Sephora Play! March Box

This was a great box! There were seven items total: three I love, two I haven’t tried, 1 I don’t care for, and we’ll talk about the 7th in a minute.

Didn’t bother photographing this myself. Again, the paper they use as padding makes everything super dusty and while the boxes are nice the stuff just doesn’t look that great inside it. Still love it, though!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper $19

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I love this liner! Love love LOVE it. This is my favorite liquid liner, hands down. The sample size has the little foamy tip, but I love the brush tip on the full-size. Perhaps it’s because that’s what I “trained” with, but I find the brush tip easier to use.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser $38

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I love this cleanser! I had never tried it before, but needing a new cleanser for my travel bag, I threw this in before a recent trip to NYS. It smells so good, like fresh grass and other scents, it cleans amazingly, and it left my skin feeling great. One thing that didn’t make it into my travel bag was a make-up remover, and this definitely took care of my raccoon eyes the next morning. In fact, trying this cleanser in the Play! box convinced me to take the Fresh duo (includes this and a rose face mask) as my birthday present, instead of the Marc Jacobs liner and lipstick. And I’m usually all about that liner and lipstick!

Sephora Collection: Perfectionist Airbrush Sponge $12

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So I love this, but technically haven’t tried it. At least, not this one that was sent to me specifically, but I got a set of Sephora beauty blenders for Christmas, so I know I like this. I went years being too cheap to invest in one, and now I have 5. None of which I’ve specifically purchased. How great is that? I don’t know the nuances of sponges, but the Sephora brand ones seem pretty good to me.

Maison Martin Margiela “Replica” Beach Walk $25 (Rollerball. $135 for 3.4 oz)

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I mean, it’s not like this is bad scent or there’s anything wrong with it. I just don’t care. It’s supposed to “to evoke a familiar but forgotten moment—a walk along a sandy beach.” but “bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk” aren’t smells that make me think of the beach. Sunscreen, sand, salt water, rotting seaweed and a hint of something fishy are my beach-smell memories (guess who isn’t a beach person?) and like I said, this is fine and unoffensive but whatevs. I can’t even care enough to emphatically dislike it.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield $80

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Moisturizing + Priming + SPF??? I haven’t tried this yet but it’s hitting all my wants and needs! Too bad about that full-size pricetag though. I know Murad is a great brand but this would have to last a long ass time and basically change my life to get me to switch from the awesome primers that are half that cost.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil $42

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I love Smashbox’s regular Photo Finish Primer. It was the first-ever review I did for this blog! So I’m optimistic that this will be great, but a little concerned about the “oil” aspect. I know Oil cleansing is supposedly a great thing, and I’ve had great success leaving oil treatments in my hair overnight and rinsing them out in the morning. And sometimes I use a quick spritz or Argan oil as my face moisturizer, so we’ll just have to see how this works. I’m apprehensive yet optimistic.

The Final Item

Finally, there was a tiny little tub that you can take to the Sephora store and get a sample of a liquid foundation. When I unpacked the box one of my cats (I have my suspicions as to who…) promptly stole the little tub. Whatever, I don’t feel too bad. I prefer a powder anyways.

This box was definitely a hit for me! I haven’t received April’s box yet, but it’s looking pretty good and I can’t wait to try it!

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The Great Makeup Cull: 2.2 Eyeliner

All I really want right now is some time to be sedentary and not constantly embarking on hour plus obligation trips. I want a lazy day sleeping in late with my man and my cat, and I want to be able to devote more time to my fiction without feeling like I’m neglecting “real life” things. Things like the current grad school applications I am floundering to fill out (I will get into library school, I will!). Anywhoodles we’ve got two more parts to go in my makeup cull series, I should have some new fancies arriving soon, and I don’t want this to turn into a strictly beauty blog and I’ve got posts I want to do about Modelland, my new job, some games I’ve been playing, I’ve got some shit to muse over from Game of Thrones, and weddings..

Eyeliner and I have a complicated relationship. Makeup in general and I have a complicated relationship and that’s something I’d like to explore in another post too. Eyeliner was something I wanted when I saw it on other people. It looked great so frequently! But when I tried it on I kinda looked a little like Gerard from My Chemical Romance during the Revenge era and while his use of eyeliner made my little teen heart pitter-patter it did not translate well onto me. I was also always frustrated with my inability to get it off my face following the rare wearings (relevant and worth noting: I did theater, so I wore a lot of makeup in the context of a stage). It was finally in college I decided to give eyeliner another go and decided I could make it work. Shortly after that discovery I read an article in Cosmo talking about the trend of colored eyeliner and that just thrilled me to no end so I rushed right out and bought some Rimmel London eyeliner in “jungle green.” I still have it, still wear it, it swatches like this:

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Then, I bought this blue eyeliner from CoverGirl (it’s discontinued whatever it is)

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Because blue is my favorite color but it didn’t work. Like there’s no swatch because it never left any color behind. So I did the obvious thing and stuffed it in my makeup bag and forgot about it until now when I FINALLY threw it in the trash.

At the same time, I bought some loose kohl eyeliner in a burgundy (?) color from L’Oreal Paris and that’s another one I still have and absolutely adore the look it gives me (even though it also seems to be discontinued), however it is terrifyingly easy to get the pigment on your eyeball, and then you just have to watch it float there.ImageSo we are at the point in my timeline where I move to Korea, and we all know some of my favorite products were discovered in Korea. one of the first things I discovered were gel eyeliners (which I hadn’t heard anything about in the states at that point, though now obviously they are everywhere). I immediately bought a deep deep black and a navy blue from Nature Republic. Despite loving them I didn’t use them very frequently out of fear I wouldn’t be able to replace them, and alas the black dried out without even being half used =( the blue however is still fine and I’ve been making more of a point to use it frequently. ImageNature Republic also supplied me with an excellent black stick liner (that I used up, and I promise I didn’t keep the empty tube!) and a nice twist up brown stick. Still have the brown even though it’s four years old because I have a problem.

I have two other liners from Korea, a sparkly gold and sparkly blue. The blue is from Etude House and is appropriately called a jewelry pencil (I believe it was from a line done in conjunction with KPop group 2NE1). It swatches decent but barely shows up on my actual lids. I kept it to play around with more

. ImageThe other eyeliner is from a store who’s name I never really learned, but it was like a Korean equivalent of Ulta/Sephora. The gold really doesn’t show up at all on my eyes but it’s a barely used liner stick! I really need to bite the bullet on some of these and just get rid of them

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If you were paying close attention you probably noticed I no longer have any black eyeliner. No pictures or swatches for these ones, but two new acquisitions have been made. You may remember me mentioning the Try It kit from my beloved Smashbox. That came with a sample size of their Limitless eyeliner in Onyx. It of course applies fantastically and has a great color and blahblah I’m a documented Smashbox fangirl and no one can take that away from me. It’s an awfully smudgy eyeliner though… perhaps a little too smudgy. My quest to perfect the winged eyeliner lead me to the liquid eyeliner section of Sephora recently, a place I have never dared venture before. I ended up with Kat Von D’s,over Stila’s because the brush tip felt like a safer choice than the felt tip. It seems to be a nice liquid liner. I haven’t really worn it yet, just played around in the comfort of my own apartment, but it looks and feels pretty good so I’m optimistic. I haven’t bought it yet (and I probably shouldn’t because I’m poor) but I’m lusting after this blue Mary Kay at Play liner despite some feelings about Mary Kay I’ll get to in the lipstick post (The “have to have it” feeling came after seeing it in this post by another blogger). I love eyeliners a lot, and I’m more than a little amused that this was the area I’ve had the most success culling, even if there are some I really need to stop clinging to. 

 

Mini Irreverent Reviews: LORAC Porefection Mattifying Primer

Today I was supposed to drive to NY and attend my Very Best Friend’s bridal shower. I got up early with a raging headache, crawled to the shower, shaved my legs, removed from the shower feeling a little bit better, put on my fancy Raspberry Iced Tea dress, smeared some of my sample LORAC Porefection (haha) mattifying face primer. Then the headache came back with full force, I hit the deck dry heaving, and I’ve been laid up in bed all day sipping gingerale, popping advil (so much advil) and keeping my eyes closed. Now I’m finally feeling like I could go outside and explore the world and it’s 5pm. I’m still in my dress.

So why am I reviewing this stuff? I didn’t get to wear it outside, I only got about half my face actually covered in foundation before I realized ‘being a supportive friend’ was a lost cause.

Well, I received a sample in my last ulta ordered and before I knew today was a bust I’d figured I’d try it.

When it squeezed out of the pouch it was weird and gooey and I was very nervous about rubbing it on my (super oily) face. There was also a ton in that little pouch, so perhaps I’ll get the chance to try it again because my face simply did not have enough area to use it all up.

It rubbed on very well, what little of it got makeup applied seemed to take it well (wooo Face Shop Oil Cut). The reason I’m so impressed is because I went back to bed. And sure, a lot of that time was just lying awake with my eyes closed moaning that I’d feel better any second, but I tend to sweat in my sleep, especially when I nap. My face still feels fresh and oil free, like I just applied the stuff. At $32 dollars for 1.7 ounces it’s cheaper than my beloved Smashbox. Definitely something I’d consider trying again.

 

I’m all moved into the new place now, and have internet, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish my makeup cull soon and this can go back to being a ‘sometimes’ beauty blog.

The Great Make-Up Cull, Part 1: Face

Wow. So moving takes a lot out of you. That’s why I’m doing it again this weekend! In all joyous news, I’m back in the Northeast, I now have a job I love in an archive, and this weekend Manbeast and I  will relocate to our new apartment. Then I am busy with weddings and showers and family parties until the end of summer. It has been CRAZY, and I miss posting! So rather than just talk about silly words, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. We’re going to take a look inside my make-up bag(s). This should also serve to horrify everyone by exposing my hoarding to the outside world.

As we should all know by now, make-up has an expiration date. I know this, logically, and yet… I don’t throw things out because I feel compelled to finish them! So far I’ve been lucky and had no adverse affects, which is probably 100% fluke. But I am moving, so this should be a good time to cull my collection… and try out photographing swatches! Bear with me, this is a learning experience, and I’m far from a beauty expert, but I think this should be fun. Onward to pictures!

 

So, we’ll start with my face primer. It is still my one true love, the baby cloud juice that is Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. Alas, my container is almost out… good thing I jumped on the Ulta “Try It Kit” sale and have more coming my way! I needed a new black eyeliner AND new primer so that kit was a great deal, it will be exciting to try their lid primer and lip gloss (even though I’m not a lip gloss person). The only thing I won’t use is the mascara… people always tell me I have beautiful, perfect lashes already. That’s not why I don’t use mascara. I don’t use mascara because when I was ten and playing with my grandmother’s makeup I stabbed myself in the eye with her mascara wand and that will go down in history as one of the most painful things I have ever done to myself. I bought my 1 oz…. jar? of the primer in 2010, right before my college graduation and am just now getting down to the last drops. I believe they’ve changed packaging designs, but the old designs made it perfect to get just the right amount, see how much was left, and not waste/contaminate your primer.

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The remnants of the first expensive beauty product I ever purchased

Next were my two compacts.

One I absolutely adore. I bought it early 2011, but hoarded it away and didn’t open it until late last year… and I still have another one in its packaging. It’s my Face it! Oil Cut Powder Pact by The Face Shop… and here’s where we meet my dilemma. Apparently The Face Shop is an international store, but, like several stores, I did all my shopping there when I lived in Korea. I had some problems finding matching skintones for products like this when I lived in Korea… I’m very pale but also very… pinky white in my undertones. I have a hard time matching any kind of make up. This stuff was a decent color for my pasty skin tone and also SERIOUSLY cut down on shine/that oily feeling… basically it worked as advertised. I love it and am glad I stocked up… I had to throw out the sponge pad that came with it because that got pretty foul pretty fast, but that’s fine, the makeup doesn’t smell bad at all. I love this stuff.

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My much loved compact

I also have a Essence mattifying compact in a color that is almost too light, even for my pale butt. I got this in 2013. A friend bought it to do his makeup for a drag show, and then gave it to me because well… I was the palest person in the room. I almost never use it and yet… I can’t bring myself to throw it away. That’s going to be a trend, I can feel it. I don’t think the coverage/oil control is as good as Face It.

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Merely adequate

Aha! We have our first casualty. I’m not sure if this stuff ever ACTUALLY worked, but i was still pretty early into high school the last time I even saw an Avon catalog so I don’t even know how old this shit is. In fact, it doesn’t even appear that Avon has the product anymore (though it was once part of their Clearskin line). It’s been floating around, empty, in my make up bag… get thee to the trashcan zit wand!

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it’s really gross how long I kept this

 

Ok… so 1 out of 4 in the trash. That’s… probably not so great. Next we’ll look at my eye stuff, see what we have there!

Irreverant Reviews: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

(If this post ultimately reads like it was typed with my butt… well, it wasn’t, but a feline butt was pretty adamant to help. Also, claws.)

I have opinions! Surprise, surprise! I don’t actually get paid or solicited to review anything (as of this moment, blog has NO FOLLOWERS and an incredibly inconsistent update history) but well, my opinions are valid and I’ve given makeup/fashion advice to people before. Mainly my best friend and my mother. I’m by no means an expert, I don’t really have any tips or tricks, but there are products that I know and love and so I’d like to take some time to make a feature in which I talk about some of those things I adore.

The first is something that is painfully pricey (especially on my salary!) but last a long time if used sparingly, and I cannot get enough of it. It’s Smashbox’ Photo Finish Primer (Light). Smashbox is a well received company and this is a well-rated product already but I cannot get enough of this product. It is like a rubbing a baby cloud on your face. I have extremely oily skin, and the oilyness only gets worse if I don’t moisturize my face properly. That’s what is so amazing about this stuff. This particular kind is oil-free and actually manages to balance my skin so perfectly that I can go out and dance and party and SWEAT and my face won’t get that gross oily sheen/feel. It’s a serious miracle product and I wish I could afford to use it all the time instead of just budgeting it to special occasions. In addition to helping control my skin, it also makes my foundation go on smoother and last longer. My make-up generally looks better after I prime with Smashbox than if I use one of my regular (cheaper) moisturizers and my skin feels better too. At almost $40 for an ounce it’s… extravagant, especially for me, but I’ve had my tube of it for about three years now and it’s still going strong (a little bit goes a long way) and I love it enough that I will absolutely have to replace it when I finally run out (hopefully I have a better-paying job by then!). I’m wearing it right now, as it were (because going out with your boyfriend’s coworkers has come to represent a special occasion in my sad little life.) If you’re a make-up wearer (even casually) check out the other products in the line, as there should be something to match whatever skin problem (if any) you have, and if you can swing the price tag, buy this product.