Monday, March 30, 2015

YSL VoxBox!

Yes, you read that correctly... YSL! Influenster recently sent me their "most iconic VoxBox yet", which contained a full size Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara. (Do I need to tell you how excited I was?!?!?!) 

*Random FYI: Influenster is an online community where members can give their honest opinions on goods and services. Once you join you can take quizzes, give reviews, and ask/answer questions about products or services. Once in a while Influenster will send you a survey based on your interests to see if you qualify for a "VoxBox". These can be virtual where you simply complete tasks online, or they may send you items to test out for FREE. If you're interested, click HERE to join!

Apparently it's the 15th anniversary of this mascara so YSL decided to re-release the original formula and Influenster shipped out 4,000 of these babies for members to test out and review!!!
Let's start with the basics... This mascara comes in six shades (mine is High Intensity Black) including two different shades of blue, violet, and burgundy. It retails for $32 and you can purchase it here, here or here (or anywhere that sells YSL beauty products). 
The claims (straight from YSL's website)...: NEW improved formula does not dry out. The best gets even better, the original false lash effect mascara, now with an all new Lash Care formula. Achieve absolute dramatic lashes in a single stroke for eyes that instantly pop. Its secret is the Triple-Intensity Formula: intense volume, intense color and now intense care. The nylon fiber brush coats each lash in deep color and maximum volume from root to tip, while B5 Pro-Vitamin strengthens and protects lashes. Available in 6 signature YSL shades to compliment eye color or to create a customized look.

YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara in High Intensity Black
Nylon Fiber Brush
So how did it work and how did I like it??? OMG. It was LOVE at first use!!! 
I cannot attest to wether or not the formula doesn't dry out, since I've only been using it a couple weeks... But the claim "dramatic lashes in a single stroke", ummmmmm... YES. Though I still did two coats, I didn't need to. The brush seems to grip even the tiniest lashes and coats them well. And the length that it gives is just unreal. See for yourself:
Top Left: No Mascara.
Top Right: One coat of YSL Volume Effet (top lashes only).
Bottom: Two coats of YSL Volume Effet (top and bottom lashes).
Personally, I have a problem with mascara transferring under my eyes. EVERY single mascara I have ever tried has done this. So I can't detract from this one for doing the same. However, if I top it with one coat of waterproof mascara, that helps. Also, your lashes don't feel hard and crispy once they dry.  The packaging is beautiful and reminds you that you are using a "luxury mascara". Oh! And the scent! This mascara has a really nice scent to it. Not that you can smell it once it's on your lashes... Or that it's even important... But when you open the tube to apply it, there's a really pleasant scent. 
There isn't too much more I can say about this mascara. I think the picture above speaks for itself... But I do believe there is a new addiction in my future... Have you tried this mascara? Did you receive it from Influenster? What are your thoughts? Let me know!!! Xoxoxo
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P.S. I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are honest and my own. I was not paid by Influenster/YSL to write this blog post.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hello Charmers! ~ March BoxyCharm

Yes, I subscribed to another beauty box. Here's the deal. I love Ipsy. But I still wonder what else is out there... I just wanted to try something different. 

March was my second month receiving BoxyCharm and mine came LATEEEEE. I live outside of Orlando, FL. and BoxyCharm delivers from the Miami, Fl-area. You'd think I'd have mine the next day... Not the case. My estimated delivery date changed from the 16th to the 18th and then ended up being the 23rd. (The box actually shipped on the 12th). For some reason my box went from Miami to Orlando. It was stuck in Orlando for about a week and then appeared in Fort Walton Beach, Fl. (somewhere in the panhandle- I didn't even know people live in the panhandle... KIDDING!) About three days after that, I FINALLY received my box. Now I know that's not BoxyCharm's fault- ahemUSPSahem -But it's still a little frustrating. I had contacted BoxyCharm when my tracking info hadn't been updated for those 5 days and they kindly let me know that they could ship a replacement box for free, ONE time. So keep that in mind, fellow "charmers".

BoxyCharm is a monthly beauty subscription that costs $21 a month but instead of sample sizes, you receive 4-5 full size products and 1 deluxe sample/travel size item.

All that being said... This box was just so-so for me. There was haircare, skincare, nail product, and makeup. Which is a good variety... I'm just not super excited by the actual items. Here's what I got:

Oscar Blandi Hairspray (travel size- $11 retail value)- Meh. I mean I'll use it eventually. I guess. Hairspray just isn't a necessity for me.

Previse Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic (full size- $48 retail value)- This stuff claims to "hydrate and speed healing while fighting free radical damage and surface irritants." I will try this... But while I will be able to tell if it's hydrating, there's no way for me to really know if it's fighting free radical damage. In either case, I love to try new skincare products...

Ofra Eyeliner in Navy (full size- $13 retail value)- I. Do. Not. Like. This. Period. It does not glide. It is not soft. It is not smooth. And I do not wear navy eyeliner. Ever. #sorrynotsorry

Ofra Eyeliner in Navy
LVX Nail Lacquer in Mynt (full size- $16 retail value)- Now this, I like. I love the color I received. It's very similar to Essie's First Timer (which is an all-time FAV), but a couple shades lighter. It's a good formula. Though it claims to have a gel-like finish which I don't completely agree with, it's still great.
Top Left: LVX Nail Lacquer in Mynt (WITH flash)
Top Right: LVX Nail Lacquer in Mynt (WITHOUT flash)
Bottom: Comparison with Essie's First Timer (on thumb) and LVX's Mynt 
Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Charmed (full size- $24 retail value)- This is a decent product, one I've tried before. I'm just not on the Tarte "band wagon". Call me a rebel. Their products just don't wow me. It's a nice shade. It's minty. I'm just meh. Not excited. But not upset either.

Tarte LipSurgence in Charmed
Overall total retail value of $112... For just $21. Not too shabby. I'm not a 100% convinced this box is for me, guess I'll just have to wait and see what I get next month... ;-)

Are you subscribed to BoxyCharm (if not, click here to join!)? What did you get or what do you think? Let me know!!! xoxoxo.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tips & Tricks: Waxing and Breakouts...

Most girls (and some guys) get one body part or another waxed on a monthly basis. But certain areas can be more sensitive than others... 
You might find that you either "break out" or get "in-grown hairs" (the same thing can happen when you shave- so don't be scared to wax). And these reactions will vary from person to person, area to area. For example, I can get my brows or arm pits (yes, arm pits. It beats shaving them) waxed and I will have NO reaction. NONE. But if I get my upper lip waxed- I break out- or my Schmundie (that's code for Vajayjay)- I end up with in-grown hairs. TMI? Sorry, but I'm just keeping it real here.
One of the main reason this happens is because when the wax is removed it is taking the top layer of skin with it and leaving your pores wide open. Anything touching the area after that can, and often will, clog your pores and lead to a break out.
Whether you do it yourself or go to a professional... Here are a couple Tips & Tricks I use to reduce my chances of a reaction:
  1. Cleanse and exfoliate BEFORE getting waxed. Make sure all makeup and oils that could clog pores are removed.
  2. Don't double dip. While most wax is anhydrous (that's fancy for "without water") and there is nothing in it bacteria needs or uses to survive, only use the applicator once and then THROW IT OUT.
  3. After waxing, cleanse again. You can use witch hazel (natural antiseptic) or my personal favorite, Oxy pads. My esthetics instructor told me to try these after waxing since I break out, and they HELP. In fact, starting the day after I wax, I use one in the morning before applying skincare and makeup products and one at night after I've thoroughly cleansed my skin.
  4. Apply a hydrocortisone cream to sooth the skin and try to help prevent a breakout.
  5. Skip the makeup. It's just one day. Applying cosmetics to open pores is just asking for a pimple to be born.
  6. Don't TOUCH. As smooth as the skin is, and as good as it feels, DON'T touch. You are a walking germ. Touching, spreads said germ. Don't do it.
  7. Try not to sweat afterwards. Exercise before hand or give yourself the day off (I give you permission).
  8. Starting the following day, gently exfoliate. And continue to exfoliate the area that was waxed regularly. How often you do this, will depend on your skin type. I choose to exfoliate every other day. If you have very sensitive skin you might want to stretch it out a little more.
  9. If a break out or ingrown still occurs. Use tea tree oil on it to dry it out and speed up the healing process. Tea tree oil is known for killing bacteria and fungus and can even reduce allergic skin reactions. If you have sensitive skin you can dilute the tea tree oil with water or, even better, witch hazel.
  10. And of course... Don't try to pop either, pimples or in-growns. That only spreads the bacteria above the skin and below it, plus you run the risk of rupturing the follicle.
A couple other things you want to keep in mind when getting waxed...
  • Don't wax the day OF a big event. Especially if it's your first time.
  • Wax before getting other facial procedures done, like microdermabrasion or a peel. It should not be done after treatments that remove layers of skin to avoid injury.
  • If you use any kind of acne medications, check with your doctor or skincare professional BEFORE getting waxed. Medications like Accutane and Retin-A can make your skin hypersensitive and waxing might not be a good idea.
Do you have any tips for post-wax skincare? Let me know!
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's IpsyTime!!! March Glambag... #FloralFantasy

As always, I was really excited to get my Ipsy bag this month... And then I opened it and was just kinda... Meh...

I had seen a sneak peek on IG and knew everyone was getting a NYX Butter Lipstick. I was not excited for this. Mainly because NYX is inside Ipsy a lot. And also, because I had no interest in trying this formula. Then I see the shade I received and rolled my eyes, really Ipsy?!?! But It actually looks better on the lips, than in the tube. The color was pretty opaque and smooth going on. There is also no noticeable scent. That being said, I'm still just not a fan (of this product- not the brand. I love NYX in general). I don't care to much for the formula which feels slightly more greasy/slippery than a Revlon Lip Butter. I also felt like this product was pretty staining, for a simple lipstick. I, for one, am not into lip stains... 

Next was the Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind... I'm sorry, Jessica who??? So this must be a newer brand. That's cool. I like trying new things. But at first glance, I assumed this was an eyeshadow. Nope. Cheek Highlighter. Ummm, huh??? It's a pinky-mauve sort of shade. It looks much lighter on her website than it does in person. I gotta be honest, I didn't even open this. I'm just going to pass it on to a friend. It's not for me.

Then came the Boo-Boo Cover-up. Meh. I need to keep trying this. It claims to "heal" while it conceals... Mmmmmm... Gimmicky??? From what I can tell so far, it's a pretty light coverage.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion. Apparently this was a 2013 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner. It claims to "help delay the natural signs of aging by maintaining the longevity and activity of stem cells in the skin". I don't like how it smells. But I shall try to use it anyway. We shall see...

Lastly, the Pūr~lisse Pūr-delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser and Makeup Remover. Now this, I LIKE!!! I never trust a cleanser to remove makeup on it's own, however, since this product claimed to be able to do that... I gave it a shot. And I have to say, it worked! It took off all my makeup and eye makeup and about 90% of my mascara (I washed a second time to remove the last vestiges on my lashes). This was a #win.

Overall, this wasn't one of my favorite bags... But for $10/month I still think it's worth it to try out products you would never try on your own or have never heard of. If you are interested in Ipsy, you can use my referral link here (I simply earn points for free product if you sign up with my link), or just search! 

Bottom right: Residue left after cleaning with makeup remover pads, soap, and water.

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P.S. I was not sponsored by Ipsy to write this post and I am not affiliated with them in anyway. Just my honest opinions here!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One Month, One Palette...

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lavish Palette

This idea comes from a YouTuber named Dalen314 (check her out, here). I love watching her videos and thought this was a great idea in order to get some use out of my eyeshadow palettes. Basically every month I will focus on a different palette so that I actually use what I have! I'll also be able to decide if I even like the palette or if I should just... let it go (I sang that in my head, you know you did too). Last year I pretty much only used my Urban Decay Naked Palette, the original (THE. BEST.), so pretty much everything else has been neglected! Everything else will likely, also, be compared to that palette... That is the nature of the beast... 

I decided to start this at the end of January, so February was my first month. I chose my Anastasia Beverly Hills Lavish Palette. There are a couple reasons I chose this palette as my first...: 
  1. Anastasia products are HYPED (possibly even OVERLY HYPED) on YT. Every time there is a new palette it gets so much attention... And then it just disappears... Never to be heard of again. Now I know that most of the girls (and guys) who review these palettes are sent them for free and told to review and showcase "looks" with these palettes. But that doesn't mean their opinions aren't honest. Or does it? I wanted to see for myself...
  2. The colors in this palette sang to me, like a siren song... They sang "use meeeee, choose meeeee, review meeeee"... Lol. Seriously though, the colors are gorgeous.
  3. I was TIRED of neutrals. After an entire year of neutral, I needed a break. Plus, I love using color and often don't take the time because a neutral look can be so much easier and more convenient. 
  4. I had to start somewhere!
Top: Without Flash
Bottom: With Flash

My thoughts as I used my Lavish Palette...:
  1. Meh. At first I did not even remotely like these shadows. It took me a while to get used to them and how they blended (or more accurately how much more work it took to blend them). 
  2. It also took quite a bit of layering to achieve the level of opacity I wanted. In fact, the only way I got the colors to show up, how I expected them too, was if I used a cream shadow as a base. I would alternate between Maybelline Color Tattoos, Rimmel ScandalEyes eyeshadow sticks, and Laura Mercier Caviar sticks.
  3. The shades Ballet and Black Diamond were a waste for me. I wanted Ballet to be an opaque pink shade. It's no where close. It disappears on the lid and you just see a faint sparkle from the glitter. I didn't even use Black Diamond once. It just never seemed like it would mesh well with the other colors.
  4. Moss was also a bit of a let down. And it was one of the colors I was looking forward to using most. Even with a base, I just never got it to show up on my lid they way people showed it on Instagram. Ijs.
  5. However, the two shades that made using this palette even remotely worth it were Antique and Pink Sapphire. They are both GORGEOUS. Antique is, by far, my favorite. It is very similar to the shade Mushroom, by Urban Decay (I'm telling you, as of right now, they are my favorite eyeshadows). Pink Sapphire is similar to Last Call by, you guessed it, Urban Decay. While I did love this shade, I do want to say I still had to build it up and use a cream shadow underneath.
  6. Lastly, I LOVE how slim the packaging is on this. It makes it easy to use, store, and travel with.
Top: 1. Antique, ABH 2. Mushroom, UD. Left With Flash, Right Without.
Bottom: 1. Pink Sapphire, ABH 2. Last Call, UD. Left With Flash, Right Without.

Over all, I don't feel you should have to work so hard to make your eyeshadow "work" or show up. Yes, the colors look beautiful in the palette, but it takes a lot to make them look the same on your lids. If you don't mind spending the extra time in the morning blending away, this might be a palette for you. But if you need something that is effortless...No ma'am. If you missed out on this (I forgot to mention earlier, it was limited edition, like most Anastasia eyeshadow palettes) you aren't missing much... And if you really want similar shades but better color payoff, they can be found in other lines. All in all, if I had to judge all future Anastasia eyeshadow palettes based on this one, I won't be purchasing any. I will not be falling for the hype again... What about you? Have you had a similar experience with any Anastasia palette? Or do you disagree?? Let me know!
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's been a minute... or 213,120...

Written with Rimmel's ScandalEyes liner in Black

Five Months...213,120 minutes. Give or take a few. That's how long it's been since my last post. I'm not even sure where the time went!?! I needed to take a break for a minute because my skincare class started and I wanted to give it my full attention... Then it was the holidays... And then I blinked and now it's March. I apologize for my lack of content. In the meantime, I've been on IG non-stop so I'll include some pix below. Also on IG, I've been participating in a challenge called #365Daysofempties, (Created by my friend Erica, @beautyempties), the goal is to use up one product for every day of the year. It's been fun and I include mini-reviews on the items I've used up. And MOST IMPORTANTLY...  I graduate at the end of the month!!! (Can I get a Hallelujah!) Full Specialist, Here I Come!!! I've learned a lot. And I can't wait to share it all with you guys... But this post is meant to be short and sweet and just to say... I'M BACK. For real. xoxoxo
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