Friday, March 31, 2017

Sugar Lip Entourage by Fresh

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I purchased the Fresh Sugar Lip Entourage kit ($48) during last year's Sephora VIB sale (20% off). I've tried some of the Sugar lip tints before, but was interested in trying the lip polish and serum. I'm about to finish the lip serum, so it's time for a review!
The Sugar Lip Entourage was a holiday set and is no longer available at Sephora (I do see it on ebay and Amazon) although all of the items can be purchased separately or in different kits. The packaging was quite pretty and the sizes are deluxe samples, ranging from about 1/3 to 2/3 the size of the full-priced products. 
The Sugar Lip Serum Advance Therapy $36 for .3 oz) is a lip primer that is supposed to nourish lips and improve the definition on and around the lips. Apparently, as you age your lip line gets less defined, and this product is definitely focusing on the anti-aging aspect. I like the idea of a targeted lip serum and I've got to say I've enjoyed using this.
I apply a small pea size to clean lips in the morning, followed by the Nourishing Lip Balm after my lips have absorbed the serum. I can feel a slight cooling sensation after applying the serum, which I found pleasant. I did not find the serum to be particularly hydrating on it's own, so following with a balm helped with sealing in the serum ingredients and hydration. The serum features quite the long ingredient list, with featured ingredients being:
  • Acmella Flower Extract: Reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles.
  • Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract: Helps to improve the appearance of elasticity.
  • Sugar: Acts as a humectant to moisturize and soothe.
The Nourishing Lip Balm Advanced Therapy is a thicker and dryer lip balm. I say dryer in that it does not give a shine to the lips and is slightly waxy in consistency. The full sized version is $30 (.24 oz), which I think is a bit ridiculous overpriced. The size of the balm in the kit is .17 ounces, and I'm only half way through it after 4 months of almost daily use. So, it does last a while, but it's not my favorite lip balm.
  • Sugar: A natural humectant known to prevent moisture loss. 
  • Wild Mango Butter: Helps protect and soften dry lips. 
  • Sea Fennel Extract: Helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth and define the lip area. 
  • Hyaluronic Filling Spheres: Help to enhance volume. 
Lip Polish
The Sugar Lip Polish is supposed to be a gentle lip exfoliant and contains brown sugar, Meadowfoam, Jojoba, and Grapeseed oils, and shea butter.  The scrub tastes delicious and does leave my lips feeling smooth and hydrated. I like it and a little bit goes a long way, so I've barely made a dip in it. I only use it maybe once a week, as I exfoliate my lips with a tissue each morning before applying my lip color. This is definitely a more vigorous exfoliate that I probably would not use more than twice a week to avoid over exfoliation. The full sized version is $24.
The two lip tints in the set are Nude and Rose, and both provide the sheerest hint of color but are nicely hydrating. 
Even though these are the deluxe sample sizes, they contain quite a bit of product. Their are somewhat delicate and can break if you extend the bullet too much when applying.
Nude, Rose
I also find they do not last very long on my lips, perhaps 1-2 hours at most. I do like that they contain SPF15 and how they taste, but at $24 a pop, they are definitely on the pricey side. But that would be why I like sets so much, as you can usually score better deals. I doubt I will repurchase any of these in their full sized counterparts, but I will look for the lip serum in another set. It's my favorite from this kit, followed by the lip polish.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pure Nude Be My Highlight by Essence

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I've had the Be My Highlight baked powder highlighter ($4.49) by Essence since fall of last year, and I've got to say I love it. If you are a fan of natural looking, luminous, glow from within types of products, then this is a winner.
Essence is such an affordable brand, and while not everything I've tried works for me, I've had luck with their blushes, lipsticks, and now this highlighter. There is some powder kickup, but when applied to the skin the finish is a gorgeous satin shimmer that does not emphasize skin imperfections.
This is the highlighter I reach for when I know I'll be in meetings and interacting closely with people all day. I tend to go more low key neutral in those situations, polished as opposed pop, if that makes sense. On days where I know I'll mainly be working in my office, I get a bit more daring. But still relatively neutral :-)
I noticed that Essence products are currently buy 1 get 1 at 50% off at Ulta, making them even more of a better deal. Seriously, the Pure Nude Be My Highlight puts products that cost 7-8x more on notice.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 5

I'm plugging along with my #365 Days of Samples series, and these are the items I finished up lat week, minus one: the Lancome Nude Miracle foundation sample card that I must have inadvertently thrown away. Here are my thoughts on the six items.
I mixed 110 Ivoire with 320 Bisque to get the right shade for me. The Suede shade had dried up, or I would have tried using it as a contour. I did not care for the liquid-to-powder formula, as it did not flatter my skin and instead seemed a bit too matte/mask like. Coverage was decent and probably buildable, although I did not have enough in the sample card to test that out. I would not purchase.
I got about 3 uses out of the Minor Sin eye primer by Urban Decay before it dried up. It's less shimmery than the Sin eye primer, but definitely not flat, I'd say more of a satin finish. I liked it but not enough to purchase.

The Too Faced Primed and Poreless face primer reminded a lot of the Benefit's The Poreprofessional. It smooths out pores/texture and has that slick silicone feel. I could not tell that it helps my foundation wear any longer and I'm just not convinced face primers are a necessary step for me. I will use up samples, however.

This was the second Glamglow PowerMud DualCleanse Treatment I've randomly selected from my box of samples since the series began, and it's slowly growing on me. I'm not sure I used it correctly the first time, as I used it as more of a cleanser than a treatment. I still would not purchase, it's just too pricey.
The Shiseido White Lucent serum has a thin, milky consistency and a slight fragrance that was vaguely floral. This is a product that is supposed to treat all types of hyperpigmentation and it's quite pricey at $130 a bottle. I got about 3 uses from the foil, which is not enough to tell a difference, but this is definitely out of my price range.
The last sample I finished this week is the Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Luxury Lift hydro gel eye patches. These claim to lift and firm the appearance of the delicate eye are in just 10 minutes with their blend of pure 24K gold and colloidal gold.
The hydro gels felt rather dry but did hold nicely to my skin. I wore them for about 15 minutes and the skin around my eyes did seem lightly plumped and my lines were less obvious. I have that result with most eye gel masks that I've tried and I'm guessing the glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and caffeine are more responsible for the results than the gold.
Eye gels a nice option for when you have tired eyes or want that extra special touch for a special event, and these come in a jar of 60 pairs for $75, which is not a bad price considering. I have no plans to purchase.
Now, for the 7 samples I randomly selected for week 5 of the #365 Days of Samples series. Items 8 and following are samples I'm working on from previous weeks:

  1. Nirvana Black perfume by Elizabeth & James (about half full)
  2. DERMAdoctor Litmus Test AHA facial moisturizer (foil)
  3. Arcona Magic White Ice gel facial moisturizer (deluxe sample)
  4. Hourglass Mineral Veil Face Primer (deluxe sample)
  5. CosRX Whitehead Power Liquid (foil sample)
  6. Do Not Age by Dr. Brandt (foil sample)
  7. DHC Eye Treatment Essence (foil sample)
  8. Eve Lom Moisturizing Mask (foil sample)
  9. Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum (deluxe sample)
  10. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment (large foil sample)
  11. Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil (deluxe sample)
  12. Guerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil

It's going to take me a while to use up the Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil, and while I like it, it's not something I reach for everyday.
March 26
March 12

Friday, March 24, 2017

Memebox Changes and Haul #1

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
In early March Memebox announced some changes they will be making, which prompted 2 separate purchases on my part. Here is a screenshot of part of the announcement I received via email:
Since Memepoints expire on April 30 (plus they added $5 in points to my account), I did a little shopping.
Our Remedy for Sensitive Skin Set
The Our Remedy for Sensitive Skin Set ($22) is no longer available, although most of the items are if purchased separately. The Holika Holika 99% Aloe Vera Gel ($8) will be great for my skin now that the weather is getting warmer. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which came in handy when I needed  something to soothe some raw spots caused by allergies on Lily, my miniature Schnauzer.

The Tea Tree Refresh Calming Toner by Secret Key ($10) is targeted towards those with oily or acne-prone skin, which makes it a good option for me. It is supposed to calm break outs and inflammation, as well as regulate sebum production.  The ingredient list looks like it could deliver on it's claims, so we shall see:
Tea Tree Leaf Water, Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Laminaria digitata, Ulmus campestris, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Peel Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata Extract, 4-terpineol, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Nonoxynol-12, Lemon Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Althaea rosea, Aloe Barbadensis, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

The Enzyme Powder Wash ($9) by Tosowoong is a powder-to-foam mild cleanser that is enriched with vitamin E. I'm excited to see it has a pH level of 5.5, as my skin does better with gentle cleansers. I dual cleanse my skin each evening, which means I use an oil cleanser to remove my makeup and then a second cleanser, typically one that foams. This should fit nicely into that slot. I'll be interested to see how it compares to the other enzyme powder I own, which is from Amore Pacific and is quite pricey ($60) compared to this one.

This set also contained 4 masks, a Donkey Milk Healing mask ($2) and 3 Dr. Troubex Sparkling masks ($1.50 ea). I really enjoy the Donkey Milk masks and purchased multiples in every variety to round up my purchase to the free shipping amount in both hauls.

I also purchased a travel kit from Manyo Factory so that I could try out a variety of their products. Manyo Factory is a newer (2012) South Korean skincare company that utilizes only natural, organic, and botanical ingredients in their products. Consequently, the shelf life of their products is only about 6 months, which makes the travel sized items quite appealing to me as well. I'm currently using these and should have a full review up in a few weeks. Initial impressions are positive :-)
It will be interesting to see what Memebox will be like with the new changes. It sounds like they will be focusing more on their own brands Nooni, Pony Effect and I'm MeMe, while other brands will be sold and shipped directly by their partner retailers. I missed out on the early Memeboxes when the site first launched, which were great values, but I have really enjoyed the accessibility to Korean brands they have provided. They also have a 25% off code for their clearance items going on right now, in case you need to stock up on anything.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Finish 17 in 2017: April by Buxom with FOTD's

I finally finished April, the glimmering ice pink lip polish by Buxom. I say finally, because I actually included this in my first project pan, which started back in July. April was a little less than half full at that time, and it took me almost 6 months to empty her out. But progress is progress, and I'm excited by this small accomplishment of using up a gloss that I've had in my stash for several years.
At beginning of 1st project pan
I made faster progress once I took April to work with me, as I would reach for it whenever my lips felt dry. I love Buxom's glosses, from the slight tingling feeling upon initial application, to how they actually do hydrate my lips and keep them from feeling dry or chapped. The shimmer finishes have very little pigment to them, but they do make nice lip toppers over lipsticks.
April Shimmer Lip Polish by Buxom
Here I'm wearing it layered over Tarte's Energy Lipsurgence pencil, which is also in my project pan. It's one of those products that is supposed adjust to your body's pH/temperature (or something) to turn your own unique shade of pink. I have a feeling it's pretty much the same on everyone :-)
On my eyes that day I was wearing Smash and Peekaboo by ColourPop, which makes for an easy work friendly look.
Smash and Peekaboo by ColourPop
In another look, I paired April with the lipstick Sunday by Sunday Riley, which is a soft cherry.
On my eyes I'm wearing Peekaboo again, but I lined my upper and lower waterlines in black for a bit of definition. I like how it turned out, although the liner typically wears off in a flash, sadly.
I've got quite a few more of the shimmer lip polishes by Buxom in my collection, so I don't anticipate purchasing any more for quite a while. They are still my favorite gloss formula though, and I'm tempted every time I see a new gift set come out - especially if they are the mini sizes. Since I'm on a quest to downsize my makeup collection, I will resist.
For the record, here are the 17 18 items I want to finish in 2017 (apparently I miscounted in my original post). Oh well, that will give me a little wiggle room for finishing 17, and I'm down 2 now.

  1. Supergoop CC Cream
  2. April Lip Polish Shimmer by Buxom
  3. Cherry Lip Polish by Buxom
  4. Le Metier de Beaute (LMdB) single eyeshadow in Naked
  5. LMdB single eyeshadow in Peachy Keen
  6. Sunday Riley lipstick in Sunday
  7. Tarte Lipsurgence mini in Energy
  8. Lucky Priming Lip Stain by Manna Kadar
  9. Clinique CC Cream (deluxe size)
  10. Korres Cherry Oil Lip Gloss in Golden Brown
  11. Lo-Fi from the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani face palette
  12. Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion
  13. LMdB Peau Vierge
  14. stila One Step Bronzer
  15. Triderma Pore Reducing Anti-Aging Serum (it works as a primer)
  16. Blushing Beige blush by True Cosmetics
  17. Nectar Ceramide Cream Blush by Elizabeth Arden
  18. Monster Super Shock Cheek by ColourPop