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.

Filtering by Tag: eye shadow

BH Cosmetics - Aurora Lights Palette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

RK Makeup by Kiss Review

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

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

RK by Kiss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

EXTEND ILLUSION FIBER MASCARA - Black

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

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

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

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

 

FOREVER MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICK - Wild Fire

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

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

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

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

Damn that sounds dirty...

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

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

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

 

Ipsy March 2018 Review

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

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

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March's theme has something to do with creating. Whatever. I don't particularly like the bag but I do enjoy being able to color it in. That's kinda cool. But let's get to the products!

Labotica Transforming Liquid Foil Mask: While this stuff looks super cool (like you're mutating into the Silver Surfer), the description of "gentle" and "great for sensitive skin" can SUCK MY BALLS. This stuff bonded to my face like the Man in the Iron Mask. It was not gentle to remove, my skin was irritated as fuck, and I broke out in a couple places across my chin. It's made by Leaders Cosmetics, a Korean brand, and it's on the "Pending List" over at Logical Harmony (which means they've reached out to the company about their cruelty free status but haven't heard back yet). Full size is $32 so this sample should be valued around $6.50. (CF - UNKNOWN)

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VenEffect Pore Minimizing Cleanser: This company's products fight hormonal aging (that lack of estrogen we produce as we get older contributes to signs of aging). I enjoyed this face wash. Smelled like a spa but not overpowering. Gentle and my face felt really nice afterward. It'll be a nice travel product. Full size (150 mls) is $60 (yikes) so this 15mls sample should go for $6.00. (CF? - can't find any info)

Hikari Cream Pigment Eye Shadow in Shine: I wish I could have gotten the green color instead of gold but wutyougonnado? Very pigmented, soft eye shadow and it looks great on the eye. Not sure I want to keep it because I have a couple gold shadows already and it's not a color I use a lot. I can't find the exact amount but most shadows are around 2g so I'll assume this is full sized and worth $13. (CF)

Tarte Cosmetics Sex Kitten Eyeliner: I think I've only ever tried one Tarte eyeliner before and it wasn't great (which might explain why it was on clearance when I bought it). But this stuff is pretty bomb. Though it doesn't break through the Hikari eye shadow (not sure if you can see but it goes green on the eye over the shadow), I put it on my waterline & tightline after I took the picture and that shit didn't budge. Well, some of it did, which is to be expected, but most of it stayed in place. In fact, it took about 2 days for it to completely wash off my eye. This might be my go-to eyeliner for convention makeup I need to last at least 10 hours. Full size is $20 so this sample is worth $10. (CF)

Steve Laurant Beauty Lip Oil in Orchid: It looks pink but this is a clear oil. It feels thicker, like a gloss/oil hybrid. Sort of like what Milani did a few years back. This stuff feels nice, it's not sticky, and it smells like vanilla butter cake. NOM. This is full size and goes for $18. (CF)

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Wow, looks like this bag is worth about $53.50. Pretty good deal though I'm disappointed that two of the products are not cruelty free/unknown CF status. I can usually forgive one but...to be honest, I'm thinking of phasing out of this subscription and trying something else. We'll see.

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!

 

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... 

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 June 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

Over all value of $37 is cool by me!

Ipsy May 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

Okay. Now for the actual monthly products:

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

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

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

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

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

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