Juice Beauty's Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream makes a nice lightweight base. It offers minimal coverage, but has a pretty, glowy finish. Natural Glow, the lightest shade, was a great color match for me too. The scent is the one negative of this product, although by midway through the tube, I was mostly used to it. The CC Cream smells strongly like petitgrain, which if you aren't familiar with it, has quite a grassy/herbal scent.
I didn't notice any skincare benefits or reduced dark circles from Alba Botanica's Fast Fix for Undereye Circles, but it works pretty well as a yellow-toned color corrector. It's a little sheer, so most often I used it layered under another concealer. Alima Pure's Luminous Shimmer Blushes are a fantastic formula and Guava, since discontinued, was a beautiful shimmery peach. I wish it was still available -- it was a great natural, easy-to-wear color!
Zuzu Luxe Onyx Mascara is a longtime favorite of mine -- I've probably used 15 or 20 tubes of it over the years! It doesn't give the most dramatic lashes, but it's great for a natural look and doesn't smudge or flake at all. I've even made it through a few snowstorms with intact lashes with this guy! The Ashley Morgan Cosmetics Black Mascara (now Purely Lulu) was a new discovery for me and a great one! It's very black and creates beautiful, fluttery lashes. Both mascaras are also good for sensitive eyes.
Zuzu Luxe's Russet Eyebrow Pencil was, I believe, my very first brow purchase. I found the color slightly too warm-toned with my natural hair color, but since henna-ing my hair the last couple months, that warmth became a positive. Color aside, Zuzu's brow pencils have a good, solid formula that goes on nicely and lasts the entire day without budging.
I still have a ridiculous number of eye shadow samples, but at least I finished off a few more! Silk Naturals Nekkid Eye Shadow, a supposed dupe for MAC Naked Lunch, is a shimmery pink/pale rose gold. It's a great all-over the lid shade. Cheeky Cosmetics Espresso Eye Shadow, a rich and pigmented matte dark brown, was another hit and fantastic as a powder eyeliner. Lucy Minerals' Creamy White Eye Shadow is a powder, but one with a super creamy feel, similar to the company's foundation, and I liked it a lot as a brow bone highlight. I used up samples of Silk Naturals' Beach Bunny and Malibu Miss, both technically bronzers, as eye shadows too. Both are mid-toned warm/yellow browns -- one shimmery, one matte -- which are exactly the kinds of colors I wear in the crease most days, and the sheerer bronzer formula made blending super easy. Since I'm not much of a bronzer wearer, I was happy to move the samples out this way instead.
I hear so many people say that they never get through lip balm, but that's clearly not an issue for me! Rachel's Plan Bee's Lip Balm completely saved my lips last winter when nothing else was working and I'll always have a soft spot for it for that alone! I prefer the Peppermint to this one, the Natural Flavor, but both are fantastically nourishing and buttery. I also really enjoyed the Duckish Grapefruit Lip Balm. It has a slightly heavier formula -- although not uncomfortably so -- and makes the perfect protective lip cover for braving the cold. This is what I've been wearing for late night winter dog walks where the temperature is regularly around -10°C. The Savannah Bee Co. Wild Blackberry Beeswax & Propolis Lip Balm was also great. Less of a heavy hitter than the first two, but it still worked well and the blackberry scent is fantastic -- sweet and fruity without smelling fake or cloying. Compared to the other three, the Sierra Bees Organic Unflavored Lip Balm was a little unimpressive. Sierra Bees is one of iHerb's own brands and the lip balms are both certified organic and super inexpensive. I have nothing bad to say about them -- they're good balms and the price alone (currently $2.95 for an 8-pack!) always has me tempted to throw a pack into my cart, but I realize there are other balms -- like the other three here -- that I like more.
Priti NYC's Soy Nail Polish Remover is my gold standard for nail polish remover. It removes polish well, doesn't dry out nails or cuticles, and it has absolutely no nasty polish remover smell. I have mixed feelings about the Suncoat Nail Polish Remover Gel, a gel that you're supposed to spread onto the nails and let sit for 2 minutes before wiping off. By itself, you need to reapply many times to fully remove polish -- really not worth the time or effort -- however as the first step in removing tricky glitter polishes, I did like it. I'd leave the gel on for closer to 5 minutes and then remove it and go back in with a regular liquid remover like the Priti NYC. I'd never recommend the Gel Remover on its own, but it definitely helpful in breaking down difficult glitter polishes. I loved the Pacifica Gloss Top & Base Coat at first, but it was ultimately disappointing. You can't really tell in the photo, but the bottle is only about halfway done and it doesn't work at all anymore. The polish is gloopy and has started to dry on the nails with bubbles and divets. I'm kind of bummed to chuck it, but it's basically unusable at this point and just ruins otherwise good manicures/pedicures.
And that's a wrap! I'm so happy to finally get rid of all this beauty trash!
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