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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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*

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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

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

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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.

Stila Eyeshadows in Poppy, Mimosa, and Terracotta | Photos, Swatches, Review

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Mimosa is a bright fire orange shimmer with lemonade colored glitter particles that show up, mostly in the pan.

Poppy is a robin’s egg blue shimmer that’s just really, really simple and clean.

Terracotta is a vivid, mega-intense, burgundy. It’s too intense, I can’t even. Perfect smokey eye color for green, or maybe even blue eyes.

All three colors are so intensely pigmented, it’s crazy. They’re HUGE, as far as eyeshadows go. They’re magnetic, so they fit perfectly into the magnetic Stila palettes. The only downside of these shadows is that if you want that sheer wash of color for spring or summer, you have to be super light handed. The swatches above are with barely touching the pan, and only swiping once.

xoxo
Britni Rose

Zoya Song | Photos, Swatches, Review

IMG_7822 IMG_7823Zoya Song is the most gorgeous sapphire blue shimmer in the world. In person it’s more of a deep sapphire, but when the light, and definitely when the flash hits it, it explodes into this gorgeous bright cobalt shimmer. It’s so unbelievably stunning. And to top it off? What you see above is ONE COAT. It applies like butter, and it lasts forever. This, my friends, is Zoya at it’s prime. If I could have this exact formula and finish in every single color, that’d be great. I believe this was from the Ornate collection as well, though don’t quote me on that. If it is, than Ornate is definitely one of the best collections ever released.

xoxo
Britni Rose

 

Zoya Swatches: Aurora, Song, and Wednesday | Swatches, Review, and Photos

Hey guys! A few Zoya’s I’ve gotten recently. Part of their three-free deal where you just pay shipping? Yeah, that one.

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Aurora is a red violet jelly with lots of holographic glitter. It’s so sparkly, and even when the holographic properties are hidden, the silver glitter that’s left is super noticable and pretty. It’s a cool polish, no matter what light you’re in. This is just a really, really nice polish. Also,  the last two pictures are after four days wear and just one coat of China Glaze Fast Forward top coat.

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Song is a dark cobalt blue to the naked eye, but when light hits that shimmer? OH MY GOD. This is the best nail polish of all time, ever. The application was better than butter, I had literally no cleanup, it was so creamy and gorgeous. It only gets better as it lights up on camera. Seriously, guys, just go buy this. NOW. ASAP. Ugh. So pretty.IMG_7316Wednesday is a green turquoise, not too unlike Mermaid Tears from OPI, but Mermaid Tears is dustier. There’s a bit of fan issue with the formula, in case you didn’t notice. It’s too thick, but it’s also watery at the same time. It’s thick, but not creamy, I guess is what I’m trying to say. It’s hard to keep it off your cuticles, and it’s so, so uneven. You’d have to do like five of the worlds thinest coats to have this behave. I also have it’s sister in the collection, Zuza. Which I haven’t tried yet, I don’t think.

Alright guys. Go buy Song and maybe even Aurora, stat. You can skip Wednesday, though. I also bought Logan from the Ornate collection (I think that’s what Aurora is from?), but I still need to get Storm, Blaze, and Ziv.

xoxo
Britni Rose

 

China Glaze Water You Waiting For from the Cirque du Soleil Collection | Swatches, Photos, and Review

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Water You Waiting For is a bright glitter polish jam-packed with light and dark blue, navy, and a little green and purple thrown in. SUPER sparkly. Absolutely gorgeous. I don’t have one even close. I love these types of glitters. A must-have, in my opinion.

xoxo
Britni Rose

China Glaze eCollection | Photos, Swatches, and Review

Good morning! I have some swatches of an older collection from our dear China Glaze, 2008 to be precise! I’m missing one of the polishes, and I don’t know how or why.

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Recycle is described as a “rain cloud gray” by China Glaze, and I’ve actually used it as rain clouds before. It’s a gray creme that isn’t completely opaque, but not a jelly, giving it a misty look to it. Not sure if that’s intentional or not, though. It’s actually the other half of my first China Glaze polish. I ordered it along with For Audrey, so those two are my firsts. It was one of few grays out for a while, which was ahead of the trend that took the world by storm in ’10-’11.

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Shower Together is a “sky blue” creme. Sheer and streaky and patchy and hard to build. There are many polishes this color with better formulas. Somehow I have two of these, and this swatch, taken just the other day, is the first time I’ve worn it. Not much to say about this one. Disappointing.

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Solar Power is a “sunshine yellow” shimmer, which for a yellow, doesn’t have the worst formula ever. Still a little uneven and streaky, the shimmer is pretty. Doesn’t look good on my hands, but it’s sister yellow, Sunshine Pop from the Electropop collection is my favorite yellow.

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Tree Hugger is described as “fresh cut grass” green. I mean, I’ve never seen grass that light colored before. But I get the point. Tree Hugger is a pretty spring green with light green shimmer. Looks pretty in pictures but horrendous, on me, in person. Looks cheap and gaudy on my hands, but a pretty color on others.

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Unplugged is a “metallic bark.” Metallic bark? Okay, now I think they’re stretching! It’s a luxurious warm dark brown, slightly glowy. Almost a dark bronze, if that makes sense. If you look super close, you can see some slight streaking, but it’s not visible to the average eye. I hate browns on my nails, because it ages my hands, but this is red enough to look good. Wonderful formula. Really, really nice.

Now, Hybrid is the only one I don’t have. Hybrid is described as a “shimmering sand.” If you look up swatches, it’s totally a color I’d love. I think the only reason I don’t have it so far is because whenever I’m in Sally’s, it’s out of stock.

Do you have any of this collection? I’m only one polish away from owning a complete collection. I usually don’t buy the pinks or reds, so I don’t have complete collections.

Hope you’re having a wonderful day!
Britni Rose

Review: China Glaze Blue Bells Ring — Photos, Swatches, and Review

Hi everyone!

Tonight I have one of two polishes I have from China Glaze’s Holiday Joy collection for you.

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Blue Bells Ring is a fierce cobalt blue metallic-almost-foil with a wonderful silver glow. Not quite a shift, not quite a shimmer or frost. Just lovely silver mixed it to pick up the light.

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This polish is absolutely gorgeous. A true stunner, and I think it’s one of the standouts from this collection, though in the bottle it looks a little scary, it seriously has silver and blue swirls, not a consistent bottle color.

The formula on this was flawless. Perfect consistency, perfect application, gorgeous finish, even without topcoat (as shown above!), opaque in one coat, shown here with just one coat!

If you can only pick up one polish from this collection, I’d have to strongly suggest either this, or Cranberry Splash. (Review coming tomorrow morning.)

Availability | Ulta and Sally’s

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Spring 2013 | Estée Lauder Dilettante Nail Polish | Photos, Swatches, and Review

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good and safe holiday! Today I have a polish from Estée Lauder from their Spring 2013 collection called Dilettante. I put this on at work quickly, and figured I’d photograph it before I messed it all up.

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Dillettante is a gorgeous bright sky blue. The photo above is without topcoat. This polish dries down to a wicked glossy finish. Absolutely gorgeous. However, getting there is a bit of a pain. The formula is wicked streaky, uneven, and kind of thick. Not even after a while does it level out. It’s super iffy. I added a coat of China Glaze Fast Dry Top Coat to see if that’d help. It didn’t, really.

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This is with topcoat. You can see the unevenness here, especially on my ring finger. The color in this picture is a little lighter than in real life.

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This is more like it’s off-camera appearance. At first I really felt it was close to China Glaze For Audrey, but it’s more like OPI What’s with the Cattitude from the Shrek collection. Zoya Robin is more… intense(?). I guess that’s the word. For Audrey is too green, but only ever so slightly so.

I’m going to go finish cleaning the Christmas aftermath disaster zone that is my house. Have a great day!

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Fingerpaints Motley over Zoya Cynthia | Photos and Review

Hi guys! Today I have the best manicure ever. Maybe not ever. But definitely the most interesting in recent history.

Zoya Cynthia is a midnight blue dusty-looking creme. But obviously this isn’t about the base color. This is about the glitterhappyvomit that is Fingerpaints Motley. A blue and green flakie? I can’t even. Both polishes applied perfectly, but notice I didn’t wrap my tips. This is because I have more Electropop swatches coming up. And I can’t form any words to explain how gorgeous this is. It’s so deep in person. So now I’m going to shut up. Here’s some pictures.

Blue fire? Is that possible?

Some green peeking through.

Here’s a close up. It’s kind of cool how you can see the scratches in my topcoat.

~ Britni Rose