Monthly Archives: December 2014

Blush Mystery Beauty Box | December 2014

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In case you haven’t been reading this blog from the very beginning, you should know the end of December marks my one year blogging anniversary. You have roughly 180 posts to catch up on. Get busy. You should probably call into work tomorrow. Pretty sure this is a legitimate reason. And nothing to do with a New Year’s Eve hangover.

Here’s my Blush Mystery Beauty Box:

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Is it just me or did Blush send this exact same Klorane shampoo with Desert Date in their October box? What the hell, Blush? You couldn’t space out your repeats? I mean, I literally got this two months ago. That’s not near enough time for me to forget about it. On a positive note, I like this shampoo so I’m completely fine with getting another bottle. It’s just weird, that’s all.

I’m currently making my way through the one I got back in October. The smell is luscious. I don’t know what Desert Date is, but it’s glorious. Now there is no conditioner that goes with this shampoo, but it’s so moisturizing that it gets a pass. I’d use this for the rest of my life if I didn’t like to try new stuff all the time. It’s a nice simple shampoo with great smell and softness. Approved! Put it in your basket.

Got this Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper and I got excited immediately. I have been looking for that holy grail product that would keep my t-zone oil under control. This one, however, is a little different from your typical foundation primer. You apply it after your foundation but before your powder. Kind of strange, sort of feels wrong, but the result is oh so right. It sucks the oil off your face like this magical oil sucking machine. Your skin is left powdery soft and gently matte for much longer than normal. But It doesn’t keep the oil from coming back completely although it’s the closest thing I’ve ever tried.

In case you’re wondering, I still hate perfume. I haven’t grown a bit this year as you can clearly see. This Clean Shower Fresh smells good though. Notes are lemon, mandarin, jasmine, orange blossom and musk. It definitely has a fresh, clean scent. I would not be opposed to smelling like this. If I wore perfume. Which I don’t. This paragraph (and this point) is MOOT. Nexxxxxt.

Got a cute little Cargo eyeshadow single in the shade Oz which is – you guessed it – a yellowy gold. It’s a pretty decent eyeshadow. Nice color; nothing too unique, though. Best thing about this, however, is the adorable little tin it’s housed in. I’d buy just about anything if you put it in a tin. A tin makes everything a better and cuter. Well, except for sardines. I draw the line at sardines. Nothing’s helping sardines unless you replace them with chocolate and then sardines are pretty darn cute. With or without the tin.

What is my point? I dunno. The eyeshadow is alright and I’ll go ahead and keep it. Moving on.

But then I got this Lip Fusion Plump and Shine lipstick in the shade Babydoll. Gotta love that code word “plumping” because if you know anything at all about makeup, you’d know that plumping lipsticks are fantasies. They are not real things. They are leprechauns and unicorns. They are Bigfoot and and the Loch Ness Monster. They are cellulite creams and diet pills. You get my drift. But if you are interested in a basic lipstick with a bit of gloss and peppermint tingle, then by all means, have at it. I didn’t find it particularly interesting so I’ve passed it along to my daughter who loves just about anything that’s free (even sardines).

Not that receiving a body lotion is too exciting or anything but I do like this Ahava one. It has a very nice, clean scent. Consistency is slightly better than thin but definitely not thick or rich. Sinks in pretty quick though, so that’s nice. I don’t hate getting samples like this because I know I’ll use them. Sort of the equivalent of getting a box of tampons as a Christmas gift – maybe slightly better. Both useful things, but nothing to trip over your own feet to get to. Trust me, I’ve done that before. It hurt, but it was Chanel so entirely worth it.

Now what in Sam Hell am I supposed to do with this Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse golden shimmer dry oil? I am 40 dadgum years old. Am I off to the school dance? Am I bar hopping with my 22-year-old friends? Am I headed to a New Year’s Eve party with all the other cool people? Sadly, no. None of those things. I am sitting home blogging about how I’m never going to use this golden shimmer dry oil because golden shimmer and pajamas look weird together. Like, I’m pretty sure that’s how crazy starts, and I’m trying to push that moment off for several more years.

Now for one product I do love is this Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen eyeliner in Teal. Ugh. It’s so creamy and vibrant. Really really lovely. Wouldn’t mind having a few more of these. You know, to go with the 17 Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners I already own. Well! If you’re going to hoard makeup, do it properly. I’ve only used this on my upper eyelid, so the real test will be if it’ll stay on my waterline as good as my Sumita eyeliner that I cherish and adore. I probably should have tested that out before I wrote this post. Well, I am nothing if not professional.

Perhaps the weirdest thing I got in the box is the Keranique Scalp Stimulating Shampoo. At first I’m like, oh yeah another shampoo. Not exciting, but still useful. Then while copying the link to the product to post in the blog, I see it is one of those infomercial products, and that it helps regrow hair. Mmmmmmm, k. I’m just gonna go ahead and toss this one in the bin. If you wanna know if it works, just read the ad.

Last thing in the bag is this Avene Cleanance soapless cleanser. I’ve used this a couple of times and have officially decided it is the liquidy gel version of Dial bar soap. Has a bar soap smell, isn’t really moisturizing. But it gets you pretty clean. Foams up really really good too. It’s a good soap for oily skin as it helps control sebum production (science!) and refines pore size. So technically, this should be my holy grail cleanser. They sent me a full size bottle so perhaps by the end of it, I will be able to deem it just that.

All in all, I feel like Blush was raiding their samples bins for leftover products that they needed to get rid of. We didn’t even get product cards like we usually do – I had to research on my own how to use some of these things (tragic). I am seriously on the verge of canceling, I think. I’m giving it one more month to straighten up.

That’s it, friends. This is my last post of 2014. Hope it’s ended on a high note for you. And that you’ll come back next year for more fun stuff. And by next year, I mean TOMORROW, just to be clear. Happy new year, y’all!

Ipsy | December 2014

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Spent Friday night inside a Best Buy where I purchased a keyboard case for my new iPad, and then somehow ended up switching satellite providers on the way out the door. They seriously just need to SHUT UP with their $100 off instant coupon and $150 gift card promo.

Here’s my Ipsy:

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While not a huge hair product person, I have heard decent things about this Bumble and Bumble stuff. Received the BB Repair leave-in cream. I don’t have a strict opinion on it yet, but so far it seems to be okay. It doesn’t make my hair feel dirty, which that fact alone makes me want to own the full size. I use a dime-sized amount on my super fine hair, but concentrate it mostly from the mid to ends. I don’t dare touch my roots with this stuff because, while I don’t know if it’ll give me scummy hair up there, I’m not taking the chance. Who wants to wash their hair more than twice a week? Not me.

My favorite thing in the box surprises me. It’s the Cailyn mineral eye polish eyeshadow in the shade Orchid. What surprises me is that it’s a loose shadow. But because they put it in a little pot and the applicator is a doe foot sponge on a wand, it’s both fun to apply and easy. If all loose eyeshadows used this method, I would probably go broke owning all the things. But it’s just genius. The color is a nice pinky champagne, so it’s a great lid color that will go with just about any outer v shade. I chose to pat the sponge wand on my lid instead of rubbing it on and I got great coverage. I read some reviews where people said it didn’t show up very well. Obviously they weren’t patting but rubbing. So listen to me – we’re having a teaching moment here – pat on the eyeshadow. Just do what I say. Cuz I am the boss of you.

And even though I have about 17 eye creams in the stash under the sink, I’m cool with getting the Nourish Organic one. I may never get to it before 2021, but that’s beside the point. Has anyone else noticed how long eye creams last? Like I had a Chanel one that was a true sample size – you know, the size that some CEO yelled about in a Marketing meeting that since it was FREE, it should be very very tiny. So they said sample, and they meant it, but the jokes on them because it lasted over a month.

However, back to my point. I’m looking forward to trying the Nourish Organic eye cream in about 7 years.

I love mascara. I’m forever on a journey to find that holy grail. I’ve come super close with several kinds (Marc Jacobs O!Mega, Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes, even Benefit They’re Real! to name a few), so I was excited to receive the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes. If you read Paula’s Choice Beautypedia reviews, you might know that this one is listed in their BEST category.

So is it BEST? Well, I like it. It does a great job with volume and separation. I applied two coats with no clumping, although my tiniest lashes on the inner corner of my eye went a bit spindly. However, that’s probably just a problem I would have since my lashes are very sparse and thin. I know a lot of people that are just in love with this mascara, so it really varies from person to person. I’m not in love, just kind of casually dating. We see other people.

This blog went weird. Nexxxxxt.

Last product in the box is the NYX Butter lip balm in the shade Parfait. I already own one of these, and they are just great. They feel amazing on the lips. Moisturizing, soft. Smells like candy. The color is pretty sheer, but you can definitely tell it’s there. Add a touch of lipgloss in a similar color and you’d be all set for the day. I’m not opposed to buying more of these. But then again, I buy just about everything.

Enjoy the rest of your day my loves. Thanks for reading my blog. If you’re new, welcome. If you’ve been here before, pat yourself on the back for being so awesome. Til next time, friends.

Birchbox | December 2014

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Don’t mind me.  I’m just sitting over here playing with my new iPad Air 2 that my husband got me for Christmas, even though we made an agreement not to do gifts this year.  I’d say I was furious, but that would be a lie.  You read the part where he bought me an iPad Air 2, right?  So even though I gave him nothing in return (except for my undying love for eternity and whatnot), I’m having the best time.

Here’s my Birchbox:

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I’ve received the Rusk Texture Dry Finishing Spray in one of my previous boxes, and I passed it along to someone else that time too.  I don’t use products like this.  My hair is too fine and I have zero extra minutes in the morning to do anything more than comb it.  Now, if Rusk could come out with a finishing spray that tames the poufy, I may consider that.  According to the Birchbox review page, however, most people like this.  It adds texture and volume to your hair when sprayed on the roots.  Now, I have long, all-one-length hair so not sure what kind of texture I can make with a can of texture spray.  Sticky-uppy, maybe?  Dunno.  But it smells good so that’s nice.

You’re welcome for that in-depth, very informative review.  Blogging success today.  Getting back into pajamas now.

Received the very boring Acure Lip Lush lip gloss in the shade Date Worthy, a medium rose nude.  Also described as completely sheer/practically clear once applied on your lips.  There is really nothing special about this lip gloss for me.  I mean, I suppose it serves a purpose if all you want is a little shine and that’s it.  Or if you want lips that smell like candy.  Maybe if you have nothing else around this would be alright.  But honestly, I could lose it in the washing machine (i.e., black hole-slash-sock eater) and never shed a tear.  However, it’s not sticky, which is pretty important, and it has Echinacea stem cell in it, which sounds made up but kind of makes me mildly curious anyway.

And now for the Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB cream.  I didn’t hate getting this in the box, but I used it once and then passed it along to my mother who is a big Dr. Jart+ fan.  I’ve come across BB creams that wow me (Miracle Skin Transformer is one), and this one is just okay.  Decent enough coverage, although not quite enough for my splotchy complexion.  If you are already flawless, you’d probably be just fine.  We wouldn’t like you very much, but that’s beside the point.  This product comes in one universal shade, so it takes out 100% of the guesswork, which is very much appreciated by (OCD, anxiety-ridden, indecisive) me.  But I just don’t love it enough to keep it.  I have 27 foundations; I need to stay picky.

Got this very pretty Vasanti Kajal Extreme eyeliner in Rose Gold as my pick-your-own-sample choice.  As if I don’t already have enough eyeliners.  But I didn’t have this color, and if you’re going to be obsessed, you at least need to do it properly.  The color is pretty light if you’re trying to use it on top of eyeshadow, even champagne colored eyeshadow.  But it looks really lovely under the lower lashes.  Very feminine and dainty.  I liked it a lot.  It’s metallic and creamy.  If you buy the full size it will come with a built in sharpener and smudger.  Yay for bonuses!

Last item is the SeaRX Anti-wrinkling Serum.  The last time I tried a SeaRX product, it was a body moisturizer and I really loved it.  So I’m looking forward to trying the serum.  The reviews online sounds like most people like this except for the fact there isn’t much in the tube to generate a qualified review.  Sounds like my posts on a regular basis, although if you’re using my reviews as part of a scientific study, I’m afraid you’re gonna have to start over.  Sorry bout it.  So it sounds like this one will end up in an Empties post very soon.  I’m going to get started on it next.  Keep an eye out.

Okay, we’re done for the day.  Looking forward to a weekend full of nothing with the one exception of going to Best Buy to purchase an iPad case.  Totally worth wearing pants for.  Toodles!

Sample Society | December 2014

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I’m feeling very far behind in life this month.  Maybe it’s because of Christmas and the fact I wait until the very last minute to accomplish anything.  Maybe it’s because the sun has hidden itself behind clouds for the 57th day in a row, and all I wanna do is hibernate.  But most likely it’s because I can procrastinate like someone is paying me to do it, and when there’s money involved I can and will do just about anything.

Except for blogging in a timely manner, obviously.  And prostitution.  But hopefully you knew that already.

Here’s my Sample Society:

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Great box if I do say so.  One of their better ones actually.  There’s only one thing in here that’s useless to me (guess which), but everything else I’m excited about.

I have so many eye creams under my bathroom sink right now it’s not even funny.  Even so, I’m good with getting another one.  This Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair eye cream sounds like a keeper.  It claims to reduce every key visible sign of aging which sounds like a dream come true.  But most importantly, and because I am ridiculous, I’m especially excited that it dries to a soft, velvety finish.  Who wants sticky eye areas?  Not me.

Anyway, I think I’m going to put this one in the front of the line so I can get right to it after I finish the one I’m currently using.  Keep y’all posted like I always do.

The product I was most looking forward to trying was the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base.  At first, I wasn’t sure what to do with it – is it foundation, a liquid highlighter, or one of those shimmery glitter things that teenagers wear to school dances?  Oh, the anxiety!  But it’s Burberry so technically it didn’t matter – I’d find a way to use it and love it and never let it go.  I did some proper research anyway and discovered that yes, it can be used as a liquid highlighter, and no, it is not foundation – unless a silver sheened face is the look you’re going for.  However, the best way to use this – and I can attest – is as a foundation booster.  I add a pea-size amount (dotted onto my face) alongside my foundation then blend together.  You get this lovely, radiant finish but in a subtle, something’s different about you way.  Naturally I bought the full size.  Primarily because it’s Burberry, but secondly because it’s beautiful.  I know, I have a problem.

Got a Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy in the Verbena and Lavender scent.  This has the tendency to be boring as it’s just hand lotion, but it is something useful since I apply lotion just about everyday.  I’ve never owned anything from this brand, so of course I immediately wanted it.  It has a super nice texture – absorbs abnormally quick; no sticky lotion hands.  Smells very good. Kind of zesty and fresh. I might even go out on a limb and say as far as hand lotions go, this one might be the most un-boring I’ve ever tried. Are you buying this yet? You should be.

Received a Butter London Lippy tinted balm in the shade Teddy Boy.  This was kind of a fun thing to get.  It’s a lip balm that looks like a lipstick, medium coverage and very moisturizing.  The color I got was like a rose neutral and it shows up very well.  It’s creamy but not shiny; definitely not matte.  It’s very impressive color-wise for a lip balm.  In fact, you’d probably not even know it was a lip balm if you didn’t see it written right there on the tube.  Similar in texture to the NYX Butter Lipsticks, if you’ve tried those.  I recommend.  Go on.  Put it in your basket.

Last thing in the box was (you guessed correctly) the big poo.  It’s an RGB nail polish in the shade Oxblood.  Mine was broken and leaking in the box, so even if I wanted it I couldn’t have it.  But since I didn’t give two spits, I threw it in the trash and moved on with my life.  However, if anyone wants to know, the color is a deep Bordeaux red and RGB recommends two coats.

There ya have it.  The best blog post you’ve ever read.  Don’t worry; I’ll be back tomorrow with more fun stuff.

Buying Stuff: Episode 23

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Just 10 days until Christmas and only 1,457 presents left to buy.  Have I told you about the time I waited until the absolute very last minute (i.e., Christmas Eve) to buy gifts?  Or that I bought Easter basket trinkets at midnight on Easter where they were, surprisingly, not even discounted?  How about those birthday presents that tragically get “rerouted” during delivery end up arriving at my house roughly a week late?  I tend to procrastinate with things that stress me out.  However, advertise a makeup pre-order for something that’s not even available for 2 or 3 months, and I’ll get that done like yesterday.  Perhaps someone’s priorities are skewed?  I mean, not mine, but someone else’s?

In any case, I bought stuff:

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Your eyes are not playing tricks.  I bought the Gucci Lustrous Glow foundation y’all!  I was so curious about this product because there were only like two reviews of this YouTube.  I wasn’t even sure what color I was, and that quickly became my mission-slash-obsession in life.  Like, first find out my Gucci foundation shade, then solve world hunger.  I started with Light 030.  It seemed to be a touch too light, so I thought it would be safe to go up one notch to Light 040.  This one I held onto for about a week trying to decide if it matched.  It didn’t un-match necessarily but my face is naturally a little darker than my neck so it was hard to be sure.  I went ahead and ordered Light 050 so I could do a proper comparison.

You can imagine all the trouble and expense I’m going through at this point, yes?  I had charges for foundations before refunds were processed.  Thank God for Discover, that’s all I have to say about that.  Finally ended up settling on Light 050.  It had the least degree of washing out (if any).  I wouldn’t call it a perfect match – a skosh too yellow – but I’d make it work.  I mean, it’s Gucci.  You don’t return Gucci.  It’s in a rule book somewhere, I’m certain.

And was all the trouble worth it?  Welllll, it’s a decent foundation.  It had a nice natural finish to it.  Very slightly glowy on me; it wasn’t “lustrous” by any means.  The coverage was light to medium.  When foundations are light coverage, I tend to not like them as much because all my ugly bits show through.  So keep that in mind.  If you have a good complexion to start with, you’ll probably like this foundation more than me.  Best part is the lovely packaging.  If anything, you can buy this to sit on the back of your toilet for your house guests to admire.  A little pricey for bathroom décor, but did I mention it’s Gucci?

It was 3 o’clock in the morning when this happened:

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I really shouldn’t have internet access once my husband goes to bed.  Cuz I bought the May Lindstrom Honey Mud cleansing silk almost on autopilot.  However, it wasn’t alcohol-induced so points for that.

This stuff is advertised as a cleanser.  It’s made out of honey and clay and somehow manages to smell exactly like a Tootsie Roll.  The consistency is like a pudding before it sets up in the fridge.  I won’t lie; you want to eat it.  It feels super moisturizing and soft on the skin.  I can see this as a very luxurious spa treatment because it’s so elegant and lovely.  HOWEVER.  I was disappointed that it didn’t seem to clean my skin very well.  If you ask me, I’d consider it more as a pre-cleanser than a main cleanser.  For an $80 price tag, you should expect more.  Like pore gunk removal-slash-zit zapping-slash-magical powers.  They do give you the option to apply this as a mask instead, and I can see it working well in that capacity.

A side note: the honey used for this is collected from unsprayed/unfertilized fields of wildflowers in Michigan.  So now everything bad I just said went right out of your head didn’t it?  Yeah, mine too.

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I owned zero products by Tory Burch when I discovered they had a small amount of makeup on the Sephora website.  And because I’m in a constant state of needing to own all the things, I picked up this Bronzer and Blush.  Shade is called Divine, although that point is moot since it only comes in one shade.

First of all, the packaging will suck you in.  I love orange.  So warm, so summery.  Just looking at it will bring a smile to your face.  But the product itself isn’t that bad either.  I wouldn’t say you could use each section separately unless you use teeny tiny brushes.  Rather, just swirl your brush over all the shades combined.  You end up with a very pretty sunkissed glow on the cheeks.  I am much more happy with this purchase than originally expected.

If you’re looking to buy Tory Burch makeup, there isn’t a huge selection.  Sephora carries lipstick and a lip and cheek tint as well.  Hopefully there will be more forthcoming in the future as I am not opposed to buying something else.

Look – something pretty:

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Another instance of wanting to own all the things.  My first Kevyn Aucoin purchase, and I’d say it’s a pretty good one.   Hautelook was having a sale and the only eyeshadow duo left was the #201 Antique Silver/Plum Shimmer.  Turns out, that was the perfect duo for me.  The purple looks so stunning with my brown eyes.  And the silver isn’t like SILVER! but more Silver.  Well, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Blendability was excellent.  Pigmentation was excellent.  I can’t think of anything bad to say.  I want to buy all of them, so that could be bad.  For my wallet, anyway.

I bought this too:

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It’s the eyeshadow palette out of the Tarte Bon Voyage kit.  Why didn’t I show you the entire kit?  Cuz the only thing I wanted the kit for was so I could get this palette.  It is amazing.  Great selection of mattes and pretty shimmers.  Nothing super glittery.  Neutral but still colorful.  I got so much use of it for an entire week and never reused a shadow.  That’s value.  The cost is $59, but this is a 20-pan palette, and larger pans at that.  Plus you get extras in the kit like a mini finishing powder, mini cheek stain, mini mascara, and a full size lipgloss and lipstick.  Oh, and a mini Maracuja oil.  So honestly, it’s got good stuff for a really great price.  What I’m trying to say is go ahead and buy this.  It’s at Sephora only.  And it’s LIMITED EDITION.  You panicked yet?  You should be.

However, do not buy this:

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This is a mucho mucho waste of money.  It’s the Bobbi Brown Mini Eye Palette.  Super cute packaging, which enticed me first.  Then I thought the price ($35) wasn’t too terrible for 8 designer eyeshadows. I mean, it’s not awesome but I suppose you’d could say I’m used to it.  My last thought was that I didn’t have a lot of Bobbi Brown stuff, and because I’m very ridiculous, I went ahead and purchased it because that made perfect sense.

Now.  I’m not saying this palette wouldn’t work for certain people.  But for me it was simply no bueno.  Three of the shadows were chunky glitter, and even though they are quite clearly different colors in the pan, absolutely no discernible difference appeared on my eye.  The other colors were okay, but very sheer.  If I want a sheer look, that would be okay, but more often than not I don’t.  The size of the palette is a 2-inch square.  This doesn’t bother me, but I wanted everyone to know in case they would be expecting something bigger.

Ever since I’ve gotten this palette, it’s been hiding out in the Train Case of Unused Makeup.  It’s probably going to live there.  I’m keeping it because the packaging makes me happy and it’s Bobbi Brown (i.e., fancy).  Does that make me shallow?  Probably.

Last thing:

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As if I don’t have enough cleansers or something, I went ahead and picked up the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip cleanser primarily because I liked the name Ceramic Slip.  I really should develop more appropriate shopping techniques.  I certainly shouldn’t base my purchases based on clever names, pretty packaging, and whether or not they look like food.

Regardless, though, this is a good cleanser.  It doesn’t smell that great.  Like it literally smells like the inside of a ceramic pot.  That’s probably not its intended smell, but I detect nothing floral, sweet or perfume-y at all.  It has black pepper and frankincense in it.  Are those good smells?  NO.  But they’re not horrid, so we can move on.

This cleanser is not moisturizing.  It actually physically tightens your skin.  It foams up really nice when you use wet hands and makes you feel like you’re getting your face super duper clean.  It claims to give me miniscule pores and flawless skin.  It’s printed right there on the front of the bottle.  They wouldn’t do that if it wasn’t true.  Either that, or it’s just a very clever marketing ploy because besides the name, that’s the other reason why I bought this.

Okay friends, we’re at the end.  Beauty boxes are arriving so I’ll be getting on those reviews soon.  Plus I’m in a constant state of Buying Stuff, so honestly, the fun will never die.  Hope it’s warm and sunshine-y where you are.  I’m going to go roll up in a ball under a blanket somewhere.  Bye!

Empties | November 2014

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Oh my god, it’s like day 59 with no sun, and I don’t think I can take it anymore.  According to the weather, it’s supposed to be sunny today.  If they consider foggy, misty, grey and gloomy a sunny day, then I’m just gonna go ahead and call in sick until April.

It’s Empties time!  Hope you’ve set aside a full day because this is going to be the longest post I’ve ever written.  I used up a ton of stuff this past month.  Which is probably good for the environment.  Most importantly, however, it clears up space for more new things.  Let’s get started with some cleansers:

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There is nothing technically wrong with the Epice Purifying Exfoliant, but I didn’t care for it.  The micro beads were so tiny I couldn’t get them off my face.  Like I’d rinse and rinse and rinse, and still I’d find little beads clinging to my skin.  And when you have OCD, you absolutely can’t rest until you get every bit.  So I’d be in the bathroom for practically eons.  Additionally, if I used it while I was in the bathtub, I’d be sitting on micro beads for the remainder of the bath.  Let’s just say it did not feel pleasant.

But not all exfoliants are made alike, thankfully.  I absolutely love the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser.  This is what an exfoliant should be.  The beads rinse completely and cleanly.  It smells like furniture polish, which isn’t my favorite, but it’s tolerable.  The most enjoyable thing about this product is that it’s a pretty dry scrub in the container.  Scoop some out, then wet your other hand and rub together.  Once it comes into contact with water it softens up and spreads very easily across the skin.  Afterwards, you are left with a super soft, moisturized feeling.  Now, I have heard conflicting reports that the full size isn’t as awesome as the sample size.  Which doesn’t make sense cuz it’s the same stuff, right?  So I’m a little apprehensive about ordering a full size, although I really really want to.

I was very curious about the Eve Lom Cleanser, as Vogue claims it to be the best cleanser in the world and it’s been winning awards for 25 years.  I mean, that’s gotta be saying something.  Certainly perked my cat ears right up.  Anything award-winning I want immediately.  Figured since the smallest size was $50, I should probably try a sample first.

Sometimes I amaze myself with my own insight.  This stuff has the most horrendous smell of any product I’ve ever tried.  Even worse than the one that smells like a fish hatchery.  Like, would it kill someone to toss a few flowers in the batch?  Now, if you read the reviews on Sephora, most people love this stuff.  When they talk about the smell, some say it’s amazing but don’t worry, they are wrong.  Others say the smell grows on you, which I cannot vouch for.  However, despite that hideousness, this truly is a magical cleanser.  It removes makeup like a champ, and comes with a little muslin cloth to help exfoliate your skin.  It also comes with instructions on how to use it properly, which includes a lymphatic massage of your face.  I don’t know about you, but I have a 17-step nighttime regimen; I have no time to massage my own face.  Plus, I literally want to get this on then off in record speed because the smell hurts my tummy, and I am a princess.  Would I repurchase this?  It’s up in the air.

Got a little sample of the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser, and it was alright.  It left almost zero impression on me so I can’t remember much about it; however, it wasn’t gross or else this paragraph would be much longer.  Pretty basic.  Didn’t hate it.  Nothing special.  Moving on.

To body stuff:

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I owned this theBalm Kiwi Facial Scrub for way longer than its 6 month expiration, so I’m tossing it.  I figured if I kept pushing it, I’d end up with a face-falling-off situation, of which I have no time for.  This was a decent facial scrub.  The bits were rather large, but they rinsed very well.  The smell was divine – and we all know how important smell is.  Towards the end of its life span, I started using it on my body just to eke out more use.  I liked it in this capacity as well.  It’s a pretty large bottle for as much as I wanted to use it (like once a week, although 2-3 times a week is fine) so I didn’t get value for my money.  Although I bought it on Hautelook for 50% off, so there’s probably a math problem in there somewhere for you.

No, the Philosophy shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath thing is not completely empty as you can see.  However, this is the portion of product I could not get out of the bottle without muscle strain and/or breaking a sweat.  No thanks.  I did not use this as a shampoo or bubble bath, only shower gel.  And I liked it alright.  It lasted ages.  The smell was very nice (Melon Daiquiri as shown).  Even includes a little recipe right on the bottle.  I will most likely repurchase at some point and pick another scent.  Animal Cracker smells awesome, as does Cinnamon Bun.  And Pink Frosting.  Mmmmmm, who wants a snack?  I do.

I actually finished a nail polish remover.  Got these pads from Lauren B. Beauty and they’re super nice.  First of all, they smell good.  Like fruit or something.  And one pad will do all 10 of your fingers, even hard to remove nail polish.  It took me a long while to get through since I don’t paint my nails or change my nail polish all that much, but I wouldn’t be opposed to purchasing these again.

Onto hair things:

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I suppose the Bvlgari au The Blanc hair conditioner doesn’t belong in the hair category because I did not use this as a conditioner.  First of all, it’s super perfume-y, so unless you want your hair to smell like cologne, I’d recommend doing what I did and use this to shave your legs instead.  I mean, I literally can’t attest to its hair conditioning powers, but it did a great job making my legs feel smooth.  And I know there is still a small amount of product left in the bottle, but that’s the part that wouldn’t come out.  Like there’s only so much beating it against the side of the bathtub that I can take.  And all that spurting and sputtering.  What can I say?  I’m a quitter.

You’ve all heard me sing the praises of the Carol’s Daughter hair mask.  I decided to get the matching Monoi shampoo and conditioner as well because I can’t get enough of that delicious smell.  But while the smell was as lush and intoxicating as expected, I’m not sure the shampoo and conditioner is my Ride or Die.  It’s not bad, mind you, but I think I can live without it.  Kind of hurts my heart to say that, but honestly, the mask does everything I need.  So most likely I will try a cheaper shampoo and conditioner next (heard great things about Clear, plus it won an Allure award) and continue with my weekly mask treatment.  Sound like a good plan?  It totally does.

My favorites – masks and serums:

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I pretty much just used this Sesha Botanical Hydro sheet mask just so it wouldn’t go to waste.  I’m not a fan of sheet masks.  They feel gelatinous to the touch and they never give me the satisfaction I usually get from traditional masks.  However, if you are one who loves a good sheet mask, this one gave me ridiculous soft skin afterwards.

I almost used this entire tube of SmartFX Smart Eye Wrinkle Lift, but I was around two months into it and got really, really bored.  You know how it is when you have new products you want to try – you make the best effort you can in finishing up current products but those new products keep enticing you with their fancy packaging and pristine good looks.  I tried to ignore it and carry on, but I swear this SmartFX kept replicating itself just to be annoying.  I’m sure that’s fantastic news for people who like value for their money, but I am (apparently) not one of them.  I took matters into my own hands and tossed the dang thing.

But before all that, this was a decent eye cream.  It was tinted, and I really enjoyed the finish it left under my eye.  Did it plump my fine lines?  Doubtful.  But it had psychological brain trickery going for it cuz I kept using it anyway.

One of the best products I used this past month was the Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum.  I have a big freckle underneath my left eye and some discoloration along the hollow of my cheek.  I only applied this serum to those areas, even though you can apply it to your entire face.  After a few weeks, I could tell a huge difference.  And the longer I used it, the better the results were.  My under eye freckle nearly disappeared and the cheek discoloration went away entirely.  The only thing it didn’t work on was my pimple scar.  Which is unfortunate because I can live with that dang freckle; it’s the pimple scar that ruins my complexion.  Now that I haven’t been using it, however, the freckle has darkened up a bit.  Cheek still looks pretty good, though.  So it’s not a miracle product for me, but it’s worth a try if you’re curious.

One of the nicest eye creams is this hydrating one from Bobbi Brown.  Got it in a 500-point perk (along with other stuff) from Sephora, and despite its teeny tiny size, I swear it lasted over a month.  The texture is ultra creamy and smooth.  Once it sank in, which was relatively fast, your eye skin would feel like velvet.  Who wouldn’t love that?  (Crazy people.)  I have loads of other eye creams to try now, but this is definitely one I will come back to.

Y’all know I love my serums.  Got this little sample of the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate in my Birchbox, and was so super excited to give it a try.  The formula is kind of like a syrup; it oozes out of the bottle.  I put a couple drops on my face, and it starts to get tacky/sticky very quickly.  But once it evaporates (ten or so minutes), my skin felt very nice.  I could use this with other serums – the Shiseido is meant to boost the benefits of other products – but I didn’t.  Why add another step to my nighttime regime unnecessarily?  I mean, I do it on purpose all the time; that’s enough.  However, if you do choose to use this along with another serum, apply this one first.  Not sure why it matters, but Shiseido says it does, so then do it.  Always follow the rules when it comes to Science (due to malfunction-slash-chemical explosion-slash-angry hives-situation that may occur).

And now for makeup removers:

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How about some boring ole Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelettes to get you going in the morning?  I can’t even tell you anything special about these wipes.  They are basic, but do the job very well.  Not much else you can say about them. I will repurchase one day probably.  I’m testing out a few other wipes right now, plus I bought another pack of the Ole Henriksen Pore Refining wipes I originally tried a few months ago.  Now those wipes are something.  They have eucalyptus in them, so they perk you right up in the morning.  They are my favorite because of that reason, but I don’t like spending $15 on them.  So if I have just $6.50 in my pocket and a wipes emergency (it happens), I’ll go back to Neutrogena without a doubt.

As for the Clarins eye makeup remover, this was no more special or effective than my normal Neutrogena one that is $6.  In my opinion, save yourself some money.  Unless you just enjoy buying fancier brands for no apparent reason.  I mean, obviously I do it all the time – you’ve read this blog before, right?  But sometimes my brain tells me stop it.  Paying $28 for eye makeup remover that provides the same results as a drugstore product sounds like someone doesn’t know how to do math right.  And while I’m not a math genius or anything, a “D” is still passing and therefore I’m able to put down the Clarins and walk away.

Lord, are we done?

No.  Here’s makeup:

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I took a little break from my holy grail sunscreen, Cotz, just to try something new.  I had received the Coola mineral sunscreen (matte tint version) in one of my boxes and I really liked the texture.  Ordered the full size, which was pretty pricey, but it lasted for months and months.  My only issue was the pump on my bottle didn’t always work.  It drove me bananas when I’d be trying to get going on my morning routine only to find myself pumping the nozzle about 70 times until something came out.  I almost gave up on it about 17 times.  This product is very light weight.  Sank in pretty quick into the skin and left a nice silky feeling behind.  Using this felt more like applying makeup.  No beachy sunscreen here.  Now that I’ve finished it, I’ve gone back to my Cotz, but I wouldn’t mind another bottle of Coola.  You know, if anyone feels like getting me one.

If you have hideous, cavern-like pores like me and have struggled to find a good product to help mask them, Dr. Brandt Pores No More is one of the good ones.  This is very much a silicone primer with a nude skin tone. Similar to Benefit’s Porefessional.  Might be a tad bit creamier.  Now don’t go be expecting miracles or anything.  You won’t walk away from the mirror with a porcelain complexion – unless you already have one.  But it did help blur out the imperfections and for that I am grateful.  I’ve accepted the fact that nothing will turn back the time on my face (with the exception of laser surgery, perhaps).  As long as these little pore filler things exist, I will somehow manage to carry on.  Sobbing, but carrying on.

My lips are a mess.  I’ve yet to find anything that will control my dry, flaky lip skin.  I had some hopes for the Fresh Sugar lip treatment, but it didn’t help either.  It may be due to the fact I have a fan blowing straight on my face for 8 hours every night.  However, I’m so addicted to the fan that there’s no way I could sleep without it now.  If the electricity goes off in the middle of the night, I don’t wake up because of a large clap of thunder; I wake up because someone turned my damn fan off.

But I digress.  This lip balm is just like anything else I’ve tried.  It has a brown sugar scent that I don’t actually care for.  Aside from all that, if you read the reviews on Sephora it seems as though I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Everyone loooooves the Fresh Sugar lip treatment.  Everyone but me.

One product I do love is the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer.  This thing is heavenly.  First of all, it smells like a dream.  I’m pretty sure someone in Marketing is kicking back with their feet on their desk – as well they should.  Make things smell like chocolate and women will buy it, whatever it is.  That’s how chocolate Pringles manage to still exist.  But truly, in addition to the smell, this is a really nice bronzer.  The color looks kind of dark in the pan, but on the cheek it is very flattering.  I have light/medium skin if that helps you gauge whether you can use it or not.  It would probably be too dark for fair skin.  The sample I used actually crumbled into a million pieces so I had to toss it.  I tried using it by dabbing my brush in the crumbs, but it became very messy.  I’ve since replaced it with a full size, even though I have a ginormous Marc Jacobs bronzer that’s barely had its textured imprint rubbed off yet.

Another lip product that is a big fat waste.  I bought the Hourglass No. 28 lip oil out of sheer curiosity.  Also because at that time in my life I owned one Hourglass thing, and it was my mission to buy something – anything – else.  Sometimes I make no sense.  I could’ve bought a blush or even a foundation.  But I bought a lip oil.  And guess what?  Chapped lips everywhere.  Yes, it was a pretty thick oil, but I never felt one time that it was doing anything special for me.  Yes, it lasted eons.  Like I’d still be using it if my granddaughter hadn’t put the tip in her mouth right after eating a snack of Cheetos.  If I could say one nice thing about it, I’d say it’s not too sticky.  And it felt alright on the lips.  And possibly it didn’t work very well for me because of the aforementioned fan situation.  I’ll give it that at least.

There is nothing wrong with this L’Oreal Silkissime eyeliner.  It’s super black, very creamy, and stayed put really well.  All good eyeliner attributes.  But I had the worst time sharpening this thing.  I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get a smooth sharpen.  The pencil portion was jagged and stuck out further than the eyeliner in the middle, and it would stab me in the eyelid if I tried to use it.  This is not an exaggeration.  I gave it two chances to straighten up, and still with the stabbing.  I had to let it go.  Luckily it was pretty inexpensive.  There is a little gold band around the tip of the pencil so maybe that part just doesn’t sharpen very well. Whatever the case, I gave up cuz I have 27 other black eyeliners to last me for eternity.

I received this Dior Diorshow Iconic mascara for free so I’m perfectly fine to say I did not like it and I’m throwing it away. The formula was so dry it literally did nothing for my eyelashes. There’s a distinct possibility I got an empty tube. I mean, it was free after all. But now I’m not keen whatsoever to try the full size version. Although there are fifteen times more 5-star Sephora reviews than 1-star, so again, I may have no idea what I’m talking about. My daughter gets it now. She loves everything.

Oh my gawd, you’ve made it to the end. I assume anyway. I did give myself a massive case of carpal tunnel so if that guilts you into sticking around, then I win at blogging and can get back into pajamas now. Thanks, Friends!

Glossybox | November 2014

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I finally broke down and bought proper trouser socks to go with my dress shoes for work.  I am not a child and am quite aware you aren’t allowed to wear orange and green polka dot socks with a navy sweater.  I can’t say the trouser socks are breaking any fashion barriers or anything, but at least they are black and match everything.

Look, it’s my Glossybox:

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This is one of the best boxes they’ve sent.  I will use every single thing in here – even the nail polish, although probably just once.  Hooray for Christmas miracles!  Let’s begin.

I will never turn my back on skin care.  So receiving the Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy moisturizer is a welcomed sight.  I’ve used one of the green apple products before – a mask – and it doesn’t particularly smell like green apples.  So I’m expecting the moisturizer to be the same.  I suppose the green apple isn’t necessarily a scent-thing but more an acid-thing because it’s loaded with alphas and betas that will help brighten your skin and get rid of discoloration.  This is perfect for me.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am plagued with hyperpigmentation (i.e., old pimple scars).  I have a cluster of it right on my cheek which makes looks me look like I’ve been sweeping chimneys for 8 hours.  If I was nine years old, I know my mama’d be coming after me with her magic cleaning thumb.  It’s not dirt, people; I don’t need a spit-polish.

Long story short, I’d be nice if this moisturizer works.  We shall see.

I’ve owned the 12 Benefits hair treatment in the past, and it’s my absolute favorite leave-in product ever.  I can spray this all over my hair and never worry about it feeling scummy or weighed down after it’s dried.  I have been meaning to buy the full-size, but I keep getting all these ho-hum samples from my boxes that I’m making an effort to use up.  Since I technically paid for all of them.  Being responsible isn’t always the most fun.

In case you’re curious, the 12 benefits of 12 Benefits are: seals hair color, smooths frizz, repairs damage, prevents split ends, moisturizes, strengthens, prevents flat iron/chlorine/wind/sun damage, adds shine/softness, protects from blow drying, improves detangling, and maintains youthfulness.  Doesn’t that all sound amazing?  It does, and now you want it.  Put it in your basket.

Received an OPI nail polish in custom shade called Pink Outside the Glossybox.  Isn’t that clever?  Even so, I don’t wanna keep it.  It matches the Glossybox boxes perfectly, though.  However, it’s just a basic pink in my eyes.  I think I will use it maybe this weekend, take a selfie for posterity, and then give it away to my daughter.  It’s all in the spirit of Christmas.

I was super excited to see the So Susan universal blush in my box.  I have never heard of this brand, which is the number one reason I subscribe to beauty boxes: trying new brands.  The packaging of the blush is pretty boring, but the color is really lovely.  And then I realized it’s one of those self-adjusting blushes that will change to suit your skin tone.  What kind of voodoo magical witchcraft is this?!  I don’t know about you, but I would buy it simply for this fact alone.

I have been wearing it for a couple days, and I feel like the color is very flattering.  A pretty mauve-y pink.  It’s very pigmented as well so be careful.  I over applied the first time, and it was less flattering more prostitute-y.  I was much more deliberate the next time and it fared much better.  This may very well be in the top tier of all my blushes.  And I have a lot, so that’s saying something.

Last thing in the box is a Kneipp Herbal Bath in Balancing Lavender.  I’ve always wanted to do something like this.  How extra special Princessy!  Who doesn’t want to lounge in a bath with the smell of lavender all around you?  Maybe people who don’t like the smell of lavender, but other than that, I can imagine everyone doing it.  This particular one helps combat fatigue and gives you peace of mind and other Zen-like things.  If that’s not your thing, though, there are other scents for muscle aches, sleep deprivation, energy, stress, even cold and flu.  So I think I’m gonna give this a try over the weekend and I’ll report back how it went.  If I manage to slither my way out of the bathtub, that is.  I can do Princess Time like it’s my damn job.  As well it should be.  I’m var var good at it.

All done and now I’m starving.  Time for snacks.  Possibly a nap.  Most definitely pajamas.  See ya tomorrow friends.