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Benefit Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm – Benebalm

28 Jul

It’s not that I’m not trying new products. It’s not even that I don’t have a few minutes to type up a quick review.

It’s the links. And pictures. They take me forever.

So, I have decided that I will post these reviews and come back LATER and do the links and pictures. At least it’s something!

I have gone through I think three tubes now of Benefit Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm in Benebalm (rose), and for me that’s really saying something. I have a very bad tendency to fall in love with a product, use it religiously for a month, and then move on. But Benebalm has proven itself indispensable to me. (It comes in other colors, too, if reddish isn’t your thang.)

What is it? It’s a lip gloss. It’s a lip balm. It’s a lip tint. It’s perfect. It comes solid, in a tube, so it’s easy to apply (no mirror needed) and transport. It smells like sweet roses and gives my normally pale lips the slightest, prettiest rosy tint. I can wear it with no makeup, I can wear it with light makeup, or I can even wear it when I’ve gone all out but don’t want my lips to be stealing the show. I carry it with me everywhere, day and night, because I find it’s also a perfect refresher for faded lipstick. It’s not sticky, has no funky taste, and lasts about as long as I expect a balm to.

I actually keep a spare in my cupboard now because I never want to be out. Couldn’t recommend this product more highly. 5/5.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée

3 Feb

Well well well. If it isn’t little miss…. okay let’s just cut to the chase, I don’t have much time.


So pretty! I was sucked in by both the name (Coconut Gelée? YUM!) and the colors. Then I bought some, and found myself unsure of how I was supposed to apply it. It’s blush… but it’s in a pot. Do I use my fingers? A sponge? A brush? I finally googled it and was rewarded with a bunch of how-to Youtube videos. The consensus seemed to be fingers, so I went at it.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée
-Fairly easy to apply, if a little confusing at first
-Very sheer
-Super natural looking – really gives that dewy look

-There was a lot of talk about how it was “buildable,” but I found that hard. It goes on SO sheer that I felt like I had to cake it on to get any real color.
-Messy fingers
-Not as intuitive (for me) as powder blush

End result? I switched back to NARS Orgasm, which it appears I have never written a review for, but really, do I need to? I mean if you have read a beauty blog or magazine in the past ten years you have surely heard of THE BEST BLUSH IN THE WORLD OMG IT’S SO GOOD THEY MADE ANOTHER ONE WITH GLITTER AND CALLED IT SUPER ORGASM AND THEN THEY MADE MATCHING LIPGLOSS AND NAIL POLISH TOO OH NARS PLEASE MARRY ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Their words, not mine – I do love the blush but frankly find all other NARS products overrated and unimpressive.) Sorry for the digression. Basically the work was not worth the result for me. It’s a nice blush and if you’re into a super sheer blush, a cream blush, or a dewy look, this very well might be the blush for you. I don’t really need/want any of those things, so for me… not so much.

I swear I am going to try to blog again later this week about an eyeshadow that is my new fave. Stay tuned.

PS. I’m pregnant again, so that is part of the reason I am so slow.


6 Dec

My skin is FREAKING out! The weather, the heat, stress, hormones – I have a red rash all around my nose and mouth that makes me look like I spent the night sucking face with Ronald McDonald. And maybe caught something.

I have been being super gentle with my skin – stopped using the Clarisonic, switched to Boscia skincare since a lot of it’s fragrance free, moisturizing like crazy, using Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, and today went so far as to use Diorskin Nude BB Creme – and I don’t ever use foundation. The closest I come is Chantecaille’s Future Skin, which is lovely and quite helpful when my skin is normally uneven, but can’t even touch what I have going on right now. The Diorskin is an improvement but I really don’t like the one-dimensional look it gives my face. I just really hate foundation is the problem.

So I turn to you, dear readers (what are there, like six of you? Five?) for recommendations. I want a foundation to hide my shame. But I don’t want to look fake. But it needs to have at least medium coverage. But I would still like to look like I have pores. But not like I have a contagious disease. You see my problem.

Recommendations? Advice? Help? I welcome it.

Ooh La, Rue La!

26 Jun

Ah the subscription model of shopping. I am a sucker, and I LOOOOVE getting packages. Plus it’s a great way to try out new products without having to invest in full sizes.

So far, I am a member both of  BeautyBar Sample Society and Birchbox. And then, cause you know, I like to share the wealth, I also signed up for BarkBox. FOR MY DOG.

sample society

If you decide to sign up for BeautyBar Sample Society after seeing this, please consider using my referral code – kate78 – so I can get credit!


Then my friend Cait mentioned Glossybox to me. I have been meaning to look into it but not had a chance yet.


Today, Rue La La is offering a DEAL on Glossybox – $40 for a $100 membership. WHAT! So yeah. I signed up. And maybe, if you’re anything like me, you should too.

rue la la glossybox

If you’re a member of a similar program, please share the details and your referral code below, or tweet it to me @kate78, #lipglosslife!

Naked Princess/theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer/October’s Birchbox

19 Nov

I kinda love Birchbox. And by that I mean I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. I am always excited to get my surprise box of samples in the mail. I am always excited to open it. But I am only sometimes excited by the samples inside. I have to stay faithful to them, because they did introduce me to my favorite hair product ever, Orofluido. And I have NEVER been faithful to a hair product as long as I have to Orofluido. It’s truly the best. But sometimes their boxes are just meh. However, they can’t have a home run every month, I guess, so I try to be patient.

Well last month’s box was not just a home run, but a straight up grand slam. TWO products I love AND a product so ridiculous that it’s blog worthy. How much more can a girl ask for?!?

First the good – theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer. Super cute “luminizer” you’re meant to be able to use all over your face. I have mentioned before that I am not a fan of anything that makes my face look shiny – it’s not a good look on me. Or, I think, on most women who are not either at a photo shoot or on a runway. But that’s just personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. That said, I DID use it as an eyeshadow and it is DARLING! A lovely, shiny gold color, just enough to be noticeable without being overbearing or too fancy. A perfect every day shadow. My main issue with this one is the cartoon woman on the front of the packaging, who looks just like this girl I used to know and hate. I might scribble her face out or something to make it easier for me to use it. Otherwise, a great product.

Next, the even better – Naked Princess Naked Shine Lip Gloss. Okay, again, main issue is very superficial – the name. “Naked Princess?” Are you effing serious? What…. I don’t… Okay moving on. The color I received was called Barely Nude and it is SO fabulous! It really is very nude, but shiny shiny, soft, not sticky, and smells like white chocolate! I can’t say enough good things about this gloss. If you’re looking for a sweet, pretty, simple, every day gloss, you found it. I went on Amazon and bought several more in different colors and I don’t regret a one. I am, however, embarrassed to tell people the name. Naked Princess… Jesus.

And finally, the most hilarious – tili Bags Small. Ahhahahaha, ahhhhahahahahaha, hahahaha, haha, ha – you’re kidding, right? Because I see you calling it a “Lifestyle extra” and a “stylish reusable bag” but it’s actually a crappy Ziploc, not even as heavyweight as the Hefty Zip bags I use, and it’s kinda ugly, and you’re trying to sell me 12 of them for $8.50, when I can get 22 heavier weight and more see-through Hefty quart-size bags for $2.68. (Let me break that down for you – that’s 12¢ for a Hefty bag, or 71¢ for a “tili” fashion bag. Made of plastic. Exactly like the Hefty bag. But not as heavyweight.) I just couldn’t let this one go, Birchbox. Super silly. Nice try, though.

Anyhow, all that said, last month was a real coup for the Birchbox! Two awesome items, one HEElarious item, and one happy shopper. Well done!


Anastasia Hydrafull Gloss

1 Aug


Sephora was giving full-size tubes of this stuff in “Moi” away for free (I dunno if they still are, but you can try – the promo code is MOI). That should have been a clue that maybe I wasn’t going to love it (nothing good comes free in full size, in my experience). But enough parenthetical statements (okay, just one more, for funsies).

The gloss is thick and a little sticky, which is okay. The color is nice, a good neutral on me. And the smell is nice – a kind of pleasant vanilla sugar smell. But the applicator ruins it all! They show it above – see the image in the upper right that looks like it’s going BOI-OI-OI-OING? That’s it. The applicator is a paddle (?) type – flat plastic. I have used this type of applicator in the past with success but there’s something different about this one – perhaps it’s the width of it, or the thickness of the gloss itself. Either way, me no likey. It gives NO precision, which is pretty imperative with a semi-opaque gloss, and I ended up either applying too much or too little and then having to smooth out with my finger, which completely defeats the purpose of the applicator. After two uses, it’s being relegated to my giveaway pile, which is sad, because it has everything else going for it.

Re-release in a foam-tipped applicator wand, Anastasia! Do it!

LORAC FACE selfTANtalizer

30 Jun

This is a perfect example of why I love samples.

As you are all well aware by now, I have vitiligo, which makes my face a blotchy mess. On top of that, for some reason, although my face and body seem to tan at the same rate, the tan fades twice as fast from my face, so I end up with a golden body and a white face. This looks not so good, especially in photographs, where I endlessly look like either I have white mime makeup on OR like my head has been photoshopped on. Excellent.

The two best solutions I have found for this so far have been Caudalie’s tinted moisturizer (which kicks ass) and Too Faced’s bronzing powder (which also kicks ass). However, with me being me and all, I continue to look for the ever more effective everything, and when I got a sample packet of LORAC’s FACE selfTANtalizer (no kidding, that’s really what this stuff is called), I thought, why not?

Okay I’ll tell you why not! When I saw on the packet that it says, “FACE BRONZING GRADUAL SELF-TANNER,” I thought, “Parfait!” I tore it open, squeezed some out, smoothed it on, and immediately looked like – you know, I literally just gazed into space for several seconds trying to think of something to compare myself to that wasn’t offensive to EVERYONE and I could not. It is brown. Not light brown. Medium, chocolate-brown. And not just that – it’s pearlescent. I think maybe if I took some shimmery dark brown eye shadow and smeared it all over my face, it would achieve the same result, and I am in no way exaggerating. If I went out that way I would surely get stares and maybe even accused of insensitively mocking another race. It was that huge of a difference. There was nothing “gradual” about it and I can’t imagine any scenario in which I could pull off a shiny, shimmery brown face. I love the fact that the back instructs you to “APPLY DAILY UNTIL DESIRED LEVEL OF TANNING IS ACHIEVED.” Aaaahahahahahahaha!!!! Frankly I can’t imagine ANYONE using this and looking sane, regardless of skin color, because of the very high shimmer content. I am not a mirage! I am a human being!



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