FAVORITES | August 2018

I had been planning to post a favorites in July, but when I couldn’t really muster up enough loved items to warrant a post. It’s the start of September now, and I think I’ve gathered enough items to share with you what I’ve been loving for these last two months.

Ilia Illuminator in Polka Dots & Moonbeams (0.18 oz, $34): This gives the most subtle glow-from-within look. It blends very easily and smoothly, even moreso than my well-loved W3ll People Bio Brightener Stick (0.21 oz, $23.99).

The Leo Oil (1 oz, $46): I’ve written a review already on this, so all I’ll say here is that this is worth every penny.

Alterna CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction (5.1 oz, $41): My best friend got this for me for my birthday this year. She claimed it was hair crack, and I couldn’t understand why, until I used this for myself. It’s amazing. When I put it in my damp hair and let my hair air dry, my hair dries so smoothly that it’s almost like I got a blowout. It’s magic. I tried using this recently before blow-drying my hair, and it’s great that way as well – my hair stays smooth, soft, and far from frizzy until my next hair wash. My only concern with this product is that Alterna is a grey-area brand on the cruelty-free sites I could find it on.

Glossier Cloud Paints (0.33 fl oz, 2 for $30 or 1 for $18) in Storm and Beam: I’ve already written a review on this, but basically, these are some of the best blushes I’ve ever used.

Glossier Stretch Concealer (0.17 oz, $18): There’s also a review on this already, but tl:dr, I love this concealer’s creamy consistency that makes it great for both blemishes and under the eye.

Mount Lai Mini Jade Roller ($20): I definitely fell into the hype of these facial rollers, but I’ve known for a long time that these are really effective for de-puffing the face, and jade has cooling properties as well. My face doesn’t puff up that much in the mornings, but I definitely enjoy using this after applying my skincare because of how cooling the jade feels on my skin. The facial massages I give myself with this roller also helps relieve any tension I have in my face after a long day.

Anthropologie Palm Leaf Dish ($20): My friends got me this for me as part of my birthday present this year. It’s been a great prop in my pictures, and I love that it’s both extremely cute and functional.

Madewell Oversized Hoops ($24): I’ve been eyeing these for a while and finally picked them up in August when I got a $25 off birthday coupon. I’ve already lost count of how many times I’ve worn them, since they go with almost every outfit.

Madewell Bandana ($12.50) in Strawberry Multi: I’ve gotten obsessed with bandanas in the last couple of months and amassed a little collection, but this strawberry one is by far my favorite. I managed to snag it on sale for less than $5, but unfortunately it’s sold out now 😦 I highly recommend Madewell’s bandanas, because all of their bandana prints are extremely cute. They’re also pretty reasonably priced, especially if you can find one on sale (and there almost always is one on sale).

What have you been loving during these last couple of summer months?

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REVIEW | Glossier Skin Tint, Stretch Concealer, & Cloud Paint

After purchasing and loving Glossier’s Generation G lipstick (review here), I had been dying to try more of Glossier’s makeup. However, for the longest time, I really wasn’t in need of new makeup, so I refrained from buying new stuff.

Recently, I finally was at a point where I could add new products to my collection, so as part of a massive haul, I purchased the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (1 oz, $26) and the Cloud Paints (0.33 fl oz, 2 for $30 or 1 for $18). I also opened the Stretch Concealer (0.17 oz, $18) that I purchased a while back to use for the first time with the Skin Tint and Cloud Paints.

The Perfecting Skin Tint

The Perfecting Skin Tint comes in five possible shades: Light, Medium, Dark, Deep, and Rich. Before I go into anything else about this product, I have to point out that the shade names are very misleading. I purchased the medium because I am a very true medium skin-tone, but it ended up being way too fair for me, to the point that I looked ghostly.

Also, since there are only 5 shades, I would think it’s likely that some people would have difficulty finding a shade match – it’s even likely that the shade Dark is too dark for me, and I would have to mix Medium and Dark together to get my ideal shade. I know this is a skin tint, which means the coverage is minimal, but there is enough coverage that you can tell if the shade of the tint doesn’t match your skin tone.

My issues with the shade names and shade selection aside, I really enjoyed this product. Generally, my skin behaves well, so I don’t really need much coverage. This product gives me just enough to even out my skin tone. If I have any blemishes, I’ll go in with a concealer for more coverage (Glossier Stretch Concealer is great for this).

This skin tint is definitely on the dewy side for a face product, but that’s what I like. If you don’t like dewy complexion products, you may not enjoy this, though going over the product with a setting powder does minimize the dewiness a bit.

Surprisingly, this product is also very long-wearing – on more than one occasion, I’d put it on in the morning, and it’d still be on my face after 12 hours of wear. I also didn’t wear this on really hot days, so it may be different in that case. I’ll be bringing this with me to the hot and humid Taiwan later this year, so maybe I can give an update on wear time after my trip.

Overall, great product! It does what I want it to do and is pretty affordable for a non-drugstore product. I definitely plan on re-purchasing in the future if I don’t find something I like more, though next time, I’m purchasing the shade Dark. In the meantime, I plan on mixing in the Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Serum and hope that will help deepen the shade a bit.

The Stretch Concealer

The Stretch Concealer comes in the same five shades as the Perfecting Skin Tint, though the shade Medium in the concealer worked for me so much better than Medium for the skin tint.

love this concealer. Colourpop’s No Filter Matte Concealer in Medium 28 had been my favorite for a while, but then it stopped working for me because it would dry out my undereye when I used it. The Stretch Concealer is creamy and not too thick, which is perfect for blending out. I use it to cover my dark circles and any blemishes on my face, and the Medium shade is perfect for both of these functions.

Would I repurchase this? YES, though a repurchase would be far into the future, since I don’t use up concealer all that quickly. Like most Glossier products, the price of this one is pretty reasonable – it may seem expensive for very little product, but since this is a cream concealer, a little goes a very long way, and I can foresee myself using this for a good while.

The Cloud Paints

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the products in this post, but the Cloud Paints were by far my favorite. It may be because blush is just more fun than complexion products. I purchased Storm, a warm rose, one of the newer shades, and Beam, a soft peach.

The shade descriptions are pretty accurate, and these blushes are pigmented. Generally, I’m not a fan of blushes that are too pigmented, but since these are a gel-cream formula, it’s much easier to control how much I’m applying to my face.

The Cloud Paints may very well be my favorite blushes ever. I don’t think I’ve seen another blush formulation quite like the Cloud Paint one – it’s neither a gel nor a cream, and it’s extremely pigmented in the best way. I’ve tried Storm and Beam each on their own, and also mixed together, and the colors are beautiful, no matter how I wear them. The longevity is pretty amazing – immediately I compare it to the Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel that I reviewed recently, which had a similar formula but no pigmentation whatsoever and no longevity either.

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These blushes are great for travel in that they’re very small, though since they would be considered liquids, they probably wouldn’t be my first choice either. Though, I love these so much that I may just deal with the fact that I have to pack more liquids to have these with me.

Overall, I continued to be impressed with Glossier’s makeup, and the brand’s makeup is definitely more of a winner than its skincare to me. I look forward to trying more Glossier makeup in the future 🙂

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HAUL | Summer 2018, Beauty

So… I went a little apeshit shopping the last couple of months, and now that all of the stuff has arrived and my shopping urge has calmed down, I figured it was time to share what I got.

Since I really went a little crazy with my shopping, I dreaded posted this up for the longest time, just because listing everything seemed so daunting. I’ve since tried a few of these products though, so I’ll be able to share my thoughts on some of them.

I’ll be splitting this haul into two parts – part one will be the beauty portion, and part two will be fashion.

Glossier

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This haul was motivated by my upcoming business trip. I will be interacting with clients, so I wanted to get a complexion product that did more than a tinted moisturizer, but wasn’t a full coverage foundation like my Hourglass stick foundation. I won’t say much about these products, because I’ll be writing reviews on all of them after I’ve used them a few times.

Skin Tint in Medium (1 oz, $26)

Cloud Paint Duo in Beam and Storm (0.33 oz, $18 each or 2 for $30)

Lash Slick (0.29 oz, $16)

 

Colourpop

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I’ve been really inspired to step outside of my comfort zone recently with eye makeup looks, so when I got a 20% off discount code for Colourpop last month, I figured it’d be a good opportunity to pick up a bunch of goodies to try out.

  • Super Shock Shadows (0.074 oz, $5): Super Shock shadows are some of my favorite eyeshadows, but I had always stayed with the more typical neutral shades. This time, I only purchased colors out of my usual.
  • Pressed Power Shadows (0.053 oz, $5 with compact, $4 without):
    • Glass Bull (duochrome lavender icy-blue)
    • Backstage (matte cobalt)
    • I also got the On the Daily Palette (4 x 0.053 oz, $12), which includes the four shades You Know the Drill (metallic light bronze), B-Side (matte warm nude), Optional (matte mid-tone brown), and Paper Crane (true vibrant bronze). I’m planning on passing on my Tartelette in Bloom palette because I only use maybe three or four shades from that twelve-shade palette, and someone else will probably get more use out of it. This mini palette will be great for travel and means I’ll actually be getting use out of every shade.
  • Supernova Shadow in Lucky Penny (0.17 oz, $6): I’ve only used this twice, but I love it. I’ve been wanting a liquid eyeshadow for a while, and I’m glad this is the first one I decided to try. The site describes Lucky Penny as a silver with a teal flip, but I would say that it’s more of a silvery white sheen with a baby blue.

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e.l.f. products are already ridiculously cheap, so when there was a sale on the site, I couldn’t resist picking up a whole bunch of items.

Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow ($1.60, originally $4) in Rose Gold: I’ve only used this twice, but I’ve really enjoyed it. On my skintone, there’s not much pigment to this shadow, but it leaves a beautiful rose-gold sheen on my lids.

Beautifully Bare Highlighting Stick ($4) in Fresh Morning Dew: I just tried this for the first time today, and I LOVE IT. This shade is described as a “clear, shimmer-free balm” that gives a dewy glow, and I think that that is exactly what this is. It’s great for super light makeup days, but I also want to try layering this over cream or powder highlights. I also want to give the other shades a try, because the formula is quite nice as well.

Best Friend Eyeshadow Duo ($1.20, originally $3) in Soul Mate and Peach Squad: I haven’t used either of these yet, but I thought they would be nice to have on hand for simple looks. I’m thinking of taking one or both of these with me when I go on a business trip to the UK in a little over a week. Soul Mate includes a shimmery silver and a matte navy/purple, and Peach Squad includes a shimmery gold and matte peachy nude.

No Budge Shadow Stick ($1.60, originally $4) in Blue Steel: I already have one of these in Perfect Pearl, and I like it a lot for highlighting the inner corners of my eyes. I’ve recently been inspired to do more cool-toned eye looks, so I thought I could pick up this blue/grey color.

Tinted Shape & Stay Wax Pencil ($1.20, originally $3) in Dark Brown: I’ve found that I don’t care too much about using the typical brow pencil on my brows, so I thought I’d give this one a try.

Mineral Infused Mascara ($3): I haven’t found a drugstore mascara I love yet, so I figured I’d give this a try, especially since it’s at such an affordable price point.

Lip Balm Tint ($0.80, originally $2) in Berry: I’m a sucker for lip tints, tinted lip balms, in the like, and this was only 80 cents when I purchased it.

Gotta Glow Lip Tint ($6) in Perfect Berry: I redeemed 150 of my points for this. It got decent reviews, and once again, I’m a sucker for lip tints.

Beautifully Precise Blending Eye Brush ($2, originally $5): I’ve heard good things about this line of brushes from e.l.f., and I always feel like I could do with more eye brushes.

Cream Blush Palette ($2.40, originally $6) in Soft: I love cream blushes, and I’ve heard Amy Serrano on Youtube talk favorably about this palette, so I grabbed it while it was at such a steep discount. This will be a good one to bring around while I’m traveling, since it’s pretty compact and is pretty versatile with its four different shades.

Matte Lip Color ($3) in Natural and Wine: I haven’t worn either of these yet, but I thought they could be dupes for the NARS or Laura Mercier lip crayons. I actually purchased two of the Natural one by accident and got another in the gift with purchase, so I’ll be donating one and giving the other to my sister.

Contour Palette in Dark/Deep ($6): I got this as part of the gift with purchase for spending $25. I have no need for a powdered bronzing/contour palette, so I will be passing this on to someone else.

Bronzing Brush ($2): This was also part of the gift with purchase.

CVS

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Beauty 360 Premium Cotton Rounds (80 ct, $3.79): I think I got these when there was a 2 for $7 deal. I like these, and I think they’re comparable to the Glossier ones, which are slightly pricier at 60 ct for $4. Overall though, I think I still like using the Daiso ones the best, because they’re the most affordable.

Beauty 360 All In One Micellar Cleansing Water (13.5 fl oz, $6.99): I also got this when there was a deal, though I forget the exact discount. Regardless, at $6.99 it’s cheaper than the Garnier one, which is priced at $9.59 for the same size. Also, Beauty 360, which is CVS’s own brand, is cruelty-free. I’ll report back on whether this is good.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Serum (1.05 oz, $14.99): Glycolic acid works great with my skin, so I wanted to give this a try.

Lumene Arctic Lumenessence Valo Light Glow Boost Essence (1 oz, $25.99): I’ve seen a Youtuber or two talk about this brand, so I wanted to check them out. I’ve been wanting to compare different vitamin C products as well, hence the decision to get this product.

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Deep Bronzer ($16.29): I bought this because everyone and their mom raves about it, and thought my collection was finally at a place where I could get a new bronzer to use.

Also, CVS shopping tip: There are always discounts/coupons/sales at CVS. Unless it’s an emergency product, you can always wait for some type of discount. Although I listed the original prices for these products, I didn’t buy any of them at the original price.

Marshall’s

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You can always score at Marshall’s. I always make it a point to stop by the beauty section if I’m going to Marshall’s. I scored some Alba Botanica and Acure products this time around, which I’ve seen at multiple stores, including Whole Foods and Target.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Warming Clay Cleaner (6 fl oz, $6.99, originally $9.49)

Acure Organics The Essentials Marula Oil (1 oz, 6.99, originally $15.99): I’ve been eyeing this for a while because I’ve been looking for an affordable marula oil that’s not from The Ordinary, and when I saw it at Marshall’s for such a discount I grabbed it without a second thought.

Acure Organics Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub (4 fl oz, $5.99, originally $9.99)

Urban Outfitters

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Urban Outfitters had 20% off your whole purchase a while back, which was the only reason I placed this order.

Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil (3.4 fl oz, $90): I got interested in this oil after seeing Amy Serrano review it on Youtube. I was never going to pay full price for this hair oil, so I took advantage of the 20% off to purchase it. I have yet to use it since I still have another hair oil that I want to use up first, but you’ll definitely see a dedicated review on this. A $90 hair oil definitely deserves its own review…

Pixi Glow Mist (2.7 fl oz, $15): I’ve been wanting to try this since I’ve heard it’s a dupe for the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (1.35 oz, $48), which I love but is a ridiculously pricey for what it is. I will report back after I’ve tried this.

Frank Body Cherry Bomb Lip + Cheek Tint ($0.51 oz, 12): I’ve wanted to try Frank Body for a while, and the sale was a good opportunity for me to order something to try.

The Detox Market + The Nature of Beauty

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As I am transitioning to cruelty-free beauty, I’ve gotten curious about certain brands that I never really thought to try before. I didn’t want to commit to any full-size purchases either since I still had some to use up first. I then stumbled upon sample programs at The Detox Market and The Nature of Beauty and thus decided to pick up samples from both stores.

The Detox Market allows you to pick samples from pretty much the whole website. Rather than have a list of select samples, it offers sample sizes of most, if not all, of its products throughout the site. You can pick four samples for $7.99 plus shipping, and I picked:

  1. Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Joyful ($56): I’ve tried this once already, and I quite enjoyed it. It had pretty good staying power, but I’ll have to try it again to form a full opinion on it.
  2. Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Ravishing ($56): I tried this at the same time I tried the blush and will also need to try it again to form a full opinion on it.
  3. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (1.69 oz, $180): I’ve heard great things about this product, but it’s so ridiculously expensive that I’ve never had much interest in trying it until now.
  4. Vinter’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum (1 oz, $185): Same thoughts as the Blue Cocoon.

The Nature of Beauty had more of the standard sample program, where you can choose from a list of select samples. You can choose 5 samples for $1 each and shipping. I chose all RMS samples, including:

  1. Lip2Cheek in Beloved ($36)
  2. Lip2Cheek in Smile ($36)
  3. Cream Eye Shadow in Solar ($28)
  4. Cream Eye Shadow in Seduce ($28)
  5. UN” Cover-Up in 22 ($36)

 

If you’ve made it all the way through this post, thanks for reading! If you’ve tried any of these products before, let me know whether you liked them or not! 🙂

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FAVORITES | April 2018

No excuses, but I failed to post last week 😦 I’ll really have to try harder to be more consistent in posting…

Anyways, April favorites! As I hadn’t really posted for most of the last few months, some of these items have been in use for more than just April. Can you believe it’s already May? The year’s gone by so quickly…

This month’s favorites includes beauty items, of course, as well a few fashion items, a movie, and a recipe!

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  1. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (2.25 oz, $48): Let’s just say this deserves all the hype it’s getting. Stay tuned for a more detailed review.
  2. Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Weenie (0.074 oz, $5): I’ve been a longtime fan of the Colourpop Super Shock Shadows and of Kathleenlights, who created this shade as part of a collaboration with Colourpop. I had purchased this beautiful rose gold ultra-metallic shade right when it was released, but hadn’t used it until recently. It is as beautiful as it sounds. I actually use it as an everyday shade, applied with my fingers as a wash of color and shine on my lids, as the rose gold is rather subtle on my skin tone. However, I can definitely see myself using this shadow wet for a more dramatic look.
  3. Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black ($18 for full size): I got a deluxe sample of this mascara in one of those Sephora Favorites boxes, but just started using this in April after my previous mascara had dried up. I never expected much from this mascara, but I was so impressed from the very first time I used it. It’s definitely more of a natural look mascara, but it does an amazing job of lengthening my lashes. I never really purchase full size mascaras, but if I ever do, this one is definitely on my list.
  4. No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation in Warm Beige (1 oz, $15.99): From first application, I knew I was going to love this foundation. It was so easy to blend with a beauty sponge and looked like my skin but better. The formula definitely leaves your skin subtly glowy as promised, and I appreciate the SPF 15 as well. The relatively inexpensive price doesn’t hurt either.
  5. Botanics All Bright Foaming Face Wash (5 oz, $5.99): I’ve previously mentioned this in my post about Botanics, but didn’t get around to using it until a couple of months ago. Since I’ve started using it, it’s become a daily cleanser of mine. I started using it every morning, but now I prefer to use it at night. Despite being a foaming face wash, it doesn’t strip my skin at all, and my face still feels refreshed and clean afterwards. It’s also really affordable and easily found at Target, which only makes it more awesome.
  6. Glossier Body Hero Oil Wash (8.4 fl oz, $18 or save $5 with the Body Hero Duo): This body wash is amazing. I’ve never really used an oil wash before, and I loved how this one started as an oil, but lathers up as it interacts with water. My skin always feel moisturized but clean after using this, and it smells amazing. I also use it to shave. It’s more than I’d usually pay for a body wash, but I definitely plan on repurchasing in the future. I haven’t used the companion Daily Perfecting Cream yet, but plan on writing a review of the two together when I do.
  7. Face Brush ($1.50 at Daiso): To those of you who don’t know what Daiso is, it’s like the cooler Japanese cousin of the Dollar Store. Everything there is $1.50 unless marked otherwise, so it’s easy to get sucked into picking up things you didn’t intend to get when you set foot in the store. This face brush was one of those things. It looked like a tiny, manual version of the Foreo brush so I decided to give it a try. I love using this with the Botanics cleanser, and using this combo always makes my face feel extra clean and even slightly exfoliated without being abrasive at all. As a bonus, my dog loves when I brush her head with this, and it leaves her fur extra soft as well (yes, I clean the brush between using it for my face and for her face).
  8. Madewell Canvas Somerset Backpack in Acorn ($78): I’ve been wanting a cute but practical bag for a while, and I purchased this as soon as I had a discount code for Madewell. I wasn’t disappointed – the acorn color is beautiful, and it’s so nice to have my hands free, especially when I’m going on local hikes with my dog and my boyfriend on the weekend that don’t require a serious backpack. It’s also nice for just running out the door.
  9. Madewell Wrap Top in Star Scatter in Spicy Saffron (originally $69.50, now $29.99): I have been on a journey to incorporate more color into my wardrobe, and this top was just calling out my name. I’ve been loving shades of yellow in particular lately, hence the choice of this pattern and color. When I received the top, I loved it so much that I got another one Albury Stripe (originally $69.50, now $52.50). This wrap top is appropriate for work, but I can definitely see myself wearing it paired with shorts as well. For someone like me with a small frame but large bust, this is an amazingly flattering top that doesn’t also make you feel like you’re showing too much cleavage.
  10. A Quiet Place: I had been waiting to watch this since I saw the first trailer, and it did not disappoint. I won’t say much so as not to spoil anything, but if you’re into horror and/or thriller films, definitely give this one a watch.
  11. Mochi Muffins: These have been appearing at cafes everywhere in San Francisco and East Bay, and for good reason. They’re delicious. So I figured rather than spend up to $4 every time I want one, why not make my own? I found this recipe by the Tea Squirrel and adapted to my own tastes, replacing milk with coconut beverage (aka coconut milk in a carton), and omitted the sesame seeds and matcha. It was still delicious, though I may make more changes to adapt it more to my taste.

What were your favorites this past month?

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REVIEW | Glossier Solution

I know, it’s been a while since the Glossier Solution ($24, 4.4 fl oz) came out. But there was so much hype around its release that I thought it would deserve its own review post, even if I’m almost four months late to the party.

To be fair, as this is a skincare product, it does take a longer time to determine whether it actually works for me, and with four months of consistent usage, I think I’ve gathered enough data to give a comprehensive review 🙂

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Upon receiving the package, I thought the silver packaging with drug information type labeling in pink and white was quite cute and clever. The bottle itself was in the typical millennial pink and aesthetic of many Glossier products, with minimal text and decoration on the bottle’s body, but still something very pretty to display in your bathroom. While initially I was confused as to how the dispenser worked (I tried to pull out the white thing in the middle – I know, extremely stupid of me), once I realized you pressed down on the dispenser with a cotton pad to saturate it with product, I fell in love. I wish more companies had dispensers like this one for their toner products – it’s so hygienic, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally using too much product.

I had mixed feelings upon first application of Solution to my face. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the overly medicinal scent, but it wasn’t so bad that it turned me away from the product. It didn’t sting at all, unless I applied it on a freshly popped pimple by accident, which makes sense, considering the toner only has a total of 10% blend of PHA/AHA/BHA acids.

For the first month of use, I made sure to use this every night as part of my skincare routine, so I could be sure of its effects on my face. I had thought that it was keeping my skin nice and clear, but as I continued using it daily through the rest of that first month, I felt that it was losing its potency on me. By then, I started alternating this every few days with other toners in my skincare collection.

Then, starting last month, I started getting the feeling that the toner was breaking me out. Granted, I was more stressed than I’d been in a while, but the Solution didn’t seem to be helping – if anything, it seemed to worsen any bumps that I seemed to develop consistently on my forehead. I’d apply Solution, concentrating it in my trouble spots, and rather than see a reduction in redness the next day, I’d see that the spot would be the same, or even worse than before.

I still continued to use it, wanting to give Solution all the opportunities to prove its worth, but as of last week, I decided that it wasn’t worth the condition of my face to continue on using Solution. I’m now back to using The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (no link, because due to recent occurrences with Deciem’s upper management, I’ve decided to cut The Ordinary out of my routine after I use up what I own).

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As an additional note, the Glossier cotton pads were pretty nice. However, I definitely do not think that they are better than some other more affordable cotton pads that I have used. It’s $4 for 60 of them, whereas my usual cotton pads are only $1.50 at Daiso for 100 or more.

Overall, I’d say the Glossier Solution (and cotton pads) is a pass. Despite having a 10% acid blend, there’s no clarification as to how much exactly of each acid the Solution contains, which feels pretty questionable to me, though I could’ve overlooked that had it actually worked on my face.

Nothing personal, as there are other Glossier products that I enjoy plenty, but for a few more dollars, you could get something like Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid ($29, 4 oz), which I’ve found to have been much more effective. If you’d rather use something more affordable, the much-loved Pixi Glow Tonic ($15, 3.4 oz) is so, so good. It only has 5% glycolic acid, but I found it to be much more effective for me than the Glossier Solution. Of course, you could also go for The Ordinary’s glycolic acid toner.

Have you tried Glossier Solution before? How did it work for you?

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REVIEW | Glossier Generation G Lipstick

For me (and probably a lot, if not all, of the beauty community), this year has been the year of Glossier. I had initially tried a couple of their products to mediocre results, but have since come to enjoy those after revisiting them. With this renewed interest in Glossier, I bit the bullet and hauled a few items (look out for that post!) that I had been eyeing through their Instagram, including this Generation G (0.07 oz, $18) lipstick in Zip, a poppy red.

I have to say, when I initially opened the tube, I was very wary – although this is a sheer matte lipstick, and pictures have proven this to be true, I was worried the color would be too bright and pull too orange on my face. I was so glad to be proven wrong – this is the perfect, everyday red for people who don’t really like bright statement lips – aka me. It gives that look of just kissed lips, yet at the same time, is pretty long wearing for such a sheer formula – it’s not transfer-proof by any means, but after a whole afternoon of wearing this, I didn’t see too much patchiness. I will definitely be looking into more colors of this lippie.

Shop with my link to get 10% off your first Glossier order! (This post is not sponsored, but I do get some store credit for purchases made through my link.)

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HAUL + Shopping Tips | Glossier

As I said in my previous post, 2017 really was the year of Glossier. There were so many new releases that I almost couldn’t keep up! Each release was exciting, but I wanted to hold off on getting anything until I used up some of my existing inventory of beauty products. A couple of months ago, I was finally at a point where I wouldn’t feel like I wasn’t hoarding if I purchased new things, so I went ahead and hauled a whole bunch of stuff.

The Haul

    1. Balm Dotcom (1 x 0.5 fl oz for $12, or 3 x 0.5 fl oz for $30): When I first started using this product, I thought it was overpriced Vaseline and didn’t think I’d ever repurchase it. As this is appearing in this haul, evidently, my thoughts have changed since then. Over multiple uses, this balm has definitely proven to be more moisturizing than Vaseline, and includes nice ingredients like castor seed oil that keep the moisture locked in. It’s a multi-purpose balm, but I use it solely on my lips, and I would think that the other balms – Rose, Mint, Cherry, Coconut, and Birthday Cake – would find most use on the lips as well. This time, I purchased the trio – Rose for my sister, Original for my brother, and Mint for myself 🙂 One last note: don’t be deceived by what seems like a measly 0.5 fl oz – a little goes a long way, and it took me a good year of using it every night for me to get through one tube.
    2. Body Hero Daily Oil Wash (8.4 fl oz, $18) and Daily Perfecting Cream (8.4 fl oz, $22): I was first drawn to these products because of the amazing campaign Glossier had for their release – women of all colors and sizes, posing naked on billboards everywhere. It was really empowering to see, and the rave reviews only helped with my decision to purchase these. I haven’t tried them yet because I still have other body wash and moisturizer I’m using, but I’m can’t wait to do so. I purchased these as part of the duo, which, at $35, saves you $5 compared to if you had purchased each separately.
    3. Invisible Shield (1 fl oz, $35): I’m still using a different SPF, but this one is next up for me to try. I’ve heard so many great reviews, so I can’t wait.
    4. Phase 2 Set ($40, saves $12): This is a great option if you’re trying out Glossier makeup for the first time. You can customize this set, and you save money. The set comes with (shades are what I chose):
      1. Stretch Concealer in Medium (0.7 oz, $18): As I move towards lighter makeup looks, I figured a lighter coverage concealer such as this would be great to use.
      2. Generation G in Zip (0.07 oz, $18): I will be writing a review on this, but I’ve already featured this product in my Best of 2017 post. In short, I love this lipstick. Next time, I plan to pick up another shade with the Generation G + Lip Gloss Duo ($26, saves $6).
      3. Boy Brow in Black (0.11 oz, $16): This is basically a universal favorite, so it was a given that I finally pick it up. I already appreciate that this comes in black, as not every brand’s brow products do. I can’t wait to use it, but I’m currently trying to finish up the Urban Decay Brow Tamer (previous review here), which I do not enjoy using at all…
    5. Glossier You (1.7 fl oz, $60): When I made my purchase, Glossier was including a sample size of its newly released fragrance. I fell in love pretty quickly, and purchased a full-size during Glossier’s 20% off Black Friday sale. This is the perfect everyday perfume, because it’s faint, yet lingers all day. The fragrance was formulated so that you are the first ingredient – hence its name – and I find this to be very accurate.

Honestly, I wanted to purchase every item Glossier had to offer, but I limited myself to these this time. I’m already eyeing the Cloud Paints (0.33 oz for $18, or 2 for $30).

 

Some Tips + Notes for Shopping on Glossier

  • To get 10% off your first order, shop with my link(This post is not sponsored, but I do get some store credit for purchases made through my link.)
  • There is free shipping for orders over $30, so wait until you’ve decided on at least $30 that you want before placing your order!
  • If you’re interested in more than one item, always go for the sets. Glossier offers a ton, and you will always save money purchasing those instead of the individual items.
  • As the holidays are coming up, I thought it would be worthwhile to mention that many of Glossier’s sets are great gifts or stocking stuffers – sets like the Balm Dotcom Trio or the Cloud Paint Quad ($55, save $17) are great for taking apart to create your own gift sets.
  • Every purchase comes with at least one of the pink bubble-wrap zip bags, which are great for traveling 🙂

 

Have you tried Glossier before? What were some of your favorite products?

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BEST OF 2017 | BEAUTY

As it is nearing the end of the year, I thought that a roundup of my beauty favorites of the year was in order. There are a couple of products that I’ve only started using in the last couple of months, but I already know that they will be lasting favorites, so they are in this list as well!

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While I don’t use eyeliner as much as I used to, my eyeliner of choice has always been a black liquid liner. With that it mind,  I finally got around to trying the well-loved Tattoo Liner in Trooper (0.19 oz, $20) from Kat Von D. It definitely did not disappoint – the brush tip, my favorite type of liner tip, made it so easy for me to wing out my liner, the black is extremely pigmented, and the formula is so long-lasting. At $20, I don’t find it to be that pricey either, considering that I’ve had mine for a while and it hasn’t dried out yet.

Origins’ SPF 40 Energy Boosting  Tinted Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, $38) is actually a surprise favorite. While I was very excited for this release, which I have previously reviewed, I had heard mixed reviews and kept my expectations low while I tried this out. I ended up enjoying it very much, but at the time of my review, I wasn’t sure if I would repurchase this. I have since come to love this product and have already purchased a backup. It is truly a tinted moisturizer, with minimal pigment, but it is very moisturizing and has no sunscreen scent at all.

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Glossier’s Generation G (0.07 oz, $18) lipstick in Zip has become my go-to lipstick for when I want a laid-back look that still looks like I tried. In the tube, the bright red can be intimidating, but the sheer formula allows for it to be the perfect everyday red, at least for me 🙂 Full review on this soon.

I have talked about Julep’s Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil (0.85 fl oz, $36) more than once on this blog, but it’s been a while since I did, and I have only grown to love this oil more and more. I use this both morning and night, two drops mixed into my moisturizer, and have already repurchased another bottle. I’ve tried a couple of other facial oils containing rosehip, but this one is by far my favorite so far.

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After just a couple of uses, the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 fl oz, $80) is already a favorite. The product really lives up to the Babyfacial part of its name, leaving me with baby-like skin the morning after I use it. It’s a high acid concentration product, recommended for use weekly.  Stay tuned for a full review of this product!

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The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25) has been in my monthly favorites before, for good reason – easy to use, moisturizing, and relatively affordable. I have since purchased the Lip Sleeping Mask (0.7 oz, $20) as well and will update you guys after I’ve used it a few times.

When I initially saw all the hype about Glossier’s new perfume, Glossier You (1.7 fl oz, $60), I wasn’t that interested – I’ve never been much of a fragrance user, and figured this one wouldn’t be much different. But then, the hype got to me, so I tried a sample of it that I received with my Glossier haul. It was love at first spray – subtle, but heavy on the base notes, so that your own unique scent becomes the first ingredient. When my boyfriend said that I smelled good without realizing that I had on any perfume, that was when I knew I had to get my hands on the full-sized bottle. I love this perfume so much that it’s inspired me to challenge myself to wearing perfume every day.

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This year was also the year of The Ordinary, the brilliant skincare brand that somehow kept its prices extremely affordable. To be honest, out of everything that I’ve tried so far from the brand, I haven’t been blown away by anything, but I wanted to give this brand a shout out because I have enjoyed most of them that I’ve tried, including this Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (240 ml, $8.70). I will also be purchasing more of their products to try, as the affordable prices make it easier to do so, and I am almost sure I will discover something that I will love.

 

What were your beauty favorites of the year?

 

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ANTI-HAUL | Winter 2017

With all the temptation and spending that comes with the holiday season, I thought it’d be nice to balance my Sephora haul (and other upcoming hauls…) with an anti-haul.

Although I’ve gotten a lot better about making more informed, thought-out purchases in the last couple of years, this anti-haul will also be a good reminder to myself that money not spent is better than money spent on a product I wouldn’t otherwise use or want to try.

Before I begin with the anti-haul, I have to admit that I went ahead and purchased the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 oz, $80). I was partially motivated by maintaining my Rouge status, but mainly, it seems like a universally loved product, and is unique enough that I probably wouldn’t find a dupe easily, if at all. I’m excited to try it and share my thoughts on it with you 🙂

Although most of the products are carried at Sephora, this list will also include products from other brands (mainly Glossier). I’ll be honest here – my reasons for not purchasing items are all pretty similar… so feel free to skip through my descriptions for each product/brand.

  1. FENTY BEAUTY: I am a huge Rihanna fan, and I love the message behind the brand, but my makeup inventory is just way too full for more makeup products. I was tempted to get both the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (0.3 oz, $18) and the Starlit Hyper-Glitz Lipstick in Supermoon (0.45 oz, $19), which I swatched in store and was super pretty, but in the end I decided not to because I’m not a lip gloss user, and there are other lip products that I would rather purchase to try. The highlighters look beautiful, so I may purchase them in the future when I actually need a new highlighter.
  2. FRESH Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner (8.4 fl oz, $44): As soon as this was released earlier this year, I had added it to my VIB sale purchase list. It’s gotten rave reviews, and just looks so pretty with the real rose petals in the bottle. However, I passed on this in the end, because I already have much more affordable toners that are already extremely effective.
  3. SON & PARK Beauty Water (11.49 fl oz, $30): Same reason as for the Fresh toner 🙂
  4. MILK MAKEUP: Every time Milk comes out with a new product, I am so tempted to purchase it. I really like the idea of their makeup – easy, for the on-the-go girl – but I find their items on the pricier side for what they are, and with the state of my current makeup inventory, I really don’t find it necessary to own anymore makeup items. That being said, I do own two items from them, one of which I would possibly repurchase.
  5. Pat McGrath Labs: Everything from the brand looks beautiful, but I don’t wear makeup often enough to want to spend that much on any of the products they offer.
  6. NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment (0.18 oz, $26): I’ll be honest – I was tempted. I haven’t really ever been disappointed with NARS products, and this has gotten rave reviews everywhere. But I’m not a fan of matte lip products, and am extremely picky about liquid formulations. That being said, I am planning on purchasing a Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick (0.25 oz, $24) at some point.
  7. Glossier Face Serums Set ($65 for 3 serums): I was planning to get this when I hauled some Glossier, but then I realized that each serum – Super Bounce, Super Pure, and Super Glow – had a dupe or similar product that could be found in The Ordinary line for a fraction of the price. I really enjoy some of Glossier’s products and the brand as a whole, but I personally just did not find that this $65 would be money well spent.

I could go on and on about what I am not buying and why, but I’ll stop here 🙂 What are some things you decided not to purchase or will not be purchasing in these holiday months?

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EMPTIES | October 2017

My first empties post! As I usually throw away my containers as soon as I’m done with a product, it took me some time to accumulate enough trash to write one of these posts. Keep reading to see what I’ve used up and what I thought of them! If I’ve talked about a product on my blog before, my opinion may have changed since I last mentioned it.

Products will be listed from left to right, top down:

  1. The Body Shop Strawberry Shower Gel (25.4 fl oz/750 ml), currently $14): The Body Shop’s shower gels never disappoint, and they’re so affordable when they’re on sale. I’ve since moved on to the pink grapefruit one, which is my favorite scent.
  2. Pixi Glow Tonic (3.4 fl oz, $15): One of my favorite toners, since it gently exfoliates the face with glycolic acid while prepping the face for the next skincare steps. The Glow Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid, and I will be trying The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (240 ml, $8.70) soon to compare the two products.
  3. Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate ($58 for 1.7 fl oz, or $77 for 2.5 fl oz): I’ve written a review on this previously. I really liked it, but I realized that after I finished using it, I didn’t miss applying it either. I might revisit this in the future, once I’ve used up more of my skincare inventory.
  4. e.l.f. Hydrogel Under Eye Mask ($8 for a set of 3): This is a great affordable option for undereye masks. I find them similar to Skyn Iceland’s Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels ($30 for a set of 8 or $15 for a set of 4), and they’re slightly cheaper. I do find Skyn Iceland’s slightly more effective for me, but overall these were great, soothing and depuffing my under eye area.
  5. Kate Somerville Exfolikate (2 fl oz, $85 or 5 fl oz, $175): I was always ambivalent about this exfoliator, until I realized recently that I had been using it incorrectly the whole time… You’re supposed to massage it onto your face, leave it on as a mask, then rinse off. It was too late for me to try it this way though, as I had already used it up, and I’m not too keen on splurging on this because I don’t think my skin really will benefit from regular use of this. I am interested in trying out a Kate Somerville facial some day though, so there’s that to look forward to.
  6. Acure Organics Seriously Glowing Serum (1 oz, $19.98): I was ambivalent about this serum, which really was an oil. It was pretty nice to use and indeed gave me a nice glow, but it can’t beat Julep’s Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil, one of my favorite skincare products ever.
  7. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (1 oz, $49): I had bought this because it had been on sale on Birchbox, but I really ended up liking it. It was a great moisturizing serum that absorbed quickly and really gave my skin an extra boost of moisture. That being said, I’m not sure I would repurchase this again, though it’s definitely made me want to check out other Caudalie products in this line.
  8. Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser (6 fl oz, $18): I’ve most recently mentioned this in my August Favorites, and my thoughts on it hasn’t changed – I still love it as a morning moisturizer. This will definitely come back into my skincare rotation in the future.
  9. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches ($48 for a set of 30): I really wanted to give this a try since I like Peter Thomas Roth’s Cucumber Gel Mask (5 oz, $52), but I had mixed feelings about this. The eye gels were very stiff, and the shape didn’t mold to my under eye very well, so they were a bit uncomfortable to wear. I also felt that they weren’t as effective as the other eye patches I’ve mentioned in this post. I’m glad I only bought one set during Peter Thomas Roth’s travel size sale. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing the travel size at full price, because it was already $3 at discount.
  10. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo (8.5 fl oz, $22) and Conditioner (8.5 fl oz, $24): I had previously featured these in my Posh VoxBox review. As much as I liked these, I don’t plan on repurchasing them because they’re not for my hair type, and I still have other shampoos and conditioners that I like more.

Did you guys use up any products this month? Are you going to repurchase them?

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