Sunday, May 28, 2017

On the Road

So I'm on the road and I don't have access to a computer uploads so I plan on just doing quickie posts on Instagram if sights and products till I get back home. That being said, I've already dropped an Instagram post about Garnier Fructis Sleek &a Shine Zero. I'm trying to go through as many samples and foil packets as I can as we go along (I already missed an opportunity with bath bombs, boo) so expect something every couple of days, minimum.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Gameplan

I have an upcoming vacation and a few posts in the works for the next month including but not limited to:
  • a ColourPop Haul
  • a sample and freebie haul
  • a nightly skincare routine
  • a favorites/fails post
  • I'm toying with the idea of an interpretation of my last year of subscription boxes through makeup looks
There might be some other things thrown in there but so far that's what it looks like.

May 2017 Ipsy Review

Ipsy is a beauty subscription box that sends out 5 samples in a (sometimes) cute bag every month and it costs $10 a month. Ipsy is perhaps one of the best valued beauty subscription boxes out there in terms of cost-to-value ratio. Members often receive a mix of full sized and deluxe/sample sized items. I've had months where I've received only one full sized item and other months where I got four full sized items but I would say two seems to be about average for me. Keep in mind I also have brushes selected as one of my preferred items so those do contribute to the number of full sized items I receive. Of course items received are based on the user profile and preferences members create. I recently realized I was in a comfortable beauty rut so I mixed up my profile so I could receive items I'm unfamiliar and uncomfortable with in order to force some change on my part and keep things interesting. If you're interested I've dropped a referral link for you here.

This month's theme was pool parties. Being mid-May in the Midwest this theme feels a little premature but I can't fault Ipsy for trying. If I were back on the West Coast I don't doubt I'd be feeling pool vibes already. The bag itself was pretty effing hideous this month, but to each her own. I do appreciate how they kept with the inflatable pool toy theme though: the bag itself is a cheap see-through vinyl with a plastic zipper and childish cute ice cream printed all over. The only thing I do like about this bag is how wide the zipper spans making it one of the largest opening bags I've received so far. Unfortunately that does not help me like the crumpled plastic any more. I've never been a fan of clear bags or cabinets because it always makes me feel exposed and cluttered. 

At least the contents were better? I received:
May 2017 inflatable pool float Ipsy Bag

I am not sure how I feel about the Briogio Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray. It only lasted a day so I did not get much experience with it for myself but it worked wonders on the tots' hair. Lizzie has 3A hair so hers is fairly easy to work with if not a little dry or occasionally matted. Liv, my 3B/3C baby, is a pain in the ass to comb out because she just turned a year old so sitting her down is a taxing job to begin with. This formula was so moisturizing and made an extremely difficult job much less painful. Between the three of us we blasted through a 22mL (0.75oz) bottle in one day so I am hesitant to spend $20 on a 5 oz bottle, but holy damn is it tempting after being able to comb through Coconut's hair. I can see myself biting the bullet on this soon. If you know of any dupes please let me know.




I think I like this highlighter but the jury is still out on that. It is a decent sized deluxe sample and had a very soft formula for a powder while not feeling like a cream-to-powder finish. It is a very pretty champagne color with a high shimmer while not looking glittery. I would say it definitely looks like the grown-up way to shimmer. I did find it rather difficult to blend out properly and not have it look patchy though. If I blended even the slightest bit too much I would lose the color on my face but I want to chalk that up to some combination of not knowing to highlight and not having the proper tools for the job. I am also a little concerned that the shade isn't right for my skin tone and might come off as a bit ashy in person. Any patchiness in the photo below is due to my complete makeup noobishness, not the product itself as that blends beautifully.


Jelly Pong Pong without flash (above) and with flash (below)
It only took 13 months but I finally got a non-brown shade of eyeshadow (sort of). Jelly Pong Pong Supercharged Super Intense Eyeshadow Duo in Electric is a beautifully creamy eyeshadow duo with really cute packaging and its own mirror. The fact that it's cruelty free and vegan is a bonus. I honestly did not know it was possible to get such a creamy formula for a vegan pressed powder eyeshadow. The colors are very neutral but with a very subtle "pop" of color that is great for everyday, shimmery but not glittery, creamy, and quite pigmented. I also noticed that the shades apply much better with my fingers than with a brush, for whatever reason. Swatches will be dropped below.
Eyebrows distracting from applied highlighter, eyeshadow and mascara from this months bag under poor lighting



It Cosmetics Superhero Stretch Mascara

The aptly named superhero of this glambag, I fell in love with my IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara. It lengthens and defines so well and it isn't even a fiber mascara. I haven't loved a mascara this much since the Smashbox X-Rated mascara from last April which I did not realize until recently actually has fibers. Two coats gives a "falsies" look without clumping and I haven't noticed any flaking or drifting at the end of the day either. I had been wearing a deluxe size of the Smashbox Full Exposure mascara but it's been more or less entirely replaced with this little dude. Definitely my favorite item this month.


Second shittiest liquid lipstick ever
Naturally I wanted to save the worst for last: CAILYN Cosmetics Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint + Velvet in #32 Practicable. Finally, a liquid lipstick in a mauve shade that isn't red. So now you say "Look, ho. You've received like 4 various formulas in this exact shade since October. What's your deal?" Well you see, I traded for those. I am fortunate enough to have friends that receive Ipsy bags who happen to be a bit melanin deficient, if you will. So while I trade shades that are far too pink for my skin tone I receive colors they would never wear outside because they are too dark on them for everyday wear (we are lab nerds so we don't get all Prom'ed out often and when they do, they wear reds). This is actually the first time I've had one of the shades sent in my bag. It is almost unwearable because it is a little more pink than mauve, but that is an issue I can overlook (swatched below). What I cannot overlook is this hideous formula. I dropped some photos below of this god awful lipstick. At least it lives up to its waterproof claim but unfortunately it just does awful things to lips. It dries and flakes and leaves such horrible lines in the lips that I look like I tried to apply sfx to look like a wizened great grandmother of 27. When I pursed my lips together the lipstick came off of my top lip and had adhered on top of the layer on my bottom lip. I also tried to apply this multiple ways: over a liner, over a stick balm, over a liquid balm, over petroleum jelly, alone, under gloss. The end result remained the same: dry, cracked wrinkled abominations of lips.

Cakeface and mustache exhibiting the shittiness that is Cailyn liquid lipstick immediately after application

I cheated. Lipstick worn is NYX Stone Fox and Ciate London Pin-up, Eyeshadow worn is ColourPop Paradox, Stereo and Porter
Left to right (without flash): Cailyn liquid lipstick, Urban Decay highlighter and Jelly Pong Pong eyeshadow duo






Left to right (with flash): Cailyn liquid lipstick, Urban Decay highlighter and Jelly Pong Pong eyeshadow duo


I really enjoyed the contents of this bag overall. Aside from the liquid lipstick that couldn't, the only unfortunate thing about my bag this month was that I got a non-neutral eyeshadow shade after I dropped some cash on ColourPop (to be reviewed soon). I don't regret a thing though since the shades I bought would be too intense for an every day look while I could get away with Jelly Pong Pong for a wash of color and shimmer (my preferred style, really). I don't hate anybody in my life enough to give them a Cailyn lippie so I will see what I can do with it (not much really, not much). This month's value was $67.73 which is pretty incredible since I now have a highlighter to play around with, a new everyday eyeshadow, a holy grail mascara and a new hair product that Mother Nature is more or less strong-arming me into purchasing (thanks, kids!). While the bag design wasn't a favorite, everything inside is new to me, most of it is useful to me and most I can get tons of future use out of.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Birchbox Review May 2017

Every month Birchbox sends out a box (sometimes cute, usually not) with 5 samples at a cost of $10. Birchbox likes to send higher end brands so sample sizes tend to be on the smaller side but I won't complain about that unless they're sending foil packets. Another Birchbox trait is that they are more skincare/haircare heavy as opposed to Ipsy or GlossyBox which are more makeup heavy. This is fine with me (the skincare side at least) since I am also subscribed to Ipsy so that more or less covers my makeup fix. If you're interested, you can click my referral link here. This month was pretty decent. I received:




Monday, May 8, 2017

May Target Beauty Box

Target Beauty Box time! My mother-in-law buys these for me every month because she sees my eyes light up every time I pass by the makeup aisle in Target. That being said, I am a total ungrateful bitch but I look forward to these far less than my Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions, but most things in the boxes are pretty useful and the value is always above the $5-10 price point. Knowing that I'm such a great salesperson (har) I threw in a link for you guys if you wanted to grab it since it's still available at $10.



This month's box included:

Friday, May 5, 2017

April 2017 Ipsy Review

It has taken me a while to write up a rundown of my April Ipsy bag (we’re rapidly creeping toward mid-May here) but here you go. I’m tired of coming up with the excuse of “I couldn’t find the time” but it remains the truest excuse I can provide. At least this month was a winner?

The April Bag included:

Ofra Blush Godet in Rendezvous $12.00, Cruelty Free, Vegan
Hanalei Soothing Aloe Gel $3.00, Cruelty Free
ColourPop Gel Crème Eyeliner in DTLA $5, Cruelty Free
Hey Honey Besame Mucho Lip Balm $7.47, Cruelty Free


Let’s focus on that bag. I know I’m a trashy ho, but how cute is this bag? It’s been a pretty polarizing bag but I think it’s fucking adorable. And whomever comes up with the themes for Ipsy does a great job. Perhaps my favorite bag in the year I’ve been subscribed!

My last blush I received I got a year ago and I find myself never reaching for it because it is poorly pigmented. Ofra Rendezvous more than made up for that previous blush. It is ridiculously pigmented, a beautiful shade, and a full size godet (pan refill). It’s my first experience with Ofra and I promise you I will be making future purchases from the brand. All swatches can be found at the bottom of the page.

Ofra Blush in Rendezvous, Hikari Cream Pigment in Honey Dew, ColourPop Liner in DTLA
I am not sure how I will go about using the Hanalei Soothing Aloe Gel. I have no idea what the sun is and I live in a small cave of a lab so I never actually see natural sunlight. I cannot imagine suffering from a sunburn anytime in the foreseeable future. The gel is not very thick, but it left my skin feeling somewhat sticky. I tried using this as a serum but it just didn’t work. The purpose of this gel eludes me while the texture once applied angers me.

Hey Honey Besame Mucho, Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel
Whoo! Another eyeshadow in the same, super light, highlighter shade! This time in cream format. I’ve effed around Hikari Cream Pigment a little bit. I tried to apply it with a traditional shader brush, I bought an ELF Concealer blush which while stiff enough to pick up product is absolutely tiny, I’ve tried applying with Q-tips, everything. This shadow picks up easily onto fingertips but it turns out the only away to swatch and apply it is using fingers, which I worry might break down the composition a bit. It’s very similar to my Naked Cosmetics pigment from January but the cream texture makes it much easier to work with. I’ve been using this shade as a highlighter. I feel like Ipsy only has various nude/taupe shades of shadow to offer.

I nearly crapped myself in excitement when I saw that I received a ColourPop Eyeliner in DTLA. I would have been happy with any shade but that I got DTLA, a very deep navy blue, had me over the moon. It provides a beautiful subtle pop of color, is a full sized automatic liner and gives some color without looking over the top. I feel like this liner is a little creamier than the shade Swerve, reviewed here, and I cannot apply it as a liner for my upper lash line because I have non-existent lids that swallow up any liner I apply causing a huge mess in my crease.

I’m a sucker for lip balms, especially if it’s the liquidy, non-stick type so Hey Honey Besame Mucho was right up my alley. This came just in time to replace my Pur-Lisse Mango Lip Butter I got in October and the formula is pretty similar but I would argue that Hey Honey is less drying. I love the feeling (of both, really) upon application but I feel like this formula is nicer to my lips over the course of a couple of hours. 

Total value: $33.97, pretty low. Total happiness: about 7.5/10. Most of that score comes from Ofra and ColourPop. Holy crap that blush though. And I've been in love with ColourPop since my first encounter with the brand last year. My next purchase will probably be their Super Shock Shadows (I've already perused NYX a little and that post will be up soon enough).  


Left to right: Hikari, Ofra, Colourpop (no flash)

Left to Right: Hikari, Ofra, ColourPop (with flash)
Wearing ColourPop, Hikari and Ofra (no flash)

Wearing ColourPop, Hikari and Ofra (with flash)






Friday, April 28, 2017

April 2017 Birchbox Review

Birchbox is one of the first boxes I receive in a month and yet it's somehow one of the last posts to go up. Sorry guys. So, remember how much I bitched about Birchbox in the very beginning? I think I'm going to retract most of that vitriol I felt toward the company. I loved this month's box, possibly more than Ipsy (but the bag itself is pretty hard to beat this month). Like Ipsy, Birchbox is a $10 a month subscription that provides you with samples ranging from makeup, skincare, hair care and lifestyle items. My boxes tend to lean heavily toward skincare and hair care and this month was no exception (referral code here). It's also 11:00 PM, my brother flew into town for like 2 days with no downtime scheduled, I've been up since 4:15AM and I have work tomorrow at 6:00AM so this will be a quick-and-to-the-pointless today.

Products that I received were:
I married the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask over the weekend. I would argue that the name is misleading. The texture of my face has not been affected by this product: I still have acne bumps and some discoloration from past scarring but this mask is so incredibly moisturizing without leaving me feeling overly oily or greasy afterwards. Oh Birchbox, you tease. Sometimes you send the most pitiful sample sizes and then there are boxes like this with a decently sized sample that will last at least a few weeks. Definitely the highlight of this month's box.

The amika Nourishing Mask managed to last me a whopping two treatments. Hey, I'm not complaining. My  hair felt pretty well nourished but I cannot say if it was any better or worse than it otherwise would be. Smelled great though.

I loved this R+Co leave-in conditioner. 15mL was able to cover my entire head and I was able to get this look with next-day-hair. Unfortunately, as I was calculating values for this post I realized that I would only get about 10 uses out of a bottle which is highly unfortunate considering the cost. Needless to say I narrowly avoided buyer's remorse on this one.

Second Day Hair after using R+Co

I am pretty indifferent to the Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream. It is too thick for me to feel comfortable using knowing that it will make me look like a grease slick by the end of the day. I already have a preferred product for spot treatments (reviewed here) and the consistence of this product means it will just last me forever. I've taken to using this as a moisturizer at night in hopes that it might even out my skin tone. The Dr. Jart website states that the product is cruelty free but it does not attest as to whether or not that applies only to the final product (which I assume that is the case).

Last but not least I received a liquid lipstick by a company I've never heard of called The Beauty Crop. This one came in the shade Imma Bawse and man it's sexy a f. It is a very deep "power suit" red that is slightly cool/brown toned. The formula is a little liquidy but the pigment is so ridiculously opaque that it just melts my heart. It's also not overly sticky, not drying and doesn't have a smell. Most importantly: It actually washes away  (an issue I've been having with Tarte liquid lipsticks lately).

The Beauty Crop in Imma Bawse on lips
On the whole I would say this box was very beautifully curated. All of the items compliment one another and the one makeup item that was selected for me is such a beautiful deep red shade. The Total value of my box this month was $37.91 which I want to say is on the higher side for Birchbox and I see myself using everything in this month's box. Side note: I once only owned a single wearable red lipstick and now I'm just drowning in them.