Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Battle Of The Balms Round 2

Battle Of The Balms: Tins And Pots

This is the second post in my Battle Of The Balms series, and I'll be focusing on balms in tins and pots. I have quite a few this time - five, which is up from the three I had last time. If you've read a lot of my blog posts n the past then you may already be able to guess which one is going to win!

Today I'll be comparing the Starry Honey Essence Rosehip Lip Balm ($1.00 from ShopMissA), the Nivea Lip Butter ($2.99 at Ulta), Lip Shit Lip Balm ($6.99 at Blue Q), the e.l.f. Conditioning Lip Balm ($3.00 from e.l.f.), and the e.l.f. Lip Balm Tint ($2.00 from e.l.f.).

First we have the Starry Honey Essence Rosehip Lip Balm.
-Quite moisturizing
-Super cheap
-Thicker consistency means you can use it as an overnight treatment as well as a balm
-Super heavy floral scent that even I find a bit overwhelming, and product scents don't usually bug me
-The lid comes off easily so you can't throw it in your bag
-Harder to find (possibly only sold online)

Second in line is the Nivea Lip Butter. I'm showing the Raspberry Rose Kiss scent/flavor but it comes in a few others, including a plain one.
-Super moisturizing
-The scented ones (especially this one) smell absolutely lovely
-Thicker consistency means you can use it as an overnight treatment as well as a balm
-Rather inexpensive, especially for the amount of product you get
-Easy to find (sold at most drugstores as well as at Ulta)
-Can leave a white cast on your lips if you use a lot of it at once

Next is the Lip Shit Lip Balm. Mine is in Cucumber Mint but it comes in quite a few other flavors.
-Pretty moisturizing
-Cucumber Mint flavor has a slight cooling sensation (I find it pleasant)
-Smells good, and if you don't like this scent it comes in other ones as well
-Fun packaging
-If you really don't like the cooling sensation then this specific one isn't for you
-Although the price isn't outrageous, it is the most expensive on the list
-The very hard consistency makes it difficult to get a good amount on your lips. I find I have to dig a small chunk out and spread it onto my lips
-Not the easiest to find

Second to last is the e.l.f. Conditioning Lip Balm.
-Quite moisturizing
-Pretty easy to obtain (sold both online and in stores)
-Has a nice tint
-Smells pleasantly like coconut
-Inexpensive (you get a good amount for the price as well)
-If you don't like tinted balms (I don't very much) then it doesn't have a colorless option for you
-If you dislike coconut then you probably won't like the scent
-The color can be somewhat uneven

Lastly is the e.l.f. Lip Balm Tint.
-Pretty easy to obtain (sold both online and in stores)
-Comes in a good range of shades
-Pleasant but light sweet scent
-Not actually all that moisturizing
-No colorless option
-No scentless option
-You don't get a whole lot of product
-Texture is a bit odd (waxy and very little color payoff)

And the winner holy grail lip balm, the Nivea Lip Butter! It may not be everyone's absolute favorite because of the white cast it can leave on the lips, but if that's literally the only bad thing I can say about it, then I don't see how I could not love it because I don't really care about that. It's the most moisturizing of the bunch by far, and I've actually used up a whole tin in the past as part of a project use it up. That's how I ended up falling in love with it. Nothing keeps my lips feeling as soft and smooth as this does. Wear this as an overnight treatment and pair it with a decent daytime balm and your lips will be in great shape in no time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Origins Eye Cream

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream Review

A few months ago I was looking for an eye cream, and Sephora was offering a deluxe size sample of the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream as a 100 point perk. I had wanted to try it, so I got it. That sample lasted me a good two months, and during that time I decided I loved it so much that I would get the full size. You can buy the full size (0.5 ounces for $30 USD) at Sephora or the official Origins website. I love the packaging - very simple but still cute in it's way. I happen to love the color orange so that could be part of it. Some may not like the pot container because of how easily it can get full of bacteria if you dip your fingers in it, but if you scoop out product with a q-tip or other clean implement you should be fine.

This is what the product itself looks like. It's a very light consistency, which I enjoy because it is meant to be applied in the morning, so I don't want a ton of heavy moisturizing product on my face as I'm probably about to apply makeup. Although it is thin in consistency, I find it to be very moisturizing. On Sephora, these are the product's claims:
"This morning-after eye cream with coffee beans, panax ginseng, magnolia extract, and natural optic brighteners rapidly wakes up tired eyes. It helps reduce dark circles and unsightly bags, refreshing to restore a radiant look."
I agree that it reduces dark circles and undereye bags - within two weeks of daily use, I noticed a pretty big difference in mine. Which was exciting, because I had really bad dark circles! They aren't totally nonexistent now, but they're definitely much better. I do start to notice a difference when I forget to use this eye cream for a few days in a row. It also claims to be good for normal, oily, combination, dry, and sensitive skin. I have normal skin with occassional dry patches, especially under my eyes. When I use this, those dry patches under my eyes totally go away. This eye cream is also supposed to instantly wake up tired eyes. While I don't fully agree with that, I do notice that this eye cream has a slight "sheen" or "glow" right after I apply it, and it does brighten the undereye area to an extent. I have pretty severe tired eyes, though, so I can see it waking up tired eyes a bit better if your eyes are a lot less tired.

So, do I recommend you try this product? Absolutely, yes. But try to get a sample first, or buy it from somewhere with a good return policy, because skincare is a very personal thing and what works for me may not work for you. At $30 for half an ounce, I don't think the price is all that bad, especially since Origins is a high-end skincare brand. I've seen some drugstore eye creams that are about the same price, so really it's not very expensive at all for an eye cream, and especially not for one this fantastic. And not only is it an all around good product, it's not one of those products with a bunch of annoying false claims. It genuinely does for me what it says it will do, and I like that.

Monday, May 23, 2016

ShopMissA Review

ShopMissA Review + What To Buy

If you aren't familiar with, you totally should be - it's a website where everything is a dollar. They do have a few slightly more expensive things in their charm shop, but other than that, literally everything is a dollar - jewelry, accessories, and even makeup! When I first heard about it, I thought that there had to be a catch. Surely it must be a scam or something? But no, it's totally legit, and I can say that with confidence after ordering from them five times now without issue. I have contacted their customer service once, and the email I received in response was prompt, polite, and friendly. I emailed their customer service because my order hadn't shipped as quickly as all of my other orders had, and I wanted to know when it would. It shipped by the time I got a response (which still took less than 48 hours), but the email was still very nice and informed me of when my order had shipped as well as how I could track my package. Overall, I was very satisfied with their customer service and it makes me love the company even more than I already did.

As for shipping costs, that's where some people may be a bit unhappy. Their U.S. shipping rates are very reasonable in my opinion - standard shipping is $3.95, expedited is $9.95, and at the time I made my last few orders they were offering free shipping on U.S. orders over $30, but they don't seem to be offering that at this time. Shipping to Canada, however, is a bit more expensive. Shipping on orders $40 (I believe that all prices stated are in U.S. Dollars) and under is $5.95. Shipping on orders $40.01 to $70 is $9.95, and shipping on orders $70.01 and up is $19.95. If you're shipping internationally outside of Canada, the shipping for orders $40 and under is $9.95, the shipping for orders $40.01 to $70 is $19.95, and shipping on orders $70.01 and up is $29.95. This is quite expensive, although I don't really know what international shipping rates are for other companies, so it's possible that this isn't actually that expensive compared to other online retailers. ShopMissA's warehouse that they ship from is in Dallas, Texas, so that explains why it's less expensive to ship to the U.S. and a bit less expensive to ship to Canada. All of my orders have gotten to me within 7-8 days of me placing my order, and I live in the U.S.

All in all, I absolutely love ShopMissA and would highly recommend you check it out. Some of the products are hit-and-miss but most of the time if you're willing to work with the product then you'll find that it's a pretty darn good deal. The quality of their items is never terrible, even if it's not always the best, but you have to keep in mind that you're only paying a dollar. I've found so many items from ShopMissA that I love that it's worth having to get rid of a few products I don't.

The first product I would recommend buying from ShopMissA, and quite possibly my favorite find, is the Santee Super Smooth Concealer. I use the shade #7. I love it because not only is it a great formula that doesn't break me out, it actually comes in a light enough shade for me to highlight my undereye area. I've looked for a concealer that could do that for so long, and finding one for only a dollar was super cool.

This Kleancolor Airy Minerals Matte Finishing Powder is usually out of stock but if you ever see that it's not then definitely get your hands on one. It's a great translucent setting powder and you don't need a lot to get a pretty matte finish.

Not only is the formula of the Kleancolor Tanned Rawr Matte Bronzer great, so is the shade I got, Bali Matte. This is a total steal and the packaging is cute as well!

I use my Giovi Magic Finish Luminizing Eyeshadow in 04 as a face highlight. It's pretty messed up since I used a bunch of it to make DIY rainbow highlights but it's still super great. The shade 02 works as a face highlight as well but I don't have that one anymore.

You can get the e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal other places too, but I got mine from ShopMissA so I'm including it here. It's one of my new absolute favorite highlighting products.

The AOA Studio Wonder Blenders are so fantastic! They're really nice, especially for the price, and they do almost as good a job as the Beauty Blender itself. They come in two shapes, as well as the colors pink and black.

The LA Colors Jumbo Eye Pencils, especially the one in Sea Shells (the white one) are absolutely fantastic as eyeshadow bases. I use the white one all the time to make bright colors pop even more.

The Santee Glam Eyes duos (I have the one in 08) are so good! They really seem like they should cost more than a dollar. They're super blendable and quite pigmented as well.

I really recommend the Kleancolor Color Playlist quad, specifically in the color Jazz. I love it for the white-looking shade. When you use it dry it;s nothing special, but used wet it has this beautiful iridescence that looks great both on it's own or on top of other shadows.

The Starry Rosehip Honey Essence Lip Balm is so nourishing, almost as good as the Nivea lip butters I love so much. It has quite a strong sweet, almost floral scent though, so if you don't like that then steer clear.

The Beauty Treats Lip Care Rosehip lip balm is so nice, and I use it pretty much daily, usually more than once. It's really conditioning for your lips and I feel like it's somewhat healing for them as well.

You need to try the Beauty Treats Lip Scrubs! I;m nearly done with the Almond Creme one so I got two backups in different flavors because I loved it so much. It's just "scrubby" enough and it leaves your lips super soft and smooth. I use them once a day since I moisturize my lips so much.

Not only is the Beauty Treats Bunny Balm cute, it's also really moisturizing! It leaves my lips in super great condition after I wear it.

The Kleancolor lipliners are really nice, and they come in lots of colors! I like the automatic ones as well but I decided just to show the sharpenable ones. The formula's not too bad and they really lock your lipstick in place.

The only shade of the LA Colors Lip Duos I have is Clarity, but I love it so much that I may have to buy them all. I'm not as into the gloss, but the lipstick is actually really great!

Have you ever ordered from ShopMissA? What did you get? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Wet' n' Wild Haul

My First Ever Wet' n' Wild Only Haul + Ordering Experience

I want to start off this haul with a small bit of complaining about my experience with ordering off of Wet' n' Wild's website. Nothing went terribly wrong or even that badly at all, but it was more inconvenient than most online shopping usually goes so I wanted to mention it. The first time I clicked to place my order there was an error, so I clicked to place my order again and it never took my to the screen saying my order had been placed. I was just stuck with the page loading for a good 10-15 minutes. I finally decided to log out and try placing the order again because I assumed that since it hadn't said my order went through, my order must not have gone through. Luckily, before I placed the order again, I thought to check my past orders on my account, and my order had, in fact, gone through the second time I clicked the place order button. Luckily it didn't go through twice as orders will sometimes do when there's an error. After that, my order shipped within a couple of days and I received my package in a decent amount of time, but I did want to mention that the Wet' n' Wild website might have some bugs. Otherwise I have no complaints at all - my package arrived in a relatively timely manner (not super quickly or anything, but definitely within less than two weeks), shipping was free over $35 USD, and everything came in a box with tons of bubble wrap so nothing was damaged at all.

The first items I got were two of the spring collection polishes in the shades Love Fest (left) and Breeze On By (right). When I compared them side by side, Breeze On By looked almost identical to Essie's Bikini So Teeny, so if you're looking for a cheaper alternative to that particular color, maybe try to get Breeze On By before Wet' n' Wild's spring collection for 2016 is gone. I actually prefer this formula to the Essie formula because they last the same amount of time on my nails except these are about $6 cheaper.

You can actually find I believe all of the new Wet' n' Wild brushes at Dollar Tree right now, but because this one was only 99 cents on their website, I decided to get it there rather than hunting for it at the dollar store. I don't have any liner brushes like this, only angled ones, so I thought that this one would be nice to try out.

These new metallic liquid lipsticks are part of the 2016 summer collection and I got the shades Peony Express (left) and Chrysanthemum's The Word (right). I may not be a huge fan of liquid lipsticks, but I am a fan of things that seem unique and the brand Wet' n' Wild, so if you combine those two things I will overlook that I don't exactly like the one thing. I've also heard that these lippies aren't the really uncomfortable and drying type either.

I saw swatches of the MegaGlo Multi-Stick in Marigold Round and I had to get it. It's a gorgeous champagne highlight shade that I think will be perfect for my skin color and tone. I've been really into cream highlights lately and I'm hoping that this will be the perfect one, as I have yet to find that and this seems very promising. The packaging is lovely as well.

Continuing with highlights, this one was on sale because it's being discontinued so I decided to get it. It's in the shade 345 Catwalk Pink. I believe that they've more recently come out with an updated version of this product, but I don't mind having an older packaging and formula if it's less expensive and still works. From the swatches I've done of it, I really like it.

Everyone likes the other contour palette because it has a yellow setting powder, but I can never use those because they're always too dark for me, so I went for this one. I think it has a better contour shade for me anyways. Somebody with deeper skin could probably work with the other one a lot better than I could, but I don't think it would work for me.

I'm constantly paranoid about running out of translucent powder, so even though I have like three right now, I got another one. Two of the three I have and am using are nowhere near running out, but I still felt the need to buy another. Why? Because I have a problem. But it doesn't hurt anybody and it makes me happy so that problem will probably continue for the rest of my life but that's okay because it's just translucent face powder.

I forget why I got the trio in Sweet As Candy, but I can tell you exactly why I got the trio in The New Romantics - it reminds me of one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs, New Romantics, and that means I must have it, even if I will probably never use it. The colors are very pretty so I can see myself using it a little bit but they're also quite shimmery and that's not quite my thing.

My final (and possibly most exciting) purchase is the 10-pan palette in Coming In Latte. I thought that the shades were nice and some people have said the quality is pretty good for the price so I figured why not get it. I can always use another palette!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May Boxycharm

May 2016 Boxycharm Unboxing

I'm very excited for my second month of Boxycharm! It looks like this month's theme is going to be a spring-type of thing.

I got six items this month! Usually you get 4-5 full size products, but this month we get 5 full size products and a bonus deluxe sized sample of a perfume. I'm really happy with this.

I wanted to start with this product because mine came broken. It's a Starlooks lipliner that appears to be in collaboration with Boxycharm in the shade "Charmed" which looks gorgeous but the way mine was broken I couldn't even swatch it. Mine won't roll up or down properly and the tip is broken as well. I have already emailed Boxycharm customer service and I will update you on how that goes in next month's unboxing and probably sooner on my Instagram (@makeupwithmaggie773). Since it's a roll-up lipliner, I may be able to scoop the product into a small pot so I can use it with a lip brush, but I would really rather have my product replaced, and I hear Boxycharm is usually willing to do that. This lipliner goes for $19.50

As an added bonus, Boxycharm threw in a 25% off discount code for PUR cosmetics! It appears to only be valid for 10 days and I got my box later than some people so I don't know how long the code is going to work for but I don't plan to make an order off of PUR anytime soon anyways. Still, it was a cool little extra.

This adorably packaged nail polish, worth $10.50, is by Ella + Mila and is in the shade Pistache. It's a really pretty very light mint - I would almost describe it as a delicate color. I love the shade and can't wait to use it. It is Vegan and Cruelty-Free as well, so if anybody is looking for a reasonably priced nail polish that meets those requirements, maybe this one is worth a try.

From what I understand, some people got different colors of this product, but I'm really happy with the shade I got of the PUR Double Ego Dual-Ended Eyeliner. Mine is in the shade Queensland, which is a really nice teal. I think it would look great as a pop of color on the lower lashline to enhance the blue in my eyes without washing them out. The top swatch is the liquid end and the bottom swatch is the pencil end. This costs $21.00

I've never owned anything from Makeup Geek before, but I've wanted to for a while now, so I was excited to get their blush in the shade XOXO. It retails for $15.00 and I can already see why - it's silky smooth to the touch, really pigmented without quite going overboard, and it seems to be very blendable when I swatched it. The packaging is lovely as well, definitely something you would expect from a high end brand rather than one that's usually more affordable like Makeup Geek.

The Brow Gal Clear Brow Gel is $20.00, which is a lot compared to the one I usually use from Essence that costs $2.99 and does the job just fine. Although I'm skeptical of whether or not this will be any better than that, I certainly don't mind having another clear brow gel, especially since the one I'm using right now is getting old enough that it's not so clear anymore. I just hope that this one doesn't make my brows feel all crunchy, because the Essence one doesn't do that so one that costs this much had better not either.

Last but definitely not least is the Catherine Malandrino Romance de Provence perfume. I love it so much! It smells so lovely and romantic to me, and I will definitely be saving it for special occasions. The deluxe sample size is worth $20.00, and the 1 ounce size is $65.00 on Ulta. I actually like it so much that if I use the whole thing up and still like it, I might buy the 1 ounce size. I wouldn't get a bigger bottle than that because I don't wear perfume very often but this one could quite possibly be worth buying if I still like it after wearing it a few more times.

The total value of this month's box comes out to be $106.00 USD, well over the $21.00 a month it costs. The item I'm currently most excited for is, surprisingly (since I'm not huge on perfume), the perfume sample. I also really want to try out the lipliner but I'll have to wait until I'm (hopefully) sent a replacement. If you got this month's Boxycharm, what did you like best? If you didn't, what do you think you would like best?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mini MAC Haul

A Few Things From MAC

I think I might start getting more samples with my MAC orders now as this order pushed me to "Devoted" status in the MAC Select program, but for this order I got one. I'm not even sure that Devoted members get more samples, but I think I heard somewhere they do. Either way, this time I decided on the False Lashes Extreme Black mascara as my sample. I thought about getting another sample of the Strobe Cream because I really like it but I'm nowhere near finished with the one I have now and I may end up purchasing the full size when I'm done with my sample anyways. I did open the mascara to see the wand and the wand is fine but I really didn't like the smell.

I got my first ever MAC blush! I chose the shade Peaches because I thought that it would be nice for the spring and summer. I don't have many blushes this color and I really want to play around with some, so I figured I should at least try a high quality one, which according to most reviews this one is. It's also a sheertone, which means it won't be super pigmented with just one swipe. I prefer buildable blushes, which is what this one appears to be.

I've been eager to try Fix + for a very long time now, so I'm excited to finally have some. People swear by the stuff so it must be pretty good. I plan to use it mostly to wet eyeshadows since I hear it's great for that and not as great for making your makeup last extra long. I do hear it's good as a refreshing mist, but I don't tend to need that as much.

Ever since this lipstick has come out, I've been dying to get it, not only because the shade is gorgeous, but because as I understand it 100% of the sale price goes to the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative. I usually would go for a satin or matte finish over a cremesheen but for this lipstick I can deal with having to build up the color a bit more and needing to reapply a bit more often.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Project Pan Roulette

Ongoing Project Pan Roulette: 32 Items!

If you aren't familiar with Project Pan Roulette, it's like a normal project pan, except instead of choosing whatever items you want, you draw categories out of a hat (or, in my case, a bucket) and choose items that fit into those categories. I have a total of 32 categories to choose from, and I will be working on 7 items at a time. As soon as I finish one item, I will draw a new category and pick a new item until I'm out of categories. I got most of my ideas for categories here and came up with some myself. I'm not setting any sort of time limits as I don't feel like stressing over makeup right now. I just want to get a feel for how long it takes me to use up or hit pan on certain products. Most of the categories are makeup, but there are a few bodycare categories in there as well.

These are the first seven categories I chose at random - a full size product, an eyeshadow I've already hit pan on, a nail polish, a recent purchase, a hand cream, a product under $5.00, and a bright lip product.

For my full size product, I chose my Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch foundation because it's nice and light feeling which is great for the spring and summer while still providing good coverage. It's also a tiny bit dark for me, so I'm hoping it'll match me better as I get tanner during the warmer months. I also think that it's getting to be at least 6 or 7 months old at this point so it would be good to use it up.

I've already hit pan on the shade Salted Caramel in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette and I really like it, so I figured it would be one of the easiest shadows for me to use up. I like to use it as a crease/transition shade.

As for my nail polish, I chose Essie's Bikini So Teeny because I think it's the perfect spring and summer shade, plus I've already made some progress on it so it will be a bit easier. It has tiny microshimmer that I only noticed recently and that makes me love it even more.

For my recent purchase, I chose the LA Colors Contour Stick in Highlighter. There's not actually a ton of product so it shouldn't take too long. It's a very pretty shade that I think looks nice on my skin.

When I got this hand cream in my April Boxycharm, I knew I wasn't going to use it up unless I put an effort in because although I like it, I'm just not a hand cream person. Hopefully this project will drive me to use it a lot more.

Not only is this product under five dollars, it's only one dollar if you get it from ShopMissA! This is the LA Colors 5-Color Metallic Mauves palette in Wine & Roses, and it's really pretty. I have yet to use t on my eyes but the shadows are gorgeous swatched so I can't wait to start using them.

Last but not least is a bright lip product. I chose a mini of the Urban Decay High Color Lipgloss in Anarchy. I think hot pink is very summery and even though it's still spring I've decided to ignore that and pretend it's summer. This gloss is really pigmented, so I plan to wear it alone most of the time.