Monthly Archives: April 2015

Birchbox | April 2015

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I tried to act like those four packages sitting on the porch were not for me.  But hubby is getting good.  He used to not say anything, but now he deliberately looks at our front door as I drive past it to the garage.  STOP IT WITH YOUR EYES.  I write a beauty blog for a living.  Just because no one pays me to do it doesn’t mean I don’t have business expenses.  It’s basic mathematics.  And you can’t argue with that kind of logic.

Here’s my Birchbox:

First off, this box was delayed over 10 days on it’s journey between Indiana and Missouri.  How does this even happen?  I could probably walk and get it myself in less than 10 days.  That would be a sight to see, though.  Last time I walked it was to the copy machine or mailbox.  And then I had to go sit down and rest for the next 2 hours.  I’m a little out of shape you might say.

I don’t know about you, but when I get a product that I know darn well sits in the free amenity tray of the local Hampton Inn, it somehow negates the experience of receiving said product in a beauty box I pay for.  Enter the Neil George body wash.  Nothing against it necessarily, but you get what I’m saying.  However, in fairness, I haven’t actually seen this product in a hotel but I know with 100% certainty it comes from Gilchrist & Soames who truly does put products in hotels.  So Neil George is guilty by association at the very least.

BUT.  I will use it.  It’s body wash.  The scent of it is called Grapefruit Sage but I detected no hint of citrus anything.  Definitely masculine and herby.  Two of my most unfavorite smells.  Success!  The tube is relatively small so I’ll finish the whole thing, but I’m gonna go ahead and complain about it the whole time.  K?  K.

One product I did enjoy was the Supergoop! eye cream.  It’s really nice.  It has the consistency of marshmallow cream (delicious) and a little goes a very long way.  The finish of it is less velvety than my most recent eye creams, but there is a very noticeable brightening effect to it.  It would be the perfect daytime eye cream especially due to its SPF properties (of 37, which is such an odd random number).  I used it in the evening just one time, but I’m going to put it away and save it for when I finish my current daytime product.  Which will probably take light years, cuz I’ve been working at it for 5 months now and there’s no end in sight.  My perseverance really backfires on me sometimes.

Next is the Temple Spa Peace Be Still face and body balm.  Don’t get too excited – it’s just lotion.  I’ll admit I was sucked in too.  A body balm?!  Nope, still a lotion.  That is 100% less interesting.

This is yet another product in the box that I will still use despite the fact it’s boring as hell.  One thing to note, however, is that it can be used on hands, body AND face.  I don’t know if that makes it better or worse than using three separate products – I suppose it depends on your level of lazy.  I mean, I’m terribly lazy but I also have an anal personality so I like having specific lotions for specific parts.  This is why I have a 17-step skincare regimen.  I’m not interested in your 3-in-1s, but thanks.

Aside from all that, this product is fine for what it is.  Smells like herbs once again.  I checked the website and it’s official scent is lemon, coriander and nutmeg.  Does this make you want to rub it all over your body?  If the answer is yes, you should buy this.  Also, you’re WRONG.

I was perfectly fine with getting another tube of Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel because I love it so much.  If you want proof, click here and see for yourself.  I don’t know what it is about this particular gel but nothing else I’ve ever tried has stood up to it.  So stop wasting time if you’re on a mission:  your mission is over.  Time for pajamas.

Last product is the Vasanti BrightenUp! face exfoliator.  I was not too keen on this product.  An exfoliator?  Like with the beads and stuff?  Eh.  But a couple people on my Instagram told me it was one of their favorite things.  That’s two people in one day that told me – so naturally, I was intrigued.  The premise of this stuff is to exfoliate but also to instantly brighten the complexion.  Plus it helps with fine lines, wrinkles, scaring and large pores.  Well I don’t know about that last part, but I had the most radiant complexion of my life after using this one time.  That is not a typo.  I loved it.  The beads were ultra fine – finer than any scrub I’ve ever used – and they wiped away mostly clean.  You can use it 3-5 times a week, which makes me happy cuz when I love something I tend to smother it to death.  Just ask my daughter; she’ll tell you.

Hope you’ve had a great last day of April.  Thank you for hanging out as always, reading to the ends of my posts and whatnot.  If it wasn’t for you guys, I’d be sitting here talking to myself and that is A) weird and B) sad, so I appreciate your effort and loyalty.  See you in May!

Glossybox | April 2015

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I’ve been having a little bedtime issue with my very old cat.  Out of the blue, for whatever reason, she’s taken to walking around the top of my pillow (i.e., where most of my hair is), massaging it and purring for Jesus, for what seems like eons until she finally decides to lay down.  Occasionally she even likes to stand still for a second just long enough for me to look up straight into her butthole.  That is NEVER pleasant at 2 a.m.  And then when she does sit, all I can think about is that her butthole is on my pillow.  Where my head-slash-hair-slash-face goes.  Erlack!  Does your tummy hurt now, cuz mine sure does.

What that has to do with my Glossybox, I’ll never know.  But here it is anyway:

Um, cutest box EVER?!  Yes, ma’am.  Glossybox knocked it out this month.  It also came with a cute little makeup bag which I forgot to include in the picture.  And then I was too lazy to redo it.  In my defense it was Saturday, I was in pajamas and in the middle of a Netflix marathon.  But also because I didn’t want to.

First item is the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Stained Gloss in the shade New Wave.  I own a couple of regular Lip Tars and they are majorly pigmented, very bold and kind of scary for a work day.  But these stained glosses are great.  This neon vibrant pink is surprisingly very (universally) wearable because, while pigmented, it’s still somewhat sheer.  I like it!  I can’t speak for the other colors in the line – which aren’t very many compared to the regular Lip Tars – but I approve of this one.  Put it in your basket!

Very rarely do I rave on a hair product, primarily because my hair regime is slim-to-none.  But I’m very much in a passionate love affair with this Marrakesh Endz Split End Mender.  I’ve used it a few times to wet hair (ends only) and I could really tell the difference.  Hair looked less like the dirty end of a broom and more like the hair of a maiden on a galloping horse.  Granted, I would have to use my flatiron to smooth it out completely, but I could still go out in public first.  That may not be saying much since I go to Starbucks in my pajamas, but then again if I’m putting pants on during the weekend, there’s a strong possibility that’s an imposter and I’ve been kidnapped.

I have already tried a sample of the Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting serum not too long ago, and if you’d like to read my review of it, kindly click here.  If you’d like the Cliff Notes version, then I’ll tell you that this is a nice serum.  Absorbs very fast, smells good.  Probably would correct some dark spots if I could use it longer than the week the sample yields.  If you’re interested in science, you’ll be happy to know that 77% of women noticed a significant reduction of dark spots and discoloration.  That just means only 23% of women already had nice complexions and therefore they can sit right back down.  Nobody likes a winner.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know I’m not a fan of perfume.  In fact, the one and only bottle of perfume I own is still sitting in my linen closet, 10 years old, and missing maybe an inch of product.  And I even liked that one (Elizabeth Arden Green Tea).  What I’m trying to tell you is, I love the packaging on this Aerin Waterlily Sun perfume.  It’s very cheerful and springy.  I almost want to use the perfume cuz I like the box it’s in.  Is that shallow?  Probably.  I checked the notes for the perfume lovers and there’s bergamot, jasmine and waterlily in it.  It smells nice.  I’m probably going to keep it.  Maybe use it on a very rare occasion.  Or maybe it’ll just sit next to the Elizabeth Arden and keep her company.  Who’s to say?

Last product is the Julep Gel Eye Glider in Bronze Shimmer.  I didn’t need another eyeliner I’ll tell you that, but I was curious about the brand’s makeup line.  So yes, it was creamy and glide (glid? glided?) well.  Color was nice.  It wasn’t anything more interesting than any other eyeliner I’ve used.  It was pretty.  It didn’t smudge on me.  But that’s about it.  I’ll keep it, but I don’t feel like rushing out to buy twelve more.  Because I’m certainly not opposed to doing that.  I have a bag full of Urban Decay 24/7 liners to prove it.

K, folks, we’re done.  You can go back to doing whatever else you do besides read this blog (you know, the unimportant stuff).  I’ll have one more post up before April 30, I swear.  So get excited if you aren’t already.  (You are.)

Ipsy | April 2015

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I need to stop finding new hobbies.  It just makes things more difficult.  I can’t be expected to blog, watch all the YouTube videos, read three different magazines (per month, currently behind), complete a 250-page book in less than a month, and watch a full array of DVR shows if I’m gonna go ahead and fudge it all up by challenging my husband to an American Horror Story marathon on Netflix.  But I did, and now we’re properly addicted, and everything I’ve come to love and hold dear has fallen very very by the wayside and I have OCD and I’m never going to get caught up because it takes me two hours to do weekend makeup just so I can sit around in my pajamas all day and also I’m breaking out in hives.

But having said all that, American Horror Story is a very good show.  Here’s my Ipsy:

 

  

Received this cute little Pandora’s blush in the shade Pink Carnation.  Not too long ago I owned a super Barbie pink one that I passed along to my mom.  This color is less bright, but it’s pretty pigmented just the same.  It came to me in a magnetic pan that I could put into my small Z Palette, but if truth be told, Z Palette space is prime real estate and I don’t know if I love the blush enough to move it in officially.  For now, yes.  But don’t get too comfy.  As soon as I decide to order Makeup Geek’s blush in the color Smitten, consider your time as UP.  

How cute is this teeny tiny theBalm Nude Dude eyeshadow sample?  Inside is the color Fit which is a rose gold type shade.  It’s creamy, buttery goodness.  I already own the Nude ‘Tude palette and I really love it.  At this point, I have managed to not purchase this sequel palette – not because I don’t think I’ll like it, but more that I’ve been buying stupidly ridiculous expensive palettes cuz I’m having a minor issue regarding designer makeup.  Such as the need to own all of it.  Well, why be obsessed if you can’t do it properly?

Someone needs to take my internet away.

The packaging on this Mullein & Sparrow lip and cheek balm is adorable.  It’s vintage-inspired and looks like it came out of a 19th century French apothecary.  I could be deathly allergic to lip balm, but I’d risk a touch of anaphylaxis just to own this, especially if you sit it in a little display right next to the credit card swiper because that’s how I end up with the majority of my unecessary items.  However, that’s where all the cuteness and need ends cuz this product is terrible.  There is absolutely no color to this “tinted” balm whatsoever.  You put it on your lips; nothing.  You put it on your cheeks; nothing but a shiny, greasy patch.  How did this stuff even get made?  And it wasn’t even that I got a dud one.  Reviews on the Ipsy site are mostly negative.  The ones who did give it a good score, I’m pretty sure they never even tried it.  They just went by packaging alone, something that I WOULD NEVER DO.  Cuz you read this blog and know that is very very true.

The MicaBeauty eye primer is alright.  Kind of similar to the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly – it lends a nice flesh-toned color to the lid and hides those ugly red and blue veins.  But the application is quite stiff.  The product did not spread well and I felt like I was tugging on my eye trying to get it to smooth out.  However, I got no creasing and my shadow wore well all day.  If I wasn’t already using and loving the Paint Pot – and if I didn’t care much about prematurely aging my own eye with all the roughhousing – I would keep this and use it from time to time.  It worked well once you got it on.

Last product in the bag is the Elizabeth Arden lipstick in Red Door Red.  The only thing good about getting this red lipstick is the value.  Full size is $25 which is well over the cost of the Ipsy subscription.  But because I don’t wear red lipstick, sadly I won’t be getting any value out of it whatsoever.  With the exception of putting it on granddaughter #1 right before dance recital pictures, and then granddaughter #2 putting it on when I turned my back for 2.5 seconds.  There may be snot and Cheetos crumbs on it now for all I know.  No matter – I’ll never use it.

Alright that’s all for now.  Getting ready to start Season 3 of American Horror Story, so excuse me while I ignore everyone and everything for the rest of the evening.  Night night!

Sample Society | April 2015

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If you are going to have a wedding anniversary gift delivered in a box to my front porch, a heads-up would be nice.  Because, while I wasn’t expecting a box to be delivered that day, having one delivered and me losing track of what’s coming when wouldn’t be entirely out of the question.  In other words, I almost opened my own gift until a last second reprieve when I glanced at the label and saw it was not addressed to me.  Then I almost opened it anyway cuz we are MARRIED and what’s his is mine – except for bills; those are just his.

My point is – my husband bought me a beautiful blue and white diamond ring, and for once I was okay with it not being a Sephora gift card.  So two years down, 48 to go.  Fine by me.

Here’s my Sample Society:

Ahhh, more perfume.  If you could see my face right now, you would mistake me for sleeping.  Oh how I wish I got excited over perfume – opening these dang boxes would be more fun I’ll tell you that.  But in an effort of fairness, I smelled this Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream and it’s pretty nice.  Notes are blackberry, grapefruit, pear, jasmine (et cetera).  Sephora says the style is ethereal, free-spirited and luminous, whatever that mean.  If I cared enough, I’d be spritzing this on right about now.  But since I don’t, I’ve put it aside to be regifted to a more loving mother.

And then there was a hair oil.  I get so nervous around them – they are like a two-times-in-one-day hair washing event bound to happen.  My hair is very fine and oils don’t play well.  But this Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is supposed to be built for any hair type.  This did peak my interest, but I remained skeptical because bad things happen to good people.

Directions say it can be used on wet or dry hair.  I opted for the dry version because I’d really like to find something that will magically smooth the ends of my second day hair do.  I applied about a dime-sized drop to mid-shaft to ends and blended it in real good.  Then waited for disaster.  Surprisingly, it did not come.  My hair still felt very soft.  The oil literally absorbed right into my hair and didn’t leave any residue behind.  On the other side of the coin, however, it didn’t smooth my ends that much.  In fact, as the day wore on, my ends seemed to get tangly more than normal.  I’m going to finish the sample since it’s very tiny – maybe I’ll try it on wet hair next time – but most likely I will not repurchase.

Despite the fact that I love the Benefit POREfessional face primer, seeing it in my box was a non-event.  I mean, I’ve owned many tubes of this stuff in the past as well as all the rest of the universe.  So it’s nothing new.  Not a bad thing to receive for free, but I feel like its 15 minutes of fame is over.  However if you’d like to read my review on it, click here.  Spoiler alert:  it’s good stuff.

Look at this teeny tiny baby thing!  It’s the Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper lipstick, and I’m pretty sure the scenario went something like this:

MARKETING:  Look how nicely sized our lipstick samples are!  Our customers are going to feel so special getting something of this size for FREE!  This could last them ages and will make them very happy!  We love our customers so much!

FINANCE:  Nope.

So literally SAMPLE size.  Try not to lose this in the washing machine.

Okay, the shade is Rio and it’s a very lovely sheer brown color.  They call it a lip plumper, but just because it has a peppermint tingle does not mean it will plump your lips.  Cuz it really doesn’t.  But the lipstick is still nice.  I’ll wear it.

At first I wasn’t into the Mt. Sapola body lotion because of its intense Lavender Chamomile (but mostly lavender) scent.  I mean, it’s fully concentrated lavender.  As in, if you don’t like lavender stay far far away.  However, I wanted to give it a try because I am a professional blogger and therefore have a reputation to uphold.  So before bed, I rubbed this on my neck and chest area (and hands, obviously) and I swear on all that is holy, this body lotion put me in a deep, deep sleep.  And now I feel like I want to buy the full size.  The smell is strong, but man is it relaxing.  That is the job of lavender in case you did not know.  If you suffer from sleep problems, I’m not saying this body lotion will cure you of insomnia, but it couldn’t hurt to try it.  Full size price is $24 for 7.5oz, which isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen.

Last item in the box could quietly go away and I’d never even care about it.  Got a little travel tin of the Illume Tonka Noir candle.  If this smelled like peaches or a coconut cream pie, I’d be all over it.  But it smells like tonka bean, and I’m not sure that’s a real thing.  It’s in the “wood” category on the Illume website, and there is a musky sandlewood base to the smell.  Then they try to spruce it up with mandarin oranges and black plum, but you don’t fool me!  It’s pretty strong, and it’s not horrid, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to own all the matching pieces.  I prefer my candles fruity or foodie.  If people walk into my house and think I baked a pie, then my job is done.  Cuz I’m never purposefully baking a pie.  But if I can fake it, that counts as cooking, which means my husband has to do the dishes.  Success!

All done.  More fun stuff coming.  Been sampling like a mad woman over here.  And buying an insane amount of stuff.  But it’s my job – as soon as someone starts paying me to do it, that is.  Bye!

Empties | March 2015

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There is a very high probability the year is 2016 and this post has just gone live.  Or at least it will feel that way.  Empties posts take light years to write.  There’s a hard core carpal tunnel event about to take place over here.  So get you some snacks and a blankie and cancel ALL your plans.  There’s no other place you’d rather be besides right here anyway.  (There really isn’t.  I checked.)

Let’s get started with some serumy things:

 


 

Got a free sample of the new REN Instant Firming Beauty Shot.  This stuff is supposed to plump and lift your skin – not over time, but instantly – to last for several hours.  Well, that definitely gets my attention.  In fact, you could be telling me the secret to the universe, but I have since checked out of reality.  Instant face lift in a bottle!  Actually, THAT might be the secret to the universe.  I just solved all your problems.  I can get back into pajamas now.

Sadly, however, this product doesn’t really do much.  At least not for me.  I used it in the morning, and I didn’t notice anything particularly transforming.  I could feel some tightening, though, so the ingredients were doing something, just not enough of that something.  This product is $54 in its full-size state.  I’m not against paying stupid amounts of money for a pile of promises, but at least I know ahead of time it doesn’t really work and I can confidently say no thank you.  That’s called SAVING MONEY, my friends.  I’m gonna go buy something else now.

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ext up is the Lancôme Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate serum.  This product tackles a lot of stuff.  Like ten different things to be exact: texture, resiliency, elasticity, firmness, sagginess, fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, clarity, and skintone.  Sounds like a dream come true if you ask me.  I only got to use this for about two weeks so no miracles happened, but it was a nice serum.  Milky consistency.  Dries down very fast.  If you measure success based on texture and absorption rate, then this one gets an A.  If you’re more into the scientific aspects – you know, results and whatnot – you may consider consulting not this blog.  I am a professional, clearly.

For more evidence of my completely rational sense of thinking, I want to buy the full size of the Vichy Idealia Life Serum because it’s a beautiful pearly pink and there is no other point to this conversation.  Have you ever just seen something you knew you’d love with all your heart just by simply looking at it with your eyes?  Husband, baby kitten.  FACIAL SERUM.  I challenge you to pump a bit of this on your finger and then walk away as if nothing happened.  It’s nigh on impossible is what it is.

Sadly, the sample lasted maybe 3 days.  It had a moisturizer consistency which I’ll admit is not my fave quality in a serum.  But it had this lovely glow about it that I could not deny.  Here is its list of miracles:  illuminates the complexion, reduces hyperpigmentation, refines skin texture, minimizes pores.  It’s got me trapped in its web, y’all.  I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed it.  That’s not an accidental nap, forehead down on my keyboard.  I NEED IT.

Next up – moisturizers:

 


 

This packet of the Eco-Beauty Good Day day moisturizer lasted me ages, surprisingly.  It’s in one-time-use packaging but with a nozzle, so I was still at it after two weeks.  I liked it alright.  It was a very lightweight moisturizer, felt very soothing on the face.  However, if you’re not in love with the smell of cucumbers you may not enjoy it.  It’s not your old school cucumber melon from Bath & Body Works, let’s just say that.

If you can base a product on looks alone, this Perricone MD Photo Plasma would be a beauty queen.  It has the most divine whipped, airy texture that I’d swear I’d eat if I knew it wouldn’t give me diarrhea and/or kill me.  But oh my – it was not made for me.  The description said it’s lightweight and non-tacky.  I found it to be the complete opposite.  My face felt moist almost all day long, and it was making me claustrophobic.  I realize now this is better suited to people who have dry skin, not combination like me.  So this jar is about half full – I made an effort; that surely counts for gold stars, gift cards, something?

If you like Retinol, give Kate Somerville RetAsphere night cream a try.  It’s pure retinol in a lipid shell that time-releases into your skin.  How scientific and fancy does that sound?  (Very.)  I liked it okay.  It has a heavy medicinal smell – verging on peppermint or eucalyptus or something along that line.  And it does take a bit to sink in.  But as far as Retinol products go, I could use it every evening without irritation.  Not sure if that happens to everyone or if I’m just a rock star, but I had no issues with it whatsoever.  There wasn’t enough in the tube to last me longer than a week, so as far as its efficacy goes, well your guess is as good as mine.  Success!

But of course I’d like the SK-II Cellumination Cream EX because the full size is $160 and that’s how my life works.  It’s an illumination moisturizer with a very pretty pearly sheen to it.  Similar to the pink sheen of the Vichy above although not quite as apparent.  I literally used this for maybe a week, so per usual I can only attest to the texture, which is extremely lightweight and lotiony with fast absorption.  Smelled nice.  If I had a larger size, eventually it would even my skin tone and diminish my dark spots.  Or so it says.  I’ll never know unless someone gives me $160.  Just throwing that out there.

Last thing isn’t a moisturizer per se but close enough.  It’s the Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender hand cream.  I really liked this.  I kept it at my desk at work and used it a couple times a day.  It wasn’t super thick, so I didn’t sit around with lotion hands for hours (big plus).  The smell was zingy and fresh.  Y’all know I’m not a huge buyer of hand creams, but I’d consider trying another one of these.  Cuz out of all the hand creams that exist in the entire world, this is one of the less boring ones.

Let’s play Beauty Shop:

 


 

I’ve owned this Klorane Desert Date leave-in cream for over a year and figured it was time to let it go.  I was getting very close to the bottom, but with only twice weekly use (and sometimes no use at all), this stuff would probably turn to moldy sludge before I finished it all.  I really loved it though.  The smell was heaven.  Not fruity or floral – more exotic, musky, heady, and warm.  This may not be at all what it smells like, but describing smells is not my forte.  Unless you are a normal thing like oranges or (erlack!) cucumbers, if you come at me smelling like a Desert Date, I have no idea what to say to you.

Aside from all that, the product wasn’t heavy or greasy.  I applied a dime sized amount and I never felt a scummy film in my hair after blow drying.  I’d buy it again for sure.

If you want to know how the Davines OI Absolute Beautifying conditioner performed on the hair, sadly I have no story for you.  However, if you’d like to know how it is as a shaving cream, then have yourself a seat.  This is some thick, emollient cream.  Smells very good – similar to the Klorane above.  I liked it a lot for what I used it for.  My legs smelled divine, although who’s getting the benefit of that, I’ll never know.

I liked the Fekkai Intensive Fortifying hair mask.  It had a nice, thick consistency and felt like it was really sticking to my hair.  Smelled very good as well.  It did soften up my spiky ends, made them look less dry and split-end-y.  Once I run out of all my Carol’s Daughter masks (I have two big ones), I think I will go back to this for a bit.  Or maybe I’ll try the Moroccanoil one first, then the Macadamia one, THEN go back to the Fekkai.  Life has too many choices.  Life is HARD.

Another shaving cream – the BeeKind conditioner.  Typical conditioner consistency.  Smelled like the best, freshest, zingiest lemon.  Would be nice in your hair had SOMEONE sent me the matching shampoo to try.  But because they felt it made perfect sense to give me just half a duo, I’ll never know.  It’s like trying to watch Part 2 of a movie without first watching Part 1.  It’s logical, basic mathematics people.  Get with it.

How about some face stuff:

 


 

I’ve yet to repeat cleansing milks as I’m on a quest to find out which one is truly the best.  At this point, I’ve tried Clinique, Le Couvent des Minimes, REN (the Rose Centifolia one), and Caudalie.  Out of all those (since you’re asking), the Clinique is the best.  So about this Clarins one (with Gentian – for oily/combo skin).  It’s okay.  Smells just like a drugstore body lotion like Suave or Vaseline.  It’s thick and creamy.  But there was something about it that didn’t put it over the edge.  Don’t ask me what that “something” is because this isn’t a proper review.  (You know, the usual.)  But for the sake of those that need some bit of useful information, they have an Alpine Herbs version for dry skin peeps.  There!  Aren’t you glad you stopped by?

Picked up a cute little mask kit last summer from Peter Thomas Roth and decided to finally get around to using it.  Selected the Rose Stem Cell mask first.  It’s the anti aging one, and it’s supposed to counteract fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and sagging.  And in case you select products based on how good they’ll look with your bathroom décor, this mask is a bright baby pink and lovely.  Consistency is a straight up gel, like something you’d pull out of your fridge and put on your sunburn.  In fact, you can store these in the fridge if you’re so inclined.  I won’t cuz chances are high I’d decide to use this mask as soon as I sit down in a bathtub full of water.  It’s best to keep it at arm’s reach.

I’m not a huge fan of microdermabrasion scrubs, primarily cuz the exfoliating particles stick to your face for what seems like days after you wash it.  There’s a possibility I’m exaggerating here but I have OCD so who really knows?  What’s normal to most is the end of the world to me.  In any case, I know exfoliation is important, and nothing helps keep my skin soft quite like a nice round of microdermabrasion.  So I suffer for my beauty, and my husband (and wallet) suffers right along with me.

So the derma e microdermabrasion scrub is good.  It does what just about every scrub I’ve ever used before does.  It will scar the shit out of your face if you press to hard.  Rub gently, my friends.  But it has a nice lemon scent, and it does the job.  Washes away mostly clean – I did pick particles off my face for a little bit afterwards.  I’d buy this again though.  I’m not against it.

I really loved the Fresh Black Tea Age Delay eye cream.  My tiny sample lasted me well over a month, and if I didn’t have a thousand other eye cream samples, I’d be buying a full size of this one.  It’s just really nice.  A thick, emollient cream – reminds me of custard-style yogurt or really firm pudding.  It feels velvety on the eye and absorbs quickly.  When reading up on the history of Black Tea as skincare, it’s been around in some form since 250 B.C. and they called it the Immortal Elixir.  Ummmm, yes please.  If you’re somehow NOT putting this in your shopping cart right now, I question your mental state.

And finally – makeup:

 


 

I feel kind of guilty trying to review the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue cream for you because I literally can’t remember much about it.  But this is an Empties post, and I emptied it, so there you have it.  What I can recall is that the coverage on this is pretty sheer.  If you are plagued by splotchy bare skin, you may not find this suitable – unless you’re fine with sheer coverage.  The description says it’s buildable to medium, but there wasn’t enough in the sample to add extra layers.  The shade I got was Natural 05 and it seemed to be a pretty decent match.  Finish is dewy and has a high SPF of 30.  So if you are having one of those days where you just want a little something – for appropriate times like grocery shopping or going to the post office – this would work just fine.  Or you can do what I do and put on full drag then sit around watching Netflix all day.  And then go buy groceries.  Cuz nothing says normal, rational behavior like full coverage foundation and stripey blush and pushing a cart full of Malibu Coconut Rum and deli meat through the grocery store.

What were we talking about?  Dunno.  Moving on.

I’m always on the search for the next best thing when it comes to pore blurring makeup.  Picked up a sample of the Dr. Jart+ Pore Medic Pore Minish primer.  It’s pretty good.  The consistency is like a clear silicone-based gel.  Goes on very smooth.  Has a slight lemon scent but feels sort of tingly like peppermint.  Not sure if anyone else experienced the tingle though cuz I can’t find one review that references it.  But I am super in-tune with bodily sensations due to my hypochondria, so I could feel a gnat land on me for 1/1000th of a second when other people would never even notice.

Blurring properties are decent.  My pores looked smoothed over, but not invisible.  I don’t think anything would make them invisible.  You can’t put a tarp over the Grand Canyon; you can’t put makeup over my pores.

I’ll admit to being a sucker for gimmicky things.  The Benefit License to Blot oil blotting stick is nothing but gimmicky.  But guess who snagged one up anyway?  Luckily it was just a free sample; if I had paid $20 for this thing, there may have been a few punches thrown (with noodle arms so no one gets arrested).  This product is TERRIBLE.  It did absolutely nothing for my oil.  It didn’t blot anything up – instead it removed my makeup.  That is not a fair trade, lemme tell you.  I followed the directions, which was to apply with short, swift strokes.  Nothing happened.  I tried it for three days thinking perhaps I was doing it wrong, but my face felt just as oily as before.  Maybe there was a slight mattification, but it was so minimal (and I was still oily-feeling) that I could have easily not done anything at all.  If I am faced with the choice of doing something or not doing something, especially if the not doing something involves pajamas, I’d easily not do something.  In other words, quit making me do something that is pointless and stupid.  If I have to do something, make it worth my time.

One product that is definitely worth my time is the Smashbox Always Sharp eyeliner.  I have a small collection of them (this one is the black one), and I love them all.  When I have no time in the morning, but I still want to do some nice eyeliner, these Smashbox ones are a great fit.  They sharpen automatically as you twist the cap off, so you always have a nice point.  The tip is creamy and glides on nice and smooth.  I can even draw a little wing – not a crisp one, but one nonetheless.  If I must complain about something (and I must), I can mention two things:  they don’t wear well in the waterline (at least on me) and they get used up quicker than a traditional eyeliner.  However, that’s not enough to make me not want it.  They save me time.  And they won an Allure magazine award.  Need I say more?  (No. You are convinced.  Put it in your basket.)

Last product in the trash is a sample of the Dior Diorskin Nude Air serum foundation in 030 Medium Beige.  This is a nice foundation.  It’s ultra liquidy and is dispensed by a dropper.  Coverage is pretty sheer, but it does perfect the skin really nicely.  I had to do two layers to achieve that result, but like I said, I suffer for my beauty.  The finish looks very natural.  I was quite impressed.  I have yet to rush out to buy the full size though.  I’m trying desperately to put a dent in the 27 foundations I already own.  About 2/3 of the way through one of them, but it expired March of last year.  So  yeah.  I have a long way to go.

You’ve made it to the end!  Internet high-fives for whoever is still reading.  But trust me, I’ve worn myself out good and proper – all for YOU.  If that doesn’t guilt you into reading a blog post from start to finish, nothing will.

Buying Stuff: Skincare Edition

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It’s been a while since my last Buying Stuff post, but don’t let that fool you.  There’s been an extraordinary amount of buying stuff happening behind the scenes.  Like an obscene amount.  Well, how else am I going to achieve my lifelong goal of owning all the things?  Plus, you try walking away when companies sell things in cute little kits for Christmas.  It’s nigh on impossible.  I mean, I never really want a body lotion, but stick it in a basket with the matching body wash, spritzer and a loofah and immediately there’s nothing else I want more than that dadgum body lotion.

In other disastrous marketing trick news, please stop putting Award Winning stickers or the word “Limited Edition” on your products.  The latter creates a panic inside of me like no other.  If I feel I’m about to miss out on something that will never ever exist in humankind again, it’s only natural I must own that product right now this very second.  And if you dare put one item on the shelf and pretend it’s the very last one in the entire world, I am helpless to the point of nothing else matters.  Hence, Buying Stuff was born.

 

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Speaking of kits, picked up this Korres Beauty Shots mask collection for no reason other than what’s already been explained.  Do I need all these masks?  Is the sky blue?  Don’t ask stupid questions.

I have not used any of these masks, therefore there is really no point to posting this picture here for you.  I suppose if you want proof of my insanity, then I’d say your job is done for the day and you can go get your pajamas back on.  I bought this because of the kit situation, but also because it is a kit of masks. I loooooove masks.  And fruit smells.  I’d pick a fruit smell over a flower smell about 98.98675% of the time, regardless of benefit.  This goes to show you how good I am at reviewing skin care and what level of professionalism I have, up to this point, achieved.  I can sense you are impressed.

And then I went and bought this thing because it won an Allure magazine award:

 

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It’s the Dr. Brandt Glow retinol eye cream and I’ve actually been using it for the past four months.  It’s the eye cream that won’t die, seriously, cuz to this day it weighs exactly the same as when I first bought it.  Pretty sure it’s replicating itself every morning.  Full size price is $55, but that’s okay because it will last the rest of your life.

First of all, the consistency is nice.  It’s a lightweight cream that looks like pink pearl.  It has some ruby crystal complex which, if science is correct, makes white things turn pink.  It has a shimmer about it, but once it’s on your eye, you don’t notice it.  But it does lend a bit of a glow.  Not crazy Kim Kardashian glow, but a smidge.  In fact, once you put concealer or foundation on top of it, it pretty much disappears.  What I’m trying to say is, do not be afraid.

I use less than a pea-sized amount and blend under my eye.  It sinks in pretty fast, which is nice.  I have noticed my under eye wrinkles (er, fine lines) do look somewhat diminished.  There is retinol in it, but I don’t think there is a lot of it because it hasn’t caused any irritation whatsoever and I use this stuff every morning.  As for the reason it won an Allure magazine award, I have no idea.  But it did, and I’m sorry, what is your question?

Here’s this bastard:

 

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Nothing against the Bite Beauty Agave lip mask, but hope you don’t have arthritis or anything cuz this is the worst packaging of any tube of any kind I’ve ever seen.  Good luck squeezing any product out, unless you have the biceps of Hercules, that is.  It’s seriously like giving birth except the exit hole never gets bigger.  Can you imagine that?  I might have gone too far, but at least you get my point.

As for the lip balm itself, it’s very good.  Extremely thick and sits right on top of your lips in a slightly uncomfortable fashion.  But then you go to sleep completely unawares and wake up nicely moisturized.  It has an odd smell like raw cookie dough that I don’t enjoy but other people may be okay with it.  It’s basically the best lip balm I’ve used to counteract my horrid scraggly lip skin, but if they don’t fix the packaging soon I may have a carpal tunnel medical emergency on my hands.  Literally.

Side note:  this is not for anyone with OCD.  The tube is made of soft metal, so when you squeeze the life out of it to get your pea-sized drop of product, you are left with this hideous dent right in the middle.  So you try and fix it by smoothing it out, pushing product up from the bottom of the tube to fill in the middle again.  But not one to leave well enough alone, you decide maybe if you roll the tube up from the bottom (a la toothpaste tube style), you can perhaps create a nice, neat little package of lip balm to sit prettily on your bedside table instead of one that looks like a hobo just used it.  Then you realize by doing so, your tube has busted a seam and is now properly exposing its inner contents to the poisonous air, rendering this terrifically expensive lip balm useless and moot.  I mean, that’s what happened to me.  Normal people will be just fine.

 

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There is a skin care craze a’brewin’ and it’s in the form of exfoliating powder.  Not one to be left out of the loop, I picked up the Nude Detox Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash to see what all the fuss was about.  If you think for one second I ignored the word “fizzy”, you haven’t been reading this blog right.  It’s the primary reason I chose this one.  My brain wouldn’t leave me alone about it.  Fizzy just sounds like goodhearted, childlike fun.  Like blowing bubbles, sidewalk chalk and the Ice Cream Man.  Who wouldn’t enjoy that?  People with skewed priorities maybe, like workaholics or idiots.

To use this, pour about a teaspoon of powder into wet hands.  Add a bit of water and rub your hands together to create a paste.  Wait for the fizzy.  And then keep waiting.  And then finally wait freaking forever cuz the damn thing does not fizz.  Yes, it exfoliates very gently.  Yes, it will foam up with soap bubbles when more water is added to your face.  But fizz it does not.  I don’t know what I expected – perhaps the sound of Pop Rocks crackling away inside an open mouth?  Yes, that’s exactly what I expected.

Regardless, my face was very clean and felt extremely soft afterwards.  Mildly tight but nothing uncomfortable.  The smell was less than desirable, though, unless you like the scent of a milky baby neck.  Would it kill someone to toss some flowers in the batch, freshen things up a little?  Do I need to be CEO of yet another company?

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After running out of conditioner samples, I decided to purchase something that was actually intended to be used for shaving.  Someone on YouTube did a review on the Lush D’Fluff shaving soap, and because I am easily persuaded, I purchased it online about 2.5 seconds later.  I got the small version so I could try it out before deciding it was Holy Grail Status.  Which turned out to be a good thing because this product is not for me.  It has a soap consistency, which is so much more drying than my preferred cream or lotion.  Plus if this smells like strawberry (as indicated right there in English on the front of the package), then my entire life has been a lie.

Other than those two things, which are pretty major if you ask me (and you did; that’s why you’re here), it will work as intended.  Just not very good/fun/nice.  Unless you enjoy the feeling of dry legs, I’d steer clear.  Of course, my legs are very dry to begin with, and sometimes even after I shave them I still feel like they need shaved.  You might say the lower half of my body just doesn’t cooperate well.  Hair grows by the microsecond, legs tan the least and slowest, and ankles are in dire need of liposuction.  In other words, none of that has anything to do with Lush D’Fluff shaving soap.

 

 

Got a couple of Tatcha samples to try out – the Polished Rice Enzyme Powder and Indigo Soothing Silk body butter.  Again, the popularity of exfoliating powders made me do it.  This particular one is made from rice and it smells, not surprisingly, like rice.  So it isn’t particularly luxurious.  However, it is a very nice cleanser and I kind of liked it even better than the Nude one.  I found it pretty gentle on the skin, although if you’re a rough washer, maybe you’d disagree.  In addition to rice, it also has crushed pearl in it, so at this point I’ve stopped listening to anything else.  There’s pearl in it.  Gimme.

Magical properties include: addressing fine lines, uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and breakouts.  Polishes your skin to a jewel-like luster.  I don’t know about you, but those people at Tatcha got me feeling all warm and liquidy inside.  Talking like that.  Lord, are you hot and sweaty?  I’m hot and sweaty.

The other item, the body butter, was lovely as well.  I checked to make sure and can officially confirm there is liquid silk in there.  Ugggggghhhhh.  I can barely sit up straight to type this.

Other good things about the body butter:  it’s truly a blue lotion.  How about the novelty of that?!  It’s made with indigo, which is anti-inflammatory so if you suffer from dermatitis or similar skin conditions, you might like this.  It also turns your skin blue – well, for like a second, but still.  I can describe this body butter as luxurious and rich with the utmost confidence.  I don’t think anyone would argue my point.  It’s an absolute texture-dream.

Sadly, though, the smell was just okay.  Wasn’t anything floral that I recognized.  Definitely not fruity.  I don’t actually know what indigo is – is that a plant or some kind of fabric?  Regardless, maybe it smells like indigo.  And if so, I do not like indigo.

Look at this thing:

 

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Picked up this Kaplan MD lip mask and lip balm kit from Sephora.  Look at that tiny spatula!  I’ve since broken it, but it was definitely born cute.  Not sure what this product honestly does.  I was hoping for a cure-all to the neverending saga that is my chapped lips.  But it’s pretty much the same as everything else I’ve tried – nice for the moment, but we’re back to square one the very next day.

The mask is ultra tingly.  The first time I used it, my lips actually went numb.  Most likely I applied too much and kept it on too long.  The box says 3-5 minutes, then tissue off and apply the balm.  I was reading some reviews, and a lot of people were talking about how they use this right before a big event to plump their lips.  I didn’t notice any plumping effect, but we’ve already determined I don’t read directions very well.  The balm is super nice though.  It’s a medium-thick oil and very soothing.  Doesn’t taste good, however, so don’t get it in your mouth.  Unless you have time to get up every five minutes to spit in the sink.

Bottom line: it’s a decent product.  Not a miracle worker, but I like to use it every now and then.  Pretty certain if I didn’t have a fan blowing in my face for 8 hours every night, I wouldn’t have a lip saga to begin with.  So I can’t blame the product necessarily for not curing my issue.

That’s all for now.  Time for YouTube and alcohol.  Var var busy, clearly.