Life is full of disappointment, so I count myself pretty lucky when the biggest disappointment of the moment is a beauty product not working out. That being said, it still sucks, so if I can help you avoid the same fate, well, I’m happy to do it. Of course, the things that don’t work out for me might be the perfect product for you, so take your own preferences and experiences into account when reading this post. I like to keep all of my reviews balanced by mentioning both the pros and cons of the products I’m discussing, but today we’re getting extra sassy. Just a bit of good fun, no harm or offense intended, so please don’t take it personally if you happen to love (or made!) any of the products I’m talking about today. Now, let’s unleash the sass fairy…
Blah, blah, year flying by, blah, blah. Look ma, I’m a beauty blogger! I just finished writing a post on products that disappointed me and I think I forgot to put the sass fairy back in her cage. Hold on, be right back.
Ok, now where were we? Right, May favorites. I haven’t been doing favorites posts every month, so I do have quite a bit to get to today. Some of these are new products, but most are just new to me. Regardless, all of these are top shelf products that I’m excited to chat about. Grab a snack, settle in, and let’s get to it!
Disclosure: Erborian Glow Creme was sent to me as a PR sample, but I’ve not been asked to include it in this post, nor have I been compensated to talk about it. All of the other products in this post were purchased by me with my own money. This post does not contain affiliate links.
There’s no denying that glowy skin is trending right now, and with good reason. It gives such a healthy, youthful appearance that it’s hard to resist adding some luminosity to the skin. The market is booming with products to help you achieve that glow, from highlighters to primers to luminous foundations, but how do you know which one is right for you? Today, I’m bringing you a review of the Erborian Glow Creme, an iridescent makeup priming lotion that might be just what you’re looking for, along with a comparison to some other popular options.
It’s been a few months since my last favorites post, but they’re some of my favorite posts to write. I’ve got some great products to share with you today that I’ve really been loving (including some non-beauty favorites!). Hopefully you’ll love them too!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
C’mon, we all saw this one coming, right? I’ve said several times that the Anastasia shadows are my favorite formula, and if you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know that I’m completely addicted to orange/red/bronze tones. This is a perfect everyday palette for me, I haven’t even touched anything else since I got this (with the exception of dipping into my MAC single in Blanc Type, which is what I pretty much always use on my brow bone). I foresee this being a favorite for a very long time.
The reason I love it, beyond the versatility of the color selection (don’t be intimidated by the orange and red tones, you can work them in in a way that still keeps a mostly neutral look, if that’s your jam), is because the eyeshadows are so freaking pigmented, yet blendable and buildable. I know a lot of people complain that the formula kicks up too much, and it does kick up a lot, so be careful not to use too much pressure when you dip your brush in and to lightly tap off the excess. Personally, I don’t mind the kick up because in my experience shadows that do that tend to blend better, and because I don’t get much fallout from most Anastasia shadows. They probably wouldn’t be the best shadows for a beginner because they do take a little bit of skill to work with. For a beginner, I would recommend something like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette because the shadows practically blend themselves out (they actually blend too much for my liking, to the point where I feel like they’re not intense enough, but that’s personal preference, and not a problem that most beginners are likely to have).
Verb Ghost Oil
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Enigma
Cosmo Monster Aqua Gel Sunscreen
Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Magic Wand Makeup Remover Swabs
Stok Cold Brewed Coffee Shots
These little pods of joy are a life saver. Not literally. Well, maybe a little bit literal if you’ve ever seen me after I’ve been drinking crappy hotel coffee for a few days. Have you ever wished you could amp up the amount of caffeine in your coffee? If you have, you’ll probably fall in love with these. Housed in little pods like the creamer you get at a diner, Stok is a pod of cold-brewed, highly caffeinated black coffee. I found them at my local Smith’s (Kroger in some parts of the country) about a month ago, and since finals were coming up, I threw them into my cart without a second thought. Not only were these great for adding caffeine to my coffee and keeping me sane during finals, they also prevented disaster yesterday morning when the only coffee left in the house was decaf. Decaf coffee, man. Not only is it caffeine-free, it just doesn’t taste right. Thankfully, we were well stocked with Stok, so no one had to go caffeine-free! I’ve also been experimenting with other uses for these. So far I’ve tried adding them to hot cocoa and oatmeal, by subbing a little bit of the water for a pod of Stok. Works great! Adds a tiny bit of coffee flavor (plus caffeine!) without overpowering the other flavors. In the future, I want to try adding them to brownies (if you’ve never tried adding a bit of coffee to your brownies you’re missing out!), protein shakes, and maybe even homemade protein bars. There’s a lot of applications for these beyond adding them to a cup of coffee. I can’t wait to play around with them some more!
Better Oats Oat Revolution Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
This is my favorite oatmeal ever. I’ve actually been eating it for years, but just recently went back to it after awhile without it because I was sick of eating bars for breakfast every day. I hate making breakfast in the morning, if I can’t find something quick and simple, I’m just getting by on coffee until lunch. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for me to reach for something unhealthy for breakfast, but this oatmeal gives me a healthy option that doesn’t require much brain power or effort. I love the way this oatmeal tastes, I love that it has added flax seeds for omega-3s, but most of all I love the measuring cup pouch. After you dump the oatmeal into a bowl, you fill the pouch up to the line with water and dump it into the bowl, no need for a separate measuring cup! Simple enough for my mornings, but so good I eat it for dinner sometimes!
L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper Transparent Brow Gel
I hate this brow gel, plain and simple. It’s a total disappointment. Like when your parents tell you they’re getting you a puppy for Christmas, but they come home with some animatronic thing from Toys R’ Us. Yeah, that bad. Sure, it’s clear and it doesn’t flake off in weird white patches that look like dandruff, so it’s got that going for it. But ya know what else it doesn’t have? Hold. Staying power. Things a good brow gel really needs to have. The brush on this is nice and small, but the brow gel itself doesn’t hold my brow hairs in place at all, it just has some weird waxy feel that makes it seem like I put Vaseline on my eyebrows. Not cool, man, not cool. I wasn’t expecting this to be as good as Anastasia brow gel, but c’mon. Even my Essence Make Me Brow (a Benefit Gimme Brow dupe) has better hold than this, and that’s meant more so for adding color and volume to the brows, the hold it just an added bonus. This L’Oreal brow gel isn’t even worth the $6 I paid for it. Pass.
That’s it for this month! What are some of your recent favorites?
Hello friends! I’ve nearly used up the Somang Keratin Silkprotein Hair Aqua Essence that I received in a Jini Beauty Box a few months ago (paid for with my own money), so I thought now would be a great time to review it for y’all.
What is it?
A leave-in conditioner containing keratin to help treat dry, damaged hair. It’s meant to give your hair moisture, repair the cuticle, and prevent further damage. As the “essence” name indicates, it’s much like the type of essence you would use for skincare as far as the texture goes, but personally it feels a bit more like an emulsion to me in the sense that it’s essentially a watered down lotion/conditioner. “Watered down” makes it sound like a bad thing, but it’s not. Just the best way of describing the texture. By comparison, the Beauty Protector leave-in conditioner from Birchbox is much thicker, but the Somang essence is a little bit thicker than water. The scent is a little bit flowery and sweet, but grounded with something a bit more earthy. I can definitely smell the chamomile and sage in this, with a bit of the lavender, not much of the rosemary comes through. The scent is definitely noticeable as I’m spraying it on my hair, and it does linger for a little bit, but it’s gone by the time my hair is dry.
What’s in it?
Purified Water, Ethanol, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, PPG-2-Deceth-12, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Panthenol, TEA Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Camomile Flower Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Viola Tricolor L. Extract, Hedera Helix Extract, Sage Leaf Extract, Lavender Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Nymphaea Odorata Root Extract, Benzophenone-9, Methylparaben, Fragrance
How much is it?
Would I repurchase?
About the brand:
April Skin is a Korean skincare and cosmetics company that focuses on products made with natural ingredients. If you purchase Korean cosmetics or spend time over at reddit.com/r/asianbeauty, then you’re probably already familiar with the brand through some of their popular products, such as the Magic Stone soap, and their popular Magic Snow Cushion Foundations. The brand is built around three core concepts: exclude harmful ingredients, rejuvenate dull and fatigued skin, and make the best products to satisfy consumers.
About the Magic Snow Pink Cushion Compact:
Price: $21-29 for 15 grams of product (doesn’t include a refill)
The “Pink Cushion Compact” line refers to the packaging of this product, which is a pale pink, mirrored cushion case with the brand name printed in holographic lettering. It’s gorgeous, but it’s also functional too. The plastic casing feels sturdy, and the mirror inside the compact is a high quality crystal-clear mirror, which is great if you need to use the mirror inside the case (as opposed to a bathroom mirror or vanity/desktop mirror). The compact is also refillable, though the refills for the White and Black cushion foundations won’t fit this case. Like I mentioned before, the “pink” in the name refers to the packaging, the product actually comes in four different colors.
From the product listing on April Skin’s website:
01 Pink is meant for fair skin with a warm tone. The pink creates a brightening effect and corrects the appearance of dullness in the skin. (This is the one I’m showing you today.)
02 Green is meant for correcting redness due to sensitivity to temperature, pigmentation left from acne, or other redness in the skin.
03 Purple is meant to correct dullness and discoloration in the skin, especially skin that “darkens and turns dull by the afternoon” (April Skin’s words, not mine).
04 Beige is meant to correct dull or uneven skin tone.
The puff is soft, thick, and bouncy, and is also antimicrobial, according to April Skin. Diving into the cushion itself, this is a pretty unique feature of this product. Rather than a standard cushion sponge soaked in product, the Magic Snow Cushion contains product sandwiched between two layers of sponge, which then rises to the top and onto the puff when pressure is applied. The idea behind this is to keep the product more hygienic, and to provide only the amount that you need for an even application. Although I appreciate the concept, I also find it to be a flaw of the product. Maybe it’s because I’m heavy-handed, or maybe it’s because I’m perpetually late, but the sponge doesn’t dispense product onto the puff as quickly as I would like. I find myself having to apply quite a bit of pressure or pushing down on it multiple times so I can get enough product to come out and get out the door (did I mention I’m always running late?).
|It’s a very pale carnation pink|
Let’s start with the smell because I fuh-reaking love the way this smells. It’s a soft, sweet, almost candy-like floral (cherry blossom maybe?). It’s divine, I would wear it as a perfume. It is quite strong, so if you don’t like scented makeup, you’ll probably want to steer clear of this, but otherwise, I think most people would find this scent pleasant or at least non-offensive. Fragrance isn’t listed anywhere in the ingredients list, which leads me to believe the scent comes naturally from the other ingredients.
The texture is lightweight, you can definitely feel that it’s a water-based product, though there’s also quite a bit of slip and slickness to it that would probably feel unpleasant on oily skin types. It’s almost kind of lotiony but without the thickness. This product is recommended for dry to combination skin because it’s moisturizing, and I totally agree with that recommendation. I think if you have oily skin, this would not only be too hydrating for you, but also too glowy. However, if you have dry skin and struggle to achieve a radiant glow, you’ll probably be head-over-heels in love with this. It really does brighten the face, and it shines through foundation beautifully.
My skin is normal to combo currently, and I have acne-prone skin. This didn’t cause me to break out at all, nor did it irritate my skin in any way. I have a lot of texture on my skin right now due to closed comedones, and I didn’t find that this emphasized them in any way, nor did it emphasize the pores on my cheeks. I don’t know how this would wear on deep wrinkles, but it didn’t sink into or emphasize the fine lines around my mouth and eyes at all. It works great under makeup too, it didn’t make my foundation wear off any more quickly than it normally would. It’s not glittery at all, but it does have a very intense sheen. I loved the glow that this created, but I did have to powder it in a few places (nose, forehead, chin) where it was just a little too much for me. Normally I would suggest applying it just in the areas that you want your skin to look more luminous, but because of the brightening pink tint, it might create a weird color difference. If you try wearing it that way, let me know how it goes. It builds beautifully without feeling cakey, although in humid weather it can feel a bit heavy if you apply several layers. One layer produced mostly shine with only a tiny bit of brightening. On my skin, I had to use two or three layers to really notice a brightening effect. For reference, my skin is approximately an NC15 in MAC, though I have an olive undertone, so it’s not an exact match. Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation also matches me pretty well.
Finally, I will say I do think that $29 is a bit expensive for this product since it’s only 15 grams of product and doesn’t come with a refill. I did manage to find it on sale in a few places, and I would purchase it for about $20 to maybe $25. I would only pay $29 if it came with a refill. Price aside, I do really like this product and would recommend it if you’re looking for a glowy, brightening primer.
|Shine bright like a diamond. One layer of the April Skin Magic Snow Cushion Pink in 01 Pink|
|Left side: bare skin, Right side: 2-3 layers of the April Skin Magic Snow Cushion Pink in 01 Pink|
You’ll probably like this if:
- You have dry or combo skin (maybe normal skin if you really like a glow and don’t get very oily throughout the day)
- Most other glowy primers have let you down. Seriously, you can’t see it on my face because I’m in indirect light, but that glow is intense.
- You’re not sensitive to or allergic to any of the ingredients in the ingredients list.
- You don’t mind the price or you can find it on sale
- Scented products don’t irritate your skin, cause migraines, or just make you want to throw a product across the room.
Avoid this is:
- You’re not cool with shellin’ out between 20 and 30 dollars for a primer, especially when it’s only 15 grams of product
- You have oily skin (srsly don’t do it mate)
- You think the scent or any of the ingredients in this product will irritate you
- You’re impatient or don’t have much time to get ready, ever. The way the sponge is designed causes it to take a little more time to apply than an ordinary cushion or a primer that comes in a tube, and I can see this becoming frustrating if you’re in a hurry. Maybe save it for a day when you’re not rushing to get ready, or possibly avoid it altogether if you don’t think it would fit your lifestyle.
- Your skin is any darker than a very light medium. Even with a foundation over top, I think this shade would be way too light for anyone above ~NC/NW 30, and even that may be a stretch. You may have a bit of luck with the beige shade if you have a medium skin tone, but I really can’t say since I haven’t tried that one.