Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My First Ipsy Bag! October Ipsy Unbagging

After what seemed like forever since signing up, I finally got my first Ipsy bag in the mail on Friday! I think it's too early to tell if I'm a huge fan of the subscription, but I did like what I received in this month's bag. 

The bag itself is so-so. It doesn't feel cheap, but it definitely isn't something I'll use. I do like the added touch of having a bag, unlike a box like Birchbox. I didn't see a card that told me what anything was, which is what I like about getting Birchbox. Birchbox lists everything you get on a card and how much a full size costs. 

Starlooks Lip Gloss - I'm not a fan of pigmented lip glosses only because I don't wear them. If I'm wearing a gloss I tend to not really wear a color because the gloss is in place of lipstick. So if I'm going to wear color, I'm wearing a lipstick.

Albertini Warm Love Exfoliating Pumpkin Mask - I've tried this already and I do like it. This smells like pumpkin and the exfoliate isn't over the top. This might be my stand out product and I wish it were just a bit bigger.

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser - I have a problem with cleansers, meaning I have too many. I like that it's a gel because sometimes thick foaming cleansers are drying. I also like that this is small because I've used up most of my travel sized cleansers. I'll probably use this to try it out and then save it for my next trip to NH for the holidays.

Figs & Rouge Rose Berry Hand Cream - I also have a problem with hand creams and I need to use some up. This is a little watery in consistency so it might just get saved for my purse or the summer when I don't need much moisture. I was bummed that I didn't get the mango scent when I was watching Coffee Break With Dani, until she described hers as smelling like an ugly mango. Mine smells quite nice.

Skone Tattooed Waterproof Eyeliner - I'm not jazzed about this only because I can't even remember the last time I even used eyeliner on my top lid. I've been strictly a waterliner for quite some time now. Maybe that means I need to try it. It's a felt tip pen and I'm not used to those anymore so I might just wear it around the house to test the wear.

All in all, the bag was okay. I don't really have anything to compare it to since it was my first one, but I guess I'll see how I feel about it next month!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tarte Pin Up Girl Holiday Blush Palette: Swatches + Review

I was so bummed when I missed out on last year's holiday collections because I just wasn't wearing a full face of makeup. My normal routine was BB Cream, powder, and maybe a dusting of blush if I was feeling either pale or ambitious. This year, I wanted to make sure that I bought at least one blush palette, the Nars or the Tarte, because I've been wearing blush and bronzer daily.

I decided on the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush palette because the Nars palette wasn't yet announced. This palette was probably going to be less money and I already know I like the Tarte blushes, plus these are all limited edition colors.

This is the packaging for the palette. It looks like a little golden clutch. I do have to agree with everyone else and say that it is on the bulky side, but this isn't something I'm going to be tossing in my purse. Right now, I just keep the palette on one of the my shelves in the bathroom. The little pearl hair pins actually can be removed and used in your hair. I haven't even bothered with those yet. I might just take them off the palette so that they don't leave an indent.

Bulky packaging aside, I do have to say my biggest con for this palette is that the names not listed anywhere on the actual palette. The insert shown above slips out of the palette even when it's closed. The only other spot that has the names is the back of the box. Eventually, I want to know which blush I've been using. I do still have the box and the insert, but it would be so much more convenient to have the blush names printed on the package, especially since there's already a sticker on the back.

From top: Irreplaceable, Bashful, Whimsy, Embraced, Breathless.

Looking back, I'm actually glad I didn't get the Off the Cuff palette from last year. It contains permanent colors, one of which I don't like and another that I own which is a bronzer. I really like these colors better.
Additionally, I've actually worn all of these colors and I can say I definitely love them. It's nice being able to have five colors all in one spot.

Embraced and Bashful are the only two shimmery colors and the other three are matte. I've really been into neutral and nude blushes, so Breathless was a nice addition to the palette for me. That said, Embraced and Irreplaceable are probably my favorite colors in the palette, followed closely by Bashful. I think Breathless just isn't a standout because my favorite for a nude cheek is Tarte's Exposed, which I have in a single pan. I'm also not a huge fan of pale pink blushes like Whimsy. I like this color because it doesn't come off like Pepto Bismol like some blushes and it isn't chalky, but I'm not ready for the color yet. It just doesn't mix well with my bronzer like the other colors do.

I think the only other thing worth mentioning is that these blushes are powdery. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. I just realized the first time I was trying these out that a bunch of powder kicked up when I swirled my brush in the pan. I'm used to how MAC blushes are a bit stiffer. The color pay off on these are great, which I think is because of them being slightly softer and powdery.

Packaging get a B- because I want the names on the palette and it's a little bulky.

Blushes get an A- because I really love them overall and the color selection is nice. Despite the powdery mess you can cause, the colors are worth the pain.

So do I think this is worth $42? Absolutely. I'd rather pay the $42 for this palette than the $65 for the Nars palette that has a huge pan of Laguna bronzer in it and a bunch of colors I won't wear.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review | NYX Butter Lipsticks

In honor of a presentation I had to do tonight (on high school dropout prevention, in case you're really curious), I decided to go a little bold with my look.

And by "bold" I really just mean a bold lip. CONFESSION: I didn't even put foundation on. I did my eyes (FINALLY), my eyebrows, and my lips. I was only going to class, so I didn't feel the need to do full-on makeup for a 2 hour thing.

I tried one of my new NYX lipsticks for the occasion: Mary Janes. I love it. It went on with more of a red tint in real life than the picture shows, but it's an accurate representation of the coverage. I will also say that it was easy to apply, smooth, etc. It wasn't sticky at all. Compared to my Wet n Wild lipgloss for my Rosie the Riveter costume, this felt much more natural and didn't feel like my lip color would crack if I smiled!

The staying power was pretty impressive, too. After my 25 minute presentation, I stepped out into the hallway to get a drink from the bubbler, and I drank like a camel, because my mouth/throat always get dry during presentations. For reference, the above photo was taken at 3:54 PM. My presentation ended at 5:55 PM. I went to the restroom to check on it and after my water break, it was still holding strong.

I got home and my boyfriend brought some pizza over, so I sat and ate some pizza and drank some water. I didn't really think about it until a few hours after class ended, but I finished my food and went to check on the lipstick.

That picture was taken at 9:28. So, obviously it didn't last through pizza. But a quick re-application would surely last me the rest of the workday. Considering I didn't get home and start eating until around 8:30 or so, it was staying put really well for 4.5 hours. What can I say? I don't expect miracles; it's a $3 (well, usually $5) lipstick. But I will say that I was really pleased and surprised that it lasted as long and as well as it did.

So, basically, I like my NYX Butter Lipsticks. They work well, and they're pretty. I can't wait to try out my other colors!

October Birchbox Unboxing!

This is only my second Birchbox, but I definitely look forward to getting it every month. I wasn't as impressed with this month's box as I was the last, but it was the anniversary box, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. 

I wish there was more skincare in this box. The reason I wasn't as impressed was just that I feel like I won't use some of these things. The standout for this month would be the hand cream, followed by the leave in conditioner.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle: I've never used a leave in conditioner, mainly because I'm afraid that it would make my hair oily. I also tend to use a deep conditioner in the shower so I never felt the need to use one. I guess I'm somewhat excited to try this out.

Coastal Scents Revealed Eyeshade Palette Set: This is a four color sampler of eyeshadows that I will probably never use. I just don't wear eyeshadow anymore so I don't have a use for this. I guess it would be nice to travel with if I used shadow. I might just pass this on to Jessica if she's interested.

LuMESH Hydratig Lip Gloss: This is in the color Sadie and is a super tiny size. Is never pay $24 for a full size of it, but this is nice. It has a tingly minty feel and the color is pretty sheer.

suki exfoliate foaming cleanser: I'm going to try this out tonight. I thought it was a pretty measly size for a body scrub until I noticed it was for the face. It's too expensive for me as a full size, but it's worth a try regardless.

TOCCA Crema de Mano, Bianca: I actually really like this. The scent is light, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It does feel decently moisturizing, although I think I do prefer my Crabtree & Evelyn cream over this still. 

Again, I'm still more impressed with last month's box, but I'm still rearing to try some of these items. Now starts the waiting process for my November box. All I want is more skincare, no eyeshadow, and more importantly, no perfume! I've been lucky on the perfume front so far, but I know I'm bound to get some eventually.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Five Stages of Grief: Makeup, Eye Infections, and Me

Stage 1: Denial

Last Tuesday night, the outer corner of my right eye hurt. I assumed I had something stuck in my eye, so I put a warm compress on it for about 20-30 minutes, and it felt better. Or so I thought. Wednesday morning, I woke up and the pain was worse. I went to the bathroom to get another hot facecloth, and when I looked in the mirror I saw my entire eyelid was red and puffy, as was the bottom of my eye.

Stage 2: Anger
I was so, so angry. I knew right away that an eye infection is bad news bears. I couldn't go to work if it was pinkeye, because, uh, I work with kids. And no one wants to work around someone with a contagious eye illness. Second, I would have to get rid of every single piece of eye makeup that may have touched my eye since Monday-Tuesday. Hell. To the. Naw. I was also about to go work out, too. If I didn't make it to Pure Barre, I'd be in the hole $10 for my missed class. And then whatever they charged me to fix my eye. And whatever it would cost to replace my beloved Noir Eyeliner and my brand new Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara. That mascara was brand new, straight from Birchbox/Smashbox, and I had been using it for MAYBE a week? MAYBE?

Stage 3: Bargaining
Okay, so maybe if it's not pinkeye, I can still use it? I didn't put on any makeup on Tuesday, so I could totally keep all my stuff, right? I was just hoping at this point it wasn't pinkeye. I was going to be okay with literally anything else. I went to the clinic, and the lady told me it was a stye, or an infected gland where your eyelash meets your eye, that looks like a giant pimple. She of course suggested throwing out all my eye makeup. My eye didn't look like a pimple: so that totally means I can keep my makeup, right??!

Stage 4: Depression
The lady at the clinic gave me some goop to put in my eye. Naturally, that meant no makeup. I went home and put the goop in my eye and avoided walking into the bathroom for awhile. I had to decide what to do with my eyeliner and my mascara. And then I remembered that I also put some eye shadow on the last time I put makeup on. WHEN DID IT START? WHEN DOES IT STOP? I avoided all of that and just took a nap.

Stage 5: Acceptance
In reality, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. It was a simple enough fix. The Noir eyeliner was disinfected and sharpened. I got rid of the cheap eye shadow brush I had been using for the past few days (thankfully) since I left my Real Techniques brush at my boyfriend's place by accident. I somewhat reluctantly tossed my Smashbox mascara, but came to terms with the fact that every time I pulled it out, it came out in clumps anyway. I have a bunch of mascaras to use as backup and some to try. Things wouldn't be that bad. I could sleep in instead of getting up 30 minutes early to do my makeup. And when I'm finally done with the medicine, I can do some fun eye makeup as a celebration of my being infection/stye-free.

Basically, it's sucked. I have two more days of the medicine and it's annoying. Four times a day? Ain't nobody got time for that. But I will really be grateful when I can finally do full face makeup again.

NYX Matte Lipstick Swatches

I don't feel like I can do a proper review on these lipsticks even after wearing three out of the eight of them. I much prefer to do swatches than reviews anyway. For the most part, these lipsticks are right in my color spectrum so I'm happy with the colors I ordered. 

I'm sure I've also mentioned how much I've been loving matte finishes for quite awhile. For the longest time, MAC was the only brand of lipstick I owned. I think I'm a little biased when I say that they make my favorite lipsticks. I have to say, I really like the formula of these matte lipsticks. That really surprises me only because these NYX lipsticks retail for $5.99 and I've been paying up to $16 for my MAC lipsticks.

Euro Trash, Angel, Street Cred, Indie Flick.
Euro Trash: This is the only color that definitely stands out from my usual color preferences. I did purchase this on purpose though, because I have been branching out to more neutral colors for every day wear. At first, I was really put off by how brown this color was. I did put it on immediately after noticing how brown it was to find that it comes off as a my lips but better shade. I haven't worn this out, but I have worn it around the house. This particular shade is very creamy while staying matte.

Angel: Just like with Euro Trash, I was surprised at how different this color was from the swatches I saw online. I thought this was a little lighter, but this ended up being a slightly brighter pink. I'm definitely not complaining. I really like the way this color swatched, as it was also very creamy. This is a color that I have lined up to wear at some point within the next couple weeks, so I'm sure it will also be in my monthly lip post soon.

Street Cred: This is a brighter pink than Angel, but they do look a lot more similar swatched next to each other then I thought they did in the tube. This is another super creamy color. I'm sure they're all creamy and I'm going to say that for every one of these shades. This is also another color that I have lined up to wear at some point. I've even debated it against other colors and it's gone back for really no reason other than I didn't want to wear bright pink.

Indie Flick: This color is everything I thought it would be when I bought it. Out of the first bunch, this is the only one that I've worn outside the house. I love that this is a bright coral orange, which is one of my favorite shades to wear. I wanted to get this out of the way because I know I'm going to be wearing more red and purple now that it's starting to get a little colder outside. This did have to be reapplied after I wiped a bit of the drier parts of my lips, but it performed a lot better afterwards.

From bottom: Euro Trash, Angel, Street Cred, Indie Flick.

Bloody Mary, Eden, Alabama, Merlot.
Bloody Mary: I hate to admit it, but I did get add this color to my bag before looking at swatches just for the name. If it were any other color than red, that wouldn't have happened. This is more on the pink red end of the spectrum, but that doesn't mean I don't like the color. I love all red lipsticks. I did find that this pulled a bit less pink on my lips when I wore it out, so I don't feel like it's true to the swatch color. If I had to choose, this color would probably be my favorite out of the bunch and it was also the first one I wore.

Eden: Blue based reds are probably my favorite shade of red, so it was no surprise that I had to get this color. There were probably six reds in this collection of matte lipsticks and I had to restrain myself to buy them all. Based on the swatches online, I really needed this color and it will most definitely be worn this month. It swatched super creamy, and based on my experience with Bloody Mary, I have a high expectation that it will wear the same way on my lips.

Alabama: I was really passionate about getting this color. When I ordered on Ulta, this one was sold out so I had to make another order so I could bring this one home. I was really surprised when I saw just how brown this red turned out to be. I'm not sure if I'm disappointed because I haven't seen how it wears on my lips just yet. I'm hoping it turns out to be that amazing dark red that I thought I was buying from the swatches I had seen.

Merlot: I think this might need to be the next color I wear. This ends my hunt for a nice purple based red that isn't so purple that it isn't even red anymore. As long as it wears on my lips as nicely as it swatches, I don't think I'll be let down. I was so happy to see that this didn't lean too purple that I made sure it was in my lipstick lineup for the next couple weeks. I definitely can't wait to wear this one.

From Bottom: Bloody Mary, Eden, Alabama, Merlot.
As you can see, all these lipsticks swatch nicely and are super creamy. I didn't get any of the lighter shades because those aren't really what I wear. I also read in multiple places that the brighter and darker colors apply smoother and wear nicer. Nude colors don't personally wear well on me at all, so I can see where others would have issues with the formula if the color isn't designed with enough pigment.

Overall, I do really like these and can see myself purchasing more of them in the future. I hope NYX releases more colors so I'm not just buying the rest of the reds!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Project Pan | Makeup Freeze Until 2015

I've seen a ton of YouTubers do their ProjectPan updates lately and I totally want to do one. I have so much stuff sitting around that I'll never finish if I don't consciously think about what I'm using. I have a habit of bouncing around from product to product without any sort of rhyme or reason to it. So, this post is to hold me accountable! They're not any sort of exciting products by any stretch, but they're products that I need OUT of my life (or in some cases, just to use up and repurchase at a later date). I will post some things I intend to finish by January 1, 2015 below. I am also holding myself accountable not to purchase anything new until 2015 (excluding subscription boxes). Except that Ulta is having double points, and that's a problem... STAY STRONG. STAY STRONG. My birthday is in December, and Christmas is just a week or so later, so I don't have long to hold on.

I'll be sure to tell you how used they are, and how much I have left to go, and I'll post an update in November to show the difference.

 It's a 10 Miracle Leave in Product
I should have put this in my September favorites. It's fantastic. I love it to pieces. I want the full size (this is a sample that was given to me with purchase), but I need to finish the sample. It's lasted me a long time and as you can see by the mark (ignore the product sloshing around, I had to tilt it to get a picture of the mark), I've still got a good ways to go. Hopefully I finish this by 2015! I will definitely repurchase. It makes my hair feel very soft and healthy.

Avon Vanilla Moisturizing Shower Gel
There's nothing wrong with this shower gel. It smells good and has a nice lather. I just prefer my Philosophy body washes. I have two of those to get through, and I've promised myself I have to use this Avon one first. I didn't start consistently using it for awhile, so as you can see, there's only about 1/4 of it gone. But I do plan on using it consistently so I can move it out.

Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick: Juicy Peach
This was a hand-me-down from a friend of mine (who was very adamant to tell me she had NO DISEASES!) who had too many of the Neutrogena lipsticks, and she said she didn't reach for these very often. I think the peach is a pretty nude color for work. I'll definitely throw it into the mix much more often. I haven't tried this enough to give it much of a review or have much of an opinion on it, but I'll be sure to do that soon.

Aerie Botanicals Moisturizing Body Lotion: Coconut & Vanilla Bean
Love me some Vanilla smells. This is pretty much the entire bottle I was given as a gift with purchase, and I know it's probably not really realistic to say I'll finish it. But I want to put a good dent in it, at least. It's a great body lotion and it smells pretty good.

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm
If I can never receive another Carmex product in my existence, I will be happy. It's semi-effective, don't get me wrong, but the goop and the taste just turns me off. Even this seemingly much better application method is gross as all hell. As you can see, I don't have a lot left, but I will be more than happy to say goodbye to this. I have a CO Bigelow Lip Balm I want to start using, and this is standing in the way.

Suave Professional Volumizing Conditioner
This does nothing for my hair. It's ridiculous. I bought it hoping it would, but it doesn't do squat. I have a whole new bottle in my bathroom cabinet. I'll use that up, too, if I can. It's crazy. That tiny black mark on the side is showing how much I have left (and ignore the dog photobomb). I'm hoping that we'll get rid of this very, very soon.

So that's six products I'm hoping to make some headway on. Perhaps I will allow myself

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Kat Von D Studded Lipsticks Holiday Set Swatches!

Even though the Kat Von D lipstick set wasn't what I set out to purchase from Sephora, I was extremely happy with them. Despite the fact that they're small, you get a lot of product for $39, especially considering that one lipstick costs $21.

As I've mentioned, these are small. This is the tube lined up to my finger, which is a little longer than the lipstick.

I don't have a regular KVD studded tube to compare the lipstick to, but you can pretty much tell how little the bullet is just against my hand. It still rolls up with enough product, but it is miniature. 

Agatha, Lovecraft, Sexer, Adora
From bottom: Agatha, Lovecraft, Sexer, Adora

Wonderchilde, Motorhead, Bachelorette, Hexagram, Countess.
From bottom: Wonderchild, Motorhead, Bachelorette, Hexagram, Countess.

Unlike a favorite lipsticks post, I can't comment on these at all. At the time of swatching, this was a first impression. At present posting time, I've worn only Sexer. I can say that these are pretty dry when swatched. Obviously, you can tell which ones drag because it was really difficult to make my swatches look nice and smooth. I also didn't want to make large swatch boxes because of the small amount of product.

These will probably perform like a MAC matte, which are on the drier side. I've read multiple reviews saying that the colors apply patchy, but I haven't been able to try any of these more matte shades on my lips. I will have more to say about these in my monthly lip post because I do plan on wearing some of these shades.

I wanted to buy this set because I liked eight of the nine colors. I'm sure you can tell that Agatha, the lightest nude, is not my cup of tea. It's possible that I'll try it, but I can't say when I would wear it.

I think my favorites are going to be: Sexer, Adora, Bachelorette, Hexagram, and Countess. I'm excluding Motorhead because it looks super patchy and reviews say that it translates like that to the lips. Wonderchilde appears sheer and patchy. Agatha and Lovecraft are not really my style.

All in all, I think I would rate this set about a B+ because most of the colors are nice and there is a variety of finish. I do with there were a couple different color combinations available, but I'm happy with the colors I have. I think the set is a solid value because it is $39 and I would never purchase a $21 lipstick, which is why I typically stick with MAC and lower end brands.

The packaging on the other hand, I would rate as a C- for this reason alone...

The top of the lipstick sticks out of the bullet, which makes putting the cap back on an instant hassle. In one moment, you could decapitate your lipstick.

I also noticed that these actually come out of the bullet quite easily. I don't know if this has anything to do with the fact that they're sample sized, but the lipstick came right out. I didn't even need to put much effort into it. I know for a fact that my MAC lipsticks don't do this unless there's a dramatic change in temperature. I'm obviously not going to be pulling my lipsticks out of the bullets, but I thought this was something that I should shine some light on just in case.

My First Haul: NYX Butter Lipsticks (First Impression/Swatches/Etc)

From Left to Right: Taffy, Sweet Tart, Fizzies, Little Susie, Fireball, Mary Janes, and Pops.
After reading Reggie's favorite lipsticks post, she convinced me to get some NYX butter lipsticks on sale at Ulta. I got 7 of them, and let me tell you, swatching them was like a rite of passage. I got NERVOUS over it. There's something about a brand new lipstick that looks pretty and like, "oh, so this is what my money was spent on" rather than, "oh, here's a tiny nub of red stuff that I've used." So, I sucked it up and swatched.

L-R: Taffy, Sweet Tart, Fizzies, Little Susie

L-R: Fireball, Mary Janes, and Pops
I can say right off that these aren't drying or icky feeling. Some lip products I use are just gunky and feel weird. But I was impressed with these. I like that they're glossy rather than matte (I'll eventually try some mattes, but for right now, I'm just venturing into colors other than nudes), and I like the color variety I ended up getting.

My favorites so far are Mary Janes, Fireball, and Sweet Tart. Well, I basically LOVE every one except Pops and Taffy. Taffy ended up being too pink for me. It looks almost bubblegum-y, and I'm not a fan of that type of color. Pops is pretty, and I don't hate it. It's not as dark/pigmented as I expected, I think, but it definitely isn't BROWN like the package indicates. I was nervous about that when I saw it, and was pleasantly surprised when I swatched it.

These are bold but safe colors to try out in order to venture into the world of "lipsticks that aren't nude". I'll be excited to try some! I work tomorrow morning, so I'll give either Mary Janes or Sweet Tart a try, and then I'll see if they have staying power. For the price, though, I'm really pleased and pleasantly surprised. No one goes through lipsticks in a crazy-fast timeframe, and this was a great way to "start" my collection and see what I truly will and won't use.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Subscription Addiction | My Last BB5

Sigh. I'm so glad this is my last experience with BeautyBox5. It was a waste of $12 a month, honestly. I'm beyond frustrated with how hit or miss it was. This is my last month since I canceled in September. They didn't make me regret my decision at all.  I will say I was happy with one product in here. The others were either 'meh' or way off the mark.

Product #1: Lashem Picture Perfect Instant Wrinkle Reducer 
Let me say that I get why people would like this. I really do. But I don't... need this? They say you can use it as a primer if you're not concerned with wrinkles, but why would I use a wrinkle reducer as a primer when I can... I don't know, use a primer?! Fail.

Product #2: Extend Your Beauty Cosmetic Tool
I will say that I saw this on Shark Tank and was excited about it then. It's definitely cool to have this on hand. I will use it. I think they called it the Spatty Daddy? But yes, I'm cool with this. It's a nifty tool I never would have purchased for myself and it's useful.

Product #3: Chapstick Hydration Lock
Reggie got this in her Birchbox as an extra, and she said she liked it, so I'll keep it and try it out as a lip primer. We'll see. I'm not blown away, but it's all right, I guess.

Product #4: Nanacoco Nail Polish in Mermaid Dreams
The thing that weirds me out is all the sticky polish on the side of this. Look at that! It looks USED. You can see little specks on the top too. The color isn't all that bad, but considering I wasn't a fan of the Nanacoco lipgloss I got from BB5, I'm not about to jump for joy with such a... vibrant color? And it still concerns me that the nail polish was all over the freakin' bottle.

Product #5: Bellapierre Cheek and Lip Stain in Pink
I just don't have a use for this. It may be great for someone out there, since Bellapierre is apparently a nice brand. This sort of thing is weird to me. Kind of like the wrinkle reducer slash primer. Use it for what it was intended to be used for... or make it useful for one thing. I know right off that I wouldn't be cool with the application, and that sort of sticky texture on my cheeks? Not really. This may be a great product for someone other than me, but... nope.

I really feel like I'm hating on BB5 unnecessarily. But with piss-poor response times from customer service, boxes that barely recoup the $12/month price (if they do at all), and products that are underwhelming, I'd rather save that $12.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Subscription Addiction: Julep Maven

So, here's the thing: Julep is my new obsession. It's hard to argue with the idea of getting some really awesome nail polish every month. Here's the tough part. The Maven box is $24.99 a month. I love Julep nail polishes, and I love that they also include something fun (a full sized face serum? YES.), but yikes. That pricetag is a little bit of a shocker. I did get my first Maven box ("welcome box") for just the price of shipping. I also got my October box already!

I have also traded for a ton of Julep polishes on eDivv or purchased them on Yerdle. Here's a picture of my Julep collection so far:

The colors on these are gorgeous. My beauty profile says I'm "Classic With a Twist" (accurate) but the colors on the other profiles are so much fun, too! I mean, "America" (second from the top on the left) is perfect for July 4! Would I ever use it otherwise? No. But is it still gorgeous? Heck yeah!

I'm so excited to get more into Julep. I'm becoming a Julep addict. To me, the price of the monthly box is worth it, especially for the bonus items that come inside. This month, it was a face mask. Last time, I got a fabulous topcoat.

Basically, just give me Julep and we'll all be okay. I'll be posting some fun nail designs in the next few days, since the school I work at is on fall break, and I'm sure I'll eventually get sick of this Model Co Nail polish fail.

Empties | September 2014!

So apparently I have a ton of empties for the month and had no idea? Let me get right into it, because I have a lot to talk about!

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
I'll spare you a third raving about this from me. I said it in my favorites, I said it in my Birchbox unboxing for the month... it's great. I love it. I have a backup. I will continue to love it forever.

MAC Zoom Lash Mascara (Sample)
Reggie gave me a sample of this years ago, and I remember loving it, so I purchased one off Yerdle for 50 credits and $2 shipping. Thank God, because this mascara ended up being the WORST. It's because it was made in 2008 and was probably used before. The person swindled me, and I've learned my lesson about mascaras without checking up on the person's reputability first. I'm just glad my red, itchy, watery eyes are no more.

Davines OI Shampoo (Sample - Not pictured)
The shampoo worked okay. It made my hair feel clean. I don't have much to say about it other than "it was a shampoo", so I probably won't repurchase.

Davines OI Conditioner (Sample - not pictured)
The conditioner did make my hair feel very soft. However, the full size of this product is too rich for my blood. Thanks but no thanks. The sample packet gave me three good uses, and I will remember them fondly.

La Fresh Oil Free Makeup Remover Wipes (Sample)
These worked well on everything except waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Granted, I guess that's the purpose of waterproof mascara and eyeliner. But, I wiped my face down with these and it got all of my foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, etc off. When I would look at a cloth after using it, it was filthy. So again, it did its job. Was I blown away by these? Not really. Would I repurchase? I'd consider it. I'm sure there's a comparable brand out there. Makeup wipes aren't something I've found a Holy Grail Brand for yet, so I'll keep an open mind.

K6 Skincare Clean Antioxidant Facial Cleanser (Sample - not pictured)
Things I like about this product: no stinging if it accidentally gets in your eyes. Vegan. Cruelty-free. Doesn't have a crazy smell. Cleans well. Many uses out of the sample. Things I didn't like about this product: pretty much everything else. Honestly, I prefer a cleanser to lather a little bit. Just so I know where I'm cleaning and where I've missed. I also think it was a little drying for my skin. It wasn't anything too crazy, but it was drying. I probably wouldn't repurchase, since I already have two cleansers I love that work great for me.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
This is one of two of my go-to cleansers. It lathers well, makes my face feel moisturized and clean, and doesn't get stingy all up in my eyeballs. It cleans my face well and I love using it with my Clarisonic. It's $38, which is really, really steep, but it lasts forever and works so well that I would seriously consider repurchasing.

Bath & Body Works Mango Mandarin Bubble Bath
I decided to take a bubble bath one night and finished this sucker off. It bubbled quite nicely and smelled incredible. It was after a long and stressful day and I was so pleased to just fill the tub up with the mango-y smell and relax. This didn't smell too citrus-y, but just enough to perk up my senses just a little.

Cover Girl Exact Eyelights Mascara
By the end of the day, there was some major flakeage with this product. My mom gets me one of these every Christmas, and I'm always 'meh' about it. What's with the exact eyelights deal? It's just... mascara. Black mascara that doesn't do anything to wow people with my beautiful chocolate brown eyes or anything. It's plain old black mascara and I wasn't blown away by it.

Secret Outlast Gel Antipersperant
I usually prefer gel deodorant, but I prefer the deodorant I got in my VoxBox better when it comes to controlling my sweaty self. I felt clean with this. It did its job wonderfully. I have a backup and would repurchase it. I think maybe it's just a situational use instead of every single day? Maybe when I go to work or class, this will work, but when I take a Pure Barre class, the other one will work? Who knows.

Philosophy Miracle Worker Anti Aging Moisturizer for Blemish Prone Skin (Sample)
This worked really well. It made my skin feel really really soft. I got 3-4 uses out of the tiny package. Would I repurchase? Probably not. It's too expensive for me. But if someone gave it to me as a gift, I'd be incredibly thrilled to use it again.

Makeup Forever Artist Shadow (Sample)
I like this brand a lot from what I was able to try. The shadows stayed on all day and the colors were beautiful. I like that it told me how to apply it to get a pretty look.  I hope I get the opportunity to try more shadows from this brand because I really enjoyed them!

Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel
This stuff paired with the after shave lotion stuff is awesome. I prefer it as opposed to shaving cream or similar for that area. I rarely get bumps when I use this and a really good razor and I would definitely repurchase, since it's a reasonable price and works well.

The ones that weren't pictured were at my boyfriend's place, but believe me, I used them. I had a lot more empties than I thought I did! A lot of products I used up this month were 'meh' products, or products someone had given to me as a gift that I wasn't thrilled with. There were some good ones in there, though, so it will be interesting to see what October has in store in regards to empties!

Sephora Mini Haul + Unboxing!

Boom. Look what I got in the mail! This isn't going to be huge haul. I technically only bought two things, which were holidays sets. 

Here's my unboxed Sephora order! My two holiday sets are underneath all the samples. I also got my birthday gift from Make Up For Ever and a mini Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara.

Here's a better view of my two holiday sets. This is actually the only picture of the box my Kat Von D lipsticks came in because I opened them immediately.

Ooooh. That Tarte palette! This was seriously the only thing I was going to buy at Sephora, but it was $42 and I needed $50 for free shipping and then I just happened upon those Kat Von D lipsticks...

There are 3 matte colors and 2 shimmery colors. I'll do a full swatchfest of the colors later. Embraced and Bashful, the second and fourth colors, are the shimmery ones and the others are matte. I don't think there's a standout color as one I wouldn't wear. I'm especially loving the look of Breathless and Bashful, as those are the colors I've been reaching for lately.

All nine of my Kat Von D lipsticks! I was super stoked for this mini set because it was $39 and just one of the studded lipsticks are $21. These lipsticks are itty bitty, but I knew that when I ordered them. Of course they weren't going to value pack and price full size tubes. I was kind of surprised at just how small they turned out being, but I'm sure it will still take a long time to finish them.

You can see that the awesome studded tube is shorter than my finger, and I have pretty small hands.

Next is my birthday gift for being a Beauty Insider. I was really excited that it was from MUFE, because I've never tried the brand. 

The mini set includes a sample mascara and a sample lipstick. I can't comment on the performance of either because this is my unboxing and I haven't tried anything yet.

The lipstick is teeny and has the same amount of product as the small Kat Von D lipsticks. I can already tell the color is more of an every day one, but I'm sure I'll get some use out of it.