Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Beauteque Monthly BB Bag April 2016 Review

I can't believe it's already that time again! I feel like I just finished writing my March BB Bag review and yet here I am doing April's already! I really cannot believe how fast this year is going. Pretty soon it's going to be May (cue the Justin Timberlake meme) and the sun will be shining, my mood will be brighter and all will be well! As long as Ican make it through my Statistics class which has been a nightmare! Why can't college have a class about blog-writing? ;) Regardless, I'm super excited to start seeing the Summer-themed products in the upcoming bb bags. While the Winter has my skin craving super hydrating or brightening products, in the Summer months I'm all about oil control, soothing and multi-use products. It's too hot to mess with 14+ skincare steps so I'm hoping to see products that can help cut down on my routine!

The theme for this month's bag is "Big City Beauty Secrets."
It is as exhilarating as a day in the city to bring you this bag, full of top beauty secrets! City days and nights require one's A-game, and that requires a long lasting look and at the heart of it all, great skincare. Have it all with this ultimate collection of makeup and skincare.

 DETAILS
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!


WHAT WILL I RECEIVE?
-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

SHIPPING
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 April Bag contents!

Baviphat: Urban Dollkiss Peach All-in-One Peeling Gel ($21)
Subscribers could have received this or the Mango Magic Brightening Mask- and I kind of wish I recieved the latter as I have tried this product a few times in the past to mediocre results. While I'm usually pretty up and down in terms of my opinions on Baviphat products, their Strawberry Clay Mask is truly one of the best I've ever tried and I have repurchased it repeatedly. This is a treatment that exfoliates the skin, minimizes pores and brightens the complexion. To use, you apply the gel onto your dry face and then massage until it beings to ball up, then rinse. These kinds of gels and creams normally don't work well for my skin, although there have been some exceptions. While this isn't a bad product, I haven't noticed any majorly amazing results. 

 Toyoepin: 2-in-1 Permanent Crazy Mini Natural False Lashes ($7.99)
Even though these have a very weird and unnecessarily long name, I'm actually pleased to get these! I know a lot of people hate getting false lashes and/or they don't use them, but they were once a regular thing in my makeup routine. I have since skipped out on using them as I have recently preferred a more natural look, but I think these lashes are really natural-looking and would add more volume without looking fake or weird. Excited to try these out!

Seatree: Art Moisture Mist ($10.99)
There were a few different varieties of this mist that went out to subscribers, although I'm not entirely sure what the differences are as they're not specified on the card. Essentially, these are face mists. While I think Seatree is a fantastic brand that doesn't get nearly enough attention in the kbeauty world, I'm not usually a fan of face mists. There are two times I use them, though: After a particularly sticky/gooey sheet mask is removed. If I mist my face and wipe with my hand, it keeps the moisture on my skin but also cuts through that sticky residue that some masks tend to leave behind. I will also occasionally use them during the winter after using a cleansing wipe when Iwake up in the morning. I will mist my face and apply lip balm and let my face breathe a bit before showering etc. This is a nice little mist in a really cute bottle so this might also be good to toss in a beach bag to replensish and soothe the skin after being in the sun!

If: Q10 Firming Eye Mask ($9)
Subscribers could have recieved these firming eye masks or Moisturizing eye masks from Dr. Morita. These ones are from a Taiwanese brand that I haven't heard of before, but I have a deep obsession with under eye masks so I'm totally here for these! This box contains 8 applications which are placed under the eye for 10-15 minutes and are supposed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also helping eliminate dark circles. I use under eye masks almost every morning, and I can attest that they do work if used regularly. They're a weird guilty pleasure of mine and really help my eyes wake up after a rough night of little sleep!

Somoon: Dog Nose Pore 3 Step Pack ($5.99)
While I have used and seen these 3-step nose packs a zillion times, this is the first one I've seen with a cute lil pug dog on it! Fun! These little packs contain 3 different nose masks for anyone who is suffering from blackheads. The first step is a mask that opens up the pores. The second mask is essentially a pore strip that dries on the nose and is pulled off to remove all the gross stuff from the pores. The 3rd mask is a soothing mask that also helps close the pores. I've used these more times that I can count and they've personally done nothing for me, but it couldn't hurt to try them if it's something that you think might work for you!

The Saem: Saemmul Easy Eyeliner ($9.99)
So this bag is full of beauty secrets yet there's a black eyeliner in here? Nahhh I'm not about that. We all use black eyeliners, but I really think they're the last thing on the planet that should be included in a beauty subscription because there is nothing exciting or new about them whatsoever. Not to metion, most of us beauty fanatics probably have a lifetime supply of different liners stashed away in our drawers. Regardless, this one is apparently a gel-like formula as it glides on lids without tugging and also is smudge-proof. It doesn't say water-proof so I'm not exactly sure how long lasting it is, but I'm sure i'll get around to using it in the next 5 years or so. We'll see. 
Overall Thoughts
Beauteque Monthly costs $24 (plus shipping) and this bag as a Beauteque Value of about $65. Some of the prices are slightly inflated this month but are pretty on point for the most part, so I would venture to guess this bag has a value of closer to $50-$55. Regardless, it's still a fantastic deal. I always say that Beauteque still has some of the best kbeauty bags in the subscription game because they really do a nice job of having variety in terms of brands, but also in terms of mixing skincare and makeup. This bag may not be my all-time favorite, but Ithink this is a really nice month in terms of variety. I like heavy skincare bags, and since this one contained only 2 makeup/cosmetics items, that's always a plus for me. The one thing I could do without as I've mentioned many times is the makeup bag. I have so many by now and weirdly, most of the products don't fit into the bag and have to be shipped outside of it, so it just seems almost pointless to the subscription at this point. I think simple drawstring bags that could be reused for gifts etc would be more efficient, but hey- that's just me!

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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Skinmiso: Pore Zero Night Cream Review

I have been slowly working through my seemingly endless jars of cream for years now. I try to keep track of them by date I received them so I can make sure to use up as many as possible, but it takes so long to plow through one jar that I'm almost positive I'll end up giving some away that I most likely won't get around to using. The strange thing is, no matter how many creams I end up with in my stash, I have yet to find one that is memorable enough to really stick with me, or one that makes me want to repurchase it again and again. Cupidrop gave me the opportunity to review some of the products they feature on their site, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to not only try a product from a brand that is completely new to me, but possibly find a cream that moisturizes my combination skin while also working some mini-magic and helping me with redness, pore size, etc. This Pore Zero Night Cream from Skinmiso seemed like match made in heaven!

Cupidrop website is really unique in that they have a nice variety of brands that aren't easily available in other places. Not only that, but it's very clean and organized, has lots of information on the products along with a detailed description, ingredients, and sometimes even pH levels are listed! There are also reviews from customers that make decision-making a bit easier. Cupidrop is based in the US (out of New York!) so there's also the added benefit of not having to wait ages for your products to ship direct from Korea!

About Cupidrop:
Based in New York City, Cupidrop began with the simple idea of offering great skincare products at great prices.
Korean skincare & makeup products are well-made, beautifully packaged and reasonably priced - Every single product we carry has been tested by our team to ensure our customers have a great experience with them.
Here at Cupidrop, we make sure to address all matters of the skin.
While so many of the existing online retailers carry already prominent name brands, Cupidrop discover and share new, exciting brands with our customers.
For the latest beauty trends and innovative products from Korea,
Cupidrop is the ultimate online destination for your favorite K-beauty needs.

I'm pretty picky about Korean Beauty websites, but I've been really impressed with the interactions I've had with Cupidrop and how passionate they are about Korean skincare and beauty. I highly recommend checking out their site for some interesting and unique brands and products as well as great service! 

Skinmiso Pore Zero Night Cream
About the Product:
Cost:

Description:
A night cream that effectively tighten and minimize the size of pores.  This Multi-functional night cream is designed to hydrate, brighten complexion, tighten pores and improve fine lines & wrinkles while you sleep.  Use together with the Skinmiso Pore Corset Serum & Spot Repairing Serum for best results.   - See more at: http://www.cupidrop.com/products/pore-zero-night-cream#sthash.HbRtVFJ6.dpuf
A night cream that effectively tightens and minimizes the size of pores. This multi-functional night cream is designed to hydrate, brighten complexion, tighten pores and improve fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep. Use together with the Skinmiso Pore Corset Serum and Spot Repairing Serum for best results. 

Designed only with natural ingredients to replenish the skin with pure antioxidants and hydration from nature, the Pore Zero Night Cream is made to hydrate, calm, whiten, control, prevent, tighten, and restore—all in one product. Contains effective anti-aging and wrinkle care ingredients for the optimal control and balance your skin needs.
A night cream that effectively tighten and minimize the size of pores.  This Multi-functional night cream is designed to hydrate, brighten complexion, tighten pores and improve fine lines & wrinkles while you sleep.  Use together with the Skinmiso Pore Corset Serum & Spot Repairing Serum for best results.   - See more at: http://www.cupidrop.com/products/pore-zero-night-cream#sthash.HbRtVFJ6.dpuf
Ingredients
Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate, Arbutin, Stearic Acid, Octyldodecanol, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Steareth-2, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Poper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alky Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arginine, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Phytosphingosine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, BHT, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Melissa Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita Extract, Chlorphenesin

How to Use
  Use after cleansing, toning and serum as a night time regimen. Apply generous amount onto face and massage the product until completely absorbed. 

I'll admit I wasn't overly impressed with the ingredients list, however it wasn't enough to send this product packing. The not-so-great ingredients are not necessarily deal-breakers for me or my skin, and the good ingredients that were included were interesting enough for me to want to test this out and see how it worked.
Since this is considered a night cream, the consistency is quite thick and creamy. It has a very pleasing scent (at least to me!) which is sort of a light, fresh mix of something minty with a little undertone of fruity. I really love it and it has a ever-so-slight cooling effect when applied to the skin, so this is a great cream to use during those warmer months that are right around the corner!
Even though the consistency is thick, it actually smooths out beautifully on the skin an absorbs very quickly as well. I found I needed very little of this cream to cover my face and neck, and that it absorbed quite well which in my opinion would make this a great possibility for anyone with oily/combination skin who struggles to find a fast-absorbing night cream that doesn't over-moisturize.

Results and Thoughts
I've been using this Skinmiso Pore Zero Night Cream now for 2 weeks, and I can say that so far I'm really enjoying it! Not only do I love the consistency and how quickly it absorbs, my skin look absolutely glow-y when I wake up in the morning! Let's take a look at each of the claims made my Skinmiso about this cream along with my thoughts on whether or not this cream achieved the desired results.

Hydrate
I found this cream to be very hydrating, but not overly so. I tested this cream before bed without a sleeping pack to see how my skin felt in the morning, and day after day I woke up with moisturized, refreshed skin.

Calm
I can honestly say I didn't notice much of a calming effect on any red or inflamed skin or breakout areas. I wouldn't say this product was irritating to those areas, but I wasn't able to notice much of an effect on soothing them, either.

Whiten
While I didn't see any major redness reduction within 2 weeks, I did notice that my skin looked more uniform and less blotchy overall. This cream isn't going to remove the redness from a bad breakout, but I do find that it evens out my skintone nicely.

Control/Prevent
Since I have relatively in-depth hormonal issues that are beyond my control, I get acne. There's no magic in any skincare product that is going to change that no matter what I use. However, there are instances where products help lessen how often I get a breakout. I did notice that while using this cream, the small breakouts that I normally get on my forehead were fewer and then within a week, weren't showing up at all. I'm not entirely positive if I can attribute that to this cream in particular, though.

Tighten
Yup. Definitely does this. I'm not really one of those people who is looking for a cure-all for my massive pores, and I also realize that pretty much everything on the market is a temporary fix. This cream definitely minimizes the appearance of pores, however since it's a night cream the effect tends to wear off by the time I've showered and done my makeup the following day. Interestingly enough, this cream is light enough and absorbs quickly enough that I think it could definitely be used during the day as well if you were looking specifically for a product that helps minimize the appearance of pores.

Restore/ Anti-Aging
This is always one of those categories that is difficult for me to rate. It's only been 2 weeks, but since I have minimal fine lines and wrinkles to begin with, it's pretty hard to determine whether or not this product is helping prevent or clear up aging skin. I can say that my fine lines haven't gotten worse, and if anything, they do look slightly improved/ less noticeable. That could just be due to the moisturizing aspects of this cream, but regardless, I always leave the anti-aging results up to each individual person because it's not easy for me to determine them at this stage in the game!
Overall Thoughts
I have been enjoying nothing but a great experience using this cream during my nightly routine. Not only does it apply smoothly, but you need so little that I can see this jar lasting me an incredibly long time. It's also fast absorbing, which makes this a fantastic option for anyone with oil/combo-oily skin. It has a refreshing scent, helps even out my skin tone and minimize my pores, and keep breakouts at bay. While I did find the ingredients to be a little less than stellar, I think that the results I've been receiving speak for themselves in terms of how well this product works. This is something that I like enough that I will repurchase, and that is speaking volumes considering the huge amount of creams I have in my stash.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the results and performance of the Skinmiso Pore Zero Night cream! So much so, that I'm starting to look into the other products from Skinmiso that Cupidrop has available. You can check those out as well if you're interested by following this link: Skinmiso Products.

If you're interested in grabbing this cream for yourself, you can do so HERE.
If you want to check out Cupidrop's website, you can hop on over there through this link!
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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.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Beauty TestTube March/April Review and Unboxing (Plus 30% off Deal!)

So I'll be straight up with you...this review almost didn't happen. Why? Because I took all the photos, tested and oohed/ahhed over the products and then somehow misplaced my camera. By then I had put everything away into their respective places, passed a few products onto my mom. I was just about to give up hope when my boyfriend opened the glove compartment in my car and somehow...there was my camera. Let me tell you I rarely every use the glove compartment, nor do I take my camera out of my house, so while I have absolutely no idea why it was in there, I was able to scramble to edit the photos and get this review up! I don't have the info booklet on hand anymore however, so forgive me if my descriptions of the products are a little on the general side! 

 New Beauty TestTube is considered the "first beauty subscription service" in the beauty box world. It all began when readers of New Beauty magazine began asking where they could try/buy products that were featured in the magazine- and the test tube was born through the idea that readers could try the editors favorite products for themselves rather than just reading about them. It was a great idea of course, considering a massive, seemingly endless market of beauty subscriptions has risen out of it!
A great thing about New Beauty TestTube is that they provide a large booklet filled with tons of details about each product included that month. Not only do you get information about the brand, but you can get detailed info on the product as well as tips and tricks to using it properly! It's a really helpful little handbook that I wish more subscriptions took the time to do!
 
Details
New Beauty TestTube costs $29.95 plus $8.95 S+H for a total of $38.95 per tube. The reason why this review is labeled "March/April" is because New Beauty TestTube comes out once every other month, so you would be receiving 6 tubes per year rather than 12 in a monthly subscription. Each box includes the Test Tube, which is filled with beauty samples and full-size products as well as a detailed informational booklet on the products. You also automatically receive a subscription to New Beauty magazine when you subscribe to the Test Tube. The magazine is delivered separately from the Test Tubes, 4 times a year.

*Save 30% off Every Tube As Long As You're Subscribed!*
This is a totally new thing here- Apparently when you use my referral link, from what I understand in the fine print, you will not only save 30% off your first tube, but EVERY tube that you receive during your subscription! This is an awesome deal!

Sign up with this link to save 30% off for every tube you receive!
Of course for some people that is a good chunk of cash for a box of beauty samples. The good news is it only comes every other month, so it's a price equivalent of having a $15 per month subscription (after the 30% off discount). On top of that, they usually include higher-end items and full size products that other subscriptions do not.

I think the test tube is perfect for beauty junkies, but especially for women who don't have time to shop for beauty product or read pages and pages of reviews on a product. Getting the tube sent right to their door removes the hassle when shopping/discovering new beauty products!
I will say that while New Beauty does provide makeup in their tubes (many times it's full size!) they are usually a skincare-heavy subscription. If you're looking for solely cosmetics, this might not be a good choice for you.
Now let's get on with this month's tube!

Klorane Makeup Remover Wipes with Cornflower ($13)
I am a cleansing wipe fanatic. I will fully admit this because when used in combination with a cleansing water, I feel like I can get a good cleanse going on without even leaving my bed. Granted it's not the best way to cleanse I'm sure, but I haven't had any issues yet! These wipes from Klorane are actually a "bonus item" in this tube, which means they were featured in a past tube. I personally think that New Beauty labels these products as "bonuses" when really they fluff the tube up and give it more value while also getting rid of excess stock. The good new is, the bonus items are almost always awesome. Since I love cleansing wipes, I was more than happy to receive these. I've already started using them and while they're not as saturated as I would like ideally, they are very gentle and do a good job cleaning my heavy duty bb cream off my face. 

 CHI 44 Iron Guard Style and Spray ($16)
Chi products are pretty popular, although I'm not much into hair products outside of leave in conditioners, which I cannot get enough of. This is kind of an odd product although I could be misinterpreting it entirely since I don't have the info card on hand. It seems like it's some sort of heat protecting spray and hairspray at the same time? I'm not sure how that works...but since I do heat style daily I might give this a shot to see how it works. 

Oral Essentials Mouthwash Whitening Formula ($2)
I'm not sure how everyone feels about getting oral care products in a beauty subscription, but I am allll for it! Last Test Tube contained a gigantic (no really, it was huge) tube of toothpaste which I was quite happy about, and here we have a natural mouthwash. I'm less excited about this one obviously, but I'm not a fan of mouth washes that are heavy on the alcohol and chemicals, so maybe this one will do the trick for me!

 Board and Batten: Calming Lift ($14)
When I first pulled this out of the tube I was excited because I thought it was a detangler/leave-in conditioner. I quickly notice though, that it's a face mist that contains hyaluronic acid, which is great at hydrating the skin. While this is a great little purse sized mist to rehydrate your skin throughout the day, I'm one of those people that just...never uses face mists. The one exception is that I occasionally mist them on when I wake up in the morning after cleansing, but most of the time they sit in my skincare stash collecting dust. I just feel that I enough products on my skin where it's more than moisturized most of the day, and I rarely need to use a mist to rehydrate. Also that might have to do with the fact that I have oily/combo skin. Regardless, this was passed on to my mom who I think will enjoy it much more than I will!

Grande Naturals Grande Brow Fill in Light ($20)
This Grande brand has shown up multiple times in Test Tubes, and I'm honestly not the biggest fan. First of all, I'm a sucker for beautiful packaging, and theirs looks straight out of an 80's dollar store. Yea, I said it. I've given them the benefit of the doubt though and have tested both the mascara and the lip plumper to mediocre results. They're both acceptable. Neither one were terrible or outstanding, and since the price of these products is anything but dollar store level, I just don't see myself becoming a fan any time soon. I have naturally blonde eyebrows that I pencil in lightly, however they aren't sparse in terms of growth, and I have no actual need for a product like this. I'll be passing this on as well, however this might be a great product for anyone that needs a little filler in their brows.

Cailyn Cosmetics 7-in-1 Liquid Eyeliner ($19)
I've tried Cailyn Cosmetics a handful of times through various subscription boxes, and while I think that the majority of their products work quite well, I find them to be very overpriced. $19 for a liquid liner from a prestige brand would make sense. Cailyn does not have the level of popularity or quality to charge that kind of price, in my personal opinion. Their products are compared in my mind to a high quality drugstore brand. Maybe $10 for this liner. Maybe. Regardless of my opinion of the brand as a whole, I'll probably hang onto this as it's a liquid gel liner and that is something I do not already have in my stash!

Gavee Gold Liquid Gold Peptides Moisturizer
As I mentioned above, I don't have the info book for this box anymore, so I apologize that I can't give more information on this moisturizer. It is a very small sample jar, however if that's not the cutest little container you've ever seen I don't know what is! This line of skincare contains purified 24k liquid gold in it's products, and while I haven't researched a whole lot about the benefits of gold in skincare, it's not the first time I've seen it as an added ingredient. Korean companies tend to tout the "gold" in their skincare as well, so maybe it's something I need to look into more to decide whether or not it's a marketing gimmick. Since I have so many moisturizers and creams already, I passed this one on to my mom but I'm definitely interested to see what she thinks!

 It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Powder Brush ($48)
This was another "bonus" product in the tube this month, and probably one of the most popular products from past tubes, ever. I have heard nothing but fantastic things about the It Cosmetics brushes, and subscribers were raving about this brush when it first popped up in a Test Tube. I have an entire set of brushes so I rarely keep the single ones I get from various subscriptions, but this one has been talked about so much that I might just have to hold onto it and try it for myself! Another fantastic "extra" product!
Overall Thoughts
 New Beauty TestTube costs $29.99 per month and has a shipping charge of $8.95, making it about $39 per tube. (Much less if you use my 30% off coupon!) The total value of the March/April TestTube about $134. I am including the value of the "bonus" products which are the Klorane Cleansing wipes and the It Cosmetics powder brush. I also gave a $2 value to the small moisturizer sample although I'm not entirely sure what the exact value of it is. If you don't include the bonus items, the value goes down to around approximately $73. Since the Tube retails at $29.99 plus shipping, That is still a nice value, however the bonus items are really what made the tube for me this time around. Without those included, I would have been seriously disappointed. Since New Beauty includes bonus items every month, I do think that the tubes have a great value overall, and it's nice if you're a relatively new subscriber because you're able to potentially get products from past tubes that you had been envious of. If you've been subscribing to Test Tube for awhile, these bonus items might seem repetitive. Either way, I do think that this tube was a great value and a nice curation this month!

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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.