Thursday, December 31, 2015

November and December 2015 Empties

It's the end of another year and it's always both shocking and gratifying when I look through my empties posts from the last 12 months. I didn't finish up a whole lot in November and December but that probably means January and February's pile will be bigger. I don't want to sit here and talk about every little thing I used up so I'll just say a few words about things that stood out to me, for better or worse. 

There weren't a lot of noteworthy full size empties this time around. Of course there's the usual skincare, bodycare and haircare that I'm trying to get through. Sad to see my mini Klorane Dry Shampoo bite the dust because it's so handy for work. I'm happy that I finally finished a 1 ounce tube of the Laura Geller Spackle Under Makeup Primer because I was getting tired of using it and I've found some primers I like more. I've already repurchased and have backups of the Shiseido Cotton Pads, La Roche Posay Toleriane Moisturizer and Up & Up Eye Makeup Remover

I've been more diligent about using up my skincare samples - I've accumulated so many this year. I really like how my skin looks after using Sunday Riley's Good Genes Treatment but I abhor the scent. It smells like really toxic chemicals to me.... The Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream really surprised me. It was hydrating yet not overly so and I loved using it under makeup for daytime. I really disliked the scent of the Fresh Seaberry Face Oil so I don't think I can even give a fair assessment of it because I really didn't look forward to putting it on my face in the evenings.

This pile is a combination of things that I used up and stuff that's expired. I always go through the Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets because they're my favorite; same for the Softlips. The Revlon Lash Adhesive is good but this one's dried up after not a whole lot of use. I repurchased the dark tone version and I like it so I'll probably just stick to that one from now on. I love, love, love the L'oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Waterproof Mascara. It's my favorite mascara ever so I'm sure I'll repurchase it in the future. 

I didn't really care for the Skin Food Egg White Pore Mask that I bought in Korea at the beginning of 2014. It's expired now so time to chuck it in the trash. I'm being more mindful of masks and skincare going forward since I have so many samples and it's unreasonable to think I can use up several full sized jars in a few months. The StiVectin-EV Get Even Dark Circle Corrector is a good day time eye cream which I received as gratis but after using about two thirds of the tub, the consistency seems thicker and I figured I'd be better off tossing this. I've had the Jouer Lipgloss in Birchbox Pink for a couple of years and I don't feel like it's a good idea to be putting it on my lips so into the trash it goes. 

It feels good to recycle a bunch of empty bottles at the end of the year and clear out the junk that's bee accumulating in my room. I think I'll do a beauty product purge in the beginning of 2016 to further examine what I like in my collection and what I don't need. Hope everyone is having a great end to 2015 and looking forward to 2016!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Travel Makeup Bag: NOLA Edition

Tonight I'll be setting off for New Orleans with my boyfriend for what will hopefully be four, fun-filled days exploring a city we've never been to. In my early days of packing for travel, I'd give myself a couple of blush options and bring upwards of five lip products but after many trips, I've gotten really good at packing things that I will almost certainly use. 

It'll be a pretty quick jaunt so I thought now would be a good time to try out a couple of small samples like the Make Up For Ever High Definition Primer and Skin Equalizer Primer. Instead of bringing an eyebrow pencil I'm taking a paper sample of the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown. I've had one of these in the past and these paper samples surprisingly provide a couple of uses. For my base I'm sticking with my tried and true Laneige Cushion Concealer* and Laneige BB Cushion. I like to bring my Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder to set my makeup because it's really compact. Of course I've packed eye makeup necessities like the Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye PrimerPhysician's Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner, Cynthia Rowley Black EyelinerMaybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara, and Shiseido Lash Curler

For color makeup I tried to switch it up a bit this time instead of bringing the same old things I normally grab for. An exception is the KIKO Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick Eyeshadow in 06 which I bring with me on travels more often than not because it's so easy to swipe on. I'm also bringing the lovely Shu Uemura RTW Palette in Warm Brown which has the perfect matte browns to complement a warm or cool look. For a fun pop of shimmer, I'm bringing the small Lancome Kissed By Gold Palette which was a GWP I raved about last year.

By bringing the Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in Fig, I can skip the highlighting step. I purchased this blush on Black Friday when Ulta had these for 50% off. I adore the regular Beach Tint in Fig so much and the Shimmer Soufflé is a nice one to have if you like a glowy cheek. To add warmth to my face and slim down my cheeks which will be inevitably stuffed with seafood, fried chicken and Southern noms, I'm bringing a sample of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep Matte Bronzer.

For the lips I'm keeping things simple with a MLBB shade in the form of the Tarte LipSurgence Lip Crème in Stunning as well as Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine in Bohème, a glossy reddish pink. Of course I'll also have a lipbalm or two in my everyday makeup bag as well as a heavy duty nighttime balm in my skincare bag.

I'm taking everything in my Muji makeup bag which is probably my favorite carryall makeup bag but one I haven't used in some time. I'm allowing myself a generous number of brushes for this trip and taking a variety of Zoeva and other inexpensive options. I haven't been able to muster up the courage to pack my Japanese-made brushes for travel, lest they get smushed or damaged. 

That's a peek into my makeup routine for the next couple of days! I'm looking forward to this little adventure and I'll certainly do a travel blog post recapping it for you when I'm back!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Luxurious Lipbalms to Wish For from Dior, YSL and Clarins

Merry Christmas Eve! While today's blogpost has nothing to do with the holidays, consider it inspiration for post-Christmas shopping after you've unwrapped those giftcards. I dug through my high-end lipstick stash recently and while there were some great reds and hot pinks, I didn't have any nude shades that I could wear everyday to work or for casual days out. This realization spurred the purchase of three indulgent, balmy lip products that give a hint of color and shine while being super comfortable on the lips. I bought these a few weeks ago before I realized we would be having a 70° Christmas and a very mild December. Well, if we experience normal winter temps next month, my lips will be thankful for these three new additions!

I didn't bother swatching Dior's Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm because it's a clear balm that leaves a sheen on the lips. This purchase was inspired by my fondness for the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer and Lip Glow. I apply a bit of this rose-scented balm on my lips along with my morning skincare routine to prep my lips for the day. Since it's a potted formula, I don't bring this outside because it's too much trouble to wash my hands every time I want to apply it. This isn't a hydrating as I thought it would be; the balm is quite firm and you really have to warm it up with your finger to pick up the product. The online description says it has SPF 10, which is a plus, but no where on the packaging is that stated. I'll just assume there is some sun protection.

A couple of years ago the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy Glossy Balms were really popular and I've never stopped lemming for one. They just seemed so perfect and easy to throw in your purse to apply throughout the day. I chose a really natural pink shade, #12 Tasty Raspberry. It's a subdued pink with a cool tint with very fine micro shimmers. These feel less like a balm and more like a lipgloss in solid form. They really impart a very wet look to the lips and have a translucent quality. I think people either love or hate this product because it is very sheer for a $36 lippie. I'm happy to have one of these in a natural color because I know I'll be able to use it often but I probably won't collect a bunch. One thing to note is that the smell of these is sickeningly sweet which is not the same as the perfumed scent of the YSL Rouge Pur Coutures. I'm not a big fan of either scent but between the two, I can tolerate the Rouge Pur Couture scent more.

Last but certainly not least is the Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in the shade 01 Rose. This is a cream coral balmy lipstick with the most delightful caramel scent. I love the scent of this so much and it's a joy to apply. While the YSL Sheer Candy is more of a gloss balm, this is more of a buttery balm that feels nourishing and lovely on the lips. The shade is warmer and suits my skintone better as well. At $24, this is the most affordable product of the three I've shown today but the net weight is half that of the YSL Sheer Candy so keep in mind you'll likely go through this one quicker. Nonetheless, I already have my eyes on a few more shades of the Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm.

Have you treated yourself to any luxurious lip products this holiday season? What are your favorite lipstick balms?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Three Drugstore Products Worth Getting Backups Of

I've seen people get backups of hot pink lipstick because it was limited edition or three bottles of their favorite foundation because it's been discontinued. I try not to hoard backups because I hardly finish beauty products and I like to try new things all the time so it's rare I repurchase something to begin with. After several years of experimenting with beauty products I'm glad to say I've found a few tried and true products that I think are pretty stellar and worth buying backups of though. These are three things that I've bought before and will continue to stock up on. The best part? They're all from the drugstore!

I've used up countless tubes of Softlips. It's my favorite affordable lipbalm with sunscreen and it's just the perfect lipbalm all around. The slim tube is ultra portable and the formula glides on clear so your lips are prepped for anything. The scents are always nice although lately it's hard to find anything other than Vanilla. I wish these were more widely available as I can only seem to find Softlips at Target nowadays.

The La Roche Posay Toleriane is my favorite moisturizer. I actually named this my HG moisturizer back in 2012 and I still love it as much as I did then. They make several different version from the Toleriane Fluide to the Riche version but my favorite is the normal one. This French drugstore offering is fragrance, paraben and preservative free and just supplies moisture without irritating the skin at all. It is quite pricey for a drugstore skincare product at $30 so I try to stock up on this whenever CVS has a promotion. I go through these tubes relatively quick because I enjoy using this so much. I think I'm up to my fifth tube of this moisturizer (including the Fuide and Riche versions I've tried) and I think I'll always come back to this when I'm fed up trying other skincare products.

The Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum is actually a new repurchase. I've had my first one for so long that I can't remember when I purchased it but it's still going strong! I struggled for a long time with liquid liner and this is one of the few that I'm able to draw an even wing with. I really love the thin brush tip and the color is very black but not shiny at all which is a good thing in my book. The only way this could be improved is if the formula was waterproof but unless I'm dunking my face in water or am sweating a lot in the heat of summer, this doesn't smudge. I almost always travel with this eyeliner because I don't need to bring a separate brush or powder eyeshadow to set it. All Physician's Formula eye products are BOGO this week at Rite Aid so I picked up two more of these eyeliners for my backup stash. Something I noticed this time around that I didn't initially pick up on is that these eyeliners are made in Japan. I've heard so many raves about Japanese liquid liners by brands like Dollywink so I think you should give the Physician's Formula a shot if you like those.

I'm not someone who usually advocates for beauty backups but I think it's acceptable when it's something you know you love and there's a good sale going on. If you're going to buy something sooner or later when the one you're using runs out, might as well get it at a discount. Will I buy five liquid eyeliners and stash them away? No. But having an extra one on hand for when one suddenly runs dry isn't a bad idea either. Do you buy backups? What are the products you must have on hand at all times?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Trend Alert: Foaming Deep Cleansing Masks

For the last two weeks my skin has been a mess. I'm prone to breakouts but this time I had clusters of pimples on pretty much all of my face (gross, I know) and on top of all that my skin felt sensitive as well. I usually prefer strong clay masks to suck out all the impurities when my face is breaking out but I've been turning to two recent acquisitions that are a bit more gentle. 

During the recent Sephora $20 VIB giftcard event I purchased the Dr. Jart Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in White because it sounded really intriguing and it was only $15. What's unique about this clay mask is that it transforms into a foaming cleanser once you add water. The mask doesn't dry down completely so I just leave it on for about five minutes before rinsing it off. This white version is supposed to be calming and I find it gentle enough to not inflame my skin. I like the hygienic squeeze tube packaging and think the price is very reasonable. 

The other mask that's a bit more fun to use is the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask* which Memebox kindly sent to me to try. This charcoal mask is used on dry, uncleansed skin and quickly starts foaming up from simply being exposed to the air. The bubbles on your skin are very small but thick and a little goes a long way. The top layer of my tub is already aerated but it has a thick, yet lightweight, cream consistency. It reminds me a lot of melted marshmallow actually. This mask is also very affordable at $14 but Memebox regularly does promotions that lower the price. I think this is a really fun mask to use and it makes my skin feel clean without drying it out which is great. 

I haven't heard many people talking about foaming face masks like these but I think they're pretty nifty. I like that both of these are gentle enough to use on acne-prone skin although some who are sensitive to foaming agents might not agree. Have you tried a foaming deep cleansing mask? 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Bite Beauty Fall Nude Favs and Best Beauty Rewind

Bite Beauty is a brand that sticks to producing only lip products and boy, do they do them well. I've been liking these three shades that I think are especially pretty for fall if you're not into dark plums and burgundy reds. 

I purchased the mini Fig and Date Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo a long time ago but only recently allowed myself to use it. Unfortunately I don't believe you can find this online anymore but there are several other shades from the limited edition Bite Mix and Mingle range. Fig is a permanent shade but I don't believe Date is available in the full size. Getting onto the actual shades themselves, they are both wearable nude lipsticks. Fig is a slightly cool toned pink and Date is a burnt beige.

The mini Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Torte is from the currently out of stock Best Bite Rewind set. It's a limited edition shade which is unfortunate because it's a really great plummy pink. I didn't think I could pull off but I actually think it looks quite lovely for this time of year and I have no issues wearing this with most of my everyday makeup looks.

The Luminous Creme Lipstick formula is buttery and smooth. I think Date suits my skintone better but Fig is a really dainty baby pink on my lips that I can't bring myself to not like. This duo is very small and therefore ultra-portable so I've been keeping it in my everyday makeup bag.

Torte is much more bright compared to Fig and Date but it's still very wearable. It perks up my complexion and I just feel more put together when I have this on. This is a creamy matte that is not very drying or uncomfortable to wear. It's not as creamy and emollient as the Luminous Creme Lipsticks but it's definitely not a chalky matte. Reapplying throughout the day was easy and my lips didn't look or feel chapped. 

I thought I might as well show you the rest of the four shades that come in the Best Beauty Rewind Set. Bite releases a sampler of lippies every holiday season for a good price and this was the first time I treated myself to it. I'm very happy with my purchase as the formula is good and the variety of shades is nice. For $25 I think this is well worth the money and I hope this comes back into stock so you can get a hold of this if you haven't already.

All of these shades are limited edition except Aubergine which is part of the permanent line. I wish Torte and Coulis were permanent as well because I can see myself getting a lot of use out of them. Cafe is the only one I have some trouble pulling off because it is quite light and salmony pink. I think I could make it more wearable if I layered a shimmery gloss over top.

Two huge thumbs up to Bite for crafting some wonderful lippies and releasing minis that I can actually see myself using up! Are you a fan of Bite Beauty? What are your favorite formulas and shades from the line?