Saturday, November 10, 2018

Esqido | Gel Eyeliner Pencils






Helloooooo again my friends! It's been a while. I've taken a step back from blogging, but I'm back for a hot second to share with you an eyeliner that I've been testing. New to the Esqido world are gel eyeliner pencils, and I have to say, I've really been enjoying using them. 

Available in two colors, black or brown, these pencils are gel eyeliner with the convenience of a pencil that you can sharpen. I don't know about you, but I struggle to get my eyeliner the way I want it when I'm applying gel eyeliner with a brush... (probably a personal problem! Ha!) That's what I like so much about this format.

The eyeliner itself is silky smooth and glides on very easily. It also lasts all day without transferring on my upper eyelid. I really love the brown color because it gives great color payoff but it's less intense than the black, so if I'm feeling like toning it down, I go with the brown.

Normally, these retail for $16 each, which is up there in for an eyeliner pencil, but they've got a special for their launch and you can snag them for just $12. 



Here's a not so great photo of me (listening to an audiobook - hah!) sporting the actually great brown gel eyeliner. See what I mean about it being great for a toned down, but still put together look?

If super silky smooth, easy to apply, pencil eyeliners are your thing. I'd definitely recommend trying these out.

Purchase the Esqido gel eyeliner pencils on their website here.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Esqido Lashes | Review



If ever you've been pondering over how to take your makeup game up a notch for a special event, or hey - just because - false eyelashes are a really easy way to do just that. While I'm not of the type that wear them daily, weekly, or even remotely close to frequently - for a wedding or for family pictures, I've been known to sport a pair.

I was contacted a while ago by Esqido, asking if I wanted to give a pair of their lashes a test run, and after hearing about this brand everywhere, I jumped at the chance. They were so kind to send me a pair of their "Gina" lashes and a tube of their lash glue.



It's obvious to say that we can't continue any further in this post without noting how gorgeous their packaging is. Holy. Buckets. That white and rose gold? Yes please! 

Esqido lashes are made from real mink fur, which make for a more fluffy, realistic looking lash. Their bands are all cotton, so they're not hard and inflexible like so many falsies you'll find at the drugstore. These babies will set you back a bit more than a drugstore pair of falsies, however, you will get way more use out of these, and they'll look better for longer than your Walmart pair. ;) 


Above are the Gina lashes. After lots of hemming and hawing, these seemed like something I'd actually want to wear for a special occasion. Personally, I like to keep my lash style simple and not too overstated. I like a little extra pop to my eyes. The Gina seemed like the perfect fit.

For shock value, I'm wearing no other makeup in the photos below. It'll show you just what fake lashes can do for your look, and I think this is proof that if you were wearing eyeliner or a full makeup look with these, it's  a no brainer that you'll get the extra oomph you were looking for.


BOOM! Quite the difference, right? I think adding eyeliner to the area where you can see the band would make these look even more seamless and natural. They were comfortable to wear, and easy to apply. I found the lash glue was easy to work with and got just the right amount of tacky in a short amount of time, which I like. 


The Gina lashes are $32 a pair, and other Esqido lashes are of similar price, ranging up or down a few bucks. If you're new to the world of falsies, don't let this number scare you. Because these are higher quality lashes, you're going to get 10+ uses out of these before it's time to dump them. As for the lash glue, that's very reasonable, ringing in at $10 a tube. 

If you've got the expendable budget and you're in the market for lashes, I'd definitely recommend trying Esqido lashes. They're a luxury option and there are options for everyone and every preference. Check them out at Esqido.com.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Masked Beauty Skincare | Luxury Face Masks





Raise your hand if an indulgent night in for you typically involves a face mask -- I'm raising my hand over here, too! I don't think I've met a mask that's rocked my world so much that it's become essential in my skincare routine, but I always feel like masks are like a multivitamin for your face. Are they working? Hard to say. Does my skin feel great? You bet. And chances are it may even LOOK great for a day or so post-mask, too. So, it can't hurt, and it feels relaxing in the process so why not?

Recently, I was sent a couple masks from Masked Beauty Skincare to try out. This brand is new to me, but I was intrigued by the variety of masks they offer. They sent me the Purifying Charcoal & Diamond Mask, and their Exfoliating Coffee & Chocolate mask. 



These masks are formulated without parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, triclosan, polyethylene microbeads, bisphenol A (BPA), and toluene.



My personal favorite is the Coffee & Chocolate mask. It smells as yummy as you're imagining and once I used it and rinsed it off, my face feels smooth and soft. It's lightly exfoliating with little pieces of coffee bean ground in to it. 



The Charcoal & Diamond mask is also nice, especially if you're looking to dry up any blemishes or impurities on your skin. My one complaint is that it smells a bit artificial and perfumed, something I'd rather not have in my skincare. Added fragrance can be an irritant on sensitive skin. 

There are four other options in the Masked Beauty line, including Toning Red Clay, Overnight Pistachio, Moisturizing Gingko & Oat, and Soothing Rose & Peony. The only retailer near me that carries these (although I have not looked for them myself) is Hy-Vee - so keep your eye out if you're grocery shopping and want to splurge on yourself! They're only around $8 each. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Empties | #42

So many empties, so little time. Let's get right in to it - here's an up close and persona look at my recent beauty trash, complete with purchase recommendations and short reviews.


  • StriVectin Hair Shampoo for fine hair (would repurchase) - A nice shampoo choice, but it is not the cheapest option you'll find. See full review here
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo in bare (would repurchase) - I love me some Batiste, and I enjoyed this new (to me) scent. It soaked up oil effectively, and also gave my hair a little oomph. The scent was indeed light and not overpowering.
  • Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultra Moisture Conditioner (would repurchase) - This smelled good and worked fine. It wasn't anything to write home about. I wouldn't run out and purchase it, but if I needed something in a pinch, I'd grab this.
  • OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Hibiscus lotion (would repurchase) - This is a lightly moisturizing lotion with a subtle scent. I liked this because it didn't leave my skin greasy and the scent was light enough that I could use perfume on top without being a scent-bomb.
  • The Natural Dentist Antiseptic Rinse in Cool Mint (would repurchase) - This is an alcohol-free mouth rinse that is way overpriced ($9+ at full price!!). It left my mouth feeling clean, but I got it for half off and couldn't imagine paying close to $10 for a small bottle of mouthwash.
  • Schmidt's deodorant in Holiday Spice (would not repurchase) - I enjoyed this scent quite a bit. It smelled like oranges and cloves and kept me smelling fresh all day long. The thing I don't like about this deodorant is it can get stuck in your clothes even after washing, which darn near ruined a couple shirts of mine. Unfortunate for such a nice deodorant.

  • Sephora Lashcraft Mascara (would repurchase) - I liked this little sample mascara. It gave my lashes lots of volume and length. I felt like this little tube dried out rather fast, but I'm not sure if that would happen with a full size.
  • Becca Backlight Priming Filter (would repurchase) - I liked this primer for the glow it gave my skin. I wish it also filled in pores and helped with makeup longevity, because then it'd be a major keeper, but it just gave my skin a nice radiant glow and that's about it.
  • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (would repurchase) - Surprise, surprise. Another tube of this stuff. Like I always say, it's trivial, but I really like it because it makes it easy to coat your bottom lashes without getting mascara all over your face. 
  • Guerlain Maxi Lash mascara (would repurchase) - Nothing overly memorable, but a solid mascara. It's uber pricey, so I probably wouldn't buy it, but I'd gladly use up another sample. 
  • BeautyBlender (would repurchase) - I have yet to find another beauty sponge that compares to the BeautyBlender. It's light and bouncy and doesn't absorb your foundation the way some sponges do. I think it's worth paying a little extra for this applicator.
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Nude Pink (would repurchase) - This was a limited edition Color Tattoo that came out ages ago. I loved it as a primer for eyeshadows as it was the perfect color for my skin tone. Full review here.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - A standard in my morning and evening skincare routine. I use these for applying toner and removing eye makeup, in addition to removing nail polish and cleaning brushes.
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (would not repurchase) - I've heard so many good things about these, but I didn't see what the hype was all about. Maybe it takes a full size jar to see the change in your skin because a trial size just didn't do it for me.
  • GlamGlow Daily Hydrating Cleanser (would repurchase) - I really enjoyed this cleanser sample. It smells good and it made my skin feel clean without being stripped. I've sometimes seen this at TJ Maxx, and I'd definitely grab it if I saw it again.
  • StarSkin Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Mask (would repurchase) - This was nice! It didn't do anything amazing, other than some light hydrating, but it felt good. I like to think sheet masks are kind of like taking a multivitamin - there's gotta be benefits that I can't see happening for my skin, right? See more here.
  • Secret Garden Olive Oil Ampoule Mask (would repurchase) - This is the first two-step sheet mask I've tried before. You apply the little serum first, and then you stick the sheet mask on top. I loved this mask. I felt like I could see and feel a noticeable difference in my skin. I got this in an Ipsy bag ages ago and I'd love to know where I could find it in the future.
  • Choco Cacao Collagen Mask (would repurchase) - I honestly can't remember much about this mask. It must not've been terrible, or I think I'd remember it. Basically, I liked the packaging and that alone would make me grab it again. 
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Moisturizer (would repurchase) - I like that this version of Reve de Miel is in stick form, compared to the standard jar. It was comfortable on the lips. I enjoyed it most for daytime use, not as much for night time when I prefer something thicker and more healing than this. 
  • Neutrogena Norwegian For000000mula Hand Cream (would repurchase) - I was pleasantly surprised by this hand cream. The texture is something between a lotion and petroleum jelly, but every night I used it, I'd wake up with smooth hands in the morning. This is a nice option for winter time healing.
  • Nivea Lip Butter in Raspberry Rose Kiss (would not repurchase) - I don't like these lip butters at all. They don't hydrate, they just sit on top of my lips and give the illusion that they're doing something. 
  • Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream (would not repurchase) - This was fine, nothing amazing. I read somewhere that these water-based moisturizers don't actually do much for your skin so, whether or not that's true, I probably wouldn't get this again.
  • Origins GinZing eye cream (would repurchase) - A gentle hydrator for under the eyes. Truth be told, I could probably use a little extra boost beyond what this provides, but I do like it and would consider it again in the future. 
  • Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (would repurchase) - I liked this way more than I expected to. It was so moisturizing and luxurious, and had a very light pleasant fragrance. I will be purchasing this when the Sephora VIB sale rolls along for sure. If you have more oily skin, this may be too much oomph for you.
  • Burberry Brit Sheer (would not purchase) - This was not my style at all. It's floral and woodsy, but not something I liked on me at all. I didn't use up the whole sample.
  • Bvlgari Jasmin Noir perfume (would not purchase) - Also not my favorite, this scent is obiviously heavy on the jasmine but has woodsy and floral notes as well. I am not huge into Bvlgari scents, so it came as no surprise that I wasn't floored by this.
  • Yankee Candle Apple Cider (would repurchase) - A perfect apple cider scent for fall. It's exactly as you'd imagine it, warm and spicy. 
  • ScentSationals Simple Romance wax melts (would repurchase) - Oh these smelled so good, kind of like perfume almost. I loved the way this made my house smell and I'd definitely grab these again if I saw them.

And that's it! Have you tried any of these products? Let me know your thoughts below!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Neutrogena Acne Proofing line





Last week I shared my experience with the Deep Clean Purifying line, and I'm excited to team up with Neutrogena yet again to tell you about their Acne Proofing line. 

Goodness knows I can always use some help in fighting and preventing acne; it's something I've struggled with since my early teen years. After bouts of intense treatments and every medicine, cream, and serum in the books, I now get only mild, hormonal breakouts that are far more manageable. And that's why I adore products like those in the Neutrogena Acne Proofing line.

Sent in a nice convenient package was the daily scrub and the gel cleanser, two products that I'm glad to have in my arsenal to assist breakouts in finding their way in to oblivion. These products contain maximum strength salicylic acid to help fight pesky zits, while playing nice with the skin's barrier, and preventing future breakouts all at the same time. 

My favorite of the two is the daily scrub, which feels so lovely on the skin. It gently scrubs away impurities, and leaves my face feeling smooth, tingly cool, and refreshed. 

Both of these are easy to find at your local drugstore or Target, retailing for $8.49 each. Check them out if you can use some help fighting mild acne, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying line





It's no secret, I'm a skincare junkie - so needless to say, I was excited when this PR package from Neutrogena showed up at my door for me to try. 

These two products you see above are part of the Purifying line, aimed at removing oil, residue, makeup and other impurities from the skin. To do just that, you've got a cooling gel scrub and a daily cleanser/mask. 

This is an excellent combo of products. The scrub, which I've used a couple times per week, has the perfect amount of scrubbies (anyone else annoyingly picky about the cleanser to scubbie ratio of their exfoliators? 🙋). I love that when I wash this off, it leaves my skin feeling cool and extra smooth. I can see this scrub becoming a new favorite. It costs around $8.49 for 4.2 oz. 

The mask/cleanser is quite the economical approach to skincare. It costs around $8.49 for 4.2 oz (now that's a value!) I've tried it both ways, and I like them both equally. As a mask, it is cooling and dries within 10 minutes or so. After washing it off, my skin felt extra clean. As a cleanser, it also felt cooling and refreshing, especially before applying a full face of makeup. 

Both of these products are formulated with salicylic acid, meaning they'll help tackle blemishes, but also pull out any yuckiness in your pores. I found both to be gentle, not drying the way some products with salicylic acid can be. 

Find these products at Target or Amazon.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Milk Makeup Blur Liquid foundation | Review


I don't know what's come over me in the last few months, but I've become more interested in trying new foundations. It never used to be something that excited me, especially not high end foundations. But a switch flipped, and I find it fun to see if my next  holy grail product is out there waiting. 

Enter - the Milk Makeup Blur Liquid foundation. Somewhere (of course I can't recall where) I heard that this foundation is amazing. The claims I remember hearing were that it lasts all day, it makes your face look flawless, and it had nice coverage. 

I thought about this one for a while before I purchased it because it is rather spendy, ringing in at $40 for 1 oz. I waited until a Sephora VIB sale so I could get it $20 off, and then excitedly threw it in my cart and made it mine. Since the November sale, I've been using this foundation regularly, a couple times a week or so. Spoiler alert: it's become a fast favorite. But you already know this if you read through my Top 10 of 2017.

The bummer thing about the Blur Liquid is that it only comes in 16 shades. That's (sadly) a pretty average number of shades to choose from, but let's be honest, that means a bunch of you, especially on the farther ends of either spectrum, may have trouble finding something that works. I have the shade Fair, which is supposed to be for fair tones with pink undertones. 

To note: I've got normal to combination skin. I have a history of acne, but now have only minor hormonal breakouts. I prefer medium to full coverage foundations to even out my skin tone and cover up any blemishes I may have. 



The Milk Makeup Blur Liquid in Fair is just a bit too dark for my skin tone, so as you see above, I mix in a little lightener with it (see more on the lightener here) and then it's the perfect shade. That doesn't really knock off points in my book, because it still works, but again - bummer that the shade range isn't more inclusive. 

A little goes a long way, and there's a fine line to straddle; you need about a pea sized amount, maybe a little more, for complete coverage. Too much of the foundation and you risk a cakey face. It may not be a cakey-ness you realize right away either, it's that gross kind of cakey that shows it's ugliness as the day wears on - you leave the house looking fly as hell, and then catch a glimpse in the bathroom mirror and gasp in horror at your over exaggerated pores and separating foundation and wonder how things ever got this bad.... ugh.






This foundation provides medium to full coverage, depending on how you apply it. It really does give a nice, blurred look to the skin - probably not as flawlessly as a pore-filling primer would, but coupled with one it makes my skin look soft and smooth. 

I prefer to apply it with a damp BeautyBlender; admittedly, I haven't applied it using a brush because I rarely use brushes to apply my foundation nowadays. It dries down nicely, within a minute or so. I like to set it with a powder for longevity, but you could get away without one if you have skin similar to mine. 

It wears nicely throughout the day (assuming you straddle that fine line of using just enough product, like I mentioned above - a mistake I've made when first testing this out). I can throw this foundation on at 5:30 in the morning, and it still looks good at 5:30 in the evening. 

I think this foundation would work for a range of skin types, notable normal to dry skin. If you have oily skin, I think you might find this to be greasy at the end of the day. My skin looks a healthy amount of dewy at the end of the day, not enough to look oily or gross.

I really enjoy this foundation. It doesn't topple the ranks of my beloved Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 foundation, but it's a close second. These two foundations have very different price points ($40 vs. $10), so it's a good thing it didn't dethrone my drugstore favorite. 

I do intend to keep this within reach in my makeup drawer, and to grab a bottle when the Sephora VIB sales roll around (because we all know I'm cheap af) since it's weaseled its way in to my makeup-loving heart. If you tend to like the same foundations I do (these reviews may give you a closer look at my tastes - here, here, here), I'd recommend giving the Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Foundation a shot, too. 
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