BOOK REVIEW | Stillhouse Lake

Reading crime/thriller novels is my guilty pleasure. When I’m in the mood to read but don’t really want to use my brain, I love diving into these novels, where the most I have to think about is whether the protagonist is going to survive or who is the killer. These are especially nice to read when I’m traveling, and, on my most recent trip, Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine was the book of choice.

(No spoilers ahead, because it’s that type of book 🙂 )

The premise really drew me in because it was pretty different. Rather than the usual protagonists in these novels, like a law enforcement agent or victim, Stillhouse Lake about the ex-wife of a serial killer, hiding away from those that felt like she deserved punishment for her ex-husband’s crimes.

The prologue is in third person point of view, but the rest of the novel is in the first person point of view of Gwen Proctor, or Gina Royal, as she was previously known. I generally do not like novels that are in first person, but the author worked well with it. Gwen was a well written character too, so the first person point of view wasn’t too irritating to read. Also, seeing how far she had come, from an easily manipulated, ignorant housewife, to a warrior mom fiercely determined to protect her children at all costs, I really became invested in her survival.

Overall, this was a very entertaining novel. The only criticism I have of it is the cliffhanger at the end (not really a spoiler, because there’s a sequel coming out). It felt pretty evident that Gwen’s ex-husband breaking out of prison was purely to introduce a whole second novel, and this story, at least to me, definitely is a lot better as a standalone story.

Regardless, if you’re looking for some mindless reading, I’d definitely recommend this book!

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The Beauty Blogger Tag

Today, I’m going to be doing a tag – my first on this blog! Thanks to Noreen at Beauty on a Budget for tagging me 🙂

For this tag, first, I’ll be answering 15 questions, primarily on the topic of beauty, from Noreen.

Favorite skincare product?

This varies for me, but right now my favorite is facial oil. I used to hate facial oils because every single one I had tried had been too greasy, but Julep’s Boost Your Radiance reparative rosehip seed facial oil has completely changed my mind, and now facial oil is my favorite step in my skincare routine.

How often do you clean your makeup brushes?

This is embarrassing. I know I should clean them more often, but it’s good if  I even clean them once a month. Then again, I probably only wear makeup once a week…

Your first makeup product you ever purchased?

Honestly, I don’t remember. It might be this cheap, wooden, glittery blue pencil liner from the Walgreens that was right off my college campus. Yeah, I was one of those people with a blue eye makeup phase.

Favorite makeup brand?

This is really difficult for me, since I’m still searching around for different brands and products that fit my current lazy girl philosophy for skincare and makeup. But for now, out of brands from which I’ve tried the makeup products before, I’d have to say…  Laura Mercier.

How much beauty sleep do you get on a regular basis?

A lot. On average, I probably sleep at least 8 hours a day. Every day.

What are your thoughts on makeup/beauty brands created by celebrities?

I’m neither biased against or for them – I would judge them based on their quality, but I also am not especially interested in going out of my way to try them.

How often do you wear nailpolish?

I wear nail polish for special occasions, and maybe a couple of times outside of that.

Describe your go-to makeup look.

For a look beyond my typical no-makeup makeup look, my go-to is a brown smokey eye, winged liner, dewy skin, and long, almost spidery lashes (no falsies – those are impossible for me to put on).

Matte or dewy skin?

Always dewy.

How much money do you spend on beauty in a month?

As much as I wish it were less, probably $50 if you average it out. This is primarily skincare, since I try to minimize the amount of makeup I buy.

How do you remove your makeup?

I soak a cotton pad with Garnier’s micellar water for eye makeup, and either Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser or oil cleanser for face makeup. Right now, I’m using Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil. If I run out of my micellar water, I’ll probably use the oil cleanser on a cotton pad for eye makeup as well.

Describe you hair type/style.

My hair is to my upper/mid-back, thick, and slightly wavy. It’s black for the most part, with gold and red highlights at the tips from when I had ombre hair in 2016.

Do you wear fake lashes?

Nope, unless someone will do them for me for special occasions. I tried twice by myself and traumatized myself so badly from how horribly I did it that I never want to put apply them myself again.

What product or brand do you think is hyped?

I assume this is a product I think is over-hyped? Honestly, I don’t like saying anything is over-hyped unless I’ve tried it myself enough to be able to have a good opinion on it, but I have been seeing Fenty Beauty everywhere. However, I do think the hype for this brand is well-deserved; Rihanna was very hands-on in the process and took two years to perfect everything, and the shade range for the foundation is very expansive compared to the beauty industry standard at 40 shades.

How often do you workout?

I hike once a week. I do enjoy exercising and I wish I could say I did more, but, as I think I’ve already made clear, I’m extremely lazy.

And now, for my questions! I’ll be asking 15 of my own, then nominating some bloggers to answer them.

  1. If you could only use one makeup product for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. What is your signature scent?
  3. What is your favorite My Lips But Better lippie?
  4. What about your favorite pop of color lippie?
  5. What got you into beauty/makeup?
  6. What is your favorite thing about beauty/makeup?
  7. Are you more of a minimalist, maximalist, or somewhere in between for your skincare routine?
  8. What is your favorite place to shop for beauty products?
  9. Are there any skincare or makeup products that you find unnecessary?
  10. What is your favorite eye makeup look on yourself?
  11. Glossy or matte lip?
  12. What’s the most recent book you’ve read?
  13. What is your favorite fashion item?
  14. Are you an early bird or night owl?
  15. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?

I nominate:

  1. Tigritsa Beauty
  2. smudges
  3. Lê Wendy
  4. The Champagne Diaries
  5. kindapuffy

If I nominated you, please don’t feel obligated to do the tag! Though I’d really like to see your answers 🙂 And if I didn’t tag you, please feel free to answer my questions and share your answers with me! I’d love to engage with more of you and I’m curious about everyone’s thoughts on my questions!

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REVIEW | MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

I hadn’t been expecting anything else from Influenster this year, especially after that generous Posh VoxBox I received a few months earlier. So, needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered I would have the opportunity to try this foundation.

From my understanding, this foundation isn’t new, but it’s been recently re-released with a new formulation. I’ve never tried any MUFE foundation before, so my thoughts on this won’t include any comparisons with previous iterations of the product.

This foundation can be purchased at $43 for 1.01 oz of product, and before I go into anything else about this product, I have to say that the shade selection is amazing – 40 shades! Of course, this should be the standard for any beauty company, but as one of the few companies that currently offers such a wide range of shades, MUFE gets two thumbs up from me. The shade I chose was Y345 (Natural Beige), which was basically my exact skin tone.

The packaging is also great – it’s a sturdy plastic, which may not feel as expensive as glass, but makes it easier to travel with. There’s also a pump which is very sanitary and allows for easy control of product dispensing.

I’m not much of a foundation wearer, but when I do wear foundations, I like ones that are light coverage and buildable if I want medium coverage. This one is great in that aspect, and it’s so lightweight – it’s as if I’m not wearing any face makeup at all. It blends like a dream, so you don’t get any streakiness either.

The wear time is pretty good as well – it does start breaking apart in my oily problem areas, such as my nose, but otherwise it doesn’t budge over the course of a typical work day.

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After 9 hours of wear time, no blotting or touch ups!

Overall, it’s a wonderful foundation, but since I’m not much of a foundation wearer, I won’t get much use out of it. That being said, my brother is a similar shade to me and wears foundation much more often, so I’ll be passing it on to him.

Have you tried this foundation before? What did you think of it?

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AT A GLANCE | Boots Botanics

I had never heard of this brand until a couple months ago. I had headed into Target to purchase a No.7 foundation (stay tuned for a review!), since I had received a coupon with a different purchase. I was pulled in by the cute, minimal packaging of Botanics, which sat right next to the No.7 display at my local Target. I checked Cartwheel, and there just happened to be a 20% discount on everything Botanics, so I decided to pick up a couple of things to try. Needless to say, I was very impressed with what I had tried, and eventually decided to pick up a bunch of other stuff, so, of course, I had to do another “At a Glance” post.

First, a bit about this skincare brand – it’s originally called Boots Botanics, and, like the No.7 brand, originates from Boots, the UK pharmacy store. In the states, it’s branded as Botanics, and can be found at Target, Ulta, Walgreens, and Amazon. The brand is organic and has different lines, each targeting a specific skin concern.

I purchased items from two different lines: the All Bright line with hibiscus, for radiance, and the line for all skin types, which comes in green packaging. As with the previous “At a Glance” post, I’ve tried some products, but not all of them. I’ll update you with my opinions after I’ve tried the products or if I change my mind about anything.

  1. All Bright Foaming Face Wash (5 oz, $5.99): I like foaming face washes, and this one was very affordable. Needless to say, I picked it up to try.
  2. Organic Toning Spritz (5 oz, $9.99): Before I even tried it, I knew I would like it as long as the spritz was a nice one. And I wasn’t disappointed – the spray was even and fine, and the formula of the toner itself was nice. Two key ingredients in this toner are rosewater and glycerin, which are great for hydration and glow. I’ve used it only as a toner, but I imagine it’d be great as a makeup finishing spray to get rid of the powdery look.
  3. Organic Facial Oil (0.84 fl oz, $14.99): This is great. Rosehip oil is a primary ingredient in this, and it moisturizes the face without being too greasy like some other oils. While I do still like the Julep Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil (0.85 fl oz, $$36), this is much more affordable at less than half the price of the Julep oil.
  4. All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum (1 fl oz, $11.99): All three of the reviews available for this on the Target site were positive, and the product claims to improve skin texture and tone, so I was curious how well it would work. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
  5. Organic Super Balm (0.37 oz, $14.99): I love multi-purpose balms,, so I decided to give this a try after my Glossier Balm Dotcom (0.5 fl oz, $12) runs out.
  6. All Bright Facial Wipes (25 pk, $4.99): These do a decent job of taking off makeup, but I still prefer my two favorite wipes, the Burt’s Bees or Simple Skincare ones.

Have any of you tried products from Botanics before? Let me know in the comments below!

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BOOK REVIEW | Sphinx

I first heard about Sphinx, by Anne Garréta, a while back when Jenn Im on Youtube talked about it in her favorites. The premise intrigued me – it was a romance between the narrator and their lover, A***, and the author didn’t use gender markers for either character throughout the book. I was curious how the author accomplished this linguistic feat, so I purchased almost immediately. However, my reading had been slow in the last few months, so it wasn’t until just last week that I finished this book.

(This review will not include spoilers.)

From the first pages of the book, I already felt that it was extremely well written and translated. The narrator’s attitude was also established very early in the book; you can tell from early pages that they are in a state of ennui, aimlessly wandering and seemingly without purpose.

However, as I read on, I felt myself being unimpressed with how the author kept the gender of the protagonists unknown. In the English translation, this linguistic challenge was fixed by using more names than pronouns: often times, you’ll see “A***” multiple times on one page because there wasn’t really any other way around gendered pronouns before singular they became more acceptable in modern English.

As such, I increasingly began to think of this novel as any other beautifully written yet lackluster romance. By halfway through the novel, all I wanted to do was rush through it so I could move onto the next book. When I finally finished, I even felt relieved, since, typically, I don’t like reading romances at all. Before closing the book, I saw the translator’s note at the very end and decided to give it a quick scan. I’m glad I did, because the translator’s note completely changed how I looked at the book.

Emma Ramadan, the translator, does a deep dive into the specifics of the French language that make this book so revolutionary. French is a very gendered language, and the linguistic decisions that Garréta made affected the very characters of the book. For example, she used more passive voice to avoid revealing gender, which in turn helped shape the narrator into an aimless wanderer with no purpose. Essentially, the linguistic restraints that she put on her own writing directly affected the characters, their relationship, and the story as a whole.

I would definitely recommend this book – it’s a short read at only 120 pages, and you get to experience the product of a massive linguistic accomplishment. If you understand French, I would recommend that you get that instead of the English, so that you can experience this book in its full glory.

Have you read this book before? Do you know any other books that accomplish some linguistic feat? Let me know in the comments!

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FAVORITES | August 2017

In the blink of an eye, it’s already September, and we’re heading into Labor Day weekend and the end of summer. With that in mind, I thought it’d be nice to start a favorites series before summer comes to a complete end.

These posts will primarily be on beauty favorites, but if I have any fashion or other lifestyle favorites, I will include those as well. For this month, I have a fashion love that isn’t included in the post image – continue reading to see what it is! 🙂

  1. LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25): My friend recommended this to me, and I am so glad I picked it up. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing, and very easy to use. I usually put this on in place of my nighttime moisturizer, and when I do, I wake up the next morning with soft, dewy skin. It’s also pretty good value for the price – you get a hefty jar of it, and the packaging neither looks nor feels cheap. There’s also a spatula that you can use to scoop out the product.
  2. Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Face Palette Pretty Cheeky (0.38 oz, $19.99 – currently $16.98): As soon as I saw KathleenLights recommend this on Youtube, I went ahead and purchased it. Despite being a drugstore product, the quality of the packaging is good, and the design on the compact is very cute. The formulas for the bronzer, blush, and highlighter are all amazing – if you swatch any of them with your finger, you’ll find that they’re almost creamy in texture. They’re also super pigmented, so make sure you go in with a light hand, especially if you’re more fair-skinned, since these colors are definitely more targeted for medium skin tones. There is quite a bit of fall out when you dip your brush in, but that’s not too much of an issue for me because they apply so nicely to my face.
  3. Kevin Aucoin The Eyelash Curler ($21): My previous eyelash curler from Trish McEvoy was great, but it was old and no longer curling my lashes. I decided I wanted to try a new one, and this one had decent reviews on Sephora. It definitely didn’t disappoint – it curls my lashes nicely and fits the shape of my eye well.
  4. Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum ($58 for 1.7 fl oz, or $77 for 2.5 fl oz): I have a whole review of this here. I love how this makes my skin feel and plan to purchase a full-size version when I have used up more of my current skincare inventory.
  5. Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser (6 fl oz, $18): I’ve had this for a while and had been using it solely as a makeup remover. It did the job, but I never particularly enjoyed using it. Recently, I decided to try using it as a face wash instead, and I love using it as a face wash so much more than I ever did using it as a makeup remover. I use it as a morning cleanser now, and it leaves my skin clean and refreshed without stripping it of moisture. Unfortunately, I’m almost near the end of my bottle, so I won’t be getting back to it for a while.
  6. Glossier Priming Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, $22): I bought this a while ago when Glossier was first getting big, and I have to say I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary as a primer, which was how I used it. In hindsight, it’s probably because my skin is normal/combination/oily, so additional moisture isn’t really what I need in a primer. In a recent effort to finish products before they expire, I started using this as a moisturizer in the morning, and it’s amazing. It gives just the right amount of moisture and dewiness to my face. With the rediscovery and newfound love for this and the Milk Jelly Cleanser, I’m excited to get my hands on more Glossier products.
  7. The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel (25.3 fl oz, $20): I love The Body Shop’s shower gels, and they’re pretty affordable since there are sales so often. I got this particular one when Amazon had a deal on these for around $11, but The Body Shop often has “buy x amount, get x amount free” deals where you can get them for even less. I had to give a shout out to the Pink Grapefruit in this post because this scent is stronger than any of the other scents I’ve used, so every time I shower, my whole bathroom smells nice and fresh.
  8. The Gemma Mule in Leather in English Saddle ($98): I love these. I purchased them last month as a birthday present to myself when Madewell offered me $25 off my purchase. I hate wearing socks, so I’ve been trying to find a good pair of work shoes that don’t require socks. These are extremely comfortable, and I can walk a long time in them. The leather started off a bit stiffer and rubbed at certain parts of my foot the wrong way, but as I wear them more that’s become less of an issue.

What were your favorites this past month? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Cruisin’ the Mediterranean | Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, & Genoa

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be skipping the first stop at Barcelona, since not much happened there. This post will include the both the first stop at Marseille and second stop at Genoa. Apologies in advance – these two stops had less going on, but I tried to explain what I did to the best of my ability. I also included all the pictures I took, and hopefully this gives an idea of what my experiences at these destinations were like. If you’re curious about anything, please don’t hesitate to ask, and I’ll answer as best as I can! 🙂

Marseille, France

Bright and early in the morning, we arrive at the port of Marseille. We had a local tour guide waiting for us when we got off the ship. She led us to the van that would be taking us around for the day, and from there we headed straight for our first (and sadly, our only) destination in Marseille, the Notre-Dame de la Garde.

The Notre-Dame de la Garde, meaning  “Our Lady of the Guard”, is a Catholic basilica built on the foundations of an ancient fort at the highest natural point of Marseille. It’s a beautiful basilica, and the location atop the highest point allows visitors to experience a view of all of Marseille as well.

We stayed here for a while, and then that’s all we saw of Marseille. Next, we took off for Aix-en-Provence, which was a couple hours’ drive away. Upon arriving, we went straight to eat lunch downtown.

We were served three courses – an appetizer of foie gras, an entree, and a dessert. I have to say, foie gras is definitely not my thing, especially when it’s served cold and bland as it was here. I tried a bite because I felt like it was the thing to do in France, decided I hated it, but powered through and ended up eating half of it anyways out of politeness. Needless to say, I was excited when the entrees finally came. Roast leg of lamb is a famous dish there, and that’s what most people ordered. I don’t eat lamb though, so I got a salmon entree instead, which came with a yummy leek fondue. The dessert I chose was a flan, which was delicious as well.

Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of the food, nor did I get any more pictures for the rest of the day. We only had around an hour after lunch to wander around before we had to get back on the bus and head back towards Marseille to board the ship.

Genoa, Italy

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I woke up to this

The next day, Christmas Day, was spent in Genoa, Italy. I’ll be honest – not much happened during this excursion either. It was Christmas day, so everything was closed, and everyone was probably home, spending time with their families. Despite that, we still had a tour guide who brought us around the city for a bit and explained some of the history.

My favorite part about Genoa was definitely the facades of the buildings in the historical district. They all looked like they were painted on, and according to the tour guide, they have maintained all of the painted facades since whenever they were created.

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The Genoa Cathedral was another wonderful site, and honestly, it was nice to be able to enjoy the landmarks without dealing with a large crowd of people/tourists.

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Isn’t it beautiful?!

The Piazza De Ferrari was another site to be seen, and there seemed to be an other-worldliness to the site.

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After the sightseeing, we were led to an underground room for a wine tasting. As weird as it sounds, it was awesome, since they offered some yummy bread and free wine! The wine was pretty good too, as you can tell from my sister’s face here.

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With some wine and bread in our tummies, the tour was over. Since not much was open anyways, my family decided to take a leisurely walk back to our ship. Honestly, it wasn’t the most scenic route, but the station where we boarded the ship was quite pretty.

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And that was all of what I did in Genoa – we were back on the ship by lunch time…

Because I had such short stays at these two destinations (Marseille/Aix-en_Provence and Genoa) with little to do, I definitely want to visit again. If you’ve gone to any of these places before, what did you think? Do you have any recommendations for things to do? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for the next post on Rome!

More posts in this series

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REVIEW | Urban Decay Brow Tamer

I bought the Urban Decay Brow Tamer (0.15 oz, $20) a while ago after I heard a Youtuber talk about it (I forget who), but I only busted it out recently because I had finally let go of my long expired Benefit Gimme Brow (0.1 oz, $24). I’ve used the Brow Tamer enough times now that I feel like I can give a fair review of it.

Upon first application of this, I already knew that I would not like it. Despite this, I still gave it a few more attempts to see if my mind would change – it did not.

First of all, the applicator brush is way too long. I have pretty thick brows, and I still had issues with product getting where I didn’t want it to be. On top of that, the formula of the brow gel itself is very wet, which makes application even more difficult. The wet formula also makes me feel like the gel doesn’t do much to hold up my brow hairs.

The one thing I do appreciate about this product is that it does make my brows look a bit darker, so I’ll continue to use this. However, I really don’t recommend spending money on this product – you’re better off buying the Gimme Brow for around the same price, and it does so much more for your brows.

After this one, I’m excited to try Glossier’s Boy Brow (0.11 oz, $16). Do you guys have any suggestions for other brow gels I should try?

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HAUL | Sephora Birthday Gift + Minis

As I’m sure most of you know, Sephora offers a free birthday gift every year to its Beauty Insiders. It’s a pretty generous gift, given that you don’t have to redeem it with a purchase, and it’s usually a couple of deluxe sample sizes in a little birthday gift set. This year, there is the choice of a Caudalie skincare set, a Tarte makeup set, or a Jack Black moisturizing and cleansing duo.

When I was redeeming my birthday gift, I realized that I hadn’t redeemed any of my points in a good while. Then, I got sucked in by the face masks, and ended up picking up some of those as well. Consequently, I ended up with a little haul… and well, I guess at least I can share with you all what I got!

  1. Caudalie Moisturizer and Serum Set (0.33 oz each): I am currently using the Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (1 oz, $49) and loving it, so I figured this birthday gift would be a good opportunity to try other products in the line. The set includes the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (1.3 oz, $39) and the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (1 oz, $79).
  2. SEPHORA Collection Sleeping Masks ($4 each): I got three of these, in green tea, pomegranate, and rose. I love these because they’re such easy masks to use – usually, I put this on as the last step of my nighttime skincare routine, in place of my usual moisturizer. A little goes a long way, so you can use each packet a handful of times before it’s gone. They’re good for travel too, since they take up so little space. Honestly though, from the times I’ve used these masks, I haven’t seen much difference between the different masks. Regardless, I would recommend them because they’re affordable, and every time I use one, I wake up with moisturized, dewy skin.
  3. Tatcha’s The Water Cream (0.17 oz, 100 points): I’ve been wanting to try this since my friend recommended it to me, and when I saw this available in the Rewards Boutique, I added it to my cart without a second thought. Also, considering how the full-size of this product (1.7 oz) is a hefty $68, redeeming this reward was such a steal.
  4. SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil (0.17 oz, 100 points): Another steal, considering the largest size of this product (1.18 oz) is $80. I’ve never tried any Sunday Riley products, and this product is supposed to help smooth skin.
  5. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua XL Color Paint Shadow in Iridescent Warm Beige: (0.05 oz, 100 points): I’ve been hearing quite a few beauty vloggers rave about this, so I got curious. The full size (0.16 oz) retails at $25.

I’m going to be traveling for ten days next month, so I’ll be trying all of these little minis then. I’ll make sure to update you guys on my thoughts after I try them!

If you’ve already had your birthday this year, which gift did you get, and did you like it? If you haven’t, which gift do you want? Let me know in the comments!

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AT A GLANCE | The Ordinary

The Ordinary has been all over the internet, but for those of you who don’t know, it’s an affordable, cruelty-free skincare line under the Canadian company Deciem, which is “an umbrella of brands focused on advanced functional beauty”.

My brother had been pushing me to try The Ordinary products for a while, but I never really kept his recommendation in mind. Then, a couple months ago I went to visit him for his graduation, I got to see and hear about the products in person. They finally caught my attention, and when I came back from my trip, I took the plunge and bought quite a handful of their products to try.

Despite the minimal, expensive looking packaging, the brand is very affordable – I got everything pictured here for around $60 total, with no products exceeding $15. And not only does the packaging look expensive, it actually feels expensive too – if the products work as they claim to, then I will be a convert for life.

I haven’t tried most of these yet, but I wanted to share with you what I got and my thoughts on the products I’ve tried already. In a few months, I’ll come back with an updated post to share my thoughts on everything else.

The Ordinary’s website is very informative, so I highly recommend doing some research on the site before you make any purchase, since the product names don’t really tell you much about what they do. In the states, The Ordinary can be purchased at its own website (free shipping with $25+ order), Beautylish (free shipping with $30+ order), or ASOS (free shipping with $40+) order. I wouldn’t recommend ordering from ASOS, however, since there’s a bit of a markup on the site. Prices that I have listed below are from The Ordinary site.

  1. High-Spreadability Fluid Primer (30 ml, $7.90): I’m almost running out of primer, so I figured it was a great opportunity for me to stock up and try something new. My brother recommended the other primer they have, the mattifying High-Adherence Silicone Primer (30 ml, $4.90), but since my skin isn’t as oily as it was before, I decided to go with this one instead, which is supposed to help even out makeup application and give your face a natural, dewy finish.
  2. Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG (30 ml, $6.70): This one is an eye serum that claims to help reduce puffiness and dark circles in the eye contour. I’ve been using this on and off for two months now, and I do think that it has helped with depuffing my eyes. It hasn’t done much for my dark circles yet, but I’m not too surprised because I have yet to find anything for my intense dark circles.
  3. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (240 ml, $8.70): I bought this one to try because I just finished using up my Pixi Glow Tonic (3.4 fl oz/100 ml, $15), which contains 5% glycolic acid.
  4. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% (30 ml, $9.60): The Ordinary has plenty of Vitamin C products, and I wanted to compare theirs with other brands’ Vitamin C products. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a stable derivative of Vitamin C, seemed like a good choice to me due to its lower potency and skin brightening benefits.
  5. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (30 ml, $5.90): My brother recommended this one to me. It’s a vitamin (Niacinamide is Vitamin B3) and mineral (Zinc) serum that is supposed to reduce the appearance of blemishes and congestion on the skin. I have yet to try this, but it’s one of my brother’s favorites.
  6. “Buffet” (30 ml, $14.80): Another recommendation from my brother – this one is a multi-technology peptide serum that is supposed to target multiple signs of aging at once.
  7. Serum Foundation in 2.1 Y (30 ml, $6.70): Since all of the skincare products looked so promising, I wondered what their foundation would be like, especially at such an affordable price point. I’ve used this a few times already, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. It is indeed very serum like as the name suggests and very lightweight on the skin, but for medium coverage, it is extremely pigmented. The high saturation, low viscosity formulation really throws me off. I’ll have to try it more before giving a final verdict.

Have you tried anything from The Ordinary? What were your thoughts on what you tried?

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