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!