Sunday, March 17, 2013

Drugstore Liquid vs. Creme Foundation

Hey lovlies!

This week I'll be doing a side-by-side comparison of two drugstore foundations.

Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1  vs.  Revlon 24 hours Colorstay Whipped


Covergirl -- "All-in-one foundation with a long-lasting formula that fuses primer, concealer, and foundation in one easy step! The 3-in-1 formula provides a flawless look that lasts all day long."

Revlon --  "Finally, truly decadent makeup offers ultimate performance. The mousse-like texture feels like silk on your skin. And, the time release formula balances skin for a flawless look. All day flexible wear without flaking, caking or feeling heavy."


Covergirl -- 14 available shades. In 825 Buff Beige (right)

Revlon -- 12 available shades. In 250 Medium Beige (left)

This would be the biggest downfall of drugstore makeup: you have to purchase the product to test the shades. As you can see, the Revlon is a bit too dark and grey against my skin. For me, the Covergirl is more suitable with its brightness and yellow undertones. I might've been happier with a shade lighter for the Revlon.

Size & Price (aka bang-for-your-buck):

Covergirl -- 1 fl oz for $9.49 (Target)

Revlon -- 0.8 fl oz for $11.99 (Target)

Texture, Scent, Application, and Finish:

Covergirl -- Liquid foundation with a loose, water-like texture. Scentless. Applies smoothly (like a primer would). One layer would provide medium coverage, but easily buildable to heavier coverage if desired. Pleasantly soft and dewy finish, not oily. Setting powder is optional.

Revlon -- "Whipped" creme foundation with an interesting bouncy feel. Strong chemical, vinyl scent. Airier than normal creme foundations, allowing for easier application. Single layer provides medium to heavy coverage, further buildable by layering. Finish is a bit sticky and requires a setting powder.

The Verdict

When comparing product availability, price-per-oz, shade, and overall quality, I would have to say the Covergirl 3-in-1 liquid foundation is the definite winner! Not only does it have a larger range of available shades, but the consistency and finish are a lot more pleasant than that of the Revlon Colorstay whipped creme foundation.

Now, don't get me wrong. These are wonderful drugstore foundations and I would highly recommend both! I just happen to prefer foundations that are more watery in texture as that seems to apply better on my skin. Also, the Revlon Colorstay foundation has this really unpleasant chemical scent which I can't stand (if you're sensitive to fragrance in makeup, this foundation is not for you).

Sometimes I like to mix the foundations, which I highly recommend as the liquid primer-like consistency of the Covergirl 3-in-1 loosens the Revlon Colorstay. The result is a thicker, but still easily applicable liquid foundation!

Stay beautiful,
xo Karries

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 2013 ipsy

Hello beautiful people!

My glam bag for the month of March came quite early (as it did last month) -- ipsy is sending out bags on a more timely manner now, and surely I'm impressed!

This month's theme is "The Great Escape" -- apropros this month's products are all travel-friendly. Both the product card and bag are super adorable nautical themed (the bag is designed with vertical white-and-blue stripes entangled with anchors and rope). HOW CUTE!

 March 2013 ipsy -- "The Great Escape"

The first product I pulled out from the bag was the Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist (deluxe sample/travel size). I've tried their CC cream from a previous birchbox and did not like it, largely due to the scent. Since Juice Beauty is certified organic and paraben-free, I was concerned the mist might have an off-putting scent as well. But lo and behold, it doesn't! Though it has a strong rose (floral, almost medicinal) scent, it dissipates quickly.

The next product is the Travel-Lite Makeup Remover Wipes packet from LA Fresh. I'm not entirely familiar with the brand, but I think I've seen it around in Target.. In any case, this packet includes a generous 8 wipes. Reminiscent of baby wipes, they have a mild but fresh scent.

I received two Yaby eyeshadows in the shade "So Vein" and "Sand Dune". I'm not quite bold enough to pull off such a powerful emerald green (it's the color of the year), but I'll most definitely use the dark tan shade as an everyday lid color!

The last item of the bag is the highly anticipated magnetic makeup pallet from GlamRX! I don't own anything of the like, but the basic idea is to store depotted eyeshadows, blushes, etc. and change them around according to your needs. The two Yaby shadows, for instance, can be placed in the pallet and magnetically held (as seen in the picture above, right).

I have a feeling the next few glam bags might include more "depotted" shadows that we could collect in the pallet... but who knows? :)

Technically, this month's bag includes 5 products. But.. it's debatable as I would consider the two eyeshadows as one sample (they were of the same brand). Certainly compared to glam bags of the previous months, this month's bag is less impressive considering both product quality and quantity. Nevertheless, I'm content with the originality of the products (believe it or not, beauty sample subscriptions can get very predictable and boring).

Without a doubt, I'll be using every single item in the bag so I think it's worth it!

What do you think about this month's glam bag? Are you also an ipsy subbie? If so, which color shadows did you get? Please share!

Hope you all have a blessed week!
xo Karries

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Body Acne Remedy

Hey y'all!

Did everyone enjoy the mean green weekend (aka St. Patrick's Day)? If you're of age, hope you were having fun responsibly! haha :)

Goodness, it's already March! I tell you, soon enough we'll all be shedding our bleak winter layers to prance around in those colorful summer dresses and teeny tiny yellow polka dot bikinis! (Spring break, anyone?!)

So today, I'd very appropriately like to share how I deal with body acne, specifically those on the back and chest area. After all, you want to glow in beautiful smooth skin to lure those hunky men on hot Miami sand! ;)

For one, I'm thankful for the lack of facial acne (minus the occasional hormonal pimples). However in the recent months, I've been getting irritable body acne on my upper/mid back and chest areas. Not much has changed in my life, so I'd have to think the sudden outbreak of these annoying red pustules is due to the cold, dry winter here in NY. *sad face*

I did find some drugstore products that seem to assuage the problem areas. Here they are --

My remedy starts in the shower with Neutrogena's Body Clear Body Wash. This particular bottle is brand new -- the one I'm currently using is the Pink Grapefruit Wash and it smells absolutely divine! The original orange wash smells more medicinal, but I wanted to give both products a try :)
The wash didn't really work to lessen the body acne by itself, but used in conjunction with the Neutrogena's Body Clear Body Spray, it works wonderfully!

This spray is an absolute miracle worker as my back acne (or bacne) totally cleared with it! It has a 360 spraying range which is very convenient when spraying your own back. Now, take note that it takes a while for the spray to show its effects. Be patient and consistent with the spray, and I guarantee you'll see results within 2 weeks!
I'd say avoid spraying it on your face, though you may be tempted. It's only 0.5% salicylic acid, but it's a body spray after all..

I came to the unfortunate realization that my chest acne (which is more obvious than my back acne as I wear low cut tops time to time) is a lot more stubborn than my back acne. UGH! In search for a stronger dose of salicylic acid, I ended up finding this Spot Lotion from Clearasil.

A Word of Warning: The active ingredient is 2% salicylic acid, so it can be drying on the skin. During the first week of use, my skin was quite irritable and itchy due to the lotion. I soon realized, and started applying it less often (once every two days).

When used correctly (and in moderation), this lotion is great for those stubborn, raw cystic acne types!

Now, acne scarring is a whole other issue! I now realize cystic acne leaves behind stubborn hyper-pigmentation (more apparent on light skin-tones), and it's very annoying! :(
If you know a good way of getting rid of acne triggered hyper-pigmentation, please leave a comment and let us know!

Hope you found this information helpful!

Have a lovely, beautiful week :):):)
xo Karries

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 2013 birchbox

Hey guys :)

So like I've mentioned in my January 2013 birchbox post, this will be my last birchbox.

I personally didn't find most of the boxes to be worth $10 nor did I really enjoy the samples that I received. Another issue I have with birchbox is inequitable distribution of boxes -- some boxes of the month look AMAZING while others are lackluster. Of course, I never get my hands on one of the better boxes (except for maybe my first birchbox). It's silly to compare, but it does feel unfair when you see others receiving better products when we all pay the same price!

Anyways, here is what I got for this month --

Product list (from left-to-right):
  1. Ojon - Volume Advance Thickening Spray
  2. twistband - Thick Headband
  3. Color Club - Nail Polish in Mamba
  4. Juicy Couture - Couture La La
  5. Ghirardelli Chocolate (this month's lifestyle extra, or as they say, "treat")
To be honest, this wasn't a bad box.. but again, does this look worth $10 to you?! The Ojon is a deluxe sample size, the twistband headband is from a six-pack, the Color Club polish is a mini, the perfume is absolutely free in stores like Sephora (oh, the shame!), and the Ghirardelli was one unimpressive square of chocolate (I hate caramel). Technically, I only got 4 items and NONE were full size!

Now if I were to calculate the retail price of my box, I don't think it would exceed $10. So if you're considering subscription or already are subscribe to birchbox, I'd say be wary of the price value of the boxes.

Here is the description card, in case you wanted to see product details --

And there you have it. This is my official goodbye to birchbox and BOY do I feel good! Matter of fact, it feels like I'm getting out of a toxic relationship -- if it don't work, drop it! BAM, life lesson.

Have a beautiful week :)
xo Karries

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 2013 ipsy

Hello hello!!

Wow, it's super windy and chilly here in the East Coast.. I hope everyone bundles up and keeps warm! Also, a word of warning: watch out for flying trash (I got hit by an empty Starbucks cup lol)!

My ipsy/my glam bag arrived quite early this month, specifically on the 12th. Let's see what goodies were included in this month's bag :)

 This month's theme is "Red Carpet Ready"
Channel your inner celebrity!

The products list (from left-to-right order):
  1. Pixi -- Flawless & Poreless Primer
  2. Coastal Scents -- Shadow Palette Sample ("In the Spotlight")
  3. Micabeauty -- Gel eyeliner in Black
  4. Lash Card -- The Lash Card x4
  5. Pop Beauty -- Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara

Though I don't know much about this brand, face primers are always a welcome addition to my makeup collection! The "pore minimizing" promise leaves much to be desired, but the primer does a good job overall preparing the face for foundation. The off putting plastic scent quickly dissipates after application. A great formula without parabens or sulfates, this primer deserves a 4/5.

I'm not a big eye shadow wearer, but I love testing colors and this Coastal Scents quad is too cute to resist! I received the quad "In the Spotlight" which includes very neutral, wearable colors. Three shadows are glittery and one (Sunbeam) is matte. Dark Goldenrod and Golden Globe had the best color pay offs, while Dark Golden Olive and Sunbeam took quite some rubbin'.. therefore I give this product a 3.5/5.

Now I'm not totally disappointed that I got a eyeliner brush in my last glam bag! I had much anticipation about this product as I always wanted to try the Mac gel eyeliner but never got around purchasing. If this eyeliner is full-size, it alone pays for this month's glam bag as it retails for $30! The consistency is very smooth and non-clumping and the shade is a true black. I'm just crossing my fingers that these won't dry out quickly like my Wet 'n Wild ones did! I give this a 5/5 :)

Am I the only one who finds this product wasteful? Don't get me wrong, I think it's brilliant and innovative.. but equally wasteful! I already use the namecard trick to avoid mascara smudging, which is all the Lash Card really is (but patented and officially "named"). But behold, there gleams a ray of hope! :) I happened to watch a YouTube review from a fellow glammie, and she recommended using these cards to hold down drying false lashes. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! For that, I give the Lash Card a 3/5 (I would've given it a 1/5 without the false lash compressor idea!).

Oh Lord, another mascara sample? While I love sampling new mascaras, I'm often afraid the ones I already have may dry up since I have so many! This particular mascara wasn't anything special -- a typical brush head with a thin formula (giving a great natural finish, but lacks its namesake "kapow"). I might get some use of it during lazy stay-at-home days, as I'd still want to pretty up a bit in case a friend or the bf shows up :) I give this mascara a 3/5.

I'm yet to be disappointed by ipsy. Though I don't need anymore makeup, I'd love to stay a subscriber as long as ipsy distributes great for-the-value bags like this!

I sincerely hope you found this post helpful :)

Have a safe, warm, and beautiful week!
xo Karries

Sunday, February 10, 2013

First ever e.l.f haul!

Hello my beautiful people!

How exciting! I'll be sharing and reviewing my first ever e.l.f (eyes lips face) haul today! :)

 My first e.l.f haul!

 St. Lucia Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder -- $3.00 $1.50

Everything from the Studio line was half off, so I had to pick up one of these e.l.f's so-called "Nars Orgasm and Laguna Duo" dupes. Now, I don't actually have the Nars duo for comparison. But for the price, I honestly don't care how accurate of a dupe this is -- it's wonderful in its own right!

 Daily Brush Cleaner & Makeup Mist -- both $3.00 $1.50

I get lazy with my brushes and tend to wash them only once or twice a week (I know, it's a habit hard to break!), so the daily brush cleaner comes in handy. The makeup mist works beautifully in setting my foundation for a long day ahead!

 Corrective Yellow Mineral Booster -- $5.00

This was my one "splurge" item as the discount didn't account for mineral line products. Even with foundation, the redness of my cheeks are hard to kill thanks to a skin condition I have called rosacea (if you'd like to know how I take care of my sensitive rosacea-prone skin, read this post)! Though this powder may look intimidatingly yellow as is, it's not at all obvious after blended into the skin -- plus, it does a great job toning down any redness on the face!

Makeup Remover Pen -- $3.00 $1.50
Eyebrow Treat & Tame -- $3.00 $1.50
Mascara Primer -- $3.00 $1.50
Lash & Brow Gel -- $1.00

The makeup remover pen is a must have for fixing late-night raccoon eyes and streaky foundation.

The eyebrow treat & tame is in the shade "dark". So far, it's proven to be a great tool for 'taming' the occasionally stray strands of brow hair!

The mascara primer is so-so. Too much and it'll make your mascara clump, so be careful!

The lash & brow gel wasn't exactly a necessity, but for a $1.00 why not? :)

 Studio Stipple Brush -- $3.00 $1.50

I use this stipple brush with my Covergirl Aquasmooth foundation (to see my concealer and foundation post, click here). The bristles aren't as tightly packed as I would like them to be, but then again can't really be beat for only $1.50!

 Studio 11 Piece Brush Collection -- $30.00 $15.00

Thought not of the best quality, e.l.f's studio brush collection is great for makeup beginners (like myself)! 11 brushes + a brush pouch for $15 is a real steal -- plus, I could test out the brushes and upgrade to Sigma or MAC if felt necessary.

TOTAL: $57.00 $31.50 + S&H

FYI, I used the coupon code "ECD2" for 50% off all studio line products. This code should still be valid (I'm not sure till when). If you search the web, they have other great deals/coupons, but if you're purchasing mostly studio products like I have, this code will be your best bet :)

What you do think about my e.l.f haul? Are there any e.l.f cosmetics that you think are must-haves? I haven't purchased any lip or eye shadow colors and would love to get some recommendations!

Stay warm and safe (HELLO NEMO!),
xo Karries

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Zoya Polishes Review

Hello my lovelies!

Wow, it's already February. Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Who are you rooting for tonight? As always, I'm rooting for none other than the commercials haha :)

Anyways, my Zoya order just came in so I'll be doing a non-makeup non-skincare related post today. Nailcare is still considered beauty after all, right?

Being the shop savvy (more like poor premed) gal that I am, I took full advantage of Zoya's 3 free polish + $10 shipping and handling offer that was happening throughout December 2012. I personally think this was a great deal, considering how pricey their polishes retail for.

The shipping took quite a while (that's an understatement -- it took 5 weeks), but Zoya did give a fair warning to their customers about a 4 week projected delivery date. I guess this is the one downfall of getting "free" stuff!

Here are the 3 polishes I picked:

 Shelby, Yummy, and Wednesday

Zoya polishes are non-toxic and free of toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor (for those of you environment friendly ladies).

Unfortunately, the new Spring 2013 collection was not a part of the deal. Without the restrictions, I would've chosen all 3 polishes from the new collection as all the colors are absolutely stunning!

I chose what I thought were good spring/summer colors from past collections, though it's still full-blown wintertime here in the East Coast. Seeing these bring poppy colors just make me feel so warm and bubbly inside! :)

Shelby -- bubble gum pink that I'd imagine my Barbie doll from the yesteryears would wear. Very cute and none like what I have, so I just had to get it!

Yummy -- robin egg blue that screams beaches and picnics. I fell in love with this color at first sight and had to put it on immediately. The color pay off is true-to-bottle, if anything a slight darker on the nails. Here is a photo:

Wednesday -- reminiscent of OPI's Thanks A Windmillion, but brighter and cuter. Nuff said.

What do you think about the colors I got? And if you got the Zoya deal like I have, which colors have you gotten? I would love to know!

Stay warm & beautiful,
xo Karries