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Sephora September Play! Box


Greetings! Happy Sephora September Play! Box Day! The happiest day of the month. It’s kind of like Rex Manning Day, only for adults…and about makeup…and not sucky.  Okay, it’s nothing like Rex Manning Day.  And if you don’t know what Rex Manning Day is, please go watch ’90s classic Empire Records immediately and report back.

This month is doubly exciting because I made a video to accompany the post! It was nerve wracking, so I hope it’s not terrible.  It accompanies the launch of the new YouTube channel, and I welcome feedback.  Just not too harsh, please!

So what do we have in the Sephora September Play! Box?

First, the cute makeup pouch with “A Change of Face” on it.  I love these little pouches.  They’re so handy when you need to just throw a bunch of stuff together and go.  As I apply my makeup, I throw it into one of these bags and then just tuck the bag into my purse for the night.  Easy peasy.

Sephora September Play! Box

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof

Guys, it’s like Sephora knows exactly what I want.  I would say they’ve bugged my house, but I don’t think I’ve said this out loud, so perhaps they’ve bugged my brain.  The thing is, I’m incapable of wearing black eyeliner without it getting all over my under eye area and making me look a) incredibly tired and b) kind of old.  I chalk it up to having oily skin.  But I’ve never tried a waterproof eyeliner, so I’m very excited to give this one a go.

Algenist POWER Recharging Night Pressed Serum

I had to go to the Sephora website to look up what a pressed serum was, and discovered that this stuff goes for $95 a pot.  See, the Sephora box is awesome.  I never would have purchased a full sized container of this because, what if I didn’t like it?  Then I’m out a hundred bucks.  This way, I get to try before I buy.

Serums have seriously become one of my favorite skincare products.  They do so much with so little.  This one promises a radiant and smooth complexion in 10 days, so I’m hoping there’s enough in this lil’ guy to get me to 10.

Sephora September Play Box

IGK Hot Girls Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

I have to admit, I find this packaging odd.  There are photos of girls whipping their hair around and swimming.  And yes, while I would like to look like these girls, this packaging looks like it’s targeting men, TBH.  On the plus side, it is vegan and cruelty free, and promises to revive stressed hair.  Since my hair constantly takes a beating from hot styling tools, I welcome any product that can restore its shine and softness.

Belif – The True Cream Aqua Bomb

This one I had to look up as well, just because I’m unfamiliar with the company.  So this stuff is cool because it’s oil free, which is great for skin like mine which is oily and has large pores.  According to the Sephora website, in clinical tests subjects experienced a 70% increase in their skin’s hydration levels.  I wonder how they test that…

Sephora September Play! Box

Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in Amulet

Another waterproof wonder, this lipstick shade is described as a matte brick rose.  While I love the brick rose color, I’m personally nervous about a matte lipstick.  I don’t wear it very often, as it usually dries out my lips and leaves that weird rim around the edges when I eat or drink anything.  Still, the reviews are great, so I’m happy to try it out.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow

Y’all, I’m very, very happy to get this one.  Benefit’s big thing is brows these days, and although I haven’t visited their brow bar yet, I have been eyeing Gimme Brow for a while.  The packaging promises that it will volumize and tame brows while staying natural looking.  I’ve seen some pretty messed up brows before, and I usually stay away from any kind of fillers for that reason.  It would be just my luck that I’d leave the house thinking my brows looked amazing, then getting out into natural light and realizing I look like a mental patient.

That’s it for this month’s haul.  If you liked the review, please share it!  What do you guys think is the most promising product in here?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Arbonne Grab Bag

One of the things I love most about being a blogger is the connections I make with people all over the world. Shortly after I launched Beauty Chaos, a woman named Holly Brown contacted me.  Holly is an Arbonne representative, and also has a lovely website, Living Like Lotus. Holly sent a message asking if I would like to try some Arbonne stuff out for Beauty Chaos. Ummmm, hello, freebies? Of course!

So here’s the awesome thing: Holly is from Peterborough, U.K. So after just launching my website, a new friend from across the globe reached out and got in touch.  This Internet thing, I tell ya, it’s simply amazing.

About a week later, my package arrived.

Not only was it addressed to my new business, it was packed to the gills with stuff.  And it had a customs declaration.  How cool is that?

Arbonne - Beauty Chaos

Now, onto the good stuff.

Included in my Arbonne Grab Bag was: A sampler pack of the Calm Skincare line; a sampler pack of RE9 Advanced Anti-Aging Skincare line; “It’s a Long Story” Mascara; FC5 Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream; an “It’s All in the Eyes” eye shadow sampler in a neutral palette; Perfecting Liquid Foundation & Makeup Primer; Smoothed Over Lipstick; and Glossed Over Lip Gloss. It was like I had died and gone to beauty heaven.

Arbonne has been around for almost 40 years.

Although I had a friend who was a rep when I was in my early 20s, that was the first I had ever heard of the company.  As I understand it, they function kind of like Avon, R+F, Mary Kay, etc., in that you have to get the products directly from their Independent Consultants.

Best of all Arbonne is vegan, gluten-free, and doesn’t test on animals.

Huge plus. Huge.  The company formulates without a whole mess of chemicals and contains no animal byproducts as well. The company is focused on sustainability, leaving a small carbon footprint, and has led the way in the green movement in the U.S., with their commitment to sustainability beginning all the way back in 1980.

Arbonne - Beauty Chaos

So, are their products any good?

In a word, yes, they are. I began my sampling with the Calm skincare line, which included the Gentle Daily Cleanser, Soothing Facial Serum, Gentle Daily Moisturizer, and Soothing Eye Gel.  Arbonne’s Calm line is designed for those with sensitive skin, as the name alludes to.  The key ingredients are aloe vera, cucumber, licorice, and chamomile, to name a few.

To be honest, this isn’t the line for me.  As I’ve stated in other posts, my skin is incredibly oily and can withstand a lot – I used rubbing alcohol for a time as a toner when I was in high school – so I need something with a little more kick. But I think this line would work well for someone with sensitive skin, as it did not make me break out.  Most products do.  And what struck me was how little of the product I needed with each use.  As Holly quipped when I told her this, “A dot does a lot!”  So my little sample bottles lasted about a week with twice a day use.

Next, I moved onto the RE9 Advanced Anti-Aging Skincare Line.  I’m at that weird point in my skincare life where I’m still breaking out, but having to fight wrinkles at the same time.  It’s magical, folks.  The RE9 line had so much stuff.  There were seven little bottles for me to try!  These included Smoothing Facial Cleanser, Regenerating Toner, Intensive Renewal Serum, Corrective Eye Cream, Night Repair Cream, Restorative Cream SPF20, and Extra Moisture Restorative Cream SPF 20.

Arbonne RE9 Advanced - Beauty Chaos

I love this line, especially the Intensive Renewal Serum.  Whatever the magic ingredient is, it worked immediately.  My skin felt more supple, smooth and firm.  I have rarely found products that work this quickly.  The Restorative Creams with SPF were very light, and break my skin out.  And the Night Repair Cream left my skin feeling well hydrated.  All in all, this is a line I will likely use again.

My name is Amy, and I am a hand lotion hoarder.

Not all hand lotion, mind you.  But whenever I stay in a hotel, I take the little bottles of lotion and put them in the cosmetic pocket of my purse.  Last time I cleaned it out, I believe there were five in there.  And I wonder why my purse weighs 10 pounds.

The Arbonne Ultra-Hydrating Hand Creme has been added to my pouch, and this is a great one.  It is very lightly perfumed and doesn’t feel greasy after application, both of which are pet peeves of mine when it comes to lotion.  I will definitely carry around a bottle of this with me in my purse from now on.

Onto the makeup portion of today’s show.

When it comes to mascara, I am of the more is better mentality.  If I were only allowed one cosmetic item, mascara would be it.  There’s something about how it transforms my face that wakes everything up.  I feel like I can leave the house wearing only mascara (and concealer.  and a little lip tint.  and maybe some blush.  Oh, who am I kidding?)

That said, I tend to go for the formulas that promise big, bold, voluminous lashes, like Diorshow or, one of my personal favorites, Too Faced Better-Than-Sex Mascara. So I was surprised by how much I liked Arbonne’s “It’s a Long Story” mascara.  Having been blessed with long lashes to begin with, I don’t usually look for lengthening formulas.  This mascara lengthens, but does so without looking like you’re wearing mascara.  It’s pretty cool.  I found myself putting it on every time I would run out of the house and needed a little pick me up, but didn’t want to put on a full face of makeup.

All the colors of the rainbow.

The cool thing about the samples Holly sent is that each one contains all the colors of the collection.  With the foundation, I got to try a couple of colors before finding my perfect shade (Fair/Pale for when I’ve been staying out of the sun diligently, Buff/Chamois when I’ve overindulged in my pool time a bit).  The Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation offers nice, light coverage, perfect for everyday use.  Also included in the sampler pack was their makeup primer, which prepped my skin perfectly.

Arbonne
Mwah!
S.W.A.K.

I’m not a huge lipstick wearer,  so given the choice between the lipstick and gloss, I would choose the gloss.  But the lipstick offers a large variety of shades for all skin tones, and does have a hydrating feel.  As I’ve said before, when I get nervous I bite my lip, so lipstick never lasts long on me.  But for a night out, I would definitely carry this one in my clutch.

The Glossed Over gloss is great, leaving shine without being sticky, and layering easily over the lipstick.  With the sampler pack I was able to try quite a few combos, with some great results.

Overall, Arbonne’s selection impressed me.  There are a few other products in the catalog Holly enclosed that I’m planning to try, including The Real Conceal concealer and Sheer Glow Highlighter.  They even have a line of nutritional products ranging from green powder to protein bars to vitamins.  And with their commitment to being cruelty free, vegan, and green, Arbonne stands out as a company that cares.

Got a line of products you’d like me to try? Thoughts on Arbonne?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

 

 

Sephora August Play! Box

I’m just as excited to have received my Sephora August Play! Box as I was my July one.  Perhaps it reminds me of being a kid, when getting mail felt magical.  Less so now; now it just feels like bills, LOL.

My apologies for being absent last week for my second post.  Husband and I are hosting our first Airbnb and it’s…interesting.  I have had a lot on my plate.

So now, onto the Sephora August Play! Box

Sephora August Play! Box - Beauty ChaosThe box again arrived with a cute little “Makeup Geek” bag, as well as an “Elements of Beauty” periodic table.  Adorable.  As I described previously, there are specifications you get to enter when you subscribe for the Play! box, so they’re kind of individualized, which is awesome.

Contents

beautyblender micro.mini This thing is just adorable.  I have wanted to try the beautyblender for a while, and this little teeny bugger is the perfect size for a test run. Reading the description in the pamphlet, I’m surprised to find out that beautyblender has been around for 15 years.  Clearly, I’ve been missing out!  It’s a great shape to get into the under eye area for concealer, or dab on little blemishes (not that any of us get those).  The description promises it will double in size when wet.

Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil I almost can’t believe it took a company this long to invent a mascara remover in a mascara wand form.  Sounds elementary, I know, but after years of rubbing at my lashes with makeup remover and scrubbing my face, something I apply directly to lashes before wiping is innovative. I usually wear a coat of waterproof mascara over my regular mascara so I don’t get smudges, so I’m excited to try this one out.

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme Concealers are a difficult area for me, I have to admit.  Either they don’t provide enough coverage for my Italian-heritage under eye circles, or the coverage is so heavy that when I smile it creases and I end up looking at least 10 years older.  I’m not sure I need the 24-hour coverage that this concealer promises, but the “high-pigment, crease-proof formula” is a definite plus in my book.

Sephora August Play! Box - Beauty ChaosKopari Coconut Melt So…this one confuses me.  The pamphlet shows it as a cream, but mine is completely liquefied.  It’s been inside since it arrived, so I’m puzzled.  The instructions are to “melt a dollop in your hands and apply,” but it’s already melted.  And leaking.  Not great.  Hopefully, the product will be good enough that it’s worth it.   This jack of all trades promises to function as a lip balm, nighttime moisturizer, makeup remover, and more.

Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Perfume Two perfume types to try here, folks.  Between Sephora Play! and Influenster, I have perfume coming out of my ears.  SAINT is a more floral scent, with notes of mandarin, jasmine, and tiare flower, with a base note of musk.  SINNER is in the warm and spicy family, with orange blossom, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Sounds like smelling like a scone.  In all seriousness, they both smell pretty good, so hopefully that’ll translate into smelling good on me.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo OMG, I could not be more excited about this one! All I’ve read is that this is the BEST dry shampoo on the market, bar none. Supposedly there’s a “new patented molecule” that allows Living Proof’s dry shampoo to absorb oil more effectively than any of the competitors out there, leaving hair truly voluminous and refreshed.  Will it make me look like Jennifer Aniston?  It’s worth a shot.

Sephora August Play! Box

That’s it for the Sephora August Play! Box

I’m super excited to try out these products and see which ones work, especially the two in here from my “try” list.  See, this is why I joined the beauty box program.  I knew that at some point, they would send me something I’ve been wanting to try.

What was your experience with subscription boxes?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Don’t forget to check out my 30-Day Pamper Yourself Challenge!

Sephora July Play! Box

I’m a little late to the game on this, but I finally got my Sephora July Play! Box in the mail and I am very excited.  After “applying” for the program, I was finally approved by Sephora to join.  Personally, I think they’re trying to create more desire for this box by making it seem like you have to jump through hoops to get it.  But whatever works.

While I was in Ohio visiting my family recently, I saw my sister’s Sephora July Play! Box arrive.  This thing was just so cute.  Fortunately, she also had the June and May contents of her boxes available for me to peruse. A self-described “hoarder,” she had not opened anything.  Everything in these packages looked great, so I decided to give it a shot.

The Sephora website informed me via a pop up that there was a waitlist for the Play! Box.  So I signed up and waited.  About a day later, I was in.

The great thing about the Sephora Play! Box is that you get to be specific.

They have a questionnaire online that asks you hair color, eye color, skin tone, skin concerns, and hair concerns.  There are probably other questions in there that I’m forgetting.  But since you get to enter this information, they specialize each box to your needs.

I’m not sure how individualized the Play! Boxes are, but here’s what was in my Sephora July Play! Box.

Sephora July Play BoxThe samples are good sized, first of all, so you can get several uses out of each one.  Awesome!  Also, each box comes with a collectible makeup bag.  Mine exclaims, “Glamp Out!” in red lettering against pink and white stripes.  Super cute.

Viktor & Rolf BONBON Eau de Parfum This perfume promises fruity florals, with notes of orange blossom, caramel and mandarin.  Perfume samples often go unused and sit in my medicine cabinet, since I’m not a big perfume person.  This particular perfume is actually sold out on the Sephora website, so I can only assume it’s pretty popular.

Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer Perricone’s moisturizer states that it is best for normal, dry, sensitive, or combination skin.  Strike one;  my skin is pretty oily and I believe I specified that in my profile.  Maybe I said combination.  At any rate, I opened it and the fragrance is very, very strong.  As I usually use an oil free, fragrance free moisturizer, I don’t have very high hopes for this one.

Madam CJ Walker Dream Come True Wonderful Conditioning Mask Wow, that’s a mouthful.  And not even the full name.  This product, too, is out of stock on the Sephora website, so I can only imagine that it’s popular.  Another product free of parabens, sulfates, and pthalates, this mask promises to revive dry, damaged and/or color treated hair.

Sephora July Play BoxRen Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask Ren’s mask is listed for sensitive skin, and it’s specified for redness, uneven skin tone, and rosacea.  I’m beginning to think that I filled out that profile incorrectly.  Red, sunburned, irritated, jet lagged, dry, stressed, or wind-chapped skin will benefit from the white mushroom extract in this one (I think).  I wish I had had this a week ago when I was fighting the jet lag desperately. But I have a feeling all this will do is clog my pores.

IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara I have high hopes for this one.  Mascara is probably my favorite cosmetic, and I’ve heard great things about IT.  This one was developed “with plastic surgeons,” which is both terrifying and amazing.  It is also cruelty free.  Can’t wait to try!

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Color Balm One of my favorite inventions by Clinique, the Chubby Stick came out when I was in high school and immediately became one of my favorite things.  So I already have experience with this one.  They sent me a color called “woppin’ watermelon,” which I’ve already sampled.  It’s a little light in pigment for my taste, but it’s very moisturizing.

Sephora July Play! Box

I just checked my profile and I did specify that I have oily skin.  So it turns out Sephora is just ignoring me.

Overall, I’d say the venture into the territory of the Sephora Play! Box is a success.  I’m impressed by the amount of stuff you get, and although some of the stuff seems like it’s not particularly specialized for me, I’ll still try it!

What’s your favorite subscription box?  Leave me a comment or message me here and let me know!

 

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Hello, ladies! (and gents.  If there are any gents.  If there are, welcome.)  Today, we’ll be having a look at Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer.

Thoughts

This lovely gem came along with the “Try It Kit” I got not long ago during my Ulta trip.  I have no idea how I’ve gone so long without under eye primer!  This stuff is amazing.

I suffer from unfortunate dark under eye circles which require concealer even on my best days.  Usually, when I wear concealer I end up fussing with it all day/night, constantly wiping my under eye area to make sure it’s not caking, clumping up or otherwise contributing to making me look older.

The Smashbox Primer is light, and you can definitely feel the hydration as soon as you pat it on your under eye area.  You don’t need much of it, which is nice since I only got a small tube of it in the kit. I have a feeling even that will last me for quite a while.

Smashbox Try It Kit - Beauty ChaosI let the primer dry for a few seconds before applying my concealer.  Immediately, the stuff stays put.  I mean, it is not going anywhere.  So I have to now practice NOT touching my under eyes and constantly wiping away my age.  When I do try to wipe at it, I feel almost as though I’m going to take my skin with it.  So I would advise keeping your hands away from your face.

The great thing is, when I go to look at myself in the mirror partway through the day or night, my makeup is all still intact.  As a matter of fact, when I get home at the end of the day, my makeup is still intact.  I find this amazing, as I have VERY oily Italian skin, which is a blessing and a curse, and I’ve usually melted within a few hours.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Cost and Where to Buy

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is available at Sephora and Ulta for $29.  However, when I did a search I found a site called Glambot which has it listed for $14.50.  Knowing nothing about this site, I cannot recommend or not recommend it, but for half the price of other places it’s worth a shot.

Also, if the Smashbox Try It Kit is still available, I’d highly recommend this.  There are four primers in one box for $29.  As I said, you don’t need much, so it’s perfect.

Summing Up

As I said, I cannot believe I went so long without using an under eye primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is going to become one of my go-to products for both everyday use and special occasions.  LOVE IT.

Other Things
Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer
I’m wearing the under eye primer in this photo. I know, you can totally see it.

And now some randomness, as usual.  As I write this I’m sitting in the guest room at my mother’s house in Ohio.  I flew in for my grandmother’s 100th birthday, which was a smashing success.  She loved it.  It was amazing to witness.

Getting to see all my friends here is also amazing.  I usually come here a couple of times a year, and it feels as if no time has gone by.  Everyone needs friends like that.  And they all showed up to my grandmother’s birthday party – how amazing is that?

Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer
Jack, the Wonder Cat

I also get to visit with my mama’s kitties, old-lady Skittles and the ever-unforgettable 20 pound wonder, Jack.  He is a lover.  They both sit with me as I work in the dining room table with my computer, flanking me on each side, sleeping soundly in their respective chairs.

At night, Jack will join me for some TV time, insisting I pet him by snuggling up to me and touching me, usually on my face, with his outstretched paw.  It’s nice to have lovey animals everywhere I go.

However…I haven’t been taking very good care of myself while I’ve been here.  I find traveling and balancing visiting with everyone, working, and keeping to my workout routine/nutritional plan to be very difficult.  Physique 57 reminded me that I’ve missed four workouts (thanks, guys) and I’ve eaten pizza for almost every meal.

Insomnia is also a problem.  I suffer from it anyways, but when I’m jet lagged or dealing with any time change, it takes me forever to adjust.  By the time I’ve gotten used to it, it’s time to leave.

So while I’ve very much enjoyed spending time with my people and furry friends, I look forward to getting back into a normal routine and taking care of myself again.

Have a favorite primer?  Got a concealer you want me to try out?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara

I have always been drawn to Benefit Cosmetics.

The packaging speaks to me.  The bright pink with all the cool retro-looking photos – I dig it.  So trying out the Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara was a no-brainer.

There’s even a Benefit Cosmetics vending machine in the Burbank Airport.  I’m sure there’s others in other airports, but Burbank is the only place I’ve seen one.  Every time I have down time at the airport, I inevitably end up circling the Benefit vending machine, the products winking back at me like expensive bags of chips or candy bars.  I usually have to pry myself away.

The first thing I ever purchased from Benefit was their Kitten Sparkling Body Powder.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara

loved it.  This was back in college when I was still wearing things like sparkling body powder, and I used to dust myself with it every time I went out.  Unfortunately, Benefit has discontinued the Kitten, but they bring it back for limited offers every once in a while.

Now, before I get into the review, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately.  Maybe it’s because I’m doing too much.  Maybe it’s that a spider tried to assassinate me this morning as I was waking up.  One of the foster cats, Moonshine, thwarted his attempt, but he’s now lost in my bedroom waiting for his next opportunity.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Beauty Chaos
How could you not love those adorable faces?

Oh, and the foster cats are still with us.  The people who were interested apparently lost interest.  Their loss – these girls are amazing and they are welcome here for as long as they like.  Or at least as long as they’re saving me from spider assassins.

Now, back to Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Beauty ChaosI came upon a display at Ulta with a bunch of different mascaras, several of which were “fan favorites.”  Since I had already tried a few of the ones on display, including Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, I decided to try Benefit.

The packaging, of course, is adorable, with the signature Benefit script screaming “They’re Real!” in orange and red across the black box.  Copy on the box says that 94% of users saw dramatic length and volume and visible lift, and 90% saw base to tip curl.  Apparently 100% of users saw long wearing results, which is a pretty hefty claim for any company as it leaves absolutely no margin for error.

The tube itself is this futuristic looking dark chrome color, really cool.  And the brush is specially designed for Benefit to give ultimate results.

The reviews on Ulta.com are mixed.
Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Beauty Chaos
Mascara left eye only

I’ve seen some products where the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and those products usually are shoo-ins.  While They’re Real! has a good amount of five star reviews, there are also a pretty significant number of two and one star reviews.

The reason I’m mentioning this is I find this mascara…underwhelming.  It works fine, lengthens a bit and darkens my lashes, but not nearly to the extent that some other mascaras I’ve tried do.  I’m a little disappointed, to be honest.  With the packaging boasting such amazing claims, I thought for sure I’d found my next favorite.  Unfortunately not, especially for the price tag of $24.

Cost and Where to Buy

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara can be found at Ulta, Sephora, and the Benefit Cosmetics website for $24.  On the Benefit site, there are three colors to choose from: black, brown, and blue.

Summing Up
Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Beauty Chaos
Top: Naked
Middle: One Coat
Bottom: Two Coats

By all means, conduct your own experiment with this one.  I’m kind of spoiled when it comes to mascara; I expect a lot, and if my lashes don’t look like I’m wearing falsies, I’m not happy.  Based on the five star reviews up, and many claiming it’s their favorite, I imagine there are plenty of women out there for whom this mascara works magically.

 

Got a mascara you want me to try?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

On my recent Ulta trip, I got a great haul of products.  To be honest, I went in knowing I wanted to make the trip a big one.  I didn’t just lose control and buy everything that I saw (not that I haven’t done that before).

This time, I tried to exercise a modicum of restraint and purchase only those things that I needed.  Or had really wanted to try for a long time.  I mostly succeeded 😉

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Beauty Chaos

One of my purchases was the Smashbox Try It Kit, which contained several primers, including Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water.

The kit included four of Smashbox’s most popular primers, including Photo Finish Primer Water, Foundation Primer, 24 Hour Shadow Primer, and Hydrating Under Eye Primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish line of primers is their most popular, but they make a bunch of other primers for different purposes.

At first, I picked up a full sized bottle of Photo Finish Foundation Primer, as I recently ran out of my ELF Poreless Primer and needed something to replace it.  However, during my hour or so of wandering around the store, I found the Try It Kit and decided to give it a go.

Smashbox Try It Kit - Beauty Chaos

Four products to try in one box?  Yes, please.

It’s a good thing that I purchased the Smashbox Kit when I did, because soon after I was hired to work on a CBS show.  I’m not allowed to say which one until it airs (the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club).  But it’ll be on in late July and I’ll let everyone know then.

During the day, my makeup has a tendency to melt and smush in different ways.  It’s one of the drawbacks of living in the hot desert climate – no matter how much powder you apply, makeup will run.  So I decided to try a few different tactics in order to keep my makeup in place this time.

One of the main reasons I like the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is that there are several different ways to use it.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Beauty ChaosFirst, you can spray it on as a primer (hence the title) to prep skin for foundation.  Next, it can also be used as a setting spray after you apply your makeup, to keep your makeup in place all day.  Finally, makeup artists swear by using it throughout the day to keep makeup set and freshen throughout the day.

Also, Smashbox Cosmetics is cruelty free, which is always a wonderful bonus.  I can’t wait for the day when all cosmetics are cruelty free.  Can I volunteer to be their lab experiment subject?

The online reviews for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water are pretty great.

According to the Ulta website, 93 percent of women said it left their skin instantly hydrated.  90 percent said it absorbs quickly and their skin felt refreshed after first use.

I had much the same experience with the Primer Water.  As soon as I sprayed it on, my skin felt refreshed and hydrated, and my skin didn’t feel as heavy as if I’d applied a creamier primer.  Major plus, since my skin is oily and feels like I have a slick on it most of the time.  I didn’t take it with me to freshen during the day, and I didn’t use it as a setting spray.  I purchased a different setting spray that I wanted to try, but next time I’ll give this a shot.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

On a 90 plus degree day, my makeup pretty much stayed put.

I wore the Primer Water under a BB Cream and not foundation, which may have contributed a bit to the smearing, but not much.  My makeup stayed in place for the hour drive to the studio, five hour wait, one hour of shooting, and hour drive home.  Considering the heat, I’d say that’s a win.

Cost and Where to Buy

As I said, I got my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water at Ulta in a primer kit.  The kit cost $29, which I thought was a steal considering that it contained four primers.  The full sized Primer Water is 3.9 ounces, which goes for $32.  The Smashbox website has it for the same price. eBay has it for around $23, if you’re willing to take a chance on that.

Summing Up

I think Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is a great buy.  You get three products in one, and it keeps makeup in place really well.  I’m excited to try it with a foundation instead of BB Cream.

What’s your favorite primer?  Leave me a comment or message me here!  And don’t forget to subscribe!