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…
THESE CREAM SHADOWS LOOK FUN FOR SPRING…I’M PARTIAL TO ANYTHING THAT CAN BE APPLIED WITH A FINGER
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?