23 April 2016

News: Wet n Wild coming to the UK + Product Guide

UK readers - According to Lisa Elridge, Wet n Wild Beauty will be coming to you at the end of this month!

This brand offers fantastic eyeshadows, a nice variety of lip colours, a decent range of nail polish and more at an extremely affordable price.

In fact, a lot of this brand's products are staples in my daily routine. Here's a list of the items that I've been entrusting with my face since I started using their products five years ago. I'll also post some of my own swatches, and a product guide with my full experiences (both good and bad), later, if someone on Lebbit expresses interest.

Wet n Wild Beauty Favourites: Products That Haven't Melted My Face or Wallet


1. Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection - Comfort Zone

This palette seems to be frequently mentioned for its green-brown duochrome that is supposedly a duo of MAC Club.

It's a nice set of warm neutral and muted green shimmers. I'm partial to the neutral half, though the greens are very wearable for non-skin-tone shades.

On the neutral side, the highlight shade is a useful, if not unique, light beige; it is not as finely milled, but still works well as a browbone and inner corner highlight. The 'eyelid' shade is a beautiful light rosy copper that is similar to L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush, with less frost. The 'Crease' is a useful bronze. The 'Definer' is a dark brown with slight red shimmer that isn't the most blendable, but is useful as a liner.

The three-pan palettes have the same formula, so they're of course good as well... but this one has eight. Eight! That's almost enough drinks to have on a first date! If each of those drinks only cost 50p! In fact, now that I've considered that, I think I will eschew human contact in exchange for money for more good eyeshadows.

2. MegaEyes Creme Eyeliner

The brush is useless, and the jar is poorly designed and allows the product to dry up into a small turd pellet within weeks. However, if you take care to transfer this into another container, or wrap it up between uses, this is the best black gel liner I have ever tried at this price. Much better than the Maybelline, e.l.f. and Essence ones.

Dark black, glides easily without clumping (unlike Essence's), and is more smudge-proof than the aforementioned ones. Oh, and I did I mention how cheap it is? It retails for $3 in the US (and that's before frequent sales), or £2 in the UK, assuming the same prices are maintained.

There's also a purple one, but I can't speak to the quality of that one.

3. MegaLast Lip Color in In the Flesh

These semi-matte cream finish lipsticks aren't necessarily going to last your disgusting parmo binge at 3AM (that's what I use the Balm Stains--mentioned below--for), but they still do dry down quite well; many also leave a stain. They can be slightly drying, but layer well under gloss or balm

In the Flesh is a flattering rose neutral that works for all occasions. (For reference, I'm NC15-20.) Other shades I've tried--and all of which I've greatly enjoyed--are:

  • Spiked with Rum - A deep rose brown that is also very flattering on me. This is my favourite lipstick to lightly dab on when I'm going to the bar down the street and don't want to look like I'm trying too hard (like with red lipstick), but still want to look put together, when in reality my life is falling apart and it is my first time being outside of pyjamas in a week.
  • Bare It All - Brownish nude. Supposedly a dupe for MAC Teddy Bare. This is a little light on me without a lip liner.
  • Stoplight Red - Bright red. I've heard that this is a dupe for MAC Ruby Woo. Looking at other swatches online, this one looks slightly pinker. On the lips, though, they are probably not going to look different on anyone besides you. (Of course, you will still use this as justification to buy both.)
  • Cherry Bomb - Dark red. I usually sheer this out when I'm not going for a vamp/goth look.

11 April 2016

30 Ideas for Repurposing Makeup

Here are some ideas that I've heard often, and a few I've come up with myself, for getting use out of either products you don't like, or the remnants of ones you do.

  1. Too-dark foundations/concealers as contour.
  2. Too-light foundations/concealers as highlight.
  3. #1 & #2 mixed together.
  4. Liquid or powder foundation/concealer mixed with moisturiser for tinted moisturiser. Or add more coverage.
  5. Bronzer as eyeshadow.
  6. Liquid highlighter mixed with foundation or body lotion for extra glow.
  7. Pencil eyeliner as a gel eyeliner brush. You can play with using different shades of pencil for fun, too.
  8. Pencil/cream eyeliner as a long-lasting eyeshadow base.
  9. Gel or pencil liner for brows.
  10. Crappy cream eyeshadow as a sticky eyeshadow base.
  11. Clean liquid liner brush for nail art.
  12. Mascara with a liner brush as liquid eyeliner.
  13. Clean mascara wand as a brow spoolie.
  14. Clean mascara wand as a pipe cleaner.
  15. Brow powder as eyeshadow or contour.
  16. Brow product or eyeshadow for the hairline.
  17. Loose or broken powder eyeshadow mixed with nail polish/top coat for a new shade.
  18. Red/pink loose or powder eyeshadow (or blush) for the lipstick setting powder trick. Note: You may want to ensure that your eyeshadow or blush is lip-safe.
  19. Eyeshadow or blush on top of, or mixed with, lip product for a new shade. Again, check that they're lip-safe.
  20. Eyeshadow with setting spray as liner.
  21. Bright eyeshadow over a dark liner for wearability.
  22. Bright eyeliner under a dark/neutral eyeshadow for wearability.
  23. Neutral eyeshadow as bronzer or contour.
  24. Eyeshadow as brow powder.
  25. Drying-out liquid eyeliner pen as brow tint.
  26. Lipstick as cream blush.
  27. Lipstick leftovers that can no longer be applied from the bullet melted with a lip balm to make a tinted balm. Or, use just a little lipstick to make a clear balm that's a little more fun in the container.
  28. Sticky lip gloss as a lipstick (or blush/eyeshadow, from #15) primer.
  29. Lip balm leftovers mixed with sugar for a lip scrub.
  30. Lip balm to clean up smudged eye makeup.

Additionally, both makeup and art brushes can be repurposed:

  • Flat foundation brush to apply face masks
  • Flat eyeshadow brush to contour smaller areas
  • Eyeshadow blending brush to apply highlighter lightly
  • Angled eyeliner brush for brows
  • Lip brush to apply concealer, or vice versea

27 February 2016

Store Review: Bath Sabbath

Yeah, I purchased this with my own money. I'm a big girl. And no, I didn't try to get VIP treatment by wowing the owner with my Blogger.com star power. Need more CHR first.

Once upon a time (like, up to a couple months ago), I swore never to wear those evil, headache-inducing things called 'fragrances'. Yet through the gateway drug of scented body lotions, I've very recently become interested in perfumes--particularly indie ones.

I was looking for a coffee scent that wasn't a full-sized $18+ (before postage) Arcana that I'd never smelled before (looking at you, Demimondaine), so my expert Google detective work led me to Bath Sabbath's Duncan Hills.

Now, I'd never ordered off Etsy before--my opinion of the site was born in, molded by the now-dead Regretsy. I imagined the site to be a handful of people who were trying to pass off crap as 'handmade' at ridiculous prices; and the rest, those who feel the need to share (and sell!) every single crap they push out.

But the super-reasonable sample prices over at Bath Sabbath--5 for $10 ($2 each) for the general catalogue, and even slightly better for full the seasonal collection I picked up--plus my desire to not only drink and use for an enema delicious coffee, but also shove an oily recreation of it up my nostrils--convinced me to go for it.

And I'm super happy that I did, because Virginia's shop is awesome.

Here's a censored picture of the package:

Right when I opened it:

Business card, sticker and HANDWRITTEN NOTE. It almost makes up for not being hugged as a baby.

Proof that I pay for stuff like a fleshbag, I mean human, definitely not an alien:

Note that she refunded me for postage overages, so I ended up paying even less than shown.

Bundle with the sexy paper bag paper off:

Bundle with the bubble wrap/helmet off:

Holy perfume oil, Batman! I ordered 11 sample vials, and I got four free samples. That is extremely generous.
Seriously--Haus of Gloi and Sixteen92, two indie smell-makers I've become quite fond of--give out one 0.7mL and one ~0.5mL(??) sample, respectively, with each order. So 4mL of freebies is impressively generous. Obviously, there are other factors at work here, including variety of offerings, stock, development time... but still. Like, woah, dude.


My shipping estimate for two sample packs was estimated at around $5, which is reasonable, considering that the owner does not send samples in bubble envelopes like indie stores that ship for less.
She refunded me $1.00 for overestimated postage. Haus of Gloi does the same, and it really reflects well on the seller's honesty--they could have easily pocketed the difference. Big gold star!

Choose-your-own sample packs come in at $2 per vial, which is very reasonable. You have the choice of either perfume or beard oils, with the latter offered in a smaller selection of scents. They're even less ($1.83) if you pick up a seasonal collection - I also got the six-piece spring collection for $11.

For comparison: Haus of Gloi sells 0.7mL samples for $3.50 each. Sixteen92 has 2mL samples for $3.60. Sugar & Spite samples compete at $2.60 for a half-dram (1/16 oz, or about 1.8mL), but don't have dabbers. Of course, indie shops can be all over the map.

A 10mL rollerball (here) is $20, which seems standard for indies. A one-dram (1/8 oz, or 3.7mL) rollerball (here) is $9, which is great - not all shops offer this smaller size in the convenient roll-on packaging.

And as I mentioned above - the four free samples (for a $21 order!) was super impressive. This may not happen to every order, as the shop may have been more generous with older stock from the last season, but still. More gold stars!


As shown above, everything was securely wrapped with lots of bubble wrap, and paper to keep everything from bouncing around in the box like kids in a nice restaurant.

For a nice touch, perfumes (separated in plastic bags) come inside tiny black organza bags.

Perfumes come in 1mL glass sample vials with dabbers, which are great for clumsy people like myself who are prone to accidentally dumping the product all over themselves.


Usual TAT (turn-around time) is listed as three to five days, though that may change during holidays.

I placed my order on a Monday afternoon, The owner, Virginia, also sent me a thank-you message the day after, on Tuesday. I received a tracking number on Wednesday. This is good for an indie shop!

I live nearby, so I received my package that Saturday (three days).
As mentioned, my shipping was $4.05 for a 14oz package in a local area.

Customer Service:

Fantastic. The owner sent a thank-you message via Etsy the day after I ordered, which she called a 'late reply'. The handwritten note was even nicer than a lot of indie shops, which usually do a "Thank you $name !" (not that I'm complaining about those). My box also had my hand-written address before being crowned with a printed shipping label.

The refunded shipping charge was impressive, and the generous number of free samples even more so. I might be out of gold stars now, even though I ordered a box of 2600 of them (true story)...

I'm currently testing these with my noob nose, but I wanted to give a shout-out to Virginia at Bath Sabbath for having fantastic customer service, great pricing, fast TAT and, more importantly than any other aspect of running a busi ness, a punny name.

Again, you can order perfume oils, plus beard oils and soaps and other fun things, here. There's also a smaller selection of products on their site.
You can also find them and promotions on Facebook.

20 February 2016

Beauty empties from last summer

I've been AWOL from here due to newer, busier jobs; interest in skincare, which has gradual, non-swatch-able effects; and, most of all, realisation that I need to be a smarter cosmetics consumer. (Don't get me wrong--I'm still spending abundant amounts of my limited time and money on this earth on looking at and purchasing make-up and other excesses. I just haven't been taking the time out to write about them lately.)

I've been putting up monthly empties posts with lots of mini-reviews over at the MakeupRehab subreddit. After seeing how satisfying it is to see other bloggers' empties, I'll be posting my photos and small reviews here--where it's much easier to find content--as well from now on.

Below is a backlog of my empties from July through September, with truncated reviews. Here's the full album where I've been uploading regularly since last July. See you all around more often!

July 2015

  • Aritaum Fresh Essence Mask in Collagen
    Rebuy? Maybe
  • Dabo Essence Mask Pack in Collagen
    Thoughts: Amount of serum is less generous than other brands - I can stretch other mask packs to three uses each, but this one definitely doesn't last more than two, if that.
    Rebuy? Nah.
  • The Ylang Gallery Filltox Wrinkle Intensive Essence Serum
    Rebuy? Probably not.
  • Philosophy shampoo/shower gel in Peppermint Bark
    Thoughts: Smelled pretty good, and the shimmery red colour was pretty. I'd never pay full price for this or any Philosophy product again, though.
    Rebuy? No.
  • Complete Multi-Purpose solution - Ignore this. This was my first real MakeupRehab empties post, and I was following the convention there of posting things that don't really count as beauty/body empties.
  • Pure & Basic Lavender Rosemary Bath & Body Lotion foil sample
    Buy? Maybe. Smells good, but a lot of things smell like lavender, including bathroom sprays.
  • Trader Joe's Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion
    Buy? No.
  • Crazy Rumors lip balm in Hibiscus
    Thoughts: Tasted pretty tangy and good. This brand's balms are really soft, so I finished this in two weeks or less.
    Rebuy? Sure.
  • Neutrogena Shine Control Makeup foil sample card
    Thoughts:Not enough in the sample to make a judgement on this.
    Buy? Probably not.
  • NYX The Makeup foundation in 06 Natural
    Thoughts: This was actually my first foundation, ever. Not sure if the texture changed with age (4.5 years!), or if my standards have just gone up, but I noticed that this would easily become cakey and sweat/rub off.
    Rebuy? No.
  • Urban Decay Naked BB deluxe sample
    Thoughts: This accomplished little more than turning me orange. But not orange enough for a chance with Bromeo on the Jersey Shore, so I guess I can't win on either end of this very limited spectrum. I'm surprised that they're still trying to sell this stuff. I used this as a primer under other foundations/BB creams.
    Buy? Never.
  • Milani Liquif'eye eyeliner pencil in Brown
    Thoughts: This was still called 'Liquif'eye' when I bought it. Good for smudging out on the upper lashline, though not for tightlining - this kind of pencil will leave blurry residue on contact lenses.
    Rebuy? Yeah, but I'll take the cheaper Jordana equivalent (exact same product and parent company).
  • e.l.f. Essential blush in Innocence
    Thoughts: No pigmentation, but this made it harder to do my Ronald McDonald cosplay as my daily look.
    Rebuy? Nope. Blushes already take long enough to get through. No need for a crappy one, at that.
  • e.l.f. Mineral Lip Tint in Blush (not shown)
    Thoughts: I depotted the remainder under the reachable part of the bullet into a separate container. This was an unflattering light cool pink on me that used to look more acceptable when I was less tan.
    Rebuy? No.

August 2015

  • Neutrogena Shine Control Makeup sample card, again
  • Gud Body Butter in Vanilla Flame
    Thoughts: Got three of these in Burt's Bees grab bags. Initial smell is wayyyy too strong and sweet. I have never hired a cheap hooker before, but I imagine this is what one would smell like. Thankfully, it fades on the skin--unlike the hand soap in this scent, which I have also had the misfortune of trying through these grab bags.
    Buy? No.
  • Kiss My Face Sunscreen Clear Spray, 50 Sport
    Thoughts: Second one finished out of a pack of six I got off Groupon Goods. The product is fine, and smells nice (coconuts), but the pump is terrible. Doesn't spray continuously (why?!), and breaks so maddeningly easily. The first bottle of this that I opened actually started out broken, and I ended up just pouring and spreading the product instead of trying to spray it.
    Rebuy? No. The packaging makes this nearly unusable.
  • Eclos Super Concentrate Night Booster Fluid
    Thoughts: Got this in a Freeman grab bag. I have no idea what topical application of plant stem cells is supposed to do for me, as I am not a plant, as far as I know. Perhaps this has secretly started turning me into a Swamp Thing, which will ultimately make me dependent on this product. Might be worth it if I ended up as a sexy kind of half-human hybrid, like a mermaid or a centaur (but that’s easy to mess up, like a mermaid with an upper fish half).
    Buy? No. Dumb branding is dumb.
  • Aquafina FlavorSplash balm in Raspberry
    Thoughts: Mediocre balm, terrible fake flavour. I don't know what capitalistic demons compelled me to buy something with such terrible branding, either.
    Rebuy? No.
  • Noyah lip balm in Classic
    Thoughts: Finished this one in under two weeks. Soft texture made that easy. Got this in one of the worst subscription boxes I've tried, Lip Monthly. No flavour, just kind of sweet. Only four ingredients, which didn't do anything special for my lips, and from which I could easily reproduce this product myself, if I wanted a really boring lip balm. I liked their cherry one, but neither are worth $4 retail.
    Buy? No.
  • Burt’s Bees Medicated Balm with Eucalyptus Oil
    Thoughts: I probably killed this one in a week. I had really bad lip eczema or something for a week or two, and frequent application of this helped a lot more than any amount of the Noyah balm. Got this in a Burt's Bees grab bag, which apparently included this product that was after its sell-by date (2011); product was gritty, but melted down on lips.
    Buy? This has been replaced with a non-eucalyptus-oil one. I might try that some day.
  • Burt's Bees Pink Grapefruit balm
    Thoughts: Tastes really nice and citrus-y. Lovers of blood orange scents will like this as well.
    Rebuy? Yes.
  • Wet n Wild Megalast polish mini in Club Havana
    Thoughts: Bead of Victory shown underneath bottle; it came out when I had the bottle up-side down to try to get out the last few drops. The formula was really thick and slow to dry, so I mostly used this on my toes, which I am less likely to bump into things.
    My secret to panning this? Using a peel-off glue base underneath. Since this formula was crap, instead of trying to 'fix' any issues, I'd just peel off the entire nail's polish if it streaked/dented/bubbled. It would also just detach by itself after a few days. Since I hate polish removal, this made it easy to do new polish jobs. As for panning boredom, it helped that this was a fitting seasonal shade at the time.
    Buy? Not this shade due to formula issues, but I do like other polishes from the line.
  • Dabo Collagen Essence Mask Pack again
  • My Beauty Diary Arbutin Whitening Mask
  • Starlooks Lip Sugar (not shown)
    Thoughts: Tiny lip scrub that came dried up in aforementioned, terrible Lip Monthly. Seemed to just be brown sugar.
    Buy? No, I can make this myself.

September 2015

  • c.Booth Milk Bath & Shower Cleanser
    Thoughts: Freeman grab bag item. Milk baths are weird, and this smells weird. I’d rather have a fruity or herbal body wash that makes me smell fresh.
    Buy? Probably not.
  • Garnier Moisture Rescue Lightweight UV Lotion
    Thoughts: An old roommate’s left-overs. Smells nice and feels okay, but SPF15 is nothing. Plus, it wasn’t actually moisturising.
    Buy? Discontinued. I actually do have the new version of this, but haven't opened it yet.
  • Freeman Beauty Acai Purifying Clay Mask
    Thoughts: Freeman grab bag item. Smelled bad and did nothing.
    Buy? Definitely no.
  • Clean&Clear Morning Burst scrub
    Thoughts: Bought this four years ago, before I knew that microbeads are bad and useless. The description (papaya! caffeine!) sounded delicious at the time, but I have no need for sodium lauryl sulfate on my precious baby-harvested face-skin.
    Rebuy? No.
  • Petal Fresh Aloe & Pomegranate Facial Scrub
    Thoughts: Used it as a body scrub, because walnut bits are harsh on the face (which I didn’t know back when I bought this). Smelled nice. Squeeze tube made little speckled lumps of it fly out and land on the shower curtain and walls; my roommates probably thought it was some weird alien growth.
    Rebuy? No, no need.
  • Giovanni Raspberry Winter body wash foil sample
    Thoughts: It’s body wash. It smells nice. It’s NOT worth $10 for a narrow bottle.
    Rebuy? Not for anywhere near the retail price.
  • Philosophy Miracle Worker foil sample
    Thoughts: Does anyone actually use Philosophy skin care? It supposedly has some dermatology background, but everything I’ve tried sucks. This smelled bad (like other stuff from the brand I’ve tried), and stung my face (that was new).
    Buy? Nope. Never.
  • Gud Body Butter in Vanilla Flame again. I probably killed off a bunch of olfactory receptors by using up so much of this stuff.
    Buy? No.
  • Leanni Eco 3 In 1 Revolution Light sample
    Thoughts: Ipsy item. Lightweight moisturiser. Fine, but nothing worth paying $30 a bottle for.
    Buy? No.
  • Wet n Wild Ultimate Match Foundation in Ivory
    Thoughts: Offers very little coverage, and doesn’t blend out well after the first layer. If applied correctly, it looks natural and kinda nice, but it has no staying power at all.
    Rebuy? No, this sucked.
  • NYX Sweet Pie Gloss in crap strawberry
    Thoughts: Not moisturising. Ugly container. Had clumpy bits. At least it wasn’t super shiny, which would normally be a bad thing--but I hate the drool-lips look.
    Rebuy? No. Why did I in the first place?
  • Burt’s Bees Medicated with Eucalyptus Oil balm again
  • Olive Natural Beauty Refreshing Rosemary Lip BalmThoughts:
    Lip Monthly item. One of those soft balms that I plow through in no time. Only .07oz (less than half your typical tube lip balm), for $6 retail? Fuck off.
    Buy? Only if they re-think their pricing strategy.
  • Carmex Moisture Plus balm (untinted)
    Thoughts: Leftover from an old roommate. It smells a lot better than original Carmex, but isn't worth the money for a half-sized tube. I did, however, buy a pack of six of the tinted ones (which I like, but are no longer sold in the US) off of eBay the same night I finished this clear one.
    Buy? If they start selling it for less.
  • Eco Lips Vanilla Hemp Balm
    Thoughts: Lip Monthly item, again. Felt fine, but didn’t really like the smell/taste. No essential oils or anything - just an undetectable amount of vanilla. Tasted like shortening.
    Buy? Nah, I like my lip balms to not taste weird.
  • Carmex click stick (original)
    Thoughts: This was my daily balm for basic SPF protection.
    Rebuy? Yes, but I prefer the cherry/strawberry one in the squeeze tube with SPF.

09 October 2015

Quick Tip: Get to the bottom of your lip gloss tube

Ever have trouble getting to the bottom of a doe-foot lip gloss gloss or concealer tube?

The hot-water trick never really works that well for me for cleaning off the bottom and sides of the tube, so I came up with an easier way to reach the remnants:
  1. Take out the stopper first, if you haven't already. (It's usually rubber, and can thus easily be popped out by hand or with a blade.)
  2. Wipe off the end of the applicator.
  3. Take a piece of masking or other tape. Wrap it around the bottom of the applicator, and fold it up at the end.
  4. Stick the applicator back in and swirl.
In the tube
After one spin
VoilĂ , enjoy the rest of your gloss! No need to pay for an expensive custom makeup spatula.
Plus, you can still use the same tube this way, instead of transferring to a separate cup that you have to dip your filthy mortal fingers into, like a lot of the hot-water tutorials recommend.