Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: e.l.f. Tone Correcting Concealer

I bought this little tube on one of my “I have a new job” makeup binges. I figured that it was a dollar, and I was willing to put my concerns about finding a perfect shade aside for that price.

I’m pretty glad I invested in this product!

At a dollar, the tube is relatively small and it’s not filled with a lot of product. But that’s perfectly fine, because I don’t need much to cover up my under-eye circles and blemishes. A little, for this concealer, goes a very long way.

This was one of the lightest colors available at my Target and it’s still a tad on the dark side. To be fair, though, pretty much everything is do dark on my skin. Once blended, it’s pretty seamless, but I could probably drop a shade or two.

This is a nice concealer for the price, though. It has pretty decent coverage. It won’t cover up my freckles, so it’s not as heavy duty as I know some people like, but it can help even skin tone and make your skin look even more flawless. It’s good at reducing the appearance of blemishes and dark circles. And really, that’s only what I use it for. The dark circles, especially.

It’s a little on the thick side, formula wise, despite the light coverage. You can definitely feel that it’s there for about half an hour after application. After that, the sensation fades, and it’s just like normal skin.

This also does well with a tiny bit of foundation on top and a touch of powder to help mattify it.
Other than that, for a dollar, it really can’t be beat.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Primavera Calming Eye Contour Cream

**This product was provided to me by a representative of the company. I am reviewing without being asked. My review is not influenced in any way.**

What exactly is a contour cream? That I still don’t know. The instructions say to pat it in on the bones around your eyes, so I did just that.

Much like with the moisturizer I reviewed earlier, this is a little on the heavy side. Very moisturizing but also pretty thick. It did reduce some of the redness around my eyes, though, which is awesome. I looked more refreshed and not like I had just spent the night sitting in front of my computer to type up blog posts. In fact, it looked like I had just woken up.

Overall, it’s a good quality eye cream. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “contour cream,” but it has good qualities and doesn’t make my eyes burn or tingle.

Thanks for reading!

Review: Primavera Body Lotions

**This product was provided to me by a representative of the company. I am reviewing without being asked. My review is not influenced in any way.**

I’m reviewing two body lotions in one go today.

Both of these lotions surprised me. They came out really thin. Almost watered down thin. I was concerned about coverage and effectiveness. It turns out that I worried over nothing, cause these lotions are pretty amazing. Super light, they soak in effortlessly. And a little goes a very long way. A tiny dab covered my whole lower leg.

Afterwards, my skin didn’t feel greasy like with some lotions. They felt soft and supple.

I feel like both of these lotions would be excellent during the summer, when you don’t need a really heavy moisturizer. They would also feel fantastic after a day in the sun. Great for day time use, but I would still recommend something a tiny bit heavier to let yourself soak in overnight.

The fragrances are also to die for. They’re feminine without being cloying. Very natural and refreshing. Every time I use them, I feel like I pranced through a meadow or forest and came out soft, smooth, and smelling fantastic.

I even had some friends try these lotions and they all loved them. Said they were nourishing but not greasy, which is always a good thing to hear.

I absolutely can’t say anything negative about a lotion that brightens my mood so much. Aromatherapy and great skin? Yes, please!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May Birchbox 2013: Marvis Toothpaste

Now, this brand has been touted as being one of the best of the best. Great, interesting flavors. High price tag. Imported.

It seemed like I would like it. And as a standard toothpaste, I do. But it’s the price and the label that I have problems with.

Because in the end, this is just a toothpaste. It doesn’t have any magical abilities. No whitening other than what’s standard. No all natural ingredients. Just…toothpaste. And for the cost of a tube (around $11), I would expect more.

And what’s even worse is that it has SLS in it. You guys know my feelings about SLS. Especially when it comes into contact with your mucous membranes. Like, you know, your mouth. And I’m really disappointed that such fancy toothpaste has such negative ingredients in it. For the price tag, I would expect something that is at least all natural.

Imported or not, this is definitely not going to be a full size purchase. I can, instead, get fancy flavors without the sulfates from Lush. Their Toothy Tabs are delicious and fun, and although it has Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate, that isn’t as bad as sulfates. Still not perfect, but certain better than this.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May Birchbox 2013: Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner

I’m still getting used to eyeliner. Let’s just be honest. I still have trouble drawing a straight line and sometimes I still look like a scene girl with coon eyes. It’s rough. But I’m learning, and learning means trying different products.

Thus far, I’ve only been working with the Eyeko mini eyeliner I reviewed previously for another Birchbox. So when I saw this in my box, I was excited. I wanted a color other than black, but you take what you get, right?

This stuff applies like butter. Seriously. So smooth and soft and….buttery. It doesn’t tug at my eyelid at all and it makes a nice even coat on one pass.

The pigmentation with this black is super rich. Very thick and heavy, but smudgeable for a little while before it settles down.

This product is also great for tight lining, which I only recently learned to do. Because it’s so gentle, it doesn’t hurt when I push it into my eyelashes to cover up the gap between my lashes and eyeliner.

My one complaint? I can’t make a skinny line. I feel like this is made for pretty wide, smoky styles. Definitely not a day look. Maybe in the hands of someone more talented than I. But I doubt it. It just seems to go on a little thick, and with the soft consistency, getting a thin, delicate line is a challenge.

I could probably wear this for a smoky night out. But overall, I’ll stick to using it for tight lining.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May Birchbox 2013: COOLA Classic Face SPF 30

I’m getting kind of tired of sunscreens. I know, I know. They’re wonderful and necessary. But I feel like that’s all I’ve been hearing from Birchbox for a while. And I’ve gotten so many sunscreen samples that I’m feeling a little burned out. Summer in the South or no, it’s getting a little tiresome.

So when I saw this in my Birchbox, I wasn’t necessarily thrilled. Another sunscreen? Yippee. End sarcasm.

However, this product is pretty nice. Yes, I said it. Even me, sunscreen burn out, likes it.

It smells really yummy. Like fresh, fruity bubblegum. A little on the sweet side, but summery and refreshing.

The formula is thin. Not runny, but not goopy. A nice change from most sunscreens. It spreads out evenly and soaks in uniformly. There is no greasy residue or oily sheen after application. Just supple skin protected from the elements.

In fact, I could see myself using this as a straight up moisturizer. SPF, refreshing, light, and moisturizing? I think yes.

As far as sun protection goes, I’m going to err on the side of caution and go with the FDA. If it says SPF 30, then SPF 30 it is. I would just recommend reapplication relatively often. Your face is the most vulnerable spot for sun damage and is where most of that long term damage will show up in the form of lines, wrinkles, and sun spots.

So apply this product (or something like it) often. Me? I’m going to go ahead and invest in this product. It doesn’t make me break out and does all that it’s supposed to. I can’t be unhappy about that!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review: Estee Lauder Lipstick in Crystal Pink

**This product was provided to me by a friend on reddit. My review is unaffected.**

This is easily one of the most straight forward lip products I’ve reviewed thus far.

The color is a light, cool-toned pink. It seems a bit dated in the tube, but upon application, it is pretty flattering.

The color stays shiny for a good long while, approximately two hours for me.

It’s not drying, but it’s not hydrating either. In fact, I would probably wear this with a bit of lip balm on top to help with the staying power.

Color isn’t heavily pigmented, just enough to be noticeable. This would be a great, muted pink for a more professional look. It’s very grown up and mature, which makes sense because it’s made by Estee Lauder.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Primavera Calming Moisture Cream

**This product was provided to me by a representative of the company. I am reviewing without being asked. My review is not influenced in any way.**

You guys all know that I’m addicted to my generic face moisturizer. It’s soft and light and wonderful. But I have been having a bit of an issue with it lately. Namely is that it’s a little heavy for the warmer months. Light for the rest of the year, but it’s been sitting on top of my skin lately rather than soaking in.

So when a Primavera representative provided me with a sample of this moisturizer, I was excited to try it.

Apologies for the sideways picture. Blogger seems to think it needs to be that way. Artistic, apparently.

I applied it fresh out of the shower, right after toning with the calming toner from the same starter kit.

At first, it felt a little heavy. A little thick. Like it didn’t quite want to sink into my skin. It did, eventually, but it still felt a little on the heavy side. My skin felt soft and wonderful, but I could feel it on my face. Almost like I had this layer between my skin and the outside world. And despite the fact that I did, in fact, have that layer, I would prefer if I couldn’t feel it every time I scrunched my face or touched my skin.

The smell is great, and the moisturizing qualities can’t be denied. This product is marvelous. It fixed up all of my dry patches from a day spent indoors. But in the end, I think that this is going to be relegated to the world of night creams. It’s a little too heavy for daily use for me.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review:Primavera Chamomile Calming Toning Lotion

**This product was provided to me by a representative of the company. I am reviewing without being asked. My review is not influenced in any way.**

As you may know, I don’t really use a toner. I’ve never found one that I liked. They all leave my skin feeling tight and with a lasting burning sensation. It’s always been unpleasant for me. I know the uses for a toner: extra cleansing, skin healing, etc. But for years I went without because I absolutely could not find one that didn’t make me want to scratch at my face from the tingling.

This sample, by the German brand Primavera, has put a stop to that. I was nervous about using it because of my prior experience with toners. But I figured that with chamomile in it, it couldn’t possibly be that bad.

And I was right! This is actually a really nice product. It is definitely thicker than most of the toners that I’ve tried. It’s smooth and almost gel like. Or serum like. A bit of both, really.

The fragrance, like the cream cleanser I reviewed previously, is soft and woodsy. Very natural and fresh.

After application, I felt a slight tightening in my skin. But other than that, it was nice. The cotton ball I used to apply it came away with a good bit of dirt and dead skin. Mildly horrifying, but at the same time satisfying. My skin felt super clean.

The best part is that it didn’t burn or sting at all. It tingled for all of a few seconds, but after that, nothing. My skin just felt healthy and glowing and soft.

For someone like me, who has never found a good toner, this is an awesome little miracle. I can’t wait to try the rest of the products!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: e.l.f. Lipgloss Stick in Summer Nights

**This product was provided to me by a friend on reddit. My review is unaffected.**

I was so confused when I saw this product. Lip gloss? In a stick?

I still usually think of lip gloss as being sticky and gummy and basically candy in liquid form. After all, I was raised in the 90s.

But this product, by a brand I’m falling in love with, keeps all of the great things about lip gloss and turns it into something a modern woman can wear. And carry around. Without worrying about it breaking open and getting all over important paperwork. And yes, that has happened to me.

This stick is super hydrating, first and foremost. It felt really smooth on and didn’t dry out my lips like some lip colors have a tendency to do.

The color is a delightful peachy, pinky color with a good helping of golden shimmer. It’s very flattering and would look awesome at the beach or anytime during the summer, really.

My only complaint is that, as a lip  gloss, it doesn’t last too long. I applied it before going out with my husband for dinner, and it barely made it to pre-dinner drinks before it had faded. There was still a hint of color and a touch of shimmer, but that’s it. Maybe an hour, tops. I know, I lick my lips a lot, but still.
I’m the kind of girl that likes low maintenance products, especially when it comes to lip color.

Will I still wear this product? Absolutely. I would love to put it over a matte pink shade to add a little spice, and it’s hydrating while still being pretty. Overall, it’s a winner. Especially if you’re not expecting to it to last long.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review: Primavera Calming Cream Cleanser

**This product was provided to me by a representative of the company. I am reviewing without being asked. My review is not influenced in any way.**

My husband, with his epic charisma, managed to get me a bunch of free samples from someone he did work for. This is a company I had never heard of prior to receiving these samples. No press, no word of mouth, nothing. Needless to say, I was a little surprised. In my honest opinion, this company deserves a much bigger following!
It’s company from Germany that focuses on everything natural. Organic, fresh, cold-pressed. Essentials oils are the highlights of these products, as are the sustainable ingredients. And that’s something that makes me happy. I can read everything on the back of the bottles and not feel at all concerned about what’s going onto my skin and into my body. And that’s a nice relief.

This cream cleanser is the first thing I tried and it’s absolutely wonderful. The formula soaked a bit into my microfiber face scrubber, so I applied it with my fingers. It didn’t foam up, which was weird at first, but my skin still felt clean afterwards.

The smell is wonderful and rich. Very woodsy. It reminds me of walking into Aveda during the winter, when they have the heavy forest scents out. It’s not unpleasant in the slightest. Unisex, but in the best possible way.

My skin still felt a little tight after using it, but not nearly as bad as some of the American products I have tried. I also noticed that, like the chamomile claims, it reduced some of the redness in my face. Always a good thing, especially as summer is approaching and I’ll need the chamomile to keep my skin from looking like I just ran a marathon when I really just stepped outside to check the mail.

This is definitely a brand to check out. Especially if you have sensitive skin. I’ll be reviewing more of their products in the near future, since the representative was kind enough to give me tons of wonderful samples.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede in WomensWear

Isn't that a weird name for a lipstick? WomensWear?

Regardless, the product was given to me by a wonderful redditor when she discovered that I didn't own any lipsticks.

First and foremost, this isn't a color I would have picked for myself off the bat. I never know what colors are going to look good on me, hence the lack of lipsticks. But this color is super flattering. Bright and pretty and begging to be worn all spring and summer.

It also goes on crazy smooth! I was worried, when using a lipstick with suede in the name, that it would be drying. Or that it would be matte. That is not the case with this formula. It's buttery smooth and relatively hydrating. It doesn't make my lips sticky, like some of the lipsticks I've tried in the past.

The pigmentation is also pretty stellar. I know they're not supposed to be super intense, but closer to the sheer side. And they do the sheer-ish nicely. It covered everything in a delicate, shiny pink that lasted for a good long time before finally wearing off into a tinted pink hue. I would say it lasted about 2 hours on me, which is nice considering I have a bad habit of licking my lips.

I can totally see these replacing some of my lip balms, especially when I am at work and want something with more pop than just some good ol' Burt's Bees. It also makes me super eager to try the Revlon Lip Butters, since those are supposed to be also awesome.

I'll be swatching more lipsticks provided to me in the days to come, so keep an eye out! You know it's always fun watching a newbie apply a bright, rich red.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Orly Polishield

**This product was provided to me by Orly for my dissatisfaction with Flash Dry Drops. My review is unaffected by this.**

As you guys may remember, I wasn't a big fan of Orly. Their polishes are dupeable and the Flash Dry Drops left me pretty frustrated.

After informing Orly of the issues I encountered with their products, they were kind enough to provide me a free bottle of Polishield, their fast drying top coat, and another bottle of Flash Dry.

My review is for the top coat.

I have a top coat that I like a lot, since it's cheap and pretty fast drying. I also have issues with Seche Vite. So I didn't know how I was going to feel about this top coat, provided to me by a company I'm not a big fan of already. But actually, I was impressed.

It doesn't dry as fast as Seche Vite, but it certainly speeds up dry time significantly. Faster than my giant bottle of cheap top coat from Walmart. 

It also seems to do pretty well to prevent chipping, which I was surprised by. Most of the time, I just accept the fact that my manicure is only going to last a couple of days. I work with my hands a lot, so it's part of the job. Even "chip-free" top coats just leave me disappointed.

This however, helped my polish last about 4 or 5 days. And since it was a polish that already chips easily, I was really happy with that. 

This also dried to a high-gloss shine. Also nice, although my polish at the time was shiny enough without it. 

Overall, this is a decent product. I'm glad they sent it to me, because I probably wouldn't have bought it on my own after my previous experience with the company. But my faith is slightly renewed in the company, so there's that. 

Here's hoping this product continues to be as useful as it is now. 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: Serge Normant Meta Revive Volumizing Dry Shampoo

This product was provided to me by my friend Patricia.

Patricia received this product from Birchbox, but since I didn't get it in my Birchbox, I'm reviewing it like any other product. 

First off, I don't normally use dry shampoos. I already wash my hair only every other day, so I never felt the need. But then, to test this product, I waited a third day. I was in a hurry before leaving for work, so I read some quick directions online and then went to town. 

Note: A little goes a very long way. I barely sprayed any into my hair and I got results. I also didn't hold down the nozzle. I spritzed it, almost. Little bursts was all I needed. And the results were great!

Now remember, this is day three of not washing my hair. Prior to this, my hair was greasy and stringy and awful. I didn't even take a picture because it looked so icky. In fact, it was so bad, I didn't think anything could help. After all, I touch my hair pretty often throughout the day, so by day three, my hair is pretty gross. 

But at work, when I told people that it was third day hair, no one believed me. They all thought I had washed my hair that morning. I didn't get any greasiness until later that night, when I finally pulled my hair out of its pony tail and brushed it through. And even then, I thought that it was more like the middle of day two. 

Also, this stuff smells amazing! It's woodsy and clean, and the cedar is a nice touch. It's not perfumey or anything. It hangs around, but it's not overpowering. 

As far as volume goes, I did notice a little bit of lift. My hair certainly wasn't as dead as it normally is on day two/three. But that could also be because they recommend you comb your hair upside down to work the powder through. 

Overall, this is a fantastic product that I see myself using a lot. It's great for when I'm running late and don't have time for a full shower. I can throw this in, comb it through, and then shower when I get home from work. 

Thanks for reading!