Recap: Sept-Dec 2016
Whew, it's been quite awhile! Not much has changed since my last post. I'm still doing a lot of binge watching and generally doing anything except working on the blog ha ha! I even went to a trampoline park and it was so much fun!!
First up...my app will no longer be available after December, and to my knowledge isn't actually functional at the moment - though I'm not sure exactly when that happened??? The company I used to create the app is/was called DWNLD and they are no longer going to be in business. They've offered alternatives, and I've also looked into ones on my own. However, I was already paying $15/month and all these other companies are more expensive. Since I don't make money from the blog (except for some old affiliate links that I haven't gone back and taken out, but those aren't nearly enough to compensate for what I spend on maintaining things) and I'm a small potatoes blogger, spending more on an app doesn't make sense.
For lack of more sophisticated words, it was pretty darn cool to say I HAVE AN APP!!! But in reality, considering I had to work within a template and had lots of restrictions to functionality and design...well, it never quite looked or felt the way I wanted and glitches seemed to always crop up. I also felt bad about having an app that wasn't updated with fresh content on a regular basis. You guys know me, I go back and forth - my consistent spells don't last long and my 'breaks' last months.
All this to say...it was fun while it lasted, but it's finally time to let go! I have written several notifications within the app about it no longer being available, but given that it's not reading my feed anymore (again, not sure when that happened???) I'm not sure how well the actual notifications are functioning. I wanted to make sure to mention what happened here, in case anyone using the app wanted know what was going on. If you would still like to follow via Bloglovin, RSS or email, please click HERE.
Here are some products I've tried in the last few months, didn't care for and either returned or gave away:
Armani Matte Eye Tints - I tried Camel Smoke, Fur Smoke and Leather Smoke. Initially applied, I really loved the colors. But once blended out the colors drew too much of my redness out and I looked like I got punched in the face. On the bright side, they did last a LONG time.
NARS Velvet Glides - They applied nicely enough and looked moisturizing, but my lips felt parched and they wore unevenly throughout the day.
Farmacy Invisible Root Cell Anti-Aging Serum - Gave me irritation bumps.
Becca Moonstone SSP mini set - Soooooo...at the time I purchased this set, I actually owned a full size version of Moonstone SSP pressed. I had worn it a few times, thought I loved it and so thought I would love to have the mini set to travel with. Before opening the mini set, I used my full sized Moonstone SSP pressed first...you know...just to make sure I still loved it. And I didn't. Sigh. I don't know what has changed, but Moonstone seemed to have too much of a yellow-gold undertone that I didn't like. I returned the mini set and purged the Moonstone I had.
Tom Ford Pink Sand Cream Blush - I absolutely loved this color (and of course the packaging!!!), but it didn't last on me at all and moved around way too much.
Bite Beauty movember Lipstick - This was one of this OH OH OH OH I BETTER GET THIS LIMITED EDITION BEAUTY QUICK!!! The color looked beautiful in the promo pics and the few swatches I found, but ultimately the undertone was a little too cool to be flattering on me.
RMS Living Luminizer - This didn't even remotely live up to my beloved Becca SSP in Opal or Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01. It was so subtle I could barley register a difference from simply a well moisturized face??? I even tried to build it up and I don't know...it was just blah. It also didn't seem to layer very well with powder products.
KGD Cleansing Water wipes - Too hard and inflexible and hurt my skin.
Korres Yogurt Wipes - This package was the only thing I kept out of this list, and I'm still trying to work my way through them. The material used for the wipe seems soft at first, but has a weird way of feeling almost scratchy and uncomfortable by the end. So I've been using these to remove swatches when I go shopping.
YSL Highlighting Powder Palette - This looked so beautiful online, but in person it didn't have the right undertone and unfortunately made highlighted areas look greasy by the end of the day. With a very light hand, I also tried using it as an allover powder, but I looked like an oily mess after a few hours.
Tarte Exposed Blush - I ordered this in one of my crazy moods. It's like my relationship with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting line...I just can't seem to quit!!! So this is my third time trying it out. I already own and love blush colors I love way more, not to mention how much more I love their textures and blendability - 3rd time was NOT a charm and hopefully it finally sank in that I do not need to own this, no matter how much love and praise and hype it gets elsewhere. Right??? RIGHT!!! Ha ha!
Update on the Amore Pacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence - I bought a second tube of this, but for some reason after a few weeks I started getting red bumps (almost like acne) around both eyes. I also started developing dermatitis on both lids. Took awhile to figure out what was causing the bumps since I absolutely loved the first tube. I finally stopped using it and tried a bunch of eye cream samples and serums after that - all of them seemed to make things better for about a week, but then made my dermatitis worse. At one point my lids were so wrinkled, flakey and out right hurt that I stopped using everything except for my Sisley and Aquaphor (over the dermatitis spots, only at night).
I've been comparing ingredient lists, but I haven't been able to find a common denominator yet??? I'll keep looking, but for now I'm staying away from any new eye creams. I did add the MV Organics Rose Plus Booster (it seemed soothing and super moisturizing for the rest of my skin), and that actually seems to help too. But it's not marketed to use near the eyes so it was a slight gamble. Anyhow, for now I'm sticking to the Sisley + Supergoop SPF eye cream during the day, and Sisley + MV Organics Rose Plus Booster + Aquaphor (just on recovering lid dermatitis spots) at night. I've updated my review. I still stand by what I said before, but felt I should mention this new reaction.
Something has changed about my skin...I'm not sure if it's age, or the Tretinoin or pure randomness or what???
Since my laser treatments during the Summer, my skincare routine has been greatly simplified by .025% Tretinoin + Obagi Blender (hydroquinone) that I've been using at night. I've seen a big difference in my skin, and honestly feel no need for additional serums. I do still sometimes pair this mix with my Glycolix Elite 15% or 20% glycolic acid pads, but that's it. It's a slight bummer, because...well...science!!! Ha ha! But it's also a relief not to constantly be on the lookout for new night treatments to try.
That said, I am on hunt for Vitamin C serum to wear during the day. I've tried a few in the last several years, but would like to find something different. I did buy the Dr. Brandt Power Dose Vitamin C, but I haven't started using it yet. Fingers crossed! If it doesn't work there are several others on my list to try.
I also bought the Julisis Gold Neroli Toner in my last CultBeauty order that I still need to try out. I don't know if I'll use as an actual toner though...thinking it might be better as a facial spritz??
Overall, my skin has gone through quite a journey this year and I've definitely learned some things. I've also discovered some great product - more on that in my Year End Skincare Favorites post!
Makeup-wise I'm still keeping things simple - nicely luminous but not too glowy complexion, simple MLBB lips, cheeks and groomed brows. The only occasional shadow is still the Burberry Wet & Glow Shadow in 002 Nude. I've very happily resigned myself to the fact that this is the look I love and feel comfortable in. Others may find it boring, but I can still try plenty of new product within the categories that I truly enjoy wearing.
I've been testing out the Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder - I'm really liking it so far, but haven't worn it a ton because I'm trying to finish up my Guerlain Wulong refill. I haven't hit pan on it yet, but definitely expect to finish it up in the coming year.
I ordered the By Terry Densilis Foundation. I'm really excited to test it out!!!!! Unfortunately I had to order another color because the first I bought was a little too light. The new color arrived, but I've had some breakouts and am waiting until they are cleared up before testing. I've swatched both colors now, and it looks like I'll end up mixing the two. If I like this foundation, I'll probably try the concealer too.
This Kate Somerville set was my favorite 500 point perk from Sephora this year. There were several higher point perks I wanted, but I'm not quick enough and missed out on all of them. Seriously...have you or anyone you know been able to score one????!!!
My Sister-in-Law sent this picture of my Niece discovering that concealer is NOT a lip product. I totally feel her pain, but it's hard not to laugh at this cute face ha ha!!
And that's about it. Hope everyone is having a very happy Holiday Season so far!!! xo