First Impression: Too Faced Cocoa Powder and BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Powder

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I have been hunting for a new powder for quite sometime now. If you’ve been following me for awhile you probably already know that I talk about the physicians formula correcting powder often. I still love it. I used it most of the summer almost everyday to set my concealer and would wear it alone some days. However, it can cling to dry spots if you have naturally dry skin like myself. So now that the weather is changing and I want to wear fuller coverage makeup, it looks a bit cakey after awhile and oxidizes weird on my skin.

If you’re as pale as me, you will understand my struggle to find a powder of any sort. Many are either too dark or oxidize and are darker after a few hours…or they look caked on if you apply too much. So, I’ve been watching videos and reading reviews by people with a similar skin tone/type as me and I have a few to talk about.

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First, is the Too Faced Cocoa Powder foundation in “Light.” I’ve seen this talked about a lot, but couldn’t justify wanting to buy it until I watched a video of Thataylaa (look her up on youtube. I love her videos and personality) using it lightly as a setting powder. So, I started trying to see if I could catch a good deal on it, and I found it on hsn.com for $39 with free shipping AND the teddy bear hair kabuki brush included ($68 total value). I ended up being able to use a coupon code for 15% off on top of it, so the deal was pretty awesome and it’s included in flex pay and I got money back on ebates. Just throwing that out there in case anyone is interested in trying it and wants a good deal on it, I was not sponsored to say any of that. I’m just a mom on a budget.

Anyway, back to the actual review. The smell of this product is as delightful as I had hoped and imagined. It smells like chocolate. I decided to try it out for the first time on top of a bb cream and use the teddy bear hair kabuki brush.
Application– Like a damn dream. Very easy to work with and is buildable. With that being said, I do feel it would be light coverage if worn alone as a powder foundation. I wore it on top of a bb cream so I only needed a small amount to cover everything up and set my makeup. The brush it came with is super soft as well. I don’t know if I would have bought it had it been alone, but since it came with the powder it’s definetely a perk.
Wear time– it lasted all day and did not oxidize or cling to dry patches during the day. I did chores, chased the dog and toddler around and ran errands and this stuff stayed in place and even kept the faint delicious smell all day.
Overall first impression- thoroughly impressed. I’m so happy I stumbled upon such a great deal because I don’t know if I could have brought myself to spend the money on it at regular price at Ulta or Sephora.
Lastly, I have to give Too Faced props for always having the most adorable packaging on the face of the planet. Seriously, how chic and cute is the packaging? It’s so pretty.

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Second, is the BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Powder in “205” which is the lightest shade. These powders are on sale often on Bh Cosmetics’ website. I think I got mine for around $7, so this is a very affordable option. The packaging is also very sleek and black, which I like. It claims to be a matte finishing powder.
Application– I used my elf cosmetics powder brush ($3) and patted this underneath my eyes to set my concealer, and I was impressed with how easy it was to apply. It wasn’t too chalky and didn’t get everywhere. I typically pat my powder instead of brushing on my face because I feel it’s less likely to cling to dry patches that way.
Wear– It did oxidize a bit, but it wasn’t bad. It didn’t apply cakey, but it did look a bit caked up and weird in a few spots after about 4 hours of wear. So, this is a powder that will need to be touched up a few times throughout the day.
Overall impression– I wasn’t as impressed with this one, but I wasn’t disappointed either. It’s probably a powder I will reach for this fall for everyday looks and for when I run errands. The price is superb though and the packaging is also adorable and very sleek.

Both of the brands mentioned are cruelty free, and as far as I know Too Faced is vegan friendly. Have any powders to recommend for me to try in my pursuit for the absolute perfect powder for fair skin? Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts, opinions, and recommendations.

Subscription Fever: Lip Monthly

Last month I decided to cancel both my beauty box and ipsy subscriptions because the samples I was receiving from both were merely piling up and ending up in a tiny sample landfill. I stumbled upon a relatively new subscription service called Lip Monthly, and decided to give it a try since I am a lip product addict. Lip products of any sort are probably the few things I get ridiculously excited for when it comes to subscription services.

It’s $10 per month and they say they will send 3-4 full sized products and 1-2 sample sized products. I was automatically intrigued just from reading that. So, I used a coupon code (will link at the end) and got my first box for $5 and started the subscription. The reviews I had watched seem mixed. Most seem to either love Lip Monthly or hate it. However, it seems that’s how the cookie crumbles with most subscription services. You can’t please everyone.

I received my tracking info last Friday and received my bag on Monday. So, shipping time seems to be about average.

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These were the products that came in my bag. From what I have seen on instagram and youtube, this was the standard bag for everyone with a few differences like maybe their eyeliner pencil was a different color. The bag came with a card, but the prices were not beside the products so I can’t tell if I got more than my money’s worth in terms of product value. It looked like there were 4 full sized products and 1 sample sized, the sample being the lip scrub.
The J Cat lipstick in my bag is actually defective. I opened it and can’t even swatch the product because the lipstick is broken in half on the inside. I will have to email them about that, so next month I will update about their customer service. However, I can tell the color isn’t going to be for me. The one thing that does upset me a bit about this subsciption already is that they sent out the same color lipstick to everyone. When it comes to nudes, one color does not fit all. This color probably looks stunning on people with darker skin tones…it just makes me look dead. It looks like, well, my skin.

There was a purple shimmery lip tiny (balm?) that came in the bag and it smells pretty nice. Much like grapes if you’re into grape flavored things. There was also another chapstick that I have actually tried before (and like) from another subscription that smells like cherries. I’m not too sure what the point of sending two balm/chap stick type products is? The shimmery one doesn’t exactly compliment the weird nude tone lipstick, and I am not one to put on balm on top of more balm.

The last full sized product was a LA Girl eyeliner, which I like. LA Girl is a product I have talked about before and I have been wanting to try a few more of their products. The color I got was a very pretty blue color. I’ve been digging the blues lately since I have been playing around with black lipstick, and I have a few blue lipsticks so the eyeliner will double as a lip liner for me since blue lip liners are hard to come by.
The sample product was a lip scrub. It seems like your typical lip scrub. The smell is…okay. It smells natural, and the ingredients seems to be all natural as well, so that’s a plus.

Overall, I am neither over the moon or extremely disapppointed in this subscription for the first month in. I will give it a few more months, because I know they are newer and I can’t base it on the first bag I get. I would like to see a bit more of a theme with this subscription. It seemed like they tried to make a theme, but it just didn’t come together well. An option for individual profiles to ensure great product selection for each person would be nice as well. Not everyone is the same skin tone, and not every lip color is going to be suitable for everyone. I’m sure there are people that love the lipstick in the bag, but I can tell despite the defect in the product that it will make me look like my lips have disappeared, and that’s not what I am going for when I wear a nude lip color.

First Impression: Clear Proof Acne System

Before I begin this post, I was sent these products by Influenster complimentary to try and test out. However, these opinions are my own and I will not spare my true opinion of this product over the next 30 days I am set to test it.

I was really excited when I learned I was one of the bloggers chosen to try this product out and review it. It came right in time, at 4 months postpartum my skin has been less than satisfactory, and with fall upon us my already dry skin is drying out even more. I love Mary Kay products. I am not a consultant, however I know a pretty awesome lady that does sell their products in case anyone was wondering.
Anyway, I am going to do a first impression (this post) for the very first time I try the product and then another after 15 days (halfway) and then a final post with all of my thoughts of the product overall after 30 days. Unless this sets off a bad reaction with my skin I will be doing all 3 posts, so if you are a first time visitor to my page and want to know more about the product outside of my first impression, feel free to subscribe.

I want to start off by saying that my skin problems right now are mostly hormonal. I just had my second daughter 4 months ago, and I have been losing weight and such, but my skin still hates me. Mostly around in my jaw line area. I’m also on birth control, which is also a factor. My skin type is very dry. Like…super dry. This time of the year is awful for me in terms of skin moisture. The fall air seems to suck every bit of happy moisture out of my face.

Alright, on to the routine and first impression.

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This is what the box looks like. It came with 4 full sized products in the system, and I am pretty excited that this comes with both a toner and moisturizer to start out with. I’ve noticed that many acne systems either have one or the other in their systems, and sell the toner or moisturizer as a separate part of the system itself.

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Also included was a card giving detail as to what to use first and what the products do. Nothing fancy in terms of how most acne treatments work. Wash, tone, spot treat, moisturize. I like simple and to the point. Because really, who has time for a one hour skin routine every night? I have 2 kids, so I know I don’t. I want something quick and effective.

First use (bed time)- I typically take most of my makeup off first with a Burt’s Bees sensitive skin makeup wipe. I used the gel cleanser in the package first and massaged it into my skin, focusing on my trouble areas. I noticed this product doesn’t have much of a smell, which I like. I tend to wash my skin with cold water because warm/hot water dries my skin out so I avoid it when I can.

I then put the toner on a clean cotton round and dabbed it on my face. The toner’s main ingredient is salicylic acid, which is pretty typical for many acne treatments. It can be drying, but it’s typically an effective way to clear acne up for me. Also no smell for this product either.

I put the gel spot treatment on a few spots on my chin and along the bad area on my jaw line.

I don’t moisturize before bed because it can break already broken skin out, so I will try that in the morning before I start my morning routine and report back.
Okay, so when I woke up this morning my skin felt fresh still, but a bit tight and a little dry. I expected it, so I put on some of the moisturizer before starting my routine. I did notice some of the spots that were trying to come up on my jaw line are already looking less red.
The moisturizer did feel light on my face. Maybe too light. I have extremely dry skin though. To truly test the product I did not put any other moisturizers on my face and did my regular makeup routine, but I did notice some dry patches around my nose and on my cheeks. So, I may personally need to use another face lotion on top of it, but it’s not a huge deal.
At the end of the day my skin does not feel irritated or anything, which makes me even more excited to potentially see results over the next 30 days.
Overall, I am impressed so far, but it’s hard to tell with many acne clearing systems how/if they are going to work with simply a first impression. Stay tuned for my next posts regarding this product 🙂

First Impression: BH Cosmetics and Wet n Wild Mascaras

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I know what you’re probably thinking by the title, “That’s two very different and random brands to try at the same time.” I know, I know. I scored some amazing deals on bhcosmetics.com and at walgreens right before Labor Day. I snagged a thing of foundation from bh cosmetics for $2.95 and some blushes at the same price! I also found Wet n Wild mascaras and foundation (will review on a later post) for $1 a piece since I ordered about 10 coupons to try some things out.

I had said in a previous post that I do not own very many Wet n Wild products other than their lipsticks. Well, now I have nail polishes, foundation, blush, mascara, and a highlighter to try out. Okay, now I’m going to start this review.

BH cosmetics foundation in light olive- I was super excited when I read “light” and “olive” in the same sentence. I have an Italian background, and even though I am extremely pale I also have an olive tone. Many lighter foundations tend to either have a pink or yellow undertone. Pink is obviously the one I gravitate towards because yellow undertones make me look kind of sickly (okay, more sickly than usual) but I rarely see anything with a distinct olive tone to it. This foundation claims to be medium-full coverage and is supposed to last all day. Did it succeed in that? Eh, mostly. It is medium-full coverage. It blended fairly easily with my real techniques beauty sponge.
It does have pretty good staying power, but it started to settle into the fine lines under my eyes pretty quickly. This is a common problem with me with most foundations though. My eye shape is a bit odd (giant eyes) and concealers and foundations just love to get in their and make themselves comfy.
The only thing that I really dislike about this product…the smell. Oh my gosh, it reminded me of old lady perfume. I almost didn’t even put it on my face because of the smell. When I smell perfume-y scents in face products it automatically makes me assume my face will break out. I am extremely sensitive to heavily scented products. Luckily, I have tried this foundation 4 times and have not had a breakout. The smell does fade, but I still hate it. That’s really my only problem with the foundation itself though.

Pros:
Medium-full coverage (as promised)
Long lasting (when set with powder or setting spray)
Matches my skin fairly well
Affordable
Cruelty free
Blends easily

Cons:
Smell
Settles into fine lines fairly quickly

Blush duos in “Rose” and “Lilac”

I also snagged a few of BH Cosmetics blush duos during their Labor Day sale since they were also $3 a piece and come with a blush and highlighter. I figured that for the price and the fact that they highlighter came with the blush…why not?

Rose- A very deep peachy almost red color with a gold-bronze highlight. I was so surprised by how much product comes with these blush duos! Also, look at the packaging. It’s so cute! I love the blush in this duo. It’s pretty pigmented, so if you are fair use a light hand. I think this rosy color would look so well on many different skin tones though. I have no used the highlighter much since typically gold highlighters are not very flattering on my skin tone. I typically use champagne or light pink, and the gold highlighter in this was a bit too shimmery for me to try it as a contour. Overall, this was well worth the money solely for the blush.

Lilac- Oh, I love this shade of pretty pink. I wish I had discovered it in the spring or earlier in the summer because it would have been the perfect shade of pale pink for spring. The highlighter in this duo is a very pale almost champagne color with a little pink in it. It’s actually the perfect highlighting shade for me, but I find it to be a bit chalky. It’s not too bad though. For the price, I absolutely love these duos and will probably purchase a few more during another sale. There are several other duos on the site that look gorgeous! I would recommend these to anyone that just likes to play around with different blush colors like myself.

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Mascaras:
Wet n Wild Mega Volume mascara- I am not entirely impressed with the formula of this mascara. It’s a bit of a dry formula in my opinion. I like more wet formulas since I tend to put on several coats of mascara, and dryer formulas tend to clump up faster. This could be a good mascara to use on days that I am wearing false lashes and need to blend them in with my natural lashes though.

Wet n Wild Mega Length mascara- I have been loving this mascara for my lower lash line. The brush is small and slender so I can really get my lower lashes evenly and easily. I don’t think I would use this mascara for anything but my lower lash line because it is that same dryer formula, but I have found a purpose for it so my Wet n Wild mascara adventure was not all lost.

First Impression: Mini Elf Haul

Elf (EyesLipsFace) has to be one of my all time favorite makeup brands. They are cruelty free and super affordable. They are so affordable that sometimes I look at their site and say, “I want to try that,” about things completely out of my comfort zone, and that’s fine because usually it’s $3.

Anyway, they’ve had some things on their website that I have wanted to try for a bit so I bought somethings with a $5 off coupon code that was active. Many of the things in this blog I have only tried once, with the exception of the foundation. I tend to try foundation a bit longer before I want to formerly review on it because they tend to change on the skin in some cases.

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Matte blush and bronzer duo in “Fiji”- I was so excited when this came out. I love the blush and bronzer duos, but I am not a shimmer kind of girl. I like a mostly matte look, especially in the fall and winter. This duo is BEAUTIFUL to say the least. They work perfectly together, and even look great on my pale skin. I will say that using a light hand is essential if you have a pale complexion though.

Powder brush- I have heard several beauty bloggers rave about this brush so I needed to try it for myself. Now I understand why they rave about it. I use this brush to set my under eye concealer, and it makes it so easy. Just a quick swirl into my powder and this brush lightly sets my under eyes flawlessly. For $3 you can’t beat it. Ah-mazing.

Baked Highlighter in “Moonlight Pearls”- While browsing on elf’s website, I came across these (new to me) highlighters and thought, “Hello pretties, come live with me.” There are 3 colors, but I decided to try one for now to see how I like them since highlighters can be so hit or miss with my skin tone. I went with moonlight pearls since it seemed like the most subtle highlight on the website. It is truly a beautiful hightlighter. I have used it almost everyday since it came in the mail. I lightly tap my Sonia Kashuk fan brush in it and dust the tops of my cheeks and I always have the glow I want. I think I may end up getting the pink color as well.

Mascara Primer- I have been all about the primers lately? It seems like there are so many things to prime nowadays! Prime your face, prime your lips, prime your eyes, prime your brows, prime your hair. Okay, maybe not prime your hair, but you see my point. This was definitely a “I just wanna try this” purchase. Still not sure about how I feel about this exactly. I didn’t see much of a difference in my eyelashes. I curled my lashes before “priming” them, so I don’t know if I am even doing it right. I may give an update on my thoughts about this product in my next first impression post.

Under Eye Primer- Another primer! Surprise! This one was not so much of a random purchase. I have HORRIBLE under eye circles due to asthma. They are permanent. They make me look dead most days if I don’t cover them up. This primer promised to hydrate the under eyes and prevent concealer from creasing (a huge problem for me) and help concealer to stay all day. I put this primer on at about 9 am the morning I tried it and did my normal housework and kid-friendly activities, and when I checked my makeup at about 1 pm my concealer was still intact! I was fairly blown away and extremely excited! Probably my favorite purchase from them in awhile. Apparently, this is the dupe for a Smashbox under eye concealer, but I don’t own the Smashbox one so I wouldn’t know.

Acne Fighting Foundation in Ivory- Oh man, I love this foundation. I truly love it. Does it actually fight my acne? I have no idea, but based on coverage and quality alone this is the best affordable foundation I have ever tried. I even like it more than some of my higher end foundations. The coverage is flawless and full. It covers up all of my blemishes and leaves a very satin matte finish. It’s not tacky. Elf nailed this foundation. This will now be a staple in my makeup routine, especially since the weather is cooling down and I can wear fuller coverage foundation on an everyday basis.

Blending Brush- I had seen a couple of bloggers talk about this brush and compared to the Mac blending brush, so I decided that for $3 I would give it a try. It’s pretty nice. My only complaint is that it is not “fluffy” and if I blend for a bit it can feel a bit scratchy. It’s a nice affordable blending blush to add to your collection though if you’re in the market for a new one.