Lotsa New Stuff & Mini Reviews: Sephora, Birchbox, Influenster, Ulta & Target

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I had recently gone on a bit of a shopping rampage in Target, Sephora, Birchbox, Ulta and then came my Influenster box in the mail. Here’s small mini-reviews on the products I’ve been testing out for a few weeks!

1. Benefit The Porefessional: Everyone knows this product and I am also loving it for filling in the pores on my cheeks. I tap it in before any foundation. I’ve tried applying it over foundation like the packaging says you can during those instances I forget to do it first but I don’t like the result as much or how my foundation seems to have moved. I’ll just try to remember to apply it first.

2. OCC Nail Polish in Vapid: I saw this color everywhere after IMATS this year and fell in love. The color is amazing and unique, the formula creamy and opaque. Love it!!!

3. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde: I feel like everyone & their mother have been getting this new product. I love it because it’s waterproof and easy to apply for a more dramatic OR every day brow, provided you use a lighter touch. I will definitely be using this during vacation and pool days.

4. Boscia Oil-Free Nightly Hydration Moisturizer: I love that this is lightweight for the summer and it also has antibacterial properties, great for humid and hot temperatures as well as my congested, oily skin. I’m almost at a HG status with this little tube of wonder.

5. Caldrea Essentials Collection lotion in Apple Mint: I got this body lotion as a sample in my May Birchbox and fell in love. Serious love. The light lotion is perfect for summer and it leaves a unique smoothness to the skin that made me hunt it down. I found mine at Target which also carried wonderful scents like this Apple Mint, one that I never would have purchased otherwise. I love unique smelling things and this is perfect.

6. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig: I got this on recommendation of Makeup By TiffanyD. Let me say that everything people say about Bite Beauty formulation…. is true. It’s smooth, pigmented, and doesn’t feel heavy on the lips. I love how moisturized my lips feel when I wear it and if not for the price, I’d already have more in my possession.

 

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Next up is the stuff Influenster graciously provided me with to try out (Again, no, I’m not paid to post this nor do they know I am posting this. I did explain the whole program in another post you can read here). I received my Surf’s Up VoxBox and as the name suggests, it includes lots of summer products which is great as I’m preparing to go away.

1. Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Aqua: I normally do not like this brand of polish as it’s chipped more than too easily in my experience but I’m always willing to give it another shot. Oh, and it’s like $2. I have heard the Sinful Shine version is actually really great and lasts better, but it’s hard to find near me. This duo-chromey blue color reminds me of a mermaid 🙂

2. First Aid Shot Therapy: This is marketed as a hangover cure in liquid form. It has a painkiller and replenishing vitamins and minerals your body is lacking the morning after. I’m honestly really skeptical this product will last very long on the market as it’s kind of strange. If your stomach is already upset, why would you want to drink a liquid pain reliever? However… as much as I don’t like feeling gross, this product will be rather interesting to test out regardless of how gimmicky it comes off.

3. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun Lotion: I already have and love this stuff. It’s aloe + lotion so it’s not going to leave you utterly sticky like pure aloe tends to (hate that feeling). It’s only miiiildy sticky and I can deal with that. I do love that I now have a travel size for my trip since I’m sure it will come in handy.

4. Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sulfate Free Texturizing shampoo + conditioner: I actually never tried anything by this brand but I hear a lot about it. I’m going to try this out on my vacation since I’ll already be in the beach vibe and they’re the perfect size. If I like these, I may branch out in the line and try some more. If there’s anyone reading this who has a favorite product by them, please let me know!

 

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Finally, here’s some stuff I got at Target, Birchbox & Ulta. I wish I could move into Target’s dressing rooms. Anyway.

1. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge: I somehow “lost” both my Beauty Blenders a while ago and can’t find it in me to spend another $20 on one when I’m sure I’ll find them. In the meantime, I’ve been reading up on the dupe sponges which have all gotten terrible reviews… except this one. I tried it a few times and I do love the finish it gives. My makeup looked flawless and lasted forever each time I used it. While it may not be *as soft* as the BB, I’m ok with that. It’s $6 and honestly, you can’t beat that. (P.S. I linked the best BB deal I found and was considering buying… 2 for $23 on Amazon!)

2. Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Linen: I got a sample of this product in my Birchbox but in the illuminating/regular variety. It was really nice but just didn’t seem to be a match made in heaven with the dewey finish plus my oily skin. In between my pale and tan self, I’ve been mixing this with the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream in Fair for a perfect match. It has light to medium coverage and I could certainly build it up in the areas I need.

3. Tangle Teezer brush: I heard so so so much about this goofy little brush for months. I have super long hair and have used a pick to comb it out for just about as long as I can remember. Let’s just say… I immediately felt like I should tell everyone I know about this thing. My first experience with it was taking my hair down from a knotty little bun it had been in all day and the Tangle Teezer breezed through the hair, making it super soft without as much as a tug. I was amazed. It’s a little more noticeably tugging on your hair when it’s wet, but still just as good. I am in love.

4. IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination in Fair: I heard Grav3yardGirl/Bunny talking about this product and since I already love so many of their items, I figured I needed to try this. It’s simply a pressed powder foundation with medium to full coverage.  It was a little cakey a few hours after the very first application using a powder brush. I don’t know if it is user error or the brush I used… or even using a primer would help, but I’m not giving up yet. I have an upcoming review of a bunch of IT Cosmetics products so while I’m not in love with this illuminating version right now, I do like it and have to continue to play with it. It may be excellent to use to set a light coverage foundation for an extra boost where you need it.

 

Phew. If you’re still reading this, I owe you a drink. Thank you 🙂

– SF

Note: Beauty Organizer Drawers in photographs purchased from HomeDecorators.com 

Trial & Review: NEW GlamGlow PowerMud Dualcleanse Treatment Mask

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If there’s a facial mask out there, you better believe I’m gonna be getting my hands on it. My problem (read: congested) skin requires me to try any and all masks on planet earth (or could just my OCD). SO my all-time & cult favorite mask company, GlamGlow, recently released another brand new all-star product called PowerMud Dualcleanse Treatment. It’s a special clay mask that turns into an oil cleanser when you wet it, A.K.A. GENIUS. I never tried oil cleansers but have been seriously investigating them for a few weeks now and then saw this mask and figured it would be a perfect introduction to the whole concept. And boy, was it.

I have oily, clogged pores without much dryness at all so I thought this would be the perfect middle ground between their Supermud (detoxifying) and Thirstymud (hydrating) masks. I have used it about 4 times so far and I absolutely love it. I spread a thin layer on my skin and let it try about 20 minutes even though the container recommends 5-10. The smell if it is just plain incredible which GlamGlow describes as pear, I believe. The mask is mostly smooth in consistency but has a very small amount of exfoliating bits.  I wouldn’t even consider them really doing much exfoliating on my skin but they do feel nice when you wet your skin and start massaging around the ‘oil’ before rinsing. I follow up with my usual evening moisturizer, Boscia’s Oil-Free Nightly Hydration.

The next morning, I noticed that it was quite hydrated. I never notice that in my skin because I’m always using more of a drying product (and yes, I do moisturize twice daily) but my face just felt a bit plumper. I think this is an excellent gentle-yet-detoxifying addition as my skin is slowly becoming a bit more combo (thank god). It’s honestly just perfect for combo skin but would recommend everyone giving it a try. Even if you have dry skin, the detoxifying clay is followed by the gentle oils which would provide the moisture those types of skin require. I even use it as a spot-treatment if I don’t feel like doing a full face. 😛

I will absoluttttely be using this weekly instead of my other GlamGlow masks because it’s the best of both worlds. I give it a huge thumbs up, even though it’s rather pricey – I got mine online at Sephora for $69 for the 1.7oz, which is the same size as my other GlamGlows. Please let me know if you give it a try and your experiences!

– SF

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OH HAY GIEZ

I’m hesitant to say it but… my skin looks awesome!!!

I’m getting really great results from the skin care items I’ve been using for the past few months. I posted about the products I was trying a few weeks back and wanted to give a happy update. My skin is greatly improving every day and I can honestly say I think it’s due to these items. Together or separate, I’m not sure what the biggest helpful addition is/was, but I’m super excited about it. You can read the post where I detail the products I’m using here.

Oh and here’s me today without any makeup and only my Shiseido moisturizer… o_O

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Sure, I took that picture with my iPhone so it’s not the greatest of qualities but I just want to point out how much smoother and clearer my skin recently has become. Which I never thought I’d get to say until I was like, 70.

I’ve been battling these bumps on my face for about 2 years now along with the occasional regular breakout. I have had a remarkably lesser amount of that in the past 2 months. One or two very minor blemishes pop up but they quickly go away.

[For sanity’s sake, I’ve just linked all these products for those reading at the bottom of the post.]

Here’s some newer products I’ve added into the overall routine (and also pictured is an oldie but goodie as in HG status):

1. Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Toner: I use this after I get out of the shower/after washing my face completely with my Clarisonic and MB Glycolic cleanser, before I put on moisturizer. I feel that this toner balances my skin and gets rid of any surviving makeup (which is quite the feat there, Mr. Makeup). I also found out this comes in *huge* pre-moistened towelettes which is super convenient for those who travel a lot.

2. L’Oreal Skin Perfecting Micellar 3-in-1 Cleansing Water Solution:  Ok. This stuff isn’t available in the US, so let me just say that straight away. I heard great things about Bioderma and that this L’Oreal one was a dupe so I bought it online on eBay. And wow… it’s quite amazing. It’s like a makeup remover and toner mixed into one. It feels like water, has no scent, and it is hypoallergenic, also a great plus for my breakout-prone skin. I tried it and immediately fell in love. It leaves no oily residue and removes everything with a cotton pad. I recently tweeted L’Oreal to bring this to the US since it’s so much cheaper ($6-8, US converted price for 200ml) than the Bioderma ($30ish for 250ml). Hopefully they hear my sobs all the way from my makeup chair.

3. Palmers Coco Butter Swivel Stick: I’ve used this stuff since middle school. People used to ask me if I was putting a glue stick on my lips. Boys thought I was weird. I just knew I had the softest lips in town. I think it’s needless to say I still use this every day and have multiples laying around the house. It’s soft, buttery, smells incredible, and covers your lips in 1 swipe. It also stays on your lips for a long period of of time and actually sinks into your lips, unlike an EOS ball lip balm. I’ll use this forever, I’m sure. Did I mention it’s under $3?

Oh, and did you notice the bottom of the one pictured, where my dog Stu decided to try it out as a bone? I never knew he was into soft lips.

4. Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer Enriched: Yes I’ve posted about this stuff before but here I go again!

I’ve been using this goo for about 4 months now, ran out, and have even repurchased it. I use it alone as my nighttime moisturizer. It’s thick, absorbs quickly, doesn’t make me oilier (thank god), has a nice scent (if you’re sensitive you may think it’s overpowering but I love it), doesn’t have any sulfate ingredients, and it doesn’t clog my pores — hallelujah! I have nothing bad to say about it except that it’s $45 for 1.7 oz… however one lasted me for over 3 months with using it every single night without fail.

5. Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment: I posted in my February Skincare Update about how I was using this new product here when I got this as a sample and gave it a try as I really love all other Boscia products I’ve bought — I try to go for more natural products, both in what I eat and what I put on my body, as much as possible (provided the body/makeup product works, haha).

I use this eye cream at night after I put on my face moisturizer. It has a slight silicony feel without being overly slippery (hate that). It sinks nicely into my eye area and seems to hydrate it well. I don’t have much dryness in my eye area though so I can’t comment on how well it would work for people with extremely dry skin. I think it seems to have lessened any fine lines a bit and I would definitely purchase it in the future. I have another eye cream to try out first but I – officially, certainly – like this one a lot. 🙂

SkincareMarch2014Update

I’ve put all these items in a collection on my Luvocracy site so that anyone can find/buy them straight away aka no googling: Current Skincare Products Luvocracy Collection

Stay tuned as I will be posting about a face ‘peel’ I just tried and am seemingly falling in love with. As in, take-the-peel-out-for-dinner-and-buy-it-pink-roses love. I won’t be buying it red roses quite yet; I don’t want to jump the gun, ya know?

Thanks for taking the time to read & to hang out with me.

– SFB

Skincare Goo

Finding stuff that works for your skin is a serious pain but I love all the items I’m currently using on my (very) oily skin:

DAY FACE WASH: Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser – Takes off my makeup so easily. It’s creamy and doesn’t irritate my skin.

DAY MOISTURIZER: Clinique Dramatically Different Gel Moisturizer – This stuff absorbs so quickly and I use it under my makeup without making my oily skin extra greasy. It’s the most perfect day moisturizer I’ve ever found for my type of skin.

NIGHT EYE CREAM: Philosophy Miracle Worker Retanoid Eye Repair Cream  – I’ve used this for about a month or so. While it’s not meant for dark circles, this stuff feels amazing (silicone-y) and seems to smooth out and moisturize pretty well.

NIGHT FACE WASH: Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser – This is my holy grail face wash. I have acne-prone skin and this stuff cleans out pores and kills any bacteria left on my face. I can’t say enough good things about this cleanser.

NIGHT MOISTURIZER: Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer – I’ve used this for about a week. It has a strong fragrance, but I like it. It feels nice, absorbs quickly, and isn’t too heavy. I would probably be able to use this as a day moisturizer too since it feels so light. I really love the results so far.

EXFOLIATOR: Clarisonic Mia 2 – Love. That is all.

Clarisonic Deep Cleansing Brush Head – I recently just got a new brush head because I felt like my particular skin needed deeper cleansing. It is working well so far.

TONER: Michael Todd True Organics Organic Lemon AHA + DMAE Toner – I love the smell of this product. It’s organic (so I automatically give it more points) but it also works well removing any leftover traces of makeup.

MASK: Boscia Bright White Mask  – I love a good mask you can actually peel off! This does brighten my skin. It’s supposed to fade spots but I think I need to use it a bit longer to really judge those results.

MASK: GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment – I love this stuff and I’m sure not many people disagree. This mask tightens and literally transforms your skin in one use.

MASK: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Masque – I’ve had this stuff for about a month. I used it as a regular mask once and thought, “Meh.” I read somewhere that a woman used it by accident as a night moisturizer and loved it. I tried it this way and it’s definitely making a difference if I have any redness or irritation. I wake up with calmer, hydrated skin. Note, I use it in combination with my regular night moisturizer as needed.

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