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.