Saturday, July 18, 2009

Magical Delivery of Surprise Presents #1

A couple of months ago I heard about this thing called BeautyFix, where you get a box of either sample or full size cosmetics and assorted unguents for $50 about every three months. I figured that since I like both surprise presents and cosmetics, it was a safe bet for me. Belonging to the program also gives you discounts on the products they send you, which is may as well help people pay for it once you've gotten them hooked, right? My first delivery arrived with a wide variety of pretty great stuff in it. The BeautyFix program seems to be relatively young and it does include a forum on their website that's ostensibly to discuss the use of these products and others. At the moment it's mostly people bitching about dumb crap. I would recommend this program to anyone, but the reality is that it's a selection of products chosen to appeal to the widest possible base, not tailored to your coloring or particular taste. Listening to these people complain that the color of eyeshadow or nail polish they got didn't work for them is irritating as hell, so I'd say it's best to give it some time for membership to increase before relying on the forums.

Item number one was an aromatheraphy spritz from Kerstin Florian. I keep it at my desk and use a little spray when I'm getting tired or the heating is acting up yet again. It has a really wonderful light orange blossom scent, and the spray is fine enough that it won't make your makeup run. As all of these types of products do, it swears it will tone your skin and make you glow radiantly, blah blah blah...look. It will give you a little boost of nice refreshing scent and add some moisture to your skin. It will not solve the world's problems. I don't think I would buy this, simply because refreshing mists for the workday are fairly far down my personal cosmetics investment list, but if it's your kind of thing, then this is a great one.
Kerstin Florian Spa Face Neroli Water, $35 for 4 oz.

Item number two was a face serum from Lisa Hoffman that's packed with all kinds of nice vitamins. This one, I would not buy. It does make your skin feel great, but the texture of it is really not that pleasant. It feels a little bit greasy and the absorption is kind of fussy - some of it will absorb well immediately, but then I kind of feel like it's resurfacing throughout the day. If I use it at night, I will wake up with nice moisturized skin, but I've come to realize that I personally need any products I use on my face to work for both night and day, because I am lazy. If I bought this from Hoffman's site, it would set me back $95 for an ounce, and for a product that works fine but not brilliantly and isn't that versatile, that just won't cut it.
Lisa Hoffman Night & Day Vitamin A&C Serum, $95 for 1 oz.

Item number three was a full size can of Jonathan hairspray and man...this stuff is worth the whole package price. I used it to style my hair for an opera recital this June. I was wearing a full length gown, so we're talking big blowzy hair here AND on top of this, said gown was a day late from the tailor so I had to do my hair in the morning, go to work for most of the day, pick up my dress, change into it and then go to the recital. My hair stayed PERFECT and not at all hairsprayed-looking, and I should mention that this was my first solo performance in about...eight years, so I was nervous as hell and sweating up a storm throughout. The smell is great, the hold is great, it's easy to work with and on top of this, the ingredients are vegan friendly. It's a truly great product and even though I don't use a ton of hairspray, I'm a convert for life.

Jonathan High Shine Flexible Hairspray, $30 for 10 oz. can

The fourth item, Glowelle beauty drink, is another victim of my laziness. I got a seven day trial kit and I did see a difference in my skin - it stayed better hydrated and felt nicer, but I have pretty good skin anyway and don't know that it would be worth $40 every seven days for me personally. However, if you have chronic problem skin, you may want to give it a whirl. Lots of people on the forums recommended putting it in various smoothies, etc., which I think would be a big help - I only like drinking really cold water, so if I got distracted at work and forgot about it, it could be kind of a process to remember to drink all of it. Glowelle 7 day kit, $40 for 7 days

I got this Global Goddess eyeshadow in a different color. It's a really lovely plummy red called Kajol. It applies well and stays put, which is really nice...I often find when you have something kind of gimmicky like this (it touts the inclusion of white tea in the shadow), it makes the product suck, but it is not the case here. I really enjoyed this one and have been able to combine it with a lot of shadows that I have. The natural color lends itself well to either natural or dramatic looks. Great find! Global Goddess I-Divine eyeshadow, $18

When I was a kid, Mom had this facial mask that probably did all kinds of great stuff but MOST of all was one of those peely masks. It was really fun. This Exuviance mask is a return to the fun of those peel masks, and it does make your skin feel really great. Perhaps more importantly, it does not do that stupid thing where teensy bits don't get peeled and they adhere themselves to your hair so tightly that you basically have to treat it like bubblegum and accept that you're going to have to hack a giant swath of your hair out. Very refreshing and moisturizing!

Exuviance Rejuvenating Treatment Masque, $26 for 2.5 oz.

I am pasty. This is my lot in life. My family is European Grab Bag with Scandanavian accents and seriously, I spend at least half the year translucent. For this reason I have tried many, many depastifying products, from tanning booths (good, but pricey over time) to going to the beach or pool (good, if I have time) to lotions (EXTREMELY well mixed bag). I generally shy away from straight up self-tanners because I've found them very hard to apply without streaking and they often turn me orange. When I got this box, it had been raining for about two weeks and I was getting married in another two, plus it had rained for like, four weekends BEYOND the two solid weeks of rain, so I looked at this Bella Bronze stuff and thought "well shit, it's worth a shot." It worked extremely well...easy to apply, even color, and most importantly, the color was very natural. It just looked like I had gone to the beach for a week. I will definitely be buying this product. Bella Bronze Self-Tanner, $26 for 4.2 oz.

The last item I got in this round was a 3Lab Ultimate Lift cream sample, which is actually a pretty nice product but its press is rife with all that FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH type bullshit that you expect from infomercials. It's made from some damn Swiss apple (it does smell delicious and appley) and of course it makes you look ten! years! younger! and all this. Here's the bottom line. It's a nice cream that moisturized my skin and tightened it up without feeling uncomfortable like many tightening creams do. That being said, I am 26 and not in need of a ton of resurfacing so I will pass on this one for the time being, perhaps to revisit it at a later date. 3Lab "M" Cream, $250 for not nearly enough oz. to make it worthwhile for a college kid

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