Ipsy September 2018 Glam Bag

Sept2018_2My September 2018 Glam Bag. It’s been awhile since I subbed Ipsy. This is my first bag in almost a year I believe.

I was a tad disappointed by the quality of the bag, but I like the products I was given!

Sept2018_1Like the concept art but not the execution. While the design is super cute, the bag feels flimsy and papery in comparison to the previous Ipsy bags I’ve received…

Unsure if this is the norm now. I sincerely hope this bag’s an anomaly because the cute bags were half the reason I subbed Ipsy and not Birchbox.

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 9.44.54 AM

Items I received:

Luxie Wonder Woman Detail Tapered Blender 140 – Love. I’ve loved Luxie brushes ever since Ipsy sent me two amazing blending brushes; they’re still in my brush rotation after 3-4 years. They haven’t fallen apart unlike other brushes I’ve used that are in the similar price range.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola – Like. I happen to have a sample already, so I’m sending this new one to a friend who loves Benefit.

Botanic Farm Natural Sheet Mask in Avocado – Like. Sheet masks are always a like or a love. Avocado is a bit heavy on my combo skin, so I tend to use this in the evening.

Evelyn Iona Cosmetics Green Tea Primer – Like. It’s a watery primer that leaves your skin plump and hydrated. Smells great, like morning dew. But again, this has avocado oil, so I wouldn’t recommend it to those who have acne-prone skin.

Neuma NeuMoisture Instant Fix – Like. Non-greasy with a decent smell. Leaves my hair soft.

Sept2018_330% cash back on these products 🙂

Sept2018_4All in all, it was a decent bag. Other than the Hoola I’m giving away, I will use all of the products.

I hope the October one (birthday month!) proves to be of better quality.

[INFLUENSTER] Olay Regenerist Cleansing Whip

olaywhip1


Provided by Influenster


Again, from my second ever VoxBox.

This is the perfect fall/winter cleanser for my kind of combination skin. I love that it doubles as a daily exfoliator.

olayclay1Hello hello!

I’d like to begin with what a terrible time Autumn is, for my kind of combo skin. It’s when my skin freaks out from the subtle change of weather, when it decides to accumulate dead skin cells (even more so than usual) and create this horny outer shell that I refuse to call skin. Leather, more like.

This type of skin makes it harder for my moisturizer to seep in, leading to less moisture in my skin, leading to more leather, more pain on my behalf.

So exfoliating “just the right amount” becomes my mission, as overdoing it causes cystic acne to pop up and overstay its welcome.

olaywhip2There are fine micropolishers within the lather of Olay Regenerist, just enough to exfoliate the skin without aggravating it.

Some exfoliators tend to cut into my skin, leaving it open for contamination, the plague, and terrible little whiteheads… but this actually cleared up my skin. Plus, my skin feels baby soft now. Love.

olaywhip3Ingredient list.

I’ve been using this for three days and already my skin feels fresher 🙂 It’s a nice morning wake-me-up cleanser/exfoliator.

olaywhip4By the way, the lather is real. A pea-sized amount suffices for my morning cleanse because it lathers up like crazy. This can will probably last me months even with daily use…

And try this as a body exfoliator when you’re taking a bath. Love the way it makes my skin feel after.

[Influenster] Olay Pink Mineral Complex Mask

olayclay4


Provided by Influenster


Hello my second ever VoxBox.

I’ve been meaning to branch out with masks, as I’ve been using (and reusing) my Herbivore Blue Tansy & Innisfree Volcanic Clay combo to death. This swooped in just in time.

olayclay1This was the Olay VoxBox, a winner, if I say so myself. Love both products.

It’s saying something that I can get excited about cleansers and masks, which tend to lean boring in my spectrum of daily beauty products. But hey, what works works.

olayclay2Nice and simple. Easy to use. And best of all – travel friendly.

Most clay masks I’ve used came in either huge tubs or heavy, metallic containers, and while I do love excess & sturdiness, it’s hard to find the perfect clay mask for traveling. I usually have to make do with a foil sample or a hastily-packed-sample-in-a-contact-case… that sometimes dried out mid-travel.

This feels like a good mask for traveling. It’s not messy like some stick-form products can get, and it’s a good decent size.

olayclay3How to use 🙂 As simple as it gets.

I personally like to get the tub running while I apply this. The warm steam opens up my pores.

olayclay5So here’s the embarrassing part.

I initially didn’t realize this was a cap. Was just fascinated by how smooth the product was and wondered if this was water-activated as it just didn’t seem to be getting onto my skin…

Well. It’s a cap. Do not be foolish like I was. Thank god no one was around to see it.

olayclay6Here’s the product sans cap. Still lovely and smooth….but actually goes on skin as opposed to its plastic counterpart.

There’s a nice fruity scent to the mask that’s not overpowering.

olayclay7On application, the mask turns your face into one of an Oompa Loompa. It’s not chalky, goes on smooth, and does its job without completely depleting your skin of moisture.

Best of all, it left my skin glowing after rinsing. Some clay masks briefly irritate my cheeks and nose area, but this didn’t flare up my rosacea. And my skin wasn’t dried out the next morning, so a win overall!

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 9.17.13 PM.pngProduct details from Olay itself.

[Influenster] Garnier Olia- Dark Mahogany Hair Dye

garnierolia_3


Provided by Influenster


Hello my first ever VoxBox. It’s uncanny how these come at you at the right moment, when I was personally getting sick of my red-ish hair.

garnierolia_2garnierolia_4I received the shade “4.15 Dark Soft Mahogany.”

Influenster give you arbitrary colors out of the ones you chose in the survey, meaning you may not get the shade you wanted most, but will still receive something you can use and like.

I like Mahogany. I would’ve liked to try something lighter since my hair’s so dark, but this is good.

garnierolia_5garnierolia_6This product is 60% natural flower oils, no ammonia. Which may be the reason why I didn’t feel as much scalp-tingling as I got using other DIY hair dyes.

I did notice Olia makes you wait a wee bit longer. Most products I’ve used makes you wait for 20-25min, advising to go over only if your hair is very dark. Olia requires 30 min straight off the bat. Perhaps it’s less damaging on the hair?

garnierolia_1Here’s what’s inside the box:

  • Developer
  • Colorant
  • After Color Conditioner
  • Instructions + black gloves

The usual, for a DIY hair dye kit. The gloves were a little too big and slippery. I recommend putting a hair band around your wrist to secure them.

garnierolia_7Here’s my hair before Olia. It was red…ish, not very even.

My hair is straight and a bit dry, frizzy at the ends. I’ve seen reviews that say Olia, as an oil-based dye, may weigh down your hair if it’s greasy to begin with.

garnierolia_8Tadaaa – This is after Olia “Dark Soft Mahogany.”

It’s actually very reminiscent of my original hair, which I haven’t seen in a long while. Nothing exciting, but I like it 🙂

(Please keep in mind that this is me second day in without shampooing… I usually wash my hair everyday but I was pressed for time)

garnierolia_10With this (slightly) new color palette,  (slightly) different makeup colors suit me now. I’ve got a less warmer palette overall.

A few tips when DIY dyeing your hair:

  • Wear an old t-shirt. Drape an old, tossable towel around your neck (faux-salon style) and secure it using a rubber band. This will prevent your body from being stained.
  • Line your ear-tips and hairline with vaseline. Those are the areas that will inevitably get stained. Vaseline makes the stain easy to wipe off.
  • Turn on an air vent or open a window. Don’t let the fumes get to your head.
  • Time yourself. I usually apply first then set the timer.
  • Go slow, and use a old tossable hairbrush if you have one. Fast application may result in splotchy highlights. Look to my previous hair for proof. The hairbrush isn’t a must, but does help a lot in achieving even application.
  • If you feel the burn more than usual or to the point where you can’t stand it, quickly wash everything off. This has never happened to me but I’ve seen reviews. Please do a patch test before trying. Read the instructions carefully.

There is no way a hair dye would restore damage hair; the most it will do is inflict less damage with good color payoff.

I think I got a decent payoff even with my dark hair 🙂 Recommend.

(Do try the patch test though! You never know with allergies.)

 

2018 March Empties

2018MARempties_1.jpgMarch Empties! T’was a good month. Most of these were products I’ve been working on for months.

As usual, categories:

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

2018MARempties_3March FS/DS Loves!

  • ShiruKotto (takes some getting used to, but great facial cotton. It doesn’t absorb a lot of product, meaning everything goes to your face, not your cotton! This was a gift from a friend in Japan.)
  • Sephora Green Tea Gel Cleanser (A great second cleanser. I typically used this after the body shop cleanser. I think they’re phasing it out though? 😦 )
  • Botanics Shine Away Clay Mask (Amazing fast-working clay mask. A bit watery.)
  • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed  (Keeps away the shine.)
  • Christophe Robin Sea Salt Scrub (tad pricey, but lovely scent + great scalp scrub. I don’t use this as a shampoo, but more of a scalp treatment.)
  • Hurraw! Lip Balm in Coffee (My favorite lip balm. I’ve been using this for years. Should’ve posted a review a million years ago.)
  • L’oreal HydraFresh Moisturizer (Great moisturizer but so hard to find.)
  • Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter (Caroline Hirons hooked me onto this. My mom loves it, too)
  • Dove Body Polish in Macademia & Rice Milk (The most intoxicating scent and leaves my skin baby-soft. Dries easily though.)
  • Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Light Mauve (One of my favorite blushes…but god, these Fit Me blushes have such flimsy packaging. It always breaks a month in.)

2018MARempties_2March Likes! and Mehs.

  • Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water (Lovely delicate scent. Doesn’t clean as well as my Bioderma though.)
  • Tony Moly Easy Touch Eyeliner in Brown (Nice color but the brush tip was too hard. Wasn’t like the one I used before. )
  • Philosophy Vanilla Birthday Cake ( 😦 .. The scent wasn’t rich enough. I could barely smell it. Formula is as always, decent)
  • Nexxus Conditioner (My fourth bottle methinks)
  • Amorepacific Enzyme Peel (I noticed nothing … the Tatcha or NUDE powder is more to my liking. Love their face spray though.)
  • Bath & Body Works Candy Apple (Love the initial scent. Dries down too sweet, too cloying. Decent moisturizer, non-tacky.)

 

Hope to finish off more before I leave for Korea in May.

Jouer – Skinny Dip Palette

skinndip_sokobaby3


Price: $40


I traded this palette with another Beautylish Lucky bag item, the Jouer Skinny Dip highlighter. The lovely MissPuff traded me with no extra +@, being the generous lady that she is. Very thankful to her because I really wanted this palette!

(You can see what I originally received here: 2018 Beautylish Lucky Bag post)

skinndip_sokobaby9This pretty.

The Skinny Dip is not a palette for an everyday look. Every single shade here is a foil shimmer that goes on hard and shiny, with not much room for blending (though it is possible). And every single shade is gorgeous.

skinndip_sokobaby4Ingredients.

Brace yourself for a lot of product images because I was drooling over, not necessarily the packaging itself, but the color scheme + concept.

skinndip_sokobaby5skinndip_sokobaby6skinndip_sokobaby7skinndip_sokobaby8This is one of those palettes that actually photographs better with that rose-gold sheen, the yellow light that I usually avoid. Everything about it screams gold and sparkle.

Personally would’ve loved a sturdier package.. but I still deem this gorgeous. I’d have liked a nice tin, something metal. (If this was in a studier plastic/metal packaging, I would shell out more than $40 for it! …with maybe an extra shade on the side that screams taupe, in the “Tan Lines” shade formula.)

skinndip_sokobaby2skinndip_sokobaby1Swatches, from left to right (Under Yellow Light):

Starlight – Bikini – Skinny Dip – Tan Lines – Magic Hour – Midnight Swim

They apply light foil, thick and shiny. Especially Starlight, Skinny Dip, and Magic Hour. Bikini was a tad bit lacking in payoff, but I like variation. It’s fine. But I’d love to see a version of this shade that goes on like foil.

It is possible to use this as a liner with the right kind of brush and primer/wet brush.

skinndip_sokobaby10Swatches (Under Natural Light – Dull)

The weather has been doom and gloom (no surprises there) these past few weeks, so sadly, this was the best I could do. You can tell here how much Starlight and Magic Hour come off foil-like and solid. Everything was one-swipe.

My two favorite shades are “Skinny Dip” and “Magic Hour.”

There is some fallout, as is the case with most sparkly shadows out there, but the ones that stick to the primer-ed lid stays put. The colors are toned down enough that I can wear it to work, and as a liner, that pop of color gives life to your eyes.

skinndip_sokobaby11I honestly like this a bit more than the (dare I say it) Natasha Denona.

There’s not much room for play on my hooded asian lids, and something like the Skinny Dip Palette is perfect to draw attention without having to work too hard for it. (I blink and most of everything disappears. Like magic, but not the happy kind.)

I’ve had random strangers come up to me and compliment my eyes when I’m wearing this. Or ask me what shadows I used. I might have to buy a back-up someday 🙂

I’ll try to upload eye swatches someday. When the weather here gets sunny enough.

Lush Bath Bomb – Thundersnow

thunder3_sb


Price: $6.95


Hubbygift_2This was a part of my “Christmas Bathtime Favorites” Box (not to mention Intergalactic!). I’m sad to say this was a limited edition. You can’t find it on the Lush page anymore.. but as with most other Lush products, this may return.

I’ve still about 6-7 more bath bombs to go!

thunder1_sbMine was a tad more glitzy and messy, since it had been tumbling around with other bombs for a month or two.

You can detect flecks of Golden Wonder and Star Light Star Bright.

 

B612_20180109_072502.jpgB612_20180109_072346.gifB612_20180109_072305

This one makes an odd popping sound as it melts. It apparently has some popping candy packed inside itself, along with peppermint oil and cocoa absolute.

The bomb is supposed to smell like cocoa and mint (a peppermint mocha, if you will) but it felt more powdery-sweet and pillowy, more like chocolate vanilla ice cream in a dry “space ice cream” form than something like.. peppermint patty? Peppermint chocolate milk in powder form? It’s hard to say.

That vanilla-chocolate swirl is intoxicating though. I loved it.

thunder2_sbCaribbean ocean-esque hues. Pretty pretty.

I only wish the scent lasted longer. I didn’t drain immediately and let the colors simmer for about ten minutes, but the scent didn’t last long. That initial waft when you first pitch the bomb is probably the strongest scent you’ll get with this bath bomb.

 

2018 Jan- Feb Empties

2018marchempties_1These are my Jan-Feb Empties, my first batch(?) of empties since 2017. Like in my previous post, I threw away the no-nos, so most of items here are either my loves or likes.

2018FEBempties_2Here are my categories:

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

2018FEBempties_3

Jan-Feb FS/DS Loves!

  • Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser (Best gentle cleanser/exfoliator)
  • Albion Skin Conditioner Essential (Soothing toner that gradually evens out my blotchy skin tone. Price point is a bit steep, and it’s only sold in Japan)
  • Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water (This is what, my fifth bottle?)
  • Mario Badescu Rose Facial Spray (I keep this next to my bed for sprtizes)
  • Kerasys Moisture Clinic Treatment (Delicious scent. Softens my hair like nothing else)
  • Dior Lip Plumper (Great lip primer. Quickly softens up lips.)
  • Opti-Free Replenish (My… tenth bottle I think.)
  • No-brand Eyebrow Trimmer (My fourth one methinks)

Most of these products will be repurchased at some point. I especially loved the Liz Earle (it came with a gauzy cloth), but it’s a hassle to keep the cloth dried and clean.

2018FEBempties_4

Jan-Feb Samples Loves!

  • Shiseido Facial Cotton (mistakenly got in the samples pile. Great face cotton)
  • Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser (Soothing. Lovely smell. Good cleanser)
  • Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser (Odd smell but cleanses well. Soothing)
  • Euneul Collagen Mask (Great prepping mask. Seeps into skin non-greasy/tacky)
  • The Face Shop Hydrating Mask (Feels more water-based than the collagen. Good prepping mask)

 

2018FEBempties_2

Jan-Feb Samples Likes!

  • IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel (Great smell. Greasy. Not for my type of hair)
  • Shiseido Ibuki Cream (Slightly tacky but decent moisturizer)
  • The Body Shop Mango Body Cream (Great smell but tacky)
  • Lush Boom Tooth Tablet (Fun, but gets black froth everywhere)
  • Inglot Gel Liner – Brown (Great color choices. Good liner but hardens quickly)
  • Sephora Waterproof Eye Remover (Decent remover. Slightly greasy)
  • Ajona Stomatikum Toothpaste (Smells like my bunny’s pee.. but great toothpaste once you get over the smell and taste)

 

Phew. Glad to have purged some of my old faves. I’ve been working on some of these since July 2017.

Beautylish 2018 Lucky Bag – Regular

LuckyBag2018_2


Price: $75 + $8 shipping = $82


The annual Beautylish Lucky Bag is back.

Sign-ups ended months ago, but I managed to snag a regular box some time back in December. This must have been the tail-end of the orders, because most of the boxes started pouring in by the time I received my shipping notice.

LuckyBag2018_1Adore the packaging. It’s just kitschy enough to be cute. Festive, too.

I usually save the paper.

LuckyBag2018_3Cute. Thus is the origin of the 2018 Beautylish Lucky Bag. (By the way, why do they call it a bag if it’s a box? I’m curious… just going by the Fukubukuro?)

Everything came individually wrapped in plenty of black paper; nothing came broke. I did undo all the wrappings before I snapped the picture.

LuckyBag2018_2Item list:

  • Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 5 – #13 _ $48
  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray _$22
  • Wayne Goss 11- Buffing Brush _ $48
  • Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips – Too Bad I’m Bad _ $34
  • Jouer Skinny Dip Powder Highlighter – $24
  • Sulwhasoo First care Activating Mask _ $12
Total Value came to: $188
LuckyBag2018_5
The promised total value is there but this was (from what I’ve seen) one of the lower-end boxes. It was a pretty good year for Beautylish Lucky Bags! There were some amazing ones out there.

At the same time, I’d decided long ago that I’d be satisfied if I ended up liking half the items I received…and I did.

I may not be jumping over the moon, but there’s definitely this quiet sense of pleasure, a satisfaction borne of having fun, new things to play with.

LuckyBag2018_4
Shots of makeup products outside of the box … but none are swatched just yet, as I’m looking to trade a few items.
I was pretty happy with the WG brush, the Natasha Denona palette and Charlotte Tilbury lip, though. They were brand-spanking-new to me. My stash has never known a Denona palette or a CT lippie.
And Wayne Goss brushes, you can never have too many.
Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.35.10 PM

The 2018 Lucky Bag is sold out, but you can always get on the list for the 2019.

Here’s the link: https://www.beautylish.com/shop/lucky-bag-2019-sign-up

 

 

 

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil – in “Chablis”

Chablis6


Price: $24

(During Sephora Weekly Wow Deal: $10)


I’ve always loved Bite “Meritage” and several of their Amuse Bouche lipsticks, so it’s no surprise the Weekly Wow stopped me in my tracks.

There’s a saying in Korea about how sparrows can never pass by a grain mill without dropping in (totally butchering the translation btw); in this case, the mill is Sephora; the grain is Chablis.

Chablis2The “Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencils” are a mere $10 during the Sephora weekly wow sale, so if you’re looking to add one to your stash, now’s the time.

Chablis3Chablis4As usual, ingredients list.

You receive 0.09 oz (2.52g) of product.

Chablis5Color in Chablis. 98% of product is consisted of natural ingredients.

Bite lip products actually taste good. (The smell…used to be better I think, if you think of the old lipsticks versus the reformulated ones.)

Chablis7Chablis is described as a “soft coral rose,” but I actually found this to be a bright coral. There is definitely some rosiness to it, but it feels more saturated and brighter than what I’d consider a “soft rosy coral.”

Chablis8Skin swatch in natural light. Beautiful deep coral rose.

Shade on the right is “Meritage,” (another winter favorite of mine) for comparison.

Chablis1On balmed bare lips + sunscreen-ed skin. Chablis is a gorgeous color if you’re into bright, rosy corals. This goes on smooth but slightly messy; it slides around so a steady hand is a must.

Finish is satin-matte. Then again, everything feels matte on my dry lips.

Glad I bought it. I should pick up more before the sale ends.