Category Archives: Beauty Box Swag

Ipsy | July 2015

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There is a price to pay for being overly lazy.  I have discovered that by doing ambitious leg stretching while lounging on the couch in pajamas CAN and WILL pull a muscle in your foot.  And then you will spend the next three days hobbling around while trying to leave a good first impression on your brother-in-law whom you’ve never met.  I’ve also discovered that you can never look sexy while using your mother-in-law’s cane.  And that they rent wheelchairs at the zoo, where your husband will push you around all afternoon, alternating between sweet and helpful gestures and deviously taking pictures and videos for all of Instagram and/or Facebook to see.

I wish I could say I hurt myself while saving a baby from a speeding car or something heroic like that.  But no, of course not.  I have to take laziness to the next level and literally cripple myself by doing a goodnight stretch right before bed.  Am I 90?  Seems so.

Here’s my Ipsy:

The first thing I pulled out was the Be A Bombshell lip balm, and I immediately wanted to take a nap.  Lip balm, for reals?  It’s the shape of a boring ol’ Chapstick, not even in a little vintage tin or pot with a shiny gold lid.  They could’ve done that at least.  Cuz while I utilize lip balm on a daily basis, if it’s not chocolate or coconut, made in France or in cute packaging, there’s a 97.954656% chance I’m not keeping it.  I went ahead and sampled it for sake of this review, and basically if you’ve used Chapstick before then you’re already an expert.  This one does have a bit of a pale pink color, but it blanked out my lips so much I looked like I was dead or in the process of dying.  In other words, all my fair-skinned peeps out there – I found you the perfect lip balm.  Who’s the best blogger in all the land?  ME.

Things got worse cuz next thing in the bag was an Octavio La Playa seasalt spray – a product that I will never ever use.  I’m not even going to attempt to review it because it’s already gone.  I checked the Ipsy reviews and it seems to be a middle-of-the-road product for most people.  Some said it made their hair crunchy while others said not crunchy.  The only way to know for sure is to use it yourself.  Much like everything else I review in the blog for you.  However, is that the point?  No it is not.  It only applies to sea salt spray anyway.  Everything else I review I pretty much get it right 100% of the time.  Cuz PROFESSIONAL, that’s why.

I was okay with the Tarte Park Avenue Princess bronzer even though I already have a bit of this included in one of my old Tarte palettes.  I like the packaging better on the new one anyway as it’s easier to lug around than a big palette.  I’ve been using this every day for the past two weeks and I really like it.  A very nice color with a barely detectable shimmer in it.  Not too dark or too light, and blends out really well.  I can actually apply this one in a non-stripey kind of way, which I hear is how the supermodels and celebrities like to do it.  So if someone wants to call Vogue real quick, I’ll wait.

Then I got an Ofra eyeshadow/highlighter thingy in the shade Bliss.  At first I wasn’t too thrilled about getting this.  I mean, let’s be honest, the color is a bit normal.  I prefer emeralds or deep purples if I get to choose it myself.  But since I don’t, I decided to go the highlighter route with this.  And surprisingly, it makes a lovely highlighter.  The color is very pigmented so just a tap with your brush will do, and it looks spectacular on the skin.  Very flashy if you’re into it.  If you’re not, just be careful.  I’ve received several Ofra items in the past and I’ve never been overwhelmed with love, but I like this one so I kept it.  It sits in prime Z-Palette real estate right next to a couple of Makeup Geek blushes.  That’s saying something.

Last item in the box is the Vasanti BrightenUp! exfoliator which I had received in my Birchbox just a mere three months ago.  If you’d like to read what I said about it, click here.  If not, the short version is that I liked it very much.  Very fine exfoliator, gentle on the skin, and I’d swear it replaced my old face with a new one after just one use.  I’m debating whether to keep it or pass it along to my mom.  I have so many exfoliators I need to use, and I’m afraid I won’t get to it before it expires.  I’ve already had to toss some stuff in the trash this past month because I can’t manage my life very well.  You try opening up 27 foundations and then use them ALL up in one year.  It’s nigh on impossible.

Well, in case you haven’t noticed I’m once again extremely behind.  Let’s just call this my new normal, shall we?  Cuz at this point, I’m on a roll.  I’m assuming if I focused less on painting my nails every single night (and sometimes twice), I might get a lot more done.  Sounds logical but I just had a rum and Coke and things are making a lot of sense right about now.  Like, if you have a question about the meaning of life, I’m available for consultation.

Bye, Friends!

Allure Beauty Box | July 2015

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You know, if I had a more ridiculous life, my blog posts might be more interesting.  Like maybe the Hot Dog Mobile needs to be driving next to me on the interstate every once in a while.  Or maybe I could share a check-out lane at Walmart with one of those fat guys wearing a t-shirt with naked abs printed on it.  I mean, would it kill The Bachelor to have a fantasy date in my hometown just one time?  But no.  Instead I pee my pants after running half a block.  I read books out loud and in a British accent, even the Southern fiction ones.  And I can fold my tongue back on itself and make it stick.  Those are the things I can share in this blog.  Interesting to NO ONE.

Good thing I can review this beauty box for you.  Here’s my Allure:


Yes, Sample Society is no longer.  It has now transitioned to the Allure Beauty Box.  Price is the same ($15) and contents are the same, so nothing at all has changed.  I don’t know why I was expecting a bit of fanfare.  It’s in my nature to be optimistic I guess.

Hahahahahahahahaha.

First thing in the box is the Oscar Blandi clear dry shampoo.  I have received a sample of this before and you can read the review here if you’d like.  I don’t prefer the clear powder but I know lots of brunettes who do.  In my brain, white powder means it’s working.  Actually, the more white powder the better.  I don’t care if it makes my roots look gray; my roots aren’t greasy and that’s all that matters.  So I can appreciate the idea behind the invisible powder – not everyone has greasy roots that need mattified – but for me personally, it’s white powder all the way.

It’s been awhile since I’ve used a really great mascara.  Or a NEW really great mascara, as I have plenty of old (i.e., expired) great ones in the stash.  This Estee Lauder Sumptuous Infinite Length + Volume mascara is a real gem.  It does exactly what it says: lengthens nicely and plumps up my puny lashes so so so so good.  I seriously used this every single day for two weeks straight.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve done that.  It may be partly cuz my makeup collection has now spilled out of its acrylic drawer confinement and took up residence right in front of the mascara drawer – which means I’d have to physically move it all in order to open the drawer to get out a different mascara.  That is the equivalent to dusting and sweeping underneath your lamps and knick knacks: NOBODY DOES THAT.  So most likely I’ll be using this tube of mascara until the day I die.  Oh well, at least it’s a good one.

I thought I had already owned the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum but I was wrong.  I owned the eye cream, not the serum.  However, it doesn’t really seem to matter because the website’s description is virtually the same for both.  I had to do a Beauty Chat with an Estee Lauder representative to find out what the difference is, and here is their response:

“Both offer the same benefits and technology; the difference is in the texture. Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex is a gel-crème and Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum is a true serum. It’s lightweight, ultra-silky and refreshing. It penetrates quickly and is ideal for layering under your current eye crème.”

I would agree about the texture.  This eye serum is really nice.  It absorbs fast and leaves behind some very silky skin.  I just recently finished the eye cream (literally like a week ago) and I’d say the eye cream is a slightly better product than the serum.  The serum is a thin lotion while the cream is a more emollient gel, which I prefer.  They both sink into the skin very fast and have an amazing soft texture, but if I’m forced to choose I’d have to go with the cream.  But I’m never forced to choose.  That’s why I have an unhealthy cache of skincare living underneath my bathroom sink.  Just buy ALL OF IT.  That’s my advice.

Next up is the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer.  You all know I’m not really into hair products since I have no hair routine whatsoever.  Seeing that I wash my hair twice a week and only use a flatiron, I don’t have much use for styling creams, gels, mousses or spritzes.  So you can imagine my thrill at seeing this in the box.  However, I read up on it (like a proper blogger) and this primer might deem to be useful.  It claims to soften, detangle, de-frizz, tame flyaways, ease styling and protect against breakage, heat and UV damage.  That’s a lot of stuff – and good stuff that my hair could use.  I do have tangly hair that tends to get frizzy and break easily, plus a heat protectant is probably pretty important.  I tried it once and nothing bad happened, which is also pretty important .  No scummy film left behind and no sticky-up hair scenario ensued.   Ugh. Fiiiiine.  I’ll keep it.  But just this one time.

Got the Supergoop! Setting Mist.  I’ve been using setting sprays a lot recently and not really sure why.  Maybe it’s because I keep buying them and now have a tiny little hoard taking up residence on the bathroom counter – and they won’t go away unless I use them.  Cuz honestly, I don’t actually know if I’m getting any benefit out of a setting spray.  Do they really help your makeup stay on longer?  Dunno.  Do they take away the look of powder and cakey-ness on your face?  Dunno.  Do they make you feel like you could operate your own YouTube channel because you bought one (or seven)?  Yes, absolutely.

This one, however, does have a benefit that most don’t – added SPF 50.  Granted if you aren’t going to be continually using this spray, the SPF won’t matter much.  But I do like the fact it has it.  Other than the SPF and the fact it sets makeup, it is also supposed to help control oil and shine.  I put it to the test a few times and here are my thoughts:

The pump is weird.  It sprays very harshly out of the bottle and hits your face hard.  It doesn’t give you a nice little misting but almost a punch right in the eyeball.  I have the sample size so not sure if the full size does the same thing, but that’s just note #1.  Note #2 is the smell.  It’s supposed to be a refreshing rosemary, but I swear it smells like sunscreen.  Not necessarily bad unless you aren’t a fan of that smell.  Note #3 is the finish.  It goes on sort of dry.  It’s wet when it hits your face but evaporates almost immediately.  And you look very matte – or at least I did.  As far as the oil control claim, I didn’t detect any kind of miracle.  I still had to blot about the same time as I do every day.

I suppose the most important question is would I purchase it again.  The answer is yes.  I think this would be a very convenient way to get some sun protection without jacking up your makeup.  Since it doesn’t leave your face wet, it’s perfect for any time of day.  Plus it comes in two sizes, and the 1oz size would be perfect for your purse.  Well, not my purse because it’s full of 27 lipglosses, blotting papers, retractable blush brush, cuticle oil and industrial strength hand sanitizer that kills the stomach flu.  But for normal people, this should work just fine.

Last item in the box is the InvisiBobble traceless hair ring.  It’s a hair tie disguised as an old telephone cord.  The idea behind it is to secure the hair without leaving a dent in it, even in very fine hair.  I have fine hair and almost everything leaves a dent.  I can pull my hair up in a clip, take a 20 minute bath, and there’s a dent right afterward.  So I was very excited to try this product.  However, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.  Yes, it works.  But if you want a high and tight ponytail, this will not provide.  It pulls your hair back limply.  It stays in and doesn’t lose position, but it does not do the same thing a regular hair tie will do.  On the upside, it truly does not leave a dent which is good if all you really want is your hair pulled off your face loosely.  But if you want to look like a stern business woman who just had an eye lift (obviously my go-to) then you are S.O.L. with this thing.

And that’s it!  Once again, thanks for reading my little blog and for following me on Instagram and liking all my pictures and whatnot.  One of these days when I get rich and famous, I’m going to come give every one of you hugs, kisses and REAL high fives (not just internet ones).  So to speed that along, go ahead and share this post (and all others) on your own social media.  I give you permission.  There’s a share button down there somewhere.  Click it.  Thanks.

Glossybox | June 2015

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My house is haunted.  Normally when people say things like that, I find it hard to believe because if I didn’t see it myself with my own two eyes, then certainly it never happened.  So maybe I am being punished for not trusting people or calling them liars behind their backs, cuz this past weekend while I was home alone, I had my own ghost experience.

I was polishing my nails on Saturday afternoon, minding my own business as I am wont to do (otherwise known as too lazy to be messing in anyone else’s business), and I hear a loud buzzing coming from the back of the house.  I go investigate because at this point there is no reason to be scared.  Discover it is my husband’s razor in the shower that somehow turned its vibrate setting on by itself.  Well that is indeed interesting.  I turn it off and go back to painting my nails.  I will admit my heart is starting to mildly beat heavily in my chest.  And no more than five minutes later, the buzzing starts again.  Okay, this is unacceptable, particularly because I am yelling at a razor to STOP IT RIGHT NOW, which is frowned upon in most societies.

I turn off the razor and sit it next to me at my new nail polish station (or “kitchen table”, if you’d rather) where I could keep an eye on it for further monkey business.  My heart is pounding and I’m getting dizzy.  The clock says hubby won’t be home for another three hours.  Three hours is plenty of time to be murdered by a ghost, I’m sure of it.  And wouldn’t you know, roughly five more minutes go by and that dadgum razor goes off again right in front of my eyeballs.  I slam my hand down on the table (and get glitter nail polish everywhere, mind you), remove the batteries from the razor, then text my husband to tell him we’re selling the house.  Completely logical next step if you ask me.

And if you’re still interested, here’s my Glossybox:

I believe this is the latest I’ve ever been reviewing one of my boxes.  I almost skipped it because I thought by now no one would care about it.  But I suppose it’s not necessarily the box that’s important, but the products inside, so I’m being a good little blogger and reviewing like someone is paying me to do it.  They’re not paying me.  But they should.

First item is the Etre Belle Aloe Vera Moisturing Gel.  At first I thought this was just some after-sun product that I would never need to use because if things can’t be done indoors like God intended, then what is the point? However, upon further review, it seems it can be used as a light moisturizer, particularly for those with oily skin, and as a primer for before makeup.  I used it as such, and it behaved just fine.  Very light, only slightly sticky (which didn’t last long anyway), and it had a nice refreshing smell.  I don’t think it’s anything I’d rush out to purchase on my own, but since I have it I’ll use it.

Next item is the coveted Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.  This mascara has won lots of kudos from customers and companies alike because it performs miracles (apparently).  Paula’s Choice website lists it as the Best of the Best.  So feel free to take my review with a grain of salt, but I was not a fan.  The brush on this mascara is an eye gouge waiting to happen.  It’s ginormous, and when you have teeny baby lashes, a big bushy mascara wand is at the bottom of your Need list.  I couldn’t get it near the base of my lashes without poking myself in the eyeball.  But since everyone else in the world loves it, I seem to be the only one with this problem.  In other words, my point is moot.

Now that I’m getting into nail polish, I was completely happy with receiving this Orly one.  However, I got the shade Lola which is kind of a basic medium pink.  It didn’t knock my socks off, but the formula was nice.  Went on smooth.  Did three coats to make damn sure it was opaque because I know me; I’d focus on a miniscule uneven spot until my eyes bled.  I wish I could tell you if it was chip resistant, but I’ve been changing my nail polish every single day because I’m obsessed and not normal.

One product I most definitely did not like was the Doucce Cosmetics blush brush.  I mean, it’s a brush so it’ll get the job done, but it was not soft at all.  Unless mine was a dud.  I checked the reviews on the Glossybox site, and of course everyone but me loved it.  But mine was scratchy and it shed bristles on my face – that’s a fact.  So I didn’t even keep it – I couldn’t even be bothered to pass it along.  Tossed it right in File 13 and then I moved on with my life.

Last item in the box was the Rich Pure Luxury Intense Moisture shampoo.  Again, no conditioner counterpart.  What is this epidemic?  This doesn’t make sense even to really stupid people – shampoo and conditioner go together.  Like peanut butter and jelly, or like when you order a drink it comes in a cup.  However, because this shampoo claims to be intensively moisturizing and my hair is super fine, I figured I could let it slip this one time.  But ONE TIME ONLY.  Next box that sends one but not the other gets a karate chop to the throat.

So yes, I’ve been using the shampoo.  It’s fine.  Doesn’t gunk up my hair.  I wouldn’t go so far to say it gave my hair an overload of moisture – which may be a good thing depending on your preference – but I’m finishing the tube anyway.  It smells nice.  There’s also that.

You’re at the end.  Doesn’t that feel nice, to do something from start to finish?  You’ve earned gold stars and now you may get back in pajamas.  I’m in mine because I wrote a blog post, and that sometimes takes light years.  Bye, everyone!

Birchbox | June 2015

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I’m not much of a sports fan, but I can go to a live event like a dutiful wife every once in a while.  Especially if it comes with a luxurious hotel stay, shopping, and a Michelin Star-rated dinner reservation.  So when my husband asked me if I wanted to go to a baseball game in St. Louis, I agreed without much hesitance.  I figured worse case scenario would be me wandering around a souvenir shop inside the stadium while my husband has the time of his life all by himself.

Then my husband bought us jerseys.  Nothing wrong with a little team spirit, and it’s kind of fun dressing up and rooting for the home team, cheering along with the crowd and whatnot.  Until he told me he bought us jerseys for the opposing team because he is a Cubs fan not a Cardinals fan.  You mean to tell me I’ll be sitting in a stadium surrounded by 40,000 Cardinals fans wearing a Cubs jersey?  That’s a fashion faux pas I do believe – and a turf war waiting to happen.  I’m scared!

Here’s my Birchbox:


I’m not a big fan of eye patches.  They are a less serial killer-y version of a sheet mask, but I still would rather use an eye cream.  However, I went ahead and used these Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels for the sake of this review, and I have to say if I felt like crossing over to the other side, these would be on my shopping list (along with a huge index of beer I’ve never wanted to try).  They feel very soothing, stick really well, and they’re pretty princess-y if you wanna go sit down and have your husband make you a sandwich or something.  If I had puffy under eyes, I may have noticed some results, but since I don’t I can’t say much else.  The website says they are a Celebrity Favorite, and really that’s all anyone ever needs to know anyway.

Another navy blue eyeliner.  You know, if there is a world shortage, I got everyone covered probably.  This time I got a Marcelle waterproof one in the shade Indigo.  Stayed pretty well on the top eyelid, but I couldn’t get it to go on my inner rim for the life of me.  Like I would swipe it on and absolutely nothing came off.  Either I just have very wet inner rims or this eyeliner is stupid.  I most likely won’t be keeping it.  I have no use for it.  I’ll pass it along to my daughter who somehow manages to look good in every makeup reject I pass down to her.  Because life is FAIR, that’s why.

Let’s continue with the Most Boring Samples Ever theme and talk about the TempleSpa Good Hair Day shampoo and In Good Condition conditioner.  Yes, it’s something usable, but honestly it puts me right to sleep.  I’m tired of getting shampoo and conditioner in my boxes, although on the flipside, I haven’t had to buy a full-size of either one in quite a long time.  I did try them both, and I wasn’t really a fan.  The shampoo smelled very much like men’s cologne which I did not like.  The conditioner fared better with a peppermint and rosemary scent.  I used both the other day, and I couldn’t get the shampoo to lather up the way I like.  Conditioner was fine, but still the whole event left me less than impressed.  After drying my hair, I looked like the dirty end of a broom.  What happened to the moisture?  It done took a vacay.

Usually I finish up shampoo and conditioner samples, but I’m tossing this one because it did not make my hair feel very good.  And that’s the end of that story.  Moving on.

I’ve owned the Dr. Jart+ Premium BB cream previously and it’s a really great one.  The coverage on it is practically foundation.  It covers up my splotches very well which is all I ever really want out of a foundation.  Just make me look perfect, is that too much to ask?  My mom loves this BB cream as well.  In fact, she may love it a tad more than me, and because she doesn’t have a cache of 27 partially used and almost expired foundations, I’m passing this sample along to her.  Who needs a doctor or lawyer as a daughter when you can have one that gives you gently used makeup samples for FREE.

Last thing in the box was a bonus item, a Pura Vida headband, although if they left it out of the box it would’ve made absolutely no difference.  I’m 40.  What the hell am I going to do with this headband?  I’m sure there’s some 40-year-olds out there who can tell me exactly what to do with this headband (and maybe not in a nice way), but honestly I have no use for it.  I put it on just to test it out and it stayed on pretty good.  So if you’re in the market for a good headband, I guess this one would probably be alright.  But I’ll most likely give it to my daughter.  That should get me a hug with both arms at the very least.

Time’s up!  Hope you enjoyed.  In case you didn’t notice, I’m behind again.  Ugh.  It’s hard being obsessed with so many things.  As soon as YouTube and Instagram go out of business, I’m pretty sure things will get back on track. Until then, I’ll just go on and be a hot mess.  Bye loves!

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!

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.