Honest Beauty Reviews: Rael Patches, Thrive Mascara, + Slopehill Dryer.

By: Jen Shoop

More honest reviews of hyped beauty products today!

+Rael Acne Patches — I have been going through a bumpy (ha! pun intended!) patch with breakouts on my chin / lower face. I know this is mask-wearing related and have been trying all kinds of things, including brushing my teeth more than usual/tongue scraping because I’ve heard (I think from Magpies?) that a lot of these mask-related breakouts pertain to bacteria in your mouth! (Yuck!). However, still struggling and tried these acne patches on the rec of a few Magpies. I think I went in with overly high expectations — I hoped I’d wear one and the blemish would be gone by the following morning, which was not the case, BUT these are really clever for preventing me from touching the blemish and therefore exacerbating it. I also think they minimize / somehow flatten the pimple by the next morning, even if it’s still there and visible. I will continue to use these sporadically specifically to prevent myself from touching a problem area but they weren’t an “OMG, where have these been all my life” purchase.

+Thrive Mascara — I was beyond excited to test this one since, like many of you, I am a mascara fiend (#1 desert island beauty product for me) and many of you recommended this product. I loved it. It is a true mascara-lover’s mascara in that it is dramatic and inky black (just the way I like it) and the applicator is magical! This mascara is absolutely the BEST I have tried at separating individual lashes for that reason — it somehow grabs and isolates each lash, which caught me by surprise since the wand sort of looks unimpressive on first glance (it’s thin and does not look like it has many “fibers”). My only quibble with it is I don’t love the “tubing” technology where the mascara coats the lash and then kind of falls off in tubes when you remove. (I’ve tried other mascaras with the same phenomenon.) I do think it’s gentler on lashes and the mascara DOES NOT FLAKE (!), but I really hate removing the mascara — I find it kind of messy and annoying. That said, a small price for a truly great, long-lasting product that will not smudge or flake all day long! This is a GREAT buy. BTW, if you are not into the dramatic, goopy black lash look, I think Ilia is a great (clean!) everyday option for a more natural look.

+SlopeHill dryer. This was marketed to me as an “inspired-by” Dyson option for less. I have not yet used the Dyson dryer so can’t anchor against a review of that product BUT I can say this is absolutely the best inexpensive dryer I’ve ever used. Very lightweight and definitely dried my hair more quickly than my tried-and-true Conair, which I’ve had for eons. SlopeHill is MUCH quieter, lighter-weight, and quicker at getting the job done. I say this with heavy conviction because I have fine hair but an absolute ton of it — it takes my hair a good hour or hour and a half to fully air dry on its own, and it often takes me over 15 minutes to fully blow-dry my hair if I’m just out of the shower. The SlopeHill easily (! handily!) cut the drying time in about half — it took me eight minutes to fully dry my hair with the SlopeHill, start to finish. All that said, I very rarely use a traditional hair blow dryer these days (see next) and so even though the dryer impressed me, I was even more impressed with…

+Revlon One-Step PLUS 2.0. You all know I’m a fanatic about the Revlon One-Step (full review here) — it was the best product I purchased in 2020 and I still use it and adore it every other day. However, my girl puttered out on me after two years of loyal service and I immediately sat down to order a replacement only to learn Revlon now has a “plus” model and MAN IS IT WORTH THE PRICE/UPGRADE. The plus model answers all of the critical feedback I’ve heard about the original. It is much thinner and lighter (some Magpies have complained about heft / awkwardness of manipulating the OG) and it does not get hot (other Magpies have complained that by the end of drying their hair with the OG, the stick is too hot to hold!). Not that this matters as much, but it is also quieter and just runs more smoothly — you can tell they paid for upgraded technology in this version. The original is sort of like a jet engine. I am in love! Can’t recommend the plus more if you took issue with any of the minor demerits of the original. I will say again that the best way to use the one-step is to let your hair air-dry to about 3/4ths of the way dry (yes, 3/4ths!) and then use this at the very end. This tool does not work well on completely wet, just-out-of-the-shower hair. (FWIW, I find this to be one of the most attractive features because I can then putz around, get work done, look after the children, apply a mask and makeup, etc, and then it takes me about two minutes to fully style my hair with this tool at the very end.). I will also mention that this leave-in conditioning treatment is a match made in heaven for the one-step. I spritz all over my hair while wet and my hair is SO SMOOTH and SILKY when I dry with the one-step! I think it protects/coats/conditions the hair in a way that works well with heat tools.

+Clarins Extra-Firming Day Moisturizer. Clarins sent me this as a gift and I am so glad they did. I will absolutely be repurchasing on my own — it is a phenomenal winter moisturizer. I specify “winter” because it is heavy and deeply hydrating (not, like, Ponds Cream heavy, but it has some weight to it) and I did not realize how much I needed this. I had been using Hanacure’s moisturizer, which I absolutely love, but I find it might be better for summer months, when I need only the slightest bit of hydration. In winter, I can use the added moisturizer, especially because I think that the retinoid I have been using is drying. That said, for being a heavier-duty moisturizer, Clarins’ formula is delightfully illuminating and brightening. I love how this layers on top of our shared favorite serum — it is a fantastic one-two punch. Skin looks and feels so happy and hydrated and gleaming! Like all Clarins’ products, it smells amazing. The older I get, the more loyal I have become to Clarins. They make beautiful, effective, sophisticated products that are worth the price but not overly expensive like Barbara Sturm, La Mer, Augustinus Bader, etc. Just a fantastic, solid brand.

+Not new-to-me, but I wanted to mention that my favorite liquid eyeliner is currently buy-two-get-one-free when added to cart. I just ordered three because I go through a tube of this in about two months flat. I wear daily — just the thinnest line along the lashes to give some definition — and I love the ultra-fine, precise brush tip. I believe this drugstore marvel is indistinguishable from Stila’s, which I wore for years and is generally considered best-of-breed.

+These are by no means necessary, but I am still flipping out over these Slip hair ties. I love them so much. They are so easy to pull hair back into and do not crease hair — perfect for tying back to wash face, put on makeup, etc — and they have just the right amount of elasticity. However, my mom warned me that these *do* stretch out over time, FYI. Why are they so expensive?! I keep scouring the web to find a deal. Will let you know when I do, because I want everyone to try these!

A couple of items I’m eyeing…




P.S. More honest reviews here, here, and here.

P.P.S. A rambling series of nit-picky thoughts on various beauty products.

P.P.P.S. When do you feel you are at your best?

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14 thoughts on “Honest Beauty Reviews: Rael Patches, Thrive Mascara, + Slopehill Dryer.

  1. Hi Jen!

    1) In my experience, the patches only truly work on whiteheads. However, as you mentioned, they’re great for protecting the pimple from being touched so I still use them in the time leading up to the whitehead. When the whitehead has appeared, or is very close to it, I’ll switch over to the Hero brand patches as I’ve found that they work a bit better.

    2) I tried Thrive mascara a few years ago and really liked it but just couldn’t get past the removal part so gave up on it. Sometime in the last year or so I saw some advice on how to remove it and recently decided to give it another chance and boy am I glad that I did!

    When I wash my face in the evening I am careful to not rub my eyelashes while cleansing or rinsing. After I’ve rinsed the cleanser off, I just take my eyelashes between my pointer finger and thumb and gently slide the tubes off of my eyelashes. I know it seems that you’ll be pulling eyelashes off too, but I’ve yet to lose one and I’m on my 2nd tube of mascara since getting back on the train. It’s been a game changer! Hope this helps you!

  2. I used to feel the same way about Oribe being the only high price shampoo worth the price tag – until I made the mistake of trying samples of Sisley’s shampoo and conditioner. Just the absolute best.
    And both the Dyson Hair Dryer and Air Wrap are life changing – they were my favorite purchases of 2021 by far!

  3. I love the Thrive mascara and similarly dread the removal. Let me know if you find a solution that makes it less cumbersome! I also really like Thrive’s “brown black” for a softer daytime look.

    I heartily recommend the new RMS eyelights. I’ve always liked RMS eye shadows and am impressed with how easy these are to apply and to build. I was wary, but they really are an upgrade versus the older style in the pots.

    1. Hi Jean – So glad I’m not alone on the tubing mascara removal complaints! I feel like people love that tubing technology and have always wondered whether others have better approaches to removal. So far, the best approach I have is to use these tiny 5×5 makeup removing cloths:

      I use these only and specifically for the mascara, which I remove first, and then set aside and use a different, bigger towel to wash the rest of my face. Otherwise, I find I get those mascara remnants all over my face!

      Thanks for the RMS upvote!!


  4. My sister has been able to snag some Slip products, including the silk hair ties, at Marshall’s. She got me a 5 pack for $24.99. Worth checking out if you have a Marshall’s or TJ Maxx nearby.

  5. Sorry this is gross but I hope helpful…the patches work best if you pop the pimple first. For that reason I only use them on whiteheads. You can get away with just poking the spot, then covering it, but it has to have a way to draw out the grossness. Then leave it on for as long as you can stand it (overnight is easiest IMO) and you literally see the white stuff on the sticker.

    It’s so much less painful than trying to extract the full pimple, but if anything leaves less of a mark/less possible scarring because it’s less impact on your skin. I love them.

  6. My favorite kind of post! I was recently gifted a Dyson air wrap for my birthday (truly a surprise – I’m still in shock my husband even knew this product existed) and I’m a full convert now. I never would have purchased it on my own, but it truly lives up to the hype. My hair NEVER holds a curl (curling iron, wand, rollers, nothing) and the air wrap gives me the bounciest, most voluminous natural curls that last three full days, even with sleeping & working out/zhushing post-workout.

    Intrigued by that RMS eyeshadow! I have one of their mini highlighting palettes (the luminizer x quad one) and use it daily – such a fun little choice of colors/saturation for a little extra dew and glow, depending on the day.

    1. Wow!! What a great gift from your husband — so jealous!! I would love to test it someday…I agree with you on RMS products! Really fun. I love their living luminizer.


  7. Thanks for the reviews! How much smaller is the barrel on the new Revlon One Step vs the old one? I just cut a few inches off my ends and really need a smaller barrel now. Thanks.

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