October 2016 Edition
Hey Lovelies! I have so much new content to share with you!
To get started, here is a new feature – monthly rants and raves. I figure if I get controversial, maybe I’ll incite some of you to comment. 🙂
The products featured in this photo are my collection of October’s best…and worst… products that I have tried.
Let’s start with the positive. My three favorite product for October are:
Farmacy is a relatively new brand to me. This is a sample, and it only took one use for me to determine that I love it & will not live without it. I love the other product I have tried too – and you’ll most likely be reading about it in November! The brand appeals to me on many levels. The powerhouse ingredient is Echinacea Greenenvy, grown domestically and minimally processed for freshness. The brand story is super cool, but suffice it to say that this is a farm-t0-lab product. This balm is an oil-based product that’s not quite oil, and is extremely hydrating. It absorbs well, instantly smooths skin and has a medicinal/herbal type fragrance that I really enjoy. I use it as my final skin-care step at night, and in the morning, my skin looks plump and refreshed – like I got a good night’s sleep even though I rarely do. This may not be suitable for those with oily skin types, but for me, it’s BLISS.
Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Double Cleanse Travel Set, $28* Full-size oil $58, Full-size bar $38
I have been using the Korean double-cleanse method for some time – and I can’t say how much that one (well, technically two I guess) thing changed my skin. It was only a matter of time before Western companies caught on – if for no other reason than the marketing potential. Erno Laszlo has created a set for most skin types. In addition to the Hydrate version that I am reviewing, there are double-cleanse sets available for exfoliating, soothing, purifying and whitening – prices are similar to those noted above.
When I saw the bar, I was extremely unhappy. I haven’t
purchased a bar soap for any purpose in many years. I hate the way bars get goopy and gross, leaving a nasty spot on your counter and creating a MAJOR breeding site for bacteria. In fact, I almost decided not to try this product and simply send it back. But once I opened the package, I was impressed enough with the cute tray it’s packaged in that I decided I would give it a go. I’m glad I did.
The oil cleanser is fantastic. It emulsified my heavy makeup completely, has a pleasant fragrance and definitely plumped up my skin. This is a fantastic product, and I might consider purchasing this alone in the future. The bar was far better than I expected and did a great job of removing the residual grime from my face – without stripping the hydrating oil I had just rinsed off.
The only negative to this product is the pricing. The travel set will last a very long time, and with the way the products are priced, I think I would ONLY buy the travel set – or perhaps only the oil. I definitely wouldn’t buy the bar alone, but again, that’s mostly due to my loathing of bars. Overall, this product is a win and a great way to introduce yourself or someone you love to the double-cleanse – especially if someone is intimidated by all the options the K-beauty world offers.
*I received this product at no charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own, unbiased opinions.
Kathleen Lights x Morphe Brushes Palette, $15 Sold Out
It’s fairly rare for me to review a product the day after I received it, but here I am doing just that. This palette is gorgeous.
If you’re not familiar, Kathleen Lights is an adorable beauty YouTube creator. Morphe Brushes is a cult-fave brush and make-up company that sells good quality products at bargain prices. This purchase was my 5th Morphe palette. Yeah, I like ’em a lot.
The colors included in this palette are versatile, easy to use and great for creating looks ranging from subtle to bold (just look at that green!). I bought three of them – one for me, one for my daughter and one for a giveway! If you didn’t get one (I’m not sure if they will be re-released or not, I sort of suspect they will for the holidays), go follow me on Instagram (@thefabulush) for details…coming soon.
The negatives are that this is a cardboard palette and it doesn’t have a mirror. But seriously folks – it’s a $15 palette with 15 very wearable shades of good-to-great quality. I’m not complaining and you shouldn’t either!
Now, on to my rants. It’s sort of funny that this rant is basically one rant…so actually, let’s just start there. There are good collaborations (Jaclyn Hill x Becca, Kathleen Lights x Morphe) and then there are collabs built in cosmetics hell. What could possibly be hellish about makeup? Well, when two very average companies join disparate forces to create something that is at once edgy and dark AND completely cutesy it makes me practically vomit in my mouth. It’s happening – and ironically, it’s called:
Better Together – and it’s coming in December. That’s right folks (and I know so many of you are super excited about this collab, so feel free to share your thoughts!) Too Faced and Kat Von D beauty are collaborating with a little heart palette that is half pink and dainty and light and half black and edgy and daring. I’ll let you figure out which is which (haha).
Now, I just called both of these companies average – because they are – and now I’m going to explain why.
Last Thursday, I popped into Nordstrom Rack after work, just to see if there was anything that I couldn’t live without. Of course, there was! I picked up a couple Stila products, and I saw this adorable little Too Faced palette called Rock and Roll. The packaging, in true Too Faced fashion, is adorbs. Like, totally adorbs (where are my emoji’s to show sarcasm when I need ’em?)! And the shadows! Gorgeous colors. I’m a little bit of a rock & roll kind of girl, I had a goth phase – so this was made for me…the Rack price for this tiny little palette was $15 (remember I just told you about a $15 palette above, it will come back in to play), so I snagged it. You can still buy it from Too Faced for the sale price of $32.00 (from its original $36).
When I got home to swatch this palette, I was disgusted. Nine shades, 6 of which are the smallest pans you can buy, for $36.00 and they are dusty, dry and lack pigmentation. I made that determination after sticking my finger in each shade and swiping it on my forearm (the way I always swatch colors) so I decided I needed to give it a better chance. I primed my arm and used a brush. It was better – but only slightly. Don’t take my word for it, judge for yourself. In the photo to the right, the top row is with my finger and no primer, the bottom row is primed (Urban Decay primer) and using a synthetic brush. C’mon man – for a $36 palette, you’ve simply GOT to do better than that.
For comparison purposes, here’s what happened when I swatched a few of the Morphe shadows – unprimed, using my grimy finger:
There’s really no comparison. The Morphe shadows are more pigmented, even in texture and rich. Now Too Faced isn’t a terrible brand – they make several products that are great. Their Melted lippies are excellent and their Lip Injection products do a great job. Nevertheless, if you consider yourself a premium company, you can’t put shit like that in a nicely designed tin palette and call yourself a premium company… you are AVERAGE.
So, I don’t love Too Faced. But, I like Too Faced a lot better than Kat Von D Beauty (KVD). Don’t think this is personal – it’s not at all.** KVD has an amazing reputation for making amazing products. I find this INSANE.
Her Tattoo Liners are average and they retail for $20. I’ve tried three different colors and five different pens – I kept thinking I was getting a dud. Starlooks, Girlacktic and Eyeko all make pen eyeliners that are the same price and substantially better quality.
I know what you’re thinking…I need to try the Lock-It Concealer… I have. It’s $26 and it’s crap. It’s cakey and settles into pores and lines in a very ugly way. The Lock-It instantly ages you by settling into the lines under your eyes. NARS lightweight creamy concealer is $29. It doesn’t settle into pores, it glides over them. It doesn’t age you unnecessarily by burrowing into fine lines. Here’s my completely unscientific research on the topic:
I can’t show you swatches of the KVD eye shadow – I returned them. The Serpentina palette was something I was so looking forward to. And the packaging was completely stunning. I loved the theme, I adored the colors and it was perfect…until I used it. The colors were dusty and not at all saturated – and as you blended – they dusted right off. I thought it was just me, but a few friends had similar experience with the Serpentina – and other – KVD shadow palettes. I won’t try one again – there’s no point.
To conclude my rant – this is a collaboration of the devil and I’m going to cringe seeing all the pictures of that wretched little heart all over social media. I hope you have had a lovely weekend! As usual, I just use just ONE more day…
I hope I’ve made you giggle – and if I’ve made you mad, let’s talk! 🙂 I’m willing to change my mind if you prove me wrong…but I might need you to buy me the MetalMatte palette for research purposes! It looks amazing, but I won’t buy it because I know the quality will be just average. Grrr….frustrating.
**I like Kat Von D the celebrity a great deal. I fell in love watching her on Miami Ink. She comes across as very personable and real, she is an an undeniably talented artist and a smart business person. Kat Von D Beauty does a great job of giving back and I love how she recognizes “real” people on her website. I just want to be incredibly clear about one thing – I believe in supporting, cheering and advocating for women. The fact that I think her company is average has nothing to do whatsoever with her gender.