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: hair care

Morgue Drawer June 2019

Thankfully I started organizing this post long before my trash overflowed into the house! So here are my empties for the past three months.

Debris

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Bath and Body Works Sensual Jasmine Vanilla Body Wash: Well, the time has finally come. I used up the last bottle I’ll ever have of this scent. BBW still makes body wash, but not in this scent anymore. So sad…

The Potion Cabinet Body Wash in Cyanide: It didn’t smell as much like almonds as I would have liked, and it didn’t foam up as much as the last one I tried from them. But I still enjoyed it, and am trying another scent now.

RenPure Coconut Cream Nourishing Conditioner: I’m still working through the shampoo of this scent but I really enjoyed both. It smells more like a mix of coconut and fruit - not too strong on either; my hair felt great and it didn’t fade the color too quickly. I originally got mine at Target but I can’t find it there now (but there are other formulas/scents). So the link is to the RenPure website.

Love Beauty and Planet Hair Masque with Rose and Murumuru Butter: Really liked this stuff. Hair felt fantastic. But the scent is really strong, almost too much.

Mitchum Women’s Solid Deodorant: I really like this brand. I’m not a super sweater so this works great for me. The Pure Fresh scent has been my favorite so far - a soft floral.

Avalon Organics Lip Balm in Cherry Aloe - meh. Feels nice at first but eventually my lips feel drier for using it. Um, what?

My Skin Would Make a Great Lampshade

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Formula 10.0.6 Day/Night Cream: I’ve been using these both for a while and I still love them. The only downside is the printing on the night cream tub. It comes off easily if your hands are wet or oily so if you’re not careful, you might smudge purple on your face! It doesn’t stain, though, so no worries there.

Pacifica Rose Flower Hydro Mist: This was just okay. The mister is way too fine so it feels like you have to pump the bottle 100 times to get anything to cover your face. Heyyyoooohhh…. It also doesn’t feel like anything special or revolutionary so I went back to Mario Badescu. Smell is really nice, though.

Elf Daily Face Cleanser: This was just fine. Nothing great, nothing bad. The smell is a bit too strong, though.

Body Shop Tea Tree Face Wash: Love this stuff. I keep repurchasing the big bottle and filling up my travel one when I go out of town for conventions.

FaceStory Vitalift Firming Mask with Pomegranate: Not sure how this did on the firming aspect, but otherwise I loved it. The mask is super soft; the essence is almost milky (which is my favorite); and my skin felt great the next day. I have a subscription to this company and it’s awesome.

Innsfree Volcanic Pore Clay Mask: I loved this stuff. Clay/mud masks work very well on my skin, particularly if I’m having some breakouts or general ickiness. This stuff has a little bit of exfoliant particles but nothing harsh. The only bad thing is that it got too dried out to use after I’d only gotten through half the jar. *sad trombone*

Beat That Mug

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Babyganics Wipes: I get these at my local Value Center grocery store. I love using them to clean off swatches or fallout under my eyes. I don’t use them for regular makeup removal - all wipes burn my skin.

Heimish All Clean Balm: I love cleansing balms and when I first tried a sample of this years ago, I fell in love. Once I got this bigger size, though, I noticed it really bothers my eyes. Not while I’m using it - the next morning, my eyes will be crusty and/or goopy. Blech. Trying the Physicians Formula one now.

Elf Prime & Stay Finishing Powder (Fair/Light): This is some of the best face powder I’ve ever used. Either alone or over foundation, it makes my skin look so smooth and, well, finished. And it’s $2. LOVE.

2B CC Cream in Nude: I love how this stuff looks on my skin but this tube is hella old and it’s gotta go. Plus, I’m pretty sure they don’t make it anymore as I can’t find it anywhere - at least, not in the US.

That’s all my garbage for now. Hope you enjoyed it!

Morgue Drawer March 2018

Welcome to my trash! This is a post dedicated to all the products I've used up over the past few months so I'm pretty sure I know how they perform, smell, feel, taste, and wear on my personage. (AGAIN - these are reviews of how these products work for MY body). I'll provide links to all, assuming I can find them, so you can check them out for yourselves.

 

BEAT THAT MUG

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Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara: Love this mascara, though this tube seemed drier than past tubes I've used. Could be I had it in my drawer too long!

Lunatcik Costmetic Labs lipsticks: I love the color on these but the bullets are so dry and sticky now, I can't even swatch them let alone use them on my lips. *sad trombone* Mine were the old packaging, apparently, so looks like you have to get the gold packaging now.

NYX Dewy Finishing Spray: I love this and it has replaced the ELF one I used to use.

Essence Eyeliner brush: I absolutely love this for gel liners. I imagine if I had a liquid one where the wand or brush went wonky, this would work great for that, too. And it's $2!

 

LIKE BUTTAH

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Bath & Body Works Body Cream (Jasmine & Vanilla): I know B&BW sells in China but I still haven't found anything to replace this scent, one of the best I've ever found in my life in a body product. The whole Sensual line is this combo of jasmine and vanilla and is pure heaven. This body cream is excellent. AND FUCK MY LIFE I CAN'T FIND IT ON THE SITE ANYMORE.

Simply Creative Living lip balm (peppermint): This was okay. I got it at the Clawson Farmer's Market, I think, from a local vendor. The quote on there also has a spelling mistake.

PurplecatCreatives Apothecary Body Butters: This is a seller on Etsy. I bought a 6-pack of minis to try out. These are super thick and hard to spread on the skin. BUT they're perfect for your feet. The Dragon Butter scent (dragons blood) was a little too heavy. The Candlelight scent (which I can't remember and there's no description - it's seasonal) was nice but a little perfumy. I'm using Lemon Chiffon now which is heavenly. 

Skin & Co Umbrian Truffle hand cream: Decent hand cream. Smells like coconut.

 

(MOSTLY) CLEAN AND SHINY

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Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil shampoo/conditioner: This stuff worked really well. The shampoos that say they're 'color safe' are useless. Find yourself a good moisturizing one and that will work much better. This line is really good - scent it nice, my color didn't fade too quickly, and my hair felt wonderful.

Hask Charcoal Purifying Dry Shampoo: I liked this one because it didn't leave a lot of white residue that most dry shampoos do. Smells good, too. Not the best dry shampoo I've used but decent!

MY SKIN WOULD MAKE A GREAT LAMP SHADE

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Mario Badescu Facial Spray with rose water: I love this stuff so much. I'm still working on a giant bottle I got off HauteLook. I recently got the lavender one, too, and it's great to use before bed.

Formula 10.0.6 Day/Night Creams: I love these. The day has SPF15, which I know isn't a lot but it works fine. Nice cream and doesn't make me feel greasy. The night cream is great, too. It makes a great seal over my serum and oils.

Benton Honest Cleansing foam: This was a nice gentle cleanser. It was nice to take traveling, too.

The Ordinary Buffet serum: Love it. Works great. Will continue to buy!

 

DEBRIS (AKA RANDOM ASSORTMENT)

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Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes: I wanted to find some wipes to replace the small packs of makeup wipes I've used over the years. I don't use them on my face - mostly just for cleaning swatches. So why not baby wipes? These were pretty good. If I did need to take something off my face (a mistake perhaps?) these did sting a bit and left some lint behind. But for general swatches they were fine. Trying something different now, though.

ACT Restoring Mouthwash (cool mint): Since I've started Invisalign (last August), I worry about my teeth being covered up all the time and trapped food, etc. So in addition to more brushing and flossing, I use this mouthwash. I love ACT. This and the green flavor (mint - my preferred) do NOT sting at all.

Mitchum Dry spray deodorant: I discovered this brand when Secret stopped worked for me. And I really like the gel so I thought I'd give this a try. WAAAAY to heavy on the scent but the product works well. I'm back to the gel, though.

Tom's of Main toothpaste: I wanted to see if their non-fluoride sensitive toothpaste works as well as the maximum sensitive fluoride one. It does not. Plus I like having fluoride in my oral care as much as possible because I am cavity prone. But I can only find it at The Vitamin Shoppe - which is fine. I have a membership there!

Hello Sensitivity Relief toothpaste: Meh. Not a foaming paste, which is fine, but felt like I wasn't actually brushing with any product. Didn't help with sensitivity that much, either. The taste was bleh. But the worst part was trying to open the flip cap. I struggled a lot with it so will not be going back.

Morgue Drawer June 2017

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

ALL THE PAMPERING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CLEAN THAT SHIT UP...THEN SOFTEN IT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

RANDOM ASSORTMENT

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

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

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

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

 

GET YOUR FILTHY PAWS OFF MY SILKY DRAWERS

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

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

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

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

Morgue Drawer February 2017

Holy crap I've got a lot of garbage...I mean, empties to go through. I got a new box (heh...dirty) to store them in and it's a lot bigger than the last one. So let's just get started.

I'm Ready for my Closeup

These piles include all my face masks, serums, or anything related to skin care.

Purpletale 5-Step mask: Really nice. The mask came in two pieces so it fit better than most one piece sheet masks. The whole pack includes cleanser, moisturizer, serum, and mask. I thought I'd wake up greasy but I didn't. Very nice little kit. (?)

Tosowoong Refresh masks: I can't remember what the pink one is but the blue was Sea Cucumber. Smelled super fresh and felt great. Very moisturizing. (CF - I think)

Tosowoong Rice Paper pack: This was kind of a DIY mask. You fill a shallow tray with the serum/essence and put the dried sheet in it for 5 minutes. Comes out pliable like jello/jelly. Doesn't stay wet and drippy and there was really no remaining serum to pat into the skin. Probably won't buy again. (CF)

Wish Formula honey fermented mask: Very dry on my forehead and dripping off my chin. The mask itself was super soft. My skin felt like the serum was equally distributed despite the mask feeling dry in some parts. Maybe it absorbed into the skin? It was okay. (CF)

Leaders Anti-pollution Mask: Fit terribly! The serum on it was great but since the mask's fit was so bad it didn't get onto all areas of my face. Too bad. (NCF)

Body Shop Ethiopian honey mask: Not a sheet mask - just straight up jelly to spread on the skin. Felt fantastic. But it never dried down so it was difficult to remove without a washcloth. Couldn't tell if it improved the feel of my skin, though. (CF)

Nan Well Aloe Collagen mask: The mask itself was the softest nicest mask yet. Very moisturizing serum. I think this has been my favorite so far of all the masks I've used. (?)

Ultrue I'm Sorry For My Skin (various): I love the jelly serums on these masks. Not sure if they all perform differently or not but they feel great and my skin loves them. The mask does dry out right above my lip, though. That's kind of irritating. (CF)

It's Skin Todak Todak Pack: I thought this would be jelly but it was like a clay mask, very similar to my Freeman's Strawberry and Chocolate. Felt great! (?)

Bon Vivant Masks (various): The olive/collagen and rose ones are nice, though they dry out on various spots on my face. The lime one was awful. My skin got very irritated and my cheeks were red the next day. (?)

MasquerAide Weather Warrior mask: It was...okay. (? - their WashBeautyCo is CF but can't find any info on MasquerAide itself)

Mario Badescu facial spray: I love this stuff and I've talked about it before. Unfortunately, it seems Mario is now selling in China where they require animal testing on imported goods. *sad trombone* (NCF)

Etude House Pink Vital Water and Age Defense Essential Softener: Both are very thin moisturizers. I wouldn't use them on their own but they're a nice addition if you need just a little extra moisture. (CF but sell in China)

V10+ Serums (various): I couldn't tell if these did anything and I got about a week's worth of use from each packet. They all felt like water or thinned down aloe gel. Didn't irritate my skin so that's good, I guess. (?)

Soft, Smooth, and...Stink Free?

Secret Outlast deodorant: I don't know why I put this in with the moisturizers...eesh. I've used this brand for years but for some reason, it doesn't seem to work that well anymore. I've switched up to a new brand so I'll let you know how that works. (NCF)

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream: Meh. Very very thin formula so it didn't feel like it did that much heavy duty moisturizing, which is what a night cream is supposed to do. Also BB will be selling in China so they can no longer be considered cruelty free. (NCF)

Dead Sea Premier body butter: I got accosted by one of those mall kiosk people and ended up with 3 tubs of this and 3 tubs of a body salt scrub. While the smell on this body butter IS AMAZING, and it does moisturize well, it's not worth the $$$ I got swindled into paying for it. (CF)

Alba Hawaiian lip balm: Good balm, didn't wear off too quickly or dry my lips. But the pineapple scent was just too overpowering. (CF)

Dessert Essence lip rescue: Meh. Little drying. (CF)

Purlisse lip nourisher: This was okay. Similar texture to Malin & Goetz but not as thick or long lasting. (CF)

Malin & Goetz Mojito lip balm: I got this AGES ago in an Ipsy bag, I think. I kept it on my nightstand but didn't use it every night so that's why it too so long to use up. It felt like the never ending tube! Product is fantastic. Thick clear balm, stays on all night (yes, all night), and smells like lime! Would definitely repurchase. (CF)

Yu-be skin cream: This is really only good for the feet. The menthol scent is super strong and I couldn't handle it on my hands. BUT...if you have sore feet, rub this stuff on them. Awesome. (CF)

My Makeup...MY MAKEUP!

NYX Makeup Remover: This stuff was pretty awesome. Left a little film but that doesn't bother me. The super small size does, though. There are other things I want to try so now that I've used these up on moving on to bigger and better (I hope). (CF)

ELF Cleansing Cloths: I just use these to clean off swatches. Don't like them for my face or eyes but for $3 a pack, I don't feel like I'm wasting money. (CF)

Sweet Libertine Mineral Veil: I found this company on Etsy. I don't think they exist anymore (I got this years ago) but this stuff is gorgeous. Adds a soft glow to the face/body without glitter. (As in indy company, I'd guess they were/are CF)

Too Cool for School Lip Balm: Not sure if this is a balm per se but that's how I used it. It was a soft pink/peach color that was perfect for just adding a little color and shine. Unfortunately, it was pretty drying on the lips and I never made it through the whole pot before it dried out. (?)

Pur Cosmetics Volume Vixen mascara: Rather thick and gloppy formula and smelled terrible! Didn't so much volumize as get all over my eye lids to make it LOOK like the base of my lashes were thick. Lame. (CF)

The Leftovers

Tom's of Main Toothpaste: I normally use the sensitive kind but had some whitening stuff I needed to use up. I've loved every kind of tried from this brand and will continue to use the sensitive. It's the only one that doesn't destroy the inside of my mouth. (CF)

Hask Strengthening shampoo: I don't think this strengthened anything but it's a decent shampoo. You know, it cleaned my hair. (CF)

Soap & Glory Rich and Foamous body wash: Love this stuff. Smells like oatmeal cookies. By the time I got to almost the end of the bottle, the product had thinned out and I needed to use 10 pumps to get it to foam up. So probably won't get it again. Maybe. (CF)

Spring Valley Tea Tree oil: I love using this for spot treating zits or problem spots on my face. Doesn't really matter what brand it is. Unfortunately, I think this one expired (the date rubbed off) and it really fucked up my face for over a week. Gotta be more careful next time. (?)

Tarte Deep Dive gel cleanser: Holy balls this stuff is awesome. My skin felt amazing, almost like I used one of those gel peel products (you know, you rub it all over your face until the dead skin balls up and you rinse it off). This is pricey, though, so not sure if I'll bite the bullet and order a full size. (CF)

 

I'm exhausted. That'll do for now!

3B October 2016 Review

Even though I got this a few weeks ago, I haven't had time to try any of the products. So this post will basically just tell you what I got. For those who don't know, 3B is a monthly subscription service. For $15 (they recently raised their price on the month to month option - goes down to $12 if you sign up for the whole year at once) you get 4-5 sample, sometimes full-sized, Asian beauty, hair, and skin care products. They now have a store front, too. Check them out here: 3B

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

Todak Todak Pack - Pore Care: I got a different kind in another 3B bag but like I said in my Morgue Drawer post, I didn't really get full use of it. I hope to with this one, especially since my pores are the size of Nebraska. Full size and costs $4. (CF)

Neogence Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion: I'm all about face lotions, man. I love trying new ones, especially the hydrating ones. Just because I have oily skin does NOT mean it's hydrated. And now with winter coming, this will be (I hope) very useful. 180mls is $20 so this 30mls sample should run around $6.50. (?)

Lador Damage Protector Acid Shampoo: Right now I don't have dry and damaged hair. But since I plan to get it mostly all cut off, I'll probably be styling it more often. This shampoo contains argan oil that helps to protect hair against heat damage. Hmmm...This is full size and runs $10. (?)

When 10:00pm Sheet Mask: You all know how much I love me some sheets masks. Seems like this might have that gel or jelly texture that I've used before and is awesome. The people at 3B tested this and claimed their skin felt great the next morning. Challenge Accepted! This is full size and costs $7. (?)

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Deep Cream: Again, I'm all about the moisturizer. This thick lotion seems like it will be perfect as a night cream as we head into winter - not heavy or greasy. I seem to have a lot of luck with EH products so fingers crossed. Full sized 75ml costs $20 so this 10ml sample runs around $2.50 or so. (CF but ships to China)

Over all looks like this bag is worth about $30. Not too bad considering I will probably get good use from everything!

Morgue Drawer May 2016

And again with keeping on time, though I guess technically I should have posted this a few days ago. But I was at Motor City Comic Con with my writing group so GET OFF MY BACK!

Anyway...let's get to it, shall we?

(Side note: I'm unsure about the cruelty free status of most of the Korean brands. If I know for sure, I'll mention it. Eventually I'll get to the point where I'll just mark CF or NCF but let's ease into that later.)

BECAUSE I'M ALL ABOUT THAT FACE, 'BOUT THAT FACE...

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture face lotion: I've used this stuff for years. Nice and lightweight, can put on two layers to get some extra moisturizing, and it's got SPF 15. Unfortunately, Neutrogena is NOT cruelty free so I've got to find an alternative.

Promise Organic Argan Creme face lotion: Speaking of alternatives, this would be a great one. Moisturizes very well without that greasy shiny look/feel that the Neutrogena one can give. And it smells like fresh oranges. This brand IS cruelty free but it doesn't have SPF. I like my face lotion to have sunscreen because I don't always wear makeup so I can't rely on that for sun protection.

Etude House Wonder Pore toner: Not sure this did anything. It didn't over dry my skin or make it break out but did it do anything else? *shrug*

Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion: Absolutely TERRIBLE stuff. The scrub was way too harsh and it actually caused two HUGE break outs on my chin. I'm also pretty sure this brand is NOT cruelty free so Dr. Brandt can just go fuck off.

Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream: I have a few more sample packs to use up so I'll get a better idea how this works. Initial trial worked well. Nice, thick cream that's very moisturizing. I'm excited to try the rest.

Sephora Lingzhi eye mask: Not really sure if this anti-aged or smoothed anything but my skin felt nice afterwards. Unfortunately, Sephora is not cruelty free so I won't be purchasing anything else from their line. (Note: when I went to find the link, this particular eye mask was no longer available - shocked, I tell you.)

3W Clinic Royal Jelly mask: Super saturated mask. My skin felt great after using it but the cut outs (for eyes, nose, etc.) do not fit my face well at all. It's kind of annoying. I don't want the essence...DEAR GODS IT'S ON MY EYEBALL!!

Botanic Farm Rice mask: This was an awesome cotton mask. Very saturated and the material was super soft. The cut outs fit so much better on my face than the 3W. Really enjoyed this one. (Note: as of the time I'm typing this, the only place I can find that sells this is Meme Box and they're currently sold out.)

 

GEE YOUR HAIR SMELLS LIKE YOU WERE BORN WITH IT

Hask Thickening Conditioner: Very nice. Smells softly of mint, not overpowering or sweet. Don't think it thickened my hair, though. Waiting to finish the shampoo and move on to another Hask product. This brand is cruelty free.

L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Conditioner: It's okay. I used it when I was coloring my hair and it was all frizzy and dry. Meh. L'Oreal is not cruelty free.

Batiste Dry Shampoo: The Fresh scent is better than the others I've tried but it can still be a little overpowering. There's a lot of mixed info out there about this brand, though their parent company tests on animals. As there are a ton of CF alternatives I haven't tried yet, I'll probably work through my current can and move on to something else afterwards.

Smashbox Full Exposure mascara: I really liked this mascara for volume. It was also really great to layer with other mascaras that didn't thicken lashes very well. Smashbox is not CF, though, so I'll never buy this brand (this was a sample I got in Ipsy, I think).

Maybelline Define-A-Lash mascara: Really great at separating lashes and defining them (go figure). But you could never build it up - it just got clumpy, even if layered with another mascara. Maybelline is not CF.

Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara: This was a fantastic mascara. Great at separating lashes and giving a bit of length and volume. Never clumped up even with multiple layers. Covergirl is not CF.

 

SMOOTH AS AN ANDROID'S BOTTOM

Nivea In-Shower lotion: Awesome, awesome stuff. Smells nice and the softness lasted on my skin all day. Unfortunately, Nivea is not CF.

Nivea Kiss of...lip balms: These have been some of my favorite balms. I didn't like the cherry or SPF one but these two are phenomenal. Makes me so sad that Nivea isn't CF. 

Marlowe body lotion: This is an okay moisturizer but the scent is heavy on the herbal side which I didn't care for. This brand is cruelty free, though!

Revo lip balm: It was all right. I've had a few others and this one probably had the best scent/flavor. But it's really waxy and doesn't last long on the lips. Because this is a Walgreens brand, it's not CF.

 

DIRTY AND HAIRY IS NO WAY TO GO THROUGH LIFE

Bath and Body Works foaming hand soap: Most of their scents are spot on for me. Rainkissed Leaves was clean and fresh, not too heavy; Coastal Water Lily was too strong (but lilies can be very heady); the Kitchen Lemon is the best. Unfortunately, BBW sells their products in China so even though they are CF here in the US, they are basically supporting animal testing elsewhere. Honestly, though, if I can't find another soap/candle/body wash brand that works for me, I will probably continue to purchase these few things from them.

Sally Hansen spray on hair remover: This stuff has an overpowering smell, as do most depilatories. But I like the convenience of a spray on. It works pretty well on thick coarse hair (read: bikini line) but I still need to use a wash cloth to help remove the foam/hair (even though you're supposed to be able to just rinse it off). Sally Hansen isn't cruelty free.

 

Okay. That covers the last couple of months. Tune in around mid-July for the next installment!

August Morgue Drawer Part II - Hair and Makeup

All righty. Ready for Part 2 of my Morgue Drawer reviews? Hold on to your panties because it’s hair and makeup time! 

First up: Hair

DevaCurl Shampoo and Conditioner: This came in a three pack with styling gel but I’m still trying that out. Step 1 is No-Poo Zero Lather hair cleanser and Step 2 is Hydrate Ultra Creamy conditioner. Meh. The no-poo cleanser smelled like poo (so I’m dubious of the name) but the conditioner smelled nice. Those alone didn’t define my curls - I think it was the styling gel. Looks like 3 ounces is $9 for each so I’ll skip it. http://www.devacurl.com/

Hask Argan Oil from Morocco Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner: I got sample packets of these on two separate occasions and loved them both times. Not really sure if they repaired anything but they smell so yummy. Like fresh oranges! $6 for 12 ounces? Yes, please! http://haskbeauty.com/brand/argan

Giovanni 2 Chic Blackberry and Coconut Oil Hair Serum: This was another sample from Ulta and though I don’t get any blackberry from it, it smells like heaven, if heaven was filled with sweet coconuts. The oil really helps smooth the frizziness in my hair but be careful. If you use too much (for me that’s more than the size of an aspirin) your hair will look greasy. I’ve already purchased the full size (2.75 ounces for $8). http://giovannicosmetics.com/index.asp

Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Hair Spray: LOVE this stuff. It’s lightweight but feels like it gives me enough control over my hair style (you know, what little styling I actually do with my mop). Smells fantastic. Already repurchased the travel size and the regular 8.8 ounce can ($9 at Ulta, sometimes $7 at Walgreens). You can’t buy it at their site but there’s a store locator option. http://www.marcanthony.com/buy.php

 

Next up: MAKE UP!!

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Wipes: Meh. They smell very nice but I don’t feel they removed my makeup all that well. Which doesn’t make me ultra-calm either. You can get them for about $7 at retailers all over but only if you want to.  http://www.aveeno.com/

It’s Skin Mangowhite Lip/Eye Makeup Remover Wipes: I loved these. They smell really nice and the cloths are super soft. They did a really good job of removing makeup, too. I got these in a 3B box so you’ll have to get them on-line at a Korean market or Ebay. I’ve seen prices between $5-$10.  http://www.yesstyle.com/en/its-skin-mangowhite-lip-eye-makeup-remover-tissue-15sheets/info.html/pid.1038944148

Vivito Dressin Solution Lip/Eye Makeup Remover: Not too happy with this one. It’s an oil based mixture that you need to shake before applying. The oil doesn’t bother me because those removers never pull at the skin around my eyes and hydrate while cleaning. But the bottle leaked when it arrived (in a Meme box) and it didn’t do that great of a job. Smelled nice though. Had a hard time finding their site for info. Don’t trust my conversion method but I think this goes for about $13 USD.  http://www.vivito.co.kr/shop/goods/goods_view.php?goodsno=30&category=003001

Benefit Porefessional Face Primer: I’ve only ever received teeny samples of this that are only good for one time use (and I got the samples twice and I STILL don’t know if it's any good). It seems like a formula that would work well for me and it didn’t break me out the two times I’ve used it. But I can’t really get a reading on its performance. And at $31 for .75 ounces I may never know. Since it’s not necessary to use a lot of product at once, I know many people buy the travel size for $10 (which I think you can only get at places like Ulta or Sephora - not at the Benefit store) and it lasts forever. So I might give that a shot someday. https://www.benefitcosmetics.com/

Physicians Formula Sexy Booster VaVaVoom Volumizing Mascara: I normally like most of PF mascaras. The ‘Organic’ line is not drying or harsh on my lashes, which are getting older and drier and a little more sparse. Great substitute for the discontinued Cover Girl Natureluxe mascara Though the packaging on this is gorgeous, the formula left a lot to be desired and the product dried up in just a few weeks. Lame. https://www.physiciansformula.com/en-us/default.html

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner: Maybelline has been pissing me off lately. A lot of their products have been complete failures for me. Though I like the felt tip precision of this liner, it smudged and faded easily (damn my oily eyelids) and the pen dried up way too fast. Won’t be wasting $8 on this again.  http://www.maybelline.com/

 

There you have it. All the crap I went through over the past few months. Hope the mini reviews help some of you out. If not, well at least it’s not rattling around in my brain anymore. I’ll be back in a few months for another morgue drawer cleaning.

Walmart Beauty Box - Spring 2015

A day after I wrote the inaugural post about doing reviews, my Walmart Beauty Box came in the mail. Talk about timing...

For those of you who may not know, Walmart puts out a beauty box once a quarter. Basically one for each season. It's only $5 and you get 5-7 sample sized beauty items. They range from hair and skin care to makeup. Coupons are usually included, too, just in case you end up falling in love with one of the products. You might even get a full sized item (I got a full sized Covergirl All Day lip color thing in the winter box).

These kinds of subscription boxes are a great way to learn about new products or try ones you've always wanted to buy but were a bit leery of spending full price on something you might end up loathing. From the winter box, I now know that the Dove moisturizing shampoo strips the color out of my hair like CRAZY and Ponds Anti-Wrinkle cream breaks me out like a mo-fo.

Okay. I think I've give you enough set up. Let's get to the box!

(Disclaimer: I purchased this box with my own money. It was not given to me for review and I was not paid anything or given any kind of compensation to review it. I will always let you know how the product(s) got into my grubby little paws and I will always provide my honest opinions. If someone wants to pay me just to spew some positive PR spin on crap products, I won't do it. I may even tell them to shove it.)

This is what it looks like when you open it up. The tissue paper is a nice touch, don't you think?

You can't see a couple of the samples I got in this pic but they're there. This actually felt rather heavy when I first picked it up. And why wouldn't it? There's a lot of shit in here!

Sorry about the light reflection. On the left: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil. One of those multi-tasking skin oils that supposed to help with wrinkles, age spots, etc. I haven't tried it yet but I do like a good face oil. Middle: Burt's Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum. There was just enough in here for me to get 2 days use so I can't really say if it works. I think you need to try it for about a month. But it smells good. A little appley but mostly clean and fresh. I got a coupon with it so I may buy the full size. There are several other products in the same line so maybe I'll give them a shot, too! On the right: sample of Lady Gaga's perfume, Black Fluid. Sounds very disgusting but it smells awesome! You get the fruity apricot right off the bat and then it mellows out to vanilla. It says it's honey and saffron but all I smell is vanilla. The sample bottle has a pump spray, too, so no fighting with one of those fucking tighter-than-a-Scotsman's-coinpurse tops where you end up spilling half the product all over your hands.

Nice sized sample/travel bottles of L'Oreal Total Repair 5 shampoo and conditioner. Haven't tried them yet and I won't until after my color has faded a bit. After that Dove disaster...These smell really good, though.

Left: another Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula in a lotion. Never heard of this brand before. The lotion is VERY thick but it absorbs really well. My hands didn't feel greasy at all. But the smell is POWERFUL. The cocoa butter is like suntan lotion on crack and artificial chocolate. It's a bit much and I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep using it. Right: Caress body wash in Adore Forever scent. Haven't used it but it smells very flowery and perfumey, if that makes sense. Might not end up that way in the shower but I'll let you know.

Overall impression: great box (that's what he said). It's amazing how much use you can get out of travel sized bottles so I'm looking forward to trying out the shampoo and body wash. I'm excited for the face oil and I liked the Burt's Bees serum and Gaga's perfume. There's also a coupon for one of the new Dove dry deodorant sprays so that might be cool, too. I don't know how much each product costs but you can bet your sweet ass there's more than $5 worth of stuff in here.

I, personally, hate shopping at Walmart stores. They're usually dirty, the stock is in utter chaos, and some of the employees are surly and look like they haven't pooped in a month. But the company got this subscription box right. Great stuff for a great value.

Interested in your own beauty box from Walmart? Click HERE to get more info.