Glossier Basics Review

Sorry to admit it, but I had no interest in Glossier. Once I decided to order from Glossier, I had no interest in liking anything I’d purchased. They catered to me too hard – milennial pink, minimal aesthetic, all these cool girls with their unbrushed hair and full brows and perfect skin … the vibe is a modern girl cookie cutter, and I didn’t want to fall for it. 
And yet, in my not-wanting-to-fall-for-it, I found myself spending $50+ on their website one dull day, you know, just to see. I knew I wouldn’t like it. It would break me out or look like nothing on my face. I was sure it was all hype – Glossier probably hired tons of pretty beauty bloggers to hawk their products and they can turn a profit strictly from appealing to a 20-something woman’s need to be in without actually putting in any effort. 
Effort is definitely not cool.
My package arrived significantly quicker than I expected, considering I chose free shipping. Like, three days? Maybe? And I’ve had a couple of weeks now to test out the three products I ordered, so here is my totally genuine, un-sponsored review of some Glossier basics. 

Item One: Glossier Boy Brow. I went with the shade “Brown”. At $16 for .11 oz, it’s cheaper than Benefit’s $24 Gimme Brow but about four times the cost of Nyx’s Tinted Brow Mascara. Inconveniently, I adore it. I recently realized I prefer the Nyx Brow Mascara to Benefit Gimme Brow, as Gimme Brow’s additional fibers are a little messy for me and I struggle with over-application. Glossier Boy Brow is, shockingly, so much better than either of them (in my opinion). The formula is light and doesn’t smudge against my skin, but still shapes and darkens my brows. I’m interested to see how quickly I go through it, but I’m planning to repurchase. (FYI, for a budget buy, I do recommend the Nyx Brow Mascara, but I do not recommend Benefit Gimme Brow based on quality vs. cost, even as a splurge. Definitely go with Glossier Boy Brow.)

Item Two: Glossier Priming Moisturizer. I mentioned in my current skincare favorites post last month that I was desperately searching for a daytime moisturizer, and I am starting to become pretty fond of this one. It’s $25 for 1.7 oz, which is reasonable in the skincare world. I think the item I would most closely compare it to is the Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer, which I also really like but which costs a few dollars more for the same amount. I don’t think you should consider either “priming moisturizer” as a replacement for using a separate moisturizer and primer, but rather as a lightweight, sensitive-skin-friendly daytime moisturizer that you can either pair with the Glossier Skin Tint (below) or follow with primer and foundation for a full makeup look. On Glossier’s website, they convey the same thing: “‘Priming’ means that it instantly brings out the best in your skin, so you have a fresh, glowing canvas,” which sounds conveniently like “Please god don’t expect this to function like an actual primer” to me. So, to recap: Primer, no. Daytime moisturizer, definitely, yes, highly recommended.

Item 3: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in shade “Light”. I kind of sort of think this is most controversial of Glossier’s products. Is it doing anything? Is it a bottle of $26 tinted water? Is this a placebo effect? Am I losing my mind? (Yes.) First of all, I like this product. I do. It is easy and quick and does combine well with the priming moisturizer. Could I ever use it on a bad skin day? No way. It doesn’t blur blemishes, so if you’re broken out, it won’t do a dang thing. Thankfully, my skin has been really #blessed lately and Glossier products haven’t flared up any bad behavior, so I do like it on already-pretty-ish skin. It softens my look and (when combined with concealer) helps me look bright and fresh. For going out, I’d still prefer an entire foundation, but since the loss of my beloved Lumene BB Cream, I’m genuinely happy with the look of the skin tint… you know, until that hormonal acne hits again.

So, ANNOYINGLY, I apparently like Glossier. It’s not full glam and it never will be, but it’s easy and functional for every day and it isn’t irritating to my infuriatingly sensitive skin. You can try it yourself, if you wanna, and get 20% off whenever you use my link here.

April Ipsy Glambag Review

april 2017 ipsy glambag reveal
The amount of beauty boxes I receive has decreased quite a bit over the past few months, but Ipsy has done a great job of satiating my desire for cute mail and new products without blowing my budget. April’s Ipsy Glambag was pretty on target for me. I even thought the kitschy little ticket bag was cute and different, though a lot of people have been complaining about it. Different strokes! 

mica beauty highlighter 3 skin and co truffle therapy face toner  tonymoly pantone liptone lip care stick lip balm honey moisture

This month, my Ipsy bag contained:

  • Mica Beauty Highlight #3 | RV $13.88, Though pretty and pigmented, I think the loose powder may be too difficult to use as a highlighter, and the shade is a little too rich of a gold to look right on my skintone. I considered keeping it as an eyeshadow, and I think it would work great as one, but I have enough gold shimmer eyeshadows, so I’ll be passing it on. 
  • Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Face Toner | RV $4.05, I could see how this would be the least exciting item to some, but I’ve been hoping to get a toner I could travel with for a few months now. It’s perfect for me! 
  • TonyMoly Liptone Lipcare Stick | RV $10, “Honey Moisture”, These TonyMoly balms are your ordinary lip balm, but I adore the Pantone-inspired packaging. 
  • Lisa Frank x Glamour Dolls Unicorn Angled Blush Brush | RV $5, I specifically requested this silly, nostalgic brush. It is beautiful and fluffy and I’m glad to have it. I have had good luck with Glamour Dolls brushes (specifically this sperm whale blending brush) in the past, in spite of their low prices. 
  • Defy & Inspire Nail Lacquer | RV $7.49, “Paradise”, I love nail polish pretty indiscriminately and am skipping Julep in May, so this was a happy filler polish. 
  • POINT REDEMPTION: Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind Illuminating Face Highlighter | RV $32, “Crystal Pink”, A gorgeous, full-sized, pink-toned highlighter that I received for free due to redeeming Ipsy points. Swatched below.  
Total Retail Value: $40.42
And that’s excluding the $32 bonus highlighter!

jessice liebeskind vintage highlighter crystal pink lisa frank glamour dolls unicorn blush brush defy & inspire nail polish paradise

Ipsy April Glambag Swatches MicaBeauty Highlighter Jessica Liebeskind Vintage Highlighter

Create Your Own Palette with Buxom Eyeshadow Bar

Buxom Customizable Eyeshadow Palette
Apparently I am way late to the game (I mean, years late) but did you know that you can create custom eyeshadow palettes with Buxom’s eyeshadow bar? For $40 you can choose six shades (each shade retails for $12) to put into an empty palette and voila! You can fill in any voids in your eyeshadow collection without having to buy a pre-curated palette full of the same neutral matte shades you own twenty of.

Buxom Eyeshadow Bar Singles in Silk Sheets, Gold Status, Party Girl, La-La Lavish, and Silver Screen
This was, of course, great news for me. I had been strongly considering the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette, but I just do not need another slew of neutral mattes. I was able to dupe the shades I wanted most (Vermeer, Primavera, Love Letter, and a combination of Antique Bronze and Venetian Red) while also filling some holes in my collection. How have I, cool-toned pastel queen, gone this long without and iridescent lavender eyeshadow or a shimmery, highly pigmented silver? Only God can tell.
Buxom Eyeshadow Bar Singles in Silk Sheets, Gold Status, Party Girl, La-La Lavish, and Silver Screen Swatches
The shades I chose for my custom palette are as follows: 

  • Silver Screen | Buxom describes Silver Screen as a silver lilac, while Temptalia describes it as a “cool lavender”, but to me it reads true silver. Silver Screen is metallic and extremely pigmented with a creamy feel. 
  • La-La-Lavish | I’m sure part of the reason Silver Screen seems so un-lavender to me is because I’ve put it beside La-La-Lavish, a beautiful iridescent lavender. I am also looking forward to trying this as a highlighter! It looks like a shade that would fit perfectly into Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child or Aurora Glow Kits
  • Wild Nights | A “shimmering sugar plum”, Wild Nights is an interesting eyeshadow combining berry, orange, and pink shades all into one shimmer shadow. If Modern Renaissance could be duped by one shadow and one alone, this would be it. 
  • Party Girl | Party Girl is riding the wave of my newfound love for pink-toned eyeshadows and I am so excited to own it. I initially thought the bright fuchsia was a matte, but as I blended out the swatch I realized it has a pretty pearl finish, which I much prefer! I am ready to acknowledge that pink eyeshadow may be to 2017 what blue eyeshadow was to the 80’s, but I’m prepared to go down with this ship. 
  • Gold Status | I was initially concerned that Gold Status would be too similar to Urban Decay’s Half-Baked from my Naked 2 palette, but comparatively Half-Baked is more coppery an less vivid while Gold Status is a true metallic gold.  It’s highly pigmented and buttery to the touch.
  • Silk Sheets | Described by Buxom as a “chai luster”, whatever that means, I think Silk Sheets is going to be beautiful as a brow bone highlight and as a brightener in the inner corner of my eye. It’s soft and smooth and I chose it to replace Naked 2’s Bootycall, which never shows up on my fair skin no matter how heavily I pack it on. 
I am pleased as punch to have finally bitten the bullet on one of these Buxom Build Your Own Palettes, and I am already itching for more (don’t worry, don’t worry, I won’t break my no-buy for it). Other shades I’m interested in trying are It Girl, a glimmering cayenne, Twilight Tryst, an iridescent peacock, and Dusk Til Dawn, an iridescent olive. I highly recommend these shadows if, like me, you have enough matte creams and brown for a lifetime, but still prefer the cost-effectiveness of a palette.

Lip Hoarder Part 3

lipstick collection three - julep nyx manna kadar bareminerals cailyn colourpop urban decay clinique tarte lancome
Overall, I have really been enjoying my Lip Hoarder project. The only downside thus far is that every now and then I will try a product that I’ve owned for awhile and been hesitant to try, just to discover that I absolutely love it and want to wear it every day. I’ve been fine so far with using my favorite rosy nudes only once, as it seems there are always a couple more still on my shelf to be used in the future. I still haven’t gotten around to destashing anything – I may wait until the entire project is done to do a thorough cleanse, but I wonder if setting aside products I want to get rid of immediately after wearing them and deciding I hate/dislike them would be better in the moment. 
Here’s to round three of Lip Hoarder! 

lipstick swatches of the following - nyx liquid suede initator bareminerals crimson pop colourpop lumiere nudestix whisper mystic nyx brooklyn thorn julep covet lip oil
1. Nyx Liquid Suede in “Initiator” | Initiator came in a 3 pack I ordered from the Nyx website, and apparently that’s actually the only way it can be purchased! However, the trio is still available for only $6 while one Nyx Liquid Suede Cream is normally $6.99, so if there’s any chance you’ll wear more ~adventurous~ colors, I highly recommend it. Initiator was the shade I was the least excited about trying – nothing about an orangey brown seemed like it would work for my skin. Miraculously, though, I adore it for Spring, and I cannot wait to be able to pull it out again. 
2. bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm in “Crimson Pop” | Perfectly decent little tinted lip balm from bareMinerals in a limited edition shade. I’d recommend these to anyone specifically looking for tinted balms, as the color payoff is good compared to other brands. 
3. Colourpop Lippie Stix in “Lumiere” | Lumiere (and the matching lip liner) are my absolute favorite items I own from Colourpop. Described as a dusty mauve matte, it suits my coloring perfectly.
4 & 5. NudeStix Lip and Cheek Dual Pencil in “Whisper/Mystic” | I want to like NudeStix. I like the brand story (founded by teen sisters and their mom to celebrate everyone’s “natural beauty”. I used Mystic repeatedly, hoping to suddenly like it. I even tried Whisper more than once, though it gave me concealer lips. These shades just do not work for me, though. Whisper is too pale and Mystic is too warm, and neither are particularly long-lasting. 
6. Nyx Liquid Suede in “Brooklyn Thorn” | Luckily, I have yet to find a Nyx Suede formula I dislike. Brooklyn Thorn is the gray-brown I never knew I needed (jk, I knew I needed it) and it’s an absolute favorite. A little edgy without being too dramatic, it’s a shade I’m comfortable wearing regularly. 
7. Julep Your Lip Addiction Lip Oil in “Covet” | Eeee I love this little lip oil. I think I added it on just to receive free shipping on some Julep order, and I’ve ended up really valuing it. The lip oil adds just enough color while being really moisturizing and glossy, without the added stickiness. 
lipstick swatches of the following cailyn hospitable matte tint clinique pink honey lancome juicy shaker boom-meringue manna kadar lip locked priming stain gloss lucky tarte rainforest of the sea lip rescue quench nude urban decay vice lipstick rock steady nyx liquid suede run the world
8. Cailyn Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint in “Hospitable”  | This … is … the worst lip product I’ve ever used. I hate to say that, it’s so aggressive, but it’s true. I have never tried another Cailyn product, so I certainly wouldn’t make that statement about the company as a whole (which, on the plus side, is cruelty-free) but this ‘Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint’ was bad in every way. The shade was pale & concealer-y, again, It dried instantaneously and and fell into every crack and crevice of my lips in the most unflattering way possible, and was then impossible to remove. I had to use my oil cleanser and scrubscrubscrub to get it to budge, at which point my lips were extra tender and red. Do not and cannot recommend. 
9. Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Pink Honey” | I like it, but I don’t love it. I’m realizing that I simply don’t need multiple lightly tinted balm-like products, and Clinique’s Almost Lipsticks just aren’t special enough for me to want to keep them in my collection. 
10. Lancome Juicy Shaker in “Boom-Meringue” | I don’t know why I felt the need to pick this up after already owning the Julep Lip Oil, but I did! It’s sweetly scented and has a cute little applicator and schtick (the, you know, shaking bit), but honestly it just isn’t up to par with my oil from Julep. 
11. Manna Kadar Lip Locked Priming Stain in “Lucky” | Manna Kadar has been shoved down beauty box subscribers throats over the past year, but they do have some products I really enjoy (such as the Fantasy eyeshadow/highlighter). I have finally given up on this one, though. It applies nicely and is pigmented for a ‘gloss’, but it always forms that weird, gross pale line where my lips meet. It’s time to move on. 
12. tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Lip Rescue in “Nude” | This product fits perfectly into my “unecessary” pile. Pretty packaging does not a vital product make, and it isn’t nourishing enough to be kept as a true lip balm. 
13. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in “Rock Steady” | Urban Decay’s Rock Steady is my favorite red! It’s cool-toned and helps me channel my inner Gwen Stefani. I am fond of UD’s Vice formula (obviously, since I’ve bought three of them at $17 a pop) and truly adore this richly pigmented red. 
14. Nyx Liquid Suede in “Run the World” | Another Nyx Suede, so I won’t take up much time here, but – yes, it’s vivid and a joy to wear and included in the trio with Initiator. 

April Julep Maven Box

April 2017 Julep Maven Subscription Unboxing
As always, Julep’s beauty box is a delight and one of my absolute favorites. Their monthly subscription is $25/month, though I choose to purchase three months at a time for $20/month. You are able to swap out every item they curate for you and build your own box, as well as add on items from Julep’s shop at a steep discount. I’ve been subscribed to Julep for almost a year now (mostly because of the ability to skip months without cancelling!) so I’ve become quite familiar with Julep’s house brand, and I’m consistently pleased. 

Julep Eye Glider Gilded Gold Radiant Amethyst Electric Teal Shimmer Fig Shimmer
I love the items I chose for April’s Julep Maven box. I swapped out my original items (I can’t remember what they were, but they’re typically two makeup or skincare items and a nail polish) for two of Julep’s eyeshadow duos (rosé & vacay and moonlight & starlight) and one of their new eyeliners. I added on three more “eye gliders” (so in all I have gilded gold, radiant amethyst, fig shimmer, and electric teal shimmer – swatched below in that order from top to bottom). I’d been lusting over the new color options and was considering purchasing a variety of stila eyeliner shades, so this made more sense financially.  
    Swatches of Julep Eye Glider in Gilded Gold Radiant Amethyst Fig Shimmer Electric Teal Shimmer
I chose the eyeshadow duos because I’d been looking for blendable matte shades since nearly my entire collection is full of shimmers. Rosé is so much more beautiful than I could’ve imagined and is going to get a ton of use. So far I’ve worn it in my crease with UD Fireball on my lid and I love the combo for Spring. I haven’t played with Vacay yet, but I’ve needed a matte brown. Starlight is extremely sheer but really pretty on the eye. Moonlight seemed difficult to blend, but I was using it with a new eyeshadow primer that was quite sticky on my lid, so I’ll be giving it another go soon with a different primer. I wore Moonlight & Starlight a couple of days ago for the entire work day and they never creased. Swatched below, from top to bottom: Rosé, Vacay, Moonlight, and Starlight. 
    Swatches of Julep Feels Like Velvet Eyeshadow Duo Rose Vacay and Moonlight Starlight
Finally, Julep included two additional nail polishes. One was sent to all subscribers as a special bonus, and the other was sent because I added three add-on items to my box. I already own Tatiana (a golden, burnt orange microglitter) and consider it my favorite shade for Halloween. Eliza (an “infinite ocean” holographic) has a beautiful rainbow effect in the bottle, but I have yet to try it on my nails. It’s highly rated though, and I’m looking forward to trying it! 
Julep Nail Polish in Tatiana - Burnt Orange Microshimmer and Eliza - Infinite Ocean Holographic, Blue Holographic

How to Know Your Makeup Obsession Has Gone Too Far

I was recently inspired (primarily by the Makeup Rehab subreddit and the Anti-Haul blog) to take inventory of my beauty products as a way to assess what I actually need and what I simply want to purchase out of impulse, because it’s shiny and new and temporarily exciting. The “inventory” process took me a couple of weeks here and there, but guess what … I finished taking stock, and it turns out that I have over 230 makeup items in my possession.

You read that right. Over 230.

If you’re so inclined, check out my relatively organized inventory. Since I have so. much. stuff. I’m considering writing reviews as I use products up as a way to motivate myself to shop my own collection. I truly don’t need another thing! While I’ve never hit VIB Rouge at Sephora, I do (clearly) spend way too much money on makeup that I could be spending on travel or student loan payments or literally anything other than more makeup I don’t need.

I have a few goals to work toward:

  • Don’t purchase a new product unless it fills a truly empty void or I’ve used up/destashed the product it’s most similar to. 
  • Focus on using up products I already own (a.k.a. “Project Pan”) – I’d like to pan 5 items completely before I purchase anything else
  • Finish my current lip hoarder project (where I have to wear every lip color in my collection once before I’m allowed to repeat). Check out posts here and here.
  • Don’t hold on to products that don’t work for me (be it because of the shade or formula, whatever) – it’s not going to magically improve! 
  • Pay attention to the products I use & make notes on them; I’m bad about wearing things and not paying attention to how they wear throughout the day unless they’re dramatically bad. I want to improve on that in order to be better informed for future purchases.

Wish me luck!

March Ipsy GlamBag 2017

march 2017 ipsy glambag glam bag reveal spoiler unboxing

Ipsy is a $10 per month beauty bag which contains a mix of beauty, haircare, and skincare products that are mostly deluxe samples or full-size. Though it is consistently my favorite of its affordable subscription box competitors (such as Birchbox, Sephora Play!, or Allure), I have mixed feelings about my Ipsy bag this month.

My March 2017 Ipsy GlamBag contained:

Total Paid: $10
Retail Value: $41.58

mPrincess eyeshadow & tarte lip paint

This month’s GlamBag is pretty blah for me. The eyeshadow is a fine shade, but that brand name reminds me of a creepy fedora-wearing “nice guy” calling someone m’Princess & I truly cannot get over it. 
I love all things First Aid Beauty, so I’m pleased as punch to have a sample of their new facial moisturizer. I don’t find it all that different from their Ultra Repair Cream, but this one is sold in a pump bottle, so I’m a fan. 
The tarte lip paint fit my profile so I understand why it was sent to me, but I had to pass the shade on to my mom. In spite of how pale it looks in the packaging, it dried much darker and warmer. 
The blending brush is nice; I’ve already used it a couple of times and washed it with minimal loss of hairs. 
I used to love getting Marc Anthony deep conditioners from ipsy (and using them as daily conditioners for my damaged hair) but now that I have my Function of Beauty bespoke shampoo/conditioner, these have become a less-exciting, overall neutral item to receive. I’ll still pack this for travel!