Empties from June & July

I'm back with my second ever empties post. I can't believe July is almost over! Time flies like a discount airline. 

The Saem's Healing Tea Garden Green Tea Cleansing Water is my current favorite makeup remover. It doesn't melt off mascara or eyeliner too well, but it does a good job getting rid of the bulk of my daily face paint. This big jug was a holiday release that I got around New Year's and I got almost six months of daily use out of it. I've already picked up a regular sized one for a refill. 

I've been using Nivea's Soothing Toner for dry skin for ages. I don't like to spend a lot of money on cleansing products, because I go through them pretty fast. I like this toner because it doesn't dry out my skin and it's available pretty much everywhere.

Hey, it's Lumene's Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover again! This is a GOAT-status product for me. Lumene re-did their packaging a few months back and I think the new version of the bottle is really pretty. 

I got a bunch of A'Pieu's Nonco Tea Tree Spot Patches some time ago. Sadly, I don't think they do much for me. Unlike COSRX's Acne Pimple Master patches, I didn't notice them helping blemishes heal faster. The adhesive is pretty strong, though, so they did stay on all night. Not repurchasing.

I'm a big believer in Nive Creme aka your grandma's moisturizing cream. It's a great multipurpose item! I have very dry skin, so I use it as a daily face cream. I love this stuff, but I don't think I have anything to say about it that hasn't been said before. It's one of my staples.

My second jar of Petitfée's Ruby & Bulgarian Rose Hydro Gel Eye Patch. I have a dedicated review of them here

A'Pieu's Pure Block is another product that I keep repurchasing. I have more written about it here.

The next two items aren't strictly speaking empties, but they've expired and I need to get rid of them, so I chose to include them in this post.

When it comes to mascaras, I tend to set the bar pretty low. All I want is that when I look in the mirror at the end of a day, I won't see two messy panda eyes staring back at me. This is my second tube of  the Double Needs Pang Pang Mascara by TonyMoly. I'm not sure that it noticeably volumizes or lengthens my lashes that much, but it's very cheap and it doesn't smudge. I'll most likely purchase it again.

Skinfood's Salmon Dark Circle Concealer is a big cult favorite. I didn't realize it until I checked my email for the receipt, but I've had this particular jar... way longer than you are supposed to keep any makeup, let alone makeup you apply so close to your eyeballs. And it still has a ton of product left. My concealer pot runneth over! I got a replacement, so it's time for this guy to retire.

I buy Gillette's Satin Care Pure & Delicate in double packs whenever I find them on sale. It does it's job and I've got no complaints.

Nivea's Invisible Black & White used to be my go-to antiperspirant. It doesn't completely eliminate sweat stains caused by aluminum oxidization, but I think it's the least bad of similar products I've tried in the past. I often wear white tops, so I've decided to switch to a completely aluminum free deodorant in an effort to keep my clothes wearable longer.

I'm the type of a person that can't live without hand cream, but I'm not very picky about what I use, as long as it's deeply moisturizing and doesn't irritate my skin. Natusan's 24hour Hand Cream served me well. It's alright.

Kleancolor's Wizard Pads are some kind of sorcery! They wipe of my nail polish super quickly without drying out my nails. I've actually started wearing nail polish more often because of them. I was introduced to them by my bff Whitney, and she also gifted me a whole display box of them last Christmas. You'll probably see them in a lot of these posts.

That's it for the past two months! 

Colorful shimmer shades for mermaids

My birthday was recently, and I received a lovely present from my best friend Whitney. She sent me a lot of cute make up things, including the Wild & Alluring baked eyeshadow and highlighter palette by BH Cosmetics. Since I just received it, I haven't had a chance to properly get acquainted with it yet. I've been playing around with the shadows, though, and wanted to share my first impressions.

The Wild & Alluring palette comes with nine shimmery marbled eyeshadows, a pink blush and a bronze highlighter. I absolutely love the bright color selection! All the shades are very pigmented and glide on smoothly. They're not overpoweringly glittery, but they do have fine shimmer in them. I've noticed a little bit of fall out with some shades (like the teal in the second row), but not more than I would generally expect. Because it's all shimmers, I'd probably need to reach for another palette to create actual looks.

I've included some finger and brush swatches below. My apartment's pretty cold at the moment, so I apologize for my goosebumps. 😅

I applied the shadows on bare skin. For the brush swatches I used a flat synthetic eyeshadow brush. The pink shade looks a bit patchy in this picture, because it blends into my skin tone, but in person it seems to be as pigmented as the rest of the bunch. I really like the purple in the middle. 

The peachy shade in the very center of the palette might just be my favorite! 

Because the shadows are marbled, they have a bit of interesting dimension to them. 

I'm pretty fair, so the highlighter comes off more like a light bronzer on me. I think the color itself is gorgeous, though.

I probably wouldn't have thought to pick this palette up for myself, but I think it's completely delightful! If you are on the market for some pretty shimmery and colorful eyeshadows, I recommend checking this guy out. 

Glowing up with Zoeva

Summer weather has been pretty underwhelming where I live. There's been some rain and lot's of cloudy days. I haven't had many chances to wear my summer clothes! In fact, my most worn article of clothing in June was a long sleeved knit sweater. I've been trying to compensate the lack of sun with my makeup: a touch of bronzer, a pop of bright color on the lip, glowy cheeks and cupid's bow. I've been using Zoeva's Spring Strobe Spectrum palette for highlighting recently. I purchased it at the beginning of last month and I've been very into it so far! I'm in the process of replacing my old face brushes, so I also got their 105 Luxe Highlight brush too.

The palette comes with four highlighters with a kind of a metallic/pearlescent finish in pastel green, violet, pink and yellow. They are definitely the kind of mermaid or unicorn colors that have been trending recently. Not going to lie, I think the powders look pretty odd in the pan: they seem kind of chalky and washed out in pictures. When applied, however, they are absolutely lovely! The formula has a velvety texture and it feels pretty buildable. The highlighters are a bit powdery and kick up a little when I pick them up with a brush, but they apply and blend out well. I'm not sure if you can achieve a blinding tin man -level highlight with these, but you can definitely create a beautiful glow-from-within look.

From left: SP010, SP020, SP030, SP040. Finger swatches on bare skin.
SP010 is my very favorite of the four. It's a duochrome green with a slightly teal-ish shift. It kind of reminds me of shiny insects. SP020 is an interesting blue-violet shift. It almost has a blacklight-effect kind of a look to it, it's pretty fluorescent. SP030 is a light pastel pink. I don't think it works the best as a highlight on my skin tone, but I like to wear it over my blusher for some extra glow. SP040 is a very wearable light yellow with a golden reflect, and my second favorite of the bunch.

If I have one complaint about the palette, it's the packaging. The design itself nice enough. I like the holographic detail and metallic lettering against the dark background. The (very satisfying) magnetic closure feels pretty secure too. But the surface of the cardboard palette has some sort of a waxy treatment that sucks up all and any oil that touches it, so it gets easily covered in fingerprints. It starts to look really messy really fast. I had to wipe the cover of my palette down with a damp microfiber cloth several times before it looked presentable.

As for the brush, it's a very soft blend of natural and synthetic hair. I haven't had problems with picking up powder or blending with it. I really like the size and tapered shape. The very tip of the brush is great for highlighting my cupid's bow and the bridge of my nose and the sides are a nice fit for the tops of my cheeks. I haven't noticed it disturbing the makeup underneath when I use it, but it does gradually build up on foundation/blusher. It might just be the nature of the beast, or maybe I need to use a lighter hand when I'm blending. In any case, it's definitely a step up from the old EcoTools eyeshadow brush I was using to apply highlighter before, haha.

What's your favorite highlighter?

Duochromes from Looxi

I'm staying at my parents' for a couple of weeks, so no empties post for this month. I think I'll combine them with next month's batch. Instead, I have a short review for two duochrome eyeshadow pans from Looxi Beauty!

Looxi Beauty is an independent brand founded by Jessica D., and it appears to be based in Illinois, USA (or at least their Facebook lists an address in Illinois). I first heard about the brand through Lauren Mae Beauty's YouTube-channel. She swatched some of Looxi's shadows on one of her palette dupe-videos, and they looked so pretty that I wanted to try them too! She also recently did a spotlight/brand review on Looxi, which I recommend checking out.

From the left: Duperstar, Omega.
Looxi Beauty's duochrome shadows, or Auroras, as they call them, are 5 USD a pop. I'm not sure about their domestic shipping, but they charge $10.99 for shipping to Canada and $19.99 for all other international destinations. I think they use USPS First Class for all of their delivery options. Their international shipping price was kind of steep for me, so I asked my best friend, who's an American, to act as my personal shopper in order to save a couple of bucks. Thanks for the favor, Whitney! 

From the left: Omega applied with a damp brush and a finger, Duperstar applied with a damp brush and a finger-
Omega is a green with a gorgeous teal and purple shift. Duperstar, on the other hand, is a light purple that shifts pink and blue. These guys don't swatch all that well, even though the colors themselves are lovely. Or maybe I just don't know how to apply them properly. For the above photo, I applied them on top of Urban Decay's Primer Potion first with a damp flat synthetic brush, and then with my finger. I tapped my brush in the pan once, and swirled my finger in the pan once.

Like Lauren says in her video, the formula is pretty dry. It kind of threw me for a loop, because I was expecting something with a bit of a smoother texture. I also noticed that the shadows seem to crumble a bit in the pan when I pick them up with a brush. Tiny crumbs sometimes come off the surface, and I need to smooth them back in. I feel like I have to put in some work and really pack them on my lids to get them to look opaque. The end result is very nice, though. For me, they work best when I first apply them on with a damp brush and then gently tap the shadow on with my finger tip, focusing on areas that I want to pop out more.

From the left: Omega applied on top of black eye shadow and then just primer, same with Duperstar.
For this picture, I tried applying the colors on top of some black eye shadow and then on just the Primer Potion again, this time really packing on the product. I have hooded eyes, so Omega might be a bit too dark for me to wear all over the lid. I like to wear it on the outer corners of my eyes, though. Duperstar is my favorite of the two. I think it looks beautiful applied on the center of the lid, on top of a matte beige worn in a dome shape or as a contour shade near the crease. I love to combine it with Buon Fresco from the ABH Modern Renaissance Palette!

If you are looking for a super creamy formula that applies super opaquely with just one swipe, these might not be the eye shadows for you. The colors are beautiful, so I don't mind having to play around with them. I think I might want to check out more of Looxi's shades sometime in the future, but I really want to try Makeup Geek's duochromes next.

Do you have a favorite duochrome formula?

Cosmetics sample inferno

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