A Lovely You – Makeup Tips for Every Woman

Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category

This week, I have a review and photos to share with you from my experiences using the Stila In The Know Palette and Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel. First up, the palette!

Stila’s latest palette comes with 10 matte shadows that are perfect for fall. Bonus: You also get a smudge stick eyeliner in a really pretty gray hue. For the look shown in the (bad) photos below, I used the shades Wind, Clay and Earth along with the smudge stick on my top lid. (Wind as a base; Clay as an accent shade and Earth in the crease to give more definition.)

Yes, I just got out of the shower… and I am wearing NO makeup except eyes & lip gloss.

I don’t use matte shadows very often, so these were a nice way to play around with them because they’re all so neutral and wearable. I didn’t experience too many issues with fallout, and the shades lasted for a good 8 hours with primer. They’re also extremely easy to blend, so you can create a variety of eye looks with one palette. For $39, this is truly a budget-friendly purchase if you plan on using them frequently – the bonus smudge stick is nice too!


LOVE the versatility of these shades and the staying power. It seems pricey up front, but for 10 shadows + a liner, you really are getting quite a bit for your buck. These are great work appropriate shades, too. DEFINITELY rating this a 5/5 stars… now I want more Stila palettes!

Despite my happiness with the Stila palette, I cannot say the same for the next product I was tasked to review: Dr. Dennis Gross Xtra Strength Alpha Beta Peel.

Now, I’ve used peels in the past before and never experienced any adverse reactions. Unfortunately, when I used this peel my face DID NOT LIKE IT. Seriously, I had to deal with major redness, irritation and breakouts – after one use. I was supposed to use this for 5 days, but I had such a horrible reaction the first day that I was afraid to continue using the product. My skin is just now back to normal!

Granted, I should have done a patch test first – but given my skin’s tolerance for peels I’ve used previously, I didn’t think that was going to be a problem. Unfortunately, this product didn’t work for me. Maybe on the right type of skin, this peel would be effective. Unfortunately, I am going to have to give this 1/5 stars.

Both of these products can be purchased at Bloom.com. Have you tried either of these before? What were your thoughts?

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of testing and review. All opinions expressed herein are my own, and are not influenced by compensation, monetary or otherwise.


WARNING: Please excuse my non-makeup face; I just wanted to get these done and out of the way!!

My latest Bloom Ambassador Box featured a variety of fun products, several of which were hair care items. I’ll be reviewing the following items:

  • T’eez Bounce Me Styling Cream
  • T’eez Build Me Volume Spray
  • Sundari Hair Treatment Oil

I apologize in advance for the photo quality, but I will be as descriptive as possible in order to give you the best idea of how these products worked for my hair. First up, the styling cream & volume spray!

I received a full size Bounce Me Styling Cream ($22.99) and a sample size of Build Me Volume Spray ($19.99). These products can be worn alone or in conjunction, which is how I chose to use them for the purpose of this review.

I rarely blow dry my hair, but we all know that air drying can often cause frizz and other weird hair issues. My hair is already pretty frizzy and fine, so I was hoping these products would remedy that situation. After showering, I towel dried my hair and applied the styling cream from mid-shaft to the ends of my hair, scrunching gently with my fingers to help bring out my hair’s natural texture. Then, I sprayed the volume spray on my roots to help lift and volumize. I used a comb to help tame flyaways and frizz on the top of my head, then waited for my hair to dry and these products to work their magic.

As you can see from the photos below, my results were pretty impressive – at least to me! The styling cream helped bring out the natural wave in my hair and held it there all day without making my hair feel sticky or crunchy. The spray also made my hair appear fuller – my hair has never looked this way with any product before, and I have tried a LOT of volumizing products.

As you can see (Especially in the first and third photos,) my hair has little flips and curls that, I assure you, were NOT there before I used these products. Also, ignore the dates – I am using a super old camera and have no idea how to change the date, haha! I’m not much of a hairstylist, but with these products I don’t have to be. I can have soft, full hair with a natural-looking wave without touching a styling tool. If it weren’t for the price, these would be definite must-have’s in my book.


  • Light scent, not overpowering at all
  • Non-tacky or sticky
  • Great volume at roots
  • All-day hold
  • Helps bring out hair’s natural texture


  • Price – it’s definitely more of a splurge product for me, rather than a necessity

Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars

Next, I reviewed the sample sachets I received of Sundari Neem and Coconut Hair Treatment Oil ($34). I was really tentative about using this. Hair oils on my fine hair tend to leave me with greasy roots, but because this is rinsed out I was hopeful I wouldn’t have any issues. The directions state to apply to hair 30 minutes before showering, or to leave on overnight for the best results. I decided to leave it on overnight to avoid sitting around for half an hour with oil on my head.

The scent was super strong, but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant and faded quite a bit by the time I woke up in the morning ( it’s a bit medicinal smelling). As soon as I hopped in the shower and felt the water hit my hair and scalp, I was amazed – my hair literally felt like silk. I shampooed and conditioned as normal, and when I went to style my hair I found that it was incredibly manageable and didn’t require any styling cream or other hair potion like usual. Plus, it even seemed to cut down on frizz (which as you know, I have a huge problem with.)


  • Leaves hair feeling SUPER soft
  • Cuts down on frizz
  • Makes hair more manageable for styling


  • Price – it’s way too expensive for every day use
  • Messy application – since it’s a thin oil, it can be a bit of a pain to apply
  • Smell – While the smell didn’t bother me, I can definitely see how it can be overpowering to some people.

Overall: 4/5 Stars

I really love the condition of my hair after using this oil treatment, and wish I could afford to regularly keep this in my medicine cabinet when I want soft, shiny and manageable hair. If you feel like splurging, I totally recommend it.

All of the products featured in this post can be purchased at Bloom.com. Have you tried any of these before? Do you agree or disagree with my reviews?

Disclaimer: All products mentioned here were provided to me free of charge for testing and review purposes. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by compensation, monetary or otherwise. Post contains an affiliate link, which rewards me when you make your first $50+ order on Bloom.com.

Fair warning, ladies – this month’s Bloom Ambassador Box was PACKED with products, so be prepared for a long post. I will try to make it as reader-friendly as possible. I’m choosing to write one mega review rather than a ton of individual ones because I don’t want to flood y’all with a ton of posts right out of the gate!


I had the opportunity to review several Pacifica products, including two body butters, two lip tints, a roll-on perfume and a luminizer. Some products I liked better than others.

  • Pacifica Color Quench All-Natural Lip Tint – I received two shades of these lip tints: Blood Orange and Coconut Nectar. Blood Orange left a nice hint of color on my lips, but Coconut Nectar was way too white and shimmery for my tastes. I already have fair skin, so putting on this lip tint made me look ghastly and washed out. Both tints are fairly moisturizing, however, so at least they have that in their favor.
  • Pacifica Indian Coconut Body Butter -Normally, I am a sucker for all things coconut scented. This body butter, however, was significantly lacking in the “pleasant scent” category. I was so bummed! I can’t quite put my finger on what was off about this scent, but it just wasn’t coco-nutty enough for me. The formula was great, though – super creamy, absorbed easily and didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy.
  • Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter – A CLEAR winner in my book! Unlike the Coconut body butter, this one smells divine – almost good enough to eat! The formula was the same as with the previous butter – smooth, creamy and left my skin feeling touch-ably soft for a long time. I also happen to have the Blood Orange roll-on, so layering these two leaves me deliciously scented for hours. 5 stars for this one!
  • Pacifica Coconut & Pearls Luminizing Body Butter – This is a great luminizing lotion – it’s not too glittery or shimmery, but rather imparts a nice and subtle sheen that really helps enhance skin tone. A little bit goes a LONG way, though, so if you buy this be warned that less is more. It also has a very light and pleasant scent that doesn’t overpower any other fragrance you may be wearing. Another definite favorite from this month’s box!
  • Pacifica Island Vanilla Roll-On Perfume -Just like my love affair with coconut scents, I adore vanilla fragrance and Pacifica’s roll-on perfume really hit the right notes with me. It smells creamy, dreamy and all-around delicious but isn’t sickeningly sweet or cloying like some vanilla perfumes can tend to be. While the scent doesn’t last very long, I love it so much that frequent re-application doesn’t bother me! It’s also portable, so you can tote it around with you for touch-ups on the go.

Out of all of these Pacifica products, my favorite scent was definitely the Blood Orange body butter – it makes me smell like a tropical vacation! I also really loved the Island Vanilla roll-on perfume.

Next up:


This month, we had the opportunity to try Stila’s new palettes in the form of shadow sample cards. We were tasked with creating different looks using these shadows, but unfortunately I don’t have any photos to show you. My descriptions will have to do!

  • In The Moment Eye Shadow Palette – This shadow card was a nice mix of neutral shades with one funky blue thrown in for good measure. I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever get any use out of that particular shade, but the rest of the colors are very nice and glide on effortlessly. There’s also some shimmer to them, so be warned if you are averse to shimmery shadows. As for fall-out, I didn’t have any issues with that particular concern.
  • In The Garden Eyeshadow Palette – This was definitely my favorite shadow card of the two we received. It’s got plenty of neutrals and a few fun shades (bright pink, anyone?) that I loved playing around with. This is definitely a great palette for more of a natural eye look, or a “natural eye with a twist.” The quality was very good and again, no fall-out issues that were of any major concern.

Overall, I was really impressed with these shadow cards. Despite their sample size, there is plenty of shadow for several applications so it gave me a good indication of whether or not I’d buy the full palettes. They are more pricy than some shadows, but each palette comes with 10 shades so if you plan to use them regularly I’d consider them a great value.

Finally, we have:

Booty Parlor

Aside from its cheeky name, I’ve always wanted to try Booty Parlor products. Unfortunately, my first experience with the brand fell far short of my expectations. We were tasked with reviewing the Flirty Little Secret Firming Bronzer with Pheromones, and I was less than impressed.

I am way too fair skinned for this bronzer to look anything but an orange mess on me, so for women with darker skin tones, this may work better for you. As for noticing any “extra” attention, I’m sad to say I didn’t notice any. There didn’t seem to be any real firming benefits, either, which I was disappointed with. This doesn’t turn me off from trying other Booty Parlor products in the future, but I was definitely unhappy with my first experience. However, the quality of this product does seem to be more on the high end – it’s creamy and it did apply nicely, it just isn’t for me.

Overall, I was decently pleased with my June Ambassador Box. I was able to try out a lot of different products, and while I didn’t like all of them, I definitely came away with a few new must-have’s! If you’re interested in purchasing any of the products reviewed here or would like to learn more about Bloom, please sign up for an account here.

Have you tried any of these products before? What were your impressions?

Disclaimer: All products mentioned here were provided free of charge for testing and review purposes. All opinions mentioned herein are entirely my own, honest assessment and are not influenced by any type of compensation.

As a Bloom Ambassador, I am sent products each month to rest and give my 100% honest feedback on. This month, we received a TON of goodies – so be prepared for a slew of review posts over the next week or so! Today, I am reviewing the Kaia Bamboo Cleansing Cloths, which are 100% biodegradable and ideal for all skin types.

Before I get to my review, here is the official product information, including an ingredients list and benefits:

Who It’s For: Ideal for all skin types, including sensitive or rosacea-prone skin.

How It Works:

  • Bamboo is naturally able to eliminate bacteria, stays fresher and odor-free for longer and is more hygienic and healthier than any other fiber. In China, bamboo fiber is used to make medical gowns, as it is naturally antimicrobial and perfect for a sterile environment. The bamboo used in Kaia Cleansing Cloths is unbleached to keep it free from chemicals.
  • Grapefruit oil tightens puffy skin, reduces enlarged pores and removes impurities.
  • Lemon oil is a powerful astringent and antiseptic.
  • Lime oil has astringent and antiseptic properties and boosts skin circulation and clears congested skin
  • Bergamot oil has antiseptic and antibiotic properties.
  • Mandarin oil has good antiseptic and cell rejuvenating properties.
  • Orange oil nourishes skin and improves skin tone for a healthy, smooth look.
  • Spearmint oil is has antiseptic properties and can prevent pimples and acne.
  • Tangerine oil increase circulation to the skin.
  • Canadian organic honey is an emollient and nutrient with antioxidant and anti-microbial properties with the ability to absorb and retain moisture.
  • Sunflower seed oil is a rich emollient high in linoleic and oleic essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
  • Sodium lauroyl oat amino acids, derived from oats, is an extremely mild cleansing agent.
  • Panthenol is a moisturizer, derived from vitamin B5, with humectant-like properties that aid in skin absorption.
  • Salicylic acid gently exfoliates the skin, reducing sebum build-up.
  • Acacia gum, derived from the acacia tree, is soothing to the skin.

Suggested Use: Getting the most from your cleansing cloth is important as the cloths are packaged to last you an entire month: Use both sides of the cloth.

  • Step 1: Remove your facial makeup first.
  • Step 2: Then flip the cloth over and remove lipstick and eye makeup last.

For this review, I started with a full makeup face – foundation, concealer, eyeshadow/liner/mascara, blush and lipstick. I was tasked with cleaning one side of my face with a cheap cleansing cloth or washcloth and the other side with the Kaia Bamboo cloth. Unfortunately, I do not have a working camera at the moment so I am unable to show you before and after pics – but I can assure you, the results were very different!

On the right side of my face, I used a Biore cleansing cloth. These work okay, but they don’t take off my stubborn gel eyeliner and they leave my skin feeling a little tight. On the left side of my face, I used the Kaia cloth and it took off EVERYTHING – and I do mean everything! The Kaia cloths are unbelievably soft on my skin, and I don’t feel that I have to really work at getting the makeup off. It slides right off easily with no tugging or pulling. The bamboo really does help take off my eye makeup too, especially my mascara – usually, I have leftover mascara on my lashes and I have to scrub to get it off. Not so with the Kaia cloths! Plus, the scent is light and not very noticeable, unlike my Biore cloths which have a very perfume-y scent to them. PLUS, it didn’t irritate my eyes. My eyes are really sensitive, so I have to be careful about what I use near/on them – but these cloths took off every stitch of makeup I had on without making my eyes red, sting or burn.

While I am super impressed with the performance of these cloths, the price – $17.99 for 30 – is a little steep for every day use. However, I would definitely purchase these when I had a little extra cash, and would ration these puppies out so they last.

If you are interested in purchasing these for yourself, sign up for a Bloom account here. They truly do work, and I can easily say they are the best facial cleansing cloths I’ve tried! You will not be disappointed.

Disclaimer: The product(s) mentioned in this review were provided to me free of charge for the purpose of providing honest feedback. My opinions are 100% honest and my own, and are not influenced by free product, compensation or any type of monetary gain.


I’ll admit, I’m kind of obsessed with hand cream. I have to have a bottle available to me wherever I am, because I am constantly applying it throughout the day. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s dry skin!

With that being said, I was able to try L’Occitane Cherry Princess Hand Cream, and wanted to share my experiences with y’all.


  • GREAT smell. If you like fruity smells that aren’t completely overwhelming, this fits the bill.
  • Relatively inexpensive for the smaller version (1 oz,) especially if you’ve never tried it and would like an introduction to L’Occitane products.
  • Not thick or greasy – I can smooth it in and my hands won’t get my keyboard all messy like some hand creams can.
  • It’s portable, so I can stash this in my purse and have hand cream whenever I need it.


  • Not as moisturizing as I’d have liked. I feel like I have to reapply this hand cream more often than others in my arsenal.
  • A little runny. I don’t like overly thick creams, but this one was a little on the… liquid-y side, if that makes sense.

Overall, I would rate this hand cream a 3/5 stars, simply because it’s just average in my book. The smell is fantastic, but I don’t like that I have to reapply this so frequently. Other hand creams I’ve used keep my hands soft for hours, but with this it seems I am applying it every hour or so.

Price:$10 for 1 oz

Availability: L’Occitane.com

I was selected for Influenster’s Spring Beauty VoxBox and received a selection of free products to try out. One of them was the Sheer Cover Duo Concealer, which I had never heard of before. The company touts the many benefits this concealer offers, including the ability to custom blend your own perfect shade as well as concealing blemishes, redness, dark circles, and age spots while moisturizing.

The official product information is as follows:

Sheer Cover® Concealer is perfect for all skin types and tones.  Our concealer is a customer favorite offering a custom blend for the various shades on your face and covers up imperfections.  It not only covers up the look of dark circles, blemishes, redness and age spots, it also moisturizes with Jojoba and Allantoin.
It instantly conceals blemishes, dark spots, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone – we’ve got life’s little imperfections covered!
Instantly covers skin imperfections for a flawless, natural look
Variable coverage – sheer and creamy perfect for under eye circles or more opaque for blemishes, dark spots and hyperpigmentation
Easy application  – glides on, won’t pull or tug at fragile skin
Enriched with natural, moisturizing Jojoba to help nourish and restore the skins’ natural moisture balance
Allantoin helps calm and soothe sensitive, irritated skin
Provides antioxidant protection from free-radical scavengers

While I am partial to the concealer I currently use, I definitely wanted to try out the customization this concealer claims to offer. I like how you can blend the two shades that come in the compact until you find the perfect match for your skin tone. Luckily, the shade I was sent worked fine for me so I didn’t have to worry about it being too light or too dark.

It did an adequate job covering my redness and dark circles without looking cakey or ashy. I recommend using a concealer brush for more precise application, and using your fingers beforehand to emulsify the product and blend the shades for your own customized color.

I didn’t like the fact that the case is so small – for the price this retails for, I’d like to see more product offered. The texture can also be off putting at first – it feels greasy in the compact, but once blended it feels creamier and has a better texture.

Overall, I’d say this is an average concealer. It’s not stellar, but it’s not terrible either. I’ll be sticking to my preferred concealer, but if you’re in the market for a new concealer and have a hard time finding one to match your skin tone, this may be a good option because of your ability to blend two shades together to make your own hue.

Price: $29.95

Availability: Visit SheerCover.com to purchase

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge from Influenster for testing and review purposes. The opinions expressed within are completely my own and are not swayed by any form of compensation, monetary or otherwise.

As part of my participation in the Bloom Ambassador Program, I received the Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask to review. My box arrived late, unfortunately, so I’ve only been able to use this mask once. Keep that in mind when you read the rest of my review – I plan on doing a follow-up post once I’ve been able to use this mask longer.

First Impressions

I was very pleased with the generous amount of product I received, and was really happy that this mask contains a lot of healthy, good-for-you ingredients. My skin can be quite sensitive, so finding skincare products that don’t irritate my face is very important to me. Right off the bat, I liked how creamy this mask looked and felt, and the smell was pleasant without being “perfume-y.”

After One Application

You are supposed to leave the mask on for around 15-20 minutes. I went ahead and left it on for the full 20 minutes and eagerly went to rinse my face. Note: This mask WILL NOT harden like some facial masks, so don’t be alarmed – it’s supposed to remain creamy and tacky feeling on the skin.

After rinsing, I did notice that my skin felt softer and redness was less noticeable. Other than that, there wasn’t a heck of a lot of difference. Of course, I’ve only used this mask once and am hopeful it will help with the condition of my skin in the long-term. Only time will tell! So far, I have no complaints and will continue to use this mask twice a week until I see results. At this point, I am glad that this mask didn’t irritate my finicky skin and enjoy the feeling of softness and cannot wait to continue using it. While I didn’t notice my skin getting “brighter” or “glowier,” I’m sure with continued use I’ll know whether those claims are accurate.

Price: $60

Availability: Bloom.com


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12 other followers