Julep Maven Unboxing | December 2016

Can y’all believe that it is already DECEMBER!?! This year has flown by! It’s time for me to share what I received in my Julep subscription box this month. Julep is a subscription box service where you are able to handpick 3 products you would like each month. You can also add on products for a discounted price. The box is $24.99/month or $19.99/month with a 3-month prepaid subscription. You can click here to use my referral link to subscribe.

This month I really, really tried to switch up the products I picked. I really tried to stay away from nail polishes…I failed. LOL! I had to get one as an add on. I couldn’t help myself! I did manage to get some other goodies, so let’s see what I got!

*Scroll down for instructions to enter my giveaway!*

It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mousse in Swoon, $20.00

This is the second lip mousse I have tried from Julep. This formula is amazing! It’s very creamy which makes it very comfortable on your lips. My lips never feel dry wearing this even though it is a matte lipstick. I was expecting this shade to be darker on me since it is described as “heathered wine matte” on the site. Instead, it it just a dusty rose shade on me. It’s still pretty and I will definitely wear it!

Don’t Leave Your Brows at Home in Rich Brown, $24.00

I normally stick to brow pencils because, for me, they are much easier to use and I like to keep my makeup as simple and natural looking as possible. But, I decided to try something new, so I selected this for my box this month. I like that one end of the tube has the brow gel in it and the other end is the brush, now I don’t have to keep up with so much. I used this product to just fill in my brows because I don’t prefer the over defined brows. The gel is really smooth and easy to apply. It is somewhat difficult to get product on the brush since the part that it is in is kind of small. Overall, I liked the look and feel of this. I can’t say if I will be replacing my Ofra Universal Brow Pencil or not, but I will use this if I just want to do something different.

Oxygen Bonding Base Coat, $18.00

I got this base coat in a subscription box several months ago and really loved it. Once I ran out, I decided that I would get different products and use the base coats I already had at home. Over time I realized that no base coat was quite like this one. This base coat literally grips your nail polish to your nails and allows the polish to last longer. It also allows your nails to grow healthier and stronger. I do notice a difference in the health of my nails when using this base coat versus others.

Wonder Maven Nail Polish in Krystle, $14.00

Krystle is a dark green shade with a little shimmer. Julep’s nail polishes last at least 4 days without chipping. The polishes are also 5-free and vegan friendly.

Which product would you like to try? Let me know in the comments!

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Facial Radiance Illuminating Moisturizer by First Aid Beauty Review

So y’all know that I have been searching high and low for an all over face illuminator. See my reviews here and  here . I’ve been wanting my skin to GLOWWWWWW! My goal has been to find a product with a golden glow versus a pearl or champagne glow. Whether or not it also has a moisturizing effect is an added bonus. Have I found a winner???

I went into Sephora and asked one of the team members for any recommendations. If you are a woman of color, you know that it’s hard to ask a white person for recommendations because a lot of times they do not take into consideration the difference in skin tones. Therefore, they will recommend products that will complement their complexions, which is completely understandable. I knew that before I asked the girl to help me, but I still asked anyway. She led me to every single product with a pearl tint. LOL! I just laughed to myself and she actually ended up directing me to a black lady who she felt would provide better assistance. I was so grateful because she hooked me up!

She introduced me to this amazing illuminator by First Aid Beauty called Facial Radiance Illuminating Moisturizer (retail price: $34)! I swatched it on the back of my hand and my face should have turned into the heart eye emoji because that’s literally how I felt. I was immediately in love! All I could see was the perfect golden glow on my hand and I couldn’t WAIT to apply it to my face!

Scroll down to read the rest of the review…


The next time I did a full face, I tried it out! If you look at the pictures below, you see that there is a brush applicator attached to the tube to make for easy application. I actually do not use the brush to apply it to my face. I place a couple of dots on my forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin and then rub it in with my hands and then blend it with a wet Beauty Blender. Pictures really don’t catch the glow, but, the glow is THERE! It is stunning! My skin was radiant and (even though my skin is generally blemish free) it smoothed out the appearance of my skin.

It’s a lightweight moisturizer, which really isn’t enough for my dry skin. That’s not a big deal to me. I just apply Aquaphor before applying this. After I applied this, I continued with my makeup routine by applying bb cream all over my face and the rest of my makeup.

I think I can end my search for an illuminator because I do believe I’ve found a winner! I definitely rate this product a 5 on a 1 to 5 scale!

What’s your favorite illuminator? Let me know in the comments!

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So Choix | November 2016

I’m really thinking this subscription box may be my new favorite! I just love getting 5 designer samples (that I choose) for only $15 a month! I love how everything is packaged. It’s the perfect subscription box for those who love trying out new products but don’t feel like going to stores, like Sephora, to try out. You can try them out at your leisure throughout the month…extremely convenient and I appreciate convenience.

As you all know, I have been on a mission to find the perfect illuminator, so I added 3 to my box this month, plus a mascara and a lipstick. Let’s see what I received and what I thought about everything.

Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Powder in LM Candlelight, $35.00

I wasn’t able to really try this product out the way I wanted to because the jar they put this is was a little on the small side. The jar was big enough to fit a shadow brush in, but not a blending brush. From the little bit I was able to get on my brush, I swiped on my hand and noticed a nice little glowy shimmer. I’m not sure if I would buy this because I’m more a fan of liquid illuminators over powder illuminators. I actually like to limit the amount of powders I put on my skin since my skin is more on the dry side.

Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara in 01 Jet Black, $29.00

It’s really hard to review this product. I was expecting to receive a sample brush like the one that comes with the actual mascara. Instead, I received a regular mascara brush. So, I am unable to say whether or not this really gives the cat eye effect. If this had the actual brush, lashes are supposed to be extended and fanned out.

Burberry Lip Velvet Lipstcik in Velvet Oxblood, $34.00

I thought this shade would be darker, but either way, I really like the color. It’s a deep berry and perfect for fall. The formula is also very smooth and moisturizing. I don’t think it’s worth the $34 price tag, but I guess I’d be paying for the name and the packaging if I actually chose to purchase this in the full size. 

Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow, $49.00

I considered buying this a few weeks ago when Sephora had their VIB sale. I decided against it because the sales associate recommended another product. I saw that I could get a sample of this from So Choix, so I decided to get it. I really love the glow I get from this. It’s a very healthy, dewy glow. This illuminator is also a moisturizer, so you do not have to moisturize your skin prior to application. My skin feels very hydrated once applied. The nude glow is a universal shade and it works on all skin tones and skin types.

Givenchy Mister Radiant Healthy Glow, $41.00

The name of this product is spot on! You truly get a healthy glow with it! It is a transparent gel that contains a high water content and soft beads of glowing color that sink into your skin to achieve a natural, sunlit effect. After application, my skin feels very smooth and soft. Also, this product has a light floral scent.

Have  you tried any of these products? If so, what were your thoughts? 

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Laura Mercier Foundation Primer • Radiance | Review + Swatches

I have been searching high and low for a product that will give me that lit from within glow. I have used the NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Pure Gold and it pretty much gives me the look I’m going for. However, I have not been 100% satisfied, so I’ve been trying to find another option.

Last week Sephora had the 20% off sale for VIB and VIB rouge members. I figured that would be the perfect time to stock up on some products and try out some new ones. I went into Sephora and asked for some recommendations. It didn’t matter to me whether the product had moisturizing properties or if it was just to be applied on top of a moisturizer. I just needed a glow. The lady recommended the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance, among others. I thought I would start with the Laura Mercier one. It sells for $36.

The product is a lightweight, creamy gel. It isn’t a moisturizer, so you should apply over your moisturizer, but under your foundation. Once the product set, my skin still felt dry. However, it did reduce the appearance of imperfections. The illuminating effect has a pearl tint, which on my skin tone made me look ashy. The tint is more suitable for fairer skin tones.

Overall, this product did not work for me since it felt dry and the pearl tint made my skin look drier. But, this product is still a good product and if you have fair skin and are looking for a product that gives you a light glow, this is the one for you!

Do you have any face illuminators that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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MBA Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lip Color Review

As you can probably tell from reading my blog, I am a huge fan of My Beauty Addiction Cosmetics! They’re products are super affordable and handmade! They sell products ranging from lipsticks to blushes to eyeshadows to highlighters to makeup tools! They pretty much have any makeup product you need!

A few months ago, I purchased two Matte Liquid lip colors. One in Vino and the other in Fame. Vino is a deep, blood red. Fame is a rich, true red. I was excited to try these products as there has been a lot of hype surrounding liquid to matte lip formulas. These each come in a lip gloss tube with a doe foot wand applicator. The applicator makes application pretty easy. However, if you want more precision, you can use a lip brush. In the swatches below, I just used the applicator that came with the products. I thought the colors were absolutely beautiful! They were true representations of what was pictured on the website. The only thing I did not like about the products is how sticky they are once they dry. You cannot rub your lips together or even pat them together once they dry without having them stick to one another. Even when I moisturize my lips prior to applying the lip colors, they are extremely sticky. I do not know about you, but I hate sticky lip products! I will definitely not be wearing these lip colors for an extended period of time.

Matte Liquid Lip Color in Fame

Matte Liquid Lip Color in Vino

Do you recommend any non-sticky liquid to matte lip color formulas? Let me know in the comments!

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e.l.f. Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadows and Bronzers Review + Swatches

On Veteran’s Day, I took advantage of the HUGE sale that e.l.f. was having on their website. Everything was 50% off! Well…almost everything! It has taken me a few weeks to get around to using all of the products and writing a review.  I will not review everything in this haul at once. I will review products after I use them several times.

Anyway, in this review, I want to focus on the baked bronzer and eyeshadow palettes. I purchased the Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California and Seattle. California is a palette with neutral shades. Seattle is a palette with smokier shades. I purchased the Baked Bronzer in Bora Bora for $3. I was super excited about receiving the palettes and bronzer. I thought the colors in each palette were so beautiful and for $10 each, I really couldn’t beat that! However, once I got them and opened them and tried them out, I was sadly disappointed. There was barely any pigment in the shadows. I read somewhere that the pigment was more intense with a wet brush, but that really didn’t make much of a difference. I love e.l.f. products and I am really hoping that this is just an issue with the baked formula and not their eyeshadows in general because I purchased a pressed eyeshadow palette from Target a couple of weeks ago that I have not had a chance to try out yet. I might have to turn my back on e.l.f. in that one doesn’t work out for me!

Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California Swatches (left: with flash; right: without flash)

Swatches of Seattle Palette (left: without flash; right: with flash)

Baked Bronzer in Bora Bora Swatch (left: with flash; right: without flash)

As you can see from the photos above, there isn’t much pigment in the eyeshadows or the bronzers. 😦

Have you tried the Baked Eyeshadows or Bronzers from e.l.f.? Did you have better luck with your products? Let me know in the comments!

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