The Monkey Is In.

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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.

Filtering by Category: One Brand Review

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly 3-Month Review

Gaaaahhhhhh…. yeah.

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER

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

Ugh, I suck.

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


OCTOBER

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

NOVEMBER

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

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

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

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly September Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notoriously Morbid "Renfield's" Palette Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diptera - A metallic dark sapphire.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIGHT EYE:

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

LEFT EYE:

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

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

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

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

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly August Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Makeup Monsters' The Dragon Child Eye Shadow Palette

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

And that day has come.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below are the looks I created.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly July 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly June 2018 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Universal Yums May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly Subscription May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

SURPRISE!

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

 Free Dum Dum? HELLZ YEAH!

Free Dum Dum? HELLZ YEAH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

RK Makeup by Kiss Review

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

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

RK by Kiss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

EXTEND ILLUSION FIBER MASCARA - Black

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

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

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

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

 

FOREVER MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICK - Wild Fire

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

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

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

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

Damn that sounds dirty...

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

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

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

 

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.

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!

 

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!

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!

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.

 

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... 

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!

Medusa's Makeup May 2017 Review

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

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

Ooooohhh....GLITTER!

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

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

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

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

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

Medusa's Makeup April 2017 Review

All righty. Moving into the second month of this subscription service! For those who don't know, MM is a monthly makeup subscription service. For $15.95, you'll get 3-5 full sized vegan and cruelty free makeup products. Check them out here: MEDUSA'S MAKEUP

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

Even though I said I wouldn't, I had to include two extra packing pictures this month. The first is the padded envelope - which is different from last month. I'm not a polka dot kinda gal but how cute it that? Also they included a full color glossy pamphlet/catalog in the bag. Awesomesauce, party of one!

This month I got some great items!

Eyeliner Seal: This is basically a liquid that can transform any loose powder (I'll have to try it on a pressed one and let you know how that goes) into an eyeliner. It looks just like water but I know from past experience that plain water doesn't help the staying power in DIY eyeliner. The first time I used this (with the eye dust I got this month) was a disaster. Too much liquid. The second time was SO much better. See? I do have a learning curve, flat as it may be most of the time...Got more pigmentation and it lasted ALL DAMN DAY (though if I touched it, the eyeliner would smudge). And I only need a couple drops each use so this is going to last a loooong time.

Eye Dust in Helter Skelter: This loose pigment is a gorgeous blue black color. I think there's glitter in it but I can't be sure. Beautiful color, though maybe not knocking my socks off like last month's Wasabe. But I'm excited to play with it some more, maybe use my glitter glue to see what the color pay off will be.

 L to R: Blush swatch; Helter Skelter with eyeliner seal; Helter Skelter dry swatch

L to R: Blush swatch; Helter Skelter with eyeliner seal; Helter Skelter dry swatch

Blush in Georgia Peach: HUGE pan size for this blush. Beautiful peach shade that needs a little bit of a light hand in application as it's pretty pigmented. The compact has a nice big mirror, too!

Eyeliner brush: Though the bristles on the brush aren't tapered or narrow enough for me to get a clean line, it does make short work of filling in a giant wing! Also works great if you're just wanting to get the color across your lash line and don't need to worry about it being super thin. Very soft, though if you use it to mix the powder and eyeliner seal, it soaks it all up and that's a pain in the ass. So live and learn!

A $36 value this month which is awesome because these products are going to last me a long time! Also, as a subscriber, I got a 15% off on-line order code AND another 10% off code in my email. AWESOME!

Lipp Beautifully March 2017 Review

Already in my third month on this? How is that possible?

For those who don't know, I just joined this service in January. For $5.95 a month you get 4 samples of lipsticks (Trend, Going Out, Every Day, Limited Edition) with 4 sponge applicators. The samples are a good size so you'll get a 5-7 uses from each one to really test out the product. Use the code "10OFFGENERAL" to get 10% off your first month. If you join, as a subscriber you will get another code each month to get $5 off a purchase from their store (excluding Limited Edition shades). Check them out here: LIPP BEAUTIFULLY

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

Only one shade this month gave me the blahs because of shade, pigmentation, and feel. But the other three are beautiful.

TREND: Script is similar to last month's Verde color but with a bit more red tone so it looks like a warm rose-berry shade. Thick and creamy this is a gorgeous color and feels so nice on the lips.

EVERY DAY: Absence is my least favorite. It's too light for my skin (looks like concealer), very thin formula, and it's a bit streaky. Might be nice to mix in with other shades or use like a highlight in the center of the lips.

GOING OUT: Crime is a GORGEOUS bright cherry red color. This would be great for a pin up makeup look. Similar formula to Script.

LIMITED EDITION: Fiji is probably my favorite, even after that red one! Though the formula is a bit thin and streaky (like Absence) the color is stunning. I love it!

Very beautiful options this month and I might just go buy Fiji!