Reviews

Woman Seeking: The Lowdown on Boxycharm

A few months ago I subscribed to my first (and only) beauty subscription box. Beauty box subscriptions seem to be all the rage these days, and for good reason. Beauty boxes allow a person to try out products for a discounted price. There are dozen of different box services, which can feature nail, makeup, hair, skin, and bath products in both travel and/or full sizes at a variety of price points. After a lot of research, I finally decided to subscribe to Boxycharm. I received my third box today, and decided to do a little review on my experience thus far. 

Boxycharm delivers 4-5 products to your door every month for $21. The products are nearly all full size, with one travel or sample size. The brands featured are brands that I usually haven’t heard of before, although there are products from more widely known brands included as well. Boxes are shipped out and received around the mid or later part of the month. Boxes are themed, which is fun, but because  the boxes are sent so late it can sometimes conflict or defeat the purpose of the theme. For example, February’s box was Valentine themed, including a heart filled nailpolish. Except, almost no one got their package in time for Valentine’s Day, the perfect time to wear that polish. So depending on how picky you are, that could be a bother. You receive an email letting you know your box has been shipped, and it includes a tracking code so you can follow its progress. I really like that feature. I always track my packages and while some companies are awesome at this, others don’t have this option, or it takes a day or two for the tracking to finally activate. The moment I receive the email I can begin tracking my box. So far, each box I have received has had a value of over $100. This is an incredible deal and I don’t know how the company manages it, but I’m not complaining! Included in the box is a product description for each item, and its value. I like that for the travel or sample sized item, the company includes the value of the sample, as opposed the price for the full sized version of the sample product. Did that make sense? I hope so. 

There is also a reward system of sorts. You can collect “Charms” and redeem the for an extra product included in your next box. The product choice and value is available online, so it’s not a mystery grab or anything. You gain Charms by reviewing items, being a loyal customer (if you are an active customer for three consecutive months, that qualifies you as a loyal customer which gets you the bonus points, and this continues every three months), promoting on social media using the link provided online, or referring others (for example, my referral code is VXZvY212bklja2FBbUc0UGNhMVlubU9Rb0ZNN3MrZ1cyQ1NrZ01ZSnJnYz0= which is insanely long but what you can enter at checkout if you feel like it. I included a link at the bottom with my referral URL which is way more simple!). 

As I mentioned, I’ve received a total of three boxes so far. To give you an idea of what’s included, I’ll give you mini rundown of my previous boxes. 

January – Celebrate in Style ($124 USD value)

  • Beauty For Real – The Perfect Lip Pencil (full size)
  • Beauty For Real – True Color Lip Cream in Always There (full size) 
  • Mirabella – Face Prime (full size)
  • Pur-Lisse – Skin Sparkle Flash Tattoos (one sheet)
  • Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum (full size)

February – Kisses from Boxycharm ($68 USD + $36.99 CAD value) (<- They didn’t calculate the exchange rate for one apparently Canadian item, and I’m too lazy to do it myself!)

  • Modern Minerals – Duo Fiber Mini Round Brush (full size)
  • Mullein & Sparrow – Mini Facial Mask (deluxe)
  • ncLA – Nail Lacquer in Heart Attack (full size)
  • Jing Ai – Velvet Shine Lip Jewel (full size)
  • Mistura Beauty Solutions – C2P Complextion Corrector (full size)

March – Lucky Charm ($112 USD value)

  • Oscar Blandi – Hair Product (I received the Dry Shampoo) (travel size)
  • OFRA – Eyeliner (full size)
  • LVX – Nail Laquer (full size)
  • Tarte – Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Charmed (full size)
  • Previse – Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic (full size)

One of the things that drew me to Boxycharm is that everyone gets the same items. There is no quiz to take that matches you up with a certain selection. Now, I understand that this could be a minus for some folks, as it means you may receive products that aren’t catered to you and won’t work with your specific coloring, skin type, or skin tone. For me, I enjoy the fact that I am not looking at what else someone got in their box and wondering how I have to answer to get their products instead of what I got. Both February and this month, however, did include random color selections, meaning (for example) someone could get one color and someone else could get the same product but in a different color. While I loved the color I got for the Jing Ai lip crayon (mine was Rasberry Ice, a beautiful pinky red), and Oscar Blandi hair product (so happy I got dry shampoo and not mousse, which was an other option), I’m indifferent about the LVX color (I got Lemondrop, which is ok, but I would have preferred the coral or mint instead) and am bummed by my OFRA eyeliner (I got Light Beige, which is such a weird color for my light self but would have been great for someone darker. I’m hoping to use it as a base for glitter liner or to make colors pop). I hope this random selection trend doesn’t continue too much. We all got the same color Lipsurgence and flash tattoos, which is the kind of thing I like. That way if I don’t like it, I simply don’t like it, as opposed to thinking “dang I wish I had gotten the other choice instead!” Knowing there was another option makes me feel like I’m missing out or wishing I could exchange it, while knowing everyone got the item and I simply don’t like it is somehow ok with me. 

Some of my favorite items thus far is the Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum, the Pur-Lisse flash tattoos, the mini round brush, the Jing Ai lip crayon, the Oscar Blandi dry shampoo, and the Tarte Lipsurgance tint. This isn’t to say I don’t like the other items, these are just the ones I’ve appreciated the most. There have been only two items so far that I really disliked, which I don’t think is too bad. 

What do you think? Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes? Are you interested in reading my thoughts each month when I receive my Boxycharm? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO, WSM

Click here to check out the Boxycharm site for yourself for more info or to sign up! The link is for my referral URL, just so you know =D If you don’t feel like using my code, you can simple Google “Boxycharm” or enter it in your search bar. This post wasn’t sponsored and all opinions are my own, on boxes I spent my own money to receive, for the record. 

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Reviews

Woman Seeking: A Bite Beauty 5 Night Fix for Lips Review

A while ago I stumbled upon Bite Beauty’s 5 Night Fix for Lips duo while in Sephora. I had eyed their famed Agave Lip Mask before, but the price was pretty high and I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. In general, I really like Bite Beauty products and have yet to be disappointed with a purchase. My lips were needing a little TLC, so I grabbed this and ran to the checkout before I had a chance to change my mind. If you remember, this was part of my Mall Haul post (which you can find here). 

This set contained sample size amounts of Bite’s Agave Lip Mask and their Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub. I’m not sure if the set is supposed to contain a 5 night supply of products, or is only marketed to fix your lips in 5 nights, but either way, although these are small sample sizes, I found I didn’t need that much product so this set should last quite a bit longer than just 5 nights. I do have medium to small lips, so obviously if you have a greater space to cover than I do you’ll go through this more quickly. 

The Whipped Chery Scrub is normally sold in a pot, but is packaged as a mini stick form for this set. This isn’t something that particularly bothers me, but it is weird to try out a sample of something that’s not exactly like it is sold. I could see how this would bother some people. If you like the scrub specifically because it comes in a stick version and then are told that a stick lip scrub isn’t sold as a full size product by the company, it could definitely be annoying. Perhaps they are working on selling a full size version of the stick style scrub in the future? Who knows. While I do love cherry, I am not a big fan of cherry scented anything and this was no exception. The scent falls somewhere between artificial candy and medicinal. The scrub itself was…interesting. The grains are sugar sized (I do not think they are sugar, at least I didn’t see it on the ingredients, nor taste it) and they do a decent job of exfoliating. The butters and oils it’s mixed with leave a slight film on the lips, but in a good way. I feel like if you didn’t have dry lips and were using this for exfoliating, the scrub is simply leaving behind a little nourishment to your lips. I really liked that. I can see why it’s packed in a pot as opposed to a stick, however, because while using the stick should make things easier and less messy, I found that even with light pressure the product would be pushed over the edge of the tube, leaving me needing to wipe it off. I usually wiped it off onto my lips and then used my finger to continue exfoliating. The only stick exfoliator for lips I’ve used prior to this was from ELF and I never had that problem with theirs, so this was a bummer. If I bought the regular version, I would be using my finger anyways so it wouldn’t be an issue, but for the stick I don’t like that I need to get my hands dirty. My only other gripe is the taste. Bite Beauty is proud of the fact their products are 100% natural and made with food grade ingredients, but this is the lesson for you that just because something CAN be eaten, doesn’t mean it should. Perhaps I am spoiled by my Lush and ELF products, but this is not something I ever want to lick off my lips. To be fair, I don’t see anything from the company recommending you do. It just left me standing there awkwardly debating what to do. I don’t want to use water to rinse away the leftover beads because of the nourishing ingredients, but using a washcloth has me feeling like I should have just skipped the scrub and just used a washcloth to exfoliate in the first place! I usually end up kind of smearing it all over the back of my hand and then washing my hands. Overall, I’m super not impressed with the lip scrub. I think there are plenty of better products (both stick and pot form) out there that I enjoy using. I will not be purchasing a full size. 

The Agave Lip Mask is what redeems this little set for me. As much as I had wanted to try it before, I kind of equated it to a fancy Vaseline. My friends, it is not. For starters, this is much thicker. I really had to squeeze the tube to get the product out. Although thick, it spreads easily. For the thickness, I didn’t feel like it was sticky. I could still talk and open and close my mouth as a I normally would without any goobs or globs or messiness. I’m not someone who really minds a bit of stickiness, so if you’re someone who is very sensitive to this you may have a different opinion than me, but I found it to be very comfortable to wear. Initially I used this only at night, but have found myself throwing this on during the day as well, both alone and under other lip products. I felt like this rehydrated my lips as well. When I started using this, I had cuts at the sides of my mouth due to an unfortunate spoon accident (note – if you have a metal spoon that goes through the disposal, toss it. I thought it was fine and threw it in the dishwasher like it was no big deal, but that son-of-a cut my mouth UP. I looked like the Joker). It was super painful and nothing was really working to heal it, but leaving it without balm or salve on it in order to let it scab (ew) was wrecking my lips. I started using this and it somehow it allowed the cuts to heal up while also hydrating my lips. The product also has just a hint of sweetness to it. Not so much that I was licking my lips to get to it, therefore defeating the purpose, but just enough that if it got in my mouth I wasn’t repulsed. And I really only needed a pea size amount, if that. Even with continuous use I still have about 3/4 of the sample size tube left. I feel like if I bought the full size version, I wouldn’t have to repurchase for at least a year, if not longer. And that is if I was using it every single day. It is pricy, but I am definitely considering purchasing the full size. 

To sum up, it is a great little set…but only because of the lip mask. I also feel like the jar it comes in is missing something. There is room enough to add a third sample products, maybe a mini lipstick? While this is promoted for overnight use and you don’t really wear lipstick or lipgloss overnight, I think a lipstick or gloss meant to be worn the next day to continue the healing or to show off your new kisser would round it out. Bite Beauty makes a product called BB for Lips that I think would have been perfect to include. I think the price of the set is a smidge high for two mini products, especially when I only recommend one of them. However, if you are like me and can’t afford a full size version of the mask, this is a great alternative. 

XOXO, WSM

PS – Sorry about the complete lack of pictures! I didn’t think to do a before/after. Bad blogger, bad! 

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Reviews

Woman Seeking: A New Favorite High-End Cleanser

As many of you know, when it comes to face wash I am all about the word “gentle.”  On the list of things I look for in a good cleanser, “gentle” is fighting for top spot wth “effective.” It’s THAT important to me. I’ve been happy with my Neotrogena Ultra Gentle face wash and Purpose face wash for some time now, but occasionally I get samples of different facial cleansers from Sephora. Typically the sample is a one or two time use packet, and that isn’t enough to sway me to plop down double or triple the cost of my usual cleanser to road test a higher end one. A few months back Sephora had a duo set from Ole Henriksen that included a travel pack of facial wipes and a 1.5 fl oz version of his African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. After finishing the bottle of Neutrogena that I had open, I decided to test it out and I couldn’t be more pleased. 

This is described as an anti-aging foaming cleanser that is suitable for all skin types. While I typically dislike and don’t understand how a cleanser can work for all ranges of skin types, I feel like this claim comes closest to those claims. I’m unsure how it would work for those with extremely dry skin, but (in my opinion) this really would work for anyone from normal to combination to oily. Most foaming cleansers tend to be drying, but I did not feel that way at all. While it wasn’t moisturizing, I felt like my skin felt…well…normal after washing my face, which is exactly what I look for. 

I expected this to smell more tea-like, but this has more of a citrus scent. I don’t know what African Red Tea smells like, but this reminds me of Constant Comment tea if that helps. I didn’t find it to be too overpowering, and the smell didn’t linger on my face. I especially appreciated the scent in the mornings when it helped me feel awake and fresh. 

I was most impressed with how this cut through my makeup. I was dubious that a simple pump or two would be enough, and went with two pumps my first time, but have used one pump ever since because it is so effective! The first time I used this I had on a full face of makeup and this took everything off the first try. Now, I didn’t use this on my eye area, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness on mascara. The foam goes on nicely then almost disappears, but leaves enough evidence on the skin that you can see where you have or haven’t washed. I was wearing primer, Maybelline Fit Me foundation (matte and poreless, if you’re curious), powder, bronzer, and Urban Decay All Nighter Spray, not to mention eyebrow pomade, and this took every last bit off. I didn’t have to rub and scrub either. I massaged the cleanser into my skin for about 45 seconds, per usual, and then rinsed. I followed with a cotton round soaked with Micellar water just to be sure, and not a single swipe of color was left on my face to show up on the cotton round. And yet using this witho any makeup on doesn’t leave me feeling overcleansed, just perfectly clean and comfortable. Marvelous!

I’ve been using this just shy of a month now, and while I can’t say my skin has improved exactly, it didn’t break out nearly as bad as it normally does around that time of the month either, which I consider a win. It’s been a bit of a crazy month, too, so I’m interested to see how my skin behaves when it’s a NORMAL month. I thought this performed very well under the circumstances. I also can’t speak to its anti-aging properties, but…well I don’t look older! Although this is a pricy cleanser, I’m honestly considering purchasing this in the future. I’m not even halfway don’t with the 1.5 fl oz bottle after a month, which means a little goes a long way and the full size 7 fl oz bottle will last quite a while. I have a few other facial cleanser samples as well as a bottle of my typical Purpose cleanser to use up first, but I’m so excited about this cleanser. There is something about a high-end cleanser that just makes a girl feel fancy and pampered!  

Have you ever tried this cleanser? Have you tried any other Ole Henriksen products? Let me know what you think!

XOXO, WSM

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Uncategorized

Woman Seeking: The Liebster Award 🏆

I was nominated by Lightsabers and Lipstick to do the Liebster Award! I am so happy to be nominated, and the opportunity to share my favorite new blogs! I’ve seen this award going around, and thought it was a really fun thing to do. This comes at the perfect time, because if you follow my blog you know that I didn’t put out a post as I normally would on Thursdays. Between work and getting ready for the tri and life, I was just too exhausted and didn’t have any back up posts to use in place of a fresh piece. So I’m back this week, and may even throw in an extra post to even things out! We’ll see. 

Here were my questions:

1. What are two makeup products that you can’t live without?

I’d have to say Benefit’s The Porefessional primer and mascara (no specific kind). Not that I wear makeup everyday, but when I do, those are always staples. I always put on primer before BB Cream, Foundation, or even tinted moisturizer, and the Porefessional is my favorite. And as much as I love lip products, it would feel weird to wear lip anything but no mascara, but it wouldn’t feel weird to wear mascara and no lip product!

2. If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

I saw this answer on Instagram or somewhere once and I thought it was so clever, so I’ll try to mimic it here – I would chose salad. Not only because I do love salad, but also because salad is so vague. There is garden salad, Caesar salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, Greek salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, potato salad…you can pretty much make anything into some form of salad. Loophole!

3. If you could switch places with any character in and book or movie, who would it be? Why?

Id switch places with Danielle from Ever After, simply because it’s my favorite movie

4. What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks?

An iced soy chai tea latte. I like the hot version, too! 

5. What is your favorite guilty pleasure tv show?

Mob Wives. It’s ridiculous, and stupid reality tv, and just…ridiculous. And I love it. It’s not my favorite show, but definitely a guilty pleasure

6. If you could drop everything and travel somewhere right now, where would it be?

This is SO hard for me to pick, but as of right now, this moment, I’d have to say Bali. 

7. What would make your perfect pizza?

I like a non tomato sauce pizza. Maybe a fresh Margherita pizza? 

8. What fictional character do you want to marry or be best friends with?

I used to have a crush on Demetri from Anastasia, does that count?

9. Do you have any pets? If not do you want any?

No I don’t have any animals (although my parents have a dog!). I love animals and would love one of my own, but I just don’t have the time an animal deserves.

10. If you could have one super power what would it be?

Again, an answer I’m totally stealing from I don’t know where – the power of refill. Hungry? Refill plate. Tired? Refill energy. Late? Refill time. Annoyed with someone? Refill their bladder haha

11. What Disney character do you most realate to?

Max Goof…he’s cool, awkward, independent but still loves his family, and a little cynical at times but wants to embrace the wonderfull! 


I didn’t play by the rules completely, because I had a hard time figuring out of the blogs had less than 200 or not, so I’m just nominating or mentioning a few that I would recommend checking out! For any of you that I nominate, please don’t feel pressured to post this yourself if it’s not in your scheduling, just know I enjoy your blog and hopefully my readers will too!

Rules:

  1. Link back to the person that nominated you
  2. Answer the questions given by the nominator
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
  4. Create 11 questions for the nominees
  5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

Below are the lovely blogs that I would like to nominate:

Luce Luxe Lifestyle

Made From Beauty

Charm and Chocolate

Lucy Cowlin

Sprinkle of Pretty

The Honey Blonde Life

Charlene Chic

Lauren Rellis

Bitsy Besty

Beauty East Coast

Toast The Girl Almighty 

And your questions are:

  1. What is your favorite new (or new to you) product?
  2. Best makeup tip you ever received?
  3. What is your current skincare routine?
  4. What is one thing you do to keep healthy?
  5. Favorite quote or life perspective?
  6. What is one blog related pet peeve you have?
  7. What is one fun or interesting fact about yourself?
  8. Any goals you are working on or have for this year?
  9. What’s your favorite recipe to share (and share it!)?
  10. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve heard recently?
  11. Favorite movie?

I hope this was fun to read! It was fun to answer and let you all get to know a few silly things about me =)

XOXO, WSM

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Tutorials

Woman Seeking: How to Go from Lipbalm to Lipstick

While you might not know it from looking at my current makeup stash, I was a lipbalm and pink gloss only girl up until just a couple of years ago. I knew plenty of women who rocked lipstick, but I never felt sophisticated or confident enough to pull it off. While some people can cannonball right in, I’ve always been a more “sit on the edge and ease myself in” type of girl. After a little practice, I’ve finally grown comfortable enough to wear my brightest pink and darkest red with the best of them. If you’ve been eyeing the lipstick aisle with longing, but aren’t quite sure how to make the jump, here are my tips to go from cherry Chapstick to Kat Von D’s Backstage Bambi. 



1. Up Your Lipbalm Game

     If you wear little to no lip product whatsoever, the best place to start is adding a little tint in with your go-to. A great beginner option is Lip Smacker’s Dr. Pepper flavored lipbalm. It has a light berry tint while still the exact look, shape, and feel as regular ol’ Chapstick. Depending on how pigmented your lips are, this can go from a barely there tint to a noticeably (but still natural) berry hue. Sephora also sells an EOS-esque lip color in a few shades, I’ve got one in Cotton Candy, a subtle pink. 



2. Try an In-Between Formula

     Once you’ve grown comfortable walking around with a bit of color, the next hurdle to pass is how lipsticks feel. Most lip balms are waxy and hydrating, while lipsticks can range from creamy to somewhat drying. Everyone has a different preference and level of tolerance of formula’s, but jumping from a smooth lipbalm to a drying liquid lipstick can turn you off from all lipstick ever. Instead, try products like Clinique Chubby Sticks, Maybelline Baby Lips, L’oreal Colour Riche Balms, Tarte Amazonian Butter lipsticks, and Clinique Almost Lipsticks. All are hydrating lipstick-lipbalm hybrids that have a good range of colors and pigmentations. 



3. Stick with Nude or Natural Colors

     The way I started getting into lipsticks was to make sure I was picking more neutral tones. While I did pick up a bright pink Baby Lips, I found I never used it until just a few months ago. It’s best to try to stick to more subtle colors (I also picked up the Baby Lips in Peach Kiss and have used that color waaay more). I’ve found the safest bet was picking a color the same color or a tad darker than my natural lip color. Picking a lighter version may seem easier, but sometimes end up looking too light and concealerish, which is NOT a good look on anyone. Remember, if you pick up a color that ends up not being the most flattering, you can almost always return it (just keep the receipt). 



4.  Pick Your Price

     I have two different theories…the first, that you should totally splurge and get a good, high quality lipstick. The second, that drugstore lipsticks can be just as good as highend lipsticks at a fraction of the price. Personally, my first lipstick was from the drugstore. I figured if I ended up never wearing it or just not being a lipstick wearing girl that I wouldn’t have wasted much money, and I was old enough (or mature enough) that having a Brand Name product wasn’t the biggest deal in the world. That being said, I always coveted a “fancy” lipstick and ended up receiving my first high end lipstick two Christmases ago from my parents (Nars Roman Holiday, which is still one of my favorites). Depending on your preference, there are super affordable, quality colors from the drugstore starting at around $2, all the way up to uber chic, uber expensive colors (the most expensive lipstick I found on a quick search at Sephora was over $50!). 



5. Go crazy!

     Now that you’re used to wearing some color and you’ve gotten used to the formula it’s time to branch out! Try a liquid lipstick, pick up a bright color, give in to your inner vamp with a deep burgundy! The lipstick world is your oyster. If you’re unsure of how a color will look on you and are unable to test it out, a good tip I heard was to hold it up to your face in front of your mouth. It’s not completely fool proof, but it will give you some idea. Swatching colors on your hand or wrist is also helpful, but I use this more to get a feel for the opacity, as the color can look different depending on your lip pigmentation and face color (your face and wrist typically don’t match, which is why it’s recommended never to test foundations on your wrist but rather your neck). 

Extra Tips

     Prepping your lips can help lipstick apply smoothly and last longer. A simple lip scrub can remove any flake or dead skin to create a smooth surface. Lip scrubs are sold in beauty stores (my favorite is from Lush), or you can mix a little sugar and olive oil to create your own. Take that Chapstick that you hold near and dear and use it about 10 minutes before applying a lip color. Continue using your lipbalm on the days you don’t wear lipstick to keep your lips in tip top shape. Another great idea is to grab a lipliner. Lipliners help everything stay in place and extend the wear time of your favorite shade. My favorite lipliners at the moment are Essence lipliners. They’re super cheap and come in a variety of colors. NYX also makes great lipliners, and Urban Decay has a variety of bright colors to go with your brightest pinks. And if you’re looking for funky, you can’t beat OCC Cosmic Colour Pencils, who’s cruelty free, vegan product include pinks, purples, blues, browns, oranges, and more! 

Foraging into the world of lip color can be intimidating, but taking small steps can make the process a lot less stressful. Makeup is all about having fun and feeling yourself, so go with whatever makes you feel most confident, whether it’s a sheer nude lip butter or bright purple liquid lipstick!  

XOXO, WSM

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Empties

Woman Seeking: February Empties

February was a long month. It was cold, it was snowy, and it was windy. For only being 28 days, it’s the longest feeling month I’ve experienced in a minute. I’m so happy to be moving into March. For now, here are my thoughts on the products I managed to use up this month.



Yes to Carrots Lip Butter in Sweet Fig – I am so on the fence as to how to review this. I loved this for a few weeks. The smell is unique and nice, and I felt like it was decently hydrating. I have to throw this out, though, because it is like…melting. Just like real butter. I feel like it is a product meant to be sold in a jar, but the company tried to put it in a tube to make it more marketable since many people don’t like jars? I’m completely making that up and have no idea if that did or did not happen, but it’s confusing. I’m actually going to depot this into an empty jar I have and see if I can get some more use out of it that way so it’s not a total loss. Not sure if that makes this really count as am empty? But either way, I won’t repurchase since it’s a good but average lip balm, and not worth deporting and such every single time. 



Bare Essentials Handi Buki brush – I have had this brush for so long. It is OLD. It seems like it’s still a sturdy brush, but I think it just needs to go for hygenic reasons (I got this way before I knew or cared about brush maintenance). The bristles are starting to break and fall out a bit anyways. It was a great brush, but for some reason I’m never very interested in even looking at more brushes from this brand. I won’t be repurchasing. 



Johnson’s No More Tangles Detangling Spray – I’ve been buying this for yearsss, but lately I’ve felt like this just wasn’t doing anything for me. I have fine, thin hair, and in the past a couple sprays of this left my hair so easy to comb through and smelling wonderful, but this time I felt like I was putting water in my hair. I’m not sure if they changed the formula or what. I won’t be repurchasing it, sadly. 



Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Conditioner – I expected this conditioner to be a little too heavy for my hair, and actually don’t really know why I bought it, but I am SO glad I did. I think it’s my favorite conditioner out of any conditioner I’ve ever used. It’s cheap, it’s thick, and it conditions without ever weighing down my hair or leaving me looking or feeling greasy. And the smell! I have no idea how to describe it but it smells so good. I never used it this way, but I also think this is one of those conditioners you could leave in extra long and use as a deep conditioning hair mask as well. I actually didn’t pick this up when I went to the store, because it was sold out and I had a coupon for the store I was at, so I just bought the conditioner that was supposed to go along with the shampoo I was purchasing. Biggest regret ever. As soon as I can get through this bottle of average conditioner (to be fair it doesn’t suck, it simply just isn’t as good) I will buy the Garnier again. 



Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – This is one of two cleansers I always fall back on. It cleans without over drying, and the price is right. For more info on skincare and cleansers, checkout Part One of my Skincare Series from January, Cleansers & Exfoliants, here



Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation in Light Medium – I received a sample of this powder with an order, and got two uses out of it before it was gone. I never used this alone, but instead used it over my liquid foundation and BB cream as more of a setting powder. While I didn’t hate it, I don’t think it was anything special. I have other powders that give the exact same results. I will not purchase a full size of this, but if this was a sample choice on a future order, I would pick it simply because it did set my face well, and samples like this are perfect for traveling. 



Marc Jacobs Honey – This is just a little sample, and I have at least two more sample vials of this because for a while there beauty stores were handing this out like candy, but I’m ok with it because this smells really nice. I’m a huge fan of Marc Jacobs fragrances in general, though oddly I don’t own any bottles or ever rollerballs of any of his scents. I would purchase this in the future. 



Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater – Yet another bottle of this in an empties post. I love this stuff. I didn’t repurchase because I have a small stash of this built up that I need to use before I buy more, but I definitely will be repurchasing when the time comes. 



Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Moisture Extreme Body Buttercream – I’ve never used Soap & Glory body products before, although I love their foot cream, so I was excited to use this sample. There was enough in the packet to easily use on both of my legs, which is were I usually use body butters or thicker lotions. This was such a nice lotion. It went on easily and sank it, but I could still feel it on my legs. Not in a greasy way, just in an “oh my gosh my legs are so hydrated and soft” way. It’s thick, but the texture is somewhat a whipped texture, which is really interesting! It smells heavily of lime, but not like lime in a margarita, as it’s a bit more sweet than that. Perhaps Key Lime Pie? Soap & Glory I think is known for their unique scents, so it’s hard for me to describe. I’m personally not a huge fan of the scent, and would pick another type of this lotion of it was available (it’s not). But I would use this if someone gave it to me. This lotion has made me interested in other body creams from this brand, and although technically I’m not sure if I would repurchase this, I’m going to say I will simply because I really loved this, and the only thing holding me back is a personal preference regarding the scent!



Mario Badescu Special Cleansing Lotion “C” – Hated this. Straight up. It smells awful, it’s super strong, and it’s a higher maintenance cleansing lotion (aka toner) than any other kind I’ve used. Ok…all you have to do is shake the bottle so the sediment at the bottom mixes with the liquid, but still. Love MB products but every line has its weak spot, and for me, this is it. 



Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush – I wanted to try Batiste dry shampoo because I’ve heard great things about it, but it’s fairly pricy so I picked up the travel size. For me, this lived up to the hype. It comes in a variety of scents and it leaves my hair looking normal whether it’s day two or even three of not washing, which is impressive because my hair is so fine and thin that it can look almost wet when not washed for three days without this. It does make my hair matte, because of the powder, but I expect that from any dry shampoo and it doesn’t bother me. If I need a little shine I use some Aussie Hi Shine Hairspray on top, or a little oil on my ends. This didn’t agitate my scalp at all either, which was a big worry for me. Heads up, the spray is pretty intense. I would suggest a test spray so you understand how forcefully it comes out before spraying it on your hair. I would also caution those with dark hair, because even with my light hair I had to make sure this was properly absorbed and rubbed in so I didn’t get a weird powdery grey look. I feel like those with darker hair might have a rough time unless they used this the night before. I’ve seen they have one for blondes, brunettes, and redheads….but I’ve also only read negative reviews on them (the color transfers). I have repurchased this in two scents, Blush and my absolute favorite scent: Wild. 



St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Moisturizer – This product took me FOREVER to finish! I have been using it for months as a night cream and all over body lotion. I go into detail about it in Part Two of my Skincare Series, Hydration, which you can find here. I’m not 100% sure I’m going to repurchase, but it is a solid product. 



Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub in Hawaiian Kukui – This stuff has become my all time favorite body scrub. It left my skin feeling so soft and smooth every time I used it, but it wasn’t too harsh that it left my skin red or my hands raw. It is also surprisingly hydrating! I even tried using this before self tanning, and although there are oils in it to help soften, my self tanner went on smoothly with no patchiness in sight. And the smell! It is kind of warm, kind of sensual, but although fairly fragrant, it’s not overwhelmingly scented. I have no idea what Hawaiian Kukui is, but I love it! They do make this in a few other scents, including fruit scented ones and one that smells like coffee to me. Definitely going to repurchase. 



Nexxus Therappe Ultimate Moisture Shampoo – I first tried this a few years ago, and I couldn’t remember if it was effective or not, only that I loved the smell, so I picked up this trial size to be safe. I still looove the smell, it reminds me of summer and the beach and the pool, but it wasn’t my favorite as far as actual shampoo goes. I may try this again in the summer to see if it works with my summer hair, but it always made me want to rinse and repeat, or use along with another shampoo in order to feel really clean. Which bummed me out because that left me feeling like I over cleaned my hair (I dislike squeaky clean hair!). Since this alone wasn’t enough and using it twice or two shampoos was too much, I usually just omitted this and used a different shampoo all by itself. I’d catagorize this in the will not repurchase file, even though I might try it again in the summer. 



GlamGlow BrightMud Eye Treatment – While this brand is pretty hyped about, this was another ho-hum product for me. While I need feel a slight tingling and cooling sensation, I disliked the large chunks of…I don’t even know what. It doesn’t make sense to pure foliage style pieces in something meant for the delicate eye area. It heave treatments do feel nice, but there are other, chunklessnproducts out there that feel just as nice. I will not be repurchasing. 

And that’s it! I finished a few big bottle products this past month, which is always nice, as well as knocked out a few samples. Some things were awesome and are now part of my staple collection, others I’m glad to see go. Did you find any new favorites among your February empties? 

Also, Woman Seeking Makeup is now on Facebook! Find me here and give the page a big thumbs up! Any if you aren’t already, don’t forget to follow on Instagram, it’s womanseekingmakeup – all one word. Social media, hoorah!

XOXO, WSM

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Woman Seeking: A Basic Toiletry Kit

I’ll admit, as I’ve gotten older I’ve become somewhat of a bag lady. I have my work bag, gym bag, and duffel bag for short trips. And I pack bags inside of those bags, including my purse, makeup bag, and toiletries bag. Last week I did a post on what I’ve been taking lately in my travel makeup kit (which you can check out here), and today I’ll be going over what I bring in my toiletries kit. 

Not only do I take this kit on trips, but I also use this for the gym, including my early morning tri practices that have me leaving my house at 4 in the morning (sooooo earlyyy). During the warmer months, I also like to keep this in my car so I have it on hand for any impromptu beach trips or sleepovers. My toiletries kit is probably one of the most used bags I own, and because of this I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping it prepared and stocked (but not overstocked) with products I’m going to need. Right now my kit is stocked specifically for the gym. While things do get switched out depending on the event or time of year, I think this can help be a guideline when building a basic toiletries kit for yourself! As always, I’ve tried to go in some sort of order, generally trying to list things in the order I use them. 



Cleansing Cloths – Even though facial wipes aren’t my favorite, they are so handy to keep in my bag and take up almost no space. If I don’t have time for a full shower, I can use a couple of these to freshen up my face and body. If I’m hitting g the gym later in the day, I can wipe of my face so the dirt and gunk of the day doesn’t sink in my pores any further once I get to sweating. Currently I’m using Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths, but any type will do. These aren’t my favorite for removing makeup, but since I don’t typically have makeup on, these work just fine for the time being. 



Facial Cleanser – Having a mini facial cleanser really helps keep my face in tip top form. If I was wearing makeup, I can remove it with a wipe then really wash with the cleanser. After a long, sweaty workout, I want to make sure to cleanse my face properly so I don’t get and extra pimples. As you can see, I have transferred a bit of the cleanser I was using into a travel bottle, I think this is some Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash if you’re curious. I like having both the cloths and liquid cleanser, but if you’d prefer to only pack one, pick the one that works best with your lifestyle and plans. I really recommend packing facial cleanser over a facial cloth, as I just think they do a better job, but if finding water is an issue then cloths may be your best bet.  



Body Wash – Even if you’re not using this for the gym, keeping yourself fresh and clean is pretty important! If I can, I prefer to shower after working out so the sweat doesn’t stay on my skin and cause irritation. I have acne prone skin so even the twenty minutes from the gym to my house is a no-no. Granted, I have my cleansing cloths for the days when I just don’t have time to shower, but if at all possible I like to get a real life rinse off. Again, I just put some of whatever bodywash I was using at the time in a travel bottle (this is Jason Organics Purifying Tea Tree Body Wash). Question – When in the shower do you wash your body once or twice? When I mentioned I washed my body thoroughly once, sometimes hitting certain spots twice if I felt I needed to, but someone I know was a little grossed out and said they had always been taught to wash their entire body twice! Ever since I’ve been super paranoid about it. Now I wash twice, but I still think it’s a little unnecessary and I’m wasting product. Let me know! 



Exfoliating Pads – To be honest, these are almost primarily part of my nighttime routine, but I like to have a couple stashed for the times I have an evening workout. Chances are if I’m working out at 7pm, I’ll be washing up at around 830pm, which means I probably not going to rewash my face once I’m home before I go to bed. While I don’t bring my night creams (unless I’m packing for a trip), I do pack these since I use them immediately after washing my face. These are my go-to Nip + Fab Glycolic Facial Cleansing Pads. While you may or may not need this exact product, I included this to illustrate the importance of thinking beyond your immediate needs to pack a more useful bag. While in all reality as long as you have soap, a toothbrush, and a towel you’ll probably be fine, if you’re using your toiletry bag wit any kind of regularity you’ll want it to be optimized to work with your life, flowing right along with your normal routine, as opposed to a separate entity entirely. 



Facial Lotion – Ok, you definitely don’t need to bring two like I have, but while most days the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is what I use, occasionally I need to mix equal parts of that with its lotion sibling to combat extra dry air or frigid temps. So it makes sense! I swear! But pick your favorite facial lotion and add it to your kit. Hydration is key!



Eye Cream – This is also something I primarily use in the evening, but if my eyes area gets irritated in the pool or from the wind, this can help soothe the delicate skin. The Hyaluronic Eye Cream from Mario Badescu is what I’m currently using, but it’s not my favorite. It takes too long to sink it for me and is just a little greasy, leaving my eyes kind of sticky. I never attempt eye makeup after using this. I do like its smell, which is very faint and reminds me of oats. Eye cream seems to last me quite a while, though, so I probably won’t be changing any time soon. 



Oral Hygiene Essentials – Including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss is hopefully common sense. I usually have something small to eat both before and after the gym, as well as tea in the mornings, and I don’t want to walk into work with my breath smelling rank. This mini toothbrush folds up to not only reduce the amount of space it takes up, but the cover also prevents any bits of fuzz from getting in the bristles while it roams around in your bag. I love the 3D White line from Crest, and these Oral-B Glide 3D White Floss Picks make flossing SO much easier than having to wrestle with floss on the go. Mirror space can be limited and regular floss takes two hands, but I can floss at my locker with one hand holding my phone up to use it for a mirror and one hand with a little floss pick. 



Cotton Swabs – I swim and am prone to ear infections, so these are very important to me. I still use them even if I’m not swimming and have just taken a shower after a workout. I feel like this is something small that people always wish they remembered to bring, but don’t. So remember! I bought this little Q-Tip brand travel pack with case and have continued to refill it with whatever brand of QTip I have on hand when it runs out. They’re all the same size so why not? 



Facial Spray – This may be an optional item for some, but facial spray has become a staple in any bag I carry. I love using it in these cold months when the air is so dry that it sucks the life out of me, but I also like to use it in the summer as a refresher on a hot day. I’m obsessed with mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. It has a strong rose scent, but dries quickly and is so cheap! Whether it’s to pop on before/after my facial lotion for a bit extra hydration, or using a bit at the end of getting ready for a bit of a boost, or even on extremely lazy/rushed days when I only have time to quickly use a cleansing cloth and then give myself a couple spritzed of this before heading out, facial spray is such a big part of my life now. Wow, that wasn’t dramatic or anything…



Lipbalm – Do I really have to explain? I have lip balms in my toiletries kit, in my makeup bag, in my purse, in my coat, in my car, on my nightstand, and random other places. Always throw one in your toiletry kit, though, because trust me, it will be after the shower on a freezing cold day after a long hard workout when your lips are so dry you don’t want to breath when you discover the lipbalm in your pocket fell out who knows where. I keep this basic Neutrogena one in mine. 



Lotion – Chlorine and sweating and hot showers can leave your skin feeling a little dry, and having a body lotion in your bag is a good way to keep it hydrated. While they aren’t intensely hydrating, I have been using these Pacifica Hand and Body Lotion Wipes in Tuscan Blood Orange as a quick, mess free way to nourish my skin. I’ve only just started using them, but I’m hoping they work well as time goes on because the concept is just so handy! I love this particular scent from them. The formula of these wipes is just like a facial cloth, and it sinks in without feeling greasy. For some of the areas that need a little e tea attention, I pack a travel size Body Butter from the Body Shop. 



Detangler – You may have noticed I don’t have shampoo. My gym schedule and hair washing schedule have been synced up in such a way that the evenings I have to wash my hair are opposite of the evenings I hit the gym. When I get sample packets of shampoo and conditioner, I do throw them in just to have it on hand, but I since I rarely wash my hair at the gym, I don’t really have a need to add it in my case as a regular item. I do find myself in need of detangler most days, however. I have pretty long hair that inevitably ends up with damp ends somehow, whether from the pool or the shower, and if I have a ponytail it always ends up flying all around during my dry exercises, so detangler helps me restore a bit of order to things. I put a little bit of Johnson’s No More Tangles spray in a mini spray bottle and use just a touch on any snags I run into. 



Perfume Sample – I usually have one of these rolling around the bottom of my toiletry kit. I don’t actually spray it in the locker room, though…it’s such a small space that spraying a fragrance seems a little rude. But I keep a sample vial in my bag to take out and use once I leave if I want it. This is probably an unnecessary item, but it’s in my bag and if I finish one I usually replace it. Just my habit. 



Extra Hair Ties and a Hair Clip – Unless you have short hair, I highly recommend throwing some extra hair ties in the bottom of your bag. It can be miserable when your hair tie breaks and you don’t have an extra. Additionally, I have a hair clip so that I can clip my hair up before I take a shower to keep it dry. 



Mini Meds – My two most commen ailments are stomach aches and headaches, so I like to fill this little case with a couple of Tums and a few Advil. Having a day or two supply of your vitamins could also be helpful, if you take them around your gym time. That way, if you forget to take them before walking out the door, you’re covered. This is definitely personal preference. 



Pads, Tampons, and *gasp* Summer’s Eve – I am a woman. A woman who has a menstrual cycle. Therefore, keeping a few tampons and panty liners in my toiletry kit is definitely essential. Chances are if you are in need of a tampon someone in the locker room has one, but why not be the person that is prepared? I also like to keep a couple indivually packed Summer’s Eve cleansing cloths to clean up any, uhm, surprises. My gym opens at 5am and we’re expected to be in the water at 5:05am, so I don’t have time to deal with any mess that may come with starting my period at some point during my 45 minute commute. And remember how I said earlier that some days a shower isn’t available or I don’t have time to wait, and instead I use a cleansing cloth for my body? Well your lady parts need a quick freshen up too, and you don’t want to take a cloth meant for your face anywhere near your V. Plus, hey, if you need to use the restroom but the stalls are out of toilet paper, if you have one of these packed you’re all set!



Like I said, this bag is packed to be used at the gym. If you’re packing for a trip, you may want to include other things, like shampoo/conditioner, face masks, or spot treatments. For the record, I do use deodorant! I keep one at home, one in my gym dufflIe, and one in my car, so I don’t feel the need to take up space by adding yet another one to my toiletry bag. Figure out what works best for you! If you’re really bad at remembering to grab your contact case, buy a second one specifically for this bag. Need to bring an item that isn’t sold in travel size? There are all sorts of kits with mini bottles and jars. I got mine from TJ Maxx, in the travel section (approved airplane sizes = perfect gym sizes). It’s best to have a bag that is easy to wipe clean, and ideally water resistant. I bring this whole thing into the tiny shower stall with me. If it wasn’t water resistant I couldn’t do that, which means awkwardly trying to find things in my bag from the other side of the shower curtain, or putting a soggy bag in my gym duffle which in turn gets everything else damp. Not to mention that it will begin to smell and mold pretty fast. Gross.its also important to find a bag that fits all your items with just a bit of room to spare. You don’t want a case that is too big, or 1) items will have too much room to move around and may be damaged, or 2) you’ll feel the need to pack more, since you have the space, which means bringing things you probably won’t need and will only get in the way of finding the things you do need. A too small case will obviously be too small and a pain in the butt to repack. I got my bag from Target, I believe, in the travel section. 


Hopefully this helped give you some idea of what items to take in your own toiletry kit. If there are any other items that might be good to include, or you see an item you can’t believe I deem important, leave a comment below! If you enjoyed this type of post and want to see others like it, give it a “like,” and don’t forget to Follow my blog if you’d like to know each time I put out a new post!


XOXO, WSM

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Uncategorized

Woman Seeking: A Mini Celebration

Today I’m taking a little pause from my regular posts in order to celebrate another milestone I’ve hit. Last night I officially hit and then exceeded 1,000 views! Wahoo! I had hoped to hit this number by the end of the month, and wasn’t too sure if 1,000 views was too lofty of a goal, but it happened, and a few days early, too! 



Not only did I hit 1,000 views, but my my goal of having 50 followers was also met and exceeded! Right now there are 60 of you out there who are signed up to be notified each time I publish a new post. What?! Is this real life? I’m so happy and thankful for all of you out there interested in my beauty ramblings! 



It’s so fun to see my numbers grow and I hope to continue to have posts that you all enjoy reading and find helpful. I love all the feedback I’ve gotten over the past couple of months and am excited to hear more of your thoughts and ideas this upcoming month as well. As always, if there are any products you’re interested in or curious of my opinion on, leave a comment for me!



Look at all those countries! Pretty cool, huh? Anyways, thank you all once again for the continued love and support! I’ll be back to posting more beauty related content this Thursday, as usual, so make sure to check back! 

XOXO, WSM

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Woman Seeking: A GlamGlow PowerMud DuoCleanse Review

GlamGlow is a brand who’s products those of us poorer beauty lovers have eyed with longing for years now. Although they recently launched a line of facial cleansers, their mud masks are what put them on the map. At $69 for a 1.7 oz jar, my curiosity never beat out my practicality, and it remained a product I heard beauty guru’s rave about that I could never afford to try for myself. While they do have sample .5 oz jars available, those cost a cool $19, so it never found it’s way into my shopping cart. Recently, Sephora had a January Skincare promotion. At Sephora inside JC Penny stores there was a “build your own skincare kit” where for $25, a person could pick 5 of a dozen or so sample choices offered, and wouldn’t you know it, a .5 oz GlamGlow product in tube form was one of the choices! Although I believe both the ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment and the PowerMud DuoCleanse Treatment were options, my store only had the PowerMud treatment left so I chose that one.

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Waiting for it to dry while I can still move my face.

The PowerMud is described as “a mud-to-oil, gentle, deep cleansing treatment that removes the weekly buildup of dirt, oil, and makeup” on the Sephora website. It’s a tan colored product that you apply to bare skin, wait 5-10 minutes, and then add water to form an exfoliating cleanser and massage you skin, then rinse off. It’s recommended to be used 1-2 times a week. I chose to use it twice a week, and started from leaving it on 5 minutes my first time, then going to 7 minutes the next time, and finally 10 minutes every time after. I used it every Sunday evening, which is my usually face mask day, as well as Wednesday evenings. The .5 oz tube had a surprising amount of product, giving me almost a full month of use on that twice a week schedule before running out (to be fair, I haven’t cut the top off yet to get the last little bit of product, which I’m expecting to be enough for targeted use on my nose and cheeks).

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It’s dry on my face. You can’t tell, but it is.

The first time I used it I noticed a uncomfortable tingling. It wasn’t quite intense enough to call “burning,” but I didn’t like it and considered not using it again. I had washed and dried my face prior to using the product as it says to apply to clean skin, and I don’t advise this. The next time I used the PowerMud, I wiped my face with a cleansing cloth and experienced no tingling when applying the mud. The following times I used either a cleansing cloth or a cotton round with Micellar water on it and also experienced no tingling, so I think it is best not to have a freshly washed face. Kind of like how they recommend waiting 30 minutes after brushing your teeth to apply whitening strips. If you’ve worn heavy makeup and a cleansing cloth just won’t do, but want to use the mud, wash your face but then try to wait as long as you can. Just my two cents. This mask also smells wonderful. It’s a very light scent, and I don’t think it’s a scent that would be overpowering for most people, which is nice. I want to describe it as Apple scented. I’m not sure if that comes to mind because of the green packaging or what, but I like it.

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After adding water to emulsify the mask.

The mask dried just like any mask, and then I wet my hands and applied the water to my face as it directed. It emulsified easily, although there are bits of exfoliating particles that I found to be really harsh. It made me not want to keep rubbing it around. After rinsing and patting my face dry, I found my skin to be dry and tight feeling. I always wanted to make sure I had my facial spray and face cream ready to be applied otherwise I felt uncomfortable. For the record, I have combo to oily skin. I was especially shocked because although I understand a clay mask can be drying, it is supposed to transform into an oil cleaner, and feeling that dry after cleansing with an oil product was disappointing. I expected it to be at least softening, if not a bit more hydrating (even though I understand that this isn’t the purpose of this mask).

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After: A close up

As for the overall effects, after the first time I used it I noticed some smaller spots that were on my face had decreased, but my chin ended up breaking out. While I do get pimples on my chin, I don’t normally get them I that quantity, but because it is a mask meant to clean deep, I figured this purge period was almost to be expected. This is why I decided to use it twice a week rather than only once. As I continued to use it, my skin finished he purging stage…and went right back to normal. I don’t think it was any better than before I started using the mud. My pores didn’t get any clearer over time, and I had the same amount of zitts (or lack of zitts) that I do on any given day.

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For a final summary this mask didn’t live up to my expectations and the GlamGlow brand raves I’ve been hearing about. I definitely don’t think it is worth $69. I think that this particular mask is best used as a regular part of one’s skincare routine, as opposed to an occasional treatment. In my opinion, this mask is not for those who have dry or sensitive skin due to the drying factor and the harsh exfoliating particles. If you are curious and want to sample it, I do think the .5 oz jar or tubes include enough product for you to use more than once, so you can really get a feel of how you like it. I think of this as like a clarifying shampoo for your skin, so perhaps I just don’t use enough products throughout the week to really have a need for this. Maybe those that use heavy, full face makeup every day will benefit more. I can’t say. But for me, this was a no-go. I have another sample size of this, but I’m not 100% sure what to do with it. As I stated, this isn’t the type of thing I found to be good for using occasionally, but I don’t see any point in using a mask just to put on a mask. Maybe I’ll gift it, or include it in a giveaway (…but I don’t know if I should include something I don’t like in a giveaway? Even if it’s not that I dislike it, simply it does nothing for me? Opinions?).

I’m not completely turned off from the GlamGlow brand, but I’m even less interested in spending $19 than I was before to test out a different formula. I’m still interested in testing the kind that is hailed as a mini vacuum for pores, but I’m going to try to wait until a sample is part of another kit like this, or is offered as a choice for the free samples given for an online order.

Have you tried any GlamGlow products? What did you think? I have also tried the GlamGlow BrightMud Eye Treatment, is anyone interested in a review of that as well? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO, WSM

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Woman Seeking: A Traveling Makeup Kit

As I mentioned in my previous post, I took a trip to the east side of my state at the beginning of the week. I have a terrible habit of overpacking, and am trying to get better at bringing only what I truly need. I did a fairly good job overall, except I forgot pajamas. Whoops. I was proud, however, because my makeup bag actually has room in it! Win! I didn’t pare it down so much that it was just the bare minimum, but I’m getting the hang of it. I still packed some things I didn’t end up using, but not nearly as many as usual. I’ve included the things I brought but didn’t use so you can get an idea for yourself (and I can have a reminder for myself!) and tried to put things in the order I applied them.

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Benefit The Porefessional Primer – This is my favorite primer, and having this little sample size takes up almost no room in my makeup bag. I try to wait a few minutes after applying primer before going in with my next product. Additionally, if I notice a visible pore after applying my foundation,I’m take an extra dab and apply it on top. Works every time!

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Another favorite, this eyeshadow primer makes my shadows go on smoothly, look true to color, and last all day without creasing. I have a few samples of this that should last a good long while since I only need the teensiest of bits for each eye.

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EOS Lipbalm Stick – While I’m doing all my priming, I like to throw on a lipbalm. Not only does this prep my lips for any lipliner or lipstick I may put on, but if I get a little wild with my face makeup, I can easily wipe it off. I’m a lipbalm junkie, I’ll use any opportunity to give my lips a boost of hydration!

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Covergirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Fresh Complexion Foundation – I’ve really been loving this foundation lately as I find it to be quite versatile. I can apply it lightly or mixed with facial lotion for a light wash of color, or apply a couple layers for more medium coverage. The color match is pretty good for me, and blends out well so I can make it work if I’m a shade lighter or darker from what I was when I bought it.

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Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation – I received this little sample card of powder with an order I placed, and this was the perfect time to use it! Again, it took up almost no space in my bag and there is a lot more product on the sample than I expected, meaning I can use it again. First impression : I didn’t love nor hate this powder. It worked on top of my liquid foundation wonderfully but I wasn’t like “Oh Wow!” about it. It says it minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores, and while my Porefessional clears up most issues I have so I can’t say for certain this helped, this didn’t make them reappear. The color blended in to match well even though I expected it to be a bit too dark, so that was good.

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NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder – Like I said when I went over my favorite products for brows here, this is my go-to eyebrow product. It works great, isn’t too big, and has wax and both a lighter and darker shade to customize my brow. I like to do my brows before my eyes or cheeks because I find if I do them last, I can look overdone.

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Stila The Natural Collectable Palette – I have been reaching for this palette a lot lately as it is so handy. It’s a mini book containing 6 eyeshadows (3 matte, 3 shimmer), am all over shimmer, a bronzer, and even has a mirror on the inside. There is also a little cheat sheet of the a look you can create using this palette printed on the inside. The colors are soft and I don’t experience much trouble blending them. They are pigmented (better than drugstore but maybe not quite as good as Urban Decay), though if you use a light hand or super blend them out you can make them more sheer. It’s a super random palette and I never see it anywhere but Ulta in the checkout lanes, but a good one to own.

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Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Black Amethyst – I doubt the claim of this being waterproof, but I love this color so I can give it a pass. I’m a huge fan of purple eyeliners, and this deep purpley black is great. It goes on incredibly creamy (to a fault creamy actually, it could crumble if I don’t use a light hand) and smudges so beautifully, then stays put once I give it a moment to set itself. I even smudged this on my lower lash line (not waterline though) and it didn’t make me look like a raccoon.

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Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara – Again, another great travel size item. I like that the formula is buildable without clumping up on me. This means I can use it for both day and night. It’s not the blackest of black mascara, but it’s not an awkward grey either.

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Urban Decay Naked Flushed in Naked – Another sample card of powder, this also had more product that I was expecting. Although I do like bronzing, I am not a huge blush or highlighter person as I already have a rosy face, and my skin is textured from acne scarring, so I’ve had this sample card for a few months now without even wanting to use it. I’ve been a little skeptical of these palettes in general as the bronzers looked more orange to me, but the colors on my sample ended up working wonderfully. It’s buildable and blendable and I’ve definitely changed my opinion on these palettes. I still have more product left to sample, and I’m actually excited to now.

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Essence Lipliner in (11) In The Nude – Literally my favorite brand of lipliners ever, this particular one is the exact same color of my lips so it works under any lipstick I want to wear to help the lipstick stay put. It’s creamy, not too drying, pigmented, and cheap. I have almost every color they make that my Ulta sells.

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ELF Makeup Mist & Set – I was wanting to test this makeup setting spray since it is such a budget buy, so I brought this along with me last minute. I don’t like the scent of this quite as much as my usual Urban Decay spray, but I only notice the scent when I spray it on my hand and sniff to smell it specifically, not when I’m spraying it on my face, which makes the smell a non issue. I’ve only used this once, but my first impression is a positive one. My makeup stayed in place and I didn’t have any adverse reactions from this.

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Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Ethereal Pink (Tartelette LE) – I love this line of butter lipsticks, and this color is such a great nude on me. It’s so easy to use and hydrating. Plus, cmon, the design on the tube is just too cute! The cardboard packaging isn’t ideal for travel, but it is sturdy cardboard. I feel like it wouldn’t really break any easier than your typical lipstick tube as long as you’re careful.

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MAC Creamsheen Lipstick in Créme in Your Coffee – I’m obsessed with this lipstick, and I combined it with my Tarte lipstick to create a really pretty shade. Between the lighter nude of the Tarte and the darker browny nude of the MAC, I figured my lipstick needs were probably covered. That being said…

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Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Wallflower – I did bring this easy gloss along as well. I know, I know, I brought a total of 4 lip products, but I figured since this was a mini sample size it couldn’t hurt! Right?! It worked perfectly with the lipsticks I brought and is also great to use alone (though I didn’t this particular trip). It’s not too sticky, not too slippery, glossy and pigmented. And the cap is cool.

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Clean Eau de Parfum Rollerball in Skin – I wanted to take a scent but didn’t want to take more than one, and I think this is a great one to take me from day to night. It’s warm and cozy and musky but light at the same time. I didn’t feel over perfumed when I wore it during the day, and still felt romantic and sultry when I wore it at night. The rollerball makes it perfect to store in my makeup bag or slip in my purse.

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To apply my products, I brought my Real Techniques Stipping and Setting brushes, my ELF Complexion and Blush brushes, my Anastasia Beverly Hills Small Angle Cut #15 brush, and my Shiseido eyelash curler. I’ve already done posts on brushes so I not going to go over it again, but you can click here to get a more in depth review. As for the products I brought but didn’t use:

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Anastasia Beverly Hills BrowWiz – I actually did use the spooly end of this, so I guess that kind of makes it useful, but I could have left it behind and probably not noticed.

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Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighter/Concealer – Totally forgot to use this, and I don’t think my face looked tired enough for me to really need it anyhow. I didn’t have to get up early or stay out late while on my trip, so I’m not sure why I thought this was necessary.

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Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – Originally I had packed this, then at the last minute remembered I wanted to test my ELF spray and tossed that in without taking this out. Simple error. Luckily this is the travel sized version.

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Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Palomino – I brought this in case I needed something to make my look POP, buuut honestly it was so unnecessary. I was only there for two days. It was a tiny sample size, but it was silly. I think I just wanted to bring a Bite lipstick. I love the duos I have, and those are what I usually pack for traveling, but I was trying to mix things up which is why I packed my other two instead. And then I panicked and threw this in. Because what if? 😌

I’m sure there are plenty of things I could have cut out if I was trying to bring fewer products, but I’m happy with the choices I made. It may be a bit crazy how much I brought for a two day trip, but I enjoy makeup and wanted to have both day and night looks covered since I didn’t know what I’d be doing while there. If I’m packing super light I’ll simply take a BB cream, mascara, lipgloss, and eyeshadow trio, so I would probably consider this a more medium, everyday sized makeup bag, at least for this time of year and for this type of trip. My bag would look completely different in the middle of the summer packing for a concert or beach trip! Even though I was only gone for a few days, this is probably the amount of products I would take if I was gone anywhere from 2-7 days. Too much? Not enough? What do you pack in your makeup bag for a trip away?

XOXO, WSM

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