Haul + Mini Reviews

Hey everyone! Today I wanted to show you some of the makeup and skin care I’ve bought recently and give some mini reviews of the products. I haven’t had much time to test these out, so these are very preliminary opinions. I’ll keep y’all updated on my thoughts and feelings as I use these products more!

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Clinique Take the Day Off Balm ($29):

I love this stuff. I was using a sample I’d gotten from a Clinique counter and I fell in love instantly. It really removed all of my makeup. I had been using the Neutrogena Oil Cleanser before, but I found that it always left some makeup residue on my face. This stuff takes it all off: waterproof eyeliner, waterproof mascara, full coverage foundation, the works. I use this every night to oil cleanse before using my regular foaming cleanser.

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Simple Micellar Water ($5):

Amazingly, up until about a week ago, I’d never tried micellar water. From a scientific perspective it seemed pretty simple: teeny tiny oil molecules (micelles) are suspended in water and remove dirt and makeup without stripping your skin of its essential oils. Now, I’m not about to drop my whole skin cleansing routine in favor of this magic potion, but I have to admit, it is pretty cool. I like to use this in the morning on a cotton pad to wake my skin up instead of using a traditional cleanser. It refreshes my skin and removes any night cream that wasn’t absorbed. I would give it a try if you haven’t already! I tried using it to remove a particularly stubborn eye look and it actually worked very well! If I wasn’t so in love with my oil cleanse, I might actually use this as a makeup remover!

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Acnefree Therapeutic Sulfur Mask ($9):

I love sulfur. At this point you probably already know this. But I can’t sing its praises enough! Sulfur has cleared up my skin better than anything else I’ve ever used, and I’ve told everyone I know about its wonderful properties. My mom has, of course, heard a lot of this and actually got this for me while she was out one day. It was on sale and she thought of me when she saw sulfur was the active ingredient. I’ve only used it once, so I can’t speak to its long-term efficacy, but I like the way it feels so far. It doesn’t irritate my skin or feel too harsh. It makes my skin feel clean, but not dried out. All in all, I like it so far and look forward to using it more in the coming weeks.

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Miss Spa Sheet Masks ($3):

Up until a week ago, I had only used the brightening and the hydrating mask, as I was afraid the exfoliating one would strip my skin, but I ventured out of my comfort zone and bought one, just for kicks. And now I’ve bought 2 more because  these are amazing. I already love the hydrating and brightening masks for the way they make my skin feel plump and smooth, but I might love the exfoliating one more. Not only does it add a ton of moisture to the skin, but it also has urea, an exfoliant that helps eliminate bumpy texture on the skin. I’ve had some texture issues recently and this stuff make my skin feel so good after. I like to do these right before bed and then rub in the excess serum and use that as my moisturizer for the night.

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Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask ($4):

$4 seemed steep to me for a simple mask, but I quickly realized that you can get up to 4 uses out of one little container of mask. I bought this on a whim at a massive Sephora in Seattle and I used it for 4 nights last week. When I woke up, my skin felt bouncy and hydrated, and didn’t have the sticky residue that some sleeping masks can leave. If you want to pamper yourself, $1 per use doesn’t seem like a bad option! I recommend keeping your opened container in a ziplock baggie to prevent the product from drying out. I haven’t tried any of the other “flavors” of mask, but I will soon and I’ll tell you all about it!

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Maison Margiela ‘Replica’ Lazy Sunday Morning Rollerball ($28):

I had heard so much about this perfume on Leighannsays’ channel that I just had to smell it! I found it at the Sephora in Seattle and the moment I smelled it, I fell in love. It’s described as “soft skin and bed linens” but I smell more of the floral notes than the linens. It smells like lily, rose, and orange blossom, with some spiciness behind it. This is a great everyday perfume and I’ve been using it non-stop since I bought it. I’m definitely planning on springing for the full size spray version.

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Real Techniques Eraser Sponge ($6 for 2):

I love this little sponge. I’ve owned it for 2 days and I don’t know how I ever lived without it. I loved the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, but to be honest I only ever used it for concealer and baking since I think my foundation looks better when applied with a buffing brush. It was good, but it was a big sponge to just use for concealer. Then I found these at Ulta and now I’ll never go back. This blends my concealer with the round side and applies my setting powder with the flat side. Even if I’m not baking, I find I get a more perfected look if I use a sponge to apply setting powder under my eyes. I don’t know if I’ll ever buy that big orange sponge again now that I’ve found these little purple miracle workers. (Note: I’ve never owned a Beauty Blender in full size or the Micro Minis, so I really can’t compare the two; I just know that this one works and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than the BB brand.)

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Up & Up Blush Brush ($7):

Look, I already loved Up & Up brushes before this. I apply my foundation with their Complexion Brush and it gives me the most flawless finish of anything I’ve used. I was pretty set on using my ELF Blush Brush forever, but I found its small size and dense bristles a little limiting; sometimes when using super pigmented blushes it deposited too much in one area and made it hard to blend out. I don’t have that problem with this brush at all. It allows me to slowly build up color rather than applying it all at once. It’s super soft and works well with all of my blush formulations. If you’re looking for a good, cheap brush brand, give Up & Up a try!

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Eyelure No. 155 Lashes ($10 for 3 pairs):

I don’t wear false lashes often, but when I do these are literally the only kind I wear. I wore these to my college graduation, I’ve worn these to various celebrations, I’ll wear these anywhere I have an excuse to. They look so natural but still provide a dramatic flare with their winged out style. I love that it comes in a 3 pack and that you can reuse them! They’ve got a really comfortable band and if you clean them after each use, you can use the 4-6 times before they get too hard to apply. If you’re new to lashes, give these a try! But I would recommend using a glue other than the one that comes in this package. I like the Duo lash adhesive, personally.

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Here are my lashes from different angles.

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L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black ($6):

I’ve heard a lot about this from a lot of YouTubers, so I figured I’d finally give it a try. I’ve only used it a few times, but what I’ll say right now is I don’t love it. I find the formula to be very wet and it makes my lashes look a little clumpier than I’d like. HOWEVER, I almost never like a mascara when it’s in a fresh tube, even my very favorite ride or die ones. I’m going to keep using this and let the tube dry up a little bit before I pass my final judgement on this product!

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Physicians Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner ($9):

I already know I love this product, I just wanted it in brown! This stuff is super opaque, applies easily, and stays put all day long. I used to use the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liner, but this stuff is half the price and just as good, so I haven’t looked back since I switched.

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Maybelline Exaggerate Nude Eyeliner ($5):

I’ve been on the hunt for Milani Shadow Eyes in Almond Cream so I could use it to line my lower lash line, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. I settled for this, but I actually love it a lot! I’d tried the white eyeliner in my lower waterline, but that was too severe for my taste. After trying this, I put it on almost every day. It makes my eyes look bigger and more awake, and isn’t as harsh as my typical black waterline. It makes it easy to do work-appropriate soft brown looks and still look put together.

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ELF Makeup Remover Pen ($3):

Love it. Just love it. Super simple to use, works well, and super affordable. I use it to make sharp eyeliner looks, clean up my lip line, remove mascara smudges, etc. Again, I only bought this a few days ago and I already don’t know how I lived without it for so long.

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Milani Clear Lip Liner ($5):

I love clear lip liners. They’re great for keeping lipstick inside of your lipline, priming your lips, and preventing feathering. I had been planning on springing for Urban Decay’s Ozone pencil, but then I saw this and decided to give it a shot. I don’t hate it, but it’s not my favorite. In my opinion it’s somehow too soft and not creamy enough. It crumbles if you press too hard, but it doesn’t spread easily like the NYX Slide On lip pencils. I’m still playing with it though! And if this fails, I still have my Colourpop Lip Primer, which I adore.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Ashton ($20):

I’ve been lusting after this product since it came out, but I was always worried it wouldn’t look nearly as good on me as I thought it would. I was wrong. It looks awesome. I love this color and I want to wear it for the rest of my damn life. But… I don’t love the formula. It’s very dry and crumbly and wears off in the middle of my lips after a few hours. Also, if you put on more than one layer it balls up and crumbles off your face, which feels and looks gross. I’m working on different techniques to get it to work because I really really love this color. I’ll keep you posted if I get it to work.

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(Sorry for sloppy application; I took this photo in fading daylight and I needed to get it done quickly. I just wanted you to have an idea of the color on my skin tone.)

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Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Project Chimps ($20):

So, I love that this lipstick donates 20% of the retail price to Project Chimps, an organization dedicated to freeing chimps that have been used for medical research. I’m an animal lover and advocate and I think some of the things they do to chimps are truly despicable. However, I will also freely admit that about 90% of the reason I bought this is because I LOVE the color. Right now I’m so into orangey lipsticks and this one does not disappoint. The formula is comfortable and long lasting, as are all of the ELLs I’ve tried. My one tip is not to do more than one layer; it’ll crumble faster. Also, don’t press your lips together to spread product around; I find that this makes the product feel tacky.

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(Again, I know it’s messy, but I was in a bit of a rush.)

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Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder ($16):

I’m an oily gal. This is no secret. My t-zone gets so oily that the US has been contemplating an invasion. I do my best to control it, but I inevitably have to blot later in the day. I’ve been using Rimmel Stay Matte, and it’s great but I don’t always stay as matte as I’d like. I picked this up a few days ago and I’m giving it a go. So far, I like it a lot. I’m experimenting with different application methods so stay tuned and I’ll let you know what method I think works best!

And that’s it! That’s all the stuff I’ve bought in the past few weeks! What have you bought recently? Do you love it? Let me know in the comments below!

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