beauty

Beauty Review: Kandi Koated Cosmetics Glaze Illuminating Lip Shine

When I first got my Kandi Koated products, I was excited to try them and let you all know how they work. I’ve always been a fan of a good beauty review, and these products don’t have eearly enough reviews online, so I knew I had to add my voice to the mix and make sure that I discussed Kandi Koated.

As promised. here is my review of the Kandi Koated Glaze Illuminating Lip Shine. I purchased it at the same time that I purchased the concealer. The packaging is the same gorgeous rose gold hue, and the applicator features a doe-foot tip. I purchased the lip shine in the color Corset (I don’t think this shade is currently available).

According to the Kandi Koated website, the lip shine is described as, “Ultra-rich lip gloss that can be worn alone or layered over your favorite lipstick for added color and gloss! Delivers a bright and beautiful shine.” The description is correct: the lip gloss is shiny and adds a brilliant tint to your lips. This product has a lovely iridescence that looks both pink and purple at the same time.

Swatch of “Corset” by Kandi Koated Cosmetics

I love that the product is non-sticky and unflavored, so it can be easily layered with other lip products, but it’s lovely enough to wear on its own. This product is lightweight and VERY wearable.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely! It’s reasonably priced and performs well. I’ll certainly purchase it in additional shades in the months to come (I have to use up some other products before I can justify buying more makeup!).

beauty

Can Sephora Redeem Itself?

At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year, many of us were stunned to hear that Sephora, one of the largest and most popular beauty retailers in the US, unceremoniously laid off more than 3,000 employees. However, it wasn’t the act of laying off the employees that was shocking (many other retailers had done the same and, with so many stores closing during this period, many anticipated that layoffs and furloughs would happen). What was distasteful about the action was how it was done: Sephora released the employees during a conference call, and were provided less than one hour’s notice before the call occurred.

This mass layoff created some bad PR for Sephora, and I wondered if the company could redeem itself. After all, many businesses are finding that dominating in a particular industry does not make them immune to criticism from and rejection by previously loyal customers. Brand loyalty is a fickle animal and any missteps could result in major losses over the long term.

Only time will tell whether Sephora will redeem itself from this PR nightmare. The company has a history of supporting various social causes and has a culture that encourages inclusion and acceptance of all people. So perhaps the established goodwill of the company can help it ride the wave of criticism related to this mass layoff. I’ll keep any eye on things over on their Sephora Stands website and see what happens. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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May Empties

It’s time for another empties post! I’m still committed to using all of my excess/duplicate products and documenting my progress in minimizing my “stuff” and only replacing items as I completely use them up.

Yesterday, I discussed the Pixi Rose Tonic that I enjoyed, so that empty won’t be discussed here. However, there are several other empties that I’m going to mention today, as some of these are items that I will purchase again, while others are items that have been discontinued or that I don’t need to replace.

I’ll start off today’s post with a supplement that I’ve been using for several weeks now. I’ll be discussing this supplement in this week’s Fibro Friday post, but for now, just know that I have already purchased another bottle of chelated magnesium. Magnesium is essential for normal body functions and nearly 70% of the population are magnesium-deficient. I have enjoyed using this supplement to support my fibromyalgia relief regimen.

Country Life Chelated Magnesium

Next, I FINALLY finished off this ancient jar of moisturizer LOL! I found this unopened jar of Far Away by Avon among my mom’s old products and decided to use it and see if it was still fresh/uncontaminated. The product worked just fine and I used it up in less than a month. I typically do not like Avon fragrances but due to the age of this product, the scent had faded tremendously and I enjoyed the much lighter concentration of the fragrance.

Avon Far Away Perfumed Skin Softener

Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish ™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in the shade Almond was my go-to face product in 2016. I loved how it looked on my skin and I really liked the fact that a little product went a long way. While I love the product, I won’t be replacing it soon, as I already have a TON of foundation and concealer that I need to use before I justify an additional purchase. However, in the future, if I decide to get another stick or cream foundation, this is the one I will purchase.

Hourglass Vanish ™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Another Avon product that I found in my mom’s old product box was the Sunny Splendor Hydrating Shower Gel in the Strawberry & Guava fragrance. I loved this light, fresh fragrance and I really enjoyed the fact that it didn’t leave my skin feeling too dry and stripped. I don’t know that I’d go as far as calling it “hydrating” – I didn’t feel that significantly added moisture to my skin – but I feel that it worked well and didn’t aggravate my somewhat dry skin. This isn’t an item that I’d seek out to use again, but it was fine and performed as expected.

Avon Naturals Sunny Splendor Hydrating Shower Gel in Strawberry & Guava

Finally, I used the last of my Mary Kay (MK) Timewise Night Solution. MK has changed their product lineup and this item is no longer available, but since I enjoy using gels and serums, I continued to include it in my routine along with my many products from The Ordinary. I like how it kept my skin hydrated overnight without making my skin feel greasy. If it ever becomes available again, I’ll certainly repurchase it.

Mary Kay Timewise Night Solution

Those are my May empties! I’ll be back next month with a whole new bunch of empties to discuss. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

This post contains affiliate links.

beauty · luxury

Review: Kandi Koated Finesse Concealer

Here’s another beauty review! I have a few items that I’ve purchased over the past few months that I’m eager to review, and I’m sharing one of those products with you today.

A few months back, I was introduced to Kandi Koated Cosmetics by local entrepreneur Mesha Cousins. She was professional and it was such a treat to work with her. These cosmetics are developed and branded by Kandi Burruss, singer and reality TV star. I ordered two items from the Kandi Koated collection: a lip product (that I’ll review in a future post) and the Finesse Concealer, the subject of today’s review.

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The stunningly beautiful Kandi Burruss

I was excited to get my products quickly, and in a gorgeous package to boot! I wish I had taken a picture of the packaging: it was girly, pink, and fabulous! In any case, I quickly tried the products and was excited that they performed well and looked great. The product itself arrived in a stunning rose gold tube, and it looked very beautiful and sleek.

In the case of the concealer, however, some disclaimers are needed. Yes, this product absolutely conceals well and the shade – Mocha Deep – was flattering on my complexion. But, it’s worth noting that Mocha Deep isn’t a deep shade at all: it’s more of a dark beige/light brown hue. When it comes to brown skin, this wouldn’t be considered a very “deep” shade at all. Also, Mocha Deep isn’t available on the Kandi Koated website, though it may still be available through individual cosmetic reps (like Ms. Cousins, mentioned above).

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Swatching the product

This product isn’t super-creamy like LA Girl HD Pro Concealer. Because the formulation is a little “drier”, it is a much easier product to control, though it probably isn’t ideal for delicate undereye skin (that generally needs a creamier formulation). I used this product to sculpt my brows, and I loved the subtle highlighting effect that it creates. I apply, gently tap around the edges to blend, then set with powder. It lasts all day and looks fresh without needed touch-ups. Though I haven’t tried it yet, it would also work really well for reverse highlighting the hollows of the cheeks, as well as providing a smooth, even colored surface for the eyes.

Do I recommend this concealer? Absolutely! I love it though I didn’t think it would work that well under my eyes. I also wish that the company had more colors available, so I could see if I can get an even better color match.

Have you used any of the Kandi Koated Cosmetics products? Let me know in the comments below!

beauty · luxury

Review: Givenchy Teint Couture Everwear Foundation

Here’s a sample that I have had for a while, and I’ve been looking forward to reviewing it. I enjoy luxurious cosmetics and I was excited to try a foundation that I’ve never used before.

I got this sample of Givenchy Teint Couture Everwear Foundation in one of my Sephora orders last year (I will share my current opinions on Sephora in a future post). The shade closest to my complexion is Y400 (a medium-to-deep shade with warm undertones). The sample had enough product for two applications, so I tried two different application techniques. The first time I used it, I used a foundation brush, while the second application was done with my fingers.

Both times, the product applied smoothly and had a beautiful color. Unfortunately, it oxidized a bit more than I liked, and the best way to keep it from being too dark on my skin was to make sure that I highlighted my face heavily (more than I normally do). Also, I tend to do better with neutral undertones, so while it’s a beautiful product, I would need to try a different shade.

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A swatch of Givenchy’s Teint Couture Everwear in Y400

I was excited to try it, and honestly, I wasn’t completely disappointed. The color wasn’t a perfect match (once it oxidized), but the coverage was good and the product felt lovely on my skin. This product is a little pricier than my normal foundation (it’s $52 per bottle) but if I found a perfect shade match, I’d be willing to invest in a bottle.

My skin with the product applied, two different light settings used

Have you tried this product before? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!

beauty · luxury

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation

Happy Friday, friends! We’ve made it through the week and now we have a reward of Saturday and Sunday ahead. It’s been a while since I’ve done a beauty review, so I was excited to prepare this one for you. I think it’s about time, don’t you?

Though I love luxury beauty products, I can’t believe that I’ve never tried Lancome. I’ve had a few perfume samples before, but never have I tried the company’s cosmetics.  I was excited to finally try the Teint Idole Ultra Wear foundation when I got a sample over the summer in a Sephora order.

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Initially, I was concerned about the shade. I received shade 500, which I suspect it would be a little too light for me. Based on the beauty vloggers I’ve seen on YouTube, I suspected that I probably wore a 510 or 520. But 500 was the closest shade to my complexion, so I decided to try it. I got it when I still had a bit of my summer tan, so I figured it might be a little too light. To my surprise, it was a perfect match then, and still a pretty great match now.

Both sides of my face with the foundation applied

You can see for yourself how flattering the finish is. I love this foundation. It felt light on the face and, while I use a primer underneath it, I didn’t use powder over it, so I got to see just how the foundation performed without any products topping it. I got a little oily throughout the day, but that’s fairly standard for me with any foundation. I didn’t feel that this formulation made my skin any  oilier than normal. just a dad was enough to give me a good medium coverage. I experimented with it on a different day and I found that it’s very buildable: this coverage could easily go from medium to full without weighing the face down. I don’t have many facial lines, but I also found that this foundation doesn’t exaggerate the lines that I have. Win!

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My adorable foundation sample

I’m so excited to have another  foundation in my arsenal! This foundaton performs just as well as I would expect it to, since it retails for $47. I’m going to experiment with a few other shades in the Teint Idole Ultra Wear line just to see if there’s a better match than this one, but if I can’t find anything that matches more perfectly, this will be just fine. I love it and can’t wait to try more!

That’s it for this week.  I’ll be back Monday with more posts for you. Take care, and enjoy your weekend!

beauty · luxury

New Fenty Beauty Products – Worth a Sephora Trip

Happy Monday, friends! I’m planning a trip to Sephora but I decided to look on their website to get an idea of what goodies I need to check out in person. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb All Over Diamond Veil and the Diamond Milk Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer.

The products are GORGEOUS and I already know that I want them. However, I need to see them in person because super-shimmers aren’t always kind on my complexion. But I’m hopeful: keep your fingers crossed for me, because these are so pretty and I would hate to pass them up because they don’t flatter me.

Of course, I’ll be checking out some of the other Fenty Beauty products that I haven’t seen in person yet, like the Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette. Let’s face it – Fenty Beauty can get all of my coins! Here’s a review of the Diamond Bomb and Diamond Milk products from one of favorite Youtubers, MsRoshPosh. I’m also including a review from Scarce Beauty, who I recently discovered on YouTube and I’m enjoying her reviews.

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: BITE Champagne Discovery Set

Happy Thursday, darlings! I’m relaxing before a hectic week and I figured I’d tell you about a product that I’ve been reaching for – consistently – over the past few days. I purchased the BITE Champagne Discovery Set a few weeks ago. I’d sampled the BITE Multistick in Cashew a while ago, so I knew that I loved the shade. However, this set seemed like a good way to get a lot of bang for my buck.

The set contains, as mentioned before, the Multistick in Cashew but also has a Lip Pencil in shade 036 and a lip gloss in Champagne. The Multistick and lip pencil are both listed as being “matte rose taupe”, while the gloss is a “metallic champagne with nude and gold”.

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Lip gloss, lip liner, and multistick

Swatch (from top to bottom: Champagne Pearl lip gloss, Multistick in Cashew, 036 lip liner), with and without flash

I tried different combinations of the multistick, gloss, and liner on my lips, but I had to add my trusted dark brown liner because, to be frank, I looked like a caricature without it. There’s something about lighter-toned lipsticks that just isn’t flattering on me. However, when blended with a deep-colored liner, the colors immediately become more wearable.

Lips filled with BITE’s 036 lip liner (no other product)

Multistick in Cashew layered over 036 liner

Multistick, lip liner, and a generous application of dark brown liner blended in (from local beauty supply store)

Same as above, but Champagne Pearl gloss in the center of the lips

Anyway, back to the products. The multistick isn’t exclusively for lips: it can be used as eyeshadow or blush. So, I applied it from lash to brow, blended lightly, threw on some gel eyeliner and mascara, and took a pic. I like it better as an eyeshadow, though it’s a nice nude (when paired with a lip liner).

Multistick as eyeshadow

The lip liner is a nice mid-toned neutral, and, to its credit, it’s a cool nude, which can be difficult to find. I love the texture and how perfectly it matches the multistick. The liner would be great for “lightening up” some of my deeper toned lip looks and making them more suitable for day wear.

The Champagne Pearl gloss smells minty and has a nice taste. The shade is very close to Extraordinary Smile, a liquid lippie that I purchased from Glow by Melodye a while back. You can see the review on Extraordinary Smile here, but I took a side-by-side pic. Champagne Pearl is a tad lighter, and has a smoother texture than Extraordinary Smile, but the lighter hue means that it will need (you guessed it) a dark liner to be more wearable. Even then, it’s giving me early 2000s vibes, so it’s a bit dated for my taste, though kind of cute in its own way. This gloss is very golden – like, really, really golden – and very shiny. This is definitely one that is more suited to evenings out on the town.

Champagne Pearl with dark brown lip liner

For comparison: Champagne Pearl by BITE on top, Extraordinary Smile by Glow by Melodye on the bottom (with flash and without flash)

So, all in all, this was a pretty versatile set. With a couple more products thrown into the mix, the colors are all extremely wearable and can easily go from day to night. I don’t think I’d purchase the set again, but I look forward to using these products and trying some more from BITE Beauty in the future.

beauty · luxury

Beauty Review: Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipstick

Happy Hump Day, beloveds! It’s time to review some beauty products because, let’s face it, we’re overdue!

Today, I’m reviewing the Fenty Beauty Lil Mattemoiselles Lipsticks. Now, I’ve reviewed Fenty Beauty twice before: first when reviewed the Killawatt Highlighter, then when I reviewed the Lil Match Stix Duo.

I’ve enjoyed all of the Fenty Beauty products that I’ve tried so far, so I was excited to give the Mattemoiselle lipsticks a try. I didn’t want to commit to the full-sized lippie (since I already have far too many lipsticks in my collection) so I got the Mini Mattemoiselles.

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The set includes two mini lipsticks, in the shades Spanked and Griselda. When Fenty Beauty first launched the lipstick line, I was immediately drawn to the intense eggplant-hued Griselda, while I wasn’t as excited about Spanked, described as a “dusty rose” on the Fenty Beauty website.

(L to R) Spanked and Griselda, with flash and without

Swatches – Griselda on top, Spanked on bottom (with flash and without)

However, being a curious soul, I wanted to give both lipsticks a chance. I was impressed with the pigment and the texture: these are matte but not drying. I loved how they glided on and how they didn’t leave my lips feeling dehydrated. My thoughts on the lipsticks are as follows:

  • Spanked is a great everyday shade, but it doesn’t flatter my complexion unless I wear a dark liner with it (blended well, of course). The color is a bit too warm for my taste, but it’s a very classy, elegant shade that works well for the office or casual looks.

Spanked with dark brown liner

  • Griselda is bold and attention grabbing: my kind of lippie! It’s also more neutral (equal amounts of warmth and coolness) so it flatters my complexion more. It can come across a bit harsh during the daytime, so I’d save this one for the evening.

Griselda – no liner needed

I hit pay dirt when I combined the lipsticks. I applied Griselda and blotted off most of the color in the center of my lip, leaving the heaviest concentration of product on the outer edge of my mouth. Then, I liberally applied Spanked in the center of my lips and blended outward, until Spanked faded into Griselda. It created a simply gorgeous, dimensional pout that works from day to night. Score!

Griselda and Spanked combined – my favorite!

All in all, I love these colors and I can’t wait to try more! Fenty Beauty has yet another hit. They always get it right the first time!

Have you all tried any Fenty Beauty products? Let me know in the comments below!

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More Beauty Reviews Coming!

Happy Monday friends! It’s been a less-than-productive weekend (aside from working on my writing) because I had some beautiful distractions cross my path. Having my focus elsewhere was great for adding some variety to my daily routine.

But now that things are back to normal, I can get back into what matters – beauty reviews! I purchased a boatload of products that I’m dying to try out, and some overdue reviews from a while back. Yeah, I’ve been slacking a bit, but you have to forgive me: between my birthday and those previously mentioned distractions, I didn’t have much time!

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If you want to get sneak previews of some of the products I’ll be trying, be sure to follow my Instagram and see some of the goodies that will eventually make their way over to the blog. Here’s a sneak preview of the last product shipment I got:

I have some more fun posts coming this week, so stay tuned. Talk to you all tomorrow!