Monday, June 30, 2014

Birchbox June 2014

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: Away We Go

I was so excited about this box! I was looking at everyone's posts on the Birchbox Facebook page to see what they got and I kept seeing items that I'd gotten before in everyone's pictures! Birchbox says you'll never get the same sample twice so I was getting worried and excited. I never peek at my box because I love to be surprised. I am so happy with what I got!

Lierac Micellar Cleansing Water: ($24 for 300ml) I've never had a "cleansing water" but I really like this. And what a great size! I got a 50ml sample, which is about $6 worth of product! It smells amazing. I can't really describe what, kind of a light floral that disappears right away. It's not great at removing waterproof eyeliner and mascara, but after using a different remover for those things, I use this to get rid of the residue and it's great. Doesn't irritate my eyes at all either.

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream: ($38 for 4oz, $26 for 2oz) I was so happy to get this! I saw it in some people's boxes and was hoping it would be in mine and it was! I'm finding new things to do with this cream all the time. I guess you can use it as a face cream, eye gel, burn cream, hair masque, etc. Mostly I use it on my cuticles and under my eyes. It's sort of like a pressed oil to me. You can rub your finger over it to get just a little bit or dig into it and let it melt a little. Kind of a more stable coconut oil. Another great sized sample.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine: ($20 for full size) Another sample I was so happy to get! Honestly, this was the one I was really hoping for. I've heard such great things about it and I love lip stains. The sample seems really small but it's perfect for a pocket or purse. The full size seems really long and awkward. I love this color too. A year ago I would've been scared to get such a bright pink but now I love it. It is very glossy, pretty moisturizing, and the stain really does last a while. I can't say how long for certain because I wasn't timing it, but I loved having it at Disneyland and only had to reapply twice.
*Birchbox asked us to pick one of our samples for July. Our choices were the Ruffian Nail Polish in 3 colors or this lip stain in Valentine or Sugar. I loved this sample so much I chose to get Sugar in my next box! Yay!

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara: ($20 for full size, which this is) The package is super cute with the glitter at the bottom, but it's different than what the Birchbox website shows, so I don't know what's up with that. This mascara claims to "thicken and lenthen lashes beyond your wildest lash dreams". I don't think it quite lives up to that... but I did find it to be a nice natural looking mascara. I've been using it for days when I want to wear less makeup. It separates lashes really well and does lengthen and thicken a little bit.

Harvey Prince Hello: ($55 for 50ml) At first I thought this was the same perfume I got a few months ago and then ordered the full size. But that was Journey by Harvey Prince. I have to say, I like this scent just as much. It's very light and citrusy. I did buy the 50ml of Journey and then they released smaller versions like a rollerball. After some digging, I did find Hello in and 8.8ml for $26. I may have to get that one eventually... or soon since it is a summer scent :)

Ipsy Glam Bag June 2014

Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month. 

When you sign up, you take a "beauty quiz" to let them know what you like. I guess Ipsy is kind of a social network-type beauty website, but I don't do all of that. There's also some sort of points system that I haven't quite figured out. You get 10 points for each review, but you usually need 1000 points to get some kind of bonus product, of which they only have 3 to choose from at a time. There are points for referrals too, but I don't badger my friends into signing up. If you would like to sign up, please consider using my referral link:

This month's theme: Pretty In Paradise

This is the first bag I've gotten that I felt completely disappointed. None of these items match for me. I did change some things in my profile and I guess that was a horrible idea. I tried to go back and change things back to what I thought I had before so hopefully July will be better. If it isn't, I may have to cancel my subscription. I've started to really like Ipsy too. This was also the first bag that I've received a damaged item. The sea salt spray leaked and the bottle stuck to the card that came with. There was also a slight white residue (I'm guessing the "salt" in the sea salt spray) on the inside of my bag, which was really disappointing because it's such a cute bag. I did email ipsycare, twice, about the leaky spray and about the mascara: if you read anything about the June bags... you probably read about the horrible smelling mascara. It is a huge debate just like the Pop! Lip Gloss in the February (?I believe) bags where Ipsy says it's perfectly safe, the company just left out some ingredient but people where having adverse reactions using the product. I simply said in my email "I understand that you've said this product is safe, but there is no way I'm putting something that smells like motor oil near my eyes. Can I please have a different sample as a replacement?" And after about a week of waiting (they usually say about 48 hours), I finally received a reply. I don't want to bore you with the whole story, but I want to say that at first the rep seemed very dismissive and just wanted to move on... after replying back and forth I finally am being sent a new bag, a different Be A Bombshell product, and a different sample to replace my leaky sea salt spray. On to the reviews of my products. Even though I felt like nothing would work for me, I still gave each of them a chance. That's what these bags are for. Guess what? I was right :(

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray: You can see in this picture how the bottle was stuck to the card and I had to peel it away. I have very short - as in the longest part of my hair is about 5 inches - very fine, and very straight hair but I guess it's also supposed to just create texture so I gave it a try. It did absolutely nothing. It smells really good though! I tried to clean the bottle so I can give it to a friend, because it does still work. I'm glad I was able to get a different sample though. After I complained about the leaking, I asked if I could get a different sample since I can't even use this type of spray and it would just be a waste for them and me. They shouldn't have even sent it to me in the first place. Nothing on my profile indicates that I could use a product like this :(

Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara: This is the mascara. I like to look at Ipsy's Facebook page to see what others are getting before I get my bag. I never peek to see what I'm getting because I like the surprise. So I had already read people complaining about a bad smell with the mascara. When I saw that I got it, I opened it and smelled it before I did anything else. It smells like motor oil. Or burnt plastic. Or something similar. BaB claims that it is safe and they chose to leave out a fragrance to mask that odor because some people are very sensitive to fragrances. Lots of people have complained about itchy, burning eyes after using this. Other people have said that it's just fine, even though it smells. I wouldn't know. Makeup should not smell that bad, missing ingredient or not. Especially something that's going near my eyes. It went right back in the box and in a drawer (I hate throwing stuff out).

Nyx Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee: I like the texture. I like the smell. But the color is awful. It makes my lips completely disappear! I don't know who picks their colors because I received the same pale color from Ipsy in March from BareMinerals. Same color. Same horrible finish. It kind of works if I have a stain underneath and I put just a dab and spread it around for just a tiny hint of gloss. I wish I would've gotten a brighter color. I went to my profile and told them I didn't want any more gloss. I feel like this color would work on darker skin tones, so I have no idea why they would send it to someone with light skin.

Realtree for Her: This smells very cheap. It doesn't smell bad, but it smells like something I would've gotten from my mom when I was really little and just wanted to play with makeup. That's about all I have to say... smells cheap.

OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil in Brown: Of all the liners they had available this month... how did I get *drops voice, no inflection or emotion*... brown? I have started actually doing something with my eyebrows but I do not use a pencil. It doesn't work for me. That's why I have tinted brow gel. I did try this. It's too soft for an eyebrow pencil. It doesn't stay sharp enough. It is also way too warm of a brown for my eyebrows. They are a very dark ashy brown. I've never wanted to use a brown eyeliner, but I guess I have this if I ever feel the need...

Other offers this month were a DD cream, Shimmer liquid eyeliner in blue and some other color I can't remember, green maybe? Anti-frizz styling cream, a charcoal exfoliant (which I would've loved), an oil treatment for hair, Jesse's Girl Waterproof eyeliner (though I did hear about problems with this exploding while opening), a BB cushion that seems awesome, sunscreen, makeup wipes, and Olive and Enzyme cleanser. I would've preferred pretty much any one of those over what I got.

I emailed Ipsycare, like I said, and I finally got my replacement products. There was some confusion between the 2 emails I sent and ended up getting 3 products and 2 extra bags. I'm happy about that because the bag they originally sent me was made very poorly compared to my replacements. Plus I loved this month's bag. It's perfect as a clutch (which I've done already) and as organizers in my purse.

So in place of my horrible mascara, I received this Be A Bombshell lip gloss in Last Call Girl. It's VERY BRIGHT pink. It scared me a little when I took it out of the box. But I tried it and I think it's fun. A little out of my comfort zone but I wore it to the beach that day. It's a little sticky, like all glosses, but that seemed to go away after a bit and the color lasted pretty well. I didn't really pay attention since I was at the beach and didn't really care.

Next they sent me the sample I got to choose instead of the sea salt spray: The DERMAdoctor DD Cream. This is how it arrived. The cap was a little loose and you can see in the bottom right picture that after I cleaned it up, it did have the foil over the tip but it wasn't secured on one side and I could easily squeeze some out. I'm not only upset because the product leaked, but it wasted at least 3 uses. 

After I got over all this, I finally tried it. The cream only comes in one color and it supposed to self-adjust. It seems a little dark and maybe still is once it adjusted on my face, but more like making me look tan. It is a little sticky feeling and hard to blend on your face though. Which is sad because I ended up really liking it. Even boyfriend told me when he got home "your face looks really good today" (because we talk about breakouts and things like that.) I would consider buying the full size but it's $38 at Ulta and didn't work as well on my oily skin as my other $38 BB cream I bought at the beginning of the summer. Great sample though. Wish they could do better in packing :(

Then I was sent this Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeshadow Stick as a replacement for my first email. I wasn't expecting a product this nice! This is the full size and they are $24 each at Sephora. I wish they would've sent a more universal shade than this deep Plum, but it seems to blend out pretty well. I also tried it as an eyeliner and it didn't irritate my eyes (Success!!! I'm allergic to purple eyeliners, but since this is a shadow, it didn't seem to be any problem) so that's probably more what I'll use it for. I may go out and spend the money on one of the lighter shades because this is very creamy and so easy to use. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner

I was able to get on the Line to Fine list for the chance to buy Benefit's They're Real Push Up Liner early. Of course I did! (I just didn't get a chance to write this review until now... a couple days after it was released worldwide).

It came in this overly large box, but it still fit in my mom's mailbox.

Lots of packing peanuts! But really... for that little box... waste of packaging.

Just like every other Benefit product, it comes with a little instruction booklet.

It also came with this little orange stopper in the top. I've heard it's a good idea to keep this, but I don't use it personally.

Here is the slanted tip with some of the product coming out. 

Very first attempt.

Second time applying.

Second time, eyes open.

Another time. Picture edited for Instagram.

One more time.

The packaging is really nice. What I mean by that is the pen is very easy to hold. It is more square near the top where you'd hold it, and rounder as you get near the base. It is a little weird trying to get the right angle on your eye, but you get used to it.

Starting out, you need to turn it a LOT. I wasn't counting, but it's way more than the 10 or 15 clicks the instructions say. Maybe 10 or 15 full turns! After that, they say you only need 1 or 2 clicks to do both eyes. I don't know about that either. I've tried, but I feel like I'm always wiping a little off the tip, then clicking again. Do whatever you need to do.

There is a learning curve to this. Know that it's not as easy and foolproof as they advertise, but don't get frustrated! I definitely am not great at eyeliner. I prefer my Ben Nye liner because it's smooth and smudgy on it's own, and super easy. I also don't do the "little flick" at the edge. But with this new liner, it's much easier. It is possible to get a very thin line, like I like. I don't think it gets right to the lash line all the time, but it's possible to go over it and get closer. It does seem to dry quickly and flake a tiny bit, especially if you layer it too thick. I have noticed it will start coming off where my eyelid moves on the edge, where I extend the line.

I had a problem with the liner not being as dark as usual and not applying very well. I figured out that it was drying out inside the tip. They suggest you always click a little extra out and wipe it off each time, but I think I hadn't used it in a long enough amount of time where it dried further down the tip. All I had to do was click more out and then it worked just fine.

If you read the reviews, they are very mixed. Some people absolutely hate it, but a lot of people love it. I've never used a gel liner in a pot with a brush, but I know I don't like using liquid liner - though it's a bit easier with a marker tip. So this new gel in a pen liner is something new and I really like it. If you're a pro at eyeliner, this would probably be amazing for you, and super quick. If you're not that experienced, like me, then this is a nice change, but will take a little longer to apply and get used to.

At the time of this posting, there is a promo code for Sephora for a deluxe sample of this liner (I think with a $25 purchase). Use PUSHUP in the promo code area to get one!

Sephora Trip in ND

I stopped by Sephora while I was home in North Dakota just to see what they had. I ended up finding a few things (as I always do). 

I heard about Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat from one of Birchbox's Limited Edition boxes and thought it was a great idea. It's a clear waterproof topcoat to put over your favorite mascara. I hate wearing waterproof mascara, and my eye doctor actually told me not to with my contacts, but every once and a while it would be nice to have. I used it at the lake before I rode on the jet ski (already had makeup on, then decided to go on it), also when I was flying back to LA (tears all around), and when I went to Disneyland for the day (82 degrees and sunny). It worked beautifully every time! I love that I can wear whatever mascara I want, then choose to make it waterproof if I need it. 

Then I remembered I had wanted to look for a new eyelash curler, since the one I was using was still from high school, and this would be perfect time to get one. I looked at a few different kinds but decided the Sephora brand would be just fine. I didn't need anything fancy. The thing I really liked about this is that it came with 2 extra rubber pads. It definitely curls better than my old one. 

The travel size section near the register always gets me. Though, this was probably one of the best things I've found in that section. I needed a new makeup remover for waterproof makeup, especially since I was buying the Anastasia Top Coat. I found this Make Up For Ever Sens'eyes Waterproof Makeup Remover. I'm not even sure what the full size looks like because I've never thought of looking for it, but I think I will have to buy it when this runs out. This stuff is great! It pumps out a creamy blue liquid that I smear over a cotton pad, then rub over my eyes. It's very gentle and doesn't sting. It even takes off my Benefit They're Real Liner!

Then I got a 100 point reward item. I love Benefit so when I saw they had this Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer, I had to get it. It didn't seem to work that great for my oily skin, but I've heard different reviews say there is a trick to applying this. I guess you have to do it in sections because it dries so quickly and it needs to still be a little tacky (not sure if that's the right word) for your foundation to stick and last. I haven't tried it again, but I will eventually.

It came with this nice cap over the top. So cute for the small size.
Comes with a decent amount of product.

Hard Candy Haul

While I was home in North Dakota, I decided to stop by the new Wal Mart in Grand Forks and get some Hard Candy items I was hearing about. (There is a Wal Mart sort of close to me in LA, but I've heard horrible and scary things about it and have been warned not to go... so I don't.)

First I decided to try the Glamoflauge Lite in Light Medium because I don't have a very good basic all-over concealer. I am really impressed with this. It comes with a more yellow tone on one side to correct and a more pink tone to cover. It is very creamy and easily blendable. It's not the greatest for under eyes, as it does pull a little bit, but I have used it in a pinch. Cost: $6

Left: the yellow end / Center: the pinker end / Right: blended together

Then I decided to try the Cheeks and Balances Contouring Stick in Cheeky Pink. I have started to really love cream highlighters. I really like that this comes with a highlighter. It's very light, but is nice for days when I don't want to wear a lot of makeup, and can definitely be layered. Cost: $7

It's hard to see the highlight, but I think that's kind of the point. It's just a nice shimmer. This was only one swipe.

Of course I had to pick up one of the All Glossed Up Hydrating Lip Stains. I chose the color Pout. This is my new favorite makeup trend: the tinted lip stain/balm sticks. I don't have a lot of them yet, but I do have a few, all different brands. This one is amazing. I may brave a trip to the Wal Mart here in LA to get another color (or 5), that's how much I like it. (Though, I think I'll just order them online.) It is very smooth and hydrating. The stain lasts a long time too. I can't say much as far as morning to lunch, etc. but I can say that I am very happy with it. I will be wearing it a lot. Cost: $5 

Pout is very pink, and is not this sheer on the lips. Again, this is only one swipe. You can see that it is very glossy though. 

Last, I decided I wanted a bronzer, but I don't really know how to use it and what color would be the best so I thought the So Baked Contour Trio in 3rd Wheel would be a good option. It is a baked powder that comes with a highlighter, blush and bronzer in one. I love the finish of this powder! It has a nice sheen to it without being glittery and the bronzer isn't too dark for a novice like me. I find myself layering this on top of a cream blush at times. Cost: $9

I wish this brand wasn't exclusive to Wal Mart because I really like it, but now that I've moved to LA, it's so much harder to get. I've bought other items from Hard Candy in the past: tinted mascara, glitter eyeshadow, and nail polish. My favorite is the Black Tie Affair nail polish. 

MAC Paint Pots

I read some amazing things about MAC's Paint Pots. Initially, what caught my attention was that the colors Soft Ochre and Painterly could be used as an undereye concealer. The person who posted it said it was great because they didn't crease. So, I ran out and got both colors.

After some research, Paint Pots are just a creaseless cream eyeshadow, and the two colors I bought are used more as eye primers. The sales associate told me the Soft Ochre works best under warmer colors, such as golds or greens because of it's yellow undertone. Painterly works best under cooler colors such as purples and blues because of it's pinker undertone. Both colors look very natural on my skin.

I can't say much about the priming power though. I still feel like it creases and doesn't seem to make my shadow colors any bolder. I have noticed that setting the Paint Pots with a powder first, then applying eyeshadow seems to work better as far as creasing goes.

It also did not work as an undereye concealer. They are WAY too thick to use under eyes. Lots of pulling and hard to blend on thin skin. When I finally got it blended out, it creased right away because of the thickness.

The nice thing is that they will last FOREVER. Especially because I don't use them very much. They are $20 a piece, but you get a lot and doesn't take very much for each use. Right now I'm trying to decide what color I want to buy next, and use as an actual eyeshadow.