Sunday, August 13, 2017

Not Makeup Post: Amazon Prime Nutrition & Wellness Box

This isn't makeup related, but it is box related! Amazon occasionally has "free after credit" boxes available for Prime members. I have snatched up all of the Luxury Beauty boxes in the past. This time, I grabbed a Nutrition & Wellness box. This cost $14.99, but you get that back in credit as soon as it ships. The samples are always worth more than the cost of the box. That plus the credit makes these deals too good to pass up! I typically use my credit to buy a box of Vega bars. Here is what I got this time:

I have not gotten to everything in this box yet, but almost everything has been awesome for far. Except the Acure Power Meal that tasted like total ass! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

June 2017 Empties

Here is what I got through in June:

Face/Skin items:

Some makeup wipes from Big Lots
Opinion: Yay Big Lots! I am bummed they closed the location close to me. I picked these up for exactly one doll hair during a recent visit to Illinois. They worked great...and did I mention they were cheap??
Repurchase?: Heck yes if I can get myself to another Big Lots.

Burt's Bees Towelettes
Opinion: These worked well enough. They removed my makeup, but they did leave my skin a bit sticky and tight feeling. Since the pack was pretty small, I kept them in my travel backpack to combat my airplane greasies.
Repurchase?: No. Too sticky.

Pore Gone for Good Mask
Opinion: This did nothing for me. It did not piss off my skin, nor did it help it. I was left just feeling a little more moisturized. I can easily achieve the same feeling from a standard moisturizer.
Repurchase?: *yawn* No. Too boring and not worth the money.

MD Solar Sciences SPF Moisturizer
Opinion: I used this on a recent trip to the Mediterranean. It was okay. Nothing fancy, nothing bad.
Repurchase?: No.

Skyn Iceland Cloud Cream
Opinion: My favorite moisturizer ever! Leaves my face SUPER soft and it's not greasy at all.
Repurchase?: Yes! I already blew some Ulta points on a full size, because there is no way my cheap ass would every spend $55 on a moisturizer.

Origins GinZing Moisturizer
Opinion: I want to like Origins. I really do. Their products just seems to underwhelm me over and over though. I guess this one did smell pretty good.
Repurchase?: No.

Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer
Opinion: I am starting to really like Murad. This little packet was handy for travel. It left my skin really nice and soft when I woke up too.
Repurchase?: Not sure on this one. Murad is growing on me, but I think I like their serum more than this.

Philosophy Time in a Bottle Repair Serum
Opinion: Yay serum samples! Serum is something I love and use daily, but am still way too cheap to buy.
Repurchase?: Hopefully I will keep winning the sample lottery and won't have to.

Murad Invisiblue Protecting Shield
Opinion: I used this under my makeup like a primer. It had some slip to it, but my makeup stayed put all day.
Repurchase?: I'll just stick to my regular primers.


Ouai Treatment Masque
Opinion: I loved this! It made my hair super soft and it smelled so good!
Repurchase?: No, I will be sticking to my much more economical Eva NYC mask.

Hask Macadamia Oil
Opinion: I love these little Hask hair oil bottles! They travel so well. A little goes a long way to make my hair super soft and shiny. I also like it as a heat protectant.
Repurchase?: I am sure I will be traveling somewhere and have to grab another one at Walgreen's at some point.


Some cheapo eyeliner from Beauty Box 5
Opinion: I realized when I swatched this for my eyeliner post that I forgot how much I liked it. Little did I know that the next time I used it would be the last time :(
Repurchase?: Nah, I have eyeliner ADD.

e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set
Opinion: I tried this $3 version of my beloved NYX setting spray. It worked, but I really didn't not like the packaging. The misted was a little too zealous as well.
Repurchase?: I am sure my cheap ass will at some point. It's less than half of the cost of the NYX version!

Sephora Mascara
Opinion: I am making a point to get through some mascara samples and ditch what I don't like. I gave this 2-3 tried before I put it in the "fail" pile. It left little balls of product at the end of my eyelashes. I HATED the wand as well. Too dense and weirdly flat.
Repurchase?: Nope.

Ulta Eye Makeup Remover Wipes
Opinion: These worked great! I wish there was more in the package.
Repurchase?: Probably not. This is more of a "luxury" product for me.

Some random black eyeliner
Opinion: This eyeliner was very "meh" and I have plenty of other black eyeliners, so I quit using it.
Repurchase?: No.

Urban Decay 24/7 purple eyeliner
Opinion: I really liked this color and the slight glittery effect it had. However, every time I wore it, it would would start flaking off pretty quickly.
Repurchase?: No, and I am hesitant to try any other UD eyeliners now.


Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips
Opinion: Wow was this stuff gooey! It was basically like smearing petroleum jelly on my lips. It did leave them moisturized all night as I slept, and it was still on when I woke up.
Repurchase?: Nah. Too gooey and I hate squeeze tubes for lip balm.

Perfume Minis
Opinion: I am still plugging away on my huge pile. I like practically all perfume, but the one that stood out to me here was Armani Code.
Repurchase?: These brands are all a little too rich for my blood.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

BH Cosmetics Haul

Damn you BH Cosmetics!! I really wanted the Carlie Bybel deluxe edition palette, which lead me to buy a bunch of other crap. And I swear the very next day, Ulta started carrying this palette. And then BH Cosmetics dropped the Solar Flare palette! ARGH!! I didn't like having money any way I suppose.

Here is what I got sucked into buying on this order:

First up, the very hyped up Carlie Bybel deluxe edition palette:

Holy. CRAP. No pictures or swatches will ever do this baby justice. I am in love. I have not been this excited about a palette since...probably Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly. It is so good. All of the shades are gorgeous and apply like a dream. They are a little softer than other BH Cosmetic shades, but nothing too crazy powdery. They also blend like a dream. The highlighter trend appears to be going strong, and I have no problem with that.

Next, I got sucked into a 48 hour haul that got me both the Foil Eyes 2 and Essential Eyes palettes, plus a fluffy blending brush all for $16.99

Foil Eyes 2 is giving me major Morphe + Jaclyn Hill vibes here.

 I also got a little 6 color shadow set and a liquid liner for free, and lippies were BOGO so I decided to try the shades Icon and Lust.

Ulta Platinum GWP Bag

I recently achieved Ulta Platinum status and blew my points on a massive order. This allowed me to get this 28 piece gift bag for free. And this thing is MASSIVE.

Also, I love the holographic material. I don't like it as much as my Tarte unicorn skin bag, but it is still fun. I don't even hate the tassel.

There is so much going on in here. I think the $268 value estimate is definitely accurate.

My favorites so far include the Becca highlighter, a Tarteist lip paint, Stila lippy, and an ABH stick foundation. The foundation is too dark for me, of course, but I think I can use it as a cream contour.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Dollar General Find

$7 vs $3.50!

May 2017 Empties

Why yes! I am way behind! Here is what I went through in May:

Hair stuff:

John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Spray
Opinion: I go through a mini can of hair spray about twice a year. This worked I guess. I am just not enough of a hair spray user to give a decent review.
Purchase?: Nope. I probably have 2-4 more mini cans of hair spray, so I am goo for another year or two.

Marc Anthony argan or some kind of other oil
Opinion: I like hair oil for my dry ends. This was suitable.
Purchase?: Nah. I'll stick to my samples or just buy more Hask.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Overnight Protector
Opinion: This was nice. I liked leaving it in my hair overnight and waking up to super moisturized locks.
Purchase?: Not for the price this brand runs at. Ouch.

Skin care:

Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment
Opinion: DAMN YOU GLAM GLOW!! This shit was GOOD. I used it on my nose to rip out all of my nasty blackheads. I don't know what kind of witchcraft Glam Glow uses to make their products but DAMN does it work!
Purchase?: I totally would but it is SOOOOO expensive! I wish Ulta carried it so I can cash in my points on it!

Dr. Brandt Poredermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator
Opinion: I liked this a lot. It really got in there and did some deep down scrubby things to my face. A little went a long way so this sample lasted a while.
Purchase?: I can scratch up my face for a lot less money, so no thank you.

First Aid Beauty Deep Cleanser
Opinion: This worked well enough. I liked the fact that it had clay added to help combat my greasies. It did leave my face feeling a little tight after using it.
Purchase?: Not my favorite cleanser, so no.

Lancome Advanved Genifique serum type thingy
Opinion: I love getting samples of this, because I will never splash out on the full sized version.
Purchase?: See above.

Miscellaneous skin and body:

Suave Visible Glow Self Tanning Body Lotion
Opinion: I think this may be better than Jergens for one reason. It's thinner and applies faster. I hate spending time rubbing lotion into my skin.
Repurchase?: My self tanner loving dumb ass probably will.

Pure Silk Shave Cream
Opinion: BORING.
Repurchase?: Nope. I have been shaving with a giant bottle of Wen conditioner and liking that more. Plus, it has the added bonus of maybe making my leg hair fall out!

Marvis Toothpaste
Opinion: Luxury toothpaste. Huh. This was fine I suppose.
Purchase?: Not as long as the hubby keeps buying massive packs of toothpaste at Costco. This was a nice sample though.

Proraso Cream Liquid After Shave Balm
Opinion: I love this. I had this last little sample to use up, now I am on to my big bottle.
Purchase?: Already have.

Makeup things:

Barry M Flawless Matte Finish Foundation
Opinion: I bought this at a train station in London and I loved it!!! I am super sad I cannot buy more.
Repurchase?: You bet your ass I will. The next time I can find it.

Mally Beauty double ended mascara
Opinion: Mascara, along with bronzer, is one of those rare makeup items that just do not excite me. However, I did really like this. The combination of defining and maximizing brushes really made application a breeze.
Repurchase?: I am literally drowning in tubes of mascara. Full sized. Deluxe sized. Sample sized. I will never be able to go through them all. I would definitely buy this if they all suddenly disappeared though.

Ulta Eyebrow Gel
Opinion: Ewwwww!! Never package eyebrow gel in a clear tube! It started to look very nasty very quickly from applying over my pomade. Also, it got gooey and flaking on me after a few uses. That's why there is still goo in this tube. I could not deal anymore.
Purchase?: I am convinced that all eyebrow gel sucks other than ABH.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
Opinion: This definitely lives up to the hype! I can almost pull off a decent cat with this liner. And it stays on through almost anything.
Purchase?: I have another sample size going at the moment. Also, I am sure there is a cheaper dupe out there somewhere.

Harvey Prince Hello
Opinion: I liked this well enough. It wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't the worst either.
Purchase?: No, I am trying to use up my other 10,000 perfume samples.

March/April Empties

I barely touched anything in March, so on decided to combine it with some decent progress in April.

There were definitely a few big wins here.

Shower stuff:

Some Matrix shampoo and conditioner 
Opinion: These fell victim to necessity. My water at home is super soft and all of the things that hotel water is not, so it is hard to form an actually analysis of functionality. Either way, these were decent enough.
Purchase?: These worked for travel. I liked them. More than more travel shampoo/conditioner duos. If I ever run out, then maybe.

Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer
Opinion: Dude. How can this stuff even be real? I am soooo lazy when it comes to applying lotion, so this is a miracle product for me. It did take me a couple of tries to find a scent that wasn't super gross. This one is just a little gross, but I can handle it. I see that they now have a tanning version, and I love me some Jergens fake tan.
Repurchase?: Again and again. Except right now I am trying to use up a Nivea sample.

Face Stuff:

Some more random makeup remover wipes from TJ Maxx
Opinion: They worked!
Repurchase?: I can't resist the makeup wipes at TJ Maxx

Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash
Opinion: I love this. I had to buy a full sized tube after my sister stole my sample sized one last year. It smells nice, is gentle, and left my skin super soft.
Repurchase?: I have skin care ADHD, so probably not. It's not that I don't like it...I just have lots of others to get through before I come back around to anything.

Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream

Opinion: This was very very nice. Moisturizing, but not greasy. Also had a very mild pleasingly neutral scent.
Repurchase?: I am up to my eyeballs in moisturizers at the moment, so no.

Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti Wrinkle
Opinion: LUXURY SAMPLE! I am not sure what this was supposed to be. I used it below my eyes.
Purchase?: I am scared to even look up what this costs.

Makeup things:

NARS Bronzer sample in Laguna
Opinion: Bronzer may be the only makeup category I am just not in love with and/or hoard like crazy. HOWEVER, this product was awesome. I got a few uses out of this card and loved it. It was a good color match for me, and it blended out super well.
Purchase?: No way. I will never buy a bronzer. I get too many as it is from subscription boxes. I will say that this is the first NARS product that I have liked, since their lip crayons give me a rash. 

Skyn Iceland Blemish Dots
Opinion: I used this entire pack for a particularly bad pre-period breakout. I am not sure they did anything, BUT! they did stay on my face the entire night while I slept.
Purchase?: I love Skyn Iceland, but these were not worth it to me.

Makeup Forever Step 1 Primer
Opinion: This was a nice, tinted, "slippery" feeling primer. Very comparable to Benefit Prefessional.
Purchase?: Nah, I am already stocked up on other primers. Plus, Makeup Forever products are a little too pricey for me.

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation
Opinion: NYX can do me no wrong! I gave up on this when it was just a little ring around the pan because I felt like it was going to mess up my brushes trying to get the last out of there.
Repurchase?: Heck yes I will! After I use up my BH Cosmetics version. Or maybe I will just repurchase the BH Cosmetics version. Either way, I liked this a lot and will need something like it again soon.

NYX Matte Finished Setting Spray
Opinion: My baby always and forever.
Repurchase? I always have at least two more bottles on standby.

Empty NARS bronzer and NYX powder:


It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
Opinion: You know what? Screw It's a 10! I have never liked their products and this was no different. I do not enjoy sticky hair.
Purchase?: Absolutely not.

Reese's Flavored Lip Balm
Opinion: Mmmmmm.....Reese's! I had this as my bedside lipbalm and it made me happy to slather it on before bedtime. 
Repurchase?: Maybe the next time I see it. I have been murdering lip balms at an alarming rate recently.

Ecolip Bee Free Lip Balm
Opinion: I liked the application and smell of this, but I had to give up on it. It somehow made my lips drier and gave me a rash. I was stuck in a dry ass hotel for an entire week with only this balm in my purse, and it was horrific. I kept waking up in the middle of the night with dry lips and this just somehow made them worse. 
Purchase?: Heck no this was awful.

Pogo Lip Balm in some minty flavor
Opinion: Pogo know what is up with natural lip balms. I have been happily using these up.
Purchase?: Maybe when I have used all of them from my Organic Authority box. I think I am on the last one now.

Collection: My Non-Black Eyeliners (that I am currently using)

Despite my usual style of being mostly ~goth af~, I do not like to wear black eyeliner on my bottom eyelid. I feel that it makes my eyes look smaller and heavier. Not typically the look I am personally going for, but if it is your thing, you do you. I have a very boring collection of black eyeliners going at any one time, but that's not what this post is about.

BEHOLD. My non-black eyeliners. I do lean heavily towards purple, but I have some other fun ones going at the moment.

My purples:

From left to right:

1. Tarte
2. A cheapo twist up from Beauty Box 5
3. Discontinued L'Oreal from Big Lots
4. Urban Decay
5. Sephora brand

Purples swatched from bottom to top:

Miscellaneous colors:

From left to right:

1. Pretty jade green from Iikia
2. A deep green from Tarte
3. Brown from Sigma
4. NYX Faux Black in Onyx
5. MYX Faux Black in Oxblood
6. A gorgeous coppery orange from Zao
7. Starlooks pencil in amythest
8. A silky silver from Cynthia Rowley

Miscellaneous swatched from bottom to top:

After digging around and swatching these I had the following thoughts:

1. Screw the purple Urban Decay liner. It always flakes off and I find chunks of it sitting on my cheeks all day. On to the fail pile it goes!
2. NYX Faux Blacks rule super hard. I'm not sure what color "onyx" is supposed to be, but I love it.
3. The brown Sigma liner is very close to making a trip to the fail pile. It's hard and just really uncomfortable to apply.
4. Shimmery metallic eyeliners are great in theory. Not when you put them on your lower lid and walk out into the sun and are immediately blinded but the glare.
5. I need a gold eyeliner.
6. I should probably buy some more purple eyeliners.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Brand Spotlight - My Too Faced Palettes

In my vast sea of palettes, I have actually amassed a decent amount from Too Faced:

Putting them all together makes me realize just how fun and silly Too Faced can be. Since I am a cheapo, I did not pay full price for very many of these.

Top Row: from the Grand Cafe holiday set, purchased on HSN using a $20 off of $40 Visa Checkout code.
Cat Eyes: part of the 2016 mystery grab bag
Rock n' Roll: part of the 2015 mystery grab bag
Peanut Butter & Honey and Peanut Butter & Jelly: I actually paid full price for these because I am a peanut butter fanatic IRL.
Sweet Peach: I used another Visa Checkout coupon on HSN for $20 off
#TFNoFilter Selfie Powders: found at Nordstrom Rack for $12!!

Here are all of my pretties opened:

My current obsession is the Sweet Peach palette. While it does not contain a lot of actual peach shades, the entire thing is gorgeous.

Monday, May 29, 2017

BH Cosmetics Highlighter Palettes

In my recent BH Cosmetics haul, I picked up both the new Spotlight and Blacklight highlighter palettes. Here are some seatches and my first impressions. Photos taken in natural light from my sliding glass doors. Swatches done on bare skin with my large Sigma 3DHD kabuki brush.

Spotlight Highlight:

Very nice looking in the pan. The color range should work for a wide variety of skin tones.

Swatched top row left to right, then bottom row left to right:

Wow it is hard to photograph highlighters. I was swatching pretty hard to get these to show up, which quickly revealed and issue with some of these shades. Especially "Vivid".

I had some pretty large flakes pull out of the pan, which pilled up and flaked off of my skin.

Now I would never apply highlighter to this extreme on my face, but this is something I will watch out for with this shade.

Otherwise, these are all gorgeous. I especially like Dream, Glow, and Allure.

Blacklight Highlight

These are some more unusual highlighter colors (especially Kween) that makes me think this palette was made to compete with the ABH Moonchild palette or Kat Von D Alchemist palette.

Swatched top row left to right, then bottom row left to right:

These had way less issues than the Spotlight colors. Just Electra was a little flaky. Laser was the most subtle, which is likely a good thing considering it swatched green. I really like On Point. It's gorgeous and swatched the nicest.

Overall, the palettes are a great value. You get some huge pans with unique shades that are worth a little extra care in application. These retail for $12.99 each, but I don't recommend paying full price. If you are patient, BH Cosmetics has frequent sales.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Travel Beauty - Malta 2017

I like to travel. A lot. When I am driving somewhere, I will just basically empty my working makeup drawer and toss everything in my car. When I fly somewhere, things get trickier. I do not like to check my luggage because switching flights internationally does not always mean you will get you bag at your final destination (looking at you, Air Malta). So besides the limited space in my carry on, I have to follow the 3 oz or less rule to get through security. Not that this is too much of an issue with my sample hoarder lifestyle.

After taking so many trips over the last few years, I have learned a lot. Here are some things I would recommend based on my personal experience.

Save those small samples and foil packets;

Yes, even perfume cards from magazines. They take up virtually no space. Foil packets are also space savers. I have a "travel basket" in my bathroom closet where I immediately dump these samples into when I receive them. Then, when I comes time to pack, I raid this basket. I don't pay much attention to what I put in the basket at the time, so it is usually pretty fun to dig around.

Have a very simple routine:

The lighting in most European hotel bathrooms is crap. I stick with a base that is easy and mostly good proof. Sunscreen, BB cream, and a little powder foundation. I'm currently in love with this Maybelline BB cream I got on clearance at Dollar General. BH Costmetics ties with NYX for my favorite powder foundation. Both are very affordable.

Have something on your person for sweat/oil control:

My skin sucks. It's extra oily and freaks out over just about anything. Changes in temperature and humidity especially. I keep translucent or mattifying powder in all of my bags so I can blot away or touch up on the go. I usually just travel wth cheap makeup, but this Too Faced powder got to go on this trip because there's not a lot left. The Cover Girl was a Dollar General clearance find.

Too Faced stayed in my backpack while Cover Girl I kept in my purse. I really like the "poof" applicator.

Bring multitaskers:

I bring this Urban Decay Naked Flushed trio everywhere. It's three products in one and has a nice big mirror.

I am also in love with this NYX brow pencil. The product twists up and is super fine, so it's easy to draw on and get a more natural look. The other end is a spoolie to comb everything out.

Limit yourself to a look or two:

I brought this cheapo cardboard Ulta palette with me. It limited my choices and made my routine quicker. Plus, I wouldn't cry if something happened to it. I actually ended up falling in love with this little guy. I'm not a blue eyeshadow fan at all, but the Seaside color was a surprisingly nice duo chrome.

Make your hair routine easy:

I cut six inches off of my hair in preparation for this trip. European hotels do not typically have blow dryers, and my styling tools are not compatible with the electrical situation outside of the US. I brought this air dry cream so I could just let my hair do its thing in the Mediterranean breeze every day. It actually worked out very well.

If there's an expensive product I can't live without, see if there is a travel size available:

For me this is my HG brow gel from Anastasia Beverly Hills. All other brow gels fail super hard compared to this one.

Lessons will be learned:

On this trip, I learned that any and all eyeliner can and will betray you while traveling. Liquid pens will start skipping. Pencils will break and you won't have a sharpener. I thought I was being safe by bringing some twist ups. One broke and the other decided it was too dry to work any longer. Next time I am going to have to try a pot and a brush I guess.

Travel Empties - Malta Edition

I just got back from Malta where I mostly managed to look ~okay~ despite the fact that every hotel I stayed at had the worst lighting ever and it was hot as shit outside. Not that any of that stopped me from attempting to wear makeup or black clothes every day.

I also cut six inches off of my hair before this trip because I did not want to deal with that shit every day. Or any day really.

Anyway, here are a few things I went through:

You know those paper perfume samples that fall out of you Ulta catalog? Don't toss those! I brought my stash along and it was nice to not only have a new scent every day, and to save some space while packing!

I was very disappointed with this Tarte Guard sunscreen sample. I got two small pumps out of it before it died.

The Ulta warming charcoal cleanser was weird. I don't know how or why, but it legitimately got HOT as I squeezed it out of the package and rubbed it on my face. I also got two uses out of this package, and it was warm both times. So that doesn't mean whatever voodoo is in here dies off as soon as it's opened. Strange, but I like charcoal products for my icky oily skin and this was nice to have on hand.

More perfume cards, and a Tarte bronzer/blush card. I got two uses out of the bronzer on this card, and four out of the blush. It doesn't look empty because the card is printed the same colors are the products. I liked the bronzer, and I already own this color of Tarte's blush, Glisten.

The other foil packet was some Elizabeth Arden face serum that was awesome. I slapped on the entire packet before bed one night and woke up with super hydrated skin.

I will be doing another post later on more details of my travel beauty routine and tips.