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Beauty, Reviews

June empties

june-emptiesPixi Glow Mud Cleanser | I won this in an Instagram giveaway, and I quickly fell in love. I’m not a huge fan of the scent, which is pretty heavy, and kind of old-ladyish, but everything else about it is lovely. It’s gentle and non-foaming, but it leaves my skin feeling cleansed. Since I replaced the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser with this (and started using the Pixi Glow Tonic) my skin has changed dramatically. For the longest time, I was getting consistent breakouts on both cheeks, and now they’ve all but stopped. Unfortunately, Pixi seems to be one of those brands that can never keep anything in stock, and when I finished up this tube, I was on a frantic hunt all over the internet trying to get a new one. I eventually found it on Amazon for double the price. Who knows what I’m going to do when I finish up that bottle 🙁

Derma E Hydrating Night Crème | I thought I wasn’t going to repurchase this moisturizer after I used it up, but I did! The main thing I don’t like about it is the scent. To me, it smells strongly of artificial blueberry, which I don’t hate, I just prefer unscented products. It also contains dimethicone, and I prefer silicone-free products. It seems to work well with my skin, however, and I repurchased it.

Bioré Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA ++++ | This has been my go-to SPF for quite a while now. It doesn’t irritate my skin, and I like the light citrus scent. I also think it works well under makeup. I’m currently working my way through another tube of it (I always get the 2-pack from Amazon), but I’m going to try something else after I use it up because I don’t like Bioré as a company.

Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter | I’m not too fussy about my shaving creams, as long as they’re not heavily scented. This one was a non-foaming, gel/lotion formula that I really enjoyed.

First Aid Beauty Cleansing Body Polish | I really liked this body scrub. The first time I used it, I was surprised by how “charcoaly” it smelled, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I loved that it didn’t feel too harsh, and that the scrubbing created a lather. I bought this in a set with the Slow Glow Self-Tanning Moisturizer:

First Aid Beauty Slow Glow Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturizer | I’m not really big on self-tanning, but for whatever reason, this year I decided to try it out. I liked how this was basically unscented, and it was very moisturizing. I started noticing a tan from it after only two or three days. After about ten days of daily use, I did see some unevenness and streaking, and I’m not sure if that was the fault of the product or because I didn’t blend the lotion in well enough. After that, I stopped using it daily and cut back to 2-4 times a week. I don’t think I would repurchase this, even though I thought it was pretty good. It was kind of pricey – I got this in a set with the body polish for $44, and they were even more expensive if purchased separately. They didn’t last very long, even after I stopped using them every day. I did like being more tan this summer, but I’m going to look for a different tanning product.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown” | You can see from the picture that this Brow Wiz doesn’t look normal, and that’s because the spoolie annoyingly broke off after about a week of using it. Apparently this is a very common problem, and it’s prompted me to look for alternatives even though this is my holy grail eyebrow product. So far, I’m still searching for something that’s as good of a color match for me. Hopefully Anastasia fixes the packaging problem soon.

Wet n Wild Max Volume Plus Waterproof Mascara | If you read my last post, you’ll know that this is my favorite mascara, and I’ve already moved on to a new tube.

Those are all the products I used up in June! I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

Beauty, Makeup, Reviews, Skincare

Empties #5

 

everythingcaila_empties_5Time for another round of empties reviews! Some of these have been mentioned multiple times before, so I’ll try to be brief 🙂

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner | Super cheap, light conditioner with a pleasant scent (if you love tea tree, like I do). If you have really thick, coarse hair, this might not be the best for you, but my hair is pretty fine and thin, so it works great for me. I’ve gone through multiple bottles of this, and I’ve already purchased another one.

Trader Joe’s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream | This was a really thick hand cream, and it was great during the dry winter months, but I found it very heavily scented, and it made me queasy at times. I thought it had a wonderful texture, but I won’t be repurchasing it because of the scent.

Shea Radiance Black Soap Body Cleanser | This came in one of my Vegan Cuts boxes. I thought it was a decent body wash, but it didn’t blow me away. It had a slightly off-putting yellowy brown color and a minty, almost medicinal scent. I would not purchase the full size.

Seche Vite Top Coat | Seche Vite makes what is probably the most popular top coat in the world. It dries completely rock hard and super shiny within five minutes. The only downside is that it gets thick and gloopy if you don’t use it up quickly enough, and I had to throw this one out when it was only about half empty. I did repurchase it.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion | This bottle lasted me forever! I always prefer unscented body lotions in a pump bottle, so this was perfect for me. Unfortunately, Aveeno is owned by Johnson & Johnson, who still support animal testing. Boo! I’ll be researching cruelty-free alternatives.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo | I think this has been in my last two empties posts. I really like this shampoo – it lathers and cleans my hair nicely, and I would repurchase it, but my husband doesn’t like the scent, so I’ve been trying other shampoos lately.

Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil | I used this oil cleanser as a first step in my skincare routine for several months. It was excellent at removing makeup, including waterproof mascara, so I happily used up the entire bottle. When I finished it up, I wanted to try something without mineral oil, so I did not repurchase it.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse | This is my second or third bottle of this mousse, and I really like it! For a while, I wasn’t sure if it gave as much definition as my old favorite, the Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Mousse, but after using that one again, I do prefer the Shea Moisture Mousse. I’m actually almost done with another bottle of this, and I will probably repurchase it.

Original BeautyBlender | Ah, the beautyblender. I convinced myself that I would never spend $20 on a tiny little sponge, but I’m so glad I finally gave in. I don’t use anything else to apply base makeup now. After this one got really beat up, I wanted to try out the Real Techniques Complexion Sponge again to see if it was really as good as I remember, and it’s soooo not. I repurchased the beautyblender asap!

Trader Joe’s Lavender Salt Scrub | I love this stuff. Always have, always will. I’ll be picking it up the next time I see it at TJ’s.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner | Strangely, I did not like this conditioner as much as the other two Coconut & Hibiscus products in this empties post. It was a decent conditioner, but my hate for the packaging overshadowed any love I could have had for it. When the product because about 2/3 empty, the pump completely stops working. So annoying! Shea Moisture really needs to change the packaging for their conditioners.

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask | I repurchased this cleanser for longer than I wanted to because it’s difficult to find cleansers with benzoyl peroxide. Eventually, I knew I had to stop repurchasing it because it’s not cruelty-free. I haven’t found anything else with benzoyl peroxide to replace it, and my skin is actually doing really well. I’ve changed up my skincare a lot recently, so I may do an updated routine post soon.

Phew! That was a lot of products, and I already have more piling up! Hope you’re having a great week!

 

 

Beauty, Reviews

Vegan Cuts Beauty Box February 2016

febvegancuts3febvegancutsThe Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is a subscription box that delivers 4-7 vegan beauty products to you each month. The February 2016 box is my second box (you can read about the first one here.) So far, I think this month’s box is really good!

Tara Smith Haircare Base Coat Serum ($13) | This is an anti-frizz hair serum made with starflower seed extract and coconut oil. It’s free from parabens, SLES, glycols, phthalates, PEGS, artificial coloring, synthetic fragrances, and animal-derived ingredients, BUT it does contain silicones, which I tend to keep away from my curly hair. I’m willing to try it anyway, though!

Harvey Prince Organics Yogini ($23) | This is a mini perfume roller. The scent is much “darker” than I normally go for, but I actually really like it. According to the site, Yogini’s notes are sandalwood, golden amber, sensual incense, and Egyptian myrrh.

The Wonder Seed Facial Cream ($16.95) | All of this brand’s products are made with hemp seed oil, which I’ve heard many great things about. The facial cream claims to “nourish skin, “balance oil profile”, and “seal in moisture to reduce the appearance of fine lines.”

100% Pure Eye Creamstick Liner ($18) | Probably my favorite item in February’s box, this cream eyeliner has impressed me so far. It’s a dual-ended cream eyeshadow stick. On one end is Champagne, an incredibly unique shade, at least in my collection. It’s a taupy blueish color that looks almost silver when blended out. On the other end is Chocolate, a warm satin brown that complements Champagne nicely.

febvegancuts2The total value of the products in this month’s box is $70.95, an excellent deal! I noticed today that Vegan Cuts has raised the price of the box from $19.95 per month to $22.95. Since I signed up before February, I will continue to receive my boxes for the original price until June 2016.

What did you think of this month’s box? I’ll definitely be checking out more of 100% Pure’s makeup!

Beauty, Reviews

New Wet n Wild Brushes

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWet n Wild recently came out with an entire line of super cute brushes. I first saw them on Instagram, and out of curiosity, I went onto wetnwildbeauty.com to check them out. I was shocked at how cheap they were! There are 17 new brushes (all cruelty-free and vegan), each either $.99 or $2.99. I ended up buying eight of them, and even with shipping, my order was under $20. Score!

Let’s get into my thoughts.

brusheswithlabelsbrushcloseup1brushcloseup2They came packaged in individual plastic sleeves. The names of each brush were on the packaging, but are not on the actual brushes, which is inconvenient. I ended up throwing the sleeves away when I got the order in, which I regret because I believe I was sent a wrong brush! I ordered the Crease Brush, but I think I was sent the large concealer instead. (Side note, I had washed these brushes shortly before taking the photographs, so that’s why the large concealer brush looks slightly spiky in the pictures. It looks more normal and fluffy when dry). I ordered so many that I didn’t actually realize the mistake until I was writing this post, oops! Aside from the packaging, these definitely don’t feel high end, but they don’t feel like the cheapest brushes I have either. They’re lightweight, and I like the little ergonomic grippy part on each handle.

I was surprised at how stiff the bristles are on the angled liner and bent liner brushes. The bent liner brush in particular is super pointy and stiff. I’d never used a bent liner brush before and found this one easy to use to apply gel eyeliner. The only con I found with these two brushes, after using them with a black gel liner, is that they stained slightly. I guess I should have expected it with white bristles, but it was a little disappointing to find out they wouldn’t stay pristine forever.

The only brush I’m very disappointed in is the flat top brush. It sheds a lot and leaves streaks in my foundation. It was only $3, so I don’t feel too bad, but the amount of shedding from this one is pretty crazy. The large concealer brush is also one of my least favorites. I typically don’t use flat brushes for concealer (probably why I actually ordered the crease brush) because I don’t think they blend product onto my skin very well, and this one is no different.

I was hoping the small stipple brush would be similar to the Elf Small Stipple Brush, but this one is quite a bit stiffer, and I find it to apply my cream blush very intensely in one small patch, so it can be difficult to use it to blend.

My favorite is definitely the contour brush. It’s not a very dense brush, so it’s great for someone like me who doesn’t like a heavy contour. I would say that this brush is almost wispy, and I think it would be good for applying powder blush as well as bronzer. The powder brush is quiet nice too. It’s a good medium size; I was able to use it to set my under eye concealer with no trouble. The smokey liner brush is unique in my collection. I don’t do smokey liner looks often, but it’s nice to have something like this in case I need to do more detailed shadow and liner looks, that too for only a dollar!

So, there are some definite hits and misses with this collection. I would compare them to Elf and Eco Tools brushes in terms of quality. The prices are amazing, so I would try some of these out if you’re curious! Like I said, I really like the contour brush, but I would also recommend all three of the liner brushes.

I hope this review was helpful! Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Beauty, Reviews

My first Vegan Cuts box

vegancuts1vegancuts2

A few years ago, when I was first getting into makeup, I signed up for Ipsy. At $10/month, it was a good way to try a bunch of products I never would have otherwise. Although I did end up with a few gems that I still use today, I started to realize that most of the things I received in my bags sat around untouched, and I wasn’t excited to get my bag anymore. I ended up cancelling my subscription after about a year.

At the beginning of this year, when I made it my goal to try to only buy cruelty-free items, my mind immediately went to subscription boxes. Sure enough, there are several cruelty-free/vegan boxes. The most established one seems to be Vegan Cuts, so I went for it. It’s $19.95/month, so, double the investment of an Ipsy bag. It might seem strange that I decided to go for another beauty box subscription, and who knows, maybe I’ll end up cancelling it after a couple months, but I wanted a way to try several new brands without having to commit to a bunch of full-sized products. And I did also have a homewares subscription box at one point that I really liked, so I think they can be done well.

Let’s jump into what was in January’s box.

The Jojoba Company Gentle Cleansing Balm | Like the name says, this is a makeup-removing cleansing balm. I knew I would probably like this because I used to use straight-up jojoba oil to remove my makeup for quite a long time. I used this once on dry skin to remove my makeup. I’ve never used a balm to remove my makeup before, so the sensation was a little weird; it was like rubbing lotion on my eyes. But it was gentle, and it removed my makeup for the most part. I followed up with Cerave Foaming Cleanser, and all my makeup was gone, and my skin felt clean. This sample also came with a storewide 20% off coupon and a tiny vial of 100% Natural Ultimate Jojoba Youth Potion.

Earthlab Cosmetics Vegan Lash Mascara | I like the idea of a vegan mascara made with organic ingredients. The info card that came with this claims that it’s a “light, buildable mascara”. Well, it certainly is light…way too light. I could honestly see very little difference after I applied this, and I really tried to build it up. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t recommend this mascara. I tried really hard to build it up, and after so much effort, I saw almost no results.

Lashea Butter Whips | I haven’t used this yet, but I’m sure I’ll like it. The ingredients are very simple, and it seems like a homemade scrub I’ve made for myself in the past. My only issue with this is that the sample is tiny. I could easily use three times as much as this to scrub one of my arms. So I guess I could use this on a foot? A hand?

Aubrey Organics Revitalizing Therapy Moisturizer | This is another sample I haven’t used yet. I’m trying to be as gentle as possible with my skin, and using a new moisturizer isn’t in my plans for now. It does seem to have really good ingredients like Organic Rose Hip Seed Oil and antioxidants. It also came with a 30% off coupon.

Wabi-Sabi Botanicals Sagga Charcoal + Rose Cleansing Grains | I was interested in this product the most, probably because of the packaging, which is really well-designed. It’s a cleanser/mask/scrub with only four ingredients: gluten-free oats (I really want to know why it’s important for non-food products to be gluten-free because I can’t think of a reason), kaolinite, pink rose petals, and activated bamboo charcoal. I used this once as a mask, and I really liked it. It felt calming, and it definitely didn’t irritate my skin. I wish there was more of it because judging by how much I used, I think there’s only enough for two or three uses (I guess that is the point of a sample, though!).

To me, this box was worth $19.95, so I’m going to stick with Vegan Cuts for now. I do hope in future boxes there are more makeup items, though!

 

Beauty, Makeup, Reviews

Disappointing Products #2

I’ve been trying quite a few new products lately. Honestly, I tend to like most things I buy, but there are the odd few that don’t impress me:

Milani Big and Bigger Lashes | I hate when mascaras have such hyperbolic names and then don’t live up to them! This mascara was so meh for me. The brush is kind of freaky, although I will say it made it easier to get to the lashes right at the inner corner of my eye. As far as volume goes, I didn’t feel like it did much for my lashes. In fact, it’s one of the more understated, natural-looking mascaras I’ve used. It also doesn’t hold a curl, which is probably the number one thing I look for in a mascara.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara | I got this mascara in one of Sephora’s $10 Black Friday deals along with a Tarte lash curler. Love the lash curler, hate this mascara. Again, it was meh, but beyond the formula, which is neither lengthening or volumizing, it transfers so much! Twenty minutes after applying, I have black smudges under my eyes. Complete deal-breaker.

Colourpop Matte Lippie Stix in “LBB” | This is the patchiest lipstick I’ve ever tried. I have two other Colourpop Lippie Stix that I really like, but this one applies terribly. Trying to fix it by applying more just makes it worse. Maybe it would work with the matching pencil or with a lip primer underneath, but as is, it’s terrible.

Flower Beauty Color Play Crème Eyeshadow in “Wild Geranium” | The color of this eyeshadow looks so beautiful and metallic in the jar, but it doesn’t translate on the lids. I wore it several times and found it to be patchy and difficult to apply. I had to keep layering it to make it show up. I like creme eyeshadows like the Maybelline Color Tattoos for their convenience, but this one took way too much effort.