Beauty Review // A new straightener from Irresistible Me

Today I’m really excited to bring you something that may just be a game changer: This review of Irresistible Me’s Diamond Hair Styler. As you may know, I don’t straighten my hair flat very often (the last time I can remember is October, for my Kendall Jenner Halloween look, and before that? Drawing a blank) but I do style my hair once in a while with “flat-iron curls”—straightening the root of my hair and then flipping the iron to make a curl on the ends.

Sadly, the flat iron I was using since 2006 recently broke in London because of the power conversion (RIP, old friend) so when Irresistible Me offered to present me with one of their irons for review I was like, “yes, please!” Here’s what I thought.

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Beauty // GLAMGLOW Review!

I’m jumping on the bandwagon here. I just had to try this stuff after experiencing the overwhelming hype and reading about it nonstop. I blame Sephora: it was just waiting in the checkout line when I went to replenish my eyeliner stock and I couldn’t resist. Those product-stocked waiting lines are calculated to make me spend my hard-earned money that would be better spend on sandwiches brimming with chipotle mayo. But I thought I’d try it out.

I bought a half-ounce bottle for $19. Guys, it was really an impulse buy.

So I tried it out. The subtitle “Tinglexfoliate” of the Glamglow Youthmud is not joking: this thing tingles like nuts, and it borders on painful. The tingling starts to subside when the mask dries, which it does in patches that made my face look like a tortoiseshell for a few minutes, which was pretty cool. The consistency is chalky and muddy, and it has bits of leaf stuck in it.

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I put up with the tingling and waited like twenty minutes before washing it off, taking care to rub it off in circular motions to exfoliate well, like the packaging suggested. I didn’t notice any immediate softness like I do with my Neutrogena Exfoliating Mask, neither did I think my pores were very clean.

My skin felt really tight afterward, and I was reluctant to put on moisturizer for fear of clogging my newly purged pores, even though they weren’t all that squeaky clean. I didn’t have the results I expected to have, especially considering that a full-size jar of this product costs $69 at retail price. I think this product is probably better suited to a more stable skin type than I have, but nevertheless, for the cost, it did less than my drugstore mask did.

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Conclusion: I am singularly unimpressed. But I’m glad I tried it, because now I know it’s NBD. I’ll stick with Neutrogena, thank you.

Beauty // Makeup Routine

    The last post of this impromptu beauty series will focus on my never-changing makeup routine and the products I have loved and used religiously. Here they are, in all their glittery, mascaraed glory:

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I’ve reviewed the Missha BB Cream before—I just adore it. I bought this bottle in March 2013, over a year ago, and it’s just beginning to run out. I spent $15—that’s value (I feel like half the time I’m showing off how poor I am on this blog 😉 ). My other must-have beauty item is Sephora’s $10 pot of creme eyeliner. It’s amazing, and also long-lasting. The only downside is its tendency to dry out when the pot’s contents decrease, but that’s normal I’m sure.

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I start with this Magic Perfecting Base as a primer. It has a thick, almost sandy consistency, unlike a lot of other primers I’ve tried which are runny and gel-like. I like this primer better because it really just soaks up midday oil. It also provides this wonderful smooth surface for the BB cream, and I end up using less face makeup and thus looking more natural. Also a necessity is my Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in “Rose.” I buy this stuff in bulk.

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Eyes: for day, MAC’s “Folie” as a dark color and Urban Decay’s “Virgin” for the light color. Since I started wearing makeup circa 2004, I have always done a thick winged liner. It’s my thing, and I don’t think I ever go a day without wearing eyeliner. Judge all you want 😉

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Sometimes I go without mascara because it’s such a hassle to put on. I also skip bottom liner most of the time, and only use it for night. My last step is blush: BareMinerals’ blush in “Glee.” I make this cheesy smiley face when I do my blush to make my cheekbones show up:

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Seriously, I haven’t changed these colors in years. Sometimes, in summer, I’ll layer some bronzer on top but very rarely, since I feel like bronzer makes my face look a little muddy. Oh, well! I guess it’s a pale girl’s life for me.

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So that concludes this personal beauty series! Thanks for reading 🙂 I’ll leave you with an old blessing:

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Beauty Review: Urban Decay Shadow

Today I’d like to take a minute to extol my newfound love for Urban Decay. Everyone I know asked for the Naked palettes for Christmas this year and I didn’t, because my MAC shadows are just fine, thank you very much. But then my trusted “Naked Lunch” ran out and I had to do something about it (the name of the shadow may have contributed to my love for the shade). My sister has the Naked 2 palette and ever since I used the shade “YDK,” I fell in love and never looked back.

Since I knew I wouldn’t use the whole palette, and since I like having a daily makeup routine of just one or two shadow shades, I opted to buy two new shadows: YDK and Virgin. They’re amazing. Here’s why.

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The label promises “insane color payout” and they’re spot-on. The color is exactly what it looks like in the pot, and it is so vibrant and vivid on the skin. I shy away from shimmer shadows but the YDK is between a matte and a shimmer, just glimmery enough to look pretty, but not so much that it looks like I’ve pasted rhinestones on my eyelids. It’s smooth and adheres so well.

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It leaves just a little fallout though, whereas my MAC shadows never did. I’m willing to put up with it for the sake of the deep, vibrant color, but it can get frustrating when your whole face is ruined after applying. I’ve learned to keep a little cotton ball and coconut oil handy to deal with it. I’m a survivor.

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I love the subtle sheen it leaves on my eyes. This is YDK and MAC’s “Folie” on the crease.

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My eye makeup arsenal! I cannot do without the Sephora cream liner. Only $10 and it lasts almost a year, and that’s from someone who does a thick winged line almost every day.

Conclusion: Urban Decay is worth the price. I’ll probably buy more shades when these run out, and have much more makeup fun. Stay tuned.

 

A BB Cream Retrospective

For years, mineral powder had me sold. I have combination, acne-prone skin and I though that the loose powder worked well at minimizing my pores and reducing shine. For years, I used Bare Minerals foundation and thought I loved it. Until the introduction of the BB Cream.

I won’t call it the BB Cream Revolution, but there have been a hell of a lot of them in the past few years. The BB Cream began in Korea, developed in the 60s as post-surgery treatment. It rose to popularity in the Asian markets in the mid-80s, and a few years ago, reached American markets, saturating our Sephoras with [empty] promises. The BB cream, known as blemish balm, or the American “beauty balm” promises a lighter version of liquid foundation that covers, protects, and even treats skin to prevent acne outbreaks and completely correct problem skin. Needless to say, I doubted one product could do all this. But I tried.

After extensive research and haunting beauty forums, I began with the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Light/Medium (I have quite fair skin). Despite high expectations, I found the cream grainy and heavy, and too dark for my skin tone. It also left a visible texture on my skin, which is terrible for anyone prone to blackheads. I wanted to minimize the look of my pores, not accentuate them! I didn’t wait for the $20 half-ounce bottle to run out before scouring the Internet for an alternative. I missed my mineral stuff.

On a whim, I decided to check out Korean BB Creams. Because of my very light skin, I thought that those products, with their many different [whiter?] shades of pale, would work better for me. I also heard that the American BB Creams fell far short of their Asian counterparts; in their haste to fill the demand for BB Creams in the Western market, beauty companies in this part of the world cobbled together ramshackle products incomparable to the originals. After some hours of forum-diving, I had a name: Missha.

IMG_2874I’ve never loved a beauty product, mind you. Never. Apart from Sephora’s $10 cream eyeliner so thick and waterproof that it needs a blowtorch to remove (it doesn’t sound like a plus, but it is), this cream was the first beauty product I truly loved. The MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream in No. 21 (Light Beige) promises many delightful things: healing wrinkles, lightening skin tone, prevents skin aging, and providing a light, but excellent skin covering ability. Now, I don’t know about wrinkles or skin aging (yet) but I can attest that this cream gives me excellent coverage.

I’m not one of those who put foundation all over their faces; rather, I spot-treat and blend. This cream is perfect for me because it’s just a touch lighter than my own skin tone, which means that it covers red spots well. I’ve always hated bronzer and even my naturally tan face because it tends to make me look ruddy and accentuate my red spots, so I love how white this stuff is. It goes on smooth, blends flawlessly into my skin, and doesn’t clog my huge pores! Also, it has a whopping SPF 42 to indeed prevent wrinkles and premature aging from the sun.

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I encourage you to expand this picture and examine my pores. Do it. I dare you.

I bought a 50 ml (~1.7 oz.) bottle in March 2012, and it’s still going strong. On Amazon, I spent $15 for it. That’s an absurd deal, and I cannot believe how good this product is. I’m not wearing primer or setting powder, just moisturizer. American BB Creams 0; Missha 1.

Tiny frog approves of Missha

Tiny frog approves of Missha

Note: I did not receive compensation or free products for this review. I just wanted to share an experience.