July 2020 Boxycharm Premium Unboxing

July 2020 BoxyCharm Premium

Morning my darlings, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I know we are just beginning August, but my July boxes came in late this month so there is one more to cover and that is the BoxyCharm Premium bag. I have to say, it didn’t entirely feel premium this month. But lets get into the items inside and well talk about them as we go.

First up is an Neon Orange Jelly pouch with pompoms (retail $20). Now I will say that with IPSY I get a makeup bag every month. So I’m not opposed to seeing a bag in a subscription box, but unless it is a really good bag, I tend to think of it as an add on, a bonus rather than an item. This month, the pouch counted as an item in my premium box.

I can’t say I am too happy about that, especially as the pompoms are small, cheap looking, and already beginning to fray. It’s an okay bag. Not my favorite as I generally find the ‘jelly’ plastic tends to split along the stitching after a few months of use. Had it been an extra item, I would have been okay with it, but it wasn’t.

Next up, I pulled out the Morphe and Manny MUA Glam Palette (retail $20). Okay first up, I really like Manny MUA. I find him fun and entertaining to watch. I’m not a big fan of Morphe. Politics aside, while their brushes are pretty nice, I don’t find their products to be that great in general.

I am just not a fan of their shadows. Plus, this was one of those palettes that was released and flopped big time, so seeing this in a subscription box sort of feels like someone hit a remainders sale. Morphe isn’t a brand I would expect to see in a premium box either.

Okay, don’t worry it isn’t all bleak.

The next product is definitely a premium product. It is the Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion (retail $40). Is it good lotion? Yes. Do I think it is over priced? Yes. Am I thrilled to get body lotion? Not really. However, I have had it before in a smaller sample and it is a good lotion. I like the pump and I will use it. I think for the price there should be a bit more product, but I like the product and will use it.

The next product I have very mixed feelings about. It is the Perricone MD No Makeup lipstick (retail $30). First of all it isn’t a lipstick, it is a tinted lip balm. Which I’m fine with, especially in the summer. But seriously, it’s not a lipstick. It is however one of the few lip balms that I will definitely say is well worth the $30 price.

Perricone, MD lip swatch

I really like the brand Perricone, MD. I generally find their products to be good and work well with my skin. I’ve tried quite a few of their products over the years and I can’t think of a single one that I would not repurchase again.

However, my box looked a bit crunched. And not in a got banged up in the box during transport way, but in the clearance shelf of TJMaxx sort of way. But that is only the box.

The product was fine. My concern with it though is that the expiration date on the bottom of the product says that it is going to expire in December of this year. Which means it is not a new product and I have only 5 months to use it before it expires.

Expiration date

I’ve had Perricone lip products before and that is the one issue with them. They are great and hydrating, far more skin care than makeup, but when they expire, they expire. They are prone to mold and funky smells the closer you get to the expiration date. These are not products you buy back ups to stockpile, they are buy and use now sorts of things. Well worth using, but they are serious about the expiration date. So I’m going to make a concentrated effort to use it before then, but despite being an excellent brand, these issues don’t lend themselves to the premium feeling the box is going for.

Moving on we come to the Kenia Ontiveros Beauty Set and Define Kit (retail $42). Personally I like face kits like this and thought it would be interesting to try. It was in fact my selection item for this month. Admittedly, it wasn’t a good selection month. It was this palette or two other palettes from this brand or a Brows by Reema face kit, if I recall. This is the one I went for as it seemed like it had more products I would use.

I am looking forward to trying it out. I had not heard of the brand though, so I went and looked them up. I don’t mind new brands, I like learning about products I may not have picked up on my own, I consider that part of the fun of subscription boxes.

They did have this kit on their website though and it was offered for $42. It also had a mirror inside it, which this one doesn’t. Personally, I don’t really care about the mirror. I’m sure it made the package lighter and easier to produce in the quantities Boxy Charm required at a cost that was not prohibitive. But that’s also sort of bugging me as well. Since there is a clear difference between the ones offered for sale and the ones sent in BoxyCharm, should the retail price be listed as the same?

I don’t know. Personally I go back and forth in my mind about that. While I don’t think that the mirror contributes to the products, it does contribute to the packaging and packaging does help in many cases to determine price. When I look at the palette, given its size, and packaging, I have to say it feels more like it should be in the $20 range. It doesn’t feel like a $42 palette. So again I’m on the fence about this one. I put it in this week’s makeup bag so I will be using it and testing it out this week. Maybe it will astound me with it’s quality and I will be able to say the price is justified, maybe not. We shall see.

Finally, we come to the last product in the box. And I have to say I was very happy to see this product. No there isn’t a however, I was just happy. (see I told you it wasn’t all bleak) It was the Laura Geller Line N define Dual dimension eyeliner.(retail $24).

I have been wanting to try this one out for a while actually, I just kept getting eyeliners from boxes so I never felt like I ought to go out and buy one. This has the pen tip eyeliner on one end and a crayon style eyeliner on the other end. Its been a while, but I have used Laura Geller’s eyeliner’s before and really liked them so I am happy to try this one out as well.

So there we have the July Premium Boxy Charm box. For my $35 I received $176 worth of product. For Boxycharm premium that is a bit of a low return on investment. Usually the value is much higher In addition, there were some issues and the box really didn’t feel premium. I recognize that there are currently issues beyond their control, but this seemed a bit like poor decision making met shipping issues.

I will say that I am very excited about the selection I already made for August’s box and I hope the rest of the items that come in the box are just as nice. At the moment my plan is to keep my Boxycharm subscriptions through September. I want to see if Boxyluxe is actually worth keeping and if the onset of the pandemic was the reason for the last Boxes issues. I was hoping to start changing things around in January, but if the boxes don’t get better, I may be switching things around earlier. We shall see.


Shop Annmarie Gianni Today.

The Make up Bag: July 31st, 2020

The Make Up Bag Used July 25th – 31st, 2020

Welcome my darlings once again to The Make up bag. I hope you had a fantastic week.  While I have been testing out new foundations fairly regularly for a while, some full sized and some only sample sized, I thought it was time to take a little break from the new and roll through some of the foundations that I enjoyed. 

So I lined up all of the currently open foundations I have in a shade that works for me at the moment and a chose whichever one appealed most to me in the moment.  I’ll be honest, it was a pretty close tie between the Kristofer Buckle Triplicity foundation Stick and the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation.  Since I just used the Kristofer Buckle last week, I went with Pretty Vulgar and I am glad I did.  I really enjoyed using it this week.  The formula works well for me and went well with the ELF Puff Puff Primer I tried this week.

This particular ELF primer is a bit more moisturizer like than I anticipated, but it worked well.  The link is to my full review if you’d like to get all the details, but I did enjoy the ELF Puff Puff Primer and will be keeping it in my rotation. 

Making a continued appearance in my make up bag was the I heart Revolution Fixing spray in Peaches and Cream.  I know I’ve talked about it a lot, but I do like it.  I have about three week’s worth of product left in the bottle (as a best guess) so I will keep it around for a few more weeks in the hopes of finishing it out. It is nice, but it is an older product I’d like to finish out.



Speaking of peaches, This week’s eyeshadow palette was Peach Bellini from Makeup Geek.  The link is for my full palette review.  I really liked using the formula this week for a super simple low key week.  The shadows were highly pigmented and easy to blend.  Also the color scheme seems very summery to me.

Starting to see a little of the pan’s rings below the powder

Both of my powders this week were repeats The Ciate Everyday Vaccay was the loose powder and I have about three more weeks of use before it is empty so I will continue to use it until it is gone, then shift to other powders. 



My pressed powder was the No.7 Perfect light in medium.  It is very rapidly becoming one of my favorite pressed powders.  I’m actually starting to see the outline of the pan below in the center.  While I will continue to use up the ciate next week, I will be sending the No. 7 back to the dressing table and picking out another pressed powder to try.

There were three more repeats this week.  The first is the Instant Age rewind Eraser from Maybelline which served as my concealer and eyelid primer.  I really liked it in both capacities.

Also returning was the Eyeko Fat Black eyeliner.  It is one of my favorites. Once in place, it doesn’t go anywhere and never seeps into my fine lines. 

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The final repeat was the Julep pore minimizing blush in the shade Rosewood.  I don’t know if it actually reduces my pores as there are several other products between my pores and the blush, but it is an excellent blush.  It is of the buildable variety rather than the highly pigmented, although you can deepen it a lot if you try. 

Eyeko eyeliner and Hourglass brow pencil

I personally prefer my blush to be buildable and blendable, which this is. I believe Jlep is having a sale at the moment.  I’ve liked every product I’ve tried from them.  The products are easy to work with and the packaging is sleek and pretty.

Beauty is effortless, fearless and fun at Julep! Shop for unique innovative products steeped in Korean skincare traditions

I know packaging shouldn’t count as much, but it kinda does. At least with me.  I know, it’s a personal flaw.  But I do like the sleek design while my more practical side likes the fact that it is also quite sturdy.

Julep blush and Tarte mascara

And now for the new arrivals in my makeup bag.  The first is the Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise palette.  This palette had four shades of bronzer.  Only one works on me as a bronzer.  It is the third in the pan in case you are wondering. 

The darker and lighter shades I could use as eyeshadows but not as bronzer.  In the winter I might be able to use the second shade in the palette but that is about it.  Truthfully, I don’t particularly care for these bronzers.

They oddly work really well as eyeshadows, but on the cheeks I found them a bit patchy and hard to blend. I might try working with it again, but I have much better formulas in my collection that I would rather use.

The Hourglass eyebrow pencil (shade soft brunette) also came in a Boxy Charm and I have to say, I really liked using it.  I really liked the formula and I really liked the precision point.  It is small enough that I could do really fine lines with it. 

Do I like it as much as the Benefit Precisely My Brow?

Almost. 

If I had to choose between the two I would still choose the Benefit, but only by a small margin.  I do like that it comes with a spoolie on the end. I will happily use this for a while.  Between it and the Il Makiage pencil I received from IPSY, I won’t have to buy an eyebrow pencil for a while.  And then I have my wet ‘n wild brow kit powder. So I am set for brows.  I really did enjoy the hourglass this week so I think I might just have to keep it around for a second week.

Really quickly I wanted to mention the So eco shading brush that came in my Look Fantastic box this month.  I added it to my makeup bag and I think it is going to remain in my bathroom brush jar for a while.  With the Makeup Geek Shadows the easiest way to work with them because they were so highly pigmented was to take a flat brush and set the shadow on the eye at the spot I wanted it to be darkest and then blend with a fluffy brush.  This week I used the So Eco brush as the flat brush and it worked really well.  The indentations in the handle were perfect for gripping and the bristles are really high quality.  So two thumbs up for Look Fantastic.

Unfortunately I did not have as good a luck with the Palm Balm from Beauty crop that came in this month’s Glossy Box. I added both it and the Milk makeup Lip and Cheek stick to my bag this well.  I figured since I had already used the Julep before and loved it, I would keep it as a back up and see if either of these two products worked.  Both the Palm Balm and the Milk Lip and cheek are designed to be products you can use on, you guessed it lip and cheek. 

The Palm balm comes in a nice little glass pot and in the pan it is really stiff.  I had to rub my finger over it a lot just to warm it up enough to stick to my finger.  On the cheek it goes on okay, but it really hard to bend out.  It really wants to stay in whatever position you place it in first. When blending, I felt less like I was blending and more like I was scrubbing it off. 

Anytime I tried it as a cheek product it ruined any other product I already had on my cheeks.  It worked better on bare skin, but I don’t know if that was just me rubbing it off or not.  On the lips it was interesting.  It gave my lips a nice tint and like the cheeks, once applied it wasn’t going anywhere.  It lasted the whole day as a light blush of color. 

However it was also very drying.  Once I applied it I had to wait a moment and then top it with a Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm to keep my lips from drying and falling off my face.  With the lip balm protector it was fine.  Without it, I crumbled to dust.

The Milk Makeup Lip and Cheek also did not work on my cheeks.  It went on well but blended away to nothing with the first touch.  However it made an excellent lip balm.  It provided a light my lips but better tint and it kept my lips hydrated and moisturized.  I really enjoyed it and will keep it in my collection for my lips.  I won’t use it on my cheeks, but my lips love it. The Palm Balm will not be staying in my collection long.

There are 2 NEW SHADES of KUSH Lip Glaze. That’s 2 new ways to get conditioned, high shine lips. Nice to meet you Nova (nude) and Rosebud (rose).

I did have two more lip products in my bag this week. Although I did wear the Kristofer Buckle Bardot for National Lipstick day, it wasn’t officially in my bag this week.  This week I mostly used the Lorac Alter Ego Hydrating lip stain in Breadwinner and the OFRA liquid lip in the shade Pasadena.

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Breadwinner is a light wash of color that feels comfortable on the lips and is really easy to wear.  I enjoyed it very much.  It doesn’t dry out the lips and is as hydrating as it claims.  It is not an all day color though. 

On the days I wore it, I had to apply it when I finished my coffee and again after lunch.  It does wear off if you are eating or drinking, but it is a formula that is really nice if you want just a light wash of color that you don’t have to worry about.  It didn’t get on my teeth and it didn’t leave lip prints everywhere.  It will definitely make a reappearance in my makeup bag. 

OFRA is on the top and Lorac is on the bottom. The Lorac was swatched multiple times to build up the color for the picture. it is much less pigmented on the lips

OFRA’s Pasadena will also make a return.  It is a nice neutral lip that works well for me.  So often neutral lipsticks either blend my lips into my face or just look brown.  This has just enough pin in it to work for me.  While the all day formula does stay all day and wasn’t drying on the lips, it does feel just a little bit sticky. It wasn’t terribly bad and because of the color I will keep it around. 

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The one I have is a trial sized liquid lip rather than a full sized.  I like everything about it except the slight stickiness.  If I can find another long wearing liquid lip in this shade that doesn’t have the stickiness, I would buy that.  I think the stickiness is the result of it never drying down completely. If I can’t find this shade in another formula that I like better, I will purchase a full sized version of this.  I know that is a strange answer.  It is a good formula that I don’t mind wearing, but I am hoping to find better.  However I am not certain I can find better. Perhaps that is a better way to put that.

The Tarte mascara on the eyes and the OFRA on the lips

Finally we come to one of my favorite items, the mascara.  I went with the tart Gifted mascara this week.  Tarte’s mascaras are always hit or miss with me.  There are a couple I really like and a couple I find to be just okay.  This one has a thinner, straight wand and I have to say I really liked it.  It made my lashes look longer and it lasted all day without any sort of flaking or smearing.  To be honest, I like it almost as much as my Kevyn Aucoin.  I know gasp. But don’t worry, my two favorites are still Marc Jacobs and Butter London. It just bumps The Expert Kevyn Aucoin down a notch on the fav scale. Not by much, just a little. In a horse race it would still be a photo finish.

Alright, well that was my makeup bag for this week.  I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  As usual next week will feature a brand new bag of makeup for me to try.  Some will be old favorites and some new finds.  With luck some of my new finds will be good enough to become old favorites.  But now it is back to work for me.  I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and I will see you back here this afternoon for the Face Mask Friday post.


This week’s Palette: Peach Bellini by Makeup Geek

Eyeshadow Palette: Peach Bellini by Makeup Geek

This is one of those eye shadow palettes I received in an IPSY box several months back.  While I have tried and liked Makeup Geek shadows before, when I got this palette, I wasn’t exactly feeling it.  I think when I got it, the weather was cold and nasty and this just wasn’t the color scheme I was wanting to reach for. 

After a week of use.

This week when I picked it up out of the drawer, I kind of liked it a bit better. To be honest I had a lot of fun with this palette.  It has been a crazy week and to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of time to spare.  My eyeshadow looks this week ended up mostly being me choosing one color, dabbing it a little on the outer edge of my eye where I wanted the pigment a little darker and then using a second clean brush to blow out the color across the lids.  The colors work excellently well for this.  The trick is to remember they are HIGHLY pigmented. 

Seriously a little dab will do you.

top row swatches

In the first row we have Peaches, Prosecco, Bellini and Nectar (L to R).  Prosecco is the one shimmer shade in this row and it is butter soft.  It can be used to accent any of the other colors.  I generally found that after I blew out the color across the lids, I could lighten the inner corner with Prosecco and just be done.  The mattes, especially Bellini, tend to be a little on the powdery side if you use too much.  I recommend lightly dipping in with a flat brush, placing the color where you want it darkest and then switching to a fluffy blending brush.

The second row

The second row of colors: Cheers, Juicy, Cocktail and Venice (L to R) are again three mattes and a shimmer shade.  The shimmer is Cheers and it is a gorgeous copper. I know I have a weakness for coppers. Again, the shimmer is butter soft while the mattes are a little powdery. In fact with this palette it is better to remember that the darker the color, the more powder kick up there will be. Remembering that will help a lot, especially if you are reaching for the shade Venice. Because it is a Peach palette all of the colors except Cocktail and Venice have peachy undertones. For me this made it a very good summer palette.

While I think the lower row could be used for a more fall look (and to be honest I didn’t reach for them a lot this week as I was doing a lot more lighter looks), for me this palette just reads summer more than anything else. I don’t mind that actually.  I naturally tend to gravitate towards more fall colors so in the summer, I generally find myself struggling to figure out what kind of shadows I want to wear. This palette fills a definite gap in my collection.  The colors are nice and relatively easy to work with, once you get used to how pigmented they are, and I am happy to keep this around in my collection and possibly look at picking up more Make Up Geek Shadows in the future. As I’ve had some not so great palettes lately, I am especially glad to find this one. When dealing with my palette collection, my palate needed a bit of a cleansing. and this provided it. Thanks Makeup Geek.


Trying out E.l.f’s Puff Puff Primer

Normally this is where I would post a foundation review.  This week I didn’t use a new foundation, but decided to dip back into some already open ones. Actually, I’m probably going to be rotating thorough open ones for a few weeks just so I can use more of the open products that I like. During these foundation trials I have found some good ones I don’t want them to go to waste.

This week when  I went to make my selection for foundation I ended up reaching for the Pretty Vulgar Lava Water Foundation.  That’s the link to my initial review and at the moment, I can’t really think of anything new to add except that I was happy to use it again this week. Thus far I’ve been pretty happy with most Pretty Vulgar products I’ve tried. Even if I did pick up their Feathers mascara just for looks, it turned out to be a really great product.

Pretty Vulgar Cruelty Free Makeup!

So, since the foundation was a repeat. I’m going to talk about a new primer instead.

Well new to me, some of you may have tried this one out before, but when running to Target to restock a few necessities I saw it on the shelf whereas I hadn’t seen it before, so I don’t think it’s been out a terribly long time.

Now I have to say, I love a good primer. 

I love the way it can smooth out your skin so that foundation applies smoothly, requires less product and lasts longer. Typically I go for pore filling primers, but I don’t mind branching out.  And I’ll admit, this one did amuse me.  Plus it was only $8 so I figured it was worth a try. Even if it does mean I’ve had old Cypress Hill songs running through my head all week. Luckily no one takes notice of the songs I hum to myself as I get ready or I’d probably be called out on repeating some of the lyrics.

So what are this primer’s claims?

This hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil primer nourishes and preps your skin. A creamy primer that absorbs quickly into the skin to soothe and hydrate, conditioning your skin before makeup application. Perfect for all skin types.

Key Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil – An amino-rich formula that helps nourish, hydrate and condition the skin. Vitamins A and C – Antioxidants known to help brighten skin’s appearance.

We all know, I love my vitamin C. There were also a list of positives for cannabis sativa seed oil praising its calming effects as well as a reminder that this contains neither THC nor CBD. While I am new to using a lot of CBD products, hemp seed oil based products aren’t all that new.  They have been around for ages.  I remember seeing them on the shelves of health food stores when I was little. I believe it was used to soothe skin irritations.

I’m pretty sure hemp seed doesn’t have the same CBD type calming effects, but it does tend to calm down skin irritations, which usually puts me in a better frame of mind anyway. I could be wrong about that as I am neither a dermatologist nor a chemist (or a botanist for that matter). It could be that the old folks I remember talking about hemp seed oil simply didn’t discuss mood elevating properties. (They were more deal with the nettle stings and complain about the state of the world rather than seeking mood elevators. Not that they minded a bit of the recreational, but they did love to complain. If griping was an olympic sport, they would have taken the gold.)

NET WT. 1.01 FL. OZ. (30mL) Water (Aqua), Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vc), Beta- carotene (Va), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbitan Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteareth-20, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, BHT, Disodium EDTA

elf cosmetics website

I will say I really like the fact that when I looked up the ingredients, the hemp seed oil was the second ingredient, which means it is in a rather high concentration.  I always like to see the main ingredient a product is advertising be high up in the ingredients list.  For those new to reading ingredients lists on skin care and cosmetics products companies are required to list the products in descending order of concentration until they get to about the 1% level. So the higher on the list, the more of the ingredient there is.  Once they get down to the 1% mark they can list the remaining ingredients in any order they want.

The product comes in a nice tube with a flat cap so it stands upright.  It is dispensed through a pump.  The picture shows one full pump.  I found I needed two to cover my entire face completely. The formula is very interesting and not something I am used to seeing in a primer.  It is more of a cream formula.

When applied to the face it feels almost like a moisturizer.  The white disappears as the product is absorbed into the skin and the primer does create a nice even layer.  I think I needed more of it because a portion does absorb into the skin.  What remains is slightly sticky, which in a primer is not a bad thing.  I wore the primer with my foundation and, since I already knew and liked the foundation, there were a few days I just wore the primer with a dusting of powder over it. 

As you can see in the photos above, there wasn’t much difference to the skin with or without the primer. There is a slight matifying look but that is all. It has no tint or blemish hiding capabilities, but it does smooth the skin. It just doesn’t hide much.

The primer performed well under the foundation and when used with the powder alone, I found it really gripped onto the powder, keeping it in place longer.  The formula didn’t dry out my skin or make it overly greasy.  I will say that I am currently testing out a light day cream as my daily moisturizer.  Once I applied my moisturizer, I tend to let it sit while I have a cup of coffee.  Then once at least a little caffeinated, I return to put my makeup on.  Trust me no one wants me trying to apply eyeliner before my first cup. Done this way, my moisturizer had a few moments to sink in before I applied the primer.

I did try applying the primer right over the moisturizer and it worked okay, but not great.  I think if I was using a heavier moisturizer it would have been a mess.  Given the hydrating nature of the primer, I think either waiting for your moisturizer to settle or leaving off your moisturizer (depending on your skin type) might be the best plan.  If you have super dry skin, that might not be an issue for you.  For everyone else, give the moisturizer some time to settle first.  While this primer isn’t the pore filler I am accustomed to using, it is over all a really good primer.  It did its job, smoothing out skin and holding my makeup in place.  I am quite happy to have it in my collection, especially for good skin days where I don’t use foundation and just go with powder, and I think that I would definitely purchase this again.

In fact they have a hemp based skin care trial sized kit for $15 that I might be trying out soon.

It includes many of their available skin care products from their line. I think once this primer gets a little lower in the tube, I will pick it up and do a bit of a full on skin care trial with the primer as the topper for the skincare line. But that will be another post further down the road. For now, I am just going to keep this primer around.


e.l.f. cosmetics

Petit Vour July 2020 Unboxing

The July 2020 Box

And a happy national Lipstick day to each and every one of you.  I hope you are flaunting your favorite shades today.  While my lips are clad in my favorite Kristopher Buckle Cashmere lip in Bardot (it wasn’t in my make up bag again this week, but I couldn’t resist bringing it out in celebration today) let me tell you about this month’s Petit Vour Box.

Oh yes my darlings, it too finally came in the mail. There are two levels to this subscription, the Petit Vour beauty Box and the Beauty Box plus (Plus has 5-7 travel and full sized items for $25 per month). My subscription is for the regular Petit Vour beauty box and features four cruelty free items each month.  You get the occasional full sized item, but most are deluxe samples. 

The box is $16 per month and this is actually my second month receiving the box and thus far I am really liking it.  Last month I found an exfoliating scrub I never would have come across on my own and that I have now placed on my to be ordered again list.  It was from B kind and I really like how gentle, yet effective it was.  The link is to my full review. The product can be purchased both at the company site or on the Petit Vour site. I know they have a points system for rewards based on purchases but I haven’t had the subscription long enough to play around with it. 

But on to this month’s box.  The first Item is from Province Apothecary and it is a deluxe sized cleanser and makeup remover (retail $20).  As I am almost finished with my Elemis Cleansing Balm, it is pretty good timing to have this arrive now. 

The big decision is whether I want to squirrel away the remaining Elemis and start testing the Province Apothecary or just bite the bullet, finish the Elemis and let it go. Either way, this will soon take its place in my bathroom next to my Make up Eraser and we will see how well it removes make up.  With luck I’ll like it just as much as the Elemis.

Makeup Eraser: 20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE! Use code: ECOFRIENDLY20

The second item in my box this month is the Antonym Cosmetics Natural Waterproof Eye Pencil.(retail $19)It is a brown eye pencil, which I have to admit I don’t have a lot of.  It is a standard pencil format, which isn’t my favorite, but the product did feel nice on my hand and not too sharp feeling so it should be fine. 

In addition it has its own rather substantial pencil sharpener on the end.  So when it gets dull I won’t have to go looking for a sharpener. It’s always nice to avoid a panicked search for a missing tool when you are half made up. It arrived too late to be in this week’s make up bag, but perhaps I’ll put it into the bag for a trial next week.

The third Item actually came in two little potted containers.  It is the Ursa major flash mask.  (retail $12).  I’m not entirely certain if that means each pot is one use or what so I will have to investigate before I use them. 

I like the idea of a three minute mask, especially if it matches the claims of increasing firmness and restoring luminosity.  I’m not going to give up my fifteen minute relaxation time each Friday with my face masks, but perhaps a mid-week pick me up for my skin wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Perhaps I’ll make it a self care reward for making it through a particularly grueling work out.

Finally there is a Sea Clay Body mask (retail $8) from Formulary.  I have to say I am intrigued by the thought of slathering myself in sea clay, spa style, but the package suggests it is most effective on the neck, back and décolletage, so perhaps I will reign myself in.  As my décolletage has taken a beating due to my propensity for v-necked shirts while working in the garden, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to treat that particular section of my body to an extra special treat.

All in all, I am really pleased with my subscription this month.  It is my second month and just like the first, I received items I will definitely use and want to try.  My plan was originally to test out this subscription for three months to see if I like it. I suspect I will not only keep this subscription past the three month mark, but if it continues to be such an excellent selection, around month six I may be considering upgrading to the Plus level of the beauty box, especially if I decide to let other beauty boxes go.  For now however I am just going to use my products and report back.  Who knows, I might find another new favorite.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Aloha Glossy Box July 2020 Review

The July 2020 Glossy Box

Despite the normal arrival schedule of my subscription boxes it seems that they all came at once this month, and all at the end of the month rather than scattered about somewhere in the middle.  So after feeling ignored by the post office I now feel that they are showering me with gifts. 

Technically gifts I paid for as I pay for my subscription boxes, but let’s just enjoy the showering of goodies, shall we?

For those interested in the technicalities, Glossy box is a monthly beauty subscription where you get a lovely box sent to you each month filled with a mix of five deluxe samples and full sized beauty items.

In case you are counting and thinking, that’s more than five items, no your count is not off. This month we received an extra treat and received six items.  Your math is just fine.

The box is usually $21 per month, however if you sign up for a year you can get the box for $18 per month and you will still be charged monthly instead of having to pay in one lump sum.  This is actually the option I chose, after just a couple of months I knew I wanted to keep getting the box and they also have a tendency to sell out quickly (the Aloha box is completely sold out already but August looks FANTASTIC). If you are interested in trying it out, you can get 25% off your first box by using the code GET25GLOSSY. The code expires August first. 

Oh and if you do sign up, remember to rate your items.  You get points for the reviews (about $0.40 worth per review) and the money can be spent on the Look Fantastic site (FYI Look Fantastic is currently running a 20% off lipsticks for the week since the 29th is National lipstick day just use code LIPS20 the sale runs through August 3rd).  The points are not used on a segment of their site or a few select items, but the whole site.  You can apply it to whatever you decide to purchase.  And they have a really large online store. It’s really a nice little perk as you can save up your review cash for items you actually want rather than limiting yourself to a few select points items.

August is Glossy’s Birthday month so they have some surprises planned.  But before we get into that, let’s see what came in the July box.

This month was the Glossy box Aloha theme with everything you need to feel like you are in paradise without getting on a plane. As I suspect it will be quite a while before I get on a plane, I’m okay with that.

First up, is the Soothing Hawaiian Facial oil from Monu Professional skincare. It is a deluxe mini and is described as a gentle facial oil that provides the ideal treatment to relax and comfort irritated and sensitive skin.  I have to say, between masks and stress, my skin is plenty irritated so this should be interesting to try. 

The second item in my Aloha Glossy Box is the full sized Exfoliating Dual Texture Scrubber from Daily Concepts (retail $12).  I actually already have one of these and am super happy to have a backup.  I really like this scrubber. 

It has a simple strap for your hand so it is easy to slip on and off and to change from hand to hand.  It is much easier to use than the scrubbing mit I’ve tried in the past.  It is the perfect size to fit comfortably in my hand and I only takes a little bit of body wash to lather it into a full froth.  I really like the gentle exfoliation side.  This is one of those products I picked up on a whim a while ago and really liked.  So I am always happy to have a back up of it. 

The Northern Light Smoothing Fluid from Polaar was in this month’s box.  It is a deluxe mini (retail $22) and I admit, I had to do a little more digging.  From the various descriptions it sounds like it is more of a serum than a cream. 

I haven’t opened it yet as I am already testing a serum and a cream and don’t want to open it until I al actually ready to give it a try.  It had vitamin c in it and is supposed to give you tighter pores and a more refined skin surface while protecting you from pollutants.  To me it sounds like a serum and I am always happy to have another serum to try.  I believe last month we received sunscreen from Polaar. 

There were two deluxe sachets of the Hask Monoi Coconut Oil conditioner in this month’s box.  Like the Daily Concepts, this is a product I have seen and used before. 

It is essentially a hair mask and my hair always comes out soft and shiny with both this and the Argon oil masks.  Even though it says the scent is coconut and gardenias, it isn’t overpowering and it is well worth the ten minute wait. Especially if you’ve been taking your hair out into the summer sun.

The Palm Balm from The Beauty Crop was a full sized item as well this month (retail $21). 

It is a 2 in 1 product which always has me suspicious, because I usually find that when a product tries for multiple uses it doesn’t often succeed.  But I am still willing to try.  This is a dual lip and blush in a peachy rose shade.  I’ve seen The Beauty Crop around, but I haven’t actually tried any of their products so this will be fun. The box actually came early enough that I was able to add this to this week’s Make up Bag so I’ll be reviewing it on friday and sharing my thoughts then.

Finally, the extra treat came from Freeman Beauty.  It is the Hawaiian Black salt Peel off mask. It has three to four uses in the re sealable container. I’m never sad about getting a mask in one of my beauty boxes. I used to get Freeman masks all the time as they were a brand always available at my local drug store.  I will admit it has been a while since I’ve used them though.  I am looking forward to seeing if they’ve changed.

I have to say this was a pretty interesting selection this month.  Everything seemed to go with the theme and all of the products are ones I am either excited to have around or looking forward to trying out. 

I will say though that I am glad that despite there being no break in the temperatures in sight, August leads us more into the autumn themed items. Well, with luck anyway. In an attempt to bring vacations to us it seems that there has been a lot of coconut scented items aimed in my direction. Don’t get me wrong I like coconut.  It’s not one of my top five scents but I do like it.  I just feel like I have been bombarded with it this year. In addition all the staycation themes sort of remind me that my actual vacation plans were cancelled. And I’m kind of ready to not think about that for a while.

Its a bit like when people try too hard to cheer you up. Its appreciated, but at some point you are just ready to be over it.

I suspect I am just ready for fall. This has been a pretty brutal summer weather wise (and other wise) and I’m just ready for it to end. I’ve started gazing longingly at some of my sweaters the other day. Admittedly, fall is my favorite time of year and it won’t feel like fall outside until at least mid to late September but at least next month might not be as coconut scented. Unfortunately it means people will soon be gushing about pumpkin spice. I know its a fall scent and it has it’s devotees, but I am really not one of them. I’m an apple cider and mulled wine kind of girl. And I have to admit, I like my coffee to taste like coffee.

And while August is too hot for sweaters, cider and mulled wine, it is the gate way to fall. Soon the summer will end. Still there is much to do before then so it is not quite time to pack away the sandals yet. Still, August with Glossy box looks like it is shaping up to be a good one, and I can’t wait.



Look Fantastic Beauty Box July 2020 Review

The outer box

My Look Fantastic box finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier. Look Fantastic is a $19 per month beauty box. This is actually my second box from them, although I’ve been ordering things from their site for a while. They have a really large on-line store and are tend to run monthly specials. Many of them start right now, for example from now until August 3rd there is 25% off Staycation Essentials with brands like Christophe Robin, St. Tropez, Westlab, to name a few. The link will take you to the full list of included products (its a long one). Plus, staring tomorrow (July 28th) and running through August 3rd there is a 25% off select Serums with code SERUM25. The list includes brands like NIOD, Elizabeth Arden, PIXI, and FARMACY. 

And for those interested in the Beauty Box, you can try your first box for a discounted price. You can get your first Beauty Box for $16 ($63 Value) with the code TreatBB. That code is valid from now through July 31st. 

In addition to their regular beauty box they also have occasional special edit boxes. The most recent one was with Sarah Chapman Skincare. It was announced only a few days ago and when I went to look up details this morning, it was already listed as being sold out. I’m sorry I didn’t mention it earlier. I honestly didn’t think it would sell out that fast. I figured since it went on sale on July 24th that it would still be available on Monday, but alas it is not. Since they sell out so fast, I’ll try to get info posted as soon as I find out about it next time, because they do the limited editions fairly regularly and they are always excellent boxes.

So on to the July Box. First off this month was a return to the regular box format. Last month, came in a reusable travel pouch. Although I have to say, the Look Fantastic box is quite sturdy on its own and I will be reusing it for storage, so I’m perfectly fine with the regular box. The theme this month was Sunkissed with items specially curated for the ultimate at-home pamper in the sunshine!

So what was in my box?

Well, the first item I pulled out of the box was actually makeup. It was the Sleek Matte Me lippie in the shade French Fancy (retail $6.13). I have to say the shade is a little too pink for me but I have seen Sleek liquid lips around for a while and just never gotten around to using them.

I also like that it is a full sized liquid lip. While I don’t mind getting the trial sized liquid lips, I generally find they dry out fast and while you get an idea of how the formula works on your lips you don’t get a clear picture of how the product lasts, which for lip products you want as they tend to be around a while.

There is no real reason I never actually tried the Sleek lips, I just didn’t know anything about them even though I have played around with Sleek eyeshadows. I’m happy I now get to try the formula. I also like when there is one makeup item even if it is a skin care themed month.

The next item in my Look Fantastic box this month was the Erno Laszlo Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask (retail $7.17). I am always happy to see Erno Laszlo skincare in one of my subscription boxes. Their Firmarine Night Cream is one of my absolute favorite creams for helping to tighten loose skin in the chin and neck area. (As I’ve been losing weight this is an ongoing off/on concern for me) I’ve never tried their eye serum masks though so I am looking forward to giving it a go and reporting back to you about it.

This month also had a So Eco Large Eye Shader Brush (retail $9.22) in the box. I have never heard of the brand before but the bush feels good in my hand and I will certainly give it a go. It feels rather sturdy.

According to the package it is also made from bamboo with recycled aluminium & synthetic bristles, is Cruelty-Free & Vegan Friendly and has sustainably sourced packaging. In addition, the company plants 1 Tree Planted for Every 100 Products Sold. Not bad claims for a little brush. Hopefully, it will work as good as it sounds.

There were two products from NUXE in the July Look Fantastic this month. The first is the Crème Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream and the second is the Insta-Masque Exfoliating (retail $20.90)

I’ll admit I had to look the Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream up. In case you are wondering Prodigeuse just means extraordinary in French. And it is a day cream. As it is a large enough size that I could probably get at least two weeks’ worth of use out if it, especially if I use a different night cream, I will be testing it and writing up a review later. I really like that it is listed as a day cream. A lot of creams are listed as for day and night use but I’ve found my skin tends to need different creams during the day and at night sometimes, especially in the summertime. Plus I just finished my current day cream so I am more than ready to try a new one.

I am very happy to see both of these products actually, as I have seen NUXE around but I have never gotten around to trying it.

I will also be trying the exfoliating mask as well. I’m sure if you’ve read my posts for any length of time then you know I love exfoliators as well and will be happy to test it out. In fact one of the only things I like more than exfoliators in the skin care world is Vitamin C serums.

And lo and behold there is a Balance Me Vitamin C Serum (retail $13.52) in the July box as well. It’s like they know me. So I will of course give this serum a try and see how my skin likes it compared to other Vitamin C serums. At this point, I’ve tried out a lot of them it seems, some good, some mediocre and some that didn’t appear to do much of anything. It will be fun to see where this lands on the spectrum.

Finally we come to the last item in the July Look Fantastic box. It is the Le Couvent des Minimes Aqua Sacrae/Aqua Mysteri Soap (Retail $6.15). Oddly enough I just finished up my dispenser of Dirty Cow liquid soap so I was looking for another soap to take its place.

Given the amount of hand washing we’ve been doing lately soap just sort of does a brief pass through our house. I’m going to put this in the back powder room where I get ready in the mornings rather in the main traffic area in the hopes it might last a little longer, but I suspect that despite the fact it is a pretty good size it will not last long. I think the packaging is pretty so that might end up sticking around longer.

At least the size is large enough that I can get a feel for how well the product would do with my skin. I have to say, the extra hand washing has caused me to reevaluate both soaps and hand creams lately.

I had a supply of both soaps and lotions before the pandemic hit (both cheap and expensive) and had no problem using whichever I happened to pick up, but the skin on my hands has gotten dryer from all the washing and I have to say, I’ve been keeping track of products that help and products that don’t. Interestingly enough it hasn’t always been the expensive ones that come out on top. There has been a pretty good range of good and bad from all ends of the price spectrum.

I know that sounds strange, but soaps and hand lotions were always just there before. I used body lotion when I stepped out of the shower or bath and my hands were moisturized when I applied it. Hand lotion was something I used once in a while throughout the winter when my hands got extra dry. I keep a small bottle in my purse and trade it out regularly but don’t really think about it. Soap was something to kill bacteria. Neither were items I gave very much thought to. Isn’t it funny how things rise to your consciousness?

But that is another topic. For now we return to the Look Fantastic Box for July. I have to say I am pleased with the products in the box. I think the selection was nice and well thought out. I’m not entirely sure why a liquid lipstick was paired with a eyeshadow shading brush as that seems a little incongruous. However, I enjoy having both items so I won’t poke it too much. As far as value goes, I think I got a pretty good deal there too. For my $19 I received $63.09 worth of products. And in case you are wondering why most of the products aren’t listed in round figures, I’m pretty sure it is the currency conversion.

Personally, I always like to see things like $6.13 as a price. $5.99 always sounds like a marketing ploy in my head and $6.00 sounds very general, almost like it was plucked randomly from the air. Somehow $6.13 makes it sound like someone thought about it.

I know it is just the conversion altering the price tag assigned to it, but something in my brain still thinks – wow that’s exact, someone must have really thought that through. I think it’s the part of me that spent too long making budgets balance. Don’t worry, I don’t let that section of my brain make major life decisions.

So that was my July Look Fantastic and I have to say I am quite happy with it. Everything inside is something I will use and a couple of the items like the Sleek liquid lip and the Erno Laszlo Eye serum mask are things I am really looking forward to trying. (seriously though, if looking for a good firming Night mask, take a look at their Firmarine Night cream, really good stuff. Oddly enough I think I might have first purchased it through the Look Fantastic site during one of their skin care sales).

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Look Fantastic has some excellent upcoming sales this month on their site. I’ll keep posting them through the month so if you are looking to stock up on a favorite or try something new you can take advantage of the sales. I am so sorry I didn’t post the Limited Edition box info before the box sold out.

If it’s any consolation, I was going to order it myself and didn’t get a chance. Next time, I’ll know to pounce and pounce fast. (or are all pounces by definition fast? Can you do a slow pounce? Regardless there will be pouncing.) Like a tiger… who likes skincare. Okay, the metaphor needs work, but you get the idea.

I can hardly wait to see what Look Fantastic Comes up with for August’s box. And remember if you are interested in trying out Look Fantastic, you can get a discount on your first box if you order by July 31st and use the code TREATBB.




The Friday Face Mask with Generation Clay in Purple

Friday Face Mask: Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask

Hello my darlings and welcome once again to the Friday Face mask.  Today I decided to go with the Generation Clay Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay mask.  This is one of those masks that I’ve had several times before, but only in the small trial sized tubes.  They come up frequently in IPSY sales (usually sold for $3 on their own or paired with something else).  When I see it, I tend to snap it up to keep on hand. I really need to get around to picking up a full sized version as I really do like it.  It is on my list of masks to pick up as soon as I whittle down my stash. I’ve had several Generation Clay masks before (the pink clay one was one of my first reviews I believe.) All of their products are good, at least the ones I’ve tried. (and no this is not sponsored)

Mask on

In the summertime, I really like clay masks in general.  I think it is partially because of the cooling effect of the clay.  This one especially feels cool and refreshing on the skin.  And let me tell you, today needs a little cool and refreshing.  Although I’m pretty sure cooling down in the heat isn’t quite why the mask was designed. According to the website…

Perfectly on point in a shade of Pantone’s Colour of the Year’s Ultra Violet, our Generation ClayTM Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask is packed with locally sourced superfruit, Davidson plum. A gentle, natural version of skin-exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), the hardworking beauty hero rejuvenates dull, tired skin while lightening dark circles and pigmentation.

INGREDIENTS LIST:Aqua (Water), Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Arrowroot (Tapioca Flour), Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Maltodextrin, Davidsonia Jerseyanan (Davidson Plum) Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Hibiscus) Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Citrus Glauca (Desert Lime) Fruit Extract, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) Essential Oil, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Viola Odorata (Violet Leaf) Absolute, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Lactic Acid, Silica, CI 77491, CI 77007., Limonene.

generationclay.com

The mask goes on purple (and easily using my favorite low cost tool; the silicone mask brush) It dries to a lighter purple as it dries down.  With clay masks one of the hardest parts is getting them to rinse off.  While this does dry down to a crispy shell, what I tend to do is use a face brush to loosen it.  The face brush is way too harsh to use on my skin normally, but when I wet it down, I can lightly run it over the surface of the clay mask putting moisture back into the mask and allowing it to be rinsed off easily.  I don’t use a lot of pressure and stop brushing before I reach the skin. 

A friend of mine is a dermatologist and I have heard many a rant about the harsh bristles.  I think the brush came in a holiday gift basket one year so I didn’t go out and purchase it separately but I see them in the Dollar Tree periodically.  It is a handy little tool to have around, just not for actually washing my face.

Once dried down, re moistened and rinsed off, I gently pat my skin dry.  While I like using this mask, I don’t recommend using it before going out.  What I’ve noticed is that in addition to brightening the skin (which it does really well) this mask tends to bring blemishes to the surface of the skin. 

half scrubbed off

When I have clogged pores or pimples that are just under the surface of my skin and won’t actually rise so I can let it heal and send it on its way, this mask tends to bring them to the surface.  Maybe it is the drying effect of the clay, maybe it is the AHA exfoliate.  I don’t know, but I know that for me it works. Sometimes I will use the mask as a spot treatment, just masking over places I want blemishes to rise to the surface. For me that is often in the curve of my lower orbital bone so I end up looking like a bizarre imitation football player who couldn’t find the jar of whatever black stripes they put under their eyes. Sometimes I add the chin in for a strange purple clay goatee look. Generally I do this when I am in the house alone though as some things don’t need the mockery of others.

So, even though my skin does look brighter afterwards, it isn’t a mask I wear when I’m going out.  Luckily my baby and I have a Friday night in planned. My order from Napa Cabs came in (I haven’t signed up for their subscription service – 2 bottles per month starting at $50, but we do like to order from them occasionally. To be honest as they have a better wine selection than many of the places near us, I’ve been considering the subscription. For now we just place an order every few months) and my baby requested a meat and potatoes meal tonight.  Literally, actually. 

We are grilling a steak (it is enormous so we will only make the one and split it between us – it was the only beef in the store when we went shopping) and I am roasting potatoes with a little sprinkle of salt and hot curry powder. We’ll also have a side salad to go with it.  I’ll just have to decide which bottle from the order goes best with curry coated potatoes and steak.  Luckily, it’s mostly a box of mixed reds as we tend to lean towards red, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something suitable. I just can’t remember what we ordered this time around. I tend to order and then forget so it’s always a surprise.

Then after dinner we have a creature feature movie night planned.  I know that The Thing has already been taken out and is ready to go into the DVD player. I heard my baby giggle as he selected it. I lean towards Vincent Price, but he loves his monster flicks. Where we go from there is anyone’s guess.  I suspect it will be The Tingler as it suits both of us and we haven’t watched it in a while.  Admittedly, we don’t have the fun, gimmicky seats, but I’m sure we’ll make do. 

For now it is back to work for me.  Only a little more to go and this new book I’m working out will be complete. Final edits are never my favorite, but at least they are almost done. I hope you have a great rest of the day, with whatever you plan to do and have a fantastic weekend planned. 


The Make Up Bag: July 24th, 2020

The Make Up Bag used the week of July 18th – 24th

This week’s makeup bag was a little different than usual for me.  I recently ordered the Kristofer Buckle Vanity Collection #2 as a means to try several more products from the brand and it arrived in time to be incorporated in the bag. So while not every item in the bag comes from Kristofer Buckle, it does lean heavily in that direction.  I’ll cover those products first. 

The first item was the Triplicity Perfecting Foundation Stick.  Clicking on the link will take you to the full review I posted yesterday.  The short version is that I really liked this formula.  It is a great foundation and may be one of my favorite stick foundation formulas.  It is soft and creamy and feels more like I am applying moisturizer to the skin than applying foundation.  I was very pleased with it and will be ordering it again in the future.

The loose setting powder included in the Vanity collection was a good setting powder.  There are very few powders I absolutely don’t like, so I’m sort of an easy sell on powders.  It is finely milled and really locked my makeup into place. 

I did notice that it tended to leave a bit of a white cast.  I counteracted that by using extra fixing spray, the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in Peaches and Cream is the one I am still working through at the moment. It is an excellent setting spray. 



What I did was spray the Revolution spray over the powder and then pat the powder down with a makeup sponge.  This eliminated the white cast.  While it is a good powder, I can’t say it is my absolute favorite. If asked if I would purchase it again, I would have to give it a maybe.

The next element in the Vanity Collection was the mascara.  I really liked this mascara.  It is more lengthening than volumizing which is surprising as it is listed as a volumizing mascara, but it is really lengthening and it doesn’t flake or smudge once dry.  I had no problems with this mascara lasting all day.  It is a good product I would definitely pick up again.

Affiliate Exclusive | 35% Off Vanity Kits

Gel liner from Kristofer Buckle on the left and the Brow pencil from Il Makiage on the right,

I am not entirely certain I would pick up the gel eyeliner.  The end that so interested me turned out to be a smudger.  Which is nice to have.  The gel eyeliner is a gel eyeliner.  It is black, it glides on smoothly and stays in place.  It is very much like most good gel liners. I will continue to use it and if another came my way I would have no problem using it again, but it isn’t any better or worse than any other gel liner.  The built in smudger is a nice feature though.

Last but certainly not least was the lipstick.  The lipstick in the Vanity kit was the Cashmere slip longwear lipstick. This is the reason I purchased the entire kit.  Seiously, The lipstick is $18 on its own and while the Vanity Kits are normally $28, with the sale the kit cost me $18.94 so I essentially paid full price for a lipstick and got everything else with it.  (The sale incidentally runs through July 31st.  You can use the code EXCLUSIVE35 to get 35% off.  There is also a BOGO sale going on with the Vanity kits so if you are looking to stock up, now is the time). 

Lip swatches. My favorite Bardot on the top with the lipstick that came in the kit, Renaissance on the bottom (the top had one swipe of product, the bottom two)

While I can’t say I liked the color Renaissance, as much as I like the shade Bardot (hands down my favorite lipstick at the moment) as it is slightly more pink then I favor. It has the same formula which makes me confident in buying other lipsticks in the line. 

It is creamy and non drying and while the pink did become more muted as the day wore on, it remained on my lips for the entire day.  Just check the foundation wear photos if you want to see just how well it lasted, I didn’t reapply the lipstick once throughout the day. It only lost a little pigmentation but mostly retained its color. Incidentally in the swatches to the left I wanted to show just how fully the lipstick covered, the top thinner looking swatch had only one swipe across the hand while I used two on the lower swatch. The second swipe filled in all the lines the first one missed.

While I will be buying Bardot repeatedly for the near future, I now feel confident in the Cashmere Slip formula to stock up on all of the shades they offer.  And to wish they offered more shades.  It really is a super comfortable formula to wear. And yes I went ahead and added Bardot to the bag as well and just swapped between the two lipsticks for the week. I just couldn’t resist.

So that was the Vanity collection #2 from Kristofer Buckle that made up the bulk of the Makeup bag this week, but clearly they weren’t the only items. I mentioned the I Heart Revolution Fixing spray I am trying to use up.  It is a really good fixing spray but it is old enough now that I can’t remember when I bought it, so I will be using it consistently until it’s gone.  I may take a break now and then when I need a change of scent fort the week, but for now, it goes back in the bag for next week.

The Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine botanicals was in my bag this week as well.  The link will take you to the full review.  The simple truth is I didn’t really like the blushes and only liked one of the eyeshadows.  If you find the pink shimmer shade in Sparkle from Seraphine botanicals, I recommend snapping it up.  It was the only thing I liked in the palette and recommend giving the rest of it a hard pass.

The Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil returned to my bag this week as my bronzer and I liked using it just as much this time around as I have before.  I also brought back the No PoreBlem Primer from Touch in Sol. Both are fantastic products that will return to my dressing table and then rotate back into a future Makeup bag.

Ofra in glazed doughnut and the Chocolate Gold Bronzer from Too Faced.

Also making a return was the Biillion dollar brows highlighter and concealer duo stick.  It works well and this week I paired it with the Il Makiage eyebrow pencil.  The pencil in the shade Truffles worked well with me although slightly on the darker side of what I like.  I received it in my July IPSY bag and I like it enough to keep it in rotation. There is plenty of product in the pencil so time will tell if I like it enough to purchase when it is used up, but for now, I enjoy using it.

My highlighter this week was from OFRA in the shade Glazed Doughnut.  It is a fantastic highlighter.  It can go from blinding to subtle depending on your mood and how you blend.  I loved using it this week and will look forward to its reappearance in future weeks.  OFRA is an interesting brand for me in general. I love their highlighters and liquid lipsticks but find their blushes a bit on the powdery side.  They work well and are highly pigmented, but they are just messy enough that I find myself not wanting to reach for them all that often.   Maybe I’ll put an OFRA lipstick in next week’s bag. 

Finally we reach the standard item that will be in my bag consistently until I run out and then it will be reordered.  Strictly speaking I should have mentioned it first as it goes under everything else.  It is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield in SPF 50. That’s right my darlings, sunscreen.

My favorite sunscreen. 

Already I am sensing the bottle is starting to feel a bit light so I have gone ahead and reordered it so that a replacement will be on hand. This is one product, I will not risk running out of.

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

So we reach the end of another week’s Makeup bag, the good, the bad, the mediocre.  I hope my thoughts help you when deciding what you want to add to your personal collection. Or at least provide a momentary amusement as you go along with your day. As for me, I’m off to make up for time I lost when it was simply too hot to work this week. 

Our newly repaired air conditioner is functioning perfectly and humming along keeping the house cool and my office from turning into a hot box in the mid afternoon sun. If my lips wouldn’t burn on the hot metal, I’d really consider kissing out air conditioning unit.  As it is, I’ll just used the extended work hours to get things done.  Have a good day and hopefully I’ll see you back here later this afternoon for the Friday Face mask. 


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Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine Botanicals

The Palette

The palette I used as my primary shadow palette this week was the Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine Botanicals. It came to me courtesy of my July IPSY Bag and I not only used it as my eyeshadow but as my blush as well this week.

I really like face palettes. I know this is more of an eyeshadow palette with blush attached, but I’m still counting it. One of the reasons I like them is that I get ready each morning in a bathroom that is more correctly speaking, a powder room. There is no shower or bath so I can apply my morning face without interruption from others getting ready for their day. The powder room is also out of the flow of morning traffic in my house as well so that helps cut down the interruptions. But it is a powder room with a pedestal style sink and one small shelf to hold my skin care and makeup. This is why my products live in the dressing table and rotate into the make up bag I take to the bathroom each week.

And in case you are wondering, the dressing table is situated in a place of strange light so my makeup always comes out looking peculiar if I try to put it on at the dressing table. It is however where I do my hair which is why sometimes my hair looks crazy when I take pictures of my makeup. All of which is I’m sure more than you wanted to know. So, to the palette my darlings!

The palette itself is pretty and of a good manageable size. On the inside there is a mirror of a pretty decent size. Useful for traveling, but as I was working in the bathroom with a large mirror, I didn’t need it. It did bother me a little that the top flap doesn’t fold all the way back unless you hold it down so the palette sits flat when opened. To be honest, that would be of more use to me on a daily basis than the extra mirror.

In this palette there are two blushes. I’ve swatched them here with Azalea on the left and Dawn on the right. (the full palette interior is shown below)

As you can see Azalea is pink and Dawn is more of a golden tone. It looks tan in the palette. To be honest when I first swatched it, I thought Dawn might be a highlighter. It is not. While it looks golden in the swatch on the cheeks, at least my cheeks, it disappears without even a whisper of shimmer. It was pointless for me to use. Azalea worked fine on the cheeks. It is a very light formula so it is buildable more than pigmented. To get the swatched I rubbed my finger over the pan quite a bit. But buildable is fine, especially in a blush. It is a bit more of a pink tone than I prefer, but blended out it was okay. It isn’t one of my top formulas, but it was fine. By the end of the day though it more or less disappeared from the skin. It is a look good for a few hours formula, not an all day wear one.

So on to the shadows.

There are two mattes in the palette. Pecan (the lighter brown) and Chicory, the darker brown shade. I wasn’t a fan of either. They were patchy and hard to work with. The bonus was that there was little powdery fall out but as there was little color all around, it wasn’t much of a benefit.

The shimmer shades were a different story. Carob (2nd swatch) was very pigmented but tended to have a lot of fall out both on the brush and throughout the day. Filigree (1st swatch) worked well and generally stayed put. Sparkle (4th swatch pink color) worked like a dream. It was pigmented, went onto the lids well and stayed exactly where it was put all day long. Silver (last swatch on right) did nothing but leave glitter on my cheeks for the rest of the afternoon. I even used my fantastic Pretty Vulgar Eyelid Primer to try and get them to stay. It helped a little but by the end of the day, most of the eye look ghosted. If looking to buy this palette, my thoughts would be look for Sparkle as a single shadow and forget the rest. Sparkle is a seriously fantastic formula. Everything else can be left behind.


Pretty Vulgar Make up