September Empties + How I Pick My Favorites

I’m currently on a beauty no buy, so I’ve started blowing through a lot of my skincare products! In September, along with my Pixi Glow Tonic, I finished my Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun, the Glossier Priming Moisturizer (which I mini reviewed inside of my PM Rich Review), and my Julep Night Shift Sleeping Mask. If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you’ll know I’ve loved all of these products for a while (save the Missha sunblock which I purchased in January of this year), so I’ll link to the full reviews! However, what makes an empty so good that you literally have to finish it? Let me tell you how I pick my favorites.

Beauty is all about choices. I think there's a lot of things that are complicated in a sunscreen and there are a lot of options out there. That said, I don't feel comfy promoting a sunscreen that, in my opinion, is average at best. I don't dislike it, but the price for its size is not budget friendly (and at the high end of a mid-range brand), and other sunscreens do the same things the @glossier Invisible Shield does. Of course there are differences as well, but not enough I think to justify buying it. I don't want the rep program to get a bad name for pushing a product "just for sales" but instead be completely honest about how I feel about ANY product I recieve. Instead, if you'd like a budget and black girl friendly sunscreen, I recommend the @misshaus All Around Safe Block. ☆1.7 oz for $8-$14 (depends where you get it) ☆No white cast ☆Take a minute to fully sink in but once it does, it's not sticky or oily. ☆SPF 45 & Water Resistant • • • • #sunscreen #spf #summer #summer17 #glossier #glossierrep #teenbloggers #blackbloggers #studentbloggers #beautybloggers #bbloggers #instabeauty #instagrambeauty #skin #skincare #skincarejunkie #kbeauty #koreanbeauty #aesthetic #photography #sunshine #discoverunder1k #discoverunder5k #atlantabloggers #georgiabloggers

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Price

If the price of a product is such that I can repurchase it without feeling like it’s going to leave a dent in my pocket, it’s a good indicator that the product could become a favorite. As a college student, I don’t have a lot of disposable income, so for me, to get a full sized sunscreen that I can wear every day without worrying about it running out AN having it last about 9 months for only $10 is perfect.

Did It Work?

I think in the beauty world especially, we’re always so ready for the next big thing to try that we don’t stick with anything long enough to see if it really works for us. Skincare has always been YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), and what may work for my skin may not work for your skin. This is why patch testing is very important, and just listening to your skin overall. Products that do what they claim in an easy way, often reach my favorites list.

A few other things come into play including accessibility and packaging, but these two things push a product up to the top of my favorites list and subsequently, my empties list, very quickly. I think it’s this type of thinking that helps me get through no buys, and also the reason I REALLY love Beauty Award spreads in magazines, because you really get to see it all laid out in the most beautiful way possible. I may do my own Best in Beauty Awards this year. 😉

What are some of your favorite repeat buys? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next week!

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Product Review: Pixi Glow Tonic

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today I’ve got a quick product review lined up for you! This product was recommended to me many times by other Glossier reps, comment threads, and Reddit forums, and a few months ago I finally decided to give Pixi Glow Tonic a chance. Glow Tonic is a 5% Glycolic Acid which claims to tone and chemically exfoliate the skin, leaving a smoother, even base. I’ve only dealt with physical exfoliators up to this point, and I have fairly untemperamental skin, but I wanted to try something new and just see what happened.

This post contains affiliate links, for which I receive a very small amount of money dedicated to the upkeep of this blog. This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own!

Product Review: Pixi Glow Tonic

That Glow Tonic Life

When it first arrived, I thought it smelled weird, but I eventually got used to it. Y’all know scent is a huge factor for me, so it took some time for sure, but now, I can barely detect it, so I guess that’s just personal preference. Also, after using it a few times in the morning and a few times at night I decided to relegate Glow Tonic to my more intense nighttime routine. To use, I dash a couple drops on a cotton round and swipe across the skin after I’ve washed my face but before I’ve started applying any serums. There was definitely a purging period where I had small, minimal breakouts along my cheeks, which are areas where I already get pimples. That’s how I distinguished that it was not an allergic reaction. Over the course of several weeks, I saw a visible difference and how smooth my skin looked and felt.

However, the best part was its unintended qualities in helping with my eczema.My eczema displays itself in the inability for dead skin to properly fall off of my neck and chest. Because Glow Tonic actively exfoliates dead skin, swiping it over my problem areas almost immediately (!!!) showed a lightening of the skin in that area because the dead skin was coming off! It made me really excited because those dark patches are a thing that I really feel insecure about from time to time, so it was nice to get rid of them (temporarily) for sure.

Final Thoughts?

Glow tonic is a great introduction to chemical exfoliants in a skincare routine. However, at $15 for 3.4 fl oz is a bit steep if you go through it as quickly as I did, and I didn’t even use it every day. Pixi does offer large sizes including 250 ml for $29 and occasionally, a 500 ml bottle with a pump, so buy in bulk if you really think you’ll be using this stuff for a while. They also offer Glow Tonic “On-the-Go” which are presoaked pads almost like makeup remover pads for $18 which are great for travel!

Hope you guys enjoyed my review on Pixi Glow Tonic! What other products would you like to try out soon? I’m currently on a no buy while I plot for all of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales next month, so any and all suggestions are welcome! Have an awesome day! <3

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Fenty Beauty First Impressions

I know today seems like any other Tuesday, but in fact, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has blessed the makeup world with her very own makeup line, Fenty Beauty. Now before I get into my first impressions, I want to address a few things. First, I’m not a die-hard Rihanna fan. That said, I find her aesthetic to be beautiful, and I look up to her as a style icon. Secondly, I’m not going to compare it to KKW Beauty. I know a lot of people wanna be shady about the packaging and all that stuff, but the products are what I’m concerned about, and what you should be too frankly. There is enough beauty world drama to go around lol. Let’s get started!

Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

So one fun Saturday, I went up to Lenox Square Mall (I LOVE living in Atlanta btw yall, everything is so close) to test out Fenty and redeem my Sephora birthday gift. Because I went alone, I got to spend an hour uninterrupted in the store just swatching and sniffing and just having a good time. The first thing I tried was the foundation, BUT since I was so excited I totally forgot to write down what shades I put on my arm. *cringe* Sorry guys. However, I applied it and let it dry down while I was testing other things so I have some views on the consistency.

The top 2 shades are foundations, the bottom shade is a match stix.

This foundation WILL oxidize. A couple days after my visit, a makeup artist was on Fenty’s IG stories talking about how it doesn’t oxidize, the shade just adjusts a bit as it dries because it loses a bit of water…You mean the definition oxidation sis? All of the shades I applied after drying down were a hair darker than they were originally. This is also a very liquidy formula! When I pressed the pump, I almost missed my arm, and from the looks of the floor around the display, I wasn’t the only one. My last first impression on the foundation was that it is very, very drying. The primer was not on the display, so I couldn’t try it with the primer, but to me it looked and felt dry to the touch. So I worry about how it would look on my actual face.

Fenty Beauty First Impressions

Match Stix

I had some of the same issues with the Match Stix as I did with the foundations. The concealer type sticks that were matte also felt kinda stiff and dry after application. Even when I was applying it to my arm to swatch, my skin was kinda getting dragged behind it instead of it gliding on. The Shimmer Sticks didn’t have that issue, and the colors were very pretty, especially on my deep skin.

Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

The lip gloss is very nice, in theory. I have two-toned lips, which I love of course, and I usually enjoy lipglosses because they play really well with the different colors of my lips. However, I think my lips almost exactly matched the shading of the gloss because it looked like I was just wearing my clear Glossier gloss! I liked the vanilla scent ad the packaging is cute AF, but I just wouldn’t buy it for myself. On lots of other people testing it, it looked very wearable and universal as claimed.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters

Now to my favorite part, the highlighters!!!! Well, sorta my favorite part. The highlighters were hella pigmented. Like…HELLA. Justttt not on me. I have trouble with powder highlighters, especially ones with pinky/champagne tones. This is why I usually stick with…well stick or cream highlighters. The same pretty much went for most of the highlighter shades with the exception of Ginger Binge, Moscow Mule, and of course the true gold highlighter, Trophy Wife! If I had to pick something buy from the whole collection, it would easily be these two highlighters. They were pigmented in swatches and on my face, and Trophy Wife was what I had my eye on since the promos dropped!

Invisimatte Blotting Papers

Lastly, as an oily girl, I wanted to try the blotting papers and blotting powder (and compare it to Wowder, of course), but the blotting powder also wasn’t on the display (Lenox Sephora, get yaself together!!). The blotting papers didn’t do a thing. It just soaked up what it could from my oily forehead and nose, but I was still incredibly oily after. I wouldn’t want to use a bunch of the paper trying to take oil off, so I wouldn’t bother with it.

Final Fenty Thoughts?

The price points for all of these products are all under $40 (not counting the Match Stix Trio) which is reasonable considering Fenty has been marketed like a high-end makeup brand and could’ve been sold to us as such. Does it fall under a college budget? Not exactly. Is it a great treat/gift for yourself or a friend? Totally. I think you should pick one or two products you really want to try and grab those. This brand is also incredibly Black Girl Friendly! The big thing, of course, being the 40 foundation shades with multiple undertones making it extremely easy for people of all skin tones being able to find their match.

So that’s my Fenty first impressions! I’ll be keeping an eye out for the holiday collection because there are going to be an eyeshadow palette and more lip colors, so I’m excited! What other brands do you want me to do a first impression on? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you on Thursday!

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Glossier’s Body Hero Duo Is Here

Glossier's Body Hero Duo is Here

Welcome back ladies and gents! Yesterday, Glossier began Phase 3 of their product line, Body Hero, which contains the Daily Oil Wash and the Daily Perfecting Cream.I’m super into this duo for two reasons. First, I’m a college kid with no bathtub, and I can’t bask in the wonder that are my Lush bath bombs anymore, so this is making me feel pretty good about showering and relaxing. Secondly, I have eczema and it’s really hard to find products that are moisturizing but don’t smell like a hospital. Glossier really managed to find that perfect mix and I’m in love with it.

Related: Glossier Phase 2 Review

The Daily Perfecting Cream is $22 and the Daily Oil Wash is $18, but together the duo is $35 and ships free! Plus, if you’re new to the Glossier crew, you can use my link for 20% off your first order bringing the total down to $28 (and it still ships free!).

One more thing before I go! Priming Moisturizer is now $22 instead of $25 and the Phase 1 set’s price has been lowered to $40! Now you can start with the brand’s basics without shelling out as much money!

I’ll have a full review up of the duo soon, but until then take it easy!

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The Best Alternatives to Black Eyeliner

Audrey Hepburn. Amy Winehouse. Ariana Grande. These are some of the women who inspired a generation with big, bold, black cat eyeliner. However, in light of the transition from summer to fall, I propose that we slow down on the liner. Yes, it’s a dramatic statement, but I feel like there are many other eye looks that don’t have to rely on the heavy black eyeliner we all know and usually love. I’ve found I like the natural shape of my eye, and I’ve started wearing eyeliner, in general, less and less. However, if you don’t wanna ditch the liner life completely, here are a couple alternatives that you can try.

Brightly Colored Eyeliner

One way to still transform your eye shape with liner without it being so heavy is colored eyeliner! I currently own Colourpop’s liner in the shade Teaspoon,   a NYX pencil liner in the shade Gold Glitter, and two NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in the shades Milk and Purple Velvet. They’re fun, more lighthearted and make my eyes pop!

The Best Alternatives to Black Eyeliner

Just Eyeshadow

I’ve found that with many of my super pigmented eyeshadows, dark thick eyeliner tends to detract from the overall look. So instead, I’ve started just wearing the eyeshadow alone. It lets the colors really pop, and I like it like that. Another idea is to take an angled liner brush and wet it, and then applying the shadow as a liner. Same effect as a colored liner, but you have a bit more control over it. Cream eyeshadows are also really good for this technique, but I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t dry in such a way that it’s terribly hard to get off. If you all have suggestions, let me know.

Brown Eyeliner

This is a trend that I’ve found myself loving the idea of more and more. Brown liner is a softer stance than black liner with the same eye shape changing qualities. For brown girls, however, it can be difficult to find a shade that actually shows up on us, so do a little shopping around to find the best brown for YOUR brown.

What’s your favorite black liner alternative? Do you prefer pencil, gel, or liquid (I’m gel!)? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you Thursday!

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Product Review: Glossier Wowder For Dark Skin

Hey, everyone! Sorry for the delay in posts, but if you’ve been following me on literally any of my socials (@thechicmachine) then you’d know I finally moved into COLLEGE! Yes, siree I’m officially a Georgia State Panther and I’ve been exploring campus and all it has to offer. The transition has been great, I’ve met a lot of cool people, and my classes aren’t terrible which is always a plus. One of the things about living on campus in a metro area like Atlanta is that there is a lot of walking involved. Great for my calves, not so great for my makeup. I have combo oily skin with most of the oiliness occurring in my T-Zone, and this is extra sucky with the Georgia humidity. Thankfully, Glossier has released another product designed for those not 100% on board with their “ultra dewy” messaging! Wowder is a translucent powder in three shades designed to mattify and decrease shine on days when dewy is not on the memo.

Product Review: Glossier Wowder For Dark Skin

I received Wowder in the shade Dark/Deep which is my corresponding shade in Perfecting Skin Tint and Stretch Concealer. I’ve never used another translucent powder, but I have used the Covergirl Clean Matte Pressed Powder so that’s what I compared this to. For a good frame of reference, the first several times I used Wowder, I did not use my Urban Decay setting spray to see how well it worked on its own. The first time I wore Wowder, I put it on my whole face. Now my cheeks and chin are not oily and can verge on dry from time to time, so this did not sit well. It clung to my dry patches a bit so I didn’t like that at all!

On the other hand, on my t-zone it worked very well. It didn’t sit on the top of my skin as a pigment like the Covergirl pressed powder, but almost melted into a cream like consistency after application. It didn’t make my skin look overly pale, and made it look matte but not dried out. The wear time on my forehead was about 8 hours, but on my nose, it wa only about 4. What can I say? I’m hella oily!

Product Review: Glossier Wowder For Dark Skin

The Wowder brush was a totally different story! It’s smaller than my Real Techniques powder brush and more angled so I could get spots like under my eyes and on the sides of my nose. As for the trampoline mesh, I think it’s helpful to an extent, but it’s actually harder to get out the amount I need sometimes.

For $35, it’s a great value. You get a brush that you can use with other products and a .25 oz powder that works well with oily skin and has a natural finish when used correctly. If you think you’ve gotten the wrong shade you can always exchange it for free, and the duo ships free! Wowder by itself is $22 USD and the brush alone is $20.

Remember you can get 20% off of your purchase with my referral link which puts the duo at $28! Leave me a comment below about your oily or dry skin nightmares! Have an awesome week!

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Glossier Wowder Is Here

Good news for all of my Glossier fans out there! It’s LAUNCH DAY! Today, Glossier has dropped the latest in its line of makeup, Wowder. Now, all the marketing talking about “It’s not a powder. It’s Wowder.” is a little cheesy, I’ll admit. However, as a person with combo oily skin, all of Glossier’s products do not work for my skin as they adhere strictly to their “dewy” look (talking about you PM Rich!). SO I’m very excited to try a powder that can possibly control this oil on my face! I currently use the Covergirl Clean Matte Pressed Powder, and I’ll have a comparison review up after I’ve had some time to test it out more thoroughly.

Related: Glossier Canada is Here

Glossier's Wowder is Here
Photo courtesy of Glossier

I was always skeptical of loose, translucent type powders because they always look so white in the pan, but Wowder comes in 3 different shades! Plus, Jackie Aina already put up her review of it, so I know this is coins well spent! Wowder costs $22 USD ($27 CAD) by itself for the inevitable restock, BUT you can get a Wowder/Brush combo for $35 USD ($45 CAD) which saves you $7 than if you bought the brush and Wowder separately. If you don’t need another powder (and let’s be honest with ourselves here) but you want to give the brush a go, it is $20 USD ($25 CAD). Now for me, that’s a lot for a brush, and I’ll also be comparing this brush to my Real Techniques powder brush in the near future.

Are you a first time Glossier customer? Well, you’re in luck! Shop with my link and get 20% off and EVERYONE gets free shipping with the Wowder Duo! That’s $28 USD ($36 CAD) for the duo, $17.60 USD ($21.60 CAD) for just the Wowder, and $16 USD ($20 CAD) for just the brush! So what are you waiting on??

Happy shopping!

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Best National Lipstick Day Sales 2017

Best National Lipstick Day Sales 2017

There are a lot of made up holidays throughout the year like national pancake day, national ice cream day, even national donut day! However, my favorite is National Lipstick Day which is today, June 29th! Here, I’ve rounded up some of the best lipstick sales so you can get your pout on! Click on the link to access to sale!

MAC: MAC is actually doing TWO deals this weekend. For the first, all you have to do is show up! Go to any of their stores and receive a full-sized lipstick. The Reddit forums have been running wild and it seems how this works will vary by store. Some are using a specific collection, some are handing them out randomly, and some will let you swatch and choose your shade. Call your store ahead of time to find out. MAC is also offering a free Prep + Prime Lip with any $50 purchase online with the code LIPDAY.

Urban Decay: UD is offering 50% off some of their best-selling Vice lipsticks which puts them at $8.50! It’s a small selection, but worth it if you want to stock up on some of the cult classics. Plus, UD has a great rewards program, and if you sign up with my link you start with 10 points out of the gate!

Related: 6 Lovely Red Lipsticks for Dark Skin

ULTA: Ulta is winning the beauty game as usual with tons of brands and deals on all things lipstick with their online sale. The standouts are 2 for $10 NYX lipsticks, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks (try Bacca or Rubino!) are only $13.20, and all Revlon lip products are $5! There are also plenty of free gifts with purchase on your favorite high-end brands so go give it a look!

Smashbox: When you buy any lip product from Smashbox today, you can get $5 off AND a free lip bag with promo code KISSME! I really enjoy their Be Legendary Liquid Lipstick in Crimson Chrome and all of the liquid metal shades tbh!

Glossier: And of course, if you’re a new Glossier customer in the US AND Canada, you can get 20% off of your first purchase which includes the sweet flush of a Generation G lipstick. My favorite is Crush, because it’s such a nice hint of pink on my two toned lips which is amazing!

NYX: Buy any Liquid Suede Metallic Lipstick, get a Liquid Suede Cream lipstick free! Also, add any lippie to your bag online and get free shipping!

Too Faced: 15% off any lip product with code KISSKISS

Birchbox: Get a free deluxe Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick when you sign up with the code LIPDAY.

Stila Cosmetics: BOGO Free Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, no code needed.

Related: Product Review: Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’ll be updating this post with other deals throughout the day, so keep checking back! Have a great National Lipstick Day!

Happy shopping! <3

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Product Review: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Is it just me, or are drugstore makeup names getting longer and longer? It’s sort of funny! Speaking of, today’s review is for the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick! I received the shades Pioneer, a true blue-red, and Lover, a pinky mauve for review from Influenster. If you’ve never used Influenster before, it’s a great review site that I use for all of my beauty purchase research! In return for interacting with the community, Influenster occasionally sends me VoxBoxes with beauty products to test out. Wanna join? Click here! The product was a gift, but of course, all opinions are my own. I’m breaking down Maybelline’s claims to see if it’s worth it’s near $10 price tag.

Product Review: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Precise Application?

The SuperStay Matte Ink lipstick features an arrowhead applicator which Maybelline claims allows a more precise application. I, personally, am not a fan of the arrowhead applicator because the actual formula of the lipstick is a bit too thick to spread easily with that shape. I prefer doe foot applicators over all else, so if they update it in the future, I’d like to try it again! However, the pigmentation is absolutely fantastic! I loved both colors, and I think I’m closer to finding my perfect nude pink every day!

Product Review: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Flawless Matte Finish?

After application, the lipstick definitely looked as if it had a perfect matte finish. However, for the first 15-20 minutes after application, I found my lips to be incredibly sticky. Not like a gloss, but almost tacky, and it didn’t feel very good. Then, after it fully dried, it was like a regular matte. It wasn’t overly drying, and it moved well without any cracks or creases.

16 Hour Staying Power?

This was the biggest claim that this lipstick made, and most times, lipsticks that make these types of claims never live up to the hype without a whole bunch of external help. But when I say this stuff stays, it stays!!! I put it on one morning to run errands, eats breakfast and lunch, etc. I fell ill later that evening and went to bed without washing my face (big no no guys!). When my mom woke me up later, she asked: “Why do you have on a full thing of pink lipstick?” I couldn’t even feel it, so I went to the mirror and there was very little creasing and only a little fading on the inside of my lip. So I’ll give this one an A+ for staying power!

Product Review: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Overall, I liked the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipsticks, but not any better or worse than other liquid lipsticks I own. I really like the colors and staying power on this one, but the applicator and sticky feel were both turn offs. For $9.49, I wouldn’t buy this myself, but I wouldn’t mind getting one as a gift!

I hope you all enjoyed my review! What’s your favorite liquid lipstick and shade? Let me know below in the comments! Have an awesome week!

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Glossier Canada is Now Live

Today’s the day ladies and gents! Last week, Glossier announced that they would finally roll out international shipping! Today begins the launch, where all Glossier Canada babes can place their orders! The notable exception is Quebec, sorry guys! They have plans to launch in Quebec sometime next year. Also, Invisible Shield, Digital, and Physical Gift Cards will not be available for purchase. Glossier is looking to launch IS in Canada sometime this fall. They don’t have plans to open a Glossier Canadia showroom, but stay tuned for something really cool later this summer!

Last, but certainly not least, my rep page does work for all new Glossier Canada customers! You can get 20% off your first purchase, and free shipping with any two items! Of course, you can always check out my page to see my favorites, but I HIGHLY recommend the Phase 1 set w/ Coconut Balm Dot Com as a starter! You get free shipping, and skin care basics, which is what the brand is all about!

Happy Shopping!

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