Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Product Review- Revlon Lash Potion Mascara

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara Review
Revlon Lash Potion Mascara Review

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara Review
Revlon Grow Luscious Lash Potion Mascara Ad

 

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara Review 

 

From the Brand:    A potion by Grow Luscious Volume + Length Mascara with strengthening proteins drenches lashes for volume. Triple-groove wand combs through for clump-free length.

Retails for:   $7.99

Where to Buy:    Ulta Stores, Ulta.com, Walgreens, CVS, Grocery Stores, Walmart, Target, Wherever Drugstore brands are sold.

My Thoughts:   I've seen ads for this mascara all over the place since spring, and when I was shopping my huge Ulta haul back in March I picked this up to see if it would live up to its claims.  I've used the other Grow Luscious mascaras in the past and felt they were decent for a drugstore brand.  This one was different in that the want looked more like the style I prefer, and it isn't claiming to really make the lashes grow- just strengthens them for less breakage.

The wand shape is really what sold me on this mascara as a whole.  I'm not a fan of the traditional tapered spoolie style wands.  I just don't feel that they grip the sides of the lashes for maximum coverage.  This has three sets of longer bristles alternating three sets of shorter bristles to grab the longer and the shorter lashes and coat them evenly.  To me, this gives the lashes a more even covering of the mascara itself over every single lash.

The formula itself is also a deeply pigmented black with thick enough molecules that even with one coat you are getting a generous amount of volume.  But when you layer it, it doesn't clump.  Again, I feel like it goes back to the shape of the wand and the alternating bristle lengths that helps achieve this even coverage.

I had a non-waterproof version of the Revlon Lash Potion Mascara, and it lasted nicely throughout the day without flaking or smudging, even in high humidity in August in Virginia.  By the end of the day, it didn't fade or start to clump up, and it was very easy to remove without tugging on my lashes.  *Note: I use coconut oil to remove my mascara, not a makeup remover sheet like a lot of people or a liquid soaked cotton round.  After several days of use in a row, I didn't notice any less breakage or dryness to my lashes, so I can only assume that it's strengthening in comparison to non-damaging.  Whether over time the mascara would impact how strong my lashes would become, I'll probably never know since I change my mascara like I change my underwear- every day it's something new!

Final Verdict: Great drugstore mascara for volume without clumping!

 

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Product Review- Dorco Razor






Dorco Shai Razor Review

I was contacted by the Dorco company a few months ago to review one of their razor products, and I quickly received the Shai razor in the mail.  Since I regularly wax my legs, I had to wait a bit for the hair to grow out to effectively measure how well this razor works.  I've been using it daily for the past two weeks, and I'm a huge fan.

Claims:
  1. Double 3 bladed-cartridge helps you have a closer and neater shave as following your curves:  I'm a sucker for proper English, so this sentence pains me to even type up.  However, looking past that, the bendable cartridge was the first aspect of the razor that jumped out at me.  It is really nice to have the double set of three blades on either side of an axis point to allow it to glide over the contours of the body such as the under arms and bikini area or around the knees.
  2. Moisturizing band containing Aloe, Vitamin E and Lavender lets your sensitive skin feel soft and comfortable after shave:  I didn't really notice any moisturizing benefits to be honest.  My skin was nice and exfoliated from the shaving though.
  3. The open architecture on the back of the blade cartridge makes it easy to rinse the blades:  It was easy to rinse, although I don't personally count this as a high selling benefit.  But that's just me.
Here's what I really liked about this razor- The bendable cartridge is key.  I also really like that you get a second head in the package with the razor and it comes with it's own cute carrying case.  You can pop the razor off the handle and store it in the case for travel without having to worry about it cutting anything or getting dirty.  It also comes with a nice suction cup holder for the shower wall, and it stays better than other brands I've used.  I hate waking up in the middle of the night after hearing a crash from my shower, because the razor holder fell and knocked over the shampoo bottles.  The handle is an easy to grip ergonomic design that is sturdy and non-slip.  It doesn't feel cheap at all. The price is also a great selling feature.  It's only $5.95 for the set of two cartridges and handle, and 24 cartridge refills are only $29.32 on sale right now on their website.  The website looks like it frequently has good deals, and they have various combo trial packs for you to test their products.

**Disclaimer:  The product in this review was sent for my consideration, but I received no compensation for the review or from any resulting sales.  As with all my articles, the opinions expressed herein are fully my own.  For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Product Review- Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara Review
Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara Review

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara Review
Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara Review



Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara Review


From the Brand:    Flamed Out Mascara by Cover Girl gives you maximum volume for a flamed out lash look. Volume Igniter brush is specially designed to add volume to EVERY lash for bigger, thicker and fuller lashes to help maximize volume. Max Volume. Ignite every lash.

Retails for:   $7.99

Where to Buy:   Ulta Stores, Ulta.com, Walgreens, CVS, Grocery Stores, Walmart, Target, Wherever Drugstore brands are sold.

My Thoughts:   If you follow my Instagram, you'll see that I've already given this mascara a lot of love.  And if you follow my Facebook, you'll see that people are already loving my recommendation of it.  Or maybe you've read my July Favorites post?

What's so great about this mascara?  Besides the unbeatable price point and the fact that they use my fantasy-land alter-ego P!nk in their advertising, it's got a unique hourglass shaped wand that delivers the perfect amount of product while sculpting your lashes.

The formula itself is very thick and creamy.  It's the ideal consistency in my professional opinion.  Some people prefer the thin watery consistencies that they can build up for dimension and volume.  I say give it to me in only one or two strokes, and Covergirl delivers.  It also doesn't dry to a stiff crunchy needle protruding from my eyelid.  The eyelashes stay nice and flexible but still hold their curl.  And it doesn't dry out and start to flake into my eyes even if I wear it from sun up until well after sun down.  Typically when I'm watching tv at night, my eyes get watery and tired, and whatever mascara I'm wearing that day will start to run and flake off into my eyes.  This doesn't.  And it comes in a waterproof version.  Guess who's heading to Target or Ulta in the next week to pick up that one before heading to the white sandy beaches of Tampa Bay at the end of the month?  Yup, this girl.

Final Verdict:   If I haven't convinced you yet this stuff is amazing, I don't think there's much else I can say except get off your butt and try it yourself! You'll be quite pleased, I promise!

 

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Product Review- Smashbox Bronze Lights in Suntan Matte

Smashbox Bronze Lights Review
Smashbox Bronze Lights Review

Smashbox Bronze Lights Review

 

Smashbox Bronze Lights Review 

 

From the Brand:    This bronzer perfects skin while creating a beautiful warm, matte glow.

Retails for:   $29.00

Where to Buy:    Smashbox.com, Sephora Stores, Sephora.com, Ulta Stores, Ulta.com

My Thoughts:   This is the brand of bronzer I use every time I apply my makeup to give me an even naturally looking tanned look.  Even in winter, I know that I can add a touch of color to my skin without looking orange or shimmery.  I love that it's matte.  It adds color and looks so natural on my skin.  It can also be used to contour, but I prefer the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder instead since it's a bit darker.  I use the two in conjunction to give dimension to my face and sculpt my cheekbones.  My favorite brush to apply is the Bronzer Brush by Clinique, since it's huge and fluffy.  There are two shades, Suntan and Sunkissed.  I believe the Suntan (which is the shade I use) is the cooler of the two.  The website lists the Suntan as a deep bronze with the Sunkissed a soft bronze.  It's been a while since I've seen the two side by side, but I remember that one of them is slightly cooler (pinker) with the other being more warm (golden). 

Final Verdict: I'm a huge fan of this bronzer.  It adds believable color without tons of shimmer that makes it look like "bronzer" has been applied to your skin.

 

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Product Review- elf Volume Plumping Mascara

e.l.f. Volume Plumping Mascara Review

e.l.f. Volume Plumping Mascara Review
Close up of the mascara wand head

e.l.f. Volume Plumping Mascara Review
Close up of the mascara wand head


e.l.f. Studio Volume Plumping Mascara


From the Brand: Create lush and bold lashes with our Volume Pluming Mascara. The oversized brush fully coats lashes from root to tip for an intense and dramatic effect. The Vitamin B rich formula conditions and strengthens for visibly healthier looking lashes. 

 

Retails for: $3.00

 

Where to Buy: e.l.f. Cosmetics, Target stores

 

My Thoughts:  Let's say this one won't be making my Top 10 list of best mascaras.  For only $3, I wasn't expecting the most miraculous mascara in the world, but I did have a little bit higher hopes.  The formula itself is pretty decent.  It's not too thin in consistency, and it's a nice deep black.  Sometimes with cheap mascaras, you can find the formula to be thin and more grey than black, so this did deliver on the formula standpoint.  You do need 2-3 coats to build it a good volume, but it's thin enough that it doesn't clump. With a disposable mascara wand that I like better, this is a pretty good mascara for the price actually!

 

So my obvious problems with this is the mascara wand itself.  The bristles are in a corkscrew pattern, leaving wide open gaps that don't hug thin lashes.  The head itself is also much to large for my smaller eyes.  The taper helps me to get into the corners, but the overall size of it makes it difficult to reach those corners without depositing mascara onto other areas of my eye/face.

 

Like most of the elf products, the packaging does leave a bit to be desired.  Not going to lie here.  It's nothing fancy.  Although, it's nice and lightweight, so I'll focus on the positives!  I just wish that they would invest more in a better wand for delivering their product to the eyelashes.

 

It has a decent wear time.  I'd say between 6-8 hours before I noticed any smudging under the eyes.  I'd avoid it if you live in a very humid climate or have very oily lids, or use another of their formulas that's waterproof.  If your lashes are very long and touch your eyelid during the day, or if you wear glasses, you might notice transfer as well with friction.  

 

Final Verdict:  Not the worst mascara I've ever tried, but decent for $3 in a pinch so long as you use a different mascara wand to apply it. For starting makeup artists that don't have the budget to invest in expensive mascaras for their kit, this is a great mascara to start out with.  You can use disposable mascara wands (which you should be using anyway) to apply it and build it up for the look you want.  Chances are you'll be using some kind of false lash as well, so you don't need to much mascara.  And for shoots, the mascara doesn't have to last hours and hours if you're going to be on set to touch up.

 

Have you tried this mascara before?  What were your experiences with it?  I'd love to know!

 

**Disclaimer:  This article contains referral links.  As with all my articles, the opinions expressed herein are fully my own.  For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.



Monday, August 12, 2013

Glossybox June and July Box Reviews





June 2013 Glossybox Subscription Contents:  {This month's total full size retail value: $41.00}

C. Booth Honey Almond Nourishing Dry Oil Mist:  Full Size $8/ 4oz, Sample Size $4/ 2oz  I was surprised that this was a body spray oil rather than something for the hair.  But it has a really nice scent that isn't too sweet and cloying, yet it lingers just long enough to almost double as a bit of a body splash.  It's not greasy at all and absorbs into the skin very quickly.  I like spritzing it on my body right after getting out of the shower and letting it sink in while I do my makeup.  I haven't tried it on my face, since I already have a set skincare routine, but it says it's safe for the face without breaking you out.

Philip B Light Weight Deep Conditioning Cream: Full Size $26/ 6oz, Travel Size $10/ 2 oz (as listed on website)  I'm hard to break out of my routine, so I haven't tried this yet and am sticking with my current hair favorites.  I do love deep conditioners though, so I'm sure I'll use this at some point.  When  I do and can offer a good review, I'll do a separate article on this.  If you've tried it, I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Tarte Complexion Enhancing Lipstick: Full Size $29/ 3.5g  If you know me, you know I love me some Tarte products, so I literally did a little squeal when I opened this month's box and saw this in there.  I'm not sure if it's a new product coming out or if it's a discontinued product though.  I can't find it anywhere online to purchase except through the Glossybox website.  It's a really cool lipstick, with a dual color.  The center core of the lipstick is a deeper pinky red color, and a paler cool tone pink on the outside.  The shade is medium to tan, but I think it's still pretty universally flattering.  When you apply it, it has an instant kind of ombre effect from the two colors, which I think is super cool.  You can leave it like that or blend them together, or you can just use the outside of the stick to apply the lighter color alone.  Likewise, you can use a lip brush to apply only the center color.  Overall, I really like this and think it's a great concept and very versatile.

Spa Ritual Nail Polish in Kiss the Cook: Full Size $12/ 15 mL  I'm not a huge fan of the color right now, since it's way more of a fall color than summer, but I'll see when late September hits how I'm feeling about it.  It's a nice large full size bottle, which I really appreciate.  The formula is thin enough that it doesn't take forever to dry, although you will want to do two coats. 

Oscar De La Renta Essential Luxuries Perfume: Full Size $150/ 3.4 oz, Samples were too small and no weight listed to give comparable value  I really wish Glossybox would stop including products from fragrance brands that I associate with little blue haired ladies.  The name Oscar De La Renta evokes feelings of luxury, and the little blue satin bag these came packaged in goes along with it, but I feel like that's more of fashion connotation.  The feeling I get when I hear the name in conjunction with perfume is heavy, stuffy, spicy, old lady crap.  Maybe that's just me though.  I didn't like any of the six mini spritzers they sent, but my older sister says she likes the brand, so I'll send them along to her to enjoy.  Either way, this would in no way entice me to spend $150 on a bottle of perfume.  Actually, I don't think anything could unless it came with a hot guy to spray it on me every morning, preferably without his shirt on.

This month's box:  Hit or Miss?   Hit  At some point, I'll use every single product in this box (except for those stinky perfume samples, which I don't count).  This box was a great blend of skin, hair, nails, makeup, and even fragrance if it had been a good scent.  You also can't argue with $41 in full size product, plus $14 more in deluxe samples.




 









July 2013 Glossybox Subscription Contents: { This month's total full size retail value: $9.00}

Brazilian Blowout Acai Deep Conditioning Masque: Full Size $40/ 240 mL, Sample Size $5/ 30 mL  Another hair conditioner, but I think I'll probably end up using this before the one from the June box.  It has a really nice scent, and it's a lightweight texture that seems like it would be great for quick hydration and detangling. I have long hair, and I like to really saturate from roots to tips, so I'll probably only get two uses out of it. Not sure if it would be enough to convince me of purchasing a full size for $40, but just because I'm cheap when it comes to my conditioners doesn't mean it has less value for others.

Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au the Blanc Shampoo and Shower Gel: Full Size $42/ 6.8 oz, Sample Size $6.08/ 1 oz  Uh, no thank you.  I didn't even use this, as I'm not a fan of the scent.  It's way too perfumy and overpowering.  I wouldn't even use a shampoo that smelled like my favorite perfume.  I prefer for my hair care to have less scent, and to either smell very fresh or fruity.  And again, it was a very mature smell I'd associate with someone older. 

Dr. Brandt BB Matte With Signature Shinerase (light to medium): Full Size $39/ 1 oz, Sample Size $9.75/ .25 oz  It's a tad too dark for me, which I was disappointed with.  It's not too pigmented, so if I had some self tanner on my next or a lot of bronzer I could get away with it, and I might do a full face test run to see how it feels and wear.  On the back of my hand though it felt very nice.  After almost an hour, it still felt freshly hydrated.  It has a stinky smell to me though, so I don't know how long that will last once its on my face or if it will fade quickly.  It didn't mattify immediately, but it didn't look shiney after a few minutes either.  Like I said, I'd have to test it on my full face before making any final conclusions, but it wasn't bad at first test.

Figs and Rouge Cherry Blossom Tinted Lip Balm Tube: Full Size $9 Included  For being the only full size product this month, I was really expecting more from this.  I can't stand the packaging.  I'd have to put some on my fingertip and then apply it to my lips.  I find that annoying.  It has to be an amazing product for me to want to dip my fingers in it and put it on my mouth.  Out and about I feel like I touch too many germs to want to be applying lip products with my fingers for touch up.  Especially when I'm the mom of two small boys.  The scent was also off putting for me.  (I think overall this box wasn't the best on scents!  Or maybe I'm just too sensitive to them?!)  The color was sheer and a bright fuschia, but it didn't have a lot of shine.  It was also thick and sticky.  I wasn't a fan of this at all.  Even though it's all natural products, and the design of the tube is pretty, it still didn't win me over.

Nails Inc Nail Polish in Baker Street: Full Size $9.50/ 10 mL, Sample Size $3.80/ 4 mL  I love this nail polish, but I'm bummed it was such a small size!  Come on Glossybox/Nails, Inc!  For $9.50 a bottle, you couldn't put a full size in here?  I felt cheated a bit.  The color is a gorgeous blue, and the formula is good.  It's a bit thin though, so I recommend multiple coats, but it is nice and creamy.  Dries average, so I use my Seche Vite topcoat to speed it up and give it some nice high shine.  Wore decent amount of time.  I type daily, so I usually get tip wear after a day and a chip by the end of day two.  This lasted about that.

Nicka K New York Absolute! Make-Up Cleansing Tissues: Full Size $6.99/ 60 Sheets, Sample Size $1.17/ 10 Sheets At first glance, I thought I'd never heard of this brand before, but then I realized they are the brand that had the solid fragrance back in May.  They are a cucumber extract enhanced remover, and the cucumber smell is very prevalent.  They do a good job removing the makeup and leaving no residue.  They are soft and fairly durable.  I like these.  I didn't try it against waterproof mascara though, so I can't vouch for how effective they are a long wear products.



This month's box:  Hit or Miss?  Miss   Overall, I didn't find a lot of value in this box.  I don't like the shampoo/shower gel or the lip balm.  The bb cream was the wrong shade, and the nail polish was too small in my opinion.  Combined retail value of full size and sample sizes were $34.90, but that doesn't mean I'll use all of that.  If the bb cream was my shade, and the conditioner really knocks my socks off I'd probably feel differently.  This one just wasn't for "me". 


Is Glossybox for you?  Don't forget to use one of my subscription links below to sign up to receive your own box every month!




**Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  As with all my articles, the opinions expressed herein are fully my own.  For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Battle of the Beauty Blenders

Beauty Sponges From top clockwise: Ulta brand, original Beauty Blender®, Qosmedix brand


In corner #1, is... Ulta's Super Blender Sponge, weighing in at $4.99 per sponge:
Use dry sponge for full coverage and damp sponge for sheer coverage.  Ergonomic finger notches.  Ideal for contouring and blending tight areas.  Use the pointed tip to gently blend around the nose and eyes.  Use the round bottom to smooth along jawline.  Applying Cosmetics: For applying and blending liquid and cream makeup.

In corner #2, we have... the original Beauty Blender®, weighing in at $19.95 per sponge: Beautyblender® is the first ergonomically designed non-disposable sponge applicator that allows you to flawlessly apply your makeup. It's designed to be cleaned with its partner blendercleanser®—making it super eco-friendly. It comes with an instructional pamphlet so you can quickly master your application technique.

Note: when wet, beautyblender® doubles in size and becomes even softer, returning to its original size when it air dries. Its package can serve as a pedestal is the perfect way for the beautyblender to dry on your vanity. Not only is the smaller end the best applicator for concealer under the eyes and around the nose, but also for achieving dramatic results with your eye shadow. Feel free to use the beautyblender® with all types of makeup, including loose powder and mineral cosmetics.

In corner #3... the Oblong Blending Sponge by Qosmedix, weighing in at $1.95 per sponge: The unique shape of this latex-free oblong blending sponge provides a comfortable grip, while easily reaching facial contours during make-up application. To clean, wet sponge in cold or lukewarm water. Apply a small amount of facial cleanser, antibacterial liquid soap or sponge cleanser to the stained areas. Gently work into a lather without twisting or stretching the sponge. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Squeeze to remove excess water. Set aside on a piece of paper towel to dry.

I've always been a hard core foundation brush user.  When I worked cosmetics retail, I had the perfect sales pitch for why everyone who used liquid foundation had to have one. It was usually a guaranteed second product to bump my transactions and boost my commission, but I was also one of those holy believers in them.  Up until I started airbrushing, foundation brushes were one of the kinds of brushes I stockpiled like they were being discontinued.  I never did my own makeup without using one, although I was horrible about cleaning it.  I told myself it wasn't as bad as using a dirty sponge, which I utterly detested.  I'd see women bring in their makeup bags to the counters so they could "restock" products, and when they'd open them everything inside would be caked with crumbles of powder and shadow, bronzer or blush, and drips of liquid foundation.  Then there would be the inevitable dirty cosmetic wedge that would tumble out onto the counter, brown and dirty, and it would make my stomach turn.  By the time they had left, I'd make a believer out of them for the foundation brush, and it would reaffirm in my own mind that this was the way foundation should be applied.

Eventually, I branched out to other styles of brushes, but I was still a believer that brushes were the only way that was proper and sanitary.  Airbrushing came along, and I found it an easier and more sanitary way to apply foundation quickly to clients, but at home my trusty Lancome foundation brush stayed firmly by my bathroom sink.

Enter the Beauty Blender®.  I'm one of those people that has to stay up on anything and everything new in the makeup world, whether I agree with it or not, and the Beauty Blender® was an oddity to me.  A sponge shaped like an egg?  Say what now?  And for the $19.95 a pop, I just couldn't justify it in my mind.  I'm sure a lot of people approach the concept of the blending sponge this way.  What is it about them that makes them so revolutionary?  And how do you really keep it clean?

The original Beauty Blender® brand wasn't the first of these three that I tried however.  I got one in a Birchbox first, but that got stuck in a box in the bathroom of samples I really never intended to try.  Instead, I tried the one from Qosmedix first by accident.  One day while shopping for disposables, I saw them on the Qosmedix site for just a measly $1.95 each and thought they'd make a great goodie bag gift for the makeup artists on my team for Christmas.  I had one left over and decided to try it out on myself one day nearly a year later to see what the hype was.  Not knowing a thing about how to use them, I used it dry and immediately disliked it.

More and more, I heard people talking about how amazing these things were, so I washed it that night and decided to give it another go the following day.  It was still damp, and so it was all puffed up and bouncy.  I used it to apply my foundation, and it completely transformed my opinion!  I couldn't believe the difference!  I've been using one ever since, and I buy them in bulk now on the Qosmedix website to keep in my studio.  I can wash them and use them for several months before needing a new one.  I've also discovered that for applying a concentrated amount of cream concealer over a breakout, they work better dry than wet.  So when I'm doing my makeup, I now use a damp one for my foundation and a dry one to apply concealer with the pointed tip.

When I started doing my blog again, I knew I had to find that original Beauty Blender® again so that I could compare.  Was it really different or better than what I was using?  I mean, at ten times the price, I knew there had to be at least a few differences.  Here's what I found:  the two main differences are the shape and the texture.  The original is truly egg shaped, while the oblong blending sponge is indented in the center for finger grips and slightly larger even when fully dry.  The texture of the sponge is also a little denser.  This gives it a little less "bounce" when applying the foundation, although I find that it also absorbs less foundation in general into the sponge.  I like the Qosmedix brand a little better for these two differences.  The indentations help me grip it better, and they also work great to blend out around my jawline or cheekbones.  It fits and hugs those contours perfectly.  And who doesn't like wasting less product?

I still wanted to do more research, and with every brand and their brother coming out with their version of the blending sponge, I knew I had to do more comparisons.  Enter my good buddy Ulta.  At only $4.99, I wondered if this was the more affordable version of the original available to a mass market?  Qosmedix is a wholesaler, and while you can purchase from them without being a professional, you do have to order a minimum of $25, and at only $1.95 each there may not be much else from them people could need.  (I do recommend getting their cotton rounds if you do opt to purchase from Qosmedix.  They are much cheaper than a drugstore and better at removing makeup than a cotton ball.  The blending sponges don't last forever, so it's good stock up, and they do make fantastic gifts for cheap!)

Sadly, the Ulta brand was not up to the level of the other two.  I would recommend skipping it altogether.  It does share the shape bonus of the Qosmedix brand, but the texture of the foam is very porous.  It absorbs a lot of the liquid, even when wet, and it doesn't give as nice and even a finish as the other two.



And the winner is...  the oblong blending sponge by Qosmedix.  You can't beat the price on these, even if you do have to order a minimum of $25 from the site.  The slightly denser foam does make it a bit more durable as well.

Intrigued?  Watch my video on how to use one to apply your makeup!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Product Review- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Review

 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil


From the Brand:  Creamy, forever-lasting, award-winning and waterproof, 24/7 pencils delight you with lush tropical hues, deep metallics, and unusually vibrant neutrals.

 

The best Eye Pencil ever, ever, ever! Never before has a pencil this creamy and brilliant been waterproof, too. Velvety-soft, this never-before-seen formula stays soft and creamy for blending (about 30 seconds), then dries down to a long-lasting finish that WILL NOT budge. Line eyes with a hint of color or go for the full artistic, multi-hued effect with the wide selection of lush tropical hues, deep metallics and unusually vibrant neutrals. Incredible with Urban Decay Eyeshadows!


Created with 50% moisturizing ingredients suspended in a sophisticated waterproof formula, 24/7 Eye Pencils offer long-lasting color and a dreamy, creamy feel when applied. With Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E and Cottonseed Oil.


When your 24/7 Eye Pencils start to get dull, use the small barrel of our Grindhouse Double Barrel Sharpener to grind them back to a perfect point.


Fill Weight: 1.2g e 0.04 US oz.


Retails for:  $19.00


Where to Buy: Urbandecay.com, Ulta stores and online, Sephora stores and online

 

My Thoughts: When I went to Hawaii on vacation a few years ago, one of the first things I packed in my makeup bag was my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Bourbon.  I knew that no matter how hot and humid it got, or how long I spent at the beach, my eyeliner was going to stay in place.  I have three main eyeliner brands in my bridal makeup kit that I know are going to be truly waterproof, and this is one of them.  It was actually the very first waterproof eyeliner I ever bought, and I've been loving it for years.  The fact that it comes in so many gorgeous colors, (52 by my last count online!) makes this one of the best liners for whatever your style.  If you like browns, they have a ton of browns.  If you like blues, they have a ton of blues to choose from.  They also have purples, greys, greens, even pinks!  There are multiple variations on the basic black, and then there are metallics like gold and bronze and silver, even nude and white for opening up your waterline!  My favorite shades are Bourbon, Underground, Zero, Electric, and Binge.


Final Verdict:  I wouldn't be caught doing a bride's makeup without this in my professional kit!



 

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Product Review- Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Mascara

Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Mascara Review
Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Mascara Review

Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Mascara Review

Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Mascara Review

 

Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Mascara Review

From the Brand:   
What it is:
A mascara that gives the lashes curl, volume, length, and intense pigment.

What it does:
This ultra-pigmented mascara was specially designed to give the lashes an exceptional volume-enhancing effect with infinite lengthening and immediate curling.

What else you need to know:
The tough, dense brush of this Sephora-exclusive mascara penetrates into the roots of the lash to ensure that lash is completely coated with mascara.

Retails for:   $23.00

Where to Buy:    Sephora is the exclusive beauty retailer for this product.

My Thoughts:   I love the wands on these mascaras.  If I had to pick my favorite high end mascara, this would definitely be it.  When I was in high school and college, I was obsessed with the Lancome mascaras, and I thought nothing would ever surpass them in my mind as the be-all end-all of mascaras.  This has done so!  I started using the Makeup Forever Smokey Lash Mascara probably about 5 years ago, when I first started my makeup career full time.  I bought it from Sephora on a whim, and it was one of the best buying decisions I've ever made.  Now, whenever I go to the Makeup Show in New York City every spring, I make sure to stop at the Makeup Forever booth to stock up on these with the 40% discount.  It's worth the 30 minute wait in line every year even if they are the only thing I buy.  (Who am I really kidding?  40% off on Makeup Forever?  I buy waaaaaayyyy more than just mascara every year! haha)

So now let's see how it holds up to its claims:
  1. Volume- Absolutely.  The difference between naked lashes and lashes with the Smokey Lash mascara is immediate with just a single coat.  The brush head is very densely packed, and the bristles sort of overlap each other, which I believe helps it coat both sides of the lash with each stroke.  The formula of the mascara is also very thick in consistency, so you don't need a ton of coats of mascara to get a ton of volume.
  2. Length- While the formula is thick and coats each lash for volume, it does also add some length to the ends by making them fatter and more noticeable.  I'm not a huge believer that any mascara can truly add length without fibers, but it can absolutely increase the perception of length.  And the Smokey Lash does that.
  3. Curl- This is one of the few mascaras I've tried that can actually help my lashes hold a curl.  I could perm my lashes, and they probably wouldn't stay curled for more than about 30 seconds.  This mascara formula dries quickly, helping to lock the curl in place before it falls.  I do have to curl them first with an eyelash curler, so the mascara itself doesn't add curl, but it does help it hold curl which is more than most do for my stick straight eyelashes.
The only drawback I can find with the mascara at all is that the regular formula can start to flake after about 12 hours.  Considering that most people aren't too concerned with what their makeup looks like after that long, for an every day mascara that's pretty darn good.  If you have oily lids, live in a humid climate, or want to avoid that, I'd recommend using the waterproof version instead.

The mascara is currently available in five colors- black, brown, green, purple, and blue.   Brown is gorgeous on redheads wanting a more natural yet full look.  Purple is great for green eyed girls looking to enhance their eye color.  And the blue is great for blondes or anyone who wants to whiten the appearance of their eyes.  It's not a bright cobalt blue when on the lashes, more of a deep navy, so it's not a "hey she's wearing blue mascara" kind of look.  The green, I'm not sure there's really an everyday situation you'd wear this for, but if you have an idea I'd love to know!  It's more of a fun look in my mind, but I could maybe see it being used to counteract redness?  Still, I think that green is too far from the natural lash color to be on the natural looking end of things.

Final Verdict:  A total must for everyone to try at least once.  I dare you not to get hooked!

 

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Product Review- Nivea Lip Butters

Nivea Lip Butter Review
Nivea Lip Butter Review

 

Nivea Lip Butter Review

From the Brand:    Indulge in the aroma of Nivea's Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss Lip Butter. Everything we do is designed to achieve the ultimate kiss. We focus on quality, we use premium ingredients, we help lips become soft and smooth. We make kissing better.

Retails for:   $2.99

Where to Buy:    Ulta Stores, Ulta.com, Walgreens, CVS, Grocery Stores, Walmart, Target, Wherever Drugstore brands are sold.

My Thoughts:   I have three of the four scents of this lip butter formula by Nivea- Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss, Raspberry Rose Kiss, and the Caramel Cream Kiss.  All three of them are amazingly scented, although I'm not as much of a fan of the Caramel Cream Kiss as the others.  It smells heavenly, but more suited for a candle than a lip butter.  However, the formula of these is so incredibly silky that I really don't care.

I must put this stuff on my lips like 100 times a day when I'm not typing at the computer.  I wish it came in a stick instead of a tin, because I'm not a fan of putting things on with my fingers when I've been out and about touching things or using my keyboard.  Perhaps if they found a way to make it like the EOS chapsticks or something?  Regardless, it's super emollient and feels very slick on my lips.  They just glide over one another when I rub them together.  It's a very pleasant sensation.

They are a very generous size, too.  The tin is about the size of a cotton round, and it's full to the brim with product.  You can't beat the value for the price of only $2.99!

It's very hydrating without being sticky.  They have a sweet flavor that I'm sure makes kissing much better, as they claim.  What guy doesn't want something sweet?!

Final Verdict:  I'm obsessed with these.

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Product Review- Tarte emphasEYES Eyeliner

Tarte Emphaseyes Eyeliner Review
Tarte emphasEYES Gel Eyeliner

 

Tarte Emphaseyes Eyeliner Review

From the Brand:   

Specifically designed for the sensitive inner-rim, this eye pencil imparts a super fine line for a defined, sultry look that lasts all day.

Product Performance: This ultra fine liner easily fills gaps in the lashline and glides perfectly on the inner rims of eyes. Our patented silicone system creates a super creamy, long-wearing formula specifically designed for the sensitive inner rim so it won't fade or run and its dermatologist tested, so it won't irritate the sensitive eye area like traditional wood pencils.


Powered By: Aloe leaf extract: widely-known plant extract with soothing, healing and antiseptic properties that helps maintain moisture balance in the skin

Retails for:   $18.00

Where to Buy:    TarteCosmetics.com, Sephora Stores, Sephora.com, Ulta Stores, Ulta.com

My Thoughts:   I love that this is made for the inner waterline of the eyes.  I can never find a good mascara that won't fade out to nothing super quickly or end up irritating me eyes.  They have the perfect brightening color, too.  This photo is an old version of the packaging, and they've updated it now.  I haven't used it in forever, and it's time to toss this one, but I figured it was still good enough for a photograph.  I need to purchase a new one in black, as I like to wear color in the waterline a lot more now, and nothing stands up to this formula for that.

Final Verdict:  Like a smokey eye or just some color in your waterline?  This is the formula eyeliner for you!

 

**Disclaimer:  This article contains referral links.  As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Product Review- Stila Custom Color Blush in Self-Adjusting Bronze

Stila Custom Color Blush- Bronze

Stila Custom Color Blush- Bronze

 


Stila Custom Color Blush - Self Adjusting Bronze
 

 

From the Brand: Our newest addition to the Custom Color Blush family, this perceptive one-shade-fits-all powder blush comes in a natural bronze hue, with a hint of subtle shimmer for a customized sun-kissed glow, perfect for you.

An innovative powder blush that reacts to each individual's pH to create a perfect, personalized shade with its unique one-shade-fits-all technology. The ultra-blendable, velvety soft formula magically smoothes the appearance of fine lines and imperfections leaving skin with a luminous, flawless flush.

 

Retails for: $20.00

 

Where to Buy: Stila Cosmetics, Sephora stores and online, Ulta stores and online

 

My Thoughts: I really love the color payout of this bronzer.  While I'm not sure that it really "adjusts", it does definitely look beautiful on a wide range of skin tones.  On the fairest of skins, it can look just a tad bit orangey though, so be sure to build it up in sheer layers if you're worried about how it will look.  It also has a good bit of shimmer to it as well, meaning it's best used with a matte blush to avoid looking shiney- especially if you're going to be taking photos.  I carry this in my bridal kit and like to use it to add a touch of color to the face of my bridal party so that their makeup looks are all nice and cohesive.  It really does look beautiful on just about everybody.


It seems like such a small compact, but it lasts for a very long time.  I'd say I've used it at least 100 times, and you can't even begin to see a dent in the product itself.  I prefer using a large fluffy brush, like the Real Techniques Duo Fiber Face Brush, since the longer white hairs will buff the product out to a beautiful airbrushed finished.  It can also be used for contouring on slightly darker skin tones, although be careful of the shimmer.  For that I like a small angled blush brush, like the Crown Brush Studio Pro Contour Blush Brush (C405).

I don't know about the whole magically smoothing out fine lines portion of their claim, as I don't think any bronzer can really do that.  If you want to minimize the appearance of fine lines, you need to do that prior to your powder color products- with your skincare, primer, and foundation.

 

Final Verdict: Great bronzer that will suit just about anyone's skin tone, and will last a very long time.  Great value!

 

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.  This article contains affiliate links.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Product Review- Korres Deep Colour Mascara

Korres Deep Colour Mascara Review

Korres Deep Colour Mascara Review

Korres Deep Colour Mascara

 

From the Brand:


What it is:
A pigment-rich mascara containing Provitamin B5 and Rice Bran.

What it does:
Korres Deep Colour Mascara provides glossy, deep color while conditioning and nourishing to promote maximum lash health. This brand favorite contains Provitamin B5, a proven hair-strengthening agent that conditions and strengthens lashes, while Rice Bran expands (just like rice does in water) to provide maximum lash length, volume, and fullness.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Mineral Oils
- Petrochemicals
- Propylene Glycols
- Ethanolomines
- GMOs
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes

 

Retails for:  $18.00

 

Where to Buy: Sephora is the exclusive retailer for this product

 

My Thoughts: I got this what seems like forever ago at Sephora in a value set, and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it.  I figured I'd get a nice high end mascara for "free", since I was really interested in the other items in the set anyway.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like this mascara. I use it more as a conditioning base than a mascara on its own though.  The Vitamin B5 helps to condition and strengthen my lashes, while the mascara I put on top of it gives it the length and volume I like.  I've always been a fan of putting lash conditioners under my mascara, or layering mascara formulas in general.  This gives a nice thin coat that I can wear under other mascaras or layer over itself if I really want more volume but a very natural look to my lashes.

 

Final Verdict:  Overall a good buy and works great to condition the lashes.

 

 

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

IPSY June and July Box Reviews



June 2013 IPSY Subscription Box

June 2013 IPSY Subscription Contents:  {This month's total full size retail value: $43.49}

Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tipsy- Full Size $12.00 included  I've never used anything by Starlooks, but I've heard a lot about them.  The color is a very bright coral color, and it's super pigmented.  The formula glides on nicely without tugging or skipping.  It's not waxy at all, which I love.

NYX Cream Blush in Boho Chic- Full Size $6.00 included  I'm not a big fan of the texture of this as a cream blush.  It's a little too greasy and emollient for me.  It leaves a lot of shine on the skin.  The color is able to be applied in sheer layers, but it feels heavy on my skin when I build it up to the pigmentation I prefer.  I'll either use this as a lip tint or just give it to someone, since I just swatched it.  I'm disappointed, because I usually love the NYX products, and their powder blushes are so great for the price!

J. Cat Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette in Suzie- Full Size $4.49 included  This was an epic fail in my mind.  The quality of the packaging in combination with the gritty cheap cream "shadow" itself reminds me of something I would find in a Barbie makeup kit for a six year old.  I don't want to even try it on my face.  I swatched some on the back of my hand, and all that I was left with was a greasy spot with glitter that rubbed off almost immediately.  The glitter colors are very pretty, and this might be useable for a Halloween look in a few months.  Overall, I wasn't happy at all with this product.

Cailyn Line-Fix Gel Eyeliner in Iron- Full Size $21.00 included  Another full size product, but not another product I'm looking forward to using.  I don't really like grey eyeliner on myself, but it's not a bad thing to have in my makeup kit.  The brush that comes with it is too thick to get a thin precise line, so I have to use another brush.  The formula looks a bit dry, but the pigmentation seems decent. I'll use it for a photoshoot as a shadow base for a smokey look and see if I like it any better.  Right now I'm neutral on it.  Not hating it, but not loving it either.

Psssst! Dry Shampoo- Full Size $6.99 for 5.3 oz, Sample Size $2.99 for 1.7 oz I keep this in my hair kit for my boudoir and headshot clients, and it's an amazing dry shampoo.  It doesn't have a heavy scent, and it works quickly to reduce shine from excess oil and add a boost of volume to roots.  Sometimes I'll use it on my clean hair at the roots to give them a bit of texture before I do a topknot.  It also adds a bit of grip to my fine locks.  And since it's a travel size, it's perfect for my vacation bag!  Yay!  Another item added without having to hit the travel section at Target!

Leopard Print Cosmetic Bag


This month's box:  Hit or Miss?   Big Hit For Value, although the cream palette was a major bust in my opinion, and I'm not a fan of the cream blush.  Major bonus points for almost everything being full size though!

July 2013 IPSY Subscription Box




July 2013 IPSY Subscription Contents: { This month's total full size retail value: $0.00!}

Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush- Full Size $25/6 crayons, Sample Size $4.17/1 crayon  Even though it's part of a set of six crayons, the one in the bag itself is a full size lip crayon.  The color is called Coral Crush, although against my skin tone it comes off a little more on the pink side, like a fun watermelon color.  It's very pigmented and emollient, and there's a faint peppermint scent to it.  When you apply it there is a very slight cooling sensation.  Pop Beauty is a brand I've wanted to test out for a while, so I'm hoping that they show up more often in my IPSY boxes.  *Fingers crossed for a nail polish soon!*

BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample- Full Size $7/16 eyeshadows plus 4 blushes, Sample Size $1.05/3 eyeshadows  These are three beautiful colors!  I love how pigmented they are, and the formula is very silky for such an inexpensive brand.  They coordinate really nicely together, and I think I'll do a sultry royal purple and gold look for my anniversary date in just 13 short days!  Eeek!

Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray- Full Size $19.95/5.1 oz, Sample Size $6.65/1.7 oz  Every year we spend our anniversary in Florida, but this year we won't be leaving until a few days after to head down.  Along with my sultry eye look, I'll be channeling my inner Victoria's Secret model with some sexy beachy waves instead!  Another item I keep in my hair kit, I'll happily be replacing my current bottle when it runs out with this.  It's like IPSY has seen into my hair kit and knows just how to keep me happy!

Coola Mineral Face SPF 20 Moisturizer- Full Size $36/1.7 oz, Sample Size $4.87/.23 oz  I think everyone is going for some type of sunscreens in their subscription boxes lately, so this is just another one that I'll be adding to my stash.  At least I don't have to go shopping for much!  The formula is nice and thin and absorbs quickly into the skin with no greasy residue.  It starts off white, and despite containing titanium dioxide, it doesn't look chalky on the skin.  There is no scent added, but you can smell a bit of the natural ingredients, so it's not an unpleasant 'sunscreen' odor.  The main ingredient is safflower seed oil, so it's got some good hydrating properties without being heavy.  I think it's a bit overpriced for a sunscreen, but it's decent for a higher end moisturizer.  I think it needs to pick one direction and focus.  If it wants to be a sunscreen, it needs to be a better price point.  If it wants to be a moisturizer, it needs to "do" more for the skin than just hydrate with some sun protection.  (Never mind that I'm talking about the product like it's got a brain or something... but you get what I'm saying... right?)

Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub- Full Size $32.50/2 oz, Sample Size $16.25/1 oz  What a generous sample!  I've never heard of the brand before, but their generosity and the overall scent of the product has already started to win me over.  The product has a nice sweet lemony scent, like fresh baked lemon squares.  The texture is gritty, like a scrub should be, but it's not overly harsh.  I wish it came with the ingredients listed, but IPSY provides all that information in my Glam Room online so it's not too big of a deal.  It contains a nice blend of natural plant oils like sweet almond and sweet orange and jojoba, along with brightening benefits of lemon peel oil and exfoliants like volcanic ash and dead sea salt.  There's also a bit of kaolin clay, so it should be good at not only removing dead skin from blocking pores but helping to draw some of the impurities out at the same time.  I'm in the process of testing out a different exfoliating scrub on my face right now, so a more in depth review of this will have a to wait a bit.

Clear Pink Cosmetic Bag



This month's box:  Hit or Miss?  Big Hit for great products.  The total value of the bag was $32.99, although none of the products this month were full size on their own.  They were either full size pieces of a collection, or a generous sample size of the product.  I'm excited to use almost every single product in this month's box, so this is definitely a huge winner in my book despite not technically having any "full" size products included.


Is IPSY for you?  Don't forget to use one of my subscription links below to sign up to receive your own box every month!

Join IPSY for just $10 a month!


**Disclaimer:  This article contains referral links.  As with all my articles, the opinions expressed herein are fully my own.  For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

BeautyBox5 June and July Box Reviews

June 2013 Beauty Box 5 Subscription

Brazen Eyeshadow Sample in Omega

July 2013 Beauty Box 5 Subscription








June 2013 Beauty Box 5 Subscription Contents:  {This month's total full size retail value: $7.99}

Coolway Cool Cleanse Shampoo- Full Size 8.6 oz for $25, Sample Size 1 oz {approx value $2.90}
I haven't used this yet, but I plan on taking it with me on vacation next month.  The past few months of subscriptions to four different companies has fully stocked my travel bag, and I couldn't be happier!  This says it's a gentle and nourishing formula that strengthens and hydrates while reducing breakage and frizz.  Hopefully it won't strip the color from my hair like most shampoos do, but it's ok for a short trip.

Coolway Cool Hydrate Conditioner- Full Size 8.6 oz for $25, Sample Size 1 oz {approx value $2.90}
Again, I haven't used this yet, but it pretty much has the same properties as the shampoo.  The 1 oz size makes it nice for travel, and I should be able to get at least 2-3 uses out of these to see if they would be worth purchasing full size.  However, the $25 for only 8.6 oz makes me a bit skeptical.  If they are really awesome, I'll look for them at one of the beauty supply stores around that sell the salon sizes for $32+ for liter duos.

Just Being Sexy Body Bronzer- Full Size 6 fl oz for $49, Sample Size .54 oz {approx value $4.41} Two tiny little foil packets that only equal a half ounce combined?  I doubt I'll ever use them at all, and these are going into my "trade" stash for the online sample trading sites.  It seems too pricy for me, and I'm not a big body bronzer person to begin with.  I like my nice daily DHA moisturizers.  This could be an awesome product, but foil packets are a pain the you-know-what to use for body applications.  If it had come in a little squeeze tube, I might have tried it.

Brazen Cosmetics Eyeshadow- Full Size .18 oz included $7.99 value
I was a little shocked to find that this was the full size of the shadow.  It's so small, and frankly the packaging leaves a lot to be desired.  It's messy and looks cheap.  The color is more lilac than blue.  My camera just wasn't picking up colors correctly.  I'm not one for blue eyeshadows to begin with, and I prefer pressed to loose, but I'll at least try it out to see if the wear is worthwhile.  Still, my initial impression of the product itself has me doubtful I'd purchase this brand in the future.

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen- Full Size 3 oz for $9.99, Sample Size .5 oz {approx value $1.67}  Also included was a $1 off coupon for Aveeno sun care products.  I love Aveeno, and this is the perfect size for me to toss in my purse for days when I'm unexpectedly out in the sun more than I anticipated.  This one says it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, too!  It's only an SPF 30, so I'd use it on myself rather than my kids, but it's nice to have on hand just in case.


This month's box:  Hit or Miss?   Miss  Overall, I didn't find much personal value to these products.  The full size retail value was really low this month, and the $7.99 price tag for the full size shadow seems high for the quality.  If you add the approximate values together, you only get an extra $11.88, making the grand total value $19.97.  This is low for what I've come to expect from these types of boxes.

July 2013 Beauty Box 5 Subscription Contents: {This month's total full size retail value: $24.98}

Every Beauty Foot Smoother- Full Size $8.99 included I usually go to the spa to get my feet done, but this buffer block says that it can be used on knees and elbows as well, so I think I'll try this out after a long soak in the tub some night.  There are two sides to the block, one more coarse than the other, and it says that it can be washed and sanitized.  This actually looks kind of cool to me, and already with this one item the value of this month's box is higher than June's. Off to a good start!

Jean Pierre Cosmetics Nail Polish remover Wipes- Full Size 10 wipes for $3.99, Sample Size 2 wipes {approx value $.80}  I love keeping nail polish remover wipes in my kit for unexpected emergencies on wedding days or photoshoots, so these were a very welcome addition this month!  I'd love to get two of these every month!  It's amazing how handy remover wipes that are individually wrapped prove to be.

Be A Bombshell Lip Gloss in Kiss Off- Full Size .11 oz for $14.00 included  I love all of the Be A Bombshell products I've tried, and this gloss is no exception. It's a beautiful cool blue based pink, with very subtle silver shimmer that isn't chunky and glittery.  The only thing I'd change is that it doesn't have a "scent" to it, which I like on my lipglosses.  I was also excited to see that it's a full size.

LA Fresh Travel Lite Antibacterial Wipes- Full Size 8 wipes for $1.99 included  Being a mom, the convenience of a pack of anti-bac wipes I can toss in my purse is so nice!  The LA Fresh brand has been popping up in my subscription boxes for a few months now, and they seem to be all about convenience and individually packed products.

Airelle Age Defying Facial Serum- Full Size .85 fl oz for $158.00, Sample Size .25 fl oz {approx value $46.47}  Also included was a coupon for a Free Berrimatrix Eye and Lip Treatment with the purchase of any Airelle product before 8/31/13.  This was a huge sample!  I've never heard of this brand before, but I like what I see so far.  It uses natural ingredients with no parabens, sulfates, or fragrances.  The very first ingredient is aloe vera leaf juice rather than water, and it also contains hyaluronic acid (a humectant that hold 1000 times its weight in water to help hydrate and plump skin) plus Vitamins A, C, and E.  I'm almost all out of my current serum, so this came at the perfect time.

$10 Coupon Code for MyNameNecklace.com {Not pictured}


This month's box:  Hit or Miss?  Major Hit   The combined retail value alone makes this a great box this month, but I'm also excited that every single thing in it is something I will use!  The serum sample size is amazing, and it looks like such a great product I probably would have been happy with this alone.  Total combined full size and sample size value is a whopping $72.25!!!  July's box fully redeemed Beauty Box 5 after the disappointment of June's box.  I'm looking forward to seeing what I get for August!


Is Beauty Box 5 for you?  Don't forget to use one of my subscription links below to sign up to receive your own box every month!



**Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  As with all my articles, the opinions expressed herein are fully my own.  For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.
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