My Reviews

First Impressions: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara

In a recent Sephora order, I cashed in a 100-point perk to finally try out the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. You guys seem to enjoy these quick first impressions, and I have been really enjoying Marc Jacobs products lately, so I thought I’d try putting them together and share my first impressions. The three areas I’ll be focusing on in my mascara review are application, wear, and removal.

The Basics: This mascara is described as “an ultra-volumizing mascara that delivers instant dimension for epic lashes”. The description continues, saying “the super-concentrated black pigment delivers the greatest visual impact, and the Flash Volume Complex™ creates instant, smudge-proof length and volume in three strokes or less”.

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My Reviews

First Impressions: Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask

I got a foil packet sample of this mask when I ordered something else from the Kiehl’s website recently and was surprised to find that there are just not that many reviews! Face masks are one of my favorite pampering self-care activities, but I’m not in it for the “skintertainment” – I want my masks to actually do what they say (or at least do something). The Kiehl’s website says their Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask “instantly brightens dull, fatigued skin and restores skin’s healthy, rosy appearance over time”. Well, I’ll only get 1-2 uses from this little packet, but we do already know that cranberries are an anti-oxidant and turmeric is an anti-inflammatory. My first issue right off the bat is that Kiehl’s does not list the ingredients on its own website, but let’s see how it performs.

First, the basics: I have dehydrated combination skin, which means I overproduce oil if I get too dry, and in general my cheeks are pretty dry while my “T-zone” (forehead, nose, and chin) are a little more oily.

Ingredients: Aqua / Water, Kaolin, Sorbitol, Bentonite, Butylene Glycol, Silica, Ci 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed, Pentylene Glycol, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil / Jojoba Seed Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Polyacrylamide, Ci 77492 / Iron Oxides, Glycerin, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Curcuma Longa Extract / Turmeric Root Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Laureth-7, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita Extract / Peppermint Leaf Extract, Menthol, Epilobium Angustifolium Extract – Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Aminomethyl Propanol, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil. (The ingredients list has been pulled from the Birchbox website as Kiehl’s does not list product ingredients on their own website).

Product Info:

*Please note, while the ingredients in this mask do not list “fragrance” as a separate added ingredient, it does contain menthol, eucalyptus, and other fragrant ingredients that are also known irritants. For this reason, I marked it as having added fragrance.

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My Reviews

Lime Crime: Perlees & Superfoils

A few weeks ago, I put up a full post all about Lime Crime’s Velvetine liquid lipsticks, one of my favorite formulas. That post was so long that I figured I’d split my Brand Highlight into two and share my thoughts on their Perlees and Superfoils separately. If you’re a fan of glitter, glow, and/or metal, these might just be for you.

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I ordered these online and when they first arrived my immediate thought was “oh hell I’m never going to wear these.” I am pleased to say I was so very wrong. These metallic bullet-style lipsticks are creamy, comfortable to wear, and look like foiled metal on the lips. They’re not the most long lasting, but survived my sushi and are very easy to reapply so I’m not too bothered by it.

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Lime Crime Perlees in Denim & Charmed

Denim – The perfect denim blue to kick off anyone’s “unusual” lipstick shade collection.
Opaque, creamy, it ticks all the boxes for a good bullet lipstick and then it’s metallic blue too.
What more could you want?

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My Reviews

Sephora Play! Six Month Review

Before I say anything else, know that this is the longest I have ever stuck with one subscription box. I’ve plowed through Birchbox, ipsy, and even boxycharm but never made it more than a few months before canceling the service. Six months in, the Sephora Play! box still has my undivided attention.

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If you’re not familiar with the box, it’s a $10 monthly subscription box that comes with six deluxe samples of products from brands sold at Sephora. Similar to Birchbox, your samples are chosen based on a profile you fill out. Each month your samples will arrive in a cute little drawstring bag accompanied with a fold out sheet describing each product. To top it off, each box comes with a Sephora card for 50 extra points on your next in-store purchase. While the box is not yet available everywhere, it’s expanding quite rapidly so don’t let a waitlist bum you out (it took me a few months to get my first one).

So what makes this box so much better than the rest? Probably the biggest factor is the choice of brands. Sephora stocks some of the coolest brands out there and they definitely do not skimp when it comes to putting the Play subscription together. I heard some grumbles that one box featured what was likely “leftovers” from last year’s birthday gift, but guess what? Last year’s birthday gift was a NARS lip pencil! Not exactly chump change for most of us. I’ve gotten products from Tarte, Korres, Atelier Cologne (one of my favorite perfume makers), Urban Decay, and even Bite Beauty. Even the scents have all been knockouts – there’s one in every box. I dreaded my unexpected samples from Birchbox, but Sephora’s choices are consistently pleasing and exciting across a variety of styles. So far, Sephora has crushed it each and every time – plus your monthly fragrance sample counts as an extra product, not a replacement for a bigger item.

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The other standout factor for me is the cost breakdown of each box. These things are worth well beyond the $10 they cost each month, even if a few products make their way to friends and family (makes me look pretty great too!)

To remain objective, I’ve decided not to rate any of the products I receive beyond pointing out a few of my overall favorites. Everyone’s preferences are different and it’s not up to me to tell you a product is bad because I personally didn’t like it. There’s something in there for everyone so here’s a look at the last six months of my Sephora Play subscription!

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My Reviews

Brand Highlight: Melt Cosmetics

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I realize I’m a little behind on the times here, but man am I excited! I recently got my hands on some goodies from Melt Cosmetics (and also got to share a few words with Dana herself, more about that below) and I am in love. I scooped up all three of their four-pan eyeshadow stacks (Love Sick, Dark Matter, and Radioactive) as well as four of their matte lipsticks in the shades Spacecake, Dark Room, Sext, and Bang! Bang!. Since they’re a smaller brand with no retail presence (which means nowhere to go swatch all the preciouses), I thought I’d give you guys a full breakdown of everything I know about the brand and their products, with swatches and photos of course.

Founded in 2012 by makeup artist besties (and serious beauties) Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar, Melt is a California-based brand featuring cruelty free lipsticks and four-pan eyeshadow compacts. I was able to get in touch with Dana to ask her a few questions about Melt products and she informed me the brand started with just five lipsticks; now the range includes 12 eyeshadows across three palettes as well as 18 ultra-matte lipsticks in nude, black, and pretty much every shade in between.

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The stacks come in sets of four eyeshadows with a small round mirror, each in a magnetic disc, which makes them perfectly stackable and perfectly portable too. They do run at a semi-steep $48 each, which works out to $12/shadow and a free mirror. That said, the pans are massive! With the price and size comparisons for MAC, Melt, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Makeup Geek below… I’d argue these are a pretty good deal.

MAC Pro Pan: 1.5g / 0.05oz ($10.00)
ABH singles: 1.7g / 0.059oz ($12.00 or 4 for $40)
Makeup Geek: 1.8g / 0.064oz ($6.00)
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow2g / 0.07oz ($21.00)
Melt Cosmetics: 3.57g / 0.125oz (4 for $48.00)

Love Sick stack
Love Sick stack

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