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

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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

 

Lancôme Spring 2013 In Love Collection: Kohl in Love 501 Jade Crush | Swatches, Photos, and Review

Good morning! I have something super exciting from Lancôme for ya’ll today!

Lancôme recently released their Spring ’13 “In Love” collection, which looked super promising in promo photos, but also a little worrying. I’ll be the first to admit that Lancôme’s eye pencils aren’t… great. Their liquid and gel liners are fantastic, but their pencils aren’t creamy or soft in the least. So when they announced Kohl in Love in three colors, including a cobalt and a bright turquoise/teal, I was nervous. When we got the colors in, we didn’t have testers, so I bought the two of them blind. (I skipped out on Chocolate Affair because, really, would I ever need a brown liner? I’m allergic to brown liners, and I already have one.) Today I have 501 Jade Crush to review, which is the first I bought. I immediately ripped it out of the silver box and swatched it on my hand and OH MY GOODNESS is it perfect. Take a look!

IMG_7731 IMG_7748 IMG_7735 IMG_7736 IMG_7739Jade Crush is a bright teal, almost turquoise, but it contains just the slightest hint of green. It’s so creamy and smooth and opaque that the third line in my swatch (the wobbly one) was made while barely touching my hand. Folks… this pencils is as soft, if not more so than my Urban Decay ones. When I put it on my eyeball, it took no effort to get it to full strength. This lasts for at least 6 hours before thinking about moving anywhere.

There are a few cons though; I’m worried about sharpening it. It’s so soft, that I fear sharpening will break it. Probably won’t, but the fact is, it doesn’t feel… sturdy? It’s like that feeling when you’re holding a bottle of pigment, thinking, “Oh man, I am SO going to drop this.” The other thing is… this pencil really stays on. Now, I can get this off my lashline easily with Pond’s, but when it’s on a drier area of skin, say… you’re arm? It can stain. I wore it as a cat eye and it came off with no issue, but the swatch shown above took a full couple days to get off.

You can get it at department store counters now for $26.

What do you guys think? Would you invest in this pencil of near-perfection? Stay tuned for the sister pencil in the collection, the cobalt blue named Deepwater Blue!

xoxo
Britni Rose

(P.S. I am a little bored with Lancôme’s whole “in Love” products. They’re amazing products, better than all previous ones, but the name isn’t cute anymore. Make Emma Watson look super edgy!)