Monday, November 17, 2014

Birchbox First Impressions/Review: October 2014

I fell behind again (sorry!!), so this is going to be another first impressions/review all in one. I should be getting November's Birchbox within the next couple days, and I'm really going to try harder to do that one the right way. Promise!

There's the box after I took out the information card and whatever else was in it. Obviously I left the good stuff. (:

suki exfoliate foaming cleanser

First impression: Like most things, the first thing I did was smell it. It smells like most gritty exfoliants do, which is typically a citrusy, lemony scent. What was interesting about it was that it's not just an exfoliant, but it's also a cleanser. That's good and all, but maybe not for someone like me with sensitive skin who can't exfoliate every single day. It was also an odd texture, but I think that was just because it got a little too warm sitting in the mailbox.

Review: I like it! Since I didn't want to use it everyday for obvious reasons, mine dried out before I could finish it up. There was no recovering it either because it got rock solid and nothing would loosen it up. It was nice while it lasted, but I probably wouldn't buy it. It was the kind of thing that was cool to have and try out, and it smelled fantastic, but it wasn't the kind of product I would spend money on when there's other exfoliaters that I like better.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Spray
First impression: Smelled really good, seemed like a good idea. I had been using It's A Ten and I had just ran out when I got this, so that was good timing. I have a friend who raves about it, so I was excited to try it. Besides that, I really like leave in conditioner type things because you never know what's going to work best for your hair.

Review: I liked it alright. The smell was nice in my hair and it felt good after I sprayed it in and combed it through. It was a good product over all, but I found that afterwards, when my hair was dry, it didn't do as well for me as the It's A Ten. I used it several times and there's still a decent amount leftover, which is really great. I'm probably going to pass it on to my cousin though, as there's no sense in it just sitting in my cabinet not getting used when there's nothing wrong with it.

TOCCA Crema da Mano Luxe  Hand Cream in Bianca
First impression: Honestly? Not very excited. They tend to send me a lot of hand creams and lotions, and since I haven't used up the other ones I've received, its really just something else to add to the queue. I have to say that it smells really great though, as I like both green tea and lemon scents. Its very fresh and light and, thankfully, not perfumy or floral.

Review: Because I have so many little lotion samples hanging out, I haven't used this a whole lot. I've picked it up and put it on a couple times, and in those couple times, I've enjoyed the scent and the consistency. I like that it's thick, yet it absorbs into my skin quickly. I put some on my arm just now so that I could write this, and its all rubbed it, but I can still feel it. Not in a bad, greasy, sitting on top of the skin way, but I can just tell that the patch of skin where I put it feels more moisturized.


Coastal Scents® Revealed 2 Palette in Ballerina
First impression: I was pretty excited about this one! The colors reminded me a lot of Naked 3 by Urban Decay, which I'm pretty sure is what this is supposed to be a dupe for. When I swatched them, they were nice and smooth and pigmented without needing to put a primer under them.

Review: It's a winner! I wouldn't say that it's a replacement for my beloved Naked 3, but it's absolutely something I'm going to use in place of that when I'm not home and need to do my eyes. I used it a couple times on my eyes and I really liked everything about it. In fact, I have a little bag of travel makeup that I keep packed to make my life easier (I say this like I actually go places, lol), and that's where this lives now. It's perfect for something like that because you've got a lid color, crease color, highlighter, and then a deeper shade to darken the crease more or use as eyeliner. Can't get much simpler than that!

LuMESH Hydrating Lip Gloss in Sadie
First impression: I thought it was pretty in the tube. It's a rosy pinky red shade with a slight shimmer to it. It's small, so it would be another perfect thing to add to my little travel makeup bag. The only thing about it though, and I don't know if this is everyone or just me, but the tube doesn't seem to have a stopper in it. So when you open it, you get more gloss than you need, and when you close it, it kind of oozes back out and makes a mess.

Review: Honestly, I haven't used it but maybe once, and I'm not even really sure I did that. I just don't want to fight with the big mess that it makes from not having a stopper. I might pass it on to my cousin if she doesn't mind that it's a little messy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ulta Exclusive Urban Decay Shadow Box 2014


Urban Decay recently released their new Shadow Box palette, which is an Ulta exclusive. It contains twelve shades- nine bestsellers and three brand new ones. The packaging is really pretty, with its only downfall being that its cardboard and therefore can't support the mirror on its own. But that's a lot of palettes, so it's not really a huge deal.

The packaging has a really nice black, purple, and pink flowery design on it, with their logo as the magnetic closure. It also has "Urban Decay" written in silver along the bottom edge, and on the inside, the mirror has their slogan, "beauty with an edge" written on it.



As far as the shades go, they have a pretty decent selection. If you don't like shimmers then you probably won't like it very much, but if that isn't an issue, then they have a good range of lights and darks, neutrals and brights. I'm not exactly sure if this is intentional or not, but I feel like the colors on the top row pair very well with their counterparts on the bottom row. Again, I don't know if that was on purpose, but either way it's really helpful if you're in a hurry or new to makeup.
 



Sin is a shimmery, silky smooth champagne shade. It would make a really nice highlighting color.


Indo is a very pigmented, shimmery emerald green shade.

Bordello is a mauve color with a gold shimmer. It also seems to have a slight purple shimmer as well.


Tornado is a medium-dark purple with a slight dusty, gray tone to it.
 
Smog is a shimmery, true gold color.

Blackout is a super dark black and is the only matte in the palette. Since it's a matte, it doesn't have the best color payoff, but I honestly don't feel the need to hate on it like a lot of other people seem to.

Flash is a bright purple with an iridescent shimmer to it.

Mushroom is a very warm brown-gray color. To me, it looks like a silver in the pan.

Lost is a warm bronzey brown.

Freelove is a peachy pink and probably my favorite in the palette.


Moonshadow is a deep blue with more sparkle than shimmer. This is another one of the new shades.

Baked Cowboy is a very pigmented gold that reminds me a lot of Half Baked. Also a new shade.


Overall, I like this palette a lot. Its pretty and well pigmented and includes a lot of "wearable" shades as well as more fun ones. While I like it and am not at all disappointed that I bought it, I think that it's probably more well suited to people who are new to makeup and have yet to collect very much. At any rate though, it's definitely a good buy and would be fantastic for travel. It's been out for a little while, but is still available on ulta.com for $34.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Catching up!

Ahh! Sorry for the super long absence! I had a lot of important life stuff going on these past couple months, plus I was honestly just a little bit lazy, haha. But now I'm back with some stuff to review! This post isn't going to be a review, but rather a little catch up thing.

After my July bag, I unsubscribed from Ipsy and instead have started getting Birchbox. If you don't know what that is, it's another monthly subscription service. It's a lot like Ipsy, but I think that I prefer it because of their points system. With them, the points that you earn by doing reviews add up much more quickly, and there are a lot more options of items to redeem those points on. I've only had it since July and by the time I get the October box, I'll have enough points to get something I've had my eye on. ;)

So, onto the point of this quick post! Because I didn't keep all my boxes and empty product containers, I'm just going to give a quick rundown on the kinds of products I've been receiving these past couple months. All of these links go to full sized products, but of course Birchbox sends you sample sizes in most cases. So far at least one product per box has been full sized though!

July
Naobay Body Radiance Lotion
Supergoop!® Daily Correct CC Cream ​SPF 35+
Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel
Harvey Prince Imperial Gardenia
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner

August
Dr. Jart+ Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm
Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream
LAQA & Co. Lip Lube Fiver Giftbox Assorted
Neil George Shampoo 3.38 oz
Neil George Conditioner 3.38 oz

September
Davines OI / Shampoo
Davines OI / Conditioner
Davines OI / Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
Pixi by Petra Breath of Fresh Air Exclusive Lip Balm Set
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit
Tommy Girl Spray Cologne - 3.4 oz.

If you're interested in checking out this box and possibly subscribing, here's my link!
https://www.birchbox.com/invite/bmdhg

And if you don't like using referral links, just check out birchbox.com!
 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

July Ipsy Bag: First Impressions/Review

So, two things to briefly talk about before we get started. First of all, sorry that this is both late and all smashed into one post. There's a reason though! And that reason is that this is the last Ipsy bag that I'll be talking about. I felt like the boxes were declining in quality, at least for me. They just weren't giving me things that I was excited about or impressed by after I tried them out. That being said, from now on I'll be doing Birchbox reviews as I thought I would give that a try. Now that that's out of the way, onto the review!

"Sensationally Sunkissed"



Another cute bag this month! Bright pink, faux leather, square shaped. It was an overall good bag, aside from the scalloped edges just because I don't like the way that looks. Obviously that doesn't affect the bag or anything, so no big deal. (:

Pur~lisse pur~protect essential daily moisturizer spf 30

First impression: I was both excited and hesitant. Excited, because I like trying new sunscreens and having one built into a moisturizer I already know I like sounds like a win-win to me. I was a little hesitant about it because I have yet to find a sunscreen that I like that doesn't burn my eyes. Normally I can just get it near my eyes and it'll turn them red and watery and awful for hours. It's to the point that I usually just don't wear SPF on my face because I don't want to go blind. I thought this might be different because this seems like a pretty gentle brand.

Review: It was a winner! I've only used it a handful of times but it hasn't bothered my eyes at all! Other than that, it's a good moisturizer just like the one without the SPF that I got a couple of boxes ago. If it wasn't so expensive ($55), I'd probably think about buying the full size.


First impression: Anything that says "split end mender" can't be fully trusted. Split ends can't be fixed (even though this product makes that claim), they can only look like they're fixed. So I guess in that respect, this could be a "mender" of sorts. The smell is interesting. I don't know if this makes sense, but it smells like it looks. It has the Indian looking theme going on and I kind of think it smells exotic and earthy. I don't really know what India smells like, but that's the impression I got. Same as all hair products, it was something I was looking forward to trying out.

Review: I don't know how I feel. I've used it many times, every time I've washed my hair, in fact. I don't know if it's really making any difference, but it makes me feel like I'm making a difference, which I know is stupid. I like the smell though, so that's a plus. I'm going to keep using it until it's gone, which seems like it'll be several more washes, to see if it actually does anything. It ranges from $5.99-$17.99 depending on ounces.


First impression: Brand appeal? High for most people, I'm sure. Personally though, I'm not a bareMinerals fan. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have dry skin which doesn't mix too well with minerals, but that's a whole different story. Anyways, I don't know in what world this color is wine, but whatever. I've never tried a bareMinerals eyeshadow before, so this is as good a place to start as any.

Review: Don't like it. The color is fine, I could see it being a nice transition shade once its blended out. I just can't really figure out how to use it without making a mess on my whole face. I want to give it another shot, but it'll have to be a time when I'm not trying to actually get ready to go somewhere. I put it on my eye with the applicator, then I tried to blend it with my finger. That wasn't precise at all. On the other eye I tried blending with a brush. That just didn't work. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, which is totally possible. Full size is $18 and can be found at Ulta.


First impression: I was excited because I've been wanting a lip tint and this is a really pretty one. The Benefit one makes my lips tingle and I'm pretty sure that's not supposed to happen. This also smells like cherries, which is super fun. Then there's the name, which is just edgy enough to be funny, lol.

Review: It tastes just as good as it smells, which is awesome. The color was pretty too, even once it was blended out on my lips. It didn't make them tingle either, which I find to be a really good thing. My only complaint is that it didn't last a remarkably long time like I had hoped it would. Full size retails for $22.99.


First impression: I'm never excited about getting a nail polish because I have about a hundred and fifty million already. That being said however, this is a really beautiful color. It smells kind of strong, but I'm not too bothered by that.

Review: Just as pretty on the nails as in the bottle. I wasn't aware that its supposed to be a topcoat, since it was opaque in a couple coats. As expected, the smell went away once it dried. The only bad thing was the wear time. It lasted a little over 12 hours before it chipped off. When it chipped, it actually more or less peeled off my nail. I'm not sure if that's the polish or my top coat, but since I only have the one top coat, I can't really experiment too much. At any rate, it was really pretty and I'll definitely use it again. Apparently this is a British company, so their price of £4.99 comes out to be about $8.27 USD.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

June Ipsy Bag: Review

Skinn Olive & Enzyme Cleanser: I absolutely love this stuff. I'm really into all natural face stuff, but this was so great. It smells like an orange creamsicle and it took everything, including mascara and liner, off of my face. It wasn't the best for waterproof mascara, but I didn't expect it to be. I'm not sure if I will be buying this product, but that's only because I have so much face stuff that needs to be used. Otherwise, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I've also been using it pretty consistently and there's a ton left.

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray: As predicted, this didn't work for me. My hair is wavy, long, and really thick, and I have yet to find any kind of beach spray that does anything for it. I tried this spray on wet hair, damp hair, and dry hair, and nothing happened. It actually kind of made it look worse than it does when it dries naturally with no help at all. I'm not sure if it didn't work because of my hair or something that I didn't do right, but I've also heard that this product just isn't that great in general either. I'll probably hang onto it and give it a try whenever I head to the beach. Sometimes things like this work better for me in that kind of weather.

NYX Butter Gloss in Apple Strudel: I already have this, so I knew I would love it. I haven't opened the new one yet because I actually have this exact same color, but I've used my old one several times this month and I like it just as much as ever. It's smooth and pigmented and long lasting. I don't even like lip gloss that much and I love these ones.

Nicka K New York Shimmer Eyeliner in Green: This stuff was surprisingly good! My eyes water like crazy, especially in the warm months, so I didn't think this was going to work that well. To my surprise, it stayed on all day without smudging or fading much. It did wear away in the inner corners a little (I've been wearing it on the top), but that's basically any eyeliner for me. I really like it, especially with browns and more muted teal colored shadows. It's very mermaidy and summery. I could definitely see myself getting some more of these liners in whatever other colors they have.

Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara: I don't have a review for this item because I refused to put it on my eyes. It smelled really horrible, so I threw it away.

Friday, June 20, 2014

NYX Macaron Lippies


I know these aren't exactly new, but we just got them at my Ulta...well, I'm not sure when we got them, but they just went on the shelves probably about a month ago. I've had my eye on these for awhile, mostly because they're so fun and unique. The only one that I thought I would actually wear (aside from the pink one because blah, another pink) was Lavender. So I picked that one up and since they were buy one get one 50% off, I grabbed Violet for a friend who I knew was interested as well.

Sorry my lips are gross- I suck at exfoliating them.
I knew that this was going to be a bold color, but wow! It's so vibrant and pretty! As much as I don't mind wearing whatever I want as far as makeup goes, it didn't look quite right on my face as is, so every time I've worn it I've either blotted it a lot (like in the second picture) or layered something else on top of it to calm it down. I know that this isn't for everyone, but if you like vibrant, unique colors at a super affordable price, then I would definitely check these out!
 
You can pick these up at nyxcosmetics.com, Ulta, and I believe a few drugstores for around $6.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June Ipsy Bag: First Impressions

"Pretty in Paradise"

 (Before I get started, yep, I know that my bag only has four items with it. I also received the Be A Bombshell mascara, but I'll let you know what happened with that later on in this post.)
Another cute bag! I wasn't sure I was going to like it when I saw pictures of it online, but it's actually pretty cute. And for those of you who are into designer names, this is by Rebecca Minkoff, as stated on the red tag on the side. I'm not really into that kind of thing, but even I think that's kind of neat. (:

This smells so freaking delicious. It smells like oranges and citrus and it's just the best smelling stuff. It actually smells just like this high end cleanser that I was using when I was still in school, which really nice because I liked that stuff, but it wasn't for my skin type so all I could do was smell it. The fact that I can smell this one and use it? Awesome! 4oz is $24.

Everyone likes beachy hair, including me, but I don't have high hopes. This smells exactly like a pina coloda, which is really nice, but I don't think it's going to do anything for my super thick hair. I have yet to meet a beach spray that does work for me, but if nothing else, at least it'll make my hair smell delicious. 4.2oz is between $7 and $9 depending on where you get it.

Sorry I didn't exfoliate my lips before, lol.
I was really excited to see that Ipsy was including one of my favorite lip glosses this month. Unfortunately, I already have this color, but that's okay because I'll either give it away to a friend or just hang onto it for when I use mine up. It's the number one lip gloss that I use, so I'm sure that won't be long. Not to spoil the review later, but I can safely say that I already love this product, especially this shade. This is full size and is $5.


Shimmer eyeliners are notorious for not working. I assumed this would be pretty, but not long lasting or that it would be clear with random glitter chunks here and there. As you can see though, it swatched so pretty! It also stained my wrist in the thirty seconds it was on my skin, so hopefully that says something about it's staying power. I have super watery eyes, so I'll be interested to see just how water resistant it really is. This is also full size and is $4.99.

Photo from ipsy.com
So the reason why I don't have my own picture for this product is because I threw it away without thinking about the fact that I needed to write this post. I threw it away because it smells absolutely awful. It's somewhere between a drawer full of loose change and burning rubber. I threw it away because the smell was so strong that I could smell it the second that I opened it. I have sensitive eyes, but even I didn't, there was no chance that I was going to put this near my eyeballs. In addition to the smell, it also had a lot of ingredients that I'm not crazy about, again, especially in the eye area. Not that it would have affected the performance (which I hear isn't good anyway), but the tube itself felt cheap and very lightweight. I'm also super put off by the fact that everybody on ipsy and other places online have said that it sucks and smells terrible, yet all the reviews on the Be A Bombshell site are raving about it. Seems a little fishy to me. This is full size and is $15.
 
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