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.

Universal Yums January 2018 Review

For those who may not know, Universal Yums is a monthly food subscription service. For $14 or $25, you will get a box of 6+ or 12+ candy and snacks from a different country. Check them out here: UNIVERSAL YUMS

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

January brings us goodies from GREECE. Here's some trivia for you. Answer at the end of the post.  TRIVIA: In ancient Greece, throwing an apple at someone was a way to say: A.I'm in love with you!; B.Happy New Year; C.Good luck!; D.You and your family shall be cursed

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There are a couple items in here that I will NOT be eating. One, because they're too hard to chew or two, I vomit a little just thinking about them. I'll get those out of the way first.

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Olympas Sesame Pasteli with Almonds: I couldn't even break this bar within the package to test how crunchy it might be so yeah. Not gonna eat it. Which makes me sad because there are only 3 ingredients: sesame seeds, honey, and almonds. It sounds so good, dammit!

Bliss Cocoa Toffee: Even without my Invisalign issues, toffee is hard for me because of all my crown work. Sometimes if there's sufficient chocolate coating, that helps to break up the stickiness. But these little bricks...no way. *all the crying*

Parthenon Green Olives with Fennel & Corriander: Olives, man. EWWWWWWWWWW.

Tottis Onion Bread Chips: Remember bagel chips? That's basically what these are if they had a one-night stand with some Melba toast. The onion flavor is a little sweet and subtle, not too overpowering. Very nice.

Serenata Dark Chocolate Wafer: I think EVERY country has some kind of wafer cookie in their arsenal. I have to say that I think this is my favorite so far, though. Because it's dark chocolate, it's not overly sweet and the filling between the layers is not too thick or too thin. It's pretty dang perfect.

Bergamot Jelly Candies: Though the bergamot in these tasted a LOT like perfume (and not in a good way like those mints from Turkey), I loved the texture. They're like a cross between Jello Jigglers and a Chuckles Fruit Slice.

Tottis Chips: I'm not a huge oregano fan but the flavor is these chips is subtle enough for me to handle. Texture is like any regular potato chip so they're easy for me to eat, too!

Derby Chocolate Bar: OMG this is my favorite item from the box. Coconut, caramel, crisp rice, and chocolate. What's not to love?!?

Overall, a very nice box (that's what he said). The clue for next month makes us think we'll get some snacks from France. It would super cool if, like last year, we get the bigger sized box as a Valentine's ILY. Yes, I'm a greedy bitch.

TRIVIA ANSWER: A.I'm in love with you! Hey, it's a lot cheaper than a ring! Throwing an apple at a woman in ancient Greece was considered a marriage proposal. As that tradition slowly faded away, a new one appeared: many couples in Greece ate an apple as part of their wedding festivities as a sign of their love for one another.

Ipsy January 2018

All righty. Here we are, 2018, new year, new Ipsy bag, same lame ass non-info card bullshit...

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

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January's theme is Game Face, I think. To be honest, I usually throw away the card the second I take it out of the bag. It's covered in bullshit platitudes, heavy handed 'inspirational' crap, and I can hardly believe it but I'm sure it's even smaller than last year. To play devil's advocate with myself, they're probably saving $$ by not making it larger and are able to get companies like The Balm, Ole Henriksen, and other well-known brands to get their products in here. But still....SO FUCKING WEAK.

The bag is an absolute hideosity. I just can't even...the contrasting colors are so 80s, which might be on trend but as a child of that era, I don't ever wanna see it again! However, I'm digging the products this month!

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Absolute New York Eye Artist Single Shadow (Posse): This shadow is soft but not crumbly, decently pigmented, and does look very pretty on the eye. It swatches like a warm orange/brown but it's actually a rose-taupe color. It's nothing super special so I'll probably donate it. Looks full size and goes for $5. (their website says CF but I can't find any corroboration on that from my cruelty free resources so...?)

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer: I've tried quite a few products from this brand through Ipsy and I've been satisfied with most. I've never tried this cult favorite and now I can! Though I hate the size of their samples (sometimes the small pans are difficult to work with) I'm usually happy to get something from them. I'm sort of okay with Mary-Lou. It's described as a warm honey color but it looks more light gold. Can look like a wet, high-shine accent on the skin, which is nice. In some light, though, I can see all the sparkle (mirco glitter, at least, and not giant chunks). So I do and don't like it. When I'm in the mood to look like a micro fairy jizzed on my face, I'll probably reach for this. Full size is $24 so this 1g sample is around $3. (CF)

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Cake by Cake Beauty Heavenly Cream Intensive Body Balm: I still have 2 or 3 other lotions from Cake Beauty but they are all different formulas! This stuff smells fantastic and absorbs well. It's 20% shea butter and also contains aloe and camellia leaf extract. I look forward to smelling like vanilla frosting for the next 6 months. Mmmm...frosting (disclaimer: don't be an asshole and eat lotion. That's just dumb.) Full size goes for $22 so this 1 ounce sample runs around $4.50. (CF)

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream: Holy hell the website claims this eye cream can do ALL THE THINGS - brighten, reduce dark circles, firm, instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and is great for under concealer. Then there's a long list of data including lots of "100%" and asterisks and on and on. Personally that comes off as trying too hard but that's just me. The first time I tried it, it felt thick and sticky and didn't brighten anything. BUT it did feel moisturizing and it absorbed rather quickly for such a thick cream. I thought it would be too heavy under concealer but damn if the Tarte Shape Tape didn't look great! If nothing else, at least it'll provide some moisture during this frigid winter season! Full size is $38 so this teeny sample is maybe $7.50. (CF)

SLMISSGLAM L36 Tapered Highlight Brush: I love getting brushes. And I'm not usually a girly-girl, but the pink glittery handle on this is adorbs. The synthetic bristles are super soft and it works perfectly with the Mary-Lou Manizer highlight sample! Apparently it works with powders, creams, and liquids but...because it's kind of flimsy, I'm not so sure about that. I'll have to test it out. Full size. This brush is not available on the SLMISSGLAM site (which actually makes me want to throw up it's such a pastel rainbow unicorn glitter shit show) so it may be an Ipsy exclusive. I've linked the closest looking set of 6 brushes which goes for $80. So maybe this brush is around $13. (CF)

All told this bag is around a $33. Not terrible but I've had bags that are upwards of $50-$70 so it's kinda weak. However, I do think I'll get a lot of use out of the products this months so it's still a win for me!

 

Nerium Review

Ahhh... ALL THE POSTS...(this will be the first of 3 that I'll probably put up this week)

I got the chance to to try something for free that I probably never would have purchased myself. A good friend of my husband is a sales rep for Nerium International. They produce skin care and vitamin supplements. So in exchange for an HONEST write-up (I wasn't paid or compensated in any way nor required to write a glowing review) I got 4 days worth of samples of three products.

A very brief overview of the company is this: they make skin care and wellness products with age-defying properties. From their website:


See the Difference

Transform your skincare routine with our unique, science-based products that target all the major signs of aging and the underlying causes.

Feel the Difference

Take your health to the next level with our wellness products that keep you looking and feeling great, inside and out.


The entire brand has that "feel good, do good" mission ideal, contributing to the welfare of their communities, and gosh darn it, just being happy. There are also opportunities for people to become Nerium Brand Partners, aka sales reps though it does sound nicer with their phrasing. The company started in 2011 with a staff of only 13 people and one product, their Age Defying Night Cream. They now have 9 or 10 different products, have over 200 employees, and produce in 8 countries. 

Check out their website where you can find a ton of information about NERIUM INTERNATIONAL

Now, to the products I got to try!

 

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Age Defying Eye Serum: These were tiny little packets but I was able to get 2 uses per day out of each one. I wish I remembered to take a picture. It's a beige colored cream that didn't feel too heavy or too thin. In fact, it was the most unique eye product I've ever tried. It dried within 30 seconds and didn't leave a tacky residue on the skin, like most creams. It felt like fucking VELVET under my eyes. It looked like I used one of those pore filling face primers - it looked so smooth and even.

From the website: This transformative serum delivers both short- and long-term benefits for the appearance of smoother, younger-looking eyes. Powered by our exclusive SIG-1191™ and I-FIL4R™ ingredients, our Eye Serum helps reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles and fine lines, making the skin appear more toned.

While in the immediate sense most of those claims are true, I could still see my dark circles very well. I also can't agree with the long term claims because I only used it for 4 days. Who knows? It could actually do what they say if you used it for a month or more. 

I tried to use it directly under concealer but over moisturizer. My eyes have been dryer lately so I wanted to know if this stuff would work as well or maybe better than a traditional eye cream. Short answer - NOOOOOOPE. It looked so dry. If I added eye cream over this stuff, it almost made a paste - like the serum never fully absorbed into my skin and actually just created a barrier over it to make the skin look smoother. So that kinda sucked. But when I used it alone and simply put powder over my skin (on a minimal make-up day), it looked beautiful.

Again, perhaps with prolonged use, it would improve concealer application and overall dryness of my under eye.

 

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Eye-V Moisture Boost Hydrogel Patches: Since I love sheet masks, I also love using eye patches, too (they're like under eye masks). These little buggers were made of a wobbly thin layer of gel. Once you got them positioned under the eye right where you wanted them (very easy to manipulate into place), they stayed put. You could totally lean over and they wouldn't fall off. After 20 minutes, you remove them and pat in any extra serum. 

From the website: Innovative patches deliver targeted hydration to the delicate skin around your eyes for the appearance of an instant, refreshing “eye lift.”

This was the first time I tried them. They felt pretty awesome.

This was the first time I tried them. They felt pretty awesome.

For me, there was no left over serum. And though I didn't try the patches right before doing make-up for 'date night' as the instructional video suggested, I did use them right after washing my face one morning when my eye bags were particularly puffy. Can't say they reduced the puffiness much, though my left eye (which is worse than my right) did look SLIGHTLY better. However, the patches felt so cooling under my eyes. It was wonderful first thing in the morning!

 

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Youth Factor Superfood & Antioxidant Boost Powder: I'm not that much into dietary supplements like this. I will have an Ensure or a protein shake on days when my stomach feels overwhelmed by regular food (I have gastro paresis) or I just wanna give it a break from working overtime. *coughBOOZEcough* And since I have trouble digesting fruits and vegetables, this actually sounds like it could be a good thing for me. But that's why the gods invented smoothies, stewed fruit, and mushy peas.

From their website: Daily use powder featuring body-fortifying antioxidants and hearty servings of fruits and vegetables to help boost your body into its optimal state of wellbeing.

I was pleasantly surprised by this. I mixed a packet with plain water because I wanted to get an idea of the true taste. It was pretty good! Tasted like a berry punch but not sugary-sweet and just a hint of an undertaste (like most protein drinks will give). Color me impressed.

That's all I got to try. I got a few pamphlets with the samples but no in real in-depth information. Hence I headed to the website. I also contacted the company directly about their animal testing policies. Here's their answer:

Dear Peggy,

Thank you for contacting Nerium International Product Integrity. I am happy to help with your inquiry.

Nerium International is committed to bringing products to market that are safe, socially responsible, and compliant with the local regulations of the countries in which our products are sold. Nerium International does not conduct animal testing on our skincare products or ingredients. We conduct testing on all of our finished products using third party clinical testing facilities with human volunteer panelists. In the case of dietary supplements, such as EHT, animal testing is accepted to support the ingredient safety of the product.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.  

Okay, cool. So they don't test their skin care products or ingredients on animals. I love that they use humans for final testing. That's pretty awesome. HOWEVER, did you pick up on the double speak in there, about complying with countries' laws? (I bolded the text to make it stand out) Yeah. That means if a country they produce in requires animal testing, they will do it. Here's some info on the animal testing policies for the countries they are in (if anyone finds different or updated info, please feel free to let me know):

Canada: Animal testing is not regulated by the government (for cosmetics). So I'm guessing that means it's up to individual companies if they do it or not.

Mexico: It is legal to test but I don't think it's required.

Japan: It's neither required nor prohibited. Again probably up to the individual company if they want to test on animals.

New Zealand: Animal testing was banned in 2015.

South Korea: I read a couple years ago that S. Korea wants to make animal testing completely illegal by 2018 so it might happen this year. At least they're working toward it but I know many companies still do it.

Australia: In 2017 they banned the sales of cosmetics tested on animals. Not sure about anything else.

Hong Kong: As it's part of China, animal testing is no longer a requirement. However, anything claiming "cosmeceutical" status (a makeup or product that claims skin benefits) is required to be tested on animals. 

Colombia: That country is a MESS with animal testing. Years and years of violations and abuse. Hard to find any info saying otherwise.

Also they were right up front about the supplements being tested on animals and I can appreciate their direct honesty.

So, for me, I will not be purchasing anything from Nerium in the future. Anyone who's been reading my blog or reviews for a while knows that I'm trying to go cruelty free in as much of my life as possible. But for those who aren't following that path, by all means look into this company and their products and get some to try for yourselves. A lot of it actually looks pretty cool.

If you're in the Detroit area, I have contact info for a local rep who is probably one of the most friendly people I've ever met (also my hubby wouldn't be friends with a douchebag). I'm sure if you're not all that close, at least he might be able to direct you to someone who can hook you up! (don't quote me on that because I actually haven't asked him if he could do this!) He's also an RN so that gives me hope he wouldn't support a company that uses hazardous ingredients.

Mark Gadzinski

248-444-1947

mtgflyboy@gmail.com

markgadzinski.nerium.com

 

So there you have it. Again, check out the link I provided above for the Nerium website to get more info, email Mark and ask questions, try some of the products for yourself. Only you can determine what works best for your skin type and beauty ideals. These are just my experiences with something new and I wanted to share the information. If any one does try Nerium products, let me know what you think!

 

Universal Yums November/December 2017 Review

As per usual, I got a little behind on my reviews. Partly from hubby's busy season at work but also I stared Invisalign in August. As of October, my teeth hurt pretty much all the time. Snacks that are too crunchy or chewy are impossible for me to eat so I can't try everything and I want to give as thorough a review as possible. Well, I still have 5 more months to go with Invisalign so I figured I'll do the best I can during that time and get back to detailed descriptions in the summer. 

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

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

NOVEMBER - TURKEY

Here's a little Turkey trivia for you (answer at the end of this section): We have Turkey's diverse climate to thank for bringing about which popular spring flower? A.Easter lilies; B.Daffodils; C.Tuplis; D.Azaleas

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First let's look at the stuff I haven't tried:

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Today Croissant with Thyme, Basil, and Olive Oil: Interesting fact, without the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) the croissant never would have existed. The empire planned to attack Vienna in 1683 during the middle of the night using underground tunnels. The bakers in the city could actually hear them coming, since they were already awake and at work. They warned the Austrian army who fought off the attack. No reward wanted, the bakers instead baked bread in the shapes of crescents (the symbol on the Turkish flag) to celebrate the victory. How cool is that? Though I have to say the description on this snack didn't intrigue me and it felt VERY weighty for such a small treat. If the hubs ever eats it, I'll let you know if it's any good.

Clip Sesame Stick: Basically these seem like your basic breadstick completely covered in sesame seeds (they're based on the sesame encrusted bread normally served for breakfast). Crunchy sticks of bread are just too difficult for me but I image these taste pretty good.

Torku Cocoa Helva: I'm pretty sure we've had this type of sweet from half a dozen other countries. It's dry and crumbly but melts in your mouth. This is a sesame paste based sweet. According to the info card we DID get something similar in the Israel box so I just never got around to trying this one.

Miniki Turtacik: This was my favorite treat this month. The cookie was nice and the tangerine jelly was tart and sweet. Don't think I got much flavor from the sprinkles but that's okay. Divine cookie.

Baharatli Ulker Krispi Kraker: I was worried this might be too crunch but it definitely had a texture more like a Ritz, maybe a titch firmer. The flavor was great, too. Nice and salty and the spices were wonderful (onion, parsley, garlic, thyme).

Ibon Yogurt Candy: We got the banana flavor and it was yummy! It could have been chewy but I ended up sucking on it to soften it up and then my teeth could grind it down a bit. Very tasty.

Toffix Mastic: Mastic is made from tree sap and it takes a year to extract! It's a very unique flavor but I really enjoyed it. Tasted a little like bergamot (which is an oil from the bergamot orange peel) but really it's hard to describe the flavor. Did the same thing with the Ibon - I just sucked on this until it got soft (holy hell, really, Peggy?). Another tasty treat.

Miniki Milk Cream Chocolate Bar: This reminded me of a 3 Musketeers so much but a lot sweeter. If that's even possible...Nice soft texture but way too sweet, even for me. Not my favorite.

Torku Sade Mevlana Seker: These candies are nearly identical in texture to a butter mint (if you've never had one of those, you NEED to try them). These are made from sade (bergamot oil). Bergamot is used a lot in perfumes so when I say these things taste like perfume, that's why I mean. But not the alcohol and other additives - just like a slightly sweet and bitter mixture of orange. It's really unique and they are my 2nd favorite treat from Turkey!

TRIVIA: C.Tulips. We credit the Dutch for tulips but they actually originated in Turkey. Tulip bulbs brought to Europe from Istanbul in the 1500s were so intensely popular that by 1634 they had caused "tulipmania" in Holland. Aside from tulips, Turkey is also home to approximately 9,000 other species of plants!

DECEMBER - EVERYWHERE!

To wrap up 2017, the final box for UY contains a variety of snacks from a variety of countries - BUT NO REPEATS. Fucking A, man! Still have some trivia for you! (answer at the end of this post)

TRIVIA: Latvia claims to be the home of the very first_______? A.Christmas tree; B.Christmas stocking; C.Christmas carol; D.Christmas lights

(as of typing this I haven't tried any of these treats yet - I hope that will change over the next day or so)

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Garlic Straznicke Bramburky: These garlic chips are from the Czech Republic. Apparently garlic is thought to provide strength and protection and it's put under the chairs of your holiday guests. They're nice and thing chips so they're easy for me to eat. And they taste like garlic butter. Sooooo nice....

Brevas con Arequipe: Colombia includes figs as an essential part of their Christmas dinners. And this fig is stuffed with arequipe, caramelized condensed milk (kinda like dulce de leche). It's a little too sweet, even for me, so I can't say it's a favorite. At least it wasn't sticky!

Golden Flake Dill Pickle Chips: Leave it to America to turn a not-so-popular German Christmas ornament into a best seller. Woolworth's sold German ornaments since the 1880s but the fruit and veggie shapes (particularly the pickle) were not in high demand. So a salesman made up a story about German folks putting a pickle in their trees and the first person to find it would have good fortune in the coming year. How can we be so inventive and so gullable at the same time? And these do taste like straight up dill pickles. Awesome! But I can only eat a few at a time because the briny flavor does get overpowering.

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Hillier's Mini Christmas Puddings: In Australia, Christmas pudding is a hold-over tradition from their UK roots. This candy has the traditional fruits, nuts, and spices used in the pudding (sans the bread) and wraps it all in chocolate. Hillier founded the first Aussie chocolate company and was known for his creative chocolate fillings, as well as injecting his candies with booze to sneak it past the local governments!

Jabri Baklava: Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated on the last day of Ramadan and is known as the 'sweet' holiday. This is where you will find baklava during the celebration. Subhi Jabri & Sons is a famous restaurant in Amman, Jordan, where you will find this brand of baklava. If you've never had this confection before, WHAT THE EVER LOVING HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Yugwa Candy: South Korea has been making this candy since the year 918. Dayuuum. The making of this treat is regulated by the SK government and it MUST be made by a Korean Food Grand Master. Mr. Kim Kyu-Heun is the master who made the batch for this box. He's been studying the practice of yugwa making for over 20 years. And while I respect the tradition here, the snack itself doesn't really taste like much. Kinda like rice cake air with a little chewy sugar coating.

Mince Pie Candy: This English candy is based on the original mincemeat pie popular during the 12th century, sans the meat. You will find traditional spices of the time (cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg) plus chocolate. I didn't really get the chocolate flavor off it but the spices were wonderful.

TRIVIA ANSWER: A.Christmas tree. Germany is usually given credit for the Christmas tree but the first recorded use was in 1510 in Riga, the vapial of Latvia! Maybe we should be singing, "Ak, Ziemassvetku eglites" instead of "O, Tannenbaum"?

That wraps up 2018! Hope you all stick around for my less in-depth reviews for a while and I promise I'll be back at full strength by summer (barring any horrendous complications!).

Ipsy December 2017 Review

The end of 2017 is upon us. And so is my last Ipsy review for the year. For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized makeup, skin, and hair care products. Check it out here: IPSY

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

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I guess the theme this month is Snow Globe, whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean. Who cares anyway? The bag, though, is awesome. It looks like some kind of fancy clutch you'd take to a party or something. So yeah, that's a keeper. Let's see what's inside this month!

The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream: Doesn't sound to great, does it? Who wants their creams watery? But, according to the on-line description, this is supposed to be a great gel based moisturizing cream with 63% fermented green tea extract (instead of water). I do like the gel based ones. They're kiind of cool. Haven't tried this and I probably won't because Tony Moly is not cruelty free. Full size is $25 so this sample should run around $4. (NCF)

Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Pumping Serum: I love the glycolic cleansing pads from N+F so when I got this in my bag, I was pumped! No pun intended. Haven't opened it yet because I've still got half a bottle of The Ordinary buffet serum to use up. Full size is $20 so this sample is worth about $8. (CF)

Luxie Beauty Precision Shader Onyx Brush 239: I'm never mad at brushes, y'all. This is a nice compact shader with a slight taper to it. It really can put shadow RIGHT in the crease. It's not as good at blending that color out if you got too precise and heavy with a shadow so keep that in mind. This is full size and is valued at $14. The link is to their Rose Gold style - the black handle might be an Ipsy exclusive. Not sure. (CF)

Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament: I've never tried Pixi shadows before. I've heard mixed reviews so I've never wanted to spend the money on them. They're not high end pricing but they're not drug store either. These are two very soft and beautiful shades. They actually seem different in the pan compared to on the skin. I can't quite put my finger on it! You can see in the swatches that these shades can be built up but for my eye look, I just powdered my eyelid and swept a little of each color on (the gold on the lid and the dark rosy brown in the crease). These particular shades aren't available on the Pixi website (again, might be exclusive to Ipsy) and the mesmerizing minerals only come in 6-pan palettes. But they all look really pretty! Full size is $12 so this little duo is probably around $3. (CF)

NYX Faux Blacks Eyeliner in Obsidian: I actually own two other colors in this line. They're not great (one is Oxblood, the other is Olive but I kept the red one because I have no other color like it) so I was a little bummed about getting this. AT FIRST. Boy was I wrong about Obsidian. First, you'd think the name would indicate it's black but it's actually a dark, dark blue. Second, I've never encountered an eyeliner that stayed on my tight line and waterline as long as this one. MAYBE the Urban Decay 24/7 came close. So holy fuck me I love this pencil. It goes on super creamy so it wears down very fast. But I can live with that! This is full size and goes for $8. (CF)

Total bag value is around $37. Not too bad considering only one of the items isn't cruelty free and I'm stoked for everything else, including the bag. Nice little holiday wrap up (heh, see what I did there?) for 2017. Hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday! See you in 2018.

FINAL Medusa's Makeup December 2017 Review

Well, the time has come. December is my final month for the Medusa's Makeup monthly subscription box. It's been fun and I've really enjoyed about 50% of what I've received. Not the best score, not the worst, but not enough to keep going. At least for now. The good news is I've gone out on a pretty dang good note!

In case you'd like to check them out, head to their website for all pricing, inventory, etc. MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

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

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The makeup bag included this month is new (valued at $8.00). It feels like it's made out of canvas, something sturdy. It's actually kind of nice but I don't know if I'll keep it. I have so many from Ipsy....oh fuck it. I'll toss one of those and replace it with this! The personalized note is also new. Very nice touch!

Contour Brush: I've received their eyeliner and angled brushes in past months and I've enjoyed them. The eyeliner one is too thick for precise lines but it still works if you don't mind a little messy application. This one is a flatter, denser brush with a slight point. It will be great for getting into the eye socket/crease. $6.00 (on their site they only have the whole set for sale but if you've never tried their brushes, $18 for the set is a good price to find out how they work for you)

Lip Balm: I was so excited to get this. I really wanted to know how it is, since it's new. I've only used mine once so far (since I have about 6 already opened around the house) but it feels really nice, seems to last a good while on the lips, and smells great. $8.95

Eye Dust in Golden Boy: DEAR FUCKING GODS WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS COLOR!!! If I've learned nothing else from MM, it's that their eye dusts are fantastic (not the Mystical Eye Dusts - those are kinda lame). And that's not a built up swatch. I had very little product on my finger when I made that. So pigmented! I've already planned out a look for a convention I'm working this weekend so I can wear this. Ah...I feel faint...so...beautiful........ $8.00

Lipstick in Triple X: I've only received one regular lipstick from them before and it was beautiful. This is just as creamy and comfortable so I do recommend a lip liner. I was worried this was going to be way too bright of a fuschia for me. But the top pic is just one layer and it's rather sheer. It's perfect if you just want a little bit of a brighter color but aren't ballsy enough (or maybe bright fuschia doesn't work with your skin tone) to go full saturation. It can be built up so the second swatch shows that. Took 3-4 swipes across each lip to get this opacity. I have to admit I really like it both ways (hey now...). $12.00

So including the bag, this month's value is $42.95. Great value and great items to close out my subscription. In case you forgot, or are new, Medusa's Makeup is also a vegan and cruelty free brand so if you'd like to explore that route, this isn't a terrible place to get started!

Ipsy October/November 2017 Review

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

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

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

OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NOVEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medusa's Makeup October/November 2017 Reviews

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

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

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

 

OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NOVEMBER

A face mask? HELL YEAH!

A face mask? HELL YEAH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PD, MEHs, and GFYs November 2017

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

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

PDs (Panty Droppers)

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

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

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

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

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

 

MEHs (Meh, obviously)

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

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

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

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

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

 

GFYs (Go Fuck Yourselves)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Morgue Drawer November 2017

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

Not Much Pretty Going On

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

So Soft and Smooth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shiny Hair, Shiny Teeth

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Get It Under Wraps!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy September 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medusa's Makeup September 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Universal Yums August 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy August 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medusa's Makeup August 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Universal Yums July 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy July 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medusa's Makeup July 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Universal Yums June 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

PDs, MEHs, and GFYs June 2017

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

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

PANTY DROPPERS (PDs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MEHs

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

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

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

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

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

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

GO FUCK YOURSELVES (GFYs)

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

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

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

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

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

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