Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 14

I've got 8 samples to report on for week 14 of my #365 Days of Samples series, which is not too shabby. There were some winners and losers in this bunch, so let's get started!
The Urban Decay Naked Skin Powder Foundation in Light/Warm ($36) was quite nice. I was able to get enough coverage from the sample card so that I'm not wearing any other foundation. It did a good job of evening out my skin without looking cakey/obvious, and the staying power was surprisingly good. I mowed my back yard, which takes about an hour and fifteen minutes, and my makeup still looked relatively intact for that kind of activity. I was impressed, and would consider purchasing if a good sale comes along.
I'm wearing BECCA's Backlight Filter Face Primer ($38) underneath the Naked Powder Foundation, but I can't say I really cared for it. It worked fine with the powder, but I had issues with it pilling under my BB cream, which is frustrating. Considering I wear a BB cream more often than not, I'm tossing the rest of the Backlight Primer rather than fighting with the formula. It's becoming increasingly clear that I am just not a face primer user.
The small amount of perfume in the J'Adore sample card was barely enough to form a firm impression of the perfume, other than it was floral and non-offensive. Considering the notes are Ylang-Ylang Essence, Damascena Rose Essence, Sambac Jasmine Absolute, I got the floral part right, but I don't think this is for me. 
I've tried another sample of the Verb Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner ($14 each) already, and I like them.  Described as a mild, everyday formula that effectively cleans and conditions hair, I'd say that's spot on. I'm not wowed enough to purchase, but they are nice.
The Skynn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels ($30 for 8 pairs) did a good job of temporarily plumping and hydrating my under eye area. To be honest, most eye gels I've tried do the same, but these did stand out in that they adhere and do not budge once on, so if you want to clean house/work out/dance around naked, you can. I also liked that one side has a fabric like finish, as I was able to do a soft massage under my eyes. Nice, but no plans to purchase.
I also liked the Sephora Green Tea Sleeping Mask ($4), which lasted me a solid week. Using a clip will keep the top down, so don't feel like you have to use the entire pod all at once. This version is supposed to have mattifying and anti-blemish skin benefits. I found it light weight and refreshing when used over my night time skin regimen, which currently includes a retinol. I would repurchase.

The DHC Pore Cleansing Oil ($31) is a goodie, as I've used up a full sized bottle in the past. It's a thicker oil composed of coconut, argan, evening primrose, olive, grape seed, jojoba, avocado, sesame and rice bran oils that is supposed to reduce your pore size, which is an appealing idea. It does cleanse well and was an overall good performer, but I still like the Deep Cleansing Oil better. 

The last sample I finished is the Marcelle Golden Glow BB Cream ($26.95), which I also liked. I received this from Birchbox and I think it's been languishing in my collection for quite a while, so I'm glad I finally used it up. It does have a soft sheen that is skin flattering without looking greasy, and it worked well on my oily skin.
I'm doing something a little different for Week 14 of the #365 Days of Samples. I'm leaving for a work trip this afternoon, so I selected a variety of samples to take with me. I know I won't use all of these, but I like having choices so all of these plus a few more are going with me. I'll report back on the ones that I use, and the others will go back into the sample box.
The current list of samples still being used now looks like this:
  1. DHC Resveratrol Lotion (foil)
  2. DHC Resveratrol Cream (foil)
  3. Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent (vial)
  4. Skin Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Face Gels for Forehead (1 application)
  5. Dr. D. Schwab Flawless Skin Fluid (deluxe sample)
  6. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (foil)
  7. Sunshine Oil by Milk Makeup (deluxe sample)
  8. Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum (deluxe sample)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Brown to Earth Stylo Eyeshadow Pen by Catrice

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I picked up the Stylo Eyeshadow Pens ($5.99) in Brown to Earth as part of my Catrice Cosmetics haul from Ulta. I was curious to see how it compared to other comparable products, such as the Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks ($25), the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks ($29), and Julep's 101 Eyeshadow Creme to Powder Sticks ($18), as I've got experience with those.
Ya'll, Brown to Earth (cute name) is good, like really good. As good as the much more expensive versions I listed above, which makes me happy. Brown to Earth is a lovely bronzed brown that has multi-tonal shimmer that gives it more complexity beyond just a basic brown.
I've got oily lids but worn over primer, this lasted all day with no creasing. You have a small amount of time to blend out the pigment, and then it sets for budge proof wear. Below you can see heavy application followed by the same swatch blended out.
I did pop a gold shadow on the center of the lid below, so that's why it's looks a bit more gold on my eyes. I found the formula easy to apply and work with, and my only complaint is that I wish there were more colors beyond the six neutral tones that I see on Ulta's site. I already have comparable colors or I would be snatching a few more of these up.
Thus far Catrice is impressing me with their products. I know they are the slightly more expensive sister company to Essence, as both are owned by the German company cosnova Beauty GmbH.
Here I'm wearing Brown to Earth with Maplewood from butterLONDON, another cream eyeshadow I'm really enjoying. I'm also wearing the Sunkissed Beauty Mosiac Powder Compact and Autumn Peach Silky Touch Blush by Essence. On my lips I'm wearing Beautifying Lip Smoother in Blackberry Muffin by Catrice. Yay for drugstore products that are just as good as the mid to higher end brands!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 13

I'm a bit late posting week 13 of my #365 Days of Samples, which I'm going to blame on a busy work schedule and rainy weather. If you are unfamiliar with this series, it's where I randomly select 7 items from my big box of samples each week. Let's see what I managed to use up or am tossing this time.
It wouldn't be a sample week if I didn't have a DHC item, and this week it's the now discontinued Scalp Massage Mask.  When I went online to find out info on the product, I discovered a few videos on scalp massage in general, including one about the DHC Scalp Massage Mask.
I was inspired to do a two part massage after watching the video below, with the first part involving massaging my scalp with coconut oil and peppermint essential oil.
I then shampooed my hair and used the DHC Scalp Massage Pack in the shower. I do experience product build up and this seemed to remove everything while leaving my hair soft and fluffy. I'm going to incorporate a scalp massage with the coconut oil into my routine once a week now, as it's both relaxing and effective :-)  
I finished 3 Farmhouse Fresh Samples: the Agave Nector body oil, Fluffy Bunny Shea Butter, and Crow Catcher. I posted a Farmhouse Fresh haul where I got the Marshmellow Melt Shea Butter for my mother, and I decided to make another purchase so I could get the Fluffy Bunny Shea Butter for myself.  It's a refreshing scent of lavender and mint julep that I adore, and once I used up the sample I busted out the full bottle so I could continue to experience the goodness.

Applying the Agave Nector oil ($18) on damp skin, followed by Fluffy Bunny ($30) gave me velvet soft skin that lasted all day. The Agave Nectar oil has a oat/milk scent that meshed nicely with Fluffy Bunny's lavendar/mint julep.

Crow Catcher Eye Transforming Serum ($46), per the Farmhouse Fresh site,  "uses dermatologist-developed peptides and complex nutrient algae to visibly improve the entire eye area, reducing the look of wrinkle depth by up to 58% in clinical tests with female participants over 2 months. In clinical trials, 91% of participants saw disappearing crow’s feet, lines, and wrinkles - even dark circles and puffiness."  I got about 10 days worth of use from the packet, and I liked it. The serum is light weight but with a lotion texture and absorbed nicely into my eye area. I wouldn't say it's particularly moisturizing, but it sounds like it's more of  a treatment than a moisturizer. I'm not sure any topical reverses wrinkles, but this was nice. No plans to purchase, but I do have several more samples on hand.
The Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Skin Concealer in Beige 6 was too dark/yellow for my skin tone, so it did not get used.  The butter LONDON Lippy Moisture Matte in Ruby Murray, on the other hand, got worn twice and I thought it was quite a nice matte lipstick. It felt comfortable, non-drying, and lasted a solid 5-6 hours with a stain left after that.
Last up is Angel by Theirry Mugler, a polarizing perfume if there ever was one. People seem to either love or hate Angel, which probably has at least something to do with different skin chemistries. I wore this the obligatory 3 times, and each time I liked it less. First sniff was okay, but after that I found it cloying and borderline offensive. Top notes listed are are melon, coconut, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, bergamot and cotton candy; middle notes are honey, apricot, blackberry, plum, orchid, peach, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, red berries and rose; base notes are tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel. I'm sure it's swoon worthy on some, but not on me.
Now, it's time for the items I randomly selected for week 13! New items will be listed first, followed by those I'm still working on:

  1. DHC Resveratrol Lotion (foil)
  2. DHC Resveratrol Cream (foil)
  3. Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation in Light/Warm (card)
  4. J'adore Eau Lumiere by Dior (card)
  5. Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (1 pair)
  6. Verb Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner (foils)
  7. Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent (vial)
  8. Skin Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Face Gels for Forehead (1 application)
  9. BECCA Backlight Priming Filter (deluxe sample)
  10. DHC Pore Cleansing Oil (foil)
  11. Sephora Green Tea Sleeping Mask (I guess this is actually a full-sized item)
  12. Dr. D. Schwab Flawless Skin Fluid (deluxe sample)
  13. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (foil)
  14. Marcelle BB Cream in Golden Glow (deluxe sample)
  15. Sunshine Oil by Milk Makeup (deluxe sample)
  16. Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum (deluxe sample)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lipstick Roulette #4: What I'm Keeping and What I'm Tossing

Time to see what I'm keeping and what I'm tossing from volume 4 of my Lipstick Roulette series. My goal with this series is to work my way through all the lip products in my collection and toss those that are no longer working for me. I learned about this by watching Elle S on Youtube, although I'm sure others do it as well. These are the 7 items I randomly selected 3 weeks ago, plus I found the Clinique Black Honey that disappeared from week 2. It was in my yard, having rolled off the table I use for pictures:-)
  1. Natural Matte Lip color by e.l.f.
  2. Paiette Sparklicity Gloss by Tarina Tarantino
  3. Pink Passion Pop Balm by bareMinerals
  4. Femme Extra Creamy Round Lipstick by NYX Cosmetics
  5. Athens Long Wear Lip Gloss by CARGO
  6. Seductive Honey Pure Color Envy Sculping Gloss by Estee Lauder
  7. Pink Truffle Colorburst Lip Butter by Revlon
  8. Black Honey Almost Lipstick by Clinique 
Natural Matte Lip Color by e.l.f.

Natural Matte Lip Color by e.l.f. ($3) is a nice formula but the color does not look good on me - too cool toned/gray for my complexion. So, this one is getting tossed.
Paiette Sparklicity Gloss + Natural Matte
Topping Natural with the Paiette Sparklicity Gloss by Tarina Tarantino helped, and I do like how sparkly Paiette is, so I'm keeping it. Paiette appears to be discontinued, or at least it's showing as "no longer available" when I Google it. The brand in general is no longer easy to find since they withdrew from Sephora.
Pink Passion Pop of Passion Balm by bareMinerals
I'm a fan of the bareMinerals Pop of Passions Balms ($12), and Pink Passion is a great warm weather color for me. It's definitely staying.
Femme Extra Creamy Round Lipstick by NYX
Femme by NYX is another great warm weather color ($4), and while it's not the most long lasting lipstick, I find the formula comfortable to wear. It's a keeper.
Athens Long Wear Gloss by CARGO
Athens was a GWP from Birchbox, and this is the first time I've worn it. It's got enough color to wear on it's own and the formula is comfortable with a decent (3 hour) wear time. I like it and will be hanging on to it. It looks to be discontinued, although you can still find it online.
Seductive Honey Pure Color Envy Sculpting Gloss
Seductive Honey Pure Color Envy Sculpting Gloss by Estee Lauder ($26) features a formula I really like, and it's a nice lip topper either on it's own or over a lipstick. I'll be keeping it.
Pink Truffle Lip Butter by Revlon
Black Honey by Clinique
I like the Pink Truffle Lip Butter by Revlon, but the formula has changed as it did not want to swatch smoothly. While it still smells fine, I had to smooth it out with my finger for the picture, which tells me it's time to toss. I will also be tossing the Clinique Black Honey, as I don't particularly care for the formula , as it's not hydrating enough for me. So, that makes three items tossed and five kept. Progress, slow as it may be, in refining my collection to the items I truly enjoy.
Now, time for the next round of lipstick roulette items! These are the 7 items I randomly selected for the fifth volume of the series:
  1. Stellar Show Off Lip Lacquer by Rimmel
  2. Rose On and On Color Caresse Wet Shine Stain by L'Oreal
  3. Sunset Beautiful Color Lip Gloss by Elizabeth Arden
  4. 022 Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain by Mirenesse
  5. Sukriya Color Lip Balm by nyx
  6. Coral Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer by Smashbox
  7. Candy Apple Colorburst Lip Butter by Revlon