Honestly I’m not sure how I didn’t write about this sooner. I’m not even going to keep you guessing. This isn’t so much a review as me extolling the virtues of a fantastic product. And yes, this is skincare, not makeup, but the first step to making your makeup look good is taking good care of your skin.
I found this product as a result of research, believe it or not. A few years back, during a rather brutal winter, both my husband and I were suffering some skin trauma from the bitter wind, particularly on our faces. The moisturizer I’d been using at the time (long since forgotten!) simply wasn’t enough to protect either of us, and we were not only uncomfortably dry, but our cheeks were getting very red, and neither of us really cared for that look.
At this point in my life, my knowledge of skin care was fairly basic; Wash face, moisturize face, exfoliate face sometimes, use face masks to feel…fancy? So I started reading up on skincare. Looking into the whats and hows of what makes a moisturizer effective, learning about emollients and moisture barriers; learning about ceramides and Hyaluronic acid. Then I looked for information on relieving persistent redness, and found marshmallow root and Feverfew. So armed with a list of ingredients I started googling, and one of the first ones I found contained all the best things I was seeking out! Initially I was a little put off by the price tag – a 6oz tub for $30!
However, to my delight, it was also available in a travel size (a nice 2 ounce tube) for only $12. Having only purchased drugstore skin care prior to this, I was a little wary of stepping up to the higher end level, and being able to start with a smaller size took some sting out of the process.
The difference this stuff made nearly had me singing. My face actually still felt moisturized when I woke up the next morning. And no dryness during the day either! Over a week or two I was pleased to note that the redness in my cheeks started to fade as well. My husband and I noted some other welcome ingredients, such as tea tree oil, and we were quite pleased to have found something chock full of useful ingredients.
Just this month, I discovered another thing this moisturizer could do for me. I was only just starting to feel better from a cold, and I’d run out of lotion tissues (which is how i normally avoid red & chapped “sick person” nose). I noticed my nose was just starting to chap; something that always frustrates me. It takes forever to heal and you end up looking sick long after you’re feeling better! I looked at some of my various skin products and considered what to do, before picking up the FAB repair cream and applying it to the area.
For a few minutes? Thought I’d made a GRAVE, GRAVE mistake. It tingled….no, it STUNG. I thought to myself – Oh NO, I thought: I have gravely irritated my skin, it will look awful! – But soon after, the sting died right out. I took a look in the mirror, and it wasn’t red. I gingerly touched the area that had felt chapped earlier to see how it was, and i found SMOOTH skin. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend this if the skin is already broken, but if you can get yourself to remember to treat your skin while tending to a cold, the recovery process can be less frustrating.
Since that first purchase of this stuff, in the 2oz tube, I now happily hand over $36 for the value sized 8oz tube. (I also prefer the tube format to a tub, less opportunity for contamination) While that might seem like a lot for some moisturizer, this is hard working stuff that we use on any stubborn dry skin, not just our faces, and that 8oz tube lasts for months and months.
Is there a never-fail product in your arsenal that you always keep in stock? So dependable you might forget about it sometimes? Tell me about it in the comments!
Nothing like dull, cold winter to make me look for face masks with words like “glow” and “purifying” in their names. It made this one feel like a no-brainer: The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask.
And I’ve hit my word count on just the title. Kidding! (also, no one’s paying me for this, why would I have a word count minimum?)
Sometimes I want to treat my skin but I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll check the wear times of various masks in my stash. This one (which I received as a bonus in-store sample when I made a purchase) boasted a 5-10 minute wear-time, so I picked it out on a weeknight when my skin felt a bit rough and looked a bit dull.
This packaging, while it made getting this picture simple,and reading the directions easy enough, made accessing the actual mask rather difficult. This is a thin, grainy mask, and it was very hard to squeeze out of the packet, so it took awhile to put on. By the time I was done, it had already started drying, feeling tight and yet also lumpy somehow? And I was wondering if I’d made a terrible mistake.
But, since I already had it on, and it washed off of my fingers easily enough, I figured I may as well finish it out. The directions indicated that for removal you should apply some warm water, and scrub in circular motions before rinsing it off. That sounded like it could get messy, so I opted to take this off while showering. I got my shower ready while I waited for it to finish drying. Once it dried, it seemed to be more like other masks, which was reassuring.
Once I got it wet and started scrubbing (gently! please don’t ever exfoliate roughly, your face just wants to be loved!) it broke down pretty quickly, and then it rinsed away very easily, without feeling overly dried out.
While I didn’t feel like there was any special sort of visual result or “glow” after I dried off, my face did feel very smooth, and applying my usual skin care afterward went very easily, and my face did definitely feel refreshed. The lumpy, grainy texture that alarmed me initially was probably mostly due to the exfoliating ingredients in the mask, and I probably should have thought of that at the time, but…yeah. I could probably write an entire post about scaring myself with beauty product mishaps. Please leave a comment if you want to see that!
Overall this mask definitely works, and I imagine the full size product (which comes in a jar) would be far easier to apply, which was the biggest problem I encountered with this sample. I think this is a perfectly good mask, but it wasn’t anything ground-breaking for me. The Body Shop sells this mask for $28.00, and that is honestly not a bad price considering you get a 3 ounce jar for that. I’ve had 1oz masks that have lasted me four or more uses, so the per-mask usage would probably work out fairly reasonable. If I was looking for a small splurge and felt like my face needed a treat, I might buy the full size of this one.
What kind of face masks do you like best? Is there a weird face mask you want to see me try? Let me know in the comments!
One thing that I have found mystifying in my time, is false lashes, and if my observations from friends and the internet are correct, I am not alone at ALL. But some people swear by these little accessories, and as someone who is always trying to make my lashes longer and curlier and just overall BIGGER, I have always been curious. Could there be a secret to applying these tiny treasures? I had to know!
So, last October I attended a False Lashes class at a Sephora store near my office. I’d been trying to find a convenient session of this class, and this one happened to fall on a Friday, half an hour after my workday ended, when I had nothing going on. Clearly, I was meant to be there! I was ready. PUMPED even. I was going to uncover the secrets of these baffling little things!!
I never attended one of these before, but signing up is fairly easy. You get an email confirmation from their website, but no reminders of any sort were sent, so its on you to remember to get over there.
I arrived a few minutes early, and found I was the first. The employees running the class were an absolute delight. They clearly love what they do and were stoked to have an early arrival. One brought over a basket of lashes for me to choose from (to purchase, which is a totally reasonable expense for a class like this, and the only expense incidentally) and asked me questions about what I wanted out of them to help me make a good selection. I wound up with this nice pair from the Sephora Collection, in the style “Quill”:
Then I chose a seat. The class area is well suited, each station has a chair, a lighted mirror, a hand mirror, a small cup for the appropriate tools for the session, and a recessed well in front of the mirror where the necessary products for the class had already been placed.
Once everyone had selected their lashes, the demo began. One attendee volunteered to have a lash put on her as a demo, and they walked us through the basic steps and tips, and once it was on, it was our turn to try and do them.
First step was to measure the lash against your eye, to see if you need to trim it; I determined I should take a small portion off, and one of the instructors handled the trimming for us (Maybe scissors are an insurance liability? or maybe they knew it would be nerve wracking for us noobs.)
Next, I curled my lashes and applied mascara (recommended for people with straight lashes such as myself), and applied some eyeliner just along the lash line, which serves to hide any glue and give you a clearer target for the lash.
We were each provided with a lash applicator tool, which is basically a specialized tweezer, but the instructors noted that some people prefer to just use their hands to apply the lash to the lid, and then use the applicator to finish up and make small adjustments; and this is what wound up working best for me.
I got in as close as i could to the provided mirrors (since my glasses had to be off, I needed to zoom in!) and focused on the task, repeating the steps to myself and reviewing the recommended motions from the instructors in my head. Even applying the glue, I found myself feeling very anxious and worried about it – and I think this must be common, because those instructors were on it, checking on each of us constantly and telling us how great we were doing or offering advice to help us along.
So, lids & real lashes prepped, fake lashes trimmed, I applied glue to the first one and used the drying time to try and remind myself this is just for fun and to stop being nervous. Once the lash glue changed color, I went in.
And? the first time? I totally borked it. It was a full on miss. So, I laughed it off and tried again, and then? It looked like it might be ok? So i grabbed the applicator to go in and fix the edges more precisely, and sat back a little to check my work. And one of the instructors looks over right then and goes “WOW! you nailed it girl! You’re a natural!!”
So naturally I try to figure out who she’s actually talking to. But no, looking directly at me! I thanked her and set about the second lash, and honestly I had that same false start, which had me a little worried, but I kept on going. Once I got them on and fixed the edges? The instructors were back – “You GOT this girl!?!!” “You really never wear lashes? You did awesome!” So I sat back and had a look at the results:
And a close up, just for fun:
Just for comparison’s sake – here’s a picture with me in roughly the same makeup, but without false lashes:
Then I realized everyone else in the class was still struggling, some even still on their first lash- I was the first one done. Honestly, this was a mind-blowing moment for me. And that moment helped me realized I HAD found the secret to using false lashes!
Despite the amount of my friends who think I’m a genius with makeup (some of whom have actually HIRED me to do their makeup. I am baffled but DELIGHTED), I tend to think of myself as, at best, an enthusiastic novice. But in attending this class, I had the realization that, hey, I may not be a professional Makeup artist or know everything there is to know about makeup, but I definitely know a lot, and I should be confident in my skills and knowledge. (So if my posts start to sound a little more confident? You’ll know why.)
So by the end, I realized that the secret to figuring out fake lashes is? Not giving up. They take a little time to figure out, even with help. Forgive the somewhat cliched answer but its the truth. Sorry to disappoint anyone looking for the ultimate secret trick, but sometimes there IS no trick except rolling your sleeves up and doing the work.
Overall, I have to say, the Sephora class was excellent. The instructors were really encouraging and supportive, and genuinely want you to succeed. If I see another topic that interests me I would definitely attend another!
Do fake lashes terrify you? Is there another beauty item you have never figured out but want to? Something else you’ve conquered?? I want to know about it! Tell me in the comments!
Is that headline a little gimmicky? Maybe. But honestly? I am too excited about this find to care. ARE YOU READY?
So an awesome friend of mine sent me a little care package recently and among the other goodies were two packets of face mask. This one here:
Looks pretty unassuming right? But we always send each other fun little items so I figured I’d give it a shot.
But its a face mask so you know what that means….
(i’m probably the only person that is amused by those…and yet i continue to post them…)
So when i was younger (just after the earth’s crust cooled) peel-off masks were around, but I don’t think they were terribly popular. I tried them, but I stopped buying them because they always seemed damn near impossible to remove, and i’d wind up scratching up my face trying to remove them. So honestly I was a little nervous going in, and definitely made sure to apply this generously.
The removal process was so simple it was even kind of fun! This mask peeled off quick and easy and nearly stayed in a complete piece! I would have tried to take a picture of it but I managed to destroy it almost immediately after removal, because I am so graceful.
After I peeled it off, i put on my usual nighttime moisturizer and went to bed, noting that my skin was not at all irritated, so I was happy enough. In the morning, when I washed up, I noticed my skin was SUPER soft, and in fact, looked clearer too. Since my friend was awesome enough to send me two packets of this mask, I tried it again about a week later and found that my skin was amazingly soft and clear again.
Finding that I was a little sad that I had no more packets of this mask, I ventured onto the internet to see if I was able to order it and what the damage would be. So imagine my DELIGHT when I found it at Ulta for $1.99 each!
So I have to say, this is a fantastic mask. I have tried a lot of face masks in recent history, and this one gave me such great results, for it to be so cheap I am definitely excited. Especially since this line apparently has a TON of different masks, and yes, some more peel-off ones! So I’m calling this a total rave, because for such quality results and low price, where could the downside possibly be?
Do you get overly excited about bargain products that work well too? Do you have a face mask that you think beats this one? Let me know in the comments!
When summer approaches, natural makeup looks become a more common topic, for good reason. A full face of makeup on a hot humid day is generally not long for this world, so why put in the effort?
When I’m going for a more natural look, I don’t usually like wearing bright opaque lip colors. In fact if I’m not wearing anything else, I like having at least a little tint on my lips. So when I spotted Colourpop’s new lip products, the Blotted Lip and the Ultra Blotted Lip I was very excited to try them out!
The Colourpop Blotted Lip is a 1 ounce lipstick that comes in a matte white tube that clicks shut (very satisfyingly!). The product itself is matte and incredibly lightweight, and yet highly pigmented. Here’s a comparison of my bare lips with one coat of the shade Bee’s Knees:
I found it dryer than I expected, most tinted products are some sort of balm or gloss, but despite that, it applies very smoothly. And you can build it up for a richer payoff, if you want, easily:
While this isn’t as long lasting as a liquid lipstick that dries down, it has some pretty good staying power. it took quite a long day of eating & drinking to wear it out, and even then it faded pretty evenly.
I think these are an excellent product. They come in 11 colors, and are only $5 each! in fact, right now a few of them are on sale for $4. (Incidentally, if you were ever a fan of the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, you might want to check out the shade Lolly – I’m planning to get one myself!)
Is this your kind of lip color? Do you already have a color you like, but the finish isn’t the look you want right now? If so, my next post is for you – I’m going to be talking about the versatility of the good old fashioned classic lipstick. You can even follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr to make sure you don’t miss my next post.
Disclaimer: I have no arrangements with Colourpop, I purchased this product with my own money.
Not a bad haul! The thing that immediately caught my eye was the NYX lipstick. I already am a big fan of the brand, and this lipstick definitely didn’t let me down:
This lipstick is lightweight and goes on creamy and smooth. There’s no shimmer to it, but its a moisturizing formula so the finish has a nice shine to it.
The Bellapierre mascara looks promising as well:
This mascara has a full, straight bristle brush, dense enough that I think it will easily get every lash. The formula doesn’t seem too wet either, which I like because it makes it a little harder to accidentally smudge some on your skin. Since my eyes are a bit oily, I prefer waterproof mascaras in general, as they are less likely to transfer during the day, so I think this will be a good one for me.
The makeup brush is either the second or third I’ve gotten from Luxie, and I was happy to see it. Their brushes are super soft, dense, and well constructed; this will definitely be well used. The finishing powder from Naked Cosmetics is very nice, finely milled and smooth, and will do fine job setting foundation & concealer. I have a number of setting powders, maybe I should do a comparison breakdown sometime, see if these higher end ones are worth the money – comment below if that is of interest to you! The final item, the face mask, looks interesting. It promises to exfoliate and hydrate, so I’ll definitely have to test this out and see how their promises hold up.
First off, the Cargo color stick, which is a cream color you can apply to eyes, cheeks or lips. The color we got is Champagne, which is a highlighting shade (a pretty soft pink) and gives a beautiful, not glittery sheen when applied:
The mascara in this box is from Beauty Counter:
According to Beauty Counter, this is a lengthening mascara that will condition lashes when you wear it. The brush is very tiny, so it will be easy to get to every lash without getting mascara smudges all over while applying, which I appreciate. I’m concerned that the oils and hydration in it will make it more likely to transfer, but maybe I’ll be surprised!
This month also included a lip plumper from GrandeLips. I myself have found many lip plumpers to be rather uncomfortable, with overpowering mint or cinnamon scents and strong tingling sensations. This one has a softer vanilla scent, and contains hylauronic acid to maintain moisture, so I’m optimistic that this one will prove to be more comfortable than some I have previously tried.
Also this month, we got a trial packet of First Aid beauty “radiance” pads, which promise to exfoliate, tone & brighten. I’ve tried this sort of product before, and while I found them effective, they do cause some sharp stinging right after use. Since First Aid beauty always has sensitive skin-friendly products, I am hoping these will be a bit gentler.
Next up, we got a tube of Olay Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment. They make some great skin care products, and I have some fine lines around my eyes, so I was quite happy to receive this, I believe its a full size sample, which is pretty great too! The final product was a tea-light size candle from Red Flower. I’m not really big on scented candles so this is kind of a take it or leave it product for me, but it does have a nice rose scent.
There was one final item included in the Allure box, a card indicating a code that would provide subscribers a free month with a custom prescription skin care company called Curology. I did not include it in the photo because both sides of the card include the code. Since the box already had six items without this, its not a bad bonus.
This month’s sephora box included a mascara- their own brand, and i believe this is a new one:
As you can see, this mascara has an atypical brush, it is a little similar to the Lorac Cobra mascara brush, only that one is also curved. I have found that this paddle-style brush offers a surprisingly good amount of control in application, so I look forward to trying this one out.
This month also included the tinted lip balm from tarte, a very light, basic color:
Its very sheer, lacking in fragrance, and feels very moisturizing. This looks to be a great one to throw in my bag for quick touch ups when I just want a bit of color and need some moisture.
Next, this box also included a plumping lip gloss, this one from Too Faced:
This is a creamy, glossy lip gloss, a bit stickier than I generally go for, and the color is kind of pale too, but it might be fun to layer with a brighter lipstick. This also didn’t remind me of some of the harsher plumping lip glosses I remember, which were very uncomfortable, so its nice that plumping can be achieved more comfortably.
Sephora’s box always includes a perfume, and this month’s is Prada Candy. I was not excited about this, because I’m picky about cologne, and honestly I expected this to be a very sweet, light & flowery young fragrance. And i was genuinely surprised! This has deeper, vanilla and caramel scents to it, and was a stronger, more mature scent that I think I may actually wear. Fun surprise!
The last two products, an eye cream and a moisturizer, I’m happy to get. I don’t really have a favorite of either right now, so i like trying new ones. The clinique moisturizer is apparently also something of a primer, and I love products that can do multiple things, so this i may keep with my makeup to use when I need a more hydrating primer. The “refreshing” eye cream sounds great for the morning, so I will be trying that out soon.
It was fun to discover that for February, all these boxes had some things in common! Each box had at least one lip product, and each had a mascara. All three boxes had some great stuff this month, and I’m pretty happy with all three. I feel like both Sephora and Allure had a focus on skin care, or a natural look, whereas my ipsy bag was decidedly more makeup focused. So for that alone, i’m hailing Ipsy as my February winner! Being more of a makeup lover, Ipsy had the stuff i was most excited about this month.
What were your favorites? Did I get anything you want a more in-depth review of? Let me know in the comments, or drop me a line on my Facebook page, I’d love to hear from you!
Lets look at the Sephora Honey Mask. These are sold individually, so I purchased one to try at Sephora. According to their site, this mask “nourishes and balances to soothe and refresh dry or sensitive skin.” This one’s a sheet mask so you know what that means:
Obviously sheet masks are fairly quick to apply, but this one particularly made me feel like I have a tiny(!) face. here’s an even better shot of the excess material:
Obviously these masks need to be able to fit everyone, so the excess fabric I get, but the mask itself slid around a lot, I spent most of the 15 minutes I wore it trying to make it stay out of my eyes. These masks can also be a bit drippy, so I’m glad I was just wearing pjs when I tried it.
When time was up, I easily pulled the mask off and discarded it, and proceeded to try and rub the remaining serum into my skin as the packaging directs (and there was quite a lot on me). I found it took at least ten minutes for all the product to finally be absorbed, and my skin to no longer feel tacky. Once it was finally done though? My face felt wonderfully soft and smooth.
Next we have the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to clear pores. (Quite a long name!) No sheet for this one, its just directly applied to the face:
This one went on fairly easily, and didn’t run or drip, despite having a thinner texture. It did dry, but didn’t get very tight. I also found that it was a bit stubborn to remove – it took a couple minutes at least to get all traces off. I didn’t feel like I saw or felt a huge difference in my skin, but I did note in the directions for the full size that they want you to use this twice a week in conjunction with daily use of their “cleansing powder” to see improvement. Since I only had a sample packet with enough for one use, I can’t really gauge if their claims are accurate. Once I finally got it all off, I felt the need to apply my usual moisturizers, and my skin felt ok afterward, but nothing unique.
The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal mask seems focused on convenience to me. Its light texture allowed it to be applied fast, it only needs to stay on for ten minutes to be effective, and it rinses away very easily.
This mask’s claim is that it ” calms, nourishes, and smooths distressed skin.” And it may not be dramatic, but I think it gets the job done. It contains colloidal oatmeal and feverfew – both of which are great for soothing and reducing redness. My skin felt nourished and looked calmer after I rinsed this one off. This mask also recommends use two to three times a week as needed, but the sample pack I received of this mask contained enough for at least 3 applications, and I felt I saw improvement after only one use.
Last but not least, we have the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment. Given the large amount of positive press/reviews this line has received and its high price tag, I was very excited to receive a sample tube of this to try out. This mask’s goal is clearing your complexion of blemishes, redness, scars, razor bumps, and in-grown hair, as well as softening and brightening your complexion. A tall order! This mask was not as creamy as I expected, so it took a bit longer to apply, and already felt a bit dry when first applied:
The instructions also note that as this mask dries, you will see dots appear where the mask is extracting from your pores and/or blemishes, which it refers to as “Pore-Matrix Technology”. I can’t speak to the science of that, but I can show you how the mask looks after 15 minutes:
Do forgive the closeup, I wanted to show how the pores became visible as the product did its work. The darker spots do correspond to where I had some small blemishes. As this mask dried, it got extremely tight, almost to an uncomfortable degree. However, I was surprised to find that this mask rinsed away very easily for a mask that dried down so much. I also have to say that I felt like my skin felt tighter and brighter after using it; and blemishes seemed reduced as well. The sample I received was small, but I suspect I can get another use, possibly two out of it.
Overall, I enjoying using face masks, its nice to take a little time just for pampering your skin. While these masks don’t all do the same things, these all serve a purpose. The Sephora sheet mask was nice except for the long absorption time, but from what I have read, this may be unique to the honey variety, so I will likely try other versions of this one, as sheet masks can be quite convenient, even when they don’t fit perfectly. The First Aid Beauty Oatmeal mask is a great quick soother, and I’ll definitely use the rest of it up. My favorite of this group was probably the Glamglow, because of the easy removal and the visible results in one use. My least favorite was the Origins mask, because of its lackluster result and difficult removal.
Is there a facemask out there that you think I just HAVE to try? Do you disagree with my assessment of any of these? Let me know in the comments!
Face masks have become quite popular recently. However, face masks have been around a long time, even Cleopatra was known for using one made with egg whites to keep her face looking youthful. The search for the best skin care has caused some crazy ingredients to be used in facials; in the 1500-1600s there was lead, in the 1900’s there was raw meat and radium being utilized, and even today, there are facials being done with bird poop and snail mucus. (yes, those are real.) But many of us would prefer to keep things a little bit simpler than that. (I much prefer to leave snails & birds out of my beauty routine, but hey, do what you like.)
If you prefer the less exciting route like myself, all sorts of face masks can be found in pretty much any drugstore, department store, and of course specialty spots like Sephora. Since I receive a few beauty box subscriptions (face masks are a popular sample!), and I am always on the lookout for that Amazing Product that will give me insanely perfect skin; I find myself with a hearty supply of masks ready and waiting to be used. So, as a way to push myself to use them more often, and post more often, I am introducing Mask Me Monday! Today’s mask is the Global Beauty Care Dead Sea Wash-Off Mask. I received this in my March Ipsy Glam bag. So lets check it out!
According to their own description, this mask is “formulated with a unique blend of salts & minerals from the Dead Sea in Israel. This gentle mud treatment draws out dirt and impurities from your skin and peels away dead skin cells.”
This mask claims to:
Helps to restore elasticity and fortify the skin with essential moisturizers
Stimulates and beautifies your skin and body
Deep cleansing formula is good for all skin types
The ingredients are: aqua (water), diatomaceous earth, polyvinyl alcohol, maris sal (dead sea salt), algin, dimethicone, glycoproteins, beta-glucan, cetyl alcohol, betaine, l-ascorbic acid, carbomer, triethanolamine, dmdm hydantoin, parfum, carbon black.
I have heard about diatomaceous earth (or DE) before, so I did a little looking, and found some information about it. DE is made up of fossilized, hard-shelled algae called Diatoms, and has a very high Silica content. This makes a lot of sense as an ingredient to me, given that this is a Dead Sea mask. DE has an abrasive quality which is good for exfoliating, but the particles are fine enough that they are not likely to cause skin irritation, and the silica content is able to sort of “sweep” the dirt that may be clogging the pores. At least that is what I was able to learn after I did some digging. Since it was the second ingredient listed (after water), I wanted to know what its purpose was. I was also curious about the polyvinyl alcohol, since it came before the actual Dead Sea Salt in the ingredients list. A quick search informed me that this is a thickener and/or binding product often used in cosmetics; given how much I liked the texture of this mask, I’m ok with that.
The very first thing I noticed is the color, a deep grey, almost blue color. Also, despite being a “mud” treatment, this has a very fresh scent, it actually reminded me of body lotion or soap, something with a soft, clean scent that wasn’t at all overwhelming. Also, for the sake of truly showing you what this mask is like….
I really enjoyed this mask. Not only was the mask easy to apply and comfortable to wear the entire time (does not dry up and get tight, nor did the mask drip or run in any way), but it rinsed of very quickly and easily. And my skin felt smooth and soft and refreshed after using it. This sample pack was a full ounce, one application only used about one third to half of the packet, so I’ll be able to get at least one more use out of it, which is always nice in a sample. When I looked it up to see what the purchase price would be, I found out the full size of this mask is five ounces, so you would get quite a lot of uses from it. While its price seemed to vary from site to site, all of the sites I found had it for under $20. So i’d call this mask a pretty good value.
For me, the most important aspects of a face mask are ease of application & wear, comfort, and skin results. With those factors in mind, this mask gets top marks from me. It was easy to apply, easy to wear, easy to remove, and left my skin feeling much better than before I used it. So, I would call this is an Easy mask: low effort with solid results.
Does this mask sound good to you? Do you have a favorite face mask you think I should try out? Let me know in the comments!
Sedona Lace Synthetic Blender, EB13 – I’ve only heard of the Sedona Lace brand from some makeup artists online, so its neat to get one to try out. The brush feels solidly constructed and the bristles are soft but not too flimsy or sparse, overall the quality seems very good.
Bellapierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder – I’ve gotten products from Bellapierre from Ipsy before. One was a loose powder blush that I quite like, so I am looking forward to trying out their setting powder, its quite soft and blended very smoothly when I swatched it. (see the swatch below with other swatches from this bag.)
I’m a big fan of the Balm, and do not have this palette, so getting a color from it was pretty cool. Its a nice, warm shade:
I’m only loosely familiar with bareminerals, but everything I’ve tried from them has been very nice quality. This liquid lipstick seems to be no exception. It has no noticeable scent, and the color is a soft, neutral pink I am sure to get plenty of wear from:
And of course, the setting powder:
This month from Ipsy I also redeemed points for a bonus – a very nice one too!
With the Ipsy subscription you have the opportunity to earn points by answering short surveys about each item you get. The points are not the only benefit, your selections each month are also affected by your survey responses, so if you like a brand (like I mentioned Bellapierre), its likely they’ll send you other samples from it, or send you similar products to ones you like. You can also earn points from sharing your bag on social media, or referring friends to sign up. (I get most of my points from the review surveys.) I was lucky enough to have enough points saved up when they announced they were offering the TooFaced Born this Way concealer as a bonus for July, before it was even available for sale.
I guessed at my color – its always hard to tell online isn’t it? – and it looks like i guessed well.(Obviously it doesn’t match my hand, but it matched my face very well) This concealer is very pigmented but super thin and lightweight, and I haven’t noticed any creasing so far. As you can see it came in a glass tube with a doe-foot applicator. A full-sized, high-end concealer is pretty sweet bonus item in my book.
Overall the Ipsy selection this month was pretty fun. It was a mix of brands I was familiar with and brands that I’m not as familiar with, and none of the items were a repeat. The bag was also a mix of useful and fun items, which I always like.
Next up, Sephora Play!
This month included:
beautyblender – blotterazi: This is a flat sponge designed to replace blotting papers. I actually already own the full size of this, which is a compact with mirror and two sponges, so its nice to have an extra sponge for my compact! This is a cool sample to send out, because it is exactly what you get in the full size product, simply without the compact and the backup sponge, so you can really get an idea of whether this product is for you.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser: I have used some really fantastic moisturizers from this brand so I’m happy to get one of their cleansers. This has a nice creamy feel to it, and the scent reminds me of ivory soap. A travel size of a mild cleanser good for all skin types.
Ouai Wave Spray: a texture mist for hair, for those low-maintenance, soft wavy looks often referred to as “beachy waves”. I love doing this sort of easy-going hair style, so I am looking forward to testing this one out. This has a light, clean scent to it; many sprays of this style tend to have beachy scents like coconut, this one feels a little more versatile to me.
Smashbox Photofinish Primer: a foundation primer, and its one I’ve gotten samples of a number of times before, it is very welcome, as it is a fantastic primer! It smooths the skin texture and helps your foundation last.
Nest Fragrances in Citrine: Every Play box includes a fragrance sample. This one claims that it layers fresh lotus flower, freesia, bright citrus with a base of “precious” woods. This is a clean, bright floral scent without being overly cloying. I don’t usually like floral perfumes but this one I could actually see myself wearing. The vial has a sprayer on top, which I also really appreciate.
The only product with color to it in this box, so here’s a quick swatch:
This is a pretty nice selection of products, and in my opinion, seasonally appropriate. The cosmetic related items are all things I would use in warmer weather, the blotter, the primer and the bronzer. The hair product is designed for giving your hair that “beach day” look, ideal for weather where its too hot to heat-style. The fragrance is bright, clean and not too heavy, definitely a good choice for summer. And the skin product, a gentle face wash in a convenient size, is perfect for a season when you might not only need something gentle for your face, but something portable!
And finally, Allure Beauty Box!
This month’s items:
Smashbox Photofinish Primer: No, I didn’t accidentally type it twice, I actually got this sample in two of my subscriptions this month! As I said above, this is a wonderful product, and I know I’m definitely not the first or last person on the internet to talk about liking this primer. Since I became a fan of this primer through a sample, I am never surprised to see it pop up, and never disappointed with it either.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II : a nighttime skin serum that claims to reduce signs of aging. I like using serums, especially in summer, since they absorb quickly and you can layer them with other products more easily. This serum is no exception. It has a very light consistency and absorbs very fast; there is a subtle scent when you first apply but it seems to fade quickly as the product sinks in. I’ve received some other items from this line before, so I’m curious to try this one out.
GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment: a facial mask for oily or combination skin that claims to clear up skin imperfections. I have been hearing about how amazing the products from this brand are for ages now, but their high prices have kept me away. I was legitimately excited to receive this, and can’t wait to use it!
La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream: This is a luxury skin cream, which claims to provide intense moisturization and restore radiance to the skin. The sample is small, but given its high prices ($170 for one ounce!); that is not too surprising. The cream is rich but spreads easily and absorbs nice and quick. I think I will be able to get a decent couple of uses from it, and I can come back to you guys with a full review and let you all know if I think this cream is worth the hype (and price)!
Not going to lie, Allure’s box impressed me this month. All the products are things I’m happy to receive, and frankly, fancier than I expect from these subscriptions, which is pretty cool. This box is pretty heavy on skin care, so the variety is not as exciting as the other boxes, but despite that I was still very pleased with this month’s selections. When I reviewed the mini magazine however, my opinion of the box this month dropped. It turns out there was another item available this month, but it had to be redeemed in person at a Nordstrom’s. There is no Nordstrom’s convenient to my home, so I was never able to pick it up. For me, one of the major benefits of these subscriptions is to arrive home from work and have a happy little parcel of new things to try waiting for me. Discovering I missed out on an item because I wasn’t prepared to go on a road trip to track it down is rather disappointing.
Deciding on a winner this month actually took me quite a while, but when I really thought about it, I realized that this month’s winner is definitely Ipsy! This month’s bag was full of interesting and fun products I was excited to try when I opened it up, and that excitement definitely put this subscription above the other two boxes. The Sephora Play! had some great products this month, and definitely kept my interest, but just didn’t have the same “wow” factor as Ipsy. Allure nearly had it, as I’m definitely looking forward to trying those samples; but my disappointment in the in-store item I missed out on really drove my opinion of the box down for the month.
All in all, I still enjoy all three subscriptions, but right now, Ipsy, I am totally playing favorites for you!
Do you disagree with my ruling? Do you have a favorite subscription box I’ve never mentioned? Tell me about it in the comments!
Disclaimer: I pay for these subscriptions with my own money.
When I initially saw these, I dismissed them as a regular lip balm with a cute advertising gimmick. When I received one in a sample box in the very neutral Caramel shade, I was surprised. The moisturizing effect was a decent,lasting one, and though it was very subtle I could see that it left a bit of color on the lip. And I was pleasantly surprised by the scent, very sweet, not quite cake or fruity, but absolutely making the “Oh Sugar!” name make sense.
So, when I forgot my makeup bag one day and was in dire need of something for my lips, I got 2 more shades; Jelly and Gumdrop. I’ve been using them non stop. They provide a beautiful sheer color that manages to remain natural looking, never too bright or too glossy. Jelly is more of a pink, while Gumdrop is a sheer berry. This makes them a quick favorite for summer, when I tend to wear less makeup and want sheer, easy to maintain lip colors. The type you can reapply without a mirror and feel confident that it looks fine.
Overall, a great lipbalm that I highly recommend!
Do you have a favorite tinted balm? Or a go-to summer lip product? Tell me about it!