Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sample Society | January 2015

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You know you have a problem when it’s only 29 days into the new year and you’re already halfway through to qualifying for VIB Rouge for 2016.  I saw this today – right after I clicked the “submit order” button – and was like whaaaa?!  Part of me was ashamed, but then the other 99% of me was like HECK YES.

Here’s my Sample Society:

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We got six products in the box instead of five this time, but Sample Society has since issued a statement that said they were so excited for February’s inclusion of the StriVectin Intensive Illuminating Serum that they accidentally put it in the January box.  In other words, we are getting this serum two months in a row now.  Well, hope it’s good then.

I do like those keywords like “intensive” and “illuminating” though.  Anything that claims to brighten my skin, even my tone and replace my old face for a new one is instantly my new best friend.  Those are the things I look for in a serum.  I want the skin of a 14-year-old.  I want all my splotches and old pimple scars to kindly get the hell out.  If I can look at myself bare faced and not cringe and say dirty words, then you can guarantee I’m buying 57 boxes of the product that caused it.

I’m not one for bars of soap, but this Erno Lazslo Sea Mud cleansing bar is a cult favorite among famous people, and because I am extremely shallow and easily swayed by such ridiculous facts, I am now looking forward to using it.  Here are some other reasons you will want to buy this:

1)  It’s formulated from dead sea mud derived from the Jordan River.  Ummmm, hello?  Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.  The end.

2)  If you need a second reason, I will pray for your soul.  Because JESUS.  In the JORDAN RIVER.

It is kind of a funny little thing though, cuz there are some very specific instructions to using this product.  On a wet face, you apply the bar directly to your skin and massage all over.  Then set the bar aside and continue to massage your face with your fingertips.  And then you MUST splash your face with water 30 exact times.  Not 27, not 32, but 30 dadgum times or it doesn’t count and you have to start all over.  Well you don’t, but I do believe they are serious about the 30 times.  The problem with this splashing technique is that it never results in the same way as tv-commercial-splashing.  If anyone out there manages this without flooding your own bathroom, please let me know.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you are quite aware I have a zero-level love affair with nail polish.  However, if boxes insist on sending me nail polish, it better be Zoya and it better be a cool, unique color like this mint green called Tiana.  I love this shade!  It speaks of spring and warmer days ahead.  It’s a happy color, and I always want to surround myself with happy colors.  Plus the Zoya brand is such an easy, effortless nail polish to wear.  Their color range is outstanding.  If you can’t find one to call your very own, I’d be surprised and very worried at how color blind you must be.

Okay, this Philip B light weight deep conditioning crème rinse says it makes hair crazy shiny and that it’s suitable for fine hair.  I agree that those with fine hair would definitely benefit from this conditioner because it is so light weight it feels like absolute nothing on the hair.  I applied a quarter size amount to my ends, and this product disappeared into oblivion and almost made me think I imagined the whole thing.  Now, this may or may not be what you like in a conditioner.  I am of the may-not category.  I need to feel the conditioner slathered on thick and creamy.  Make me really believe it’s working, you know?  It may not work worth a shit, but at least make me think it does.  A lot can be said for psychological brain trickery.  That’s how I justify pricey skin care.

I ended up squeezing out the entire sample tube in an effort to get that luxurious, creamy effect.  And it just didn’t happen.  So I rinsed it out and moved on with my life.  As for the shiny hair claim, this stuff is chock full of healthy oils, most notably Jojoba which is best known for creating a lovely shine.  Lots of people say it does just that, but I paid absolutely no attention once my hair was dry.  I could’ve had shiny hair for Jesus, but sadly my mind was elsewhere.  However, even if it does do a good job on the shine, I won’t buy it cuz it’s not thick enough for me.

I got a Revlon Photoready Eye Art eyeshadow thingy in the shade Peach Prism.  I would never ever buy this on my own because it is a cream shadow on one end and a glitter on the other.  Two things I don’t ever get excited about.  However, for the sake of this review and I suppose to sate my curiosity (which wasn’t at peak level by any means), I tried it out.  The cream eyeshadow is very metallic, and although Allure Magazine said one swipe will give you a wash of color and two swipes will be opaque, I found this particular color pretty hardcore.  I did one swipe and I looked like a Vegas billboard for eyelids.

The glitter side was clear with lots of peach sparkles in it.  I put it on my inner corner, and it dried like cement.  Not necessarily the most flattering, but probably not too noticeable unless you’re invading my personal space.  In which case, you get a hi-yaaa! to the throat complete with side kick and spitlets and then my glitter cement is the least of your problems.

Just kidding.  I’d probably just say sorry and then go wash my face.

So, bottom line is that I can see where lots of people would enjoy these.  The applicators are very handy and create zero mess unless it’s on purpose.  I’m not a fan of this genre in general, so I’ve stored it away in the Train Case of Forgotten Makeup where it’ll make nice with my hoard of loose eyeshadows and red lipsticks.

Last product in the box is the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar moisturizer.  I had the previous version of the Hope in a Jar and I did not like it that much.  I can’t remember exactly why, only that I threw it away before finishing the sample tube.  But this new one is … ahhhhh! … so lovely.  It has this delicious looking sheen to it that almost makes you wanna eat it. It’s very lightweight and sinks in super fast, then afterwards your face feels like silk. I was reading Allure’s review and they mention how it took them a long time to rub it in, and all I can do is look at them funny. I did not have this experience so I can only assume they are WRONG.

If that is not enough persuasion for you to go on and purchase this product, let me tell you one more thing: it’s called a “whipped” moisturizer. Whipped. That’s like cupcake topping or the middle of an Oreo. If you’re somehow able to walk away after hearing all that, you need to take your show on the road cuz willpower that strong is downright inspirational.

Time’s up. I have a var bar busy night ahead of me. YouTube videos. Ice cream. And Candy Crush ain’t gonna play itself, now is it? More tomorrow friends!

Buying Stuff: Episode 24

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I feel like I haven’t done a Buying Stuff post in light years.  But trust me when I say there’s been stuff being bought, like an embarrassing amount.  I mean, if there’s a day that goes by without a UPS box sitting on my porch, someone needs to call the authorities cuz a crime has happened in my neighborhood.

So let’s get started.  After wasting miles and miles of toilet paper, I finally decided to do this:

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It’s the Vera Mona Color Switch Solo and you can wipe the eyeshadow off your brushes with it and simultaneously save the planet.  It truly is a magical little tool.  And handy too – sometimes I just don’t have the time to root around in my brush cup looking for something particular.  I just take the brush I was already using, swipe the bristles around the mesh trap and voila!  Clean brush to use again.  It’s the lazy person’s (i.e., ME) best friend.

And because you’ll be saving billions of trees in the process, you can pat yourself on the back with a Sephora gift card.  There, doesn’t that feel good?

Wanna see something pretty?  Look below:

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Can you stand it?  Ugh.  It’s the Chanel Camelia de Plumes highlighter and it’s too pretty to actually use.  Like literally I’ve used it maybe 4 or 5 times then felt really guilty about it so I’ve put it away.  It’s practically an art piece with all that leafy design on top (technical term, obviously).  It is a limited edition and probably not even available anymore except on Amazon or eBay.  But I wanted to show you anyway because it’s simply too lovely not to share.  The color is a glorious mix of silver and gold, and if you don’t feel like a queen when holding/using/owning this, then you’re doing life wrong.

Now wanna see something ugly?  Look below:

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I know, right?  It’s the Marc Jacobs nail polish in Lux (a chartreuse yellow), and it’s so verging on hideous that it’s practically cool.  You know how male models can walk down the runway with a fanny pack on, and all of sudden you need a fanny pack like nobody’s business?  Well, it’s that kind of cool.  Except sadly my fanny pack would be less Chanel embossed leather and more Target-nylon-from-the-camping-aisle.  But still.

Anyway, this color caught my eye because of it’s rare ugliness.  Y’all know I don’t like nail polish.  I barely buy it and wearing it from one week to the next is a crapshoot.  So the lone fact that I bought nail polish and in THIS color speaks a thousand words.  I absolutely loved it.  It’s the most unique thing in my (albeit small) nail polish collection, and I don’t regret buying it for a second.

Then I bought this darling thing:

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Is this too much beauty in one post for you?  Everyone doing okay – heart rates behaving normally?  Cuz this Tom Ford blush in Love Lust about gives me palpitations.  If you’ve heard from other (more knowledgeable) people that Tom Ford blushes are beautiful and worth it – believe them.  Highly pigmented, natural looking and luminous.  It’s what cherub cheeks are made of.  And if I have an extra $57 laying around, I’m buying me another one.  However, how often does an extra $57 lay around at my house?  Not very.  I write a beauty blog.  I’m not sure what else you expect.

The below happened because Nordstrom couldn’t just SHUT UP about their damn mascara coupon:

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It was a Buy 2 Get 1 Free coupon, and I literally could not NOT take advantage.  Who doesn’t want something for free? (Crazy people.) And if I don’t cash in on it, what does that say about me as a person other than being really, really bad at math?  Cuz free is free, even if you have to spend $60 to get it.

First one is the Trish McEvoy Lash Curling mascara.  I wanted to give this one a try since I didn’t own any Trish McEvoy products, and even though you might assume I own all the products of all time everywhere, sadly that isn’t the case.  I mean, I am currently on my journey to own all the things but it’s going to take a lifetime at the very least.  That’s okay though.  Why be obsessed if you can’t do it proper?

But back to the mascara.  This is one of those tubing mascaras, the kind that forms little tubes around your eyelashes.  I’ll be honest when I say what is the point of tubing technology?  Does it make things more voluminous?  Or make your eyelashes touch your eyebrows?  Well, not for me it doesn’t.  It was just an okay find for me.  It does remove very easily, so the fact I don’t lose eyelashes in the process is enough motivation to make me use this product.

The Dolce & Gabbana Secret Eyes mascara fared better.  It is a lengthening version and it does alright.  I mean, don’t go expecting falsie-status or anything, but I don’t think you’ll hate it.  However, mascara is such a personal thing – one works for one doesn’t work for another.  Although if you tell me you don’t enjoy the YSL Babydoll mascara or the Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes one, then obviously you are WRONG.  But other than those two, I get it.

So this one gives decent length, separates and fans out lashes, but to get volume you’re gonna have to swipe on about 3 coats.  Luckily this didn’t cause a clumping fiasco otherwise I’d have to trade my morning Starbucks run with pushing a stick pin between my lashes and manually, tediously separating them.  Risking the safety of my eyeball isn’t always the best idea at 6:30 in the morning.  But then again, nothing sounds particularly awesome at 6:30 in the morning.  Aside from that, don’t make me choose between eyelashes and Starbucks.  What is the point of the Constitution if I can’t have both?  I ask you: WHAT. IS. THE. POINT.

My favorite of the three is the Burberry Curve Lash.  It takes the least amount of effort to make an impact.  The brush is small and does a pretty good job of volumizing.  Length is about standard, but I’ve come to the conclusion that fat lashes are better than tall ones anyway.  I wouldn’t say it curls them any better than other mascaras, but what do I want in a $30 mascara – a fecking miracle?  (Yes.)

Last thing I bought are the Gerard Cosmetics Jaclyn Hill lip thingies:

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If you don’t know who Jaclyn Hill is, it’s clear you don’t spend enough time on YouTube watching makeup tutorials, which in that case I can only assume your life is much more exciting than mine.  I mean, I’ve been reading the same 200-page book for roughly 3 months now because I keep using all my free time on YouTube.  I should really have more responsibilities in life.  If it wasn’t for the fact I have a full time job, I’d probably be winning in the Couch Pajamas Olympics event (but failing at the Cheetos-slash-Little Debbie Cake Resistance Program).

Well anyway – Jaclyn Hill.  She is a very popular makeup artist on YouTube and she has teamed up with Gerard Cosmetics to develop her own colors of lip gloss and lipstick.  I already own one of her lip glosses (called Rose Hill, a beautiful rosy pink) so this lip gloss in Buttercream and these lipsticks in 1995 (brown) and Buttercup (pink) complete the collection.  I absolutely love these products.  The lip glosses are very pigmented, which I prefer in a lip gloss.  Super shiny, not terribly sticky (or not annoyingly sticky).  If I had to pick my least favorite, though, it would be the 1995 lipstick.  It’s very much a Kylie Jenner-esque shade and I don’t always think it looks good on me.  But it looks good on loads of other people.  Which happens to me a lot with lipstick.  Skin tone can be such a bitch sometime.

Welp, that’s it for today.  I have two box reviews to finish out the month and if my math is correct, I should be able to fit them in with one day to spare.  If I can be a proper blogger and focus my attentions, that is.  I get very distracted by lounging.

Bye!

Birchbox | January 2015

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This weekend my husband and I drove 45 minutes out of town to eat Italian food at this restaurant in the middle of nowhere.  I say middle of nowhere because it literally drops off the map due to A) they don’t take debit cards and B) my cell phone wouldn’t work in there.  I seriously had to spend the next two hours NOT on Instagram.  Clearly this sounds like torture, and if you’d like to send me a Get Well token, I like gift cards.

Here’s my Birchbox:

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Ho hum pigs bum.  Were you about to say that too?  Cuz it’s true.  Not much to get overly excited about.  It’s not the worst box they’ve ever sent me, though.  I’ll at least use everything in here.  Not with a smile, mind you, but I’ll use them.

I have nothing against the Neil George shampoo and conditioner, but Birchbox has committed a beauty box sin.  I get five samples, Birchbox.  FIVE.  Shampoo and conditioner is a set – they go together, they are one in the same (aside from being different, that is).  I mean, sure you can have a peanut butter sandwich with no jelly, a hamburger with no fries, or a NARS eyeshadow with no Guerlain lipstick.  But do you want to, really?  If you have to consider this question for longer that 2.57 seconds, you may have stumbled upon this blog by accident.

My point is (there is one), I got cheated because someone decided that shampoo and conditioner equaled two individual things when they clearly ARE NOT.  It’s basic math.

But back to the product review.  This set is just fine.  Not too expensive as far as something non-drugstore goes ($9 each).  I was happy to see the shampoo is clear, as I’ve been told that clear shampoos are better for your hair.  I do not know if that’s actually true since I didn’t see this claim with my own eyes.  But it does make sense.

I’m pretty sure I’ve received every Harvey Prince product in existence.  Seriously, if you do a search in this blog, I’m almost certain there’s about 17, 18 posts on his perfumes.  Probably a slight exaggeration, but when you don’t like perfume, it seems like 17 or 18 posts.  At the least.  Anyway, this time they sent a body cream in the Hello scent.  So while I wasn’t overly thrilled or anything, I knew I would use it about 100% more than I’d use another perfume.  Minor success; I’ll take them wherever I can.

This stuff aptly smells like perfume.  But it’s a nice musky scent, which if I’m forced to wear a perfume, I like ’em musky.  Most likely stems from my overuse of Coty Wild Musk as a teenager – my first love.  As far as the cream part goes, it takes a bit to rub in as the white doesn’t melt into your skin immediately.  It’s not a thin lotion consistency, which is probably why they’ve called it a cream.  Hopefully you’ve come here for some obvious information cuz that’s exactly what you got.  I am a PROFESSIONAL, in case you didn’t know.

Y’all know how much I love my Sumita Beauty black eyeliner.  It is hands down the best I’ve ever used in my waterline.  So I was perfectly cool with getting one of their Color Contrast eyeliners in the shade Hansa which is an olive green.  Certainly it would be just as amazing, or that was my expectation anyway.  I don’t know if it’s the color – it’s not a very vibrant olive green, which I suppose is the trademark of olive green (again with the obvious) – but it doesn’t last like the black does.  In fact, I’m looking right now this very second and after 10 hours of wear, the color is barely detectable.  Granted, 10 hours is a very long time, but my black one stays on for over 12.  Okay, I’m being a brat.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep the liner.  I haven’t tried it on my top lid though, so maybe I’ll try that first before I get rid of it.  Give it the benefit of the doubt.  Not every liner is meant for the waterline – and this one, at least this olive green one, definitely is not.

Last item in the box is the saving grace.  It’s the Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal eye and face concealer, and I’m loving it so much.  A little tiny bit is all you need.  It’s a dry formula; it sets into a powder.  And surprisingly it didn’t make me look crepey or extra old which a lot of dry, powdery formulas tend to do. I haven’t used it on face splotches or pimple scars yet, but you totally can. But as an under eye treatment, it’s pretty good. One of the better ones I’ve tried. And I’ve tried a lot. Cuz I write a beauty blog and also I have a problem.

Well we’re done now. I’ve got a long awaited Buying Stuff post right around the corner, so stay tuned for that. I know you’re excited (cuz I am the boss of you). Toodles, loves!

Glossybox | January 2015

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I got three packages delivered yesterday, and I tried to sneak them into the house without my husband seeing.  I failed.  I think he must hear me open the front door then come running into the room cuz he knows I’m about to bring in an armful of boxes and he likes giving stink eye.  Granted, three packages in one day isn’t my record.  I’ve hauled in seven before.  Someone needs to take away my internet.

Here’s my Glossybox:

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Glossybox is on the ball this month.  I barely finished reviewing December’s box when January’s box was shipped out.  I’m like, Glossybox? Is that you?  You know, because they are usually the very last box to arrive, sometimes into the following month, which irritates a lot of people.  And because of the nature of the products in the box, I’ve sampled everything already so I can give you actual reviews instead of bullshit like normal.  How’s that for a Happy Friday? (Amazing.)

I love it when you run out of a product on one day then receive a replacement in one of your boxes the very next day.  That has A) saved me a trip to Walmart and therefore B) counts as saving money.  Karma at work, people.  Headed to Sephora now.  BRB.

So got this Kueshi Pure & Clean Revitalizing Face Toner.  Toners are always the least exciting of any skin care regime.  I mean, it’s a bottle of liquid.  Not much can be said for it.  However, according to Glossybox’s handy dandy little product card, this is a beauty secret from Spain.  From Spain.  So now you want it.  But also, it controls shine and softens dry spots – that’s a dual action, multi-tasking miracle.  Of course, I don’t know if any of that is true, but the smell of this toner is spectacular.  Smells luscious and juicy – like a peach, maybe, but probably not meant to be a peach.  It’s hard to put a finger on it exactly, but it’s nice.  Oh so very nice.  I would buy this again and again based on the smell.  Probably not the smartest way to go about picking a skin care product, but it beats choosing it based on packaging (which I also do).

I received a little sample of the Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Serum, which I have previously reviewed in a past Empties post that you can read here.  For those of you too lazy to click something with your one finger (I mean, I understand), I’ll give you the short version:  it has a thin consistency; kind of sticky as it dries down, but then afterwards your face is very soft; and it smells kind of coconutty instead of mushroomy.  I enjoyed it very much.  For $80, I bygod better have.

My favorite thing in the box is this absolutely adorable stiff flat eyeshadow brush from Teeez Trendy.  I’m never upset for getting a brush in my box, but this is the first time a brush has wowed me.  It’s different from anything I own.  The bristles are very dense and stiff, and I feel like it deposits a nice, controlled amount of eyeshadow exactly where you want it.  Or if you want it to blur out some stubborn edges, it is “rough” enough to get the job done.  I would say it’s similar to the Sigma E25 or MAC 217 (look at me with my cool brush lingo), but still it’s not the same.  And the handle is cute as a button, which I’ve cleverly disguised behind the serum tube because I take product pictures like a boss.

I was a little indifferent about receiving the Vichy Purete Thermale 3-in-1 Cleanser because I’m overloaded with cleanser samples right now and I figured I wouldn’t get to it for ages. But for the sake of this review, I went ahead and tried it so I could tell you my thoughts. And, omg. Okay, first, it’s not a cleanser in a cleansing sort of way (like I originally thought). It’s a makeup remover. It is a cleansing milk and removes mascara both (plus tones your skin, but I don’t care about that part). Now, as a cleansing milk it performs about like any other cleansing milk I’ve ever used. But as an eye makeup remover – holy moly. This got my mascara off like some serious voodoo magic. I could literally feel it melting underneath my fingertips. And afterwards, my lashes were left so soft and wispy clean. I’m so happy about it right now.

I’ve used the product twice, and the first time I was trying to do face and eyes all at once. Don’t do that. Just do eyes first, then face. Your eyes need total concentration and all your attention. I squirted the product on the tip of my fingers then rubbed them together before putting it on my eye. Trust me; I learned my lesson on that. Last time I put a cream directly on my eye, I gave myself some kind of pink-eye scenario and had to go to work with no eyeshadow and mascara for an entire week. Yes, you can only imagine what that looked like (not good). So once you apply the product, rub your fingers lightly in a circular motion in one direction until you are satisfied the mascara is gone. Didn’t take much effort which is my ideal amount of effort to exude. In fact, if it could take any less effort, someone else would be doing it for me.

Last product in the box was this Lollipops eyeliner in the shade Goodbye Moon. This is a creamy retractable pencil and it glided on nice and neat. But it wasn’t anything more special than any of my other eyeliners, and I still love my Sumita one best. However, if you just wanna own something with cheetah print packaging, I’d say go ahead and buy this. If anyone understands that mentality, it’s me. The color stayed in my waterline pretty good, although I had to wipe the wetness off with a Q-tip first. But I’ve found that trick works on most eyeliners, even the bad ones.

That’s all for now. My iPad has 23% life left right now, and I’m only on level 84 on Candy Crush Soda Saga. I have a var var busy night ahead of me as you can clearly see. More tomorrow, lovies!

Empties | December 2014

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I would like to officially announce that my Christmas tree has now been undecorated and stored away.  It is barely January.  That’s quite impressive if you ask me, as I’ve been known to keep the tree up until well past Valentine’s Day.  My latest record is February 22.  So as a reward for succeeding at life (once again) I have decided to treat myself to a Sephora shopping spree.  Otherwise known as “a thing I do all the time for no reason whatsoever but labeling it as a reward for something good makes me feel less guilty.”  Was that run-on sentence?  Probably.

It’s Empties time, people!  Go grab your snacks and postpone your to-do list.  We are rearranging your priorities right this very second like MAGIC.  Here we go:

Some body stuff:

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There shouldn’t be a spa so close to my office, but then again I would never have found this brand.  It’s Farmhouse Fresh Goods and don’t go to their website unless you have some lottery winnings just begging to be spent.  This Honeysuckle Orange Custard is a body moisturizer that is half shea butter and half live fruit cells suspended in an aloe gel.  It is a science project in a jelly jar – or pretty close to it at least.  The smell is a delicate creamy orange, not overly potent in a citrus explosion kind of way.  It was a very nice moisturizer, and it lasted light years.  Oh, and it also came with a little wooden spoon for mixing the two halves and for scooping out product when the jar got too low.  That’s probably the best part, not gonna lie.  That wooden spoon was precious.

This Lush Popcorn lip scrub isn’t empty, but it expired.  I bought it back in December 2013 and used it like crazy.  It did a decent job of exfoliating my lips, although it was never perfect.  I may unknowingly have an incurable straggly lip skin condition because if anything was gonna work, I’d swear this product would.  But as long as my expectations are low, I can be pretty impressed.  This is definitely a rough scrub, not delicate or softening as it’s not mixed with a lotion or even that much oil.  The taste is both sweet and salty.  I didn’t deliberately eat this stuff, but a little got in there anyway.  Luckily the product directions said it’s okay, otherwise I’d be on WebMD trying to figure out how long I have to live.

The jar came full to the brim, and a little goes a very, very long way.  I got about 2/3 done before the expiration date, although it did dry out quite a lot by this time.  Granted, I didn’t use this every single day and I took a break here and there to try other products.  But my point (there is one) is the $10 you’ll spend is well worth it.

Now for some moisturizers:

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I’ve tried several different facial oils in the past year, and I can now without a doubt tell you the Kate Somerville Dilo Oil is the absolute best.  Number one, the smell.  It’s not herbally like practically every other oil out there.  This has a lovely exotic, floral scent.  It comes from a tree in Fiji (so now you want it).  The oil is dry and it sinks into your skin almost immediately.  Like, you could apply this then lay your face on a silk pillow without fear.  I put this on right before I go to bed (after all my other skin care, including moisturizer).  The smell relaxes me like it’s aromatherapy.  Benefits include improving firmness and elasticity, hydration, evenness of skintone, and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.  After this sample, I ended up buying the full size with the $25-off Sephora VIB Rouge coupon they sent out for Christmas.  After I finish the other facial oil I started (which is not as good), I will stop trying facial oils and use this for eternity.

One of the best morning moisturizers I’ve used is the Origins GinZing Energy Boosting one.  I say “morning” because it has ginseng and coffee bean in it to help energize and wake up your skin.  You can use it at night, though; your face won’t fall off or anything (I checked.)  It’s extremely light weight and has a nice orange scent.  Absorbs rather quickly, which is good for my morning routine as there is no extra time to wait around for moisturizer to dry.  This jar lasted me over two months so you get good value for your money.  And who doesn’t love that?  (Crazy people.)

Sometimes I get stuck on something that’s hard to shake.  I read an article that gave out a list of top 10 beauty products to spend all your money on, and I tried very very hard to look away.  Temptation gets the best of me roughly 97.957775% of the time.  So now I own a deluxe sample size of the La Mer Gel de la Mer moisturizer.  Curious as to why it’s so special, and why in God’s name do they charge $285 for 2 ounces of it.  Cuz if there’s not diamond dust in it or a Marie Antoinette authentic autograph on it, I’m not sure even a French moisturizer should be that expensive.

Obviously I can’t afford or justify the full size.  But I couldn’t stop being curious.  So I purchased this itty bitty baby sample from eBay for a mere $19.95 (including shipping!).  Not saying that’s anything to be proud of, but I have a sickness, and until someone takes my internet away, I’m afraid there isn’t much else I can do about it.

There are 5 versions of the iconic (and original) Crème de la Mer.  And of course, NATURALLY, the one that fits my skin type is the Gel de la Mer which is $135 more expensive.  The Gel has an ultra-light texture and a super luxurious smell.  It spreads on very gently and dries down to this stunning velvet finish.  If you have oily skin like me, this one is your baby.  Now that I’ve finished the jar, I miss it a lot.  It may very well be psychological brain trickery, but I swear I need it now.  Anyone have a La Mer coupon or gift card handy?  Ugh.

How about a few makeup removers:

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Another product the result of a relentless curiosity, I purchased the holy grail of supermodels everywhere: Bioderma Sebium H2O micellar water.  Oddly enough, it is also from France.  However, this time it isn’t readily available for U.S. customers.  Had to get this little sample bottle on eBay.  I wanted to give it a try first to see if it lived up to the hype, as the full size of this product is roughly $25 (although for 16.91 ounces which is quite a lot – compared to the Neutrogena, per ounce price is almost the same – I did a really hard math problem just now – my brain hurts).

I’ve been using the Bioderma for a couple months now.  The sample that I finished as well as a full size that I got off Amazon.  I do really like it.  It’s very “wet” which sounds like a weird way to describe something liquidy but not sure how else to explain it.  And because it’s so wet, I feel like it completely cleans my eye with very few swipes.  Gets off mascara with the least amount of lash shedding.  So yeah, it’s probably the best makeup remover I’ve ever used.  I will definitely continue to repurchase.

Not a huge cleansing oil fan, but as far as that genre goes, the Dermalogica Precleanse is a really, really good one.  Aside from the smell, which isn’t unpleasant, but I guarantee no one threw any flowers in the batch, I felt like this product truly broke up my makeup and I was able to wipe most of it away with a cotton pad before using my pretty white washcloths to do the rest.  So if I was forced to buy a cleansing oil because of a Cleansing Milk Crisis (in capital letters because of how dire that situation would be), then I suppose it would be this one.  If I gotta do it, might as well do it the least horrible way possible.

Speaking of cleansing oils, I started out kind of liking this Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser.  It is a gel product similar to one of those aloe vera sunburn relief gels you store in the fridge.  As you apply it, it starts to melt onto your face into a cleansing oil.  Then when you add water to the mix, the oil turns into a cleansing milk.  The idea of this sucked me in immediately, and it went into my basket before the lady finished her sales pitch. But if I’m honest, it’s just the gel portion I really wanted, because after that it gets boring really fast. I mean, it turns to an oil and we’ve already determined that I don’t love oils. And when you get to the milk part, it’s not the same consistency like a true cleansing milk. So yeah, I got over it really quick. It did the job and I finished it like a true professional would do, but I won’t repurchase. I’ve moved on.

And now, SERUMS!

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I received a one-time-use sample of this Lumene Bright Now BB serum in a past Blush Mystery Beauty Box and I was surprised by how much I liked it. Y’all know that little foil packets are pretty much pointless in my eyes, so the fact that I went out and bought the full-size after using this one single time should tell you something: it’s nice stuff. The texture is lotiony and soft, the smell is a faint orange, and the fact that it’s loaded with skin brightening vitamin c means at some point it’s going to make all my splotches disappear. It took roughly almost 3 months to finish the bottle, and as soon as I’m done with my other vitamin c samples, I’m going back to this. You get it at Ulta and the $3.50 coupon they send out all the time can be used towards it. Success!

I feel like I’m on a roll with all this brightening stuff because I used this Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Corrector and it turned out to be a pretty nice little serum too. The sample was too small to determine if it was actually going to lighten my dark spots, but as you all know, efficacy isn’t always my top priority. I use products based on texture and cute packaging. Probably a wrong way to go about it, but I can’t deny who I am inside.

If you love stuff that gets absorbed almost instantaneously, then you should go ahead and buy this. It starts to sink in while you are using it, and then is completely dry within 10 minutes or so. You get a slightly silky finish – it could use a boost in this department – and the smell is nicely fragrant. I’d most definitely repurchase a full-size because I suppose I would like to know if it would work on my dark spots even if the pretty purple bottle is the most important.

I’m just gonna be honest and say I can’t remember a damn thing about the Equitance Brightening serum. The only note I have on it is that it sinks in within 5 minutes. Pretty sure I didn’t hate it in that case. But if you need to know anything else about it, I’m sorry I have failed you. The sample lasted like 3 days – what more could I really say about it? It was part of a skin care kit that New Beauty Test Tube sent to me in the summer. I took the cleanser and moisturizer with me to Vegas a few months ago, and I did really like both of those things. Aside from the fact it looks like it came from a doctor’s office (i.e., boring as hell), I would recommend the set.

I had tried this Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment several months back when one of my boxes sent me a single use packet. Couldn’t really review it properly then, so I’m happy to be able to report on it a little better this time. I mean, don’t prepare yourself for something scientific or anything, but if you wanna know how it smells (like a dentist’s office), what the texture’s like (very thin; almost watery), or how long it takes to dry (about half an hour), then you’ve come to the right place.

I didn’t dislike this serum, but I didn’t get any instant results like the ads claim it would do. But longterm results include restoring damaged skin, reducing hyperpigmentation, lines and wrinkles, evening out skintone, and increasing firmness. Reviews are generally excellent and I wouldn’t be opposed to trying this further. Except it’s $105 so we’re just gonna move on.

Lord, are we done?!

No, here’s makeup stuffs:

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I really loved using the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I’m not sure what it is though – a toner? A setting spray? A face refresher? It could probably be all those things, but I chose to apply it after I cleansed my face but before my serum. It has this lovely and addicting eucalyptus tingle to it. Like, if it was 100-degrees out, this stuff would feel amazing. Plus, anything called a Beauty Elixir has got to have somewhat magical properties in it, certainly? Like the fountain of youth or the secret of life maybe? Otherwise, they would just name it “toner” or “setting spray.” I checked the website, and apparently this toner/serum hybrid smooths the skin, tightens the pores, and provides an instant burst of radiance. So while it appears that Cleopatra didn’t invent it nor did it spritz the face of old European royalty, it seems to do some pretty cool stuff. Fiiiiiine. Beauty Elixir, then.

A lip balm is a lip balm is a lip balm. Unless you are the Malin + Goetz Mojito lip balm, then you are fabulous. As you well know, my lips are in a constant state of scraggly. Having a floor fan blowing on your face for 8 hours every night probably doesn’t help. So I’m always on the lookout for a good lip balm that can help protect my lip skin. Now I’m not saying this Malin + Goetz one is a miracle worker or anything, but it’s one of the better ones I’ve tried. Consistency is like a thick oil and it really coats your lips. Very slight minty tingle. And when I wake up, the oil is dry but still there. Plus it lasted for quite a while. I’m going to buy another one as soon as I finish the one I’m currently using.

One of the best, most pigmented and pretty highlighters I’ve ever used is the theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter. This stuff is glorious. Sadly, however, I dropped it off my bathroom counter and golden shimmer went everywhere. It shattered so much that if I felt like doing the alcohol trick to put it back together, I couldn’t. Probably wouldn’t have anyway, but you’re missing my point. I will, however, purchase this again. If you manage to keep it intact, this product will last almost a lifetime. You need to barely dab your brush in, that’s how insane the pigmentation is. I can’t think of any other highlighter that does what this one does. Price is $24 which isn’t terrible considering it’s not drugstore. If you’re in the market for a new highlighter, I highly suggest giving this a shot. If you don’t like it, then kindly send it my way. And also you are WRONG.

Have I mentioned I have large, cavern-like pores? Only a billion times, I’m sure. I’m always game for trying a product that claims to make your pores virtually disappear. So when I heard the Kiehl’s Micro Blur Skin Perfector did exactly that, it could’ve cost the equivalent of a car payment and a water bill, I still would’ve bought it. Luckily however, it was only $35. Kind of pricey but if it was going to give me the skin of a porcelain doll, then technically it was practically free.

Well, this product is weird. The texture is bizarre; it separates like nobody’s business. Like, it doesn’t come out of the tube all creamy and smooth, but with air holes all in it. The water oozes out away from the cream, and I’m not sure if that’s normal. Reading reviews, I saw that maybe two other people mentioned the same thing. I went ahead and used it, and once you get it on your face and practically force it to stick and smooth out, it blurred the pores in an average sort of way. I’m thinking the beauty guru who said this product was a miracle was no doubt using it on 14-year-old models. Certainly not 40 year olds with splotchy complexions and pores the size of canyons. I stuck it out, though, and used this product until it’s near end, but the separation factor really started to give me the hives, so I had to let it go. I won’t repurchase. I like the Smashbox pore refining primer better anyway.

Last product in the trash is this little sampling of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat highlighter pen. I used the color 2 Luminous Ivory because I figured that would be light enough to highlight but not so light that it would do reverse panda on me. I start applying it, and yes it’s a pretty good shade for me. Kind of a neutral tone, although the Sephora website said it’s for fair to light complexions with yellow undertones. But what was most satisfying was the illuminating properties – it is one of the few products that I could actually see with my eyes that it was giving me a glow. I gave color 1 Luminous Radiance (for pink undertones) a try and it was definitely a pinker color. This one, I felt, really helped with my under eye circles. So now I’ve pretty much decided I’m buying one of these, but I can’t figure out which one I like the best. Probably just gonna have to buy them both. I can’t put myself through unnecessary torture.

Well, look at you, reading all the way to the very end. Give yourself a pat on the back for being so awesome. I’ll write more so you can read more and we’ll do well by each other. K? K.

Glossybox | December 2014

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Happy new year everyone!  We made it to 2015 and we did it TOGETHER.  So officially you’ve entered into a legally binding contract and you are not allowed to leave me.  Like ever.  Bwahahahahahahaha!  (Just kidding;  you love it here.)  Plus, if I didn’t have you guys there would be no reason for me to buy and try 27 different mascaras all at once.  Therefore, technically, I can’t leave you either.

Here’s my Glossybox:

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When I saw that I was getting this Bellapierre lipstick, my first thought was ugh, RED.  I’m not sure how red became the signature color for December, but let me declare officially that not everyone in the universe wears red lipstick for the holidays.  Maybe if you are famous and go to a lot of Hollywood parties.  Or maybe you are Taylor Swift.  But a normal, average, every day girl like me can’t be bothered to A) wear red lipstick for 31 days straight and B) get out of pajamas long enough to go somewhere fancy.  But in an effort to write a proper review, I wore this lipstick (shade: Burlesque) for a total of 2 hours and here are my thoughts:  it is not red, but more of a pink-red.  The texture is creamy; the finish is glossy.  I didn’t hate it.

Hopefully that sums it up for most of you.  I’m going to go ahead and keep it for a minute to see if I end up using it again.  It may live in the Train Case of Forgotten Makeup for the next 7 years, but I suppose you never know.  I do leave my house occasionally.

Got a full-size Toni & Guy Prep leave-in conditioner, and surprisingly I’m okay about that.  I can handle hair products if they come in the form of a leave-in conditioner.  What I don’t prefer is weird hair oils, gel things or root-lifters.  I can never apply the appropriate amount of any of those things and so I end up with dirty, scummy hair.  Plus, when your entire hair routine consists of two steps (blow dry, straighten), using a lot of products makes zero sense.

I have not used this yet.  I am finishing up another leave-in conditioner that I’ve been working on for probably (almost) a year.  Nearing the end (I think – things seems to replicate themselves once I believe I’m about to be done with it), so I’ll get on this soon.  Reviews seem pretty positive; most people said it smelled nice and that it tamed frizz.  Both of those are pretty important to me, so I’m hoping for the best.

Always excited about a good mask, so I’m happy to try this Nuxe Crème Fraiche one.  First of all, they sent a full-size tube valued at $32 which is a great deal considering the box is only $21.  If you’re doing the math, it seems to me that I’ve inadvertently saved money.  Pretty sure that deserves a fancy reward.  Probably gonna buy a Gucci eyeshadow to celebrate.  Because saving $11 to spend $65 makes perfect sense.  I know y’all are nodding your heads in complete agreement, otherwise you may have stumbled across this blog by accident.

This mask is made for all skin types although I would say dry skin would get the most benefit.  My skin is not dry anymore, so not sure what that means for me in terms of effectiveness.  However, Nuxe is made in France so this renders that point MOOT.  Other reviews mention a nice honeysuckle smell (one of my favorites in the entire world) and it plays well with sensitive skin.  Instructions say to apply a nice layer and let it sit for 10 minutes, then rub in the rest of the product until absorbed.  It’s the Lazy Woman’s (i.e., me) perfect mask.  You don’t even need to get off the couch to wash it off.

I haven’t used a hand scrub in light years.  Last time was probably in 2008 and it was a BeautiControl one, back when I thought being one of their sales reps was a good idea (it wasn’t; jobs like that are not for the unmotivated).  So figured it might be kind of fun to get back into it every once in a while.  The Rituals Miracle Scrub is a nice, gentle scrub that will most definitely soften dry hands.  I’m only gonna assume it will also soften dry feet, which is how I think I’m going to actually use this product since my hands aren’t that dry.  I mean, they are princess hands.  They type and they click the check out button.  That’s about it.

Last item in the box is a Ciate nail polish in the color Humbug.  This is a Christmas edition color, so I’m not sure how long the link to the product will be valid. As of right now this very second, you can buy one.  After right now this very second, it’s a crapshoot.  Regardless, you all know how I feel about nail polish.  If you times that by a billion, that’s how I feel about glitter nail polish.  Yes, the glitter looks very pretty and comely in the bottle.  But unless you have a chisel and sand paper, I have no interest in spending my life away trying to remove glitter nail polish.  Not saying this particular Ciate one is like that (since I didn’t try it), but the description says it’s “chunky” – and when has “chunky” ever described anything you wanted?  Unless it is chunky chocolate chips,  I can’t think of any other valid thing.

Alright, gang.  I’m out for now.  Thanks for spending a few moments with me.  Stay tuned for December Empties coming up in the next day or two.  You’re exited.  (Yes, you are.)