Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May Sephora Play! Box

Sephora recently (as in...within the last year) started a subscription box called Sephora Play! This is actually my third box, but the first I'm getting around to reviewing. I must say, this box has been the best so far. My first box included an empty sample container so I could go to a store and ask for a sample. Really? I can do that without paying $10 a month, thanks. But anyway, onto the May Play! box!

The theme of this month's box was "The Forces of Nature," emphasizing products with plant based or organic ingredients. Bite Beauty is known for using food grade ingredients in their lip products, and Tarte's tagline is "high performance naturals." I was so excited to open the box and see the mini Bite lipstick and the Tarte lip liner, I have a soft spot for lip products. To me, including a fragrance sample is a bit of a cop out for Sephora, as you can always add fragrance minis to your order via their three free samples. 

The mini Bite lipstick is from their new Amuse Bouche line, in the shade Kimchi - a vibrant cool toned pink. The name is a bit misleading, when I think Kimchi I think the bright orange of the actual food, but pink is cool, too. I haven't worn it, but it swatched wonderfully. The lipstick has a citrus scent that fades quickly, like the other lipsticks in the line. The mini comes in at 0.05 oz, with a full size at 0.15 oz.

Tarte put out a whole slew of new lip products earlier this year, including lip liners. The mini liner in Latergram (ugh, no, all of the new names for everything are the absolute worst) is a neutral mauve. When swatching, the tip broke off, so that was disappointing. It applied relatively smoothly to the lips, with a tiny bit of dragging. Neutral lip liners are always welcome, but I don't know if I'll go out of my way for a full size. The mini is 0.001 oz, with the full size being 0.01 oz.

The Origins sample is a three for one - I'll always take more goodies! The main sample is their Maskimizer - a mask primer. I feel that primers are getting ridiculous, and a mask primer is really pushing it. The Maskimizer fits the theme with the feature ingredient being red algae extract. After looking at the ingredients, the first two are water and alcohol, so it doesn't seem like a super special product. I paired it with the included Clear Improvement mask sample, and it didn't really seem to enhance my masking experience. The charcoal based Clear Improvement mask left my pores looking smaller, though! The Maskmizer mini is 0.05 oz, and a full size is 3.2 oz. The mask samples (Clear Improvements and Drink Up) are enough for one application each.

Briogeo is a new brand to me, as I've never heard of them, let alone use their products. Don't Despair, Repair! is a deep conditioning mask that is "six free," meaning there are no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicones, DEA (diethanolamine), or artificial dyes. The conditioner lists the use of rosehip and argan oils, biotin, and algae extract to revitalize your hair. I used this after my clarifying shampoo and left it in for a little more than five minutes. It rinsed out easily, and didn't leave any residue. I let my hair air dry, and it felt very soft and silky. The tube is 1 oz, which is actually sold at Sephora for $9! That's the majority of my box price right there, so I'm pretty happy about that. 

The last product is a deluxe mini of the Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. The mask has wild rose oil and "super C," a stabilized vitamin C. I haven't tried this yet, since I tried out the Maskmizer and didn't want to overload my skin with new goodies. The product page on Sephora states that after 14 days of use, skin will be more radiant with an even tone. Hopefully, my skin likes it! The mask sample is 0.34 oz, with a smaller full size product at $48.

I'm not really a sucker for the "natural ingredients" labeling, since cyanide is technically a "natural ingredient" because it occurs in nature and we aren't falling all over ourselves to put that into things. I do appreciate a well curated beauty box with large samples and my favorite lipstick brand, though! Do you subscribe to the Sephora box? Are you digging it?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Pickled Ginger - Review

Earlier this year, Bite Beauty announced that they were discontinuing their Luminous Creme lipstick line. In its place, they released the Amuse Bouche line, bringing back some favorite shades and introducing a whole ton of new shades! They began showing swatches and teasers on their instagram, and I knew right away that I wanted to pick up Pickled Ginger. I received it with my last Sephora order and began wearing it right away!

Pickled Ginger is described as an "electric coral." The shade is a very vibrant, pink leaning coral. Pickled Ginger is very bright, just shy of neon. I feel like it's too bright for me sometimes, but I've gotten a lot of compliments whenever I wear it must look good! The lipstick has a definitive citrus scent that fades on application, but it is not unpleasant. Application is smooth, with no tugging on the lips. I found that I needed two coats for maximum color payoff, but pigmentation is not lacking. The lipstick formula is comfortable, with some slip. I definitely needed to blot after application, and there was a lot of transfer onto cups and utensils, but the shade did leave a bright stain. I did not experiencing any feathering or severe drying.

I really wanted to like this one, but I found that the color really collected into my lip lines and emphasized imperfections. I wore it with and without a lip primer, and still got the same result. I'm not sure if it has to do with the brightness of the shade or what, but it just did not agree with my lips. I've worn it several times and had the result be the same, if my lips were in A+++ smooth perfect condition or just okay. 

I've since picked up several other Amuse Bouche shades and found them much more agreeable, thankfully. It's definitely you, not me, Pickled Ginger.

  • Smooth application
  • Pleasant scent that dissipates
  • Leaves a stain
  • No feathering
  • Prone to transfer
  • Product gathers into lip lines
  • Highlights imperfections
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Pickled Ginger - $26.00 for 0.15 oz
Review - 2.5/5

Thursday, May 19, 2016

April 2016 Favorites!

Once again, I'm super late with this. I don't have any excuse other than that  I'm lazy and the worst. This months favorites all gravitate towards the skin aside from the Gimme Brow, which helps emphasize a natural look.

My Scheming Mandelic Acid Brightening sheet mask  - This mask first popped up in my February Favorites this year. I had gotten a couple from a friend, and I loved them so much I bought a full box for myself! I find myself reaching for this mask when I have no particular mask "need," so to speak, because it does such a great job of making my skin look all around fantastic. I did, however, wear one before a social event to make sure my skin was at its brightest for the night!

Benefit Gimme Brow - I have wanted this product for a while, but couldn't swallow the $24 price tag! I finally picked it up with Ulta points paired with a 20% off prestige coupon. This really gives a natural definition to my brows, and is perfect to put on after the gym. Benefit is revamping their brow line, and are releasing another shade of Gimme Brow, but I'll be sticking with the Medium/Deep. I'm normally wary of Benefit products since they seem gimmicky or have tacky packaging, but I like this one. I wouldn't pay full price for it though, since the tube is TINY!

Foreo Luna Mini - This graced my March Favorites, and it's back this month because it's just that great! I've only had to do one full charge on this so far - I tried to top off the charge before a trip and it was done charging in like, five minutes. The five month claim they make may just be true! My skin is still looking smooth and radiant after using this, so I have no regrets with this purchase.

Innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum - I incorporated this into my routine about a month and a half ago, and omg. My face is so much less red than it was, I can hardly believe it! I love this serum, I use it morning and night. It has a fresh, somewhat "green" scent, and is very light. It sinks in quickly, making it a great addition to my morning routine. Even if I'm short on time, I make sure I pat some of this in. I'm maybe a quarter through the bottle, and I will definitely be repurchasing when this one is through.

Urban Decay Naked Skin One and Done - This is one of UD's summer collection releases, and I got it during the recent Sephora sale. I started with a sample, thinking the whole "one and done" is a little gimmicky - but it's actually fantastic at being a one shot product! It applies easily (I use fingers, blend out any streaks with a damp beautyblender) and gives the sheerest coverage - just enough to cover super slight imperfections. Since my skin has been 100% awesome lately, it's been all I need! I do use concealer on my under eyes, but this has been a solid staple in my routine since I got it. I've also used it as a primer under a BB cream. I have noticed a slight white cast on my hands after applying, and I really have to let my sunscreen sink in beforehand or they don't play nicely together, but I've made it work. I picked up the shade Light, which covers UD shades 0.5-3.0 (I'm around a 1.5-2.)