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June 2014 Beauty Favorites

11 Jul

Finished

So, it’s almost the middle of July. I seem to be very late on this one! But hey, it’s still July, so technically I am on time. Technically.

Caolion Pore Mool Pool Deep Cleansing: This was one of the items in my Memebox Mini #2, and I have fallen utterly in love. It’s a bizarre combo cleanser/makeup remover, but unlike any one I’ve tried before. Usually makeup removers are heavy on the oil (and I’ll be honest, I often use straight-up Vaseline for removing stubborn cat eyes), but this is an oil-free blend that leaves you feeling so refreshed.

Solstice Scents Cameo: Yes, I’ve finally obtained a full size of this after raving about it in the Spring Collection post. Cameo is everything. Cameo is life. Almond, rose, cream… it’s like a perfect afternoon tea party.

MAC Pure Heroine Lipstick: I’m pretty sure no one has noticed, but the purple for both my header font and the lipstick ratings is identical to MAC’s Heroine. Yes, there are a few makeup-themed Easter eggs in the design! Purple lipstick is basically my favorite thing on earth so I jumped on Pure Heroine insanely fast. It’s really only slightly darker than the original but the brightness is toned down significantly, leaving a perfect rich purple for a vampy look. It’s summer, but I will rock fall makeup if I want to!

Shiro Cosmetics’ Chinchillin’: When I was a little girl, I begged my dad for a pet chinchilla. It never happened. But at least now I own this amazing eyeshadow! It’s a highly shimmery grey-purple combo… I wouldn’t say that it is a duochrome, but depending on the light it can lean more neutral or very bright. It’s one of those lovely shadows that is perfect for a one-shadow look… or with a little bit of Dammit Moon Moon in the crease!

ELF Ariel Collection Surf’s Up Bronzer: I went a little crazy trying to find this, hitting up 3 Walgreens in the city before an amazing saleswoman looked up where it was still in stock for me. And behold, it’s all mine! This isn’t really in my favorites because I like to use it… it’s actually a really gorgeous golden bronzer, but it’s SO PRETTY I don’t want to ruin it. I’ll just hold it and pretend it’s part of my underwater treasure trove.

Memebox Mini #2

7 Jun

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So I actually got Memebox Mini #1 in the same shipment as #2, and to be honest I opened #2 first,  but I decided to go for chronological order and will be tackling this one second. Like #1 it comes in a happy pink box, but this time there’s no cute bag holding all the contents. Which is probably good, I don’t need any more tiny cute makeup bags to hoard.

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The contents! Some of the samples are significantly bigger than the ones in Mini #1, but others are smaller… so I guess it balances out?

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At first I thought these were just one sheet of  Blacklees Nail Stickers and was kind of bummed, but I opened the little sealed plastick wrap and found 3! And the middle one has OWLS. I am obsessed with owls right now so I kind of squealed a little when I saw them. However, apparently they were selected randomly so I doubt everyone got these amazing owls. Which are perfect. I love them.

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Next up is a tiny TolyMoly Delight Tony Tint #2 Red! The top is actually a little heart, it’s so cute. And it smells AMAZING. Like fresh squished berries. But be careful, this is a pretty strong stain (for lips and cheeks!). Not like I accidentally got a ton on my nose when sniffing it or anything and ended up with a giant red nose stain.

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I am fairly certain that under no circumstances could this Caolion Pore Mool Pool Deep Cleansing be classified as a sample. Maybe a mini size, if you are not feeling generous. It’s just really big. AND it’s an oil-free makeup remover/cleanser! It’s got a weird sticky texture that they describe as “spiderweb-like” which sounds kind of gross but is actually awesome. I’m in love with this product already.

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Another item I’m excited to try out! It’s Goodal Repair Plus Essential Oil, a generous size of it to boot. While it is meant to be a moisturizer I think the mixture of sunflower, jojoba, green tea, argan, olive, macadamia and camellia oils will work perfectly for a gentle oil cleanse method.

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Last and, yeah, kind of least is Kocostar Nail Therapy, which is basically a face mask… for your nails. I have really healthy nails already so I guess I will try this out, but it’s not a product I really need in my life. Also you have to leave it on for 30-60 minutes. What am I supposed to do for an hour that doesn’t use my hands? I’m a hardcore multitasker. I can’t just watch tv or a movie. I need to be reading or browsing the internet or something. This is just a terribly inconvenient product.

Unlike Mini #1, this didn’t come with an extra bonus sample, but given the super large sizes for the cleanser and oil I’m not complaining. And right after I finished writing up the first post and was bemoaning missing Mini #3 I got an email stating that Memebox was preparing to ship…. my order of Memebox Mini #3! Which I forgot ordering. Haha, I don’t have a shopping problem, what are you talking about?

May 2014 Beauty Favorites

2 Jun

Websize

While I originally intended the “Lipstick” half of this blog to focus on reviews of indie products and beauty boxes, I’ve recently found myself drawn to… well, more standard beauty blog-style posts. Hauls, reviews of commercial products, and monthly favorites! So let’s dive into what I’ve been putting all over mah face this past month.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Rush Luster Cheek Sweep Palette: While the name of this product might be a mouthful, it’s pretty simple. A blush palette with, well, blush in it! Two blushes: the radiant orchid you’d expect from this year’s lineup, and a gorgeous rose gold that doesn’t match anything in my collection. The middle champagne is more of a highlighter, like a powder version of Benefit’s Watts Up. Both of the smaller blushes also make gorgeous shadows! I love blush. I love purple things. I love highlighter. I love rose gold. This palette is basically my life right now.

MAC Pink Poodle Glaze Lipstick: I am a sucker for limited edition colors. And cutesy names. This was an impulse purchase that I regretted horribly until I actually got it in the mail: it’s a gorgeous, vibrant fuchsia with an irresistible blue sheen. Perfect for summer! Okay, it’s not summer yet and to be honest I HATE summer (spring and fall are my jam) but I don’t even care hot pink lips all the time

Dreamworld Hermetica  Mystical Sunset Eyeshadow: About 6 or 7 months ago I went through a lavender & mauve eyeshadow craze. I then promptly “organized” them all and proceeded to forgot where they were. While looking for my rose golds I stumbled upon my lilac treasure trove and the obsession started all over again. Mystical Sunset is my flavor of the moment: it’s a perfect soft wash of color for the lids, springy and sweet.

Oopsie Daisies Up & Away Nail Polish: I pretty much got a 3DS just to play Animal Crossing New Leaf (and SMT IV… and Pokemon Y….), so I was pretty much forced into buying this polish. By my brain. It’s actually kind of hard to work with: the white cream base is a little thin and it’s VERY chunky glitter (well, it’s matte, so not “glitter”), so it’s best to start with a white base from another company and use this as a glitter topcoat. Once you get the hang of it, it’s *totally fabulous*

Michael Todd Tropical Fruit Enzyme Exfoliating Scrub: I got this in my March Birchbox, but didn’t really start using it until this month. It’s a very, VERY gentle exfoliant: probably gentle enough to use every day, though of course that’s not something I’m really willing to do. But I use it every other day in the morning and it’s been working wonders. I slacked off on my skincare for a few months and payed a heavy price, so I have been fighting a battle to bring it back to a more presentable level and this is my new best friend. Great for both the flaky dry skin on my forehead and my acne-prone chin. Marry me, enzyme scrub.

Bonus item: Aquaphor! I have perpetual dry lips. Basically nothing helps. Not Vaseline, not lanolin, not chapstick. Well, they mitigate the problem, but never stop it. Enter Aquaphor. I went to get a tattoo and the artist insisted on using Aquaphor for aftercare instead of Vaseline. Of course I have a ton left over, so I’ve been using it as an overnight lip mask. Suddenly, I can wear drying lipsticks without painful cracking and flaking. It’s a miracle.

Holy Grail Hunt: Indie Lip Balm

14 May

I am a lip balm addict. I suffer from perpetually chapped lips, so there are roughly 30 chapsticks of some sort in my apartment at any given time. Actually, that’s probably an underestimate. Since discovering the world of indie cosmetics I’ve collected balms from quite a few stores, and decided to share the fruits of my labor!

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We’ll start with tinted balms.

Rose + Vanilla from Fig + Yarrow: This was one of my first indie balm purchases. I’ve seen great reviews for Fig + Yarrow, and the rose vanilla combo was impossible to resist. Sadly, this is a grainy, gritty, and practically unscented concoction. It smells like old beeswax with maybe a hint of rose, and the texture is almost impossible to work with. At $11 for a teeny tin, this is definitely a purchase I regret.

Lip Sheer in Azalea from Madison Street Beauty: For $1, it’s hard to go wrong with a balm. But MSB’s Lip Sheers have quite a few issues. The first is that the damn wrapper sticker peels of constantly–I pressed it back on for this shot, but I have 3 from MSB and they all shed their label frequently. Secondly, the color takes a long time to build! The formula is nice though, waxy with a lot of slip.

Come Out, Come Out Balm from Shiro: How can I not get Cat Bus lip balm?! It’s impossible not to buy this. And it’s an all-around winner: great packaging, it smells like cupcakes, the formula is super-smooth and it’s very pigmented for a balm! Plus, an unusual color.

Candy Corn Tinted Lip Balm from BeautyBarBaby: This tint smells so good. Seriously like candy corn. it gives a sheer but noticeable wash of sparkling rust color to your lips, though I find it to wear off pretty fast. The smell, though… it’s amazing.

Voodoo Balm from Black Widow Balm: This is a kind of dry formula, like a lipstick lip balm fusion. But it has more color payoff than any of the other balms, and once you’ve got a layer of the waxy formula on your lips it stays on for a long time.

Lip Sheer in Petal from Madison Street Beauty: Unlike Azalea, which does give you a tint after many layers, Petal is an almost invisible sheer color. It’s supposed to have purple shimmer but it’s just kind of… glittery? After 5-10 layers, no joke. Sooo disappointed in this one, but at least it was only $1.

Winner: Shiro for sure, with BeautyBarBaby in close second

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The tinted balms! Swatched in the order of the previous shot. Yes, Petal is there, just… totally invisible. You can see how insane the pigmentation on the Shiro balm is–most of the other swatches are ~5 swipes (except for BWB, which was 1!), this one was two. Also, how pretty is Candy Corn? Such an unusual color.

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On to the non-tinted balms.

Rose Nectar Nourishing Lip Balm from Rainbow Honey: This is a strongly scented, almost perfume-y balm with a very stiff waxy formula. However, once you get it on it just melts onto your lips (without fearing for it melting in the car!). Super soft and moisturizing but if you don’t like strong smells, this isn’t for you.

Coffin Kisser in Strangely Charming Cherry & Pinky’s Insane Lemonade (not pictured) from Notoriously Morbid: Usually I am afraid of cherry scents, but these are so natural smelling! I mean, as natural as pink lemonade can be (though I get a strong “cotton candy” vibe from this one). And the formula is insanely moisturizing: I use it as a lip mask overnight, layered on really heavily when my lips are at their worst, and by morning they are 10x better!

Lip Balm in Rosemilk & Caramel and Pistachio Pudding from Haus of Gloi: AMAZING smells, Rosemilk & Caramel in particular is just divine. They are “softer” scented than Rainbow Honey’s, with an all-around more natural effect. The formula is soft and more greasy than waxy, and lasts a ridiculously long time on my over-dry lips.

Lip Balm in Pink Lemonade from Bungalow Bath & Body: This may look like a tint, but it’s 100% sheer. The scent is divine but it’s quite gritty: not enough for it to be uncomfortable to use, it’s just on the chunky side.

Nourishing Lip Balm in Lemon Drop from Little Sparrow: My only sweet balm! I always want to eat this one up. The scent is great, the formula is great, it’s just all-around awesome. On the waxier side, but not inconveniently stiff.

Lip Balm in Pumpkin Cheesecake from Black Bear Laboratory: The scent here is to die for, but it is almost unworkably gritty. I actually use it as a lip scrub because of this, just to give you an idea of the texture. But… Pumpkin Cheesecake.. I want to love it so bad.

Lip Balm in Clove from Madison Street Beauty: While MSB’s Lip Sheers kind of suck, the plain balms are nice. Mostly because I am obsessed with clove-scented things, I will admit. The scent is SO nice! The formula is still pretty stiff and takes some “warming up” but it’s infinitely more successful than the sheers.

Winner: Haus of Gloi & Notoriously Morbid.

Of course I still have more indie lip balms to try, but I really am set for now. I don’t need any more, right? Well, maybe just *one* more…