Saturday, December 29, 2012

November/December used it part 1

Quick and dirty here:
1. Aveeno smart essentials daily detoxifying scrub. Buy again? No. This was a freebie sample and I'd say it scrubs only sort of and cleanses okayish. If I'm going to use something with gritty bits, then I want to feel them as something other than a minor annoyance. I used this as my morning face wash while traveling and it did the job without distinction.

2. Repechage t-zone balance honey and almond scrub. Buy again? No. It's again an ok scrub. This one was better because the particles were more plentiful and it doubled as a mask. My face did feel smooth after using it, just not smoother than other masks I've used.

3. Darling Girl Cosmetics skin quenchers dry oil spray in warm vanilla sugar. Buy again? Already did. The new one is a vanilla orange scent. These work best on somewhat damp skin to seal the moisture in. Great for dry winter conditions.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I want some recommendations, please!

So, I just spent way more time than I'd care to admit perusing Etsy's selection on handmade nail polishes, and there's enough out there to be overwhelming. If you buy indie polish, who do you buy from? Who out there has quality products?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bond in a jewelry shop

OPI The Living Daylights over China Glaze For Audrey.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Eyes: inglot 345, 74, 477, and 388. Too faced liner, tarte mascara.
Cheeks: sephora apricot brandy blush.
Lips: revlon just bitten kissable balm stain rendezvous.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for a lot this year. I have a job, I'm going to marry an awesome guy next year, and things are generally going well.

Here's another look with the Edun for Sephora palettes. Lips are Pacifica lip color in coconut crush.

Eyeliner, Kat Von D tattoo liner.
Mascara, cover girl yellow tube.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Classic Glam

Eyes: sephora by Edun palette.
Blush: same.
Lips: e.l.f. Matte lip color rich red and revlon color burst lipgloss in fire.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Better late than never, right?

Anyway, here's what got gone in October.

1. Everyone Soap 3in1 - Coconut Lemon. This stuff smells amazing (to me). Future Husband did not care for it at all, and complained that "something in the bathroom smell[ed] weird" when I transferred the remainder to the bathroom hand soap dispenser. I liked it. But I won't be buying again for two reasons: it is too weak a shampoo for me and too drying a body wash.

2. Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz. Though it's marketed at Black women, I figured hair is hair and I'd try it. It's a really nice product - smells nicely lavendery but not too strong, and it has nice definition. It's a thin gel and made out of water and plants. I haven't figured out how to make it work as a spray, so I spray it into my hand and then scrunch. I'm trying some new things in the product department, but if I decide I want a gel again, I'd rebuy this one.

3. Alba Botanica Natural AcneDote scrub. I liked this, too. It smells like minty oranges, seems to exfoliate well, and comes in a pretty large (8oz) tube for the money.

4. Julep sunblock. I reviewed this as part of my Sunblock Sunday Series. Why didn't I like it?

5. Trio of Caudalie minis. There was a "cleansing water," a serum, and a very lightly tinted spf 15 moisturizer. I liked the "cleansing water" best, but it felt too sticky on my face to get full size.

6. John Frieda Frizz Ease Sheer Solution Lightweight Styling Serum. Future Husband bought this by mistake, so I used it. It's ok, but nothing magical. I found having to shake up the dual-phase liquid annoying.

7. Clear Scalp Therapy shampoo and conditioner packets. I got this in that Target Beauty bag. I used them. They made my scalp feel nice for a day, but they smelled really odd and the ingredients list is full of things that look like slaughterhouse byproducts.

8. Silk Naturals eye shadow sample baggie. These are always fun, but so far there have been only two that inspired me to buy full size: Sonic and Go. As it is, I have eyeshadow coming out of my, er, eyeballs?

9. Andalou Naturals serum sample. This smelled like flowers. Aside from lavender, I do not like my products to smell like flowers.

So there you have it!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sephora+Pantone Universe palette look

Eyes: tfsi, green column of sephora+Pantone palette, UD Perversion liquid and pencil liners, theBalm cheater mascara.

Got this for less than seventeen dollars at sephora. Kind of love it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Trying out new phone. Also have new sephora haul to post about.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

OPI nail strengthener
Orly Bonder
Illamasqua Aorta

"Blood spatters:"
the red WNW creme from the Fantasy Makers kit
Essie Size Matters doctored with a few drops of Essie Licorice

And yes, that's my ring. :D

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Sunblock: Julep Daylight Defense SPF 30

Time for another installment of Sunday Sunblock!

See? Gross!
Today, I bring you Julep Daylight Defense SPF 30 for hands and face. At first glance, this looks like it would be THE sun protection product for me. It's got a combo of zinc oxide and organic sunscreens ("chemical blockers"), and it smells like citrus. Unfortunately, I've been having issues with it. It leaves little clumps of white if I use a proper amount, and doesn't absorb fully. Because I cannot abide my neck looking like a recently waxed armpit suffering solid-stick deodorant clumping issues, this will not be a repurchase. I'm glad I got it as part of a Julep Maven box instead of coughing up the $28 full price ($22.80 for Mavens) for it.

Price: $28
Size: 3oz.
Price per ounce: $9.34

Active ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Oxybenzone 4%, Zinc Oxide 3%, Ensulizole 2%
Inactive ingredients: Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Cyclomethicone, Dicetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Heylene Glycol, Isostearyl Isononanoate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Octododecyl Neopentanoate, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Hydroxide, PVP/Eicosene Copolymer, Retinyl Palmitate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethxycaprylylsilane, Water, Xanthan Gum.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Used it! September, 2012

Howdy! Apologies for the long absence - I've been tired from work, entertaining visiting family, and *drumroll please* GETTING ENGAGED! This means that at some point a year-ish from now, I might be looking for bridal makeup info, and also that the man and I might go nuts planning the whole thing.

But anyway, onto September's empties. Let's preface this whole thing by saying that September's empties mostly sucked.

I bought a new eyelash comb/brow groomer thingy a month ago (it has metal tines!) and promptly got rid of the broken/impossible to clean enough combs I had. I also threw out a Tarte perfect crease brush because I was sick of it a) poking me in the eyelid; and b) losing bristles every time I washed it. No thanks. So there's 3 brushes gone from my collection.

I also used up all parts of the Sephora 500 point gift consisting of trial size items from Dr. Brandt's Pores No More line. I wanted to use them all up before I condemned them as Not For Me, but I probably shouldn't have. It came with five things: a cleanser, a moisturizer, a "vaccuum cleaner," a paste to hide pores, and a packet of a firming serum. If you really like herbal aromas, you will probably like this line. I'll note right now that I noticed zero effect from any of this stuff on the size of my pores, which are on the larger side.
- Cleanser - clear, somewhat thick gel smelling of pine needles. I found that, while this cleaned all the gunk off my face, also stung a little and was too harsh for my tastes.
- "Vaccuum cleaner" This product is intended to be used as a mask. When it dries, you're supposed to rinse it off to reveal smaller pores. I'm not sure I noticed a difference.
- moisturizer. This did relieve the tension from piling the earlier products on and subsequently rinsing them off, but it did not seem to have any other benefit.
- pore-hidin'-goop. This stuff is supposed to reduce the appearance of pores over or under makeup, and it delivered, sort of. Every time I used this, I found a higher than normal incidence of blocked pores on and around my nose. So I guess it fills in the pores by clogging them. No, thanks.
- serum packet. This stuff contains supposedly magical plastics that can reform the appearance of the pores. I did not notice any such effect.

Then there was all the other stuff.

1. Origins White Tea moisturizer spf 25.
2. Desert Essence Pomegranate facial serum. More of a lightweight lotion than a serum, this does have a lot of antioxidants and other goodies, but it also smells vaguely floral. I'm not knocking the product, just saying I didn't like it. It's a good, affordable product so if you want some topical antioxidants without breaking the bank and you happen to have a less picky nose, try it.
3. AcneFree 5% benzoyl peroxide foam. Not effective against the monstrous jawline zits that I still sometimes get, but the rest of my face seemed clearer during use. I bought it out of a moment of desperation a few months ago when I'd tried everything else. Liberal use of hydroxy acid exfoliating pads seemed to do more than anything, but I wanted to use this up anyway. I won't be buying it again as no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't avoid bleaching out some of my towels.
4. Love and Toast shower cream in mandarin. Nice and moisturizing after getting sick of feeling dry after showers. Not a bad product if you're into fancy smelling products.
5. Tarte double-ended eyeliner pencil from the Femme Naturale palette. Mostly, I used this as a base for powder eyeshadows. If you want something subtle and don't have oily skin prone to making your eyeliner migrate, the olive green and plum tones in this might be right up your alley.
6. Silk Naturals Super Serum. Not bad, but I'm going back to Awesome Sauce. I'm using niacinamide at night and acids in the morning, so I need my serum acid-compatible.
7. Physicians Formula eye cream. For the life of me, I'm still really on the fence about the utility of a separate eye cream. This one was on sale cheap and didn't cause any issues. I think I might be sticking to my usual policy of either using regular moisturizer or using samples of high-end eye creams instead, though. Also worth noting: the packaging makes it look like you're getting more than you are.
8. Milani automatic blue liquif'eye eyeliner. I did not so much use this up as discover one day that it had turned into an unusable, dry stick of crumbly blue junk. I usually like Milani's liners, but won't be buying the automatic ones again.
9. Sample of Giovanni's new dry shampoo. It was ok.
10. Essie Good to Go topcoat. Pro: this stuff dries your manicure quick. Con: this stuff thickens up like crazy, leaving the bottom third of the bottle goopy and wasted. Fun fact: at this stage, it leaves little strings like spider silk hanging from your nails!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nails! Dots! (& Nuts'n'Bolts)

I bought a dotting tool and went a little nuts. 
China Glaze Poetic
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Celeb City
Zoya Kimber
Zoya Myrta

Other news:
I've updated my blog sale post (top right hand sidebar has the link). Please buy my stuff! If you do, I'll buy and swatch some Inglot for you.

Sunday Sunblock is going irregular - I still have about six products left in my bathroom that I'd like to talk about, but I need more time to use them and form opinions on them. Unformed opinion = bad review. Nobody wants that!

I'm in some serious need of a new nail polish storage solution. Ideas? The cupcake carrier isn't cutting it anymore.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Evil Shades Review!

Anyone here a fan of Evil Shades Cosmetics? I just made my second order and realized that I'd never properly reviewed my first, which I made last fall. Whoops!

In the first order, I got full sizes of ceylon and ravishing blushes, and a sample of skön. Here are some better swatches! I love the full sizes I got, they go on nicely and the texture and staying power is good. Skön's texture is equally lovely, but the color makes me look like I bruised my cheeks. I can see this color looking great on a cooler-toned or darker skinned woman.  Evil Shades blushes might be my favorite thing on their whole site. I like how the colors she offers are bright and fun - there are absolutely no "universally flattering" pinky-brown shades here, just bright, clear colors that have a bit of an unexpected twist. Even Curiosity, which looks at first glance to have the most neutral appearance, has blue shimmer in the description! Ceylon has a green flash, and Ravishing shifts purple. This is about my favorite kind of product - things that look "normal" enough but contain sly winks at ideas like "professionalism" and "workplace acceptability."

I also ordered a blogger sample pack, and got a bunch of samples of lip stuff. To the left - More Synth Deviant Lipstick. It's pretty much a balm packed with rainbow glitter. I can't wait for the full size to get here! It's great on its own because it's one of those unassuming-from-afar-yet-edgy-up-close shades. I think it's best for a daytime casual look.

I also got samples of Primrose Path Deviant Lipstick and Féline's Kyss Hardcore Lips gloss. Primrose Path is pretty, and so is Féline's Kyss, but I did not get full sizes of these. Primrose Path is pretty, but I'm extremely picky about pinks, and this wasn't the best I'd ever worn. Féline's Kyss is also gorgeous, swatched on my hand, but on my face comes off as just a smidge too light for me.

The quality of the lipsticks is great, and the gloss is nice as well, though it can separate over time. In this same order, I got some limited edition lipglosses with a different formula that I did not like as much, and I have the same problem with them. The glosses are not sticky at all, which I both like and dislike. In my next order, I requested a sample of another gloss, and a larger size of her new black lipgloss so I'll better be able to form my opinion on them then. I don't know why I ordered black lipgloss, exactly, except that I don't have any and it seemed like a fun addition to my stash. All in all, Andrea offers a pretty wide selection of lip products, none of which contain my archenemy, beeswax! I hate to say it, but I definitely like Evil Shades lip products better than Silk Naturals, which were my first "OMG I can actually wear these!" lip things. The Evil Shades products come in more fun colors (some of which are a bit, um, adventurous for me!), and they stay on longer. My personal pickiness with shades of pink aside, a lot of what Andrea has is a winner here.

Let's also talk about eyeshadow, which is something you all know I love! I don't have swatches of the sample I got that is getting upgraded to full size, Eplefe, because it's such a stunning color I'm working on a separate post for it. So here's two pics of the other four I got. They're all swatched over Vitrum Spectrum Pot (also from Evil Shades!) which is a waxy white cream base.

I don't think this was intentional, but Wyvern and Whooo Are You? look like fraternal twins of the eyeshadow world. Whooo Are You? shifts yellow and warm while Wyvern shifts cool and blue, but they seem to have a similar base green. Twinkle Twinkle is a badass yellow, and Zombie is a rich oxblood color that looks like it would fit right in this fall. I did a look with Wyvern, Zombie, and Eplefe that I think shows the colors' versatility.

I like the texture of the shadows, and there's some fun stuff going on with them. They just work well and look nice, and I can't complain about that!

I'd definitely recommend Evil Shades Cosmetics, but recommend that you order two weeks or so before you think you'll want to use the products because turnaround time is in that range. Pricing is reasonable, and she offers generous samples in clamshells, full sizes, and enormous sizes for mega-fans and makeup artists. You know I like the company alright because I ordered another pile of stuff from them!

Look forward to my thoughts on her new Morbidly Beautiful collection, her black eyeshadow primer, and the peachy color corrector in a month or so!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunblock Sunday: Neutrogena Wet Skin sunblock spray

Today's Sunblock Sunday is a review of Neutrogena Wet Skin sunblock spray, SPF 85.

It claims to provide "full strength protection even on wet skin." It also says that it "applies on wet or dry skin. waterproof/sweatproof." I think that it's no longer legal to claim that your product is waterproof, only "highly water resistant," but I bought this last year when it was ok to say that sunblock was waterproof.

This is also not even pretending to be a natural product, though the inclusion of one botanical ingredient is really mystifying to me. It's chemical soup. I think there's even a phthalate in there. The sunscreens in it are of the chemical/organic (in that the molecules contain carbon, like life forms) variety, and if there's a kind of plastic that can be put in cosmetics, this product probably has it.

I knew this all when I bought it. I wanted an affordable product for those times when large areas of my body were going to be exposed to the sunlight, and bought this specifically for things like swimming and running. And guess what? It works.

On Labor Day, I went to the beach. I wore a swimsuit, got sand all over me, and immersed myself in Lake Michigan. I had a great time! I applied all over my arms, legs, shoulders, and torso. It's a little too plasticky for me to want to put it on my face, so I used something else. I reapplied twice, after getting out of the water, as per the directions. Once, I forgot to recoat my neck and upper chest, so that burned, but none of the rest of me did, and I was in full sunlight from two to six pm.

This is not an everyday product, and you will feel greasy and look shiny with this on. I also find it odd how it sprays better if you use it upside down. I like that you can spray it right on wet skin and it will still work. But if you want to go to the beach, or sweat buckets, and not pay for it with sunburned skin, then this is not a bad deal. But again, it only works if you rub it in after you spray, just like all spray sunblocks.

SPF: 85+
Size: 5 oz.
Price: $11.49
Price per ounce: $2.30 

Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), Oxybenzone (6%).

Inactive ingredients: Alcohol denat, dimethyl ether, octododecyl citrate crosspolymer, butyloctyl salicylate, acrylates/octylacrylamide copolymer, ethyl methicone, cetyl dimethicone, dimethicone, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer, fragrance, tocopheryl acetate, vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, nelumbo nucifera flower powder, diethylhexyl 2,6 naphthalate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl palmitate.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Used It! August 2012

In August, I used up 8 full size products, an eyeshadow sample, and a pile of other random samples.

Aspirin* - used this primarily for face masks. Aspirin does make the skin nice and soft, but it's messy! Be prepared to shed white flakes on whatever you're reading while it sets.

Fyrinnae Calavera Cupcakes free sample. Beautiful shade, especially over a sticky base, but I like Chrome better for a silver.

Giovanni Direct Leave-In.* This used to be a HG product for me - when my hair was bra-strap length, it worked really well as both a conditioner and a styling product. I can't get it to work as well for waist-to-hip length hair. If you have mid-length (between armpit length and mid back) wavy or curly hair, you should give this a try.

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo.* This is really good for getting gunk off your hair, but I'm not sure it's better than cheaper products. I don't have the bottle because I transferred it into a smaller container when it was half gone.

Kiss My Face SPF 40*

Nuance Salma Hayek skin firming body creme.* I bought this because I really liked a sample packet. Liked enough to buy three of them. I did not notice any "firming" effects, nor did I expect to. It's a lotion, and an expensive one (for drugstore) at that. I'll break out the others when it's colder out, but by then, I'll be so sick of it I won't want to repurchase. Also - I HATE applying body lotion and being all sticky afterward.

Red lip franken.* I'm counting this as gone because I can't find the tube. I had a quarter inch left. It was a franken, so I can't make it again.

VO5 Blackberry Sage Tea conditioner*
VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze conditioner.* Both of these together ran me 1.26 plus tax. When I use these conditioners, I use a lot of them and go through them quite quickly. They work for me, provided I follow up with a leave-in, but I don't enjoy using them. I bought them because I didn't want to "waste" my "good" conditioner while I was using up a bunch of shampoo packets last month.
I also used up this pile of samples.
-Comfort Zone sample packets - I got these back in March when I got my facial. I used them to try to give myself a mini facial at home. I think the facial was successful in large part due to the skill of the esthetician, and she could have done amazing things with any product out there.
-Josie Maran Argan Bronzing Oil - not bad, but extremely messy to apply. Worked best with a drop mixed into foundation.
-Nars Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte foundation (Siberia) - slightly too light, also should have paid attention to the "sheer" part - too much so for me.
-Too Faced BB Cream (vanilla glow) - still too dark!
-Too Faced Close-Up foundation (vanilla creme, warm vanilla) - too dark, very yellow.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunblock Sunday: Nuance Salma Hayek Advanced Hydration Smooth & Firm Perfector

This is Nuance Salma Hayek Advanced Hydration Smooth & Firm Perfector, SPF 20. It's marketed as a moisturizer/anti-aging treatment with a "Silky, age-defying formula melts into skin, filling fine lines and wrinkles and locking in hydration." I'm not convinced that it's a Holy Grail sunblock or anything, but it does have some nice perks. My primary concern with it is the longevity of the sun protection: it contains avobenzone but not octocrylene or another similar stabilizer of avobenzone. That makes it a poor contender for a morning moisturizer worn under makeup - it would wear off before I felt like redoing my whole face. It's also not as high up the SPF ladder as I like. I have been using this as a portable arms and neck product, and it works great for something to throw on less-protected areas later in the day to ward off impromptu sun damage. I won't repurchase because it's normally too expensive to justify that use. I bought mine on sale, so I'm less concerned about "wasting" this product by using it principally as a body sunscreen.

That said, this is what I do like about it:
- it does have a lovely texture. It's not greasy at all, and it sinks right in.
- it's not white AT ALL.
- it doesn't smell like sunscreen.


SPF 20
Size: 1.5 oz.
Price: $19.99 (I paid 6.99 during a killer sale)
Price per ounce: $13.33 (yikes!)
Availability: CVS

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (2.0%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5.0%).
Inactive Ingredients: Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/Ldimethicone, Cyathea Cumingii Leaf Extract, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hexyl Laurate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Phospholipids, Physalis Angulata Extract, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polysilicone-11, Retinyl Acetate, Silica, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol Acetate.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I was going for surly teenager...

Did I nail it?

Eyes are heavily foiled Fyrinnae Calavera Cupcakes on the lid, the orange shade from the Sephora Pantone quad in the crease, and the purple shade from the same palette in the outer V. I used Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara and some very light UD Perversion liner to finish it off.

Lips are Korres Purple Red lip liner topped with Evil Shades Zombie lipgloss.

Close up on the eye:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Sunblock: Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea

Hi! I'm back. The first three weeks of school, and also the first cold given to me by the tiny disease vectors students, have wiped me out and made wearing and photographing makeup a lot less important than sleeping and staring at the Internet in complete and utter exhaustion.

Today, I want to talk about Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea (that ingredient is underlined at the bottom of the list). I got it for free on Earth Day because I brought an empty lotion thing to Sephora instead of to my local recycling place. It was worth about what I paid for it.

The product is an off-white cream that smells somewhat of salad. Yes, salad. Or grass clippings. I can't decide. It's a chemical-based sunblock, or organic sunscreen, that claims an SPF of 25. It rubs in pretty clear, if a bit shiny. I've been using a half teaspoon or so on my face, neck, and ears, and another half teaspoon or so on my arms.

For the past week or two, as I've been using it steadily, I have noticed a few things:

1. A mild burning feeling upon application.
2. A raw, red feeling on my neck and upper chest, accompanied by itching. Sunburn? Or reaction to the product?

I have a couple theories on this: first, there are a ton of photosensitizing ingredients in this product, so maybe that weakens the SPF effect; second, the third inactive ingredient is chamomile water. Chamomile is related to ragweed, or the archdemon of all Plants To Whose Pollen I Am Allergic, so it's possible I've just been reacting to that. However, my arms have gotten some color recently, and I've been inside more often than not. That indicates some level of product failure - with the same amount of product and frequency of application, I've been better protected by other products.

Needless to say, I do not recommend this product, which, in case you are some sort of masochist spendthrift, is available at Sephora and department store counters.

Product specs:
Size: 1.7 oz/50 ml
Price: $39.50 (I got it free as part of an Earth Day promo)
Price per ounce: $23.24
SPF: 25
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (5%), avobenzone (3%), octocrylene (2.7%)
Inactive Ingredients: water/aqua/eau, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower water, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower water, butyloctyl salicylate, ethyl macadamiate, methyl trimethicone, jojoba esters, butylene glycol, lauryl peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, peg-100 stearate, glyceryl stearate, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (sweet orange) oil, cinnamonium camphora (camphor) bark oil, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, magnolia acuminata flower extract, iris pallida (orris) root extract, rosa damascena (rose) extract, citral, linalool, limonene, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract, pinus pinaster bark/bud extract, arabidopsis thaliana extract, ascorbyl tocopheryl maleate, oryzanol, ergothionene, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract, hordeum vulgare (barley) extract, cholesterol, caffeine, mangifera indica (mango) seed butter, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), potassium cetyl phosphate, cetyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, linoleic acid, squalane, sodium hyaluraonate, caprylyl glycol, dehydroxanthan gum, silica, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, citric acid, sodium stearate, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, mica.

I typed all of that out for you. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Sunblock - off today

Apologies for not posting a sunblock review today - tomorrow is the first day of school and I'm a teacher, so I've been making pretty props for my kiddos instead.

I hope you're all wearing sunscreen when you're in the sun!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

July Used It!

I can't believe it's August already! Where I live, back to school is Monday (I grew up going back the first Wednesday after Labor Day). It's also been really hot for weeks. So I'm having some serious cognitive dissonance here.

What did I use up in July? Any winners? Losers? Let's see!

365 Fragrance Free Body Lotion*  - not pictured. This was the 32 oz size, and hard to use up!
Buy again? No way. It doesn't absorb well. I used it up primarily as shaving cream, and I have other things I find more effective.

Caudalie Eye Cream sample 
Buy again? No. I mostly rely on samples for eye creams because I haven't found any that really make a significant difference. This one was nice, though. And I liked that it came in a tube instead of a packet.

CVS Biodegradable Nail Polish Remover*
Do not buy this. The idea of a non-acetone, more environmentally friendly product to remove nail polish is very appealing. However; in order to remove a manicure, I need to use a new cotton pad every other nail, put fresh remover on the pad after every nail, and practically scrub at my polish to get it off. That's five cotton pads, ten douses of remover, and way more time than I'd like to spend removing my polish. In contrast, I used the butter LONDON remover recently and used three pads and five douses - and was done sooner.

First Aid Beauty eye cream sample
Buy again? No, for same reasons as stated above.

Garnier shampoo and conditioner samples (3 packets total)
Buy again? No. These were all freebies, and I didn't find anything great about any of them. The color treated hair ones were fine, and the "pure" one was also merely fine. That one was billed as a 2-in-1and as being "silicone free." Well, it didn't seem to condition, and had dimethicone in it. Last I checked, dimethicone was a silicone. Liars.

Hugo Naturals Vanilla Orange body wash*
Smells delicious, dries out my skin. 'Nuff said.

Inglot Face Primer Sample
I have to say, I haven't really noticed any significant difference between all the siliconey primers I've tried. But I like samples!

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel sample
Buy again? No, and its biggest drawback is the somewhat flowery scent. You might like that, but it reminds me of my seasonal allergies.

LaVanila The Healthy Sun Block - Body*

Milani Total Lash Cover mascara*
I did not so much use this up as give up on it. It was difficult to apply, even after I chopped off the extraneous end of the brush. It flaked onto my undereye area and gave me even darker dark circles. I have very little good to say about this product, which is sad because I wanted to like it. Alas, mascara is a very tricky beast. 

Organix Macadamia Dry Styling Oil*
I'm really undecided on this. Like really undecided. I like it better than a lot of siliconey serums I've tried, and it has the advantage of "disappearing" into dry hair more than others. After I run out of the other leave-ins I have, I'm trying out mineral oil, because I hear a drop or two of it on wet hair works absolute magic.

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM .4 oz. "sample."
This is a large sample. I liked the way it felt on my face. I keep hearing good things about retinol. I like a lot of things about this product. I do not like its $65 price tag. Maybe I will buy this when I am older and richer. Or maybe I'll find another retinol product that doesn't take several hours of work to buy.

Philosophy On a Clear Day spot treatment*
More and more, I'm thinking that spot treatments in general are just not for me, because of the "underground" way my worst zits happen. Moisturizing and exfoliating the heck out of them has been working better for me. Not a knock on this product in particular, just the entire category.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple sample (not shown)
I may buy this again as a "splurge," but I'm not convinced that it's significantly better than other, less expensive cleansers. So while my budget is limited, I'll continue to spend my skincare dollars on treatments instead.

Revlon PhotoReady Compact Foundation*

I got this at the CVS clearance sale. It looks great in photos, but I really didn't like putting it on - the "liquefying screen" is really gimmicky, and putting enough pressure on the screen to get the product to squeeze out forces it to the edge, where it becomes unusable. This experiment will probably not going to be repeated by me.

Simple eye makeup remover*
This does get makeup off relatively easily. It's the biggest winner this month.

Tresemme Split Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner samples
Sadly, there is only one remedy for split ends, and it involves sharp scissors you never, ever use for anything else. But I got these for free, so why not? They were worth ever so slightly more than I paid for them.

July Summary:
Winner - Simple eye make up remover (and even here, I'm not totally in love. Bummer of a month!)
Possible winners in an imaginary universe wherein I have more money - Philosophy Purity Made Simple, Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM
Losers - CVS Biodegradable Nail Polish "Remover," Milani

Products used up: 20
Full size products used up: 8

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


TheBalm Overshadow - Work is Overrated from lashline to brow
Aromaleigh Livewire to wetline
Black with green glitter gel liner from Physicians Formula
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara
Korres Soft Eyeliner - White on waterline

Morgana Cryptoria Violet Banana lipstick

Cheeks: Physicians Formula pH booster - Light Bronzer

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Sunblock: Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40

For today's Sunday Sunblock, I am reviewing Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40. It comes in a 3 oz. tube, and is available at stores like Whole Foods, online, and at various web-based health-foods stores. Above, I made a dab on my hand, and rubbed some in to the right of that. You can see that it's a bit shiny and a little white, but not as much as some others I've reviewed. It feels a little oily to the touch, and it's a little tacky until it sets. I have not noticed any additional breakouts from this, and while it doesn't dry as clear as it states, it dries a lot clearer than some others. I would not wear this alone on my face because of the shininess, but it works well enough for body use. Now, for whole body use, you're supposed to use a full ounce, so this is only good for three shortish trips to the beach, but I have been using it on my face, neck, chest, and arms. It has an annoying tendency (like most physical sunscreens) to gather in white streaks in the creases in my elbows and on my neck, but I can't really feel it on my arms right now, and I applied four hours ago. I was outside in bright sun for about forty minutes during peak sun hours, and I have not burned. 

Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide 10.00 %; Titanium Dioxide 7.50 %.

Inactive ingredients: Aqua, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin-E), Ergocalciferol (Vitamin-D), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin-C), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Price: $16.99

Price per ounce: $5.66

Buy again? - Maybe. Not full price, but as a throw-in to a LuckyVitamin order. I like the SPF 40, I like the fact that it has Vitamin D in it to make up for the fact that I'm not getting it from the sun, and it wears ok under makeup.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hot Pink Disco Half Moons

Still working on manicures utilizing some sort of sticky paper thing to block one color off before applying another. I'm getting better at keeping the edges neat, but need to work on my patience. I always want to put the stickers and second colors on before the first color's dry! This, I am learning, is a no-no.

This time, I used Julep Rose as a base, and butter LONDON Disco Biscuit as the top color. Disco Biscuit is a cooler hot pink, and it really warms up next to Rose's warmth.

I did this during a mild obsession with Milani's green nail art polish (a.k.a. the only nail art specific polish I own), but my recent acquisition of a double-ended nail art brush/dotting tool should really open up some possibilities in this arena for me. The lady at Sally's told me to use acetone-free nail polish remover to clean it. Do you concur?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The difference lipstick color makes

Hey! I'm still here, just, it's been a stressful past few weeks. I finally finished my masters' thesis, so now I'm just waiting for feedback so I can revise it and defend this fall, but getting that plan set in place was kind of a mess. Also, I'm stressed about work and my professional life in general, for reasons I'd rather not go into right now. Anyway, onto the makeup.

I've been into a new-to-me blog the past few weeks, drivel about frivol, which is great for many reasons. I like Kate's writing primarily because it's fantastic, but specifically because she focuses really intently on the intent behind her color choices. She's written a lot about her take on minimalism and makeup, and her looks are always very carefully considered. I've also been playing around with the idea that your choosing blush and lip products on the opposite side of the warm/cool spectrum from your eye makeup enhances the other one through contrast.

So, I played with this idea and came up with the look on the left. Later in the day, I wanted to try out a lipstick I'd impulse bought and decided to see how the same look would compare with a different color on my lips.

On the left, I'm using Pacifica Color Quench Lip Tint in Bare Coconut, which is a pale, shimmery nude. On the right, I'm using Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate in 15, the "smoky top coat" color - it's more of a deep browned purple with shimmer than anything.

I think it's a softer look with the nude balm, more vampy with the purple.  Somehow, though, the first one is edgier - the orange eyeliner pops in an otherwise neutral look.

Shadow - 50/50 mix of Urban Decay Primer Potion - Greed and Too Faced Lockdown Cream Shadow - Jailbait on lids to browbone.
Liner - Sephora + Pantone Universe Tangerine Tango
Mascara - probably CoverGirl LashBlast

Sadly, I forget the exact blush. It's a cool, clear, bright pink.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zoya Zuza

Because there have been so many text-only posts...

Zoya Zuza on all nails
Accent - Clinique Fuschia Kisses and Milani Green Sketch

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Skincare update

I am down to about six remotely angry zits and they're all on my jawline, plus a bunch of scarring and redness on and under the jawline.

Current routine:
*Wash face with First Aid Beauty cleanser
*Wipe face with First Aid Beauty exfoliating pads (full of glycolic and lactic acids!)
*Moisturize/boost with Desert Essence Age Defying Pomegranate face serum
*Apply sunblock - right now I'm using up Lavanila The Healthy body sunscreen
Do makeup

If face is super gunky feeling, maybe remove makeup with either a self-made oil cleanser, Simple eye makeup remover, or Caudalie cleansing water.
*Wash with CeraVe foaming facial cleanser and a face brush.
Tone if I feel like it - currently using witch hazel beefed up with tea tree oil, but the Thayers cucumber aloe witch hazel I ordered FINALLY came in the mail today. The packaging is still in a heap by my feet, lol.
*Apply Silk Naturals Super Serum (vitamin C, niacinamide).
*Apply Peter Thomas Roth retinol serum.
Moisturize if I feel like I need it with 365 facial moisturizer, Lucy Minerals ambrosia serum, blend of tea tree and lavender oil, or any combination of the above.

* These are things I am doing every day. Nonstarred items I only do if I feel like it.

My skin hasn't gone downhill since running out of the Philosophy Booster C sample, so I'm probably not going to go run out and buy that. I don't personally think that the cleanser is that important. I mean, yeah, you should wash your face, but these specific products aren't Holy Grail items, just things I happen to have - the FAB cleanser came in a set with the pads, and I like to keep my acids for A.M. and my niacinamide for nighttime - both seem to be useful but they don't play well together. When I run out of those, I have roughly 16 oz. left of a fragrance free body wash that also works as a facial cleanser.

The exfoliating pads, Super Serum, and possibly the retinol, have contributed the most to my skin's improvement, I think. The other antioxidant stuff and the sunblock address my other concerns of not wanting to age prematurely and definitely not wanting a repeat of my skin cancer experience.

What has helped you clear up your cystic, hormonal acne? Has anything really helped you with the scarring?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tiny rant and plea for help

I'm sure that if you read my blog, you must follow some of the other big bloggers. If so, you probably know that Milani has new powder shadows out, that they are five bucks each, and that they are GORGEOUS in all the swatches.

I have been to at least ten CVSes in my fairly large Midwestern city and cannot find them at all. The website has them, but won't ship them to me for free, and one three of the colors I want most (tickled pink, the purple one, and the dark brown pearl) is are out of stock and have been for days. I also don't know if I can use my extrabucks on them online, which is significant because I have enough to cover three of them. Milani's website has them, but again, no free shipping, can't use the extrabucks, and they're charging a dollar more.

Has anybody actually seen these? I'm beginning to think they're f***ing mythical or something. Any insight on if I can use extrabucks online is also appreciated.

UPDATE: 7:48 p.m. EDT Monday - I called CVS today, and was informed by the rep that these lovely shadows are not in stock anywhere in or near my city, and that they also have no way of knowing when they will be. Guess I'll just have to wait for serendipidity or a good Milani coupon code.

Sunday Sunblock - Josie Maran SPF 30+ Argan Sun Protection for Body

 Last year, I bought and used a bottle of Josie Maran's Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40+. I enjoyed it, and it felt like a nice, luxurious item.  I did not enjoy the idea of spending $32 for two ounces of it. So, I asked the nice lady at Sephora for a sample of the less expensive body version, and she gave me two very full pods of the stuff.

It feels like whipped cream and sinks right in - the part on my hand where it's been rubbed in is to the left of the swatch. There's a bit of a white cast at first, but that goes away and covers with makeup really easily. I like this product a lot. I bought a full size, so that should say something. I've also noticed that it's out of stock frequently on Sephora's website, which must mean it's popular.
And, I haven't burned while wearing it.


Size: 4 oz.
Availability: Sephora
Price: $24
Dollars per Ounce:  $6

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide (5% each)

Inactive Ingredients: Argania Spinosa Kernal (Argan) Oil, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Natural Vegetable Glycerin, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl (Octyl) Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla Bean) Fruit Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyl Dimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Sclerotium Gum, Arachidyl Glucoside, Polysorbate-60, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5).


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

Sinful Colors Under 18
Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
Julep America

Now let's go watch fireworks!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June Used It!

Alba Botanica Even Deep Sea Mask*
- Buy again? No. I didn't find that this either degunked or soothed enough to really do anything.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hibiscus Toner* (not pictured)
- Buy again? Probably not. This was my second round, because I was tempted when it went 50% off at CVS, but like the mask, it didn't really do anything special.

Anthony Logistics for Men Glycolic Cleanser
- Buy again? Maybe. I kind of liked how I could use it as a mini-peel by leaving it on for a few minutes prior to rinsing, so it's good if you don't like foaming and do like multi-use products.

CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara - Very Black*
- Buy again? Most likely. It would be nice if they sold it in smaller sizes so it wouldn't dry out and clump up on me before I'm done, though. 

Ecco Bella Botanicals Long Lasting Lip Crayon - Raspberry Port*

- Buy again? No. This product would have worked so much better in a slimline twist-up tube, and the color was also REALLY DARK on me.

E.L.F. nail polish - Golden Goddess*
- Buy again? No. I'm starting to get really annoyed with most glitter polishes and I end up using them up in crafts projects.

Josie Maran Argan Sun Protection for Body SPF 30 sample
- Buy again? Yes! Stay tuned for next week's Sunday Sunblock feature to learn more!

Korres Mattifying Pomegranate Primer sample

- Buy again? Undecided. I think I might like it as a no-foundation foundation, but it did nothing as a primer and I'm not sure if it's worth the cost.

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet foundation sample decant

- Buy again? Maybe. I'll have to do a half face test with this (I have another sample, the Sephora lady forgot to write the shade on it the first time!) and Revlon Colorstay first.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub*
- Buy again? No. It smells floral, and I don't think it scrubs quite enough.

Nuance Salma Hayek Cooling Eye Gel*
- Buy again? No. It sometimes felt burny, which is not what I want on that delicate skin!

Origins Plantscription Anti-aging eye treatment sample packet (x2)
- I used both of these and did not notice any change to my undereye area, so I will not be buying this.

Pacifica Body Butter - Tuscan Blood Orange (2.5 oz)
- Buy again? Nope, but only because I like the solid perfume format better. This is really quite amazing if you like citrusy scents, which I do. A lot.

Philosophy vitamin C powder sample decant
- Buy again? Maybe? I'm not sure it did enough to be worth the extra cost or extra step in the routine, but it did seem to brighten my face a little.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar SPF 30 sample tube
- Buy again? Probably not, unless it was on sale. See this week's Sunday Sunblock for more!

Philosophy Marshmallows for Toasting 3-in-1 4oz size
- Buy again? Nah. I think I'm over the Philosophy 3-in-1s. They're a lot more drying than I expected.

Real Purity foundation sample
- Buy again? No. It was an ok foundation, but I'm uncomfortable with a water-based product that does not use any preservatives at all. 

Shea Moisture African Black Soap shampoo*

- Buy again? No, but only because my water's too hard to rinse this out properly without an acidic rinse. If you have scalp issues and like herbal scents, you should try this.

Silk Naturals Camellia Moisturizer sample
- Buy again? No. I like my moisturizers either serumy and packed with goodness or creamy and cheap!

Tarte Aqua-Gel eyeliner - brown*

- Buy again? No way. For the price, you get a teensy tiny amount, and the tip breaks off super easily, which I find annoying. It does have a nifty cooling feel when you apply it, though.

Wet'N Wild Gray's Anatomy nail Polish*
- Buy again? No, but only because butter LONDON Knackered is a lot alike but so much nicer, what with the sparkles. 

* - full size product

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunblock Sunday - Philosophy Hope in a Jar SPF 30

 This week's Sunblock Sunday is about a product I got as part of the 2011 Sephora Sun Safety kit that is no longer available at Sephora, but you can buy on Philosophy's website. Philosophy Hope in a Jar Oil-Free SPF 30 moisturizer is not a bad product, but I'm still not sure it lives up to its name.

As you can see, it blends out pretty invisibly, which isn't surprising, considering the formula uses a mix of physical and chemical blockers. It's also a pretty great texture and doesn't smell funky. I used it as my travel day cream for several trips to various destinations, was outside for large portions of the day, and did not burn. It's not bad stuff! That said, I've found less expensive products I liked better.

The deets:

Size - 2 oz.
Price - $39
Availability - Philosophy website
Dollars per ounce - $19.50

SPF - 30

Active Ingredients: octinoxate 7.5%, octisalate 5.0%, oxybenzone 4.0%, zinc oxide 4.5%.
Inactive Ingredients: water (aqua), c12-15 alkyl benzoate, dibutyl adipate, neopentyl glycol diheptanoate, glycerin, potassium cetyl phosphate, behenyl alcohol, butyloctyl salicylate, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, arachidyl alcohol, hydrogenated palm glycerides, dimethicone, behenoxy dimethicone, sodium stearoyl glutamate, hydrogenated lecithin, rubus fruticosus (blackberry) leaf extract, arginine, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, polyhydroxystearic acid, beta-glucan, tocopheryl acetate, camellia sinensis leaf powder, arachidyl glucoside, maltodextrin, benzyl alcohol, xanthan gum, disodium edta, citric acid, triethoxycaprylylsilane, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin.

Thoughts? Input? Anything you'd like me/my readers to know?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Smoky look - with glasses!

Lots of Urban Decay Zero, blended out with Urban Decay Shag. For this, I used my E.L.F. eyelash curler before my mascara, which is lashblast by CoverGirl. My lashes curl a little naturally, so I almost never curl them if I'm wearing my contacts. On glasses days, I do curl my lashes if I'm also wearing mascara because it bends the lashes away from my glasses lenses and helps avoid those streaks that can mess up my vision. Lips - Milani Lip Flash crayon in 03

Friday, June 29, 2012

First Ever Try at a Half-Moon Manicure

  Here's more evidence of practice using sticky things to make a two-tone manicure! This time, I used the round stickers designed to show garage sale prices to block off part of my nail for a half-moon effect.

I'm still having trouble getting the stickies to adhere all the way to the edge of the nail, so I'm still getting some bleeding. But this an improvement, I think!

 Purple is Julep Morgan. Gray is Julep Annette. In a few weeks, I'll be letting you know what I think of the Julep Maven program.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Evil Shades Wyvern vs. Zombie

From a while ago:

Evil Shades Wyvern on inner part of lids, Evil Shades Eplefe on outer part of lids, Evil Shades Zombie in outer V and crease. Wyvern vs. Zombie. SyFy - are you listening?

Look at me! I'm making a face! I think I'm wearing Evil Shades Primrose Path lipstick here.

Taking good pictures of myself is hard.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Purple French Manicure

This is a beginner's attempt at a French manicure using those little white paper stickies as a guide. The darker color is OPI Dutch Ya Just Love OPI? and the lighter color is Essie She's Picture Perfect. Aside from some bleeding near the edges, it's not too bad. I definitely need more practice! 

Tips appreciated. :)