Saturday, March 23, 2019

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

Are you struggling to figure out how to take all your preferred skincare items and a makeup routine with you while traveling? Check out Jen’s post on Laugh, Love, Contour showing how she is able to take what she wants with her all while sticking to carry on bags and liquid restrictions. 

 The ice is finally melting in Toronto and ColorSutraa celebrating her first Spring in Canada with the Limited Edition Spring 2019 collection from Quo Cosmetics at Shoppers Drug Mart

This week, Polarbelle decided to take the plunge and order some items from Bad Habit Beauty and see what all the fuss is about. Join Shelley to see her haul followed by a Get Ready With Me.

Blushing Noir shows why NARS is running 2019 with the launch of their Voyageur Eyeshadow Palettes. Check out Nectar, her favorite of the four, here

Pammy Blogs Beauty has a new favorite mask for her dry/sensitive/irritated skin (from Retin-A use). Check out her review of Osmosis Skincare's Mango Mask

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog recently discovered SALT by Hendrix Coco-Salt Body Buff with Organic Coconut + Lavender, and can’t stop waxing poetic about this delectable scrub. It smells heavenly and it leaves skin unbelievably soft, smooth and supple. 

More and more people are turning to clean beauty products nowadays. Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom is explaining what it means just in case you want to jump on the bandwagon. 

Prime Beauty likes to be the star of the show and with the Natasha Denona Mini Star Eyeshadow Palette she can be! 

Looking for a new facial cleanser? Allison from Never Say Die Beauty loves the fluffy, whipped texture of First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser, a creamy gentle cleanser that is perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin and rosacea! It leaves skin soft and hydrated! 

Beauty Info Zone's 9th blog anniversary continues with more giveaways. The latest two are 4ever Magic Eyebrow Gel and Humboldt Soap Company's bath and body box. Be sure you enter these since the prizes will thrill the winners.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Red-y for spring with Born Pretty Store's Glitter Red nail polish

Press Sample

Happy Friday, dear readers! The season may have rolled over into spring this week, but the first couple days have been cooler than what it had been in Arizona. I'm certainly not complaining about weather in the low 70's, but it does have me wanting to step back from spring pastels. Born Pretty Store sent me a lovely reddish pink glitter nail polish, and while it was part of their winter series, I'm really feeling it today. Let's check it out!

Winter Light is a shimmering red polish that is designed for easy peel off when you are ready to change out your manicure.

Against my skintone, it looks like a strawberry red, with a subtle touch of pink to the base shade.

I really like this colour, but the formula left a lot to be desired. I found it to be an odd combination of thick and stringy, and it made even application to the nails exceptionally difficult. Even with patience and careful application, I couldn't quite get this polish to be even over my nail beds.

I used two coats of Winter Light for these photos.

While I'm admittedly not crazy about this polish due to its formula, Born Pretty Store has a lot of other great items for your nail art needs!

While you're there, be sure to use discount code QWL91 to save 10% off regular priced items.

What nail polish shades are you currently feeling drawn towards? Are you a fan of spring pastels or are you wearing other shades? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring Break SkinCare and Makeup: How I Keep Both my Makeup and My Luggage Light!

Happy Hump Day, dear readers, and happy first day of Spring! While spring has officially launched today, last week was my kindergartener's Spring Break. With my husband starting his new job only a few months ago and limited vacation time, we had decided against taking a family vacation for the time being. Instead, I took my kid back up to Northern California so he could visit with some friends we left behind with the move and I could check in at the office. It may not have been the most exciting spring break, but my son was thrilled to visit with his friends, and I did enjoy seeing my colleagues.

As much as I enjoy traveling, I used to always stress out when it came to figuring out how I was going to pack my beauty routine. I don't like to check my luggage when I fly, but with liquid restrictions on carry on luggage, what's a girl to do if they use a variety of products that all take up that precious quart-sized bag? For today's blog post, I wanted to share with you what items I took with me and how I like to pack my routine with limited space.

I have shared my biggest tip once before, and with spring break and summer vacations not to far off, I have to share it again! No matter where I go when I travel, you can expect to see my MYO Cosmetics case in my bag. This magnetic snap-closed case is a lifesaver, especially when it comes to traveling with my skincare items. One of the accessories that comes with the various versions of the kits are magnetic beauty pods. These pods are the must have item you didn't know you needed, and I can assure you, once you've tried them, you'll never want to go without! For my four day trip, I filled each of my pods with with their own respective serum, eye balm, day facial moisturizer and night moisturizer, and I organized my pods so one half contained my morning routine and the other half my night routine. There was also room to accommodate my mini product scoop. With a little more space available, I put my MUD eyebrow cream in one of my pods and filled the last bit of space with my eyebrow brush. To read more about the MYO Cosmetics Case, check out my original review here!

With my skincare needs already taken care of, it was easy to collect together my cosmetics items. I do have a second MYO Cosmetics kit that I use for my cosmetics, but I opted not to go that route this trip as I was trying out the new Wet n Wild Photo Focus Stick Foundation and wanted to keep my makeup light and fresh. For my cosmetics, I packed the following:

CōTZ Face Tinted Sunscreen While it technically is a sunscreen, it also serves as a primer as well! I have a full sized tube that I use at home, and I have this smaller sample-sized tube to take with me when traveling.

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Stick Foundation I really like the Photo Focus liquid foundation in spite of the awful smell before it dries, and I was eager to try out their new stick formula. I think this foundation would be too much for me when it gets too warm, but with the drier winter months, I am loving it!

Kokie Cosmetics Be Bright Illuminating Concealer I really like this concealer for under my eyes but I do wish there were a few more shade options. Even though I wear sunscreen daily, I've been getting a bit of a tan already. This one is a little too light for me now so I have to put a little foundation over it so I didn't have too-pale under eyes.

Smashbox The Cali Contour Palette I normally don't get very excited about contour palettes, but this one is my must have! I use it as intended to contour my face and add blush, but I also like to use it to create a beautiful natural eye look.

Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow As much as I enjoy using my Smashbox contour palette for my eye looks, I occasionally like to add just a little more oomph with my Stila liquid eyeshadow in the shade Kitten. My tube is a smaller size, although the full size isn't going to make you use up much luggage space either!

L'Oréal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lengthening Mascara I know you've seen this baby appear here on the blog already, and this is my go-to mascara! The tubing technology is exactly what I need to prevent mascara smudging!

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray I really like this setting spray and picked up a smaller travel sized bottle from Sephora for in my luggage. I may have kept my makeup very natural looking on my trip, but I still wanted it to look good after a full day of wear!

I often like to pack fun lipstick shades when I wear natural eye makeup, but I just wasn't feeling it this trip. Something about the freshness of spring made me want to keep everything simple so I just packed my Profusion Charm Matte Lipliner and Yes To Carrots Rosy Bloom Color Balm.

I love playing with fun colours at home, but when I'm traveling, I prefer to travel as light as possible and add in drama with either a vibrant lipstick or a fun shade of eyeliner. My makeup might have been natural for Spring Break, but I certainly added some pizzazz to my day by carrying it all in my stunning KBShimmer Multichrome Zipper Bag!

I hope you've enjoyed reading today's post, and I hope it gives you some ideas on what to take on your next trip! I am a huge fan of multitasking products and easy portability!

What items do you like to take with you when you're traveling? Do you prefer to travel light or do you like to have a lot of options available? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Birthday Nails with Darling Diva Polish

Happy Friday, dear readers! Today is my birthday, and I have a simple manicure to share with you! Now before I go any further with this post......

Language may be offensive to some readers!

I general don't mind profanity, but I know some of my readers aren't a fan. I have this warning in my post as the name of the polish for today's post may be offensive. If this is the case for you, you may not want to proceed further with this post.

For my birthday manicure, I opted to wear Bitches Have Birthdays by Darling Diva Polish.

Bitches Have Birthdays is a pretty crelly, and I had no idea it had butterfly shaped glitters! There are also some hearts although I didn't get any on my brush while I was doing my nails. I used two coats for opacity and topped my nails off with top coat.

I hope you've enjoyed my quick manicure post!

In case you missed it, earlier this week I shared a birthday giveaway post. Be sure to enter here!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day and enjoy the weekend!

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

St. Patrick's Nail Art Design with Rogue Lacquer and Shamrock Vinyls

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy hump day! It's an early one here for me as I will be on my way to the airport with my oldest son. As a kindergartener, it is his first official Spring Break, and we're going to be visiting with some friends up in Northern California that we left behind with our move. I'll also be doing some work while there, but we're both really excited to be going. Now on to today's post!

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corning, and I wanted to create a fun look for it. I have the exquisite Ugly But Interesting by Rogue Lacquer that I've been dying to wear, and this was the perfect opportunity to pull out this unusual green shade.

I also had these cute Shamrock vinyls that I was sent with a birthday package last year. I had originally planned to use them as a stencil but sadly the stencil didn't perform as I intended. I had to switch gears and use the vinyls as stickers instead.

I paired the Rogue Lacquer and the vinyl stickers with Rica Whiteout.

While this isn't exactly what I had in mind, I'm still enjoying my final look. I am completely smitten with Ugly But Interesting and find it to be anything but ugly!

I hope you've enjoyed my festive nail art look!

Are you painting your nails green for St. Patrick's Day? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, March 11, 2019

It's my birthday giveaway!

Greetings, dear readers! I have a quick post to share with you today. My birthday is coming up on Friday. I wanted to share the love and have a little giveaway.

The winner will receive the following:

Fresh Bare Beauties lip balm duo in Nude and Honey
Mehron Makeup Highlight-Pro 3 Shade Palette
Londontown Lakur in Dolly Mix
Londontown Lakur in Weekend Cheers

Additional details are in the rafflecopter widget below. Best of luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm off to finish up a few loose ends before I head out of town later this week. It is my kindergartener's first Spring Break, and I'm taking him on a little trip.

Until next time, dear readers, have a great day!

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The great purge and project pan challenge: February Edition

Another month has come and gone, and I wanted to share my progress on the Project Pan Challenge I have joined for this year. In my previous post, I had shared my goals for the year along with other beauty bloggers and vloggers joining me in this journey. As for my own personal goal, I want to rid myself for 150 products this year. While this number may seem high, I selected it because not only go I want to use up products, hitting pan if you will, but I also want to get rid of some beauty items I have been hoarding for some reason in spite of not really liking them. Let's jump in and see the items that have left my collection in February!

Use It: The Empties
Hair Products

Handle-Less 1875W Ceramic Tourmaline Hair Dryer | RED by KISS I was on the fence about including this on my list since it technically isn't empty, but since I used it until its dying day, I felt it was appropriate to use in this post. As you can imagine, it was a sad day in my household when my trusty hair dryer bit the bullet and stopped working for me. Thankfully I had a hair dryer in the guest bathroom so I could still dry my hair, but it just doesn't compare to my faithful friend. I have been using this hair dryer for almost four years now on a regular basis, and I really love the handle-less feature. While it took a little getting used to at first, I found it gave me extra control where I otherwise might be lacking, and I could getting better angles to dry my hair. The lack of handle also makes this model take up less space, both in my bathroom and in my luggage for when I'm traveling. I also really like how affordable it is! At only $25 (or $20 on, it does exactly what I need at a smaller price point than several other brands.

Divine Dark Dry Shampoo | Batiste Dry shampoo is a staple on my beauty routine, and this is surprisingly the first time I've tried any by Batiste. While I do appreciate the dark colour to prevent turning my hair a weird ashy colour, I did not like that it would get on my ears and neck and make them look like they belonged to one of my boys after a day of digging in the dirt. Thankfully I wear very little white clothing as well as some powder would get on my clothing as well. It also had a floral scent that I just don't care for. I managed to suck it up and use this until it was finished, but I will not be repurchasing this.

Body Products

Mermaid Deliciously Whipped Body Butter | SoapyBliss I don't think I have the words to explain just how much I love this body butter! The air is definitely dryer here in Arizona, and this winter would have been rough on my skin without this fabulously thick body butter to keep my skin feeling soft and nourished. It does contain coconut oil, which definitely can dry out my skin, but the addition of the mango butter makes this creamy perfection! I also adore the scent as it has tropical mermaid vibes. SoapyBliss offers a few other scent varieties so I'm still using the product but with a different fragrance now. I do like the others, but "Mermaid" is my jam.

Bali Mango Glowing Scrub | Bath & Body Works Phew, baby, is this bottle old! I found it hiding out in my bathroom cabinet while packing to move and was thisclose to throwing it away due to age. It still smelled fine so I opted to hold onto it and make it one of the first items I used up after moving. In the end, I wasn't a fan of this product and it wouldn't have been the worst thing for it to have stayed in California. While it technically smelled fine, I'm not too crazy about the scent. Also, I found the scrub to be really harsh in the skin. While I do like to use a more abrasive scrub in my body than my face, this one was still too coarse for my liking. I obviously won't be buying this one since it is retired, but I don't think I'll be seeking for any other scrubs from Bath & Body Works either.

Face Products (Skincare)

Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream | Pond's I had picked up this travel-sized jar when my moisturizer exploded on me during one of my trips, and now that I focused on using it up, I am remembering just how much I like this product! It feels rich on the face and is the perfect cream to give my skin an extra moisturizing boost while I sleep. While it can be used twice a day, I found it is too heavy for my liking during the day, especially with my combination to oily skin, but those with dryer skin may like it both morning and night. I already have another night cream from a different brand that I am using right now, but I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another jar of this one from Pond's in the future.

Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule | Mizon This isn't the first time this product has appeared on my blog, and it certainly won't be the last. This snail mucin serum is arguably my favorite K-beauty product, and I've already picked up another one! Once you get past the "ick" factor, it's easy to tap a few drops into your skin. The final result is smooth and moisturized skin. Some people have found that this helps with acne scarring as well, although I'm not entirely convinced I have seen that myself with this product.


Chai Amuse Bouche Lipstick | Bite Beauty I'm sure many of your recognize this as the sample-sized birthday gift from Sephora last year. This is the first time using this the Amuse Bouche lipsticks, and what a great intro! The colour is a lovely warm mauve brown, and I used it often both on it's own or blended in with other lipsticks that needed to be less bright. I currently have several lipsticks on hand so I don't think I'm going to buy a replacement in this shade, although I may consider purchasing other go-to shades. I also love the small sample size for carrying in a pocket or saving extra space traveling. I would love for Bite to release a small sample-sized set to try out other shades!

Matte Finish Setting Spray | NYX Cosmetics This makeup setting spray has been a staple in my makeup routine and for good reason. It certainly keeps my makeup in place throughout the day. While it isn't the absolute best makeup setting spray, especially for very long term wear, but it holds up throughout my workday and the price can't be beat. My next bottle is already open and in use.

Pro Finishing Sponge | ESUM Again, this is another one of those products that cannot exactly be emptied, but it is time to let it go. While I use brushes most often when it comes to foundation application, I do sometimes use a makeup sponge. I had picked up a two-pack of these sponges to try out, and in spite of using both of them, I'm still on the fence about how I feel about them. They are firmer and more dense than several other sponges I have tried, and they feel to absorb less product than some others. The longer flat side is nice at applying foundation although it is easy to go overboard with too much if you aren't careful. If you prefer the "bounce" application method like a traditional beauty blender, you may find the firmness of the sponge to be too much for your liking, unless you wish your beauty blender was less squishy, that is! The angled and pointed top makes for close application to the eyes as well as gets into harder to reach nose areas. The set of two sponges is only $20, so the price is good if you like this type of cosmetic sponge. As for me, I don't hate it, but I don't love it either.

Hibiscus Tinted Lip Balm | Burt's Bees I'm usually pretty good about putting my lipstick du jour in my bag before I leave the house, but for the days I don't, or even the days I opt not to wear lipstick, I could always count on this lip balm being in my bag. Nourishing to the lips and adding a subtle pop of colour, this is a must have handbag essential for me. I've not picked up a replacement yet as I have other lip balms I want to try to use up first, but I can see myself picking up another one of these, perhaps in a different shade for something different.

Moxie Get Ready Lipstick | bareMinerals This lipstick sample was sent to me in an Ipsy bag and promptly forgotten about. Oops! In my defense, I've only ever had mediocre experiences with bareMinerals products and this shade of pink isn't something I find myself gravitating towards often. I found that it didn't look quite right on me, so I ended up blending it in with other lipsticks for something more flattering. I don't believe bareMinerals sells this line any longer, but even if they were, I doubt I would pick up more.

Lose It: Purged Products
Last month was highly productive as I either emptied or got rid of 27 items. February was even better regarding the numbers, although it didn't feel quite so successful. In truth, I've hit a low point in regards to my mental health, hence my rather substantial absence from the blog for the month. I've not been using as many products, especially when it comes to cosmetics items, and I'm a little hesitant to rid myself of items when I'm in a funk. In January, I was able to purge some items that are technically good but just don't suit me for some reason, and I had taken on a "does it make me feel good" approach. Items that left me feeling underwhelmed are being removed from my stash, but as many of you likely already know, when you're not doing well mentally, everything has you going "meh". Still, I was able to purge my life of some products that just aren't quite right for me.

Glacé Matte Crēme Lip Crayon | Bite Beauty I wanted to like this other portion of my Sephora birthday gift, but this colour just did not work for me. While I could have decided to mix it with other shades, I had already elected to let it go. In an effort to keep working through my stash, I'm going to just follow through with my initial thought and say farewell to this lip crayon. I do really like the consistency and find it to be very comfortable on the lips and will have to keep this formula in mind should I be looking for more lip products.

Chelsea Ulti-Matte Lip Crayon | KISS New York Pro I picked up this lip crayon on a whim after testing out a few KISS NY Pro products, and I really liked how affordable it was! The colour is really pretty, however the formula left a lot to be desired. The stick is exceptionally firm, making it a little difficult to apply to the lips. I found once I did get colour to my lips, my lips felt a strange combination of dry with a wax film. Needless to say, I was not too happy about it, and I'm tired of trying to make this work for me. KISS NY Pro no longer appears to be selling this particular product, so I think someone there realized it just wasn't good.

Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Library | Bite Beauty I kind of hate that this section of my post seems like I'm picking on Bite Beauty, especially since I do enjoy the brand. I had picked up this limited edition lip gloss set on a whim one day since I really loved the colours in this 12-piece library, but I failed the brand by not doing due diligence before picking it up. Unfortunately, all of these are scented with rose fragrance, and I've not exactly kept my distain for this particular scent quiet here on my blog. While the scent isn't strong, I'm just not a fan and couldn't get past it with the couple of shades I've tried. As sad as I am to finally admit it to myself that this set isn't for me, I only tried a few shades and will therefore be able to pass on several unused tubes to someone that can actually enjoy them.

Infallible Never Fail Lip Colour (#400 Apricot, #710 Merlot, and #840 Russet) | L'Oréal Paris I had picked up these now discontinued products at a discount store to try out because I apparently don't have enough lip products in my life. They actually applied nicely to my lips and were comfortable to wear, but I just don't seem to grab for these particular tubes. These aren't bad, but there are other products I like more, and that is enough for me to let them out of my life.

Whisper Lip + Cheek Pencil | Nudestix While I have used other Nudestix products and enjoyed them immensely, this colour really does not work for me. It's just too light to do anything on my cheeks and the colour is not even remotely flattering when used on my lips.

Ultra Hydrating Beauty Lotion | Equate Beauty With the cost of the move, not to mention change of address issues and shipping, I attempted to save some moolah and time by purchasing some products at my local Walmart. As this list can attest, it did not go well. I had hoped to turn this into a nice every day moisturizer, but egads, the smell! It smells like a cross between rose and baby powder, and not something I want on my face. I really tried to get past that and use it, but I found my face super greasy a few hours after application. I also ended up with some lovely breakouts from it, so never again!

Dual Effect Moisturizer | Up&Up With my newly developed acne and my sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide, I though adding in a BHA to my routine might help my skin. While I do like to use BHAs, I'm not sure that attempting to combine them with a moisturizer was a great idea. This moisturizer left my skin feeling so dry, and now I no longer have to look at the bottle.

Tansy Ultra Satin Lip | Colourpop I remember when I first discovered Colourpop after a few friends introduced me to the brand. I know several people love the brand, but my experience hasn't been particularly pleasant. From batch to batch inconsistencies with colour (after side-by-side comparisons from other batches to confirm) to terrible customer service regarding missing items and packages sent to the wrong customer, I've unfortunately not had the best experience with the brand. I actually threw away many of my Colourpop liquid lip products before the move since everything had an underlying dingy brown colour, but I still held on to Tansy because it was, in truth, one of the very few positive items I had purchased from the brand. That said, the colour just isn't right on me, and given my lack of love for the brand already, I'm not sure why I held onto it as long as I did.

Ultra-Blotted Lip (Double Scoop and Doozy) | Colourpop While I've had issues with the brand, I still have kept trying to like them and see what all the hype has been about. As you have seen, I wear tinted lip products from time to time, so I naturally thought these Ultra-Blotted lip products would win me over. Obviously since it made the purge list, that was not the case. While I do like the shades themselves, I found the colours to go on very patchy. Even with being lightly pigmented, this unevenness still would show on me and just did not look good.

 And that, dear readers, concludes my list of purged products! Let's get a quick look at the numbers:

February Stats
Empties: 11
Purged: 23
Monthly Total: 34

2019 Stats to date
Empties: 24
Purged: 37
Total: 61

I'm definitely making great progress already this year, in spite of last month not going through items as much as I thought I would. I don't have any empties yet for this month, but I am so so close to finishing up a few things.

How was your month for your beauty goals? Have you emptied any items or found new products you enjoy? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Pink and gold star nail art with Zoya's Winter Holos

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy hump day! It has been a little while since I've shared nail art here on my blog, and I have a simple design to share with you today. I had originally planned to create a Valentine's Day look with the Zoya Winter Holos, but alas, the time has come and gone quickly with sickness playing a major role in my household all month long. I wasn't sure what other nail art look I wanted to do with these polishes until I stumbled across a pretty pink and gold celestial design while shopping for something online this past weekend. The unusual colour choices caught my attention, and I knew I had to get it on my nails! Let's check it out!

To create this look, I started off by painting my nails with two coats of Zoya Cadence

I then pulled from my old stash of Nail Vinyls a star pattern and circle designs that I overlaid to create waxing and waning moons.

Because Brighton, the gold Zoya polish isn't particularly opaque, I opted to thinly apply a coat of white polish over the vinyls and then Brighton. Adding the white base certainly helped to bring out the colour. I then removed the vinyls and added a layer of top coat to finish off my look.

While there are some things I'm not happy about, I do like this design overall. I had some polish with vinyl application issues as the white base polish had to dry first before applying Brighton, resulting in the vinyl pulling off some of the gold layer when I removed the vinyls. I think this design would have turned out better if I removed the vinyl between the white and gold layers. I had freehanded the gold on top in some areas where a substantial amount of polish was removed, but my caffeine-induced jittery hands were of no match for the accuracy needed. In spite of the flaws, I cannot help staring at my nails from time to time and will definitely have to recreate it under better circumstances!

Have you been enjoying the Zoya Winter Holos? I would love to hear about any nail art looks you have created with them!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Ellagee returning to the March 2019 Polish Pickup with Funhouse!

Press Sample

Happy Monday, dear readers! Do I have some great news to share with you today! I am thrilled to share that ellagee polish will be returning to the Polish Pickup for this weekend's opening! 

For those not familiar with Polish Pickup, let me fill you in! Each month, theme suggestions are submitted by polish fans, narrowed down by the Pickup, and then voted on. The winning theme is then used as the inspiration by indie brands to create stunning polishes. These polishes (and other fantastic goods) are then available for purchase during the first weekend only of each month. It is a great way to pick up items that fit your favorite themes without having to subscribe to a box or end up with polishes you don't want. With Polish Pickup, you can choose as many or as few polishes or items that you want, and there is no obligation to make a purchase each month. The concept is genius, and it has taken the indie world by storm since it was created!

The theme for the March Pickups (the Polish and Indie Pickups have been combined and is now "The Pickups") is Album Covers. I have bee enjoying the reveals as they have been coming, and this particular polish is going to be a favorite for the upcoming spring and summer months. After taking a break the past few months, Laura's latest creation, Funhouse, is bound to be a found on many fingertips as the weather warms up. This polish is a thermal so you can really appreciate it in its full glory this spring. Let's check it out!

Cold State

Funhouse is described as a coral red to clear thermal polish with hot pink to gold shifting shimmer and gold flakes. This shade was inspired by the P!nk's album of the same name. This is what Laura of ellagee had to say about this beauty:

I love P!nk for her bold individuality, her amazing music, and her incredible performances. I hope you'll find this polish as eye-catching and fun as she herself is!

I can only speak for myself, but I know I love it!

Warm State

With the cold front that has come through Arizona, I actually got to enjoy both states covering the majority of my nails. When it comes to thermal polishes, it is common for me never to see the cold state, other than maybe on my nail tips when my nails are on the longer side, so this has been a fun wear for me. I've not made it a secret that I'm rarely drawn towards thermals as I tend to strongly prefer the colour of the cold state, and thus not get to see it much on me, but there have been a few that I've come across that I enjoy immensely. Funhouse is one such polish. While I do have a preference for the cold coral state, both versions are lovely! I'll be sad when it inevitably stops transitioning, but I love the coral shade so I won't mind when it comes to pass.

For these swatch photos, I applied two coats of Funhouse and followed up with top coat for an extra glossy finish. Because the warm state is clear, you may want to consider layering this over a nude polish if you wish to avoid visible nail line. With two coats, I could still see some nail line, but the gold flakes do offer quite a bit of coverage. A third carefully placed coat would likely cover the little bit that remained for me. I had no issues with application and found that Funhouse applies beautifully to the nails.

Funhouse will be available for purchase from The Pickups this Friday, March 1st through Monday, March 4th. It will retail for $12 per bottle, and there is no cap on the number of bottles available. Please note all orders submitted through The Pickup is submitted as a pre-order. Because indie brands have to ship to Pickup headquarters for final shipment to customers, orders take approximately three weeks to ship out to consumers.

Will you be adding Funhouse to your Pickup order? Do you have a preference between the cold and warm states? Do you think ellagee capture's P!nk's energy with this polish? I'd love to hear what you think!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Huangjisoo Broccoli voluming mask and pure perfect cleansing Oil

Press Samples

I really enjoying trying out new-to-me skincare products, and the past few years, I have discovered a few K-beauty products that I keep returning to time and time again. When I was given the opportunity to test out a couple samples by Huangjisoo, it was a no-brainer to jump at the chance.  I received a face mask and a sample of their cleansing oil to test out. My thoughts about these are located below.

Broccoli Voluming Mask

My mask was labeled as "Broccoli Voluming Mask" and is the same mask as their "Broccoli Plumping Mask". They sell through their own website in addition to a US storefront on (both linked below), so this is something you will want to know depending on which site you opt to purchase this mask from.

In addition to vitamin rich broccoli extract to revitalize the skin, the serum packaged with this mask also includes mushroom extract for an ultra moisturizing treat for your skin.

Once opened, the sheet mask is unfolded and placed on the face. Unsurprisingly, since facial features vary from person to person, this type of mask generally isn't going to be a perfect fit for everyone. That said, I was still able to place it on my face and didn't find the eye cutouts to be intrusive to my vision like they occasionally can be.

An interesting feature about this mask is the area that covers the cheek has a slit towards the center of the mask. This is a great feature that allows the mask to cover those with longer faces or those with shorter faces to just overlap them like I have shown here. After 20 minutes, I pulled the still damp mask off my face, tapped in the serum on my face, and rubbed the excess serum from the packaging onto the backs of my hands.

I don't find a single use of a mask to be efficient when it comes to full testing purposes, so I really cannot say if consistent use will help with the appearance of your skin. I can tell you that my skin felt incredibly soft after the first use, and I did not experience any unpleasant side effects.

Pure Perfect Cleansing Oil

I also received a sample packet of the Huangjisoo self-proclaimed holy grail product, the Pure Perfect Cleansing Oil.

My experience with cleaning oils is limited, largely in part because I'm not fond of rubbing oil onto by already combination-to-oily skin. In spite of my trepidation, the ingredients in this particular cleansing oil didn't set off any alarm bells in my mind so I went into the testing relatively comfortably.

I figured the best way to test out this cleansing oil was with a full face of makeup, and I was pretty amazed with the results. Sure, I was already pretty confident my makeup would come off without issue, but in spite of putting oil on my face, it still didn't feel like a greasy mess when I was done. After rinsing with warm water and a gentle foaming cleansing step, my skin felt soft and, well, nice! Between the natural ingredients and how this sample package treated my skin, Huangjisoo has turned me into a cleansing oil convert! I should add that it does have a subtle scent that I found to be warm and a little citrusy, but unless you are incredibly sensitive to smells, I suspect most could tolerate it well, if not even enjoy it.

These products were a great introduction to the brand for me, and I look forward to seeing what future products they release! Since I'm trying to not buy any more sheet masks, I don't foresee going that route, but I plan to pick up more cleansing oil and would like to try out their assortment of facial cleansers in the future.

Have you tried any of the products by Huangjisoo? If so, what have been your favorites? Do you like to use cleansing oils? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful evening!

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