Tag Archives: make up review

Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil Review

9 Aug

Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is a gentle, two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser. This beautiful blend of botanical oils is formulated to thoroughly cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture, an essential first step for any skincare ritual. The product is formulated without mineral oil to remove even water-resistant sunscreen, long-wear makeup formulas, and BB creams, it emulsifies completely and leaves no oily residue. It is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, along with vitamins A, B, and E to nourish dry skin, calm sensitive skin and decongest oily skin. Tatcha Pure is free of  parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

0.8 OZ Tatcha Camellia Oil

I received a free small sample of Tatcha Camellia Oil as part of my Sephora sample choices with a recent purchase from their site. I have to admit I’ve always been a bit skeptical of washing my face with oil cleansers, so I was really eager to put this product to the test.

How to use:
With dry hands and a dry face gently massage the oil onto your face. One to two pumps is all you will need. Rinse with water, I prefer warm water, and the oil turns milky/silky and washes off all your grime or makeup residue. It melts away the day.

The Gamut of Experiments and Tests:

How well can it remove Makeup?
The first test was to see how well it would fair at dissolving and removing a normal day of make-up. Other brands have not stacked up as well and would leave me grabbing a makeup remover cloth or having to wash my face again, which is obviously quite annoying. This was not the case at all with the Tatcha oil. I am pleased to say that the Camellia oil passed this test with flying colors. I didn’t have to worry about spending extra time to clean my face, it knocks the competition out of the park and does an amazing job without leaving any residue.


5.1 OZ Tatcha Camellia Oil


Will Dry Skin be an issue?
The second test was for dry skin. Normally at night I have to use a moisturizer/night cream on my face to help combat skin dryness. That night I decided to skip the cream. The next morning after my daily cleansing and toning routine, when I looked in the mirror I was amazed at how great my skin looked. I couldn’t believe it, my skin wasn’t flaky or dry like it normally is, even without the use of a night cream the previous evening. Another bonus point for tatcha camellia oil. Being able to save money and time by skipping that nightly ritual of moisturizing cream was a wonderful and unexpected surprise.

Will I have any skin reactions?
The third test was how would my skin react to the product. I have very sensitive skin as well as acne. I am pleased to say that neither were an issue while using this cleansing oil. I didn’t have any acne flare ups, rashes, or allergic reactions which are always a worry for me when trying new products.

How will it smell?
The fourth test was regarding the scent. Most products I find have sickly scents that I can’t stand, but luckily this was not the case with the Tatcha Pure One Step Oil. Their isn’t an overwhelming scent, it’s light, clean and pretty much non-existent which is really a plus here.

Lasting Impressions:
I have had nothing but a positive experience with this cleansing oil. I am thrilled with the product, and the meaningful gifts associated with our purchases. Each purchase helps empower girls by sending them to school through their “Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures partnership.” When washed off  the oil emulsifies into a milk and melts off any makeup and daily grime residue you may have. Even waterproof makeup! I was astonished as I’ve tried other cleansing oils in the past, and they failed on so many levels. Using an oil instead of a foam or a gel soap seems a bit foreign to me and took getting used to, however that is not a bad thing. Any hesistanchesitancies I may have had due to past bad experiences have been eradicated and my faith in cleansing oil has been restored. This product is non-sensitizing, non-irritating, dermatologist-tested, and cruelty-free.

Overall Thoughts:
-Effective: No need for other makeup removers to step in to do the job.
-Time and Money Saver: No need for me to spend extra of either for moisturizer.
-Noticeably Soft and balanced skin even after one use.
-Giving Back: Purchase of the product empowers girls

Additional Product Info:
“Camellia Oil has been one of the geisha’s most treasured secrets for centuries, used to remove their iconic performance makeup without drying or damaging the skin. I am honored to bring new life to this ritual with our Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, and even more delighted to tell you that your purchase of a Tatcha skincare item will send an incredible girl to school for day through our Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures partnership.”—Victoria Tsai, Founder

Final Thoughts:
I am very pleased.  I will definitely be making a full size purchase!!

Excellent quality
Safe and gentle for even the most sensitive skin
Removes waterproof makeup
Negates the need for extra moisturizes or creams

A bit spendy however a little goes a long way, and the product is well worth the purchase.


At the time of this writing: the 0.8 OZ runs for $12 US dollars, and the 5.1 OZ $48 US dollars.
To purchase, click on any of the above photos.


Formula X System NailPolish Review

10 Jan

Formula X is exclusive to Sephora.

Over the winter 2014 holidays I spent some of those VIP Insider beauty points we all covet on a mini trial sample of this Formula X revolutionary nail polish system. The kit included the mini-sized bottles of the system. The color that came with the kit was Cocoa Bisque.


For those unfamiliar, the systems four steps are as follows:

  • Step One: Cleanse
  • Step Two: Prime
  • Step Three: Color
  • Step Four: Shine

“Prep, Perfect, Shine”.

In more detail the steps:
The Nail Cleanser is reminiscent of an acetone / nail polish remover. Its quite effective, meaning if you spill a few drops on an already completed nail well you’ll have to re-do that nail. Its an “essential step that frees nails of residue and oil, optimizing base coat and lacquer adherence”.

The Base Coat is a tacky primer for better color adhesion / bonding. Its “An advanced adhesive primer containing essential bonding agents that form a sticky layer to fuse with your lacquer”.

Nail Color Of Your Choice from the line– Choose from over 200 Formula X shades and effects;

The Top Coat – glossy shiny topcoat. Really gives your manacure/pedicure that professional look. “A super glossy, state-of-the-art, long-wearing final step that enhances your lacquer’s shine and performance”.

Overall Thoughts:
Each step in the process was easy peasy, and dried in record time. I was amazed at how quickly everything set and dried! I finally ended up with a home manicure that was not smudged, and had that great shine we all desire. I couldn’t believe the results. It looked like a more professional manicure/pedicure. In step 3, the nail polish colors went on opaque, so I only needed one coat of the polish, where as with other polishes I need two. This turned into fastest self manicure ever for me, even with all 4 steps!!

2015-01-10 17.39.46

I wanted to give this kit a run for the money and really put it to the test. For the 1.5 weeks I left it on I did housework, cleaning, scrubbing, mini home construction projects by way of hammer and nails, computer work, lots of hand washing, exercising, yoga, furniture building, shipping/receiving, dishes, multiple showers, and cooking. I expected with all this that with in the first few 3 days I would have some sorry looking nails but guess what….NO Chips!!! Amazing right?! The color endures, I didn’t get my first small [hardly noticeable] chip until day 6 days in. some of the shiny top coat by that point started looking dull due to normal wear and tear if you will. And I was not wearing gloves for any of this work.

I currently reside in a cold winter climate, my hands are taking a beating but hey my nail polish sure lasted well! By 1.5 weeks my nails needed a trim and the top coat was looking a little dull in some spots. Some of the nail polish was cracked by this point, and there were a few chips. Off it came for experiment #2.


As an experiment, I decided to try the system with with my own non-formula x color, as I have many bottles to use up and would hate to just toss them for the new and shiny. I hate to waste things. The non-formula x brand I used was a bottle of “for the twill of it” by Essie. The manicure came out nearly as good as the formula x polish. I had to add an extra coat of polish since the color is not as opaque as formula x. I had to let my nails dry a wee bit however not nearly as long as I would have sans formula x system. They still dried very fast. I’m glad I can utilize the system to help use up these already owned polishes so that I can start purchasing Formula X its-self.

2015-01-10 17.39.13

Additional Product Info:
Formula X does offer other products to compliment the system. There is a hydrator, strengthener, cuticle cream, cuticle oil, appliques, press-pods, quench-to-go, nail polish remover, nail drying drops, nail drying spray, hand cream, etc…

The line offers over 200 colors, so plenty of options to choose from. Of the numerous colors, there is a wide array of collections to choose from. To name a few:

  • Translucents
  • Brillants
  • Shifters
  • Xplosives
  • SuperWatts
  • Sparklers
  • New Clasics
  • New Neutrals
  • Lusters
  • Transformers
  • Chromes
  • Electrics
  • Sea glass
  • Liquid Crystals
  • Brushed Metalics
  • Ombre Glitters

Final Thoughts:
I am very pleased with this system. My nails felt stronger, the flexibility of so many shades, I will definitely buy again!! Color me impressed. I can’t recommend this enough. Great buy! Try it!! High Endurance Color.

Excellent quality
Long lasting
Cheaper than a mani/pedi
Dries lightening fast
Strengthened nails
Worked even with non formula x polish

Nail polish bottles are pricier than your standard nail enamel.


The full size system runs for $32 US dollars.

To purchase, click the below photo:

COVERGIRL blastflipstick Review

9 Dec

I was excited when I found out that luck was on my side and I happen to get into this coveted campaign. I was curious how these “flipsticks” would stand up to the test. These new Covergirl brand blast “flipsticks” are essentially a double ended lipstick. They provide the wearer with more options than just a single ended aka normal lipstick. The colors offer up one creamy and one shimmery lipsticks in one tube if you will so you can mix and match to create a multitude of blendable looks or ombre shades.  The “flipstick” line has 13 different choices of lipstick duos and applying is as simple as the flip of a stick.


My gratis bzzkit arrived in the mail with three tubes. The color combinations I had the chance to try were: Vixen, Stunner, and Minx [as pictured in this post].


The looks and color were nice in the tubes and really did look like the displays and online photos. Quite true to the advertising. Online the color palate options are an array of dazzling day to-night, soft to bright, or ombre looks. They applied easily and went on creamy and silky. Blending the colors is also a smooth process and my lips felt moisturized. The color lasted a generous amount of time, even after eating and drinking. I wouldn’t say its one of those 18 hour-long lasting types, however the lipstick lasted beyond what I expected after consumption and lasted through my normal 8-9 hour work day.


Overall Thoughts:

I was disappointed that on all 6 shades I tried, the was a strong overpowering taste. The taste reminiscent of perfume or some other unpleasant chemicals. It didn’t fade with time either and drove me up the wall. I also noticed that the colors I tried didn’t quite go with my skin tone, had the pungent taste not been there I would have continued blending, mixing and matching to see what color combinations I could have created to perhaps remedy this. With this sharp noticeable taste having been apparent in the 6 colors [from 3 tubes] I tried, I would have to make an assumption that the whole line is this way.


Circling back to my comment about the shade line not going well with my skin tone, as a reference I have quite fair skin with pinkish/reddish undertones, Brownish/Auburn colored hair and grey eyes. To note I have found with most drugstore brand cosmetics they do not go well with my skin tone, so this is not a new trouble I face. Perhaps other shades in the line [such as “smooch”] that had not been sent in the kit would fare better color wise, but maybe not necessarily “taste” wise so I’d be hesitant to give it a go.


Even with out applying lip liner or any lip pretreatments I found the lipsticks stayed in place and did not “bleed” or run into my lip line. This is a great feature as I know and have experienced first hand that not all lipsticks are this way. With most of us leading busy lives, I often find most of us will agree that the less products we have to spend money on or time applying the better. I was worried that the “flipstick” would be large, cumbersome, and take up a fair amount of space in my cosmetic bag or purse so I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t. Size wise the tube is about 4.5 inches, less than a pencil or pen in length. So it really doesn’t take up much space and the weight isn’t very much either, just a few ounces.


I am really glad I didn’t spend money on this or I would have been even more disappointed and wanted my money back. The immediate appalling “taste” is just far too strong! ugh!


  • Easy of use creating blended looks
  • Long lasting color
  • 2 lipsticks for the price of one
  • Reasonable price point
  • Creamy & Smooth
  • Color did not bleed
  • No need for lip liner
  • Size
  • Moisturizing


  • Awful overwhelming Taste!!
  • Not completely convinced that all colors offered go well with all skin tones.

Final Thoughts:



Pass! Save your money!

Its worth spending the extra money on a boutique brand. I felt as if this was a mediocre item. Admittedly I had been excited to try it out and had high hopes but the foul taste was quite off-putting.

Additional Product Info:

Interesting tidbit:

Covergirl brand has been around since 1960


Suggested retail $8.49 USD


Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Isopropyl Isostearate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Acetylated Lanolin, Ozokerite, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Cire De Candelilla, Paraffin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire De Carnauba, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Lactate, Squalane, Fragrance/Parfum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Silk Powder/Poudre De Soie, Maltodextrin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, *Some Shades Also Contain/ Certaines Teintes Contiennent Aussi Lauroyl Lysine, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, May Contain/Peut Contenir: Mica, Orange 5, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Red 27, Blue 1 Lake, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Carmine

Apply cream lipstick product to clean bare lips then apply shimmer product on top. For a shimmery pout apply the shimmer product just in the middle of your bottom lip.

Images Sources:

New Rating System Added!

23 Nov

Site News & Updates:

For those of you who are my dear faithful followers, you may have noticed a few changes. I am trying out a new format for posting see Pumpkin Pie Bath Ice Cream Review as an example.

My goal is to provide you more clear and easy to find info should you be in a hurry for just some quick facts. Additionally I have added a have added a rating system.


Rating System Explanations:

5 Stars: Loved it! Highly Recommend!

4 Stars: Really Liked It. Give it a try!

3 Stars: Liked It. It’s okay or I’m on the fence.

2 Stars: Didn’t Like It. Meh! So-So, below average.

1 Star: Hated it! Do not recommend! Disappointed, save your money.

Other site changes:

Properly finished the ever important disclaimer. [See about page if you are curious].

Urban Decay Lush Lash Mascara Review

4 Nov

Urban Decay Lush Lash Mascara is a thickening and lengthening mascara formulated to help lashes actually grow longer. I picked this up from one of my favorite makeup boutiques, Sephora. The packaging was not only quite attractive in an almost iridescent purple with scrawling designs, but I looked forward to having “lush lashes” like they promise. The price point was a bit steep at $20.00 a tube but that’s about on par with prices sold at the higher end boutiques. I gave this tube a fair chance and used it for several months.

Regrettably I didn’t feel or see any positive results from this. My lashes weren’t any longer or fuller, which is something I have been able to achieve with other brands. My lashes weren’t lush and this mascara would easily clump. I didn’t feel like the tube lasted very long compared to other brands I have tried. This is not a waterproof mascara however that was neither a problem or a concern for me. I even wore this in the heat of India believe it or not and it stayed put just fine for my needs.

The mascara wasn’t volumizing and really didn’t shape my lashes very well. I don’t use an eye lash curler but with this I felt like I would need to invest in one. My lashes were not defined and even after several months I did not notice any lash enhancing and lengthening qualities like I have with other brands. The mascara does flake off at times and

The wand was a bit odd compared to most I tried and can’t say I ever really fell in love with it or the product. My lashes would look at bit flat when I used this product. I would have returned this product but I was staying in another country for a while and unable to either get to a Sephora and did not want to pay shipping for mailing from overseas. Sephora has a great return policy so I wasn’t worried about that being an issue, but I ended up using the product up to a) fairly give the “lengthening” growth serum a chance & b) lack of being able to get something else when I was overseas. Nothing special about this product at all, in fact I’d even go as far as to say its less than average.

So disappointing, save your money.


To purchase, click here

Fresh: Black Tea Age Delay Cream With Collagen Boosting Lychee Review

22 Sep

This week I decided to test out the “black tea age delay cream, with collagen boosting lychee” from the Fresh line of products. Made with natural products, this advanced skin-perfecting moisturizer is supposed to reduce and minimize the appearance of those fine lines we get as we age. The cream is also meant to help firms and re-texturize our skin.

I know the fresh line to be mild and gentle. the products do not make my sensitive skin break out which is a definite plus in my book. I was excited to try this product out. I thought I would start off with a morning application under my make up. The product says you can use in the am and pm.

Right off the bat I noticed a little bit goes a long way and by that I mean it was difficult to get the product to soak in and my face was left with an ungodly amount of oil & sheen. I could not get the product to fully so in. That day, even after multiple uses of oil blotting sheets my face still looked sad. Even right after my morning make-up application I found my face looked like it was melting off. I thought I looked awful.

With the product being so oily I think it would be best right before bed and quite sparingly at that. I think it would do a good job of battling that dry winter skin but you’d really have to test out this product when you don’t have plans to go anywhere. This way you won’t have to go to the office or out with friends and look like you need a makeup lesson and to wash your oily face.

The scent was pleasant and didn’t have one of those awful cloying smells that some products have. The product at first is a cream and then turns into an oil after you rub it in. I found this to be an interesting surprise. The cream is quite pricey at $95 USD for a small 1 OZ jar.

To purchase, click image below:

Covergirl & Olay Tone Rehab Review

19 Aug

I was excited to receive a new parcel in the mail last week. It was the new “Covergirl & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation + the pressed powder”, for the bzzagent campaign I am apart of.

I washed my face and left it bare. That meant despite the routine part of my brain calling out to me to grab daily morning ritual items next to me, I skipped on my normal routine of toner, and I ignored my moisturizer. When I use liquid primer I normally would even add a primer but that too I skipped yesterday.  I skipped all these items show I can show how these products tested standing alone, but also as I don’t think everyone is as meticulous about routine as I am. These products are geared toward anyone however I can see them being purchased more by your average woman.

Freshly washed face

After I washed and dried my face [and skipped the aforementioned routine] I applied the foundation and the primer. The foundation went on easily. A little bit goes a long way. You can use your fingers, a make up wedge / sponge, or a foundation brush.  Since I happen to have a foundation brush from MAC#18, I used that. I went in thinking I would need two pumps so that’s what sat in the palm of my hand, however hindsight 20/20 I think one pump would have been more adequate.

Covergirl & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation + the pressed powder

I applied the powder with the included sponge instead of my own preference of a powder brush. The powder went on easily and offered the type of light coverage I was looking for. Applying the powder after the foundation for me was a key element to this process. The thought for me at least behind that was with out it, my face looked a bit oily. I think the foundation needs the powder to help it set so your face doesn’t melt off.

added  lip gloss, mascara, eyeliner.

The foundation did not feel heavy on my skin, however I thought that the color despite it being the lightest shade the line offers still looked too tan/yellowish/orangish for my skin. This is common for my fair skin and a problem I have run into before with what I call store brand or drugstore brand cosmetics. I felt I had to make up the rest of my face.  I thought it looked too heavy on me for a natural look or a summer look. I added some lip gloss, mascara and eyeliner to try to fix or complete the look. I wanted to look presentable since I had to head into the office and run a few errands.

During the different steps of the make-up application process, I showed my husband to get a second opinion for the feedback /  review. He really has no interest in make-up one way or the other, but he is quite opinionated when it comes to his thoughts. I mentioned my concern with the foundation shade not matching my natural skin tone well enough. I moved into different lighting, I moved my head side to side and he still did not notice a difference. I however just couldn’t shake my thoughts that I looked like I don’t know how to match foundation. I was left feeling disappointed in the foundation for my fair skin.

hmm this foundation looks orange on me…

I left the house and went into the office for some brief office work and ran some errands. Along the way I noticed if I used my cell phone or needed a tissue to my nose [thank you allergies/sneezing] the foundation was leaving a trail on the tissue and the phone. This meant I had to clean my cell phone screen. If I had the foundation or powder with me, I would have had to apply more to nose area. Oh well C’est la vie.

Today with the same pre-make-up routine of skipping my normal rituals if you will, I applied only the pressed powder. Forgive the picture quality on this one next one, as I used my cell phone instead of my lovely DSLR, however the powder as you can see actually looks more natural and matches my skin tone. I could see using this powder in my normal routine and easily recommending it for its light translucent quality.  The foundation I was not as keen on. The leaving of residue on my phone or a Kleenex I can overlook, as this has happened with other brands.  Its the fact that even with the lightest color swatch choice from their product line not matching well or blending well with my skin tone causing my appearance to be too tan/orange/yelloish hue I can not overlook.

Pressed Powder Only

I think if someone had a bit less fair skin the foundation might work if they are looking for a product with say medium to heavy coverage. The powder I liked and will continue to use. I prefer the coverage it offers. I find that as I get older [not that I am terribly old here at 32] I prefer more natural coverage that lessens the redness rosacia? like tone to my fair skin / face.

The products

I have PLENTY of coupons for the products, so if you would like I can mail you a few. Note that since the campaign is not paying for the postage so I’d prefer to send out to US addresses only.

On a humorous note, my husband asked why I did not smile in the photos. He continued with saying that I look grumpy or these look similar to mug shot style. I laughed and said I wasn’t sure why I skipped on smiling. I guess I just thought the photos might come across better if I looked more serious hah.

I’m now a buzz Agent!

16 Aug

I’m  excited to announce that I have recently teamed up with a new vendor so I should have a wider variety of items to review. Stay tuned for some upcoming reviews on anything and everything, [but the majority will be mainly beauty items I suspect 😉 ] I received my first parcel of items they want me to review this week and I have a strict timeline in which to do it in. I can’t wait to try out these new products. =)

Peter Thomas Roth: Mega-Rich Shampoo & Conditioner

22 Jul

Having quite long, thick, frizzy curly hair, I always feel a bit apprehensive to test out new hair products. I am always wondering what type of havoc they will wreak on my hair. This is one case I am sure glad I did, I guess it’s like the saying “Fortune favors the brave”.

I was pleasantly surprised how both the shampoo and conditioner made my hair feel clean and manageable. This is quite a feat for my hair! The scent was light and enjoyable, not cloying over overpowering. Did I mention how much I loved how this duo made my hair feel amazing?! My hair felt more tolerable, even with the humidity, and I liked it.

I normally hate my hair, and I especially never think it looks great, that is unless I am fresh from the hair salon.  Shortly after discovering this set, I find the disdain for my hair has decreased. I found I did not have to perform my normal painstaking ritual of fighting with the comb or brush in order to De-tangle my hair. The conditioner felt creamy, lightweight, and didn’t leave with me that heavy feeling reminiscent of other conditioners. I loved the soft, supple feeling I was left with. Once my hair dried I also enjoyed not having a frizzy mess to contend with. The only downside to this product is the price. For 8.5oz, it’s about 14$ USD on Amazon.com, so not on the cheap side. I suppose for me this will be a once in a while treat. Although 14 dollars is not the most expensive I have seen boutique shampoo’s run for. Really great shampoo and conditioner, worth every cent.

to purchase, click on below photos:


Maybelline Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara Review

10 Jun

I purchased thus tube of Maybelline Falsies Volum’ express a while ago but wanted to really give it a proper chance. I figured all the hype and commercials was just that,  hype and false advertising but figured I would give it a chance anyway since the cost of a tube of this is much cheaper than my regular buy. Having worked with and worn professional grade make up for conventions and masquerade balls, I can often tell by watching movies and TV when things are fake. The commercials showed the women wearing false eyelashes for example, and if anyone thought those were real results from using this crap, then that’s a damn shame.

I had a feeling it would not work coming out of the starting gate, if I had not had a preset expectation such as this then I would have been severely disappointed. Throughout the entire tube my lashes were clumpy and stuck together. To me this is the complete opposite of what I wanted to achieve.I have had plenty of lengthening mascara’s that made my lashes quite luscious, but this is not one of them. I would not waste my money, recommend or buy again. I noticed no difference in length. I even tried this in different climates around the world but that did not make a difference either.

I think Maybelline’s thinking is that this can replace wearing fake eyelashes. I would much rather wear some cool or snazzy false eyelashes than use this again. I also did not care for the wand that came with this mascara, it was almost straight and barely had any type of curve to it. I’ve had both straight and curved wands and some mascara’s one works better than the other, however I think this pile of steaming poo probably needed a curved wand. I also found the mascara a bit difficult to remove at the end of the day and I also felt like it bothered my eyes since I wear contact lenses.


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