Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ipsy | June 2015

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You remember that time when I told everyone how much I dislike nail polish, and then I went on and on for the next 18 months continuing to dislike nail polish?  Well guess who spent the past few weeks owning about 102 bottles of nail polish?  (If you just said, Who?, well aren’t you the pretty one?)  I guess you might say something’s changed.  Why it has changed I can only speculate.  But here is my best guess:  YouTube.  Did you know you can just sit around for five hours on a Sunday watching ladies paint their fingernails?  Like, you can completely stop vacuuming, grocery shopping, or functioning in society altogether, and just sit on the couch and watch nail polishing tutorials.  And then like every other time in my life, what do I end up doing with all this pent up inspiration?  I buy 102 bottles of nail polish AND a display rack to put them in.  Duh.

Here’s my Ipsy:


Ah, another hot pink lipstick.  This is the Shea Moisture lip crayon in the color Sarah.  Nothing against it, but you know how it goes.  Why get something unique and exciting when you can have just one more hot pink lipstick, that’s my motto.  I did use it for the sake of the review, though.  And it was okay.  I wore it all day and found it not to be particularly moisturizing or long lasting.  And the hot pink was as hot pink as ever.  I’m keeping it, but barely.  I’m sure I’ll change my mind by the end of this post.

Next is the treStique eyeshadow crayon in Aspen Pine, a wonderful, glorious GREEN!  Finally I don’t get a champagne shade.  Ipsy was sending out four different colors and they were all pretty neutral except for the green, and because my life always does the opposite of what I wish for, I just knew I wouldn’t get the green.  But I did.  For once something goes my way.  All those years of the Bachelor picking the wrong Bachelorette has come to fruition.  My dues have been paid.  I have earned that green eyeshadow.

It’s a pretty dark green so blending it took a minute.  I added a bit of lighter green to the center to brighten things up a bit, and I loved the way it turned out.  I posted a pic on Instagram if you’d like to go see (you do) – and while you’re there, go ahead and click “follow” because 1,000 other people did and they’re pretty much the smartest people in the entire world.

You know how much I love my masks.  This Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner mask is perfect for me.  It’s supposed to suck out all your blackheads and I can’t think of anything more better than that.  Now I went ahead and tried it a few days ago.  It’s a very light silky feeling mask that goes on clear then dries to a very sheer milky white.  You almost can’t tell you have it on, which works great if you’re prone to receiving unexpected guests as soon as you declare it Skincare Sunday.  Because you know that happened to me.  I applied this goopy, drippy dark brown honey mask and a mere 2.5 seconds later some neighbor kid rang my doorbell telling me their softball flew into my backyard.  Then I did that over-explaining thing I tend to do, how it was Skincare Sunday and I just put on a mask and I’m so sorry for looking hideous but I’m old and wrinkly and hahaha, that’s what happens when you’re 40 and oopsie, look a bit of mask goop is dripping down my jaw onto my neck but don’t be scared because it’s vegan and organic and smells like pumpkin cocoa, you can sniff my face if you want.  Welllll, what kid plays softball in 90-degree heat?  This all could’ve been avoided had they been on their iPad and eating Cheetos like a normal person.

But back to the mask.  Sadly, I didn’t think it performed a miracle.  I was expecting all my pores to be gone, but I suppose that’s unrealistic anyway.  My face felt very clean, though, and my serum and moisturizer went on pretty smooth.  Perhaps with continued use, I would be able to tell a difference.  If I ever buy the full size, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Got another Smashbox Photo Finish primer.  This is one of my favorites, so I was happy to get a repeat.  Feel free to read what I said about it last year by clicking here.  Or I can just tell you it’s a hardcore silicone primer, feels a bit oily and a bit silky at the same time, but holds back my t-zone oil the best of any primer I’ve used.  It doesn’t stop it completely, but I can eke out a couple extra hours with this primer before I need to blot.  Is that a big deal?  Ask anyone with an oily face and a very hectic schedule – blotting your face is annoying and takes up too much time.  May be just 30 seconds, but still.

Last item in the box is a set of BioRepublic sheet masks in Aloe Rescue, Cucumber Breeze, and Green Tea Detox.  I’ve mentioned a few times before that I don’t like the sheet mask format.  I mean, I will use all three but I won’t enjoy them whatsoever.  First of all, they’re weird.  Actually, they’re mostly creepy with a skosh of weird.  Yes, they’re convenient, perfect for travel, yada yada yada.  But I don’t want to look into a mirror and see a serial killer staring back at me.  I just don’t.  Give me a goopy, drippy dark brown honey mask over a sheet mask any day.

However, because I am a good person and an even better blogger, here are the preferred list of uses for each mask:

ALOE RESCUE – Soothes dry skin, perfect for after sun

CUCUMBER BREEZE – Soothes and calms stressed skin, tightens pores

GREEN TEA DETOX – Reduces excess sebum (oil), blemishes and imperfections

I will admit I could use all but the Aloe Rescue.  I don’t have dry skin, and I don’t go outside unless I’ve been forced or bribed with Starbucks.  Trust me, promises of a Starbucks will get you just about anything.  Scooping cat poop, taking out the trash, pulling those scary looking mushrooms that pop up in your flower bed.  Yes, Starbucks is a very powerful bargaining tool.  So is a Sephora gift card.  You know, in case you have any errands that needs run.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading to the very bottom.  Internet high fives for everyone!

 

Sample Society | June 2015

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It has been brought to my attention that I am an over-explainer.  That I tend to go on and on and on about a subject until I am certain you know exactly what I am talking about, particularly in instruction-giving scenarios.  That because you are not me I cannot assume we are on the same page, and I will keep giving you information with backup supporting documents, links to click on and jazz hands until I’m satisfied.

I’ve never realized this before but thinking back, it is absolutely true.  Not one time have I ever backed out of a conversation with someone who blithely states they’ll call me later without me asking when exactly will this call come cuz I want to make sure I am available to talk as I have a dentist appointment at 3pm and then I will be driving all the way home which roughly takes 14.7 minutes and if my music is up I may not be able to hear the phone especially if I have forgotten to turn the ringer back on because as you know it is simply soooo RUDE to have the ringer on while you’re at the dentist and you have a mouth full of sharp and pokey instruments.  Do you understand what I’m saying?  Here, let me explain it one more time to be sure …

Omg, who’s annoying?!  Here’s my Sample Society:


I think Sample Society is trying to kill me because the first two items are made of nightmares.  Not that I’m against trying new things or anything, but let’s do baby steps first.  Don’t go giving me a box full of scary bits and expect me dive head first.  One toe at a time please.  And maybe not even then.

First up is the St. Tropez Self Tan Express bronzing mousse.  I can count on one hand how many times I’ve self tanned.  It all started with an 8th grade field trip to an amusement park where I would be in shorts for an entire day.  I’ll admit I wasn’t an expert at self tanning or anything, but honestly how hard would it be to apply lotion for chrissakes?

Apparently, VERY.  I had to ride in a bus next to cute boys and mean girls for three whole hours, orange streaky legs in full view of everyone.  And to top it all off, I ate a chicken nugget on the way home that I swear wasn’t cooked all the way and spent the next 7 days waiting for the food poisoning to kick in.

In other words: COMPLETELY NOT WORTH IT.

What I’m trying to say is (again with the over-explaining) my relationship with self tanners got started in a rocky place and never quite recovered.  I have not tried the St. Tropez although the instructions are clear, concise and seem very easy.  You rub on your body, leave it for one hour for a natural, light glow (or longer for deeper, up to 3 hours max) and then rinse off.  Easy peasy.  My sister tried it and said she loved it.  The formula was very nice – not orange or streaky at all.  I’m sure I’ll find a way to eff it up, though.  Just ask me how that 3-ingredient no fail key lime pie I made back in 2006 turned out.  Did you know condensed milk and evaporated milk are two different things?  No, me neither.

To make matters worse, I got a pack of Completely Bare wax strips so I can rip the hair off my hoo hah all by myself from the comfort of my own bathroom.  Who’s excited?!  (#notme)  But I figured I have to try something, or else what is the point of this review?  Not sure how wax strips beat out self tanner for the thing I’d experiment with first; I admire my own bravery.

These wax strips are basically a gauze type with wax already on them.  You warm the strip between your hands for 30 seconds then peel them apart where you will have two strips ready to go.  Place one on the area to be waxed and massage it in the direction of the hair growth.  Hold skin taut and in one fluid motion, rip off the strip in the other direction.  Continue to use the strip until the entire wax area is covered in hair.

At this point, my upper lip is starting to sweat.  Instructions always sound so easy, but the last time I tried to inflict pain on myself, I ended up in the school bathroom, pale-faced and blue-lipped.  A Biology experiment gone horribly awry, let’s just say.  You can’t just hand someone (i.e., me) a lancet and tell them to stab their own finger with it.  Nobody needs to know their own blood type that bad.  I got an A for effort anyway.  Apparently, people feel sorry for you if you almost pass out.  There’s some knowledge you can take with you for the rest of your life if you’re interested.

But back to the wax strips.  I did as instructed and somehow managed to pull it off properly.  And surprisingly it worked, didn’t hurt as much as expected, and the results were very nice.  I’m not going to do it again or anything, but I’m not disappointed by any means.  One thing to note – in case someone out there is getting too excited – these strips aren’t not meant for full Brazilian waxing.  Only the right and left side of the bikini line.  I figure I’d better disclaim that in case someone gets sue happy.  I told you so.  If your vagina falls off, that’s on you.

Next is the Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone sunscreen.  I devoted an entire post to this sunscreen about a year ago, so kindly click here and read it.  I’m still loving it, still using it.  And as soon as I’m out of it, I’m buying it again.

Received the Lauren B. Beauty nail polish in the shade Polo Lounge Punch, a vibrant, bold purple fuchsia.  I absolutely loved this nail polish.  I’m sure you are wondering who or what has taken over my body, as that sentence has never been uttered by me on this blog for at least 18 months.  But this is honestly one of the prettiest colors ever.  And I can appreciate pretty things.  In fact, that’s how I have 18 order confirmations in my Inbox right now.  Don’t judge me.  DON’T DO IT.

Formula of the polish was okay – kind of thick.  First coat goes on normal, but to get it opaque it needs a second coat, which is thicker.  I had to wipe the excess off my brush while applying in order to not flood my nail.  However, you may be able to do one thick coat and get it opaque enough.  I’m not an expert nail polisher so I was being very careful and deliberate (or OCD as others might call it).  The end result was so pretty.  One of my favorite polishes – and it’s 5-free which means it’s not made with harmful chemicals.  Yay!

One item I will be regifting is the eSalon Perfect Ending leave in conditioner.  It’s made for color treated hair which I do not have.  Doesn’t mean I can’t use it, but I know my mom would appreciate it more.  This stuff detangles, fights frizz and reduces breakage which are all good things.  I suppose I could go ahead and use it – if I really wanted to.  But my collection of hair products is starting to overtake my bathroom, and since my hair routine is practically nil, I’ve having to be selective with what I keep.  I already own too many things that are on the verge of expiration.

Last product in the box is the e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush.  I’ve owned one of these brushes in the past and I really really liked it.  It’s a cheapie – only $3 – which may be why I had to toss mine (the ferrule came loose from the handle), but it is a cream blush’s BFF.  If you are scared of cream blush, I swear to you you need this brush.  It will have you applying it like a professional.  You take the brush and swirl it in your cream and dab it on your cheeks (in a stippling motion) then swirl the brush to blend like you would any powder.  It’s like magic, really.  I will never be without a brush like this.  I do own the Real Techniques stippling brush, which I like a lot, but it’s a bigger brush.  So it’s nice to have options.  It’s also nice to hoard makeup brushes.  I tend to do that.

Before we’re done, let’s have a word about Sample Society in general.  They sent out an email to let everyone know that June was their last box.  Starting in July, it will transition to the Allure Beauty Box – operated solely by Allure Magazine.  Not sure what this means in terms of value, but I’m good with change sometimes.  As long as it’s still $15 and they send me 5 items, I should have no problems.  And as long as they do not contract with Harvey Prince.  I own everything that man makes and honestly, I think Birchbox and Ipsy have already cornered that market to death.

Til next time, friends!

Empties | May 2015

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It’s June and that means winter is almost here.  Ugh.  You know, as much as I complain about stifling heat and humidity, I’ll take it 100% of the time over snow, ice and cold.  No one ever got in a car accident because of a heat index, but winter is scary.  Roads don’t work right in winter.  And there’s no more green grass and skies are more gray than blue.  The whole thing is hideous.  So even though it is June and technically winter doesn’t start for six months, it might as well be tomorrow.  I swear, someone better push that STOP button before I have a meltdown.  I’m not crazy or anything, but I’m pretty sure this is how it starts.

Let’s do some empties!

Used up the L’Occitane Immortelle Essential Water, which is just a fancy name for toner.  This product was just okay for me.  It had a super perfumey smell that I didn’t particularly care for.  Maybe it refreshed the skin, maybe it prepped it properly for serum and moisturizer, but if you touch your tongue to your lips for a nanosecond after spraying this on your face, the game is over.  You like the taste of roses in your mouth for about two hours straight?  Then by all means, lick away.

Tried some new wipes.  Not because I fell out of love with the Pond’s ones, but because I can’t stop trying new things.  Picked up the Simple Oil Balancing ones to sate my curiousity.  And while I didn’t feel they did anything astounding in the way of oil control, these were pretty decent wipes.  Not as wet as the Pond’s but definitely wetter than some of the other brands I’ve tried lately (ahem, Klorane – I’m talking to you).  I’m currently using another pack of the Simple wipes but the exfoliating version.  These have a rougher texture in order to buff your skin, and can kind of be a little painful first thing in the morning, but they’re good wipes too.  I’ll repurchase.

I am still on the search for the best cleansing milk, so I bought the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk.  I was not a fan.  It had a very unpleasant smell – kind of peppery and strong – and I had to force myself to finish it because I couldn’t stand it so much.  Paying $28 for it might have also been a reason, but it was mostly the smell.  It broke up the makeup alright, so if you like smelly cleansers, first of all you’re WRONG, but secondly this would probably work just fine for you.  I think I’m going to give up my quest and go back to the original one I tried in the very beginning – Clinique Take the Day Off.  It’s good stuff.

I bought an anti-aging skincare kit from Michael Todd Organics about 18 months ago, and thought maybe NOW would be the perfect time to start using the products.  First up is the Cranberry Antiox toner.  Unfortunately, I can’t say much for it since it’s honestly just a basic toner, but it does have antibacterial properties in it as well as vitamins to repair and strengthen the skin.  It soothes redness and restores proper pH balance.  It also has organic aloe vera leaf juice in it, which doesn’t sound as fancy as melted ice water from the top of the Swiss Alps or anything, but I imagine it’s still a pretty good thing.  Not sure if I’d repurchase only cuz I want to try everything else first.  I have two in the stash right now (both full size) and then I’m buying the Givenchy mattifying toning lotion because that sounds like something different, and also cuz GIVENCHY.  Is that shallow?  Probably.

How about stuff serums and moisturizers?  Yes:

Finished the Jurlique Herbal Recovery serum.  I don’t remember anything special about this other than the fact it had a milky consistency.  I swear I need to keep better notes sometimes.  I mean, does “milky consistency” help anyone at all?  Unless you’re big on milky consistencies, I’d venture a NO.  So because I am a professional, I have done some research for you.  Here’s what it says it does:  reduces the appearance of fine lines, helps increase elasticity, restores radiance and increases hydration, all while antioxidants create a natural defence shield to help protect against environmental aggressors. Leaves skin visibly glowing, hydrated and younger-looking.

I cut-and-pasted that entire thing.  I hope that’s not illegal.  Cuz prison life is not for me.  When you have 27 foundations to get through, you ain’t got time to go to jail.

Then I finished the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching serum and I remember even less about this one.  Who sucks?  ME.  This post has spiraled all to hell.  In my defense, the tube lasted about a week.  I barely had time to put it on my face before it was already empty.  I don’t recall hating it, but nothing stands out in my mind in regards to miracles.  Two things I do know:  it’s best for dry skin because it’s a hydrating serum and it’s made in France.  That France thing get your attention?  Yeah, me too.

Let’s get this post back on track.  I really liked the SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair.  It had a nice consistency and left the skin under my eyes very velvety and soft.  It absorbed pretty well too, which is my number one quality in an eye cream.  I would totally buy a full size except OF COURSE it costs $98 for half an ounce.  Why do the things I like the best always costs the most?  Who’s in charge of the Universe?  We need to fix this like stat.

Got a single-use packet of the Omorovicza Blue Diamond Super Cream along with one of my Nordstrom orders.  I usually don’t bother with these samples, but I like the Omorovicza brand so thought I’d go ahead and give it a go.  It feels extreeeeemely luxurious on the face.  Like sinking into a ginormous pile of pillows.  Or taking off your bra after working all day.   But unfortunately for me, the cream never really absorbed into my skin.  I felt it sitting there for a good long while so I gave up and went to bed.  Upon further research, I discovered its main focus is to deeply hydrate the skin, and since I’m oily/combo, it’s simply not for me.  I also discovered it repairs the DNA chain, and I don’t know what that means but it sounds like something I want.  Pretty sure there’s some gaping holes in my DNA chain, particulary where my thighs get fat.  So if this Super Cream can make me skinny, that’d be great.  I’d put up with a greasy face for that kind of miracle.

Thought I’d try out the Fresh Seaberry Face Oil because I like to make my 17-step nighttime routine as long as humanly possible.  I mean, when you get to 17 steps, one more isn’t going to make a bit of difference now is it?  But since I applied the oil right before I turned my lamp off to go to bed, it felt more like it was just part of my chapstick/hand lotion routine instead of my face one.  Let me just say I don’t really know what the purpose of a face oil is other than to seal in your moisturizer so it doesn’t evaporate off your face in the middle of the night.  But I liked it nonetheless.  It’s not my favorite oil – that’s the Kate Somerville Dilo Oil – but it was fine.  The smell was more herbally than I prefer so I wouldn’t repurchase for that reason specifically.

Let’s do masks:

I’ll admit I wanted to try out the Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud for two reasons and two reasons only:  it was black and it came from Ireland.  Otherwise known as non-acceptable reasons to choose skincare.  But who doesn’t want to smear black mud all over their face?  Especially 9,000-year-old mud that’s been harvested by hand from the Irish countryside.  They might as well tell me it’s been blessed by Jesus Christ himself, cuz at this point I’m all yours.  I may be incredibly shallow, but they made me that way.

In case you didn’t know, mud isn’t dirty.  It actually purifies and decongests the skin. There’s some volcanic ash in there too to draw out oil and impurities.  This is right up my alley.  My skin has all those things.  I loved how smooth and creamy the mask itself was.  And it didn’t dry like a hard shell on the face.  It removed cleanly and easily and left my face so incredibly soft. I really really loved it.  I’ve added this to my Sephora wish list for future purchases – mostly because it’s mud from Ireland – but also because I think it might work.

I did not finish the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask but I owned it and used it for well over a year.  This is another of those masks that acts like a magnet and draws out impurities in the skin.  In fact, it says it contains a negative electric charge which is what helps create that magnet.  In other words, you can just sit this on a table with a little sign and call it your science project.  Homework, DONE.  Just like that.

I did enjoy this mask while I used it.  I liked that it was a pretty earthy green color.  However, it dries incredibly hard.  It was almost painful when you scrunched up your face in order to crack the mask a little bit.  And removing it took some time.  Basically, you need to plan for a mask like this.  It’s not a wipe-and-go; it requires a chair and a snack cuz you gonna be there a bit.  I decided to throw it away because the last time I used it I swear it smelled like burnt popcorn which was a new thing so I figured it was going off.  Better safe than sorry.

Last mask was the Wild Honey Apothecary Pumpkin Cocoa Raw Honey mask that I picked up from the Birchbox shop.  This one was pretty interesting.  First, it didn’t smell much like pumpkin, which was okay by me since that’s not my fave smell.  The consistency was like a thick and sticky honey (aptly) mixed with a bit of sugar (or something like sugar) to give it a bit of texture.  As you apply it on your face, it’s kind of hard to smooth out.  I mean, the word “sticky” may be an understatement here.  But as it starts to melt from the warmth of your skin it almost liquifies and then it becomes another sort of problem altogether.  Suddenly your face is dripping.  It can be a messy mask if you’re not careful.

Removing the mask is surprisingly easy, though.  As long as your washcloth is hot enough, this will wipe away very cleanly and completely with hardly any hassle.  And then get ready for the smoothest skin of your life.  Aaaaaahhhhh.  Not even kidding.  A drippy face is now completely worth it.  I would buy this again with no question.  I loved it.

Last bit – hair and body.  Weeeeee! Look:

I loved the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special shampoo and conditioner so much that I bought more of it before I even finished these samples.  First of all, I loved the smell.  Reminded me of peppermint, although I know now that is just how tea tree oil smells.  And the tingly, cooling feeling on your scalp was really nice.  I felt like it got my hair super squeaky clean too.  And after I dried it, my hair was silky soft.  I couldn’t keep my hands out of it.  I wanted other people to put their hands in it.  Like strangers even.  Well, just the cute ones.  But still.

I was working through this tiny Fresh Sugar lip polish sample for what seemed like such a long time.  A little bit goes such a long way with this product.  Y’all may recall the issue I have with straggly lip skin (that may or may not be caused by sleeping with a blowing fan on my face for eight hours straight).  I’ve yet to find a cure.  And sad to say, I’m still looking.  But while this isn’t one of those miracle products, it still worked good enough.  At least for most of the day anyway.  Wasn’t a big fan of the brown sugar scent, though.  That’s pretty much the only reason why I don’t think I’ll buy the full size.  However, the exfoliating bits were nice and gentle and the polish itself was very moisturizing.  So if you don’t suffer from chronic dry lips, or you can manage to sleep without a fan in the room (how, I’ll never understand), this may be a product you should try.

Last item is this Lauren B. Beauty hand crème in Orchid and Peony.  There isn’t much to say about a lotion.  It had a thin consistency that absorbed pretty quickly and smelled like flowers.  I did look up some information on the internet just in case I was missing the point, and surprisingly I was.  It’s laced with antioxidants, peptides and amino acids.  I don’t know what any of that means or anything – this isn’t THAT kind of review – but I’m sure some of you scientists out there will get it.

Will you be surprised if I told you this post took two weeks to write?  Probably not.  My track record lately has been kind of sporadic.  If my husband would stop making me do stuff – like dishes and grocery shopping – I’d be a better blogger.  So all this is his fault, and I’ll be sure to let him know YOU ARE NOT PLEASED.  I’m getting back into pajamas by way of protest.  Bye, friends!

Sample Society | May 2015

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I wake up in the middle of the night to my cat playing with my hair on the back of the pillow.  That’s kind of adorable although somewhat annoying at 4 a.m.  That’s also the best part of the story cuz the rest of it ends with me rolling my shoulder onto a couple of rock hard cat turds in my bed.  That is not a typo.  And definitely not cute.  Seriously, where did they come from – other than the obvious?  They were old and fossilized and weren’t there five hours prior.  Naturally, I’ve been obsessively checking WebMD in case I’m about to contract some cat poop exposure-related disease.  I mean, I’ve never had my head that close before.  I have no doubt I sniffed poop molecules straight into my brain.

On the bright side, here’s my Sample Society:

This is like my 4th can of the Avene thermal spring water.  It’s not that I don’t like it or anything, but it’s just water.  You can spray it on your face for a multiple of purposes.  To refresh, to tone, to set makeup.  Or maybe you are outside on a hot day and need a little pick me up.  In that case, Avene is your BFF.  I don’t know if I’m going to keep this particular can or not because I already have an unused one sitting on my bathroom counter giving me side-eye.  It’s been there about a year, so I don’t blame it one bit.

Dadgum Versace Eros Pour Femme perfume.  Every time I see a perfume in my box, I have to fight that narcoleptic urge.  However, I took a sniff for research purposes, and it smells really nice.  For those that would know what all this means, here’s the notes: lemon, bergamot, pomegranate, jasmine, peony, sandalwood, amber and musk.  Sounds pretty, but I don’t speak perfume.  Kind of like how I also don’t speak wine.  I’ve tried many wines that boast about its luscious peach or cherry notes, and I get all excited thinking I’m about to have the most delicious juice of my life!, but then take a sip and detect zero peach and zero cherry and 100% dry ass wine just like the last dry ass wine I tasted.  Wine has a very distinct flavor – it tastes EXACTLY LIKE WINE.  I suffer through it to look classy, but deep down I just want some Malibu rum.

How did we get here?  I dunno.

We’re on a roll now with the John Frieda 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment.  I used this for the sake of my people, and then promptly gave it away to a friend who loved it more than me.  It is a rather unique product though, so I give it points for effort.  You wash and conditioner you hair, then apply this gel and rinse out.  It’s supposed to give you a full week of volume even through a couple of washes.  The gel has something sticky in it that clings to your hair to make the volume and it’s water resistant.  I do find that some fascinating science.  Plus, it worked.  But because my hair is so fine and I get extremely irritated by texture that is not sleek and soft, I had to pass.  I could feel there was something in my hair – a slight dirty feeling although not as bad as some volumizers I’ve used in the past.  In fact, if I’m forced to pick a favorite, this one would be it.  Does that redeem it in any way?  Maybe.

Received the Julep lip gloss in the shade Graceful which is a very sheer pink.  This product was alright.  It wasn’t sticky, so that’s good.  But I wasn’t a fan of the color.  Too light for me.  My natural lips were darker than this lip gloss so you couldn’t see anything at all after applying.  And I couldn’t determine staying power because I couldn’t see the color.  Sounds like I’m whining, but I’m really not.  It was fine.  I’d wear it if I didn’t care about creating a “look.”  I’ll keep it for now.

My favorite item in the box was the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.  It’s hard for me not to like a mask.  Masks (along with serums) are my favorite.  Especially the peel-off kind because they are oddly therapeutic (and safer than peeling off your own skin, sunburn-style).  This Laneige one isn’t peel-off, but instead a super lightweight gel that you wear while sleeping.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to use a sleeping mask since the masks I use are not appropriate for a side-sleeper like me.  But this one seems more like a moisturizer, as it does absorb, and when you wake up you have some definite soft, hydrated skin.  And upon further research, I learned that sleeping masks are designed to keep the moisture in your face from evaporating into the air overnight.  Basically, it’s magic.

The one thing I couldn’t figure out is if you’re supposed to use a regular moisturizer first, then right before bed apply the sleeping mask on top, or if the sleeping mask is considered your moisturizer.  I’ve used it both ways, and it does feel more hydrating when applied alongside a moisturizer.  The Laneige website says to apply it on top of your cleanser and emulsion, but emulsion isn’t a normal word to describe anything I’ve ever heard of.  I had to look it up because my OCD wouldn’t leave well enough alone – and discovered an emulsion is a moisturizer.  So there you have it.  You’ve learned something.  This blog is amazing.

Last item in the box is the Alterna Caviar heat protectant spray.  This may surprise you, but I’ve never used a heat protectant.  Out of all the hair products I don’t use, you’d think at least I’d own this one considering my hair regime consists of a hair dryer and flat iron and that’s it.  So I was alright getting this.  And I tell you what, I spritzed this generously all over my hair and absolutely NOTHING bad happened.  In fact, I think it made my hair better.  On two separate occasions, I even washed my hair and then skipped the flat iron because my ends looked so nice.  I don’t know if that’s a side effect of a heat protectant, but I swear it happened.  I’m about 97.8765% certain I’m buying the full size.  I may never flat iron my hair again.  You know, now that I own a heat protectant and everything.

So that’s it.  Hope everyone had a great day.  But if not, just remember how you could’ve slept in your bed curled up next to a big cat turd.  And suddenly, your day just got better.  You’re welcome.  As always, I’m here to serve.

Birchbox | May 2015

Standard

I just spent five hours on YouTube watching women paint their fingernails.  I’m not even sure that’s normal.  In fact, if you’re looking for the definition of crazy, you’d find it at my house on the couch with a set of earbuds in.  I have zero excuses other than the fact I found it oddly soothing.  There was just something about the straight lines of a squared off fingernail that literally made me feel comforted and that all was right with the world.  Oh my god, who’s the weirdo?!  ME.  Let’s move on.

Here’s my Birchbox:


Not a particular fan of this box.  There were too many single-use pouches in it, and it made me think bad thoughts.  I suppose I should keep my opinions to myself when all I spent was a mere $10, but then there would be no blog and think of all the wars and poverty THAT would cause.  No, it’s best we keep it honest around here.  The world depends on it.

Ugh.  Shut up, Brain.

First item is the Beauty Protector Body Wash.  This was actually pretty good, if you judge your body washes by smell that is.  And if you like cotton candy.  This little sample only lasted through 3 or 4 baths, but it was enough.  Smelled good, nice lather.  What else can you say about a body wash?  Turns out, not much.  Nexxxxt.

Perhaps the oddest thing I’ve ever received is this Chosungah 22 Flavorful Lipstick.  When I twisted it up out of the tube it had a clear orange see-through bullet.  Reminded me exactly of orange Jello.  I love things that are reminiscent of food (aside from actual food) so you can imagine my excitement.  Now it’s called “flavorful” lipstick, so naturally I had to have a little taste.  Don’t ask why I opted to lick the bullet instead of just licking my lips.  I was alone in the house at the time, otherwise you know the 1/100th of a second it would take to lick the lipstick would be that EXACT second my hubby decides to walk in the room.  Cuz that’s the way my life works, EACH AND EVERY TIME.

Regardless, it had zero flavor so I have no idea what they’re talking about.  At this point, I’m feeling a little ashamed I just went for it like that.  And applying it was pretty much a non-event after I had hyped it up in my head so much.  Felt like a lip balm.  Pretty much clear in color even though some people were saying there was a tint (they’re wrong).  Wore off very quickly and didn’t moisturize.  I’ll still use it in the evenings after I wash my face, but it’s definitely not worth carrying around for any medicinal purpose.  Fun to look at, but that’s where the excitement ends.

Next is a couple packets of LA Fresh Makeup Remover Wipes.  I did not like these one bit.  I only used one packet because the smell hurt my tummy.  I saved the other packet for a friend cuz when something doesn’t smell good, the first thing you want to do is force it on other people.  Although I did see a few reviewers on the Birchbox site saying they thought the smell was lovely.  Lovely is not the word I’d use, but then again I don’t review while drinking.  These weren’t particularly wet either, so I knew it would take light years to remove my mascara.   I gave up about mid-swipe and went back to my regular routine.  I just don’t have time to mess with things that take away from Pajama Time.

I’ve already owned the Miracle Skin Transformer Face BB Cream and it is a product I really like.  The coverage is rather light, but it does perfect the skin nicely.  I’ve reviewed it before, most notably in my very first Empties post back in January 2014, so please feel free to click here and read it.  It’s a tiny blurb but everything in it is still true.

As a bonus, I also got to try the Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Revival Mud mask.  Of course I only got one use out of it, but it was a nice mask.  Felt pretty gentle and didn’t have an overpowering smell.  I was reading up on it and saw where it’s great for oily/combo skin (that’s me!) and that Paula’s Choice gave it their highest score – which I trust since Paula cares about the science part of a product whereas I care just about packaging.  So most likely I’ll buy the full size of this at some point.  I do have quite a cache of masks to get through first.

Last item in the box and perhaps the most snore inducing is the Harvey Prince Sea Salt Texturizing Mist.  Seriously, someone’s a comedian cuz they keep sending me HARVEY PRINCE EVERYTHING! complete with jazz hands and confetti – even though I’ve made it quite clear I’m over Harvey Prince and all his billion perfumes and body lotions and now (apparently) his sea salt mist.  How many more products does this man make?  Certainly I’ve owned them all by now?  Should be good for the rest of my life, I think.

Now I know there’s people out there who like texturizing sprays.  They enjoy making beach hair without the hassle of going to the beach.  I get it – I’d rather sit in my office too.  But there’s just something about sleek and shiny hair that I can’t give up.  And if I ever have time to actually do a hairstyle, it’s usually to curl everything under like a true Woman of the ’90s.  Anything other than those two hairstyles and I kindly bow out.  If you go on the Birchbox site and check out the reviews, roughly 3000 people loved it.  So what do I know?  Apparently NOTHING.

That’s it; we’re done.  Thanks for hanging out today.  One more review for May then it’s on to June.  And then winter will be next.  Ugggghhhh.  Time needs to slow down just a skosh.  For one I kept getting to be more 40 and I’m not sure I like it.

Toodles!