Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation Review

selfies with Maybelline foundation on

First off, I should note that I received this free for testing purposes from Influenster. I received this to try at the warmest point of summer and I was a bit skeptical about how well it would perform in the Michigan heat and humidity. Usually I’m sweating off whatever I put on my face within minutes. I was pleasantly surprised at the staying power of this foundation though. When I’d blot my face (as I frequently needed to do) there was minimal transfer of make up. And one of the biggest benefits was the lack of break outs! My skin tends to freak out about things and did fine with this product even after wearing it several days in a row. After hours of sweating and blotting, it does wear off (the photo on the left is after quite a few hours of wear on a very hot and sweaty day) but on a cooler day, it stays put. It will eventually start to look gross in my t zone (I get pretty oily there) but responds well to blotting papers.

I would say that it gives light to medium coverage and is at least a little buildable, though I did not test that to it’s full capacity. I didn’t have too much extra to cover that needed a lot of building. It has a smooth, soft, not at all greasy texture. I would say this would be good for someone who likes a more matte finish, rather than dewy. I gave a bottle to my mother and she felt pretty meh about it. She prefers more of a dewy/oily finish and this does not give that at all. I would (and have already) purchase this again and would recommend it without hesitation.

Beauty Boxes Galore!

Fab Fit Fun Spring 2015

I have a ton of new things to test out. I hope to have some of it reviewed here eventually. I know I always say that and it rarely seems to happen. But it could happen! I actually designated a little notebook just for jotting thoughts when I try a new product to make it easier to write up reviews later. Now I just need to use it more consistently. 🙂

My most recent boxes (that are all still on the dining room table) have been my Spring 2015 FabFitFun box, Spring 2015 Walmart Beauty box, and my March Birchbox. My April Birchbox is on its way and should be arriving on Tuesday.

The FabFitFun box has some great items in it this time. But I do expect that, as it costs more and comes quarterly. That scarf (left side of the photo) is so pretty and makes me wish that I felt more comfortable wearing scarves (or had more things to wear them with?) I need to get over that. Peep the info card here for details on everything inside.

Walmart beauty box spring 2015

The Walmart Beauty Box was also pretty good this time. It was more focused on skin care than cosmetics this time, but that’s ok with me. I get my makeup fix through ipsy and birchbox. I am really excited to try that body wash. I’m all about smelling good.

And speaking of Birchbox… I had intended to film an unboxing video and so I never unpacked the box. I’m now wondering if I should just give up on that idea. I want to start using the things! Not that I remember anything that was in it aside from a blush that I’m really looking forward to trying. I’m thinking I should set a deadline for videos. If it’s not recorded within the first few days, it’s probably not going to happen and I should just open it already.

Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara Review

Well... you can't say it doesn't look natural.  **Yves Saint Laurant Mascara Volume Egger Faux Cils received free from @influenster for testing purposes. #YSLMascara

I’m testing a new mascara and I have thoughts! The packaging is nice. The body of the tube is a lovely rose gold and the cap is more of a true gold. I wasn’t able to get a photo that did it justice yesterday so definitely check out the link to the YSL site up there to check it out.

The product has a creamy consistency. It doesn’t go on thick, but it looks thicker in the tube. You get a LOT of product on the wand. I had to be very careful about removing the excess to avoid really gooping up my lashes. I’ve read other reviews that mention that it has a scent but it must be very light because I didn’t notice one at all (but now I’m going to be sure to go home and smell it because I’m curious.)

But now on to the important part – how does it wear? Well… naturally, I guess would be the most accurate way I could put it. I did not find that it provided length or volume on my lashes. It darkened them nicely, which my lashes need. They’re very light at the tips and that makes them look a lot shorter than they are when I don’t have anything on them. So this provided the definition that my lashes naturally lack, but did it in a way that looks natural. You can’t really tell that I have anything on as well. This is also true of how it feels. It’s lightweight. I can’t feel that I have anything on my lashes. They don’t catch on each other or stick together. They’re not stiff and crunchy at all. There was no clumping and once I made sure to remove the excess from the wand, there were no gloops either.

I wore it all day yesterday. Right after I applied it, there were a few specks on my cheeks and I worried that there would be flaking throughout the day, but that did not end up being the case are all. Once I brushed away those initial flakes, it was fine from then on. It looked exactly the same at the end of the night as it did when I first applied it.

If I were going for a very light or no-makeup look, this would be the first thing I would reach for. But with a look that required my lashes to stand out a bit more, this one would not be up to the task.

After having some more time with this mascara, I’ve come to like it more and more. I discovered that I can get away with wiping less of it off of the brush and thus applying more without it looking clumpy and goopy. This is good and definitely made it more visible, while still remaining flexible and not crunchy. I will definitely consider purchasing this if I’m ever in a position to purchase a mascara again. I keep getting so many samples though that I don’t know when that might be.

***I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes***

The Balm Read My Lips gloss

loving this. The Balm Read My Lips gloss in BAM!

In my February Birchbox, I received a sample of The Balm’s Read My Lips gloss in BAM! and I LOVE it. The scent/taste is fantastic! It is delightfully fruity. The color is very natural and just a little lighter than a “my lips but better” shade would be. I will likely purchase it again and might try out the ZAAP! shade as well. ZAAP! looks like it has a bit of shimmer in it though and that might keep me away from that one. I also have my eye on GRRR! Alas, one negative note: the texture does nothing for me, as it has that sticky gloss feel that I’m not fond of. And for some reason, glosses with that texture seem to wear unevenly on different parts of my lips. I like an even uniform slip feel when I rub my lips together.

Another note, since I’m just about to watch the most recent video, I’d like to recommend the What’s Up In Makeup series of videos from Jen Luv’s Reviews on YouTube. I have been loving these videos! I always find a few things I had not heard about yet that I want to check out.

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Review


In my Influenster Frosty VoxBox, I received a packet sample of the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum. Due to the size of the sample (and the $29.99 cost of the full size,) This review is a bit limited. I can give my first impressions but cannot speak for its long-term effects.

The first thing I noticed about it was the texture. It has that matte-slippery feel of a primer. It goes on very smoothly and leaves the skin feeling very soft and slightly slippery. But not wet or greasy. Again, like a primer. It did not have a noticeable scent. It changed the feel of the application of my moisturizer. Not in a bad or unpleasant way. It was very smooth.

I have not had any major breakouts but I have noticed more of those tiny little pus bubbles forming. Sorry. I know that sounds so gross. But I don’t know how to better describe them.

I have not noticed any other differences in the look of my skin. With the price and the minimal breaking out that I’ve experienced, I’m not feeling very motivated to purchase the full size of this, even with the $2 coupon that was included with my sample.

***This sample was received free from Influenster for testing purposes.***

Influenster Frosty VoxBox

***All products received free from Influenster for testing purposes.***

In this box, I received:

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum – 3ml sample packet
Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaffeinated Green Tea – 2 tea bags
Ecotools Sleek + Shine Finisher hair brush
Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover – 125mL
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal pencil eye liner – Black
Red Vines Fruit Vines Bites Strawberry Flavor – 5 oz.
McCormick Gourmet All Natural Thyme – .62 oz.
NYC Expert Last Lip Color – 418 Sugar Plum

So far, I have had the chance to try the NYC lipstick and the Rimmel eye makeup remover. I’ll review those soon. I feel positive feelings about both so far. I’ve had Candy Cane Lane before and I know that I like that.

I look forward to trying all of the things in this box, with perhaps the exception of the brush. I’m pretty attached to my Mason Pearson. I’ll still give it a try though!

Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System Review

I received this product (Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System) free from Influenster for testing purposes.

The kit that I received had a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and spot treatment cream/gel. As I had agreed to, I started out using the whole system (all 4 products) as directed. Wash, tone, moisturize, spot treat. For me, this was very drying, and when following my usual routine with other similar products, this is not usually how I roll. Typically, I use individual products as needed depending on what is going on with my skin at the time. I stuck it out with the whole system as long as I could but eventually, I went back to my own process and the irritation decreased.

These are fine products. They work as well as other similar products that you find at the store using salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. For me, they didn’t work any better, however. And I do not believe that I will be purchasing again after I use them up.

I’m beginning to have a nail polish problem

sinful colors

I don’t seem to be able to go to the store lately without picking up another bottle or two. In fact, minutes after that photo up there was taken, I purchased 2 more bottles from that very display of lovely Sinful Colors! And on top of that there have been freebies like the one I received from Influenster for testing purposes. My nail polish drawer overfloweth. My plan is to purchase a spice rack to mount on my wall for storage. It will make it a lot easier to see what I have and get at it (aforementioned drawer is a bit hard to open and close sometimes.) Hopefully that will happen later this week. I’m looking forward to it for two reasons. 1. organization! and 2. I recently got a new drill because I still haven’t found the one I already own. I think it got misplaced in the move. So I get to test that out!

If you want to score some lovely Sinful Colors of your own, you can find some pretty good selection at Walgreens, where the above photo was taken.

Garnier Clean+ Balancing Daily Exfoliator review

garnier scrub

I received a sample packet of Garnier Clean+ Balancing Daily Exfoliator scrub in the mail from Garnier. This is perhaps more of a first impression than a real full review. I have tried it once now.

What Garnier says:

It is supposed to target “T-Zone to deeply cleanse away oil and impurities.” It is “infused with antioxidants, Grapefruit and Pomegranate softens dry areas to balance skin.

According to their results:

In 1 use: Excess oil is removed and skin is smoothed.

After 1 week: Skin’s texture is refined and complexion balanced.

My observations and thoughts:

It’s a mostly clear gel with bits of exfoliation material. They’re not very concentrated though so it’s not as scrubby as I expected it to be. It sudses (is that a word? it does not look right to me but in my head it sounds like it’s supposed to be a word) up a little and smells really nice. It immediately brought to mind a scented doll I had when I was little named Rose Petal. I detect a bit of grapefruit to it too but mostly Rose Petal. It’s kind of neat the way that scents can bring back memories like that. This one is a very positive association. So thanks for that, Garnier!

My skin started to feel a little dry/tight very quickly after I toweled dry so I needed to moisturize right after. So far I like this one. I will try to remember to update after I have the chance to use it more. The sample has plenty in it so I should be able to squeeze quite a few days out of it.

OMG Why does my head hurt? [review]

first aid shot therapy

This last couple weeks or so I’ve had issues with my head hurting. Last week, I had a couple days of migraine (with aura, fun! (no, not at all fun)) and today my head just hurts. Hope I’m not dying. Dying or not, though, I had work to do today and do not feel like doing it with a headache. I received a freebie from Influenster (Thanks Influnster!) for testing and reviewing purposes of a liquid pain reliever.

I drank it nearly a half hour ago. So far…. my head still hurts. So I’m hoping it’s just taking its time working and isn’t going to be just a dud product. I’ll check in again in a little bit here. In the meantime, I’ll write a little more about the product.

It’s berry flavored and has choline salicylate (NSAID pain reliever/fever reducer) with caffeine. It was a little sweeter than I’d like, sweetened with sucralose. The flavor isn’t *bad* though, particularly for a medicine.

It is supposed to work faster due to its liquid form, starting to act in minutes! (HOW MANY MINUTES???)

Edit: 45 minutes in…. still nothing. Booooo.

Second edit: 1.5 hours in. Nothing. My mouth feels and tastes a little weird but my head still hurts. 🙁