May 2016 Allure Beauty Box | Subscription

Hey guys! Quite the hiatus, right? I’m going to try and post on here, seems like a nice little therapy that I’ve been missing.

I recently re-subscribed to Birchbox, Ipsy, and Allure Beauty Box, in addition to Dollar Shave Club – an absolute staple in my house.

Today I got my first Allure box in the mail, so here we go!

IMG_3555 copy

IMG_3556

The thick cardboard box comes in a plain brown shipping box, snug and safe. Inside, you’re greeted by the heavy-duty little magazine they have that is in place of a regular product run-down card.

IMG_3558

Underneath the gauzy-white tissue paper is the products, which… could’ve used a bit more of the squiggle grass packing in it, but it all came safe and sound. The glass nail polish was intact and the plastic around the Luna was fine.

Now let’s get to the products!

First up we have the Luna Play by Foreo. The Allure Product Run-Down says:

Foreo Luna Play
What It Is: A golf-ball size facial cleaning brush.
What It Does: Removes gunk with gentle vibrations.
Why We Like It: This brush- a pint sized version of the original Foreo Luna- is gentle enough to use on even sensitive skin. It easily maneuvers around your nose, where bigger brushes tend to struggle, leaving skin smooth. It comes prejuced with 100 uses’ worth of battery power; once drained, toss it out. And in the meantime, don’t worry about cooties: the silicone inhibits bacterial growth.
Price: $39.00
Where to Buy It: Foreo.com

The product is full-size (itself being the smaller version of Luna), so that’s a value of $39.00 already in a $10 box. ($15/mo – $5 coupon for first month.)

It’s gentle, but the larger bumps(?) at the top definitely do a good job at sonic-scrubbing, especially around the nose area. It’s different feeling, to me, since I’m used to bristle sonic brushes, but I think I like this better. It feels cleaner to use, but maybe that’s a placebo effect from knowing the silicone inhibits bacterial growth. I say my skin feels at least as clean or cleaner than my Clinique Sonic and my Clarisonic and most definitely feels like a better clean than my DDF.

Along with the Foreo Luna Play, they sent along both the Day and Night cleanser. I haven’t tested the Night Cleanser yet, but the Day Cleanser was phenomenal. They say:

Foreo Day Cleanser
What It Is: 
A gentle face wash.
What It Does: Cleanses without leaving skin tight and dry.
Key Ingredients: Mandarin and bergamot extracts (antioxidants); apricot-seed oil (moisturizes).
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: The citrus-scented cream transforms to an airy foam when you massage it onto damp skin with your fingers or the Foreo brush.
Why We Like It: It rinses away the leftover retinole and night cream you applied before bed–something water alone won’t do– so you can start the day looking and feeling fresh.
Price: $29.95
Where to Buy It: Foreo.com

 

Foreo Night Cleanser
What It Is: A deep-cleansing face wash.
What It Does: Cleanses skin and removes makeup.
Key Ingredients: Sweet-almond oil and coco-caprylate/carpate, a derivative of coconut oil (moisturize)
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: Once wet, the gel turns to lotion and rinses away every last bit of makeup, leaving skin fresh and soft.
Why We Like It: How clean does you skin really need to be? If your answer is squeaky, you’re going to love this face wash. It thoroughly removes dirt, grime, sunscreen, waterproof mascara, lip stains, and anything else you may have pancaked on your face over the course of the day.
Price: $35.95
Where to Buy It: Foreo.com

What I Say: This day cleanser, omuguh. It’s so foamy and frothy and delicious. It smells amazing. Citrus-y and “HEY WAKE UP”-y. They pretty much explained everything else perfectly.

IMG_3583

What they say:

Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector
What It Is:
 A dark-spot-brightening serum.
What It Does: Minimizes the appearance of spots caused by acne, hormonal changes, and sun exposure.
Key Ingredients: Linoleic acid, and vitamin C (brighten); olive oil and glycerin (moisturize).
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: The white formula is just thick enough to spot-treat small areas.
Why We Like It: Let’s get one thing straight. Spot treatments require patience and persistence. You probably won’t see much change after a few days. But a serum that shows a visible difference in four weeks? Now that’s fast. This one is moisturizing and gentle, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin. Our fair-skinned tester found that the sun spots on her forehead faded from cappucino brown to light tan after less than a month.
Price: $125
Where to Buy It: Equitance-us.com

Honestly? I haven’t tried this yet. Haven’t even opened it. But I guess the reviews are pretty good, but the price is also pretty steep. If you have the spare change, go for it. I’d personally stick with Origins’ Mega Bright serum from the Dr. Weil line.

IMG_3584

I got this recently in my April Birchbox, and fell in love with it then. It’s perfectly textured, no (obvious, to me at least) scent, and silky silky soft.

Cōtz Flawless Complexion SPF 50
What It Is: A noncomedogenic mineral sunscreen.
What It Does: Protects skin from UVA and UVB rays without clogging pores.
Key Ingredient: Zinc oxide (sunscreen).
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: You could mistake this sunscreen for a makeup primer. It has the same silky texture that makes it easy to spread on skin.
Why We Like It: Because it’s not greasy or oily and it doesn’t smell like a piña colada. White we have plenty of sunscreens that we like to wear at the beach, there are few that have passed the makeup-bag test. This one provides sun protection and also wears remarkably well under foundation.
Price: $19.99
Where to Buy It: Ulta.com

They pretty much nailed it. It’s silky, has no scent (mother-approved! She HATES sunscreen smells, bug repellant too.), and works not as a primer, but sits nice under a foundation, for sure. It is tinted, as well. There’s not quite enough coverage for a tinted moisturizer, but it definitely evens out skintone.

Pixi Mattelustre lipstick in Rose Naturelle
What It Is: A semimatte tawny-pink lipstick.
How It Looks/Feels: The creamy bullet applies with no drag or dryness. And unlike most “neutral” lipsticks, it delivers rich coverage.
Why We Like It: This isn’t a wispy, barely there rose. It has some heft, thanks to traces of brown and a lush opaque finish. It also has peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins C and E to keep lips looking extra Angelina Jolie-ish.
Price: $12
Where to Buy It: Pixibeauty.com

This is a comfortable and pretty color, excellent opacity without having 1904343 pounds of it on, which is something that I hate about other formulas like liquid lipsticks. I feel like I will be throwing this one if my purse for regular use. It’s creamy and comfortable and lasts for about 3-4 hours and leaves a gentle stain for about 5 hours. Pixi is a brand I always kind of skipped over, but the next time I’m in Target (which is always), I’ll check it out.

 

Um. So. I didn’t grab a picture of the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara for some reason. But I’ve had the full-size for a while. It’s alright. I don’t find it too unique, and if I hadn’t gotten it as a gift, I’d not spend the money on it. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong. It’s just nothing that’s changing the world.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara
What It Is: A volumizing, lengthening, and curling mascara in an ultrablack shade.
How It Looks/Feels: Packed with 580 bristles, the brush is shaped like a candy corn. The idea is that the fine tip targets small inner-corner lashes, while the fat center loads up your lashes with the inky pigment to volumize and lift with one swipe.
Why We Like It: You know those mascara buzzwords you hear all the time (volumizing, lengthening, curling, defining)? Well, this pigmented mascara manages to capture them all in one sleek black tube. One coat left our tester’s lashes lifted and thicker, yet somehow multiplied, with zero clumps. The unique shape of the brush fits right in with the all-in-one trend: The tiny nib gets right into tricky inner corners while the fatter end pulls the outer corners up and out for a subtle cat-eye effect.
Price: $24
Where to Buy It: Sephora.com

The brush is not unique, for the record. It’s a regular cone shaped bristle wand. And the packaging could be better. *shrug*

IMG_3567

Lauren B. nail polish in Santa Barbara Surf
What It Is: A glossy green-blue polish that’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.
Why We Like It: The love child of mint green and sky blue, it works with our summer whites and office neutrals. And the glossy, wet-looking finish stays shiny even after a trip to the beach.
Price: $18
Where to Buy It: Laurenbeauty.com

This is a pretty standard turquoise polish. Pretty packaging. I’ll swatch the polish for another post, but judging from the formula it seems like it shouldn’t be too bad. $18 is a wee bit much, but we all know I’ve spent more than that.

 

So that’s it for the Allure May 2016 box. I liked it pretty much overall. Two full-sized products and a mix of makeup and skincare and nail polish with not a single hair product in sight. Now that’s my kind of box.

My only issue lies in the product run down card. The punctuation and grammar was horrible, and they described things… not well. Also, who buys an $18 nail polish and doesn’t use a top coat? Like, great, it’s glossy, but… top coat, man. Top coat.

 

I hope this is a welcome return, and I hope to post on here more frequently (instead of every two years).

Britni Rose

L’Oreal Check Me Out Nail Polish | Swatch, Photos, Review

IMG_0757 IMG_0756

Ah, the clearance rack. Always a good find. Except I spend way too much money. “Oh, this is only $1.50! Oh, this is only $1.50! Oooh, THIS is only $1.50,” next thing I know, I’ve spent $30 and forgot to buy what I went in the store to get in the first place!

 

Aaaanyway, I got L’Oreal’s Check Me Out while it was on The Almighty Clearance Endcap at Walgreen’s. I hate pink, but this caught my eye, I bought it, came home, and put it on straight away. And you know what? I love it. The formula was very good, it’s super shimmery, but with no threat of frostiness. And it’s shiny all on it’s own. No topcoat in these pictures.

Catching Up: Maybelline ColorShow Nail Polish Limited Edition “Leather” finish

IMG_0748 IMG_0749

Sage Staple (without topcoat)

IMG_0752 IMG_0754 IMG_0753

 

Sage Staple (with topcoat)

Stunning color, good formula (for a matte). The flakies are beautiful and aren’t too sparse.

IMG_0743

Mod Moss (without topcoat)

IMG_0747

Mod Moss (with topcoat)

IMG_0746 IMG_0741

 

This color is absolutely perfect. So, so pretty.

Where I’ve Been

Oh man, this past year and a half has been so rough.

September 27th, 2012 — My workplace for the better part of three years closes suddenly. This is a very hard blow, and took a second family away from me.

October 17th, 2012 — I am officially employed by Lord & Taylor as a Beauty Advisor for Lancôme USA.

May 17th, 2013 — After 7 months to the day, I leave Lord & Taylor. It was a mixture of stress, money, drama (bullying, etc) from some coworkers… Either way, I accepted a new job closer to home.

May 23rd, 2013 — I officially start working at Bon Ton as a Fragrance Consultant, and I start a new phase of life with an extremely supportive group of girls and I start to find out what’s going on with me health-wise. I get to a point where I am almost completely able to go through an entire day with no Xanax. Still not Xanax-free, but I was doing much better.

June 4th, 2013 — Blood tests come back positive for Celiac Disease.

July 22nd, 2013 — Honestly, probably the hardest, most darkest day of my life. My first true experience with the death of a loved one. I had lost my aunt before, but I didn’t really know her. No, on July 22nd, I said goodbye to my dog. My baby boy, a 14 year-old Shih Tzu named King. We had to wait hours before the vet could ease him into the next life. That was the hardest six hours of my life. I had never had to experience anything like that before, and I had never lost a best friend and sibling like that before.

September 18th, 2013 — My first medical procedure, an endoscopy, is scheduled. Then I go to work to find out that my happy place, my lovely group of girls, would be taken away. Bon Ton had eliminated my position. My heart was broken and my stress is through the roof.

September 28th, 2013 — My endoscopy day! Officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

October 2nd, 2013 — Confirmed diagnosed with Celiac Disease (Finally! Answers at last!)

October 6th, 2013 — My last day at Bon Ton. Tears, yes, a goodbye party, yes, coincidently… also my last cupcake.

October 7th, 2013 — Diagnosed with Asthmatic Bronchitis, and start my first day at Bon Ton (a different store as a Beauty Advisor for Elizabeth Arden). I go home sick after a RIDICULOUS day. Absolutely pathetic store, that one…

October 8th, 2013 — My doctor faxes my medical leave of absence for the week. I hand in my two weeks as I accepted a position at Sephora.

October 9th, 2013 — Resign my position at Sephora, as I accepted a higher-paying position at Ulta.

October through January — Absolute hell. Couldn’t shake a bad, long asthma attack/bronchitis/pnumonia/double ear and sinus infection. Anxiety reaches a critical point.

Early January 2014 — Ulta no longer puts me on the schedule after giving me only 4 hours a week for a month. So… I don’t work there anymore? (Still haven’t received official notice of termination from holiday position).

January through March — On unemployment, staying home recuperating from breathing issues. Anxiety eases. Depression hits an all-time-high. Unemployment revokes it’s payments and now I’m in debt EVEN MORE. Anxiety rises.

March 3rd, 2014 — Accept a position as a Beauty Advisor at Walgreens. Kind of excited to be in public again.

March through Mid-April — Walgreens is the worst company to work for, with only Ulta as a close second.

April 20th, 2014 — Accept a position as a Beauty Advisor for Origins (all-natural skincare) at Macy’s (for the highest pay grade I’ve had yet! WOOOO!).

April 28th, 2014  — BYE BYE WALGREENS, my first day at Macy’s as an Origins Beauty Advisor (known as a Guide).

Around that week or so — My car craps the bed, R.I.P. my silver 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. Served me faithfully (more or less) for 5 years. Hurts emotionally. Is stressful. Anxiety still high, depression better.

May 5th, 2014 — OFFICIALLY SIGN THE PAPERWORK and pick up my sexy, gorgeous new car, a black 2008 Pontiac G6. Later that day, after staring at it, I realize it looks like Toothless the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon. Officially christen thy car “Toothless.”

May 5th, 2014 through June 1st — Learning my brand and trying to run a counter by myself since there’s no counter manager. Stressful, but anxiety is better for the most part, and depression is only palpable around the edges.

June 1st — right now (8:27pm on June 13th, 2014) — I woke up one day, stopped being late to work, got my head out of my ass, and I am doing stellar at work. The only Origins counter in the vicinity up for the month in terms of sales, I’m building my clientele, I’m getting comfortable in my position and it’s duties (free mini-facials… I always did makeup, not skincare, but now I’m completely comfortable.) My anxiety is still high, but it’s at a manageable level. Depression is doing okay, but it’s getting closer and closer to July 22nd, marking a full year without my dog. That’s hard. Sometimes I still hear him walk, bark, or whine, and pictures make me cry. But I know everything going to be okay. In fact, we’re now emotionally ready for a puppy, our 10 year old is lonely, and I can afford to take care of the vet bills alone, if necessary. Now we’re just mentally preparing ourselves for, you know… puppyhood.

Basically, I’ve had zero time for blogging, but I’ve been taking pictures and swatches (and of course BUYING) all along, so I have a whole boatload of pictures bloating my computer right now, ready to be purged onto this here lil blog. I’ve had a rough year (I’m sure others have had much rougher, but still), but I feel like things are balancing out. I feel like things are looking up, and I feel like more of an adult than ever. I have plans now. Which, when my anxiety and depression is up, I can’t even picture the next day, I’m too busy trying to survive. Wanna know my plans? Too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway.

Step One: paint my room. Going from a safari green that my mom painted in 2006 to a soft taupe-oatmeal kind of color with a soft sea spray accent or two. It’s awesome.

Step Two: Buy a bigger bed. No more bottom-half-of-bunk-bed for me!

Step Three: Pay all my bills a month ahead with my big new paycheck!

Step Four: Live and be happy. As for Step Five? Who knows. And for the first time in a long time, that’s okay.

ALMAY Shadow Softies in 135 Peach Fuzz and 160 Midnight Sky | Swatches, Photos, Review

IMG_0679 IMG_0682 IMG_0680 IMG_0687 IMG_0710

ALMAY Shadow Softies in 160 Midnight Sky
Midnight Sky is a shimmery, metallic dark cobalt. Not as dark as Navy, not as bright as Cobalt. Sapphire, maybe? Either way, it’s gorgeous and has amazing pigmentation.

ALMAY Shadow Softies in 135 Peach Fuzz 
Peach Fuzz is a true peach in the pan, but is more pink when swatched. It’s almost a rose gold. A warm shimmery pink. Absolutely amazing.

Etsy Shop Review: Little Sparrow Co. Lipsticks and Lip Jellies | Photos, Swatches, and Review

Hello everybody! Today I have four lip colors from Jessica over at Little Sparrow Co. on Etsy. She was so kind to send me some of her products for me to review, and I hope that you’ll be sure to check her out.

87K8O

First I want to talk about the packaging. A few things to know about me. I like clean. I like blue. I like white. I like uniqueness. I’m a stickler for fonts. And most importantly, I love birds, especially sparrows (due to my love for a certain band and the fact that the lead singer of said band has a son named Sparrow James). I collect anything that shows or says “sparrow”. So that’s that.

But being unbiased as an awesome reviewer, the packaging is clean and extremely professional, which is always great to see from a “small” brand.

Okay. Now to the goodies. Jessica sent me four shades of “unusual” lip colors, which I love. Let’s take a look. First up is Blueberry. Be sure to click on all the pictures for full size.

IMG_0470IMG_0471 IMG_0479 IMG_0587 b1NKk IMG_0584Little Sparrow Co.‘s Lip Jelly in Blueberry is a medium blue shimmer, almost metallic, and very opaque. The formula on this one is amazing. It tastes fine (no taste to note at all), and doesn’t smell like anything to me, though I’m not exactly sensitive to any scent except sunscreen. I find it to me ever-so-slightly moisturizing, due to it’s slightly slick texture. It doesn’t slip or wear quickly, but it feels more like a balm or a gloss on. As you can see, with my lips, which have all those Angelina Jolie wrinkly things (haha), it can appear patchy in pictures, which isn’t so in person. But if you were wearing this to a party, you may want to consider a liner. Below, I have it over Urban Decay’s Clash eyeliner/shadow pencil.

N3Tg6 6f164Blueberry takes the neon-ness of Clash down to a bright aqua blue. Just something super fun. ALSO: Blue lipstick makes your teeth still look white! There’s no such thing as too blue to whiten, I suppose.

IMG_0488 IMG_0491 IMG_0489 IMG_0490

Next up we have a lipstick Gold Medal. The lipsticks are way more opaque (gloriously so!) than the Lip Jellies, and have an amazing formula as well. Less slick feeling, but no more drying than the Lip Jelly formula. Both are ever-so-slightly-moisturizing.

IMG_0596 IMG_0594

Gold Medal is an opaque antique yellow gold, bordering slightly in the bronzy territory. It’s pretty metallic and somehow very sexy! I never would’ve thought that gold lipstick would look so good on me, but it does! WHO. KNEW. It’s gorgeous. That’s about all I can say. It’s amazing. I will find a way to wear this as any other everyday “normal’ lipstick, where people will have to look twice to get it.

IMG_0492 IMG_0493 IMG_0495Next up is a lipstick in Lilac. It’s a baby pink… lilac color. As in, the color of lilacs in the spring. It’s extremely opaque and actually really pretty, even though it’s about as light as Viva Glam Gaga, which looks horrible on me. That’s more pink than this though. Again, perfect formula.

IMG_0599 JeDYi

Lilac. Is. Gorgeous. Opaque, soft, feminine, and wears well. I don’t have anything close to this, for sure. Absolutely beautiful.

IMG_0480 IMG_0481 IMG_0482IMG_0589 IMG_0588

Nature’s Kiss. Perfection. Absolute perfection. It’s a lip jelly with the same properties as Blueberry, but it’s a perfect pine green. Ugh. Too pretty. Just go buy it, people. Just go. As with Blueberry, it’s not patchy in person, just in pictures. No liner is required, but hey, why not. Here it is over Butter London’s Jaded Jack, a lime green eyeliner.

6iLk5 KHGBAJaded Jack makes it look a little chalky and uneven, but it’s still so cool.

ST. PATTY’S DAY APPROVED.

Little Sparrow Co. Lip Jelly | $5.50 each
Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Candelilla Wax, Shea Butter, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow #5, Blue #1, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene

Little Sparrow Co. Lipstick | $5.50 each
Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Candelilla Wax, Shea Butter, Pigment Violet, Titanium Dioxide.

Some of her stuff now has Avocado Oil too.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL PRODUCTS IN THIS SHOP ARE COMPLETELY VEGAN- AND CRUELTY-FREE. CONTAINS NO FLAVOR OR FRAGRANCE ADDITIVES.

I’m super excited about this shop. Her products are super affordable and suuper fun. There’s another lipstick (Nude Peach), and five more Lip Jellies (Lemon Curd, Oh My Papaya, Rust, Raspberry Tart, and Cherry Pop). She also has a highlighter, shadows, and blushes (including a blue blush, which I’ll have to invest in for Halloween, methinks.).

There’s also a shadow called To Repay a Debt, which looks like a beautiful minty, near-Tiffany-blue shimmery goddessy color. Which would look amazing as a lipstick… Other ones I want are Miracle Child, Dance on the Pier, Baptism, False Prophet, and Columbian Sky.

Be sure to check out Little Sparrow Co.—it’s definitely worth the price for the formula, they have great packaging, wonderful customer service, and amazing, unique colors.

xoxo
Britni Rose

Disclaimer: products were provided to Kettle Rose for Review by Little Sparrow Co.

China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy and I Herd That | Look, Photos, Review

Just a quick post to clear out some space. I quick little “look” I threw together for a job interview last week. It’s three or four slow, steady coats of Flip Flop Fantasy, and two coats of I Herd That, both from (GUESS) China Glaze.

Flip Flop Fantasy I Herd That IMG_0428 IMG_0311 IMG_0312 IMG_0310 IMG_0313If your eyes aren’t bleeding from the overload of neon coral, you can see how gorgeous I Herd That is up close?! I guess it’s patchy up close, but hey. It’s a glitter. It’s fine.

xoxo
Britni Rose

 

Lancome Gloss in Love 144 Glitter Mania | Swatches, Photos, Review

Yay! I finally got my hands on Lancôme’s Gloss in Love line. Back when I was working at Bon Ton as a fragrance consultant, I kept wandering over to Lancôme to play with makeup/not work, and I really only liked two or three of the glosses, and knew I’d have to have this. It’s a peachy coral. I can’t not own a peachy coral.

IMG_0327 IMG_0328 IMG_0380

First up— the packaging. Not anything super unique, but come on. How James Bond do you feel when opening these? (Answer: really James Bond-y. It’s awesome.) You don’t twist or pull, you just pop the button and it jumps open just a little bit, and then you pull out the wand. The “vacuum” or whatever really seals the gloss and wand in, so I’m not concerned about if the button pops in my purse at all.IMG_0381 IMG_0382Next — the wand. It’s not Lancôme’s usual “heart-shaped” applicator, it’s more of a “C” that really hugs your lips, the tip and back of the applicator works very well for corners and the Cupid’s bow.

IMG_0383 IMG_0385 IMG_0387

Gloss in Love 144 Glitter Mania is a very pigmented, super sparkly pink coral with lots and lots of shine. Look at the shine in these pictures. Wowza.

Hello sparkles. The middle picture was an outtake, but it really showed how sparkly it is. Gorgeous color, great formula. Not the best gloss I’ve ever used, I think the Juicy Tubes still hold #1, but the formula doesn’t sting dry lips, or burn in general, it lasts forever. And while it doesn’t moisturize much, your lips feel much more comfortable with this, than without. As for smell and taste, I can’t tell that there is any, or nothing that really stood out.

These are $21, 24, 27 or something like that. I say worth it.

xoxo
Britni Rose