Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding review

Standard

In my July Play by Sephora subscription box I received a deluxe sample of the Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment. I have used it 3 times now. IMG_8371[1]

It’s a really fund mask as you can see its striped black and white. You are instructed to blend the two layers into an opaque grey layer all over the face.

I wish it looked as gorgeous on the inside as on the outside. This was when I first opened it; not after I had already scooped any out.

img_83721.jpg

Each time I’ve applied it with my fingers and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then I wash it off and wash my face as per usual. It definitely does visibly help with impurities. I had some dark spots on my face I thought were potentially precursors to blackheads, and after the max they were all either completely gone or significantly lighter.

It did not give my skin that tight new feeling that I get with the GlamGlow mask. I also felt like my skin didnt look particularly different except those possibly baby blackhead spots.

Sadly every time Ive used this one patch of my skin is visibly irritated the next morning. The first two times I chalked this up to coincidence — maybe I slept on that part of my face funny. But 3 times in a row seems pretty hard to ignore. Oddly its always patchy; its never my whole face that is red and irritated. And each time the irritation is pretty mild, no flaking skin thankfully. So a good moisturizer for a couple days does the trick to restore my skin to its former self. I will finish out my sample of this product but I do not intend to repurchase.

So far my ranking for charcoal masks is:
1. Glamglow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment
2. Origin’s Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores
3. Boscia’s Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment

Books I’ve been “reading”

Standard

I have recently hopped on the audiobook bandwagon. I have a ~15-20 minute commute to work each day, and have decided to make use of this time by listening to audiobooks instead of just whatever garbage (or sometimes total bangers) is on the radio. If you are part of a university system chances are decent you can rent audiobooks for free through their library. This may also apply if you’re an alumni. Your local library likely also has audiobooks for free! Generally selection is always a bit limited, but you might be surprised! Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been doing with my commute. Note these won’t be a synopsis (since you can find that basically anywhere else), rather my general thoughts (mostly spoiler free).

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
I went to the University of Washington and am somewhat obsessive about UW Football, so it wasn’t a long shot for me to get into this book. That being said this takes place largely in the 1930s, so it was definitely a different time. Still I reminisced hearing familiar things, although the narrator mispronounced Suzzallo library every time and it drove me insane. While this was overall about the 1936 Olympic team is spent a lot of time in the years prior particularly detailing the life of Joe Rantz. He had a rough childhood (so far as to be pretty much kicked out at age 10), yet somehow managed to blossom into this powerful individual. The tension between the various squads (freshman, JV, and varsity) was very compelling. I was once a competitive athlete so the writing felt extremely real. I connected pretty easily. As a UW student you kind of take for granted that we are *the best* at rowing. We used to joke around that a bad season was when we didnt win the national title. I’m serious. That being said I never took the time to learn about it. Sure I watched a few races while I was there, but this book shed so much light on the physical demands and mental toll of this sport. I have so much more respect for rowing overall, particularly at UW and UC Berkeley. At the end of the book the author also visited what the men did with the rest of their lives, and sadly when they died. They were college aged in the 1930s so most of them lived long lives, but I found it profoundly sad to hear about all of their deaths. I don’t think these words would have touched me in such a way if the book wasn’t compelling. This was a very fun and easy read and I’m glad to have read it. This in fact was made into a PBS documentary called The Boys of ’36 that is sometimes available on Netflix. I did watch and enjoy this, but having the full information from the book before watching I think enhanced my viewing. If you like sports and/or historical biographies this is a great read for you!

The Circle by Dave Eggers
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was one of the first books I read that I *really* enjoyed, so I was excited to see Eggers’ take on Facebook/google (whatever silicon valley tech company you want to equate it to). The first half was pretty dang dry. Its setting up the brainwashing of the main character about what privacy means and really orienting her into her new role at The Circle. So yeah this was a slog. It was interesting enough; I never felt myself wanting to change it or falling asleep, but I wouldn’t call it particularly engaging. However I do think it was necessary to really be in the headspace of the main character. The second part of the book ramps up speed and you can feel the danger. Some of the big reveals were a bit obvious. There’s an aquarium metaphor that really hits you over the head with what Eggers is trying to get at; there’s also a character reveal that felt extremely obvious to me. That being said the ending I thought was PERFECT, and made up for every other time I was annoyed. But generally I think this book is extremely timely. While sometimes overt, the issues explored here are super relevant and important for our society moving forward. As we continue to go digital what if we could prevent online bullying? What if you had to be a real person with a social security number (or whatever the national equivalent is) in order to have an online profile? No more anonymous comments? What if your bank was connected to your social networks? If everything was just wrapped up into one platform for the one you. If we are totally integrated into one profile how far can we take that? Could you vote online? Should we have to vote in order to continue to access things like Facebook?
By the way I read this before the movie came out. While I really like Emma Watson and Tom Hanks and John Boyega the movie was actually very different from the book. This makes sense because as I was reading the book I was thinking “This isn’t very cinematic… how will this be a movie?” It turns out they (including Eggers) took quite a lot of liberties with the plot to make it more traditionally cinematic. The movie was a big disappointment to me; if you felt that way I still think its worth reading the book! It is a much better story in my opinion, particularly the ending.

 

Meal-proof lipstick search: L’Oréal Infallible 2-Step Lip Color

Standard

The hunt continues for a lip color I can eat a meal with and look dignified after! I most recently tested L’Oréal’s Infallible 2-Step Lip Color in Passionate Petal. This color reminds me of a darker bubblegum pink, and costs $12.99 at Ulta. Like the Revlon lip color I tried this is a two-sided product. First is the lip color, then comes the “color lock balm”. The product  claims up to 24 hours of lip color that lasts with no compromise. Obviously 24 hours is a bit insane; all I want is a single meal!

I applied lip primer and lip liner as I did before (although a pink liner this time!) then applied 3 coats of the lip color. I do like this color and formula, but it had a certain sheen/glossiness to it that made it to where I don’t think it was ever going to be 100% opaque. So I stopped at 3 coats, waited 5 minutes, then applied the color lock balm. Unlike the Revlon gloss side this balm was awesome! It went on smooth and after the application of the balm the wear felt great. No lip color transferred on to the balm. My lips were soft and comfortable, and any time they started to feel dry I just applied more balm. So far things were looking up! Wear/feel score for this lip color is a 7/10. Not as heavenly comfortable as the Stila product, but I was seriously impressed for this bargain price. I did like the way it looked on me; I get nervous about pinks since I have some prominent many pink undertones in my skin. Note I’m not wearing any makeup here except the lip color.

loreal 1.jpg

I didn’t have any plans to go out soon but wanted to test this lip color ASAP, so I just applied it and wore it around the house while doing chores. Then came dinner. I made chicken fettuccine alfredo and ate that with a glass of water. Again, I don’t think alfredo is as challenging as a chicken biscuit (did I give Stila a fair chance?!), but its certainly not a delicate food. Sadly after my meal my once glorious lip color had faded to a chunky mess. A significant portion came off the right half off my top lip, and I was left with the middle portion of my bottom lip mostly covered but the meal had certainly eaten away lip color on my bottom lip towards the top and bottom of my lip line.

Interestingly what lip color was left was *extremely* difficult to take off! Maybe there is an application technique I need to perfect to make this work? While this was a definite fail, with a meal-proof score of 2/10, I may try this one again and pay more attention to how I applied it in the areas it came off in.

Do you have any tips/tricks for application to increase the likelihood of making it through a meal?

Rankings so far (note: the high meal-proof score is only 2/10, so we have a long way to go!)
1. Stila Stay All Day
2. L’Oréal Infallible 2-Step Lip Color
3. Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color

Meal-proof lipstick search: Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color

Standard

My second attempt at a meal-proof lipstick was using Revlon’s ColorStay Overtime Lip Color in Forever Scarlet. Another very true red. Who doesn’t yearn for the perfect red lipstick?

This lip color runs about $11, compared to the $22 for Stila’s Stay All Day liquid lipstick that’s a huge steal! It comes with both lip color and gloss and claims up to 16 hours of comfortable wear without any feathering, bleeding, or touch-ups needed. I applied the same primer and lip liner as before, and followed it up with 3 coats of the lip color. This time I really do think 3 coats were necessary. This gloss really is glossy so in order to achieve opaque color multiple layers are required.

Applying it was easy enough but as it started to try I felt like it was getting a bit clumpy. It also stayed rather sticky throughout the wear, and my lips felt dry. Application of the gloss helped with the dry feeling but seemed to only exacerbate the clumps.While I do like the gloss part of this the gloss clearly also takes off some color, as my gloss wand is now red instead of white. Wear/feel for this Revlon lip color is only a 3/10 I’d say. It wasn’t miserable, but especially compared to the comfortable wear of the Stila lipstick I wasn’t very happy. This color was less impactful than the Stila’s, but I still like how it looked on (maybe just not as much).

revlon1.jpg

I went out with friends to grab dinner and drinks at a local Bar Louie. We split appetizers of chips and dip and calamari, a pitcher of sangria, and I had a chicken quesadilla. This meal certainly was not as intense as chicken biscuit, but I was still drinking out of a wine glass and eating a quesadilla without using a fork. After the meal was done and I arrived home I saw some lip color left but also some definite patches. Particularly on my bottom lip a lot had flaked off and part were visibly looking chunky.

revlon 2

While more color overall did stay on than my first attempt with Stila, I preferred how the Stila came off evenly as opposed to this chunky mess. I would not be happy if I was working and grabbed lunch to return with lips like this. Meal-proof score: 1/10.

For now my rankings are:
1. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
2. Revlon ColorStay Overtime

I’m excited to try out other formulas and hopefully land on better results! On to the next lipstick + meal adventure.

Do you think this $11 lipstick is a better buy than the $22 Stila one?

Meal-proof lipstick search: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick review

Standard

I love lipstick. There’s something about wearing it that makes me feel powerful. However, I don’t love planning my entire day around lipstick. Only eating tiny bites of foods via a fork and only sipping through a straw. No one has time for this! I want to go about my day as usual while also wearing lipstick without the hassle of constant reapplication. Thus, I am going to test a bunch of lipsticks I already own plus buy some others that promise long wear to see how they do. Now I know most or all of these lipsticks will look amazing if you’re careful about it and touch it up. I’m looking for a lipstick that can stand up to my life that I don’t have to worry about touching up.

First up is Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery. This is a beautiful true red that is not too orange and not too purple. I applied Ultimate Ozone primer to my lips, lip liner, then finally 3 coats of the Stila Stay All Day, waiting a couple minutes to let each coat dry. 3 coats is probably a little overkill but I like my lipstick to be very opaque.

stila1

I love this shade of red and this lipstick actually dried pretty well. It wasnt cracking or flaky, my lips didnt feel thirsty, but it also wasn’t sticky. The feel of this liquid lipstick is a 9/10.

My partner and I took a lovely stroll around the UNC Chapel Hill campus for about 2.5 hours, then we decided it was lunch time. We went to the legendary Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen (seriously it’s been featured on Food Network). I got a regular, plain, but spectacular chicken biscuit. Now I know this isn’t really fair to the lipstick! This thing is huge and my lips have to touch it to eat it. Its also a chicken biscuit so obviously some grease is involved. But that is precisely the point! I want to see what, if any, lipstick can really live up to eating a meal without being delicate about it.

I enjoyed my chicken biscuit; it is easily the best one I’ve ever eaten. Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is a magical place. But alas while eating I noticed I was eating a lot of lipstick. After every bite there was clearly lipstick on my biscuit. By the time I was done and had smacked my lips together a few times to try to even out what lipstick was left this was the result:

stila2This is… pretty dramatically different from where I started. There was a bit left giving just a hint of red, my lips definitely aren’t normally that colored. But largely this was a fail. Again, a chicken biscuit might be the toughest test but this lipstick did not stand a chance. Meal-proof score: 2/10.

While I love the color impact and feel of this liquid lipstick, it barely left remnants of itself after a meal. I’ll probably keep wearing this for drinks, but not for meals. Or at the very least I will be ready to re-apply throughout the day!

On to the next hope for a meal-proof lipstick.

Review: charcoal masks

Standard

I try to use a face mask 1 to 2 times a week. I love the ease of sheet masks, but have recently ventured into charcoal based masks.

Glamglow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment is pretty amazing. Apply it once to twice a week for 20 minutes while I’m relaxing (usually taking a bath), and my pores are smaller, my t-zone is less oily and I usually have less breakouts. My skin feels tighter and is visually more glowing–as if my dull outer layer of skin is gone and the mask has revealed new baby fresh skin. I love this mask. But $69 for 1.7 ounces is pretty rough. And being a product junkie I am always looking for a new favorite to dethrone the old.

I tried a sample of Origin’s Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores. While it was on it felt eerily similar to the Glamglow mask. I eagerly awaited results. This mask is only $27 for 3.4 ounces! Economically much more of a steal. But much to my chagrin the results just weren’t the same. My skin did have that satisfying tightening feeling, but otherwise the results were lackluster in comparison. My t-zone remained the same and my skin didnt have that nice new skin glow.

On to the next product!

Rothy’s shoes review: 1 week in review

Standard

After my mishap of ordering the Rothy’s round toe ballet flat a size too small, I received my exchange and I’ve had these now for about a week. Where I’ve worn them:

  • Out to dinner and drinks (2 times)
  • To walk around the mall (1 time)
  • To work (2 times)
  • Out to run various errands (grocery store, pet store, etc) (2 times)

I remain extremely pleased with my purchase. I haven’t had any red spots or evidence of rubbing anywhere! Most important not the heel or top of my foot/big toe. The first time I wore them out I did have some slight pressure on my big toe, but I trimmed my toenail and that solved the problem. They haven’t gotten dirty enough to need to be washed yet, but generally this is now my go-to flat. I haven’t worn any of my other flats since I purchased the correct size in Rothy’s. I’ve even chosen them over flip flops once for style since the comfort is about the same.

If you’re interested in getting a pair of Rothy’s you can use my referral code through August 16th, 2017 for $20 off.