2019 May Empties

2019mayempt_2My May Empties. We’ve still got a few days but I doubt I’ll have more to show by then.

As usual, I’ve taken a shot of all my empties, and then a separate shot of just my likes and loves.

Categories:

  • Loves (will/already have repurchased)
  • Likes (likes enough to use it again someday)
  • Meh (meh)
  • Underline (already repurchased)

2019mayempt_1These are my likes and loves of May 2019.

Decent month!

2019mayempt_3

  • Good Molecules Wake Up Eye Serum – LIKE
  • Opti-Free Puremoist – LIKE 
  • Christophe Robin Clay Cleansing Volumizing Paste – LOVE
  • Hello Natural Toothpaste Natural Sweet Mint – LOVE
  • Love Beauty & Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo – LIKE
  • Love Beauty & Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Conditioner – LIKE
  • Lancome Hydra Zen – LIKE
  • Age20s Aura Essence Cover Pact Refill Light Beige 21 – LOVE  (thx to my friend, refilled!)

2019mayempt_4

  • Su:m37 Water-full Timeless Water Gel Cream – LOVE
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Original – LIKE
  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner – LIKE
  • Culturelle Daily Probiotic Chewable Orange – LOVE
  • It’s Skin Cookies and Cream Body Ice Cream – LIKE
  • Belif the true cream Aqua Bomb – LOVE
  • Olay Regenerist Whip Polishing Creme Cleanser – LOVE

 

My Mehs…:

  • Moisturizing Cetaphil… loved the original blue kind, but this one broke me out. Slippery. Wouldn’t seep into my skin. Estranged, my skin and this.
  • Mamonde Oil to Foam Rose Cleanser Sample – Yep. Broke me out. Loved the toner though. Rose scent’s a little too strong for my liking.

 

It’s interesting how my loves and repurchases don’t always correspond. Sometimes my likes are more “like”ly to get repurchased than my loves, but in this case, it’s more out of necessity than “sparks of joy.”

Which is precisely why I can’t get into Marie Kondo; things that spark joy doesn’t necessarily mean I need it. If I did things her way, I’d be a fabulously dressed mountain hermit and dead in a week because I’ve no survival skills or the capacity to deconstruct pretty quotes.

Allure 2019 May Beauty Box

May_4


$15 per month


May was a solid box. I received every single item that I wanted from Allure, and even the tanning gel doesn’t niggle me so. The Lue powder came 2/3 filled, but compare that to what others have gotten (1/2), I can’t complain.

May_1May_2They’ve switched up the bags a little. Instead of the little metallic button that pops into itself, this bag has sleeves.

(So far, none of these have arrived ripped. From what I’ve heard though, these babies are as delicate as the cotton candy that the raccoon dropped in the water.)

May_3Items received:

  • Lue by Jean Seo – Cleansing, Exfoliating & brightening Powder – LIKE
  • Amorepacific Youth Revolution Radiance Creme & Masque – LOVE
  • Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream – LOVE
  • Model Co Metallic Eyeshadow in St Barts – LIKE
  • Laritzy Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Vibe – MEH
  • St Tropez Tanning Gel & Tanning Mitten – NOPE

4/6, and two loves. Good box.

May_5

  • Lue by Jean Seo – Cleansing, Exfoliating & brightening Powder: This reminds me a little of the “NUDE Detox brightening fizzy powder” or the “Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder.” It’s a tad more loosey-goosey than those two.
  • Amorepacific Youth Revolution Radiance Creme & Masque: Solid cream. The texture feels whipped and it sinks into your skin, non-tacky residue. Always a fan of Amorepacific. To use this as a mask, you need to apply two layers and sleep with it overnight…but unsure if I have enough product to try this. I’m surprised how expensive this is retail. ($200 FS)
  • Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream: Tried this before. Loved it. It may come off as greasy at first but soon sinks in.
  • Model Co Metallic Eyeshadow in St Barts: Haven’t tried this yet but I enjoy the color. This is more of a foil-like sheen than glitter.
  • Laritzy Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Vibe: Enjoy the texture, not so much the color. I’d have liked something brighter or bolder. But it’s a nice nude-y shade. Almost transparent on my skin.
  • St Tropez Tanning Gel & Tanning Mitten: I don’t use tanning items, so will probably be swapping or selling this off! Fun mitten though.

May_6Laritzy gloss & ModelCo Shadow.

They both have a mild orange sheen to its hue. Could be a nice topper I figure.

May_4I’ve also just learned that there’s a strong correlation between shipping date and subscribed date. (e.g. If you subbed at the beginning of the month, say the 2nd, your box will ship on the first week)

I happened to sub around the 15th, meaning I always get my box around the third week. This has its pros and cons. I will always be late to the party, but I get to look at everyone’s boxes and decide whether to skip or not!

[INFLUENSTER] Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick – Joyride, Interview

HUDAvox2


Provided by Influenster


My fourth voxbox, and my first ever makeup voxbox.

I adore Huda’s liquid matte formula and the shade “Trophy Wife,” so was excited to try her power matte lipsticks.

HUDAvox1HUDAvox3HUDAvox4HUDAvox9Two shades were generously provided: “Joyride” and “Interview.”

If the color spectrum runs orange -> dusty pink/red -> chocolate, these two leaned heavily on the orange. I believe they were the lightest shades of the bunch.

HUDAvox5Here is the ingredients list.

HUDAvox8Left is “Joyride,” right is “Interview.”

 

HUDAvox7Again, the left is “Joyride,” right is “Interview.”

The shades are on the warm side, brownish nudes that can be worn comfortably. It’s more taupe on-lips than in the tube.

The formula is creamy-matte and goes on thick. The scent was interesting. It reminds me of Crayola lightly dipped in vanilla, waxy and sweet.

HUDAvox10Left: Interview, Right: Joyride

Keep in mind, the sun was barely out (cloudy day) so the colors look less saturated. I really liked “interview,” but “joyride” was a tad too muddy for my liking. Just personal preference. “Interview” is gorgeous!

The lips go on thick but stay. I’ve been out eating with “interview” on, and it didn’t leave me even after a reuben + chai latte.

HUDAvox6This is one of those lipsticks that you “feel” on your lips. It doesn’t feel like a second skin, but the feeling is akin to putting on a leather jacket on the outskirts of spring.

I like the formula enough to maybe try the shade “pay day” someday. 🙂

Bath & Body Works Haul (Buy 3 Get 3) 2019

AprilHaul_4There is a special place in my heart for B&BW coupons. They are ridiculously generous.

My Korean friend, for whom it was her first time ever in the US, had a romp at B&BW. She preferred it over Sephora!

This is a story of how we brought the price tag down from $60.10 to $34.34.

AprilHaul_3We combined three coupons/promos:

  • 20% off entire purchase
  • 1 item free (up to $13.50 value)
  • Buy 3 Get 3 free

Between the two of us, my friend and I each picked out three items and then added on one extra item to redeem the “1 item free.”

She bought:

  • Gingham Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Sweet Almond & Honey Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Intense Lavender Body Lotion

I bought:

  • Wild Blueberry Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Gingham Ultra Shea Body Cream
  • Sea Island Cotton Body Lotion
  • Aromatherapy Essential Oil Body Lotion – Lavender

She generously gave me the extra item 🙂 We only paid about $17 each.

AprilHaul_1The Aromatherapy Lavender landed itself on my bedroom dresser, next to JoMalone and a bunch of perfume rollerballs. (Vicktor&Rolf, Maison Margiela, Fresh) The lotion is non-tacky and melts into the skin.

I alternate between Lavender and English Pear & Freesia at night. Lavender helps me sleep.

AprilHaul_2The Wild Blueberry currently resides in my bathroom, atop the …well, loo.

It’s accompanied by Japanese Cherry Blossom (another B&BW classic) and a bottle of “what used to be body milk but now is a mixture of water & lavender oil & crushed ylang ylang soap.” I intended it to be red – yellow – blue (ish).

It smells amazing! Takes a bit longer than the lotions to seep into my skin, but does a bang-up job in keeping me moisturized.

I love mixing Wild Blueberry with a hint of Philosophy’s Fresh Cream; the combination reminds me of grape 새콤달콤 (Saecomdalcom? It means SweetSour), a beloved fruit chew from my prepubescent days. (My hubby says it reminds him of cranberry juice. Funny how scent awakens different kinds of nostalgia in everyone.)

In all, a good haul.

Allure 2019 April, Mar, Jan Beauty Box

I blame the weather. The winter days were long and cold; they blended into one another until it felt like I was stuck in groundhog day. Sooner or later, I woke up from the funk and realized it was April 2019. And I haven’t reviewed a single box from Allure, my current favorite beauty subscription.

Here is everything, from January to April. (I lied. Minus February)

“Allure January 2019”

allurejan_1allurejan_2allurejan_3Items received:

  • OUAI Scalp & Body Scrub – LIKE
  • Sunday Riley CEO Glow Vitamin C +Tumeric Face Oil – LIKE
  • Sunday Riley A + High Dose Retinoid Serum – LOVE
  • Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask – MEH
  • Doucce Relentless Matte Lip Crayon in Winterberry – LIKE
  • Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick in Burnished Bronze – LIKE

 

“Allure March 2019”

alluremar_1alluremar_2alluremar_3alluremar_4alluremar_5alluremar_6Items received:

  • Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb – LOVE
  • The Anywhere Creme Multistick Grapefruit – LOVE (NARS Orgasm dupe)
  • Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Gel Cleanser – LIKE
  • Acure Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Night Oil – MEH
  • Mamonde Rose Water Toner – LIKE
  • Burt’s Bee Lipstick in Blush Basin – LOVE
  • Lakur Nail Polish in Boring Pink – LIKE/MEH

 

“Allure April 2019”

allureapr_1allureapr_2allureapr_3allureapr_5Items received:

  • Natasha Denona Single Eyeshadow in 131DC Morgana – LOVE
  • Brigeo Farewell Frizz Protection Cream – MEH
  • Vita Liberata Tan-Infused Clothes – HARD NOPE (organic or otherwise, no tanning)
  • Luxie 231 Small Tapered Blending Rose Gold – LOVE
  • Laura Geller Inkcredible Gel Eyeliner Pencil – LIKE
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Cream – LIKE
  • Furterer Texture Spray – MEH

 

In summary:

  • Liked the January box
  • Loved the March box
  • Meh-ed the April Box

(February must have been a hard hard nope because I distinctly remember receiving the box but didn’t bother taking pictures)

Currently, I think I prefer Allure to Birchbox or Ipsy. Good solid items. Even the semi-transparent bags didn’t rip and give me grief.

Sephora Spring Sale 20% 2019

2019sale_1Here’s our annual April-ish Sephora Beauty Insider Sale. I add “ish” because a good chunk of the sale veers into May.

  • Rouge gets 20% off from “April 26 – May 6”
  • VIB gets 15% off from “May 2 – May 6”
  • Insider gets 10% off from “May 2 – May 6”

Unlimited use in-store and online. (online code: HEYROUGE, for Rouge)

There are some exclusions. No applicable on products from “The Ordinary” or “MAC Viva Glam.” Limit 1 Dyson, 3 Drunk Elephant, 3 Tatcha, 5 Morphe items per transaction.

2019sale_2As usual, the coupon came with fragrance cards.

And of course, on the first day of the sale (April 26th), Rouge members are allowed to bring one other Beauty Insider who will also get 20% off on their purchased items. If this sale had begun just one week earlier, my friend from Korea may have gotten the chance to shop 20% off with me… 😦 Bad timing for us.

Pretty much excited about the sale but disappointed that The Ordinary products will be excluded from this promotion. I’d have liked to stock up on “Buffet” and “Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.”

2019 MARCH & APRIL EMPTIES

2019MarApril_1My March & April Empties. April is not quite over yet, but I doubt I’ll have a new empty by the 30th.

Categories:

  • Loves (will/already have repurchased)
  • Likes (likes enough to use it again someday)
  • Meh (meh)
  • Underline (already repurchased)

2019MarApril_2Here are my Likes & Loves:

  • Philosophy Fresh Cream
  • Nature Republic Hair Liner in Brown
  • Bioderma SensiBio Micellar Water 
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day
  • OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo 
  • Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis
  • Skinfood Cheek and Lip Trio – No3 Cherry Tomato
  • Thayers Witch Hazel Toner
  • LUSH Snow Fairy Shower Gel
  • Opti Free Replenish 

Loved everything on this list. Especially the Royal Honey Propolis which softens & moisturizes like nobody’s business, but sadly, Skinfood isn’t doing so well. Offline stores have been closing and stocks ran low for a while.

They’re saying Skinfood will continue selling their products online, but unsure if this is true. Hope so.

Beautylish 2019 Lucky Bag – Regular

LuckyBag2019_2


Price: $75 + $10 shipping = $85


My annual Beautylish Lucky Bag. This was only my third year, but my year is never quite complete without having partaken in this holiday (?) tradition.

You normally receive these babies mid to late January. The whole experience is akin to rejoicing a second Christmas. Santa forgot a few knickknacks and is sending everyone a second batch of presents, just the cosmetics.

Screen Shot 2018-12-26 at 3.48.04 PMThey’ve upped the shipping price from $8 to $10.

And this time, the staff at Beautylish separated the Jeffree Star bags from the Regular Bags. Jeffree Star bags will only hold items from Jeffree Star, while Regular bags may or may not have included a JS item in their stash.

Screen Shot 2018-12-26 at 3.48.04 PM

Bags were sold out by the time I rechecked their site, around 4:00 pm PT!

I got my Regular bag around 11 am PT, which by then, were the only items left for purchase. The XL bags were long gone. Obviously, everyone grabbed one when the bags went live at Early Access, 9:00 am PT.

LuckyBag2019_1My items (from left to right):

  • Avene Gentle Body Scrub ($24)
  • Lina Choo Lipstick – 21 Duras ($32)
  • Viseart Theory Palette – Amethyst ($45)
  • Wayne Goss – 13 Face Brush ($53)
  • Good Molecules – Wake Up Eye Serum ($8)
  • Becca Glow on the Go Set ($20)

A total $182 value.

LuckyBag2019_3LuckyBag2019_4Especially smitten with my face brush.

I’ve been using the Lucky Bag as an excuse to collect Wayne Goss brushes, and am a happy trooper with what I’ve got. No dupes so far! Love them all; they’re a staple in my brush rotation.

LuckyBag2019_5LuckyBag2019_6I’ve debated getting this exact Theory Palette before and always backed down at the last minute. Now I have one! This is the moment my semi-no-buy pays off lol. Viseart and Laura Mercier makes such beautiful plummy shades.

(Also would’ve liked ABH Sultry, despite it being old news.)

LuckyBag2019_7LuckyBag2019_8I’ve never heard of or used Lina Choo, but the packaging was beautiful enough to win me over.

And Duras is exactly the shade I would’ve picked had I sought the brand out myself.

LuckyBag2019_8I was pleasantly surprised by Good Molecules… because the item itself seemed like such a throwaway “extra,” and a shameless promotion at that.

They call this “eye serum,” but I prefer to mix it up with “The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2%” + “Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum” to spread it all over my face.

The mixture keeps my skin moisturized and soft until the crummy heaters inevitably wreak havoc on my everything and I start over. February of Michigan is the cruelest month.

LuckyBag2019_10Admittedly, a confusing addition to my stash, only because it seems so random in a Beautylish Lucky Bag.

I haven’t seen enough variations in lucky bags to confirm the validity of my feelings, but this felt like an “I need something to round out this bag but ran out of everything. Let’s include this random product!” Haven’t seen this in anyone else’s bag so far.

At the same time, I love body scrubs, gentler the better. So am mollified.

LuckyBag2019_9Sadly, the only item in my bag I wasn’t excited about.

Beautiful products, but I already own Becca highlighters, one FS and one DS sample. Those two are enough to last me years and then some. Ah well. 5/6 isn’t bad in my book.

LuckyBag2019_2

Honestly, the wait this year was … a bummer. I’d have liked to receive my box sometime around mid-January, but it landed three days before February butted in. At that point, I forgot I even ordered this thing, hence the ridiculously late post date. My excitement had already peaked and died.

In summary: Liked the box; didn’t like the wait.

[Influenster] Love Beauty & Planet – Hand Wash, Hail Oil

vox1


Provided by Influenster


I’ve been using a lot of tea tree lately, and this voxbox was surprisingly in sync with my current obsession: hair everything and tea tree.

I’ll start with the hand wash.

vox213.5 FL OZ – 400 ml. For hand washes, this is on the bigger size.

vox3Ethical and nature-friendly.

vox4Simply pump, lather, and rinse.

The scent is pretty strong with this one. It’s a grassy and minty scent that lingers on your skin long after you use it, mostly tea tree with a hint of lemongrass. If you enjoy the smell of tea tree, this will be a pleasant experience.

vox5The product is a clear slippery gel that lathers gently when you mix it with water.

It does not lather as much as some other sulfate-based hand washes, but still left my hands squeaky-clean. Wasn’t too drying, despite the tea tree. I suspect the coconut oil cancels out the dryness of tea tree to some degree.

I placed this at my kitchen sink because 1) This doesn’t leave my hands dry. 2) The strong scent helps cancel out any other scent that may linger on my hands when cooking food. 3) Hefty size. I wash my hands a lot at the kitchen sink.

vox8Now the hair oil. This one’s vetiver & jojoba.

4 FL OZ – 118ml. A decent amount that would last me through the winter.

vox9Ingredients list & directions. As is the case with the hand wash, there are a lot of plant-based ingredients.

You can either use this as a deep treatment prior to washing your hair or as a styling agent on dry or wet hair.

vox7The oil is clear and rather runny. It feels lighter than most hair oils I’ve used.

Compared to something like Moroccanoil Oil Treatment, this is a lighter, less scented version.

vox6(Left is before, right is after I applied the hair oil)

The oil weighs my hair down just enough to straighten and work out the knots. I concentrated on the lower region of my hair because it’s dryer, and also my oily-to-begin-with scalp doesn’t take to oil very kindly. I’d say this is a product that even someone with an oily scalp can use.

My hair’s been going to the way of a pudding (with the light dye on the bottom and darker roots = syrup on top, mostly because I can’t be bothered to keep dying it) and this visual is exaggerated by applying the oil. Brings out the color more. Think eyeshadow primer.

The scent, unlike with the hand wash, dissipates after a certain amount of time.

vox1Overall, solid products.

I might replace my Moroccanoil with this oil infusion because my scalp gets oily easily and it’s better to go lighter than heavier in my case.

IPSY DECEMBER 2018 GLAM BAG

DEC2018_0Final glam bag of 2018.

And we’re ending the year relatively strong!

DEC2018_1As is the case with my October bag, love the concept but not so much the execution. The bag feels flimsy and cheap; the spangle side almost rustles like paper.

At the same time, it’s cute and kitschy-glam. That festive gold makes sense to me. December should be festive.

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 12.38.50 PM

Items I received:

Finding Ferdinand Blush in Skinny Dip – Lovely mute-pink blush. A bit chalky. It’s a shade lighter than what is shown in the product photos. Think more NARS Deep Throat than Orgasm. Like.

The Balm Cosmetics Nude Beach EyeShadow in Bootylicious – Raspberry brown, with hints of shimmer. I like The Balm shadows in general, so this was also a like.

Ciate London Glitter Flip Liquid Lip in Infamous – Not as glittery as the name makes it out to be. A reddish berry shade that dries down into a matte shimmer. Like.

F.A.R.A.H. Brushes Blending Brush 35E – This is such a beautiful blending brush. And fitting, with the gold theme of the bag. The bristles are soft and the handle doesn’t feel cheap. Love.

Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Coconut Hair Mask – Smells overwhelmingly like coconut. This may be a like or a dislike depending on how it works as a mask. Undecided.

Dr.Lipp Colour Tint in Sweet Potato – Love the idea and the name, but the product refused to leave the tube. Squeezing with both my hands made a bird’s nostril-sized amount squirt out, and even that was too tacky. Barely any color. Dislike.

DEC2018_2Six items in total. 5/6. This was a good bag.

I’m sad about the Dr.Lipp. Had such high hopes for the Sweet Potato. I hope I got a bad batch.

DEC2018_3Here’s a close-up of the brush. It’s gorgeous.

Come to think of it, I’ve never disliked a brush Ipsy sent me. I’ve failed with plenty of other products, but never a brush.

DEC2018_4

From left to right:

Ciate London Glitter Flip Liquid Lip in Infamous

Dr.Lipp Colour Tint in Sweet Potato

Finding Ferdinand Blush in Skinny Dip