beauty

Target’s August Beauty Box: Is it AWESOME or a FAIL?

I have never purchased a beauty box from Target because they tend to sell out quickly, so when I saw August’s “Back to School” themed box pop up on Slickdeals I HAD to jump on it!

beauty box display

JUICE ORGANICS repairing shampoo and conditioner (10oz  $9.99 each) | SECRET clinical strength smooth solid deodorant in LIGHT AND FRESH (1.6oz $6.59) | CREST 3D Whitestrips professional effects (20 count $40.99) | UP&UP women’s 5 blade razors (5 count $10.39) | OLAY makeup remover wipes (25 count $4.99) | LANEIGE water sleeping mask (2.36oz $24.00) | COVERGIRL katy kat mascara (0.35oz $6.99 – full size) | NYC get it all lip colour in RED (0.13oz $2.99 – full size)

Okay, so I fully admit what made me pull the trigger on this box were the sample sizes of the Secret Clinical Strength deodorant and the makeup remover wipes. The deodorant is the type I use, so I threw it in with the other travel-friendly items I am collecting for BlizzCon. Olay’s remover wipes are not top favourite wipes because they burn my skin slightly upon use, but they do remove eye makeup efficiently. Within 30 seconds after use the stinging vanishes and they do not cause my skin to freak out, so into the sample stash they went!

The other items in the box are new to me, so here are my thoughts.

The Shampoo and Conditioner bundle

This team was sufficient enough. I was surprised at the amount of lather in the shampoo because “natural” products tend to lack the sudsy effect. There is not a strong coconut scent to either the shampoo or conditioner, which disappointed me. I thought it smelled like chemical-laden grape juice with coconut water? Very odd!

After blow-drying, my hair was soft and shiny, with my natural hair texture (weird semi-waves) shining through. Got to say, though – I am glad the weird-ass scent did not stick around outside of the shower!

2.5/5

Juice Organics
My hair after washing and conditioning with the Juice Organics bundle.
Crest 3D Whitestrips LUXE

I hate samples like this. How would ONE APPLICATION of Whitestrips do anything positive, when it takes about a week for a course of whitening applications to start removing yellowing? Pfffft, I say! I do plan on starting a whitening regimen in October, so I will be hanging onto the sample for one extra application.

–/–

Up & Up Women’s 5 Blade Razors

Oh hey, women’s razors! I buy men’s to avoid the pink tax, so these are new to me. The pretty pink body has a soft grippy plastic so you do not fumble while shaving. (Ouch.) I tossed one into my BlizzCon stash and put the second in the bathroom.

The one downside is that you need to use plenty of moisturiser after shaving because these oddly dry out your skin. That little pink strip of “botanical oils” does not do anything to help!

3/5

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Oh boy, oh boy! This is one of the items I was SUPER EXCITED to try! The mask itself has a thick consistency with a nice cooling effect. It does not take much to cover your face and neck, so I can see this generous sample lasting a while.

After two nights of using it in place of my Origins Nite-A-Mins face moisturiser, I can say it does its job to keep my pores tight and skin feeling soft and moisturised. The product also sinks into your skin quickly, so you do not end up with most of it on your pillow! The downside is that it only seems to moisturise; there are no brightening or anti-aging qualities. It is also highly fragranced, so if you are sensitive to fragrances, I would skip it! Since I am not, I can safely say that this product is the bee’s knees.

4/5

Covergirl Katy Kat Mascara

Ooh, a full-sized mascara! Since the box was $7, you could say that you bought the mascara and got the rest of the box for free. Wink.

I had yet to find a Covergirl mascara I genuinely like, but I pushed that thought aside while I put my face on for the day so I could review the Katy Kat mascara without bias.

Okay. So. The formula is very, very wet. Even when being careful, I ended up smudging it under my eyes and on my eyelids and having to take a makeup remover wipe to it. That was irritating! The mascara is prone to clumping, so you have to brush a lot of the mascara off onto the tube before applying and brush your lashes apart after applying. On the positive side, if you like your mascara’s super dark, this one delivers that.

1/5

NYC Get It All Lip Colour in IncREDdible

The second full-sized product in the box.

I need another red lipstick like I need a hole in my head, so I will be passing this along to my niece. It is nice that it came in shrinkwrap – very hygienic!

–/–

Total Score: 10.5/20 – FAIL

Out of all the new products I was introduced to, I will only be interested in possibly repurchasing one going forward.

reviews

#Multimasking: A look at the promising skincare technique

Every beauty junkie knows that proper skincare is absolutely crucial. Your face is your canvas, that blank slate you transform into a work of art. I can’t understate how important it is to make sure your skin is healthy and happy before you start layering product on it!

I don’t often interrupt my basic skincare routine, but I do love experimenting with facial masks. They’re like a mini spa day – at HOME! So when BzzAgent offered me a chance to take part in L’Oréal‘s Pure-Clay Mask campaign, I jumped on it.

lorealpureclay

What makes this line different than other facial mask lines is that they are supposed to be used in a “layered” effect, which L’Oreal coined as multimasking. Each zone of your face might have different needs, so you match the problem to the corresponding mask.

multiuse

Before I “multimasked”, I used the Eucalyptus and Red Algae masks separately their intended three times. Here’s what I observed:

  • The eucalyptus mask promised mattification to oily skin, which I don’t have. Womp. I did notice that my face appeared slightly less red on the days I used the mask and it had a more even tone. (I have mild rosacea.)
  • The red algae mask is used to slough off dead skin and minimize the appearance of large pores. I found no improvement to my pores, but the exfoliant properties were nice. I often have dry skin build ups on my T-Zone, which got removed by the mask.
  • Both masks left my skin feeling soft to the touch.

So when I combined the Eucalyptus and Red Algae masks, did it by any chance make a significant difference?

multimasking
I used the brightening eucalyptus on my forehead and chin and the exfoliating red algae on my cheeks and t-zone.

No.

It felt like I just used the red algae mask all over my face! Would I recommend multimasking? Also, no. But individually, that red algae mask is pretty darn sweet. If you have dry skin like I do, it can rid you of the dead skin build up.

Each mask retails at about $12.99 for 1.7oz of product (~$7.60 per oz).

The BzzKit was graciously gifted to me from BzzAgent, a website that connects influencers with products to test and review. All opinions, however, are my own.

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gaming

Fallout 4 Survival Mode Beta Review

If I could use only one word to summarize Bethesda’s new survival mode rework, it would be “brutal“.

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The Fallout universe is one that I am familiar with.  I had little trouble with the original survival mode that shipped with launch, so I went into the beta feeling cocky. I dealt with juggling an appetite, thirst, and the need to rest in Fallout: New Vegas’ survival mode, so how much harder could the addition of diseases and the removal of fast travel be?

Really, really goddamned hard.

Every time you take a Stimpack, you gain a point of dehydration. This easily overwhelms when you when you are far from vendors or bodies of water to replenish yourself. (Much like I was in this screenshot. Look at those stats! Ouch.) When you take RadAway, your immune system becomes suppressed and you easily gain diseases from the drugs and food that you ingest to try and make it to another battle. Oh, and drug use ALSO causes dehydration. Good luck downing the delightful combination of Med-X, Psycho, and Jet because you will end up Severely Dehydrated. You see that “fatigue” debuff? It is a disease I picked up from using chems that I do not currently have the antibiotics to cure. It forces me to continually seek shelter so my “weary” debuff does not continue to build. Plus, being Fatigued damages my Action Points and the AP refresh, so a lot of combat situations have to be done without the assistance of VATS.

As for the combat, even with the new Adrenaline perk, it is rough. My biggest enemy in early game, besides my friggin’ health problems, are grenades. It is Game Over when a Raider lobs one of those bad boys at me because I cannot get out of the way fast enough. Which then puts me back at the last place I saved, which typically is far from where I died at because you cannot automatically save in survival mode. (Your progress is only saved when you sleep for an hour or longer.) The best way I can describe early game is that you constantly take two steps forward and ten steps back. Tough combat and even the disabled save feature does not bother me, sure it can be irritating when you have to clear out a place for the fourth time because you accidentally trip a mine but that is a challenge that I expected.

As for the personal need system? I think it needs some fine tuning before Bethesda launches their live survival mode. It is much too unforgiving in its current state. I do not think there is enough water in the entire Commonwealth that could quench the Sole Survivour’s constant dehydration!

If you are up for a challenge, FO4’s survival mode totally delivers. I however, will stick to the original difficulties because it is a little too much for me.