CVS Haul

For my first haul of the new year, I restocked my supply of Stridex Alcohol Free Maximum Pads (2/$10) and picked up a few new items to try.

I spotted a limited edition Wet n Wild display and decided to grab the nail polish in the shade “R-U-Free-2 Dance?” ($2.99), a translucent sheer lavender topcoat with blue/green iridescence that would probably look amazing over black/dark polish. In hindsight I’m not sure why I bought it because I’ve moved away from shimmer polishes in the past couple of years and I never wear dark polishes. In fact, I purged all the dark nail polishes from my stash and, unfortunately, I think you really need one in order to make a topcoat like R-U-Free-2-Dance? pop. As has become a bad habit, I think I bought it because it was a limited edition; I always feel such a high and a sense of accomplishment whenever I’m able to locate a hard to find collection. I haven’t even used it and I’ll probably either return it or sell it off on my blog sale.

I had four CVS Extrabucks that were set to expire and they just about covered the cost of a tin of Vaseline Rosy Lips ($3.99). Again, this is another purchase I probably could’ve done without but I was scrambling to find something to spend my store dollars on and that was all I could think of. I’m a huge fan of Vaseline but not as a lip balm; I prefer thicker, heavier lip balms but Rosy Lips is actually something I can use.

But perhaps my biggest, best find was the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Instant Mask that normally retails for $13.29 but was on clearance for $3.32. This is a 5% glycolic, clear gel face mask that you wear for 10 minutes then rinse off. The glycolic concentration is a lot less than what I’m used to — I normally use the Paula’s Choice 8% AHA gel or the L’Oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Daily Pads 10% glycolic — but my skin’s a bit sensitive now with the colder, dryer weather so I think the Nip +Fab mask will do nicely in the meantime. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the product or how quickly I’d go through a tube so I decided to purchase four boxes. I didn’t want to regret not buying more in case I fell in love with the product. Coincidentally I had received a $3 Nip + Fab coupon in the mail from CVS that very day, so it’s like I got one Nip + Fab mask for free.

There were a few other Nip + Fab items that were also on clearance including the Dragon’s Blood Fix Pads (cool name!) that contain salicylic and hyaluronic acids which are great ingredients but unfortunately also include lots of alcohol which I try to avoid. That was marked down to $3 and change as well in case anyone’s interested.

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Sinful Colors – Miss Klaws

It’s been months since I last shared a nail polish on my blog but when I find a formula and color I like I tend to stick with it. I’ve tried all sorts of brands from Deborah Lippmann and Zoya to drugstore brands like OPI, Essie and Revlon but the formula that I like the best for its performance and value is NYC’s Quick Dry nail polishes. Everyone’s nails are different but there’s just something about NYC Quick Dry that works for me. They make great colors and usually come out with interesting limited edition collections, they wear really well on my nails, and they’re inexpensive.

Over the years I’ve tried lots of other cheap nail polishes, Sinful Colors being one of the cheapest if not the cheapest brand available at the drugstore and, truth be told, Sinful Colors makes a ton of beautiful colors. I so wish they worked as well for me as they do for others but their nail polishes chip really easily and are more often than not streaky on me. Last month I received an Influenster Flawless Voxbox and one of the items included for me to test was a Sinful Colors nail polish in the shade Miss Klaws from their Kylie Jenner Trend Matters Pure Satin Mattes Professional Nail Color Collection. Of course, based on past experience I wasn’t expecting much from this particular nail polish.

I would describe Miss Klaws as matte berry/burgundy pink. It’s deeper than a fuchsia in person and has hints of wine. The first coat went on a little patchy but two coats gave me an opaque and smooth finish. That came as a pleasant surprise because most of the Sinful Colors nail polishes I’ve tried go on kind of  unevenly and streaky, even with three coats. Miss Klaws looked very matte on Day 1 of application but I noticed by Day 3 it started to look shiny like a traditional creme finish nail polish. That seems to be normal at least for matte nail polishes I’ve used before but admittedly I haven’t used many matte nail polishes; I usually go for a creme finish. I suspect if you’re someone who works with their hands a lot for tasks such as cooking/baking or you use a lot of hand moisturizer, you might lose the matte-ness of Miss Klaw even sooner. I saw major signs of chipping by Day 4 (that’s without a top coat) which is better than a lot of Sinful Colors nail polishes I’ve used before. With those I saw chipping on Day 2 or 3, so an extra day or two of wear is pretty dang good.

Prior to trying Miss Klaws I had planned on chucking it as soon as I’d finish testing it because I thought it was going to be like those crappy Sinful Colors nail polishes I’d use in the past. The formula still doesn’t amaze me but I love vivid reds and pinks like this and I think with a protective top coat — I have a matte NYC top coat that I think I’ll use — I just might be able to extend the wear time. I think I’ll keep it for now.

Influenster #FlawlessVoxBox Unboxing

My reasons for making this video were twofold. Firstly, I wanted to share with you all the products that I’d received from Inlfuenster to test and review this time around. The last time I was selected for a VoxBox was in February so it’s been awhile. Needless to say, I’m excited! Secondly, and most importantly, it was an excuse to test out the camera on my new smartphone. The image quality is all right — I shot it in HD — but it’s awfully shaky (sorry about that) and doesn’t compare to a dslr. My hands are pretty shaky by nature so I was hoping for a steady cam feature on the phone but, alas, I don’t believe there is one…unless it’s buried somewhere in the settings.

The items included in the Flawless VoxBox are:

  • Dr. Teal’s Eucalyptus Epsom Salt Soaking Solution
  • Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes (New Formula)
  • Simple Micellar Water Cleanser
  • Sinful Colors Kylie Jenner Trend Matters Pure Satin Mattes Professional Nail Color Collection – Miss Klaws
  • Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps Lightly Salted
  • Yogi Tea (Honey Lavender Stress Relief & Soothing Rose Hibiscus Skin DeTox
  • CoverGirl So Lashy! by blastPRO Mascara (Extreme Black)

As usual, I’m the most excited about trying the snack in this particular voxbox. I’ve heard of Harvest Snaps before but I’ve never gotten around to trying them. Funnily enough, my nephew who’s a toddler was just visiting and he was actually eating a baby snack that looked a lot like these Harvest Snaps.

I’ve tried Simple’s Refreshing Facial Wash Gel (not sure if they still make this) and their Moisturizing Facial Wash before, both of which I liked, but never the Cleansing Facial Wipes or Micellar Water Cleanser so I have high hopes.

I’m a bit leery about the Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt. As you know, my skin is ultra dry so whenever I see salt in a product’s name or list of ingredients it makes me cringe. I’m worried about the Epsom Salt drying my skin out but I’m always game to try something new.

I’ve owned Sinful Colors nail polishes in the past. They’re okay for a cheap thrill but they were never among my favorite drugstore nail polish formulas. However, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve used Sinful Colors so maybe the formula’s gotten better.

The Yogi Teas sound interesting. I’m hoping the floral flavors are on the subtler side and don’t end up tasting like perfume or potpourri in my mouth.

And I’m glad that there’s a makeup item to try. It’s been awhile since I’ve tried a new drugstore mascara. I’ve been pretty faithful to Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Waterproof mascara over the years. The only thing I’m worried about is the CoverGirl So Lashy! mascara that I received is non-waterproof. My eyes get pretty watery so it may end up being a total mess on me.

Wet n Wild 1 Step WonderGel Nail Color – Crime of Passion

It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased a Wet n Wild nail polish or any nail polish for that matter but curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try one of their new 1 Step WonderGel Nail Colors ($4.99 each). I’m always drawn to reds and oranges, especially those that come in a creme finish, so Crime of Passion really spoke to me.

Admittedly, I had my doubts about the WonderGel formula. I’ve never been very impressed with the nail polishes Wet n Wild’s had to offer even though I owned quite a few of their Wild Shine, MegaLast and Fast Dry polishes in the past. All I can say is that they release interesting limited edition colors on occasion and they’re alwasy a cheap thrill.

The new WonderGel nail formula, however, is GREAT! It’s opaque in one pass, glides on so easily, smooths and levels itself out with no streaking, dries relatively quickly, and wears so nicely!

I gravitated towards Crime of Passion because of the beautiful cherry red shade and also because it was the perfect color to sport on my nails for the Fourth of July. Of course there’s been some edge wear as should be expected but I’ve been wearing Crime of Passion since a few days before Independence Day and it’s just now starting to do really chip. I couldn’t be bothered with a top coat this time, so over a week on its own is pretty amazing.

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Collective Haul

Just wanted to share some goodies I’ve purchased over the past few months.

My favorite place to shop for drugstore cosmetics is CVS. Their retail prices are a lot higher than other stores such as Target or Walmart but CVS’ ExtraBucks rewards program makes shopping there worthwhile. I always make a point to shop only when a specific item I’m interested in is on sale with ExtraBucks being offered.

On my two most recent shopping trips I scooped up the newest Physicians Formula bronzers and actually made money back on them. The bronzers were about $15 apiece which is quite pricey for drugstore makeup but the CVS coupon machine was spitting out $5 off coupons, there were $4 off manufacturer’s coupons on each bronzer AND CVS was offering $8 back in ExtraBucks on Physicians Formula purchases. I did two separate tansactions for the bronzers but I paid entirely with ExtraBucks that I earned from a prior Physicians Formula purchase so, all in all, I spent $0 cash and got $8 in ExtraBucks back for each bronzer. Sweet deal. I’ve heard excellent things about the new Butter Bronzer so I’m looking forward to trying it out.

The Wet n Wild nail polishes weren’t as great a deal. I believe they were BOGO with $4 in ExtraBucks back but like the bronzers I was able to pay completely with ExtraBucks, so I didn’t have to spend any actual money on them. The purchase was inspired by aLoveTart on YouTube, who’s worn and raved about the neutral mauve Stay Classy shade on her channel before. The other shade I picked up is Crime of Passion, a red creme.

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