Thursday, January 30, 2014

Most repurchased...

My most repurchased beauty items!!!

I started this post a long time ago and I'm happy to say, these items are still repurchased, time and time again!

I am constantly trying new things in the beauty realm but there are a few items that I continue to purchase consistently.  They are my tried and true...  If you had been keeping up with my empties posts last year, you will know a few off the bat.  I have a lot of skincare items for sure...

1.  Rimmel Gentle Makeup Remover:  I have lost count how many bottles that I have gone though. 4.2 fl oz may only last 5-6 weeks of every day use, but at $4 a bottle, you can't go wrong.  I liken it to the other cleansing waters on the market, though I know I really shouldn't compare.  But in my mind it looks and feels like water removing my eye makeup ever so gently, it does not irritate my eyes nor does not leave a residue.  I can hold off on Bioderma...  I think...

2.  AVON makeup remover wipes with mineral complex:  My most recent order was for 7 packs.  I'm not sure why I picked 7 but they were on sale for $3.99 so I scooped up a bunch to last me.  I typically use one wipe a night to remove my makeup.  There are 24 in a pack.  So for $3.99, it's a bargain.  They remove a good majority of my daily war paint and can remove eye shadow.  Your skin actually feels clean after using a single wipe.  It's incredible.  I do need a separate remover for my liner and mascare as I don't want to be tugging that delicate skin around.  They are a nice thick cloth and the perfect amount of moisture.  Bravo AVON!

3.  Green Cream High Potency Retinol Level 6:  (Not pictured) I finished my 3rd bottle last fall and haven't repurchased yet but wanted to mention it anyway.  I believe I started out with Level 3.  Level 3 is a mint green, level 6 is brighter with a touch of yellow.  I don't use it every night, maybe 2-3 times a week so I have never experienced red, peeling skin as some reviews warn.  I want to work up to Level 9 which is supposed to be an alternative to prescription retinoid.  It definitely smoothes out my complexion with consistent use.  I'm looking forward to trying Level 9.  Each level costs a bit more, which is to be expected as it increases the good stuff.

4. Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub: Love this stuff.  I do purchase/try out other scrubs but I always go back to this one.  I could never find this in local stores for the longest time so I always need to order on-line hence the occasional stray.  I recently found that my Target carries it so thankfully I can pick it up on the regular again.  I love the smell of it.  When my skin absolutely freaks out on me, I know I can get it under control after a couple of days of using this scrub. The ingredient list is simple and full of good stuff.

5.  Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer:  Remember years ago or maybe last weekend one of those sales people at a kiosk in the mall started out with, "Can I ask you something..." and you came home with a huge bottle of cuticle oil, hand cream and a buffer for $40?  Well this one works just as well, it's only 2 steps and it's around $3!  I'm looking at my shiny nails right now contemplating not painting them.  I only get maybe 4 uses out of these, the tear drop shape looks nice but it's not really functional.  The edges wear down quicker than the center.  But as far as an affordable nail buffer that I use once a month or so, I will continue to repurchase.

6.  Seche Vite: (Not pictured)  Before "discovering" this gem, painting my nails happened a couple of times a year.  After purchasing, nearly every day...  I'm the type of person that if I see a slight dent in my polish, I need to start all over again.  I can't deal!  So Seche gave me back my sanity and allowed me to paint my nails whenever I wanted.  I still dabble in other top coats here and there but Seche is the best for my nails that I have found so far so I will always have a bottle on hand. Except for at this very moment...  I have 10 top coats that I am determined to finish or toss.  :)

7. Jojoba, castor, tea tree and coconut oils:  I need these oils in my life.  I have used a mixture of jojoba, castor and tea tree oil as a cleanser.  It takes some extra time and uses a lot of hot water so I can't cleanse my face with my oil mix every night but it is by far the best cleanser for my skin if I have 30 minutes to myself.  I smooth the mix on my face in circular motions and then steam out my pores with a hot wet face cloth.  Castor oil on it's own is very drying so I add jojoba for some moisture and tea tree oil as a treatment.  Good stuff!  I follow up with Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub.  I use coconut oil on everything.  As a body moisturizer, hair mask, scalp treatment...  I have used it on my face but it can be congesting so I prefer my other lighter oils.  And of course organic is the only way to go.  Pricey, but definitely worth it.

8.  Witch Hazel: I've tried many brands, there really isn't one brand that I always buy.  My current bottle is from Target.  Probably $2 for 16 fl. oz. and it lasts me a year.  After cleansing, no matter my method, I always run a cotton wool soaked in Witch Hazel across my face.  If I skip this step for a couple of days, my skin lets me know it.  I always try new toners.  In fact I have one by Korres that I really like. But ultimately, witch hazel works the best at balancing my skin.

9. Epson salt:  I use this in the bath and for my salt scrubs.  A huge container like this is $3-4 and it can make a lot of salt scrub on the cheap and you can add your own oils so you know what is in them.  I was paying $4 a container for the cheap-o Big Lots scrub, which I loved for the price but noticed it would sting.  Well that can't be good!  A few questionable, irritating ingredients, you are better off making your own and it takes all of 90 seconds.

10: Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter:  $5.  Best.Stuff.Ever  You can pay $20-30 for a good body butter.  Though this is really like a thick cream.  Body Butters to me have a bit of a greasy feel and leave a sheen.  This does not feel or do that.  However, it is very moisturizing, feels and smells great on the skin. I always have 1-2 containers backup.

11.  Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant/Anti-perspirant:  Hands down, this works better than any "clinical strength" deodorants on the market.  It has aluminum which isn't my favorite but if I'm in a situation where smelling really isn't an option, this is my go to.  There is no research that suggest aluminum really isn't the bad cancer causing agent after all.  But I still use it sparingly and never after recently shaving.  I really do not need an anti-perspirant but this is the only deodorant that works for me.  I've recommended it to everyone and those that buy it are very happy with their purchase.  At first, the smell kind of put me off but I got used to it and now I don't really smell it anymore

So there you have it, my most repurchased!

What are your must have beauty products?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Week 3 Empties!

This is why I will be doing this weekly...  Yikes.

So as you can see I dyed my hair.  I haven't dyed my hair in months.  Probably 3.  I had 4-5 inches of growth which was nice because I actually saw my natural hair color.  Ashy brown, golden highlights...  Oh and gray, massive amounts of it!  Ahhh!!!  Despite the gray strands, I immediately regretted ever dying my hair in the first place.  I thought I could just use my Rita Hazan Root Concealer but realistically, after 1-2 inches of root growth and the amount of product that was needed to conceal up to 5 inches, it's not the perfect solution. 

I thought I could deal with the gray, but the other 20 inches of hair on my head disagreed. So I grabbed a box of dye at Target.  I actually haven't seen Clairol Natural Instincts Crème in shade 21 anywhere so I took that as a sign to dye my hair.  Fun fact:  I grabbed what I thought was the last 2 shades of 21 at Target back in October?  I returned them a week later, swearing off dying my hair at home.  Oops! 

I like that this dye is ammonia-free and rinses out after 28 washes.  I can see where the claim "blends away grays" is true.  The product does not truly cover gray hair, it deposits a light coating on them so that they are less obvious.  Unless someone is right up in your business inspecting your strands, they are less noticeable.  And like I said it washes out. So when my permanently dyed hair grows out to shoulder length, I might just go natural?  Who am I kidding, I will totally get highlights or something.  I hate highlights, but like the idea of them and they blend out your grays...

Let's see what else.  Some Crest Prohealth, not sure why this is included but I will review it anyway.  This is alcohol free yet it still tears up your mouth the first couple of uses.  Total inside cheek skin peeler.  Which is annoying, but I really need to stick with a fluoride regiment.  I like mint or the blue mint variety of this.  I have a few bottles of various mouthwash in my stockpile.  Now I'm using Listerine. But this is one I can tolerate and would probably purchase in the future.

I've been working on this tube of Rembrandt since the summer.  I'm such a saver.  I would use this 1-2 times a week.  You can tell it is working by the color of the discarded toothpaste in the sink.  My teeth aren't bright white thanks to coffee and tea, but they aren't yellow either.  But this product does not make my teeth sensitive, probably because I do use it sparingly. I keep meaning to pick up white strips on a sale.  They are just so expensive for me right now.  I know Target makes a range, I should pick those up.

Korres Pomegranate Cleansing wipes were purchased at Marshall's.  I grabbed 3 or 4 of these at $2.99.  Good price for 25 wipes of a high end brand.  I like them.  Not as much at AVON's but these might be a little more natural?  It's hard to tell really.  But they are mineral oil, silicone propylene glycol, and ethanolamine free.  They are for oily/combination skin.  If I see these at Marshall's I will definitely repurchase.

I used a epielle nose strip which you can pick up at Big Lots for $1-2.  These work pretty good.  This one hurt coming off though.  Tear city!  But I have repurchased these nose strips several times and have not been disappointed.

I reviewed the Clinique and Boscia masks in my Week 3 Results post.  I really like them both.  Now I have 3 favorite masks including Eve Lom Resuce Mask.

The Kate Somerville CC cream was too dark but holy glow!  And not a bad thing.  I will definitely revisit this product in a lighter shade in the future.

The Nip+Fab products were unremarkable.  It's difficult to gauge products like this from a sample packet.  Results take 2-4 weeks of continued use for most products. 

The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair cream was very nice.  I was able to use this sparingly almost the entire week at night.  I just read the packet for the first time.  Says it can be used from "head to toe..."  Hmm...  I used this solely on my face.  My skin must have needed it though!

Ugh I waited to long to use the Weleda Iris and it was all separated.  I usually take that as a sign that it has expired.  I've had this for a while.  I believe this was a Beauty Army sample so that brings us to 2012.  MAD Eye Defense Shielding Serum was another Beauty Army sample.  This was nice.  I used this over the Arbonne Eye Cream.  It had a silicone/slip like feel to it.  It helped to minimize/fill in fine lines.  I might be open to purchasing a full size of this!

I ended up dumping the rest of the AVON ANEW Rejuvenate Glycolic Facial Treatment.  It was also a different color than what I remembered it to be so I knew it was time.  This stuff works at smoothing the skin and evening out your skintone.  This is the old packaging, I believe the new packaging is white and silver.  I will repurchase.

Omojo fine line defense serum was purchased last summer on clearance at Walgreens.  They had 2 different varieties and I picked up both and subsequently finished them.  I use this after toning and before moisturizer.  I can't say I saw "results" but I feel serum is a necessary repair step before moisturizing.  As someone with oily skin, its a delicate balance finding products that hydrate without leaving you oily.  I used to not moisturize, but found this just dehydrated my skin, further creating oil. 

I'm still looking for the perfect solution.  My skin changes with the seasons, always oily, but lately it has been more normal.  And don't get my started on my skintone.  It changes color too! I'm like a chameleon.  It's a never ending battle!  One product, be it moisturizer, cleanser, foundation, will never work all year until the end of days for me.

Julep makes some amazing products.  I might have to do a separate post just on Julep products that I love.  Word to the wise, shake this product before using.  Towards the end, it was difficult to remove polish.  But in the beginning, it melted the glitteriest glitter bomb polishes with a single swipe.  No joke.  And it was nondrying.  I think it worked better than ZOYA and it is acetone free.  I make my own remover with Acetone, Glycerin, Water and Lavender Essential Oil but if needed, I would repurchase this.  Along with ZOYA's.  I love them both.

Neutrogena Body Oil and the Castor Oil were used in a salt scrub that I make.  Which I started a blog post on but never finished so I will do that ASAP.  This Castor oil bottle was a Oil Cleansing mix that I used on my face for a few months.  The Oil Cleansing Method works but you have to find the right combination of oils for your particular skin or it can be disastrous.  This method also uses a lot of time and a lot of hot water to thoroughly steam your face.  My routine takes forever as it is so the OCM pushes it to over 30 minutes.  I digress...  So to use up this castor oil mix or should I say repurpose, I made a salt scrub and mixed it with the Neutrogena body oil.  I think that they changed the formula or my skin changed but it doesn't have enough moisture for me anymore.  I find myself using this and then layering lotion over it.  I have a Nuance spray oil that I am going to try next.

Boots No.7 Cleansing water is a favorite of mine.  I really do not need it, but I really do.  I've never tried Bioderma, but very curious.  I feel hesitant to order off of Amazon for fear that I will receive a fake.  But when I'm on my possible trip in July, you know I will purchase and bring some home!  But this Boots product smells really nice, cleanses, does not strip the skin and it can remove eye makeup. I do not use waterproof so I can't say if it works that well.  But for my purposes I'm happy with it.  It's affordable and readily available at Target.  It's a win for me!

What did you finish up this past week?

Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Week 3 Beauty Box Results

Here is what I started with last week:

And what I accumulated:

Foundation/CC Cream:

For foundations I used Physicians Formula Youthwear Spotless Light, L'OREAL True Match LUMI W1-2, Rimmel Stay Matte Mousse Foundation.  I actually did a lot of mixing.  Rimmel Stay Matte Mousse is super matte and just needs a little more luminosity for my drier skin this week so I mixed it with the Physican's Formula and even the Lorac CC cream as these 2 are a bit too dark for my winter skin right now.  LUMI is the lightest foundation right now in my collection and actually I realized this week it is a perfect match for my skin as I am quite pale right now.  A couple of days in a row I looked at my face midday and it was a not so natural color.  Too pink/orange.  Probably because I used darker foundations but I think everything looked good initially.  Probably time to move my makeup application to natural light vs bathroom artificial lights. 


Smashbox for my t-zone and L'OREAL Revitalift Miracle Blur for my forehead and crow's feet which I reach for when I remember.  I will keep Revitalift in my weekly box to remember!  It works really well at smoothing everything out and makeup blends over it nicely.  I have used this over foundation as well.  It was difficult to evaluate Smashbox as my skin is quite normal right now.   But the color of my face was all over the place last week and I'm not sure if I just used too dark of foundations or something oxidized.  I didn't have any issues last week...


Origins Plantscription SPF 25 is pretty heavy but used sparingly, it worked well for me.  I only used it a couple of days and I did notice slightly shiny skin later on in the day where the other days, I didn't feel the need to powder.  Not enough to blot though.  But my skin needs moisture and SPF.  I don't think I could use this in the summer though.  Better use it up in the next few weeks.  I just need a pea size.  Probably not enough to reap the SPF benefits however.  I used the Clarins as SPF backup.

I used the eclos Anti-Aging Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream this week at night.  I love the smell of this cream.  I love the entire line actually including the daily HydraPrimer...  I also used Kiehl's Midnight Recovery which I have been saving because I knew that I would love it and want to purchase.  Sure enough, I love it and want to purchase.  I need to finish up some things first!  Ahhh!!!

This is Lipsi Aphrodite Powder.  I used this to set my foundation on Saturday and Sunday.  I forgot where this came from.  Birchbox?  It is translucent and completely blends into the skin without a powdery look.  I will use it more next week.  It is supposed to absorb oils all day!  Huge claim for sure.

Eye cream

Finally finished the Arbonne Eye Cream sample!  A foil packet that lasted 3 weeks.  In fact, I still have a couple days use but I want to try something else.  I'm pretty sure I could go a month as I squeezed out a bit too much some days.

Serum and/or treatment

I finished up the Omojo fine line defense halbios serum this week.  I can't say I saw major results, but I like a serum that dries down nicely, doesn't irritate/break out my skin or clog my pores and doesn't add oil.  This one fits the bill.  I grabbed this on clearance at Walgreens.  But if I see it again, I might pick it up on a sale.


For cleanser I used honey most of the week but also mixed in the Julep Cleansing oil and Eclos Facial Cleanser Skin Prep.  It's a good combo and my face feels thoroughly cleaned and soft, not tight. 


Boscia Bright White Mask.  I'll be honest here.  The product was a bit separated when I squeezed it out of the packet and it looked similar to what a bird flying overhead would create...  But I quickly moved past that when I read on the back of the packet that it was a peel off mask!  Love peel off masks!  This one is lovely too.  There were a few bits that had to be washed off.  My skin was radiant and hydrated, I even had my husband feel it. :)   I'm definitely purchasing a full size.

Clinique Acne Solutions Mask was nice.  It didn't have that gagging acne medicinal smell even though it is a medicated formula.  It didn't feel drying, didn't tingle or anything yet it left the skin soft.  I noticed a day later that my chin looked clearer.  I had a couple very small under the skin bumps/congestion and they were taken care of.  I feel like I would see a lot of benefits using this a couple times a week in the summer.  I will be purchasing a full size.

Some type of palette, eyeshadow, blush, etc.

I tried to explore most of the colors that I do not normally wear in the UD Box of Shadows IV this week.   I did add in the Basics Palette for crease/transition colors. 

You really can't beat Urban Decay.  They are a stellar company.  If I could have the entire line of one makeup company, hands down, I would choose Urban Decay.

So I found some really nice products this week.  It's all about discovery! 

Did you find any new loves recently?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 4: Weekly Skincare/Makeup Box

Week 4 is upon us and here are my choices for this week's Skincare/Makeup Box!

Foundation: L'OREAL True Match Super Blendable Makeup in Nude Beige W3, which of course I will most likely be mixing with LUMI in W1-2.  But I noticed my skin being a bit pink/slightly orange this week when I used LUMI as a mixer.  Not a good look for me or anyone really.

BB Cream:  Skin79 BB cream.  Love this one!

Eye Cream: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Infusion:  A few years ago I went through quite a lot of samples of the advanced day and night repair.  Loved them as I truly saw results.  That practically never happens.  Honestly, I haven't seen the results from this serum that I wanted to see, however when I stop using it for a period of time, I realize that I must go back and use it.  I've had this since last summer and it's time to use it up.  It's impossible to tell how much is left in the bottle unfortunately.  I cannot use this at night as I will wake up with crazy puffy eyes.  It's not the only eye cream that will do this.  But in the morning under makeup, this serum is perfect.  I will go back to the cream in this line after this serum is finished.

Serum/Moisturizer: Dr. Jart Ceramidin Starter Kit.  This is a serum and a cream.  "Cream" is a scary word for us oily skins.  But since we have another blast of cold weather complete with a winter storm and snow likely for Eastern Carolina!  Yay!  My skin has been quite dry (for me) lately and could definitely use a boost of hydration.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution/Midnight Recovery Serum.  I have some "spots" on my forehead, more like freckles but I'm sure a derm would tell my mid 30 self that they are indeed of the aging variety.  So we will see if this has an effect on them.  I've used the Midnight Recovery serum last week a couple of times and it is very lovely.  I will switch with this combo and the Dr. Jart every other day this week.

Eraclea.  If the skin starts to freak out on me this week, I will have this as a back up plan!

Cleanser: Billy Jealousy White Knight Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser with Papaya Extract and Rosemary Leaf.  I also have just a few more uses of my Julep Cleansing Oil and if I finish that I have the new Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil in the wait. 

Exfoliant: I still have one more packet of Wei Pomegranate buffing beads.  I really like this product.  It turns any of your current cleansers into a powerful scrub.  Whatever it is that they use as the "beads," they are crushed, slightly finely. 
Mask: GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment.  I fell in love with Eve Lom a couple of weeks ago, let's see how I get along with GlamGlow again!

Palette: bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 8.0 The Cocktail Hour is a tiny, yet powerful palette.  All my fave shades.  Love the quality of these pressed shadows.  I've been a bareMinerals fan for a decade.

Primer:  Still using the Smashbox this week and I use the L'OREAL Revitalift Miracle Blur under my eyes.  I'm not sure if it does anything major, I should really start drinking more water.

SPF: Still working on the Clarins sample...  And Skin79 is 50.

So this is the Week #4 makeup/skincare plan!  What are you trying out this week?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Week 2 Empties!

I got through a couple of products this week so here's a look at this week's trash!

Just a few things and samples from this past week.  Eslor is a brand that I am going to look further into.  I really liked using the range this past week. 

I stretched the Eve Lom Rescue Mask into 2 applications.  Love that stuff!  I will definitely be purchasing a full size.  It's a couple of dollars cheaper than Glam Glow and it has the same smell and feel to it.

I felt like it is time to toss the Konjac Facial sponge.   That is the shriveled green thing in the photo.  Konjac sponge is from the root of a plant that grows in Korea and has been used in Japanese skincare for over a 1,000 years. Boscia has one in their range of products for $18 at Sephora. 

From the Sephora website:  "It is naturally alkaline and balances the acidity of the skin’s impurities and oils while being enriched with protein, carbohydrate, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and folic acid. Gentle enough for the most sensitive skin types, this naturally deep-cleansing, pH balanced sponge can be used throughout the face, neck, and even the very delicate undereye area."
I grabbed mine off of Amazon back in October for $6.99 and there are a lot of sellers so just search for Konjac sponge.  It takes a few weeks to get here.  Mine is of the green variety.  The Boscia one is white, they also come in black.  It came sealed in plastic and wet.  I found it a bit odd because it wasn't what I expected but really liked using it to cleanse my face.  They last about 3 months and mine started to have a different scent so I knew it was time to pitch.  I kept it wet basically hanging in the shower and rinsed it thoroughly after using.  I used it every other day or so in between using my Clarisonic.  I will be ordering another tout de suite.  In fact, I just did!  Still $6.99! :)

I have one more packet of AVON makeup cleansing wipes.  These really and truly take off the makeup.  They are pretty amazing.  I do notice they leave my face with a "funny" feeling, I'm not sure what ingredients have changed.  I don't notice it if I used them often but when I go back to using them for a night, the feeling is really noticeable.  It's more than just cooling, almost numbing.  Its a little eerie.  I should probably check the ingredients and figure out what it causing it!  But they work amazing.  The towel is just the right amount of thickness to moisture content.  Right now I have a packet of yes to Grapefruit Correct & Repair Brightening Facial Towelettes.  We will see how they compare...

Almay Oil Free Gentle eye makeup remover is just that.  It works well.  I still like my Rimmel or Boost No 7 cleansing water.  But this one is definitely one that I know works and can buy in a pinch.

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser is another trusted cleanser.  I was reading somewhere (really need to find that article) that oily skin should avoid foaming cleansers so I used this mostly for my back and chest when I was in the shower.  It cleanses well, doesn't seem to over dry.  I will repurchase.

Erno Laszlo Shake-It in Neutral is a product that I did a ton of research on prior to purchasing.  There really aren't a lot of reviews out there.  I couldn't figure out what color to order and finally decided on Neutral as I read it was almost universally flattering on lighter skin tones and I agree.  In the summer when I might be at my darkest, this is a touch pink.  It matches me well now.  I used this sporadically over the past year and a half.  Quick description; it's an alcohol based toner with pigment.  The pigment sinks to the bottom of the square plastic bottle so you have to shake it to incorporate the pigment into the liquid.   So I would take a cotton wool and dab it on my face over my makeup when my skin needed a refresher.  It dries within a few seconds and you can take a brush and buff the left over powder into the skin. I also tried it over moisturizer and before foundation. 

This is obviously a product for the serious oily.  It would "normalize" my skin for a little while but my skin would resume it's normal oiliness as it does with every product I try within 2-3 hours depending upon the humidity. (Remember that I live in coastal Southern NC and the humidity is brutal 10-11 months a year.  Might be a slight exaggeration...  ) 

I have a version by Shiseido without the pigment but it is their Pureness anti-shine refreshing lotion.  I dab it on with a cotton wool and it leaves your skin feeling, well refreshed and it has a pleasant scent. It also has a translucent powder and a toner that is salicylic based.  I feel better about dabbing salicylic acid on the face than alcohol however.

So there are my empties for this past week!  Thanks for snooping in my trash.  ;)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A "little" CVS trip...

Dropping by the far CVS with 3 kids in tow, could have been disastrous, but I was feeling very brave with $15 in ECBs, a $4 off $20 purchase and a $5 off $15 cosmetic purchase coupon at the magic coupon machine...  What could go wrong, right?

My intentions were to grab some Physician's Formula at 40% off and some L'OREAL Youth Code to take advantage of $10 ECB with $30 skincare purchase using $8 in coupons and submitting a $10 rebate.  And that's how it mostly went.

The magic coupon machine was jammed up so I lost a scan, slightly annoying as you can usually scan twice.  No biggie.  I was worried that the $5 off $15 cosmetic purchase coupon wasn't going to print but it did!  Yay!  But since I didn't get a second scan, I missed out on (possibly) the $3 off $10 Milani purchase.  I used to be able to scan my card several times a week and get coupons, now it's just one or 2 times.  :(

So here is what I got (minus filler candy items):

In order to qualify for both the $10 ECB and the $10 rebate, I had to purchase $30 worth of L'OREAL skincare products.  I had a $3 off Youth Code and a $5 off $20 L'OREAL product purchase.  The L'OREAL Youth Code Skin Perfector serum was $24.99 and the L'OREAL Revitalift cleansing wipes were $7.99.

Physician's Formula Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth Boosting Spotless Foundation in SPF 20 was $16.99.  Yowsers!  Glad I got it for 40% off and there was a $3 peelie coupon on the product.  Yeah $6 and change is more my speed...  I got it in shade light and put it on as soon as I got home.  One observation, they need a shade in fair.  Light, the lightest shade in the range, in terms of MAC, is about NC 25-30 so it is slightly darker than my skintone right now.  It has a beautiful semi-matte finish though.  It feels less silicone-y than the L'OREAL Magic Powder foundation if you are familiar with that product.  I will have a review soon!

I also grabbed with Revlon Skinlights in 100 Bare Light to take advantage of the $5 off $15 CVS coupon and $4 ECB with $12 Revlon purchase.  I never tried the original Revlon Skinlights and apparently people went a bit cray cray when they were discontinued 5 years ago.  I saw these in the permanent display at Ulta so looks like they are staying for the time being!  This product was $13.99.

When I scanned my card at the magic coupon machine my ECBs were on there and also a 20% off coupon that I had sent to my card sometime last week.  I thought it had already expired!

So my coupons were:

$4 off $20 CVS coupon
20% off total purchase CVS coupon
$5/$20 L'OREAL product MC
$3 L'OREAL Youth Code MC
25 cent Palmolive CVS coupon
$3 Physicians Formula peelie coupon
$15 ECB

Now the $15 in ECB rang up as separate CVS coupons (in today's trip, 3)...  Which may cause a slight problem in your transaction.  You need to have enough products per coupons being used.  I grabbed some candy thinking that I had enough but I needed to grab another filler item.  I had 9 items and the register will only take 9 coupons.  When the $3 Youth Code coupon beeped, coupon #10, I was going to go back for 2 Cadbury eggs, but then I saw a line of not 1, not 2, but 6 people behind me and 2 of my kids decided to fight over the gum we just bought so... it was time to get out of there fast.  :) 

Which is okay because I didn't know I still had the 20% off CVS coupon and that saved me an unexpected $6.53.

See receipt below!

Hefty amount out of pocket but I got back $4 in ECB for the Revlon purchase and $10 ECB for the L'OREAL purchase.  I will be submitting for the $10 L'OREAL rebate and I will be getting another $5 ECB for the $50 Beauty Club purchase.  So all in all, it was a money maker.

I could have broken up the transaction and dumped the $10 L'OREAL ECB on the Revlon and Physician's Formula, which I highly recommend so you are spending less out of pocket, but when people start lining up behind me, I don't like to hold things up and annoy the person at the register.

So let me get that rebate stuff together before I forget...  Here's the link to the rebate info!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mally Everycolor Poreless Face Defender vs. Covergirl truMagic Skin Perfector Mattifier

CoverGirl has certainly gotten my attention lately with all the new product launches after the success of their Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation... It is a great foundation and I highly recommend it those that that fall in the combo/oily skin category.  It provides medium to full coverage but it is light weight enough so that it can be sheered out using a damp makeup sponge.  Bravo CoverGirl!

My skin, especially down here in the hot & humid South, falls in the oily skin range and it is a constant battle keeping my face together.  There is nothing worse than walking out with picture perfect makeup than looking into a mirror 5 minutes after stepping outside and seeing your face just melt off.  Yuck!  Powdering is futile as it just cakes up, blotting is the ideal method, until you blott off all of your makeup...

Enter Mally Poreless Face Defender into my life.  It's not the perfect solution but it lasts longer than blotting and powdering.  It can be used a couple different ways, under foundation, over foundation instead of powder, occasional touchups and any combination of the 3.  I use it mostly for touch ups.  Blotting first to rid my skin of excess oil, I then dab it on my skin, mostly in the t-zone.  Boom!  Insta-matte.  It works that fast. But for me, it works almost too well.  Super-matte is not a good look for my taste and this product will accentuate flakey skin.  That being said, some days I loved it, some days I hated it.  But rest assured, my oiliness prevails, so the super-matte skin never lasts for long...

Mally Poreless Face Defender costs between $30-$40, Covergirl truMagic Skin Perfector Mattifier $6.99-$10.99.  It's hard not to compare the two but they are different products.  No dupe here, but they do basically the same thing, mattify the skin.  Let's take a closer look shall we?

 CoverGirl truMagic Skin Perfector Mattifier, $6.99-$10.99 for .27 oz of product.

Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender, ~$40 for .46 oz of product.

Packaging is approximately the same size and same shape.  Both come with sponges, completely different sponges.  The Mally triangle sponge is super bulky, buffed edge Japanese, the CoverGirl round thinner sponge can fit into the compact if you don't mind it touching the compact.


Now the formula.  The CoverGirl is a perfecting "balm" it is a softer gel-like texture, Mally's is more solid and clear.

CoverGirl truMagic Skin Perfector Mattifier ingredients: Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Myristyl Trisiloxane, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Wax, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax/Cire Microcristalline, Dimethicone, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Laureth-4.

Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender ingredients: Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PCA Dimethicone, Silica

Hmm, no parabens listed in the Mally...  :)  And I tend to feel more comfortable with a shorter ingredient list.

As you can see, Mally has been with me for a while.  Tried and tested over several months.  It works really well for me and sometimes just a little too well.  Unfortunately, since the humidity is nil currently and my skin has been quite normal, I am unable to fully compare the two in terms of which keeps my skin matte for longer.  Both do a good job at blurring imperfections, hiding pores, and instantly mattifying the skin.

In terms of the feel of the product on the skin, Mally is virtually undetectable and has a super matte finish.  CoverGirl can be felt on the skin, less than super matte, which can be a good thing.  So far I think CoverGirl is better suited for under foundation as a primer rather than a touch up. 

But I will update as soon as we have a warmer day as to which holds up better on my skin!

CoverGirl also comes in 2 other shades, a golden Shimmer Luminizer and Bronzer Sunkisser.

Have you tried either the Mally or the CoverGirl?  What do you think?  Dupes?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 3: Weekly Skincare/Makeup Box

If you have been following my journey for the past couple of weeks, I have worked out a system to actually use up samples, rather than saving them for a rainy day i.e. hoarding them in my Alex drawers.  I have to choose a sample or when the samples eventually (hopefully) run out, a different full size product in each category to rotate and use things up!

Here are my categories:

BB/CC/DD Cream
Eye cream
Serum and/or treatment
Some type of exfoliant
Some type of palette, eyeshadow, blush, etc.

Throughout the week I just put the products that I have used, makeup and skincare, in the box and I share what I used at the end of the week and give a quick little review of some/most of the products.

These are the products that I have chosen for Week #3!

Foundation & CC Cream:

This sample of Lorac CC cream came with my Lorac Po palette and it is in the shade medium.  Way too dark for me right now so I will be mixing this or going over it with L'OREAL Lumi in W1-2. I also have a sample of Clinique acne solutions liquid makeup in 03 fresh neutral. And I have some left over Kate Somerville CC cream as well from last week.
Primer: And since the Lumi is luminous, primer is essential for me.  This will be the first time trying Smashbox!

Moisturizer:  This week I'm trying First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair cream Intense Hydration for dry parched skin.  Which my skin is not so this will be used sparingly but this has been the most dry my skin has been in a long, long time.  Thanks to the unusually dry, cold air we have been experiencing in the South!

SPF:  I have a left over Clarins sample from last week.

Eye cream:  I'm still finishing up an Arbonne sample from the first 2 weeks but I also have Jack Black Protein Booster Eye Rescue and DERMAdoctor Photo Dynamic therapy liquid red light eye lift lotion when the Arbonne runs out.

Serum and/or treatment:   I have Lancôme Visionnaire and Nip+Fab No Needle Fix Serum. As well as Nip+Fab Viper Venom from last week.

Cleanser:  Trader Joe's Organic Raw Honey.  Yes, honey.  This is a thicker honey that needs to be scooped out of the container.  It has fine granules that act almost like an exfoliant.  I will of course pre-cleanser and remove my makeup prior to cleansing with this honey.  I like to let the honey sit for 5-10 minutes to benefit from the antibacterial and moisturizing properties as well.  It rinses off with no stickiness or residue.  Good stuff!

Mask:  Apparently I have several this week. Clinique oil-controlling cleansing mask, boscia bright white mask and Golden Root purifying mud mask.

Some type of exfoliant:  I'm using honey as my exfoliant this week.  I'm sure I will add something in the mix like the left over WEI Pomegranate buffing beads left over from Week #1.

Some type of palette, eyeshadow, blush, etc:  Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV!!!  This palette just doesn't get enough love. 

Look at all the pretty colors!!!  I just love them all.

Did you get your samples out?  What are you trying this week?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week 2 Beauty Box Results

Like last week, a few extra products made an appearance into this week's box.

Let's check it out!

Here's what I started with:

And here's what I ended up with:

Cleanser, Mask, Exfoliant: I really liked the Eslor Introductory Collection sampler packet.  They were generously sized and lasted 3 days!  The Soothing Cream was thicker but absorbed quickly and was non-greasy which is everything that I look for in a winter moisturizer.  The scrub was a bit chunky to my liking, I much prefer smaller granules but it smelled of almond and smoothed my skin nicely.  As well as the mask.  It wasn't overly drying and smoothed everything out.  Like I've said in the last post, I really like using skincare from the same line.  Mixing and matching, which unfortunately I do often, can be detrimental to sensitive skin type so do so cautiously!

Another skincare line that made it into the box was Olay Professional PROx Clear.  I bought this set over the summer on vacation at Walgreens on clearance for $11.  There were 2.  Hindsight, I should have bought both but I had never tried the system before and it's still going strong.  But I usually break this out a couple times a week just to clear out my skin and to make sure its staying clear.  The line boasts Salicylic acid which my skin prefers and responds favorably to.  I do not get the same results from benzoyl peroxide.  This set comes with a cleanser, treatment and a light weight lotion which has a slight silicone feel to it. 

Treatment: In the past few weeks I have been using my ANEW Rejuvenate Glycolic Facial Treatment.  They have reformulated and repackaged this product as of late so this is the old version in blue.  This product works really well.  I use it as a treatment but I wash it off after a couple of hours.  On mornings where I don't have to leave the house immediately, I will wipe my face with a cleansing wipe and then smooth on this treatment.  I then wash it off 1-2 hours later. It has lost it's strong perfumey scent which is a good thing but that also tells me that the product is probably starting to lose its vitality and it might be time to pitch.  I've had it for a very long time.  I've been following this out of the shower or after cleansing with Omojo fine line defense halobios serum.  I also picked this up at Walgreens on clearance during the same trip I picked up the Olay PROx clear set.  I really like light weight serums as they absorb quickly and I cannot feel them on my skin.

Since I've been out of my beloved Caudalie Beauty Elixir and not sure I am going to repurchase because of the alcohol content to be honest...  I had picked up Heritage Store Rosewater a while back and have been testing this out as a finishing spray.  I usually use Urban Decay De Slick but lately I haven't needed anything oil controlling just something to take the powdery look away.  The directions on the bottle do not indicate that this is to be used on the face, but it feels and smells really nice.  Also combined with the following products, it has become this week's complexion dream team.

Foundation, CC cream: Bourjois Healthy mix in 52 is just slightly too dark right now.  So I decided to mix it with L'OREAL True Match Lumi in W1-2, top this off with a setting powder which I had a sample of Meow Cosmetics Purrrfect 1-Sleek in Sphynx and a spritz of the Rosewater and BAM!  This is complexion heaven.  I was left with a gorgeous, poreless, healthy sheen.  I used Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC cream as a moisturizer underneath so I will try to replicate this again and do a separate blog post if I still feel strongly about this combination of products!

Another foundation that made it into the mix this week is Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation.  Not sure why they put "liquid" into the description mix because this is seriously thick stuff.  But if you want a super matte face, I would consider trying this one out.  I only used it once but I see this being in heavy rotation as soon as the humidity returns.  It's been in the 30's and 40's here!  Yowsers!

Primer: I used both the Too Faced Primed and Poreless and Clarins Instant Smooth when I remembered!  I've been trying to use up my Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender which I have hit serious pan on. I use this over foundation or as a touch up after blotting.  I recently picked up the new CoverGirl truMAGIC Skin Perfector and I will be comparing the two soon for you!

Eye Cream: I'm still using the Arbonne Corrective eye cream sample.  I think I will be finishing it up this week. And I think I have one more use of the MAD Skincare from Week 1.

Eyeshadow & blush: In addition to WnW Comfort palette, I used my favorite L'OREAL Infalliable in Bronzed Taupe.  Its just so easy to sweep it across the lid, blend it out into the crease and wing out some liquid liner and call it a day.  I love the "definer" shade on the left side of the Comfort palette as a liner.  In addition to my mark by AVON blush palette which is not pictured, I used MAC Crew a lot this week.

Like last week, I will just dump the products I didn't use into this week's box.

I didn't get to the Benefit eye cream, Lancôme Dream tone, Guerlain L'Or, Nip + Fab Viper Venom,  and Weleda Iris Hydrating Day Cream.

I have a weekly empties post coming up shortly!

What did you use up this week?  Have you tried the new Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation yet?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 2 Box: Weekly Skincare/Makeup Box

Round 2!

Here is my Week 2 skincare/makeup box:


Foundation:  Bourjois Healthy Mix in 52.  This might be too dark.  We'll see!  I'm hopeful that I can finish this foundation by the end of the year.  I'm not sure if I have ever finished a foundation before it went bad/expired/separated.  I finished my Rachel K CC cream at the end of last year which was pretty exciting.  They have a new formulation that I want to try but I want to finish up my Dr. Jart BB cream first oh and then my Skin79, and then Pond's Luminous and then Garnier...  It's endless!  :)

Primer: For eyes, Jesse's Girl and for face, Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch
Moisturizer: Weleda Iris Hydrating Day Cream and Josie Maran Argan Oil
Exfoliant: Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel

Eye Cream, SPF: Benefit It's Potent Eye Cream and Clarins UV Plus Multi-perfection SPF40

BB/CC/DD Cream: I'm not sure what this is...  It comes in multiple shades, called a tone corrector so I'm going with a CC cream. 

Another treatment: Nip+Fab  Viper Venom Wrinkle Fix with wrinkle blur technology.  Sounds promising!


Cleanser, Mask, Moisturizer:  I'm excited about trying this Eslor packet.  I really like using a skincare regimen from the same brand.  I feel like their ingredients coincide with each other/work together and there is no competition among the ingredients.  I worry that some of the products I use in conjunction cancel each other out when you are layering serum, moisturizer, SPF, primer.  So complicated...

This week I will have a cleanser, scrub, mask and cream from the same range.  Nice and tidy.

Makeup Category: Wet N Wild Comfort Zone.  Cult Classic.  It has seen better days and side note, this palette is not suitable in a Alex drawer that is opened frequently.  It jostles about and the soft shadows just crumble unfortunately.  No tears here though, I have a back up.  ;)  I haven't used this in forever.

I had a couple things from last week that are worthy of using up so I will add them to this week's box as well!

Any new products that you are trying out this week?  Do share!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 1 Beauty Box Results

Tremendous success!  :)

A few things crept into the box during the week which of course I will share as well as my empties.  Weekly empties will probably work out much nicer.  I have 2 paper grocery bags of empties (garbage/recyclables) in my closet that is too daunting to even take a photo of.  Starting fresh for 2014!

Here's what I started the week out with:

Here is what I ended out the week with:

Foundation: I used CoverGirl outlast stay fabulous in 825, Buff Beige which is a perfect color match.  For some reason I felt it was too dark.  And now that my skin has "normalized" during the colder winter we have been experiencing in the South (shorts & t-shirts today though!), it just lasts and lasts. 
BB/CC/DD Cream: Super+ Beblesh Balm from Skin79.  I love this BB cream.  It can be a bit light, especially in the summer for me.  It was definitely a perfect base for the CoverGirl Outlast.  Kate Sommerville CC Cream in Light/Medium is too dark but works well if used sparingly as my moisturizer.  I will finish this up next week.
Primer: I used Revlon PhotoReady for a couple of days.  I mostly used the Skin79 for my primer.  Revlon doesn't fill in my pores and I didn't like the way Outlast wore over it.  Too Faced Primed and Poreless worked much better at filling in my pores and smoothing out the surface of my skin.  I used L'OREAL Magic LUMI as a cheekbone highlight.  I forgot how much I like this.
Moisturizer: I really liked the Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer.  It feels substantial but absorbs quickly and is non-greasy.  I would like to purchase a full size of this someday.  I finished the Argan Cream from Babor Cosmetics.  It is super rich and perfect for dry skin ladies.  It's lovely on the hands and cuticles...  :)
SPF: CoverGirl was SPF 20, Skin79 BB cream SPF50+ PA+++
Eye cream: Arbonne Corrective Eye Cream sample followed by MAD Skincare Eye Defense Shielding Serum.  Maybe I should have reversed the 2 but the MAD Skincare eye serum felt a bit silicone-y and felt it was appropriate on top to seal in the Arbonne.  :)  I still have plenty left for next week.
Serum and/or treatment: Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion used exclusively day and night on face and neck.  I still have leftover for next week!  Didn't touch the Guerlain L'Or.  Save for next week?
Cleanser: Juice Beauty Cleansing milk has a strange scent. Strange meaning I don't think I could wash my face with it every night. I also finished up a 30mL sample of Philosophy purity one step-facial cleanser which is nice and I appreciate all the samples I've used in the past.  I also used Neutrogena ultra gentle daily cleanser.  It's a foamer, which I've read that I need to stay away from but cannot remember the details.  I will have to look that up again.  But it wasn't over-drying.  I like it.  I will be using up the rest next week.
Mask: Eve Lom Rescue Mask... Oh baby.  I love, love, love this!!!  It's reminiscent of the infamous, ultra expensive Glam Glow but I think it works a lot better.  I used up a full size of Glam Glow and was left with a sore wallet and dumb founded as to why everyone loves it.  I was left with super, oily skin the day after using it.  Like blotting every 30 minutes oily.  Maybe I need to try the white tub version but Eve Lom just blew it out of the water for me.  I really felt and saw tighter pores, smooth, bright skin and no rebound oiliness.  I will buy a full size of this.  And I think it s few dollars cheaper.
Some type of exfoliant:  I used my Clarisonic and the new Garnier Clean  Balancing Daily Exfoliator Grapefruit + Pomegranate.  It smells wonderful.  I will save the Wei Pomegranate beads for another week.
Some type of palette, eyeshadow, blush, etc.  This week was theBalm Nude'tude palette.  Also a staple in my daily routine, Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.  For blushes I used Revlon Matte in Rose Rapture, and Milani Powder Blush in #201 Luminous.  Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze also made an appearance this week.  I paired this with Tarte skinny smolderEYES in Sunstone Bronze.  Really liked the combination.  I also used the dual Julep Kajal Eye Glider in brown shimmer and carbon black.  I really like this liner.  I reach for it often.  It's nice and soft, smudges readily, sets and stays mostly put.  For setting powder I used Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.  Mostly under the eyes.  I haven't felt the need to powder up lately.  That will change quickly when the humidity returns... Stila Convertible color dual lip & cheek cream is lovely.  I'm not sure what shade this is but from looking at the website it looks close to Lillium?  I just used it on the lips so far and I really like the color.  I topped it off with a Philosophy lip gloss which I love.  And of course L'OREAL Lashout Butterfly Mascara.  You already know how much I love it!

Extras:  I finished up Rita Hazan Root Concealer in Light Brown.  This is awesome for extending the time in between coloring. Totally covers grays and helps blend in overgrown roots.  I can last even through a washing if you don't scrub!  I have about 4-5 inches of growth (grays oh my!) It's long over due for a cut and color update.  I haven't had a hair cut since last June!  I haven't dyed my hair in months either.  I really missed my natural hair color!

Oh and I broke out the old Lashem eye lash serum so I can work on that.  If I throw it in the box I use it!  This lash serum works pretty well.  I see results fairly quickly too many times after picking this up after an extended time for it to be a coincidence.  I think it really works.  For concealers I used Maybelline Fit Me this week in Fair and Light and Physicians Formula Concealer Twins in Light as well as my Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque.

Ah, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge might be the very reason I fell back in love with CoverGirl Outlast.  This sponge is better than the Beauty Blender in my opinion.  It is just a tad softer but it blends beautifully.  And I like the shape so much better.  It fits the contours of the face perfectly.  I found with the Beauty Blender it took a couple tries to get the technique right, this incarnation is much user friendly and easier to hold.  And can we talk about the price difference for a minute?  RT Miracle Complexion Sponge is a mere $6.  You can pick up 2 on a BOGO 50% sale at Ulta for $9.  SOLD!  Total no brainer.

First week was rather successful sticking to the plan.  There were a couple products that I skipped but I will just add to next week's box which I need to get ready!

What did you use up this week?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Week 1 Box: Weekly Skincare/Makeup Box

One of my "resolutions" or things I had been thinking about to improve my organization this year is to rotate my makeup products and use up samples.  I've accumulated a lot of samples, a ton really in December so in an effort to use and review them more efficiently, I've come up with this solution.  Surely this is not a unique concept but I've finally got it together enough to try it out...  Hopefully it works for me!

Monthly sample subscription boxes (namely Birchbox and TestTube) have been cancelled for the time being as well.

Each week's box will contain different items in the following categories either in full size, sample form or both:

BB/CC/DD Cream
Eye cream
Serum and/or treatment
Some type of exfoliant
Some type of palette, eyeshadow, blush, etc.

A foil sample packet of eye cream should last me the entire week.  Other foil sample packets 2-3 days, deluxe sized samples 4-5 days.  I will use my regular cleansers, moisturizers and spf products in between or as I use up the sample products.  Also I get to utilize some empty GlossyBoxes that of course I have been saving like a hoarder.  :) 

Reviews will hopefully be on Sunday or Monday and then I will introduce the new week's sample and makeup products.  Good plan?  Yes, I think so too!  :)

I'm going to go easy for my first week and see what I finish up and gauge what I will need for next week.  Eventually, I will add blushes and lip products as well.  But this is what I have started off with for this week, the first full week of January! 

I've only used the back row so far but let's dive in!

Foundation: CoverGirl Outlast 3 in 1 foundation Buff Beige is a bit dark for me.  I have a lighter foundation to mix with it for the winter. 
BB/CC/DD Cream: Kate Sommerville CC Cream
Primer: Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer/Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Moisturizer: Juice Beauty Nutrient, Babor Argan Cream
SPF: CC Cream is 50+++, Outlast 20 spf
Eye cream: Arbonne Corrective Eye Cream, MAD Skincare Eye Defense Shielding Lotion
Serum and/or treatment: Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion/ Guerlain L'or Radiance Concentrate
Cleanser: Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk
Mask: Eve Lom Rescue Mask
Exfoliant: Wei Pomegranate Buffing Beads
Palette: theBalm Nude'tude

Anyone else drowning in samples or is it just me?  ;)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

L'OREAL Voluminous Butterfly Mascara

I received this as compensation from the L'OREAL Consumer Testing Program.  I think that this was for completing surveys.  I have tested out a few products in recent years and L'OREAL will send a gift a week or 2 after completing the final survey for the particular product that you tested.  You can join here

You will fill out an initial survey about your demographics, skin and hair type, etc.  Occasionally, they will send an email indicating that you may qualify for an upcoming study.  The studies fill up quickly so I try to log in every few days or once a week to see if there are any surveys I can take for upcoming studies.   Testing is confidential.  The past few studies I have participated in were for foundations.  Fun stuff!  

Years ago I was a huge fan of L'OREAL Voluminous Carbon Black.  I switched to Lancôme for many years and then AVON, then back to the drugstores, Urban Decay...  I've tried a fair amount over the years. 

I keep accumulating Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara samples which I love, love, love.  It's a bit difficult to remove but it holds my curl and I'm very happy with the results.  I don't necessarily love a brand new tube, I like it to dry out slightly so it is perfect about week 2.  It doesn't "curl" my lashes, but it holds my curl which is a big deal for someone with super straight lashes.

After about a week of use, L'OREAL Voluminous Butterfly Mascara is my new favorite.  I mean just wow.  This could totally change after a month of course but as it stands right now, it's amazing. 

Package details:
I will admit, the wand is a bit crazy, but the design works.  It picks up a perfect amount of product which is crucial for mascara application.  If the design picks up too much product at once, globs and clumping ensues and it can be a real mess.  The shorter bristles work perfectly for the inner corner and lower lashes and the longer "butterflied out"end expertly coats and flares out your outer lashes.  The flared end really works perfectly for my eye shape.  I'm impressed.

Here is my before lashes, curled.  I mentioned earlier that I had some eyelash breakage from a curler I had been using for a very long time.  I ended buying the Shiseido eyelash curler as a replacement which I have been very happy with.  Review coming soon!  But you can see the short lashes on my outer corner.  They were much, much worse.
Bam!  Fixed.  This is one coat.  No clumps, a perfect amount of product.


This is 2 coats.  It's buildable, without clumping.  I just love this mascara.  It smells of Lancôme, a light rose scent that doesn't linger like I've noticed (and don't mind) Lancôme will do.

Fun fact: My eyes spontaneously tear in the sunlight, wind, cold, you name it.  I was out in the windy cold over the weekend with my daughter selling Girl Scout cookies (it's that time of year!) and forgot to bring a tissue to dab.  To my surprise, this mascara did not run.  There is nothing on the package indicating that it is waterproof but this stuff stays on.

However, washing it off was super easy.  I will either use a makeup remover wipe or Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil to dissolve everything as a pre-cleanse.  I will use a variety of cleansers on hand then use a eye make up remover on a cotton wool to remove any mascara, liner etc left over. This mascara came off very easily. 

So just to reiterate...  I really love this mascara.  It was a total surprise that I would be blown away.  Good stuff!

Have you tried L'OREAL Voluminous Butterfly Mascara?  What do you think?  What's your favorite mascara currently?