Sunday, November 16, 2014

Korean Skincare Haul from Roseroseshop

*First Part Written 6 Months Ago-For Testing Purposes. 

Good things come to those who wait, but as a fiery Aries waiting for a self-bought birthday present, I know this saying to be true, yet I still can't stop myself from hating it with a passion.

Since my birthday is around the corner, I decided to treat myself to a plethora of Korean skincare goodies. The good? I love everything. The bad? My Roseroseshop order took nearly a month to get to me. But patience is a virtue that I'm trying to learn and the package arrived from Korea with 4 days to spare before I turn....well that's my secret.

But I will share one secret with you: Korean skincare is awesome.

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Overall, I ordered quite a few things and below are my brief opinions on each one after 6 months with the product. So while I was initially excited about my purchase, as you'll see in my reviews, my opinions changed drastically.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Touche Eclat Demystified: How to Use YSL's Little Gold Wand/Review

My beat-up, 5-month-old tube of Touche Eclat 


Most of the time I'm a bit of a hipster when it comes to makeup. I prefer to steer clear of the culprit cult-classics and try to find my own new products that are newsworthy. Normally, before I started my blog, I'd keep my finds to myself only to be asked what my secret was by unsolicited strangers on the street or at work. But, while I relish keeping my beauty secrets to myself I also found that I love letting others in on the big secret so that they come back to me with a verbal love letter of sorts: "Wow, that really worked, thanks for the tip".

While Touch Eclat isn't anything new or secretive, I feel that it's a cult classic with a mystical perception. It's something that everyone has heard of, but not as many people have seen it used properly. It's a unicorn of sorts.

Just like the mystical horse, this cult product has a lot of  misinformation and fairy-tales surrounding it, but the difference between these two specimens however, is that Touch Eclat is very much real and so are the praises you've heard about it.

Most of the criticisms I hear about this product are one of the two: 
1) It's so expensive.
2) It doesn't cover anything.

While the price is a bit luxurious, to put it nicely, I fee that the product has its benefits and if you can make it work for you, it can do what no other little gold tube can do, and I've actually had mine for 5 months and with inconstant usage, I feel it has at least another month in it.

The first fallacy I'd like to clear up regarding the product inside this glamorous gold tube, is that it isn't a concealer...at least it's not meant to be one. So if you find yourself trying to cover up your liver blotches, blue circles or freckled frown lines, this isn't going to wow you. I do have a method of using as a concealer in a pinch that works pretty well, but it's still not as good as products specifically designed to do so, like Benefit's Erase Paste.

If you're going to use it as a concealer in a pinch, the best method is to daub a bit on the desired spot and let it dry for about 20 seconds. Then after this, blend it in with the clicker end of the product packaging using a dabbing motion. This is the most essential part of the trick, because I've found that the finger removes too much product and a brush spreads the product too thin to cover anything.

The second thing that most people get wrong about this product is that they use it as a highlighter and then are disappointed when the results are less than perfect. This product is not a highlighter-at all. Don't expect to put a line of it down the bridge of your nose and get anything but a cakey yellowish streak and don't try to get your cheekbones to look chiseled with a few clicks of the wand. So what is this exactly, if it's not a highlighter? It's a brightener. It's main function and where it's excels is brightening sallow and dark areas on the face, making you look rested and healthy.
Touche Eclat Unblended and Blended (in circle)-Color 2


Think of it not as a necessary item in your makeup bag, but a finishing move that completes your look and adds a touch of  red-carpet perfection to your face.

I like to use it on the inner corners of my eyes to instantly appear like I slept in, and then I'll use it on my ever-growing nasal labial folds to diminish the darkness in that area. A small, strategic placement on dark circles can do wonders, but if you put too much on, it will cake and crease, so I prefer to make a check mark of product placement and blend down to my 'lower dark circles' so it doesn't crease with eye movement and smiling.

Above the cupids bow is another nice place to draw sallowness from and any other darker places on your face will see the benefits from this product.

This little golden tube is the ticket to a bright face even when you spent all your time tossing and turning in the dark.It's not a fairy-tale,  after a sleepless night, this can do wonders to perk up your face. Although nothing is a replacement for some well-needed beauty sleep, this can at least keep your from scaring children when you leave your house.
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sorry!

Hi everyone! I'll be back soon! I just wanted to say hello. I've been busy in a new relationship, and we all know how much time that takes up!

xoxo,
Rachel

Friday, July 5, 2013

June 2013 Love With Food Box: Summer Bash

During some of the winter months, Love with Food should have temporarily changed its name to Love With Nuts and Coffee, because that's just about all I would receive in my boxes. But recently with the warm weather switch over, they've sidestepped the caffeinated brew and packed up the peanuts in favor of more tropical treats.

I must say that this month's box is probably my favorite one I've received during the time I've been signed up which is a little over a year.

This month's Love With Food went on a tropical tangent with their Summer Beach Bash box.

At first I was a bit worried because the coconut theme steamed to be heavily threaded through the box contents, but I was pleasantly surprised as my hatred towards coconut flavors turned to into a new found flavor friendship.

Right now my love with food box is sad, red empty carcass.. a shell of the yumminess that was once inside but...at least I get to relive it once more with you!

Roasted Sea Weed from Love Seaweed:


First out of the box, I noticed that they packed a seriously healthy snack that I wrote about in one of my previous entries about Korean food. Known as 'Kkim' to Koreans, its a dried, slightly crunchy sheet of seaweed used to add flavor to rice dishes or just eaten on the side.
Packed with nutrients, this was also packed with yummy oils and slightly salted so it was definitely a chip-replacement type of product.

Sweet Plantain Chips from Turbana:



Now, I've tried plantain chips before, once, and I was horribly disappointed because I was lead to believe that they were sweet. Instead of a sweet treat I had a dry bitter experience that I wasn't looking forward to trying again. When I noticed that these said "sweet' on the package I rolled my eyes and got a drink to quickly wash down the nastiness. After first contact , I was met with a slight banana taste, mixed with a pleasant, natural tasting sweetness. The crunchy factor was just an added bonus.  These were awesome and I hope I can find them in stores soon!

Soy Joy Bar, Mango Coconut:




I was fully aware that SoyJoy products exist thanks to my Birchbox, but when I got one in a subscription box that actually makes sense for the product to be included in, I received it with a bit more of and open mind. I wasn't too thrilled about the coconut flavoring, but I still was excited to try the unique mango coconut flavor mix. It turned out to be very delicious although slightly drying to the mouth. But that's not even an issue, because the flavor was a burst of refreshing on its own. oddly enough it almost tasted like a key-lime pie instead of mango coconut. I hope to see these in stores soon!

Organic Fruity Bears from Surf Sweets:



Organic fruity bears at the bottom of my box beckoned me and as I chewed down on them I was met with more of a gum drop texture than the rubber-like consistency we're normally used to from gummy bears. The flavor was nice, but I didn't really care for the tooth-rotting sugar covering the fruit bears and the texture sort of threw me off.

Coconut and Fruit Ice from Smooze:


Oddly enough I got a product that was meant to be frozen and to my sadness I had to throw it in the freezer overnight. Although I seriously thought about just slurping it down anyway. But I figured for review purposes, I'd suck it up and wait. I'm really glad i did because it turned out to be a tropically refreshing icy treat that sort of reminded me of ice pops, but a slightly thicker almost chewy consistency. I guess it has less water content and more fruit puree inside which makes for the different texture. These are really good, but I've never seen them in stores, so I'm a bit disheartened with that.

Organic Flavrz, Revive:


Next I had recently got done working out so, I poured myself a glass of water and squeezed in the Flavrz. I don't think I measured the right amount of water to Flavrz ratio because it was slightly watery but I can tell that it would have been an amazingly sweet and tangy mix of refreshing if I had.
Even without putting the right amount in my water, I still really enjoyed the product and it made me feel like I was doing something good for myself! I'd definitely buy more of these.


Organic Hard Candy from GoOrganic: 



These were pretty good, but I can't really say "wow" because...seriously... it's a hard candy. How bad do they have to be to spit them out? I mean, I am glad they're organic and the flavors I had were good and I could tell they were made with real juice.

Gluten-Free Pineapple and Coconut Bar from Do More Bar:


I had really high hopes for this, it seemed like a great idea: A healthy rice bar treat for on-the-go. But unfortunately this was pretty stale. I can't tell if it was supposed to be slightly mushy or not, but I could tell that the flavor was nice. I'd like to try a fresher version of this before I decide that I hate it completely.

PUR Gum:

This stuff was ok, but not for me. I appreciate that it didn't have any harmful chemicals or additives, but it was very Chicklet-like. You know what I'm talking about. 5 minutes of chewing and you start looking for a place spit the concrete that used to be gum out of your life forever.

Overall, this was a great box and I really hope that Love With Food keeps it up for July! 


Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 2013 Birchbox Review: Wanderlust

June 2013 Birchbox
June 2013 Birchbox theme was 'Wanderlust', but I'd elect to change it to "wonder lust" because once I opened it, I wondered what other people got. Then after peeking online I lusted after different boxes and sighed at mine.

So in the long Birchbox tradition of disappointment, this June's Birchbox kicked off the dismal festivities with Twistband's hair tie from their Nautical Hair Tie Collection.

Although this does make more sense than the pen I got last box, I'm still not thrilled any time I get something that isn't a product that I can apply, slather or smooth on some part of my body. This only springs, so it definitely doesn't count then. Sure it's cute, but I got a similar one in a different box nearly a year ago and they last as long as a pair of pantyhose and they tear the same way.


Next up, I pulled out the Oscar de la Renta Something Blue sample. After opening it and dumping half on my wrist, I was surprised at how much it smells like Lilly of the Valley flowers-like that's the only note I can pick up. Maybe if I didn't dump half the vial on myself it would have been a pleasant scent, but I ended up smelling like one of those old ladies in Florida who smokes all day in their trailer then daubs some perfume from the 80s before driving away in her Buick Lesabre for BINGO night.

Friday, May 31, 2013

GlamGlow YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment Review

Whoever first said beauty is pain must have worked at developing GLAMGLOW's YOUTHMUD, because my initial "owwwch" turned to "ooooooh" soon after washing off the product.

The brand, which specializes in beauty mud masks for specific aliments recently acquired cult status after being passed around by certain A-listers at award shows.

This seems legit seeing as how the price tag is a bit higher than my non-celebrity salary can afford.

GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD
After being startled by the price for a full-size I was relieved to find a mini version with smaller sticker shock.

Although I'm sure it would be more cost efficient to buy a full-sized, I didn't want to spend 60$ for a product I've never had a chance to try. So after plunking down 20$ for a .01 oz cup of mud, my buyers remorse was heavier than the packaging.

Upon inspection, I noticed that the mask's consistency was slightly runny and I figured it would be mess to put on, but my brain really started to spin as I scooped out the product to find giant flakes of stuff mixed in with the mud.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dior Lip Jelly Pen Review: Dior Does it Better a Cosmetic Review and Swatches

BRB, I need to go the ATM so I can buy the new Dior MLBB, TTYL. There's a new acronym in town and I don't mean YOLO. MLBB stands for every girls dream, that one lip shade that adds a touch of natural color while perking up your pout: It's My Lips But Better.

Dior Lip Jelly Pen
Recently on my latest trip to the Dior counter I found their new Jelly Lip Pens, and upon first inspection without swatching they all looked really dark and ruddy. I almost passed it up, but then I remembered how much I liked Tarte's version and since Dior does it better in just about every facet of makeup, I decided to swatch the three colors available. 

I was surprised at how much lighter they come out looking on the skin than in the tube and upon second inspection I decided that Gaia was the one I wanted to go a little further with. Described as a watermelon pink, it looked almost like a raspberry shade in the tube. Then it morphed again, coming out as a strawberry pink once on my lips and for me this was the perfect summer MLBB.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nuance Review: Salma Hayek Birchbox | A Free Birchbox Surprise

Normally when a celebrity makes anything besides a movie, song or TV show I roll my eyes and wonder how long before it migrates to the clearance racks wearing a red tag of doom.
Nuance Salma Hayek

Naturally,when I heard Birchbox would be giving away a free trial box I signed up in attempt to receive one without reading much into it. Then, when I later read that the products were all from Nuance, "produced" by Salma Hayek, I lost interest.

I mean sure she's considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, although I'd beg to differ-but I do admit her skin looks fantastic from what I've seen of her in magazines-because I've made a personal decision to avoid her movies like the plague.

So obviously I wasn't a huge fan, but when I picked up her unbelievably heavy Nuance box in my mail room a few weeks after signing up, I was so giddy I almost looked up some of her movies on Netflix. Almost.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2013 May Birchbox Review: Beauty Diaries

Sometimes I feel like the Birchbox staff just rummages through the clearance shelves at TJ Maxx to get stuff to fill our boxes with, and never has this been more apparent than with my May 2013 Birchbox.
May 2013 Birchbox

I knew I was in trouble when my box was so light it could have blown away with a strong gust of wind. Normally in life bigger isn't always better, but when it comes to the weight of a Birchbox, it usually is.

My May Birchbox came with 5 products total, with one item being something I could have just as easily picked up at Office Max.

So with 4 actual beauty products and a pen which I used to write the first draft of my negative review, I just about quit my subscription. The only thing that actually stopped me is this blog.

The first item I picked up was a full-sized lip gloss from Cargo in Woodstock and while I usually love Cargo products, this was disappointing. The color looked like the perfect pink pick for spring, but I was completely disappointed when the bright rosy pink hue turned ruddy and brownish upon application. The texture of the gloss reminds me of a sticky MAC Lipglass, feeling really heavy and gooey while on. There's no noticeable scent to this but the lack shine, topped off with unimpressive color make this product for the makeup novice.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Best Korean Snacks: My Korean Snack Haul

I was dating a Korean guy for about three years, so I thought I knew almost everything about their culture and most importantly their snacks. But as it turned out, after my friend returned from his 2-year teaching stint in Korea with a suitcase full of treats for me, I realized that there's always more to learn, and eat!

During our three years together, my boyfriend introduced me to a multitude of Korean snacks and dishes like bulgogi, bimpap and my favorite, naeg-myeon also known as cold noodle soup. Then of course there's kimchi which I will just snack on straight from the jar. My first time in the Korean grocery superstore H-Mart, which is sporadically located around the USA, was amusing to my then boyfriend who watched as I explored the shelves like an alien exploring his surroundings after a crash-landing to Earth. After he patiently dealt with my constant "What's this" about almost every item, we emerged from the store with things I couldn't wait to try, and things that I had no idea what to do with.

Fast-forward to three years later, I can navigate the aisles of  the store exceptionally well, grabbing what I need and want without hesitation. But when my friend showed up with all sorts of new Korean goodies I looked like an amateur again as I investigated the freshly-exported goods.

A few hours after delivery, I had to stop myself from eating everything so I could take a picture and share my  favorites from the Korean haul.