Sunday, June 28, 2015

First Impressions - JLB Cosmetics Malibu Beach Collection.

I went out with my daughters the other day, because I had seen these at Ross the evening before, and regretted not getting them, especially after having unsuccessfully tried to find them online. 

So I went ahead and got the one I had initially really liked, and decided to get the other one as well, though I had not really cared too much for the colors at first.  These palettes sell for $12 a piece, according to Ross's price sticker, and I got them for $5.99 each.  I have to admit I am surprised at the low price for these palettes, for the quality.  I used the Sand palette yesterday, and really loved the look I created, and today I used the Surf palette and really love the purples that I used. 

JLB Cosmetics Surf The Malibu Beach Collection.  The outside of this palette is slightly textured and looks a little bit like rattan, or a straw hat weave.  It is constructed of pretty sturdy cardboard, and closes magnetically.

You get 12 pastel and summery shades in this palette, and there are no names for any of the colors, which makes it a bit difficult if creating a look and telling others what shadows were used.  Most of these shades are satin, with a couple being somewhat glittery, and one or two matte shades.  The colors are fairly pigmented, can be built up and blend beautifully.  They are pretty powdery, and can be a bit chalky, mostly just when swatched.  For the look I created today, I used the 5th shadow in the upper crease and upper eyelid area.  For the transition shade I used the 6th shadow, and for the lid, I used the 10th shade.  I used the very last shade on the browbone, under my eyebrow. 

As you can see in the swatches, the shadows are fairly light and pastel.  They are fairly washed out due to the lighting, but the first four (from the left) are very high sheen, whereas the next four are pretty satin.  The very last shade (far right) is matte, and difficult to work with.  It doesn't like to pick up on the brush very well, but as you can see in the pictures below, it does show up on the browbone.

This is my overall look.  I used The Balm Shelter tinted moisturizer for my foundation, Nars Super Orgasm on my cheeks, and a Burt's Bee's lip crayon in a pink color on my lips.  Highlighted with Hourglass's Ambient Lighting powder in Ethereal. 

Another angle of today's look.  You can see just a hint of the purple at the corner of my eye.

Please excuse the giant pimple between my eyes!  Here is the look I created today.  My phone does NOT show the color transitions very well but you can see how these shadows are just a bit shimmery, and definitely not glittery like some Too Faced or Urban Decay shadows.

Overall I really like this palette, way more than I expected to.  I'm excited to create some more looks with this, and play with it a bit more.  I feel like this was a pretty good deal for $6, and if you can find it, I really suggest picking it up, even if you're not sure you'll like the colors.  I was pleasantly surprised after I got them home and got a chance to swatch them.

Now for the other palette.  This is the one that I initially regretted not purchasing the night I saw it.  There is one shade in here that I just had to have.  The rest of the palette is beautiful too, but I really loved that one color, and don't have anything like it at home.  Ultimately that is the deciding factor these days, since I have so much makeup. 

This palette feels like it is wrapped in burlap.  It's a bit more textured than the other palette, but is constructed of the same cardboard with the magnetic closure. 

The shadows.  Ok you guys, this palette.  Those colors.  Just.... yes.  The palette was slightly damaged (the 9th shadow has a small chunk missing from it) but it is still functional, obviously.  The first four shades are matte, the second set of four shades are satin shimmer, and the last four are satin shimmer as well. There doesn't seem to be any really glittery shades, and I like that.  Though I think one glitter shade to help make a look pop can be nice. That burgundy though...  I had to have that color in my collection.

So, as you can see, the first four shades are definitely matte, and though they don't seem very pigmented (the middle two) they are...  they just match my skin tone very closely.  That last shade of those first four is a fairly pigmented white color that is great for the browbone.  And the next set of four, that gorgeous burgundy color.  I can't stress how much the camera just does NOT do it justice.  This is going to be a GORGEOUS color for fall and winter, for a smokey eye look, or as a beautiful crease color.  I can't WAIT to play around with that color.  The next three shades are satin shimmery and super pigmented.  There is a bronze, a golden shimmer, and then a very dark taupe shimmer.  The next set of four start with a beautiful dark copper shimmer, and from there the colors lighten up a bit, from a light gold, to a champagne shimmer, to a very light beige, almost white sheen that would be great for a shimmery browbone highlight.

This was the look I created yesterday.  Kind of a retro glam look with a beautiful classic red courtesy of Lime Crime Velvetines.  For this look I used all matte shades from the Sand palette and was really impressed with the pigmentation and how easily they built up and blended in order to create the natural eye look. 

So far, I really like these palettes.  I have used each one, only once so far though (which is why this is a first impression post.)  I will be working with these off and on for awhile, mainly because I'm so excited to try out all the colors!! 

Let me know what you think in the comments below! 

(All pictures taken with my iPhone 5s)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

First Impression - Nail products

Last night I sat down to paint my nails, and I've really been wanting to use this beautiful coral Michael Kors lacquer in the color Audition, so I broke it out and sat down with high expectations, since it is a luxury brand.  (I got this in a free gift from Ulta a couple of months ago.  I did not pay for the gift bag that included three perfume samples, this nail polish, and a full sized lipstick.) 

Let's start with the base coat!  I really like this formula, and find it very unique.  Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat is just like it sounds.  It feels somewhat grippy and rubbery once it dries on the nail, which allows the lacquer you use to bond and adhere to the basecoat for more staying power.  I usually have an issue with polish peeling off in one nail shaped sheet after a day or two of wear.  Since I started using this basecoat, it hasn't been a problem, so I'm really liking this formula. 

On to the nail polish.  I found this nail polish to be extremely difficult to work with.  It is very sheer, and took 3 coats to deliver the opacity I was looking for.  With every passing minute I was working with this polish, it seemed to get thicker and thicker, not just on my nails, but on the brush and in the bottle as well.  Towards the end of the application, the polish had almost a gummy consistency.  I don't know if this is typical of all Michael Kors lacquers or if this one is just old.  I have only found it for sale on Amazon for $9, when the majority of the other polishes on the Michael Kors site retail for $18, and some of the polishes on Amazon are going for much more.  That makes me think that Audition is an older polish that has been discontinued, which can affect the formula.  I'm still hesitant to buy another MK lacquer based on this experience though.

As for the shade, it really is beautiful and unlike any other shade I have, I just wish the formula was better. 

Now, for the real winner here.  INM Out the Door Topcoat.  This formula dries super fast (45 seconds) and protects your manicure from smudges, and those really irritating fingerprint ridges you can get sometimes.  I usually give it 5-10 minutes of untouched drying time before I really begin doing any kind of activity that requires my hands.  I have used this top coat 3 times now, and from what I have experienced, it does seem to lengthen my manicure by quite a bit.  My nails tend to be weak and very flexible, which leads to a lot of chipping of my polish.  With the combination of the Orly basecoat and the Out the Door Topcoat, my nails seem to be getting stronger, and my polish lasts more than just a couple of days, which makes me really happy. 

I definitely recommend the Orly basecoat and the Out the Door to anyone who has issues with their manicure peeling off, or chipping due to weak nails. The Michael Kors though...  I would advise you to find a dupe that you like that is cheaper and likely to be much easier to work with.

Left to Right:  Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat; Michael Kors Nail Lacquer in Audition; INM Out the Door #1 Super Fast Drying Topcoat

After 3 coats of the MK Lacquer in Audition it is finally to the opacity I desired.  You can see how it still seems somewhat patchy and uneven on some of the nails.  That's where the polish seemed to be drying before I could even get the brush to the nail. 

What are some of your favorite nail products? What have you found to be absolute fails? Let me know in the comments below!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

EMPTIES!!!! Wins!!

I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but haven't been able to find the time (or the motivation) to do so for the last few months.  I filled up the Sephora bag in the picture below (a medium small one....) to overflowing, so I knew I just couldn't avoid it anymore.  Because there are so many products in this, I am doing it in a series of 3 blogs.  One for my Wins! One for my Meh....  And one for my Fails!

So, with that said, welcome to my WINS!  I'm here to share the goodness that all these products are!

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo (far left) - This dry shampoo smells SO good, and doesn't come out and leave a white residue in your hair (for all my dark haired beauties out there.)  It leaves my hair looking and feeling fresh.  Not oily at all.  I currently have two other brands (full size) to go through before I can justify purchasing this.  It is kind of expensive, but I think it is worth it because it nourishes your hair too.

Whish Shave Cream in Blueberry (top left) - I love the formula of this shave cream.  It doesn't work into a lather, it just sits on top of the skin and gives you an extremely close shave, without drying out your skin.  In fact my skin always feels softer and moisturized after I use this.  I didn't care for this scent too much, but I have already purchased the full size of this in Lavender. Hands down my favorite shaving product of all time.

Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray (top right) - I'm not usually a fan of hairspray.  I don't typically use much product in my hair at all, but I will make an exception for this.  It has a light hold, gives your hair a natural, healthy shine, and smells good.  The different oils included in this also help to nourish your hair. 

L'Occitane Amande Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil (far right) - This stuff, guys.  It smells heavenly.  Not that cheap amaretto scent they usually try to pass off as almond, but a true, natural almond scent.  I use it as a bath oil/bubble bath because it does foam up both in the bath and in the shower.  It is extremely moisturizing, and leaves your skin lightly scented after you get out of the bath or shower.

Benefit Ultra Radiance Facial Rehydrating Mist (bottom left) - I use this to help refresh my makeup throughout the day, as an extra step during my skincare regimen and just in general for a refreshing mist for my parched face.  I have already bought the full size of this, and LOVE it.  It does have a light cucumber scent to it, but coming from someone that doesn't care for cucumber scented things, I barely notice it. 

Black Opium perfume sample ampule (bottom right) - This scent is heavy, warm, spicy and has a hint of vanilla caramel to it. lists the notes of this perfume as:  Coffee Accord, Orange Blossom, Cedar Wood Essence, Patchouli Essense.  These scents all blend to create a unique scent that would be perfect for the fall and winter.  Sadly, the only way to open this sample is to break open the ampule at the neck, leaving it to either evaporate or.... in my case....  be spilled on my vanity.  It is moderately expensive, and if I didn't already have so MANY perfumes (let me know if you would like a perfume collection blog!) I would likely run out and buy this one right away.  It is a Sephora exlusive, just so you are aware, and wanting to buy it.

Bite Beauty Lush Lip Wipes (top) - Goodbye lipsticks and lip stains!  No matter how dark, or how semi-permanent a lip color is, these wipes will remove anything with just a couple of swipes.  It has a somewhat fruity scent and taste, removes lip color like a champ, has a textured surface that also exfoliates your lips in the process of removing those stubborn lip colors.  It does see a bit drying to me, and it leaves behind a weird sort of numbness on my lips.  It isn't uncomfortable, just strange.  I use these only when I wear stubborn lip colors or lip stain. 

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free foundation (bottom left) - This foundation was nice.  Considering I don't like foundations much, the fact that this foundation didn't settle in my lines and wrinkles, and didn't accentuate my  pores or my peach fuzz, it melted into my skin, and dried to a powder finish, which I really like.  I'm not sure the color was a match for me, but I definitely would consider getting this foundation in the future.  Though I'm not sure I would consider it "perfect" for me. 

Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint (bottom right) - I really liked this foundation too.  It is lighter than most, and melts into my skin seamlessly, leaving barely any trace on my skin that would indicate that I am wearing a foundation.  I think I actually like this one better than the Hourglass Immaculate.  Also with the addition of their Hyaluron complex, it also supports firming sagging skin and diminishing fine lines, which is always a plus for those of us with those issues.  I think I would buy this one over the other one, just because I prefer lightweight tinted moisturizer like products. 

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Renewal Cream (left) - Gahhhh this night cream is SO amazing.  It smells citrusy, bright and fresh, and I love how it makes my skin feel.  My skin has never been as soft as it was while I was using this cream.  At the first chance, I will be buying this to use in conjunction with my daily moisturizer. 

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths (top right) - I really liked these, they were moisturizing and soothing.  They also smelled nice, and they were thicker cloths, which I really liked.  I am currently using another brand right now (that I also really like) so I'm not sure if I will purchase a full size of these right now, but possibly in the future. 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream (bottom) - FAB has some of the best skin care products I have used, so I can see why they have a cult following.  I am still working my way through the skin cleanser, but this night cream is very nice too.  It is not scented (from what I could tell) but it also made my skin super soft.  I would very highly recommend this.  I think the Origins wins out only because of the bright citrusy scent.

NeoStrata Glycolic Acid Perfecting Peel (left) - This is a two step peel.  The first step is using a textured pad soaked in their peel formula.  You spread that all over your face and neck, and let it sit for 10 minutes (or until you feeling tingling or experience any redness.)  After the time has passed, you use the second pad to deactivate the peel formula.  I admit I was scared to try this, but finally I jumped feet first.  I did notice an immediate improvement in my skin.  It was softer and brighter after one use.  I can only imagine what it would look like after multiple treatments. 

Caldrea Black Coriander Lime Hand Soap (top center) - Oh my gosh, this stuff smells amazing.  It has a light peppery scent to it.  It softens my skin nicely, gets my hands clean and leaves a gorgeous scent behind.  I squeezed out every last drop out of this packet, and yes, I have already bought the full size of this. 

Roloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment (top right) - This cream dries to a powder on the face, and claims to smooth, clarify and brighten your skin.  I did notice a difference after using this the two times I used it.  My skin was definitely softer, but I can't say if my skin was really brighter.  I would try this again, but it is EXTREMELY expensive, so I can't really justify spending that kind of money on myself, just for softer skin.

Algenist Pore Corrector Gel Moisturizer (bottom right) - I love the gel consistency of this moisturizer, even though I don't really need the pore corrector aspect of it.  It moisturizes and softens my skin noticeably.  I have already bought the full size of this.

More info on the Roloxin Lift.

The front of the packet that contained the samples of the Roloxin Lift.

Le Couvent des Minimes Baume D'Amour Loving Care Body Balm (left) - I got a sample of this lotion from Ulta, and decided to use it on my youngest son, who has eczema.  His skin is extremely dry, with tiny cracks, and chicken skin (small bumps all over.)  After a couple of applications of this lotion, his chicken bumps started going away, and his skin was so much softer.  I went and bought the full size of this as soon as I could, because I much prefer the consistency of this over the Cetaphil cream we had been using.  I highly recommend this to anyone that has extremely dry skin.

BioRepublic Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Mask (right) - I've never used a fiber mask until I received this in my ipsy bag.  I was intrigued, and tried it out on one of the warmest days last week.  It was so cool and refreshing, and smelled so good, I was immediately won over.  When you take the mask over, you just press whatever serum is left, into your skin, and let it dry.  I have two more masks similar to this (different formulas) that I can't wait to use, and I will likely be ordering more of these when those are gone. 

Dr Brandt Needles No More (bottom) - I was skeptical when I received this sample, but let me tell you, I am a believer now.  The first couple of times I used this, I didn't notice a difference really but with consistent use, both morning and evening over the course of a couple of weeks, I DID notice a difference in my fine lines, and crows feet.  I have noticed since I ran out of this, that I can see them coming back (even though I am using a different wrinkle reducer product.)  This stuff is expensive though.  $89 for half an ounce.  YIKES.  Is it worth it?  I'm thinking so..... and one day.... I will buy the full size of this!

Last but not least.....

Ellen Tracy Cleansing Cloths (top) - the top on this went missing after I ran out of them, so I can't really give you much in the way of product information, but they were nice enough that I would like to get more (even though I also really like the brand I'm using now.)  The cloths were nice and thick, and didn't dry out too quickly.

up&up Cotton Ovals (bottom) - These were the large facial pads.  I use them for my toner application.  I haven't yet found a cotton pad that doesn't shed cotton all over my face.  :\  These have been the best so far, with minimal shedding, but I'm looking for any better.  Any recommendations?

What do you all think about these products? Have you used them before? Which products have you been wanting to try?

EMPTIES!!!!! Mehhhhh

Welcome to my "meh" empties.  These are products that I sampled, and was neither overly impressed with, nor overly filled with disdain for enough to add to my Fails.

Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation (top) - I can honestly say that I can't really formulate a GREAT opinion about this product based on the sample card they provide, which allows you to sample only a small amount of the product.  If I had a larger sample to work with, perhaps my opinion would change, but I wasn't overly impressed with the coverage or the way the product sat on my face.  It DID smell good though.  Mmmmm Chocolate!!

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower (bottom left) - I didn't notice either smoothing or relaxing in any of the lines around my eyes, and they weren't particularly soothing either.  The patches were kind of strange consistency too.  I have one more sample of these, and while I will use it, I don't expect much, if anything from it.

VitaPerk (bottom right) - This is a creamer like product that you add to your coffee to give it an extra vitamin boost.  I don't drink coffee anymore, so this is kind of a meh product.  I really should have put this in my wins though, because it not only tasted REALLY good, but it dissolved well (no icky clumps like these things usually get) and one packet was enough to both sweeten and tone down my coffee.

Olay Fresh Outlast Bodywash in Strawberry Mint (top left) - This smelled really nice, and I used it as a bubble bath with some success, but...  it was only so-so for me.  I won't go out and buy it, but I'm glad I had the sample, I suppose. 

Stila Smudge Pot (top right) - This used to be one of my very favorite eyeliners, but eventually the formula just stopped working for me.  It would smudge, and transfer to my eyelid and then....  the formula shriveled up in the pot and turned into a tiny hockey puck (pictured below.)

Skyn Iceland Fresh Start Mask (bottom) - This mask.  It was akin to smearing snot all over my face, that's how gloppy it was.  It was an interesting concept, and it was definitely cool and refreshing, but I definitely don't enjoy the feeling of the giant gloppy mess this created, or the way it felt on my face. 

Stila Smudge Pot as described above...  transformed into a tiny hocky puck.  I pried the puck out of the pot, washed it, sanitized it and have already repurposed it to hold serum or moisturizer samples that can't be resealed.

Algenist Genius White Brightening Anti-Aging Cream (both the tiny jar and the foil packet at the top left) - I really like Algenist products, but this one was just not overwhelming to me.  I much prefer the one I mentioned in my Wins! post.

Medicell Redness Relief Hydrating Cream (top right) - I wasn't wowed by this cream.  It came out a very thick consistency yellow cream.  It smelled medicinal and was just way too much for my skin.  Not to mention it left a yellow cast to my skin after I applied it..... almost like I had been eating too many carrots of late.

StriVectin-TL Tightening Neck Cream (bottom) - I'm not sure what to say about this.  I hate foil packets, because you don't get nearly enough uses out of this to make a determination as to whether or not it really works.  For instance, this product says you will see results after 8 weeks of consistent use.  I got about 4 days of use out of this packet.  So I can't really form an educated opinion about it.  It didn't irritate my neck... so that's a plus...

Citrix Vitamin C and Collagen Brightening Serum (top left dropper bottle) - There was a miniscule amount of product in this bottle.  Imagine this bottle being filled up only 1/4 of the way, and that is how much product was in this bottle.  It did last me quite a long time.  It was oily, but it absorbed pretty readily into my skin, and had a nice light citrusy scent to it.  Having said that, it is expensive, and I have serums that I currently use that I like better. 

Algenist Retinol Firming and Lifting Serum (top right pump bottle) - This serum wasn't great, and it wasn't bad.  I didn't notice a difference after using it consistently for a few weeks.  Again, I have other serums that I prefer over this one.

GlamGlow Brightmud Eye Treatment Pods (bottom) - I have about 4 of these pods left (I use one pod for both eyes, so each packet that contains 2 pods = 2 uses for me.)  I can feel it tingle and sting a little, but other than that, I haven't noticed any improvement in the dark circles under my eyes, or the amount of puffiness under my eyes either.  I will continue using up what I have, but I won't bother purchasing this in the future.

Yon Ka Paris Cellular Code Serum (left packet and foil pod) - I wasn't overwhelmed by this serum.  This is a very expensive brand, and there wasn't much in the way of product in this pod, so I couldn't really form a definitive opinion on this.

Yon Ka  Global Youth Cream (right foil packet/pod) - It was difficult to get product out of this packet, and I didn't really care for the cream or the consistency.  I could have cut it open to access more of the product, but I just wasn't really motivated to do so.  Again, not a lot of product in this to form a good opinion.

All in all, I just was not wowed by these products. Would I purchase them in the future? Probably not. Would I recommend them to someone else...? Ehhhhh.... Maybe. I certainly don't feel strongly enough about them that I would tell them to avoid these at all costs. Do you have any strong feelings about the products mentioned above?

EMPTIES!!!!!! Fails

This is part 3 of my empties blog, and focuses on the products that I did NOT like, and will absolutely, under no circumstances purchase again.  For the foundations, the color (whether it fit my skin tone or not) does not come into play with regards to my feelings on them.  It has only to do with the formula. 
Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Eye Creme (top left) - This eye cream was extremely emollient and greasy feeling.  It was never fully absorbed into my skin, under the eye or around it, and then it pilled up overnight and rubbed off in little clumps when I would scratch or rub my eye.

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer (top right) - This foundation was thick, cakey and never "melted" into my skin, giving my skin a mask-like appearance.  Again, I don't really care for foundations much, but even this one was an absolute no go.  Too heavy for my taste.

Eco-Beauty Good Day. Day Moisturizer (bottom) - This moisturizer is very runny, doesn't absorb very well and has a weird smell that just seemed to get worse as the days progressed.  I didn't even finish this because it smelled so bad. 
NUDE Overnight Repair mask (top left) - This moisturizer was awful.  Not only did it just sit on top of my skin and not absorb into my skin, it pilled off, and then on top of that, it made me break out into tiny itchy bumps. 

NUDE Eye Complex (top right) - Again, this cream sat on top of my skin, pilled off and didn't help my eyes at all.  Luckily this one I did not have a reaction to, but it just was not good.

NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil (bottom) - This serum also broke me out into tiny itchy bumps.  It also didn't absorb...  which is weird since it is an oil and a serum. I have chosen to avoid this line altogether in the future, since I seem to have had an allergic reaction to it. 

Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (top left) - Once again, this moisturizer just sat on top of my face and didn't absorb at all, and then pilled off with my makeup. 

Kat Von D Lock It Featherweight Primer * Base (top right) - This has a lotion consistency, which I thought was strange for a primer.  It left my skin feeling somewhat tacky, even after I applied my makeup.  It also had a somewhat chemical smell to it that I wasn't fond of.

Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment (bottom left) - Oily.  That's the only word I can think of to describe this eye gel... cream... stuff.  It applied like gel, but it seemed while I was applying it, that it turned to an oily consistency and stayed that way.  It never absorbed, and left my under eyes so oily, I had a hard time applying any makeup over it.  When I applied it at night and slept with it on, I woke up with my under eyes still oily.  Definitely not for me.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (bottom right) - I wanted to like this foundation.  I mean...  who wouldn't want their face to look like luminous silk?  Instead it was too heavy, again, and made me look like I had a mask on.  It accentuated my pores, which is surprising, since I don't have a problem with my pores being too big.

Benefit PoreFessional Agent Zero Shine (top) - This is a mattifying powder, that is typically recommended for oily skin and patches, to help keep it matte all day long.  I don't typically have oily skin, but tried this on my T-zone.  It looked cakey (even with the little bit I used.) 

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation (bottom left) - I typically prefer powder foundations for lighter coverage during the spring and summer, but this applied pretty heavily and really accentuated my pores on my forehead, and the peach fuzz all over my face.  Not a good look. I did like the consistency of the powder, it just didn't look good on me.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation (bottom center) - I have owned this foundation before, and ended up giving it to my daughter.  It oxidizes horribly on me, and ends up looking orange as the day goes on.  Other than that problem, I really like the formula and the amount of coverage it gives.

Benefit Stay Flawless Face Primer (bottom right) - This primer seemed almost gritty at times, as I was applying it to my face.  I am NOT a fan of this primer, but their other primer, the PoreFessional (pore minimizing balm) is an all-time favorite of mine. I just don't like this formula. 

Hourglass Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Broad Spectrum SPF15 (left) - This should have been a win for me.  I tend to prefer tinted moisturizers over foundation, because they are lighter coverage, and absorb seamlessly into the skin.  This one though....  this one was thick, like peanut butter consistency.  It didn't absorb, it sat on top of my skin and just looked unnatural.  This is a definite no for me. 

Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate with Noni Fruit Juice (top) - I was excited to try this stuff since it claims it firms and illuminates, helping to diminish dark circles.  The formula was not that great though.  It was thick, and pilled off to the point that I didn't even finish the package.  I really wanted to like it too, because I've been noticing dark circles under my eyes lately.  Any recommendations for a really good eye cream that diminishes dark circles?

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue liquid foundation (right) - I expected good things from this, since it is from BareMinerals, but this foundation just sat on top of my skin, accentuated my pores and my peach fuzz.  It seemed somewhat patchy, and didn't finish well.  I am STILL looking for a good full coverage foundation that matches my skin tone, and melts into the skin.  No such luck yet.

Kat Von D Lock-it Foundation (bottom) - No.  Too heavy for my taste.  Accentuates my pores, peach fuzz and any dry skin I might have at the time.  I really like a lot of her other products too, so I was hoping for great things from this one. :\

Victoria's Secret Boost & Hold Hairspray (left) - Worst. Hairspray. Ever.  It smells horrible - sickly sweet, and it's like it never dries.  It's worse than tacky.... it is sticky in your hair, the entire time it is in your hair.  Will never repurchase this, or recommend it to anyone.

Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil (right) - I wanted to like this, because my skin is usually very dry during the winter months and needs the extra hydration, but even this was too much for me.  It completely changed my skin type from dry/normal to oily.  It completely skipped over the normal/combination and went straight to oily. 

Ofra Eyebrow Pencil (bottom left laying down) - This eyebrow pencil's consistency was just a little too dry for me.  In fact, I went to sharpen it, and it's like the product had shriveled up inside the wood and just fell out.  Definitely not a good thing in my book.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara (bottom right laying down) - Do not like this formula at all.  Besides irritating my eyes every time I tried to wear it, it was clumpy and spidery, and the formula dried out extremely quickly inside the tube.  The brush was huge and somewhat difficult to work with. 

 So there you have it!  My empties for the last few months, the ones that were wins, the ones that were only meh, and the epic fails.   I hope you enjoyed this, and I will NOT be waiting months to do this again!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 2015 PopSugar Must Have Box

My June PopSugar Must Have box arrived today!  This is my first box, and I'm excited to dive into it!  PopSugar is a monthly lifestyle subscription box for $39.99.  They feature beauty, fashion, fitness and lifestyle type items. 
The box is a very sturdy cardboard.
I really like the interior of the box, and the message on the top.  It comes with a info booklet detailing the items enclosed.

First look inside.

I haven't heard much about this book.  I'm not sure it's my style, I tend to like different genres than this, but I will give it a try.  If not, I will likely send it to my mom. 

On the left, two packs of Supercandy gummies, one in Multi-Berry and the other in Sour Gummies.  They don't taste like actual gummies.  The texture is kind of strange, but they don't taste bad.  I don't care too much for the Multi-Berry ones, but the Sour ones taste similar to Sour Patch kids, one of my all time favorite candies.  On the Right Spongelle Papaya Yuzu scented bath sponge.  I want to think that I have seen and used these years ago, but I can't say for sure.  The scent is AMAZING though, and I could smell it as soon as I opened the box.  I'm looking forward to using this in just a little bit!

This was one of the big spoilers.  Quay Australia Sunglasses in Mandate.  The frames are a matte black, with what feels like a rubberized coating.  I really like the feel of them, but I can't say that they are my style, or that they will even look good on me.  I'm willing to give them a try, but I may pass these along, or sell them on Ebay. 

This is a $30 gift card to Sweet & Spark, an online curated vintage jewelry shop.  I really like some of the pieces I have seen on their shop, but most of the ones I like are sold out.  They are one of a kind (from what I understand they get their jewelry from thrift stores and estate sales, so there is only one piece, not multiples to buy.)  I will probably hang on to this and peruse the site every so often to see if there is anything that jumps out at me.  Most of the pieces are $50 and up. 

On the left, Pacifica Enlighten Eyeshadow Quad.  And on the right YogiToes headband.  I really like this headband.  The texture seems a bit more "grippy" than most headbands like this, and I'm hoping it will stay on my head, since I tend to have a problem with keeping headbands on. 

When I opened my eyeshadow quad, one of the eye shadows crumbled and fell out.  I have sent an email to see about getting this replaced. 

The shadows are pretty, but don't seem very pigmented, except the very dark purple shade.  Maybe they will look better when used with a primer.  They are pretty powdery too.  I'm not a huge fan of Pacifica's makeup products, but I'm always willing to give the a try and keep an open mind.

Verdict:  While I will get some use out of the products in this box, I wasn't overwhelmingly wowed by this box.  I've seen other boxes, and think it is worth it for the amount of products you get, and the other months seemed to have been way better than this month.  I will continue my subscription, and hope that it gets better.  I guess I just expected more out of this box. 

I have contacted PopSugar about the broken Pacifica eyeshadow and am waiting on a response.  I am hoping that they will replace it, like other subscription services do.  I will update when I get a response. 

**UPDATE: PopSugar is sending me a replacement for the quad! And the Spongelle body sponge is amazing!!! Smells luscious, luxurious lather, just enough exfoliation and leaves your skin lightly scented and moisturized! I definitely recommend it. And I will be buying more when this one runs out of later!**

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 2015 Boxycharm - Sea la Vie

One of my all time favorite beauty subscription boxes came today!  My Boxycharm arrived this morning, so I thought I would do an unboxing for you all!  For those of you that don't know what Boxycharm is, it is a monthly beauty subscription service.  They send MOSTLY full sized products, with some deluxe sized samples.  It is $21 a month, and TOTALLY worth it.

This month's theme is "Sea la Vie."  I can kind of see a theme, but some of the items don't really match, but that's OK, I'm still excited to try all the products! So without further ado, let's dive right in.

This is what the exterior of the box always looks like.  It is a sturdy cardboard box, so things rarely come damaged.
The interior of the box, with this month's theme card.  They always include an information card that details what is in the box, and gives a bit more information about each individual product, and how to use it, if necessary.

The contents, along with their normal packing material, just paper crinklies. On to the products!

On the left is The Beauty Crop's Lighting crew, highlighter.  (I swatched it below) And on the right, ncLA Los Angeles nudes collection in Volume IV.  It is a pretty pinky tan color, that I really like.  It isn't the typical bland nudes that I have seen in the past.

This is a swatch of The Beauty Crop's Lighting Crew highlighter.  It is kind of a bronze highlighter that sheers out very nicely and leaves a beautiful shimmer. Here I swatched it (bottom) without blending it, and just above it, you can see the highlight blended out. 

On the left is bellapierre's Kabuki brush.  It is really soft, and dense, and I can see this working well for my Laura Gellar powder foundation.  On the right is doucce's click click lipstick in 809. (Swatch below)

The packaging is super sleek.  The lipstick slides in from the bottom, you click it to lock it in place, and then click again, in order to access the lipstick, kind of like a retractable pen.  Pretty neat!

This is the color of the lipstick, and it is absolutely gorgeous!  I think this is going to be one of my favorites!

This Eslor Chlorophyll Lifting mask is.....  interesting.  It claims to smooth, brighten and firm your skin in one application.

Again, it is interesting.  It is a green, sticky gel-like consistency and smells...  like...  deodorant, or faintly of cologne.  I will give it a try and see if I like it.

Overall, this box was a win for me.  I am really looking forward to using the nail polish, the lipstick and the highlighter.  The brush is a nice addition to the tools I currently have, since I don't really have anything quite like it.  The mask I am excited to try, since I love masks.  Even with the weird consistency and scent, I will try it. 

Let me know what you think about this month's Boxycharm, and what you got in yours!  I know there were several possible combinations that could have come out, so I am interested to see what else is out there.  Also let me know if you would be interested in any specific reviews of the products here!

Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you have a beautiful day!

**I pay for this subscription and in no way am sponsored by Boxycharm or any of the enclosed products, nor do I get paid for my first impressions or reviews**