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 

Brand OCD: Tarte

I’ve liked Tarte products for a number of years. After many months of BB, CC, CC+, -12%, wait… lets just say I’ve had my fill of fancy tinted moisturizers. I wanted to give another mineral foundation a try since my skin is oily and seems to do well with those types of products. I heard Arden (arose186 on YT) talk about how much she loves the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation so I zeroed in on my next target. I settled on the lightest shade (fair honey) which has peach undertones. I thought I could get to work for my skin but it’s very sadly a little dark for me still. Once I get a bit more color during the summer I think it will work perfectly.

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The formula is definitely full coverage which surprised me. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin though. I apply it using the Tarte Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush. It’s so dense, stubby and ermegerrd cute; it feels nice in the hand while working the product into your skin. I guess I didn’t need this brush but I really wanted to try the foundation with a super dense kabuki and it matched. So. You know how that goes.

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The wear of the foundation is pretty good. I still need to try it in the warmer summer months (a true test on my skin).  Overall, I’d give this product a 7.9/10.

 

I purchased the Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment. I needed a new eye cream and heard good things about this one. I really am always looking for a good preventative eye cream and one that brightens a bit. I remember loving a Vitamin-C product I got from Whole Foods a number of years back so I figured this one would fit my needs nicely, as the name suggests it’s vit-c infused. I also love love love that Tarte is paraben, sulfate and phthalate -free. That’s like, half it’s selling point in my opinion.

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The eye cream feels fresh, gentle, absorbs quickly and nicely into the skin. It’s thick enough so you feel like it’s definitely hydrating, doesn’t feel silicon-y and doesn’t burn my eyes/eye area. I’ve been using it nightly for about a month and just started using it in the day as well. I’ve never been the type to wear day eye cream but thought it might be a good habit to start forming. So far, I love it. I read some reviews on Sephora’s website that were glowing and then some that said they didn’t feel like this product did anything for their eyes. I guess I will wait to go through it to determine which side of the fence I finally fall on.

What’s your favorite Tarte product? I’m looking into trying the Lights Camera Lashes mascara possibly next!

Seven Deadly Sins Tag

Thanks Obama! It’s Presidents Day!

I found the SEVEN DEADLY SINS tag on LauraBorealis’ blog and thought I’d do it too.

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Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?
Clarisonic Mia 2! I love this thing and it literally lives up to the hype. It changed the texture of my skin and my boyfriend even uses it.

Wrath: What item do you have a strong love/hate relationship with?
Anything Rose scented. For example, the Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Sleeping Facial. It does wonders to my skin’s brightness but I have a hard time getting over the scent. I also want to like it because my middle name is Rose! Dumb, I know. To top it all off, I think it breaks me out a bit. After all that, I keep trying to use it because I love it so much. Boo hoo 😦

Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?
MAC or L’oreal. I tend to die over all L’Oreal products and have tons of MAC shadows.

Sloth: What product do you ignore the most due to laziness?
Definitely lipstick. Day to day, re-applying lipstick is a lot more work so I tend to go for balms and lipgloss (like laauraborealis!) even though I often wish during the day I brought my lipstick! Hindsight is 20/20?

Pride: Which product gives you the most confidence?
Concealer. I tend to get breakouts and have dark spots that make me feel like a spotted leopard at times. I feel most confident with an even skin tone.

Lust: What item is at the top of your list?
Hourglass Immaculate Foundation but I’m so in love with my IT Cosmetics BB cream right now I’m trying to wait it out a bit!

Envy: Which makeup product/look looks great on others but not on you?
White liner on my waterline. I think it makes me look sick rather than awake. I try to use a nude shade instead but I’m still trying to work out whether it looks good or like I’m on my deathbed.

 

Enjoy your day off everyone! If you’re working, well that’s more money in the bank to spend on yourself, gurrrrrrrrl.

– SF

Valentine’s Day + Birchbox!

I got the most incredibly perfect gift for Valentine’s Day – a year of Birchbox! I had been on the fence about subscribing but when my boyfriend subscribed to the men’s edition, I immediately got jealous and wanted one of my own. He smartly purchased me my own subscription as a V-day present and gave me the first 2 boxes to open! The first “Welcome” box was pretty neat but not my favorite. The first one included:

Gilchrist & Soames Shampoo and Conditioner 1.5 fl oz • 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented 100% Natural Mascara in Black Tea • Reviver Dry Deodorant for Clothes in Original Scent
Welcome box thoughts:
Gilchrist & Soames London Shampoo & Conditioner – These are nice little sample sizes of shampoo and conditioner that somehow remind me of a hotel I’ve stayed in. I’m fairly certain I’ve tried their products during an overnight stay somewhere but can’t exactly remember if I liked it or not. I’ll give them props for the packaging but these products have no special scent whatsoever. I suppose if you’re not the type to like floral or fruity smelling shampoos/conditioners, these smell just kind of ‘soapy’ and you might love them for it. Either way, I’m in no rush to try them & I’ll give them a shot once I run out of the plethora of products I have in line for me to use.
[P.S. Upon looking these products up, they are in fact carried by fancy-pants hotels. For once, my memory serves me semi-right!]
100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Black Tea – I just purchased a hand lotion by this brand in an Almond-y something or other (Almond Vanilla?) scent that I simply love so I was excited when I realized this was by the same company. I had no idea that they even made cosmetics since Ulta only seems to carry their skin care line. Anyway, the package says this is an ultra lengthening formula which is perfect for my every day use, not to mention I’d love to try something natural that I wear every day instead of the chemically alternatives, should it work just as good. We shall see since it’s an expensive little bugger at $21 for a full size tube!

The January Birchbox was much more impressive than the Welcome box. It included:

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips • Cynthia Rowley Liquid Eyeliner in Black Ink • Reviver Dry Deodorant for Clothes in Original Scent • Klorane Extra-Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk • Derma E Evenly Radiant Skincare Sampler

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Here’s my initial thoughts on the January products:

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips – This stuff is thick like Vaseline but not slick or slimy. It’s thick like a rich butter for your lips and has no taste. I love it after using it all day today so far. I’m sure I’ve mentioned at least 30 times by now that I’m a complete lip balm/Chapstick freak so I was automatically thrilled when I saw this in my box.

Cynthia Rowley Liquid Eyeliner in Black Ink – I never tried any cosmetics by CR but after swatching this on my hand, it is really smooth and wouldn’t rub or smudge off… at all. I had to lick my finger and rub the liner to get it off my hand (gross, I know. Shush.) It dried super fast. I don’t think it’s a black-black, it’s more like a charcoal black… which is fine in my book since I have plenty of black liquid eyeliners to go around. The pen tip is like that of the L’Oreal Infallible Super Slim pen which is my all-time favorite right now. Both of these have super slim flexible felt tips with a sharp point. I can’t wait to try this out for real. BONUS! I just found out on the website that if you newly sub to Birchbox, this liner is a free gift right now!!

Klorane Extra-Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – I am excited to try this because I JUST bought the Peony Shampoo by Klorane and tried it for the first time yesterday… to then get this the very next day! Are the hair gods trying to steer me towards the path of righteousness? I love me a dry shampoo and will give it a shot asap. A full size of this wittle baby is only $5-7  on Amazon so if I like it more than Batiste, I’m definitely going to order one.

Derma E Evenly Radiant Skincare Sampler  – I never heard of this brand before so I need to do a little research as I’m really picky with my skin products.  It comes with a Brightening Cleanser, Dark Circle Eye Cream, & Brightening Serum. I already am liking the fact they are vegan and all natural which is a huge plus in my book. Since I’m really liking my skin care regimen right now, I’ll probably hold off trying these until I get in the mood for a change.

Reviver Dry Deodorant for Clothes in Original Scent – This is the weirdest thing ever that I got in my first two Birchboxes so far. It’s basically a reusable pad of deodorant for your clothes that you rub on yourself when you stink. Which is hilarious. I always thought that’s was what a washing machine was for. Or perfume. I mean… I guess it would come in handy if I went to a hibachi restaurant, smoky bar (I avoid those like the plague) or was in front of a campfire but other than that, this is probably going to be one of those products you remember years later that never made sense. Flo-bee anyone?