Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hello? Is Anyone Still Out There?

Okay guys...confession time: I stopped blogging. 
I know, it's not a shocker. I just realized I didn't make a post about it and I suppose now I feel like I should. Before I begin, I do want to say that if any of you are so loyal as to wait around for me, I plan on making a full comeback by the end of this year. Keep reading to find out why and what's been going on with me!

I'm not entirely sure what I divulged here in the past and what I haven't, so let's do a quick run down. In January, I ended my close to 7 year relationship. Since I was only working part time and my ex was working full time, we decided it would make more sense for him to stay at the apartment we were sharing with our roommate and that I would move out. Everything ended amicably, we're still pals, but it was rough. Ending a relationship after that many years takes it's toll on you. Plus, I had to move back home with my parents and that is sort of a walk-of-shame in itself being a 30 year old.

Having said that, I also met the love of my life. And I mean, THE love of my life. The one you meet and the stars collide and the world crashes around you and you're just overwhelmed with all kinds of feelings you can't understand. The person everyone describes when they say you'll "just know." Yup, I met him. I live in Massachusetts and he (at the time) lived in New Hampshire. We spent 6 months traveling to see each other until we decided to move in together closer to his work in the Boston area. We spend way too much money for the tiniest apartment you've ever seen, but holy hell are we happy. We just celebrated our 1 Year Anniversary and got Thai massages and ate lots of delicious food, and it was probably the best day of my life. Highly recommend a Thai massage, guys!

Here we are in our finest pajamas after a long day of doing nothing this past weekend!

My boyfriend Jong was born and raised in Korea, so while he doesn't entirely understand my obsession with Korean Beauty, he supports it and even tries to get involved and interested! I've kind of been waiting my entire life for a guy that likes kpop as much as I do! 

The Bottom Line:
On top of all the moving, new relationships and crazy business, I've also been in school full time in what they call an "accelerated program." It's set up to allow people to get their bachelors degrees in 3 years rather than 4. I've been tirelessly working to the point where I haven't even been able to hold down a part time job because of how demanding the course work is. College and working on my degree is the one and only reason why I had to take a break from blogging. I was finding it an added stress that was overwhelming me along with my school work and I never want blogging to feel that way. I think what makes my blog such a great place is that I have always, always used it as a way to connect with others, as a way to share my thoughts and feelings in an honest way, and sort of unwind at the end of the day. There's just no way to do that with the kind of school schedule I have right now.

There IS good news, however! I will be finishing my degree around December of this year (I know it seems far, ugh...) and my ultimate goal is to take a break before graduate school and dive right back into blogging. I'm not entirely sure if I'll have any audience left at that point, but I'm going to do it all the same. Hopefully some of you will still be around. I hope you will be. I've got SO much to say and so many products to talk about, so many subscription boxes I want to try! I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the hell out of this and out of everyone that read and participated in my blog. Thank you all so much for everything. I hope to get back here soon and start sharing my all-too loud opinions again!

Love, love, love <3

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Beauteque: Relaunching as Your Mask Marketplace! July 1st!

As many of my long-term readers might now, I have been a customer and a fan of Beauteque since their original launch. Not only have they grown from a small Korean/Asian beauty product company to one of the top Kbeauty websites based in the US, but they've also developed two very successful Subscription services: Mask Maven and the BB Bag. 

Another big change is coming to Beauteque on July 1st, and it might be their largest one yet! Beauteque is rebranding and now focusing all their attention on masks! Beauteque will be "Your Mask Marketplace" in that you'll be able to constantly choose from well over 500 different masks, available in all price ranges, throughout all brands and styles. Beauteque will always have the newest and most talked about masks in stock with competitive prices that will challenge even the biggest stores in the US. 
Also don't worry! Beauteque will be continuing both the BB bag and Mask Maven subscription services!

Beauteque will not just be selling sheet masks, though! While their sheet mask selection is going to be no joke, they will also have wash off packs, clay masks and all sorts of face masks you could only dream of! The best part is, masks are not just for your face! Beauteque will also be selling eye masks, nose masks, hand masks, nail masks, foot masks, hair masks...if it's a mask, Beauteque is going to be carrying it!

Beauteque is also committed to helping those who are new to Asian beauty get acquainted with not only brands, but product types, ingredients and uses. The website will provide education for those who are unfamiliar with specific masks and types. Categories will be easily searched, and customers can choose exactly what masks they're looking for with just a couple of clicks. You can search masks by your skin type or skin concern, or feel free to get in touch with Beauteque and they will help get you the perfect masks for your skin concernns!

As always, Beauteque offers Free shipping over $35 in the US, and ships Internationally
To celebrate their new re-branding and launch, you can used "MASKLAUNCH" at checkout to save 10% off your order! Also, don't forget the free shipping with a $35 purchase!

Since this a big relaunch where one of my favorite online stores is now primarily selling one of my favorite skincare goodies, I thought I'd share some of my favorite masks with you that Beauteque will currently have available in their shop!

Innisfree: Skin Clinic Mask BHA ($3.80)
You know I love anything with a good AHA or BHA acid in it, and when I first saw these masks from Innsifree I had to have them! BHA and AHA basically single-handedly saved my skin. Not only did my pores shrink, but my redness evened out, my acne and fine lines subsided...they really are little miracle acids! This mask from Innisfree is super thin, which I love because it clings very well to my face. The BHA acid helps with acne and breaking down dead skin cells to reveal a more smooth, youthful complexion. It also does a great job of dissolving the gunk and junk out of your pores. This mask is a great one to stick into your routine if you haven't found a regular BHA acid treatment that you like. 

Annie's Way: Secret Garden Edelweiss Iris Witch's Timeless Secret ($3.25)
Annie's Way has become one of the more popular mask brands over the past year or so due to their extremely affordable, yet high quality and result-giving products. I really love the names and the packaging of their sheet masks in particular. And this one is a personal favorite! 
Not only does this mask help reduce fine lines, but it softens up rough patches on my skin, firms up the looseness on my neck (however temporarily) and slows down skin aging with continued use. It's super moisturizing and very easy to apply. The mask is very high quality and adhere's to the face perfectly while allowing the essence to fully absorb without drying out too quickly. Definitely love this one!

I usually cannot be bothered with a wash-off mask, no matter how good someone tells me it is. I always reach for a sheet mask because they're so easy to pop on and off without all the mess and cleanup. While I do have a few favorite wash off masks in my stash, I have to say that this Strawberry Toxifying Mask from Baviphat is genuinely my all-time favorite. I feel like it was made for my skin. 
This is a clay mask that won't make your skin feel like all the moisture has been sucked out of it. It not only naturally cleanses but it also helps to tighten large pores, control oil and relieve acne and troubled skin. I find that it also helps control my uneveness and redness. It also visibily brightens my skin tone in one use which I love. The scent smells like candy strawberries, and it comes with a small spoon spatula however I like to apply this with a brush. (Grab an old flat foundation brush- they're excellent for applying wash-off masks!)

So these are just a few of the masks that Beauteque will be carrying that I personally really love. There are so many more that I haven't tried! Go check out the newly relaunch Beauteque and grab some masks for your Summer skincare routine with the code MASKLAUNCH to save 10% off! Also don't forget to get free shipping with a purchase of $35 or more! Yay!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post does not contain affiliate or referral links.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Beauteque Monthly BB Bag June 2016 Review

Is anyone else completely confused as to how we're are already at the end of June? I cannot wrap my head around how I got here. My boyfriend and I met in early January, I had just ended a 6 year relationship and moved back in with my parents after living on my own for longer than I can remember. I felt like this was going to be the longest most stressful year of my life and yet here we are, halfway through already! July 1st also marks the 2 year anniversary of my weight loss surgery, which is absolutely crazy because I feel like I just had it done! The older I get, the faster time flies!

When it comes to my subscriptions, I have to be very careful with what I subscribe to due to my immense lack of funds right now. My job is at a school so I'm off during the Summer and I don't get paid a whole lot as it is. Although I need monthly kbeauty coming to me in the mail. It's just a necessity at this point. While I feel like the kbeauty bug has sort of died down with bandwagoners, it almost makes me happy because those of us who have always loved Korean beauty and skincare can finally have our thing back. And for those just getting into it and wanting to become as obsessed as I am, I think Beauteque's BB Bag is a really great option for you to familiarize yourself with brands and products in a seemingly vast world of new things! I know how overwhelming it is when you first discover Korean beauty, so subscriptions like this can be a world of help!

I didn't receive an info card with this month's bag so I'm not sure what the theme is this month or what the retail values are of each product etc so you'll have to bare with me throughout this review where I take wild guesses on value based on my internet findings and kind of ramble about my opinion rather than the ingredients like I usually do!

Subscription Types (3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions are Prepaid):
1 Month (month-to-month) $24 per month
3 month $24 per month
 6 month $23 per month
12 month $22 per month
All subscriptions will auto-renew at the end of it's cycle so you never accidentally miss a bag!
You can also gift subscriptions if you want to surprise a lucky friend or family member!

-6 or more full sized products in every bag
-A value between $65 to $85+
-Makeup, skincare, and lifestyle products
-Products from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, America

Beauteque Beauty Bags ship to the US, Canada, and Europe.
-US shipping is $3.95 per month
-Canada shipping is  $5.95 per month
-Europe shipping is $8.95 per month

 Now that we've got the details out of the way, let's get onto the June Bag contents!
Firstly, each BB Bag arrives in a bag...obviously. While I'm not a huge fan of collecting massive amounts of makeup bags throughout the year, I know others who find the thought appealing or have a lot of makeup to organize. I use these as makeup bags for my purse if I like them enough, otherwise I use them to put gifts into or just give them away. This particular bag is a large canvas bag with a zip top and I really like how sturdy it is, however it has a really strong "musty" scent to it that I have to air out for a few days and hope that works. It seems like a lot of these inexpensive makeup bags that companies buy in bulk (Ipsy has had this issue too) have a weird musty or plastic-y smell to them.

A'Pieu: Rub-in Gelato in "Riso" ($11.99)
I own this mask in both varieties because when my best friend Tiffany got them when they were first released, I fell in love with the cute ice-cream-like packaging! I feel like these masks would make the cutest gifts! This one in particular is the Riso variety, which is a rub in mask that removes dead skin cells and cleanses pores while brightening and moisturizing the skin. To use it, you simply apply it to the face and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water and again with cold water. I also read that this can be used on the chest and back area to help with body acne, so that is kind of awesome! Even though I have already owned this mask, I have yet to actually open it and use it (problems of a kbeauty hoarder) but now I think this is a sign I have to give it a try!

Holika Holika: Cover and Hiding Stick Concealer ($10)
This is the darker of the two shades that are offered with this concealer and I don't think it's going to work with my skin tone. Having said that, I've been outside a lot more this Summer than in the past so I might inadvertently get a tan and have to use a slightly darker concealer, so I'll keep this one on hand! This product is used to mask dark circles and other blemishes- so you know...your basic concealer. It's in a twist-up stick form and has a creamy consistency. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm super insanely picky over concealers so I'm interested to see how a low-cost Korean concealer will work for me. I need it to be extremely full coverage without looking cakey or drawing attention to the blemish, so we'll see how this performs!

Purederm: Botanical Choice Vital Radiance Hair Mask in 'Honey" ($2.99)
This is a one-time-use packet that contains a thick, creamy hair treatment that uses honey, almond and royal jelly to return moisture and shine to hair while eliminating frizz and masking split ends. I mentioned in one of my previous reviews that my hair has been an absolute mess lately in terms of health (super dead/frizzy due to heat styling) so I decided to give this a shot as soon as I got it. It has a nice scent and there is more than enough product here for 2 uses, or one really solid use if you have long or thick hair. It smoothed into my hair nicely and rinsed out well leaving no residue like a lot of hair masks tend to do. I think my only complaint is that it didn't do enough for my hair. It felt nice and soft and more manageable and maybe even slightly less frizzy, but not to the extent where I would feel the need to purchase this again.

Makeup Sponge ($7.99)
Ever since the Beauty Blender busted out on the scene and people started paying insanely high amounts of money for a product that essentially makes your makeup slightly smoother. That's pretty much the only benefit, but it tacks on an extra 10 minutes to your makeup routine, and an extra 10 at the end to thoroughly rinse. I may sound like I'm knocking makeup sponges, but I have 2 beauty blenders and I throughly enjoy them when I need a flawless finish. That isn't every day, but it's definitely useful for important events or when I want to look my absolute best and don't mind putting in some extra effort. This is what you would call a "knock off" beauty blender. Some of them are truly just as good or close to it, and others are not so much. I'm not entirely sure what level of quality this one has as I still have two beauty blenders that probably won't need to be tossed for quite awhile. I'll most likely give this one away but I do think it's a nice tool to include.

Holika Holika: Dessert Time Lip Balm ($5.99)
I'm pretty sure I've gotten a wide variety of these lip balms over the years in a sprinkling of different Korean beauty subscriptions. I think the reason why is because they're from a popular brand, they're relatively inexpensive and they're super duper cute. The first lip balm I had from this line got so many compliments every time I pulled it out. I'm not usually a fan of potted lip balm that I have to apply with my fingers, but I tend to make an exception when the packaging is super cute. This one is actually really adorable, but I think I'm going to keep it in the wrapping so I can add it to a small gift for a friend.

The Saem: Chocopie Hand Cream ($8.99)
If we are talking cute packaging- Chocopie Hand Cream takes the cake for me. The first time I ever saw it was on Key from SHINee's instagram. I believe SHINee are brand ambassadors for The Saem, so it wasn't a surprise to see Key peddling one of their products. Having said that though, I was screeching at not only the fact that there was a jar of hand cream that looked like a chocopie, but the outside packaging was almost identical to the actual food product. It's just so cute that it took me months to actually open the first one of these I purchased. The hand cream is pretty standard, has a light marshmallow scent etc but who cares, really? Just look at how cute!!
I also just so happen to have the edible chocopies in my house right now and just writing this review alone has made me start eating one. I have no self control.
Overall Thoughts
Beauteque Monthly costs $24 (plus shipping) and this bag as a Beauteque Value of about $50 depending on where you get your retail values from. Overall, I think the value being double what you paid for it is great. And while you might save money per item buying directly from Korean websites, you'll be spending a decent amount on shipping costs regardless of what method you choose (trust me I do it a lot), so as I stated above the Beauteque BB Bag is a great option for anyone who just wants to try new K Beauty products, or for those just getting interested! I'm not bowled over by the curation this month although I do think it's cute. I would have liked to see everything be dessert related rather than just 3 items as it would have been much more desirable overall. I'm a weirdo when it comes to curation and cohesion with subscriptions so I have very high standards! Overall, I think it's worth the cost and I would still highly recommend subscribing to the BB Bag.

If you're interested in signing up with Beauteque Monthly, you can do so HERE!
If you want to shop Beauteque's regular website for limited edition bags, and K-Beauty galore, you can check that out HERE.
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.