Tuesday, February 28, 2017

When Eye Shadows Go Bad: Whatcha' Gonna Do?

Sigh. Several of my palettes are growing mold. It seems to happen with my bareMinerals Ready shadows, although two of my Urban Decay palettes have also fallen victim to this scourge.
The Star Treatment by bareMinerals
The Next Big Thing by bareMinerals
Some of this is due to the climate I live in: semi-tropical, humid, and warm a good 9 months out of the year. In other words, prime conditions for mold and mildew. It is what it is.
So, I decided to depot the shadows that did not have mold growing on them. I sprayed them with alcohol just in case, but if they do go bad, it's easy enough to take them out of the magnetic palette. I was surprised how easy it was to depot the bareMinerals Ready 8.0 palette, which lulled me into a false sense of security.
The Wild Thing
Two of the shadows from The Wild Thing came out easily, and two would not budge. So, they were sacrificed.
I wanted to depot Julep's 5th Avenue & Broadway, which I like but I rarely reach for. I was only able to get one of the shadows out, sady.
Cardboard palettes are easier to work with when it comes to depotting, although mishaps still happen. Fortunately, I was able to get most of the shadows out without major damage.
Calypso by MAKE
Pulp Fiction by Urban Decay
I put the shadows in the Tarte leopard print magnetic palette. I really like these, as they are sturdy with the same space as a large Z palette, but less expensive.
Experience is showing me that I will use shadows more if they are accessible, and depotting palettes into magnetic palettes seems to be working for me. So, there ya go.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 1

Sorry for the lack of posts the last two weeks!  I've been crazy busy with boring important work stuff. However, I've still been taking pictures and have plenty of stuff to post, beginning with the start of a new series called #365 Days of Samples. I learned about this from watching Elle S on YouTube, who as far as I can tell, started this series. It's a fairly simple premise: use up 365 samples in 365 days. I'm sure the execution will be a bit more difficult :-)
To get ready for this series, I had to put all of my samples in one pot. That was eye opening, to say the least. I've had them scattered around, organized into different categories (skin care, hair care, body care, etc.), but putting them all in one location gives me a much more accurate picture of how OUT OF CONTROL this situation really is.
Clearly, I've accumulated a lot of foil and deluxe sized samples. I don't know how many samples are in the box, but it's well over 365, which is crazy.
So, each week, I'll randomly (eyes closed) select 7 samples I'll use for the week. Each Sunday (or Monday), I'll post a review of the samples used and select 7 new ones. If I don't finish a sample in a given week, it will carry over until I do. Some other ground rules include: I'll use a perfume sample 3 times minimum to give it a fair shot, but if I hate it, I don't have to finish it. I'm not going to force myself to use up products that I hate, but one time usage is rarely enough to form a fair opinion of anything. If a product has already gone bad (some of these have been sitting around for a while), I'll chose another one.
I deliberately chose foil samples for the first week so that I would not be overwhelmed, but blind selection gives that special element of surprise. So, it figures that I chose 4 (four!) hair care samples for week one. I'm guessing I will be carrying some of these over before I can finish them.
  1. Petite Cherie by Anouk Goutal perfume vial sample
  2. DHC After Bath Hair Treatment 
  3. Keratase Resistance Vita Cemont Topseal hair reconstructing milk
  4. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day styling treatment
  5. Phyto Express Condition
  6. GlamGlow Powermud Dual Cleanse Treatment
  7. L'Occitane Divine Cream
This is a start, at least. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub by Andalou Naturals

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Andalou Naturals is fast becoming one of my favorite skincare companies. I've already talked about my love for their DIY Booster SPF30 Facial Serum, and now I'm adding the Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub to the greatest hits list. I love this stuff.
Targeted towards oily and overactive skin (hello, me), this organic cane sugar, manuka honey and meyer lemon based exfoliating scrub smells and feels divine. Andalou's products all contain something known as ''fruit stem cell science", which as far as I can tell means apple, grape, argan oil, or alpine rose stem cells plus other bioactive ingredients included in the mix.  Looks like the sugar scrub has apple and grape stem cells.
You may be familiar with some of the other companies that the founders of Andalou Naturals have started, such as Avalon Organics, Alba Botanica, Sonoma Soap Company, or Unpetroleum. Andalou Naturals is their most recent venture, and is the first non-GMO verified beauty company. Plus, the products are reasonably priced. Seriously, I'm smitten.
I like using the sugar scrub about twice a week in the mornings.  I'll put about a nickels worth in the palm of my hand with just a few drops of water, rub my hands together and then massage my face.  Less water means more scrubbing action, but the sugar granules are fairly fine in nature so it does not feel overly abrasive. After a minute or so the sugar scrub has become a rich cream that smells divine and tastes great, should you get any in your mouth. Afterwards, my skin feels soft, smooth, hydrated, and happy. That's right, happy. I just got an email letting me know that Andalou Naturals is having a 30% off sale through February 20th, so now is the time to dip your toe in (Code: VDAY). They've got some nice sampler sets to get you started. I've tried several and liked most of them thus far (packaging recently changed, just as a FYI).

Monday, February 6, 2017

February Julep Maven Box: Cozy in Love

The theme of Julep's February collection is Cozy in Love, and it features 4 new shades of the It's Balm lip crayons. I decided not to add any more lip products to my already overflowing collection, and instead opted for another bronzer brush ($28) (love it, and can you have too many brushes?) and the No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel. I did pick up one of the polishes from the collection, the deep blue Maylee.  Let's take a closer look.
Maylee ($14) has a an iridescence when it catches the sun, but it's true nature is more of an inky navy blue. This will be going on my fingers in the next day or so, so expect a review soon.
I've read some pretty good reviews on the No Excuses SPF40 sunscreen gel ($28), so I figured I'd give it a shot. After wearing it for about 4 days now, I've got to say I'm impressed. I love the gel texture, which leaves no white cast at all and absorbs nicely into my skin.
I haven't experienced any breakouts thus far, so fingers crossed that this will join my Andalou Naturals DIY Booster SPF30 Facial Serum and I'll have two favorite sunscreens. Considering how much I've hated wearing sunscreen in the past, that's saying something.
I also like that Julep includes the expiration date (6/2018) not only on the product but also on their site, so that you know how long you have before it expires prior to purchasing. There are a few ingredients in the mix (rosehip fruit oil, camellia japonica seed oil, love plant extract, melon fruit extract, sunflower seed oil) for enhanced skincare benefits:

  • Rosehip Seed Oil delivers essentials nutrients to soother and repair skin
  • Melon Extract* smooths, softens, and brightens skin
  • Camellia Seed Oil* moisturizes and stimulates collagen production
  • Oxalis Triangularis Extract (Jeju Island love plant)* protects skin against environmental damage with rich antioxidants
  • Macro-emulsion technology: The SPF actives in No Excuses are encapsulated into a vitamin-enriched essence-gel base, which preserves the maximum efficacy of all ingredients until the time of application.

* Sourced directly from Korea’s Jeju Island.
The full retail value of my box is $70, which is quite the deal for the $19.99 cost (I was grandfathered in at a lower price, lucky me) of my box. I also like that they included a sample of the Love Your Bare Face cleansing oil, as that will come in handy next time I travel.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

NOTD: Rising Spirit by SpaRitual

 Lady Luck smiled on me twice in January when it came to winning beauty products in some blog giveaways, and today I have a new polish from SpaRitual to show you as a result.

Beauty Undercover partnered with SpaRitual to offer 30 readers their choice of one of the four polishes from their Vegan GOLD collection "Rise", plus a bottle of their new flexible topcoat. I chose the soft gold shimmer Rising Spirit, and it's a beauty.
This new polish formula has quite a few claims behind it, such as: applying 75% faster yet removing 85% faster than gels, drying 60% faster than a traditional manicure and containing a smudge-repair technology that is both self-leveling and correcting. Sounds kind miraculous, doesn't it? At least when it comes to nail polishes.  
I'm on day 4 of wear and so far I have no chipping and minimal tip wear, even after bathing Lulu, which requires 3 separate sudsings with a medicated shampoo. The polish did dry relatively fast but I still managed to ding and smudge two nails on my right hand. I was impatient and decided I wanted to make breakfast not long after I painted them, so my bad.
Overall I'm happy with Rising Spirit and the topcoat, so thank you to Beauty Undercover and SpaRitual for the giveaway!  On another note, the tulip trees are in full bloom here in Mobile, and the azaleas as starting to bloom.  I guess we are in for an early spring this year, which I have mixed emotions about. It's 76 degrees outside today, so I'm hoping for at least a few weeks of cooler weather before the heat and humidity starts their unrelenting onslaught. We shall see, as February is usually the coldest month in this area.