The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Ipsy October/November 2017 Review

Well, as per usual, October got away from me. So instead of completely skipping that month's reviews, I thought I'd do some combo work. So let's get October and November together and have us a baby! A review baby, that is...

For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription program. For $10 you get 4-5 sample sized (sometimes full) products of makeup, hair, and skin care. Check them out here: IPSY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

OCTOBER

20171011_132138.jpg

October's theme was something like The Power of Change. And while I absolutely ABHOR their themes each month, I have to say I love the saying on the small useless card that comes with the bag. This one made me giggle. Also there won't be a lot of pics because there wasn't much to swatch!

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder: I've wanted to try IT for a long time but the brand can be pretty expensive. And I really don't like to drop a lot of money on something that could possibly suck major ass. HOWEVER, this powder is infused with alchemy or dark magic or something. I put this on and my skin never looked smoother (and I have pores the size of Nebraska). It's also great for under eye concealer setting - doesn't make my nearly half a century aged skin look like a full century. And that pisses me off because now I have to buy it!! Be warned - it is very soft and crumbles easily. Full size is $29 so this 3g sample is just under $10. (CF)

20171016_130454.jpg

Context Vitamin C All Day Eye Cream: Honestly, I haven't even opened this yet. I have a couple creams going right now but they are almost empty. Once they are, I'll give this guy a shot. From the Context website: "A revitalizing and hydrating lightweight formula contains a powerful combination of preventative botanicals. Keeps eyes protected and nourished with potent antioxidants to protect the delicate area against free radical damage. Leaves skin nourished and refreshed all day." This is a full sized tube and costs $35. (CF)

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer: At first I thought this brand was still NCF but as of 2017, they no longer sell in China and do NOT test their products on animals where required by law. So that's cool! This is also another brand that's on the expensive side so I usually don't purchase from them. But this was a nice way to try the lid primer people go ape shit for. Though I don't know why. It's thick and sticky (here we go...) so it needs to be set first. Even so, my eye shadows still looked kind of patchy and they didn't last any longer. In fact they looked more faded and blended into one color than what usually happens with my Milani eye primer. So I might keep using it, I might pitch it. Depends on my mood. I know I ain't buying the full size at $21. This sample was worth $5.25. (CF)

Hey Honey Active Propolis Cream Concealer: I did like a peel off mask from the brand once, long ago. But this stuff is pretty crap. First the color is a touch too dark and yellow for me and it looks REALLY dry under the eyes. Doesn't do a great job at concealing spots on the face either. Full size goes for $36 so this 8mls sample is just about $19. (CF)

Forgive my dry crepey centuries old looking mummy hand...eeeesh.

Forgive my dry crepey centuries old looking mummy hand...eeeesh.

Blaq Mask: I do love face masks, in all their forms. I haven't had a chance to try this but look at that color! (see pic above). It's also a peel off mask, mostly aimed at the blackheads and gunk around the nose. But I bet you can use it anywhere. If you've never tried a peel off mask, there are plenty on the market. And they're so fun. The full size on this costs $29. The sample I got should run around $7.25. (CF)

UPDATE: I've tried this mask twice. And while it's fun, it initially leaves the skin red and irritated but that does fade over a few hours. I also broke out with fresh zits after each use. So......no. It's going away now.

All right, October. The bag value is about $76.50. Holy shitzies (I stole that from thataylaa on YT). And all the products are Cruelty Free brands. SCORE!

 

NOVEMBER

20171121_122949.jpg

November's theme is who cares. I'm torn on the bag right now. I'm not a bronze and yellow kinda gal (though it's close to the brown and gold colors of my alma mater, Valparaiso - GO CRUSADERS!). I'm still thinking about keeping it.

Benefit They're Real Mascara: Benefit isn't a cruelty free brand so I won't be using this. I don't think I've ever tried anything from Benefit, even before I started paying attention to CF stuff. *shrug* (Oh wait - their Porefessional primer. Made me break out. Fuck 'em.) Full size is $24 so this sample is about $8.50. (NCF)

Colourpop Pressed Eyeshadow in Come and Get It: Anyone who's read my one-brand review of Colourpop knows I love the brand. And, naturally, I already own this eye shadow. It's gorgeous, a "duochrome rose with a gold flip". I own about a dozen of their pressed shadows and they've all been very good. This is no exception. This is full size and goes for $5. (CF)

The White Company White Lavender Body Lotion: I just opened this tube so I could at least give my first thoughts on it. There is a nice lavender scent but underneath it there's something...grassy. Must be the vetiver. Kinda weird. But it absorbs really fast and my hands aren't greasy. Huh. If the scent lingers too long or it's too overpowering for the hubby, I might just donate it. Can't really find any info on the cruelty free status of this company but it's based in London and I believe it's illegal to test on animals in Europe. The full size is $20 so this sample goes for $4 (CF...?)

Manna Kadar Perfection Powder: I've had MK items before and I think they've been hit and miss. This powder is actually super nice. It's a lot like the It Cosmetics powder I got last month...way to switch things up, Ipsy (*sarcasm*). Full size is $29 but I can't find any info on how much is in the full size. This looks similar to the It Cosmetics sample so let's just price is out the same at $10. (CF)

Make Beauty Cream Luminous Lip Gloss in Abalone: I believe I've received a thing or two from Make before in Ipsy but I'd have to go back and look because I just can't remember. This is a nice gloss. Not sticky, decent amount of color (for a gloss), and feels very comfortable. Nice nude color, too. Got a weird ass applicator, though, that makes it difficult to apply neatly. Plus it's very...phallic. Not that that's a BAD thing. Full size is $25 but again, can't find total product weight so let's give this sample about $8. (CF)

Give or take a few bucks to adjust for guesstimates on sample value, $36 is okay. Let's see what December has in store for us.

Medusa's Makeup October/November 2017 Reviews

Like I said in my other posts, October is just one of those months that is jam packed with stuff to do so my reviews took to the back burner. But I'm back and I'll do a double month review for MM.

For those who don't know, Medusa's Makeup is a monthly subscription service. For $16 you get 3-5 full sized makeup products. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

(I purchase this with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

 

OCTOBER

20171016_124933_001.jpg

MM always includes a pamphlet of all their products and a price/info card. THANK YOU!

Metal AF Lip Gloss (Kiss Me Deadly): I have to say, at first, I was disappointed to see another Metal AF product. The first one I got was terrible. But that is not the case here. The color is GORGEOUS and it doesn't look patchy at all. Super happy with this one. $11

Witch Lash Mascara: I so wanted to try their mascara and was hoping I'd get one this month. And I did. While on its own, it really doesn't do much (lengthens a wee bit, separates the lashes nicely), when combined with other mascaras it's fucking sweet. It also has a side benefit - it keeps other mascaras from transferring onto my brow bone, like the Catrice Glam and Doll mascara. I know, right? So I might need to keep a tube or two in my collection at all times. $12 

Glitter (Ziggy): Oh no. Another glitter. And this is just as meh as all the others. Can't get an even coating of the stuff to save my ass. $8

Eye Dust (Night Owl): I adore their eye dusts, and I love the new packaging, but this one was rather dull. It looks like a smokey purple shadow with a bunch of glitter mixed in. Nothing like the pigmented products I've received in the past. *sad trombone* $10

This $41 valued bag was just okay. More often than not I only end up liking half the products. So I think I might just get through December and call it quits, unless something spectacular happens in November's bag.

 

NOVEMBER

A face mask? HELL YEAH!

A face mask? HELL YEAH!

Again, I'm a little disappointed this month. Also didn't get a pamphlet this time. Huh.

SpaLife Energizing Face Mask: I just love face masks so I'm excited about this. I bet it smells amazing! $3.50

Eye Dust in Karma Chameleon: It looks like it's a brick red or rusty red color with some blue sparkle that makes it come off a little magenta. Sadly, it's basically glitter with some reddish pigment thrown in. I swatched it dry and over the glitter adhesive to see if that would help. Not really. $10 (all their eye dusts online say $8 so I guess the extra $2 is for all the glitter)

I just want to show you some comparison swatches. The top 4 are the first ones I received from MM. The bottom 2 are the last ones I got in the past 2 bags. You can see the pigment is just not there and it's been replaced with glitter. There is some teeny tiny glitters in the first 4 but they're so miniscule that they're hardly noticeable.

The Fix Glitter Adhesive: This stuff feels exactly like their shadow primer and that stuff was useless on me. So I can't imagine this will work any better. But I'll give it a shot. $9

Blush (Sex on the Peach): Holy crap this is beautiful. It's very very VERY shiny so I might use it as a blush topper or an eye shadow as opposed to straight up blush. But it is gorgeous! $12

Just wanted to show a side by side comparison to the pressed blush that I got in my first MM bag. That doesn't come off as pigmented right out of the pan but then it's pressed where this new blush is a loose powder. Both are beautiful.

Like I said, not too thrilled this month, though $34.50 is a decent value. So I think I'm gonna play it out through December then quit. I have quite a bit of MM products that I've kept and I love. And who's to say the stuff that didn't work for me won't work for you? Check them out and see what you think!

PD, MEHs, and GFYs November 2017

Oh MAN it's been too long since I've bitched about shit. I'm about to lose my Old Lady card and get kicked out of the Wool Shawl in Summer club. This post, though, should help get my tennis ball footed walker cred back.

For those of you who are new, welcome. This is my version of Favorites and Fails, Winners and Losers, or whatever the crazy kids are calling it on YouTube these days. Enjoy.

PDs (Panty Droppers)

20171107_180946.jpg

Secret Key Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel: This was my first exposure to a peeling gel. It's the consistency of aloe gel but smells like lemons. Actually kind of like artificial science lab kind of lemons but I could deal with that. You rub this on cleansed skin and those little balls that end up rolling around? That's all your dead skin clumping together so it can be rinsed away. I know it sounds gross but once you try it, and feel how AMAZINGLY soft your skin is after, you'll never doubt again. This is the old packaging so when shopping, look for the new bottle (in the link). I'm using the brand Skinfood's version now (pineapple, smells much better).

Formula 10.0.6 Picture Perfect Day: My new favorite day cream. Absorbs pretty well (does linger a bit on the skin's surface), no pungent smell, and has SPF 15. I'm almost ready for my 3rd bottle.

Formula 10.0.6 PM Perfector: My new favorite night cream. It's thick but light at the same time. I'm not sure how to describe it. It absorbs faster than the day cream, I think. And my skin feels nice in the morning.

Colourpop Brow Boss Pencil (in Soft Black): As most of you know, I don't have much in the way of eyebrows. But at the same time, when I want to fill them in, I don't like a heavy drawn on look. Powders usually work well for me or colored brow gels. Most pencils are so soft they come off very heavy and greasy looking. This is perfection. It's very thin, waxy (so it's not creamy/greasy), and allows me to draw in more realistic looking brow hair. And it's $5! Come on!

Essence Plump no Clump Mascara: I think this is the dupe of the Cover Girl Clump Crusher mascara, which I've tried and I loved. But once I started going cruelty free, I needed an alternative. This is it. It separates my lashes well, doesn't clump (duh), and doesn't transfer all over the place. UNFORTUNATELY, it's no longer sold at Ulta, the Essence US site doesn't have it, and Amazon is all out. It might be discontinued. FUCK ME.

 

MEHs (Meh, obviously)

20171107_181252.jpg

Precious Skin Elixirs Exfoliating Clay: It's one of those dry powders that you mix with just a little water right in your hand and smear all over your face. It was a nice exfoliator but I woke up the next morning the greasiest grease monkey that every greased. UGH.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash: While I love the scent of Sugar Crush, the wash is way too thin so you have to use a lot to get it to cover your entire body (bow chicka BOW WOW). By the time I got to the bottom of the bottle, it was mostly like mixing water with water to wash myself. LAME.

Doucce Maxlash Volumizer Mascara: The mascara did a nice job of thickening my lashes and they looked great. But the next morning, even after taking off my makeup the night before, my eyes were all red and irritated and goopy. Ew.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Gifted Mascara: This stuff was great at first. I even posted on IG about it. But the longer I used it, the gloppier the mascara got and it made my lashes look like a 60s spidery mess. And that sucks.

Tony Moly Cooling Eye Stick: This was very cooling on the skin. It felt great! But it totally broke me out. I don't usually get pimples in my under eye area but I did after using this. Boooo.

 

GFYs (Go Fuck Yourselves)

20171107_181825.jpg

Catrice Prime & Fine Brightening Eye Shadow Base: This doesn't do shit for helping eye shadow last or look more intense. It's actually kind of shimmery which is fine if that's what you want. Otherwise I'd stick to NYX's jumbo eye pencil in Milk. ALSO, this changed color after only a couple of months. Gross.

Essence Forbidden Volume Mascara: If they mean it was forbidden to make a mascara that does what it says on the bottle then they hit the mark. No volume whatsoever. It was gloppy and smudged EVERYWHERE. Fucking weak.

Air Repair Super-Hydrating Eye Cream: Holy hell this stung like a mother fucker. I had to wipe it off immediately which kind of defeats the purpose, right? Totally useless.

Colourpop Brow Boss Gel: This stuff is more like a thick lotion so it never really dries down. It also doesn't last for more than a few hours which is fine because IT DOES NOTHING. I don't have a lot of brow hairs but I have one or two with attitudes. This stuff didn't do a damn fucking thing.

Saem Iceland Hydrating Eye Stick: Though this had a nice cooling effect, that's not its purpose. It's supposed to hydrate. Does it do that? Nooooooope. Actually very drying for under the eyes AND it broke me out. So I guess these kinds of stick balm things are just not for me. Which is sad because look how cute the packaging is!

 

That'll do it for this round. I'll try to get these up once every quarter so they're not as long!

Morgue Drawer November 2017

Well...shit. I was going to try and stay on top of these better (heh) but with rental season at the hubby's store and October/Halloween and excuses and reasons and what not. Hopefully I'll be more regular (insert poop joke here) with these in the future. I definitely have some double-up subscription reviews coming! But for now, let's take a look at my garbage.

Not Much Pretty Going On

20171110_105610.jpg

ELF Make-up Wipes: I've been buying these for a long time because they're very inexpensive. I don't use them on my face but for swatches when I'm testing something out or taking pics. But even as cheap as they are, I was going through them really fast. So I decided to switch over to a giant pack of baby wipes instead. I'll let you know how those work!

Everyone Face Wipes: Just wanted to try a different brand. These were not that great. Kinda dry and not worth the $6.

Beauty 360 Micellar Water: The only micellar water that's worked great is the Garnier brand. But it's not cruelty free so I've been looking for an alternative. This is not it. Does an okay job but leaves eye makeup behind and it can sting a little if you get too much in your eye. *sigh* Trying another brand now so I'll update you later.

Catrice Glamour Doll Volume Mascara: Though it says volume on it, it didn't do that great of a job in that department. Was nice for separating the lashes but that's about it.

Crazy Rumours Mint Chocolate Lip Balm: I loved this one. The banana flavor wasn't so great but this was fantastic. Smooth, hung around for a while, did a nice job of moisturizing. 

Real Techniques Lash/Brow Groomer: This was my second one. The first I had for years before it started to shed the metal tines. This one lasted a few months. What the hell? I did get another one and it's holding up very well. I think I just got a dud. It happens. I know there are plastic ones out there but I prefer the metal. Does a much better job of separating clumped lashes.

 

So Soft and Smooth

20171107_183442.jpg

Tarte Deep Dive Cleansing Gel: I got a sample of this a while back and decided to get a full size (though it is the smaller bottle of the two available). It did make my skin feel baby smooth and cleaned it well. After a while it didn't feel the same and it may have stopped working. Not a problem because I didn't want to spend the $$ on another bottle anyway. But it was a nice change.

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment: Nothing special but it was nice enough. My dry patch didn't come back while using this so that's a plus!

The Ordinary "Buffet" Serum: Best thing I've tried from this line so far. I know I don't eat well so since I can't nourish my skin from the inside sufficiently, might as well do it from the outside! I only use 2 drops per use. A little goes a long way so the bottle lasts a while. And this is actually one of the more expensive items in their inventory - at $14. I think I'm on my fourth or fifth bottle already. Love it.

The Ordinary Rose Hip See Oil: I really loved this for some extra moisture in the winter time. But the product started to smell funny when I got about 2/3 of the way through the bottle. I didn't use it every day so maybe if I did, I would have finished it off before it started to turn. Might just purchase this during the winter time. And for rose hip oil, it's super cheap but it's really good.

The Ordinary 2% Rentinoid Emulsion: This is a gentler form of retinol so it does the same work (reduce wrinkles, helps with skin cell turnover) but it's just a little slower and much more gentle than the regular retinol you get in the drug store. But, as my former piano teacher said, once you're on this stuff you have to STAY on it. Fuck that noise. It's not expensive through The Ordinary but I just don't want to mess with it any more.

Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer: This was a really nice face cream. I used it at night, though, as it was heavier than I prefer for the day time.

Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Cream Cleanser: The bottle says it removes makeup but every reviewer I've watched says it doesn't. I don't use it for that anyway. I use it as a regular cream cleanser in the morning. It's a nice gentle cleanser that works great. I'm already on my second bottle.

Shiny Hair, Shiny Teeth

20171107_183223.jpg

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo: The scent is really nice on this one. But the powder is REALLY white. Make sure you work it in well! There's mixed info out there about this brand being Cruelty Free so I won't buy it again.

Hask Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo: I enjoyed this one a lot. No white powder or residue but it feels more like a texturizing spray as opposed to a dry shampoo. It works very well though.

Marc Anthony Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Spray: I've been buying this for years. Soft hold, not super sticky, doesn't make my hair crunchy. But it's also not a super strong holding spray so keep that in mind. Smell is amazing.

Attitude Shampoo/Body Wash: This was fine. Felt like a clarifying shampoo, if you know what I'm mean. Hair was super dooper clean afterwards. I just don't like multi-purpose hair/body stuff. Usually very drying.

Tom's of Main Maximum Strength Sensitive Toothpaste: This is my preferred toothpaste. It helps with sensitivity, it doesn't make the inside of my mouth peel (sensitivity pastes do that to about 5% of us weirdos), and it's got fluoride. Not sure if I still NEED fluoride but my teeth are super prone to cavities so I'd rather not take the chance. Trouble is I only ever see this at The Vitamin Shoppe or sometimes health food stores. Dammit.

Tom's of Main Rapid Relief Sensitive Fluoride-Free Toothpaste: I got this when I couldn't find the above version. Works almost as well.

 

Get It Under Wraps!

20171107_183040.jpg

Wish Formula Bat Eye Mask: Loved this one. The mask material is very soft and it's not over saturated with serum. It's also fun to have a bat sit on your face. Wait...

Bonvivant Collagen & Olive Face Mask: Very nice mask. The material was soft, had a decent fit around my eyes and mouth, smelled fantastic. The serum was more of a milky essence, read: not drippy. 

Choonee's Goat's Milk Face Mask: OMG I loved this mask. I started a new monthly subscription for just face masks and this was included in my first or second month. My skin LOVED the ingredients in this. It does come directly from Korea so unless you sign up for a service that will deliver it (like FACESTORY), you'll need to order directly from Korea.

Tarte Undereye Patches: These came in a sample set or travel set or something. Couldn't get on their own. Don't feel like they did much. Most of these kinds of eye patches don't, at least for me.

23.5N Rice Gel Mask: This stuff was pretty cool. And my skin felt nice and soft after using it. It's like aloe gel but a bit firmer, easier to spread across the face. No strong smell and it didn't burn. 

(DISCLAIMER: A lot of Korean skin care is hard to pin down on the cruelty free front. Within Korea, they are cracking down on animal testing and a lot of companies don't do it anymore. By 2018 they want to phase it out completely. Yay! But many companies do still sell to China and, again, it's difficult to find comprehensive info on company policies regarding being or going cruelty free.)

Ipsy September 2017 Review

Interested in trying out different beauty products? Then maybe you should check out Ipsy, a monthly makeup, hair, and skin care subscription service. For $10, you'll receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized products to try. Check them out here: IPSY

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

20170915_120039.jpg

This month's theme is "Like A Boss". I guess it's about empowerment or some shit. What the ever loving fuck, Ipsy? At least you didn't include that giant ass catalog telling us about Ipsy Cash again.

re:p Bio Fresh Mask: A collab with Soko Glam (a South Korean beauty and skin care company), this mask is supposed to be great for those with sensitive skin. I haven't opened it because I have a bunch of others to get through but I'm excited. My skin isn't super sensitive but it can get bitchy so I do enjoy trying these kinds of products. This 20 ml sample probably goes for around $10. (CF)

M.A.C. Strobe Cream in PinkLight: I've neither used nor purchased a MAC product before. Way too expensive and now that I'm paying attention, not cruelty free, so I will never purchase their stuff. I only swatched this to show you what it looks like in case you'd like to purchase it. Top pic is before the cream is full absorbed. Looks kinda like a white cream. But once you work it in, it give the skin a soft beautiful glow. Travel size is $12 so this 6 ml sample is about $2.40 (NCF)

Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Powder Cleanser: I've seen this kind of product popping up here and there and it is intriguing. I haven't used it yet because honestly I'm a little nervous that it'll be too harsh. I guess there's only one way to find out! Full size includes 14 packets so this 5 packet sample goes for about $1.40. (CF)

20170919_162628.jpg

Pacifica Coconut Blush Duo (Beaming and Tenderheart): Beautiful natural shades. The swatch in the middle is a combination of both. I think they all look beautiful (on my skin tone at least). This product isn't on the Pacifica website so I had to do some maths to figure out a value. Their matte face powder is 8g for $17. This blush duo is 14g so I figure it's worth around $30. (CF)

Luxie Rose Gold Medium Angled Shading Eye Brush 207: I'm never mad at getting brushes. And I've received Luxie ones before. They are super soft and work great. I've never had a problem with them shedding or the ferrules breaking or popping loose. Very nice brushes and not expensive either. Full size and goes for $12 (CF)

Except for the MAC cream, everything in here was cruelty free this month. Hooray! And the value was around $56, give or take a few dollars. Not bad at all.

Medusa's Makeup September 2017 Review

For those who don't know, Medusa's Makeup is an indie brand that has a monthly subscription service. For $16 you get 3-5 full-sized makeup products that are vegan and cruelty free. Check them out here: MEDUSASMAKEUP

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones. And if I'm remembering correctly, the each of the remaining months of 2017 will include a brand new MM product.

20170912_131920.jpg

I love that MM includes an information card that tells you about the products you've received AND how much they're worth. I seriously think the only service NOT doing this is Ipsy. WTH. From the dark berry colors it looks like this month was going for a Fall theme. I think.

Eye Glitter in Key Lime Pie: This is the 3rd glitter I've received and just like the others, I'm less than impressed. The color is cool but as you can see, it's hard to get a full non-patchy application (yes, I put glitter glue down on my hand first). And I tried for several minutes to build it up but it just never got there. $8

(NEW) Luminous Creme in Star Bright: At first, I loved the look of this. Not so much reflective or shimmery but more like a wet look. I figured it might be too waxy but it's very smooth, softer than I thought. Unfortunately, once the wetness absorbed into the skin or evaporated, all that was left was glitter. I had glitter all over my face after I used this - and no, I didn't use it the same time as the eye glitter so it wasn't that. $12

Totally Baked Eye Shadow in Awesome: Though this is the 4th eye shadow I've received, I LOVE THIS COLOR! Gorgeous magenta berry shade, on the info card is says it can be used as blush and that's how I've been using it. It is beautiful! The swatch on the left is the shadow used with a wet brush and the swatch on the right is with a dry finger (ouch). I can't wait to try this on my eyes. $9

Lip Paint in Bang: After getting three meh colors in other months, I'm totally digging this! I love the formula of these lip paints but I haven't been super excited about the shades. Again that fall berry/magenta color is gorgeous! The lip swatch got a bit messy because I was trying to avoid my Invisalign appliances but otherwise, I love it. $9

After going back and looking through the past 6 months, I'm getting a lot of repeats. I know this is a smaller brand so I can't expect a bazillion different products, but there are a lot I haven't received yet. I've probably donated half of what I've gotten so far so I'm not sure if I'll continue through the rest of the year. Sure, I'm excited to see what NEW products they'll include each month, but will it be worth another 3 glitters or eye shadows or lip paints? I just don't know.

 

Universal Yums August 2017 Review

For those who don't know, Universal Yums in a monthly food subscription. For $14 or $25, you will receive 6+ or 12+ snacks and candies from a different country. How fun is that? Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

This month comes to us from COLUMBIA! Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post):Colombians like their hot chocolate mixed with: A.Cheese; B.Alcohol; C.Chili pepper; D.Strawberry marshmallows

20170824_192434.jpg

I haven't actually tried all the snacks this month, and probably won't be able to in the coming months either. With my Invisalign and rubber band hooks, I'm trying to avoid super crunchy and sticky foods. But I'll tell you what I can about what I have been able to taste!

Tocineta Lime & Bacon Chips: Mother of God these were awesome! I suppose they are what pork rinds taste/feel like but with lots of lime flavor on top. Too much for the hubs but I loved them.

Castipan Veleno: This is a thick guava paste in block form called bocadillo. I think it had a little sugar crust on the outside, too, but it wasn't that noticeable. The guava was fantastic!

Supercoco Candy: I didn't try these because when I unwrapped one, it was so sticky. It's a nut based nougat so...there you go. I bet they're good though.

Bianchi White Chocolate Bar: Another one I didn't try because it's nuts and caramel covered in chocolate. WHICH IS MY FUCKING JAM, DUDES! Oh well...*sad trombone*

Piazza Chocolate Barquillos: Basically a tube wafer coated with chocolate on the inside. You can see through the tube so it's not a solid fill but it was lovely. The chocolate had such a smooth sweet texture and flavor. Probably one of my favorite wafer tube style treats in a long time.

Rizadas Mayonesa: Believe it or not, Colombians like to dip their potato chips in mayonnaise. May seem weird but I get it - I dip my fries in tarter sauce when I have fish and chips. These actually smelled a lot like mayo but I didn't get that flavor off them. They just tasted like regular chips to me. Good but regular.

Bon Bon Bum Lollipops: Pronounced BOOM not BUM, the largest candy manufacturer in Colombia makes these pops. The passionfruit candy is TO DIE FOR. So good. Once I hit the bubblegum center, though, I had to stop. 

Rizadas Picanticas: Colombia's version of a spicy potato chip, these had just the right amount of heat. I don't like super hot foods. And apparently neither do the Colombians. Spice is used sparingly in their cuisine, which is fine with me. These were delicious!

Coffee Delight: I actually did have one of these hard little candies - I just forgot to take a pic. The flavor on these was slightly less sweet than many other coffee candies from around the world. Very tasty!

That's it for August. I pretty much loved everything I ate, and I'm sure I would have loved the rest, too. Oh well. The clue for next month, and from the spoilers I saw on IG, is for Pakistan in September!

TRIVIA: A. Cheese. It's typically consumed with hot chocolate in Colombia. And by "with"
we mean put inside. A couple blocks of cheese are placed into the warm mug until it heats up to a gooey, cheesy, chocolate-y delight.

Ipsy August 2017 Review

For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service. For $10, you get 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized hair, skin, and makeup products to try out each month. Check them out here: IPSY

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

The theme this month is Good Vibes Only. And I'll tell you right now I don't get good vibes off this when they include an itty bitty theme card and a GIGANTIC catalog for their new Ipsy Cash program but do NOT include an info card on the products. In fact, it makes me furious. So you can afford to put together this huge catalog, on thick stock paper, glossy, full color, but you can't be bothered to tell me about the five little products? You and your theme can eat a bag of dicks, Ipsy.

Now, they may only be doing this GINORMOUS catalog once to introduce the program and that's cool. But if it shows up again next month, I'm gonna start throwing elbows.

The bag this month has some pretty colors on it (there were 3 versions created) though I would have preferred the one with more red because...red. But this is cool. It's also made of a thick vinyl so if you travel with spillable liquids, this might make a good containment system!

Crown Medium Face Contour Brush: I don't contour but the beauty of brushes is that almost all created can be multi-taskers (Alton Brown would be so happy). This one will probably be a great blush brush. And I am NEVER mad at getting brushes, especially ones so frickin' soft! This is full size and goes for $7 (CF perhaps - lots of conflicting info. These are synthetic brushes so they probably ARE CF but no guarantees)

Air Repair Skincare Super Hydrating Eye Cream: I've only used this once (after I mucked up an eye look and had to start over so the makeup wipe irritated my under eye). It's a good thickness, absorbed quickly, and moisturized really well. I'm not into under eye creams anymore but I do like them for before I apply concealer or eye makeup and my under eye is dry and irritated. Helps product go on much more smoothly. This sample of 5mls costs around $7.50 (CF according to their website but none of the other sites I check include them so...?)

Aurora Pro Color Corrector in Pistachio: I don't have a ton of redness on my face so these green correctors aren't that useful. But I tried it anyway on the little bit I have around my nose and cheeks. It ended up looking like a full-on Monet (gold star to anyone who knows what movie I stole that from BEFORE checking the link I provided). It looked really dry when I got up close in the mirror, though the product felt nice and creamy going on. Oh well. Their full sized concealer tubes go for $8 so this is perhaps half the size? Can't tell because there's no amount info on the website but it's a decent sized sample so let's go with $4. (No info on CF status anywhere)

Seraphine Botanicals Liquid Coal Waterproof Liquid Liner: I got the blush last month from this brand and I love it. This seems to be a nice black liquid liner that allows you to make a thin or thick line. It didn't bleed into the wrinkles on my skin either. I didn't make a wing with it but on the eyelids directly it didn't smudge or break down. And when it came time to remove it, no problem! I don't like waterproof stuff because it's so hard to get off (heh) but this was a breeze. This is full sized and goes for $22. (CF)

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Highlighter in Kuwakaribisha: Ipsy says this is an eye shadow but TheBalm website includes this shade as their highlighter in the Voyage Vol 2 palette. So I'll go with TheBalm on this one. However, it does makes a great eye shadow! It's super pigmented and reflective as all fuck. Looks gorgeous on the eye as well as the face. I just wish the sample was bigger! I've valued this same sample size pan for their eye shadows in the past so I'll do the same for this highlighter and give it $1.50. (CF)

So give or take a few bucks the value of the bag is about $42. No too shabby! 

Medusa's Makeup August 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Medusa's Makeup is a vegan and cruelty free indie makeup brand with their own monthly subscription service. For $16 each month you get 3-5 full sized products to try (so far I've always received 4). Check them out here: MEDUSASMAKEUP

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

I have to say I'm a little meh about this month's box. 

Deluxe False Lashes - Lite: I don't really wear falsies (heh - anyone up on 50s lingo knows why I'm chuckling at that), not even for cosplay. But these feel so light and don't have that thick band that I might consider it. However, you can see from the closeup above that they don't even look the same. The left eye flare out at the end is sparse and was already bending off kilter when I tried to measure them for my eye. It also looks not as full through the rest of the lash either. The right one looks great but what the hell? They look super cheap. Probably won't even bother. $8

Totally Baked Eye Shadow in Whatever: This is the third baked eye shadow I've received. It's beautiful like the others. But I finally realized that since these are baked, the might look better and last longer if applied wet. So you can see the different in the photos. I'm going to try the wet method with the other 2 and see if that helps! $9

Eye Dust in Ultraviolence (Gods, I love that name!): Like the last two eye dusts I've received, Ultraviolence is GORGEOUS!! It's an icy lavender. Looks kinda white but there's definitely a soft purple shift to it. $8

Metal AF Lip Gloss in Cherry Pie: I was so excited to see this. AND I got the red color! But...I can't say I like it. The formula is thin and watery, like a liquid lipstick, so I had a little trouble getting a clean line on my lips (see pics below). It dries down rather quickly so it won't budge, unless you eat or drink something. Somehow it manages to keep a sheen - kind of like a muted chrome finish. So I wouldn't consider that metal as fuck. It is, however, streaky AF. The first pic below is the lip gloss alone, after it's dried. My bottom lip is okay but the top is awful. Liquid lip products tend to leave a heavier line at the outer edge, which you can see, but it also did that on the inner rim. The middle of my lip looks lighter in some spots. You can build it up to an even coat but just avoid the already darker areas - it's hard to fix once it sets. The bottom pic is with lip balm over the dried gloss. It does help the feeling of dryness with this gloss but it also accentuates the patchiness. So while this is a gorgeous color, it's a pain in the ass. It wears off weird at the corners of my mouth (even when I don't eat or drink) and it created dryness when I removed it. My lips were peeling pink patches for hours after I scrubbed this off. I'll probably just wear this with a lip balm or other creamy lip product because on it's own, I can't stand it. $11

A $36 dollar value is pretty good (the card says $37 but according to their website the eye dust is $8 not $9) though I'm disappointed with how many repeats I'm getting. They make several others items that I've never received but I suppose since they are a smaller company, I can't expect a shit ton of variety every time. I may only continue this for a few more months, though. We'll see... 

Universal Yums July 2017 Review

I guess 2:30am is as good a time as any to write up this review!

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14 or $25, you'll get 6+ or 12+ snacks from a different country in each box. Check them out here: UY

I purchase this box with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

This month's goodies come from South Korea! Here's a little trivia for you before we get to the snacks (answer at the end of the post). Koreans who win Olympic medals do not have to: A.Pay taxes; B.Join the military; C.Follow the speed limit; D.Pay child support

20170727_102343.jpg

I'll start off with the snack with no picture, because the hubs and I split it and both ate our halves in about 18 seconds.

Lotte Chocolate Rice Cake: This is not like the crunchy rice cakes we have here. This was like mochi. Think two layers of mochi as the outside 'cookies', a chocolate filling between them, and the whole thing covered in chocolate. Might sound odd but holy balls this was probably THE best snack in the whole box.

Tteok-bokki Snack: I've seen the street food this snack is based on in a lot of the K-dramas I watch. I've always wanted to try it. And though I know it's not crunchy like this stuff, if the flavor is anything similar, I'd be happy to eat myself into a coma!

Lotte Moncher Creme Pie: I thought this would be like a moon pie, which is what the Korean Choco Pie is, but the filling is not like that marshmallowy crap (sorry Moon Pie fans). This is a smooth delicious creme center between layers of soft cake and covered in chocolate. So delicious!

Scorched Rice Candy: Somehow Korea has figured out how to make burnt rice taste good. And it's in this little candy. I also taste a little burnt popcorn going on, which probably comes from the corn flavor mixing with the scorched rice. Doesn't matter to me because it tastes pretty dang good.

Malang Strawberry Candy: This has a similar texture to a Hi-Chew but it's much softer, more fluffy like a marshmallow. It's also kinda bland and boring and not all that special.

Choco Heim: It's another wafer style cookie (really there's no flavor - it's like a communion wafer) that's filled with a hazelnut chocolate creme. Tastes good though!

Kook Hee Biscuit: These are what Nutter Butters SHOULD taste like! Not sugary sweet, the cookies and creme filling are perfect together. There are bits of peanuts in the filling, too!

Bulgogi Ppushu Ppushu Snack: Forgot to take a pic of this one, too, because I haven't tried it yet (it's the big yellow bag on the right in the very first pic). This is one of those dry ramen noodle snacks. But this one you smash up, while it's still in the bag, then open it and sprinkle the flavor packet over it. Um...okay.

Anytime Milk Candy: These things kinda sucked. You can see the different layers in the pic. The outside ones are mint and the middle is milk. Very odd and displeasing taste combination.

BONUS: The UY folks included a bonus item this month of Korean chopsticks. You might notice that they are metal and not wood, like every other Asian country. There's a long history behind it. Short story - royals in the Baekje period (18BC-660AD) used metal because it would change colors if anyone poisoned their food. Eventually it became a status symbol then available and used by all. Cool, huh?

Pretty good box I think. Just a few duds for me but that's not unusual. The clue for next month might be Colombia. We'll have to wait and see!

TRIVIA: B. If a male athlete wins an Olympic medal, he doesn't have to complete his required military service (Korean women are not required to serve). This puts added pressure on athletes because, for many of them, if they don't win a medal, it means they must give up their professional athletic careers to complete the 21-month mandatory service.

Ipsy July 2017 Review

Okay, I have to admit the bag really got me this month. So much so that I don't even care* how fucking useless the theme/card is all the time.

For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty service. For $10 a month, you get 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized beauty, skin, and hair products, along with a reusable makeup bag. Check them out here: IPSY

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.**

I think the theme had something to do with lazy summer days or some shit. I don't know who Gudetama is (another Internet sensation of which I'm completely unaware) but OMG look at that egg yolk's cute little butt! I literally (in the classic-and-should-be-the-only definition of the word) squealed with delight. It's a keeper for sure. Now, on to the products.

Ahava Mineral Hand Cream: I've received a few products from this brand before. While they've all been just okay, this hand cream is probably the nicest. It smells fantastic - but very floral. If that bothers you, you'll hate this. It's thin so it absorbs quickly but the skin feels silky afterwards, not greasy. Full size is $24. This travel sized tube is valued at $10. (NCF - some mixed info but no corroborating evidence of CF on any of the research sites I check)

IBY Crease Eye Shadow Brush: Inspired By You Beauty (pronounced I.B.Y.). This is supposed to be a domed shadow brush, great for blending out darker shadows on the eye. The cut on mine looks kinda wonky - not an even domed shape. Not sure if that's how it's supposed to be. It is very soft, synthetic, and 100% vegan. Full size valued at $12. (The brush is vegan so you have to think they're a cruelty free company but I can't find any info on their site or on any of the websites that compile CF company info.)

Ciate London Wonderwand Gel-Khol Hybrid Liner in Black: The claim is this has the pigmentation of a gel liner but the blendability of a khol pencil. And I would agree. I tried this on for shits and giggles without eye primer, over eye shadow, to see how it would work. It lasted longer that the eye shadow and didn't fade at all. The outer wing did lighten a little, which isn't surprising on my oily lids, but unless you were all up in my business, you never would have known. The brush is a titch scratchy but nothing terrible. I can't tell if this is full sized or not, but if not it's darn close. Full size is $18 so I'll call this item $15, just to be safe. (CF)

Seraphin Botanicals Lychee + Gold Healthy Glow Rose Gold Blush: (geez there's lot of long named shit this month). GORGINA blush color. Beautiful blend of peach and pink with a soft glow. Almost enough to forgo a highlighter. Almost...It kicks up a ton of powder but it's surprisingly not very pigmented, which I prefer. Easier to work with. This is full sized and goes for $14 (Vegan and CF)

Ofra Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Gold Rush: I've heard sooooo much about this brand and now I finally get to experience it for myself! Though I'm bored to tears with yet another warm universal gold/copper color, it is rather nice. I didn't use a primer to test it out and the color payoff was pretty dang good. And I didn't wet it, which is how it really shines, I guess, since it is a metallic. So I'm excited to play with it some more. Full size, 4g, is $12 so this 2g sample costs $6 (Vegan and CF)

I've come up with a $57 value this month. Holy schnikies. Ipsy hasn't had that good of a value for a while now. And I do actually like everything this month!

*That's a lie. I still care and still get pissy about it.

** I hate that I have to put this disclaimer in the post because people in general assume if you review something positively, it's because you're being paid to do it. Fucking weak.

Medusa's Makeup July 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Medusa's Makeup is a monthly subscription service. For $16, you'll get 4-5 full sized cruelty free and vegan beauty products of the indie brand, Medusa's Makeup. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

I love how MM switches up the package envelope. The flamingos are so cute! This month we also got a free beach bag (or looks like it could also be a reusable grocery bag). How fucking cool is that?

Lip Paint in "Cowgirl": FINALLY a lip color I will wear! Sure, it's a corpse nude but I much prefer that kind of look when I do really dark and/or dramatic eye makeup. This is the same formula as the others so it's super comfortable. It's a little streaky and when it dries down you can see it gives that "asshole" look to the lips (because the product won't stick to the inner most wet part of the lips, when you purse your lips, it looks like a butthole - I didn't coin the expression, dammit!). But I can work with this for sure! $12

Brow Wow Wow: There's only one brow product on their site and it's this brow definer and highlighter in one. The brown is a cool dark shade, which is fine. The highlight is gorgeous. It doesn't show up on camera but it has this almost white/blue duo-chrome to it. But it's also very soft and powdery, as you can see. $12

Angle Eyeliner Brush: Not sure I could use this for gel or liquid liner. It's a very soft and bendy brush. It would probably absorb too much liquid and not be stiff enough to stand up to gel. However, this will make a great eyebrow brush. I don't like the look of harsh, strong, drawn on brows. As you can see in the swatch, it makes a soft line of color, which is perfect for me. $8

Glitter in "Mystique": I wasn't blown away with the purple glitter last month (I loved the color and the name but the product itself ended up being kinda meh). I anticipate the same from this. But the color is stupendous - blue/green/yellow/purple. When all packed on, it is stunning. $8

According to the card, it's a $45 value this month (I guess they're counting the bag at a $5 value). Hooray!

Universal Yums June 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14 or $25 each month you get 6+ or 12+ snacks in every box from a different country. Check them out for yourselves: UNIVERSAL YUMS

(I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

June's box comes from MEXICO. Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post): Pedro Lascurain, the 34th president of Mexico, had the shortest term in office ever. He was president for: A. 5 minutes; B. 1 hour; C. 2 days; D. 1 week

Reading the little description booklet I was super excited about this month. However, after tasting everything, I have to say this has probably been my least favorite snack box. *shrug* What are you gonna do?

Barcel Habanero Potato Chips: FUCK ME SIDEWAYS. GODS DAMNED MOTHER FUCKING HABANERO BITE MY ASS, YOU DICK.

Bubu Lubu: There are only 3 ingredients in this - chocolate, strawberry, and marshmallow. Apparently the best way to eat this confection is frozen. I tried it straight out of the box first and it was kind of gross. The chocolate tastes cheap and the strawberry puree was gritty. AFTER putting it in the freezer it was much better. The marshmallow becomes more like taffy, the strawberry is smooth, and the chocolate is wonderful. 

Luca Muecas Cucumber Lollipop: This was disgusting. It's the same concept as a fun dip but without the fun. The cucumber lollipop is dipped in spices and you eat it. The spices are more bitter than Kanye West at the Grammy's. The cucumber sucker tastes so artificial and fake. UGH.

 

Sabritas Salt & Lime Peanuts: These were my absolute favorite snack this month! I wish I hadn't eaten them so quickly. I love the salty and sour combination on these. Sort of like a vinegar potato chip but not quite as tart or pungent. If you like that kind of thing (or malt vinegar on fries) you'll love these.

Rollo de Coco: This is basically a log, a mixture of coconut sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. I loved the texture and the initial taste but the aftertaste was like when you get shampoo in your mouth while washing your hair in the shower. Not optimal.

Pica Fresa: I was (not) pleasantly surprised by this little candy. I like sweet and spicy and this candy is supposed to be spicy on the outside, sweet on the inside. But all I got was a mouthful of strawberry sour then a butt load of salt. Bizarre, and not in a good way.

 

De La Rosa Mazapan: I originally misread that as Marzipan so I was only slightly disappointed when I opened it up. This round disc in a wonderful little confection that's basically peanuts and sugar. How can you go wrong? The texture is crumbly and kind of dry so I suppose some people might not dig that. But the flavor is amazing!

Las Sevillanas Obleas: Cajeta, the 3rd cousin of caramel and dulce de leche, is made my heating up goats milk very slowly and that is what makes up the delicious gooey middle of this treat. Unfortunately, the wafers that sandwich this yumminess taste like plastic. So sad. So Very Very Sad.

Lucas Skwinkles Rellenos with Pineapple and Tamarind: I don't remember the tamarind goody from the Thailand box but these skinny, gummy, spice covered goodies ARE FANTASTIC! My second favorite treat in the box, and not just because of the name, the consistency is like a cross between gummy worms and those fruit snacks (pick the brand you like - they all seem to have the same soft texture). So freakin' good!

There's a bonus item of a spice pack but we haven't used it yet. It's a spice mixture made of chili peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice. Could be good!

So as you can see, I really only liked 2 treats this month. That's okay. My palette is not the most sophisticated and I'm all right with that. The clue to next month leads us to believe we'll be getting treats from South Korea!

TRIVIA ANSWER: B. 1 hour. This isn't the sad story you're probably expecting. Pedro Lascurain willingly gave up the presidency after around 45 minutes as part of a complicated government coup. After his presidency, he retired from politics, became a full-time lawyer, and lived until he was 96.

PDs, MEHs, and GFYs June 2017

All righty. This is TAKE TWO of writing up this post. I accidentally discarded the last one I worked on, just as I was getting to the end....

Anyhoo...let's get to the products.

PANTY DROPPERS (PDs)

Beauty 360 Face Scrubby Thing: I really don't know what this is called but I saw a duo pack of these at CVS (360 is CVS's house brand). I have a tendency to go ham fisted with physical exfoliators (like those creams with grit in them or just a washcloth) but this thing makes it much easier for me to calm my shit down. The little silicone nubs are gentle enough to not rip my face off but you can feel that they really get in there and slough off the dead skin. I keep one in my shower and I travel with the other. The extra great thing is they don't retain water, like a sponge would, so there's no risk of slathering mold all over your face! (I can't find a link at CVS for these, though)

The Ordinary "Buffet": People on YouTube were going NUTS over this brand for a hot minute. Things seemed to have calmed down but I don't know why. This brand makes some really good skin care. The packaging is simple and they don't load in shit you don't need (fillers, dyes, scents, etc.). That's why their prices are so freakin low. The Buffet is a peptide serum and I honestly think it's done wonders for my skin. It's the most expensive thing I've purchased from them ($15) and compared to regular stores, it's almost like shopping at the dollar store! I have since repurchased and will continue to do so.

NYX Ultimate Palette (Cool Neutrals): Everyone and their mother goes ape shit for warm colors. I'm so tired of the warm browns, coppers, oranges, blahblahblah. Don't get me wrong - I do wear them. I'm just TIRED of them. So this is a god send. Colors are beautiful, pretty pigmented, and blend like a dream (the purple one is a bit patchy and the light ones you can't really see because they are very close to my skin tone). 

Merchant of Galifrey Lip Balm (Cassian): I've found that some lip balms don't actually moisturize or protect the lips. I know, right? But this shop from Etsy has made some great ones! Tons of scents so you're sure to find something you'll like. I got the one inspired by Star Wars: Rogue One's character of Cassian - pear, clove, and dulce de leche. So not only does it smell good, last long, and work great, I think of Diego Luna every time I put it on my lips. Mmmmm....Diego....

TheBalm Mad Lash Mascara: I love the formula of this mascara. It does a great job of thickening and lengthening my lashes. Sometimes TheBalm stuff can be hit or miss but this stuff is awesome.

Milani Eye Shadow Primer: I've tried a bunch of different brands but this is the one I always goes back to. Just repurchased.

Colourpop Creme Gel Eyeliner: This stuff is no joke. Once it's on the eyes, even the waterline, it doesn't budge one inch. The problem, though, is the darker ones dry out really fast. I had the dark green color (which is no longer available - probably because it basically looked black) but the product got too try to work with before I could use it up. The browns are a little easier to work with, stay creamier longer, but still have the same staying power.

Colourpop Super Shock Shadow (Dare): I can't tell you how many times I've received compliments on this shadow when I wear it. A gorgeous neon purple with hot pink and violet glitter. But as you can see from the swatch, it dried out before I could even hit pan. It's basically just dry scratchy glitter now and OMG COLOURPOP IS HAVING A SALE ON THEIR SHADOWS. Excuse me a moment...

 

MEHs

NYX Le Frou Frou Mascara: For something that claims to give volume and length, it really does neither. My lashes looked nice, soft and natural, but no better than that. So while it's nice to use for those kind of days, I don't turn to it to get more special.

Bronx Colors Matte Lip Tint: The color was pretty, though a little brighter than the swatch on-line, but the formula was dry and kinda streaky. Not a great first impression, Bronx.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Serum: At first this stuff seemed great. It smells fantastic and it gave me a little extra moisture I needed at the time. But after about a month the smell went...off. I'm almost positive, too, that this broke me out a bit. Not gonna ever use again just to be safe. 

Essence Get Big Lashes Mascara: Again, another one that claims to make your lashes really thick and long but really only gives you a soft natural look. Which is fine but not what I was looking for when I bought this.

Tarte Skinny Smolder Eyes (Amethyst): The color is kinda dull and the product itself wears off really fast. Though it feels creamy going on and smudges out well, it's just so...lackluster. Probably why it's on sale at the website.

TheBalm Mad Lash Mascara: This also get a MEH rating - for the packaging. Instead of a normal twist open tube, they have this one as just pull straight out (oy) and snap back in. It's a tight fit (really?) so after yanking on it for a second or two (for crying out loud), the wand flings product everywhere (geez) then gets all over the packaging (mic drop). Ugh.

GO FUCK YOURSELVES (GFYs)

Burts Bees Facial Cleansing Towlettes: Oh gods these suck so bad! The cloths come out mostly dry and they sting like a fucking beast. They also smell very herbally which is great for marinara sauce but not for my fucking face.

City Color Color Corrector Pens: I really wanted to try the orange toned one for the purple under my eyes, as well as try out the green just for shits and giggles. They came as a trio on Haute Look so I got them all. FUCKING AWFUL. They're twist up pens so after about 4 days of twisting, a little teeny tiny bit of product came out. Mostly dry and crumbly, they dried darker once on the skin (except the green - that one was ok). I maybe got 3 uses from them. SO FUCKING TERRIBLE.

Addictive Cosmetics All Natural Lipstick (Maleficent): I've purchased stuff from this Etsy store before that I've loved. But this lipstick is just awful. Patchy as fuck, thin formula, it will not go opaque no matter what I do, not even over a lip liner. I don't know if it's because it's a sample and not a full bullet or what. Ugh.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: You can see I have two sample tubes of this crap and I haven't used up either. The formula is so thick and goopy, it's impossible to work with. Maybe if I had thicker lashes it would be okay. But I don't. So it isn't. Blech.

Shea Moisture Dragons Blood & Coffee Cherry Mask: HOLY FUCKING BALLS THIS STUFF HURT SO BAD! I've used SM stuff in the past and I've liked it. But about 30 seconds after I got this mask on my face it started to burn. Like Human Torch burn. Like Darkman caught in his lab fire burn. Which makes me so sad because it smells fantastic. But it's not worth the price of possibly becoming disfigured (that's hyperbole for those of you without a sense of humor).

All righty. That'll do it for my list of awesome and awful. See you in a few months for another installment!

Morgue Drawer June 2017

I was going to start posting these MDs more often. I would fill up a box with empties and post. But since February, I got a bigger box (that's what HE said) so it took a lot longer to fill it up (oh wow) and so here we are, four months later. Sorry. I'll try to keep it as short as possible!

ALL THE PAMPERING

So many face masks. They are my weakness. As far as skin care is concerned, anyway...

Skin Rx Labs Re-turn Express: This was an awesome mask. It's been the softest one I've ever tried (and I try a lot). Well saturated and fit pretty good, too.

When 10pm: Very thin mask but it had two protective sheets on either side. Jelly consistency serum. Felt a lot like the rice mask kit I had a while back. Not a ton of left over serum to use but it was nice. The eye holes were a bit small.

When Hydrate: Loved this one. The mask itself felt like jello - like a thin but firm gelatin. So cool. My skin felt so nice after this.

Bonvivant Adenosine & Acai Berry: This is the best Bonvivant mask I've tried. Fit really well and the serum was like a milky essence. My skin felt fantastic!

3 Step Nose Strip (little grey rectangle in the pick - sorry I can't remember the brand!): This was kinda fun. The first step melts the sebum around the nose. It felt like menthol, kind of intense. The second step is the charcoal sticky strip that you have to put on, wet, then let sit before pulling off. Third step was like a mask/serum for the nose. The next day after using this I got a big zit at the end of my nose. :(

Hada Labo Anti-Aging: Super soft material and it fit well. The next day my skin felt great.

Sorry for my Skin Brightening: These are always nice. Not sure if each kind does anything different from the rest but I love the jelly consistency of the serum.

Forencos 7 Days Friday: I only got one of the seven in a snack box (of all things). Super saturated, lots of left over serum to soak on top. Once I was done, though, it stayed tacky on my face. Never fully sunk in. The holes in the mask were small. My skin felt nice but the next day I was super oily in my T-zone.

My Beloved Girl Extreme Moisture: Decent, skin felt very nice (don't have a lot of notes on this one).

Nan Well Cucumber: I LOVE this one! Very soft material, my skin felt great the next day. I've used this one a few times and it's always been nice. (can't find a link, though)

SooAe Brightening: Very saturated, felt really nice. My skin loved it. But the eye holes were way too small.

ToSowoong Super Aqua Essence: This stung like a mo fo. Had to take it off after 3 minutes. My skin was sticky for hours.

 

CLEAN THAT SHIT UP...THEN SOFTEN IT

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel: This was a nice, gentle cleanser. Hard to get out of the bottle by the end (as you can still see some in there). Haven't repurchased.

Tarte Deep Dive Cleansing Gel: I got this sample with a Tarte order and I loved it. My skin felt so soft and smooth afterwards. I ended up buying a bigger size.

DHC Deep Cleaning Oil: Got this sample in the mail (I think the 3B site sold my info to their affiliates because I got a travel size of this in a past bag). I really like it though. I'm using the travel size now. I might actually buy this.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%: I got this as part of their recommended anti-aging regimen (along with their Buffet serum, Retinoid, and Rose hip oil). I don't feel that this stuff gave me any extra moisture like it's supposed to. Haven't repurchased.

Tarte Maracuja Oil (not pictured): Got a tiny sample of this stuff from Ipsy, I think. Don't really remember. LOVED this for my skin. But this shit is super expensive so I haven't repurchased. I'm reusing the bottle for The Ordinary's rose hip oil and take that with me when I travel. 

Mario Badescu Rose Face Spray: My love for this has not changed. Got two big bottles from Haute Look for a great price so I'm good for a while.

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream: The color changed a bit on this as I got to the bottom so I had to toss it. It works really well but that little dry patch under my eye hasn't returned so I'm probably not going to buy this again unless that little bugger come back.

Mario Badescu Aloe Moisturizer: Decent but it's a little thick for a day cream. Hard to spread over the face evenly without using a giant dollop of it. Won't repurchase.

 

GOODLY WOMEN DO NOT PAINT THEMSELVES...UNTIL THEY DO

ELF Cleansing Cloths: I don't use these for my face. They sting. But they're great for removing swatches. And they're $3.

Heimish All Clean Balm: This came from 3B and I think it was the second cleansing balm I ever tried. I love this. I love the idea of using this kind of gel/cream cleanser to take off makeup. Sure you have to use a regular cleanser after but this 2-step cleansing routing is all the rage now, I guess (an oil would be another option if you don't have the balm). I want to find this or another kind someday.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara: Probably one of my favorite mascaras of all time. It's expensive though so I wait for Ulta to have a sale where I can get it 50% off.

NYX Dewy Setting Spray: Not sure this makes me look dewy but it's great at setting makeup and helping it last a long time. It's a little better than the Elf stuff I used to use.

Essence Make Me Brow: Those who know me know I don't have a lot in the way of eye brow hair. So if I just want to thicken them a little bit but not go overboard, this colored gel is perfect. And it's $3! If they made one in grey, that would just complete me so much.

Elf Lip Exfoliator in Cherry: This is such a great idea. I think I had this in my PDMEHGFY post in February. It's a great way to exfoliate your lips in a nice neat package. I have the grapefruit one now and I think it's even better than the cherry flavor.

Milani Lip Oil (raspberry, I think): I loved this stuff at first. Very soothing on the lips. But eventually I realized it didn't moisturize all that well. *shrug* Won't repurchase.

 

RANDOM ASSORTMENT

Tom's of Main Sensitive Toothpaste: This is the nicest sensitive toothpaste I've ever used. Works well and doesn't make my mouth peel (which, according to my dentist's hygienist, is something a very small percentage of the population experiences with sensitive toothpastes - so I'm NOT crazy). Will continue to repurchase.

Paul Mitchell Purple Shampoo: Yes, I don't have blonde hair but a YouTuber I watch (Shannon Shortcake) used this on her bleached platinum hair and a little bit of it turned lavender/grey/purple. So I thought I'd give it a shot on my white/grey hair. It actually does deposit a little lavender/silver touch to my temples and makes the rest look less brassy (if that term can be applied to salt and pepper grey). I might try a few more kinds but I really like this and it smells like cucumbers!

Living Proof Styling Treatment: Got this in an Ipsy or something. While I don't like a lot of this brand's other stuff, this styling cream is actually perfect for my short hair. But they aren't Cruelty Free so I won't be buying again (unless I really can't find a CF alternative).

Mitchum Gel Deodorant: My tried and true Secret deodorant stopped working for me so I had to find a replacement. Mitchum actually works really well. This 'gel' formula is more like the thin watery roll-on style so it flings all over the place. I've since bought the solid stick and that's much better!

 

GET YOUR FILTHY PAWS OFF MY SILKY DRAWERS

Everyone Hand Soap: I wanted to find a cruelty free option for hand soap and I found this stuff at the local Vitamin Shoppe. This scent is heavenly for the kitchen. Very bright and clean. A couple of the other scents are nice, too.

Method Foaming Hand Wash (Sweet Water): Technically, Method does test on animals (a small kind of water bug which maybe a lot of people don't consider on par with bunnies and puppies but it's still a living creature) so I really only buy this scent. The hubs likes to use it to wash his face and it works really well for him so I will continue to buy it.

Bath & Body Works Foaming Hand Soap (Vampire Blood): This only comes out at Halloween so of course I have to buy it. But if you're NOT new here, you know that even though BBW sells in China, I will still buy these kinds of soaps, their candles, and some shower gels because I haven't been able to find anything else that compares. I'm not sorry.

Okay. That'll do it for this installment of my Morgue Drawer. Again, I'll try to do these once a quarter so they're not so much to take in at once (really?).

Ipsy June 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10, you will received 4-5 sample (sometimes full sized) makeup, hair, and skin care products along with a reusable makeup bag. Check them out here: IPSY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

20170614_122637.jpg

This month's theme is whatever-who-fucking-cares month. The bag is really cute, though. Canvas on the outside with a nylon lining. I dig it. Let's get into the products, shall we?

Delectable Coconut and Cream Triple Moisture Body Lotion: (by Cake Beauty) I liked the lemon hand cream I got before much better than this. This is very lightweight and absorbs quickly, which is nice. But when I got my Ipsy bag, the second I opened the bubble pack I was smacked in the face with a coconut scent. The tube was still capped and sealed, nothing was broken or torn. But the scent just permeated EVERYTHING. Not very happy about that. I like coconut but dayum. Full size is 8 ounces so this 2 ounce size is valued around $3.50. (CF and Vegan)

Doucce Maxlash Volumizer Mascara (black): I can't report on this yet because I have about 5 open mascaras already. Didn't want to open this just yet. But I love trying new mascaras! Full size goes for $22 (can't seem to find the amount and a lot of mascaras hold between 7mls and 11 mls). So let's say this one is about 8mls so this travel size of 6 mls costs about $16.50 (CF)

Vasanti Cosmetics Power Oils Lip Gloss in Super Mom: Love love love this lip gloss. I'm actually a bit tired of matte lipstick (not that I will stop wearing it, of course) but with summer in full swing, it's nice to switch things up. Super pigmented, not sticky at all, long lasting, this color is gorgeous and will probably look good on almost everyone. Full sized, this gloss goes for $22 - though it's on sale right now for $19. (CF)

TheBalm Cosmetics Balm Springs Blush: I do like getting products from TheBalm. I've really enjoyed a lot of their makeup. This blush is a gorgeous neutral rosy shade. Look very natural, at least on my pasty ass skin. My only issue is the samples they use are so small they're hard to work with. Very difficult to get an even brush full of powder. Still nice though! Full size (5.5g) is $21 so this 1g sample is probably around $4. (CF)

Beauty for Real I-LINE 27-7 Eyeliner in Chocolate Fix: While I admit this color is really nice (sometimes it's hard to find a brown that's neutral or cool toned) the lasting power is for shit. Tightlined with it and within 5 minutes it was gone. It lasted a tad longer on the actual eye lids. Fucking weak. I doubt I'll be reaching for this very often. This is full sized and goes for $14. (I assume CF because the founder works with the SPCA - that'd be MAJOR hypocritical if the brands wasn't CF, yes?).

Wow, the value of this bag is around $57 (give or take a few bucks due to my mathematical prowess). That's not too shabby!

Medusa's Makeup June 2017 Review

So nice to come home from a weekend con in Pittsburgh to see my MM bubble pack waiting for me! If you don't know, Medusa's Makeup is a monthly subscription service. For $16 each month you will receive 3-5 full sized makeup products from MM (as in, it's their specific brand). They are vegan and cruelty free. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

Semi Matte/Creamy Lipstick in YOLO: While I despise that name, the shade is pretty. Again, it's a color I probably won't wear. Super hot pink! But it goes on like a dream and feels wonderful. $12

Oh So Natural Lip/Cheek Stain in Raven: It looks like it would be a deep blood red but it's more like a sheer lip balm. It feels great on the lips but on the cheeks, it basically just looks like I put grease on my face. No color at all. So I'll just use it as a lip balm! But that packaging is so dang cute! $8

Totally Baked Eye Shadow in Tubular: GORGEOUS color! I can't even handle it. It seems more pigmented than the last one I got (the pretty gold) and I hope it lasts longer than that one, too. I'm hopeful that because it's a darker color, it will. $9

Shimmer Effect Eye Dust in Jail Bait: Holy schnikies this color is stunning and super pigmented! Just look at it! Now sometimes these kinds of pigments will swatch better than perform but even the Wasabe color didn't swatch this beautifully. I'm super excited about this one. $8

Over all value of $37 is cool by me!

Universal Yums May 2017 Review

Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $14 (or $25) you get 6+ (or 12+) candy and snack items from a different country. It's a nice way to get just a taste of another culture without having to endure the terrifying world of air travel. Check them out here: UY

May brings us the country of JAPAN (which I believe was the country we had in our very first UY box - and I'm okay with that). Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post): You can get the following out of a vending machine in Japan: A.Underwear; B.Live lobsters; C.Beer; D.Surgical Masks.

Mame Mix: Seems like this is Japan's answer to an American nut mix but in theirs, not only do they have peanuts, but there are peas, broad beans, and seaweed peas (like a crunchy cracker shaped in a ball covered in seaweed bits). All are coated in a little bit of soy sauce. All are freakin' delicious.

Everyburger Cookie: OMG these things are so cute! They look just like little baby hamburgers, down to the sesame seed buns and cheese slices. They taste pretty damn good, too. Just like a sweet vanilla cookie but with a little hunk of solid chocolate in it.

Kasugai Kiwi Gummies: Apparently this is the only repeat item from their first Japan box in 2015. These are absolutely delicious and even have little kiwi seeds inside the gummy.

Ribon Nama Ume Candy: The hard candy is delicious but the middle is filled with salt pickled plums. They're actually not that bad - unlike those salt candies from some god forsaken country last year. I don't PREFER to have a candy end on a salty note but I'm not totally mad at it.

Umaibo Teriyaki Burger & Gyutan Flavor: These are those long tube shaped snacks made from corn and taste like whatever flavor is sprinkled on top. The Teriyaki Burger flavor is okay, kinda salty. But the Gyutan flavor is just ick. Gyutan is beef tongue, by the way.

Sakuma Matcha Milk Candy: These taste basically just like lightly sweetened green tea. Very nice.

Bourbon Petit Caramel Rice Crackers: I don't get the consistency of rice crackers in these treats. They're more like a cross between a butter cookie and melba toast. Super super sweet, I can understand why these are usually paired with green tea in Japan. Nice contrast of flavors.

Rakka Ame Candy: These candies are kind of like peanut brittle but not quite as hard. They crumble and dissolve a little quicker but still have a great salty roasted peanut flavor. Very good!

 

TRIVIA ANSWER: Trick question! All of the above are correct answers. Underwear, live lobsters, beer, and surgical masks are sold in vending machines in Japan, just not all in the same one.

The clue for next month leads us to believe the goodies will be coming to us from Mexico!

Ipsy May 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription. For $10 a month, you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full sized) makeup, skin, and hair products. Check them out for yourself here: IPSY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

The theme for this month is USELESS. And if you can believe it, the card is even smaller than last time and has even LESS information on it. What. The hell.

I have to admit, though, I kinda like the bag. It's a clear thick plastic that will probably be decent at holding liquids while traveling (NOTE: I've used this a couple of times now and yes, it's good so far). And who doesn't like ice cream? COMMIES, THAT'S WHO.

The little bottle of lotion was an extra I got for cashing in some points. My profile said the points would expire in February so I wanted to hurry up and use them before they disappeared. Soon after I redeemed this little baby, the pop up info told me that the remaining points actually don't expire until 2018. Son of a bitch. The lotion is...okay. Scent is a bit overpowering.

Okay. Now for the actual monthly products:

Global Beauty Care Charcoal Wash Off Mask - stung a little but sometimes that happens with a new mask. I love the twisty top that allows me to seal it back up so the rest of the product doesn't dry out! I can't find a lot of info on them so I'm not sure if they're CF. But I think this is full sized and goes for $5.

Pacifica Beauty Island Life Eye Shadow - I've received a few makeup items from this brand before. I really have enjoyed past eye shadows and these are just as gorgeous. Pretty pigmented but VERY soft so be careful when you want to finger (swatch) them. This palette is exclusive to Ipsy so I have no idea how much it's worth. (CF)

Royal & Langnickel Precision Angled Brush - I've heard a lot about this brand floating around the internets so I was excited to get one in my bag. But...I don't know what to do with it. I don't contour; it's too big for eyes; it's too small for blush. So, yeah. Again, can't find this exact brush on their site so I don't know the cost. But it's vegan so that makes it CF.

Manna Kadar Radiance Split Pan Highlighter/Bronzer Duo - While the sample is a little small to work with, the colors are beautiful. The bronzer will be a better eye shadow on me and the highlight is pretty. Again, can't find any damn info on sizes/amounts but I know it's not full  size (which is $21). It is CF though!

Mellow Cosmetics Creamy Matte Lipstick in Posh: I've never heard of this brand before so I'm glad I get to try something new! This lipstick is awesome. Gorgeous color that is more neutral/cool than warm, goes on smooth, and lasts quite a while without being drying. It's my favorite product this month! Mostly because I'm a lipstick whore. Full size and it's $13 (CF).

Well, I don't really have a value for the bag this month because there just isn't any info out there about some of the items. But I'm pretty sure it's over $10. Though I need to use the mask a few more times to be sure about whether or not it'll fry my face, I'm pretty happy with the rest of the items (even if I can't figure out price points).

Medusa's Makeup May 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Medusa's Makeup is an indie brand in beauty that has a monthly subscription service. For $16 you get 3-5 full sized vegan and cruelty free makeup products. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

(I purchase this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

Ooooohhh....GLITTER!

Glitter in "Pegasus" ($7): It's kind of hard to tell but this glitter has a purple base with blue, green, and gold sparkles. And it's called Pegasus. PEGASUS! I cannot wait to try this (excuse my dry and flaky hands).

Lip Paint in the color "Shag" ($12): This is my second lip paint. And while I like the formula - not too dry, fells comfy - these kinds of watermelon or salmon shades look shitty on me. But it would make a nice base for another color on top (oooh...dirty).

Lip Paint Remover ($10): This is simply a colorless oil that will remove the liquid lipstick once it's dried on your lips - and it works well. Sometimes those things are a BITCH to get off (ooooh...dirty...what is wrong with me?). It basically feels like any kind of oil so if you've already got some of that, you might not need this. But does yours smell a little like cotton candy/burnt sugar? I didn't think so. It's not a strong scent so don't worry about that.

Totally Baked Eyeshadow in "Bitchin" ($9): I had to show you the back sticker on this. So cute! (I accidentally scraped the sticker so it WAS in tact when they sent it) Gorgeous gold shadow, which is one color I don't have and have always wanted. Thank you, MM! Smooth feel, great shine but not glittery, and doesn't fade throughout the day. I used this as a brow bone highlighter and it was perfect (for my skin). It might work as a regular highlighter too. Hmmm...

Aside from the color of the lip paint, I'm in love with this subscription service this month. And it's a $38 value so that ain't too shabby!