Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lightening Natural Blonde Hair

Ever since I moved to Seattle from California I've been pretty frustrated with my hair. It used to be SUPER DOOPER BLONDE. Approaching platinum/white in the summers. Now, while it is still light blond it's just not the way I like it. 

My hair is really thin and fine, so bleaching is a tricky proposition at best. Since I currently lack both the funds and a regular hairdresser who I trust it is totally off the table. So I started reviewing my options....

I decided to start looking at natural remedies since they're typically cheaper and tend to look, well... natural. There is pretty general consensus on the things that will lighten your hair, although they all take some time to make a noticable differentce.
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Honey
  • Lemon 
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
Most of the sources I found said that lemon is really only effective with sunlight, and I have seen products, like Sun-In, in the past that utilize lemon to help create natural highlights. The biggest concern I have with lemon is that it can damage your hair if you use it too often. Honey has small levels of peroxide, when you mix that with cinnamon, cardamom, or olive oil that increase the potency of the peroxide. Chamomile is a very slow way to lighten your hair, but what is really nice about it is that it doesn't strip your hair at all. Based on that information I came up with this:

Allison's Hair Treatment Plan
  • Wash Hair with Chamomile tea, add 3-4 tbs tea to regular shampoo and conditioner.
  • 1x every 2 weeks do the following:
    • Mix 1/3 cup hone, 1/4 cup conditioner, 2 tsp Olive oil, and 2 tsp cinnamon, apply liberally to damp hair. Wrap hair in plastic wrap, cover with shower/swim cap, and leave over night or 8 hours (you could certainly do this during the day, but it would probably drive me nuts).
  • If it's sunny apply lemon to hair and sit outside for 30 minutes, rinse hair, do not do more than 1-2x weekly.
More than likely I won't do that step at all since it's almost October and the gray curtain is going up. My plan is to do at least bi-weekly updates with pictures. We'll see how that holds up. 

If I don't notice significant results, or if my hair starts to look discolored or brassy I'm going to try a toner to see if that helps lighten my hair, I may also consider using a 10 lift and see how that works, but that will be an unnatural hair lightening post.

Belletto Studio Airbrush Ultimate - Skin Secrets Starter Kit

I'm going to start out with a disclaimer: I got this system HEAVILY discounted it normally retails for $430 (not including tax/shipping) and I got it for $129 using Leesha's discount code (xsparkage). However, this code will continue to be active for approximately 1 more month, so if you're interested in purchasing an airbrush system you will probably never find one this cheap. There is another system that is cheaper, I think $99, that this discount also applies to (links at the bottom). I would encourage everybody to spring for the more expensive one. Here's why:

1. The more expensive one has a dial operated flow control rather than just simple presets. This gives you more control over air flow and application.

Clean Moisturized Skin
2. The more expensive one has a life time warranty, instead of a (I think) 2 year manufacturer warranty. So if your compressor breaks at 2 years and 1 day you'll have to buy a completely new one. Eff that.

Even with the discount this is a huge non-essential purchase. But. But, but but... dear god am I glad I bought it. Holy crap how did I ever live my life without airbrush foundation? Seriously.

 I can't stand wearing heavy foundation, but I really like the way my skin looks with medium-full coverage as long as it's applied well and doesn't look cakey. I've never been able to handle actually wearing medium/full coverage on anything except special occasions, cause it feels like I'm wea
ring a mask. So in my day to day routine I almost always use tinted moisturizer or thin out foundation with additional moisturizer or a primer. For those of you who hate wearing foundation because of the weight or the feel of it, do yourself a huge favor and switch to airbrush.

Airbrush foundation is incredibly light. It really is the equivalent of a fine mist of water. It literally feels like I am not wearing foundation at all. My skin also has a tendency to be red and blotchy (thanks a lot Ireland), and this pretty completely neutralizes it. I don't have to wear any concealer except under my eyes. I can use all my regular moisturizer and primer if I want. The biggest downside to my mind is that I lose spf coverage, so just make sure you're moisturizer has SPF or you apply sunscreen (and let it dry completely) prior to airbrushing.

I was a little intimidated but I practiced a couple of times with just water to get the feel of it. I'm still having a hard time with making blush and contouring look even. But each time I do it it looks better, so I feel confident that will improve. I'm also still getting used to doing it on other people, but I'm getting better with that too.

Now, down to the nitty-gritty: what's in the kit?

A lot of stuff. You specifiy your complexion shade (Light, Medium, Tan, Dark) and they give you 4 foundations within that shade range. If one isn't an exact match you can mix them till you find yours. I'm just straight up Creme de La. You also get a blush and luster drops (highlight).

I also want to mention that Belletto Studio's customer service was FANFUCKINGTASTIC. I accidentally ordered the cheaper kit, without realizing that it's not a dialed compressor and doesn't have the lifetime warranty. I immediately contacted their customer service, They unfortunately didn't get my message till after the order had already been processed, but they were still incredibly helpful, they just had me refuse shipping (YAY for no return shipping costs) and as soon as they received it refunded me!

For Questions ask me or watch Leesha's Air Brush FAQ

Ultimate - Skin Secrets Start Kit (Mine)
HD - Skin Secrets Start Kit (Cheap one:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

FOTD: Sunset Inspired (for July Makeup Geek Competition)

I did this look knowing full well that 90% of the submissions were going to be a purple cut crease. Sure enough they were, but I still think it turned out really nicely. This also marks the first time I'd used my Belletto Studios airbrush system. Which I will do a separate review of next week (spoiler alert: It's bloody amazing). Enjoy!

 Products Used:
UDPP (original)
Sugarpill Love+ (outer corner of lid), Flame Point (middle of lid), Buttercupcake (inner corner of lid) and Poison plum (crease)
BH Cosmetics 88 Palette Column 3, Row 8, (inner crease) and Column 1, Row 3 (brow highlight)
ybf brow pencil
Physician's Formula Liquid Liner
Benefit They're Real Mascara

Belletto Studio Airbrush Foundation in Creme de La
Laura Geller Blush N' Brighten in Apricot
theBalm Mary Lou-manizer

Anastasia Beverly Hills Hydrafull Lip Gloss in Bellini

FOTD: Red Death

The next couple of posts I'm going to do are looks I did awhile ago, but just haven't had time to upload pictures for.

I just wrote this whole post and then accidentally deleted it. Which sucks...

I did this look for Deepwoods Damnation. I was super excited to do a matte red smokey eye. I think colored smokey eyes are really fun, and they're a great way to make your eye color pop. I don't do them very often because they can be tricky, and don't wear well as a day to day look.

I've been going very light on my cheeks lately, I think that especially with bright colored eye shadow blush, even subtle blush tends to look odd, unless it complements the eye shadow. And really there's just not any pink or peach tones that look very good with red eyeshadow, so I just went with a gold toned highlight.

I straight up loved how this turned out. Except for the fact that my blending brush must have had some residual shadow in it, because when I went to blend out the edges of the red they turned a bit purple which I did not want. Sugarpill's Love+ is a great eye shadow, but for some reason unless I'm really careful with it, it has a tendency towards looking pink or purple on me. Either way, I still really liked the way this turned out.

Products Used:

UDPP (original)
Sugarpill Love+
BH Cosmetics 88 Palette Column 1, Row 2 (brow highlight)
Sumitra Pencil in Black (waterline)
Kat Von D Eyeshadow in Lucifer (to set waterline)
ybf brow pencil
Physician's Formula Liquid Liner
Benefit They're Real Mascara

Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Ivory
theBalm Mary Loumanizer

Kat Von D Lipstick in Celebutard
Urban Decay Lip Gloss in Midnight Cowboy

August MUG Competition Face Chart

So I'm really excited about this month's Makeup Geek challenge. The theme is metallic, and I knew that everybody and their mom is doing to do some sort of metallic smokey eye or whatever. So I decided I really wanted to do something different. I started talking with Chris about some ideas and he suggested Borg implants as inspiration, which I thought was brilliant. So I started doing some brainstorming, and I just felt like I wouldn't be able to do Borg implants justice without creating a prosthetic, and I just don't have much experience doing that. So I starting thinking, what else would be cool....

I was cruising around the internet and saw an interview with the guy who did the makeup FX for Terminator. Oooo! I could do metallic bones and maybe do some latex tear aways, but then I realized I don't have any good silver pigments that would or paints that would work well for silver bones.

Ok, so I have some gold and bronze pigments, when I think of those colors, what comes to mind? Jewelry... Nope. Watches... Hmmm. GEARS!!! EFF. YES.

 Initially I was still thinking of getting some liquid latex and making tear aways, but I think I'm just going to draw them. and then do a little bit of shading to make it look like the skin is raised up.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

FOTD (only not today) for Louie CK Show

So the plan for today was originally going to be doing a FOTD for makeup I was planning to wear yesterday to go out with some friends. However, that ended up getting cancelled. I don't really feel like putting on makeup today just to take pictures and then take it off. So, instead i'm going to post a look I did a while ago.

Forgive there not being more pictures, but at the time I wasn't really planning on this being a blog post.

Products Used:
NatureLuxe Foundation in Aspen by CoverGirl
L’oreal Translucent Loose Powder
Laura Geller Blush n’ Brighten in HoneyDipped

Kat Von D High Voltage Primer in Skin
MAC Shadestick Eyeshadow pencil in Sea Me
MAC Eye shadows in Juxt, Aquadisiac and Tilt
Tako by Sugarpill (brow highlight)
Lucifer Eyeshadow from the Kat Von D True Romance Palette
Physicians Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner 
CoverGirl Lashblast Volume Mascara in Very Black

I think I didn't bother to do my brows since I was wearing a hat, or maybe I just forgot. Either way always do your brows. 

Amanda Palmer - Dear Daily Mail

So in addition to makeup etc. I've decided I also want to put persona content, discussions of things that make me happy and things that irritate me. To that end here is a video of Amanda Palmer performing a song in response to The Daily Mail discussing her boobs in a review of her performance at the Glastonberry Festival instead of her music. It's brilliant.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Very Late May Birch Box Review

Wow, look at me being super behind. My life is always pretty hectic and now that summer is here things get kicked into an especially high gear. I was looking at my calendar the other day and I have two free weekends between now and the middle of September. BANANAS.

I am expecting now that my hiking blog is caught up again, that I'll be able to focus a bit more on my makeup blog. I've got something that I'm particularly excited for coming up. In particular I just ordered my first air brush system so that's exciting! And there's the July MUG competition so fun stuff!

Anyway onto the very late review (I'll get June's up by the end of this week).

Amika Nourishing Mask $40/500mL
Very creamy and my hair definitely liked it. Nice scent. Overall a very good product. It's really hard for me to judge these because I haven't had a hair cut in so long, any good product just sort of masks damage at this point. I really need to get that taken care of.

Coola Moisturizer $32
I took this moisturizer with me backpacking recently and loved it. It has a really fresh, cool, cucumber scent. It is also really light weight, non greasy and seemed to last on my skin, despite my activity level, really well. The size of the sample bottle and the SPF 30 also made it pretty much ideal for what I was doing.

Sumitra Pencils $11
Super smooth, creamy pencil. I got the one in black and have been using it quite a bit, I used it to hash out the details on this look, and have been really pleased with it’s lasting power. Even though it’s creamy it doesn’t melt down your face like a lot of soft pencils do. There’s a lot of variety in the colors and I’ll probably end up investing in a few more of these.

Runa Guayusa Tea $7
Tasty! I especially like the ginger citrus tea. Excellent flavors, and I love that it's organic and full of antioxidants. I’ve been dieting and herbal tea in the evening is an awesome way for me to deal with my overactive sweet tooth. This stuff is full of caffeine though so if you’re particularly sensitive don’t drink too close to bedtime.

Marvis Mint Toothpaste in Classic Mint $10.50
I also took this backpacking (I couldn’t find my normal toiletries bag), really bright minty flavor. Very foamy, which was sort of weird for me since normally when I backpack I use all natural toothpaste, which isn’t formulated with sulfates (the ingredient that makes shit foamy). Still I think that it’s a nice toothpaste. I straight up love the retro, apothecary packaging. That being said I don’t think I’ll ever be spending $10.50 on toothpaste in spite of the positives with this one.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FOTD: Batman

I created this look for the Makeup Geek June competition.

Also, as you may notice from the quality of these photos my camera is working again! Yay for no more shitty camera phone uploads!

The products I used for the eyes are pretty simple: I used Urban Decay Primer Potion and then NYX Jumbo eye pencil in Milk as a stickier base. Then I added Sugarpill Buttercupcake and Tako and Lucifer by Kat Von D, but you can use any matte bright yellow, black and white. I then went through and hashed out the lines with a black pencil liner and then filled in it with a pen-style liquid liner (I think I used the Physician's Formula with lash serum one). Mascara is by Benefit, I think it's They're Real, but not sure.

 I suppose you could use this for a Halloween look but it seems a little tame to me for that. Although I am pretty much known for going totally crazy on Halloween.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Review of Got2B Powder’ful

So I was really excited to get the Got2B Powder’ful from BuzzAgent. I have super thin hair and am always excited for volumizing products. I also thought, from some of the description information and also from experience with similar powder products that this was going to be a dry-shampoo type volumizer. Nope, not at all.

The product claims that it was volumizes hair within 10 seconds, this is absolutely true. I flipped my hair over and applied the powder at the base of my scalp. It made my hair super up. However, I really wasn’t very happy with the texture my hair had after use. As opposed to dry shampoo and similar types of products that volumize hair and leave it just a little piece-y, this separated my hair a lot and made it feel pretty crunchy.

The biggest problem I had with this product though was that my hair was almost completely un-stylable, the only way I could smooth things out was to brush out and my hair was so crunchy and stiff that it was kind of painful and I’m sure broke some of my hair.

One of the biggest plus sides to the product is the price. It's available at for $3.99 per bottle, and I'm sure each bottle would last a very long time. Even though I had some problems with the product I think with a little experimentation and some patience you might be able to make it pay off.

Bottom Line: I would say if you’re not planning on doing any further styling and you just want volume you could probably use this product in very small amounts, particularly if you have shorter hair.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Birchbox Review

I might actually do a Birchbox review the same month it comes to me! Hurray!

Overall I really liked this box!

Glossy Kiss Pencil in Starlet by Mirenesse. (4.2/5)
This was my favorite product out of this month's box. It's got a really nice texture, and even though I don't usually wear orange-red lip colors (it's more orange in real life than in the picture) I think this is pretty darn fabulous. They also claim you could use it as a cheek stain, which I'm a little on the fence about. It's not very waxy so I suppose you could, but I feel like it would be hard to deal with such a vibrant color, maybe if I was more tan it would be okay.

Protect and Detangle by Beauty Protector 8 oz - $21.95 (4/5)
I really liked this product a lot, it's a leave in conditioner, with heat and sun protectant. It smelled nice and didn't leave any kind of residue on my hair or weight it down. I also think this would be a great thing to take on extended backpacking trips, where I need to carry as few products as possible, but will still want to wash my hair. I could use it after shampoo so I don't have to rinse my hair twice and it will help protect my hair from sun damage.

Huile Divine by Caudalie (4/5)
I love this brand, everything I try from them is so nice. Everything they make has not parbens, ethanol, sulfates, and is not tested on animals.This oil in particular has a really great smell, feels great on my skin and doesn't like any greasy residue. Now if only they would lower their prices just a tad...

Supergoop Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream (3.8/5)
Anti aging eye creams are sort of tricky for me to review since I don't have wrinkles, my biggest concerns are always dark circles. Regardless of whether or not this product would get rid of wrinkles, it'll certainly prevent them. In addition to it's anti-wrinkle ingredients it's got a Broad Spectrum SPF 37 Sunscreen. I just wish it didn't smell like sunscreen. Luckily I don't breathe through my eyes. Yet.

Hail Merry Macaroons 3.5 oz - $5 (1/5)
If you like chocolate covered sawdust, buy these. They get one point just for having chocolate.

One nice bonus is that they also gave a little card to mail in for a free one year subscription of Women's Health. So that almost makes up for the macaroons.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sugarpill Heart Breaker Palette Review

Review of Sugarpill Addicted to Pretty Palette in Heart Breaker (5/5)

I love the hell out of this palette. Although there’s not too many Sugarpill products that I’m not totally obsessed with, other than Birthday Girl which sucks. But this is definitely my favorite of all the products I’ve tried. As will all the pressed shadows the colors are vibrant, silk smooth and easy to blend. In order from left to right:

I took a picture of all the colors swatched and then my camera lost it? Wtf. I saw it get saved. No idea what happened there. Sorry about that I'll do some looks with these colors very soon anyway.
This is absolutely my favorite shadow of the set. It’s like a matte pressed version of Sugarpill’s Loose Shadow Royal Sugar. I love it. Blue’s are notoriously tricky to work with but Velocity is like velvet. I did a really fun matte blue look, similar to the one done by Leesha (at xsparkage) with this and it turned out really nice. The wear on this color in particular was great. I wore it for a good 13 hours without any creasing, flaking or bleeding and it didn’t stain my eyelids! AWESOME. 

Chartreuse is my favorite color of all time and it is incredibly difficult to find an eyeshadow in chartreuse that blends well and applies evenly. They tend to be kind of chalky and difficult to work with. Not so with 
Acidberry. It’s gorgeous applies easily and is great for doing some spring time looks with. I'm particularly planning a cut crease look with it and Acidberry since they're Seahawk/Sounders colors and my favorite color combination.

In terms of colors this sort of reminds me of a washed out Aquadisiac (MAC). It’s probably my least favorite shade out of the whole collection, in the pan. Once I swatched it I changed my mind, it looks really pretty, has if not the best texture of the four then close to it, and I think it has a lot of potential for some very varied looks.

Purples are always a good thing for me. I have very dark green eyes that sometimes look dark grey. Purples bring out the greens and complement the gray so my eyes never look washed out or dull when I wear a purple eyeshadow. This color is a really nice plum and I’m really excited to play with it more!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

March Birchbox Review

I'm going to start doing product reviews a little differently, each product (if there are more than one per review will get an overall score in parentheses next to the product name just so you get an idea about how I would rate it personally.

Also my hope is to get back to updating this Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think I've got a pretty good schedule established for my hiking blog so now I just need to get back into the swing of things with this blog.

Whish Shave Cream, 150ml - $20 (3.5/5)
I don't usually use shave cream cause I'm always running late. Also, if you exfoliate fairly frequently, have a good razor and a moisturizing body wash, you don't really need shaving cream. That being said, this shaving cream is incredibly moisturizing, and has a really nice texture. Even though I have very sensitive skin and my razor is at the end of it's life, I had NO skin irritation at all. The smell is sort of "meh" to me. It smells like fake blueberry smell, which isn't awful but it's not great to me either. I was hoping for a more fresh, clean scent rather than something that smells really sweet and too heavily perfumed.

Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mousse, 6.3 oz - $23 (5/5)
Oh man. I love, love, love this mousse. It leaves my hair with some really nice volume, it isn't heavy or crusty. It doesn't make my hair look dull, which I find is a big problem with a lot of volumizing products. The scent isn't super overwhelming, it's smells kind of woody and spicy to me, not like hot spicy like aromatic spicy. It's a little pricey but I might splurge.

Madewell for Birchbox Floral Nail Emery Board - $5
Not really sure what to say about this. It's an emery board. It's pretty. Works fine. 'Nuff said.

MAKE Face Primer $30
If you are looking for a mattefying primer I would NOT go with this face primer. It's a pretty okay primer overall although I didn't notice a huge difference in length of wear I do think it helped with applying my foundation evenly and evening my skin tone. The texture was nice, it didn't dry out my skin at all which is a good thing since I have a tendency towards dry patches on my cheek bones. It's SPF 30, which is always a good thing. It's on the pricey side, and honestly I'm starting to lean towards using BB/CC creams mixed with moisturizer as a primer rather than using something like this. Still if you want an un-tinted primer this is a nice option.

MAKE eye shadow in Great Lakes $18
Nice satin finished eye shadow in a medium grey. Very wearable, I could see doing a really pretty smokey grey eye with this. It applies evenly but I can really speak to length of wear since I just swatched it. It's also hypoallergenic, doesn't have any oils, parabens or fragrances (do most eye shadows have fragrances??). It does include vitamins C and E to help protect the skin around your eyes. Overall a very decent eye shadow, except for the price. If I'm going to be buying eye shadow I'll go with Inglot, MAC, Sugarpill etc. All of which are cheaper, and have a better selection.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust Give Away

The Nail Network is giving away the Zoya Pixie Dust collection and I want it so damn bad. I'm waiting for my tax return to purchase these but it would be pretty damn awesome if I got them for free. Go here to enter (and then give them to me :P)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Product Focus: Olay Pro-X Cleansing System

For the most part my skin is pretty good. I don't have a lot of breakouts, I have something between dry/normal and combination skin. My biggest issue with my skin is the size of my pores, especially on my nose. It's been a constant bother to me, though I am fairly sure it's one of those things that I'm the only one who really notices it. As a result I was thinking for a long time about purchasing the Clarisonic Mia, but I just could not deal with the price point. Not just the unit itself which retails for $119 at Sephora, but also the cost of replacement brush heads which are $25 a pop. I have been wanting an airbrush system for my makeup and I can only rationalize one of those as my big makeup/beauty purchase. So I started shopping around and found the Olay Pro-X cleansing System.

I got this through ULTA for $29.99 and the replacement brushes (which I have not yet purchased) are $9.99. So I figured what the hell, I'll give it a try and if it's crap I can always reconsider the Mia down the road. Overall I am pretty happy with the Olay brush. It works well, and I've noticed a difference in the size of my pores as well as the texture and clarity of my skin as a whole. It's waterproof so I can take it in the shower (Mia is as well). It also has two speeds, which is nice although there is not a VERY significant difference between the two, you can still notice it. It also comes with a sample of the Olay Regenerist face wash, which was a nice little bonus. 

There are a few downsides... The Mia is chargeable and the Olay brush is battery powered, so make sure you have rechargeable batteries. The Mia also has a variety of different types of brush heads, whereas there is only one type with Olay and it is slightly abrasive. I have fairly sensitive skin and it does not seem to irritate my skin at all, but for somebody with even more sensitive skin it might be a little on the rough side.  

Bottom Line: Price per performance I would absolutely recommend the Olay brush to anybody who does not have very sensitive skin. Also if you tend to have dry skin, make sure you use something that has some extra moisturizing properties cause I could definitely see how this could dry out your skin further.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Product Review: The Balm Squad by Jack Black

Anybody who has met me in person knows that I struggle with my lips. They're quite large and tend to dry and chap really easily, it gets especially bad in the winter. I drink at least 72 oz of water a day, so I know it's not just a question of dehydration. The worst thing is that when they are chapped I CANNOT leave them alone. I literally lick and pick at my lips till they bleed. I don't know why I can't just leave them be. So I did some looking around, bloggers who I trust, reviews etc. and one product kept coming up and that's the Jack Black Lip Balm.

Quite awhile ago Leesha of xsparkage posted a review of these lip balms, this was the first time that I'd heard of them and she had bought a four pack through Sephora. Since then I've been keeping my eye on them, wrestling with spending $25 on lip balm, and waiting for sales. Then a few weeks ago I was looking around on Birchbox Men, because I was curious about the service and possibly purchasing a box for a grooming oriented male friend of mine. Anyway, point is that I saw that they had The Balm Squad Lip Quad for $25, coincidentally I also had $20 worth of birchbox points saved up! Alright now it was just going to be $5 + shipping. I finally pulled the trigger and I'm super happy I did.

Lowdown on the Product Itself: The consistency of the product reminds me of when I used Carmex back in high school, which I was super addicted to, but I had to give up since it uses petroleum jelly which dries lips and only repairs in the short term. This doesn't include that ingredient, but feels similar which is great. I've only been using it a short while, but I can already notice a difference. My lips also seem to stay soft for quite a while. I also really like the fact that it's plastic with a screw cap, not like a twist tube, because I have a really bad habit of sticking my lip balm in my pockets and then washing it, which is always The scents are really nice, not overpowering. They don't have a flavor, but for me that's a good thing since it keeps me from licking my lips!

Benefits to the Collection: Buying the 4 pack is awesome, because if you're like me you lose lip balm ALL the time. Now I get to keep one at my work desk, in my  purse, where I do my makeup and one for back up. The four pack I bought comes with the following: Grapefruit and Ginger, Shea Butter and Honey, Mint, Acai Berry and Vanilla. The grapefruit and ginger is totally my favorite and the acai with vanilla is my least favorite. Not to say that it's not nice but just not a favorite. It also means if I'm out and about and still lose my lip balm I don't lose my favorite, since it's at my desk. Lastly I'm a sucker for flashy packaging and I really liked the design and how shiny the box was!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Late Post: January Birchbox

Right around the time I went on my year long hiatus from this blog I cancelled my birchbox. We were tight financially and I couldn't rationalize continuing to receive them, also around that time the quality of the birchboxes was a little questionable. You can see my previous rant about the quality, including the incredibly questionable product known as Lashcards here.

However about two months ago I sort of said what the hell, they were fun and I could use a monthly surprise, even if some of the items are ridiculous. I can honestly say I haven't had a bad box since. January was no exception.

From left to right:

1. Hot Mama Blush and Shadow All-in-One by theBalm Cosmetics $20
I really really like product, I already have the Mary Loumanizer,which I love. Both are really smooth and velvety in texture and buildable so you can have a subtle wash of color + highlight or you can use it as a full fledged blush, or a shadow if you want to keep building. It's got wonderful pigment it's a sort of peachy rose color with gold shimmer. The sparkly is really small so you look dewy rather than glittery. I didn't swatch it this time but I may include swatches in a later post. Awesome product, will definitely get used a lot. The size of the sample is also really great.

2. Ojon Rare Blend Total Hair Therapy $35/1.5 fluid oz (approximately 44.4 mL)
So I am in dire need of a hair cut. It's been months and months, the only reason I'm able to go on at all is that I use hair oil 2x weekly. I've been using Nuxe Dry Oil (which is my favorite) and sometimes Amika Obliphica oil treatment and it's kept my hair healthy and shiny. I plan on getting it cut in the next couple weeks. The point is I can't tell you too much about how well this will repair you hair, because I've been working like mad just to keep mine tolerable. What I can tell you is that it'll make it very shiny and that it has a lovely citrus scent. However, if you're in the market for a dry oil. I would steer you towards NUXE Huile Prodigieuse® / Multi-Usage Dry Oil ($45/100mL). Since it has more uses (skin and hair) and is cheaper and smells amazing.

3. Lashem Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum $69.99/3.5 mL
I don't know that I've been using this consistently enough to really notice a difference, plus my lashes are quite long anyway, I do think they've been a bit fuller. The brush does make it easy to apply and even though I have very sensitive eyes it doesn't seem to irritate them or make the skin around them itch at all. Which is more than I can say for some eyeliners I've used. It's quite expensive, but it would probably last quite a while since you basically use a drop per eye.

4. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè (24-Hour Miracle Cream) $28/75 mL
Dear God this moisturizer is AMAZING. It is similar in texture and consistency to my Oil of Olay Daily Moisturizer. It also has a similar smell, it's a little different but similar. The major difference is that this cream is significantly more moisturizing. I applied a little to a dry patch on my arm which had been irritating me, and poof. Gone. It's a little pricey, but if I decide to upgrade my moisturizer one notch I think this might be it. 

Not pictured: Skinny Chic by Harvey Prince ($28 for 8.8 oz)
I gave this to my bestie because the smell is more to her taste than mine. I love Harvey Prince and his crazy concoctions. His Eau Flirt Pumpkin Lavender perfume was AMAZING and Yogini is a pretty wonderful scent as well. This just wasn't it... Cucumber mint is just not a good scent for me. It sounds like salad, I want it in my belly not on my skin.

Updates and Upcoming

I can't believe I haven't written in this blog in the last year. I have been super busy, but I didn't think it was that bad. I've been applying to grad school, if you want to read about that you can check my food blog: Ramblings and Musings: A Journey through Time and Produce. I've also been working on a new project with my best friend Ari. Basically we play Fuck, Marry, Kill and put up transcripts of our insane, and often fairly funny debates. You can check that out here.

As of now I'm going to try and restart updating this blog at least twice a week. I had to wipe my hard drive a while back due to a computer malfunction, so I'll have to create some new posts. Sorry you won't get to see my FX makeup that I mentioned two posts ago.

Things you can look forward to:

1. Review of the Olay Cleansing Brush
2. Review of the Jack Black lip balms quad
3. Zoya Ornate Collection (some of them anyway) reviews and NOTD.
4. FOTD Pictures/Basic non video tutorials
5. Birchbox reiews

Hope to have some of that up this week.