Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Topbox Feb 2014 Unboxing and First Impressions

I'm a bit late on my unboxing post this month (in fact the March wishlist is already out...), but alas here we are!

The usual tube...

Everything was all wrapped in the tissue this time

And the stash...

I was excited to see an Essie polish. I have only used Essie Fill the Gap basecoat thus far, so am looking forward to trying this. It's a beautiful red that leans a bit on the blue-raspberry end of the spectrum.

I'm a lip balm hoarder, so am always happy to receive more lip balm! Epic Blend's ingredients are all fairly natural blend of oils and butters, and feels similar to what I use in my DIY lip balms (see tinted lip balm DIY here). I tried this out a couple of times, feels moisturizing enough so it will get a space in one of my purses. I actually put 1-2 lipbalms in each purse so I'm never caught without a lip balm due to my incredibly dry and sensitive lips. *high5* to whoever else does this!

Next, a lip and cheek product.

At first, I was excited because this looked very much like the Clinique chubby pencils, which are super moisturizing and pigmented and awesome all-round products (I need to do a review at some point).

But alas, it is not like a Clinique chubby pencil... The shade is quite pretty but the formula and pigmentation is horrendous on the lips. The pigment is very uneven and chalky and immediately clung to all my fine lines and dry areas. I made sure to exfoliate and pre-moisturize and tried it again but same thing occured. I'm shocked this product advertises as "moisturizing"! That it definitely is not... I tried this on my cheeks, and although the color is pretty, again the formula clung to my dry patches. Not cool... Because the color is so pretty though, I'm leaving this in my kit to give it one more try in the summer when I'm not so dry...but if it doesn't work out in the summer it's going in the trash.  

Despite the disappointment with the chubby pencil pretender, this product I'm genuinely very happy about. EA's 8 hr cream is a MUA favorite as it's incredibly versatile. I personally like it for my chapped lips and very dry patches on my face or hands, but it can also act as a high-shine dewy highlight.
8 hr cream on the back of my hand.

Here's the final round up...

And the product card with all the prices for interest. The lip balm is fine. The star of the show was the EA 8 hr cream. The dud of the box was the So Susan lip/cheek product, which I do not recommend you buy at any point. Even if it will work in the summer there's so many better products out there that will do what it does.
Let me know what you got in your box this month and what your thoughts were!
*Disclosure: I bought this box myself and am not affliated with any of these companies.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream for Sensitive Skin - Review

A quick review today... of the new nighttime moisturizer I started using daily a week ago.  It's still early to notice ongoing benefits but I'm sharing an early review because there's some very good aspects of it even in the first week of use. I recommend!

It comes looking like a regular tub of moisturizer, except it has a new fangled pump system whereby you press on the whole large top and it squirts out the little hole in the middle. Then I just wipe up the cream with my fingers. Not sure how much better this is than the traditional pump, but hey, nice to have a change.

In terms of actual use, here is where it shines and why I'm recommending so early on. It's soft, smooth, absorbs quickly, no awful/irritating scent, and makes my skin look VERY supple and soft, with fine lines evened out and dry patches gone. Unfortunately the next morning after my usual 5-6 hours of sleep I wake up looking like my usual zombie self, which says to me there's unlikely to be any long-lasting effects from this cream, but dang I go to bed feeling good!  Regardless of lack of long-lasting effects thus far (I never actually believe in any long-lasting claims from skincare, afterall, the product is going on a dead layer of skin cells waiting to be shed), it just feels too good for me to wait on recommeding this. Go get it! Do keep note I'm reviewing this in the winter when my skin is very dry, so take it with a grain of salt if you're considering this in the summer or if you have oily skin as it may or may not end up too heavy for you.

You can buy this at Sephora for $55USD

*Disclosure: as usual, I have no affliations to this company and bought this product myself.

Let me know if you try this and how you like it!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Julep Maven Feb 2014 - Modern Beauty Review

I have been skipping Julep boxes for awhile, but this month caught my eye with its beauty products. I still remember how disappointed I was with the whole DD creme fiasco but this looked more promising so I went for it!
First off, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the brush. It's handle is weighted so feels great to use, and the brush itself is VERY thin, but also soft and stiff enough to easily draw a line with.

The box alsp came with one free nailpolish that everyone got as a gift in their box this months. I love glitters but ooh they so hard to remove so not sure when I will get to trying this one.

First up, the gel liner. I love gel liners for their flexibility of use, I can just change up my brush and get easily thin lines, bold lines, tightlines, waterlines, wings, you name it! It's also pro-kit friendly since it can be spatula-'ed (lol is this a word) out so as to not contaminate, which I find easier than having to sanitize my pencils/liquids afterwards.
Gel liners aren't without their problems though, and mostly for me, as a oily-lid gal, is the smudging that I'm so prone to. I usually just settle for "less" smudging as some can be horrendous, even the waterproof ones! (waterproof doesn't hold up against the oil my lids, even with primer/powder and all).  So I really was hoping just for "less" smudgyness and I'd have been happy, except I got blown away that I had NO smudging at the end of the day! I can't believe it, Julep has made my HG gel liner...  if you have oily lids have this problem as I do I highly recommend you get this.
One down side is that this product is super tiny, the pot being one of those tiny sample jars size, much smaller than other gel liners out there in Sephora world. Luckily I don't use much day to day since my "everyday" liner is simply tightlining, so I'll be ok, but if you use a lot more daily or for the pros out there who will be going through a lot this may not be $-friendly It's ($22, $17.60 for Mavens for a very tiny jar)
Also, if you are wanting a gel liner to smudge and create a smoky eye with, this is NOT what you're looking for. Because it's so smudgeproof, it sets very quickly and can flake if you try to smudge it, so I recommend it just be used to make a sharp line, and that you not try to blend it or smudge it out.  For the best liner to blend and smoke out, I prefer MUFE Aqua Black.

Next is the liquid eyeshadow. I chose the lightest shade as I planned to try and use as a highlight or alone on the lids just to perk my eyes up a bit. I tried it without a primer and it did not crease after 8 hrs, and only very little bit at end of the day. Unfortunately as with the liner, because it dries down quite fast and is so pigmented that I find it hard to blend out at the edges. Luckily this color is so light so it's not such a big deal, but I imagine with the darker shades the difficulty in the blending may be more obvious.  If you have a darker shade let me know what your experience has been!  I imagine though, for blending, you could put a similar colored powder shadow over the edge, so you could still make it work.
That's it for my review! Hope it was helpful and let me know what you thought of your Julep box this month!