Sunday, May 24, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Birchbox Backup - April 2015

Product #1: POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio - Peach Parfait
I am really excited about this little trio, actually. The colors are pretty and I'm excited to try them. I'm including them in a Shop My Stash thing in the next few days, too. I love the swatches I tried on this - they're sparkly without making me feel like Tinkerbell fairy dust is on my eyes. They're really pigmented and pretty.

Product #2: Real Chemistry Luminous 3 minute Peel
This worked really, really well. I used it and originally I wasn't a fan. But the more I scrubbed, the more dead skin came off. My face is really soft right now and it didn't turn it bright beet red. It didn't break me out and I will definitely invest in a full size of this at some point.

Product #3: Paula's Choice RESIST 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment
I haven't tried this, but I usually don't use spot treatment as an everyday product. I want to start using up my samples, so maybe this is one I can get in on. I don't know much about it other than to say, I'm kind of 'meh' on this one!

Product #4: Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo
I've never heard of the Beaver brand before. I like getting shampoo and conditioner samples, so we will give it a shot. It's a decent sized sample, too, so I'm pleased to have it and excited to try it. I'm interested in the moisturizing claims of it.

Product #5: Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Repairing Conditioner
I really like repairing conditioners because they generally make my hair feel quite soft and they tend to do what they're supposed to do. My hair doesn't feel dry or crunchy with them, generally, and it also doesn't feel oily or weighed down. I haven't tried this yet, just as I haven't tried its shampoo counterpart, but I will give it a shot.

Overall, I think this was a pretty good box. The box itself was gorgeous too, and I kept it to hold some of my stash in!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Perfectly Posh | Haul & Mini-Review

So I recently ordered some items from Perfectly Posh, a Direct Sales website that sells skin care and body/bath items. I was really excited to try this stuff out, especially because I had heard really good things about them.

First and foremost, I want to disclose that I am a Direct Sales person myself. Perfectly Posh doesn't compete with Jamberry in terms of "We sell the same product, so I'm giving this a bad review for the sake of a bad review", but some of the opinions I have of the company and the products come from my experience with Jamberry. I also want to say that I will be including prices on some of these things, because I think it's relevant to share what I paid for it in relation to the size I received. Anyway. ONWARD.

First, I will talk about the party experience. The party was on Facebook, and it was for a friend of mine (and Reggie's) as a fundraiser. This friend had thrown a party with Jamberry as a fundraiser as well, so I thought it was only appropriate to return the favor, especially for the good cause. I also knew it gave me a chance to review some products and to get some fun stuff for myself. So it was a win-win. The consultant at the party was very fun and lively. I will say that she didn't provide much information about the products at all except for bits and pieces in answered questions, and to inform us about a buy 5 get 1 free deal. But she was definitely enthusiastic and fun.

The day of the party comes, and we played a few games. There was an unscramble word game, a "What's your Posh name?" game, and then a scavenger hunt. The Scavenger Hunt, which I won, earned me a free lip balm. After I placed my order, I will say that the consultant never thanked me for my order. She did pitch throwing a party for all of my friends, but in all sincerity, I want my friends to have a different experience. It's like as soon as I pulled out my credit card, the interaction stopped. I don't mean to be entirely critical, but that's where my bias comes in. I try really hard to make my parties fun and engaging for everyone, and I love making a big deal of when people order. I tag them in a Facebook post and compliment their choices. It makes people feel like their money is well-spent, especially if some of it is commission going to the consultant.

Anyway. Here's what I got:

Product #1: Make-Out Magic Sugar Lip Scrub | $14, 0.5 oz
I tried this on my lips and it felt nice. I will say that some parts of it felt scrubbier than others, if that makes any sense whatsoever. It feels good on my lips and it feels moisturizing. It feels like I won't have to reapply after an hour. But I will also say that for a "Lip Scrub", I expected a little more... scrub. Not really a complaint, but I do wish I got more scrub when I dipped my finger in for the first time. It smells really good, though, The website says it's grapefruit vanilla scented. I can smell tiny hints of both of those, but neither is overpowering by any stretch.

Product #2: Calm Down! Oatmeal & Banana Face Mask | $16, 2 oz
Admittedly, when I opened up the box and saw this, I was disappointed in the size. The Body Shop sells face masks that are about 3.5 oz for this price or a little under, so I was expecting a little bigger. However, it smells incredible. I left it on my face for about 7-8 minutes, since the instructions said between 5-10 minutes. It started tingling a little toward the end, but nothing super intense, and no burning or itching. When it started to tingle, I rinsed. It was tough to rinse off. It reminded me of when I bake and I get frosting all over my hands, and how hard that is to wash off. It took a good minute and a half-two minutes to rinse. And I will say I was a little disappointed that I got out of the shower, sat around for a few minutes, and my face was in desperate need of moisturizer. I probably wouldn't repurchase this, given the size and the price as well as how 'meh' I am about it other than the smell.

Product #3: Wakey! Wakey! Skin Stick | $13, 0.5 oz
This is definitely interesting. It smells like peppermint, which is interestingly nice. I thought the smell of peppermint would turn me off, but I did enjoy it. I tried rubbing it on my forehead, and it didn't seem to do much. Granted, I didn't apply it as liberally as the instructions say, but it didn't get rid of my dull headache. The website claimed this was great for energy, tension, and headaches. So tomorrow morning when I drag my sorry butt out of bed at 6:30 AM, I'll give it another fair shot.

Product #4: Good Morning, Beautiful! Big Bath Chunk Bar | 7 oz, $9
The price on this is really good compared to the price on the other things. The bar is substantial, and it seems like it would last a long time. Apparently you can use this from head to toe, which means you can also use it as a shampoo? I think I read that somewhere. I don't quite think I would go that far with it, but it's nice to have a big hunk of soap that smells pretty good. The scent on this one is supposed to be lemon and green tea. The lemon isn't super strong, which is nice. When I used it, I could only really smell the lemon. It does lather up really well and it seems like it would last a long time.

Product #5: I've Been Set Up Makeup Setting Mist | 4 oz, $13
I will freely admit that I bought this 1) because I didn't have a makeup setting spray, and 2) because the website said it smelled like chocolate. When I open it up and take a whiff, it smells strongly of mint. Which is fine, but where is my chocolate? I can't speak to how well this works in setting makeup, because I just took my makeup off, as you can tell by the fact that I said I tried the oatmeal mask in the shower. But I will try it tomorrow and see.

Product #6: The Healer Shea Butter in a Tin | 0.6 oz, $10
I haven't tried this yet, mainly because it's a remedy butter for burns, bites, dry skin, etc. But knowing me and the amount of random bug bites and sunburns I get, this will be handy to have around. I really do want to give it an honest shot before I review it. We will see.

Product #7: Scrumptious Sunshine Lip Balm | 0.08 oz, $4
I won this in a party game, so I didn't pay $4 for this. I would pay $4, though. It smells like oranges, and it's not an off putting orange. The lip balm itself is hydrating, not too sticky, and easy to apply. The smell is not overpowering and it's about the size of a drugstore lip balm or similar item.

Product #8: Walk on the Beach Pedicure Grade Sand Scrub | Free Sample, 0.15 oz
This was a sample included in my order. It was really nice to open my package up and see this! I love samples and I love trying new things, especially a foot scrub! It says it's a beachy scent, which is white frangipani, jasmine, and plum. I opened it up and I was dying to figure out whether I could smell the plum; I've never owned a beauty product that smelled like plum before! I will say that I was so excited that it was a SCRUB. It had sandy stuff in it and I SCRUBBED my feet. It smelled amazing! I could definitely smell the jasmine. I would probably purchase a full size of this if it were easier to get a hold of.

I will also say that the shipping is pretty hefty. $8 shipping is kind of bonkers, especially if you're just getting a couple of things. Yeah, $8 shipping for all of those items seems legit. But if you're getting one face scrub or one soap, $8 is insane, Granted, if you spend $100, you get free shipping, but I couldn't justify spending $20 more to save $8. I'm sorry. I'm not sure how new Perfectly Posh is as a company, but they may want to look into getting their shipping costs down. Even Amazon ships for less than that, and they're notorious for shipping things in absurdly, comically large packages.

So, overall I was pleased with some aspects of my purchase and not so pleased with others. I may try more items from Perfectly Posh in the future, but I will be sure to maximize my purchases to make it worth the shipping cost. I do want to try some more of the lip balms, and the chunk bars. Maybe even some of the masks. I've heard good and bad things about the Stripper and the Sea Witch, but considering their warnings for sensitive skin possessors, I figured it would be best to pass for me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Birchbox Backup - March 2015

Product #1: Embryolisse Lait creme concentre
This is a nice face lotion. It's not drying, but I wouldn't call it super moisturizing, either. It says it's for all skin types, which makes it a problem. My skin is way way dry. I need the crazy moisturizing and hydrating products. That's the only way I can really keep up with my skin. But, this does its job and I keep it at boyfriend's place so I can moisturize after the shower. I was just glad to get rid of that Mereadesso cream that I used for forever.

Product #2: Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
I like this product. It isn't my holy grail status product, but it works and I like it. It smells good and it does its job. It was a decent sample size, as well. I've seen a lot from the Beauty Protector brand, and I've heard only good things. So I will continue to use it and see how it goes.

Product #3: Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Angel Kiss
So this is a deep purple. Not even kidding; it's a deep wine-y purple color. I don't want to swatch it because I know I can't use it, and I want to pass it on to someone who can. Here's the problem. I know that many people can get away with using tons of shades, whether they're everyday wearable or not. The problem is that I'm in education. My principal wouldn't be thrilled with a counselor with purple lips. 

Product #4: Harvey Prince Sincerely
You know how much I love my Harvey Prince! This is an interesting scent - it's a bit spicier, so to speak, than Hello. But I really do like it. I haven't found a Harvey Prince scent I hate yet, so this is a good way to continue on that road.

Product #5: Jelly Pong Pong GLOW GETTER Highlighter
So this is strange. I thought it was a nail polish. It's in a nail polish packaging, like one of those old Bon Bons nail polishes I bought with my allowance in the 90s. I'm not sure how I feel about the product itself though. I just don't know if I would use it.

So this was a 'meh' box for me. I think I'm being picky, but I also think... if something's not wearable or usable, why not be a little bummed?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Boxycharm Backup - April 2015

This is the Boxycharm I have been most excited about in FOREVER. So thanks for that, Boxycharm.

April 2015 Boxycharm: April Bloom

Product #1: Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette
I love the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette, and while the Revealed 2 Palette has several very similar colors, I really do love this palette too. One thing that I appreciate about the Revealed palettes is how many colors there are, and how wearable they are. They aren't bright tangerine, or neon green, or anything strange. I haven't had a chance to try these out yet, but I will soon.

Product #2: OFRA Derma Mineral Powder
I don't know about this one, guys. It's so pink and sparkly, that it's just not for me at first glance. But I will for sure give it a shot. I do need to branch out, and this is an incredible value and I've heard really good things about this product anyway.

Product #3: Vincent Longo Duo Lip Pencil in Lavender Lite/Grape
This went up on eDivv for sure. While the purples are gorgeous, I don't wear purple lipstick. That's the thing about this - if the colors were different, I would definitely give them a shot. But the colors are either purple or bright Barbie pink and I can't get away with those types of colors.

Product #4: Coolway Smoothing Lotion
This is another one of those "Not really useful to me" products. Sure, I'm glad to have this, but it's not something I oohed and ahhhed over when I opened it. I'll give it a shot and see how it works. Can't hurt to try.

Product #5: Harvey Prince Mini Roller Fragrance in Signature
At first this was really disappointing because as much as I love Harvey Prince, I didn't need a third backup of "Hello". But this apparently is the signature scent. So that's a lot better. It smells good and it's in a rollerball size, which means it didn't show up half empty.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Huge Bath & Body Works Haul

I recently hauled a bunch of items from Bath & Body Works. I had a couple coupons, a gift card, and a $10 off voucher from PayPal. There are actually a couple things missing because this is a collective haul. There's three candles that I didn't want to fish out and three body mists that are hanging out in various purses. 

We're moving back in with Shaun's mom at the end of the month, so I wanted to buy some soaps since they were 5 for $18 on sale. She's the kind of person that dilutes hand soap to make it last longer and I'd rather just bring my own. This was also part one of the hand sanitizer haul.

I like to keep hand sanitizer in my apron at work so my hands are always clean, but I also keep one in my bathroom because I touch my phone a lot during my night time routine and pop a little on so my hands aren't germy when I touch my face. I think I'm actually missing a couple in this picture because when I took it, there was one in my purse and one that was already empty.

I've been trying to use lotion every time I shower, so I've already killed one of these and another is almost gone. I don't think I'll have trouble finishing these up and there are a couple other scents I'm considering because I got a coupon for the semi-annual sale. 

These are little mini lotions that I keep in my purse and my apron. They smell really good and they have aloe in them. The lotion also absorbs quickly so I don't have to worry about having sticky hands at work.

I bought some mini fragrance mists for my purse, mainly to spray all over the place after I go to the gym. I've also been keeping one in the bathroom and I sometimes take them in my purse just in case. I'm missing the Maui and Kauai one that I bought after smelling those lotions.

I went a little ham on scrubs for some reason, but they were buy 3 get 3 free and I realized how fast I was plowing through the first one I bought. I definitely don't regret buying so many because they will definitely get used. I can use a good summer scent all year round, but winter scents are a different story.

Last but not least, my candles. There's also three more from a past order. I have plenty of candles, but there's still more scents that I want. I burn candles in my place all the time and I recently finished up five candles, so there's room for more!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Boxycharm Backup - March 2015

Honestly, in opening this one, I didn't even remember what I thought of it. It was that point in the semester where I had 400 things due at once, and I was working 14 hour days, and I was so freaking exhausted that I didn't remember a single thing from March.

March 2015 Boxycharm: Lucky Charm

Product #1: Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo Spray
I want to try this. I really do. Dry shampoo is frustrating for me, because it doesn't usually work on me. But I will give it an honest and fair shot before I write it off as "it sucks" like every other brand I've ever tried. Plus, Oscar Blandi is a pretty awesome name in beauty, so it's not like this isn't quality stuff.

Product #2: OFRA Eyeliner in Navy
Am I boring if I just don't see a use for eyeliners that aren't brown or black? At least not in my life, at this point. I've seen it swatched, and it's less of a navy and more of a royal blue, which is just too intense for me. I'm passing this on to someone else.

Product #3: LVX Nail Lacquer
This nail polish needs 2-3 coats, and it's super streaky. I'm really not a fan. It's possible that someone else may enjoy it, but I'm not usually a huge fan of the Boxycharm nail polishes. It's just the truth. So, I'm 'meh' about this.

Product #4: Tarte Tip Surgence Lip Tint in Charmed
I love Tarte products, and this one's no different. People say it's a little minty, and I can see that, I suppose. I just like how it's really hydrating and it's wearable. It's a wearable shade that I can pull off and I don't have to fight feeling whiny or disappointed over a simply unwearable shade.

Product #5: Previse Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic
I haven't used this yet. Universal things scare me, because they're usually not good for my skin. I don't say that to be like, 'Oh, my skin is more special than yours', but everyone is different. I have super-duper dry skin. If I have wicked dry skin, obviously it's not going to react the same to this tonic as someone with oily or combination skin. So, I'm hesitant, but I will report back.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Birchbox Backup - February 2015

Here we have another photo of a not-my-actual Birchbox, but I can say that it looks just like mine! I love the designs this year, and it's nice to see something other than plain,boring brown boxes. Onward!

Product #1: COOLA Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint
Now that summer is here, I'm excited to try this. I don't know if it is in fact unscented, but I'm game to try it. Hopefully it works and I'm stoked about the SPF. We shall see.

Product #2: Marcelle Gentle Makeup Remover For Sensitive Eyes
Just from the bottle, this reminds me a little of my Philosophy Just Release Me eye makeup remover. I can't wait to give it a shot. Anything is better than my Body Shop eye makeup remover that doesn't remove makeup at all.

Product #3: theBalm Cosmetics Read my Lips Lip Gloss in BAM!
The color on this is really pretty. It is really sticky, though. I love theBalm as a brand, so I was a tiny bit disappointed that it was so sticky. But I plan to try mixing it with other stuff or figuring out a way to make it less sticky. Hopefully it works, because it is really pretty.

Product #4: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
I have been sent a crap ton of exfoliants lately. It's ridiculous. This one is just going to sit there for awhile until I finish up the others. Doesn't look any different than the others. No more special than a regular old exfoliant. We shall see. I'll update you if it's some amazing life-changing stuff.

Product #5: BeeKind Conditioner
This conditioner didn't do anything amazing for my hair. I do like that it's made with more natural ingredients, and it smells really good. But other than that it wasn't anything exciting except supporting bees or the increase of the bee population or something? I'd like to try the shampoo, but I'm not totally and completely blown away.

This box was 'meh', but I'm excited to try some of the products I haven't had a chance to try yet.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Birchbox Backup - January 2015

Aaand we've made it to this year in Birchbox! My Birchbox is now in the closet with my other "Shop my Stash" boxes (I'll get to that in a few posts), so that's why I'm using this photo blatantly stolen from Google. AND HERE WE GO.

Product #1: Harvey Prince Hello Body Creme
I actually traded for this on eDivv forever ago, and I love it. Stoked to have a backup. I love Harvey Prince's stuff, so this makes me pretty happy.

Product #2: Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal Eye & Face
I haven't had the opportunity to try this yet, but I did put it in my "Shop My Stash" box for May, so I'll let you know how it does. It seems like one of those samples that looks bigger than it is because the cover is long and the bottle itself is short. But I may be completely incorrect and I may be pleasantly surprised.

Product #3: Neil George Shampoo
I used this up and I actually really liked it. It smelled fresh and clean, and it cleaned my hair well. It didn't weigh my hair down, it didn't do anything particularly funky to it, and it lathered well.  I can't say I'm going to run out and buy the full size, but possibly with Birchbox shop points.

Product #4: Neil George Conditioner
This one's really nice on my hair. It doesn't feel tangled or greasy when I use it. Apparently it's also paraben free? Anyway. I have a crapton of conditioners to use up, so this isn't a must-have at the moment, but I did enjoy this and would possibly repurchase.

Product #5: Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner
It isn't Olive Green, which makes me say that it's good. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, since I've been pretty busy using up other eyeliners. But at this point if it isn't an unusable, ugly color, we're good. I've been getting a LOT of eyeliners lately, especially from Birchbox, so I changed my settings up a bit so maybe I wouldn't be getting so many.

All in all this box was pretty good. Nothing superb, but nothing terrible. Pretty much what I would expect from a Birchbox. Pleasant surprises with nothing I truly hated.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Birchbox Backup - December 2014

In addition to my Boxycharm, I have Birchbox to catch up with. Lots. Same amount's worth. So let me say this. I've liked Birchbox and Boxycharm equally for their different purposes. Birchbox lets me try little samples, and Boxycharm gives me full sized products I'm more likely to continue using. They both rock equally in different ways and I'm excited to review some of the products I've tried.

Product #1: Amika Nourishing Mask
This made my hair feel SO pretty. So soft, smelled incredible. I'm still using it up, but I love it. It's something I'd definitely consider purchasing. The sample size was pretty good, as well. I've used it twice and I can get one or two more uses out of it. I'm definitely impressed with it.

Product #2: Lord & Berry Paillettes Glitter Eye Pencil in Black
I was going through a period where all I got was eyeliner. I also don't do glitter. So this wasn't awesome for me. Plus, it's barely the size of my pinky finger, so I wasn't thrilled with this one. Put it up for trade on eDivv. Doubt anyone will want it, but I tried.

Product #3: Mirenesse Mattfinity Rouge in New York
Whoa, was this red. I didn't even swatch it because it was so crazy red. And matte. I prefer glossy, myself, and it just scared me a little, so I put it up on eDivv as well. I don't know much about it and I didn't swatch it, but it wasn't for me anyway.

Product #4: Rusk Texture Spray
I should give this a try. The reviews on it seem to be decent, especially with stick-straight hair havers like me. So it's quite possible that it could work for me. If it doesn't, oh well. But it may? I'll try it.

Product #5: TOCCA Crema de Mano - Cleopatra
This smells really good! It's a mix of cucumber and grapefruit, and it's light without being oppressive or offensive. So many lotions or hand cremes are so heavy or floral-y that they give me a headache. This one smells clean and fresh and it's the perfect size to carry in my purse.

December's box was one looking back that I was frustrated with when I opened it because of the lip rouge and the texture spray and the glittery eyeliner. But the hand creme and the hair mask made this box worth it for me. So overall, I can't hate on it.

Subscription Addiction | Boxycharm Backup - February 2015

I've made it past January, and on to February, another box with all of the products still sitting in it. 90% of days from January-April, I chose sleeping in instead of doing any makeup. Working and going to class from 6:45AM-9:30PM will do that to a person. But I digress. Summer is here, and with one job down and full time internship coming up, it's time to experiment. Here's what I got for February to play with:

February 2015 Boxycharm: Kisses From Boxycharm

Product #1: Modern Minerals Duo Fiber Mini Round Brush
I just took this brush out of its bag for the first time and holy crap is it soft. It's a beautiful brush -- just small enough to get in the creases but big enough to sweep across the eye and get some good coverage. It doesn't feel prickly or cheap, and I'm glad I got it in my Boxycharm, because I wouldn't pay $15 for it on my own. Not that it wouldn't be worth it or I don't think it's worth the price, it's just that $15 for a brush isn't something I would normally be able to justify.

Product #2: Mullein & Sparrow Mini Facial Mask
I haven't had the opportunity to try this yet, but it's really interesting. It's a powder that you mix with water to form a mask. It's all natural, organic ingredients and the sample bottle is deluxe -- but it's still one entire ounce. So that's really impressive for a sample. I'll be sure to report back and tell you how it is.

Product #3: ncLA Nail Lacquer in "Heart Attack"
I wasn't impressed by the NCLA lacquer last time, but this is pretty cute. It's got little glitter hearts in it that you can use as a top coat or an accent nail. I'll probably keep it around to use as an accent nail, although I can't see myself using it a whole heck of a lot.

Product #4: Jing Ai Velvet Shine Lip Jewel in Pink a Boo
This one's way too Barbie pink for me. It's a pretty color, but I prefer reds or salmons as opposed to "Barbie threw up on this" pink. I took a peek at the swatches online and they were super duper pink, so I just threw this one up on eDivv. I have plenty of lip products, and this one isn't one I will miss. Perhaps if it was a different color?

Product #5: Mistrua Beauty Solutions C-2-P Complexion Corrector
I haven't used it yet, but it's way expensive. I mean, $36 for something the size of a lipstick? It's apparently good for all skin tones, so we will find out. I'll try it in the next few days to see how it goes on. For that kind of money, it must work miracles.

This was a decent box. Overall, I'm impressed. The thing that consistently impresses me about Boxycharm is that I wouldn't spend money on these things for myself, but one thing in the box is usually double the value of the box itself. So it makes it worth the money for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Subscription Addiction | Boxycharm Backup - January 2015

Well, you guys, I've made it to this year in Boxycharm. Let's dive right in!

January 2015 Boxycharm: Celebrate in Style

So when I got this box, I remember being disappointed. Looking back, That's still pretty accurate? I mean, I guess some of these things are nice to have, but I'm not sure how much use I will get out of some of them. I'm not usually this "meh" on Boxycharm as a whole, but the stretch I went through at the end of the year-beginning of 2015 was disappointing.

Product #1: Beauty For Real: The Perfect Pencil
This lip pencil says on the box that it is the only lip pencil you'll ever need. Well, nah. It's a little dark (a brownish burgundy?), and I tend to wear brighter shades of lipstick and lip gloss than this. Not that it's not needed or wanted... but semantics, right? It's a nice shade if I were to wear something darker. But for right now I'm a little hesitant on when I would use it.

Product #2: Beauty For Real: True Color Lip Cream in "Always There"
Pros: This has a flashlight and a mirror on it in case you need to apply lip gloss in the dark. The lip gloss goes with the lip pencil, which is nice. It seems to stay well and it is very pigmented.
Cons: It's a little dark for my taste. It has a flashlight and a mirror on it in case... see, I think it's a little gimmicky. So it's a pro and a con. It's very sticky.
So as you can see, I'm unsure about this. The value of this lip gloss alone is more than the box itself, so yeah. Good value. We'll see if I use it.

Product #3: Mirabella Face Prime
Mirabella is a brand Boxycharm has included before, and I haven't tried the other product yet. But I will say that I like that they included a face primer. I don't have a full size face primer besides this one, so I will be sure to give it an honest shot before I hate on it. I like my Smashbox primer a lot, but I will put this one to the test.

Product #4: Pur-Lisse Skin Sparkle Flash Tattoos
W H Y. Just... why. I won't use them. They're under a bed or in a drawer somewhere, and I meant to put them in a "give away" box. They're not cute, and I don't do fake tattoos. They're like tribal-y looking while also being like fake necklaces, or something? I don't know. But I'm almost thirty. That isn't going to be a thing.

Product #5: Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum
I haven't tried this yet. I'm saving it for the summer, specifically because I don't need to be bronzed in January. It mentions it's for my face, but I'm terrified that it's going to make me look like I'm going out trying to dress up as Beyonce and not realizing that it's incredibly insensitive to do skin makeup that way. I will try it in an inconspicuous spot before I try it on my face, to see how much bronzier I will be.

So overall, this was probably my least favorite box. But I will say how excited I was to try some of the newer products in the other boxes. So I didn't give up hope on Boxycharm, with good reason!

Surprise Haul | Makeup from Reggie!

So I've been stressed out to the max lately. Basically I am either always working, sleeping, or in school, and I barely have the energy to play with my makeup. But Reggie was so sweet to send me a care package full of stuff that I can't wait to try! It quite literally made my day so special that day, and I hate that it has taken me so long to haul!

Okay! So let's get started on one of my favorite things in this package!

The Balm Nude 'Tude Palette

From top to bottom: Serious, Sexy, Sophisticated, Selfish, Stubborn, Sassy

From top to bottom: Sleek, Silly, Seductive, Sultry, Stand-offish (can't really see it), snobby (can't really see it)
These shadows are gorgeous. I think Sophisticated, Sexy, Sultry, and Stubborn are my favorites at the moment. I will be sure to post some looks with these now that I have some more time! This palette is GORGEOUS and I can't thank you enough, Reggie!

Sincerely by Harvey Prince

Humans, I have found my perfume designer. Harvey Prince stuff smells incredible. This and Hello have both been awesome, as has Ageless. I don't love this as much as I love Hello, but this is PERFECT for spring and summer! It's got a floral scent to it without being too perfumey, and I don't smell like the elderly woman who lives next door to me. It's not overpowering, but it's smell-able. Love.

MAC Lipstick in Fresh Salmon

This is actually much more pigmented than the picture shows.  I adoooore this shade. I will be wearing it a lot. For real. How pretty is that? It's the perfect blend of peachy and salmon and pink, without being too orange and without being Barbie Dream House Pink. Very, very pretty.

Pacifica Eyeshadow in Ethereal

That is the most gorgeous color right there. It looks great on my eyes, too. I haven't used it a ton, but I love it. Plus, I love Pacifica products in general. I'm trying to incorporate cruelty free products into my regimen, and this is a great way to do it. Pacifica products are ones I've never been disappointed in. This didn't disappoint, either!

Starlooks Lip Gloss: Guilty Pleasure | The Balm Lip Gloss: Read My Lips
Top: Starlooks Guilty Pleasure
Bottom: The Balm Read My Lips Lip Gloss

These colors are so pretty! They're right up my alley! The Balm one was actually one I received in my Birchbox for February (Which I'll get to posting eventually), and I liked the color a lot. They're a tiny bit sticky for my tastes, but I may mix them with something else to get that goop to go away. The colors are too pretty to waste!

Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette Samples

I feel like a turd because I can't find this to swatch individually (the hazards of living with a cat and a part-time dog who love to knock things off desks...), but I remember loving it. I did receive the Revealed 2 in a Boxycharm (which again, I'll get to posting eventually), and I have adored it. I will be using these samples up post haste. Once they're found. Probably under a bed or a nightstand. Doesn't mean I didn't love them.

Coastal Scents Liquid Eyeliner

I have never been a liquid eyeliner gal, but I love Coastal Scents, so this may be the product to convert me! I'm so excited to give it a shot. I've wanted to branch out a little with my makeup as well, so that will be the perfect way to do it! 

Benefit Fake-up Concealer

I have wanted to try this for sooooo looooong, and I finally get the chance to do so! I will get right on it, and I'm ashamed that I haven't yet. It's the perfect size for me to decide if I love it or not, and I'm so stoked to experiment. Very very pumped.

So, this was a really nice package to come home to that day. It's a late haul, but it's so appreciated. It made my day and continues to make my day when I use one of the products in it. So, thank you Reggie, for your kindness and thoughtfulness! 

Subscription Addiction | Boxycharm Backup - December 2014

It has been an age since I reviewed a Boxycharm. So I will do that now. I have 5-6 months worth of products still sitting in their boxes for the most part because I've been so busy. But that changes now. Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

December 2014 Boxycharm: Jingle Belles

So I remember this box being hit and miss. There were a couple of things in it that were 'meh' for me, but there was a clear hit in there as well.

Product #1:  Coastal Scents Revealed Palette
I am now the proud owner of a gazillion palettes, and I love it. For real, though, I do. The Revealed palette is gorgeous. To save on the ridiculous amount of pictures, I won't swatch the colors, but it's got tons of pretty browns, golds, and burnt colors in there. Some are glittery, some are not. There's a pretty good variety on them, and I've loved all the Coastal Scents items I've tried before. Their palettes are usually very good and the pigmentation on their shadows is usually right there. So I'm excited to give it a shot.

Product #2: Lina Lashes Luxury Mink Lashes
This was a nice value for the box, but I don't wear fake lashes. I just don't. I'm sure they're cool for someone who wears false lashes, but not for me. Just... a miss. A $30 value is really nice for someone who's into lashes, though.

Product #3: Mistura Beauty Solutions Retractable Beauty Brush
Retractable brushes aren't my thing. There's just something about them that I don't dig. I like the stability of my RealTechniques brushes, and even my BareMinerals brushes. But I will say that this one is very soft, and it's again, a great value for the box. Boxycharm doesn't play around for $21/month. This was a $19.99 value in and of itself, So it's something worth trying, for sure.

Product #4: Be a Bombshell Lip Product in Tango
I don't hate it. But I'm not sure about it. The lipstick wasn't damaged when I opened the box, but I opened it today to swatch, and the entire lipstick fell out. I can live with it, but I'm disappointed. It's a little bright for my taste, but I will definitely give it a go. I need to branch out. And I generally like Be a Bombshell products, so I'm sure this one won't be any different.

Product #5: Eva NYC Hairspray
I don't use hairspray. So this one was kind of a bummer for me! Not really into this one. I'm sure I can pass it along to someone who may want it though.

Overall, this was a great box. Not everything was super duper amazing, but I will definitely get some use out of the products and the value is IN.CRED.I.BLE. So, I'm excited.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April Monthly Favorites

I feel like the month of April was so long that I can't remember everything that I liked. There was just so much crap that I used in the beginning of the month and I don't know where March ended and April started. I've either used these things for most or all of the month or closer to the end of the month because it was so long. I also feel like I had a lot of no makeup or minimal makeup days, so that isn't helping. 

I've been in a pretty consistent skincare routine, so I'm getting bored of posting the exact same things that I use every day in every week or every month. That means maybe I'll post a skincare routine and maybe a daily makeup routine or something. I don't know if that would be interesting at all.

Shisheido Perfect Whip Foam: This has been my cleanser of choice lately, even though I've been trying to use up some others. Recently I decided to push this into the back of my cabinet because I really do need to use up things. I really like how thick this cleanser is and I prefer to use this with my Clarisonic because it's harder to lather up with my hands.

Lioele Multi Seaweed Gel: I had a sample of this eons ago and after I chose to purchase a full size, I stopped using it. So it sat in a box for a few months until I rediscovered it a little over a month ago. I've slowly started replacing my Clinique gel cream with this in the mornings. I'm actually finding that I prefer this over the Clinique one and this was only about $12 and there's a lot more product in the tub. This absorbs into my skin much quicker and I feel like it will be a summer favorite.

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule: Yes. This again. It's my favorite ever. Blah blah blah. What else can I say about it other than this one is almost gone?

MAC Prep+Prime Skin Base Visage: I've honestly continued to use this because there isn't another primer that I can even reach for right now. Everything else is still sucking the moisture out of my skin, but this is just a standard. I'm actually surprised that I haven't run out of this yet. In a couple weeks, I'm sure I'll need to use an oil control primer and I don't want to have to save this for next year because I'm sure the expiration is coming up.

Skin79 Super+ Triple Functions BB Cream in Green: I've been favoring this one over VIP Gold because I've been using other foundations this month. Mainly this has been an under eye concealer and brightener because it's on the lighter side. Now that the weather is warming up, I've been using slightly darker bronzers and don't need my foundation to be so light.

Illamasqua Skin Base in 02: This is not something I can use on its own. The foundation itself is too thick for my skin and I prefer to mix it into my MAC Face and Body when I want a little more coverage. I also have this in a darker color that I'll probably end up using in a month or so.

MAC Face and Body Foundation in N1: Yup. This one is back. We had a enough warmer days that I could wear this foundation, but then it got cold again. I really love this foundation, so I had to toss this in the post. I can't wait to wear this foundation on a regular basis, but I may have discovered that VIP Gold from Skin79 is perfect of its own for a light makeup day. 

It's Skin Under Eye Brightener: When I needed a little under eye pick me up, this is what I used. I've been using this instead of my Maybelline one and I think I actually prefer it. I think I say that every time I switch up products though. Maybe it's just because this blends a little better into my foundation because of the texture.

MAC Sideshow You: This blush was from the Simpson's Collection and it was the only other thing I purchased from it. I was really feeling this blush color and out of the three blushes, this is the one I wore the most. I definitely wore more blushes than these three, but Sideshow You overshadowed most of them.

Tarina Tarantino Feathers: When I wanted just a light pop of color with a bronzed look, this is the color I would go for. The color is nicer on my face than it is in the pan and it blended in nicely with my bronzer.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat: This was a new item for me and I'll probably do a collective haul at some point. I really like this blush, but I've only been using it for the past maybe week and a half. I received this before my Sephora items, so I felt fine including this if I didn't include the Sephora stuff.

NARS Laguna: I have to say that by the time the end of the month hit, I had stopped using this bronzer in favor of Estée Lauder. I really like this bronzer, but now I think I have a couple that top it. I love that it is included in every one of my NARS blush palettes just so I don't necessarily need to pack an additional bronzer. It blends out so nicely and it isn't orange, so I can use it with my Ita brush and contour.

Estée Lauder Amber Bronzer Sienna Earth Powder: I really needed to start using this powder because I had neglected it for a long time. Although it leans a little orange when the color is blended together, it looked nice on my skin. The packaging is also really sturdy, so this is a bronzer I wouldn't mind traveling with.

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess 01 Light: This is seriously a huge bronzer. I really like the color of this powder and the shimmer isn't overpowering. I was glad to know that I wasn't getting a matte bronzer when I ordered this online. I know I have too many bronzers, but I really love this one even though I only used it during the last bits of April.

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush: This is basically a glitter highlight. The base adds just a slight touch of champagne color, but it is packed with multicolor shimmer particles that obviously don't show up in the photo of the pan. I rocked this for the beginning of the month until I bought the newest highlighter in my collection, which sadly isn't the newest when I'm writing this.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige: I wasn't going to buy this, but Nordstrom had Bobbi Brown on sale for 20% off, so that was good enough for me. I probably wouldn't buy a shimmer brick for full price, but 20% off is great. I love this highlighter. I might have to compare it to my other highlighters because I feel like I go for the same colors. I use the top two colors the most, but when you swirl them all together, it gives such a beige golden glow. It's the perfect companion to bronzer. One of the girls I work with told me that my highlight was like "Wah-bam," so at least someone agrees with me.

Darac Beauty Sifted Blur Complexion Perfector: I use this powder to set my under eyes and my entire face. You can tell that I've plowed through the powder when you compare the photo to last month's favorites. I'm trying to not use so much powder, so I may try to cool it with this one. There's another powder that will definitely be in my favorites next month that I've moved on to for setting my under eyes.

I also need to do a Bath & Body Works haul, but there's just so much stuff that I need to photograph because I spent an absolute ton of money. I know I didn't even need half of the things I bought, but the Forever Sunshine lotion in the picture is already almost gone. For real. I'm trying to consistently use lotion after showering because the weather is getting nicer and I don't want dry skin if I can wear short sleeves. 

I've been loving Beautiful Day and Love & Sunshine body mists. I keep one in the bathroom for reasons and one in my gym bag so I don't smell like socks after working out. I like the little body mists because I can carry them around and not worry about a bottle breaking. I also like that they're cheap and the scent isn't too strong. The last thing I want is to smell like Versace when I'm dead lifting with a bunch of guys. That's not exactly the image I'm going for. 

I also bought a bunch of hand sanitizers, mainly to keep in my apron pocket at work for after I handle money or for a quick fix after wiping down tables. I also keep one in my bathroom so that my hands are always clean while I'm doing my makeup or skincare. I do bring my phone in the bathroom with me, so I want to make sure my hands aren't germy because I definitely touch my phone and don't want to immediately touch my face. Honolulu Sun is the one I keep with me at work and it smells like a Piña Colada. It's almost gone!

I've also been keeping a small lotion in my apron pocket because serving dries my hands out. I've always meant to keep lotion on me, but I don't have a ton of smaller ones that absorb quickly. I have five different scents in the Aloe Gel Lotion, but Kauai is my favorite and I even bought a backup because I feel like I'm going to finish that off quick.

Vera Wang Preppy Princess: I wore this mostly in the beginning of the month when it was still chilly out. I kind of feel like the scent is a little too strong for warmer weather, so I started wearing other scents. I do like this perfume a lot, but I'll probably get even more use from it during the fall and winter. 

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine: I definitely prefer this limited edition release of Daisy Eau So Fresh to the original. It's a little less floral and a little more fruity, which is my preference. The only fault I find in the perfume is that it doesn't last long at all. This is definitely one I have to carry around with me, although I've been really bad about that lately because I need to fill all my atomizers and that takes time. I love everything else about this perfume though and the bottle is so pretty.

Escada Born in Paradise: I can just tell that this isn't the last time this scent will be in a favorites post. I can pretty much guarantee that this will be in at least one more post because this perfume is the perfect summer scent. It smells like coconut and it actually lasts a pretty decent amount of time on my skin. I like that it sort of matches my trend of island scented lotions so it makes it easier to pair other things.

Versace Bright Crystal Absolu: Still my most used and most loved perfume, and not just by me. The picture isn't a very good indicator, but I've used quite a bit of this perfume. There's a guy I work with that associates me with expensive perfume, this one being the one he likes on me best, and calls me Gucci Girl even though I've told him this is actually Versace. I did just finally buy a Gucci perfume though, so I guess I don't need to correct him anymore.

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Free Ulta Makeover!

So, back in March, I was at Ulta getting my hair cut. As I do. And the woman at the desk asked me if I had heard about the free makeovers they were giving. No, I hadn't, but you bet your butt I want to hear more! Apparently it was Pur Minerals who was sponsoring it, and there were going to be a ton of makeup artists coming from other cities to do this free event. They were by appointment only, and I snatched one of those up.

The experience was interesting. The woman who did my makeup was a little strange, and kept commenting on how dry my skin was. She said it over and over, and wanted to know what products I used. She said I was the youngest person she had ever seen with such dry skin. So she recommended this moisturizer. It does help. I use it after my Benefit toner lotion at night and it works really well.

She also sent me home with an eyeliner/eyebrow pencil, which is really nice! Apparently it's discontinued by Pur Minerals so I don't even know what it's called. But it's a twisty pencil thing and it works quite well as eyeliner, which is what I mainly use it for.

I will say that I was glad she didn't cover my freckles. She told me "You're twenty-six, and freckles are only going to be freckles for so much longer; in a few years we'll be calling them age spots." But I think that does a disservice to me as a fair skinned Irish girl who has had freckles for as long as she can remember. 

I do wish she would have told me the name of the lip color she used; it looks so pretty and I wish I still had it. But she was older and she was talking a lot about her son and daughter-in-law, so I didn't want to interrupt.

Overall, it was a good experience. I think with a different makeup artist, I would have had a different look, but the natural look is what I was going for. I just wish I left with a little more education on the product and on the technique. But, it was free, so I can't complain, I guess!