Monthly Archives: March 2015

Glossybox | March 2015

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I am in the midst of a Makeup Geek eyeshadow addiction and I can’t freaking stop.  I decided maybe a week ago I wanted to go ahead and own every eyeshadow they make – you know, a realistic and feasible goal, because it’s necessary to possess ALL 81 of them, even the ugly ones.  Well, why be obsessed if you can’t do it properly?  I’ve got like 19 left to purchase.  I’m insane.

Here’s my Glossybox:

 

I’m about 50/50 on this box.  Mostly usable stuff, which is good, although I didn’t love everything.  Well,  you’ll see.  Let’s review!

First thing is this Orogold 24K Multi-Vitamin Day Moisturizer.  I actually got two of them in the box.  I’m not sure if that was an accident or not but one of my other friends got two as well so maybe not.  In any case, the full size of this stuff is $178 and nothing else matters.  How shallow is that? (Very.)

So is it worth that high dollar price then?  Well, it feels nice on the skin.  Absorbs semi-quickly.  And most importantly, Demi Lovato uses it.  What more information do you need, honestly?  Seriously, does someone have a question as I believe all bases have been covered.  It’s expensive and famous people use it.  Other than that, if you need actual scientific information, you’ve stumbled upon this blog by accident.  There’s gold in it – does that help?

Next is the ModelCo More Brows brow gel.  I like and use brow gels.  No matter how perfectly coifed I think my brows are, both of them have rogue hairs in the arch that just will not behave.  And because this one is tinted, I can use it quickly without much hassle.  Similar to my love affair with Benefit’s Gimme Brow.  The part I didn’t like was that it set very quickly.  Like, while I was shaping them.  I could feel the brush kind of getting stuck in my hairs.  Not really stuck, but sticking.  This may be a benefit to some people, but not for me.  I need ample playing around time because I am anal and a perfectionist.  Some call it OCD; I call it me on a normal day.  It’s why I have to get up at the crack of dawn just to make it to work on time(ish).

Got this Bellapierre cheek and lip stain in the shade Pink.  Normally this would put me right to sleep, but I have to admit to a particular obsession for cream blushes going on about now.  I find they look more natural on cheeks riddled with cavern-like pores (like mine).  So I was actually excited for once.  This pink  shade was very much a bright, vibrant pink.  It went on naturally though, not prostitute-y at all.  It was nice.  As a lip color, though, I did not enjoy.  It looked very chalky and unflattering on me.

In the end, I kept this product in my stash for about a week then gave it away.  I knew I would never use it again.  I can’t say exactly why – there was nothing wrong with it.  Maybe I’m getting more discerning in my old age or something.  Perhaps my hoarding skills are evolving.  Either way, I passed it along to someone else who would love it and appreciate it more than me.  That’s almost 100% of me being a responsible adult.  The other 95% is me wanting to buy something else more exciting to take its place.

I was the most excited about this So Susan concealer palette.  I’ve always wanted to own something like this, even though it’s not like I couldn’t drag my ass into Target whenever I felt like it and buy one.  I mean, I don’t live in No Man’s Land or anything.  Target is literally less than a mile from my house.  I could walk there if I felt like it (but I don’t; horrible idea).  Anyway, this palette.  It’s a cutie.  And handy!  I used the medium shade to correct my dark circles and the lighter shade to brighten the under eye.  I haven’t used the white or the darkest shade cuz I’m not really sure what to do with them.  Perhaps highlight and contour?  Maybe so.

Performance-wise, this isn’t a bad concealer quad, and the coverage is about average for me.  You do need to warm up the pan with your finger before applying it, otherwise it’s too dry to smooth out properly.  I blended mine with a brush and it worked out pretty well.  I do have better concealers and correctors, but for now I’m going to continue using the quad as just another option in my ever-rotating roster of products.

Last item in the box is the Nexxus Color Assure shampoo which I promptly gave away since my hair is not colored.  I probably could’ve used it anyway – it’s not like my hair would’ve fallen out or anything (I don’t think).  But my mom has colored hair, so I knew she would get the most benefit out of it.  I was reading some reviews online in an effort to give you some information about the product (cuz PROFESSIONAL) and man oh man do people not like this shampoo!  Seriously, go look it up on Walmart.com or even the Nexxus website itself.  It’s laughable how terrible people say this is.  I almost wish I could get the shampoo back from my mom so I could find out for myself.  But then I’d probably end up having to wash my hair twice in one day, and lord knows how much that doesn’t need to happen.  I mean, if I want to accomplish anything else in my life, that is.

Welp, we’re done with March.  I’m going to do everything I possibly can to make April more better.  If I can keep my nose out of YouTube long enough that is.  You know how it is – var var busy always and forever.  Bye!

Birchbox | March 2015

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March is quickly coming to an end, which means my second wedding anniversary will be here in less than a month.  Which also means first day of pampering starts April 1 and lasts for approximately 30 days (i.e., the rest of his life).  I’m sure he had no idea being married to me was going to be so hard.  I mean, I have an extraordinary amount of pajama lounging scheduled for the next 50 years (aka var var busy), so who’s doing the dishes?  Who’s buying the Sephora gift cards?  Isn’t that why we have husbands in the first place?  Pretty sure that’s written in a rule book somewhere. 

Here’s my Birchbox:

 

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I already own a little sample of the Cover|FX BB Gel but I was alright in getting another one because of how much I like the product.  However, my previous one is in the shade N Medium (perfect) and this new one is in the shade N Light (not perfect).  So it won’t work.  Bit of a bummer really, and even worse, I don’t know anybody with lighter skin than me that can use it.  So I have this full tube of product and nowhere to go with it.  Tossing it in the trash makes my heart practically stop beating.  In other words, thank you Birchbox for putting me in the midst of this emotional conundrum.  I can literally feel the struggle in my chest.  I need a gift card for pain and suffering.  I don’t see any other way around it.
 

But back to the product.  It’s a very nice BB cream.  One of the better ones I’ve used.  Has really great coverage, nice matte finish, and it blends in very well.  I’d consider buying a full tube of it if I didn’t already have 27 other foundations to get through before they all expire.  I’ll admit I didn’t plan that out very well.  I’m debating on the scientific repercussions of using an expired foundation.  If it doesn’t stink or have mold in the lid, I think it would be safe.  I’m probably wrong and about to run head first into a face-falling-off scenario.  However, I’ll risk it because DIOR. CHANEL. GUCCI.  I’m sorry, what is your question?

Lookie, it’s our good friend Harvey Prince with yet ANOTHER perfume sample for me, this time called Sincerely.  No disrespect to Harvey Prince by any means, but can you kindly quit sending your sample perfumes to every beauty box I subscribe to?  How many does this make now, 18, 19?  That’s not even a typo.  I think they’ve sent me all of them.  Even the people I give them to are getting tired.  They’re like, Harvey Prince, again?  We share a nice, communal eye roll moment, so if anything, HP brings people together.  But other than that, unless I’m going for a world record or something, I’m pretty much done with the perfume.

But for those who need to know, here are the notes:  Indian tuberose, Turkish cyclamen (otherwise knows as that’s not a thing), and Spanish mandarin.  Sounds pretty exotic, a little spicy, a bit sweet.  If that’s your thing, maybe you should give this a try.  Mom used it and she said it did not smell that great on first spritz, but after the dry-down, it was nice.  I agreed.  It didn’t stink.  That’s my formal review for you: it didn’t stink.

Best thing in the box is this Mirenesse Glossy Kiss lipstick in Cheeky Kiss.  What a pretty pink nude.  Super creamy, good color payoff.  Wasn’t particularly long lasting, nor was it overwhelmingly glossy, but it was not drying at all.  I liked it so much, I tossed it in my already overflowing lipstick bag I carry in my purse cuz it’s a color that will go with just about everything.  Now, they say this doubles as a cheek stain as well.  I’m not really interested in going that route with it I don’t think.  But it’s an option for you if you are so inclined.

I’m not gonna lie: kind of scared of the Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray.  Anytime I get a volumizing hair product, I cringe.  My hair is fine with grease-prone roots.  I need to be spraying shit in there like I need someone to take away my Visa card (i.e., I DON’T).  So obviously I haven’t used this yet.  But I intend to.  I’m going to give it a try this week actually, bite the bullet, take a risk.  I’ve been reading the reviews and some people say it makes their hair sleek, shiny and smooth and others say specifically not to put it on your roots even though the directions tell you to.  Other things I read that perked my interest: cuts drying time down (Cuz who has 15 years handy to stand around blow drying hair? Not me.  See first paragraph where I mention all the pajama lounging I have scheduled.  It’s lots.), non-greasy (we’ll see about that), and lightweight.  Things that scared the bejeebus out of me:  sticky and greasy (But what about the non-greasy claim?  See why I’m pertrified?!), and they couldn’t tell a difference (then what is the point?).  In general though, people seem really pleased with it.  So I’m gonna give it a go for my people.  Cuz PROFESSIONAL.  Also CRAZY.

A couple of boring items finish out the box. It’s the Number 4 Clarifying shampoo and Reconstructing Masque.  I say boring cuz it’s just shampoo and a hair mask.  I’m not against them or anything – I mean, I use shampoo (and sometimes masks), primarily cuz society says it’s required. And the HR Department.  But it’s never anything that exciting.  Unless it’s something that can cut out blow drying and styling completely, these are just basic necessities for me.

Having said that, though, the shampoo is the clarifying kind which is meant to use weekly to remove all the build up from the hair.  Because I don’t use much by way of styling products, I assume there isn’t much build up anyway, but it really does make my hair feel very clean.  There’s just something about putting clear shampoo into your hair that makes you feel like you’ve done something good for the environment.  That makes absolutely no sense.  Shut up, Brain.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I’m not opposed to buying a full size of this although I could probably find a drugstore equivalent that doesn’t cost me $32.

As for the mask, it was okay.  Nice and thick, which I prefer because I’ve had the other kind and it felt like it disappeared right into my hair.  There was nothing spectacular or game-changing about it though, not even the smell left much of an impression, so I’m glad (for once) I got a single-use packet instead of something bigger.

We’ve reached the end and now it’s nap time.  Thanks for stopping by today.  I have one last review left for March, and then I’m going to stop being so darn boring.  I keep finding new things to entertain me (new YouTubers, mainly) and it’s encroaching on proper blog time.  I promise to do better.  If anyone wants to send gift cards for good wishes, just let me know.  Bye!

Ipsy | March 2015

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I’ve successfully sent a slew of packages to my house to make up for the fact that all my beauty boxes were sent to me on the same day.  Well, you know how it is.  Getting mail is exciting.  But when the only guaranteed fun parts arrive on the same day, what is left for the rest of the month?  So I talked to my friends at Sephora, Macy’s, Makeup Geek and Amazon and we collectively came up with a solution.

Someone needs to take away my internet.

Here’s my Ipsy:

 

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This bag is not so much.  Let me explain:

If I see another pur~lisse product in one more box, I might have to karate chop somebody in the throat.  How many times has this happened in the past year?  Like 18 times now or something?  On the plus side, I didn’t get another moisturizer or sunscreen, but the pur~lisse pur~delicate soy milk cleanser.  And I needed a new cleansing milk so I suppose it all worked out in the end.  But prior to that, it was a serious non-event.

I’ve been using this the past few days and it’s alright I guess.  Nothing overwhelming.  I don’t think it’s an actual cleansing milk that is used to remove makeup before you clean your face.  It’s intended to be your cleanser.  But I’ve chosen to use it the wrong way since its lotion-type consistency doesn’t make me feel cleansed, but more “pre-cleansed” instead.  I’m sure I’m overreacting because of my disdain for receiving yet another pur~lisse product in my box.  Had this tube sported a Dior sticker on it or something, I probably would like it more.  I admit that’s shallow and very, very wrong.  Well, I’ve never claimed otherwise.  I own a foundation that cost me $78 for no other reason.  I am ridiculous and I know it.  Not. Ashamed. (Well, maybe a little.)

Perhaps the worst sample in the box is this Gilchrist & Soames body lotion.  Seriously, if I had a bout of insomnia, this lotion would cure that right up.  I mean, look at it.  Did someone steal this from a hotel amenities tray?  Probably.  We may wanna call the Hyatt to see if they’ve been missing about 400,000 bottles of lotion, suspiciously.  You know, just in case there is a monetary reward at stake.  I didn’t even smell this lotion.  I just quietly tossed it in my regift pile and moved on to the next, less tragic, thing.

At first glance, I wasn’t even sure what this Evelyn Iona product was.  Ipsy doesn’t include informational cards like all my other boxes do, one of the things I’d mention on a survey if Ipsy ever sent out surveys.  No, I had to do my own research where I discovered it was a concealer.  They sent me the shade Flawless (medium ivory), which is nice because it was actually a good color for me.  However, it’s a pretty basic concealer.  Nothing mindblowing, but I don’t hate it.  I’ve used it several times and it has decent coverage for me.  Good texture.  Doesn’t crease, but of course I set it with powder, so that helps.  I’ll hold onto it for a little while, rotate it amongst my other concealers until I get bored with it.  I mean, at this point this is the best thing in the box, so better enjoy it as best I can.

As you can see, the little Vintage Cosmetics Illuminating Face Highlighter thing came to me broken.  Like broken beyond repair, or at least beyond the amount of effort I’d want to put into repairing it.  Contacted Ipsy and they sent out a fresh one, and I must say it’s a very beautiful little highlighter.  It’s a brilliant pink, angelic and lovely.  It’s pretty shimmery though, so if you’re old like me, it may be too much for the face.  Aside from highlighting, suggested uses are as a blush or a blush topper.  Even an eyeshadow, which is most likely how I’ll wear it.  I like to play it safe sometimes.  Other times I like to wear full glam face and pajamas to Starbucks.  But mostly I’m appropriate.  Mostly.

Last product in the box is the NYX Cosmetics Butter lipstick in the shade Pops, a nice mauve nude.  This is a really pretty color and the formula of this lipstick is to die for.  Butter is the perfect word to describe it – it’s so smooth and soft and feels light and soothing on the lips.  I own one of these lipsticks already, and I was all prepared to own another one.  But then naturally, obviously, and of course-ly, out of the 27 different shade selections, I get sent the one and only one shade I already own.  Is that even a mathematical probability?  Will I get struck by lightning next?  Should I just roll around in a cocoon made of bubble wrap for the rest of my life?  Because I’m pretty sure luck like that isn’t supposed to happen.  Someone did some voodoo on me, I just know it.  Other than that, I highly recommend these lipsticks.  They’re lovely.  

Thanks for hanging out today and for reading this post all the way to the end.  Internet hugs for you.  I’ll be back again tomorrow with more fun stuff.  You can’t wait! (Seriously, you can’t.)

Sample Society | March 2015

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Naturally after I get completely caught up with all my delayed February posts, every single March beauty box subscription I own gets delivered to me on the same day.  Of course!  So now I’m officially behind again.  Whhhyyyyyyeee?!?!  Not only that, but now I won’t be getting any more packages in the mail, which means there’s nothing to look forward to when I get home from work aside from TV, couch and pajamas.  Guess I’m gonna have to online shop.  What choice do I have?  (Zero.)

Here’s my Sample Society:   image

Number one product to give away is the Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray.  There isn’t anything wrong with it; I’m sure it’s lovely.  I just don’t want it.  My hair routine is virtually non-existent.  Unless you count combing and leave-in conditioner as a routine.  That’s all I have patience for.  Everything else just scares me.  I’ve tried too many of those volumizer products, only to be left with a sticky-up hair nightmare and the need to shampoo twice.  I did read about the product though so I can at least provide something useful to you.  Here’s what I found out:

It’s a dry texturizing spray to make sexy, tousled undone hair.  Like bed head, but on purpose.  Now, if I had a hipper, flashier hairstyle – besides this plain, straight one I’ve been sporting for the past 9 years – a product like this might interest me.  But until someone invents a 10 a.m. start to the work day, I’m gonna have to pass.  I don’t have time to do makeup AND hair.

Number two product to give away is the Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer.  Well, maybe give away.  I received a tube of this in a previous box which I haven’t used yet.  If it amazes me, I might keep this second tube.  It’s a brightening moisturizer suitable for dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone and texture.  I have all those things.  So technically, this is my most ideal moisturizer.  I was reading the review on the Allure website, and it says it creates a pretty glow on the face.  My cat ears definitely perked up at that because who doesn’t love a glowy face?  But then it said it’s best kept in the refrigerator because of the vitamin C in it.  Excuse me, whaaa … ?  I have to store my moisturizer in the fridge now?  I’ll tell you right now, I’m not doing that.  I don’t have time to fix my hair in the morning (as we’ve just discussed) much less walk myself to the refrigerator every morning.  Seriously, I’ll just take my chances.

Next item is a very pretty red-orange Cargo Essential Lipgloss in the shade Rio.  It’s a really great color for summer, especially against tan skin.  It’s a pretty sheer formula, but the color shows up well.  How they managed that is pure hocus pocus.  Or at least in the experiences I’ve had.  I didn’t get super sticky lips, which is a plus, and it’s nice and glossy.  What else can I say about a lipgloss other than that?  Turns out, not much so we’re moving on.

This would be my second tube of the Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm and I’m pretty alright with that.  I love this lip balm.  It’s one of the best ones I’ve used for my chronic straggly lip skin.  I did a previous review on it, so click here if you’d like to read it. (You do.)  Everything I said still stands.  And I will use this new tube with the same level of enthusiasm as the first – perhaps with more so, since now I know exactly how much I love it.

Last and number three product to give away is the Benefit Roller Lash mascara.  This is the newest mascara offered by Benefit, and I really really like it.  I’m giving it away because this is my second sample, plus I already bought the full size.  My mascara drawer is prime real estate, so it’s best to save those slots for non-repeats.  Anyway, Sephora sent me a sample of this a couple weeks before the mascara officially launched (VIP, yo).  I went into it with high expectations cuz everything I had read told me to.  It was supposed to curl your lashes and make them stay curled without the need for an eyelash curler.  Seeing that I don’t even use an eyelash curler, this part made me giddy.  Cuz again, I don’t have time in the mornings to fiddle with my hair, grab moisturizer out of the refrigerator OR curl my eyelashes before I put on mascara.  Unless I get up a 4 a.m., and if I’m doing that, there better be a plane I’m catching to the Caribbean or something.

The brush is pretty cool.  It’s called the Hook ‘n’ Roll, and it’s designed to catch and lift your lashes, even the tiny, straight ones.  And if you want my honest opinion (and you do, otherwise, you might’ve stumbled upon this blog by accident), it does a pretty good job.  Mind you, it’s not a miracle mascara.  Like, I can achieve a lifted up, wide-eyed look with other mascaras, but because the Roller Lash says it specifically does it, and then follows through like a proper lady, I went ahead and bought the full size.  But I don’t want 17 tubes of it, so this sample is going to my mom.

Alright, one down three to go.  Plus I have a Buying Stuff I’d like to squish in as well.  I may be having a slight panicky moment over here.  Blogging overwhelms me sometimes because no one is paying me to do it, and let’s face it, money fuels most of the activity that keeps me from pajamas.  You want me to work?  Cut me a paycheck.  Want me to take you to get a haircut?   Then I’m going to Sephora across the street (and you’ll have to walk over when you’re done).  Want me to exercise and drink more water?  Looks like I need some new yoga pants.  I’m sorry, it’s the truth.  It’s basic mathematics.

Bye y’all!

Empties | February 2015

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It’s Empties time again, otherwise known as YOUR favorite time of the month.  I suppose it would be my favorite time of the month too, if it didn’t take 10 years to write the dang post.  As a matter of fact, those two sentences right there took 5 days.  I’m trying to reprioritize my life.  But Allure magazine keeps sending me a new issue like every month, so it’s difficult to stay on top of things sometimes.  And the DVR won’t just watch itself, ya know?

First up – moisturizers:

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Picked up this Ole Henriksen Nurture Me moisturizer, not because I have sensitive skin that needed soothing and coddling.  It’s because it reminded me of a strawberry parfait, and I’m not sure there’s any other way to make your skin care decisions.  It looked delicious.  BOOM! In the basket.

Finally got around to trying it after storing it away for about six or so months.  The plan was to share it with my husband since it was a full size jar, and anything full size always lasts me like 18 years or so.  Well, he took one finger full and decided he DOES NOT like strawberry parfaits and I was left alone to my own devices for the next three months. Blah.  Moisturizer samples just racking up over here while I’m diligently using this entire jar all by myself.

I can see where they’d call it Nurture Me.  It was a very soothing, gentle moisturizer.  Felt ultra cushiony on the skin.  Smelled less like strawberry, more like a cotton candy type scenario, which surprised because I’d swear it was strawberry in the store.  Regardless, still smelled pretty good (not manly at all, obviously), had medium-length drying time, and left my face feeling soft and pampered.  It was nice.  Would I purchase it again?  Probably not.  My attention span is very short.

Another Ole Henriksen moisturizer I tried is the Truth Revealed Super Crème.  It’s a daytime moisturizer, and this one came in a little kit of seven samples.  In even better news, it has the consistency of marshmallow crème!  Please tell me there are other people out there that perked up when I said that?  I can’t be the weird one by myself.  I mean, how else are you supposed to love a moisturizer?  You give it the texture of cupcake frosting or caramel drizzle, that’s how.  And then I will buy it by the basket-full.  It’s basic 5th grade science.

Aside from that, I did like the product.  It felt almost sticky putting it on, but within seconds the stickiness disappears.  Plus, it smells like oranges.  And it sinks in fast.  But perhaps the best part (other than that marshmallow thing) is that it leaves a glowy sheen on your face.  Not sparkly, just glowy.  It’s pretty subtle, especially when you top it with foundation, but you can notice a slight brightening kind of difference.  I would purchase this cream again for sure.

Next is the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster vitamin C drops.  You can mix this with your serum or foundation or use it alone, but it helps to get rid of brown spots to even out and brighten your complexion.  In case you weren’t aware, vitamin C is amazing for your skin.  If there’s one thing you can do for it every morning, it would be vitamin C in some form or another.  These drops are a convenient way to get it done – since you can mix them with something, you don’t have to make it an extra step in your routine.  Unless you are like me, and what’s one more step in a 17-step regimen?  Not much difference, I can tell you that.  But for people who actually care about getting to work on time, these drops are handy.

Can I just tell you how much I freaking love the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar?  This is not a scientific-based love since all I had was a sample tube with a week’s worth of product in it.  No, this is texture-based love, which is how I rate pretty much everything anyway.  So smooth, so soft, absorbs super fast.  It was a pure pleasure to apply.  I can’t think of anything more nerdy to say, so yes, it was a pure pleasure.  Lots of people feel the same way, too, so for once my opinion actually makes sense.

Apparently this a reformulated version of the original Hope in a Jar, although they still do sell the original so I’m guessing it’s not meant to replace it.  The description on the Sephora website said it’s an advanced, lightweight, whipped moisturizer … and then I stopped listening after that.  Because WHIPPED.  Lawd, I need it.

And now, serums:

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First is the Skin Inc Custom Blended Anti-Aging Serum.  Not sure what was specifically customized since Glossybox did it for me, but this is what the Skin Inc company specializes in.  It’s like a salad bar, where you pick out your own skin concerns (or “ingredients”) and then your perfect serum is born.  Pretty cool concept as it leaves out ingredients you don’t need (like stuff for sensitive skin – since mine isn’t sensitive – or cure for acne) and makes more room for the stuff you do need (like spackling paste to fill in all the wrinkled parts).

The texture of this serum is like a slick water.  Goes on super wet.  However, it evaporates pretty fast which I appreciate.  Time is money in the morning, and I never seem to have enough of both.  My little bottle only gave me enough use for a couple of weeks, but I did like the feel of the serum.  And knowing it was made to address my personal skin care concerns .  I’m open to a new bottle – preferably one with anti-pore, anti-gravity, anti-blotchy, as well as your basic anti-old age.  I just want to replace my old face with a new one.  Is that too much to ask?

Several years ago, I was in New York City and while standing on 5th Avenue, this tiny old woman wearing an ankle length leopard fur coat and furry hat with a feather in it walked past me. And out of the 10 million people walking around that day, she is the only person I managed to see twice in a two hour period.  Had I gotten closer to her, I’m almost certain she would’ve smelled like this Dior One Essential Intense Skin Detoxifying Booster Serum because when I think of old luxury, I think of old ladies in fur coats.  Particularly this one.  I mean, furry hat with a feather in it.  Come on!  If you’re not a billionaire, you wouldn’t wear this, let alone buy it.

Aside from that, this is a very nice serum.  Goes on very smooth; feels ultra fancy.  Consistency is thin, yellowish, and milky.  Face feels pretty soft afterwards.  You can use it as a serum or as a pre-serum serum because it will boost the effects of anything you put on top of it.  This detoxifies your skin, regenerates cells, and boosts luminescence.  And I don’t know about you, but the word luminescence is almost as brainwashing as whipped, soufflé, or sorbet (all of which makes me buy whatever it is – whipped slug trail sorbet?  Sounds delicious.  Yes, please.)  Full size of this stuff – the 1 ounce version – is $100.  Did your dreams just die, cuz mine sure did.

This Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate is surprisingly so nice.  When I first put it on my finger, it came out like an oil.  I was scared, I’ll admit.  But a pea size amount of this stuff will smooth over your skin like the finest silk.  It feels oily at first, but it sinks in very fast and there is no oily traces left whatsoever.  This serum is meant for dry/very dry skin, but I used it anyway (I’m normal with oily t-zone) because I got it in a box so technically paid for it.  My skin did not reject this.  My oily t-zone did not get worse, although I could see where it would most definitely work best for someone with the appropriate skin type.  I did notice that Paula has a combination/oily version, so I’m definitely interested in trying it out.

Now let’s put on makeup:

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I do not understand the mechanics of a setting spray, but I’ve been using them anyway because I like to add as many steps as possible to my morning routine.  This NYX Dewy Finish setting spray is fine.  Pretty inexpensive, so even if you feel it doesn’t add any benefit you didn’t spend a fortune on it.  I’ve been told this stuff settles the powder on your face so you look more healthy – hence the dewy finish.  I don’t want to look powdery, so even though I can’t tell a bit of difference in the appearance of my skin, I’m using it anyway.  I like to think everyone else looks at me and wonders what my secret is.  They probably don’t –  maybe just the opposite – but if I can’t have psychological delusions such as these, how else will NYX sell their product?  I mean, I’m basically saving their company from bankruptcy.  I am a hero.

I only used this theBalm Put a Lid On It eyelid primer because it came as a free sample with an eyeshadow palette.  It lasted light years.  I didn’t like it as much as the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but it still worked.  I have one hooded eye that creases and sweats (oh so attractively), so if I can find a primer that fixes all that, it’s a winner.  Texture is slightly oily as it’s applied, but dries down kind of powdery.  It’s fine.  No thrills, but if someone sends me another tube for free, I’d definitely use it.

I was not a huge fan of the Tarte Timeless Smoothing primer.  It’s silicone-based, which I’m fine with.  It does have that silky feeling on your fingers.  But it just did not spread well for me.  I needed to add tons just to get it go all over.  Or at least it seemed that way.  It blurred my pores somewhat, but it wasn’t anything that wowed me.  My issue could be the jar format – perhaps if it was in a tube, it wouldn’t be as stiff to spread around.  I dunno.  I won’t buy it again, though.

I wanted to love this Revlon Ultimate Suede lipstick in Boho Chic so much.  The color is stunning.  It’s a gorgeous red shimmer but with a matte texture.  Really beautiful.  I put it on right after I bought it, and my immediate thought was SUPERMODEL, which honestly wasn’t that far off from real life.  For me, it was a wearable red.  I don’t know why exactly, but I felt like I could wear it to the grocery store in my pajamas and feel completely normal (except for the pajamas at the grocery store part).  However, not even 15 minutes later after the formula had dried, I looked in the mirror and noticed it went grotesquely patchy.  The color settled in the center and inner rim of my lips and was absolutely hideous.  I applied more (naturally) in case I did it wrong the first time, but no.  It went down the same dark path as before.  What a bummer!  I thought I found my holy grail red.  I have no idea if all the colors are like this, or even if this incident only happened to me, but I’m sad I had to give it away.

Got a little sample of the DHC Velvet Skin Coat primer.  It was alright.  It had the consistency of the inside of an Almond Joy, so that part right there made me kind of love it.  Aside from that, though, it didn’t perform any better than any other primer I’ve ever used.  So I finished the sample, my curiosity sated, and I moved on with my life.  The end.

Okay, this NARS All Day Luminous foundation.  It’s new (and is replacing the NARS Sheer Matte line, per my girl at Sephora), and anytime there is something new I feel it’s my duty as a blogger to buy it and review it.  This would be a tax deduction if someone cares to pay me to continue writing posts.  In the meantime, though, I had Sephora make me a little sample.  None of the colors was my perfect match so I got the closest I could find which was Punjab.  But sadly, it was too yellow.  I have another one, Vallauris, which is for pink undertones so I’ll give that a try.  It may be too dark though.

However, my correct color match isn’t what you care about (is it?) – it’s the foundation itself.  This is a very liquidy, fluid foundation.  It will seriously run all down your arm if you’re not fast enough.  The claims are full coverage with only one drop.  My opinion is maybe two drops, and maybe more like medium coverage.  But my face doesn’t conceal easily, so if you have the skin of a 14-year-old, you will most likely fare better.  And then go sit yourself back down, because nobody likes a winner. Pffft.

The finish is noticeably luminous, not just something that claims to be luminous.  I think it’s very pretty, especially on my old dull face.  It works for all skin tones, which is nice.  I really hope the other color works good for me cuz I want to own this foundation in a most unhealthy way.  In fact, I wouldn’t be past buying the Punjab shade just because I have no real control over myself.  I mean, what’s a little yellow tinge on a pink-toned face in the grand scheme of things?  Aren’t there real issues in this world to be more concerned about – like the socks with sandals epidemic, or camel toe?

Finally, let’s take off our makeup:

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But not with the Yes To Cucumbers soothing facial towelettes.  These were no bueno.  Yes, I see that little award winner sticker on there, but for once, it failed me.  I bought this packet to take with me on my trip to LA, which was the only benefit.  Unless you like towelettes that are barely wet and the nauseating smell of cucumbers (but not fresh ones), then you should bypass these too.  Was not a fan.  Not even a tiny bit.

Working my way through my multitude of cleanser samples.  Finished up the derma e Radiant Brightening cleanser and it was just okay.  Nothing in here that really moved me.  It’s a clear gel, smells citrusy, and leaves behind a dry/tight feeling afterward.  Not necessarily a bad thing – since I have combo/oily skin, I could use a little drying out.  But other than that, there isn’t anything special about it that makes me want to buy the full size.  It may be brightening, but I’m not compelled to find out for sure.

One thing I did like was the Jurlique Herbal Recovery eye cream.  This was a medium-thick cream that smoothed on the skin like a dream.  You don’t need much, like less than a pea-size.  Had no noticeable smell – there might’ve been, but not enough for me to really notice.  It was soothing, absorbed quickly, and left behind a nice velvety feel.  The tube lasted eons.  I have the matching serum and night cream to get through as well, which needs to be soon since the package is clearly marked with an July 2015 expiration.  And on August 1, obviously it all turns to poison.

Several months ago, I had a very large and painful zit.  Went into Sephora to find something to make it go away, and the sales girl gave me a sample of the GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment.  She said I could use it just on the pimple, even though it’s marketed as a full face mask.  Took it home, put it on, and within two days I was pimple free.  At this point, I was beside myself and told everyone I knew as if I had invented the dang thing.  A couple months later I buy this GlamGlow sample kit and took to this mask like it was holy grail and blessed by royalty.  However, this time it didn’t work quite the same.  Not really sure what happened.  Yes, it does a great job of clearing out the pores (as evident by the dots appearing on your nose and chin while the mask dries), but the miracle I was expecting was nowhere to be seen.  Well, boo!

So here is my conclusion then.  This stuff works great at ungunking your pores (shhhh, it’s a word).  It leaves your face feeling very smooth, clean, and renewed.  Maybe it shortens the lifespan of your zit, but maybe it does not.  Maybe your zit was only going to last two days anyway and you attributed the miracle to the wrong thing.  It is a pricey baby – $69 for 1.2 ounces – and if you use it three times a day like their little scientific study suggests, it may not last very long.  BUT.  I would probably buy it again one day.  I’m not above wasting money.  I own 27 foundations that are all about to expire at roughly the same time.

Last thing, although not pictured, are the Sephora cotton pads.  I tried to include a picture of the wrapper, but it was clear plastic and wouldn’t show up very well.  But trust me, I emptied it.  In fact, it’s like my third or maybe fourth empty packet of these pads.  I really like them.  They are the best I’ve used out of the Target brand, Swisspers and White Cotton from Walmart.  You get 70 pads for $4 and if you are a few dollars away from free shipping, go ahead and toss a pack or two of these in your basket.  I haven’t had any issues with them at all.  Shedding is very, very minimal if at all.  I suppose they could shed if you try very hard on purpose.  Like wiping a honey mask off your face with them or something.  But for the most part, they work exceptionally well and I will continue to buy these and only these until someone (perhaps Jesus) invents something else akin to a miracle.

And on that note, we’re done.  How many people are still reading?  Whoever you are, internet high five for you.  Thank you thank you thank you for not making me talk to myself for the past 17 days (while writing this post).  More to come soon .. xoxo!

Glossybox | February 2015

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Well lookie there.  Time got away from me again.  I feel like at this point no one really cares what I got in my February Glossybox because it’s freaking March now and we’ve all moved on.  I’m blaming this sheer lack of organization on the fact that I was forced to go to Disneyland for work.  And Daylight Savings Time stole an hour from me.  That’s where my blogging time went.  On Sunday morning about 2 a.m. when the clocks changed.

Regardless, here’s my Glossybox anyway:

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First item in the box is this ginormous bottle of Rituals Yogi Flow shower gel.  This stuff is exactly like shaving cream, but it’s body wash instead.  Of course, you could use it to shave your legs if you want to – there are no rules with shaving cream, ya know.  Otherwise, I’d have a stack of lonely conditioner samples collecting dust underneath my bathroom counter.  But as a body wash, it’s pretty nice.  Rich, thick, smells good.  Ummm, what else?  Rinses clean.  Full size costs $15, and it’ll last you a good while since you need just half a dollop to get a good lather going.  Not sure if I’d buy it on my own, but that’s only cuz I don’t have a thing for shower gels like I do for mascara or blush.  Shower gel is a necessity in life, not a luxury.  So unless you come in a wicker basket with matching lotion, spritzer, and a loofah, then chances are I’ll use you then forget about you.  (I know.  I’m a horrible girlfriend.)

Got this Unwash Cleansing Conditioner, and it peaked my interest for about 2.5 seconds.  Then I realized it’s one of those shampoos that isn’t real shampoo, just a conditioner that claims to clean your hair “just like” a shampoo but in reality ends up frustrating me because it won’t lather and my brain doesn’t understand why.  You know the kind.  I can’t do these, y’all.  My hair is too fine for a conditioner to go all over my head and in my roots.  And not only that, I have no control over how much I use.  If you don’t lather up, how will I know when I’m done?  (Answer:  I don’t.)  I keep going and going until half the tube is gone, and my hair has this horrible dirty film in it for three days because I refuse to wash it more than twice a week.  It’s an exhausting ordeal for an already exhausting ordeal.  In other words: NO. THANK YOU.

This post is spiraling all to hell.  Cuz next is the Julep nail polish in Hartleigh, and I’ve already given it away.  It’s such a cutesy little thing though, what with all it’s glitter and hearts and sparkles and such.  But if I can’t tolerate polishing my nails with a normal nail polish, why would I dive right in with a polish with chunky bits in it that threatens my OCD with every swipe?  Cuz if you’ve ever used polish with bits in it, you know those bits don’t lay down and behave themselves.  They go wherever they want to, and sometimes they want to lay ON TOP of other bits and leave naked spots with no bits, and if you suffer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you’ve got the hives right now like nobody’s business.  Breathe.

But having said all that, if you adore polishes like this, I’m sure you’ll love Hartleigh.  It really is a pretty “color” and would make a lovely topcoat for someone with more patience and less mental illness than me.

Let’s try to stay positive, shall we?  This Teadora Rainforest at Dawn exfoliating bar soap seems promising.  Yes, it falls under the “necessities” category, but I’ve already decided I’m not going to use it as a body wash.  It’s my new foot wash.  Spring is coming and then there’s summer, so I need my heels to be soft like baby skin.  Also the pinky toe that pokes out the side of my strappy shoes because it’s too itty bitty to stay put inside – it needs a little TLC too.  Not only that, but my big toe dries out easily in the summer because it’s the one sitting in the peep toe for all the world to see.  I’m thinking this soap, because it exfoliates with its clay ingredients and acai seeds, should do me some good.  In preparation for my first use, I have purchased a turquoise peacock soap dish home for it.  Hopefully I love it cuz that dish cost me $12.  Don’t worry; I’ll let you know.

Last item in the box is the most adorable little thing.  It’s a Royal Apothic Tinties lip butter in the shade Pink, and it comes in this precious tiny pot that I’d swear was pulled from the pocket of some mystical Indian princess. It’s lovely. As for the lip balm, welllll, it’s lip balm. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s pretty basic. This is one of those cases where you’re judging a book by it’s cover. You own it cuz it’s pretty, not because the lip balm has magical transforming powers. Or at least on my lips, it doesn’t. I’m still glad I own it though. Because packaging will suck me in, even if I know there’s a dog turd inside. Cuz I need that beribboned box with Eiffel Towers stamped all over it, dontcha know?

Okay, gang, that’s it. I just opened my mailbox and my March Glossybox has already arrived. So, what perfect timing. I’m going to make a better effort this month with my blogging, I promise. Next up: an Empties post. Just giving you heads-up in case you need to cancel some plans.

Birchbox | February 2015

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I’m stressed.  After my trip to LA and a very disastrous weekend drive to St. Louis (in snow, 5 hours, with a 4 year old), my husband and I have approximately 57 hours of TV shows stored on the DVR that need to GO AWAY.  Does anyone else feel claustrophobic when this happens?  Does anyone else get a perverse sense of accomplishment when the DVR is clean and tidy?  No, just me?  Figures.

What I’m trying to say is, while I had every intention of putting up my final two February box reviews prior to the end of February (as expected), you can blame this scheduling fiasco on DirecTV and the fact a DVR actually exists.  Dang you, Technology!  What happened to the good old days when I tried to tape a week’s worth of All My Children and Regis & Kelly on two rotating VHS tapes, get them all confused on which tape has which newest episode, and then finally say FECK IT and stop watching television altogether because my OCD had hit its breaking point?

Did you get the hives just now, cuz I sure did.  Here’s my Birchbox:

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Got this Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser, which lately I’ve been needing.  My face was looking pretty good about a week ago, until my left cheek started a riot right in the middle of Disneyland.  Like literally I had zero zits walking in and one zit walking out.  Whyyyyyeeeee?  Where is your loyalty?!  I wash you, moisturize you, pamper the ever-lovin’ shit out of you, and this is how I am repaid.  Left Cheek:  we are no longer friends.

Anyway, it’s clearing up pretty good now, but it’s the second time in that exact same spot within the past month that I got a pimple.  What are the odds of that?  There may be a scientific mathematical ratio equation in there somewhere, considering how much face I have.  So as soon as I finish up my current cleanser, I’ll go ahead and give this one a go.  See if it helps me not break out.  Cuz if there’s one thing that ruins a flawless, supermodel-type complexion, it’s a dadgum zit.  I’m 40.  It’s time to stop it.

Then there is the Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Sea Wrack body wash.  First of all, to get the obvious question out of the way, what is Sea Wrack?  I looked it up for the sake of this blog, and sometimes I think I should just be less professional.  Cuz sea wrack is detached seaweed that is thrown up by the sea, and which is often used to make manure, or in this case, a soap that you rub all over your body.  There are two terrible things in that sentence; if you have to guess what they are, well I admire your knack for ignoring unpleasantries.  I, on the other hand, am on the verge of a panic attack.

But despite all that and strangely enough, this body wash smells so wonderful.  It reminds me of a chlorine swimming pool, but in more of a beachy way.  And it suds up like a champ.  I liked it a lot and quite possibly want a full size of it.  We just won’t mention that poop thing ever never again.

Next is a theBalm Read My Lips lip gloss in the color Bam!  There isn’t a whole lot I can say here other than it’s a typical lip gloss.  Pretty nude pink shade.  Not sticky.  Doesn’t stink.  It’s not a holy grail product, though.  If I lost it in an airport, I wouldn’t cause a TSA nightmare-inducing scenario.  (Unlike my near-miss with the Marc Jacobs one I left on the conveyor belt in Las Vegas and realized at the very last minute, right before some stranger almost put it in their pocket – I’ll karate chop you in throat over that; I highly DO. NOT. RECOMMEND.)

Totally in love with the BeautyBlender I got as I have been meaning to get myself a backup.  I love using a BeautyBlender to apply foundation.  I don’t use it all the time because I feel it needs to be cleaned like almost constantly, but it does give a nice effect on the skin.  Airbrushed and flawless, or as flawless as I can get with a giant red angry zit on my left cheek.  But in any case, if you’ve never tried a BeautyBlender before, I approve so go ahead and put it in your basket.  I am the boss of you.  We’ve been over this.

It did come with a little disc of cleanser, which I have not used yet.  Just looks like a bar of soap or something.  A little messy as it does not come with a covered soap dish, which I don’t understand.  Who uses bar soap all willy nilly like that?  (Crazy people.)  But it’s specially made to be used with the BeautyBlender so I imagine it should spiff it up rather nicely.  We’ll see.  I’ll use it even if I have to wrap it up in Saran Wrap afterwards like a damn hobo.

Last but not least is this packet of BeeKind conditioner.  What is missing, you ask? Why, its shampoo packet buddy of course!  What is the point of sending just the conditioner?  Seriously, who does this benefit?  Certainly not my hair since I’ll never even use it up there.  Looks like Birchbox sent me shaving cream then, cuz that’s all lonely conditioner packets are good for – shaving my legs.  It’s actually a pretty good deal.  At this point, I rarely buy real shaving cream cuz of all the conditioner leftovers I own.  That’s called SAVING MONEY, and anytime saving money is involved, there’s a Sephora haul not too far away.

So here we are at the end of yet another post.  Thank you so much for putting up with me and making it all the way to the bottom like a true friend.  Y’all are the best, I swear.  Have a great rest of your day and I’ll be back again (hopefully) tomorrow with my last February review – in March, but until there’s a Blog Police, I do what I want.  Toodles!