Friday, July 31, 2015

Empties #2

Hello again readers!

It's that time again, time to clean out my bag of empties and get rid of the clutter! Not all of these are technically empty, some of these are just old, or broken, but bear with me. They needed to be thrown out.

Hair

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle*:
I really love this for  my hair, especially when it's longer. I went through this bottle really fast, because Emma had color treated hair when she was visiting, and she used a lot of it. It's cheap, it works great, and leaves hair feeling soft and smooth. I'm going to hold off on buying it again until I have longer hair, because since it's so short, it goes right to my scalp and leaves my roots looking a little too greasy.

Garnier Fructis Volume Extend Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo for Fine or Flat Hair:
I thought I'd give this a try, since it got such good reviews. Now I wasn't in love with this, by any means. It did make my hair look clean, but I didn't notice any volume added to my hair at all, it still fell flat. After a few hours, my hair looked gross, and had the added product at my roots that I had to use my clarifying shampoo to get out. It didn't work for me at all.

Matrix Total Results Repair Conditioner:
A product left behind by Emma that I thought I'd try. I can see why it's good for color treated hair, because like the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, it left my hair feeling so soft and smooth! I really enjoyed it, and she enjoyed it too for her hair. Kept her color lasting well into her stay. It was 12 dollars, something that I would never see myself paying for a conditioner (maybe in the future when I make a steady income), but it was nice to use this one up.

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo (Travel Size):
I really think this one would work, if I had dry hair. I have an oily scalp, well, an oily everything. This product went into overdrive to deliver moisture to my hair, that within 12 hours, it would start to look greasy. I generally wash my hair every other day, so within 12 hours and it looks gross? No thanks!

Deodorant

Degree Dry Protection Cool Rush*:
I've said it a bunch of times, but this is my go-to deodorant. Neutral scent, works wonders for my armpits, and keeps the sweat at bay. Wonderful product.

Old Spice Foxcrest:
I was expanding my horizons and thought to give this one a try. It was okay, but I wasn't wild about it. It has a thick masculine scent that just overwhelms my own scent, and any perfume/cologne that I would wear that day. I could only pair it with other masculine scents, because anything else would be too much of a contrast. It was too much for me, but it did stick around for the entire day, which was good.

Dove Men+ Care Dry Spray Extra Fresh:
Thought to try this for not only my armpits, but my feet too since it's summer. I wasn't wild about this one, either. I love the soap from this line, but the deodorant is just too different. It's almost bitter, and whenever I sprayed it it lingered in the room for quite a while - up to an hour! It wasn't the best, but i was fortunate (or unlucky, depending on which side you're on) and I dropped it off of my TV stand, and the nozzle broke off. It settled in there nice for photos, but if I'd shake it it'd go all over the place. I was glad I didn't have to use it up, but also sad that I didn't get a chance to use it up either.

Face

L'Oreal Go 360 Clean - Ideal Clean Facial Wash*:
Gets my face clean, and doesn't leave it feeling dried out. The little scrubby pad is an excellent addition, and REALLY helps get my face clean. I was really impressed as I was expecting it to be a useless tool. Really want to try the other varieties of this line.

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil*:
I was always really against using oils, but I love this one. Easily removes all of my makeup without hassle. It's fantastic!

Equate Oil-Free Makeup Remover*:
Another long-time favorite. Why mess with a good thing, because this remover gets rid of my waterproof mascara and liner easily, and even the stubborn eyelash glue from my lids. A really inexpensive product that works wonders.

Clean and Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub:
I really wasn't a fan of this first off, because it smelled like orange bathroom cleaner... Very off-putting. Also I really don't like exfoliating too often, and this did nothing for my skin. It made me feel a bit more awake, but if anything all it did was make my face red and a little irritated, and I don't even have very sensitive skin!

Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pads:
These were painful! My sister really likes them, but they didn't do much for my face. When I would go to rub them in the spots I needed it (chin, between my brows, and around my nose) it would leave a burning sensation with how harsh it was, and just felt like I was peeling my skin off... It didn't even clear up any of my spots, so I was just disappointed.

Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment*:
I really love this acne product though, because it does work. It helps cut my healing time in half (which is a huge deal, because I'm a skin picker so anything that helps my spots and scabs heal quicker is an A in my book). It isn't too harsh, and really helps me keep my skin under control.

Ponds Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream:
I didn't really like this much. It was much too emoliant for my skin type, and if I'd apply it at night, it'd still be on my face like a mask by morning.... I also don't have an issue with wrinkles quite yet, so I'm not sure if it really does anything. It did leave my skin feeling nice, but it's just not good enough for me to want to buy it again.

Makeup Wipes

ELF Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths*:
These makeup cloths are just amzing. They remove even the most stubborn makeup without too much effort. Great for when you're just too tired to do a full routine before washing your face, or when you just can't be damned to find a makeup remover.

So Fresh So Clean Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes:
I keep buying these to keep in my purse when I go makeup shopping. Great to just get rid of the pesky swatches off of my hand so it doesn't transfer onto my sleeve. I don't use these on my face, though.

Body

Alcohol*:
This is one of those products used for beauty, that always seems to get overlooked. Cleaning out acrylic containers after an eyeshadow spill? Alcohol. Want to sanitize your products? Alcohol. Have a cut? Alcohol. Well, maybe a cut isn't beauty related, but an infected cut is not very pretty! I always like to have a bottle on hand, and since I got two for a dollar a bit ago, I have a couple of backups.

EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Shave Cream*:
The best shaving cream I have ever tried. I love it, and I have yet to stray at all.

White Rain Moisturizing Shower Gel, Gentle Facial Scrub, and Facial Cleanser Makeup Remover:
I'm going to be making a separate blog post about these, but the gist is that I didn't like any of them. What a shame, they're so cheap and you get quite a bit in them!

Bath and Body Works AntiBac Hand Sanitizer - Noir and Dragons Blood*:
My go-to hand sanitizer. I have one on my desk, by my makeup area, and in my purse. I always have backups. Noir was really masculine, and though I liked the scent, it wasn't something I always liked on my hands. Dragons Blood is a long time favorite. Can't wait till Halloween so I can stock up on Vampire Blood (both are Plum scented, just named differently).

Eye Glass Cleaner:
Kind of shocking to ever showcase something like this, but I finally used up not one, but TWO bottles of lens cleaner. I'm like normal people with their lipbalms, when it comes to my lens cleaner. I usually lose them, before I use them up! I'm really proud with my progress, because I can just refill them so I'll always have some on hand. I want to take really good care of my frames, because I'm really fond of the ones that I have this time around.

Face Makeup

Wet n Wild Coverall Pressed Powder - Fair*:
I really fell in love with this powder. I was hesitant at first, because a lot of times with drugstore it's hit and miss, but this was just wonderful. A good light coverage that just evens out my flaws, while still letting my skin shine through. It's a great no-nonsense product, that I have really enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy as I have yet to find another powder foundation that I love as much as this.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation Light Porcelain*:
I used the last of this little guy at the beginning of the summer, and I'm wondering if it's because the life of this foundation was over with, or if my skin has changed, but I don't know if I love this foundation as much as I did a year ago. I have another tube left, so we'll see...

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Translucent Setting Powder:
I liked this at first. Having a pressed setting powder to mattify the face was a great idea (ELF has one that i put in my purse for on-the-go touch ups!) and I was happy to have a large size. Loose powders are great, but messy, and I thought this would be a good alternative. The issue that I (and many others) have with this, is that the more you use it, the gunkier it gets. It really gets disgusting, clinging to any oil and bacteria being transferred from your face to the brush to the powder, and causing a hard surface to form. It can be sanded away and santized, but it just forms again soon after. It's a hassle, and frustrating, and not worth it in my opinion.

Hot Topic Red Blush:
I used this as a sort of eyeshadow for years. It was too red for a blush, at least for me, and worked better that way. It took a tumble down onto my floor and shattered in the pan, and I just didn't see myself going through the effort to press it down again. I have other products I like much more for a red-eye look.

ELF Studio Powder Brush*:
This brush is my favorite, for both powder and liquid foundations. It just applies them so well, and flawlessly. It does however soak up liquid foundation, and it's a bit of a pain to wash out completely, but it's sooo worth it.

Lips

Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 Copper Pink:
This lipstick was okay. I used it up, but clearly I wasn't in love with it if it took me about a year to finish off the deluxe sample. The formula was okay, but the color wasn't something I was in love with.

NYX Extreme Lip Cream Candy Land:
I don't know what it was, but ever since I bought this it was just... so strange. I had Absolute Red (which I gave to Emma, she LOVES red lipsticks!) but I wasn't fond of it. Candy Land felt thicker, and it was a patchier application, making me a little frustrated. Eventually it started feeling gross and smelling off, so into the bin it goes.

ELF Glossy Gloss Berry Blush:
I really did enjoy this gloss. It wasn't sticky, the color was great, and it lasted a good amount of time. Too bad they aren't really selling them much (they might just be discontinued) which is a shame. They were great glosses.

Softlips Sugar and Spice:
I really enjoyed this in the fall, and I had a little bit left for the spring. I ended up taking forever to finish, because every time I used it I kept thinking 'fall', and would want to keep it just a little longer. I eventually used it up unfortunately, so if I see this in store again I'm going to stock up.

ELF Lip Lock Pencil*:
I didn't even use this up, but I went to put the cap on, and the dispenser bit that stick up snapped off! I was pretty upset, I had a little more than half of it left. Oh well, guess it gives me a chance to go buy a new one.

Eye Makeup

Jordana Best Lash Extreme:
I used to love this mascara so much, because it gives great length, and volume. Unfortunately, since it's not waterproof,  I don't see myself reaching for it as often as my other mascaras, and it ends up going bad without too much use. It was great for just days when I was doing errands and didn't want to worry too much about my makeup, but it ended up becoming something that just sat and collected dust. I'm not sure if I'll pick up another tube in the future, because I did love it, but for now I'm moving on to other mascaras to try out instead.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer:
I wasn't super blown away with this. I've heard on the internet that it's similar to the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but in this case I don't think so. I've done a comparison post on different primers, and it was just okay. Sometimes if I used too much or it's been a long day, I'll notice my eyeshadow creasing through the day. It's not the worst primer I've ever used, but it's far from the best, so I'm not going to pick this up again.

Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner - Everlast*:
Still one of my favorite eye liners of all time. Pigmented, and could probably last through an explosion, although hard to get off.

ELF Eyebrow Treat and Tame - Medium:
So this is just the Tame side, but I can tell you this: I hated it. I wasn't a fan of the Light one I bought, I gave it to Emma since she had red-toned hair, but this one was just not that great for me. I have thin, light, almost non-existent eyelashes. It wasn't enough to give them body. The only time I really enjoyed this, is if I drew on my brows, and used this to seal them. I prefer a clear brow gel for that purpose, so I'm not going to be picking up another one of these, although I really like the 'treat' side, and I'm keeping that until I use it up.

Maybelline Waterproof Falsies Mascara - Blackest Black*:
I really do like this mascara, but not sure when I'll pick it up again. I know I will, because I love how it looks on my lashes, but I have a list of different mascaras I want to try out now, so I want to set this to the side of my "needs", and try some new ones out before I come back.

Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum*: 
Also one of my favorite eyeliners of all time. Easy to use, pigmented, and it lasts an incredibly long time, even for me and my oily lids! I'm really pleased with it, and I can't help but make sure I always have a back up in case I start running low, even if it lasts me a good while!

Nails and Perfume

Sephora Travel Glass Nail File: 
This isn't available anymore, but the large one is. I bought it for $8 quite a while ago, and it lasted pretty well, with rather rough handling. The plastic was eaten away from an acetone accident (the casing was still okay, just lost the purple in places) and the file itself was unharmed... until it took one drop too many and shattered on the inside. It was rather loose inside anyway, so I'm not surprised, just a little sad. I won't be replacing because I didn't really reach for it, and I can't replace it even if I wanted to since Sephora no longer offers it.

Wet n Wild Wild Shine Top Coat:
It's not bad, but about halfway through the bottle it started getting goopy and stringy. Not something I'm looking for in a top coat.

Daisy by Marc Jacobs Perfume Sample*:
I didn't think I liked this at first, but I felt in love. It smells so good on me, and it just makes me really happy when I wear it. I'm a little miffed, because it is a rather large chunk of change, but one day I will buy the full-size of this for my collection.

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*Asterisks are items I have backups of, or I plan to repurchase.

Edit: I didn't even notice I left an entire category un-reviewed, that's my bad!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 27, 2015

BECCA Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation

Hello again readers!

So I found this product listed on Amazon (Shell is no longer available, but there are other shades still available for rather inexpensive prices!) and I couldn't resist. I've been intrigued by BECCA as a brand, and after swatching the products in store I've been really excited to give their products a try. Having a chance to get it for a great price, was icing on the cake, as it retails for $42 on the BECCA site.


The foundation comes in a plastic tube with a silver plastic cap. The tube has a see-through window, where you can see the color of the foundation. I was really pleased with how it looked already, because I played a guessing game, and I just went for the neutral foundation choice instead of any of the others. I bought mine in Shell.


The foundation is a light to medium coverage foundation, with a yellow-tone to it. It pulls more yellow than neutral, something that I don't mind and tend to prefer with my foundations. This can be an issue to those who are expecting a true neutral, and find this to be too yellow.

I've applied it with a brush, with a sponge, and with my fingers, and I prefer it with my fingers since the formula is rather light. Otherwise, I apply it with a brush and use the sponge to buff out any brush strokes or uneven patches on my face.

I thought at first this foundation would work best for dry skin, but that wasn't the case, as I had some dry spots (from acne scabs) on my face that this product clung to for dear life. If I had dry skin, I could definitely see this product emphasize the issues, and draw more attention to them than I'd like. So if you have dry skin, make sure you exfoliate or skip it.

After I apply it, I wait a few minutes and then set it with a translucent powder, or a beauty powder. It takes a bit of the shine away (more like a healthy glow) and I have the comfort knowing that it's set on my oily skin. First impression of this product was that it looked very natural and healthy, something I'm starting to enjoy more and more in makeup.

I was impressed with the wear though the day, because after about seven hours, it looked a little extra oily, but it didn't feel extra oily. It made me a little uncomfortable to see my face so shiny, but it was also a product I wasn't expecting to keep me looking matte or semi-matte.

After another few hours, I could see the oil breaking through. The foundation on my nose was mostly gone, a bit of it was gone off my chin and forehead, but it held up pretty okay. For a luminous foundation? I was really impressed! It's not something I'm going to be wearing much in the summer, but for those dry winter days when my skin starts looking lackluster and matte foundations make me look sunken and corpse-like.

This is best I feel for combination skin types, but you can make it work for any of them if there is exfoliating going on for dry skin types, and powder for oily.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 24, 2015

FOTD

Hello readers!

It's been a really long time since I've posted a FOTD. I post selfies to my other social media, but I just never felt compelled to post any on here. I went to a party on Saturday, and I went all out with my makeup. I'm still learning and practicing, and I'm really enjoying it.



Products used:


-ELF High Definition Powder - Translucent
-Revlon Colorstay Ivory Liquid Foundation
-Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer
-ELF Baked Highlighter Moonlight Pearls (to set the Luminizer)
-ELF  High Definition Under Eye Setting Powder
-Disney Dare to Dream Pocahontas Retractable Luminizer - Great Spirit


-ELF Exact Lash Mascara
-Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Single - Brulee (Brow bone)
-Too Faced Shadow Insurance


-Covergirl Clumpcrusher Mascara
-NYX Proof It! Eyeshadow Primer (for lash line)
-Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil - Perversion
-NYX Micro Brow Pencil - Ash Brown
-Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum


 -Pocahontas Dare to Dream Beauty Book 
Shades used:

Heroine - Blending shade for crease and inner corner
Sycamore - Crease definer
Willow - Lid Shade
Ripples - lash line
Riverbend - inner lashline


I feel I went a little too dramatic, even if it doesn't look so bad in the photos. The highlight was really over the top, with the luminizer and then the highlighter on top to set it, and I went too much. I tried to fix it, but then I just accepted my fate. I also wish I went ahead and applied false lashes, but since I knew I'd be drinking, i didn't want to deal with removing them later on.


Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 20, 2015

MAC Matte Royal

Hello again readers!

When MAC launched their new Matte lipsticks, I went over the moon! I love matte lipsticks for their long wear time, and for MAC to be offering new shades to the table, I couldn't resist caving. Not only is this my first MAC Matte finish lipstick, this was my first MAC lipstick entirely!


I can't describe the packaging as much more than classic MAC. The black bullet with silver MAC print, and the silver tube on the inside. Easy to pick out of an entire pile of other lip products.

The smell of the lipstick is to die for. A gentle, sweet vanilla. Not overwhelming, and I find it to be pleasant. 


The lipstick was everything I was hoping for; a beautiful royal blue, with a semi-matte finish. I would say a complete matte finish, but it does pick out a bit of the light while I'm wearing it. It has an odd effect of completely washing me out, which I don't find to be a negative thing entirely. If I want it to be balanced, I put extra effort in my eye makeup. Otherwise if I keep it relatively neutral, all of the focus is on my mouth.

It takes a few passes to get an even application, and it needs some care in order to get a steady look to the lips. I don't have a lip liner to match this, but I really should, because this can get really messy, really quick.

This isn't a lipstick I'd recommend to people who are just getting into lipsticks (even though it's an incredibly fun color!) because of how much effort I feel it needs to wear it.

The lipsticks retail for $16, but with tax and everything I round it $17 a piece with free shipping! A bit steeper than a drugstore lipstick, but so far I find it to be worth the price. It makes me want to buy more, but at the moment I can't really justify spending so much on lipsticks that I may have in my collection already. In the future, I will be buying more for my collection, just not at the moment.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BITE Mix n Mingle Mini: Fig, Date, Gavi, Glace

Hello again readers!

I splurged over the winter months, on these Bite Mix n Mini's. I started with one... and then I bought two with a gift card. I was weak! I know I hated the glosses, but these just seemed to do me a world of good.

The packaging for both of these products are similar; they both have the slate grey rubberized plastic finish. It makes them look really sleek, sophisticated, and simple. They both also have a nice fruity scent. For the glosses, I didn't think it worked out, maybe it was just the gloss formula, but I wasn't a fan. In these, I find it to be light and refreshing. 


The second products I picked up were the Matte Creme Lip Crayons. I wanted to try Gavi, and Glace, and was pleased to get both, although I missed out on the Mini-Size of Aubergine. Bummer!
The mini-sized Lip Crayons, were a lot bigger than anticipated. They were .031 oz each, with the full-size Lip Crayons are .05 oz each. Wait, what? Yeah, you read those right, each of the "mini" Lip Crayons, are MORE than half of the product in full-size, for half of the price! Talk about a fantastic deal!


The best part is that these twist up! It's commonplace for lipsticks, but with crayon products, sometimes they require a sharpener. I'm really pleased that these do not, because it would have thrown off their aesthetic. 


Glace:
Dusty Mauve

Gavi:
Peach nude.

I found the formula to be pretty surprising. It's matte, that's for certain, but it's a comfortable matte, almost hydrating, but not quite there. It wears very comfortably on the lips, and even without a balm underneath I don't have an urge to remove it quickly.

I find that it does last for quite a while, with the biggest wear happening in the center of my lips (where most lip wear happens), that is easy enough to fix.

A little issue I had with these, is that if I forgot to exfoliate, or if I was wearing too much, the product would sort of ball up and look really unappealing. It's an easy fix, but something to be cautious about.

Glace is only available in the full-size ($24), while Gavi is only available in the mini-size ($12), on the Sephora website.


I was going to put this first, but decided instead to wait for the end. This is one of the Luminous Creme Lipstick duos in Date/Fig. I was really intrigued with the Luminous Creme Lipsticks, and this was a great way to try them out, without committing to the $24 price tag.

The product is housed in the same stick, with one side being Date, and the other Fig. Each side has it's own cap. Something that I noticed, that I think won't be an issue unless you're constantly taking off and putting the cap back on again, is that the rubberized finish could get scratched off. I've only noticed little spots on my own lipstick, but it's something to be wary of is that it's a coating, not exactly the packaging itself.


Fig:
Nude Rose

Date:
Beige Nude

The formula was really phenomenal. It's smooth, creamy, and even with extended wear it has a sheen to it making lips look hydrated. It was a very comfortable lipstick, like wearing a tinted balm on my lips, and wasn't drying at all! The downside is that they are so creamy they transfer, move, and don't last me longer than a few hours (four at the most, if I don't talk much, eat anything, or drink anything, and where's the fun in that?). Is it worth it? I think so.

Each of the halves, include .05 oz of product (making it .10 oz total), while the full-size has .15 oz. In that regard, once again you get over half of the amount in the mini, however; the better deal for this is going with the full-size, if you prefer just Fig. If you like both, it's better to get the mini. If you like only half, the full-size is a better deal.

Fig is available in the full-size ($24), while Date is only included in the duo, still available for ($12) on Sephora's website.

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All I can say, is I hope they do this again for the Holiday 2015 season! These were fantastic, and although some are still available here and there, they're SO worth the money!

Thanks for reading!

*Photos edited to show color as accurate as possible. Taken in artificial lighting.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Alchimia Apothecary Review

Hello again readers!

So, as soon as I got my order in, I've been testing out these perfumes... and then to find out that they're changing their business!

Alchimia Apothecary used to create perfume oil blends, that they sold off. However, they're changing the direction of their company. Instead of me trying to describe it, I'll let you read it for yourself here. It sounds scary, but I find that it's good news! I'm really intrigued to create blends for myself, and I want to attempt another try at my handiwork to create a dupe.


I picked up a Choose Your Own Adventure (that will be canging in the future, but you can still create scents!), and included in my package was a sample.


I'm a little bummed that I can't really describe this scent to you... Zero just smells frigid, like zero degree weather (get it?). Cold and sharp. It has a scent of mint and pine, like you stepped outside on Christmas. I'm going to try wearing it in the winter, because it smells more like a winter scent than a summer one. Very strange, but wonderful. 


Now for the bulk of this post... My favorite perfume of all time is Promise Me, and this is not a secret by any means. Neither is the fact that they no longer sell Promise Me, which was a huge hit to me. I wanted to try to get a dupe made, so I wouldn't worry about using all of it up... or at least something extremely similar.

I sent an email off to Erin at Alchimia Apothecary, and her messages were fast, and kind. I was very happy with her patience with me, as sometimes I felt I came off as repetitive and nervous, with my misunderstanding on how certain notes worked, as well as my failure to describe the scent that I had in mind. She was as I said patient, and sort of walked me through which scents smelled like what, which is above and beyond if you ask me. She was very thorough, and understanding. I was really impressed, because although I still know very little about perfume and scents, I felt relieved and confident and her abilities.

However, it was close, but not close enough (not a fault of Erin, but my own nose and my ignorance with how scents work!). I'm a perfume noob. Basically, I find a scent I like, and stick with it and hope for the best. I could only find the notes of the original perfume online (missing out notes like vanilla, etc.) and wasn't sure exactly which perfume notes to add.

In the end, I ended up picking four notes: Gardenia, White Tea, Apple Accord, Vanilla. Erin suggested Cologne Marine Note, which I love in this scent, and was really impressed with her suggestion because it just made it so much better.

The scent that came out, was a version of Promise Me, with a sweet apple twist. Promise Me No. 2. The apple accord overpowers most of the other fragrance, and the vanilla I think adds just a bit too much sweetness.

It wears great throughout the day, and even with my skin chemistry, I can smell it. The sweetness goes away after a few hours, and I find I like it better as the day wears on, rather than on initial application, which I was also impressed with.

To be honest, out of the entire original Promise Me, I really liked the sharper notes, compared to the sweeter notes. When I place another order (when they return), I think I'll end up skipping out on the vanilla entirely, and picking a more sharper apple fragrance to go into the mix instead.

The original pricing was $15 with $3 shipping, making the total $18, a great price for a perfume oil that will last just as long as a spray in my opinion (maybe even more than a spray for me, as I use at least 3-4 sprays of perfume/cologne and only a few drops of the perfume oil).

The pricing will change with the company, but I suggest keeping an eye out for their return. They company is fantastic, and the creations are almost limitless!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Target Beauty Box Summer 2015

Hello again readers!

I thought I'd give myself a treat and try one of the Target Beauty Boxes. Every so often, Target offers a box of goodies for pretty darn cheap (with free shipping! all you have to do is pay for tax and the price of the box) that always ends up being a good deal. Sometimes you get full-size products too!


The products came packaged in this glossy black box. The box for Summer 2015 was $7, and it was a $40 value.




Inside is a message card, and on the back is a list of all of the products that the box contains, with little instructions on how to use them. Many of them are sort of self-explanatory, but for someone who hasn't used any of these products (or anything like them before) this can definitely be useful, because sometimes labels on packaging can be plain confusing!


Inside of the box there was a package of Cutex Advanced Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads, a Revlon HD Lipstick, Olay Regenerist Luminous HydraSwirl Eye Cream, and Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo. Not pictured is a Sinful Color nail polish, that was supposed to be included in the box, but wasn't included in mine. I considered sending them an email, but it wasn't worth the hassle to me. Chances are, either I had the shade they would have sent me (I buy all of the ones that I like!) or I would have gotten a shade I wasn't going to use.


Cutex Advanced Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads ($4 for 10):

This is a descent trial size for this product, to be honest. It's not a full-size, no, but there is enough in here to remove three manicures, since there are three pads.


Each of the pads comes individually wrapped, making them great for travel. At first, I thought it was a little ridiculous, but I thought if someone where to go on a trip for longer than a week, and wanted to refresh their manicure, then they could remove it and start fresh, without having to take a bottle of nail polish remover and some cotton (or felt!).

I felt these removed my nail polish really well, with a bit of effort. I wouldn't recommend these for removing glitter polish, but for other sorts I can see how these would work for a quick fix.

These just aren't something I need to repurchase, because if I'm going on a trip I don't much care how my nails look, but if you're into having crisp looking nails, try these.


Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo ($10 for 1.7 oz., $19 for 4.9 oz.):

I was really excited to give this a try, because ages ago I tried their Smoothing Cream, and I loved it so much (even though I didn't know how to use it then, and I always had greasy hair). Dry shampoos are a product I'm always looking to try out, because I have an oily scalp that I wash every other day, and sometimes between washes it looks a bit more oily than usual (especially around the fringe area). 

This sample size is a great amount to really get a feel for if you like it or not, and I am in love! It applies easily, smells nice, and it gathers up that excess oil in my hair and leaves it soft, bouncy, and clean-looking. It is a great refresher, and I found that it lasted for most of the day (about eight hours), allowing me to go about my day without any hazard of my hair looking gross.

I noticed a bit of product buildup, common with dry shampoos, but it was easily washed out with a clarifying shampoo, that I use once a week.

The price is a little steep for a dry shampoo, but it works really well, and the scent of it is not overwhelming, making this a good option. If you're looking to splurge a little, this is a product to get, and I can see myself repurchasing this in the future.


Olay Regenerist Luminous HydraSwirl Eye Cream ($24 for .5 oz.):

Something that I'm new to in the past year is eye creams. I always thought that just a simple moisturizer is just as good for your eyes as a moisturizer meant for your eyes... well I was wrong. Your eye area is thinner skinned than the rest of your face, as well as being incredibly sensitive. Having a product meant for the eye area, is always a good idea. 

The product comes in a clear plastic container, where you can see the product inside as a mixed swirl, a clear gel, and a more opaque cream. The product is released from a pump, which I'm always pleased about in products, especially skin care, as I find ti to be a hygienic option (although sometimes wasteful!).

Something else I was interested in, is that this product claims it will diminish the look of dark circles. As someone with darkness around my eyes (mostly because of my crappy sleep patterns, as well as stress and anxiety making them look even worse) I was really intrigued by this claim. Something to make them look better? Could it be true?



The HydraSwirl cream comes out... looking admittedly a little gross. Parts of it are clear, and the rest looks a bit like puss from a zit... It's a little unappealing, but I rub the product in and it doesn't make a difference how it looked before. 

A single pump, gives you too much product to comfortably use. I found half a pump to be ideal, as it gives an even coat to the eye area, without over-saturating the skin.

I did notice a couple of things; One, is that it made my eye area feel comfortable and hydrated, which is a great effect to have. Like the rest of the skin, it likes to be hydrated, and having this eye cream, is a gentle way to deliver hydration for that delicate area. Two, is that it did alter the appearance of my dark circles, making them a bit less noticeable. Nothing drastic, but I could tell a difference, and it was easier to hide with concealer. Less dark appearance, and less makeup caked on my face? Win!

$24 for an eye cream seems crazy to me, but if it keeps working like it has, I will probably bite the bullet and repurchase anyway, even if it's pretty expensive (to me!).


Revlon HD Lipstick - HD Gladiolus ($8):

The Revlon HD lipstick comes in a clear plastic cap, with a silver bullet. The packaging, is similar to the Revlon Lip Butters, but clear instead of colored. The lipstick is cut at an angle in a blunt fashion, and the opening is rather large.


The shade I received was Gladiolus. It was a warm-toned red. The shade range I saw on the insert it came with, to be mostly colors like pinks, with reds, and not as many neutrals, which I found was weird, but I didn't really question it.

The color was hard to work with. I cant' wear this without a lip liner, because the first time I applied, I thought it would be easy, because the large opening makes it easy to apply a lot of color quickly, but it's not so easy to make sharp edges, like at the corners of the mouth or around the cupid's bow.

The formula of this lipstick, is really smooth, and buttery, which is it's downfall. For a neutral shade, no big deal. For a bold color like this? It's too much. It slides around during the day, and only lasts for about two hours before I feel the need to remove, and then reapply. It's comfortable to wear, that's for sure, as it feels hydrating, but I wish it wore better. I cannot deal with the way that it practically slides off my lips without me knowing at all, so because of this, I won't be buying any of the others. I'm not so impressed with the formula, and the shade range isn't that appealing to me either.

Not pictured: Sinful Colors Nail Polish ($2). 

So far, I've always found these boxes to be worth it, even if you know you'll just love one item, the others are fun to try! You might just find a new favorite, or get to try an item you might not have splurged on yourself before (like the eye cream for me!). Keep an eye out if you might even be remotely interested, you might just be surprised.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sephora Birthday Reward

Hello again readers!

I've been lazy in picking up my birthday gifts from Sephora and Ulta this year (well last year too, to be honest) and then I had to take time to give them a try too. 

The reward at Sephora is the same for every member. All you have to do to get these gifts, is to be a member at Sephora, and have your birthday, that's it! Easy, right?


This years gift made me really excited, because it was a NARS gift. It was a cute box, with two of their lipstick pencils inside! In two different finishes too!


There was a Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, and a Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien.


Velvet Lip Pencil - Cruella:

A beautiful true red, something that Cruella de Ville would definietely wear. It applied easily, and it was easy to get an even coverage. I did notice that over time, this pencil dried my lips a little bit, which I wasn't too happy with. I've tried it with a balm underneath, and I like that way better, but then it wears of faster. If I wear nothing at all underneath, I don't like how it wears as much, but it does last quite a while, for over four hours without a touchup.

Satin Lip Pencil - Rikugien:

A rose pink shimmer. This one is a nice pink to wear on my lips, because it gives color without being too much. The shimmer of this lip pencil kept my lips looking shiny and healthy, and with the formula it was easier to wear. It didn't last as long as the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (most lipsticks never last longer than matte versions), but I like it for an entirely different reason. I like the wear of this one, and it's more wearable for every day use compared to a red.

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Both of these Lip Pencils need to be sharpened, you don't twist them up and down, which is always a bit of a bummer, because you end up wasting product when you have to sharpen them, and for pencils that retail for $26 a piece, it's really hard to see product just go right into the trash because you have to sharpen them down.

Don't miss your chance to pick these up for your birthday, they're great to wear, and great to have in your makeup collection!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ulta Birthday Gift (April, May, June)

Hello again readers!

Ulta did something strange this year for their birthday gifts (or exciting, depending on how you look at it!). Instead of having one product given out all year, they're changing it up. The first quarter of the year, people received this Ulta palette.

If you had your birthday in the second quarter (April, May, or June), you received the Deluxe Size Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Voodoo.



It comes in card stock, with details on the liner shades that Urban Decay has in their line.




The pencil is a violet metallic, with orange and violet glitter. I have never been too fond of these pencils, because although they last for a decent amount of time on the lid, they don't last very long on my water line. Even so, I'm happy to have received this for my birthday gift, as I didn't want the palette, and I didn't want what's available for the third quarter gift (A Deluxe Urban Decay Perversion Mascara!) either.

If you got this, did you like it?

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I couldn't find this pencil for individual sale, but it's included in the After Dark Travel Pencil Set, available at Sephora, Ulta, and the Urban Decay site.

Thanks for reading!

Notoriously Morbid Cosmetics

Hello again readers!

I've been really excited about this post, because I placed and order and finally got to try out Notoriously Morbid Cosmetics!! I've been really going out and trying a bunch of different brands to really buff up my collection, and fulfilling my duo-chrome addiction, so Notoriously Morbid was on my wishlist.


I picked up a blush sample, and the Beauty Blogger Package for eyeshadow. I was really surprised, because there was an added eyeshadow, from their "The Price of Magic" collection, and I was even more excited to try it out, because the shadow was the one I wanted most from the collection. 




The blush I picked out was Necromancy*, because I desperately wanted to try it for contour. It isn't a matte, it has a sheen, and a bit of glitter in it, but dang, it ended up being a really pretty contour powder nonetheless. I can't get enough of grey/taupe shades to contour with, it has changed the entire way I do my makeup. I love this blush, and definitely see myself picking up a full size in the future.


And then there were samples, six of them, to be precise. Love Reigns, Glorious Honor*, Walkin' on Sunshine*, There is No Honor, Autumn Flower*, and The Grand Empress.


I swatched all of them like I usually do, by running a wet wipe over my arm, but even with the damp skin, I didn't feel that these particular shades really shined, so I dotted Pixi Epoxy onto my arm, and swatched them over that too.


Love Reigns:
Salmon pink duo-chrome with a blue shift.

Glorious Honor:
Light violet duo-chrome with a green shift. Also includes pink and violet shimmer.

Walkin' on Sunshine:
Based on Charlie from Supernatural. A violet duo-chrome with an aqua shift.

There is No Honor:
On the site it says this is supposed to be a grey, but this looks more like a blue with a green duo-chrome shift.

Autumn Flower:
Dusty plum shimmer with a blue and green shift.

The Grand Empress:
A dark blue with a red duo-chrome overlaid. It resembles a lot like London Bridge from Darling Girl Cosmetics. This shade DOES leave a stain behind, so if you're not fond of working to remove stains from your eyelids, I'd avoid this one.



Now this is another shade that I could not for the life of me find on their website. I did find it featured on other blogs, and apparently this was inspired by Castiel from Supernatural. Not really the sort of color I'd pick for him, but the shift resembles him more, being a very cool toned color shift.


Hallelujah: 
Tawny brown with a blue/teal sheen. 



This was the other full-size shadow in the package. It was from The Price of Magic collection, which upon further researching, was a limited edition collection. (The May 2015 Vanishing Cabinet). I'm a little devastated, because while this is the shade I loved the most out of the collection, it's unfortunate that I can't experiment with any of the other shades, how sad. :( I'm happy to have this though, and I almost jumped for joy (I did a dance instead!) When I looked at the name on the back: You Want Darkness?



You Want Darkness?:
Taupe-y plum shimmer, with blue and red sparkles.

This was inspired by Maleficent, and holy cow was I really happy about it! Generally, she is associated with green, black, and violet. Having a color that's so out the norm, was really refreshing. I haven't seen more than five episodes of Once Upon a Time, but this was a really beautiful shade.


So, what did I think about the brand? I think that Notoriously Morbid is a brand that brings something unique to the table of Indie cosmetics, and should definitely not be overlooked. The duo-chromes they offer are to die for, and great quality. The site is easy enough to navigate, and the processing/shipping turnover was really quick too. I'm really pleased with my order, and what I received, and I know for sure that I'll be placing another order with them in the future.

Thanks for reading!

*All shades with asterisks indicate that I will be repurchasing full sizes in the future.