to check out what your friends are reading and acts as a news feed for the app. It’s a very simple and intuitive app, that I can’t stay away from.

Whether you’re an avid reader or you’re just trying to get into reading, Goodreads is a must have app.  You’ll never miss a book suggestion again, whether it be over a cup of coffee with your friend, on a radio or podcast, or even an advertisement on the web.  Just grab your phone or tablet and add it to your “Want to Read” list on Goodreads.  They even have a website where you can login and view your account, if you’d rather do it on a webpage instead of your iPhone. Your profile and book picks carry over seamlessly from handheld device to the web. I highly recommend this app/website to anyone who likes a good book.

Have you used this app before or do you have it now? Tell me what you think? What is currently on your reading list? Are you participating in any reading challenges in 2017? Let me know! I’d love to hear about them! I’ve linked some of the books on my “Want to Read” list below!

*There are some affiliate links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site.

Goodreads app post Pinterest Graphic x the kristin review

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Blogging Goals for 2017 (For Small Bloggers)


I know I’m a little behind on getting this post launched, but last July when I started blogging, I had no sense of direction and no purpose for my blog — other than being an outlet for my creativity.  This year I wanted to review my blog and set goals for it and myself that I can strive to achieve.  I’m thrilled to have this challenge.  So without further delay — here’s my list of goals for 2017:

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Winter Skincare Routine

I’m gonna be very honest up front: for a beauty lover I am incredibly lazy when it comes to skincare.  I love to make things as simple as possible.  But when winter strikes, even I amp up my hydration and resort to my winter skincare routine to avoid a dry, irritated face and body.

I know from the photo below it may seem slightly overwhelming, but I promise it isn’t.  I’m going to break it down by what I do, and then I’ll explain my favorite products. Oh and before we dive in, this post contains affiliate links from which I can earn a few pennies.

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Saying Goodbye to 2016

2016 has been, by far, one of the best year’s of my life.  I’ve gone through some major personal changes and have grown up a lot.  So many blessings have come into my life this year and I have learned so much about blogging and myself along the way. I just wanted to spend a few moments reflecting on some of my favorite parts of this year and the habits and things I’ll be saying goodbye to in 2016. View Post