August 29, 2015

Bare Minerals BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer

Hello, Beautiful!

Not too long ago I was shopping online at Sephora and decided to try their new concealer, which is a serum concealer as well. I was less than impressed, however, once I tried it. Not enough product comes out on the wand, forcing you to re-dip way more than needed. I also found it was on the dry side of liquid products and the coverage wasn't mind blowing. I plan to return it on my next Sephora trip.

On my last in-store Sephora trip (which was a "by accident" trip... we know how those go), I saw they had the new Bare Minerals Bare Skin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer. I swatched it and instantly fell in love. It was the perfect silky smooth liquid-flow consistency. There are only six shades, and I chose Medium (got the last one at my Sephora location... every other shade was still fully stocked).

Check out all the product info, along with my full review, after the pics!

Bare Minerals
BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer

Shade: Medium













The below Before & After was made by applying a few stripes of the concealer and then blending out with a Beauty Blender.




Bare Minerals BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer Info & Review
Cost: $20.00 (0.20 fl oz full size)
Availability: Available on the Bare Minerals website, at Sephora, at Ulta, and everywhere else Bare Minerals is sold.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses!

PRODUCT DETAILS...

A silky smooth, complete coverage, concealer and serum in one, BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer is designed to provide remarkable coverage with its ultra-light texture. It instantly reduces the appearance of dark circles, discoloration, and other imperfections for a beautifully even-toned complexion. Formulated with antioxidant Lilac Plant Stem Cells, this multitasking concealer features high-definition mineral optics to counteract shadows and give skin a brightened, lustrous finish. Hydrating humectants help nourish the undereye area, while the silky smooth texture glides effortlessly over fine lines, leaving skin looking fresh and flawless all day.

MY REVIEW...

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I instantly fell in love with this concealer upon swatching it. It has such a divine texture and blends like a dream. You also need less than you think, as it spreads easily.

I don't think the coverage should be listed as "complete coverage", but the coverage factor is pretty good in itself. I find that almost any liquid-y concealer will give you just a bit more coverage if you allow it to sit for a little first, then blend it in. I usually let it sit for maybe 30 seconds to minute tops. You don't want it to dry down and then you can't blend it at all; find your perfect waiting time. I am fine with one layer, but if you really wanted to make it look absolutely flawless you could use a correcting concealer underneath to cancel out any blue or purple undertones.

I chose the shade Medium, which is still pretty light. It's only slightly brightening on my skintone, but I like that because sometimes you don't want a super bright under eye/highlighted face look. It's just the perfect amount to make me look awake and healthy. I'll use this under my eyes and I'll apply a little on the bridge on my nose and then blend upwards to brighten in between my brows and slightly onto the forehead.

It looks really nice on the skin. I do set it with a powder, but I normally do that to all my concealers. I do find it doesn't settle into my fine lines, which is a good thing. Good staying power too, but it's not a super long wearing, 24hr concealer.

Overall, this concealer is fantastic! I thought I loved the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer a lot, but I honestly think I prefer the Bare Minerals BareSkin Concealer over that one! I really like this concealer and think it's worth giving a try!

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this concealer? Have you tried this, or would you consider adding this to your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below!

xoxo with love & beauty,
Crystal Valentine

July 31, 2015

Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation - shade G40 - swatches, review

Hello, Beautiful!

In today's blog post I'm talking about the Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation, which I have in the shade G40. I am in LOVE with the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, so I wanted to try another foundation product from the line, and this is what I went for. But to be honest, this powder didn't impress me the way I was hoping.

Check out all the product info, along with my full review, after the pics!

Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation
Shade: G40

 








For the before & after pic, I used the It Cosmetics powder brush shown below. I don't remember the exact name for it, but it's just a big, dense, fluffy brush.



Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation Info & Review
Cost: $36.00 (0.42 oz full size)
Availability: Available on the Cover FX website, at Sephora, and everywhere else Cover FX is sold.
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Kisses

PRODUCT DETAILS...

An oil-absorbing mineral powder plus foundation in one which imparts an instant natural matte finish and provides sheer to full buildable coverage.

This matte-made healthy formula features Amazonian Kaolin Clay and oil absorbing microspheres to minimize shine and absorb excess oil as well as green tea leaf extract to alleviate skin discomfort and visibly reduce redness.

This clinically tested product does NOT contain the inflammatory five: gluten, mineral oil, fragrance, parabens or talc.

Currently available in 24 shades.


MY REVIEW...

I purchased the shade G40, and that's where I'm going to start my review because I have a major gripe about the shade jump from G30 to G40. There needs to be a G35 because G30 would work for me if it wasn't summer. G40, however, is just slightly too dark/orange looking until my summer tan comes in a bit better. It doesn't seem like it's too dark, especially at first, but in certain lighting it is noticeable and can look a little orange (it oxidizes on me slightly). The shade G40 works... I make it work... but if there were something between G30 and G40 it would be ideal.

I didn't want to return G40 for G30 because I know I'll be outdoors a lot in the coming weeks and I am not getting lighter in color, so G40 could work for a couple months but then it will be too dark. In fact, since getting this product G40 actually works a lot better for me now (end of July) than it did when I got it in early June.

Aside from the shade, let's talk about the coverage. This is a pressed powder foundation that says it has sheer to full coverage..... that statement alone made me hold off on purchasing this for awhile because a pressed powder foundation can not be sheer to full coverage unless you are really building it up or need to apply it wet. But I went ahead and purchased it because I wanted a setting powder/touch-up powder that was on the go and easy to take with me. Plus, I am in LOVE with the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, so thought this would be a great next product to try.

The coverage for me, never is full on its own. Not without looking like I'm wearing an inch of powder. So for me, and the flaws I need to cover, this can't be my all-over foundation. It has to be used as a setting powder that adds a little extra coverage and a touch-up powder. And I'm fine with that, because that's what I purchased it for. But if you have skin flaws like I do, you may find you want to pair this with a liquid or cream concealer first and then use this on top.

I have combo skin that leans towards dry, and for me, this foundation looks good initially and then becomes oily on my face -- specifically if I try to wear this as a foundation itself. If I just use it lightly then I don't have issues. I find it funny that it turns oily on me considering this is supposed to help control oil and I do not have oily skin at the moment.

I guess I was hoping for more.... I really love the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation (the loose powder one, not the liquid/mousse) because I can get full coverage easily and it looks great, lasts all day, and is just amazing in every way I use it. I also love the Mally Poreless Perfection foundation, which is a pressed powder. The Cover FX just didn't exceed those two products so I likely won't repurchase this foundation, but I certainly will try to get as much use out of it while I can.

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this foundation? Have you tried this, or would you consider adding this to your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below!

xoxo with love & beauty,
Crystal Valentine

July 29, 2015

Block Island Organics - a brand review!

Hello, Beautiful!

Recently the organic brand Block Island Organics reached out to me and asked if I would like to try some of their products, and after checking out their website I said absolutely! They currently offer a cleanser, night cream and an SPF sunscreen. In this post you'll see pics, swatches and reviews of each product.

Block Island Organics




Block Island Organics
Purifying Facial Cleanser
 



Block Island Organics Purifying Facial Cleanser Info & Review
Cost: $21.99 (4 fl oz full size)
Availability: Available on the Block Island Organics website.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Kisses

PRODUCT DETAILS...

An antioxidant and vitamin rich, organic and natural formula that cleans skin with gentle botanicals while maintaining moisture balance. Suitable for all skin types.

Gently removes build-up, impurities and makeup while freshening skin. Organic ingredients like rosehip, chamomile, sunflower, avocado, olive and more. Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C & E to revitalize skin.

Cruelty free vegan formula and never tested on animals. No parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes or artificial fragrances.


MY REVIEW...

This is a nice lightweight, liquid-gel cleanser. It has a very light scent, which is great for me, as I'm often sensitive to scents. The ingredients in this cleanser are great, especially if you've been looking for an organic, vegan skin care formula.

As a beauty blogger I try out a lot of products, and skin care is a tricky one to try out because I have to be very careful with my acne prone skin as to what I switch up in my routine. Currently I am using a cleanser for acne, but I have tested this cleanser out and still use it every so often if I feel like the acne cleanser is making my face a little too dry.

This cleanser did a nice job at removing makeup, but I still prefer to always do a double cleanser if I have a full face of makeup or use a makeup remover first. It does a nice job at cleansing the skin without leaving it dry or tight. It just leaves your skin soft, clean and fresh!

I really enjoyed this cleanser and would continue to use this. I think I'd recommend this for anyone who wants a basic cleanser (meaning non-acne cleanser) that isn't filled with chemicals!



Block Island Organics
Revitalizing Night Cream
 




Block Island Organics Revitalizing Night Cream Info & Review
Cost: $29.99 (2 oz full size)
Availability: Available on the Block Island Organics website.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Kisses

PRODUCT DETAILS...

Packed with antioxidants like Vitamin C (offers anti-aging benefits) and Vitamin E (protects against the effects of sun exposure), this organic and natural cream nourishes skin.

Made with organic ingredients like cocoa butter, rosehip, avocado, aloe vera, jojoba and more. Nourishes and moisturizes, non-greasy and suitable for all skin types.

Cruelty free vegan formula and never tested on animals. No parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes or artificial fragrance.


MY REVIEW...

I love the texture of this night cream; very lightweight but moisturizing! It sinks in quickly. If you have very dry skin - like my skin can sometimes get - I do find this isn't as intensely moisturizing as some other products I own, but it is really good.

It sinks in quickly and leaves your skin feeling soft and nourished. Even though this is labeled as a night cream, you could use it during the day because of how light weight it is.

The scent is nice too; very light and barely there.

I have been using this moisturizing off and on and really enjoy it! I love the pump top applicator too!!



Block Island Organics
SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen
 




Block Island Organics SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Info & Review
Cost: $19.99 (3.4 oz full size)
Availability: Available on the Block Island Organics website.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses

PRODUCT DETAILS...

An ultra lightweight, non-nano and instantly absorbing natural mineral sunscreen great for babies, kids and adults. A small amount goes a long way.

Organic and natural ingredients - zinc only (safest and best UV filter). SPF 30 and broad spectrum protection decreases the risk of skin cancer and aging. Ultra lightweight and non-greasy formula, can be worn under makeup.

Gluten and nano free, vegan formula, eco-friendly (no ingredients shown to harm reefs). Plus, no parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes or artificial fragrance.


MY REVIEW...

Aside from the fact that everyone should use sunscreen, for me it's extra important because I have tattoos on my arms and legs that I want to protect from sun exposure. SPF 30 isn't super intense for that (I prefer SPF 50 or higher to protect my tattoos) but this is a great everyday sunscreen!

What's best about this sunscreen is you won't find it filled with chemicals! Plus, you can use it on your face in addition to your body. I find myself using this whenever I go to the dog park (which is nearly every day) or just to take long walks with my dog. I still prefer SPF 50 or higher specifically for my tattoos if I'm going to be out in the sun all day - such as at an amusement park or the beach (neither of which I have gone to yet this summer).

I love that this is a natural sunscreen option because a lot of sunscreens on the market are filled with junk that you don't need to be putting on your body, and especially not your face!

It's non-greasy, spreads and absorbs easily, and the scent isn't intense or gross.

I use this on my 10 year old son and he does not get burned, and believe me, he is out in the sun more then I am! This is a great sunscreen!

If you've been looking for a natural sunscreen, then look no further!


Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this product? Have you tried this, or would you consider adding this to your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below!

xoxo with love & beauty,
Crystal Valentine


Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. However, these products were sent to me for consideration. I am not being paid to make this post, nor has the company influenced me in any way. I have made this post because I wanted to, not because I had to. These are my honest opinions, thoughts and experiences.

July 27, 2015

Grace & Stella Co. Luxurious Foot Peeling Mask (warning: peeling feet pics!)

Hello, Beautiful!

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! If you are grossed out by feet, especially peeling skin from feet, then you may want to exit this post and move on to something happier (like puppies playing with babies). But if you can stomach a few foot pics, this post is totally worth your time and attention.

Also, I have a sweet 60% off coupon for you guys! Just follow this link: graceandstella.com/60-off-special-offer

Grace & Stella Co.
Luxurious Foot Peeling Mask

This is the Grace & Stella Co. Luxurious Foot Peeling Mask, which comes in this sealed packet:

All your instructions and precautions are on the back of the packet:

Inside you'll find your plastic booties, filled with a goo... gooties, as I call them.


They are connected together in the center. I used scissors to cut them. There are also adhesive tabs, but I found them pretty useless, to be honest.


 Since I found the adhesive tabs to be useless, I ended up taking packing tape and wrapping around my ankles to keep them on. They are a one-size-fits-all style, and I wear a size 9, so I'm pretty confident these will fit nearly all foot sizes (the smaller the foot, the more bootie baggage you'll have).

Even though you're not supposed to walk around, I still needed to get from my beauty room (where I photograph all my blog pictures) to my bedroom (where my netflix lives), so I threw on regular socks over top. In fact, I believe they recommend adding your own socks on top (it creates extra warmth to help the goo inside the booties absorb). Sorry for the mis-matched socks.. I just reached in my sock drawer (which hasn't been organized in months) and these are the two I pulled out. Not like I was making a fashion statement or headed out the door in these.

The next step, prop your feet up for an hour.


During the hour these were on my feet I went through a few instances were I noticed an increased warming sensation - but it was never anything that burned or irritated my feet. There were also some tingling sensations felt. It all was very strange, but oddly enough enjoyed it. 

They say not to walk around for your safety - and depending on your flooring and if you chose to put socks on over top, I can see where safety could be an issue. The goo inside makes it pretty difficult to walk around without feeling like you are sliding. But it's not like it's impossible to walk in them. I even got up to use the bathroom at one point in these. It just feels weird and obviously don't run like an idiot on freshly mopped hardwood floors. 

After an hour, you are to remove (and dispose of) the plastic booties filled with goo and then rinse your feet off. Simple enough.

After rinsing them there is no change in the way your feet look. This foot peeling mask takes a few days before you start seeing results.... but boy oh boy will you see results. It can take a week before you notice anything.

A few days passes, I think it was three days in my circumstance, I kind of had forgotten about the foot mask. I woke up that morning, and without ever looking at my feet, threw on my sneakers and headed to the dog park with my dog for an early morning walk. About an hour and a half later I came home and sat down, took off my shoes and screamed out loud. Not even kidding; I really did scream out loud when I saw my feet, because for a brief second my brain did not register that the foot peeling mask had begun working and instead sent thoughts that somehow my foot had been hacked up by some disease or something. Yeah. Totally dramatic but that was my reaction. After maybe 2 seconds I calmed down when I realized, oh, the foot peeling mask has begun... and I say begun because for a week after it was non-stop skin peeling for me.

As you will see in the photos below, these were taken the first day I noticed that my skin was peeling.


I know. Crazy right? Here's a few more pics...





Assuming you are now either totally grossed out, or completely fascinated, rest assured there are no more photos in the rest of this post. Simply for the fact I didn't take after photos because stupid me forgot to take a before photo.

HOWEVER, even without before and after photos - which would simply show a before, must-in-need of a pedicure foot with dry skin, to an after photo with a perfectly smoothed foot - I think the most IMPORTANT part of this post is to who the peeling process.

THIS WORKS. Simple as that. My feet were very smooth and healthy looking by the end of it all. And they have remained that way for over a month now with no additional care (not counting applying lotion to them, but I did not apply any foot creams or use my Emjoi Micro-Pedi for over a month. I wanted to see if this mask would give lasting results, and it did.

Real quick, I want to point something out that I didn't really think about:

PLAN AHEAD!!!

Not only should you reserve a solid hour to just sit back and let this mask work, but more importantly, you need to think about the following two weeks after you do the mask, and possibly even slightly longer. You don't know exactly when this mask will start peeling your feet. It could be three days (like in my case) or five to seven days later (like in many cases that I have read). Once they start peeling, the peeling process lasts at least a week. It's not as intense the whole time, but your feet will look not-so-pretty for awhile.

It's summer here when I did this, and that means flip flop season. I couldn't wear open-toe, open-back, or flip flop type shoes for awhile. I mean, I could, but I looked like something was wrong with me. I still went out in sandals a few times because some days it was just too hot to care.

Also, do not peel the skin yourself. You have to let it naturally fall off. That's very important because if you peel the skin yourself you could actually hurt yourself or even damage your skin. Trust me, it will come off on its own one way or another.


If after reading all that, you want to try this mask, then check out the info below. I have a coupon code too (since they were nice enough to send me one of these masks to try out).



Grace & Stella Co. Info & Review
Cost: $24.95 regular price - but CLICK HERE to get 60% off!!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses!!!!



Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this foot peeling mask? Have you tried this, or would you consider adding this to your beauty wish list? Discuss in the comments below!

xoxo with love & beauty,
Crystal Valentine


Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. However, these products were sent to me for consideration. I am not being paid to make this post, nor has the company influenced me in any way. I have made this post because I wanted to, not because I had to. These are my honest opinions, thoughts and experiences.