FIFTH AND ADAMS

Fifth and Adams was created by Holly to showcase her love of all things beauty, food and fashion with a sprinkle of lifestyle elements thrown in.

Morning & Evening Skincare Routine

My skincare routine is an ever-changing system. The more I learn about my skin and its weird quirks the better I am able to treat it, plus I am the guinea pig that loves always trying new things (this may not be the best for your skin...or mine).

My skin is sensative, combonation / oily and acne prone. After years of using harsh skincare I have learned (for my skin) that less is more. Less harsh and less products seem to keep my skin calm, with less redness and less breakouts.

Morning Skincare 2014.jpg

In the morning my skincare is very basic, I don't even wash my face most mornings, many of you may be disgusted by this, but I find I don't need to cleanse after doing a deep cleanse at night. Instead of washing my face I have been using the L'oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution (sadly I picked this up in the UK and I don't know if it is coming out here. For something similar try Bioderma or Sephora's Version), which is like a very mild mild mild toner. It helps remove any excess makeup as well as gently remove any excess oil and impurities.

I simply follow up with my new favorite moisturizer, Mary Kay Timewise Moisturizer and with a hydrating eye cream, like the Bobbi Brown one.

Evening Skincare 2014.jpg

In the evening my routine is a little more complex, some times I will pair it down if I am feeling lazy or too tired (let's admit that some nights you just can't be bothered).

Starting on a dry face (full of makeup), I apply Lush Ultrabland balm cleanser (I love balm cleansers) which helps gently breakdown your makeup as well as cleanse your face. Typically I remove the cleanser with a warm damp wash cloth or, occasionally, I will use a makeup wipe (if I am feeling particularly lazy). Some nights I just stop here, cleansing wise, especially if my skin is feeling particularly sensative, then move onto serum and moisturizers.

If I am feeling the need for a deep cleanse, I will follow up with the Mary Kay Timewise 3 in 1 Cleanser (I have been loving the Mary Kay line, because it is both fragrance and oil free (the bad kind) and is very mild). It has a few (empasis on few) little exfoliating beads to help keep you smooth in between exfoliating (more on that in another post).  

While you sleep your skin does a lot of it's repairing, I like to use this time to use a serum that will help my skin look better and more radiant during the day. My go to serum of late has been the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, it is a lightweight oil (the good kind) serum. Since using it I have noticed my skin is less red and more glowy in the morning. I know the price tag is expensive at $46 for 1 fl oz, but you only need about 4-5 drops for your entire face, I am pretty sure this bottle is going to last me for an entire year.

Even with oily skin, I find that my skin looks better and produces less oil when using both an oil based serum and a heavier moisturizer in the evening (no necessarily together, but together is how I have been doing it. especially in the winter). The moisturizer I have been reaching for is Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, it sinks in the skin quickly leaving it moisturized and soft. 

Of course I also use my Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream again, because nobody wants wrinkles.

Then I finish up my skincare routine with not really a skincare item, but I decided to throw it in the mix. For the last 2 years, I have been using Rapid Lash on and off, when I am consistent I definitely notice a difference. My lashes are a little bit longer, but mostly they are thicker and more lush. It is worth every penny of its $30 something price tag. I have never tried any of the high end, doctor required, eyelash serums, I took a chance on this one and it has definitely paid off. So far I have finished 3 tubes of this, and I will forever buy it and use it. 

There are more things to my skincare routine that I did not discuss, such as face masks and exfoliators, because I do not use them on a daily basis. In the next few days I will have another post including all my skin care extras that I like to use to pamper myself.

What are some of your favorite skin care products?

Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polish Review

When I am walking around the drugstore I always make a point and check the new releases. I noticed these new Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polishes and I was immediately intrigued. I have seen scented nail polishes in the past but I have never given them much thought. There has been a small buzz about these around the beauty community, so I thought I would give them a try. 

Transient

The two shades I picked up are a lovely dark eggplant purple with a slight micro shimmer called Wild Violets and a shimmery mint with blue glitter called Wintermint (I swear it is a dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream, but since I don't own it I cannot do a side by side comparison). 

Transient

The formula is really nice (not too thin not too thick) and goes on opaque in 2 coats. The polish lasted well with few chips, considering I type all day everyday. The lasting power of nail polish is greatly extended when you use a good base and top coat. During my test period I did not use a top coat because I wanted to see the finish without, as well as experience the full scent of these scented polishes.

The polish dried with a nice shiny finish, not quite as shiny as when I use top coat, but definitely an acceptable amount of shine for when you are in a rush and don't want to bother with the final step. 

Transient

You can stop holding your breath because now we are going to talk scent. While applying the nail polish, it smelled like, well...nail polish. The same toxic scent that all nail polishes have.

As the nail polish dried and the toxic scent dissipated I noticed the true scent. It is quite strong in the beginning, but also fades after about 5 minutes like the toxic smell. You can still smell the scent a few days later, but you have to be really close to smell it.  I don't know if using a top coat with affect the smell of the polish because I didn't use any (mostly because I couldn't find my topcoat anywhere). 

The Wild Violets smelled very floral but kind of chemically floral (obviously considering the name), I am not a huge floral scented fan but it was nice. My favorite of the two was Wintermint, I loved the sweet minty scent, it was a nice scent to smell after the toxicity of painting your nails. 

Scent aside this is a good nail polish, the opaque formula, the average lasting power (I want to test this out more, properly, with a top coat). The scent is a nice gimmick, but let's be real, I won't be buying any of these just for the scent. I would recommend that if you have been eyeing Deborah Lippman's Mermaid's dream and don't feel like shelling out $19 (WOW) then I would definitely pickup Wintermint.

Have you tried any of the Revlon Parfumerie nail polishes? What is your take?

Holiday Gift Guide : Stocking Stuffers

Long time no see. I have been in a rut ever since I returned from my vacation a few weeks ago. Call it "return from vacation blues". I struggled with getting a lot of things done that needed to happen (like unpacking, I finally finished that this weekend). Anyways excuses are excuses and I am sorry that I neglected you during my rut. I hope that my absence made your heart grow fonder.

Lets get on with the holiday show....STOCKING STUFFERRRSSS!! (sorry I am obsessed with stocking stuffers).

HolidayGiftGuide Stocking.jpg

I can't help myself but always buy a bunch of stocking stuffers when buying my friends and family holiday gifts. They are cute little add on's that can beef up a gift or just be a thoughtful inclusion. I came up with a list of my favorite little add on's for the holidays this year, ranging from beauty to clothes and accessories.

Little beauty products are always a great stocking stuffer, they are a great way to give your friend's small sizes of products that you love (so they can fall in love with them too). I have already bought some of the NYX Butter Gloss trios, I am obsessed and my collection keeps growing.

A sampler pack of perfume or some luxe hand cream is always a nice stocking stuffer. I try to get things that I wouldn't normally buy for myself but are a luxe treat for someone (just because I wouldn't buy it for myself doesn't mean I wouldn't want to receive it as a gift). Lovely bath treats from high end brands such as L'occitane or Laura Mercier are great, everyone needs a little pamper session.

If beauty product's aren't for you (or your gift receiver) don't fret, there are plenty of great options out there. I love getting people things like cute little notebooks, coin purses or even a nice bracelet. Another item that is a little bigger then your traditional stocking stuffer is a nice pair of slippers. I have been eyeing the Minnetonka slippers with the fur inside, I would love to cozy up next to the fire in these with a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Whether you go for beauty products or other accessories, there is always a great little stocking stuffer that your gift receivers are going to love. There are cute little add on's available for every price point and they always put a smile on someone's face. 

  1. Alex and Ani 'Initial' Bangle - $28
  2. Marc Jacobs Roller Ball Trio - $39
  3. Kate Spade Notebooks - $12
  4. Bite Beauty Best Bite Set - $25
  5. Laura Mercier Hand Cream Sampler - $28
  6. Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio - $28
  7. Minnetonka 'Cally' Slipper - $36.95
  8. Bare Minerals 'Pink Persuasion' Lip and Cheek Set - $19
  9. NYX 'Enchanted Kiss' Butter Gloss Trio - $10
  10. Rebecca Minkoff 'Cory' Leather Pouch - $50

October Favorites

I love to watch monthly favorites videos on YouTube. I love knowing what people are loving for the moment. Some people only show new products that they have gotten for the month, others show a general overview of anything that they are loving. For myself I want to showcase the products I have been loving for the month, whether they are products that I got that month or old favorites that I rediscovered. I also feel like this is a great place to showcase any items I have tried and loved from my monthly subscription boxes.

OctoberFavorites2013.jpg

1. Lush Ultra Bland Facial Cleanser - My face was freaking out and being ultra sensitive, so I decided to try some new face wash. I was suggested this by a lovely shop girl in Lush, and I am in love. My skin has been soft and not sensitive, it is great at removing making and cleaning your skin, so perfect for those lazy nights. It is a beeswax based cleanser that you apply to dry skin, massage in and remove with a damp washcloth. It leaves my skin supple and soft, it hasn't caused me to break out or make my skin sting. I will definitely be repurchasing this when I run out.

2. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - While my skin was freaking out, I got some samples from Kiehl's. I had heard many good things about this product and I was hoping to try it out. After finishing a small sample of it (which lasted me 2 weeks) I knew I had to purchase it. All you do is pat about 4-5 drops of this oil into freshly cleaned skin at night. Sometimes I follow up with a moisturizer but most nights I don't. It is said to give your skin a smoother more radiant look by morning. I can absolutely attest to that. I wake up to skin that looks beautiful and radiant. I don't know if it's this product but the redness in my face has toned down a lot. PS. Don't be afraid of the high price tag, you only need 4-5 drops a night, this will last me forever.

3. BCBG Bon Genre Perfume - I think i have worn this perfume for almost everyday this month. I previously got a sample of it in both my Birchbox and my Glossybox. This fragrance is both spicy and feminine. It isn't overly floral or sweet. It is a good everyday perfume for me, for some people they may just prefer it at night, but I feel like this is light enough for daytime. When I run out of this small vial I will definitely be getting a bigger bottle.

4. NYX Blush in Mauve & Taupe - I love NYX blushes, they are pigmented but not overly pigmented where you can barely touch the brush to them. They apply and blend out like a dream, plus the $6 price tag can't be beat. Recently I have been grabbing for Mauve a lot, it is a nice dusty rose color that just brightens up your cheeks perfectly for the fall. I have also been loving using their blush in Taupe for contouring, it is the perfect shade (not too orange, not too brown, not to grey) for my pale skin. I have been applying it with a dense highlighting brush that came in a brush kit from Costco (I have been lusting over the NARS Ita Brush for contouring, but this will do for now).

5. Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Nude Creme - This is my favorite nude lipstick of the moment (check out more of my favorite nude lipsticks here). It is definitely a my lips but better color. The formulation is rich and creamy, it lasts for a fair amount of time and doesn't dry out my lips. I have 3 shades of the Color Statement Lipsticks, while I get the most use out of Nude Creme, they are still all my favorites and I definitely want to try more soon.

6. NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee - I am in love with this formula. It is a rich gel formula that leaves your lips super glossy but not at all sticky. Creme Brulee is a great nude cream color, that is slightly sheer, it looks great on it's own or layered over another nude lipstick. My favorite lip combo of the month has been the Milani Lipstick in Nude Creme layered with the NYX Gloss in Creme Brulee. These glosses come in a variety of flattering shades, nothing too crazy, I definitely want to get my hands on a few more of them since I love the formula so much.

These have been my favorites of the month, all newish products surprisingly. What have been your favorites this month, makeup or otherwise?

Glossybox October 2013

Glossybox seriously give Birchbox a run for its money, to be fair its about double the price, but wow the items can be awesome. So lets check out what I got this month. 

PS. I would love to do review on all these items. This is a first impressions / what I actually got in my subscription box. I am super backed up on trying products out, so I figured that as I use them, if I love them, I will include them in a monthly favorites post. Does that work for you? because it works for me.

GlossyBoxOct13.jpg

1. Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes - I love a good mascara. I have previously tried (many many moons ago) Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes and loved it. This is supposed to be Tarte's statement mascara for va va voom lashes, volumizing, separating and lengthening. There is nothing I love more then lashes that are like ba-bam I am here. I cannot wait to try this out.

2. Bvlgari Au The Vert - This is Bvlgari's green tea perfume. To me it smells very fresh and citrusy, not typically my go to notes, but I want to test it out more. Specifically it has notes of Italian Bergamot, Tunisian Bitter Orange, Spanish Orange Blossom, Ceylon Cardamom, Jamicain Pepper, Russian Coriander, Bulgarian Rose, Egyptian Jasmine, Green Tea and Smoked Wood. It is described as lively, discreet and delicate. This is apparently a unisex perfume / cologne, I am typically a lover of men's cologne on women, but I don't think this is really a me scent, nor is it a scent my boyfriend would like. I will try it out a few more times, but so far, so blahh.

3. Sesha Renu Exfoliating Gel - I am super excited to try this, after reading more about it, this mild exfoliant seems very satisfying. It uses papaya enzymes to gently remove dead skin cells. You apply the gel to clean dry skin, massaging it in small circular motions, message gently until dry. The gel is said to bond with the dry skin cells and bead up, rinse off with warm water. 

4. Balance Me Shine On Tinted Lip Salve - Initial reaction, I am not wowed, but I thought it was more of a gloss then a lip treatment when I initially tried it and it let me down. I need to try it some more, the tint doesn't really show up as anything, which I am ok with considering it looks brown in the tube. It is said to use a variety of butters (mango, cocoa, and shea) to help keep your lips moisturized. Even if I don't love it, I will leave it at my desk at work and it will definitely get used up.

5. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream - In my mind you are never too young to start using anti aging products (says the 27 year old with currently 1 anti aging skin care product in her regimin). This anti aging moisturizer is said to keep skin hydrated and radiant with a Super 7 Complex (whatever that is). I know I need to add more anti aging products to my regime and this is the perfect addition to test out. I will definitely give you an update on this down the line.  

Do you receive a monthly Glossybox? If so, what did you get that I didn't?