Beauty,, Gem or Junk

Impress Gel Manicure: The Future of Press Ons?

I received this for free in an Influenster Shimmer Vox Box to review. My first thought was “Um…I’ll pass”. To be honest I was looking back to the 90’s when Lee Press Ons were all the rage. The only problem was they lasted like a good 45 minutes before they started popping off. Nevertheless, I decided to give these a try and I am So glad I did.

FTC Disclaimer: Although I have received the item mentioned in this post for free to review, all thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% my own, promise.

This set is named ‘Scantily Clad’
Application was pretty easy. Just peel and stick. Apparently the harder you press the more they last. I’m gonna be honest, I was taken aback by how neat and professional they look. 

When I wore them to work I actually got a lot of compliments. Many of my coworkers actually get their nails done and they All thought I had done the same. No one believed they were actually press Ons. 

As far as lasting power, they’re pretty good. I got this set to last five days! What I really like is that they come with extra nails so if a nail pops off you can put one on in it’s place. 💖🥀I only had a nail pop off on the third day🥀💖.

All in all, I’m pretty impressed with these Impress Gel nails. In fact I’m so impressed that I’m currently wearing a new set in ‘Bells and Whistles’. I’ve also been looking into more press on nails. 

I feel these in my future.

I’m so ecstatic because this has opened up a whole new world for me and I love discovering new things to love. 

Do you think press Ons have come a long way?

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Monat Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner: Real Hair Love?

I used to think all shampoos and conditioners were created equal. Honestly, to me they were all the same with different smells. It turns out I was wrong. There is definitely a healthy hair hierarchy in play here. In this post I’m going to go over some samples  I received for review purposes and give you my thoughts. First, let’s learn a little bit more about Monat:

  1. The brand got its start in 2014 and has taken off with the help of Market Partners and VIP Customers (we’ll get more into that at the end of this post).
  2. The brand’s products are paraben and sulfate free. 
  3. Monat recently teamed up with the Salvation Army to help give back to children in the U.S and Canada. 

Now let’s get down and dirty. 

Although I received these products complimentary for review purposes all thoughts and opinions as stated in this post are 100% my own, promise.
I was sent these products by the lovely Dee to review.

 💇🏾‍♀️ I’ll have Dee’s contact info at the end of this post should you wish to learn more about Monat or it’s VIP Customer Program💇🏾‍♀️

While my hair is naturally kinky/curly, shampoos tend to somehow straighten it out. It’s like they have so much crap in them that they way my hair down. Even though the Revitalize Shampoo was not particularly spectacular, it did allow my hair to keep its wild child texture which I Love. I was so happy to feel my hair and see it all curled up because that rarely happens. Whatever is, or isn’t, in this shampoo helps hair to maintain it’s texture which I call a curly girl plus. 

The Conditioner was amazing. When I squeezed it out of the packet it came out almost like a fluff. It was creamy and left my hair feeling Super soft. In fact it’s so soft I’m constantly touching it. While the Shampoo was nice, the Conditioner was wonderful! 

My hair officially feels like a fleece blanket, a cup of cocoa with cinnamon and marshmallows, and a good book on a snowy day. My hair texture is as wild child as ever, and the products managed to avoid stripping my hair color. There is certainly something to these products and I’m interested in trying more, or at the very least snagging that Conditioner. 

Now let’s chitchat about Monat and their programs. 

So it seems like being a VIP has certain benefits. You receive things like free shipping, 15% off of Monat products, free samples, and even birthday goodies. This sounds pretty good, especially when you think about how expensive the products are. That Conditioner I officially need in my life? Yea, that’s $40.00. That’s a little steep. Being a VIP comes with a few caveats. In order to get those benefits, you have to agree to three flexship orders. You also have to pay a membership fee. The fee is $19.99 USD and $24.95 CAD. If you think about it, it’s a one time fee and if you buy three products with that sweet little discount, you’ve already covered the cost of the membership with the coin you save. The flexship orders are kind of like a monthly hair subscription box. For a certain amount each month (what I’m seeing is $84.00 USD and $110.00 CAD) you’ll get the discount, access to limited edition products, as well as a free product. In all honesty, two monat products are going to run you $80.00 so it might be a little more cost effective to be a VIP, especially since they’re coming out with new products (they just released and brow and Lash serum in March with a pretty price tag). They also seem to let you skip every other month if the price tag is still a little too much. Overall the program makes sense for fans of the brand. 

It seems like Monat is a MLM. Think Lipsense, or Lula Roe, or Limelight by Alcone. It’s kind of like the sleek, modern version of the Avon Lady, except the Monat Lady more than likely has great hair. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, I’d say Monat is definitely worth checking out. They do have a pretty high commission rate. 20% is about average for these kinds of “be your own boss” businesses. I can’t really speak to the nature of these kinds of programs because I’ve never really been into sales, (I’m too nonchalant about the word ‘No’ and in this kind of game persistence is key) and consequently, have never really looked into MLMs. I’m sure Dee has a few answers though 😋. 

Whew! This was a long one!
To wrap it up, I’m pretty intrigued by the brand. Personally I’m more concerned with the products than the business aspect, but that’s just my style. The Conditioner and that Lash serum are definitely calling my name. 

💇🏾‍♀️If you’re curious about Monat or it’s programs, you can get in touch with Dee! Email: mermaid_squad@yahoo.com Website: mymonat.com/mermaidsquad 💇🏾‍♀️

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Ulta Maximum Lashes Mascara: All That Lash?

I’m a pretty big fan of Ulta mascaras. For some reason I always love them and I’m building up quite the little collection of them. I picked this up for $10.50. 

If you want me to do a mascara post where I go over these and pick the best one, let me know!
The wand is rubber which is normal for Ulta mascaras. I love how it has big splits between the bristles because that’s perfect for separating Lashes. 

Here I am pre mascara.
Here I am post mascara
Here’s a little close up

I definitely love the way this mascara works. Because of the wand it’s like each Lash gets special treatment. 

I saw some reviews that said it flakes off but in all honesty, that’s never happened to me. But, just because it hasn’t happened to me, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to them, so maybe that’s something to think about before purchasing.  

As always, Ulta didn’t disappoint. What do you think? Am I lashy? 

Until Next We Meet, 

Gem or Junk

Absolute New York Icon Palette (Exposed): Gem or Junk?

Eyeshadow palettes have become my new makeup obsession and every time I find one worthwhile I get So excited to share it with you guys. 🥀Fair Warning: There will be a Lot of eyeshadow palette reviews in the near future. I hope you all are as excited as I am about that!🥀

Notice anything familiar?

It’s the Icon palette in ‘Exposed’. Since they have more than one Icon palette it would make since to have the names on the packaging to differentiate (they dropped the ball on that). Of course this palette looks just like the original Naked palette.  To be honest, I didn’t notice it until I got it home and opened it up again. I paid $6.99 for it at Burlington though the regular price is $14.99. This palette, and all of the other icon palettes can be found at www.absolutenewyork.com.

There are 3 mattes in this palette and the rest are shimmers

Oddly enough, I wasn’t drawn to the original Naked palette but for some reason I was Very drawn to this one. I have no idea what that could be about. 

Here I am before the look.

If you’ve read my Tarte Dream Big Palette review, then you already know that I’ve started putting Vaseline under my eyes because it catches any fall out, and also makes it more visible on camera. 

I look spooked.

While this palette didn’t have a lot of fallout, when you look at the outer corners of my eyes you can definitely see some. 

I honestly really enjoy this palette. All of the shades are soft and pigmented. They also blend wonderfully. Now I’ve never tried the original Naked so unfortunately I can’t speak to if this is a successful dupe quality wise, but this is a solid palette and definitely worth giving a go.

Until Next We Meet, 

Gem or Junk

Tarte Limited Edition Dream Big Palette: Day Dreamer or Dream Deferred?

Tarte is the star of limited editions. They regularly come out with a few small palettes that sell and then fade into oblivion. This palette is one of them. I thought it would be a good idea to get in depth and see if it’s any good. 

🍎It should be noted that this is my first experience with Tarte eyeshadow so I’m not at all equipped to say how this palette holds up against any palettes in Tarte’s permanent collection🍎

This palette was $30.00. I’ve taken a picture of it in natural lighting and the swatches match that setup starting at the top from left to right in the palette and right to left on my arm. 

So from right to left on the arm we have ‘this is it’, ‘all in’, ‘go for it’, ‘you can’, ‘happening’, ‘hustle’, ‘ambitious’, and ‘risktaker’.
The mattes are very soft and buttery. The shimmers are very smooth feeling which I think will play well even with textured lids. 

So, I did this palette review a little differently today. I went much more in depth than normal because I really wanted to be able to tell you how Every shade works. 

I did my eyeshadow before anything else. I primed my eyes with Nyx Proof It eye primer. I also swiped Vaseline onto my cheeks and the sides of my eyes. I did that because not only will the Vaseline catch any fall out and make it easy to wipe away, but it also makes fallout much more visible on camera. That means you’ll really be able to see how the palette does. 

Before we get to the look. I want to go over the shades that didn’t really get Incorporated into this look today.

 🥀Yes, I have used every shade in this palette. I’ve had it about two weeks and I’ve played with it quite a bit🥀

‘All in’ is by far my favorite shade. It’s an absolutely beautiful rosy peach with no fallout. It really is true to pan. I use ‘ambitious’ as a base color. It’s very buttery and let’s the other shadows play well together. ‘Risktaker’ is very beautiful. It has minimal fallout and I think it would make a gorgeous highlighter.

Now on to the shades I used in today’s look. 

While ‘go for it’ blended into the crease pretty well, ‘hustle’ hit me hard with a bunch of fallout. It literally looked like I had smudged it all over the end of my lid, which was Not my game plan. 

I wiped awaybthe fallout from ‘hustle’ and added more Vaseline. It was just too distracting.

I packed ‘happening’ all over the lid. The fallout on this was pretty minimal and I really liked how it looks on the lid. 

I put ‘this is it’ in my inner corner. At first I thought this shade was too similar to ‘risktaker’ but they actually look quite different on the eye.  I then used ‘you can’ on the brow bone and it is just shimmery gold goodness. I also think it would be a beautiful highlighter.

Here’s the finished look up close and personal.

I have to admit, Tarte made a solid first impression. The fallout isn’t horrible. In fact, only ‘hustle’ has any real fallout. I love the range of colors and the packaging is adorable. This is definitely a win for me. 

What do you think?

 Until Next We Meet, 

Gem or Junk

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Stick: A Good Fit?

More and more brands are coming out with foundation sticks these days. I’ve always really wanted to try one , but I’ve never wanted to spend much money on one (at least not until I know that I even like foundation sticks). Then comes Maybelline to the rescue. Let’s see if they pass the test.

I paid around 10 bucks for this and I have it in the shade ‘Toffee’. 

So I’ve been using this for about two weeks and I kind of have a method down. I swiped it all over my face. It’s a wonderfully creamy texture. It glides like butter. 

So here’s half my face blended. I would suggest using a brush to blend. When I used a blending sponge because the product is so creamy it hadn’t set and the wet sponge just picked up product. It blends really well. 

It’s definitely on the sheer side. It kind of comes off as my skin but better. It’s a nice even coverage and I think it can definitely be taken up a notch. When you pair it with the Fit Me concealer it works like a dream. I think those two products go together seamlessly. 

In all honesty, I’m a bit of a fan. I think it looks beautiful on the skin and it doesn’t settle into pores or my laugh lines. If you’re looking for a more natural finish I would suggest giving this a go.

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Wet N Wild Color Icon Glitter Single: Oh Yes, Or Hot Mess?

I love Glitter. I love it so much but it somehow managed to ruin little pieces of my life when I encounter it. It’s ruined my laptop, my nails, and I Always get covered in it. So the thought of putting it near my eyeballs is such a no for me, but this got such mixed reviews I Had to try it. 

It’s 99¢ and I grabbed it in the shade ‘Brass’. When I first finger swatched it I noticed it had a weird texture. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was so I went back to the reviews and voilà! 

Noticing a theme?
 
There were so many reviews calling it Vaseline and Glitter and that’s exactly what it felt like! 

Even the swatch looks like it!

Before I show you how my eyes turned out, I think it’s important that we discuss application first. I want everyone that gives this a try to be able to get the same result. 

Application 

Now, combing through the reviews I noticed a lot of people admitting to trying various things to get this to work well. Some people were just putting it directly on their lids but curiously had a problem with it creasing. My guess is because like Vaseline, whatever the base is for this Glitter will just slide around. The base can hold the Glitter but it can’t keep the Glitter in place. This probably also affects how long the product lasts. For oilier skin I’m thinking just putting it on is Not gonna be an option. Some people used a base shadow or base pot. This didn’t seem to work well either. A simple base shadow or base pot doesn’t have much tackiness and before you know it, the Glitter is spreading. Others tried a regular eyeshade primer, and while these are more tacky than base pots, they dry relatively quickly and can be difficult to work with when using a Glitter, since Glitter requires more precise placement. I also wouldn’t bother using a brush because the Glitter will just get stuck in there and still won’t apply like you want it to. 

I think the best way to go about it is with a Glitter glue or Glitter primer and your finger. Treat it as if it were a typical loose Glitter because the base is kind of pointless. I used Nyx Glitter primer and my index finger to tap it onto the lid. 

All things considered I think it worked out quite well! 

Let’s look a litte closer
We’re so close you can see the texture in my skin!

Sorry if the close-ups are bit off putting, but I really wanted to show you what it looks like up close and personal.  I will say, this is Super messy. Because of the base Glitter sticks to your finger and you can wind up getting it everywhere if you use a brush. If you’re going to use a brush do your eyes before you do anything else since you’ll have fall out. If you’re going to use your finger just be sure to wash your hands before continuing with your makeup and your day. 

All in all, I like these little singles! They’re only a dollar and once you get into the groove of applying them, they work out wonderfully! 

Until Next We Meet,

Smack Down

Highlighter Smack Down: Ofra VS. Wet N Wild

Everyone loves a good highlighter. The best part is that good ones are super easy to come by. That being said, you’ve probably heard a fair amount of feedback on which highlighters give the best glow. I figured a little competition would be fun and insightful.

The Wet N Wild highlighter is in the shade ‘Precious Petals’ while the Ofra highlighter is in the shade ‘Rodeo Drive’.  The Ofra one is $35.00 and the Wet N Wild one is $4.99.

Ofra is packing 10 grams while Wet N Wild only has 5.4 grams. That’s a little more than half so honestly, you could spend 10 bucks, get two Wet N Wild highlighters, and wind up with more product than Ofra. 

The shades are not exactly the same. ‘Precious Petals’ has rosier undertones than ‘Rodeo Drive’ but when applied, there’s no real definitive difference between the two. 

I decided I would wear both highlighters on a busy day to see how they hold up against each other. The gleams are ridiculously similar, although Ofra seems to come out on top with glow. 

💫Wet N Wild💫

✨Ofra✨

So with my midday check in I want to tell you a little bit about the conditions these highlighters are under. I live in Georgia and the South Always has very hot summers. It was 90 degrees (Fahrenheit). I got some groceries, ran to Target for craft supplies and ran a few more errands. I tend to park in the back of parking lots (the walk helps me figure out exactly what I need before I get in the store and spend like a mad woman). All of that being said, it was hot and I was starting to sweat. The Wet N Wild highlighter seems to be hanging in there wonderfully, while for some reason (maybe it’s just me) it looks like the Ofra highlighter is getting ready to check out. It also seems like it was spreading a little, but that could just be sweat.

💫Wet N Wild💫

✨Ofra✨

So after running errands, I spent the rest of the night taking photos and editing them to prepare for next week’s monthly declutter post. 🎈If you follow my Snapchat (poisonedannie) you know I’m decluttering eye shadow palettes🎈  It’s been 8 hours since initial application. I’ve gotta say, the Wet N Wild side looks so much better to me. It’s managed to stay in place and gleam all day. The Ofra side, not so much. I think once I started sweating Ofra was done. It started spreading down my cheek and lost some of its gorgeous glow. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised it melted like butter, since it applied smooth like butter 😜.  

I’m gonna call it and say Wet N Wild won this round. Seems like Ofra had a really hard time hanging on once exposed to a little heat. 

What do you think of this smack down? Should I do more like it, or was it a little to brutal for the bloggersphere?

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

E.L.F Eye Refresh: Eyes on a Roll?

I am a fan of anything that loves my eyes. With all the products we cover our eyes with, (eye shadow, falsies, mascara, etc) they could always use a little love. This is especially important for me because my eyes are Extra. Since I’ve already reviewed this brand before, the fast facts can be skipped.

The reason my eyes are so extra is because they twitch like crazy. They twitch when I haven’t been sleeping well, or I’m angry, or nervous.  It’s great to have something that could help with that.

This retails for $3.00 on E.L.F’s site. 

According to the site, this is supposed to relieve puffiness and help with dark circles. While it probably does, I think it’s wonderful even if it doesn’t. It has a metal ball at the tip and acts a lot like an eye massager. This is great for especially tired eyes. It’s very relaxing to use. I pop mine in the fridge to make it nice and cooling.

The best part for me is that it calms my hyperactive lids. When I use this, the twitching actually stops which always amazes me. 

If you’re in the market to give your eyes a little love, I’d say definitely give this a go.

Extra Eyes Unite!

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

BH Cosmetics Liquid Foundation: Off To a Rocky Start?

Just the other day, I was going through my blog tr ying to figure out what kind of product I should review next. Suddenly, I realized that I’ve Never done a foundation review! How’d I miss that?! So BH Cosmetics gets the honors. Since I’ve reviewed something by them before, I won’t regurgitate any fast facts. If you’re curious, you could take a peak here.

Let’s get into it. When I snagged this it was on sale for $4.50, but the current, and regular, price is $6.99. 

I have the shade ‘D1’ or ‘Hazelnut’. It’s described as both on the packaging. The shade range leaves a lot to be desired, but there are some sufficiently deep shades which really pleases me. 

Here I am with half a face done, and this is definitely the right shade for me. 

This is a really great medium to full coverage. The finish is pretty dewy so if you have oily skin, you may want to use a mattifying powder with this or skip it altogether. 

I really do like this foundation. It settles well and isn’t oxidizing. It’s nice and moisturizing and I think the coverage is splendid. Who knew BH had it in them? 

Until Next We Meet,