Monday, February 24, 2014

Trying new makeup!

I received my Ulta catalog in the mail this weekend and was interested in the Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer in there. I looked at probably 20 reviews online because it's $35 and I wanted to make sure it would be something I would like. I don't wear foundation - usually just a tinted powder because my face gets very oily - and I tried BB cream for a while, so I figured this would be good too. I also like that Ulta has a 60-day return policy if you don't like a product - I'm in the trial phase with all of these products.

Here's what it does:

"Buff your way to complexion perfection with this revolutionary correcting stick. Infused with Tarte's new color-correcting Amazonian colored clay, this powerful, skinvigorating™ primer blends easily to help brighten skin, even skintone, blur imperfections, and neutralize redness and discoloration. Use this multitasking corrector before foundation as a color-correcting primer or alone as light coverage for an allover flawless look. Its antioxidant-rich formula delivers the perfect balance of color correction and coverage with a soft, matte finish."

So yes. There is the color, a lavender wedge for brightening, and a green wedge for correcting redness. It feels really soft and light on the skin. Lots of reviews said it doesn't cover very much, and they are correct but that's ok for me. I just want a little something extra to put on to even things out before putting my powder on. The BB cream I use sometimes has more coverage, but this is supposed to be a primer I guess. I feel like it did smooth my pores a bit and I *think* it's helping with the shine. Apparently my face hates LA because I haven't been this oily since high school... but it's not making it worse so I think that's a plus! I'm going to keep using it because it is really simple and quick to put on in the morning and blends really easily. 

While I was walking around Ulta, I saw a display with mascaras on it. My eyelashes are very long (have been since I was a baby, I've been told) but they're like the rest of my hair where they're fine and won't hold a curl. I've been looking for a mascara that curls and saw Tarte's "Lights, Camera, Lashes!" mascara.

I remembered seeing a youtube review on the 'Lights, Camera, Flashes' mascara, which is similar so I decided to look at it a little more. It is a 4-in-1 mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions. Perfect! I've only worn it for about a day and a half now, but I like it. I've had a little bit of irritation (like, a teeny tiny bit) but I'm pretty sure it's because it's about time to change my contacts, and I'm tired, rather than the mascara. I haven't noticed any flaking but I also haven't been paying attention to whether or not my lashes are still curled at 3:15pm since putting it on at 7am. I do know that my lashes look great with it on! I'm not sure how much better it is than the Maybelline mascara I've been using for much cheaper than the $19 I paid for this... but I'll keep it for now. I like trying new mascaras.

After walking around the store for probably close to an hour checking out all the new brands I've been learning about through Birchbox and Ipsy, I finally went to the check out and found something that someone set off to the side that I decided to try. It was the Benefit POREfessional Agent Zero Shine.

Well, first I asked the woman ringing me up if she knew anything about it and she said she used it herself (though, sometimes I feel like all employees at Ulta are supposed to say that, because another woman told me the same thing about the Tarte CC primer.) I figured I'd try it because my face has been very oily lately and this powder is specifically designed to stop that. What I love about it, is that it comes with it's own brush that twists out from the bottom and the cap doubles as a little pot to dump the powder into. The top also twists open and closed so no spilling powder everywhere! It's really nice for travel, or just taking to work. It looks tinted but blends easily and disappears right away. It also doesn't look white or ashy. I've also only used this for a day and a half, but I like it. I put it on my tzone after I put my usual powder on at 7am and a few hours later I ran the side of my finger down my nose and it seemed shiny already. Around 2pm I checked the mirror and my face actually didn't look that bad. I could feel it by touch, but it didn't look terrible. I did a touch-up just because. I'm usually not someone who brings makeup to work for touch-ups but this was so easy.

It seems like I can't find anything that will keep the oil at bay longer than half a day, so I could really just buy something cheap from the drugstore instead of paying $30(!) for the Benefit brand. I think I'll keep it and use it up and decide then.

*Update 4/8/14*
I decided to return the Tarte CC Primer. I loved how easy it was, but my face got so oily during the day. I mean, it gets oily a lot during the day but this product didn't seem to help it, or seem to make my other makeup stick any better for a "primer". I actually exchanged it for Benefit's Hello Flawless powder foundation. You can read that review here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I didn't take pictures of the individual products right away when I got my bag because it was Feb. 13 and I got my Valentine's Day present early:
Aww. What a good boy.

But I did take a picture of everything together.

This month was much better than last month. I got a few full-sized products and lots of actual makeup. Here's everything I got:

Pop Beauty Plump Pout Mini: I really like the lipgloss I got from Pop Beauty in my first Birchbox. This is a really intense color, but if you put a few spots of color on your lips and blend, it's much more manageable. The color payoff is great though! It is supposed to plump and stain, and I believe the stain part - which I like. I actually really like the size too. I saw the full size at Ulta and it's way too big. This is perfect for a pocket or purse.

Zoya Nail Polish: I finally tried this nail polish this weekend. I love it! It needed 2 coats but the second goes on perfectly. Because of the 2 coats it did take a little bit longer to dry so I have a couple scuffs. It's very shiny and more of a fall purple than spring I think, but it's been matching everything I wear really well (in fact, I'm wearing a color I would describe as "color-crayon purple" and the colors don't clash). And it's lasting! I have very thin nails so nail polish seems to chip very easily, and my nails are longer right now so I'm super impressed at how well it's holding up. You can't really tell by the pictures below but it is kind of wearing away at the tips of my nails, but most other polish would be destroyed after 3 days!
First pic is right after I put it on, Saturday, before I got ready for the day. Second pic is Monday morning - after 3 showers, putting up 4 bulletin boards in my apartment, and just general life. It looks much duller in the picture, but it's still pretty shiny!

Of course, it's been used now. I love that the black part is plastic, not wood like other eyeliners. Yes, you can actually sharpen this. It's fun too. Not as messy as with the wood.
Mally Beauty Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner: I'm sad that this is silver, and not a "regular" eyeliner color because I love the softness of it. It glides on smooth and has the plastic-y part around it to sharpen like my eyeshadow pencil from last month. I've started using it on my bottom waterline to make my eyes look a bit more awake (and it's "waterproof" so it should last all day... I haven't been paying attention). I may decide to buy a black or dark blue Mally eyeliner though.

City Color Be Matte Blush: The color is pretty intense, so I have to be careful how much I put on, but it looks pretty good. I like that it's a full size, but I'll never use all of it. The downside is that it seems a little cheap, because when I put my brush over it, a lot of product seems to get pulled up and left sitting on top for me to dump into the sink. And it seems to last all day, like most people claim. (I'm really bad about paying attention to whether or not my makeup is fading. I work with 10 people 55+ hours a week... I don't care that much if it starts wearing off)

J. Cat Beauty Eyelashes + Eyelash Glue: I don't know when I will ever use these. I've only tried to put on fake eyelashes once and it didn't go well. I also have very long lashes on my own so I've never needed fake ones. A lot of people complained about constantly getting fake lashes on Ipsy's Facebook page, and I was almost one of them, but decided to put these with the rest of my stage makeup for if I ever go to a costume party again like in college.

 The bag itself is a pretty pink with an animal print on the inside. I might use it as a purse organizer or just a travel makeup bag. Much better than last month's. It's been 1 for 2 for me with Ipsy. Wasn't as impressed with the first month, but really enjoyed this month. I could actually make a full look out of these products! I'll give it one more month (I initially told myself I'd give it 3 months anyway...)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February 2014 Birchbox Review

Birchbox is a monthly subscription box service. For $10 a month, they will send you 4-5 'Beauty and Lifestyle' samples. 
They also have a points system, which is the best I've seen. 100 points = $10 to spend in the Birchbox shop. Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend (monthly boxes don't count, except for the first one) and they offer a lot of promo codes to get extra points. You can also earn 10 points for each review of your monthly samples. That's like getting $4-5 back each month! You also get 50 points for each person who signs up through your referral. If you would like to try Birchbox, please consider using my link:

This month's theme: Step and Repeat

Birchbox joined up with US Weekly this month and created the theme: Step and Repeat. Here's what I got this month!

Benefit Fakeup: ($24) I was a little sad to see just how tiny this sample was. It's not Birchbox's fault though, only Benefit's for making a fairly good sized tube with maybe a fourth of an inch of product in it. I was very excited to try it though! After one day, I'm not impressed. Lots of moisture when putting it on, but not enough coverage. I have very dark circles and this just didn't cut it. It also creased throughout the day. I re-blended it about 4 times. I'll use up the sample to see if maybe it improves? But I'll stick with my Garnier Eye Roller.

OPI Sheer Tints Color - Tinted Top Coat: ($9) The bottle is really cute and little, I should've put something next to it for size comparison. I was so excited to try this, but it was very disappointing. I French-tipped my nails on Friday night, then put this on as the top-coat. It was already chipped the next morning. Plus, while putting it on I noticed that it was very thick, applied really uneven, and needed at least 2 coats to show any sort of color. I realize it's not supposed to have a bright color, but I wanted at least a little bit. On a bare nail, it looks wrong. Nails shouldn't be slightly red like that... It's a tiny bottle so I'll keep trying it.

dr. brandt Pores No More: ($42 for Camera Ready Kit, $45 for 1oz tube) I was really excited for this and I didn't even know I wanted it. I keep looking for something that will keep the oil away all day and this claims to smooth pores and mattify. I was a little surprised to see it was tinted in the tube, but goes on very transparent. I was still oily later in the day, but my face didn't FEEL as oily as usual (you know that gross heavy feeling?) I'm a little scared of the price, but I did like how the product felt going on my face... It was very smooth and almost powdery when blending. I still don't think I can pay $45 when it doesn't mattify like it need it to.

Agave Healing Oil Treatment: ($40 for 4oz) More hair products. I was a little nervous about using a hair oil since my hair used to get pretty greasy when it was longer, and still can when it's short. I tried it this weekend and didn't notice anything. Hair didn't feel greasy, but I'm not sure what it will do to my hair, since I've said in other posts - my hair is healthy all on it's own. Guess I'll use it up and see.

Benefit Big Easy: ($38) I'll have to pick a day to use this sample, because that's all I get. Maybe this weekend...

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag Spoilers

I don't know when I'll be getting my bag, since I haven't received the email saying they've sent it and there's no way to check on their website (unlike Birchbox who has the tracking info in your account). But I went to the Ipsy website and accidentally saw my bag. I'm really excited about it though!
I'm getting the Pop Beauty Plump Pout mini! Yay! I love the Pop Beauty gloss I got from my first Birchbox so I'm really excited about this. I'm also getting nail polish and I've heard good things about Zoya. I don't know how I feel about Waterproof Eyeliner since I figured out I'm allergic to purple eyeliner and waterproof mascara messes with my contacts... but we'll see. Starlight looks to be a silvery color, which will probably work great as shadow. The Be Matte Blush looks really interesting. The only thing I don't like is the eyelashes. A LOT of people on Ipsy's Facebook HATE the eyelashes that they've been getting because not everyone likes them. I probably would, IF I knew how to properly put them on. I bought a pair for a costume party one time and couldn't for the life of me get them to sit correctly. My real eyelashes and the fake ones were so far apart and it looked terrible. I also don't know when I'd ever wear these. I guess they'll go in the drawer of all my other stage makeup for some party at some point that will probably never happen.

Here's the rest of the stuff going out this month:
So I guess the only other thing I really wanted would have been the Shadow Compact. THAT I could've really used. Oh well, that's the whole point of this subscription though. I'm glad I didn't get any of the creams!

I'll update this when I actually get my bag and try out my new samples!

February 2014 Birchbox Spoilers

I'm trying so hard not to peek at my samples! I just checked my tracking info and my box should be waiting for me when I get home from work today. I'm excited about the spoilers I've been seeing on Facebook. We'll see how many I actually get!

This is everything that was mentioned in the Sneak Peek video this month. I really really want to try the Benefit Fakeup (I have horrible dark circles under my eyes), the Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish (which I almost bought a couple weeks ago), and the Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Liner (because I don't use liquid liner but I bought a pen like this a couple years ago and loved it, but never bought it again). I wouldn't mind getting the eye cream, the pore refiner, or the Benefit Big Easy but please no more shampoo! I loved the sample I got last month but I have half of it left because I don't use it every time and I'm not switching. Still love the samples though. Nice to try something new, just like when you go to a hotel.

Then Birchbox starts doing it's Box Spoilers.
The first was for Juicy Couture Fragrance. I don't like to get perfumes in my box because I'm so picky, and also because I loved last months and finally decided to buy the full size and I just don't want any more choices.

The second spoiler was for:
OPI's Sheer Tints Top Coat nail polish. I would love to get this sample too. My boyfriend would hate it, he knows how much nail polish I have and always tells me I don't need any more. But I can't help it! I like having pretty nails and they just keep coming out with new products!

The third spoiler was:
Agave Healing Oil Treatment. Do not want. My hair is healthy. My hair is fine. My hair gets oily by itself (less now with short hair but was noticeably oily when it was longer). Of course, if I got this sample I would try it and review it and put it with a couple other samples that didn't work/I didn't like and not complain like everyone seems to on Facebook.

The fourth spoiler was:
W3LL PEOPLE Universalist Multi-Use Color Stick. WANT! Lips, cheeks, even eyes I guess can be colored with this. I love things that are multi-use! I also want a cream blush to try. Please?!

Ugh, so hard not looking! But I love the surprise even more. Then I won't be disappointed for the rest of the day because maybe I'd find out I got the hair oil and be wondering what I'm going to do with that...

Update to come later after I've opened my box!