Hey everyone! I have finally given this blog the love it deserves and now have my own domain. Content has all been moved. I finally have Disqus (Thanks for the push, Tracy!) and it will be my final home. Stick with me as I figure out wordpress.org vs. .com in the next few days and I get everything looking great. For now…please direct your attention to:
*Press Samples provided for my consideration*
Hey everyone! Thanks to Target and Influenster, I have been able to test out a product I have been dying to try…but couldn’t really pull the trigger for the price (About $6 vs. my $4 Dove stick antiperspirant). I know there is only a two dollar difference, but it did scare me.
I was sent the Dove Dry Spray in the ‘Cool Essentials’ scent as well as the Dove Men+Care Dry Spray to ‘give to a man in my life’. It went to my dad. More on how he felt in a bit.
So, I was prompted to #TryDry and I have for two weeks and have formed my opinion of this Dry Spray.
Dry Spray antiperspirant is nothing new. When I was living in London, that was all they had. I had brought my fave stick formula from home though, and I never could quite fathom paying for a more expensive product with a horrible exchange rate. Dry Spray is just that—dry. It is dry to the touch instantly. This product promises 48 hour antiperspirant and has 20.2% of Aluminum Chlorohydrate. That is A LOT for me. I need quite a bit of protection but I try and stay at about 18% and I’d love to find a natural option that works for me, but that amount cannot be good for my underarms. But I digress.
- I like the dry feeling. It means that I have avoided white marks on my clothing everyday which is great!
- It does keep me really dry and the scent is nice and not cloying.
- You have to wait AT LEAST 4 hours after shaving to apply this, as stated on the bottle. That is a bit concerning.
- The bottle also says not to breathe it in, but that is impossible. The spray gets everywhere and it is not easy to avoid.
- The price is a little high for a product I feel will run out quickly since there are is so much wasted product that goes into the air.
Here is Gus, my little helper here at PrettyPanda, checking out the product.
As far as the Men+Care Dry Spray, my Dad said he would volunteer as tribute but I caught him at the market buying his old reliable stick formula today so that answers that, doesn’t it?
Overall, I do love Dove, I love the smell and convenience of this, and I will keep it around for my black clothing days (which there are very few of around here. I love color!) but I will stick to my solid formula still.
Have you tried Dry Spray? Thoughts?
ColourPop. The brand on the tip of any beauty-lover’s tongue nowadays. I am no stranger to the hype surrounding this LA-based brand.
Hey, I love that it is made in the U.S.A, and ships from my home base, meaning I can get my hands on goodies fast. But with the lightning-faced pace of their collection releases, one can only wonder if quality does suffer (not to mention that these are cheap as chips, to use a phrase I picked up in London). Their Fall 2015 90’s collection was amazing, so I was excited to try out their huge release of Creme Gel Liners ($6 each for .11oz).
I picked up four neutrals and one pop of color and have been testing all five shades for almost two months and I feel ready to share my opinions with you on this formula and the colors. I will break them down one by one because they are so different! Please note that I have worn each shade for about a week each, if not more, and all of my eye swatches are on bare eyes (no primer/shadow/mascara/anything).
Prance is a gorgeous ocean blue with slight pastel leanings. It is very matte and very, very dry in the pot so you need to work it around with your liner brush to get some slip going. It applies slightly patchy, as you can see in the photo, but it is still beautiful. I would advise wearing a primer underneath as without there is some slight staining to the skin. For me, wear time is around 6 hours before it begins to flake slightly. Because of the dryness, I recommend an oil-based makeup remover for all of the matte shades. Micellar water will just create a flaky mess with more clean up after.
Over Board is truly stunning and one of my favorites. It is a bronze metallic shade and because of the shimmer, is much creamier and easier to apply. This wore perfectly for 10 hours before I removed, but I suspect it could last even longer.
Timber is a slate grey matte shade. It does take a bit of layering to really produce a charcoal color. Timber wore well for 8 hours on my lids and I think the color is great for an unexpected neutral. It isn’t as harsh as black but not as predictable as brown. I’ve been reaching for it quite a bit!
Ah, Best O. The shade that has Instagram up in a tizzy. There is no denying this is a gorgeous burgundy that is perfect for winter. Like Prance, Best O is a bit patchy, needs a bit of layering to perfect the pigmentation, and does get slightly flaky because it is so dry and matte. Also be aware of staining and if you have any pink in your skin (as you can see with my eye), it does magnify it. Yet for $6, this is a great new color to try out. It wore well on my lids for about 7-8 hours before flaking.
I saved the best for last. Out of the shades I picked, Stomper is my favorite and has become a staple in my daily routine. I love the dark chocolate hue, how it is matte without being dry or flaky, and how it lasts me 10+ hours. To me, the quality of this shade is as good as any other creme liner I have tried, drugstore or high end, and I am very impressed. No other brown liner has ever made me want to stray from black besides this one!
Application with these has a bit of a learning curve. All shades, even the creamy, metallic Over Board, need about 2-5 dips back into the pot to complete one eye. You need to work fairly fast and there is hardly any smudge time with these. The dryness does translate to much longer wear on the eyelids (at the beginning, Timber and Best O even feel ‘tight’ on the lid), but be prepared to execute your feline flick in sections.
Overall, I think ColourPop has done really well with this formula. Granted, I haven’t tried all of the shades, and I do think some (like Prance) can use some improvement, but the shade range and price are fantastic. I would stick to the metallics and the darker mattes. I absolutely love Stomper, Over Board, and Timber!
Thank you for stopping by and have a great day Pandas!
It has been almost a month since my last post, but this is an important one for me. Throughout December I was able to really reflect on what is going on in my life, think about the highs and lows of the year, and set some goals that I want to share with you today. I hope it gets you thinking about what is really important in the New Year!
I think it is important to be a little clearer with myself and with you as readers about the goals for my blog this year. What started as a project for a class turned into a hobby, then turned into something that felt like it was weighing me down, and now my passion has been renewed.
- Yes, sometimes I do get free product for reviews. More often than you see on my blog. I really have gotten picky about what I show, even though I do get much, MUCH less than some bigger bloggers. It is about quality and I want to keep that going forward. I have never set out with the intention of making money with this blog. It makes me sad to see how many people start blogs solely to make money or get freebies. You won’t find that here.
- Keep it unedited. As much as possible. Those edited to high heavens Instagram pictures that get 400,000 likes? Not here. Never will be. If I do edit for the blog, it is basic Photoshop (cropping and putting my watermark and maybe some other text). You are going to see my pores in pictures, and my fine lines. But you will also see what color really looks like and how it applies to my skin, lips, or eyes. Because that is the real world. I do not feel the need to airbrush my skin for every picture and I hope rawness in pictures will start to become appreciated.
- Do more series and get back to my nerdy side. Yes it is popular to get ‘brows on fleek’, but I’m over here thinking about how to do a Star Wars themed series. Expect more of those in the future and if you ever want to collaborate, drop me a line!
- Enjoy the community. I fell in love with blogging because of the people I met, many of whom I still talk to via here or other social media quite a bit and who I consider mentors/inspiration and friends. I do not want or to expect to get thousands of followers overnight, but rather to keep engaging and building the community of beauty bloggers who have something real to say and show.
There are a few beauty related goals I would like to share with you. They do not necessarily directly impact my blog, but it is something to think about!
- Don’t buy just to buy! I have really cut down on this this past year. I went on a few no buys and guess what, I really stopped craving that instant gratification of picking up a new lipstick. I got picky. I saved. And I am better off for it. I also really started to learn which brands work for me and which do not and to stay away from those despite how pretty new releases may look.
- Be ingredient conscious. I want to become more educated on the ingredients in my makeup and what works well with my skin and what doesn’t. And seek out cruelty free!
- Be more adventurous. Working can really cut into makeup play time. I just can’t wear a bold lip to work or my favorite color shadow, and by the time the weekend rolls around, I usually don’t wear makeup at all anymore. But I want to keep using what I have and enjoying it. That is the whole point! I need to regain my confidence in wearing bold colors when I can. I used to be a red lippie queen and I’d like to earn back that title!
Health and Personal Goals
Makeup is, after all, superficial. Fun, but material. I am grateful to have my health and family around me, but there are some things I do want to work on this year.
- Exercise more! I know this is probably at the top of everyone’s list, but I have received some negative weight comments. I am not saying those should make me feel bad, but generally I want to get back to the gym. I used to love my Zumba classes and Cardio Barre, but I got sick a few times this winter and between that and work never went back. I need to get back into the habit!
- Eat healthier! Another no-brainer. But writing it down sparks action, right? I need to find healthier meals that I can pack to-go for work. I am such a foodie though…sigh.
- Read more. Once I finished grad school, I stopped reading. Call it rebellion, but I just didn’t feel like picking up a book. I’d like to read 10 books this year. I know that is a tiny number, but we shall see how it goes!
- Take initiative. With anxiety, sometimes I don’t always reach out to make plans and I do like to curl up in my room. But making memories and having experiences is important.
- Write. I’ve wanted to start my novel for years now. But this year, I actually will. I want to be more creative in general. Open an Etsy store. Draw more. Pick back up my guitar. Make time for my passions.
- Not be afraid to fail. I hold myself back sometimes. I am afraid to disappoint or fail, but progress cannot be achieved that way. I hope to be bolder in this coming year.
- Don’t worry about the small things and always make time for family. My family is the most important thing in my life and I want to make sure that regardless of the changes that take place this year, we remain as close as ever.
Thank you for reading this — and Happy New Year! What are some of your goals for the coming year? I really appreciate you all supporting me and taking time out of your day to visit here. It means the world.
With much love,
Hello! Normally I would do a ‘Good, Bad, and Ugly’ post…but since I am SO far behind in posts due to my recently crazy schedule, and since all my empties were awesome this month, I thought I would just give you a basic rundown!
I finished off 8 items this month and I really hope to keep this up. I’ve saved quite a bit of money by using what I already have (although I did cave a bit during Black Friday/Cyber Monday), but hey, sometimes one needs a treat!
1. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ ($14.50)
I love this stuff. It is my go-to moisturizer and keeps my skin nicely hydrated. I do have some other moisturizers to use up, but I know I will come back to this one.
2. BareMinerals Original Foundation in Fairly Light ($28)
I have been a BareMinerals girl since they first just had a stand-alone shop in LA. I have great memories of meeting Leslie Blodgett (Creator) in that shop and having my makeup done with my momma and grandma! So I will always love this foundation. Easy, quick, and never breaks me out.
3. NYX Control Freak Eye Brow Gel ($5.99)
Doesn’t flake and is completely clear. I actually just repurchased after this ran out.
4. Chapstick Total Hydration in Coconut ($2.99)
I cannot rave about this stuff enough. Actually moisturizes my lips instead of drying them out over time. I am on my second tube already (Sweet Peach this time!)
5. Beauty Blender ($20)
It was time to say bye-bye to this baby I have had for a year. I just got a brand new one on Black Friday.
6. Chapstick Watermelon Splash ($3)
Not as hydrating as the Total Hydration formula, but I love artificial watermelon flavor and this was delish tasting/smelling!
7. NYX Matte Liquid Liner ($6.99)
My absolute holy grail liquid liner. Dries quickly, is super matte, and lasts ALL day on my fairly oily lids and in all conditions. I will never be without it.
8. NYX Matte Lipstick in Alabama ($5.99)
Unfortunately, this went before I finished it. It was halfway used but was getting old and time to get a new one. This color is a gorgeous brick red!
Total Used: $87.46
What were you loving in November? Can you believe it is already almost halfway through December??
If you have been to Ulta recently, or even received one of their emails, you may have noticed their 5 for $5 promotion going on. In store, they have little bins of stocking stuffers, which equate to a $1 each. They have mini hair care items, lotions, bath bombs, nail polish, and even Ulta brand makeup. I picked up 5 of the most intriguing makeup items to share with you today.
For a mere fiver, I picked up two Ulta Matte Lip Crayons (.09oz) in the colors Hazy Pink and Raspberry Rose. I also picked up a mini Ulta Electric Mascara in Purple Glitter. The two brow products are also Ulta brand and are the Brow Duo in Light Brown and the Brow Pencil in Golden Blonde.
From Left to Right: Raspberry Rose, Hazy Pink, Brow Duo (light brown & highlight), Golden Blonde, and Purple Glitter mascara.
Raspberry Rose is not as dark as it looks in the tube. These are very, very matte and feel a little drying but have great staying power. They are a chunky, twist-up pencil and I like the soft rose color of this one.
Hazy Pink is a much brighter, almost bubblegum pink, but muted. Great staying power but prep your lips well!
I am a huge fan of the Brow Duo. The highlight side is so creamy and a great multi-tasker and the brow side is super pigmented and has become my go-to brow shade because it matches my hair really well. The Golden Brown pencil is a great shade, but a little dry. I would pass on that. The purple mascara is really fun but there is no perceptible glitter in it.
Moral of the story, don’t overlook those 5 for $5 bins! I found a few gems and there are a ton of other treasures there too! Happy Sunday!
Hello Friends! Sorry for the silence on the blogging front…I’ve been pretty under the weather, but I do want to share a little product that arrived at my doorstep unexpectedly. I never feel obligated to test/review press samples, but I was actually curious about these Almay Intense I-Color trios. The packaging is cool and actually stores well, and I did have a decent time with their Softies that came out a while ago.
These retail for about $7.99 but unfortunately I received the trio meant to enhance blue eyes. Since the last time I checked I have brown eyes, I can’t comment on whether or not these enhanced my eye color.
I will get my biggest complaint out of the way first — that brush/sponge? Completely useless. Even more useless than the straight handled sponges. I actually tried to use it and let me tell you, trying to maneuver a tiny curved piece of plastic around my eye was not working. In the trash it went and I used my normal brushes.
These are very pretty colors, but nothing revolutionary. In fact, you probably have a dupe for one or all of them already in your stash. However, the texture is great. Very buttery, easy to blend, and lasts all day on my lids with no creasing. I’ve reached for this trio a handful of times since I received it and I particularly like the gold color to incorporate with other shadows from other brands.
Here is a look I did with the trio. It was very quick and simple and turned out very soft. The darker crease color gets a little muddy — I really just wish there was a little more contrast between the shades.
Overall, I am impressed with the formula of the shadows and I am curious about some of the trios in the smokey eye collection. Considering I’ve voluntarily reached for this a number of times, that says something, even though the colors aren’t the most fun. If you are just getting into makeup or want a very soft, neutral look (as this trio claims–can’t fault them there), this is a great pick. It also looks like a little thought bubble, which is cute!
Can you tell I am still a little undecided here? I’d go for one of these again when Almay is on BOGO 1/2 at Ulta, but I think a few things could have been nixed (don’t even bother creating the brush) and tweaked. But I think it is important to review to show the lesser-known/less-popular options out there!
Happy Sunday! I hope you all had a restful weekend.