Monday, May 29, 2017

Walmart Beauty Box | Spring 2017

If a monthly beauty subscription box feels like too much of a commitment for you, or you'd prefer trying things you can pick up at other easily accessible, more affordable stores - the Walmart Beauty Box may be the thing for you. This "subscription" ships out just quarterly, and will put you out a minuscule $5 per box. Obviously, everything inside can be purchased at Walmart. 

Spring boxes are still available for purchase here (not an affiliate link). The boxes aren't curated to your tastes, they send mostly the same thing to everyone, sometimes it varies slightly. Here's what came in this season's box...

  • Soo AE Purifying Black Charcoal Mask - This sheet mask is from Korean brand Soo AE, and retails for $2.50. It aims to reduce inflammation and purify the skin. You only need to leave it on for 15 minutes and wa-lah, you'll have radiant, moisturize and purified skin.
  • Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair Shampoo + Conditioner - This shampoo and conditioner cost $5.47 each, and is made for people with dry, stressed hair. It claims to reduce breakage, increase moisture and and add shine. 
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Shine - This is a full size lip gloss that retails for $8.97. It conditions and soothes lips while adding some shine and color.
  • Sinful Colors Sugar Crushin' nail polish - There's a variety of Sinful Colors polishes and I really adore them. They cost just $1.97 but they perform like higher end polishes.
  • Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer - There's a wet skin moisturizer in practically every brand now! This you put on when you're still wet in the shower, don't rinse off, and then wait for the color to slowly show. Basically, it's just like the regular gradual tanning lotion, but it responds well to water. A full size will set you back $8.97.
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisturizing Conditioner - This conditioner is for those of you with dry, unmanageable hair. It provides moisture while taming frizz and protecting your silky hair style. A full size retails for $5.47.
  • Soapbox Body Wash with Shea Butter - Soapbox is a cool company because for every product you buy, they give a bar of soap to a person in need in the US or abroad. Their website outlines all the good work they do around the world, so you can feel good about your purchase. I've never tried anything from this brand, so excited to give this a shot. It smells nice and I'm sure it'll work decently. A full size costs just $4.54.
  • Ban Powder Fresh Roll-On Deodorant - There's not much to say about this antiperspirant/deodorant combo. It fights odors, prevents sweating... and will cost you around $4... almost the entire price of the box... not bad!
  • Colgate Optic White Radiant Toothpaste - I've used this in the past and it's nice. It's a decent toothpaste, nothing overly special. I couldn't tell if it really made my teeth whiter or not. A full size costs a whopping $6.96... which seems crazy to me for toothpaste, whitening properties or not. 
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation - I've done a full review on this here. It's just $4.97 at Walmart. Long story short, you get what you pay for. 
  • Aveeno Postively Radiant Facials - I'm intrigued by both of these products, especially the in-shower facial. This cleanser helps exfoliate and cleanse the skin, working with the steam in the shower. It costs $6.97 for a full size. The overnight hydrating facial claims to provide 48 hours of hydration, and it'll cost you $16.97/jar which is kind of steep for a drugstore product. 

Will you be getting the Walmart Beauty Box? Let me know, or let me know how you liked any of these products!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly BB Foundation | Review

I'm fascinated by K-beauty products, and if you know even the littlest bit about K-beauty, you'll know people rave about Korean BB creams. Unlike most BB creams available in the states, many Korean BB creams have the coverage of a foundation (versus nearly all American-made creams that I've tried, which aren't much more than a tinted moisturizer). 

I watched a review by thataylaa on Youtube and was convinced I needed to give this foundation a shot. An easy decision, considering it only set me back a whopping $10 on Amazon.

Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream has SPF 20, UV protection, mint water for hydration and marine jelly complex for soft, supple skin. There's not a whole lot of description (at least in English) about this foundation to be found online - so you'll just have to take my word for the rest of it...

Upon first glance, you can tell it really does have kind of a jelly consistency. I tried my best to capture it in the jar. Despite looking thick and chunky, it's actually really lightweight and blends in easily.

The overall design of the packaging would make you think this is a spendy foundation. The thick frosted glass, cute blue top... all great. But my favorite part of the design is the MINI SPATULA applicator. How amazing and adorable is that? Not to mention functional. It makes it really easy to stir up and get a scoop out to apply. 

I purchased the shade Beige 01, which kind of freaked me out because I don't think I've ever bought a foundation with beige in the name - usually WAY too dark. Regardless, this color is a perfect match for me so if you've got paler-than-pale skin like me, you'll probably find this a great match, too.

Just for your own comparisons, I have normal to combination skin. I get a bit of oil throughout the day, but I'm not an oil factory by any means, and my face doesn't get too dry. It's just right, prone to a bit of a discoloration or minor break outs. If you have dry skin, you might need to wear an oil underneath this. If you've got super oily skin, this may slide around a bit and you'll want a good oil-controlling primer underneath. If you've got a lot of fine lines or wrinkles, you may find that this foundation settles in and makes itself comfortable in places you'd rather it didn't. 

Here's the wear-test. Excuse the bad iPhone photos and awkward poses because I was at work and in the car and trying to be inconspicuous both times. 

You can see it evens out my skin tone, covers up freckles and imperfections, yet still looks like my own natural skin.I don't know why the camera makes it look a little yellow, because it definitely doesn't look like that in person. My favorite thing about this foundation is that it provides good coverage, but feels lightweight and looks natural and not cakey. 

Overall, I don't see a ton of change between the time check ins. This foundation holds up pretty darn well. Sometimes if I have an oiler skin day, I'll notice a tiny bit of caking around my forehead T-zone area. My only real gripe for this foundation is that it can tend to settle in around my nose and forehead fine lines. Not as bad as some foundations do, and not badly enough to make me want to never wear or repurchase this foundation. I just smooth it out and all is well.

I'm super excited to have stumbled upon this foundation right before the heat of summer hits, and I think it'll be my season staple. SPF (check!), lightweight (check!), lasts all day (check!). Yeah.... we're going to be good friends, Aqua Petit Jelly BB Foundation.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April Empties | #36

If there's one blog post I can manage to write at least once a month, it's empties. They don't stop coming... and it's an easy way to do a bunch of reviews on lots of different products. So thanks for bearing with me as my posting schedule has been so up in the air! (Blame my growth-spurting, teething, semi-sleep-regressing, cute as a button, near 10-month-old)

Without further ado, here's what I finished up in April. 

  • Michael Todd Organic Lemon AHA + DMAE Toner (would repurchase) - I liked this toner. It had a fresh scent, and made my face feel clean without stripping it. Plus it lasted ages. I didn't notice any crazy results, but I enjoyed using it. 
  • Human + Kind Wash Off Facial Cleanser (would repurchase) - I purchased this on a whim when Sephora had it on sale, and I really liked it. It's creamy and nourishing but cleanses at the same time. Read more on my past Favorites post.
  • Alba Botanica Good & Clean Toxin Release Scrub (would repurchase) - I adored this scrub. It had the perfect amount of scrubbies in it, it wasn't too harsh, and my skin felt so soft and smooth after using it. The ingredients are more natural, which earns points from me. I will definitely be purchasing this again. 
  • Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalizing Concentrate (would not repurchase) - This was just OK. I think it might have broken me out a bit. If you're looking for a more natural anti-aging serum, give this a shot - it may work better for you than it did for me.
  • Keomi Skincare soap in Sea Breeze (would repurchase) - I enjoyed this bar soap. It was hydrating and lathered up nicely. The ingredients are natural, and it smells good. I'd be happy to use this again in the future. See full review here
  • Zum Bar soap in Frankincense and Myrrh (would repurchase) - Zum is my favorite bar soap brand. Everything smells amazing, it lathers great, it leaves my skin feeling soft, and the ingredients are clean. This scent was so so good, but I think it might be a limited holiday fragrance.
  • Hask Greek Yogurt Repairing Deep Conditioner (would repurchase) - This packet of hair treatment got me 2-3 uses, and I enjoyed it. This was on par with a normal conditioner, it didn't seem to have extra treatment properties that I noticed, but I still enjoyed using it. Full review here
  • Clinique Clearing Gel (would purchase) - This had a strong alcohol scent, but I do think it helped clear up some smaller zits on my face. I'd be interested in keeping a full size of this on hand for when my skin is freaking out.
  • Swisspers Cotton Rounds (would repurchase) - You already know, these are  my favorite cotton pads. I use them to apply toner and remove my eye makeup and they work great and don't fall apart.
  • Batiste dry shampoo in Blush (would repurchase) - I love Batiste dry shampoo... it's my holy grail. It smells great and actually makes my hair manageable between washes. This mini size was convenient to throw in my purse or keep in my desk at work. 
  • Detox Dry Shampoo (would repurchase) - I liked this dry shampoo quite a bit. It gave my hair a bit of volume, it soaked up oil. It'll set you back quite a bit more than a bottle of Batiste, but if you've got the budget, I' recommend trying it.
  • Giovanni Wellness System Scalp Serum (would not repurchase) - I didn't notice this doing much for my hair. It was frustrating to use because the serum is so thick the dropper didn't really pick up anything. I couldn't get anything out anymore, and there was easily still half the bottle left, but I was sick of fiddling with it so out it goes.
  • Schwarzkopf BC Oil Potion Shampoo (would not repurchase) - There wasn't anything inherently wrong with this shampoo, but I just don't think it kept my hair as fresh between washes. Plus, I think it's discontinued... sooo, there won't be any repurchasing in my future.
  • Yes To Carrots Pampering Conditioner (would repurchase) - This is one of my favorite drugstore conditioners. It leaves my hair feeling soft and manageable. It doesn't weigh my thin hair down, yet it leaves it feeling soft and silky. 
  • Poshe Treatment Base Coat (would not repurchase) - This is supposed to be a strengthening base coat, but it didn't do anything for my nails. It made any nail polish I put over it bubble, which is a definite no-go.
  • Zoya Anchor base coat (would not repurchase) - This is another base coat I can live without. Zoya is my favorite nail polish brand, but this base is sub par. It doesn't do much for me. I did notice, however, that when paired with a Zoya polish on top, the lasting power of my polish was pretty good.
  • Derek Lam Crosby Ellipsis perfume (would not purchase) - Upon first sniff, this smells really good. And then I sprayed it on myself and it had this awful rancid undertone that I could not handle. This is a super expensive perfume and I would never ever want a full size. Yuck.
  • L'Occitane Relaxing Shower Gel (would repurchase) - This was a lovely shower gel. It had the smell of natural lavender. I don't know if it's a more expensive shower gel, but if it is, I probably wouldn't shell out a ton of money for it... there are plenty of cheaper shower gels I like just as much.
  • Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes (would not repurchase) - If you like drier mascaras, this will probably be your new fave. I prefer a wetter formula, so I was not a fan of this. It was hard to build up the volume and length I like, so I used this for a few weeks and then called it quits.
  • Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste (would repurchase) - This is fine. I use it when my husband has a toothpaste open that has SLS. SLS gives me canker sores, and Pronamel is free of SLS and therefore I'm free of canker sores. It doesn't make my mouth overly fresh, but it cleans my teeth nonetheless.
  • Avene Hydrating Serum (would purchase) - This was nice. I had never tried anything by Avene, only heard people rave about it. This did hydrate my skin, felt nice. Nothing overly special, but I'd give a full size a chance.
  • Origins Plantscription (would not purchase) - I did not like this moisturizer. It made my face really greasy and shiny. Not a fan.
  • Clinique Pep-Start eye cream (would repurchase) - I actually liked this eye cream so much I purchased a full size. This is the first eye cream I've found that actually helps with the fine lines under my eyes. I'm planning to do a blog post soon about the other product I pair with this for the ultimate hydrating under eye duo. Stay tuned. 
  • Christie Brinkley Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatment (would not repurchase) - This did nothing for me. See full review here.
  • Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter (would repurchase) - This isn't my favorite Soap & Glory scent, but like everything they make, it's pleasant. The lotion kept my skin feeling soft and you get a lot of product for the price. 
  • Soap & Glory Hand Food in Sugar Crush (would repurchase) - I enjoy Hand Food. It has a yummy sweet scent, and this version has a hint of lime. It's not the most moisturizing hand cream, but it serves its purpose.
  • B&BW Candle in Be Daring (would repurchase) - This candle has notes of spiced saffron and redwood. It's more masculine, with hints of "sexy man" which is the technical term obviously. This usually comes out around winter time at B&BW and it's worth grabbing if you like fresh, cologne-like scents that aren't overbearing.
  • New Chapter Perfect Postnatal Vitamin (would repurchase) - Since having my son nearly 10 months ago, this has been my vitamin of choice. It has good stuff in there to support breastfeeding, energy, mood, etc. It's a bit spendy, but it's created with nutrients from whole foods which I prefer.
  • Britney Spears Hidden Fantasy perfume (would repurchase) - This scent is so nostalgic for me. I've had it for years and it really makes me think of my college days. It's a mix of warm, spicy and fruity all in one. I've got a soft spot for Britney perfumes, and think they're really well done, this being no exception. If you're a fan of scents like Katy Perry Purr, Viva La Juicy, or Hilary Duff With Love... I think you'll like this.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!
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