Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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[Review] Up & Up Oil Blotting Sheets

April 25, 2014

 

PicMonkey Collage

Alright, here’s a review on the oil blotting sheets I’ve been using lately. I remember years ago using Neutrogena Oil Blotting Sheets (at least I think it was Neutrogena….maybe it was Clean & Clear?) and I loved them. They were blue sheets and I used to rub them (not blot…) ALL OVER my face. Since I was a teenager, my skin was super, super oily! I just liked how it would turn the blue sheet clear…haha. Kept me entertained I guess?

Anyway. I stopped using oil blotting sheets for a while, and when I went back to them, it was after I discovered the ELF brand. I loved that they had cosmetics for cheap, since I was in college and not making much money! I bought many packs of their oil blotting sheets, which only cost $1. These sheets are much thinner and kind of a greenish color. They do remove oil, but I felt like they didn’t remove ALL of the oil, and I had to use multiple sheets…

So instead of buying more of those, a couple of weeks ago I looked for a different brand while in Target. I saw the name brand ones and these Target brand Up & Up ones were right beside them. I don’t remember how much the brand names cost, but these cost $4.77. I’m okay with that price since you get 70 sheets, and the quality is much better than the ELF ones!

So I am very pleased with these. I was pleasantly surprised to see that these sheets are also blue, like the ones I used to use. After trying it out, I can say they perform very much like the name brand ones! They absorb way more oil than the ELF ones. (Sorry for the gross oil in the picture by the way…but I wanted to show you what it looks like after I use one! The bottom picture was after I used it on most of my face…I got even more oil off than that……….I don’t wanna talk about it).

Anyway, I’ll be buying these from now on. They pick up the oil very easily by just blotting them on the skin, they hold much more oil than the ELF ones, and they come in a larger pack. Sure, they cost more, but I think it’s worth it since they are better quality and come in a larger pack. ^_^

How do you like to remove excess oil? Powder? Oil sheets? Something else?

Thanks for reading!

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[Review &How To] Garnier Clean + Nourshing Cleansing Oil

April 3, 2014

20140315_210328Alright, well, I purchased the items pictured here a little while ago during one of my couponing sprees. I was waiting for a good deal on them, because I’ve been seeing this new line in stores a lot lately. Also, I’ve been wanting to give cleansing oil a try for a long time now, but I didn’t know of any brands of oil that weren’t high-end! This may not be the first drugstore brand cleansing oil, but it’s the first one I’ve seen!

I also found a Korean product recently that is also a cleansing oil, and it wasn’t too expensive so I wouldn’t call it “high-end” either. I have yet to try it out, but I am excited to try it soon and compare it to the Garnier one!

The new Garnier Clean + line has 4 cleansers (that I have personally seen). I picked up the Nourshing Cleansing Oil, the Purifying Foam Cleanser, and the Blackhead Eliminating Scrub. They also had a cream cleanser. Since cream cleansers aren’t really my cup of tea, I just picked up the other three. For now, I’ll be reviewing just the cleansing oil!

About the Product

So the cleansing oil packaging says it “dissolves impurities and makeup & replenishes skin.” It contains Jojoba and Macadamia oils. Let me start off by saying that I didn’t read the packaging very well in the store…because I’m SUPER allergic to macadamia nuts! When I got home and saw that the product contained macadamia oil, I wasn’t sure if that would cause me to have an allergic reaction or not…so I just tested the product on my arm first to see if anything happened. Nothing happened, which surprised me, but I’m glad to say the cleanser does not cause me to have any type of allergic reaction, even when I used it on my face!

The cleansing oil is marketed for “dry skin.” This is something else I didn’t notice about the packaging until I got home. Each cleanser is marketed for a different skin type. I can’t remember what the cream cleanser is for, but the Blackhead Scrub is for oily skin and the Foam Cleanser is for combination skin. I believe I have combination skin (but don’t quote me on that…haha). I figured that I can probably get away with all 3 of them since my skin has characteristics of being both dry and oily…

If you’ve never used a cleansing oil before, let me say first off that it’s a really different experience! I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was also a bit wary of cleansing my skin with oil (since I do get quite oily). However, even though the cleanser is marketed for dry skin, I think any skin type can use this cleanser! Oil will pull excess oil off of your face, but it will also moisturize dry skin. I get why they chose to market to people with dry skin, but really, they’re just feeding the misconception that people with oily skin shouldn’t cleanse their skin with oil. I don’t think this cleanser made me any more oily than I already am. (And you can’t expect a cleanser to fix all of your skin problems for you anyway! If your skin is overly oily, it’s because your skin is really dry on the inside. It’s producing more oil to overcompensate for not being moisturized. Cleansing with oil may actually help to balance out your oiliness, but you should stay hydrated and use a good moisturizer too!)

How to Use

I typically take two to three pumps of the cleansing oil and warm it up in my hands. It’s very important to ensure that you start with a COMPLETELY DRY face and COMPLETELY DRY hands! If your hands or face are wet, you’ll ruin the first stage of oil cleansing!

You can remove your makeup with a makeup wipe if you want, but the oil cleanser can be used to remove both eye and face makeup. I’m a little skittish about removing my eye makeup with oil, so I typically remove that first with a makeup wipe. Just remember to dry your face/hands off.

After warming the oil up in my hands, I just spread it out all over my face (and avoid my eyes). Then, I start massaging it with my fingertips, going in slow, circular motions. This is supposed to break up the makeup and impurities on your face, plus facial massage is just great for your skin anyway! This will also give the oil a chance to pull away excess oil on your face and hydrate your skin at the same time. I do this for about three minutes. Yes, it a slow process, and that’s why I only cleanse with oil at night. (I don’t use it every night; I like to alter my cleansers during the week).

After three minutes, you should have dissolved everything on your face, so it’s time to emulsify the oil. Take a little bit of water on your hands and rub it into the oil. Keep doing this, without washing the oil off. It should turn white/milky. Rub it around for about another minute, and then rinse it off with warm water. You can pat your face dry or just let it air dry.

Review

So, it’s definitely got a different method to it. I’ve been told that in some Asian skin care routines, oil cleansing is actually the PRE-CLEANSING! So after they finish with oil cleansing, they use another cleanser (like a foam cleanser). This is mostly why I bought the foam cleanser to go with the cleansing oil!

You can certainly use this product on its own, and you don’t even have to have a makeup remover! I feel like it did clean my skin well, but on some days I definitely want to use a scrub/exfoliate too because I just don’t feel totally clean unless I’ve scrubbed! =)

My skin was left nice and soft and it felt very hydrated. I was going to follow up with the foam cleanser, but I usually just use the oil and nothing else. I think I’ll try following up with the foam cleanser next and see what that does. (But I would wait in between the two cleansers in order to give my skin time to absorb the hydration from the oil cleansing).

My skin is pretty sensitive, and I didn’t notice any issue while using this cleanser. I think it’s a great alternative method for cleansing the skin, and I love how it makes my skin feel. Overall, I am enjoying this product and I think anyone with oily/combo skin should definitely give it a try. See if it will help balance out your skin! Mine has been so wacky lately I can’t comment about the products effect on that, but as I keep using it I’m hoping my skin will calm down! I’m also excited to start the Korean cleansing oil and let you all know how that goes!

Some people mention their skin not feeling clean after using oil. If you feel like it leaves a residue, make sure you’re emulsifying the oil enough and also rinsing well. If you still feel like there is residue, use a foam cleanser afterwards. You can also just use a toner.

Pros: leaves skin smooth, soft, and hydrated, doesn’t irritate skin, contains good ingredients for skin
Cons: takes longer than normal cleansing, may leave a residue for some
Verdict: Try it out!

Thanks for reading!

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[Review] Isomer’s Redensify Eye Cream

March 27, 2014

125788a1Hi everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing the Isomer’s Redensify Eye Cream. Let’s just say I ordered this last summer after doing a bunch of online searching for a good product to help volumize the undereye area. My eyes are kind of deep-set, and depending on how tired I am, they can look bad =( I wanted an eye cream that would hydrate but also plump up that area. I don’t get eye bags; I basically have the opposite problem!

Anyway, I read online that some people saw success with this product, but I also saw some mixed reviews. And the cream itself was about $50! I don’t normally pay that much for makeup/skincare related products unless I am convinced it will be amazing! But I decided to give it a try. They had a package deal where you could get the full-sized face cream and full-sized eye cream (I almost wrote “ice cream” …..) for $55. That’s a great deal, so my mom paid half and kept the face cream so I could have the eye cream.

I’ve been using it since I got it last July, pretty much every morning. I have a different cream I use at night. Unfortunately, I don’t think this product works very well. I do think it hydrates the area, and it’s a fairly thin cream, which makes it good for day-time application in my opinion. However, I didn’t really notice a change in my eyes. I think how my eyes look really just depend on how much sleep I get and how much water I’m drinking. I don’t think the cream made any difference =(

I plan on using it up, and then I’ll be switching to a different day-time eye cream (or just revert back to using just a night eye cream). If I see any changes when I stop using it, I’ll be sure to write an updated post. But I don’t think it made any change in my eyes. I’m hoping whatever creams I use next will help the undereye area out more. =)

I don’t have too much to say about it, because the only pros I can think of are that it hydrates and it’s a light cream. Other than that, I don’t think it’s worth $50 on its own, or even worth the half-price of the package deal. I’m nervous about what will happen when I stop using it, haha. Maybe there was a slight improvement and I won’t notice it until I stop using it? Hopefully not, because I’m 99% sure this cream did nothing for the actual condition of my undereyes!

I was skeptical but wanted to give it a try anyway. There’s just not much you can do for your undereyes if they need more volume! (Besides fat grafting or injections, neither of which I’m willing to do!) I’ll stick with some better eye creams and good concealers instead!

I do think it’s possible for creams to be so hydrating they help the area look more plump, but this one didn’t do that either. I think we’re better off using creams with Retinol or collagen.

Pros: hydrating, light cream that is good for daytime use
Cons: price, does not volumize, not worth the price
Final verdict: Look for something else!

Thanks for reading!

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[Review] New Eco Tools Eye Brush Set

March 7, 2014

ecotoolsWhile browsing around in Walmart, I stumbled upon a set of 2 Eco Tools brushes in a package labeled “new.” I’m not sure how new they are, but I haven’t seen them before =)

I only have one other Eco Tools brush, and it’s a flat foundation brush. I mainly use it to put powder under my eyes, so I don’t really get a ton of use out of it. (Though I do use it for that small purpose daily). I wanted to try out some other Eco Tools brushes since they aren’t expensive and they look really soft! I think I purchased this set for about $6.

So these two brushes pretty much cover what I need in terms of eyeshadow brushes. They’re double-ended which is nice because it saves space, but it also makes them harder to store. I keep most of my brushes standing up in a cup or an organizer, but I don’t want to do that with these because I don’t want to ruin the brush head on the bottom.

Each brush is around 6 inches long, from the bristle on one end to the bristle on the other end. I like the size of the brushes; they aren’t too tiny so as to make it awkward for a double-sided brush, yet they are small enough to travel with easily. As far as weight, they are REALLY lightweight, which can be a good thing. However, I like a bit of weight to my brushes. Since these are eye brushes and not face brushes though, I’m not really bothered by their weight.

The ends of each brush is labeled with what function the brush is supposed to serve. I appreciate that, because sometimes brushes aren’t labeled any more specifically than “eyeshadow brush” which doesn’t tell me what the company expects the brush to be good for…so that makes it harder to review. These are labeled “blend,” “smudge,” “shade,” and “define.”

The blend brush is the fluffier one. It’s a great size (for my eyes anyway). I have used it to blend eyeshadow into the crease of my eye and also to dust a highlighter on my brow bone. I feel like it fits really well into the crease of my eye, but this may vary from person to person since we’re all different 🙂 It’s also really soft and doesn’t scratch my skin at all. Some of my other crease brushes are nice, but they’re a bit scratchy and I don’t like that, especially when it’s scratching the delicate skin around the eye. I really like this one; so far it’s my favorite crease/blending brush.

The smudge brush I don’t really have much use for. I don’t typically smudge eye products, but I can tell this one would be good for smudging some shadow on the lower lash line or under it. You could even use it to apply color to the lids too. It’s smaller than the brush head meant for that, but it could work depending on what look you’re trying to achieve. It’s soft as well, so I like that.

The define brush is cut to an angle, so it’s great for putting shadow under your waterline or for highlighting the inner corner of your eyes with a light-colored shadow. I mainly used it for putting some color under my lower lash line, and I found it works great for that. There’s definitely enough precision to get some highlighter in the inner corner, too. Again, it’s soft and non-scratchy.

The shade brush is the one meant to be used to put color all over your lids. I think the brush head is a nice size for this, and it also picks up a lot of color on the first go. I like this because then I feel like I’m not caking my eyes with eyeshadow! Some brushes just don’t pick up the color very well, but this one does. Not scratchy so it feels very nice all over the lids!

All in all, I’m very happy with this impulse purchase! They’re great little brushes, and I have enjoyed using them so far.

Pros: four brushes for a good price, not too small or too big, nice and soft, not scratchy, fit contours of my eyes well
Cons: storage is a bit difficult because they’re double-ended
Verdict: Buy them!

Thanks for reading! What impulse buys have you loved recently?

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[Review] Wet ‘n Wild Megalast Pencil Eyeliner

March 5, 2014

wetnwildI mentioned yesterday that one of the items I picked up recently (and would do a first impressions/review on) is the Wet ‘N Wild Megalast eyeliner. The picture to the left shows the product, the eyeliner tip, the smudger tip, and two swatches. This cost $1.99 at my local Harris Teeter, and I actually got it for free thanks to a coupon that doubled =)

I was originally going to do a first impressions on this instead of a review, but I figured why not just replace my usual eyeliner in my makeup bag with this one for a few days and see how it goes? That should be enough time for me to gather my thoughts for a review. So, here it is!

I must say I’m not really one for smudger tip eyeliners because I just don’t really wear that look that much. However, I do appreciate it when eyeliners do have the smudger tip, just in case I want to use it. The smudger tip on this one is made out of black rubber. It’s not too stiff and not too moveable, so I think it smudges well. In the swatch on my hand, you can see the swatch of just the eyeliner and the second swatch is what it looks like when you rub the smudger tip over it a few times. One thing I don’t understand is that this smudger tip is removable from the pencil. I’ve seen this before with other eyeliners that have smudgers, but I don’t understand why this one does it. Usually if a smudger tip comes off, it’s because there is a sharpener down in there. There isn’t a sharpener on this one though. (I’m actually okay with that, I don’t see the point in sharpening this kind of eyeliner!)

The actual eyeliner is retractable, which is nice (and very convenient)! The swatch in the picture was just me drawing a straight line on my hand–I didn’t have to go over it again to make it stand out. It’s pretty pigmented on its own, so it’s got my approval there too. Additionally, the formula is soft and very easy to apply. It doesn’t tear at my waterline or go on splotchy. I can apply it very quickly and gently, which is what I like. I can also tight-line with this liner, so in my mind that is the mark of a good eyeliner! My upper waterline is so sensitive…so only soft, pigmented liners work for that.

As far as staying power, I think it’s okay but not great. However, I’ve got really watery eyes….even Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliners don’t stay in my waterline for long! I have better luck on my top waterline than my bottom waterline. Anyway, I apply this in the morning before I leave the house and take it with me, reapplying a couple of times throughout the day. For example, I checked my makeup about halfway through the day. A lot of the eyeliner had worn off in my waterline, but it was still in my lashline so all was not lost =)

All in all, I’m impressed with this eyeliner, especially since it was so cheap! My other eyeliners usually run at least $8!

Pros: goes on easily, soft & pigmented formula, price, smudger tip, retractable
Cons: staying power?
Verdict: Try it!

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[Review] Etude House Collagen Moistfull Eye Cream

March 4, 2014

20140221_182021So, in the Korean Beauty Haul I posted recently, I got a couple of sample satchets of this Etude House eye cream. I figured I’d use up the samples and then write a mini review on it, since I can’t really write a full review without testing the product for a longer period of time. That being said, I think first impressions and such are really important, and usually if I love a product to start with, I continue loving it =)

All of that mess up there to say I’m going to review a sample I received. Geez. I need to cut down on the words sometimes.

Alright, so basically so far I like this eye cream! I can’t read any of the “product claims” and whatnot, since if there are any on the sample satchet, they’re in Korean (and let’s face it, my Korean is not that good yet!). Just judging by the name, I assume the cream is supposed to be very moisturizing and the collagen ingredients should help refirm the skin. Not sure if it’s supposed to have an effect on wrinkles…so….yeah.

For reference, I’m only 23, so I don’t really have many wrinkles yet, or flabby skin. I can’t really comment on how the cream does with wrinkles or re-firming the skin, plus I’d have to use it longer! But I CAN say it is VERY moisturizing. My undereyes feel great when I use this. It doesn’t have a cooling effect or anything, it just feels very moisturized and healthy. Also, when I wake up in the morning, my undereyes are still hydrated! I like that it sticks around overnight. I don’t like putting on moisturizers and creams only to wake up dry =/ Most eye creams I’ve used soak in more, so my undereye area isn’t as hydrated in the morning. I really like that about this cream!

Additionally, I didn’t notice any offensive smell, so that’s always a plus! It also didn’t irritate my skin in any way.

I’ve already gone ahead and purchased a full size of this, so maybe I can do an in depth review later?

Pros: EXTREMELY hydrating, lasts a long time, no smell, no irritation
Cons: Not sure it takes care of wrinkles, but I don’t have many anyway
Verdict: Try it out and see how it goes for you!

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[First Impressions] Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder

March 4, 2014

maybelline dream wonderSo I saw this new Maybelline product a few days ago (and had heard about it online before then). I decided I wanted to give it a go, even though I have quite enough pressed powder =) (That reminds me, I should be writing a review of a powder I’ve been using a lot, like Revlon Colorstay and Em Cosmetics Pressed Powder…those will be forthcoming!)

Anyway, I wanted to give this one a go since I’m always looking for a good powder (I get really oily…). I’ve used this powder for a couple of days now. I always dab it under my eyes with a flat foundation brush and dab it on the rest of my face with a sponge. I also use it for touch ups throughout the day.

First of all, I can say that this powder has a very interesting texture! It is SO soft and smooth…it doesn’t even really feel like a powder! It’s really hard to describe just how it feels…it kind of reminds me of the Em Cosmetics powder actually, except this one is even more like silk. It’s not chalky at all, and it does provide some light coverage (you can see this in the picture above, where I have it swatched on my finger).

The powder goes on very nicely when applied with a sponge. I tried dipping a powder brush in it too, but that didn’t work as well. When I used the sponge, I could tell it was mattifying my skin, giving it a nice, smooth, nearly flawless finish. My skin will never be flawless, no matter how amazing the powder/foundation is, so that’s why I say nearly flawless =)  It does seem to help cover up some areas that maybe need a bit more attention, and it helps to make my pores less noticeable. It doesn’t cling to my dry patches.

As for staying power, I must say I’m am seriously an oil slick no matter what I use. Some products work better than others for this, of course, and I think this one works better! I do need to touch up during the day, several times, but that’s normal for me. The only time I notice this powder clinging to anything is when I use acne medication on spots that pop up. This medication is VERY drying, so I don’t blame it on the powder. I feel like I can touch up with this and not have to worry that it’s going to look too cakey.

The powder comes with a mirror and a sponge, which is nice. I also like the packaging. It’s not too bulky.

All in all, I’d say my first impression/review of this product is a very positive one! I hope I’ll continue loving it. If I don’t, I’ll be sure to write an updated review.

When I picked this up at the supermarket, I also picked up some new EcoTools eye brushes and the new (I think it’s new?) Wet n Wild Megalast pencil eyeliner. Then while couponing at the drugstore, I picked up the Physician’s Formula Organic Wear tinted moisturizer. These are a few of the products I’m planning to write first impressions/reviews for, so be on the look-out for those!

Pros: compact, comes with mirror and place for sponge, SMOOTH texture, mattifies well
Cons: have to reapply (but I think that’s just me, with ANY powder)
Verdict: Buy it!

Thanks for reading!

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[Review] Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner

February 26, 2014

shoppingSo I’ve been looking for a good toner for a long time now. I was especially looking for one that would help my pores, since they tend to be rather large on my cheeks, no matter how much I try to take care of them! I picked up the Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner expecting it to help cleanse my pores more deeply and make them smaller. This product contains salicylic acid, which may or may not be beneficial to your skin (all depends on your skin type and whether you react better to salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide). Both ingredients are meant to cleanse the pores deeply and treat/prevent acne breakouts. After using half or more of this product, I can finally give it an honest review.

I do not like this toner at all. The most offending factor about it is the horrible smell. It’s a VERY strong smell, and it smells like chemicals or alcohol, I’m not sure which, but it’s not pretty in the least! In my opinion, it’s not even tolerable. I can only imagine that something that smells so harsh MUST be harsh on the skin. I didn’t break out from using this product, and my skin didn’t get irritated either, so I’m really surprised. I always pore a bit onto a cotton pad or a cotton ball and swipe it over my whole face quickly, but even doing it as quickly as I can causes the fumes from it to go up my nose and get into my mouth. I try as hard as I possibly can not to breathe it, but inevitably it ends up going up my nose. It actually makes me cough in an attempt to clear the fumes from my air passages. I also often end up having to spit out the fumes in the sink! I’m sorry, that was probably TMI, but that’s just honestly how bad it is!! I can’t stand the smell.

Besides the horrible smell, as I mentioned, the toner doesn’t break me out or mess up my skin, so that’s good. But that’s really the only pros I can think of. Honestly, I don’t think it really did much for my pores. I saw little to no change in the state and size or my pores! I’m so bummed that it didn’t work, especially after having to inhale all of the fumes! After I used the product a couple of times, I figured it wasn’t really working, but I wanted to use it some more before making up my mind and writing a review. It did clean the remaining dirt and makeup off of my skin, which I expected it to do. I just don’t think it worked very well at what it claimed to do, aka minimize pores!

So, my final opinion on the product is that it isn’t worth purchasing. The smell is not worth it, even if it did work! I am very much looking forward to quickly finishing this bottle and moving on to my next bottle of toner, the Wonder Pore Freshner by Etude House! I can’t wait to try that one out and write a review. I am 100% positive it will be better than this one.

Pros: cleans skin well, doesn’t break me out, doesn’t irritate skin
Cons: horrible chemical smell, doesn’t minimize pores
Verdict: Don’t buy!

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Review: Que Bella Sheet Face Masks

May 24, 2013

Image

Hi everyone =) Here’s a review on these face masks, as promised.

So I found these by accident one day as I was wandering through Target. And apparently, not all Targets carry these masks. But they are exclusive to Target (as far as I know). Of course, the Target in my city DOESN’T carry them, so I can only get them when I’m out of town (which used to be every other weekend, but now I’m moving there!) So I stock up every chance I get.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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New Video! May 2013 Ipsy Bag!

May 19, 2013

So this video is my first one where I actually open the Ipsy bag and go through the products. I’ve previously done blog posts on some of these, but from now on I want to do videos first and then provide more information in the blog. 

I haven’t used any of these products extensively yet, so I’m still testing them and will update this post soon with my thoughts. I can give my initial thoughts and impressions now, but I will update this soon =) I’ll also provide swatches below!

Read the rest of this entry ?