Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: L'Oreal True Match Crayon Correcteur N123

During one of the recent L'Oreal deals at CVS, I picked up the L'Oreal True Match Crayon Correcteur in Neutral 1.2.3 which I found to be the lightest of the offerings. This is a pencil twist-up concealer stick and it seems to match up with the rest of the true match lineup. I've been using it for several weeks and it's been a staple in my makeup bag. At just under $10 it's on the pricey side but with sales and coupons you can get it for a pretty good price. I think after all was said in done I paid about $5.
While the twist up stick is convenient since you don't have to sharpen it, it makes it a bit difficult to maintain a point to use for more precise application.
Once again, this is the lightest shade in the line up. Since it shows a tinge yellow on my skin, I really only use it on redness and I have to be careful with the amount (around my nose, blemishes, etc). It's nice and creamy and blends easily. I have dry skin so I don't feel I need to touch up unless I blow my nose throughout the day. I wish they made an even lighter less yellow color (the cool one in the range seemed even darker in the store) as I'd imagine this would be great under the eyes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Shiseido The Makeup Facial Cotton

If you're a makeup junkie on the internet, you've heard of the Shiseido Facial Cottons. I generally hear nothing but good things, softer than a baby's bum, a cloud of pure expensive fluffiness. Seriously, when I managed to put these in my basket during Sephora November sale I thought I had won the lottery. Not only was I getting the esteemed cottons but I got 20% off. Yes, I've had these babies for a long time and it's been very hard to review them considering their praise.

I'm going to be the lone and cheap dissenter. Yeah, they are nice. Are they $9.50 for 165 cottons nice (5.7 cents per cotton)? Well. Generally I buy cheap cottons made in India from Dollar Tree. I spend $1 on 80 cottons (1.2 cents per cotton). Call me crazy, but I like the Dollar Tree cotton doesn't flop around when it's fully saturated with liquid. It's soft and doesn't tug on my eyes. It's not cushy and luxurious but it's cotton.

It's cotton.

I'm sorry, but although they are soft I just don't get it.

Granted, I bought 2 packs cause I was in one of those rushed everyone-thinks-it's-awesome-I-will-too-must-buy-them-all moods. But, I don't know. I can't be the only one right?

For those wondering, my Dollar Tree cotton is called Assured and it comes in 80 "regular rounds". Yup.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri + Gel Update

I said I would let you guys know how the regular polish plus Sally Hansen gel topcoat (plus some curing) lasted (original post here). Well, I'm happy to report that my nail polish has lasted pretty darn well considering it usually chips within a day (I did this on Sunday morning so this is nearly 6 days of wear). The wear is more obvious on my right (dominant hand) as is expected. Otherwise, it's pretty much tip wear and the chip on my middle right hand finger is actually due to my error of not placing the gel top coat there, not the gel performing poorly. Clearly, the polish would be nearly gone or looking worse for wear without this stuff. And, one of my coworkers thought I had them professionally done!
This is a picture of my left hand. There's some tip wear but otherwise, it's looking pretty good.
This is my right hand. The tip wear is more noticeable and also you can tell I'm horrible at painting this hand as the cuticle area is uneven! Otherwise, still not too bad.

Anyway, I'm going to continue to use the Sally Hansen Insta-Gel on top of regular polish for longer lasting manicures. I'm actually getting tired of this color and might remove and repaint tomorrow or Sunday.

The kit itself is $29.99 and it comes with the light needed to cure the gel as well as the top coat, and a pack of the gel stickers (which I wouldn't recommend). You can buy the top coat separately for $12.95 as well. A note that the gel stickers are priced at $14.95 and come with a full size bottle of the gel top coat if they go on sale or clearance.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Birchbox March 2013

Holy cow! Birchbox really stepped up their game this month. I consider this an awesome box! Inside my box (#31) was the following:

Caldrea Body Lotion sachets (#1, #2, #3) each is .25floz (full size 8oz|$22) worth $2
CURLS Cashmere Curls Leave In 2floz (full size 8oz|$20) worth $5
Whish Shave Cream in Blueberry .75oz/22ml (full size 150ml|$20) worth $3
Sumita Hara Contract Eye Pencil *full size* ($11)
Madwell for Birchbox nail file (birchbox lists this as a $5 value)

Definitely got my $10 value this month and I think I'll actually use and hopefully enjoy all of these things! Go Birchbox!

Disclosure: Referral link utilized.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Purple Haste + Gel

I recently tried the Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips and I didn't get on with them as well as I had hoped. My nails are more rounded so they tended to lift around the edges. Anyway, I thought I would do a little experiment. The kits come with a bottle of the gel top coat and I had read that you could use the gel top coat on top of regular polishes as long as you made sure they had plenty time to dry. So last evening, I painted my nails with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Purple Haste and allowed them to dry overnight (unfortunately, this also led to sheet imprints). However, I then did a top coat of the gel top coat this morning and cured for the allotted time. This particular polish has tons of microglitter glass fleck particles in it which doesn't really translate to the nails all that much. The gel really helps that!
Sally Hansen Purple Haste sans top coat.
non-gelled nail (left) versus gelled nail (right)
It is so hard to get this polish to focus properly, but you can kind of see the hidden flecks in the middle finger here. I'm a bit bummed that the dents show through the top coat but I suppose it serves me right for doing the painting so late last night.

I'll keep you guys posted about how the gel impacts the lasting power of the regular polish. Here's hoping it reduces the number of chips I get. I'm pretty hard on my nails which is why I tend to stray from dark or bright colors which make the chips all the more obvious. If I could manage a week of one manicure looking decent that would definitely make me happy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fauxcation Reviews

You may recall that I had plans to leave the area and travel to see my in-laws. We had plans to fly out Wednesday morning which was cancelled Tuesday afternoon due to the snow storm that never materialized (at least in the immediate area). It was rebooked for Wednesday afternoon and then cancelled again Wednesday morning. At that point, our airline said the earliest they could fly us out was Friday, cutting severely into our vacation and we decided to cancel and postpone our plans. Generally, I would have kept around the bits I had brought with me and share what I used versus what I brought but I was just so down in the dumps about the whole experience that I quickly unpacked everything. I will say that even though I won't be showing the full bounty, I was fairly restrained this faux-cation. And I will remark that staying in a swanky hotel for a couple of nights is a nice departure from suburban living (we booked a hotel close to the airport in preparation for the predicted snowstorm). Nonetheless, I have tried a few new things and I thought I'd share my thoughts!
The Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator came in the February Birchbox. It's a nice scrub as the exfoliating particles are very fine (reminds me of the MAC Microfine Refinisher, now discontinued) and it has the added benefit of chemical exfoliants from the papaya enzymes. The best part about this is it also cleanses the face so there's no residue and it doesn't take a crazy amount of effort to get the exfoliating particles off. Years ago, the Vasanti line used to be carried at ULTA. It's good stuff and I'm going to be enjoying this scrub.
If you stay at one of the Hilton hotels as we tend to do, they offer a nice array of complimentary products. We went out for a nice dinner Wednesday evening and I wore a full face of makeup and this La Fresh Makeup remover wipe did a decent job of getting the majority of my face makeup off before a more thorough cleanse. The La Fresh wipes are a bit on the expensive side but I'd consider purchasing them in the future, especially the individually packaged ones for travel and short stays!
I know I said in my review that I was never going to repurchase the eve lom due to the price point, but during the recent spacenk sale, I managed to snag a gift set at 50% off which was good enough for me to get more of this cleanser. The set also came with the Morning Time Cleanser which is actually pretty similar to the consistency of the Elemental Herbology Purify & Soothe Facial Cleansing Balm as it lacks the granules in the regular cleanser. The 1.6oz size and neat twist cap is also perfect for travel. Honestly, while I'm a bit annoyed that I was introduced to these products due to their price point, I'm so happy that I was able to score them for a great price as they are both lovely.
The Lancome LaBase Perfecting Makeup Primer also came in the February Birchbox. I honestly was expecting to hate this as I'm not a fan of silicone based products; however, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It doesn't have near the amount of velvety feel as some of the other silicone primers on the market and seemed to do pretty well with my dry skin. I don't think I'd go out of my way to buy this, but I'll certainly use it up.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February Favorites

I don't normally do favorites posts, but since my empties post would be quite pitiful, I'm combining February and March and doing a post on my favorite things instead! Perhaps, I'll do both in the future (maybe it'll encourage me to blog more).
I freaking love the Elemental Herbology Purify & Soothe Facial Cleansing Balm. As you can see, I've made quite the dent in my tube. I think I can safely say that this has made a major impact on the condition of my skin. Not only is it thoroughly cleansed but it's been a lot easier to manage since I started using this: less breakouts, fewer dry patches, etc. I apply and massage it in, then I take the damp muslin cloth with warm-hot water and place it over my face for a few seconds and then massage all the grime away. Seriously amazing stuff though I wish it was a bit less pricey.

The Shea Terra Menthe Cardamom Whipped Shea Butter* came in the June Glossybox. I wasn't thrilled with it at the time and maybe even less so when I officially reviewed it. Then I decided to use it as a cuticle balm and I've loved it! It's too thick really to use as a body butter, but once it's on the skin for a minute, it begins to melt and it's perfect for the cuticles and on my husband's super flaky bits on his hands. I've used it pretty much every day since I discovered this new use for it and I've even hit jar.
You know those holy grail items that you tend to forget when "newer" "better" brands and items get on your radar? Well, The Body Shop's Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick (and the majority of their balms for that matter) is awesome. It heals sore, dry winter lips. It's soft but not too soft. Sticks around through nighttime but isn't too waxy. These are around $8 but often on sale. Love.
While the Jemma Kidd brand is no longer, I've been loving this eyeshadow in Vanity Fair, a satin grey brown. It's the perfect color to smoke out the crease a bit without being overwhelming or too dramatic. I've been using this slightly random myglam brush to apply. I love the combo!
So I know I'm a bit behind on the times, but I've been loving the Twilight Woods Shea Enriched Shower Gel from Bath & Body Works. Technically, this came in a Beauty Army box a few months ago. I hadn't really been into this scent cause I kept on thinking it was supposed to smell differently according to reviews and the like, but then it hit me. It smells almost exactly like Jean Paul Gaultier II which is a long discontinued unisex fragrance which I absolutely loved. So I've been getting a lot of use out of this mini shower gel and may spring for the EDT if it smells similarly.
I've had this baby for ages. It's the Barielle Natural Nail Camouflage and I should probably chuck this but instead, I've just constantly thinned it when it gets a bit gloopy. It's been my nail of choice. Two coats of this leaves a milky pinkish coat on the nails and is very office appropriate. Since I've been so lazy with my nails, something so pale requires minimal upkeep and doesn't reflect chips as much as some of my other favorites. I'll admit, the full price is not appealing but I still continue to see these every so often at places like TJmaxx.

What were your February favorites? I for one am thrilled that March is upon us as I'm about to vacation to my in-laws in just a few days. Very excited to get away from the city craziness that is DC!