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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Laneige BB Cushion Light Review and Swatches

Laneige BB Cushion is an innovative 5-in-1 product from one of Korea's most popular skincare lines. Target recently started carrying a large portion of the line (which is a sister line to the expensive Amore Pacific products you can find at Sephora) and I was so excited because it's hard to find Korean brands here in the U.S.  It costs $34 at Target, so it's not cheap, but it's unlike anything else you can buy in this country at the moment, so I had to try it out!

BB Cushion claims to do 5 things- Brighten, Protect against UVA/UVB with SPF 50+, Cools and Refreshes, Prevents Shine, and Gives Natural, Long-Lasting Coverage. 


Here are the ingredients-

The format of this is part of what makes it so unique.  The BB Creams on the US market are all sold in tubes, but BB in a compact is really hot in Asia right now and I'm sure it'll make it's way over here eventually.  This particular compact is so high-end looking and it feels substantial, weighty, and closes with a very satisfying click.  It's very simple white with silver lettering.



Inside there's a gorgeous mirror that's extremely high quality and an antimicrobial applicator puff. Although it's sponge-like, it's not designed to soak up a lot of product like a regular makeup sponge would. When not in use, it rests in the white tray so it's not sitting in the product underneath.
When you open the tray, you can see the product.  It's essentially a sponge soaked in the BB cream itself.  All you have to do is dab the applicator puff into the sponge to pick up the product. A little goes a long way, so dab sparingly!  If you get too much product, it'll look caked on.
Here's a close-up of the sponge.

It also comes with a refill sponge, so although it's expensive, this should last quite a while.
It comes in 3 shades...light, medium and dark.  I wish it came in more shades, but that's all there is for now.  I bought Light and on my fair, pink toned skin it looks a bit yellow at first, but blends in nicely in the end.
Below is what it looks like blended out...you can see the line about 1/3 of the way down my arm (right where my wrist tendon ends). You can see how much more even my skin looks.
The coverage is light at first, but you can build it up to medium fairly easily.  Just remember to build slowly!  I like to grab a little bit on the applicator pad and pat it all over my face, per the instructions.  I don't think this is meant to be rubbed in like foundation.  All you have to do is just get a little bit on the applicator and just keep patting it all over your face and it blends in beautifully! It gets rid of all my redness yet leaves my freckles to show through, so it's a super natural finish.  It gives a slightly dewy glow, rather than a matte finish which works really well for my dry (combo dry in summer) skin.  Oily skin types may want to add some powder but a lot of the reviews I've read from those with oily skin said that this kept oil at bay all day.
It has a really pleasant light scent to it that I happen to love, but I wanted to mention it in case you're sensitive to scented products.  It didn't cause any kind of reaction with me.
It's also very long lasting- I kept looking in the mirror throughout the day and was surprised at how flawless my face looked, even toward evening time.  I've been keeping this in my purse and have been using it all summer long- it's just perfect!
Here's a quick video/demo:

I was so impressed by this that I bought some more Laneige skincare products, so stay tuned for more reviews of this brand.
Have you tried BB Cushion from Laneige or any other brand?

To purchase Laneige BB Cushion or to see more reviews, please visit Target.

Maybelline Great Lash Doll Mania Mascara Review

Maybelline Great Lash Doll Mania ($5.49) is a new version of the iconic Great Lash mascara and is supposed to give a wide-eyed doll look to the lashes.
Maybe it's just me, but I never understood all the craziness with the original Great Lash. It's been around pretty much my entire life and it still gets mentioned regularly in beauty magazines as one of the greatest mascaras of all time. I mean, it's a good mascara but I was never able to get the same effect with it that I have with so many others (Maybelline's Illegal Length gave me much longer, lusher lashes to name one from the same brand). 

Anyway, lately there have been a few drugstore "doll eye" formulas such as NYX Doll Eyes and L'Oreal Miss Manga. Let's see how this one stacks up!
The tube looks very similar to the original, except for the Doll Mania logo near the bottom.
This version has a curved brush, which I actually don't mind. It makes it easy to grab all of the lashes. Size-wise the brush is similar to the original as well. The formula is very wet and I'm a multiple coat kind of girl so I did have some issues with clumping as I tried to build it up, but in the end it didn't look too clumpy.
 So here's my before and afters:
Before

After

Just like the original, I found this to be just OK. It did give my lashes some volume, length and curl but not to the point where I thought my lashes looked like doll lashes. In fact, the results were pretty unimpressive. A few hours later, my lashes looked weighted down and straight vs. curled up.

Overall, I don't recommend this one. If you're looking for a Doll Eye mascara, NYX has a great one (and I believe they've started selling NYX at CVS now). I reviewed it a while ago (see my full review here) and here was my after picture for that one- it gave lush, thick, full lashes with crazy length.
So what do you think? Have you tried one of the Doll Eyes mascaras out there now? Which one do you like?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner Review

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner ($24) is a new long-wearing gel eyeliner that's been getting a lot of attention lately.  It's a totally new concept, since they've found a way to get a gel eyeliner into an easy-to-use pen format, rather than the standard pot and brush which can be a pain and not very portable.  I planned on purchasing this to see what all the hype was about, but then I ended up getting a deluxe sample free with a $25 Sephora order!  It's exactly the same, just smaller, so I was really able to test this out and it'll last me quite a while.

This liner is supposed to be long wearing and waterproof (they even sell another product to remove it).  It's also supposed to hug the lashine and make the eyes look larger.
It comes in a twist up pen and when you use it for the first time, you have to turn the bottom until the product comes up, then wipe the excess away.  One twist gives enough product to line both eyes.
It's hard to see in the photo, but the tip is a flexible rubber and toward the very end where it comes to a point is where the product comes out.  It's upside down in the picture below so you can see it better, but you just rest that part along your lashline and very slowly move it along.  The experts will tell you to work from the inner corner to the outer corner but I like to start in the middle and work toward the outer corner first, because I like the inner corner line to start very thin and get thicker as I go back.  If I start at the inner corner, there's too much product on the applicator and it starts out too thick.  I also don't draw this along like I would a pencil...I just carefully dot it along my lashline, making it thicker as I go.  When I get to the outer corner, I turn it and create a wing by dotting it up and out. Then, when there's less product on the tip, I go back and connect the inner corners to the middle.
Overall, I found this easy to use, but I have an incredibly steady hand when it comes to eyeliner.  If you're a novice or find applying regular eyeliner to be a bit tricky, you may find this a bit harder to use than a regular pencil.  It definitely takes some practice to get the hang of (and I've been applying eyeliner for the last 20 years or so).  I've read other reviews that complained that it skips or makes a messy line, but you just need to exercise a bit of patience and go very slowly and carefully with it and you should be fine.
As for it being waterproof, I really can't say since I didn't swim or take a shower with it.  I did find that it smudged a tiny bit throughout the day.  But, it stayed on from morning until I went to bed without fading which was impressive.  It looked pretty much the same as when I applied it, except for a few light smudges in the outer corner of my eye.
As far as removal goes, I was able to get this off with a cleansing oil and then some eye makeup remover on a cotton pad (I didn't have to buy their remover).
So if you're comfortable applying eyeliner and want to try something new, you should definitely give this a shot!
To purchase or read other reviews and see video tutorials, please visit Sephora below:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag July 2014 Reveal

I always look forward to my Ipsy Glam bag...it almost never disappoints. This month's theme is Sensationally Sunkissed and I got a good variety of different products.

July's bag is hot pink with scalloped edges.


 The first product I got is Befine Food Skin Care Daily Moisturizer with SPF 1.5 oz. ($24 for 1.7 oz.).  This was almost full size and at first I thought it was body lotion due to the larger sample tube (usually face samples are much smaller). Then I read about it online and found that it's actually  face moisturizer featuring Rosemary and Pomegranate extracts as well as rice bran. It's a nice lightweight daily moisturizer with SPF 15, but I'm not super excited about it because I usually use anti-aging skincare and this seems pretty basic, ingredient-wise. To get 20% off any Befine product at Befine.com, enter IPSY at checkout.

 Next is Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 8 ($11.99). This is quite a throwback- first, I didn't realize that the Cali Surfer clothing brand Hang Ten was still around (I found out they sell it at Kohls) or that they made sunscreens! The bottle is very 80's retro which is cool and it reminds me of when I used to lie out and bake at the beach with my SPF 8 oil, then I'd drop it to SPF 4 once I got a base tan. Ahh memories...BUT I have to say I'm disappointed that Ipsy included this because it's basically promoting getting a "deep tan" naturally from the sun, which research shows can cause skin cancer. Now I'm not knocking anyone who wants to do that, but this skin cancer survivor won't be using this type of product anymore...pass me the SPF 50! To get 25% off one product at Hang tensunscreen.com, enter code IPSYtan at checkout.
Next is Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink ($14). This twist up balm starts out clear and then adjusts to your skin's pH to give you your own custom shade (they also make this balm in regular shades but this one, Unique Pink is self-adjusting). I love the ease of use and the texture is great! It hugs the lips and stays put a long time while keeping lips super hydrated. Here's how the color came out on me...I love it! It's a beautiful shade of pink. 
To get 25% off at Pixibeauty.com, enter flawlesspixi at checkout. 

This next brand, Whet is new to me, but I am loving this deep blue nail polish shade called Facetious ($15). These are free of harmful chemicals, chip resistant, and made in the USA.  I'll be keeping this for fall! To get 30% off a purchase at Whetnails.com, enter Ipsy30 at checkout.
Finally, this 5-in-1 BB cream eyeshadow ($18)from Bare Minerals is amazing! It has 5 benefits- 12 hour wear, built-in primer, brightening benefits, smooths fine lines and protects with SPF.  
  I don't have lines on my eyelids yet, so I can't speak to that, but the rest of the claims hold up. I got this in the shade Divine Wine. Which I thought would be plum colored but its more brown. It goes on SO smooth and silky and is heavily pigmented. It also stays soft long enough to blend it out. I just can't say enough about how amazingly soft and smooth this feels- I wasn't expecting that!
This swatch is when I first applied it...
 ...then this is blended out a bit.
 Here it is on my eye- it stayed like this all day- no creasing, patchiness or fading! I'm definitely going to pick up the full size of this one...maybe in a lighter shade for summer.
Overall I wasn't crazy about the first two products, but the last 3 were awesome and made up for it! How was your Ipsy bag this month? Not a subscriber? Click here to join- its $10 a month (cancel anytime).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fresh Sugar Shine Treatment Review Honey and Rose Swatches

Fresh Sugar Honey Shine and Rose Shine ($18.50) are two of three new shades that Fresh has recently released. I've been a huge fan of their Sugar Lip Treatment balms for years and then last fall, I bought the original Sugar Shine Treatment. The original Shine Treatment is clear and I've been waiting for Fresh to add some colors for a while. I was so excited to see these come out, I bought two of them..Rose (my favorite shade in the Sugar Balm!) and Honey. The third shade, Cherry is red but I'm not a fan of dark lip colors.
Left to right- Original (Clear), Honey and Rose

Original (Clear), Honey and Rose
Here's the description:
Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatment works to promote suppleness and improve the definition of the lip area while preserving moisture for up to six hours. The high-shine treatment enhances the natural color of the lips while offering essential nourishment. It can be worn alone or on top of your favorite Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment for smooth, youthful-looking lips.   

These come in beautiful, high-end looking tubes that are wider than your average lip gloss tube. They have bronze colored soft touch caps and the tubes are clear so you can see the product inside. 

Ingredients:

-Sugar: Attracts and seals in moisture. -Commiphora Extract: Promotes suppleness and helps smooth rough lips. -Cupuaçu and Mango Butters: Help nourish, soften, and restore suppleness. -Hyaluronic Filling Spheres: Help make the lips appear fuller. -Black Currant Seed and Grapeseed Oils: Help hydrate and protect. 

Diisostearyl Malate, Polybutene, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Isostearyl Isostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Commiphora Mukul Resin Extract, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fragrance, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Trihydroxystearin, Bht, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 75470 (Carmine), Hexylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Propyl Gallate, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.

Here are the shades a little more close-up:
Original (Clear)
                       

Honey

Rose

Since Clear doesn't add color to my lips I only took photos of Honey and Rose. Both shades are way more pigmented than I thought they would be for a lip gloss! Online at Sephora.com, Honey appeared more as a nude shade but when I tried it on, it ended up being sort of orangey and not really my thing. But the Rose didn't disappoint...just like the Lip Treatment balm of the same color, Rose is a beautiful shade that works perfectly with my fair skin.

Honey

Rose

Here are the swatches. The Honey (bottom) is actually a bit darker than the Rose (top). It just goes to show that you can't trust those swatches on the store websites! So if you're looking for a subtle, my-lips-but-a-little-rosier definitely check out the Rose shade. It's gorgeous!

Overall, this lasted a couple of hours on me, typical of a gloss. It did leave a little stain behind after the shine had faded away and my lips felt moist for hours afterward! I love that it's a gloss with some serious moisturizing power. It's a bit on the expensive side, but it's really like 2 products in 1 (plus Rose is the most gorgeous color ever). So I say, go ahead and splurge! I think you'll really like this one! (If not, it's always returnable at Sephora).
See the shades, more information and reviews at Sephora.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Birchbox July 2014 Unboxing

I just got my July 2014 Birchbox a few hours ago, and I couldn't wait to share it with you- it's probably my favorite Birchbox ever!
This month's theme is Power Up and they've partnered up with Women's Health magazine to help you boost your beauty routine as well as your overall health and fitness. Instead of the normal brown box, this month's box looked like this:

 This little booklet was included inside, and features 12 little challenges to Power Up your life.

 Also included was a FREE 1 year subscription to Women's Health magazine...yay!
One thing I noticed right away about this month's box is that two of the products had 2 samples each, which is great because I can try them more than once.
 Meanwhile, Henry decided he wanted to "help" me do my review, haha.
"Let me see what's in here!" 

"Hmm...what's this for?"
The first product is by Spanish brand Naobay, and it's their Body Radiance Lotion ($24). This 98% natural lotion has Olive Oil, Avocado Oil and Shea Butter and it has a delicious citrus scent. It was lightweight and soaked in fast, leaving my skin buttery smooth. Love it!
Next is Marcelle New Age 8 in 1 Power Serum ($34). This potent anti-ager has 5 peptides and is supposed to hydrate, firm, lift, and plump fine lines, giving results in only 1 week. I'm definitely up for the challenge and can't wait to see what this baby can do. I think I've got a week's supply here!
Next is an eyeshadow sample quad from Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette ($39, on sale now for $19.99!). This looks like a major dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, with it's rose-toned neutrals.
 The full palette has 20 shadows in it...
 and they also have a previous Revealed palette that could be a Naked 1 or 2 dupe!
These shadows are SO soft and pigmented- I love them and want to get the full palette!
 Next is 100% Pure's Honey Cream Wash in  Gingerade ($15). This body wash is so creamy and the scent is like a citrusy-ginger. It'll be a great pick-me up in the morning. Plus I got 2 packets so I'll be able to try it more than once!
And last but definitely not least, I received 2 sample jars of Beauty Protector's Protect & Treat Hair Mask ($25.95). I got another Beauty Protector sample in a previous Birchbox...it was a leave-in treatment spray and it smelled amazing and made my hair feel like silk. So I was over the moon when I saw these! They have the same delicious scent (like Pink Sugar) and look really thick and luxurious. I'll have to try one tonight!

So far, this is my favorite sample box this month! It had the right mix of makeup, skincare, body products and haircare. What do you think? If you're a Birchbox subscriber were you happy with your July box? Did you get different products?

To sign up for Birchbox, click here. It's $10 a month, cancel anytime!