Sunday, June 9, 2013

{Review} Kirkland Daily Facial Towelettes

Hey there! Today's review is for a new product my mom actually introduced me to earlier this year. She has a Costco card and is a big fan of their beauty section. She knows that I've been using their Signature Baby Wipes (these!) probably for about the last five years and she thought that I might like to give these makeup wipes a try. They are the Daily Facial Towelettes, ultra mild formula.

According to Costco (click here to see this product on their site) these makeup wipes remove eye and face makeup effectively and are gentle enough to use around the eyes. Now, I NEVER use any kind of makeup removing wipe to attempt to remove eye makeup. I usually use an oil based makeup remover (I used to use Almay and now I use straight up coconut oil) to dissolve the eye makeup. I only use a wipe as a carrier so to speak for the actual eye makeup remover. 

The reason I do not use makeup removing wipes to get rid of eye makeup is that my eyes are very sensitive. Since I started wearing contacts my eyes have become extremely sensitive, especially given that I wear them sometimes from 4 or 5 am to midnight or later. Even the most natural and gentile of makeup wipes still sting and make my eyes red, so honestly I did not have high hopes for these wipes. 

Now, Kirkland markets these towelettes as ultra-mild. I would have to disagree with this. When I attempted to remove my eye makeup with one of these wipes, they stung horribly, even though I kept my eyes closed. For that reason, I can't really speak to how well these remove eye makeup because I honestly did not try to finish removing it with these wipes.

I can however say that these towelettes do an amazing job at removing face makeup. The actual wipes are much larger than any other wipe I've used before and are very damp. In addition, they are soft and have a faint quilted design imprinted on them. They look, feel and smell luxurious.

The dampness of these wipes is a big plus for me. I love that the people at Kirkland put a plastic snap lid on container. I absolutely hate it when there is a large sticker because the wipes always dry out on me. These were perfectly moist until the very last one.  The dampness greatly contributed to a very clean feeling face. Sometimes when I got lazy (not often, I promise lol) I would just use one of these on my face and not feel like I had to wash my face after. They leave your face feeling that clean.

Also, when you buy the large pack you also get several small travel 15 count packs which are very convenient. On the Costco site they are listed as $37.99 for 300. I think my mom bought a pack of 150 in the store, and payed around $15 or $20.

Although I did enjoy using these wipes, because they sting my eyes I will not be repurchasing these. I think I'm gonna stick to their Signature Baby Wipes because not only are they cheaper ($30 for 900, 3 cents per wipe) but I can use them around the eyes without worrying. Take this review with a grain of salt because my eyes are extremely sensitive. If you prefer to use towelettes to remove eye makeup I say give these a try because they are very nice.


Price: $37.99 for 300 wipes (link), about 13 cents per wipe.

Ingredients: Water, cetearyl isononanoate, ceteareth-20, cetearyl alcohol, glyceryl stearate, glycerin, cetyl palmitate, ceteareth-12, propylene glycol, chamomilla pecutita (matricaria) flower extract, centaurea cyanus flower extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, camellia oleifera (green tea leaf) extract, tocopheryl (vitamin e) acetate, aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, fragrance, methylparaben, propylparaben, sodium citrate, citric acid, disodium EDTA, 2-bromo-2nitropropane-1,3-diol.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

{Favorites} May 2013

Hey there! Been a while since I've done a favorites post, but I figured I'd get back into the swing of things. This past month I've been relying on a few oldies but goodies as well as a couple of new products :)

For the yes I've been using my Shimmer Cubes Plette in 07 from The Body Shop. I bought this during their Black Friday 3 for $30 sale, so I got it for $10, a steal given that the original price was $22. I've been using it daily but as you can tell, except for the brown shade they don't even look dented. You're getting 4g of each shade, so a lot of product that I am never going to finish lol.

For me, this palette is incredibly versatile. I can use it dry for a natural look or wet for a more intense look (though it does mess with the shadows consistency as you can see in the pan). I use the light silvery shade as a highlight for not only my eyes but my entire face. The pink looks beautiful as a shadow or a blush/highlight. I've especially been loving the combo of the pink and the brown. It really brings out my blue eyes. I keep this in my makeup bag because paired with mascara and liner I can do anything from a simple day look to a dark smokey look in minutes just using my fingers. I highly recommend this palette and if you can get it on sale even better!

A word of caution with these, however: they do crease on their own. I always wear them with a primer, especially in the summer.

When you apply them dry they look very natural.

Applied wet they are more intense, both more pigmented and shimmery.

For the face I've been relying on a couple of oldies but goodies.

I found the Physicians Formula Health Wear Tinted Moisturizer in the shade Ivory to Fair at an Ocean State Job Lot last year for $4 (not the $12-14 I see it for at CVS!) and have since purchased my second tube. This stuff works great for me. It's got a bit more coverage than the average tinted moisturizer, but still feels light. It also seems to dry down after application, so when paired with a powder (lately my Rimmel Stay Matte) it lasts fairly well on my. I'm also loving that it has SPF 50. I don't know if you can still purchase these in regular drugstores but I still see them at Ocean State Job Lot if you're interested. The only downside to this product is that like many other drugstore tinted moisturizers the shade selection is lacking.

I've also been loving Benefit's Highbeam. I bought the smaller size that comes in a travel friendly tube with a doe foot applicator for $10. Honestly, I'm never going to finish this thing. You just need the tiniest little bit of it for dramatic effect. I'm loving how multipurpose it is as well. I use it to highlight my face, as an eyeshadow, I mix it with a cream blush or my tinted moisturizer, sometimes with my lotion. It just gives a beautiful glow.

And a tip: for a bit of an understated highlight put it on your skin first and then apply your base on top of it. That's how I've been wearing it with my tinted moisturizer. I have oily skin so doing the opposite can sometimes be a bit much.

For the lips, I've acquired a few new goodies :)

First, Ive been absolutely loving any sheer tinted balms. The Skinnygirl Tinted Lip Balm in Bright Red has been a favorite this past month. Don't let the shade of the balm scare you--it is very sheer. It gives that nice just-been-kissed kind of red lip. Very understated, very moisturizing, and very chic. And best of all? I got it for $2 at Five Below.

Next up is the Jemma Kidd Red Carpet Lip/Cheek Stain and Gloss in Dress Up. It retails for $18, but I got it on clearance for $4 at Target. I'm loving it! It's a purply pink shade that I've been using mostly on my lips. The gloss on the other side is clear and not sticky at all. They pair beautifully and last very well! They have a red shade as well called Glam Up, but they didn't have it on clearance and I didn't want to pay full price.

My only complaint about the stain is the applicator. The stain side has a roller ball and it makes getting a precise application tricky. It can also look patchy if you go over one area too many times trying to get right up the the edge of the lip. I wish it was just another doe foot like the gloss side. My solution has been to use a lip brush or to put it on with a roller ball and then quickly pat it with my finger to blend it out. 

My go to gloss on days I didn't feel like making much effort has been the Victorias Secret Beauty Rush gloss in Melongrageous. It looks pink in the tube it applies clear. This stuff smells DELICIOUS!!! My roommate introduced me to this and I've been in love ever since. I can't even explain it--very sweet and fruity. My favorite scented gloss. Using it always puts me in a better mood. It's a bit stickier than I like, but it lasts well so I can't really complain. 

Finally, I've got the Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate. It's a nice peachy pink lip balm that is multitasking. I use it as a lip balm, a sheer lipstick, and in a pinch as a blush. I love it. It leaves my lips feeling very soft and it the color is so pretty--what's not to like? Well, actually one thing: it's in a pot. I've been such a germaphobe lately and have detested sticking my finger into the pot. I don't know if you can tell, but I've been using a lip brush to apply it (though I used my finger to do the swatch :/ ).

Top to bottom: Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate, Victorias Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss in Melongrageous, Jemma Kidd Red Carpet Lip/Cheek Stain in Dress Up, and Skinnygirl Tinted Lip Balm in Bright Red.

And here's how well the Jemma Kidd stain lasts--this picture was taken after about a minute of rubbing with a makeup removing wipe! Pretty good I'd say :)

I hope you enjoyed this post! What have you been relying on this past month? Let me know in comments!


Monday, May 20, 2013

{Review} Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Here's a review I've been meaning to do for a while now. I've been a long time use of the Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in light. I love that powder, but it is tooooooo expensive ($28). So I've been on the hunt for a cheaper alternative. Around the time I finished my last Stila powder I was hearing a lot about the Rimmel Stay matte Powder on YouTube and thought I'd give it a try. Here are my thoughts :)

 The shade I purchased it in is 001 Transparent. I wouldn't say that it is completely transparent. I think if I apply this over a moiturizer or a primer, it sticks better and I do get a bit of coverage. If you have a deeper skin tone I would go with your actual shade as this stuff may leave a cast.

As you can see I've had this powder for a while and have used up a good chunk of it. I apply mine with a medium powder brush. I use a smaller brush to set my under eye concealer. This is approximately 3 months of use for me. I apply it once in the morning after doing my makeup, a touch up around noon, and another touch up around 4 or 5 pm.

 The swatch above is quite heavy, I just wanted to show you the consistency. It is a finely milled powder, and if blended in very well can be undetectable. The powder gives a very very matte finish. If you like you skin to look more natural, more satin finish, this is not the powder for you. This gives you a fully matte look. Sometimes I will spray a bit of toner after I apply this powder, just to have a more natural finish.

As far as lasting power goes, it keeps me matte for about 4 or 5 hours. I'd say this is a decent powder. It does what it says. It's also a no frills kind of a powder. I was satisfied with the effect, but after using my Stila powder for so long and having gotten used to that soft lit perfect skin effect this powder didn't feel as luxurious. The only negative I would have to say about this product is to be careful about applying too much. You can really build this powder up if you wanted to, but then it becomes very obvious.

Overall, a good budget buy :)


Price: $4. 96


{Skincare} Coconut Oil

Hey there! So to kick off my natural skin care series I'm going to talk a little bit A LOT about coconut oil. If you've been reading this blog for a while now you know I'm a busy working girl so I'm game for anything that can be used in different ways and is good for me. Coconut is one of these multi use products for me!!!

So what is coconut oil? Coconut oil is an oil that is extracted from the white meat of a coconut. Predictably, it smells DIVINE! I used to hate coconut scented products because the scent was always very strong, artificial and pungent. This stuff is the real deal and smells amazing. Coconut oil will usually be solid at room temperature (and white) but will melt clear at around 75 degrees, a relatively low melting point.

I purchase my coconut oil from Trader Joe's. I think this large 16 oz bottle was around $6 or $7 dollars, so very very inexpensive when compared to all of the expensive body lotions and creams I've purchased over the years. I also like that it comes in a glass jar instead of a plastic one. The Trader Joe's coconut oil is VIRGIN, meaning that it is COLD PRESSED, so no chemicals or heat are used in the refining process, which is good. In addition, it is USDA certified organic!

The brand of coconut oil you get doesn't really matter. I would just look for the USDA organic certification and make sure that it is virgin or cold pressed. 

Here's what the actual oil looks like. It was about warm outside when I took this picture so it was starting to melt a little bit. I decant a few table spoons into a smaller container that I leave in my bathroom and leave the big jar in my kitchen because I also use it for cooking!

So how do I use coconut oil?

My favorite way has been as a moisturizer. I will take a little glob of it (for lack of better word), warm it in between my hands until it liquifies (just a few seconds) and then smooth it over my freshly shaved legs and anywhere else I want to moisturize. I let it absorb for a few minutes before getting dressed.

I also sometimes mix it with whatever lotion I'm currently using. Although I probably will not be repurchasing most of these lotions, I do what to finish up the ones that don't make me itch. I've spent a lot of money on them and I hate to waste anything.

I've also recently been loving this as a makeup remover! I used to think that you would have to pry that small blue bottle of Almay out of my cold dead fingers but honestly, I can really see myself doing without it as coconut oil works even better for me. It doesn't sting my eyes, doesn't cost a lot of money, removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascaras, and conditions my lashes. What more can I ask for? And unlike the Almay makeup remover: no mineral oil :)

I also use it on my hair. During the day I sometimes smooth some onto the ends of my hair just to condition them a bit. If my hair is really acting up I will use this as a mask. You have to shampoo really well so that it doesn't feel greasy after, but my hair feels so so so soft after I do this.

Scrubs: Coconut oil works great when mixed with another carrier oil and salt or sugar to make an amazing scrub. On it's own I don't use it for scrubs because it will solidify at room temperature, but if you use less coconut oil and more of another oil (I'm currently loving apricot kernel oil or almond oil) then it stays liquid and smells great. I've been preferring the salt scrubs lately because summer is coming and I'm showing more skin and shaving more often. If you do use salt just remember to do the scrub before you shave and rinse all of the salt off well. Otherwise, it will sting you legs when you shave. 

There are tons and tons and tons of different skin care uses for coconut oil. I just wanted to share with you a few of my favorites. I will definitely have some more posts about coconut oil and show some demos as well as tutorials.

If you have any questions or requests, feel free to leave them in the comments!


{Skincare} My Attempts At Going More Natural

Over the past few months I've started the process of going more natural with skin care.

I made the decision to try this due to several factors. For one, many of the heavily scented products have been making me ITCH LIKE CRAZY. My neck, chest, and arms would be covered in red welts from itching after I applied my body lotion. Not all scented products were making me itch, but enough that I started to get concerned.

I've also started to do some research about the many chemicals that are in some beauty products that has absolutely floored me. For one, when I started to itch I bought a "hypoallergenic" unscented body lotion. I was shocked to find that this word means absolutely NOTHING. NADA. A brand can use this term in any way that they want to because there are no federal guidelines that govern it's use. So that unscented/fragrance free body lotion isn't any better than the scented one because it will usually have a masking agent that masks the nasty scent of the other chemicals in it. I don't know about you, but that kinda freaks me out a little bit.

And finally: cost. I've been looking into the cost of natural and/or organic products and surprisingly there are a lot of products that are fairly inexpensive. I know almost everyone thinks that natural and organic (there is a BIG difference!!!) products are super expensive (and they can be), but that's not necessarily the case. I've found a lot of different brands that offer high quality luxury makeup and body care products that are either priced the same as their counterparts or even cheaper.

So this post wasn't meant to scare you away. Honestly, I'm only in the early early stages of this process. I still have a lot of non natural/organic products that I will want to finish up. To be perfectly honest, I know right now that there are some products that I will not do without and will continue to buy even though they are not natural or organic. They just do the job for me. On the other hand, there are tons of products that I can easily replace with better, more natural alternatives that work just as well. That's where my focus is right now. I'm not going super super super green, I'm just becoming a little bit more conscious about what I purchase and put on my body now. I will be sharing some of my experiences and opinions coming soon.

In the mean time, please don't let this post scare you! As always I still love makeup and beauty and all things pretty :) If you have any requests please feel free to leave them in comments.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

{Update} Where have I been???

I've been a busy bee...classes (hard!!!) and work (went from two to three part time jobs!!!!). So yeah--no time to blog during the semester unfortunately. Thank you to those of you who have continued to support this blog even while I've been MIA. I've really missed you and you will have plenty of new posts coming :)