• Beauty,  eye makeup,  product review

    Product review: Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash mascara

    I picked up a tube of this Jumbo Lash mascara over the winter and thought I should finally get around to reviewing it, since I now also have a tube of the new FakeOut mascara to review (that post will be up tomorrow). Since I forgot to take a picture before throwing away the old tube with the wrapping intact (oy! stupid!), I pulled a picture from their website.

    The product: Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash mascara; in Black or Ultra Black; $9.95 at drugstores

    The claim: “100% dramatic volume & glamour. OrganiSoy® moisturizes and helps nourish lashes.”

    I tried it: I really prefer waterproof mascaras, which Physicians Formula doesn’t make. Nonetheless, I thought I’d give this one a try, since I give preference to natural products and the cool leaf-shaped tube really caught my eye. It looks Elvish to me…Elvish mascara.

    Anyway…as you can see from the above picture, the traditional spoolie brush has been replaced by a chubby plastic brush with very short, dense bristles. This means that the mascara swipes on with virtually no clumps, even after multiple swipes and even after you’ve been using the tube for a few months. I’ve tried lots of mascaras that are clump free the first few times you use them and quickly turn goopy after that, but this is not one of them.

    This formula leaves your lashes feeling soft and full, not dry and spiky. As you can see, several coats are soft and clump-free, adding just enough volume and fullness. My lashes are pretty sparse but several coats of this disguises that fact quite nicely.

    My one gripe: again, this is not a waterproof formula, so you will see a bit of wear and perhaps smudging on the upper eyelid, particularly if you tear up or you just have very oily skin. Otherwise, it wears like a dream, with no irritation, and washes away with water, so it’s perfect for those with very sensitive eyes.

    My verdict: $10 is a little on the high end for a drugstore mascara, but if you have sensitive eyes or just really want a mascara that does a little more for your lashes, this is it. Tip: I’ve seen this at stores like Fred Meyer and Walmart in a BOGO pack (two for the price of one), so if you really love it, snatch it up those BOGO packs and congratulate yourself on snagging a great deal.

  • Uncategorized

    Random Thursday: Ridiculous Fears

    Hoo boy. Where do I start? Sure, there are the usual fears that everyone has, like being scared of the dark or freaked out by bugs. But I don’t think those are really “ridiculous” since they’re not really abnormal.
    So. Ridiculous fears. I suppose we all have a few; mine include…
    •  A ridiculous fear of oversleeping and being late for work. I will check my alarm multiple times before I go to bed and again at any point during the day if I wake up. I think part of the reason is that I have overslept in the past, and part of it is the fact that I’ve dreamt multiple times about sleeping straight through the alarm and showing up to work two hours late. 
    • I also have a weird paranoia about having my cell phone with me at all times, just in case I have to make an emergency call. You know those people who forget their phone? That’s not me. I knew this was a ridiculous fear when I was home alone late one night and decided to take a shower, then had to go back to the bedroom to grab my cell and put it on the bathroom counter because what if a serial killer breaks into the house and I’m locked in the bathroom with no way to call 911?!
    • I’m vigilant about keeping my gas tank full in case a natural disaster/zombie apocalypse strikes and we have to make a run for it. I won’t be the one running out of gas before I flee the city limits, nosiree!

    So what are your ridiculous fears?  Tell me in the comments! (I promise I won’t laugh too hard!)

  • Beauty,  color,  cruelty-free,  product review

    Product review: Flower Beauty Win Some, Rouge Some Creme Blush

    After my big Flower Beauty haul from Walmart, I’ve gone from skeptical of a celebrity-conceived line to totally head over heels in love with Drew Barrymore’s new makeup brand. Today I’ve got another review to share with you, of the creme blush pots.

    The product: Win Some, Rouge Some Creme Blush; in six shades; $7.98 at Walmart stores or Walmart.com. I tested out “BL2 Peach Blossom”.

    The claim: Soft powder-like finish; gentle glow; perfect for layering.

    I tried it: To be honest, I thought this blush looked much more coral/orange in the store, which I blame on the atrocious Walmart lighting. (You know how you go in the store thinking you’re fairly attractive, and after catching a glimpse of yourself in one of their mirrors you think “Holy crap, I look like that?!”) Walmart lighting is a terrible way to judge colors or compatibility with skin tone.

    Anyway, when I got home to test and photograph this blush, I was surprised (and a little relieved) to discover that it’s much truer to the name, a very soft and pretty peachy color. The texture in the pot is very firm, so I decided to apply it with a foundation brush. True to the product description, this is a very buildable blush and it’s pretty easy to adjust the color intensity. I finished it off by buffing the edges with the clean side of the brush and then dusting a little translucent powder over all to “set” my face.

    I feel like this particular peachy shade would be great on all skin tones, and it’s certainly more flattering than the standard powder pinks typically found at the drugstore. (It looks great layered with bronzer, too!) After testing it out I found this picture of actress Naomie Harris with a soft peachy blush, which confirmed my feeling that peach is ever more flattering across a range of skintones than that basic blush pink we all fall back on in a pinch. Now I’m happier than ever that I grabbed this shade!

    I know it doesn’t matter nearly as much as the product quality (obviously), but I really love the packaging on the Flower products. This little jar of blush looks and feels like something from a much more expensive cosmetics line, not a Walmart exclusive. I’ve always been highly suspicious of celebrity lines, but I feel like Drew really took the time to make sure every part of this line was just so before the launch. The packaging is luxe, the formulas feel expensive, and the color range is impressive.

    The verdict: I’m in love! I’ve always considered myself a powder blush girl, but this formula is so easy to use and so soft in finish, it’s really won me over. I think Flower might just be my new favorite makeup brand! Update: this blush is no longer available in stores, but you can find the new Transforming Touch Powder to Creme Blush online at FlowerBeauty.com!

  • Beauty,  celebrities,  cruelty-free,  product review,  skin care

    Product review: Flower Beauty BB Cream

    I know BB creams have been causing tons of hype on the beauty scene for a looooong time now, but strangely, while I’ve sampled some, I’ve never gotten around to actually buying one. When I saw the Flower BB Cream at Walmart, I thought it’d be a good candidate for my first BB purchase, but the price tag made me balk. After all, I go to Walmart for cheapie deals, and $13 seems like a lot for a Walmart foundation.

    What changed my mind in the end was this review from Christine at MakeUp Guinea Pig, in which she highlighted the Flower BB Cream and the differences between it and other Asian and Western BB creams. (She’s an excellent cruelty-free blogger, by the way, so if you’re not following her yet hop on over and subscribe!) It seemed to work really well for her, so I was keen to try it out.

    For those of you living under a rock, Flower Beauty is of course the new cosmetics line from actress Drew Barrymore, made in the USA and not tested on animals. I’ve picked up a few items to test and so far I’ve been super-impressed; the packaging and the products inside are top-notch in quality. So, right off the bat: I know the products are priced a bit high for the drugstore, on par with L’Oreal or Revlon, but they’re worth every penny.

    So, now that you’ve gotten the rundown on Flower and why I changed my mind about the price tags, let’s get into my review of the BB cream!

    The product: Flower Beauty BB Cream, in four shades; $12.98 at Walmart stores or Walmart.com.

    The claim: Use daily to eliminate skin dullness. Covers imperfections and discolorations; softens and smooths skin. Eliminates unwanted shine.

    I tried it: Right off the bat, I’ve got to give huge props to Drew for crafting a BB cream that comes in four shades from fair to fairly dark. In fact, out of the nine types of foundation, concealer and powder offered by Flower, it seems all embrace a wide shade range–something that’s not always true of drugstore makeup, but especially of BB creams (which are notorious for being marketed as simply “light” and “medium”). I chose the lightest shade, which looked waaaay too light out of the tube but blended in beautifully…so, I think there’s a little leeway here to find the right shade for you.

    I was expecting this cream to have a thinner texture, closer to a tinted moisturizer, so I was really curious when I read Christine’s review and she noted that this cream has a much thicker texture. If anything, it reminds me more of a thick face cream than a foundation, and yet somehow drier. I’m not sure how to describe it, because “thick” implies that it feels heavy, and it most assuredly does not!

    I just used my fingers to apply the BB cream, and I didn’t have any problems blending it in. I think you could use a foundation brush to build up the coverage if you desired, but I was pretty impressed with the coverage I got, without looking like I’d just glopped on a ton of foundation. It’s as if you get great coverage that’s just see-through-enough. (I’m not sure if that makes sense or not!)

    What impressed me the most was the way this BB cream covered my redness. It’s not such heavy coverage that it looks like a mask, but this cream really cut down on the redness and made my skin look more even-toned and glowy overall. It also did a lovely job of softening my pores.

    As far as I can tell there aren’t really any ingredients in this BB cream that would improve the look of your skin, as opposed to traditional Asian BB creams. Still, I can get other products for that, so I really don’t mind the lack.

    I have combo/oily skin, so foundations tend to slip and slide after a little while, but this BB cream still looked good after several hours of wear. I did pair it with a little concealer and powder after taking my first product shots and was pleased to see no “settling” after lunch–and mind you, this is without my usual shine-reducing primer.

    I’m guessing based on the texture of the cream and the wear on my own face that this product might be too dry for someone with very dry skin, or at least you would want to layer it over moisturizer; but that’s just a haphazard guess, and not having very dry skin myself, I’m really not the person to say.

    My verdict: This is the base I’ve been looking for! I was worried I might be taking a gamble on this product, but everything about this BB cream is exactly perfect for my skin tone, type and needs. This is one product I really won’t mind shelling out a few extra $$$$ for.

  • shopping

    Random Thursday: Last 5 Frivolous Purchases

    1. I count most of my nail polish purchases as wholly frivolous, since in all honesty I probably have more than enough to suit me at this point and don’t need any more. But I couldn’t resist grabbing some matte neon highlighter yellow polish from Zoya when they had their big New Year’s sale. How often will I actually wear it? Rarely. But it was calling my name!
    2. Coffee and danishes at Starbucks. Totally not a necessity, but sometimes it’s fun to grab a treat and just sit awhile at the coffee shop. And of course, there’s lots of people watching to be had!
    3. A pair of lime green skinny jeans. But they were on clearance, for $9! How do you pass that up?! I’ll try to do a styling post with them very soon.
    4. A carob bar. For the uninitiated, carob is similar to chocolate, though not as sweet. This bar also had acai berries in it. I do count chocolate as a necessity most days, but I try not to eat too much of it. However, I hadn’t had carob in years and was really eager to try some and see if it was as good as I remembered. (It was!)
    5. A jaguar bracelet from Forever 21. I didn’t particularly need a new piece of jewelry, and $13 is more than I would typically pay for a jewelry item from that store. But this one–I snitched a picture from the website down below–was too different from most of the other pieces on the table, so I snatched it up. I see now that it isn’t available any longer online, but there are some other interesting jaguar rings available. I think the green eye detail on my bracelet really makes it stand out, though.