Sunday, October 4, 2020

Oh My Word!

I've been gone longer than I anticipated. My computer is currently in my mother-in-law's room so I really don't have access to it like I used to. A lot has happened this year: we moved to a house, we renovated the house to make it livable, we lived on someone couch for a month during some of those renovations and on the set of The Money Pit for the rest of the renovations, we saw the onset of the zombie invasion followed by the real life version of VEEP that somehow morphed into Watchmen, and started building an entire back wing onto the house because my husband and mother-in-law were unfulfilled with the lack of construction noise during the quiet months.

In unboxing news: I cancelled Sephora Play because I finally reached the breaking point with their lack of effort in any of their boxes. It is telling when I start to enjoy the 50¢ perfume samples over the actual makeup and skincare samples. What's cute is my "Take that, Sephora!" moment didn't last because they discontinued the subscription the following month.

I didn't renew my Birchbox subscription in April because I just couldn't justify spending $15 a month on a gamble that I might receive one decently sized sample. Well, that and I was very frustrated after 3 years of a subscription service not recognizing that people do come in different races, and not all black people are light skinned, half black people that you would be led to believe if your only encounter with them was via television ads and the token black friend on a sitcom. I'm looking at you, any of the Smollet children.

I grudgingly let my basic Ipsy subscription lapse in May. Not because I dislike the service or because the price increased to $12 but because I'm just awash with sample sized skincare and I have more makeup than I know what to do with.

I'm also a hypocrite and I subscribed to Ipsy Plus for $25 a month. I enjoy the service but this may have to lapse as well since 1) I don't post anywhere as frequently as I should and 2) I'm still woefully overstocked with skincare and makeup.

I also signed up for FabFitFun but hear me out! I needed a purse and that was the most cost efficient way to get one. Well, I did sign up the season before that because I really wanted the super cute ballet slipper pin and white vase that I ended up not receiving in my box, but that's a story for another time (or not). I don't intend to keep up with FabFitFun though just because it's costly and I'm just accruing stuff without much space to put it. Also, they seem to be lacking the "Fit" aspect lately.

Finally, I signed up for Weight Watchers. What does that have to do with anything on this blog? Absolutely nothing. I've been increasingly unhappy with how I look and feel and one day I was sitting on my bed, accidentally looked at the body length mirror facing me, and I looked like the Venus of Willendorf. That was a deal breaker for me.

Image courtesy of Bing

I can't promise I will be more active since again, this is my mother-in-law's bedroom. It's like being 12 all over again with the one computer, hooked up with 28.8 kbps dial up, is in the corner of my mother's bedroom and I had to find select times to browse... gifs or poorly designed websites (because that's all that existed back then) without judgement. I do pop up more frequently on Instagram though, which isn't saying much.

All in all I just wanted to bounce through and let you know I'm alive and well. I'm going to Venus my way to some more tea and a good doomsday book now. Enjoy!


Sunday, January 19, 2020

June 2019 Sephora Play Review



Play! by Sephora is a $10 monthly subscription that provides members with 5 beauty samples and 1 bonus item. The samples are never full sized and the bonus is usually a perfume but can sometimes be a foil packet. Wow, I’m doing a terrible job of selling this, guys. The only one benefit of the Sephora box over other similar boxes is all items can be found inside Sephora or available online at www.sephora.com. That is, until the chain discontinues something but that’s not too common.


·         Tarte Foundcealer SPF20 in 42N
·         Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb





Tarte Foundcealer SPF20 in 42N

Once again, Sephora tries to match my skin tone and once again, Sephora fails. This time, they failed in the other direction. Tarte’s Foundsealer in 42N is about 2 shades too light for me, which I suppose can be worked with either in a dark room or the deep recesses of winter with some bronzer. The coverage is not my favorite. Like the name suggests, it is supposed to double as a foundation or a concealer. I’m not into high coverage foundations so this was an immediate miss, though I appreciate the opportunity to try it out. It’s too light for me to try to spot conceal with it over my normal foundation shades, but the coverage is definitely there. I will continue to play around with this around the house when I can guarantee nobody will see me out in the wild.



Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Vanilla

This was somewhat of a repeat item. I’ve tried (and loved) the original Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Strawberry. With its sweet scent, hydrating power, and generic petroleum jelly flavor that discourages me from eating it off of my lips, I intend to blast through my jar this winter.



Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Yet another product I’ve tried in the past. I should start off with the negatives first, and keep in mind, this is just all personal preference. I have hooded eyes that are difficult to work with and a pretty low-key preference for eye looks. I do not enjoy wearing eyeliner outside of my waterline and I like liquid liners even less.

That said, this is a fine eyeliner. It’s felt tip, which is more difficult for me to use than a brush tip liner (see Kat Von D’s Trooper Eyeliner) but it’s the finest felt tip I’ve ever encountered. It’s also the blackest liquid eyeliner I’ve ever tried, but I’ve never actually tested its waterproof claim. If I had to have a felt tip liner, this would be my choice.



Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Detox Mask

I really enjoyed this face mask. It’s interesting in that it never dried down fully like a typical clay mask. It did a great job of moisturizing my skin and brightening my complexion a bit. It didn’t have any lasting effects over time but the immediate brightening was lovely.



Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

I’ve tried this moisturizer before and I really like it. The gel formula is moisturizing but not greasy so it’s great for daytime use, especially in the summer.



Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair Gummies

This is generally a wasted sample in a subscription box because one dose isn’t enough to get an idea of how well a vitamin works. The flavor was rich; these were a pleasant gummy flavor. The texture was odd though. They were hearty and I even noticed a little extra texture to them. Now, this is a terrible analogy, but imagine eating rice pudding and noticing a heartier texture to it. IT was something like that, or perhaps a real fruit leather, where it’s heartier than an over-processed Fruit Roll-Up or Gushers snack. I can’t ever see myself paying what this product is asking. I might instead go for Nature Made Pre-Natal vitamins or something to that effect, If I’m looking for a hair/skin/nail multivitamin.

L to R in indirect natural light: Stila Eyeliner, Tarte Foundcealer in 42N

I’m no longer finding joy in subscription boxes like I once did, as evidenced by my posting once every 3 or 4 months now. Maybe it’s the stress of the move and fixing up a house, maybe it’s just an overabundance of items and I’ve found what actually works for me. Unfortunately, FOMO (cook kids’ translation: fear of missing out) is preventing me from quitting anytime soon. I’m slowly trying to whittle things down but damn this compulsive buying!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Digging Through My Trash

My empties have got away from me to the point that the only feasible way to log any of them is to only tackle the noteworthy items, for better or worse, from the past 7 months or so. These will be in no particular order since I’ve sort of lost track of when I finished off which items.


Skincare
Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Atomic Heat Mask
I love the moisture this added to my face. I would love to find a cheaper version of this somewhere, especially for the winter months.

Korres Pomegranate AHAS & Enzymes Resurfacing Mask
This mask felt like a slightly less intense version of Drunk Elephant’s Baby Facial. I was definitely able to feel it working on my face but it only hurt about 83% as much as the Baby Facial.

Boscia Cactus Water Hydrating Cream
I got every last bit of product I could out of this jar like a dog pushing his food bowl around the kitchen flor while he’s trying to lick the last of the gravy at the end of a thanksgiving weekend. I loved how well it hydrated. It was a gel moisturizer but it was deeply moisturizing product while being amazingly not sticky. 

NOTs Once Finishing Cream SPF30 PA++
I’ve had this product for an embarrassingly long time now. I’ve tried so many times to make this work for me but it’s just impossible. The cream is a sickly green color which would work if I had either a lighter skin tone or a different undertone. Whenever I tried using this as a sunscreen I looked like a zombie guilty of cultural appropriation using blackface. Not a cute look, is what I’m saying. 

Elizavecca Galactomyces Pure Ampuole
Of all the products I’ve tried from Elizavecca, Galactomyces may have been my favorite next to the hyaluronic acid serum. I loved that this serum has the glass packaging and ampoule dropper and I especially loved that the product was a liquid instead of a gel. It made application a bit tricky but I just had to pool it in my palm and hope for the best. The texture also made it easier for me to determine what order this should be applied in my skincare routine. Elizavecca has not been featured often lately on 0.8Liter but you can be sure I’m skulking around the site waiting to pounce as soon as I see this product appear again.  

Makeup
Ciaté London Lip Lustere in Call Me
I loved how light this lip gloss was. It felt more like a lip oil in consistency and wasn’t sticky in the slightest. I also loved the light sheen it left on my lips with very little color. I ended up getting a backup of this with leftover Ipsy points so that’s pretty exciting though, I’ll be honest, I thought I was getting a different shade. 

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 4W1
I never got much use out of this product because it was just too heavy yet too light for my skin tone. I tried mixing it with the too dark 5N1 shade I have to mixed results. This is a product that I would love to hold on to but the foundation started to separate and no amount of shaking could fix that. I’ve never had that problem before but clearly, it’s the universe telling me that my shit is well past expiry. 

Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil Extreme Wear in Brûlée
This was a fine product but it only receives an honorable mention here because the liner came out of the pencil itself when I tried to sharpen it one day. 

Benefit Rollerlash Mascara
My heart broke to have to toss this mascara. It started to dry out so that was the ultimate decision maker for me. The deluxe sized packaging is just so dang cute. I loved the bristles so much too! They’re the short, silicone kind that perfectly coat and define every lash but the bristles are so soft and flexible that they don’t hurt my lids at all during application. My lashes always looked longer and fuller when I wore this little guy. It’s definitely on my future grabs list. 

Trèstique Mini Eye Pencil in Swiss Chocolate
I love Trèstique’s packaging and I used this almost everyday as my brown liner/tightlining color but I was dumb one day and it broke during application. It was creamy, didn’t transfer, and provided subtle drama, if you pardon the oxymoron. 

E.L.F. Mineral Infused Face Primer
I finished off a full-sized face primer, y'all! Tried and true. 

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
I’ve heard mixed reviews of this little guy but I’ve had nothing but great experiences with it. It hydrates beautifully. The formula is thicker, akin to lanolin, but it’s not uncomfortable. I loved the strawberry scent too. Thank goodness I got another one in a Sephora bag.


Bath and Body 
Bubble T Hibiscus & Açai Berry Tea Restoring Hand Cream
I wasn’t a fan of this lotion. It felt like slapping some fairly pleasantly scented, slimy water on my hands that was about as hydrating as hand sanitizer and pretending it actually did something. 

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter
Speaking of scented... A tiny amount of this lotion was enough to clear a large elevator. I always felt super greasy after applying too. I managed to finish it off, it only took 2.5 years. 

Natura Brasil Castanha Hand Cream
I blew through this in about a week in early Midwestern spring (see: still too cold for comfort). It smelled mildly like old lady but I loved how well it hydrated my hands.






Monday, September 30, 2019

June 2019 Birchbox Review



Birchbox is a $15 monthly beauty subscription box that offers 5-6 sample and full-sized makeup, skincare, and hair care products from brands both high end and only known within the beauty box community. The idea of tackling June’s box is a little daunting. Typically, this would be the first indication that it was a lackluster box. Being more realistic, I’m probably suffering from product overload. I received:


 

Monday, September 16, 2019

May 2019 Birchbox



That's more diversity than the contents of any of my boxes has ever seen. -_-
Birchbox is a $15 monthly subscription that provides subscribers with 5-6 beauty samples and the occasional full-sized product. Birchbox is great for people who favor skin care or hair care over makeup items. Earlier this year Birchbox started various offerings including picking one of the items in your box, a choice of curated boxes, swapping out that month’s box for a select full sized item, swapping out that month’s box for store credit, or leaving it all up to fate and letting the algorithm surprise you. I find myself opting for curated boxes lately; even if not every item is a perfect fit, I’ve generally given up on trusting the algorithm to select even a fraction of my items. May’s theme was “Get Insipired.”
I forgot all about the included sticker, oops.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

March Empties

I was honestly doing better at posting. The baby started finally moved out and started sleeping in her own bed, in her own room. I got ahead for a minute pre-typing and posting and then life blindsided me with many distractions, good and bad. Posts will be slowing down a bit as we prepare to move 6 years of clutter, so I'm sorry in advance.

I screwed up and thought I was doing a decent job of being an organized hoarder. As it turns out, this was absolutely not the case. Most of the items from this list are just missing, probably tossed in error. 




Tuesday, August 20, 2019

May 2019 Ipsy Review



(As of this posting) Ipsy is a $10 monthly subscription that provides members with 5 beauty items and a cute makeup bag. Items can vary from sample to full size and brands range from private label to mid-range and even the occasional high-end product. Prices will increase to $12 a month starting with the September glam bag. Details about the price increase and other Ipsy subscription levels can be found here.
May’s bag was actually pretty cute. I love the rose gold detail even if the glitter can be a bit much when hit with direct light. This was also the first time I was really excited for a big in months. Sorry about the garbage picture quality. I was trying to outmaneuver the kids while taking advantage of the last of the day's sunlight.