18 June 2014


I’ve been holding onto my empties for three months now. I’m not even going to drag this introduction out because we have a lot to talk about. Let’s get on with it.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 25 Medium: You guys know that I really like this concealer. I always use every last drop. It covers spots and scars. It’s easy to blend, buildable, and it’s not heavy. I’m working through other concealers right now, but I have another Fit Me on hand.

Loreal The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner in Black: Let’s be real. I didn’t like this eyeliner. In my quest to find a great eyeliner pen, I picked this one up. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t black enough. I didn’t like the felt tip. It skipped on my eyes. It didn’t create a sharp wing. In packaging, this eyeliner is exactly the same as Milani’s eyeliner. I think that I’m super critical about eyeliner pens, so most people would probably enjoy this pen, but I won’t repurchase it.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Quenched: This wasn’t a bad lip balm, but it’s definitely not a solution for super dry lips. If you have dry, cracked, flaky lips, this isn’t going to provide the intense moisture that you need. This has more of a Lip Smackers feel. It’s not uncomfortable or greasy, but it’s not a lip balm that hangs around on the lips for a long time. It smells like a piña colada. This Baby Lips doesn’t have any color. It’s completely clear. I wouldn’t repurchase this one again, but I do have several of the tinted Baby Lips that I enjoy.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny: I used every last bit of this bronzer. This is one of those products that everyone talks about and everyone has tried. I think that this a good bronzer for beginners because it’s not too dark and it’s matte. I contoured with this bronzer in the winter, when my skin was lighter. The bronzer is on the orange side, so it may not work for all skin tones. I purchased another bronzer, but I have so many bronzers that I’m trying to work through right now.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Sandstorm: I’ve talked about this powder since day 1 of Living Visual, so I won’t get into too much detail. You guys know that I like this powder. It helps keep me matte, but it doesn’t keep me matte all day. I haven’t found anything better for the price, so I’ll keep on using it. I’ve already purchased another one.

Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes in Black: This is my new favorite mascara! It’s pretty much perfect. It has a great rubber brush with a lot of long bristles. It gives really nice length and volume. I have naturally long eyelashes, and I have a lot of lashes, so it really gives me a fake lash look. It doesn’t flake or smudge. I purchased another one, but I’m working through a couple other mascaras right now.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express in Blackest Black: This was my all time favorite mascara for a long time, but like I said, I’ve fallen in love with Million Lashes. I think that it does a good job at creating volume and length, but I’ve moved on to bigger and better things.

Loreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara in Black: I bought this mascara because I heard a lot of hype surrounding it. It wasn’t a bad mascara, but I don’t think that it compares to Voluminous Million Lashes. Sometimes I had problems with the brush, because it’s larger at the base than it is at the tip, to give the corner lashes a fanned out, winged look. I would poke myself in the eye or touch my lower lid and smudge it. I just think there are better mascaras out there.

Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express

Loreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner: I talked about this toner a while ago in a Favorites. I think that it really works well for acne and oil control. If you have a cut on your face or an open pimple, it does sting pretty badly. It defintely smells like tea tree. If you don’t know what that smells like, it’s like chlorinated, chemically treated water in a water park, on a humid summer day in Florida. It’s not a pleasant fragrance. I purchased another bottle of this.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner: I don’t have to go into too much detail with this one. You guys have definitely seen this toner before. I use this like a cleansing water, as the final step to remove makeup. It’s working and I’ll continue to repurchase it.

Maybelline Clean Express! Oil Free Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover: Okay, I’ve talked on and on about this eye makeup remover. I’ve used up several bottles, so I’ll keep this brief. It takes my eye makeup off nicely, and it doesn’t really leave any residue behind. It’s my favorite from the drugstore. I’ll continue to repurchase this, but I’m open to other suggestions.

Disney Resorts H2O+ Conditioner in Grapefruit Bergamot: This is from a Disney hotel. There’s really nothing to say about this conditioner because I didn’t use it on my hair. I used it as a shave cream. It got the job done. I, of course, really like the bergamot scent. Bergamot is one of my favorite fragrances. I’m not seeing this product on the H2O+ website, but they do have other Disney hotel products available for purchase.

Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Body Lotion: I’m pretty sure this is another hotel sample. I absolutely love the scent of Peter Thomas Roth products. If/when Peter Thomas Roth comes out with a fragrance, I will purchase it. Anyway, the lotion was just okay. It wasn’t super hydrating, but it did soak in quickly because it was so thin. I used it as a hand lotion, just to take the dryness away from my hands for bed. I couldn’t imagine using this all over my body. I wouldn’t purchase the full size of this. But that scent. It’s to die for.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray: I purchased this setting spray to find a cheaper alternative to Urban Decay’s DeSlick. I noticed that it kept my makeup on and set my makeup, but it didn’t prevent me from looking oily. I was an absolute oily mess the entire time I used this spray. I would be oily after an hour of makeup wear. I have to say, if you’re not oily, if you have combo or normal skin, you would be able to use this as a setting spray. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about the mist. It’s not as fine as more expensive setting sprays, but it’s not horrible. It’s a little unpredictable, but it’s workable. After I switched back to DeSlick, I now know that I won’t be purchasing the NYX spray again. DeSlick is absolutely the way to go. I have purchased the Dewy version so see if it’s the same case, but I think I’ll be purchasing Urban Decay’s Chill once I finish the NYX spray.

Bath & Body Works PocketBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel in Winter Candy Apple: This is a product that I just don’t have much to say about. Not because it’s bad, but just because it got the job done. I think that PocketBac are a decent product. It smelled like holiday spiced apples, which I enjoyed. I don’t know that I’ll repurchase this scent again, but I wouldn’t be against it.

Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo: I’ve talked about this dry shampoo a few times, so I’m not going to go into much detail. This is a really heavy duty dry shampoo. I don’t just use it to add texture to my hair. I use when I haven’t washed my hair. It can leave a white cast, but it does the job. I’ll continue to repurchase it.

Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Spray Gel: I used this as a light hold hairspray, not as a gel. I think that it works decently as a hairspray. It does the job but it’s not incredible. I really like the violet fragrance of this spray. It’s very fresh and light. I’ve actually purchased a violet perfume because I love this scent of this gel spray so much. I’m not seeing this in all drugstores, but according to the Herbal Essences website, it’s still in the line. It may just be hard to find. I did purchase another bottle of this at Walmart.

Ban Invisible Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant in Shower Fresh: You guys have seen this deodorant quite a bit, so I’m not going to go into too much detail, especially because I’m not using it anymore. It always kept me dry and I never had a problem with odor. It has a nice fresh scent that I really love. In a weird way, it’s nostalgic because I wore Ban for about 10 years. I’ve just moved onto something better for my needs at the moment.

Herbal Essences Drama Clean Refreshing Shampoo: It makes my hair feel really clean. It’s pretty much as simple as that. It’s a clarifying shampoo. So far, it’s my favorite shampoo from the drugstore. It’s got a fresh, lightly citrus scent to it. I can only find the large size at Walmart, and I think that Target isn’t going to be carrying Drama Clean anymore. I’ve gone to two Target stores, and both stores only had a bottle or two on the shelves. If you’re looking for this shampoo: the bottle is green because of the product. I’ve purchased a couple of the small bottles, but I’m working through a couple other shampoos at the moment.

Yes to Grapefruit Correct & Repair Exfoliating Body Wash: I didn’t purchase this. It was a deal where if you bought the Yes to Grapefruit towelettes, you got this body wash for free. Of course, I couldn’t pass that deal up. It’s a cream cleanser with pumice in it for exfoliating. It wasn’t super scratchy or harsh. I like that the exfoliating bits were natural and they didn’t stick around in my tub. The smell was alright. It’s more orange than grapefruit. Overall, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I don’t think I’d repurchase this again, but I wouldn’t be against buying a different body wash from the brand.

Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath in The Gingerbread Man: I got these shower gels in a Philosophy holiday set for a Christmas gift. This one was my favorite scent. It was savory and spicy like ginger and didn’t play up the whole cookie or dessert aspect. The scent lingers throughout the day, but I don’t mind that. I also like that this was a gel consistency that lathered nicely. I also really like the bottles. They’re simple and clear. Even though this was my favorite of the three, I wouldn’t purchase it.

Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath in The Ice Cream Man (French Vanilla Bean): This definitely isn’t a classic vanilla scent, like most vanilla products are. It’s more like an ice cream artificial kind of vanilla. It’s just obnoxious. I can’t see anyone liking this scent. It’s way to strong and overpowering. It has a cream consistency but it didn’t lather that nicely. This is just a no.

Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath in The Muffin Man (Lemon Custard): This smelled like a lemon tart, and I’m just not a fan of dessert or bakery scents. The best way that I can describe it is like going to one of those weird bakeries in a theme park that are super air conditioned during the summer. I know that’s weird and super specific, but that’s the best way. This was a cream body wash. I wasn’t a fan of the texture overall. Obviously, I wouldn’t buy this one.

Venus Sensitive Disposables: I don’t have to go on and on about this razor. I’ve talked about these a lot. They give me a close shave and they don’t rust. On the downside, they’re pretty expensive. I’ve repurchased another pack, but once I’m done, I think I’m just going to buy disposables for men. They’re like half the price.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub in Tropical Mango: I’m really impressed by this scrub! I loved that it was a sugar scrub, so the exfoliating bits dissolved and didn’t hang around my tub. I liked the mango scent. It wasn’t fake or too sugary. I think this is the best scrub I’ve ever used. It smooths my skin and leaves it hydrated. This is just the travel size, but it lasted pretty long time. I bought the jumbo tub but in another scent.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Vanilla Buttercream: I don’t like warm, vanilla sugar scented fragrances, like I’ve mentioned many times before. Honestly, I hate the scent of this soap, but my grandma loves it. It smells like a dessert, which I wouldn’t mind if it was actually food. I know a lot of people really love vanilla scents, they just end up turning intense and obnoxious on me. And I just don’t want to smell like repulsively sweet food.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Fresh Picked Farmstand Apple: I like how clean this scent is. It’s really fresh and it actually smells like an apple. It’s not like a weird candied spiced apple scent. It’s just pure apple. It smells exactly like Yankee Candle’s Macintosh scent, which I really enjoy. I’d pick up another one of these.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Brew Berry: Oh my gosh, I just want this fragrance out of my life forever. I’m so sick of it. I hate it. It’s artificial berry candy scented. It’s obnoxious. Why did I ever buy so much of this soap? Never again.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Sweet Shop Lemon Chiffon Tart: This is going to be really short and simple. Honestly, this just smelled like lemon scented cleaner. It lacked any dessert quality. It just smells like bathroom cleaner.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Sweet Shop Pink Vanilla Macaron: For some strange reason, I was really excited about this scent when I ordered it. Unfortunately, this smelled like a scent from Victoria’s Secret that I never liked: Amber Romance. It was vanilla and definitely very sweet, but it had something musky and weird about it. It doesn’t smell like a macaron or like a macaron shop or anything. It’s just weird to me.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Sweet Shop Sugar Berry Shortcake: Even though this is dessert scented, I liked this one. It smelled like whipped cream, which I guess doesn’t have a whole lot of scent to it. It wasn’t too sugary. It also smelled lightly of berries. Overall, it wasn’t super sweet and it wasn’t a noxious scent. I’d go for it again.

Schiff Digestive Advantage Probiotic Gummies: Okay, we’re going somewhere where we haven’t gone before on Living Visual. Let’s start with some back story. I don’t have a gallbladder. So my digestive workings just don’t work like most. I have to avoid a lot of foods and drinks because of it. And for the least few years without a gallbladder, I’ve had to take Tums after meals because my stomach would feel upset. For a long time, I just wasn’t feeling well. It wasn’t like I was feeling ill, I was just feeling off and like I needed to regain health. I started taking two of these gummies everyday, and I’m feeling more comfortable. I don’t get an upset stomach after eating. And it’s pretty much as simple as that. I’ve gone through a bottle a month for three months and I’ll definitely keep taking these.

Yes to Carrots Nourishing Gentle Cleansing Wipes: I think these wipes are alright. They’re a little dry compared to the grapefruit ones. They’re getting the job done. They’re fragrance free, so that means they can be used to remove eye makeup. I, of course, really like the packaging. It’s super cute and I like the pop top. I’ve purchased another pack of them, but I’m not sure if I’ll buy a third pack.

Yes to Grapefruit Correct & Repair Brightening Facial Towelettes: You guys know that I’ve used like hundreds of these. I’m exaggerating, but I’m not going to on about these. These are definitely my favorite makeup wipes. They’re lightly exfoliating and saturated with makeup remover. I love the cute printed packaging with the pop top. Since they’re scented, they cannot be used on the eyes. I just really like these and I think I’ll always buy these.

Up & Up Unscented Baby Wipes: There’s really not much to say about these. I use them to remove the makeup from my hands after application or swatches. I like the snap top. They get the job done. That’s pretty much it. I’ll continue to repurchase these because they’re really affordable.

Equaline Premium Cotton Rounds: These are a generic cotton round from Jewel, a Chicagoland grocery store. I’ve talked about these many times, so let’s keep this brief. They’re double sided. One side is flat, like fabric, and the other side is textured. I don’t use the textured side. I’ve already repurchased two packs of these.

Up & Up Dual Sided Cotton Ovals: These are from Target. I honestly just bought these because I was out of the Equaline cotton rounds and didn’t want to stop at Jewel. They’re a lot larger than the typical cotton round, but I still found myself using quite a few to remove my makeup and tone. They’re dual sided, so they have a flat fabric-like side and a lightly textured side. They’re not bad, they’re just a little expensive. I wouldn’t buy these again. I’ll just stick with my Equaline cotton rounds.

16 May 2014


Hey guys. I received Influenster’s Mary Kay VoxBox in early May and I’ve been putting the products to the test. This isn’t intended to be a line of fully-formed reviews, just quick bits of information about the products, some first impressions, and my experiences with them. You’ve seen me unbox a VoxBox before. Last October, I received a box because I’m a college student. Influenster and Mary Kay sent me these products to review, but as always, what you’re going to read is 100% genuine and honest.

Let me tell you a little about Influenster. It’s a company that sends out free products/samples in exchange for your opinion. It’s free to join, and anyone can participate. You don’t necessarily have to have a blog or a YouTube. You just need some sort of social media outlet, so that could be Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc. They are based on a badge system. You pick badges based on your interests. You earn points towards those badge by social networking, blogging, and reviewing products on their website. The more points you have, the more likely you are to get a VoxBox. You get a VoxBox, and you give Influenster your opinions on the products inside. I’m not really sure why I got this particular VoxBox. Maybe it’s because I’ve never used Mary Kay before?

Don’t worry. I’ll have links below so you can get more information about Influenster. Let me know if you have any questions about Influenster or these products in the ask box below.

Here’s everything that Mary Kay sent in this VoxBox. They sent all full-sized products, which is absolutely awesome. I thought they should send sample-sized products or deluxe samples. I was genuinely surprised and very excited to see everything was full-sized. Also, all of the prices are listed here, except for the face brush that was included for the face powder.

This is the catalog that’s included with this VoxBox. I know that Mary Kay has a system where you order with an independent consultant, but you can order their products online. I’m not sure if there are any price differences or benefits to working with an independent consultant versus placing an online order. Personally, I think that ordering online is just more convenient, especially since I don’t know anybody that sells Mary Kay.

This is how the box looked when I first opened it. It seems like the box came directly from Mary Kay. The box was very cute, mixing cardboard and a pink heart pattern. On the inside of the box, one flap said “explore and adore” while the other one said “explora y adora.” I thought the mix of English and Spanish was cute. Less talk about the box, more talk about the products.

I was very happy to see that everything was packaged nicely with bubble wrap, cute boxes, and brush guards. Everything shipped very nicely, and it all arrived in perfect condition. Even though these products were sent to me, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Mary Kay, especially since their products are on the pricey side. If you’re paying $18 for a bronzer, you want it to arrive nicely wrapped and unbroken, right? Exactly.

I want to preface all of these opinions by saying that I am an NC35 in MAC and I have oily skin (but not super oily). I used these products with a setting spray, like I do with all of my makeup.

Mineral Cheek Color in Shy Blush:I think this is a nice blush, but I don’t think it’s any better than a drugstore blush. I think that you can get a similar look and quality for a lot less money. For example, e.l.f. Studio blushes are only $3 and they have the same pigmentation. On the more expensive side, Physician’s Formula blushes are about $11-$13, but they’re usually on offer or you can find a coupon somewhere. Anyway, back to the Mary Kay blush. I think this is a nice color with nice pigmentation. I’d consider it to be right between pink and coral. It doesn’t have any shimmer or glitter in it, but it’s definitely not matte. It’s got a satin finish. The blush lasts all day on me, but I don’t usually have a problem with blushes fading throughout the day. If your skin is any deeper than mine, I think this blush shade may be too light for you. As my skin gets tanner in the summer, I don’t think I’ll be able to wear this for much longer. I’d say that the blush is best suited for those who have fair to light-medium skin. Overall, this is a decent blush and I’ll be using it while I still have my winter complexion.

Translucent Loose Powder:I can honestly say that I’ve been enjoying this product and using it almost everyday. It’s very light in texture and doesn’t give any added coverage. The powder is completely matte, but it doesn’t do much to keep me matte. I definitely need to blot when I wear this. As with any powder, I’m not sure if this would be a good option for dry skin. I’m also not sure if this translucent powder is going to work for all skin tones, especially if you have a very deep complexion. I’ve noticed that some translucent powders can look white on my skin, or make my skin look ashy.This powder doesn’t do that on me, but I can’t guarantee that it won’t do that on my deeper skinned girls.

Bronzing Powder in Light/Medium: I’m in a weird place with this bronzer. I like the soft texture, and it swatches alright on my wrist, but it doesn’t show up on my face. This is definitely a bronzer for people who are NC/NW 25 and lighter. I can’t contour with it, I can’t bronze up my face with it, and I’m at my lightest right now. I think I’m just going to have to use it as an eyeshadow, which is unfortunate. Maybe I can use this as a golden highlight when I get a little tan? Again, I think this is another product that you can turn to the drugstore for. Pearl or shimmery bronzers are so easy to come by at the drugstore, and you can find them in many different shades for a lot less money. In other words, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any other bronzers from Mary Kay.

I don’t like is that Mary Kay only sells these two products in a temporary package with the pan. They just lift out of the plastic packaging. They don’t offer a properly packaged version of this blush or bronzer. Most companies offer both options, there being a price difference whether you want full packaging or just the pan. The idea is that you’re supposed to buy their $16-$35 compacts and store these powders in there. Their website doesn’t show how many pans can be stored in the compacts and doesn’t show any inside views of the compacts. I think you’re better off purchasing another magnetic palette and placing these powders in there. I, on the other hand, am just going to leave them in their temporary packaging and hope for the best. Overall, I think the pan idea works if you’re into putting your own palettes together, but I’m not. I want proper packaging on all of my products.

In the concentrated swatch, the bronzer shows up on my skin. When it’s blended out on my face, it just doesn’t show up. I wouldn’t be able to contour with this. Like I said, the bronzer is definitely for people that have lighter skin tones. They do offer the bronzer in a Medium/Deep shade, which I think would be better suited for my complexion.

A feature that I really like about the powder is that it has a sifter that locks. It’s brilliant. I absolutely hate dealing with loose powders and pigments when they don’t have a sifter because of the mess. I get them everywhere. The locking feature on the sifter is an added bonus. It prevents any powder from spilling out. I think that all sifters should have this. Most importantly, I think that any loose powder should have a sifter.

Cream Eye Color in Apricot Twist:I think this is a really unique product. It has a solid gel texture. I have never seen a texture like this at the drugstore. I tried applying this with the Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush that was provided, but I think it’s best applied with the fingers, as with any cream color, in my opinion. Unfortunately, the golden color really does not show up on my eyes. This isn’t due to a lack of pigmentation or anything. This is due to the fact that I have so much gold in my skin. Honestly, I tried this on my Grandma as well, because she has fair skin. It showed up beautifully on her. I’ve just been wearing this cream shadow when I want a “no makeup” look. It’s not a crease-proof shadow, but it only creases on me after a full day of wear. I would honestly consider purchasing one of these, and considering the price range drugstore cream shadows, I don’t think $14 is a bad deal.

Gel Eyeliner in Jet Black: As you can see from the swatch below, this is a really richly pigmented black eyeliner. It has pigmentation going for it. Unfortunately, this eyeliner is so thick, that I can’t get a precise application. It doesn’t smooth over my eyelids, and it ends up looking clumpy. I feel like there needs to be more moisture in the product to help with application. I thought this problem was due to the Mary Kay Expandable Brush Applicator, but I’ve tried it with other eyeliner brushes, and every time, it’s ended up in my eyelashes, looking uneven, and clumpy. I just can’t get a straight line with it because of the thick texture. No, it isn’t the worst gel eyeliner I’ve ever used, but I’m expecting my eyeliner to look perfect, and I just don’t think I can achieve a perfect look with this product. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend gel eyeliner for beginners because you’re dealing with two factors: a potted product and the brush. The thing is, I’m definitely not a beginner. I’d consider myself an advanced eyeliner user. So if I can’t figure this one out, I who could. It also doesn’t have the best staying power. As it becomes more humid, I’ve noticed that it’s transferring into my crease and onto my brow bone. I wouldn’t purchase this eyeliner. As it dries out, it’s just going to get thicker, and for $18, that’s too much for me to deal with. I’d definitely stick to my drugstore options.

Expandable Brush Applicator: This brush is included with the eyeliner and it doesn’t look like it can be purchased separately. I really like the idea of an expandable brush for travel. I also really like the shape of this brush. I think it does a nice job at creating a wing. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the eyeliner that it comes with, so I wouldn’t recommend purchasing the set just to get this brush.

Lash Love Mascara in I ♥ Black: I don’t think this is a bad mascara by any means, I just don’t think that it’s worth the $15 that Mary Kay is charging for it. Honestly, you can get better mascaras at the drugstore for about half the price. It doesn’t flake or easily smudge/transfer, but then again, I’ve never really had a problem with mascaras flaking or moving on me. It’s not the blackest black, but I already have black lashes. I think that the plastic applicator is a little to long and skinny, but overall, I prefer plastic applicators. I just like plastic applicators that’s a little more substantial, like the ones from Maybelline. I have a frequency to touch my eyelids with tiny brushes. I haven’t had too many problems so far, but I have had to clean up messes her and there. Overall, it gives me a natural looking lash. It’s not incredibly lengthening and it doesn’t give me incredibly volume either. In other words, it’s just average. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. I’ll use it up, but I wouldn’t purchase it.

Like I said before, I really like that the brushes came with brush sleeves. They’re nothing substantial and I don’t think they’re meant to be a means of protecting the brushes for travel, so I ended up tossing them. Of course, you always have the option to keep them and reuse them.

Powder Brush:This brush is $16 and that’s such a joke. I would NEVER pay that much for this brush. The Mary Kay website says that these are natural bristles, the brush has been “customized to perfection” an has “high-quality bristles.” I don’t think so. This is one of the roughest brushes that I’ve ever used, natural or synthetic. Honestly, if you’re looking for some good face brushes, I’d recommend e.l.f. or Real Techniques. They’re a lot less expensive, and the quality greatly surpasses this brush for a fraction of the price.

NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss in Mango Tango: I’m really impressed with this gloss. It’s very pigmented and the color really suites me: an orange-toned red. Most importantly, it’s comfortable to wear. It’s on the thicker side, but it doesn’t feel. It definitely coats my lips evenly and does not feel sticky when I rub my lips together. It almost feels like a lip balm when I press my lips together. It doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a lip color. I think that’s what rally sets it apart from other lip glosses. I don’t feel like it’s going to slide around or wear off easily. There is a vanilla baked good scent, but I don’t smell it once it’s on my lips. I’d consider purchasing one of these. Even though it looks small, this lip gloss actually has more product in it than most of my favorite glosses.

Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush: This brush is better than the Powder Brush, but I would never pay $10 for it. To be honest, I wouldn’t purchase this brush under any circumstances. It’s in a strange shape and size. I used it to apply the cream shadow that I received in this VoxBox, as well as a Maybelline Color Tattoo. It can place the cream shadow, but it can’t blend it. It’s easier to use your finger. It’s pretty much useless in my world. It’s too flat and long for applying eyeshadow or anything along the lower lash line. It’s made from synthetic bristles and it has a waxy stiffness to it. This is the greatest thing I’ve read in a while: “For hygienic reasons, one brush should be dedicated to each cream product.” That was included in the description for the brush. No, for hygienic reasons, you need to clean your brushes. Like I said, go to e.l.f. or Real Techniques for your brush needs.

My Overview:
You can find a lot of similar or better products at the drugstore. I’m not sure if that’s because the drugstore brands have stepped up their quality, or if that means that Mary Kay has some products that are overpriced for what they are. I would consider purchasing the Cream Eye Color and the NouriShine Plus Lip gloss. I also like the Mineral Cheek Color, the Bronzing Powder, and the Translucent Loose Powder, but I think they’re very expensive for what they are, and you can find comparable things at the drugstore. The Lash Love Mascara and Gel Eyeliner were really lacking, in my opinion. I would definitely stay away from the brushes. They were a complete miss. Realistically, I don’t think I’ll be placing an order with Mary Kay any time soon, but now I know what they offer and that they’re an option.

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

22 March 2014


We haven’t talked makeup for a while. So let’s get on that. I’ve been collecting my makeup, hair care, skincare, and body care trash for the past few months. I used up all of these products, with a couple exceptions that I’ll talk about down below. This is all about sharing my opinions with you and letting you know what I’d repurchase and what I’m going to stay away from in the future. Click here to see my other Empties! Let’s get on with it.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 25 Medium: I love this concealer. I’ve been through several tubes, and I now I’ve talked about it before. I definitely scraped the sides of this tube until there wasn’t anything left. I use this to cover spots and scars. It covers dark spots and imperfections without feeling too heavy. Coverage is buildable. It’s easy to blend. I’m almost through another tube! I really enjoy this concealer. I think it’s my favorite from the drugstore.

Covergirl + Olay Concealer Balm in Light/Medium: I absolutely hated this concealer. I don’t think I’ve ever used a product that I’ve hated more than this. I looked like an oil slick when I used this. No matter how much I powdered, I ended up looking incredibly oily. I don’t think I’ve ever looked so oily. The entire time I used this, I just wanted my experience with the product to be over with. The coverage wasn’t bad and it blended well, but I was completely oily in less than an hour. This product also runs dark. Light/Medium perfectly matched my skin. How did I even survive wearing this? Oh my gosh. It was horrible!

Maybelline Fit Me Stick Foundation Samples: Overall, this foundation is so dry and I don’t think it would do well with my skin, even though I’m on the oily side. Really dry foundations usually break down very quickly on me. It’s like my oil busts through them or something. The coverage seems it could be built up to medium. I wasn’t actually able to wear this foundation, because neither of the shades were my color. 220 was my closest match, but it was a couple shades too light. I thought I’d be able to use shade 355 as a cream contour. Absolutely not. I don’t think 355 would match anyone’s skintone. It’s orange/red/brown like a brick. It’s really strange. I don’t think I’d purchase the full size.

Essence Stay All Day Long Lasting Eyeshadow in Glammy Goes To…: I absolutely loved this cream eyeshadow. It was golden taupe, and very metallic. It didn’t crease on me, and it was long wearing. Unfortunately, it dried up before I could finish it. It didn’t dry up quickly or anything. I’ve had it for a couple years. It’s still useable, it’s just not easily blended, and it’s just time to get rid of it. I don’t think Ulta carries this anymore or Essence has stopped making it.

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Volume & Length Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black: First of all, I really wanted to love this mascara because of it’s beautiful packaging. I don’t usually opt for waterproof mascaras, but I went for it. This is the worst mascara I’ve ever used. I absolutely hated it. Right off the bat, the formula was incredibly wet and transferred to my upper and lower lids. It smudged. It took forever to dry. The brush was too big for my eyes and made application difficult. It was clumpy. It flaked. I mean it was an absolute nightmare and it wasn’t worth the time or money.

e.l.f. Volumizing Mascara in Black: First of all, I’d like to say that this isn’t a bad mascara. This isn’t a volumizing formula. If anything, it’s lightly lengthening. It gives a very natural look, which I decently enjoyed. My biggest problem with it is that it flaked on me. Mascaras rarely flake on me. Flaking is something that really bothers me, so I wouldn’t buy this again.

Revlon Color Stay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black: I hated this eyeliner. It’s not worth the money. Right off the bat, it skipped. It was hard to get an even line. I consider myself an eyeliner pro, especially when it comes to winged liner. It’s definitely not as black as I’d like. It dried out at the tip, so I couldn’t create my winged eyeliner. There’s still product toward the center of the felt tip, but it’s incredibly hard to create a fine line with the center of the tip. If you touch it the liner after you’ve applied it, it easily smudges. Basically, it never completely sets. It’s not worth the time or the struggle. Just don’t even bother.

Jordana Fabu Liner in Black: This liner was okay. It wasn’t as black as I’d like. The tip is a little thicker than what I’m used to, and that made doing winged liner a little more difficult. I feel like it took a while for it to dry out, which is good. Once it started drying out, I couldn’t create my sharp wings and it started skipping. At that point, I was pretty much over it. This liner also smells like a sharpie marker, which is questionable. I don’t think I’ll repurchase this.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Brew Berry: This is from the Halloween collection from a couple years ago. We have a massive back stock of soap. And I have one more Brew Berry to finish. I think we got like six of these when they came out. I feel like I’ve gone through so many of these and I just want it gone. It’s not a bad scent or anything. It has a fruity candy smell, but I’m just over it.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Holly Berry Wreath: This is from the winter collection from a couple years ago. The scent was a lot fresher than I expected. There’s nothing spicy or or musky about it, unlike most of the holiday scents. It’s more of an apple citrus scent, which I liked. It’s quite unexpected for a winter scent, but I’d get this one again.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Twisted Peppermint: Twisted Peppermint is one of my all-time favorite scents from B&BW. It’s very minty and refreshing, like a candy cane. It’s lightly sweet, so it’s not going to be like a minty toothpaste scent. I even own a full-sized body mist in Twisted Peppermint!

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Vanilla Bean Noel: Let’s just start of by saying that I’m not a huge fan of vanilla on its own. I see how this appeals to people, but I’m just alright with it. I just don’t like dessert scents that well. I don’t hate this scent, but I don’t particularly love it. We have more of this to use up, so you’ll be seeing this again.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Winter Cranberry: Here’s another unexpected winter scent. I definitely love cranberry scents. This is more of a cran-apple scent with floral. It’s not particularly fresh or sweet. It’s definitely very floral to me. I did enjoy this scent.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin: I’m not usually a fan of pumpkin, but I liked this scent. It definitely has a lot of cinnamon to it, but it’s not overly spicy or warm. I feel like it still has some freshness to it. I don’t think it’s my favorite, but I wouldn’t mind having it again.

Loreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Swim & Sport Shampoo in Splash of Sunny Orange: When was the last time you saw one of these? This shampoo really strips the hair of chlorine and dirt, but also natural oils. I think daily clarifying shampoos can remove chlorine and dirt without leaving the hair feeling stripped. This formula is too harsh for someone with dry hair. I have oily hair and used this up as a clarifying shampoo, and I didn’t feel like I had any damage or drying. I’m not sure if they still make this, or if it’s just a seasonal product. Regardless, I won’t be picking another one up, even though it is effective.

V05 Tea Therapy Clarifying Shampoo in Vanilla Mint Tea: This isn’t a bad shampoo. I think it does a decent job at removing dirty and oil from my hair, but I ha a huge problem with the smell! Improved fragrance? I don’t think so. It smells like industrial factory metal, rancid vanilla, and old mint gum. And the scent hangs around! I could smell my hair hours after shampooing. It’s noxious. Even though I like V05 clarifying shampoos, I won’t be repurchasing this scent.

Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo for Wavy or Curly Hair: I’ve talked about this dry shampoo fairly often, so I’m not going to go on and on. I think that it does a nice job for adding texture, but it doesn’t make really oily hair look clean again. It’s more of a styling product for me.

Pssssst! On-The-Go! Instant Dry Shampoo: This is the worst dry shampoo I’ve ever used. This has such a bad white cast in my dark hair. I don’t like the texture that it gives my hair and it really doesn’t do much to make my hair look clean. I don’t like the smell, which is kind of like rotten fruit. I’ll absolutely never purchase this kind again.

Bath & Body Works Superfruit 2-in-1 Body Scrub + Wash in Rome Honeysuckle Amore: I didn’t really like this body scrub. It did a good job at getting my skin smooth, but it was really abrasive. And it wouldn’t wash out of my bathtub, which was really strange. It just hung around. I absolutely loved this scent though. Oh my gosh, it’s heavenly. It’s very floral. I’d definitely purchase a perfume in this scent. I have one more B&BW body scrub to use, and then I’m moving on.

Bella Il Fiore Walnut Sugar Scrub in Peppermint: I used this as a body scrub. It was definitely very gritty and abrasive. I guess it got the job done, but it wasn’t particularly comfortable to use. Let’s talk about the scent. I know it’s supposed to be peppermint, but it leans horseradish to me. It honestly smells like a spicy cocktail sauce, which is incredibly strange. I got this as a gift, but I wouldn’t purchase this on my own.

Up & Up (Target) Oil Free Acne Wash in Great Fruit: This is supposed to be comparable to Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub. I’ve never used the Neutrogena scrub, so I can’t speak on how the generic compares. Regardless, I didn’t like this one. I started by using this on my face. This left a strange residue on my face and barely exfoliated. I ended up using most of it as a exfoliating body wash. It didn’t work well for that either. I would never buy this again.

Ulta 3-in-1 Beauty Smoothie in Creamy Cocolada: I’m so glad that I’ve used up all of my Beauty Smoothies! They’re not a bad body wash or anything, but they’re definitely not my favorite. They don’t lather. Overtime, they get really thin and watery, which I’m sure if a problem with the packaging. In terms of the scent, it smelled like an artificial coconut that had gone stale. It wasn’t horrible, but I wasn’t a fan of the scent.

Ulta 3-in-1 Beauty Smoothie in Peppermint Stick: This Beauty Smoothie behaved the same as the one in Creamy Cocolada. It got thin and didn’t lather. This was a limited edition Christmas scent. This scent was more on the vanilla side of peppermint, which I didn’t particularly enjoy. Overall, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any more Beauty Smoothies.

Ulta Hand Lotion in Candy Cane: I bought this lotion during Christmas time, when Ulta had their 5 for $5 specials. It was a dollar, so I didn’t have high hopes. I wasn’t very impressed by this lotion, but I didn’t hate it either. It didn’t deeply moisturize my hands, but it was just enough to take any uncomfortable dryness away. I liked that it soaked in quickly and I liked the minty smell. I wouldn’t buy it again, but it wasn’t horrible.

Ban Invisible Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant in Shower Fresh: I’ve used up several of these, so I’m not doing to go into too much detail. This keeps me dry and smelling fresh. The scent isn’t too perfumed. It works, but I think I’m going to try something different after I use up my current stick.

Venus Sensitive Disposables: I talk about these all the time. They are the only razors I use. They give a close shave, they don’t cut me, and they don’t rust. It’s as simple as that. I’ll keep buying them too.

Clarisonic Delicate Brush Head: This brush head works much better for my skin compared to the horrible Sensitive Brush Head. It hasn’t caused any painful breakouts and it hasn’t left my skin feeling dry. The delicates are making my Clarisonic experience much more enjoyable. My face is feeling clean and normal. I’ll continue to repurchase these!

Kiss Nail Dress in KDS07WG: I’m hoping that’s the style number. This print was limited edition, so I’m not sure if you can still find it. I received these from Influenster for review. I think that these nail dresses are cute, but I think they’re more work than nail polish. There weren’t exact fits for my nails. When you file off the excess, it can look like a ripped band-aid. They last longer than I expected, but the edges do start to lift a couple days after application. I got two full sets of nails out of the package, with some left over. Overall, this print wasn’t really my style, but if I found one that I really liked, maybe I’d repurchase.

Boots Expert Sensitive Hydrating Eye Cream: I used this cream before makeup application, as an eyelid moisturizer. My eyelids can get very dry, where they flake. Not cute. I really liked this at first. I thought it was helping with hydration, but then I started to notice a lot of fine lines around my eyes, which caused my concealer to look like a crispy, creased mess. I though that maybe it was a sign of premature aging, but after I started using a new eye cream, they pretty much went away. I guess I didn’t know how much I disliked it until I finished it.

Bella Il Fiore Whipped Body Creme in Honeysuckle Grapefruit: This is more of a body butter than a lotion. It does take a while to soak in and it does moisturize the skin, but it’s not deeply moisturizing. It’s not overly impressive as a body butter. I do absolutely love the scent of this. It’s sweet, citrus, and fresh, without being too sharp. I don’t think Bella makes this product anymore. I got this as a gift, but I don’t think I’d purchase it for myself.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner: I won’t go on and on about this toner because I’ve used multiple bottles of it. I use this as a cleansing water to remove makeup that my makeup wipe didn’t get. It’s not harsh whatsoever, and it just gets the job done. I really like this product, and I’ll continue to repurchase it.

Clean & Clear Essentials Oil-Free Deep Cleaning Astringent: This is just 2% salicylic acid. Don’t be fooled. It definitely helps with any acne I have, but I think I’d rather just purchase medicated cleansing pads rather than just salicylic acid. I would purchase this again, but I have other salicylic products that can do the same job.

Maybelline Clean Express! Oil Free Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover: I’ve used several bottles of this. This is the best drugstore eye makeup remover I’ve used so far. It’s easy to use, doesn’t leave any residue, and actually removes mascara and eyeliner. I don’t wake up with any dark smudges under my eyes. I don’t think I’ll do without this.

Up & Up Oil Free Facial Moisturizing Lotion: This is a lotion with SPF. It left my skin feeling oily, even though it was oil free. It didn’t soak in very quickly. It left my skin looking shiny. I didn’t like it, and I only used half. It expired and turned into a congealed mass, so it definitely has to go. I won’t be repurchasing this.

Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Normal/Combo Skin: This is my holy grail moisturizer and I think it’s been in every one of my Empties, so I’ll keep this brief. First of all, it’s a gel, not a cream. It’s light-weight and cooling. The fresh scent is great. It soaks in quickly. I love the glass jar. It doesn’t make me feel oily. It’s perfect.

Oxy Daily Defense Cleansing Pads: I really like salicylic acid cleansing pads. I think they help with my spots and oily skin, in treating and preventing. I’m not exclusive with Oxy brand anymore. I think that when they repackaged them, they reformulated them. They just don’t work as well. I like the old ones better and I’ve moved on to something different.

Yes to Grapefruit Correct & Repair Brightening Facial Towelettes: I feel like I’ve gone on and one about these, so I’ll try to make this brief. These are my favorite makeup removing wipes. I love the scent and the packaging. I like that they’re lightly exfoliating. They’re saturated with makeup remover. The only downside is that they cannot be used on the eyes. I think I’ll always buy these.

N°7 Beautiful Skin Quick Thinking Wipes: I liked these wipes because they could be used on the eyes. I don’t think they had the softest texture, but they didn’t irritate my eyes. They removed my makeup, but I don’t think as well as my grapefruit wipes. I like the packaging, and they did an okay job, but I don’t think I’m going to pick these up again. I’ve found something that can be used on the eyes that’s better.

Up & Up (Target) Unscented Baby Wipes: There’s really not to say about these. I’m using them to wipe off my hands after I do my makeup and to remove swatches. They do the job. They’re not very soft, but they get my hands clean. And they’re not scented at all. I’ve already purchased another pack.

Equaline Premium Cotton Rounds: I get these at my local grocery store, Jewel, which I think is exclusive to the Chicagoland area. There isn’t much to say about these. I use these to remove my eye makeup. One side has a smooth, woven texture, which I prefer to use. The other side has a textured diamond pattern. They’re not my favorite cotton rounds, but they’re cheap and they do just fine.

13 January 2014

Makeup New Year’s Resolution Tag

Hey guys. I found this tag and I just thought it would be a nice way to reflect on 2013 and jump into the new year. Plus, you guys can get to know me a little bit better. I don’t really have anyone to tag, but if you want to do this and you blog, go ahead and let me know!

1. What is a technique you’ve improved on during the past year?
Looking back, I think that I’ve really improved on keeping my skin matte. My skin gets really oily during the winter, which is strange, I know. My skin gets more normal during the warmer months. Last year, I’d come home from work or school looking like a shiny new penny. This past year, I’ve found the right products, skincare and makeup, to help prevent that penny look.

2. What is your overall most used makeup product this year?
I think my most used products would have to be my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Makeup and my Rimmel Stay Matte powder. I used up about three or four bottles of the foundation, and several pans of the powder in 2013. I absolutely love that foundation. I know it’s not for everyone. I get that, but it’s just perfect for me. I love the texture, the finish, and the coverage. And no matter what foundation I was wearing, I always topped it with my Stay Matte powder. If you’re wondering, I wear the shade Honey in the foundation and Sandstorm in the powder. (I’m thinking about doing a review on the Instant Age Rewind Eraser line.)

3. What brand would you like to try in the coming year?

I’d really like to get into more higher end brands. I use mostly drugstore makeup, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I love drugstore makeup and skincare, but I just think I’d like to treat myself a little bit this year. To get brand specific, I’d really like to try some products from Tarte.

4. Are there any products that you want to use up this year?
I have so many products that I want to use up! Some of the products I have honestly hated and I just want them out of my life. Most of the products I want to use up have just been hanging around for a while and they just need some attention. To get specific, I have a few lip products that are close to empty, I’d like to use up a few nail polishes, and hopefully a couple eyeshadows too. I also have a stash of products that I’ve bought on sale or just to have a backup of something. I’d like to start clearing that out as well. Hopefully you guys will see them in an Empties post sometime this year!

5. Favorite winter activity and what do you wear and how do you do your makeup for it?
I don’t have any favorite winter activities. I hate the winter. Where I live, it’s too bitterly cold to do much of anything, including normal daily activities. This week, for example, it was about -16° F with -50° wind chills. So for most of winter life, I wear a pullover sweater, jeans, snow boots, and a wool coat. Like I said, I get oily during the winter, so my makeup has just adjust accordingly. I try to avoid cream products, and try to go easy on the face products. I’m just really over winter and unfortunately, it will probably be this way for the next few months.

6. What is one bad makeup habit that you want to break in the coming year?

I think I’m really bad at washing my brushes regularly. No, it’s not like I’m using filthy brushes all the time. I kind of just put my dirty ones aside and forget about them while I’m using my other brushes. As a result, I end up storing quite a few dirty brushes. I recently bought myself a Benjabelle Brush Tree (Daisy), so hopefully that will encourage me to wash my brushes more.

7. Favorite clothing to keep warm and dry in the winter?
Keeping warm and dry in Chicagoland winter is pretty much impossible. I try to completely avoid the outdoors when there’s snow and ice on the ground. To say warm indoors, I really love Hanes pullover crew neck sweatshirts. I have them in pretty much every color. They’re just really comfortable. I also have snow boots from the brand Sporto, and I’ve absolutely never had a problem with them leaking or my feet feeling cold, but I’m not hiking around and trekking through snow.

8. A fellow youtuber you really loved watching this year.

Well, as you guys know, I’m not a youtuber. Yeah, this was originally a Youtube tag, that doesn’t really matter. Here are some of the people I loved watching in 2013. Click their names to be taken to their channels!

Beauty: Claire Marshall / emilynoel83 / essiebutton / Jamie Greenberg / leighannsays / Glam Life Guru
Off Beauty: Eat Your Kimchi / essiebuttonvlogs / Mamrie Hart / Mental Floss / Vice

9. Are you planning to wear lipstick/gloss when the ball drops at midnight? If so, which lipstick/gloss?

The ball already dropped, and we’re already well into 2014 at this point. Oh well. I didn’t wear lipstick or gloss on New Year’s Ever. I did have a killer eye look though. Gold glitter. I don’t usually like to wear lip products to parties where I know I’ll be eating and drinking. I don’t like to touch up.

10. What is your best Best New Year’s Eve memory?
I don’t really have any great memories from New Year’s Eve. They all kind of just blend together. I’m not a holiday person, honestly. Here’s a memory though. One New Year’s Eve, I was at my grandparents’ house and the power went out. We had to light the fireplace to stay warm. Both of my grandparents fell asleep really early, and I ended up propping a tap light against my sleeping grandma and coloring in a coloring book. I was like 15.

11. What was the best thing that happened to you this year?
Well, I think that the creation of this blog has definitely been a positive thing for me. Also, I was able to maintain my 4.0 GPA in school, which was hard at times. Honestly, this was a pretty hard year for me.

12. Describe the year 2013 in 3 words.
Challenging / Casual / Confusing

13. What activity hobby are you finally going to take up in 2014?
I can’t really think of any hobbies that I want to take up in 2014. I guess I just want to dedicate more time to blogging and see where that takes me.

14. Hypothetically, you win the lottery in 2014. If you could donate to any charity in 2014, which charity is dear to you and why?
Hopefully I do win the lottery in 2014! That would be great! Anyway, I don’t have a particular charity in mind. If I won that sort of money, I’d really love to donate money to help American war veterans, whether it’s helping them make the transition back into civilian life or helping with their medical care at VA hospitals. I just don’t think we treat our vets with the care and appreciation that they deserve, and I’ve always wanted to enlist. I’d also like to donate to a charity that was dedicated to helping people that have been sexually assaulted abused, with their medical and emotional care. I definitely think that America has a rape culture and we don’t do enough for these victims.

14. What food or beverage are you going to give up in 2014? What food or beverage are you finally going to try in 2014?
I know I probably should be giving up Chipotle burritos, but I just can’t. I love them too much. I don’t have a specific food that I’d like to try in 2014, I just want to eat more cultural food. I’d really like to go to some restaurants that I wouldn’t normally go to.

15. If you could have one of your dreams come true for 2014, what would it be and why?
In 2014, I just really want to find my happiness, develop my sense of self, and become a little bit healthier along the way. I don’t have any major health or fitness goals for this year, but I think that eating fresher foods and a little exercise would do me a lot of good. I really want this year to be about discovering myself and my potential. I just want to be the best Liv I can be. Hopefully, I can complete my degree this year! I aim to improve my Korean this year. Also, I hope to continue my beauty blogging. Let’s see where 2014 takes Living Visual!

♡ Liv W.

15 December 2013

Oh my gosh guys. I have been hoarding empty products for a while now. It’s been a couple months since my last post. I apologize. I’m in the business of Halloween, then I had midterms, and I just had finals. And during the course of that, we’ve had some pretty bad weather here, so I haven’t been able to photograph outside. I’m trying to figure up the best photographing setup in my house. Anyway, enough with the excuses. Here are the empties. Just like last time, I’m going to separate them into two posts.

Click here to see my makeup & skincare empties!

_______________ Empties _______________

Pure Silk Moisturizing Shave Cream in Papaya: This shave cream was alright. It got the job done. Honestly, I used it up to get rid of it. I’m not even sure where this can be purchased. I don’t think I’ve seen it in drugstores. Maybe it’s a Dollar Store item. The scent was alright, but I prefer shave gel over cream. I’m not going to repurchase it.

Ban Invisible Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant in shower Fresh: I really like this deodorant. I think it keeps me fresh throughout the day. I like the scent and I don’t find myself sweating. I have a couple more of these to use up, but after that, I think I’m going to try something new. I’d like to try one of those Clear Tone deodorants. I’ve been using this deodorant for years, and it’s tried and true. I’m just looking for a change. Maybe there’s something better out there?

Pink With a Splash in Fruity & Bright All-Over Body Mist: Much like everything that I like from Victoria’s Secret, this body mist has been discontinued. This had such a nice, lightly fruity fragrance (a nice mix of berries and citrus). It wasn’t anything overpowering. It was just nice and subtle. It was perfect. I would definitely repurchase this if they hadn’t discontinued it. If you loved this fragrance, let me recommend a couple replacement options for you: Unconditional Love by Philosophy (leans more berry), and Juste un Baiser by Fragonard Parfumeur (leans more vanilla). They’re both definitely more expensive than Fruity & Bright, but they’re both pretty close to it. 

Venus Sensitive Disposables: I’ve talked about this razors many times before. These are my favorite disposable razors. I think they give a close shave. They don’t rust like a lot of other disposables do, and the blades stay pretty sharp. They’re a little pricey compared to the other women’s disposables, but they’re worth it. Usually you can get a good coupon for them too.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Georgia Bourbon Peach: I really love peach scented things, and this just didn’t smell like peach to me. It smelled like a spiced orange. It wasn’t a bad scent, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. And no, I wouldn’t repurchase this one. Of course, I would repurchase the foaming soaps from Bath & Body Works. I love them. Just not this one.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Washington Apple Harvest: I really enjoyed the scent of this soap. It’s a brighter apple scent, opposed to a baked or spiced apple. It’s not a strong fruity fragrance either. It’s apple with a hint of something different. I can’t really describe it. It’s a pretty refreshing fragrance. I would definitely repurchase it.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Heartland Harvest Marmalade: I’m not a fan of orange scented products, but this isn’t overwhelmingly orange. It’s definitely on the deeper, spicier side of orange. It also has a baked-good quality to it. It’s not a bright citrus orange whatsoever. I don’t think I’m going to repurchase this one, but it wasn’t bad.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Sonoma Vineyard Berries: I really enjoyed this scent because it didn’t smell like grapes. It didn’t smell like wine either. If anything, I’d say it smelled like lightly sweet fresh air. Maybe the air from a vineyard. Thankfully it wasn’t that artificial grape smell. I would repurchase this one.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Coconut Lime Verbena: This was one of their signature scents. I think it was just alright. It didn’t have a whole lot of coconut to it. If anything, it was kind of bitter, like lime zest. I wouldn’t repurchase this scent again.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Black Raspberry Vanilla: This fragrance is right up my alley. I love berry scents, especially when they have a vanilla element to them. Plus, it’s a light fragrance, almost like the Fruity & Bright body mist. I think I have another bottle of this. Regardless, I would definitely repurchase this.

Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Berry Sangria: This was one of their summer scents. I was expecting it to be really fruity and tropical, but it just wasn’t. It honestly smelled like watered down fruit punch. I think they missed the mark on their summer collection. I won’t be repurchasing this one next summer.

Pantene Pro-V Color Revival Revitaliza-Color Conditioner: I really don’t have anything to say about this conditioner because I didn’t use it on my hair. I used it as a shave cream, and I guess it did alright. I haven’t had color treated hair for probably 5+ years, and I don’t use hair conditioner. I wouldn’t repurchase this because I have no use for it. I just wanted to use it up and recycle it.

Ulta Shower Smoothie in Key Lime Kooler: This is such an old shower smoothie. A long time ago, Ulta clearanced out all of their shower products because they were going to change the packaging. I purchased a ton of them. I think this one was my last one with old packaging. It took me forever to use this because of the size. The formula is a little thin and watery, but it still lathered. It really did smell like key lime. Overall, I don’t think I’ll repurchase another Shower Smoothie.

V05 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo in Kiwi Lime Squeeze: I like this shampoo. I think it does a good job at handing oil and residue in hair and I do like the scent. I’ve moved onto something different (which I hate, but I’m working through it). I may purchase this, I may not. It’s not a bad shampoo by any means, I’m just still on the quest for something better.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray: I have naturally wavy hair that usually looks limp after washing it. This gives my hair some texture and some body, so it doesn’t look so flat. I love the scent of this spray too. It’s kind of salty, with a hint of coconut. I’ve already purchased another one.

Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo for Wavy or Curly Hair: I really like this dry shampoo, but only the Wavy hair version. I think it does a pretty good job at refreshing my hair, but I like it even better to add some texture throughout the day. It doesn’t leave a white residue in my hair. I’ll probably repurchase it in the future. I’m actually working my way through another one right now.

Dove Hair Therapy Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo: This is definitely a heavy duty dry shampoo. This isn’t one that I’d use just to give my hair some extra texture. This is one that I’d use for the days that I didn’t wash my hair ad it was looking oily. Overall, I really liked the smell but it did leave a bit of a white cast. I definitely have to brush it through my hair, but it did give my hair a refreshed look. I will repurchase it.

15 December 2013

Oh my gosh guys. I have been hoarding empty products for a while now. It’s been a couple months since my last post. I apologize. I’m in the business of Halloween, then I had midterms, and I just had finals. And during the course of that, we’ve had some pretty bad weather here, so I haven’t been able to photograph outside. I’m trying to figure up the best photographing setup in my house. Anyway, enough with the excuses. Here are the empties. Just like last time, I’m going to separate them into two posts.

Click here to see my bath and body empties!

_______________ Empties _______________

e.l.f. Studio Blush in Candid Coral: I really enjoyed this blush. It’s such a nice peachy color, and it isn’t powdery like a lot of inexpensive blushes. I think it’s a really great drugstore blush, perfect for those of us with medium or olive skin. The pigmentation is there, and for only $3, it’s beyond worth giving it a try.

Bare Minerals Foundation in Tan: As I’ve expressed before, I’m not a fan of Bare Minerals. I think it’s a waste of money because it doesn’t give me any coverage. I used this particular one as a contour powder because it was too dark for me. It was a nice shade for contouring, but it just kind of disappeared throughout the day. Will I repurchase this? Absolutely not.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Sandstorm: I really love this powder. I think it does a nice job at keeping me matte without looking powdery or overdone. I always set my foundation with it. Maybe this is my holy grail powder?

Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express how much I hated this stuff. It just didn’t highlight how I expected it to. Everyone was raving about this, and I found it to be very mediocre. The only reason it’s gone is because it literally fell apart. One day, it just exploded, and I didn’t want to deal with it. I’m just glad to be done with it.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Makeup in Honey: This is my all time favorite foundation. I’ve used up quite a few of these and I’ll continue to repurchase it. It really has such a smooth formula and gives a flawless finish. I usually wear this in the spring, summer, and early fall. I purchased it in a lighter shade (Buff), and I’m going to see how it works with my winter skin (I’m oily in the winter, normal in the summer).

e.l.f. Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara: I think this is an alright brow gel for the price. It’s only $1. Sometimes there’s too much product on the brush, and it gives my brows a goopy, wet look. That only happens on occasion. Overall, it’s not bad. I’ve just moved onto something different. I don’t think I’ll be picking this up again.

e.l.f. Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Purple/Plum: I really liked the concept of this product. You get a creme shadow at one end, a liner at the other. Unfortunately, the creme liner stayed nice while the creme shadow dried up and got difficult to work with. I wasn’t able to use up the shadow. In terms of the color, the purple shadow was more of a purple-toned taupe. The liner was a true plum. I wouldn’t purchase this again.

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner in Blackest Black: I really enjoy this liner in the beginning, and then I hate it by the end. It’s very pigmented and easy to use (in the beginning). By the end, it’s hard to create a wing. So now, I’m throwing away a pen that still has quite a bit of product in it, but not enough going toward the tip to create a wing. It still makes a nice line toward the center applicator, just not at the tip.That’s kind of irritating to me. This also has a tendency to smudge on me on long days. I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this, at least not for a while.

NYX Round Lipstick in Harmonica: I really love NYX lipsticks, but this color just wasn’t practical for me. It was way too light and frosty, so I really only used it for costume purposes for to lightly mix it into another lipstick to add some shine. Overall, the lipstick had a great formula and wore nicely. The color just wasn’t for me.

e.l.f. 3-in-1 Mascara in Black: I really like this mascara for the price. I think the spiky plastic brush makes it very easy to apply. The brush is a nice size too. This gives a really natural look to the lashes, but still adds length and a little bit of volume. I would definitely repurchase this. I’m currently using another mascara for my natural look, but after I use that up, I’m going back to this.

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara in Black: I think this mascara did a pretty good job at giving me natural-looking lashes. It wasn’t very volumizing, like it claims, but it gave me a nice look. I wasn’t very fond of the long brush. That was kind of hard to work with and sometimes caused smudging. This mascara was okay, but I’m not sure if I’m going to pick it up again.

Maybelline The Rock Volum’ Express in Very Black: I really love this mascara. It gives me nice length and volume without looking clumpy. It makes my lashes look very black. I’d have to say, it gives me something close to a false eyelash look. I really like the rubber brush too. It doesn’t flake or smudge on me, which is definitely a plus. I’ll be repurchasing this.

e.l.f. Regular & Waterproof Mascara Duo in Black: First of all, there’s really no difference between the regular and waterproof sides of this mascara, at least not that I can see. They both wear like a normal mascara. On the positive side, it does give me a nice natural look. It’s not as nice as the 3-in-1 Mascara, but it’s a look that I didn’t mind wearing. This mascara didn’t flake or smudge on me either. I don’t like that the brushes are so small. I’m don’t think I’ll repurchase this, but it’s not a bad product.

Essence All Eyes on Me Mascara in Soft Black: I’ve talked about this mascara before. I considered it a fail because it didn’t add length of volume, like it claims. It was more of a lash tint. It dried up very quickly too. On a positive note, it didn’t smear, smudge or flake and I didn’t mind the traditional brush applicator. I won’t be repurchasing this one.

Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray: I really love this setting spray. It prolongs my makeup and keeps me from looking as oily throughout the day. If you’re oily, you need to look into this. On the downside, I really dislike the new packaging. It has a soft finish (almost like Nars packaging) and it looks dirty very quickly. I’m currently using a setting spray from Nyx, but I’ve already purchased another De-Slick.

Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Normal/Combo Skin: This is my ultimate holy grail moisturizer. It’s so cooling and soaks right into the skin. It doesn’t leave my skin with an oily, lotion-y look. It hydrates without giving me too much hydration. It’s just perfect. And I’ll probably continue to purchase this until I cannot purchase it anymore. Oh, and the glass bottle makes it feel luxurious!

Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head: I’ve talked about this before, and I absolutely hate it. It ruined my skin and caused me to have really painful break outs. I thought I just hated my Clarisonic, but it turned out to be the head. This is the brush that came with my Clarisonic. Of course, I knew there would be a purging period, but that period never ended for me. I switched to the Delicate brush, and I’m a lot happier with my skin. If you’re having acne problems with the Sensitive brush, I would definitely make the switch.

Maybelline Clean Express! Oil Free Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover: I’ve used up several of these. I think they’re great eye makeup removers, and I’ll definitely continue to repurchase them. They’re really gentle on my eyes. I don’t necessarily think they easily remove waterproof makeup, like they claim, but they remove everything else.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner: I really love using this toner as a cleansing water. I wouldn’t use this as a toner because it doesn’t have any toning ingredients. It’s very gentle and removes all traces of my makeup. It’s definitely worth picking up. I’ll definitely continue to repurchase it.

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Towelettes: If you read what I had to say about the Tomatoes towelettes, this is a different story. These are a lot more saturated than the Tomatoes, but less saturated than the Grapefruit. The scent is a lot more pleasant too. They smell like Fruit Loops cereal. I think they removed my makeup better than the Tomatoes, but not as great as the Grapefruit. I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing these, but I didn’t hate them. The packaging, like everything from the brand, is absolutely adorable, and I really appreciated the plastic top.

Yes to Grapefruit Correct & Repair Brightening Facial Towelettes: These are my favorite towelettes, and they have been for a while now. I think they smell really great (like citrus), and they do a nice job of taking my makeup off. They’re lightly exfoliating, like they claim. I absolutely love how cute the packaging is and I really like the pop top. The only downside is that they cannot be used on the eyes.

N°7 Beautiful Skin Quick Thinking Wipes: I was really surprised by these makeup remover wipes. I think they do a pretty nice job of removing makeup. These are very gentle on my eyes, unlike the Yes to Grapefruit wipes (which I cannot use on my eyes). They claim to be able to remove waterproof mascara. I can tell you right now, they struggle to do so. I have to bring in my eye makeup remover. They do a pretty nice job at removing everything else. I just wish they were a little bit more saturated. I really like the plastic pop top. I think I’ll repurchase these in the future.

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths: I’ve talked about these before. I was just using these to remove makeup from my hands. They’re pretty inexpensive for makeup wipes, but they don’t do that great of a job if you’re using them as a part of your skincare. I’ve since moved onto baby wipes to get swatches and makeup off of my hands. I won’t be picking these up again.

Swisspers 100% Cotton Rounds: I thought these were alright. I definitely like the hypoallergenic Swisspers better. These had an alright texture (like a honey comb imprint), but it kind of fell apart if they became too saturated. I don’t think I’ll be buying anymore of this particular kind.

Studio 35 Beauty Textured Cotton Rounds: I’ve talked about these before and they’re absolutely horrible. I bought these with the intention of using them to remove my eye makeup and applying toner. Turns out they have large shards of plastic in them, which scratched the skin around my eye. From that point, I only used them to remove my nail polish. I would never repurchase these again! They’re awfully dangerous.

Equaline Premium Cotton Rounds: I think these cotton rounds are very close to the Swisspers hypoallergenic kind. These are also hypoallergenic and double-sided like the Swisspers. One side has a honey comb imprint, and the other side is smooth and woven, almost like a fabric. The smooth side is my favorite side. I’ve already repurchased two more packages of these. By the way, I get these at Jewel, a Chicagoland grocery store, so I’m not sure if this brand is widely available.

e.l.f. Shine Eraser Oil Blotting Sheets: These have saved my face quite a few times. I think they do a great job of taking away shine and oil on the face. They don’t lift away makeup or add any excess powder to the face. Plus, you get 50 sheets for $1. That’s a really great value.

Clearasil Refreshing Superfruit Wash: I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, in my Varsity VoxBox. I don’t think it helped with preventing acne, like it claims. It didn’t do anything for my oily skin. I actually felt like my skin got worse after using this. It had a strange smell to it too. I wouldn’t purchase this.

19 October 2013

Hey everyone! This is the other super exciting secret that I’ve been keeping from you guys! I received Influenster’s Varsity VoxBox in early October and I’ve been testing out the products, seeing what works and what doesn’t. This isn’t intended to be a line of fully-formed reviews, just quick bits of information about the products, some first impressions, and my experiences with them. Influenster sent me these products to review, but as always, what you’re going to read is 100% genuine and honest.

Let me tell you a little about Influenster. It’s a company that sends out free products/samples in exchange for your opinion. It’s free to join, and anyone can participate. You don’t have to have a blog or a YouTube. They are based on a badge system. You pick badges based on your interests. You earn points towards those badge by social networking, blogging, and reviewing products on their website. The more points you have, the more likely you are to get a VoxBox. You get a VoxBox, and you give Influenster your opinions on the products inside. I got this particular VoxBox because I’m a college student.

Don’t worry. I’ll have links below so you can get more information about Influenster. Let’s get on with the products!

__________ UNBOXING THIS VOXBOX __________

Clearasil Refreshing Superfruit Wash: Right off the bat, I don’t like that they sent little sample packets, but I understand that I’m getting this box for free, so I can’t really complain about that. I do wish that they sent a travel sized face wash instead of the packets. I received three packets total, which is equal to six uses. All of the packets were accompanied by coupons for the full sized products in the Superfruit line. I used the face wash four times (with my Clarisonic), and each time, I wasn’t super thrilled with it. It has a very thin, watery consistency that doesn’t foam or lather. It kind of smells like berry, with something a little unpleasant added into the mix, like sweat or body odor. I used it both in the morning and at night. It didn’t help control my oil and didn’t particularly help with acne. I think if you have normal skin, this would be alright for you. It just didn’t work out for me.

Airheads Xtremes Bites in Rainbow Berry: This is the largest item in the box (a full sized product). I wasn’t particularly excited about receiving candy in my VoxBox, but that opinion quickly changed. It’s time to be honest right now. I absolutely love gummy candy, especially sour gummy candy. I ate this entire bag within two days of getting my VoxBox. The bites taste like a blue-raspberry slushie. They’re not overly sour and they’re more firm than a gummy bear. I would definitely purchase them. They’re addictive. Click here to view the nutrition facts.

Kiss Nail Dress:  This is one of the products that I was most excited about. I had never used any nail dresses before. This is a full sized product and was accompanied by a coupon. In the pack, you get 28 nail dresses (a weird number, in my opinion), a mini nail file to help with application, and a small catalog that displays the other nail dress designs. This is a limited edition pack and the name isn’t displayed anywhere on the box. I suppose this design goes by KDS07WG. There are 14 sizes to choose from and they can be used on your fingernails or your toenails. I applied them to my fingernails. I think these are a little hard to apply, especially if you have wide fingernails. I found that there wasn’t a perfect size for all of my nails, so I had to trim a couple of them. These don’t completely smooth out around the tips of the nails. When you go to file the excess off, it creates a jagged edge around the tip of the nail, kind of like a ripped band aid. I applied a topcoat thinking that it would smooth the edges down. The topcoat actually made the nail dress foam and get goopy. Once I took all of that goop off, the nail dress was undamaged. Overall, they’ve lasted a lot longer than I expected. I wore them for five days before I finally needed to remove them. They had some wear and tear, and they were peeling. They’re cute and all, but I’m just not sure if I’d purchase these on my own.

NYC Big Bold Plumping & Shine Lip Gloss is Pleasantly Plump Pink: Here’s another full sized product, and I’m really impressed with it. I’m very surprised by the quality of this gloss. It has a vanilla buttercream scent, which isn’t something that you regularly find in a drugstore lipgloss. This gloss claims to be plumping, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s the case. Unlike most plumping glosses, it has a cooling menthol feel on the lips rather than a cinnamon one. It glides over the lines in the lips, giving the lips a smooth and full look. The texture of this gloss is amazing. It is so smooth! It’s not sticky whatsoever. I wouldn’t say that it’s a long-lasting gloss, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a gloss that you need to constantly reapply. I just really like this gloss, and for the price, I’d like to pick up another one.

Tide Pods in Spring Meadow: To start off, there’s only one pod in the package. I was kind of weary about using this detergent pod because everyone in my household is sensitive to perfumed detergents. Normally we use fragrance free liquid Tide (this pod is in Spring Meadow) and do not use fabric softener with towels. We decided to wash our towels with it. We have a High Efficiency, water saving washer.  There was a slightly fragrance after I took them out of the washer and the dryer, but it wasn’t an overwhelming scent. The towels were stiffer than what they would be using our normal detergent. We’re not sure if that means they’re getting cleaner or if we would need to use softener. Of course, we want soft towels, so we’re just going to stay with our liquid Tide.

__________ LINKS! __________



**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

16 October 2013

Hello everyone. Fall is definitely in full swing here in Chicagoland. It even snowed a few days ago. That’s crazy! Anyway, I wanted to quickly share some of my favorite nail polish shades for this season. Some of these polishes have been discontinued, but I’m sure there are similar colors offered in other collections.

If you guys haven’t noticed, I’ve been incredibly busy this October. I’ve had midterms for the last few weeks and I’m actually in the Halloween business. That means I’ve worked almost everyday this month. I haven’t had much time to post and I’m still not sure if I’m going to be doing a Halloween tutorial yet. I hope you guys understand.

______ THE SHADES ______

[ The Perfect Silver ] Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Shoot the Moon: If you love metallic shades, you’re going to love this one. It’s really unique. It’s somewhere between silver and gold, with a hint of green. The formula is brilliant, it doesn’t chip, and the shade is gorgeous. I was so impressed with this polish the first time I applied it. I’m not usually one to say you need something, but you need a great silver in your life.

[ Golden Glitter ] e.l.f. Nail Polish in Golden Goddess: I like using this glitter top coat over a dark polish, like a navy or a blackberry color. It gives a really pretty night sky effect. The only downside with this glitter topcoat is that it definitely needs a clear topcoat to avoid that gritty glitter feeling on the nails.

[ The Perfect Gold ] Wet n Wild Craze Nail Color in Shield: This is my favorite nail polish of all time. Unfortunately, this particular shade is discontinued. If you’re looking for something similar, I’d try Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in High Roller. The point is, you need a neutral gold in your collection, and this one is literally perfect. It wears very gracefully. It doesn’t chip; it just sort of fades at the edges. I wish it was still available so you all could experience its greatness.

[ Metallic Brown ] Essence Colour & Go in Date With the Night: This shade is also discontinued, but like I said, I’m sure you can find another great metallic brown at a drugstore price. This is a great toe color. It’s not too dark and it really goes with anything. And of course, I love the formula and the price of Essence nail polishes.

[ Frosted Taupe ] Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in Chic Peek: I can’t get enough of this polish! It’s so gorgeous. I wear this all year long. It’s like a great silver-toned taupe with hints of pink throughout. I get so many compliments when I wear this polish. Even though this polish has a lot of glitter/shimmer to it, it doesn’t have a gritty feeling.

[ Autumn Iridescence ] Hard Candy Nail Color in Crush on Lava: Can we just take a moment for this polish? This shade is so gorgeous! It’s so hard to find an iridescent shade that looks the same in the bottle as it does on the nails, but this one definitely does. I can’t wait to wear this polish! I’ve never tried a Hard Candy polish before, so I can’t speak for the formula, but I’ll let you guys know.

[ Blackened Red ] Wet n Wild Mega Last Salon Nail Color in Under Your Spell: This shade is exclusive at Dollar General. If you haven’t checked out Wet n Wild’s Dollar General line, you definitely should. There are a lot of great colors. Anyway, this is a very trendy color for fall. The last two falls, we’ve seen fashion and beauty focusing on oxblood. This is a deeper take on the color, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. I honestly don’t like red nail polish, but this is a shade that I’d feel comfortable wearing.

[ Plum ] Essence Colour & Go in Plum Perfect: This shade is discontinued, but it’s so perfect. This is honestly the perfect plum color for any time of the year. I especially love wearing this on my toes and when I have short fingernails. It’s plum without being too dark and vampy, which makes it great for everyday.

2 October 2013

Hey everyone. September was a month that was dedicated to my graphic design work and just sort of figuring out what I want to do here. I’m currently trying to work through my collection and use up products that I have lying around instead of buying something new. Also, I really wanted to transition into fall a little bit more, but it’s still pretty warm here. I want to be able to wear cozy sweaters and boots already. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been enjoying for the month of September. [ Just letting you all know, I have something very exciting coming soon! ]

_______________ FAVORITES _______________

BonneBell Eyeshadow Box in in Backstage Beauty Browns: I found this in the back of my eyeshadow drawer and I started using it again. This used to be one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes back in the day, and I’ve definitely began to enjoy it again. All of the shadows are pigmented and have a nice texture. The shades are more purple than brown, which makes it more unique. (The photo features the old packaging/name.)

NYX Single Eyeshadow in Aloha: As you can see, this eyeshadow is very chalky. It’s not one of NYX’s best. I don’t use it on my eyes though. I just lightly touch my finger to it and use it as a highlight for my cheeks. It’s a very dramatic highlight, but I like that. The shade does have some shimmer to it, but it’s not too glittery on the cheeks. I’m just trying to use this up. I wouldn’t repurchase it, but I’ve been enjoying it for now.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Spot Eraser in Medium/Deep: Now that my tan is fading, I’m able to use this concealer. It has the same formula that I love from the Instant Age Rewind Eraser line: thin but pigmented. I love that it’s so lightweight, but definitely covers my dark acne scars. I’m not sure how much it treats dark spots. I haven’t seen any particular improvement in them, but that’s the case with all of the Instant Age Rewind Eraser products. That’s not an issue for me though. The only downside that I can find about this concealer is that it doesn’t come in many shades, and the darkest shade isn’t very dark.

Maybelline Great Lash in Clear: I never thought that brow gel was a big deal until I used this one. I think that it makes such a big difference on the look of my eyebrows. It doesn’t strip my eyebrows of my brow powder or pencil. It places the right amount of product on the brush, so it doesn’t make my eyebrows look goopy for crispy. I’ve just really been enjoying it. If you’re an eyebrow person and you don’t want to pay for a high end brow gel, I’d check this out.

L’Oreal Lineur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Black: This is my all time favorite, holy grail liquid eyeliner. I’ve been using this for years and I don’t have any complaints. I don’t even know why I’ve been messing around with eyeliner pens. They just don’t live up to this one, and they don’t last as long. It’s so nicely pigmented, it has a light sheen to it, and it has a great wear time. Also, the thin brush makes the line very precise. In my opinion, brushes are a lot easier to use than felt tips. Overall, this eyeliner is fabulous.

__________ NON-BEAUTY FAVORITES __________
________________ WITH LINKS! ________________

Sabra Hummus: I don’t even know how much hummus I’ve eaten in the last month. It’s probably and embarrassing amount. I think that it’s such a great snack with pita chips, pretzels, or vegetables. I love putting it on top of my veggie burgers or on a bagel instead of cream cheese. I think that Sabra hummus is some of the best I’ve had from a regular grocery store. My favorite flavors are Classic and Supremely Spicy. I’d love to try more flavors!

Fuze Slenderize in Tropical Punch: This juice is so good! It’s refreshing and good at any time of the day. It’s only 10 calories per bottle and is made with natural flavors. I also think the packaging is so cute!

♡ Liv W.

16 September 2013

Hello everyone. Here are some products that I tried over the summer that just didn’t work out for me. I recognize that while these products did not work for me, they may work for you.
_______________ THE FAILS _______________

Psssstt! Instant Dry Shampoo: I used to buy the Pssssst! for Wavy/Curly hair.  I’ve moved on to bigger and better things. Apparently, travel sized cans are only sold in the original formula, which is a disappointment. I have such negative feelings towards this dry shampoo. (Click the photo above to enlarge.) It doesn’t make my hair look any cleaner. It doesn’t make my hair voluminous. It has a nauseating smell to it. And it leaves a horrible white cast, even after brushing through it. I have off-black hair with areas of natural highlights. As you can see in the photo above, I have gray hair. I’m going to be using this for Halloween costume purposes since it’s such a joke. (I never had this problem with the Wavy/Curly formula.)

Covergirl Stay Fabulous Foundation in 855 Soft Honey: I know that everyone just can’t get enough of this foundation. I really wanted to love this, especially since it’s supposed to be good for oily skin. I like the packaging and the texture. The coverage is nice. I even like the look that it gives me right after application. Soon after, it sinks into my pores and exaggerates them. It makes my skin look like it has a horribly bumpy texture, which it does not. It turns into an odd pink color, which you can see above. (On the left, the foundation is still wet. On the right, the foundation has set.) Within three hours, I need to blot, and I’m not a particularly oily person. It’s odd. It makes my skin look dry, yet makes me oily. I don’t understand this madness. I haven’t been very impressed by the recent Covergirl face products, even though everyone seems to love them. Maybe it’s just me.

Wet n Wild MegaLast Salon Nail Color in Hot Candy: I had my eye on this nail polish for a while. I love Wet n Wild MegaLast polishes, but this one just didn’t do it for me. This color was a Dollar General exclusive. Don’t get me wrong, the color is beautiful. I love that it’s neon, I just don’t love the demi-matte finish. Why couldn’t this have a neon cream finish? Yes, I put a top coat over it, but that’s a step that I usually don’t take. This also chipped within a few days of wear on my toes.

Wet n Wild FastDry Nail Color in Saved by the Blue: The color is a gorgeous cobalt, but the finish is really lacking. It’s not exactly a demi-matte like Hot Candy, but it’s almost there. There isn’t any shine to this polish, which flattens the color. Once again, I’ll have to apply a top coat to make this polish work. That’s an extra step that I don’t usually take, more product used, and more money spent. When worn on it’s own, it chips within a couple days of wear on the hands.

Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head: I cannot explain to you how much I hate this brush head. I’ve never had bad skin. I never had problems with acne until I started using the Clarisonic. No, I’m not blaming the entire Clarisonic system. I’m blaming this brush head. This is the brush head that originally comes with the system. It’s called Sensitive, but I would NEVER use this if you have sensitive skin. I personally do not. I have normal skin that leans toward the oily side. And this caused major problems. I got huge, painful breakouts that never came to a head, causing dark acne scars on my forehead and nose. I started developing breakouts on my cheeks, which I had never experienced before. This dried my entire face out and overall made it hurt. (I do understand that there is a purging period with the Clarisonic that may take a couple weeks. My experiences are based on three months of use.) I can’t even use my Clarisonic at this point. I’m going to have to purchase a Delicate brush head, which is more money that I have to spend. And this isn’t a cheap system. This is definitely an investment. The whole experience is very irritating that I think Clarisonic should allow you to pick your brush head from the start.

Essence All Eyes on Me Mascara in Soft Black: This mascara does nothing for my lashes. It claims to add length and volume, but if anything, it makes my lashes slightly darker. This formula only comes in one color, so if you’re into pitch black lashes like I am, this will not give you the color that you’re looking for. Overall, it doesn’t live up to its claims. It also dried out very quickly. There are definitely better mascaras at the drugstore. On the positive side, it did not smear or flake when I wore it. All together, I would stay away from Essence mascaras because they usually flake. This one seems to be the exception to that trend.

Wet n Wild Fergie Collection Take on the Day Primer in For My Primas: I suppose that this isn’t a bad primer for beginners. It’s reasonably price and it makes your eyeshadow last a little bit longer than it would on its own. It’s not going to be a primer that enhances the color of your shadows. But there’s something really strange about this primer. When it dries, you can’t get it off of your skin. So if you make a mistake, you have a light colored smear on your face. I ended up getting a bit of this on my nose without noticing it until I got to school. It wouldn’t rub off. I ended up letting some dry on my hand to see what I could do. I tried taking it off with soap and water, waterproof makeup remover, and toner. Nothing worked. In my opinion, that’s kind of strange.