Check here frequently for new product reviews. I will be sharing my thoughts on all sorts of products and companies. All thoughts are my own unless otherwise noted. While there may be some items that are gifted from companies, I promise to give my honest opinion.
If you follow me over on Instagram then you already know that late last month I received a gift card from Sally Beauty. I decided the best way I could put this to use is to go pick up some of the new COL-LAB line and test it out for all of my readers.
In case you haven’t heard about COL-LAB yet, it is Sally Beauty’s latest beauty line. It launched just this November, so future reference that is November 2017. It was created in collaboration with several well know beauty influencers. In fact a couple of my favorites were involved, shout out to Dani from Coffee Break With Dani and Lizzy from What Would Lizzy Do. Eight different influencers were involved in this brands creations, each with different skin types and cosmetic preferences.
My goal when I went shopping was to pick up everything I needed to create a full face of makeup using just this brand. I did not include anything that I don’t do at least 50% of the time or more. For instance, brow product is not something I always use, so it was not included in my purchases. I also did not see an eyeshadow primer or setting spray in the store I purchased at, so I used my normal products for those.
So let’s take a look at what I got and my thoughts on each of the products.
1. Palette Pro Eyeshadow Palette in Best of the Day – This is one of five options in an 8 color palette. I picked this particular color option because I felt it had the biggest variety in colors and thus offering the most options of looks. However you will notice that my picture looks a bit different from what is shown on the website. I think that my picture more accurately shows the colors.
Overall I thought these were definitely quality eyeshadows. I found the colors to be very pigmented. They applied well to the lid with little to no dust pick up. I was able to create a few decent eye makeup looks. However, I had some difficulty blending them. They seemed to set in place quickly. Even though I felt this color selection had the broadest selection of colors, I still felt a little limited in what I created. That is not anything bad against the palette itself, I am just not the kind of person that is prone to doing the same makeup look more than a time or two. So for me, I prefer a lot of colors as options. If you are someone who does their eye makeup pretty consistently the same then this would make a great palette for you.
I will share my favorite look I created at the end of this post.
2. Soft Spot Sheer Blush in Meet Cute – Meet cute is a unique color, or at least I think so. It is sort of a mix of a red and a mauve with some brown thrown in. This is one of six color options available in this blush. It is a sheer buildable blush.
The first time I dipped my brush into the blush, I really thought this was going to end up being too much of a color for me. Just with the smallest of dabs my brush had picked up a ton of powder. But I am happy to say that it lived up to its claim of being a sheer blush. In some ways it reminds me of a NARS blush.
3. Set The Stage Ultra-Fine Loose Setting Powder in Porcelain/Ivory – This is one of six color options in the setting powder. It is milled very fine and has a super soft texture. The package comes with a powder puff, however I personally would recommend using this with a powder brush.
I chose a shade lighter than my skin in this powder because I was concentrating what I used on setting my concealer under my eyes and I wanted to brighten that area. However my under eye area is also really dry, so it is usually challenging to set my under eye area without leaving it looking cakey. This setting powder worked wonderfully though. And after a little setting spray it was practically invisible. I was highly impressed.
4. Bold-Faced Liner Waterproof Eye Lining Pencil Drama Queen – This is one of six shades available in this eyeliner. The shades are all darker colors. They are all shades of blue, brown and black. Drama Queen, the one I chose, is a very dark true black.
This is waterproof, which is something I almost always want in an eye liner since I like to put them in my waterline most of the time. I would have like to see more color options, maybe a beige skin tone and bright pop of color or two, but perhaps they will be adding more things like this in the near future. I did think it applied beautifully, and the wear was good. It did not outshine my very favorite eyeliner, but it takes a very close second place.
5. The Filter Highlighting Powder in Glow For Gold – This is one of four color options for the Filter Highlighting Powder. It has a soft silky texture. It is meant to give the skin a soft glow.
This highlighter is way more subtle in use than it looks in the package. Maybe a little too subtle for my personal preferences. But again this is a personal preference thing. I don’t really own any other highlight to compare to this one. But rather than it having glitter or a sheen finish it felt more matte. I thought the texture was wonderful and it did blend it very easily and I really liked that. This would be a great highlight for those of you who want to highlight, but don’t necessarily want to have all the glow on your face.
6. No Flaws Cream Concealer in Ivory/Sand – This is one of eight options for colors in this cream concealer. It comes in a twist up stick. It is made to cover both under eye circles and uneven skin tone.
Let me say first that I have tried a lot of concealers in a lot of different forms, and I have had an extremely difficult time finding ones I thought worked well on my dry textured skin, especially right under my eye area. It always seemed like they would either look cakey, settle in the fine lines around my eyes, or be so watery that they wouldn’t cover any dark spots. This concealer however is my dream concealer. It glides on so soft and smooth. It is super lightweight that you can barely tell you have anything on. Not drying or cakey and covers beautifully. It has never settled in a line or creased. I can’t imagine anyone designing a better concealer. This just blew all of the other concealers in the world out of the water. Seriously, you need to try this.
7. Full Body Lipstick in Really?? – This full body lipstick comes in sixteen color options and two finish options. Really??, the color I have is a matte finish. These lipsticks are designed to go on in a cream and dry down to either the matte or satin finish.
I thought that it applied and wore well. The color applied in one even swipe, which is really hard to find for me. Even though it is a Matte it was not drying. It is a very similar feel to Urban Decay’s Comfort Matte. And I thought the wear time was insanely good. I will definitely be picking up another shade or two to try at some point.
8. Bright Spark Radiant Foundation in Sand – The radiant foundation comes in ten color options. It is a low to medium buildable foundation. It is meant smooth and even your skin tone and leaving you with a soft radiant glow. (Side note: radiant foundations work best for normal to dry skin)
This is probably the product I was most hesitant to try since my experiences with drug store level foundations have not been good and I end up reacting to them. However, I am happy to report that I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. There was no detectable fragrance in this, so that is always a plus in my book. It comes in a bottle with a pump, so no touching the product or exposing it to the air unnecessarily. The foundation comes out in a very moussey texture and after applied dries down to a satin finish. The finished look, feel, and wear is very similar to the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation but with just a tiny bit more coverage. The color is a better match for me than any offered in the Nars line, at least at my current color level.
9. High-Rise Insane Length Mascara Extreme Black – This is one of three color options for this mascara. Made to lengthen and lift your lashes. Comes in a unique package with a long skinny wand. And I believe the brush is silicone.
This is fantastic mascara. Just like the foundation, I have struggled to find a drugstore level mascara that I really liked since they discontinued one I really liked years ago. I love the very skinny wand and brush design. This definitely makes my top five favorite mascaras. It wears and performs very similarly to Clinique’s High Impact Curling Mascara, but it is harder to remove.
There were definitely three stand out stars for me in the products I tried. It is probably pretty easy to guess that those are the No Flaws Cream Concealer, the Full Body Lipstick, and the High-Rise Insane Length Mascara. I also really enjoyed the foundation, but I don’t know that it was as much of a star as the other three products.
I think everything I tried were good solid products, even the things that were not necessarily what I would want for me. Nothing was an outright fail. There are definitely things I think that could be improved upon in the line, mainly the selection of colors in the face products. I really hope that they make an effort to add a broader range of shades over time.
Overall, I was really happy with this line. There are more things that I hope to try in the future that I didn’t try in this go around. Please let me know in the comments if there are any products in particular you would like a review of.
I did snap some pictures of my favorite makeup look I created when testing out this brand, and I wanted to share that with you.
Let me know in the comments below what you have tried from COL-LAB or what you are dying to try.
The gift card I used to purchase my products for this review was sent to me by Sally Beauty, however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. My reviews are all completely honest.
Posted in: beautyReviews
If you are a makeup lover and you spend any amount of time on the internet, then you most likely have heard about Juvia’s Place. Today I will be sharing with you my review of the Masquerade Palette from Juvia’s Place. I have actually had this palette for some time now, but I have just now had the time to fully swatch and test it out.
I had heard so many good things about this palette and company and I really wanted to try something from them. But its hard some times to know whether to believe the reviews when you hear only good things from places like YouTube. Various makeup products get really hyped up on there, sometimes just because they are popular brands or sometimes because people are making money off of their affiliate links. But we will talk about that in a different post at some later date. I do want to be clear before I get into this review, I am not affiliated with Juvia’s Place in any way, and I paid for this palette with my own money.
When I bought my palette earlier this year I believe they still only had three palettes to choose from, or they may possibly have just came out with their fourth palette. They have since come out with several other palettes, but they obviously were not a factor in my purchasing decision. I ultimately decided on the Masquerade Palette because I was really drawn to the bold colors. It also seemed to have a good mix of mattes and shimmers.
Here is what you get in this palette. There are 16 pans of eyeshadow that are 3.6G each. That is a total net weight of 57.6G. You get a mix of 5 matte and 11 shimmer/metallics (three of which appear to contain micro-glitter). This is quite a large palette, however they do offer a mini version. Getting the mini version doesn’t really save you money, in fact it is more expensive if you figure it out per gram or ounce. But if you are someone who doesn’t wear makeup a lot or you have limited space, the mini might be a better option for you.
Now lets take a closer look at the colors:
From left to right: Chi, Mali, Dalia, and Zola
From left to right: Makeda, Zobo, Calabar, and Bori
From left to right: Giza, Burkina, Cairo, and Ada.
From left to right: Dahia, Zulu, Casablanca, and Fulani
I did all of these finger swatches using only one swipe. As you can see the majority of the colors, especially the metallic shimmers, came out very bold full of pigment. The only colors that didn’t perform as well during swatches (and by no means were they the worst), were the few colors that had more of a red pigment to it. However, I did not experience this same thing. That is really unusual. Usually colors perform better on finger swatches than when using a brush.
I took the time to try these out thoroughly. I know it’s a big deal for some people to be able to pull a whole look out of the same palette, so I challenged myself to create looks that only used this palette. Here are a few of the looks I came up with:
After testing this palette out, I can honestly say, the hype is well deserved. All of the shadows were very pigmented. They were easy to work with, they applied easily without much fallout and they blended well without going muddy. I found it easy to create multiple looks. Though one word of caution, if you are very fair you will most likely struggle to find a color that works as a transition shade. I am currently a light/medium and I did struggle a bit. I did find that I could make a couple of the shades work as a transition if I just used them with a lighter hand. You may be able to make it work with you as well. But if you can’t, who doesn’t have a ton of neutral transition shades on hand anyway. If you are anywhere in the medium to dark range of skin tone, then the Masquerade palette should easily work making a full look for you.
Tell me in the comments below if you have tried this palette. Also if there is some makeup item you want reviewed let me know. I am open to reviewing most items.
Posted in: beautyReviews
Something I have talked about here on the blog a lot is my Balsam of Peru allergy and how it affects me as a contact allergen. What I have not talked about as much is that for me, and a lot of people with this allergy, it also causes reactions from various foods. This can be for two reason, just the same as with the contact allergy, the plant can be used as an additive (either as a flavoring or preservative) or I can react to the many foods that are chemical twins. To make choosing food even more difficult for me, I by choice follow a pescatarian diet.
Sometimes finding food to eat really can be a challenge. What is even more challenging is having food with other people, especially if other people also have food issues and dietary restrictions. So what do you do? Well now there is an app that is here to help. The app is called Selectivor and you can download it for free on IOS or Android in the App Store. If for some reason you do not want to download the app, you can access a web-based app to use. Look for this symbol for the Selectivor App.
According to Selectivor’s description they are “a social food app designed to be a better way to eat together”. The simplified versions of what that means is that you can make lists of your allergies, food restrictions, diets, and any foods you just don’t like. From there you can meal plan and invite others to plan meals with you.
So who is this app meant for? Well pretty much everyone and anyone. But it will be most helpful to people who have food allergies or sensitivities, and those who have dietary restrictions (either by choice or lifestyle necessity). It could also be helpful for people who have friends and family that have food restrictions that they dine with often or wish to dine with more often. I also think there are some other great uses for this app, but I will talk about that more towards the end. Lets take a look at some of the basic functions of the app and my experience with it first.
Once you sign up for an account/log in, the first step will be creating your food profile. The app opens to this page:
This is your dashboard, and the app always opens to this page first. As you can see this is the main page that will have links to all the things you can do in the app. From here you can edit your profile, add people, create events, etc… I think the app is pretty user-friendly and self-explanatory in how to use it. As I said the first step will be creating your food profile so for the most of this post we are going to focus mainly on just that.
First you will want to click on “FOOD PROFILE” button near the top that I have circled in the picture. Filling out your food profile is a three page process. Lets start with the first page.
One page one they ask your diets, foods you are allergic to, and anything you avoid eating. You can see I have already filled in Pescatarian under diet.
If you scroll further down
You see the list of foods I avoid (not finished with my list, still working on that). Now you may be wondering why I made this list but didn’t put anything in the allergy box since I do have an allergy. My allergy as I have said before is very complicated, and not everyone reacts to the same things or in the same way. I have been dealing with my allergy for years, and I am pretty well versed in what causes me to react.
They do have an option for Balsam of Peru Allergy, but its more of a long list of possible things that can cause reactions. So for me picking individual items seems like a better way to go. But going with the pre-made list will be a really great option for anyone that is maybe newly diagnosed or perhaps having a hard time figuring out what is causing them to react.
You can see in the image above that “Balsam of Peru and food that may cross react with BOP” pops up as an option with just the first few letters typed in. Of course Balsam of Peru is not the only option. The Selectivor App will let you choose lots of various foods, diets, and allergies. Some of the options for diets and allergies are Kosher, Low Carb, FODMAP, Nut Allergy, and Shellfish Allergy. There are many more options and the list is growing. However, because they are still growing and developing the app, there may be things missing from the lists. But don’t worry, they have a solution for that too. If you look at the second photo up, you will see that at the bottom of my food list there is a link that says “I Don’t See What I Am Looking For”.
If you click that link a box like this pops up. From here you can make the suggestion to add anything you can’t find. So far in my experience they are quite responsive and quick to research and add what is needed.
When I first talked to the people at Selectivor about reviewing their app, they did not have Balsam of Peru listed. They had it added within a couple of days after we talked. Once I started playing with the app I noticed there were something missing from the list that I react to, so I submitted using this form on the app. Again it was taken care of within two days. I am sure there will be some variation in response time when there are higher volumes of people accessing the app and making requests. But so far I have no complaints in their responsiveness.
Once you have finished filling out the first page and submitting anything you need added through the suggestion box you will hit the next button.
On page two there isn’t a lot to fill out for me. This page should be slightly different for everyone. You can see they just offered me a suggestion based on one of my choices. I did not add the suggestion because I don’t react to everything with carbonation. After you make your decisions on any suggestion you want to add or not add, you will then hit next.
And here on the third and final page you should have a review of your choices. If everything looks right you will simply hit the button that says “That looks correct”. That is all there is to creating your food profile. It is unbelievably easy to do.
Once your food profile is complete you can share it several way. You can use Facebook, Whatsapp, or by a link that you can paste anywhere. And as mentioned earlier you also have the option of directly inviting people to the App. When you share your link, people do still have to sign up for an account to view it. During my time testing out the app this has been the only hindrance I have come across. The function part works fine, however getting others to download the app was a struggle. I think between just being busy and not being motivated by an allergy of their own, it was a hard task to get some to download the app. So meal planning with others hasn’t really happened for me yet. I have suggested they look at a way to share food lists to Facebook event pages so that people who don’t want to download the app can still access it. They said they will be looking into this as an option, but this might be a bit of time away.
But even if you are like me and can’t get anyone else to download the app I still think I see a valuable use for this app. For some allergies and diets, like mine that are more complicated there are long lists of foods to memorize that you can’t have. It can be very overwhelming, and to date there hasn’t really been a website created with an empirical list of foods you should avoid if you have a Balsam of Peru allergy. So having an app on your phone that is easy to access, that is so valuable right there. People who are newly diagnosed often feel lost and don’t know what to eat. This app can be a real life saver and time saver for them.
If you have any sort of food restrictions because of allergy or diet, I highly recommend that you check out Selectivor. You can also check out their companion website for special information and tips on dealing with food allergies. And because they are new and still growing, I really encourage to reach out to them with any feedback you have and let them know of any foods or diets that need to be added to the list.
Let me know in the comments below if you plan on trying this app out.
This post was sponsored by Selectivor. However all opinions and thoughts about the product are my own. I was only asked to share the product with my viewers, and any thoughts shared beyond that are of my choice.
Posted in: Reviews
Today we continue with another giftable product review. We are looking at the Sterling Stackable Ring and Birth Stone Ring Set from Southern Stamped Jewelry Company. Southern Stamped Jewelry did send me items for free to review. The Stackable Ring and Birthstone Set was what they let me choose, so that is what I will be reviewing. They did however send along another surprise item that I will be sharing with you, but not reviewing it.
First let me start by telling you a little bit about Southern Stamped Jewelry and what they offer. They are a small business run by a husband and wife team. Something that grew from a hobby and a passion for helping people through the grieving process. Now their selection has broadened to many categories as well as custom-made pieces.
Southern Stamped Jewelry Company offers both women’s and men’s pieces. There is something that will fit in everyone’s gift budget. All of their products are made to be personalized, either by stamping or adding birthstones and many pieces are both. They also do custom pieces, so if you don’t see exactly what you want they can make it for you.
My package arrived in a small poly mailer. Inside it was nicely wrapped in bubble wrap and tissue paper. Also in the package, they included two of these anti-tarnish silver polishing clothes, one for each item they sent.
I am not sure what they send if your item is a different metal. They do seem to have a variety of metal options.
After I got the tissue paper completely unwrapped, I found both items in cute little drawstring bags.
I personally prefer boxes or the little silk bags, just because it adds to the element of surprise when getting an item. That is just a personal preference and doesn’t really affect the actual items, nor would it prevent me from shopping with them. But I thought it was a nice touch that their company logo was printed on the bag. I think it adds to the idea of I picked out something nice for you from a jewelry company, rather than if the bags had been plain.
So I opened up the rings first to look them over since they were what I picked out.
I asked for the 1 Sterling Stackable Ring and 1 Sterling Birth Stone Ring set. As you can see I was actually sent 1 Stackable Name Ring and 2 November Birthstone Rings. I am guessing they decided to just put the second birthstone ring in there as an extra because I don’t see any set like this on their site. But as I said they do make custom pieces. And these rings are also sold separately, so you can really have as many as you want of each one.
I was initially attracted to this set because it is a ring set, and most of you probably know by now that I do love rings. I also liked the simple design, which tends to be more of my taste. I really like that they can be worn together or separate, and they could easily be stacked with other rings.
When I told the owners what items I liked, I included a few additional pieces of info. I just let them know my ring size, that both mine and my husbands birthdays were in November, and that I would want my husband’s name on the one ring. Now you could have your own name inscribed. I thought that if you got two it would make an adorable choice for “Best Friends” jewelry. You could also have MOM inscribed on it. The possibilities are endless.
The rings fit fantastic. They are available in 4 to 10, but not half sizes. I asked for an 8. I technically wear a 7.5, but I have found that my hands swell a lot because of medications I am on, so I wanted to size up. So it worked out okay for me that they didn’t have half sizes, but if it is something that is absolutely necessary for you its something to keep in mind. But I think my fellow plus size gals will be happy to see they offer up to size 10, as they are not always available past size 8 with some stores. So definite bonus points for that.
The other surprise item they sent me was the Thank You For Raising The Man Of My Dreams Key Chain.
Obviously this would be more of a gift for a mother in law, or possibly mother of the groom as a wedding party gift. If you have a larger budget for gifts you can even take items like this and tie them in with the bow as part of the wrapping.
You can find these and many more items on Southern Stamped Jewelry Company’s website.
Tell me in the comments below if there is a company or product you would like to see me review.
While I did receive these items for free from Southern Stamped Jewelry, my opinions are all my own. My reviews are always 100% honest and objective.
Posted in: Reviews
I just recently got the Butter London Essentials Set, so trying Butter London nail polishes out for the very first time. If you follow me over on Instagram, then you know I have been really into painting my nails recently, and I have tried out lots of different polishes. I thought since I had a complete set from the same company this time, I would do a full on review here on the blog for you.
Here is what comes in the kit:
Each of those items are some of Butter London’s best sellers, and they are all available separately as well.
It arrived in the mail well packaged, and fully encased in bubble wrap. There is absolutely no worries of the product being broken short of a concrete block being dropped on it.
This is how they were packaged. The base and top coats were in boxes and the two colors were just open.
I decided to try out the color Yummy Mummy first, but I didn’t look at the instructions. I just did what I normally would do.
I applied the base coat first. It went on easily, and I thought it dried quickly. Then I applied a coat of Yummy Mummy. The formula is a bit thin and watery. This is my preference though. I don’t care for the formulas that are too thick. They take forever to dry and are really hard to work with.
It also has a wide flat brush, so it applied very easily. I only applied the one coat of polish. I looked at the directions after, and it says to use two coats. Honestly I thought at the time it was giving me full coverage or I would have used two. I can see after its all done that I needed two coats, but its not so obvious that everyone will notice it. I mainly just see it at the tips of my nails when I am standing in a brighter light.
Last I applied the top coat. Out of the three items, I thought this was the hardest to work with. The brush didn’t seem to want to hold enough product to cover all of my larger nails, and I have small nails. But this seemed odd since I the brush looks to be the same as the one in the Yummy Mummy container. But overall the product was a little too thick and sticky to call it easy to apply.
I got four days of wear before I got a chip, which is really decent. Once I got the first chip I went ahead and removed the color and applied the next.
I actually thought that since they were both neutrals and similar in tone that they would apply and wear the same, but I was wrong.
I started with the same base coat as before. Then this time I did two coats of color. I used the color Piece Of Cake this time. I noticed this colors formula was much thicker. I found it harder to apply, and as you can see in the picture I had way more areas to touch up.
It only lasted two days before chipping this time. I am curious to go back and see if it would be different with one coat. I will try and test that out in the near future for all of you. It will have to wait a bit though as I had some major breakage over my vacation.
I think this really comes down to what kind of formula you like. From my own perspective I would have no problems recommending Yummy Mummy as a color to try, and I personally will be trying a few other colors. However, if you know a thicker formula works better for you then A Piece Of Cake may be the color for you. And if you don’t know what works best for you then I would definitely go with the Essentials Set.
In the comments below let me know what your favorite Butter London polish color is. Do you have one that you would recommend to everyone?
This product was sent to me at a reduced price for review consideration. However all views are always my own, and expresses honestly.
Posted in: beautyReviews