Vaccinated (and a Beauty Box Review.)

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Last night I caught a set by London’s finest, The Vaccines at what I feel is the best venue in the city, The ‘Dise (Paradise Rock Club). They’re brilliant, and probably some of the sweetest and funniest guys around. The show was great, and loud. My ears are still ringing a little, but it was a blast.

The show was my first with my new camera in tow. I’m still getting the hang of using it since it’s a lot more complex than past cameras I’ve owned. I like the shots above, especially the ones that feature Árni’s 1970’s California surfer-style hair. I’m used to taking photos of abandoned buildings or cosmetics for reviews, however, so I tried to snap some pictures of the boys in the same manner- but abandoned buildings and cosmetics don’t flail rapidly or jump around a stage when you’re trying to shoot them, and since The Vaccines do pretty much everything but stand still for long moments at a time- it definitely proved to be a challenge.

I learned a few new things about my camera, and about photographing a show with it in the process that I’m looking forward to utilizing for the next gig, though. Practice makes perfect, after all.

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Speaking of photographing cosmetics, I recently received my first beauty box from BeautyArmy. For those of you who aren’t familiar with BA, it’s a monthly subscription service where for $12 per month, you can select 6 samples of various skin care/cosmetic/wellness products from a collection that is specifically fitted to your skin/hair/personality type after you answer a quick but somewhat detailed questionnaire about yourself and the type of physical features you have. My co-worker is a big fan of it, and urged me to try it since she knows how much I love experimenting with new things. I finally caved, and received my carefully wrapped pink and black box a couple of weeks ago- plenty of time to play around with the samples.

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What I Received (Chose):

Ruddy Water Blushed Fragrance Pouch

Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream

Bath & Body Works “Sweet Pea” Shower Gel*

Jonathan “Dirt” Texturizing Paste

EnSpri Ultra Collagen 5-Minute Facial

Yes To Blueberries “Age Refresh Eye Firming Cream*

Mark Scandi-Lash Mascara (in brown)* (BONUS SAMPLE)

*What I didn’t Use:

Bath & Body Works “Sweet Pea” Shower Gel

Why Not: I have so many bath and shower products that I don’t even know what to do with them all. As much as I love the “Sweet Pea” scent, this was something I picked to give to my mother.

Yes To Blueberries “Age Refresh Eye Firming Cream

Why Not: I’m a stickler when it comes to certain regimens, my eye care being one of them. My grandmother on my mom’s side used nothing but a little Vaseline around her eyes before bed time every night and she always looked amazing. She swore by it, and for the past few years, it’s become my own routine as well. My pillowcase might look a little greasy in the morning, but my eye area is still smooth and bright. I chose this sample, again, to give to someone else to try.

Mark Scandi-Lash Mascara (in brown)

Why Not: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up my Diorshow Black Out mascara. It just makes my lashes look exactly how I want them to without irritating my eyes. Like the Bath & Body Works shower gel, this sample was for my mother to try. Where I use the blackest of black mascaras to obtain a dramatic look, my mother is more reserved with brown, natural looking mascara.

Product #1: EnSpri Ultra Collagen 5-Minute Facial ($99.50)

One of the selling points to me trying this facial was that it was not only suitable for all skin types, but that it would soften my skin and shrink my pores. The packet is perforated, dividing the collagen powder and the gel hydrator activator. The directions on the packet state you need only mix the powder with the activator, apply to skin, wait until it dries, rinse, and voila! Insta-soft skin.

However, when I tried it, two things became clear very quickly: the powder packet contained, in my opinion, a little too much powder, and there wasn’t nearly enough activator to get the two to mix evenly. My bathroom counter ended up looking like Tony Montana’s desk in “Scarface”.

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The other thing that became clear was that this product smelled HORRIBLE. I mean gag-worthy. It was supposed to be less harsh than other masks, but it smelled strongly of burning chemicals.

When I did manage to apply enough of the product, as grainy and uncomfortable as it was, and waited until it dried to rinse- I didn’t feel or notice any dramatic improvement in my skin’s tone or texture. It just felt like I’d exfoliated a little bit, and the gross smell lingered on my face, much to my dismay, long after washing the mask off.

Would I Purchase?: No. I’d just stick to a daily scrub to achieve the same feeling. It’d be cheaper, smell better, and probably be less messy, too.

Product #2: Jonathan “Dirt” Texturizing Paste ($26.00)

I honestly don’t know why I picked this product considering I have medium-length and very curly hair. I’ve been told glues and pastes are for shorter hair, but I thought I’d give this a shot and see how it worked.

The product smelled like vanilla cake, which was a nice change from the Godawful collagen mask’s smell, but the texture was VERY dense and hard, making it difficult to work through my curls. I added a little water, hoping that it would spread a little easier, but to no avail. My hair didn’t look as “volumized” as the product description suggested it would, as much as it looked stringy and lifeless. I ended up giving up and resorting back to my usual cream and serum to get my bounce back.

Would I Purchase?: No. For shorter, straighter hair, this product might work really well, but it’s not for me at all. It does smell delicious, though.

Product #3: Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream ($37.20)

I had mentioned in my Winter Essentials post that my skin is sensitive and can be problematic. I saw this moisturizer available, and upon reading it’s description, saw that it was suitable for all skin types. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to say to hell with it and give it a try. The instructions were simple enough- rub the moisturizer into your palms until it turns into an oil for easier absorption, and then apply. I opted to try this product before bed to give it a chance to sink into my skin.

I cleansed my face as normal, used my toner, and tore open the packet. The second I started spreading it over my palms, I knew I was in trouble, because I’d never felt anything so unbelievably oily in my life. The product didn’t smell bad, but it didn’t smell good, either. Even still, I applied only a small amount to my face- but it still made me ridiculously shiny and made my skin feel greasy to the touch like I’d dived head first into a deep fryer at a fast-food restaurant.

This is a product that should NOT be applied during the day because of it’s consistency. I can’t imagine makeup staying in place if this stuff is slathered on your face. It’d just make it run.

I slept in it, and when I woke up the next morning, I will admit that my skin had a bit of a nice glow to it. It didn’t necessarily feel more hydrated than usual, but the texture and the tone looked a little more fresh and radiant.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I think for a weekly hydrating treatment, especially in the winter, this would be really great- but I couldn’t imagine using it every day (or every night) simply because it’s just so greasy.

It would also make a great cuticle cream, too.

The only thing missing from this list is the Ruddy Water Blushed Fragrance Pouch, which I haven’t had the chance to try. I plan on reviewing it once I do. The pouch is currently in my gym bag, and will more than likely be opened after my next work-out.

Overall, I was a little underwhelmed with the box- although it’s mainly my fault since I selected the samples. Hopefully next month they’ll have some stuff that works a little better for me.

xx

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