Flare Beauty Box Spring 2015!

Flare Beauty Box Spring 2015

Flare Beauty Box Spring 2015

I received this a few weeks ago. Managed to get some pictures, and got around to finally posting today! This Flare Beauty Box was $8 CA, not a bad price considering the contents! What’s inside!

 

Flare Beauty Box Spring 2015

Flare Beauty Box Spring 2015

Flare Beauty Box Contents

Flare Beauty Box Contents

First we have the Herbal Essences Wild Naturals, a large sample of both shampoo and conditioner. This didn’t wow me. There was nothing special about it performance or fragrance wise. Unless you are really into a very mild, light fruity figgy fragrance, skip this one.

Herbal Essences Wild Naturals

Herbal Essences Wild Naturals

Next up, an Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash and Cover Girl Full Lash Bloom mascara, full size. I know my body doesn’t react well to the Olay body wash after a few uses, however it is a very luxurious feeling formula and I like washing my hands with it which doesn’t seem to bother them.

Cover Girl Full Lash Bloom, Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash

Cover Girl Full Lash Bloom, Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash

The mascara I haven’t used yet. I already know from prior experiences that I don’t like the plastic bristles on the wand, which poke my eye when trying to apply the product. As the mascara itself came sealed with the wand outside, I am using the wand to comb thru the tips of lashes coated with a different mascara, which it works wonderfully for. When I finish my current tube of Maybelline Cat Eyes, I will wash off that brush and see if it fits in the Cover Girl tube and use that one instead, to give the product a fair shake at being useful for me (I love the Cat Eyes wand!)

Then we have a couple sample packs of Olay Fresh Effects Mattifier. These usually don’t work for me, and this one was not much different. it seemed to be doing a great job for the first part of the day, but by the end I was even oilier than if I hadn’t used anything at all. Being fair, my day is pretty long, and I need makeup to hold on tight for 12 hours minimum.

Olay Fresh Effects Mattifier

Olay Fresh Effects Mattifier

My favourite portion of the box was the free full size of a Vidal Sassoon hair colour ($16 value.) I was excited about this, however they didn’t really have a perfect colour match for what I was looking for. I may have ended up with something a shade too dark. If so I will use it to paint in some lowlights. I didn’t get a closeup of the coupon.

Last up, Cover Girl lipstick in Succulent Cherry. The swatches below show the product as fairly sheer (one swipe on top, a few swipes underneath) and leaning pink. On my skin it leans warm with orange undertones, as my skin just makes colours lean this way unless very cool toned. Great for anyone who loves a red lip. I wear a red lip sometimes, and the sheerness of this could make it more wearable than others I have. I’m just worried about it looking too orange on me, especially under fluorescent lights at work.

Cover Girl Succulent Cherry

Cover Girl Succulent Cherry

Cover Girl Succulent Cherry Swatch

Cover Girl Succulent Cherry Swatch

And here’s a shot of the nails I had at the time, a creamy white with a layer of gold sparkles. I used Nicole All About the Glam.

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Anyone else get the Flare Beauty Box? What did you think?

Have a great week!

March Minimalist NOTD!

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Hi! March is here and the days are beautiful here in the Vancouver area in the middle of the day lately, although early mornings and nights are still frozen. Makes it hard to get dressed for the weather in the morning! I have no place complaining knowing what the rest of Canada is like right now, hope you guys are ok over there!

I managed to find a small scrap of time to do my nails this week, and even more astoundingly, find a second scrap of time to post it! These are some very minimalist nails with Cover Girl Constant Candy and one single simple dot of  OPI Black Onyx. It was inspired by a black polka dot ribbon off a perfume bottle, modeled below for extra polka-dotty effect!

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Has spring or better weather hit any of you guys yet?

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Cover Girl Clump Crusher by LashBlast Review!

Cover Girl Clump Crusher

Cover Girl Clump Crusher

I’m a couple years behind everyone in trying this out. As I tend to not love the overwhelmingly popular products as much as others, I was really reluctant. Maybe I’m too particular. Were my instincts right? Let’s find out. The shade I received this in is “Black”.

The package boasts that the product will deliver 200% more volume and ZERO (all caps emphasis theirs, not mine) *vs bare lashes. I’m not sure how that’s quantifiable but I was still interested in the results. The brush is flat on one side and slightly curved on the other, which Cover Girl describes as the “lash loading” section, intended to saturate your lashes with product. The spikey plastic brush bristles are then intended to comb it out. Click pics to enlarge.

Cover Girl Clump Crusher Package Back

Cover Girl Clump Crusher Package Back

On to my experience with this product. Now I haven’t had a huge amount of trouble with mascara clumping. I am no mascara newbie. I’ve been using certain products for a long time that I really like, and if I apply enough were clumping might occur, I comb it out using a clean old mascara wand reserved for that purpose. Does the trick for any formula. I was interested in this product as the idea of skipping the combing out step was intriguing, and people seemed to really like this.

The formula is a drier one, which is generally my preference. Has a slight waxy, plasticy scent. I applied this as I would any other mascara, by brushing it on and going over it a few times to my liking. The first thing I noticed was the brush was irritating. I like to wiggle the brush in at the roots to deliver colour and volume, but the really pointy bristles poked my inner eyelid/waterline and although it was not outright painful, it was annoying enough to turn me off the product altogether. The next thing I noticed was clumps! I tried combing through it more with the brush, without dipping it back in for more product, to see if I could work them out. It wasn’t horrible, but there were definitely clumps. Below is a pic of one coat of my application as described above. Also used in this photo are the Hard Candy eyeshadow crayons from yesterday’s post.

Cover Girl Clump Crusher One Coat

Cover Girl Clump Crusher One Coat

The formula seemed to be ok at lengthening/thickening. The picture doesn’t capture the full length I achieved with this product, my eyes are very deep set and it’s a tough shot to take. Nothing rave worthy, but effective enough. I let it dry before putting on another coat. The black colour looked like a deep, matte, plush black indoors, but in direct sunlight it was washed out and looked a bit charcoaly grey, which might be a deal breaker for some. It was still somewhat flexible when dry, which was nice. I decided it was time to try a second coat. The first thing I noticed this time was that the little plastic bristles did *not* want to comb through the already dried product. It felt stiff and uncomfortable. I tried working with it for a few minutes, and below is a picture of the second coat.

Cover Girl Clump Crusher Two Coats

Cover Girl Clump Crusher Two Coats

CLUMPS. Not terrible, and a bit spidery, but for a product that claims ZERO in all caps clumps on the package I was expecting a better performance than this! Now being fair, it did comb out well in other tests (as every other mascara does) with my old clean mascara wand technique, but I felt this shouldn’t be a necessary step for a mascara named Clump Crusher.

This will not replace my usual repertoire of  mascaras (my beloved discontinued in Canada Maybelline Full n Soft and the similar L’Oreal Voluminous, both waterproof, even Cover Girls own Professional mascara that I have been using in Brown, waterproof for well over 20 years!). I might use it just to slap something on quickly for a quick run to the store or something, as it did seem ok with just one coat. If you are the type that likes more than one coat like myself, I’d recommend not letting it dry in between layers as you won’t be able to get that spikey fork for a brush through it otherwise.

My instincts of avoiding those plastic brushes was bang on. They just do not work for me. I remember going through this same thing when Cover Girl LashExact and it’s plastic brush came out. My friends raved and I just knew I would hate it. And I did, it was awful in every way for me. Never again, no more plastic brushes. Different things work for different people! I like bushier, soft brushes.

Full disclosure: This product came to me in a P&G BrandSampler box I ordered a couple of months ago. These used to be free, but now they are apparently being offered, “free”, with a shipping charge of $6. As I wanted to try everything in the sampler pack, I paid the $6. After the quoted 2-6 weeks passed without my package arriving, I requested a refund. I was told to just keep the sampler if it finally arrives. Well, it finally arrived a few weeks later. So although I ultimately did receive this product free for testing, neither P&G nor I intended it to be that way. I believe this retails for about $8-10 Can.

Anyone tried this? Have better/worse results than me? Any tips to get this to work as advertised?

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal Barely Branded Swatch & Review!

Maybelline Barely Branded

Maybelline Barely Branded

I may seem a bit belated by reviewing this one a year or so after everyone else, but it actually took me this long to get my hands on it! I have a small collection of Maybelline’s other Color Tattoo offerings, but Barely Branded was always sold out and impossible to find in my small town. Glad to finally have it to wear and review today, it’s about time!

Maybelline Barely Branded Sunlight

Maybelline Barely Branded Sunlight

The verbosely named Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal By Eyestudio 24 hour Eyeshadow in 70 Barely Branded is a cream style shadow in a sturdy, higher end feeling glass jar. The shade is clearly labeled on the lid, and easy to see through the bottom of the glass jar making your desired shade easy to find no matter which way you store it.

Maybelline Barely Branded Shade

Maybelline Barely Branded Shade

The formula is a smooth, soft, cream, and easy to apply with either fingers or a synthetic brush. Barely Branded is a warm leaning cream/beige shade, with tiny flecks of golden micro glitter and blends into my NC20/25 skin nicely. I could see this looking too frosty for every day on very dark skin tones, but it might blend in beautifully on yellower skin tones. It sets within a couple of minutes, allowing you to sheerly blend it out however much you like, and once its set, it is SET.  On my oily eyelids it is on for the whole day, however it does wash off with my regular facial wash at the end of the day. If you wanted to use this as a base for a powder eyeshadow, you will want to work fast while this product is still tacky.

Maybelline Barely Branded Swatch

Maybelline Barely Branded Swatch

I have included a super close up of my eye with Barely Branded on to show that it doesn’t look too frosty once applied and that it blends out well. Maybelline Barely Branded is applied by finger on the lid and inner corner, with a bit of Tough as Taupe from the same line lightly buffed into the crease. Although a synthetic brush is generally better for cream products, I find that a natural fiber eye shadow brush picks up just the right amount of Tough as Taupe and blends it out far more smoothly for crease shading, so I make the exception when I am using that one in the crease. Also applied is Maybelline cream eyeliner in brown and Cover Girl Professional Mascara, waterproof, also in brown (another old favourite – starting using that over 20 years ago!). I would use this super fast and easy eye look with one of my brighter, redder, or darker lip shades.

Maybelline Barely Branded on eye

Maybelline Barely Branded on eye

I love these cream eye shadows by Maybelline. The only one I have slight issue with is the Bold Gold, which looks a bit too flaky on my lid. I have also read about others complaining of these drying up. I’ve had most of mine since they came out and although drier, they can still be applied. This might have something to do with me living in a more humid area.

Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadows are available in drugstores and grocery stores in Canada. I found mine for $6.99 however they are usually priced around $10.99. They are made in the US and contain 0.14oz, or 4g. So glad to finally have this one, I’m going to get a lot of use out of it!

Cover Girl Lip Perfection in Euphoria 360 and Embrace 335, Review & Swatch

EDIT: I have added a few new pictures in better lighting that I think represent these shades more accurately. You can find them at the bottom of the post. Thanks for visiting!

It’s March and its snowing. I dislike snow. We didn’t have it most of the winter and suddenly it decides to show up now, later than his welcome and with a snotty attitude, like a guy who shows up with their rowdy friends after the bar’s already done last call and everyone’s packing up to leave and move on to spring. Go home, late winter. You’re drunk.

As a tiny silver lining in this deviant snow cloud, I will use the extended cold and snow as an excuse to continue enjoying the deeper berry toned lip shades I picked up for this winter. I would still wear them year round on a braver, bolder day but I feel that they are easier to pull off this time of year.

I like my berry tones to lean a bit on the purple side, as I have a cooler skin tone. This winter I picked up a couple from Cover Girl’s newer lipstick line, Lip Perfection: Euphoria 360 and Embrace 335. They average about $8-10 CA in drugsrores.

Cover Girl Lip Perfection, Embrace, Euphoria

Cover Girl Lip Perfection, Embrace, Euphoria

I really like the packaging. They are square and stack and store well. The tube is a bronzed purpley colour and seems sturdy enough to last the life of the lipstick. My favourite part is the bottom! It clearly lists the name and number of the shade with a perfect match of the lipstick colour covering the bottom centimeter or so, so you can see what you’re grabbing right away without having to dig around, providing you store them that end up of course.

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I notice a few brands have been doing this with their lipstick packaging (Nyx and Sephora  come to mind) and I think it’s a small but ingenious detail. With the colour easy to see  and grab, it means you reach for it more often, thereby using it up faster, and  subsequently rebuying more of the same. And that’s just good business. Nice to see  these companies have some good people in their product development and marketing.  Keep it up!

I had some troubles getting the shades to come up true on camera, I’ll go ahead and blame the lighting on this grey dreary day. I’ll try to grab better shots when we finally get some sun!

Cover Girl Lip Perfection, Embrace top, Euphoria bottom With Flash

Cover Girl Lip Perfection, Embrace top, Euphoria bottom With Flash

Cover Girl Lip Perfection, Embrace top, Euphoria bottom, Without Flash

Cover Girl Lip Perfection, Embrace top, Euphoria bottom, Without Flash

Embrace: looks very blue based purple in the tube, and can build to almost the same intensity on the lips. I prefer to apply with a lighter hand, leaving a brightened reddish purple berry tone. Application is slightly drier than Euphoria but still smooth. Noted as a dupe for Mac Violetta.

Euphoria: looks like a deep purpley red in tube and applies to a rich, deep wine red tone. Still a blue based berry red. Applied lightly, it shows as a more subtle rosier berry shade. Application is smooth and moisturizing.

These lipsticks last about a well as any other, and Embrace in particular *stains*. It doesn’t stay its deep, vibrant purple, however. It fades down to a bright, vivid hot pink fuchsia shade. Below are them both applied lightly for a more sheer shade.

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These lipsticks have a soft, sweet vanilla type scent, although you can still smell the typical lipstick smell underneath. If you hate fragrance or vanilla, that could be a deal breaker but I like it.

I’ve just been reminded that it’s Oscar night. Not really my thing, but if it’s yours, wear your deepest, classiest berry lip for the show! Me, I just look forward to the makeup blogs of what the stars are wearing! 🙂

Cover Girl Euphoria & Embrace

Cover Girl Euphoria & Embrace

Cover Girl Euphoria & Embrace

Cover Girl Euphoria & Embrace

Cover Girl Euphoria & Embrace Swatch

Cover Girl Euphoria & Embrace Swatch