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: review

BH Cosmetics - Aurora Lights Palette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Monthly 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!

 

Ipsy April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy October/November 2017 Review

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

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

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

OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NOVEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy August 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy June 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10, you will received 4-5 sample (sometimes full sized) makeup, hair, and skin care products along with a reusable makeup bag. Check them out here: IPSY

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

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This month's theme is whatever-who-fucking-cares month. The bag is really cute, though. Canvas on the outside with a nylon lining. I dig it. Let's get into the products, shall we?

Delectable Coconut and Cream Triple Moisture Body Lotion: (by Cake Beauty) I liked the lemon hand cream I got before much better than this. This is very lightweight and absorbs quickly, which is nice. But when I got my Ipsy bag, the second I opened the bubble pack I was smacked in the face with a coconut scent. The tube was still capped and sealed, nothing was broken or torn. But the scent just permeated EVERYTHING. Not very happy about that. I like coconut but dayum. Full size is 8 ounces so this 2 ounce size is valued around $3.50. (CF and Vegan)

Doucce Maxlash Volumizer Mascara (black): I can't report on this yet because I have about 5 open mascaras already. Didn't want to open this just yet. But I love trying new mascaras! Full size goes for $22 (can't seem to find the amount and a lot of mascaras hold between 7mls and 11 mls). So let's say this one is about 8mls so this travel size of 6 mls costs about $16.50 (CF)

Vasanti Cosmetics Power Oils Lip Gloss in Super Mom: Love love love this lip gloss. I'm actually a bit tired of matte lipstick (not that I will stop wearing it, of course) but with summer in full swing, it's nice to switch things up. Super pigmented, not sticky at all, long lasting, this color is gorgeous and will probably look good on almost everyone. Full sized, this gloss goes for $22 - though it's on sale right now for $19. (CF)

TheBalm Cosmetics Balm Springs Blush: I do like getting products from TheBalm. I've really enjoyed a lot of their makeup. This blush is a gorgeous neutral rosy shade. Look very natural, at least on my pasty ass skin. My only issue is the samples they use are so small they're hard to work with. Very difficult to get an even brush full of powder. Still nice though! Full size (5.5g) is $21 so this 1g sample is probably around $4. (CF)

Beauty for Real I-LINE 27-7 Eyeliner in Chocolate Fix: While I admit this color is really nice (sometimes it's hard to find a brown that's neutral or cool toned) the lasting power is for shit. Tightlined with it and within 5 minutes it was gone. It lasted a tad longer on the actual eye lids. Fucking weak. I doubt I'll be reaching for this very often. This is full sized and goes for $14. (I assume CF because the founder works with the SPCA - that'd be MAJOR hypocritical if the brands wasn't CF, yes?).

Wow, the value of this bag is around $57 (give or take a few bucks due to my mathematical prowess). That's not too shabby!

Ipsy April 2017 Review

Well, March came in like a lion this year, eh, midwesterners? Let's hope April has showers to bring May flowers and not too much more of Mother Nature's menopause specials. I don't know about the rest of you but our fence has almost been pulled out at least twice by all these wind storms!

Anyway, this post is about Ipsy. For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service where, for $10, you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized makeup, hair, and skin care products. Check them out for yourselves here: IPSY

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

Have no idea what the theme is this month because I didn't bother to look at the card as it has NO useful info on it at all. Lemme go to the website. Hang on..."Sideshow". What the fuck is that supposed to mean? OMG so useless.

The bag itself is hilarious! I love the ticket shape, like what you'd get at a carnival or whatever. But the material is vinyl or something that feels like very tough stiff (*rowr*) rubber. Probably pretty durable, though. Meh. Let's get to the products.

Hikari Cosmetics Cream Pigment Eye Shadow: I believe the color is Honeydew. Looks like a frosty pink with a hint of peach behind it. It's beautiful. The texture is like a Colourpop shadow - feels like a cream but goes on like a powder. Using a brush is pretty much useless, though, unlike CP. Hardly any pigment pay off. But with a finger it's very nice. Could be used as a highlighter, too, because there's no glitter. Can't find an amount on the website for full size but I'm guessing this is a sample (because full size comes in a pot) but a decent sized sample. Let's call it half price and valued at $6.50. (CF)

Colourpop Creme Gel Pencil: You know how much I love CP. So I was excited for this product. The shade is Best O (oh my...) and is a deep burgundy. It looks kind of brown in the swatch below but on the eye it's much more reddish purple. Smooth and creamy, these are great eyeliners. HOWEVER - they are soft so break easily; I also had trouble getting the color to show up on top of the eye shadow. Had to work at it. Full size and is $5.00 (CF)

Touch in Sol No Poreblem! Primer: Interesting primer. It looks like a lotion. Feels like silicone. But once it absorbs, which it does FULLY, your skin just feels smooth and soft. It actually does look like it diminishes the appearance of pores. So cool. I only used it once but with just a translucent powder so I can't speak to it's ability to help makeup last longer. I'll let you know. Full size is $18 so this sample (the tube felt almost empty which is a bit of a rip off) is about $3. (CF)

Tried to do a quick look with the shadow and liner so forgive the messy brow powder and mascara.

Tried to do a quick look with the shadow and liner so forgive the messy brow powder and mascara.

Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel: I do like aloe gel. Granted, this has aloe powder as it's EIGHTH ingredient but I'll still give it a shot. It does smell fresh and more like cucumbers than aloe but what the hell. Full size at 100g is $30 so this 10g sample is about $3.00 (CF)

Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660: I am never mad at brushes. And I've received Luxie Beauty ones in the past and they are awesome. I don't use brushes for foundation but I'm sure I'll have no trouble finding another use for this one. Full size and is $23.00 (Vegan and CF)

I'm gonna round the numbers around and say this month was around a $40 value. I've had better. Think I've had worse. But I like everything in this bag AND they're all cruelty free so I'm all right with it!

PDs, MEHs, and GFYs February 2017

I don't have a lot of stuff that moved me or made me super angry these past few months. But compared to the Morgue Drawer I just typed up, this will be a welcome relief.

PANTY DROPPERS

Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape concealer: There was a shit ton of hype over this on YouTube and there's good reason. This shit is awesome. The tube is HUGE so you get a ton of product (.34 ounces is much more than standard concealer tubes). It's creamy and blends well; great coverage; very little creasing (even for those of us with more wrinkles than others). Tarte has since come out with more shades so that's cool. I could probably even go one shade darker in this. I have 'Light' and it's very bright on me. It is pricey but worth it, as most Tarte stuff is. (CF)

ELF Lip Exfoliator: I have the Cherry Tart flavor and I love it. It's shaped like a regular lip stick but it's a sugar scrub. Lots of people think it's too dry but I think it's perfect. There's a nice balm left behind after the sugar melts. It's a great lip prep. (CF)

 

MEHs

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect: This is supposed to be more voluminous than the original Lash Princess but I didn't find that to be true at all. Looks more natural and the product tends to get clumpy around the opening of the tube and a bit on the brush. (CF)

ELF Poreless Face Primer: This is so MEH that I mentioned in my November post back in 2016. Kept trying it out and yep, it's still pretty average. Most of the bottle is left so I'm going to donate it somewhere. (CF)

LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint: Gorgeous color but it goes on patchy. It's also has just an angled plastic tip (no sponge) so it's nearly impossible to apply neatly. (CF)

 

GO FUCK YOURSELVES

Etude House Moistfull Deep Cream: This stuff left my skin super greasy the next morning and I'm pretty sure it broke me out. LAME. (CF but sells in China)

Benefit Dew the Hoola liquid bronzer: First off there's barely enough product in this sample to get a really good idea how it looks. Second it broke me out. Fucking weak. (NCF)

Mint Pear beauty sponge: It felt like I was beating myself in the face with a rock. Thanks for the black eye, asshats. (CF)

Wei Rapid Glow Liquid Milk: I wasn't sure if this broke me out until the second time I used it and holy balls my skin fucking HATES this shit. I think I'm done with Wei products. (CF)

Essence Super Fine liquid liner pen: This pen dried out waaaay to fast and it smudges like a bitch. Ugh. (CF)

 

Short, sweet, and to the point. That'll do, pig. That'll do.

 

Ipsy December 2016 Review

Almost end of the year, folks. Where the FUCK did 2016 go? Personally, I'm happy to see it leave.

For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 every month you'll get sample (sometimes full) sized beauty, hair, and skin products in a reusable make-up bag. Check them out here: IPSY

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

This month's theme is Carpe P.M. Have I mentioned how much I LOATHE these fucking useless themes? That said, the bag is kind of adorable. At first I was hesitant but the fuzzy deep fuschia wine colored bag is growing on me! Also the products look pretty fucking sweet.

Mint Pear beauty sponge: I adore makeup sponges. They make foundation look flawless and they're also great for smoothing out concealer or any other cream product. Even nice to tamp down too much highlighter (is there such a thing as too much highlighter??). I haven't used this yet but even dry it feels soft enough. It looks full size which is valued at $20. (CF)

UPDATE: I just used this the other day and it SUUUUUCKS. It does not absorb water like it's supposed to and felt like I beat myself up with rock when I tried to apply foundation. 

Make Beauty moonlight primer: I've never seen a primer start out looking like the black ooze that's usually involved with alien abductees. This product claims to protect the skin against High Energy Visible light and Infra Red light - both which apparently fuck your shit up in the premature aging department. It feels super light and absorbs quickly. Haven't used it as a primer yet so I'll let you know. 1 fl. ounce goes for $55 so this .1-ish ounce should cost around $5.50. (CF) This company also donates 10% of its sales to We See Beauty foundation. Cool.

Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist Glossy Lip Paint in WCW: I love Tarte cosmetics, man. So anytime I get something in one of my bags I'm happy. The formula on this lip paint is smooth, not sticky at all. The color is fucking gorgeous! That said, though, it is streaky (which you can see in the hand swatch) and dark glossy lip products just love those crevices around my lips. I can use a lip liner with this but I'm less likely to reach for this because of those two factors. Full size is $20 so this sample is worth around $3. (CF)

Cake Beauty heavy cream intensive hand repair balm: This stuff smells like straight up vanilla cake. So delicious! And it's a super thick hand cream that works pretty dang well. And now is the time of year for this kind of treatment! Full size costs $22 so this sample should be valued around $6.50. (CF - and Canadian!)

NYX Prismatic eyeshadow in Punkheart: I love NYX and I love their prismatic eyeshadows. These little pans of almost duochrome wonderfulness are super pigmented and blend out like a dream. I have Frostbite already so I'm excited to add this gorgeous plumy purple shade to my collection. This is full size and goes for $6.

Overall looks like this bag is worth somewhere around $41. Not too bad. Yes, I've had higher valued bags but I don't think I've been as happy with all the products like this. Nice way to end the year, Ipsy! And with all cruelty free companies. Hooray! Now PLEASE start making cards with product info already. Maybe that can be your New Year's resolution, m'kay?

 

 

 

Ipsy November 2016 Review

Holy crap this month snuck up on me! When I got that pink envelope in the mail I was completely unprepared. Usually I feel like I've been waiting for months and months for it to show up...

Anyway, for those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you get sample (sometimes full) sized beauty, skin, and hair care products in a reusable make up bag. Check them out here: IPSY

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

The theme this month is Rock Starlet, whatever the FUCK that's supposed to mean. OMG so useless! The bag is kinda cute, though. It's made of that neoprene squishy material which is cool. The little star zipper pull is also cute. But the products this month literally made me gasp out loud. Except the first one so let's get that out of the way.

Pur-Lisse blue lotus balancing moisturizer: I got an eye cream from this brand before and it stung like a mother fucker. Even the lip balm I got last month stings a bit. So I'm not happy to put more of their acid on my fucking face. I'll try to be brave but don't hold your breath. Full size is $55 for 1.7 ounces (fuck off) so this .5 ounce sample is probably around $18. (CF)

Eyeko Skinny liquid eyeliner deluxe in Black: I have heard so many great things about this brand so imagine my excitement when I got a sample of their liquid liner! I forgot to take a swatch pic but it's super black and dried very quickly with no smudging. Update: It's not that black on the eyeball and it does break down in the wing part, when I draw one obvi. But it can be layered without crumbling or looking like crap. The 2g full size is $18 so this 1.2 gram is just about $9. (CF)

Absolute New York Matte Stick in Dark Red: I love me some red lipstick! I tried to swatch it on my lips but with my new bite splint it looked kind of goofy (yes, I simply could have removed it but I just put it in and fuck you, it's my mouth!). But the swatch on my hand is GORGEOUS! The angle of the bullet is nice but it's not tapered so application is a bit messy. It dries down to look matte but does not feel drying at all. It's very comfortable. And it smells like candy! Not transfer proof, though, so keep that in mind! It looks full size which is $6. (CF)

Tarte Maracuja Oil: I'm not opposed to face oils and this one has had a lot of hype. With winter coming, I'm going to need extra moisturizing. This product, supposedly, also brightens and smooths skin's texture. It can also be used as a make up remover, hair tamer, and a cuticle oil. Though at $48 a pop, I'll save it for my face. This .7 ml sample costs about $20.

TheBalm Mad Lash mascara: I've never tried this brand's mascara before. Though the eyeliner I just reviewed was crap, I'm still excited for this. Apparently this product delivers great volume. I'll let you know. Full size (8 mls) is $18 so this 2.5 mls sample is around $5.50. (CF)

Overall this bag is valued around $58.50. And everything was from a brand that's cruelty free. Whoop! Good job this month, Ipsy!

 

PDs, MEHs, and GFYs November 2016

Ah...one of my favorite posts to write. Even though it's been a while, I don't have TOO much stuff but yeah, this will be a bit longer than my last few. That's okay. I can just bask in it for a little extra time this month.

I've purchased all of these products with my own money (or they came in a subscription box which I also paid for myself) so all opinions are my honest ones.

PD (PANTY DROPPERS)

Etude House Moisture Cleansing Oil: This stuff was awesome. Smelled great and did a fantastic job at removing all my makeup. (CF but ships to China)

Lunatic Cosmetic Labs: I found this brand through Tori Biohazard on YouTube. It's a small indy company so they don't have a shit ton of products. But they had a booth at the Flashback horror convention in Chicago this year so I thought it would be perfect to try them out. This eye shadow palette (Supernatural) is unbelievable. They are so pigmented and blend beautifully. And can we talk about this packaging? Hello, awesome party of one! (CF)

DIY Mask: I was looking for some homemade masks that would be good for dry skin. As I've said before I experienced some super dry skin this year and I still don't know why. But this mask recipe was awesome. I used it 3-4 times a week for a couple of months and my skin felt fantastic. There's a huge list on this page but I made #13, skipping the cucumber on my eyes part. It's just brown sugar, honey, and milk. That's it!

MEH

Milani Big & Bigger Lashes mascara: The formula on this is okay for volume but nothing stupendous. The brush is terrible. Plastic bristles that poke the shit out of my eye balls. If it had a different wand it would be all right. (CF)

ELF Lengthening & Volumizing mascara: Not volumizing at all but you can get a nice natural look from it. But then why would you buy this if that's what you want? The brush was nice but the tube dried up pretty fast. (CF)

ELF Poreless Face Primer: Though this is a nice silky soft primer, it's not good for oily skin. My face felt greasy all day after using this. I tried it a couple of times with different powders, foundations, and BB creams but the result was the same. If you have dry skin, this might work really well for you.

Hostess Chocodile Twinkies: Imagine my disappointment when these really tasted nothing like chocolate covered Twinkies. They basically taste like King Dons but vanilla. And stale. I could have gotten an older box (what'd you call me?) so I'd be willing to try them again.

GFY (GO FUCK YOURSELF)

Yes to Coconut Makeup Wipes: Dry as a popcorn fart and burned like fucking acid. (CF)

Yes to Cucumbers Calming Mask: Christ all mighty this thing burned like a mother fucker. Where's the fucking calm in that, ass holes? I had to take it off after about 2 minutes. What the fuck is this "Yes To..." brand doing with it's life?? (CF)

Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Moisturizer with SPF15: Way too thick so it never felt like it fully absorbed. It also broke me out. I know this is Gwyneth Paltrow's brand and all and everyone just looooves her but fuck that shit. Other products she's made are good but this stuff sucks ass. (CF)

NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Face Primer: You've seen me rave on NYX stuff before but I have no idea why people love this crap. It absolutely accentuates dryness on the skin. It also balls up and/or flakes off when putting make up over it. Um...that kind of defeats the purpose, don't you think? Try harder next time. (CF)

The Balm Mr. Write Now (Scott) Eyeliner: This eyeliner is so fucking dry! It totally crumbles when I try to put it on. And you'd think my oily lids might help it out a bit. Noooope. For the price point on this, I expected better, especially since other products I own from this brand are pretty awesome. (CF)

Essence Waterproof Gel Eyeliner: TERRIBLE! The product is way too dry and if you try to layer it, it crumbles everywhere. It doesn't stay, or apply evenly, on the tight or water line. Um, isn't it supposed to be waterproof? Geez. (CF)

Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Restorative Night Cream: Though is smells okay this crap broke me out something terrible. I couldn't even finish up the tiny sample tube. Ugh. (NCF)

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Plumping Gloss: HOLY FUCKING ASS CRACKERS. This shit contains capsicum - you know, that genus of flowering plants called peppers that contain capsaicin which causes a BURNING SENSATION. Apparently beauty companies think this is an awesome ingredient to plump the lips and make them appear fuller. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? This shit burned so bad even AFTER I took it off. It left a red irritated ring around the line of my lips like I just gave a blow job to The Human Torch. $28 to feel like I've poured lighter fluid on my face then set it aflame?? FUCK YOU, TOO FACED. FUCK YOU RIGHT IN THE EAR! (CF)

I love to end on a good rant.

That's it for 2016. I'll be back in a couple of months for another installment!

 

 

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!

ColourPop Brand Review

I've been saying I want to do a one brand review on a couple of makeup companies I've been using and loving. FINALLY got all the swatches and pictures done so I can share my thoughts in a post. This post is going to be all about ColourPop Cosmetics which, BONUS, is a cruelty free brands! This is not sponsored by ColourPop; they didn't send me anything; I purchased all the products I talk about with my own money over the past (holy crap it's only been one) year.

You might want to grab some coffee and a snack for this...

In their FAQs they say spelling color without the 'u' is so basic. That tickles me.

In their FAQs they say spelling color without the 'u' is so basic. That tickles me.

From what I understand, CP was started a few years ago by a couple of women in California. They wanted to make their own products with good ingredients, a unique formula, and affordable for pretty much anyone. Though they are considered an 'indie' brand, they exploded onto the scene a couple of years ago. I don't know who but I think it was some 'famous' YouTuber who reviewed ColourPop and the brand took off from there.

CP makes eye, cheek, and lip products and nothing is over $8 (I'm not including sets, obviously). The lippies come in all sorts of finishes and formats and the powder products are some of the most unique I've ever felt in my life. I can only describe the feel as a firm custard covered with a layer of silk. They have the give of a creme product but they go on dry like a powder. I don't know how else to describe them. You have to feel them for yourselves! They are best applied with the finger, for the highest color payoff, but can be blended or applied with a brush.

This is an eye shadow in the color Flower Shop. All the powder products come in individual pots and are stamped with the same quilted pattern.

This is an eye shadow in the color Flower Shop. All the powder products come in individual pots and are stamped with the same quilted pattern.

OMG I went to confirm the prices and I started shopping. And I bought more lip stuff but for the sake of brevity (TOO LATE) I won't include them in this post, though they are pretty and awesome. Dammit, Colourpop!

Now that I've compiled my collection into swatch pics, I'm able to share my thoughts with you. Hopefully I'll inspire a few of you to go try their products! Check them out: COLOURPOP

Let's start with the eyes and work our way down, shall we? *rowr*

I own six eye shadows from CP. To most make up folk, that's paltry. But because they come in individual containers, they're a bit of bitch to store so I don't mind having a smaller collection compared to some. All eye shadows are $5 each.

 

Swatches of each shadow. From bottom to top we have:

Puppy Love - soft light peach gold, a portion of the sales of this shadow went to an animal rescue!

LaLa - super pigmented bronze

Flower Shop - gorgeous green shade that makes me feel like a mermaid, less pigmented than the rest but can be built up

Dare - one of my favorite purple shades with hot pink and violet glitter

Party Time - my first matte shade from CP, it looks like a grey taupe mauve blend, so different from anything else I have

Roulette - soooper pigmented matte black, seriously be careful with this one.

 

I only own three gel liners and one creme liner pencil. From bottom to top they are:

Stopmer - this is my favorite, it's much creamier and easier to work with than the other two

Workout - it's hard to tell but this is a deep dark forest green

Swerve - straight up black. The darker shades are much drier and more difficult. But all of them set like a mother fucker when they dry down completely - which is super fast.

The top swatch is the gel pencil in Timber. Very smooth, creamy, and pigmented. Easy to apply BUT BE CAREFUL! It will break if you press too hard.

The eye liner pencils are $5 each and the gel liner pots are $6.

 

This is the only powder product that ever arrived broken. But I just pressed it back down and it's mostly fine. Still crumbly but the product itself is still great.

This is the only powder product that ever arrived broken. But I just pressed it back down and it's mostly fine. Still crumbly but the product itself is still great.

I actually bought two highlighters but I got rid of the gold one, Wisp (I think), because it was just a little too glittery. This one, Monster, has a gorgeous pink undertone. It is sparkly but not stripper sparkly, you know? (this is the bottom swatch in the blush swatch pic below) All highlighters and blushes cost $8 each.

 

I've got three blushes from CP. They are all soft beautiful colors that are pigmented but not straight up heavy from the first swipe. So you can build them up or keep them more sheer. I've actually already hit pan on the purple one! From bottom to top (excluding the highlighter): Birthday Suit, Cheerio, and Rain.

 

This is funny for two reasons: 1)the name of the lippy that happened to be facing me when I took the pic; 2)I have so many more lip products from them now I had to use a bigger jar.

This is funny for two reasons: 1)the name of the lippy that happened to be facing me when I took the pic; 2)I have so many more lip products from them now I had to use a bigger jar.

And now for the lips. I'm addicted to the ColourPop lippy. A few of them have disappointed but overall, they are some of my favorite lip products ever. All of the lipsticks are $5.

From top to bottom: Lumiere, Bound 1, Bound 2, Choker, She Bad - Nudes/Neutrals

From top to bottom: Lumiere, Bound 1, Bound 2, Choker, She Bad - Nudes/Neutrals

Switching things up a bit, I'm going to talk about each of the colors from top to bottom. I will also include lip swatches after each one. 

Lumiere was the first lippy I ever purchased from CP. It's a matte formula but doesn't look or feel dry. If you blot it with a tissue that will help but it's definitely not transfer proof and you might need a lip liner to go with it.

 

I accidentally bought this color twice: Bound. This is a Glossy finish and there is a slight color difference between the two. Not sure if you can tell from the pictures but the OG Bound (first pic) is a bit deeper, has a more bluish undertone than the new Bound, which is more of a baby pink. Both are pretty though!

 

Choker has become one of my favorite nudes. With a Creme finish, this color glides on so easily and is extremely comfortable to wear. It's not too warm or too cool for my skin tone and I don't look like a corpse when I wear it. Bonus!

 

This last one in the 'nude' category is She Bad, one of ColourPop's new Matte X finishes. While this formula is awesome - it's super soft with a powder like finish - the lipstick came loose during shipping so it keeps falling out of the tube. Also, I don't particularly like the shade on me. It looks yellow/orange at first application but it does become a little more pink as it dries. Not sure I'll keep this one.

 

Next up are the reds:

From top to bottom: Creature, Poison, TGIF, Out of Sync

From top to bottom: Creature, Poison, TGIF, Out of Sync

Creature is one of the original matte formulas. I love this color but it feels more drying than the others in the same formula and it is a bit patchy. So I don't really reach for this that often though red is my favorite color.

 

Another original matte lippy is Poison. It also feels really dry and it sets almost immediately. Again, not sure if I'll keep it because I just don't reach for it though the color is gorgeous.

 

Yep, another matte - TGIF. This is more of a cherry red shade but this one is a bit more comfortable to wear.

 

Last but not least is Out of Sync, a gorgeous fuscia shade. Not something I normally wear but the blue undertone is to die for! And this is also a matte finish.

 

The next set of lippies don't really fit into any color category, except the two that are purple/pink shades. I've become addicted to the odd colors (grey, blue, green) and so many companies now are offering them now. Whoop!

Top to Bottom: Bull Chic, Climax, Too Sexy, Boogie, Wet (wow - so much sexy talky...)

Top to Bottom: Bull Chic, Climax, Too Sexy, Boogie, Wet (wow - so much sexy talky...)

The last of the original matte formula is Bull Chic. It is MUCH creamier than the rest and very easy to apply but...it's not as opaque so you'll need to blot and reapply to build it up. Even then it's not THAT great but right now it's my only black lipstick so it'll do, pig. It'll do.

 

One of my new favorites is Climax. It's the reformulated matte (so it's a Matte X). It's a little patchy when applied. And don't rub your lips together too much before it sets! It'll slide all over the fucking place and look majorly patchy. But the color...HOLY BALLS it's gorgeous! A royal blue with violet. So beautiful.

 

I'm Too Sexy for my lips...This satin finish lipstick is creamy, easy to apply, and is a beautiful violet fuchsia with a blue shift. It's not on the website anymore, though, so it may be discontinued.

 

I always confuse Boogie with Too Sexy. Both have that fuchsia/blue pink tone but Boogie is a little darker AND has blue sparkles! The Satin Luxe finish is a little drier than the satin so it almost feels like a matte. Super pigmented and it definitely stains the lips so even when it wears off, you'll still have some color left behind!

 

Another favorite, because it's so different, is Wet, a pearlized finish lippy that they describe as a taupe gunmetal color. It goes on creamy so I got the matching lip liner to go with it since I'm pretty sure I couldn't find anything to match elsewhere. It can be a bit patchy but I don't care. It's not that noticeable on me.

 

The final lippies, and review segment, are devoted to the Lip Satins. These come in glass (or thick plastic) tubes and are $6 each.

Top to bottom: Lost, So Wavy, Petit Four, Marshmallow

Top to bottom: Lost, So Wavy, Petit Four, Marshmallow

The Lip Satins are a fantastic formula. Incredible lasting time and very comfortable. They remain a bit tacky so they're not quite transfer proof. They dry enough to look matte, though they aren't. Two of the ones I have have a drier mousse like texture and the others are very thin - so they get all over your teeth when you first put them on! I use a lip liner with all of these but CP only sells matching liners for two (I included them in the swatches). All CP lip liners are creamy and apply smoothly. If you fill in your lips with them they could be used on their own!

 

Lost is a gorgeous red. This is one of the thinner formulas so make sure to check your teeth!

 

So Wavy is the most awesome purple-blue I've ever seen. I think it's the ONLY one I've ever seen. This is the other one with a thin consistency so check those teeth! The purple liners I have, or were suggested by CP, have too much red in them. But I just got a blue liner from NYX that I hope will work!

 

Petit Four is a dark grey but I see some greenish undertones to it, at least on me. It's much thicker than the last two so it's not as messy! I also got the matching liner because it's such an unusual color.

 

Last, but definitely not least, is my favorite lip satin in Marshmallow. I don't know when purples starting calling to me but this is an awesome grey lavender color. A more dry moussey texture but I still use a liner.

 

Okay. That is it. WHEW! I hope some of you will go check out the ColourPop website and try a few of these products for yourselves. Trust me, it'll be worth it!

NOTE: The new lippies I got are new Ultra Glossy Lip line. I haven't worn them a lot yet, except the nude one, so I can't speak as to their lasting power. But they feel nice, not too sticky, and pretty pigmented for glosses. I had to include a couple of pics below just so you can get an idea of what they look like!

L to R: (metallic finish) Crystal Ball, Wolfie, Tight Fit; (creme) Fluff; (sheer) Fairy Floss

L to R: (metallic finish) Crystal Ball, Wolfie, Tight Fit; (creme) Fluff; (sheer) Fairy Floss

You can see the metallic finish lippies (bottom three) are bit more streaky than the others.

You can see the metallic finish lippies (bottom three) are bit more streaky than the others.

Ipsy August 2016 Review

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

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

This month's theme is something like Sugar Highness or some bullshit like that. I wish they'd use the card insert for more helpful information, like the products, their uses, and their costs, instead of some random theme that means absolutely nothing to anyone.

I do love this month's bag. The pastel colors are beautiful and the material of it feels nice and sturdy. KEEPER! The products are pretty cool, too.

Organic Surge Perfecting Face Polish: This is one of those exfoliators that has little grains of ground olive stone (I assume they mean the pit) to scrub away dead skin and impurities but not so much as to feel like you're using sandpaper on your face. There are also lots of good oils mixed in to help moisturize. I only put this on the back of my hand but I like the feel of it and I can really smell the lemon. Full size at 2.5 oz is $9.15 so this 1 ounce sample should go around $3.5 (CF)

IT Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Liner: (swatch shown in picture below) IT is one of those high end brands that I'm pretty much too cheap to buy on my own (though I admit to spending $19 on a liquid eyeliner by Kat VonD and it was worth every penny). So I love that I got a sample size of their eyeliner. I've worn it a couple of times and I have to say this liner is the only one that has stayed in my waterline (or at least the edge of it) longer than any other I've tried. It stays put on the eye skin, too (lid and lower lash line). It still melts in the outer corners because my eyes just LOVE to fuck up any makeup I put on them. Full size is .017 oz for $22. This .012 sample size is about $15.50! (CF)

Sally's Box Secret Garden Masks: Aside from the sexual innuendo going on that name, I love getting face masks. Haven't tried either yet but my skin has been dry lately so these moisturizing masks will be great, I'm sure! The extra ampoule in the corner of each one provides even more moisture! Yaassss..... They're on sale right now but these full sized products normally go for $6 each. (?)

Lord and Berry Matte Lip Crayon: I got a liner from this brand before and didn't particularly care for the warm brown shade. I don't gravitate to warms colors but this is a pretty warm pink. It does look matte but it doesn't feel super dry. Lasts well, too. Full size is $20 so I'm guessing this sample is maybe half the size (can't find any product details on the L&B website) so let's say this is $10. (NCF)

Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Palette: And we have another trio of gold/bronze/peach tones. Hooray... Yes, I'm being a smart ass. However, these eye shadows are buttery, pigmented, and gorgeous and can be used wet or dry. I think I like the tones on these three better than the other 4-5 I've received. The only problem, for me, is there's no matte shade. I love the shininess of them but it's nice to mix in other finishes to complete a look. Otherwise, I'm in love. Full size, on the website, is .11 ounces and this 'sample' is .1 ounce. So I'm calling it full size and worth $18. (CF)

Looks to me this whole bag is worth about $59. SCORE! Aside from the Lord and Berry lip crayon (it's...okay), I love everything else, even the bag! Can't wait to see what they do next month.

Petit Vour June 2016

This is the final box in my 3-month trial period. I have to say I am SOOPER tempted to sign up for 6 months or a full year. I'm still processing so we'll just have to see. 

For those who may not know, Petit Vour is a monthly subscription service. For $15 a month, you get 4 sample/full sized beauty products that are all cruelty free (toxic free, vegan, etc.). Check them out here: PETIT VOUR

I purchased these boxes with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

This time it's Mermaids! Yay! Actually, the theme is Summer Escape but same difference. I've only tried the lip products so far but I'm excited about (almost) everything.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Moisturizer: I got something else from JB last month and it's been very nice to my face. So I imagine this moisturizer will be just as good. I like my face lotion to have SPF so I'm eager to try it. Full size is $38 so this trial version is worth $18.

EVOLVh Leave In Conditioner: Not excited for this. I've tried a couple leave in conditioners before and since my hair is very fine, things like this tend to weigh it down and I look like a grease ball. If anyone thinks they might like this, hit me up and I'll hand it over! This is a travel size and costs $11. (full is $26)

Suntegrity Lip CPR: Oh dear gods these lip stick samples are divine! You'd never know there was SPF 30 in them. SPF in lip products are extremely drying for me and these are moisturizing and very comfortable. They have a little shimmer/shine to them, too. I swatched them on my lips and my hand because lip sticks/glosses look very different on your hand than on your lips. Just wanted to give you an idea so don't judge a lipstick by its swatch! The little pots are $5 (full size is $28).

Precious Skin Elixirs Exfoliating Clay: This is a dry powder and you mix it with water right before you need it. You can either just use it as an exfoliator or apply a thick layer like a mask, let it dry, then rinse off. Full size is $70 (holy balls) so this sample is $4.50.

I'm pretty happy with this month's box. $38.50 is a good deal. Obviously if I sign back up, I'll review the boxes here!

PDs, MEHs, and GFYs May 2016

For you newbs, here's a quick explanation of this series of posts. Most YouTubers or Bloggers do something like Monthly Favorites or Hits and Misses every month. As I don't use up or go through stuff all that quickly, my post will show up every couple of months. So here you will find the products that are Pantry Droppers (the good), Meh (the average), and Go Fuck Yourselves (the shitty).

Below find the latest for May of 2016. (Again - I don't know the cruelty free status of most of the Korean brands. If I do, I will note it.)

 

PDs

Shara Shara Banana Honey Lotion: Sweet baby Jeebus this lotion is phenomenal. I got it in a Meme box years ago and it took a long time to get through it all. Smells just like banana cream pie (if you're into that sort of thing...which I am) and it made my skin so soft. It's in new packaging now but Amazon has it!

Nourish Organic Body Oil Mist: As this is a sample, it's not a mist format so it's a little messier to deal with but it's awesome. It doesn't smell like roses - more like just the rose hips, which is a little grassier than floral. Not a strong scent so that's fine with me. Loved using this after the shower. Will have to buy the full size. NO is cruelty free.

Promise Organic Argan Creme Face Lotion: I just talked about this in my Morgue Drawer but it needs to be discussed again, it's that nice. Non-greasy, fast absorbing, smells like oranges. Because it doesn't have SPF I used it as a night cream. As soon as I get through the stuff I have now, I'm buying more of this. PO is cruelty free.

Milani Moisture Lock Lip Treatment: I have the Rose scented one and I love it. It has a soft pink color in the tube but it's just clear oil/gloss on the lips. This is so moisturizing and lasts a  surprisingly long time on the lips. Most oils would wear off relatively fast but this likes to hang around for a while. I want to try all the other scents/flavors, too. Milani is cruelty free.

Dermal Sea Cucumber Supreme Mask: This really made my skin feel hydrated after using it. Probably because it's so saturated with essence that it was dripping all over me until I blotted it with a towel!

Leaders Black Aqua Pore Scaling mask: This was amazing! It tingled a bit when I wore it but not in a burning kind of way. The material was thick and super soft. My skin felt better after using it (it's for dry skin so I guess it's got extra moisturizers or something). See below for an amusing visual.

3W Fresh Syn-ake mask: Very nice and moisturizing but again, the 3W mask holes do not fit my face.

Mehron Paint Palette: I got this for a specific cosplay at Motor City Comic Con but it will be great for any other face/body painting I need to do. I practiced my make up several times before the actual costume day and I barely made a dent in these paints! They're water activated and once they dry, they really don't budge - unless you sweat or get spit upon or the natural oils of your skin start to break it down over time. I need to invest in some sealant!

Glamtech empty palette: I found this place on Etsy. I had a few single shadows/highlighters that had no home (along with a bunch of singles I depotted to clear up the clutter in my drawers....ewww...). This store will customize a palette for you! No more boring plain black or lame ass chevron patterns for you! You can choose from a bunch of different colors and designs. The top is held on by very strong magnets and they don't let go. I store mine upright in a desk letter organizer. I have since purchased another so I have this red bats one and a purple skeleton cameo palette. Awesome!

 

MEHs

Derma e Hydrating Night Creme: I used to love this stuff. But for some reason it decided it wanted to break up and it's moisturizing capabilities have left me high and dry (or at least dry). I can't even finish this jar because it feels like it's sucking the life out of my skin.

Essence Gel eyeliner: I used to really love this stuff, too. And when I first open the jar, it IS fantastic. But within a few weeks the gel starts to dry out. It gets harder and harder (that's what she said) to work with and crumbles all over the place. Maybe if I used it every day I'd get through it before it goes all Sahara.

Skinfood Mascara: It says setting mascara but the card from the 3B box this came in said it's used just like a regular mascara. It does makes my lashes look beautiful and long but it smudges all under my eyes by the end of the day. Maybe it doesn't do that on people whose eyelids are insured by Exxon.

 

GFYs

Simple Micellar make-up wipes: Pretty much exactly like their liquid format - useless and burny. Does not get off all makeup and hurt like fuck around the eyes. Simple is not cruelty free.

3W Clinic Collagen Serum: I tried to use this for about 2 weeks. I know skin can go into rebel mode when introduced to new things but even after an adjustment period, it kept breaking me out. Ugh.

Benton Snail Bee Steam Cream: Sticky, smelly face cream did absolutely nothing for me. Except give me big zits. So apparently Team Bee Snail is a shitty idea.

Secret Key toner: This felt like straight alcohol on my skin. Very drying and, naturally, irritated and broke out my skin. 

Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadow: Completely useless. I thought it worked as a decent base but I thought wrong. It also dried up really fast. Maybelline is not cruelty free. Ass hats.

L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur: I think this was a face primer but it didn't blur anything, felt greasy, and then balled up when I put foundation on over it. What the hell? L'Oreal isn't cruelty free anyway so no big loss there.

Palladio Flat brush: Not sure exactly when I bought this but I was a fucking idiot at the time and even more of a fucking idiot for keeping it this long. It's rough and prickly as fuck, like using a cactus to put on my eye makeup. Palladio is not cruelty free which is pretty obvious from this brush - if they don't give a rat's ass about the comfort of their customers, they sure as shit don't give a flying fuck about animals.

Okay that'll do it for now. Come back in a couple months to see what else had made me drop my drawers, shrug non-committally, or pissed me off so bad I had to go beat up a random hobo.

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!

Ipsy April 2016 Review

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10, you will get a (sometimes) cute beauty bag with 4-5 samples, or full sized, beauty, skin, and hair products. It's a nice way to try new brands without committing to the full price tag! Check them out here: IPSY

I think from this point on I will try to remember to mark which brands are cruelty free (CF).

The theme for April is Dream On. WHHHHYYYYYYYY ARE THEY SO USELESS WITH THESE FUCKING THEMES??? The bag is kind of cute, though. The back is a bright yellow with tie-dye colors mixed in. I'm not mad at it. But the contents.....let's just break them down.

Crown Duo-Fiber Blush Brush: I always like getting brushes. I've received one or two Crown brushes before and they are awesome. So damn soft! They retail for about $24. That, right there, already covers the value of an Ipsy subscription. (CF - as far as their synthetic brushes go. Not sure how they can guarantee their suppliers of animal hair brushes are harvested cruelty free but that's what they claim).

Tarte Cosmetics LipSurgence Lip Creme: (right swatch below) I was super excited to get this. Tarte is one of those higher end brands that I've only ever purchased once with my own money (eye shadow palette that was decent). This is a generous sample size. The lip crayon is very creamy and has a nice minty scent - but it's not super strong so if you're sensitive to that, it shouldn't bother you too much. Full size is .1 ounces ($24) so this .05 sample runs about $12. And look at that color. So pretty! (CF)

Ok. That's about all I like from this bag. Let's get to the rest.

Nomad Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Desert Sands: Oh yay. Another bronze shade. Awesome. While the color is beautiful (left swatch above), feels soft, and it's a decent sample size, I'M SO FUCKING SICK OF BRONZE COLORS. Cripes. I know they want to put in colors that are more universal but shit - BRONZE IS NOT THE ONLY ONE, YOU KNOW. I can't find a price on this as it looks like the brand doesn't sell these individually but you can see the whole palette this comes from along with other palettes - which actually look pretty gorgeous and a good deal for everything you get. (CF)

Briogeo Overnight Hair Oil Treatment: While this concept is slightly intriguing, I don't look forward to the mess it will create. Since I'm not bleaching and coloring my hair right now, I don't really need this product. But I'll hang on to it just in case that changes....HAHA! Who am I kidding? I'll be so bored with my grey in about 2 months, I can feel it...Full size is 2 ounces ($28) so this sample of .3 ounces is probably around $9. (CF)

Juliette Has a Gun: It's called Not a Perfume so then what the fuck is it, JHAG? Oh, it's just a 'minimal scent', whatever the fuck that means. Personally I think it smells like algae water that passed through an isopropyl alcohol factory where an Orc grabbed it, drank it down then pissed it out onto a hobbit's head. This .16 ounce sample is about $20 (50 mls will cost you $100 and 100 mls is $135). (CF)

For the products I found pricing on, this bag is worth about $65. Pretty slick, Ipsy. Though I'm not super excited about 3 of the 5 products (#firstworldproblems, I know), I can't be too angry because they all come from companies that practice cruelty free/vegan/eco-friendly business.

See you all next month!

 

 

 

 

 

3B March 2016 Beauty Box

Okay, yes. I had the wrong month on the last review. For some reason I thought I missed one but apparently, I didn't. So last month was February and THIS month is March.

Glad we cleared that up.

3B is a monthly beauty subscription box. For $12 a month you get 4-5 samples/full sized Asian beauty, hair, skin products. Click on the link to get one for yourself!

Dermal Dream Sea Cucumber mask: You know I love face masks. I'm very excited to try this out. Apparently this brand, and this particular mask, are INFAMOUS in Korea. La dee dah! (sorry can't find a link for it)

Skinfood My Shortcake mascara: I also love trying different mascaras. This one is supposed to thicken, lengthen (soooo dirty...), and darken my lashes. It also dries quickly and is smudgeproof. My oily eyelids accept that challenge! Full size and it goes for about $7 on Amazon.

Secret Key Witch Hazel toner: I've used straight up witch hazel as a toner before so this is cool. But I think there's added fragrance in here because it doesn't smell as...earthy as regular witch hazel. This is full size and runs around $29!

CosRx Blackhead Silk Finger Balls: My word there's a lot of dirty innuendo in this post. These are little hard (hooo boy) cotton pods that go on your fingers. You soak them in hot water for a couple of minutes then "massage the desired area (wow) with the softened pod". And as I post the picture below, I can't help but notice a slight pornographic nature in it. You can get 2-3 uses from each one. A set of 12 (which is what I believe I got) costs around $5.

I can't even...

Just those three products I could find on-line are valued at about $41. Nice! You guys should get this service, too. Then we can all be dirty together.

Walmart Spring Beauty Box 2016

This will be my final Walmart subscription. I decided to cancel it as this Spring box didn't offer one product from a company that's cruelty free. For those of you who've read my blog, I'm trying to use as many beauty products as I can from companies that don't test on animals. I'm sure I won't be 100% successful in this quest but I'll do my best!

That said, let's get into this review. If you'd like to get your own box, check them out here: Walmart Beauty Box

(I've only tried the little foil samples of products (3) and the foundation samples but the rest I've collected to donate somewhere - by the way, if anyone reading this wants any of this, just contact me!)

Vera Wang Embrace perfume: while the smell is okay, I do love that it came in a mini spray bottle, not one of those teeny tube/wand combos that are IMPOSSIBLE to open without spilling the product everywhere.

Neutrogena Colorstick in Almond Nude: I actually got rid of this exact same shade in my makeup cull recently. It's a nice nude color. I didn't even take the plastic off so I can donate it as brand spanking (ohhhh) new.

Cetaphil Cleanser: nice travel/sample size. I've heard good things about this brand.

Jergens Wet Skin Moisture: this is one of those in shower moisturizers. I have another tube exactly like this that I hadn't even opened yet so I'm planning to give both of them away. The smell is really nice.

Colgate Optic White: this product I kept. If I didn't need to use sensitive toothpaste, I'd be using this. Very good at keeping teeth white without any extra strips or whitening products. So the hubs gets it!

Aveeno Night Cream: Nice little sample size. Can't say if it's any good though!

Roc Multi Correction Cream: I've used the Roc Retinol products before, which work well, but I've never used this one. I'm guessing it's probably pretty good.

Banana Boat Sunscreen: We just bought a big tube of this brand, but not this exact product, before our Florida trip last month. That stuff is okay. Little heavy on the scent but seems to work just fine. 

For the foil packets/little smidge of products:

Neutrogena Healthy Skin liquid makeup/Acne Correct & Cover tinted moisturizer: The first two shades would have worked for me, one as a peachy concealer for dark circles and the other for pure foundation. The tinted moisturizer was the wrong shade for me.

L'Oreal Miracle Blur: didn't notice any blurring effect of this stuff (it's used like a make up primer). But it did ball up on itself so...that sucked.

Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream and Tone Perfecting Cream: Both felt nice but left my skin feeling kind of dry. Even if I wasn't going cruelty free I'd never buy this stuff.

There were also coupons for most of the products in here, which is cool if you end up falling in love with one of them. Pretty good value for $7, right? *shrugs* Fare thee well, Walmart. I wish you happiness and success!