Friday, March 25, 2016

Nails of the Day - 3.24.16

I am all about springy colors lately! I also recently picked up Mini Mani Moo liquid latex to help with my nail art, and it really made clean up so much easier. I'm not looking forward to taking the actual nail polish off, because glitter polish is the worst. (I know, I know, tinfoil trick...but ugh.)

Here's what I'm wearing:
  • OPI Nail Envy
  • OPI Bubble Bath
  • Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening
  • Seche Vite

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

First Glow Recipe Order! LJH & Blossom Jeju

I'm somewhat obsessed with building and customizing my Korean style skincare routine. By Korean style, I mean putting an emphasis on layering products to achieve results, not just using Korean products. When it came time to add some new products, I turned to a retailer I had read about on other blogs. (Fifty Shades of Snail, no shame!)

Glow Recipe is a K-Beauty retailer based in the United States. Their shop is a curated collection of products that the owners fully believe in, citing natural ingredients and natural beauty as the driving force behind what products they choose to offer. Since they're based stateside, prices are a bit more expensive than ordering from Korea - when you don't consider the usual shipping by weight that ordering from Korea entails. I'm happy to pay a bit more for the convenience and not having to wait weeks for my order to arrive! They also offer free shipping over $50. Since it was my first order, I also received a 10% off code! The site states free samples with every order, but I did not receive any in mine. I consider it a trade off for getting my package so quickly! I ordered on a Monday, it shipped on Tuesday, and it was in my hands that Wednesday. A perk of living the next state over!

Onto the products - I picked up two new goodies that I've been thinking of getting for a while. A new essence and a new serum! Since I've had them about a month now, I feel confident in talking about integrating them into my routine and the results I've seen.

LJH (Leejiham) Tea Tree 90 Essence - I know some skin doesn't like tea tree, but mine does! This essence is 90% tea tree extract, and claims to help with sensitive, irritated, and troubled skin. I bought this because I was looking to reduce redness, and help control oil. The essence itself is on the more liquidy side, and doesn't have a discernible scent. It sinks in very quickly. I apply three or four drops in the morning, after toning. I originally was using it at night, but I switched to the morning to see if it would help with oil production (which kills my foundation!) throughout the day. I'm happy to say it has! I have noticed less oil breaking up my makeup during the day, and I am less shiny. I don't really notice my skin feeling extra moisturized with this essence, so I add other essences and serums to my routine in the morning if that's what I'm needing. 
$45.00 for 50 ml

Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Essence Serum - What a mouthful! This serum is meant to add moisture, and leave behind a dewy, smooth complexion. Sign me up! There is also a non-pink version of this serum, which I passed on in favor of this one, due to the "dewy and smooth" portion of the description. This serum is more viscous, and has a very heavy floral scent. I personally don't have an issue with fragrances irritating my skin, but YMMV. I used two drops of this at night, and it spreads nicely. It takes a bit of patting to make sure it has absorbed, but it does not sit heavy on the skin. I definitely get a moisture boost when using this serum, and layered with other products my skin is positively dewy and bright. 
$64.00 for 30 ml

I'm very happy with my first purchase from Glow Recipe! It helps that the packaging on the products is wonderful - both are in glass bottles with little droppers, and look beautiful on my dresser. (Normally things are in the bathroom, but I love having these on display!)(Also, the medicine cabinet is full...oops!) Next time I'm looking for something a little fancier (that Blossom Jeju bottle, come on!) to add to my routine, Glow Recipe will definitely be my first stop. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Exorcism - Review

I was so happy to receive Exorcism in a gift swap this year! It's been on my wishlist since the shade expansion of the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick line in the middle of last year, and I was very excited to try it out.

Exorcism is described as "ripe blackberry." The shade is a deep berry, leaning more red than purple. The formula is the same as other Kat von D liquid lipsticks I've used - not runny, not to stiff. This shade applies extremely patchy - several coats are needed to get an even color on the lips. Unfortunately, when trying to even the color out, it deepens to the point where it's a blackened purple, completely different from an initial coat or in the tube. Additionally, this shade highlights flakes and imperfections on the lips.The lipstick dries down relatively quickly to a very matte finish. There really wasn't much of a scent.

Through a day of wear, there was not much transfer. The formula was not terribly drying, especially when paired with a lip primer. The lipstick does stain, a deep purplish shade that takes some scrubbing to rub off. I experienced no bleeding or feathering while wearing.

I really, really wanted to love this shade, but the patchy application is killing it for me. I'm happy to say that it wears and is not super drying, just like other Kat von D liquid lipsticks, but the patchiness is just something I have not yet come across in this line.

  • Not terribly drying
  • Leaves a stain
  • No bleeding/feathering
  • Little transfer
  • Highlights flaws
  • Patchy application
  • Layering to correct patchiness changes the shade
Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Exorcism - $20.00 for for 0.22 oz
Review - 1.5/5

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Nails of the Day - 3.8.16

Okay, I'll admit it - not the most perfect mani. But I'm really happy about how springy this looks! The glitter is loose glitter patted onto a layer of damp polish. A thick layer of top coat on top of the glitter seals it in! (Just be careful, it may stay smudgy longer, even with a quick dry top coat.)

Here's what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy (trying to strengthen!)
  • Formula X Harmonics
  • Lit Cosmetics glitter in Angel Eyes
  • Seche Vite
I've been having super good luck with my nails for the most part - only one or two breaking on the edges. With the Nail Envy, I'm hoping to grow them out again.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

(mini) Sephora Haul!

I have a whole bunch of excuses ready as to why I placed this Sephora order. It was my birthday (month...), I got my tax return, I really wanted one of the new Bite lipsticks. All of them are 100% valid because I'm trying not to guilt myself for shopping! I kept the bill in check, at least.

First up is Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner. A repurchase! I love this stuff. It isn't a replacement for a good brush washing, but it's perfect for spot cleaning when there's a brush you really need and it's already been used. This is my favorite spot cleaner by far - I've tried a couple and none measure up to Cinema Secrets. 

Bite Beauty recently pulled their Luminous Creme lipsticks to much disappointment. However, they then dropped an entirely new line! I picked up the new Amuse Bouche lipstick in Pickled Ginger. As soon as I saw swatches on their instagram I knew I needed it, since I live for bright, pink leaning corals. When swatched, the formula felt smooth and creamy, and had great pigmentation. I can't wait to wear it!

After receiving Burberry Light Glow blush in Cameo for Christmas (which I haven't reviewed because I'm actually the laziest AND the worst), I knew I wanted another blush in the Burberry Light Glow formula. After poring over the shades, I wound up with Earthy. I was lucky it was in stock, as it has been out of stock ever since I started lusting after it (...on December 26th.) It's a beautiful light pinky brown. Since I'm on the lighter side, the pink shows up a bit more when applied, but just barely. It blends out like a dream, and is not powdery in the slightest.

A new beautyblender was in order as well, since it had been well over six months since I replaced mine. With daily use, it gets pretty grungy. It may seem like a boring item, but I'm super excited to have a newly squishy sponge to bounce on my face each morning. 

I also used a promo code for a 3 pack of Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pads. These things are so expensive to actually buy, with a box of just five being $16. I think I've used this code like four times now, since I really like the product but don't want to drop the cash on actually buying it. Maybe during the next sale. Maybe.

I'm sure I'll come up with more excuses to pick up some more goodies soon. (Easter?) Have you picked up anything cool lately?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

beautyblender - Old vs. New

I recently purchased a new beautyblender! Mine was over six months old and looking pretty sad. Because I had both the old and new at my disposal, I decided to see how a used and abused sponge vs. a shiny a new sponge looks.

Here's the two sponges while dry. You can see that the old one is much bigger dry than the new one, which is compact and...clean.

I went ahead and wet the two sponges, since that's how they're supposed to be used. The new one is still a bit smaller. The old one has more visible cracks in it from use. The newer one definitely had more bounce in it as well.

When I wet my beautyblender before use, I also clean it using a bar of Dr. Bronner's soap. (It's cheap, lasts forever, and works like a charm! Save money!) As you saw in the other photos, the used beautyblender had some stains on it near the top and bottom, since I did not wash it this time when I wet it. I cut the old one open, and you can see how much product was leftover from my foundation that morning. However, the rest of the sponge was pretty clean, meaning washing as often as it is used is a pretty good way to keep the sponge clean. There's no product at the top, since I had used the tip to blend in my concealer only. The bottom of the sponge seems to have soaked up a decent amount of product, though.

There you have it! The quick and dirty differences between a new and an old beautyblender. Can't wait to break this new one in!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

February Empties aka Hoard My Trash!

In an effort to use up things that I have, I started keeping track of products I finished throughout the month. Hoarding my trash in a bag in the bedroom was really weird and somewhat annoying, but I am shocked and impressed at how much I used up!

If you haven't noticed, I LOVE sheet masks! I used up a whole bunch last month. Here's a quick rundown:
  • TonyMoly I'm Real Rice
  • Tosowoong Pure Aloe
  • Tosowoong Pure Green Tea
  • Tosowoong Pure Propolis
  • The Face Shop Real Nature Mung Bean
  • Etude House I Need You Tea Tree
  • Etude House I Need You Olive
  • My Scheming Mandelic Acid
  • My Scheming 7 in 1 Brightening
  • Benton Snail Bee
  • My Beauty Diary Black Pearl
My favorite that I used this month was the My Scheming Mandelic Acid, which I waxed poetic about in my monthly favorites. All time favorites are the Benton Snail Bee, and the Tosowoong Pure Propolis and Pure Green Tea. I'm also fond of the Black Pearl mask!

Here are some cosmetics, samples, and another sheet mask that I forgot to include in the other photo. 
  • Nature Republic Green Tea
  • Alterna Caviar Instant Repair Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Drybar Texas Tea Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Bumble and Bumble Surf Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Tatcha Cleansing Oil
  • L'Occitane Amande hand cream
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel Pads
  • Inglot #77 gel liner
  • MAC Prep and Prime Lip
  • Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack
  • Performance Colors lip balm
  • Tarte Lights Camera Flashes mascara
The Inglot liner I've already repurchased - I didn't really finish it, it's just all yucky and old now, so I got a new one! It was well over a year old and needed Duraline to reconstitute it. The Pumpkin Sleeping Pack was nice, but I hated the overly floral scent of it. I LOVE the Dr. Dennis Gross peel pads, and I use and abuse Sephora promo codes to get them since I refuse to shell out big $$ for them, even though they work really well for me. The Tatcha oil was a solid meh, which was a relief - it's also expensive!

I've already repurchased this Tigi conditioner, and this is my nth bottle of in shower lotion. The Cosrx A-Sol is a product that seems to be hit or miss for a lot of people - it's a definite hit for me. I used it as a toner whenever I sensed some trouble brewing under the skin, and I found that it really kept things in check. I've repurchased this as well!

Look at all these empty jars! I really am impressed with how much I was able to finish. What we have here:

  • Haus of Gloi body emulsion mini in Cozy Sweater
  • Alterna Plumping Strand Expand
  • Haus of Gloi whipped soap in Eggnoggin'
  • Banila Co. Clean It Zero
  • Sunsets and Seas sugar scrub in The Crunch
  • Vice and Velvet lotion in Honey Trap
  • Haus of Gloi whipped soap in Pumpkin Queen
I've gone ahead and repurchased the Alterna plumper because I really do feel that it makes my hair thicker. This was my second jar of the Clean It Zero, but I've picked up a different cleansing oil to try next. I love Haus of Gloi's whipped soap! Eggnoggin' didn't smell like too much, but I am obsessed with Pumpkin Queen, and have about...oh...three or four more jars of that scent in whipped soap form. I wish Sunsets and Seas would restock their sugar scrubs, as I loved the consistency of this one - it was like a pudding, almost.

I'm happy to have made a dent in my huge hoard of beauty products last month. I hope to keep it up this month and find new favorites and get through some eh products.