Review: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

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For 2017, I made a list of products- skin care, hair care, makeup, nail polish, etc.- that I’ve been meaning to try and review in detail as part of my resolution to blog more often and include more content. For inspiration and assistance with compiling my “To Try” list, I turned to my social media and fell down the YouTube beauty blogging rabbit hole. If you ever have a snowy or rainy Sunday afternoon to get lost in that part of the limitless (and sometimes downright weird) vlogging world- I highly recommend it. There’s definitely a lot to see.

I digress. One product has been on my radar for a few months now- arriving at my door from Amazon last week- and I finally got to try it this past weekend in-between shoveling my way out of the aftermath of Winter Storm Helena (and I’ll post about that later on this week!)

Elizavecca, a South Korean skincare company- has a long list of masks/serums/creams/SPFs to detoxify, nurture and brighten the skin- almost all of which feature an adorable cartoon pig on the packaging. I’ve been fascinated by Korean skincare products for quite some time now- especially since they seem to work really and ridiculously well based on every review I’ve read and every video I’ve watched.

Out of all of Elizavecca’s products, however- the “Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask” was the one that not only looked the most effective for someone with occasionally problematic skin like mine- but the most fun, too!


I can’t speak/read/write Korean, so figuring this out for the first time could have been intimidating to someone like me had I gone into this without doing any research, first. Thankfully, though- Amazon’s order page included detailed instructions on how to use the mask- and I felt confident enough after watching countless YouTube reviews/tutorials on the product that I knew what I was doing and could pull this off without incident or injury.


I didn’t want to leave the product uncovered for too long, since I think part of it is activated by being exposed to the air- but the texture was definitely bizarre. It was almost like tapioca pudding in that it was bouncy and jiggly- but had little bits of coarseness mixed in it, as well. The mask came with a tiny spatula to apply it with so that potentially germ-ridden fingers wouldn’t contaminate the product that remains in the jar in-between uses- although I did find the spatula a bit tricky to use at times- especially when it came time to get the mask around my nose and temples (where I usually see the most blackheads/breakouts).


The mask should be applied to a cleansed, dry face. It might be hard to tell by the picture above since I don’t have a lot of visible acne- but prior to putting this mask on, I had some serious blackheads around my nose and forehead. Winter has been pretty brutal with my skin these past few weeks, especially in New England where the weather is just as unpredictable as our driving- drying me out with frigid temperatures and causing my skin to overcompensate with excess oil one day and then the next day leaving my face dewy and shiny from humidity and even warmer weather- and when combined with my heavier serums and moisturizers I typically use this time of year? I see a lot of little blemishes and pimples spring up and they drive me absolutely crazy.

I washed my face as usual and patted it dry with a towel before I slicked my hair back and began applying this mask. I’ve heard different amounts of time to leave it on- ranging from anywhere to 10/15 minutes to 45 minutes- so I decided to settle halfway and use the Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask for a half hour.


Immediately, this stuff started bubbling up- even as I was still applying it! Once I had it covering as much of my face as possible (where I could still breathe normally, of course)– I set the timer and sat down to wait it out. The mask definitely tickled as it fizzed, but it didn’t hurt or itch or anything. As the minutes ticked away, I did have to use a cotton swap to move some of the foam away from my eyes and nose since the bubbles were starting to overtake vital senses and functions- but I admit I was having a lot of fun watching my face look more and more like the moon emoji.

And you bet I took selfies. How could I not? Look at it! For those who follow my Instagram– you may have caught my Insta-Story where I was laughing so hard that the bubbles went all over me.


After 15 minutes, I rubbed the foam/bubbles into my skin to let the product set and further clean my pores. It began bubbling again- just as big as the first application in certain areas- but already my skin began feeling very refreshed and thoroughly cleansed. My face tingled, but there was no discomfort at all. It actually felt really nice.

I let the mask bubble and set for another 10 minutes before I finally rinsed it off with lukewarm water and patted my face dry with a towel.


To my amazement, my blackheads were gone. Not smaller, not “less noticeable”- but completely and totally cleaned out. My skin felt INCREDIBLE and had a really nice glow to it. It was soft, refreshed, and not dried out at all. I followed up with a quick sweep of my micellar water on a cotton pad to take away any of the mask I might have missed while rinsing my face and a couple of pumps of a lightweight moisturizer/sunscreen so I could go out and face the day and the post-snowstorm temperatures- but I was head over heels in love with this mask and blown away over how well it worked. So much, in fact- that I raved about it for a good ten minutes during brunch later that day.

Anything that causes me to stop stuffing brunch into my face long enough to discuss it at length is worth the attention. Trust me. I take my brunching very seriously.

While I typically use sheet masks 1-2 times a week to replenish and treat my skin after a long day at work, I think I’ll be keeping this mask’s usage to a once a week minimum- because it cleans SO well that I wouldn’t want it to dry out my skin by applying it more than necessary.

I give this mask two thumbs up for sure and cannot recommend it enough to those of you out there who have blemish-prone skin like mine or are just looking for something quick, fun, and easy to give your face a really deep clean and get any and all oil, dirt and makeup out of your pores.

I think I’ve found my new Sunday morning beauty ritual!

You can purchase Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask HERE


GLOSSYBOX: May 2016 Review.

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I’ve been a loyal subscriber to GlossyBox for a few years now, having first opened up my account back in the beginning of 2013 when the company collaborated with blogger Man Repeller for a special curated box. I had been so pleased and impressed with everything that I had received that I couldn’t wait to see what would come the following month, and the month after that- and the month after that.

And now, just a little over three years of samples, coupons, and reviews- my relationship with GlossyBox has sadly come to an end. I still think very highly of the service, and recommend it to anyone looking to test out new products from different brands- but for me, it was starting to get a little stale. There’s only so many black eyeliners and rose-hued lipsticks a girl can need/want- and coupled with my new budgeting plan for 2016- it was finally time to sever ties and bid a fond farewell to my very first beauty box subscription.

Last month’s box, which arrived free of charge since I cashed in my accrued GlossyDOTS (collected by answering survey questions about the samples received in past boxes)– arrived right on time- however I only recently finished trying everything out.


Adore Cosmetics Cellmax Elite Facial Serum

RITUALS Cosmetics Shower Foam in ‘Zensation’

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Super Curling & Lifting Mascara

NIOXIN System 3 Cleanser & Scalp Therapy Conditioner

TALIKA Photo-Hydra Day


Product # 1: Adore Cosmetics Cellmax Elite Facial Serum ($749.95. Yes, really.)

Have you ever held something in your hand that was so obscenely expensive that you had a mild panic attack at the very thought of dropping it while you clutched it in your sweaty palm? WELL DO I HAVE A PRODUCT FOR YOU TO TRY. This is Adore Cosmetics’ facial serum- and it’s price tag is one of the most bonkers things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. For just under $750 for a full-sized jar, I wanted this serum to make my face look the way it did when I was seven years old. I’m talking giving me my flawless elementary school skin. If I’m spending what could easily be a month’s rent- then I want miracles.

Well, after using this serum for a few days- morning and night- I gotta’ say it’s pretty awesome. My skin has been significantly brighter, clearer, softer and smoother. The difference is really, really noticeable- and a little goes a long way- so I’ll be milking this deluxe sample for as long as possible.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Listen, if food, shelter and clothing were not a necessity- I would buying this stuff in bulk. While my skin doesn’t look the way it did while I was in elementary school- it still looks and feels great- and that’s good enough for me. This serum seriously packs a punch and I’m going to be sad when I’m left scraping this little jar for the last bit of it!


Product # 2: RITUALS Cosmetics Shower Foam in ‘Zensation’ ($15)

I’d received a full-sized RITUALS shower foam in a past GlossyBox before, which I had really enjoyed. The fragrance was divine- and the foam-on-contact aerosol can made for a mess-free shower experience. This miniature version, with a different scent that still smelled light, fresh, clean and only a little floral- was just as good. It left my skin feeling truly cleansed and moisturized throughout the day- and I personally loved how conveniently-small the canister is. This would be perfect to travel with since it beats the drying and over-perfumed hotel room bar soaps or body washes any day.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I looked at RITUALS website, and it seems they do have these smaller-sized containers of shower foams available for sale- which means I can stock up for my upcoming travel plans (and keep one in my gum bag for my post-workout shower, too.)


Product # 3: Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Super Curling & Lifting Mascara ($24)

Speaking of travel-sized necessities- I love receiving small tubes of mascara because for me- they never go to waste. I always use them up before they expire, they’re more convenient to carry with me, and the fact that they’re free isn’t a bad deal, either. I also love Benefit Cosmetics- so getting to try a tube of their Roller Lash mascara was really enjoyable for me.

This mascara had a really unique shaped brush which helped coat my lashes evenly and without any clumping or flaking. Theproduct definitely lengthened my lashes- although I didn’t really notice any difference in how they curled up (but mine tend to do so naturally, so that might be why)– but this stuff stayed in place all day and well into the night, even when it was getting hot and humid outside- without giving me the dreaded raccoon look by the time I got home.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I liked the longevity of this mascara, and I liked how it lengthened my lashes- but there was a certain “wow’ factor that was missing that I usually find in my Tarte and Too Faced mascaras. This one is nice for sure- but I’m not 100% sold on it.


Product # 4: NIOXIN System 3 Cleanser & Scalp Therapy Conditioner ($49 for kit)

I was unfamiliar with the brand NIOXIN prior to receiving these two samples of shampoo and conditioner- but apparently the products are designed to aid those with thinning hair. Since my hair is pretty thick and curly naturally, I had a feeling I wouldn’t see much of a difference- but decided to try these anyway for the sake of a review. Despite being for chemically-treated hair- both products are loaded with sulfates and hard-to-pronounce artificial ingredients- so I went easy on the usage as to not strip my red.

Both the shampoo and the conditioner smell STRONGLY of mint (and getting a little in your eyes is not a fun experience- trust me), but while the shampoo didn’t lather up all that well and didn’t make my hair feel any cleaner- the conditioner worked well enough at de-tangling my curls and softening my scalp. I just needed to use a lot of it to work through my hair. By the time I was done, my hair didn’t look or feel any different in terms of thickness. It looked about the same.

Would I Purchase?: No. I can’t say for certain if this product would work wonders for thinning hair, but for me- it was okay. My hair didn’t feel particularly clean after I used the shampoo, and I needed a lot of the conditioner to get my curls soft and manageable. The overpowering mint fragrance didn’t really help much, either. I’ll pass on this stuff.


Product # 5: TALIKA Photo-Hydra Day ($49)

I’m always a little weary when it comes to trying serums/oils/moisturizers from brands that I’m not too familiar with. I have sensitive and combination skin- and one unusual ingredient or too much added perfume and my face turns into a war zone of bumps, blemishes, and redness. I’d never tried TALIKA products before- at least not any that I can remember easily- but this lightweight, anti-aging “plumping” moisturizer seemed tame enough.

While this product does have a little bit of a fragrance to it- which kind of reminded me of the beach for a reason I still can’t quite explain- it was harmless on my face. It softened my skin, and even brightened my complexion a bit- but I didn’t necessarily notice any changes to the “plumpness” or firmness to it. It was just a nice, lightweight daily moisturizer that I didn’t mind having within reach after I washed my face.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. If you’re looking for something to seriously firm, tighten, or tone your skin- this might not be the perfect product for you- but it’s a decent daily moisturizer to apply in the mornings before my makeup- which is a nice, convenient thing to have in the Summer. Really the only thing that’s still got me on the fence about this product is the price point- since $49 is a lot to spend on something that doesn’t do every single thing it’s supposed to, after all.

My final GlossyBox consisted of two YES (“YASSSS”) products, two maybes, and one definitive no. Not the best assortment of items- but also not the worst, either.

I’ve had a lot of fun with the company- and I recommend them to anyone who is looking to try new beauty products every month for a reasonable price- but I needed a break.


GLOSSYBOX: April 2016 Review.

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After last week’s unforeseen and unfortunate loss of a cultural icon- I wanted to work through the mourning process and get back to schedule and to the basics. Namely: my monthly subscription service reviews.  Having only recently received my April POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ box and Loot Crate over the past couple of days due to late and/or delayed shipments, I thought I would write and post my reviews based on the order the boxes were delivered to me and kick off this installment with the first to arrive at my door this month- my April GlossyBox.

April’s GlossyBox contained two full-sized products and three deluxe samples that predominantly covered skincare but also included a hair styling product, a makeup product, and a nail polish (always one of my favorite things to receive!) The selection of items and the box itself did not have a specific theme- but with the Summer months approaching- I’m hoping GlossyBox will have some fun collaborations to liven things up a little.


ALTERNA Haircare CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction

Studio | 10 Brow Lift Perfecting Liner (*Full Size!*)

Biossance ‘THE NOURISHER’ Precious Rose Face Oil

Leighton Denny Expert Nails Nail Polish in ‘Pillow Talk’ (*Full Size!*)

Unani Dermo Defense Face Mask

Let’s take a look at everything one-by-one.


Product # 1: ALTERNA Haircare CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction ($25)

This actually isn’t the first time I’ve tried this product through GlossyBox. Back in 2014 when the company teamed up with BERGDORF GOODMAN, I had received a deluxe-sized sample tube of this very same styling cream- and I had absolutely loved it.

Nearly two years later and despite the packaging looking slightly different- I’m still as big a fan of this product as ever. It makes my hair ridiculously soft and frizz-free, tames my curls to give them a beautiful and effortless wavy appearance, and it doesn’t require using a TON of product since a little bit of the cream goes such a long way-  even with my thick hair- so having to buy in bulk isn’t really necessary (just a life choice since I like this stuff so much.)

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I continue to swear by this cream. No matter what type of hair you have- this product is a must-buy game changer. It has completely simplified my morning styling routine and whenever I use it- my hair always looks and feels incredible. On most days, this is the only product I need/use in my curls!



Product # 2: Studio | 10 Brow Lift Perfecting Liner ($20)

I’ve been getting experimental with my brows lately- and by “experimental”- I mean I’ve been too lazy to pluck or wax them properly so I’ve just been letting them grow out until my next appointment at the salon where I’m sure I’ll clean them up a little. Until then, all I really do is use a brow gel and brush to keep them even and in place and go about my day. I’ve never really been in need of a pencil- especially a hard-tipped one like this brow pencil/highlighter duo I received from Studio | 10.

The cool thing about this product (and this brand in general) is that with every one of these brow pencils sold- the company donates one to a person undergoing cancer treatment who may need a pick-me-up from the side effects of their treatments/medications and who could use a boost in morale and self-confidence. Having known a few people who have courageously battled cancer throughout my lifetime- I think it’s the little things that make all the difference- and sending someone something as small as a little makeup is a sweet gesture.

Despite being hard-tipped, both ends of this pencil actually applied pretty smoothly. Unfortunately, the colors didn’t look quite “right” on my skin tone (the brown was too noticeable and the highlighter wasn’t noticeable enough) and I couldn’t get either end to blend to look more subtle and natural. I think I’ll be sticking to my brow gel and brush for now.

Would I Purchase?: No, not for myself- but given the buy one/give one aspect of this liner- I wouldn’t be opposed to picking up a few for some of my girlfriends’ makeup collections. It would be supporting a nice cause and they’d probably have more luck getting this pencil to look right on them than I did!


Product # 3: Biossance ‘THE NOURISHER’ Precious Rose Face Oil ($72)

In a past GlossyBox, I had received a multi-purpose Biossance oil that I had enjoyed very much as I slathered it on my cuticles, the ends of my hair, and my face and neck. This oil- a face-only formula that smelled strongly of freshly picked roses whenever I uncapped the bottle- was obviously a little different. I used this oil as directed- applying with a cotton ball in the morning before my makeup and at night after thoroughly cleansing my face before bed. Although it took a few minutes to fully absorb, I noticed that my skin gradually became softer and smoother with each passing day- and I didn’t have any sort of bad reaction or breakout from this oil- even with the fragrance and even when I applied sunscreen after using it in the mornings. Not bad at all!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Much like the last oil I received from Biossance- the price tag on this product is a little steep- but it’s worth it given the results that can be achieved. I think when it comes time for me to splurge a little bit on myself and replenish some of my skin care- I’d consider ordering a full-sized bottle of this oil to keep on hand since it worked wonders for me. It made my skin look and feel hydrated and supple all day & night long- and I believe it would be suitable for any and all skin types, too.


Product # 4: Leighton Denny Expert Nails Nail Polish in ‘Pillow Talk’ ($16)

Whenever I receive a nail polish in any of my subscription services, I typically take a photo of how the polish looks on my nails since it can turn out much different than how it appears in the bottle. Unfortunately, shortly after my last manicure- I headed off to New Hampshire for a weekend in nature- and by the time I got done hiking/rock climbing/zip-lining (that recap is coming up shortly)– my nails weren’t exactly the most photogenic things. In fact, my hands pretty much took a beating- and I’m trying to get them back into nice condition again.

I digress! The color of this long-lasting lacquer was lovely (say that three times fast.) A bright combo of pink/red- this polish really stood out on my nails pre-trip to New Hampshire and is going to be a nice addition to my Summer colors when it comes time to get pedicures again.

Also? I just love the name of the color, too.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! It’s hard for me to locate a nail polish I don’t like (it’s happened, for sure- but those instances are far and few between) and this shade is another winner for me. I love the color and the longevity- and I’ll hopefully have a photo of how it looks on my fingertips up on my Instagram once my hands are healed up!


Product # 5: Unani Dermo Defense Face Mask (N/A)

Finally, the last product in April’s GlossyBox was this gel-like face mask for sensitive skin from Unani, which I unfortunately couldn’t find a price listing for. The mask, lightweight and meant to be used 2-3 times a week, sank into my skin with ease and rinsed off with no complications after I’d kept it on for approximately ten minutes- briefly leaving my skin feeling soft and conditioned- although not necessarily “clean” the way most face masks do.

The issue with this mask arose shortly thereafter- when a series of bumps along my cheeks appeared- followed by more bumps along my forehead and chin. This mask made me break out- badly- and some serious extraction and salicylic acid application was required to clear up the damage.

Just to make sure that the reaction was a result of the mask itself and not the side-effects of my period- I tried the mask again a few days later- and the same exact thing happened (although not as badly the second time around.) Once again, I had to scrub and nurture my skin to clear up the blemishes- and some of them still haven’t gone away.

Would I Purchase?: No. Out of all the products in April’s GlossyBox- this one was the worst. This mask temporarily ruined my skin- and I’ll be steering clear from it while I wait for the reaction it caused to eventually clear itself up and my face can return to it’s normal oily/combination state.


April’s GlossyBox also included an additional voucher for 50% off (the code was edited out in the above photo) a kit from the company Doorstep Desserts– who make weekly deliveries of ingredients to bake/cook different types of desserts depending on subscribers preferences and pay plans. The concept is pretty neat, and we all know how much I love to bake a good dessert- so I think I’ll be using this one in the future to see if the company is as good as it sounds!

Overall, April’s GlossyBox was a pretty good composition of different products- and although two of them were just not for me at all- overall I was pleased with what I received (especially another sample of the CC cream for my hair!)

Next month’s GlossyBox will be free thanks to my cashing in my accrued GlossyDots- and I’m going to take the opportunity to determine if I want to stay a subscriber or not since I’ve been on the fence with the company for quite a while now.

We’ll see how it goes in May!


GLOSSYBOX: March 2016 Review.

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Next up while I’m making the rounds with my monthly subscription services is my review of March’s GlossyBox. I’ve been on the fence with this company for a few months now (I feel like I say that every month, really) since the service is often hit or miss and I’ve been finding the assortment of products I receive each month is starting to feel repetitive- which is ultimately what led me to cancel my Ipsy subscription a while back- but I’ve been trying to tough it out since reviewing these pretty pink boxes every few weeks has been a tradition since I first started writing ‘Legally Redhead’ back in 2013.

March’s GlossyBox did not have a particular theme/collaboration this time around, and featured two full-sized products with three deluxe-sized samples


Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in ‘Chihuahua’

I Love…Cosmetics Super Soft Hand Lotion in ‘Raspberry & Blackberry’ (*Full Size!*)

Luxie Beauty Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush 504 (*Full Size!*)

Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner

Vine Vera Resveratrol Merlot Moisture Day Cream



Product # 1: Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in ‘Chihuahua’ ($21)

I wanted to start this month’s review with what was hands down my favorite product in March’s GlossyBox. I’m a big fan of Too Faced cosmetics, and although I’ve seen the tubes of their Melted Lipstick staring up at me each and every time I’ve gone into Sephora recently- I never got around to testing the product- let alone buying a full-sized one. I’ve heard mixed reviews, and was very happy to receive a rather large sample size of their rose/neutral shade, ‘Chihuahua’ to play around with- and from the first time I applied this shade with the sponge-tipped applicator- I was in love.

I love how this formula feels on my lips. It’s creamy, not greasy- but dries to a beautiful and long-lasting finish that stays in place for a long time until it eventually fades out into a non-drying stain. The color is flattering, but what makes me even happier is the price point. Similar highly-pigmented lipsticks like this one tend to break the bank. $21 for a tube that will last a long time seems pretty reasonable to me- and Melted Lipsticks come in so many shades that I can find a perfect one for any season/occasion.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! While ‘Chihuahua’ complimented my skin tone for sure, I’d actually really like to try some of the other, bolder colors this formula comes in- like a nice poppy shade or a deep violet. I think I’ll be adding a couple of these to my basket the next time I’m in Sephora!


Product # 2: I Love…Cosmetics Super Soft Hand Lotion in ‘Raspberry & Blackberry’ ($6)

I love the smell and taste of both raspberries and blackberries- so combining the two in a product I will never, ever say no to (any type of hand cream) is pretty much an automatic win in my book. Not only was the packaging to this $6 intensely hydrating and quick-absorbing hand lotion bright and fun- but the product smelled so delicious and so convincing that it immediately made me crave a smoothie while I was vigorously rubbing it into my hands and cuticles. While my skin is nowhere near as dry as it was about a month or two ago when I was in the thick of frigid Winter temperatures- I still try to treat the rougher patches of my body (including my hands) to some TLC as much as possible. This lotion definitely helped get the job done.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I really enjoyed this hand cream- and after doing some research into I Love… Cosmetics- it looks as though the company offers an assortment of other creams/body washes in different fragrances, too. I’m currently eyeing the coconut one since that is my favorite scent of all!


Product # 3: Luxie Beauty Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush 504 ($16)

Typically when I receive any type of makeup brush in a subscription service, I pass it along to my other makeup-fiend friends or family members since I’ve been more than content with my longtime collection of brushes, sponges, and tools. However, I’ve recently been playing around with contouring lately- and having misplaced a couple of my brushes during some light travel over the past couple of months- I found that this one arrived just in time to help me get a defined and radiant look with my blushes and highlighters. Apart from the fact that this brush is pink (!!!), it’s bristles are also incredibly soft and deposit the colors I choose evenly on my skin as opposed to causing any colors/powders to look chalky or caked on.

Sorry, friends and family- I’m keeping this one for myself!

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I highly doubt I’ll be in need of a replacement any time soon since this brush seems pretty well-made and durable, but if I find myself in a bind and need to re-order- I might consider picking up another one- especially for only $16, which is a steal compared to similar brushes from other high-end companies.



Product # 4: Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner ($20)

Typically the words “liquid” and “eyeliner” put together makes me cringe and/or recoil in horror, since I always end up looking ridiculous whenever I try to apply a decent cat-eye with my shaky hands- but this black eyeliner from Eyeko is actually the “marker” version of liquid eyeliner that I enjoy since it has a fine point applicator and is easier to control than a sopping wet brush.

Sure enough, when I first tried this liner pen, I was able to create a subtle lined look that didn’t require multiple do-overs or corrections, and for the most part- this product stayed in place. I say “for the most part” because on a couple of separate occasions, I had noticed that the outer corner of my eye where I had flicked the liner up to create a cat-eye was starting to look a little dark- like the product was in the early stages of smudging/fading. A touch-up with my concealer and highlighter later and it was gone- but I dread to think of how I could have easily resembled a raccoon had I not noticed it in time.

Would I Purchase?: No. I didn’t hate this liner by any means, and for someone like me who typically can’t line their eyes to save their life- it was easy to hold steady and apply evenly. I think I just need something that has a bit more staying power for those days/nights I don’t have time for touch-ups- and that’s why I’ll be sticking to my gel liners and other tried and tested brands of “marker” style liners, instead.


Product # 5: Vine Vera Resveratrol Merlot Moisture Day Cream ($146)

For years, I’ve heard about the benefits of wine when it came to heart health (… or stress relief), but never once thought about it being beneficial in skin care. I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone tried it out and created a skin care product out of a chardonnay or Merlot- which is where Vine Vera comes in.

When I first saw the two very small containers from the brand in March’s GlossyBox, I thought for a second that maybe one cream was a day cream and the other was a night cream- but they were both day creams- and I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the way it was packaged. For a product that costs $146 for a full-sized version, I’d have hoped to receive something that didn’t look like it had been an afterthought/last minute choice to add to this month’s assortment of items and placed in something that resembled one of Sephora’s small take-home tester containers.

My dissatisfaction with this product unfortunately didn’t end with it’s packaging. While the cream was lightweight and made my skin feel nice at first- it was temporary. After each use of this product, I noticed a series of bumps and blemishes appearing around my face that required a mask and a bit of extraction to get rid of. I had to stop using this after the fourth time it made me break out along my chin.

Would I Purchase?: No. Apart from the weird reaction I had to this cream, I’m also at a loss for it’s price tag. I’m aware that anti-aging products can get a little expensive- but I don’t even see any indication, anywhere, that this cream has any type of SPF in it or how it’s even supposed to work. A peek at Vine Vera’s site shows multiple (and oddly vague) 5-star reviews for this cream- but again- no truly specific information. I’m gonna’ pass on this one.

Although I loved the lipstick and the lotion (and didn’t have any problems with the brush) in March’s GlossyBox- the eyeliner and especially the day cream left a LOT to be desired. This wasn’t the worst box I’ve received- not by a long shot- but I wasn’t exactly blown away by it, either.

I’m currently accruing GlossyDots in order to receive one of my upcoming boxes for free. I’m hoping to be dazzled and wowed again by the company before then so I’ll have incentive to keep subscribing- because with the exception of a couple of recent themed/collaboration boxes- it feels like they’ve been falling a little flat.

‘Til next time!


GLOSSYBOX: February 2016 Review.

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Even though Valentine’s Day was last week, I’ve still been still loving the last bits of romance-inspired products and subscription services I’ve been receiving in recent days. My POPSUGAR ‘Must Have’ Box was just the tip of the iceberg. In actuality, it was GlossyBox’s heart-covered container- loaded with indulgent products- that provided a fitting finale for the month of February (try saying that five times fast.)

Although I’ve been on the fence lately about sticking with GlossyBox or finally canceling my subscription after all this time, I love when they do things like this and switch up not only their box designs- but the products contained within- to keep people on their toes. It’s a breath of fresh air when the brands and the variety start to feel a little stale.

Let’s take a look at what I got!


Teeez Cosmetics Oasis Gem Lipstick in ‘Heat Wave Ruby’ (*Full Size!*)

être belle Cosmetics Golden Skin Caviar Eye Roll-On

GLAMGLOW ‘THIRSTYCLEANSE’ Daily Hydrating Cleanser

Benefit Cosmetics ‘The POREfessional’ Face Primer

BioRepublic SkinCare’s Green Tea Detox Sheet Mask (*Full Size!*)



Product # 1: Teeez Cosmetics Oasis Gem Lipstick in ‘Heat Wave Ruby’ ($22)

I have to hand it to GlossyBox for introducing me to brands I otherwise may have never heard of. Case in point? Teeez Cosmetics- who first piqued my interest with a clear nail top coat/lacquer (and their bright and funky packaging) I received in a separate GlossyBox last Spring. While the top coat wasn’t necessarily mind-blowing- this lipstick was. This product, highly pigmented and non-drying, applies more like a lip stain- and it stays in place for twice as long. I loved the texture of this formula, the matte finish, the rich ruby shade (which made my teeth look dazzling and complimented my complexion perfectly!) and the longevity. I made it through my morning coffee and well into my lunch break at work without needing a touch-up. Fabulous!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This was an unexpected and new-favorite find in February’s GlossyBox- and a shade/product I would definitely re-purchase in the future (although I believe this color is limited edition!) I know Teeez frequently switches up their collections and colors on their website, and I’m hoping they release a coral/peach version of this formula for the impending warmer months. I’d happily scoop up a bunch of those, too.


Product # 2: être belle Cosmetics Golden Skin Caviar Eye Roll-On ($22)

It feels like a lifetime ago, but it’s really only been a couple of short years since I was last subscribed to the pick-your-own-samples subscription service, Beauty Army. The beginning of the end of my interest in the service- leading up to my eventual cancellation of my account- came not only when each month offered cheaper and more repetitive products, but also when I received a sample of eye cream that caused entirely more damage than good when it unexpectedly burned me after application. The skin around and under my eyes was dry, flaking, red and itchy for days after use- and I was left VERY cautious of what I use for eye creams/gels.

Although my experience with this roll-on eye gel didn’t cause any visible or permanent damage (at least none that I can notice, anyway)– this product still stung like crazy after the first couple of initial applications. So much, in fact- that I caught myself trying to dab it off with my fingertips when it got to be too much for me to take. Even after I’d spread it out a little more- I didn’t notice any significant results around my eyes’ in terms of brightness, smoothness, or softness come the next morning. The skin around my eyes looked and felt the same- so the irritation was all for nothing.

Would I Purchase?: No. This eye cream just wasn’t for me at all. It burned, it made me tear up- and I didn’t notice any difference after the few times I gave this roll-on my best shot and tried to persevere through the pain. It was disappointing, to say the least- although I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since caviar doesn’t sound like something that should be anywhere near my eyes, anyway.


Product # 3: GLAMGLOW ‘THIRSTYCLEANSE’ Daily Hydrating Cleanser ($39)

Last month, I had raved about my favorite cleanser of the moment- GLAMGLOW’s ‘YOUTHCLEANSE’ exfoliating cleanser- which was a sort of mud-to-foam formula once I added water. Since I always follow up that cleanser with a moisturizer- I never took into consideration that I might need something a little more hydrating for these final, cold Winter weeks as Spring struggles to reach (and stay!) in New England. Thankfully, GlossyBox had me covered with a sample of this more moisturizing formula of my daily cleanser- and I’m hooked. Not only does this cleanser make my skin feel just as squeaky clean as my YOUTHCLEASE one- but my skin is also left super soft and very smooth. I still moisturize after each use (of course!) but I feel like I don’t have to use as much of my moisturizer when I pair it with this cleanser.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! GLAMGLOW got me again. I love this cleanser. It cleans out my pores without drying me out and conditions my skin at the same time- which is something I desperately need this time of year. I have a feeling I’ll be picking up a full-sized bottle of this in the coming weeks since I’m nearly out of my YOUTHCLEANSE.


Product # 4: Benefit Cosmetics ‘The POREfessional’ Face Primer ($31)

I’ve never really had much luck with primers. Either they don’t work, period- and my makeup doesn’t stay in place at all, or worse- I have an allergic reaction or break out like crazy. For that reason, I’ve focused more on setting my makeup properly and less on selecting one of the myriads of primers available at Sephora. Even still- my friends and colleagues rave about this primer from Benefit (a brand I otherwise like very much!) and having received a sample in February’s GlossyBox- I didn’t see the harm in giving it a try.

First things first, I like the texture of this primer. It’s sort of this light, fluffy consistency that sinks right into/onto my skin- and at first glance it really did do a good job at giving otherwise troublesome areas around my T-Zone a fresh, flawless appearance. My makeup glided over this primer without creasing or looking caked on, which was a plus- and even after a full day at work and post-office dinner (and a cocktail)- my foundation and concealer still looked natural and even. And pores? What pores? I couldn’t see them. I think I’ve finally found “the one”!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! A little goes a long way with this sample, especially if you only concentrate on problem areas like I do- so this tube should last me a few more weeks before I’m due to restock and replenish- but I’ll be turning to this primer in the future since it worked wonders on my T-Zone and helped give me one less thing to worry about when it comes to getting my face on.


Product # 5: BioRepublic SkinCare’s Green Tea Detox Sheet Mask ($4.99)

I will never, ever, EVER say no to sheet masks. I love this craze- particularly the convenience and the results I usually get when I use them. I’m a big fan of green tea, and I enjoy a good detox from time to time- so naturally I was all about trying this mask as soon as possible. Like pretty much every other sheet mask, you have to be patient when getting it out of the packaging (and not mind getting whatever gel/cream it’s saturated in all over your fingers) and getting it to sit just right on your face to give you that nice Leatherface from ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ look. You have to be even more patient while you let it sit, cool, and tingle on your skin for 15 minutes (I usually just lay down in the quiet for a while and pretend I’m getting a spa treatment somewhere remote outside the city.)

After I peeled this mask off- my skin did look brighter, felt softer- and I noticed a couple of small blemishes I had by my chin were significantly less red and painful. I wouldn’t mind using this type of mask again!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I thought this brand/mask worked really well with my sensitive and often overworked skin. At $4.99 per mask, I’d happily stock up on a few in the future to use throughout the week after a long day at work and braving New England climates.

With the exception of the eye cream, February’s GlossyBox was a hit for me. I really enjoyed the lipstick and the sheet mask, and found new products to covet from GLAMGLOW and Benefit all at once. It also goes without saying that I adored the festive coloring/theme of the box itself- and plan to use it for the next time I need to package a gift or store products around my home.

I believe we’ll be back to the usual pink & black boxes from GlossyBox next month- but I’m looking forward to seeing the products!


Review: Valentia Skin Care

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In fun blogging news, I’ve recently signed onto BrandBacker to deliver new content, collaborations and reviews for my followers and casual readers. For those who aren’t familiar with BrandBacker or other influencer programs similar to it- it’s a way for bloggers (and those who are active on numerous social media outlets) to team up with different brands/companies to discover new products or services and provide honest reviews of said products/services in exchange for free items, promotion- and sometimes paid posts. It’s a win/win for everyone- and something I highly encourage those who are looking to broaden their blogging horizons and expand their audience to check out!

The first company that approached me via BrandBacker was the USA-based skin care line, Valentia, who asked me if I wanted to test their new ‘True Glow’ eye cream and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. Since I’m always eager to try something new and experiment with different products to see what works with my skin/complexion and what doesn’t, I jumped at the chance to give these two samples a shot- and received two full-sized containers, one of the eye cream and one of the mask- to play around with as compensation (a $50+ value!) 

The company’s mission, per their website:

“To provide you a greater level of overall happiness with your appearance without the harsh chemicals that dry out, stretch, burn and prematurely age the skin. Our strategic formulations include powerful natural ingredients that have been scientifically proven to succeed in giving skin a natural and radiant glow that contributes to a youthful look.”

Any brand that expresses confidence that their their products will have me feeling like a goddess is a brand worth paying attention to- but would their products really stand up to their assertions? There was only one way to tell.

I had to try them for a few days to decide for myself.


‘True Glow’ Eye Cream ($25): 

From Valentia:

“Say goodbye to tired eyes. This nourishing formula works fast to repair and refresh the eye area while protecting skin from the usual suspects of aging. Our natural and organic ingredients work to calm and reduce puffiness in the eye area revealing softer, more refreshed looking eyes. With continued use of this antioxidant treatment, you will start noticing a more rejuvenated, radiant, and brighter under eye area.”

Up until now, I’d been using a thicker, heavier eye cream before bed each night- and as much as I like it- it doesn’t exactly absorb easily enough for me to be able to wear it under my makeup in the morning. When I first felt the lightweight consistency of this peach-tinted and gel-like cream (that smells strongly of flowers)– it gave me a little hope that this would be a suitable day cream and primer for my concealer, too. Sure enough, the formula sank into my skin in no time at all, and I noticed that my under-eye area appeared brighter and smoother in the mere minutes following application- even before I’d gotten around to applying my makeup!

In regards to wearing this under eye makeup and concealer during the day- this cream thankfully didn’t cause any sort of discoloration, creasing, or act as a barrier that prevented my makeup from setting properly the way other creams tend to do. It was barely noticeable after it had dried.

At night, I gently tapped a little more of this cream around my eyes to wear to bed- and woke up with softer, more hydrated, tighter and less-puffy skin. I was more than impressed- and now that I’ve been using this cream night and day for a little while- I’m happy to report that the results have stayed consistently good! There’s been no negative changes and no weird reactions or anything. Just a softer, smoother, and brighter eye area across the board.

VERDICT: I really like this eye cream! It was an unexpected hit for me- and was my favorite of the two products I received from Valentia for this collaboration! A little goes a long way with this gel/cream, so $25 per bottle is actually very reasonable- and I can see myself purchasing this in the future once I’m out of my complimentary one. Loaded with Vitamin C and Organic Rosehip Oil- it’s nice to see more natural ingredients put into something comes so dangerously close to my eyes- as opposed to the product being 100% full of complex and potentially harmful chemicals and/or artificial coloring.




From Valentia:

“The perfect answer to your dry skin problems. This hydration mask features a unique blend of amino acids and potent antioxidants, like Japanese Green tea and Aloe Vera, to reduce fine lines, increase collagen production, and fight environmental irritants. Botanical Hyaluronic  Acid, Vitamin E, and Sea Buckthorn Oil flood skin with vital moisture, creating softer more supple skin. Treat your delicate facial skin with nature’s most nourishing ingredients, and instantly restore radiance.”

Despite the bright orange coloring of this mask, it does not smell like any type of citrus whatsoever. Like the ‘True Glow’ Eye Cream, this mask has a gel-like consistency and smells more floral than fruity (at least to me, anyway!) Unlike the eye cream, however- this mask is meant to be left on the skin for approximately 15-30 minutes before it’s gently dabbed off with a warm, damp cloth- and is supposed to leave the skin feeling extra hydrated, smooth, nourished and looking radiant.

As is the case with most masks, you don’t want to overdo it by applying them too frequently- so I limited myself to two applications per week to better monitor my results. The mask tingles a bit as it dries on your face- so if you have sensitive skin, it might feel a little weird at first- but it goes away after a few minutes and then you barely notice you have a mask on at all. I promise!

In regards to the results, my skin did, indeed, feel softer to the touch and appear smoother at first glance- but I didn’t notice much of a difference in the overall brightness or ‘plumpness’ to my skin. I just looked and felt a little more dewy, really- which is fabulous this time of year but might not be so desirable come Spring/Summer when the temperatures and humidity begin to rise again.

VERDICT: I didn’t dislike this mask by any means, but I don’t feel it exactly blew me away, either. The ingredients are recognizable and able to be understood, and it’s nice if your skin needs an extra boost of hydration the way mine does throughout Winter- but if you’re looking for something to address any type of dullness or lifelessness to your skin- you may want to check out one of the scrubs Valentia has available, instead- and save this mask for a colder day when your usual moisturizers and serums just aren’t doing the trick.


Overall, I was really pleased with Valentia’s products (especially the eye cream!) and the natural, quality ingredients, lovely results, and swift shipment time for my samples has inspired me to check out some of the other products the company has to offer (particularly their aforementioned scrubs since it’s well-documented by now that I’m an exfoliation nut.)

I truly appreciate the company reaching out to me, and their generosity with the two full-sized items they shipped to me. It was very kind and I intend to continue using them regularly!

Valentia’s main site, as well as the Amazon links to purchase their products have been linked above for anyone looking to learn more about the brand or try these items for themselves.


*NOTE: I was not paid in exchange for my review by Valentia or any of it’s employees or associates. All opinions stated in this post are purely my own and were no way altered by the brand or their affiliates. Questions about the company or the products featured here should be directed to Valentia via the “CONTACT US” section on their website. Thank you!*

GLOSSYBOX: January 2016 Review.

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Before I write about my birthday, the blizzard, or do my wrap-up for the month of January- I wanted to go over my three monthly subscription services, all of which arrived in my postbox within days of each other- starting with GlossyBox. After last month’s red and white holiday-themed assortment of items, this month saw the company return to it’s trademark pink and black packaging and no specific theme laid out in the information card included in each month’s box.

With two full-sized items inside- the products I received in January’s GlossyBox covered makeup, moisturizers, and hair care.

Let’s take a look at what I got!


MeMeMe Lip Glide in ‘Playful Peach’ (*Full Size!*)

Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse Gentle Clarifying Treatment

Emite Makeup Diamond Heart Base Primer (*Full Size!*)

Royal Apothic Moisturizing Body Cream in ‘Cutting Garden’

-417 Nourishing Foot Cream



Product # 1: MeMeMe Lip Glide in ‘Playful Peach’ ($12.50)

Ah, yes- we are officially in the season of all things matte. Matte eye shadow, matte lipsticks, matte leggings (it’s a thing that exists!) and while I’ll never shy away from a matte red, wine color, or neutral tone for the Fall/Winter- a matte coral seems a little unusual, if not downright unseasonal for mid-January. Regardless, I still tried this lip pencil from MeMeMe for reviewing purposes.

The color, a bright peach/coral- is very pigmented when applied with 2-3 swipes over the lips- and appears matte as promised on the packaging and in the product’s description. Unfortunately, with my pale skin- the tone almost immediately washed me out completely. While the application of the pencil itself is smooth, the formula does seem to make my lips look a little dry once it sets in. Lines and creases are clearly visible- and the product doesn’t last very long. A few sips of my coffee and the color was all but gone and needed to be re-applied again to keep my lips from looking patchy and uneven.

Thankfully, this pencil doesn’t dry my lips out the way other, similar products tend to do- but even still- I wasn’t all that impressed with this.

Would I Purchase?: No. This pencil was just not for me at all. Between the unflattering color, the dry-looking appearance, and the disappointing longevity- I’m going to have to pass on this product and stick to my usual matte lipsticks for long-lasting, rich texture and tone.


Product # 2: Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse Gentle Clarifying Treatment ($10)

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you- the label on this bottle of clarifying hair treatment is indeed a little wonky. So much, in fact- that I had to go online to research and read the instructions before I used this lemon-scented rinse to make sure I was doing it correctly. Thankfully, the directions are pretty simple. After shampooing and conditioning my hair as usual, I combed some of this product through my still damp curls and let it sink in for roughly 30 seconds to a minute or so before rinsing it out and styling as usual.

What I was left with was shiny, soft, healthy-feeling hair that was free from breakage and frizz (and it also smelled like lemonade which was admittedly very nice!) I didn’t think anything that was left on for the bare minimum of time would have such great results- but I was pleasantly surprised by this product- and for $10 for a full-sized bottle you can’t go wrong.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This rinse was a great find and worked wonders on my hair. I was very impressed with the results I achieved after just a couple of uses, and the fact that it smells nice and is safe for color-treated hair is an added bonus. The price point is ridiculously fair, in my opinion- and I plan on ordering a couple of full-sized bottles to keep in my shower and in my overnight bag the next time I travel to maintain my curls looking clean and vibrant.


Product # 3: Emite Makeup Diamond Heart Base Primer ($29)

It’s not very often I fall in love with a makeup primer, as many in the past have either caused breakouts, made me look shiner than usual, or just didn’t keep my makeup in place, period- but here we are and here I am- swearing by this primer by Emite Makeup. This lightly-tinted formula that has a faint and familiar scent I couldn’t quite put my finger on- applied easily and felt lightweight on my skin- not greasy or slick. When it dried, my face appeared dewy without looking overly oily- and it helped keep my foundation in place all day without sliding off or creasing anywhere.

I think what I like best about this primer is that it sort of doubles as a skin perfecting and brightening BB cream. You can wear it on it’s own for sheer coverage and not have to worry about it clogging your pores or anything. I like to throw this on (with some mascara and lip gloss) when I’m just running a couple of errands and don’t necessarily want to deal with a full face of makeup- and it still makes my skin look nice!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This is one of those rare instances when a makeup primer actually worked really well for me. I love this formula, and how it can be worn under foundation or by itself. I loved it’s staying power- and I especially love it’s price since it costs a fraction of what I’ve spent on other primers or BB creams in the past that didn’t work nearly as well for me!


Product # 4: Royal Apothic Moisturizing Body Cream in ‘Cutting Garden’ ($30)

I’m a pretty big fan of nearly every Royal Apothic product I’ve received in my subscription services to date, so I was excited to see this lovely packaged tube of body cream by the company in January’s GlossyBox. ‘Cutting Garden’, a very pretty floral fragrance, rubbed into my skin quickly and evenly- instantly hydrating any dry spots or patches without making the not-so-dry spots and patches feel slick or greasy (my biggest pet peeve with moisturizers!)

Hours later, my skin was still soft, smooth, and lightly scented. To say I love this cream is an understatement, and although $30 is a little on the steep side for a full-sized tube- I can easily picture myself picking up a couple for friends who appreciate a good hydrating cream as much as I do! (I sense a giveaway coming up soon…)

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Royal Apothic had yet another hit with this body cream. I loved the results, the fragrance, and the beautiful packaging. Although the price-point is a little more on the expensive side- I think this is a great item to splurge on for yourself and an even better item to give as a thoughtful gift for those trying to get through harsh Winters, too! This formula comes in a variety of fragrances, but I’m quite keen on ‘Cutting Garden’ as it is!


Product # 5: -417 Nourishing Foot Cream ($18)

The other night I was telling a friend how long overdue for a decent pedicure I was. Winter- and my knee-high boots- have been absolute Hell on my heels. They’re dry and cracked- and no amount of lotion or cream seems to do the trick even if I vigorously and religiously apply it. I wasn’t expecting much from this small yellow tube of cream- but I gave it a whirl anyway.

First things first, this cream does not smell like your usual, every day pedi-product. There’s no traces of mint, or lavender. Instead, this lightweight cream has a woodsy fragrance- almost like men’s cologne- but not nearly as strong or potent. I rather liked the smell of it, and didn’t mind that it stayed on my hands well after I applied this all over my heels, soles, and toes.

The cream IS moisturizing- and my skin definitely felt softer as I wrapped my feet in fuzzy slipper socks and went to bed- but by the next morning, my heels still felt a little dry and scratchy. After two more nights of pre-bedtime application, my feet slowly but surely began to feel a little smoother and less dry overall- so this is a product that will work gradually over time. If you’re looking for a quick fix- this isn’t the cream for you.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I think this foot cream would be ideal in the Spring/Summer when the air is less dry and cold and I’m not wearing boots at all times- but for this time of year- I don’t think it’s heavy duty enough for me as I battle through Winter. I’m going to need something much stronger to keep my skin from perpetual dryness and cracking- but I could see myself using this product when the weather warms up.

With only one product I wasn’t a fan of (and one I’m still a little on the fence about)– January’s box was fortunately anything but a bust for me. I loved the hair rinse, the body cream, and especially the makeup primer- which makes this assortment of items a really good way for the service to kick off 2016. It’s a strong start- and I hope GlossyBox can keep up the momentum into the new year.

I was recently sent a spoiler for February’s box- a themed one (my favorite!)– that I’m really looking forward to receiving and reviewing next month!

‘Til then!


GLOSSYBOX: December 2015 Review.

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With the end of December swiftly approaching, the final subscription boxes of the year have been arriving right on schedule. The expectations I have for end-of-the-year assortments might seem a little unfair to some- but I want to be dazzled! It’s the holidays, after all. It’s almost 2016- go big or go home, right? Give me glitz, and give me glamour- but please just put some effort into ending the year on a special high note!

So when December’s GlossyBox, the first to arrive, showed up in my postbox early last week week and I saw the lovely and festive red & white packaging- I had a feeling I was going to be impressed. Sure enough, once I’d actually opened the box and took a peek inside- I was greeted with four full-sized items and a deluxe sample.

Merry Christmas to me!


colorpHlex Leave-In Treatment & Detangler

MTJ Cosmetics High Definition Mascara (*Full Size!*)

GlossyBox Brand Eye Shadow in ‘GlossyBox Muave’ (*Full Size!*)

OROGOLD Cosmetics 24K Hand Cream (*Full Size!*)

Color Club Nail Polish in ‘Feverish’ (*Full Size!*)


Product # 1: colorpHlex Leave-In Treatment & Detangler ($22)

I’m very appreciative that GlossyBox takes color-treated hair into consideration when sending out their samples/products. In the nearly three years I’ve been a subscriber, I’ve only ever received 1 or 2 hair care or hair styling items that were potentially harmful to my reds and my violet highlights. This colorPHlex leave-in treatment is not only designed to keep my color vibrant and protect it from fading- but it also softens and untangles my thick and unruly curly hair, too.

I liked the way this spray smelled- like a greenhouse (weird, I know- but it reminded me of being in a room filled with plants and not in a bad way) and how it didn’t make my scalp or my ends feel sticky, crunchy or greasy after I’d spritzed some on post-cleansing my curls in the shower. It sank in quickly and my hair was instantly shinier and easier to comb through. After I styled as usual, I noticed my hair also stayed remarkably frizz-free despite recent humid conditions here in Massachusetts (El Niño Winter over here so far!) and to date- there has been no fading or discoloration of my hair color. My reds are just as bright and vibrant as ever.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I was really pleased with how easy to use and effective this spray was. It protected my color, detangled my tricky ends like the bottle promised it would, and kept my hair soft and smooth all day long. I have a feeling I’ll be picking up a couple more bottles of this once I’m out of the sample I received- one for home and one to take with me when I travel!



Product # 2: MTJ Cosmetics High Definition Mascara ($21)

I’ve been running low on my current mascara over the course of the past week or so, so receiving a brand new, full-sized tube was definitely a treat that saved me a little bit of time and money. I had figured that even if I hadn’t liked this black MTJ formula- it would at least hold me over until I could find the time to hit the shops and pick up a replacement for my nearly-empty Tarte tube. Fortunately, this mascara completely exceeded my expectations and blew me away.

The photo above was snapped after two quick coats- and look how long and feathery my lashes look! With no clumping or flaking whatsoever, this Hi-Def formula lasted all day and well into the evening- and the unique shape of the brush made it super easy to reach those difficult and smaller lashes near the inner corners of my eyes without discomfort. I’m in love!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I adored the way this mascara made my lashes look and feel. The formula was easy to apply, stayed in place without giving me the dreaded “spider leg eye” look- and the price point is similar to other mascaras I’ve purchased in the past that weren’t nearly half as nice as this one. I’m really glad I gave this one a chance- because I think I’ve found a keeper!



Product # 3: GlossyBox Brand Eye Shadow in ‘GlossyBox Muave’ ($11)

Although my lids have been covered with sparkling golds and matte nude tones as of late, I’ll never say no to trying a shimmery mauve shadow- especially when the color tends to make my blue eyes pop when worn correctly. This powder shadow, a GlossyBox original formula, was well-pigmented and easy to wear by itself as a subtle solo-shade or blended with other colors for a more dramatic look- and the longevity was pretty impressive, too. There was no creasing or flaking down along my cheeks- even as day turned to night. It stayed in place- and a reapplication or touch-up wasn’t necessary. I do love the color, a beautiful purple/silver tone- and I think I’ll be incorporating it more and more with my holiday and Winter wardrobe and makeup selections.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This single shadow was a really nice and unexpected find. I don’t know if GlossyBox sells their own brand of makeup through their website (I can’t seem to locate it anywhere) or if it’s just limited to their subscription boxes only- but if they were to make this available for purchase online- I’d pick up a replacement for when I ran out of the full-sized tub I received in this month’s box.


Product # 4: OROGOLD Cosmetics 24K Hand Cream ($18)

If anyone is looking for a last minute Christmas present for me- let me help you out: hand cream. Just a ton of hand cream. Through Fall and Winter, my skin dries out like crazy, and sometimes it seems like there’s not enough lotion in the world to make me feel moisturized and comfortable. For that reason, I was ecstatic when I saw this tube of OROGOLD cream in December’s GlossyBox- and it’s since found a home in my purse until I run out.

The formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and lightly scented (a bit like a musky/woodsy fragrance, not bad at all)– and once it was applied- my hands felt soft and smooth for hours. Although I tend to compulsively reapply creams throughout the day- it wasn’t necessary with this product- which is always a welcomed treat since I won’t have to hurry to replace it so soon.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! When it comes to hand creams- all they have to do is hydrate my skin without making it feel slick or drying them out even more than they were pre-application- and I’ll be pretty content. This cream hit the mark, had a pleasant and long-lasting scent- and although $18 might be a little steep compared to other brands that sell hand creams at a fraction of that price (Bath & Body Works’ $5-$10 shea butter hand cream tubes, for example)– this was a quality product I’d splurge on in the future to treat myself.



Product # 5: Color Club Nail Polish in ‘Feverish’ ($8.50)

First and foremost, I want to give a shout-out to my manicurist, Cindy, who applied this color to my fingernails and then went on to decorate my thumbs and ring fingers with lovely and festive-looking bows for the holidays. She’s magnificent and wonderful at what she does.

Now, onto the polish. Although I’m a fan of the rich burgundy tone of ‘Feverish’, the lacquer itself was a bit of a pain to apply. Instead of simply gliding on with one or two sweeps- my manicurist had to almost dab/tap it onto my nails to get it to stay in place without streaking unevenly- which proved to be slightly more time consuming. After two coats (and a top coat to seal everything)– the polish dried quickly enough- and has yet to chip, peel, or become discolored. I love the shade for the Winter months- but I’m weary about it’s odd application.

Would I Purchase?: No. Although I don’t think I’d repurchase ‘Feverish’ again (solely because it took longer than I would have liked to get it on my nails easily), I’d like to try some of Color Club’s other available shades. After browsing their website- they have some really neat prism-style lacquers that caught my attention. It’d be interesting to see if the streaking problem was solely limited to this one shade, or if it’s an issue across the board with all of the brand’s polishes.

Overall, I was thrilled with the quality of December’s GlossyBox. The amount of full-sized products I received was definitely impressive- and I loved nearly every item with the exception of one. On top of that, the design of the box was beautiful! I enjoy getting the occasional decorated or designed box from time to time. It’s such a nice surprise.

This was a wonderful assortment of products/samples to round out GlossyBox’s 2015- a year that saw the service speed up it’s formerly sluggish delivery time and branch out to include more bold products and collaborations- and I am looking forward to seeing what the service has in store for next year. I hope they keep up the great work!


Adventures in Sunless Tanning!

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Having entered my teens in the early 2000’s- I’ve experienced my fair share of mortifying makeup and fashion choices as I grew up and matured. Tube tops? G-string straps sticking up over my ultra low-rise flared jeans? Frosted pink lipstick? Bleached blonde hair with untamed roots? Oh yeah- guilty as charged. I did it ALL– but perhaps one of the most cringe-worthy things I used to do in my early teens (and even in my early twenties when I was feeling optimistic and a little daring) were my foray with self-tanners.

Look, I’m pale. I’ve come to terms with my paleness. I’ve embraced it- and the last tan I pulled off, courtesy of falling asleep on the beach while unknowingly wearing expired sunscreen- came at the expense of severe sun poisoning and a week’s worth of agonizing pain as my burnt skin split and eventually healed.

Prior to that, I’d tried multiple self-tanners from numerous companies- almost all of which turned me into an orange, streaky mess. High end brands, drug store brands- it didn’t matter. It was always a disaster and I’d since resigned myself to the fact that I would be a pasty redhead for the coming years.

When a representative from the Ireland-based self-tanning brand, Cocoa Brown (by Marissa Carter), contacted me to see if I wanted to give sunless tanning one more try- I eventually relented and agreed. The company was kind enough to send me two full-sized bottles of their ‘1 Hour Tanning Mousse’ and ‘Gentle Bronze Gradual Tan Body Lotion’ to experiment with- as well as one of their soft double-sided tanning mitts (which also act as a skin buffer to ensure an even application all over.)


After doing the necessary pre-application-all-over-exfoliation routine in the shower using my grittiest sugar scrub- I got to work- starting with the 1-hour tanning mousse.


What I liked best about the tanning mousse, and what differentiated it from other self-tanners I’ve tried in the past was that it was tinted- which made the application process a little easier since I could keep track of where it was going and what areas needed a little more attention to avoid uneven tan lines. When applied with the tanning mitt, this mousse spread easily enough and didn’t make my skin feel greasy. It also didn’t transfer onto my clothes when I eventually threw on some baggy sweatpants and a t-shirt and waited for the product to work it’s magic.

The directions on the bottle of mousse state that it can be left on for hours, with a minimum of one hour- depending on how dark you want your tan to be- before you rinse it off. I opted to keep the mousse on for approximately ninety minutes before hopping in the shower- and was pleasantly surprised that my skin seemed to have an even, subtle and natural (not orange!) looking glow to it by the time I was done.


To those who are blessed with the ability to tan and tan well, it may not look like much- but to me- I was a bronzed goddess.

The “Gentle Bronze” body lotion, also tinted for an even application- is to be used between tanning mousse sessions to maintain and continually build color while hydrating the skin (think Jergens’ “Natural Glow” moisturizer.) I wisely chose to use this product for the first time just on my legs as to avoid messing up the subtle tan on my arms in case things went awry (my legs are easier to cover up in the winter in case of such a mishap.)

Unfortunately, the body lotion is where things got a little… orange. Sure, the lotion was pretty effortless to apply and it washed off of my hands without staining them- but my legs went from looking naturally sunkissed to looking a bit more spray-tan- and not in a good way.

As for longevity? Both the tanning mousse and the tanning lotion lasted approximately 2-4 days before the color gradually faded and my practically see-through skin re-emerged in all it’s pasty glory. If you’re looking for something that lasts a little longer- this may not be the self-tanning line for you- but I kind of liked that I had more control over my faux-tan. It was comforting in a way to be able to build it and/or let it fade as I saw fit.

ALSO: I know fragrance is important to a lot of people with products like these, since they tend to stay on your skin for a few days at a time and you don’t want to smell weird. I know for a fact that I’ve remarked in the past that 90% of self-tanners I’ve tried in my life have made my skin smell like cinnamon toast (don’t ask me why or how- it just does) which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but is still pretty unusual, regardless.

Well, Cocoa Brown’s tanning mousse and tanning lotion applies with an almost floral scent. It’s pretty nice, really- BUT– once it dries and your skin begins to tan- that same cinnamon toast fragrance slowly but surely reappears and it doesn’t go away until the product itself starts to fade. If you’re not into that- I recommend spritzing on a little more perfume to mask it.


So enjoying one out of two products isn’t a bad result (or two out of three products if you count the tanning mitt- which I actually really liked!) 

When faced with eventually re-purchasing Cocoa Brown, I would definitely grab another bottle of the tanning mousse- but I’d have to skip over the body lotion. The mousse gave me complete control and a buildable, natural-looking glow without any hassle, whereas the lotion turned my legs a little too orange and “fake” looking for my liking. It might work well for those with naturally darker skin tones- but it just didn’t look right with mine.

If you’re pasty like me and looking for a little color without having to go crazy with your bronzer or subjecting yourself to the sun’s harmful rays- Cocoa Brown is worth checking out. I truly enjoyed my trial (and error) and I’m grateful the company reached out to me to give it a go!


GLOSSYBOX: November 2015 Review.

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So even though my employment situation has changed fairly recently, it’s still business as usual here at ‘Legally Redhead’, which includes my round up of my monthly subscription box reviews. First up was November’s GlossyBox- a follow-up to October’s impressive Parisian-inspired collection and the prelude to the service’s holiday/end of the year box.

Comprised of mostly full-sized or deluxe sample-sized skin care and makeup items (no hair care or nail products this time around)– trying everything was a breeze and only took a matter of days.


Marsk Cosmetics Mineral Eye Shadow in “You’re Toast” (*Full Size!*)

Florapy “Sweet Dreams” Yarrow Lavender Mask

Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy

Beauty For Real D-Fine Perfect Lip Pencil (*Full Size!*)

Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Creme



Product # 1: Marsk Cosmetics Mineral Eye Shadow in “You’re Toast” ($22.50)

Near the end of the year, around the holidays and well into Winter- my every day wardrobe and evolves from light and flowing floral prints and pastels to darker hues of grays, blacks and browns with pops of royal blue, rich violet- and gold. SO much gold. From my makeup to my jewelry- I like to be dripping in it. When I first saw this copper-hued loose powder shadow from Marsk, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It didn’t look like much in it’s little round tub- but I opted to wear it by itself over my usual primer for a couple of days to see how the color held up against other sparkling tones I’ve worn in the past.

First of all, this shadow is REALLY pigmented- which I liked very much. The photo above is after a couple of dustings all over my lid and into my crease- and you can see how rich it is. While it has shimmer to it, “You’re Toast” (love the name, by the way) didn’t look TOO sparkly on me and actually made my blue eyes really stand out in a flattering way. Best of all? This shadow didn’t budge. Not at all. Not even a little bit. It stayed in place all day without creasing, crumbling, or flaking off. To say I’m in love is an understatement- and I’ve been wearing this non-stop since I received it.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I love the rich color of this shadow, it’s staying power, and how I can wear it by itself with just a swipe of mascara and my eyes still look luminous and festive. A little goes a long way with this shadow, so I don’t anticipate on running out anytime soon- but when I do- I’m picking another one of these up.


Product # 2: Florapy “Sweet Dreams” Yarrow Lavender Mask ($8)

I’m a big fan of sheet masks- even if they make me look like Leatherface from ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ whenever I wear them. They’re just quick and convenient whenever my skin needs a little pick-me-up after a long day or week. I especially like to pack a couple when I travel, since in-flight cabin pressure and a change of climate can all but suck the life out of my face.

I tried this “Sweet Dreams” mask before bed, getting used to the slick feel of it after I’d removed the packaging and left it on my face for about twenty minutes. I have to say that I wasn’t particularly fond of it’s fragrance- which was kind of overpowering and not very relaxing- but I did like the way my skin looked and felt after I’d peeled the mask off. It was soft and felt replenished and hydrated.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I don’t think I’d opt for the “Sweet Dreams” mask again, because like I said- the fragrance was a little too strong for me- but I wouldn’t be opposed to trying some of the other masks Florapy has available. For $8 a package, I could see myself stocking up to get me through the winter.


Product # 3: Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy ($9 – $32)

Although my skin is typically combination/oily at all times- my hands get SO dry this time of year. It’s unbearable- and I have to have at least two tubes of moisturizer in my bag at all times for frequent reapplications throughout the day (or else I go nuts.) I was pretty happy to receive a hand cream in November’s GlossyBox for that very reason- and I wasted no time in slathering on this skin therapy from Crabtree & Evelyn almost as soon as I took it out of the box.

I would like to remark on the fragrance, first and foremost- because as soon as I got a whiff of this cream-  I was instantly reminded of my grandmother. I know that sounds weird, and probably off-putting to some- but to me, it was strangely comforting. My grandmother used to put those small, potent-smelling decorative soaps in her bathroom whenever she had company over. I never knew where she got them from- or why she insisted on having them- but they were always there and the scent of them has always reminded me of holidays at her home since. This lotion smells like that. It’s not bad, really.

But most importantly, of course- are the results. This cream instantly soothed my dry hands after I liberally applied it- and it kept my skin soft and smooth for hours. I didn’t have to feverishly reapply over and over- which was a nice change of pace to what I’m used to every November/December.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I loved this cream- and I would absolutely re-purchase this again in the future. I also like that Crabtree & Evelyn have different gift sets available this time of year- some of which include this product. I think I’ve found a couple of good presents for friends and family who are also in the same “dry skin” boat as me this year.



Product # 4: Beauty For Real D-Fine Perfect Lip Pencil ($14)

I’ve said in the past that I’ve never really been keen on lip pencils. The drying, the crumbling, the fading of the color- finding one that works well and wins me over is far and few between- so I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when I saw this twist-up lip liner from Beauty For Real. A review is a review, however- and I gave “D-Fine” a shot for a couple of days to test the color and longevity.

First, the color. The photo above is of just the liner- which I used to outline my lips and fill them in before sealing in the product with a clear gloss. I liked the nude tone, and how easy it was to blend and correct any mistakes (unlike red or plum liners I’ve received in the past that were a nightmare) and how soft the pencil felt. It wasn’t painful or drying on my lips. It just looked nice and natural.

The longevity, however- left a lot to be desired. While this product made it through morning coffee and typical early a.m. wear and tear- by noon it was all but gone from my lips and had to be reapplied a couple more times throughout the day to keep the color as even and lovely as it looked when I first applied it. No thanks.

Would I Purchase?: No. While the color was very pretty and the product itself was easy enough to apply- this liner simply didn’t last long enough on my lips to keep me interested in re-purchasing it in the future. I think if it had better staying power, I’d consider using it again- since I really did like the nude tone.


Product # 5: Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Creme ($50 – $90)

Oh, Estée Lauder- what a weird relationship you and I have. Some of your products have been gems, and others have caused me nothing but grief- and don’t even get me started on your price points- which were still too high for me even when I was working full-time. Even still, I’m never opposed to trying one of your laughably small samples whenever I receive one to see if they blow me away or leave me shaking my head in confusion.

I tried to stretch out the dollop of this cream I received for as long as possible to write an accurate and thorough review- and I thankfully made it a few days- which was long enough to not see any significant difference on my skin with the exception of a few blemishes that sprang up shortly after I first applied this lightly-scented cream. Tsk, tsk.

Sure, my skin felt soft- but I didn’t notice any brightening or firming effects- and still hadn’t by the time I ran out of the sample.

Would I Purchase?: No. I think I’ll stick to the brightening nighttime sereums Estée Lauder has made that have worked wonders for me in the past- but I’ll be skipping over this cream entirely. It didn’t do anything for me except give me a couple of pimples on my forehead.

November’s GlossyBox was a mixed bag for me. I liked two of the products I received very much, didn’t like two of them at all- and one I’m still on the fence about. It wasn’t the worst assortment by any means- but I’m really hoping the service goes all in with their December/holiday box. I’ve already seen a sneak peek of the packaging and it looks very cute!

Here’s hoping!