Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

I’m so excited about this Beauty Review because it involves some seriously amazing products from a seriously amazing company.

Hug Your Skin is a company on a mission to bring 100% organic European skincare to the American masses! It also has the added benefit of featuring cruelty free, vegan/vegetarian products. Oh, let’s not forget that the whole deal is owned and operated by a #GIRLBOSS which is a point that will always be celebrated as this blog supports women in business!

Now if that doesn’t make you want to know more about this awesome company and their products then I don’t know what will. Good thing I’ve got a complete run down on not one, not two, but FIVE Hug Your Skin products!

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Face Cleanser

If you’ve been around for a while then you probably already know that I categorize my skin type as dry, dry, dry. That can be especially problematic as the weather gets colder so I like to lean toward oil or cream based products. The problem with that tendency, however, is that a lot of mainstream products that cater to dry skin are just loaded down with chemicals and ingredients I don’t necessarily want to introduce into my system let alone my routine. That’s one of the big reasons why I was so happy to hear that Hug Your Skin features 100% certified organic products. This face cleanser is very balmy in texture which definitely helps my dry, weathered skin. It’s ultra nourishing but also effective at removing dirt, makeup, and impurities. This product just levels up the already amazing feeling of coming home and taking your makeup off after a hard day.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Floral Face Tonic

Now this product was probably the most interesting to me. I’m not a huge fan of toners (they tend to dry out your skin and well, I’m already there) but I am a facial spray junkie! So once I realized that this product is sort of in between a toner and a spray, minus the alcohol, I was totally on board. With rose, chamomile, and lavender it smells like a garden…but in the best way possible! I say that as someone who doesn’t usually gravitate toward florally scents. This particular scent is pure and natural nothing at all reminiscent of a crazed department store spritzer girl. I like to use this product after cleansing or whenever I need a little refreshing pickmeup.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Daily Face Oil

As a tried and true dry skin girl, I’m all about the face oils! This one just knocks it out of the park for me. It’s perfect as an everyday moisturizer (even for oilier girls!) as it protects and hydrates my skin. I also can’t get enough of the smell! It’s natural and a bit floral but more like honey than roses.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Chocolate Face Mask

Move over Cupcake face mask, there’s a new sheriff in town! I’m a face mask fanatic. If you follow me on Snapchat then you’ve probably been witness to a few #FaceMaskFridays from me. Maybe even a sneaky one that featured this Chocolate Face Mask. It’s the perfect detoxing mask that has the added benefit of having a natural exfoliant. My dry, flaky skin really appreciates that while my body, mind, and soul appreciate that delicious chocolate scent.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Night Balm 

I saved my favorite for last. Like I said earlier, the winter weather can be brutal on skin as it is but even harsher on an already dry complexion. That’s why I love the Hug Your Skin so freaking much! I just slather my face and neck in this stuff after cleansing and head to bed. Then, bippity boppity boo, I wake up with baby soft skin! To kick my day off I go back to the  Floral Face Tonic and top things off with the Daily Face Oil for added moisture beneath my makeup.

You can check out all of these products for yourself at hugyourskin.com. Just think how perfect these products would be as a gift for any vegans or vegetarians in your life, your little sister who is just starting to experiment with makeup and skincare, or even your best friend who struggles with skin issues! There’s something for everyone right here.

xx

Merisa

 

 

The author received product in exchange for review but all views and opinions are that of the author. This post contains affiliate links.

Beauty Review: Ole Henriksen VoxBox

Beauty Review Ole Henriksen VoxBox on Monogrammed Magnolias

So I may or may not have let out a teensy tiny scream when I found this little orange and yellow package sitting on my doorstep the other day. Turns out the contents were totally scream worthy, in the best way possible. They were Ole Henriksen products after all.

Thanks to the amazing peeps over at Influenster, who sent over the products, I’m bringing you a full review of not one, not two, but three…count ’em, 3 products!

Being the avid Sephora stalker supporter that I am, I’ve heard of Ole Henriksen but hadn’t really given any of their products a chance before. Hence, the excitement when checking the mail. Who doesn’t love trying new beauty products?

Beauty Review Ole Henriksen VoxBox on Monogrammed Magnolias

Truth Serum Collagen Booster

The first product I spotted was the Truth Serum Collagen Booster, it just seems like such an iconic Ole Henriksen product but like I said, I’ve never tried it before and I was deeply intrigued. I admit, when I first applied this product, I was a little confused about what was supposed to happen. Should I be looking out for a brighter complexion or one that’s more plump & hydrated. To be honest, as a dry skin girl, I was hoping for the latter. What I got in return was really a mix of both, especially when paired with the next product I’m going to talk about. I definitely noticed a bit more radiance and my skin didn’t seem so dry and flaky afterward but nothing too miraculous. The only downside, however, is that this stuff is pretty sticky after you apply it.

Beauty Review Ole Henriksen VoxBox on Monogrammed Magnolias

Sheer Transformation

Remember when I said I was a dry skin girl? Yea, well, that pretty much makes this little guy my new BFF. I could feel a difference in my skin after the first application, which is the sign of a true winner in my book. It has this incredible texture too, creamy but not heavy. Honestly, it manages to be creamy and gel-like while being hydrating but not sticky. Great for summer skin that can get a bit oily at times, even us dry girls can have our moments.

Beauty Review Ole Henriksen VoxBox on Monogrammed Magnolias

POWER Bright

Even at first glance, it appears this next product is what the whole box is centered around. The brand new POWER Bright is “a professional-strength three-step brightening system with an unprecedented 25% vitamin C concentrate to deliver maximum radiance in as little as one use.” Fancy, huh? I actually really enjoyed using this product. It was fun to try first thing in the morning, smelt lovely, and really did brighten my complexion but it was a bit daunting. Three steps is a lot when it comes to one product, especially when each step has a different set of instructions to accompany it. However, I definitely enjoyed the exfoliation and brightening effect but would most likely reserve this for more of a pamper day than every day use.

What are your thoughts on Ole Henriksen? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments below.

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xx

Merisa

Review Garnier & Simple Micellar Water

Review Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water vs Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Hello, Magnolias.

If you’re a fan of beauty videos on YouTube then you should check out my YouTube channel here…wait no, what I really meant is…then you’ve probably heard of a little miracle worker known as Bioderma. This French micellar water makeup remover has caused some serious uproar in the beauty world over the last few years but unfortunately, it’s really hard to get your hands on if you live in the states.

Fear not, little beauty lovers, because your favorite drugstore brands have come to the rescue with their own versions and I’m here to break down the differences. The two options that have caught my eye are the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water and Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

The Basics: Price, Availability, Size

Seeing as these are both drugstore products, they’re definitely reasonable compared to the Bioderma which can rack up the dollars in shipping alone. You can pick up the Simple version for around $6 at Target while Garnier will run you a dollar or two more for more than twice the amount. The Garnier Micellar Water comes in at 13.5 fl. oz. while Simple pales in comparison with only 6.7 fl. oz. Simple claims to be the “sensitive skin experts” even though it’s product contains 15 ingredients compared to Garnier’s 7. Garnier also has a separate “sensitive skin” version, with a blue cap, which I almost think is unnecessary unless you have extremely sensitive skin. That brings me to…

The Performance

I use both of these products in the same way, on a cotton round usually to remove eye makeup or stubborn lip products before cleansing my face or as a quick refresh on no-makeup days. With that being said, I like the cap on the Simple version more because there’s less spillage when applying the product to the cotton round but I prefer the actual bottle on the Garnier version. It just feels better in my hand.

It’s probably worth the mention that I went through the entire bottle of Simple before even opening the Garnier version because before discovering Garnier, I was perfectly happy with the Simple. So let’s just get this out of the way, the Simple version did an okay job when removing eye makeup and seemed fine at getting rid of dirt and oil but the Garnier version just takes the cake. If you follow me on Snapchat (which you totally should: angelmerisa23) then you may have seen my lips transform from this to thisIn case you missed it, I was wearing Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Damned, a super dark black cherry matte lip. Prior to using the Garnier Micellar Water, I would have to go in with the Simple version on a cotton round then add a little coconut oil to clean up the clown lips left behind. Not so with Garnier, it only took one cotton round to get rid of everything. No clown lips either! It cuts right through waterproof mascara and full coverage foundations too. You get more bang for your buck AND it does an incredible job too, I can’t even imagine Bioderma doing a better job.

The Micellar Water Winner

So, bye bye, Simple, Garnier has my heart for now! What do you think? Have you tried either of these products? Have you managed to get your hands on Bioderma? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!

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xx

Merisa

Beauty Review: Maybelline Dream Velvet Hydrating Foundation

Beauty_Review_Maybelline_Dream_Velvet_Foundation

Hello, Magnolias.

How’s everyone handling the aftermath of #Snowzilla? It’s been days and this side of the Bluegrass state is still under about eight inches of snow. Let’s just say snow shovels are sold out everywhere.

The monster snowstorm is actually what sparked this review. I went out before the storm to stock up on food and hot chocolate when I got a little distracted by the makeup aisle. By distracted I mean I deliberately went in through the door closest to the makeup…you know, the one on the opposite side of the groceries.

I was then bombarded by “new” this, “new” that…it was insane. I managed to filter through it a bit and grabbed this little guy, Maybelline’s Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation, right before three girls with purple hair decided to just sit on the floor in the middle of the aisle to inspect some eyeliner. I know it can be a bit agonizing searching through products on the bottom rung but don’t be like those girls. Bend down, grab a few products off the rack, then have a closer look while standing at your full height. No one wants to talk about a blacklight and Walmart in the same sentence so I’ll just leave it at that.

Weathering the storm, with my groceries in tow mind you, had its fair share of boredom so it was a great time to try out this foundation and give you a full spectrum of my thoughts on it.

Packaging & Pricing

All foundation should come in a squeezy tube! There, I said it. Tubes are just so “no-hassle.” I can squeeze out the perfect amount of product on the back of my hand, right onto my brush or sponge, even directly onto my face (which I’m totally guilty of). I also like the fact that there’s no need to worry about glass breaking or product making a mess of things as long as I keep track of the lid. I think it’s fun that the packaging actually has a matte feel to it too. I see what you did there, Maybelline. As far as price goes, this product ranges anyway from around $8 (Fairly certain I paid less than 8 bucks at Walmart but they don’t have it online yet) to almost $11 at Ulta. So my advice is to compare prices at your local drugstores or use a coupon when you can.

Consistency & Wear

The actual product has a moussey texture which fits in perfectly with Maybelline’s signature whipped products. Now let’s touch on that whole hydrating but matte deal. As a dry skin girl, I am all about hydrating products but the idea of matte, especially in the winter, sort of scares me a bit so putting the two of them together is oddly intriguing. Definitely worth a try, right?

I’ve tried applying this product with both a brush and a sponge and I have to say the brush is where it’s at. Which is odd, considering that Maybelline is marketing their new Dream Blender Sponge and this foundation as the perfect pairing. Maybe it was just my sponge (though I doubt it) but the product seemed to just gunk up when I attempted to blend it out. Using a brush was a different story entirely. I could really feel the hydrating effect of the foundation when blending it into my skin with the brush. It was almost like a cooling sensation but without the weird chemically feeling, more like a splash of natural cold spring water. That’s pretty much heaven to dry skin.

The matte texture is kinda crazy too. My skin really did feel like velvet. Even after a whole day of wear. However, one of the problems I had with the foundation is that it’s not necessarily buildable. With that being said, I do believe it’s a medium to full coverage foundation without feeling too heavy but I like my foundation leaning more on the full coverage side so I went in with my usual concealer. That didn’t go so well. Things started moving around and bunching up as I was blending. I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses but I really want to take the blame for that one. See, I sorta got distracted by my Netflix binge of Reign while doing my makeup and went straight into my normal “concealer all over” routine. That wasn’t really necessary. Sure, those under eye bags (the Netflix binge can take the blame for that one too) needed to be covered but I didn’t really need the whole center of the forehead, down the nose, chin, and jawline deal.

I eventually got things under control but that brings me to another issue. The color selection. What is the deal with all the pink? Every shade from Nude to Porcelain came off as a hue meant for a Steel Magnolias wedding. I understand that there are some fair skinned girls out there with pink undertones but not enough that the five lightest shades have to be Valentine’s ready. So, shade matching is a little hard, especially in the drugstore when there are no testers and you don’t want to ruin products for the next gal by opening five different tubes. I grabbed one I thought was close and it was just that, close enough to work with.

Overall

With all that being said, I enjoy using this foundation especially considering that it’s a texture I’m comfortable with but not used to wearing. It’s nice to mix things up every once in a while. Also, it doesn’t hurt that it’s the same amount of product for about 1/4 of the price of some of my favorite high-end foundations. You can’t really complain there. If you’re curious about this whole soft-matte yet hydrating deal then I say you should definitely give this foundation a try. I’d skip the sponge if I were you but to each her own.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried out this product? Got a foundation recommendation? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!

Also, I just started a Valentine’s Day themed group board on Pinterest. You should go follow me there, check out the board, and you can follow the directions in the board’s description if you’d like to contribute.

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xx

Merisa

Review: Tarte Cosmetics Tartelette in Bloom Palette

Tartelette_In_Bloom_Palette_Review

Hello, Magnolias

It has been a hot minute since I did a proper beauty review and I was so mesmerized by this little gem in Sephora that I picked it up while trudging through the after-Christmas sales at the mall just so I could share it with y’all. Well, not just for that reason but it certainly helped swing the odds in favor of purchasing it.

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Allow me to introduce you to the Tartelette In Bloom Palette by Tarte Cosmetics. This is the company’s second Tartelette palette but unlike its all matte predecessor, this palette features the addition of 3 shimmery “luster” shades. Personally, I love the packaging. I think the ombre flower petal front and shiny gold casing is great even though if it doesn’t feel as sturdy as, say a NARS palette. The upside is not having to deal with grubby matte packaging but the shiny plastic is a fingerprint haven so no need to be too picky here. While we’re touching on packaging I just want to say that I like the name and the whole floral motif but it’s a little misleading when it comes to shadows. When I think “In Bloom,” I don’t necessarily think of neutrals, which is the focus of this palette. Oh well, there’s more pressing matters at hand. What’s inside for example…

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The large mirror is such a dream which actually came as a surprise seeing as I’m the girl who rolls her eyes when beauty gurus talk about a missing mirror lowering the value of a palette. Uh, one less piece of glass I don’t have to worry about shattering into a million little pieces? Yes, please! Not in this case though. My bedroom goes through a serious natural light deficit this time of year so carrying this guy to the window and not having to worry about propping up a mirror to do my eyeshadow is actual heaven. I even love the added touch of the logo on the mirror. Classy move, Tarte.

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Let’s get to the good stuff, the actual shadows. I have never, ever, ever went to swatch an eyeshadow with my finger and been so blown away as I have been with these shadows. I guess it helps to say that this is actually my first experience with Tarte shadows but from this experience alone, I’m a fan. They are so buttery and soft without feeling crumbly or dusty in the least. I suppose the premise of Amazonian clay had me expecting a hard, dried out shadow but that in no way describes these shades. I could just lightly touch a shadow and leave my fingerprint behind, that might not seem like much but I was impressed. From there I swatched the shades across my hand and continued to be blown away. With one pass of my finger, I had crisp and bold shadows just screaming for a fluffy blending brush to top them off. I immediately started dreaming up looks from all matte everyday to sparkly glam fit for New Year. (PS: Comment below if you’d like to see a NYE tutorial with this palette!)

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From the top left across: Charmer (off white), Jetsetter (warm taupe), Rocker (shimmering taupe), Smokeshow (black brown), Flower Child (peachy nude), Smarty Pants (tan), Firecracker (bronze copper), Activist (dark brown), Funny Girl (champagne), Sweetheart (peach), Rebel (chestnut brown), Leader (aubergine)

While the shadows are great on their own, their names really got me. There’s just something about a shadow that goes by “activist” that spoke to me. The palette is divided into what seems like four grouped columns from left to right: bases, crease, accents, and definers. The first column features the lightest shades and a bomb shell sparkler in funny girl that I can already tell is going to be a fast favorite.

I have to admit that the matte crease shades are what initially drew me in and they continue to every time I open the palette. I can’t wait to try out sweetheart in a warmed up crease, it’s giving me serious Jaclyn Hill vibes. The accent row could also be the fun row as it features two shimmers in rocker and firecracker and a super warm matte called rebel. Last but not least is the smokey eye motherload, the matte definers. These are the shades I had to scrub off my hand after swatching and probably the shades that are going to get the most wear as liners.

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In case you couldn’t tell by all the heart eye emoji worthy gushing I’ve been doing throughout this whole review, I’m pretty in love with this palette and don’t have much negative to say aside from the fact that the shadows can get a little powdery if you go into the pan too aggressively (like me) but none of that transferred to my face as fallout so at the end of the day even that wasn’t a negative.

This palette goes for $45 but compared to others at $58 and up, I was left feeling like I snagged a bargain. The high quality of the shadows definitely lessens that blow as well.

What do you think about this palette? Have you tried it? Do you have the original Tartelette? Know of something better? Be sure to let me know in the comments below or tweet me.

xx

Merisa

Sephora Face & Sleeping Masks Review

Sephora Green Tea Sheet Mask Pearl Sleeping Mask
Hello, Magnolias.

I don’t know if you know, but I am a huge face mask fan. I just think there’s something luxurious and spa-like about slathering on a mask and doing something extra special for your skin. Also, I do not discriminate. Clay, peel-off, overnight, sheet…I’m game for a good mask no mater what kind.

In fact, it was the variety of masks offered that first drew me to the Sephora Collection Face Masks. There’s 8 sheet masks in total ranging from perfecting pearl to anit-aging lingzhi. While I’m fascinated by pretty much all of them I decided to try out the Green Tea Mask first as it’s meant to have anti-blemish properties.

Sephora Green Tea Sheet Mask Pearl Sleeping Mask
The second thing about the mask that caught my interest was the fun and simple packaging. The mask comes wrapped up in a little packet that’s tucked into a flat little pocket. I love the packaging so much that I’ve actually repurposed it by cutting off the flap and taping the pocket to the inside cover of my notebook, it keeps my bookmarks and smaller notes handy.

Now on to the actual mask, I don’t have any pictures because, let’s face it, sheet masks are definitely not the most attractive things in the world and I figured I would spare us both the visual heartache but once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. I do want to note that the the actual sheet is made out of thick, quality fabric and that all the cut out are appropriate except for the nose part. I just wish the nose cut out allowed more of the fabric and ultimately the mask to cover the skin around my nose which can be problematic.

Sephora Green Tea Sheet Mask
Just like the back of the packaging says, you unfold the mask (which was a little complicated but once you get all the cutouts in order, you’re golden); apply the mask; wait 15 minutes then remove the sheet and gently massage the left over product into your skin. I loved not having to rinse the mask off afterward and was happy to find that it didn’t leave my skin sticky or anything. As for how it promises to leave your skin, I’m fairly dry so my skin didn’t feel any more matte than usual but I did see an improvement as far as blemishes go.

Overall, I think this mask was super fun, easy to use, enjoyable, and I actually saw some action after use which is not something that can be said about many masks. The $6 price tag is a little bit much for a one time use mask but I’ve definitely seen ones for much more and Sephora actually has a buy 4 get 1 free offer using the code MASKLOVE that helps.

Now for a completely different type of mask…

Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask
Keeping with the no need to rinse trend, the Sephora Collection Sleeping Masks are just as fun if not more. The same 8 flavors scents types of masks are offered in this version which could make for a fun double dose of treatment but I decided to mix and match and went with the perfecting and brightening Pearl Sleeping Mask.

The packaging is really fairly simple with these masks, you just pull the little pot out of the cardboard packing, peel back the foil seal, and apply the mask. However, the 0.27 fl. oz. of mask in each pot is actually suitable for more than one use so be careful. Unfortunately the foil isn’t resealable so you should actually be extra careful when storing so your mask doesn’t dry out or spill.

Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask

I’ve already used this particular mask twice and there seems to be enough product for two more application so that’s an incredible FOUR uses! At $4 a pop that’s a pretty great deal, especially for a Sephora product. I love the gel-cream texture, it’s a really relaxing addition to my night-time skin care routine and I think it’ll do great chilled in the fridge.

I feel like the product really sinks into my skin overnight and I never worry about it getting on my pillow cases or bedding. Overall, it’s just a fun experience, like a mask should be. I’ll definitely be repurchasing these masks. Who knows, I might try and test ’em all.

Have you tried the Sephora Collection masks? What are your thoughts? Which are your favorites?

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xx

Merisa

Beauty Review: Rimmel London BB Cream Radiance

Hello, Magnolias!

I’ve got that beauty review I’ve been promising. It’s for the Rimmel London BB Cream Radiance and I’ve got a lot to say so let’s get started.

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This particular Beauty Balm is one of two new formulas launching as a part of the Rimmel London Spring 2015 Collection. I was a huge fan of the original BB Cream that launched a while back so when I heard they were coming out with a matte and radiance version I was so freaking excited. Still am.

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However, because it’s apart of the spring collection and it’s not quiet spring yet (just check out the view from my window at the moment for proof of that little fact) this product isn’t exactly available everywhere. Apparently Rimmel is slowly but surely launching the collection. I was able to find the BB Cream at the Walmart by my sister’s house but not at the one by mine. It is at the drugstore here but not there. Also, I can’t find it online either but I’m assuming it will start to pop up more frequently once we all start to thaw out.

As is usually the case with Rimmel products, I’m pretty pleased with the price. I’m pretty sure I picked up this little beauty for under 7 bucks which is really great for a foundation in my opinion.

The packaging is really nice. I’ve always been a fan of foundations in a tube for some odd reason. They’ve switched up the packaging a tad bit from the original. Aside from the fact that this formula is offset by an orange lid and font the packaging is actually taller and skinnier than the original packaging. I was relieved to find that the amount of product didn’t change though. Still 1 fluid ounce/30 milliliters.

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Another change from the original is the drop in SPF from 25 to 20. However, this formula still totes the 9-in-1 promise to prime, smooth, conceal, minimize appearance of pores, provide natural looking coverage, moisturize (for 24 hours no less), awaken tired skin, brighten, and give a radiant finish.

Now, let’s grade it on those promises.

You can totally get away with not using a primer with this one so #1 is a go, I definitely think it smooths so #2 is good, it’s decent coverage so #3 is a given and that also covers #4 too. As far as natural looking coverage goes, you can definitely make it look natural by buffing it out or using a damp Beauty Blender. I do think it moisturizes but I don’t know about a whole 24 hours. Awaken tired skin, brighten, and radiant finish? Well, it’s a dewy finish but we’ll get into that in a sec.

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Let’s take a look at how it wears on the skin.

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This was taken around 9 am right after I finished my makeup. I look a bit like a disco ball and there’s zero highlighter on my face. I don’t know if that’s what Rimmel was going for when they came up with this whole radiance thing. I also think this BB Cream is fairly dewy. It’s definitely not matte by any means and I didn’t expect it to. I think you can also tell from this picture that the color is a little off. It also oxidizes a bit too which you can see in the picture from later in the day.

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This picture was taken while I was on lunch at work so around noon. A little patchy on the forehead, nose, and chin. I was able to blend things in with my fingers though after I saw this picture. I also had to add a little more concealer to cover up those blemishes on my skin that have been serious problems for most foundations lately.

FYI: I don’t have bronzer on at all on this day. I’m saying that because I realize  I look a bit like an oomp loompa. Maybe I should try out the lighter color?

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The picture I took later that night before I took my makeup off was in such bad lighting that I look totally washed out and it’s not a good representation of how the BB Cream wears.

I really like the texture of this product. It’s super creamy, applies really easily, and is easy to blend out. The coverage is great for a BB Cream even though I had some problems with those blemishes but like I said they’ve been difficult to cover at all lately.

I don’t like the color on me which sucks because I think the lighter shade might be too light for me. I’m not a big fan of mixing shades either but we’ll see.

Overall, I think this is a pretty good BB Cream but I also think it will do better in the spring for me when it doesn’t have to go up against my dry, thirsty winter skin. Warmer months and a sheerer application will definitely make it less cakey on my skin.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Until next time, Magnolias.

xx

Merisa

Review: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Hello, Magnolias!

Today I thought I would try my hand at a serious product review.

I was browsing through Sephora.com a few weeks ago when I decided to check out a new foundation. I’m a huge fan of NARS and have always heard great things about their foundations so I headed straight there. Once I got to looking around I was drawn way more to the idea of a tinted moisturizer and decided to pick up NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.

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We all know by now that my skin is on the dry side so a tinted moisturizer seemed like something that would be great for my skin type. I especially liked the idea of testing out a more high-end product but didn’t like the high-end price.

After looking into the shade choices online I decided to just try out the travel size version seeing as it was available in St. Moritz which is described to be a medium with a neutral undertone. It didn’t hurt that it was $16 rather than the usual $42 for the full size. Sounds good enough for me.

NARS packaging always says luxury to me but some times the whole matte black thing can get a bit dingy and dirty when tossed around my makeup bag. However, I didn’t seem to have a problem with this one. I’ve had this stuff everywhere, from travel bags, makeup drawers, and even my purse once or twice so it really is a wonder that it’s still as clean looking (and in one piece) as it is.

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Like I mentioned above, I just have the travel size version which has the screw on lid while the full size product actually has a flip top and I have to say that I think I would definitely prefer the flip top more as things get a little messy when you have to screw the lid back on after you’re down getting the product out.

Seeing as this product is a tinted moisturizer, it truly is easy to apply. I’ve used my fingers for application, as well as a Beauty Blender, and the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I prefer the face brush so that I can really work the product into my skin. If you’re in a bit of a rush, blending out the product with your fingers works just fine too.

The color isn’t a perfect match for my face at the moment since I haven’t really been fake tanning much since I made the purchase but as long as I’m sure to blend out the edges it works just fine.

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This is going to sound so strange but I actually really enjoy the way this product smells. Seriously, it’s almost fruity. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s definitely unlike any other foundation or moisturizer I’ve used before in the scent category but I’m loving it.

I found it interesting that the packaging said that this moisturizer could be used as a full on sunscreen as it has an SPF of 30. I align this product more with normal foundations rather than lightweight sunscreens or moisturizers so I couldn’t really imagine using it as a sunscreen for a day at the pool or something.

This product is really consistent in it’s application and wear. Which is actually something that surprised me as I’ve experience some rather unreliable tinted moisturizers in the past. I found that my skin felt hydrated while using this even without using my regular moisturizer underneath. I also found that I didn’t really need to use a primer under this base as it really does last a long while, which you can see in the pictures below.

I decided to round out this review by showing you my test of the product’s durability as well as how it appears on my skin.

(Please excuse the strange selfies…it’s actually really hard to take a photo of yourself that’s highlighting your foundation rather than your whole face. You’ll see what I mean.)

Here’s right after finishing my makeup at around 10 am:

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It looks like I have a lazy eye and there’s makeup on my t-shirt. Great.

Such a smooth finish. To be a tinted moisturizer, this product has some serious coverage. I’ve got some scarring on my cheeks and it’s always a test to see which foundations cover that and this one totally did. I’d just applied my lipstick over a balm in this picture and then went back around my lips with my face brush to fill in where I was missing a little coverage.

I checked back in around 5 pm:

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Still good, a little patchy but my skin did not feel dry or flakey at this point (struggles of a dry skin girl, y’all) which is always a good thing running into the evening hours. The bumps and acne scars around my jawline a lot more visible at this point but I’m going to chalk that up to me rest my head in my hand at lunch a lot that day. As soon as I realized what I was doing I stopped but I figured that would have made a difference in the wear of my base so I at least wanted to throw that in.

Last time, at 10 pm:

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I don’t usually keep my makeup on for this long but I was doing tons of stuff this night and still liked how my makeup looked when I checked it out in the mirror so I just kept it going.

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The evening hours are usually when I start to see that my skin is now eating my makeup…which you can totally tell has happened a bit in this picture, hello acne scarring. However, I have seen way worse than a little patchiness on my cheeks and forehead. If your skin is more along the lines of combo-dry or just combination skin than you’re likely to not experience this sort of patchiness at all.

This product is ultra-hydrating, a little glowy so I don’t recommend it for more oily skin types but anything from combination to dry should get really great results.

Looking back on the pictures that I gathered, I’m wearing a different shirt in every one. That’s because the first one is my pajama top, the second is the sweater I wore out to lunch and shopping, then I changed into a sweatshirt when I got home. Just a little disclaimer to reassure you that these were all taken in one day, I just change clothes a lot.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little review. If you have any questions, thoughts, or opinions concerning the product leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

xo

Merisa

Review: Lush Dark Angels Cleanser

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I am a huge fan of LUSH products but unfortunately, I don’t actually live near a LUSH store. That means that about twice a year my mom, my sister, and I pool together to make a online purchase straight from LUSH HQ in Canada.

We recently made some picks from the seasonal collection. I’m a sucker for their Halloween products.

However, I’m also a sucker for their cleansers.

That’s why I picked up the Dark Angels facial cleanser online.

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It’s an exfoliating charcoal and black sugar cleanser that is meant to absorb excess oils and brighten your complexion.

If you’ve been here a while then you’re probably thinking, “Excess oils? Sounds like this is meant for oily skin but you always talk about how dry your skin is, Merisa.”

I know, right.

I spent a lot of time contemplating this one because of that very fact.

Here’s the reasoning that I came up with:

  • Dry skin leads to a lot of flaky skin (gross, I know)
  • Dry skin also causes a dull complexion
  • I can have an oily t-zone at times
  • Charcoal helps to remove impurities from the skin

That’s pretty much all I needed. Plus, how cool is Dark Angels for a name?

I’ve been using this as my daily cleanser for a while now and I’m loving the results so far.

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there’s just something I really like about a black cleanser

The product looks like Santa brought you coal for Christmas but in a more softer, sorta powdery form.

I expected the smell to be not all that pleasant considering that charcoal and mud are pretty high on the ingredients list but I actually really like the scent. It’s hard for me to describe because it’s not exactly anything I’ve ever smelt before.

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I definitely smell charcoal but I think the Sandalwood oil and Rosewood oil definitely bring something to the table. I have a love for sandalwood so that might be what attracts me to the scent so much.

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To clean my face with this product I usually wet my face with warm water then…this is a very important part…I completely dry my hands off.

You can’t get this product wet until you’re ready to use it because the water will activate the charcoal. So this is def not a cleanser you can use in the shower.

Then I pinch off about a quarter size piece. I know, I know, the tub says pea size and I tried that but it just didn’t cut it. Plus, I’ve heard that if you just use the recommended pea-size amount every day you won’t actually be able to use it all before it goes bad and I’m not about to waste it.

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that’s about a quarter, right?

Then, just like the instructions say, I add a little bit of warm water to the product and mix it together on the palm of my hand until it forms a pretty thick paste.

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gross, huh?

Then I smear that all over my face!

I massage it into my skin then, if I’m not in too much of a rush, I let it sit for a bit on my face. I don’t know if this actually does anything but I like to think it helps.

Depending on how long I’ve let it set things can get a bit dry so I’ll just wet my hands again and make sure I’ve scrubbed away all the dead skin yucky bits from my face and rinse it off.

It takes a bit to rinse off just because of all the grainy bits but once it’s all out of my eyebrows and away from my hairline things are great.

My skin has honestly never felt smoother than it does after I use this. It’s also usually really bright too which is great because I’ve never found a product that actually helps me rid my winter’s-coming-dull-complexion.

This product starts at $12.95 for 3.5 oz. (which is about the size of a normal tube of cleanser) and $31.95 for a whopping 8.8 oz. Seems a little pricey but not so much when compared to some cleansers on the shelves of Sephora.

Overall, I really enjoy this product. I even think it’s helping my breakouts a bit. I can definitely see myself repurchasing this in the future.

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Thanks, Sheldon! You make a wonderful product

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until next time,

xo

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October Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I just realized, while preparing this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag review, that I never got around to posting last month’s Glam Bag. Which is a shame because it was pretty good. I’ll tack a photo onto the end of this post to make up for it.

Now that that’s sorted let’s get into the October Ipsy Glam Bag, shall we?

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It was hard to fit it all in

This month’s theme is Beauty Candy. Which is a great theme but for once I just did not see it represented in the bag. Nothing was really candy colored aside from the bright hand cream but maybe I’m thinking too literally.

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The first product I pulled out was the Model Co. VOLUMEYES Mascara. I was a little apprehensive at first because of the last (horrible) experience I had with a mascara from Ipsy.

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However, this one is not too shabby. It’s not outstanding but definitely works well compared to most of my drugstore mascaras even though I would classify this as higher end because it retails for $20. I think this will make a good mascara for those no-makeup makeup days, which sounds ridiculous but beauty girls will know what I mean.

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This first thing I want to mention about this City Color Be Matte Lipstick is that…it smells like crayons. Like old school, just busted out the 64 pack of Crayolas with the sharpener. You know the smell. My sister went crazy when I told her. She just had to try it and she loved it. I, on the other hand, just can’t handle a crayon that close to my face. I shouldn’t feel like like I’m drawing my lips on, even if that’s kinda what I’m doing.

I was also kinda turned off by the color at first but I warmed up to Cappuccino once I realized it’s a buildable color that can be applied really sheer or darker if you wish. Overall, I think it’s a really great matte color for Fall.

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I just recently got my hair cut and colored so I am all about the hair products right now. This Acacia Protein BB Cream caught my attention because it looks like all the hype surrounding BB creams finally reached the hair styling realm too, so of course I had to check it out. I used this product on my towel dried hair after my shower last night and i have to say that my hair looks pretty good this morning. My hair’s not frizzy and my ends feel hydrated so I’m pretty happy so far. The product came out a more like a hair gel than a styling cream but you just have to make sure you work it into your ends really good and comb it through.

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This Figs & Rouge hand cream caught my interest right away because it looked like it might be similar to L’Occitane, plus it has a an itty bitty Union Jack and Made in the UK stamp on the back. Right up my alley, or so I thought. I just don’t know what the deal is with this stuff. I can’t figure out the scent but it’s not all that pleasant. When I rub this into my hands it feels like I’ve just poured water over my hands. Which is not all that hydrating, believe it or not. The packaging also says Pure & Natural but there are tons of chemically sounding ingredients listed on the back.

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I was so excited when I saw these wipes in the bag because I was almost out of my makeup removing wipes and I love trying new ones. These Skyn Mini Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths seemed so promising, literally. I like how they’re foaming but don’t require water to get them going or to rinse off. I really enjoyed the smell and liked the little bit of exfoliation it gave me. I wish the cloths weren’t so dry but other than that they seem pretty good. If you won’t take my word for it check out the recommendation from Blair Waldorf herself, Leighton Meester on their website.

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This month’s bag seems like a really winner even though it reminds me a lot of last December’s bag, but hey that was a good one too.

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September’s Glam Bag

It makes me so sad that I forgot about September’s Glam Bag, I even took pictures of each product. Oh well, here’s a picture of the whole bag. Everything was so cute and fun…but aren’t they always?

Leave me a comment below letting me know your favorite thing from October’s Ipsy Glam Bag. Or if you aren’t already a subscriber check out Ipsy in time for next month’s bag by clicking here.

until next time,

xo

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