Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Mud Bath





Over the weekend my best friend Lauren and I participated in the Warrior Dash! It was a 5K race through the woods with 12 different obstacles. We climbed walls, swam through muddy water, among other dirty things. It was such a blast to just get completely covered in mud with my best friend. Sometimes it's nice to put all the beauty products away and have a good ol' fashion mud bath!

My mom filmed for me during the race and I made a video if you want to see more of my Warrior Dash adventure!



Have you ever done anything like the Warrior Dash?

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blush in "Spicy and Sweet"




I've had my eye on Benefit's boxed blushes for years but to this day still can't get myself to spend nearly $30 to get one. So when I saw that Hard Candy had a version of their own for a fraction of the cost, I thought I might as well check it out. Hard Candy has a few different types of boxed blushes, but "Spicy and Sweet" seemed the most general one to give me a good sense of the product. 

I would have taken a selfie to show you what it looks on the cheeks, but it's not very pigmented and I was having real trouble getting anything to show up in photos. When swatched it's just as light on the fingers and barely noticeable when transferred to the back of my hand. So if that isn't an indication of the mediocrity of this product, I don't know what is. It does add something to the cheeks, but it's better for giving a soft "glow" or "warm" look rather than adding any real pop of color. I much rather use my e.l.f. blushes over this guy. I was optimistic that I found something to curb my appetite for Benefit's blushes, but now I only want to try them more to see what I'm missing.

Have you used any boxed blushes before?

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Collection Lipstick in "101"





A few posts ago I professed my love for "104" from this Rimmel line (read that post here) and am back to rave about "101" from the same line. I picked this one up at the same time I picked up "104". I have a tendency to pick up two of a new product in drastically different shades to get the best sense of the line and that's what I did with Rimmel's Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Collection.

 "101" is a baby pink matte shade that has the same consistency, moisture, and smell as "104". When I first applied this shade I was shocked at how pink it was. I know that's a silly thing to say considering that I knew I was choosing a pink shade, but all other pink lipsticks I have apply much more sheer than this pigmented bad boy.

I have nothing but love for this fantastic line of lipsticks. They're like Pokemon to me; I gotta collect them all.

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: NYC Applelicious Glossy Lip Balms




These new lip balms from New York Color popped onto my radar a few weeks ago after reading about them in a beauty blog (my beauty blog addiction has gotten out of control). The theme really aPEELED to me (I'm not even sorry), so I thought I'd try two of them out. Plus NYC products are always really affordable.

I chose two that were on opposite sides of the scale. "Pink Lady" is a very soft pink that you really have to work to build up to show any color. "Garnet Gala" is the farthest I wanted to venture into the red spectrum and it's also not very pigmented on the lips. Which that's understandable since they're balms and not intended to have a lot of color to them.

They have a very interesting smell and taste. I get hints of apple as expected, but there's definitely something else going on that I haven't been able to put my finger on. If you've tried these definitely let me know what you think they smell/taste like. I also think the smell is way to strong. Whenever I put the balm on I'm almost positive everyone can smell apple coming off of my face.

The balms are hydrating but not as much as I expected them to be. Revlon's Lip Butters are more hydrating than these to give you some perspective. It's an interesting approach to a product but not a line I'm going to purchase any more lip balms from. It's decent for the price though, so if you love apples then give it a shot.

xoxo Kayla

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: NYX Blush in "Amber"



NYX Powder Blush in "Amber" $5

After a very successful first exposure to NYX blushes in my June Ipsy Glambag, I had to try out a single blush from the brand. After much deliberation over the amazing array of colors (and there are many I wanted to take home with me), I decided to go with "Amber".

"Amber" is a pinky coral shade that can be worn very light or built up for a more dramatic look. The blush is incredibly pigmented and you have to be careful with how much you put on  your brush if you're looking for just a dusting of color on your cheeks. "Amber" does a great job warming the complexion without over doing it.

Yet again I'm also really hooked on the packaging. It's simple yet well done to make me feel like I really got a lot for my money. It's just the type of packaging that makes an organization freak like me fantasize about seeing a bunch of these little gems lined up in a nice little row in my collection.

This blush has me sold on NYX's blushes and now I'll have to actively avoid that section of ULTA out of fear I'll spend all my money collecting them all.

Have you tried any of NYX's blushes? Which one should I get next??

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Collection Lipstick in "104"





After my first attempt with matte lipsticks going horribly wrong (see what I'm talking about here), I was hesitant to venture back into the matte lipstick world regardless of how much I desperately wanted to find a good one. I recently read a review on a follow beauty blogger's site that convinced me to give this line of matte lipsticks a shot. I'm so happy I did

This lipstick is my soul mate. It's a shade I've never tried before: a raspberry, mauve with purple undertones. It's smooth, has a great smell that's distinctive but not annoying like most lipstick scents. It's a tad drying likely due to its matte qualities but nothing too horrible and I barely notice it. I also really love the packaging and the price shocks me. It's so affordable for a product I'm completely obsessed with. I already have my mind made up to go and pick up a few more shades. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Doing a Little Bath Exploration




Floating Island Bath Melt $7.95
Blue Skies & Fluffy White Clouds Bubble Bar $10.95
Ma Bar Bubble Bar $7.95

While I was at LUSH recently picking up my first "black tub" products, I couldn't help but mosey over to the bath section. LUSH bath items are my first love and the reason I got interested in LUSH. However I feel like I've gotten stale with my baths, always using the same products (A French Kiss Bubble Bar is a routine occurrence). So since my LUSH trip had turned into an adventure of new products, I figured I should do a little bath exploration as well.

I picked three items that were completely different in scent and experience. The only similarity between the products is that "Blue Skies" and "Ma Bar" are both bubble bars. Other than that these products are completely different, and I'm excited to try all of them.

"Floating Island" is a clean scent with hints of vanilla, sandalwood, and lemon. The product melts slowly the website says, which has me very excited for a light, luxurious experience. And LUSH knows how to do luxurious.

To be honest, "Blue Skies" appealed to me first and foremost because of its size. As soon as I saw it I knew I could get at least four really good baths out of it. I'm always looking for a way to make my dollar stretch, so the over $10 price tag didn't turn me off because I knew how often I could use the product. The bubble bar is earthy, with frankincense oil and patchouli. It's deep but not too "into the woods" smelling.

"Ma Bar" is just beautiful. Brown sugar, cocoa, honey toffee. Delicious. The website even uses the phrase "chocolately bubbles". Does anyone else start to think of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in bubble bar form?

Although it's summer, I still find myself wanting to relax in the bath with a good book every once in a while. These bath goodies have taken me out of my rut and have me excited to get the water running.

What bath products do you like or would like to try from LUSH?

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: LUSH's Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask



Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask $6.95

I recently went on quite the shopping adventure to LUSH when I was visiting my best friend Lauren. We were given a complete tour of the store, trying out basically every product and spending almost two hours exploring. (We walked out smelling amazing!) I have always been intrigued by the fresh face masks and decided that it was the day to give one a shot. The wonderful salesgirl name Ari who became our best friend that day suggested I try "Love Lettuce" since I don't have any issues with my skin and just wanted a good ol' fashion face mask.

In store the mask had little to no smell; it just smelled fresh. However as soon as I put my fingers into my little pot when I got home the strong smell hit me instantly. I hated it. It smelled completely horrible to me. Not wanting to give up on the product so quickly I smeared it onto my face anyway and avoided putting any under my nose. I've always been weird about scents and refused to let it get in the way!!

Smell aside, the mask contains thick particles that really help to scrub and exfoliate the skin without being too harsh. I used barely any product and it still managed to go a long way. I left it on for the recommended 5-10 minutes and washed it away with warm water.

My face felt fantastic!! A day later and I'm still feeling the softening, smooth, moisturized effects of the mask. I'm not sure if my face is "glowing" as the description suggests, but I can definitely feel the difference. For the price it's definitely a product worth trying and it's an interesting experience having to leave it in the fridge to keep it fresh. I'm excited to use up the rest of the pot, let's just hope I can get over the not-so-pleasant smell!

Have you tried any of LUSH's Fresh Face Masks??

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: NYX's Eye Shadow Base in "Skin Tone"



NYX Eye Shadow Base in "Skin Tone" $7

Ah, eye shadow bases. I have a love for these babies that never seemed to make sense before I picked up NYX's Eye Shadow Base in "Skin Tone". I knew I liked eye shadow bases (or at least the concept of them) since I first discovered them back when I barely wore makeup. This base makes it obvious why I'm obsessed.

The NYX website description: "Maximize the intensity, longevity and unashamed brilliance of your eye shadow statements with our eye shadow primer pots. Each of the three NYX Eye Shadow Bases—for vibrant, pearl or neutral tones—creates a smooth canvas for color, increases its durability and prevents fallout." 

It's a thick creamy consistency that's still really easy to blend into the eyelids. It leaves a nice, uniform canvas to work with but also adds its own color to the lids. "Skin Tone" is a tad darker than my actual skin tone, but leaves a beautiful shade on my eyelids.

Whenever I apply this product I always end up toying with the idea of leaving my lids as is. It produces a seriously beautiful, natural look without ever having to apply any eye shadows on to of it. Of course I often do layer shadows on top and they are richer in color and last much longer than without a primer. However I don't think it prevents fallout. I still have to clean up a bit on the sides of my eyes from rebel shadows trying to escape.

I am also a fan of the packaging. Although I'm sure I'll get annoyed with it when I'm trying to scrape out the last bit of product from the bottom, I have a weird love for these types of containers. I feel posh and like I spent a lot more on the product than if it came in a plastic tube.

What eye shadow base(s) do you use?

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

First Impressions: Ipsy's July Glam Bag


Maybe it's the heat of the Michigan summer, but I am only "meh" about this month's Ipsy glam bag. It's not the bag's fault. I'm in the process of moving and have my mind elsewhere than on being adventurous with new products. It's not like the products are below par with the past few months, there's just nothing that has me over the moon.

I'm excited to use BH Cosmetic's eyeshadows and have heard from a friend that they're really nice to use. I'm always a fan of nail polish as well and Nailtini's "Mai Tai" seems like a bright, fun color for summer. The Pop lip crayon is in a coral shade which is my favorite lip color! 

The Coola sunscreen seemed interesting, but when I first smelt this unscented product I was put off by the smell it actually had. I've never actually found an unscented product that was indeed unscented.

I definitely think I'm being too hard on this bag for only just seeing the products. I will give everything a fair shot and try to get out of my summer beauty product funk.  

What did you get in your July Ipsy glam bag? If you're not subscribed, what would you like to try from my bag?

Be sure to watch the video below to see my true first impressions of the products right out of the bag!

xoxo Kayla

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: June Ipsy Glam Bag


After the May Glam Bag being such a huge success I was eager to receive my second Ipsy bag. June proved to be an equally impressive bag!


Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil
I really enjoyed using this highlighter pencil. I've never used one before, and this one has definitely set my requirements high for any future eyebrow highlighter to beat it. It's smooth, creamy, and blends well without disappearing into my skin. 


NYX Mosaic Blush in "Silk"
The first ever NYX product that sent me straight to the store to try other products. This blush is fantastic. It's pigmented but easily blendable. It gives great color and really pulls a look together. 


Starlooks Lip Pencil in "Bare"
After my first attempt to use this lip pencil completely failed, I avoided it for the rest of the month. I'm just not a fan of lip pencils or really see the point of them. Plus "Bare" is a very dark nude shade that doesn't work well with my fair complexion.


Cailyn Cosmetics Line-Fix Gel Eyeliner in "Charcoal"
This product completely surprised me. I haven't had good luck with gel liners in the past as they always seem to dry out on me or are dry when I get them. This one is amazing. I love the fact that it's a deep grey color as well. I used the brush that comes with it for a few times, but opted to use one of my Real Techniques brushes instead just out of preference.


J. Cat Beauty Sparkling Cream Palette
Another item that I am just not fond of. These colors are chunky. Literally glitter pieces trying to stick to my poor eyelids. Just not my cup of tea (cuddles neutral palette).

The June bag definitely kept up with May as I really liked three products from each bag. The May bag's other products I liked more than the palette and lip pencil in this bag though. I'm excited to see what July's bag has in store!

xoxo Kayla


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains


I'm a little late to the party on this one but these balm stains are new to me and I figured might as well throw my two cents out into the pool of reviews. Walgreens was having a deal on these so I figured I'd pick up a couple. I chose "Smitten" and "Romantic". I actually really enjoy this product. It's a bit dry, but seeing as it's a stain it's supposed to stay on the lips. Most "wet" lip products don't last on the lips, so I don't necessarily mind the drying effect as my lips don't actually dry out if that makes any sense. Another interesting feature is the fact that these are minty! It freaked me out at first, but now I'm a huge fan!


"Smitten" is a raspberry pink color and "Romantic" is an orangey red. "Smitten" is much more pigmented while "Romantic" takes a bit of building up to get a deeper tone. These are some interesting products and I'm glad I picked them up and gave them a shot!

Have you tried these or something like them before?

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Love Me Some China Glaze


Ah China Glaze. The nail polish brand that I keep going back to and is in a constant battle with Essie. I've been starting to pack for an impending move and was reorganizing my nail polish collection when I noticed the number of China Glaze polishes I've accumulated in the past year that I've really gotten into nail polish. So here's my China Glaze collection:


All of these polishes helped get me out of my blue rut (I love blue polishes and it's a serious problem) and begin to really explore the world of polish. "Lemon Fizz" is by far my favorite; fun, bright, and attention grabbing.


Ah the pinks and purples. All colors I've found hard to work with. I blame my shaky left hand for any problems I've had using these. Funny enough I had completely forgotten about "Spontaneous" until I took these photos. I know which color's going to be on my nails next!


My favorites. "For Audrey" was the first China Glaze polish I ever purchased. "Fairy Dust" is my way of taking any of my matte polishes and spicing them up without having to buy a new polish. My boyfriend Alex actually bought me the lovely "Adore". He's not a fan of my growing nail polish addiction, but he's still supportive. I always find myself gravitating to "Shower Together". That's a blue that means business.

Are there any China Glaze polishes you think I need to add to my collection?

xoxo Kayla

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review: NYX Matte Lipsticks


If you read my recent NYX Haul post then you know how pumped I was to get these lipsticks. I'm only a fan of shimmer if I want it, not when I'm forced into it with most products. So these were definitely a great find for me, until I tried them.

I can't even explain how horrible they feel. They're super dry, apply on the lips horribly, and just are craptastic. I felt like a little kid again putting on all that crappy makeup you got in those cheap sets.


The only one I even remotely like is "Perfect Red" which isn't too bad but still dry and doesn't look quite right on my lips. "Hippie Chic" is the absolute worst out of all of these. It looks like a nice nude in the swatch, but on the lips it looks like I'm about to go out for Halloween or something as a creepy doll.

I'm disappointed. I had such high hopes for these babies and now I'm going through some serious buyer's remorse.

Do you know of any matte lipsticks that are good?

xoxo Kayla

Monday, July 8, 2013

Overview: Hard Candy

I'm back with another "Overview" post! I've gotten a lot of good feedback from my first overview post featuring Wet N Wild Beauty and received requests to do one for the brand Hard Candy. I've only ever seen Hard Candy sold at Walmart, so that's where I picked up four different products to try out and give you my opinions on each product and my overall thoughts on the brand. 


This blush is much too sheer and shimmery to ever be used as a blush, but it makes a pretty good highlighter. It's a bit powdery and you have to be careful with your brush or this stuff will be everywhere. It's definitely not as good of a highlighter as Benefit's Watt's Up, but it isn't terrible either.



This product seemed super promising, but is by far my least favorite one. It smudges, bad. The applicator is really good and precise but the formula never dries. When it does smudge (and oh does it smudge), it's nearly impossible to get off. I did a swatch on my hand the first day I purchased it and even using makeup wipes I couldn't get the grey tinge off my hand. 


All Lid Up Cream Eye Shadow in "Pinning 4 U" $5
This cream eye shadow is like Maybelline's Color Tattoos, but way less creamy and much more difficult to work with. It's not a very blend-able product even though it's a really beautiful color. I'll still use it, I just wish it wasn't such a pain.


This mascara applied well enough, but didn't seem to do much of anything. My lashes were darker wearing it, but they weren't any longer or had any more volume than usual. They also didn't keep a curl. My lashes looked completely normal after an hour or so, just slightly darker. It's a decent mascara that is good for days when you don't want to wear too much makeup. The product is light on the lashes and doesn't clump, but overall it isn't anything too special. Spend the extra dollar or so and buy a Maybelline one (my favorite is the One by One mascara).

Overall the Hard Candy brand is as I expected it to be: really cool, funky packaging containing products that aren't anything extraordinary. They're also overpriced for what you get in my opinion. If you're curious about the brand I say still give it a try, but don't expect to be replacing any of your holy grail products any time soon.

What brand would you like to see an overview post for next?

xoxo Kayla

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: Mary Kay's Timewise Age-Fighting Moisturizer


Timewise Age-Fighting Moisturizer $22
I purchased this moisturizer in a set with a cleanser and definitely have loved this product way more than the cleanser and every other product I purchased in my Mary Kay haul. I recently featured this moisturizer in my June Favorites video and my last post showing my evening routine as well I've enjoyed it so much. It's an incredibly light moisturizer that gives me the perfect amount of moisture back into my skin after I wash my face or take a bath. It doesn't have a smell (thank goodness) and a little goes a long way. It's just a really great light moisturizer for the summer months when my skin isn't dry but can use a little moisture every once in a while.

The only thing that I really don't like is the price. Although this came in a set, it still cost $22 for this product in the set. It's a really amazing product and I haven't found a moisturizer I like as much as it, but I don't see myself paying the extra $12 or so more for it over drugstore moisturizers I tend to use. If there's a sale or some sort in the future, I may consider repurchasing, but I don't think I can rationalize spending $22 for just 3 fluid ounces.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Taking it All Off: My Evening Routine


It kind of sucks that after all that effort to make your makeup look good you end up taking it off some hours later. Yet it has to be done and these three products are what I use to leave my skin clean and refreshed. An avid YouTube watcher myself, I know that most beauty gurus use quite a lot more products in the mornings and evenings, but I like a routine that's quick, simple, and gets the job done.


STEP ONE:
I've tried a number of different makeup removing cloths and I keep coming back to these babies. Not only are they way cheaper than most if not all wipes (you can get these 60 wipe packages in a set of two for a little over $5 from Walmart), they really work. What i like most about them is that they're wet, but not SUPER wet. I've used some wipes before that leave my face practically soaked after using them. These wipes get makeup off really well and anything that's left gets removed in my next step.


STEP TWO:
I've written a review about this product already on this site (which you can read here) and am still loving it. It's a gentle face wash that smells amazing and gets the rest of my makeup off. 

STEP THREE:
I have a review of this product coming up shortly on the site so I won't go into too much detail about it now and spoil the actual review. This is the final step of my evening routine and it restores any moisture I lost during the first two steps. 

In three steps my skin is makeup free and feeling moisturized (but not oily!). I brush my teeth, say goodnight to my cat Tardis, and go to bed!

What products do you use in your evening routine?

xoxo Kayla

Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Mary Kay's Foundation Primer Sunscreen


When I first tried this face primer at my Mary Kay party a couple of months ago I absolutely loved it. I thought I had finally found a primer to replace my Benefit "That Gal" primer. Over the past few months though I've found myself sticking firm to using my Benefit primer. Originally I had loved how satin smooth this primer made my skin feel, but now it's almost too satiny to the point that I feel like it's not covering my entire face and isn't accomplishing much. It feels as if the product soaks into the skin right upon contact and there isn't time to evenly distribute it. 

I'm still going to use the product and have hopes that I'll regain my initial love for it. The price is reasonable for how much product you get. 

What brands of face primers do you use?

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, July 4, 2013

NYX Haul: Let the Collection Begin

I've never had the opportunity to try any NYX products until my June Ipsy Glam Bag. With no ULTA close to where I live I've just never really looked into the brand despite hearing great things about it from some of my favorite beauty gurus. Once I got hold of the Mosaic Powder Blush in "Silk" in my Glam Bag I just had to try more. 


Now, I didn't pick up everything at once and I actually got the six lip products during a hautelook sale (my first purchase from the site btw). I stopped by an ULTA on the way home from dropping my boyfriend off at the airport for his two-month internship in Germany. Needless to say I was in the need of some retail therapy and made a pit stop.


I've heard so many great things about the Mega Shine Lip Glosses that I just had to try them out for myself. From top to bottom is "Sweet Heart," "Frosted Beige," and "Pink Frost" (I had a hard time getting the camera to pick up their true colors) I've never been a fan of lip glosses that have weird smells or tastes, but these smell really good! These three glosses came in a set together from hautelook and seemed like the perfect opportunity to try different shades!


Another set I purchased from hautelook, these Matte Lipsticks called out to me. From left to right is "Perfect Red," "Hippie Chic," and "Summer Breeze". I've never been one for shimmer so these matte shades definitely appealed to me. I also really love the packaging. There is a little plastic window in the middle of the tube that shows you the actual lipstick, so you know what the color is instead of having to guess based on a sticker on the package.


Feeling the love from the blush I got in my Glam Bag this month, I decided to pick up a single Powder Blush in the shade "Amber" to see how it compares. I can already see myself collecting all of these little gems. I absolutely love NYX's clean packaging and have fantasies of pretty rows of them in my drawers. 


Wanting to get an overall sense of the brand I also decided to pick up a Nude Matte Shadow in "Underneathe it All". This deep coca brown will work great in the crease or on the corners of my lids! Plus it's matte!


This Eye Shadow Base in "Skin Tone" was more a less a whim of a purchase to take advantage of a coupon I had at ULTA. I've tried a few eye shadow primers (Too Faced and e.l.f. to name a few) and thought what the hell I'll try another.

What's your favorite NYX product or what products would you like to try by them?

xoxo Kayla