Monday, September 18, 2017

Fenty Beauty | Worth the hype?


Fenty Beauty ... it's ALL the hype lately. Rihanna's new makeup line has made a big splash in the beauty world, and it seems like everyone is talking about it. It appears PR packages were sent out to influencers in the beauty world, but fear not - I spent my own money on a couple key items from the line, so you can bet (as you always can, sponsored or not), that my opinions are entirely my own and I'm being 100% honest about these products.


Much of the hype around Fenty Beauty surrounds the foundation, and it is completely warranted. The foundation line has an unprecedented 40 shades to choose from.... yes, you read that right, 40 SHADES. How amazing is that? The beauty industry has been majorly lacking for way too long, offering a variety of beige and dark beige foundation shades, but nothing for those of us on either end of the spectrum... whitest white to darkest dark. I really, sincerely hope that the buzz around Fenty forces other cosmetics brands to up their diversity game.


I'm not sure what possessed me, but when I went to place my order, I meant to only pick up the foundation... but lo and behold, I ended up throwing a highlighter in my cart, too. There are four different highlighter duos, and I nabbed the Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal duo. The shades are buttery and soft, and great for pale girls. These duos are $34, which is pretty steep actually, but justifiable for me because highlighters last ages.


It was really tough to capture the beauty of this highlighter on camera, but you can see the left shade is not quite as creamy. It's a perfect highlight with a subtle glittery shimmer. The right shade is very buttery and could even be used as an eyeshadow. Both of these are pretty intense nude-colored highlights - you can glow like a disco ball if you don't use a light hand. After my initial swatching, I considered returning them, but after a couple uses I changed my mind and I really do like how they look on my skin. I think they look much better on than swatched on my arm.


I'm most excited about the foundation. The hype is SO REAL about this foundation, and it's more than just the 40 shades. You get 1.08 oz in a bottle, which is a little more than the standard 1 oz you get with most all foundations. It is a tad pricey, ringing in at $34, but I'm going to spoil the rest of my review for you and tell you it's completely worth it. 

This foundation is a DREAM. For reference, I have normal to combo skin that's acne-prone. I also have fine lines, on my forehead, underneath my eyes, and extending from my nose to my lips.


I purchased shade 110, the second lightest shade, and it's a perfect match for my very fair skin. A pump and a half covers my whole face using my preferred method -  a damp beautyblender. You can build the coverage, but I'd say you get medium to full coverage with one layer of foundation. As you can see above, it covers up my blemishes but not entirely.
It does have a slight fragrance, which I find pleasant, but something to consider if you're really sensitive to fragrance in your makeup. The finish is a satin matte, which is really quite nice. It's not quite as chalky and flat as say, L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Foundation, it's just skin-like and light with the same amount of coverage. The wear time is fantastic - it looks great after an 8 hour day of work, and like some black magic, it doesn't sink in to my fine lines the way so many other foundations do. I'm so in love - this is one of the best foundations I've tried recently.

I will say, if you have dry skin, this will cling to patchy areas, and I could see this being a bit too matte of a foundation for you. 


Overall - I think the hype really is worth it for the Fenty Beauty line. These two products are just a couple of the things available for purchase at Sephora. There are also brushes, lip gloss, cream color sticks and more. Look through the line here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

MASSIVE EMPTIES | #39

Nothing like missing a month of empties to make you feel really accomplished about everything you've used up. If you're looking for some quick reviews on a whole smorgasbord of products, you're in for a treat. Let's get to it...


  • Antipodes Chia & Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum (would repurchase) - This was more like a facial oil than a serum. I used it in the morning, and after applying I sealed it in with another moisturizer. I think this would be really great in the colder months, but it was a bit much for summertime. I'd like to try more from this brand in the future. 
  • L'Occitane Essential Water Toner (would not repurchase) - This toner was super duper scented, and not in a good way. It felt more like I was smearing perfumed water over my face, rather than a beneficial toner. I wouldn't get this in the future because it has too much fragrance and artificial ingredients in it. 
  • ROC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream (would not repurchase) - This came in an old Target Beauty Box and I kept putting off using it. It has that typical smelly ROC smell - if you've used any of their products, you know what I mean. I don't like that scent, and I don't think this really did anything for me, so I wouldn't buy this again.
  • Reviva Labs Eye Gelee Concentrate (would repurchase) - This gel is like an essence for your eye cream. Apply it before your eye cream to assist with puffing and hydrating the undereyes. I've found it keeps me from looking crepe-y and dry. 
  • Hey Honey Open Your eyes Eye Contour Lifting Fluid (would not repurchase) - This came in an Ipsy bag, and I can't say I was much of a fan. I prefer thicker, more hydrating eye balms than this. This was like a thin, watery lotion that didn't do anything for my undereyes. 
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (would purchase) - This little sample pack had all three versions of the lip mask and I loved all of them! I definitely want to get the non-tinted version for use at bed time. This stuff is thick and coats your lips while hydrating. You'll wake up in the morning with it still on. Goooood stuff and smells yummy too. 
  • Benefit Ka Brow (would purchase) - This was my first experience with an eyebrow cream-gel color and I actually really liked it. The blond color was a good shade match, but I had to be light handed so my brows didn't look too bold and caked on. This claims to be waterproof, but I found it easy to smudge off. Despite that, I may pick this up at the next VIB sale. 
  • Covergirl Intensify Me eyeliner (would repurchase) - This is a good, cheap drugstore eyeliner. Once you get over the learning curve of the flat felt-tip, it's easy to use. The color is a perfect matte black, and it doesn't easily smudge on my oily eyelids.
  • Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner (would not repurchase) - On the flip side, this eyeliner pen sucked. It was very light, so I had to go over it again and again in order to build up a bold enough line. The felt tip wasn't very long so it just felt weird to apply. I don't like this and would never buy this again.
  • Prada Candy perfume (would purchase) - If I saw this perfume for cheap, I'd get it because the scent is nice, but it's so popular and not the most unique. It's very sweet and also a bit musky. It borders that line of childishly sweet. Not essential to have in my collection, but I enjoyed using this sample up. 
  • Replica Beach Walk perfume (would not purchase) - This was not my cup of tea. It's very coconut heavy, with a hint of salt water and sunscreen. The smell really does make you think of a beach. It also has some floral notes like ylang-ylang, which is a scent I'm not big on. If you like Bobbi Brown Beach, I think you'll also like this perfume. 

  • Tree hut Shea Moisturizing Body Lotion (would repurchase) - I liked this lotion. It had a very subtle scent and was hydrating without being greasy. I want to say I purchased this at Walmart, and it was dirt cheap.
  • St. Tropez Gradual Tan (would repurchase) - Before I bucked up and got over my fear of tanning mousses, I liked using lotions. This was one of the best I tried. It gave a nice warm color, didn't streak, and the smell wasn't too bad. I'd consider getting this in the future, but I much prefer the color payoff of the St. Tropez mousse instead.  
  • Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo (would not repurchase) - I'm inclined to getting dry scalp, which I chalk up to dry shampoo wreaking a little havoc on my scalp. I thought I'd try something more natural, but this was not the answer. It has a nasty old lady smell and really did nothing for me.
  • TonyMoly Makgeolli Mask Sheet (would repurchase) - I like the TonyMoly sheet masks. I think they feel nice and they don't break me out. Did this purify my face? Hard to say. But it was nice nonetheless. 
  • Botanic Farm Sea Mustard Mask (would not repurchase) - It's not that anything is overtly bad with this mask, but I just can't for the life of me remember anything about it. If it didn't stand out, it's probably not worth buying again.
  • Vanedo Beauty Friends Gold Mask (would repurchase) - This was also just OK. It has lots of serum on it, enough that you could save it and keep using it after you're done with the mask. It didn't break me out. It was just refreshing and hydrating.
  • Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder (would not repurchase) - This really wasn't exfoliating in the least. It was just a powder that functioned as a cleanser once you added some water in. I didn't notice this doing anything for my skin, and it didn't really make my skin feel clean, so I wouldn't get it again.
  • Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner (would repurchase) - This was a nice toner. It had a light rose fragrance, and it was gentle on my skin.
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover pads (would not repurchase) - This is an awful eyemakeup remover. The pads aren't saturated enough so I had to add extra remover to them to even get my mascara off. I'd rather have the bottle of Neutrogena eye makeup remover than these.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - What's an empties post without a pack of these? I use them for toner and eye makeup remover and they work like a charm. 
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Wipes (would not repurchase) - The scent of these makeup wipes is way too overpowering for me. It's a really artificial scent that is just, no... just no. 
  • Babyganics Face, Hand & Baby Wipes (would repurchase) - I don't actually use these wipes on my son, but I use them to wipe down my makeup area and any makeup on my hands. They work great and don't have bad ingredients. 
  • Audrey and Lewis South Pacific Shower Gel (would repurchase) - This body wash has a nice, subtle scent of vanilla and citrus. It sudsed up well and made me feel clean. 
  • Dr. Bronner's Hemp Rose Castile Soap (would not repurchase) - I love Dr. Bronner's but I do not love the hemp rose scent. It started off ok, but became sickening to me pretty quickly. I use this to clean my brushes and beauty blender and it works nicely for that, but I'm glad I used this bottle up. 
  • LaVanila Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut and Vanilla Lavender (would repurchase) - LaVanila is my favorite natural deodorant brand. Deodorants, especially natural ones, seem to work different for everyone so while this might not be your perfect option, it works well for me. 
  • Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo (would repurchase) - Batiste is a stellar dry shampoo brand. It does a great job of soaking up oil in my hair and refreshing it, and it's affordable, too! I find it to be cheapest at TJ Maxx, but you can also find it at the drugstore for a couple bucks more.
  • NelsonJ Argan Oil7 Non-Foaming Shampoo (would not repurchase) - I didn't like that this shampoo didn't foam. It was so hard to tell when I'd scrubbed my hair enough or if I'd gotten it all out. It also has little beads in it that would get stuck on my scalp. I really wanted to like this, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.
  • Rimmel Stay Matte powder (would repurchase) - This is an oldie but goodie in my makeup drawer. I've repurchased it time and time again. It works well to set my foundation without being cakey. I don't experiment much with powders so I just keep picking this up and it doesn't disappoint.
  • Beautyblender (would repurchase) - The beautyblender has become my go-to makeup application tool. It makes my skin look flawless, doesn't leave streaks, and makes application quick and easy. I think the beautyblender trumps all other cheaper knock-off brands. I've tried many and nothing compares. Worth every penny to pay for the actual BeautyBlender.
  • Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (would not repurchase) - I used to love this for spot concealing, but have found things I like better now. This is a very thick and oily concealer, and while it says it's creaseless, there is literally no way I'd put this on my undereye area. It's way too thick for that and it would either make my eyes look crepe-y or it would majorly crease.

  • Spry Healing Blend Mouth Wash (would repurchase) - What sold me on this mouthwash was both the good ingredients in it and the marketing around it having healing properties for canker sores or sensitive gums. I did have a canker sore while using this and I can't say it really healed it any quicker or helped it feel better. Despite that, I still liked this overall. 
  • Kiss My Face Triple Action Toothpaste (would not repurchase) - I didn't realize until I got a canker sore that this toothpaste has SLS in it. I thought it was free of that ingredient but my body let me know differently. For that reason, I wouldn't buy this again, despite it being a decent toothpaste.
  • Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Gel (would repurchase) - This was my final vial of the Smile Brilliant whitening gel, and I really like this stuff. It makes a noticeable difference in the brightness of my teeth. This set was sent to me for review, but I did just purchase more vials of whitener once I finished this. See full review here.
  • Ralph Lauren Hot Perfume (would repurchase) - I love this perfume. It has so much good nostalgia tied to it. But I've had this in my collection for longer than I'd like to admit so I made a conscious effort to use this up. The main notes are vanilla, fig, spice and amber. It's tough to explain, but it's something unique that I'd certainly buy again. If you like scents such as Vera Wang Princess, Viva La Juicy and Hillary Duff With Love, chances are you'll like this one.
  • Aura Cacia Lavender Baby Shampoo (would repurchase) - This was a gift from one of my baby showers, and I enjoyed using it on my son. The ingredients are pure and didn't irritate my son's skin. It smells just like fresh lavender, but the scent doesn't linger long.
  • Mrs. Meyers Watermelon Foaming Hand Soap (would repurchase) - This was a really fun scent of hand soap. It smells like watermelon candy, and the scent stuck around for a bit. I really liked this and would definitely get it again. The Mrs. Meyer's brand is one of my favorites for household items.
  • Signature Soy Pinky Peony Candle (would repurchase) - This was a candle from Target that was a nice one to burn during the spring months. Smelled just like a peony, and like that it was soy so it burned cleaner. It's a goal of mine to switch over to just soy candles once my backstock of others is gone.
  • ScentSationals Herb Garden Wax Cubes (would repurchase) - This mix of herb-scented wax melts smelled fresh and clean. A great option for making the house smell nice in summer.

And that's it!! Have you tried any of these things? What interesting things did you use up this month? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Play! by Sephora | Summer 2017


I figure I better start this post with a "uhhh yeah, I'm still alive" disclaimer! Blogging has taken a back seat this summer to family time and any extra minutes of sleep I can possibly get. Family is always my #1 priority, but I sure do miss blogging! 

It's been a while since I've shared my Play! by Sephora box and I have really been enjoying it. I thought I'd spare you multiple posts and instead lump June, July and August's boxes all in one conveniently long post. 

If you're on the hunt for a great $10/month subscription beauty service, look no further than Play! by Sephora. All of the brands featured in the bag can be found at Sephora, so naturally you get some great deluxe samples to try. If you're interested in signing up, you can so do here (not an affiliate link). 

JUNE

  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium perfume - This is a cult favorite perfume. It's musky yet sweet, not for the beginner perfume-wearer. I think this smells like a knock-off of Flowerbomb and because I love that perfume so much, I'll probably never purchase Black Opium.
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub - This formula of lipstick is super-long wearing. Like, will hold up through a hurricane long-lasting. I have found it to be extremely drying, but I am so impressed by the pigmentation and longevity of it. I'm not excited about the shade they selected, but perhaps I'll have a reason to get funky with my lip color and I'll pull this out.
  • Benefit Porefressional primer - This primer smooths pores for an even and flawless makeup application. I've used it in the past and really liked how it seemed to give me a blurred base to apply my foundation on to. 
  • IGK Rich Kid Coconut Gel - A coconut-infused hair gel that nourishes and conditions. It's not marketed like your typical gel; it seems to be more of a leave-in conditioner than something that's going to hold a style all day. It's also said to be good for both wavy, curly and straight hair.
  • Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil - This is a silicone-free multi-purpose oil. It's said to be quickly absorbed in to skin or hair. Use this product to restore and repair dry skin and hair and reduce the appearance of scars and redness. 
  • First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer - An oil-free primer comprised of super-food ingredients. It'll blur the appearance of pores and provide a dewy finish to the skin. It can be worn alone or underneath makeup. 

JULY

  • bareMinerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Swag - This lip color is infused with a primer and hydrating ingredients for a cream-to-matte finish. Swag is a really pretty everyday color, perfect for the office or to dress up your look. 
  • Milk Makeup Cooling Water - This is a caffeine-infused stick of... something? that you can rub on to your skin or under eyes for a cooling, de-puffing effect. You can also leave it in the fridge to amp up the effect. It seems a little gimmicky, but maybe it really is the next best thing? TBD.
  • It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara - This mascara's aim is to be like skincare for your lashes. It volumizes, lengthens and stretches lashes while conditioning and strengthening. 
  • Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment - First off, can we just talk about how gross the term "pore pudding" is? Ughh... anyway. This is a fancy swirled face mask that detoxifies the skin and reduces the appearance of pores in the process. It's formulated with white charcoal and kaolin clay, both known for removing impurities in the skin. 
  • Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine - If you're a citrus-scent lover, this one's for you. Orange Sanguine features notes of bitter orange, blood orange, amber, and sandalwood. It's not my favorite scent, but I prefer far warmer, woodsier scents than this typically.
  • Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray - This is a lightweight leave-in conditioner. Spray it on damp hair and let it work its magic. It aims to reduce flyaways, protect against UV rays, and hydrate hair. It's also 96% naturally derived! 

AUGUST


  • Alterna Cavier Anti-Aging Miracle Multiplying Mist - A treatment and styler in one. It claims to provide volume both instantly and over the course of using the product. It strengthens hair to reduce breakage and restore it's natural thickness. 
  • Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Perfumes - Two new fragrances from Kat Von D. As you can guess, Saint (the white bottle) is the lighter, fruitier version of the two. It has notes of vanilla, jasmine and tiare flower. Sinner is the warmer, darker version, comprised of notes of patchouli, wood and cinnamon. Neither fragrance smells very unique to me, so not something I'd bother picking up for my own collection in the future. 
  • Clinique HIM Dual-Ended High Impact Mascara & Primer duo - The priming end of this duo helps boost the appearance of the mascara you put on top, adding volume and length. It goes on white, so over top you layer the High Impact mascara for color and fullness. 
  • Beauty Blender Micro Mini - This mini version of a beauty blender is teeny tiny. I use mine for blending out under-eye concealer and getting in to any nooks and crannies that my normal-sized beauty blender can't. Not essential to have, but convenient from time to time. 
  • GlamGlow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturizer - This moisturizer claims to hydrate the skin for a glow without shine. It's marketed as a "water balm" formula, which I've heard is complete crap, but hey... it has decent reviews on the Sephora website, so maybe it's not so bad.
  • Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil - This oil is meant to take off both waterproof and normal mascara. It has a small wand that almost looks like a bristle-free mascara wand, and you just rub that along your lash line to coat your lashes, let it sit for a minute, then wipe away the product and mascara with a wipe. Not really essential, especially for $17, in my opinion. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

June Empties | #38

Ai yi yi - I'm sure my apologizing over late posts is getting old, but dang my posting schedule is all over the place. I hope this empties post, chock full of mini reviews and purchase recommendations, helps make it up to you! Look for more posts coming soon. :)

  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (would repurchase) - Setting sprays are one of those completely optional makeup items that you can choose to or choose not to use. I, however, find it to be an irreplaceable part of my makeup routine, and this is one of my absolute favorite sprays. It helps with longevity, and it takes away any powdery finish my skin may have and helps my skin look more natural. LOVE it and will continue to repurchase this. 
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover (would repurchase) - This stuff works like a charm to get even the trickiest waterproof eye makeup off. I'd normally opt for the off-brand Target eye makeup remover because it works just as well, but this was on sale.
  • Reviva Labs Antioxidants Skin Smoothing Advanced Day Cream (would repurchase) - This is actually my husband's product, and he really likes it. This day cream is unfragranced, which is essential for him, doesn't feel greasy or break him out, and it has loads of good-for-you ingredients that keep skin healthy. 
  • Maybelline Super Stay 10 Stain Gloss in Pink Plush (would repurchase) - I didn't use this stain up all the way, but it's OLD and time to say goodbye. I'm not even sure they make this formulation anymore?? Either way, I did like this, and I liked the color. It was an everyday shade and had good lasting power. 
  • Covergirl Hydrofuge Waterproof Mascara (would not repurchase) - I didn't use this much because I didn't like it. It made my eyelashes clumpy and it flaked really bad on me. 
  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer (would repurchase) - I've lost count of how many tubes of this I've gone through. I absolutely love it for underneath my eyes. It helps conceal my "I've hardly slept" look most days. 
  • Benefit Gimme Brow (would repurchase) - I love this stuff for an easy way to give my eyebrows some definition. It has little fibers in it that also help brows look more full. Back in the day, this used to be one of the only things like it on the market, but now there are more affordable options you can pick up, but this will still remain a tried-and-true product for me. 
  • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (would repurchase) - I got so sick of mascara transferring below my lashes or flaking all over my face, and once I tried this I was hooked. I will forever keep purchasing this! It has a tiny wand making it easy to coat your bottom lashes. 
  • Ole Henriksen Oil-Free Pore Refining cloths (would not repurchase) - These weren't anything special. They weren't damp enough for me, and maybe that's because it was just a travel size, but I wouldn't waste my money to confirm that theory. 
  • Clinique Take the Day Off Wipes (would not repurchase) - These were some of the worst face wipes I've ever tried. They smelled like pure chemicals and I had to scrape at my face to get any makeup off. They'll burn your eyes if you try to take off your face makeup (which I don't think it would fully do). No no no, never again. 
  • Swisspers Cotton Applicators (would repurchase) - There's no way I'd apply makeup with these, but they were good for cleaning up any makeup mess-ups.
  • Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous foundation (would repurchase) - I liked this foundation. It reminded me of a less intense Stay Flawless, and in less shades. Unfortunately, the lightest shade was a tad too dark for my skin, so I primarily used this when I'd self-tanned. I'd still pick this up again though, as it was good for a medium-coverage, natural look for cheap.
  • Coastal Scents Concealer in No.2 (would repurchase) - I love this potted concealer. It's super full coverage, so while it won't be ideal for under your eyes, it's great for spot-concealing. I've already purchased another on their website, and it costs just $1.95!
  • Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless Eye concealer (would repurchase) - This is a discontinued product and I have no idea why! It was an awesome concealer, formulated with Olay to moisturize the undereyes while concealing. I'd grab it if ever I saw it again!
  • Clinique Superbalanced Silk Makeup (would not repurchase) - I wanted to like this so bad, but it would break up on my face and immediately make me look cakey within just a matter of hours. It settled in to my fine lines, and the color was too dark for my fair skin. 
  • Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste (would not purchase) - This isn't anything special, but if I saw it for a good deal, I'd buy it, I suppose. It didn't make my teeth feel any less sensitive, and it really didn't make my mouth feel fresh. But I used it up when our full size toothpaste had SLS in it, which gives me canker sores, and this stuff is formulated without it.
  • MAC Prep + Prime Skin Base (would not purchase) - I did not like this primer one bit. I actually think it was breaking my skin out. It didn't make my face look smoother, it didn't extend the wear time of my makeup... to be honest, I'm not sure what it did. 
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil (would purchase) - This wasn't my favorite cleansing oil that I've ever tried, but it did the trick to get my makeup off. I'd consider a full size in the future.
  • Tokyomilk Tainted Love perfume (would purchase) - This smelled SO so good. It has notes of vanilla, sandalwood and orchid. I'd definitely consider buying a full size of this in the future. Sometimes I've found Tokyomilk at TJ Maxx so I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.
  • Gucci Flora perfume (would not purchase) - This has notes of citrus, sandalwood and rose, and while it smelled nice, it's nothing I absolutely need in my collection. 
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo in Wild (would repurchase) - Batiste is my favorite dry shampoo, and Wild is my favorite scent. It soaks up oil on my scalp and makes me look like I wash my hair more than I do. 
  • Matrix Total Results So Long Damage shampoo + conditioner (would repurchase) - I've done a full review of these here, so I won't go on for long, but I really enjoyed these. They make my hair feel so soft. 
  • Beautyblender (would repurchase) - The beautyblender has replaced all other makeup applicators in my collection. I never touch my foundation brushes or other makeup sponges anymore because this thing is the best. It's pricier than others, but it's also the best I've ever tried. It doesn't soak up my foundation, it doesn't remove makeup once it's applied, and it creates a smooth, natural finish to my face. I'm obsessed. Pro tip: these go on sale on Costco.com and in stores for $10 off now and then!
  • Farmacy Eye Dew total eye cream (would not purchase) - I'm glad I tried this before buying it, because as much as I love the Farmacy brand, I didn't love this eye cream. I need far more hydration on my undereye area than this provided. If you don't need anything intense, chances are you'll like this. 
  • Ayres Hand Cream (would purchase) - I adored this sample! The lotion smells so nice, sort of a light patchouli scent that isn't overbearing in the slightest. It can be purchased at Target, but it's kind of expensive. I'd consider buying it when I use up some of my other hand creams. 
  • Babyganics Face, Hand & Baby Wipes (would repurchase) - I don't use these as baby wipes, for that they are total trash. But I use them to wipe down my makeup desk, and wipe swatches off my hands and for that they are amazing. 
  • Jason Healthy Mouth Mouthwash (would repurchase) - I really liked this mouthwash. The bottle doesn't look huge, but it's concentrated so you pour a half cap of wash and add in a half of water and swish away. It left my mouth feeling so clean without any bad ingredients!
  • Burts Bees Fresh Cut Grass candle (would repurchase) - I liked this candle, but it seemed to burn rather quickly for a soy candle. Regardless, it smelled nice and fresh and had decent scent throw in my small bathroom. 
  • B&BW Paris Lavender Macaron candle (would not repurchase) - This smelled great in the jar, with notes of floral blossoms and sweet cookie, but it didn't give much, if any, scent throw in my house. At least the jar was pretty to look at while it burned.


And that's a wrap! What did you use up this past month? Let me know! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Althea Korean Beauty haul!


Writing this blog has given me some really awesome opportunities to try products and brands that I may never have stumbled upon before. Most recently, I was reminded of that when a rep from Althea.kr reached out and asked me if I'd be interested in a free gift card to shop their site. I've never responded to an email so fast - YES, of course! I freakin' love Korean beauty products and I love sharing them with all of you. 

If you don't know what Althea is, it's an online retailer of Korean beauty products. They're based in South Korea but they ship to the US. You get free shipping when you spend over $50, and they've got all authentic products at some of the best prices you can find online. If you suspect you've received a counterfeit product, they'll refund you at any time and compensate you 200% of the product value. Now THAT'S customer service.

I had SO much fun looking through their website - I wish I was rich and could just order one of everything, please and thank you. I will most definitely make more orders in the future. Curious what I picked up? Let's take a peek... (OH, and everything you see here cost $100 US $ total). 


  • Skin Food Milk Shake Point Makeup Remover ($5.50) - This is a creamy two-part makeup remover, formulated with oil and liquid. Shake it up, throw it some on a cotton pad, and wipe your face clean in preparation for a second cleanse. I like that it looks almost like food packaging, maybe ketchup or something? I've never tried anything quite like it so I'm excited to give this a shot. You also get a lot for your money which is awesome. Skin Food is a pretty known Korean brand, you may remember it from a past Memebox haul
  • Calmia Oatmeal Cleansing Foam ($2.50) - This product was on a special sale when I was shopping, so I picked it up just for fun. It's meant to cleanse the skin while maintaining softness and moisture. It has a bunch of plant extracts in it to help with this. I've never heard of the brand before, but this product has 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Althea website, so I'm sure it'll be a winner.
  • Apieu Gold Silk Blanket sheet mask ($1.50) - Not gonna lie, I was drawn to this because it's a mask that looks sequined. And that packaging is darn cute, too. It's supposed to nourish your skin, help with fine lines and brighten your complexion, but honestly... I just want to have a creepy sequin face for 15 minutes of mask time. 
  • Petitfee Ruby & Bulgarian Rose Eye Patch ($9.75) - These are little under eye masks infused with rose extract and ruby powder to brighten and improve elasticity. I've been wanting to try eye patch masks, and these looked nice. I love the packaging and it's a really solid metal-type tin that makes these feel like they should be more expensive than they are.
  • Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam (samples) - These little samples were included with my order, but I'm excited to try them. Innisfree is another well-known Korean skincare brand and this product has a 5 star rating on Althea. This cleanser is meant to deep-clean clogged pores without drying out your skin. A full size costs $6. 
  • RiRe Lucent White Pearl Cream ($11) - Is it abundantly clear that I'm a skincare junkie yet? Ha! This product sucked me in because it looks like little pearls that you pop on your face and it does magical things for your skin. It has pearl extracts/powder to help with wrinkles and to promote a healthier, more radiant complexion. We'll see if that's true.... I just want to have fun with my skincare routine and maybe prevent a wrinkle or two. 
  • Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop ($23) - I definitely wanted to try a Korean face serum, and this one had great reviews and cute holographic packaging (I'm a sucker), and so I put it promptly in to my shopping cart. This is a vitamin C serum that helps shrink pores and even out skin tone and exfoliate the skin. 
  • Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($13) - Laneige is another popular Korean brand that you can find in the states at Target or Sephora. I've heard rave reviews about this product and I'm one of those people who can't fall asleep unless my lips are caked in some sort of balm, so this product spoke to me. Don't let the jar scare you, this comes with an adorable little spatula (like so many Korean products do, thank goodness) so you don't have to put your grubby little fingers in it.
  • Tov Camellia Cleansing Balm ($14) - Cleansing balms or oils are my absolute favorite way to take my makeup off. I, again, was a sucker for this packaging and had to have it. Using this is simple, just grab a small amount with the provided spatula, rub it all over your dry, makeup-caked face, and watch everything come melting off. Rinse it away, and wa-lah! 
  • Holika Holika Magic Pole Eyeliner ($10.50) - This just plain interested me. I've never seen an eyeliner pen like this, and I live and die by black liquid eyeliner. As you can kind of see, the tip has a ball point end for stability. The formula is waterproof, and you can get it in either black or brown. 
  • Etude House Fix and Fix Tone Up Primer ($10.20) - I primarily got this primer because it has SPF 33 in it, and that's perfect for summer time. I opted for the rose-colored toner to brighten my skin. You can also get it in green or lavender. I think the packaging is really minimalistically cute, and the price was right!

...and there you have it! My super exciting Korean beauty and skincare haul. Definitely make sure to check out Althea.kr if you're interested in trying out Korean products. You can get lost on that site with all the goodies they've got to order. If you do make an order, let me know what you pick up! 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

May Empties | #37

It's that time to dig through my trash! Get your monthly fill of mini reviews all in one convenient place. Let's dig in to what I used up in May...


  • Rovectin Conditioning Cleanser (would repurchase) - This is a very basic, gentle, unscented facial cleanser. See full review here.
  • Ark Pro Remove One Cleanse (would repurchase) - This is a nice oil cleanser, to be used as a first step to remove makeup. It breaks everything down and doesn't leave a film. See full review here
  • May Coop Raw Sauce (would not repurchase) - I don't understand the hype around this facial essence. It's essentially a toner made of maple water. It didn't do much of anything for me. It might've hydrated my skin a little, and I'm sure it helped the serums I put on top sink in, but meh... it's pricey and there are toners I like far better. 
  • Organic Surge Perfecting Face Polish (would not repurchase) - The ingredients are really good in this face scrub, but it's not scrubby enough for me. It's mostly creamy with a few scrubby pieces mixed in. I love this brand, but I wouldn't get this scrub again.
  • Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial (would not repurchase) - This is another brand I love, but I wasn't in love with this product. It had a gross, old lady rose smell, and I didn't notice any results from using it. 
  • Olay Cooling White Strawberry & Mint Body Wash (would not repurchase) - This was fine, nothing special. It didn't feel cooling at all on my skin, and the smell was just pleasantly fruity. It's nothing I need to run out and buy again.
  • L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil (would repurchase) - Okay, the hype is real around this stuff. It smells amazingly gourmand and sweet, and it works great as a shaving oil. I have a tendency to get itchy legs after I shave, but I never did when I used this. It's expensive, but it's worth it. 
  • Molton Brown Bushukan Body Wash (would repurchase) - This had a unique scent, kind of unisex sexy. It lingered on the skin, too. I love Molton Brown body washes - they're fancy and smell amazing - and I have a whole sample set I got for Christmas to continue using up. Yay!
  • Benefit That Gal Brightening Primer (would not repurchase) - This is a pink primer aimed at brightening the skin. I didn't really notice it doing anything. It didn't brighten my skin, it didn't extend the wear of my makeup, didn't blur my pores. I wouldn't shell out for a full size.
  • Smashbox X Rated mascara (would repurchase) - I really liked this mascara. It gave me lots of volume and length. It had a tendency to get a little clumpy, but I could work with it enough and get a look that wasn't gunky or gross. I probably wouldn't shell out the cash for a full size of this, because I'm a believer in drugstore mascaras, but if I saw it around for a good price, I'd get it again. 
  • Flower On your Mark Liquid Eyeliner (would not repurchase) - I don't know if I just got a dud pen, but this SUCKED. The product didn't seem to saturate the felt tip, and it was tough to build up a dark enough line on my lids. No thank you. I tried to use it a few times, and then promptly threw it in my empties bin. 
  • Rimmel Wonder Lash Mascara (would not repurchase) - I was intrigued by this ever since it came out a couple years ago, only because I fell for the gimmick that it's formulated with argan oil. Every review I saw had nothing great to say about it, but I still had to try it for myself, and well... yeah, I hated it. It provided color and that's about it. No volume, no length.... a total miss. I ended up using it with the X-Rated mascara above, and then over a lash primer so I could get some volume and length. This isn't worth your money, even though it's cheap. 
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - You already know, I use at least one of these up per month. I get them in the mega-pack from Costco, and I love them! I use them to remove my eye makeup and apply toner. I think they've changed the packaging already, so in a couple months they'll look a little different when they appear in my empties bin. 
  • Pur-Lisse Prevent Blue Lotus + White Tea sheet mask (would not repurchase) - I like sheet masks as a relaxing night time treatment, and I really don't expect much from them, so if they DO provide any sort of bump in my skincare treatments, then great. If not, I'm not that surprised. This did nothing for me, so I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again. 
  • Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint (would repurchase) - I think I got this in an Ipsy bag ages ago, and they also sell it at Target (or they used to... I've also seen it clearanced out there, so maybe not anymore?). It's a nice lippie. I'd get it again.
  • Sierra Bees Organic Vanilla lip balm (would repurchase) - Sierra Bees is exclusive to iHerb.com and they're ridiculously cheap. I really enjoy these lippies and have more to use up.
  • Chloe Roses de Chloe perfume (would repurchase) - This is a Scentbird vial of Roses de Chloe. If you like the Chloe perfume, and you like rose scents that aren't granny-like, you'll enjoy this. It's ultra feminine and sexy. See full review here.
  • Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline perfume (would not repurchase) - This perfume is very sharp and fresh. It isn't bad, but it really isn't something I'd want a full size of in my perfume collection. 
  • Up & Up Acetone (would repurchase) - I know acetone is pretty much awful for your nails, but I have zero patience when it comes to removing my nail polish and acetone makes things speedy. I'm impartial to brand, it's all the same, so I just grab it wherever I am if I'm in need.
  • Deep Steep Fresh Honey hand wash (would repurchase) - I adore the Deep Steep brand, and I really enjoy using their hand soaps. If you love that standard honey scent, you'll be head over heals for this hand soap. The cute packaging is an added bonus. You can also get body wash, lotion and body scrub in this same scent. 
  • B&BW Paris Lavender Macaron candle (would not repurchase) - I think this scent was limited edition last spring. It smelled great in the jar but didn't really have much of a scent throw. It's supposed to smell like lavender and sweet cookie, and I suppose that's about right. It's not overly lavender-y though, it's just sort of a sweet floral.
  • Yankee Candle Cinnamon Vanilla candle (would repurchase) - This smelled amazing and had a great scent throw. It smells exactly like you'd expect it would. 
  • B&BW Spring Blue Skies candle (would repurchase) - This was nice. It's comprised of water and citrus and just has that overall characteristic fresh scent. It's perfect for the warmer months.

What did you use up this month? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Coastal Scents | haul + swatches


I'm always surprised by how little Coastal Scents is talked about in the beauty world. I've been ordering from them for years now, and have been continuously impressed with their products. Their eyeshadows (or Hot Pots, as they call them) perform just as well as, if not better than, MAC eyeshadows, and when they go on sale, they cost just 99 cents each (regular retail price: $1.95). Their concealers are great. Their eyeshadow palette holders are better than the beloved and pricey Z-Palettes. Come on, beauty lovers... it's time for you to get on board.  See other swatches and reviews I've done here and here

I made an order earlier this year, and true to my blogging style in 2017, I just hadn't gotten around to blogging about it. On the up side, I've given all of these shadows and products a good whirl since purchasing them, so I know how well they perform.

Take a look at these beauties...

L to R: Gypsy Stone, Frosty Taupe, Amber Bronze, Mauve Frost, Antique Maroon, Silver Lilac
The formulation of these eyeshadows is so smooth and buttery. They have fabulous pigmentation, blend easily, and they will stay on all day long with a primer (truth be told, I've never tried them any other way because I never wear eyeshadow without a primer). They're some of the best eyeshadows on the market for the price.

L to R: Gypsy Stone, Frosty Taupe, Amber Bronze, Mauve Frost, Antique Maroon, Silver Lilac
I love all of these colors. All but Silver Lilac are easy, every day colors... although, even with a light hand I think you could make Silver Lilac look wearable for everyday. Gyspy Stone and Frosty Taupe are both good all-over-the-lid colors that don't need anything else mixed with them. They're pearly/shimmery without being too glittery, just really pretty stand alone colors. 


New to me when I made this order was the lipsticks they now sell. They retail for $3.95 and they have 15 shades to choose from. I picked a couple up on sale. The red lipstick is shade 10 and the pink is 01. 



I don't find these lipsticks to be nearly as good of quality as their eyeshadows. I think you get what you pay for in this instance. They have decent color pay off, but they aren't super comfortable.

Coastal Scents is a fun brand to experiment with and try - their products are cheap enough that you're not out a whole lot of money if you want to just give something a go blindly. I'd recommend googling swatches of the hot pot shades if you're wary of making a purchase - you can find most everything on blogs to get a feel for what they really look like. 

If you do try something - let me know what you get! Or if Coastal Scents is already a favorite, let me know what I need to try next!
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