Beauty Boxes: A Rant

I am annoyed.

This is not a good feeling to have. I think it started when I got an email from Glossybox opting out of their automatic renewal. Since I will be moving, I figured I shouldn’t have them just renew my subscription. The thing that got me was that they only gave subscribers two days to say “no thanks.” Ugh. But it was that email that sent me down the slippery slope.

There were more. Trust me.

Boxes. Blech.

I ordered one box from Blush.com. The box looked interesting enough. As I waited for my delivery, I received my Glossybox. The contents were pretty good (Sue Devvitt face powder, a Jelly Pong Pong chubby lipstick) but these were higher end products than usual. If you get Glossybox USA, they have sent us some Absolute! products. I want you to know that I have seen these in my local independent beauty supply for under $3 US, with a health warning. Yes, a health warning. I was horrified. Basically, the product is probably made where they don’t care if they add the not so good for you chemicals. And for Glossybox to keep sending their subscribers products from a company that does this really makes me angry.

Not for me.

One. Of many.

Here are some more…

Chubby stick lip stains: Though I like them and use them pretty frequently, I think I got three chubby stick lip stains in two months. Enough already.

Beach Waves Style Spray: Ummm… two full size bottles and one travel size. Why do I fill out surveys asking what type of hair I have, etc, when I never get things good for it?

Don't let this happen to you.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Dry Shampoo: I don’t really have a use for dry shampoo. I can use baby powder if necessary to cut grease.

In the words of Kelly Clarkson: Never again.

In the words of Kelly Clarkson: Never again.

Sunscreen ( especially Coola): After the giant, painful zit incident I will not use it. Ever again. I don’t want leg zits, too.

Self-Tanning Towelettes: Usually I got one in a subscription package. What the heck is one going to do? Maybe, if I combined the five different self-tanners I received, I would have a good glow.

Sunless tanning towelette and a hair tie that can't get wet.

Ignore the hair tie.

Hair Conditioning Treatments: These aren’t so bad. Until you have six small tubes or jars.

After mentioning all of this to my husband, we both figured companies just send out a bunch of samples to these beauty box places and we get them. I understand the goal is for the consumer to try new products BUT we pay for these subscriptions. I really think that the companies need to pay more attention to what the consumer actually needs- not what they have in stock. The other issue is that these companies are sending the same products, sometimes even the same brand.

I said buh-bye to Birchbox and after December, sayonara GlossyBox. I will not order the Blush.com box again, either.

Grrr…

Keep Calm (I’m not, obviously) & Primp On! XOXO

Advertisements

Stuff I Tried This Week- A Day Late

Maybe a dollar short, too. The last few weeks of summer have been action packed and a bit crazy. I am trying to do maybe two posts a week until it slows down a bit. Why waste anymore time? It is fleeting!

Nuance by Salma Hayek My Secret Super Moisturizing Body Cream: I received this free from Birchbox as a bonus. The last Nuance product I wrote about didn’t impress me but this body cream is pretty good. With shea butter, macadamia seed oil, and honey, it really moisturizes the skin but doesn’t feel greasy. I would say it is pretty thick but not to the point that it won’t spread easily. The cream is also paraben free and allergy tested. I don’t care too much for the fragrance- it smells a bit like rotting flowers (sorry)- but the scent doesn’t make me nauseous or sneeze.

nuancecream

Freeman Facial Polishing Mask Charcoal & Black Sugar: This mask is weird. It is very gritty and looks weird on the skin. Charcoal is very good for purifying skin and black sugar makes a fine exfoliant. You apply it to your face, let it set for 5-7 minutes, and then massage for 1-2 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and you get… a decent fresh face. I think this makes for a quick face mask that does a decent job of exfoliation.

freeman

Cosmetics Reorganization: I have a hard time keeping what I may want to use on a daily basis in an organized manner. I had everything in reused Glossyboxes and containers from the dollar store. I initially bought these plastic drawers for my school stuff but decided they would work well for make-up since they were just sitting around my house.

org1

The bigger drawers have my eye shadows and palettes in them with brushes and eye pencils on top in containers. I also keep some of my daily face stuff on top.

reorg2

The smaller drawers have face products, like primers, foundations, blush, etc. On top are more beauty tools. We will see how long this lasts.

org2What did you try this week?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

I’m Not Going to San Francisco

But I really, REALLY want to! Why? iFabbo is having their 2013 Media Conference on October 12th! I have three challenges- one is my day job. It is hard to fly out from NYC to California for the weekend. The second- my friend’s wedding. I would not miss it for the world! The third is the expense. I love to travel (A LOT) but not with house/apartment hunting on the radar. And I love San Francisco. I haven’t been back since 2011. I just can’t make the journey. Le sigh.

394

iFabbo is a is an organization that supports bloggers by providing free beauty products for online content. It is a great site, easy to use, and if you write a beauty product blog, a good way to try new products that you might not try on your own. (Click on my IFabbo badge for more information.)

396

The thing is this expo would be great for a blogger like me. I run a very small blog. I like to think that I am fun and informative to read. The iFabbo Social Media Conference would help me to build up my network and gain some new popularity. It would also be an excellent way to meet other bloggers in my boat and successful bloggers with many readers. I have plenty to say about the world of beauty- learning the ropes of a successful blog would help!

425

After all of my whining, that does not mean that you can’t go! If you are a West Coast blogger or can make the trip, check out iFabbo’s event page here.

471See you soon!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Hydroxatone is a #BetterBB

I joined iFabbo and after recently getting my husband an awesome shaving set from #HYDformen gratis, I decided I would order the Hydroxatone BB Cream ($39 US). Here is the thing: BB creams and I have had a rocky history. Most of the time, they make the greasy beast emerge and I just can’t deal. If you read my most recent “Stuff I Tried This Week”, you would learn that a certain tinted moisturizer gave me a monster zit that is in hiding. It hurts. Anyway, I was skeptical but since this tube would be free from iFabbo, I figured it was better than me spending more money.

bb1

I first heard of Hydroxatone from their commercial in which they promised you a free trial jar that would eventually cost you 90 bucks, even if you didn’t love it and forgot to call or send it back. I never ordered it because I don’t have many wrinkles and since I am oily, I really have no need. Getting this for free, without a fear of charge, made this a done deal.

I received a generous tube of Hydroxatone BB Cream from iFabbo and used it for a few days. It has all of the things a BB cream is supposed to have: SPF, hydration, decent coverage, brightening power, and even fights the signs of aging. I always fear the word hydration… except I really, really like this BB cream!

bbtube

First off, a little goes a long way. It is pretty thick and at first I was a little nervous that the medium wouldn’t suit me- in fact, it could have been a little deeper.

Before the cream. Good fricken morning.

Before the cream. Good fricken morning.

I might have put too much on my fingers and I really had to spread it around so it wouldn’t show. Once it was blended in, coverage was good. In fact, because it was thick, it really covered those pests we call imperfections.

This is about how much I used. Top is with flash.

This is about how much I used. Top is with flash.

But the real test for me is the oil factor. Let me explain. Yesterday, I only had on some SPF powder. I used four blotting papers in one sitting after a few hours. See what you’re dealing with?

After I applied. My skin looks good, my attitude not so much.

After I applied. My skin looks good, my attitude not so much.

Well… I wasn’t an oily ogre! In fact, I put the #BetterBB on at 8 AM. It is now about 1:30 PM EST and I don’t even feel the need to blot. I think Hydroxatone BB Cream is the one for me- my hunt is over!

At least I am awake.

At least I am awake.

Want to learn more about Hydroxatone’s #BetterBB? Click here!

Special thanks to iFabbo and Hydroxatone for a tube of the #BetterBB.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Stuff I Tried This Week x4

I have been a little MIA this week and I am sorry. We just have a lot going on and have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to really give any solid and full reviews. SITW includes a few things that I used for the first time or gave another chance. On with it!

Face SPF 20 Coola Mineral Sunscreen Rose Tinted Moisturizer:

coola1

I think I received this in either a Birchbox or ipsy bag. I had another Coola product but had given it away and was slightly curious about this. The formula is very thin. I found a little to go a long way.

coola2

With flash

With flash

I didn’t find it to be rose tinted- it was more luminizing than rosy. It didn’t have the best coverage but I don’t wear a lot of coverage anyway.  I started using it on Monday and it made my skin oily. I tried it again Tuesday-Thursday and my face could rival an oil slick. By Friday morning. I could feel a zit forming on the left side of my nose. It is one of those underground ones, too. It hurts. Needless to say, I threw the rest in the garbage. If you need a tinted SPF for your face, I would not recommend this one.

Ow.

Ow.

Wet n Wild Take On the Day Primer: I bought this a while back and when I first used it I wasn’t impressed. I recently finished a tiny tube of Too Faced Shadow Insurance and had this handy so I started using it again. At first I thought it was doing a decent job. A few days later, I noticed it wasn’t. My eye shadow became splotchy, and was on places other than my lid. I threw it out today and went back to my NYX HD Eye Primer. I missed it and decided that I would never stray again.

Julep Essential Cuticle Oil: I received this in that fancy Birchbox for CEW delivery. I own one Julep polish and it is super thin and has awful coverage. I also got a Julep polish with the cuticle oil. It is so thick that when I went for a mani/pedi, even the manicurist complained. I am underwhelmed by the cuticle oil, too. It comes in a roller ball and is supposed to “soften rough cuticles.” I would need vats of it. It dries very quickly, which on one hand (ha!) is good, but that means it isn’t sticking around to really moisturize. Julep Essential Cuticle Oil is really touted for daily use and is meant to be easy to carry with you. I do not have time to dab cuticle oil on my nails. Don’t waste $18 USD.

It does smell pretty.

It does smell pretty.

Cool Whip Cookies: I found a recipe floating around Facebook and then I did a little google search. Basically, you take any flavor cake mix you want, add an eight ounce container of thawed Cool Whip, and an egg. You mix it and get a nice cookie dough. You drop balls of dough into powdered sugar and throw them in a pre-heated 350 F degree oven. Then you let them cool and eat up. I made two versions- one using devil’s food cake mix (they taste like Archway Dutch Chocolate Cookies) and the other using white cake mix with lemon and lime zest (they remind me of those evil Lofthouse cookies that I love). I also chose not to throw the dough into powdered sugar. I just sprinkled a little on top before I baked. The results are delicious and since I used fat free Cool Whip, we are talking really light cookies.

These are the lemon/lime cookies. The cookies were the best thing I tried this week.

These are the lemon/lime cookies. The cookies were the best thing I tried this week.

Did you do anything new this week? Let me know!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

You $mell Nice.

I will admit that I am somewhat of a fragrance snob. I have had a love for perfume ever since I was a little girl.  I have amassed quite the collection, too. Most of my fragrances are in the $60+ USD price range with a number of them over $100 USD but I also have body sprays that I use during the warmer weather. It seems like a lot of money to spend but one thing is for certain: I choose wisely. I sniff, I spray, I sometimes walk away and come back if I believe I would enjoy a fragrance, I purchase. Scent plays a large part in our lives. It can transport, help us remember, and turn heads and makes you smell good.

Celine Dion performing "Taking Chances&qu...

Celine Dion performing “Taking Chances” at Celine Dion ‘Taking Chances Tour’ Concert @ Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada in August, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my last post I mentioned that I purchased two fragrances this week from Walgreens. I paid about $35 USD for both and actually bought them without smelling them. I know! I must be crazy. I happened to come across an article in InStyle Magazine that gave descriptions of over 70 celebrity fragrances (Read the article here).

Shakira Stops By Soundcheck

Shakira Stops By Soundcheck (Photo credit: kindofadraag)

A few caught my eye because with each photo, there was a description of the notes in each bottle. Since Walgreens was having 20% off beauty last week, I thought it a good idea to do a quick look and found they had Celine Dion Signature and Shakira S in stock.

perfume 1

I will begin with Celine Dion Signature. The top note, which catches your attention, but then soon disappears into the heart, is bright and fruity. In fact, I wasn’t sure what to expect at first sniff but I was surprised at how light it smelled. It wasn’t very light but I just didn’t expect a pleasant floral and fruity bouquet. The top notes are mimosa flower, pink lady apples, and guava. The heart, which you probably smell longest in the dry down, are Indian jasmine, rose and magnolia flowers. I have to admit that I didn’t “get” that. It does smell floral but I didn’t catch the rose at all. In fact, the base notes really lingered on me-  musk, amberwood and sandalwood. Even with the musk and amberwood, Celine Dion Signature was not heavy and lasted all day- probably because of the musk. I would even say it was a little spicy. I think the $17.50 US that I paid was a decent investment and I will be wearing it quite a bit come fall.

perfume2

perfume3

Shakira S was a little harder to like for me. It is described as an “oriental-floral” with a top note of jasmine. I love the scent of jasmine and I guess it would be included in “oriental” scents but I don’t pick that up right away. It actually smells very heavy in the bottle and though I know jasmine can be “heavy”, it also carries a lightness. The heart of the fragrance is sandalwood. I happen to like sandalwood. I know it should smell like wood BUT I always think of citrus when giving sandalwood fragrances a sniff. The base notes are amber, benzoin, and vanilla. The base seems to use very complimentary notes and they do come through more throughout the whole fragrance. Shakira S lasted a long time, too, but not quite as long as Celine Dion Signature. I could smell it faintly at the very end of the evening.

perfume4

perfume5

Where would you wear these? Both are definitely day appropriate but I can also see wearing Shakira S for a night out. In terms of “age”, I would say Shakira S might appeal to the younger crowd.

For $35 US, these were worth a try and I have already worn them both a few times. What fragrances do you enjoy? Where do you normally purchase perfume?

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Stuff I Tried This Week (The Saga Continues)

And three times is a charm! I have a few things I tried this week that I think you need to know about!

Cutting Tubes

Do you realize how much you waste when you don't cut the bottles?

Do you realize how much you waste when you don’t cut the tubes?

I have cut my tubes before but this week I came to the end of more products. The Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream is a great buy and is fragrance free. It is an excellent moisturizer and super gentle because it is made for babies! I bought it when I had itchy winter skin on a BOGO and am finishing up my second tube. I cut this tube the other night and there are maybe 3-4 uses left. The Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist was sent with a KollectionK order and I fell in love with it. It gets super foamy and I really feel clean after using it. I bought a full size but by cutting this tube,  I will get a few more washes. FYI: I usually put the leftovers in reusable travel jars but I was feeling lazy. I figure for a few days, these should be fine.

Nuance by Salma Hayek Lights, Camera, Action Eye Trio in Bronze/ Gold Shimmer:

Don't blink or you'll miss it.

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

Okay. I got this in an extra FREE Birchbox a few months back and have used it a few times. There is a liquid eye shadow (the bronze product on the left), a white highlighter stick in the middle, and an eye pencil on the right. I recently discovered the eye pencil. It was really wedged in the tube and I finally figured out that it wasn’t only the twist up. Anyhoo, I was disappointed the first few times I used it, especially with the liquid bronze eye shadow. I am still disappointed. Even with a primer, this stuff disappears. Like total David Copperfield. Or Houdini. The eye pencil and white highlighter are okay, though.

Shadow, highlighter, pencil (me in.)

Shadow, highlighter, pencil (me in.)

Drugstore Perfume (or eau de toilette): I have enough fragrance to open a store but when I was getting a pedicure last week, I found an article about celebrity perfume. I have a dirty little secret. I wear Usher for Woman. I love Usher as a musician- he is super talented- but, man, his perfume?! My sister, Shazzer, bought me a bottle for Christmas and told me that I was going to be surprised. I wear it. A lot. Back to celebrity fragrance… after reading the article, a few of the fragrance notes caught my eye and I decided I would give them a sniff. Walgreens had 20% off beauty this week and I managed to find Celine Dion Signature and S by Shakira. I won’t get into them now (expect a full review sometime this week) BUT I think you need to check out your local drugstore for fragrances. I also got both for about $35 US.

Near... far... my hips don't lie.

\ Near… far… my hips don’t lie.

A Sock Bun

I am growing out my hair and am getting bored with it. That usually means that I would chop it all off BUT I am trying not to. The reason: sock buns. I love the way they look and they seem easy to do. I bought a two pack of medium size sock bun makers (?) at 5 Below  two weeks ago and used it today. The concept is simple. Put your hair in a ponytail high on your head. Then take the sock bun maker (I really have no idea what to call it. You would think I’d look it up.) and pull your ponytail through it. Tuck the ends around the doughnut looking thing and you have a bun! My hair stayed all day and looked pretty good. The picture is proof- I took it at the end of the day.

I've got buns.

I’ve got buns.

That’s it for now. I wonder what I will tell you about next Sunday!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Girls Just Wanna…

Have no nail lines. Seriously. Having OCD, I tend to get weird and often silly obsessions. One thing I can’t stand is chipped nails. When I get a chip, I either touch it up or all of the polish is removed. Another is visible nail lines. Makes me insane.  With that said, I want to discuss Deborah Lippmann. Usually her nail polishes are very appealing. The colors are like jewels and I love looking at a Deborah Lippmann display. When I saw Girls Just Want to Have Fun, I believed it was kismet. I love anything coral and Girls Just Want to Have Fun is a beautiful coral creme. Cyndi Lauper is also one of my idols. I swear. Even with all of the orange and pink polishes I have, I needed it. I spent $17 US on nail polish. My name is Jessica and I am a Product Hoochie.

Crush on coral

Crush on coral

My friend, Lindz of Girl in the Glasses, and I were discussing nail polish and she mentioned that she thought some of the Lippmann glitter polishes and metallics are really good. I told her I would send her a few unused bottles. Why, you ask? Because I have a few Lippmann polishes that are less than stellar. (I fully disclosed this to my buddy and she might just have more luck!) Girls Just Want to Have Fun was really a snap decision. I was using a coupon, it caught my eye, and I had my usual “what the heck?” echoing in my head. When I got home that afternoon, I gave myself a manicure and sent Lindz a picture via Facebook. After three coats, I still had visible nail lines. Still. Three coats of $17 nail polish. Talk about waste. We agreed that Lippmann cremes are not the best choice.

Picture I sent Lindz!

Picture I sent Lindz!

Being fair, I gave myself another manicure today. I started with NailTek Foundation II Ridge-Filling Base Coat. A great base coat, it smooths the nails out and is a bit white so color is more vibrant. Then I applied my first coat of Girls Just Want to Have Fun…

Photo taken with flash.

Photo taken with flash.

Now, with one coat of polish, seeing the nail lines is acceptable. Onto coat number two…

With flash!

With flash!

The color gets brighter and the nail lines are less visible but I can still see them. Insert aggravation here. Onto numero tres.

Still flashing.

Still flashing. Pardon the mess.

I still spy nail lines. But at this point, three coats later on a late Friday afternoon, I really have had enough. I need to pee. I need to write this post. I need to live! I applied my favorite Nails Inc. Caviar Top Coat and hope for the best.  And to be fair, here are two more pictures of my complete manicure. I still need to clean them up but you decide if this polish is worth $17 US. I know what I think!

With flash

With flash

Without flash

Without flash

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO