I picked up this new shadow palette by Smashbox a couple of months ago and I am (finally!) getting around to reviewing it now. I really have soooo many posts to write up, piles of makeup sitting on my floor and lots of other photos and goodies to blog about — I have lots and lots of free time over the next few days (YAY!), so I’m going to try to catch up on blogging as much as I can!
I received these three BUXOM lipgloss and lipstick shades in a Sephora VIB gift a few weeks ago — it was available in stores, but I never saw a code for it online. I’m not sure if this set is still available, but the full-size versions definitely are and they are all new BUXOM colors. I wanted to do a post because each formula is amazing (all three are different), and the colors are beautiful and perfect for the summer. That, and the photos I took actually came out okay (you can actually notice the difference between the three colors), even though I took the pictures at night.
So before I go into each lip product individually, I just wanted to show the swatch photo I took – I just took one swatch photo of all three shades side by side instead of three individual pictures; this way you can see the contrast between the colors a lot better. On the left is the lipstick, which does come out a bit creamier-looking when applied to the lips (you can see that in the photo below); then the full-bodied gloss (my favorite one); and then the sheer lipgloss.
The first product was a mini version of Buxom’s Full-Bodied Lipstick. This shade wasn’t exactly HOT pink, but it was very pink nonetheless. I love Buxom products, especially their lip products (their lip liner is the only liner I use), and this lipstick was no different. I loved the creamy consistency and the color payoff was amazing. I’m really trying to branch out and wear different, brighter colors on my lips, and even though this one is really almost like a nude baby pink, it is still very noticeable and it looks great with a light/natural makeup look for the day.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick ($21 for 0.13 oz.; sephora.com) is a “full-coverage lip color” that has a “gentle plumping effect.” It really made my lips look pretty and full (without the plumping tingle). I’m more of a lipgloss girl than a lipstick girl, but this is one of my favorite lipsticks, especially since it doesn’t come out cakey and it has a satin finish. It is described as a “smooth, creamy, ultra-hydrating lipstick” that contains encapsulated hyaluronic spheres to help promote hydration and fullness, as well as shea butter, coconut oil, chamomile flower wax, and vitamins C and E to help moisturize, soothe and protect.
The next product was a much brighter pink, described as a “shimmering strawberry,” in Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polish formula. This is Buxom’s sheer lipgloss formula and, even though it is considered “sheer,” the color is definitely very, very noticeable. It’s not sticky and it also has a plumping technology to make your lips look full and prettier.
Buxom Full-On Lip Polish ($19 for 0.15 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “sheer, high-shine lip polish” that creates the look of “fuller, more voluptuous lips.” It has a “gentle plumping effect” that comes along WITH the tingle (unlike the lipstick and the other gloss, below), and it contains vitamins A and E, which help to keep lips soft, supple and protected.
The last lip product is my favorite one. This is Buxom’s “Full-Bodied” Lipgloss, and it totally lives up to its name — the color came out beautifully and it was definitely way more “full-bodied” than the sheer Lip Polish (above). This gloss is also very moisturizing and feels super nourishing on my lips (which are usually pretty dry), and it also plumps the lips, but without leaving the tingle effect.
Buxom Full-Bodied Lip Gloss ($19 for 0.15 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “shimmering, hydrating gloss with a no-tingle plumping effect.” It is an “ultra-hydrating” gloss that contains encapsulated hyaluronic spheres that help promote hydration and fullness, as well as jojoba oil and vitamin E to help moisturize and protect lips.
All three of these BUXOM shades are available exclusively in Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com!
OOOOkay … So, I am back from my few-weeks-long hiatus and I have A LOT to blog about. So many reviews to get up, a couple subscription boxes, outfits, and lots more. I’m also working on revamping the layout of my blog, and just really doing a lot more blogging in general.
Summer is finally here! I have really good feelings about the upcoming summer months and I have already done a lot of summer beauty shopping — new bronzers, blushes, lighter makeup and moisturizers … just tons of new stuff. I’m going to do a haul post after this one, but I wanted to get a review up of this awesome little summer beauty kit first.
I love Sephora’s “Favorites” collections so much that I always try to pick them up when a new one comes out. The past few Sephora Favorites kits that I got were a little pricier than this one (this one is only $45), and they came with mostly full-sized items (and lots of them), but this kit in particular includes mostly smaller, sample-sized beauty products. I’m definitely not complaining about this, and the value of the kit surpasses the $45 price tag, so it is worth it.’nn
The Sephora Favorites Summerstash ($45; sephora.com) comes with nine large, deluxe-sized samples, which makes it great for trying out new products and getting travel-sized versions of products that you already use (which is one of the reasons I bought it). Plus, all the items come packed inside a really cute shimmery, beachy-looking makeup case (below), which is the perfect size for carrying makeup on-the-go in your handbag, beach bag, whatever.
I’m trying to get more photos of myself up on my blog, especially in review posts to show how the makeup looks, so for this post I did try but I really feel the need to put up a disclaimer. I’m just a littttttle self conscious about putting such large photos of my face up on the Internet, and the photos really didn’t come out as well as I would have liked because I had to use my iPhone instead of my regular camera. I’m working on it, and the next time I take pictures I promise they will look a lot better (and I also won’t just be using the iPhone camera). Baby steps …
The first product was my favorite setting spray by Urban Decay. I go through this stuff like water, so I love having mini bottles around to carry with me throughout the day, especially in the summer. This bottle is a lot smaller than the regular-sized version, but I think I’m going to save the empty mini bottle this time around and fill it up with the spray from the regular-sized bottle for travel purposes.
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (reg. $30 for 4 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a weightless setting spray that keeps makeup looking just-applied for up to 16 hours.” UD has a whole line of setting sprays for different skin types (which I’m sure everyone already knows about), and even though I was using their spray for dry skin a lot throughout the winter, I still like this original one better. I find that it makes makeup look brighter and all-around prettier, and it definitely helps it last throughout the day. Sometimes if I need extra hydration I’ll spray UD’s Chill Setting Spray (for dry skin) or MAC’s Fix+ spray on top of the All-Nighter — I find that they all work very well together.
I am lovingggg blue/green/teal eyeliner shades right now and the Make Up For Ever liners are one of my favorite formulas so this mini pencil in the Sephora Favorites Summerstash was another selling point for me. I tried to take photos of what the eyeliner looks like on my eyes but, like I said before, they didn’t come out so great (it was nighttime so the lighting isn’t very good, and I need to work on the angles better for up-close makeup photos). I’m working on it. There’s a better photo of how the liner looks with my eyes closed below.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 12L (reg. $19 for 0.04 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a creamy, long-lasting eyeliner for intense non-stop color.” MUFE’s Aqua Eyes eyeliners come in 26 different vibrant, waterproof shades. This is one of my favorite eyeliner formulas because I find that it has serious staying power and stays put even when my allergies are at their worst and my eyes are super watery.
It’s hard for me to wear non-waterproof eyeliner because my eyes do tear a lot, and I know that a lot of people don’t really like waterproof liners, but I’ve read that even those who aren’t huge fans of waterproof formulas still love the MUFE Aqua Eyes line.
Everyone loves the NARS Laguna bronzer, and this wouldn’t be much of a summer beauty kit without including this top-selling favorite. Currently, I only have the full-sized Casino bronzer, but I like Laguna better because it’s a bit lighter, and this little one is perfect for on-the-go use (although it’s a little hard to get product onto my big bronzer brush because of the small pan).
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder (reg. $38 for 0.28 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “true brown-based bronzer with a gold shimmer fusion” that’s “excellent for creating or enhancing the look of healthy, glowing, tanned skin.” Everyone loves this formula so much because it’s extremely blendable and pretty long-lasting on its own … and then if you set it with a spray it should last for the whole day (or night) with minimal touch-ups.
The next product is a mini eyeshadow in Stila’s new “Magnificent Metals” formula. I like the fact that the Sephora Favorites Summerstash included this little shadow, but the regular-sized Magnificent Metals shadows come with this liquid primer/base that you either apply directly to the lid or mix with the shadow to make it apply smoother and more evenly (I picked up a couple of these shadows months ago but I haven’t done the full review yet). The liquid primer is so important that it’s also sold separately for $20, but I figured that the kit came without it, so I should be able to still apply the shadow just fine. I was wrong.
I ended up having to mix it with some of Stila’s regular Kitten shimmer shadow (above) because the metal finish shadow just came out like a clumpy mess. I know I could have just used the liquid primer I already have, but I wanted to see how it would apply on its own (I used a regular shadow primer underneath). I really thought it would have been a lot easier to work with. Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it.
Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten (reg. $32 for 0.07-oz. shadow and 0.06-oz. primer; sephora.com) is described as a “one-of-a-kind, buildable, high-metallic cream eye shadow with a striking foil finish.” These shadows allow you to create “a variety of effects” and the set, which comes in 16 different colors, includes a mixing tray and a deluxe Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eye Primer, to prep, prime, and create “long-lasting adhesion to lids.”
This is another product in the Sephora Favorites Summerstash that I already own and love. I think I actually have three of these cheek colors now, so I’m definitely set for the summer and straight through the fall. This blush is veryyy natural-looking (don’t be fooled by how it looks in the jar), and it lasts forever because you only have to use a little, tiny bit to get a great color payoff.
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée (reg. $22 for 0.18 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “an innovative coconut water-infused cheek gelée with up to 14 hours of color and hydration.” It’s an awesomely buildable, blendable “blush hybrid” that “provides the natural look of a cream blush with the long-lasting hydrating color of a gel stain.” This blush is infused with 50%-pure coconut water to instantly hydrate skin, and vitamin E-rich argan oil for extra nourishing benefits.
Another summer beauty must have is a shimmery liquid luminizer, and the Sephora Favorites Summerstash included this highly-rated version from Buxom. This is the first time I’m really using this product — I received a sample of it awhile ago (at least over a year ago), but I never used it; I think I ended up losing it or giving it to one of my friends. Now that I have a shiny new (mini) bottle, I’m definitely going to be getting a lot of use out of it this summer. This luminizer is especially great for drier skin types (like me).
BUXOM Divine Goddess Luminizer in Venus (reg. $28 for 2 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “face and body cream luminizer with a unique, refreshing sensation.” It has this slight minty, cooling effect that a lot of people seem to like, but some others don’t like it at all. I’m 50/50 on this minty feeling; I find it a little strange to have your whole face (or wherever you apply the product) feel tingly for such a long time (the “sensation” lasts for awhile). At first, I thought my face was too sensitive to the product and it was actually burning my skin, and I’ve never really had that happen before so I was a little freaked out. Then I read up on it and saw that it’s supposed to feel that way. Either way, I really like this luminizer a lot and I want to try it out on the rest of my body as well; a lot of people say it looks great on their legs/arms/decollete during the summertime.
The Sephora Summerstash also included a summery nail polish – this glittery formula from Deborah Lippmann. I don’t usually like glitter polishes, but this one went on really well (my nails are in horrible condition in the photo above — the polish itself went on nice, but my nails need a good professional manicure this week) and it looks like it has almost a multi-dimensional effect. It also dried really quick, which I always love since I am such a mess.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream (reg. $20 for 0.50 oz.; sephora.com) is described as a “seafoam splendor” — a pretty seafoam green/teal with specks of blue and light-gold glitter throughout. Deborah Lippmann nail colors are infused with “treatment benefits” from ingredients like biotin and green tea extract, they are “5-Free,” and are not tested on animals.
The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics gloss was one of the only products in the Summerstash that I haven’t already tried. I have been meaning to try out these glosses for awhile now, but I’ve been so stocked up on lipgloss lately that there are many that I haven’t even opened yet, so this is like the one product that I really can’t justify buying (and it takes a lot for me to hold myself back from buying new beauty products).
The OCC lipglosses seem to be a bit less popular than the brand’s Lip Tars (which I also haven’t tried yet), but they have gotten okay reviews. A lot of people complain that they come off too quickly, which is something I’m just so used to with lipgloss so I guess that’s not really an issue for me. This gloss looks like it would be super sticky, but it’s not at all, which is a huge plus for me, and I was pretty impressed with the color payoff.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in New Wave (reg. $18 for 0.33 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a gloss that combines the pigment potency of Lip Tar with a casual glossy finish.” These glosses can be combined with OCC’s Lip Tars “for added shine and color-transformative options,” or they can be worn alone for a more “translucent” look. There are 13 different Stained Gloss shades to choose from.
I pretty much saved the best for last. This mascara is awesome and amazing and wonderful and I am loving it so much. This was another product in the Summerstash that I haven’t already tried, and I’m sooo happy I got a chance to test it out. The mini size (0.09-oz. tube) is great for travel and you will get tons of uses out of it. My lashes are sparse right now because I had the very awful habit of pulling my mascara out and my lashes went along with it, so I’m currently waiting for them all to grow back (NEVER do this, it is the worst thing ever and I’m kicking myself for it). So this mascara actually made my sparse lashes look so much better — normal, even (normal for me), and I was so surprised. I love this stuff.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Mini Lash Lifter Mascara in Blacquer (reg. $26 for 0.24 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “the blackest, shiniest mascara with the ultimate lift, length, definition, and curl.” The innovative triangular brush is combined with “exclusive E-Lash-Tic Lash™ technology” to create “ultimate glossy lashes.” Micro-crystalline powders coat and stretch your lashes and provides for a rich, smooth application that “never clumps.” I was pretty blown away by this mascara so I’m definitely buying the full-sized version on my next trip to Sephora.
Wow … that turned out to be a pretty long, photo-heavy post. The Sephora Favorites kits are always so awesome, and even though this one didn’t have any full-sized items, all of the deluxe sample sizes are great for travel purposes and you will get plenty of uses out of them (some more than others). This was definitely one of my favorite Sephora Favorites kits and it was great for me because I was able to stock up on travel-sized versions of some of my favorite products and then I was also able to try out a few products that I’ve never used before, and I ended up loving those, too. Plus, the makeup case that comes with the set is also really cute.
The Sephora Favorites Summerstash Kit costs $45 (items are valued at $123) and it is available for a limited time in Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com.
Okay, so I received these ZENMED products months ago to review and between work and school I haven’t really had the time to blog as much as I would like to. Now that I switched my schedule up, I finally have the time to blog near full-time (I’m still in school, too). The other reason I waited so long was because my skin has been crazy over the last few months and it’s been severely dry, very breakout-y, and, when I first tried these products, they weren’t working the way that I think they should have.
So, anyway, I received six products to review and, even though I still haven’t really used the products as much as I would have liked to before writing up the review, I just wanted to (finally) get this post up. Many of these products are the type that you need to use for at least a few days to see real results, but I think I got at least a general feel for them and I’m happy that my skin is normal again so I can finally use whatever products I want.
My skin was near-perfect — I never really had any problems, no matter what products I used — so it was a little difficult for me to adjust this winter to a completely different skin type. I’m happy I’m now pretty much back to normal and I’m going to be using these ZENMED products especially over the next few weeks because, at the very least, they are extremely promising.
ZENMED products are described as “doctor formulated”, holistic skincare that merges “functioning naturals” with “proven medicinal actives.” All of their products contain potent formulations for “immediate and dramatic results.” They have so many different products, (including moisturizers, scrubs, serums, cleansers, and more) for a number of different skin types and concerns, ranging from acne and rosacea, to scars, anti-aging, and sun protection. It would pretty much be impossible to not find a product that’s right for your skin on the ZENMED website.
ZENMED products are Vegan and 100% cruelty-free, and they are also free of dyes, fragrances, sulfates, and petrochemicals. Their packaging is 100% recyclable and organically sourced ingredients are used whenever possible. I thought it was necessary to give a little overview of the company since their natural, medicinal formulations, and cruelty-free products are such a huge part of their brand.
The first product is this oil-free daily moisturizer. I used this lotion a few times when I first got it, and I liked it, but I knew my friend Natalia would get more use out of it so I passed it along to her and it worked well for her. This lotion is more for combination-oily skin types, and, even when I was breaking out more over the winter, my skin still wasn’t oily … it was very DRY. Way drier than ever. For those who breakout and have OILY skin (or really for anyone who doesn’t have dry skin), this lotion should work very well. It even has “special mattifying agents” to “keep greasy skin under control for 24 hours,” and it won’t interact with other acne treatments.
ZENMED Oil-Free Day Lotion ($24.95 for 2.5 oz.; zenmed.com) is described as a “water-based, lightweight moisture lotion” created for oily to combination skin types. It contains “micro-mattifying agents” to help control oil levels “while providing healing moisture,” and it will not clog pores or cause shine. This moisturizer contains “high concentrations” of Vitamins B5 and E, which “leave the skin feeling and looking supple and nourished,” and it is ideal for use on sensitive skin, or even after an exfoliation treatment. It is described as a “soothing, neutral pH moisturizer” that can be used as often as needed.
Like I said — extremely promising product with great ingredients. I liked the way this moisturizer felt on my skin, but it really wasn’t the best choice for me because I need more of a hydrating moisturizer than one that’s supposed to control oil levels and mattify skin. I still felt hydrated after using it, but there are moisturizers out there that are much better for my normal-to-dry skin type. My friend, who has more oily skin, found that this worked very well, so I would definitely recommend it to people with sensitive, oily-combination skin.
Okay, so THIS stuff is good for anybody at all who ever gets breakouts (which is pretty much everyone). A little bit of this gel goes a long way, and I love using it as a spot treatment. I’ll apply a tiny bit of this gel on a breakout at night and it will be almost completely gone by the next morning (or at least it seems to drastically shrink the zit). I’ve used a bunch of similar blemish serums, and this one was one of the best I have tried, plus it comes in a huge bottle (2 ounces), so it will definitely last for awhile.
ZENMED Derma Cleanse Acne Gel ($24.99 for 2 oz.; zenmed.com) is described as a “highly-absorptive, dual-acid Acne treatment gel” that was created to “heal pimples faster, prevent skin damage, and clear your overall complexion.” When applying this gel to breakout areas, you can expect “a far quicker healing time than by leaving the skin untreated,” and by increasing this healing time, ZENMED says that you will prevent the inflammation process from causing unneeded damage to the skin, which could lead to scarring. This gel also “prevents new Acne from forming by preventing excessive build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.”
This gel definitely worked for me and I saw near-instant results. Any product that produces results so quickly always gets an A in my beauty book.
I passed this next product along to the same friend that I gave the day cream to because I found that, like the day cream, it wasn’t the best formulation for my normal-dry skin, especially over the last few months when my skin was extra super dry. I was actually a little disappointed that I couldn’t use it because it’s a multitasking, dual-purpose product (my favorite kind of product), that can be used as a mask AND a spot treatment for breakouts.
My skin was so whacky this winter and I have never really dealt with the issues that I had ever in my life before, so I wasn’t really sure what products would work well, and a lot of the stuff I tried out was very trial-and-error. ZENMED has plenty of other multitasking products that would work well for people like me with a more dry skin type, but this product just irritated my (super dry) skin a little too much so I couldn’t really use it.
ZENMED Dermacleanse Acne Mask & Spot Treatment ($24.95 for 4 oz.; zenmed.com) is described as a “Montmorillonite-clay based Acne treatment that helps heal pimples fast and prevent excessive oil buildup on the skin.” You can apply this product as a mask to affected areas to clarify pores and help draw impurities out, or you can use it as a spot treatment to reduce the severity of redness and inflammation and speed up healing. Like I said, I’m a little disappointed this product didn’t work for me because it sounds so promising, but I bet it works perfectly for those with more oily skin types.
Now that my skin is finally back to normal, I am able to use this scrub and I am loving it. I’m not going to lie, this stuff can be a bit harsh, and that’s why I really wasn’t able to use it when my skin was a lot more sensitive and breakout-y over the winter months (it really irritated my skin and made me a lot more red/inflamed), but now that my skin is normal again, I am so happy I am able to use it. ZENMED suggests that you only start off by using this once or twice a week; once you get a feel for how it works with your skin type you can up the usage gradually and then end up using it for five days on, and then five days off.
ZENMED Renewing Microdermabrasion Complex ($39.99 for 4 oz.; zenmed.com) is described as a “granular formulation” based in a “mineral-heavy clay” that is “designed specifically to provide intensive dermabrasion on the surface of the skin,” without leaving any greasy residue. This is one of ZENMED’s top-selling products (no surprise here), as it smooths out dull, flaky skin, making it feel immediately “rejuvenated and smooth.” It doesn’t contain any soaps, so it won’t leave skin feeling dry and dehydrated, and it will make skin glow and more plump.
This product is one of those products where the more you use it, the more results you will see, and it is ideal to use it before using serums or moisturizers, especially ZENMED’s Skin Eraser (below), because it “allows for better penetration of actives.” Now that my skin is cleared up, I’m excited to use this more, especially with the Skin Eraser, and see how well it works for smoothing my skin and evening out its tone.
Another awesome product is the Skin Eraser, which is perfect for people like me who have a slightly uneven skin tone and some imperfections due to all the breakouts and ickiness I had over the winter. It is suggested to use this product after using the MIcrodermabrasion Complex (above), and, like the Microdermabrasion Complex, I have only used this a couple of times since my skin cleared up. This stuff is super promising (I keep saying this about ZENMED products, but it’s true), and, especially with prolonged use, it should erase away imperfections and just make your skin all-around better looking. I’m excited to start using this more over the next few weeks.
ZENMED Skin Eraser ($29.99 for 2 oz.; zenmed.com) is described as an “Ascorbic-Glycolic-Lactic acid fortified treatment” that “effectively exfoliates the upper layers of the skin” to help minimize imperfections, dullness, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, bumpiness, and fine lines and wrinkles. This product visibly helps perfect skin damage and unveils “brighter, healthier skin,” so your complexion will appear smoother and more even. If used with the Renewing Microdermabrasion Complex (above), the two products will give you an “instant home facial.”
I’m really excited to start using this product more now that my skin is back to normal. Like the Microdermabrasion Complex, this product can be a little harsh-feeling on skin (but not as much as the Microdermabrasion scrub), so use sparingly and work your way up to more consistent uses. ZENMED says that you may feel some tingling after using the Skin Eraser, so if this is bothersome, then the first few applications should be rinsed off until the skin becomes more accustomed to it.
It is highly suggested to use both this product and the MIcrodermabrasion Complex in the nighttime because it will make your skin a little more susceptible to sun irritation. Either way, if you’re using this product, it’s probably best to use an SPF the next day.
This last product is one of the most gentle, smoothest feeling cleansers I have ever used. It just feels so amazing on my skin, and it effectively breaks up makeup, dirt, and whatever else that needs to be cleaned off at the end of a long day. This feels like an oil, but it’s not (it’s oil-free), and it doesn’t make your skin feel dried-out or dehydrated at all (even when my skin was extra dry this summer). It is ideal to use this stuff twice a day, especially for sensitive skin.
ZENMED Facial Cleansing Gel ($15 for 5 oz.; zenmed.com) is described as a “gentle, ph-balanced gel cleanser” that is “designed to be gentle to troubled skin.” This cleanser contains a naturally-based formulation of Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel and Tea Tree that is “designed to remove oil, makeup, and unwanted residue from the surface of the skin while maintaining the skin’s natural protective barrier.” This product is great when used before any of ZENMED’s Acne treatment products, or even used alone. It feels SO smooth and gentle and wonderful on my skin, I love it. It is oil-free, alcohol-free, and “doctor-formulated to be gentle to sensitive skin or skin undergoing aesthetic treatments like peels and Acne medications.”
Overall, I really enjoyed these ZENMED products, I just feel like I still haven’t been able to try them out enough to really come to a definitive opinion on how well they work. Now that my skin has finally cleared up I will be using them a lot more, and I love the idea of doctor-formulated, medicinal products that contain natural ingredients.
So, like I said again and again in this post, these products are extremely promising. There is really something for everyone in ZENMED’s product catalog and I would urge people to check out their website to see everything that the brand has to offer. Check out ZENMED.com for all products listed in this post, or for more information on the company itself.
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Hello Kitty … a little bit of a sick obsession, but that’s okay. I have been collecting Hello Kitty everything since I was little, beginning with the fondest of memories of my mom taking me to the now-defunct Noodle Kidoodle store to check out all the new Sanrio stationery and accessories, and to buy some Babysitter’s Club books. Hello Kitty had a lot more friends back then — you don’t see as much of Keroppi, Pochacco, or Spottie Dottie anymore. I guess she doesn’t need as many friends now since her face is literally EVERYWHERE and it seems like she just gets more and more popular with every new year.
So I wanted to do a little review of this screen cleaning kit I found at my local 7-11 the other day. It was super cheap (I think it was $4.99), and it actually works very well for a bunch of electronics. I used it on my MacBook Air and my screen is now crystal clear, and so is my phone.
The kit comes with a 3-mL bottle of screen cleaner, and, like I said above, the cleaner works pretty well. I just sprayed a couple of times onto the microfiber cloth (below) and it cleaned my MacBook Air screen perfectly. The bottle is small, but it’s really for on-the-go use, so you can re-fill it with any generic screen cleaner whenever you want. I slacked off on cleaning my electronics for so long that I’m now on a cleaning kick (thanks to the cuteness of this Hello Kitty kit), so I’m going to buy a big bottle of screen cleaner soon because I have a feeling this little 3mL bottle will run out fairly quickly.
And the cutest part of this two-piece set is this little hot pink microfiber cloth (6″ x 6″) that is the perfect size for cell phones, tablets, and even laptops (especially the smaller MacBook Air). This cloth can easily be cleaned by hand, or, if your electronics are really dirty like mine (my bronzer especially always rubs off on my phone), you can throw it in the washing machine on a warm cycle. Just be sure not to use a fabric softener because that will clog the open spaces in the microfiber.
I bought this screen cleaning kit at my local 7-11 for just under $5, so I think your best bet would be to check out your local convenience stores to see if they have it (a lot of the bigger chain stores, like 7-11, probably will). For some reason I cannot find this particular kit anywhere online, except for one that’s listed on eBay that costs a little more ($6.99).
There are a couple of different Hello Kitty screen cleaning kits that come with larger sprays, different cloths, and even a carrying case to hold the spray and cloth, which can be found on Amazon.com.
I bought this lipstick a few weeks ago but I only started using it recently because I wanted to take photos of the product and packaging for my blog before I used it all up and made it look less pretty. I am in LOVE with this lipstick and it does absolutely everything I want it to do and more. I’m not really a big lipstick person — I usually wear glosses and balms and just re-apply them all day long because I can never get anything to actually stay on my lips. This lipstick from Tarte actually stays put, has an amazing, creamy color payoff and it’s awesomely moisturizing.
This is my first blog post where I decided to actually take photos of myself. I have been kinda putting it off because I’ve been a litttttle camera-shy and embarrassed over my poor skin this winter (which I talk about in almost every post — it’s just never looked this bad in my life and I have been doing a LOT to try to get it back to normal). My skin finally looks a little better, and I figured no one really looks that great in a camera flash anyway, but at least you can see the makeup (lipstick, in this case) the way it looks when I apply it.
I’m using photos from this set for my next post (a review on Julep’s April Maven box), so I applied the blush with a heavy hand so I can show how the new Julep blush looks when applied. I’m also still getting used to taking up-close photos, showing mostly makeup, and I used my iPhone because I didn’t have time to figure out how to take good personal photos with my good camera. That, and it was dark out, so the lighting is a little off. I just feel the need to put a disclaimer on my photos because I’m still a little shy about posting such big photos of my face in a camera flash here on my blog.
ANYWAY, back to the review …
Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick ($16 for 0.1 oz.; sephora.com) is described as “a moisturizing, creamy lipstick infused with sustainably pressed Amazonian butters.” It comes in eight different pink/nude/coral colors and I bought “Watermelon,” a “reddish pink.” I never, ever wear reds and this one is definitely more like a pink-watermelon than a red-watermelon. I found that this color came out a little lighter on my lips than it looks in the tube, which was perfect for me. I loved how it came out and I was a little concerned because it looked a little too red in the tube (above).
Some people on Sephora’s website complained the the colors didn’t come out the way they wanted them to, so I think it would be safe to say that these lipsticks all come out a bit lighter than they look in the tube. For me, this isn’t a problem at all. I actually like it better this way.
This lipstick is “inspired by the whimsical colors of the Amazon and infused with naturally-derived ingredients from its lush vegetation.” I love this lipstick so much and I love the color range that it comes in, so I’m definitely going to be picking up some of the other shades. Even though the color is lighter than it looks in the tube, it is definitely rich and vibrant and I was shocked at how long it stayed on, especially because it’s nearly impossible for me to keep any type of lipstick or lipgloss on.
Each “skin-flattering shade” is infused with “sustainably harvested cupuacu and murumuru butters to deliver intense moisture and help restore and smooth even mature lips.” I have had pretty dry, chapped lips this winter and this lipstick felt soooo smooth and moisturizing on my lips. I didn’t even have to use a balm underneath (which I pretty much always do), and they also LOOKED a lot smoother and hydrated.
Like all other Tarte products, this lipstick contains all-natural, all good-for-you ingredients that just WORK so well. I always find that beauty products with all-natural ingredients work so much better than other products. The Cupuacu Butter in this lipstick contains essential fatty acids and sterols that help firm while drenching lips in moisture and the Murumuru Butter contains essential fatty acids and ProVitamin A to help restore elasticity and soothe lips.
Tarte’s Amazonian Butter Lipstick also contains Shea Butter to help retain skin elasticity and mineral pigments that soothe and soften lips. My lips definitely looked and felt all-around better after using this product.
This lipstick is formulated WITHOUT all of the questionable, icky ingredients that appear way too often in beauty products that are really not good for your skin (many studies have shown). It is free of parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrances and gluten. Like all Tarte products, this lipstick is also *Cruelty Free*. <3
This is seriously the perfect lipstick for me — I always look for a good color payoff that’s not too bright, something to hydrate my chapped lips, something to plump and make them look prettier, something that will last and won’t come off as soon as I put a cup of water to my mouth to drink, and all-natural ingredients are always a plus. Like I said before, I’m definitely picking up more shades of this lipstick soon (maybe I’ll treat myself for my birthday!).
Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick costs $16 and is available at in stores and online at Sephora.com and ULTA.com. This particular lipstick is not available through Tarte‘s website and I checked a few other online retailers and couldn’t find it there, so I think this is kind of an exclusive item to a few specific retailers.
So, I received these press-on nails a couple of weeks ago in the Influenster Uni VoxBox (review here) and I didn’t totally hate them the way I do with most fake nails, so I decided to do a full review on them. I think most fake/press-on nails and tips look tacky and they’re really just not my thing — I would much rather get a nice gel manicure than spend the money on fake nails that are just going to break or fall off.
With that being said, these press-ons from Broadway Nails actually stay on (almost 5 days for me) and they’re a quick and easy manicure for when you’re in a hurry and you need your nails to look perfect. I know the designs can be kind of childish, and they’re still fake and plastic so there is that slightly “tacky” look to them, but I think they’re fun and the fact that they actually stay on for a good amount of time has me sold. Plus, they’re cheap.
I actually started using these a couple years ago when they first came out and then I kinda forgot about them until a bottle appeared in my Influenster VoxBox. They come in a large range of patterns and solid colors so it’s pretty easy to find a press-on manicure set that you like and I’ll most likely be picking these up again (in a different color) because, like I said before, they are great for when you’re in a rush.
The press-on kit that I received with my Influenster Uni VoxBox was this bright pink and purple (with some orange, red and yellow mixed-in) floral design called “Lovestruck.” It seems that this pattern is no longer available, I’m guessing it was discontinued, and there is actually another pattern that has the same name (a tie-dye pattern) that is also no longer available, or at least it’s just not listed on the Broadway Nails Impress Manicure website. There are so many other designs and solid colors to choose from, and this one probably wouldn’t have been my first choice if I bought it myself.
The downside to these is that food and stuff will get stuck underneath them, in-between the press-on nail and your real nail, but you can take them off whenever you want and I just think they’re fun to wear for a few days – especially the patterned ones. And, unlike most store-bought press-on nails and nail stickers, these actually cover my nails perfectly so you can’t see my real nails peeking out on the sides. They initially come in a square nail shape, but I file mine down so they’re a little shorter and rounded.
Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure ($5 – $8 depending on the color/design for pack of 24 nails; cvs.com) is described as a press-on manicure that “delivers an instant salon-perfect manicure without the drying time of polish or nail glue.” It has an “indestructible top coat that rivals the best salon gel polish,” they are easily removable and they can last up to a week “when applied properly.”
Like I said before, I never wear fake nails ever, so, if I feel like having them on a whim, these are always available at the local drugstore, they’re fun and they definitely come off easily. I was also pretty impressed by how long they stay on since I can never get ANY type of nail polish to stay on my nails (except the gel manicure, which has proved to be pretty indestructible until my nails start growing out and then they look funny growing out over the gel polish).
I’m so clumsy and my nail polish always chips and the main reason I don’t wear fake nails (besides the fact that I don’t really like them) is because they usually fall off immediately. These press-ons actually stay put and, if any of them come off before you’re ready to take off the whole manicure, there are 14 extras that you can replace them with. I’ve been carrying them in the little nail polish-shaped bottle that the whole manicure kit came in and the kit comes with 24 nails total.
Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure ranges in price from around $4 to $8. They are available in most major drugstores or you can buy them online at CVS.com, Walgreens.com, Drugstore.com and any other retailer that sells Broadway Nails products.