Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hiatusness

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. At first, I got really busy at work with my new job duties. Things seem to have calmed down a bit this week, but I'm pretty stressed out and just not in the mood to post about makeup. Which is weird, because you all know I LOVE makeup. I think a big part of it is that I just haven't found any products of late that have really wowed me. Everything I've tried in the last couple weeks have been varying shades of mediocre, and it's really boring to write about lots of products that are just... OK.

I'm still going to review them. I just need a little bit of a break from it though, because my day job is mediocre enough as it is. Blogging, to me, is something that is fun that I use to escape the mediocrity of office life. When it stops being fun, I need something else to do to entertain me when I'm bored off my ass. When I'm bored at work, my only option other than reading random shiz online is to write, so I've started a new blog where I am free to write about whatever want, whenever I want. And you are all free to check out my rantings (some funny, some serious, lots of f-bombs. Because I swear like a sailor in real life when I'm not being a polite receptionist/customer service monkey. Just a warning, in case your eyeballs are easily offended).

I will, of course, still be ranting/raving about makeup on this blog, though. I just need another week or so vacation to get my enthusiasm back up. After that, I will have lots of reviews for Tarte, Benefit, Buxom, Smashbox, NARS, and other random stuffs for your perusal. Starting next week-ish, I think. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Get Almost-Free Nailpolish!



Signing up to become a Julep Maven is basically the same thing as signing up for a Birchbox, just $10 more expensive and for nailpolish. Except for this month, where you can get your Maven box for $0.01. I got mine yesterday, which had 2 nailpolishes and a full-size glycolic hand scrub. It really was only a penny (although in some states, you will have to pay shipping and handling. Not in MN, though!). Thus far, I love the hand scrub, which smells like oranges and is super gentle, and the nailpolish is really, really nice. So if you're interested, head on over to Julep and use the code "SHAREONMARCH" before the end of the month. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cosmetics Review: Smashbox Hyperlash Mascara




The ProductSmashbox Hyperlash Mascara

The Review: So, just to catch everyone up on where the hell I've been... I got a promotion at work, so I've actually been kept busy for once. I am so sick of spreadsheets. Oh my god. You have no idea. Anyway, today has been another godawful day full of spreadsheets and help desk tickets, but I figured I'd try to get another post out of myself, even though I'm tired and my brain feels like it's been put through a pasta machine.  Therefore, I won't mince words:

This mascara flakes. A lot. Like, I had mascara flakes/chunks on my cheeks after around an hour. Wtf? I thought mascara formulation had advanced past this. This isn't the 90's, Smashbox. Get with the effing program. I mean, if the mascara didn't flake so much, I would love it. It made my lashes all pretty, perfect and separated. Unfortunately, no one likes it when their lashes are dandruffing all over their cheeks. It's icky. And it sucks balls when you work as a receptionist, you're stuck having people stare at you all day, and you have no idea your mascara is shedding all over your face. And, of course, no one told me this was the case. Screw you, Smashbox! (JK. I love most of their products. Every brand has to have a dud, I guess...)

But in all seriousness, no mascara that flakes should come with a $21 price tag. That's the shiz I expect from the crappiest of all crappy drugstore mascaras, you know?

Rated Beauty Grade: C-

Price: $21

Where to Purchase: Sephora

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cosmetics Review: Eye Rock Designer Liner

The ProductEye Rock Designer Liner

The Review: I love liquid eyeliner. LOVE IT. I've had years to perfect my application technique, but I'm always up to trying new/weird stuff. Like this product. Stick on liquid eyeliner? So weird. But I got it in my Birchbox, so I tried it out. I mean, it's supposed to be easier than applying liquid eyeliner, so I should love it, right? I mean, check out Birchbox's video. They make application look so simple!


Wrong. This is not what applying this stuff is like. THIS is what it's like (skip to the 3:30 mark and watch her struggle):

I had pretty much an identical experience, except worse because I don't have big lids. This is kind of an older picture (I'm at work, so facebook is all I have for pics. I have much longer hair now), but you can see how I have tiny lids:

This product will not work if your lids are similar to mine or smaller, because they're extremely thick near the outside corners. However, even if you do have the perfect eyeshape, I think they'd still be horrid. First off, these are stickers. Flat out stickers. They're not very bendy, and they're a bitch to apply because you have to snip them to get the correct length, you can't have on any makeup beforehand, and it's really hard to get them aimed correctly. I think it took me 4 tries, and by that point, they weren't sticky anymore, so I had to use lash glue to glue them on. Because the "liner" is so thick near the outside edges, they wouldn't fit properly on my lid and had to go on top of my crease, which was horribly uncomfortable whenever I blinked. I guess they feel exactly how you'd expect it to feel if you put a sticker on your eyelid. And they don't look like real liquid eyeliner at all. Pretty sure if anyone got close to you, they'd be able to tell it's a sticker.

Overall, I hated, HATED this product. I think they'd only work if you have average-to-large lids and an extremely average eyeshape. And if you don't like applying any eye makeup other than liner. Plus, it would take a lot of practice to get to the point where applying these stickers would take under 5 minutes. I can put liquid liner on and get it perfect in under 2. Liquid eyeliner, I love you.

Rated Beauty Grade: D-

Price: $13

Where to Purchase: Birchbox

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cosmetics Review: Too Faced Glamour Gloss




The ProductToo Faced Glamour Gloss

The Review: This gloss is pretty interesting. It's moisturizing, long-lasting, and leaves you with a pleasant cooling sensation that lasts a surprisingly long time. I guess that's because it's supposed to plump your lips and what-not. Anyway, I currently own it in "Flirt." Basically, it's a slightly darker neutral nude with more pink. I got it because it's really close to my natural lip color and looks good with pretty much everything else I stick on my face. Aw, yeah. Totally wearing it right now.

Anyway, enough of my bitching about color details. This gloss is pretty decent. Is it epically mind-blowing? Eh, nah. But it's still a great gloss. I love it because it's glossy without being too shiny, stays in place, and lasts for around 3 hours before I have to reapply. The texture is a little thicker and a little more sticky but not in a way that's uncomfortable. Also, I love the vanilla scent. It makes me think of those vanilla tootsie roll things.

Let me see that tootsie roll! (God, I hate that song)

On the downside, the taste is kind of blandly gross. Like vanilla chalk. You will also not like this gloss if you hate your lips feeling tingly and minty fresh. Personally, I like the sensation, but that's because my mom raised me on Carmex, and I've been a fan of lip stuff that tingles ever since.  But some people hate that, and if you do, don't get this lipgloss. Also, it's supposed to plump your lips. I already have full lips, and I'm pretty sure it hasn't made them noticeably bigger. Otherwise, I would have freaked out. Therefore, I'm calling gimmick on this one, but maybe other people's lips react to minty tingling more than mine I do.

Rated Beauty Grade: B

Price: $19

Where to Purchase: Sephora

Monday, March 5, 2012

Skincare Review: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant



The ProductDermalogica Daily Microfoliant

The Review: This is, hands down, the most awesomely innovative exfoliation product I've used thus far. I got a travel-sized sample from Birchbox and have been using it almost obsessively ever since. It's just so much fun to use, and it makes my skin and hands ridiculously soft.

Basically, it's a fine powder that contains enzymes, rice bran, salicylic acid and colloidal oatmeal. After washing your face, you wet your hands and sprinkle a small amount onto them, rubbing them together to create what looks like a slightly foamy cleanser. Then, you massage it all over your face, rinse it off, and behold! Super soft, exfoliated skin!  Because the treatment uses enzymes instead of hard particles (ground up almond shells, salt, sugar, diamonds, etc.), dead skin is dissolved rather than scrubbed away, which is much better for your face. It's also super easy to wash off and leaves no residue.

Thus far, I have had zero bad side effects. I don't use it every day, because my skin doesn't need it, and I can honestly say my skin has never liked an exfoliation treatment so much. I think the last time my skin looked this glowy and pretty was after I got a facial. The only downside is that it's so damn pricey, but unlike other products, I think this one is totally worth it. You don't need a lot of product, and any excess product can be rubbed onto your hands for a quicky hand treatment so none goes to waste. All in all, it's awesome and is probably the best skincare product I've ever used.

Rated Beauty Grade: A+

Price: $50 (although I found it on Amazon for $31)

Where to Purchase: Birchbox (Are you a member? If not, click here!)


Friday, March 2, 2012

Cosmetics Review: Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara



The Product: Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara

The Review: I was kind of hoping to find a budget version of Benefit's They're Real! Mascara, and this Revlon mascara had a really similar brush with the little spikey bristles at the end. So, I bought that shiz. And now I have a love/hate relationship with it.

Here's the positive: This mascara will give you really great separation and length. It's fast-drying.  It doesn't flake and it stays on nicely all day long. It makes my eyelashes look very "there," but it's not so crazy-dramatic that I can't wear it on sparse makeup days. There are day mascaras and night mascaras, and I feel like this one is a happy-medium of both. Plus, it doesn't clump too badly, when it's behaving.

Here's the negative: Some mascaras have tubes with narrow openings that scrape away excess product whenever you remove the wand. Not so with this one. Sometimes, I pull out the wand and am faced with an ungodly gloopy mess of a brush with huge chunks of mascara all over it. And no matter what I try, the end bristles that are supposed to be used on the inner corner lashes turn into a blob of mascara and are completely unusable. Here's a pic I found of what the brush looks like on a good day:
Still kinda clumpy, but it could be a LOT worse... 
Also, the formula won't hold a curl to save it's life. I always curl my lashes pre-mascara, and this stuff makes the curl disappear almost every time. LAME. I mean, they still look nice, but they're just not curled and perfect. You also get very little volume, which sucks because that's what the company claims this mascara will provide. And don't touch your lashes after it's applied, because they'll start sticking together. Last but not least, there are strips on the brush without any bristles, so you have to double check and make sure your lashes are lined up properly, which I find annoying.

Overall, if I manage to get the brush de-clumped, super-curl my lashes to make up for the curl-killing aspect of the formula, and don't mess with my lashes after application, the ending effect is pretty good. However, this product is too high-maintenance for me to endorse. I'd suggest saving your money. Oh, and it's not even close to being a good copy-cat of Benefit's They're Real. Darn...

Rated Beauty Grade: C+

Price: App. $8


Where to Purchase: Drugstores

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cosmetics Review: Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint




The ProductJouer Luminizing Moisture Tint

The Review: This was one of the super fun thingers I got in my February Birchbox. Thus far, I really like it. It's hypoallergenic, oil free, fragrance free, and water resistant. I was especially grateful for the water resistant bit, because I got rained on during my walk into work this morning. Amazingly, my makeup survived, mostly unscathed.

There are a lot of tinted moisturizers on the market. What makes this product unique is that it's extremely light-weight and protects your skin with SPF 20 without making your face feel gross. I know that doesn't sound all that special, but considering you get that along with a tinted moisturizing formula with shimmer incorporated to even out your skintone, I think it's pretty nifty. Best of all, Jouer doesn't go with a one-shimmery-tint-fits-all philosophy. There are currently 6 shades to choose from, giving you more options that other brands.

The only thing that concerns me about this product is that in all the shades, the shimmer in the product is largely a warmer gold, so they may not work as well for someone with very cool/blue undertones. Just something to watch for. The little glitter particles are pretty tiny, so maybe it won't even matter. But all in all, I like it. It's not one of those absolutely must-have products for me right now because it's winter, and I want more coverage than it provides. However, it's awesome for no-makeup days, and I think it might be indispensable for me in the spring and summer when I want to be all fresh-faced and glowing (code for "I don't want to look like I just sweated all my makeup off").

Rated Beauty Grade: A-

Price: $38

Where to Purchase: Birchbox, Jouer, Amazon