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I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Filtering by Tag: skin care

Morgue Drawer March 2019

Not sure why I thought it had been longer than three months since my last MD, but it seems I’m right on track for my quarterly posting. Yay, me!

For anyone new here, this is basically the post where I talk about my garbage. I’ve used up these products, so I can give you a good idea on their performance, and if I enjoyed them. Hope it’s educational! (Also pretty sure most, if not all, of these products are Cruelty Free!)

DEBRIS

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Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo: Technically, I haven’t used this up completely. I emptied this bigger bottle into a travel sized one. It’s a purple shampoo, and was great when I stopped coloring my hair and went with my natural salt and pepper. It made my greys look a little lavender, and not so brassy. I highly recommend it for that. And now that my hair is red and purple, I won’t mind using this when I travel.

Hask Chia Seed Dry Shampoo: I enjoy the Hask brand dry shampoos a lot. This was one that didn’t look powdery, or like I dumped a kilo of cocaine on my head. But it wasn’t that great as a dry shampoo. Did work really well to add texture so it was easier to style my hair or get it to stay in place.

Babyganics Baby Wipes: I get these at my local grocery store (Value Center). But you can get them at Target, Kroger, Amazon, Walmart, etc. I love them for cleaning off swatches, or just cleaning off eye shadow fall out on my cheeks. The cloths themselves are soft but, as with any wipe, the liquid burns a little bit. But I don’t mind using them for clean up.

Tom’s of Main Maximum Sensitive Toothpaste: I’ve been using this for years. It’s the only toothpaste that works really well for me. AND I don’t get the mouth-peeling issue like I do with every other brand. Apparently, it’s a thing that a small percentage of the population experiences with sensitive toothpaste. It’s weird and kinda gross, but at least it doesn’t hurt.

LIKE BUTTAH

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Soap & Glory Righteous Body Butter: I love S&G body butters, but the scent on this one is a little heavy. Kind of like Lilies of the Valley, but on crack. I’d love to get the Sugar Crush scent again, but I don’t think they make it anymore. The link will take you to Ulta where you can look at all the other scents available. If you want something that will stay on your skin and keep you moist (uh….) you need to get a S&G body butter.

Nature’s Truth Sweet Almond Oil: I got this at Meijers (but you can get it at a lot of places) to mix with some essential and/or perfume oils the hubby got me. My feet, and toe nails particularly, love this stuff. The rest of my body ain’t complaining, either.

MY SKIN WOULD MAKE A GREAT LAMPSHADE

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Mario Badescu Facial Spray (Rose and Lavender): I’ve been using the rose spray for years, but once I realized it contained some artificial stuff, I’m now trying something else. But it is nice, and the lavender one was also a nice spray to use before bed. Not too strongly scented, so if you’re sensitive to lavender, this might be okay for you.

The Ordinary Buffet Serum: Also used this for years, but after a while, it doesn’t seem to do much for me any more. But if you’re looking for some new skin care, that doesn’t cost the same as a car payment, you should check out The Ordinary.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Serum: With winter, I wanted to add a little more moisture into my skin. I’m not dry dry, but I’m not as oily as I used to be. This didn’t really do much, though.

Botanics Nourishing Facial Oil: Nice smelling oil, but it broke me out. So I ended up using it on my neck and chest (or decolletage for you fancy-ass folks) and it was wonderful.

Formula 10.0.6 Picture Perfect Day Moisturizer: I’m still digging this stuff. Nice moisturizer that takes a few minutes to sink in, but it’s worth the wait. That little bit of SPF is nice, too.

That’s it for now! See you again in a few months with more garbage.

Morgue Drawer End of 2018

Finally getting around to writing up this post so I can throw all my garbage away! For those who don’t know, I write up a quick little review of products I’ve used up over the past months to give you a better idea how things worked, or didn’t, for me. Hopefully a little more in-depth than the PDs, MEHs, and GFYs, because some of that shit made me so angry that I tried to burn it all after the first use.

So here we go, wrapping up 2018, by taking a stroll through my trash. Enjoy!

MY SKIN WOULD MAKE A GREAT LAMP SHADE

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H20+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment: Really nice moisturizer. I love a good gel formula, and it worked well for my skin. But this brand is way too pricey for me!

Pacifica Cactus Revive Face Wash: Meh. The smell was nice but the texture was so runny, it made a mess all over the cap and tube. As I got closer to the end of the tube, the product got grittier, which is bizarre. I didn’t finish it off before throwing it away. (And they don’t sell this one anymore….of course, they don’t.)

Elisha Coy Moist Up Super Hyalurone Ampoule Serum: I really like this serum. Smells good, absorbs well, and it might be a little better than The Ordinary Buffet serum (which stays tacky on the skin and recently started breaking me out.) I got mine at CVS, but it’s not always in stock.

Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Micellar Water: Not a good product. Burns the eyes like hell, and it doesn’t remove all makeup. Skin didn’t really feel clean after using it.

Soap & Glory Fab Pore Purifying Foam Cleanser: I really liked this. Smelled nice and clean, if that makes sense. Worked great until I got to the last inch or so in the bottle. Then it didn’t seem to work as well, plus the pump on the bottle broke.

The Body Shop Aloe Cream Cleanser: Loved this. Gentle cream cleanser and no heavy smell.

Mario Badescu Rose Facial Spray: I still enjoy this, though just recently I watched a review about how this isn’t as great for the skin as other sprays because of the dyes and filler ingredients. Dammit.

The Ordinary Squalene Face Oil: My skin loves this stuff so much better than rose hip oil, which spoils much quicker and remains heavy on the skin. Squalene absorbs fast, and has no smell!

Nip & Fab Moisturizer: This was decent but smelled a little too heavy of sunscreen. (this is no longer available.)

Derma E Rose Cleansing Oil: Smells nice but didn’t do a good job of cleaning off anything.

Ariul Bamboo Water Mask: LOVED this. Super soft mask and my skin felt great, even the next day. I want to get all 7 days worth of them.

Formula 10.0.6 Day/Night Cream: Still my go-to moisturizers.

DEBRIS

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Mitchum Gel Deoderant: Pretty good, but the gel took FOREVER to dry, and still left white marks. Trying the solid sticks now, and I like those so much better.

Giovanni 2Chic Intensive Hair Mask: Loved this mask/heavy conditioner. Super thick and really helped my bleached hair look smooth, and feel soft. I can’t find the Ultra-Repair one anymore, just the regular Repair. Still works well, just not as thick.

Marc Anthony Argan Oil Hair Spray: Still love this stuff. Smell is really nice, and it’s just a soft hold hairspray, which I enjoy.

Maui Moisture Heal and Hydrate Hair Mask: This was almost as good as the Giovanni stuff. Smelled fantastic! The tub is a bit messy, though.

Tom’s of Main Maximum Sensitivity Toothpaste: Still love this stuff; only sensitive toothpaste that works for me. I usually get mine at Meijers or Vitamin Shoppe.

Purple Cat Apothecary Body Butter (Winter Rose): I like the texture of the body butter, but the scent on this was too heavy with honey and very little rose. (Store no longer exists.)

ZOMG Smells Perfumes (Lola’s New Dress and Hyang-Su): I love so many of the scents I’ve purchased from this store. These got too old and started to smell more like alcohol, so I had to get rid of them. Sugar Dragon is one of my favorite scents!

Lavanila Pure Vanilla Perfume: THE BEST VANILLA PERFUME EVAR!!!

BEAT THAT MUG

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NYX Vivid Liner (Silver): So much fun! But like their Vinyls liners, this dried out so fast. I’d be willing to get it again, but they no longer sell this shade. Fuck me.

Babyganics Face/Hand/Baby Wipes: I get these at my local Value Center super market, but looks like you can get them at Target, too. They are great for wiping off swatches, clearing eye shadow fall out on my cheeks, or a quick clean of my hands before starting makeup application. No scent, which is really nice.

Catrice Prime & Fine Multitalent Fixing Spray: I LOVE THIS SETTING SPRAY. Gives my face a nice glow and melds with my highlighter beautifully, which I love. Been wanting to try their glowy version (how much more shiny can I get??) but it’s always sold out!

ELF Lip Exfoliator (pink grapefruit): This is a great exfoliator in a non-messy package/delivery system. This one just got too old before I could use it up.

Milani Lip Gloss: This was one of my favorite lip glosses. It’s so old, though, that the name is worn off, and Milani doesn’t make it anymore. Sheer pink with gold shimmer. Absolutely gorgeous. Smelled like candy, too! But it finally went “off” so I had to toss it.

Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder: This was perfect for setting my under eye concealer. Finely milled, it never looked heavy or cakey. Took me forever to get through this little sample!

Urban Decay Primer Potion: Meh. Not sure why everyone loves this eye primer so much. It’s kinda dry, and doesn’t work any better than any drug store, lower cost one (like Milani.)

Ulta Brow Tint: Love this product, but this shade was a bit light for me. Will get the dark brown when I use up another one I’ve got open now.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara: Still one of my favorite mascara formulas of all time. But it will either come in a mini like this, or will go on sale. Never buy this at full price!

Catrice Pret-a-Volume Mascara: It was…okay. More natural looking than volume boosting. Which is fine but not what it advertises. Not sure if the link I put is to the exact same mascara, but looks close enough.

Essence Precise Eyeliner Brush: I love these. Super thin so you can get a precise line with any kind of medium (gel, powder, etc.) They’re $2. I have three back ups right now.

All righty. That’s it for 2018. Hope to see you all next year!

Ipsy May 2018 (FINAL REVIEW)

All righty folks. This will be my last review for Ipsy. It's been a (mostly) fun run. I've been subscribed for about 4 years but it's time to move on. Getting a lot of the same products and colors that do nothing for me and the value seems to be decreasing, in general. I'm also finding more non-cruelty free brands (or at least unknown) so buh-bye, Ipsy. 

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

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

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I think the theme is about travel or whatever. The theme each month is completely irrelevant and that little card just spews generic positive platitudes and other bullshit. No product information or pricing EVER comes with this bag. Maybe someday that will change but I won't be around to find out. Oh well. The bag is kind of cute but I don't think I'll be keeping it. Let's get to the products.

Trestique Mini Matte Blur Stick: This product does actually mattify my skin but it does NOT minimize pores. Not by a long shot. While I like the portability of a primer/blur product in stick format, this feels very slick and almost greasy on my skin. Which is weird. But the little nub wore down a lot after one use so I can't imagine I'll have it for very long. Can't find any info on the weight of the full size product ($28 but comes with blotting paper) so don't know how much this 1.1g sample is worth. Also it's on the "Pending" list for Cruelty Free status at Logical Harmony so I'll probably just avoid this brand until I see differently.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum: I've had good luck with FAB in the past so I'm excited to try this. My skin loves gel formula anything and since my Ordinary "Buffet" serum has not been working well (so I stopped using it a couple weeks ago), I need to get this in my rotation. I though it was a moisturizer so I haven't used it yet. But now that I'm digging into the details, I see it's a serum and will start incorporating it into my skin care routine tonight! It is a pricier brand but from what I've tried, it seems worth it. Full size is $36 so this .25 ounce sample is worth $9. (CF plus has some vegan options)

PureHeals Centella Green Tea Mask: Got two sample pods of this mask to try. I did like it. Didn't burn or do weird stuff to my skin. Felt nice going on. I probably used more than necessary because these pods don't reseal and I didn't have anything to put it in to keep it from drying out. *shrug* My skin felt good afterwards, too. Full size goes for $27 so I think each pod is worth about $2. Can't find info on CF status but it is a Korean brand so it's a toss up.

SLMissGlam Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge: Oy, that name. It's a piece of foam, people. Calm down. Got a brush from this company before, I believe, and yep, it's the website that looks like a unicorn puked cotton candy all over it. The sponge is fine. Doesn't get super squishy or much bigger after wetting it but it workswell. This is full size and costs $17.50. (CF)

Ven Effect Micro Exfoliant: I got something from this brand two months ago and I liked it. But these kind of exfoliants usually fuck my shit up. It's a super fine grain, almost like baking soda, but through user error, I go too ham with it and shred my skin. I'll probably still give it a shot but I'm not expecting much. Full size is $60 so this sample is $6 (CF - ?).

I think I'm going to value the mini blur stick at $1.50 (cut full price in half then take 10% of that and round up a titch). So this bag is worth approximately $38. That's decent. 

Thanks for the memories, Ipsy. I hope you can improve for future subscribers and good luck!

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. 

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.

My Face Story Mask Subscription Service Review

Yes, it's another subscription service. I've actually had this since July 2017 but I didn't want to review it until I'd used it at least 6 months. I love using sheet masks so I thought it would be a good service to try out.

CAVEAT: Though I know Korea is working on becoming completely Cruelty Free in 2018, I can't guarantee any of the products I receive in this service are CF. I don't know if any of the brands sell in China or are part of the few companies that do still test on animals in Korea.

**I pay for this service myself; this post is not sponsored in any way**

Facetory is a Korean sheet mask service. They have two sizes: Four-Ever Fresh which sends 4 masks per month (obvi) for $5.95 plus $2.95 in shipping, and the Seven Lux which includes 7 masks (again, obvi) for $15.95 plus $3.95 in shipping. I opted for the smaller one since I wasn't sure I could go through 7 masks per month. Sometimes I don't get through 4 so the smaller box was for me (that's what he said...ugh, sorry...)

I'm not necessarily reviewing the products in this post, just the service. Though I have to say I've absolutely LOVED at least one mask each month. At the very least, I've enjoyed them all except maybe one or two.

Each month the masks arrive in this sealed envelope. It includes an information card about the benefits and usage of each mask (which I GREATLY appreciate - I keep those cards then mark the masks I like best for future purchasing). There's also some kind of happy or inspirational card. Since this month is for February, we all got Valentines. So friggin' cute. I personally hope the animal mask actually DOES look like a sheep!

It seems most of the masks can be used on any skin type, though they usually have some targeted purpose (pore minimizing, anti-aging, moisturizing, soothing, brightening, etc.). But even if you're not looking to reduce pores, the mask will still have other skin care benefits.

They have a rewards program where you can earn points a bunch of different ways (buying stuff on the site, referring a friend, reviewing products, following them on IG or FB, etc.). Even the monthly renewal earns you about 11 points each time. It's like you barely have to try! Then those points translate into dollar amounts (ie, 200 points = $2 off a purchase).

As a subscriber, they sent me a referral link I can share where I earn 500 points if anyone uses it to join. You can get up to 4 free masks on your first subscription order and I get points (POINT WHORE!!). So if you'd be interested in checking them out, the link is below!

INVITE A FRIEND

Again, I don't plan to review this every month because I just don't get to the masks fast enough. But if you like sheet masks or K-Beauty products, then check out Face Story for yourself. It's pretty fun!

Ipsy February 2018

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

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

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The theme this month is "Unzipped". I think that's in reference to being naked (not necessarily physically) or our true form or WHO THE FUCKING JESUS GOD CARES? The bag is pretty cute so I'm hanging on to it for now. Let's get to the products.

PUR Fully Charged Mascara: I haven't tried this yet because I'm trying to Project Pan another mascara (plus I have another one from Catrice that's open). But the reviews look good. I love trying new mascaras. Full size is 15mls for $22, so this 4 mls mini is around $5.50. (CF)

Beaute Basics Eye Shadow in "Lavish": While this shadow is described as a warm, shimmery bronze, it looks more coppery on my skin. Which is fine because I'm sick of bronze shades. It's very soft so can kick up some powder but the pigmentation is nice. Haven't tried it on my eyes yet, though. This looks like a full sized pan (4g) and goes for $15 on the BB site. (NCF - so I'll probably donate it)

Mellow Cosmetics Liquid Precision Pen Eyeliner: I haven't tried this on my eyes, either, but the swatch looks nice and black! It didn't smudge after it dried, unless I put water on it. Pens can be a little tricky to work with as they can dry out fast or get covered in eye shadow and not work as effectively. This also looks full size and goes for $14. (CF)

Luxie Beauty Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249: I love getting brushes and I've enjoyed every Luxie Beauty one I've received. They are super soft but not flimsy. Since it's double sided, it's not available on Ipsy or LB's site (naturally). But it looks like a combo between the precision shader ($14) and the tapered blending ($12) brushes. So let's average that to a $13 value. (CF) 

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Sand & Sky Pink Clay Mask: Now this stuff can go fuck right the fuck off. First of all, look at that picture. If you're gonna skimp on a sample then don't put it in a tube 4-times the size you need, asshats. Also, the package said it contains .45 ounces of product (the Ipsy site says .5). I cut that sucker open and weighed it. There was somewhere between .38 and .40 ounces (I used a titch on my face before it caught fire and I had to remove it, and whatever was left in the tube that I couldn't scrape out, which wouldn't be usable product anyway). I don't know how much is in a full sized jar but it goes for $49. I'd say this sample is worth $1, if even that much. (CF)

Overall, the value is around $47 (I'm not counting the clay mask because fuck that shit). So even without that this ain't too bad!

Nerium Review

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

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

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


See the Difference

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

Feel the Difference

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


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

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

Now, to the products I got to try!

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Dear Peggy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Zealand: Animal testing was banned in 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Gadzinski

248-444-1947

mtgflyboy@gmail.com

markgadzinski.nerium.com

 

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

 

Ipsy October/November 2017 Review

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

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

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

OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NOVEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medusa's Makeup October/November 2017 Reviews

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

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

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

 

OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NOVEMBER

A face mask? HELL YEAH!

A face mask? HELL YEAH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PD, MEHs, and GFYs November 2017

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

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

PDs (Panty Droppers)

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

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

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

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

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

 

MEHs (Meh, obviously)

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

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

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

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

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

 

GFYs (Go Fuck Yourselves)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Morgue Drawer November 2017

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

Not Much Pretty Going On

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

So Soft and Smooth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shiny Hair, Shiny Teeth

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Get It Under Wraps!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy September 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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! 

PDs, MEHs, and GFYs June 2017

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

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

PANTY DROPPERS (PDs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MEHs

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

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

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

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

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

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

GO FUCK YOURSELVES (GFYs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?).

Ipsy May 2017 Review

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

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

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

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

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

Okay. Now for the actual monthly products:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ipsy March 2017 Review

Well, it looks like there's a slight change in the Ipsy set up this month. Instead of a big card filled with useless platitudes and bullshit, it's now a tiny card with useless platitudes and bullshit. I'm wondering if the smaller card and larger bag are related in any way...

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized products in a reusable makeup bag. Check them out for yourselves here: IPSY

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

Not sure if the "Pretty is as pretty does" is the theme but who fucking cares anyway? The bag is larger than what's been sent in the past. Maybe a couple extra inches...and who doesn't like a couple extra inches, amirite? The bag feels like microfiber, is a pretty peach/pink color, and the design on the front is kinda cool. Have to say I'm digging this bag. It'll be great for travel. The products are:

Air Repair Skincare Complexion Boosting Moisturizer: I do like to try different moisturizers. Never heard of this but it touts being great to help repair damage and sooth dry skin. $21 for full size so this 10ml sample is about $3.50 (CF)

Cake Beauty Desserted Island Surpeme Body Mousse: Sometimes body and hand creams can be hit or miss. This feels very light but moisturizing. I'll let you know how it does but it smells heavenly (coconut and vanilla). Full size is $22 so this sample is $2.75. (CF)

Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint: I can't tell if I got Rose or Delish. Both colors on line look the same but NOT what it looks like on me. It's a very warm terra cotta shade on my lips so I don't like it. The formula, however, does exactly what it says. It dries in seconds! It also doesn't feel drying, almost like there's nothing on your lips at all. It's totally transfer proof, until you eat something oily at least. Not sure about just water. But I'll see if anyone else wants this because I won't wear it. Full size is $20 so this 6ml sample is just over $3. (CF)

Doucce Freematic Eyeshadow in Marisa: The swatch doesn't really do this shade justice. It's got a bronze/pink shift to it (sort of like Urban Decay Fireball or Colourpop's Come and Get It). In the pan it looks rosy but not so much on the eyes. You can use this wet or dry depending on the look you want. I can't tell from their site but this looks like a full sized pan and it's worth $10. (CF)

Elizabeth Mott Blending Brush: LOOOOVE when they put in makeup brushes. And this one is so dang soft! I can't wait to use it. Full size and is worth $15. (CF)

All righty. This month's bag is worth just about $34. Not terrible, considering I'm kind of excited about all the products AND the bag is bigger than before. And everything is cruelty free. Whoop!

 

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.

 

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!