Review: Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial

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Korres was one of the first non-Philosophy skin care lines and I’ve always enjoyed their products. I was pretty disappointed about my lack of enthusiasm for their greek yoghurt nigh cream, but thought this Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial sounded very different. Also is it just me or is Rose showing up everywhere these days?

I tried a 10mL sample for several days. The first time I used it I had a weird cognitive dissonance because to me it smells like smarties — those tiny chalky circle treats that came around every Valentines Day. So putting on a light creamy night face treatment when my brain was telling me “time for sweets!” was quite odd. But after a couple of days I got over it and was able to enjoy the process more rather than be weirded out by it.

This product is somewhere between a cream and a souffle texture. Its light, but not so airy that I would call it whipped. It definitely felt great going on my skin, and upon waking up each and every morning it had absorbed in fully. My skin didnt feel particularly extra vibrant or anything, but I didnt break out or have any adverse reaction and I didn’t feel like my skin needed an extra oomph. Overall I think it did a pretty decent job! Full price its $48 for 1.35 ounces, so I’d say I am teetering on the thought of re-purchasing. It’s certainly less expensive than the Sunday Riley option, and while it wasnt quite as magical as the Sunday Riley routine I do definitely like how my skin feels when I wake up.

I’ll test out some other products before deciding to buy a full size of this or not, but it’s definitely in the running! I would guess that with continued use my skin would feel brighter as that’s what happened with the Origins products.

 

Night moisturizer rankings:
1. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil
2. Korress Wild Rose Advance Brightening Sleeping Facial
3. Origins Night-A-Mins Renewal (oil and/or cream)
4. Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial
5. Caudalie Vinoperfect Overnight Renewal Cream

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Review: Caudalie Vinoperfect Overnight Renewal Cream

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I received a deluxe sample (10 mL) of Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Overnight Renewal Cream so was able to use it for several days in a row since my Origins regimen has run out.

I’m not sure why this line is called Vinoperfect, it smells more like roses than grapes to me! It comes out quite thick; you really don’t need to use much, which I appreciate for values sake. 40 mL of this stuff costs $59 at Sephora, so not having to use a ton makes up for the price. But again, it is quite thick! And I found this noticeable on my skin. For an overnight cream I figure this is acceptable as maybe it’s designed to slowly sink in overnight.

When I woke up there was not a layer of this cream on my skin, so it did appear to soak in, phew! But I found my skin felt more oily than normal, and I did happen to breakout while using this over the course of a week. I usually get ~1-2 breakouts per month, so this could’ve been by chance, but I can’t help but think that this thick formula may have contributed.

My skin definitely felt moist and plump, but I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone who has oily skin. At $59 for 40mL I don’t think I’ll be purchasing this. If it goes on sale I would definitely consider it! But as is I feel like I can get something more affordable that I like more.

Night moisturizer rankings:
1. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil
2. Origins Night-A-Mins Renewal (oil and/or cream)
3. Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial
4. Caudalie Vinoperfect Overnight Renewal Cream

Meal-proof lipstick search: Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolor

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After my great success with Tarte I’m a little weary to try anything else honestly! But I took Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolor in Mauve Muse for a spin. This color seems like the perfect mix of a bright fun berry pink and a mauve nude, so it feels nice and pink but not an in your face pink.

It applied pretty easily, although I think this formula is meant to be slightly sheer. I couldn’t build it up to the opacity of Tarte or Stila, but I think that’s how its supposed to be! Like other formulas I’ve tried this is a 2-part. The instructions say to apply it, wait at least 60 seconds without touching lips, then apply the moisturizing top coat. I found it pretty hard not to smack my lips together after application! It’s a weird and satisfying habit. I applied two coats of the color, waiting a minute in between, then waited a few minutes to apply the top coat. The color never really fully dried, it always had a bit of a tackiness to it. The topcoat felt wonderful though and didnt appear to remove any color whatsoever. The wear/feel of this lipcolor is a 7/10. I wish the formula was more buildable and less tacky, but overall I’m pleased.

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I went out on a best friend date to a wonderful local southern food restaurant followed by a dessert bar. I ordered a pork grilled cheese with a mac and cheese side and had some sangria from a wine glass and water through a straw. I could literally feel it coming off of my lips as I ate my sandwich. My sandwich was on some dark and delicious pumpernickel bread so I couldnt see my lipcolor coming off with every bite, but I knew it was happening. I used the restroom and checked; lo and behold my lips were effectively bare. There were a few remaining awkward chunks that I easily wiped away, and off I went to a dessert bar with no lip color in sight.  I returned from my best friend date completely full of amazing food, drink, and love, but completely lacking in lip color. That is just what my lips look like.

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I was almost so disappointed I was shocked. This lipcolor has decent reviews on the Ulta website! So I decided to give it another go. Maybe a pork grilled cheese wasn’t fair. Although I really think any food should be fair game, it’s certainly one of the toughest levels of difficulty. So the next day I tried again.

The below pictures are far less flattering as I am only wearing the lipcolor and mascara. I typically don’t actually wear much makeup even though I love it. My partner and I decided to do some walking then some errands and we ended up at the mall foodcourt for lunch. Here I got some fries, a drink through a straw, and chicken nuggets. I liberally applied the moisturizing top coat right before eating and found results to be pretty great!

You can see some color missing on my bottom lip toward my right corner (the left of this picture), and certainly the edges of the formula are drying out a bit, but it still felt comfortable on my lips and generally looked okay! After a few hours at home we went to the Outback for dinner. I did not touch up the lipcolor. I did again reapply the moisturizing top coat. Here I had a drink through a straw, mashed potatoes, and a steak.

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Again, you can see some dryness/feathering on the edge, and the corners on my bottom lip are wearing, but overall a relative success! The bits on the edges were starting to form annoying dry clumps of what was once loved lipcolor, and I hate the way that feels. If we only consider these two meals and forget about my best friend date pork grilled cheese I’d actually give this a meal-proof score of 6/10. The minimum amount to pass, but nothing to call home and brag about.

Based on this result I think I need to go back and try the Stila Stay All Day formula again. It only got tested on a chicken biscuit and it seems no lip color may live up to a large sandwich.

On to try the next product! Although I am definitely going to keep this in my rotation.

Rankings:
1. Tarte’s Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint; meal-proof 7/10, feel 8/10, I would buy this again
2. Covergirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolor; meal-proof 6/10, feel 7/10, I would consider buying this again on sale
3. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick; meal-proof 2/10, feel 9/10, I would consider buying this again just because the formula feels amazing
4. L’Oréal Infallible 2-Step Lip Color, meal-proof 2/10, feel 7/10, I might buy this again if it was on sale but probably not
5. Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color; meal-proof 1/10, feel 3/10, I don’t think I would buy this again even if it was on sale

The “self-made man” is a myth

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I recently finished listening to the audiobook “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. This was my second Gladwell book and I really enjoy his style. If you enjoy statistics or learning about extraordinary people this is a great read.

The book explains why in some sports a majority of players are born in certain months, that at universities younger students are underrepresented, and that cultural differences are a massive factor in rational decision making and communication.

How did The Beatles get so huge? How did Bill Gates become… well Bill Gates? Many people we consider extraordinary individuals were presented with opportunities that enabled them to become who we know them to be. Bill Gates would not be Bill Gates if he was not born roughly when he was and if his school didn’t have amazing access to advanced technology.

Gladwell also talks about how even given the greatest opportunity we must work diligently. That there are no world class violinists who can get by with practicing just an hour a day. That Bill Gates worked late into the night so many nights learning to code. That he wasn’t just born at the right time and presented with an opportunity, he worked relentlessly hard.

The American Dream is a lovely tale — that if you work hard enough you can achieve anything you want. But the truth may be that you need some opportunities thrown your way. Then apply the concept of the American Dream, sure. But along the way you had help from various sources, and so there really is no self-made man.

While Gladwell’s book I’m sure entirely oversimplifies extremely complex social phenomena, I love thinking about statistics and science in this manner. In real world examples. I found the book easy and fun to read as well as informing. I would definitely recommend this if you’re a bit of a nerd.

Meal-proof lipstick search: Tarte’s Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint

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I am a big fan of purple. I have been since I was 8; this is the age I declared purple would replace rainbow as my favorite color. I went to the University of Washington for undergrad, so the purple obsession has persisted. And finally my hair has been either part purple or full on purple several times now. So a purple lip — yes please!

Thus, I bought and tested out Tarte’s Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in “Yaassss”. I did also buy the matching lip liner (“on fleek”) rather than using a Lip Liner To Go from Sephora. But the rest of my routine remained the same; prep lips with Ozone, line, and apply.

I applied 1 layer and thought maybe that was all I needed! This comes out so creamy and opaque from the tube, it’s kind of a dream come true. I did end up applying a second layer just in case, but definitely did not need three. It applied very easily and dried pretty quickly. I didn’t find it to be sticky and my lips actually felt pretty comfortable! I thought something this opaque for sure would dry me out, but it was actually a very enjoyable wear. Feel/wear is a 8/10 I’d say. Slightly less cushy/soft than the Stila lip paint I tried. But overall definitely not bothersome! You can see how rich this light purple color comes across both in yellow and bright white lighting.

My lips and I went to a bar for drinks and some french fries, then off to a minor league baseball game that included bottled water and a chicken tenders + fries dinner, then off to a local hard cider producer for another drink. Again, probably not as tough as a chicken biscuit but there was definitely some grease/oil involved in my food choices. At the pre-ballgame drinks my heart immediately sank. I was so in love with this color but there it was right on my straw! Was this bound to be another poor score? Is there even a lip color that can last a meal in existence?!?

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But I tried not to think about it (or reapply!) as the night went on. And when I got home I was pleasantly surprised!
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You can definitely see some wear, more on the top lip than the bottom. There are also some little chunks/flakes along my bottom lip. While the close up is far from perfect the picture of my entire face definitely still leaves the impression of pretty nice purple lips! It’s not as ever or opaque as in the “before” pictures, but it did largely stay on enough (and the parts that flaked off did so in a manner where it wasn’t patchy) to leave a lasting impression. I will give this a meal-proof score of 7/10. Not perfect but totally acceptable!

This is what I would consider the first acceptable lip color for a meal that I’ve tried so far. I would definitely recommend Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint by Tarte. It’s vegan, comes in a lot of lovely shades, and can last through several drinks and fries!

Current Rankings (note: number 1 is by a HUGE margin):
1. Tarte’s Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint
2. Stila Stay All Day 
3. L’Oréal Infallible 2-Step Lip Color
4. Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lip Color

Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding review

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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.

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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”

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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.