A Small Sephora Treat

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Now that my life is on a more minimalistic path, I try to buy things with purpose or after fairly extensive research like grabbing samples. Sometimes, however, things manage to slip through the cracks. While at Sephora getting color matched for a sample of concealer to test out, I caved and picked up a sheet mask - they're relatively guilt-free impulse buys for me since they tend to be under $10 and I know with absolute certainty that I'll use them. Personally, I feel really skanky if I ask for samples somewhere without buying something little, so I'm not really mad about a $9 sheet mask in exchange for some concealer and two 100 point perks. This little investigative excursion turned into quite the treat! I was super pleased to see that there was not only a generous sized sample of a face moisturizer I've had my eye on for a few weeks, but also a rose-scented perfume (a huge weakness of mine). For only $9, this was quite a haul of products that actually hold purpose to me and my life.

First up is the big-ticket item - the Dr. Jart+Brightening Solution Ultra-Fine Microfiber Mask. This mask is supposed to target discoloration and brighten the complexion, which are both very appealing to me, since I have pretty severe post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and a complexion that takes on a dull appearance quickly. I've actually already used this and filmed a Mask Monday on it, which you can find linked HERE for your viewing pleasure. What I can say is that it was a very enjoyable experience from beginning to end, but my spots are still as angry as they were. I may end up repurchasing this or experimenting with the rest of the line at some point.

I've been eyeballing the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel for a couple weeks now. I'm nearing the end of my current - and not much liked - day moisturizer and I'm on the hunt for something better to replace it. I have oily skin that seems to get even oilier with most moisturizers, light or not, but I've heard good things about this one and I'm delighted to give it a go!

The other 100 point perk that I snapped up was more of an impulse, but I'm glad I did. I saw the word "Rose" and had to have it! This little rollerball of Clean's "Blonde Rose" is quite a generous size and mercifully it's smells frickin' bomb! I love rose scents, but I also prefer to have more masculine perfumes because they gel with my personality and laid-bad semi-androgynous style. "Blonde Rose" is a perfect blend of the two! It honestly smells like a slightly feminine, yet still notably masculine cologne and I couldn't be happier with it!

Lastly we have the item that I originally came in for - a sample of the tarte Maracuja Creasless Concealer. I was color matched to the shade "Light Sand", but unfortunately it ended up being too light on me. The coverage on this was alright and so was the consistency, but it just looked odd and patchy because of the color difference. I haven't made up my mind as to whether or not I want to go try a darker shade because it's pretty comparable to the Glossier Stretch Concealer that I've been using. Eh... only time will tell! The search for a good, squeeze-tube full-coverage concealer continues!

A Beauty Blogger With an Identity Crisis

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
I wouldn't be surprised if you've completely forgotten about me. It's been a long time since my last entry and a lot has changed since then. Last year, at the beginning of 2016, I became intrigued with the idea of minimalism, which is kind of peculiar seeing as how I run a beauty blog and a beauty channel on YouTube. The Beauty Blogger/Vlogger groups aren't particularly aligned with your typical minimalist since a makeup collection for one of us tends to be worth thousands upon thousands of dollars with hundreds and hundreds of items.

During the past 14 months I've been on a very interesting journey of self discovery, and although it pains me to say it, I must be true to myself - the standard frame for a beauty enthusiast no longer fits me. My ideals have shifted since I first began blogging about beauty back in 2011 and the way that the beauty community has evolved over those 6 years has left me feeling uninspired, bored, overwhelmed, and frankly quite annoyed. The current atmosphere is choked with coupon codes, recycled warm smokey eyes, and overly filtered content. I no longer see passion, enthusiasm, excitement... instead I see a mechanical, money-making, formulaic repetition over and over and over again spanning across so many different channels, blogs, and accounts and it's just depressing.

Even I have found content creation to be a burden due to the standards of the community today. I've barely touched my makeup collection regularly in the past year - heck, I've utilized it more in the past week because of a decluttering method I've been trying out than in the two months prior. I don't hate makeup, in fact I still rather like it, but having so much of it has made me feel overwhelmed and uninspired. Keeping things "just in case" or because they were good dupes of products I already had or "because I need a drugstore option" made me resent what I had. I've been holding on to so many products for so many years that I don't particularly like, but feel like I have an obligation to because pretty much every other content creator does the same and I'm sick to death of it. I'm done. Done with holding on to or buying popular products because it's "what people want to see", when in all honesty people rarely view my content. Done with having multiple lip options when I actually only like a handful of what I own. Done with following trends I don't give a shit about. I'm just done.

And honestly, I'm not even sure if I'm done or not with this. A radical overhaul of what I do and what I write about needs to happen if I'm going to be zealously reapplying myself in the beauty world. I've gotten more fulfillment in the past week doing my "FOTD February Experiment" and having less than 5% of my YouTube subscribers watch it than I've gotten from pretty much any other videos I did in 2016, and that's because I'm being true to myself. I'm doing things that I want to do, using products that I like, and getting rid of everything that doesn't work, pathetic performance be DAMNED. I'm no longer going to blog or vlog about PR items that I receive that I don't give a shit about and wouldn't purchase with my own money just because they're sent to me. I'm no longer buying stuff because it's new or because it's a hot product. I'm only going to do things and post about stuff I'm passionate about.

I'm officially breaking up with the "Beauty Blogger" identity, and I'm gonna do me.

September Birchbox

Friday, October 7, 2016
Affiliate Link

I tried out Birchbox back in 2011 and after a while I became bored with it because my focus at the time was primarily makeup. As the years have gone by and my sights have shifted slightly, I felt like this service would better suit my current needs since I'm more interested in higher end brands and finding skin care and hair care that I actually like instead of just use out of convenience. This box marked the 6 year anniversary of Birchbox and they teamed up with the new and über trendy brand Milk Makeup. Apparently people that were previously subscribes were able to choose which of the Milk Makeup mini sizes they could receive, which to me is pretty rad! Being able to choose what comes in your box is a nice little perk so you know you'll get at least one thing your little heart desires.

OCC Lip Tar Collection

Monday, September 19, 2016

Me and OCC Lip Tars, the "original liquid lipstick", go WAY back. I purchased my first two, Grandma and Hush, back in 2011 when they were in a squeeze tube with a slanted tip. It's been a while since I've actually bought any, but they still had fond memories for me. When I was at TMSLA I did hit up their booth and got some killer deals since they were transitioning from their slightly older squeeze tube packaging into something more lipgloss-esque.

What's The Difference Between NYX Butter Gloss and NYX Intense Butter Gloss?

Sunday, September 11, 2016
Press Samples

Sunday Mimosa, Sugar Plum, Cherry Custard, Summer Fruit

NYX is one of those companies that always has something new coming out. I swear to god every time I take my weekly trip to ULTA there's another damn lip product from them and I honestly can't keep track. Back in the day, when the Butter Glosses came out, they were revolutionary! A pigmented gloss that felt good on the lips at an accessible drugstore price? Sign me up! Somewhere along the way, NYX introduced the Intense Butter Glosses. Personally, I don't see the need to mess with a good thing, but in this day and age if you're not constantly updating than you're outdated. So... what's the difference between these two items? Why did NYX choose to keep the old formula even though there's a new and (possibly) improved one? And which of the two do I prefer?
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