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Mini Haul! | Benefit Benebalm and Lollitint Review
Goodness, long time no post! Even though it’s summer time I’ve still been pretty busy with grad school, but now that I’m back in Vegas* and (somewhat) settled in again, let’s get on with the review!

There are four new Benefit tinted lip balms ($18 each) in Benefit’s line corresponding with the lip and cheek stains of the same colors. I have the shade BeneBalm which is the sister to the Benefit BeneTint stain.
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I like how hydrating these balms are. The application is smooth and leaves a nice little shine on the lips. I also like the rose scent (the exact same as the BeneTint) but I can see how some may not like the strong floral smell right under their noses. To be honest, these aren’t that revolutionary. I think they give the same amount of hydration and tint as your average tinted lip balm. And for $18, I probably won’t repurchase once I’ve finished up this tube. 

I usually use this on its own or layered over the BeneTint stain. BeneTint is a bit drying on me, so the balm brings back the lost moisture without changing the smell or color of the stain. 

Next up! 

When LolliTint first came out, I didn’t really take notice of it. I’m not sure why, I think I just didn’t feel like spending money on it at the time. I think I was also worried that the orchid color wouldn’t really suit my skintone. But a few days ago I had a customer come in and ask to try LolliTint on her lips. I realized then how much of a fool I was for not playing around with the color sooner! It looked sooo good on her fair skin and I was surprised to see that it looked pretty nice on me as well. Even with a deeper tan**, I feel like LolliTint really compliments my face.

Some swatches on my hand!


LolliTint is a bit creamier than BeneTint but still applies smoothly to the lips or cheeks. As you can see from the swatch, once dry it leaves a nice orchid stain on my deeper complexion. Those more lavender streaks in the middle part of the swatch was where I let it goop up so it hadn’t had much time to dry before I took the picture. I use LolliTint on both my lips and cheeks, but I think I prefer it on my lips a bit more because the color looks more natural on me.

What do you all think? Have you tried any of these products before?

——

*I was in the Alaskan Arctic from about May to late June working on another archaeological site. It was seriously cold, but now that I’m back in 100 degree weather again I really miss it up there. :(
 
**Whenever I’m in the field, I always return with a serious tan. Right now I’m about a NC42, which is the tannest I’ve been in awhile. 
Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Mini Haul! | Benefit Benebalm and Lollitint Review

Goodness, long time no post! Even though it’s summer time I’ve still been pretty busy with grad school, but now that I’m back in Vegas* and (somewhat) settled in again, let’s get on with the review!
There are four new Benefit tinted lip balms ($18 each) in Benefit’s line corresponding with the lip and cheek stains of the same colors. I have the shade BeneBalm which is the sister to the Benefit BeneTint stain.

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Skin Care | Emergency!

It’s not everyday that your skin decides to take a turn for the worse; but when it does, it always seems to be right before a big day! If you have a special occasion coming up or just need to get clear skin ASAP, this is my routine that never fails to clear my skin in less than a week.[[MORE]]
Flashback to the week before Wondercon, a comic convention in California that I had been looking forward to for quite some time. My skin decided to break out especially terribly due to ‘that time of the month’, just a few days before the convention. Knowing that HD cameras would pick up every blemish, I gathered some of my most intensive acne-fighting products and put them to good use.

I recommend using these products in combination only when your skin is especially blemished, and not for daily use. These are quite intense, and may tire your skin out if used more than one week at a time. Like most products, test these out on a small patch of inconspicuous skin (I usually pick my neck) and see how you react. There are tons of alternatives for acne solutions, it’s just a matter of finding out what works for you!
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash, $12.00The Body Shop’s Tea Tree range is fantastic for clearing your skin in a jiffy. The facial wash doesn’t dry my combination-oily skin out, doesn’t leave my skin red from being over-worked, and clears my breakouts quite quickly. You’re left feeling refreshed and squeaky clean!Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, $3.99If you have extremely dry skin, please be wary of this product. After cleansing, it’s important to treat under the skin first, so clearing up any pore-clogging dirt particles is essential. I love applying this mask only to see the oil literally being lifted and showing up as dark spots over your green face (gross).Tea Tree Oil, $10.29Any brand of tea tree oil will do, but I love this product because it’s so gentle, yet effective. Using a cotton swab, I pat over any blemishes that don’t have a white head. It cleanses the spot and immediate area, leaving my blemishes significantly smaller come morning.Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $17.00The final touch- a heavy-duty spot treatment guaranteed to eliminate white heads the next day. The solution separates, and can be shaken or used still by dipping a cotton swab in and applying over extra troublesome blemishes. The lotion essentially dries the skin around the spot, and gets rid of as much oil as it can, so it’s crucial to moisturize properly afterwards, and to use only as needed. If you were to try just one product from this post, it’d definitely be this one!Best of luck on your skin care endeavors, and don’t be afraid to try new products! What are some of your go-to products for quick blemish fixes?Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Skin Care | Emergency!

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It’s not everyday that your skin decides to take a turn for the worse; but when it does, it always seems to be right before a big day! If you have a special occasion coming up or just need to get clear skin ASAP, this is my routine that never fails to clear my skin in less than a week.

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Haul | Sephora Birthday Goodies
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With Sephora’s recent VIB sale and my April birthday, I figured it was time to treat myself and try a slew of high-end makeup and skin care products. These were all highly recommended and had been on my wish-list for quite some time, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been very happy with every product I purchased!

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Review | Bésame Cosmetics Cake Mascara in ‘Black’

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Hello friends! Alina here, long time no post! Today I’m talking about something very pertinent to my interest in vintage makeup products. 

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Beauty | Current Favorites
With my first installment of a monthly beauty/lifestyle favorites post, I thought it’d be a nice idea to include a few items that I plan on using more often with the upcoming spring weather. What’s most exciting is that most of these products are relatively new and quite affordable.[[MORE]]
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation ‘130 True Ivory’, $4.49
When my local Walgreens had a 50% off sale on Rimmel London cosmetics, I figured it would be a great time to try some products recommended by a few youtube beauty bloggers (*ahem* Tanya Burr). I’m pleased to report that this lightweight foundation has yet to upset my skin, has a nice light-medium coverage, and has the added bonus of SPF 15.

(Malin + Goetz) Mojito Lip Balm, $12.00
Spending an entire day outdoors recently left my lips quite dehydrated (something that rarely happens). I opted for this particular lip balm after receiving it in an ipsy bag a few months ago and having been so happy with the results! This gel applies clear from the squeeze tube, sinks right into the lips, and leaves almost no residue after a few minutes. If you have dry lips and don’t want a greasy treatment, give this sensitive skin—approved brand a try.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer Treatment ‘Light’ $8.99
Lacking sleep? Full-on zombie mode? School stress? This product right here is your new holy grail undereye concealer. The unique sponge-tip applicator applies the perfect amount of product in one quick sweep and can be blended out to reveal a bright, wide-awake look. I’ve been reaching for this daily and have yet to be disappointed.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ‘Black’, $20.00Sometimes the splurge ad hype are worth it. This cult beauty favorite has truly impressed me with its incredible pigmentation and staying power. My favorite part about this liner is the application- I can literally lay the felt tip flat along my lid to create a smooth, thin line quite quickly.Add in a quick flick near the outer corner and you’re done!Revlon Highlighting Palette ‘Rose Glow’, $9.59Mimicking the style and purpose of the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks, Revlon has released a new line of highlighters at a much more affordable price. I find this particular shade to be pigmented enough to be used as a brightening cheek blush, and even eliminates the need for an additional highlighter. My chubby cheeks have never been happier.Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder ‘Translucent Light’, $9.99Could my beloved Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder be replaced? Possibly! Since Sonia Kashuk is currently redesigned much of their packaging, I picked this up on clearance at Target for a little under $3.00 (what a steal!). I’ve noticed that while this powder applies a minimal amount of coverage, my face has been oil-free for much longer when compared to my previous Stay Matte Powder. In all, great bargain, great product, would definitely repurchase.Not Your Mother’s Plump for Joy Thickening Hair Lifter, $5.99This may quite possibly be one of my all-time favorite hair products (not that I have many). A hybrid between a gel and cream texture, this thickening spray is the ultimate pick-me-up for any hair day. If I use this on freshly washed hair, I notice that the amount of body added to my now shoulder-length hair is incredible and lightweight. With second day hair, my ends look clean, shiny, and very voluminous. I just spray 2-3 pumps into my hand, rub, scrunch from ends to roots, and bam! Instant volume.I hope you all liked my first run at a monthly favorites post; let us know what products you’ve been loving!
Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Beauty | Current Favorites

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With my first installment of a monthly beauty/lifestyle favorites post, I thought it’d be a nice idea to include a few items that I plan on using more often with the upcoming spring weather. What’s most exciting is that most of these products are relatively new and quite affordable.

Read More

Review | Maybelline Limited Edition Baby Lips Pink’ed Collection

Left to Right: Blush Burst, Mad for Magenta, Pop of Pink, & Rose Rush

image Cute packaging, bright colors, and affordable prices- what more could I ask for? I spotted the new five-piece collection at my local Walgreens and fell in love instantly. With the exception of the absent ‘Very Berry’ shade, I picked up as many of these uber-moisturizing, pink-toned lip balms as I could.

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Review | LUSH 9 to 4 Cleansing Lotion

image Hello friends, Alina here! Lush is a rare indulgence for me as the only Lush store in my area is a bit out of the way. However, when I do go, I do a loooot of damage.

For those of you new to Lush cosmetics, they’re a cruelty-free and vegan friendly brand that promotes natural handmade products. All of the Lush stores that I’ve been to smell fantastic as well. :P

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Lip Service | BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks

 Hello friends! Alina here with the first installment of Lip Service, a series of posts concerning some of my favorite go to lip products. 
BITE Beauty is a Sephora and (sometimes) QVC exclusive brand that has some AMAZING lipcolors in their arsenal. Not only do they have a broad color range but the texture of these lip products is unbelievable. I have dry lips so the creaminess of BITE lipcolors has even out-hydrated some of my MAC Amplified Creme and Lustre finish lipsticks. Perhaps even more impressive is the pigmentation. The versatility of these shades allows you to start off with a hint of color using a light touch or a full on application directly from the tube.
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First up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :PFirst up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :P

In terms of packaging, I’ve expressed my opinion on rubberized cases before. Although it looks and feels nice, fingerprints and dirt transfers easily and for someone like me who is a huge packaging weirdo, keeping them clean is a hassle. I do like how each lipstick is imprinted with the BITE logo on it. Even a chunk of the ‘B’ is chomped off which I think is a very cute detail.

First up is “ Pepper.” It’s a neutral muted pink brown shade that I love pairing with my NARS blush in Sin. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to glamorous during the daytime. :P

“Shiraz” is a beautiful dusty plum shade perfect for day or night time looks. I also pair this with “Sin.” 

Here’s a swatch on my arm!



(L) Shiraz (R) Pepper

The BITE Beauty line has a great selection of other neutral shades and even some fantastic vibrants that I haven’t included in this post. If you’re into pigmented lipsticks that offer a lot of moisture, give these a shot!

Have you tried any other BITE lipsticks? Give me some suggestions! :D

Suckers for Packaging
beauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Lip Service | BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipsticks

image Hello friends! Alina here with the first installment of Lip Service, a series of posts concerning some of my favorite go to lip products. 



BITE Beauty is a Sephora and (sometimes) QVC exclusive brand that has some AMAZING lipcolors in their arsenal. Not only do they have a broad color range but the texture of these lip products is unbelievable. I have dry lips so the creaminess of BITE lipcolors has even out-hydrated some of my MAC Amplified Creme and Lustre finish lipsticks. Perhaps even more impressive is the pigmentation. The versatility of these shades allows you to start off with a hint of color using a light touch or a full on application directly from the tube.

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Review | Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in ‘Meritage’
Hello friends! Alina here. Sooo I’ve been on a BITE beauty kick over the past few days. I’m in LOVE with their lipcolors because they’re so freaking moisturizing and for someone with incredibly dry skin like myself they’re a godsend. 

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Today we have Meritage, a lovely deep pink shade that is surprisingly vibrant on my lips. For me these lip pencils are the perfect size. They’re small enough to allow for precision and control during application and big enough to fill in my lips quickly. I usually wear this in the daytime with a cat eye and a bit of blush. This gives me some semblance of a well night’s rest. :P 



For a matte pencil I didn’t find this drying at all. Compared to other “matte” formulas that I’ve tried over the years, I wouldn’t really call this finish “matte” at all. The application is smooth and perhaps even a bit glossy. Maybe the other shades fall into this category? The only other BITE pencil I’ve tried is Quince and it’s not very matte on me either. It’s not a bad thing for me though! As long as a finish isn’t drying then I’m all up for it.



One odd thing about the packaging was the color at the end of the pencil. You’d think it would match with the actual color of the product, but nope, it doesn’t. So make sure to play around with the testers to see if it’s the actual color you want. 


Here’s a swatch of it on my arm.





Annnnnd here’s my face.







Have you played around with BITE Beauty high pigment pencils? What do you think?




Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Review | Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in ‘Meritage’

imageHello friends! Alina here. Sooo I’ve been on a BITE beauty kick over the past few days. I’m in LOVE with their lipcolors because they’re so freaking moisturizing and for someone with incredibly dry skin like myself they’re a godsend. 

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Beauty Bits | Treat Yourself!

image Sometimes you’ve just got to treat yourself! Being on a budget can be hard work, but once in a while it’s nice to spend a little extra cash on yourself. So, that’s exactly what I did at my local Sephora and Ulta stores, and had zero buyer’s remorse! Here’s what caught my eye without breaking my wallet.

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Take Note | Simple Stationary

imageIf there’s one thing that helps get me through a tough quarter at school, it’s stationary. Just knowing that I have (now) stock-pile of adorable notebooks ready for use is enough motivation for me to take even more notes!

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Words of Wisdom | Working in the Beauty Business
Working in the beauty industry is no easy job- sure, you may gets lots of perks like discounts, samples, and product previews, but there are a few pieces of advice I wish I had gotten before working in a small retail beauty shop. If you’re a shop girl or a professional make up artist, I’ve complied a few tips that may just make your work days a tad bit easier.
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Know Your Client



I’ll walk you through what a typical consultation may be like. Whether your shop consists of cosmetics, skin care, hair care, or even a combination of these and more, it’s always important to understand what your client is looking for, and then start from there. Getting to know them is the first step in making them feel beautiful, and making the sale!






Don’t Assume
This is a very easy mistake when recommending skin care products. We’ve already asked the client what their needs are, so be careful not to assume that just because his/her forehead is shiny that they need oil-control- lots of people can take this the wrong way. If you really think your client can benefit from using a particular product, just tell them the positives about said item, and let them make the judgement.



Word Choice
If being an Anthropology major has taught me anything, it’s that everyone is different and that’s great! Watching what you say is just one of the ways you can have that culturally sensitive attitude, and can be applied even at work. For instance, when trying to match someone’s complexion to a foundation, use words like “deeper” as opposed to “darker”, “medium” instead of “normal”, and “fair” instead of “pale” (everyone isn’t just a variant of beige!).

Applying the Product
Now that we’ve found exactly what the client is looking for, it’s time for you to touch some faces- yeah! A general rule is to always use an extremely light hand- about 100x lighter than when you apply products onto your own skin. Try to use anything besides your hands as often as possible- sterile brushes, cotton pads, makeup sponges, apply creams with a plastic stick or cotton swab; the goal is to be as sanitary as you can. However, in the absence of tools, using your fingers will work just fine.


There you have it, some of the best advice I can give you before embarking on your days as a beauty makeup diva extraordinaire. Do you have any tips you’d like to share?Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Words of Wisdom | Working in the Beauty Business

imageWorking in the beauty industry is no easy job- sure, you may gets lots of perks like discounts, samples, and product previews, but there are a few pieces of advice I wish I had gotten before working in a small retail beauty shop. If you’re a shop girl or a professional make up artist, I’ve complied a few tips that may just make your work days a tad bit easier.

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Review | NARS Satin Lipstick in Afghan Red

image Hello all, Alina here! Like I said in my last review, I’ve been super obsessed with NARS products lately. NARS Satin Lipstick in Afghan Red is no exception. 

I’ve been wearing this color everyday for the past two weeks. No excuses, I just love it so much. I can’t get over the muted shade of raspberry red! The NARS website describes this shade as a “rich garnet.” Here’s what it looks like on the back of my hand.

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Sunday Detox | Weekly Spa Session no. 1

imageSunday nights are the perfect opportunity for me to indulge in a bit of beauty bliss. I have more than my fair share of intensive treatments, and I like to switch things up from week to week depending on how my skin is behaving. Here are some of the products I’ve chosen for tonight’s beauty regime.

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Wish List | Sephora Skin Bender Vol. 1
Sephora Skin Bender Vol. 1, $48.00

Checking your e-mail always gets a ton more exciting when you see a message from Sephora! Today was no exception, especially when I noticed this relatively new collection set that features ten of the shop’s best-selling skin care products.
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While the actual value adds up to $115, this kit retails for just $48- now I’m no math wiz but I’m pretty sure that’s nearly 50% off! The “Skin Bender” contains trial-sized products of new trends (think facial oils and CC creams) and classic goodies like cleansers and moisturizers. What I’ve been really dying to try, however, is the Origins Frothy Face Wash, and what better what to test it out than with a deluxe sample size of it. The Korres line seems very tempting, as well (minus the price tags).
This set contains:

- 0.23 oz Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil
- 1.9 oz Bliss® High Intensity 24-‘Heaven’™ Healing Body Balm
- 0.17 oz Dr. Jart Ceramidin™ Cream - 1 oz First Aid Beauty Ltd. Ultra Repair Cream - 0.5 oz Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil - 0.67 oz Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial - 0.3 oz L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream - 0.5 oz Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation® - 1 oz Origins Checks and Balances™ Frothy Face Wash - 0.5 oz Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream SPF 30 in Light-Medium - Cosmetic bagAs I had mentioned in a previous post, trial-sized products are a fantastic way to observe how your skin may react to new ingredients without having the commitment of purchasing a full-size of said item. This particular collection is full of new and promising brands that I’ve been wanting to try, so once Friday’s paycheck rolls around I may just have to stop by Sephora!What do you think of this set? Anything you’d like/recommend?Suckers for Packagingbeauty | cosplay | lifestyle | etc.

Wish List | Sephora Skin Bender Vol. 1

imageSephora Skin Bender Vol. 1, $48.00

Checking your e-mail always gets a ton more exciting when you see a message from Sephora! Today was no exception, especially when I noticed this relatively new collection set that features ten of the shop’s best-selling skin care products.

Read More