Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser

I was recently contacted by a natural skin care company called Sibu Beauty to test and review one of their products. I was given a choice between their Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser or Repair & Protect Daytime Facial Cream. Since I have combination skin I opted for the Balancing Facial Cleanser.

I had never heard of Sibu Beauty prior to their contacting me but before I would agree to test and review one of their products, I did some digging on the brand to make sure it was one that myself and my readers (you!) would be interested in. Sibu Beauty is a cruelty free brand whose key ingredient in all their skin care products is the sea buckthorn berry. This magical berry can be found in the Tibetan Himalayas and contains elusive omega-7 fatty acids. The omega-7 fatty acid along with more common omega-3, 6, and 9 are critical in providing cellular support for healthy hair, skin and nails.

  • Leave skin looking and feeling radiant and refreshed
  • Remove excess oil and impurities
  • Contain micro-particles for a gentle exfoliation
  • Great for removing makeup
  • Non-foaming gel formula for all skin types
I've been using the Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser morning and night for a little under a month now and can agree with a majority of the above claims. The cleanser is a gel formula with micro-beads that work well with my combination skin. I wouldn't rely solely on this facial cleanser for exfoliation as the micro-beads are incredibly gentle.

After cleansing, my naturally dry areas, like my cheeks and temples do not feel dry or tight and my naturally oily areas, such as my forehead and chin feel cleansed and fresh. I wouldn't agree that the Balancing Facial Cleanser is great for removing makeup, as I still see some residue on my cotton pad after I apply my toner post-cleanse.

I think the Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser is great for those with normal skin who don't suffer from acne or clogged pores. I personally have combination skin and have been suffering from breakouts and clogged pores lately, so while I noticed the healthy areas of my skin have been staying healthy, I haven't noticed much of a difference in my breakouts or pores. So if you are at a good place with your skin and are looking for an all natural and cruelty free way of maintaining its good health, then I would highly recommend the Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Balancing Facial Cleanser to you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Wish List (YSL, Fresh, Bioderma & More!)

As I mentioned in my July Wish List 2014 post, I like to make these mini shopping lists for myself at the beginning of every month to prevent from spending money on products that I don't really want/need. I think it's a pretty good habit to get into as it keeps me focused on purchasing only the items on my list.

September Monthly Wish List

September Monthly Wish List

1. YSL Fusion Ink Foundation SPF18 ($60) - I have no idea where I was when this foundation was first released but I saw it recently on Sephora and was totally intrigued by the name. At first the sound of "fusion ink" sounds incredibly scary and not appealing at all but the more I read about the product the more interested I became. It's supposed to offer lightweight 24-hr buildable coverage. If you're interested, check out Jaclyn Hill's first impression review of the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation on YouTube.

2. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($22.50) - I used to use the Lush lip scrubs but since the Lush closed down near me I haven't purchased a lip scrub since. Now that the weather is getting colder in the city I'm starting to prepare for dry chapped lips from the wind. I've heard a lot of great things about the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish and it's much easier to get than a Lush lip scrub, even though it's more than twice the price!

3. Davines Alchemic Conditioner Silver ($38.99) - I recently dyed my hair blonde and noticed that the color has been getting dull. My boss at work recommended this purple conditioner to me in order to keep it a healthy blonde. I've heard of processed blondes using purple shampoo and conditioner to keep their hair blonder longer so I figured I'd give it a shot! Let me know if any of you have a cheaper alternative to recommend.

4. Bioderma Crealine Solution Micellaire ($30.33) - I picked this up on a whim at Mitsuwa marketplace many months ago and I've been totally converted into a Bioderma lover. It's hands down the best makeup remover I've ever used since it's gentle but powerful. My current bottle is about to run out so I definitely need to order some more!

5. Steve Madden Troopa ($99.95) - These were my favorite pair of boots last year and I wore them so much that the sole eventually wore out to the point where there was a hole and I had to throw them out. Now that Fall is quickly approaching I figured now is the time to restock because it literally works with almost every outfit and is such an easy go-to boot.

What's on your wish list for the month of September? Let me know with a comment below!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Unboxing: August Ipsy Glam Bag (UD, GlamGlow & more!)

I realize it's already September, but since this month's Ipsy Glam bag has yet to arrive, I figured it's still appropriate for me to share my opinions of the August Ipsy Glam bag.

The bag itself is back to the cheap plastic material of past Ipsy Glam bags, unlike the ones I received in May and June, and the design is rather simplistic. I wasn't pleased at all with the bag itself but what was inside made it an acceptable bag for the month:

1. Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion ($29) - I have no need for another liquid luminizer, since I already own the Benefit High Beam ($26), so this product is sitting on my shelf collecting dust. However, I did give it a shot and I wasn't too impressed. I think if you're going to purchase a liquid luminizer that you might as well buy the Benefit High Beam since it's not only cheaper but also of better quality.

2. Lord & Berry Black Silk Kajal Kohl Liner ($15) - Honestly, I don't use kohl eyeliners all too often because they're too soft and creamy for my oily lids so I will not claim that I am an expert in kohl eyeliner quality. I have owned a few kohl liners in the past and will admit that this one is more or less on par with them. In terms of quality and price of a full-size version of this Lord & Berry Black Silk Kajal Kohl Liner that you're probably better off finding one from the drugstore.

3. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara ($22) - I'm always looking to try new mascaras because I feel like there's always newer and better formulas. I previously owned the Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara and while it held a curl nicely, it didn't impress me in terms of volume and length. However, this newest UD Perversion Mascara did impress me with both hold, volume and length! Apparently, it's sold with a primer as well so it may perform even better as a full package rather than alone.

4. GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment ($69) - This isn't my first sample of this product and I already knew I didn't really like it because for a $69 mask I feel like it doesn't do enough. If I'm going to pay that kind of money for a face mask I expect it to work wonders and this product just doesn't cut it. I'll definitely use it up since it's probably the priciest sample in the Glam bag but I will definitely not be purchasing it on my own.

5. Absolute New York You're The Balm ($5.99) - I've never heard of this company before but apparently it's a subdivision of Nicka K, which I recall being the manufacturer of another product I received in a past Ipsy bag. I was in desperate need of a new lip balm to replace my Rosebud Perfume Co. Strawberry Lip Balm ($7) and thought this might have been a sign. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as moisturizing as my Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm but I figured I might as well use it up since I have it.

While the August Ipsy Glam bag was mostly a disappointment for me I still have an overall positive review of Ipsy as a whole. I feel you really can't go wrong for $10/month since other beauty subscription services are much more expensive with just as disappointing products. If you're interested in trying out Ipsy be sure to use my referral link: http://Ipsy.com/r/52v0.

See you soon!

Friday, September 5, 2014

August Favorites 2014 (YSL, Dolly Wink & more!)

I'm going to be very cliché here and mention how I can't believe it's already September! Now with that out of the way, I can begin sharing with you beauties my August Monthly Favorites.

August Monthly Favorites

August Monthly Favorites

1. Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Rose Vinyl ($35) - I'd been dying to get my hands on this lip stain when it first came out over a year ago but it always seemed to escape my grasp. I finally purchased it in the shade Rose Vinyl from Barneys last month and have been using it as my go-to lip color since then. With its high pigmentation and long lasting power I'm definitely going to be picking up more shades.

2. NYC Smooth Skin Face Powder in Sunny ($9.59) - I've had this bronzer for years now and no matter how much I use it I can't seem to make a dent. I didn't touch it for quite some time but I recently dug it back out from my makeup stash and fell in love with it all over again. I'm fairly certain you can find it for cheaper at the drugstore (I'm thinking $2.99?). It's affordable, pigmented and doesn't give you an orange bronze!

3. Bobbi Brown EXTRA Eye Repair Cream ($70) - I know I mentioned it numerous times in past posts that my eczema came back with a vengeance in the outer corner of my left eye. This intensely hydrating but quickly absorbing eye cream is exactly what I needed to help soothe my eczema and prevent it from coming back. I have a more in depth review of the Bobbi Brown EXTRA Eye Repair Cream on my blog if you want to know more.

4. Dolly Wink Eyebrow Pencil ($13.90) - It recently dawned on me that I really needed an eyebrow pencil since it's more travel-friendly. I just so happened to be standing in the makeup aisle at Mitsuwa marketplace at that exact time so I picked up this Dolly Wink Eyebrow Pencil in the shade Dark Chocolate. The shade is a bit light for me but it works since it's still technically summer right now.

Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Unboxing: Popsugar August Monthly Must Haves

I honestly can't believe it's been over a month since I last wrote a post. As usual, life got in the way of things and time got away from me. However, I do intend on blogging on a regular schedule once again and I already have a bunch of fun posts ready to go. I figured I'd start my comeback with an extra fun unboxing of the Popsugar August Must Have box.

I was fortunate enough to be able to participate once again in the Popsugar Must Have box partnership and this month's box was even more exciting than the one I received back in May. As I mentioned back in my unboxing of the Popsugar May Must Have box, this subscription service costs $39/month and comes with full-size hand-picked beauty, fashion, home, fitness and food products. Although pricier than your typical subscription service, it comes with full-size products so you're getting a much bigger bang for your buck.

Inside this month's box along with my first impressions:

Mason Jar Cookie Company Festive Celebrate! Cookie Mix (Sugg. Retail: $12) - I'm a horrible cook but I love to bake so I was super excited when I saw this pre-made cookie mix sitting at the top of the box. All you need to do is add butter and an egg and you're good to go on making delicious treats for you and your friends.

Paddywax Ocean Tide + Sea Salt Mini Jar Candle (Sugg. Retail: $10) - I enjoy having candles but since the Bath & Body Works shut down near my apartment I haven't had the chance to buy any good ones in a long time. That's why when I saw this candle I instantly opened it up to take a whiff and boy did it smell good. It reminds me of an ocean breeze and instantly calms me down, I seriously can't wait to light this baby up and channel the beach into my room.

Kendra Scott Elisa necklace in Black Cat's Eye (Sugg. Retail: $50) - For a person who works in the fashion industry I am surprisingly slim on accessories. This black oval stone necklace will make a great addition to my collection as it's unlike anything else I have. Plus, this necklace alone pays back for the box!

Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip (Sugg. Retail: $22) - You probably already know this but beauty is where my true passion lies so I was incredibly overjoyed to see this lip gloss from Bite Beauty. It's a new hot pink shade specifically created to celebrate Popsugar Must Have's second birthday and it smells absolutely delicious. Bite Beauty is known for having products that are practically edible and this lip gloss is no exception with strawberry, coconut and avocado oils.

Lollia At Last Perfumed Shower Gel (Sugg. Retail: $22) - Unfortunately some of this shower gel spilled out of the tube on its way to me so when I opened it up it was a giant sticky mess. After the clean up I immediately put it to use in the shower and completely fell in love. Infused with shea butter and jojoba oil this shower gel left my skin feeling hydrated and smooth, plus it leaves a relaxing floral scent.

Goodbyn Purple Meal and Dipper Set (Sugg. Retail: $8) - I'll be honest, I felt a little guilty when I saw this sitting in my box because it reminded me how much money I spend on lunch every day. I've been meaning to begin bringing my own lunch to work but the last thing I want to do at night is pack my lunch for the next day. Not sure if I'll be getting much use out of this container set but hopefully the fact that I have it will eventually guilt me into using it and bringing my own lunch.

thinkThin Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar - I'm definitely bringing this yummy treat to work as it has 20 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar. It should satisfy my hunger and give me a good energy boost as I start to feel sluggish toward the end of the work day. Let's hope it's as delicious as it sounds.

If you total up the suggested retail prices for all the products included in this box it comes out to be a value of $124; a very good value for a $39.95 subscription service. I was much more pleased with this month's box than the one I received back in May since it had many more products I'd actually use. If you're interested in signing up to receive the Popsugar Must Have box you can get $10 off a 3-month subscription by using the code AUG14SELECT until 9/10/14.

See you all real soon!

Disclosure: POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.
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