beauty review

Beauty Review: Ipsy Glam Bag Plus, July 2019

Beauty Review: Ipsy Glam Bag Plus, July 2019

Ipsy, Ipsy, Ipsy… what am I going to do with Ipsy?

I was so excited for the Glam Bag Plus—in fact, I was so excited, I kind of threw myself into it without really thinking about it. I mainly just wanted that sparkly glamour of 5 new products every month without fretting about the sizes.

But it’s not really all it’s cracked up to be, is it? Sure, I get the thrill of trying new things without spending an arm and a leg. But at what cost? To my sanity that is.

That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I wasn’t sure how else to start this blog post. I swear, I will write a life update soon. Just not now. I have a lot to look forward to in the next month: I’m heading on a vacation (somehow the worst AND the best timing at once) next week, then I’ll be hopefully working on some fun, exciting projects and not sitting at home watching Queer Eye and wishing Jonathan Van Ness would come and just hold me and tell me I’m pretty and it’ll be ok.

The products I got this month from Ipsy feel like a hodgepodge—and not necessarily based on anything I’ve shared with Ipsy. (More on that…) Sometimes, I get this feeling there isn’t a lot of personalization here, but more grabbing and shoving and sending. But that’s just a suspicion, I have nothing to back that up, please don’t send me an email Ipsy. (Did I mention a brand sent me an email refuting a review of mine? Yeah. That happened.)

If you’d like to try Ipsy Glam Bag, you can sign up here. Without further ado, let’s talk this month’s picks.

Huda Beauty 3D Highlighter Palette in Pink Sands

1. Huda Beauty 3D Highlighter Palette in Pink Sands, $45

When I finally got my Ipsy product sneak peek (it took until the day before the thing shipped), I was on the edge of my seat. Would I get one of the Huda Beauty eyeshadow palettes I’ve been lusting after? I was so hopeful I would. After all, I’ve said repeatedly for Ipsy not to send me highlighters, I have it marked on my quiz and everything.

Imagine the punch to the gut it was to see that I got the highlighter palette.

Yeah. Ipsy did that. I swear they do it on purpose.

It’s a perfectly fine highlighter palette. It’s pretty! I won’t use it, except for maybe Ibiza. I don’t wear highlight. I’m not interested in it. I’m so tired. I feels so lame to say it, but I was so genuinely crushed by this being in my Ipsy box, I almost canceled the entire thing. I’m giving them one more month and then I’m done.

2. IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara, $24

A few years ago, Ulta did a birthday give for the July-September birthdays (since the gifts change quarterly) that was an entire eyeshadow palette. They got an ENTIRE EYESHADOW PALETTE. When I went to get my gift in October, I thought, “Gosh, I bet we’ll get a different palette.” No! It was a mini tube of mascara. Even the associate looked embarrassed as she handed it to me; she knew they’d just been handing out 12-shadow eyeshadow palettes and here she was tossing me a tube of old mascara.

That mascara was IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara. I hated it then too.

Purlisse Watermelon Balm Review Pixi Glow Mist Review

3. Purlisse Watermelon Energizing Aqua Balm, $24

I’m not a total cynic. I love this product! I love a good moisturizer and this balm smells like watermelon, so I immediately love it. It is a great moisturizer for summer when you need a little moisture, but also don’t want anything heavy on your skin. Forrest keeps trying to steal it off my bathroom counter, saying, “It’s watermelon flavor!” Not really.

4. Pixi by Petra Glow Mist, $20

I love a good mist and I love Pixi products, so this was the perfect thing I needed in this box to keep me from throwing in the towel. It is essentially an oil mist with a lot of nourishing ingredients. It recommends using to set makeup, but I’m oily enough, thank you. I use it before bed to cool down and for an extra amount of moisture.

Feel Balanced Moisture Balancing Cream Review

5. Feel Balanced Moisture Balancing Cream, $28

I was initially so annoyed by the highlighter palette, that I was ready to say, “a BODY lotion!? They sent me a body lotion!” I have so much body lotion, I didn’t need another… but this one is so, so nice. I gave myself a blister on my elbow a few weeks ago doing embroidery (stitched too hard, I guess) and so I’ve had a big dry patch on my elbow ever since. This fixed it up in just one use, so honestly, that’s pretty great. It’s also been helping my raggedy cuticles from washing my hands too much and too hot. All-in-all, a 10/10.

Final Thoughts

This box has a $141 total value. Whew! That’s pretty good. It’d be nice if I didn’t get two absolute dud products that I will never use in my life. On the plus side, I know I will use all of the Glow Mist, Watermelon Balm, and Balancing Cream, so that’s a plus.

Beauty Review: Prana Dry Brush*

Beauty Review: Prana Dry Brush | Writing Between Pauses

About 7 years ago (yes, 7 years ago), when Google Reader was still alive, I read a blog post from someone I followed about dry brushing. I can’t remember her name, or her blog’s name, but that memory of her raving about dry brushing stuck with me. Whenever I heard it mentioned, I’d think of that blog post and think, maybe I should try that?

But then I never actually did anything about it. I stayed curious about dry brushing, but in the chaos of my life (getting married, buying a house, working on my career, working on this blog, having a baby, successfully raising that baby into a toddler), I never got around to. I mean, I just bought a jade roller, guys. When trends pop up, I try my best to get on the train, but often, I’m running behind the train in two different shoes and my hair in a messy bun.

So when Prana Brush reached out to me about trying their dry brush, I knew I wanted to try it immediately. I jumped on a phone call with Jessica, who told me all the great things about the Prana brush, how it worked, and what it did. And honestly, I was on board. It didn’t take much convincing. I’ve had 7 years to stew on this, I was ready.

What is Dry Brushing?

What is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like: you use a brush to gently “brush” your skin, usually moving towards your heart. You do this dry—not with a loofah in the shower, not by dampening the brush. This helps exfoliate your skin and prepare it to be washed in the bath or shower, as well as improving your lymphatic system’s health, minimizing the appearance of cellulite, and helping circulation. There are tons of other benefits to dry brushing too.


The Prana dry brush

When I first received my Prana dry brush, I was impressed by how well made it was and how soft the bristles felt—while also being seriously exfoliating. I tried it the first time that day before I jumped in the shower. The number one thing to remember about dry brushing is that you aren’t scraping your skin or going hard on this brush; it’s just a gentle motion. I noticed a huge difference in the dry skin I always have on my ankles and elbows almost immediately!

Dry Brush with Copper Bristles

The Prana dry brush is different from other dry brushes because it has ionic copper bristles in it, as well as standard bristles. You can see them in the picture above. I know “ionic copper bristles” sounds incredibly harsh, but I promise you, they’re really not! The ionic copper bristles “create a natural friction between the ion-charged copper bristles and your skin,” which is incredibly good for your skin.

This brush is designed to be used dry, of course, and doesn’t require cleaning. Copper is naturally antibacterial, so there is no need to wash this dry brush as you would a normal brush. After I used it, I just carefully tapped it on the side of my tub to remove any dry skin that it may have picked up. It came in a beautiful cardboard box that I am using to store it on my windowsill (in the chaos of packing, at least).

You can learn more about dry brushing from Prana Brush here.

Final Thoughts

So, was dry brushing worth the 7 year way?

In short, absolutely! I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin, especially on my legs, which have often been a “problem area” for me. I have strawberry skin, which means my hair follicles are visible. I’ve always decreased this by using self tanner, or wearing tights as much as possible, but I’ve found since starting to dry brush, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how these spots appear! My skin is also smoother and softer, absorbs lotion better (no slick seal feeling when I get into bed!), and doesn’t have any problem dry spots. Since it’s only 2 weeks, I can’t speak on the other benefits of dry brushing, but I’m excited to see how I feel in a month or two. I’ve definitely struggled with my energy levels in the last 3 years (thank you, postpartum depletion!) and so if this helps me get my body back in fighting order, I’d really love it.

Have you ever tried dry brushing? What did you think?

Beauty Review: Alba Botanica Acne Patches

Beauty Review: Alba Botanica Acne Patches | Writing Between Pauses

Back when I was in middle school, Clearasil came out with these acne patches—little clear, round patches that you could put over zits and pimples with the intention to help them heal faster. They definitely worked, because I used them somewhat religiously for at least 2 years. But then they stopped making them, I stopped looking for them, and I never thought of it again.

However, in the past few years, tons of brands have come out with things that are very similar. And as it turns out, you have been able to buy essentially what Clearasil marketed for years in the pharmacy—it just wasn’t marketed to teenagers. Cool!

Sometimes, physically covering a pimple is the best way to keep yourself from picking on it—I know that’s true for me. I really wanted to try some of these “new” (to me) patches, but often found the cost prohibitive on the ones my friends said really worked. I asked tons of beauty groups and they all recommended K-beauty brands—which is fine and good, but so expensive to order sometimes.

Alba Botanica is a drugstore brand—you can find it at Target—and they sell “Acnedote Pimple Patches”. I looked at them in Target, then backed off at the price. $10, for a set of 40 patches. That felt like quite a bit. (I just looked at the Target website and they are $6 on there—but recently Target has made clear that there are things that are more expensive in store than on their website. So make sure to scan everything with the Target app and get price matches done!) I decided to pass.

10 minutes later, I found the exact same thing in TJ Maxx. For $4. Score.

So, here’s the real question: are acne patches worth it? Do they still work as well as I remember them working in middle school?

The answer is, yes and no.

I had two larger pimples on my chin that I wanted gone, so I slapped a patch on them and left it on overnight. In the morning, both pimples had large whiteheads. I remember this happening when I was younger; if nothing else, the patch would make the pimple get a head so you could pop it. However, I’m at an age where i know that’s not a good thing to do. However, when I peeled off the patches, it peeled the thin skin off and popped them for me.

So I was left with two big scabs.

Yeah, not sure that’s an improvement.

Do Acne Patches Work?

The two scabs did heal pretty fast after that, as I babied them. I decided to try these patches with some smaller whiteheads that popped up around my temples (thanks to my glasses rubbing) and they were much better at getting rid of those overnight, without a damaging scab in its place.

Basically, I think there are two really good ways to use these patches:

  1. To stop yourself from worrying a large pimple (such as a cyst)

  2. To get rid of small comedones

However, my big warning is: these patches do help make zits more “poppable”, which is debatably a good thing. If you have a big cyst, sometimes you just want to be able to pop it so it will stop hurting. In that situation, these are miracle workers; they help drain the inflammation and create a head, so you can get rid of the cyst faster. For comedones, they really do get rid of them overnight.

Are these worth it? Yes. I’m going to keep testing them out throughout the next few months, and try to find other brands to test alongside, but I do like them—even though my first experience was a little negative. I think, as with any beauty product, you have to keep your expectations realistic, especially in terms of what it achievable and what isn’t.

My Top 3 Favorite Liquid Lip Formulas

My Top 3 Favorite Liquid Lip Formulas | Writing Between Pauses

Liquid lipsticks are here to stay, it seems. Even as we transition to the trend of glossier lips, I still find most beauty gurus and influencers are using liquid lipsticks as a base—them using gloss on top.

I’m still not a fan of lip gloss. I lived through the early 2000s as a teenager, thank you very much, with my hair nearly semi-permanently attached to my lips thanks to thick, sloppy Victoria’s Secret glosses. I’m not ready to revisit that era, just as I will never revisit low-waisted jeans, peasant tops, or skirts over jeans.

I am, as you probably know, a big fan of a liquid lipstick. Liquid lipstick has all the things I love about lipstick (color payoff, looking put together even when I’ve just rolled out of bed) and corrects all the things I don’t like about lipstick (having to reapply 4000 times before and after eating, risking having it all over my face at any moment).

When it comes to formulas, we all have our favorites. Some people hate a really powedery feeling formula and some people love it. Some people don’t like super drying formulas. And if you’re like me, and you’re getting older, and you find liquid lipsticks feather, you start to get incredibly frustrated by the options out there.

I’ve done the legwork, the research, everything. I’ve tried all the liquid lipsticks I can find and I’m here to tell you my 3 absolute favorite formulas.

But first, let’s talk a bit about my criteria for my favorites.

1) I like a quick drying formula. I don’t like waiting around for my lipstick to dry before I move on.

2) I like long lasting formulas. I should be able to drink coffee and 1) not get it everywhere and 2) not have to reapply afterwards.

3) I like somewhat comfortable formulas. That is, it doesn’t feel like I’ve put a clay mask on my lips.

best liquid lipstick formula

Favorite Formula #1: Wet’n’Wild Liquid Catsuit

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that Wet’n’Wild Liquid Catsuit is one of the best liquid lip formulas… at least in my book. Fast drying? Check. Comfortable? Absolutely. Staying power? Yes. And even better? They cost $5. $5!!! For one of the best liquid lips out there. I’ve written about them a lot before, so I don’t need to say much more except that… if you want the most bang for your buck, get to your nearest Target, Walgreens, or Walmart, and buy at least the shade Rebel Rose.

Favorite Formula #2: Anastasia Beverly Hills

I buy ABH Liquid Lips exclusively at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, because they alway shave a ton. So while I can’t speak to the price range (they’re $20 normally), I can say with confidence that they are one of my favorite formulas. They dry down really fast and are very comfortable. I would actually say the ABH formula is the most comfortable formula of the 3 I’m writing about today. It feels like you don’t even have lipstick on—that’s how comfortable it is. They have great color pay off, of course, and are incredibly long lasting. Plus, the fact that you can often find them for a discount is a huge bonus to me; I’m never one to spend $20 on a lipstick unless it is the holy grail… and these kind of are holy grail liquid lipsticks.

Favorite Formula #3: Too Faced Melted Mattes

When I bought the Christmas set of liquid lipsticks from Too Faced, I didn’t have super high hopes for them. I just really liked the theme. However, they have quickly become some of my favorite liquid lipsticks and the shade Sugar Cookie is actually one of my daily go tos. It’s the perfect pale pink nude. Melted Mattes check all the boxes, of course: they are fast drying; they are long lasting; and they feel relatively comfortable. I do have issues with darker shades, like the Cinnamon Bear shade, feathering—so I make sure to use a liner. However, at $21 a pop, they aren’t something I buy a lot of. However, if you can find gift sets, you often get deluxe sample size (which are plenty big) for a pretty affordable price. I always keep my eyes peeled for them!

3 Tips for Using Sulfate-Free Shampoo

3 Tips for Using Sulfate-Free Shampoo | Writing Between Pauses

Sulfate-free shampoo is all the rage in beauty communities. Jonathan Van Ness, from Queer Eye, advocates using sulfate free shampoos, as sulfates are believed to coat and potentially damage our hair. I’ve written about going sulfate-free before, and a few things you need to know about going sulfate-free.

My perspective on sulfate-free shampoos is that there are going to be some people, and some hair types, that benefit from sulfates and some that don’t. For example. I think my hair actually thrives with shampoo with sulfates; I have pretty manageable, easy hair and I don’t use product very often, so I didn’t have to worry about build up. However, my scalp really hates sulfates because it’s incredibly sensitive, which is why I went sulfate-free about 6 months ago.

However, I don’t think going sulfate-free is right for everybody. If your shampoo works for you, then keep using it, honey!

But if you’re curious about trying sulfate-free shampoos, there is a bit of a learning curve to starting using them. The big difference between shampoos with sulfates and those without is that sulfate-free shampoos don’t foam. It’s more like using a thin conditioner. That first wash can be a little bit confusing if you’re not aware that your new shampoo won’t get sudsy. And for some people, that sudsy, squeaky clean feeling is really important to them! So, here are a few if my tips and advice for using sulfate-free shampoos.

1. You Need A Lot of Water (& Less Product)

We all have our own process for washing our hair. I know for me, I’ve been washing my hair a specific way for years and I rarely deviate from my routine. It’s something I don’t ever really even think about. I know how to rinse shampoo out of my hair, I know how to wash my hair, these are things I know. But once I started using sulfate-free shampoo, it felt like everything changed.

Here’s the thing about sulfate-free shampoo: like I said, it’s like using a thinner conditioner. It doesn’t foam up like soap does. So the process of washing my hair fundamentally changed and I had to change along with it!

One thing I learned, through a lot of trial and error, was that I needed a lot more water in my hair before I started washing it with sulfate-free shampoo. I also learned that I needed to spend a lot more time rinsing my hair, making sure I got all the shampoo out. If I don’t do these two very important steps, I end up having leftover product in my hair—which isn’t a great feeling.

As well, you need significantly less sulfate-free shampoo starting out than a standard shampoo. Just a single pump or dollop to start out, then working through your hair with plenty of water.

2. Growing Pains

The first few washes with sulfate-free shampoo often are what make people think sulfate-free shampoo isn’t for them. I know for a while I definitely thought I’d made a mistake; my hair no longer felt smoothy or silky, or even clean. It felt… weird. Dry, a little frizzy, and generally not as nice looking as I expect my hair to look. However, if you power through and keep on keeping on, eventually your hair will recover from the shock of not having sulfates anymore.

The thing about sulfates, for some hair types, is that they can coat the strands of your hair; when you stop using them, your hair has to shed all that built up product and residue. Some people can switch effortlessly, depending on their hair type, and others have a few days or weeks of growing pains.

So, with sulfate-free shampoos, remember: you’re going to have a period of adjustment.

3. Condition, Condition, Condition

Going sulfate-free means that your hair is more likely to get dry, especially if you use heat styling products or live in a climate that is hot and dry. Conditioning is a huge step. Using a matching conditioner to your shampoo will be important, plus adding a weekly hair mask to help keep your strands looking fresh. I like using the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey mask once a week after shampooing.


Next week, I’ll be sharing a review of Formulate, a sulfate-free customized shampoo system that I have been loving lately. I’ve shared some details in my Instagram stories and you can watch the highlight here. Until my blog post next week, you can sign up for my giveaway with Formulate here.

Beauty Review: The Sephora Once Upon a Castle Advent Calendar

Beauty Review: the Sephora Once Upon a Castle Advent Calendar | Writing Between Pauses

A very funny thing happened to me a week ago. It was a typical Monday. Actually, scratch that: it was not a typical Monday. Forrest had slept until well past 6am, which is very weird for him; when I finally woke him up, he was grumpy and just not his normal self. When I dropped him at my mom’s, he didn’t want to eat, he just wanted to lie on my mom’s couch. I arrived at work worried about him and a little flustered. And what did I find at work?

Advent Tweet
All my Advent Calendars

In October, I had tweeted about a dream I had where I received 10 Advent Calendars in PR. It was a silly dream and a silly tweet and I had kind of forgotten about it. Clearly, my coworker had not! This is one of the funniest jokes I’ve ever had played on me. She really committed! It was not what I expected to happen that morning, but alas, it did.

And even better, one of the Advent Calendars she got me was the Sephora Once Upon a Castle advent calendar. Last year, I dutifully reviewed the Ulta Beauty 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar to great success, but had passed on getting another one this year; I just wasn’t feeling it and I hadn’t had time to check for sales on beauty advent calendars.

This review, for that reason, is brought to you by my dutiful, lovely coworker who knows how to pull off a good joke!

The Sephora Once Upon a Castle Advent Calendar Value

(And yes, before you ask, I opened everything when I was bored while Forrest was sick. He’s better now, but I am barely able to speak I’m so sick!)

Here’s everything that came in the calendar, as well as the value:

  1. Peony Fizzing Cube - $1.44

  2. Eye Pencil to Go in Intense Black - $6

  3. Universal Brow Freeze - $12 normally (currently $5 on sale)

  4. Color High Nail Polish Mini in It Girl - $5

  5. Lip Liner to Go in Classic Red - $6

  6. Cotton Flower Fizzing Cube - $1.44

  7. Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red - $14

  8. Express Eye Make Up Wipes (2) - $1

  9. Blueberry Cream Body Wash - $1

  10. Instant Nail Polish Remover Wipes (2) - $1-2

  11. Color Hit Nail Polish Mini in Sugar Coated - $5

  12. 1 Small Nail File - $1

  13. 4 Stickers - $0.50

  14. Spiral Hair Tie - $0.50

  15. Small Owl Post Its - $0.50

  16. Flat Make Up Sponge - $2

  17. Charcoal Nose Strip - $3

  18. Colorful eyeshadow in Lazy Afternoon - $8

  19. Blush in Shame On You - $14

  20. Small Mirror - $1

  21. Cherry Fizz Cube - $1.44

  22. #LIPSTORIES in Labyrinth City - $8

  23. Express Eye Make Up Wipes (2) - $1

  24. Spiral Hair Tie - $0.50

All in all, not bad! Sephora originally listed the value of this advent calendars as $95; it’s no longer listed on the Sephora website because it’s sold out. When I calculated the value, even with my guesses for the smaller items (which, I’ll admit, are a bit generous), I got a total of $96.32. So, $1.32 off, which feels like a weird amount to be off!

A few items I could not find on the U.S. Sephora website. These include the Fizzing Cubes, which I found on the Australian Sephora website for $2 AUS; that’s about $1.44 US, so it was an easy conversion. This is actually where the extra $1.32 comes from exactly. It feels so weird that I estimated everything else correctly—the stickers, the mirror, the nail polish wipes—but an actual price calculated from one of their websites was wrong! So, they’re putting the value of the Fizzing Cubes at $1 even, even though they sell them for way more than that in Australia. Interesting, huh?

So what are the highlights of this advent calendar? Are there any really good items?

Short answer, yes. There are some duds, but I’ll get to those.

The Universal Brow Freeze, Lip Liner in Classic Red, Cream Lip Stain, Blush, and #LIPSTORIES Lipstick are all absolutely amazing products. I would say those 5 products alone make this calendar worth it. The Cream Lip Stain is in one of the most perfect red shades I’ve ever found; it is both blue-toned and firetruck-y, so it’s nice and bright without being orangey. I’m a little obsessed with it. I also love the #LIPSTORIES lipstick, as it is so smooth to apply and feels wonderful.

However, I do think the items need to be divided up a little more evenly: the item for door 24, the last day before Christmas, is a little hair tie! I feel like that should be one of the lipsticks, at least, or a bigger item. The last two items are repeats in general, so again, just a bit disappointing! I think that’s one of the things that makes this calendar feel a big wonky is that there are big stretches where you get a bunch of little things: the first doors open to such great items, then suddenly you get a nail file, stickers, a hair tie, and tiny post its… all in a row!

This is such a lovely calendar though and I’ve already repurposed the box into a toy for Forrest when he’s hanging out in my room. Pop a few small toys behind the doors and bingo, fun for kids!

While at the mall over the weekend (I know, sick and inexplicably at the mall? Sounds fun) I saw that my local Sephora still had a few of these in stock, marked down to a really decent price. So if you’re in need of a treat for yourself (or want to play a last minute joke on your coworker), now is probably the time to grab one!

Beauty Review: Mériance Anti-Aging Skin Care Kit*

Beauty Review: Mériance Anti-Aging Skin Care Kit | Writing Between Pauses

When I received an email a few weeks ago from Mériance asking if I would like to review their full anti-aging skin care kit, well, I couldn’t say no.

As you all probably know, I turned 30 in October. And while I’m not showing any signs of aging (at least in my skin), I’m a big believer in taking care of my skin to keep it looking good. For me, that has meant double cleansing, wearing my SPF every single day, and keeping moisturized. I tend to shy away from longer, more complicated routines. The Mériance Anti-Aging Kit seemed right up my alley!

I received my kit a few weeks ago. Here’s everything that’s in it:

  • Rejuvenating Serum

  • Native Collagen Serum

  • Anti-Aging Collagen Cream

  • Night Repair Cream

  • Eye Contour Cream

And here’s what the kit, and all the products, promises:

Meriance bio-active collagen derived from marine origin replenishes the skin with properties that enhance the supply of collagen fibers. Meriance collagen is not modified or synthesized! It regenerates the connective tissues that support the skin’s structure. This ingredient helps to deeply hydrate mature and dry skin in order to maintain healthy and resilient cells.

My favorite thing about this kit is that you get just about everything you need for a routine. So while the cost upfront might be a little shocking, these are full sizes, you don’t use that much every single day, and you get everything you need. The order to apply everything is really basic too. Here’s what I do:

  1. Double cleanse with jojoba oil, then the Body Shop’s Tea Tree facial cleanser.

  2. Apply the Rejuvenating Serum, which contains peptides. It helps to enhance the other products in the kit. It has hyaularonic acid, which helps plump skin.

  3. Apply the Native Collagen Serum. It has a high concentration of collagen.

  4. At this point, I use the Eye Contour Cream mixed with a tiny amount of my favorite vitamin C cream (right now, I’m using Revlon’s). I only use this around my eyes to help with my melasma and moisturize the skin underneath my eyes. I let that sink and dry for about 5 minutes.

  5. Apply the Anti-Aging Collagen Cream. This is a thick, lovely moisturizer that smells really good and feels even better! I’ve been struggling with dry patches since Thanksgiving and this really clears them up within a few days.

  6. Apply the Repair Night Cream. This is a double dose of moisture that I use after the Collagen Cream. It contains antioxidants that can help adjust repair your skin.

Meriance Anti-Aging

Results

How quickly did I start seeing results? As I said, I struggle with dry patches once late Fall and early Winter hits; usually my nose and cheeks are where I struggle the most, but this year, my under eyes have decided to join in on the dry skin party.

I haven’t used everything enough to speak to the anti-aging effects quite yet, but I have noticed that my skin has been much softer, much less textured, and much more “supple” feeling (for lack of a better word). My dry patches have been much less severe and as long as I’m good about applying both the Collagen Cream and the Night Repair Cream, they are much less noticeable, and even not there at all, throughout the day!

As someone who is acne prone, I’m always really worried about trying new products. However, acne-prone skin is dehydrated skin and these products have been helping so much! I’m getting less oily throughout the day now that my skin is being better moisturized every morning and night.

If you have dry skin or are beginning to worry about aging, this is definitely a kit you want to pick up! I have a special coupon code just for my readers for $100 off your first kit. Just click the image below, or click here, and use code MichelleLocke100 at check out!

Disclaimer: As always, an asterisk (*) in the title of this post indicates that I received this product in exchange for review. However, my views remain my own! Posts like these help me keep the lights on here at Writing Between Pauses. For more information about my disclosure policy, click here.

Beauty Review: Too Faced Dew You Full-Coverage Foundation

Beauty Review: Too Faced Dew You Full-Coverage Foundation | Writing Between Pauses

I write about foundation a lot. Like, more than I ever thought I would, really. Which makes sense, as foundation is the makeup I bought use the most and struggle the most with. The truth is there is never going to be a perfect foundation that suits every skin type and every need. When it comes to my reviews, I’m often speaking just of myself and making generalizations for people with skin types similar to my own.

When it comes to foundation, I’ve reviewed Sephora’s and Ulta’s quizzes (as well as 6 different foundations). I’ve reviewed the Wet’n’Wild Photo Focus foundation and the Makeup Revolution stick foundation. I’ve even developed a process that I use for making sure my foundation lasts longer than four hours.

In the process, I’ve tried a lot of good and bad foundations. In writing my blog post on the Sephora & Ulta foundation quizzes, I discovered that the Too Faced foundations were, surprisingly, some of the best I tried. I didn’t love the Born This Way foundation, because the colors closest to my skin tone were all a bit off and I found it broke down a little too quickly. The Peach Perfect foundation was one of my absolute favorites, but the strong peach scent was a bit of a turn off and I found it oxidized a lot.

As a birthday present to myself, I decided to try the Too Faced Dew You foundation. It’s a full-coverage, but “glowy” foundation that was part of the fruit-themed collection that came out at the beginning of Fall. (I won’t get started on my tangent about that collection; it was extremely cute, but was definitely a summer collection, so I don’t know why it came out in September! From a marketing perspective, I had a lot of questions.) My hopes weren’t exactly high, but I was excited to try this foundation; I hoped it would combine the things I loved about the Peach Perfect foundation in a slightly less oxidizing formula.

Too Faced Dew You Full Coverage Fresh Glow Foundation

This foundation is marketed as a “hydrating” foundation; it’s “dewy” as opposed to matte, but still full coverage. Here’s what it promises:

Hydrate and brighten your Tutti Frutti complexion with this dewy, gel-cream foundation infused with soothing watermelons and cucumbers.

And here are some more promises:

  • 20 hydrating, brightening shades

  • Formula leaves skin with a glowing satin finish

  • Infused with soothing watermelons & cucumbers

  • Helps even skin tone

  • Gel-cream formula leaves skin ultra-hydrated and brightened

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Longwearing

20 shades isn’t exactly very many. However, there do seem to be a fair number of medium shades; the parts that are missing out are the darker shades which is a systemic issue in the beauty industry. It doesn’t make me happy to see this foundation with so few shades for people who are darker skin toned, but I know they just recently expanded the Born This Way shades. Here is to hoping they expand all their shade ranges for all their foundations and concealers.

The idea of a hydrating formula that is also long-wearing was very exciting to me, shade issues aside. I am oily (very oily) often because my skin gets dehydrated; so I need a combination of both hydration and powder to keep my skin looking decent throughout the day.

So what did I think of this foundation?

Is the Too Faced Dew You Foundation Good for Oily Skin?

My first impression was, just like the Peach Perfect foundation, it has a very strong smell. It smells strongly of watermelon. It’s not bad, but again, it is sickly sweet. It’s not as bad as the fake peach scent, but if you’re sensitive to smells, it can be a huge issue. I found that the watermelon smell didn’t bother me nearly as much as the peach scent, so it works for me. But if that’s an issue for you, this foundation may not be the one.

Just like the Peach Perfect foundation, I love how it looks on my skin as I’m applying it and immediately after. Most Too Faced foundations are very, very yellow to me; I feel like they struggle with pink or neutral undertones. However, I’ve found that Swan is a close enough match that I can tone down the yellow with concealer afterwards. The finish is absolutely amazing, though, and looked great after applying.

I’ve worn this multiple times for 12+ hours. I find that with my standard method of applying (The Body Shop mattifying spray and powder underneath my foundation, then powder on top as well), it lasts about 6-7 hours looking really good and without touch ups. After 6 hours or so, I start to notice it getting quite patchy; by 8-10 hours of wear, I usually have patches where it has rubbed off or simply disappeared completely. This isn’t out-of-the-ordinary for foundations and my skin; 6 hours is actually longer than I’ve ever gotten most foundations to last! I’m impressed for that reason; very rarely do I even wear foundation for 8+ hours. However, if you’re very oily, struggle to make foundation last, and work long days, again, this might be a more difficult foundation.

My favorite thing about this foundation is that it manages to be both dewy and matte on my skin. It doesn’t look matte-matte; you know that look of a very dry foundation. It almost makes me look old. This foundation doesn’t do that, but it does dry down—and that can make it oxidize a tiny bit. However, it’s not nearly as bad as Peach Perfect, so I’ll take it. I feel like it’s a very natural finish on the skin; not too matte, not too dewy.

How long does the Too Faced Dew You foundation last?

Is this the perfect foundation for oily skin? Well, I think it depends on what you’re looking for. For me personal, I place how it looks over any super long-wearing abilities. I tend to wash my foundation off the moment I leave work and I don’t wear foundation on the weekends, unless I’m going to an event. If you need long-wearing, I don’t think this is the best foundation out there for that. If you do want something that looks incredibly natural, this is a great option—and despite being “dewy,” it does work very well for my oily skin.

Have you tried the Dew You foundation? What did you think?