beauty

Review: KoyVoca Glossies

In late March, one of my favorite indie cosmetic companies, KoyVoca Cosmetics (you remember them – I reviewed them in this post and in this post) announce the upcoming release of their new lip gloss line. The product, Glossy, is, as the company puts it, “[…]the lip gloss you’ve been looking for! Its long-lasting formula provides a glass-like look to the lips.” The company launched 8 lip gloss shades in April and I, ever eager to switch it up from the matte lip trend, made sure that I preordered.

I ordered three shades: Panther, Princess Cut, and Rude Gyal. I got my glosses quickly after the release date and I’ve had a chance to play with all three, so I’m ready for this review!

For starters, kudos to KoyVoca for quickly shipping their products! Every time I order from them I’m impressed by the speed of order delivery. That being said, I also was very impressed with the size and presentation of the glosses:

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(top to bottom: Rude Gyal, Princess Cut, Panther)

There’s a good amount of product in each tube. These also have a light fruity smell that I enjoyed. Here are the descriptions of the shades as written by KoyVoca:

 

Panther – a blue and purple duochrome with red and blue flecks

Princess Cut – a golden pink with holographic shimmer

Rude Gyal – a shimmery wine

I swatched the shades then I swooned. The colors are gorgeous, perfectly pigmented and thick without being sticky (basically, the glosses are perfect).

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(left to right: Panther, Princess Cut, Rude Gyal)

Here I am rocking each of the shades:

Princess Cut

Rude Gyal

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Panther

I find myself frequently reaching for Princess Cut because it’s such a wearable shade. But my favorite, by far, is Panther. It’s deep, dramatic and memorable.

But all that being said, there are still a few things I want to mention about these glossies. These are VERY long wearing! It takes a while for these to wear off, and they have some real staying power even as you eat and drink. The shine is INSANE: highly reflective! I love that these are true glosses and not semi-shine formulas like a lot of companies are selling right now. The smell is pleasant and the formula is nonsticky, so they are very wearable.

I highly recommend these! Check out all of the shades and see which one should be in your collection!

 

 

beauty

Beauty Review: Bea Luz Exfoliating Booties

Hey friends! Sandal season will be here before you know it! To get summer-worthy feet, I knew I needed to intensify my moisture and exfoliation regimen. To really amp up the foot-softening process, I grabbed some exfoliating booties from Amazon.

You all know that I have an exfoliating routine that I’ve used successfully during the cold months. That routine really helped keep dry, rough skin to a minimum. But even the best maintenance can sometimes need a little “amping up”.

These exfoliating booties are similar to the Baby Feet products. These work by soaking your feet in a mild acid for 60 – 90 minutes. After soaking your feet, you remove the booties and rinse the solution off, moisturize and go about your day. In 2-4 days, you’ll see the beginnings of skin exfoliation.

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Foot (and polish!) goals

The product has a softly floral fragrance and feels cool on the feet. I put my feet into the booties then put a close-fitting sock over it, so that I could walk around while doing the treatment. While it felt weird, I was pleased that I could still move about as I let these exfoliants do the heavy lifting.

I will spare you my foot photos, but please know that I had lots of dead skin peeling off of my feet. It didn’t peel in the large sheets that I’ve seen others proudly post online, but the results were noticeable. I soaked my feet twice in the week after applying the treatment, and I used my Korean bath mitt to help slough off the dead skin. In less than two weeks, my feet were softer, smoother, and pretty much sandal ready! Needless to say, I was very pleased with the results.

I’ll be using this one more time at the beginning of May, just to make sure that my tootsies are flawless before Memorial Day. I’m excited to see how transformed my feet will be after this next treatment. The price is reasonable at $12.99 for two pairs of exfoliating bootles. I’m already ordering my next pair, so I can refresh the skin during the warm weather.

beauty · luxury

Fun with Perfumes

perfume

30 scents in 30 days: I’m up for the challenge!

Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out on my #30Days30Scents series. Every day, I’m wearing a different perfume and giving my overall review of it.

Day 13 of #30scentsin30days brings us to @tocca Giulietta. I accidentally went spritzing crazy with this one, and I immediately regretted it when I realized that this #scent has lilac in it. You all remember that the #fragrance I wore on Day 9 (@cleanperfume Blossom) had lilac and lily, and I wasn’t a fan of those floral notes. However, doing this challenge has helped me pinpoint the scent that I dislike most on my skin: it’s lily. While Giulietta has lilac, I enjoyed this #perfume a lot more than Clean Blossom: this one doesn’t have lily in it. It does have some other floral notes, like heliotrope, iris and orchid. This scent is sumptuous: this elegant Italian contessa. I will enjoy wearing it in the fall, as I think this one will be great during the cooler months #smellgoodfeelgood #smellgoodfeelbetter #beauty #blogger #thebronzebutterfly #thebronzedbutterfly #bronzebutterfli

A post shared by Missy Delano (@bronzebutterfli) on

If you want to learn more about the fragrances that I’ve reviewed on this blog, along with some others that I haven’t formally reviewed, then this is the series for you. I’m also open to suggestions as I progress toward the end of the month, so feel free to comment either here or on Instagram and let me know which scents you think I should try!

beauty

Review: IT Cosmetics

I recently received a bag full of IT Cosmetics products from one of my grandmas. Why did she give me makeup? you ask. Perhaps you think that it’s because I love makeup and she would know how much I love it. Well, that’s only partially true.

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Simply put, my grandma loves to buy stuff but rarely uses any of it. All of the products she gave me were brand new and unopened. She ordered the products from HSN because she loves shopping from the comfort of her television!

But, before you assume that I hit the makeup jackpot, let me show you the gag.

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Yeah, none of the complexion products are in my shade. My grandma bought the products suited for tan skin (closer to her complexion) while I’m clearly on the deeper end of the color spectrum. But I’m still a makeup junkie so I’m gonna wear these products regardless of the color mismatch.

This post is both a review and a how-to. If you’ve found yourself stuck with products that are too light for you, this may help you get some use out of them. Who knows: you may be able to “mix up” your perfect shade once you get comfortable mixing stuff together.

That’s exactly what I did: I mixed IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation in Tan with my summer foundation shade (L’Oreal True Match in N8 Cappucino). I applied the Bye Bye foundation as if it were a primer: it even made me a ghostly shade like some of my best primers do (LOL!) Then I blended the True Match right on top.

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At the end of my day

*Tip: if you have a foundation that’s too light, mix it with your summer shade to find a hue that should be pretty close to your winter shade. I generally use a 25%/75 percent ratio (25% too light foundation, 75% summer shade). Your mileage may vary, but if you invested a lot in a shade that’s just a little “off”, this may help you save your money!

The resulting shade matched my chest perfectly! It also held up during the day, even though I didn’t use a primer underneath. Bye Bye Foundation is buildable, so if this was my ideal shade, I could make it go from light to full coverage easily.

Next is the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Concealer, also in Tan. Again, I mixed it with my L’Oreal True Match, and it did a great job of concealing any discoloration under my eyes. Warning: use a light hand with this concealer. A little goes a LONG way, and it is very full coverage.

Both complexion products were lightweight on the skin and looked very natural, after I fiddled with the shade. I finished the look off with the Bye Bye Pores loose finishing powder in (you guessed it) Tan. I only applied that to my undereyes, and I used a light touch (I didn’t want that raccoon eye effect). The powder was nice: no heavy perfumed scent and didn’t settle into any creases. The color was also the perfect shade: not too yellow or too gray. I’ll be adding the powder into my makeup routine for setting my undereye concealer going forward.

I also tried the IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes mascara. I LOVED it! No clumping, defined my lashes and gave them a lengthened appearance, and it had a round tip that is good for applying mascara to the lower lashes. I have seasonal allergies, so it was nice to wear a mascara that didn’t irritate my eyes. Also, I did a light rub test, and the mascara DIDN’T BUDGE! No dark circles after a long day is always a win. This mascara is a keeper.

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Hello Lashes Mascara making my eyes POP! (And a few particles of eyeshadow on my cheek)

The last product I tried is the Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi. Now this product is really intriguing: it looks like a clear balm, but when you apply it, it turns into a “flush” color: pinkish red that just looks like a lip stain with some sheen/shine. It reminds me of those color-changing lipsticks from the 90s, that were blue or green in the tube but turned to pink or coral when they warmed up to your body heat. It’s a cool product that I’d use again, especially on a day where I’m doing a “no makeup” look.

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The Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi

I also got the Live Love Laugh Vitality Face Disc but the colors were much lighter than I could work with. The disc features a bronzer, blush and highlight that would be well suited for a lighter complexion, but looked pale and sort of flat on me. I may try to work the shades into my eye makeup routine, because it’s a LOT of product and I’d hate for it to go to waste.

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Overall, I liked the line. The colors weren’t for my shade, but the products performed well, didn’t have any weird smells, and applied easily. I do have one critique for the product: I wasn’t a fan of the hygienic sealing on the foundation and concealer. The seal is difficult to remove (both because of the hard-to-locate perforation and small size of the sealing), which I normally don’t take issue with when it comes to cosmetics (better safe and hygienic than sorry!) But this was sold through HSN, whose customers are overwhelmingly older women, many of whom may have some vision and physical limitations. I’d guess that customers have difficulty getting into the products because of the wrapping. It would be fantastic if the company explored alternate method of sealing the products that isn’t so difficult for older hands and weaker eyes.

Other than that, I really enjoyed IT Cosmetics. Who knows: maybe I’ll try some of their products in my actual shade in the future! Shoutout to my grandma for giving me some new products to try!

beauty · luxury

Glass Skin Challenge – Final Results

In a previous post, I talked about the Glass Skin Challenge that I planned to do in the month of March. I also mentioned small tweaks that I made in my routine during the month. I did this routine for a month and recorded my pre-experiment and post-experiment skin. Here are the photos of my results for the Glass Skin Challenge!

Before the routine:

After the routine:

I loved the results and, though my camera can’t quite capture the difference, just know that my skin has clearly improved. I’ve even been complimented on my skin, which let’s me know that the products are working. As a quick recap, my skin type is combination, sensitive and acne-prone. So I wanted to see if this routine a) made my skin too dry or too oily, b) aggravated my skin and caused additional sensitive issues, c) made my acne flare up, and, most importantly, d) made my skin look its best. I’ll list the pros and cons of the routine below:.

Pros:

  • It doesn’t take as long as you would think. It took me about 5 minutes longer to do this routine than my old routine.
  • You don’t have to literally do 10 steps twice a day. The most that I did during any singular skin care session was 8 steps.
  • It didn’t make me break out. All that product on my skin, and not once did I have a clogged pore or pimple.
  • It helped fade dark marks. The combination of consistent exfoliation and regular sunscreen usage seemed to make a big difference in fading the scars.

Cons:

  • You go through a LOT of products. You do have 10+ of them that you’re using, after all. The essence, which I used twice a day, seemed to really go pretty fast.
  • It can get pricey. My exfoliant (the Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel by Dr. Dennis Gross) was $88 for a 30-day supply, and, depending on where you get your essence (I used SCINIC), it may cost you $20-30 for a bottle that won’t last for much more than a month. My Caudalie toner wasn’t cheap, either, though I LOVED it and will definitely purchase again.
  • The exfoliant I used gave me the “Hollywood star”, super-shiny skin look. You know how some actors and actresses have waxy looking skin that has been botoxed and chemically peeled to the max? Yeah, I was starting to get that look. I’m glad that my skin has a bit more density to it: the look only lingered at night, after exfoliating. My daytime routine didn’t have me looking like a sculpture.

After doing the Glass Skin routine, I realized that some of the imperfections I tried to correct were actually small flesh moles that couldn’t be removed via an at-home skin care regimen. Also, I learned that overall brightness and clarity in a complexion can really make you look more alert and healthy.

While I can’t promise that I’ll adhere strictly to the regimen in the future, I am comfortable saying that I will stick pretty closely to the 10-step program and see if I can further perfect my complexion.

beauty · luxury

Review: Roja Parfums Gulf Collection Perfumes

One of my friends – a stylish globetrotter with impeccable taste – encouraged me to try some luxurious perfumes that she adores. As a self-professed perfume fanatic, and a lover of all things luxury, I was up to the challenge. I was excited to try something new!

The perfumer she recommended, Roja Parfums, has sumptuous scents that are highly concentrated and intoxicating. I purchased a sample set from Lucky Scent, featuring a collection of fragrances inspired by the aromas of the Gulf region. The Gulf Collection has six scents, each named after a different Middle Eastern/Gulf-area country: the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, and United Arab Emirates. The scents all contain oud and are described as orientals due to their spicy aroma.

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My samples from Lucky Scent

You can feel free to click on the country names above to get the scent profiles for each of the fragrances, because listing out all of notes would take FOREVER! My personal favorite was the Kingdom of Bahrain: it has citrusy top notes (including lemon and lime) but a vanilla and leather base note that are warm, sensual and erotic. I have to apply carefully during the daytime, since the scent is sexy and tends to be better suited for the evening.

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Photo of The Kingdom of Bahrain, from the Roja Parfums website

These are among some of the priciest perfumes on the market, costing more than $500 for a 50mL bottle. But the smaller atomizers are more affordable, at approximately $80 each. The fragrances are concentrated enough that even a small amount should last for quite some time. You definitely get value for your money!

Any other perfume addicts out there? Let me know about some of your favorite brands in the comments below!

beauty · luxury

Glass Skin Challenge – Updates

So I’m 15 days into my Glass Skin challenge, and yes, I have updates.

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(from Pinterest, courtesy of Getty Images)

For starters, keeping up with the routine is MUCH easier than I anticipated. I did, however, make a few modifications.

For Step 6: Serum/Booster/Ampoule, I added a benzoyl peroxide cream along with my serums. I’m currently bouncing between Oxy Maximum Action Spot Treatment and Mary Kay’s Clearproof Acne Treatment Gel. I apply both in a thin layer all over my face, right after I apply my Niacinamide but before I apply the Buffet serum. I apply the benzoyl peroxide cream every time I cleanse (morning and night).

I’ve done the mask consistently two times per week, and I’ve noticed that my skin really enjoys the extra moisture. Also, I decided to forgo the Mary Kay Firming Eye Cream. Instead, I’ve been using Mary Kay Indulge Soothing Eye Gel, with a layer of The Body Shop’s Smoothing Night Cream on top on the eye area only.

I’m saving the photos for the end of the month, but let me just say, I’ve been LOVING the results so far! I’m looking radiant and even, and I’ve been skipping foundation on most days. When I do decide to use foundation, I need so little of it. I’m delighted with how things are going!