Monthly Archives: November 2014

Birchbox | November 2014

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As much as I love buying makeup and skin care, as much as I love a good sale and hate to waste a coupon, I refuse to wake up at three in the morning just to stand in line for four hours waiting to score one of five super cheap TVs, Playstations or life-size Elsa dolls.  There may be a math problem in that sentence for someone, but it pretty much boils down to this:  if it involves pants, lots of waiting, and a possible bloody nose, I kindly bow out.  I haven’t Black Friday shopped once in my life.  That’s why the internet was invented, people.  Do you not know this?

Here’s my Birchbox:

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First of all, they stuck a little piece of Vosges Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt Caramel in my box, and I almost didn’t get this picture taken before I discreetly and ladylikely inhaled it.  Ugh.  So delicious.  I will take a million of them, thanks.  It’s not a hard caramel either; it’s liquid – the kind where you have to tilt your head back to bite into unless you’d like a caramel trail oozing down your chin.  Not that I’m opposed to that or anything.  I can think of worse things oozing down your chin.  Hot pizza cheese, grease from a jalapeno popper.  Toothpaste foam.  My point is, eat this caramel.  It’s divine.

A beauty box wouldn’t be proper without the forever unwanted perfume sample.  Aside from that, though, enough with the Harvey Prince already.  Lordt.  I think I’ve received his entire scent collection by now.  Seriously, do a search on this blog and report back.  Pretty sure I’ve reviewed like 15 of them.  This time I got the Petaly Noir version.  It’s a Birchbox exclusive, so don’t even think of buying this somewhere else.  If you must buy this at all.

According to my research, this is a very, very feminine scent.  Notes are lily of the valley, jasmine, orchid, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, with slight hints of vanilla and musk.  It is mysterious, provocative, captivating.  Do you want this yet?  It’s also described as “insanely great” which sounds like someone lost their thesaurus at this point.  Or else they are trying to invoke a sexy mood, but then when you get right down to it, you laugh and laugh and ruin everything.  Can’t say that’s never happened to me before.  Anyway *blink blink*

I’m happy with receiving the Derma e Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser because it’s targeted for people with uneven pigmentation, freckles, dark spots, and sun damage.  I have all those things.  I suppose I don’t mind the freckles so much, except my freckles are less cutesy and more splotchy.  They’re probably not even freckles anymore.  As my dermatologist said the last time I went and pointed out all these odd little spots on my face – oh yes, that’s typical of aging and yes, caused by aging and yup, you’re old-slash-aging.

I haven’t gotten a chance to use this yet as I’m currently working my way through something else.  But watch for it in an upcoming Empties post.  Are you excited? (Yes, you are.)

It’s safe to say I really loved the Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Mask.  It’s a visual feast, for one.  The packaging is adorable.  You get 6 single-use tubes housed in a pretty little tin.  The mask itself comes out this luscious muted purple color.  Seriously, this could have been slug trail for all I know, but it’s PURPLE and therefore want it on my face.  I was quite surprised that the mask had a cool tingle effect that lasted the entire time I had it on.  At first I thought my face was going to fall off; I googled WebMD and he said everything was going to be fine.

The instructions say to use the entire contents of one tube and rub all over your face, neck and chest.  If you didn’t feel like all that, I know you could get a couple – maybe three – uses out of one tube.  And because the full size of 6 tubes is $58, I recommend it highly.  The product is supposed to work its magic in 8 minutes, so I set the alarm for exactly 8 minutes.  I appreciate explicit instructions and so should you.  Because I swear, if I read another “apply to eye area” I may scream.  What encompasses the eye area exactly?  Just under the eye?  Or can you add the lid, under the brow, and above the brow, too?  Or maybe a combination of under eye/under brow only?  Or perhaps just on the orbital bone?  And if that’s the case, would that be directly on the bone or just in the vicinity either slightly above or below the bone?  Yeah, nobody actually knows.

Once the timer went off, my mask wasn’t dry.  Not sure if it was supposed to be or not, but to err on the side of caution (and because the instructions told me to), I washed it off anyway.  My face felt very refreshed and smooth.  This was very much a spa-like experience for me.  All that was missing was a big fluffy white robe and little finger sandwiches.  I know I won’t buy the full size because I do feel like its kind of overpriced for the amount of uses you get.  Because y’all know I’m not opposed to pay $58 for a mask, but I’d like to be able to use it longer than (technically) six times.

Got this itty bitty baby theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer highlighter/blush/eyeshadow all-in-one thingy. Not to be confused with the Mary-Lou or the Betty-Lou, the Cindy-Lou is a shimmery peachy pink meant to be worn pretty much wherever you want.  I tried it as a highlighter, and it is super duper subtle.  Nothing wrong with being subtle, but if I’m going to go through the trouble of applying highlighter, it bygod better show up.  Cuz I don’t add 27 steps to my morning routine for no reason.   I did not sample this as a blush or eyeshadow because I decided I didn’t want to.  I’m giving this to my daughter for her to enjoy.  But if you enjoy a subtle highlighter, then by all means, do.  It’s still a very pretty color.

Last item in the box is the Amika Nourishing hair mask.  Y’all know I’ve been loving and adoring my Carol’s Daughter Monoi hair mask, but I’m not opposed to trying different kinds.  I only got one use out of the sample they gave me so I can’t say anything regarding the long-term effects, but for the short term … ummmm, it smelled nice.  It was thick and creamy.  But when I was drying my hair, I felt like it was a little weighed down.  So perhaps it coated my strands in a little too much nourishment.  Can that even happen?  Can hair be too hydrated?  The tube says it will seal in my split ends, but I’ll just be honest with you: my hair texture has been pretty much the same for all eternity, so if I have a split end situation happening upon my head, I probably don’t even know.  My hair is poofy.  That’s about all I can say for certain.

Long story short, it’s not a bad mask for the right hair type.  I probably won’t buy it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  If anything, the packaging would look cute on your counter.

And now for the weird, disjointed outro.  Maybe one day I’ll come up with some clever way to end my posts.  But for now, let’s just stick with awkward.  Bye!

Ipsy | November 2014

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Did everyone survive Thanksgiving?  We ended up doing a nighttime dinner, so all of the daytime I spent reading US Weekly and eating chips in bed.  Can’t say it wasn’t enjoyable.  Although, I paid for my relaxin’ since I was in charge of about 10 hours worth of dishes after we all ate.  My fingernails are ragged, brittle little babies today.

Below you will find the most boring Ipsy that ever lived:

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Boo. Snore.  I’m sure you agree.

I can’t even use my necessity excuse in order to enjoy this Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco hairspray.  I don’t use hairspray.  Like, ever.  In fact, Birchbox had sent me a little deluxe-sized hairspray about a year ago and I put it in my drawer “just in case” and it still has it’s little wrapper on it.  I can’t even give you a proper review because I literally don’t know.  My friend got this in her Ipsy bag as well and she told me she liked it.  Does that help?  No?  Moving on.

I already own one of these J. Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint although not in this color, WLP111 Red Potion.  Can’t say I won’t use it, but it’s such a dark plum-red color that I may not go anywhere that presents an opportunity to use it.  It’s a party color, like for New Year’s Eve or something.  The last time I did anything special for New Year’s Eve, I was at work doing work and my shift ran over past midnight.  Ever since then, I’ve become very much an indoor girl.  Cooking little fried appetizers – taquitos, mini quiches, bagel bites – and wearing pajamas have been more my thing lately.  I suppose I could still wear the lip paint, though.

These thing are potent.  Super vibrant color with the staying power that’ll blow your mind and piss you off all at the same time.  Don’t apply this with your finger, unless you want purple fingertips for the next 3 days.  If you’ve used an OCC Lip Tar, these are very similar but like only $5 which is nice.

The only thing I actually liked and will continue using is the Elizabeth Mott You’re So Fine liquid eyeliner in Glitterati.  Previously, I thought all my liquid liner skills had gone to pot when I tried using theBalm’s Schwing and failed miserably.  This Elizabeth Mott one was my second chance.  It glided on very smoothly.  The brush didn’t split into 15 single little hairs.  I could even do a pretty decent wing without making a horrid mess.  I’m actually going to venture out and say this liquid liner is easier to apply than my pen liners, and that makes me var var happy indeed.  I feel like I’m back to my old self.  Not the self that spent 5 minutes on a morning makeup routine, but the self that could apply liquid eyeliner without gooping it all up.  No, that 5-minute self has been kicked out of the club.  If she comes back, be concerned.  Also bring antidepressants.

I do not love cream eyeshadow, so even though there is nothing wrong with this Be A Bombshell eye base, I simply don’t want it.  I got the color Submissive, which is a pale bronze.  It swatched very nicely.  And it blended really well.  I’m just annoyed to use it.  But I kept it just in case someone steals all my eyeshadows but that one.

For the record though, I didn’t hate the color. And it wasn’t awful to wear.  Nor was it a pain (that much) to apply.  I can see where I’d use it if I wanted to brighten up some bland neutral powders.  Or if that 5-minute self really does come back one day, I hate to admit that this little pot of shadow may very well become my BFF.  Until then, though, it’s going to live in my Train Case of Forgotten Makeup and keep it’s little trap shut.

This is the second time a box sent me a Temptu S/B highlighter, and I still don’t want it. I got the Pink Pearl shade this go round so it was nice not to get a repeat color at least. These liquid highlighters are meant to be used with the Temptu airbrush machine, but apparently that’s not a necessary requirement. I was more excited about getting the first one cuz I hadn’t owned it before. But now that I know how much I never used it, receiving it again is quite the lackluster event. Ah well. A fitting theme for this box at least.

But for those who are actually curious about this product, I will give you a list of uses. Top of the cheekbones. Inner corner of the eye. On the cupids bow. Under the brow bone. Above the arch of the brow. Mixed in with foundation to give an all over glow. So obviously very versatile. But will I ever do those things? Doubt it. Cuz it’s a liquid highlighter and that takes extra time, time of which I do not have. Unless I set my alarm for 5 a.m. And then also skip eyeliner. So there’s hope (said me, NEVER).

You’re at the end. Thanks for reading, guys. Please feel free to comment, like, or share with your best friend’s cousin’s wife’s sister’s hairdresser. Or just stick it on your Facebook. Same thing.

Sample Society | November 2014

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You know what ruins 60-degree weather?  No sun.  And rain.  You know what also ruins 60-degree weather?  Hanging around the AT&T store for 3 days trying to figure out what is wrong with my phone.  I am fighting the urge to throw my brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 across the room, but I’m betting that might not fix anything.  I am waiting “patiently” for an “engineer” to look into my situation.

In the meantime, here’s Sample Society:

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Not a bad box this time.  Finally, a little ray of hope has peeked its way into my world.  But let’s not get carried away.  Let’s review.

I’ll just be honest: the fact that Lorac calls their mascara “Cobra” is enough for me to say no thank you.  I have a deathly fear of snakes; therefore, I can’t separate real snakes from fake snakes – even the mascara kind.  However, because I technically paid for the dang thing, and I was trying to be a professional, I held my breath and went for it anyway.

Good God, the wand is shaped like a cobra head.  Well, that solves that.  Back in the tube you go.

Urgh, FINE.  I am a beauty blogger.  I am a strong, fearless woman.  It’s just makeup.  Nothing to be afraid of.  Starting to itch, though.  I’ve got the hives.  Maybe a slight brow sweat.  Heart is lurching.  Stomach is dropping.  I’m literally the only person in the world about to die from the Lorac Cobra mascara.

And then … well, it wasn’t so bad actually.  The brush actually made the application really easy.  A nice wet formula.  No clumps.  Decent volume, acceptable length.  Eyelashes look pretty good.  Nothing dramatic, but definitely a noticeable difference.  I liked it.  Granted, I’ll never buy the full-size ever never in my entire lifetime, but that’s beside the point.  Baby steps, y’all.

Then I got this Malin + Goetz bergamot body wash.  I’m okay with getting this because A) I just finished a body wash and B) I always need body wash.  There really isn’t much to say about a body wash though.  Did it clean your skin? If so, I would call that a success and then move on with life.  As for the scent, it’s made with bergamot extract.  If you know what bergamot is, then you may sit yourself back down.  For the rest of us normal people, it’s an oil found in the peel of the Bergamot orange.  Which would lead one to believe this is a citrus-smelling body wash.  Wellll, it’s not.  It has a slightly spicy smell; maybe I could eke out a touch of citrus if I concentrate real hard.  But who wants to do that while relaxing in the tub?  Not me.  That’s Princess Time – if I manage to lift my leg up to shave it, that’s an Act of God practically.  And also Ordinance No. 345, Article 25, Section 3a of the Marriage Code.  (Says my husband.)

The only thing I didn’t care for at all is the Calvin Klein Reveal perfume.  It would be so much easier if perfume was interesting to me.  I haven’t bought myself a perfume since 2004.  That’s not a typo.  Plus, I still have it.  It’s probably a bottle full of poison at this point, but I still have it.

However, for those that need to know, here is the description of the perfume taken directly from the internet:  Sultry. Warm. Unexpected. REVEAL defines a new olfactive category – the solar oriental – a second skin scent characterized by unexpected raw salt, luminous flowers and warm woods.

Did this make you want to buy it?  How about this:  top notes are salt and pepper.  Did you just say salt and pepper?! out loud like I just did?  I’m not even sure that’s proper perfume ingredients.  It’s most likely written down in the International Perfume Handbook listed under the chapter titled NO.  Why Calvin Klein didn’t consult his handbook first is beyond me.

And in case you were wondering, other notes include oris and solar accord.  Which are two things that don’t even exist.  Nexxxxxt.

If you have super fine hair (like me) and want to scare the crap out of yourself, then you should read the Allure magazine review of the Alterna Caviar Omega+ Nourishing Oil.  The word “globby” is in there as well as “dull residue” – that’s enough to make me kindly walk away.  I have issues with hair products that promise to solve all my problems.  My hair is so fine that any amount of stuff will weigh it down or give me a dirty, sticky feeling.  So I approached this hair oil with trepidation.

The term “globby” is about right.  This is a syrupy, stringy mess.  I think I put in about two drops worth – maybe the size of a pea.  Ran this all through my ends, and that’s all I had the guts for.  There’s no way in hell I was going further up because I was in no mood for “dull residue” or even the “flatness” that they’ve warned might happen to those with fine hair.  And the result?  Well it didn’t feel gross, so that’s one thing.  My hair seemed to be a little smoother on the ends. At least it wasn’t as poufy as usual.  So I’m hopeful.  I will continue to use it and let you know if anything miraculous happens in a future Empties post.

Last thing in the box was this MDSolarSciences MD Crème Mineral Beauty Balm.  I used this a couple weekends ago, and all I can say is if you don’t care much about coverage, this would be a great BB for you.  I have a horrid, splotchy complexion so you can imagine how much I didn’t love it – it’s so incredibly sheer.  Felt like a silicone-y moisturizer going on, gives off a nice matte finish, somewhat blurs out minor ugly things, but all my freckles and that hideous pimple scar was having a political protest right there upon my face.  In other words:  NOT GOING ANYWHERE.  However, it still felt really nice, has a very high SPF, and would work wonders for those with already pretty nice complexions.  I’m passing it along to my daughter who has skin of a Victorian doll.  How I managed to produce something that exquisite, I’ll never know.

We’re done for the day.  If I don’t manage to get back on before Thanksgiving, wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday.  I’m going to try very hard not to eat myself into a no-pants-on situation.  It’s not a very attractive look for me.  (Or anyone for that matter.) (Except for Ryan Gosling.)

Bye!

Buying Stuff: Episode 22

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Current status:  still freezing.  But thanks for checking.  I’ll just be over here wearing socks with my heels, sitting on a heating pad, holding my hand around my nose to keep it warm.  Or, looking like an idiot, as it is commonly known.

Gratefully, the weather is supposed to get warmer in the next few days, so perhaps my pouting and whining will calm down a bit.  Until the next polar vortex that makes it way through, that is.  Me and Winter? We ARE. NOT. friends.

In brighter news, I bought stuff:

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A little mini Inglot haul!  I picked up a lip paint in shade 59 (in the purple family), a gel eyeliner in shade 82 (also in the purple family; kind of a dark periwinkle), and a pigment in shade 56 (a teal).  I have decided that I love Inglot so much.  The gel eyeliners are the creamiest and best I’ve ever used.  They don’t set for 60 seconds, which works fantastically for me because I am never satisfied with my line on the first swipe.  In fact, I need a good 20 minutes – but I’ll accept 60 seconds.  I challenge you to buy one of these and then disagree with me.  It’s impossible I tell you; they’re amazing.  And if you think otherwise, well then you are WRONG.  There’s no other way to put it.

I adore the pigments.  I reviewed them in my Vegas haul if you’ll recall (and if you don’t, click here), and I still feel very much the same.  They are stunning, vibrant, and beautiful.  I now own four, and that’s a far cry from the zero amount I’ve owned in the past (i.e., my entire life) (i.e., forty years if you’re counting).

I’ve only purchased this one lip paint, and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a lipstick or a lip gloss.  It’s a very pretty color, but it sheers out somewhat on the lips which makes me think it’s a gloss.  But it’s not really sticky.  It’s creamy, but not thick.  Either way, though, I like it and I might end up buying some more.

More fun with purple.  See below:

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This is the Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow quad in Glamour Muse.  I am so happy that Charlotte Tilbury is now being sold in the U.S.  I don’t even know why, as I hadn’t even heard of her until someone on YouTube mentioned her one time.  I’m gonna say it’s most likely cuz I wasn’t able to purchase her products that made me want to buy her products.  Don’t tell me I can’t have something.  That creates a panic in me so fierce that I could probably bend steel rods with sheer OCD force or something. Which I suppose is pretty genius marketing on their part.  And also how I ended up with this quad.

Okay, I’m torn about it. At first glance, it’s super pretty. The sparkle is just right.  But I bought this because I wanted something PURPLE not just purple.  And the vibrant looking shade does not transfer that well onto your eyeball.  How unfortunate, for me and for all of the world.  Now, if you like a more subtle purple, by all means buy this quad with confidence.  Do not be afraid.  It will probably most likely be the perfect purple for you.

On a happier note, the longer I wore it (and the more often I stared at myself), the more I actually started to enjoy the eye look.  So it turned out alright in the end.  It just wasn’t what I was expecting in the beginning, that’s all.

And then!  I bought this:

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I love having a Color IQ number with Sephora because it tells me when new foundations come out that will match my skin tone.  If you haven’t gotten your Color IQ done, I’m pretty sure you’ve stumbled upon this blog by accident, cuz anyone who’s everyone who loves makeup is (or should be) doing this.  If you like taking out guesswork, making shopping easy, buying foundation from the comfort of your home without fear and while wearing pajamas, that is.

So here is the Dior Diorskin Star foundation in 32 Rosy Beige.  For me, this is a really nice product.  It’s pretty lightweight, probably about a medium coverage.  Has a nice finish – not matte but not luminous – somewhere in between.  It claims to be brightening, which I didn’t really catch, but that might have more to do with my horrid complexion to start with.  That’s the problem with a lot of supposedly nice foundations.  You can’t put them on top of skin like mine and expect fabulous – it just doesn’t happen very often.  So, yeah, I wasn’t wowed or anything.  It didn’t knock my socks off.  It didn’t make me feel supermodelly (like the Guerlain Tenue de Perfection or Givenchy Photo’Perfexion does).  So this foundation will be in my second tier – a high quality, better than average, no IT factor foundation.

I bought a brush:

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A Wayne Goss #7 lip brush to be exact.  I bought this to go with the Inglot lip paint, as I didn’t feel like going all hillbilly fingers into the pot.  We use brushes like refined ladies in here, people.  Or else.

What can I really say about a lip brush other than it applies lip stuff? Not much.  But I will say the edges are very thin, so if you’re really good at using a lip brush I’d think this one would do a pretty good job for you.  Other uses of this brush include gel or powder eyeliner application.  I tried the gel version, and you know what?  I really suck at gel eyeliner.  But others who don’t suck might find this brush a dream.  It has somewhat stiff bristles so they don’t go flopping all over the place and allows for some nice precision.

Look at this beauty:

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This is the Marc Jacobs Sky-Liner Highliner gel eye crayons kit.  Let me preface this by saying this kit is a limited edition.  However, the eyeliners themselves are not, so even if it’s 17 months into the future and you are reading this blog, this review should still apply.  Unless Marc Jacobs goes out of business, so in that case, kindly carry on.

I love these eyeliners.  They are very creamy and easy to apply.  The shimmer is beautiful.  They last for a very long time on the upper eyelid or below the lower eyelashes.  On my waterline, though, they did not last as long.  Kind of went patchy in the afternoon.  But I have very wet eyeballs so that’s probably the reason.  I’ve yet to find an eyeliner with hardcore staying power – the Sumita Beauty one comes the closest, but I’m still on my mission.  Regardless, though, these are some pretty, good quality liners and you should go ahead and throw them in your basket.

Whatever you do, do NOT buy the travel size of this item:

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It’s the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, and if you try it once you will fall madly in love, then wrestle with your conscience regarding the $105 full-size price.  Or you can ignore yourself like I usually do.  It’s your risk to take.  But I swear, I have no idea what this stuff is made of – okay I do; it’s made of thermal mud from the Hungarian Moors – but it’s truly magical.  Has an odd little smell verging on licorice, but I’m most likely conjuring licorice due to its black color.  Anyway, I use a very small amount and apply it all over my face.  The texture is soothing, soft, velvety smooth.  Wiping it off is even better cuz then you are left with the skin of a baby’s bottom.  At this point, you’re under its spell and your shopping hand starts to get itchy.  Also, it removes makeup very well, but that’s beside the point now isn’t it?

I have since bought an Omorovicza travel kit that includes another jar of this balm.  I’m hoping by the time I’m done with both jars, my fascination will have been satisfied and I will no longer feel the pull of buying the full size.  Because honestly, I don’t WANT to pay that much for a cleanser.  Although, I suppose I will if I won’t leave myself alone about it.  I can be soooo super annoying sometimes.

If you like colorful eyeshadows, you should buy this:

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Ack!  I die.  This Urban Decay Vice 3 palette is just lovely.  That gorgeous green on the top row is what caught my eye initially.  And the golds and purples.  There are hearts in my eyes right now.  I had no issues with pigmentation or blendability.  Fallout was pretty minimal if at all.  And it comes in a cutesy little iPad case to help make your shopping decision even easier.

So many stunning looks can come out of this palette.  My favorite (other than the green of course) is using Lucky – which is the color of a new penny – all over the lid, then adding Alchemy – a bold raspberry – in the outer v.  Of course, I’m sure some makeup artist could do it even better, but I was pretty proud of my invention.  Pretty sure Urban Decay is about to call me.  Or Vogue.

Behold, look what else:

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Is your mouth hanging open?  Mine is.  It’s the new Gucci makeup, specifically the eyeshadow duo in Fume.  It’s shockingly beautiful, very luxurious, fancy schmancy, and ooh la la. Practically too pretty to even use, what with all those little Gs stamped into the shadow.  However, I did use it – just once so far – and lemme just say that sometimes I question my own makeup skills.  How could something this lovely not turn out even more lovely once applied?  There was more pigmentation in the pan than on the eye.  What did I do wrong?  I suppose I could’ve wet my brush first to see if that made it better, but putting something wet into something dry gives me anxiety, like there’s a never-turning-back event about to happen, and it stops me from doing it.  That’s most likely the #1 reason I hate washing my hair.  Which has nothing to do with this eyeshadow, but still.

I’ll keep playing with it.  I’m determined to not give up.  I’ll do it for my people (that’s you), so you will continue reading (and loving) this blog.

We’re at the end.  You’ve made it.  Now wasn’t that fun?  Be sure to come back again and again cuz I write updates all the time.  You won’t want to miss out on anything.  Trust me.

New Beauty Test Tube | November 2014

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You wanna know what happens when you go from 70+ degrees on a Monday down to 30 degrees for the rest of the week?  Depression, wearing socks with high heels, and a cold sore.  Awesome.

I need cheering up.  Here’s my New Beauty Test Tube:

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Guess what?  Still depressed, cold and making horrible fashion decisions.

I’m sorry that I paid $38 for this and only got two good products.  Like I was so severely sorry, that I ended up cancelling my subscription.  You know how much perseverence that required?  I mean, I can barely brush my teeth with my eyes open much less dial a phone number to request a cancellation.  But cancel I did, and oddly enough I don’t even feel guilty about it.  I may be growing up.  Although I still have my husband take my chicken off the bone for me, so probably not.

First item is the Dermalogica Precleanse, which is basically just a cleansing oil used to break up your makeup prior to actually cleansing with real soap.  Seems like a redundant step, but I do it anyway.  If anything, it saves your wash rags from getting more dirty than they actually get.  Although I don’t prefer to use oil but rather a cleansing milk because cleansing milk sounds much more fancy, and I am a princess and that’s how princesses do.  And don’t even try arguing with that kind of logic.

However, the oil.  It was fine.  I’ll use it.  It works just as good as any of the other precleanse products I’ve ever used.  Probably won’t repurchase though because, again, PRINCESS.

Then I got a Donell Lip Saver lip balm.  Excuse me while I go take a nap.  Even the packaging is boring.  The only upside to this is I can use it in the morning before I start my makeup routine.  Other than that, it’s not even coconut flavored.  Boooo.  Next.

Virtually every Test Tube I’ve ever gotten has included a Mally Starlight eyeliner.  That’s probably exaggeration, but it feels like they send one everytime.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t use this product, but they sent me silver (shade name: Starshine), and I already own two other silver eyeliners.  Unfortunately I’m not an eyeliner hoarder (except for black, strangely enough) so this is pretty much a regift.  And also evidence that it was definitely time to move on from the Test Tube.

I actually cared that I received a tube of this John Frieda Frizz-Ease Smoothing Creme seeing as A) it is intended for straight hairstyles, which I have and B) it is also intended for frizzy hair, which I also have.  Seems perfect.  I applied this to mostly my ends, but maybe a little bit higher up than that.  I was scared it was gonna give me goopy hair so I was being a little frugal on how much I put on.  Because nobody has time to rewash their hair, especially someone who can only manage it twice a week.  Thankfully, things worked out.  I did not get goopy hair and my ends actually seemed to be a little smoother.  And on the days where I didn’t wash my hair and simply combed it before work (read: lazy), the ends stayed smoother-looking than normal.  Granted, no miracle was performed or anything, but it was better.  I’m thinking I might take a little risk and apply a bit more just to see what happens.  It may look like I accidentally dipped my hair into a skillet of bacon fat (which I’ve done before, not surprisingly, and which also required two back-to-back hair washings), but I’m going to do it anyway.  It’s for science.  And for this blog.

Next we have a Votivo candle travel tin in the Icy Blue Pine scent.  To save you time (as I know it is precious), I will describe this for you in one word:  NO.  And now we may move on with our lives.  Unless you like the smell of men’s cologne mixed with one of those tree-shaped car fresheners, in which case SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU.

I did try to pawn it off to a few co-workers.  It took a bit, but someone did take it.  Pretty sure it had more to do with it being free then it actually smelling good.  I’ve done that before.  Which is how I’ve come home with chip clips from the insurance agency, magnets (also probably from the insurance agency), and Post-It Notes from the office supply cabinet (which actually might be more of a stealing situation than a free one).

You what’s funny?  Making an EMERGENCY trip to Sephora to buy makeup remover wipes only to come home and open the mail and find a pack of Klorane makeup remover wipes in it.  Believe it or not, this happens all the time.  I am excited, though, to try this brand as I absolutely love their hair products.  Plus the packaging is very pretty – nice, calming blue color.  I don’t know why that matters; it just does.  They’re also made with soothing cornflower, which also (mysteriously) makes me want to use them.  So in about 20 days when I’m finished with the emergency wipes, I’ll get started on these and report back.

But back to the real reason why I’m cancelling this box.  I received the Revision Intellishade tinted moisturizer duo, a sample I had previously received a mere 4 boxes ago.  That irritates me var var much.  I paid a lot of money for this subscription hoping for some new products and/or brands to try.  Not sad little repeats like these teeny tiny tubes of BB cream.

Now, this irritation is nothing against the product itself.  It’s actually a very good one.  I used the regular (not matte) version over the weekend, and it gave me a very nice glowing finish (or else it could’ve been the 2 inches of hideous snow reflecting back at me).  The coverage is pretty sheer – I mean, my splotches were evened out slightly, but freckles and pimple scar were out and proud.  I even put two layers on, and eh.  Still there.  However, I do find it very cool that this one shade of BB cream is supposed to work for everyone.  Everyone.  I love products that take out the guesswork.  Plus it has SPF 45 AND won a Beauty Award.  So while I was not thrilled to receive more tubes of this, at least it wasn’t something hideous.

Last product in the tube is the CHI Silk Infusion hair treatment.  I have owned and used this product in the past.  In fact, I gave my daughter a practically unused bottle of this about 6 months ago.  And then, magically, it shows right back up at my house to teach me a lesson.  I didn’t dislike it or anything; I gave it away cuz I had so many new hair samples to try that it was clogging up my hair drawer.  In an effort to tidy up and organize, but see where that gets me?  A brand new bottle to take up space.

I will say that I recall using this several times previously, and I never got that icky dirty hair feeling.  It’s like an oil, but I guess it’s not an oil but rather silk molecules, which until now you didn’t even know existed (trust me, you did not).  In case you don’t know what this stuff does, I will paraphrase for you:  strengthens, heat protects, improves moisture and shine, defends against the environment.  So fiiiiiiine.  Back in the hair drawer you go.  Alongside all those hifalutin’ samples that mostly turned out to be big poo-poos anyway.

Let’s all take a moment to say goodbye to the New Beauty Test Tube.  It was good, but then again, not really.  I did get a free New Beauty magazine subscription out of the deal, which I actually enjoyed very much and have chosen to continue.  So all’s well that ends well.  I can now spend my $38 on things I actually want NEED.

Blush Mystery Beauty Box | November 2014

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Don’t you just love it when you frequent a business so much they actually recognize you when you come into the store?  If Sephora was a Starbucks, they’d have my Tall Raspberry Mocha Non-Fat No-Whip all lined up and ready to go.  As a matter of fact, I go in so often they might as well go ahead and get me the Starbucks.  You know, really drive that customer service thing to home plate.

Got my Blush Mystery Beauty Box:

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My face hurts from so much frowning.  Uhhhhnnnn.

I’m on the verge of canceling this box, I think.  I just haven’t been very impressed, or else the impressive boxes are few and far between.  I feel very grown up and responsible for saying this cuz y’all know how much I love my monthly Christmas surprises.  So as soon as I find another box to replace this box, I’ll let this box go.  Might’ve negated my grown up and responsible comment, but I’m not a superhuman.

Let’s start with the Julien Farel Hydrate Restore hair shampoo thing.  I’d already gotten a similar Julien Farel product in a previous Blush box, so imagine my excitement in getting another one. (There isn’t any.) This go round, however, they sent the one for fine hair, which I have. Fiiiiiine. I will accept.

Instructions are just like last time where you apply directly to dry hair then add a little water to make a cream. Massage then rinse. Seems easy, except it’s not. I have really long hair and putting this on it dry is a nightmare. Like, it never feels even; there’s dry hair patches everywhere. If you wanna kick your OCD into high gear, I highly recommend.

And then naturally after all that flashy production, I ended up with very dirty, greasy hair and had to rewash it with regular shampoo. Julien Farel himself told me I used too much. Welllll, you need to put precise measurements on your bottle then. You can’t just tell me to cook fish til it flakes easily with a fork cuz that isn’t a real cooking term. My fellow Virgos are all nodding their heads, I just feel it.

Next product is the Nick Chavez Prickly Pear Restoring Mist.  If I cared enough about hair products, maybe I would be excited for this.  But my hair routine is hardly an event.  I like to put in a leave-in conditioner, maybe a cream to control the frizzies, but other than that, I’m pretty low-maintenance (on the hair front, that is).  However, because I have it and technically I paid for it, I’m using it.  Directions say after shampooing and conditioning, spray onto damp hair on ends and comb through.  Does this sentence confuse anyone else?  Should there be a comma in there somewhere?  Are they saying to spray on damp hair AND on the ends, or just spray on your damp ends?  Oh my gawd, my OCD can’t take it.  Forget it; I hate this product.

And then Blush decides to go over the top with their fabulousness and send me a repeat item that I just received barely a few months ago.  It’s the Laura Geller Cool Lids cream eyeshadow in Silver Sands.  Uhhhhh, delete.  They could’ve at least sent a different color if they were determined to mail this thing out again.  However, I didn’t use the first one so a second one in a different color wouldn’t have mattered one bit.  I’m feeling slightly asshole-ish, so here’s a couple things I actually care about:

1.  SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair – I never hate an eye cream, or at least the receiving of an eye cream.  This one says it improves smoothness and hydration, fine lines and wrinkles, plus the full size price is $98.  I don’t know about you, but expensive skin care gives me hope.  Certainly they wouldn’t price their stuff that high if it doesn’t perform miracles?  Isn’t that like risking a lawsuit or something?  I mean, if I’m paying almost a $100 for an eye cream, I’d be a little pissy if it doesn’t replace my old, crepey eyes for the eyes of a 14-year-old.  As soon as I start using it, I’ll let you know how it goes.  The last SkinMedica product I tried was a pretty good one, so my expectations are high. Bring it.

2.  Nuxe Clarifying Cream Mask – I love trying new masks as you may know (or should know, if you read this blog like a proper human).  I read the benefits on the website, and it says it will clarify skin and refine pores.  I don’t really know what clarifying skin means, but anything that mentions pores, I’m all over.  I just want porcelain skin – is that too much to ask?  How did I even manage to get cavern-like pores, anyway?  I’ve behaved virtually all of my 40 years.  I mean, I didn’t wear sunscreen or wash my face for about 38 of them, but certainly that has nothing to do with it.  In any case, I’ll report back in a future empties post.  I’m trying not to open products until I’m ready to use them, or else I’ll end up speed-using something expensive within a 10-day period before it automatically turns to poison (i.e., expiration date)(i.e., as discussed in this post).

But why revel too much in product that I care about when I can complain some more?  Cuz while the Jane Iredale Eye Gloss is a really pretty color (called Aqua Silk), it is a cream and I do not love.  We’ve discussed this.  However, I gave it a go in an effort to be fair.  Yes, it’s very vivid.  Blends pretty good.  Sheers out well in case you do not want bright turquoise eyelids (I mean, who does?).  But it’s just not my thing.  It could be YOUR thing, though; that’s why I’m writing this blog.  They have a nice little selection of colors if you are so inclined.  I topped the turquoise with a gold shimmer and it made for a really sparkly, pretty look – gold, primarily but with a hint of turquoise peeking through.  So even I can create a masterpiece out of something that is not my favorite.  Obviously, I am a PROFESSIONAL.

And I’m not saying I dislike the Lauren B. Beauty hand cream I got, but, I mean it’s hand cream. Not really anything that’s knocking my socks off or anything. Although it says right on the tube it has antioxidants and retinol in it, and I’m assuming lotion doesn’t do that normally. So I may not necessarily enjoy applying the hand cream, but at some point it might make my wrinkly knuckle skin go away. It probably won’t, but wouldn’t that be nice. And a miracle. Also, I feel it is my responsibility to mention this lotion sank into my hands almost immediately. If you’re gonna be a lotion, might as well be a good one.

Last item in the box is the Miracle Skin Transformer Spotlight, a nice little BB cream full of sparkles and glitter. That’s not a typo. Who is this made for exactly? Twelve year olds? I can’t think of one 40 year old who enjoys a good shimmery BB cream. Well, perhaps I can, but there’s a high possibility they may be drag queens.

In any case, the coverage is pretty sheer although it does even the tone a bit. I own the regular BB cream (or Skin Enhancer, as they prefer to be called), and it’s one of my favorites. So I’m not sad in the least I’m giving the Spotlight away – I already own the best version; no reason to pout.

However, to be clear, the sparkles in the Spotlight aren’t super apparent unless you are in direct sunlight. So if you insist on using this product, make sure you are A) in 7th grade or B) enjoy indoor activities. This is my professional opinion, i.e., 100% accurate and NOT WRONG.

Okay, the end. More boxes to review and hauls forthcoming. Serious, you will love, so come back soon.

Buying Stuff: Episode 21

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Finally the sun has come out after being non-existent for the past several days.  I was starting to wonder if we’d ever see it again.  I mean, by all means be 48-degrees if you have to, but at least give me sunlight.  Without the sun, I am moody and sad and var var pale.  Sunshine sustains me.  It’s the only thing that can get me through the disaster that is Winter.  I love sun, sunlight, sunshine, and any and all things sun-related.  Sunglasses.

Therefore I sit in my car during lunch hour where it proceeded to blaze hot right onto my face and into my eyes.  Urgh.  Go away, Sun.

Clearly something is wrong with me.

Look, I bought stuff:

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This is the Benefit Majorette Booster Blush, and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it.  This is one of those circumstances where I bought something cute simply because it was new and would make a good Instagram picture.  Does that make me shallow?  Probably.

Okay, yes, it’s a cream-to-powder blush so obviously you can use it that way.  But I’m not a huge cream blush fan even though this one is pretty idiot-proof.  Like the most easiest application and blendability I’ve ever come across.  The color is a sweet girly peach.  It’s matte and has a great smell.  You can also layer it underneath another blush to give that other blush more vibrancy.  But those are two things I’m not really interested in.  First of all, who has time to be applying TWO blushes?  (Superhumans.)  And second of all, I didn’t think it looked all that pretty on my face.  However, everyone else in the universe seems to love it, so apparently I lose at makeup.

But then I bought this:

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Who else has been petrified of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade?  I mean, this stuff is a gel-like cream you apply to your eyebrows with a liner brush – freehanded – and hope to God you don’t ef it up.   I am not a natural when it comes to drawing on brows.  Sure I could just follow the lines like a normal person would, but I do have pictures of myself where I did just that and ended up creating BROWS! with jazz-hands and everything.  So I was scared that something as pigmented as this would be messy and worse.

Long story short:  I faced my fear.  Me and Sephora had a little chat and I decided to go for it.  But which color?  They’re all variations of brown.  Which one would create the most natural look?  I wish I could tell you my selection process was more scientific, but it all boiled down to seeing the word “universal taupe” on other brow products from other brands, so I chose the Taupe one and walked away before the anxiety kicked in.

Believe it or not, this isn’t as scary as I expected. If you tap your brush in lightly and very gently sweep over your brows, you can make some natural looking arches. Granted I can’t come close to the pictures I see on Instagram, but it’ll do for me. As for the color, there may have been a better brown shade to suit me, but the Taupe works just fine. Which is good cuz I’m pretty sure this little jar will outlast everything in my makeup collection.

Guess who came to America?

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It’s Charlotte Tilbury! This is some exciting news cuz the last (and only) time I bought one of her products, international shipping about made me change my mind. Since I had my pick this time, I chose the Feline Flick eyeliner pen. As my preferred method of eyeliner, I feel as if owning all of them is completely justified.  But then again, I write a beauty blog, so EVERYTHING is justified as far as I’m concerned.  And nobody can argue with that kind of logic.

But back to the eyeliner.  I liked it alright.  The nib is pretty sturdy, so it lends a great amount of control in the application along the lash line and drawing the angle in the start of the wing.  However, when I tried to connect the wing portion to the base of my lashes, the sturdiness of the nib didn’t make that part as easy.  Like I literally had to go over it several times in order to get a good, crisp looking line.  However, my own OCD may have played a part in that.  And also, I am not very good at winged liner.  But aside from those two things, I can’t say this eyeliner is my favorite.  I’ve went back to my Kat Von D pen for the time being.

Look how beautiful:

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I  bought this Laura Geller Baked Gelato blush because it looked like food.  Like something I could stick my finger in then lick off.  A cupcake top.  A vat of frosting.  I literally couldn’t NOT buy it after laying my eyes on it.  Whoever was in charge of the design of this product is a genius. I own chocolate masks, strawberry moisturizers, and all things coconut BECAUSE of geniuses like this.  All other companies should take note.  You want me to buy your product?  Make it resemble food.

This is a really beautiful blush.  The shade I picked out was Guava, and it’s a bright but wearable pink.  It’s sheers out really well and creates this lovely flush of color.  I’m not sure if it’s a cream that’s been baked or what exactly, but it’s applied like a normal powder blush and that’s all I really need to know.  I feel like I need more colors, but I’m trying very hard to be good.

Hahaha, just kidding.  I bought this too:

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This Smashbox Cherry Smoke eyeshadow set is the perfect fall palette.  Instead of your typical grey or black smokey eye, this is a taupe and burgundy version and it’s absolutely gorgeous.  Each shadow applied well and blended nicely.  I could create a daytime, natural look with it as well so it’s pretty versatile.  Although I don’t necessarily stick to daytime/nighttime makeup rules.  I want what I want when I want it.  Smokey eye at 10 a.m.?  Done.  But for those who like to stick to rules (and are probably not wearing white after Labor Day), you can still utilize this palette at your 9-5.  And back to that whole food thing – the word “cherry”?  Sucked me in right away.

One of the best makeup decisions ever made is below:

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It’s the Sedona Lace Round Top #480 brush and I’m in deep, passionate love.  Ugh.  I can’t even express properly how beautifully this applies foundation.  It hugs every curve of my face and makes blending practically effort-free.  I thought I loved my Real Techniques Expert Face brush, but this (while similar) is so much better.  Even the price is good at $18.95 (although I had a 20% coupon as well as an additional $4 off).  The bristles are dense, and the round top gets rid of harsh lines that blush or bronzer might create.  I don’t think I’ll ever want to use anything different.  It’s also pink and adorable and looks pretty on my counter.  How many more reasons do you need?  Approved!  Put it in your basket.

We done for today.  I’m now going to get back to fighting with Sephora’s broken website.  They are having their 20% off sale and the entire world is on the internet.  Boo.