Review: Murad Essential-C Cleanser

What It Is: Energizing cleanser

What It Does: Washes away dirt and impurities without over-drying skin.

Active Ingredients: Vitamins A, C, & E and Allantoin and panthenol (to help soften skin)

Verdict: I’m not someone who is exclusively married to one skin cleanser, so I’m always switching mine up depending on what I receive or am gifted. This particular skin cleanser was part of a Fab Fit Fun subscription box. What I love about this cleanser is that it feels luxuriously silky and it has an incredible scent. I feel as though my skin is getting fully cleansed but at the same time it doesn’t feel stripped of its natural oils. I’m really enjoying this cleanser a lot and will definitely purchase it when I’m done.

Price: $40

Where To Buy It: https://www.murad.com/

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Review: Colourpop Candyland Candy Castle Eyeshadow Palette

Colourpop always releases very exciting collabs, but like any makeup junkie there is, trying to collect them all would mean that we’d be drowning in eyeshadow palettes. As a kid, I loved the whimsical magical world that the Hasboro game Candyland provided. It wasn’t a board game that required much skill, but rather relied more on the luck of the draw. But it was a board game that even my mum who hates board games was agreeable to want to play with me.

So when Colourpop decided to collab with Hasboro for Candyland inspired makeup, I was totally onboard! I decided to snag the eyeshadow palette and Queen Frostine Highlighter (unfortunately, I was later informed that I would be reimbursed for that product as they sold out before they could fulfill all their orders).

Now, I’ve used Colourpop products before, and my personal experience with their products is so-so. There are some products that they certainly nail, and then there are some that aren’t as remarkable, but for the cheap price tag, one can’t really complain. My biggest issue with Colourpop eyeshadows is that the matte shadows always tend to result in a patchy application, the final result isn’t always universally pigmented. Of course, this can only be noticed if you’re looking with a close-up mirror in good lighting. Most people on the street won’t notice this inconsistency just by looking at you.

The colours for this palette are very reminiscent of the whimsical magic that Candyland represented, so for tht it gets a thumbs up from me. All the colours are very pretty. Now, my only complaint is the application for the matte ones. Like previous matte shadows from Colourpop, these too result in a patchy application even using eyeshadow primer beforehand. Meanwhile, the top-performing eyeshadows tend to be the glittery or frosty ones.

If you love pastel colours, I definitely recommend checking this palette out, or if like me, you’re nostalgic for the whimsical carefree days of your childhood, then that’s also a good reason to pick this palette up, or anything from the Candyland collab, as they’ll whisk you back to a time when makeup meant you wanted to be Princess Lollipop or Queen Frostine.

Price: $18

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Review: Tony Moly Moisture Boost Cooling Algae Eye Serum

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What It Is: Eye Serum

What It Does: Hydrates and moisturizes

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, seawater, plankton, and algae

Verdict: I’m a sucker for eye creams, even when other beauty bloggers may deem eye creams to simply be glorified moisturizers, I can’t help but love the luxurious feel of applying eye cream to the lids and outer corners of my eyes. I’ve previously used products from Tony Moly and not only is this Korean company effective, but it also has the cutest packaging ever. Take, for example, this eye serum, the packaging alone made me want to purchase it (I’m also fickle, sue me). Now, perhaps I should’ve been expecting a serum that would feel wet seeing that it is water-based, but for some reason, I thought the consistency of it would’ve been more gel-like such as Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gel Cream Eye that I adore using as a primer to concealer. Unfortunately, this serum isn’t thick, but very light, meaning that it’s okay if you’re only going to use it as an eye cream for the night, but if you’re wanting a hydrating barrier to your concealer, then this probably wouldn’t be your best choice. I can’t say this product doesn’t work, because it DOES, it simply didn’t work for my specific needs, which means I’ll be using this cream as a night serum rather than a day one. Again, how freaking cute is that packaging though?!

Price: $22

Where To Buy It: https://tonymoly.us/products/moisture-boost-cooling-eye-serum , Ulta, Macy’s and Target

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Review: Akar Skin Balance Toning Mist

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What It Is: Toner

What It Does: Helps tone and balance skin.

Active Ingredients: Rose, Neroli, Saffron, and White Willow Bark

Verdict: If you’re one of those people who has always avoided toners because you’re afraid of alcohol stripping you away of essential skin oils, then throw away all your fears with this toner! This toner isn’t alcohol-based, but rather it uses soothing floral waters to hydrate AND keeps oily skin under control. I’m a bit picky when it comes to toners, they need to feel as though they’re getting rid of any dirt or grime there might be, but at the same time, I don’t wish my skin to feel like it’s dangerous to be near a match cause of the high alcohol content. I recommend this toner if you’ve got normal to combination skin. The only downside to this toner? Its hefty price. If you can splurge, the toner is worth it. If you can’t, then Pixi has more economical options.

Price: $55

Where To Buy It: www.akarskin.com

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Review: Dr. Botanicals Lemon Superfood All-In-One Rescue Butter

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What It Is: Balm cream

What It Does: Hydrates

Active Ingredients: Vitamin A, Coconut Oil, Lemongrass Oil, and antioxidants

Verdict: Since we’re living during a pandemic, I’ve had to up the number of times I wash my hands (let’s just say that I now understand why OCD people feel so anxious). But all this handwashing has caused me to get hand eczema (a very unsightly and painful issue). This butter is meant to be used all over the body, and under normal conditions, I probably would’ve considered using it as a face moisturizer. But these are unprecedented times, so I decided to use this all-in-one rescue butter for my hands (because of its Vitamin A qualities). Let’s just say that this butter has been a lifesaver. In a matter of TWO DAYS, my hand eczema disappeared and I was left with beautiful pre-pandemic hands. This butter is so rich that a dime-size is all you really need for hours of hydration (or up until you have to wash your hands, yet again). Apart from this butter being a miracle-worker, it also serves as a mini-aromatherapy session as it has a light lemon scent that helps ease any feelings of anxiety you might be feeling (and honestly who isn’t anxious right about now?). I love this product SO MUCH that I’m willing to purchase it when I run out (I received this in an Allure Beauty Box). I completely recommend this butter for all of your skincare needs, you won’t be disappointed.

Price: $14.90

Where To Buy It: https://us.drbotanicals.com/

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Review: Curology The Cleanser

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What It Is: A lightweight cleanser

What It Does: Cleanses skin without stripping it of its essential oils

Verdict: I’ve seen this brand being advertised both on Facebook and Instagram. They promise to take your skin concerns and tailor them into a skin routine that is made to target and solve your problems. I received this in a current Allure Beauty Box, and since they know what skin type I have (combination, oily) I figure that they probably sent me a cleanser that would target my skin issues.

As far as cleanser goes, I love that it doesn’t have any strange scents. It’s actually scentless, which I prefer. It also is a lightweight gel consistency, which is also one of my favourite textures for cleansers. I’m not a huge fan of the foam ones or ones that are too thick or runny.

I love that it gets rid of oiliness or residual makeup without drying out your skin. In fact, it leaves your skin feeling hydrated and soft. As a cleanser, I am happy with the way this one made my skin feel and may look into purchasing their custom skincare in the future.

Price: $19.95 and up for a set that includes the cleanser, a custom treatment cream, and moisturizer

Where To Buy It: curology.com/allure

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Review: Mario Badescu Dermonectin Eye Cream

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So I’ve been dealing with some serious itchiness on my eyelids since May. I thought that maybe it was an allergic reaction to something new so I stopped using any of the newer products, and still so no relief. I invested in Aquaphor and it soothed my problem for a few days, till it came back up. I’ve been Googling possible skin conditions, and finally, at the end of May, it became so unbearable that I made an appointment with my eye doc to find out what it is that’s been causing this itchiness.

Fast forward to July when I finally have my eye appointment only to find out that my doc can’t prescribe any eye creams, only eye drops. He didn’t think I needed eye drops. By then the rest of the month was consumed by ongoing dentist appointments for a root canal that I couldn’t fit in a derm appointment. SO….yet again I tried to self-medicate and just wanted a very nourishing eye cream that could help curb the itchiness as well as be non-allergic. So that’s how I ended up purchasing said eye cream.

Packaging: Simple and sleek

What It Is: Super hydrating Eye Cream for extremely dry skin

Active Ingredients: Vitamins A & E, with a special blend of vegetable, peanut, and coconut oils

Verdict: Emollient, soothing, and rich are three words to describe this cream. It feels very refreshing and moisturizing the moment you apply it, and for my recent condition, it even soothes the itching and doesn’t burn (which seems to be the norm with most creams right now). Did it stop the itchiness? Not entirely, but that’s not what this cream is designed for. Did it provide incredible moisture and calm the dryness? Yes, it sure did! I really recommend this eye cream if you’re looking for something that’s rich and intensely hydrating (it will quench any dry skin’s thirst for moisture). I’ll probably be repurchasing this eye cream again, whilst I still try to figure out exactly what it up with my odd skin condition (at least it’s not unsightly, just a tad bit bothersome).

Price: $18

Where To Buy It: Amazon

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Review: L’Oreal Infallible Full Wear Concealer

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When it comes to concealer I usually don’t stray away from my long-trusted Lancome waterproof one that I’ve been using faithfully since 2011. Now, being someone who started to wear concealer at the age of 13 (ironically not to conceal blemishes but rather to finally find a way to eliminate my hereditary dark circles, the bane of my existence), you better bet that I’ve tried all kinds concealers over the years. I’ve attempted stick formulas, powder, liquid…you name it, I’ve tried it! So when I first saw this at Target, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it, because time and time again, I’ve always returned to my trusted Lancome concealer. But I figured for the price, I might as well give it a try.

What It Is: Full coverage concealer

Distinguishing Factors: Waterproof & long-lasting

Verdict: First of all, this L’Oreal range tried to be inclusive, providing 25 shades (although it still kinda seems like 15 of the shades are for different variations of white). I, of course, was thrilled to see that their version of Porcelain was actually my shade of pale (cause when you’re ghost white as myself almost any foundation or concealer always comes off as either too pink or too yellow). This one, luckily was closer to my skin tone, albeit not a perfect match as my Lancome shade (but maybe it just means I need to try another shade of pale they have to offer).

One thing that I noticed right away though when I applied this concealer is that a little goes a LOOOONG way, meaning that the usual amount I tend to use with other brands ended up being TOO much for this product as it seems that with one tiny swipe it magically conceals everything! Yes, this product is hella thick, but it doesn’t feel heavy or cakey, and it DOES NOT CREASE. Nor is it drying. I blended the product out using a damp tiny Beauty Blender and it seems to be the best way to apply it. I set it using Makeup Forever’s foundation powder.

This is AMAZING…it instantly conceals and brightens in less than a second! Dare I say that it’s better than Tarte’s Shape Tape? I THINK IT IS. I highly recommend this product and at the price, it’s at, it’s A STEAL! So snatch a tube for yourself and next time you see yourself in the mirror, you might very well utter, “Who dis?”

Price: 12.99

Where To Buy It: L’Oreal website

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Review: Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels

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Not only do these under-eye masks look extremely glamorous (they’re glittery) but they actually work in terms of hydrating your under-eyes. I know many people have claimed that it has also eliminated their dark circles, but since I’ve been cursed with hereditary dark circles, I didn’t see much difference there. But maybe if your dark circles are due to late nights, then maybe it can help you out.

What It Is: Hydrating Under-Eye Mask

What It Does: Hydrates, smooths fine lines and helps diminish the look of dark circles

Verdict: These gels were truly very comfortable and fast working. I kept them on for twenty minutes or so because they just radiated a relaxing, soothing feeling. Once I removed them my skin felt very hydrated and soft. I like that these gel masks didn’t slide off your face so you weren’t obligated to lie down whilst having them on. You could easily attach these under your eyes and pass the time doing something else. I’ve heard that some people have used these as sleep masks for the eye, and maybe they work if left overnight, but I’m unsure about falling asleep with masks on (it seems like it would be a bit difficult if you’re someone who moves around, which sometimes I do).

Price: $15 for five pairs

Where To Buy It: http://www.anthropologie.com

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Review: Pixi Overnight Glow Serum (Concentrated Exfoliating Gel)

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This is the third skin product that I’ve tested by Pixi and I’m truly loving it! (You can check out one of my Pixi reviews here). I know that you may think that I’ve been reviewing a ton of skin serums lately, but alas skincare means more to me than cosmetics. If you have an amazing skin you won’t need that much makeup, so that’s why I’m so obsessed with keeping my skin looking top notch (which I know is usually easier said than done!). But that’s why I wish to share with you any skincare product that can help you achieve that amazing skin that we all crave!

Packaging: Like most serums, this comes with a drop dispenser, and in keeping with the Pixi brand it’s a light shade of mint.

What It Does: Gently exfoliates to reveal a healthier and more even skintone. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and fade superficial sun damage over time.

Active Ingredients: Glycolic acid, aloe vera, and cucumber

Verdict: What I love about this serum is that it’s thick and feels extra emollient. The glycolic acid stimulates cell turnover, while the aloe vera helps to heal and soothe skin, and cucumber calms and relieves puffy skin. After using this serum for two weeks my skin became instantly smoother and softer. I initially purchased this serum because of the glycolic acid and the promise of it helping fade sun damage (especially since I’m so deathly pale and I live in So-Cal). In two weeks I can’t really tell whether it has helped with any possible sun damage, but it has helped in fading any past acne scars. The serum feels ultra luxurious, as though you were applying an insanely expensive serum, but in reality you’re just splurging the same amount that you would for a MAC lipstick. I recommend this serum, and if you’re acne-prone and oily, this serum keeps the zits away and doesn’t cause one to breakout or increase the oiliness either.

Price: $24

Where To Buy It: Target or https://www.pixibeauty.com/

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