Thursday, June 28, 2012

Glossybox Update: Beauty Profiles!

There's a whole mess involving the Glossybox Beauty Profiles. Glossybox excitedly announced on FB that the questionnaire was ready. Well when most beauties logged in, they saw the same blank page under the link. Myself included. Even though they said they were working overnight to rectify the situation, it seems like they didn't work hard enough. Finally some smart beauty found a link directly to the Beauty Profile. That's not all, when you finish, it will save and THEN it will also show up under the appropriate link! yay! Thank you!

The questions look like this. They also ask how much you spend on cosmetics/month and your age.

Now, some are also starting to complain. They're the ones who want everybody to have the same box. They must also be the ones who never bothered to read and understand Glossybox's business plan. This is a company that has been sending out boxes supposedly according to beauty profiles internationally. When you read the "How it works" on their webpage it even TELLS you it's a customized beauty experience. So this is not them changing to become like Birchbox, this is them finally getting their act together. I for one cannot wait to see the different boxes that people receive.

For those who want the same exact boxes, consider something like Sample Society. I have to say that the box I most hated from Sample Society was because I couldn't use 4 out of 5 products. They all dried out my skin. Different boxes is a welcomed relief for me because it means that I can complain about getting something that dries out my skin, or is way too dark on my fair skin. It means that I'm not stuck with some random shade I can't use after shelling out $21/month. I may not think much of half my Birchbox samples, but at least they're all things I can use.

Now, that being said, I still don't have my shipping confirmation. Last month, they sent it out on the 24th or the 25th. I might have to contact customer service soon...can't wait! Stila & Too Faced

I've been wanting to order from this site for a while. It offers products for a discounted price, so I picked up a few Stila items.

Stila Backstage Beauty Eyeshadow Palette-Runway

I hesitated in buying this product because I thought it might be too warm after looking at various swatches online. Turns out it's perfect! The lightest color is matte and goes on a nude highlighter. There's not much pigment here, but it's not exactly chalky either. The middle color has a little bit of shimmer, but it's not so chunky you have glitter falling down your face. The last color is dark enough to add dimension to your look, but isn't too contrasting. Overall these shadows are pigmented enough, but if you're used to shadows like Urban Decay or something with more pigment this may seem a bit weak at first. The plus side is that it's harder to mess up.

This set also comes with a black onyx kajal liner. It goes on pitch black and super smooth. The only problem with going on super smooth is that it smudges off super easily. I accidentally rubbed my eye a bit and came away with a black hand.

I'm not fond of the "Flower accessory" that comes with it. It's cheaply made and what would I even use this accessory for? It would have been much smarter of an idea to have it as an elastic. It would be able to more easily secure the Stila palette and you can put it on your wrist or tie your hair with it. 

Above: The left eye in the picture is Wisteria, and the right eye has the colors from the Stila Runway Palette. I used the Black Onyx Kajal liner on both eyes.

Stila Eyeshadow- Wisteria

This was not the brighter purple I was hoping for. Instead the lesser pigmentation and the subdued purple hue make this a very wearable everyday color. 

Above: Left to Right- 3 Stila Runway palette swatches, Coco, Barefoot Contessa, Wisteria

I forgot to take individual pictures of Coco and Barefoot Contessa, but the swatches are above.
Coco is the warmer brown that I didn't want. It is however, completely matte.
Barefoot Contessa is a wonderful medium brown with a hint of shimmer

Stila Tinted Moisturizer- Bare

I had no idea which color to choose, but it seemed like this worked for some others with my coloring. Turns out it's wayyy too light. The texture however is medium and it seems like it would have decent coverage, at least for evening out skin tone.

Stila One Step- Tone

Again, I got this color based on other's reviews, and again I am disappointed. The color is wayyy too orange for me. I tried mixing it with some of the Bare tinted moisturizer, but it just came out looking like a complete mess. 

Too Faced Sparkles Glamour Gloss

 I think this is to give your lips a little something extra with the colored iridescence. I haven't tried it yet, so I can't comment too much. I've seen others layer these over other lip colors for an interesting twist. For example, layering this violet over a red lipstick for a mystical sheen.

 That's it for now!

PS. Glossybox seems to have started letting users update their Beauty Profiles. Sad to say, mine still doesn't work.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Battle!: Drugstore Eyeshadows

Hihi! Found an SD card with all these swatches that I did and never got around to posting. Basically I went out and bought a bunch of Almay, Maybelline, and L'oreal eyeshadows. It started from seeing all the cool Almay ads on their newest collection.

To make a long story short, I remember why I don't buy drugstore eyeshadows. The pigmentation SUCKS! I swatched all of these by really digging into the shadows before applying. To be fair I didn't use any kind of primer. These are good if you're just starting out and want to play with different colors. You can see what works and what doesn't work without spending a huge amount of money. Once you settle on your colors though, go out and buy a nicer one! It's totally worth it. The ones with higher pigment save you time on application and they last a long time as well.

I'm not going to go in dept labeling wise right now. Maybe I'll update later. There's not really much motivation though -___-||

I'm sure the rest of the swatches are around here somewhere, just have to find them.

I've Been Wearing the Wrong Bra Size! O_O

You know they say this is true of 70% of women, are you one of them? I didn't think I was until... yesterday.  It just so completely blows my mind that I've been wearing the wrong bra size for 7 years or so, so of course you get to read all about it.

Now, I started out one of those tomboy-ish girls that wore sports bras all the time. Yes, I admit it. People used to try and pop my bra strap- haha on you! I still don't get why it's supposed to be painful because even now with "real" bras it doesn't hurt.

Then one day I decided it was time to grow up and get a serious bra. I didn't even know there was a way to measure and estimate your bra size. I thought you just try them on like any other clothes and see which works. I ended up with a bra that seemed ok, but was a bit loose in the cups and shifted around. The underwire gave me bruising, but dumb me, I thought it was just because my breast shape was off from the years of neglect.

A year or two later I finally found out that you could measure your size, and lo and behold, found that my band size was too big. So I got new bras, and wow! So much better, like it was meant to be. Then I went to Asia and didn't know my international bra size so I got fitted there. At the time I thought it was hilarious that I was 2 cup sizes larger than here in the US. When a particular style I wanted only came a cup smaller, the lady even said I could get it, it would just be a bit tighter- I refused. And yet it seemed strange that the bras over there fit so much better. I chalked it up to them knowing how to make bras fit my body better. It seemed like the bras in the US always made the cups too close, but I just ignored it. Then again I was much thinner then so I suppose it didn't have THAT much of a noticeable effect.

Fast forward 5 years and 13 lbs later. I noticed that my bras weren't fitting as well, and there was some undesireable bulging areas, so naturally I thought that I should increase the band size. That didn't work out too well and I just returned to my old size.

Recently, Victoria's Secret is having a semi-annual sale. But they didn't have my usual size in that particular style. So I ordered one a size up for the band, and one a size up for the cup to try out. They're sister sizes, but interestingly enough the one a cup size larger was more comfortable. And it fit. This confused me so much. I went on a hunt again to make sure my size is still the same. No matter how many times I measured with the "add 4 in if.., add 5 inches if..." method, I kept getting the same size. The online calculators have me a whole cup size lower or something. I finally thought to use conversion calculators using my International size.

What I found out was that I'm supposed to wear one cup size up! Determined to get to the bottom of this, I went out and started trying on bras in store. I found that the fit was different for every brand, but yes, I fit the bras one cup size higher.

I still need to try on a couple more to really see, but for now I suggest you check your own. I found one site where the number for the US calculation is the same as my number for the International size conversion. So it seems pretty consistent to me. (scroll down)

And here are some tips on what to look for to make sure your bra fits right (don't just go by numbers!)

1. Make sure the band sits flat and parallel to the ground in the back. If it curves upwards, your band is too large.

2. You should only be able to pull the band up 2" away from the skin in the back. Any more and the band is probably too large.

3. Breasts should not spill over the cups. If they do, the cups are too small.

4. Underwire should end behind the breast. If ends up on top, then the cup is too small. (This is how I realized that something might be off.

5. Straps should not dig into the shoulders. Look into decreasing band size for increased support.

Stay Healthy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Got Some Jouer Samples!

I sent in a request through Jouer's website using the "Ask a Stylist" feature. Nobody replied to me. I'm pretty sure it was at least a month or two. I finally decided to email customer service because I was interested in a few items, but had no idea how compatible they were with my skin. I also mentioned that I had attempted to go through their "Ask a Stylist" form to no avail. The next day, I got a response from the "Ask a Stylist". Hmmm suspicious. No separate answer from customer service btw. Anyhow, the stylist sent me a form of things that they thought I would like. I did mention that I normally wore neutral shades for work, but liked something fun as well.

So she put together a sample pack for me of a few things (less than what some other ppl got, but oh well). It took 3 weeks to arrive -___-. As if that weren't enough, I deleted the pics I had for the lip glosses. Thank goodness for desktop recycling bins.

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint

This is actually very similar to a BB cream. It wasn't drying to my skin at all, which I loved. It can be sheer or you can build it up. Unfortunately it doesn't cover the more obvious blemishes, but for evening out skin tone it's great. They sent me Golden, Pearl, and Opal. Opal is supposed to be the lightest color made for "porcelain skin". I don't think I have porcelain skin, it's more like Fair. The opal was still half a shade to a shade too dark. I guess I'm supposed to use this if I want to be more tan. Gives off a "dewy" finish.

Jouer Lip Enhancer Conditioning Lip Treatment

Leaves lips shiny. It's ok. I still prefer Sugar's Fresh Lip Treatment. This one smells chemically.

Jouer Lip Gloss 

My apologies, deleted some of the swatches by accident. Wind I guess was for when I said I wear mostly neutral shades daily. It doesn't have much effect on my lips. If it were a bit more opaque I could see it as a nice nude-ish color.
Mimosa is still very sheer, but a bit more interesting looking.
It has a faint chemically smell. My lips are shiny from the above lip treatment.

Jouer Lip and Cheek Tint

These tints can be used for the lips or cheek. I've just modeled the cheek here. They have a kind of mousse texture and glide on smoothly. Love how the color is not too intense and is easy to blend. 
Whisper looks to be the color for me. Peony seems to have been added in because I said I wanted something fun. It looks scary at first, but rubbed in is very wearable. If I pair it with a lavender pink lipstick it would work nicely though.

I kind of want to try out a couple more colors before deciding (these aren't cheap!)

Have you tried Jouer? What products do you recommend?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Birchbox: June 2012

YAY! My Birchbox arrived! The tracking kept telling me that it wouldn't get here until Monday which is crazy. Birchbox really tried to keep people from taking a first peek at the boxes this month, haha. Btw, the is the earliest I've ever received a box o.O

Seems like all the boxes are picking up a travel theme this month. Birchbox specially customized the inside of the outer packaging. Cute.

I really like my box this month! It has a variety of items and most importantly they're items I can use.

1. the Balm Cosmetics Staniac- Beauty Queen: leaves a lasting stain on lips and cheeks. Since it’s water-based, it has a longer setting time than most quick-dry stains, which means it won’t leave any unsightly streaks behind as long as you take care to blend well. Use a single coat for a subtle look or layer it on for a more visible (yet still discrete) hue.

It's on the left side (cheek too)

  • Sooo excited to see this. After seeing the Sneek Peek vid, this immediately popped up as the item I wanted to try (and the mask)
  • Gel. When I took the wand out, it actually left an imprint inside the gel where it was.
  • My color is Beauty Queen. It's the one I wanted most, I didn't want a warm toned one as those don't go well with my skin tone. Prom Queen is lighter and has less impact so.. I'm happy!
  • It takes a minute to fully dry and set, so you can manipulate the gel better and try to get it to streak less. The color also darkens as it dries (which I found out). I recommend to put on a layer first, then let it dry to see if you actually need more product. Otherwise you will end up with a very dramatic effect.
  • Sheer (but buildable). You don't have to worry about accidentally putting too much on and looking like a clown. 
  • Tingled/ itched a bit when I first applied, but not as bad as the Revlon Just Bitten. There must be something in these tints that I'm slightly allergic to.
  • Comes off with water.
  • Some may want to separate lip tube vs cheek tube- although I guess that defeats the purpose. 
  • If you don't have a tint yet, I highly recommend this one. It's not too expensive, and it goes on sheer (harder to mess up)
  • Full sized .3 oz $17, sample size .04 fl oz worth $2.27
2. Apothederm Stretch Mark Cream- The lush cream tones and reduces the look of both ancient and recent stretch marks alike. Four natural moisturizers—olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and meadowfoam seed oils—leave skin wondrously soft. Meanwhile, the unique SmartPeptide™ system increases collagen production, while licorice root and antioxidant-rich resveratrol fade discoloration. A dose of hyaluronic acid helps with long-lasting hydration.

  •  Last month Sample Society gave us Strivectin, and now BB has come out with Apothederm. I just need to get one to work
  • This one is a lotion but doesn't have added fragrance. It smells.. like a plain lotion.
  • The bottle is half full. 
  • It's to be applied twice a day. I think that's why these things are hard for me to see results with. I have a hard time remembering to apply once a day, much less twice. At this point, I'd be happy if these samples can fade my smaller stretch marks away.
  • Full size 5.7 oz $89.95, sample size .7 oz worth $11.05
3. Scalisi Anti-Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum spf 30- This moisturizer uses innovative peptide technology you won’t find anywhere else—it tricks your skin into thinking a wrinkle is a cut so collagen production increases to “heal” the wrinkle. Genius, right? Add White Tea Extract for radiance and soy proteins rich in amino acids to boost cell regeneration, and you’ve got yourself an anti-aging powerhouse. the faintly floral scent is a far cry from eau de SPF.

  • Pump applicator
  • Rather than floral, I think it smells like sunscreen. Like the BeFine from a couple boxes ago. It has the same slightly more liquid lotion texture too.
  • I'm pretty much hoping something will work on my microwrinkles. After a year and a half of using the Missha moisturizer, I'm sure it's a sham.
  • Full size 1.7 oz $110, sample size .2 oz worth $12.94
4. Clean Well Hand Sanitizing Wipes- These alcohol-free wipes use thyme oil, a natural anti-bacterial, plus super hydrating aloe vera.

  • To be honest, I thought these were the lifestyle extra. Guess not.
  • Citrus-lemony scent.
  • I used these to wipe off the cheek tint above and they do a pretty good job without drying out my face (soft too).
  • I was kind of ehhhh about these at first, but the individual wipe thing is actually pretty handy. I usually try to grab some food while waiting for the train, and after touching everywhere on public transit a wipe is definitely a good idea. Not sure about the price though =/
  • Full size 10 ct $3.98, sample size 2 ct worth $.80
5. Band Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages- Cynthia Rowley

  • I got bandaids in my Birchbox o.O
  • They seem to just be a design printed on, not actually decked out in sequins.
  • They look skinnier than normal bandaids (sport?), and there are two sizes
  • Full size 40ct $14, sample size 20ct worth $7
6. John Varvatos Star USA- The manly scent combines red ginger essence from Laos, juniper berries and cedrat from Sicily, blue spruce, green cardamom, osmanthus, vetyvert, belambre, and tonka bean from Venezuela.

  • It's another one of those sharp fresh business like fragrances that I wouldn't mind smelling on someone in the elevator.
  • Fades to a less strong scent pretty quickly, but up close you can still smell it.
  • Full size 1.7 oz $55, sample size .04 fl oz worth $1.29

Overall Box Value: ~$35.35

The big ticket items were mostly the Anti-Aging Cream and Stretch Cream. The Stainiac was also something I really wanted to try. The rest are extras?

As much as I like my items this month, I'm happy I cut it down to one Birchbox again.

Wonder what's in the other boxes... 

Glossybox Update: Start Getting Glossydots!

Received another 2 emails about getting charged for the June Glossybox. This is pretty early considering we just got the May one a week ago. Maybe they're changing to ship the boxes mid month instead? In any case, I'm actually very thankful for the heads up- now I know to pay my bill, lol.

I went to the Glossybox website to see if they might have listed a shipping date. No such luck, but I did find a couple other things out. First, the Beauty Profiles are still unavailable = same boxes again for June.

Second, you can start earning the Glossydots! Remember how I said there was a site listed on the card where we were supposed to go to give feedback, but I didn't see anything? Well now there are two additional links on the sidebar.

Under the "Survey" link is where you'll see the box items listed for you to review. The Amore Pacific one is missing since I've already reviewed it. To review, you click on the link to the right of the item saying "Incomplete". Once you finish reviewing, the item will disappear from that list.

There are still some strange things though. Like how this question must be answered and yet there is no "No" answer.

After you finish, you should see points added under the "My Glossydots" link's page. It seems like we have to accumulate 840pts (random number) to get a free Glossybox. That's about one and a half boxes worth of reviews if they keep it at 100 points/ review. Not bad! I just wish they would indicated on here which item it was that we reviewed.

For some reason, when I click on the links for the other products, it comes up an empty page. Maybe they're not done putting them up yet.

I also wish there was an option to change your payment method. As of right now, I can't even see what type of credit card/ name was used. Hopefully it's just still in the works.

It's been almost two months since I signed up, so I honestly thought they had abandoned updating the site. It seems like they are still working on it, (very) slowly but surely. So that's a good thing.

EDIT 6/8/2012: Seems like they finished setting up the feedback. Instead of 100 pts, they're now giving only 20/ review? Mine still says you need 840pts to get a free Glossybox but the FB post says you need 1000. Is it really only 20 now? That means to get to 1000 you need to review 50 items. At 5 items a box, you need 10 boxes minimum. Basically one Glossybox/ year? Not such a great deal. You can get several Birchboxes worth in points just by reviewing and more for referrals.