Gem or Junk

Supergoop! Setting Spray: Ready, Set, Stay?

I love a good setting spray. When I got this in a subscription service I knew I’d be happy to give it a whirl. Supergoop! is a much beloved brand. Before we find out if it’s loved by me, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand:

  1. The brand is founded by a woman named Holly who had a close friend get diagnosed with skin cancer.
  2. The brand is cruelty free.
  3. Supergoop! products are triple tested before they hit the market.

Now let’s get down to business. The price of this full size is $28.00, though there is a travel size set of this with a lip screen for $22.00 (currently on sale at Sephora for $17.00). Basically you’re supposed to be able to wear this to set makeup, or protect your skin from UV rays throughout the day.

The mister is a dream! It sprays perfectly. Your makeup doesn’t get ruined and it doesn’t feel like you’re getting your face wet. 

The smell on the other hand, is Not my favorite. The scent of it is too much like sunscreen. I’d love if it smelled like something else. 

Now, for the life of me, I couldn’t find anything that talked about how long this mist was supposed to help your makeup last. For me, it lasted about 6-8 hours before my makeup started to shine a little in my t-zone.  To be perfectly honest y’all, I couldn’t even properly test out if it keeps your face matte throughout the day, because I don’t have oily skin. The only part of my face that gets slightly shiny is my t-zone, and it’s so slight that if I weren’t looking so hard, I wouldn’t even notice it.

It’s tough to test these claims of all day UV protection. You sort of just have to have blind faith and hope for the best.

I know it seems like this post is full of complaints, but I actually do like this setting spray. It’s comfortable and my makeup seemed to have staying power. I also like the idea of this spray helping to protect my skin. I just wanted to be clear with you guys about every drawback because I’d want someone to do the same for me. 

I’m all about honest opinions, and it wouldn’t be honest to talk this stuff up as if it were perfect when it isn’t.

Ready, Set, Spray!!

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

NYX Proof It! Eyshadow Primer: Proof in the Primer?

Eyeshadow primers are a dime a dozen. The makeup market is saturated with them. The problem is, it’s not too easy to find one at a good price, with great quality. The old adage “You get what you pay for” often comes to mind. But, is that really true? 

Since I’ve reviewed a NYX product before, there’s no need to go over quick facts about the brand. If you’re curious, or late to the party, don’t worry, we still have plenty of tapas and the bar never closes. You can check out those quick NYX facts here.

Let’s get down to business and let the eyes have it. I picked this primer up at Ulta for $6.00, though NYX is selling it for $7.00. 

*the applicator is a doe foot.

Because what would an eyeshadow primer review be without swatches, I’ve done some. I have some swatches with the primer, and some without. ๐ŸŽˆIn case you’re wondering, the swatches are from the Fiona Stiles shadow quad in ‘Meier’.๐ŸŽˆ

*here are the swatches sans primer.* 

*here are the swatches with primer.*

It’s obvious the primer helps the shadows pack more of a punch (though they are gorgeous in their own right). 

 I’ll be fair in saying, I never really got to test if this was water proof in a natural way since I don’t have oily lids, or watery eyes. I just tested by rubbing a wet finger across my lid. 

After rubbing my entire lid, a small amount of shadow did come off. However, it’s only a teensy amount and it’s definitely not noticeable on my eye. 

I’m gonna go ahead and say that I love this primer. While it’s not completely waterproof, it is certainly water resistant. Besides, waterproof doesn’t completely matter to me, as I was just interested in it’s ability to showcase shadows on the lid. For $7.00 it’s a wonderful product.

What do you think? Need a little more proof? 

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Temptu x Boxycharm Liquid Glow: Glow Getter or Glow Away?

I don’t own any liquid highlighters. For some reason, when I’m shopping, I just sort of look right over them. They’ve never really peaked my interest. So when I got this in a Boxycharm a while ago, I thought it would be the perfect time to try one out. Before we find out if I’m a liquid glow girl, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand: 

  1. Temptu is a well known airbrush makeup brand.
  2. They got their start in body paints and tattoo transfer.
  3. The brand has been around for 30 years.

Now let’s get glowing. This shade was made specifically for Boxycharm and is called ‘Cosmos’. It’s available to buy on their site for $24.00. 

I honestly didn’t like this swatch. While it has some iridescence, it mostly made my skin look greasy. Another thing I wasn’t fond of was the messiness of it. There’s a little metal ball in the bottle which I’m assuming is to help mix the product when you shake it. Problem is, it got stuck on the cap of my bottle. I used a toothpick to dislodge it and highlighter got Everywhere! I know this is a personal problem and normally I wouldn’t factor it into a review, but I can imagine this happening to more than just me. Maybe the hole in it should be a little smaller so that the ball doesn’t get stuck at all. It just seems like an annoying design flaw.

All of that being said, the glow is actually pretty nice. It’s surprisingly easy to blend with your finger (they suggest applying it this way). It sort of melts right into the skin.

For the first time in this blog’s history, it’s a toss up. While I do love the glow, I hate the messiness of it. That puts me in a precarious position. Is it a gem? Is it junk? Should I flip a coin? This is all just a big game of chance. 

It did make me want to try other liquid highlighters though, and that’s good enough for me, at least for now.

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Kiko Milano Double Color Liner: Double the Trouble?

I enjoy a good liner, and lately, everyone seems to be stepping up their game. There are new formulas, finishes, and even new ways to work a wing. It’s essentially the makeup hunger games. Before we find out if Kiko Milano is Katniss material, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand:

  1. The brand has been around for 20 years.
  2. There are cosmetic Ingredients the brand has personally blacklisted.
  3. Kiko is an Italian brand that can be found in 34 nations.

Now let’s get in line. I grabbed the liner in the shades blue and white (it’s no surprise I have a thing for vibrant colors). This particular liner is a part of the brand’s holiday collection, so instead of being it’s regular price of $11.00, it’s going for $5.90. 

The liner has a texture that’s pretty different from anything I’ve tried before. It feels almost like a velvet or satin. It glides so smoothly.

The pigmentation is really wonderful. I appreciate that the white is more iridescent than vibrant.

Yes, the liner is great, but it is Not wing ready! Because of it’s smooth and creamy texture, it would be pretty difficult to get a decent wing out of this. The point just turns into a nub. If you’re looking to do a wing, you might have to pass on this one, because it won’t help you fly.

Despite the lack of wing work, I think this is my new favorite liner. I’m not a fan of doing wings anyway, and only ever do them occasionally. The colors are great and the texture is so phenomenal that I’m OK with using another liner on those rare occasions when I want to spread my wings and fly.

What do you think? Am I out of line?

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Ulta Twisted Volume Mascara: Lashes Going to New Lengths?

I picked this mascara up a little while ago. I tend to have pretty mixed thoughts on Ulta as a beauty brand. Some of their items are a bust while others are a blessing. It’s so inconsistent that I try and avoid their beauty products as a whole. One thing I can say, is that I’ve never gotten a bad mascara from them. So before we see if my last statement holds any water, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand:

  1. Ulta is essentially the Walmart of Cosmetics. 
  2. Ulta’s home is in Illinois.
  3. The process to get your brand into Ulta is pretty straight forward.

Now let’s get to it. I purchased this mascara for $10.50. The reviews are mostly pretty positive. The one thing that I was most excited about was the wand. Apparently the volume of the mascara is determined by the twist of the wand! Mascara Sorcery!

So basically the wand can twist and untwist to match your desired lash volume. In theory this sounds like a splendid idea. Who doesn’t want to have that kind of power? It’s like being a fairy godmother except the only magic I have is control of lash length. 

This works OK. There are no dramatic results or anything. The wand is basically just a gimmick.  This works like a regular mascara. 

What do you think? Is this a bust or a blessing?

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Becca Pressed Highlighters: High Life or Over Hyped?

I received this in a sample with some things I ordered from Ulta (I got two other Becca Highlighters that I’ll be reviewing pretty soon). To be perfectly honest, I assumed Becca was one of those brands that pretty much bought all the love it gets. Pretty much paying for trade. I thought it’d be interesting to test this out and see if it’s really deserving of all the praise. Before we find out if the church should say Amen, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand:

  1. Becca is pretty much known for their highlighters.
  2. Much beloved beauty guru Jaclyn Hill, had a fantastic collab with the brand that Still seems to leave a lasting impression.
  3. The brand’s site has free shipping on All U.S orders.

Now let’s do the deed. The pressed highlight sample I have is in the shade ‘Opal’. The highlighter is priced at $38.00. 

I’ve gotta admit, the swatch left me pretty impressed. Despite being a pressed powder, it applies pretty effortlessly. The shimmer is beautiful and is certainly eye catching.

So this is a Fantastic highlighter. It blends so well. My favorite part is that it doesn’t really emphasize the texture of your skin like some other highlighters do. To be honest, I get why people speak so highly of it. The glow is stunning!

All that being said, I do still feel like it’s a tad over hyped. It really is a great product and I do really like it. I just don’t see myself paying $38.00 dollars for it. There are so many other amazing highlighters out there for half the price. 

What do you think? Is Becca the highlight of your life?

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Mikasa Beauty Brushes: Glam Game On?

A couple of weeks ago, this brilliant little brand contacted me in hopes that I would review some of their products. Before we find out if they made the right move, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand:

  1. This brand’s home is in the heart of Vancouver.
  2. There’s a whole team of experienced professionals behind this brand.
  3. They are committed to making the best brushes with the best prices.

Let’s get down to business. 

I received the lemon drop sponge (S100) free of charge for review purposes. While I did pay for the foundation brush (F300) and the eye shadow brush (E320) with my own funds, Mikasa provided me with a special 40% off coupon code in order to do so. Regardless of how I received these items, all opinions on them, as stated in this blog, are 100% my own, promise.

Although I received these in a bit of a special way, we’ll examine them as if I hadn’t. The foundation brush I picked (the F300) is priced at $16.00. The eye shadow brush (a tapered blending brush, E320) was priced at $12.00. The lemon drop sponge (S100) is $11.00. Since the company is Canadian, shipping to the states was a bit steep. The shipping was $9.95. It only took about a week for everything to arrive. 

OK, so I may have gotten worked into a frenzy over the packaging. The boxes are a foiled gold and black with the brand name embossed on the top. One side tells you how to properly care for the items and another describes how they work. I love the detail and effort put into it.

*as you can see, I snapped a lot of pictures.

I used the lemon drop first. I used it to blend in a little purple concealer under my eyes. It’s extremely soft and the point of it worked well.

It blended out pretty well!

Next up I gave the foundation brush (F300) a whirl. I used it to put on my foundation and then I used the lemon drop sponge to blend it out. The brush was decent. I did find it a little too stiff for my liking but it certainly didn’t make for difficult application, and the brush didn’t seem to soak up much product.

While the lemon drop was great for my concealer, it just couldn’t handle the battery it met when dealing with my entire face. It’s so soft that it wound up malformed. Poor little baby. Maybe I was a little too rough. The packaging does say it can be used wet Or dry so maybe next time I won’t wet it. 

I must admit, both products did my face justice. They have their pit falls but they work pretty well as a team. 

The best brush of the bunch is Definitely the tapered blending brush (E320). I used it for my bottom lid and fell in love. The bristles are light and just a tad separated so you can really pick up pigment. 

I have certainly found a new brush bff. Even though it’s fluffy, when I used a palette with kickback, none of the shadow got into my eye. This is brush boo for sure.

I must admit, I’m pretty happy. I do prefer my Pรผr Cosmetics sponges to the lemon drop and the foundation brush is a tad stiff (though that will Not stop me from using it). That eye brush is literally amazing. I love it and am so happy I got a chance to try it. I can see more wild eye looks in the Very near future.

Are you in the market for a few good brushes? Would you give Mikasa a try? Does their packaging also remind You of really nice business cards?

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

E.L.F Shimmering Facial Whip: Oh Glow On?

I picked this up a little while ago when E.L.F had this massive sale. I just Had to take advantage of it. It took me so long to get this out because I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.  Now I’ve already given all the major deets on this brand here and here so if you wanna check that out, feel free to do so. 

That being said, let’s get down to it. I snagged the $1.00 whip in the shade ‘Pink Lemonade’. 

I was originally excited for the shade. It’s such a rosy color. Soon enough I was worried it would be too rosy for my skin tone. I knew on fairer skin it would be a nice pop of color. I was worried that it would look like I smeared pink ChapStick all over my face. 

Luckily, it was more of a natural glow. It didn’t show up anywhere near as saturated with pink as the swatch did. This would make the perfect blush topper. The best part is definitely the price.

For $1.00 we could all glow crazy!

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Milani Color Statement Lipstick: Making the Right Statement?

Every once in a while I come across products that really catch my eye. Milani’s lipsticks have a way of doing that. I see one, and then I buy it. I’ve never stopped to think about if the product is any good or not (I’m a sucker for packaging). Before we see if these are worth the grab, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand:

  1. The brand is both PETA, and Leaping Bunny Certified.
  2. The brand might be debuting some Vegan products soon. They’ve added a tab but nothing’s displayed on it yet.
  3. The brand is based in the City of Angels.

Let’s get busy! I purchased all four of these lippies at various times. Each one was $6.00. There are two Matte shades, and two Satin shades. I’m gonna be perfectly honest and admit my reason for purchasing these is the packaging. Good packaging has that effect. It makes you want to buy something even when you have no idea about it. There’s something about those little gold plastic tubes that catch my eye as I’m in the makeup ailse of Walmart, or Publix, or where ever. 

To be perfectly honest, three of the shades look incredibly similar. While Matte Love is the lightest of the shades, Black Cherry is a little pinker, leaving Cabaret Blend smack dab in the center.

The lippies are incredibly comfortable to wear. The mattes don’t dry out your lips either. They are certainly not transfer proof, but the colors are saturated enough to not fade or wear even if you do get lipstick all over the place. 

I still can’t really get over how I managed to grab three shades so similar I can barely tell them apart.

It seems like I might need to bring a list the next time I pick up these lippies. Aside from incredibly similar shades, I wish the packaging had a way to differentiate between the satin lipsticks and the mattes. I’m betting it’s pretty easy to walk away with a satin when you really wanted a matte and vice versa.

All in all I’m pretty OK with these. I’m not excited or upset, just OK. They’re decent lipsticks but they do have their problems. If the shade variation were better I’d probably be really praising these. 

These might just be lippies to love. 

Until Next We Meet,

Gem or Junk

Dr.Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliator: Too Rough Around the Edges?

Skincare can be a pretty expensive habit sometimes. In the wave of our favorite beauty gurus and influencers giving us a list of must haves, it can feel more like a luxury than a necessity. I received this a while ago in a Boxycharm box and I was spellbound by the price tag. Now that the curse has worn off and my prince charming (budgeting) has rescued me, I’m ready to spill the beans. Before we see if the price tag matches the results, let’s go over a few quick facts about the brand.

  1. The brand was started by dearly beloved Dr. Frederic Brandt who was a dermatologist and one of the first physicians to use BoTox for cosmetic purposes.
  2. The brand regularly conducts research at the University of Miami.
  3. The Dr.Brandt foundation is dedicated to preventing others from meeting their end in the tragic way that Dr. Brandt himself did. They are all about starting a dialogue for mental health.

Now let’s get this party started. As I said before, I received this in a Boxycharm box. The cream is $79.00. Luxe skincare brands always have high prices, looking your way La Mer. Is it worth $79.00 though? Is any beauty product really worth that much? Are we paying for quality, or a name and nice packaging? 

The brand claims that this will eliminate fine lines, leave skin soft, and help with discoloration. You’re supposed to notice results within minutes. 

The instructions are pretty clear. Apply cream to damp skin and gently massage for 90 seconds then rinse. You apparently should be doing this no more than twice a week with at leat three days between each use. 

Putting it on felt like rubbing lemon scented sand into my face. It’s actually quite uncomfortable and takes some getting use to. It was really relaxing though.

I have to say, I didn’t notice much. Aside from my skin being softer, I’ve been using this for a couple of months and I’m not entirely sure it’s doing anything. My skin is soft, but my skin wasn’t very rough to begin with. Other than being relaxing, I don’t know that this is effective. 

There are tons of exfoliators out there and they don’t cost $79.00 either. Honestly for $79.00 this stuff should be working miracles. I’m talking turning tap water into pinot grigio. My skin should’ve come out looking like porcelain. I should’ve rinsed my face and instantly heard angels singing.

Maybe this works differently for other people, but for $79.00 it should be able to work for everyone. This is proof that a price tag doesn’t mean much about a product. 

What do you think? Am I being too abrasive?

Until Next We Meet,