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YSL Touche Eclat | Influenster

I love Influenster!  For those of you who don’t know, its a website where you give reviews on items and your reviews earn you badges and in turn having badges allows you to enter campaigns for different products.  If you’re interested in being part of Influenster CLICK HERE!  I’ve received a few up to this point, but this one is by far my favorite!

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YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector and Blur Primer

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The blur primer is a silicone based primer that has a fine golden glitter running through it.  When applied to the skin though that golden glitter looks more like a hint of golden shimmer that perfectly brightens your complexion.  I use the tiniest amount of this, so this deluxe sample size will last FOREVER!  I’m not a huge fan of most silicone based primers as the super slippy texture under my makeup isn’t my favorite.  This one however has just the slightest slip to it.  Its quite nice actually, I’ve found myself reaching for it every day.

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The blur perfector is a silicone based light pink translucent balm that comes with a little white sponge inside of a black velveteen pouch.  It can be used in three ways.  First it can be used on its own as just a way to blur over any pores or fine lines.  This isn’t quite enough for me though, with my acne scarring I need actual coverage.

The second way you can use it is under your makeup, which to me doesn’t work either.  As stated above the super slippy texture that you get with heavily siliconed products doesn’t sit well under makeup on my skin.  And this balm may have the slippiest texture I’ve ever felt.

The last option is to put this on top of your makeup and this is where it has found a spot in my daily makeup ritual.  I’ve found myself using this at my cheeks and nose where my pores tend to be a little more prevalent and under my eyes where I’ve used concealer.  Although it may not simply be meant for setting concealer the super slippy texture and the blurring of the fine lines under my eyes means my concealer isn’t creasing.  At all.  Its amazing.  I really love the texture of this, it feels so luxurious on the skin as a finishing product.

Neutrogena HydroBoost

It feels like its been FOREVER since I’ve posted anything on here.  I’ve been trying to keep up with YouTube at the very least.  Although in general I’ve had to put a lot of this on hold while I finish up school.  Only 9 more months and I’m done!  Woohoo.

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Anyway, on to the point of this blog post.  I received this Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel from Influenster to try for free and I wanted to give it a thorough testing before writing this post.

So what is it?  Its a light moisturizer focusing on hydration targeted to help dry skin thanks to hyaluraonic acid.  Not quite sure if that’s where it should have been targeted, maybe more normal to oily or combo skin, for my personal preferences it just wasn’t moisturizing enough.  It did totally help with hydration though, the skin around my eyes softer, more plump and my tiny fine lines were much less noticeable.

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The downfall?  The scent.  Its a super strong scent, which doesn’t really make sense when the cream version of this is fragrance free.  Luckily after a couple of uses the scent isn’t really noticeable anymore.  But I wish it wasn’t there in the first place.

I’ve been using this more as a serum and less as a stand alone moisturizer because of the crazy dry winter we’ve been having.  This alone doesn’t come close to enough moisture for my ultra dry skin.  But as a serum with my favorite moisturizer on top, my skin has never looked or felt better!  Its definitely helps any dehydrated skin regardless of skin type.

So in the end – I probably won’t be buying this when its done but I might try the cream version.  Its a little on the pricey side for Neutrogena at 17.99-19.99 depending on where you get it, but it is on sale often so check it out if you’re interested in something to help hydrate your skin!

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*Post sponsored by Influenster.

August 2014 Ipsy

The Rundown: Ipsy is a $10/month subscription service where you receive a makeup bag filled with 4-6 deluxe or full size samples!  For your reviews of these products you get ipsy points that you can use once you hit 500 or 1000 points for bonus items in your bag!  If you want more info on becoming an ipsy subscriber, click here!

ipsyThe Theme: Beauty Schooled (click here for the unbagging video or scroll to be bottom)

The Items:
New Jersey Sun Mongongo Lip Balm
Free Your Mane Reviving Spray
Lord & Berry Black Silk Kajal Kohl Liner
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
Manna K—– Sheer Glo

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The Review: Let’s talk the bag first.  I think this is one of the cutest bags I’ve seen from Ipsy, although I wish it wasn’t smashed!  It’s the perfect size for a pencil case and its bright orange polka dots on the white background is fun and light-hearted!  It’s too big for my purse, but if I was actually going to school I’d use it for a pencil case, and if I get a bigger purse I might switch to it!  Of all the products there was only one that I couldn’t use and that’s the reviving spray so I’ll be setting that aside for a giveaway at a later date.  

Perversion

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I know this is going to surprise a lot of people, but I really disliked the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara.  To start let’s talk pros, because there are a few.  The formula isn’t super wet but isn’t super dry either, it’s a nice in-between which my lashes love.  I like the size of the brush.  It isn’t quite as big as say the Smashbox Full Exposure brush, but it isn’t tiny either.  The effect is quite nice too!  With just one coat your lashes are lengthened and separated, adding a second coat just amps up the volume.  At first I loved this mascara, until later on in the day.  Within a couple hours I started getting transfer on my brow bone.  By the end of the day it looked like a bunch of black lines on my brow bone.  I couldn’t even tell you the last mascara that did this to me.  (Although I know one or two have, but never to this extent!)  It didn’t flake or smudge on me, which was good and it didn’t transfer under my eyes.  But I just couldn’t get passed the brow bone smearing.  It made my eyes look dirty and gross!  I was totally disappointed.  I don’t know if I put a waterproof topcoat on it would help, but I’m definitely willing to try.  This retails for $22 for the full size and if they release a travel size I expect it to be around the $10 mark.

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The Mongongo lip balm is nice.  Not my favorite either though.  It’s very slick and doesn’t really feel like it sinks into the lips.  Instead it just seems to sit on top slipping all over the place.  Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but you know what I’m talking about, when you have a lip balm or gloss that is so glossy and slick that when you blot your lips together they slide around?  It’s like that.  And it smells very very and I mean very citrusy!  I though it smelled limey, but I’ve heard other people say lemony, it sure doesn’t smell orangey which is what the scent is! Haha.  Not bad, but I don’t think I’d be willing to pay $5.50 for it.

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The Lord & Berry Black Silk Kajal Kohl liner was nice.  Let’s talk sample size.  This was ridiculous!  Seriously, my last liner to get to this point got tossed because it was uncomfortable to use.  I know it a sample, but after a couple sharpenings there will be nothing left, I give it like 4 maybe 5 uses.  I didn’t feel it was the blackest black I’ve ever used so I did need to build it up.  It smudged nicely and did seem to set into place fairly quickly.  Not the best on the waterline though, it seemed to strangely just disappear after about 4-6 hours requiring a touch up or two.  I think it’s a decent liner, but I prefer the Scandal-eyes by Rimmel especially with the price.  L&B retails for $15.00.

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Lastly is the Manna Kadar Sheer Glo lotion.  Which I haven’t quite found a use for.  As a luminizer it just doesn’t give enough of a glow.  It sits weird on top of foundation so I don’t recommend that.  Underneath it doesn’t seem to do much although it does make your skin feel silky smooth.  So it might make a good primer, but I haven’t noticed if it adds any staying power.  I haven’t mixed this with my foundation to see the type of glow it gives, but if I do I’ll let you guys know.  I don’t see myself ever buying the full size of this especially since it retails for $29.00!  Man that’s a lot!  I’d get the Becca Skin Perfecter before I went for this one.

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So those are my ipsy finds for this month.  Did you get an ipsy bag?  If so what was your favorite item, and if you didn’t are you thinking of getting one?

Looking Forward to Fall

I was going to film a favorites video, but it seemed a little late for that.  Plus a lot of the products I was loving were the same as June or July.  So instead I thought it would be fun to talk about a couple things I’ve been loving but mostly talk about what I’m really excited for upcoming in September!  Hope you like it!

August 2014 Birchbox

The Rundown: Birchbox is a $10/month subscription where you receive a box with 4-6 deluxe samples or the occasional full size.  For reviewing each product you receive 10 points (or the equivalent of $1), once you hit 100pts you get a $10 certificate to use in the Birchbox store towards full size products.  Click here for more info on joining Birchbox!

The Theme: Lighten Up! (Click here for the unboxing video or scroll to the bottom)

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The Products:
Neil George Shampoo & Conditioner
Laura Gellar Cool Lids Cream Shadow
Nügg Revitalizing Mask
Mango Body Lotion

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The review: Unfortunately I can’t use the Nügg Revitalizing Mask so I’ll be putting it in a basket for a later giveaway.  Because there are only 3 products I’ll do a detailed review of them in one day instead of breaking it up.  If you prefer it this way let me know and I’ll do them in a single post.

Cool Lids

For starters Birchbox offered for everyone the ability to choose a product (like they did last month) the choices were a bronzer, a lip and cheek stain, a black eyeliner and a cream shadow.  I jumped at the chance to pick the cream shadow.  I’ve received the Laura Gellar Cool Lids Cream shadow in the Ulta Summer Glam set in the color Rose Gold Goddess and loved it so the chance to get another color was awesome!  The color sent out was Silver sands which is a silver, almost with taupey undertones.  Not a bright silver, but deep silver.  Its super pigmented and blends just as beautifully as the Rose Gold does!  I love them so much, so glad I picked it! These retail for $19 for the full size and are available in I believe 7 shades

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The Mango Body Lotion is by Key West Aloe? And smells like a mango creamsicle.  It. Smells. Amazing!  Holy cow.  It makes me want to eat my arm off! Haha (I won’t though, don’t worry!)  It did a decent job at moisturizing, nice for the summer, but not something I would probably use regularly.  Perfect for a travel item though!  This retails for $15 for the full size and are available in Mango or Lime.

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Lastly is the Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner.  Unfortunately mine had leaked into my box which was a bummer.  Just enough to get everything gunky.  I was still able to get a couple uses out of it.  Enough uses to know this stuff is pretty awesome.  It smells like my favorite moisturizer, with that clary sage note.  Not overpowering on the smell though, just enough to enjoy it, but not enough that it’s all I can smell throughout the day.  These are pricey though, a 3.3oz tube retails for $9.00 and the larger 16oz bottle retails for $48!  They are amazing, but I just can’t justify the price personally, but I’ll enjoy this when I travel to New York coming up!

On a side note, I contacted Birchbox about my leaked products and they were kind enough to send me not just replacement shampoo and conditioner but a full replacement box at no charge!  Talk about some kick ass customer service!

Did you get a Birchbox?  If so, what was your favorite from this month?

PopBeauty & DermaE | Ipsy

On Monday we talked about the overall Ipsy bag and today I wanted to finish up the review.  So we’re talking the Pop Beauty bronzer and the Derma-e BB Creme.

I was so excited to see a full size bronzer this month!  And even more excited when I swatched this one and it felt so incredibly soft and buttery!  I feel like often face powders, bronzers, highlights, etc aren’t as soft as we tend to like eyeshadows to be, and maybe there is a reason for that, but for me it seemed like a fairly luxurious bronzer by touch.

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The color isn’t super orangey which means it will compliment many skin tones.  It does definitely have shimmer through it which means it won’t be good for contour, but means it does give you a really pretty sunkissed glow (hence the name!). 

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My overall thoughts on this bronzer is super positive!  First of all, I love that it is full size.  I love that the compact closes nicely and doesn’t have a mirror (to me that’s a waste unless it’s a HUGE compact!).  And I love how easily this makes my skin look glowing!  I usually dust it over the high points of my face with a massive powder brush to give me an allover summer glow.  As a bonus though, it’s also been a great crease color for eyeshadow, blending quite nicely with any other shadows!  The full size of this retails for $10 which means it paid for my ipsy bag on its own!

I’ve never been a huge fan of BB creams.  The only one that I’ve ever considered actually purchasing after sampling was an Asian bb cream, and that is totally different from the tinted moisturizer like western bb cream.  The only Western bb cream that I have liked was one that I sampled from birchbox by Supergoop. 

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I actually really want to like a bb cream for their ease of use especially on a hot summer day where I don’t want to fuss over my face.  But they just don’t have enough coverage for my liking.  With my hyper-pigmentation from acne (click here for deets on that), I just need more medium to full coverage and these are usually sheer to light.

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This one is no different, I wasn’t a huge fan of the scent and although the texture was nice, I just didn’t love the finish.  I felt like I needed to powder down a lot more than usual, and although it was a nice quick and easy foundation.  It just isn’t for me.  I’ll continue to try to find one that works for me, but until then I’ll stick with my favorite foundations.

If you are a bb cream lover you might really like this one, it did blend nicely and did match my skin color perfectly.  It retails at $29.50 for 2oz and is available at online at Dermae.com.  Its not a horrible price for the amount you get.

What is your favorite subscription service?

Last All Day Liner | YouTube

Today’s video is how to make your liner last all day!  Although summer is almost over we all still need our makeup to stay put throughout the day.  Here’s is my quick how to for liner!

July 2014 Ipsy & Bare Minerals

The Rundown:  For those of you unfamiliar, Ipsy is a $10/month subscription where you receive 4-6 deluxe or full size samples to try out every month all inside of a little makeup bag.  (More info on that here)  The July Ipsy bag is ADORABLE!  Its bright pink faux leather with a scalloped edge.  Compared to other Ipsy bags, the size of this bag is awesome.  It fits everything I want to have in my purse perfectly!  So far of all the bags they’ve sent out with the subscriptions, this is my favorite. 

July Boxes (5)

Products in my July Bag –

Bare Minerals 2.0 Eyeshadow, a good sized light pink and burgundy super pigmented eyeshadow duo deluxe sample
Pop Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer, a full size super soft and buttery shimmery bronzer
Derma-e BB Cream, a deluxe sample of a light coverage bb cream with spf-25
Purlise Sunscreen, day cream with spf 30
Pixi Brilliance Balm, a glossy tinted lip balm

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I loved the majority of the products this month, however the Purlise Sunscreen and the Pixi Brilliance Balm both contain Soybean oil which I’m allergic to so I wasn’t able to use either of those.  I’ve put them in a pile for a giveaway at some point.  Today I’m going to talk about the Bare Minerals shadow.

To be completely honest, I’ve never really been a big fan of Bare Minerals.  Their powder foundations just don’t work for me and their lipsticks all contain soy.  However over the last couple months I’ve tried expanding my Bare Minerals Horizons.  I recently did a first impression of the Bare Skin Foundation and that was really the first thing I liked from the brand.

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When the 2.0 shadow duo came in my July Ipsy bag I was actually excited to give it a shot.  And when I swatched it on camera I was really surprised by the pigmentation.  A few days later I tried them out and was thoroughly impressed.  First off the colors are so creamy and didn’t have a lot of fall down, plus they blended beautifully.  I’ve found myself using them a lot, even in my day to night smokey eye tutorial.  The colors are a deep wine and a light pink, and they’re the exact type of colors I really like on my hazel green eyes.

That being said I don’t know if I would purchase these, only because I prefer palettes, they are easier, offer more choices and make my vanity cleaner and more organized.  But if Bare Minerals ever came out with a 4.0 squared or 2.0 cubed palette I might just splurge for it!  If you do however like duos or quads this would be right up your alley, they are great quality.  This retails at $ for the duo and $ for the quads.

On Wednesday we’ll be talking about the Sunkissed Bronzer and the Derma-e BB Cream. Stay Tuned!

Top 5 Game Changing Products

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We all have those products, you know the ones!  When you run out its like life is over, at least momentarily.  Here are mine!

carmex1 – Carmex.  Seriously, this stuff is a savior.  I don’t use it daily or anything, but as soon as I have an irritation on my lips or my lips get chapped, a day after using this my lips are like new again!  I try not to use it too often, but when I don’t have it, oh man, look out!  My lips look AWFUL!

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2 – Leave In Conditioner.  It doesn’t particularly matter the brand, I have a few favorites- It’s a 10, Beauty Protector, and currently Instacure.  I notice when I don’t use this after washing my hair, its dull, static-y, and just generally doesn’t look good.  I keep it to my ends, if you’re curious my favorite of the 3 is still the It’s a 10.

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3 – The Body Shop Body Scrub.  All of them are good but right now I’m in love with the Grapefruit scent.  It. Smells. So good!  More than just the scent though is how easy it makes shaving my legs.  Its quicker, my legs are left smoother AND I can go longer in between shaves!

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4 – Eyeshadow Primer.  Currently I’m using the NYX version, although my favorites are the e.l.f. and Urban Decay versions.  If I don’t use a primer my eyeshadow creases.  It doesn’t matter what I do, how I apply it, or the brand of shadow.  No primer=creasing.

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5 – Nicole by OPI Drying Drops.  These drops are a life saver!  Seriously, after you put a top coat on wait 60 seconds, add 1-2 drops per nail and BAM! Your nails are dry to the touch in one minute and completely dry in 5.  I was not blessed with the patience virtue, so anything that will help me with that gets a win in my book.  I can’t do a manicure without these now!

game changer 1Do you have any products to add to this list?

Suki & Marcelle 8in1 | Birchbox

On Monday we started talking about the July Birchbox and the Ruffian Polish, then Wednesday we continued with Coastal Scents and Hello and today we’re completing this week’s Birchbox finds with the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser and the Marcelle 8in1 Serum.

suki3I was intrigued by the foaming cleanser because when I first looked at it, looked like it has a bunch of bubbles or something in it and is a BRIGHT yellow color.  After reading about it, it says that it lightly exfoliates the skin turning into a foam with the addition of water.  I try to exfoliate twice a week, once with a glycolic toner and once with a cleanser but I haven’t found a cleanser that I really enjoy using.  They mostly feel too abrasive for my super sensitive skin.  This Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser is unique though, it has a light lemony scent that is pleasant and matches with the bright yellow color.  It feels like it would be too harsh but then you mix it in your hands with some water and it turns to this wonderful foamy cleanser that feels gentle on the skin and easily bubbles across the skin to lightly exfoliate.  Afterwards my skin looked brighter and felt softer.  I really enjoyed using it the one time I was able to.  Unfortunately I thought I put the lid on all the way but I apparently did not because the next time I opened it… hard as a rock.  Completely dried out!  I’m so bummed!  Oh well, but that is something to take into consideration, this comes in a tub not a tube, so you will have to dip your fingers in each time which isn’t the most sanitary and does leave it open to the possibility of it drying out if you’re not careful.  Overall, I really liked this gentle cleanser, but I’m still up in the air if I would repurchase it because of the container.  This cleanser retails at $32.95 for 4 oz. 

marcelleThe last item in my box was the Marcelle 8in1 Power Serum.  And I have to say I don’t know a whole lot about serums.  I don’t use them often because I never really see any difference when I do use them for a bit.  And this is no different, I used it as the directions said for over a week straight and I didn’t notice any change in my skin.  With it saying it shows results in as little as week, I was disappointed.  I was trying to find info on what its 8 claims were but I had a hard time finding that information.  It doesn’t have a spf so sun protection is not one of them.  According to Birchbox’s website it says about the ingredients, “When it comes to lines, they smooth, provide a filling effect, and visibly reduce even deep wrinkles.  They also firm, lift and strengthen, while working to boost radiance and improve the texture of your complexion.”  It may work great for some people but I tend to think less is more a lot of times with skincare and for me it seemed like an extra unnecessary step.  As serums go this one isn’t over the top expensive, but it’s not cheap either.  It retails at $34.00 for 1 oz.

So those are all of the products in my July Birchbox!  My August one just arrived in the mail, I haven’t opened it yet though (trying to get homework done), I can’t wait to see what’s in there!  Do you have a Birchbox or other subscription, if so why do you love that particular one?

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