Monday, April 16, 2018

Pretty Fly Super Shock Shadow Kit by ColourPop

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
I indulged in some of ColourPop's spring Super Shock shadows with the Pretty Fly kit ($25), and I've got to say they really knocked it out of the park when it comes to the packaging on these. So pretty!
I'm actually keeping the shadows in the box, I like it so much.  Fortunately, I really like the shadows in this collection as well.  Let's take a closer look.
First up is Force Behavior (light pinky beige with silver, gold and pink glitter) and Goodbye Butterfly (peachy pink with a gold sheen satin finish).  Goodbye Butterfly can also work as a blush, although it's not my favorite formula for that purpose.
Force Behavior
Goodbye Butterfly
Next is Three's a Cloud (ultra metallic rich amber gold) and Flux with You (light gold with silver glitter).
Three's a Cloud
Flux with You
Last up is Soul-cialize (pinky lavender with pink and sliver glitter) and Up in the Air (dirty plum satin).
Up in the Air
I've been using these for about two weeks now and I'm back on the super shock shadow formula bandwagon. I know some people are over this formula, but it works well for me. I don't mind using my fingers to apply shadow and I do find that a dense brush works well in applying these as well. I also recently watched a YouTube video that showed how you can revive these when they get too dry by mixing them with a silicone-based primer like the Smashbox Photo Finish primer (it's at 23:40 of this video by Sarah Hubler of the Beauty Hub, although there are other demos/techniques on YouTube). 
Hope your Spring is going well - I'm counting down to my upcoming vacation/staycation in May.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Agave Kisses Set by Bite Beauty

I have heard such good things about the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, so decided to get this set to try the mask, lip balm, and sugar lip scrub.  I really like two out of the three, which did a great job of  keeping my lips moisturized and happy during the cold snaps we had in Mobile in January/February. 
The Agave Lip Mask is quite thick and was somewhat difficult to squeeze out of the tube. I had to apply so much force that I was afraid the tube might split, but it didn't. This lip salve was deeply hydrating and became my night time lip balm, replacing the Smith's Rosebud salve which I've been using for years. Layering the mask over the stick lip balm resulted in lips that were soft and hydrated in the morning, with lingering product still protecting my lips.
The stick balm is a harder, more waxy texture that wears for a long time. It's not one of those balms that you continually have to reapply, no doubt because it is a thicker consistency. I ran out of the balm before the mask, and considered repurchasing it but decided the mask was the true star of the show for me and where I wanted to spend my money. Cause these aren't cheap at $26 for the lip mask and $18 for the balm. Ultimately, I did repurchase the lip mask but chose the Champagne version for a bit of shimmer this time. Hopefully the formula is the same.
Now for the item that was sub par IMO - the sugar lip scrub. I don't think there is enough sugar in the mix to make it an effective scrub.  I could be biased as I do like the Fresh Sugar lip scrub, which is much more dense and less soupy than this one. It's not so bad that I'm going to trash it, but it's not a formula I'm sold on. Maybe I should add more sugar to it and see if that helps, although the only sugar I have on hand is brown sugar I use to top my oatmeal.
I don't see this set on Sephora at the moment, and I'm not sure if it's something they bring out periodically or if it's gone for good. The Agave lip mask has become something I don't want to be without though, so I guess this sampler served it's purpose :-)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kakadu C Amethyst Clay Detox Mask by DERMAdoctor

Disclaimer: I received a sample as a GWP.
I've received and used about 3 of these DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Amethyst Clay Detox Mask samples from Ulta whenever they offer their GWP sample bags, so I think it's about time to give my impressions. First, let's discuss the benefits of magnesium for your skin, since this purple mask has it high on the list of ingredients.  Namely, it is supposed to have a calming effect, which is good for those with acne or rosacea.  It's also necessary for the enyzmes that regulate DNA replication and repair. Actually, there is quite the list of health and beauty benefits when it comes to magnesium, if you would like to delve more into that subject. I've taken magnesium supplements in the past, and this is reminding me I should probably restock.
"Magnesium rich amethyst clay absorbs impurities and detoxifies without removing natural oils. Provides gentle resurfacing exfoliation and helps leave skin feeling smoother, brighter, and softer. Enriched with stabilized vitamin C, Kakadu plum, Tasmanian pepper berry, lilly pilly and Muntari berry." (Source: Ulta)
I'm also a big fan of vitamin C in skincare, and this mask features a stabilized version from Kakadu plums that is supposed to be 55 times more potent than the vitamin C found in Florida oranges. Plus, I really like the purple color. My 3 uses is not really enough to tell any long term benefits and at $58 for a 1.7 ounce jar, this is a pricey mask. A group of twenty people who did use it 3x/week indicated a variety of skin improvements, including improved skin tone, clarity, brightness, and texture.  Bottom line, I like it and it's got a 5 star rating (38 reviews) on Ulta.  I may have to invest in a jar with my next Ulta 20% off coupon for prestige brands.

Friday, March 16, 2018

My Must Haves Palette by Essence

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
Hey, long time no see! I'm still playing with lots of makeup and skincare and today wanted to share my impressions of the Essence My Must Haves singles, which retail for a whopping $1.99 each at Ulta.  I picked up a bronzer, two blushes, and an eye shadow to go into the 4-pan palette ($3.49). I've been playing with these for over a month now, let's see if they are any good!
First of all, the palette arrived without any packaging and was scratched on top :-(  Not good, Ulta, especially considering the claims against you about reselling products that have been returned. Fortunately, each single comes securely packaged in it's own container and was in good condition, so no complaints there.  They are not magnetized but do fit nicely into the palette, which is a rather flimsy plastic.

The bronzer shade also works as an eyeshadow, and I've been using it as a crease shade as well.  It's best suited for fair complexions and I've reached for it quite a lot in the last month.  There are 3 blushes on Ulta's site and I purchased Rosy Glow and Coral Dream. 
Rosy Glow is the more pigmented of the two, but I like them both and find that they can be built up in color without getting cakey.  The single eye shadow I chose is Brownie Licious, which is a dark brown matte that applies smoothly and can also be built up in color. 
None of these are groundbreaking, but I do like them and would take them with me when traveling for a nice one and done natural look. I hate taking expensive makeup with me when traveling, as I've been known to lose items, plus things get broken. At this price point I wouldn't be heart broken and I do like them!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Decluttering Old Makeup

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me.
I'm in the midst of doing a makeup inventory, which led to decluttering some of my older makeup items or items that may not be so old but have started to smell a bit off. I also decluttered duplicates of mini-sized items and kept the one that was in the best shape, which is way I'm letting go of a perfectly good Laura Geller highlighter. I'll provides links to original reviews if they are available.
Some of these items are favorites, including the no longer available In the Know eyeshadow palette (review here) by stila  It's 6 years old however, and even though it still smells fine, I decided it was time to let it go.  It helps that I recently purchased the Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping palette, which has a nice range of neutral shades that can fill this void.
I got some decent use from this contour kit in light/medium from ISH, which I acquired from a  FabFitFun box.  I particularly liked the bronzer shade, but it has started to smell bad so it's time to go.
Another face/blush palette that had started to smell off was the Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar 2 Rose Gold palette (review here).  I'm not sure what the shelf life on this one is, but I had it for maybe 1.5 years, so it may indeed have expired. I do view brands such as Makeup Revolution to be more disposable due to their low cost, as it's relatively painless to replace items if you truly want to.  I will not pick up another one of this palette, but it's largely due to the overflow of makeup items I already own as opposed to not liking it.
The Let's Dance Harmony palette by Sephora is beautiful and no longer available (review here), but I never used it and it is OLD.  So, I let it go.  The picture below is from when it was brand spanking new, but I really had not make much progress on it at all.
There were two newer items that I tossed because I never fell in love with them.  One was the Catrice highlighting powder in Champagne Campaign, which just did not do it for me as a highlighter. Something about it seemed more dusty/chalky and it did not meld with my skin the way I want a highlighter to do.  The other item was a deluxe-sized sample of a bareMinerals blush in Lola that I received in their 2016 advent calender (review here).  It was not a shade I was going to wear, so it got decluttered.
The other five items were all blushes that had started to smell off.  The Cargo blush in Bali (review here) is such a pretty and rather unique shade, so I was sad to discover it had gone bad.  However, it was at least 4 years old, so it's time was well past.  All of the pictures below are from when the items were new.
The NYX blush in Soft Apricot (review here) was a good everyday kind of color for me, and was another item that was at least 4 years old.
I never fell in love with ColourPop's blushes and highlighters in the Super Shock formula, so Tasty did not see much use from me.  I cannot tell that Tasty has gone bad and the Super Shock formula does not dry out in my experience as much as it seem to for other people (benefits of a super humid climate?), but I just don't reach for this so it's out. Tasty is pictured new on the left below.
My Essence blush in Babydoll, which I don't believe I have reviewed. was a soft pink that I really liked but it's not smelling the best. I'm not sure how long I've had it, perhaps less then 2 years?  Fortunately, Essence is another super affordable brand that I view as disposable and easily replaceable due to their low cost.  In fact, I just placed an order yesterday at Ulta for some of Essence's new items from their fall collection. 
The last blush that had gone bad was a deluxe sample size of Two Faced's Your Love is King (review here).  This was not a color that saw much use from me, and the other two items from that set are still smelling okay, although they are 3 years old.  Probably expired as well.  I tend to go through my collection about twice year to check for items that have gone bad, and each time it reinforces to me that I need to focus more on using up what I have as opposed to purchasing new items.  Hence the makeup inventory, which I'll probably do a post about soon. While I do still purchase new makeup items occasionally, it will typically be from less expensive (and thus more dispoable) brands and/or from really good sales.  For now at least, that's my strategy :-)

Friday, February 2, 2018

#365 Days of Samples: Vol. 22

Time to get back to my #365 Days of Samples series, where I randomly select from my overflowing sample box 7-10 items to use up in the next few weeks. I learned about this series from Elle S on YouTube, and find that it's a great way to steadily work through all those foil and deluxe samples I've accumulated. 
Items included in this go-around::

  1. Green Tea Milk Wash Cream Cleanser by Farmhouse Fresh (foil)
  2. Face Wash Powder by DHC (foil)
  3. Daily Exfoliating Towelette by Blum Naturals (1 towelette)
  4. Si Eau de Parfume by Giorgio Armani Beauty (spray vial)
  5. Prep-n-Glow Cleanse+Exfoliate+Hydrate by Nuface (1 towelette)
  6. Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer by Ole Henriksen (deluxe sample)
  7. Sweet Cream Body Milk by Farmhouse Fresh (foil)
  8. Fluffy Bunny Shea Butter for Body by Farmhouse Fresh (foil)
  9. Marula Oil by John Paul Selects (vial)
  10. Coconut Milk and Honey Nourishing Exotic Oil by Pure Fiji (deluxe sample)

I do want to update you on a few of the items from previous volumes, as I either decluttered or used them up:
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (deluxe sample): finished, mainly by using it at night before bed time.  Not something I would purchase, as I have other hand creams I like better.
  • fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask (foil sample):  I liked this!  It is supposed to boost the vibrancy of skin with it's proprietary vitamin fruit complex of vitamins, citrus fruit extracts, and minerals.  One use was not enough to see results and the $62 a jar price tag will keep me from purchasing, but I enjoyed the sample!
  • Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave In Conditioner (foil sample):  Did a good job of detangling and smoothing my hair.  I've got an abundance of these foil samples so am in no hurry to purchase.
  • boscia Purifying White Charcoal Mattifying Treatment Primer (deluxe sample):  still working on this one.
  • DHC Facial Scrub (foil sample):  a micro-bead free gentle facial scrub that uses apricot seeds.  It was nice, but not especially memorable.
  • Double Take Baked Powder Foundation by Laura Geller (deluxe sample): I used to love this stuff, but find it looks too powdery/cakey on my skin now.  Ah, the joys of aging skin.
  • bareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion Serum (deluxe sample):  a nice serum, but I'm swimming in serums/skincare at the moment.
  • Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes (foil, 1 wipe): got the job done, but not something I feel compelled to seek out.
  • Sonoma Scent Studio's Fig Tree (vial sample):  not my favorite of the Sonoma Scent Studio samples I acquired a while back, but not an offensive fragrance either.  Just not for me.
  • Ulta Beauty Mattifying Balm (deluxe sample):  Threw it out after a few tries, never going to use it.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ulta Love Your Skin Event PSA: Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum

Just a PSA that the Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum is half-priced today ($59 vs. the regular price of $118).  I'm a fan of this vitamin C serum, but refuse to pay the full price.  I originally discovered the GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum last year during Ulta's Love Your Skin event, and after using the full sized bottle I do think it made a difference in how my skin looked.  
I took advantage of some sample offers on the serum that Sephora was running to tide me over once I used up my bottle, so this offer could not come at a better time!  You can see my full review on the GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C+ Serum here.  Ulta also has a skincare sampler GWP offer, although I needed to add something to my bag in order to hit the $70 trigger point. 
Ulta has two skincare box bundles of deluxe sized samples that are currently half price, and I got this one. Considering I also purchased the Bioassance Weightless Hydration Essentials set this week from Sephora in order to take advantage of their 2X points for skincare purchases plus a sample bag,  I should be set all year now!