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.

BH Cosmetics - Aurora Lights Palette

I (now) have three palettes from BH Cosmetics, but for some reason, I really wanted to do a review of this one. I mentioned the Zodiac one in a past ‘favorites’ post, and I’m sure I’ve brought up Galaxy Chic. This one, however, really spurred me to take pictures of some of the looks I created, and to talk about them.

Maybe down the road, I’ll review the other palettes I have (especially if their NEW Zodiac palette is included on a really good sale - I’m talking 45% or more off.) For now, let’s take a look at this beauty: The Aurora Lights Palette.

(this is not sponsored; I bought this with my own money; all opinions are my honest ones)

This is another baked shadow palette, like Galaxy Chic, and all the shades are shimmery - some have glitter, some are just SOOOPER shiny. There are different formulas as well. From the BH website: The celestial-inspired hues and finishes - ranging from sheer-color, high-shine glitter topcoats, to entrancing ultra-reflective metallics and rich shades with intense pigment payoff deliver striking impact and light-catching dimension. 

The bottom two pics above show the powder kick-up on these. Pretty much all of them do this, some more than others, but if a shadow is still easy to work with and blend, I have no issue with a little mess.

In the swatch pictures below, you will see how some colors are more sheer, and others are just buh-BLAM with pigment.

Soooo preeeeetty….though my swatches leave a little to be desired. It’s hard to catch the shift/duo-chrome nature of some of these shadows.

There are two colors in the Aurora palette that are similar to shades in the Galaxy Chic, but that’s about it. Nothing comes close to the Zodiac one that I have, and I can’t speak on the new Zodiac palette. But if this is all I’ve got that’s close in tone/shade, I’m good with it.

The Galaxy Chic colors, Neptune and Earth, are similar in tone to the Aurora shades. Neptune is just a bit lighter than Magnetic, and Earth is almost neutral or maybe a bit warmer than Polar.

Below are a few looks I created with the Aurora Lights palette. I brought in a few colors from other palettes or single shadows. As pretty and shiny as these AL colors are, sometimes it’s hard to pull off a full-on chrome look. I hate to sound so cliche or like a generic YouTube beauty guru (barf,) sometimes you really do need to add in other finishes and shades to create more dimension.

I don’t remember what dark shade I used in the outer corner, but Magnetic is on the outer edge, then Polar in the middle, and finally Prismatic in the inner corner (over Polar). Pretty sure that’s the NYX Epic Ink liner, too (damn, I knew I should have taken notes…)

Again, not sure on the outer V, but I think it was one of the dark brown shades from the Makeup Revolution Light and Shade palette (you know, the knock off of the Kat Von D Shade and Light palette.) The rest are Aurora - the lid is Glowing, and the inner corner is Sparkling, which looks very yellow-gold when you put it over the Glowing shade.

Again, more Light and Shade brown on the outer V. Then Luminous all over the lid, and a little Kaleidoscope around the tear duct (it looks really pink here, but I it’s one of those peach/pink shifty bitches.)

And finally there’s this one. I actually only used one color from the AL palette - the inner lid is 24K. The outer V is a Colourpop dark brown shade; the middle, and a titch along the inner crease, is the deeper yellow from the NYX Brights palette; I think the inner corner/tear duct is a Laura Gellar highlighter. Pay no attention to the muddled blending or heaviness and cracking look toward the inner lid. I tried a cut crease with a really thick concealer, and I put too much on; it was hard to smooth out/blend in. Otherwise, I love how this turned out!

All these shadows lasted all day (or at the very least, 4-5 hours) without creasing or fading or flaking. I didn’t end up with bits of glitter all over my face after a few hours, which can happen with glittery formulas. Overall, I’m super happy with this palette. If you’ve never tried BH COSMETICS before, head over to their website. They’ve got a lot of different stuff, and it’s all pretty reasonably priced. HOWEVER - they do have a lot of sales, so keep checking to find the best deal!

Have you ever tried any of their products? What did you think?

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly (FINAL REVIEW) December 2018

We have arrived at the final review in my Mystic Monthly subscription service from Notoriously Morbid. For those who don’t know, NM is an indie makeup company that has two monthly subscription services. I signed up for the $10/month liquid lipstick subscription in 2018 (NOTE: the price has increased to $12 for 2019.) Though it’s been fun, I need to move on to something else. But if you’d like to check them out, go to their website: NOTORIOUSLY MORBID

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

The Mystic Monthly theme for 2018 was Dragons - which is basically why I signed up in the first place. December brought us Fuzanglong, an underground dragon that protects buried treasure. The Cursed Crystals eye/lip topper is called Hidden Treasures - makes sense.

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First, the lip/eye topper. I got another Cursed Crystals in the Advent calendar, but it definitely has a different color shift. For this one, the purple and rose are easier to see than the green. I haven’t tried it on my eyes yet, so I’ll let you know how it goes when I do.

The lipstick is beautiful. I tried to take pics to show the differences between fresh, dried down, pressed together, and with the topper. Not sure it’s translating all that well in the photographs but the topper was kind of fun to put over this. The lipstick is a little streaky so it would be better to layer it a time or two.

The next pics are, in order: freshly applied; after it set; after I pressed my lips together to get the blue sparkles to show up; and with the lip topper applied over my lipstick. Again, it’s a little hard to distinguish the subtle differences, but they are there!

You get an idea of the patchiness, too, so I want to wear this again, but layer it and then see how long it lasts.

The Mystic Matte formula of liquid lipstick is pretty good. It’s not super drying, the colors they come up with are somewhat unique, and they are fun to play with. It’s been fun having this subscription, and it did give me a better look into the Notoriously Morbid brand as a whole. I’ve been able to try a bunch of different products, and there are still a few more I’d like to investigate. Don’t forget to check out their site link above if you want more information!

Morgue Drawer End of 2018

Finally getting around to writing up this post so I can throw all my garbage away! For those who don’t know, I write up a quick little review of products I’ve used up over the past months to give you a better idea how things worked, or didn’t, for me. Hopefully a little more in-depth than the PDs, MEHs, and GFYs, because some of that shit made me so angry that I tried to burn it all after the first use.

So here we go, wrapping up 2018, by taking a stroll through my trash. Enjoy!

MY SKIN WOULD MAKE A GREAT LAMP SHADE

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H20+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment: Really nice moisturizer. I love a good gel formula, and it worked well for my skin. But this brand is way too pricey for me!

Pacifica Cactus Revive Face Wash: Meh. The smell was nice but the texture was so runny, it made a mess all over the cap and tube. As I got closer to the end of the tube, the product got grittier, which is bizarre. I didn’t finish it off before throwing it away. (And they don’t sell this one anymore….of course, they don’t.)

Elisha Coy Moist Up Super Hyalurone Ampoule Serum: I really like this serum. Smells good, absorbs well, and it might be a little better than The Ordinary Buffet serum (which stays tacky on the skin and recently started breaking me out.) I got mine at CVS, but it’s not always in stock.

Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Micellar Water: Not a good product. Burns the eyes like hell, and it doesn’t remove all makeup. Skin didn’t really feel clean after using it.

Soap & Glory Fab Pore Purifying Foam Cleanser: I really liked this. Smelled nice and clean, if that makes sense. Worked great until I got to the last inch or so in the bottle. Then it didn’t seem to work as well, plus the pump on the bottle broke.

The Body Shop Aloe Cream Cleanser: Loved this. Gentle cream cleanser and no heavy smell.

Mario Badescu Rose Facial Spray: I still enjoy this, though just recently I watched a review about how this isn’t as great for the skin as other sprays because of the dyes and filler ingredients. Dammit.

The Ordinary Squalene Face Oil: My skin loves this stuff so much better than rose hip oil, which spoils much quicker and remains heavy on the skin. Squalene absorbs fast, and has no smell!

Nip & Fab Moisturizer: This was decent but smelled a little too heavy of sunscreen. (this is no longer available.)

Derma E Rose Cleansing Oil: Smells nice but didn’t do a good job of cleaning off anything.

Ariul Bamboo Water Mask: LOVED this. Super soft mask and my skin felt great, even the next day. I want to get all 7 days worth of them.

Formula 10.0.6 Day/Night Cream: Still my go-to moisturizers.

DEBRIS

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Mitchum Gel Deoderant: Pretty good, but the gel took FOREVER to dry, and still left white marks. Trying the solid sticks now, and I like those so much better.

Giovanni 2Chic Intensive Hair Mask: Loved this mask/heavy conditioner. Super thick and really helped my bleached hair look smooth, and feel soft. I can’t find the Ultra-Repair one anymore, just the regular Repair. Still works well, just not as thick.

Marc Anthony Argan Oil Hair Spray: Still love this stuff. Smell is really nice, and it’s just a soft hold hairspray, which I enjoy.

Maui Moisture Heal and Hydrate Hair Mask: This was almost as good as the Giovanni stuff. Smelled fantastic! The tub is a bit messy, though.

Tom’s of Main Maximum Sensitivity Toothpaste: Still love this stuff; only sensitive toothpaste that works for me. I usually get mine at Meijers or Vitamin Shoppe.

Purple Cat Apothecary Body Butter (Winter Rose): I like the texture of the body butter, but the scent on this was too heavy with honey and very little rose. (Store no longer exists.)

ZOMG Smells Perfumes (Lola’s New Dress and Hyang-Su): I love so many of the scents I’ve purchased from this store. These got too old and started to smell more like alcohol, so I had to get rid of them. Sugar Dragon is one of my favorite scents!

Lavanila Pure Vanilla Perfume: THE BEST VANILLA PERFUME EVAR!!!

BEAT THAT MUG

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NYX Vivid Liner (Silver): So much fun! But like their Vinyls liners, this dried out so fast. I’d be willing to get it again, but they no longer sell this shade. Fuck me.

Babyganics Face/Hand/Baby Wipes: I get these at my local Value Center super market, but looks like you can get them at Target, too. They are great for wiping off swatches, clearing eye shadow fall out on my cheeks, or a quick clean of my hands before starting makeup application. No scent, which is really nice.

Catrice Prime & Fine Multitalent Fixing Spray: I LOVE THIS SETTING SPRAY. Gives my face a nice glow and melds with my highlighter beautifully, which I love. Been wanting to try their glowy version (how much more shiny can I get??) but it’s always sold out!

ELF Lip Exfoliator (pink grapefruit): This is a great exfoliator in a non-messy package/delivery system. This one just got too old before I could use it up.

Milani Lip Gloss: This was one of my favorite lip glosses. It’s so old, though, that the name is worn off, and Milani doesn’t make it anymore. Sheer pink with gold shimmer. Absolutely gorgeous. Smelled like candy, too! But it finally went “off” so I had to toss it.

Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder: This was perfect for setting my under eye concealer. Finely milled, it never looked heavy or cakey. Took me forever to get through this little sample!

Urban Decay Primer Potion: Meh. Not sure why everyone loves this eye primer so much. It’s kinda dry, and doesn’t work any better than any drug store, lower cost one (like Milani.)

Ulta Brow Tint: Love this product, but this shade was a bit light for me. Will get the dark brown when I use up another one I’ve got open now.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara: Still one of my favorite mascara formulas of all time. But it will either come in a mini like this, or will go on sale. Never buy this at full price!

Catrice Pret-a-Volume Mascara: It was…okay. More natural looking than volume boosting. Which is fine but not what it advertises. Not sure if the link I put is to the exact same mascara, but looks close enough.

Essence Precise Eyeliner Brush: I love these. Super thin so you can get a precise line with any kind of medium (gel, powder, etc.) They’re $2. I have three back ups right now.

All righty. That’s it for 2018. Hope to see you all next year!

PDs, MEHs, and GFYs 2018 Year End

Again…gah. I haven’t done one of these for MONTHS, but I hope to get back into a regular schedule for 2019. For those who are new, instead of doing the generic “Likes and Dislikes” or “Fails and Favorites,” I call my list of crap I liked and hated as “Panty Droppers, Mehs, and Go Fuck Yourselves.”

Enjoy.

PDs

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Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation: I don’t usually spend my money on high-end makeup. Tarte is the exception. I prefer light coverage foundations, if I wear them at all, and this is perfection. It lasts all day on me and looks as good at the end of the day, as it did after first application. I had to get a new bottle, though, because my previous one expired before I could use it up. Right now I have Fair-Light Neutral, but I probably could switch to Fair Beige (they came out with a few new shades since I first bought it.)

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara: I got this as a sample in one of my Ulta orders this year. And I didn’t want to like it because Stila is one of those high-end brands. But DAMMIT! This stuff makes my lashes look long, thick (rowr) and gorgeous.

A’Pieu Finger Blusher: This came in a 3B subscription bag (aaaaaages ago.) I can’t believe how long it lasted. The smell just started to go off, so I had to toss it. But if I can find this again, I would repurchase. Perfect cream blush - blends out beautifully, and the peach shade I had was very natural. One of the best blushers I’ve ever used. I don’t think they make it anymore, but YesStyle has a ton of A’Pieu products, so maybe one of the blushes in there will work as well…?

Lunatik Cosmetic Labs Lipstick in Lacrimosa: This has been one of my favorite shades of lipstick in a long time. The description from their website: Lacrimosa is a translucent shade with a pink hue packed with a kaleidoscope of color shifting sparkles. I got it back in 2014, I think, at a convention. Unfortunately, the bullet completely dried up and it’s now impossible to get any pigment out of it. Which makes me incredibly sad. So I guess I’ll have to go get another one!

I forgot to include these babies in the PDs pic above, so they’ll get special treatment. I know a lot of people don’t like the metallic lip look, because it makes the lips appear older/aged. Personally, I don’t care. I love how shiny the Metal Shock is (shade: Mercury,) and the Vibrant Shock (shade: Nightstalker) is just a gorgeous shock of color. Obvi.

The Vibrant Shock seems a teeny streaky at first, but you can definitely work with it to look just fine on the lips. These do dry down, but don’t become transfer proof. They’re just a titch sticky, but not the “sweet baby Jesus it’s gonna be 10 minutes before my lips separate!” kind of sticky.

MEHs

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Wet n Wild Tour & Tease Lip Balm: It’s a nice soft wash of color, but sooooo drying. This might be one of those multi-use products (lips and cheeks) and, if so, that explains the dryness. Never has any dual product felt nice on either part of the face. Blech.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation: I love the thin consistency and light coverage; the shade is pretty good, too. But it makes my skin look like a 4000-year old papyrus notebook found in some Egyptian angsty teenager’s sarcophagus. Ugh.

BH Cosmetics Naturally Flawless Foundation: Really good coverage and a nice shade. But, again, makes my skin look super dry, and my pores appear the size of Iowa. Ah….no thanks.

Catrice Glam and Doll False Lashes Waterproof Mascara: I wanted to try the waterproof version of this because the regular version makes my lashes so long, the product transfers all over the damn place. This isn’t quite that good, PLUS it’s nearly impossible to remove. Hence, the reason I rarely wear waterproof makeup.

Essence Lash Princess Sculpted Volume Mascara: I love the original one (pink details) but this was just okay. The real problem is that it’s thick and gloopy, and never really dries out enough to be more controllable. Too bad.

GFYs

Notoriously Morbid Jinxed Jewels Liquid Eyeshadow in Tempting Devils: I got this little guy in the NM Halloween Advent Calendar. This shit is terrible. They say it can be worn on its own, layered, or over an eye shadow. I tried both, and it looked like hammered shit both times. Completely creased and crumbled off my eye after a few hours. I tried it more than once, just in case I layered it too heavily or not enough. Nope. Fucking awful product. (This is not for individual sale on the site.)

Notoriously Morbid Cosmic Gloss in Brooding Vampires: I’m specifically talking about the Brooding Vampires shade, which I also got in the Advent Calendar (I only took the pic of it with the Smoke & Fire shade to compare they came in the same full size container, but sure as FUCK don’t contain the same amount of product. The sticker may say 2 mls, but you can clearly see the base of the twist up tube is much higher on BV than on S&F. I only twisted the BV tube enough to get the product out - I haven’t worn this shade at all.) Brooding Vampires just came out of the tube as slightly tinted gloop. It never mixed with the base oils so I really don’t know what color this is supposed to be. Weak, and a little shifty on the packaging, NM. (For some reason, there are no links to get their Cosmic Gloss on the site - not sure what’s up with that because the Smoke & Fire shade is phenomenal.)

Tarte Aqua Concealer: Imagine my surprise when the concealer, in the same line as the foundation I love, makes my under eyes look dryer than a dust covered shelf in a long abandoned castle from the 18th century. Fuck you, Aqua concealer, you lying bitch.

Colourpop No Filter Concealer: See above, sans the corresponding foundation comment. (Full disclosure: I could have sworn they had regular and matte concealer, but all that’s listed on the site is matte - so that would explain the dryness.)

RK Extend Illusion Mascara: At first, I kind of liked this. But the more I wore it, the more I realized it was a tubing mascara, and those little fuckers shed INTO MY EYE BALLS. Fuck that noise. (I can’t find any place that sells this now so…there you go.)

NYX Matte Lip Cream (Moscow): I normally love these, but this particular color is patchy, hard to work with, and gets crumbly as it dries. Which explains why it’s not even for sale on the NYX website. At least they recognize when something sucks.

NYX Strictly Vinyl Liquid Eye Liners: So disappointed in this. I used the red shade once, and it was pretty cool. A few months later, went to use it again, and it was completely dried out. I bought a new bottle, the brown shade this time, and it was almost all dried up when I used it for the first time. Da fuck, NYX?

Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Precision Concealer: You know what this shit covers? Abso-fucking-lutely NADA. I appreciate the applicator design. I need to put concealer in a small, specific spot under my eyes or it becomes a shit show real fast. However, this all just blended away, but it left enough product behind to make my under eyes look like the Sahara. Fuck off, Catrice, you hit-but-mostly-miss beeyotch.

That’s it for 2018! See you on the other side, Ray.

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly 3-Month Review

Gaaaahhhhhh…. yeah.

Okay, so I’m a little behind. You can go read my latest Monkey Musings to know why. Instead of doling out this monthly review one at a time, I’m just going to talk about the last three months, and leave the final month review for January. I also had the timing wrong on my past reviews, so for this post, we’ll disregard the designations from the past and talk about September, October, and November from Notoriously Morbid’s Mystic Monthly subscription service. And because I’m behind, I most likely will be missing a few details and pictures. Sorry about that.

For the newbs, NM has a monthly lip product subscription service. For $10, you get one full sized Mystic Matte liquid lipstick, plus one other full sized lip product. The lipstick is exclusive to this service, and each year they follow a specific theme. For 2018, it was The Dragon’s Tail.

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

SEPTEMBER

I only have pics of the lipstick from this month. I can’t remember what else came with it, nor did I keep the slip of paper that has all the mythology on the month’s dragon, though its name is Fafnir.

Ugh, I suck.

However, the color of this month’s lipstick is gorgeous! A beautiful, mid-toned orange with a pink base, and some kind of sparkle - I wanna say silver, possibly gold as well. I smudged the swatch on my hand so you can see the pink base.


OCTOBER

For this month, the dragon is from Slavic mythology, and named Zmey. This is a cool toned pinky-purple with copper sparkles - you can sort of see them along the edge of my lower lip in the second lip swatch pic. You also get Smoke & Fire, one of the cosmic glosses. A gorgeous dark berry color that smells like strawberry cake. The pigmentation on this one is so much better than the one I got in their advent calendar.

NOVEMBER

This month’s dragon comes from the Welsh flag - Y Ddraig Goch, the red dragon. This lipstick is a warm toned red with red shimmer. You also get a Slumber Salve, Entombed, flavored with sangria and vanilla.

At first I though the red was going to show up more orange, but with the red shimmer, it’s a perfect Christmas holiday color - which was NM’s thinking behind this shade. SO PRETTY!

All righty. I’ve got one more month coming for the 2018 Dragon theme and then I’m going to cancel the subscription. Not because I don’t like the formula or any of the colors I’ve received (well, one was kind weak.) I just don’t need dozens of the same kind of lipstick. Does that make sense? But if you’re in the market for this kind of product, that comes in some unique and gorgeous colors, by all means, sign up! It’s been worth it for me!

Universal Yums August 2018

Sorry I missed out on July, folks. The weeks just got away from me and I never got a chance to write up a review.

For those who don’t know, Universal Yums is a food subscription service. For $14, $25, or $39 a month, you get 6+, 12+, or 20+ snacks and candy from a different country. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

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

August brings us goodies from the UK! Here’s some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post.) True or False: Another name for the UK is Great Britain.

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I have tried everything in the box this month but I didn’t I got close ups of each snack. Sorry about that!

Mackie’s Sea Salt and Cider Vinegar Chips: I think these are more like those composite potato chips - they definitely have that texture. The initial taste of vinegar is good, but it disappears in about 1.7 seconds, leaving you with a boring potato. Meh.

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Dean’s of Huntly All Butter Minis Chocolate Chip Shortbread: Holy cats and dogs this stuff is awesome. But, really, how can shortbread ever be NOT good? These have a great, crumbly texture and fantastic flavor. The chocolate chips are few and far between, but this shortbread doesn’t need them anyway.

Walkers Nonsuch Dreamy Creamy English Toffee Bar: Toffee usually makes me think of the hard, crunchy variety we get here. This stuff is a bit different. The notched squares are stuck together in one bar but after you slam it against a hard surface, it breaks apart into individual servings. THEN they actually soften up in your mouth (oh geez) and become chewy. So damned delicious.

Johnny’s Pickled Onion Rings Corn Snack: Where the vinegar chips fail in tang, these make up for it in spades. It’s almost a little overpowering, to be honest. But that didn’t stop me from eating 5 or 6 in a row. They’re kinda like Funyons, but with less crunch, and definitely more sour.

Wagon Wheel Jammie-Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookie with Raspberry Jam: Gah, that’s a lot. I was so excited for this one. I’ve heard the term jammie thrown around in British television and movies, but never really knew what the hell it was. Now I know. And I have to say…I’m underwhelmed. The cookies were hard and dry, the jam barely there, the chocolate was not very flavorful, and the marshmallow was okay. Sorry, UK. You can keep this one.

Mackie’s Haggis and Black Pepper Chips (contains no meat): I love that they have to include that disclaimer…Like the sea salt and vinegar, these chips BARELY have that haggis flavor. I tasted mostly pepper, then potato. Some of you may think this is good, but haggis actually isn’t that bad. Yes, I’ve had the real deal in Scotland.

In the Yum Bag (a small plastic bag holding all the tiny stuff,) we got three things:

Kir Royal Chews Blackcurrant and Champagne candies (contains no alcohol): These were AWESOME. Not sure I could taste the champagne (which is why they were good,) but the blackcurrant was nice. The candies are soft and chewy.

Stockley’s Chocolate Limes (lime candies filled with chocolate): These were wonderful. Hard candy filled with a soft chocolate center. Anyone who thinks citrus and chocolate don’t go together needs to try one of these. So good!

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Prosecco Fudge (sparkling wine flavored fudge - contains no alcohol): These tasted like a butter based vanilla fudge but with something…different. That was probably the prosecco, which I’ve never had and wouldn’t know it if it was poured down my pants. Loved the texture and flavor on these.

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That does it for this month. Overall, pretty decent selection! The clue for next month has us baffled. It’s probably someplace in Asia, but we can’t really figure out exactly where. Can’t wait to find out!

TRIVIA ANSWER: FALSE. Though it’s a common mistake, these two names aren’t actually interchangeable. The United Kingdom and Great Britain are two different entities: the UK includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, while Great Britain includes only England, Scotland, and Wales.

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly September Review

For those who may not know, Notoriously Morbid is an Indie brand makeup company that has a monthly lipstick subscription service. For $10, you get an exclusive Mystic Matte liquid lipstick, and one other full-sized lip product. They are also cruelty free! Check them out here: NOTORIOUSLYMORBID

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

The theme for the 2018 Mystic Monthly is Dragon. This month we get Bisterne, a dragon killed by a knight. After the dragon dies, and its corpse becomes a hill known as Boltons Bench, the knight mourns his actions. After visiting the hill for 30 days and nights, the knight dies on top of the hill and becomes a Yew tree - that can still be seen today!

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First let’s look at the Sinister Sprite Lip Shimmer in the shade, The Bench and the Yew Tree. It has a deep berry base with red and orange shimmer. It’s a nice middle ground between sheer and opaque. Beautiful color, though it’s hard to see the shimmer, except in person. Feels great on the lips!

The star of the show, of course, is Bisterne. It’s described as “a true dragon green with a slight olive tone, and blue to purple shifting sparkles.” The sparkle comes out after the lipstick has set and you press your lips together. It looks like silver to me. I have absolutely NOTHING like this in my collection. And I love it.

The first lip swatch is right after application. The second is after it’s dried and I pressed my lips together to see the sparkles. Again, it’s hard to see in pictures. However, I prefer the lipstick color without the sparkles.

These liquid lipsticks feel very comfortable and last well, too. Naturally, if you eat or drink, they will wear off - usually from the middle first - but otherwise hold on pretty well.

I have been loving these liquid lipsticks, but not sure if I want to keep getting the subscription. I feel like I’m becoming overwhelmed with lipsticks and then don’t want to buy any others to try out. More than likely I’ll finish up the Dragon theme, then move on to something else. But don’t let me influence you from getting this yourself. It’s a great subscription, particularly for those who may not have as many lipsticks as I do!

Notoriously Morbid "Renfield's" Palette Review

Those who've been with me for a bit, already know I have a subscription service for Notoriously Morbid. But when I saw on their IG that they were coming out with an eye shadow palette named, "Renfield," I knew I had to get it. I had no idea what any of their other make-up products were like, but I wanted to take a chance on this. I mean, it's Renfield. Hello? 

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

The palette has a decent heft and seems sturdy, without feeling clunky. The mirror fills up the entire inside lid. And the names of the shadows on the back are directly under each shade they represent, so there's no confusion as to what name goes with what (that happens a lot on other palettes, in case you were wondering.)

I love the shade names, too. Coleoptera-beetles; Lepidoptera-butterflies/moths; Araneae-spiders (yes, I just involuntarily shuddered;) Anisoptera-dragonflies; Diptera-flies.

Then...look at those colors. LOOK. AT. THEM. Fuck me sideways, but they are gorgeous. The closest to a neutral color you're gonna get is the middle taupe shade. It's not you mother's taupe, though. All the shades either contain glitter or are metallic/shiny, so if you want or need mattes in your eye looks, you'll have to source out. BUT WHO FUCKING CARES??

Let's go over each shade. I'll share the description from the NM website:

Coleptera - A shimmering pink with a violet sheen and shifting gold to red sparkles.

Lepidoptera - A sunset pink orange satin with a gold duochrome.

Araneae - A metallic taupe with a subdued premium multichrome shift from red to bronze to gold to green. 

Anisoptera - A strong multichrome premium shadow that shifts from bronze, orange, magenta, and then deep purple.

Diptera - A metallic dark sapphire.

I tried to capture the color shifts as best I could but really, the strong multichrome of Anisoptera (bronze, orange, magenta, purple) is the easiest to see. The second best is Lepidoptera (orange/gold). For me, Anisoptera shows up as deep purple on the eye (you can see in the mirror pic, and that lower light, how strong the purple presents.) I don't really see much shifting. But I've only used it once and with no lid primer. So I'll have to play around a bit.

I wanted to start using these IMMEDIATELY so on this eye, I used the shadows all dry. No primer, no wet brush, no glitter base, nothing. I used Anisoptera on the lid. It looks like a blackened purple to me with perhaps a slight color shift at the corners. Coleoptera in the crease with a fluffy brush. It makes the color softer, less bold, but still pretty. I ran Diptera along the bottom lash line with a dense flat brush. So even just dry, these shades are beautiful.

For this eye, still no primer but I used a wet brush with Anisoptera. Really intensified the purple. Again, the shift is hard to see, so I might have to try and film a quick video clip to show it. Coleoptera in the crease again, applied the same as the first. It looks MUCH more subtle next to the wet lid shade. I put Lepidoptera on the lower lash line, first with a fluffier pencil brush, then with the same dense flat brush as above. 

These are just the initial tests of the palette. Below I'll post other looks, using primers and glitter glues, maybe combining with other brands' shadows. 

Before I get to those, though, I did wanna touch on the sample shadow I got.

I can't find this product on their site so I'm guessing it might be new. It's a hearty sample size of a loose shadow, icy pink/lavender color with a coppery shift and shifty glitter (I wanna say violet or purple, blue, some red maybe, but my eyes just aren't what they used to be...). I swatched it three ways - dry, wet brush, and over glitter glue.

With the dry swatch, you mostly see the coppery undertone and a lot of glitter. The wet brush may seem like the best choice at first, but it pretty streaky. The glitter glue is the way to go. Nice even application, strongest pigment show, and least amount of glitter fall-out.

So over the course of a few weeks, I tried wearing the shadows and creating different looks. Still not sure if the beauty of these products will come through, though. So pretty…..

Yes, I literally created two looks at the same time. I wanted to play with the shades so much, and didn’t want to waste time doing one look, removing it, then trying another. Close-ups of each are below.

RIGHT EYE:

Araneae in the crease; Lepidoptera on the outer half; Coleptera on the inner half. I didn’t want to deepen the look or ‘add dimension’ by bringing in any other shadows. And I love how these look on their own. Many people don’t like shimmery shades in the crease, or too much in general, because it accentuates texture and aged skin. FUCK ALL THOSE PEOPLE. I love the brightness and shimmer of this combo.

LEFT EYE:

Anisoptera in the crease and inner/outer corners; Diptera on the center lid/center lower lash line. I did discover, while creating this look, that I need to be better about blending shadows in the outer corner. My eye skin is more wrinkled and needs extra work. So don’t blame the shadow or think it’s patchy; this was user error. And, like the other look, I didn’t incorporate any other shadows (just a black liner for the waterline). This might be my new smokey eye look.

I know I’m posting a lot of pics, but I wanted to show you the shiftiness of Anisoptera. Bronze, orange, magenta, deep purple - these are all the colors you get from this one shadow, depending on the light level and angle you’re looking at my eye. I couldn’t quite capture it in a video, so freeze frame it has to be.

I did a quick look with the loose shadow, Cult 101. I don’t think I incorporated any other shadow with it, but I can’t remember for sure. I did use a little glitter glue before applying and it looked fine. You can see all the glitter bits in the close-up shots, but it wasn’t too messy on application. But I also didn’t pack it on, so that pink aspect of it isn’t as obvious as the reddish/copper colors. For a quick, all over shade, it looks really nice.

Okay. I think that’s enough for this post. Sorry it’s so long, but I wanted to get as many pics as possible to show off the gorgeousness of this palette. I may have to order a few other things from them to see if the quality is consistent across the board. But for this palette (and the sample,) I’m 100% satisfied and will be incorporating these colors into my looks as often as possible! Go check them out for yourselves: NOTORIOUSLY MORBID

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly August Review

For those who may not know, Notoriously Morbid is an indie make-up company. They have a lot of products, but this monthly review is for their subscription service, Mystic Monthly. For $10 a month, you get a signature liquid lipstick, the Mystic Matte, and one other full-sized lip product. Also included is a code for a discount, but that's for subscribers only! They are vegan and cruelty free. Check them out here: NOTORIOUSLY MORBID

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

Usually a piece of gum or candy is included, but I already ate it....

Usually a piece of gum or candy is included, but I already ate it....

The Mystic Monthly theme for 2018 is Dragons! And August brings us Ladon, a serpent-like dragon that guarded the golden apples on the tree in the garden of Hesperides. Hence, the lip color is a light taupe with a pink undertone and a coppery sheen.

The first two swatches, on the lips, are right after application and after setting. Once the lipstick sets, you mush your lips together to bring out the shiny undertone, but it's really hard to see in the pictures. Just trust me that it looks super pretty.

These are very comfortable formulas. They don't really need lip liners, unless you don't have a steady hand to apply the product cleanly over your natural lip color (which, most times, I don't). Though, because the lipstick is very watery, it can bleed a bit at first. But with this color, it doesn't seem too noticeable. 

The swatches on the hand are the same: first is freshly applied, second is after it set. I smudged it a little on the right to try and bring out the pink/copper colors but, again, it's hard to tell. You can really see the copper in the tube, though (pay no attention to the white marks - those are just scratches on the bottle, not the product separating.)

If you remember my first month's review, I got a smaller plastic tub that was supposed to contain the slumber salve. I don't know if they reformulated it or what, but this stuff is 10x better than what I originally got (not counting this tub is actually filled and not half-assed like the first.) The original seemed more petroleum based and was not as thick as this new one. You can see the stiff peak I got here (I...uh...carry on.)

I think I say this each month, but THIS color is my favorite so far. I've worn it half a dozen times already. It's a great color to just swipe on and go. Even if I fuck up the line along my lips, you can hardly tell. Great go-to, every day color. I'll let you know how the salve does as an overnight product!

 

Makeup Monsters' The Dragon Child Eye Shadow Palette

I've been following Makeup Monsters on InstaGram for a while now but have not purchased anything before this palette. I just like seeing the stuff they create and sell and figured I'd be inspired to buy something some day. 

And that day has come.

I've never pre-ordered any makeup palette before but the theme alone made me do it. Anyone who knows me, knows I love dragons. I ordered this in May and just got it the first week of July. And believe me, it was worth the wait.

Now, from what I understand, Makeup Monsters will be changing their business name and plan starting next year. They will become Makeup Menagerie because they love all animals and want a portion of their future proceeds to go to help animals. Which I think it's pretty tits. They will eventually phase out some products but this palette will stick around so if you're interested in it after reading my review, go find them. MAKEUP MONSTERS

(This is not a sponsored post; I bought this palette with my own money; All opinions are my honest ones.)

The palette is up front with the matching sleeve in the back. Both holographic. Both cool.

The palette is up front with the matching sleeve in the back. Both holographic. Both cool.

So far I've used this palette to create three looks but there's a lot of potential in here. Don't expect to get anything neutral out of it - if bright colors are not your thing, you might skip this one.

The palette retails for $42 and you get 12 shades - 10 mattes, 2 metallics (no info on how much product is in each pan, though). The packaging has a nice heft to it which makes me think it'll be good for travelling. The colors are super pigmented and the shimmers feel like butter. The mattes feel a little dry but they perform great. These pics were taken in natural light and they are true to color. I've seen other pics where Flame Tongue looks like Sugarpill's Love+ but it's not a true red at all. You'll see the swatches below.

I did NOT go ham-fisted for the swatches. I swirled my finger in each pan twice then wiped on my skin. The first fingertips pic is before swatching; the second is after. Still a lot of color left behind! 

You can see how much powder is kicked up just from the finger swatches. So when you go in with a brush, there's even more. Just be aware of that and go gentle...easy does it. There you go.

You'll also note that the blue colors stain the skin. It's not forever. By the end of the day, my fingers were fine. But when I wore them on my eyes, the stain lasted a good 24 hours after I removed the shadow. Not so much that it looked like I'd been in a fight with Leon Spinx but it was noticeable on my pale skin. It might not be as bad on darker skin tones.

Below are the looks I created.

I used Flame Tongue (orange red) in the crease, Mother Dragon (brick/burgandy red) in the outer V, Firefly (yellow gold shimmer) on the lid, and Dragon Rider (neon turquoise) on the lower lash line (over the LA Girl gel liner in Royal Blue). I couldn't quite capture the lovely sparkle of Firefly, even when I took a video, but I might try again. It is so gorgeous.

The blue look didn't turn out how I expected. Myth or Legend and Dragon Rider look VERY similar on the eyes. I also started with a neutral crease color from another palette so that could have affected the look.

Myth or Legend and Wyrm (bright teal and periwinkle) in the crease ; Dragon Rider (bright turquoise) on the lid; Cave Dweller (navy blue) in the outer V; some Stone Drake (lavender) above the crease to add some purple, since the blues were all kind of merging into one color, and Lucky on the inner corner. I used a Tarte purple gel liner for my wing and lower lash line, then smudged some Stone Drake over the bottom lash line.

It's hard to believe there are this many colors on my eyes as it appears to be only 2-3, which is a little disappointing. But, I will try to use them again - just not all at the same time. The teal of Myth or Legend might stand out more against the green, reds, lavenders, or the charcoal grey.

So far the most disappointing factor is the similarities between Dragon Rider and Myth or Legend, and Wyrm and Stone Drake. I feel like one of each of those pairs could have been replaced with something else. Even Dragon Child, which does have the mint green aspect, still looks more blue.

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You can see in the above swatches how similar the periwinkle/lavender shades are. And, though the blues are more pigmented and you can see more teal on the left, on the eyes they translate as identical. This was taken with natural light coming through the window over my shoulder.

For the final look, I wanted to give the green shade, Sleeping Dragon, the spotlight. It is a more muted green, like Kelly Green and Forest Green had a baby. So I put NYX's jumbo pencil in Milk down first. The bright mint color, Dragon Child, is in the crease and along the lower lash line over a NYX eye liner in Sea Foam Green, and Smoke Em Out (charcoal grey) is in the outer V and a little in the crease, as well. Finally put Firefly in the inner corner.

I do like how the Smoke Em Out shade almost morphs into a complementary color when placed next to something else. So it kind of looks like a forest green here. I'll have to play around with it and see if it does the same thing with the other bright colors, which would be disappointing because then I imagine the blues will look like Cave Dweller. But we'll see!

UPDATE: After wearing this look for about 8 hours, I did notice some fading/creasing where the Smoke Em Out color is. I'm not talking about the very corner where the two lids meet (that's where my eyes water and oil builds up). I mean the lines that are extending from the outer V onto the lid. That kind of creasing doesn't happen a lot, even for me, but when it does, it's usually lower quality shadows or the less pigmented ones. *sad trombone*

I think I would have liked a deeper purple color to replace one of the lavenders; keep just one of the bright blues and give the other a metallic finish; and change the mint green to a more neon shade or perhaps another metallic or even satin finish.

But that's just me. And I'm not saying I don't like this palette or regret buying it. I'm pretty happy with it and I plan to get a lot of use out of it.

If you're looking for a soft or neutral eye look, this ain't for you. Even if some of the colors are softer or muted, they pack a lot of punch! And, so far, I've had no issues with fading or creasing throughout the day. Even as I apply them, I haven't had tons of fall out on my face, and they do kick up a lot of powder, though I am careful not to overload the brush.

I have to say I'm very impressed with this palette. It makes me want to buy a few more of their other makeup items to see if they are just as gorgeous. Click the link above if you'd like to check them out for yourselves!

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly July 2018

For those who don't know, Notoriously Morbid is an indie make-up brand and they have a monthly subscription service. For $10, you get one of their Mystic Matte liquid lipsticks and one other full-size lip product. They are also Cruelty Free and subscribers get a coupon code every month for future shopping! Check them out here: NOTORIOUSLY MORBID.

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

The 2018 theme for the subscription is The Dragons Tail so this month we have a color inspired by the Japanese ocean dragon, Ryujin.

It is a dark ocean blue with silver and gold shift and gold sparkles. I'm not sure I can see the gold but the silver makes it look like more like an icy deep blue. FUCKING GORGEOUS. (It matches my hair a little too much so I'll be remedying that with more purple soon...). Again, it's a very thin formula, more like water, and one layer can be sheer and little streaky/patchy.

So I let it dry down completely then added a blue lip liner to hide the natural pigmentation of my lips before applying a second coat of the lipstick. I've only received three colors so far but this has got to be my favorite.

They included a piece of bubble gum this month so I took an action shot because...why not?

The other item is a lip sugar scrub (it must be new because I can't find it on their site). Basically it's the Slumber Salve mixed with sugar. And it works beautifully. It doesn't taste too sweet, either, so I wasn't tempted to lick it all off before the oils and waxes could soften the skin.

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Very happy with this month's items. I look forward to see what else comes my way in the future.

Universal Yums June 2018

Wow, halfway through the year already...dayyuuummmm.

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly subscription service. For $14, $25, or $39, you'll get 6+, 12+, or 20+ snacks and candies from another country. Cool, eh? Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS.

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

The month of June brings us goodies from BRAZIL! Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post): Brazilian prisoners can reduce their sentences by: A.Weaving baskets; B.Reading books; C.Attending church; D.Exercising.

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Lots of yummy stuff this month. While a couple were kinda meh, I have to tell you that all but one or two items have been eaten!

Cory Pao Dimel (Chocolate Covered Honey Bread): My first mistake was tasting this after a really sweet treat in the box so this, in comparison, tasted disgusting. I tried it again the following day and it was just so-so. I think the honey with the combo of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg threw it off. The bread part was also SUPER dry. That said, I had all of them eaten two days later. So...there you go.

 

Amori 1000 (Chocolate Covered Wafer with Coconut Filling): This was very tasty. Little on the over-sweet side but not too bad. The chocolate was smooth and the coconut filling was pretty awesome. Not a heavy treat by any means, either. Very light.

 

Docigoma Gurt (Yogurt Gummies): I know that sounds weird but trust me, these were the best (for me) out of everything. The gummies were more like gum drops (as opposed to gummy bears) and the flavors were very nice - not very sugary either. Strawberry, peach, banana, and coconut - YUM!

 

Squil Churrasco (Barbecue Corn Puffs): More like corn discs but with a puffy texture! I don't know how they do it but these tasted like pork fat with a mild corn after taste. Very light, great flavor, not too salty.

 

Delicitos Pimenta (Pepper Crackers): These were kinda blah. Apparently, the malagueta pepper is the hottest thing in Brazil and it's used a lot in cooking. But us Americans aren't ready for it so we got these jalapeno crispy crackers instead. And they don't have a lot of flavor and there's barely any jalapeno heat - which is as hot as I can stand, so if I'm bitching about it being too mild, that's pretty weak. 

 

Bananada com Chocolate (Chocolate Covered Banana Bar): HOLY HELL this was terrible. The pamphlet stated that Brazilian bananas are the best in the world but most of them stay there. If this treat is any indication of their flavor, THEY CAN KEEP THEM. The texture was fine but the banana flavor tasted like it was too ripe or almost rotten. UGH.

Frutabella Amendoiks (Chewy Peanut Bar): This had the same texture as the banana one but the flavor was like peanut butter fudge, just not overly sweet. Very, very good treat!

 

TRIVIA ANSWER: B. Reading Books. It' not quite a "get out of jail free" card, but it's close! Prisoners in Brazil can reduce their sentence by four days (up to 48 days per year) for every book they read and write a report on. In addition, some prisons allow inmates to reduce their sentence by pedaling stationary bicycles to product electricity. (BLOGGER COMMENT: I'm pretty sure that was one of the forced labors in the Russian gulags but I could be mistaken...)

According to the clue, we think it might be Taiwan next month. We'll see!

Morgue Drawer June 2018

Here we are again, folks. As the temperatures remain in the nineties, it feels safer to me to stay inside and write up a few blog posts/reviews. So let's start with my trash, eh?

 

AND SO....I DIE...

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These make me sad. There's still product in each container but either the formulas have changed, they smell off, or they tingle against my lips and they're not supposed to do that. So I need to trash them.

Medusa's Makeup Lip Paint Remover: This stuff works great on MM's lip paints but after a while, the smell got horrible and the cap is all sticky and crusty with dried oil. It's basically almond oil, grapeseed oil, and fragrance so I imagine just almond oil will work fine. But they're having a sale right now and it's half off! I might keep the bottle and reuse it for something else. (CF)

Elf Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Nude Pink: I love this color and the formula. It started out smelling like mint but now it smells like menthol so into the garbage it goes. Would totally buy again, though, if they still had this shade. Which they don't. (CF)

Colourpop Lippies: These are probably the oldest CP lippies I own so it makes sense that they smell funny now, or the formulas have changed and actually burn when I put them on. As I have a ton of other lipsticks and glosses, I don't NEED to repurchase. Doesn't mean I won't, though...(L to R) Ultra Glossy Lip in Tight Fit; Ultra Satin in So Wavy, Lost, Petit Four, and Marshmallow (Tight Fit, Lost, and Marshmallow are still available on the CP site). 

 

SCRUB-A-DUB AND SMELL GOOD

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Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Conditioner: I've been enjoying a lot of Paul Mitchell products lately and the hubby loves this conditioner (and matching shampoo), too! It works pretty well to keep hair clean and moisturized, which is good for me since I bleach my hair now. I ended up buying the bigger size so hubs and I can share. (CF)

Phyto Color Enhancing Hair Mask: I got this sample with an Ulta order, I think. Though it worked really well (at least at moisturizing), it's not a Cruelty Free brand so I won't be purchasing it in the future. It's also $59 for 6 ounces. Uh...no. (NCF)

Purlisse Coconut Oil and Coffee Sugar Scrub: This was a decent scrub, smelled great, but I only got one use out of this sample size. You need to use a lot to cover the whole body (I did, anyway, and I'm not very big). (CF/Vegan)

Mitchum Stick Deodorant: This worked okay. I like the clear gel formula much better. Pretty sure any deodorant that isn't one of the 'natural' brands, isn't cruelty free. (NCF)

Nature's Truth Sweet Almond Oil: I like to use this on my feet and toenails after I shower. It's a nice, light oil, that absorbs quickly into the skin. Good for all over the body, actually. Almond oil is used as a base for other moisturizers because it has no scent. Will buy again (it's not all gone but I poured the remainder into an empty pump bottle for easier dispersement). (CF - ?)

Purple Cat Apothecary Body Butters: Two more from the 5-pack sample set I ordered. The Lemon Chiffon was divine! Lemon and butter cake. The Frostbloom was okay. Kinda floral, kinda minty...hard to pin down. This formula was much thicker and drier than the Lemon one but both worked very well, especially over the almond oil I talked about above. (CF) NOTE: This was originally an Etsy store with art and body products. Apparently, Etsy is making is difficult and more expensive for people to use it as a store front so this woman only has an on-line art store at a separate website. Dammit.

 

SQUEAKY CLEAN

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TN Dickinson's Witch hazel: I like to use this after I do a mud mask. It's great for cleaning off any excess or left behind product without drying out my skin. I know a lot of people hate the smell of witch hazel but it doesn't bother me at all. Very gentle and could be used every day. I think I got mine at the grocery store but it's sold everyone it seems. (CF/Vegan)

Everyone Lavender and Coconut Hand Soap: We've tried a few scents from this brand and I really have enjoyed them all. This and the Lemon/Mandarin one have been been my favorites. Great for the kitchen! (CF)

BBW Good Vibes Only foaming hand soap: I bought this scent to get a deal at Bath and Body Works so I wasn't expecting it to be great but I love it. Even the hubby, who's not one for a lot of scented cleansers, really liked it. But...because it's BBW, and they sell to China, I really have only been keeping my purchases to candles (I love their candles and haven't found anything else to replace them yet). (NCF)

 

 

CHOMPERS AND THE LIKE

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ACT Restoring Mouthwash: I used this stuff every day with Invisalign and now it's just a habit I can't quit. Which is good! My teeth need a lot of help so this fluoride rinse is perfect. Doesn't burn like a mo-fo, either. (NCF)

Tom's of Maine Maximum Strength Sensitive toothpaste: Love this stuff. Will keep buying. (CF)

Simply Creative Living Honey Cherry Almond lip balm: I believe I talked about another lip balm from this company. I got it at my city's Farmer's Market or the 4th of July fair. Can't remember. This was just okay. Probably won't repurchase. (CF)

 

ALL ABOUT THAT FACE

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NO:HJ Sheet Mask: Got this from my monthly subscription, Facestory. It was really nice and it had all these gold colored flowers all over it. I felt so fancy! It's a Korean brand so the cruelty free status is hard to know/confirm.

The Ordinary Buffet serum: I've raved about this product before here but lately, this stuff hasn't been working all that well. It's actually been breaking me out. I know skin can acclimate to a product, making it less effective, even develop reactions to some. Seems that's what's happened here. So while my backup bottles sit unused, I'm trying something else. I'll let you know how it goes. (CF)

Ole Henrickson Banana Bright Eye Cream: Got this in one of my last Ipsy bags, I think. The cream is yellow but not sure it's brightening. It's thick but doesn't absorb that well. In fact, it didn't really do shit. (CF)

SkinRX Labs MadeCera Cream: Another sample product but can't remember where I go it. I really enjoyed it, though. Felt great on the skin and did a good job of moisturizing. Again, SkinRX is Korean so can't confirm or deny cruelty free status.

Formula 10.0.6 Day/Night Cream: I've been using the day and night creams for a while. Still loving them. (CF)

 

ALL SORTS OF STUFF

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The Ordinary Fluid Primer (forgot to put this with the makeup): This stuff is pure shit. When I bought it, the bottle was barely half full (but it wasn't wet or sticky so nothing leaked - it just wasn't filled). Can't get it out of the bottle THROUGH the dropper so I'd just wipe off enough OFF the dropper to put on my face. And then I felt like a total grease ball. I can't even use it up because it feels so gross and my skin hates it. (CF)

Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil: I really like cleansing oils so I thought I'd give BB's version a shot. It's...okay. Smells a little weird and doesn't do a great job but it's fine. I actually didn't finish this yet but I put the remaining product in a travel bottle. (CF)

Nip + Fab Glycolic Cleansing Pads: I got a sample pack of these years ago when I was still getting the Walmart box. And I really liked them so I got this full size at the drug store. Turned out they didn't really do that much for my skin. But I like the travel friendly pre-soaked pads (as opposed to a bottle) even though these felt kind of dry. Maybe that's why they didn't seem to do much. I'd be willing to try them again, though, in case I got a bad batch. (CF)

Manyo Factory Herb Green Cleansing Oil: I'm pretty sure this sample was what started my love of cleansing oils. This stuff was great. Smelled good and did a great job of removing makeup, especially after the heavy stuff I use for convention appearances! It's another Korean brand so I don't know if they're cruelty free.

First Aid Beauty Hydrating Serum (not sure why I didn't put this with the previous stuff): I've used a couple products from this brand before and while I did like them, I don't feel the brand is so superb to be worth the higher price tag. I did really enjoy this, though. (CF)

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly June 2018 Review

In case you missed my post last month, the indie make-up brand, Notoriously Morbid, has a monthly lipstick subscription service called Mystic Monthly. For $10, you receive one full-sized, exclusive Mystic Matte lipstick, plus one other full-sized lip product. And they're cruelty free! Check it out here: MYSTIC MONTHLY

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

The theme for the 2018 MM service is, "The Dragon's Tail". The slip of paper contains info on the theme, the particular Dragon's name and history, plus ingredient lists for both products (sorry, the coupon code is just for subscribers). And, like last month, they included a little Dum Dum sucker!

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Let's talk about the 2nd item first--the Night Kiss Lip Balm. I'm addicted to lip balms. I always need them, and I keep them in almost every room in the house (along with Kleenex). And, unlike last month, I'm pretty sure this IS full size. The balm is wonderful. Thick but not sticky or greasy. It lasts a really long time on the lips. And the smell is divine (baked goods). Super happy about this!

And now for the star of the show--the Mystic Matte lipstick in Bolla. Bolla is from Albanian folklore and is known as a transforming dragon, with three stages of change: starts as a snake, changes to the Bolla, then finally transforms into the Kulshedra. I don't really know what any of that means, but it sounds wicked-cool.

It's a cool indigo base with a warm violet sheen, and it's stunning, folks. The hand swatch shows you how thin and sheer the formula is. The first lip swatch is just one coat. The second lip swatch is two coats. I didn't go to a third, which was suggested, because it does start to feel really dry after that second application.

Because of its transformative abilities, this lipstick can be worn three ways (just like the dragon - see what they did there?). First, the sheer formula can be worn as just a light wash of color. Second, it can be built up to be more opaque. And third, it can be worn OVER another lipstick to change its color. Nice...

So let's see what happens when I apply it over two different lipsticks. The first is Wet n Wild's Liquid Cat Suit in the shade, Missy and Fierce (gorgeous red). It's a liquid lipstick, so I let it set before I put Bolla over it. The second pic shows one layer. The third is two, letting Bolla dry between coats. 

I'm not the most precise applicator of lipsticks, but you REALLY have to have a steady hand when trying it this way. If you don't get all the way to the edge, it looks like you're wearing a lip liner that is absolutely the WRONG color, which looks goofy in my opinion. But the color goes from red to a magenta-orchid purple. Which is TITS.

The second to last pic is Colourpop's Lippie Stix in Bull Chic, which is supposed to be a matte formula, but it never really sets, and feels more like a creme finish. When I put Bolla over it, (as you can see in the final lip swatch), it amped up the blue-purple aspect of the lipstick. Which is also TITS. It didn't matter if I put one or two layers on, it looked the same. But again, you have to be very precise with your application, and the watery formula of Bolla makes that difficult.

So until I get the hang of it, I think I'll just put on a blue or purple lip liner and wear Bolla on top.

Loved the products I got this month and look forward to playing with Bolla more!

 

Universal Yums May 2018

For those who don't know, Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $14, $25, or $39 you get 6+, 12+, or 20+ snacks and candies from a different country. Check them out for yourselves: UNIVERSAL YUMS

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

May's box comes from the Philippines! Here's some trivia for you (answer at the end of the post). Filipinos send more ________ per person than any other country. A.Texts; B.Fan mail; C.Emails; D.Packages

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I don't think there was one item I didn't like. Granted, they weren't all fantastic but I enjoyed everything.

Boy Bawang Barbeque Flavored Corn Nuts: I loved that these aren't the same texture as a corn nut we know in the states. These are much crispier than their US cousin and they've got a lot of garlic added. Pretty dang good, unless you don't like garlic. Then you might want to avoid these.

Pinipig Polvoron Toasted Rice Flavored Shortbread: This was probably one of my favorite treats. I love short bread and this stuff was similar in texture to the purple ube one we received in the last Philippines box. But the flavor is milder, not too sweet, and you get that toasted rice finish at the end. Delicious!

Cupp Keyk Nutty Chocolate Flavor: This was okay. It was a little on the dry side but the flavor was good. The peanuts added a nice layer to it.

Leslie's Cheezy Corn Crunch Cheddar Jalapeno Flavored Corn Snack: These are a lot like Cheetos but with a muted, more natural cheese flavor. The jalapeno is not spicy (which, apparently, hot and spicy is not the norm in the Philippines) but adds a nice flavor.

Fudgee Bar Cake with Salted Caramel Filling: The cake was so much better than the cupcake. Moist, very flavorful, almost too sweet. I didn't get much in the way of salted caramel in the filling but it was super sweet.

Oishi Pillows Ube Filled Crackers (technically cookies): I loved these, too. Little crispy pillows filled with ube cream. Ube is a potato common in the Philippines and they use it a lot in desserts. These also kind of tasted like when you eat a sugary cereal and the milk left behind becomes sweetened and flavored by the cereal itself. Really good!

Mr. Mais Chewy Sweet Corn Candy with Butter Filling/Mr. Buko Budo Pandan Chewy Candy with Milk Filling: I forgot to take a pic of the corn candy but it looks just like the Buko one, only yellow instead of green. Same texture - starts out hard but softens as you chew. The corn candy SERIOUSLY tasted like summer corn on the cob, maybe a titch sweeter. The pandan candy was truly unique. I can't think of what it tasted like but they were pretty awesome.

TRIVIA: A. Texts! The Philippines is considered the texting capital of the world - and for good reason. Every day, 35 million Filipinos send about 450 million text messages.

 

That's it for May. The clue for next month makes us think Colombia might be on it's way for June. We'll find out soon enough!

Ipsy May 2018 (FINAL REVIEW)

All righty folks. This will be my last review for Ipsy. It's been a (mostly) fun run. I've been subscribed for about 4 years but it's time to move on. Getting a lot of the same products and colors that do nothing for me and the value seems to be decreasing, in general. I'm also finding more non-cruelty free brands (or at least unknown) so buh-bye, Ipsy. 

But if you don't know what this is, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you get sample (sometimes full) sized makeup, skin care, and hair care products, as well as a reusable makeup bag. Check them out here: IPSY

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

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I think the theme is about travel or whatever. The theme each month is completely irrelevant and that little card just spews generic positive platitudes and other bullshit. No product information or pricing EVER comes with this bag. Maybe someday that will change but I won't be around to find out. Oh well. The bag is kind of cute but I don't think I'll be keeping it. Let's get to the products.

Trestique Mini Matte Blur Stick: This product does actually mattify my skin but it does NOT minimize pores. Not by a long shot. While I like the portability of a primer/blur product in stick format, this feels very slick and almost greasy on my skin. Which is weird. But the little nub wore down a lot after one use so I can't imagine I'll have it for very long. Can't find any info on the weight of the full size product ($28 but comes with blotting paper) so don't know how much this 1.1g sample is worth. Also it's on the "Pending" list for Cruelty Free status at Logical Harmony so I'll probably just avoid this brand until I see differently.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum: I've had good luck with FAB in the past so I'm excited to try this. My skin loves gel formula anything and since my Ordinary "Buffet" serum has not been working well (so I stopped using it a couple weeks ago), I need to get this in my rotation. I though it was a moisturizer so I haven't used it yet. But now that I'm digging into the details, I see it's a serum and will start incorporating it into my skin care routine tonight! It is a pricier brand but from what I've tried, it seems worth it. Full size is $36 so this .25 ounce sample is worth $9. (CF plus has some vegan options)

PureHeals Centella Green Tea Mask: Got two sample pods of this mask to try. I did like it. Didn't burn or do weird stuff to my skin. Felt nice going on. I probably used more than necessary because these pods don't reseal and I didn't have anything to put it in to keep it from drying out. *shrug* My skin felt good afterwards, too. Full size goes for $27 so I think each pod is worth about $2. Can't find info on CF status but it is a Korean brand so it's a toss up.

SLMissGlam Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge: Oy, that name. It's a piece of foam, people. Calm down. Got a brush from this company before, I believe, and yep, it's the website that looks like a unicorn puked cotton candy all over it. The sponge is fine. Doesn't get super squishy or much bigger after wetting it but it workswell. This is full size and costs $17.50. (CF)

Ven Effect Micro Exfoliant: I got something from this brand two months ago and I liked it. But these kind of exfoliants usually fuck my shit up. It's a super fine grain, almost like baking soda, but through user error, I go too ham with it and shred my skin. I'll probably still give it a shot but I'm not expecting much. Full size is $60 so this sample is $6 (CF - ?).

I think I'm going to value the mini blur stick at $1.50 (cut full price in half then take 10% of that and round up a titch). So this bag is worth approximately $38. That's decent. 

Thanks for the memories, Ipsy. I hope you can improve for future subscribers and good luck!

Universal Yums April 2018

Been dragging ass on this review. Sorry it's late!

Universal Yums in a monthly food subscription service. For $14 or $25 or $39, you get 6+, 12+, or 20+ snacks and candies from around the world. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

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

The April box comes to us from Spain! Here's a little trivia for you. Answer at the end of the post. TRIVIA: The national anthem of Spain: A.Is 16 minutes long; B.Has no words; C.Was written by a 10-year-old; D.Is played only twice a year.

Lots of yummy stuff in there, people!

Lots of yummy stuff in there, people!

I have tried every product but one this month. And they've all been pretty tasty!

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La Abuela Nieves Artisan Potato Chips: I'm not sure how they did it but these Iberian ham flavored chips TASTE EXACTLY LIKE HAM! The chips are nice, textured like regular potato chips with fantastic flavor.

Carmen Lupianez Tortas de Aceite (Olive oil cookies): I know, it sounds weird. But I made an olive oil cake one time and it was delicious so these did not scare me. Soft and moist, delicate flavor but not super sweet. Very good.

Lacasitos Gold Caramel White Chocolate candies: HOLY HELL these are good. They are really REALLY sweet but the flavor is beyond awesome. They're the same size as an M&M but taste like dulce de leche. Very creamy and wonderful.

Montecado Doble de Limon (Lemon Shortbread Cookies): These are those kinds of cookies that completely crumble when you touch them. So the consistency is very dry. The flavor is more like butter than lemon, there's just a hint of that, and they're not very sweet. I enjoyed it!

Leticias Naranja al Chocolate (Chocolate Covered Candied Oranges): Second favorite item this month! The dark chocolate is bittersweet which contrasts nicely with the candied orange slice - yes a real orange slice - which has a touch of bitterness to it, too, with the peel. It was awesome!

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Puntazos Mix Cocktail de Maiz: This is the one I haven't tried but it's Spain version of corn nuts. It's apparently a very popular bar food and they're mixed with rice puffs and corn chips.

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Shiki Shin Barbacoa (Barbecue Potato Snack): These are not potato chips in the regular sense. I think this is one of those potato snacks where they mash up the potato, mix in the flavors, then form the paste into shape then fry it. These actually taste pretty good, like bbq beef, but with that slight styrofoam texture. Which doesn't bother me at all.

El Caserio de Tafalla Crema Pistacho (Pistachio Toffee): Third favorite thing from the box this month. Though it's called toffee, it's not the hard crunchy version most of us are used to. This is soft and chewy, but not sticky at all, and tastes like sweet pistachio cream. SO GOOD!

El Caserio Chocolate con Pinones (Chocolate with Pine Nuts): I forgot to take a picture of this before I gobbled it down. Another soft chewy candy but it tastes like chocolate and pine nuts. Very flavorful and delicious!

 

TRIVIA ANSWER: B. Has no words. The Spanish national anthem, the "Marcha Real", is one of only four national anthems in the world (along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino) that has no official lyrics. It was originally composed as a military march in the 18th century, and though attempts have been made to add lyrics, none have ever quite stuck!

Good assortment of tasty treats this month! We're a bit stumped by the clue for next month. It's gotta be an island chain or something like that. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly Subscription May 2018

I really thought I'd be on the waiting list for much longer before a space opened up on this lip product subscription service. But here we are! Right now this will be more of an introduction than a review. I have my Invisalign trays for only a few more weeks (gods willing) and once that's done, I can get a better idea of how most of these products will work. But let's get better acquainted with Notoriously Morbid, shall we?

Notoriously Morbid is an indie cosmetics company based in West Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains. They are also cruelty free (hooray!) which is what made me check them out in the first place. From their site:

We pride ourselves in creating unique cosmetics that are
perfect for those who embrace their beautiful darkness.

Notoriously Morbid makes a ton of different beauty products, from eye shadows, face powders, body lotions, primers, blush and bronzers, lipsticks, and more. You will find a lot of the more 'unusual' colors, like deep greys, blues, greens, bright fuschias, etc., that many people may not find comfortable to wear on a daily basis (or can't due to work restrictions or what not) but there are tons of 'wearable' colors, too. None of that shit makes me uncomfortable and I work from home so further into the fray I went.

I discovered they have 2 subscription services. The Vanishing Cabinet is a monthly beauty subscription that costs $13.25 (domestic US) for 4-5 items, usually mini, with a pop culture theme. The Mystic Monthly is their lipstick subscription service with a yearly theme. It runs $10 for US customers (shipping included) and you get one full size exclusive Mystic Matte lipstick and one other full size lip product (could be another lip stick or something else already in stock). The theme for 2018 is "The Dragon's Tail". HOW COULD I NOT SIGN UP???

I signed up for the lipstick one because, unless you're new here and don't know, I'm a lipstick whore. I hopped on the waiting list and figured I'd get in long after my Invisalign was done. 

SURPRISE!

As I type this I'my wearing the Mystic Matte I received so I could at least get an idea of how it looks on my lips and how it feels. Not really trying to test the longevity yet but so far it's doing a pretty bang up job. Hopefully next month I can be a bit more thorough! But let me share a few pics I've taken of the products I received in my first month.

Free Dum Dum? HELLZ YEAH!

Free Dum Dum? HELLZ YEAH!

Notoriously Morbid includes a little info sheet with an explanation of the theme, lipstick name, the ingredients of both products, plus a shopping code (which is not for the unbelievers...I mean, non subscribers), and a sucker. Awesome! I think I got the cherry flavor because of the Slumber Salve.

The Slumber Salve is exactly what it sounds like. You put it on at bed time, sleep, and wake up with soft lips! The scent/flavor is cherry, strawberry, butterscotch, and pink lemonade. The lemonade is the strongest and it's seriously smells like a glass of pink lemonade. I haven't tried it overnight yet so I'll update you in another post. The little jar isn't full and searching the pics on the site, though the tubs look a little different, they are definitely more filled than mine. Keep in mind the product in my subscription is coating only one side of the jar (I'm guessing it melted a bit in shipping but it hadn't leaked or anything) and even after I scraped it out and set it right, the container was not full or even close. It might be filled by weight but even then, I have a hard time believing it's correct.

The Mystic Matte liquid lipstick is the main event here. I don't know if this color is the same for all subscriptions but it's called Katla. There's an explanation for that on the little sheet of paper, which is kinda cool. This color is a beautiful light copper with a pink base. Once you let the lipstick set a bit, and press your lips together, a bright gold sheen pops up. It's stunning. I don't think I captured it in the swatches, though. I like that the tube comes with a little mirror, too!

First pic is the lipstick freshly applied, still wet. The second was after it set a bit and I opened my window shade to let in some sun. You can really see the gold sparkles there! The gold sheen is a little apparent in the 3rd pic but my phone camera just didn't do it justice. The last photo shows that even after its set, you can still smudge the color (and that really shows the pink base). So while it IS set on the lips and kiss proof, it will come off when eating or drinking. 

Not sure if you can see how damn pretty Katla is in these last pics but trust me, she is. And now that I've had it on for a couple of hours (playing with the dog, drinking water, licking my lips as I struggle to figure out how to move forward on my current story...), you can see how it's faded on the inner rim of my lip. Which makes sense because that's the wet part (that's what he said) and most lip products will not adhere there for any period of time. It also hasn't bled or feathered into the lines around my mouth and that's awesome. I did NOT use a lip liner before applying Katla to my lips.

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So for my first exposure to this brand, I have to say I'm happy. The full size Mystic Matte goes for $12.50 and the lip salve is $4 (though, again, I don't think my jar was full which is fucking weak). But I don't want to judge anything to high or harsh after just one month's experience with the service. I'll keep you all posted!

RK Makeup by Kiss Review

I wasn't planning to write up this review, rather post a couple pics of a new brand of makeup I saw at CVS. But here I am, a dozen pictures later and doing research on this company.

(NOT SPONSORED, I PAID FOR EVERYTHING I'M REVIEWING)

RK by Kiss

KISS appears to be mainly a nail care manufacture but they sell a few different brands under their umbrella. This is the main gist from their website, kissusa.com:

Kiss is the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of professional quality nail products. The company originated in the lucrative beauty supply market. As the popularity of the products soared, distribution was quickly expanded to the mass-market arena from Walgreens to WalMart. Capitalizing on this success, Kiss became the first company to bring quality, professional nail care directly to the consumer, creating easy-to-use, all-in-one kits so she can achieve Salon Results at home. Today, the Kiss line of products has expanded to include nail care, nail jewelry, nail art, and manicure & pedicure tools. Each of these quality products originated from Kiss's innovative thinking and vast salon experience. 

Kiss does have links for the brands they sell so I headed on over to RK, or Ruby Kisses. Not much really in the way of information on them, though. From their site, rubykissescosmetics.com:

Our passion lies in not only enhancing a woman's individual appearance, but to deliver quality products at affordable prices. We take great pride in being able to provide a wide range of colors cosmetics to women of all shades and ethnicities.

I have an app on my phone that will scan the bar code of any product and tell me if the company is cruelty free or not. The app gave me the all clear, though the brand is still on the "pending" list at Logical Harmony (which basically means the company hasn't responded to inquiries yet). So for now we'll go with "it's possible!"

The RK site doesn't list the lipstick, mascara, OR eye shadow palette I bought at CVS (rather peculiar but may be exclusive to in-store purchase only). So I really just don't know what the hell is going on with this brand. They are SUPER inexpensive products so could be trying to give Wet n Wild a run for its money (and their prices have begun to climb - not all but $9 for a foundation that's half the weight of a standard bottle is high for them).

I've tried all three products so I can at least give you my first impressions of them. 

EYE SHADOW PALETTE - Break of Dawn (Dear Diary Series, whatever that means)

This is a very soft-toned, neutral palette. I think it even says on the back that these are for creating every day, natural looks. And I would agree with that. I feel that I could intensify the darker shades with a dark sticky base. I'll have to experiment with that. 

You can see from the second image that after just doing a few finger swatches the pans already show some wear. The shadows are very powdery but that doesn't necessarily translate to good pigment. The hand swatch shows they don't have much color payoff but you can't always tell how well a shadow will perform from swatches, though again, I believe they're meant for softer eye looks.

The fourth picture is what the palette looked like after I did my eye makeup. There is powder fall out errwhere. The shimmery lid shades I used dropped glitter all over the place, too. They were small bits, like micro glitter, but very hard to remove. I highly recommend shadow shields, a shit ton of powder under the eyes that will catch the glitter then you can wipe it away, or maybe some glitter glue. I put yellow dots on the colors I used:

2nd row, middle shade (matte light tan): crease.

1st row, middle shade (light peach w/white glitter): eyelid

3rd row, third shade (white w/white glitter) THEN first shade (deeper pink w/white glitter): eyelid, over the original peach shade because it hardly showed up even after wetting my brush, which did help but not much. Then that white glittery shade completely wiped off so I used the deeper pink shade.

4th row, middle shade (satin reddish-dark brown): outer corner, crease. This shade worked the best so far.

1st row, first shade (matte cream): under brow bone

The end look is super pretty, very soft, and I guess what would be called 'romantic' because of the pink and peach tones. I want to work with it more, try some glitter glue or wet bases to help with pigmentation and fall out.

The packaging is plastic but feels pretty sturdy. In fact, it snaps closed so well that I struggled to open it back up! Each pan holds .035 ounces of product for a total of .42 ounces. There are 2 matte shades, 5 satins, and 5 glitters (other 12 pan palettes I found vary from .3 to .6 ounces and cost anywhere from $7 to $55). This palette was $2.99.

 

EXTEND ILLUSION FIBER MASCARA - Black

I don't think I realized this was one of those fiber mascaras, which I've never used before (that I can remember). It could be what's making my eyes feel gritty right now...or all the damn glitter from the shadow. But I love trying new mascaras so I figured what the hell.

It feels pretty dry right out of the tube but sometimes mascaras take a few uses to loosen up. I love the bristle brush though I prefer a more tapered end, not the blunt cut of the inner wire to be poking out. You can see the fibers in the close up pics, too. Looks kinda funky, right?

It definitely lengthens my lashes. I have slightly long and curled lashes to start but this shit sends them up to my brows! We'll have to see if there's transfer, which is what the Catrice Glam and Doll mascara did. But for a first time use, I really like it. I prefer a more natural look as opposed to the false lash effect or clumpy spidery lashes.

The packaging is plastic and really lightweight. Feels kind of cheap. You get .5 ounces of product in the tube. A lot of mascaras average .24 (the more expensive ones) to .44 (drugstore brands). This cost me $3.99.

 

FOREVER MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICK - Wild Fire

I couldn't test the long-term wear of this product but I just had to know how it looked and performed when eating. This probably sounds tiresome to those who know me but my Invisalign trays fuck up all my lipstick metrics. Even ones that don't get all over my teeth get over my trays so it's really hard to judge all aspects of them. So I stopped wearing lipstick until I'm done with the trays (which should be in a month or so!!!!). I knew I was about to eat breakfast so I thought, let's get this baby on my lips and see what happens.

Might be me but does the packaging on this look like it's going for a Kylie Cosmetics vibe with the drips...? I couldn't possibly care less about the Kardashian family and their beauty products but I'd hate to see another brand get in trouble for copying.

First off, it's a thin formula but not watery. It eventually dries completely but it gives you some time to play and move it around (in case you mess up or go outside the lip line or whatever) which I appreciate! I only had it on for about 10 minutes before eating and it felt comfortable, didn't transfer, and looked beautiful. It started out more tomato red (that little hint of orange which I don't like that much) but it dried down a touch darker and looked more like a true red.

As soon as my lips got wet, the product stared to come off. Mostly the inner rim of both lips, more so on the bottom. It got all over my bagel and the coffee cup but MIRACULOUSLY didn't get all over my face. I only dabbed at my lips once while eating and I expected there to be lipstick all over my chin, under my nose, on the sides of my mouth. NOPE. And I put A LOT of butter on my bagel.

Damn that sounds dirty...

Anyway, I put on another layer just to see how it would work before taking it off. Layered just fine. Didn't get thick or crumbly at all. It was a bitch to remove, though, which makes sense since a lot of it didn't come off with eating. I have to say I'm impressed for something that only costs $1.99.

The packaging is plastic, feels lightweight but not cheap. I love the rose gold accents. Comes with .1 ounces of product (a lot of other brands on the market vary from .07 to .26, both high end and drugstore pricing).

I have to say I had fun with my new discovery. I look forward to playing with these a bit more and get a better feel for them. They sell a lot of different products so I'm interested to see what else could be a new favorite. For anyone just learning about makeup or who doesn't want to spend a fuck ton of cash on a new brand, RK could be your go-to. Which ones do you want to try? (Check for them at CVS, Ebay, Amazon, Target - those are the places I found listed on-line)

 

Ipsy April 2018

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you get 4-5 sample sized (sometimes full sized) makeup, skin care, and hair 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)

April's theme: Social Butterfly. Because yes, that's EXACTLY what the introvert in me wants.

April's theme: Social Butterfly. Because yes, that's EXACTLY what the introvert in me wants.

Each month Ipsy creates a theme for the bag. While I hate them most of the time, this being no exception, the bag itself is so frakkin cute! The pink toned butterflies are pretty, the rose gold accents are beautiful, and that little card can go fuck itself. Don't ever count on that card to have useful information, by the way, unlike every other service out there. 

Anyway, let's get to the products. I'm pretty sure I'm excited about all these and mildly okay with one.

H20+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment: I want to say I've tried at least one product from this brand before thoughI can't remember for sure. But I'm excited to try this gel-like moisturizer. I've had good luck with all brands that come out with this kind of formula so I'm hopeful this will be amazeballs, too. Full size is $38 so this sample runs about $7.50. (I can't find ANY info on their cruelty free status so I've emailed them directly.)

Purlisse Coconut Oil and Coffee Sugar Body Scrub: I've used face products from Purlisse that can suck my dick but this body scrub is awesome. Gentle but effective exfoliation, the oil leaves your skin soft (it does coat your tub/shower so be careful of that!), and it smells divine. Not like sweetened coffee - just a good strong coffee scent. You can actually purchase this sample size tube on their site and it goes for $10. It's good for one use, though, and that's it. If you're bigger than me, it won't be enough (Says CF on their site but no other website backs that up).

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Ciate London Starstruck Double Ended Stamp liquid liner (black): At first I thought the stamp was going to be wing shaped, which I would not be opposed to trying because the struggle to get a good wing on my eyes is real. But this is a star because it's festival season (Coachella - who outside of California fucking cares) so I was a little disappointed. However, it looks so cute on the face (don't mind the lines on the hand stamp - product got on the base of it but you can get a clean stamp if you're careful). So since the liner end works pretty well, nice and black, easy to use, I'll let the star stamp slide. This particular eye liner is not available on the Ciate or Ipsy site so it must be an exclusive. The link I provided is for their regular eyeliner and it goes for $18 (CF).

Paula Dorf Bronzer in Bora Bora: I seriously thought this was an eye shadow until I went to Ipsy to get info on the product. Whoops. But that just proves they always send bronze or browns or neutral shades all the time so it was easy to mistake this for eye shadow. That would explain why it's not too warm or cool a color. It's a nice neutral shade that should look nice on everyone (at least with fair skin). I only use a little bronzer, if at all, and I have 3 of them already so I might not keep this. It's a nice shade, though, and feels nice on the skin. Full size is $32 so this sample is about $6.50 (Says CF on their site but again, can't find confirmation anywhere).

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Glamour Dolls Romantic Rose blending brush: Never mad to get a brush! And I think this has replaced my favorite Real Techniques brush for crease work. This is the perfect mix of precision shadow placement and blending. It's soft but not too soft, tapered to get the shadow right where you want it but doesn't plop down color that won't blend out. It's pretty perfect. Full size and is $5 (CF and Vegan).

Overall value runs about $47. Not too bad. I'm not completely surprised that I couldn't find CF status confirmation on several sites. A lot of brands are not well known and/or don't pay to have PETA or Leaping Bunny certify them. But it does leave me a little leery of what brands Ipsy is committed to working with for the bag each month.