I Made Another Glossier Order

 

* photos of products were pulled from their linked pages

Dear Reader, since my last Glossier update (which you can read here, or the first-ever one here) I’d really been drawn to making another order – for research purposes, of course! In that latest update I’d mentioned how intrigued I was about the Phase 1 set they had to offer – the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer, Perfecting Skin Tint, and their original Balm Dotcom – and how I’d also really wanted to try their Priming Moisturizer Rich and the Rose Balm Dotcom. So I thought, why not build my own Phase 1 set and customize those components, à la carte style? And then I did! (Because dreams can come true!)

The order I placed this time was my more customized take on their Phase 1 base set: the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Perfecting Skin Tint in Light, Priming Moisturizer Rich, and the Balm Dotcom in the rose scent/shade. Creating my own version of the Phase 1 set did end up being more expensive (about $10 more expensive); I think it’s better to spend the extra bit of money and get all of the products I’d wanted to try, rather than having to order the extra two products and spending ~$45 more. I do still want to try the original Priming Moisturizer, but my skin has needed so much hydration as of late that I was really itching to try the thicker, more decadent iteration. Full disclosure: these products, for me, lie somewhere between clean and conventional beauty; they definitely are not clean, but I find them to be better than most of their conventional counterparts, and the brand aligns with my belief that products should not be tested on animals (cruelty-free!).

Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser was one that I’d been hoping to like enough to keep in rotation for my skincare capsule, but it really blew me away. The morning after I had used it for the first time, I’d noticed that the acne along my jawline had already started to smooth over – something that none of my other cleansers had been able to accomplish with such speed and efficacy, let alone over a single sleep – though I know that this hormonal acne will take a lot of inner healing to be properly cured. I will say that the scent is the most off-putting aspect of this cleanser: it smells very plastic-y and artificial, I don’t know how else to describe it. Aside from that, it’s all love from me. I use cleanser on a konjac sponge (my method of choice for cleansers), and I only use a single pump of this for my entire face. I’d seen the video on the Glossier site on how Emily Weiss (founder and CEO of Glossier) uses a few pumps of this at a time, but I do a semi-first cleanse with coconut oil wipes to remove my makeup and so I don’t use quite so much of the MJC. The texture of this cleanser takes some getting used to, but I only use it in the evening and the results have been more than enough for me to keep coming back for more!

I think I may have been the most excited for the Priming Moisturizer Rich, and now I know I had every right to be. This cream is delightfully luxurious and so rich (like the name suggests), and it’s just absolutely perfect for my nighttime ritual, so I’ve looked forward to using it every day I’ve had it. If you have ingredient sensitivities, this moisturizer has both lavender and shea so, if those ingredients are problematic for you, you may want to steer clear of this product. And as someone who loves lavender, I don’t find this scent to be offensive or troublesome, but I have read some reviews from people who have found it too difficult to get over – if you are on the fence about lavender, keep that in mind as well. That being said, for me this product is a 10/10 – would use again – and I also love cutting it with a few drops of a luxe facial oil for extra hydration as I need it.

I was very nervous about testing out the Perfecting Skin Tint because I’ve heard varying accounts of its performance and overall level of sheerness, so I wasn’t sure on which end of the spectrum it would lie on for me. On the YouTube videos I’d seen that featured this product (both from Glossier and other YouTube content creators), people seem to be in agreement that they use 10-11 drops of this product for their full face, but I’d started out with just four drops to see. I just used the dropper-like packaging and plopped four drops onto the back of my hand, used my finger to dab those in the areas I needed most – the bit right around my nose, my chin, and the bit of forehead between my eyebrows – and blended those in with fingers, using smoothing and outward motions. For more coverage, I added four more drops to the back of my hand, applied to the areas where I wanted more coverage, and blended out as I did the first time – I’ve not really used more than 8-9 drops total whenever I use this product.

I love how much the Perfecting Skin Tint blurs out color variances in my complexion, but doesn’t cake up or visibly look like I’m wearing a full face of foundation. I agree the name "Skin Tint” is accurate because it really doesn’t have enough coverage to flatten out the complexion as other foundations do, but it’s great for those “no-makeup” days (which is really most days for me, as I’m super low maintenance). To take care of extra redness and cover up blemishes and imperfections I use the Stretch Concealer, and these two in conjunction with each other have become my go-to of late! They are both very dewy, so I find that I definitely need to set them with a powder (this is non-negotiable for the concealer, I think).

Last – and certainly not least – is the Balm Dotcom in the rose scent/shade. I’ve found that I really like this a lot more than the coconut one! I purchased the coconut Balm Dotcom last month and used it every day before starting my daytime beauty ritual, but I’ve found that this rose one has replaced it almost completely. I love the scents of both, and this rose one does have a rose pink transparent hue, so I’ve just really been loving this one. I previously had reservations about the scent – I hoped it wouldn't be too artificial or sickly sweet – but I’ve not been upset with it in the least, and I find the scent to be kind of soothing; it is definitely not a super-natural rose scent, but it’s not offensive. I will say my one gripe with these Balm Dotcoms is that they’re not easily applied to the lips: they must first be squeezed out onto a fingertip and applied from there. This might be because the product can be used wherever, but – I mean, this is a real First World Problem™ – for a $12 balm, I’d like it to be just a little bit easier.

I know I’ve kind of been on a Glossier kick lately but, all in all, I’d say that the Phase 1 set (or this à la carte version) is worth the money if you’re curious about Glossier, need some low-maintenance base products, or want a no-fuss starter kit. I’ve been really on edge about a lot of marketing tactics and beauty outreach lately, so I’m not going to be one to say that you need to go out and buy something, but I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve tried so far in their product collection. If it’s something you think you’ll like, and you’ve liked what you’ve heard about the products, go ahead and try it! (And, if you’re interested in 20% off your order, I have a link below you can use.)

Now that I’ve gotten these products, I do find myself immediately wanting to try everything else Glossier has to offer, but I probably won’t be ordering anything else from them for a little while. Realistically, I have more than enough to be getting on with at the moment, so my next beauty/skincare purchase will need to be really well thought out – keeping in mind that I operate on more of a capsule mindset, analyzing where the weaknesses in my collection are and filling those gaps. I did order a couple of products at the beginning of last month (it’s actually a bi-monthly subscription that featured products I knew I wanted, and they should be arriving toward the end of this month! So excited!), but they are definitely products that I needed to replace, or didn’t have anything comparable to in my collection. That being said, I did enjoy these products from Glossier! Have any of you tried the Phase 1 set (or the products in it)? Which was your favorite, and what other Glossier products have you really loved? Please let me know!

XO genscribbles

 

For those interested in giving Glossier products a try, you can shop through my referral link here. By shopping through this link, you will receive 20% off your first purchase, and all orders over $30 always receive free standard shipping (also free returns). By shopping through this link I also receive a small perk.

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As a disclaimer: All products and/or services I mention on this site are 100% paid for myself, unless I state otherwise. I take time to research products and services, and I believe that other people do the same – especially when we’re talking about spending our own hard-earned money. If I don’t like something, I will be open and forthright about it – I want absolute honesty, integrity and transparency (here and in all aspects of life). Tl;dr everything said here is entirely my own opinion about my experiences with brands and/or specific products, and I’m just happy you’re here!

March Favorites

Dear Reader, March has been a pretty fun month for favorites! Some of these will be of no surprise if you’ve read some of my previous posts, some of these have been great audio treats for when I’m working on projects, and some are oldie-but-goodie skincare rediscoveries. Let's jump right in to the faves!

* photos of products were pulled from their linked sources and/or brand-specific website

These past several weeks, I’ve been dealing with a lot of hormonal acne along my jawline and have been trying to change my diet and skincare routine to see if I can’t calm my body down, and nurture whatever needs nurturing. I’ve become more mindful of what I’ve been eating – I’d cut out coffee for two weeks and have only recently re-introduced it, I’ve been eating decidedly less gluten, and I’ve been cooking more with fresh produce – and I’ve pared down my skincare routine to just three steps (four products). Though I’m glad the coffee is not apparently to blame for some of this, I am drinking a little bit less of it, and I’ve begun seeing a little bit of an upswing with my gentler, less intensive skincare regimen!

One new product that I’ve been using is the Konjac Sponge Co. Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sponge that I‘d received in the February Petit Vour subscription box – I love it! Last year I’d used the One Love Organics charcoal konjac sponge and also really loved it, but after tossing it out (they don't last forever) I’d just never gotten a new one. I guess Petit Vour intuited that I’d need a new one… Anyway, this sponge is fantastic, and it’s also cheaper than the OLO brand sponge, so that’s definitely a plus too. Konjac sponges expand and bloat once hydrated, perform a gentle exfoliation whilst cleansing, and then dehydrate and dry up again between uses. I've been using mine both morning and evening for a couple of weeks now, and have been loving how it's performed. While the sponge is doing fine now being used twice daily, I'm not sure how long they really last being used quite as much; the packaging says three months, but I will assess mine in a couple of weeks (about 1.5-2 months of continued use) and determine whether or not it should be replaced. For now, though, it's spectacular!

With my hydrated konjac sponge, I’ve been using a drop of the Acure Facial Cleansing Gel – a product that had been introduced to me as a sample in the autumn of 2015, and my very first-ever clean skincare product! This cleanser is a mild one with loads of fruit extracts, rooibos leaf extract, and some essential oils (plus other ingredients) that combine to form a gentle gel cleanser that cleans well without stripping the skin. I also love that this brand is more accessible (I can find this cleanser at Target, Whole Foods, Pharmaca, Credo, etc) and this brand is much more budget-friendly than a lot of other eco brands out there! The brand is also vegan, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free.

I’d also returned to using the Acure Oil Control Moisturizer: a moisturizer that I’d used and loved in the past, but had stopped using to favor face oils. I haven’t stopped using face oils since bringing this moisturizer back into my life; indeed, I’ve been adding a few drops of a face oil (usually Poetic Blend’s Hero Oil or Maya Chia’s Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil) for added hydrating properties, and it’s been so, so lovely in conjunction with this thick face cream! I’m not the biggest fan of the way this moisturizer smells, but it is so creamy and hydrating so it’s easier for me tolerate for that reason. I also find that if I cut it with a face oil that has a stronger scent (like the Maya Chia Super Couple), the scent of the cream also diminishes.

I have a new beauty purchase (outside of the ones coming up – spoiler!) that I’d posted about in a previous wish list and was finally able to pick up at the beginning of the month: Rituel de Fille’s Inner Glow Crème Pigment blusher in the shade “Desire”! It is honestly just as perfect as I was hoping it would be. I’d wanted to see the product in person before I bought it, and my SO and I had made an LA trip to visit some new stores, so the new Credo location was definitely on my list! I wanted to test my theory that this RdF shade was a more economic dupe for the Kjaer Weis cream blusher in “Abundance,” and also make sure that I was as in love with the product as I thought I was. Turns out: yep! For both.

First off, I love visiting a Credo boutique (the other I’d been in was during a Thanksgiving trip to SF), and any other eco/natural beauty store, because nothing beats being able to see and feel the products that you are curious about – and they will give you samples! One of the lovely, amazing women of the store helping me offered me a sample of a facial balm that I’d been very curious about. Unfortunately, I still haven’t had a chance to use it because I’m working on calming my current sensitivities, but I will relish the moment that I get to finally try that product out! Anyway, I was able to see the RdF blush in person, compare it side-by-side with the KW shade, feel the texture of the blush, and another wonderful helper sanitized the product and let me try it on – all things you cannot do when buying a new-to-you product online. So maybe my trip to Credo LA is one of my March favorites? It definitely deserves to be.

This blusher does take some warming up to smooth and blend on the cheeks, but is the most beautiful cool, dusty mauve shade. Perfect for a bit of change when I’ve been so used to wearing peachy-clay and saturated rose-berry shades for the better part of the past year! I’ve not had much more experience with the Rituel de Fille brand products, but this blush is dynamite.

* photos of products were pulled from their linked sources and/or brand-specific website

I feel like half of the posts I’ve written feature Glossier now. Not really, but I’ve been so entrenched in Glossier this past March, and I’ve loved these first three products I’d purchased at the beginning of the month! I purchased the Stretch Concealer in the shade Light, the Boy Brow in Black, and the Balm Dotcom in the Coconut scent; these have since become a standard part of my makeup capsule, and I’ve been using them every time I’ve done my makeup since I received them. I won’t expound about the products too much more here, but if you’d like to read some more brief reviews of the products, you can read more on those at my first order update here!

* photos of products were pulled from their linked sources and/or brand-specific website

When I work on my projects, I absolutely have to listen to something – or I will lose it. I’ve made heaps of playlists on iTunes, I love listening to playlists on Spotify, but I have a real passion for finding new podcasts and listening to entire podcast catalogues. There were three new podcasts I found on March and I – quite simply – devoured them. These are all more historical in nature (which is perfectly fine with me!), and really entertaining in their own, different ways.

The first was Crimetown, from Gimlet. This podcast explores the crime culture of specific towns in America, and this first season they are focusing on the New England town of Providence, Rhode Island. Before starting this podast, I had no idea that there was so much organized crime in the streets of Providence, or in their own local government. There are some key players in the city’s history, but there are also lots of side characters (so many that I’ve lost track of names and how they relate to the stories they tell), and the producers and narrators do a great job of tracking down these players and finding expert testimonies wherever possible. Being born in the late ‘80s, and being from the other side of the country and more entrenched in what’s going on locally to me, most of what's covered in the first season of the podcast is such exciting recent and contemporary history that’s new to me. And it’s presented in a narrative similar to a documentary: there are sound bytes, narration, interviews with lots of people that were actually involved in these situations, bits of news from the time, and it all combines for a really interactive snapshot of the city’s interesting history.

Not too dissimilar to Crimetown is the podcast Hollywood & Crime, from Wondery. This podcast covers Holloywood-centric crime from the 1940s – a lot of them cold cases, and all of them murders. One of the most famous cases from this time is the case of the Black Dahlia, and the narrator covers this case and many others from before and after that one. If you are not a fan of true crime, or you are squeamish, a lot of the cases from this time can be rather grisly, and I honestly had a hard time listening through some of them. Each episode kind of plays out like a radio play: there is a narrator walking the listener through various stages of the crime (from laying the scene, to discovering the body, to finding and interviewing suspects, etc), there are voice actors reading their roles of the various players in each case, they’ve Foley-ed in some sound effects, and it’s all kind of Law & Order but with real historical facts. The first season recently ended, and they’ve vowed to return next season, applying contemporary methods of forensic science to the facts known from these cold cases. I am on pins and needles waiting for it! 

The last podcast that I’ve discovered and loved this past March is Stuff You Missed In History Class, from HowStuffWorks.com. This is a podcast that’s been around for a while, and you’ve probably heard about it from someone too – I’m very late to the game on this one. Luckily for me, because it’s been around for so long, there is an extensive backlog of episodes for me to listen to! This podcast researches lesser known events, or inventions, or people, and presents one each episode, not different from a college lecture. The hosts, Holly and Tracy read books, watch documentaries and find all the academic sources they can, then they pull all the best stuff and give their listeners a crash course on lots of cool topics that our run-of-the-mill history classes probably didn’t (or wouldn’t) cover. I’ve listened to loads of WWII-centric episodes, lots of flash-biographies of amazing women from history, alternate holiday-season characters (think Krampus), and I’ve even listened to an episode dedicated to the history of carousels. Carousels. There’s something for everybody on this podcast, and it’s really friendly for kids and classrooms; there’s usually a disclaimer at the top of the episode if it’s not suitable for younger audiences, but all of their episodes are done so well, and the narrators are so knowledgeable and open to finding different viewpoints on a subject. 

I’ve got some things that I’m trying out this month (April) already, and – who knows! – I might be running into some old favorites along the way. I’ve also started some new reading material that has been speaking to me on such a deep level, so I’m truly delighted in every moment I’ve had with it so far. I don’t know what it is about this month, but I really feel like I’ve been starting it off on the right foot, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me. That being said, I’m carrying these March favorites into April with me, and they’ve already been so great to me for many weeks! What were some of your favorites this March? Please share them with me – I’d love to hear what has resonated with you recently!

XO genscribbles

 

For those interested in giving Glossier products a try, you can shop through my referral link here. By shopping through this link, you will receive 20% off your first purchase, and all orders over $30 always receive free standard shipping (also free returns). By shopping through this link I also receive a small perk.

___________________________________ 

As a disclaimer: All products and/or services I mention on this site are 100% paid for myself, unless I state otherwise. I take time to research products and services, and I believe that other people do the same – especially when we’re talking about spending our own hard-earned money. If I don’t like something, I will be open and forthright about it – I want absolute honesty, integrity and transparency (here and in all aspects of life). Tl;dr everything said here is entirely my own opinion about my experiences with brands and/or specific products, and I’m just happy you’re here!

Whole Foods' Whole Body™ 2017 Hello, Beauty Bag

Heads up, this is a longer post.

Dear Reader, this season’s Whole Foods Hello, Beauty Bag was intensely difficult to get my hands on. Periodically (this year it was Friday, March 24), the Whole Foods’ Whole Body department will sell limited edition Hello, Beauty bags, and this time around their social media push was REAL. From what I’ve been able to gather now that I’ve successfully gotten my own bag, each location only received 50 or so for their shelves, and not all locations stuck to the proper release date, so it really would’ve been incredibly difficult for many people to snag one of their own – so unfortunate! Whole Foods Market had been building hype for this bag immensely on their Facebook and Instagram pages with a sweepstakes, so they were spreading the word like wildfire and getting their followers (and more through shares) excited for this bag, of which only a handful of people in each community would’ve been able to get for themselves. Which is really a bit of a bummer.

I [naïvely] believed that each location would have a healthy amount of these to go around (what with the previously stated marketing and hype surrounding this particular bag), so I imagined that my grocery run after lunch would be the perfect time to try to grab one for myself. Boy, was I wrong! When I reached the Whole Body department in one of their southern Orange County locations, I was told that they had actually sold out – at 9:30 that morning. The wonderful team member in the department offered to call around to some other locations for me – what excellent customer service! – and, of course, I accepted and waited while he did so. He’d called three other locations to no avail before finally finding one, and was able to convince the team member on the other end to hold one for me – WAHOOOOOO! Off I went.

As a side note for me, this magical location that still had bag(s) to sell at 2pm in the afternoon on release day also stocks the W3LL People makeup brand, which might make them the only location in Orange County to do so (I definitely took mental note of this).

After making a beeline for the Whole Body department and asking the team member there if there was a bag on hold for me – she said yes, cue happy dance – I went about my mini grocery run before finally heading to checkout and finalizing ownership of the elusive Hello, Beauty bag. The cashier and I had a bit of small talk, him remarking on how they might be close to selling out of the beauty bags, and I’d told him that I’d actually been to another location and, in fact, most (if not all) in the area were sold out! He seemed really surprised at this, telling me that someone that morning had bought TWELVE beauty bags – which really should not be allowed if they only have a handful to sell at all (and most of those will likely show up on eBay, sold at a gross profit). Despite what a great deal this bag is, it really irks me that there really weren’t many of these to go around, and that there wasn’t a limit on how many one person could’ve bought. I hope that Whole Foods remedies this for future seasonal bags.

Now that that unpleasantness is out of the way, this bag really is rather exceptional, and it pains me that it was so hard for people to be able to share in the experience. This bag (valued at $90+) was sold for just $18, and is stuffed with 11 products – some full-size, some travel- and deluxe samples-size, and some sample-sized products – not counting the luxe organic cotton tassel zip-pouch! Because I’ve not had enough time with any of these products, this is really just first impressions, what I know of the products, and what I’m looking forward to about them. I will say up top, though, that I know I will not be keeping some of these.

A word on Whole Foods’ Whole Body selection: I find this awesome service is a really great way to get your hands on more easily accessible, cleaner beauty and skincare products compared to other drugstore and conventional retailers. Some of the products/brands they sell are superior to others on the same shelves but, for accessibility, it really shouldn’t be missed for those on the hunt for cleaner and more natural options, or those looking to transition to cleaner and more natural products. Whole Foods has Quality Standards for their beauty and skincare products, and vet their selection to make sure that they are free of more toxic and harmful ingredients that can normally be found in conventional ones. Another great note, they exclusively sell brands that are cruelty-free – something else you don’t need to worry about! Leaping Bunnies abound! 

The very first product of this season’s Hello, Beauty bag is, of course, the beautiful bag! It. Is. Stunning. The bag, from the brand Piece & Co., is made from organic indigo and white striped cotton, features gussets (so that the base lies flat), and has a gorgeous white and gold tassel attached to the deep blue zip. The bag is approximately 8 ½ x 7” and I know I will definitely get some use out of it – it’s too beautiful to not show it some love! Have makeup, will travel.

I already know that I will not be keeping the full-size Mineral Fusion Volumizing Mascara (0.57 fl oz, valued $18.99). My eyes are very sensitive and can’t really tolerate eyeliners, eye shadows, and mascara, so I normally just steer clear of these. (I’m sure I will find a home for this guy in no time!)

I also know that I will not be keeping the full-size Pacifica Devocean Lipstick, even though I love the rosy taupe shade, “Tenderness” (0.07 oz, valued $10). I haven’t had the greatest experiences with this brand’s lipsticks in the past, and I already have some great lip products to keep me occupied, but I’m pleased to say that I’ve already found a new home for this one! It will be loved.

Next is a full-size Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Balm from evanhealy (0.5 oz, valued $19.95). I’ve never tried any products from evanhealy, but I’ve heard some good things about them, and I’m usually down to try new balms. Though this is called an eye balm, the packaging says that it can also be used on lips and body too! I love me a multi-use product.

I’ve not had any experience with the Andalou Naturals, so this travel-size Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk (1.7 fl oz, valued $3.67) will be my introduction! The information says it can remove makeup, but I would probably use this as a second cleanse after removing my makeup. I believe this formula is more geared toward dry skin, but my skin has been pretty dehydrated and out of whack as of late, so I think I will use it all the same. This cleanser smells beautifully of apricot, and I've not had any trouble with it for the few times that I've used it.

There’s also a teeny dropper of the Trilogy CoQ10 Booster oil (0.17 fl oz, valued $11.67). I’ve also never tried Trilogy products, but I’ve always admired how luxurious they seem (and I’ve been very curious about their line of rosehip skincare). This can be used alone or cut in with other moisturizers (which is probably what I would do), and is meant to nourish, recharge, and revitalize skin with its oils and antioxidants. The ingredients sound lovely, and it smells really nice – not strong or potent at all.

I’m very excited that the derma e Hydrating Night Cream (0.5 oz, valued $7.38) features hyaluronic acid, as I’ve heard such wonderful things about this super ingredient. I also love dense moisturizers, and I usually cut mine with a few drops of a luxe face oil for added hydration. I've used this a few times now, and it's not as thick as I would like a night cream to be, but it's very nice and smooth (and the new derma e packaging looks so good)!

I really love this travel-size Whole Foods Market brand Dry Skin Hand Cream in the scent of Peony, Mint & Blackberry (1 fl oz, valued $5.99). I love having hand creams and balms with me when I can, so I love that this is small enough to fit in my little zip pouch. I’ve also had a tough time finding cleaner hand creams that come in a size that is suitable to carry and smell this good (seriously so yummy). I also really appreciate that the packaging says that there is no artificial fragrance, which can be really irritating – not to mention mysterious, as fragrances are usually like cocktails of toxic ingredients.

There is also a very small tube of the Weleda Soothing Facial Lotion (0.23 fl oz, valued $5.64). I’d only heard bits and pieces about the brand Weleda, and I’d seen them featured in an article highlighting beauty products from Germany in the October 2016 issue of Marie Claire, so I’m very pleased that I finally get to try this brand! This facial lotion is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, suitable for sensitive skin (which my skin has been), and restores and balances moisture thanks to the sweet almond and plum seed oil. It’s a very small sample, so it might be only one or two uses, so I may save it for my trip next month!

I’ve had the opportunity to sample a fair few products from Juice Beauty, both makeup and skincare, with middling results. This Green Apple Peel Sensitive sample (0.26 fl oz, valued $5.46) is a chemical exfoliate that is meant to even skin tone and texture. I believe I’ve tried this product once before to no effect, so I will give it another go to see how it fares this time around. Chemical exfoliation (as opposed to physical exfoliation, like a scrub) has been hit or miss with me, but I will do a bit of research to see how to incorporate it more effectively into my routine and hope that I see results!

Having immersed myself in the green and eco beauty space for a year now, I’ve heard the name Dr Hauschka thrown around quite a lot – they make both skincare and beauty products – but still haven’t tried any of what they have to offer. This deluxe sample of their Facial Toner (1 fl oz, valued $13.99) is such a great size for sampling and traveling, so I think I’ll be able to get quite a lot of use out of it. I love a good toner (and this one smells lovely) so I look forward to how this one works out for me, but my one concern is that it contains alcohol. I’ll definitely have to see how that affects its hydrating properties, but it was nice the couple of times I used it this weekend.

The last product in the bag is Acure’s full-size Pore Clarifying Red Clay Facial Mask (1.7 fl oz, valued $14.99), and I think I may have tried this before in a small sample size (I believe I received a sample at a W3LL People / Acure event at an LA Pharmaca... or maybe that was a scrub?). The smell of this product isn’t the best, but I love the me-time one gets when using a face mask (I usually watch videos or flip through my stacks of magazines when I use them), and this one has some great properties. I think Acure was my introduction to cleaner, ingredient-conscious skincare (I received a sample of the Facial Cleansing Gel in a beauty subscription in 2015), so it will always have a special place in my heart. And I think this brand is an easy one to get into if you’re new or transitioning to cleaner products. And – hello! – full size product to try!

For a seasonal beauty bag that boasts a $90 value, I really think this one is worth a whole lot more – especially because it seems this particular Piece & Co. zip pouch is only available in this limited edition set. As I’ve stated previously, the circumstances surrounding this beauty bag’s release is unfortunate, but it really is a fabulous collection of products. I hope next time Whole Foods more closely regulates date of release and the quantity consumers are able to purchase for their next Hello, Beauty bag selection. Were any of you able to nab one at your local Whole Foods? What was your favorite sample, and which were you most excited to try? Please let me know in the comments below! 

XO genscribbles

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As a disclaimer: All products and/or services I mention on this site are 100% paid for myself, unless I state otherwise. I take time to research products and services, and I believe that other people do the same – especially when we’re talking about spending our own hard-earned money. If I don’t like something, I will be open and forthright about it – I want absolute honesty, integrity and transparency (here and in all aspects of life). Tl;dr everything said here is entirely my own opinion about my experiences with brands and/or specific products, and I’m just happy you’re here!

For those interested in giving Glossier products a try, you can shop through my referral link here. By shopping through this link, you will receive 20% off your first purchase, and all orders over $30 always receive free standard shipping (also free returns). By shopping through this link I also receive a small perk.

Glossier Update

Boy Brow, Stretch Concealer, Coconut Balm Dotcom

Dear Reader, I’ve been having such a good time trying out my recent Glossier purchases, and I think they’ve helped me develop an easy daily makeup routine that I’m extremely happy with at the moment. (If you haven't read my first impressions on that order and those products, you can read about it here.) That being said, I think the product that I’ve been the most blown away with is the Stretch Concealer! I’d been expecting good things from the Boy Brow (it’s universally adored, from what I’ve seen), and the Balm Dotcom has been a very nice moisturizer, but I haven’t been this excited about a concealer in a very long time.

The wax in this Stretch Concealer allows it to flex with movement and expression so that it won’t harden and crease like other concealers, and I find its lightness of texture makes it feel like it’s not even there. I apply this only on areas of redness, mostly around my mouth and nose, and on my spots, usually around my chin and jawline – ugh hormones. (I’ve not really noticed I’ve got much darkness under my eyes, so I don’t use it anywhere near there and can’t really attest to how it wears as such.) I set my concealer with just a light pat of setting powder and it stays all day, which is necessary for me because I never reapply base products (or any makeup aside from lip balm or lip color, really) after first applying in the morning.

As for the Boy Brow – well, what superb things haven’t already been said about Boy Brow? It’s eliminated my other brow products, and works exceptionally well as a brow gel. I can’t agree that it doesn’t stiffen ­– because I can feel that my brows are stiffer after it’s been applied – but it’s comfortable, and makes my brows look natural and lived-in. I’m glad I went with the product in black rather than brown, because the black really doesn’t make them look any darker, but the grooming does make them pop more. I’m very pleased with Boy Brow, indeed.

I do enjoy the Coconut Balm Dotcom, but my tube doesn’t properly dispense the product. I’ve emailed the Glossier team and a replacement is being sent to me, so I like that the issue is being resolved – awesome customer experiences here! This defective tube, no matter how much I warm up the product and swish it around in the tube, is just so difficult to get anything out of. When I’m finally able to get a bit of the balm out, however, it does smell lovely and moisturizes very well, so I really would like to also try this product in the rose scent. I love being able to keep this cute little tube in my makeup zip pouch, and I can see myself using all the product – no problem. 

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’d initially had a healthy amount of skepticism about whether or not I would like these products, but I’m now a full supporter and am looking forward to trying out more from Glossier! I think first on my list is the Phase 1 set with the Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer, Perfecting Skin Tint, and the original Balm Dotcom – I just think this is an intriguing base starter kit that gets a lot of bang for your buck (especially if you want to use the code below for 20% off your first order). Other products I’d love to try are the Priming Moisturizer Rich, which is a luxurious moisturizer in a denser iteration from their original Priming Moisturizer, and the [aforementioned] Rose Balm Dotcom. What have been some of your favorite Glossier products? Please let a girl know! They just all sound so good!

XO genscribbles 

 

For those interested in giving Glossier products a try, you can shop through my referral link here. By shopping through this link, you will receive 20% off your first purchase, and all orders over $30 always receive free standard shipping (also free returns). By shopping through this link I also receive a small perk.

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As a disclaimer: All products and/or services I mention on this site are 100% paid for myself, unless I state otherwise. I take time to research products and services, and I believe that other people do the same – especially when we’re talking about spending our own hard-earned money. If I don’t like something, I will be open and forthright about it – I want absolute honesty, integrity and transparency (here and in all aspects of life). Tl;dr everything said here is entirely my own opinion about my experiences with brands and/or specific products, and I’m just happy you’re here!

Yep, I made a Glossier order

Dear Reader, I had previously not been all that interested in ordering products from Glossier. I had seen ads plastered all over my social media, and the YouTubers and bloggers I follow seemed to, one-by-one, begin talking about their recent finds from Glossier. This brand (pronounced like a regular French verb, gloss-EE-yay) began to get the reputation of being the new “It Girl” makeup & skincare, and there’s no denying this brand’s marketing has been extremely effective. This paired with the smart and cheeky packaging and branding aesthetic, and it didn’t take much for me to begin to warm to the idea of placing an order.

Going back a bit, I think the one product I had initially been hearing the most about is the Boy Brow – I believe this is the product that they’d touted as having a 10,000-person wait list at one point. Something about this claim had rubbed me the wrong way, and I’d pushed the brand out of my mind as being one that I’d wanted to try. Unfortunately for my resolve, it wasn’t long after this that one of my favorite YouTube content creators slowly began integrating Boy Brow into her “get ready with me” and monthly favorites videos, and so the seed was planted.

Having gone through their site, Glossier's current product range is neither wide nor extensive, but they seem to be smart about what they formulate. And their range is slowly growing. They very recently (March 2nd) launched their Cloud Paint blush concentrates, and the colors are quite pretty (inspired by NYC sunsets). I will say that I’m not in the market for much of their skincare, and overall their ingredients are not as clean as I'd like them to be for a brand that claims, "Skin first. Makeup second." (I’ve gone through the ingredients list for products I was initially thinking about trying), but they’re just so clever with their campaigns. Their models are gorgeous, full-browed, everyday goddesses, and really put paid to the intrigue of their minimal and utilitarian products – which are meant not to mask the face but to enhance one’s natural beauty. Their message on the site is:

Beauty in real life.

Hi! We’re Glossier, a beauty company inspired by what girls need in real life. We’re creating the new essentials: easy-to-use basics that form the backbone to your unique beauty routine.

The real impetus for my placing an order was that there seemed to be a window when beauty-minded social media content creators were invited to become ambassadors or representatives for the brand, and this means discount codes (I'm not a rep, but I've got a link below for you, too!). I probably wouldn’t have acquired any products from this brand had it not been gifted to me or purchased at a discount, so I’m glad that I took advantage of the opportunity. Now I finally get to see what everyone is talking about! Because I only recently received the package, this will be an initial first impression and not a fully formed opinion about the performance of these products; color me still skeptical but also hopeful. I really want to love these products! (I mean, no one really wants to spend money on a product that doesn't end up working out for them.)

I knew I’d wanted to purchase the Boy Brow – their version of a natural-looking brow gel that fills, thickens, and grooms without stiffening – because I've been having such an issue with the efficacy of other brow products; most brow products are just too harsh and too warm-toned for my cooler, dark eyebrows. So my decision then was: brown or black? I went with the product in black because, despite my dark brown hair, my brow hairs are, well, black. When I initially saw the Boy Brow product in person, I was very taken aback at how small the tube actually is. It really is small, smaller even than some of my tinted lip balms’ packaging. I’d thought it was odd how YouTubers seem to rapidly rip through this product but, now having seen it, it’s not very surprising. I suppose it is better to have a smaller product package that one can get through without it drying out, and it helps that it’s relatively inexpensive ($16).

The other product I had really been interested in was the Balm Dotcom, and I was again met with a big decision: coconut or rose? All the comments and reviews on the product made it seem like the coconut scent was universally adored, but it was another YouTube reviewer saying that the rose scent smells like the Rosebud Salve that really pushed me over; I’m not sure I love a faint, rose-lite scent, so it seemed like coconut would be it for me! The Balm Dotcom is a universal salve that comes in a cute, soft, toothpaste-like tube, about the size of a Royal Talens gouache tube (forgive me, I’m an artist so this is my main point of reference!), and I really do love this artsy side of the Glossier packaging. Having now sampled the scent of the coconut balm, I can’t say that it's really all that coconutty – it’s more like a coconut cupcake. It still smells yummy and, I think if I make another order, I will tack on the Balm Dotcom in rose – just to see!

The last product I got was one that I had to think about for a long time. I knew that I wanted at least three products (free shipping kicks in at $30), so I didn’t know if I wanted to try the Haloscope highlighter, or the Cloud Paint blusher, or the Perfecting Skin Tint, or something else. My thought process on this was a series of checking ingredients, and rationale concerning my current product capsule collection. I knew that I didn’t really need any of their skincare, so it was kind of just down to makeup this time. I don’t need any more lip products and I wasn’t crazy about the color selection, so the Generation G was out; I’d already decided to get the Boy Brow, so I didn’t need to consider that one; I already had a luminizer I really love (the W3LL People Bio-Brightener cream stick), so I didn’t need the Haloscope; I have a cream foundation (W3LL People Narcissist) AND a liquid foundation (Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation) to tide me over at the moment, so I’m not hard-pressed for a base product – Perfecting Skin Tint was out.

I think it’s important to say here that, when it comes to makeup, I’m not a PURIST in clean and natural formulas. I think my collection is, like, 85-15 in terms of clean-to-conventional (or maybe even 90-10, as I’ve done a lot of purging in it), so I do have a lot of inner debate when it comes to deciding on new products and whether or not I will err on the side of clean or conventional. In this case, I decided on cleaner and more practical. After I decided this, the Stretch Concealer also began to seem like it should’ve been the most obvious solution from the start: though I do have a concealer (the W3LL People Bio-Correct) I’ve not been using it for the past several months, mostly because I came to realize that I’m not in love with how heavy it is. The Stretch Concealer, like the Perfecting Skin Tint, is not a full coverage product and is very lightweight. And, for people who also use the Perfecting Skin Tint, the Stretch Concealer was formulated to shade-match with that product. This product is meant to be good for layering – if desired – and can stretch and flex with your skin (hence the name). I love that the product comes in a glass jar (who doesn’t love a gorgeous pot of product?), and it really is very smooth and light (not just my shade, but the texture and weight). I'm wondering if I'll also be able to use it as a minimal, lightweight foundation, like the rms Beauty "Un" Cover-Up? With such similarities in packaging it's hard not to draw that comparison, so I might give that a try, too.

I’m really looking forward to playing with and testing these products out some more, and I should be able to form some solid opinions after a few uses. As far as shipping goes, I placed this order on a Saturday and received it the following Wednesday, so processing and shipping seem to move quickly. Right now, I’m very happy with the initial impressions, and I really like that Glossier products ship with a very adorable, pink, reusable bubble-mailer zip pouch (and stickers!); the branding and experience are even youthful and cheeky right up to when they meet you on your doorstep. Have any of you tried out Glossier products? If you have, which products have been your favorites? Please share with me; I’d love to have some recommendations!

XO genscribbles

 

For those interested in giving Glossier products a try, you can shop through my referral link here. By shopping through this link, you will receive 20% off your first purchase, and all orders over $30 always receive free standard shipping (also free returns). By shopping through this link I also receive a small perk.

___________________________________

As a disclaimer: All products and/or services I mention on this site are 100% paid for myself, unless I state otherwise. I take time to research products and services, and I believe that other people do the same – especially when we’re talking about spending our own hard-earned money. If I don’t like something, I will be open and forthright about it – I want absolute honesty, integrity and transparency (here and in all aspects of life). Tl;dr everything said here is entirely my own opinion about my experiences with brands and/or specific products, and I’m just happy you’re here!