March Recap

by Joyce in


March seriously flew by! I don't know about you, but this gross winter weather is really leaving me in a state of general blah-ness. Hopefully this is the last time I have to say that, as I hope the weather improves and stays that way! :) 

I mentioned at the end of February that I started up a figure skating class - it has been fun, and some of my old skills are (slowly) returning. And it is worth noting that while I may be lucky to possess a fast metabolism and a large appetite, I have absolutely no core strength remaining. Lol. So, I'm working on that too. Contemplating taking a Pure Barre class - have you tried it? 

A few snaps from Instagram! :)

A few snaps from Instagram! :)

Posts This Month: The Repurchases // Beauty Musings // A Collection of Mini Lipsticks // Lush Perfumes // An Introduction to Lipstick Queen // Classic Cleansers from Clarins & Origins // Lush Celestial Moisturizer // Nars Matte Multiple in Altai // February Favorites

Products I Loved: I do have some favorites to share this month, and I don't want to reveal them all, but one of those that top my list is Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder. It has been on my list for nearly 2 years and I always went back and forth on it, but I realize now that I should have bit the bullet and gotten it! I was also happily surprised by a sample of Bumble & Bumble Surf Shampoo, so that may end up in my basket during the Sephora sale coming up. 

Product Disappointments: I didn't care for quite a few samples of shampoo, including Bumble & Bumble's Gentle and Thickening versions. Not much else disappointed me this month though. Woohoo! 

Beauty Purchases: I'm trying to stay restrained, but my one big purchase this month was the NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm quite excited to! Oh, and I picked up a few interesting things from the Japanese market that I plan to post about soon. 

Added to the Wishlist: Not much, surprisingly. How did that happen? I talked about my "almost" wishlist here, though. 

So, what have you been up to this month? Any highlights? I'd love to know!

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The Repurchases

by Joyce in


I’m a girl who is always checking the “New Arrivals” section of my favorite shopping sites. Yes, for a few years, I even knew the day and time every week that Sephora updated their new arrivals page…

In any event, you might imagine that by the time I make it to the end of a product, my attention will have already moved on. I love reading about what other people repurchase, so I thought I would share the few items I’ve repurchased over the last year or so and would continue to repurchase for the foreseeable future. 

The Skincare Favorites
If you've been a long time reader, you probably have heard me talk about Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water (review) and Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (review). You've probably also heard about my love for First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (review), which is a perfect multipurpose hydrating cream that I love for hands and body. 

The Hair Basics
I don't talk about hair very much, but I've kind of been loving Living Proof Thickening Cream. It just keeps my hair looking smooth and voluminous - whether I manage to blow dry it or not! On the dry shampoo front, I've been a fan of Oscar Blandi Invisible Dry Shampoo, which absorbs oil without the fuss of powder and keeps my hair looking normal if I oversleep... 

Are you surprised at how few items I’ve repurchased lately? I’m on a (never-ending) quest to minimize my stash, so there hasn’t really been much need to repurchase much. It isn’t as if I finish makeup! (Sad.) 

I won’t end this post without mentioning two products that I anticipate buying again sometime this year - Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve and Nars Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eye Base. I ventured off to try some new hand creams and use up some sample tubes, but this is such a great everyday hand cream that is (relatively) affordable too. And luckily for me, I somehow ended up with a few sample size tubes of the Nars base that i’ve been working through the last 2 (!!) years. I just opened my last sample tube last month, and hopefully that will last a while.

So, what’s made it to your repurchase list lately? Do you finish and repurchase a lot of products? I’d love to know! 

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Beauty Musings

by Joyce in


I don't know about you, but winter is really getting to me. I've just been exhausted! And exhaustion over here means I've been quiet about sharing some of the things on my radar lately. 

Loving these new goodies from African Botanics!

Loving these new goodies from African Botanics!

My hair is seriously getting long... 

My hair is seriously getting long... 

Products I'm Testing
African Botanics recently released some new items that I'm enjoying so far. Cleansing Mask and Cleansing Oil? I'm in! Check out my reviews of other African Botanics products here. I also need to test out quite a lot of products I've been buying over the last few months. I think there's stuff I bought in November that I haven't even tried yet. Oops!

Beauty Reads 
This past week, I have been obsessing over the site Violet Grey. A digital magazine and curated beauty shop, the site is just gorgeous.  Another read that has me asking myself what I've been missing is Andie's Techno Cupcake - I've been trying to keep up with her blog these past few weeks and dying over her Tom Ford and Armani acquisitions and foray into natural skincare.

Oh, and this weekend I've been watching Sali Hughes interview iconic makeup artist Mary Greenwell. If you're into beauty chats, this two part video will give you nearly an hour of entertainment! 

Help Wanted
It seems as if I have legitimate beauty product needs. Usually, I'd say I don't actually need another skincare item/ neutral eyeshadow / magenta-ish lipstick, but these two categories are not overflowing with products... Yet.

I don't know what it is, but my skin has been absolutely awful so far this year. I'm curious to try some other blemish treatments just to see what's out there, and I'm especially interested in what can make those scars heal faster. Also, since my hair is getting longer, I'm digging through my stash of shampoo samples hoping to find a nice option to keep my hair looking nice and fuss free. 

Obsessing Over Brushes
I think I have quite a healthy (read: excessive) stash of brushes, but lately I just feel like I don't have the right ones for eyes. For the most part, my brushes are from midrange department store lines or Sephora, and I have a good number of Real Techniques as well. I've been quite curious about some Tom Ford brushes lately but the prices are scary. And I definitely have been thinking about Hakuhodo... and I'm wondering, am I totally missing out by not having a MAC eyeshadow brush? Any thoughts, recommendations or enabling/disabling is appreciated. :)

Almost On the Wishlist
While I'm always adding things to my wishlist, I've had a lot of "maybe" products land on that list lately. I never thought I'd be interested in Bare Minerals, but I've always read great reviews on the Ready Eyeshadows and I'm suddenly curious. When it comes to the Nars Contour Blush, I'm sure I'll rush out and grab one, but so far I'm safe. I want to see them in person first, and really I don't need another contour product.

I've also been eyeing Fresh Creme Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask, a pricey item that has been on the market for a few months and just recently landed on Sephora.com. Bumble & Bumble has suddenly caught my eye too, and I'm curious about the new Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster. Yup, all products I really don't need but suddenly find very interesting!

Affiliate Links 

So, what have you been up to lately?? Have you been testing any new products? (Hopefully not waiting forever like I do?) Do you have any awesome new blog discoveries I should check out? Are you surprised by the new releases and products you've added to your wishlist? Anyways, I want to hear all about what you've been up to!

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A Collection of Mini Lipsticks

by Joyce in


I was doing a little organizing a few weeks ago, and I discovered I had quite a cute little stash of mini lipsticks. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have discovered I have quite a talent for collecting far too many makeup minis in a short period of time... 

And I definitely can't decide if that is a good or bad thing. In any event, read on to hear about more about my mini lipstick collection!

The Everyday Favorites
I have been a bit in love with Bite Beauty lipsticks, and this stash of shades has been fun to play with. I've been quite impressed with the smooth and creamy formula and range of gorgeous shades. If you have dry lips, I would definitely recommend taking a look at these moisturizing lipsticks. 

The Designer Picks
I always love looking at Dior Addict in Lucky, and I've been holding onto the Rouge Dior in 999. For whatever reason, I don't wear these often, but I just love having them in there.  Actually, I'm not even sure I've opened the Rouge Dior, the Givenchy Le Rouge in Brun Createur, or the Armani Rouge CC in 400

The Midrange Selections
Also in my collection are a few fun choices from Sephora that I haven't worn much but have no general complaints about the formula - Stila Color Balm in Vivienne and Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Catfight. Then there's probably the oldest of the bunch, both of which may be discontinued by now, Benefit Lady's Choice and Laura Mercier Duchess Rose. 

... Oh, I just realized that I have a few Burberry lipstick minis too that I haven't included, as they live in my Burberry drawer. And in the interest of full disclosure, there are definitely minis of other lip products (gloss, etc) hanging around... 

So my lesson today is... stop buying lipstick! I'm not sure I've even finished a mini lipstick and quite a few of these have been waiting months for some love. Perhaps I need to commit to using them this spring?

What about you - have you been finding mini lipsticks everywhere like I have? Or are you actually using them up, unlike me? ;)

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Lush Perfumes: Imogen Rose, Orange Blossom & B Scent

by Joyce in


In my obsession with Lush Cosmetics shower and bath products, I always forget that they have plenty of other goodies in their collection. Last fall, I decided that I had to explore their skincare and perfumes, and Lush kindly sent me a small collection of travel friendly perfumes! 

In general, I found that these perfumes need a few minutes to develop into their real scents. I love how they come in a variety of sizes so you can have as much or as little perfume as you want - $15.95 for this .3oz travel size or a sample vial .07oz for $1.95! Or, if you really love a scent, you can grab an ounce for $42.95. 

*PR Sample

lush imogen rose perfume review, lush orange blossom perfume review

Imogen Rose is intended to be the purest of roses. On my skin, it is a mix of rose and powder, being very powder at first and developing into something more floral after an hour or so. I love that it doesn't smell like your typical rose scent, but it is a bit too powdery for my preferences. 
Main notes: Rose absolute, orris root, vetivert, tonka, and bergamot.

Orange Blossom is a scent I always want to try - this one is quite fresh, actually. Initially, it is a bit soapy and reminds me of classic Lush bath product scents. Then, as the fragrance develops on my skin, the neroli emerges. I've always been a fan of neroli, and after an hour or so on the skin, Lush Orange Blossom starts to remind me of Tom Ford Neroli Portofino. My nose is not that good, but for me, it is a passable replacement for Neroli Portofino given that it is much more affordable. Yay! Lush’s website says it was originally made for a candle, and I think I would actually love that! 
Main notes: Orange blossom, neroli, rosewood, ylang ylang, sandalwood and beeswax.

lush b scent review

B Scent is my favorite of the bunch, being quite citrusy at first and mellowing out with the sandalwood and rose. I didn't expect to like citrus mixed with lavender and fennel, but I'm quite impressed by the unique combination of notes. I can't explain it at all! 
Main notes: Lemon, bergamot, fennel, lavender, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood and musk.

All in all, I enjoyed experiencing these Lush perfumes. I've also reviewed a few solid perfumes here and I believe some of those scents come in spray form as well. Have you tried any perfumes from Lush? Do any of these sound interesting to you? I'd love to know! 

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An Introduction to Lipstick Queen: Sinner Lipsticks in Pinky Nude & Red

by Joyce in


Lipstick Queen is a brand I've read so much about and always wanted to try. So, you can imagine my excitement when I received Lipstick Queen Sinner Lipstick in Pinky Nude as part of a Space NK gift with purchase last fall, and Red* as a press sample from Space NK shortly after! 

Sinner is a lipstick formula meant to be full coverage, with about 90% opaque pigment. I love that the formula is not drying on me and fragrance free. There's quite a variety of shades too, and I'm quite curious to try the Medieval and Endless Summer formulas. 

Anyways, on to the lipsticks! :)

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Pinky Nude review

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Pinky Nude is quite appropriately named. It may just be the perfect pinky nude, actually - not too pink or too pale on my skintone. This lasts a few hours on me (about 2-3) and appears to fade evenly. I love the shade and the non-drying formula!

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Red review

*PR Sample

Lipstick Queen Sinner in Red* is such a gorgeous color, but for whatever reason, I found the formula to be a bit waxy in texture. It has a bit of slip as well, and for me I found it moved a lot while I was eating. As a very low maintenance gal who likes to eat a lot without thinking about her lipstick, that was a bit of a dealbreaker for me. Unfortunate, as the color is so gorgeous! I passed the color on to a friend, so I'm not sure if it was Fire Red or Scarlet Red... 

All in all, I was quite excited to try something from Lipstick Queen. I love Pinky Nude, and plan to check out the reds in one of the other formulas. I'm also curious to try the new Vesuvius Candy lip pen things. 

Have you tried anything by Lipstick Queen? If so, what are your favorites from the brand? If not, what are you lusting after? :)

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Classic Cleansers from Clarins & Origins

by Joyce in


I thought I had sworn off gel cleansers until these two cleansers came along...

I've been obsessed with cleansing oils, but these two cleansers from Clarins and Origins made me realize that I still enjoy a more "standard" cleanser for a fast and easy cleanse. 

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser for dry skin review, Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser review

Especially since some of my cleanser loves are quite pricey or just require a bit of effort, these two cleansers from Clarins and Origins certainly make my morning routine easy and much more affordable. Both come in at under $25 and leave my skin feeling clean and not dry,

I was particularly surprised by how well I got on with Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser, which I picked out for Mr. Bunny last summer. I thought I would never get along with a gel cleanser marketed toward oily skintypes, but my dehydrated skin feels perfectly normal using this stuff. Plus, it has a light minty scent that is quite refreshing in the mornings!  

And when the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser landed on my doorstep in a beauty swap of sorts, I was quite puzzled. How could a foaming cleanser be for dry and sensitive skin? In any event, this cream textured cleanser lathers a bit and feels just perfect for wintertime! 

What cleansers have you been using lately? I'd love to know! :) 

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Winter Skin Saviors: Lush Celestial Moisturizer

by Joyce in


I haven't explored much of Lush's skincare range, but one of my favorite things is their Celestial Facial Moisturizer. Much loved by my friends Marianna and Gummy, I was excited to finally try it these last few months. 

*PR Sample

Lush Celestial Moisturizer Review

Scented of almonds and vanilla, this cream has a lovely texture. I find it to be thick, yet somehow light when it is applied to the skin. Intended for extremely dry or sensitive skin, Celestial is very moisturizing. I found it to be just a smidgen less moisturizing than my Dr. Ci:Labo moisturizer in these extremely cold temperatures we've been having, but in the fall I found them equally as moisturizing. I'm not sure anything can beat this cold, so I'm not worried! I also really like how this layers well with face oils. 

All in all, I'm a fan of this affordable moisturizer from Lush. Have you tried it? I'd love to know! :)

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Blush & Contour with Nars Matte Multiple in Altai

by Joyce in


A few weeks ago, I ordered one of the newly released Nars Matte Multiples. As you probably know, I love cream products but have fallen out of love with Nars Multiples over the years because of the shimmer.

image.jpg

I picked up the shade Altai, which is described by Sephora as a "rose gold" and thought perhaps it could be appropriate for contour as well.

image.jpg

Overall, I enjoy this product. It is not as creamy and blendable as the original Multiple formula, but I wouldn't say that it is hard to blend either. I just have to take a second and make sure I've properly blended it in.

On me, the shade creates the right amount of shadow under my cheekbone and brings a nice warmth to the rest of my face. I can't imagine it would do the same for those who are extremely pale, though Jessica over at Beautezine does manage to pull it off. 

I have no complaints about wear either - it seems to last all day on me. I am a bit disappointed that Nars made these much smaller quantity wise than the original, but that doesn't bother me much either. I don't think I would purchase another shade since I have a healthy stash of cream blushes at the moment, but I'm definitely keeping my eye out for any future shades that are unique.  

What do you think about the Nars Matte Multiple? Have you tried them yet? :) 

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February Favorites ♡

by Joyce in


I originally planned to make a video about my February favorites, but it just hasn't worked out for me! Something about winter has made me totally incapable of getting things done, not to mention the lighting and setup issues... 

Anyway, on to my favorite products so far this year! 

Goldfaden MD Hands to Heart
I'm a girl that needs hand cream year round, and I've seriously fallen for Hands to Heart. It seriously is so good - it has a light citrus fragrance, doesn't feel greasy, and moisturizes well. I've had many coworkers (including guys!) enjoy this hand cream. Check out my original review here.

African Botanics Pure Marula Oil
Have I talked about this enough? Probably. I love this oil - so hydrating, and absorbs in so nicely. More on this in the review, if you haven't already heard enough about it! ;)

Boscia Tsubaki Deep Hydration Mask
Hydration masks are necessary for winter, and I'm enjoying this relatively affordable option. I've talked about this mask before as well, so for more information, do check out my original review here

Coconut Oil
I really wish my aversion to coconuts in general hadn't prevented me from trying coconut oil. Seriously, it is so good for hydrating and soothing the body. Mr. Bunny is a huge fan, and I've been mixing this in with other skincare or using this on my body after baths. Pretty hydrating, and for whatever reason the scent makes me think of popcorn! 

Burberry Eyeshadow in Dark Sable
I seriously love Burberry eyeshadow and I never seem to rememeber to use them. Dark Sable is the perfect eyeliner shade and such a nice shade to naturally smoke out any look. And seriously, I spotted this on myself in one of my own videos and loved how it looked. I'm such a loser, ha! 

Bite Beauty Custom Lipstick
Early on in February, I visited the Bite Beauty Lip Lab in NYC and created my own custom lipstick! Check out that post here. I've seriously been loving the color and the formula - it is so pretty and creamy and feels great on the lips.

Balenciaga Rosabotanica
I'm picky about fragrances but something about Rosabotanica is the perfect blend of fresh rose and spiciness. I am seriously loving this scent and think I'll be needing a full size once I finish up this cute little deluxe sample! 

What products have been your favorites so far this year? Is the winter tiring you out too, or are you lucky to live somewhere warm right now? I'd love to know!

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