Walmart Beauty Box : Spring 2016

IMG_1235Here’s another Walmart Beauty Box! They’re “free” ($5 shipping per quarter) and they now let you choose from one of two beauty profiles. They automatically chose “trendsetter” for me, since I was at the time under 30. The millennials, they love trends!

I’ve gone on and on about why I love this box, but it really is just the right price point, shipped just often enough for me to never be disappointed. I always seem to get one item that makes the subscription feel like a good value for me. This month was no exception!

Colgate Optic White Toothpaste – I’m pretty sure this is a sample size tube, but it’s still very large. I’ve gotten this from Influenster and purchased it on my own. It promises whiter teeth in three days. While I can’t speak to that claim, it’s definitely whitening.

Biore Baking Soda Pore Cleanser – This is a clear, nice-smelling cleanser. I used it on my nose and chin and it had the most neutral results of any cleanser I’ve ever used: nothing bad to report, nothing terribly great. I could feel some random rough chunks in this, and I couldn’t’ decide if it was supposed to be the baking soda or some plastic microbeads (boo! hiss!)

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer – This is a fake tanner. I never try these, but figured I’d give it a go. I’m very fair, and this was splotchy on me. It’s a nice “natural” fake tan on me, but using this daily would be a big no.

Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick – OMG THIS SMELLS LIKE NOSTALGIA. It smells like a Bonne Bell Lip Smacker. The shade is somewhere between pink, puce and brown. It’s a nice natural shade on me. This is full-size and a $7.50 value!

Curel Itch Defense Body Wash – I haven’t tried this, but I’m surprised this wasn’t part of the winter box. It says it’s for dry skin, and that’s when my skin is at its dryest.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Brighter – I’m not so sure about this product. It claims it will lighten your hair! It says it will do so without going brassy, but I am skeptical. I might try this. It doesn’t smell at all like a chemical lightener and it has some natural extracts that should be nourishing.

CeraVe Healing Ointment – “Protects and soothes cracked and chafed skin with a non-greasy feel”. Will I be trying this to protect against chub rub? You betcha.

Vera Wang Embrace This is the blue scent, which is Periwinkle and Iris. I hate perfume samples, but this was a nice scent.


Others – A foil packet of Burt’s Bees BB Cream, a shade sticker try-on card from Loreal True Match and some coupons.

Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet : January 2016 : Sicker, Sad World

IMG_1019Notoriously Morbid is an indie beauty brand that gears their goods towards people who are a little on the morbid side. Products are typically titled after horror, fantasy and weird books, movies and TV. The Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet is a (rather hard to get) surprise sample bag that plays on a theme each month. The waitlist is painfully long since it’s an indie brand, and I’m okay with that. I get that scaling an indie brand can be hard. The Vanishing Cabinet is $12.90 a month (shipping is included). They’re trying out offering the ability to buy a one-month trial of this bag, after which I imagine they’ll bump you up in the subscription queue if you’re interested.0004_sicksad

The theme this month was Sicker, Sad World, a play on the bizarre TV show-within-the-show on Daria, an MTV joint that gave sarcastic girls everywhere a heroine. Definitely on-brand for Notoriously Morbid!

This VC included four eyeshadow samples, a lip balm sample and a sucker. Each came with a coupon code for a free full-size eyeshadow with any purchase, a $5.50 value. Each sifter of shadow is good for several uses–to be honest, for me, this is enough for all my makeup application for a year or better–and the lip balm is about as much as I’d use in a season. Tentatively, I think the $12.90 value is pretty good.

Only Child (Eyeshadow) – A pinky mauve with a touch of purple duochrome. Dabbing it onto my hand with my finger, I had a hard time getting this shade to build well. I really had to push the colour in. Over a primer, however, this really stuck and looked great.

Authority’s Problem (Eyeshadow) – A really nice warm grey silver that will make an awesome steely smoky eye. This applied SO WELL and I’m stoked to use it all over the place.

IMG_1031I Hate You (Eyeshadow) – A brown with green duochrome that reminds me of old-school Urban Decay. The duochrome on this one is a little disappointing unless you’re right up on it. Tapping this on made it look like a pretty average brown, but over primer, it got clumpy and weird. May just be my primer, but this shade is giving me guff!

Misery Loves Company (Eyeshadow) – The description that kept running through my mind for this one was bruise. It looks like a really deep, painful bruise, with lots of blues, purples and greys. The application of this one was also stellar and it offers a lot of buildability, but I can see the bruise factor being a negative unless used just right.

IMG_1022Mystic Spiral (Kiss Balm) – My boyfriend and I had the same, NSFW response when we smelled this “Oh my fuck”. It smells like the most wonderfully buttery, vanilla baked pastry you’ve ever smelled. It has virtually no taste and a neutral colour. It feels a bit like Vaseline on, though less greasy.

The Overall – I’m really pleased. The samples felt a tiny bit smaller than what I’d hoped for. At about $2.58 per sample, that’s a bit more than I’d normally spend. The curation is really cool, but I’m a smidge worried that this is going to become one of those “more stuff” subscriptions. But! But! But! I really like this one. So if you don’t see it ever again, don’t think it’s not because I don’t -LIKE- the NMVC. It’s just that I should really be saving my money and space.

Mini-Haul from Ulta – Drugstore Makeup Brands

haulI splurged a little on some makeup, so naturally I had to tell the only people in my life who might care. 😉

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm ($5.99) – So I tried this product in the past from ipsy, and I was really disappointed. The shade was all wrong from their website and it had a chalky, patchy application. This shade is a little bit of a different story. On their site, it looks very brown. In person, the tube looks more rosy. On, it’s a My Lips But Better and Slightly Warmer. It also feels really emollient and moisturizing. It kind of dries out after a few hours, but the colour is staying behind like a stain. I do have to reapply throughout the day.

NYX Color Mascara in Purple ($6.99) – This was disappointing, but not a total loss. On the wand, this mascara is a bright purple. On my (very dark) lashes? The purple gets totally lost. It works nicely as a mascara and way up close, I can see a purple tinge to my lashes, but it’s not the Totally 90s effect I was hoping for. It doesn’t do a ton to plump or lengthen my lashes, but it’s a really nice everyday mascara, so -shrug-

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Stone Fox ($6.99) – I expected this to be a more neutral grey, but it’s actually more of a teal. Which is dope because it kind of matches my hair right now! It’s my spooky October shade. This is meant to go on and dry down into its suede texture. It takes a long time to dry, but when I does, I find it a bit tacky and uncomfortable. If you press your lips together, the colour comes off in spots. And after a couple hours of wear, it felt like the colour was going to crack when I smiled. I don’t think it’s a great all-day shade because of all this. ALLLL that said, I feel like Stone Fox is a really unique shade and if you don’t mind being vigilant with reapplication, this might be a winner for you.

Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup in Ivory ($9.99) – This is very thin. I was disappointed at first, but really surprised at how much of my face I covered with barely any product–and it gave me a coverage that was better than some MUCH thicker products. It was a tiny bit chalky, however, but wasn’t greasy at all. I didn’t choose the lightest shade as I usually do, and I’m glad.

Revlon Photoready BB Cream Perfector with SPF 30 ($11.99) – This was so disappointing. It smells and feels like a sunscreen, which I hate in a foundation that includes SPF. This is very thick, and does a decent job covering dark circles. I don’t feel like it’s a good base for another makeup, however. And this definitely had my face looking greasy by the end of the day.

ColourPop Cosmetics First Purchase

IMG_0569I finally broke down and made a very small order from ColourPop Cosmetics. For the unfamiliar, they’re a makeup brand based in L.A. that doesn’t test products on animals (I’m unclear whether they’re totally “cruelty-free” or not, but they do say that some of their products are vegan.) How cute is it that they handwrite every customer’s name on their thank-you cards? They also include postcards with product suggestions and instructions.

My experience?  Of course I’m going to tell you all about it!

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Ipsy Review: August 2013

The Overall: Solid! I thought I’d be most excited about the Urban Decay lipstick, but the face mask won me over.  This shipped fast (go DHL and your updated tracking page!)  It came with a mascara, which I didn’t really need, but I was pleased, in general.  As far as I can tell, the nail polish and eye shadow are both full-sized and everything else is a deluxe sample.

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Ipsy Bag Review: May 2013

The Bag/Theme: VERY cute, loved that it was blues and orange.  I’m not a fan of pink.  The theme was “Spring Fling”, which I feel is a little late for the season and a very UGH phrase, anyway.  This is the FIRST bag where they’ve confirmed that they chose products based on our website profiles.

Under the cut, because I know some of you don’t care. 🙂

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Ipsy Bag Review: April 2013


The Bag: This bag is a white textured material with a pink zipper, and a pink striped silk lining.  I don’t think white bags and makeup mix well, so I probably won’t use this.  Cute, though!

Two Cosmetics Duo Eyeshadow in Heartache: I think pink eyeshadow is underused.  These were two colours that didn’t seem to go well together in the pan.  One looks slightly on the orange side of pink and the other is a pearly cool pink.  They both were different when swatched… under the cut we go!

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Ipsy March 2013: Anchors Aweigh!

The Bag – Very cute nautical print, but it felt a little flimsy.  Not sure how much I’d use this in my purse.  I prefer slightly more durable bags because I’m pretty rough on my stuff!

The Shipping – The tracking reports that they shipped the piece on the 6th, but I didn’t get the code until the 9th.  It was handled by DHL this time, and the piece seemed to move pretty slow.  It arrived at the airport early in the morning on the 8th, but didn’t leave until the 9th and I didn’t receive it until the 11th.  Meh for this month.

Glam Rx Mini Freestyle Palette – I didn’t know that THIS is what I’ve been looking for in an interchangeable palette until I had it in my hands.  It’s a little bigger than a credit card and fairly slim.  It’s perfect for dropping in a few pans and actually taking with you!  I think this was actually created especially for Ipsy subscribers, and I think it’s exactly the sort of thing brands should be doing.  It’s a great taste of what your brand can do and something they’ll actually use–keeping your logo in their bag.  The magnet seems to be plenty strong and the mirror is great.

yaby Eyeshadow Refill – Perfect coordinating on Ipsy’s part.  Yes, DO give us eyeshadow pans when you give us an interchangeable palette.  I got a tealy-green and a pretty muted goldenrod.  These are still confusingly similar to the Coastal Scents shades I got–I’m curious about how Ipsy chooses the sample shades now.  These have great colour payoff even without primer.  They’re a bit small, but it’s a nice sample size.

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist – I could smell this as soon as I opened my bag.  None had leaked, but it was a nice surprise.  It’s sort of herby and cirtusy on me.  I wouldn’t spray this on my face–sneeze much?–but it would be okay in my hair.  This had pretty decent staying power.  I don’t know about the “hydrating” part of the equation–I didn’t see or feel much difference.  I probably wouldn’t buy this, but it’s a nice freebie.

LA Fresh travel-lite Makeup Remover Wipes – These are okay face wipes.  They did a pretty good job of removing the green eyeshadow, which I think is a pretty solid measure of a wipe’s cleaning ability!  I noticed a powder fresh scent when I opened them, but no smell really seemed to come with the wipe or stay behind.  No stickiness afterward, which I’ve noticed with some wipes.

The Overall: I really liked this bag for the eyeshadow and palette.  I feel like ipsy needs to communicate how beneficial it is for a brand to represent themselves creatively.  Obviously, generating BRAND NEW products for the ipsy bags isn’t always feasible, but it definitely excites me as a potential customer more than something I could get anywhere.  Show me why your brand is unique!