Melt Stacks (betcha can't have just one)

It's seriously been forever since I've posted, largely because I've been insanely busy the past two months between moving, planning a EuroTrip, going on said trip, and only just got back! Am still really jetlagged, so will try to get back in the swing of things, but in the meantime, here's something I've been working on :)


I am borderline obsessed with Melt's Eyeshadow stacks; they're really innovative and so much fun, and the way they stack together magnetically is so awesome and makes it really easy to use on the go.  

So far I have three, but will probably wind up with more, they're that good. The shades are really buttery and blendable (with the exception of the super metallic ones in the Gunmetal stack) with great pigmentation, and go so well together, it only makes sense to use them together! 

Starting with the Radioactive Stack ($48): 

This reminds me a lot of a condensed version of UD's Electric palette, though the shades are slightly different and I have less of a physical reaction to the orange and pink shades. Also, I received So Many compliments on this eye look as I went through the day I was really surprised, especially since this was a pretty messy look based on a beautiful tutorial by Ahitsrosa, who is def a goddess and my look doesn't even compare. Seriously though if you're not subscribed to her channel you should be.

Radioactive stack with UD Peyote Lipstick

Radioactive stack with UD Peyote Lipstick

Love love love these bright shades

That green gets errywhere

That green gets errywhere

The Gunmetal Stack ($48): 

this definitely isn't as pigmented as I expected, but it's still beautiful. The metal shades work much better with a wet brush or finger, and I did notice these tend to crease no matter which eyeshadow base used, which is a bit of a bummer. The shades really aren't as vibrant as the stacks usually are, which makes this a good stack for a low-key smoky eye, instead of something super dark and dramatic, as it turns out surprisingly neutral. Definitely easy to wear everyday despite the hard core shimmer.

Gunmetal Stack with Kylie Cosmetics Trick Lip Kit

Gunmetal Stack with Kylie Cosmetics Trick Lip Kit

The Love Sick Stack ($48):

This is what started the Melt love for me; in my quest for a vibrant red eyeshadow, I came upon the Love Sick shade, and at that time it was only available in the stack, which meant I obviously had to buy the whole thing. But I wasn't expecting to love these shades together, or love the shadows themselves, or love them on their own. This is the stack I reach for most, I feel like is the most versatile, and goes so well with so much. Definitely my favorite of the bunch.

Love Sick stack with UD Ex-Girlfriend Lipstick/Liner

Love Sick stack with UD Ex-Girlfriend Lipstick/Liner

Ultimately these are all a solid investment, and definitely worth checking out! get ittttt

GLAMGLOW pt 1: Masks

Well, after trying out so many cleansers, I wound up trying a Glamglow one, which led me to want to try out the whole brand... which leads us to Glamglow having its own post! 

There's clearly been a whole lotta hype about this brand recently, Sephora even based their entire November box around their masks for different skin concerns, and for good reason. What started out as a brand all about hype has clearly delivered on several fronts, making a name for themselves as the masters of one of the most overlooked steps of skincare, the face mask.

I first heard about this brand with the launch of their eye cream pods, but that was awhile ago and I haven't seen those in ages. They never really appealed to me, but it seems their game is now a lot more on point than I realized. 

Glamglow currently has six different masks, but their line seems to be growing every day to include cleansers, moisturizer, and lip treatments, while staying inside the realm of skincare, specifically for the face (though some have other uses). Now that I've had an opportunity to try pretty much everything, I can talk about the brand as a whole and findings.

Let's start with the masks though, as these are the real deal. All retail for $69, though you can find deals on Sephora and on their own website occasionally, and smaller sizes for $22. They seriously have such a huge line now I'm breaking this up with masks first, cuz the post was getting out of hand.

Glamglow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment:

This is a mask, but a deeply cleansing one. I wound up getting a couple samples when I picked up one of their Gravitymud masks, and like all of their products, this carries that branded tingling sensation on the skin, which in my head makes me think it's working better. I was surprised with this one, as it definitely dried the quickest out of all the masks, probably fully dried in under 10. It carries that trademark fruity scent that's so nice, but for a mud mask, this was a surprisingly thin formula.

Wet v. Dry

Wet v. Dry

I used this prior to the shower to wash it off with the help of the steam (as is my preference with mud masks), and when i washed it off, the whole part where it transformed into an oil felt quite nice indeed, making it feel refreshed instead of dried out after a 'deep cleanser' traditionally feels. My skin felt super soft afterward, and prepped for moisturizer (though tbh it may not have needed it). I can see a solid use for this after a big weekend wearing a ton of makeup (like after a con or music festival I would say), where I really need to give my skin some tlc. 

To be totally honest, I haven't found anything that compares, as I think most people just grab a normal cleanser, but this is a really unique format, and doesn't have the drying properties of a regular wash. Definitely worth it if you find yourself needing a serious cleanse without the negatives. 

Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment:

This is a bit heavy for my face, but it definitely has its use for neck and décolleté, using hyaluronic acid to get that super deep hydration while helping resurface your face. It leaves skin feeling incredibly silky and smooth, as well as moist, and stays on well for overnight treatment. It calms and energizes, and is the only mask where you don't really remove it, just leave it on and then kind of rub it in, or remove excess as per preference. If you have problems with dryness, this is a super deep hydration that you could even use sparingly and have have great results. It is definitely effective and does exactly what it claims. 

Kind of a tan color that goes on clear, super thick and smooth

Kind of a tan color that goes on clear, super thick and smooth

It doesn't even look like you're doing a mask, just have oily skin

It doesn't even look like you're doing a mask, just have oily skin

Compare to: Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask ($56): because of honey's natural antibacterial properties, this helps to take care of minor breakouts while moisturizing the skin. It delivers a lot of help for dry skin while not being over the top for normal or oily skin, and also works against wrinkles. 

Gravitymud Firming Treatment:

This is the first mask I actually purchased in a full-size version, and I have zero regrets. This is the only one that actually comes with its own brush, but I prefer to brush on all masks as you get much more even coverage and more product goes on your face than is wasted on your fingers. And like usual, this has that tingly sensation. This is meant to help with fine lines, wrinkles, and evening skin tone, all things I care about. What I love about this brand is unlike most masks where you have to use consistently for some time to see results, you can tell an immediate difference. It smells amazing, looks really cool on, peels off easily, and gives your face that 'lit from wihin' look immediately. And you face feels firmer, not tight like it's overly dry. The trick with this mask in particular is it really does peel off, in one shot if you can manage it, but you have to put a solid layer on your skin, no skimping here. It's not that hard to do, but you basically just want to make sure your pores aren't showing through and you're good. The brush really helps with this one, as it makes that nice even layer more achievable. Always make sure to lift in an upward motion–this whole mask is about fighting gravity, so you don't want to undo the good you've just done.

I'm the tin womannnnnn

I'm the tin womannnnnn

Compare to: Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask - Firming (Celery): This has all the same attributes of the Glamglow one, but as a sheet mask a set of 3 costs $24 so I feel like you get more use out of the Glamglow option, and it seemed to me that it worked better as well. If you're not ready to commit to the $69 Gravity Mud, this is a nice alternative, but defintiely not as effective.

Supermud Clearing Treatment:

Wet v. Dry the dark spots in the dry pic are the gross impurities the mask draws out

Wet v. Dry

the dark spots in the dry pic are the gross impurities the mask draws out

This is so great for clearing breakouts, it's not even funny; as it dries, it pulls the impurities out of your skin, drawing out blackheads and peeling off oil like it was never there. You can literally feel it happening, and see the results immediately. This one definitely stings as you apply it, and smells like licorice as it dries. Definitely not the usual candy-fruity scent. Removing it, my skin felt insanely tight, so you def have to moisturize after, as this Really dries out your skin. It feels really refreshed though, so this is an interesting mask. You can also use it as a spot treatment with mixed results, though it is Super clearing, so I wouldn't leave it on a large area overnight, just on one problem spot, as it dries it out insanely. I've seen positive results as a spot treatment on small pimples, but nothing large, so that's why I feel it's mixed results. Overall this is good to use really once in a while, so this seems like a good mask to get the tiny size in. 

Compare to: Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque ($16-30)
This is a much smoother, creamy mask that dries exceedingly fast. It's definitely cheaper, dries faster, and goes on more evenly plus you need a smaller quantity for each use. You don't have that instant gratification though of visually seeing what's being pulled out, but doesn't leave my skin feeling as tight or dried out. I think this is one that's more where you see results after continued results.

Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment:

This is a great anti aging treatment, helping skin look brighter, softens, smoothes, and helps lift fine lines while helping dryness. This is pretty similar in use to the gravity mud, but while that is more designed for firming, this one really focuses on skin cell turnover and anti-aging properties, most notable with the use of green tea–you can not only smell the tea, but the leaves are actually visible chunks on your face, which is super cool to me. It's strange though, this one obviously is tingly too (it's even in the name) but it's a much stronger sensation than the rest of the masks, which juxtaposes with the calming scent of the tea. It allllllmost stings, but has a very 'facial' feel and scent to it, which is kind of amazing. My skin almost felt as though it was moving as different sections dried, and not in an unpleasant way, but I really just can't get over how great the scent is. Also, a little bit goes a really long way–you can easily cover your face with very little, as opposed to a lot of muds where you have to kind of cake it on in spots to get it smooth and even. Pretty sure I'm buying this one next.

Wet v. Dry

Wet v. Dry

Compare to: Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask ($92)
This one feels absolutely amazing, glides on softly and easily, and has a really soft neutral scent. Your skin really does feel perfect instantly, and you definitely don't need to moisturizer and it does all the same things as the Glamglow one. It is significantly more expensive, and while I would say Fresh does work better, if you like the Glamglow one, $30 less is definitely the way to go.

Flashmud Brightening Treatment:

First use: First on - Absorbed after 20 - freshly rinsed

First use:

First on - Absorbed after 20 - freshly rinsed

This targets exactly what it sounds like-giving a glowing complexion. This one is unique in the way it's used, giving the direction of initially using three days in a row to start the results, then following up 2-3x per week to maintain results. It again smells amazing, tingles a bit, and is a touch sandy feeling as opposed to the mud feel or smoothness of the peel. You're also supposed to rub this one on to give some initial exfoliation before it soaks in, and it definitely soaks in. You have another visual with this mask, as it slowly becomes transparent as it seeps into your skin. Another thing I found interesting, is they make a point of mentioning you need to use sunscreen with this one or the results won't last. I feel this is important in general as a pale girl, but it's definitely something that's overlooked, which is especially necessary when dealing with skincare, and even more so when trying to change your skin. This honestly felt a little intense for me, the rough texture was a little rough when I tend to stick to more gentle exfoliation techniques. I didn't have the immediate result from this mask I'm used to either, and I definitely have to give my face a break from the more intensive treatments. I think I'd have to do once every other week, instead of the 2-3x. The second use I didn't rub the mask in initially to give it a break. 

After second use - After third use

After second use - After third use

This is unfortunately not for me, I'll use other means of brightening my skin. This is very harsh and I couldn't see much of a real difference except redder skin and extra breakouts. 

Compare to: Eve Lom Brightening Lotion ($75)
While this one isn't a mask (though there is one for $160 here), this is an amazing brightening treatment that really works to slowly even out your skin tone and brighten up your complexion. I 100% prefer it to the Glamglow mask, as it's not abrasive or rough at all, gentle enough to use it every morning, plus it helps to get full absorption from your moisturizer.

Ultimately, I feel like for the most part continued use of the masks do have a noticeable effect, but in the short term even though you're seeing results, You are really the only one who can see the differences in your skin pre–post mask.

Also I found this handy sheet about the masks on Sephora's site, which is a nice quick reference to see which mask suits your needs:

 

 

Sephora Play!: February

I know I'm a little late with this one, but the Play! Date was the last day of the month and I typically like to hold out until after that to post, but ah well, here we are!

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February's theme of 'The Soft Side' features this satin dusty rose bag filled with less bold products, focusing on more subtlety. With skin perfecting moisturizer and under eye brightener for the skincare, two sheer lip products, a sweet and feminine perfume, and mascara, you can really see how the theme was applied this month. 

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I've mentioned before how sick I am of moisturizers, but this one isn't bad. It works much like a primer (just like basically every other moisturizer I've tried in the last few months), filling in pores and blurring lines, but has the added benefit of being a light moisturizer that you can even use over makeup during the day, reminding me of the Dr. Jart Water Drop. It definitely has a tacky finish, and you press into skin instead of normal application, so it's not your usual moisturizer. I can definitely see why makeup would stick to this with the level of tacky, and for people with combination skin, I think this would especially be a great option as makeup prep. I personally prefer a more dry, moisturized finish, so this tackiness is not really my cup of tea, but it is an interesting product. And of the moisturizer/primer options, I think this is one of the better ones. 
1/1

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

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I've actually used this before, awhile ago when I was making an attempt to only use plant-based products, so while I always prefer trying new things, this is one of those top rated products I don't mind giving another chance. It actually really works, and surprisingly quickly; for example, I was hungover/feeling the effects of some bad fish, and I looked like an absolute train wreck complete with dark circles, lines, and all sorts of exhaustion written on my face, and with just a few dabs of this I looked like a totally normal person. It not only has caffeine and ginseng, but peachy illuminating tones that can eliminate the need for an under eye concealer or brightener. I definitely recommend trying it, especially if you have sensitive eyes, and you can usually get this tiny tester size from Origins locations, Macy's stores, or even a small made sample from Sephora (they're great about that, can't tell you how many products I've bought after sampling at Sephora). Ultimately, it's a cult product for a reason, and while it may not have anti-aging properties, that's what nighttime eye cream is for.
2/2

Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy

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Disclaimer: Not for the faint of heart. This product is seriously hard core in the burning department, and can really overwhelm easily (especially since that burning escalates and takes a good chunk of time to die down). The shade in this month's box, Milkshake, is too sheer and glossy for me to just wear alone, however this lip plumper works differently than your average gloss. Apparently you're supposed to see real softening results over 30 days of consistent application (which is a huge commitment for me when I'm trying to wear a different shade every day) of much softer, more supple lips, so I've been trying to put it on first thing in the morning to get the softening benefits before applying lipstick later on. While this isn't something I can just wear out, I have noticed that it really stays on throughout the day, its thick coat being noticeable, and much different than a normal gloss. Unlike other lip plumpers I've used (i.e. Glamglow) this one stung more than just gave a tingly sensation, and gave my lips a very rosy look to the point even the rims around them looked red, which wasn't a very cute look for me. But that eventually went away after some time, again showing how I can pretty much only use this first thing in the morning. My only real complaint here is the subtle chemical scent, which reminds me of the way vapes smell, and is ever present though I only get whiffs of it here and there. So I'm still on the fence about this product, but it was one of those things people rave about so for sure nice to try.
3/3

Nars Velvet Lip Glide

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This is a really interesting one, again not really my cup of tea for sheer reasons, and this is a liquid lipstick that doesn't dry. But the color is quite nice, and I found this went over matte lipstick to form a nice satin finish with a hair of color change, which can definitely be a fun take. It does feel quite smooth and isn't sticky in the least, but definitely lacks the colorstay quality I look for in a liquid lipstick. The pigmentation is great, it has a super soft finish, and the color is flattering plus the component is so cool looking, so this really isn't a bad product, just not something I'll buy in the future. Great to be able to try though.
4/4

Sephora LashCraft Length & Volume Mascara:

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I am always a fan of trying Sephora's own line as they typically put out a totally solid product, and this is no exception. This one really reminded me of Blinc mascara, in that it feels extremely lightweight and removes easily with warm water, but the brush on this really takes the cake. Instead of the traditional cylindrical shape, this is more of a flat, squared off wand which allows you to flatten the lashes upward for that lift, then comb them out with the edges. It wasn't super easy for me to get every lash, but my picky eyes were able to handle this formula without lashes falling out or getting irritated as the day went on. This also has minimal smudging, and doesn't actually remove as easily with eye makeup remover as it does with water, which I found fairly interesting. It reminds me of another mascara I've tried that I can't quite put my finger on, but I would say for cost efficiency, this probably wins against it,
5/5

Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence Fragrance:

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So I know I'm crazy picky with fragrances and don't like to stray from my faves, but this one reeeeeally didn't do it for me. It was overly strong, too sweet, and overall very heavy. It was on its way to giving me a killer headache in no time at all. So while I'm usually pretty prepared to invest some time into anything Adriana Lima is peddling (seriously my fave VS Angel), this was so many levels of not for me–which may actually be a good thing considering I've already found 2 scents form these boxes I can't go without...
5/6

Overall this wasn't a bad box. I already used the GinZing eye cream, so I may rebuy that, but just because I may not purchase full sizes of the Play! Box products doesn't mean the box was a loss. I feel like everything except the cream was new for me, and that's really what I'm aiming for with these. On a side note, after attending the Play Date at my local Sephora, I was super jealous of the box that got a Bite Multistick, as now I'm in love with that, and I smelled the Tom Ford fragrance Neroli Portofina Aqua, which literally transported me back to memories of going to water parks and rivers as a kid, being doused in sunscreen and smelling the water. It is a truly interesting scent and every time I let it away from my nose I found myself going back for more, so I maaaaay wind up getting this as a nice summer fragrance. Definitely worth checking out. 

Play! by Sephora: JANUARY

OMG first post of the year! (and I only waited til the last day of the month...)

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (overtop Lime Crime Prairie Velvetine on the left, alone on right), Youth to the People moisturizer, after washing with the Taste Frixxxion stick 

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (overtop Lime Crime Prairie Velvetine on the left, alone on right), Youth to the People moisturizer, after washing with the Taste Frixxxion stick 

I'll admit I've basically been a bum the past month and have riding that struggle bus trying to get through the holidays, then recoop after getting the creeping crud that's been going around, but I'm trying to get back on that blog train. 

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So it's officially time to dive back in with the monthly Sephora box, this month's theme "Beauty, Set, Go."

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I feel ike they're stepping up the game with their bags, this one is so cute and goes with their whole gym vibe perfectly, complete with their whole 'Sweat is Just Another Way to Glow' saying and mesh backside, but I wouldn't say these products necessarily scream 'gym' or 'workout' to me, though I can see how they went with the theme once they're all explained(ish).

But anyhow, let's start with Youth to the People Kale + Spinach + Hyaluronic Acid Age Prevention Cream ($48):

clearly need to get my nails done...

clearly need to get my nails done...

Apart from this being the actual longest name in the world...... I have been really digging products with this particular acid in them, and it's always nice to lean toward vegan products like this. I recently found out that if you have food intolerances or other allergies to nature, it only makes sense that you'll have sensitivities to skin/makeup products with those ingredients (a real *palm face* moment for that not occurring to me before), so it's always good for me to try to find things that are vegan or don't have ingredients I'll have a problem with. I also really appreciate products designed for neck and chest, as now that I'm like all the way in my mid-20's, I've realized my face isn't the only thing i don't want to age super quick. I really loved this product, if only cuz the smell is so fresh and light, and I love the texture. I don't actually feel like it worked super well, but I'm hoping continued use gives some change, cuz it's just so soft and smells so amazing. 
1/1 cuz even if it doesn't work super well. I still love it.  

Tarte Frixxxtion Stick ($22):

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I am really finicky about trying new cleansers and what works/what doesn't for my sensitive skin, but I do enjoy Tarte as a brand and am always game for something new. This format is definitely new to me, I've never tried a cleanser stick before (and the gym connection makes a little sense here–on the go and cleansing after a workout). I like the format a lot, rubbing directly onto dry skin, then frothing it with warm water, but I do feel that the exfoliation aspect of it was too harsh for my sensitive skin, and I was seriously red after. I definitely prefer much gentler exfoliators where it doesn't physically slough off your skin. But regardless, this was super easy to use and I'd be down to try more if they weren't also exfoliating. 
2/2, just cuz it didn't work for me doesn't make it not innovative and cool. 

Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact ($60):

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I've gotten more into CC Creams with It! Cosmetics blowing me away, but I have been burned on Korean beauty brands before so was a touch hesitant to try (also as these are definitely not my shades). I'm always game for makeup with sunscreen too, so despite hesitiation, was down to try this, and I learned that there are two kinds of sunscreen-physical and chemical- and this is the physical kind. Physical uses actual particles to block the sun from hitting your face, and chemical uses chemicals to kind of destroy the suns rays as they travel through the product. Anyhow, I wish I loved this, as the coverage was buildable, smooth, and so natural, it just was definitely the wrong color for me and I hated the smell. It definitely lasts all day, and I'm just finicky with scents, so it's not that this is a bad product, it just wasn't for me. 
3/3 again, cool useful product, just didn't work for my skin tone.

Ouai Treatment Masque ($32):

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My experiences with this brand have so far been lackluster, just nothing special for me. I'm not sure if it has to do with my hair texture or the massive amounts of damage it's taken, but I haven't been super impressed. That being said, this masque wasn't bad, the only negative is I had to use the entire sample for one use (and probably could have used more–my hair seemed to eat it all up and barely feel like anything was in it). I followed the instructions on the insert and put this on before a workout to let the heat help the process, and after washing it out I used the Ouai salt spray to give my curl some gentle texture, so after trying that I would say this brand tends to work better with other products from the same line. I had never really liked the spray, but it worked better with this treatment, and this treatment was fine, but I feel like I have others that work better. 
3/4

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($17):

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I wanted to like this, as Clinique is a solid brand and usually cult classic products are such for a reason, but this just isn't for me. It's too much like a gloss and not enough like a balm, plus the pigmentation is so slight it just didn't do me any favors. As far as this type of blooming color type product, I much prefer Dior Addict Lip Glow, as that is the soothing texture of a balm, matte, and still gives off a great color that's always flattering.
3/5

Tory Burch Love Relentlessly:

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This is another fragrance that just wasn't for me, although it is a nice scent. Much too floral, tooooo feminine, and a bit too strong for my preference. But hey, perfumes are personal and I have already found several I love through these boxes so no big.
3/6

So liking half isn't so bad, and first box of the year probably has a little more pressure on it to be exciting, but I really liked the gym theme and not one of these products had I tried before, so another overall win. Also, the Play! Dates Sephora has been doing are really helpful for learning new things, plus my location always gives us samples of products from other boxes we'd want to try, which is especially great since so many things I prefer what other people got. So definitely still looking forward to what this year has to offer.

#LeMarc Liquid Lip Crème VoxBox OMG

Woooooo got another rad voxbox, even another from Marc Jacobs! Guys, Influenster is really the best and if you haven't gotten on that already seriously do it. You can't beat free stuff.

FULL. SIZE.  

FULL. SIZE.  

But Anyhow, I received the complimentary Le Marc Liquid Lip Crème box which included one lipstick and one liner, and I was not disappointed. I feel like I generally have a lot of fun with Marc Jacobs products however they're still not my usual go-to, but they might be after this. I Loved this lipstick (as always, liquid is my preference to begin with), but this is so long lasting, goes on so smooth and opaque, and is totally non-drying. Plus the shades themselves are so flattering, I had a hard time trying to pick a favorite.

Love this color. 'Shush, Blush' 

Love this color. 'Shush, Blush' 

While I generally like a lot of variety in colors in my liquid lip brands, these are totally my kind of neutrals and I'm still super down with only six colors. Something about these undertones makes them just a little bold, but oh so versatile. They remind me a bit of Kylie colors, however I actually like this formula better. There is a bit of transfer, but the product really stays on your lips. 

My bud Ashley also received this box, with the lipstick 'Slow Burn' 

My bud Ashley also received this box, with the lipstick 'Slow Burn' 

Close up of da lips

Close up of da lips

I think this is actually the most expensive liquid lipstick I've tried so far, coming in at a whopping $28, but like, I'm not even mad. I feel like they really nailed the formula and managed to create something familiar yet unique. It makes me want to play with all of the colors too; I've really been into neutrals lately which is semi surprising as a girl who frequently reaches for green lipstick...

The lip liner is pretty solid as well, and I feel like I'm so picky about liners that I almost don't even care about them. I would say my favorites to date are the Kylie ones, as they glide on so smoothly and hug every curve depositing even color, but this is a seriously close second. Like I really like these, I just don't love that it's a twist up. I always prefer a liner I can sharpen as I really want that super crisp line. However, despite the fact that isn't there for this, the color still really molds itself to the lip color well (Ashley and I got the same liner color and while it matched her color better, it works just fine with the one I got too). The smoothness of the application is really nice, and it doesn't skip like so many formulas, so it's definitely a great lip liner option.  

Seriously though, I highly recommend these, the colors and textures are so nice, plus the whole non-smudging thing really can't be beat. Anything you can relayer and not get those thick tell-tale lines is a win for me, and the level of last is so great, I think these may be my new faves. 

Pick em up here:

Le Marc Liquid Lip Crème

Poutliner Longwear Lip Liner Pencil  

Play! By Sephora: D e c e m b e r

Can't stop won't stop with these play boxes! This month's theme of The Partygoers definitely had me expecting some glitter or highlighter, but I was still pleasantly surprised with no skincare! (Finally)

Ooh fancy black bag

Ooh fancy black bag

This isn't a bad assortment of items, with things I haven't tried yet but are all types of makeup I actually use, so that's pretty rad. Only one item I've tried before (actually use on the daily), so everything else was fresh!

happy little info sheet

happy little info sheet

Can just dive in with what I'd already been using, UD's All Nighter Setting Spray.

MUFE primer, Sephora cream stain, Bobbi Brown mascara, Drybar dry shampoo, and finished with UD setting spray

MUFE primer, Sephora cream stain, Bobbi Brown mascara, Drybar dry shampoo, and finished with UD setting spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray:
This is really the holy grail of setting sprays, gets amazing reviews on every site, and totally deserves it. It sprays on so light and gently, doesn't feel crusty or tight, and truly makes your makeup last all day/night. The best thing is that it's really versatile, working on different skin tones, and I personally love using this to spray onto a brush to wet it instead of using water for fickle or sparkly eyeshadows. It makes your shadows more vibrant plus makes them last even longer using the setting spray, and helps with fallout too. Basically this is the setting spray everyone should be using, and while I would prefer not getting more things I'm already familiar with, this is still a winning product. 
1/1

Such long lashes! Unretouched photo

Such long lashes! Unretouched photo

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara:
Moving on to the Bobbi Brown Mascara, I always love trying a new mascara, especially since my eyelashes are ridiculous and hate almost every formula, so it's always fun to try to find ones that work. This is an interesting option, as it really defines lashes and lengthens, which looks great, but at the end of the day this one wasn't for me. While it didn't irritate my eyes (huzzah!) it still flaked a bit and smudged under my eyes (fault of oily eyelids), and felt overall stiff. Which, maybe the smudging is part of the smokey effect? But I'm not buying it. I'm not sad that I got to try a mascara though, and I'm glad it didn't freak out my eyes, but there are definitely better defining options for sensitive eyes. 
1/2

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Equalizing Primer:
I'm always game to try anything from Make Up For Ever, so it was snazzy to get their primer this month, and this is a super interesting one. There are a variety of color options available just in this primer, and the one I was able to try was 'Smoothing Primer' designed for large pores and fine lines with a natural finish–exactly what my concerns are. I'm starting to have an abundance of primers, but this is definitely a solid one, and the best one that I've received in one of these boxes. Plus the whole idea of multiple primers for multiple concerns is really nice. MUFE always delivers and this is no exception- it's slightly tinted, so smoothes and blurs flaws, while helping out a light coverage foundation. You could also wear this one alone for just a little bit of perfecting magic, and it blends into skin instead of just laying on top to make a totally smooth finish, without balling up like so many do. Definitely a win.
2/3

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo:
Having colored hair, I have tried a great multitude of dry shampoos on the market as it truly gets me from day to day as a person who tries to go as long as possible before washing. No product has ever really come close to my all-time favorite Kevin Murphy, but this Drybar Detox variety is damn good. It doesn't create a cloud of powder like so many brands, you can really see where it's been placed, and a little goes a long way. It also definitely thickens hair and you can feel it becoming much drier. I really like all of these aspects, I just think the only edge Kevin Murphy has is how light it feels in your hair-like almost like nothing is there yet your hair feels much cleaner. I have no problem with this Detox one being a good backup, and saves the effort of using a dry shampoo along with a thickener since this does both. And the scent isn't unpleasant so that's always a plus too. 
3/4

look at this ickle baby lipstick!

look at this ickle baby lipstick!

Sephora Cream Lip Stain:
I'm always a sucker for lipstick, so am always pleased to see something new in these boxes. I'd prefer if the lips products had more brand variety as I've gotten a few from Sephora now, but much like MUFE, it's a really solid brand. This lip stain is definitely more of a liquid lipstick and my favorite Sephora variety so far–it's very long-lasting, gives crisp non-feathering edges, barely transfers, is non-drying, but I wouldn't say it works like a stain. Which actually makes it more up my alley– I prefer bolder colors, not the lasting subtlety you normally find with a stain. I got the shade 'Always Red' too, and reds are notoriously the biggest bleeders, to the point where it can be hazardous to wear a white shirt along with. It for sure lasts until you eat, and even then doesn't smudge, but it doesn't stain like a normal 'stain' would. I actually really like this formula, and depending on color selection wouldn't mind incorporating it into the lipstick rotation. At $14/ea, this is kind of a great buy for a nice formula. 
4/5

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon:
Finally, this month's fragrance selection was 'Nirvana Bourbon' from Elizabeth and James, which really isn't that bad, but still isn't my taste. It has heavy vanilla notes that are definitely not my preference, and the more masculine undertones in the oakwood are really lovely, but it's a heavy scent that I expect prefer who musky scents would probably enjoy. I felt like I wanted to like it, but it was just a little much for my predominantly citrusy preference, although not harsh enough to elicit a headache! So i kind of feel like this is a winning fragrance even though it's not really for me.
5/6

While this isn't actually my favorite box to date, it was pretty good! With only one item being something I'd used before, that's a really nifty percentage. Plus the whole point of this for me is to try new things, and hopefully stumble upon something great, so no complaints here. I did edit my Play! settings to say oily skin so that i stop getting moisturizers all the time, so i don't know if that affected what was in my box this month or not, but we will continue to see what happens!

Dose of Colors Palette Face-Off

Omg. Such shiny. Much pretty 😻😻😻

Ive been working on doing more palette reviews, and this whole switching blog sites really threw me off, but definitely still a work in progress!

Anyhow, I'd been wanting to try Dose of Color for a while, but it's been hard to get past that $25 a pop individual eyeshadow price. So when they announced their first palette I absolutely jumped at the chance! Now I know the Hidden Treasure palette came out awhile ago, but I never really got to posting about it, and now that the EyesCream came out as well, it's time to get my act together, and compare/contrast.

Outside sleeve v. Actual palette

Outside sleeve v. Actual palette

So let's start with Hidden Treasure since it's their first work of art. 

So much fallout

So much fallout

This thing is really beautiful, the shades are really usable, HOWEVER, tons of fallout, but this can be avoided a bit by using a damp brush. Prepare yourself though, it's worth it. This means though, as you apply, it's going to get all over your face, so maybe hold off on face makeup tip after, or use some handy-dandy guards.

Hidden Treasures palette with Melt Cosmetics lipstick in 6six6

Hidden Treasures palette with Melt Cosmetics lipstick in 6six6

While I would of course Love some more vibrant colors, the palette still has a really nice spectrum that works with a variety of looks and skin tones. Not too rosy, not too golden, some coppers, so niiiiice. Great for people like myself who are just makeup aficionados, not makeup artists who don't actually know how to do real things. 

Now the EyesCream palette definitely delivers on some color. These incredibly soft shades have a lot of versatility as well, with a mix of mattes and shimmers, with some really fun pops. It totally feels like an ice cream parlour on your face, and using these pastels instead of bright colors gives it a really gentle look. 

IMG_9416.JPG

There's significantly less fallout in the EyesCream than the Hidden Treasure, with the sparkly shades being more shimmer than all out pressed metal, and they pack on the eyelid nice and opaque, yet blend really smooth. I feel like you can go a lot lighter with this than the Hidden Treasure as well, along with easier blending. 

Ultimately I'm definitely on the Dose of Colors team, and while there are certainly palettes I enjoy more, I feel like both of these are a unique take, and I have absolutely nothing else like them in my broad range of palettes and eyeshadow shades, so they're definitely worth a second look, however it seems like they're making all of their palettes limited edition, so when you want one you have to jump on it. Hidden Treasure is gone from their website (but you can find it on ebay and the like), but EyesCream is still available, at least for now. 

Well Helloooooo

I'm officially switching my blog over to my personal site since I've basically had it with my old homie Blogger, so a lot of posts will still link over to there, and the link to the main page is available HERE, but I'm working on just having everything consolidated on one site here.