Life Updates // Hour Reduction + Test Studying!

Today’s post is short. I’m in the process of doing a lot in terms of life things, and I simply don’t have a lot of time as of late, but I wanted to update anybody who cares on a few things.

The first little update I have is that I have dropped my hours at work. I’ve gone from full time (working three days a week, 12.5 hours a shift) to what we call Casual Part Time, working four hours every Wednesday and four-hour shifts every third Saturday and Sunday. I have the option to pick up a lot more hours and work almost full time, but I’m not obligated, which is nice for my mental health, because…

I’ve also decided to take the MCATs. I’ve spent the last two years essentially bullshitting around, feeling too scared of failure to actually apply to anything I want, but also being too scared of being away from my boyfriend to go for any jobs that will get me to where I want to be… I applied for one job position doing entry-level research, and I am 99% certain they did not even contact my references, which to me says that they had a very specific candidate in mind (read: not some girl from Montana).

I believe that this is what is best for me. At work, I have been feeling stressed and bored at the same time, creating stagnancy in most areas of my life. The stress hasn’t bee productive stress; instead, I come home, often crying and tired, and I try to unwind for a few hours until I can finally fall asleep to do it all over again. My days off are often spent traveling to visit family or trying to undo the mess of the apartment (note: I take the second law of thermodynamics very personally, I guess). There’s little time for personal development, and being stuck in a certain schedule for work has me dreading specific days. I don’t intend to pick up a full-time schedule each week, but I’d like to pick up enough that I do not need to dip into savings.

This also means that I have to re-evaluate some of my finances. I’ve made some cuts to certain beauty boxes, which you’ll notice in the next couple months, and my spending has to slow as well. I’ve never been particularly good at keeping to budgets, but I’m going to this time!

Another little thing I wanted to add in: so far, two and a half weeks into my behavior mod, I’ve been doing really well with my health goals. Next week, however, I will be going to visit my parents with Boyfriend, and I have a very hard time eating well when I’m with my family. I’m nervous that my track record + the fact that I won’t have my rewards with me to be an incentive will make it very difficult to stay on track while there. I have a few ideas (bringing a couple extra items and using those as a “continuous reinforcement schedule,” letting myself pick out new products to purchase based on the current rewards system, such as an elf product for a small reward or a new palette for a large reward, or even setting everything to a medium or large reward so I’m more motivated to reach them), but nothing has seemed to be a “holy grail” idea to me yet. I’ll keep thinking!

 

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Review // Revlon Balm Kiss in Berry Burst

Hello all! Today, I’m reviewing another product I “earned” for my healthy habits behavior modification- Revlon’s Kiss Balm in Berry Burst, a nicely pigmented tinted balm in a crayon format. Let’s get to the review!


First Impressions + Packaging: The packaging is very easy to use. It twists up when you need more product. It’s about the size I expect from a crayon tinted balm, fitting easily in my pocket, but it isn’t as small as a typical lip balm. I like this because I lose normal balms way too easily. The cap is a cheap, tinted clear plastic, and I’m worried it will fall off often.

Shade + Tone: This color is a berry- a medium magenta/slightly purply-pink red color. It’s not muted, but it’s not overly bright. It is moderately sheer; my lip color does peek through, but there is a definite tint. I would describe the tint as neutral; I notice my natural lip’s tones shining through, and it isn’t overly warm or overly cool itself. It can be built up for a better effect. Runs low risk of looking sloppy if used as a balm (without a mirror), but it has more pigment than many other tinted balms.

Finish: Medium shine, cream. Can appear almost glossy, but it doesn’t have high shine.

Application: This product is easy to apply. You can twist it up easily from the bottom. Because it’s medium sheer, it’s easy to apply quickly without a mirror- low risk of looking sloppy!


Performance + Feel: I believe in the past I’ve included finish in this section, as part of “look,” but I wanted to separate “finish” and “look;” look is more about how it performs rather than how shiny or matte it is. Anyway, this product looks pretty darn good. I don’t notice it settling into any lines. It doesn’t break up. It look over-done. It’s nice! This is slightly slick, but a little waxy- reminds me of normal lip balms but perhaps a hair thicker on the lips. Feels hydrating. I noticed no peeling or cracking throughout the day (a huge plus for me). My lips feel more hydrated after using this regularly for a day vs not putting anything on them, but they do not feel as hydrating as some specific balms (like pure lanolin).

Transfer: Being so sheer, I hardly notice transfer. It transfers like a balm, where I notice transfer in term of the waxy/balmy bits, but I don’t notice much color transfer because of how sheer this is.

Longevity: The balm itself lasts a while, but it doesn’t hold up to eating. I find I reapply this balm often throughout the day simply for the hydrating and moisturization effect. It leaves behind a minor stain.

Overall: I’m surprised to say that I give this product a 9/10. It’s so easy to use, looks really nice on me, is decently hydrating, and best of all, it’s inexpensive at anywhere from $4-$5. I’m only knocking it a point because the smell can be a bit overwhelming over time.

 

Fragrances // TWP “AHH-vocado!”

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Brand: Twisted Wonderland Perfumery
Perfume Name: 
AHH-vocado!
Indie or Mainstream: Indie
Cost and size: $13.50 for 5ml perfume oil , $15 for 10ml eau de parfum. Available as soaps ($5), sugar scrubs ($8.50), 2oz body mists ($8), and lotion ($9.50). Small oil samples are $13.50 for 5 samples ($2.70 each + shipping).
Availability: Permanent as part of the Oh, The Horror collection.
Shop description: “A combination of avocado, sea salt, blackberry, plums, and hints of fresh green grass. Don’t let the avocado scare you, this is a nice fresh scent!”

My opinions: I don’t get much of the avocado, honestly. It’s there, but barely. As far as the sea salt, it is not a note I can pick up on at all on it’s own, but it does seem to tamper the fruits. I get quite a bit of the fruit scents, but I’m unable to distinguish the blackberry and plums independently (this may be due to a lack of memory on what plums smell like). The fruit I pick up on is an generic berry scent, but it’s not overly sweet or artificial. It maintains a slightly puckered quality. As far as the green grass, I hardly pick up on that at all.

Longevity: I would call this a good medium longevity. On my skin, this scent lasts for 13+ hours; however, after a couple hours, the throw is reduced to very low.

Sillage and throw: Moderate to start, but goes to very low quickly.

Where this scent takes me: I’m in a pretty sundress. It’s about 10 in the morning, and I’m outside in a huge garden. Instead of dirt underneath my feet, however, I see wild grass. This garden has all kinds of fruits growing. I’m standing in the shade of an unidentified tree, my sunhat flopping around my ears. All around me, I see berry patches.

When I would wear this: To me, this feels more of a day time summer scent, and that’s how I’ve been enjoying this.

Would I purchase a larger size of this scent? I probably would, yes, but I’m not sure when. I think I would like to get either a body mist or spray perfume over the oil dabber on this one.

First Impressions // Blinc Electric Eyes Palette

While this palette came in my July Boxycharm, I put it aside as part of my rewards system for working on healthier habits. I shockingly earned it pretty quickly, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try! Here are my first impression and initial thoughts on this palette.

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The first thing I notice about this palette is the lack of diverse finishes. All of the shades are shimmery- there’s not much variation at all in the level of shimmer, even. For a five-pan palette, I’m not expecting much, but for those who like matte transition shades, this could never be a standalone palette. The second thing I noticed is how similar the colors were. While they are all distinct colors, they are quite close together. This isn’t inherently negative; these color are all cohesive. In the pans, these colors look more neutral-toned; on my arm, they all looked much warmer. Here are my descriptions of the colors, in pan and on my arm:

  • Orpime: In pan, a shimmery medium bronze. On my wrist, slightly more golden.
  • Rhodini: In pan, a shimmery medium magenta. On my wrist, it appears much more warm, with red and even some orange showing.
  • Vanadini: In pan, a neutral light rose-gold. On my wrist, it just appears slightly darker.
  • Autuni: In pan, a medium to light shimmery gold that is a bit muted. On my wrist, the warmth is increased.
  • Sphene: In pan, a shimmery neutral-to-warm light golden highlight shade. On my wrist, it appears much more yellow.

Let’s talk about shade names for a moment. While you don’t see the shade names on the palette while using it, there are names printed on the back of the palette. I find these names confusing, and I had to look them up to see if there was any meaning.

  • Orpime is the name of a specific antibiotic, and orpiment is a type of mineral/rock that is bright orange due to a high arsenic concentration… The color of Orpime is not the color of orpiment.
  • Rhodini was hard to find online; the closest thing I could come up with was a restaurant of the name and E. Rhodini, a stream turtle. I don’t see how either of these leads to this color. When I looked up Rhodinite, I did find a mineral that is a bright pinky-red or rose-pink color, which is similar to the color of Rhodini in pan.
  • Vanadini was also hard to find, and it bright me to vanadinite, a crystal that can is usually bright red or red-orange. The color of vanadinite reminds me more of Rhodini’s color once swatched on my skin
  • Autuni might be representative of the crystal/mineral autunite, which oddly can be primary found at the base of Mt. Spokane, where I grew up. Autunite is a lemon-yellow or greenish-yellow to pale green crystal, normally- not this slightly muted golden color I see in this shadow. However, there is some green in Autuni, so there’s that I guess.
  • And finally, we have Sphene. Sphene is actually a gemstone of titanite (why not call it Titani, Blinc?). Sphene stones are usually some shade of chartreuse, and yellow-green color.

So, I think that these shades are named after different crystalline minerals, which makes sense as Blinc calls this palette “jewel tone.” However, I think the execution of this inspiration is awful! While I am grateful that these shades work well together and are wearable, I don’t see the crystal inspiration in these shades at all, and I think this would be better as a cherry-pie themed palette, honestly.

Onto performance! 

  • Pigmentation: I would say all of these have great pigmentation. There is more pigmentation in these than in any drugstore shadow I’ve used!
  • Consistency: During my initial finger swatch, these shadows felt creamy and buttery, not chalky or dusty at all. Even when grabbing the product with a brush, I didn’t notice any kickback. I did not observe much if any fall out at all with these shadows during application.
  • Blending: I was able to easily blend these, even with my subpar blending skills. However, I did use a stiffer and more dense blending brush. It should be noted here that while they blended easily, I did not accidentally blend it all away, as I have a habit of doing with most other shadows.

And finally, the look I managed to create:


I used Orpime in the crease, Rhodini on the lid, Vanadini in the center of my lid, and then Sphene near the brown bone and in my inner corner. I used a brush for Orpime, a flat brush for Rhodini, and then my fingers for Vanadini and Sphene before blending out with a clean brush.

Health + Fitness // Behavior Mod: Week 2

Has it already been another week? Two weeks down; 11 to go! I’m over 15% of the way there! Cue excitement for Mexico!

Let’s start out this weekly review post by doing going day-to-day on the rewards I earned.

Day 8: Three small rewards; one medium.

  • Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer, FP. Not a bad primer, but it’s one I’ve used before, which means I’m kinda meh about writing a formal review.
  • Almay Liquid Lip Balm in 400 Lilac Love. Top swatch. I’m excited for this as it really does feel more smoothing rather than a sticky gloopy gloss.
  • TWP Ahh-vocado! Sample Vial. One word currently: YES. Review to come soon (hopefully, if I can ever get my stuff together and stop re-applying it every hour just because I love the smell).
  • Julep Lip Gloss

Day 9: Three small and one large reward

This day was the first day I got “nothing” as a reward for doing a behavior (5/5 goals achieved, but note only 4 rewards). I felt a little irritated, despite knowing it was a possibility. That said, I also knew I could get a reward the next time, so I didn’t feel unmotivated, which is the point of the system. Anyway, this day, I got:

  • Missha All Around Safe Waterproof Sun Milk. I used this on Saturday, and I think I like it but I’m not sure. It was very thin and easily rubbed into my skin. I will most likely not do a full review, but it is added to my list of potential sunscreens to repurchase.
  • Etude House Double Lasting Foundation Foils in Fair, Vanilla, and Ivory. I received a couple packets last week in a few other shades, and I believe I have one packet left to “complete” the collection. Once it’s complete, I’ll do swatches and a wear test on a color, if one is close enough to my skin tone.
  • Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Oil. I’ll be honest; I’m scared to use this. It’s in my queue, though.
  • Anskin Cool-Ice Modeling Mask. This was my “large” reward, and I’m very excited. I haven’t used it yet because I told a friend that once I earned it, I would wait to use it until we could try it together! I still haven’t told her 😛

Day 10: One small reward.

This day was a particularly hard day, in which I had a rough day while Boyfriend was at work, didn’t go to the gym due to a miscommunication, and then proceeded to eat too much because we ordered in dinner and I didn’t even bother attempting to estimate what I ate.

That said, I did drink enough water, and I earned Revlon’s Lipstick in 660 Berry Haute, which is a definite berry shade on me and one I am excited to review. My HG lipstick is this formula (Mauvy Night), just as an FYI. I’m biased.

Day 11: One small, one medium, and one large reward (+ one “nothing”).

After Day 10, Day 11 felt much better. It started off with going to the gym, and even though it involved too much ice cream and eating out with my parents, I felt much happier and did manage to talk myself into tracking what I ate, even though I felt ashamed to admit just how much ice cream I consumed… I still did 4/5 behaviors and earned 3 rewards for it!

  • CoverGirl Katy Kat Matte Lipstick in Kitty Purry. This is the top swatch, and it… well, it looks an awful lot like Delicious, a color I got last week. Still excited though! I picked this color out very thoughtfully.
  • Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Lip Balm in #1 Spilled Wine. This is the second swatch. It’s a grape-jelly smelling gel-like lip balm that is tinted to look like a dark red wine (“spilled wine”) but provides a lovely slight berry stain. I have two more colors waiting to be earned, and once I do, there will definitely be full reviews.
  • Etude House Play Color Eyes in Juice Bar. After being disappointed with the Blend quad, I was a little nervous about this. So far, it has swatched nicely, but it is quite warm with quite a bit of oranges! I’m interested in seeing how these work on my eyes.

Day 12: One small, one medium, and one large reward

  • 1/2 Medium Reward for my small reward- I realized I have a lot of medium products compared to the most likely scenario, and I can’t seem to find much more small rewards to reach that most likely scenario. So I added a bunch of these!
  • CoverGirl TruNaked Roses Palette. Swatches off to the side. I have done a look with this already, and I find that it works really well with my eyes.
  • Blinc Electric Eyes Palette. This is the one I got from my Boxycharm this week, so I’m really excited to get this so soon! It swatched beautifully (not shown).

Day 13: Three small rewards and one medium.

  • 1/2 Medium Reward- another one!! This is the second “1/2 medium” I’ve gotten this week, but I waited until the end of the week to “cash” these in.
  • CoverGirl InstantCheekBones in 230 Refined Rose. Swatches are there on the bottom right. I’ve been wanting to try these trios because I’m curious about their formula (compared to the other Cheekers). Hopefully will be reviewing!
  • The Organic Pharmacy Lip + Eye Cream. This is a deluxe sample tube, and I’m not sure if I want to open it yet. I’m currently working on a 5ml tube of eye cream, and it’s taking forever to pan.
  • Dinoplatz Lip Balm in #5 Pinky Pie. What’s the probability that I’d get two of these this week?! (Answer: about 0.2% chance). However, I’m pretty excited. I used this on Tuesday throughout work, and it’s a beautiful light tint on my lips! You can see the slight tint on that top right swatch. I can’t wait to do a full-on review of these lip balms!

Day 14: Three small rewards (+ one “nothing”).

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  • (2) 1/2 Medium Rewards- which means another full medium prize to pick!
  • Twisted Wonderland Perfumery “Stay Puft.” This is a very marshmallowy scent- so sweet! Can’t wait to do a review!

My Additional Rewards:

  • TonyMoly Pikachu Mini Cover Cushion. It’s a pikachu-themed cushion foundation! I have opened it up and (shockingly), it might be too light for me right now.
  • Too Cool for School Egg Mousse Pack. This stuff claims to make “rough, dull skin smooth and radiant in 5 minutes.” I don’t know why I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s probably due to the overwhelming about of open deluxe sample face masks I have…

Weekly Thoughts and Recap

This week I lost another couple pounds, so I’m down just over five. I don’t like getting too specific into the numbers, but at the beginning as I’m still planning my food intake and exercise, I do feel the need to hone in fast-enough-but-not-too-fast, you know? I think about 2/week is a good pace.

This week I had two days in which I did not meet my energy balance awareness goals- Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Boyfriend and I miscommunicated about the gym and we ended up not going and instead ordering food (he wasn’t going to eat a real dinner… sorry, honey, but diet orange soda has no nutrients). I couldn’t even guess at what was in my dinner nutrition-wise, so I didn’t. On Saturday, my parents were in town and we went out to eat. I did guess at that one, but I ended up splitting a giant thing of ice cream with my sister, parents, and Boyfriend because I’d rather have memories and fun with people I love than lose an extra half a pound, tbh.

In terms of how I think the program is going: this was the first week in which I had the possibility of getting no reward for doing a behavior. I did notice feeling disappointment the three times that happened, but that isn’t what kept me away from my goals. I’ve noticed that my anxiety is one thing that keeps me from the gym. I don’t know how to adjust rewards to deal with this; I just need to work through some of that anxiety. I know that even if I were to insta-give myself a large reward (even the large ones I’m very excited for), I would probably still not go to the gym when my issue is anxiety, and I still wouldn’t be more energy-minded if Boyfriend’s health/happiness was on the line or if I hadn’t seen my family in several weeks and we were going out to eat. I am 100% okay with this, as I still want to live my life. The main point of this behavior mod is to be mindful of energy and choose non-food coping skills when my emotions are unbalanced.

Next week, there will be a higher chance of getting a “nothing” reward, and I’m a little scared honestly that my motivation will start to fail. I have four more work days (Sat, Sun, Mon, and then Wednesday), and I’m nervous that with the group of kids we have currently, I’ll be coming home so drained that without massive rewards, I’ll just ruin my goals ): I’m going to try positive talk though so counteract this.

Unboxing // BoxyCharm July 2017

Hello, and welcome back!

Rounding up this month’s unboxings, I’m going to be unboxing BoxyCharm! The theme this month is “Cutie Pie,” and it’s a wonderful box, honestly!! Here’s what came this month:

  • Blinc Electric Eyes Palette.img_7326 I love that BoxyCharm has been sending full-size shadows and palettes out lately, and I love that this isn’t the typical neutrals. While I disagree on the “jewel tone” claim from the info card, these five shades are quite pigmented and beautiful, and I think they fit the pie theme very nicely. My only complaint is that, on me, even that beautiful magenta pulls incredibly warm (literally red). Other than that though, I’m very excited to “earn” it to actually use. Full size. Retail value: $45. 
  • BareMinerals Invisible Light Translucent Duo.
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    Top to bottom: bareMinerals Invisible Light Matte, Glow (yes, they are a bit hard to see, but I assure you, they are there and much more noticeable in real life); WinkyLux Universal Brown Pencil; ColourPop Lock Diary

     This is supposedly a “combination of setting powder and finishing powder,” but honestly when I swatch them, they both appear more like subtle highlights. There are too sides: a “matte” side and a “glow” side. The “glow” side had a shimmer to it, but the matte is a pressed white powder that does, when swatched, give a slight white cast. I’m also excited to “earn” this to fully review, as I’ve had my eye on it for a while. Full size. Retail value: $32.

  • WinkyLux Uni-Brow Universal Brow Pencil. This “pencil” reminds me of the Benefit Goof Proof or the ABH Brow Definer. I’m a bit nervous about the color, and as I swatched it, I found it feeling very stiff. However, as I’ve been saying today, it’ll be fun to try! I usually stick to powder or a gel for my brows, so this will be new. Full size. Retail value: $12.
  • ColourPop x Hello Kitty Ultra-Satin Lip in Lock Diary. I’ll be honest. I strongly considered buying this when it first came out, but I couldn’t justify buying only one thing. This was a “random” color from a few CP lipsticks, and I’m so happy I got this one! It’s more pinky than red, but I still think it fits with this concept of cherry pie. It’s in my behavior mod reward system now and I’m so excited to see it on my lips! Full size. Retail value: $6.
  • Project Beauty Spray. Set. Go. Makeup Setting Spray. Out of all the products, this is one I’m least excited about as it’s basically just… setting spray? Don’t get me wrong; setting spray is am important part of my routine. However, I’m not as intrigued by this as I’ve never heard anything about it. I’ll try it when I am in need (and I will be in need), but honestly, I’m not dying to try. Full size. Retail value: $32.

Overall: Overall, I think the color products match the theme “Cutie Pie” quite well, and I am pleased with the box. The full retail value comes to $124, and while I don’t think I will ever pay full price for most items in this box, I am very excited to try them out, especially for the price of a box (under $20!). 

Swatches // Etude House Precious Mineral Moist BB Cream in Vanilla, Petal, and Beige

Welcome back! Today, I’m doing a quick swatch for you all with the three lightest shades of Etude House’s Precious Mineral Moist BB Cream, which I received as a foil packet sample. For reference, I do have two other items swatches: Missha Perfect Cover #13 and BareMinerals Complexion Rescue in Opal.

Wrist Swatches: Indoor under “Daylight” light bulbs, without and with flash.

Top to bottom, we have:

  • Missha Perfect Cover #13
  • EH Precious Minerals Moist in Vanilla
  • EH Precious Minerals Moist in Petal
  • EH precious Minerals Moist in Beige
  • BareMinerals Complexion Rescue in Opal

Jaw/Neck/Cheek Swatches: Indoor under “daylight” bulbs; without and with flash.

Left to right: (chin to ear)

  • BareMinerals Opal
  • EH Beige
  • EH Petal
  • EH Vanilla
  • Missha #13

And, for giggles, I do have a couple other pictures taken (in the same orders) by a window, trying to show natural light.

Based on these swatches, I’m unsure what I will try first. I’m thinking I will first try Vanilla, even though it looks too warm, because Petal looks like it might end up too dark for me.

 

 

Unboxing // Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet July 2017: “Love Stinks”

I’ll make this post brief. I was thinking about unsubbing, and I still am, from this beauty box. I mentioned before that while I love supporting indie brands, and while NM’s items are good quality, I just find I don’t use loose shadows that much because they are inconvenient. However, whenever I go to unsubscribe, I just think about how much I want to support indie brands… Ugh. The struggle.

Anyway, this month’s theme for the Vanishing Cabinet was 80’s fun via The Wedding Singer.

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The box came with a blush and three shadows (all mini sizes), plus a $10 off any purchase code (sorry- no sharing allowed; only open to VC subscribers. I love you all, but I also love helping indie brands/real people be profitable).

Here’s some info on them all:

  • Church Kiss (blush). I would describe this as a very shimmery mid-tone medium cool pink. I do like it, but I think it is just too shimmery and too dark on me to be an everyday blush. However, it did need a few swatches (as I was scared of getting “too much” product knocked out of the sifter), so I’m sure I can sheer it out quite easily.
  • Pretty Pretty Please. This is the fuscia-looking eyeshadow. It appears to have a slightly more purple shift to it. It’s not quite neon but still very 80s inspired.
  • Whoopity Doo. This is that blue shade! It’s darker than the typical 80s blue, making it look way more wearable for today, but it’s still, you know, blue.
  • Grade-A. This is that silvery-grey shade on the bottom there. It actually has a strong pink shift to it that I totally failed to capture appropriately.

Overall: I don’t usually do retail value for NMVC unboxings, as the value for me is in supporting an indie business. This box contains all minis: $4 value for the blush and $2.75 for each shadow. This makes the box’s value lower than the price, but when you factor in the shipping, it’s still a good deal, and it’s fun.  The colors in this definitely do say “80s” but a bit more low-key; I probably won’t wear the products all together, but for a pop of color once in a while, I will reach for them.

Unboxing // Sephora Play! July 2017

For some reason, I’m finding it really difficult to motivate myself to write these blog posts. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit anxious to get to the gym today (I’m waiting for FedEx to come pick up a package… should’ve been here an hour ago). I’m also having a hard time focusing on studying (reviewing oxygen containing reactions… you know, chemistry).

Anyway, let’s get into this month’s Sephora Play! sub:

This month, I received:

  • It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara. I understand why these are included in boxes. I do. I’m not angry; I’m just uninspired. I know many who love this formula, but for me, if it isn’t waterproof, it’s not a mascara I will (ever) use. To a friend this one goes. Deluxe sample size; size not listed on packaging. Retail value: ~$12? (based on travel size)
  • BareMinerals GenNude Matte Liquid Lip Color in Swag.img_7312 This is actually a product I’ve been wanting to try and perhaps the only item I’m truly excited for, as it’s one of the few new lipsticks in this brand’s line that doesn’t have shea butter. It’s going into my rewards system, but I did swatch it, and I think it might end up being a really nice color on me. Bonus: it smells like vanilla frosting. Deluxe sample size; 2ml. Retail value: $9.38
  • Briogeo Rosarco Milk Conditioning Spray. I’ve actually had this exact sample before, twice. One bottle is almost finished and another one is still unopened. I like it, and I was using it a lot in rotation with a few other sprays when my hair was bleached. Now, though, I don’t need a spray like this. Deluxe sample; 22ml. Retail value: $2.99
  • Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding. I’m on the fence about this one at the moment; I’m not sure if I should try it or give it away. There’s nothing in it that I know my skin can’t handle, but I don’t know if it’ll be too stripping for my skin. It’ll probably go to the rewards program tbh. Deluxe sample; 25ml. Retail value: $11.18
  • Milk Cooling Water. I’m honestly intrigued by this. It smells a bit funny, but I am very interested in trying it out, so it’ll go into the rewards program too. Deluxe sample; 3ml. Retail value: $2.12
  • Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine. I actually own a 4ml travel spray of this and I never use it. It’s not a bad smell, and it’s not overly manly, it’s just not my favorite. Sample vial; ~$1.30 (based on large size).

Overall: Retail value: $38.97. I think most of the time with sample boxes, I end up feeling very ambivalent. I’m interested in some of these products, but I’m not really inspired by them; curious, but not enthralled. Many of these products also just don’t have the sample sizes that really make this value seem “all there,” you know? I think, for the price I paid, I’m getting my value, but I’m not jumping because of the “deal.”

Unboxing // Ipsy July 2017

I’m one of those people that will make plans to do something and then, two minutes later, 100% forget what I was going to do. I’ve been thinking about cancelling some of my sub boxes, but I never actually got around to making the decision, so here I am, with more sub boxes for July…

The first unboxing I want to share with you is from Ipsy! I’ll be honest; I was not 100% thrilled with everything this month, but let’s talk about it a bit.img_7307

This month, I received:

  • Gudetama Bag. I’m not a huge Gudetama fan, but I love the art style and I can relate to this little depressed egg a bit. I oddly like it! I also like the reverse side (unpictured)… he’s got little bum cheeks! However, I don’t like how this bag smells. It has that “plastic pool toy” smell to it. Gross. Unvalued.
  • So Susan Blending Brush. I have such a love-hate relationship with brushes. Currently I’m in a hate stage, simply because my storage space is at a premium. Unless it’s an amazing brush that I don’t have (or will replace one I do), I don’t want it. I don’t think this brush will replace my current blending brushes, tbh. Full size, but unable to find online. Retail value: ~$15, based on other brushes and the typical brush “value” for Ipsy.
  • Ofra Eyeshadow in Victory. This is not my first Ofra eyeshadow, and quite frankly, I do like their formula. I’m happy I received this shade, Victory, which is a bit more bronze and muted than Gold Rush, which pairs slightly better with my skin. It looks similar to an Ofra shadow I already have but a touch warmer/golder (I don’t know the name of that one, but I know it’s not Victory). Medium full size. Retail value: $10

    img_7308

    Top: Mulberry liquid lip. Bottom: Victory, blended out with the So Susan brush on the right.

  • Tarte Deep Dive Cleansing Gel. This product came basically exploded in my bag. A look at the ingredients shows me that while I can use it (no allergens or things my skin hates), there’s lavender in it, which is a scent I typically hate. A friend of mine wants it, so it’s going to her. Deluxe sample; 7.5ml. Retail value: $1.25
  • Caudalie Vino Source Moisturizing Sorbet. Not only do I already have a sample of this from something else, but I can’t use it because it contains shea butter. It’s going to a friend who wants to try it out. Deluxe sample; 10ml. Retail value: $9.75
  • Cougar Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Mulberry. I haven’t used this on my lips yet (as it’s going to be part of my rewards system for my behavior mod program), but I can tell you two things: I like how it smells (reminds me of cake batter), and the color when swatched on my wrist is totally up my ally. It also appears to dry well on my wrist without smudging, so we’ll see how it holds up on the lips. Full size. Retail value: $9.07, based on (my) current exchange rate.

Overall: Retail value of about $45.07, but personal value a lot lower. The only product I really like so far is the liquid lipstick, which is nice, but I also don’t think it’s a very different color or product than some liquid lips I currently have. Even looking through possible products this month, I feel so uninspired. I think this month was just a dud for me!

Bonus! I redeemed some points for a Paula’s Choice cheek palette… Here’s a preview!