Posts Tagged "beauty"

Product Rave: Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate

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Every time I use Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate, I fall in love. Again.

It’s that good, folks. It only takes 2 minutes, and when I rinse it off, my skin feels so baby soft and just wonderful. Even with using my Clarisonic Mia 2, I don’t get that type of exfoliation and my skincare products go on even better. The morning after I use it, I always say “I wish I could ExfoliKate every day!” I wake up and my face always has cleared up some. Blemishes that were starting to come in, were rebuffed, and ones that were lingering have started to recede.

This particular mix of chemical and physical exfoliants is absolutely perfect for my skin. I use it 2 times per week, but I’m upping that to three. My skin can handle it and I need the extra help.

It’s seriously like magic, y’all. And for someone like me, who has problem skin, it’s a Godsend. I need ExfoliKate in my life. I started with a deluxe sample (Thanks, Sephora). From there, I bought what is referred to as the “travel size.” (It’s not what I use as a travel size. I use the aforementioned deluxe sample size for that. It stays in my travel kit.) The .5 Fl Oz size is a pretty pricey $22, but with the help of SwagBucks and Perk TV, it aint no thang every few months. I’ve had my current tube since mid-December and it’s still going strong. When it comes time to replace it, I’ll happily do so because ExfoliKate might be the first Holy Grail skincare product I’ve ever bought. For real! I’ve been experimenting with with skincare for decades. To just be finding a really, really good one now is kind of sad, but also kind of exciting!

I might just try to stack some gift cards and go for the larger sizes, like 2 oz or 5 oz. I’ve been watching QVC, in particular, like a hawk lately. The second I see either of those sizes available for Easy Pay, I’ll be alllllll over it. Easy Pay is bae. And so is Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate.

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Knee Jerk: Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick

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It may be the dead of winter here in Ohio, but that just means that the Spring 2013 makeup lines are about to start popping up. On my trip to the grocery store this evening, I spotted some. And, of course, I ended up buying a few things. I shall call it a mini-haul with a few new items from Neutrogena, Cover Girl, and L’Oreal.

In this quick “knee jerk” review, I’m gonna share my thoughts on Neutrogena’s new lip product, MoistureSmooth Color Stick. It seems, after Clinique’s Chubby Sticks took off in Fall 2011, the drug stores brands all rushed to make their own version. For some reason, I didn’t do a review on the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, but I was, and still am obsessed with them. How obsessed? I own every shade except the 2 lightest. (They wouldn’t show up on my lips, so why bother?) I keep Romance in my purse, in case I need a pop of color.

Here’s what Neutrogena says:

NEUTROGENA® MoistureSmooth Color Sticks instantly moisturize lips, while continuously conditioning them so they are softer and smoother in just 3 days with nothing on them. Made with fruit extracts along with mango and shea butter, the balm-like formula glides on easily, providing a sheer wash of moisturizing color that lasts for hours. In addition, the twist up package allows for perfect application each time – with no sharpener needed.

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Bare Minerals on QVC: An Exercise In Self Control

I’m not gonna lie. Almost every time Bare Minerals is presented on QVC, my ass is parked in front of a TV watching what’s new. I’ve had Bare Minerals for yearsssss now. And it all started with their very popular starter kit, that I got from Sephora. I got it so long ago that some of the shades and products in that kit are no longer available. Wait. I think it’s been 10 years. Sheesh!

Anyway, I really like Bare Minerals even though it’s not in my main makeup routine. I almost exclusively use their brushes, though. The exception is the Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brush. I don’t think Bare Esceuntuals makes a stipling brush, but if they did, I’d probably have it.

The last Bare Minerals I bought from QVC was a 3-piece blush set. I don’t use it much, but mostly because I’m too lazy or late to do a full face. Blush only gets applied when I’m not rushing, and I’m always running late. But the brush was fantastic! And before that, I think I picked up a deluxe sized Mineral Veil. Up until this month, I used the MV every time I put on makeup to set my foundation. Lately, I’ve been using a powder from Black Opal.

As of this post, I’ve watched a total of 4 hours of Bare Minerals on QVC in the past day. Don’t judge me, dang it! But I’ve not pulled the trigger on anything! Seeeeee? Not so bad!

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Target’s Final Beauty Bag Was A Major Letdown

To say I was disappointed in the Target Beauty Bag I received in the mail yesterday would be an understatement. It was extremely disappointing. And there will be no do-overs as rumor has it that this was the final time that Target offered this promo.

If you’re unfamiliar, Target Style’s Facebook page announces the “Beauty Bag” filled with free samples of products women typically use. If you’re fast enough filling out the form (this promo sells out fast!) you will receive your bag in a month or so. This was only my second time participating, and there were even fewer items useful to my beauty regimine than the previous bag. I didn’t think that was possible!

The last bag had a travel size Neutrogena Sublock product in it. It’s a product I already owned, in the full size, so the small purse-sized lotion was greatly appreciated. Other than that, nothing good. Lots of samples of shampoos and conditioners, and sample of a lipstick line I love; Revlon colorburst. That was good, but it was in a shade that doesn’t really show up on us brown-skinned ladies. So, I gave everything else to one of my friends. I kept the actual bag, though. It replaced my old “makeup bag.”

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To Birchbox or Not To Birchbox?

Birchbox?

I’ve been contemplating signing up for Birchbox for a long time now. It’s general idea is that, for about $10/mo, you’ll receive a box of high end, sample size skincare and beauty items at your doorstep each month.

What a cool idea, right? So, for what I deem a very low price, you can try some items, see if they work for you, and then possibly make the decision to buy the full-size product and add it to your health/beauty routine. I know I’ve wanted to try some products before I buy, to see if I like them (or they break my face out) before actually buying them. And yes, a lot of these boutiques/retailers offer returns, but it’s not a guarantee!

So I’ve been reading various beauty blogs and watching YouTube videos to see what the breakdown is, in terms of beauty to skincare products. I’m not really interested in skincare products. My face is uber sensitive, oily, and acne prone. After many years of struggling with my complextion, I’ve come to the conclusion that my skin can’t handle the experimentation necessary to truly take advantage of Birchbox’s skincare offerings. Too sensitive. I gotta stick with my routine or else face the wrath of Mr. Breakout!

Irene (AKA PinkieCharm on YouTube) wrote a blog post about why she canceled her Birchbox subscription. She said that her shipments included a lot of skincare products, and that they weren’t a fit for the type of skin she has, so she didn’t feel it was worth it anymore. That’s exactly the kind of info I wanted to know. If it was 25% skincare and 75% beauty/makeup, I would probably take the plunge, but reading that so much of the samples are skincare is giving me pause.

I’m going to keep looking around to get others’ opinions, but right now it’s looking like I’ll have to say no to Birchbox. If only there were a makeup-only option…

I also hear the quality of samples has degraded over the past few months. I would probably attribute that to Birchbox’s exploding popularity, but it’s not something I want to see as a potential customer.

Of note, I hear there are a couple of other Birchbox “copycats” that have popped up recently. (GoGoGirlfriend and NewBeauty TestTube) I’m going to take a look at them as well.

Does anyone else subscribe to Birchbox? Do you like it? What are your thoughts on the breakdown between skincare/beauty products?

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