glossier vs. colourpop

the battle of the matte, sheer lip.bb colourpop glossier2.jpgwhen visiting the house i was living in for the past few years, i found a couple brand new glossier products that i had left behind.  2 of which were the generation g lip tints, in like and jam.  like is basically the color of my lips but slightly pinker, while jam is a sheer purple.  i don’t like jam that much on me, but i love like, mainly because i feel like i have makeup on without looking like i do.  the dream, eh?  important to note that these are the old formula, the new iteration is slightly more pigmented from what i can tell.

a few days before i found my secret glossier treasure trove, i placed an order with colourpop for a couple of their blotted lip stains.  i haven’t heard or seen anyone talking about these, but they are essentially a lightly pigmented lipstick, so giving that blotted effect instead of full on lipstick lips.  i chose 3 colors – brain freeze, a cool toned pink, ice cube, a berry, and on a stick, a soft coral.  i’m in love with the coral and berry shades especially, and am so-so about the light pink (it’s brighter and more barbie-esque than i anticipated).  it was purely coincidental that i ordered 2 matching shades to the 2 gen g’s i had stored away.  sooo how do they compare?bb colourpop glossier4.jpgthe colourpop option is definitely more pigmented, and really feels like a matte lipstick.  they are just as matte and comfortable as the glossier gen g’s.  these stand closer to a regular lipstick and can be built up as such, but applied just once they have the sheer finish that i want.

the gen g’s are absolutely more sheer and feel like a balm, as marketed.  when initially applied onto the lips they are barely noticeable, so i do 2 layers or so.  i love the like shade, but don’t have any interest in the others.  it seems that they are just too sheer, and need to be built up multiple times vs the one swipe and perfect amount of color that i get from the colourpop.  but again, i think the new formula of the generation g’s has more pigmentation.  the balm texture of these was especially noticeable when swatched next to the colourpop, but i think for me i would rather just wear a balm and be nourished or wear a matte lipstick and not be.  you know?bb colourpop glossier5.jpgi like that colourpop’s blotted lips have some fun color options, so they are understated but still bright.  plus the price point is just unbeatable.  for $5 a piece, i absolutely recommend going with colourpop.  there’s more variety in the colors and though you do get half the product, it’s less than 1/3 the price of glossier.  these are really a perfect product for someone who likes to be quite minimal with makeup.bb colourpop glossier3.jpgsome quick facts:

colourpop blotted lip: $5, 1 gram (.035 oz), 3 on ewg, more color

glossier gen g: $18, 2 grams (.07 oz), 5 on ewg, less color

(both contain bht)Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.27.52 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.27.35 PM.png

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glossier vs. colourpop

dealing with acne flare-ups

bb acne treatments1.jpg
if you, like me, have had acne in the past, you probably get the occasional flare-up – be it from stress, junk food, climate, travel, etc.  i’ve been pretty much acne free since june, but have had a couple sizeable acne-style breakouts since then.  including last week!  i recently tried this amazing sheet mask (more on that later) and it really got me thinking about how i deal with these breakouts.  and i’m not talking about the rare pimple from your period or whatever.  i’m talking those omg-do-i-have-acne-again situations.  soooo long story short, here are my tips for handling those acne flare-ups, both physically and emotionally!

DON’T go in with the big guns // i think the first impulse whenever pimples appear is to go in with the strongest acne eliminating products available.  but generally, this is not the best way to approach the situation at hand!  i find that continuing with my normal routine with some additional, gentle treatments is key.  for one thing, all of those drying, irritating, alcohol-y ingredients will completely dry out your acne areas and make them last for far longer, even though they might be smaller sooner.  does that make sense?

if you are using any sort of topical acne creams (i use aczone – i’m sort of in love with their new packaging, is that weird?!), don’t feel persuaded to add more than your usual amount of product onto your skin.  once you have gotten over the initial brutalities of these creams, they work with your skin, not against it.  but by added an extra dollop all over, you’ll return to all the dryness and irritation you have put behind you.

DO use a good spot treatment for the first couple days // i’ve tried a good few of the spot treatments on the market – acnomel (old school product my parents’ have used forever haha!), mario badescu drying lotion, and acne free terminator-10, and tea tree oil to name a few – but the one i’m loving at the moment is the indie lee blemish lotion.  it looks and feels much like the mario badescu drying lotion, but with better, and less!, ingredients.  it’s also far more gentle and easier to remove.  i only use a spot treatment for the first few days, which is the optimum time to dry out the blemishes but not overdry them.  if you use a spot treatment every single night you have a pimple, you are just going to dry out and irritate your poor little face.  so don’t do that!!bb acne treatments3.jpgDO use a mask every few days // i love masks!  while i don’t always see results with masks, i love the process and the pamper time.  for acne (and redness and inflammation) i usually use one of the following: origins clear improvement charcoal mask, glossier mega greens galaxy pack, or freeman feeling beautiful mint & lemon clay mask.  i only use these masks on the areas that need them, followed by a thick layer of glossier moisturizing moon mask all over.  i also don’t leave detoxifying masks on for their entire prescribed time, usually 10 minutes max, because of my dry skin.  be sure to use a moisturizing mask or thicker moisturizer after your detoxifying masks, because even if you are oily your skin is probably dehydrated.  moisture is key!

a very exciting mention is the leader’s brightening recovery mask.  i don’t really like sheet masks, but i saw this at ulta last week and thought it sounded like exactly what my skin needed.  it toned down almost all the redness i had and helped to heal and relax my last couple active blemishes.  my skin was in a completely different state the following morning.  seriously impressed!  one thing i do love about sheet masks is all the extra essence/serum they include, so i made sure to let that really soak into my face, neck, and chest before continuing with my nightly routine (even if it feels sticky at first, give it time).bb acne treatments2.jpg
DO use makeup to your advantage // you guys know i’m not much of a face makeup girl.  i never wear foundation if i can help it, and if i do wear something it’s a skin tint, tinted moisturizer, or light powder foundation at most.  that being said, i am always compelled to pile on the high coverage bases when i’m acned-up.  i try my best to avoid this, however, and just be strategic about how i’m doing my makeup.  i usually keep some kind of medium coverage foundation on hand for these instances, and right now i have the l’oreal pro-glow foundation.  it’s actually quite nice and glowy, but still medium coverage and buildable, so i get all the results i want.

i apply foundation only on the areas i really need it – you’ll need a good color match! – with one finger.  yes that’s right.  one finger.  i find that by patting the foundation into the skin with my middle finger i really push the product in and make it look extremely natural.  plus, you are concentrating the coverage where you need it only.  it’s a little time consuming, but i highly recommend this method.  do the rest of your face as you normally would, and use lots of facial spray.  i guarantee your acne will be undetectable (except to you of course, because it’s on your face!).

DO pamper yourself // acne sucks.  and when it comes back to haunt you, that sucks even more.  so take your time with your skincare, drink lots of water, and get some sleep.  your flare-up will be over in a few days and now you have a few more tricks in your arsenal for the next time those assholes decide to pop up uninvited.bb acne treatments4.jpg

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dealing with acne flare-ups

cool with colourpop

spoiler alert: i was a naughty blogger and played with all of these before taking any pictures, so they already look well-loved!bb colourpop intro.jpgafter a year of wanting to, i’ve finally gotten some colourpop items into my life!  if you don’t know, colourpop is a los angeles-based, american-made cosmetics company that boasts an incredible product range at even more incredible prices.  all single products are $8 or below, with most hitting the $5-6 mark.  the quality of the product at that price point is what sets colourpop apart from any other company in the cosmetics industry.  they are only available online at colourpop.com, but domestic shipping is extremely fast and free over $30.

i don’t really have a good reason for never trying colourpop, besides being unsure where to start.  over the last couple months i’ve been creating a little colourpop wishlist, so when i saw they were offering free shipping on every purchase last week, i knew it was time to begin!bb colourpop 2.jpgso here’s what i got:

3 super shock shadows in glow, bill, and mixed tape //

ok, you all know how much i love cream products, especially cream eye shadows.  the colourpop super shock shadows are this unique cream powder formula with “bouncy-like texture.”  let me just tell you, these feel soooo cool!  the description is completely accurate, along with great pigmentation and staying power.  and they feel so light on the lid, even lighter than some powder shadows.  these are so creamy and delicious and absolutely do not crease on my hooded and slightly oily eyes.  if you are a fellow cream eye shadow fan, you need these in your life, i promise.

glow is described as a matte creamy vanilla shade that is perfectly neutral (meaning in the middle of warm and cool) – basically the perfect brightener or base color – similar to the gressa eye tint in neve which i have mentioned before.  i actually like this better than the gressa, which sucks for me because that was so expensive!  it’s part of the kathleen lights collection.  it’s showing up quite yellow in pictures, but is very neutral and not warm at all.

bill is a stuuuuunning dusty pinky purple and the description on the site is amazing: “meet bill, a light dusty matte mauve – he likes long walks on the beach and romantic candlelit dinners.”  it’s a gorgeous shade for all over the lid, super simple, grungy, and neutral, but chic.  sam (samathome518) 100% persuaded me to buy this and i am so pleased i did.  i recently wore this with rms eye polish in myth layered on top and it was stunning!

mixed tape is perhaps my favorite of the three – a grey taupe with a hint of silver sheen.  basically the kind of taupe i’m always on the hunt for.  it’s cool toned and the hint of silver really makes my brown eyes pop. as you might have guessed from the name, it’s part of the 90s collection.bb colourpop 3.jpg1 matte lippie stix in bossy //

next to the super shock shadows, the lippie stix are another of colourpop’s hero items.  they come in a range of formulas and colors, and for $5 they are pretty hard to resist.  you know i love a matte lip pencil, so need i say more?  i finally decided on the color bossy, because it looked like a spot-on dupe for my beloved nars velvet matte pencil in dragon girl – the perfect blue-based red with a hint of pinkiness.  as i’ve mentioned, nars pencils still contain parabens, so i’ve been looking for solid replacements.  and bossy is p.e.r.f.e.c.t.  the color is absolutely identical, with maybe a hint more pigmentation.  the formulation of the lippie doesn’t have the same powderiness as the nars have, but truly to the naked eye they are exactly the same.  i am so excited to have found a better version of one of my favorite products, and that i won’t have to have serious anxiety every time i put it on.bb colourpop 5.jpgsuper shock cheek in aphrodisiac //

described as their sculpting shade – this is a cool-toned brown with a hint of pink.  i actually bought this not to be a bronzer (i don’t contour) but as a blush.  i’ve been really wanting to find a blush that is a similar color to glossier’s dusk cloud paint (i’m lusting over it but trying not to buy, i mentioned my current feelings about glossier here) and i think this is going to do the trick!  it can be applied very sheer with a stippling brush, so it looks like that brownish but neutral blush that i wanted, and not like i have dark brown on my cheeks.  i think this will make a great bronzer as well, so i’m really excited to continue playing!bb colourpop 4.jpgbb colourpop 1.jpgsome quick notes to finish up:

swatched on my hand they do not move

good ingredients, cruelty-free, most are vegan (they have a list on the site of the items that are not)

shadows are 2, cheek and lippie are 4 on ewg

lippie stix: formula contains vitamin e, mango, avocado, and shea butter for comfort and moisture.  none of our lippie formulas contain any nasty ingredients like parabens or sulfates.

super shock: our famous long-wearing creme powder formula with a unique bouncy-like texture.  it’s super creamy, insanely pigmented, and has one swipe intensity with zero fallout.

super shock cheek: this long wearing creme powder cheek formula is the bff of our famous super shock shadows; it shares the same unique texture that is extremely buildable and blends smoothly to leave the cheeks looking healthy.

all in all it’s a really cool company with a great business model that i am excited to support!  and it’s so fun to get really great, different products at LESS than drugstore prices.  they have a solid range of items, so if you are looking for a bold eye shadow or what have you but don’t want to spend a fortune on something pretty trendy, colourpop is absolutely the way to go (i may have just ordered a crazy peachy pink eye shadow that i am weirdly excited about…and some other things too!).

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cool with colourpop

the concealer search

part of the fun of shopping, for me, is the search.  the search for the best product, the best price, the best shopping experience.  in fact, this is actually a defining characteristic of many millennials, research-backed buying vs impulse buying.  i learned this at a luncheon with refinery 29 while i was interning at elizabeth arden – how the methods of shopping of millennials effect retailers and how those retailers can persuade millennials to purchase in the moment or at least be a part of their research.  ok wooooah tangent, let’s get back to the point of this post.
bb bare minerals concealer review 1.jpgi have been on the hunt for a pot concealer that i could wear as a pseudo-foundation – basically something ultra creamy that i could use to even out my skin but wouldn’t look or feel like i had anything on.  i tried the w3ll people narcissist foundation stick first (obviously not a pot) and while i liked it a lot, the color match wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t exactly what i was looking for.  it’s nice for brightening my face, but i don’t find myself reaching for it on a daily basis.

my next thought was the rms “un” cover-up, which is really the exact product i want, but none of the colors work for me.  i’ve mentioned it a thousand times before, but my skin is very cool-toned, so the yellow-based shades of the “un” cover-up just do not work for me.  glossier’s stretch concealer seems to have a more pink-based range, but to be honest i’m not that drawn to that brand anymore.  i’m sooo tired of seeing all the marketing on every single instagram post that pops up on my feed and i’m just kind of over it, for now at least!  some of their products are still staples for me (milky jelly cleanser, moon mask, and coconut balm dotcom are constants) so yes that concealer looks like it would be pretty perfect, but i’m going to pass on it for now.

then, very excitingly, nars came out with their new soft matte concealers.  in pot form!  pot form of my favorite concealer! – so i thought.  but yes, as the name would suggest, these are more on the matte side.  i tested them out at sephora and they are truly beautiful and creamy, while finishing to a matte or at least satin-matte formula.  i just don’t think they would work on my drier skin and the coverage seems higher than what i’m looking for.

and finally, i remembered my old faithful – bare minerals.  i actually owned the bare minerals correcting concealer quite a few years ago now, but i never really knew what to do with it so i got rid of it.  i don’t typically wear concealer under my eyes and i wasn’t yet using any products like that on my face, so it went by the way side.  but while browsing ulta the other day, this little pot of magic came back to me.  bb bare minerals concealer review 2.jpgthis concealer is perfect for what i have been looking for.  it’s creamy, glowy, and stays put all day.  it can be sheered out for just a hint of coverage where needed, but is also perfect for spot concealing blemishes with a small brush.  the color – light 1 of course – is the ideal mix of cool and warm tones, so it works to brighten while also matching my skin perfectly (it’s described as a light neutral cool).  and truthfully, this does not budge.  i find my nars radiant creamy concealer shifts around throughout the day, but i napped in the bare minerals and it still didn’t reveal the huge pimple i have on my chin.  it doesn’t crease on my eyelids, nor under my eyes.  i don’t wear undereye concealer, but it’s nice to know that i can with this and it will look totally natural and not like some kim k triangle shit.  also, it will be really easy for me to get another shade to match my tan in the summer because the shades are divided between warm and cool tones (though i get tan, i’m still cool-toned) – something that has always been difficult for me.

and since i’m sure you were wondering, this little baby has some pretty great ingredients.  it scores a 2 on ewg, contains spf 20, and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, gmo’s, and triclosan. i do wish it didn’t contain phenoxyethanol, but that is not a huge problem for me at the moment.  i also got the full coverage concealer brush which was one of the only brushes i ever owned throughout high school and most of college, and it really is a good one.  i used to use it in my bare minerals powder to cover up, but it’s a great match for the correcting concealer as well.  you can use the tip of it to pinpoint conceal, and use the rest for blending.bb bare minerals concealer review 4.jpgbb bare minerals concealer review 3.jpgmaybe it’s nostalgia, but i honestly love bare minerals and their products.  they are always beautiful, effective, and great quality.  some of my favorites are the original foundation, the flawless definition mascara (the only mascara i wore through high school and college – i’m dying to get a fresh tube since i haven’t used it in a couple years), and the lip glosses (they are discontinuing the marvelous moxie line but i have plans to get a couple of the gen nude buttercream glosses – they are stunning!).  what’s your tried and true favorite brand?

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the concealer search

the skincare routine

bb nighttime skincare update.jpgthis was originally an instagram post, but i thought it would be better as a quick bonus blog post instead.  so, this is tonight’s skincare routine, as well as what my routine is going to look like for a while thanks to some killer new products (excluding the mask, which is just a once a week treat these days)…

🌿wash: mix of stark skincare aurora cleansing balmglossier milky jelly cleanser // i emulsified the balm in my hands and then added a pump of mjc.  these mix beautifully to offer a moisturizing cleanse that is easily rinsed off with warm water.

🌿mask: milk makeup x urban outfitters urban defense mask // you all know i love this for a quick (3-5 minute) boost.

🌿spray: evan healy lavender hydrosoul // always!

🌿serum: previse nutrify 1-6 hyaluronic acid serum // i ordered this through the beauty heroes shop to replace my deciem hylamide low molecular ha serum – this is thinner in viscosity but feels the same on the skin and is a nice, quite basic serum.

🌿oils: indie lee squalane & stark skincare midnight regenerating // i picked up the indie lee oil this week in california during the anthropologie 20% off sale.  i’ve been researching squalane for a while and was so pumped to actually test this in person.  it’s a lightweight, extremely moisturizing oil that my skin is completely drinking up.  the stark mr is exactly what it says, a nighttime oil that works to repair and nourish the skin.  these work in combination beautifully.

🌿eyes: living libations all seeing eye cream // i’ve been using this for a few weeks now and am really enjoying it.  i haven’t seen immediate effects, but i also wasn’t expecting to.  very hydrating and i like knowing i have a specific product for my eyes now.

please note: this is a lot of skincare, especially for me. but through some extensive research and trial, this is what my skin needs and wants. as far as the stark skincare items – i have completely fallen in love with jess via her youtube channel, and her products are just as amazing as she is.  seriously, i have been getting a full on education about green beauty and skincare (and skincare in general) and just love her.

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the skincare routine

talkin’ trash 01

bb talkin trash 1.jpg

glossier moisturizing moon mask // i’m so impressed with this mask.  i started using it probably exactly a year ago when i was at the height of my acne and really didn’t get it.  but as my skin got better and drier from the topical creams i started using, this became an instant refresh for my skin (it did burn slightly at the beginning of each application since i was so fragile, but this quickly went away).  now i love using it alone or after a more drying mask – usually the origins charcoal or friedman’s mint and lemon clay masks – as well as a restoring hand mask.  i haven’t gotten around to purchasing a new one but i already miss it so i’m going to get on that.  verdict: will definitely repurchase, visible effects.

evan healy lavendar hydrosoul // can you believe this is my third finished bottle of this stuff?  it is my favorite facial spray ever.  the lavender is ultra soothing and hydrating, and gives my skin the oomph it needs.  i use it as a toner as well as a make up setter and refresher.  at first the scent super freaked me out but i have grown to love it.  this is pretty pricey as far as mists go, but i think it’s worth it.  i have tried a sample of another evan healy hydrosoul – can’t remember which one unfortunately – but there’s just something about the lavender that i can’t get enough of.  i just purchased a new one the other day! verdict: will always repurchase, great ingredients, great effects. 

too faced hangover primer // i have mentioned quite a few times (my bad) that i got a travel size of this product at ulta in the fall.  i had never used a primer before, so this was a great entry point for something extremely hydrating and that would make my makeup last longer throughout the day.  this performs beautifully and i love the packaging!  the travel size is a perfect option if you just want to try it or don’t think you will use it very much.  i went through this pretty quick because i’ve taken to adding it over my moisturizer, even if i’m not wearing any makeup that day. anyways, when i realized i was almost done with this and wanted to save the rest for an upcoming trip, i upgraded to the marc jacobs coconut primer, which is basically the too faced with a little more oomph.  the too faced, however, is more travel friendly in terms of packaging and better for the wallet in terms of price.  verdict: might repurchase in the future, high price, good benefits, bad ingredients.

mario badescu facial spray with rosewater and herbs // this is an ok facial spray.  it’s refreshing and soothing to the skin, and the heavy rose scent dissipates quickly.  the packaging is travel and purse-friendly, it comes in multiple sizes, and the price point is great.  is this comparable to the evan healy hydrosoul?  no not really and the ingredients in this really aren’t great.  but this is a good choice if you are traveling or need an inexpensive but reliable and simple spray.  it just strikes me as rather chemical-y.  i am, however, currently trying out the new mario badescu aloe, cucumber, and green tea spray, available only through ulta at the moment, and while again the ingredients aren’t great i like it better than the rose version for sure.  verdict: won’t repurchase, great price point, ok ingredients.

aveda hand relief hand lotion // it really doesn’t take much time for me to completely use up a hand lotion if i’m honest.  i liked this for the majority of the time i was using it, but then i went to use the last few drops the other day and it was just so greasy.  if i’m going to spend this much on hand lotion, i’m going to get the kiehl’s hand salve or the elizabeth arden 8 hour hand lotion which both sink into the hands immediately and take away redness and cracks extremely well.  verdict: won’t repurchase, too greasy, high price point.

weleda sea buckthorn hand lotion // i really like the weleda brand and this hand lotion is no exception.  i learned about this via celina of the celution (this post specifically) and i’m glad i picked it up.  the scent, in my opinion, is incredible.  it has very earthy, natural tones which i personally love, and it brings to mind memories of southern california family vacations.  this product sinks into the hands beautifully and doesn’t feel greasy.  i just picked up the pomegranate regenerating hand lotion to try next!  verdict: will repurchase at some point, great ingredients, great price, great results.

lashfood sample size // i got this 1-month supply size of lashfood lash serum at ulta.  it came with their eyelash/mascara primer as well, but i haven’t been as consistent in using that since i was mostly purchasing for the serum itself.  i was really looking forward to trying this so the sample size was kind of the perfect tester.  i have actually seen some results mostly in thickness of my lashes, but i’m not sure if i really want to spend almost $80 on the full size product.  but i’m glad i tried it out and now i know for the future!  verdict: may repurchase in the future, decent results, high price point.

shea moisture hibiscus&coconut body wash and body butter // ahhh i love these.  i mentioned them here in more depth.  i’m definitely more partial to the body wash than the lotion, which was nice but not necessarily worth a repurchase.  i’m moving back to my fave dr. bronner’s bar soap for the shower, but i will definitely repurchase from the shea moisture line.  plus, these rate pretty ok on ewg, a 2 if i remember correctly.  verdict: will repurchase at some point, often on sale, aromatherapy, pretty good ingredients, fair trade.

pixi hydrating milky mist // another day, another spray.  i tried this pixi spray since it has such amazing reviews and felt ok about it.  the spray is extremely fine which is part of its great reviews, but i actually didn’t like that!  i decanted this in a glass spray bottle and i much preferred it with a little bit of a stronger mist, for whatever reason.  this is nice and i like pixi a lot, but nothing that special in my opinion.  verdict: probably won’t repurchase, good price point, no visible benefits.

bb talkin trash 3 bronzers.jpg

these last three items are not empties per say, but they are going into the trash for various reasons that i will explain below:

benefit hoola bronzer // ah an oldie and a goodie.  i have been wearing hoola bronzer since high school and it was definitely one of my first sephora purchases.  this particular container is older than i care to admit and i have a sizeable dent in the middle.  i’m just over it i guess!!  i’m really trying to not only edit down my makeup but also move into cleaner formulas, and i’m ready to let this guy go.  the w3ll people bio bronzer is such a perfect bronzer for me that i don’t feel like i’m going to reach for anything else for a very long time.  and if i do, it is going to be a lot better for me.

nars laguna bronzer // most of the above is true for laguna as well.  as much as i want to continue using laguna since i’ve already hit the bottom, the bio bronzer has a similar look on me.  and this guy is OLD, like older than hoola i think.  i do have a mini version of laguna that i keep in my purse in case i need it for some reason throughout the day – i will probably keep that around just for emergencies.  or maybe i’ll decant some of my w3ll people bronzer since it is in mineral form.  anyways, bye guy!

phsyician’s formula butter bronzer // i love this bronzer, but i can no longer stand the smell.  it’s so strong and so artificial, and it’s like a constant reminder that i’m putting shitty artificial ingredients all over my face.  gorgeous, but it’s gotta go.

finally, a not-quite-but-close-to-being-empty:

hylamide low molecular ha serum // i am actually shocked/impressed that i am almost finished with this already.  but i am pretty heavy handed and use this morning and night.  i have only tried the glossier super bounce so i don’t have a lot of reference for hyaluronic acid serums, but this is absolutely great in my opinion!  it sinks in fast and doesn’t leave a sticky residue, plus i really do feel like i’ve seen positive effects from this.  i am looking into more eco hyaluronic acid serums, so depending on what i find and the price points i’m seeing, i may or may not return to this.  but i have to say, i looked up all the ingredients on ewg and almost all of them are pretty good, except for the inclusion of phenoxyethanol which is a preservative that is often used as an alternative to parabens.  it’s not good, but it’s also not as bad as parabens.  this ingredient is included in a lot of those products that say they don’t have parabens that are also not completely eco – glossier and milk makeup for example – but it worries me more in this because it is literally sinking into the deeper layers of my skin.  you know?  so basically i am going to look for something better, but won’t be terribly worried if i go back to this.  verdict: may repurchase in the future, great price point, great product, pretty good ingredients.

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talkin’ trash 01

it’s not you, it’s me

ok, maybe it’s you.  i’m talking disappointing products people!  please note, most of these products i either returned, gave to my sisters, or begrudgingly used up.  so i don’t have pictures of most of them because they are looong gone.  and these are things that i have mainly disliked over the past year or so, cause who can remember anything before that?!  now let’s get to it…

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bobbi brown bronzer brush // you might remember i splurged on this brush during the november sephora sale.  despite the mostly poor reviews, i thought i would try it out for myself and…yeah it sucks.  i have never had a brush, higher end or drugstore, that shed as much as this.  and not like one hair per use that is totally reasonable.  by the time i returned this 1 month after purchasing i don’t even know how it had any hairs left.  i’m using the real techniques multitask brush for bronzer and blush right now and it is exactly what i was looking for.

glossier supers // i am soooo disappointed about these, especially considering the rave reviews everyone is giving them.  but to be honest, they just didn’t do anything for me.  i got the whole set right when they came out, but did a lot of research as to when and how to use them.  my sister tried the super bounce as well and we just didn’t see any effects, positive or negative.  so yeah, these were meh.  i used them all halfway and left them at them at my parent’s house.  i have since done more research especially on hyaluronic acid serums, and i think i have found some better options as well as why these didn’t quite work for me.  i discussed this a bit in my january picks, but basically most ha serums contain ha molecules that are just too big for your skin to absorb.  i feel this way about all three of these serums – they sit on the skin rather than absorbing into it, so the affects are completely washed away when you cleanse your face.

first aid beauty ultra repair hydrating serum // this is another purchase i made during the sephora sale.  i did finish this up for the most part, but frankly i didn’t see any benefits.  kind of the same issues i had with glossier super bounce.  just meh!

la roche-posay anthelios mineral sunscreen spf 50 // this is a more recent purchase and i don’t have the receipt so i’m not really sure what i’ll do with this.  i have been doing a ton of research on what sunscreens will work for my skin for every day use, and this was a very highly rated one by many including paula’s choice.  however it really didn’t work for me.  the texture is quite grainy no matter how much i shake it up and it doesn’t seem to sit well on my skin.  i decided that i wanted something with more moisturizing properties so i picked up another highly rated susncreen, the kiss my face 3-in-1 for sensitive skin.  this is a partially mineral sunscreen and is great for sensitive skin (duh).  i have used the kiss my face face and neck sunscreen and really liked that, so i knew this would be a pretty solid choice.  i am loving it thus far – it doesn’t clog my skin or sit heavily and adds a lot of moisture to my face.  i am, however, going to keep the la roche-posay around for travel purposes.

bourjois cc cream // i am so sad about this.  i got this while in london because i have had it only wishlist for years, thank you estee lalonde!  it is a great color match for me and everything, but it just feels drying on my skin.  it says that it’s a hydrating formula, but it doesn’t sit well on me the way my nars tinted moisturizer or glossier skin tints do.  i’m going to keep trying to make this work, but i think if you have oilier skin this will be much better for you!  (update: i have since given this to a friend.)

nars concealer stick in vanilla // i got this a few months ago to keep in my purse instead of another mini creamy concealer.  the shade match was perfect but i just couldn’t get along with this guy.  maybe i’m just used to the cement-like properties of the creamy concealer?  this one just slipped around and didn’t really cover much of anything for too long.  i returned this to sephora.

rms lip and skin balm in vanilla // ok let me start off by saying this smells disgusting.  the cocoa and the vanilla scent.  i figured i could look past that so i bought it anyway, but yeah no.  i thought this would be a good petroleum-free alternative to glossier balm dotcom and vaseline but i just can’t get it to work for me.  you have to warm up the product so much, more than other rms products, and it doesn’t hydrate at all.  so between the scent and the fact that it doesn’t do much of anything, i’m not sure what to do with this thing.  PLUS it contains a lot less product than any other rms product, even though it’s in the same size pot and ridiculously expensive.  it looks like i’m already halfway done with it when i’ve used it very minimally.  sadly this is the first rms product i haven’t loved.  i am actually really mad at myself for spending almost $40 on this.

nars sheer glow in mont blanc // i’ve had this for a long time and i just can’t make it work.  i bought this a year ago when i was really really struggling with my acne and redness.  i loved how it covered my redness and returned my face to more normal territory, but it was heavy and cakey and just looked like i had a lot of makeup on.  i haven’t even bothered to use it until the last month or two (and just to try to use it up), but whenever i put it on it still feels too makeup-y.  even with an oil and primer underneath and applied extremely lightly with my fingers, it cakes up and clings to dry patches.  so many people love this, but it’s too much for me i guess!

tarte amazonian clay blush in exposed // don’t you just hate when a super cult product doesn’t work for you?  that’s exactly how i feel about exposed.  i have extremely fair skin and i couldn’t even get this to show up on my skin.  i just swatched it on my hand next to my favorite nars impassioned and the tarte blush in paaarty from this year’s sephora birthday set, and both of those perform so much better than exposed.  i like the peachier neutral tones of the tarte paaarty and the cool pink of nars impassioned, and exposed just doesn’t compare to these.  i’m actually wondering if i got a dud, but after the first one i purchased was totally smashed and this one lacking any pigmentation, tarte exposed is being returned to sephora asap.  plus, i’m really not that much of a blush girl, so i really didn’t need this anyway! (ps tarte paaarty is now available as a full size product, so if you don’t shop at sephora/don’t have a birthday coming up but are interested, there you go!)

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it’s not you, it’s me