Friday, April 12, 2019

Formulate Shampoo + Conditioner

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A while back, I was contacted by Formulate and asked if I would be interested in testing their custom shampoo & conditioner. I've put together this blog post to talk about my journey with Formulate! There's also a giveaway at the end of this post so be sure to enter for your chance to win your own set! (Or you can order HERE).

The first thing I had to do was take the survey. It was super quick and simple, just asked a few questions about my hair (color, thickness, texture, etc.) and what I was looking for in a product. I said that I wanted help with split ends, color protection (since I dye my hair regularly), thermal protection, frizz, and curl definition. I have really thick, kinky-curly, course hair that drives me bonkers and never does what I want - so I knew this would be a good product test!
For starters, here is a picture of my natural hair:
It's often pretty frizzy, I have a hard time defining my curls without a ton of products, and tend to straighten it a lot to make it more manageable! So that is how we started out.

In about a week and a half after filling out the survey and placing the order, I received the products:
They were packaged really nicely, with much appreciated pumps included (seriously, I LOVE shampoos and conditioners with pumps. Less fumbling in the shower!) The scent I chose was "At Dawn," which is a nice floral scent. It also let you choose the intensity of the fragrance, which I really liked. I chose the strongest, because I like my hair to smell good and almost be "perfumed!"

They send a pamphlet that talks about what you chose, along with an ingredients list, and some info about the main ingredients. But, if you go on their website under your account, you can see all of the ingredients used, an explanation of what they do, etc.  
The main ingredients in this first set were Pumpkin Seed oil, Broccoli Seed oil, and Lactic acid. The scent was amazing, and I've been referring to it as a "time-released scent," because I always catch whiffs of it randomly when I'm just sitting still. I LOVE that about it! They do warn you beforehand that your hair might get greasy at first until it adjusts to the formula, and to give it a fair try by using it for 6 washes. I did this and my hair just wasn't getting used to it. It felt pretty heavy and weighed down, like I had a lot of product in it, and it was very greasy. Here is a photo for reference:
So I had been in touch with the Formulate representative who had originally contacted me, and I let her know my hair just wasn't adjusting. She went ahead and reformulated for me, and a couple weeks later I received another set. Same fragrance, different main ingredients. This second set had Polyquaternium-37, Argan oil, and Hemp Seed oil as the main ingredients. 

With this second set, I immediately felt a difference the first time I used it in the shower. My hair felt clean and light, not weighed down with product like it had before. It still had that same awesome scent that I liked from the first batch, so I was happy about that as well. My hair seemed to adjust to this set immediately. It was pretty cool that they nailed it on the second try!

I really enjoy that the shampoo and conditioner are formulated for my curls, because during the summer I haaaaate straightening my hair! Any time I can find something to make my curls look good, I embrace it and wear my hair natural during the hot months. Who wants to mess with heat tools when it's 90 degrees outside? My hair is soft and my curls are defined without me having to glop a bunch of gel and curl scrunch mousse into my hair, and I really appreciate that.
It's important to note that through this whole journey I was in contact with a representative from Formulate that made the process so easy to understand and helped me out a lot! They are super responsive when you email them, so if you have any questions you will definitely receive a response in a timely manner.

Now for the pricing info and all that jazz! The bottles are 14 oz. and it is $49 for the set. There is a lot of work that goes into getting your formula right so that it actually works for you. If you are interested, you can order here.

Enter to win your own set here:

*The products were sent to me for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Jeffree Star Blue Blood Palette

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The Jeffree Star Blue Blood Palette is finally here! This is such a unique looking palette, in both the color story and packaging, that I knew I had to snag one. I LOVE blue eyeshadow, even though I don't wear it too often because a lot of blues can be tricky to work with. I like that there's a lot of "different" blues in this one, colors you don't see too often in palettes. The palette itself is coffin-shaped and the little baby blue chrome clasp on the front is gorgeous! I initially thought the palette would be plastic from all the photos I had seen, but it is in fact cardboard. Very sturdy and well-made, though. There is a large mirror inside. The palette is pretty big, as it is the same length and width as Blood Sugar but slightly thicker because of the raised top to give it that coffin look.

Now let's get into what the inside looks like!
There are 18 shades, and some of them have cute little designs stamped on them just like in his last few palettes. As you can see, there are some neutral shades in here which are much needed in a palette like this to help blend out and tone down the brighter, harsher shades.

Cullinan is a shimmery white.
Mintea is a matte pale mint green.
Crystal Flesh is a metallic pinky champagne.
I'm cold is a matte baby blue.
Untouchable is a matte baby pink.
Priceless is a matte pale peach.

Power is a matte blue-gray.
Blue Blood is a matte bright blue.
Deceased is a metallic aqua blue.
Ice Tray is a metallic icy cornflower blue.
Blue Monday is a matte bright blue. This one is a drier texture and pretty patchy.
Fluorishing is a matte bright teal.

Wealthy is a matte cream.
Celebrity Skin is a matte beige.
Entitled is a metallic teal.
Ocean Ice is a glittery metallic deep blue.
Cremated is a matte greenish grey-blue.
Undertaker is a matte deep navy.

As far as the quality of the shadows, this palette is pretty on par with the Blood Sugar palette (which still happens to be my absolute favorite from JSC). However, there are a few that have a drier consistency and take a bit more work to get them to apply well. The first is Blue Monday - that looks like a super bright blue in the pan, but feels dry and applies patchy. It's definitely the worst in the palette. Ocean Ice is another that feel pretty dry and gritty because of the larger glittery particles, and does not really pick up on a brush. However, it is BEAUTIFUL applied with your finger. It's almost like once it's blended on the skin, the larger particles just melt into a metallic awesome finish. And lastly, Undertaker is a pretty dry one as well, but it isn't too terribly hard to apply. Just needs a little extra blending and it's great!

I really enjoy the palette so far and I'm happy that shades like Wealthy, Celebrity Skin and Priceless were included to help blend the darker shades! It is DEFINITELY not a palette for everybody, but I've got to say it's beautiful and something unique and different to add to my collection!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

ColourPop Disney Villains Collection

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I picked up a few things from the ColourPop Disney Villains collection, so I figured it might be better to put everything into this one post rather than review the items separately. I picked up the Misunderstood eyeshadow palette, the Ursula collection, the Just Your Voice Jelly Much eyeshadow, and the Do I Look Like I Care Glitterally Obsessed.

This is the first Glitterally Obsessed glitter I've tried, and I've gotta say, I am impressed! It is essentially a thick glitter paste that dries down and becomes pretty budge-proof, but still is easy to remove. This one is described as a multi-dimensional silver with a coppery rose gold flip. It's got so much glitter packed in, some holographic, and so many colors it's absolutely GORGEOUS! It does say that it is for body use only, so that is definitely worth noting. It's got all different sizes of glitter in it, so I would use it with extreme caution if you're putting it anywhere near the eyes.
I tried to get it from a few different angles so you could see how pretty it is!

I also had never tried a Jelly Much shadow before, so Just Your Voice is my first! I have never been a big fan of cream or gel-type shadows, but this formula is really nice. It does feel sticky at first, but dries down and doesn't crease. The color itself is a black base with a shimmery turquoise shift. Really cool!

Now the mini sets come with a highlighter, lipstick and Ultra Glossy Lip. The Ursula highlighter is called Poor Unfortunate Souls:
It is a pale shimmery iridescent lavender that gives the skin a really nice glow. Definitely looks more purply in the pan than it does on the skin, but that's not a huge deal to me because if it were more purple on my face I think it'd look odd!

The Ultra Glossy Lip in this collection is called Sad But True. It's a clear gloss with a blue iridescence that really shows up better over a dark lipstick.
The gloss smells like vanilla cake and has a nice little brush tip applicator.
This is the first gloss I've tried from them, and I really like it! It wears for a good amount of time without being too sticky.

The Lux Lipstick in the Ursula Collection is called Ursula, and it is a matte blackened plum shade.
I love darker colors like this for the fall, so I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of it right now. But I love this formula! It's very comfortable and not drying. It also glides on nice and smooth.

Now for the eyeshadow palette:
This is a 15 pan palette and it's got a great color selection! The first row to me is pretty neutral, then we've got some color, and the bottom row is all darks/jewel tones.

First row from left to right is:
No Spots - matte white
Mongrels - metallic champagne pink
Diablo - metallic lime
Devious - matte terracotta
Tragic - matte soft beige

Underworld - metallic bronzey copper
Pain & Panic - metallic gold with pink flecks
Forest of Thorns - shimmery orchid
Flotsam - metallic pale pink with blue glitters
The Fates - matte deep blue

Revenge - deep black with silver glitter
Sing - metallic dark brown with hot pink/gold duochrome sparkles
Jetsam - metallic blue-black with teal shift
Facile - metallic deep olive green with gold flecks
101 - matte charcoal

I've reviewed so many ColourPop palettes at this point that I don't know what else to say - I always love them! The Pain & Panic shade feels sort of gritty with those pink glitters in it, but it doesn't seem to hurt its performance. That's really the only thing that stands out to me as anything negative. The 101 color is described on the ColourPop site as a matte black, but it's definitely more gray than black. Other than that, everything applies and blends beautifully! I really like that there's a little something for any look in this palette. There's enough matte and neutral shades for a minimalistic daytime look, and then you have the really sparkly dark shades for a fancy night time eye! Definitely pick this one up if you're a fan of the colors - they won't disappoint!

Friday, March 22, 2019

ColourPop Sweet Talk Palette

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ColourPop released their Sweet Talk Palette for spring, and it's a pretty variety of peach tones, along with two pressed glitter shades, which we haven't yet seen in their palettes.
This is one of their 12 pan palettes and retails for $18.
I am absolutely all about peach eyeshadows in the spring time, so I immediately fell in love with this palette. There is only one shadow I have a bit of an issue with, but I will get to that in a second! Let's have a look at all the shades swatched:
Catch Me: matte pastel peach
Side2Side: champagne with silver and pink glitter
Garden Date: metallic coral with a gold sheen
Work It: soft matte yellow-orange
Prima Drama: pale rose gold glitter with a copper and gold duochrome
Meadow: matte coral
Early Mornin': golden glitter
Dream Maker: matte pale coral
ICYMI: matte terracotta
Melody: metallic rose with gold sheen
West Side: matte camel
Feel Free: matte deep wine

So the shadow I find weird/have an issue with applying is Side2Side. I'm not sure if it's just mine, but this shade is very mushy. Not like the Supershock Shadows, it's much softer than that - almost like a bouncy cream consistency. I can't get much pigmentation out of it, because it feels like my finger and brush just move it around in the pan. Just lightly touching it will put your finger indentation into it, so I'm not quite sure what's up with this one. Other than that, the other shades are all on par with the usual awesome quality of ColourPop's shadows.

The two pressed glitters are BEAUTIFUL, especially Prima Drama. I will say they take a good oil-based makeup remover to remove easily, but I take that as a good thing because everyone usually wants a glitter that stays put and doesn't fall out all over your face throughout the day, right? Both of these glitters make excellent toppers or pops of fun on the lid! 

I definitely think this is worth picking up if you're into peaches and warm toned shadows. It's got those two awesome glitters to pump up any look you do with it! Definitely a win for me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Kat Von D Vegan Love Eyeshadow Palette

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The Kat Von D Vegan Love Palette is the latest from Kat Von D Beauty. This is an all-shimmer, no matte palette with a mix of neutrals and bright pops of color.
The mirror on the inside is a fun heart shape. A sticker comes on the inside that alerts you that the shadows are best applied with your fingers.
There are 10 shades in the palette and, as I mentioned, none of them are matte. That's not a total deal breaker for me, as I don't mind grabbing a single shadow or another palette to work with, but I very rarely do an all-shimmer look (or an all-matte look for that matter). 
Compassion is a light gold.
Activist is a bright yellow.
Sentient is an orangey copper.
Species is a medium brown.
Liberation is a black with gold glitter.
Earthling is a bright green.
Empathy is a pearlescent purple with blue duochrome.
Sanctuary is a cornflower blue.
Equality is a golden peachy champagne.
Mercy is a pinkish-red.

When they say to apply it with your fingers for best results, that's definitely right. But I have found that with some trial and error, some brushes definitely work well with the colors. Flat shader brushes will not work well at all - they just don't pick up the pigment. These shadows have both fractionated coconut oil AND dimethicone in them (both binding agents), which makes them super compressed in the pan. I tend to use my finger to apply my lid shade, but I will use a fluffy shader brush to put one of the brighter colors on the outer half of my lids. That seems to work really well, and I have actually been using this palette quite a bit. I noticed that it has pretty bad reviews on Sephora's site, but I'm wondering if that's mainly coming from people not giving it a chance and playing around with it. The shades are definitely pigmented, and I'm happier with this palette than I've been with a Kat Von D palette in a while!!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Maple Holistics Silk 18 Shampoo

Today I will be reviewing the Maple Holistics Silk 18 Shampoo ($12.95 for 10 oz or $17.95 for 16 oz). I have tried several of their hair care products before and enjoyed them, so I was excited when they asked if I would review this new product!
I received the 10 oz bottle and I quite like the packaging. It has a nice wide flip-top cap, which makes it easy to handle in the shower because there's no twist-on/twist off caps for you to drop.
This shampoo claims to make your hair stronger and more luscious, with a blend of 18 silk amino acids to help fortify your hair follicles and protect hair from dryness, breakage, damage, split ends, and hair fall. It gently cleanses dandruff, excess sebum and impurities and is enriched with argan and jojoba oil to add softness and shine. It is also paraben and sulfate free, great for all hair types, and suitable for sensitive skin types.

The formula is very creamy and makes a nice lather. It doesn't have a scent to it, which isn't a huge deal for me because I tend to need to use a lot of products for my curls afterwards anyway, so I get nicely scented hair from those. I have used this several times so far, and I can say it definitely makes my hair feel softer. I have very thick, coarse, curly hair so it's easy to tell a difference. I've found that even when I use a hair gel afterwards, my hair feels soft and bouncy and not "crispy" like it does when you use a lot of gel products on wet hair.

I normally get dandruff in the winter (I live in Massachusetts and it has been very dry and cold here), so it's pretty unavoidable for me. I will say that it has kept my dandruff at bay and I'm thankful for that, since I have colored hair and it is hard to find products that help with dandruff but also won't completely strip your color out.

All in all, this has been a pretty solid shampoo so far! I will keep you guys updated on my thoughts in a future post, but I am definitely loving it. You can purchase here:

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Lime Crime Venus XL II Eyeshadow Palette

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The latest offering from Lime Crime, the Venus XL II palette, is a beauty! The colors are all very muted and "grungy" and I am just all about it!
It has a decent sized mirror inside - doesn't take up the whole inside of the cover, but it is a decent one.
There are 18 new shades in here. I was originally really excited for the chunky looking glitter ones, but quickly found out that those leave a lot to be desired. I was hoping they would be like the ones in the Huda New Nudes palette, but these are not super pigmented and I have a hard time picking them up on a brush. Let's get into the swatches and I will talk about the colors some more.

In Bloom - matte rosy pink
Crown - sparkly champagne
Sage - matte pale olive
Thorn - metallic light brown with blue sparkles
Ripe - matte camel brown
Forbidden - metallic copper

Stella - satin champagne
Myth - pale gray with gold shift
Eve - sparkly rose
Laurel - metallic pale gold
Radiant - iridescent pale pink
Ivy - metallic pale olive with pink shimmers

West - metallic warm brown with pink sparkles
Obscure - pale iridescent green
Mystic - pale rose with green sparkles
Phoenix - vibrant metallic rusty orange
Locust - light brown with green shift
Classical - matte deep brown

As you can see from the swatches, Crown, Thorn and Eve are those chunky sparkle shades that I was hoping would be amazing, but they definitely fall short. HOWEVER, the rest of the palette is amazing. The mattes blend great, the shimmers are pretty unique (that ivy shade is BEAUTIFUL), and everything other than those chunkies is very pigmented. This palette has already gotten a lot of use from me, because I really love the lighter shades lately. I think it's going to be a perfect winter-into-spring transition palette!