Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Desk/Vanity


home office desk, makeup vanity, ikea alex & linnamon

First Impressions/Review: Ikea Alex Drawers & Linnmon Table TopIn November, I had the chance to visit Ikea for the first time. I quickly knew it was time for a desk upgrade. I've been eyeing the Alex 9 Drawer unit for way too long. (And even fake checked-out online; I immediately X-ed out when I saw the shipping charges.) About a week before the trip, I had a change of heart and decided to get two of the Alex Drawer Units instead.

I knew I wanted the high-gloss Linnmon Table Top to avoid makeup stains and for easy-clean. I continuously debated if I want the 47.5 inch or 59 inch table top. (Even while in the store, it took me 30 minutes to decide.) I finally went with the 59 inch. Simply because it was a lot more desk/surface for only $11 more.

My old set up was a mix-match of old apartment furniture: Bed Bath & Beyond Z-Carts topped with half of a Wal-Mart parsons desk. It did the job but it wasn't sturdy, or all that pretty to look at. I didn't have foot space. Not to mention, all of my other shelves/furniture are white. (For the record, my old table top was around 30 inches.)

When we got home and set the new Ikea furniture up, I immediately thought it was way too big for me. I loved the look and drawer space, but I felt like I should've gotten the 47.5 inch top. I immediately purchased the ClosetMaid Stackable Storage Organizer to take up the back corner of my desk. (And give more storage space for bottles and other items I didn't want in drawers.)

Fast forward to weeks later, now - I'm really happy with the whole desk and the 59 inch top. 1.) I have foot space. 2.) I can hide my printer and trash can under the desk. 3.) The extra width of the table top allows room for cords behind the desk. 4.) I have so much work/surface space!

I'm incredibly happy with the drawers. My old drawers were deep and not very long. The Alex drawers are shallow and around 20 inches long. So much stuff can fit in these! In one unit, I have all of my makeup, samples, and hair accessories/tools. In the other, I have office and shipping supplies. I lined the bottom with shelf liner and used foam board to make drawer dividers. Getting the drawer dividers exactly how I want them is a work in progress. So far, I'm pretty happy with these two:

makeup, office supplies

I do feel a little guilty for spending nearly $250 on myself so close to Christmas, but I know I'll have this set up for years to come. I definitely recommended the Alex drawers and Linnmon top.

desk drawers & table tops,
-Kaitlyn

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review: YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector & Primer*

I was beyond excited to find a YSL package in my PO box a few weeks ago. High-end/luxury products just aren't in my budget, so getting the opportunity to test new products from YSL was exciting! Both of the products - the primer and perfector - promise to extend the life of your make-up. Over the course of a week weeks, I tested both products.

YSL

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer
The full size is 1 oz and retails for $52. (I received a deluxe/trial size .33 oz.) 

I was a little worried when I saw the gold flakes in this primer. A glitter face is the last thing I want to 'blur' my imperfections and be under my makeup. Surprisingly, you do not see the gold flakes when applied. This primer feels heavy and really silky at first. It takes a few minutes to really sink in and dry/mattify. When I was in a hurry, I found this annoying. It did make my skin feel good and soft. It also made some of my pores less noticeable. Unfortunately, I didn't notice my makeup staying on any longer. (I'm in the southern heat, I'm not sure if that's why.)

YSL Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Perfector

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Perfector
The full size is 0.33 oz and retails for $55. (I received a full size.)
The packaging is beautiful. The compact feels sturdy and snaps together nicely. The perfector comes with a cloth/velour sponge. The sponge doesn't fit in the compact, nor is there storage space for the sponge. I found this annoying - how am I supposed to store and travel with the sponge while protecting it? The balm is slightly sticky but silky at the same time - the sponge left cloth partials/lint in the balm - I also found this annoying and decided just to apply it with my fingers. The balm is a tinted rose color. I was a little worried at first since my skin is more yellow-toned. Luckily, it goes on clear; there's no color pay off.

On the first few days of testing, I used on this on my bare skin - it made my skin feel good and soft and somewhat evened out my skin tone. However, it didn't 'blur' redness. Next, I tried it under my makeup (concealer and powder) - that was a poor decision... my makeup looked flakey. It made my dry skin look drier. Next, I used it over my makeup - as a setting powder. I blotted it all over with my fingers; I noticed fine lines that I never really notice. The best use I found for the Blur Perfector is using it as a brow gel to keep my brows in place. While that's not what's made for, I found it being the most effective for this task. I do not like heavy brow gels; this balm has just enough of the sticky feeling to keep hairs in place.

Bottom Line: After seeing so many raving reviews, I'm really sad to say these products just didn't work with my normal-to-dry skin and current, minimal, makeup routine. I didn't notice a major difference in my skin while using these products. While they're good ideas and somewhat effective, I do not think the price tag matches the results. The primer is potentially worth looking into. In my opinion, the blur perfector is an unneeded extra step. I will not purchase these in the future.

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sephora Favorites: Skinstant Radiance

Calling all high-end skincare lovers, RUN to your local Sephora inside of JCPenney! One of my favorite things is to try out new high-end skincare. I don't have the budget to spend $40-$100 on one single skincare item, like a lot of companies charge. I always end up going for these value sets or beauty boxes that feature an assortment of skincare products. After trying them out, I can decide if it really is a miracle product and worth the high price tag.

Sephora Favorites

Nouveau Cheap posted about this value set on Tuesday. I have been loving all of my other Sephora Favorites sets and knew I had to have this one. Not to mention, yesterday also launches the Beauty Insider 10% off sale with code "BILOVE". (Yes, I'm on a no-buy but I always hoard my Christmas gift cards for the April sale.)

I believe this set is available only in-store at Sephora inside of JCPenney; you can not purchase it online.

sephora favorites

The Skinstant Radiance Set has 11 skincare samples and a makeup bag. The set says it's a $110 value, I had a difficult time believing that, so I did my own calculations:
  • bareMinerals Mineralixirs 5-Oil Blend (0.1 oz.) - $2.94 value
  • Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder (0.35 oz.) - $5.97 value 
  • Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF45 (0.17 oz.) - $4.42 value
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser (1.0 oz.) - (1.0oz retails for $5.50 at Sephora)
  • GLAMGLOW Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment (0.5 oz.) - (0.5oz retails for $19 at Sephora)
  • Josie Maran Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil (0.16 oz.) - $2.04 value
  • Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (1.0 oz.) - $5.34 value
  • Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel (0.1 oz.) - $4.20 value
  • Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel (3.3 oz.) - $14.75 value
  • Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Lotion (1.7 oz.) - $1.50 value
  • St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion (2.85 oz.) - $14.96 value
  • Sephora makeup bag - unknown value
I didn't triple check my math and I could've possibly made an error; according to my calculations, the product value comes out to $80.62. I guess Sephora put a $29.38 value on the makeup bag? (Someone please correct me if you see an error.)

Either way, $35 (plus 10-15% off) for $80+ worth of product and a makeup bag is an awesome deal! I'm super pleased and happy with this purchase. I haven't tried any of these exact products; I'll get to try out new skincare for months!

HE skincare junkie,
-Kaitlyn

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

June Favorites | Unii Palette Review

"Favorites" posts/videos discuss the products (and other misc things) you loved for that month. The products can either be purchased that month or (old) "rediscovered" items. Favorites are published at the end of the current month or at the beginning of the following month."

I went on an accidental "no buy" during the month of June, which was good for both my makeup collection and wallet, but bad for my blog. For the month of June, I have only one beauty favorite... the Unii Cosmetics Palette. Originally, I purchased this just for traveling to protect my makeup and condense my makeup bag. However, I am still using this for my everyday makeup.

unii palette

Not only does it take up less space in my makeup bag, but it also allows me to save time while getting ready each morning; I no longer have to find and open multiple palettes. The Unii palette is really sturdy with a strong closure and large mirror. The best part of the Unii palette is it's completely customizable; a large selection of makeup is already magnetized, but if it isn't, depotting is super easy and the Unii palette includes a sheet of adhesive magnets.

The palette is pricier compared to others but I think it's worth it to: know your makeup is protected, reduce clutter/save space, and speed up the getting ready process. My only complaint is I wish it was just a little bit bigger - I'd love for my bronzer to fit in this palette, too.

Product: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Packaging:
5/5

Overall Rating: 4/5
Retail Price: $29.00
Retailers: uniicosmetics.com
Overall: It's a sturdy, not quite big enough, palette that makes makeup organization easy.
Best For: Those who travel often and/or live out of a makeup bag.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

magnets & mirrors,
-Kaitlyn

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Beach Waves in a Bottle

Review: TIGI Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray

We all know hair scrunching is now deemed unacceptable, but we wavy-haired girls need something to boost waves and control frizz.  I think I have discovered a new Holy Grail product: TIGI Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray.

TIGI Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray

I use it on both wet and dry hair.  Either way, the results are almost as good as true beach waves.   The product is kind of sticky at first but dries to a matte texture.  I did not notice a ton of volume and shine, as promised.  However, I am still impressed my waves looked somewhat done but were not hair-spray-hard. My hair still felt light and the product didn’t cause any tangles.

I kind of think of this product as a three-in-one: waves, fragrance, and hairspray. I already mentioned the waves but let me explain the other two:

The fragrance of this product is strong. It gave me a slight headache the first day I tried it but I eventually got used to and even started to like it. I can not quite put my finger on the scent but it’s similar to a fruity summer cocktail. When I use this product, I don’t bother wearing perfume and mixing scents – I let it double as a wave-booster and fragrance.

beach waves with salt spray

Finally, it also worked pretty good as a hairspray.  I curl my hair with hot rollers.  My aerosol hairspray was in the back of my linen closet but the salt spray was right in front of my face – so I figured if it could boost waves, it could boost and hold curls; I was right.  My hair stayed curled for THREE days (and still looked decent after sleeping on it) thanks to this salt spray.

I really like the packaging. It's smaller in diameter than most hairsprays, so it fits more comfortably in my hand while using it, and it takes up less storage space.  The all-black bottle with silver print is really sleek and easy on the eyes.

TIGI Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray

This was the first salt spray I’ve tried, so I have no clue how it compares to other brands but I’m definitely impressed and will use this for awhile.

Product: 4/5
Value: 5/5
Packaging:
5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Retail Price: $18.95
Retailers: Ulta, salons
Overall: It's a good product in sleek packaging but doesn't do everything it promises.
Best For: Those who have naturally wavy/curly hair and need a wave booster/tamer.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

salt sprays & beach waves,
-Kaitlyn

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Remington vs. Twistband

Is there a true dupe for the beloved Twistband?


Remington any wear hair & wrist elastics 
"The elastics securely hold your hair without pulling.  They're made of stretchy, fashionable elastic that will make your updo look fabulous.  Don’t want to wear it in your hair?  Wear it on your wrist as a bracelet." - remingtonproducts.com

Twistbands
"Elastic bands tug on hair, cause headaches and can leave dents in your hair when you take it down. But with the introduction of the Twistband that is all about to change... Twistbands are pony bands and headbands made of elastic trim.  They stretch to support any hairstyle, yet are slim and sleek enough to wear on your wrist when you want to let your hair down." - thetwistband.com


I received my first Twistband a year ago in my Birchbox.  But because of my thick hair and tendency to loose and pop hair ties, I just set it aside.  I didn't want to use it, what if I loved it?  Previously $10.00 for three hair elastics (now six elastics) seemed like a lot for as fast as I went through hair ties.  I received another Twistband in May and finally decided to actually see what the hype was about.  I did see a difference... there was no pulling, dents weren't as noticeable, and the quality was a lot better than a standard hair tie.  It seems nearly impossible to break, mind you, I have a thick head of hair.  I only have two Twistbands; they've lasted quite a few months.

About a month ago, many YouTube gurus mentioned they saw Twistband dupes, the Remington any wear hair & wrist elastics, at most drugstores.  Wanting to see the dupes for myself, I searched for awhile but could never find them... after I'd given up, I found the Remington hair elastics at Wal-Mart, a 2 pack for $1.50.  Immediately, I noticed they looked like lower quality Twistbands, but I still purchased two packs.  About a week later, I found the Remington hair elastics at Target, a two-pack for $3.25.  (Now, I'm finding them everywhere mostly at the $3.00 price point.)

The any wear hair ties aren't made of a good quality elastic; it felt like these need to be wrapped around three times to completely hold a ponytail in place.  It would only go around my hair twice. (If you have thin hair, you may have better luck.)  After about 3 days of wear, the Remington hair ties completely lost their appeal - they were so stretched out and didn't look nice on my bathroom counter, much less wearing them as a bracelet:


The Winner: Twistbands  

Unfortunately, they're not true dupes.  The higher price point does mean better qualify.  (Not to mention, Twistbands are pretty simple to make.  Be sure to find high-quality elastic.  You can find handmade dupes on Etsy or eBay, or just make your own.) 

to modern day scrunchies,
-Kaitlyn

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Firsts from Chanel*

I've always eyed Chanel products. Could I justify the high price tag just try a new product in one shade? No. Full disclosure: I received a very generous spring incentive (employee discount) which I took advantage of; I got these products at a fraction of the cost.

All of the items I wanted to try ending up being limited edition products only available at holiday time.  The sales associate and I just played in makeup for about 30 minutes until I was finally content with the shades.  She kept insisting I go "out of the box", out of my comfort zone, and she was right... I needed to.


I explained to her I had extremely dry flaky lips, so she recommended the Rouge Coco Shine Lipsticks. When it comes to lipstick, I always go for the color-of-my-lips-but-better with a hint of brown.  I was drawn to shade Deauville immediately.  Both the sales associate and a coworker insisted I go for the true pink shades, to bring out the pink in my cheeks.  I listened; why did I need another lipstick shade similar to the majority of my other ones?  I finally chose the shade Fetiche.

I also really wanted to try a nail polish; everyone knows my nail polish collection is already obnoxious.  I was really drawn to the red family, but again, why did I need so many similar shades?  I didn't really care much for the "top" Chanel shades. Like Paradoxal, Particuliere, and Rouge Noir.  The sales associate swatched Orange Fizz on my nail.  I liked it, I realized I had no orange shades in my collection, and we found the winner.

I only walked away with two products.  Looking back, with the three-day spring incentive, I should've picked up a few more products but it looks like I'll be waiting until the next fall incentive (and maybe some holiday products.)

Review
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in Fetiche
It's extremely soft and moisturizing, somewhat similar to the Revlon lip butters.  The color payoff is glossy and really sheer, not very buildable.  (If your lips are extremely pigmented, this color probably won't even show up.) The color is a medium rosy pink, no undertones.  It does have a brightening effect.  It's not very long-lasting, it lasts less than an hour on me. The packaging is sleek and durable.

Product: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Packaging: 5/5
Overall: 3/5
Retail: $32.50
Overall: I don't think it's an amazing product for the cost.
Best For: Those who like sheer glossy lipstick and don't have very pigmented lips.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color in Orange Fizz
This is a pretty seasonal color.  The color is in-between melon and coral.  I plan to wear this on my toes a lot in the summer.  It was pretty on my nails, too, but I prefer more neutral shades. Unfortunately, it takes three coats to get completely opague and rid of streaks.  What I did like so much is the glossy finish, after the third coat, it looked like I already topped it with Seche Vite. It chipped on the third day, but it didn't peel off;  I'm impressed with the formula.

Product: 4/5
Value: 3/5
Packaging: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
Retail: $26.00
Overall: It's a great seasonal color with a high gloss finish. For the cost, it should be one-coater.
Best For: Those who like colorful, glossy, cream nail color and don't mind multiple coats.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend. 

Gift with Purchase: I received a deluxe sample of Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme.  I've only used this a few times.  It does feel amazing, the same finish and cooling texture as Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.  But for $87.00, I don't think it's a must-have.

out of the box,
-Kaitlyn

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: MAC Hot 'n' Saucy

MAC Tendertone in Hot 'n' Saucy from the Cook Collection February 2012



Looking back at my blog, I'm just now realizing I haven't purchased any MAC collections since December 2010 – a little over a year. Nothing has really caught my eye until I saw the Shop/Cook press release.

For lip-product lovers, I'm sure it wasn't too hard to find multiple things to buy with new lipstick shades, kissable lip colors, and what I was excited for, the repromotion of Tendertones. Everyone was crossing their fingers for a repromotion of Ripe Peach Blush in this spring collection. Unfortunately, a lot of people were let down. I've heard raves about Tendertones, and like most good MAC products (and sometimes colors), you'll only see them every few years. I practically ran to my MAC counter the day the collection was released to look at all of the Tendertones in-person. All of the lip colors were pretty intimidating – an orange, yellow, neon green, and bright red. But I remembered reading a review saying these were really sheer. I decided to go with the bright red, Hot 'n' Saucy.

First Impression
I loved the precious exterior box packaging...a summer picnic with the pink plaid packaging. (The lipstick sleeves were really neat, too.) It looked look a lip product in a paint pot. I expected it to be a harder balm so I accidentally dug my finger into with first use.

Review
The formula is excellent, super soft and easily glides on, pretty moisturizing and little to no color.

I usually don't care much for scented products – especially food scents. But I actually don't mind this one... it's some mix between strawberry-kiwi-watermelon. Like Kool-Aid, or a childhood Smackers lip product.

With the Tendertone itself, I was impressed and it does live up to its hype. It appears most other consumer reviews recommended the other 3 shades for the shimmer it provides, but I'm happy with the one I chose. I probably won't pick up any of the others, because there are better lip products out there for about one-third of the cost... if that. It does have SPF 12, so I'll probably end up using this a lot more in the Summer.

I prefer convenient packaging that allows the product to go directly onto the lips. I don't like to mess with lip brushes and putting your finger into a product is unsanitary and messy. Not to mention, the bottom being made of glass doesn't seem safe to travel...

Rating
Product: 4/5
Value: 3/5
Packaging: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Retail: $15.00

Overall: It's a good product, and a nice one to have if you're really into MAC collections, especially products that are rarely out often. However, for the average consumer, there are better and cheaper lip products available.
Best For: Those who like potted, scented lip products and are looking for moisture but little to no color.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

Saucy,
-Kaitlyn

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette




Foxy - pale yellowed beige matte
Half Baked - coppery brown with golden shimmer metallic
Booty Call - peach-tinted white beige satin
Chopper - orange-toned with copper shimmer metallic
Tease - mauve brown matte
Snakebite - bronze with golden shimmer satin
Suspect - soft champagne-bronze satin
Pistol - taupe with a lot of brown satin
Verve - white-gray metallic
YDK - warm coppery brown metallic
Busted - burgundy deep brown satin
Blackout - deep black matte

Naked - sheer neutral pink with white shimmer.

It's a fabulous value, if you bought everything separately (12 shadows, the lip gloss, the brush) you would pay $234.  They put it all in one sleek palette for $50.


Pros:
-Packaging - Sleek packaging in a metal tin that shuts really well.  It's a little heavier than the original but feels more durable and travel-friendly.
-All eyeshadow have good color payoff, easy to work with.
-Matte highlight and black (can be used as eyeliner!)
- A large usable mirror.  Palettes and face products usually always come with those tiny impossible to see anything mirrors, but this one might actually get some use!

Cons:
-Lack of dark colors - not that many dark colors to work with. Only two good crease colors.
-Too many similar colors to the original palette.
-Dual-ended brush - (This is probably just me being weird and picky) I keep my brushes in brush holder - how am I supposed to store a dual ended one? One side will be messed up.  I don't like keeping brushes in the palette, they usually aways fall out when you open it.
-Lip gloss - I don't understand why a lip gloss was placed in this EYE palette? Another primer potion would've made more sense.


Comparison
Let's compare Naked (the original) to Naked 2.

There's really no need to purchase both palettes. If you're an obsessed beauty junkie, of course, you'll want both but the everyday normal person can definitely just get away with one.


-Half Baked is in both palettes.
-Booty Call (2) and Virgin (1) are nearly the same color.
-Suspect (2) and Smog (1) are nearly the same color.
-YDK (2) and Sidecar (1) are nearly the same color.
-Busted (2) and Hustle (1) are nearly the same color.

A few others are similar. Only 5 shades (out of 12) aren't similar at all to any in the first palette.  I'm a little disappointed with Urban Decay for producing such similar colors and even including one of the exact same.

The only two things I really couldn't stand about Naked the original were:
1.) The "black" color was really a glitter almost black/navy mess. I needed a true black to go over eyeliner or deepen the crease for night time looks.  I always had my Naked palette along with MAC Carbon Eyeshadow.

2.) The felt packaging always collected dirt.

Both of these 2 flaws were fixed in the Naked 2 palette. A deep dark black eyeshadow and a sleek metal tin as packaging.


So which one do I buy?
It took me a year to finally just give in and purchase Naked. I've used it every day since and have gotten rid of almost all of my neutral MAC eyeshadows (minus Carbon.)  Only a few colors are starting to have a dent in them.  It only took me a month to purchase Naked 2 this time around.  I looked at swatches but I never really sat down and read multiple reviews saying you don't REALLY need both.

My ideal Naked palette would be to take all of the eyeshadows from the original and put it in Naked 2's sleek case.  Then switch out Creed (1) with Blackout (2) and switch Gunmetal (1) with Verve (2).

Both Naked and Naked 2 both have warm tones.  Naked 2 is the cooler toned palette but still may not suit all cool tones.  Naked can create more looks.  Naked 2 has a matte highlight and black (can be used for eyeliner or deepening.) Naked is more pigmented and shimmery.  Basically, the choice will depend on your preferences and skin tone...

Rating:
Product: 4/5
Value: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5

Retail: $50.00
The Winner: Naked (the original)
Overall: I'd be more impressed with this palette if I didn't already own the original.  Don't get me wrong, I do like it and I've been alternating back and forth between the two palettes. They're pretty similar, but I understand it's hard to produce so many different shades of neutral.  The original Naked palette got a ridiculous amount of hype and Urban Decay played off that. $50 for 12 full-sized eyeshadows with great color payoff is a great value and worth looking into especially if you never purchased the original palette.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

naked again,
-Kaitlyn

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter


"94% of women felt lips were softer, smoother, and instantly hydrated." 
 - Revlon.com

I've heard (read) nothing but praises about this product.  A week ago, when the shelves were cleared at both my local Ulta and Wal*Mart, I realized it must be worth having.


Not that $7.00 is a bad price for a lip butter, this week (1/8-1/14) there are multiple deals going on which gave me motivation to finally go purchase it.

CVS has these on sale for $5.99 with $3 Extra Bucks (Register Rewards) making it just $2.99 - that's nearly the cost of your basic chapstick! Target Mobile has sent out $1.00 off any Revlon cosmetic item.  Ulta has these BoGo 1/2 this week.

I was happy (and surprised) to see an untouched display at CVS:

Revlon Lip Butters

Unfortunately, there's a limit of one (for the Extra Bucks) at CVS or I probably would be going back to clear the shelves.  I had a gift card at Target and decided to use the mobile coupon to purchase a second shade ($5.49) there.

Revlon coupon

I'm a sucker for the color-of-your-lips-but-better lip shades.  I first chose Pink Truffle, I had a hard time picking a second shade but I opted for a more wearable hot pink - Raspberry Pie.


It's a true lip butter formula that glides on and lasts awhile.  It's a really smooth, creamy texture making application even. Pigmentation depends on the color, they're buildable..from sheer to a heavy tint. If you want it completely opaque, it'll be best with a lip liner underneath.  It moisturizes, gives pigmentation, and a little shimmer/shine.


There's a wide color selection, barely-there colors to a deep vampire red.  All of the colors have food names but they're tasteless and unscented!


Pros:
• Unscented - and tasteless! I hate when good products are ruined by unneeded/unwanted scents.
•  Packaging - the lid matches the color of the butter, it's easy to see which color is which.
• Long-lasting - not in the lipstain way, but typical lip butters and balms usually vanish within 30 minutes.  This held up for a few hours.  Even after eating and drinking there was still a little bit of color left behind.
• Moisturizing - it really is.  I'd usually carry around both lip balm and lipstick but takes care of both moisturizing and the color.
• Shades - extremely large color selection

Cons:
• Limited Availability - Some stores didn't get all of the colors.  Some stores can't keep it on the shelves.
• Messy- It's the formula, I like the formula but... the butter softness has potential to be a big mess.  There's no way you can leave this barely hotter than room temperatures without it melting.  (This as a backup lipstick in your car is out of the question.)  It'll easily loose its shape so you'll have to be extra careful to hit it while twisting and putting the lid back on. I've had it for a few days now and the lip product has made its way around the exterior of the silver tube.  (What my lipsticks usually look like after a few months.)

Rating:
Product: 5/5
Value: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Overall: A short description is a lighter version lipstick in a lip balm formula. The product delivers as advertised... moisturizes and gives shiny color.
Retail: $6.49-$9.99 (depending on store and location)  
Best For:  Those fearful of lipstick but looking for color.
Bottom Line:  Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

It's hard to pay full price for an item when you first purchased it as low as $2.99! - I'll probably wait it out for another similar sale or a BOGO half off.  I definitely want to pick up a few more shades.

wearing Raspberry Pie,
-Kaitlyn

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review: CoverGirl Cheekers

Background
The October 2nd Proctor & Gamble insert included a $8 off any 2 CoverGirl face products coupon; this coupon stacked with drugstore's BOGO half off on CoverGirl products made it easy to get products for free. My mom and her neighbors mailed me a few of these coupons, too! I don't wear foundation.  I've hit pan on most of my NARS and Clinique blushes.  So I decided to give CoverGirl's Cheekers blushers a try.  I liked the original one I purchased, Golden Pink.  So over the course of a few weeks, I picked up even more...

Cover Girl Cheekers

I Purchased:
Cheekers
Classic Pink
Golden Pink
Natural Twinkle
Plumberry Glow
Rock n Rose

Classic Color
Rose Silk

Instant Cheekbones
Peach Perfection

Review

The majority of the colors are very soft.  Great for those who want the natural, barely there look.  These blushes can also be easily built up for a more intense color. Some colors have little to no pigmentation and take a few sweeps to be noticed.

It's very easily applied, staying power is several hours.

The texture is solid with no fallout.

The cost varies place to place, but the Cheekers stay under $4.00 for 3 grams of product.  The Classic Color and Instant Cheekbones run from $5.00 to $7.00. Most drugstores have CoverGirl BOGO half off, then you can also add a manufacturers coupon and get these for even cheaper, or in my case - free.

The packaging is quite cheap and pathetic.  Plastic, that very easily cracks, one is having a hard time closing properly. (I'm a sucker for good packaging and I think everything should come in sleek packaging like NARS.) The tiny brush it comes with is absolutely useless and should be thrown out ASAP.

Overall
They're good blushes for the cost.  They're great for someone just starting out with makeup.  There are better one sweep, better-staying power blushes out there.

Rating
Product: 3/5
Value: 5/5
Packaging: 2/5
Overall: 3/5

Bottom Line
No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

to freebies,
-Kaitlyn

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: Organix Moroccan Argan Oil

Mention damaged hair and most will recommend Argan Oil in some form.  Argan oil is a vitamin-packed antioxidant from Morocco. As a hair treatment, it penetrates to soften, strengthen, restore shine, increases elasticity, and protects against UV damage.

Argan oil has mainly been found in high-end products and is rather pricey.  Organix has offered a cheaper alternative.  Each product from the line is $7.99 and can be found at any drugstore.


I've had this review half-written for ages, I just couldn't decide if I loved this line or they were just like all any other drugstore product. I finally came to the conclusion they're just so-so.

Background
I bought them one by one (usually with an Ulta coupon.) In the order I purchased: conditioner, oil, mask, then shampoo. I purchased the conditioner back in March (previous favorites post) and the remainder of the products a few weeks after each one. So all together, I've been using the line for a few months. I don't like reviewing a product until I've used it for at least two weeks.


About a year ago, I tried the Organix coconut conditioner (just because my mom/sister picked it up and it was in my shower.) So I knew nearly nothing about the brand - but Argan oil for $8, a reminder of my childhood (a L'Oreal fish-shaped bottle), and the fabulous smell drew me in. At first, I loved the products - the smell was amazing, my hair looked and felt great - but could this be what I like to call the new product syndrome?

Review
I do switch up hair products like you're supposed to. I've been using these on and off for a few months. I did use all four products together.  As all lines promise, "this works best with the remainder of our products from the line."

Conditioner • I feel like it's an above average drugstore conditioner but still doesn't compare to Joico K-Pak. It doesn't leave the silky feeling that I love after rinsing out conditioner. The scent lingers for a little awhile, not as long as I'd like for it to.

Renewing Treatment • (Mask) I haven't tried any other drugstore hair masks to compare it to.  The instructions say to leave it on for 3-5 minutes, which I feel like nothing can be done within that short of time and my thick hair. I'd leave it in for 10-15, (sometimes even longer but then it would just harden. In my opinion, I found it actually works a little better on wet hair.  My hair was softer and the ends weren't as fried.  But when it came to completely damaged hair, (freshly bleached) it didn't help at all. If your hair is normal and you just want a boost, this is the product for you. • I dislike the jar packaging, it's an extremely thick consistency but I'm sure it could've still worked in a squeeze tube (as all my high-end masks do.) It's just a hassle to screw the lid on and off, keep it out of the water and hold on the lid (especially if you use this in the shower.) I'll usually find product stuck under my nails as well... gross.

Shampoo • It's just your basic drugstore shampoo. (I still haven't found a shampoo I just adore.) It's sulfate free, so sometimes I didn't really feel like I completely got the clean feeling. The scent is great (the products all smell the same) but it didn't linger.

Penetrating Oil • (Serum) This is the only product I still use daily.It tones down the frizz, adds some shine, hydrates, and smells great. This is the only product that the scent actually lingers for awhile. • Again, I dislike the packaging. The flip-top when you need to hold the bottle at an angle/upside down to get a messy oil-serum out isn't convenient.  Maybe I'm messy or just in a hurry when I get ready but a pump would've made my life so much easier. - I did use the higher-end brand, Moroccanoil Oil Treatment a tiny bottle (1oz, if that) for double the cost. I purchased the original formula (should've gotten the light) and it made my hair a little oily. Yet Organix hasn't caused any oiliness, which made me wonder about the ingredients....


The Ingredients
How could Organix sell Argan oil at just a fraction of the cost? Take a look at the ingredients.  The comparison between Organix (Drugstore) vs. Moroccanoil (High End) can be found here. Argania Spinoza Oil is pretty far down on the list for Organix. Nearly last on the Penetrating Oil ingredients.

Overall
Are they dupes? Highly doubt it. (I haven't tried all of the Moroccanoil products, judging by ingredients and cost - it's not likely.) The Organix line is a step above drugstore lines with their ideas and ingredients. But I still think $8 for drugstore shampoo that doesn't continue to produce amazing results after the first few uses is a little pricey.

The Penetrating Oil may be worth looking into if your hair needs a boost, this is on sale, and you can't find or decide on any other product.

Value Tips: Bed Bath & Beyond has mini bottles (travel size) for $1.99. Ulta has BOGO on Organix as well as 20% coupons, Rite Aid and CVS offer Extra Bucks, Target has 50% more free on the shampoo and conditioner (massive bottle for the same cost), my mom said she picked up some of the conditioner at Walmart a month ago for $2.

Rating
Product: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Packaging: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Bottom Line
No, I would not recommend this line to a friend.

fish-shaped shampoo bottles,
-Kaitlyn

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Urban Decay NAKED

 "Everybody wants to look good NAKED!"


Review: Urban Decay NAKED Palette
With endless blog and youtube reviews out already, this one may seem insignificant. But this review is specifically for the people who decided they would "pass" on the palette. Those that thought "I have too many neutral eyeshadows" or those that just couldn't justify spending $48.00 on some eyeshadow. - I was one of these people. Plus, with the palette being so rare (limited edition/high demand) I couldn't get my hands on it anyway.


The palette came out in fall 2010, and for the first months it was going for twice it's value on eBay and multiple other cosmetic swap/sale sites. Finally, Urban Decay started producing the palettes faster by replacing the double-ended eyeliner pencil with a brush, but that made a price increase from $46.00 to $48.00 - some weren't happy, but at least Urban Decay was able to supply more.


COST
I did want the palette but even after endless good reviews, I still didn't know if it would be worth it. About a month ago, when I was picking up some shampoo- there it was, one Urban Decay Naked palette remaining. I considered it fate, caved in, and purchased it.

Do I regret it? No. It's the best "I'm not going to spend that much money on that" but then I bought it anyway purchase I've ever made. I've had it for a month and have used it every day. For the rest of you that are cheap (but most likely will splurge on high-end cosmetics - ME!) let me help you justify the cost:

Good Karma Eyeshadow Brush retails for $26.00
Travel Primer Potion retails for $9.00
Then there's 12 x .05oz eye-shadows - (one full size .05oz retails for $17.00) - 12 x $17.00 - $204.00
$239.00 worth of product for $48.00 (about 80% savings) Plus, it's all in one sleek mirrored palette.

I had no problem spending $11.00-$14.50 on an occasional MAC eyeshadow. With MAC, you get the same amount of product - .05oz. With the naked palette, (putting the primer and brush aside) $48.00/12 = the eyeshadows end up being $4.00 each. MAC, the same amount of product for $11.00 (pan) or $14.50 (limited edition/pot.) So, which is the better deal again?


COLORS
Virgin - pale shimmer nude
Sin - champagne frost
Naked - matte beige
Sidecar - shimmer medium bronze
Buck - matte brown
Half Baked - copper frost
Smog - dark bronze
Darkhorse - deep chocolate
Toasted - shimmer dark brown
Hustle - shimmer dark plum-brown
Creep - blue-black shimmer
Gunmetal - blue-gray metallic


REVIEW
I love it. There are a few things I do dislike (cons below) but the good wins over the bad. All of the neutral colors are gorgeous - highly pigmented, great staying power, not chalky, no fallout. I love the palette so much I immediately swapped/sold most of MAC eyeshadows (and by most I mean nearly all - I went from 30 to 8.) I've used it for a month and there's really no sign of use - no surface dents/dips or anything, I feel it will last for awhile!


Every day I use both Virgin & Sin all over the lid and as a highlight, Sidecar on the outer third lid, and Darkhorse in the crease. I often use Buck as an eyebrow filler.

Cons:
Creep and Gunmetal were a big disappointment to me. I'm a big fan of a smokey eye - with no hints of blue. These 2 together nearly look like you've smeared on blue eyeshadow.

Creep really should have been a true matte black for eyeliner, especially since the newer version of the palette doesn't come with any.

The brush was another disappointment. It's decent at packing on all-over lid color on. But I feel like this is more of a concealer brush. It's nearly identically to MAC 195. - I much would've rather had the double-ended eyeliner, but then I still probably wouldn't have this palette due to slow production...

RATING
Product: 4.5/5
Value: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Overall: 4.8/5

The Main Point: If you don't already have it, BUY IT. This palette needs to be in everyone's makeup collection.

Naked forever,
-Kaitlyn

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