Thursday, August 31, 2017

Laura Geller Filter Corrector Color Perfecting Balm

Quick side note: remember how I didn't plan to post daily? I started reshooting and pulling products I wanted to feature and noticed I have enough for daily posts through September at least. Don't get used to it long-term though!

This is one of those products that it makes me so sad to have to reshoot photos because of the damage done by regular usage!

For a hot minute over the past couple of years, we all got obsessed with color correcting. As someone who struggles with redness, I've always been down with green correctors. Like most trends, I feel like it had to reach its peak before getting back under control. I've been focused on working down my ridiculously large corrector stash lately and it really takes something different for me to part with my money. The newish Laura Geller Filter Corrector Color Perfecting Balm ($32) qualifies.

Can I take a quick moment to say how much I even appreciate the box? It's the little details that make this a standout product.

I picked mine up online from Ulta and purchased sight unseen. The design is really interesting- it's a vertical stack of three potted corrector balms. Overall, it feels really well put together.

I'll be honest- I really don't like potted products. They tend to be drier, and since you correct before foundation they tend to be difficult to work with. However, these are very emollient. Well done, Laura Geller!

Before I get into the products, let's talk quantity and price. For that $32, you get a total of 4g/0.14oz of product that was made in the USA.

That's exceptionally expensive. The Maybelline Master Camo palettes with 6 products contain 0.21oz and retail for $12.99, the Stila Correct & Perfect Palette has 0.46oz for $45, it's the size of 3 Bobbi Brown correctors (which retail for $27 each), the Sephora-exclusive Tarte palette has 6 x0.11 oz correctors for $45 ($36 on sale), and the individual Becca correctors are $2 less and contain 0.16 of product.

I'll be honest, that math just changed my entire opinion of this product. More on that later.

The top layer has a hidden mirror (nice touch) and a peachy corrector.

There's also a little booklet in the package that shows you how they suggest using the product. Spoiler alert: put peach under the eyes.

Here's a swatch of the peach corrector.

I'll be honest, it's too dark for me except when I'm self-tanned, or if I work it incredibly carefully and in a tiny amount.

The second layer is a blue corrector.

This is the most white-based corrector of the three, and easiest to wear with my complexion. Here's a swatch.

I don't own any other blue correctors. According to the little booklet, it's supposed to eliminate yellow undertones and provide brightening.

The third and bottom layer is a traditional green corrector.

Here's a swatch. In terms of green correctors in my collection, it's dark.

And here's the little booklet:

OK, now that I've tried to objectively show you the product, let's get into my real opinion.

Who is this product really meant for?

Not me. This is marketed as a universal corrector and I strongly, violently disagree. It's only because I'm incredibly comfortable with correctors that I can make the green or peach work.

Let's look at a group swatch, and then I'll explain:

First off, the peach would make my dark circles darker without any self-tanner. This is a medium-to-deep shade. I can make the blue work-but I wonder if skintones darker than medium can pull it off because it's so white-based. The green is way too deep for fair-skinned people like myself- this is more of a medium-deep green, based on my experience.

In short, this is really meant for medium skintones, otherwise it's really difficult to work with.

I kept it for the blue, to be honest.

What about the formula?

It's certainly balmy. You'll note in the photos how torn up it looks. Here's what one light dab of my finger looks like:

Yikes! It's nice and emollient, but a little goes a long way. I think it would be easy to blow through this product extremely quickly, but it does a nice job on the face and doesn't appear to interfere with foundation.

I do like the performance, but it's not summer-shipment friendly. This is a melty product.

Is this a good value? Nope, nope, nope. It's nice and compact and travel-friendly. That said, I was onboard with the product until I did the math earlier. It's really, really expensive for what you get- especially for non-medium skintones.

It's in-store at Ulta now- if this interests you (I do like the blue), I recommend checking it out in-person before buying.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Simple Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Water

Once upon a time, there was a green-topped Micellar water and a makeup-loving girl. They were the match made in heaven in liquid form, and the girl thought it was true love (although the wipes left the girl cold and with residual makeup). One day, the girl met a mysterious French lover named Bioderma and left her Simple lover for the mysterious French liquid.

About a year and hundreds of dollars later, the girl was bored and browsing Ulta's site, as any makeup lover is apt to do for entertainment. The girl's cheating eye noticed a new, blue-capped Simple Micellar water.

A few mouse clicks and several days later, the girl tore into the new arrival and promptly left her French love for her true American sweetheart.

I know, right? But it's Micellar Water and I had to be a bit creative.

Let's really get into it. As my little story indicated, the OG Simple Micellar water was the first that I tried, and I liked it... until I started down the Bioderma path. When I noticed a new formulation, I picked it up since I was about to open my last Bioderma backup.

The Simple Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Water is available at your local drugstore (I've spotted it while doing my tours of local Rite Aids and Walgreens in particular hunting the new Wet 'n Wild release). At, it retails for $9.99, which is where I purchased. Local prices are apt to vary per regular experience at the drugstore.

Here's why I was so interested to try this out. Simple is already known for being sensitive-skin friendly, but this is marketed specifically for sensitive, dehydrated dry skin. Although my skin is less dry during the summer, I'm always interested in non-drying products. You also get a generous 13.5oz/400ml.

After trying this for about a month, I'm sold. My last Bioderma hasn't been cracked yet, which is stunning. I feel like this is an effective Micellar water that agrees with my face wonderfully. I don't have a makeup removal test to show you, but trust me when I say this is one of the best I've ever tried. It rivals Bioderma in effectiveness, and given the price disparity and availability I think I may start preferring this Simple again.

If you see this at your local store, I highly recommend picking it up. I'm a new fan.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Beauty WTF: Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Violet Vixen Stained Me Blue!

Disclaimer: This post isn't meant to "get" a brand or a retailer. It's simply a horriffic experience that I'm trying to raise awareness of. Because having a sore and stained hand is one thing- your EYES is another league.

This quick post is an SOS because the brand has not responded to multiple inquiries via multiple platforms, nor has the retailer that sold me this product. (Sephora).'

Quick note: the only things that have been done to photos is cropping and watermarking, ZERO alternations to color balance or other editing have been done.

Has anyone else been stained BLUE by Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Violet Vixen?

I was doing this last night- a comparison swatch between the new Wet n Wild ColorIcon Liquid Eyeshadow in Moonlight Majesty and Violet Vixen.

When I took a wipe to my hand, this is what I discovered in horror. Photo uncropped- all I did is watermark.

I took three oils, three other cleansers, two scrubs, and actually scrubbing my hand with a rough object to try and manually exfoliate until I CRIED to get it to here:

I posted that photo on Instagram and implored the brand for help. NOTHING.

My hand HURTS today and it's still stained.  Look at this photo I shot. Even with studio lights really washing out the color balance there's a freaking blue line.

This is a consumer SOS- anyone else have this issue? Did the brand help you? Did Sephora? Or did they also ignore you?

Most importantly, how the heck did anyone get their staining gone? Thank goodness it was my hand or not my lids.

Please share with others- this is a serious issue that could be harming consumers.

QBB Hauls: Some Recent Retail Therapy

Although I've honestly been purchasing less items as of late, I do have some recent purchases to share with you from the past week or so.

Let's start at the drugstore- that's where I've been spending most of my beauty money these days. And let's start with the makeup products.

Wet 'n Wild Color Blast Mascara- Purple- I always grab a couple of these colored mascaras to keep in my stash throughout the year. I'll also likely pick up one of the pink ones soon.
Revlon Lash Glue- I never see this in-stock so I wanted to give it a shot. Stay tuned- I'm hoping to wear lashes again.
Milani Conceal & Perfect 2-in-1 Concealer & Foundation- I found the two new shades (00A & 00B) at my local Walmart and couldn't resist. I already tested one day so far and have thoughts. Lots of them. Look for a full review in the coming weeks.
Kokie Skin Perfect HD Foundation 10C- None of my local stores carry this brand, so when I spotted it at a store an hour from home I had to pick it up. I'm always up for a foundation. I'm actually testing this for the first time when putting this post together...
Kokie Cushion Liquid Concealer 10C- The wand concealer was too dark for me, so I wanted to give this a try. I've never tried a cushion concealer before!
Maybelline The City Mini Palette Matte About Town- This is a Walgreens-exclusive palette; I have been hunting for the x Shayla collab but have been out of luck. And trust me- I've been at every local drugstore this week.
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear 219 Strobe Light- HOLO.

Yes to Blueberries- this is one of my favorites, and I spotted this for under $5!
Pure & Gentle Wipes- I've never tried these before but they were under $1 so it was worth picking them up to try. Worst case scenario, I'll use these for swatches.

BioMiracle Skin Therapy Real Fresh Matcha Foam Cleanser- Spoiler alert, I finished my non-hydrating foamy cleanser. This caught my eye at CVS and I couldn't resist. I've used this twice so far and will be reviewing it.

Daylogic Solid Brush Cleanser- Not a facial cleanser, but this could be an amazing buy. I go through Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleansers very quickly. They're only $2 less than the BeautyBlender solid cleanser they're duping. This retails for $7.99, and is eligible for your RiteAid discounts. With my Gold discount, this cost $6.39. Stay tuned on my thoughts for that!

Le Petit Marseillais Mandarin & Lime Extra Gentle Shower Gel- I've been wanting to try this for awhile and the price was right. I have a bunch of sweet shower gels in rotation right now so this is a great counterbalance.

Now, let's talk about some TJMaxx bargains I've been digging up lately.

bareMinerals Some Like it Nude 8-piece Mini Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick Collection ($19.99)- I probably overpaid for this but I've been loving the bareMinerals lip products in my collection as of late. Look for a review of this in the coming weeks.

Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Cleansing Cloths ($4.99)- I love these makeup removing wipes, especially now that I tend to do my eyes first and need to use a cloth each morning. They feel a little more like skincare than most other wipes.

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No 3 112 The Mod ($12.99)- This is the third one of these three-pan palettes that I've picked up. This trio produces a grey or smoky look.

The BrowGal Eyebrow Pencil 02 ($2.99)- I received a product from this brand in a box I'm not supporting right now (post to come), and at this price- why not?

Color Club Nail Lacquer ($1.99)- Gimme all the holos.

Finally, I broke down and went to Ulta.

Tarte Tartiest Lash Adhesive- Fingers crossed, this might be the answer. I miss lashes.

Ardell Faux Mink 812 & Wispies 602- I've already worn the Faux Minks once (yes, they're cut down) and the 602s are my jam.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Medium Brown- I've been into lighter brows as of late and needed to pick up a Dipbrow

Flower Nail Files- to meet a minimum for a coupon.

Revolution Makeup Renaissance Lipstick- Yes, they look like Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks- which I love. I can't wait to try this out.

Revolution Makeup Brow Revolution- I've heard this is similar to the Wunderbrow, which I've been too cautious to pick up yet.

I have a few other items that I'm currently testing that you'll likely see posts on first. But it's nice to be back- these are non-iPhone photos, shot with my Sony and some minimal correcting on my new PC. So, I'm back! I'm still hopeful to rescue some of the photos on my old Mac- particularly all of my Viseart palettes.

What have you picked up lately?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

A New Start, and Some Perspective

Hi, friends!

It's been a chaotic month or so since I last actually wrote a post (I had a number of posts to fill some of the time) and I finally purchased a laptop yesterday.

It's not another MacBook Pro; I purchased an inexpensive laptop from Best Buy so there's a lot of learning to do. I haven't used a PC laptop since 2009 (my work uses desktop PCs, but the keyboard just doesn't feel the same). I now know I'm addicted to having a computer because of the peace I felt when I picked this up.

Coincidentally, I'm happy to give a review of the laptop once I settle in. It's this Lenovo that's currently on sale at Best Buy for  $199.99. Why this one, and why now? Money.

I want to really trick out my next Mac, so that's easily in the realm of $2000. While I save, it's important to also have a computer. Plus, I can more easily telework now that I have a PC and can edit Office documents without converting to/from a Mac. The 4GB RAM stinks but that's what my MacBook Pro had. I'll live.

I got some good perspective while I was on break- I'm on somewhat of a lower buy as I re-assess my spending at the moment. I'd gotten sucked into the purchasing of new releases again, so it's good to check that urge. Ironically, I have a feeling that I'll post some hauls first because they're easier at the moment.

I lost the photos I previously shot, so forgive me that some posts may not feature pristine products. It's also going to take me quite awhile to get a buffer again.

I'll also hopefully be able to share some updated nail polish storage with you after a disaster during my absence. Crossing my fingers that the item arrives properly on Wednesday and that I can put it together next weekend.

I won't be daily blogging again for awhile, but that's ok. I'm just glad to be back.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Here We Go Again....

I'm not sure if I'll actually be able to post this- my keyboard is on the fritz! I posted on Instagram that I was having severe computer issues. I am- hence why this is likely my last post until late August or early September, depending on how quickly I can save the money needed.

Unlike the demise of my last MacBook which spectacularly featured a glass of Reisling and a coughing dit, I don't know why my keyboard's death came so suddenly. I can't even use the delete key!

So, send me good karma because this is another dead MacBook.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Tryst

Today I have another quick, permanent collection post for you. I've really been falling back in love with Urban Decay's Vice lipstick formula, and slowly getting to know more of the line.

Tryst is yet another Cream lipstick; sorry, not feeling as many mattes these days. Like the others in the line, these contain 0.11oz of product for a reasonable $17.

The end of this tube should give you an idea of what's coming- QBB's lipstick obsession for Summer 2017.

According to the brand, Tryst is actually "red-fuschia cream". Nah, I call it poppy red/coral electric goodness.

I picked this up when I thought I might have to replace my UD Streak (spoiler: it's ok) and this was one or two lipsticks over. I've been captivated by shades like this as of late. Once I saw this, I knew it had to be mine.

Here are some swatches. First, in studio lighting, then in ambient:

How does that shade not scream summer? For me, it's perfect for those hot summer days when I'm craving rich bronzes and coppers, teals, and a pop of coral.

Put on some Tryst and you'll immediately get some summer sass.

In general, I find UD Vice lipsticks to last 5-6 hours before I need to think about touching up- even the cremes. If you're going to eat or drink, you'd better bring the tube with you for reapplication,

Bottom Line: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Tryst is hitting all of those summer buttons for me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

NYX Dose of Dew Face Gloss

I wanted to take a quick moment before summer was over to bring everyone's attention to a relatively new release from NYX that's perfect for this time of year.

Want that dewy, glossy look? Want to look like you've been in a tropical location? Don't want to spend a lot?

Meet NYX Dose of Dew Face Gloss.

Retailing at a mere $9, NYX Dose of Dew Face Gloss has been one of my go-tos off-camera for quite awhile. Even when I don't pull it into my everyday makeup drawer, it magically migrates there during the week. You guys, it's that good.

Your $9 investment nets a product containing 0.18oz/5.25g in a twist-up tube.

Since I'm notably awful at describing subtle highlighters, let's consult the brand's website for their description.

"Glisten from every angle with Dose of Dew, our new face gloss that creates a soft, pearly glow for a totally mesmerizing glossy effect. Inspired by the new beauty trend of the “wet and glossy face,” this dreamy balm highlighter glides on like silk and sets to a lightweight, dewy finish. In short, it’s the best thing your makeup bag has even seen (and we know it’s seen some good stuff)."

There are a lot of claims in that paragraph!

I'd totally agree with soft and pearly look, wet and glossy. It does apply smoothly and sets after a few minutes. I don't know about it being the best product, but other than that, I totally agree with all of the brand's claims.

Why is this so genius? It's subtle and gorgeous. It reminds me of what people claim the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer to be (I do want that, by the way).

I find this especially easy to apply, and unlike many other balms, it does set down relatively quickly. This is such a natural, flattering luminous glow. I've run out of adjectives, so let me just show you a swatch,

It's just so beautiful on my fair skin. If you're looking for a blingy highlighter, move on by. If you're looking for a natural glow, don't sleep on this one.

Bottom Line: This is my favorite natural balm highlighter currently in my collection. I'm so happy that I checked it out.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Dreaming

It's Sunday. Let's talk about some stuff I'm eyeing!

1. Winky Lux Glossy Boss- Unicorn Set ($24)

I was going to pick up this gloss, but a new set popped up on Nordstrom within the past week. I've already raved about these formulas- so picking up one of the more "exotic" kits from this IG-friendly brand seems like the natural next step.

2. Guerlain Birthday Candle Perles Meteorites ($62)

I earned $80 in Notes during the Anniversary Sale (10x point day, kids) and am strongly considering using them on this rather than the shoes I'd planned to purchase. I'm an avid Meteorites collector- although you probably didn't know that!

3. Milk Makeup Holographic Highlighter- Mars ($30)

I think we've established my love of this shade. The only reason why I didn't purchase the Stick before was that cream products aren't usually my thing. Powder? Heck yeah.

4. L'Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil ($25)

This has been on my "to-buy" list for awhile because I love it right after shaving. I should just get over the price tag and do it....

5. First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Triple Protection Skin Tint Bundle ($34)

I'm really interested in trying this out. First Aid Beauty's recent releases have just worked for me. I've been loving their Priming Moisturizer since April, so I'd like to try their Face Tint.

Bonus Dreams:

Kendra Scott's Back-to-School collection is out, and my favorite stone is back- goldstone.  I want it all.

What are you dreaming about?