May Empties 2016

I love writing about stuff that I’ve used up because it encourages me to actually use things up instead of hoarding and never getting through product, and also because I find it’s the best way of finding out what people think about products. I have been battling vestibular migraine for about four days now, so I haven’t got my writing mojo going, but this is giving me something to distract myself with, so let’s have at it.

Full sizes

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Fortune Cookie Soap Guardian of the Forest – This smells like three thousand different kinds of flowers and it’s just way too much. These soaps don’t stand up to shower use – they fall apart really easily – so I use them as hand soaps. Purchase? I would never buy these shaped soaps, but I like their normal bar soaps. This smell, though? Nope.

Lush Reindeer Rock Soap – This is a lovely smelling berry soap that I had left over from Christmas. It’s nice, not incredible, but really nice. Repurchase? If it came back for Christmas? Sure. I’m a sucker for Lush soaps.

Lush Egg Snog lip balm – Why did I buy this lip balm? It smells delicious and cinnamon-y but I never finish these lip balms and I hate lip balm pots and eugh. I was lured in by the good smell. Repurchase? Why did I buy it in the first place?

Fortune Cookie Soap Candy Fluff lip scrub – Oh my god this lip scrub is beautiful. I wish it didn’t have the too-chunky bits of candy cane at the top, because they’re too harsh on the lips,  but the rest of this is super finely milled and it makes the lips feel lovely and I love minty flavour/smell. Bring it back, FCS. Repurchase? If I could, hell yes.

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Toner – I have sensitive skin and sometimes cleansing leaves my skin a little exhausted and so I need a toner, and this one is unscented and non-drying. It’s super simple, and if you don’t use a toner then just ignore it, but I love it. Repurchase? Yes, and I have.

Philosophy Melon Daiquiri Shower Gel – I finally finished the last shower gel from my Christmas 2014 trio! And despite what I was expecting, this was my favourite. It smelt like watermelon lollies. I loved it. Really summery, and one of the only shower gel formulas that doesn’t dry me out. Repurchase? If it was available individually. Now to start on my christmas 2015 shower gel.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel – The Body Shop messed up by making this limited edition. This scent is the best thing in the world. I’m so bummed that I’ve finished the last of my shower gels and I keep being tempted to buy the $40 buckets with all of the products in, just so I can get the shower gel. Repurchase? I wish, I wish, I wish.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate – Look, I’m as dubious as to the actual scientific benefits of the “stem cell technology” claims this concentrate boasts as you are, and I work at The Body Shop. That said, this stuff makes my skin feel amazing. It’s hydration and a boost without greasiness or stickiness, and really, that’s my main concern. What matters to me is that it makes my skin look and feel good. Repurchase? Already have.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Lotion – Yeah, I loved this when I was 13, but it’s time for this tube to go. It’s way too light for my combo-dry skin, and I tend to react to anything too strong in salicylic acid or tea tree left on the skin. It’s just not for me. Repurchase? No

Old Spice Classic Anti Antiperspirant – This stuff works, but it smells too much like man and I just could not get through it. Repurchase? No.

Physiogel Daily Moisturising Therapy – My sister and I both love this stuff when we’re rash-y and gross, and winter isn’t kind to our skin. I was frustrated to learn that it’s not sold at Priceline anymore, which means it won’t be easy to purchase. Repurchase? I don’t want to get it online, so probably not.

Dove Original Deodorant – Now this is more like it. It’s a deodorant, it doesn’t smell gross, and it does the job. Repurchase? Every time.

Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – They keep my hands and my desk clean so I don’t get foundation over every single thing I touch. Repurchase? Yeah.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds – They’re not my favourite – they’re not super soft – but they get the job done. Repurchase? In times of necessity.

I do not know where this makeup brush is from and I do not want to talk about it.

Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara – This is such a nice mascara. It gives volume, length, drama, a little definition, and it does it in one coat. It’s super pretty, and I have Bellabox to thank for that. Bellabox, you did well one time. Repurchase? If I ever need mascara again, I’d consider it.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – This liner is the easiest thing to do winged liner with when my arthritis is flaring up, and in the winter I cannot live without it. As soon as this dried up – it takes about six months for me, as opposed to two months for my Body Shop one or the Maybelline Master Precise – I have to rebuy it. It goes on beautiful and black and it’s just amazing – but for the sake of fairness, I hate the Stila liner that a lot of people love. Repurchase? Already have, in the Sephora black card 20% off sale.

And now, for the other stuff.

Samples/Deluxe Sized:

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Wotnot Facial Wipes for Normal/Sensitive Skin – These were nice, and I loved how nice and big they were, but they were way too fancy for me to use as facial wipes, and they weren’t that great at removing eye makeup. Simple face wipes still have my heart. Purchase? No

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer in Medium – These samples lasted a good month each, and I ended up falling in love. Such great coverage, and a tiny bit goes such a long way. You definitely need to set it, but I don’t mind that considering the wear time I get out of it and how little it cakes on pimples or the undereye area. Purchase? Ended up buying it in that Sephora sale as well, for 20% off.

Josie Maran Argan Milk Josie Maran stuff just does not agree with my skin at all. I used some of this and my sister stole the rest, but it broke me out anyway. Purchase? No

Aroma Magic Almond Moisturising Lotion – this product is the kind of thing I talk about when I mention prioritising a “natural” image over functionality. It’s the brand’s choice to make whatever lotion they want, and I’m sure some people loved this in their May bellaboxes, but for me it was everything that irritates me in a lotion – way too light to properly hydrate but still greasy feeling, and way too heavy on certain essential oils making it unusable on my danger regions (my arms, thighs and chest are way more sensitive than the rest of my body). I used this up to use it up. Purchase? No.

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Intervention Whipped Cream – when I got my spring/summer box, this was the item I was most excited about and with good reason. The whipped cream formula is way less frustrating to use in the cooler months, and this one smells like a straight up Malibu and pineapple. I don’t need to buy body moisturiser for at least another year, but I do have a whipped cream to work through. Purchase? In this scent, potentially, depending on if it was still around by the time I end up actually needing moisturiser (probably not).

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser – Finally finished up this tune from a couple of BeautyLoop boxes back, and it was ok. I don’t generally go for lighter bases – I either just conceal or I go full foundation, so I didn’t find myself reaching for this terribly often. It doesn’t give much coverage (unlike something with more, a la the NARS matte skin tint) but it does even out the skin tone and it has a nice natural finish. I wasn’t a huge fan of the thicker gel texture – if I want a light base, it feels like too much. Purchase? No

L’oreal Nude Magique BB Cream – don’t even talk to me. I wore this around the house because I knew how little I would like it. These magical “universal” shades are bullshit and everyone knows it, and it was a tinted moisturiser, if that. Purchase? No

GlamGlow Powermud Mud-to-Oil Dualcleanse Treatment – I wanted to hate this sample because I objectively hate GlamGlow and their pseudoscience ingredients lists full of bullshit trademarks (claytox? Really?) but I actually really loved how my skin felt after I used it. One test is not enough to conclusively be swayed, but I might try another sample, and then maybe one of the minis they sell at Mecca. Hell, the full size is $100. Purchase? For $100? Never. Could I justify one of the little tubs for a treat? Maybe.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc – this foundation is one of the most widely adored bases online, and it looks beautiful on my skin for one hour. After that, it’s a hot mess. It gets patchy where I’m oily and clings to dryness I didn’t know I had and around spots and loses coverage and it’s just dismal. Purchase? Hell no.

Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer – this was fine, but these hydrating primers really aren’t my bag. I have too much texture in my skin and I need that protective smoothing factor. Purchase? No.

Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy – after about two years of use I have retired my baby Pixie Epoxy. My big tube is still going strong, but this is the one I would take to friends when doing makeup or allow to get slightly messy of applying over the tops of other things. Pixie Epoxy is a glitter adhesive, and it is legitimate. It will lock onto any shifty shadow, find the beauty hiding, turn it into an eyeliner, you name it. It’s not the most user friendly product by any means – you need to work quickly with it, you can’t blend over it, you have to work out how much time to give it and what shadows don’t mesh with it – but I need to have some around.   Repurchase? I’ve got a big tube on the go.

Nourish Naturals Dry Skin Lotion – a lightweight, undetectably scented  lotion that I used on my arms where I was red and itchy. It was find. Purchase? Maybe if I ever desperately need one of those easy unscented chemist lotions for a sudden hardcore reaction.

Guerlain Super Aqua Creme Day Cream – holy smokes, this was heavily scented. I ended up using most of it on my neck because it was itching on my face. Purchase? Definitely not.

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti Wrinkle Replenishing Pearls – the packaging of this foil sample looked cool but was a pain to use, and the product itself was…fine? I’m totally not the target market. It didn’t feel like it did much at all to my skin, other than feel superficially silicone-y and smoothing. It reminds me a lot of the Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost, in that it’s more of a primer, but people use it as a serum? Its marketing, at least in the box I received, was confusing. Purchase? No.

The Face Shop The Therapy Secret-made Anti-aging Eye Cream – it’s an eye cream. It moisturised. I still can’t convince myself to use one. Purchase? No

Indeed Labs Vitamin C24 – I like the primer texture of this vitamin c booster, but I don’t like using it at night – I’d like a vitamin c more akin to the Paula’s Choice one I tried a while back – and I don’t need to increase my sun sensitivity more than medication already has. Think I’ll stick to primer. I am very curious about the science aesthetic of this brand, and I’ve heard a lot of talk about their products, so I’ll keep an eye out. Purchase? No.

We’re finally done!

Sorry I’m posting it so late – in the last week of the month, as I mentioned, another bout of migraine hit. I’m actually finishing this post off in a moment of feeling alive – I’m in hospital. Hopefully it’s a short stay.

 

 

 

 

 

Lust Have It May 2016 – Unboxing/Review

Another day, another box. It’s the time of the month when everything just…arrives. I love it. After a disappointing Bellabox, can Lust Have It lure me in? Will the race between the two end in me cancelling one? Or both? Look, let’s make decisions later. Let’s talk about the bag.

 

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It’s definitely an interesting month. I do love, on an aesthetic level, the pops of pink between the bag and the tights and the lip balm and the card. Cute curation. In terms of the contents, it’s a bit of a

mixed bag. Hopefully I’m hilarious at every turn and can make many more hilarious puns so you can insert your own sound effects.

Back on topic:

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Teez Cosmetics Spectrum of Stars Eyeshadow (Full size, retails for $29) – I was prepared to be underwhelmed by this eyeshadow, which is clearly supposed to make up the bulk of the bag’s value at $29. The packaging is bizarre, a weird golden sphere? And so bulky, yikes:

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With the standard issue Lust Have It Card, possibly an unhelpful scale

But the colour I recieved, Sea Glare, is a beautiful shifty iridescent green gold. It’s obviously not an everyday colour, but my god, it’s gorgeous. I can’t see myself whipping out my weird chunky gold sphere to do my makeup, but I might make an exception. Swatches, for the curious:

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TEEZ Spectrum of Stars Eyeshadow in Sea Glare swatched over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy and alone, Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen

I swatched it alone in the middle (you really can’t see the green gold shiftiness), and then on top over Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy. The swatches suck, because it’s night time and I did them in three seconds and I’m sorry. Basically: ooh, pretty.

PHR Recovery Leave-in Moisturiser (15mL – 125mL retails for $35.95) – This is a leave in conditioner for hair, which is not typically the kind of product I use. My hair tends more on the oily side, but I have recently bleached the lot of it, so who knows. That said, it does seem like a fair bit more effort than I usually put in my hair, so it will probably get passed on.

Lollipops Baume Grenadine (Retails for $7.45) I mean, this is a cheap lip balm, so I’m not sure why it’s disappointing to me that it feels cheap. Not in quality – the actual product, on the lips, feels like a standard glossy balm, even a nice one. The packaging, though, is total trash, and it smells so strongly plastic strawberry bubblegum that it’s borderline too much. The tint is minimal and not worth photographing, so this probably will end up getting passed on.

Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen (Retails for $20) – When it comes to things I use daily, eyeliner pens are my go-to. I do winged liner practically on the daily because it works really nicely with my eye shape and makes me look a little more pulled together. I’m happy to try Starlooks, and I’ve heard good things about their liner pens. It seems consistent – it’s not the thinnest, as you’ll see in the swatch above, but nice and opaque and even. Now that it’s dried on my arm, it’s not smudging at all, so that bodes well. I’m curious to see how this thickness will manage a finer wing, but I have no doubt this will be great for more graphic looks.

Mystery Item (Lust Have It offloads their leftover sample stock) – Soak Superfood Skincare Skin Booster Body Lotion (25mL) – This is just a body lotion. I have a million, but I like the gently fruity lotion smell of this one and the consistency is a nice balance between richness and fast absorbance. It’s also an okay size. As far as random throwaway lotion samples go, that I use just in order to use, I prefer this one to the one in my May Bellabox (and far prefer the Whipped Cream from the Fortune Cookie Soap Box).

Razzamatazz Perfectly Matte Opaque Leggings (Retails for $11.95) – Just this morning I was lamenting my lack of leggings, and in comes Lust Have It was a frail attempt to help out. Guys. Curators. Subscription box creators of the world. If you ever intend on sending out clothing or clothing-adjacent items that have sizes, get the sizes of your subscribers or make sure your items are legitimately one size fits all. These leggings are average/tall, and I am a large lady. Average is not going to work. I know that logistically, it’s a nightmare, but it’s also extremely isolating as a customer to receive things that immediately ice you out. Even just including this for the people who’d fit it, or sending out other sizes to other people (I would have loved the extra tall), would have been great. Not necessarily feasible, but ideal.

Look, Lust Have It. There are some major wins here. I love the eyeshadow and I’m stoked for the eyeliner. I’ll use the body lotion and I’m going to attempt to stretch out the leggings and make them work for my larger than “average”  size thighs. It’s an example of the ways some great items can really drag up the ok items in a bag/box and make receiving it fun instead of frustrating. Really, the only frustration came from the leggings, and that’s more of an ideological issue.

In terms of rating, I’d give this a solid 3.5/5. It’s a good bag, but it’s not great. I’m happy to have it.

 

 

 

 

In Sickness and In Makeup: Makeup for the Disabled and Chronically Ill

When I  first started writing about makeup in my spare time, a long time ago, I was very barely in control of my body. I’m very open about my struggles with chronic illness, and there is very little cross section between the glamour of talking about makeup and beauty, and the world of the chronically ill or disables. I had grand intentions to write for people like myself, who were struggling with things I was struggling with.  Unfortunately, being amidst active illness made finding the time to write a little bit harder than I was anticipating.

Now here I am with my shiny new blog, arthritis flaring up, and it feels like a great time to write.

For context, my body is pretty broken. As it goes with chronic illness, once you’re diagnosed with one, your body tends to want to collect them all. I was initially diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Crohn’s Disease at sixteen, which was followed in quick succession by issues with arthritis (predominantly in my wrists and ankles), chronic neuropathic pain, and vestibular migraine. I do also battle with major depression and generalised anxiety, both of which are thankfully under fairly decent control with medication.

“Why?” I imagine is a question that could come up. After all, there isn’t a lot of common ground between the two topics – until you’ve lived with them. Living with a body that doesn’t fit the ideal “able”ness loads the everyday with challenges that you may never have considered. Suddenly you’re plunged into a world where your body doesn’t work in the way you want it to, and things won’t cooperate. Your body tends to degrade, and so it’s easy to get tied up in trying to make it look better, or giving yourself a boost. When I’m pale and weathered and worn, putting on a red lipstick makes me feel strong. Concealer helps me cover up the evidence of missed sleep, painkillers, rashes. Filling in my brows gives me polish. Makeup helps me tie my body back together.

On the surface, I could write tips: I could write about the importance of lip balm when you’re on steroids, of brow powder when medication makes your hair fall out, of finding the perfect concealer shade. The truth is, though, that makeup for the sick is a minefield and it’s different for everyone, and the real tips are the concepts.

  • Use the available aids
    When you are a sick person, you spend your life looking for ways to make things easier for yourself. You find things that help you live. I know that my arthritis is far more manageable when I am wearing my wrist splints, and I know that severe bouts of pain are better when I stop trying to be strong and allow myself to take the pills. It extends to makeup – you don’t have to be the strong person. You can allow yourself help and it does not make you lesser of an individual. Your eyeliner wing is not less impressive because you used the card to get the line straight, or you put on your wrist splints to draw it. Sitting down to apply your makeup isn’t a weakness.
    Relying on things that help you and make your life, and your makeup application, easier, don’t make your application less valid.
  • Give yourself time
    Makeup is not easy, and living life as a disabled or chronically ill person is damn hard. Things can take longer. That doesn’t make the end results (again) any less valid, nor does it mean that looking less polished means that you are a failure. I know that doing my winged liner in the morning can take half an hour and several do-overs when my wrists are unsteady and things are shaking. If a painkiller has left me sluggish, things take longer. That’s how it is. Take time. If you want to express yourself through makeup, or that is a way you make yourself feel better, it is a completely reasonable thing to put aside a considerable amount of time for it.
  • Get help
    Makeup is a weird, wide world. It’s confusing and easy to get lost in and overwhelmed by, and even moreso when there’s a lot of other stuff in your life to get overwhelmed by. I learn a lot by spending a huge chunk of my free time – because this is what I love – watching videos and reading blogs and going into my favourite stores and talking to people. I try samples of different things and test them out on gross days – how will this foundation stand up to working on a bad pain day when I sweat a lot and get really gross? I don’t need the trouble of buying something and finding out that it doesn’t work under my very specific conditions. Ask a youtuber you trust what they think of that new eyeliner they bought. Ask me what my favourite vomit-proof lipstick is.
    Being sick, being disabled, being mentally ill, these are things that can be incredibly isolating. Find communities, find support. Ask. It’s alright and (again) there is no admission of weakness here. It’s okay.
  • And of course, finally, and most preachingly and sing-song koombaya – don’t tie your self worth to your appearance
    Everyone is going to say this and it’s so easy to dismiss it as bullshit. Honestly though – makeup is fun. Makeup is a thing that allows for expression and can be a great tool for making you feel stronger or better. That said, it isn’t something essential. You are not required by the world to look pretty or polished or “healthy”to be treated as a human, and even though people might live as though this is the truth, they will shudder the second you suggest it to them. You are a person who is dealing with a different set of obstacles and the entirety of your being is not made up on what is observable from the surface. It’s not always as simple as loving yourself, because it can be hard to love yourself when you can’t necessarily wholeheartedly embrace the body and brain that you’re in, but even if you don’t love yourself, at least cut yourself some slack.

 

I know I might be coming off very new age and zen, but time teaches. If you’re ever struggling with anything, shoot me an email – I’m always happy to hear a rant – but the fact of the matter is that there should be a visible intersection between disability/illness and makeup, and I’m here to do whatever I can to further that.

Bellabox May 2016 – Unboxing/Review

I have written before about my love/hate relationship with Bellabox. As it stands, my archives are accessible here, and I’ve been receiving it since around November 2015. The past two months have left me cautiously optimistic – last month, the addition of a great mascara and a generous size of a lovely face mask had me with two thumbs up.

Let’s examine the goods, and see if that good streak continues.

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Look at my tiny hands! I may be a large lady, but according to my grandmother I have the hands of a butcher.

Very rarely do I start to develop my opinion on a box based on the theme, but Eco Conscious is…not my bag. I am all for looking after our planet, and do what I can personally, but I am not hugely into the commodification of “green”ness and I have a lot of issues with marketing within the field. I deal with it a lot in my day to day life, so I’m not so keen on dealing with it here (the lack of restrictions on what can be called “natural”, the charging more for products with green marketing, etc).

On to the contents!

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Jurlique Moisturising Hand Santiser (this is 50mL; 175mL retails for $20) – This is a nice enough hand sanitiser that works the same as every other nice hand sanitiser and smells strongly of lavender. It’s not drying, but that’s that. It’s a hand sanitiser and I’ll use it before I use the hand sanitiser from the most recent Fortune Cookie Soap Box.

Cocoswish Oil Pulling (Single pack; 12pack retails for $44) – I’ll try almost anything, but I’ll admit: I’m kind of too scared to try this. I’ll get around to it, but the whole idea of oil pulling kind of weirds me out. Swishing lemon flavoured gunk around my mouth for 5-15 minutes? Yikes.

Aroma Magic Almond Moisturising Lotion (10mL; 100mL retails for $14) – This is “magic” lotion? It’s lotion, basically. It just feels like lotion and smells like generic herbal stuff (vaguely lavendery). It doesn’t feel particularly ultra-moisturising, and thankfully has no actual lavender oil in it, because I am notoriously sensitive to lavender on my chest. It’s lotion. It’s hard to get excited about lotion.

Karen Murrell Lipstick ($30) – Not a fan of Karen Murrell’s “nothing nasty touches my lips” motto, but I’m always happy to see a lipstick in a box. I got the colour 06, Carnation Mist, which is a very boring rosy pink with a STRONG cinnamon smell – if your lips are sensitive at all, despite the no nasty stuff idea, I would definitely stay clear. It took a couple of swipes for opacity, but it has a nice enough satin-matte finish. I’ll probably pass this on to someone who’ll get more use from it.

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Rubbish lighting, boring lipstick, but probably something the average consumer would get a lot of wear from.

Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask (14g; 48g retail for $34.95) – I do love a good mask, so I’m happy with this inclusion – I haven’t used a charcoal mask on my face before, and I know they’re all the rage at the moment. I am quite sensitive, so I’ll definitely be patch testing, but it seems like it could be good for my congested areas. Who knows? There is also a bonus voucher included for $5 off a Derma E  purchase at Priceline in May/June, so if you end up curious about the range, you can go get a discount. I’m unlikely to use it, but I appreciate the gesture.

Avon Nutra Effects Radiance Day Cream SPF15 and Renewing Night Cream (shitty foil sachets; 50mL each for $15) – I don’t like Avon, I don’t like pyramid schemes, I don’t care about products being paraben free because honestly the studies for and against parabens haven’t really swayed me, and foil sachets are the devil’s work. Nah.

Damn, Bellabox. It’s harder to impress me than I thought. Last month all it took was a well placed mascara. I think, if the lipstick had been a gorgeous red or something, I might have been pulled over to being okay with this box. As it stands, eh. I’m keen to give the mask a go, the hand sanitiser will eventually get used, and I like that Bellabox put a damn lipstick in the box, but otherwise…flop. Not my theme, not my month, not for me. Hopefully Lust Have It will step it up this month, or the soon-to-come Marie Claire the parcel will blow me away, because I’m getting disillusioned and I want to go home.

Oh, Bellabox. 1/5.

Fortune Cookie Soap Box – Summer 2016

I did actually get my Fortune Cookie Soap Box on time – that is, before the launch of the Finding Nemo collection. The whole purpose of the timing is that you get the box before the launch so that you can use the $10 e-voucher you receive on your favourite things from the collection when they drop. Thankfully – spoiler alert – I’m not that enamored by anything from this box. There are a few great scents, and a few nice products, but not necessarily in combinations that suit me. That $10 will no doubt be going towards a couple of lip scrubs, because I finished up a Cotton Candy Fluff Talkin’ Smack lip scrub, and I loved it.

I digress!

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I was super excited when I opened up my box and saw the Finding Nemo/Finding Dory theme filling it to the brim. We’re heading into the cooler months here in Sydney, but I am all about warm summer scents all year round, so it seemed like the perfect combination of season and theme to be a match made in heaven. Not to mention the famously Australian connection with Finding Nemo – it’s always fun to flaunt that connection.

Add to that that packaging and presentation wise, the Fortune Cookie Soap Box has the game locked down. Few other boxes actually adhere so strongly to a theme or manage to make their boxes evoke such strong images of a garden or a winter wonderland or, in this case, some kind of a oceanic trip. I go into these boxes with a lot better mind frame than I would with, say, a Bellabox (my cruel temptress) – I want to love everything.

Look, down to business: What’s in the box? WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

  • Shark Bait (Fortune Cookie Soap) – This soap claims to be a fresh blend of sweet oranges, creamy vanilla ice cream and juicy, sandalwood infused strawberries but I just get vague citrus sweetness. Orange creamsicle sort of stuff. These soaps are rubbish for in the shower – they fall apart far too easily – but I use them as hand soaps, so this will get used. I definitely like this better  than last quarter’s Guardian of the Forest floral explosion.
  • Lil Blue (OCD Hand Sanitiser) – Another monthly staple are the OCD Hand Sanitisers, and I always mention that I appreciate that a portion of the proceeds go towards the International OCD Foundation. I usually love these, and I adore the aesthetic here with the shimmery blue liquid, but I am not getting any of the anjou pear and juicy apples harmonized with plum blossoms, sandalwood and a twist of amber. I’m getting alcohol? I very rarely get that with FCS hand sanitisers. This will still get used at some point, because it’ll get my hands clean and I am an immuno-compromised girl, but it will definitely be pushed towards the back of the sanitiser queue.
  • Aqua Scum (Spray Lotion) – While this lotion is essentially useless in terms of moisture, damn, they got that smell right. It is straight up juicy lychee, crisp apple and mouth watering, peach nectar, and it is good. I think I’d get a lot more use from this in actual summer – it doesn’t give moisture, and the spray on action is cooling, which is a little too intense in the current climate.
  • Ooooooooh… Baracuda (Lip Gloss) – I was super excited when I thought this was a bright red eyeshadow, or even a pigmented red gloss. Alas, it’s a clear gloss. An okay smelling clear lip gloss, that brings together juicy cantaloupe, crisp green honeydew, and sweet red watermelon, with a splash of lime and a sprinkle of raw cane sugarbut if a little too sickly sweet. But it’s a clear lip gloss, and I don’t really use those. I thought I’d take a photo of it on, for good measure:

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    Over Colourpop’s Matte X lippie stix in Climax
  • Intervention (Whipped Cream) – I’m on record as finding the whipped cream formula a little too thick and sticky, but it’s winter now, and my skin kind of needs it. Thankfully, this is my favourite smell in the whole box. It smells like heaven (so I’m assuming heaven smells of creamy coconut milk and tangy pineapples). I’m nearly finished my little jar, and I’d get this smell in another product (ooh, a lip scrub!).
  • Fin. Noggin. Duuude. (Pedi Bomb) – This arrived totally smashed, but it’s okay because I’m not a huge fan of the weird smell (Lemon-lime fizzy pop floating with orchids and a curl of white chocolate – I get ALL lemon lime, but weirdly muted) and I’m also way too lazy to do proper foot soaks.
  • Jellyman  (Don’t Be Jelly Soap) – Fortune Cookie Soap’s take on the Lush Shower Jellies, a product I am on record as never having been a fan of. They’re messy, hard to hold, and you end up wasting product when you could just be using a shower gel – this is no different. The smell is the real issue. In the tub, the black cherry, watermelon and frothy iced guava nectar, floating with sliced strawberries and key limes smells like straight up cough medicine. It’s a little better in use, with more of the watermelon coming through, but damn – that black cherry is too much.
  • Whale Talk (Perfume) – And finally, an underwhelming perfume – with no label. The notes sound really interesting – strawberries, black currant, jasmine, grapefruit and fresh avocado – but on the skin, it’s got a weird nose-prickling tendency about it. I think the jasmine is a little too prevalent for me, because this could be so pretty if it amped up the fruitier notes without the weirdly over the top floral.

Overall, this is the first box from FCS that has really underwhelmed me. I’m not going to unsubscribe yet, because even though this box is my most expensive subscription, it’s also the most fun, and I want to give it a full year to see how it evens out. I really enjoy Intervention, and there are a few products that will get used up – Jellyman, Shark Bait, Lil Blue, Aqua Scum – but there are also a few straight up flops.

Lets give this box a sad, reluctant 1/5.

Don’t worry, FCS. I still love you. Where did all of your lip scrubs go? I want more,

 

Lipstick For Losers v.2

A long time ago, I looked at my lipstick collection and thought “someone else should benefit from this”. Yeah, that’s how I justified my absurd collection. That’s when the original lipstickforlosers was born. Clearly – and I mean CLEARLY – I didn’t give much thought to the platform. Tumblr is great for convenience, but damn, it is a horrible platform for bloggers. And yet – I was committed! I am a dedicated person. If I make that kind of commitment, I’ll keep it for far too long, and until I absolutely can’t anymore.

For better or for worse, Tumblr finally demanded I change my password through my old email address which I no longer have access to. A catalyst! So here I am. A few drafts have been lost to the abyss, so I’m immediately behind on a couple of subscription boxes that I’ll work on remedying, and I’ll probably try and move over some of my more encyclopedic swatch posts as time goes by. In the mean time, I’ll post links to some of the features that will continue to run.

  • Monthly empties will continue, because I’m a slut for using stuff up.
  • Favourites might appear sporadically. Who knows, I’m fickle.

And of course, the subscription boxes. Oy, the subscription boxes.

  • I’ve only received one Lust Have It bag, but more will come
  • Bellabox is probably my longest running subscription, and we have a love/hate relationship (one is sitting right next to me, waiting to be written about)
  • The most whimsical by far is the Fortune Cookie Soap Box (I have one I’m having to re-write after losing it in the website transfer)
  • For the fancier amongst us, Marie Claire The Parcel also comes to my mailbox quarterly

I’ve also got some other posts in the works, including a disappointing products post that I’ve been working on forever (it involves awful stock photos).

 

If you’ve never read my blog before, I aim for thoroughness and honesty. I’m notoriously bad at brevity, and compelled by my desire to try everything, treat myself, be the best version of myself, and do what I can.

If you have any questions for me, I am always contactable at lipstickforlosers@outlook.com (or for more immediate responses, you can use the ask function on the old tumblr blog and I’ll answer it over here).

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that’s me, if you like faces with names