Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yu-Be Lip Balm

$5 at www.sephora.com

Pic from www.sephora.com

I really don’t like lip balms that have beeswax in them. They tend to be waxy (duh), don’t smooth on my lips well, and don’t moisturize that well. As far as lip balms that contain beeswax this lip balm is better than most I’ve tried. It smoothes on fairly well and moisturizes decently. It does have a rather unpleasant herby smell and taste. It comes from the rosemary in it. Its not horrendous but I don’t particularly like it either. I like rosemary in my food and sprinkled on top of my focaccia bread but I don’t like it in my beauty products.

This moisturizes pretty well and isn’t horrendously waxy in texture. It’s a decent lip balm but I don’t think its worth the money. $5 may not seem like much but its twice as much as my normal lip balm and at the rate I use lip balm it only lasts me a couple weeks. I’ll stick with my Blistex.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Le Metier De Beaute Replenishing Daily Solution- January Glossybox

Sample was a dinky foil packet
Full-sized- $225 for 1.7 oz exclusively at Neiman Marcus

Pic from www.neimanmarcus.com

Its obvious to see why Glossybox only sprung for a dinky foil packet of this stuff. This crap is expensive. This rich cream promises to hydrate, nourish, and detoxify the skin. It says it uses Syntoc Actif which apparently is some breakthrough technology that delivers the ingredients to your skin more efficiently. This says it can be used along with moisturizer but for my oily skin I am using this alone as a night moisturizer. Even though this has SPF 30, I feel like its too rich to use during the day. The cream is one of the richest creams I have ever felt. I would liken it with some of the eye creams I have used. It’s a pretty peachy pink color. It has more of a chemical, sunscreen-y smell than I thought it would. From such an expensive cream I was expecting a more pleasant scent. It does smooth on well though and my skin feels fabulously smooth after just the first time using it. As far as the moisture level goes it seems pretty similar to my Simple Night Moisturizer but when I woke up the next morning my face was way smoother and softer than its ever been with any other night moisturizer. And I haven’t noticed any extra blemishes. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. Using just a thin layer of this at night, the packet will last me a good two weeks. I should say though that I only used this about a week and a half, rather than the whole month I usually like to take to test skin care products because I received a trial of another skin care brand that’s kind of time sensitive so I had to start using that. But based on the length of time I used this I loved it. Unfortunately Its way too expensive for me to ever actually buy it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

GoClear Clarifying Cleanser AM/PM

$25 for 4.4 oz (where? I don’t know)

pic from http://goclear.com

This cleanser claims to be a gel but the stuff I got was a very thick white cream with green beads. The beads don’t actually add any exfoliating qualities. They burst and I’m not really sure what’s in them. It does not lather up at all (the directions say it does). So right then and there I was a little weirded out because two things that it is supposed to be are not true. Plus it was on sale so maybe this is some faulty batch? Or an old batch? Anyway, the cleanser doesn’t lather up but oh well, its just a cream cleanser. It has a very light herbal smell. I usually don’t like herbal smells but this just kind of smells like a cup of chamomile tea or something so I’m okay with it. It felt like it left a bit of a film on my face. Not a greasy residue but just like there was some weird stuff left behind on my face. A good toner takes care of that though. The GoClear website claims that this cleanser uses powerful antioxidants such as acai berry and green and white tea extracts to fight free radicals. It also says it has shea butter in it to hydrate. I find that very interesting. I’ve never heard of a facial cleanser having shea butter in it. I’m surprised it didn’t make my skin super greasy. But that aside, I used this cleanser twice a day for about two weeks and then I started only using it at night and using another cleanser in the morning. I haven’t noticed that its done anything for my skin. It’s a fairly good cleanser and I feel like it does clean well and didn’t dry my skin  out or make it too oily but it certainly didn’t do anything for my acne. 

The GoClear line also has an acne treatment and a moisturizing sunscreen. There is no toner in this regimen and the description of the cleanser says that it has gentle exfoliating granules (which I guess is the green beads) that dissolve into skin and time-release vitamin E & C so maybe that’s the residue and maybe its supposed to be there? Maybe I’m taking off the stuff that’s supposed to help my skin and maybe that’s why it hasn’t done anything? I don’t know but maybe I’ll try it again with no toner and see what happens. Keep an eye out for this in an empties video and I’ll tell you how it worked with no toner.

(BTW this is way too much to actually use
 but I wanted to show the  green beads)
Does this look like a lather to you?
Actually it kind of does in this picture but its not I promise.
I got this when it was on sale at Sephora (they no longer carry it) but I am at a loss as to how to buy it now. The website has a “buy it” link but it just goes to the Sephora website. When I first got it I looked on amazon and ebay and I thought I found some of the three piece regimen kits but I can’t find them now. I didn’t love this anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter but I would have liked to try the whole set and see how the whole kit works.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Firming Eye Treatment- Beauty Army January

Sample- foil packet
Full-sized- $19.99 for 0.5 oz at most drugstores (and WalMart)

I am in the process of trying to settle on a good eye cream I love so I was really happy to get this. And I’m okay with the foil packet because I’ll get plenty of uses out of it. I have super puffy eyes and dark circles so I need some help. If I can find an affordable eye cream that works I will be so happy.

 To start of with this company has several full lines of beauty products that are tailored to specific things. The Yes to Tomatoes (which you have seen all over my blog) line if for acne, Yes to Cucumbers is a refreshing and soothing line for sensitive skin, Yes to Carrots is hydrating, Yes to Blueberries is anti-aging, and the new Yes to Grapefruit is for brightening. All their products use naturally derived active ingredients. I was pretty excited to try this cream. . .but ended up being a little disappointed. The one thing I can say is this is a very healthy sample of eye cream. I compared it to some of my other eye cream foil packets I’ve gotten and this sample was 30% to even 60% larger than some of my other samples. This will probably last me a good month or so. Right there that is a plus. Next, lets talk about the smell. For a “natural” product, this has a very chemical smell. It does have a little fruitiness (not necessarily blueberry though) but it’s pretty chemical. I thought that was strange. The formula seems like a pretty standard eye cream. It’s a pretty thick white cream that does feel a little greasy to me. It doesn’t really absorb very well. My under eye area still feels kind of greasy and it doesn’t get that smooth, dry feeling that my L’Occitane Precious Eye Balm gives me. After using it for about two weeks (which should be plenty of time to test an eye cream) I can’t say I see any difference in my eye area. It hasn’t helped at all with the puffiness or dark circles and the fine lines under my eyes are still there. Plus, I got it in my eye by accident a few days ago and it burns! That is never a good thing. So overall, I will use up the rest of the sample but I don’t recommend this eye cream.

Friday, February 8, 2013

OPI Liquid Sand Nail Lacquer in Can't Let Go- Glossybox January

Sample was full-sized- $9 at your Salon

O.P.I.’s Liquid Sand Line is a brand spankin’ new line. It was developed in conjunction with Mariah Carey although her name is not anywhere on the packaging. I found information online that said it was launching in January of 2013 so it should be in salon’s now. I also found a lot of bottles on Amazon for $5. The whole line is matte polishes that have glitter in them and dry in a bumpy texture. There are 8 shades.

Can’t Let Go is a matte purple with lighter purple glitter in it. I used a topcoat, just because I always automatically do, before I read online that you aren’t supposed to use a topcoat because it will effect the matte-ness. Oh well. It is more shiny than it normally would be but I like the look. As far as the quality of the polish, its OPI so if you’ve used that before, you know what to expect. It went opaque in two coats.

So, what do I think of this? I really didn’t know at first. Its very different and I didn’t know what to think of it. I couldn’t quite decide whether or not I liked it. I definitely liked the color but I wasn’t sure if I liked the texture or not. But after wearing it for a while, and getting several compliments on it, I’ve decided that I like it. It wears fairly well too. I’ve been wearing it for four or five days now with only minimal chipping on the tips. That’s pretty good for me. I’m hard on nails. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Revlon Nail Enamel in Scandalous & Stunning

$4.99 at most drugstores

I bought these both on sale from drugstore.com and was actually planning to make a fantastic New Year’s look but I never got around to it. I finally dug them out of my nail polish box and used them a week or so ago. 

I’ll start with Scandalous. When I bought it I thought it was purple glitter in a clear base but its actually purple glitter (both fine glitter and larger chunks) in a clear black base. I’m a little disappointed in that but I still love it. The black isn’t quite as clear as I thought it was actually. It only took three coats to be opaque. I do like the effect, although I would prefer to be able to have just purple glitter without the black. 

Scandalous is on the accent nail
Stunning was everything I imagined it would be. Its silver glitter (both small and large chunks) with some fine blue and green glitter in there too. I didn’t test how many layers it would take to make just opaque glitter but I would imagine its four or five. Its great as an effect over another color though. I used it over Sally Hansen’s Diamond Strength in Black Diamond (not a true black, more a really dark smoky gray with superfine silver glitter) and I love the effect.
Stunning over Black Diamond
These last above average for nail enamel. I had some miniscule chipping on the tips at two or three days and finally took it off after about a week but I could have left it on longer. My Sally Hansen Diamond Strength is about the longest lasting nail polish I have and the nail I had painted with just the Revlon Nail Enamel lasted as long as the rest of them. Overall I really like this nail enamel and would try other colors.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

January Glossybox First Impressions!

If you don't want to read this click here to watch my video. Otherwise here's a summary of my January box.

First of all this is super late because its curated by The Man Repeller and her fans went crazy over this box and Glossybox was overwhelmed. Second of all, I got four boxes for some bizarre reason. Here's what was in my box:

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in Extreme Black
Sample was a small tube (about half-sized)
Full-sized- $25 at esteelauder.com
I'm excited to try this but I hope I don't like it. I don't want to fall in love with it and then miss it after its gone because I'm not going to spend that much on mascara.

Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum
Sample was 1.7 oz
Full-sized is $35 for 1 oz
This is something I'm also excited to try. I've never tried any of the Fresh skin care products so we'll see how this works. I have oily skin so if this works this will be good.

Sebastian Professional Potion 9
Sample was 1.7 oz
Full-sized is $19 for 5.1 oz through Sebastian Professional Salons
From what I pumped out of the bottle already, this is an orange cream-gel that smells like coconuts. Its supposed to be a pre-styling lotion that conditions and smooths hair and helps hold your style.

Le Metier de Beaute Daily Replenishing Daily Solution
Sample was a dinky foil packet
Full-sized- $225 for 1.7 oz exclusively at Neiman Marcus
This is something else I hope I don't like because its ridiculously expensive and is not something I'm going to ever buy.

Tarte Glamazon Pure Performance Lipstick in Fierce
Sample is full-sized-$26
This lipstick is very smooth and creamy and I really wish it was a better color but unfortunately its a bright, orange-y red. It doesn't look good on my skin tone and makes my blemishes more obvious. Its just a little bright for my tastes.

O.P.I. Liquid Sand Nail Lacquer in Can't Let Go
Sample is full-sized- $9
This nail polish has a unique texture. It dries matte with glitter in it. Its a pretty purple color. I'm very happy with this.

Narciso Rodriguez for Her Eau de Toilette
Sample is a small spritzer
Full-sized is $25 for a rollerball, $52 for 1 oz, $77 for 1.6 oz, or $104 for 3.3 oz
I don't love this smell but its not awful. It is floral, musky, and has a touch of powder. It smells kind of grandma-y but not the worst I've ever smelled.

The total value of this is $77.21. Well times four because I have four boxes. I can't say for sure because I haven't actually tried most of it yet but I feel like this might be worth it. I really wish the lipstick was a different color. If it was more wearable I definitely would say this is so worth it. But I'm gonna try everything and review everything individually and I'll get back to you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Whip Hand Cosmetics Special Forces Loose Pigment Eyeshadow- Beauty Army January

Sample- 0.03 oz
Full-sized- $14 for 0.1 oz

Special Forces is the third installment of Beauty Army’s exclusive collection with Whip Hand Cosmetics. Before I say anything about the actual color of the eye shadow, a word on the packaging. This is in a teensy weensy cute little bottle. The directions on beautyarmy.com say to use the shadow out of the lid. I can see why because I ignored them and dipped my brush right in the bottle (it barely fits) and out came the brush, along with a puff of shadow that went everywhere. I also had to just shake off the excess powder in the sink because there was no way to really tap it off into little bottle. With such a small amount anyway, I felt like this was kind of a waste but oh well. Okay so for the color. It’s a nice peachy color with a touch of orange and a little bit of gold shimmer. Once it goes on the lids the shimmer really wasn’t that noticeable. It wasn’t that pigmented either. It was okay but for a limited edition color I didn’t think it was spectacular. The touch of orange really doesn’t do much for my skin tone but I used this as a lid color with a shimmery, chocolatey brown on the outer lid into the crease and a lighter shimmery pink on the inner corner and it turned out alright. I tried it again with a cool taupe-y color and it really didn’t work out. It needs a warm, deep color to make it look decent on me.

It's swatching darker than it looks in real life just FYI.

So bottom line, not that unique of a color, crappy packaging, lasts decently but not that pigmented. So its okay but not something I’d buy.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

First Video!-Glossybox November and December- Was It Worth It?

So this is my first video attempt! I apologize for the crappy awkwardness of it. For all you Negative Nancy's out there, yes I know I said um and like way too many times and I played with my hair too much and the angle is weird but I will try to get better about my videos. Here it is!

Okay so I couldn't get it to upload but I uploaded it to YouTube so here's the link. Ugh. I just watched it again and its really just awful so I apologize but I promise I will try to get better at this.

And just a update on my January Glossybox. . .I checked the tracking today and my box is currently two states away. I'm hoping to get it Monday or Tuesday. If anyone cares.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub

$7 for 5 oz at walmart.com

Before I get into how this product works, let me tell you about my weird 8 day skin care schedule. For the first two days I use a gentle cleanser morning and night (I use a more moisturizing one in the morning, which is actually my night because I work at night), then I replace my regular cleanser with an exfoliating scrub with my wake-up routine, then use my regular bedtime cleanser. Then I use my regular cleansers for another two days and then use my exfoliating cleanser again. Then I use my regular cleansers for another two days and on the last day I use my regular cleansers but with my wake-up routine I follow my cleanser with a clay mask. Then I start the whole thing over again. I’ve been doing this for quite a while and it seems to work best for me.

I bought a travel-sized tube of this exfoliating scrub to see if I like it better than the normal exfoliating scrub I use currently (Olay) which I don’t really like very much. This scrub claims to “target what clogs pores.” I’m not exactly sure how it would do that but okay. Its a very thick, almost lotiony consistency with little blue exfoliating beads. In addition to the exfoliating beads it also has salicylic acid for chemical exfoliation. This is a surprisingly gentle scrub. The beads don’t irritate my face like other exfoliating beads I have used. It has a rather unpleasant minty, chemical smell but its bearable for the few minutes you are exfoliating. There also is a cooling tingly sensation once you start moving the beads around, which was actually rather alarming since I hadn’t read the ingredients and didn’t realize there was menthol in it. It is bordering on stinging but fades to a pleasant refreshing coolness once you rinse it and goes away completely after about 10 minutes. I did find a website (www.natural-homeremedies.com) that says menthol can be used to help prevent breakouts and sanitize the breakouts you have. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I know that the menthol in this scrub is wonderful. It is so refreshing and it makes you feel like your pores are just breathing in cool, icy, fresh air. I’m sure this is all part of their gimmick but I bought it. I was sure when I inspected my skin in the mirror that all of my blackheads would be magically gone just from one wash. Well, that didn’t happen. There was no visible difference but my face wasn’t red and irritated which is a good thing. It felt smooth and soft and much less tight and dry than my other exfoliating cleanser. In fact it didn’t feel tight and dry at all. It felt soft and moisturized. After a month of using it twice a week my skin is definitely smoother and I have less flaking (except for around my nose) but I haven’t seem much difference in the blackheads on my nose and chin. Despite that, once I use up my store of my Olay exfoliating scrub I will be buying this scrub.

Friday, February 1, 2013

January Empties

I completely stole this idea from Bailey at Making Up the Midwest. Just getting that out there. She has posted a couple videos she calls “My Beauty Graveyard” where she showcases some products that she has used up and gives a little mini-review of how she liked it and whether or not she would buy it again. I think this is a great idea and I’m stealing it. At the beginning of every month I’m going to do an Empties post of everything I used up last month.

There’s a couple reasons I want to do this. One, it gives me a chance to tell you about something that I might have forgotten or just not gotten around to reviewing and two, even if its something I’ve reviewed before, I can do a little mini-refresher review and plus sometimes after I’ve totally used something up I might feel differently about it then I did after just using it for a couple weeks or however long I’d been using it before I reviewed it the first time. So here goes. These are all things I used up completely and they are all full-sized products (or in some cases a deluxe sample if it lasted me a long time). I’m not gonna write one of these every time I use up a foil packet.

Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes

You can get these at most drugstores (I think I got mine at Walmart) and they run from $7 to $8. I like to keep cleansing towelettes around just for those mornings when I get home from work and can’t be bothered to take the time to wash my face fully or for those times when my fiance randomly decides we’re going out to dinner or that he’s made plans with friends and forgot to tell me and I have 15 minutes to make myself beautiful. These towelettes smell faintly of vanilla and they clean off light makeup really well (some eye make-up and foundation as long as there wasn’t any primer or setting spray) but they leave behind a bit of a residue. Its not awful but its not really good either. On the plus side they do have salicylic acid so they treat my breakouts. Its definitely better than not washing your face at all. These are okay but I won’t buy them again.

Camille Beckman White Lilac Glycerin Hand Therapy

I know I said I wasn’t going to include samples but I wanted to mention this. I got a tiny tub of this for Christmas last year from a coworker (like Christmas over a year ago, not this past Christmas). I never really used it and it got lost in my bottomless purse until I found it again this fall and decided to start using it. My hands get super dry in the winter time so I always have hand lotion around. I love the light smell of this and it moisturizes very well without being greasy. I’m not sure if its as good as my beloved L’Occitane but its almost as good and is much more affordable. They have a whole line of lotions, bath products, soaps, and perfumes in a bunch of different yummy sounding smells. And everything is made in the US! You can find them at www.camillebeckman.com. I think at some point I may buy some other products and see how I like them.

Johnson Parker Lavender Hand Soap

This isn’t technically a beauty product but its still an empty. I got this as a gift from a co-worker. I think I got it around Thanksgiving or before. I don’t usually like a lot of lavender but this didn’t actually smell at all like lavender. It had sort of a subtle floral scent which was very pleasant. It sudses up well (if that’s a word) and cleans well without drying out my hands. As far as I can tell from looking online this is a fairly low-end brand. She said she got it at Bath & Body Works. I couldn’t find it online but I might peruse Bath & Body Works next time I’m at the mall to see if I can find it for cheap enough. I don’t like to spend a whole lot of money on hand soap but I loved this.

Yves Saint Laurent Effet Faux Cils Shocking Mascara

This was a deluxe sample gift with purchase as a beauty insider from Sephora (I love that program). This was a small tube and it didn’t last me very long and I’ve already reviewed it but I wanted to mention it again because I feel differently about it than I did when I first reviewed it. You know that saying that sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone? I’m feeling that way about this mascara. While I was using it I was like “oh this is nice” and came to the conclusion it was a good mascara but not worth the $30 a tube. Since I had to throw it away a week or so ago I’ve been using another mascara (fine I’ll say it, CoverGirl LashBlast) and I’m not super thrilled with it. Everyone else (okay not everyone) goes on about how great the LashBlast line is but I am not loving it. I miss my YSL. It was lightly perfumed with a lovely scent and made my lashes long, lush and beautiful, plus it was conditioning and made my lashes longer and fuller even if I wasn’t wearing mascara. I’ve searched around and found some of this mascara for $16.50 on a website (and I should have written down the website because now I can’t find it). I’m hoping I can find some cheaper mascara that I’m happy with but I have a sinking feeling nothing is going to measure up to my $30 YSL.

Next month I’m going to try to do this in video form so stay tuned for that!