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Pacifica Solar Palette Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Eyeshadow, Reviews - Comments Off - May 4th, 2014

Pacifica Solar PaletteI love makeup palettes. I’m a total sucker for them. Eyeshadow palettes are great, but I really dig it when they have cheek colors too. I’ve been wanting to try out Pacifica’s new eyeshadows since I first saw them, and finally decided to pick up the limited edition Solar Palette. It’s becoming my go-to palette to take with me when I travel.

The palette contains six eyeshadows, one blush, one bronzer, and three cream highlighters, getting airless pump bottles from APG that have many uses is crucial for today’s cosmetic brands. The eyeshadows include a pale color for under the brow bone, a dark color perfect for lining or use in the crease, and the other shades are great lid colors. They are well chosen to coordinate together, and work for all seasons. I use the coral, light brown, and dark brown colors the most, but they are all nicely pigmented and smooth to work with.

FaceThe blush is a really flattering color, which looks dark but goes on lighter. It’s a soft rose with a bit of golden shimmer to it. It’s not a LOT shimmery, or sparkly. It would suit a variety of skin tones. The bronzer is also quite flattering and pretty. It’s light for a bronzer, so probably wouldn’t show much on deeper skin tones. Anyone fair to medium will like it.

I don’t use the highlighters much because I usually use powder foundation and creams don’t play well on powder. They’re nice on bare skin or if you use liquid/cream foundation or a tinted moisturizer. I haven’t tried them on my lips or eyes, just as highlighters on the cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose. I’ve also been thinking about getting eyebrow feathering Blacktown, because it looks like it’s very popular these days.

EyesIn the photos I’m wearing the blush and a bit of the bronzer, as well as the coral-y, lighter brown, and pale pink eyeshadow.

At $32, it’s not the cheapest palette out there. The pricing is in line with other nicer makeup brands like Tarte, and I find the quality to be quite similar as well, you can buy this makeup and others products on

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Fresh Skincare Is Awesome
Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - April 30th, 2014

A dear friend of mine works for the skincare company Fresh, and thanks to him, I’m now really addicted to Fresh’s skincare. Here’s a quick round-up of what I’ve tried and why I love it!

First, the Lotus Eye Gel and  under eye pads is excellent. It’s a hydrating eye treatment that reduces the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, and signs of fatigue. It really helps! According to their website, lotus flower extract is contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants known to defend against wrinkle-causing free radicals. The cucumber fruit extract helps to revive the appearance of tired eyes, and grapeseed polyphenols and jojoba help to protect the skin. It’s pricey, at $48, but totally worth it.

The Lotus Youth Preserve Radiance Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer that contains “a hydrating and radiance-boosting blend of seven super-charged ingredients that promote a youthful-looking complexion.” This “Super 7 Complex” consists of lotus flower extract, blue-green algae extract, hibiscus fruit extract, fig fruit extract, vitamins C and E, and vegetable glycerol. Why do I love it? I have oily skin, so I need a lighter moisturizer (or I’m a greasy beast) but I still care about anti-aging. This lotion nicely gets the job done on both accounts. It’s also affordable, at $32, a very reasonable price for a quality moisturizer, while also using other treatment like microblading from this website online.

Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask is the newest product I’ve tried. It’s an overnight treatment that should lighten the appearance of dark spots, correct uneven skintone, and significantly brighten the complexion. It’s meant to be applied in the evening after cleansing, in place of a nightly moisturizer. It contains peony and licorice root extracts and vitamin C glucoside, which are proven to reduce and prevent the appearance of dark spots and even skintone. It also has cucumber extract to hydrate and calm the skin. After two uses, I noticed my skin looked really clear and smooth the next morning! I love how easy it is to use. One of the drawbacks to purchasing masks is my laziness at actually using them – after I wash my face at night, I just want to go to bed, not smear on product, sit for 10 minutes, and rinse my face again. These overnight treatments work so much better for me. It’s pricey, but splurge-worthy in my opinion and it leaves your face and facial hair soft and smooth. Another important thing we can help you with is to manage your eyebrows in ComplexCity Spa with microblading which will give you strong and good looking eyebrows like you always wanted.

Fresh’s products are awesome! I highly recommend the brand. They are doing a great job providing skincare solutions for most skin types and concerns.

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Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Review
Complexion, Reviews - Comments Off - April 28th, 2014

When I first heard that Maybelline’s Fit Me Shine Free Foundation was coming out, I was really hot and bothered to try it. It’s described as a “gel-stick” formula with an “anti-shine core.” I really had zero idea just what the heck it was going to be like based on the description, and it’s not often I come across something that seems all that new and different. The majority of stick foundations I’ve tried in the past have been very creamy – definitely not suited to an oily skin type. This new Maybelline one sound different, with its claims of being mattifying and having an “anti-shine” core. I bought it in mid-summer, and wore it through hot weather, and into fall. The verdict? Read on!

The product has a really fascinating texture. It’s not exactly gel-like, but it’s not greasy either. Smooth and blendable are the two best words for it. The coverage is light to medium coverage. I found it best for evening out my skin tone and giving a perfect “no makeup” look. The shade Classic Ivory 120 is EXACTLY PERFECT for my skin. I have to give Maybelline some serious props, because this is the third complexion product I’ve tried from them that blends with my skin tone perfectly. My preferred method of application is to put three stripes on each cheek, one stripe across my chin, one down the bridge and on each side of my nose, and two stripes on my forehead. Then I blend with my fingers.

First, the positives. Like I said, it blends out perfectly, giving a nice, even sheer coverage. Cream or gel blushes apply evenly on top (as if it were a liquid foundation). The finish is matte, although less matte than a powder. While my skin will get shiny as the day goes on, this foundation doesn’t make it worse. I personally thought it slowed the shine down better than a liquid foundation does, although not as well as a powder will. I really liked the natural finish. It wore very well through sweaty, humid weather, and didn’t fade or slide right of my face. It was a great option for a summer foundation. (I find powder foundations too heavy in summer.)

There are a few mild negatives. The product has no sunscreen, so a separate sunscreen is necessary if you want sun protection. If my moisturizer wasn’t totally dry, the foundation sometimes wanted to ball up a little bit on top. It’s not got heavy coverage, so a separate concealer is necessary for dark circles and blemishes.

Once summer was over I did go back to the Instant Age Rewind powder for work wear. I’ll use this when I want to wear a cream blush, since they play so nicely together. I also intend to take this with me for travel, since sticks travel better than powder foundation (which can break up in the compact if it gets dropped). Overall, this product got a LOT of wear from me this summer, and I definitely recommend checking it out!

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Alba Botanica Good & Clean Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments Off - April 27th, 2014

I love a good, inexpensive facial cleanser. Bonus points if it smells good. Alba Botanica’s Good & Clean Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser fits the bill on both accounts. It’s also mildly exfoliating, and quite gentle.

The Good & Clean Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser is a hybrid type cleanser, with a creamy base and a gentle lather. I didn’t find it drying at all, which is great. It contains a blend of fruit acids to exfoliate, as well as green tea and willow bark extract. It has a strong citrus scent, which could be problematic if you’re sensitive to scent. I love it, especially in the mornings.

It takes off makeup very well, and didn’t irritate my eyes. Overall, I recommend this cleanser if you are looking for a cream cleanser but want some lather. It’s great for oily skin types, as well as normal skin. If you are dry, it might be too much. I would buy this again!

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Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 27th, 2013

Whoa, is that name long enough? ANYWAY. Olay is trying to get in the game with younger consumers with their Fresh Effects line of products. The Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen seeks to capitalize on the BB cream trend, while also calling itself a tinted moisturizer. Influenster sent me a tube to try out. Here are my thoughts…

First, I haven’t tried a true Asian BB cream. Everyone I know who has says this Olay product ain’t even close. So let’s just get that out of the way. My review is based on my experience with this product only, so let’s just forget about the whole BB cream name. Feel free to go yell at Olay for co-opting the BB cream trend.

In Western makeupland, tinted moisturizer generally refers to a sheer foundation type product, which in my experience, isn’t very moisturizing. This Olay product also isn’t a tinted moisturizer, as those things go. It’s basically a moisturizer with tint. It’s quite moisturizing, and the tint is sheer.

I like this product quite a bit, for what it is. I don’t need a separate moisturizer with this, and I like the sheer tint it provides when I don’t want to wear makeup but want my complexion to look more even. I think it would be perfect for anyone who doesn’t usually wear foundation, but maybe wants to have a little bit of of complexion enhancement. It’s not great for oil control – I do get a bit shiny with this moisturizer, but not any worse than any other moisturizer. Expect to blot if you have oily skin, or maybe use a mattifying powder for extra oil control. It also has a pretty strong floral-y scent to it that I don’t love. It has SPF 15, which is decent if you aren’t planning on spending a lot of time outdoors. It contains niacinamide, which is a great anti-aging ingredient.

Overall, this is a good product, if you want a complexion enhancing moisturizer with sunscreen. I’ll be finishing the tube. I don’t love it enough as a moisturizer to want to use it as my daily moisturizer under makeup, although it looks okay under the powder foundation I usually wear. For that reason, I probably wouldn’t buy this product (I just mix a dab of Lush Colour Supplement in with my usual moisturizer if I want some tint). The market for this product is younger women who aren’t into heavy foundation – and I think it’s probably excellent for them!

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Shiro Custom Lipgloss Is Awesome
Hot Lips, Reviews - Comments (2) - October 25th, 2013

When Shiro Cosmetics started doing custom lipgloss, where you can order lipgloss in any lip-safe Shiro eyeshadow color, I squealed. I really did. The real conundrum was which ones to order first? I want so many…

I ordered two colors, Cake! and Fullmetal. I wanted a sheer gold-y color, because I’m kind of addicted to sheer gold-y colors. Cake! is described as pale cream with soft coppery highlight and red cherry sparks. The pictures really aren’t doing it justice – this color is really fantastic as a lipgloss. The red cherry sparks catch in the light, which you can see in my fabulous out of focus picture (I was having a terrible time photographing this, sorry!).

I also wanted a really dark color, and I’m pretty obsessed with Fullmetal, so I figured it would make a great not-black lip gloss. Fullmetal is a complex charcoal base with a strong golden shimmer and red highlights. The gold and red shimmer is so pretty when it catches the light!

The formula is lovely. It’s moisturizing, not sticky, and pretty long-lasting for a gloss. I’m totally addicted, and can think of at least 10 more colors I want to turn into gloss now. If you want to see some other shades, you can go here and here and here. On my short list: Heart Attack, Baker’s Boy, and A Regular Bears’ Meeting.

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Freeman Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 19th, 2013

After trying the Avocado & Oatmeal mask, I decided I needed to branch out and try some more Freeman masks. I picked the Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask, because I figured it would probably smell good – and I was right!

The Chocolate & Strawberry mask contains cocoa and strawberry extracts, kaolin clay, shea butter, and cocoa butter. It’s got the oil-absorbing and purifying qualities of the clay, but it’s also not super drying thanks to the butters. It smells chocolate-y, as promised. Don’t leave this in reach of little kids – it smells like food! My face feels soft and smooth after use. The directions say it’s good for normal to dry skin, but if your skin is quite dry, I wouldn’t use it. Oily to normal to slightly dry skin? Perfect. I like clay masks because they seem to reduce how oily my skin feels, without completely stripping my face (which is counter-productive). Clays are deep cleansing and the minerals are good for your skin.

If you are in the market for a nice clay mask that’s ridiculously affordable, this one is worth checking out. Two thumbs up.

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Some Fresh Love
Body Care, Hot Lips, Reviews - Comments (1) - October 18th, 2013

The brand Fresh has been a favorite of mine for years, and lately I’ve been indulging in some of their products. Two in particular have been getting heavy airplay in my life recently. The Sugar Shine Lip Treatment and the Rice Dry Oil are awesome!

The Sugar Shine Lip Treatment contains cupuaçu butter, mango butter, hyaluronic acid, black currant seed, and grapeseed oil. The lip treatment is hydrating, smoothing, softening, conditioning… it’s basically a glossy, high-shine version of Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment balm. It looks great alone, it looks great over lipstick, or, my personal favorite, over a lip stain. At $18.50 a tube it’s not cheap, but it’s a nice luxe treat.

The Rice Dry Oil is a blend of my favorite skincare oils – jojoba, rice bran, grapeseed, and borage oils, as well as white tea extract, arnica extract, and passionflower extract. It’s super-nourishing, promotes elasticity, softens and hydrates. It also has a great scent. I love to apply it while my skin is still damp after a shower. I love how it makes my skin feel, very soft and hydrated. I definitely have a thing for high end body oils, since this reminds me a lot of Aveda’s compositions. The price is similar – the Aveda oil is $23 for 1.7 oz and the Fresh is $48 for 3.3 oz. The only thing I don’t like is the bottle – there isn’t an orifice reducer or anything, so it pours out really quickly. I’m thinking I’ll decant it into a different bottle so I don’t waste any.

I’m also trying out an eye cream from Fresh – look for a review soon!

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