Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

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I chose a deluxe sized sample of this charcoal mask with one of my online Sephora purchases a while ago- mainly because I have combination skin and a lot of reviews I came across had recommended this as a fix for detoxing your skin and getting rid of clogged pores and sebum build up. It has been sitting around for a while and my skin has seen better days so I decided to give it a try this month to switch things up and I’m glad I did!

The mask has a smooth non-textured consistency with no fragrance. The closest thing I can compare the scent to is paper or cardboard but as long as it does it’s job well.. I’m not going to complain about that.

Application:

It feels very cool to the skin when you first apply it. You will also feel a slight tingly sensation till it completely dries off which is followed by a lot of tightness and some cracking.

The formula glides on quite easily and has a glossy finish similar to most mud masks out there but it dries out completely matte as shown below in about 15-20 minutes after application. You’ll know when to wash it off when it starts cracking like in the last image.

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Though the instructions suggest to steam your face with a warm towel beforehand to open up pores and help the mask reach in there to work it’s magic. I prefer using it right after a warm shower out of convenience and to be more thorough instead of going through the process of steaming a towel just for a face mask.

Though I don’t break out often anymore I do tend to get some blackheads from makeup residue and hormones … the usual. My skin definitely got a lot smoother, brighter and clearer within my first 3 uses. The only thing I didn’t like about this mask is that it is a little difficult to wash off. It’s best to ease it off your face with a damp washcloth or face brush which is another reason why I prefer using it in the shower/bath.

If you have tried any similar pore cleansing products or have tips on how to use this one better please leave a comment below :)

Best Uses:
  • Once a week
  • Oily and Combination skin types
  • Used after showering (Steam opens up pores and increases how effective the mask is)
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EOS lip balm (Summer Fruit)

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So whats all this fuss about the EOS (Evolution Of Smooth, not Evolution Of Sphere)

lip balm? It seems like everywhere I look there is someone using it and using it often so I decided to cave in and give it a try to see what it’s all about. I got mine for about $3.29 at Ulta last week and I found myself reaching for this balm a lot … not because it’s overly moisturizing or anything but because it smells and tastes yummy! In addition to this it’s one of the healthiest lip balms in the market. It claims to be 95% organic and 100% natural and is Paraben, Petroleum, Gluten and Phthalate free.

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Claims:

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Pros:

  • Paraben, Petroleum, Gluten, Phthalate free!
  • Organic and Natural
  • Soft smooth feel (Shea butter & Vita-E)
  • Smells flirtatiously yummy!
  • Delicious flavor!
  • Cute packaging

Cons:

  • Not as moisturizing as other lip balms available for the same price range $3.29 (Burts bees and Blistex)
  • Feels a bit waxy

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Some lip balms just melt into your lips and soften them for a moisturizing effect but EOS works to create a slightly waxy coat that prevents moisture from leaving your lips in the first place. Overall I would repurchase this (or many of them) because I love the smell, the flavor and the smooth buttery feel!

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Buxom Amplified Smokey Eye Collection

 

Buxom Amplified Smokey Eye Collection

The Buxom Amplified Smokey Eye Collection kit contains two products: The Mini Amplified Lash Mascara (Loud Black) and a Mini Waterproof Smoky Eye Stick (Shade 5- Stiletto). I have mixed feelings about the Mascara but the eye-shadow I absolutely love.

Amplified Lash Mascara

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Mini Amplified Lash Mascara (Loud Black)

 Eye-Shadow Swatches

I loved the waterproof eye shadow stick because of its consistency.

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Most eye-shadows I’ve used in the past have been in the form of palettes. This leaves you will the possibility of messy application through fallout. Because this product is in the form of a glide-on stick it was very easy to control and lasted for quite some time.

My thoughts…

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I have not tested this eye shadow stick under water or in the rain but on a regular day it would last a good 4-5 hrs. The mascara however came off very clumpy. I tried using an old Sephora mascara wand to try and figure out whether the issue was the consistency of the product itself or the short bristled wand. It turns out it was the wand. On using a better one I was able to get a much neater finish.

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Ulta Double Duty Lip Stain & Balm – Thriller

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A lip stain AND a lip balm? 2 in 1? how fabulous… what catches your eye is worth a try right? Let’s find out!

Claims:

This multi-tasker provides both precise application of plush lip color and nourishing lip balm.

 

The shade of the Ulta Double Duty Lip Stain & Balm I tried out was Thriller. This lip stain/balm comes with a felt tip on one end for application of the lip stain and a balm on the other end as you can see in the picture below.

Stain & Balm:

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Directions:

Usually lip balms are a sort of prep before you go on and put on your lipstick/lip stain but with this product I found it beneficial to start out with the lip stain on bare lips and then go over the stain with the balm for most obvious reasons (You don’t want to get any of the greasy lip balm on the delicate felt tip side of the lip stain right?). What do you do when you first get a yummy looking marker? You sniff it! I’ve always liked scented markers so my first instinct when I got this one was to check if it had any smell. Lo and behold it smelled like strawberries!

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Step 1 – Use lip stain

Outline your lips lightly with the lip stain to establish a border and then go on with filling the rest of your lips with the felt tip. I found out that this lip stain is build-able. Going over the same area twice with the felt tip gives a darker shade. Thriller is a gorgeous deep red! However just using the lip stain without the balm is a little drying once the stain dries.

Step 2 – Moisturize with the lip balm

Go over your lips with the lip balm. This not only keeps your lips moisturized but also gives a hint of shine. The lip balm is unscented and has no flavor. It’s also sort of waxy and helps seal the lip stain in.

Pros:

  • Convenient – Two in one!
  • High quality packaging
  • Intense Color
  • Build-able color intensity
  • Lip stain does not bleed into creases. It gives a very clean application

Cons:

  • The stain doesn’t last long without the lip balm coating. The stain dissolves in water so eating/drinking with this stain will cause it to wear off quite easily.
  • The felt tip is volatile. Unlike the benefit lip tint, this one evaporates a lot faster. Always close the felt tip asap.

Overall this was a good lip stain. I like how different and convenient the packaging is especially with the felt tip which allows for precise application as Ulta claims! The lip balm is also very nourishing and holds moisture for about 4-5 hrs in my experience (without eating/drinking).

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Lakme Absolute Matte Lipstick

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Matte lipsticks look amazing and give off a very classy and sophisticated aura of prominent bold lips but sometimes it’s hard to find the right balance of moisture. These lipsticks tend to be on the more drying side. However, Lakme’s Absolute Matte lipstick claims to be a non-drying formula that promises an attractive matte finish as well!. It comes in about 21 shades, see here. The shades I tried out were 211 – Rose Nude and 214 – Pink Passion.

While Pink Passion is more on the daring bright pink side, Rose Nude is more of a regularly wearable shade.

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What Lakme Says about this lipstick:

Ensure a proper pout while you enhance the beauty of your lips, with Lakme Absolute Matte. Enriched with Vitamin E and wheat germ oil, this keeps the lips smooth, silky and soft. Now enjoy the special attention along with an attractive matte finish as the non-drying creamy formula keeps the lips hydrated.

 

I was quite skeptical about the non-drying claims on this lipstick but surprisingly it was non-drying. One thing that was different from what I expected was that it had a very creamy consistency to it unlike other matte lipsticks I’ve tried before. While that is a plus point towards hydration, this lipstick tends to settle in the creases because of its creamy consistency. Therefore it is VERY important to exfoliate your lips before using this. This lipstick gives a very soft matte finish that can be further intensified if you dust some translucent HD powder on your lips. Notice the creamy consistency in the picture below. It later dries off into a beautiful matte finish.

 

Pro’s:

  • Doesn’t over-dry lips
  • Beautiful matte finish
  • Good staying time: 4+hrs
  • Does not bleed

 

Cons:

  • Packaging gets easily scratched. Do not store these in the same compartment as your house keys.

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Buxom Winner Takes All Lip Gloss Set – Limited Edition!

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I first came across the Buxom brand last year when I received a sample of one of their full-on glosses with one of my purchases. At the time I was not aware that the gloss was a lip-plumper as well so it came as a pleasant surprise when my lips started tingling with this cool minty-ness that felt really refreshing! I instantly added Buxom products to my wishlist and more recently I ended up buying the Buxom – Winner Takes it all

 set for about $32 when it was on sale at Sephora. I’m glad I did, because right now they’re not available at the website anymore (They’re limited edition) and the ones I see on amazon cost waaay more ($55)!!

o This set contains: -3 x 0.07 oz of Mini Full-On Lip Creams in Creamsicle (peach sorbet), Berry Blast (vivid fuchsia), White Russian (nude pink) -3 x 0.07 oz of Mini Full-OnTM Lip Polishes in Chloe (dollface pink), Sophia (sweetheart pink), Trixie (24-karat pink). I left behind the shade Chloe (dollface pink) while I was on vacation so I won’t be able to show you guys a swatch of that but I have another limited edition item in place of it to show you guys (The sample that got me hooked to buxom in the first place): Love, Dolly™ Limited Edition Full-On™ Lip Polish

Swatches:

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Now these swatches(On MAC NC42 skin) I have here are on bare lips so you get to see how sheer/pigmented the glosses are.

These glosses are all Paraben free. The lovely minty feel leaves your lips tingling for quite a while after application.

In my opinion, Berry Blast looks the best by itself. These glosses look fabulous either by themselves or over similar shades of lipstick, but the formula consistency is such that the lighter shades like White Russian and Creamsickle tend to visibly gather in lip  creases.

 

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Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

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This post is a review of the Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash in comparison with other face washes that have similar claims. All three of them have travel friendly pumps so I left such common advantages out of my bullet list. In terms of standing by their claims, all 3 of the below face-washes do a fair job in cleansing dirt, oil and makeup after a hard days night but here are a few pros and cons that are worth considering in the long run.

Claims:

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Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

Price: $5.99

Qty: 6.0 oz

Pros:

  • Sting Free! If you accidentally get this formula in your eyes it’s just like baby wash. It won’t sting.
  • Paraben free!
  • Color and fragrance free!
  • Excellent for sensitive and damaged skin.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have any refreshing fragrance.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Daily Cleanser

Price: $6.99

Qty: 6.7 oz

Pros:

  • Paraben free!
  • Better use for acne prone skin (Contains Salicylic Acid).
  • Smells nice.

Cons:

  • Can’t use it to wash off eye makeup (Stings if it gets into your eyes).
  • Contains color and fragrance.
  • Dries out skin (Too Strong) and might not work for sensitive skin.

Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser

Price: 5.99

Qty: 8.0 oz

Pros:

  • Smells nice.

Cons:

  • Contains parabens.
  • Can’t use it to wash off eye makeup (Stings if it gets into your eyes)
  • Contains color and fragrance.

I’m not a huge fan of having color and fragrance in my cleansers so in my opinion, being paraben free and safer to use, the Purpose Gentle Cleansing wash beats out the other two. This cleanser is also a good replacement for the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap for a fraction of the price. I did not find much difference after switching from the Clinique cleanser to Purpose except that I saved myself some $$.

 

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Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils

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I added these eye pencils to my basket to get myself to “free shipping” status while shopping on Sephora and I’m glad I did for these are my new makeup loves <3

The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils are currently available in 40 shades on Sephora. The three shades I ordered were Perversion (A matte black shade), Sabbath(Some what navy blue) and Smoke(Dark grey-ish). I went with these three shades because they are most wearable on a regular basis for someone who likes to play it safe with makeup. They also shades that go well with tan/olive complexions.

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Swatches:

 

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Pros:

  • Smudge Proof
  • Highly Pigmented
  • Lasts all day
  • Consistency allows for smooth and easy application… it certainly “Glides On!”

Cons:

  • None! although I wish they were one of those sharpener-free pencils that you roll up to use. It would make sharpening a lot less messier.

Besides the above Pros, I would like to add that these look so adorable!

I will post a tutorial on how I use these to create every day wearable as well as formal looks soon so watch out for those! If you have a favorite shade in this collection do recommend it in the comments section below! :)

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Sally Hansen Get In Shape Brow Shapers

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A wise blogger once said… “Hell hath no fury like a brow untamed” =D . Getting your brows done by a professional can cost anywhere from $5 – 15 or even more. And often we notice that those buggers start growing back within two weeks of getting them done… how annoying? And besides not being able to get the shape right, self tweezing hurts. If you are in such a situation and you are looking for a pain-free solution, the Sally Hansen Get In Shape Brow Shapers could be a solution for you to maintain those brows in between appointments. Priced at just around $2.49 here they are a good deal to cut the cost on brow maintenance. Also, they come in a set of two: A blue one and an orange one, so if you break one, you always have a backup.

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This is also a good tool if you are afraid of permanently damaging your eyebrows by over-tweezing them. These shaping blades do not pull hairs out by the roots.

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If not for the shaping blades, these come with an eyebrow brush and comb which can come in handy while trying to tame those brows with brow gel or something like that.

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Here is a list of pro’s and cons I’ve experienced with using this brow shaper.

Pro’s:

  • Cheap.
  • Quick and easy to use! Here’s a link to a useful tutorial: Click Me.
  • Easy to find.
  • Pain – free.
  • Comes with a product guarantee.
  • No ingrown hair issues.
  • Gives a clean finish

Cons:

  • Sharp blade! (Use with caution)
  • Needs to be used more frequently than a tweezer

Results:

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Comment below and let me know what you think!

 

 

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Super-foods: Benefits Of Watermelon!

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  1. Hydration

    The obvious benefit of a watermelon is hydration. About 90.45% of a watermelon is water which makes it wonderful for your skin and digestive system!

  2. Vitamin C

    The second most abundant nutrient is vitamin C. One serving of watermelon (100g) gives about 21% of your daily vitamin C needs.

  3. Antioxidants

    Among many other antioxidants, watermelon also contains Lycopene (Lycopene levels in watermelon are even higher than in tomatoes). Being an antioxidant, it helps combat free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer. It also aids in tissue repair and cell regeneration.

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  4. Carotenoids

    Carotenoids are known to strengthen the heart and immune system. Along with potassium and vitamin C they help reduce the risk of heart attacks and stabilize cholesterol levels.

  5. Muscle Relief

    According to this study here, watermelon juice is a good post-workout drink as it helps reduce the heart rate faster post-workout. It’s also shown to reduce muscle soreness 24 h after consumption.

 

 

 

 

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