Going Beyond the Veil with an Illamasqua Primer

As we all know, I love primers.  While a lot of my primers are silicone based, this Illamasqua Hydra Veil is water based, which means that I tend to use it with a different sort of foundation.  This week’s foundation was the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water foundation.  I adore the foundation and this primer works really well with it. 

According to the product page…

Part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil instantly hydrates and smooths skin through a self-levelling, futuristic clear gel. Microalgae, Vitamin C and B3 work together to help maintain skins hydration levels, creating a healthy looking, balanced finish. Plant extracts also provide a calming and refreshing feeling, leaving skin fully prepped to apply your chosen foundation.

Prior to foundation application, use the spoon provided to apply one scoop of Hydra Veil to the palm of your hand. Using the Foundation or Highlighter Brush, gently brush the product from your hand and apply all over the face, right up to the lash line until the product is fully absorbed

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Peg-240/Hdi Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Niacinamide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alcohol, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Disodium Edta, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Acmella Oleracea Extract, Potassium Laurate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bht, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Tocopherol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene

Illamasqua

I’ll admit, it took me a while to figure out that was a spoon attached to the inner lid.  I thought it was a decorative handle.  It does work as a decorative handle though, but really, you need to use it to scoop the primer out. 

When you scoop it out it looks like clear jelly. But almost instantly it starts to liquefy in your palm.  When it does, a flat foundation brush is your best bet for applying it where you want.  It goes on smoothly and while it is clear it does smooth out pores. 

Just remember to use a clean foundation brush and to use a different foundation brush from the one you intend to use to apply your foundation.  The primer does liquefy so the brush (and your face) take a moment to dry down. If you use a previously used foundation brush, you will end up with old foundation on streaking your face as the primer moistens it and the brush releases it. Even if clean the brush will be all wet and needs to dry before using it to apply foundation.  If you don’t have a spare flat foundation brush, then just use your hands to apply.

I tend not to use this under tinted moisturizers, but more under actual foundations.  The illamasqua smooths things out, but it is clear and doesn’t cover anything as it is clear. 

A little goes a long way and despite its pore filling tendencies and excellent performance, I tend to only reach for this primer in the cooler months when my skin is dry.  When my skin is dry, this foundation is fantastic.  It keeps other products from looking dry on my face and extends the length of my foundation.  Just remember the golden rule with primer, like goes with like. 

If you use a water based primer, go with a water based foundation.  Likewise if going with a silicone based primer go with a silicone based foundation. There are exceptions of course, but this matchy matchy combo prevents a lot of compatibility issues and products work better if they aren’t in a cage fight with each other at the same time you want them to look good on your skin

There are two things to remember when using this primer. The first is that it is more or less a liquid once your body heat touches it, so you need to take a moment and let the primer dry down on your face.  I know you should always give your primer a moment to settle in and lock into place before adding foundation, but it is even more imperative that you give this primer it’s moment to settle. If you don’t it will mix a bit wth your foundation and while it will still work it won’t be as pore filling and smoothing as it could be. 

The second thing to remember is not to use too much.  This is definitely a product where less is more. The picture of it in my hand is about double, if not more, than what you should apply.  I always forget how little I need the first time I go back to this primer and then end up wasting half of the product I took out.

Needs to take a moment to dry down (the sun was at a strange angle so I was trying to avoid glare)

I know it is strange to say but, I love the fact that I can use this primer for a long time and each time I dip in, the product looks untouched because the gel melts back together to form a smooth surface.  Generally it melts back together by the time I’ve finished applying it on my face and have rinsed the spoon off.

It’s also why I only use the spoon to get it out because any inclusions don’t remain just on the surface but can sink within and contaminate the whole thing. In addition it is a beautiful jar that I kind of like having on display.  If you are a member of Look Fantastic and receive their Beauty Box each month I believe this is the primer that is going to be in the box. 

It is a sample size whereas this is the full sized version, but you end up using so little of this primer that even the travel size will last a surprisingly long time. I’ve had the sample size before, which is why I picked up the full sized version and it seemed like it was never going to run out.  I think part of that is the fact that it always looks smooth and brand new when you open it, so it is the bottomless pit of primer. Personally I am glad that it lasts so long and this winter I will be reaching for this Illamasqua primer more often.


Incidentally Pretty Vulgar is having a Mystery Box Deal going on right now 5 products for $55 (retail value of $138). Just click on the banner ad and it will take you right to it. Their Cool AF Lava Water Foundation and Feathers Mascara are two of my favorites.

Pretty Vulgar Make up

Tool Talk: Afterspa Reusable Rounds

Each week I give posting space to a variety of products and talk about their benefits and uses, but I don’t often talk about the tools I use with them.  I am trying to correct that with these tool talk posts. Some weeks it will be makeup brushes and other weeks flat irons. This week I decided to go with the reusable cotton rounds from Afterspa.

The Afterspa reusable rounds came in my January Glossy Box and I for one was very happy to see them.  It was actually a really good box this month. You can check out my unboxing here if you’d like to see the whole thing.

A while back I took a look at the waste in my house and I have been trying to reduce the amount of it.  In the back yard, we purchased a composter and a lot of our kitchen waste makes it back there, from coffee grounds to egg shells.  It keeps it out of our trash bin and gives us some really good compost each year. Actually many of the subscription boxes that I get make their way there, the shipping boxes getting torn up and used as dry material in the composter. I just have to peel off any tape. The ones with the wax coating take a little longer to deteriorate so often times I’ll use them to line the bottom of a raised flower bed to keep the weeds down. It smothers the weeds and eventually disintegrates into the dirt.

In the bathroom I use a Makeup Eraser and some kind of makeup removing produce (balm, oil, micellar water) to remove my makeup instead of the makeup wipes.  Occasionally, I will use a makeup wipe, but I don’t buy them regularly any more.  It took a while to break the habit, but I did.

At the moment I have a sample pack that I received in a subscription box that I have been slowly working through.  I also signed up for a trial Refreshments box from IPSY and will be getting a pack in that.  I wanted to try the subscription and if I like the scents I will trade out the wipes for another product if possible as I suspect a full sized pack of wipes will either be something I use up right away simply because they are there and I go makeup wipe crazy while I have them or I will parcel them out miserly for an extended period. I don’t know which it will be as I haven’t used them routinely in a while.

But I no longer use them routinely so it won’t be a reorder for the subscription if i end up keeping it. (My first shipment is in February so I’ll keep you posted on that.

Empty containers usually make their way into my greenhouse where they are repurposed.  Moisturizer jars are used to hold sprouting seeds, serum droppers are used to dose out liquid fertilizer mostly to orchids, spray bottles are turned into misters for plants that like water through their leaves instead of at their roots.

This means that at the moment cotton rounds are my biggest waste product in my bathroom.  The two things I use them for the most are toner and eye makeup remover.  I know, I can use the Makeup Eraser for eye makeup removal, however at the moment I have a single Makeup Eraser that I use all week and then throw into the wash at the end of the week. (I used different spots and rotate around so I’m always using a clean section of cloth.)

I really need to look into getting a pack of smaller Makeup Erasers.  They now have small square ones that let you use a different Makeup Eraser each day so that you can put them in the wash after one use. I had planned to get a pack of the Sponge Bob Square pants ones, but they sold out and then I got distracted. I know they have a Goodnight Moon Set that I really like the look of, but it is one of the full sized ones instead of the smaller cloths so I need to talk myself out of it. Or find out if they have it in smaller sizes.

Take 15% Off Sitewide with Code WATER15 at MakeUpEraser.com!

I don’t mind using the one Makeup Eraser all week, I just shift to different spots on the cloth to take down my face makeup each day of use. I am just a little more hesitant to do so around my eyes.  Not only is there more product around my eyes, some of which is harder to remove – like mascara-, but I just don’t like the thought of potentially putting germs near my eyes.  So I tend to remove my eye makeup with disposable cotton rounds so that I know they are fresh each day.

In theory, the reusable rounds from Afterspa are the perfect solution. 

The pack sent to me in Glossy Box contained two rounds, which is quite perfect as far as testing goes. I can use them and see how I feel about them before committing to a box of them, because realistically I would need a minimum of three per day: two for my daily toner and one for eye makeup removal. Or so I thought.

it was a brown eyeshadow day, but some of that is foundation

I took out the After Spa reusable rounds to try and my first recommendation is to wash them before you use them.  While I am certain they are hygienic right out of the pack, if you use them without washing you will end up with a lot of white fuzz on your face.

The reusable rounds are soft and floppy.  The feel good against the skin.  However with toner, they felt a little too big.  I generally hold my cotton round against my face with the use of two fingers and occasional assistance by my thumb.  This required the whole hand.  There were maneuverability issues and the reusable round kept rolling up on me so that one application accidentally used both sides of the round.  I wasn’t certain if I could use one side and then have the other side available of  a second use, but it was something I planned to test. However even if the toner hadn’t leaked through and the side away from my face remained sanitary under traditional use circumstances, the round kept rolling up so there was no way that the other side could be used as it was already partially used during the first pass.

The rolling was a bit annoying actually and that was only partially due to size.  The round is really too big to be used for a product like a toner. The other issue was the material.  It is very soft and almost too soft for use in applying toner. If the material was a little thicker or the edge was a little stiffer, this would be an entirely different review. I did not care for them when using it to apply products like toner.

But there is also eye makeup removal.

To remove my eye makeup: mascara, liner and shadow, I had to use both cotton rounds, both sides.  The problem is, again, that the thin cloth is too soft.  It feels good against the skin, but it doesn’t have the thickness that is needed for makeup removal.  The Makeup eraser is still soft material but it is sturdier as well and does a much better job. It also has a stiffer edging which really helps it. I don’t think these rounds need a large border, but because of the super soft material it really needs a stiffer edging to help it lay flat.

I will say that when I tossed them in the wash after use, they came out spotlessly clean.  They were white and even the eyeliner and mascara washed out. I am not certain how long they will last under weekly use and washing conditions.  I will continue using them to see if I might find some tricks to getting them to perform the way I want them to as well as seeing how long they hold up, but I don’t think these particular reusable rounds are for me.

I still have high hopes that I will find some reusable rounds that are.  Because I would love to continue to eliminate as much waste as possible, but for now, I will use my makeup eraser and in the near future order a set of smaller makeup erasers for eye makeup removal if nothing else.  I will still use the cotton rounds for applications of things like toners though and I will keep searching for reusable rounds to eventually take their place.

I know this was a post about the Afterspa Reusable rounds, and you got to hear a lot more about the Makeup eraser, but to be honest, using the After Spa Rounds made me appreciate the Makeup Eraser more. And when introducing a new tool to your repertoire it is good to fit it into the context of already used products and to see how it stacks up. At least that is my thought.

Makeup Eraser

Trying out the Hyaluronic Acid 62% Hydrating Serum from Herbal Dynamics Beauty

Recently I was sent a bottle of Herbal Dynamics Hyaluronic Acid 62% Hydrating Serum.  As anyone who reads my skin care reviews knows, I am a huge fan of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in my skin care products. My skin reacts really well to it.  

I know I have often gone on at length about the benefits of Hyaluronic acid, but as a quick recap, hyaluronic acid plumps skin and helps to erase fine lines.  For me it has also helped reduce the depth and distinction of the line across my forehead that I usually refer to as The Stress Crack. This year has seen it grow quite a bit and I am using every means at my disposal to reduce it.  I doubt anything that is noninvasive will ever actually erase it, but I can work towards making it look more like a surface crack and less like the grand canyon.

Truthfully, The Stress Crack doesn’t bother me all that much, but I do find it is the place where I see the most change in products.  If they work, then it is going to show there first.  So while I may need several months to see a serums effectiveness on the fine lines around my eyes and mouth, if a product is going to do something I can see the start of results on The Stress Crack in only a few weeks. It makes it the perfect litmus test for line shrinking skincare.

For those of you who have never heard of Herbal Dynamics they are, according to their website: Where nature meets science: Paring the finest botanical ingredients with cutting-edge science. Their products are also sulfate free, paraben free, cruelty free and phthalate free.

I recently tried their Cacao and Chamomile Detoxifying Clay mask and absolutely loved it.  The mask pulled deeply buried clogged pores to the surface that I was pretty sure a vacuum couldn’t touch. The link will take you to my full review of that mask actually, if you are interested. It is going to be one I will use for quite some time to come. So you will be hearing about it anytime my skin needs a detox.

But beyond the products they offer, they have their blog.  Oh my darlings, if you are interested in skincare, finding out more about how your skin works, what sorts of foods to eat for your type of skin’s optimal health or about layering different types of serums, I highly recommend checking out The Botanical Blog. It has some amazing information that will really help you make good choices for your skin.

But back to the Hyaluronic Acid 62% Hydrating Serum. I’m sure many of you are thinking, hydrating serum, hmmm, not just Hyaluronic acid then? Good Catch. This isn’t purely Hyaluronic Acid, but before we look into the ingredients, let’s find out what we should expect from the product.

According to the website…

Powerful, proven ingredients in the HD Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum are carefully combined to promote plump, youthful-looking skin and minimize fine lines. Hyaluronic acid, aloe and botanical extracts hydrate skin on a cellular level and aid the skin’s natural moisture retention process, promoting a healthy glow and elasticity.

Hydrates and plumps to soften fine lines, Soothes and calms irritation, Antioxidants repair and restore, Fights inflammation and redness and Supports radiant, smooth complexion.

Apply to face and neck after cleansing and toner, before moisturizing. Use morning and night.

Full Ingredients List: Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) gel*, Hyaluronic acid, Vegetable glycerin, Fucus vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) extract*, Sodium PCA, Anthemis nobilis (Chamomile) flower seed extract*, and Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed extract*.  

*Organic/ All natural / paraben free. Not tested on animals. Made in the U.S.A.

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

Okay so let’s take a deeper look at that ingredient list.  As you can see Hyaluronic acid is the second ingredient listed. I am perfectly fine with that and as we’ve already discussed it is the ingredient that plumps skin and targets fine lines. I’m glad it is so high on the list as it means that it really is included in a high concentration.

So first, up is Aloe Barbadensis or good old Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe Vera and I are long time pals.  Growing up there were always aloe plants around the house and we used them on everything from sunburns to minor skin irritations and even bug bites.  I still keep an aloe plant in my house and have ever since I left home.  Last spring when I got a really bad burn on my legs I used it to slather the burns.  It helped when few other things did. It is a plant that has a boatload of vitamins and minerals and does a fantastic job soothing skin. It is not greasy in the slightest and can generally be used by pretty much all skin types. Clearly if you have an allergy to aloe you can’t use it but anyone else, no matter how sensitive their skin usually can. It is a great plant to have around and a great ingredient to see kick off a skincare product.

Right after the Hyaluronic Acid is listed vegetable glycerin.  As I was not as familiar with it as I am with Aloe I had to look it up.  According to Heathline:

Vegetable glycerin may lead to better skin health by helping soothe skin irritation, protect against infection and promote wound healing. Studies show that applying glycerin-containing products may protect your skin against irritants and microbes, as well as soothe inflamed or wounded skin.

Healthline

I can definitely see the point of having that in this serum

Bladderwrack extract was something I had never even heard of and so I again had to go in search of details. Again I found myself on the Healthline Website.  I’ll be honest it is one of my favorite websites for searches on ingredients.

Early research has shown that the antioxidants in bladderwrack, namely fucoidan, promote collagen synthesis in the skin, which may help improve the look of cellulite, increase skin healing, and delay premature skin aging.

Healthline

Sodium PCA is naturally occurring humectant that boosts the effectiveness of Hyaluronic Acid by pulling in moisture. It actually holds several times its weight in water, and binds moisture to cells. Its kind of like a turbo boost for the hyaluronic acid.

Chamomile flower is something that routinely crops up in skin care as well as my mother’s collection of herbal teas.  At the first sign of a sore throat she broke out the chamomile tea and added a slice of lemon and a drizzle of honey. It was actually quite effective in making a sore throat less sore. It is actually a tie between chamomile and peppermint as the scent of winter in my family house growing up ad both were grown and dried in large batches for use when winter colds hit. While this serum doesn’t use the honey or the lemon, it has chamomile aplenty. Chamomile sooths irritation and calms inflammation and redness. It is what makes it good for both skin and sore throats.

And that brings us to the final ingredient in the list, Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed extract.  Grapeseed extract is another item that crops up in a lot of skincare, especially items designed to target aging. It is a potent antioxidant and is chock a block full of naturally occurring AHAs for a gentle exfoliation and toning.

And that is the ingredients list.  I know, take a second and count it up.  It is only seven ingredients.  However in their own way each of them is quite the powerhouse. It’s like hyaluronic acid joined some sort of skincare gang.  Admittedly, I don’t think it would be a violent gang. It seems like a gang that would encourage a dance off with its rivals and then offer a cleanser and fluffy towels to its opponents at the end of the dance battle.

Leaving skincare gangs aside, I have been using this serum every morning and evening since its arrival which was almost exactly thirty days ago (I think it might be 28).It is an interesting product.

two pumps worth

First, it comes in a clear plastic spray bottle and is a clear liquid serum.  I was surprised that the bottle was clear plastic as I would have thought it needed to be kept away from direct sunlight.  I hid the bottle behind my toner so it wasn’t in direct light.  I have no idea if it needs to be kept away from the light but I will say that I really like that I can see the amount of product left in the bottle. That is usually not the case with serums and they often come in dark colored bottles. 

After a month of twice a day use, I am about a third of the way through the bottle. So one of these small $20 bottles will last for three months. That breaks down to about $6.67 per month of use. It is a spray bottle which I really like as it does keep the air away from the product and it makes it easy to dispense. 

I really like the control this srt of pump gives for dispensing as well as keeping product away from the air.

I generally found that I needed two pumps for my face each time I used the serum.  So four pumps per day. You can, if you want push the pump down slowly and pump a smaller amount of product instead of pumping all the way down.  So if you found you needed one and a half pumps, for example, that is easy to do with this pump.  It sounds silly to say but I really like being able to decide exactly how much product I want to use.

And you know I sniffed the product as soon as it came out of the pump.  It has no discernable scent. So for all those who dislike scent in their skincare, this might be something to try.  There is no scent at all. 

In the hand, the serum feels like Aloe.  If you have ever used an aloe based product, you know the feeling, it is like a gel that quickly melts into liquid.   When applied to the face at first the two pumps feels like too much product.  However it sinks in fast and leaves your face feeling oddly dry.  Not like it has dried out but like your skin got greedy and cleared out the all you can eat buffet. I thought at first that I needed more and I applied a third pump but the third pump just sat on the skin as my skin was full.  I also thought I might get away with less so I tried one pump and it didn’t feel like enough so I then applied the second pump and my skin was happy again. Your skin might be a little different, but my skin wanted exactly two pumps of product.

I will say that in addition to the semi melting gel feeling, this serum has something else in common with aloe. If you have ever rubbed aloe on damp skin then you are familiar with the way it can momentarily look soapy. This serum does the same thing.  I generally wash my face, dowel it dry and then brush my teeth. That way my skin has time to dry completely.  If there was water on my face (or hands) when I applied the serum then my hands or face would get slightly sudsy before the serum meted in.  That is just the action of water meeting aloe and it fades away quickly.

So what was the result of using the serum twice a day for a month?

Start of month long trial left, end of trial right

I have noticed my skin feels pumper and more hydrated.  Since I am still walking outside for much of my exercise, I am constantly getting slapped around by the winter wind and I really think this serum helped to calm the redness from wind burn. As for The Stress Crack, I can see a lessening in its depth.  It is a minor topographical gorge rather than the Grand Canyon.  Is it gone?  No, but it really wasn’t going to be gone, especially not in a month’s time. 

However after a month of continued use, I can see definite improvement in both it and my fine lines.  I appreciate that. Feel free to zoom in if you want a closer look. I also appreciate the improved hydration and the calming of the redness that this product provides as well. Is it a miracle in a bottle? No, but it is a really good product and one I will continue using because I am sure I will see continued improvement in my skins texture the longer I do use the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid 62% hydrating Serum. It may not cause time to go into full retreat, but it is slowly pushing back the line.


While they have a new orders discount as you can see in the ad below, at the moment they also have a deeper discount going on. I’ll link that one right above the banner ad below if you are interested.

Take 25% off site wide + free shipping on orders over $35

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

Look Fantastic January 2021 Unboxing

I am always happy to see my Look Fantastic Beauty Box arrive on my doorstep.  It always has products I will use and usually at least one item that I get super excited about. Look Fantastic is a UK based subscription box so these days I just feel like cheering when it manages to leave one country and enter another one.  At the moment that feels like a magical effort all on its own. And this month it made the journey with what appears to be a little less difficulty than December.

I am so happy it is here.

So Look Fantastic is a Beauty box that has 5-6 products for $19 per month.  The items are mostly deluxe sample sized products with a few full sized ones thrown in on occasion. I really like that they include a large number of high end luxury brands in the box.  I am a big believer in the try before you buy, especially when it comes to pricy items and I have found many items in this box that I might have passed over because I didn’t want to commit to a full size until I knew I liked the product. There have also been high end brands that I saw and thought I wanted but after I tried it, decided it wasn’t for me.  There is a benefit in that as well.  In addition, because this is a UK based subscription box often the products are not ones I am extremely familiar with.

And now that we all now what this box is about, lets dive in and see what came in the January box.

The first item I pulled out of my box looked like a face mask.  However it is not.  It is the StarSkin Hollywood Hand Model Hand Mask Gloves. I have used Star Skin before.  I currently have a couple of their masks sitting in my masking drawer. 

I have tried many sheet masks and even a few foot masks, but I have never tried a hand mask.   I have to say I am kind of excited by this.  I’ve been using cuticle oil and hand cream to combat the effects of extra washing and near compulsive hand sanitizer usage, but a hand mask sounds like it could really help. 

I may add this to my Face mask Friday this week. This week I am going hard on the Vichy Mineral Face mask because I used a cleanser that dried out my skin badly and I am doing damage control and this is one of the best hydrating masks I’ve tried.  It might be nice to add a little hand mask to hydrate my hands as I repair my dried out skin.

But that is for Friday. 

The second item I took out of my January Look Fantastic box was actually the spoiler for last month.  Each month they put the spoiler for one of the following month’s products in the booklet that comes with it. 

The booklet, incidentally, is like a mini magazine and I always find some piece of useful information inside. The item in this box was the SVR Hydraliane Intense Moisturizing Cream. I’ll admit, I have never heard of the brand before so it will be a completely new experience to try it out.  But it is a really large size to try out so that is nice. I’m actually deliberately not looking anything up about it at the moment so that I have no bias when I start to use it. I don’t want my expectations tempered by what I might read online.  I like going in with a blank slate with a brand whenever possible so other people’s opinions won’t affect my own.

The next product out of the box comes from a brand I have heard of and not gotten around to trying out. The Brand is Grow Gorgeous and the product is the Balance Overnight Mask. I am always happy to try a new night mask.  I have a lot of moisturizers that fall into the gel and water cream category and I find that while nice in the day time, my skin craves deeper moisture at night. I am currently finishing up a night cream at the moment but as soon as it is done I will rotate this into the mix.

In this box there was a Verso Eye Cream.  Eye cream seems to be a popular item at the moment.  I have actually tried this eye cream before.  It is quite pricy and while it works okay, it isn’t my favorite eye cream.  It isn’t a bad eye cream, but there are several products I’ve tried that I like better. So I am going to put this in a care package to my mother so she can try the brand and see if it suits her.

The next two items are makeup related.  The first is the SO ECO  complexion sponge.  I have to say this comes at a really good time for me.  I am currently using the Huda Beauty Basic B makeup sponge.  It has one flat side that I have really come to love, as well as being composed of  a density I like.  It is however showing a bit of wear.  Trading it out now and again with another sponge will hopefully make it last longer. 

The density of this one is very similar to the Huda Beauty one, but it doesn’t have that flat edge I like.  I know other makeup sponges have the flat edge but the ones I tried had a different density. And as it turns out the feel of the sponge as a whole outweighs my love of the flat edge.  So I will use this, even as I reorder my Huda Beauty.

And finally the last item is a lipstick.  A Matte Me liquid lipstick from Sleek to be exact. There were multiple shades available and the one I was sent was Hellacious which is kind of a burnt umber shade. I actually really like the shade. The swatch (below) shows up a bit more orange than the product does in real life. I have one other Matte Me Lippie but it is a very bright pink that doesn’t suit me at all (In fact it looks like my lips lost a fight with a vacuum when i wear it.) so I haven’t gotten around to trying it.  With a shade I would wear I can do more of a test to see if I like the feel and use of the product.  As anyone who reads my posts on a regular basis knows, I am always willing to try a new lip product.

All in all I am really happy with this month’s box.  Everything in it is a product I will use, some I’ve heard of but never gotten around to trying, others are a complete mystery.  It is a nice mix of items.  Look Fantastic usually leans more to the skin care side of things, but I am happy there were two makeup related items included as well.  Speaking of which, the spoiler for next month is a makeup item.  It is the Illamasqua Beyond the Veil Primer. It is a mini one.  I’ve used the minis of this product before and actually have a full size in my dressing table.  Actually, I chose it as my primer for this week’s makeup bag.  So I will be talking about it this Friday when I do the weekly Makeup Bag Post if you are interested in hearing more about my opinions of it.

I really enjoy this box and I really enjoy the Look Fantastic Online shop.  They have new deals running every month and I find it is a great way to pick up some of my favorite things for just a little bit less. They have a few really great sales on now actually. I’ll list them down below so you can click on the ones that might appeal to you.

These Look Fantastic sales run from January 19th – 25th

Sitewide 15% off with the code EXCLUSIVE15.

25% off French Skincare Favorites with code FRENCH25 (Brands included: Filorga, NUXE, Embryolisse, Talika, Darphin, & Bioderma)

25% off Retinol (no code needed: Brands included: NIP + FAB, Zelens, Pixi, Elizabeth Arden, REN, Skin Doctors, SVR Laboratories, PCA SKIN, NEOSTRATA, Jurlique & more!)

25% off TriPollar products with the code TRI25

25% off Perricone MD with the code PMD25

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Ipsy Glam Bag Plus January Unboxing

January Ipsy Glam Bag Plus

Welcome to Monday morning my darlings. I hope all went fabulously well for your weekend and you are ready to go for a new week.  This weekend my IPSY Glam Bag Plus arrived.  As you might remember, I was a part of the IPSY Ultimate subscription tier.  That tier ended in January and I signed up for the IPSY Glam Bag X. What that means is that the Glam Bag X will arrive quarterly (the first month is February) and the non X months I will be receiving the Glam Bag Plus.

The Glam Bag Plus is a $25 per month subscription and in the plus you receive five full sized items.  Two of the items are chosen for you and on the 2nd of the month, you get to go in for choice and pick three items. While I really like the idea of being able to choose so many items in the bag, I have to say that this month’s selection was not exactly exciting.  As shipping was a huge issue in December I am willing to grant that the supply chain might be a little wonky at the moment.  I will hope that upcoming choices get better.

Now all of IPSY’s tiers come with some sort of bag.  The Ultimate and the regular glam bag each came with makeup bags.  For some reason the Plus tier comes with a drawstring bag. The Theme this month was Dream It and the bag does reflect that.  It is a sort of blue hombre drawstring with fabric printed with the word dream. It’s fine, but it is really just a cheap drawstring bag.  To be honest I will chuck it into a drawer and the next time I travel I’ll use it to put underwear in.  Otherwise it will live in the bottom of a drawer. I wouldn’t really put anything heavier than underwear in it because I would worry that a heavy object would just drop through the bottom.

I know I had the Vella Box subscription for a while (GREAT Candle subscription by the way) and their candles came in canvas drawstring bags and I was always happy to get them because there are many uses I could put them to.  They were however made of heavy canvas with double stitching to reinforce the seams. This is not the same thing. So the bag is cute but of limited use and really adds nothing to the subscription, whereas the makeup bags added a little value.  In fact I signed up for the regular ($12) Ipsy Glam Bag as well because I like the makeup bags.  The small ones are excellent to use inside a large purse to keep things organized as well as useful for makeup bags. While I signed up this month and the January bag will be coming in later, I really did it because the February Glam bag pouch just looks so adorable.  How long I keep the subscription will really depend, but I will be getting the regular IPSY bag both this month and next, at least in part because of the bags.

But enough about the bags, let’s look at the products. All five are full sized items. I’ll go over the two items chosen for me first and then go over the items that I chose. The first item that was chosen for me was the Farsali Unicorn Essence (retail $54).  I have tried the Farsali setting spray before, and in fact it is still in my dressing table.  It is not my favorite setting spray due to the scent.  It is however beautiful to look at.  I remember the unicorn essence getting a lot of rave reviews a few years ago, but haven’t heard anything about it since.  In the description the product is described as being a protective treatment before moisturizer and a skin smoothing primer before makeup.  It looks like a serum.  I haven’t opened it because once you open a serum the clock starts ticking on it.  I am finishing up a skin care trial right now (in fact I will be posting on the Herbal Dynamics Hyaluronic Acid serum later this week, Wednesday actually if all goes to schedule).  It will be interesting to see if it falls into the serum or primer category once I begin using it.

The second item chosen for me was the Thrive Causemetics Brilliant eye opener in Aurora. (retail $24). I’m not terribly certain what an eye opener is, however this is a shadow stick.  I like Thrive Causemetics in general, their lip gloss is one of my go to products and I used up one of their mascaras and have a second unopened tube waiting in my dressing table for me to use. 

It was a good formula, good enough for me to repurchase.  So I am glad to have something else to try from the brand. Swatched on the hands the formula feels creamy and gives a nice silver tinted shimmer.  I will have to see how it performs on the eyes before I make a determination, but from the swatch I am cautiously optimistic.

And now we get to the three items I chose. The first of my choice items was the Laura Geller Quench and Tint Hydrating Foundation ($34). I know more foundation, but I couldn’t resist.  I’ve heard good things about the foundation and wanted to try it out.  Also the selection was limited and I thought I might actually get some use out of the foundation.

The second item I chose was the Item Beauty Cheek Money Duo in Mood Vibez (retail $18) which is a compact containing two shades of bronzer, one warm toned and one cool toned.  I’m pretty sure the cool toned is meant for contouring not bronzing, but I don’t really do a lot of contouring.  To be honest I chose it because I was curious about the brand. It is a brand that has come out of Tik Tok and has gotten both positive and negative comments about its origins.  That basically sums up what I kno0w about Item Beauty. So since I use bronzer, I thought I’d give this one a try to see what my thoughts are on it.  While there are some products and companies I tend to avoid because of personal choices, I tend not to judge a product until I’ve tried it, regardless of its origins.  So, we will see how it works out. 

The third product I chose this month was the Vitabrid C12  Daily C vitamin foaming cleanser (retail $32). It is infused with vitamin C and kaolin clay, both items I like and routinely use. And surprisingly considering how much skincare subscription boxes have been leaning towards in the past few months, I have less cleanser than I have any other category.  I suppose I also use that category more than any other so cleansers tend to clear out pretty fast, but it doesn’t seem to be a popular category to add to subscription boxes.  At least I get less of it. So I added it to the box.  In my line up of items to choose from this month there were several items from this brand.  It is the only place I’ve heard of it.  Perhaps it is a newer brand or perhaps it is one that just flew under my radar.  Either way, I am always on the lookout for a good cleanser.

So in the end my retail value was $162 for the $25 beauty box. This makes it a pretty good value.  I received several items that I am interested in trying and one that I had not even heard of previously.  I like the mix of the familiar and the unknown because part of the subscription box appeal, for me anyway, is discovering something I might not have found on my own.  I like the slightly out of my comfort zone feel of having brands I am familiar with as well as newer ones. The selection of items wasn’t the greatest and I’m hoping that improves as shipping improves, it is annoying but I am willing to give them a pass on that.  The bag… well I said all I feel like saying on the bag and while the bags that come with future boxes will be in the pictures unless they are substantially more special than this one, they won’t be mentioned further. I am sure I will use the products I received so the value is definitely there for me.  It feels a little less because I am coming to the Glam Bag Plus from the Ultimate, but I’ll get over that, because all in all it was a good bag.

I am also excited to see what comes in the very first Glam Bag X next month. I think they are planning to have a different person curate it each quarter.  This first one is being Curated by Patrick Ta and it is supposed to have a value up to $428.  IPSY has been talking up this new subscription level since November so it will be interesting to see if it holds up to the hype.  I’m trying not to look at too many spoilers since I don’t want to get too focused on specific products in case they are variations. That way if I don’t get that specific variation I won’t be instantly disappointed. Plus, I kind of like the surprise of it all. Lets just hope that the Glam Bag X starts off better than the IPSY Ultimate did.  While the Ultimate finally became a really good bag, it had a really rough start.  Hopefully IPSY has worked out their system and this new X level starts off with a bang.  Fingers crossed.


Nuxe is having a Blue Monday sale: Blue Monday Free 30ml HP WYS $50 & Winter sales – Save up to 30% on selected products The sale is only for January 18th. I personally love their Insta Masque line and will be swinging by to pick up a jar of the exfoliating Instamasque.And possibly the soothing one. They are excellent three minute face masks that do wonders for the skin.

Complex Culture Full Time Eyeshadow Palette

Buckle up my darlings, because this is going to be a bumpy ride. this Full Time eyeshadow Palette from Complex Culture arrived in my December Ipsy Box. I believe it is edit 2. It has a hard plastic case, that is quite beautiful and sleek. The packaging feels quite luxurious. It is also sturdy enough that I would have no problems worrying over it during travel. The shiny surface does collect fingerprints quickly though.

But it is what’s inside that counts.

So what is inside?

Nine eyeshadow colors.Four shimmers, and five mattes. While the shadows are grouped together in rows that run top to bottom, when I swatched them I went left to right across the rows without thinking. So even though Cream, Chestnut and Rose gold are grouped together under the category of Dinner Party. the first set of swatches is actually Cream, Toast and Silver.

Row 1: L to R, Cream, Toast, Silver

I have to say I am not terribly enthused by the groupings, hyust looking at them. Dinner Party looks like it might be nice as does cocktail party but Surprise party just didn’t work for me as a grouping. In practice, that wasn’t how I reached for the shades. I found rose gold went better with the cool matte tones of Cocktail Party and Honey went better with the warmer Dinner Party shades.

Row 2 L to R: Chestnut Chocolate, Redwood

Of the mattes, my favorite actually came from the Surprise party line up and that was Rosewood. I found it to be the most pigmented of the bunch and the least patchy when applied.

I was not a big fan of the mattes in general. They look patchy on the swatches, they were really powdery in the pan and even tapping the brush off left a lot of fall out to tidy up. In addition the coverage was spotty. I could apply a matte shade to my lids and then blink a few times and a small patch of lid was cleared.

3rd row L to R: Rose Gold, Honey and Bronzed

When I used my trusty Pretty Vulgar Lid Primer it helped, but not much. It just seemed to make the line across my lid sharper. Ido have slightly hooded eyes, so i can see where it is rubbing off, however I don’t have this problem with every shadow so I can’t just blame my eye shape.

Glitter fall out at the start of the day

Plus, the Pretty vulgar Lid primer is like super glue for shadow. If it couldn’t hold it in place, nothing was going to.

The fall out from the shimmers was even worse. I had glitter dusted cheeks all week long with this palette. I started the morning thinking, okay a few flakes aren’t bad but by the end of the day I looked like a low rent version of a Twilight style Vampire. while that look has it’s place, it wasn’t what I was going for.

Patchy across the center after applying all over the lid.

While I will concede that the matte color choices work well and can be layered quite effectively (minus the above issues) the shimmers weren’t that spectacular a choice. Silver and Bronzed looked identical on the eye. Bronzed might have had a slightly more gunmetal looking swatch, but the difference was lost on the lid. Rose gold was only a slightly warmer silver. The gold looked gold, so that was different.

I had high hopes for this eyeshadow palette. And my hopes weren’t based solely on the beautiful packaging. I’ll admit, that did draw me in. the reason my hopes were high is that I have several brushes from the brand Complex Culture and the brushes are really well made and I frequently use them. Their powder brush has become a staple in my makeup bag. I somehow thought that their makeup products would be as good as their brushes. I was wrong, at least as far as this eyeshadow palette goes. It is a beautiful packaging but I really did not enjoy using it this week. I thought I would because the matte colors are really amung my go to shades, but sadly, it just didn’t work out for me.


Sparitual

Testing a tiny Tarte Foundation

Okay, so it is officially a tinted hydrator from tarte and not an actual foundation. This week the Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator served as my foundation product. Please ignore the nails. If I wear nail polish too long they get this pinkish look to them. So when they get the look, I take off the polish and let them breath until the pink is gone I also paper them with cuticle oils and other nice things but right now my nails are in the ‘just breathe’ stage of post polish removal.

In case you are wondering about the tiny size, let me explain. This is one of IPSY’s $3 samples that you can add on to your Glam Bag each month. I actually chose this one and the tart Shape Tape Concealer that I tried a few Make Up Bags ago from the IPSY ad ons. I know it is a small sample, but it has lasted the entire week.

tarte on hand

The reason I picked up these samples is quite simple. For a long time tarte was one of my go-to makeup brands. I occasionally branched out for Urban Decay and Mac but most of my makeup was tarte. I still use my small tarte travel palette any time I travel as I absolutely love the formula, but at this point I have only one small blush and the base tape primer in my collection left from my tarte products. Everything else I used up.

And then I started trying new products from other brands.

When I saw the Shape Tape Concealer sample and realized how long it had been since I tried tarte face products I snapped it up along with the Maracuja Tinted Hydrator. I found the concealer creased on me more than I remembered, which is probably because I have more creases. It was excellent everywhere but on my eyes and I used it up. While I had used tarte foundation before I had never used this specific product. so I came to it fresh and hoped it performed as well as their face products usually do for me.

According to tarte the Maracuja Tinted Hydrator…

  • delivers 12-hr hydration & wear
  • naturally radiant finish that looks & feels like skin
  • skin-loving formula delivers light-buildable coverage
  • helps minimize appearance of imperfections 

All of those things are things I look for in a tinted moisturizer. And I have to say, it delivered on all fronts. The product went on smoothly and blended in easily. my skin drank it in and as this is the driest time of the year for my skin, I appreciated the extra moisture. It did look and feel like a better version of my skin and it lasted all day with no problems.

dotted on face (i had the moisturizing primer on this day)

I found one layer of coverage was fine for me. I had no real desire to build it up as one application covered all of my skin issues beautifully. Plus as it was such a small sample I wanted as many days as possible to test it out.

I found out that it works okay on the skin without a primer beneath it. It doesn’t give me as much pore blurring as I would like. Since I love primers this wasn’t an issue. The issue came with which primers I chose. In my makeup bag this week I had a hydrating primer. While the hydrating primer might work well with a more drying foundation, it wasn’t the best with the tarte tinted moisturizer. It went on well in the morning but I was always super shiny by mid day when I used it.

just blended in with no concealer (moisturizing primer underneath)

When I switched to the e.l.f. poreless putty primer to see if it was the foundation or the primer that was causing the shine, it was definitely the primer and not the foundation. Because this is a tinted moisturizer and provides moisture to the skin, I needed to stay away from hydrating primers when i used it. A pore minimizing primer worked beautifully and really made the tarte tinted hydrator work so much better.

While nice on it’s own, the right primer just took this product up a notch. I very much enjoyed using this product this week and because I played around with the sample I now feel confident in ordering a full sized version of this. This shade actually worked well for me, so I will have to check to see what the shade actually is. I couldn’t find it on the tube but it should be recorded in my IPSY orders. Spending the $3 on the sample means I know my $29 won’t be wasted when I pick up the full size. It’s one of the reason I love samples. However, sadly this sample has given it’s very last drop of product in it time serving in this week’s makeup bag. And so I will have to send it on it’s way to the empties bin. But I definitely see a full size of the Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator in my future.


Perfume Review: Viva La Juicy Le Bubbly

That’s right, it is time for another perfume review. For the past week I have been wearing Viva La Juicy Le Bubbly. It was a sample that came in my December Macy’s Beauty Box. I have to admit, I’ve seen Juicy Couture perfumes around for a while but never really tried any of them. I don’t know why actually. It just somehow slipped my radar.

I think it might be because the language in the descriptions don’t tend to grab me the way some perfume copywriters do. Usually the copy that accompanies a perfume paints a picture and lets you imagine the scent. The description for Le Bubbly is very much like most of Juicy Couture Perfumes descriptions…

Make every night in, a night to remember. Viva La Juicy Le Bubbly perfume for women makes pink champagne wishes and glam dreams come true, all with a POP of pinkatude. Your party for one has just begun as fizzy fragrance notes of pink berries and sweet jasmine keep things feeling bubbly. This couture scent is poppin’! #PartyForOne

I can see how that description is more of an effervescent bubble that goes along with the pink champagne, but it doesn’t suck me in like a lot of perfume descriptions do. I have to admit, I love the descriptions of perfume almost as much as the perfumes themselves.

But that aside, it is the perfume that matters.

And as I have the sample, I tried it regardless of the accompanying text.

When sprayed on the wrist, the scent comes on a bit strong at first but almost immediately fades back to something that stays closer to the wrist. When i first applied it I thought that it was going to be one of those perfumes you can scent from around the corner. It is not.

Nor does it fade away completely throughout the day.

It is just excited to leave the bottle. Then once it has greeted the room, it settles in. In an eight hour day it did fade down a little bit more, but it was still a noticeable scent at the end of the day. That initial fade down is generally what it holds for the day.

I really like scents that stay close to the skin. I wear perfumes I like but I don’t want to force them on others. I think of scent as something more personal and like for them to remain in my personal space. This one does. Others you are talking to can smell, but really only when they are right in front of you and not across the room. Which is kind of the perfume sweet spot for me.

The only scent indications the description gave were red berries and sweet jasmine. I definitely scent the sweet jasmine in this perfume. It is one of the defining scents. However I don’t really get red berries. Oddly, I get more tangerine.

The scent is sweet, but not cloyingly so. There is a tartness that mellows the sweet out a bit. It doesn’t hit as really floral though. I think that is why red berries took first billing over the sweet jasmine. There are floral notes with the jasmine but it leans slightly fruity.

I actually rather like the perfume and am sorry my sample is almost used up.

I would say that despite the fact that the description leans more towards party than anything else, this is definitely a day time scent more than a night time one. I think you could wear it at the office and transition to happy hour with it, but it isn’t one I would deliberately put on for a night out.

The bottle the perfume comes in is very much in keeping with the Juicy Couture theme. It looks like a Juicy Couture product. While pretty the pink and the bows make it visually look as though it is for a younger audience. However, while the perfume does feel young and fresh, it does not feel little girl-ish. It is a scent that an adult could wear without the scent seeming too childish.

The perfume is a new arrival to the Juicy Couture line up of perfumes and the bottles fance in price from $25 to $99 on the Juicy Couture site. I don’t know if this is limited edition or if they are going to keep it around. There is a mention of it being a part of the Limited Edition Collection. I don’t know enough about the brand to know how long their Limited Editions last. Some companies have a limit of only a few months while others keep it seasonal or eventually ad it to their line up. This is my first Juicy Couture perfume and I was surprised how much I like it. I will be paying attention to the availability and hopefully adding a bottle to my collection. It has also encouraged me to try more from the brand. They have quite a few perfumes out there, I think it would be interesting to see how their standards compare to this one. Sobelia actually has many of their scents, most for 40-60% off the regular retail price. I might be perusing their selections later as it is a great way to try out scents without breaking the bank.


Shop Sobelia Perfumes Today!

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm is one of those products that I always think of as a sort of super intense lip balm. I think part of that is because the brand is Dr. Lipp and the other part is because I have always only used sample sized tubes of this nipple balm.

According to the website…

Original Nipple Balm: For Dry Skin, Luscious Lips and Glossy Bits

Famous for its gloriously thick, ultra-long lasting & instant hydrating effect! Historically used as a nipple balm, Dr.Lipp’s luxurious formula will rebalance, hydrate, nourish, soothe, plump and even help heal all types of dry, sore, cracked, itchy or sensitive skin anywhere. One product, one ingredient, 100’s of uses. Where you apply it is your business…

The full size is 15 ml and retails for $14.50. The size I always seem to pick up is 3 ml. It also has a lip style applicator whereas the full size looks more like a tube of hand cream and has a flat top. Personally I like the shape of the small applicator.

It is perfectly shaped to apply product to the lips and it limits the amount of product that comes out. Plus as it is plastic, you can wipe it off when you are done and it is all neat and tidy.

This is not a light weight product. When you put it on it has a vaseline like quality to it. The product is thick and it is present. It is not vaseline however. And I personally live the ingredient list. Want to hear it?

Ingredients: Lanolin.

Yup, that’s it. One ingredient. Now lanolin is derived from sheep so it is not vegan, however the sheep are not killed to get the lanolin. Some people who use lanolin do develop a wool sensitivity and if you are allergic to wool you should avoid it. I like that it is a natural product with no petroleum based products included.

I don’t use it a lot, but it is one of those products that is excellent for dry chapped lips. What I like to do is apply it, and let it sit for about an hour and then wipe off anything that remains on my lips after that hour. If I am going to be in a cold and possibly windy environment I will put it on before leaving the house and just leave it on my lips, because it also protects against chapping.

bare lips on the left, product applied on the right.

I just can’t leave it on my lips for long periods of time without wanting to wipe it off. The longer I wear it the more I find myself rubbing my lips. Which sort of helps rub it in, but if my lip are really rough it can lead me to start picking at them. Worn alone though it is a very shiny lip gloss. More nourishing than most lip glosses, but still looking like a lip gloss.

With the Dr. Lipps, I can apply it, wait an hour, rub it in a little bit and then wipe off the excess and I feel a distinct softening of the dry lips. It is a really good product. Especially before applying a lip product. It is nice to have that nourishment under the lips. I get a lot of use out of the sample size in the winter. Although if I am going out, I will use it as part of my pre makeup ritual. I apply this, wait then wipe it off, then apply a lip plumper, wait and wipe the lip plumper off and then o my makeup. I find it really helps give me smooth lips for lipstick application.

While the full size is $14.50 I don’t ever see myself buying the full size as I really only use it on my lips. They do sell a six pack of full lippie sized tubes (8 ml) for $38 which I would probably pick up instead of the one large one. To be honest, the six pack would last me the entire year if I kept it all. The last time I purchased it, I kept two and gave the others to family members.

And when I went on their website I found they now make a tinted version as well. the link is for the three pack which appears to be all of the tints they make. They are sold separately. I find the tinted versions interesting and out of curiosity I may end up picking one of those up to try. Because of the weighty feel of the lip product I wipe it off before apply lipstick. But I have been known to wear heavy lip products if I like the color and it wears well, so I suspect I would either really like or really hate the tinted versions of this. I have no idea which way that would go. I’ll be placing the tinted version on my to try list and will find out.

For now I am happy with the untinted version and while this is a sample, I have purchased the lippie sized before and would again even if i wouldn’t pick up the large squeeze tube. I simply don’t find myself using it anywhere but on the lips. That’s really the only reason.


RawGeneration.com!

Macy’s Beauty Box January 2021 unboxing

Yesterday my Macy’s beauty box arrived.  I was kind of surprised actually as yesterday morning I received an e-mail letting me know that my Macy’s Beauty Box was going to be late this month.  Admittedly I received the same message last month and my December box came in around the same time of month.  This is the second Macy’s Beauty Box I’ve received so I’m guessing they were accustomed to sending them out at the beginning of the month.

I’m not certain.  Regardless, it arrived.  For those that don’t know Macy’s Beauty Box is a $15 per month box ($16.27 with tax for me) and it is supposed to have five sample sized products per month.  This month the theme is Hair Care Heroes and with the exception of the perfume sample everything in this month’s box is haircare related. 

Since it isn’t hair care related, I will go ahead and start with the perfume.  This month I received a sample of the Michael Kors Hello Gorgeous to try out. The card says that it is a new perfume and I honestly couldn’t find a link to it. I don’;t know if that means it is so new it isn;t up on the Michael Kors’ site yet or if they have discontinued it. I’ll keep looking for links and will hopefully have them before I review the perfume.

I have added it to my perfume line up and as there is enough product in the little spritz bottle to last a week so I will give it it’s week of testing to see if I want to try and pick up the fill sized version for my collection.

Shop By Your Favorite Brands on Sobelia Today!

I did spray it once and it smelled nice enough that a week won’t be a hardship.  I did however accidentally spray over my water glass. Which I didn’t realize until I later took a sip.  It smells much nicer than it tastes. I do not recommend tasting it. I very much do not recommend tasting it. I do recommend Crest mouthwash however. I know it isn’t technically designed to get the taste of perfume from your mouth, but regular rinsing just left a remaining taste lingering on the tongue so I had to call in the big guns. Crest Mouthwash, for when you accidentally taste something nasty. Yeah there is a reason I don’t work in the marketing department. They do have a current discount running until January 18th, with the code posted just here and if you’d like to see their actual marketing (non-mimsy designed) there is an ad at the bottom of this post as well. It is much better than ‘helps when you’ve accidentally tasted perfume.’

Crest 15% Off Order $50+ (CODE: TEETH15)

As for scent, I’ll get back to you on the details.

For now, me and my now minty fresh mouth are moving on to the hair related products.  The first item out of the pink tissue paper was none other than Klorane dry shampoo. And yes I did a happy dance. Those of you who read my posts often know that it is my favorite brand of dry shampoo. 

While I am currently enjoying the Nettle infused dry shampoo for dark hair, the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk that came in this month’s Macy’s box was my go to for a really long time.  I am always thrilled to have more Klorane products on hand.  (at the moment I am absolutely loving their eye makeup remover too, but that is another story.)

I initially thought that there were two dry shampoos in my Macy’s box this month because the second item that rolled out of my pink tissue paper bundle of fun was from Dry Bar.  It is the Southern Belle Volume Boosting Root lifter and it is apparently a spray foam that gives lift and volume.  Which from the name Volume Boosting Root Lifter I would expect.

Kind of a no brainer there.

I’ve tried several Dry Bar products. I think the last one I tried I liked the way it worked, but didn’t care for the scent.  It has been a while though so I could be wrong.  All of the Dry Bar products I have tried have been non-foaming so this will be a new to me product that should be fun to try out.  Currently I use the Oribe foaming mousse when I want to give a little volume to my hair.  It would be nice to find another product I like as at the moment it is the only real volumizing type of styling product I use.

The next item in this month’s box was the Verb Ghost oil. Verb has been cropping up in my world a lot lately. I enjoyed their hair mask and I believe I have a sample of their leave in conditioner in my to be tried drawer. 

Also in this month’s Birchbox I chose a sample of their shampoo and conditioner to try. Now courtesy of Macy’s, I have the Ghost Oil to try. By the time February rolls around I think I will have tested a substantial amount of their products. Which I kind of like. 

I like trying out a lot of different products from a brand so that when I put together an order I can order several different items at the same time instead of just getting one thing from the brand. I like having a list for each of the brands I like.  Plus, the only hair oil I’ve tried that I really liked has been the Moroccanoil for fine hair. (Yes, I know I don’t have fine hair, but I find it lighter weight  than the regular one and it works for me.)  It is a good oil actually and I tend to use it in the summer time especially as it is lighter in the hair than a lot of leave in conditioners.  But it would be nice to have a second oil I like keeping around so I’m glad I have the chance to try one. 

I have to admit that I have never tried anything from Rahua before.  I’ve seen the brand around, but I have never actually tried anything thing from them. I like that Macys put both the shampoo and conditioner in the box. 

I also like that they are tubes with more product than should be used in one sitting. a couple of uses will give me a better feeling for the product. bove all I love that this was not a foil packet. I won’t go into my shampoo and conditioner foil packet rant again, just know that while I can occasionally accept foil packets in other products I loathe them in shampoo and conditioner.

Don’t worry, I won’t inflict the full rant here.

I know it seems like a no brainer, but not all boxes pair the shampoos and conditioners.  I really like having both.  I also like that this is listed as their classic formula.  Since I’ve never tried anything from the brand it is nice to try their classic before trying out other versions.  At least that is my feeling.

There were two more items in the box this month.  One is a velvet hair scrunchie that was apparently created for Macy’s. It’s a cute little scrunchie.  It isn’t a really ‘wow look at that’ kind of scrunchie but it is nice and I will use it. I think I’m used to seeing the velvet scrunchies that are a little poofier. This one is only as wide as my index finger. This is nice and I’m sure it will do the job, but it isn’t all that spectacular.

The final item in the box is a mini ceramic flat iron from Sutra Beauty.  And when they say mini, they mean mini.  I popped a picture of it next to my travel sized Foxy Bae flat Iron as a size comparison.  (they both retail for the same price)

I use the Foxy Bae travel flat iron for my bangs when they go all wonky and sometimes to curl parts of my hair.  To be honest, I am not sure it will work with my hair.  It might be super fantastic, but it is really small and I have a lot of hair. It is adorable though and I like that it was included in this month’s box.

It really does make a box like this feel kind of special when you get a tool that you can use well after the samples are gone.  I really like that, even if I do have more hair than I think the mini flat iron is equipped to take. My mother however has shorter and thinner hair so since I already have a mini flat iron that I like and I think this would work better with her hair, I will be putting it back in the packaging without trying and sending it over to her. Funny enough, she has been claiming that her hair tool is actually too big and heavy for her hair, so this might be the perfect tool for her.

Even though I will not be using it, someone else will and getting this hair tool in the box made it feel luxe. Especially in a $15 box. (The tool retails for $59 on the Sutra Website.)

This was my January Beauty Box from Macy’s  I have to say I am very impressed with it this month.  It stayed on theme, it gave a good assortment of products and I for one will use almost all of them.  And the flat iron will see use, just not by me. I feel it was definitely worth my $15 and I very much look forward to seeing what Macy’s comes up with for February.


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