Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

It took a few visits to different stores before I could find the whole Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter lineup. These lip butters seem to have flown off the shelves at the drugstores near me so while I loved the marketing on them, I never really did see the full lineup of colours. Obviously I found them so what about the marketing got to me? Well, I'm a sucker for lip balm and lip glosses (as evidenced by the Lancome Juicy Tube, Revlon Prismagics, Blistex Lip Infusion, and Burt's Bee Lip Balm that are within a foot of me) so that was a pretty easy sell. What lured me to it was the fact that it was a bit of a light colour which means that I could get tint with hydrating goodness, which is useful for someone like me that always remembers to put on lip balm but never remember to put on lipstick. Seems like a natural step.

Anyhow, after much deliberation and wondering what kind of genius names these things after desserts (no sarcasm intended there, I found myself seriously wanting to buy myself cake afterward), I settled on Cherry Tart and Red Velvet. I knew that there might be a huge hit or miss here, especially since the colours don't really look like the ones on the website and they, of course, will look different on my skin so I was sticking to two.

I couldn't wait to try these on but first I had to do a swatch, just to prepare myself (and you, dear reader). Naturally my camera didn't take a good job with the photo of the swatch, so if you want to see it, you can check it out by clicking here (the top is Red Velvet and the bottom is Cherry Tart).

Cherry Tart
Here is Cherry Tart on me and at first, I really took to the colour. It added just the right amount of colour but wasn't too obvious. I tried wearing it for a week though but found myself disliking it more and more. Although it was light, it just didn't seem to fit my skin tone right. It did feel great though and left my lips moisturized, but I just couldn't get over the colour.

Red Velvet
Up next was Red Velvet and I'll reveal the truth: I didn't pick it based on it's colour, I picked it because of it's name. My favourite dessert is red velvet with that delicious cream cheese frosting. So I was really surprised at how much I loved this colour. If you look at the colour it is advertised as, it looks really dark, but it comes out a bit light.

When I was taking pictures the thing I noticed was how red the Red Velvet was which was just surprising since it didn't look like that in the mirror. It was a happy surprise as to just how much I like this colour.

After a week of use, I can happily say that Red Velvet is now a permanent part of my collection. I'm happy with it's overall performance, staying power, and the pigmentation.

Product: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter
Price: $6 - $9
Would Recommend? Yes!
Takeaway: While I wasn't sold on the first one I tried because of the colour, the second one delivered in colour. Very moisturizing and lasts long, and overall a great buy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Wet n Wild Mega Shield Lip Color SPF 15

One of the things that drives me slightly insane with my local drugstores is that if I see something, I need to get it right away or else it will fly off the shelf and never be seen again. Or something in my colour will fly off the shelf and never return. When I first saw these I thought to myself, "I have an awful lot of lipsticks so I don't really need this," then a few days later they were all gone. Some of the colours have slowly been restocked, but "A Currant Affair" has not returned. That's Berry Beautiful did and that's why you're seeing this review.

Let me get the rant off my chest though. Given the packaging, there is a giant piece of tape that keeps the lid onto the base. So when I finally got the tape all cleaned off, I managed to nick off the top of the lipstick because there's a small part that does not retract into the tube. It's silly, I know, and probably not a mistake others have made but be careful when you open and close it especially since there's a good part of the top that is exposed.

The first thing I noticed right away was that the lipstick is very creamy. I glided on a bit and realized that it was very pigmented which was quite nice. I quickly realized that I needed to apply some lip liner in order to keep it defined so I grabbed my e.l.f. Essential Feather Proof Moisturizing Lip Liner in Bitter. The two blended well together so I was saved in my haste to try out the lipstick.

So it's now applied and my lips are lined and what do I notice? Well, I notice that a cool red is showing up as a darker pink instead on my face. (Thank you yellow undertones, I appreciate you taking away the joy from every lipstick possible). I know that in the picture above one might think that it is actually pink, but the tube is supposed to be a bit on the red side. Think about a pinkish red blend, moreso on the red, but not a true red colour. I'd say crimson, but a bit lighter. Or maybe Razzmatazz (and yes, that's a real colour). If you don't believe me (which you have every right to), I'd advise checking out Nouveau Cheap's Review and Swatches.

Okay well, I admit that I really didn't like the colour. I was on the fence about it, but I've got to say that I'm not a fan. But that does not mean that I'm writing off the rest of them in this line. Unlike some other lipsticks, I feel as though this line has potential and somewhere in there is a colour -- no, the colour that I am looking for. The lipstick glides on well, has great pigmentation (if you look at the image above, that is one swipe after 2 hours), and felt great. Now I just need to wait for my local drugstore to stock up on the other colours and then I can continue my quest.

Product: Wet n Wild Mega Shield Lip Color SPF 15 in That's Berry Beautiful
Price: $2.99
Would Recommend? Yes (even though the colour I got I didn't really like).
Takeaway: Creamy, smooth consistency that leaves your lips feeling moisturized with good pigmentation. Terrible packaging. While I personally didn't find a good colour due to the lack of stock at my local store, I'll keep an eye out for others since this tube impressed me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color

On this latest lipstick kick, I've been all kinds of adventurous in the drugstore (mostly because you can't sample, so it's harder to determine what works or what doesn't -- I can go to the Lancome counter and find out what doesn't work pretty darn quickly, but that doesn't work as well with drugstore items). One of my purchases was the ColorStay Overtime and since I tend to gravitate toward darker colours, Ultimate Wine seemed like the obvious choice. 

Although I got a close look of it in the store, obviously nothing quite compares to actually trying it out. Prior to opening the package you will notice that it's double ended -- it's a two step system. Apply the colour first, then follow up with moisturizing top coat. 

I tried it out but the colour itself was very... dry. Didn't glide on as easily as one would like and the colour seemed like a very light version of what it is supposed to be. It looked only marginally darker than my own lips. Overall, I was kind of disappointed in its performance. Although the packaging says it could last up to 16 hours, I really didn't want it on for 5 more minutes. 

I think the best comparison here is to the L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipcolour Compact as they both seem to be quite similar in method (though the colours and overall feel was different). With the L'Oreal Compact, the colour had a liquid like consistency and was easy to apply. A lot went a long way for the compact. You had to wait for it to dry and then follow up with the balm. With the ColorStay Overtime, the colour has the consistency of typical gloss but was very drying. It became a bit harder to apply in a short amount of time given how dry it felt. I didn't even get to the moisturizing part because I wanted it off, immediately. It looked terrible and felt terrible. So if I were you (and you're anything like me), I'd likely pass.

Product: Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color in Ultimate Wine
Price: $8.99 - $10.99
Would Recommend? No.
Takeaway: Very drying and the colour was off. Not flattering in the slightest bit and also a slight pain to use (because it was so drying).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kiss Nail Dress

I saved this one for last especially since I was trying to give my nails a short break. One of the things that I like about these is that they are in essence stickers so you'd have to peel them off. Sure the nail might not like it much, but at least it's not as abrasive.

The one I received is called "Bodysuit" and it's basically a blend of pink, white, and purple with cheetah prints. Not quite in line with my taste but hey, I'd try it anyway. There are definitely a few others that I'd consider using depending on how these last throughout the week.

My nails were already cleaned off from before so I didn't need to prep them beforehand (preparation is basically cleaning your nails with alcohol or nail polish remover). This time round I didn't need to push back any cuticles or anything so I was all set to go.

The box comes with 28 strips that are contained in three sheets (and are plastic wrapped to assure they won't dry out before you can get to them). Originally when I went through them I was going to go for a pedicure, but felt that there would be too much shaping needed from me so since I was lazy (actually I was doing laundry so I didn't have the time to shape them properly) I just did a manicure. Overall, the selection at first, seemed quite slim as though there weren't exact matches to my nails. Turns out I was wrong, I was able to get through matching quickly and got the nail stickers on in 30 minutes.

But to me, that seemed kind of long. Let me explain that -- I tend to grab stickers or nail polish strips when I'm in a rush and I've come to know that I won't find exact matches of a nail and that the speed with which one can work depends on the tools that comes in the kit. This time, I had perfect matches (well, almost perfect) but the nail file took forever. It took a few swipes in order to get the excess off so what should have taken 10-15 minutes took a bit longer and required the use of a cuticle trimmer to get it done faster.

By the time I had to go switch my laundry from the washer to the dryer, my manicure was complete. But now since I needed to wait longer, I figured that since I had 17 stickers left (I played with one to see what it's stickiness level was) and that I now had the time to do a pedicure, why not? Shaping them took much longer because all the perfect fits probably went on my hand. As a result it took me about 45 minutes (hey, remember that I'm still doing laundry so it requires me to stop midway and run around my apartment and then the laundry room). 

Anyhow, long story short, the application process isn't so bad. It may require a bit of shaping in order to get both a manicure and a pedicure out of it, but not too bad. We'll see how they last throughout the week (or in my case, the next 2-3 days) but so far, I'm pretty happy with them. I do wish a better file was given in the pack, seriously that thing is weaksauce.

I wonder what I'm going to wear to match with these nails now...

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary through the VoxBox product testing program.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Venus & Olay Razor

Since I tend to move around, I've been relying on my Gillette Venus Tropical Razors quite a bit. Since I've been using them for so long, I'll admit that I didn't notice much of a difference till I tried the Venus & Olay Razor that I got in my VoxBox. This isn't a review about the Tropical razors, but I wanted to set the tone that they were getting the job done and I was satisfied since I didn't think I was missing out on much. Then along comes the Venus & Olay razor and I see what joys I've been missing out on.

With the Gillette Venus & Olay, you're getting this little bar of moisture so the very cool thing about it is that you don't need to lather up before shaving. No extra soap or gel is required, so long as the white bar along the bottom lathers up, you're good to go. But that's not the selling point of this razor. It's the fact that it has 5 blades and gives a close shave. Add to that the Olay portion is very moisturizing, leaving my skin happy afterward. 

I'm the kind of gal that already has dry skin so I have to follow up with cocoa butter regardless of what I do. It's nice to have a razor that alleviates that pain. My legs felt moisturized and had the closest shave it's had in months (no offense to the Tropical razors!) but I was really quite surprised. I figure a razor is always just a razor, but this one has really impressed me. 

The only catch is that I wonder how long the little moisturizing bars will last. After all, it's five precious blades so I admit I'm a little worried that the blades will outlast the moisturizers. Hopefully I'll have an update about the razors soon in the future. Another thing I wanted to touch upon was how great the handle felt. I know that seems kind of weird but I've used many different razors in the past and on thing that can make the experience of shaving my legs frustrating is the handle. With the ridges and the width (specific curves in the handle), regardless of how I was "dancing" or hopping around the shower, I didn't loose grip, not once. So kudos to Gillette for that improvement.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary through the VoxBox product testing program.

Interview with the Founder of Kara's Way

Hey Readers,

A few weeks ago I mentioned that there is a new eco-friendly beauty sample box called Kara's Way that will be launching soon. They are hoping to get the box launch in May so to tide you over till then, here's a short interview with the founder of Kara's Way.


What is Kara's Way?
Kara's Way is a monthly box 5-10 eco-friendly beauty samples delivered to you, where you can enjoy them without feeling rushed. It's frustrating when you go shopping and maybe take a little dab of something here and there on the back of your hand, but you never get a chance to really try the product like you would normally. I see testers at stores all the time for facial scrubs or cleansers; are you going to really wash your face in the store? Or maybe that lipstick that looked good under the store lights looks entirely different in other lighting. Kara's Way samples give you a chance to take your time testing the product before having to commit to the full size.

Why are you focusing on eco-friendly products?
I've always had very sensitive skin and eczema. It's a skin disorder, thought to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. As I'd try to find lotions that would moisturize without irritating my skin, I started paying more attention to the ingredients in all my personal care products. Our skin can absorb what we put onto it, so you want to make sure it's a substance you feel comfortable ingesting. I find that the more simple and unrefined a product was, the less chance there would be of causing a reaction. It's difficult to pinpoint what is irritating your skin when you're looking at a product with a long list of ingredients.

Of course, not everyone has the crazy-sensitive skin I do, but it turns out that there's a lot of questionable ingredients in beauty products. Some are even known to be bad for you, like lead in lipsticks or nail polish with formaldehyde. The argument here is that the percentage is so small that it won't hurt you, but you use these products repeatedly over a lifetime, and I don't see the point in taking that risk if there's an alternative. Maybe you don't have a wide selection of natural products nearby, or you're wary of ordering online without being familiar with the brand, so Kara's Way makes it easy to find an eco-friendly substitute.

What companies do you plan on working with?
There a lot of great, up and coming indie brands that many people aren't familiar with, so we're going to put more of an emphasis on those. While I can't name any specific companies at this point, there will definitely be products that are unique and exciting!

What kinds of products do you plan on featuring?
The box will be filled with cosmetics, skincare and personal care products. You could get anything from eye shadows and nail polish, to soaps and skincare tools.

What are you hoping to achieve in the long run? Or rather, what are you hoping to accomplish with the box?
I hope to make it easier to make choices regarding what products you use. Just because something is natural, doesn't mean it's good for you, and if something is a chemical, doesn't mean it's bad for you. There's so much confusion out there, we really need to stay informed consumers and only purchase products in line with our ideals and what we consider to be healthy.

What is your favourite makeup? What is your favourite product?
I prefer a minimal makeup look most days, so I stick with the basics: foundation, filling in brows a bit, mascara and sheer lip color. I love multi use products, like shadows that work for your brows, lids and as eyeliner. Korres Mineral Powder Foundation is one of my favorites; light weight and looks natural.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In Celebration of the Green

I've got no shamrocks to adorn my nails but when I was perusing the nail polishes, I just couldn't help but notice the small display from Sinful Colors that was dedicated to St. Patrick's Day. I just had to get the glitter one that was a mix of green and blue -- luckily I knew exactly what to pair it with back at home.

It's not a full manicure as I was in such a rush to share this. I'll clean it up a bit later on. Just for reference, the Going Green took two coats to achieve that colour and I only put one coat of the glitter. There you have it! I'll probably be experimenting with other base colours (I'm sure the glitter would look fantastic over black). The nail polishes used were Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Going Green (430) and Sinful Colors in Nail Junkie (927).

Also just to note, these nail polishes are from brands that I use every week so no review here necessary. I adore them and they've never failed me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipcolour Compact

For some reason I've been on a lipstick kick lately so I finally decided to give in during my routine trip to the drugstore and sprang for some new goodies. One of the things I couldn't resist was the  L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipcolour so after much deliberation, I finally chose the Garnet colour (though I was really close to getting Crimson). 

As per the instructions, I applied a thin layer and then shortly after (when I thought it was dried) I followed up with the lip balm. That's a huge mistake, it just ended up clumping up on my lips and looked terrible. Turns out you should give it a little longer to dry.

The next day I tried it again, applied a thin layer but then waited 5 minutes before following up with the lip balm. Success! It worked out. So if you have the same issue of clumps, just extend the time before you follow up with the lip balm. So anyhow, immediately after I applied the first layer I realized that this was very likely just a stain and the lip balm was the reinforced moisturizer. Mostly this realization came because it was so light. I actually wasn't expecting it to be so light probably because I didn't anticipate what type of lipcolour that it was. So that pretty much covers how it works.

  1. Apply the stain, allow to dry. 
  2. Follow up with the lip balm the provided.

You can use another moisturizing balm thereafter -- because I keep a clear lip gloss at my desk I ended up using that throughout the day instead of the balm that was provided. If you do that though, you might notice it coming off a bit so I'd recommend against doing that but truth be told, it won't totally come off.

The "stain" does last all day if applied correctly and you're most likely going to need a makeup remover to take it off. Today when I tried it out it stayed true all day (8 hours) and didn't come off till I used the remover on it. Not too shabby for this type of product. The only thing I didn't like was that it didn't seem true to colour and as a result, I didn't really like how it looked on me. The opacity is low so it's more of a lip gloss than a lipstick. My lips were a bit on the orange side as a result of the stain which had me questioning it (and wondering if it looked okay) all day. As this colour was on the darker side, I imagine that the rest of them won't really hold up as well. I am holding out my hopes that if I can find the Beyonce's Red from the Stars Collection that it will be more of a success than this one.

Product: L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipcolour Compact in Garnet
Price: $11.99
Would Recommend? No.
Takeaway: It works well and lasts throughout the day but finding a complementary colour proves to be difficult especially since the colour (while solid) appears more like a gloss and is not strong. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Truvía® natural sweetener Product Review

Truvia is a natural sweetner, which means that one packet is about the equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar. I don't really use sweetners like this anymore, but I have it a go anyway. It tastes great though I did have to reduce my use of it to just half a packet for coffee or tea. I was a kid that experienced a lot of Sweet'N Low, Equal, and Splenda so I remember how awesome it was that Splenda tasted better. It didn't taste as processed as Sweet'N Low (or Equal) and now with Truvia, I feel as though you're going to get the best that you can get with a sweetner.

Though I am making these comparisons I warn that they are not the same as the ones mentioned are artificial sweeteners and Truvia is a natural sweetener since it is stevia based. Sweet'N Low is saccharin based, Splenda is sucralose based, and for general knowledge, Equal is aspartame based. Just keep that in mind if you're ever in the market for a sweetener.

Anyhow, I think it tastes great though just be aware how sweet it can be. Use a little as it goes a long way. Now I'm more of a sugar person as of late, but I do know a lot of people who prefer sweeteners and I just know that they are going to enjoy this one (especially as I will be recommending it to them). It does taste better than some of the others but I admit that there a slight  aftertaste  though it doesn't strike me as bitter. It's kind of a light lingering taste, but it goes away quickly. As I've been writing these blog posts I've been drinking coffee with half a packet and it definitely strikes me as being similar to when I'd drink it with normal sugar. I'd definitely recommend this in lieu of an artificial sweetener.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary through the VoxBox product testing program. 

VoxBox Reviews: Stash Tea & Ghirardelli Gourmet Milk Bar

I'm ever so slowly working my way through the box and it's contents so while I don't have a full review of everything just yet, let's start with some basics.

If you haven't heard of Influenster's VoxBox, basically it's a box that comes with a bunch of goodies for you to try out. Signup is free, however you have to qualify in order to receive a box. The packaging is incredibly simple and not wasteful, which I rather like. But let's move on.

Stash Tea
Herbal Tea Sampler

The first thing I gravitated toward was the tea. I love tea. I'm not going to explain this further but in order to illustrate my love for tea, I keep several different blends at home and right now I'd probably say I have about 4 different kinds but that is because I haven't restocked lately (which I need to). Of the teas I have at home, I have Stash's Chamomile so I was delighted to see a Herbal Tea Sampler in the box.

If I say that I love the Herbal Tea Sampler will you judge me harshly? Well, too bad. But I mean that in a good way. Generally I am used to a tart aftertaste when it comes to herbal tea so the first one I tired was the Wild Raspberry Hibiscus, since I enjoy hibiscus tea. When it was done steeping, I embraced for the tartness, but there wasn't any. I didn't need any sugar and the tea was an enjoyable blend of both flavours. Last night I tried the Mango Passionfruit and it was delicious. A subtle blend of them both that was smooth and refreshing. No bitterness, no tart flavour, just an enjoyable tropical blend. Just now I finished my cup of Acai Berry and it was also a light and refreshing blend.

They do have some normal flavours like the Chamomile and Peppermint. But this sampler also has (in addition to the ones already listed) Blueberry Superfruit, Cinnamon Apple Chamomile, Lemon Ginger, and Licorice Spice. I've tried the normal flavours and as I've mentioned, I already have Stash's Chamomile at home and I enjoy Peppermint in the office regularly. The new blends are amazing and I encourage you to try them. They are unique, light, and don't have that tartness that you might experience with other types of teas. I love this box and I am so glad VoxBox has introduced me to it.

Gourmet Milk Bar

Well, let's get this over with: I love dark chocolate. I don't really like sweet things so when I saw this I was a tiny bit sad that it wasn't dark chocolate. 32% Cacoa?! MILK?! I yearned for 86% Cocoa. Dark chocolate I can consume with the quickness but milk is more for my parents and my brother. I live within the vicinity of Ghirardelli Square and there is no shortage of Ghirardelli stores near me, so I got over that pretty quickly. (By the way, their hot chocolate is amazing).

Anyhow, I knew I had to try it out and I also know that I have no shortage of milk chocolate loving friends that I could chat to to get their opinions. So three of us tried one square each and simultaenously we all said, "Wow, this is really good. Very creamy and milky." And yes, we all did seriously say that.

The chocolate can be appreciated by any chocolate lover, whether you're all in for white chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark, you can appreciate the smooth, creamy, melt in your mouth, refined chocolate that they have created. There is no doubt that I'll be grabbing some of these bars for the milk chocolate lovers in my life.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary through the VoxBox product testing program. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Update: Impress Manicure

On Thursday night of last week I decided to try out the Impress Manicure and sadly by Sunday night, I was annoyed with them (I'll explain) and took them off. I didn't think I could last a week, even though the packaging advertises that they can. Am I skeptical that they can last that long? Not really, I just didn't like how they fit.

Let me explain. After I made the original post, the next night the index finger on my right hand popped off. I didn't really make a big deal of it; they give you plenty of extras so I just put on a new one. The next day, the index finger on my left hand popped off and again I replaced it. But thinking about it, if I was dishes everyday where I'm exposed to hot water, then sure we could see a problem. But there was more. If I kept up like this, then I'd run out of extras especially if I need to replace a nail a day. I kept them on anyway but that created a dent in my experience with them and it only got a bit more negative from there.

By day two the edges were worn down and the paint was receding. The gap between the nail and my cuticle seemed to widen (though it probably wasn't) however it was only noticeable by me because after trying to wash my hair, it just kept getting caught under the nail with the glue. Plus having to replace two nails meant that I couldn't quite get the same size so they weren't covering my nail properly. Add to that they just felt really obvious.

Now I've worn fake nails before and while I know it's been a while, although I was impressed by them for a short period of time, for the long haul I didn't think they'd be that good. I think they are great if you need to get your nails done quickly (or on the go) but on a day-to-day basis I don't know if they could hold up well.

Product: Impress Manicure by Broadway in Holla!
Price: $7.99
Would Recommend? With caution.
Takeaway: Easy to apply and great if you're on the go; the only catch I can see to this is that you should have short nails as they are pretty short themselves. They do not seem as though they can last throughout a week, especially if you do household cleaning.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review: Renpure Organics Shampoo & Conditioner

It's been just about a month now that I've been using this shampoo and conditioner duo and it is just about time that it adjusts to it or... well, there is no other option. Sadly, coming off from vacation, my hair has not revisited that bouncy look from before (while on vacation, my hair curled up and remained bouncy, something it has been unable to achieve without the high levels of humidity). So regardless of just how paraben and sulfate free a shampoo and/or conditioner is, my hair remains slightly lifeless. But this is not a comparison of the days of yore in regard to my hair. Let's be on with it.

I grabbed the "My Hair is Pretty Parched!" and the "I Love My Hair!" duo since they were on sale. I've been using the "My Hair is Pretty Parched!" for the last four weeks (vacation excluded, so I was using this prior to vacation).

The bright side for anyone who is conscious about what's in the bottle: NO parabens, sulfates, gluten, phthalates, or propylene glycol. Grant it the last three have never really struck me as label worthy, the exclusion of the first two (parabens and sulfates) made me happy. Either way, I do enjoy indulging in the idea that "less is more." So the verdict?

Well, my hair has had no real changes. It remains shiny, a bit on the bouncy side but the waves are still demure. Overall, that means that the product works well for me! I know it doesn't sound like much, but I've been trying to stick with sulfate and paraben free shampoos and conditioners and I know what to expect. I anticipated that if it worked well then there would be no real changes to my hair. And I was right. 

The scent is light and flowery and the consistency of both of them are what you'd expect. (If you read my review of the original sulfate and paraben free Organix Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner, you will note that the consistency of both of them were kind of weird). The consistencies of Renpure are normal so you get to work up a nice lather to the shampoo and the conditioner stayed on my hair without falling off in odd clumps. 

Product: Renpure Organics My Pretty Hair is Parched! Moisturizing Shampoo
Price: $6.99
Would Recommend? Yes
Takeaway: Light scent that smells good, works well. Normal consistency so... yeah, no complaints here.

Product: Renpure Organics My Pretty Hair is Parched! Moisturizing Conditioner
Price: $6.99
Would Recommend? Yes
Takeaway: Same as above. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blog Listing Update

Dearest Fellow Bloggers (from Reddit),

I know that some of you are following me from Reddit and the beauty blog threads so I just wanted to give you all the heads up that we're switching one of the blog rolls.
(The /r/makeupaddiction Blog Listings)

Is shifting gears and becoming the Eyeliners & Lipsticks Blog Listing in order to be less Reddit oriented and a bit more comprehensive. So if you happen to have the old site linked, please update it to:

For the official Reddit MUA Beauty Blogs Listing, please refer to this post. If you'd like to hop on the Eyeliners & Lipsticks board and help us out, head on over there and drop us a line. 


New Box: Kara's Way

There's an awful lot of boxes out there and it seems as though there's a new one every month. That's just the makeup boxes alone and if you don't believe me, check out the list compiled by Mandy Wiltse, which is ever growing. Anyhow, I'm pretty picky which is why although I've been thinking about it for a while, I haven't actually subscribed to any. Which is why I guess in some way, I'm kind of lucky as one of my friends is hoping to release her own box soon.

Kara's Way is an eco-friendly box, that is aiming to be just beauty samples. While I don't know what would be in the first box, I do know that that each box is supposed to have at minimum 5 all natural (or vegan) products. The waiting list has just opened up and you can go to their site to find out more information. 

Here's wishing my friend a whole lot of luck with her new venture. And since she has no idea that my blog exists or that I'm writing about it, the full disclaimer is that this is not an endorsed post.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Influenster Love Box

Yesterday I got my first VoxBox from Influenster and I couldn't be more excited. I haven't had the chance to try out everything just yet but here are the pictures of the box for those of you that are interested. (Reminder: You can click on the images to enlarge them!)

Everything in the box.

A closer look at the contents.

The postcard that lists out everything inside.

Truvia Natural Sweetener Sample

Ghirardelli Gourmet Milk Creamy Devotion Bar

Kiss Nail Dress -- Fashion That Sticks

Stash Tea Herbal Tea Sampler

Gillette Venus & Olay Razor

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary through the VoxBox product testing program.

Review: Impress Manicure

Last week in midst of a cleaning frenzy, I broke out the bleach but forgot to do two key things. One was that I neglected to use my rubber gloves and second was that I didn't dilute the bleach. Now if you've ever worked with bleach, generally speaking you work as quickly as possible. Which I did, but my nails suffered for it. Generally I grow out my nails but thanks to my error, I set them back by a week or two. Basically I weakened my nails and figured that since they were short, it's about time I tried press on nails. Especially since I assume they wouldn't be as damaging as standard manicures.

Anyhow, I tried out the Impress Manicure by Broadway because I've heard great things. Plus, they have really cute designs. When I ran over to my local drugstore knowing that I was going to pick up a pack of them, I also sprang for a cuticle pusher since I didn't have one in my collection (and I also knew that the package probably wouldn't have one). I bought a simple plastic one (pictured on the left above) for 99¢ rather than the pack of bamboo cuticle pusher or one made of metal.

As for the Impress Manicure, I bought myself the (D030) Holla! which is a glittery peach (though a demure peach) with black lace. Upon closer inspection, one can make out flowers and butterflies in the lace pattern. I'm a sucker for lace (as evidenced by when I got the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Laced Up [but that is for another time]) but what I love about this one is that you can actually make out the lace and still see the underlying colours. It's a gorgeous take on the lace look -- even my boyfriend remarked that it had a steampunk look because it looked so defined.

My general feel about the nails? Well, I've been wearing them for a day so I haven't had the full experience just yet (the packaging boasts that it can last up to a week) but here's some preliminary observations.

This is best on short nails as they are pretty short themselves. Application is incredibly easy: clean your nails (no nail polish), then use the prep pad to clean off your nails, and then apply the nails.

Yep, that simple. Just peel off the backing and apply. Hold them down for a few seconds and that's it. No hassle. They were on and good to go within 15 minutes. They aren't cumbersome and for the most part the cover the nails well. On my left hand there's only one nail that wasn't fully covered (but it's not very noticeable) and on my right hand there's about four nails that don't quite fit (but also not noticeable).

The thing that does strike me as odd is that they are a bit raised so even though on my ring finger it fits perfectly it does look a bit off since it's raised. In a way, it kind of reminds me of a gel manicure and the need to get them filled in where they meet the cuticle.

Given the nature of the sticky glue, I don't imagine it being as strong as normal nail glue. And of course, I was right; when I press on something with the nail, I can feel it pushing back toward my cuticle. So I do have a sneaky suspicion that they might snap off, I still do have a few remainders so I can easily replacement. It hasn't gotten to that, but I am prepared just in case.

I should have an update about them and how long they last in about a week!
UPDATE POST: Impress Manicure

Product: Impress Manicure by Broadway in Holla!
Price: $7.99
Would Recommend? With caution.
Takeaway: Easy to apply and great if you're on the go; the only catch I can see to this is that you should have short nails as they are pretty short themselves. They do not seem as though they can last throughout a week, especially if you do household cleaning.

The End With Le Octopus

The conclusion of "A Crabbeh Kind of Day."

Updated my makeup blog.

Ate my fruits. :)

Tried to read this magazine but it doesn't have
a lot content....

So after talking to my mom, I read a real book.

Enjoyed some delicious Philz coffee (again(.

But this time with Venkat!

Grabbed takeout from this delicious vegetarian
restaurant for dinner.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Trying Out Cosmetic Wedges

Since switching from loose powder to a pressed powder foundation, one of the things I noticed right away was that the brushes weren't going to cut it anymore. I have great brushes, but they aren't able to pick up as much of the powder and evenly distribute it. With the original packaging (like all pressed powders) there was the powder puff, which I sort of ignored for a bit. I used it ever so slightly, but also remained unimpressed by the way it distributed the powder. I really had to press it into my skin in order to see the colour. 

Cosmetic wedges on the left and the puff that came
with the powder on the right.
So I fished out a pack of cosmetic wedges that I had and decided that it was time to try them. I had them from Halloween, since I tend to use wedges to apply Halloween makeup so I figured it was worth a try.

For the last few weeks I've been trying out the cosmetic wedges and I've been very happy with the results. I'm still getting technique down with the blush but so far, it's been great.

A pack of the wedges are relatively cheap (about $4 for a pack of 32) and they are reusable. I don't know how many times you can attempt to reuse them, but basically you wash them (they will expand in size so that you can clean them) and then they will shrink back to normal size as they dry. 

So what makes it different than the puff? It's easier to hold, which just might be the key difference here. With the puff, I found myself struggling to press the powder on. The wedges are just a bit easier to hold and really get into smaller spaces (like near my eye). This also meant that not only could I use it to apply my foundation, but also the finishing powder (they are similar in colour) and even pick up the blush without worrying about the colours mixing. 

The moral of the story: If you find yourself having issues applying pressed powders, try using wedges (or even a blender). That is all. :) (Though I kind of wish I knew that before making the switch).

Oh and if you are considering reusing the wedges or even the puff, cleaning it with soap and water works out just fine. As with my brushes, I use anti-bacterial hand soap and warm water. For the puffs and wedges, I have a small basket in which they rest on cardboard tubes in order to allow them to dry evenly. 

A Crabbeh Kind of Day

Emailed work about said "Crabbeh Day."

Tried to figure out what to do. Decided that I wanted
Philz coffee, but first, let's see if Lauren can go.

Lauren was down for Philz! But now we are hungry.

Time for Toast! Eggs benedict!

Bought a terrarium because it would cheer me up
(since I can't have another pet).

Made some delicious cardamom tea.

Sold some games to GameStop. Goodbye Guitar Hero, Trama
Center, MySims, and Dementium.

After I got back, I finished my tea and painted my nails.


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