Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lip Balm Battle: Fresh vs Jane Iredale vs Blistex

I'd heard for months that the Blistex Complete Moisture lip balm was awesome and very similar to the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15. You may remember that I discovered a dupe for the Fresh in the Jane Iredale Lip Drink Lip Balm which I discovered last year and have since been through a couple tubes.

Let's start with the price and size:
.15oz Blistex Complete Moisture $3 (currently on sale at Walgreens 2/$3.00)
.18oz Jane Iredale Lip Drink $12
.15oz Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment $22.50 (mini pictured)

All 3 balms contain an SPF of 15.

The Blistex Complete Moisture has far more slip than the Jane Iredale or the Fresh. I prefer my lip balms to have more weight which usually results in more longevity. The Blistex is moisturizing from the start but tends to wear off fairly quickly. Both the Fresh and the Jane Iredale last on the lips a bit more; though some people would be unhappy with the slightly waxier texture. Obviously, the Blistex is the cheapest of the lot and can be easily gotten at the drugstore; however, the only thing I find similar about the Blistex to the others is the scent, which is spot on, and the fact the product has an SPF.

There's a reason I splurge on the Jane Iredale (I no longer buy full sizes of the Fresh). I can slather it on at night and wake up in the morning with soft, moisturized lips. If I apply it during the day, I don't have to reapply every 15 minutes and I know it is keeping my lips protected from the sun. I've heard complaints regarding the slightly thicker consistency and that these waxier balms leave a white cast but it isn't an issue on my pigmented lips.

So, the results of my 'battle'?

Jane Iredale definitely wins in my book. The Fresh is definitely a luxury item and fun to own at least once and the Blistex smells nice but doesn't do the job quite as well for me.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've owned one or all of these!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: DHC Make Off Sheet

I ordered these from Dermstore awhile ago because I needed to hit a certain dollar amount for an order. A lot of their lower priced items have a minimum number per order, which makes the usual $5 lip balm less helpful when you have to buy 5 of them! The DHC Make Off Sheet retails for $8 and the one in the box is something you can order without buying multiples (the refills are a minimum of 2 per order). Makeup wipes are something that I always need and the cute packaging and reasonable price called to me.
The DHC comes in a reusable plastic case and comes with 50 wipes. I had heard good things about the DHC line and was pleasantly surprised with these wipes. They are well saturated with remover and take nearly everything off. I haven't tried them yet on waterproof mascara but everything else comes off easily. They don't irritate my eyes or skin and don't have a discernible scent. All in all, these are nice wipes and the container keeps out air so they don't dry out.

Ingredients: Water/aqua/eau, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Hexylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methylparaben, Citric Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chamomilla Recutita (matricaria) Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Etidronic Acid.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask

The Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask was another item I received for review as part of the Bloom Ambassador program. Alchimie Forever is a line from Sweden and all the products are made there. The Brightening Moisture Mask promises to "soothe, protect, and brighten dull skin". The mask is packed full of natural ingredients that are known for their soothing and softening properties. I have had great results from using Oats on my very sensitive skin so I was happy to see this great (albeit cheap) item on the ingredients list. Any other eczema prone people remember taking oat baths even without the chicken pox?!
The mask itself looks and smells like blueberry yogurt. It's definitely not the best scent out there but it's fairly unoffensive.
Oh hey Jeweled Thumb! My favorite past time is smearing what looks to be blueberry yogurt all over my face, too!
Afterwards, I can honestly say my skin felt smoother, softer and the mask seemed to make it bit more plump. I bet the results would be more apparent during the winter months when my skin is super dry, these days it's more normal than anything. My only issue with the product is the price. The 3.3floz jar retails for $60 which is a pretty large chunk of change for a face mask. I'd prefer a smaller size as it's hard for me to get through face masks unless I make a huge effort to use them up. I would highly recommend this mask if it was say, 1oz for $20 - still pricey but less significant in one go. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a moisturizing mask, this one was nice and didn't irritate my sensitive skin.

Water/Aqua, Glycerin, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Steareth-2, Stearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Steareth-21, PPG-20 Methyl Glucose Ether, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polydimethylsiloxane, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit Extract, Viola Tricolor (Pansy) Herb Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Chlorphenesin, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal

Disclosure: I received this mask for review as part of the Bloom Ambassador program and all opinions are my own. My review was heading towards the "go buy this" until I saw the price tag. Referral link also used.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: LashFood® Nano-Peptide Natural Eyelash Conditioner

Apologies in advanced for the multiple Bloom Ambassador posting in a row. You are going to get another one tomorrow but it includes a self-deprecating photo of me with a thick mask on so it should be worth your while.

I was recently sent a few products from the Lash Food line, new to Bloom, to try. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you should know that I have naturally full and thick lashes, my issue is that they are heavy and point down naturally and don't hold a curl. I know many people are getting annoyed but seriously, I may as well not have lashes at all since you can't see them.

Lash Food retails for $80, which is cheaper than some and more expensive than other lash growth serums. It's marketed as a natural eyelash conditioner and is free of parabens, gluten, prostaglandins and is dermatologist tested and approved.

I liked that this doesn't burn if you happen to get it in the eyes (very easy with these types of products). I also didn't get irritation around the eye area. I had less lashes fall out over the course of the month that I used this product but no additional growth.

For me, these types of products simply aren't worth the money, though I buy them occasionally. If you are looking for a lash serum for sensitive eyes or skin and were thinking of one of the more expensive versions, I'd consider this and if you buy through Bloom, they have a very generous return policy. 

Disclosure: I received this item for review as part of the Bloom Ambassador program and this is my honest opinion.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: Grecian Oil Body Cream

I recently received a jar of the Grecian Oil Body Cream to try as part of the Bloom Ambassador program. The body cream contains olive oil and I was a bit worried as it's nearing the summer months and the last thing I want on my skin is a heavy cream. I was pleasantly surprised. The texture is light and almost feels like a gel but it sinks in quickly and doesn't leave a sticky residue. 
One of the things I love about the cream is the scent. It smells exactly like almond biscotti but it doesn't linger so long to interact with perfumes or scent your sheets or clothing. The only complaint is that it doesn't appear that almond oil is in the product, and instead it claims "enriched with almond oil scent" which is a bit misleading. Given the claims of the product, I would have liked the scent to be more natural than simply added fragrance.
The body cream comes in two different sizes. There's the 2oz jar that I received that retails for $9.98 and an 8oz jar which retails for $24.98. The line offers a body lotion as well containing 8oz of product for $14.98. The limited range is definitely on the high end of the spectrum. Nonetheless, I have really enjoyed the cream and even with the synthetic scent, it's been a go-to with the recent high temperatures.

Disclosure: This was received as part of the Bloom Ambassador's program for review (used referral link).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beauty.com Friends & Family Haul

Tuesday was a very lucky unlucky day. Let me explain. Early in the morning I was on my way to work and my breaks failed and I did a 180 spin on a 2-way curvy road, yet I didn't hit anything, nothing hit me and I managed to make it to a parking lot to call work, my husband and the dealership where I get the majority of the service on my car done. $390 later I learned that my back breaks were not catching properly, my alignment was way off and my battery was about to die. After the dealership, I came home and won a twit-away for a $50 gift card to Beauty.com. I placed my order that night and my order arrived today.

I received:
1 Large Black Z-Palette - my first ever!
Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm stick
Stila Smudge Crayon in Smoke - this is a gorgeous taupe, I've swatched in store several times!
Butter London Wallis - on my to-buy list but it's never in stock!

Have you bought anything from the Beauty.com Friends & Family sale? It's on until tomorrow and don't forget Ebates is still 13% cash back!

Disclosure: Ebates referral link used.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Good CVS Deal - Lierac, Vichy, La Roche Posay

If you are a member of the CVS Beauty Club, you should have received an e-mail on May 14th (Title: See What's Free for Beauty Club Members) with 2 different coupons. One was buy 1 Salma Hayek Nuance Product get 1 free and the other was $10 off any prestige skincare purchase. CVS is also running a sale this week where if you purchase $30 worth of prestige skincare, you get $10 worth of Extrabucks back. If you get the general CVS e-mails, you should have also received a 30% off coupon May 9th (Title: 30% off Mother's Day Savings) on non-sale items which expires in the next couple of days. Put it together and you are looking at significant savings!

For instance, I bought the Lierac Micellar Cleansing Water which recently came out for $24. Then to bring me over the $30 mark I bought one of the mini bottles of the Vichy Thermal Spa Water for $8. Then CVS took $10 off from my coupon which brought me down to $22 (I believe they are now doing the percentage off coupons after dollar off coupons). Then my 30% off coupon brought my total down to $15.40. And I got $10 in Extrabucks back. These skincare brands have been coming out with coupons for their higher priced lines so that might be something to look into if you've been wanting to try some pricier items.

Basically, I got 2 items for $5.40 after the Extrabucks savings. You could of course use the $10 off coupon on a cheaper item and get it for free or close to free but I decided to spring for something more expensive as I'd been wanting to try it.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Clearance on HSN!

Curious about Deborah Lippmann polishes but don't want to shell out the big bucks for them? HSN carries a decent selection of the brand and did a special collaboration which included polishes inspired by the remake of Footloose. These polishes are now on clearance for $9.99 per pair. Your choices are Almost Paradise (green) and Footloose (red) or Let's Hear it for the Boy (baby blue) and Dancing in the Sheet (deep blurple). Including shipping, you're looking at about $7 per polish compared to the $16 retail price. If these shades interest you and you've been curious about the brand, this is a way to try them at a fraction of the original price.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup

I received the cutest ever gift with purchase recently. It was tiny little bottle of the new Benefit Hello Flawless Brightening Makeup SPF25 pa+++ in the lightest shade I'm Pure 4 Sure Ivory. This foundation was on the list of those to try since it has a high sun factor and seemed to be a formula that would work with my dry skin. I was partially right.
The texture is almost runny and quite light feeling. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin. My problem was with the color. I'm Pure 4 Sure is the lightest shade that is carried in the line and the only way I could wear it made it more like a tinted moisturizer than a foundation. I had to sheer this way out or it looked ridiculous. I will say that it did not cling onto dry patches or look cakey on my driest areas so if you are dry and darker than me then you might love this.
Those that are pale and like to "warm themselves up" might like this as long as they wear it down the neck and on any exposed skin. I personally like to wear foundation that matches my skin. I was not able to build this up to any discernible coverage. I wore this out to dinner with my parents and it wore well though it did transfer onto the napkin. I wouldn't recommend this if you are pale and like to remain that way. I wish they brought out a true ivory shade or at least something resembling ivory. I'll likely use up my sample as a tinted moisturizer but would not purchase.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April Empties

It is officially May. Ok, it was May about a week ago but this weekend I was uber lazy and didn't feel like photographing a bunch of empty bottles. Sue me. I didn't do too badly in April and this post definitely has more than last month's though I'm hoping it picks up a little. I also have gotten the spring cleaning bug so I tossed a bunch of products that may have not smelled 'off' but were old enough for me to double think putting them near my face or body.
First up, is a bottle of The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo. As most of you know, this is holy grail but it doesn't seem to work as well about midway through the bottle. I need to find an anti-dandruff shampoo that doesn't smell like tea tree to alternate. Deodorant is not usually something I put in empties posts. I usually draw the line somewhere but I had to include this because this is the last tube of the 4 tubes of this I bought on clearance ages ago. I don't know if you can see the sticker, but it was 74 cents and then I had $1 off 2 coupons (yes I remember, how sad) which made them too cheap to pass up. Plus, I love the scent of the Lady Speed Stick Orchard Blossom. Still there comes to a point where you need a little variety, it is the spice of life after all. 
Salma Hayek Nuance Facial Cleansing and Toning Towelettes - As I've mentioned several times, I do really like these, but only on sale!
Jane Iredale Lip Drink Lip balm - Love! I've used up quite a few of these and I have one waiting when I finish some other balms.
Missha Deep Cleansing Oil - I actually didn't use this to wash my face, I used it in conjunction with some dish soap to deep clean my brushes! It works well and smells good (and I have quite a few bottles that I got on sale through the Missha website).
Haus of Gloi Soft Bubbling Scrub in Snow Wolf - Love these. The price has gone up a bit since I started buying them but they are entirely worth it in my eyes. Plus, I enjoy supporting small businesses that have good products and customer service. Haus of Gloi 
Softsoap Coconut Scrub Soap - I finished off another one of these. It's good but is not as scrubby as I like. Still a nice soft non-stripping soap at a great drugstore price. 
And finally, two samples: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (really like) and Mor Basil & Grape Hand Cream (love and have since ordered the full size)!

So there it is. No real makeup products but I am nearing the end of the Physicians Formula Healthy Wear Powder so I imagine that will be in next month's post. What have you finished recently? If you have an empties post, please link it below, I love to read them!

Monday, May 7, 2012

May Birchbox

I was so excited about this Birchbox! Birchbox teamed up with Gossip Girl to create the May boxes. I'm pretty sure it is in preparation for the season finale. Anyway, they usually knock it out of the park with these more high profile boxes and this month was no exception. Granted, I would have preferred receiving one of the other items (some boxes are receiving a Stila liquid eyeliner) but I'm quite satisfied with this box and it is much more my style (I rarely wear liquid liner and when I do, it's something boring like brown or black).
In my box was the following:
Fusion Beauty Lip Fusion Balm *full sized* retails for $22
Arquiste perfume sample
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner 1oz (retail 2oz size retails for $10 - "worth" $5)
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream .5oz (full size 2.5oz retails for $19 - "worth" $3.80) 

So I'm pretty excited. These are definitely deluxe samples, aside from the perfume sample which smells like flowers. I'm excited to try the Ojon conditioner and I already like the Caudalie as a similarly sized sample came in another set. What did you get in your Birchbox?

Disclosure: Referral link utilized.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I found some interesting news out about GLOSSYBOX. I like to tell it like it is on here and don't want to give misinformed information or purposefully leave something out. One of my favorite bloggers, Elvira of Pink Sith contacted GLOSSYBOX after receiving inquiries regarding the multitude of full size products in the box bloggers received. I'm going to update the post as well but want to make sure readers see this update.

GLOSSYBOX has no plans to send multiple full sized products in the future boxes. Granted, they have indicated that they are not planning on sending out foiled samples, but according to the e-mail that Elvira was sent, they are planning to send 5 different products a month, 1 of which will be full sized. This definitely makes the $21 quite a bit steeper and I'm not sure it will be worthwhile to join.

I didn't want to mislead anyone with posting about all of the full size samples; even I was a little surprised and doubted that they were going to keep this up, but now that it is been confirmed that they aren't, I want to make sure everyone is aware before they spend any money on this service.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

GLOSSYBOX Has Landed (April/May 2012 Box)

I had heard rumors for months that GLOSSYBOX was going to eventually get to America. I signed up for the e-mail alert and patiently waited. One day, I received an e-mail from the PR company for GLOSSYBOX asking if I wanted to review the first box to hit US shores. I said yes.
Many UK bloggers have remarked on the gorgeous packaging of the GLOSSYBOX. Honestly, it's hard to see from photos and videos but they weren't kidding. The box itself is a very heavy cardboard and it's a bit larger than other boxes like Birchbox. The details are also very nice. Then again, you want to be sure even with fabulous packaging that the service itself is worth it. GLOSSYBOX for US customers is quite a bit more expensive than any service currently offered. The monthly fee will be $21. The samples are said to be based on the beauty profile that subscribers select so it's possible they may differ somewhat.
A love the little crown pink polka dots.
Inside the box. You can see the mix of products and get a good idea of the sizes involved. GLOSSYBOX promises at least 5 products with each box. This box includes 6.
Basq Cucumber Tea Soothing Eye Gel *full size* retails for $24
Cargo Eyebronzer *full size* retails for $22
OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips *full size* retails for $8.50
Kryolan High Gloss Brilliant Lip Shine in Toffee *full size* retails for $18
CO Bigelow Lavender & Peppermint Shampoo *full size* retails for $12
Erno Laszlo Hollywood Collection packets *sample size* full sizes of the 5-piece collection retails for $125
I sincerely hope that this is a continuing trend given the higher price point and will continue with normal subscription customers.

It will be interesting to see how popular GLOSSYBOX is in the US given the recent surge of beauty subscriptions boxes. Anyone planning on signing up?


It has come to my attention that this initial box is not going to be the norm. Future boxes will have 4 sample sized products and 1 full sized item. Please see this post for more information.

Disclosure: This was sent for review purposes. More detailed reviews on the products coming to a Jeweled Thumb blog near you.