I purchased Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm after reading Caroline Hirons’ glowing recommendation and all the great reviews online. I’ve also seen a lot of love for cleansing balms on blogs, and wanted to try one. I’m not really a big Clinique fan usually, but I love this! Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is a fragrance-free solid balm that you scoop out of a pot and massage into dry skin. At first it feels like a very thick moisturizer, but once you add add warm water and continue massaging it turns into a lightweight liquid. I just rinse it off, but it seems a lot of people use it as the first step in a two-step regime, cleansing again with a different cleanser, but I don’t think that’s necessary at all. This stuff is amazing at taking off makeup, including tons of waterproof mascara and eyeliner. If I’m wearing a lot of eye makeup I sometimes remove it using eye makeup remover before I use the balm, but only to avoid it smearing everywhere while massaging it in, and rubbing my eyes too much. My everyday eye makeup I just use the balm and it works perfectly.
L-R Mary Kay Waterproof Mascara, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso, Elite Models Intensity Waterproof Eye Pencil, Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24HR Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze
I think it’s great for sensitive skin, and you can literally rub it into your eyes and it will not sting at all. It may seem a little pricey, but you only need the tiniest amount. I’ve been using it every day for the last two months and I’ve only made a small dent! I would definitely recommend Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm if you’re looking to add a cleansing balm to your routine. It’s great at taking off every trace of heavy duty makeup while still being very gentle!
Uh oh, the Tarte Holiday 2013 collection has been released, and of course there are a few things I want slash I’m going to have to pretend I didn’t see exist.
As always, Tarte’s holiday LipSurgence kit this year, Pure Delights 8-piece LipSurgence Lip Set, is a fantastic value. You get 8 limited edition deluxe mini LipSurgences, 4 regular and 4 matte, for $34. They’re each .06 oz, while the full size versions are .10 oz and $24 each, so the full value of the set is around $115 (I think? Math was never my strong suit). There seems to be a great range of colours, and I will definitely be on the lookout for swatches online.
The other part of the Tarte Holiday 2013 collection I am loving is the blush trio, Leave Her Blushing. The set comes with 3 deluxe mini Amazonian clay 12-hour blushes in limited edition shades and a decent looking blush brush, for $34. I love these blushes so much. They’re the only blushes I’ve found that last more than a couple of hours on me. The blushes in this set are only .053 oz each, while the full sizes are .20 oz for $26, so not as good a deal as the LipSurgence set. I wish it didn’t come with the blush brush so the price could have been a little lower, but the shades look really pretty. The Holiday 2012 blush set was definitely a much better value.
My birchbox this month was decent, but I wasn’t super excited about anything. The most exciting thing was definitely the lipstick, though I’m not sure I can pull it off…
Birchbox August 2013 Contents and Review
Derma E Hydrating Mist with Hyaluronic Acid: This moisturizing spray contains hyaluronic acid, which I’ve heard is a great moisturizer, as well as green tea and Vitamin C. To be honest, I haven’t tried this too many times. I used it as a moisturizer a couple of nights and found it to be very tacky and hard to apply. The bottle says it can also be used as a makeup setting or refreshing spray, but I found the spray to be way too forceful for either of those uses. I’m not really sure why Birchbox sent this to me, as it’s for “dry and dehydrated skin” and I have “oily” selected in my profile.
EVOLVh Ultrashine Moisture Conditioner: This conditioner is vegan, paraben-free, and includes 20 herbs to naturally moisturize any hair type. I found it too lightweight for my thick, dry hair, and also that it just made my hair dry in a strange way? It made the front part of my hair wave in weird ways. I usually shower at night and let my hair dry overnight, so the chances of it drying strangely are pretty high, but the fact that it happened both times I used this conditioner is suspicious. I also used the 2 fl oz sample bottle up in two uses, which would only work out to about 8 uses for the $25 full size, which is crazy.
Whish Exfoliating Body Scrub: This scrub contains lemon, apple, and green tea extracts to brighten skin, sugar cane and bamboo powder to exfoliate, and coconut oil and shea to hydrate. This scrub was fine? The exfoliating particles were very small and gentle, and it didn’t leave a film. It said the scent was “coconut milk” on the bottle, but didn’t smell very coconut-y at all, which was disappointing.
Whish Deodorant Swipe: This deodorant wipe supposedly acts as both a deodorant for on-the-go as well as a hair growth inhibitor. I found it very sticky once applied, and pretty much just a gimmick, especially at $22 for 30 wipes. Maybe people who go to the gym then straight to work or other places would appreciate it more.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick: This was the one redeeming item in my birchbox this month. This lipstick applies like a thick lipgloss, then dries down to a matte lipstick that I found really does last for hours, unless you get it wet from eating or drinking. I found it pretty drying, and have to make sure my lips are fully moisturized before using. It is also a little tricky to apply, as it really does not budge. The colour I received, “beso”, is an intense red that I think is just a little too warm and dark for me to wear. Maybe I just need to be braver?
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Jouer recently had a 50% off sale on their website if you signed up for their newsletter, so of course I picked up a couple of things, including their Lip Sheer SPF 15 in St. Barths. I love this “sheer, coral red” cross between a lipstick and lip balm. It is very moisturizing, a beautiful summery colour, and contains SPF 15- making it perfect for summer days at the pool or the beach, or just out and about. The colour St. Barths looks very bright, almost neon, in the tube but it really applies very sheer, as you can see from the swatch below. If you are looking for more colour impact this is probably not for you!
The biggest con I found for the Jouer Lip Sheer SPF 15 is that the colour only lasts around an hour and a half, though it fades away steadily, while keeping your lips moisturized. I found it also has a slight playdough-y scent, which is kind of strange but doesn’t really bother me. I think $22 is definitely pricey for this sheer lip tint, especially since it doesn’t last very long at all, but for $11 I’m pretty happy with it!
Unfortunately it looks like Jouer is no longer running their 50% off promotion, but I would definitely recommend checking them out if you haven’t already! They have a lot of fun, summery makeup (I love their Matte Moisture Tint), and I think it’s really cool that their website has a feature where you can see the makeup products on different skin tones.
Not pictured: the four mosquito bites I got while taking these photos.
My (basically free) July 2013 Birchbox has arrived! The box contents were a little disappointing this month; I received an item I got before, and there was only one other item I was really excited about. I’m not too upset about the box error as I was already credited 100 points before I even got my box, equivalent to $10 in the Birchbox store, and it was a duplicate of a sample I liked!
Birchbox July 2013 Contents & Review
Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect: This was the sample I received in my Birchbox before, way back in June 2012. This is a leave-in conditioner, and works as a heat protector and colour and UV shield, and comes in a mini spray bottle. I like the scent (“white freesia, amber, and musk”), and I think it does a decent job as a light-weight, leave-in conditioner and helps smooth frizz, though there are others that I like more and have a bigger effect on my hair. I didn’t mind getting this sample again though!
100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream: I love 100% Pure’s Organic Coffee Bean Eye Cream, and like that they use natural and organic ingredients, so I was looking forward to trying this body lotion. I received three foil packets in the scent Green Apple. The lotion was very moisturizing and non-sticky, but smelled so strongly of green apple jolly ranchers (not a good thing)! Ideally the three packets would have each been a different scent. I would definitely like to try it in another scent, which all sound much more appealing- Honey Almond, Coconut, and Vanilla Bean.
Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream: This is a unisex face moisturizer designed to purify skin, increase softness, and decrease redness, with ingredients that include blueberries, white dead-nettle, jasmine, burdock, and mandarin. I found it left my skin a little sticky and was not very moisturizing, and found that it also bead up a little on my skin while drying. I wasn’t very impressed and I will probably use the rest of this sample for hand cream.
Birchbox Bobby Pins: These were a cute life style/beauty extra (meaning they didn’t count as one of my 4-5 samples), but they are quite large and almost more like barrettes than bobby pins, which I don’t really have a use for as I only ever use bobby pins for buns. They were also little difficult to get in and out of my hair without pulling out some hair with them!
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl: I saved the best for last! This is a pretty, slightly-rose-slightly-champagne coloured liquid highlighter. The sample size is very generous .25oz (full size=.4 oz) and should last a long time. It’s easy to blend into the skin, looks less shimmery on than it does in swatches, and leaves a pretty, subtle glow perfect for nights out. It lasts for a few hours, but does eventually seem to fade and disappear. I prefer Benefit’s High Beam, but I would definitely recommend it for someone who finds High Beam too pink toned.
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