Monday, December 7, 2015

Memebox Fiddy Snails Set!


I'm a big fan of Fifty Shades of Snail, so when I heard about the Memebox that would be put out, I simply had to pick it up! The box contains two full size(!) COSRX snail products, a Ciracle snail hydrogel mask, and stickers! 





The set is $34, and the value of the products in total is $50.50 (with Memebox's pricing.) On RoseRoseShop I was able to get the products at $35.81, but the mask comes in a pack of four, so that would be a little more expensive buying the four pack of masks. I liked the idea of the box set, because I enjoy Fiddy's blog and have no issues supporting her, plus it has a cute theme and was shipped super quickly! (Unlike ordering from Korea, just saying.)

The cream and essence I did a spot test of first, to make sure there would be no adverse reaction. After that, I went ahead and started using the products full time to help flesh out my (already complex) skincare routine. 

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence - Personally, I'm a fan of snail slime for my face. I didn't have to get past the fact that it was snail slime, I just slap products on my face. However, if you're iffy about the whole snail thing, this product may not be the best for you, strictly because the consistency is, well...thick and mucus-y. The pump is able to dispense product with no issue, but it does feel somewhat slimy in my hand. I found about two pumps to be enough for my whole face. Although the essence seems super thick, once spread onto the skin it absorbs very quickly. I found my skin feeling instantly hydrated after applying. Another bonus - it has no scent! I've been using this for about a week and I'm liking how my skin is looking.

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream - I have oily skin, so somewhat heavy moisturizers aren't something I'm too well versed in. To me, this moisturizer is heavy. A tiny bit goes a loooooong way for me, but you may be different. Because this is heavy for me, I use it at night as an occlusive to hold all other moisture in. The container has a screw top and comes with a tiny spatula on a seal within the jar. I've kept the seal in there just to keep track of the spatula. I don't even need an entire spatula's worth for my whole face when I use this. I feel that this cream takes longer than I'd like to sink in - I can't put it on then hop right into bed, otherwise my pillow will end up very well moisturized. But it does sink in eventually, and my skin feels wonderfully hydrated in the morning. The cream also has no scent, which is nice. 

Ciracle Snail Hydrogel Mask - This is my first Ciracle product. I don't know if I'm totally in love with hydrogel masks yet, but I'm always happy to try a new mask! The fit of the mask wasn't great for me, the sides were too wide and it didn't come down on my jaw enough. I wore this mask for an hour, and I found it lightly hydrating. My skin was noticeably brighter after wearing, and any redness I had was gone. I wish it was a bit more moisturizing, since I love that plump skin feeling after a mask, but I was super happy with the reduced redness!

I'm really happy with my first Memebox purchase! So far, COSRX has yet to let me down with a product. My skin seems to like snail slime and it's been looking very good as of late, I'm so happy! How do you feel about snail in skincare - would you put it on your face?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Kat von D Lolita Lip Duo - Review


Kat von D Beauty has been teasing this duo for ages. I immediately ordered it the day it came out, mostly because my Lolita had gone missing a while back, and I didn't want to buy another full size. I don't even remember which iteration I had - but now I have these two!




Lolita is listed as "chestnut rose." The shade is definitely on the browner side of a brown/pink combo. It's a mostly neutral shade, leaning slightly warm. On me, it pulls more brown than pink, but it doesn't look like a 90s super brown lip. Application was smooth, needing one swipe for full coverage. Drydown took about a minute, going from tacky to fully dry. While still tacky, applying more product is easy and it doesn't cause what is already applied to ball up or anything like that. I found that this shade transferred a little bit, but nothing horrible like a full lip print. The product did not flake off, and I did not find it too drying - but I wore a lip primer underneath. Around 3-4 hours I noticed cracks where lines in my lips are, but I was able to press my lips back together and "smoosh" it back into place. I had to reapply after eating lunch, but reapplication over what was left over looked good. 

Lolita II is a "terracotta nude." Much lighter and warmer than Lolita, the shade has much more orange to it. Like every Kat von D liquid shade I've tried, application is smooth, and the product is pigmented. I needed one swipe for full coverage, although the swatch shows that it might be a little bit patchy. I didn't experience patchy application on the lips, however. I was able to get a nice crisp line using the included doe foot, and the formula took about a minute to go from wet, to tacky, to matte and set. I was able to apply two coats with no issues. The lipstick has an inoffensive non-scent, just smells like a lipstick. Whatever scent is there fades quickly. After about three hours (and a cup of coffee) the lipstick was still around, but was cracking at my lip lines a bit. I was able to press my lips together to redistribute the product. There was no transfer onto my cup, though! 

Pros:
  • Minis! Because who uses a full size?
  • Smooth application
  • Little to no transfer
  • Dries fully matte
  • No bleeding, feathering, or flaking
Cons:
  • Can be somewhat drying. Pair with a lip primer for more damage control
  • Cracks on lip lines, but can be redistriuted to look good again
  • Needs to be reapplied after eating
Each of these is 0.10 oz, when a full size is 0.22 oz - so they're just shy of half of a full size each. 

Kata von D Lolita Lip Duo - $19.50 for 2 x 0.10 oz
Review - 4/5

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November 2015 Favorites


As promised, my favorites for November are on time! I'm excited to share the products I was most fond of over the month. I have some new items, and some tried and true staples from my arsenal of products. I don't like using new items every month for my favorites, because I find a lot of times an item will be mentioned as a "favorite" and then will never be mentioned again...was it really your favorite? But I digress. Here are my choices!

  1. Lorac Unzipped palette - I am way late to the game on this palette. Tons of people rave about it, and I just didn't feel I needed it. To be fair, I just didn't want to spend money on another palette. I picked this up with Ulta points to circumvent feeling guilty. I am so, so glad I got my hands on this palette. The formula for these shadows is the same as the Lorac Pro palettes. The shadows are a little soft, but blend beautifully. If you're a fan of neutrals, rose golds, and rusts, this is the palette for you. It's a really great autumn palette, and I can see myself using it year round.
  2. Givenchy Mister Mat primer - I picked this up in my modest VIB Rouge sale haul in the beginning of November. This is hands down the best mattifying primer I've used, and I have tried many. This tops the list mainly due to how smooth the application is. A lot of others I've used need a bit of work to get them smooth on the face, and too much touching or product causes it to ball up or be patchy. This one glides on beautifully. It is pricy, however, so I'm not sure how often I'll be replacing it.
  3. YSL Black Opium perfume - I have been hoarding samples of this scent(I have three now, I think?) and using it nonstop. I've even added a mini spray vial to my Christmas list as well. (If you follow this blog at all, you'll realize more perfume is the last thing I really need...) This scent is light, slightly floral, slightly sweet, and feminine. I was shocked checking out the notes, as one is patchouli, but it doesn't smell like patchouli at all...and that's one of the notes I actively try to avoid. It's a sweet, strong scent, but doesn't lean towards that sickly sweet like Aquolina Pink Sugar. It's quite sophisticated, and I know a lot of people have started wearing it lately. Definitely check it out if you come across it!
  4. Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack  - I picked up even more of these masks in my recent skincare haul. I turn to these masks when I have something brewing under the skin, or redness I can't handle any more. This mask helps take care of those right away, while leaving my skin lightly moisturized. The mask has a fresh scent, and even has little eye flaps in case you want to get you eyelids in on the sheet mask action. The best part is these are alcohol free, so if your skin is sensitive, you don't have to miss out. I also have the Snail Bee High Content Essence, which I apply right after! (After I drain the packet of serum and smear that all on my face, as well!)
  5. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence - This is my HG sunscreen. I was recently on a trip to the Caribbean and I came back the same shade that I left thanks to this. I even used it on the rest of my body after a breakout from another sunscreen. I still want to try other sunscreens, but I am glad I can fall back on this one should I need to. It's light, absorbs quickly, does not leave a white cast, and leaves a slightly matte finish to boot. If you're in the market for a chemical sunscreen, I highly recommend checking this one out!
Let me know what you were loving in November! Maybe I'll end up loving it, too.

Monday, November 30, 2015

October 2015 Favorites



Could this be more late? Probably. But November hasn't ended yet so it's not toooooo late to put this up!

  1. Real Techniques Duo Fiber Face Brush - I love this brush for finishing powders. It has that stipply end, so it doesn't pick up too much product, and deposits it nicely. I use it the most with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, and my Guerlain Meteorites. Unfortunately, this brush came in a limited edition set last year, BUT there's another version in the RT Duo Fiber set!
  2. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 51 Vanille Clair - This has been my go to foundation lately when I need a little bit more coverage, but not quite full coverage. I also mix in a pump of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl, which really helps with a natural looking finish. I find that this stuff lasts most of the day on my skin, and applies beautifully with a damp BeautyBlender. Unfortunately, it can be a little bit harder to track down in the US, but can be ordered online from ASOS!
  3. Benefit Roller Lash mascara - Okay. I usually will avoid Benefit products like the plague. I find the packaging gimmicky, and the products to be underperforming for the price. I was curious about their new mascara (even though I hated I'm Real...) so I picked up this mini as a 100 point perk from Sephora. I love this! The mascara separates, lengthens, and gives a little bit of volume. I'm going to test the brush with a different formula to see if its just the brush, or if I really need to shell out for the whole deal. It is a little pricy, especially for a mascara. But I really like it so far. Best part, it doesn't flake!
  4. Kat von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Cathedral - I don't think I've done a full review on this lipstick, but I've reviewed some other Studded Kiss shades. In general, I'm a fan! This one is a matte "coco rose," and is one of those "my lips but better but also a little darker?" shades that is perfect for fall. This is a great one to pair with a bold eye, since it's neutral but will make you look put together. 
  5. Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Queen perfume oil - This is my favorite indie fall scent. My bottle has aged a year, and it is wonderfully complex, better than when I first got it. It isn't an overwhelming pumpkin scent (which I also love!) but the pumpkin is there, mixed with peaches and bright fruit scents, and hay. It's a seasonal scent from Haus of Gloi, so it isn't available at the moment. It seems to be one of their regular autumn scents, so if it sounds like your type of thing, definitely keep an eye out! (I may or may not have ordered like five whipped soaps in this scent. It's that good.)
I've already got this month's favorites settled, so it won't be so late! Let me know what you've been loving lately, I always want to find new things!


Monday, November 23, 2015

VIB Rouge 20% Off Sale Haul


So, as you can see, my Rouge sale haul was very conservative. I'm currently involved in like three gift exchanges, plus with Christmas around the corner, I really didn't want to pick up any ideal gifts that I may receive. I really wanted the Kat von D Mi Vida Loca palette, but it was sold out. I'm not pursuing it, since it clearly isn't meant to be. My coupon did not go to waste, however, as a friend was in from the UK and I let her use the coupon because really, what timing!

Of course, the two items I did pick up were things I cleary don't need. I have a ton of powders at the moment, but I always hear really great things about the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. I wanted to get the smaller size, but alas, the store I was at only had the large! (I didn't order online since I was leaving on a trip and didn't want an appealing Sephora box outside my door all week.) I'm really loving the powder so far. It's silky and a little goes a long way. It's also helping keep the shine at bay for longer! But some credit may need to go to my new primer, Givenchy Mister Mat. I've gotten so many new primers lately, but I'm really liking this! It glides on easily and foundation doesn't clump to it, unlike some other matte primers I've been using. I'm slowly testing it with all of my foundations, and so far, so good! (Really, as long as it works with YSL Teint Touche Eclat, I am happy.)

I'm really glad I didn't go overboard with the sale this time around. I honestly have SO MUCH STUFF that I don't need more. But I've been working these into my current lineup, and I am very very happy with my choices. What did you pick up at the sale - did you go all in, or keep it simple?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Even MORE Korean Skincare from Jolse and RoseRoseShop

My new obsession is skincare, if you couldn't tell. This past year I have really fallen down the Korean beauty rabbit hole! I recently placed an order from Jolse, as well as got in on a group RoseRoseShop order.


Sheet masks! These are all from RoseRoseShop. Also pictured is a sample of the Benton Steam Cream, I got a pack of 10 sample foils.

  • Tosowoong Deep Sea Water mask - I fell in love with the Tosowoong masks I picked up in my last huge haul and saw that a lot of people liked the Deep Sea Water as well. These masks are supposed to add moisture and soothe the skin. I've used one already, and had no bad reaction, so good stuff so far! These came in a ten pack.
  • Tonymoly I'm Real masks in Rice and Seaweed - Ten packs of each of these as well! Rice is for clear skin, and seaweed is for skin purifying. I've tried one of each (Seaweed is being worn as type this) and they're not bad. I also have and love the Red Wine ones. These have a stronger than might be liked alcohol scent...may not be the best for someone whose skin isn't alcohol friendly. The fit of the masks is a little wide, but the eye openings actually are pretty good for me.
  • Etude House I Need You Pomegranate mask - I really love the Pomegranate ones of this line, they make my skin bright and quell any redness, and make my face feel fresh. Only three of these in my order.
  • Innisfee Green Tea hydrogel mask - I love green tea masks, I'm getting into hydrogels, and Innisfree is usually pretty good to my skin. Can't wait to try these! I got two of these masks (who gets one?!)
  • Benton Snail Bee High Content masks - I got a few of these from a friend and was HOOKED! I'm a little sad that these come in packs of eight and not ten, but I have so many masks I'm sure I won't notice. I use these when my face feels like it's going to act up, or after it has acted up, and it really helps get rid of redness. These masks have bee venom and snail secretion, two ingredients that my face seems to like. These are also alcohol free! I'm sure my skin appreciates the break.



Now onto the bigger items! The Cosrx items and sponge are from Jolse, while the Mizon cream was from RoseRoseShop. The Banila Clean It Zero was from Amazon, picked up a replacement when I got some sunscreen!

  • Etude House Konjac Sponge - My old konjac was old and tired, so I got a new replacement!
  • Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask - I'm really getting into propolis products, and this sleeping mask has 85% propolis! I haven't opened it yet, but I'm really excited to try it. I had to decide between the Rice mask or the Honey mask, but I heard this one works better for oily skin.
  • Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser - This is the entire reason I ordered from Jolse. Cosrx released this cleanser last month, and I ordered it after reading this awesome review on Fifty Shades of Snail. I was out of cleanser too, so thankfully it wasn't just an excess product I didn't need! (Unlike 99% of the things here.)  I'm liking it so far, and I think the low pH combined with my pH adjusting toner are really letting my actives get their jobs done.
  • Mizon Black Snail All In One Cream - My ride or die moisturizer is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. I love it. HOWEVER - now that I'm using actives more often, I want something to really seal in the moisture I get from all my other products. I had samples of the regular Snail All In One and it wasn't heavy enough. I heard this one was more moisturizing, so I decided to try it out. So far so good - no breakouts while patch testing and my face does feel more moisturized after using actives. 
  • Banila Clean It Zero - Just a replacement! This does a nice job of getting my makeup off. The one I got was not as solid of a balm as my first one, this one was a little melty. No matter, as it still works!
So there you have it, my new obsession. At least it's focused on helping my skin! Have you purchased any skincare recently? Any Asian skincare? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Arcana McNaughty Nog Perfume Oil - Review

I hate reviewing products that are no longer available, simply because it isn't cool that I may rave,and there's no chance to even consider picking it up! But I like talking about indie scents, so I'm here anyway with last years Arcana exclusive for the Rhinestone Housewife - McNaughty Nog. I'm pretty sure I ordered the last bottle that was available from the shop last month, and I'm really happy to have it in my collection.


McNaughty Nog is described as eggnog, Arcana's beloved yellow cake note, rum, fresh milk, nutmeg, and a drizzle of toasty caramel. Straight from the vial, the initial scent is warm cinnamon and nutmeg with caramel and cake. It seriously smells like freshly made French toast, and it is soooo good. On the skin, the nutmeg shines with a backing of creamy caramel, and a hint of apple. After drying, that wonderful French toast from before has returned. This perfume doesn't remind me of egg nog, really. It's more warm baked goods and caramel. The lasting power on this was great - I smelled it for over 9 hours throughout the workday. The throw was a bit larger than general wafts from gesticulation, I felt like I was tucked in between two pieces of challah bread drizzled with vanilla and caramel. It isn't the best thing to wear when you're trying to diet, but I'm seriously glad I got this bottle!

Arcana McNaughty Nog perfume oil (limited edition) - $20.00 for 5 mL
Review 5/5

Perfume oils work differently for different people due to skin chemistry. This is my experience with this perfume oil, which may differ for you!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Mother - Review

Kat von D released a whole slew of new shades for her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick line earlier this year. This formula is hands down my favorite liquid lipstick formula (as evidenced by prior reviews of Double Dare, Bown n Arrow, Bauhau5, and Berlin), so I snatched up a bunch of shades. Mother is one of the new releases, and in the teaser pictures that were out for MONTHS, it was referred to as 'Selektion,' which was then changed for obvious PR reasons. (If you aren't aware, it's a term used by Nazi Germany. Name change is fully understandable when put in that context.) But I digress.



Mother is listed as a dusty mauve pink. This shade is a cooler leaning pink, with a hint of dustiness. It's still quite a bright shade. Personally, I'm not a fan of how I look in cooler lip colors, even though my skintone is somewhat neutral (leaning a little warm.) So I'm torn on whether or not I dig this shade (on me, personally. On others, it looks great!) The formula is just like all of the others, a slightly creamy liquid. It applies smoothly and easily using the doefoot applicator attached to the lid. The scent is a slightly paint-like lipstick scent, nothing offensive and it fades right away. This shade is a bit less pigmented than others in the line, and I needed two coats to get a solid color on my lips. The lipstick dried quickly, in about a minute. However, I was able to add my second coat with no problems, which is nice.

I am a fan of this formula because it usually isn't overly drying, when paired with a lip primer. However, Mother dried out my lips. I did wear it with a lip primer, and a new one at that - the Colourpop lip primer. I normally use MAC Prep and Prime Lip, and I wondered if it was the primer not being up to my high standards, but I have worn other liquid lipsticks with the Colourpop primer with no problems, so I am resigning to the fact that Mother was just more drying. Additionally, Mother settled into lip lines and cracks on my lips, meaning I had to reapply to get it to stay looking good. On the flip side, no transfer or bleeding/feathering, as expected from the Kat von D formula.

I mentioned it earlier - I'm torn on Mother. First it was just the shade not being my usual thing (I'm sure if I wore cooler tones more often I wouldn't mind it!) but the additional shortcomings of this shade compared to others in the line leaves me feeling a bit lukewarm towards it.

Pros:
  • No bleeding/feathering
  • Dries quickly
  • Does not transfer
  • Scent dissipates quickly
  • Smooth application
Cons:
  • Drying, even paired with a lip primer
  • Settles into cracks and lines
  • Not opaque with one coat
Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Mother - $20.00 for 0.22 oz
Review - 2.5/5

Monday, November 9, 2015

Platinum Perk Coupon and Points - Ulta Haul!

Ulta has one of the best rewards programs - the points you accumulate can be used towards merchandise. They often have point multiplier promotions, which lets you rack up points quickly. I like to hoard my points until a 20% coupon valid on regular and Prestige cosmetics comes around, so I can haul hard with no money out of my pocket. Ulta recently had a coupon soooo...here's what I picked up!


  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Ash Brown - I jumped on the dipbrow bandwagon when it first started, and have had a pot of Dark Brown for over a year, with a bunch left. However, ABH released an extension to the shade range earlier this year, including Ash Brown, which I thought would be an even better fit. I've been waiting MONTHS to finally get my hands on this! My old pot must be dried out, since I was not prepared for how soft and smooth the new product would be.
  • SheaMoisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Hair Masque - What a mouthful! I wanted to get something as a deep conditioner for my hair, and this sounded wonderful. I really like my SheaMoisture clarifying shampoo, so I'm really excited to try this.
  • Becca Radiant Glow Collection - I've had this sitting in my cart since the day it came out. I've been wanting a pressed Moonstone highlighter, so I decided to get the set with the mini, since the full size is absolutely massive! (I have a full size Rose Gold, and it is huge.) This set comes with a mini pressed Moonstone, a mini Opal liquid, a mini Under Eye Brightening corrector, and a full size Beach Tint Lip Shimmer Soufflé in Raspberry/Opal. The eye brightener jar is super teeny, which makes it difficult to get a brush in, but it really does brighten! I love Moonstone, and the lip tint is nice as well.
  • Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer - Everyone seems to be putting coconut water into everything. I'm not a fan of the beverage, but I love putting it on my body! This primer is supposedly hydrating, and helps less blendable primers (ahem, Becca Ever Matte...) spread more easily. 
  • Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter - Highlighters are my new thing, end of story.
  • Ulta Crystal Nail File - I like crystal nail files, and I really needed a new one. Now I have two - new one for home, old one to keep at work!
  • Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara in Soft Brown - I really want to buy Benefit's Gimme Brow, but I don't want to spend that much! I'm going to play with this brow mascara in the meantime.
  • Scunci Hair Ties - I was out, so why not get them with my points???
  • Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray - I've been out of this stuff for months, but I didn't feel like shelling out for it. I love this setting spray. I use it after Fix+ to actually set my makeup. I get oily, so I buy the De-Slick one, though a lot of people swear by All Nighter.
  • Alterna Bamboo 2-in-1 Volumizer - I love Alterna volumizing products, so I decided to try a new one! This cream is supposed to add a bit of texture as well, which my hair desperately needs.
I also picked up the Lorac Unzipped palette, but that came separately (due to realizing I had more points, and then a shipping mishap...) I'm excited to try it! Have you gotten anything awesome with Ulta's reward system?


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Collective Sephora Haul

So instead of making a post for each Sephora purchase (because let's face it...there have been a few!) I decided to make a collective haul post for the past month or so. Holiday sets have come out, the Friends & Family sale went on...so let's take a look!


There are a few items not pictured here. I bought a few gifts, and some are set aside and a secret, while others are enroute to their recipients. I also got a package of Shiseido cottons (that I immediately tore into...) and a bottle of Cinema Secrets brush cleanser. I had picked up a bottle of the Sephora cleanser that is similar, but it just didn't measure up. Glad that I was able to get the Cinema Secrets again.

  • Bite Beauty Best Bite Remix - Every year, Bite Beauty puts out a holiday set in a little tin. The past two years they've done sets of their High Pigment Lip Pencils (which I love!) so I was happy to see that thy switched it up for the Matte Crayons this year. There are four shades, three new and one from their general collection. I gave the Aubergine from this set to a friend, as I already had a mini. I was also happy that they didn't reincarnate Pomegranate for this set into a matte, because honestly everyone is sick and tired of Pomegranate, we all have five of them we can't unload, just stop it, Bite.
  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer - I've been in the market for a new primer, and the new-ish MUFE ones come in small sizes, so I picked up the mattifying one. I have a super mini of the smoothing primer which is nice, so I figured why not? This primer is a little difficult to spread, like the Becca Ever Matte primer. It does keep me pretty matte when paired with a non-dewy foundation. I'll be doing a full review of this in the future.
  • Boscia Tsubaki Oil and Green Tea Hydrogel Masks - If you've been following me blog for any amount of time, you've probably seen a post with some Asian skincare in it. This is just me getting more masks for my hoard. I like Boscia products, but they're a little pricey (especially considering how much cheaper ordering from Korea is...) so I got these two masks to try with the coupon I had.
  • Verb Volume Spray - My tried and true Alterna Bamboo spray was running out, so I decided to try something new. I haven't yet given it a test drive, but I've heard good things and I'm excited!
  • Guerlain Holiday Meteorites - I have a tin of REGULAR Guerlain Meteorites that I reach for often. So since I have those, I wouldn't need these, right? Wrong. The holiday set that was released this year has mini stars in it. Also, the packaging is like a wonderful snow globe. They're quite sparkly, but I'm about that life, so I like these.
  • Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer - I won't lie, that is a ridiculous mouthful of a name. A friend asked me to send her one of these, so I was like of course, and I will do a little one for you, one for me while I am at it. I originally picked up shade 02 which was not good for me, at all. So I have shade 03 here to try next! I don't think it'll give my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer anything to worry about, though. This concealer is a little thin from what I've tried. I can't really judge it though, since I wasn't working with the right shade at all. I'll definitely be reviewing this once I use it more!
  • Kat von D Lolita Lip Duo - This product has been teased for months, and it finally was released last week. I immediately ordered it the moment I woke up. My full size Lolita went missing months ago, and I never replaced it. (I have a mini Studded Kiss Lolita...but that is completely different.) I can't wait to try both of these, I don't remember which iteration of Lolita I originally owned. Supposedly there's going to be another release,OG Lolita, in the future. I love Kat von D's liquid lipsticks, so just sign me up.
  • Bite Beauty Kir Royale 250 Point Perk - Bite Beauty did a series of 250 point perks from August-October. I wasn't interested in the first two shades, but I jumped on Kir Royale. The set includes a mini lipstick, mini gloss, and small mirror. I feel like it is perfect for the 250 point mark, as you get two makeup items and a small additional item to make up those extra 50 points. I love Bite products, so I'm happy I snagged this and I can't wait to try it!
Not too bad, all things considered. Especially as this was all spread out over the course of a couple of months! What is bad, however, is that I already have a cart going for the upcoming VIB Rouge sale! Did you pick up any holiday or limited edition items recently? 


Monday, November 2, 2015

Arcana Pumpkins Crave Treats perfume oil - Review

I got into indie scents last fall. Fortunately for me, I've found a ton of great scents in the past year. Unfortunately, I now know about a ton of scents I will never be able to get my hands on due to just being oblivious to the world of indie scents. Arcana's Pumpkins Crave Treats was one such scent. However, it was brought back this fall, and I promptly snapped up a bottle!


As you probably already know, I'm a sucker for pumpkin scents. I also love a good gourmand. Pumpkins Crave Treats seemed right up my alley, and I'm so happy I was able to snag a bottle to try! Pumpkins Crave Treats is described as rum-laced caramel, cane sugar, pumpkin custard, and delicate, vanilla-infused marshmallows. The first whiff from the bottle is sweet caramel and pumpkin. Wet on the skin, the pumpkin is front and center, with a lingering mix of pumpkin pie spices in the background. The pumpkin is definitely a more creamy scent than a spiced pumpkin, think a light pumpkin pie filling. The scent did not morph much upon drying, the creamy dessert pumpkin lingered the entire time. I was able to detect this scent for around 5 hours after applying, before it faded down closer to the skin. The throw is not huge, but not small. You'll definitely smell like a pumpkin dessert to anyone standing nearby.

I'm SO happy I was able to get a bottle of this, it was everything I dreamed of when I first heard about it. Then again, Arcana is rarely a disappointment for me. 

Arcana Pumpkins Crave Treats perfume oil (limited edition) - $18.00 for 5 mL
Review - 5/5

Saturday, October 31, 2015

3B Box - September 2015


I'm a bit late with September's 3B Box! This is the second box I've received. This month only contained four products, which was a little disappointing. 

  • RiRe Luxe Lash Essence - A full size product, which was supposed to come in the September box, but the RiRe mascara was sent instead. I have crappy eyelashes (at least I think so...) so I am excited to see if this lash serum helps them out. The applicator for the serum is a big pine tree of a mascara brush. I've only used it once or twice (this is something so far removed from my regular routine that it's hard to remember to use it!) so I can't really speak to its effectiveness. The lash serum is currently going for $4.91 on RoseRoseShop.
  • Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream - I'm not going to lie, I was disappointed with this product being included. I can get this at Sephora. I'm subscribed to 3B to try and get new brands, some new products I may not know about. Sephora has had this for ages. Yu-Be is a Japanese brand though, which is a nice change from the Korean brands that dominate 3B. Hopefully this means more Japanese brands in the future! This is a sample size at 10mL/0.3 oz, values at around $3.84.
  • Leaders Medieu Snail Therapy Hand Cream - More cream? I do like hand creams, but I wasn't needing one when I received this, so it was another small letdown. I do love snails, though! This is another full size product. The cream itself is light, and absorbs quickly, and definitely leaves my hands moisturized. However, it has a VERY strong floral scent that sticks around for a bit. Additionally, though it absorbs fast, it leaves a lotiony residue behind. You know what I mean. It's nice that it's a full size but due to the scent, it won't be replacing my L'Occitane cream in my purse anytime soon. This cream is $1.64 on RoseRoseShop, for 50 mL.
  • Secret Key Honey Bee's AC Control Spot Remover - Another full size, and something more interesting! 3B sent a Secret Key product last month as well. I am always looking for the best way to zap a new blemish, so hopefully this comes in handy. This product contains bee venom and propolis, which are two ingredients that I personally get excited about. My current spot treatment, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, it super effective, but not wallet friendly. It would be great if this one can replace it! The spot treatment is $3.71 on RoseRoseShop. 
This months box comes in at $14.10. The box itself costs $12, so we are juuuuust scraping by on value. I'm hoping the next month's box contains a more varied assortment of products!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hello Waffle *sigh* and Marsala Swatches and Review

Hello Waffle is one of my favorite indie brands. When Christine (the owner) puts out something new, I usually jump on it. I've had these sitting around for a while, so it's time I finally share my thoughts!



Marsala is a deeply tinted lip gloss. Marsala is 2015's color of the year (decided by chooser of arbitrary colors, Pantone), and this is Christine's take on it. I was hoping for something more of a wine shade, and this leans more brown. The gloss is definitely pigmented though, one swipe deposits plenty of color on the lips. I don't find the gloss overly sticky. The gloss comes packages in a plastic tube with a doe foot applicator. The gloss itself has an inoffensive "lip product" scent. The gloss isn't the most wear proof product (it IS a gloss!) but it leaves a slight stain behind. I didn't have any issues with bleeding or feathering.

Marsala lip gloss (limited edition) - $8.15 for 10 mL
Review - 3/5 (I dig the formula, though not the shade!)

*sigh* is a tinted product that would arise if a tinted balm and a lipstick had a baby. It's not as sheer as a tinted balm, but not as opaque as a lipstick. The shade is described as "a deep burgundy red lip balm," but I find it to be much more pink than red. The formula is not as soft as some tinted balms, and I need to apply a little pressure to get it to apply how I like. The packaging is a twist up lip balm tube. Mine is in a chubby tube, but these have recently been switched over to slimline tubes - same concept, more compact. This one also has an inoffensive scent. Since it's a hybrid lipstick/lip balm type of product, it does wear off, but more gradually and leaves a slight stain behind. I didn't experience any drying or feathering while wearing.

*sigh* lip color - $4.93 for 0.07 oz
Review - 4/5

Marsala was limited edition, and I'm not sure if it'll be making a return. *sigh* is still available, however, and I highly recommend it!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mini Korean Skincare Haul from RoseRoseShop

Asian skincare is my new obsession. Adding multiple steps and layering products into my routine is so much fun, and there's so many options! I recently picked up some new products from RoseRoseShop to try and integrate into my routine.


A few months ago I purchased the COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid as my first AHA. However, I'm not too sure it's getting the job done, so I picked up the highly recommended Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum. This is a stronger AHA, and hopefully when I start using this I'll start seeing the results I'm looking for. AHA is used to even skin texture, work on closed comedones, and help with dull skin, among other things. I'm still using the COSRX AHA I have, just to see if it benefits from the second product I bought - the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner. This toner is a pH balancing toner, meaning its great for use before actives such as AHA and BHA. Actives need a specific pH to be most effective, and this toner will bring down the skin's pH to a level that will allow those actives to do their thing. I've been using this for a couple of weeks now, and am definitely seeing an improvement after I use my actives!

The last thing I got are the COSRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads. (If you can't tell, I'm a passenger aboard the COSRX hype train.) These pads have been likened to the Stridex pads in the red box, though the exfoliant in the COSRX pads is different. These pads use betaine salicylate, a more gentle BHA than the salicylic acid found in the Stridex pads. BHAs are great for fighting active acne, blackheads, and enlarged pores (all of which I have!)  I haven't used these yet, but am looking forward to working them in when the time comes!

If you're looking into using actives in your skincare routine, make sure you're using sunscreen as well. You should always wear a sunscreen, but active use makes the skin more susceptible to sun damage, and it'll ruin all your hard work!

I have even MORE AB skincare stuff incoming, it's all so exciting!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sixteen92 Spellbound and Last Exit for the Lost perfume oils - Review


I decided that I was not going to purchase the entire fall collection from Sixteen92, and only pick up samples of the scents that really stood out to me. I liked the sound of Spellbound and Last Exit for the Lost the most, and ordered those.The fall collection has a theme of 1980s goth rock, which isn't really up my alley, but themed collections are cool! These two are songs from Siouxie and the Banshees and Fields of the Nephilim.

Spellbound is described as having notes of creamed pumpkin, spiced bourbon & Tahitian vanillas, sticky marshmallow fluff. Opening the vial, the initial notes are cream and vanilla, with a tiny hint of spice. Upon applying to the skin, the pumpkin comes out and mixes with the spice, a hint of pumpkin pie. As it dries, the vanilla becomes more prominent - the fluffy marshmallow can be found here, too. The full impression is that of a pumpkin pie, paired with a chai tea latte - spice and cream. This scent lasted about five hours on me before sinking in close to the skin. The spiciness of the scent permeates the air more than the cream, but it is never overbearing. The throw overall won't fill a room, but doesn't exactly hug close. I love pumpkin scents, and I really enjoyed this one.
Review - 4/5

Last Exit for the Lost is listed with notes of orchard apples, woven wood baskets, dried hay, distant chimney smoke on cool air. From the vial, the first whiff is apples with a woodsy backing. I was drawn to this scent because I love fall apples, and the initial sniff did not disappoint! On the skin, the apple note remains, though the hay and smoke become more apparent. As the oil dries, the smoke overtakes the apple and hay. The smoke remains the main note after the drydown, which was disappointing for me, especially after the initial burst of apples. I got about five hours of wear of this scent before it began to fade. Since I wasn't a big fan of the scent, of course it seemed to be bigger than it probably was, so I would say the throw is moderate.
Review - 2.5/5 (though I wasn't a fan, it did stick around for a while!)

Last Exit probably won't stay in my collection, but I know Sixteen92 has a wonderful apple note to keep an eye out for! Spellbound was the definite winner for me - I can't say no to a good pumpkin scent!

Perfume oils work differently for different people due to skin chemistry. This is my experience with this perfume oil, which may differ for you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Milani Amore Matte Lip Crème in Beloved - Review

Drugstore brands are all aboard the liquid lipstick hype train - choo choo! I picked up one of the new Milani Amore Matte Lip Crèmes in the shade Beloved.



Beloved is described as a "brown rose." The shade leans warm, pink with a brown undertone. It doesn't look brown on the lips, it has more natural look. The formula is more liquidy than creamy. The applicator is a more elongated doe foot with a rounded end. The lipstick has a very strong cake scent. It does fade, but if you're sensitive to scented products this may not be for you. The product is pigmented, and I was able to get full coverage with one swipe of product. It takes about a minute or so to dry to a fully dry, matte finish.

While wearing, I noticed very little transfer onto things such as a coffee cup. However, the lipstick does not hold up through eating and will need to be reapplied. A stain was left behind after the lipstick came off. Even with a lip primer, I found this drying, and even experienced small flakes of product coming off. The final finish is very dry and very matte, which emphasized lip lines.

These lipsticks were originally limited edition, but Milani announced that they will be brought back into the permanent range, with more shades. I'm a big fan of liquid lipsticks, and I really like this shade, but it definitely isn't my favorite formula.

Pros:

  • Good pigmentation
  • Very matte
  • Easy to apply
  • Low transfer
Cons:
  • Strongly scented
  • Drying
  • Emphasizes lip lines
  • Flakes
Milani Amore Matte Lip Crème in Beloved - $8.99 for 0.21 oz
Review - 2.5/5

Monday, October 12, 2015

September 2015 Favorites

I've been MIA for a while! I'm back to pick up where I left off - I have a ton of stuff to play with and review. Here are the things I found myself reaching for the most in the month of September:


  1. Kat von D Shade and Light Eye palette - When this came out, I told myself I didn't need it. I have so many neutral shadows, so many matte shadows, so many matte neutral palettes...but I caved and bought it. Since I picked it up, I've been using it near daily. The shadows are extremely blendable and smooth, and there are shadows for every occasion, whether you want dark or light eyes. I'm really happy I picked this one up!
  2. ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in I Heart This - A basic shimmery champagne color, I've been using this on the lid constantly with my KvD palette looks! I like applying this with the finger, and then blending out the edges with a synthetic hair brush.
  3. Sixteen92 The Masquerade Party - I have a full review of this Birthday Collection scent from a few months ago. Now that the weather has cooled off, I have been reaching for this pumpkin scent at least two to three times a week. I purchased a full size, and kept my sample as well so I'll be well stocked. I'm all about pumpkin everything during autumn, and this scent fits the bill.
  4. Hakuhodo J5522 - This is my new favorite crease brush. My eyes are small, so the shape of this brush is a little bit too big. I find that although it's big, the end is able to deposit color in my crease and blow it out just the right amount. It makes putting transition shades down that much faster, since I'm depositing color and blending out the edges in one fell swoop. Also, it's super soft and fluffy - what's not to love?
  5. Tom Ford lipstick in Richard - This shade is a limited edition shade from the Lips and Boys collection - but it is also an exact dupe for another LE shade, Negligee. I've started wearing this more often since the collection is rumored to be making a comeback - I can pick up a backup! This shade is a great My Lips But Better shade on me, perfect to go with more bold eye looks. The formula is also extremely comfortable, another plus. Hopefully the collection is back soon, before I run out of this one!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare - Review


Time to review another of my favorite liquid lipsticks - Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare! This is one of the new range of sixteen shades that was released earlier in July.



Double Dare is described as a "cocoa blush." The shade is a warm leaning pink, almost coral but not quite, with a splash of a nude shade mixed in. On me, it's a little bit more than a "my lips but better" shade - not too bold, but it definitely looks like I'm wearing lipstick. The formula is more creamy than a true liquid, but it isn't exactly a mushed up lipstick. The lipstick comes with a doefoot applicator that allows for smooth application. The lipstick has no discernible scent. The lipstick was opaque on one swipe. This formula takes about a minute or two to set, allowing for correction of mistakes and layering on more product. As it sets, it goes from being a liquid, to tacky, to a dry matte finish. 

I find this formula very comfortable to wear. After it sets, it does not budge. I experienced very little transfer, and after eating, the majority of the lipstick was still intact (only had to reapply a small amount on the inner lip.) There was no bleeding or feathering. I wore this with a lip primer, as matte liquid formulas can be quite drying. I did not experience any drying, but it was not hydrating. 

Another great shade from the Kat von D line, they really are my favorite liquid lipsticks!

Pros:
  • Pigmented, opaque on one swipe
  • Smooth application
  • No scent
  • No bleeding or feathering
  • Very little transfer
Cons:
  • May be drying without the use of a primer


Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare - $20.00 for 0.22 oz
Review - 5/5

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Arcana Apples Crave Apples perfume oil - Review


Apples Crave Apples came out near the end of the spring/beginning of the summer as an add on to the Peaches Crave and Strawberries Crave collections from Arcana. I missed out on this initially, but was very excited to pick it up from a destash! I had been wanting a fresh apple scent to add to my collection, and this sounded perfect.

Apples Crave Apples has notes of golden apple, green apple, Winesap, Fuji, fresh apple, baked apple, spiced apple, apple cider, and a hint of apple. In the bottle, the first scent is apple cinnamon - think an apple cinnamon candle from AC Moore or Michael's. I had gotten that scent initially when I first received the bottle, and I let it sit for a few weeks hoping the cinnamon scent would deter enough to get more of a fresh apple note. Unfortunately, that never happened. On the skin, I can still only get that apple cinnamon note, I'm going to go with the "spiced apple" from the description. I couldn't think of anything else but cheap apple cinnamon candle the entire time I wore this, it was really disappointing.

The longevity was great on this (of course!) and I could still smell it with no issues at the 8 hour mark. There was a good throw on this too, my car smelled like apple cinnamon candle, and I smelled it all day at my desk, even without moving my arms around. So if you're looking for something with longevity and throw - this is your oil!

I'm disappointed that I didn't get any of the fresh apple notes I was looking for. Hopefully others that picked this up have better luck than i did. Thankfully, I was able to rehome this scent, so it doesn't waste away in my "perfume cellar."

Pros:
  • Spiced apple note, can't deny it!
  • Long lasting
  • Good throw
Cons:
  • Couldn't get any other note other than spiced apple
  • Smelled like a cheap candle on me


Review - 1/5 (I give credit to the longevity and throw for the one point.)

Perfume oils work differently for different people due to skin chemistry. This is my experience with this perfume oil, which may differ for you!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

August 2015 Favorites!


This past month I've really been trying to focus on my skin, and the products I've been reaching for a lot reflect that. Since it's been so humid out, I figured I might as well roll with dewy skin - no way I was staying matte!


  1. YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation - I love this foundation for many reasons. It applies beautifully, smells so nice, and looks like skin! The downside is that it isn't cheap. ($57 for 1 oz.) The coverage is sheer, but can be built up a little bit for more coverage and still not look cakey. For reference, I use two pumps of shade B20 mixed with a pump of B10.
  2. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Moonstone - Can I just say that I love the smaller size squeezy tube? Becca also offers this in a pump bottle that's about the size of a foundation. Moonstone is a wonderful pale gold that is the right mix of glow and sparkle. It isn't full on GLITTER, and is great for the cheekbones, cupids bow, and brow highlight. I like to apply this right on top of my foundation for the most natural effect.
  3. Becca Beach Tint in Fig - I have this in a mini version from a Beach Tint duo I picked up a while ago, but I will end up buying the full size when this is out. The Beach Tints have a nice scent, and can be applied over foundation to give a subtle wash of color, or can be built up for a more defined cheek. I like to use a light wash of color to achieve a natural shade that sinks into the skin.
  4. MAC Eyeshadow in Shroom - I've had this eyeshadow for ages, and it's lasted so long because I really only use it as an inner corner or brow highlight. This shadow is great to add a subtle wash of shimmer that doesn't scream HIGHLIGHT!
  5. Kat von D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown - I've been loving brown liner lately, and I love the KvD Tattoo Liners! I've used this for wings, or just to get a close line by the lashline to emphasize my eyes a bit. This liner is great for summer humidity because it just doesn't budge. I also like the fact that brown is a little more natural on me than a black liner, so it isn't as harsh.
Now that fall is coming, I can't wear to break out my darker lipsticks and dramatic eye products. Can't wait to see what I'll reaching for in September!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Nails of the Day - 09.03.15


I've been having some trouble with my nails - breakage, peeling, just all around unpleasantness. Due to that, it's been a while since I've done my nails! Here's my latest mani, which is a bit worse for wear since I didn't photograph it right away!

Products Used:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • Deborah Lippmann creme nail polish in You've Got A Friend
  • Deborah Lippmann glitter nail polish in Some Enchanted Evening
  • Seche Vite
I actually didn't use a makeup sponge for the glitter tips, I used the brush that came with the polish, and it came out quite nicely!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

3B Box - August 2015

The 3B Box (Beauty Beyond Borders - three B, get it?!) is a new(er) beauty subscription that sends out a curated selection of Asian brands every month. I originally saw this box on After the 9 to 5 and was intrigued, so I signed up for the waitlist. I managed to get in on the fun and received my first box!


The 3B box is $12 per month. With subscription boxes, you usually receive minis or deluxe samples. I was pleased to get a full sized mascara and eye cream in my first box! I have tried to give some of the products a few tries before writing this up, but here's everything that came in the box.

  • Missha Pure Source Cell Sheet Mask in Mango - I love sheet masks! I've never tried these Missha masks before, so I happily gave it a try. The mask smelled just like a fresh, ripe mango. The fit on the mask was nice too, not overly wide or long. However, the mask didn't do much besides give my face some extra moisture. But the fresh mango scent was very, very nice. This mask is currently listed on RoseRoseShop for 70 cents.
  • RiRe Luxe Long & Curl Mascara - I have trouble with mascara simply because I have short, thin lashes. No mascara gives me the amount of length I need to look like I have a nice set of lashes, which is why I opt to wear false lashes a lot of the time. This mascara gives me a decent amount of length, though not much volume. The wand is weirdly shaped, it's more of a short, round loop instead of a long brush like other mascaras I've tried. I'll keep using it, but I don't think I'd repurchase this on my own. The full size mascara is on RoseRoseShop for $4.67.
  • Secret Key Starting Treatment Eye Cream - I'm currently finishing up a tub of eye cream, maybe I'll try this one next! I feel like I never have to buy an eye cream, since I always get samples from online orders, or items in boxes like this. This is a full sized product, which is really nice. RoseRoseShop has the full size for $7.07.
  • TonyMoly Delight Tony Tint - I'm not super big into lip tints, so it's nice to get a mini of one to try! I haven't given this a whirl yet, but I'm excited to in the future. These tints are supposed to be good for doing a gradient lip effect that is pretty popular. This mini is valued at about $4.00.
The total estimated value of the box I received is $16.44 - not bad! I paid $12 so I got my money's worth. I am excited to see what the next 3B box contains!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Kismet Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks in Elope and On Point - Review

I'm happy to be reviewing a new product, and from a new company (to me, at least!) The team at Kismet Cosmetics were super kind and provided me with two of their new liquid lipsticks to review!


I received two liquid lipstick shades - Elope and On Point. Liquid lipsticks are the "in" item right now in terms of lip products, but you normally find liquid to matte formulas. Kismet's formula is different - the finish isn't matte, but ends up as a regular lipstick finish. It can be glossy or more satin, depending on how you blot it. 


Elope is described as a "nude." The shade is a pink leaning nude, somewhat tawny. It wasn't the type of nude that washes you out, and on the lips it definitely looked more pink (on me, at least.)

On Point is a "classic pink shade with hints of orchid and nude undertones." It is a creamy, bright pink with hints of coral. 

The applicator for these lipsticks is an elongated, slim doe foot, with a rounded end. The doe foot is much bigger than what I'm used to (think the doe foot on Kat von D's liquid lipsticks.) However, the larger doe foot did not create issues with application. The texture of these lipsticks surprised me - it was more like a thick gloss than a lipstick. Unlike Fyrinnae's Lip Lustres, which are definitely like a mushed up "regular" lipstick in a tube with a doe foot, these have the creaminess of a lipstick with the feel of a gloss. 

I didn't notice any difference in texture or formula between the two shades. There was no added scent that I could detect. Pigmentation was good for each - one swipe covered the lips well, but the formula can be built up for more intensity if you so desired. Because they are not a liquid to matte formula, they never really "set," meaning you can touch up without issue, or add another layer and not have to rush. Application was smooth due to the gloss-like texture. The formula was non sticky, which was nice considering its consistency. I usually wore two layers and then blotted the product for a less shiny, more satin finish.

Since these don't dry, there was some transfer when it came to cups and eating. I experienced no bleeding or feathering. They did not stand up to a full meal, and needed reapplication. Reapplication was smooth due to the non matte formula. I wore these with a lip primer, as always, and they did not dry out my lips. As the day wore on, the lipstick faded evenly.

I wanted to note that these lipsticks are both vegan and cruelty free, as well as gluten free. (I'm not a connoisseur of items with those qualities, but it's always good to note. I'm also hunting for GF items for a friend, and it's great that it's clearly listed!)

Pros:
  • Non drying
  • No bleeding or feathering
  • No scent
  • Non sticky
  • Pigmented
Cons:
  • Prone to transfer
  • Larger doe foot may be tricky for some
  • Needs to be reapplied due to no "dry down" of the formula

Kismet Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick - $22.00 each
Review - 4/5

These products were provided as press samples for review. Reviews on these items are honest opinions, and were not solicited.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Arcana Strawberries Crave Rhinestones perfume oil - Review


The Arcana Craves collection came out a while ago, so this review is a bit late. I had missed out on the initial sale of this one from the Rhinestone Housewife (it was an exclusive scent), and picked up a bottle in a destash. I'm sure there are a few more floating around out there if you take the time to hunt!

Strawberries Crave Rhinestones sounded super fruity, girly, and right up my alley. The notes listed are sparkle strawberry with pink frosting, white musk, black raspberry, black cherry, pink pepper, and a drop of champagne. From the bottle, the initial scent is thick, sweet syrup. I don't want to say cough syrup, since it doesn't have that medicinal backing, but it's reminiscent of that. Dry on the skin, it smells mostly like cherries and strawberries. I don't get any pepper or fizz of champagne. The fruit is still syrupy, almost too sweet in a way. This lasted a good eight hours and more, even after a shower. The throw was enough so that I could smell it while typing and driving, didn't need to look for the scent.

Review 2.5/5 - I'm torn. It's a bright scent, but I don't know if it's too heavy for a fruit scent for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sixteen92 General Catalogue Perfume Oils - Review


As you may or may not know, I pick up a lot of Sixteen92 collections in the form of samples. So this review focuses on some scents from the general catalogue. I picked up Black Sugar, Mellifera, and Southern Gothic, and Claire (the owner) was kind enough to include two mini samples of Rei and Shadow Show with my order! I've had these in my perfume cellar for a bit, so they've had time to rest. (Also known as: I have too much stuff to review!)

Black Sugar is listed on the Sixteen92 site as "A dark counterpart to Aquolina’s Pink Sugar. Spun brown sugar, red berries, vanilla and tonka bean absolute dance with a sprinkle of dirt, a swirl of cauldron smoke, and a drop of bittersweet cocao absolute." In the vial, the perfume smells exactly like Pink Sugar. If you haven't come across it, it smells like bright pink cotton candy. On the skin, it smells like Pink Sugar. I'm going to be honest, I only smelled Pink Sugar all day. This scent lasted ALL DAY on me! After 9 hours I could still distinctly smell cotton candy on my skin. The throw was very good - I got in the car and smelled cotton candy. It faded after about 5-6 hours, but the scent never left my skin. Personally, Pink Sugar was not a scent for me, and neither is Black Sugar. If any of the "dark" notes had come out to play, maybe. But on me, this was fluffy cotton candy all the way.
Review - 2.5/5

Mellifera has notes of "Wildflower Honey Accord (not vegan), Violet, Jasmine Sambac, Vanilla Infused Sugar, Sandalwood."  From the vial, the scent is rich honey. Claire has a great honey note, it's so realistic. There's some vanilla in the background, but it's mostly honey. Wet on the skin, the honey is there but the floral notes come out to play, as well as a bit more of the vanilla. Dry on the skin, the perfume keeps the strong honey scent. There is a light and sweet floral background - the vanilla sugar mixing with jasmine. I did not detect any violet, which usually goes a little powdery on me, so that was nice. This lasted on the skin for over eight hours, though the throw fell away after around six hours.
Review - 4/5

Rei was included as a free sample, and I decided to give it a shot even though the notes aren't something I'd normally go for. The notes are listed as "Aldehydes, Ozone, Rose Oxide, Bergamot, Yuzu, Gardenia, Labdanum, Vetiver, Fossilized Amber, Opium." Opening the vial, a bright white floral is the first scent. Wet on the skin, the white florals remain, mixed with rose and hint of yuzu. Dry on the skin, the scent is a very sharp white floral. In the back the citrusy scent of yuzu is lingering, but gardenia is the most prominent note here. A tiny dab of bergamot finishes off the scent. The throw was somewhat big, I sat in a cloud of gardenias. But it wasn't too big to be offensive. The scent was still detectable on my skin after eight hours - and not the crazy sniffing my wrist to see if it's still there sort of detectable.
Review - 3/5

Shadow Show is not a scent I would have picked for myself as a perfume. The notes of "Kettle corn, spun sugar, apple, machine oil, rusty metal, dirt," are a far throw away from my usual fruits, tea,  and cake like gourmand scents. But because I am always looking to go out of my comfort zone concerning perfumes, and it was included with my order - here we are. The initial scent upon opening is of apple cider. Wet on the skin, the apple note remains, with a background of dirt and something metallic. As it dries, the initial apple note fades, and leaves behind the dirty metallic scent. I didn't really get any kettle corn out of this at all, which is a little disappointing. Definitely not a scent for me! My partner got a whiff of this and said it smelled earthy and herbal. He wasn't a fan either. I will honestly say I didn't wear it around for the day since I wasn't thrilled with my initial test, but I wore it to bed after trying to wash off the wrist I applied it on and it was still around.
Review - 2/5 (not for me, but it did have those machine like notes and the apple, so credit where credit is due...)

Southern Gothic excited me due to the fruit notes it contained - "Mandarin Orange, Apple, Coconut Pulp, Southern Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac, Balsam, White Sandalwood." From the vial, the scent is light coconut, white florals, and sandalwood. Wet on the skin, the oil is all white floral and sandalwood. After drying, it smells a lot like sunscreen. There's a touch of white florals and coconut in the background, so it's like a tropical sunscreen. So if you're looking for a Coppertone like scent, something to remind you of the beach and summer, this might be it. The throw filled my car after applying it 20 minutes earlier, but quickly faded to hold close to the skin. The scent lasted about 4 hours on me before needing the strained sniff.
Review - 3.5/5

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sunsets and Seas Haul!

Sunsets and Seas is a new bath and body shop from Christine, the mind behind Hello Waffle Cosmetics. The grand opening is on August 28th, but Christine was nice enough to let me put in an order a few weeks early to try out the new items! They arrived with a few days to spare before the shop opening, so I wanted to post up some first impressions.



I picked up the following from the shop:
  • Body Lotion (2 oz.) in Vanille
  • Dry Body Oils (2 oz.) in Forever Young and Let's Go To The Orchards
  • Bubble Bombs in Candied Pears and Raspberry Lemonade
And some extra goodies:
  • Half of a Bubble Bomb in La Mer (which I used before taking a picture, oops.)
  • Perfume Oil samples in Blush and Lace, Fleurs, For Your Dreams, Haunted Hay Ride, and Vanille
The Body Lotion in Vanille (A rich and deep vanilla. Slightly boozy yet creamy. Sweet but not at all gourmand. Divine.)  has a light sent of vanilla sugar with a hint of coconut. When I sniffed out of the bottle, it smelled just like coconut cream! I really like the lotion formula, it's not very heavy, almost liquidy. It absorbs quickly, and doesn't leave a lotion residue - you know the feeling when you apply a heavy lotion and you know it's there. I don't get that at all with this lotion. The remaining vanilla scent is very light, and lasts for a couple of hours after use.

The Bubble Bomb in La Mer (Rolling Ocean Waves, Musk, Clary Sage, Ozone, and a drop of Salty Seaweed) has a light scent to it before use. I scrubbed my tub out to give this a whirl since we were lucky enough to get a non-humid day, I was going to wait til the weather had cooled down a bit to try one. Unfortunately, it didn't bubble very much, and what bubbles did come up faded pretty quickly. However, the water was turned a very pretty light shade of blue, and had a soft ocean water scent to it.

I was super excited to give the dry body oil in Forever Young (A lovely sweet scent consisting of juicy peaches, ripe coconut, and french vanilla.) a shot, as I have heard great things about body oils. (Of course, I was too late to the game for Haunt, who supposedly made a great one!) I sprayed this on liberally and rubbed it in - the initial scent was fruity coconut, to die for! About a half hour later, the scent had faded to a nice vanilla. The scent is not overpowering at all, but is very light and pleasant. The oil absorbed completely within five minutes, and no greasy feel was left behind. My skin was nicely moisturized - not too heavy, just the way I like it.

Like I said, this post is all about first impressions. I'll probably go back and do a full review of the perfume oils I received, but here's what I'm getting from some quick sniffs of the vials:
  • Blush and Lace - Light and feminine, a combination of soft florals ad fruit.
  • Fleurs - White florals and a bit of earth. (Not like, dirty earth, though!)
  • For Your Dreams - Bright citrus.
  • Haunted Hay Ride - Leaves and smoke.
  • Vanille - Vanilla bourbon.
I'm really excited about my order, especially the body oils and lotion! I'm looking forward to reviewing the scents I received more in depth as well. I'm a fan of Hello Waffle, and it's great to see Christine branching out into other items - I hope she continues to bring more offerings to Sunsets and Seas! (Whipped soaps and scrubs, fingers crossed!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rose Rose Shop Skincare Haul!

Remember when I posted my last big Rose Rose Shop haul and said that was the only large skincare haul I'd need this year? Well, I lied. I recently have gotten super into my new multi-step skincare routine, and wanted to add to it. I hopped on to Asian Beauty subreddit and scoured their Holy Grail thread for the summer and picked out what I thought sounded like a good fit for me. I'm hoping to incorporate these new items with the products I've always used (Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, I love you so!) along with the newer products I mentioned last month.


I ordered the Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack samples, which includes a set of ten. I heard this product mentioned all the time, so I wanted to give it a shot in sample form. Rose Rose Shop also included some other foil samples - I got two of each of these pictured.


I'm almost out of the Vitamin C serum I'm using (Ole Henriksen Truth Serum) so I decided to pick up the OST C20 Vitamin C Serum. It's gotten plenty of good reviews, although there are concerns about it being unstable. I figured I'd give it a shot to see if i like it. 

The Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Wash Off Mask supposedly smells amazing and is a great exfoliating mask. I also picked up the Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum as it's been described as good for oily skin.

I wanted to try a new BB cream, so I selected the Mizon Snail Recovery BB Cream based off of favorable reviews. I'm currently using a Skin79 BB cream, and I hope I like this just as much!


The Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence is something I hope to use to reduce redness in my face. There are concerns about preservatives, but I'll be storing this one in the fridge once I open it. I also hope to use the Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule to calm my skin when it needs it. 

The COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid was bought because I'm really loving the COSRX BHA that I have right now. Hopefully, it'll help me get a jump start on any fine lines, as well as keep my skin in check come hormonal acne time. 

I got the Innisfree Green Tea Mineral Mist because why not, maybe I just want to spray my face with stuff and feel fresh.


Now on to the super fun portion of the haul - sheet masks! Each of the pictures will show one, but I bought these in multiples. Etude House sheet masks were the first ones I ever tried, and I really like them. I picked up Tea Tree, Snail, Pomegranate, and Vita Complex. The only one I haven't tried is the Vita Complex, and I'm excited to see if my face likes it!


Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask Sheets in both Tea Tree and Pomegranate. I really like the Etude House masks in Tea Tree and Pomegranate, so I wanted to try these. I also picked up Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheets in Green Tea and Royal Jelly. I read about these on an AsianBeauty thread about favorite sheet masks, and wanted to give them a try.


I struggle with large pores, so the TonyMoly I'm Real Red Wine sheet mask sounded like a perfect fit! I also got a TonyMoly Intense Care Snail Hydrogel Mask since i have yet to dive into hydrogel masks, and who doesn't love snail? Last but not least, I picked up Tosowoong Pure Sheet Masks in Propolis and Green Tea, off another suggestion thread in AsianBeauty.

I am SO excited to open all these and use them! Unfortunately it'll be a slow process, testing each one and seeing how my skin reacts. But just receiving the box and opening it was fantastic! I chose the cheaper shipping option that Rose Rose Shop offered and it was overnighted via DHL to me - the long wait for Korean orders is so agonizing, I'm glad I got to skip it! Let me know what you think, which products you want to hear more about, and if you have any suggestions for next time!