Sunday, July 29, 2012

{Question} Do you ever feel guilty about buying beauty products?

The reason I ask this question is because this has been something I've been struggling with for a while now. I love trying out new products and saving on good deals, but sometimes even spending as little as five or ten dollars leaves me feeling guilty because I know I don't really need a lot of what I purchase and I can use that money on something more worthwhile.

I'm not irresponsible with my money--I never spend more than I can afford. I've heard about some people buying large amounts of MAC and other brands using their credit cards, which is crazy to me. I know I'm not spending money I don't have, but I still feel bad about buying that extra lipstick or eyeshadow. When I shop, I get that little happy high--especially when I feel like I've gotten a great deal. Then I get home and actually think about what I bought and feel bad. And online shopping is the worst! Such a great idea at first, especially when shipping is free or there's 20% off, but I just feel bad after.

That's one of the main reasons I've been trying to use up a lot of my products lately--I don't feel as guilty if I buy something. That, and I've been trying to commit to a spending ban. I'm not going to purchase anything beauty related from the beginning of September to the end of December, except when absolutely necessary (ie makeup remover). I have so much of everything that when I look at how much money I've spent over the years it kinda scares me lol. I still have a few hauls to share with you (and I'll admit a few of them are still on their way haha), but after that no more! I invite any of my readers who wish to join me as well! Wish me luck!

So you tell me: does buying beauty products ever make you feel guilty??? Let me know in comments!

{Review} Korres Pomegranate Lip Butter

Hey there! This is a review for another one of those products that I've had forever but never got around to reviewing. I know that the Korres Lip Butters are some of the most popular products from the brand and I purchased the Pomegranate one a while back. I used to never wear stuff on my lips (outside of clear balms) because to me it was just such a hassle to have to reapply so often. The past couple of years I've been experimenting with lip products because I wear contacts and it feels better to go easier on the eyes and heavier on the lips. These butters are a nice alternative to lipsticks because they give some color to the lips, but also look more natural and leave the lips feeling soft and moisturized.

I got the shade Pomegranate. It looks like a nice midtoned pink in the jar, but it applies more like a sheer pinky red.

As you can see in the swatch, the texture of these balms is very nice. It applies with a glossy finish, and the shade is sheer. Honestly, if I could go back in time I would have picked another shade. This one is so close to my natural lip color that it really doesn't look like I'm wearing much at all. I would have gone with a deeper shade or the baby pink one. For some reason Pomegranate looks odd on me.

The formula of this balm, however, is phenomenal. It's thinner than The Body Shops lip butters, which surprised me, but it's just as moisturizing. These feel very nice on the lips--never too heavy or greasy. The pigemntation is great too--not too much, but also not too sheer. Other tinted balms, like the Burt's Bees ones then to be so pigmented that they are more like lipsticks in my opinion. The Korres ones are perfectly in between. They don't wear too long, but they do leave some color on the lips after the balm has sunken in. Another thing I like is how they smell--kinda fruity. For the price you really can't go wrong with this balm. Give it a try the next time you're on the hunt for a new lip balm! And these are also a great choice if you are trying to go more natural!


Price: $12

Ingredients: Polybutene, Trimethylolpropane Triisostearate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polyethylene, Hydroxystearic Acid, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Tocopherol, Flavor (Aroma), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Punica Granatum Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Red 7 Lake, Red 6, Iron Oxides.

{Review} Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo (My Favorite Shampoo!)

If you've been following my blog for a while now, you know I'm not that crazy about shampoo, especially high end shampoo. I don't mind spending money on conditioners, but as far as regular shampoos go, they're all the same to me. Outside of special treatment shampoos (purple toning shampoos, clarifying shampoos, etc) I don't really see much of a difference in my hair when I use a cheap shampoo or an expensive shampoo, and trust me, I've bought a lot of the expensive ones in the past to come to this conclusion.

One of the reasons I'm unwilling to spend a lot of money on shampoo is that a few years ago I made a discovery: Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo. I love it so much that I've repurchased the massive bulk size from Costco time and time again. It's fairly inexpensive, but leaves my hair feeling amazing. What more could I ask for???

I know that Head & Shoulders is know for their anti-dandruff selection. I don't really have a dandruff problem, but I love this stuff all the same. The version I love is specifically their Classic Clean for normal hair.

The actual product is a milky pale blue shade. It's an interesting texture--not really gel like most shampoos, but more like a thin cream. It lathers beautifully. I've been reading a lot about how sodium laureth sulfate damages hair, but honestly the thought of using a shampoo that doesn't foam is strange. I love how well this one lathers. You only need about half a tbsp to get your entire head (I've got med-long hair). It feels very luxurious and rinses out completely.What I absolutely love love love about this shampoo is that even though it isn't marketed as a two in one shampoo and conditioner, after I use this my hair feels like I've done both. Not heavy, not greasy, just nice and silky and healthy.

I've noticed a visible difference in my hair since I've been using this shampoo. It's more manageable, softer, and less frizzy. I never have any issues whatsoever with dandruff (though to be honest I never have). And my hair smells sooooooo good after I shower!!! The smell lingers--very fresh, suitable for both men and women, but not too strong/offensive.

I don't know how the people at Head & Shoulders came up with such a perfect formula, but I love them for it. This is my go to shampoo especially when I'm in a hurry. Usually, if I don't have enough time to thoroughly condition styling my hair is a nightmare. When I use this, it's like I shampood and deep conditioned--my hair feels that healthy. There is a Classic Clean 2 in 1 formula, but I tried it and I much prefer just the shampoo. I highly recommend this product to everyone out there. And if it doesn't do much for you--well it's inexpensive anyway.


Price: $5.99 (for 14.2 oz--I buy the jumbo 20 oz at Costco).

Ingredients: Active Ingredients-Pyrithione Zinc - 1 %Anti-Dandruff. Inactive Ingredients-
Water , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , Cocamide MEA , Zinc Carbonate , Glycol Distearate , Dimethicone , Fragrance , Cetyl Alcohol , Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride , Magnesium Sulfate , Sodium Benzoate , Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide , Ammonium Laureth Sulfate , Benzyl Alcohol , Sodium Chloride , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Sodium Xylenesulfonate , Blue 1 , Red 4

{Haul} Nuxe!

Hey there! Today's post is another haul. I haven't tried anything from the brand Nuxe, but when I saw the offer on the Nouveau Cheap blog for 20% off and free shipping and free deluxe samples, I figured I'd give it a try. I wasn't looking to spend a lot of money (their stuff is pricey!), I just wanted to sample a few of their products. I only bought one item, a travel size foaming cleanser, but Nuxe was very generous with the samples.  I'm looking forward to trying out more of their stuff, especially their dry oils!

L-->R: Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing Cream (sample), Face & Body Ultra Rich Cleansing Gel (sample), Multi Usage Dry Oil (sample), and Micellar Foam Cleanser (travel size). 

The item I purchased is the Micellar Foam Cleanser with Rose Petals. I've been on a rose kick lately, and do enjoy a good cleanser. It's made for sensitive, normal to combo skin so I'm hoping this gently cleans my oily skin. I've been going through cleansers like crazy lately and my skin has been thankful for it, if a bit dry at times. We'll see how this works.

I purchased the 50 ml/1.6 fl oz travel size version of this stuff for $11. With my 20% off this entire purchase was a little over $8, including free shipping, and I'm very happy with what I got! The full size of this is $23.50 for 5 oz.

Nuxe included a few very generous samples! The one I'm really looking forward to trying is their Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil. I've seen a lot of rave reviews of this stuff on YouTube and have wanted to try it for a while now, but the price always put me off ($46 for 3.3 oz). This cute little 10 ml sample is sure to last me a while and really let me see what all the hype is about. Really looking forward to it!!!

That's it! Really small haul. More to come!

Have you tried anything from Nuxe? What are your thoughts on their dry oil? What about their Reve De Meil lip balm that I keep hearing about? Let me know in comments!

{Haul} My first Julep Maven Box!!!

Hey there! I've been hauling a lot of stuff lately and thought I'd share. Instead of doing a really really long collective haul that would take me forever to type up, I thought I'd share a few small hauls that don't take me as long to bang out lol.

Now, I've never been one for the monthly beauty subscription boxes, mainly because I don't think they are worth it to me. I'd rather save my money and splurge for a few high end items rather than get a lot of small samples. I'm very surprised when I hear other bloggers reviewing two, three, or even four boxes every month. That's a lot of money to be spending on these boxes every month and honestly, it's not how I see myself spending my money. That being said, when I saw an ad about getting the Julep Maven box for a penny (with free shipping too!), I couldn't resist. I don't have any Julep stuff, but I've heard their products are very good. I'm not sure if I'd ever dish out the $20 a month for this stuff, but for a penny this is a bargain!

**If you want to get your first maven box for a penny, just checkout with the code PENNY. I think this offer is ongoing because I heard about it last year and only just now figured I'd give it a try. And I think it only works for the first month, but Julep is very good with thheir subscription service. You can see what you're getting ahead of time, have your pick of several different boxes, skip any month you want, send it to someone else, etc. **

L-->R: Julep The Best Pdi Creme Ever!, Nail Verenis in Courtney (the green), Hayden (the peach), and two freebie toe thingies.

Everything is full size. I got the box for a penny. The retail value of the box: $50. The hand cream is $22 (for 2 oz) and the polishes are $14 (for 0.27 oz).

Each month they offer a different beauty product. This month, instead of the hand cream you get a nail polish remover. There's also an option every month to get three polishes instead of two and a beauty product.

I've very happy with the shades I got. I looked through all the boxes they had up for the month (and they post swatches on their blog--real swatches, not shitty Sephora like ones haha) and these were the shades that appealed most to me.

Hayden is a pastel peach. It's described on the Julep site as a "neon peach cream" but just by looking at it in the tube, it doesn't really look neon to me. I love peach shades on my hands and feet tho in the summer. It just looks really clean and pretty, but not too over the top for work.

Courteney is a light green shade, described as a "key lime green" on the Julep site. That description is spot on. I don't have a lot of greens and they tend to be minty greens. This one is more warm toned and matte, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I know a lot of people are over the matte pastels after spring, but I think these will look pretty during the summer as well, especially Hayden. I'm really happy with my choices!

The last item in the box is The Best Pedi Creme Ever!, a foot cream. I'm looking forward to trying this out on my feet, but I don't think I will purchase this one for full price because for a little less I can get some from The Body Shop that are absolutely phenomenal to use overnight. I will test this one out and fully review it though.

There you have it! My first Julep Maven box! Anyone else try this out? Are you happy with what you got? Let me know in comments!

{Swatches} Urband Decay Illegal, YDK & Cult Eyeshadows

L-->R: UD Illegal, YDK, and Cult

Hey there! Today I just wanted to share some Urban Decay eyeshadow swatches. I don't own many shadows, probably around 6 or 7, but I'm only sharing 3 of my favorite Urban Decay shades today: Illegal, YDK, and Cult. I wear these more than any other UD shadows, and they work very well together.

L-->R: UD Illegal, YDK, and Cult

Sorry for the over exposure in this pic! Illegal and YDK are a bit darker, but scroll down for better pics.

UD Illegal
UD Illegal

Illegal is a very pretty neutral. It's a warm toned tan shade that is completely matte. The texture is so soft and smooth and buttery. It's so easy to just put this in the crease with a shimmery champagne on the lid. I use this a lot with cult (see below). Here's an EOTD I did last year (click here). Very simple and pretty for everyday or work. And because Illegal is warm toned, it really brings out my blue eyes. Actually, all three of these shades do a good job of bringing out my blue eyes.


YDK is a VERY shimmery mid toned brown. The shimmer is silver-y, but the shade borders on metallic. I don't even think the magnitude of the shimmer comes across in the swatch below, but trust me on this. When I wear it during the day, not only do I tap off my brush really well, but I also have to blend it out more than usual to get rid of the excess shimmer. It is stunning for evening or clubbing makeup--especially when paired with any blues. I love it with black or navy liquid liner or just a pencil smudged around the lash line. Makes such an impact and draws attention straight to the eyes. Beautiful shade and if I'm not mistaken, it's included in the Naked 2 palette, for those of you who own it.

UD Cult
UD Cult

Cult is a warm toned matte purple that is also completely matte. In the picture above it looks almost brown, but trust me, it goes on purple. I love to put this around the lash for day looks because it gives that pop of color without being too much. I also sometimes use it with a damp eyeliner brush, and do a pretty wing on the top lash line just with some mascara. So easy and simple but also very pretty.

L-->R: Illegal, YDK and Cult

And finally, some swatches! Illegal and Cult work very well together for everyday looks with a bit of pop. They are more pigmented versions of the Nars Charade Duo (my absolute favorite duo from Nars), only matte. I tend to gravitate to these types of shades on a daily basis, and these three are stunning. This pic doesn't do YDK justice--it;s really a lot more shimmery in real life. Whenever I use it to do my friends makeup for a formal even or just out clubbing, they always want to know what I used because people gave them a lot of compliments on their makeup or how pretty their eyes look. I recommend all three and I do look forward to trying even more eyeshadows from UD (after I finish a bunch of what I already own haha).

Do you guys have a lot of UD shadows? How do you like them? Any shades I absolutely must try out? Let me know in comments!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

{Review} Smashbox High Definition Concealer

Hi there! Today's review is for a product I bought a long long time ago that I never got around to reviewing because I honestly wasn't using it enough to get a true opinion on it. I'm talking about the Smashbox High Definition Concealer. I purcahsed it the same time I got their gel liner (full review of that liner here!), but aside from the odd pimple here and there I wasn't using this product on a daily basis. I recently went through my stash, found it again, and really started using it. And I've gotta say, this is a great concealer!

The shade I own this concealer in is fair/light. I don't remember them having a huge selection of shades, but this one fits my skin pretty well.

The dispenser on this product is a slanted tip with a little hole. While it's not bad by any means, I think I would have preferred one of those pointy tip dispensers (like the one on the MUFE concealer). I feel like there is no reason for the slanted tip--I never apply this directly to my skin, I usually put some on my finger and dot it, or use a brush. Also, I need just the smallest amount of this stuff, and this type of dispenser makes it a little more difficult to judge how much is coming out. It's also a bit messier in the cap.

I don't know how well you can tell, but it's a very thin concealer, but very pigmented--full coverage in my opinion. The way I've been using this concealer is to make a tinted moisturizer, but instead of moisturizer I've been mixing it with my primer (a cheepie Rimmel one). It makes such a difference from using foundation and moisturizer. The concealer and primer lasts much longer, sets to a kind of matte velvety finish (which I still powder) and lasts and controls oil better than any foundation I've ever used. If I've worn makeup for the past two months, this is what I've been doing and I'm loving it!

This concealer also works  very well to conceal blemishes and dark circles, which I think is great because usually most concealers work well for one or the other. They'll either look really heavy under the eyes and cover blemishes perfectly, or look horrible over a blemish and amazing under the eyes. No such problems with this one. As long as the shade works for you in both areas, there is no reason to use two or eve three different concealers on your face like I see a lot of beauty gurus doing. The texture of this concealer is perfect--thin, but not runny. It's very comfortable to wear, never looks heavy or cakey, and really lasts all day.

And a little tip for covering blemishes: gently exfoliate the blemish before applying your makeup. A lot of times concealers apply cakey and dry looking on top of a pimple because they exaggerate the dry flakes of skin (as gross as this sounds lol). If you gently exfoliate the blemish, you're reducing the amount of dry skin around it, and therefore your concealer and foundation will apply much more smoothly. Just be careful--if the pimple is scabbing, DO NOT PULL THE SCAB OFF. That's one of the worst things you can do because it will inflame the area, meaning more redness, and it will also cause the pimple to heal slower. And you never really want to apply makeup to open skin, so just don't do it. This tip is more helpful when the pimple is gone, but there is still some dryness and a little red bump in the area.

Anyway, back to the review. This is a great multipurpose concealer. A little goes a really long way and it lasts very well.  Although it is more expensive than many drugstore concealers, if you're looking for that one concealer that does it all--check this one out!


Price: $20 (for 0.27 oz)

Ingredients: Sorry I don't have the package anymore and I can't find them online. If I find them, I will post them. And Smasbox not posting the full ingredients online--not cool!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{Review} Cosmedicine Healthy Cleanse Foaming Cleanser & Toner in One

Hey there! This review is for a skin care product. I've really been into skin care lately because all the stress and lack of sleep from uni had my skin breaking out really bad. My focus has been on cleansing my skin very well every single day, and removing all makeup. And any product that makes my skin care routine easier and less time consuming is a good idea to me. That's why, when I spotted this cleanser at TJ Maxx several months back for only around five or six dollars, I didn't hesitate to try it.

Now,  I know Cosmedicine is a brand that isn't as widely used simply because it is a more expensive brand. That being said, I think they pulled out of Sephora and a lot of their products were available at Marshall's and TJ Maxx for a while. I think you could probably find some of their products on sale online. They make a lot of products I don't see from other brands, which is why I've been loving trying out some of their stuff at a discount.

The product I'm reviewing today is their Foaming Cleanser & Toner in One. According to the container it "Cleanses away excess oil, dirt, and makeup, removes mascara, doesn't sting eyes." That's a tall order. I don't know if you can tell, but I've actually pretty much finished this product. There is the barest amount in there for me to pump out for this review, but then I'm tossing it.

One thing I love about this product is the dispenser. It is a foam dispenser that is very sanitary and user friendly. I love how light foam cleansers feel on my skin. And if you wanted to, you could probably recycle this product and use it to store your own foaming cleanser. Simply put about an inch of regular liquid cleanser and fill the rest with water. Give it a shake and you're good to go. You can do this with any foaming container, and that's how I reuse my Bath & Body Works foaming soap containers. Not only is it more Earth friendly, but it's also much cheaper too!

The actual foam is very light. Given the manufacturers claim that it will remove makeup, I was a bit unsure at first because it seems very light.

How well does it work? Well is certainly doesn't remove mascara, waterproof or not, that's for sure. That doesn't really bother me because I always, regardless of my cleanser, use my Almay Moisturizing Liquid Eye Makeup Remover. It's my favorite, I'm on my fourth or fifth bottle and I'm not looking for a replacement. As as far as face makeup is concerned, this will remove it all. When I used my regular toner after to see how much of the foundation, concealer, powder, and bronzer was removed, the cotton pad came away clean which is great. It also claims not to sting eyes, but even when I tried removing my mascara with it, I kept my eyes firmly shut. I am a contact wearer with sensitive eyes and I've already had one infection, I'm not looking for another, thank you very much.

As far as this product being a cleanser and a toner, I really can't say much about that claim. I don't regularly use a plain toner. If I do use a toner, I tend to go for more of the astringent ones. They are the only ones I feel really make a difference when I use them. Other toners, while they feel good, don't really do much for my skin. If I don't use them for a week, I really can't tell the difference. That being said, my skin did not feel tight at all after I used it, so perhaps it's just a little bit more moisturizing than the average foaming cleanser.

All in all, this is not a bad cleanser. It got my skin clean, but I can say that I probably wouldn't purchase it for full price. It felt really refreshing, removed my face makeup, didn't have any noxious odor, but that's it. I think I would have liked this product more if the manufacturer hadn't made all of those claims on the package. I review a product based on those claims, and because of that little blurb on the container I find this product lacking. Had it been marketed as a regular cleanser I think I would have reviewed it a bit more positively.


Price: $24.99 (full price for 4.2 fl oz)

Ingredients: Purified Water, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Cyclomethicone, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{Review} Jemma Kidd i-Design Eye Colour in 04 In Season

Hi there! Today's review is for an eyeshadow that I absolutely adore. Except for the eyeshadows and one liner, I haven't tried many of the Jemma Kidd products at Target because I honestly had a hard time justifying paying so much for makeup in a drugstore type store. However, this eyeshadow, number 04 In Season, is absolutely stunning and I can't rave about it enough!

How stunning is this shade!?

The shade In Season is a beautiful light golden brown. It has a very antiqued vibe to it, and because it's got a good amount of gold in it whenever I wear it my blue eyes pop. The texture of this shadow is perfection! It is very soft and smooth, but not too buttery. I think I mentioned in another post (don't remember when, sorry) that I had a problem with the shade Vintage from Jemma Kidd, because sadly, like a lot of my Nars single eyeshadows, it would chip and crack easily. I think on that shadow all four corners were showing signs of chipping. I've had no such problems with this shade, mainly I think because unlike Vintage, although it does have a sheen, it's not glittery. The picture above is several months old, and I've actually hit pan on the shadow because I've been wearing it pretty much every day. As far a s wear time, it is not crease proof or anything like that, but I normally wear an eyeshadow base anyway because my lids are oily, so it's not a big deal for me. You also get a very generous amount of product in this shadow, 3 g. For comparison, a MAC eyeshadow is 1.5 g, meaning that for two dollars more, you get more than double the product.

If you love golden taupe-y colors, this one is stunning, definitely a keeper. And since there are Targets everywhere, you can swatch it before you buy it as well. I love and highly recommend this shade!!!


Price: $17 (for 3 g)


Friday, July 6, 2012

{Favorites} June 2012!

Hey there! It's time for June Favorites! I know, I know a few days late, but better late than never. This month has been a pretty fuss free month. I've been focusing a lot on skin care because I had a pretty big breakout in the beginning of June and kinda freaked out haha. I don't really have a big problem with acne, so a breakout that big caught me off guard, hence all the skin care stuff in this post. Let me know if you want reviews of anything shown!

Banana Boat Protective Tanning Oil SPF 15: Before you say it, yes I do know that tanning is bad for you. That being said, I just got really tired of using self tanners nearly every other day. I don't tan often, and until the past couple of years I've been obsessive with the sunscreeen, but on me a real tan just looks so much better so I decided to go for it this summer. This stuff is great. It comes in varying SPF levels (5, 8, 15 and 25 I believe). The highest my Target had was the SPF 15 one, so that's what I went with. I'm very fair and this stuff works to give me a nice golden tan without that irritated red look to begin with. For me, this tanning oil worked fairly gradually, but if you're darker you may want to go with one of the lower SPF's for a quicker tan. And this stuff smells really really good, like sweet bananas!

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Lotion in Medium Natural Tan: This is the self tanner I've been using for the past few months. It gives a pretty natural color. On me the tan is a little more yellow than a real tan, which looks more of a cool brown on me, but I don't really mind. It works quickly, doesn't smell too bad, and for the most part fades naturally. The only thing I don't like about this is that it has shimmer in it, so I don't use it daily. I like to use it during the day so that I don't mess up my sheets, which means if I'm going out I won't use it or I'll look like a disco ball. Like any other self tanner, you really have to be careful with application or you will get patchiness/streaking, but except for on my fingers I haven't had too much difficulty getting it to look even. Overall, it's a pretty good drugstore self tanner.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen in SPF 70: I use this stuff on my face, neck and decollete area daily. This is my second bottle of this stuff and I love it. It's a thin consistency that goes on very easy, blends out well and layers easily under makeup. It does smell like sunscreen, but I don't mind, as long as it keeps me from burning. I think when I run out of it next time I'll try the Pure & Free Liquid one from Neutrogena to see how it's different from the reqular Ultra Sheer Liquid. {Full Review Here!}

The Face Shop Oil Specialist Fresh Cleansing Oil with Cherry Blossom: I got this last summer when was on vaca in NYC. I bought a cleansing oil (I think it was either $12 or $15) and I kinda forgot about it while I focused on finishing other cleansers. I rediscovered it when I broke out and really needed to deep clean, and now I'm in love. I've been using it morning and night and my skin feels soooo good! It took me a little while to really get the method down, but now that I know how to use it properly I'm hooked.

Murad Clarifying Toner: This is another product I started using again when I broke out. It is a witch hazel toner meant to really clean pores and kill any germs on the skin. I like it because while it acts like an astringent, it doesn't burn my skin or dry it out too much. The only place I'm careful with this stuff is my chin because I tend to get dry patches there. Other than that it works well. As nice as it is, for $22 I think I can mix up some of my own witch hazel toner and save some money, so I don't think I'll be repurchasing it in the future. I think I'll get a big jug of pure witch hazel (it's super cheap) and see how that works for me. Just fyi for all you people with sensitive skin: although this stuff is alcohol free, witch hazel can burn just as much if you have super dry or sensitive skin. It doesn't really irritate me (except for the chin), but I wouldn't risk it if you have sensitive skin.

Proactive Repairing Treatment: I don't use Proactive, but a friend of mine does. She says that she can never get through a full bottle of the Repairing Treatment before she gets another shipment, so she gave me the new one that came in the mail while she was still not even half way through her current bottle. This stuff is a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment lotion. I use it as a spot treatment and I've had this stuff for months because you really just need the smallest amount. It works well. Is it worth what Proactive charges for it? Not really because it works about as well as any other acne treatment I've used. I can't really do a full review because it's meant to be used in combination with the rest of the Proactive line. I've been mainly using this on pimples and to clear up any stray pimples that pop up on my shoulders here and there from using self tanners and tanning oils. I heard that Walmart makes cheaper versions of this stuff that you can buy separately, so I may try that after I run out.

Biore Skin Brightening Night Serum: I love this stuff. It gives me the perfect amount of moisture in the mornings and really brightens up my skin. I did an indepth review not too long ago which I will link--feel free to check it out! {Full Review Here!}

Nars Lip Gloss in Gina: Gina is on the left side of the gloss duo (the other side is Boogie Nights). It's a matte, sheer nude. I've been loving anything that is orangy/coral and this is a perfect shade for my skin tone. Not too orange, not to pink, not too opaque. It's super glossy and just gives my lips a really nice finished look. I've been pairing this a lot with like a smokey eye look lately and it's perfect, never too nude/concealer like.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Sunrise Nude: I don't think you can get this shade anymore, but I'm sure that Revlon has something similar in their current line. This one is a super pale, sheer peach with a lot of pretty silver shimmer. I love this gloss because although you can't really see the peachy color it does even out my lips a little.Of all my glosses, the Super Lustrous ones have the best drugstore formula I've come across. They are thick, but not sticky, last a very long time, and have a great color selection. They are also feel moisturizing on the lips, which I love. You can't go wrong with any shade in this range. {Full Review Here!}

Calvin Klein Delicious Light Glistening Lip Gloss in Radar: I don't know where you can get Calvin Klein makeup anymore--they brought it back to Sephora, then discontinued it again. I know that Marshall's and TJMaxx had sets of CK stuff last year, but I haven't seen any in a long time. If you can find these glosses definately get at least one to try because they are great. Very shiny, fragrance free, a little on the thicker side, but not too bad. This shade is so pretty and brings out my blue eyes. I've finished close to 1/2 of this color, which says a lot for me. {Full Review Here!}

Lip Fusion Micro Collagen Lip Plump in Fresh: This is my first Lip Fusion plumper, and I've been loving it. The shade is a sheer, slightly shimmery orange that looks great with a tan. The formula is thin, and it doesn't tingle as bad as some of the other plumpers I've tried. It makes my lips look really full and juicy, a look I've been loving lately. Overall, I'm looking forward to trying out more shades from this line!

L-->R: Lip Fusion Fresh, CK Radar, Revlon Sunrise Nude, Nars Gina. 

Of these shades, I think Radar and Sunrise Nude have been worn most. I've really got a lot of these orangy lip colors and really am trying to not forget about them in my stash, which is so easy when you've got as many glosses like I do. 

Top row: Stila Starlight, Cloud, Grace, and Lemon.
Bottom Row: MAC MSF in Petticoat (some chipped of and I pressed it), Stila Barefoot Contessa, Mystic, and Sajama.  

Stila Eyeshadows: When it comes to shadow, I've been keeping it pretty simple. I've rediscovered Mystic and Sajama in my collection and stuck them in the 8 pan palette to keep them close. I've been mainly using those two along with Starlight and Grace. Grace looks really nice layered over top Mystic. It's a strange combo, but it looks really pretty--not too blue but not exactly brown either. Almost like one of those duochrome shadows from MAC--it looks different depending on the lighting.

L-->R: Stila Starlight, Grace, Mystic and Sajama. 

Of these shades, Sajama is a matte formula and Stila's matte shades can be difficult to work with. I really had to dig in the pan to get this swatch. I like to use it along my upper lash line, over a dark liner or by itself wet. It gives this hazy smokly lash look that's very easy to do.


Funky Fingers Nail Polish in Kingston:This last item is one I've been obsessed with for the past six months or so. It's a nail polish from a relatively unknown brand called Funky Fingers, and the shade is Kingston. I found this gem for $2.50 at a Five Below store and have been wearing it pretty much non stop since. It's a pretty neon orange that looks amazing in the sunlight. It's so bright and fun that I always wear it poolside or to the beach. The formula isn't the best and it starts to chip after about three days of wear, but honestly, I couldn't care less because the color is absolutely stunning. Also on the plus side, it dries to a matte finish (I use a topcoat over) and matte shades tend to dry really quickly. I've been on the hunt for a back up of this color because I'm more than half way through with it, but I haven't been able to find anything yet :(

That's it for my June Favorites! Tried any of these products? Loved them? Hated them? Want a review of one of the products featured? Let me know in comments!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

{Review} Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in Light

Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in Light

Hey there! Today's review is for a product I absolutely adore. I've gone through probably two or three of Stila's Sheer Pressed Powder and I have yet to find a powder that works as well for me.

When it comes to higher end products that obviously cost more, I usually try to find cheaper alternatives, especially if I foresee myself repurchasing a product multiple times in the future. I haven't yet been able to find a drugstore alternative for this powder, but I was able to find it a lot cheaper than the $28 retail price. I was at the Cosmetic Market in NYC last summer (see the haul post here) and I found this powder for $6.99 and stocked up. I don't know if they still have it, but if you live in or around NYC or will be visiting sometime, it's worth checking out.
Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in Light

The compact is a simple silver plastic case that has these cute little flowers on it. Not as chic as anything from from Chanel or Dior, but pretty. It's durable and doesn't show smudges or scratches easily.

Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in Light

Another thing I like is that the compact is reusable. There's a little hole in the bottom, you just poke a pencil or something and the pan pops right out. Stila no longer sells the pan refill to this powder alone, not that there was a big price difference between the powder with the case and the refill alone anyway. I figure even if I can't find the refill powder from Stila I can reuse this case because I've had plenty of powders in a similar size that the clasp has broken or the case is really bulky. I think I can just repot them into this case if I wanted to. I've gone through so many of these powders that I've got four or five of these empty cases lying around.

Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in Light
The shade I have this powder in is light. It comes with a thin little foamy sponge, but I toss it right away and just use a brush.

Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in Light (HEAVY swatch)

This swatch here is a very HEAVY swatch. I just wanted to show you how finely milled this powder is. The texture is very very soft and thin, almost translucent. I find that it applies as thinly as a translucent powder, but it does have some color to it. If I wear it alone, I can't really notice any difference, but it takes to tinted moisturizer very well and definitely ups the coverage level.

I love this powder for the finish it gives. It mattifies my face completely without looking cakey or powdery. It leaves my face with this flawless silky finish to it that makes my skin look a lot better than it usually is. If I'm ever going out or have a formal event, I reach for this powder without fail because I know it will look stunning in pictures. It last like your average powder does. I apply it in the morning around 6 or 7 am (when at uni) and then touch up around 1 pm and then again around 5 pm. Not great, but not horrible either given how oily my skin is.

Bottom line: try this powder!!! I've been using it for years and I love it more than any other powder I've ever used!


Price: $28

Ingredients: talc, polymethyl methacrylate, silica, zea mays (corn) starch, octyldodecyl lactate, isononyl isononanoate, pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, dimethicone, zeolite, nylon-12, zinc stearate, bht, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, [+/- mica, titanium dioxide (ci 77891), iron oxides (ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499), ultramarines (ci 77007)]

{Empties} June 2012!

Hey there! So there are no posts I find more rewarding to write than empties posts. I love doing these because it gets me to look at my stash and really see what I use consistently, and what I don't use much of at all. Any of you makeup junkies out there know how difficult finishing even one product can be, let alone enough to put together a post. I can proudly say that over the past few months I've been purging a lot of products from my collection by strictly sticking to my "one of a kind" rule. Meaning, I only use one of a certain type of product until I finish it (like only one mascara or one gloss). It's difficult, but honestly so rewarding when you finally finish that one thing that's been in your stash forever.

Now, there are fourteen (14!!!) products in this post!!! I didn't finish these in one month, but over probably two an a half months, which is a reasonable time frame given that these products have been lying around forever. I hope you enjoy my little ramblings about each product and if I've reviewed any of them before, there will be a link to the review listed. I don't know if I will be doing these kinds of posts every months

Lancome Artliner in Plum: I love these liners from Lancome. They are very good for people who find liquid liners difficult to use. The tip is a pointed felt tip (pic of it here), but it's thinner than most of the felt tips I've seen, and more flexible too. It makes getting a straight line very easy, especially if you like doing a wing. The formula of these liners isn't waterproof though, but that's not an issue for me as I rarely have problems with migrating mascaras or liners. I did mention in my one of my favorites posts here that I would be interested in trying the L'Oreal version of this liner, but I actually purchased one of the newer Physicians Formula liners instead.
     Repurchase: Maybe. I've got other liners to finish first.

ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Black: This was an ok liner. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. It dried out really fast on me and the color is a little on the lighter side, more gray than black. I can't really comment on the waterproof claim as it's never been an issue for me. All I can say is that I've never had it smudge or flake. I'm not a big fan of the applicator. When I used it, the tip felt to short and stiff making application more difficult.
     Repurchase: No. The Jordana version is only $1 more and works much better.

Sephora Atomic Volume Mascara in Black: I liked this mascara. It gave me a lot of volume and was generally fuss free when it came to application. It has one row of bristles that is a little longer that is supposed to act as a lash comb, but I found that it would actually do the opposite and clump my lashes. I would just avoid using that one section of bristles. I was surprised I liked this mascara because the bristles are plastic and I usually avoid those types of wands like the plague. The only real complaint I have is that it doesn't hold a curl too well. But I've yet to find a non waterproof mascara that holds a decent curl.
     Repurchase: Yes, but only if on sale. I got it for $5 with a liner on clearance.

Molton Brown Soft Eye Creme in 05 Sultry: As far as I know Molton Brown isn't a very big brand in the US. I know a few stores now carry their body products (which are ridiculously over priced--I'll be reviewing a couple soon) but except for TJMaxx, I've never come across their cosmetic line in store. This eyeshadow is like one of those Laura Mercier ones that comes in a tube, only this one isn't as nice. The color is a really pretty eggplant shade, like Macroviolet from MAC, but the application, if used as an eyeshadow, can be patchy and it does tend to flake. I used it smudged around the lash line, but I couldn't really use it as a liner because it wasn't dark enough on it's own. Maybe if the shade was a lighter shade I wouldn't notice these things, but in a dark shade they really become an issue. I tried this shadow for a clubbing look once and all I can say is big mistake.
     Repurchase: No. Much better alternatives on the market.


Aquaphor Healing Ointment: This stuff is pretty much the same as Vaseline (petroleum jelly) only better. I find that Aquaphor tends to absorb better because it's got some oil in it while Vaseline just sits on my skin. I much prefer the Aquaphor, especially when I'm using it on my lips or knuckles (which crack a lot in the winter). I bought this in a set of two travel sized tubes and the little 0.35 fl oz tube lasted me months because you barely need any at all. If you suffer from dry patches in the winter I highly recommend this stuff. My knuckles love it!
     Repurchase: Yes!

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer: I will admit, I'm not into concealer. I much prefer to layer a little more foundation for a more believable look than to cake on concealer, which can look too much sometimes. This concealer was ok. It wasn't too dry, it wasn't too wet, more of a cream texture. I know there's a little bit left in there, but I'm 90% sure it's expired (been discontinued since I bought it) and I just can't make myself use it anymore haha. I don't have much to say about this stuff. Not horrible, but not great by any means.
     Repurchase: No.

Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Cream Shadow in What a Blush: I loved the color of this stuff, but it was very difficult to work with. It is a shimery pale pink cream eyeshadow and while it's pretty, that's about all with this product. It creases like crazy. I would end up using this as an inner corner color because that's the only way I could wear it without it creasing. Also, the container comes with this little pointy dispenser that has the tiniest hole ever, meaning squeezing the product out was really difficult. All in all, it has confirmed my opinion about most of the Beauty Rush line from VS. I've tried several items and honestly, except for their lip glosses, I doubt I'll be purchasing anything else.
     Repurchase: No!

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil: Like the Vaseline lotion, a product I started out loving, and then it kinda stopped working for me. When I first got it it would zap the pimples right away. I'd put it on and bam, within a day my pimple is half the size it started out as. After about a month, it stopped working as well. I think my skin got used to this product. It has a tendency to do that with spot treatments. That being said, other spot treatments, even when my skin got used to them, did not stop working like this one did. What I did enjoy about this product is that it is a clear liquid. You can't layer it under makeup because it is an oil, but I found that I had to only use one drop each time I did my face, so this teeny 0.33 fl oz bottle lasted me forever.
     Repurchase: No. I like my Clean and Clear stuff better.

Bliss Tried+Blue Body Lotion: I LOVE this stuff! The smell, the texture, the way it leaves my skin feeling, just everything about this product. So what does Bliss do? Discontinues it before I can buy the full size. I got this sample in a Bliss kit from TJMaxx about a year ago, and I know that Bliss had already discontinued it then because I tried this stuff once, went to buy it, and couldn't find it anywhere. I ended up using this as a hand cream, leaving it in my purse, because I didn't want to finish it. It reminds me so much of the beach, summer, and the ocean. I probably look so weird smelling my hands after I use this lol
     Repurchase: Yes!!! If I can ever find it anywhere :(

Biore Enliven Cooling Eye Gel: I LOVE THIS STUFF! It was a life saver for me during the semester when I barely slept. I paired it with the Biore Skin Boosting Night Serum (full review here) and it is the perfect morning combo for me. It depuffs and really lightly moisturizes the eye area. i love using this stuff right before makeup because any under eye concealer/foundation I apply goes on very smoothly. Sadly, like many of their other products, Biore has discontinued this one as well :( I know I've finished this product, but I still have pics from when I first bought it, so I will try to post a full review because I feel this product really deserves one.
     Repurchase: Yes, if I can find it.

Kirkland Baby Wipes: I love these! I've go through about one of these every two months and they are the best wipes I've ever used. I stopped wasting my money on teeny little packs of makeup removing wipes a long time ago because why bother when 99% of the time I will use a cleanser immediately after I remove my makeup. These wipes (specifically this type from Costco) are dirt cheep, come in huge packs of 100, are super soft, not too wet/dry, are unscented, and most importantly DO NOT STING MY EYES!!! I use these for everything, from removing any eye makeup remover residue, to removing face makeup, to cleaning my hands, to spot cleaning my brushes. They are perfect! I think when you buy the box from Costco you get either six or eight of these 100 wipe packs, so they are dirt cheap.
     Repurchase: YES! YES! YES!

Vaseline Aloe Fresh Lotion: This was one of those products I started out liking, but as I kept using it my opinion changed. I loved the scent and fresh feel of it initially. It smells like aloe and cucumber, very soothing. However, because it's so scented it's not suited to sensitive skins, especially not if you get any irritation after shaving. My legs would itch like crazy after using this lotion. I finally stopped using it on any area that I shaved and would use it only after sun. If you don't have sensitive skin, go for it. If you do, stay away and try something unscented.
     Repurchase: Not this scent. May purchase original or the cocoa butter one in the future.

The Body Shop Jolly Orange Body Scrub: Another product I didn't like. It's a very thin scrub that has a very jelly feel to it. It doesn't'  have nearly enough abrasives in it to really do a through job. What I ended up doing was adding about half a cup of sugar to it to make it more scrubby. I didn't like this scent either. I got it on Black Friday in a kit at The Body Shop, so I wasn't too upset because I didn't pay a lot of money for it. I expected Jolly Orange to be more like Satsuma, very fresh, but instead it was very spicy smelling and cloying. The body wash wasn't too bad, but this stuff I couldn't wait to be done with.
     Repurchase: No.

Up & Up Acne Wash Grapefruit Scent: I love this stuff. It makes me happy on early early mornings :) I've used the brand name Neutrogena one, and it is exactly the same stuff. No difference what so ever. It's a very gentle exfoliate that is scented like grapefruit. It really cleans the skin well, bubbles up nicely, and wakes me up in the morning. I know some people hate the scent and find it to be too much, but I like it and I haven't gotten tired of it yet. If you like the Neutragena version, try this version out and save a couple of bucks.
     Repurchase: Maybe. Still have a couple face washes to finish first.